It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F word here. Freedom. We'll share straight from the trenches what we've learned from leaving our own addictions behind and coaching hundreds of others to do the same. And since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it.
(00:36): And welcome back to another episode of the Alive and Free Podcast. We've hit some big topics over the last, I dunno, a couple months. And I think it's story time again, guys. Uh, are you ready for another story? Um, I, I used to, when I grew up, I, so one of the things that really got me into Kung Fu and Shalin and all this stuff was this, was that it was steeped in so many legends and stories and, and old tales. And it's not like Christianity isn't, but maybe it's because I was so used to those stories that these felt like foreign and exotic and I was really, really taken in by them. And so today we have another story. And this one's from the life of a man by the name Gout Dema, which you may know as the Buddha. Now it's not his story.
(01:18): He had already had his experience, been teaching for a long time, had many disciples around him. And one day a philosopher came up to him who had been in his life really struggling. He's asking all of the common questions about, uh, philosophy and not just the ones that Plato set out way back in the fourth century. Bce not necessarily always, always about ethics or, or mathematics or things like that. But essentially a lot of the basic questions that philosophers all over the world ask questions about the nature of existence and where we come from and where we're going and what life is about, questions about ethics and what is right and wrong and all of those different things. And this philosopher had a lot of questions and he had spent a large portion of his life looking for answers. Even back in India, there were two main branches of thought.
(02:05): Now I want you to get this in your head. 2,500 years ago, the two main philosophical branches of thought, two ones that were fighting with each other tooth and nail looked like this. One side said, there is nothing but material reality. What we see is what we get maybe in finer, finer and finer detail Sure. And particles and whatnot. But essentially everything is material and that's it. Consciousness and human life, it's a byproduct of materiality. And once it's gone, it's gone. Right? This very much lines up with modern science today, for the most part, where consciousness is seen as a byproduct of the brain, prominent neuroscientists and neurologists all over the place. Like hold this very standard view. The other view is no, there is such a thing as an ottoman or an immortal soul. Now this idea of an immortal soul was a radical new concept in Plato's time.
(02:57): Um, most thinkers didn't agree with this idea or that there was an afterlife or a heaven and hell and all of that other stuff. We've covered that before. But even in India, there were a group of people that are postulating this thing. There isn't immortal soul. There is this, that and the other. And our job is to kind of take care of it and all that other stuff. This is also a common view today. So I want you to see that despite being, you know, distant from the Buddha 2,500 years, essentially the problems are there. So it's not that modern technology makes us suffer. More people in his time were still suffering and they were just farmers. So it's not like getting back to a simpler life will necessarily make the suffering, uh, less. In fact, perhaps all of this modern technology and all of the destruction we're doing with the planet is accelerating.
(03:37): How fast we can recognize that it's not worth going down these roads. What Buddha did was he cut right down the middle and he said to both sides, Neither of you have evidence for your position. Those of you that only believe in the material world, well, there's such a thing as experience. We're having this experience right now. That's not material. There's no materiality to experience. Also, the thing that you're calling a thing, when you really try to define it, like where it starts, where it ends, when it starts, when it ends, all of that's like if we were to say, okay, you are you, but where did you start? Well, there was an egg inside of a mom and a sperm inside of a dad and all the genetic material. Well, that genetic material started at a certain point and then, you know, the outcomes, the fetus and all the neurons and stuff that are inside.
(04:22): But then the thoughts inside that baby come from mom and dad and then culture and religion. Where did those start and how many thousands of years back? And uh, then those thoughts are developed over time inside of this one organism, organism and then modified over time. And then new cells come and old cells die. And where did all of that stuff come? And where did the food come from that makes this person? And then when you die, what exactly is it that ends? Is it the body that ends? Is it what, There's no one single solid thing that anyone can point to that says that that is you. There's no one permanent thing that anybody can point to that say that is, that is you, that would actually make sense to anybody. Yes. Like for instance, the cells in the lens of your eye are there your whole life.
(05:04): But you wouldn't sit there and say, No, that the reason that I'm immortal or that I'm persistent and that my identity is unchanging is because a couple of my cells haven't changed. Really, nobody honestly means that when they say that, it's just a feeling. And so the Buddha is looking at it and he's going, You, you materialists. You don't have any leg to stand on when you're calling a thing, a thing one. And when you're, when you're saying that material world, is it because there's this thing experience that we're not dealing with? On the other hand, he said to the people who are playing p positioning the ottman stuff, he's looking at them and he's saying, Hey, and you don't have a leg to stand on either because you've never witnessed an immoral soul. You've only ever had your experience to go on and it's your pension for needing an explanation.
