Sam Morris is the founder of Zen Warrior Training®, an enlightened leadership and embodied wisdom coaching program. In 1999, Sam endured a spinal cord injury, paralyzing him from the waist down. This incident catalyzed a deep dive into somatic healing arts, depth psychology, wisdom traditions, and the innate intelligence of the body. Sam trains his clients in how to master the inner workings of the mind, body, and spirit and live from an enlightened state of presence in their businesses and in their personal lives.
Topics We Covered
- Instead of Overpowering the Enemy, Think Interactive Play
- How to Stop Self Sabotaging
- Letting Go and Accepting Divine Grace (While Insulting the Ego)
- Advice to Unhappy Overachievers (Especially Our Younger Selves)
- Open Heart Has Its Own Protection (According to Gary V)
- Samurai Leadership Lesson: Use BEATS to Get Out of Your Head
- Getting My Mind Blown on a Regular Basis
- How to Laugh at the Absurdity of Life
- How to Face Extreme Life Challenges (Without Them Taking Me Out)
- What to Do When You Feel Hopeless, Overwhelmed, Mental Darkness
- The Key to Unlock Your Potential
- What Happens After Samadhi, an Experience of Oneness?
- How to Engage the Parasympathetic Nervous System For More contentment and Peace
- A Simple Method to Quiet the Mind
- Discipline Our Mind, Don’t Beat Ourselves Up
- How Psychedelics, Yoga, & Martial Arts Prepared Me For My Spiritual Awakening
- How Breath Work Led to My Spiritual Awakening During the First Nights of Paraplegia
- How to Overcome Paraplegia PTSD Dissociations and Limiting Beliefs
- No One Can Copy Your Experiential Resume And Therefore Your Unique Genius
Wisdom QuotesWe are all immaterial awareness. There is nothing material about us other than the way that our minds shape our experience of life in the three-dimensional world that we live in. Click To Tweet Who you are is not the subject of your thoughts and feelings, who you are is the awareness that thoughts and feelings are happening. Click To Tweet For me, the potential. Is in having a deeper understanding of the nature of the human existence and of relieving oneself of the burden of being caught in the subjective projections of the unconscious mind. Click To Tweet This feeling of overwhelming burden and that life just felt so impossible. And it's so easy to go into that story and believe it. Click To Tweet What can I do to make the most of the challenges and try to even have some fun with them as they're happening? To be able to navigate through the challenge without it taking me out. Click To Tweet Life is all that is. And I would prefer to open up to experience life as all that is versus looking at it through the limited lens of this Sam ego, through my own limited memories and experiences, going through from birth to death. That's… Click To Tweet A lot of people don't realize is just your simple being your present moment awareness. Just that alone is creating value. Just your ability to listen and pay attention is creating value. You could hang out with a monk in the room who says… Click To Tweet Business does not have to mean being closed off and cold at all. The strongest leadership comes through kindness and compassion and a genuine desire for everyone to end up in a better place than they started. Click To Tweet If I am postponing my happiness and fulfillment until some arbitrary deadline, when I have achieved some goals, I'm just kidnapped my own happiness and fulfillment. Click To Tweet When I can really let go and accept that divine grace is moving through all of us all the time, that's where the beauty really lies. The ego hates that, because it wants to prove that it was able to do things in some sort of special way. Click To Tweet We actually are never separate from our animal and our animal only understands things through a very direct, simple communication. Click To Tweet The mental chatter, the monkey mind that we experience is. Where we are disembodied, where we're not connecting to the body first. Click To Tweet The practice of coming into your body I see as creating a resourceful mind. So the mind is able to operate in a way where it is serving a greater intention that comes from the whole body, from the physicality, from the connection to the… Click To Tweet All these things that we're taking so seriously, All of these things that we worry about most of which will never happen. All of this with the punchline that we die at the end. What a great punchline. Click To Tweet When you're more present, you can actually sense energy more. You can feel energy. You can feel not only your own energy, but you can also become aware of the energy of people who are also in your environment. We all know the experience… Click To Tweet The noblest of human values, is warmth and kindness Click To Tweet It never was about getting to the destination.It was about being more playful and creative. With the present moment experience that we're all having, because as cliche as it is to say, it's true, this moment right now is all that exists. Click To Tweet My definition of the purpose of purpose is co-creating meaning along with the divine. Click To Tweet My definition of fulfillment is co-creating fun. Along with the divine. Click To Tweet My definition of wealth is an awareness that our needs are always taken care of Click To Tweet
Full Transcript by AI
Welcome to Noble Warrior. This is a place where entrepreneurs talk about what it takes to build, to create a purpose driven life. We're going to talk about mindset. We're going to talk about mental models. We're going to talk about actionable tactics. So Shea can take everything you learn and go out and create your own. My name is C . I've been a PhD in biomedical engineering at UCLA. I've been a director for the university of California.
I'd be a startup executive. I am now I'm an executive mentor for philosopher entrepreneurs. I'm on a quest to find out what it takes for other. Entrepreneurs to create a life of fulfillment, joy, and purpose. My next guest is the founder of the Zen Warrior Training. He went through the hero's journey of going from top cyclist skier athlete to paraplegic to now presence.
Coach now helps others to overcome challenges and make a life in an adventure. He is on apologetically, raw and honest. Please help me welcome Sam Morris.
Thank you CK. It's great to be here. I'm excited about our conversation.
How was box breathing for you as a start of a podcast interview?
I love it. it's the sort of thing that, I try to do intentionally before I either facilitate or, or, get on an interview myself. So having you facilitate it was great and it's nice to not always be the one who's facilitating the breathing techniques.
So my friend, let me just jump right into what about you?
I'm so excited to have conversation with. Okay. So you have a really inspiring story of being a top athlete skier, a cyclist cross country to paraplegic, to presence, coach, to now help other people make their life in adventure. Now what's really cool about you right away. When I hear you speak is how.
Grounded and raw and honest you are. And I just love that.
was it a cultivated process that it's a life of just, this is who I am. And so be it, whatever it takes or has it always been there and you have just, Being gifted
It's a really good question. it was, for me, it was an experience of, and by it, being as grounded as I am, it's something that I began cultivating growing up in Maine.
The people that live in Maine, just for the most part are pretty grounded. And I grew up living on an organic blueberry farm. And my early childhood memories were just of myself in nature, whether that was in blueberry fields or riding my bike or swimming or whatever. I just have a lot of experiences where I have a lot of memories of just that.
Self and nature experience without all of the mental chatter. And so that I think really helped to instill a grounded personality and, energy. And then, we'll talk about this more, but you mentioned the paraplegia when I became paraplegic, that was really ungrounding for me. it, put me in a state where.
It's really hard to, name it, but somewhat disassociated, state of reference. It was, I went from feeling like a very grounded 24 year old athlete to suddenly feeling a lot like. It was like, I became innocent and almost boyish. I felt now people on the outside may not have seen that, but for me, there was a lot of needing to try to find myself and fit in and, Confusion that was wrapped around going from being able bodied to suddenly becoming disabled at the age of 24.
So the way I am now, the groundedness that you see now is really a return to who I've always been, that is not dessociated
I see. So it's like going through the hero's journey. Part of your superpower of this groundedness, this, man, this, force for good, that I see in front of me actually came from this wound in his trauma that you experienced.
Is that an accurate way to reflect back what you said?
Yeah. Yeah. And it gave me, so much firsthand experience with what it's like to not feel like oneself. Which created a lot of compassion, I think for me, because I, and I think I was lucky enough to feel like myself a lot.
And then when I became paraplegic, I didn't feel like myself at all in certain respects. And so I had to go through a lot of work to get out of my, I had to move past ideas that I started to, develop about myself, limiting beliefs that I started to develop about myself and. Returned to my true self. so it gave me a lot of compassion for where that happens with people, because I don't know if otherwise I would have had quite as much.
I know that I wouldn't have had as much insight into the way that people can become disassociated from themselves.
Do you mind going into that, pain, that darkness of the soul, the belly of the whale, those moments, and it's not because I'm wanting to have you 12. Back into the pain per se, but I want people to have an idea of what is it that we're talking about here, because you've experienced during those three years, you publicly said those were some of the, you suffer a lot, right?
