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.
(00:00:35): All right. Welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast. Today we get to go to the Himalayas, you and me. It is fairly common knowledge by now that in September of 2022, which is not that long ago, I went to the Himalayas on a pilgrimage. I went there to go see a Holy mountain out in Tibet from the borders of Tibet since we weren't allowed into bed. So right there on the border of Nepal, I went to bed to go see a mountain that is holy to three specific big religions, the giant religion or the Jane religion, the Buddhist and the Hindus, this Mount Kla. And there I went on a pilgrimage. I didn't go necessarily as a tour as a tourist, which is an important distinction and maybe we'll get into that today. But I went as a pilgrim and that started in March of 2022, not the pilgrim, it started for me then.
(00:01:31): And then from there I went down to Varanasi in India, otherwise known as Kashi. And it's supposedly a town of prehistoric proportions. It's been there for the longest time before. Much of recorded history. And it's a place that houses all these different temples to Shiva and apparently and these Hindu deities and whatnot. And is a place where supposedly there's these great energetic processes and things could happen. And I went there specifically to be with the guru that I had followed for a period of time. And so now I'm back and I've been back for a while and had to deal with all the aftermath of everything that happened. And so Lee is with me here, and he's decided it's time for the public to know and to have some sense of what happened there because I think it's exceptionally significant in many ways. And it did all the things that I wanted it to do in a way that I didn't want it to do or couldn't have predicted and was essentially heaven and hell in the same trip. So I'm gonna let Lee guide this and I'll answer the questions because apparently inquiring minds want to know.
(00:02:42): So I obviously have been a kind of passenger in this journey and have always appreciated your journey as you relate to everything with integrity, you question everything, even the things that you hold near and dear. And I was able to watch this process as you were finishing up the end of the book. And I think it feels like in some ways that the thing that you experienced on this pilgrimage was already well in motion before you actually left. There was a time that there was a concern, and I think that we had talked about it. What happens if you go on this pilgrimage and you come back and everything changes? Where's freedom anymore? And are there retreats and does it change absolutely everything? And then right before you left, it felt like things were already beginning, be beginning to change in a way that I didn't foresee. So what was that like?
(00:03:40): Yeah, so I had wanted to go on this trip for a number of years. I found out that the Isha Foundation with Sud guru brand, these sacred Johns and these sacred walks, and this particular trip was one because it seemed like from all of the things that I had read, that it was gonna be a small intimate group, that we were gonna be walking with Sud guru in this place and that I would be in the presence of what I thought at the time was a master of life. And in my mind, I just thought to me, he came across somebody who was a bit like Jesus, the profound experiences I had in his presence. Though I don't know that they came from his presence, I just know that I had them near him linked in my mind this notion that he is somebody of epic proportion, somebody of a different quality than your average human.
(00:04:28): And I had this question in my mind that was like, if this is legitimately someone who has mastered life itself and the processes of life like a Jesus would, then why wouldn't I drop everything and go? And so I longed for it, but I didn't have the financial means cuz it was a lot to save up for. And so I was like, okay, I don't have the financial means for that. And then Covid hit and they stopped doing the Johns for a bit. And so then earlier this year I saw just a documentary on YouTube of them kind of filming this whole process and I was like, oh wow, they're doing this again. And so I looked online and there were just a couple of spots left. I think I got the last spot in one group or something and I signed up for it and I looked at all of the stuff and the notion was this is a pilgrimage and the point of a pilgrimage is to make yourself the self that you think you are essentially vanish to grind it away so that there's no arrogance, there's no sense of being more important than creation that's left.
(00:05:28): So that finally what's left is you get to be in touch with the source of life. And so I was like, I'm gonna start this pilgrimage now and I want to grind away all that is left within me as much as I can before I get there so that there's no obstacle between me and whatever that experience is gonna be. And I was looking forward to having this kind of possible intimate connection. It's set on the website, there will be some time with guru there. And so I spent all of those months while I was also writing the book, doing a lot of long walks with myself and really looking at all the things that I felt like I was connected with all the places where I step up and try and defend myself and defend being right. And I've done so much of that over the years and I just kept challenging it and I kept looking away until it was the last month or two before there was this glorious, there really was this glorious sense of life just throbbing within me all the time.
(00:06:32): And about two weeks beforehand I was like, why am I even going on this trip? Life here at home in this way is so beautiful that I don't even see any, I'm not going to get, there's nothing left to get. So maybe I'll just deposit what I know there. Cuz I heard that this mountain is repository for all the answers of stuff, however that works and whatever that means. It's like maybe I'll just deposit what I know there. But there was still that question of will I be coming back at all? , will I die there? Will I change because I was open to it. I was genuinely open to being wrong and genuinely open to I've taken my life this way and it's been a beautiful way and if something bigger opens up, why would I bulk at that? Why? And it was terrifying in some ways.
(00:07:20): I know Tucker was like, okay, do we need to have you sign something so that the business can keep running if you don't come back or something and make sure Jasmine's taken care of? And I think just that question in me made everyone around me kind of pick up on that what is gonna happen here? And so that did happen. And so then when I went, it was in that place. It was in that place of everything's really settled within me and I don't know what's gonna happen, but if it is something really glorious and much bigger than I've ever known, then I'm determined to do everything I can to not run in fear or not clinging in fear to, I don't wanna lose what I have, but to really step into that void and see what's there.
