September 10, 2018

Why Settling in Life leads to Suffering in Life.

We were settling into our respective chairs for a nice summer evening of reading.

The sun had set and the garden was shrouded in darkness. The dogs were snoozing on the window seat. And then it happened…

An unexpected knock, knock, knocking on the front door.

Both Devi and I jerked upright in our chairs. The dogs leapt off the window seat and dashed for the door—barking. A rush of adrenaline coursed through my body, washing my cells in an emotional bath of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty.

It’s a primitive and deeply encoded response.

Faced with the knock of an unknown stranger, the primitive centers in the brain light up. Fight? Flight? Freeze? What’s the appropriate response?

It’s a question we all face.

Because it’s easy to get settled. To build a comfortable—even insulated—way of being.

But, we’re not in this life to settle. We’re here to awaken.

That’s why life will come knock, knock, knocking. Life is relentlessly on the side of your awakening. So, when you start to doze off…life will come knocking on the door of your heart.

This week’s Nano Teaching examines how a meditation practice prepares us to meet life with an undefended heart and a curious, open mind.


“Think about your own life and examine it for areas of conflict. Whether it’s conflict with thoughts within or conflict with people without. Conflict situations. And reflect on the source of the conflict, reflect on the source our resistance to life. It may be one of these three programs are being threatened, are being challenged: the program that seeks security, the program that seeks approval, the program that seeks control.

These three programs in the yogic tradition are directly correlated to the three lower chakras, these centers of energy and intelligence that operate below the level of self-aware consciousness—and that drive us to compulsively and habitually seek security in lieu of freedom, approval in lieu of communion, and control in lieu of opening to the vast expanse of life. 

Security, approval, power, control: these motivations, when they are governing our ways of relating to our life, perpetuate the experience of struggle because they are antithetical to the deep longing, the deep mission, the deep purpose of this life, which is to awaken, and to embody the radiance that lies deep within.”

Life offers infinite opportunities for you to awaken, to realize, and to embody truth. Why wait? Let’s go deeper together.

Love & Shanti,


Join the conversation: What helps you to open to the unknown? This Nano Teaching is an excerpt. It’s from a longer teaching originally offered to the Wisdom Heart Community, the place for people who are tired of spirituality-lite and are ready to go deep. Click Here to learn more.


author: Eric Klein

Image: Pablo Merchán Montes

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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Eric Klein

Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet to be both a bestselling leadership author and lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition. His work translates the wisdom traditions into practices and principles for people who want to bring greater spirit, meaning, and authenticity to their work and lives. His award-winning books include You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For, Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Workand To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions. His signature online program The Meditation Habit integrates neuroscience, behavior change technology, and spiritual practice. Learn more at his website.