davidji: a master storyteller and a beautiful wordsmith (#312)

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Our guest today: davidji

davidji has dedicated his life to teaching people to connect to the stillness and silence that rests within to help them heal their heart, find their voice, & step into their power. Known as the Velvet Voice of Stillness, he’s recorded over 1300 meditations & is the author of 3 global best-selling books. He created the Meditation Academy to certify teachers & transform people into Rockstar meditators. davidji is a certified Vedic Master, a registered yoga teacher & a certified Ayurvedic healer.

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Live with davidji @davidjimeditation: The Five Secrets to Awakening Your Transformation – powered by Happy Scribe

Alright. Hi everyone. This is Fei from FeisWorld Media and today I have David Ji joining me.


Hello. I’m so excited. For some of you who don’t know David G as well, I’m going to just do a very quick intro and I’ve also included links in the description below for you to check out his books and you know, his profile, Inside Timer, where I have followed him for years. So David G. Has dedicated his life to teaching people to connect to the stillness and silence that rests within, to help them heal their heart, find their voice, and step into their power. So there is a longer intro that I’ve included, but I just want to take a moment and express my gratitude to you, David G, that you came into my life six years ago in 2016 when I first discovered the Inside Timer app. And my life hasn’t been the same. And as a creator, based on what I just said in a couple of sentences, I feel like you’re one of the very most important people who helped me find my stillness, find my voice, my creativity, and really be here to play the long game. So thank you so much.

Wow. Well, thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here with you. And so thank you for inviting me. It’s my pleasure and my joy to be here.

I am so privileged because typically when I invite someone I love admire on the show, sometimes it’s the first time ever for me to meet them on screen or to have a chat. But the reality is that you and I have connected twice face to face like this. But I feel like your voice has been echoing in my head for six years. And as I’m posting this live stream, I found out that, you know, there are some of my followers who have been listening, learning from you, from the Heyhouse radio days. And that was really surprised me. So you have a very wide reach there. What is it like to be kind of a celebrity is not maybe not the right word, but the way that I feel like you are seen is you’re one of the most known, well known meditation teachers out there. What does it feel like?

Feels great. Feels great. It’s a little weird when I’m in the supermarket because I have to put on a hoodie and glasses. Being a masked up was great for two years because whenever I’m in the supermarket, some supermarket doesn’t really even matter where, but or in a restaurant, people always want to take pictures of what’s in my cart or what I’m eating. They’re like, oh, I don’t want to take a selfie with you, I just want to take a picture of what’s in your cart. Like, whatever. Okay, so it’s great. I know I’m a little weird looking and so I think everyone who pays attention to me sort of like embraces my cookie.

People who follow you love a lot of these things. Pretty much, I think, all of you and that level of uniqueness and I think selfacceptance. And I don’t think I ever felt like you created this persona more as I’ve always felt like it’s always been part of you. Am I correct, or you’ve come from a very different background?

Well, I learned to read very early on. My mother had a Ouija board, and so we actually used a Ouija board for reading. And my mother was an artist, a sculptor, and a painter. And so at an early age, she was bringing me to the New York Philharmonic and all the great museums in New York. And I really headed off in a direction where I was going to be either a philosopher or a writer. Those are the two things that I took when I went to philosophy and literature in college. But when I came out of college, my first job was as the director of public information for the Skin Cancer Foundation. So I learned everything about skin and skin cancer. A little weird, but one of the perks of that job was that I was given all these amazing creams that were very, very expensive. So any time I was hanging out with anyone, whether it was my grandmother or on a date, I would be like, oh, by the way, I have some special cream for your face to make you stay younger or look younger. So that was fun. But very quickly, I asked for a raise at some point, and they were like, yeah, in five years, we’ll give you a raise.

And I was making, I don’t know, probably like $14,000 a year or something like that, a nonsustainable lifestyle. And so then I got involved. A friend of mine said, hey, you know what? I’m a bond trader, and why don’t you become a bond trader? And I’m like, okay. So I did that. And that just led me off into a very, very deep world of fixed income securities and mergers and acquisitions. I was a mergers and acquisitions advisor for a bunch of years, worked in our old trade center, worked with Aon company that still exists. And then at a certain point, all that ended, and I had it off on my own little journey of Eat, Pray, Love without the eating or the love. Just a lot of prayer. And it sort of got me on this path. When I was in college, I took an experimental Asian Studies course, and that was great. That really locked in my meditation practice. I understood the mechanics and certainly from a certain perspective, really grew to love that. But it was a Zen meditation. Our teacher was a Zen master, and so we were instructed to we just really just meditated most of the time, but we were instructed to raise our hands when we had a thought.

And in his hands, he carried an 18 inch bamboo stick known as a quesaku. And so when we raised our hands, he would actually come over and thwack us on the back. Now, in our society these days, that’s like a $20 million lawsuit. I could have been set if I knew that. But instead, I dropped the class and moved on. And so I loved meditation. Got into candle gazing and Vipassana and mindfulness and mantra and tantra, got into chocolate tasting meditation, which is really, you know, I still practice that one to this day. And for me, that was pretty amazing. And then as I got more deeply involved in the corporate world, that whole thing just vanished in my life. It was gone. So I figured, okay, also what was gone was balanced in my life. I was very, very aware of that. And so I was very reactive. I felt empty. I felt hollow. And in the wake of 911, I worked on the 82nd floor of Tower Two for a bunch of years. And in the wake of 911, I was walking past a row of cardboard boxes that people were living in in southern Manhattan.

