The Practice of Practice: Mindful Training for Success & Happiness w/ Stefan Ravalli | DTPHD Podcast 27

Join David Tian on the “DTPHD Podcast” as we explore deep questions of meaning, success, truth, love, and the good life.

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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D., has helped hundreds of thousands of people from over 87 countries find happiness, success, and fulfilment in their social, professional, and love lives. His presentations – whether keynotes, seminars, or workshops – leave clients with insights into their behaviour, psychology, and keys to their empowerment. His training methodologies are the result of over a decade of coaching and education of thousands of students around the world. Join him on the “DTPHD Podcast” as he explores deep questions of meaning, success, truth, love, and the good life. Subscribe now.

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About Stefan Ravalli:

Forever studying masterful humans and the art of service the world over to bring their practices to our (sometimes “service-deficient”) culture, Stefan Ravalli combines all that with his expertise in meditation, mindfulness, and communication/listening to raise the game of service professionals – and anyone looking to upgrade how they connect with others (and themselves). Learning meditation was a game-changer for Stefan. It gave him the inner strength to be his unique self (without the negative self-talk!), connect with others better, and live a healthy happy life. Meditation also makes you realize your potential and gives you the fearlessness to pursue bigger and better things you never thought possible, so Stefan left a leadership role at a high-profile bar/restaurant to India to teach meditation. After doing that for years and deepening his tea ceremony practice, Stefan realized that the art of service was the richest path of self-cultivation available to him. Serving anything anywhere was the best way to apply and accelerate all the upgrades he got from meditation. So he started Serve Conscious to bring these tools and practices to anyone where service is part of their life – to awaken us to the power of service as a means of growth and self-mastery.

Learn more about Stefan Ravalli here:
http://serveconscious.com

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Shownotes:

1:20 One of the most important principles for success in life is this

4:36 What practice means to mindful living

8:11 What happens when you’re not balanced and in your true self

11:08 This all-important second layer of practice

15:11 The most helpful practice for beginners

21:00 What does meditation really give you?

28:07 How to discover for yourself what you truly need

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The Practice of Practice: Mindful Training for Success & Happiness w/ Stefan Ravalli

  • David Tian Ph.D. and Stefan Ravalli talk about practice and how it relates to success, finding joy, and happiness.

  • There are several layers of practice when it comes to mindful living, David Tian Ph.D. and Stefan Ravalli delve into the details.

  • David Tian Ph.D. and Stefan Ravalli lay out the effects of practicing meditation consistently.

  • There is this core practice that we should all have, David Tian Ph.D. and Stefan Ravalli reveal what this is.

  • In this podcast episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains why we need to practice, why we should seek mastery.

Truth, love, and the good. Here we go.

David Tian: Welcome to the podcast. I’m David Tian, your co-host, and I’m joined here by a good friend and co-host Stefan Ravalli. How are you doing, Stefan?

Stefan Ravalli: I’m doing well today. I’m Stefan Ravalli, the host of the Serve Conscious podcast. I teach mindful service and I stimulate mindful conversations to hopefully shift the world into mindful living that’s real and works for them.

David Tian: Excellent, and I’m David Tian. And for over the past 13 years now, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people from over 87 countries in their dating success, relationships, love life, as well as in overall wellness and mental health. So, welcome to this episode. And we’re going to be talking about practice: practice as a practice. And we’re actually creating Alexa briefings that are going to go out every day.

And they’re a great way to have a daily practice if you just want to get a little prompt of some new way to think about something. We’ll have them every day for you on your Alexa or your Google Home device, and the instructions for how to activate those will be in the show notes for this. And if you want more information about that, by the way, go to our website tenshinmindfulness.com to learn more about it.

But daily practice, that just got me thinking about how this is one of the most important concepts just to get success in life, and to find joy, and happiness, and all the good stuff because we’re not evolved to be happy.

We’re not evolved… We’re evolved for survival and replication, which is not a great recipe for being happy or for finding contentment or fulfillment in life. And it’s a practice that is required to get to that. Practice implies it’s on a regular basis, consistent. It’s something you do on a consistent, daily…

Well, when it comes to daily practice, daily, but it’s something that you will do. And as you do it, the more you do it, the better you get at it… And it seems like in this world anyway, I’m not sure when this started or probably every older person says this about every younger generation, but those in their twenties, whatever is after millennial now, and millennials, are used to thinking about things in the short-term.