Yeah. I, yeah, I suffered a lot for many years, more than three years. Yeah. It's cycles and m layers of suffering and so forth. Yeah. Yeah, but yeah, I'm I'm happy to describe it. as best I can with the fur,
I wanted to people to listen from, Hey, we're not just revisiting. Sam's old wounds and trauma and so forth in a public way.
I'm using what he's experienced as a way to illustrate. This is not the similar to what some people may be listening right now, going through COVID or a job loss or, relationship friction or whatever it may be. their, own suffering as it is right now. So
yeah, there will actually be probably a ton of similarities that people experienced.
And that's the thing that I find so fascinating is that in a lot of ways, the human experience, as different as we all are, there's, we're a lot more alike than we are different than, we all have different trajectories and different ways of experiencing life. But so many of the same principles are consistent no matter who you are, and no matter what experience you've been through.
So whether it's physical paralysis or the loss of a loved one or whatever it is, there we are humans at the end of the day, we're humans, and we have a lot of very similar experiences. So own experience with darkness. came he first time. I really remember it was a week after my spinal cord injury happened.
So this is the fall of 1999. And I had just finished leading a cycling track across the US for 19 agers. And, that was, we finished that in August of 99. That was a 3,800 mile long track. And, I was an outdoor leader at the time. And like you said, snowboarder skier, active outdoorsman hiker. And, one night I ended up in the backseat of car, driven by a guy whom I had never met before.
He was a friend of a friend and we were going to a bar and on the way to the bar, he lost control of his car on a dirt road, hit a tree. I broke my back, broke the T 12 vertebra had what's called a teach 12 complete spinal cord injury. So that meant that the injury, I had zero sensation or motor function from my injury down after that happened.
So this happened at the level of right around my navel. So still today, 21 years later, it will actually be a week from now. It will be my 21st anniversary since my injury happened. so still today, 21 years later, I have no sensation or motor function from the navel down. And, when the accident itself happened, I maintained contact just this the whole time.
I never lost consciousness cause I didn't hit my head. And I remember being in a total state of shock because just like that I'd gone from being able bodied 24 year old guy to suddenly being paralyzed and sitting in this back at the back of this car, just Oh God, what am I going to do now? Like you gotta be kidding me.
You've got to be kidding me. Like in total shock. So ambulance comes, brings me to the hospital. And, they do MRIs and cat scans and stuff like that. That night. Next day, they do a surgery on me and they put me on morphine and, for the pain, that of breaking your back pretty severe pain. And so they put me on morphine.
I had this, the surgery, the spinal fusion surgery, and then a week after, they took me off morphine. And I didn't realize that entire week I had been in a state of denial because I didn't even occur to me that my mindset was being so influenced by the morphine. I thought that I was doing okay, but I was just totally numb.
And I became lucid for the first time, since the night of the accident. And when I became lucid, I started freaking out. It's I don't want to be here. I do not want to be alive. There's no way I can go on like this. Absolutely. No, get me out. I'm done. Done. Done. I cannot live paralyzed for the rest of my life and, it was a real.
if I had, I've told this story a thousand times, if I'd had a sharp object around, I don't know if I would be here today, but I was lying in a hospital bed in the middle of the night and there was nothing, there, no tools, no implements to off myself. And the only thing I could think to do was yoga.
I kept on thinking I wanted to do yoga for some reason. And I'm like, how am I going to do yoga? What, like, why am I even thinking that thought. And then it occurred to me that the most powerful part of yoga is the focus on the breath. And it occurred to me that I could still breathe. So I just started to breathe deeply steeply as I could in a few minutes, went by and suddenly out of nowhere, just like this boom, nothing that was previously bothering me was bothering me anymore.
Suddenly I had passed through a threshold of consciousness and on the one side of that threshold was everything I ever thought that I knew about myself and my identity, my relationship with my body, my name, my interests, where I was born, all the stuff, all the content of my mind was on one side of that threshold.
And I went to the other side and experienced myself as pure awareness. And I saw myself almost essentially it was an out of body experience. I became so connected to my breath that I no longer could feel the inhaler, the exhale anymore. I just became breath. And I just dissolved completely into breath.
I was, breath. I wasn't body of his breath. I wasn't body. And I wasn't mind, those were clearly the denser forms of the material. And I had transcended that, did the denser forms of the material and had become immaterial awareness. And what I realized is that we are all immaterial awareness. Then there is nothing material about us other than our, the way that our minds shape our experience of life in the three-dimensional world that we live in.
But it became very clear that's not actually who we are and, that who we actually are is the immaterial awareness that is aware that there is a body in mind experiencing a material world. And when that happened, It was totally profound and I, it changed me forever. it was the
pause. you had some reference points.
You had study this. This is after you studied Buddhism. This is also after your first ayahuasca psychedelic mushroom experience at 16.
Yeah. I'd had several psychedelic experiences. more than several, quite a few psychedelic experiences from age 16 or 17.
So would you say, because of those reference point, that makes you feel like, Oh, this is actually my first spiritual awakening experience is okay.
Versus someone who has never had any kind of teachings or visceral experience would be like, Holy shit, what's happening.
That's I think that's accurate. I think that's accurate. Yeah. The psychedelic experiences that I had I when I started using psychedelics, I thought. No, as a naive kid, I thought, this will be cool.
We'll make colors change. And it's supposed to make sound, different. Yeah. And stuff like that. And little did I know I was going to be playing with the very, behind the scenes, experiences of consciousness and gone. Whoa, this is way more profound. Than I thought I was. And, and, it's, it was through psychedelics and also my, my relationship with nature that, I was attracted to Buddhism and that yes, that happened before.
So my interest in Buddhism, began around probably 1997, something like that. 1997, 98. And, And also I had done some studies of both yoga and aikido prior to my injury as well. So I did have some reference points for mindfulness. I never thought that I could actually just dissolve completely and become the breath.
That was a whole other thing.
Yeah. What kind of, what What kind of yoga do you do? Because partnering for the ignorance, but in my mind, yoga is very. The entire body. So
what would you do as a paraplegic?
actually, since my injury has happened, so I, actually dove deeply into a practice called continuum movement, which is what brought me out to Los Angeles.
continuum is a phenomenal. Movement practice, somatic practice. it was created by a woman named Emily Conrad. And she, I, was amongst very few people who had the opportunity to study privately with Emily. she was revered in the somatics community around the world for the depth of the work that she did and the work really.
How do I describe it? It's always so hard to describe, it involved using one's awareness and creation of sound and breath and wave like undulating movement in the body as a means by which to unwind trauma. and when I say unwind trauma, Not only personal trauma, not only trauma from one's own personal experience with life, which we all have, but the trauma, the collective trauma as well, we'll just send.
and when I refer to the collective trauma, one of the things that I'm referring to is the way in which as human beings in modern culture, we've really lost our connection with the body. And by bringing your attention in, an exploratory men or where you were simply curious, and you're spending, hours in a state of curiosity about what's going on inside the body with just an open state of attention.
There's so much. In fact, I did this last night. I went to bed early last night and I was awake for a while. And for a few hours I did nothing, but the most minute movements in my body. And when I say my Newt, I'm talking about just moving my fingertip as little as I possibly can. But maintaining my awareness inside the fingertip, doing these micro movements in the fingertip.
Now you'll notice if you practice this, it's like really challenging to keep your awareness inside your fingertip in with such a subtle degree of connection, because we tend to fall out and go into our heads. And this is where we become disembodied. The continuum movement practice that I studied and that I still work with is a, I would call it a reembody moment practice.
So as a recovering cerebralist right. As someone who actually wants to move away from the head, and I'm very trained here and want to get closer to the body with this continuum movement, be a great. the reality for someone like me who was super.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.
Have you read that by the way a Vipassana?
I haven't done that. I have not done the 10 day retreat. but I would like to at some point, so
I'll reveal a little bit about the pasta. Vipassana is one of the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. precisely because it, you literally, you sit still and you focus on just those first three days.