And this guy pulled me into his box. As I walked past this box and peered into my eyes, and he said, what’s going to be on your tombstone? It was a fairly reflective moment. I call those butterfly moments, because in that moment, it seemed like eternity. And it was probably three minutes where we had this dialogue. All the traffic stopped, all the people stopped. All the sound stopped. Every single thing stopped. We were, like, timeless. And who knows what even that was? Was that God speaking to me through some person? Was that this person who was here, a buddy, satva disguised as a person living in a cardboard box? Don’t know, but that’s really where I what is it going to be, a mouth tombstone? Tears are screaming down my face. I was hyperventilating. My knees were weak. And so I just set it off on my own little journey to find all the answers. Searching for the guru. Ultimately. Went to India for six months, searching for the guru. Went up to visit His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. And Darm Salah? He wasn’t there that day. Traveled to the south, bathed in the Ganges meditated, practiced yoga, read the Bhajida every single day.

Got a whole bunch of bug about dietas right here, by the way. Just a few mixed in with the four agreements anyway. And it was really why I was laying in a hammock in a cashew forest in Terrala reading the Bhagavad Gita for the 500th time, where I read chapter two, verse 48, where God Krishna says to Arjuna, the greatest warrior of all time, who’s had a crossroads in his life. There I was in my life, and, you know, Arjun is asking God, these are the first conversations with God, around 300 BC. How am I supposed to live my life? How am I supposed to walk through the world? And Krishna God replies, kogan stock ru karmani. Establish yourself in the present moment and then perform action. And that hit me like a lightning bolt. And that was just like that’s it. And so I’ve been, you know, that was my AHA moment. The guru rests inside. Here. I was searching all these months for this external thing, but the guru rests inside. In fact, the answer is to every single question we could ever ask rests inside. We just have to quiet ourselves down enough so we can hear the whispers of our heart.

So we can hear the whispers of the divine. And so that’s been my quest sort of, kind of ever since.

My goodness. When I read about your experience in New York, working in banking and bond trading, I was so blown away. And now you put a timeline to it right around 20 00 20 01 that’s mindblowing because mindblowing because I think of you as someone who’s kind of always lived this life. First of all, I think a lot of people haven’t really asked or fully understand what David Jean means. Actually, I still didn’t look close enough to realize. How did the name come about? Is there a meaning? Is it a construct to it?

Yeah, funny enough. So after I got back from India, I was just like, sitting and meditating for like six or 7 hours a day is what I was doing. Living in bliss. Like, living in a cave might as well than living in a cave. And a few of my friends came over to have an intervention with me. He said, Dude, all you do is sit around and meditate. I was like, I know.

It’s amazing.

Like, no, you actually have to go back to work. You actually have to do something with your life. Why don’t you teach people to meditate? And I was like, come on, guys, I’m from Queens. I don’t care about any of this meditation. So they were like, well, don’t think of it altruistically. Think about like, if you really want to learn something, learn to teach it. So why don’t you become a teacher? And so they said, I bumped into Deepak Choke right after 911. I’d gone to a meditation retreat in Oxford, England. There was supposed to be thousands of people, but no one was flying because 911 to them. There were only 50 of us there. And so it was really I didn’t know this, but attending that course was requirement number one for being certified by Depot. And I was like, okay, so they said, there’s a part two. You could go right now, see the chipper. It’ll be like a thousand people there. You’ll get your part two and then you’ll get certified. And then you’ll like, you know? And I was like, I don’t care about anyone else’s meditation. I don’t want to teach anybody else, honestly.

I just want to take my meditation to the next level, let me learn meditation from the inside out. So I went to this event in California, and there weren’t a thousand people there. There were only 30. And it was at that event they were asking everybody what they did in a previous life and what you do. And I was like, oh, I sort of, like, turn around companies. That’s sort of, like, kind of what I do. And so in the middle of a meditation on day two, deepak approached me and said, like, hey, we’ve got our CFO here and our CEO, Dr. David Simon, my partner, and maybe you’d want to work with us? And so I was like, oh, okay. Anyway, bunch of back and forth. And that day, I was offered the job to run the Choker Center to be at COO. And so now I have, like, two parts of the meditation thing. I stayed there, got certified, helped, turned that business around, ultimately became the lead educator there. And then I was appointed the Dean of Chopper sector University. And every day I either taught meditation or studied, really got taken under the wings of Deepak Chopra and Dr.

David Simon, who are my Deep mentors at the time, and got to apprentice under them for a decade. And that sort of put me on my path. At a certain point, I was like, you know what? Time to leave. Time to, like, fly out of the nest, do something on my own. And so I began teaching in hospitals, in prisons and schools, began teaching members of the military, began working with law enforcement, started my own teacher training. And that’s what I’ve done for the last that was 2012, when I sort of launched out. And here we are a decade later. I seem to, like, roll in decades. And so decade later, this is what I do. I teach people to connect to the stillness and silence that rests within so they can make better choices in their life.