(05:46): That's the problem. You keep running around thinking you need an explanation of life in order to be able to appreciate and experience and enjoy the life that you have. Cause if you think about it, everybody's explanations are their belief systems. No, I believe this. I believe that that is an explanation of life. Life doesn't need an explanation. It was a round before you, it'll be around after you and regardless of what you do with it, it'll continue doing its thing. And so on both sides, the buddha is sort of skirted down the middle and he managed to inside of his own self, eliminate all the suffering within him. And it was so remarkable to see a human being who was unfazed by so many things. I don't know that he necessarily glowed or anything like that. And a lot of the stories of his life were exaggerated over time.
(06:29): Like they are with anybody, even like they have been with me in my own lifetime. And so like he was just an ordinary human being. I mean, if you really take the stories of his life down to a certain point, the dude was a rich young man. His father was a politician of some sort, whether it's a king or in a murder court or something who had everything given to him. He was being trained for the family business. He was disgruntled with his life. He was seeing people die and get sick and, and age and get old and their vitality leaving and all of this other stuff. And it was bothering him and his life was bothering him. He's won everyone in the house. He's bogged down by family and doesn't wanna be there and he doesn't wanna be around the kids. It's not that he hates them, it's just that he feels like life is calling him to something much bigger.
(07:10): And he sees a spiritual yogi, a guy doing a spiritual practice that seems to, he's like, Man, the grass is greener over there. That guy's not bogged down. He can chase stuff. And so then the Buddha has his midlife crisis, leaves home, some say in the middle of the night, but then other, his own accounts or the earlier accounts indicate that his parents were weeping and crying over him. So it seems like there was some farewell and he wasn't that irresponsible and that it was a decision that he came to over time. And uh, so then he leaves and he goes to India. He was born in Nepal. He goes down to India and he finds a guru and he lives at an ar not not at an arom cuz they were on the woods in the wilderness and stuff. So he finds not one, but two teachers over time and he follows them and he becomes a really big addict of it.
(07:50): And like one of the top guys in the style. And, he has these tremendous experiences that the teachers have. And so they ask him to stay and be teachers with him in both cases. And in both cases he's like, But this isn't, it's not solving my problem at all. And so then he ends up going off on his own and eventually kind of like his problem dissolves when he realizes that he's, he's trying to solve the problem of self and all of its suffering and all the struggles that he has. And you know, he realizes there's no such thing like I can't point anything. But it was a realization, not a thought, right? We could argue logic about it all day long and people would disagree, but it was a personal direct experience of it that freed him of everything. And like he said, if you walk out in the front door and you step on a snake, you're gonna have all kinds of reactions until you realize it was a rope you stepped on.
(08:35): And then all of it goes away in like manner. When I realized the thing that I called, I didn't exist. All of the anxieties and worries and, and fears and depressions and sadnesses about it went away immediately because your fears and anxieties are around protecting something and all of a sudden there wasn't anything left to protect. So he was just simply free. So here's a guy and he's got some kind of joy, some kind of freedom. And obviously he wanted to share it in some way, shape or form, even though his original disciples bailed on him cuz they thought he'd gone soft. And there's some something, some offering, some hope that his message has. So a following builds. And then finally one day the philosopher comes and he's like, Look, I got all these questions, I've received a lot of answers. Can you answer these questions for me?
(09:15): And the Buddha looks at him and he says, Do you really want to know the answer? And the man says, Look, I've received many answers over the course of my life and every answer I've got I've been given has only generated more questions. I really do wanna know the answers. Now this is the nature of answers by the way folks. It's the answers or beliefs or explanations you have of reality, reality that generate the next question. This is how a scientific process works. It's not different than this. In internal inquiry, you generate a hypothesis, somehow you get a conclusion to your results, which is an explanation of your results. That explanation then generates more questions. If you didn't have the explanation and the need for it, then the questions wouldn't arise. Now people might say, But that would stop the march of civilization. I don't know what that actually means, but how do we know that that's what it would be?
(10:10): That's your explanation of it. You just, you simply can't imagine a life differently because the explanations you've given seem to say that this is the only way it can be. So here's a philosopher stuck in that same predicament. Every answer he gets just comes with more questions. So the booty says, Do you really wanna know? He says, Yes. The booty says, Are you willing to pay the price for it? The man says, Look, I'll just, whatever, I just really wanna know the answers before I die. I really need to know this. Buddhi says, Okay, here's what you're gonna do. And this is great. Many people don't wanna pay the price for the answers. They just wanna ask the questions and be given the answers. Here's the price. You sit by my side in silence for two years. You don't ask the questions, you don't dwell on the questions.