There seems to be more of an emphasis on finding hacks, on finding – sort of like the 4-hour workweek culture. Nothing against that actual book, but the mindset behind those who follow it are looking for the easy way, and quick fixes, and get rich quick. I guess that’s always been there. But it seems more prominent anyway.

And the idea of a practice where, when you’re training on a daily basis, you don’t really see the gains. That’s why so many people give up, sort of like going to the gym or dieting. People are more likely to engage in a crash diet than to create a sustainable diet for their goals.

And it’s just obvious if you’re smart and you look at which choice will lead to the best result, it won’t be the crash anything. Alright, so the crash diet, crash workout. We’re coming up right now to the new year, the new decade.

And what I’ll see again in the gym is January will be packed all around the world because everyone’s going to be like… Well, a lot of people are going to say, “Oh, my New Year’s resolution is I’m going to get fit. I’m going to lose this fat or gain this muscle.”

Whatever their goal is, and then they’ll be motivated to go to the gym. And then they’re not going to have that practice mindset, and they’re going to fall off. They’ll usually stick around till Valentine’s Day. Mid-February, they’ll still be there, and then the week after Valentine’s Day, you’ll see a big drop off, and then it will steadily drop off until the summer – get a little spike again in the summer – and then around the autumn, it’s over.

It’s nice and empty in most gyms. Because of that view of life being that the results should be quick… So, it’s especially pertinent when it comes to mindfulness, and meditation, and anything having to do with your emotions, that there’s going to be a time when you’re going to have this big spike in results, with that spike or in startup world, the hockey stick growth comes as a result of the preparation, just the putting in of the practice and the training for days, months in advance to lay the groundwork for that to happen.

And if you don’t do the practice, you’re not going to get the results.

Stefan Ravalli: Yeah, and I’ll speak to what practice means when it comes to mindful living. Because there are a couple layers to it. The first layer is just always getting the reps in when it comes to meditating every day. Some people meditate reactively. They’ll just wait until they’re suffering and then meditate off the edges, and then get back to suffering a tolerable amount. And you’re just doing damage control there.

And when you are consistent with meditating though, like meditating every day, what happens is your standards for well-being go up and then meditating becomes as natural as brushing your teeth because you can’t imagine the day without it. Because you know, as you can’t imagine going through the day without brushing your teeth…

Like, if I’m in the middle of the jungle somewhere, I’m going to brush my teeth. I’m going to make sure I have my toothbrush and brush my teeth, where we are naked human beings without our toothbrush. And that’s because our standards for oral well-being, for some reason, are non-negotiable, right? Like, I don’t want to feel bad, horrible, gross breath, and the taste in my mouth from the night before, brushing my teeth.

Meditation is the same way for me now. I don’t want to feel mental bad breath and the tastes from the day before in my mind anymore. I’m going to be cleaning every day. And meditation isn’t just cleaning. It’s also strengthening and increasing your power and ability to continue being the person you want to be. So, there’s that level, meditating every day.

David Tian: There’s a practical element to that. If you don’t brush your teeth, you have this repellent bad breath. And then you see it on the faces of the people you’re talking to. And then if you have a nose, you’ll be able to smell it yourself and you’re just like, “This is disgusting.”

And I wish that if there were enough people who meditated on a regular basis, they would show that slight disgust reaction to those who don’t, because they’re… So, a lot of people get triggered. The thing is, if you are actually meditating on a regular basis, you’re probably so mature that you wouldn’t have that, you’d just be like, “I feel sorry for this person who’s triggered all the time and has no emotional self-regulation. That must suck.”

So, you have that reaction instead of like, “Ugh.” This is what I tell guys who are trying to find a good woman. There’s so many of these subgroups of men like the MGTOW movement, red pill, men’s rights, incels.

One refrain that you could keep hearing over and over is that the feminine is dangerous. It’s this thing that can’t be trusted, and they just paint all the female kind with the same brush as being unredeemable. And a big part of that is the fact that they’re attracting into their lives – the women who do put up with them and talk to them are like the mirrors of these guys. So they’re not having that repelling reaction.