(00:08:01): Yeah, I mean we were all excited for you as well, just like because we saw the documentary, we saw that guru working individually with people and the walks and sitting in these beautiful epic places. And I remember the cabins on the hillside and the birds and the lush green and we're like, yeah, this is good. This is really good. I didn't know that you were going there to grind away you . I didn't know that at all. But it is ironic that there was a lot that was ground away, but totally not in that vein. It didn't seem like, and it doesn't seem like on this end as you were talking, I was wondering if there was any similarity between what actually did happen. And I know that you'll get into that, but between that and actually leaving the faith that you grew up in, were there commonalities between that experience and this journey, this pilgrimage?
(00:09:01): I don't thought about it in that way. If I look back on it in retrospect, there is some level of commonality with it because there was some, see leaving the faith that I grew up in was something that sort of happened accidentally. Like I was moving in a direction and had been moving in a direction for some time that was at odds with it in some ways. But I didn't wanna leave it. I wasn't looking for a way out. It was just that I got sideswiped by an awareness of things going on that suddenly brought into sharp focus how much that particular faith in religion was not actually serving my life that I had been denying for so long. There had been many, many years where I was just sitting there kind of frustrated with it, but going along with it and dealing with it.
(00:09:47): And I had been denying that to myself cuz I was like, no, this is the truth. This is reality. This is the way things are. And so my job is you in your life was to endure. It was to make the best of it. And I did a great job at making the best of it. And so then when I got sideswiped by an awareness of other bits and pieces that I wasn't know before, factoids about the Mormon faith in its history factoids about book Mormon, and I'm not suggesting anybody go and look into this. My wife is still a very devout member of that faith and I support her fully in it. And I go with them on Sundays and support her and having the kids and stuff. I don't have any issues, any beef with it. It's just that it wasn't serving me.
(00:10:26): And so coming in, those things coming to my attention, brought into sharp focus how much I had been lying to myself about how happy I was in that space. And so then the journey away from that was a, as soon as I realized that and knew that the decision for me was to leave, then it was a very conscious sort of like, well, let me just challenge every belief that's there. The challenge was similar, but the difference was where the faith, I wasn't looking to leave this notion of self, this whatever, cuz I was just like, I'm not suffering at all . And yet is there suffering that I'm unaware of? And so with this one I was consciously looking for, the blind spots were the other one I wasn't. And as I found them, I was consciously challenging everything that I knew how to challenge with all the things that I developed over the years that have helped so many thousands of people. And so I went into this very eyes open and even though there was maybe some discomfort at times, it was a full embrace of that discomfort. And what's interesting though is that I got sideswiped there. . Yeah,
(00:11:31): Yeah. Because I didn't think that there was any, I mean when I felt like you were looking for what else was there, not necessarily to see the loopholes or the dead end roads or anything like that, I felt like you're like, okay, let's get it all. I thought that was a feeling I had on this end. Of course, I also had known that some of the things were already beginning to break up an orbit, or reentry, that there's already some of those things happening. But it really in my mind was for you to receive the fullness of what was available.
(00:12:06): In many ways it was a bucket list thing. I had wanted to go to the Himalaya since I was a teenager and I saw the movie seven years into Be with Brad Pitt. And I was like, oh my gosh. And there was a spiritual nature to it. I'm not a tourist at heart, generally speaking, where I just want to go see things just to see them. Although maybe that'll happen in my life because the project that was handed to me from the time I was a kid is that there is an ideal human being, an ideal way that me, Bob should be. And achieving that meant freedom and life and life eternal and liberation. And then after I left the faith that I was born in, it meant enlightenment and all of these different things that came with it. And so the Himalayas somehow in my mind got linked to this spiritual quest.
(00:12:48): And so what I felt myself doing was so bizarre was like I have a bucket list of things I want to achieve. These are the last things on my bucket list. And I don't have anything beyond that. I don't know what's beyond that. So I felt it was racing into a dead end wall, . It was like head first. Here I go, I'm gonna go do this thing. And there's literally nothing left because there really wasn't. I was totally happy. And so I went into that looking for the fullness, looking for everything. I just wanted to do that it was there. And it's just that the thought of a self was at least what I had been told the thing in the way. And so that's why I was trying to grind away at that self. What happened though that was unexpected was this sort of bringing into sharp focus how much I also had not had been swallowing concepts and ideas.
(00:13:35): I'd been swallowing that along with the things that were good that I had consciously swallowed. So the religion I grew up in was one that I was handed and so I could resent my parents if I wanted. It's a waste of life . But I could if I wanted, and I could definitely did for a couple of days. But I managed to get rid of that because that's the thing I do with people is I'm like, oh hey, well let's look at this and let's just diffuse this. It's not worth pouring my life into. But it was an unconscious thing. It was just handed to me. And so when I became aware of the stuff and then made a conscious choice to leave, it didn't hit me as hard as this particular track. And maybe we'll go through the heaven part and then hell part or whatever it is.