(10:52): You don't even give them a second thought. You just stay with me in silence for two years. At the end of those two years time, you can come and ask me your questions and I will answer every single one of them without fail. This seemed like a steep price for the philosopher two years sitting by the Buddha side. So he was like, Ah, not sure. And then he, what guarantee does he have that this man, the Buddha will actually answer his questions when the time comes. And so he voices his doubts. Buddhas says, Look, I can give you my word, I promise when the time comes, you will be given the opportunity to ask me every single question. If the questions are still there, great. If there are more questions that have come, great, I will answer every single one of 'em. And right at that point in time, one of the disciples sitting near the Buddha just starts laughing.
(11:36): So the man looks at the Buddha and he is like, Why is he laughing? Buddhas says, Why don't you go ask him? So he goes over and asks the guy and the guy says, Look, don't fool, don't be fooled by this. If you have a question, you better ask it now. Now is the only time to ask it because if you get duped in like I was, he said the same thing to me. And I sat with him for two years and at the end of those two years he came to me. I had forgotten how much time had gone by. He came to me and he said, and he still comes. And he is like, Ask brother, ask what are your questions? Only by the end of those two years, all of my questions had disappeared. So the Buddha is telling you the truth.
(12:11): He will answer those questions but you won't have any questions left. Sitting in silence for those two years will have solved it. And so if you have a question, you better ask now. Well this gave the philosopher some heart. So he just, he was like okay and didn't ask the questions because he really wanted this thing. He was intrigued by what was going on and what was described. And so he went and he sat for two years. At the end of two years he too had forgotten how much time had passed. The Buddha came to him and said, It's been two years now. I promised I would answer every question you have, so now is your chance. And the philosopher started laughing cuz he realized that the disciple of the Buddha two years earlier had been correct. That just sitting for those two years had resolved and gotten rid of all of the answers and explanations he had of in his life that had been creating all of the questions and the need to get them answered. If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F bomb of freedom in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or want some help doing it, head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for.
(13:39): So I share this story today because one of the things I focus on with people when we're helping them is to do specific practices. Know the buddo, how to meditate and stuff, but I'm having 'em do very specific things that are designed to make the biology work better. So the mind works better, it gets sharper, the emotions work better. Like the, the physical sense of energy in the body works better people sleep better, they breathe better. And all I'm doing is I'm having them essentially work with their biology. In fact, for the first uh, number of weeks, that's all we're doing. And what they start finding even within a couple weeks is that a lot of their problems start dissolving on their own because what they did was start taking care of the body instead of only taking care of the mind. See, the mind itself has generated over time your mind and mind an idea about who we are and where we live in the world.
(14:30): We have this very concrete worldview, which seems to admit as time goes on, fewer and fewer options for ways that it could possibly be different. In a baby's mind there aren't limitations. But as the baby is trained over time, more and more limitations come to where it feels like dead hard rock, solid fact that nothing could ever be different. That the future is gonna be the way it's gonna be. That the past defines us, that we are who we are. That you can't teach an old dog new tricks and yada yada, yada yada. We have fed the mind, we've reinforced the mind and we have forgotten to take care of what the mind is built on the body. See if your body has a poor pH, you go into a coma, you don't get a mind, right? If your body gets, if your spinal cord gets severed in certain areas, you either get paralysis or death, in which case you don't get a mind either.
(15:23): Everybody wants to herald the mind, Playto himself wanted to say the mind is it that is the soul, but it's without the body whether there's a soul or not. Which I'm not one to be able to tell you cuz I haven't witnessed one. But that doesn't mean there's not one without the body, you don't get a living experience as far as anybody knows. No one that you know, no one that I know has, they might have had near death experiences, but a near death experience is not a death experience. Near death means medical doctors have said that they've died, but obviously they didn't because their experience shifted and they had an expansive consciousness experience and people have had similar things while taking psychedelics and not being pronounced dead by medical physicians. And so a near death experience is beautiful and profound and life-altering for so many people.
(16:05): And that's not a death experience. And so this body is the thing that is making it possible for us to have all these experiences and we neglect the body and as a result of neglecting the body, the mind goes haywire and it starts sending these messages down into the body about this is real and that's real and this is real. And so come all of our anxieties and our fears and our worries and our depressions, our sadness, our trauma, our suicidal ideation, even our physical ailments, which some of this I go into deep detail in the book that is coming out here shortly. Deep, deep detail in the book around all of the things that are happening in the mind to enable your body to have the experience it's happening. And that's because we've spent so much focus on the mind. And that started back with Plato and his influence and the entire western tradition, even Decar who was afraid of not existing.