Right when I’m trying to say to them is the good women don’t want to hang out with you. Like they won’t go past a few seconds. You don’t register with them and they don’t register in your mind. There are good women out there, but you’re turning them off and you probably don’t know it, and they’re just not in your life. But then you go out and you find – because you’re toxic, you find other toxic people, and like attracts like. And it would be funny though because just like with the bad breath, you know.

Most people will give you a nasty reaction if you start talking with this bad breath. And something that I discovered in my therapy training, and especially with IFS, this is when it really became more obvious to me, is when I wasn’t in self, what they call in self, the state of your true self, that the other 50 participants there, the other 50 therapists kind of could tell.

And then when you’re in self and somebody else is going, “I don’t know. I couldn’t…” That one that I showed you, that was pretty obvious. But when somebody is acting out of a part, that’s something that you can tell. And you try not to show it probably because it’s not going to help them in the moment. But sometimes, it will.

Sometimes, it would be good for you to be a little parts detector for them. But you do get that kind of social feedback. And you can imagine a situation – as a philosopher, I think about these things a lot, counter-examples and thought experiments.

You can imagine an alternate world – if you can get some social feedback to a person who’s dysregulated so that he at least knows he’s dysregulated, and that will prompt him to keep up his regular practice. Like, just slipping off a little bit. You know, so it’s a peer group thing too.

Stefan Ravalli: Yeah. And here’s the thing though. When you aren’t meditating, when you aren’t keeping yourself in balance, when you aren’t getting rid of all the crap that’s sticking to you emotionally throughout the day, when you’re not strengthening yourself, you do have mental bad breath and people do respond to it.

You’re going to notice if you’re paying attention. And it’s sometimes subtle and you’ll notice it if you’re not wrapped up in your own internal dramas. If you’re being mindful. And you’re going to be mindful if you’re consistent with your meditation practice. So, there’s this sort of one-feeds-the-other thing.

And that brings me into the second layer of practice. There’s getting onto the mat, which is the equivalent of getting into the gym, doing the mental work out of meditation, and enjoying the spontaneous natural effects of it.

Which is after you go to the gym and you drink your protein shake or whatever it is you do after, you don’t have to do anything. Your physiology will naturally improve after that. Right? That’s not a conscious process. That’s just like a bodily intelligence thing. Your tissues take over after that, your metabolism and all that.

That happens with meditation, too. After that, your physiology takes over and you get these natural benefits, these spontaneous skills, and these natural feelings of being happier, and healthier, and more capable, and more intelligent, having more capacity for experience, and having more emotional regulation abilities. I can go on.

But then there’s a second layer of practice which involves constant attention throughout the day. So, you’re constantly bringing yourself back into a state of awareness and catching yourself when you’re not.

Catching yourself when you’re drifting into somewhere that isn’t mindful or skillful, somewhere that is entertaining inner bullshit and inner dramas that are not serving you. And that one is actually a lot harder. That one was another layer for me to learn. Meditating every day became really easy because meditation for me is easy.

And actually if you do our meditation course that we offer for free for signing up to our community on our website, that’s going to show you that easy practice, that you’re going to be able to sit down and do and just enjoy the benefits of. And be like, “Oh, great. Work’s done.” Right? Well, no. Work is just beginning, because now, you have to practice as the person you want to be every single day.

Not because anyone’s making you, by the way. There’s not a Judiciary Committee that’s going to be evaluating your ability to be mindful. You’re just going to be noticing more what’s working and what’s not. And you’re going to want to do what works. You’re going to be paying attention to how people respond to you.

And you’re going to say, “You know, this isn’t the response I want. This isn’t the energy I want to put out there.” You’re talking, David, about attracting the right people. Yeah, you’re putting something out there every moment. And you’re getting a feedback, and that manifests as certain relationships, and jobs, and you name it. All of your experiences are the product of what you are putting out there subtly. And you know, sometimes very overtly, but often just very subtly, little interactions day-to-day shape your life and how it goes.