You just focus on this area in your face three days. And the whole point of it is to develop the modality, the fidelity of your own or awareness before they, broaden the scope too. Everywhere else. And the internal, the external, all of that stuff. but it was torturous, dude. It was, pretty big.
Yeah. So challenge similar to there's so much, there's such a similarity to what I was just talking about. Yeah. Because anytime you bring your awareness into such a fine specific place, it's like our minds are so conditioned. To want to go anywhere, but here anywhere, but this present moment.
And that's why, that's why meditation practices and somatic practices. It sounds so simple. And yet it's so challenging because our minds are just wanting to race and run and go explore. And they are like, yeah, they're, like, Wild animals, and disciplining the mind to stay present is so challenging.
So one of the key metaphors that I love, instead of trying to beat your mind into this, into, discipline into, submission, I think of it as a puppy. So whenever I wonder, you're not going to beat your puppy. Some people do, way to do it is, to bring it back Oh yeah. But here a puppy is, and then you eventually, it never ends
But at the same time, eventually you will be able to, do it for longer, do it for. For more sustainable ways. So I'm curious to know your thoughts around this whole
that's right. Yeah. I agree completely. I think that, Trying to be too harsh with ourselves, and try to beat the mindedness.
Submission does not do anything, any good. I love your analogy of the puppy. I think it's perfect because you, yeah, you would be kind to that puppy. You would be compassionate and yet you would be direct too. And, one of my teachers once said that when dealing with the body. Deal with it in a way that is very much like an animal, because it is an animal and the animal doesn't really understand complex statements or concepts.
It doesn't really understand, things like if you're trying to focus more, it, the body doesn't understand things like, it would really be good for you to focus more because. If you focus more than you'll be able to get these things on your, to do lists done. And then you'll hopefully be able to feel more satisfied with yourself and XYZ, dah, the body doesn't really know that language and body only knows.
Sit, stay, sit, stay. Pay attention. it's like a direction. If you can give your body a direct direction, just in the same way that you would give a dog. A dog is not going to understand all these concepts,
don't pee on the rug because I don't like to clean up the smell. And when people, when my guests come in, all that stuff, the dog is not going to know anything, but don't pee on the rug being very like. And then move the dog where it needs to be moved. And we need to do the same things to our same thing to ourselves because we actually are in animal bodies.
And I think that's one of the most challenging things to remember is that we actually are never separate from our animal and our animal only understands things through a very direct, simple communication.
Yeah. In my younger days, the younger CK would think, Oh, I'm in my athletic mode now. So therefore it's the body.
my study mode, therefore is the mind,
categorizing it based on your activities.
And then, but in reality is actually a superposition stack on top of each other and never separate compartmentalize into one thing. Yeah. They use that more, but it's always all at the same time. So that's why I'm a, such a passionate student for integrated learning.
How they, anything integrated living. Really?
just focus around the embodiment practices.
Yeah, And then when you're embodied and it's like this, mind, this beautiful mind that we possess, it can be used very intentionally. it's all, I feel like the mental chatter, the monkey mind that we experience is.
Where we are disembodied, where we're not connecting to the body first. And so the mind is looking for a direction cycle. If I'm not getting a direction from CKS connection to his heart or his groin or his legs, or his relationship with the earth, if I'm not receiving that input. I'm going to create my own directions when to just go do, I'll find, a direction somewhere here, because that's what I do is I take directions.
So I'll look for a direction and I will try to create my own direction. And so that's where people get in thought loops, disembodied thought loops. And, so the practice of coming into your body, the, quieting of the mind I see as creating a resourceful mind. So the mind is able to operate in a way where it is serving a greater intention that comes from the whole body, from the physicality, from the connection to the breath, from the present moment.
And then the. Mine is able to take your direction and go, Oh, that's what we want to do here. Oh, we want to focus on CK right now. Okay, cool. We'll focus on CK because that's coming from the entire body versus, the disembodied mental chatter and thought loops.
Can you give us a concrete example? So say someone, the younger CK, I always make it the younger CK, the subject, cause he's too to throw under the bus
So say the younger CK is
having some thoughts right now and he is just, anxious about whatever. What concretely would you tell him to do? So that way he can,
since the younger CK. And then you've already mentioned this about you as someone who, really values and has always valued your cognitive capacity or really highly intelligent person who understands things intellectually.
And that the intellectual part of your, you, the analytical part of you, clearly has gotten priority, through a lot of your life. So what I would do, knowing that. Is, I would then give you an explanation that would satisfy the logical mind of why you were experiencing what you're experiencing. So instead of looking at it from the perspective of, you should be able to ground yourself, or why aren't you more grounded or whatever, or, trying to bring you into some sort of embodiment practice right away.
I would first address it at the level of the intellect. And so at the level of the intellect, you could understand that the brain creates different brainwave patterns, depending on what's going on internally and externally in our outer environment. And in our inner environment, our brain is going to be in, any given time of day, whether we're waking or asleep.
Our brain is going to be experiencing different types of brainwave patterns. And when you are stressed out and finding that you are just experiencing thought loops, And you're not able to move beyond that. What's actually happening is your brain is hanging out in a high beta brainwave state. And so that's, we, spend a lot of our waking hours in either mid to high level beta brainwave state, where we are taking input from our surroundings.
We're analyzing them with our thought based logical minds. We're taking that input and we're turning it into. we're creating meaning out of it. And we're using that meaning to navigate the world essential quality, to be able to have super essential. It's not going to help you to find out more about yourself because it's that it's not going to help you to ground inside of yourself to be hanging out in that high beta brainwave state.
Okay. When you experience sleep or rest deep arrest, there's something where that begins to subside in that state. As young as younger CK goes from being awake to asleep, there's that space that younger CK I'm sure entered. That just feels. Really nice, really relaxing. And suddenly it's like all of that mental chatter is just not present because then you're entering into an alpha state.
So by communicating, by helping you to helping younger CK to understand this at an intellectual level, I think that would then give the logical mind permission to explore. Embodiment practices, which can help to relax that type of brain activity and bring you deeper into a present moment experience where there's less of that brain activity happening.
Yeah, thank you for that. That actually makes a lot of sense. It also reminds me of the book, the five language of love as well.
What, is, someone's language of love or what they're actually listening for the physicality part that goes to the need for a physical touch, they listening for some, the mental explanation of some things as a way to relax the mind.
And then now more open to whatever suggestions that you may have individually. They might even practices that you may give.
Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And it's the, sorry.
Yeah, please drink.
Yes. the, that high beta brainwave state, oftentimes. To a certain degree, we'll be in a mild fight flight or freeze reaction over the course of any given day, without even realizing it will be will experience amygdala, hijack, where we are having an emotional reaction to our situation and to our circumstances, our external environment will be having an emotional reaction that will.
Sometimes paralyze us, keep us from moving forward or make us react in some way to what's occurring. Otherwise life is in dynamic system. It's always in motion, It's always in movement and that's the way consciousness is really meant to express itself. It's always supposed to be a dynamic. System that is never static when things are static or they appear to be static.
What that shows to me is there's a degree to which the there's a sympathetic nervous system response in reaction to the environment, creating a fight flight or freeze mode inside of us. the easiest way to get out of that is to start to focus on nasal breathing. Which then re-engage as the parasympathetic nervous system.
And so re-engaging the parasympathetic nervous system is the physical technique that is needed to bring someone into a feeling of more contentment and peace. Maybe a state of even oneness potentially. But when we're using these examples, some of these examples can sound almost too esoteric and non concrete for a lot of very rational listeners, they might be like, it just sounds, it sounds, maybe a little flaky, new agey, etcetera But really all we're talking about is different ways of orienting the central nervous system so that it can do what it's actually meant to be doing versus getting caught in a pattern of behavior where it's in a reaction to its environment. And when that connection happens, then we are linked up to ourselves and it's through that, creates that sense of peace and contentment.
And then it really doesn't matter what's going on in the external environment because inside you're experiencing a sense of peace.
Yeah. Reality is now calm. So we went on a digression for a little while as to your spiritual awakening. Yeah. So say now that you've experienced this oneness with the collective, this one is, this ease.
