Saturday, December 18, 2021

I Can't Believe It's not Buddhism: My Week Long Journey through Silent Mindfulness


Being the CEO of a technology company in the Cryptocurrency space is a brutal affair. There is really nothing like the 24/7 blast of information, scandals, new protocols, concepts ranging from NFTs and the metaverse to a constantly changing landscape. I’ve been in the industry for almost a decade and helped launch 4 ventures. IOG is the company that stuck for me and it has grown to nearly 600 people across more than 50 countries- not counting all the associations and vendors that we regularly engage. 


This journey has left its mark on me physically and mentally. Unfortunately, the culture of startups is about progress at any personal cost. Thus, one gains weight, finds burnout a constant concern, and can’t take time off. Compound this culture with the cryptocurrency moonboy, “what have you done for me lately?”, attitude and you’re off to a damaging lifestyle. Nothing is ever good enough. No accomplishment or launch ever matters. It’s always, “what’s next, what’s better, now coin X is better.”


Projects like Cardano were and still are the antithesis of this mentality. We’ve always chosen a systematic, patient, and refined process that moves publication by publication, release by release instead of chasing hype and the latest cycle. Our view is that these protocols will be as ubiquitous as the internet and be used by billions. This scale of adoption will take years to decades, not weeks to months, and won’t be a meme. Ultimately it’s the long game that matters. 


The challenge for me as the leader of IOG is answering how do I find clarity, peace, and strength in the chaos? How does one pace himself, not burn out, and converge to a healthy lifestyle in the office and at home? Furthermore, how does this pursuit become an institutional culture thus competitive strength?


I’ve spent quite some time reflecting upon these questions and we’ve been exploring different candidate solutions, but the most meaningful to me was the idea of building a mindfulness practice. For those who aren’t familiar with the term or have heard it, but really didn’t go deeper, it’s simply the act of increasing awareness, detaching from the future and past, and living in the present moment. 


Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn has spent a lifetime building out the corpus and methodology behind mindfulness in a series of clinics, books, and academic research first starting at MIT and later the University of Massachusetts with his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction clinic started in 1979. The easiest way of understanding the approach is that it’s basically Buddhism without the metaphysical and mystical components alongside a peer-reviewed iterative approach to application.


One can find thousands of papers published over the last forty years exploring the topic and legitimatizing its clinical efficacy from the treatment of chronic stress to depression to managing the trauma of war and cancer. Also, it seems to be the perfect approach for aspiring and actual leaders to address the brutality of life and business while maintaining compassion, empathy, and the ability to focus. Thus, I said that I should do it!


I started by buying devices like the Muse, signing up for apps like Calm, listening to podcasts, and reading some books. Then I began committing some time- abet inconsistently- to the effort. It’s incredible how hard it is to find 15-30 minutes a day in this hectic, dopamine-addicted world. The time is there, but conjuring the daily willpower necessary to commit to ancillary concerns never seems to materialize.  


Thus I decided to do something dramatic. I wanted to resolve two concerns concurrently. First, I wanted to address my addiction to digital devices, constant news, social media, email, and slack. I’ve been glued by my phone checking messages for years, and it’s put me into an endless cycle of shallow work, more difficultly focusing, and a feeling that I’m going through life on autopilot. There are excellent books on this topic ranging from the Shallows to Deep Work.


Second, I wanted to move beyond an intellectual understanding of meditation- any way that engages in systematically regulating our attention and energy, thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of our experiences in the service of realizing the full range of our humanity and relationship to others and the world (what the hell does that mean?)- to an experiential and eventually embodiment of the act like what Matthieu Ricard has achieved over a lifetime of practice. So I signed up for a megadose of meditation by going to a week-long silent retreat in the mountains of Colorado.


I had no idea what to expect or what I’d experience, nor did I understand the level of commitment and rigor it would require; however, I set up a healthy environment to pursue it. I didn’t take any digital devices (including my phone), appointed our Chief of Staff as acting CEO during my time meditating, and chose the week before Christmas as most business concerns slow to a glacial pace. Hence, I felt it was possible to completely step away and not need to be in the loop.


I arrived last week Friday afternoon at the Shambala Mountain Center. It’s a remarkably peaceful and beautiful place covering several hundred acres tucked away in the Red Feather Lakes area. The trees, snow, wind, sun, stars, and nature have all seemed to conspire to create an ideal setting to relax and reflect upon life. 


