#467. Five Ways to be Less Distracted | Shaila Catherine
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One of the most common and insidious complaints of meditators is distraction, which can be a frustrating and difficult obstacle. Even the Buddha himself acknowledged this common problem and laid out some detailed practices for dealing with it.
In this episode, Shaila Catherine outlines the Buddha’s five strategies to help us tackle distractions, which can be applied to our meditation practice as well as other aspects of our lives.
Catherine is a dharma teacher whose latest book is called Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind. She is also the founder and principal teacher at Insight Meditation South Bay and has 40 years of practice, including nine years, cumulatively, of silent retreat. Her first TPH appearance, which we called How to Focus, aired in May 2021.
In this episode we talk about:
- The Buddha’s struggles with distraction
- Shaila’s attempts to make the teachings of the Buddha accessible to contemporary minds
- The importance of getting to know your own thought patterns
- The counterintuitive strategy of “avoid it, ignore it, forget it”
- Replacing seduction with mindfulness
- Developing a flexibility of mind
- Why we’re vulnerable to our own tendencies when we’re not mindful
Where to find Shaila Catherine online:
- Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind
- Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity
- Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhāna and Vipassanā
Other Resources Mentioned: