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The Monk Who Trained ‘Dr. Strange’ On Why We Get Meditation Wrong

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Gelong Thubten, the Tibetan Buddhist Monk who trained the movie cast of Dr. Strange, reveals the key to happiness and the biggest misconceptions about pain, bliss, and meditation.

Why You Should Make Discomfort Your Friend


At 21 years old, Gelong Thubten joined the Kagyu Samye Tibetan Monastery in search of freedom from physical and emotional suffering. But he found that his search for bliss through meditation only left him feeling disappointed and depressed. “When we’re searching for that experience,” Gelong says, “we’re telling ourselves that we don’t have it. So at the same time, we’re looking for happiness and looking to feel good, we’re creating a deficiency. A sense of lack.”

But what would happen if we stopped searching for happiness? What would happen if we stopped pushing away the pain and discomfort we inevitably will experience in our lives?

In this powerful and insightful talk from Mindvalley A-Fest Montego Bay 2017, Gelong shares explain this exact paradox through science, Buddhist philosophy, and personal experiences. In the end, he guides the room through a short compassion-based meditation that will help you expand your awareness.

The Best Highlights


  • (0:45) — Why it’s impossible to clear your mind during meditation”;
  • (6:01) — What Gelong learned about discomfort and bliss after becoming “addicted” to meditation and going through a 4-year retreat;
  • (19:30) — Why self-motivated meditation doesn’t work as well as compassion-based meditation;
  • (32:28) — A short guided meditation that will expand your awareness.

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Written by

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.
Picture of Irina Yugay

Irina Yugay

As a former self-development and self-transcendence writer at Mindvalley, Irina uses words to transpire empowering ideas, transcendental feelings, and omniversal values. She's also an ascension coach who helps her clients grow their spiritual awareness and actualize their true nature. With a deep empirical understanding of the spiritual journey, Irina shares her insights and experiences with the readers to inspire them to transcend their limiting beliefs and achieve higher states of consciousness.

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