(00:14:20): But this particular trek already started with some red flags and as it progressed, and we can talk through those if you want, but as it progressed more and more, there was this sense that I had bought into something consciously this time in choosing to follow Sud guru in choosing to listen to the things that he shared. And some of them are still spectacular, wonderful observations of life. I don't hold any of that against him. Where there is something that's useful, I think it's very valuable. But I had bought into some things consciously without realizing that I had sort of shifted one authority for life to another authority for life and really hadn't escaped this notion of seeking salvation in some way, shape or form. And that was a bigger blow to me because I just felt like an idiot. I felt so stupid for having succumbed to all of the answers being in some other guru or in some other tradition instead of realizing the thing that I had been talking to myself about and others about for so long
(00:15:20): Mean as you're talking there, there's a setup that there actually is a perfect man , that we need to be the perfect man. And then I can see the journey to find the perfect man. Every tradition that every religious tradition has this, it's called the culture that society has this, what is a good citizen? What is it not a good citizen? I mean if you look around Facebook today, how many people are clamoring about what a real man is, as if somehow a why chromosome doesn't count. got a definition of how everyone else should be or how society should be. This sort of utopian idea that's been around for a long time. Did that start with Plato or at least get of enshrined by Plato in some ways in Western tradition? Sure, because he's the guy that everybody started arguing either for or against. And that started this whole tirade. But it's in every culture that there is this notion even in the Indian culture that a yogi is this ideal state to be in, that you want to have certain experiences and not others.
(00:16:21): And so that was a project that was handed to me in a big way and it created most of the suffering because I was my whole life being taught with loving smiles that who I was was not enough, that who I was was not good enough and that I needed to live up to another ideal in order for the creator of the universe to be okay with me. None of them pointed to the fact that obviously he was okay with me if he was still supporting my life , that I would if I was still breathing, then clearly something somewhere was down with me being here that if it really wasn't down with me being here, then I would be dead if that's actually the case. And so I grew up with that, it was like this chase, I mean, in a sense, spiritual seekers are people seeking to be something other than they are, and therein is the source of suffering.
(00:17:15): The place where duca is the Sanskrit word for, or the could be the poly word for suffering. But this notion that it doesn't actually mean suffering, it means a wheel that's slightly outta kilter or slightly out of alignment. So it creates a bumpy ride. The misalignment is the notion that I should be anything other than I am, or that it's even possible for me to be other than I am, that the life that it was in me somehow has to be a different life. Behaviors can change, experiences can change, but that's not what we're talking about. And so that chase is what really, really kinda led me there. So there's a voluntarily setting yourself up, but you also kind of set up said guru in some ways as well. Yeah, I had put him on a pedestal, and if you've listened to this podcast enough, of pedestals and pits, I think is the name of an episode where there's a discussion of if there is a person that you put up on a pedestal, then you end up putting yourself in a pit. This happens with psychedelics too. If I put experiences up on a pedestal, then I put other experiences down in a pit. And so seeking, oh, that experience on psychedelics or oh, that experience in meditation, which a lot of yogis and meditators do, these samma states and whatnot, that is the pinnacle. Then what they end up doing is actually judging the rest of their life as less than. And I didn't realize I had done that with Sud guru when the first time I encountered anything with him was a YouTube video, him talking on parenting.
(00:18:43): But the intro came in and it's like brown background with his timeless looking turbine bet guy with a white beard like an Indian Santa Claus or whatever else, and this Indian flute coming through and something rattled in me. Now I wanna be clear that something was very, very powerful for my life for a period of time, and that I don't regret any of it. It was so powerful and so profound and it's provided me with so much insight into how to live life in a beautiful way. And I am deeply grateful for the fact that he was there in whatever way he was there and to help my life. But so doing, I latched onto him a baby clings to a mom in some ways. And without realizing it, I thought I was being very, very even handed. And you heard that there were times where I would challenge things that said, Goodwood said, especially in the last year where I was like, I'm not sure this is really the best way to look at things.
(00:19:38): But I didn't necessarily trust my challenges because my first experience with him in person was so big that it's almost like trauma in many ways, a positive trauma, but trauma nonetheless, trauma being defined as some seed idea, possibly a nonverbal one or feeling that comes at a time of really emotional intensity or physical intensity. And so the seed idea was that this man was not your average man. He was beyond human. He was something superior. And as a result, I looked at him like that babies do to their parents. And so I didn't realize that I had clanged him that way, which is what made maybe the disillusionment that came afterwards so devastating because he's still the same guy he was before still offering the same insights. It was my view of him that really made the things change. There's a couple moments of disillusionment that you had mentioned and just the one, the first one that came to mind as speaking was when you're on the mountain and you're eating all these carbs and what happened to the yoga, what happened to the diet, what happened to all these things that have been advocated for so long that are kind of the pinnacle of how you walk and how you walk in health and how you do all these things?
(00:20:47): So as we went, the preparation for it was like we had to walk at least three miles a day and make sure we're keeping up with our yogic practices and make sure that we're in good health so that the body is really reverberating with life. But then we had to go get some medical checkups. I had to do an exercise stress test and do all these things to make sure we were gonna be fit to go up to really high altitudes. There's some debate about how high the highest point is. Some people said it was like 19,000 feet that we were at. Some people said it was like 17,000 feet or something like that. I've looked on a map, I can't, I think it's a little on the lower end, but of those two. But either way, altitude being a big thing because when there's less oxygen up there and less atmospheric pressure, it does things to the blood.
(00:21:28): These are all things I talk about in my book to a certain extent. And I was very well aware of it. I had looked at Wim Hoff stuff. I had list, I've trained with some of his teachers and adapted some of those breath process for the people we work with. And so I'm very familiar with that and I was priming myself for that. Okay, how am I gonna breathe when I'm up there to avoid acute mountain sickness? But what they had us do was go get a prescription for diamox. Now this is a typical prescription for acute mountain sickness and it's to help you acclimate generally meant to be used in an emergency. It causes some shallower, faster breathing and some other things that go on in the system to help kind of alleviate the symptoms that might come up with it. My doctor prescribed me enough for four days worth, but they wanted me to be taking these the whole time, meaning two full weeks worth up there in the mountains.
(00:22:16): And he pushed back and he was like, yeah, four days should be enough. You should acclimate by then and then you shouldn't need it anymore. But the doctors that were there, and these were legitimate doctors that came with us too. They had medical licenses, they practice in hospitals and they were very much still like, no, no, you need to be taking this the whole time. And so that was the first red flag, why am I taking more medication than is actually needed? And then when we got there, cat mandu is like 6,000 feet above 5,000 feet above sea level, something like that. And that's about where I live now, so it's not a big deal. And then we went down to 1500 feet at Nepal Gunge. And from there we flew up the mountain to around 10,000 feet Simco. And up there particularly, we were taking our diamox the whole time though, even down at Nepal Gunge in 1500 feet we had medical checks twice a day.
(00:23:07): And they checked our blood pressure and they checked other things. And if people were having any symptoms at all, they just had this Rolodex of pills, that they would unroll this big roll and they would just be handing 'em to people. And then when we were down there, we were headed up the mountain, they told me, look, no more exercise. We don't want you doing any breathing. I like any movement. I was doing like Tai chi and I was doing some of the martial artsy stuff that I was doing to keep myself fluid and keep my muscles relaxed. And I was doing some of the yoga stuff that they were doing and they were like, no more of that. You just take these pills and also while you're at it don't do the yogic stuff that we're doing. You can do the meditations, you can sit and meditate, but you can't even do a basic butterfly stretch while you're up there.
(00:23:54): We don't want your skin exposed to the air. I couldn't take my shoes and socks off. I mean, if you wanna acclimate to an area, it's important to have the sunlight on your neck and on your skin. It's important to have the breath go in you, but don't touch the water because then your acute mountain sickness will get worse. And there was this deep fear around altitude, that altitude is going to kill everybody despite the fact that the Sherpa lived up there. And I, so I was just like, I couldn't reconcile that in my mind. Here we have been, we're with this organization that preaches yoga as the way to the ultimate and as a way to really sustain the body. And yet the moment that the body's gonna go under duress, the first order of business is bail on the yoga, bail on the practices we've been telling you about.
(00:24:39): And instead come get these drugs, these medicines from our yogic drug dealers, and do that. And on top of it, what's the kind of diet? Well, I mean sad Guru said in one of the videos, what is intelligent down in Chennai is not intelligent up in the mountain. And that's true to a certain extent and I don't deny that at all. And yet the food we had up there was all carbohydrates. Now I think that's pretty common for mountain climbers. So I don't think that that's necessarily right or wrong, but it just was at odds with all of everything that had been shown previously. So instead of having this beautifully physical experience demanding that I show up in the way that I'd read from Native American Legends and histories of them being out in the wilderness and the sort of vision quest kind of idea, it was literally the opposite.
(00:25:25): It was like, no, we're gonna put you on medications. I was kind of sleep deprived at one point , and I was like, I need to take a nap. No, you can't take a nap cuz it'll mess with your blood oxygen levels. And I'm like, my blood oxygen level was like 94% just an hour ago. I think I'm fine , I know how to breathe, I know how to move this stuff up. And they just, I'm like, sleep deprivation is a thing. I don't wanna be delirious up here and I don't wanna have all these other things going on. And so that red flag was huge for me because it just didn't make sense. Instead of doing these processes that were supposedly building the life energy inside of me so that I could have an experience where that expanded beyond this notion of shelf, it was turn all of that off stuff your face three times a day with really heavy foods and Sambo and all these spicy stuff and rice and bread and lentils.