David Tian: You have these great analogies also to the fitness. Reps, just showing up. Another one I would add in there is recovery, right. Those are really good. I don’t want to repeat those, like reps, get your reps in. For everything in life, there are reps. You got to figure out what to actually do reps on.

When you’re giving a talk, be really good to get your reps in. So, you run through the talk a few times at least. If you’re an actor, you’re learning lines, it’s the same thing. You’re getting the reps in. You’re redoing the lines over and over. And figure out what in your craft, what in the job that you want to get good at, is something that you need to do reps for.

Because every craft has something to do that you ought to be doing reps in. But sports is a really obvious example of that, and then just showing up. Half the work is just getting to the place. So, if you change your clothes and you get to the gym, you’re going to work out.

It’s going to be really hard for you to then say, “Oh, I guess I’m not going to work out today” and go back in your car because you’re already there. You might as well do something. And if you just aim for the bare minimum that will get you started on that momentum, then you’re going to follow through.

If you need a hack at all for practice, you can hack practice like that. So when it comes to going to the gym, pack your gym bag the night before or the day before and leave it in the same place near the door every day.

And then that way, there’s as little friction as possible to just getting to the place where you’re going to be practicing. Even better is to cut down on the time. So if you can get a gym in your building, it’d be much better than having to drive 20 minutes to get there.

So it’s the same when it comes to any of these things. Meditation, mindfulness, the same sort of thing. Find a really nice, comfortable place in your house and go to the same place every time. And create a sort of shrine around it. So, everything you need is right there. All you need to do is bring your tea or whatever it is, your water, and just sit in this nice place.

That way, you don’t have to fumble around every time. And I’d add two more things. It helps a lot at the beginning when you don’t have a practice yet. So in other words, you’re just starting out. This applies again to meditation as much as it does to fitness, or success, or school, or career, or whatever. It’s really helpful at the beginning if you have a program, you have a program to follow.

So, if you go to the gym and you don’t know what you’re doing, you probably won’t get past the first month. I see this all the time, the people who don’t know what they’re doing, they go to the gym and they do one exercise at each machine. Have you ever seen this? Like, they just work their way down this row, this random row of machines. They don’t realize that the way that they had put the machines is pretty much just random. Like, they group their legs…

Stefan Ravalli: Fitness dabblers.

David Tian: Right, yeah. And they just go like, “Okay, I’m just going to do one set.” And then they’re on their phone for five minutes in between. This fucker’s on his phone. I just knocked out five super sets or whatever, and then he goes to the next one and hardly breaks a sweat.

And this guy is just – he’s not going to get results. And if he’s not going to get results, he’s not going to continue. Plus, it’s not fun. So it’s really easy to fuck it up. So, the best way to do it is to actually get a program, and get a professional program, a program designed and tested. And you can get so many – for meditation and mindfulness, there’s a lot of apps that have lots of programs.

Obviously, we have a free course. You should take ours, and it’s a quick start into it. And then we’re going to provide more of these over time, but I poke around on lots of different apps and try their different programs. And most of them are okay. And in any case, they’re fun to do. Like, “Oh, something new.” Right?

So, one of the things that a program should have worked into it is some variety. So, one of the best fitness programs I ever did was this thing called P90X. And one of the best things about P90X is it changes up the workouts. So, when I go to a trainer and if I were to go to a trainer – I did before I found P90X, and he wasn’t a trainer who’s like there with me in the gym. Because that, in the western world, is actually a lot more expensive.

But instead, you get a trainer to write a workout for you. It’ll be one of those workouts where you’re going to probably do parts or something. It’s going to be the same thing, five workouts that week, and you’re going to just keep doing these five workouts until you get bored. And that’s a really bad way to create a practice.

So what P90X does is it uses a thing called muscle confusion. And every three weeks, it changes it up. So, you have 90 days, and three weeks it alternates. There’s a recovery week. That’s the other thing I wanted to throw in there, is recovery, active recovery as an important point for your practice, but like a deloading phase.

So, if you’ve been doing the same thing for a period of time, it’ll start to get stale and you should do something different for a smaller amount of time. In fitness, 3-1 is usually a good idea: three weeks going hard, and then one week going light, and going back. The second month, it’s totally different. It’s another different three weeks. What that does is it keeps it fresh, keeps it fun. It keeps you entertained.

