🎧 NEW PODCAST: Meditation 101 with Tal Rabinowitz, Founder of Den Meditation

podcast self-care May 12, 2020

Podcast composer: Chris Robertson

Podcast Intro

As someone who is always looking to find the opportunities in difficult situations, I have been wondering how we can make the most from our covid-19 pandemic. That’s a big question, I know. But zoning in on YOU, is an invaluable starting point. And a manageable one.

Simply noticing things is transformative. Noticing your fears, and what brings you joy. Noticing which relationships drain, or fuel, your energy. Noticing what kind of work doesn’t feel like a job but like play. Noticing the injustices that you are passionate about, and maybe want to help. Noticing what you can strip away from your life and still be as happy--or even happier! Meditation provides us with the opportunity to notice more of ourselves, and to support our transformations.

At some point, you can use your enhanced understanding of yourself to cultivate a life that has even more passion, purpose, and positivity. And there has never been a better time than NOW to learn more about yourself. You can then be more informed on how to craft our new normal--which will include new routines, and maybe new jobs and a new way of socializing. 

In this podcast, we explore these big questions with Tal Rabinowitz. Tal is the founder of Den Meditation. With two studios in Los Angeles, 240+ online workshops and classes, and her podcast, DenTALKS, Tal has created a cool community that welcomes you as you start or expand your meditation practice. 

Tal is also a mother to a 4.5 year old. So we also talk about her experience of working from home while parenting at home with her husband, and evolving a business during great uncertainty. She says, “It’ll be interesting to see what survives, what sustains, what will exist at the end of it.” 

I know that you are also going through great changes and feeling uncomfortable uncertainty. But finding a way to become centered during uncertainty is exactly where meditation can help. And Tal helps demystify meditation, and explains some gateways to get started. For example, she explains that there are different lineages of meditation, like the popular TM (Transcendental Meditation). 

My meditation is transforming required daily responsibilities, like cleaning or cooking dinner, into a mindfulness practice. You’ll hear more about that in this podcast, so that you can also consider this as an easy way to center your mind and emotions.

Together, Tal and I explore my broader question of how we can maximize the blessings from our covid-19 experience. And I say that with the perspective that finding the blessings is really challenging because the negative aspects are hard to see--and feel--past. But, again, we can reframe how we view our difficult emotions. Instead of squashing them, avoiding them, or fearing them, we can get to know them while wondering, What can I learn from you?

In explaining meditation, you’ll hear Tal say:

There’s so much to all of us, so many layers, and most of us haven’t even begun to even peel one of them. And by not doing that, we’re not embracing our full capacity of what we’re capable of doing, what we’re capable of thinking, what we’re capable of accomplishing … how we really need to be behaving to actually accept and receive…

There’s a description from the Den website that I’ll read because I think it sums up the opportunity that Tal (and I) believes awaits you:

When you can tap into who you are, life starts working for you. This is what The DEN Meditation is all about, and what you’ll find with DENtalks Podcast.

I hope my conversation with Tal helps to intrigue you into the benefits of being still, and simply noticing your thoughts and feelings. From learning more about yourself, new opportunities are created.

And, remember, that the Practical Nontoxic Living podcast, DenTalks Podcast, and Den Meditation virtual classes are available to help. 

I’m updating a few online workshops--like Home Detox, EMF Detox, and Cleaning Detox--to consider covid-19 and infectious diseases in general. Because I think they will become part of our new normal considerations. So, again, register for my email newsletter to stay updated on those workshops and more.

Podcast composer: Chris Robertson

Podcast Show Notes

Guest Intro: Tal Rabinowitz

[4:21] Den Talks podcast

  • Gateway to so much positivity, spirituality, and so many empowering, loving things

[5:27] Tal Rabinowitz & Den Meditation checkin

  • Proactive about closing studios because of Covid-19
  • Finding your new normal
  • Reinvention of your business, your work, your perspective
  • What survives, what sustains, what will exist at the end of it
  • How to keep providing when you are a boss with employees and clients
  • Personal balance, harder when you’re a parent to children who live at home
  • Most people are being challenged in ways that always challenged you, but you have to figure it out in a whole different way
  • Blessings are also there
  • Remember how our views on meditation have changed: used seem obscure and many of us had judgments, now it’s recognized as something as healthy to do as spending time in nature
  • De-mystify meditation, a conversation that makes meditation less intimidating
  • Insights on meditation: different types, different experiences

