Duncan Trussell and David Nichtern

Duncan Trussell and David Nichtern at Samarasa Center in Los Angeles

While on retreat with Ram Dass in Maui, popular podcaster Duncan Trussell came to a realization. “I don’t really know how to meditate.” So he sat down with David Nichtern, author, musician, and a senior meditation teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. They discussed meditation for his podcast.

To introduce the Meditation Class with David Nichtern, Duncan says, “If you’ve wondered how to meditate, this is the podcast for you. If you’ve been winning all of the meditation contests, this may help you.”

David Nichtern on Meditation

In the podcast, David Nichtern says the following about meditation:

Meditation means a lot of things. The word meditation, you could say, is an umbrella terms for a wide range of activities in which you are working with with the different elements of your mind and body to achieve a particular result.

It could be prayer, it could be mantras, it could be visualizing things, it could be running. Some people say that they’re meditating when they’re running or swimming.

Some people think it’s blanking out your mind so it’s sort of void, and therefore that would apply some relief to the activity of the mind that might be stressful to that person.

There’s so many variations, so the first thing that might be helpful is to find an umbrella term. The word in Tibetan is gom, which just means to familiarize yourself with something. Therefore, meditation is always going on on some level. Your mind is tuning into a television show, your mind is reading a book, your mind is looking at your girlfriend and trying to figure out how many freckles she has on her face, or your wife in this case. Your mind is the part that is trying to figure out how many freckles she had as a child.

Your mind is leaping forward in the time domain to think about where you have to be later today. Your mind is regressing back in the past time domain to think, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t done that.

That very mind that is creating some kind of object/subject relationship is just tuning into a particular aspect of the experience and becoming familiar with it. That is the biggest definition of meditation.

Listen to the Podcast

Experience the full podcast with Duncan Trussell and David Nichtern.

Meditate with David Nichtern in LA

Study with David Nichtern at Samarasa Center in Los Angeles

Friday, August 3 Q+A David Nichtern featuring Duncan Trussell
6:30p-9pm – Reception to follow –  $35

Level 1 – Intro to Mindfulness + The Path of Meditation – $375
Saturday: 10am to 6pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm

for more information, visit Samarasa Center.

David Nichtern and students

David Nichtern and students at Samarasa Center

Felicia M. Tomasko
Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.