I'm not my body. I'm not my emotions. And then what are you? Are you there? And the Samati forever. Are you back and back to bring us back to the moment a little bit, a few minutes after you experienced this oneness. Now you're back to your body fresh in this new, disabled body.
And now what?
Yeah, so it's a great question. Imagine that time being like, I'm not sure how long it lasted because it felt eternal, but it may have lasted an hour or so. Something like that, maybe a little bit more when I came back from it, excuse me. It's very similar to, if someone has experienced a psychedelic journey where you're familiar framework for reality returns.
Relatively completely what you're used to experiencing and how you're used to thinking and et cetera, how you're used to experiencing your environment will return after a few hours with a psychedelic experience and in the same way, the way in which I was accustomed to experiencing myself returned shortly after that, awakening.
However, just like a really powerful psychedelic experience. It was something that left a lifelong memory inside of me. And you one could even go as far as to say a multi lifelong memory, because it did not seem to be that this was limited to one life, what I was experiencing. And so there was this lasting memory and it was like a reset button had been pushed inside of me.
Where the next years, the next several years, we're going to be incredible challenging. And in fact, in many ways, my life now is incredibly challenging. So I think it's important for your listeners to know that while I'm showing up the way that I am and doing the work that I'm doing, it's not like there's some sort of permanent.
Sort of transcended space that I've managed to get to that where the challenges no longer bother me instead. 21 years later, it's in, a certain way, there's going to be radical challenges ahead of me in my life from this. but, it was like a reset button had been pushed inside of me that night.
That just said, you're going to be able to handle the challenges ahead of you because who you are is not the subject of your thoughts and feelings, who you are, is never the subject of your thoughts and feelings, who you are, is the awareness that thoughts and feelings are happening and you can always come back in relationship.
To the awareness of the subject and realize that's who you really are. And, I don't know that I, certainly would not have been able to express it in those words at that time, but I can express it in those words. Yeah, no. and, I think that's, it's one of the most fascinating things about the human condition is that we mistake.
The activity in our minds, we mistake it for, we are the idea that who we are is the subject of the inner talk.
Yeah. Who we are. Our, consciousness is the collection of mental images, thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions that we have. That's our, the totality of a subjective reality.
Yeah. That's the, subjective reality that we, reference when we think about who we are.
When you think about when people ask you who you are, the first thing that you're going to talk about is. Your name, where you're from, what you're interested in, what your vocation is, your career, whatever you're going to give this sort of laundry list of words and concepts that are describing your subjective experience, just like you said, but that's actually never who you really actually are.
And, Yeah. Anyway, it's, fascinating. This, is the, this is the thing that I can geek out on for hours.
You came through the right podcast to do that. This is exactly what we talk about because in my mind, I've been doing a lot of searching, achieve a lot in my life. And after all my search.
I realized one thing, my brain, between my years is a source of all my bliss. It's also the source of all my suffering. So unless I have this, I don't wanna say under control per se, but have the discipline to really understand that, psyche of this machinery, all of these stuff are just proxies to.
this is why I started this podcast to actually have deep inquiries with other people who are on the same path. Are there warriors, Other entrepreneurs as well?
Yeah, yeah. No, it's, fascinating stuff. this is, what we're talking about for those listening who are trying to wrap your heads around.
What we're talking about. This to me is the key to everything. This is the key to unlocking. What we talk about is potential. And I think potential is a, strange term. And because it can. Okay, can often be adopted by the ego mind and it's and then the idea of potential than can be some people will adopt that and turn it into, what can I accomplish in my potential is related to that, which I can accomplish.
And that to me is it doesn't have anything to do with potential. That's just what you choose to do in the world. For me, the potential. Is in having a deeper understanding of the nature of the human existence and of relieving oneself of the burden of being caught in the subjective projections of the unconscious mind.
That's potential. It's Ooh, now I'm. Freer now I don't have to be, I love that qualifier is
or not. You're freer. Exactly,
So, the question I have for you is this right? Cause. You had an experience of this oneness of the superconsciousness one of the interesting mental model. by the way, just so that, you don't know yet, but I love mental model.
So we can metaphorically share this with you too, to tap into this very esoteric topic that we're talking about. So if you think about consciousness, I believe I come across a beautiful model, four layers. And the very inner core is the super-consciousness that you are talking about. That pure awareness, right?
The one that God had and all that stuff. And then one above that would be identity. Why about myself? My self identity. One about that would be personality. What I want you to think of me? Successful. It's more all these things and that one above there. Exactly good hair. another layer above that will be perception.
What I think you think of me. So the question now is you had this taste of this super-consciousness briefly. It is life-changing and you had a baseline. However, in my own experience, Whenever I have neurotic thoughts, these constructs, that pile on top of, my super-consciousness. I lose touch of it. I forget about it.
Then I'm back to, Oh, I am my identity. Oh, I have to be this way. Oh, I must grab that in, the empty pursuit of whatever. Hence why for me the medicine path. The, psychosomatic path or the techniques that I learned that I teach is so important to me because now I can regularly maintain, get access to this versus.
rom Doss, Once you're not going to door answers, you stop knocking it. I don't think so. I, take a bath or the shower today. I'm going to take a shower tomorrow.
You don't take a shower one time and say,
all right, I'm done.
Curious to know your thoughts?
Like what, what's your take on that?
It's an everyday thing. I had an, night, just a few nights ago where I was just in a dark place, and I was going to bed and I was lying in bed and it just felt like all of the pressures of life were just more than I could handle. It just felt wow, I.
No idea. it all felt like it was hitting me all at once and I couldn't filter out, financial pressures from emotional pressures, etcetera physical pressures. I couldn't separate out any of them. All I could do is sit there in physical pain and mental darkness, just experiencing this.
Feeling of overwhelming burden like that the, that life just felt so impossible. And it's so easy to go into that story and believe it's so easy to go into that story and believe it. And it will happen to me from time to time where I will fall into that story. And I'll just buy right in because. You know it, I think on some level it offers a certain amount of, despite the darkness, it almost offers a certain amount of relief.
if I can say life is impossible, then I can just feel like I am giving up right now.
I don't need to feed in my life.
Exactly, Dont Have to be responsible for all of this because. Everything is too challenging to be able to take on and, and so in a sense, I just, so, I just, I allowed myself to have that experience without trying to fight it.
And without trying to, without my ego coming in and saying, Oh, come on, you can't allow yourself to do this, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. No, I know better than to do that. I've, been through enough of these moments where it felt like. Complete hopelessness and helplessness and, it doesn't make it a lot easier, but I do know when it's happening, I generally have a little perspective and know with some rest and time I'm not going to be in that space anymore.
And, I try to remember when that's happening. Go to sleep as soon as I can get, just get rest, because it's not really that there's nothing going on at the level of identity. It's all going on at the level of the body, feeling fatigued and needing to recover. And there's usually something going on physiologically that is provoking that experience.
And if I just get proper rest and nutrition and water, I'm going to, I'm going to get through it and I don't have to even identify with any of that stuff. It's just a temporary manifestation of the body being fatigued, essentially.
Yeah. first thank you so much for being so open. I wasn't joking when I said I really, appreciate the level of rawness and honesty that you have.
And ultimately it's so easy, especially for public. Personalities, teachers and coaches and consultants to walk around and say, my life is great. Let me show you the glossy stuff only. And actually pretending not to be human. we're all perfectly perfect.
Everyone is dealing with whatever it is in various ways and, physicality. Finance relationship. it doesn't matter who you are. I don't care any in Barack Obama. I think it doesn't matter how well human,
really appreciate you, being a great example of just being open and being totally in perfectly,
My pleasure. My pleasure. Yeah.
it's it's so important.
I cannot stand the bullshit that, you know, and especially in this sort of, spiritual thinking coaching sort of thing, all of the, the big glowy smiles and stuff. it's great. It's great to be able to glow and to smile and feel your presence and so forth.