(00:26:20): And rarely did we see a vegetable, it was a carrot here or there or some kind of root vegetable. And that may be what grows up there, but they were bringing this food up from other places and make sure you have your tea and have lots of dairy and milk and stuff that was not doing super well for my gut. And just stuff your, you're folds of bursting, but you need to continue eating more because altitude's gonna kill you. And I didn't feel great while I was up there. And that was the first kind of place where I was like, what is happening? The other moment, and this is probably a more significantly poignant moment, was when I think there was a second leg of a trip that you stayed on, you added to. And there was a moment wheres Guru was taking questions from the audience and a particular interaction with a woman
(00:27:10): Before that, what I'll say is this before we get to the second league of the trip in this Himalaya track from there, from the camp up at Duck Chi, it was a Jeep ride in these Valero Jeeps that we then took further. And all of the Sat songs, we did all the meetings and the meditations we were chanting the whole time. And the first part really was me being very intentional about what's there and doing the chanting and obeying the rules and regulations, still having the questions arise, but okay, I'll stay covered up if you want me to stay covered. Whatever this master, this guru says needs to happen for me to make it happen is okay. And so we got in the Jeeps and it was like a two and a half hour ride on bumpy hills or sucking diesel fuel coming up into the back of the Jeep.
(00:27:54): The whole time just felt queasy to my nauseous, sick to my stomach. We got over to the top, eat some more, and then we did a meditative process right there at the viewpoint. And Mountain Kla was overcast. Now I did see some pictures that some people took the next day, but for me, we never saw the mountain anyway. It was some eight miles off or 30 miles off or something like that. And it's definitely visible. You couldn't miss it on a clear day, but it was overcast. So we could only see the base of where the snow started on the mountain. So I get up there on this whole trip to come see this mountain and no sadhguru's not with us at all the whole time. And I'll go back to another experience with him that kinda led to this. So I'm up there and they set out a tarp.
(00:28:36): We're all sitting there and we're gonna do this energetic process. Now, a couple days before this sort of viewing with Sud guru that I thought was gonna be this intimate walk with him, we're gonna be hiking up of the mountains, literally was, there were a couple of hundred of us stuck in Simco trying to make our way up there through helicopter rides and whatnot, up to the base camp, which was somewhere around 16,000 feet or something like that, 16 or so. And he showed up and he was gonna come. So we all met, went down to the airport. So we're all huddled around the launchpad, the landing pad of this tiny airport. And we're all just singing this song
(00:29:23): Over and over and over again. And really getting into this gent, Shambo is a Sanskrit word, another name for Sheva all the time moving along. Sad Guru talks about Sheva as both a person and also as a word, meaning that which is not meaning the void or the spade, the emptiness that's there that all of reality is kind of based on. So I let my mind sort of go, okay, cool. We're not worshiping another God or anything with that. And I still don't know that it is. It's just a sound to me. And so we're chanting, chanting, chanting, and then my eyes are closed, I hear feel this helicopter come over around behind. I thought he had already been there. So I didn't know what that was about. Apparently he arrived on that helicopter and I didn't know, I thought he'd already been in town.
(00:30:10): But as the helicopter moved past, I felt this sharp kind of reverberation in my chest, really deep electric shock in a way. And I just started having tears start to run outta my eyes. And I had a hard time doing the chant and I was just singing it as best I could. And then he finally came up the walk and I heard people kind of screaming and excited for him and they typically do as his rockstar fans. And he came up and they set up a little couch and he was there for maybe 15 minutes, gave a little speech, did a little Diddy. And as he was walking there, I wasn't listening to what he said because the whole time I was like just, I just wanna see what's here. I wanna see what's real. I wanna know who is this guy. And I was feeling this profound energy in me and it felt like here was a guy that he was pacing back and forth and it felt like he was walking on my heart.
(00:30:59): It was the most bizarre feeling, a similar to the feeling that I'd had on the roof so many years prior of feeling like the tree was inside me and I was inside the tree. And so I was like, wow, there's some tremendous energy around this guy. But he didn't really say anything of significance other than just go and see what's there. So I was like, wow, okay, so maybe my heart's open now I can feel what it's like to hold someone or something in my heart, which I hadn't really accessed before in a way consciously. And so I started practicing that with everyone, with the dogs that were lying in the street and with the dog keys that were there and the people in my group and whatnot. Can I hold them in a sense in my heart? Which sounds like a weird thing to say and may not make sense to people listening, so maybe I'll bypass that a little bit.
(00:31:41): But we get up there to the top of the mountain and I'm sitting there and I'm like, okay, I'm gonna take a piece of this mountain with me in my heart. So we do this other chant, I don't understand the Sanskrit, we're supposed to repeat it, I can't even hear it most of the time. And it's long phrases. So I can't even remember most of the phrase by the time it's done. And we had this little string tied around our wrist that was there the whole time. And you can see a lot of this on some of the documentaries that you can find on him online. And we get it wet. We do a guru puja, we sing the song that I know well that I'd memorized over time. And I'm sitting there, we're supposed to be looking at the mountain and we're looking there and I'm seeing nothing.
(00:32:18): I'm trying to hold it in my heart. And all of a sudden this, it's waking up from passing out. I wake up and it's like my senses are sprinting all around the mountain going, what the heck am I doing here? I am literally halfway across the globe from home sitting on top of mountains taller than I've skydived from, I've skydived from 14,500 feet and I'm up here higher than that, sitting on the ground and in the freezing rain, looking at a mountain that's supposed to have all the answers to the universe with people I don't know, in saying things in a language I don't understand, I don't really have a connection with. And it was this moment of sheer, not panic, not terror, total confusion and a little bit of a freak out on the inside it. And so I'm like, okay, I'll just do my follow along with the pro.