Your brain is entertained. You’re learning some new things. And it doesn’t get stale. A well-designed program will do that for you. And in the dating world, for men’s dating advice, that’s what I’ve been doing for several years: designing men’s dating skills programs and working this periodization into it. And then once you get that, you start to figure out, you get the hang of how programs work…

So, that might work for fitness, for dating, for school, for mindfulness meditation. So, I’ll stick with one type of thing for a while. And then if I start to feel a little bit like, “It’s the same kind of thing, same thing over and over.” I might switch it up. And then I always throw in a period of silent meditation for myself, but I’d like to have some guided meditation just to get me started and reoriented. It’s just fun. It just keeps the variety going.

A big part of that, if you can afford it, is to get a coach, a program and coach. And when it came to fitness, it really came down to the coach for me. So, I didn’t appreciate a proper fitness program until every time I showed up, I had this one-on-one coach three times a week in China.

And every time I showed up, I didn’t know what we were going to do. So, I kind of know which body part he was going to target. It was back day or leg day normally. But sometimes on a legs day, he’ll make me do a hundred pull-ups. And then, “I thought this was leg day, man.” He’s like, “You know. We’ll do 100 pull-ups just for fun.”

fIt’s like, woah, he knew I needed that, because the last back day was too easy for me or something like that. That’s what a coach can do. When you realize, “Oh, this is actually fun. It changes it up.” And he pushes you to beyond where you think you can go. The value of a coach and a mentor, a personal coach, is invaluable.

When I go and learn new things, I will pay for that in-person training like 10 times more that I would pay for recorded format, and at least five times more that I would pay for a group training. That’s how much more important it is for me. And so when I first learned meditation, and I found out Stef…

And in fact, Stefan was off – when I got interested in meditation, Stefan, you disappeared to India for quite several months to do a training there. So, I literally just waited until you showed up again, return to Singapore and like, “Okay, he’s finally here in person. Let’s do it.” Because I’ve tried to learn meditation through books and things, and it never worked well for me.

And then just that four days of in-person training was enough momentum to take me forward and then just popping in every once in a while for a refresher was amazing. That changed my life. So, getting that in-person coach, getting a program with some periodization on it, and professionally designed and tested one, is a really great way to establish that practice.

Stefan Ravalli: Yeah, and on that note, meditation is something that is giving you what you’re not getting enough of. It doesn’t have to change all the time. You don’t have to do new meditations all the time to stretch your mind in different directions. Because whatever meditation you’re doing, you’re not getting enough of that, guaranteed.

Because this is the rest activity principle. Because you can do the same meditation every day throughout your life and you’re going to get untold benefit from it. Your mind doesn’t get used to it and it stops being effective. What can happen is results will plateau, but that’s called evolution.

Any growth process looks like that. So what’s happening is like – it’s not less change or growth is happening, it’s just more subtle and deep. There’s a lot going on under the surface that you might not be seeing immediately anyway. Meditation-wise, you can do the same thing every day for the rest of your life and get untold benefits.

And that is because all day, your mind is in activity. It’s getting stressed and it’s getting strained, and what it needs to do is pull back. And however the fuck it is you pull back, just pull back. And this is not part of our general human routine in modern industrial society.

It’s just go all day. And in fact, if we were to program in a break where everything shut down, think maybe Spanish siesta, that’s a different kind of thing. But if we were just to stop, meditate and continue, productivity would be massive: creativity, cooperation.

There would just be an upgrade everywhere because we’ve pulled back. And in case you’re worried about doing it properly or doing it well, any kind of eyes closed where you’re attentive, you’re awake, but you’re resting and going within, in some way, is going to have a transformative impact on your life. Just do that.

And in your journeys of trying meditations and seeing what’s good for you, you will see what works best for you, what’s most effective, what resonates. The practice we offer here is one that’s pretty universally-applicable and pretty good for fitting into anyone’s routine, and way of doing things, and way of thinking.

And it’s the perfect antidote to how we’re normally thinking, and that’s like strain, push, get to the end. Meditation is the opposite. It’s simply allowing the process to unfold however it’ll unfold. And it really is for you if you are an achiever because your mind needs a rest from that. Because we’re basically a bow and arrow.