I have so many questions around your journey. I did read about Chopra at Center, I think right around 2012 when you left. And we love the journey that you’ve taken on your own.

The name so after I’m working, I go down rabbit holes a lot.

No worries.

I like that. After, like, a few weeks of working at the Choker Center with Dr. David Simon really being attached to his hip, he’s a guy who really opened the door to me for Buddhist teachings and Sufi teachings, and we would read back and forth about gita to each other every day. And he opened my eyes to Sanskrit and heart opening and just like, a whole bunch of stuff that I had not really been spending a lot of time on in my life. And I’m hanging out my office one day, there was, like, David’s office, Deepak’s office, and I was right next to them, and suddenly they both come in and they go, hi, we have a bit of an issue here. We need to change your name. And we decided your new name is David G. And I said, Why? And my name was Ditton Was at the time, David. And they said yes. We decided to change the name from David to David G. Because David Simon, every time someone says David, you both whip your heads around and they’re really probably looking for you. And he’s finally irritating, okay, you’re naming me because someone’s being irritated.

I get that. I said, like, David G. Like in Twelve Step programs where you put the last initial after they go, no, no, david J I. Because in Hindi, ji means beloved. Ow. That’s so perfect. Because my mother named me David. Because in the Bible, that means beloved. So I’ll be beloved. Beloved. And that was 2003. July 14. Bastille Day. Liberation Day. And so I was like, okay. And I’ve kept that name ever since. That changed all my IDs and my credit cards. And it’s a pain in the neck when you buy something online because they’re always looking for a last name. It’s just like I’ll put in, like, meditation as my last name or a period or space for something like that. But that’s how I’ve rolled since, I guess, for 20 years now.

You don’t have a last name? You let go of your last name.

Yeah, sort of like Rihanna and Madonna. Yeah, Madonna. Whatever.

Wow, that’s incredible. It’s so funny. Jennifer Young is, like, hearing the story for the first time as well. I’m kind of stunned. And part of me, I was like, oh, can I actually ask the question? I was thinking, Gee, maybe means teacher. Someone you look up to was like, sifu or in Chinese. And, yeah, David G makes a lot of sense. I noticed that during our live session with 150 other people just less than a week ago, there are also people who are trying to ask you the question. We’re trying to pronounce it correctly, and it was fascinating. I love the origin story. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

And I don’t really care what people call me. Lots of people call me David. And it’s like, Listen, my mom called me David, so I’m okay with someone calling me David. Some people call me David. I’m like, okay, that sounds cool. I’ll take David. But the people who are really close to me call me DG. That’s sort of like my nickname. So one of my students that have studied with me, or people who have hung out with me, call me DG or just G. But in all these deep ancient wisdom traditions, you never call yourself G. That’s something someone else calls you. So the fact that I am David G really bristles some people because to a certain extent, it means, like, revered one. And, like, who am I to be calling myself revered one. So that’s why I made it David G with a small D instead of a capital D, cause I’m not the beloved, I’m beloved.

The beloved. I love it. And I think I have a few Japanese friends who always introduce me to others or even their kids as Faison von Sauce. It’s just really interesting adding that to the name. It actually feels very different. And I love, I’ve taken notes based on a lot of your teachings and one of the things you said recently in front of a crowd is living on a higher vibration. And something about it that I just love because I would love for you to say more about it, because I think I interpret it in my own way and just by hearing that phrase just makes me feel at ease, like I’m walking on cloud or something. Yeah. What does it mean to you?

Well, highest vibration always wins. And what does that mean? It’s actually a property in physics. It’s called entrainment. We see it with dolphins traveling in a pod. They all entrain each other. They send out the sending out all these signals and the rest of the pod just flows with them. We see it in birds in flight, certainly pelicans and Canadian geese, when they’re flying in a V formation, this one at the head, he’s pulling the weight for everyone else when he or she gets tired, travels to the back and then drafts on the collective and just pulls along. We see it with, I don’t know, we see it with ducklings and geese. The baby geese, the baby ducklings, they’re following close behind. If the duck or swan or whatever heads off in another direction, most of them will just like curve. There’s always one is going to straggle off in some way, but in trimming is real. And suddenly they get pulled along. So everything is energy. And the highest vibration always wins. And if we can cultivate our own internal vibration, then we will raise the world around us. And if there are others who are vibrating at a higher level than we are, let’s surrender and allow them to bring us up.

We know what low vibration is. Low vibration is when you’re living in a state of trauma or pain, or you’re tired, or lazy, or high, or sick. And we know what low vibration is. We can see it if other people are living from a place of fight or flight, or have deeply seeded anger. And so I believe that through not just meditation, because meditation alone, I don’t believe really accomplishes what we wanted to accomplish. Meditation alone really helps you on a physiological basis, lowers your heart rate, lowers your pulse. The benefits that it brings to your autonomic nervous system and to your prefrontal cortex, which is our executive decision making, we know all those benefits. Helps you sleep better at night, perhaps makes you a little more patient. But I believe also studying the ancient wisdom teachings helps us formulate a code that we live life by. And all these ancient teachings tell us to level up to yoga, STAQ, ru, karmani, get still, and then be brilliant. And so I believe that we all can be on a quest to raise our vibrations consistently. Just elevate, elevate, elevate, elevate. Maybe not one day after another, but ideally we’re vibrating at a higher level than we were last week or last month.