The staff reflected the environment with a laid-back friendliness and grace that one could imagine a center like this attracts. I got checked into a small room that reminded me of the Apa Hotel chain in Japan for its size and efficiency of space and then meet with the two instructors Dawn and Janet. They went through the program, rules, and process. 


We start sharp every morning at 7:00 AM and end at 8:30 PM. Sitting meditation, walking meditation, guided practice, aimless wandering, compassion training, yoga, and lectures. On day two, the class goes silent. Really silent. No one talks to each other and everyone keeps modest eyes, which means you also don’t look at each other. 


I added two additional practices to help push me through. First, I’d get up every morning at 5ish AM and then go outside in the wind and snow to meditate in gym clothing- eventually shirtless. My thought process was that s it would be the hardest part of the day, so everything else should be downhill. Second, after day three, I started a water/tea fast. Thus, I wouldn’t eat for four days. The removal of anticipation of food and the consistency of energy from fasting would help me be in the moment.


Sounds easy? Surely a week sitting, walking, and doing yoga ought not to be too taxing? Well, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The first lesson I rapidly learned was how out of touch with my body I’ve become. My joints, back, even walking gait started to seem alien. So much pain in different and sometimes new areas. Sitting upright for hours following my breath, each ring of the standing bell brought another wave of dread to fight a personal battle with my body.


Then the thought swarm came: my thinking, ruminations, daydreams, inner narrative. These things would override the pain of sitting and invade any sense of attempting to detach by following my breath. I was amazed at how they were there all along, but somehow muted by life’s constant distractions, yet had their subtle impact. An invasion of mindlessness.


So many activities are actually infested with the thought swarm, from walking in line to brushing your teeth. The mind refuses to allow boredom nor void of thought. Something must narrate. Something has to shout. We’ve all experienced this inner dialogue, but a silent retreat forces you to move in with the swarm, have tea with them, and realize how batshit crazy they really are.   


Feel the breath enter the nose and follow it to the lungs, slowly exhale - REMEMBER CES IS COMING IN A FEW WEEKS IN VEGAS….VEGAS IS GREAT….DOLPHINS TEAM UP AND KILL SHARKS….SHARKS HAVE TWO PENI….- wait! What am I doing? Start over. Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath- I REALLY WANT TO READ THAT BOOK OF TREES I JUST GOT FROM LIMA…MY FAVORITE TREE IS THE WEEPING WILLOW….-Damn It! Breath in.


This dialogue is the thought swarm. It’s endless, relentless, and impossible to control. The best you can hope for is to treat it with a dispassionate observation like cars driving by on the road as you sit on the hill watching them. Then you experience the external world. 


I sat silently in a room with more than 20 people on an uncomfortable pillow. Nothing to do; nowhere to go. Every noise gets amplified. Every stretch, adjustment, cough, and breath becomes heard. Thus, the thought swarm will focus on them. Judgment then comes. The thoughts wander and wonder. One begins to notice so much from hygiene to sinus problems. Again, I must return to the breath.


I wish battling the thought swarm was the apex problem of mindfulness rather it’s the guard at the front door one must pass in order to enter the building. The thought swarm writes on water leaving chaotic ripples. 



Once you plunge into the depths of your mind, you find what’s been left there throughout the decades. Lost love, demons, hate, unresolved feelings, anger, the toxicity of greed, aversion, and delusion, scars, damaged ego, the mutilation of one’s soul from years of self-criticism, simply put, fucking terrifying stuff. Like Nightmare on Elm street terrifying. 


Keeping a mindful attitude helps one explore this layer. There are seven basic, interconnected concepts that keep returning like a protective suit throughout the week: non-judgment, patience, beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go. Yet this suit is self-assembled, batteries not included, and takes years if not decades to fully construct, Meanwhile, leaving the thought swarm on the surface, one is now faced with the horrors of the depths. 


The real impact is that I had panic attacks, nightmares, cried, re-lived old pains as if they were fresh, and experienced so much doubt. It was like a marathon of emotions and battles. Every day was unique. Every demon had different tricks. I was left drained, somewhat defeated, and mentally exhausted just four days into this endeavor. I couldn’t imagine completing it. I was absolutely miserable covered in open pisonic wounds.