(00:33:08): I closed my eyes and I have this paper puppet image, of son go to shows up in my mind. And he's just laughing at me. And this is how it is. You don't take the mountain home with you. That's not how it works, sucker. And I feel like I've been duped and I have this feeling of falling down through a tunnel and I have this vision of this circular tunnel that's being there. And then all of a sudden sun is like, that's how it works. The mountain swallows you and you're now in the heart of the mountain. And I had this image of a circle inside of a triangle and me inside that circle almost like Harry Potter and the deathly, but instead of the line, it's me, . And then the Sud guru image in my head was like, there, it's done everything, all the work's done for you.
(00:33:49): You've already been enlightened. All this thing has happened. All the answers that you ever need are already there. All you have to do is sit with it. The more you sit with it, the more you'll know. And I have this emotional experience where I'm crying, grieving, it's really hard, I'm physically uncomfortable, I'm upset. I don't understand what that means cuz this wasn't an apotheosis. I'm not shining in glorious light. I'm not sitting here for days on end in ecstasies. I'm like psychologically driven. The whole thing had been psychologically driven. We come down and I meet Sw, who is the monk that was guiding our group. He breaks out into tears at seeing me cuz he hasn't been up yet. And it was the first time for him that he's just like, wow, I'd heard that anybody who sees Kla then becomes Kla and for you it is. And so he's crying. I'm crying. And that was the point at which heaven ended because it was all psychological. And the next day we couldn't get off the mountain. The next day we couldn't get off the mountain. I'm stuck there, it snows. We're snowed in, we can't get down.
(00:34:56): Freaking out. I'm like, I'm never gonna make it home again. Oh dear. I hope the business falls into good hands thinking about, but I'm listening to people talk about Ohad Guru and his grace will help us off the mountain. And other people are talking about how Shevas gonna help. And I'm hearing echoes from my past. All of these Jesus people like talking about how Jesus is gonna save us and how the grace of God's gonna come down and they sound like the same. And I'm listening to these people that are emotionally distraught, trying to make sense of their situation by clinging and grasping at some religious thing. And I'm like, whoa, did I just do this again? And then I start thinking back over the days proceeding and how they talked about Sheva this and Sheva that. And I always had a problem with the notion that, well, Jesus is half God, but you're supposed to be like Jesus, good luck.
(00:35:45): And here Sheva, supposedly this odd Degi character was an alien, but we're supposed to be an alien. I'm like, oh no, I did it again. And I start looking around and I'm just utterly disappointed at what had happened that I had kind of bought into a bunch of ideas that essentially were in different clothing than the ones that I had been raised in. That there was a savior out there, that there was a thing out there that would save me. And that if I got that and held it in me in some way, then I owned the truth. And I was that. And so I'm like, wow, is there such a thing as enlightenment? San Guru says he's not gonna talk about what Enlightenment's like because then we'll just make a, if you haven't experienced it, then you're just gonna fantasize about it and you're not gonna know.
(00:36:28): And yet he's willing to talk about a thing called Karma and he's willing to talk about things called chakras, which are not in most people's experience. I've never witnessed Carma. I've never seen a chakra. I have had definite sensations in the regions where chos are, and I could talk to about 'em in that way, but I had never actually witnessed them. They weren't there. And he would talk about what happens to the body after death, and he's willing to talk about all the things that are not in anybody's experience, but he's gonna say enlightenment. No. And so I start seeing the contradictions and discrepancies in a lot of the things that he's saying. And I'm like, no, why didn't I pay attention to this before? And here I am looking at this, the idea and the answers are outside of yourself. Is there such a thing as enlightenment anyway?
(00:37:10): Who is this guy? Is he like, what does it mean to be enlightened? Does it mean that you just are happy and you're not suffering anymore? And if that's fine, that's cool, but that's not what I thought it was. It's not salvation, it's not this other thing. So we get back down to Semio finally when the weather clears. And I'm just like, I feel this building discomfort in me. This building frustration that was probably more anger at myself for having been sucked in and duped yet again. And then having then convinced myself and indoctrinated myself that I really knew the things that were being told as a member of the church I grew up in as a missionary for two years in Brazil. I had indoctrinated myself that I knew all these things instead of simply believed all these things I had indoctrinated myself, that they were all the truth instead of something that I felt good about.
(00:37:59): And when I finally got honest about that and realized how little I actually knew, that was when the exit from the faith happened in here. I was like, wow, do I actually know all the things that I've gathered mountains of information about? I've gathered all this information over the years. I can speak very intelligently about it in a number of different circles. And yet do I actually know that it's true? Do I actually know what's happening? What is my experience? Tell me? And then everything just started to crumble from there. So I leave, we get back to Kathmandu and I have a few hours, we barely got back in time for me to get a flight down to India. I have a few hours, I go into a shop looking for some singing bowls cuz I wanted to bring something that was not Isha, not yoga, but just something that I was connected to and bring something home to my kids.