And I believe that’s a journey that we all take. And I think that combined with a daily meditation practice is like, that really gives us all the stuff that we need to awaken our best expression, our best version, which is always inside of us, but often dormant.

Oh, I love what you’re saying here because I remember just first hearing your voice, I think I was in not only I was in a unique situation, I was kind of stressed out working on consulting in 2016. But something about your voice just pick me up. There’s a level of authenticity that is kind of indescribable. So I do encourage people to find your voice anywhere they can find it. I love whichever recording studio you’re in. It just it really amplifies your voice without manipulating it, if that makes sense. But I also want to inquire the fact that it’s something that I feel like, personally, I struggle with that I have reached a point where there is financial stability. I live in a comfortable home, I feel safe, and I can support my mom, pay her bills. I’m just like operating at a level I never thought it was possible. And I get to work on projects related to childhood cancer, palliative care, all the things that I truly care about. And I know it makes a difference. Yet it’s the time I’m our summit is this Saturday that I’ve been working tirelessly around the clock for the past month, but I still find myself first thing in the morning checking my phone.

I’m working a lot of hours. I’m meditating very inconsistently. Usually when I go to sleep, before I go to sleep, and I wonder, energy wise, I just find you as someone who can read people really easily. So I love to use myself as a guinea pig of a lot of people in my situation, knowing that they should relax more, finding their higher vibrations. There are certain aspects of myself I’m not sure if I love, which is the overworking, the over stimulated, sometimes dissatisfied with progress version of myself. And I would like to change that. Even that means baby steps and paying attention to self care. But I think people misinterpret self care. Not sure. Like, self care. It says the umbrella statement is like, how do I actually achieve that? How do I know that now in my late thirties, I really want to make a difference? As opposed to, oh, when is this ever enough?

Well, I don’t know when it’s ever enough, you’ll take your last breath and then you’ll go, oh, I guess it’s enough. So I don’t know that we want to go, like, done, okay, it’s going to take me away, but let’s look at that. The thing we should not be seeking is to be stoners, sitting on a couch and streaming all day long. I mean, that’s fun. I love it. I try to get at least 4 hours of eating a day, but I think it’s very important actually. Here. You need to put your head down. Faye, this summit is important to you, and it’s going to touch perhaps hundreds of thousands of people and then be something that’s up on the insight timer, platform or dashboard for a while to come, I’m guessing. I don’t really know anything about it and what their plans are for it in the future. But then when you’re done, when you’ve put in that last keystroke, that’s when you need to that’s when you need to celebrate. So the answer isn’t I should back off because that’s like a really hard thing and I’ve been really working really hard. It’s Bhagavadgita 47 says we have total control over our own actions.

There are no control over the fruit of those actions. So the ancient teachings truly tell us like, oh, guess what? Show up and do the thing for the things sake, not with your concern about the outcome of that a great translation by this guy. This is the Bhagavad Gita as it is by AC Baptiva Dante Swami Prabhupada. His translation of chapter two, verse 47, contains a line that I’ve never seen in anyone else’s translation. And I’ve read hundreds of different translations of the gita. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your action and never be attached to inaction. So there are three things. Don’t get caught up in the fruit since you have no control over the fruit. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your actions. Essentially, show up and do your work selflessly without, you know. And number three, never be attached to in action. So these ancient teachings don’t tell us to like, sit in a cave and like, let the world go by. These ancient teachings tell us, apply yourself, lean in hard, do your work, yoga, Takaru, Karmai. Get still and then be brilliant and then let it go.

Whatever you’ve done, you know, it’s like a kiss. You know, it’s like a kiss. We could want to, like, lay a kiss on someone and we could feel that passion burning in our toes and it moves up into our ankles and then into our legs and then into our hips. And it’s like building up that passion for that kiss. It’s getting steamy as it moves into our torso and then moving up towards our lips. It’s getting hotter and hotter and hotter, and then we leave that kiss on. We don’t control what happens on the other side of that kiss. Someone could check their watch or someone could swoon. We don’t control that. We only control the kiss. So bring the best kiss possible, and I’d say, show up and do your best and then celebrate. You’ve done all that hard work and let go of outcomes.

I just need to take a moment for all that. Just thinking it is so liberating to hear that, because you’re right. In the past year, I’ve been told to help moderate and teach people how to run Zoom memorials and Zoom funerals. I was so nervous. It was unlike any other events, and there were a lot of needs and all that. Things could go wrong. But you’re right. Just by showing up, which is according to Cess code, is 99% of the work. Whatever the outcomes, why attach ourselves to it? Why anticipate it so much so in a way that paralyzes us.