But this notion, that, people have transcended. It's no, we're in this earth plane together. We're hanging out and on the earth plane, please get over it with the transection. Unless, your life scene is just nothing but just totally ease then, but then it's just naive. Then that person actually isn't even really having.
truly embodied experience anyway, so this is, not the, earth plane is not the plane where we hang out in this state of pure bliss and transcended, somebody all the time.
I agree with you a hundred percent. That's actually my personal belief. I believe that, growth does come from overcoming challenges.
And there's a sweetness in going through the ups and the nouns. And that's the whole roller coaster ride of this human experience.
I truly believe that. some people want to believe that, Hey, we're here to just, be in. Been joy and bliss and I'm like, that's awesome. I haven't met a person
who can do that.
if there are, I'm happy to do a pockets interview with them, but I haven't
And if someone comes to me being blessed and enjoy. All the time that I'm going to really like
really are going to be very skeptical about, meeting someone like that.
I guess I think too, the, key has for, me has become, because I know not to expect that my life is going to be, any real easy cup of tea and moving forward.
I just know that some people will, try to, I think, in an effort to like, make me feel better or something, talk about how, they see me walking again or something like that and this and that, and I don't know where exactly that comes from, I'm very pragmatic. I know that.
My life is going to throw me challenges every day and it's going to throw me sometimes extreme challenges and, I'm not naive to that. And let's my, hope. and I guess I could say it would be maybe my practice as well as. What can I do not to avoid those challenges because I know they're unavoidable, but what can I do to make the most of them and, try to even have some fun with them, as they're happening, what, is it?
What's the outlet and B for me, humor is a big outlet. music is also a big outlet. being able to just make fun of myself, make fun of the world, turn it into music, turn it into comedy, whatever, not to avoid, things, but to be able to navigate through the challenge.
Without it taking me out.
So are you actively doing like self-deprecating type humor or can you make it a little bit more concrete for us? what does that look like watching your
Yeah. Yeah. sometimes I'll just laugh at the absurdity of it all, like the absurdity of the human.
Experience sometimes I'll just, look at this body with these chicken legs that I have that are, deformed and, 21 years of hanging out doing nothing makes a lower body look pretty bizarre, and I'll just laugh at the absurdity of it all, a laugh at the absurdity of the human experience, a laugh just to laugh, because.
By herself with others,
I, myself, with others, whomever wants to laugh with me. I invite anyone and everyone to laugh with me about the absurdity of the human condition, because really ultimately it's pretty damn absurd. And, I think that sometimes we do ourselves a bit of a disservice, I think taking it too seriously.
this guy, that guy. Yeah.
Yeah. what happens at the end of this while we're we die? Yes.
that's, the punchline to all of this is that we die at the end. It's like what a great punchline, all these things that we're taking. So seriously, all of these things that we worry about most of which will never happen ultimately just to die, it's what a funny joke.
The whole damn thing is. And I want to bring that awareness into the present moment and be like, Hey, I'm going to die. Anyway. I might as well die in this moment here with you CK and just let it all hang out and just be as real as possible because I'm already dead. I'm already gone.
Krishna Murti one of my favorite philosophers would talk about practicing death before dying. And then, and that was a big part of his spiritual practice was practicing death before dying. And he would talk about how there's this illusion. That people have that death is th life is related to continuity, like the continuity of one's physical body, the continuity of one's bank account and one's relationships, etcetera People confuse continuity with life. And then death is a discontinuous moment. It is a moment where we go from the known. To the unknown and yet it's, it is to, think of the duality if life and death, in those terms of continuity versus the lack of, continuity, I think is missing the whole point of life.
Now, like life is so much more than a continuous process.
as in procreation survival, is that what you mean?
Yeah. From the moment of someone's birth to the moment of their death, we can consider that a life. But what about when you just go outside and you look at the stars and you just feel the vastness of the universe?
I'm not thinking about in those moments. I'm not thinking about, I was born here and someday I will die. Instead of feeling this consciousness that we are all experiencing together. That is profound. it's absolutely it's beyond the word profound, Doesn't even describe it because it is, all that it is.
Life is all that is, it's not about one person's journey from birth to death. Life is all that is. and I would prefer to open up to experience life as all that is versus looking at it through the limited lens of this Sam ego, going through from birth to death. And that's a very limited way of perceiving life because it perceives it only through my own limited memories and experiences.
And. I don't know if this is making any sense to those listening. And I don't really care either. I'm just jamming. And I feel like I've got a guitar in my hand and I'm just jamming along and permeating whatever's going on, and just chit channeling it through to whatever we're talking. I don't even know what we're talking about it anymore.
is perfect. So let me do a quick recap. So the younger CK, we look alive as a, from the individual lens, right? This is my life. I'm the captain on my soul. I'm the master of my plates. Therefore, I'm going to set a goal and achieve it, and that's going to be my life and then seek he had a very beautiful, spiritual awakening through Ayahuasca.
And I realized like, Holy shit, there's much more to the individual. There's the one-to-one ones, one too many and many to many type of relationship in life. And then I stumble upon a beautiful video that actually describe what we're describing beautifully, called the egg. I don't know if you've ever seen it.
yeah. If you Google the egg and the YouTube video, I'll share this with you. Remind me to share this with you. It's it said it beautifully and in a beautiful way. And. The way that it articulates this whole collection of consciousness is that throughout time, from the beginning of time to the end of time, consciousness is a collective whole, and you are just a reflection of who I am in a different time.
yeah. So it's not even just in this moment. Collective consciousness.
consciousness is displaced, displacing, experienced in life through all different lenses and the collective. Yes. who we are.
huh. huh. Yeah, there you go. There you go. I love that. I love that. Yes. I mean it that's. That's a mind blown moment right there, and it's, exactly what I'm talking about.
As I want to have the experiences of the mind getting blown on a regular basis, because otherwise, if it's not blown, then what it's a doing. It's just resorting back to its own version of what it thinks knowledges And it's that's not knowledge. My memories aren't knowledge, the intellectual concepts that I've learned are not knowledge what's knowledge.
What's, really amazing is when the mind literally can't keep up with what it's taking in and it goes, Whoa, there's new input that is just completely destroyed my version of reality. And I want to keep doing that. Over and over again, because I know that anytime I construct a reality, it's it needs to be broken up.
It needs to be broken up just like when Buddhists make the mandolas. W as soon as they finished those mandolas, as soon as they've been, they've put all of these hours upon hours, days upon days into creating these mandolas, what's the first thing they do. They look at it, they pray and then they brush it away because nothing is ever permanent.
So the question now to you, by the way, again, we're on the same wavelength. I love this mantra, memento, Mori, that ultimately we're going to die. And some people at first would say, Oh my God, CK get this. Dark.
Why do you say that? what
about, but what like, Hey, this is the law of impermanence, right?
We're not going to be here forever. And if so, then what is it that I choose to do with my life ultimately? And I loved also recently I came across a beautiful way to articulate. This is a lot of people say, Hey, live as if. this is the last day of your life.
That's one way to do it. if it's the last day of my life, I would probably do it very hedonisticli.
But the reframe around is lit as if you're going to die today
or is there
live as if you were going to die? Yeah. So that now all of a sudden, it's no longer today. But now I can, have liberation the BNC and do everything that I want to do versus being very constraint.
Yeah. Yeah. And I, and, I absolutely agree with that.
And I think this is one of the things that when we're talking about the way in which mindfulness relates to say leadership and business, because this is the world that you and I are in is bridging. Philosophy with the pragmatic. helping people with their businesses, helping leaders through understanding what we're talking about and, taking these concepts and embodiment practices and bringing this into the moment and, creating value from it.
This is where the key is, in my opinion, in opinion, because this is how to be completely courageous. In every moment of your life, because if you have already gone through the process of preparing yourself to die, just like a samurai who has gone through a training, not only with swordsmanship, but samurai were historically trained to let go and die before going into battle.
That way when they were in battle and their movements and their mindset was so precise because they were already dead. They experienced complete presence and calm because they weren't in a conflict with anything with they weren't in a conflict with the enemy. And so this is if you're someone who. It is an entrepreneur like CK and I work with, or a leader of some sort, just think about the way in which this is, going to impact your ability to function with your work and your career and your life, your personal life.
