author of The Art of Mindful Living: “You Can’t Stop the Waves, But You Can Learn to Surf,” and the audio set “Finding Freedom From Your Inner Critic.”
For over two decades, he has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to spiritual awakening and serving others in the blossoming of their highest potential._ Utilizing a variety of modalities, Tobin helps individuals and couples bring about deep, true, long-lasting transformation. His work addresses issues on the spiritual and psychological levels to help people reach an experience of genuine fulfillment & settled satisfaction in their lives. His main areas of expertise include relationships, work, stuck patterns, life purpose, and spiritual embodiment in the midst of everyday life. _Tobin acts as a catalyst for positive change, helping to clarify and align an individual or couple with their highest potential. He is a master at helping people identify and work through any barriers that are standing in the way of this blossoming._Tobin also works with groups in a variety of potent & creative ways to bring about an embodied, liberated and joyful spirituality. For over 20 years, Tobin been deeply immersed in intensive spiritual and psychological work. He was a dedicated Zen student (practicing with Charlotte Joko Beck) for 7 years, trained in the Diamond Heart School under the direction of A.H. Almaas for over ten years, and most recently, worked very closely with Adyashanti, who helped to catalyze in Tobin an ever-deepening and truly profound transformation. He has been teaching groups, couples, and individuals for over twelve years.
Here are some of his answers.
Why did you write this book?
Well, I was teaching a weekly mediation group, an d the sangha was growing and deepening. But the group was open, and people could drop in any time. New people were joining the group all the time and I was having to cover all the material over and over to keep people updated. So I decided to write the book to cover all the foundational material. These were talks I had given, and I decided to transcribe them and make them into a book. Originally, the title was going to include the subtitle “book 1,” indicating that there would be more books to follow. I have three books in mind for this “art of mindful living” series.
What is the primary point of the book?
To give people a user-friendly and yet deep immersion into the fine art of mindfulness meditation and how it can be integrated into a daily life of work and relationships in a way that is actually doable, transformative, and creates a real change for the better in ones life. It is written for both beginners on the path as well as experienced meditators and even teachers, who find the material useful in breaking down all the fundamentals of mindfulness meditation into understandable parts.
Give me an overview of the book.
The first section is 10 chapters of what I call the “essential ingredients” of mindfulness meditation and how to experientially get a taste of each of these. Each chapter builds on the next and taken together, they provide a very complete and balanced foundation for any one to engage in the inner work of spiritual transformation.
The second part of the book is mainly about how to apply this art of mindfulness to working with ones emotional life, so that the Journey is made real, authentic and fully integrated into ones daily life. It’s about the real nitty gritty of the Journey… relationships, intense emotions, etc. I call this ‘eating red-hot coals!’
What moments from your life are most memorable?
Well, I love to dance. I love to teach. I love to love. I guess my most memorable moments are those in which I’m doing what I most love, and where I feel most connected to the divine.
What would you want the readers of your book to understand from reading your book?
That spiritual practice is very practical and very doable. That any one can apply these very simple principles and completely transform their life from the inside out. That it all makes sense and that there is a way of living that brings beauty, love, grace. (even if that way is not always easy!!)
Who would benefit most from reading your book?
I think any one who has heard about spiritual practice and wants an easy way to actually put the words of the Buddha or Elkhart Tolle or any other teacher into good use. It’s also great for experienced meditators to get little ‘booster-shots’ of inspiration and clarification on their approach to practice. It’s amazingly powerful to take this little book on a mediation retreat and read a bit at time each day and sit with the principles.. I’ve found that the people who have read it over and over are getting profound results!!
If you could give to others only one word of advice what would that be?
Wow, that’s difficult… one word?? Love. Trust. Persevere.
If I can use more than one word, I’d say follow your inner guidance and heart no matter what. Reclaim your life. Find your own way. .. There is a truth behind the veils of your conditioning that is unbelievably beautiful, trustable, sublime, good, full of Love. Find your way there, no matter what it takes! It’s completely worth it.
Live and give as fully as you can.
What do you value most in life?
Truth/true nature/the divine reality in ALL things. And the freedom to live in recognition, realization and alignment with that divinity.
- Do you believe that people are inherently good or bad?
No. Just more or less deluded, conditioned, wounded.
What is your greatest regret?
It’s too early to tell!
What do you see as your greatest achievement?
Serving people. The gratitude I receive from students warms my heart beyond any THING I can imagine.
What do you feel you are entitled to in life?
That word doesn’t really compute for me. I am living. I am amazed. Everything is a miracle, a gift, and totally out of my hands.
What’s your favourite song?
I have a bunch! “I can see clearly now” by jimmy cliff. The Wheel” by the grateful dead. I have an ipod full of over 4000 songs and I am always rocking out!
What are your feelings regarding ‘God’ and religion?
God is everything, everywhere all the time. It is one eternal, divine Now. To me this is ‘GOD.” When we see clearly, deeply, it all hums as the divine. I am not into ‘religion’… just any actual practice that helps someone deepen their recognition of this Reality.
How do you personally define “Right” from “Wrong”?
I can’t really get behind the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘wrong…’ but what does resonate is listening. Finding one’s own innermost truth, which may translate as “this feels right” or “this feels true or ‘on’” and vice versa, one’s gut sense could resonate as “this feels ‘off’ to me.” This is a much simpler and forgiving way to live. It creates a life based on flow, leaning with the currents, and learning along the way. As opposed to rigid, fixed ideals, condemnation, judgement, separation…
Your favorite virtue?
Generosity of heart. Care.
What is your motto?
Well, let’s see… I guess I have a few:
What it used to say on the back of my business card: “Make the most of this precious life you are living.”
A Hafiz poem that goes: “Why not become the one with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that sweet moon language, what every other eye in this world is dying to hear.”
And my favorite quote these days by Adyashanti: “The slowest way to Truth is to always be doing what you think you should be doing to get there. To be completely honest with yourself – that’s the quickest.”
Also, I guess there’s a little ‘motto’ in my book that I encourage people with: “Do your best, and let go of the rest.”
What are your goals in life?
To wake up and serve. Here is a list of other qualities that I aspire to embody more and more: deep precision & elegant commitment to true teaching that really serves. Deep, well-rounded all-inclusive wisdom that synergizes the best of all the different psychological & spiritual theories available. human, spontaneous, catalytic, relentlessly surprising and powerful in my teaching. An ability to stay totally human & connected and yet embody very deep transformation. a clear and available channel for divine energies to flow through clearly, cleanly , and utilization of this transmission as a force of love. unwaveringly genuine & humble consistency to stay the course.
A heartful, alive focus on love as a primary force while staying completely embodied in masculine energy. uncompromising and totally willing to teach what I have to offer without the need of some tradition or some recognition from others. willingness to be creative, open, and spontaneous and let my teaching evolve over the years. Lively, spirited, joyful integration of things that really activate human beings in more & more positive & fully-rounded ways.
What keeps you on track with those goals?
And being around such sincere, loving, supportive people.
And my teachers, living and not, who have embodied the Living Truth in their own, unique and full way. ( Their books are very helpful too!)
What is your favourite compliment?
When people find my teachings useful and they express gratitude in whatever way, that is what most brings me joy.