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Insight Blog

Adventures in Mindful Living

Whether you’re applying mindfulness to your relationships, career, health, or as a spiritual practice, you’ll find helpful stories, tips, and articles that will enrich your understanding of topics such as psychology, meditation, neuroscience, and personal development.

Why I Left The Monastery

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…every day, everything I do with my mind is crafting who I am as a person.

During my second retreat in Myanmar, surrounded by a jungle of strong-lunged birds and geckos proclaiming their vitality from the tops of rubber trees, I spent a quiet six months in a small hut, meditating 10-14 hours per day. 

One day, while sitting, I had an insight: every day, everything I do with my mind is crafting who I am as a person. How I use my brain changes that brain, and changes who I am.

I had been training deeply in meditation for 4 years at that point, and as a result, I was watching myself become a different person. Every day, I felt my own sense of well-being increase.

I thought of my father, who worked all day for a large financial corporation, and what he was training his mind to do, day-in and day-out. How did his way of living affect his greater well-being?

I thought, “How can I arrange my life so that everything I do makes me happier and healthier — not only in the short term, but sustainably?”

A few weeks later, emerging from a solid state of concentration, my whole self vibrated with the transformative effects of another profound thought. In so many ways, we have been trained by our culture, by those who surround us, to seek love, acceptance, and a sense of contentment outside ourselves.

In training to be meditators, we are training ourselves to follow a new path toward lasting contentment; no one else can give you the sense of forgiveness, acceptance, and trust that you really need to find within yourself. 

By learning to quiet my own mind (which often judged, anxiously thought into the future, or regretted the past), and by allowing myself to just be in the present, I touched the source of that acceptance and well-being we all crave. 

I tapped into the stream. I felt as though I’d found the source of all that was important to me.

Of course, I had to tell everyone I knew and cared for about this gift — but that was easier said than done. How should I explain it to them? What would I say?

I couldn’t just lay out my discovery in words. It would cheapen the experience I was trying to talk about; I knew my loved ones would discard what I had to say without appreciating its true value, probably without even meaning to. I had to show them.

But most of the people I know would never travel to Myanmar, where they would have to deal with pesky bugs and wooden beds, or even learn to translate religious and Pali texts to develop a meaningful practice. They have jobs, families, their own lives!

That’s why I’ve now built a program that can take you there — to that place of insight and transformation at the heart of meditation — so that you can experience it for yourselves, in your own practice.

 

Over the past thirteen years, I’ve trained in meditation with several different teachers, studied to receive my doctorate in health psychology, and conducted funded research on the top clinical mindfulness training programs out there.

After researching and creating several programs of my own, after training thousands of patients and clients in meditation, I’ve realized what so many of the programs out there are missing:

They often fail to offer a clear and comprehensive method for consistently integrating your meditation practice into your life in order to find a sense of fulfillment, motivation and purpose.

However, this clear and consistent method is none less than the key to creating a life-changing practice that is actually sustainable. 

To fill this void, I have translated wisdom traditions and religious practices into clear, meaningful steps, sifting through the medical approach and psychology to bring you the most effective meditation program possible. My program can help you progress from zero experience to the development of a solid applied practice in 12 weeks. 

Don’t let this crazy world randomly shape who you are. 

If you want to learn how to choose who you want to be. How to live with intention, my free masterclass can walk you through the first steps. 

Happy meditating 🙏

William Jackson
Psychologist & Former Buddhist Monk
Founder and CEO of Skillful Means LLC                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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