From a place of courage and strength and power, because you're not in some kind of a mental reaction to the circumstances of your life. And you're not afraid because the biggest fear of all the one of death has already been dealt with.
So let's make it a little bit more practical. If you don't
Conceptually, it's easy to say, yes, I'm going to die one day. I'm going to live courageously. Yes. And what are some of the steps that you may recommend for someone who is, may not necessarily have the psychedelic experience yet may not necessarily had the spiritual awakening experience eminent as necessarily have breath work experience yet.
What are some of the ways you can chunk it down for them, to actually. Truly embrace and surrender that, Hey, I'm going to die. And today I'm going to live let's fully as deeply as possible.
Yeah. So I use an acronym in my work of beats and beats is B E A T S and it stands for breath, energy, attention, talent, and service.
And so the reason why it used that acronym is because yeah, in every moment of our life, we are either on the beat or we are off the beat. when you are listening to say a musician, it's very obvious if they're on the beat or they're off the beat because. Musician is creating something auditory, which allows you to be able to hear that when you were doing athletics.
There's a rhythm going on. There's something that the, if a basketball team is experiencing a collective rhythm, as they are moving together, there's a beat that you can sense happening and their, energy and their attention. Is responding to that beat. So if you, we listen to music or if we see it in athletics, it's really obvious that there's this rhythm happening and people are in the moment or martial arts.
So you can see a rhythm occurring with people doing martial arts. And it's a very graceful and beautiful thing to watch. Now, what we don't realize is that we are experiencing a rhythm all the time within us. And around us every day, there's an inner beat happening. There's our heartbeat, but then there's also this sort of inner sense of rhythm that's occurring.
If you pay close attention to it. And there's also say you're in a boardroom. So you're working, you're having a meeting. There's a rhythm that, group has that, team has it. If you pay close attention to it, you can start to work with that rhythm and connect to it. Now, the breath like we're talking about earlier, connects you to the parasympathetic nervous system can actually to the Vegas nerve takes you out of that fight or flight stress response.
Now you're able to be more present. When you're more present, you can actually sense energy more. You can feel energy. You can feel not only your own energy, but you can also become aware of the energy of people who are also in your environment. We all know the experience of when we are relaxed inside of us, inside of ourselves.
We can pay better attention. We can observe what's going on in other people more. Because we're not in our own little head trip about what's going on. So we can actually feel our own energy and feel their energy better. Now, from there, your breath and your energy, these are in and of themselves.
Neutral energy without direction is just neutral, fun. Just sitting here and paying attention to the energy in my body. The energy in my mind, it's neutral. It doesn't have a direction. So from there, then I can choose with intention what my, where to place my attention. Not from a place of habit, but from a place of responding to what's occurring now in the moment.
So now we've got the be and the a of beats From there, I'm going to want to filter my attention through my talent, whatever that talent is. And then finally, that's, it's all done in the spirit of service because I'm serving others by doing so. I'm creating value from my presence, no matter what that is.
And something that a lot of people don't realize is just your simple being your present moment awareness. Just that alone is creating value. Just your ability to listen and pay attention is creating value. You could hang out with a monk in the room who says nothing. You could feel a tremendous amount of value from what they offer just by being present, not even saying anything.
Yeah. And so by using this beats acronym, What it helps people to do is remember that we have to get on the rhythm of what's occurring inside of us, around us and getting that there is a rhythm. And when you can connect it to your breath, energy conscious awareness with attention and your talents to be of service, it gets you out of your own head and into the moment to take action based on what your intention is.
thank you for sharing that. A quick story. So speaking of monks, before my first ayahuasca experience the plant medicine experience. I actually had the good fortune of meeting the Dalai Lama in close proximity. And it wasn't because of the things that he's saying, or he was saying that really moved me, was his presence really felt his compassion for.
The room. I really felt his compassion for his enemies. just the generosity that he share. So I started just weeping. And then to me it was shocking at the time. Cause almost, Android, I didn't cry. what is this thing coming out of my eyes.
yeah, so to your point, and then that actually started my own path and exploring.
ways of being, and compassion and generosity and, emotion this originally in missing, my, most of my life.
I love that. I love that. Yeah. That, the, what you speak or speaking to is just so powerful. We talk about, we give a lot of lip service to living from the heart, but.
There's a way to actually do it and we don't have to compromise. On our self protection. I think a lot of people will get in their heads because they think, I can't be in my heart, in this situation where you know, this, is a very important thing. I have to be very analytical and dah, and very serious in my disposition and so forth.
there myself. and, it's can we just relax? We just let go, let, go of the need to try to protect ourselves from anything. What are we trying to protect ourselves from? What on earth, and then what you realize is that an open heart actually already has its own protection.
It's already protected. It doesn't need the reinforcement of ego behind it to,
Can you say more about that? What do you mean open up his own protection?
Yeah, an open heart is, it has its own protection. It's not going to be, how often. Do people really take advantage of someone with an open heart?
How often does that really happen? Not as often. I think as one might think, I actually heard Gary V talking about this the other day. He was saying, people get this idea that if you're kind. And just open that people are going to take advantage of you. He said I never experienced that. Never experienced and kindness operating from a place of open-hearted kindness.
It's very disarming for people and people want to collaborate. They want to be on your team when you're coming at a situation from an open heart. They want to be able to engage with you because it feels good because they know you're going to be going for a win-win for them, whether they're on your team or whether they're, someone that you're considering doing business with and negotiating with, they can feel that you're coming from a genuine place of connection and, that you prioritize kindness.
You prioritize the noblest of human values, which is warmth and kindness. And yeah, it's very disarming. It's very disarming to people. Now this, if I'm coming from this space of, with my furrowed brow and my analytical mind, and I look of distant, you're going to be looking at that energy. You're going to be like, what is he going to be trying to get from me?
What is he? he's clearly got an agenda here because his energy is held back. he's back in his body, he's holding something he's stiff. But if I'm just, show up and open and opened my rib cage and let my heart breathe, be here with you. Now, we can just be together and realize that, business does not have to mean being closed off and cold at all.
In fact, I think that's a. I think hope. I'm hoping that we outgrow that paradigm of leadership of thinking that somehow corresponds with strong leadership. I think the strongest leadership comes through kindness and compassion and a genuine desire for everyone to end up in a better place than they started.
Yeah, beautifully said. we have the U S election coming up. So, in my mind, what is a great leader, someone with an open mind, open heart, straight spine in open hand, and really coming from service versus, what's in it for me.
So open heart,
open mind, open hand, and then straight spine.
that a lot in the straight spine being, taking responsibility for your own stature, both physically, mentally, and emotion personally,
and also what you stand for.
Yes. And what you stand for. Yeah. Yeah.
So for someone, again, I'm using the younger CK because target, Ho yearns to do more of that, we yearns to.
You'll have a more of open my open heart open hand, and then straighter spine. You're looking at Sam who embodies straight spine and open heart. What would you say to a younger CK like tactically, step-by-step, what can you do to try on really owning his values? What he stands for his boys and also his heart.
the first thing that I would ask that younger CK has, what's really important to him. What is his, if we, break down and we go beyond goals and we look at life purely from the place of intention, what is really most important to that? Young CK would be what I would want to know first and foremost.
I count is what's a successful life.
What feels, what makes life worth living?
in that response, I'm guessing there would be something beyond. Needing to prove oneself
that it would have something to do with joy and freedom and happiness.
And so then I would encourage that young CK to then look at what brings. Joy and freedom and happiness into life. And to really take a close look at it and to see whether or not it is the. Whether the mindset or what the young CK thinks is going to bring him greater joy, fulfillment, and happiness and freedom.
Whether that is actually, what's going to do that for young CK or not
right? Yeah. Because oftentimes we can mistake the strategy. For the experience and think, as long as I have this strategy in place, at some point I'll be happy. I will be, I will have more freedom. I will have more fulfillment.
So what do we do by doing that? I would try to, I would try to dig deep with young CK and look at well. with compassion, obviously, what are we actually doing by doing that? we're saying happiness is reserved for those who have been successful in their strategy. Happiness is reserved for those who have, followed there.