And we can use meditation as a tool to help us introduce a Pattern Interrupt. So when we find ourselves talking harshly or not being kind to ourselves, we’re beating ourselves up. We’re not applying the self care that we actually need, whether that’s walking outside in nature, whether it’s getting a massage, whether it’s retail therapy, whether that’s singing a song or dancing around, or whether that’s going off into some creative area, whatever that is. We need to celebrate. We spend so much time in the alternative to that when stuff goes wrong. Oh, my God, we get so wrapped up in the, oh, my God, I suck. And then we beat ourselves up and replays and we ruminate, and it goes on forever. We need to offset some of it, at least, with a little. Let me be the first to tell you, even though you’re not finished yet, congratulations. What a great job you’ve done on the Inside Timer Summit.

I love it. I have a meeting with Maddie in a few hours. I’m going to celebrate with her even before the event. And it’s so true. There is so much to celebrate. Celebrate. All the videos are done, everything is so beautifully done, and we’re looking for every last error and all that, but oh, my God. Thank you. Thank you, Davidji. It means so much for that to come from you. And you’re going to be an event that I absolutely look forward to for the summit. You mentioned something pattern interrupt. I have to interrupt you by bringing that up because ever since you notice in a conversation with me, I was trying to recall some details, and then it went away and it came back literally within a few days of that. I saw in live action on zoom. It happened to so many other people. Could you explain to us what Pattern Interrupt means and how people can maybe use that to their advantage?

It’s just a break in the action. It’s just the time in, which is a term coined by Andy Kelly. The Boston Buddha. Dear friend of mine. We think that the harder we concentrate, the better the solution will be. And that can work to a certain extent. Maybe in the first few steps of trying to find a solution, maybe we set the trajectory. But at a certain point, when we hit that blockage or that constriction, and we all do in so many different ways, we can’t find the right words or we can’t find the right solution, or we’re sort of like lost in the past, literally and figuratively, of our journey in life. We think, well, let me work harder. I mean, we were trained. That’s really what the problem is. We were trained that in our society, wherever you grew up, that’s what you as you came out of the womb, they whispered into your ears how it works. Focus and effort. If it’s not working, focus more. Still not working. More effort. That’s it. That’s what we were taught. Now get out there. But the reality is, that’s not how our brain works. Our brain gets tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter and tighter.

And what’s supposed to happen, we’re like, these things are supposed to come together, but as we get tighter and tighter and tighter, it’s like these things are coming together. And we’re like, that’s not firing accurately. There’s some disconnect there. And if we can take a pattern interrupt of some sort, oh, what’s that over there? Then we come back how we’re supposed to. So introducing a break in the action helps us choose another outcome. In between stimulus and response, there is a space. Mike DeFranco famous quote, in that space rests our ability to choose. In that choice lies our freedom. So if you go into the refrigerator, go in the freezer at 11:00 at night to tank up on some ice cream, just taking a pattern to interrupt, which could be we’ll do it right here. Close your eyes right now and take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose and watch it go down into your belly. Hold it when it gets there, and just watch it. Keep holding it. Keep observing it. Keep witnessing it. And now release that breath and watch it as it moves up your chest, through your throat, out through your nose or mouth.

Keep excelling and keep watching that breath. Keep observing it. Keep holding it out until it dissipates into the ethereath normally. Open your eyes. So in those 16 seconds, that was 16 seconds, by the way, we’re about nowhere between 15 and 17. In those 16 seconds, if you were playing along and you were playing along, you are thinking about that other thing. So if we can do something like that right before we go deep on some Ben and Jerry at 11:00 at night, which we never need, if we can do that right before we drink something or get high or do whatever, or eat the second dessert, we can go on and on with how we can apply this. Certainly in a recovery situation or a twelve step program, something that we’re addicted to, but also in how we respond and how we treat other people and how we converse with other people. If we can just take a break, we’ll be better listeners of life. We’ll listen to that space inside where we have a choice. It’s like, oh, I don’t need to eat ice cream at 11:00 at night. I don’t need to cut that person off while they’re speaking.

I could listen to them finish their sentence. Maybe there’s something special that will happen there. We can apply this in so many different ways. There’s so many different situations. And we’ve all done that. We’ve all been watching TV and we’re like, oh my God, it’s that guy, that actor. He’s the guy who was in that thing. And what’s the name of that movie that he was in? I don’t even remember that. He was in that thing with that other guy and suddenly someone says, hey, you want some liquid? Like, yeah. Oh, Ray Liotta. So it’s like, boom. By actually pulling back and stepping away, whatever that constriction was, just eases up a little bit. And allows us to come together a little more elegantly with our next thought, with our next action, with our next choice.

I love that and I feel like we can build it in there. Consciously taking who doesn’t have 15 seconds to take two breaths? And I love I have a little trampoline at home and I love it. It’s from Bella Kogan German maid. And I remember just even bouncing on it for a few minutes and then coming back to work. I feel like a very different person. Same thing with stretching or we’re playing picking with a guitar. I’m not very good at it, but just play for five minutes and then going back to whatever. The work I’m doing is very transformative. But what’s the difference between yeah, pattern interrupt versus distractions or lack of focus? Like, how do we how do we help young people or older people, older adults understand the differences?