In order to fire the arrow, you got to pull the bow back. The farther you pull it back, the truer your shot is, the faster, more accurate it is. That’s what meditation is doing whatever meditation that is.

David Tian: Yeah, that’s a really great point about recovery, to remind me that the meditation itself is one of the best ways to recover from life, to have that active recovery period, that deloading from other things. When you’re go-go-go and you’re hustling, if you don’t take that time, you’re going to burn out.

Especially towards the end of the day. And if you have a hard start in the morning because you might be a night person and you just got to – you end up having to pound back a whole bunch of coffees to be operating, I used to be like that. And then with meditation, it made the whole day a lot more energetic.

And one of the best things, if you’re getting at least 6 hours a day of sleep or six hours a night sleep, than instead of just taking a nap, I’d recommend that you hit that 20-minute meditation instead. And it’ll be a lot more efficient than a 2-hour nap, in my opinion, if you’re already getting enough sleep.

Now, a lot of people get 8 hour sleep and still get tired and sleepy. And that’s normal. And instead of whatever you normally do, whatever – just like depending on caffeine or something, if you could take – even just 10 minutes to meditate and do the practice that Stefan is showing you in the tension-free course, that’s like the most foundational meditation, in my opinion.

I’ve been meditating long enough that I was able to branch out and try different kinds of meditation. I have friends who all learned… Well, the ones that I introduced them to meditation, they learned this foundational practice.

And since then, some of them have found other types of meditation. They’re like, “This is the shit. Somatic meditation, that’s the thing.” Or this other mindfulness thing, or the Muse headband, that’s my jam. And they find something else. And I think it’s great, and then I’ll notice that they’re not sticking with that either.

So the thing is, if you don’t have a practice, if you don’t come at it with a practice mindset, then none of the things will work for you. If you come at it with a practice mindset, then everything will work for you. I’ve been through a phase of like six months doing Muse meditation and having fun with that, “Oh, new gamification kind of thing.”

And then just ending up dialing down the sound because it was way too distracting, and then just taking off the damn headband because it was too much fiddling. I wasted like five minutes of the beginning of our meditation trying to get the thing.

It’s like, “Oh, I actually don’t need it.” But it was fun to do. It’s sort of like workouts. I used to do all different kinds of workouts, and they all worked for some purposes, and they were suboptimal for others.

And one thing that you might want to do if you have trouble sticking with the meditation – because I have many friends who are achievers who, when they sit and meditate, they worry that they’re not doing anything. “What am I getting here? I’m just daydreaming for 20 minutes. I need to get this budget done.” or whatever it is.

How is this helping anything? And they’re not seeing the results. I’d say just try different type of meditation for now and find one that you like, that you will stick with. It’s the same with workouts. The best type of workout is the very basic. The same type of movements, progressive overload, the same fucking principles.

But many people are bored by the good workouts and they have to do something else. Maybe they need a crossfit thing. Maybe they need to do more yoga. Maybe they want to do dances instead. Maybe they just want to do pure movement, whatever. Those are all great workouts. There’s nothing against any of them.

Pick the one that you enjoy and that you will stick with. That’s the most important one, the one that you will stick with. And then realize, with more mature perspective, that you’re also going to plateau on that thing and you’re going to need to find something else.

And maybe you will then return to pure practice, just sitting in silent meditation. And so, there are some weeks when I’m really looking forward to just sitting in silence for 20 minutes. And there are some weeks when I feel like I just need a little bit more encouragement of something and I need to do a gratitude meditation for 10 minutes.

And that just sort of prompts me for things to be grateful for, and I just want to spend more time doing that, and listening to these prompts. Or maybe I just like having music in the background and cool little sounds. I don’t know.

Maybe some days, I want to hear the cave spring or whatever, the waterfall, and that’s soothing. Just change it up. Whatever it is that you need to keep the practice going. Instead of thinking, “It has to be this one way or nothing at all.” It’d be better if you just pick the thing you liked and kept at it.

Stefan Ravalli: What you’re talking about here is a really important practice. It’s a core practice that we should all have. And that is the practice of saying, “What do I need right now?” What will bring things more into balance?