Yet I somehow found the strength to continue thanks to the group setting and the curiosity of where the practice would take me- like a mental Dante descending deeper into hell. To my amazement, the tools of peaceful abiding, the right attitude, and the commitment itself started to create distance from the demons and swarm. 


They still exist, yet they seem to be in a menagerie instead of opponents to tackle. I found my emotions stabilizing thus the capacity to go deeper into myself. 


The basement I found (admittedly the stone could keep falling down the well, it’s hard to truly know bedrock in the mind) was a calm emptiness. A sort of meta-silence that simultaneously acknowledged the ripples in the water, but felt no reaction to them like a noble gas. It’s a void that transcends time, boredom, direction, or the need for meaning. Just peace. Pain is not a punishment. Pleasure is not a reward. The narrative is as meaningless as politics is to the Sun. You can watch your own inner world with a clarity that’s hard to describe.


Upon reflection, no wisdom has been gained so far. Just the ability to descend into the mind and see what’s there. The second half of mindfulness is to develop a mindset that directs the power of awareness towards some productive end. In particular, compassion for oneself and others alongside a self-institutionalization of daily awareness in all things. The ability to take what I found at bedrock and mix it into the experience of life. No past, no potential spectrum of futures, just the present with the ability to observe, reflect, and find beauty. 


Trying this mindset, I started to notice so much beauty and found a degree of patience that I’ve never been accustomed to. Sitting in the dining hall while others ate, I drank my tea and spent what felt like a small eternity examining the salt shaker on the table. I’ve seen and used thousands throughout my life as have you. But have you ever taken the time to explore its form? Look at the little holes clogged and open. The curves and salt within. The small world contained in that shell. How the salt sometimes settles like tiny sand dunes.


Compassion coupled with awareness gives you the ability to imagine the lives and struggles of others. The salt shaker had to be made. Those who fabricated it are just like us. They live. They breathe. They have wives and husbands. Daily tribulations and triumphs laced with hope and aspirations alongside despair and loss.


 How often have you wished them safety, happiness, health, and peace? A meaningless object suddenly becomes a thread showing us how interconnected humanity has become. Something that could tell a thousand stories.    


It seems to take a lifetime to open to this perspective and teaching it is like selling water by the river. It’s too personal and experiential to truly be captured in a textbook. Kabat-Zinn’s definition of meditation that I wrote above is something I’ve ruminated on for the last seven days and still leaves me puzzled in its vacuous precision. 


I suppose this bewilderment is somehow connected to the foundations of pursuing wisdom like the old Buddhist Koans (My favorite is As the roof was leaking, a Zen master told two monks to bring something to catch the water. One brought a tub; the other brought a basket. The first was severely reprimanded, the other highly praised). I learned that successful mindfulness practice combines these ruminations with meditation and reading, but I’m left without explicit guidance. 


Awareness in itself is the machine that produces the insight to find the right path. Thus one hopes that the way will organically show itself over time. But maybe I’m bringing a tub to the roof?


It was the most challenging week of my adult life. It was the most rewarding. Paradoxically, I learned so much and nothing. There was a great emptying of the mind, and the order that I’d carefully constructed has come undone.


I came to the mountains to find a way to eschew the stress of running a company. I left them with a path to let the stress live with the thought swarm and demons in a mental menagerie that I could observe but transcend reactions and feelings. In other words, I had the wrong expectations and goals. 


Non-striving, acceptance, letting goal, living in the moment and a focus on awareness seem to be on the surface a demotivation to do great things. Don’t all projects require the mindset of the future to come to life? And doesn’t the pursuit require pain and sacrifice to manifest?


Ironically, the awareness of the present and the ability to find beauty in all things somehow make the most meaningful goals possible. All things are a composition of investment of energy and effort from some system. Our capacity to take each moment and feel the pleasure and pain without attaching a narrative or deeper meaning translates to an ability to experience any possible moment regardless of its torment. The chain of these moments builds up to the goals that we set.  


Returning home, I felt a peace that I hadn’t known. I also felt newfound confidence to pursue even greater goals. Realistically a week cannot indoctrinate any mindset with permanence. But it can point the boat in a new direction and set the sails correctly. 