Yeah. Well, sometimes distractions are helpful, sometimes they’re not. But again, when we’re bringing all our energy to find the solution to do this thing and we’re stuck, well, that’s the time for a pattern to interrupt. That’s the time for a break in the action. We need to give our brain a breath so that when we recollect, we recollect with a greater intention or higher likelihood of actually accomplishing our goal. Don’t confuse that with sadness that’s in your heart and running away from it, or very, very difficult decision that you have and just putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. That’s why I believe meditation can be such a powerful tool for that practice because it gives us just that moment, allows us to recognize that we are indeed the space between in that space. Our next choice could be anything. If we don’t allow that space, then our next choice is something from our conditioned bag of tricks. Like, these are the five ways I respond and that’s it. How do we solve a problem like that? It’s only going to be one of those five solutions. Usually it’s one. It’s like our default when this happens, I do that.

So how do we like expand our repertoire when we do that? By connecting to the stillness and the silence that rests within. Even if that 16 seconds, do that four times, it’s a minute. Do that 20 times, it’s five minutes. That could be the foundation of an entire meditation practice. That could be your ability to really connect to something so special. But you don’t know unless you’re willing to go there. That’s why a lot of people say, oh, I don’t have time. No, you specifically do have time. You don’t have time to not bring in other possibilities. We’re either going to live a conditioned life and then die, or we’re going to live a life of infinite possibilities where we keep exploring and growing. We’re going to die too. Like you get a choice. Do you want it to be like this, full and rich or do you want it to be stale and the same thing it was yesterday. It’s a choice. Everybody gets to choose that.

I love it. You don’t have time to not explore other possibilities. With that said, my goodness, I’m going to show you some hearts. Thank you so much. For anyone who is watching us. Absolutely love it. And I’m going to bring up a topic that is so important because I have a lot of chocolate at home and I always love chocolate. We can even griffon. Oh, speaking of which, I was just thinking I have to send you, David G some of my favorite chocolates if that’s okay with you.

And yeah, it’s one of those things that I never say no to. People send me chocolate and t shirts. Those are the two gifts that I’m always receiving and I always encourage people keep doing that. I’ll wear the tshirts and I’ll eat.

The chocolate phase World Tshirt with have you tried La Birdic before?

I’ve not oh my goodness.

Okay, that’s it. Alright, done. I want to talk about chocolate meditation for anybody who’s watching right now. Oh my God, what a treat. I have no idea what that is, but I’m all for it. It sounds like a great idea to me.

Yeah, well, it’s particularly great for someone who’s never meditated. It’s definitely great for a kid, but it’s also great for a geezer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re nine or 90, you can do a chocolate meditation. And the beauty is normally in any other meditation for thousands of years, there’s always been some kind of anchor or object of our attention in mindfulness practice. Is it’s paying attention to what is or following our breath or drifting our attention to a body part, to a body scan or something along those lines. The meditations, it’s a mantra. They’re open eyedrishdi meditations, where we put our attention on some external object. This walking meditation, there’s so many different types of objects of our attention. But imagine if you could take and obviously it’s better with high quality chocolate. Obviously, if you could take a piece of chocolate, even if you took a piece of hershey’s, if you’re going to slum it on that, it’s okay, same thing happens. But you use that as the anchor. Use that as the object of your attention, and you settle in, because comfort is clean, always comfort is clean. Always keep moving towards comfort during your practice, and you close your eyes, and you begin this whole thing.

If it’s wrapped, you just stay there, and you spend time and what’s the object of your attention? The sound of the unwrapping or the crinkling of whatever it’s wrapped in. If it’s unwrapped or as soon as it becomes unwrapped, then it’s about the aroma, and your eyes are closed, and you’re probably going to drift away to thoughts or sounds or physical sensations, and then you come back to the aroma, and then you break a little piece off, if you can, and then place that in your mouth and just hang out. Don’t. Don’t yomp. Yomp. It obviously, East Coasters are always going to, like, chew it really quick, just like they bite, ticks, but there’s someone else out there. Just allow that to sit in your mouth. And what happens is your body temperature begins to heat, whatever that chocolate is, and it begins to soften and then liquefy. And so as the texture is changing, so is the flavors changing. And so, yes, you’re going to drift away to all this other stuff. You just keep coming back to that whole transformation of the chocolate, and you stay there until it’s, like, fully liquefied and run down your throat.

And then you do the rest of it the same way. And you could stretch that out for, like, ten minutes most of the time, especially I was trained in New York, here’s how you eat a piece of chocolate. A piece of chocolate yomp done that’s. Like, who could even enjoy it at that point? You enjoyed it for, like, a flicker of a second. You spend time with a piece of chocolate for ten minutes. That’s sort of like a precursor and a great start to mindful eating, which most of us don’t really eat mindfully. We read while we’re eating, or we argue or talk or watch TV or something along those lines. But having a chocolate meditation, and you’re like, oh, I don’t have ten minutes to eat a piece of chocolate. Like, that’s the whole issue. Of course you do. Of course you do. You’re just not giving yourself permission to take ten minutes. You know, some of the most famous people in the world, and successful people in the world are meditators. Whether Steve Jobs is a meditator, oprah is a meditator, so many people who are, like, successful, and they’re practicing in the morning and in the afternoon.

