Learning from Difficult People with Mark Westmoquette

We all will experience challenging people in our lives. Mark Westmoquette, author of Zen and the Art of Dealing with Difficult People: How to Learn from your Troublesome Buddhas, calls them troublesome Buddhas because we can see them as teachers or opportunities to grow. Using the teachings of mindfulness and Zen, we can begin to see ways to break free from knee-jerk response patterns and see if these people may prove to be useful teachers in life. By bringing awareness and kindness to these relationships, our initial stance of aversion and irritation has an opportunity to naturally shift into something much broader and more inclusive.

In this conversation we discuss:

  • A different way of dealing with our feelings;
  • How we can respond with more clarity and wisdom;
  • Inner attainment and why it helps and matters;
  • How we can regulate ourselves and notice our dysregulation;
  • Treating our mindfulness practice and ability to be differently with difficult people as a scientific experiment;
  • How mindfulness helps us create more harmony in our relationships.

You can listen to our conversation wherever you stream podcasts (Apple, Spotify, iHeart Radio) or listen here:



Mark Westmoquette has a PhD in astrophysics, and is an ordained Zen monk and a yoga and mindfulness teacher. In 2019, he gave up his life of teaching courses and workshops in yoga, mindfulness and Zen to move with his wife to the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic for a two-year adventure that involved writing this book. Learn more at markwestmoquette.co.uk.



Kristen Manieri is certified as both a habits coach and a mindfulness teacher. Her book, Better Daily Mindfulness Habits: Simple Changes with Lifelong Impact, was released summer 2021. She specializes in: stress reduction, energy management, mindset, resilience, habit formation, rest rituals, and self-care. As the host of the weekly 60 Mindful Minutes podcast, an Apple top 100 social science podcast, Kristen has interviewed over 100 authors and thought leaders about what it means to live a more conscious, connected, intentional and joyful life. Learn more at kristenmanieri.com/work-with-me.

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