I wish everyone has a chance in life to take a week just to be aware. Take a week to dive into their minds and find the attitude necessary to take the present back. And find compassion where it is most needed- ourselves. 


Despite it being as silent as a monastery, the strangers I endured the retreat with somehow became friends. I felt joy for their success and sadness for their struggles. I miss the simplicity of a painful routine. I long for the ascetic labor of cultivating the soil for the seeds of wisdom to be planted and grown.


The final thought is one on love. There is a poem from Hafez that perfectly captures what mindfulness pursues: 


Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.' Look what happens with a love like that. It lights the whole sky.


I hope the time I spent in the mountains will give me my moments back. And with them, work that can light the whole sky. 


93 comments:

  1. You're doing a fantastic job!

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  2. Thank you for a very interesting and informative article Charles!

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  3. FYI
    https://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.com/2010/12/dna-nasa-arsenic-and-phosphorous-capt.html

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    1. I used to enjoy reading this stuff as a teenager. It's called fiction. It is not factual, evidence based or anywhere near the ballpark of scientific. Sheer hokum.

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    2. Thanks Charles, great to have a daily practise to keep in touch with ones own presence

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  4. Charles, it is great to have you back ;D Now, it is time to rock the world.

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  5. Within you, there is stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself

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  6. Congratulations Charles! I've done silent retreats before and I can relate to what you describe, specially the sense of having done something meaningful without really being able to point out a learning. Your experience made me want to do this again.

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    1. Same here. I echo this reply. Do it again as soon as you are able. I must recommend the application of some form of psychedelic shortly after such a retreat. I would concur that it's not necessary, but in my experience, it compounded the life-changing nature of the event tenfold.

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  7. Replies
    1. It's as if Kareem didn't read the article. Supreme lack of self-awareness.

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    2. do not focus on the finger pointing to the moon, or you'll miss the heavenly glory

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  8. Thank you for this mindfulness reminder, Charles. You are loved. And love, like your Cardano, will somehow, against all odds, change the world.

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  9. You have achieved more than most of us would achieve in multiple lifetimes. Don't let the doubters get to you!

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  10. Great summary, you reminded me to take that time. Catching is certainly better than containing.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your experience. Nice to see you taking care of yourself.
    Meditation practice literally saved my life. I hope your experience inspires others. Cheers!
    $gz10

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  12. I want to say so much, but I won't ;) I just want to say thank you for being you and for sharing your experience.

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  13. Beautifully written and very, very recognizeable

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  14. Great read and thanks for sharing your thoughts/experiences. I'm sure things will turn out just fine! Keep doing you and keep at it!

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  15. Amazingly written and I love the clarity it has given you! This is why I support cardano to the max. Because it is different, its approach and mindset is the best i've seen in crypto.. it is not about gains, it is about trying to help people

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  16. Namaskaram Charles🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏Thank you for sharing the sound of silence.

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  17. You are doing a great job and helping to create technology, wealth, well-being. enjoy the journe. thanks for your reflections, it is good to rest .. you do a great job

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  18. Great mindful text Sir.

    So, from now we have a common topic, where hanger, misunderstandings and crazy passion will not take place.

    I admire you as a racer attempting a marathon with such a CEO busy time and not much time left to practice on a 2 miles race.

    Do an AMA on it.

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  19. This is a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm delighted you took some time to yourself and found some measure of stillness. I think we all badly need it from time to time.

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  20. Love the article and the insights. I am 100% sure that slowing down a bit is something that we all need in this crazy world that we live in, to be more empathetic with the other, to understand the real meaning of the people complaining or hating others, that for me is more a sign of them trying to be heard, asking the world for something that sometimes they cannot even comprehend. I see that pattern more and more in people when they complain about something and that makes me feel the compassion more than the hatred. I have discover myself complaining or hating others and see that same pattern too: something that needs to be resolved inside me. Understanding that gives me peace. We all need a retreat sometimes,it is like the deep breathing for our heart and our brain. the only way to see ourselves and others in perspective. Keep doing this great job Charles. You're bringing hope to a lot of people.

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  21. Love this! Really great you're taking the time to sharpen your axe before continuing. Sometimes it's best to step back and see reflect. This can prepare and propel you to heights youve never been before.

