Episode 1 :: Ted Meissner :: Buddhism Foundation

| May 7, 2009 | 2 Comments

Ted Meissner

In this prequel episode from the MN Atheists podcast Atheist Talk, Grant Steves interviews Ted Meissner on the application of early Buddhism.

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Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (2)

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  1. Interesting: At the outset Grant Steves mentioned ‘control’ as a goal of Eastern spirituality, and you agreed that it was one of your motivating factors. After a dozen years of practice, how would you now characterize the idea of mental control?

  2. Ted Meissner Ted Meissner says:

    Hi, Stephen. Two thoughts on this is that yes, absolutely, having more control was a motivating factor. The person that I have been for most of my life did not have any real separation from the selfish and petty emotions of the moment, and acted according to their direction without any awareness of that fact. And I was able to ignore the truth of my own behavior, even when confronted with it directly. The response of blaming everyone and everything else for my own failings was a well worn groove in my mind.

    Many years later, it continues to be a challenge. I might do better in social interactions, but the thoughts still arise, the feelings are still there, the selfish reflexes still come up. It’s attenuated, but it’s there. My understanding has changed, though. It’s not a matter of *control* so much as *experience*; by engaging with them, one’s awareness of their transient and compound nature is more prevalent, and that helps to make better decisions. First, decisions to not act on those impulses and thoughts. Second, decisions to practice changing my mind to another way of responding, smoothing out the habit grooves and opening up the rest of the music tracks in my head 🙂

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