[14:00] Benefits of meditation

  • Exercise in bringing your mind into the present moment, how to still your thoughts so they aren't controlling you
  • Meditation offers the opportunity to be in a place where your thoughts aren’t driving you, but you are at the wheel. Usually it’s your emotions, your anxious, you can’t see clearly; it doesn’t mean you don’t experience those emotions, they just don’t drive your behavior; decreases stress and anxiety so our glands and body can be  more balanced; sleep better; clarity; creativity
  • You just get to know yourself better
  • It's like: “Sitting on a bench with  yourself,  with a beautiful view, just striking a lovely conversation.”
  • We have so many layers, but most of us haven’t peeled away at our layers and gotten to know them. By not getting to know ourselves better, we're not experiencing our full potential.
  • Learn to breathe, let the feeling be there. Just acknowledge it. 
  • There’s so much beauty in being still. There’s no duality. Until you can love all parts of yourself, then no one else can either. 
  • [21:00] Stored energy...The energy sits in pockets, it can harm your immune system... 

[25:37] Different types of meditation, many "lineages"

  • People change and need different things as they evolve
  • Find what works for you
  • Den offers a variety of offerings so that you can find what works for you
  • Tal is the anti-guru: Ultimately, it's about you
  • Virtual options make offers accessible to people all over the world
  • TM is a mantra-based meditation; you get assigned one mantra forever; mental chanting, silent mantra
  • Anchor meditation: gives you something to focus on, like a candle or breath; great for people with busy minds
  • Mantra is an anchor too
  • Visually-guided
  • Mindfulness
  • Psychic classes: heavily visually-guided so your brain has something to do
  • Mantra and visually-guided are Tal's favorites
  • [32:00] Benefits of dedicating attention to an anchor: It gives you something to return to

 [33:17] Mindfulness

  • Spurs a lot from Buddhism
  • It's a very practical, life-way of taking these beautiful concepts of meditation
  • There are many different practices within mindfulness that teach you that your thoughts do not have to run the show
  • Different techniques to work with your emotions and not letting them control you
  • Just recognize your thoughts, feel your emotions, then let them go. As you become more aware, you become more mindful

[34:30] Sophia's meditation practice: cooking 

  • Everything can be a mindfulness practice, you can make anything a "moment"
  • Pay attention: how does the knife feel, what is the weight of the knife, what is your breath doing...pay attention to the sensations: what do you hear, feel, smell
  • It's really bringing yourself to the present moment awareness
  • How many times do we just rush through things
  • Try to transform your daily responsibilities into a mindfulness practice

[36:55] Shift of Den Meditation from physical space to online community

  • There's a lot of connection to experience without being physically together as a teacher, student, or just human
  • There's the opportunity to create a sanctuary in your home and within yourself
  • "Den" the home, the part you go to for comfort; your Den is with you always, it's supposed to be comforting, find your Den, you have to find it for you, you can take it anywhere
  • [39:00] People can go deep inside...It's about finding yourself, about going inward, it not about us fixing you...You fix you... There's no fixing you, it's just shifting,, and getting to know yourself better, because everyone is so incredible, how can you get through the layers
  • [39:36] "This is a beautiful time to get to know yourself in a deeper way. Pay attention to your triggers, what is pissing you off, where are you feeling frustrated, where are you anxious., is it the losses that are overwhelming you..."
  • [40:00] "There's a discovery about how you operate and how you function that you can open up and discover more about you"
  • So as ugly as the feelings and emotions can be right now,, and as challenging and scary they can be... if you are willing to go two steps forward...you'll get through this in a very different way, and where you'll be able to move from will be different too
  • [40:42] Everyone wants to be known, heard, and seen...Your emotions also want to be known, seen, and heard. You don't need to let them control you but you need to be able to acknowledge that they exist because without that then you are not truly known, seen, or heard either...

[42:00] Tal's go-to meals

  • Sunday stir-fry
  • [43:00] Tal's favorite dressing. Mix: olive oil,  garlic, some mustard, salt, pepper, Sometimes: lemon. Parsley on top.
  • Rice

[44:11] What keeps you up at night

  • It changes
  • Responsibilities
  • [45:00] Techniques to soothe Tal to sleep: breath work (belly breaths)...most people don't take in enough oxygen...[45:43] picture things letting go and picture this energy and light going down...cleansing as it goes through...it really starts to move stuff for you..."

[46:00] Tal's reliable sources of happiness

  • The most reliable source of happiness is you
  • A form of practice that is easy to get into that place is gratitude
  • Thankfulness practice


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