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  22. Thinking of The Metrix movie where the world was not real and the real world was real bad. But in reality, the real world is not real and Nibbana is real good.

    Then, Metaverse will be adding more layers for our lives which isn't harmful to your mind if you understand the real things.

    It would be real nice if we could build a kind of protocol for AI/ML to understand moral. Maybe, using the "Five precepts" as standard.

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  23. Brilliant Charles, just brilliant. Using you to find you must have been an extraordinary experience.
    A lot of us know where you are taking this company, its goals that you have expressed so many times.
    Whilst it must be hard to ignore the ignorant and nasty side of human "I want it now" cryptopians out there in the toxic social media space, please try and remember when it gets you down again and you start to drift back to the way it was, know that people like myself and many others in this community you created are with you on the journey. We understand. We back you. That's not just words, it comes from the heart.
    Please try and use our energy and positivity to block all the other negative chatter and steer this great vision, this great company to the goals you set out many years ago.

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  24. What an amazing human being. Thank you for everything you do Charles 💖

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  25. Very insightful. Everything in our lives is interconnected. 'Pain is not punishment, pleasure is not reward'....So deep, man

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  26. Very inspiring Charles. I've made attempts to stick with a mindfulness practice in the past but always ended up drifting away as life takes back over with it's push and pulls. I have a couple of Kabat Zinn and you've motivated me to dig them out and spend time with them over the Christmas break. Best wishes.

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  27. Awesome read. Maybe you can do it as yearly or semi-yearly activity to have a reset.

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  28. Into the deep, amazing thoughts. I’m often thinking about how much we apply wisdom and conclusions out from current perspectives and also the word “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom”
    I’m glad you took time to write about your experience.
    Thanks

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  29. I heard that the late Steve Jobs was expelled from Apple's management and practiced asceticism at an oriental temple. You're on a similar path to Steve Jobs. After Steve Jobs finished the capital and returned to Apple, the iPhone came to the new world. Charles Hoskinson, I believe that after this capital, you will invent a new thing that represents the iPhone-like new era in crypto world with IOG.

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  30. I love it. amazing experience. Thanks for sharing it and for everything you do for this new better world

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  31. The social media is exhausting you. Don't read every comment. Don't pay attention to haters. And continue to meditate.

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  32. Charles, add a few minutes of meditation every single morning and every single night, and have a mindfulness period during the day, doesn't have to be that long. I've been meditating for a long time and I found that meditating once a day can often be difficult because the brain goes crazy as you say, but if you bring it under control a few times a day, the mind will be more controlled.
    Thanks for writing this article, so happy you're doing everything you're doing for yourself. I appreciate everything you're doing in crypto, your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.

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  33. Great post. Let's integrate mindfulness to the Blockchain.

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  34. This is beautiful and carefully crafted. Thank you for sharing it! ❤️

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. Amazing inspiring story.“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.” Rumi

    Thank you for sharing this.

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  37. I started meditating again about a month ago, after losing my job, to try and "get away" from my negative thoughts and mental patterns. I was shocked when I realized through practicing that the point wasn't to get away from them, but be familiar with them, to accept them compassionately, and to leave them be as they are. This applies to the suffering that comes with the stress of life as well. I am reminded of a summary from the book A course in miracles - "Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Herein lies Gods peace".

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  38. Charles, after reading your precious experience, I'm looking forward to trying mindfulness! Thanks

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  39. Charles, thank you for baring your soul and sharing this experience. You are a real leader and I look up to you and I am so grateful to be part of the Cardano Community as so many of us are.

    If you do want to connect your body to your enlightening spiritual journey, I recommend "Becoming Supernatural" by Joe Dispenza. He has been able to explain how the body responds to the mind and his meditations are powerful.

    Greetings from Sunny Dubai.

    Regards,
    KS

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  40. Lifelong martial artist here..
    The process of meditation is not to be perfectly mindless.. you will have 'bad' days. Simply refocusing the mind IS the power of meditation and it is a practice. So the days where your mind wanders most during meditation are actually the days you 'practice' the most. And refocusing the mind during chaos is the most powerful of skills we can possess.

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  41. I would love to send you one of my tee-shirts, "Self-Compassion is a Vibe." What size tee shirt do you wear?