Strategy to a T and showing up with the discipline to do it every day and shut off their emotions and just swallowed their feelings and just grind their way through life and someday happiness and fulfillment and freedom will come. Now I would ask that young CK to actually look and see is that actually true?
Is shutting off your feelings, shutting off your emotions and just grinding your way through every day in order to experience what you think in your mind is on the horizon somewhere. Is that actually going to bring you more fulfillment? Is that going to bring you more of the happiness and freedom that you're actually seeking?
Because what I'd hope that young CK would be getting out of the conversation would be that he would then see that the patterns of thinking and behavior that are so rigid. Actually reinforce a rigidity. So that, day of fulfillment and freedom and happiness never truly comes and, more and more rigidity gets built into the system.
And then no matter how much money that young CK makes, no matter how much status that young CK acquires that goal of the fulfillment and the freedom and the happiness. Is always out of reach. In fact, those things that were supposed to bring more happiness, freedom and fulfillment. Now that young CK can see that they actually didn't do that.
So then he wondered if he's been lying to himself this entire time, or if he's been fed the wrong story, or if there's something wrong with him that he hasn't been able to experience the freedom, fulfillment and happiness.
Because everyone else on Instagram seems to get it
is everyone else on Instagram seems to get it right.
The meantime. like they say that the, neurons that fire together wire together, so what gets wired into the brain is that. Rigid strategy is the only way of getting to the freedom, fulfillment and happiness. Following that rigid strategy with discipline every single day is the only way of achieving some type of hypothetical outcome of freedom, happiness, and fulfillment.
And yet that's not led to that result. So then there's the conflict between that part of the brain going, wait a minute, I should have experienced some of this by now. But then, so then it's getting hardwired in. So then the dialogue becomes, I know this is the way that I'm supposed to proceed through life, to achieve freedom, happiness, and fulfillment.
And the other part is going well, bullshit. That didn't happen. And now you're just hardwired to think. That the more rigid you are, the more happier you're going to be, but it doesn't happen. So then it creates all this inner conflict that it creates all of the why, didn't I get there? What ha what happened in the meantime, there've been all of these incredible present moments that have been missed along the way, because it never was about getting to the destination.
It was about being more playful and creative. With the present moment experience that we're all having, because as cliche as it is to say, it's true, this moment right now is all that exists. So if I am postponing my happiness and fulfillment until some arbitrary deadline, when I have achieved some goals, I'm just.
Kidnapped my own happiness and fulfillment. And I've said to myself, I'll give that back to myself when I'm good and ready.
days of my youth have been recreated in this brief description.
And, and yeah, those are the dark nights of soul moments. What's it all for. Yeah. And, if not joy, ultimately.
Yeah. And it's, it's. so simple that I think that it's, it, comes off at an insult to the ego mind. The ego mind wants to make things so complicated, but yet it's so damn simple.
It's no, it's just, it truly is embracing that this moment is the only moment that we ever have. It's as simple as that, it's as simple as getting that every moment of our experience of life has happened through us. And that we've been, we haven't even been in control the whole time and flailing around trying to pretend we're in control.
But yet we've been divinely graced with being, and being supported by nature and supported by other human beings. We have all, every single one of us has been supported by thousands or millions of human beings and bacteria and all of these things that we don't even think of. We go through life thinking of Sam and CK and whoever is listening to this, John and Stephanie or whoever you are, go through life with these blinders on thinking that we are in control of these lives, how much control do we really have?
We're being supported by this whole ecosystem. Of the earth and of the collective consciousness and of people doing things for one another. I didn't make this t-shirt I didn't make these headphones. I didn't make this microphone. None of this stuff in my surroundings, did I have anything to do with, and yet here I am thinking that I am somehow in control.
I ended up nothing to do with any of this stuff, except for placing it in a certain orientation in this room.
and here I am benefiting from these microorganisms in my gut, people around the world who have been manufacturing things, creating things, ideas that have been passed on by great sages that I have internalized and made my own.
So little of it has anything to do with me instead. It's when I can really accept that, it's truly about letting go and accepting that divine grace is moving through all of us all the time. That's where the beauty really lies, but the ego hates that. Because it wants to prove that it was able to do things in some sort of special way.
Yeah. I'm the master of my fate out there. You tell me otherwise,
Okay. So let me, make it a little bit more practical for those who are listening to this. Thank you.
You can be my, ground to practicality. There you go.
They say that the mind is a terrible servant. Sorry, a great servant, but a terrible master. So what we're talking about here is ultimately the art of using this tool that we all have beautiful, powerful, very well developed, especially those who are listening to this podcast, They like to engage in intellectual. cognitive conversations as a way to exercise the muscle. That is the, so then, how do we use this tool? in a practical way, right? Cause we're not saying, the correct me if I'm wrong, Sam, we're not saying, Hey, just surrender our sovereignty. Go with the flow and, a hundred percent, we're not saying that we're also not saying to say total determinism, my will shall be done kind of a way.
And the answer is somewhere in the middle somehow.
That's right. The middle way. So
You share with us some practical ways to. You it's very powerful, this very potent tool that we do have, in such a way to create the life that we love.
Yeah. the, way the, practical way, let's just start by now, right now, just take a moment to imagine yourself in any given situation, say where you are experiencing a sense of conflict with.
Someone with another person. Now on the one hand you have what you want to communicate that is true for you. There is a, and this is important to, understand and to appreciate the fact that we are separate beings. That we are not merged into the, on, we are not merged into the same being you and your spouse view and your partner at work, whatever you're clearly not the same being.
However, there's a degree to which you are sharing in the same energy. Now a good way to work with this is to, sense it, as you, search your memory for an, experience that you've had, where there is conflict with someone feeling to what degree was that conflict either resolved or made worse by your focus?
On your separate perspective,
to what degree did you actually, and this happens with spouses all the time, where there's a right or wrong sort of a direction where it's I, want to be right and I want to make that person wrong because. This is, it's the protection of one's ego. And yet in that battle, how has that turned out any time that those battles have occurred?
How has that ultimately turned out? Probably not so well,
ego against ego
So rather than seeking understanding. No, the, reactive mind says I am seeking to be understood. That's what the reactive mind says. And I am seeking to have the person who is listening to me, understand me in a way in which it will shut them up so that they won't share their perspective with me.
And they'll agree that I was right. And then I will have one this conflict, and then we can move on. the child in us operates from that place frequently. All right. Used to do this a lot in my marriage. I'm no longer married, but, this came up frequently there whole right or wrong thing. Now, understanding the way in which that is feudal is essential.
No one has ever gotten anywhere through winning in a battle that is actually helped. Both parties come out on the other side with a better understanding of each other. There's no relating, that's actually occurring in those situations. Instead it's resorting to trying to protect one's perspective by separating from the other.
Now on the one hand, it's important to understand that we have boundaries and to be able to separate from the other. But the question then becomes where are we coming from? Are we coming from trying to be more right than the other person, or are we coming from truly trying to have an understanding and relate to the other person?
In a way where you let go of your agenda to be right and ultimately work on focusing on both people winning. Now, whether this is in a romantic partnership. Or whether this is in a business partnership, core founders, co-founders doesn't matter. The same rules apply. Yep. Question is, this is where, the rubber, the road with mindfulness and, emotional intelligence and, we can easily let our egos get in the way of our own best interest and feel as though we have to.
Protect our rightness. Yeah. And never actually come to a proper understanding of what's going on and then create ultimately dissonance in the relationship. That can sometimes never heal. Yeah. Whether it's a romantic partnership, whether it's co-founders or whatever, you may, even in that conversation, that one CRA conversation of trying to be right, trying to win over the other person.
You may create dissonance that takes days, weeks, months, years, or forever to actually heal. Yeah. Whereas if you just take the Mo a moment to check in with yourself and really sense, am I truly present with this person or am I trying to be smarter than them or be more right than them? If I truly check in, am I truly going for a win-win that's Hey, you're saving yourself so much time, so much energy, potentially money.
there's so many things that you're at risk of losing in those types of conflicts, just because the ego tried to take over and win the argument.