Do I need a little more focus? Do I need a little more protein? Do I need a little more letting go and relaxation? Do I need more gratitude? And this is a practice of paying attention to who you are and what’s going on in you. This is the self-awareness practice that is indispensable. There’s never a time where you shouldn’t be self-aware.

You should always be paying attention to what you need. It’s not like, “You know, I think right now is a good time to be ignorant and just forget about it all.” No. You can always be self-aware and you can always be paying attention to what you need. And so, without this becoming too drifty, and following the next shiny object, “Oh, maybe this will promise me happiness.

Maybe this will promise me happiness.” It’s not like that. It’s just more noticing where it is you should shift your energy into. And this isn’t a replacement for sticking to things. You’re still sticking to things.

That’s still really important because it’s also really easy to always be searching for the practice and thinking like this is going to be the be-all end-all. Because then, you’re creating massive expectations of this practice to deliver everything you can possibly need right now. And nothing is going to do that.

What is going to do that though is you, your self-awareness, that is how you can assure that you will have everything you need. Because you’ll always be paying attention to what you need. And I wanted to say one more thing as we wrap up here. It is really valuable to stick with things.

And in fact, when you stick with something, it can end up giving you a lot more than what it had initially been giving you. Talking about yoga as a path of digging one hole really deep. You will not strike water if you dig a bunch of shallow holes, you got to dig one hole really deep.

So if you stick with one modality or one practice, and it seems like one simple little streamlined thing, once you develop mastery of it, it gives you mastery in every area of your life. And also with daily mindful living, being mindful in everything you do.

So, you begin to eat more mindfully, and pay attention to the food in your mouth, and how it makes you feel after you swallow it, and how you feel an hour or two later if this food was nourishing and energizing.

And if you’re mindful while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re paying attention to that. And not thinking about all these things you need to do today and worrying about that. And if you’re talking to someone and listening to them and saying, “Where is this person coming from? What do they need right now?”

Once you start being mindful and paying attention to one small area, you will find that everything becomes something, that you feel total presence in and total mastery of, and an ability to show up for in a way that is skillful, and capable, and powerful. So, start small. Commit to small, and big happens, if that makes sense.

David Tian: Yeah, and a great life advice is like: pick something… Especially as I was addressing millennials and the generation before that hasn’t embraced – or isn’t naturally attuned to practice – is to pick something that you don’t hate and are decent at, and then see how far you can take it, to go as far as you can with getting good at that one thing.

Because mastery of anything will enable you to apply those lessons and that experience to anything else. And it’s something that you can only… The mastery in those lessons only kick in after you’ve hit that take off philosophy.

And so many people just don’t get that momentum to get them to the depth that they need to get the kind of experience that will lead to mastery of other things. There’s something to be said for – and I’m kind of somebody who isn’t the best at any one thing, but I try to combine lots of things into a unique combination of perspectives and things. But it definitely was very helpful for me to take certain disciplines in high school and undergrad. And actually, in grad school too, and take that as far as I possibly can in depth.

There’s something to be said for depth, and that can only come from practice, from consistent practice. Speaking of self-awareness, I have to be aware of our time as we are wrapping up here. And thanks so much for listening. There’s so much more to be said about practice. I know Stefan and I have more points to cover. So we’re going to cover these in future podcasts. Thank you so much for listening. Stefan, where can they find you?

Stefan Ravalli: You can find me at serveconscious.com. Check out the podcast content as well as all kinds of practices too. And I’m going to stop talking now because that’s just theoretical. Get out there and practice. Check out my website for great practices, and show up and practice as the person you want to be. Always.

David Tian: Awesome. Great message. You can learn more about me at davidtianphd.com, and you can find out more about our project here at tenshinmindfulness.com. Thanks so much for listening and watching. We’ll see you next time.

Hey, it’s David again. Before you go, a couple last things. First, all the show notes and links to resources can be found at davidtianphd.com/dtphdpodcast. Or you can just go to davidtianphd.com and find it through the top navigation menu. Second, if you’d like to interact with me and other like-minded fans of this podcast personally, then join our private DTPHD Podcast Facebook group.

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