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  42. Nice one Charles, appreciate and respect your words and great work. Tough topic to be articulately captured, but nicely done. The salt part reminded me of Aldous Huxley's Doors of Perception who was similarly absorbed by that chair and also his Mind at Large theory. I guess there are many roads leading to the same realizations �� Keep up the great work. You are a great mind and we are lucky that you share its fruits with us.

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  43. Peace and happiness are found from within. Pain and suffering from politicians and bankers.

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  44. So happy you are doing this Charles ^^ I'm also practicing. It's so worth it.

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  45. Respect! Very inspirational. Thank you

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  46. Excellent! I hope you also go Vegan or at least a Vegetarian one day (if you are not already) because diet has a significant impact on the body and mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0SaGMOzfrY

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  47. Keep your boat on that heading into the light.

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  48. I work as a psychiatric nurse with borderline personality disorder affected people. We have decades of experience on mindfulness as a way to mitigate the daily burden of life our patients live through. It's a misconception that mindfulness is only for the sick mind. Actually it is a part of keeping a healthy mental state, just like a daily workout in the gym. If you feel yourself abcent of time in your daily routine to live in the moment, that is the moment you should realise you've lost connection with yourself and thus your surroundings. As one cannot connect with anything, if connection is lost with itself. It becomes a lonely place filled with lost emotions.

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  49. Well Charles I'm a little conflicted about what you wrote. I stopped meditating about 3 years ago and use the excuse that I am far too busy right now. You're far busier than I am so now what! In all seriousness thank you for writing this. It is very well said and reminded me of why I wanted to meditate in the first place. I'll stop making excuses and get back at it with an emphasis on mindfulness practice. Much appreciated

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  50. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself. Great experience and terrific share.

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  51. Charles, I really love all that you do and I am always amazed about stuff that you are talking about. You are such a special soul.
    I myself have started the course on mindfulness few weeks ago. Here is a link for the all interested in the page where they take you through 8-week training:

    https://palousemindfulness.com/

    I wish you a lot of inner peace and strength to go through this crazy crazy time.

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    1. Thanks for sharing. Wish you all the best with your practice.

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  52. Thank you for the heartfelt message. !

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  53. Well done and good luck on your journey. We all have been there !

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  54. This article made me step back from the crypto community and focus on spending time with my family and the holidays. WELCOME BACK!!!

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  55. I read every word of your blog. I laughed...I cried! Love others as you love yourself but you have to love yourself and take care of yourself first in a healthy way. You are such a wise old soul. You remind me of Solomon in the Bible. And you are absolutely correct in one of your recent videos. We should feel sorry for people like Auto Auto because they know not what they do in the real realm of things when they try to attack others with their words; they are lost and drowning in a sea of despair and are completely unaware. Hurt people try to hurt people because they are trapped in their emotions. Spread the love!

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  56. I am so glad you were able to take this time to yourself Charles. We all need this in our lives. Your ending on Love is great. Love is the most important.

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  57. Hi Charles, thank you for sharing your experience. I'm 35 years old and also did a silence mindfulness retraite, that still have a positive influence on my presents and daily life experience.

    For me the hardest part is to keep making space, time and rest for practicing. Over and over again. Its a lesson for life. If you ever stop? Begin again, its never to late to start practicing again!

    I wish you all of the best! And be kind to yourself!

    Greetings, love & inspiration!

    Rene

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  58. Im happy you did this and shared the experience with us. Makes me feel better as an investor in Cardano to see you take time for internal self healing and growth.

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  59. Thank you Charles. Your wisdom is beyond your years, and your humility inpiring. While the sharing of this experience is deeply touching, it is your vision, honesty, and compassion that instil in me a huge amount of faith that our world will be transformed by people like you. As Ghandi said: "There is enough for everyone's needs, not greed." Please continue to be a role model.

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  60. It is awesome to follow a mind with depth!

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  61. Nice Charles. Although you could have just rented an RV and parked somewhere in nature, ingested some mushrooms and had the same experience (at least the salt shaker part). No really... meditation is pointless if you're not trying to hear God's voice with a complete 100% willingness to obey.