(16:57): The guy does exist, but he's afraid of not existing. And his only logical way out of it is the only evidence he can give himself that he really is truly an autonomous human being and not just something else is that he thinks and he can think about his thoughts. So he says, I think therefore I am cogito ergo. And as a result of that, all of the stuff that came from him and he's like the father of modern philosophy and modern science and so many other things, all of that has come from the emphasis on thinking over being. And so we've denigrated our sense organs, we've denigrated all kinds of other things. And subjective experience itself is something that sits under the rug in scientific endeavors. They want, uh, measurements from machines forgetting that the machines were programmed by humans who have biases and are only thinking to measure the things they can think of to measure.
(17:47): And so the machines themselves are just as biased and just as subjective as the people, although they might be more precise in their measurements. And so time and time and time again, we're stuck in this loop of every time we give the mind more credit than it deserves. It's a beautiful experience. It's what enables us to have all these experiences in life too. But without the body, there is no mind. And so we focus on taking care of the system and I've found some really profound beautiful ways of doing that that just settle the body and then eventually all the mind troubles just start to sift out on their own. And there's no questions left. Like, life is just beautiful. I don't need to go solve anything. I didn't need to go fix anything because the only reason I thought it was a problem is cuz my mindset said it was, there aren't problems that exist in the world around you.
(18:36): There is not a, you can't go to the store and purchase, Hey, can I get one problem piece or no, I could get a can I have a six pack, I got some friends coming over to this afternoon. I need a lot to complain about. You don't go to the store and purchase problems unless that's a brand name or something. But even then, that's just a brand name. Problems don't exist. They are a construct of the mind. Someone taught you that there is such a thing as a problem. They taught you to look at the world as though it's bad or wrong and shouldn't be happening that way. And to blame that for the reason that you feel one way or another. And because of that you are stuck. You can't solve a problem at the level of being, I would say, not just thinking, being that you're at when it seems to be a problem to you.
(19:13): And so I'm editing Einstein's words w but once you change the way that you are being, then it no longer looks like a problem. It's just circumstances and you can navigate those no problem. Uh, and I've used off and the analogy of skiing when I went up ski, snowboarding, skiing with my, my kids, my fourth son, he was freaking out, thought he was gonna die, he was looking down the hill, there's trees there and everything else, I'm gonna die. And I'm like, okay, but we get him to just point down one hill or another hill or whatnot and find a path and he's fine. I start thinking about that and I realize if I look at a tree or a mogul or something or a turn in the hit in the path as an obstacle, as like something that's gonna kill me, then I will experience that as something that's gonna kill me.
(19:56): But I could also look at it like, hmm, that could be a fun jump there. That's something else that I, oh, I wanna go around this one and I start looking down the hill for what's gonna gimme a great experience. All the same obstacles are there, all the same trees, all the same turns in the road. It's just that one experience poses them as problems. And the other one shows them as opportunities and possibilities. And that comes from the mind itself. And I would suggest to you furthermore, that as you relax the mind and you just get into your body, that even that won't be needed. You won't have to think positively because there's nothing negative to counteract. And so as you're sitting here today, this week, considering you know all the places that are struggles for you, I would ask you the question, how well are you taking care of your body?
(20:44): Have you connected to the earth and the sun and been outside and like really felt the grass under your feet or something this week at all? Considering that if it weren't for the earth and the sun, you wouldn't be alive? Cuz food wouldn't grow. And you know, there wouldn't be power for anything. I mean, if it weren't for the sun, there wouldn't be an earth in this way anyway. There wouldn't be any life on the planet. Have you, you know, woken up your senses, maybe take a cold shower. Have you breathed deeply this week? Have you just gone and played with your family, your kids, your or or laughed taken some time to laugh a little bit? Have you eaten food that is really just powers you up and makes you feel really good on the inside? Are you taking care of your system?
(21:24): Because if you're not, then your mind is going to run a muck. And so that's why we start with all of our programs, getting people into their body. It's not therapy, it's not psychology, it's not counseling because you don't need counseling when there's no problems there. It's about handling your biology. And if you wanna learn to do that, if you wanna come and experience this firsthand at our retreats and all the support that comes before and after those, as you integrate that into your life, then I would love to have you come. Because the point is not to give you something that you have to do the rest of your life. The point is to give you a place to start that allows you to see the things that work for you so that you then find your own groove and your own expression of freedom.