(00:38:45): And I tell the guy and he grabs a couple bowls and he just sit down and he just places it on me and he hits it. And this wave of sound or reverberation runs through me and I sigh with relief. And then tears start to percolate my eyes. And he's like, your body's not happy. And I was like, I know . And it connected with me. This was sound without meaning. It was no longer psychologically driven reality. It was just a sound, it was just a reverberation. And it was connected with everything I'd been teaching before I left. That what we're dealing with is body discomfort. What we're dealing with is a person, their system is holding something. And as we release that, more and more joy happens, more and more life happens. And here I was in a place where somebody was just putting a metal bowl on me and hitting it with a malad.
(00:39:37): And all of this emotion started to come up and all of this sense of wellbeing and peace, it was the best I felt the whole trip after having gone all that way to see a mountain and having at least seen the guru for a few minutes before he flew off in a helicopter and we never saw him again. There was that. It was this reiteration of what I do know, I know well. And that is this, that is this life, this body and how this body starts to feel so full of life. And that had happened before I went up in the weeks proceeding. That was how I was feeling before. And I'd lost sight of it by taking all the drugs that they were doling out by quitting the processes that actually made me come alive by eating in the way that they were telling me to do. And by having my mind constantly searching for something outside of myself to find joy. So now we go to India, , sorry, that was a long way around.
(00:40:27): No, they're very much as an element. I keep thinking about the Wizard of eyes. . Yeah. You're on this journey and you meet all these characters and all these things are being challenged already and all these things are growing and developing. And then you actually make it to Oz and you're like, wow, there's somebody over there behind that curtain. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. It just is this element of that. It's still glorious in its own way. I mean there are still things there, but certainly the disillusionment of Oz not being real in the way that you had set him up to be. Yeah, ironically, there was a man in my life years ago that took the name Oz too. And he ended up being a little bit different than I thought he would be too. Not Dr. Oz, not Dr. Oz, not Dr. Oz. But so yeah. So we got to Kashi and it was a little bit pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Everybody there, all of the organization, all the volunteers and the doctors and everybody there were just constantly touting up sad. And I don't have anything against him, I really don't.
(00:41:37): A failing of your own making. Yes. If we can look at this as a failing, because it ultimately doesn't feel like a failing. I mean, as you were finishing up the book and talking about tour guides, he's a tour guide. He has been a tour guide and tour guides are useful. And it was just that I mistook the tour guide for the tour. And so instead of being able to experience what the tour was I just kind of latched onto the tour guide. Wherever he takes us, that's where I wanna go. Every tour that he runs, I wanna run on that tour. Instead of actually deliberately going, what are the landscapes I want to explore in my life? What are the things that actually build me up? It just became an attachment to the tour guide. So here I am, I get to India finally after a really rough night in Delhi when then I get to VA Nazi finally and spent an evening by the Ganges River I in Air B beat out there. And before meeting up with the group for the second little pilgrimage through the city. And it was supposed to be the city of light, the city the Chivas summer home.
(00:42:42): If all the rest of the time he lived on top of Mount Kla. Then in the summertime or whatever, winter home, he would come down here and with his wife Patti and whatnot, and spent time in the city. And these are larger than life legends. There was once a drummer named Rama who had all these poetry and stuff. And he was climbing up Mount Kla and the big gash that's huge on the side of the mountain came from him, part of Vertigo. And there's not enough room for three of us up here. And she pushes him down and his drum makes the big gash down the side of the mountain. They sound like Native American legends and tales. And so how much to be believed, how much to be bought into. And so I get there to Kashi, I'm already a little bit disillusioned. It takes me, I get to the hotel at 10:00 AM. I don't get a hotel room until 8:00 PM because of the disorganization that's there.
(00:43:31): It takes four people. And this isn't the Usha group, this is just the hotel people, four of 'em, in order to photocopy my passport. So it was just like, wow, nobody's getting anywhere. And I ended up with my own room cuz I had developed a cough up on the mountain despite all of the medications that they were trying to pump into me. And so the guy there was like, you know what? I'm just gonna go get my own other room. And so that we don't have to share cuz I was trying to be careful. And so I ended up with my own room, which was great. It gave me time to sit and think and sleep and not worry about somebody else in there. If you or someone 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.
(00:44:39): And they would wake us up at 3:00 AM to go to this temple or 6:00 AM and we would just get notifications on a WhatsApp group of when and where to meet. And we'd get on a bus. And the first place we went was a museum near Sun, which is where the Buddha first gave his first teachings and it was just a museum for his life. And I was like, I didn't come here to go to a museum. I'm not here on a tour. I'm here to be with the guru, to be in an energetic, supposedly a consecrated city that is supposedly the mountain itself. It is that powerful and does all these processes. And I wanted to see the cremation grounds and look at a dead body and challenge my notions of how precious human life was and watch them cremate the body. And so we go to a museum first and I'm like, what?
(00:45:28): And then we go to the ruins of the temple, the Buddhist monastery at Sadat and we, and meditated for a little bit and walked around. But the tour guide was pushing us along and sharing all of his historical factoids. And I was like, I am not interested in history. I'm interested. I came here specifically to feel more alive, to be in touch with these presidents. Sadhguru's, a big guru in India. He's easily one of the most wealthy there now with all the things that they've done and all the processes that they've created, which is a big thing in India, these wealthy gurus that are on advertisements and stuff. But he's also very well known, very popular. There's also large factions of people that don't like him. Every individual and the people respect him. They revere him at the temples, they make room for him.
