Louis CK on Mindfulness

imagesI often find the most incisive and concise observations come from comedians. I suppose that’s because to make people laugh, brevity and incisiveness are essential. In this interview, Louis CK starts talking about mobile phones and then moves into a wonderful allusion to mindfulness, particularly when it comes things we don’t want to feel, like sadness.

Well worth watching.




  1. I can get this whole thing about “sadness”. I also get how its ok to feel sad..I feel it is ok for me to feel sad. To cry it out. Where I am very uncomfortable is with fear. And anger. (sometimes they are the same). I don’t want to feel fear. IT does not let the antibodies of happiness come in. Am I making sense?

  2. I can relate to what you’re saying. I myself have a big problem with fear – I’m afraid of fear, and given the insecure life I lead, that’s not a good quality to have. So I have developed a habit, when fear arises, of allowing my mind to panic – to freak out completely, to a ridiculous extent – while at the same time feeling the fear in my body. And somehow this relieves the pressure, and even makes me laugh, as I witness the absurd scenarios that crop up in my imagination.
    I think the worst thing you can do with fear is to try and control it or suppress it.
    If fear is here, let it flow. Just don’t obey it.
    cheers Rog

    • But when I allow the mind to panic, I really have physical reactions – I get palpitations, I cry…and more often than not, bounce all over the place telling everyone in my path how afraid I am. Agreed, the last bit is my own neurotic behaviour, and ideally I should be able to control it (but I am never ideal), but the other two are completely involuntary. The palpitations feed the fear, and it becomes a never-ending cycle.

      • I’m sorry Louis, I forgot to replay to your comment.
        Actually, it’s good to allow the mind to panic if panic is what has arisen. The trick is to allow the panic while not acting it out. For this reason, it’s best to resist telling people about it, because then they begin framing their image of you as ‘someone who panics’ which then feeds back into your self-image, and locks you into the habit. But never fight what you feel.
        I make my money by trading, and it’s a very stressful way of life – and sometimes I feel great fear. I’ve learnt not to fight it. So each time it arises, I use the mental noting method – I note ‘fear; fear’ and allow the fear to flow in my body, while taking care not to tense up around it. And if it is too great, I’ll go into my bedroom and lie down for ten minutes, so I can concentrate on relaxing around the tension it’s creating in my core. So I lie there, noting ‘fear, fear’ to help me focus, and keep my attention on the physicality of it – monitoring the ebb and flow of it in my body and, as I said, taking care not to tighten up around it. And sometimes the fear will reach a pitch and it’s like electricity running through me and my body will twitch, maybe twice or three times, and then a sigh will come and I’ll know it’s over. I can go back out to deal with what i have to deal with.
        But if you are in a situation where panic is arising and you can’t get away, then concentrate on the physicality of it – on the body reaction. Noting ‘panic, panic’ will prevent your mind from spinning too many thoughts, so you can concentrate on relaxing the tension that builds up around the feeling of panic.

  3. It is, isn’t it. Life is so full, so if we block out what we don’t like, we also block out everything that’s good as well. Let the waves roll in.

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