(22:03): And everybody's expression is a little bit different winding up today. As we think about that experience with the philosopher and the Buddha and the fact that it's, if he was just willing to pay the price of taking care of his system, of sitting in silence and all of that other stuff, then the questions themselves would disappear. What if you don't have to solve the problems that seem like they're so big in your life, whether relationship problems or anything else? I'll tell you this with Jasmine and I, some of the best resolutions we ever had were, we both brought up something that was a big problem, nothing got resolved. We both were a little bit pissed about it and then we just never talked about it again. And it went away because we went and did something better. Um, and we didn't resolve anything. We didn't decide anything or anything else.
(22:46): That doesn't mean we did that with every, uh, altercation or every situation that came up. But in many cases it has happened that way. What if you don't have to solve the problems that are in front of you? What if the very act of seeing it as a problem is something that doesn't have to happen anymore simply because you've settled all of the basics, the building blocks of your life. That's what we're teaching people, that's what we're showing 'em how to do because it's not part of the common education system. We don't go to school and learn about emotions and what they are and how they work even in psychology and whatnot. Still there's, it's convoluted. I guarantee you that if I went to college for another degree in psychology or a master's degree or anything else, that every single one of those professors would hate me.
(23:27): I might get kicked out of the program because most of the dog Muslim theories that they present, it doesn't mean that they're stupid people. It's that they're, they're wrapped up in a worldview that they have forgotten. There's other possibilities. And when you start working with the body and the system that all of a sudden, like all the thought processes disappear, right? And they don't have that thought process, they think you need to fix the thought process with the thought itself. And that is not the fastest or most efficient way of doing things by any stretch of the imagination. So we're not teaching our kids how to breathe. We're not teaching like how to breathe efficiently in all the different ways of breathing that affect their emotional states. We're not teaching 'em what emotions are in school. We're not, we're not teaching them how to interact and communicate with other people in a powerful way.
(24:11): No, we're cramming math and science and literature from people who are dramatically explaining all of these other nasty possibilities of human life and human suffering, as if somehow stuffing our heads with those things will prevent us from regurgitating them. But by very nature, kids play out the things that we give them. Somebody gives 'em a new idea and they'd go play it out. So because you've positioned the notion of depression and suicidal ideation and all the things in their head, their possibility for them to go and test that out is bigger. It doesn't mean that some people won't do it on their own, but we are actually handing them ideas that we're calling classics. And I call into question anybody who thinks everybody should read the classics. Because if you look at the classics, there are just stories of humans suffering, of humans making problems for themselves and then somehow coming to a resolution by having some external validation.
(25:00): Most of the time, some event that happens, some war they've won, some achievement they've done as if somehow that's supposed to fix things for them. And it just can't. It doesn't. Even if in storybooks people wanna pretend it does. That's the kind of education that's happening out there. And that's not helpful. And if you listened last week about validation, this is why I teach my kids differently and this is why people still believe that it's bad that we need to validate them. Even that kind of education is not helpful in the long run. But that's because we're relying on authorities and past thinkers to think for us, instead of waking up and recognize that your eyes and mine are just as valid as theirs, they might have had more experience, but that doesn't mean the way that they thought about or engaged with that experience was intelligent or more intelligent or the best way to do it.
(25:47): And there's some great things that have shown up, but there's a lot of messed up stuff stuck in the middle. And to be able to find that great stuff, it's easier for you to just start paying attention to what's in front of you and to start to learn from life itself. The book of life is you, it is your body. It's time. You learn to read that instead of learning to read other people's books and the products of their minds. You think about all the movies that our kids watch and the music they listen to from these people that are angsty, that are driven by all kinds of different motivations that are, haven't figured things out in their own life that are suffering. And they're out trying to create a message in the world that suffering is normal and that it's okay and that everybody does it.
(26:28): Or, and I'm not saying don't bring awareness to the fact that there are people suffering. There are, but better than just validation and comforting people is clarity to give them the actual tools to succeed. And one of those tools is simply learning to take care of the body. So if you don't know how to do that, if you want some help, if you wanna jumpstart from some of the most effective things I have ever seen that do that within, you know, we have these retreats, we have some online processes between those two. The retreats are absolutely incredible, jam packed in those four days. Lots of in-person training, directly retraining your nervous system and your instincts. But even the stuff we do online is amazing. Either way, it's a place to start. But don't for a second believe that you have to continue going through the world believing that there are problems that need solving. You just start taking care of the building blocks and suddenly problems disappear and all you see are circumstances and you get a chance to turn that into a grand possibility, whichever way you want to ride down that slope.
And that's it for today's Alive and Free podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom Bombs landing in your earbuds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcast from. And while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering a great stuff to you. Plus it's just nice to be nice.
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