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  62. “The ecdysis of Charles Hoskinsons” j/k. Glad to hear you’ve figured out insight is the way to nothing doing (and vice versa). Last time I was in Colorado I trackbacked the KZ theory to Korea, so be careful if anyone says “making the center stronger”, because the people at shambhala have lots of research on dark enigma. “Very Important story lines” haha, love that phrase! —Brad

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  63. Just keep doing, you're doing great! Ultreya & Suceia!

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  64. Glad you took some time to yourself, that's just as important as anything else and it's right to prioritise it. Greetings from Ireland.

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  65. Hi Charles, I would really love to meet you one day as you are a kindred soul to me.. I'm a 54 year old Senior enterprise architect doing transformations of multinationals to cloud and life as a visionary is extremely stressfull these days. I've been buddhist from my childhood (when i didn't know what it was) and have been attracted to Asia, especially thailand , japan and china. Immediatly when i saw in 2015/2016 a white board session from you i recognized the merit your design, tech and process will bring to ADA and the world. I'm fairly heavely invested in that outcome also.

    I'm convinced certain people are put on this earth as an old soul to guide humanity to improving themselves. And you are certainky one of them, even if you might not realise that yet. In meditation i can only confirm your experiances, wich resonate in my own soul and past life experiances. Taking time off from the world is vital to survive when your energy is challenged. And the events currently unfolding in the world with pandemics, mass hypnosis and dystopian control are very unsettling. To stear that however we need to be out there.
    So take internal energy, Understand that everything is interconnected, everything is as it should be, and keep your action pure, thoughtfull and consice.
    The older you get , the more your internal world will deepen. Let's hope we can provide a better future for mankind.

    From a Kindred Soul.
    Bart S
    Zendesigner

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  66. It's rare to see people like you in the tech space. In our country, nature preserves are very few. Natural spots are turned into residential areas, tourist destinations and so the natural beauty of a place fades - people literally paved paradise to put up a parking lot. Nature is one of the most undervalued assets in the world. Now this brings me to a thought/question: can technology complement nature? Is there a way nature can benefit from the developments in blockchain? I know Cardano is one of the most 'environment friendly' layer 1s but wondering if there's a possible application of cardano to benefit the preservation of the environment

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  67. Thanks for the update. Living amongst some of the poorest of the world (I served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2 years in the Philippines) gave me an appreciation for some of the challenges people face, and an increase of love for all people. Knowing there are people who are far less fortunate or with far more problems doesn't diminish what I'm going through in life but it sure provides a perspective that helps me get into a more "present" frame of mind. Your introspection and reflection on your experience has aided my understanding.

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  68. Ive owned some Cardano for awhile now but new to following you. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to hearing more of this in the future from you. Thank you
    I also just signed up for a week long meditation retreat. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  70. Thank you Charles. Very insightful and motivating. The lyrics to "Big Yellow Taxi" come to mind:

    Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone
    They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

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  71. This is just great, I think this is what we need, to get out of the rush and build from the peace inside.

    Wish you all the best
    Jakub

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  72. Switching off and appreciate the small things in live, is a process of healing. No stress regarding things you must do, or deadlines you have to meet, is the best way to get recharged. Cheers Richard (Netherlands)

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  73. Although awareness, mindfulness and meditation is universal and a non-religious practice these days, it has been the core and essence of Buddhism for centuries. In the short term if you practice meditation, you can relieve your everyday stresses of life and have some degree of inner peace but there is a lot more to it to achieve the higher spiritual side and the ultimate goal of meditation and Buddhism. To be able to do this, one must be able to slowly let go of your everyday life's cravings, attachment, wants, likes, jealousy, hatred, anger, etc. and be aware that your mind is undergoing these impurities and stresses every second. If you practise meditation and let your mind get rid of these stresses in your life even for a few seconds, a few minutes, you can purify your mind for that brief period of time.

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  74. Hola charles, te escribo en español, no se por qué. Te felicito por tu experiencia, y creo que se puede vivir de esa manera a diario, aunque tendrías algunos problemas con el sistema.
    Te cuento que me estuve escribiendo con vos, aunque no se si eres tu.
    Hay tantos Charles Hoskinsons hoy día XD
    Saludos amigo, espero conocerte algún día.

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  75. Awesome. Good on you Charles for exploring the depths and sharing your experience as openly and honestly as you have. If you can find the time to do some practise, I have no excuse :)

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