So if they could spend 20 minutes here or half hour there, or 15 minutes there, you could spend ten minutes eating a piece of chocolate. So I think that really can teach us so many different types of ways to celebrate ourselves.

Wow. I think this is resonating with our live audience, but soon to be heard, I’m going to create these clips celebrating ourselves, celebrating our time together. I was so tempted to do it. These are not even the best chocolate. I have to go through this practice and I have to say that David sounds like you’re also an expert in chocolate, maybe food in general. Now I’m curious, what are your go to chocolates that gives you so much joy and what’s actually in your cart? You mentioned at the grocery store, people like to take pictures of your cart. Now I’m interested in what’s actually inside.

It’s nothing exciting. It’s just people intruding on my life. So there’s nothing really exciting in my cart. But they’re like, oh, you eat that? Oh, I thought you were this. I’m playing strong, but I’m not planning perfect. So suddenly, if you find me eating a pizza or that’d be a really good pizza, most of the time I’ll default to like, cauliflower crust or something like that with no cheese. But people are just curious. I remember I had a one out on my Heyhouse radio show. I got to interview like, everybody. So I interviewed Deepak and Don Miguel and Barbara DeAngelos and Shell Richardson and Mary and Williamson. So many people. I remember Barbara Daniels and I, we went so deep into the ancient teachings for like an hour. We explored the Bhagavad Gita and the teachings of the Buddha and Patanjali and the Maharaji, like, all this deep, deep stuff. And at the end of that, I got an email from someone that’s like, love your conversation with Barbara. Is she a vegan? And do you drink coffee? Really? That’s your takeaway? We spoke for a solid hour and that’s what you took away. What do we eat and drink?

Too hysterical. And so people are just curious about what other people do. I live in Carlsbad, California, which is 40 miles from north of Mexico, about 150 miles south of La. About 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Sweet mama. Oh, and about 3000 miles from Yufei, 3000 miles from Boston and New York. And there’s a place here called the French Bakery. And they make the most amazing chocolate truffles that are like, dusted with cacao powder. So even on that one, there’s, like, the bitterness of the cacao powder before you even get to the chocolate. So very intense.

I have to try out all these brands on your website, you should absolutely list your favorite chocolates. I feel like you have really embraced all the possibilities there. For sure. I want to respect your time, and I know we can talk forever, but there’s one area I just wonder if other people ever think about, which is your my goodness, what is in the word for it? Knowledge and deep expertise and comfort with Sanskrit. And I never heard anyone, not even, frankly, just people from India, people who have studied, who are Yogi or have studied the culture so deeply. I’ve rarely heard people outside of that training, that culture, to be able to speak so comfortably. And I always feel really quite blown away by it. So did you always learn languages very easily, or did you put an enormous amount of effort into learning, reading, writing?

No, I’m not great with a lot of languages. I speak a few languages really horribly mixed in with a lot of queens. But Sanskrit, I fell in love with Sanskrit about maybe 25 years ago just because the Sanskrit has not spoken. Sanskrit has not been spoken for 500 years of conversational. It was the primary language on the Indian subcontinent for thousands of years, and now it’s been replaced. It’s not ever spoken now and hasn’t since, I don’t know, 1300 perhaps. But now it’s been replaced by, I think, like 85 other dialects. So whether that’s Hindi or whether that’s Tamil or whether that’s Bengali, there are so many different dialects in there. And so I love the fact that I’d like going back to the ancient wisdom traditions because it’s not about politics and it’s not about culture wars, and it’s not about any of that. This is like the source material that existed so far before all this other stuff. And it’s not the language of the Buddha. The language of the Buddha is Pali, T-A-L-I. But Sanskrit has been going on since right around before then as well. And so the beauty of Sanskrit is that all the ancient teachings have a Sanskrit sort of correlation, at least, whether they’re written in Sanskrit or whether they’re written in a variation of Sanskrit.

And of course, there’s even wooden Sanskrit world. There’s classical Sanskrit versus more expanded Sanskrit. Like anything else, there’s fundamentalists, not fundamentalist. But I love that language because that language is like the foundation of so many words that we have in the English language. So it’s not that. It’s like, oh, it’s this weird thing because we think so nonchalantly about Latin and Greek as like, oh, these are the foundational elements. Oh, contraire. Sanskrit is the foundation for so much that we speak the word for fire. Well, there’s 14 words for fire in Sanskrit, but the word that gets talked about so much is certainly in Ayurveda is agni, AG N I, agni, which means you’re a digestive fire. It’s not the element of fire. The element of fire is cajos. If there’s like, a fire coming out of my palm, I’d say, Behold, cage us. So it’s not that, but Agnes is our digestive fire. It cooks all of our food and it cooks all of our emotions, and it cooks all of our life experiences. And we get the word ignite ignition from a simple word like agni, and suddenly you realize, oh, there’s like a whole bunch of stuff that we use in our basic English and French and Spanish romance language, parlance, which is not directly coming from Latin or Greek.

