Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris - 536: How Not to be Owned by Your Cravings | Bonus Meditation with Alexis Santos

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This show is sponsored by BetterHelp. Wouldn’t it be nice if life came with a user manual? Anytime you have a problem, just check the table of contents, go to the right page, follow the instructions and voila problem solved. But we all know that it doesn’t work that way. Navigating any of life’s challenges can make you feel unsure whether it’s a career change, a new relationship, or becoming a parent. I check in with my therapist on the regular and run all of my problems by him and I invariably walk away feeling much lighter because he’s helped me work on some practical tools or just put my worries into perspective. As the world’s largest therapy service, BetterHelp has matched 3 million people with professionally licensed and vetted therapists available 100% online, plus it is affordable. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to match with a therapist. If things aren’t clicking, you can easily switch to a new therapist anytime. It couldn’t be simpler. No waiting rooms, no traffic, no endless searching for the right therapist. Learn more and save 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com slash happier. That’s BetterHelpHELP.com slash happier. This is the 10% Happier Podcast. I’m Dan Harris. Hey there, happy Friday. It’s time for a bonus. My meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, has a phrase he likes, which he actually appropriated from one of his own teachers. Here’s the phrase, lust cracks the brain. When we’re in the grips of any craving or desire, it can really degrade our cognitive capacities immensely. We can make extremely stupid decisions in this state. So how to work with this? Our teacher, Dujour, is Alexis Santos, who’s also actually a student of Joseph’s. Alexis has practiced and taught insight meditation in both the East and the West since 2001.

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He now teaches retreats all over the planet and guides meditations on the 10% Happier app. Here we go now with Alexis Santos. Hi.

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This is Alexis. It’s important to remember that desire is natural and universal, a powerful force in our minds. Desire shows up in pretty much everything we do. Understanding desire and exploring how to work with it can make an enormous difference in our sense of well-being. Let’s get started. Find a posture that is comfortable for you. Something that feels natural so you can feel relaxed but still awake and aware. Allow the eyes to gently close if you like. Begin to rest your attention on your own experience. Have the simple intention to be aware. Sit and know that you’re sitting. Really recognize in a relaxed and general way what is happening in this moment. When desire is present, there is often a lot of energy in the body and mind. Take a moment to notice any physical and mental activation, restlessness or urgency. Feeling in a sense of curiosity of what is happening now in your body and mind. The nature of desire is that it wants. My teacher used to tell me that desire’s job description is to want. It wants to get the thing it finds pleasant. So desire is just a process. It’s a conditioning that affects all of us. And it’s important to look at desire as a habit, as a well-worn groove. Take a moment to consider the desire that tends to hook you. And bring in the understanding that desire is a natural phenomenon. It’s a process that everyone experiences. Rather than trying to be free of desire, mindfulness practice invites us to turn towards the experience, just become interested in it, and to learn about the process of desire. Notice any desire that’s showing up for you in this moment. For how it feels in the body and mind. These are deep grooves of habit. So we take our time, patiently being interested each time craving takes over. It’s a process we can learn to understand. See if you can turn towards the experience with curiosity. When you’re ready, allow your eyes to slowly open and reconnect with the space around you. Good to be with you. See you next time.

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