Sniff. Sob. Wail and gnashing of teeth. Yes, it’s the SEASON THREE FINALE already - how did that happen? For our final episode in this series, I had the great privilege of talking to Haemin Sunim, one of the most influential Zen Buddhist teachers in the world.
He is a Korean ‘super-monk’ - so-called because he has over one million followers on Twitter and because his books have become instant global bestsellers. His latest, Love For Imperfect Things, is a guide to self-acceptance in which Haemin beautifully explores the idea that it is only by exercising compassion for our own vulnerabilities that we can pursue truly meaningful relationships with others. I read it in that fallow period between Christmas and New Year and it was a wonderful way to set my intentions for 2019. So much of what Haemin says chimes with the themes of this podcast, especially the concept that failure is a lesson, not a wholesale definition of self. ‘Life teaches us through errors,’ he writes. ‘When we accept the lesson from our mistake with humility and gratitude, we grow that much more.’
It was such an honour to meet Haemin, and to ask him more about his philosophy of failure. We discuss his self-perceived failure to be a good son, a failure of patience, romantic failures, break-ups and how resistance to a situation can often expend more energy than acceptance. He also manages to make me feel better about my repeated failures to meditate regularly. Apparently, just by observing my irritation at not being able to meditate, I AM ALREADY MEDITATING.
I really love this episode and I hope you will too.
We'll be back in April, but if you’re missing us terribly, don’t forget you can pre-order the book of the podcast, How To Fail: Everything I've Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong by Elizabeth Day here.
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Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Your messages, your likes, your Tweets, your emails and your love continue to mean the absolute world to me.
I’ll see you in April.
How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is hosted by Elizabeth Day, produced by Chris Sharp and sponsored by 4th Estate Books
Love For Imperfect Things by Haemin Sunim is published by Penguin Random House
Elizabeth Day @elizabday
Haemin Sunim @haeminsunim
Chris Sharp @chrissharpaudio
4th Estate Books @4thEstateBooks