In fact, so much of Latin and Greek comes from even Sanskrit, which informed those languages as well. So I think Sanskrit is fun. It’s cool. It’s got people who are like fundamentalists. No, here’s how you pronounce it. Here’s how you pronounce it. Which I always think is very entertaining when people are getting all feisty stuff like that. But yeah, sanskrit. I never really studied it deeply until I met Dr. David Simon. So it’s only been 20 years that I’ve been really, like, exploring it and really diving deeper into the ancient wisdom traditions. And the beauty of Sanskrit is leaves a lot to translation, which means it’s the foundation for so much creativity that we can come away with. We live in an age of fundamentalism when people like that about the Constitution. Here’s what they meant in 1778 when they wrote the Constitution. How do we know what they meant? Suddenly it’s like, here’s what this means, and here’s what that we could say about the Bible, the New Testament, the Old Testament, the Quran, the Constitution. But Sansford leaves a lot to interpretation, and we get to expand it in our more modern times.

And so that’s one of the beautiful things that I see in that.

It’s so beautiful when you speak it, because to me, it sounds like your native tongue. It sounds so natural, like your first language, almost. And I love repeating after you, which is a practice that you do, you know, you help people to repeat practice after you. And then your voice fades away and it’s just us. And there’s sometimes I literally you’ll explain what it means, and very quickly, within seconds, I’ve completely forgotten what it means, and I realize it doesn’t matter at all. And there is a certain feeling associated with these words that are sometimes I say, I can’t find a word where I can’t find a feeling that can be attached to this word. But somehow, especially when I feel like I’m entrenches, everybody loses themselves, and then those words and your voice gets pull us back in. It’s really magical and so fun.

Well, I like teaching other people to do this stuff too, to use like, mantras like omoksha vitam, or to use other words that we can use symbolically or metaphorically in our lives. And yet, at the same time, we can use them just for their vibration, not for their meaning at all, because at the vibrational level, we know their meaning. So forget language. It’s just like, what a beautiful vibration that we can repeat. And that’s really why I like using Sanskrit in mantras, because no one is speaking it. I don’t care who you meet. No one grew up speaking it doesn’t matter. No one on this planet grew up speaking Sanskrit. And so everyone who meditates using Sanskrit can use it for its vibrational quality as opposed to its meaning of any sort.

Wow, there’s so much like, freedom to this, as opposed to, like you said, oh, French, you have to speak a certain way. Chinese, very serious, or English, these are all grammatically wrong. But then Sanskrit is just learning, having fun, and applying our own interpretations. Oh my goodness. I could talk, I could go on forever. But I have the respect for your time, David G. And I want to send all anyone who’s watching this to check out all your books, please, and your meditation, which is available pretty much everywhere. YouTube, spotify. If you’re like me, who loves the Inside Timer app, please follow David G there before I let you go. David G. Is there something that you feel like we should talk about but I haven’t brought up yet that you want the audience to know?

Yeah, first of all, I believe that we transform the world by transforming ourselves. So that’s really important. We spend a lot of time pointing at stuff outside of ourselves and getting all worked up over it, whether that’s something in politics, whether something in social aspects. The Bhagavadida teaches us that we should be activists. All of us should be activists in life. But it also teaches us get still first. If you just suddenly start yelling at the top of your lungs, no one’s listening to that anyway. And if you’re going to point that all these things that are wrong over the course of the world, and we could all probably pick five things really, really quickly that suck on the planet, but we have nothing to do with them. We can’t influence them. We can’t really impact them. I mean, if you want to fly to Ukraine, you could start working as an activist to help people, or fly to Poland. You can help people who are escaping from Ukraine. Yes, you can do that. But how about putting your attention what’s the point of that? If you’re harsh to yourself, what’s the point of that if you’re mean or lose your temper with the people that you live with?

So I believe we should always be thinking globally, but acting locally. And we have that ability to really act locally. Start with your own heart and then radiate out a little bit to perhaps the people that you live with, and then perhaps and you could spend years on that before you’re worrying about something that sucks over here, over there, or that person. So these ancient teachings don’t tell us to be oblivious to what’s around us, but they teach us, like put your attention on the thing you actually can make happen. And so I think it’s more important that we’re kind to ourselves, that we’re forgiving to ourselves, that we’re compassionate to ourselves, that we practice selfcare and selflove and then ripple that ever so slowly out to those in our front row in our immediate circle. And then let that ripple continue to move out. Because it’s so easy for us to get caught up in the this political thing and that political thing with such a divisive world. And really, are we going to change the opinions of people who are so firmly against what we’re for? Probably not. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t march, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice some type of civil disobedience, if that’s your lane.

But what’s the point of that? If you’re being so harsh to yourself and you’re holding onto your pain and trauma and you’re allowing emotional leakage to ripple out to all those people in your life? So I say pay attention to your side of the street. There’s a lot always going on on the other side of the street. Pay attention to your side of the street and live from your heart.

Live from your heart. This is so cool. Thank you. This is amazing. I have so much work to do in a very happy way. I don’t feel a sense of obligation. New things to explore, so much to take from this conversation. Thank you so much. David G, we love you so much and for all your teaching, for being you. I’m going to take us offline now. Please stay with me for just a minute.

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