Yeah. Very, rich topic to dive into. reflecting on my own personal experience, as well as seeing other clients experience. if I look, at a simple model of ego against ego, Then it's a matter of who's, But if I actually add into a third entity and a relationship marriage, a business, a partnership, whatever, a friendship, whatever that may be, then it's less to me anyways, is less about ego against ego. It's about how do we nurture the third entity?
I like that.
And, then, also, for the first sentence of the doubter gene came to mind, the way that can be spoken of is not the eternal way.
So SIM simply said, truth can not be described or articulated
Truth can be felt, but it can be. By described by words, right? That's the alpha and Omega. So, in my mind,
truth is not a fixed entity,
correct. In my, how I'm going forward in going to any future potential conflicts or point of discussion.
I'm going to be thinking about, it's not about getting to the truth with words rather. It's. Describing around the truth and in it, the discussion, truth can be felt and be palpable and hopefully, talking to Chris boss soon, negotiator that we all with something that's negotiated, that could be even better.
What either side thought about the beginning.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, no one image comes to mind and that it is when you, say you see people practicing martial arts and they're really practicing it. Yeah. As a spiritual discipline, there's never any antagonistic relationship with the enemy, ultimately it's like a dance.
You want to dance. And one of the people is going to be defeated in the dance, but done so with great respect and honor, in fact, there's a great, trying to remember the, the movie. It's a famous movie where there's a Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris fight scene. And Bruce Lee defeat, Chuck Norris and.
He you, could see, he clearly has honor and respect for him. And that I think is so key at true genuine honor and respect whether that is trying to, navigate through or, a. Tough communication in a relationship with your partner or spouse, or whether that is working with some sort of no negotiation or co-founder or whatever on your team.
If you can approach it as essentially a dance of two people where there's no winner and there's no loser, you just want to work with as much grace as you possibly can. And as much honor and respect for the other as you possibly can versus trying to defeat them. When I studied, Aikido I had to really learn how to back off from trying to defeat my partner.
I remember my sensei would come up to me and say, it's not about power over the other. It's about efficient use of the energy that's already present here between you. It's about, it's not about the goal is not to defeat the enemy. The goal is to manage the energy effectively with presence. And so I had to, as this big six foot three guy, I just wanted to I thought this was fun.
I'll get to beat people up, having no idea that wasn't what it was all about at all. And then ultimately seeing the ICO is much more of a dance in the more connected and centered one can become in that the more powerful they actually become. It actually translates into having greater strength.
Because you're not in a place of trying to force yourself against the opposition. You're there in a interactive play with the quote unquote enemy.
So circling back to your origin story of experiencing a tragic accident and allowing it to catalyze. It's to be the beginning of your life's work. What would you say to someone else who is on their path to discover their life's work?
Should they look for, Some great tragic suffering or, are there ways that they could do to
I'm personally, always trying to save people from, I don't know, nothing can save people, but I'm trying to the, to ultimately see how much suffering I can spare people from by seeing that you can get, You can get the wisdom without the trauma and,
challenge a loving challenge by the way, point of philosophical question that I have,
could you really acquire the wisdom without the pain?
I'm not saying without pain, because I think every one of us goes through pain. maybe just to try to, maybe something trauma as severe as, paralysis, maybe I'm, talking about trauma in a pretty severe level at the moment, but yes, I think you're absolutely right. And with pain comes, awareness comes wisdom and, One of the things that I would, suggest to anyone listening to this who is looking to find more of a sense of purpose, connection, et cetera. I like to use this term experiential resume. If you look at your life as everything that you have been through, especially the wounds, the psychological wounds that you've experienced that have where you have felt.
Separate from others and you felt, disconnected or whatever. If you look at everything as having value for the experiential resume, it's there that one begins to discover one's uniqueness and, in certain respects, I'm not unique. I'm certainly not the first person in a wheelchair to be helping people with empowerment.
That's for sure. And I'm certainly not the first person first Western mind to be trying to translate the Zen and Taoists practices into modern day practical advice. Not at all. However, The particular circumstances of my particular life have given me my own experiential resume that cannot be copied by anyone else.
And it's in that experiential resume that we all possess that we have our own unique genius, that no one can copy because they haven't had the experiences that we've had. Look at that, look at the, your experiential resume. Look at the education that you have received as a person that you couldn't, and that it could not have come through academic credentials or anything like that are purely as a result of how you have become you.
Yeah. Beautifully said, I want to underline this point a bit for younger Sam, younger CK, whoever was listening in maybe doubting themselves. Hey, I'm not as good looking as Sam, I don't, I'm not riding on a wheelchair. That doesn't make me believable as a, someone to support others. I'm just making things up.
But the reality of it is you are truly a unique snowflake, and I almost say it in with it is empowering context because all of your, upbringing, your parents, your education, your experiences, all of your, triumph and all of your failures that brought you. Today here. And, there's wisdom to share to others who are on this path, who may look to you and say, Oh, I want to be like you as well.
and then the reason why I keep referring to the younger CK and the younger Sam is because I know the younger CK will love to have. This type of inspiration, this type of mental model, this type of action or tactics as a way to helping create new ways of living new ways of being you, ways of action, right?
That I would've loved to pay tons of money for,
at least minimally one person. The younger version of you will want the wisdom that you have
right now beautifully said. Yeah, beautifully said.
I know that, you have some time constraint, are you open to some rapid fire questions and we can complete
Yeah. Throw them at me.
Cool. What is your definition of purpose?
My definition of purpose is, that's a great, question.
My definition of the purpose of purpose is co-creating meaning along with the divine.
Thank you. What's your definition of fulfillment?
Co-creating fun. Along with the divine.
What's your definition of wealth?
My definition of wealth is
an awareness that our needs are always taken care of.
Thank you. And, to, the reason why we circulate around the topic of spirituality, ultimately to me, the younger version of me really wanted some rational answers and why. I should feel psychological safety and I want it, I wanted, evidence to support psychological safety. But, the whole idea of spirituality that really got me to this ease, this inner peace, this inner calmness I finally got was well.
Ultimately I'm going to die. And so all those concerns and worries about, it's ultimately for not. So I might as well relax.
So there you go. Yeah. said,
what do you do to not take yourself too seriously?
try to be around entertaining people and try to also entertain myself. That's what I do.
I, and, it's very easy to take oneself too seriously in this world that we live in, especially, it feels like in this day and age, people are taking themselves more seriously than ever. Yesterday on Facebook. I, posted something. I said, I voted for your mom.
It's just I'm so sick of all of the battles you got to get out there and vote.
You need to, yeah, sure. Yeah, that's true. But let's, also realize. let's, remember the absurd here, guys, please. let's just
so speaking on that, what have you realized as an illusion in the last year, in year 2020?
I realized as an illusion in the best year? Yeah.
One of the things that I've realized that it's an illusion in the past year is that, that our freedom of speech that we, have in this country is a lot more fragile than I think any of us have been realizing. Yeah. The freedom of speech itself is an illusion. At least in our modern world.
Yeah. I recently listened to conversation between Tristan Harris and Joe Rogan and a filmmaker who did, who made social dilemma. Yeah, definitely. It's something for all of us to think about. there it's quite illuminating. Yeah. Technology in these platforms and, ultimately, freedom of speech, as you said,
Yeah. I'm very disturbed about what's happening with cancel culture. Yep. Topic for another conversation.
Yeah. So Sam, I want to acknowledge you for the willingness to come on my show and just dance without. A safety net. Yeah. Yeah. Really what we're going to be talking about, really appreciate you sharing.
That's the way I like it. And
your origin story. Sorry. You share with us how you strengthen, open heart, open mind, open hand, and straighten our spine. You share with us a lot of tactical tools. So thank you. Just know, being a Zen warrior embodiment that we can all be. Little bit freer, a little bit trader and a little bit more courageous in living the life that we want to live.
And through this rollercoaster, this fun ride called the human life.
I'll see. Kay. I've really enjoyed the conversation. I knew I was going to enjoy it a lot.
I could go another two hours, but being cognizant of your time, it was certainly a window on the next time.
Thank you. Sounds good. All right. Take care.