(00:46:19): It's not, he's some backwoods guy that's trying to do stuff. So I went with the guru and I was there to feel the depth and the source of life. I wanted to know life at its source, not just all of its extremities. I didn't want to only know the peel of the orange. I wanted to know the juice and the pit in the center of the orange. And so we're there and we're going to these temples and nobody's explaining to us what's going on. So we're in line and we're being shoved through. And then we turn around and I'm supposed to drink something or pour water on this thing. Someone throws a lay at me and they're like, oh hey yo. And I'm like, hi, .
(00:46:58): And then we go sit and we chanted the temple, another chant waiting for Sadhguru to show up. He shows up and everybody's freaking out and super happy and like, oh yay. And he's here. And he gives another little speech and doesn't really say much. This is the commemoration of his enlightenment day. And it's the first time I'd seen him since those 15 minutes in the Himalayas. And there were a few people that had been on that Kla Yaro as well in different groups. About a thousand people had gone and they were in the crowd right as well. And so, oh, we get to see 'em here for longer than we'd gotten to see 'em there. And some of 'em never got to see him on that Himalaya trick, despite the promise that they would have. And then he lets us go. So we go down by the Ganges, I put my feet in the Ganges River and some people do the washing and stuff like that.
(00:47:48): And I just already, I'm like, why am I gonna follow through with these rituals if I don't understand what's happening? I'm testing 'em out, but I'm still, my brain is like, I don't know what's going on. And the cremation ground is closed because the river's flooded. So we don't get to see the cremation stuff. But that was one of the big draws of this trip. And so I was looking through and they were still doing cremations, but I could see the moving stretchers around and bodies over there. So I was imagining a body being burned, hoping to get something out of it, but it wasn't really visible. So I could see bodies, I could see stretchers in flames, but I couldn't really see much. I would've loved to have sat there for hours on end and just watched and just watched bodies disintegrate. But it's a big business.
(00:48:29): And so they're rushing people through and they're really rough with these bodies and they're just tossing 'em onto the flames. There's the AURs there that eat these dead bodies and dead flesh cuz not everything gets burned away. And because they believe in the kind of life that's available to them by eating this, in this cannibal nature, we saw animal sacrifice. I mean everything that you thought, oh, civilization has evolved from, it's all happening now. And I don't know that what we're doing now is any more evolved than that necessarily. So I'm being confronted with all these things. Sadhguru comes down by the river. So I get within 10, 15 feet of him and I'm just trying to look at the guy. I'm looking at him through the crowd, looking at his face, what's his skin complexion? And I start, all of a sudden I'm starting, this guy is just a dude with a bit of charisma and people respect him.
(00:49:14): Does he have a bigger presence than say Elon Musk would or anybody else would? And the answer that I had there was like I don't know, he definitely has some presence and he might have some particular skill sets energetically or these subtle levels of stuff. So I'm not gonna deny him that. But as he was walking, as I hung by him, as I watched other people and were like, I wouldn't pick this guy out of a crowd except that he has a kindly face. He seems youngish and he wears very unique clothing . And people seem to like him. Would, if he hadn't been wearing that clothing and people weren't chasing him down, would I pick him out of the crowd? I'm like, I don't know that I would n't know what would draw me to be like, this guy has the answer for my life.
(00:49:58): And that made me question all kinds of things. If Jesus were in the midst and I'd thought about this before, how would you recognize him? How would I recognize him? And would I willingly toss aside anything that I had and go Peter and be like, okay cool. I'm ditching my fishing business dad, you got the whole corporation. I don't need shares in it. I'm going this way cuz some dude made some fishes appear and I'm, it's on. And that's kind of how it happened with Gudu for me. I had such a big experience. I'm like, it's on let's go. I even wrote a poem about it some time ago really talking about how haltingly, cuz it was halting, I was trying to follow him. And so I'm watching him and I, I'm just seeing a guy, he's just a dude, a human. He poops, he probably farts, he's got a little bit of a belly.
(00:50:41): He tells jokes and he says some things that are really incredibly profound and wise. And then he said some other things that I'm like, I don't know what he is talking about. So then I thought, oh that was our viewing of guru. And they're like, no, no, we're gonna go meet with him this afternoon. So we go that afternoon we have a big sort of more food banquet kind of thing and after everybody's done we go meet with him in the hall. And so we were with him for five hours later sitting in that hall in that space. And there was probably 500, maybe to a thousand of us in there. So a relatively small group, probably around 500 of us in there, relatively small group. I'm in the back, I don't know that I saw myself on the video later in the back left. And we sit in the hall and the first thing that starts to happen as they're coming, they're showing all of these previews and he is not quite in there yet. And they show a video, a documentary of this year's Carla Trip and it shows Saru walking and hiking with all these people and visiting places that we never went the highest golf course in the world. Which I was like, why does a golf course have to do with going on a spiritual pilgrimage but I don't have anything against golf. But what are we doing there and going to Polka and other places that we hadn't gone. And I was like, this is a bait and switch advertising. This is not honest, this is, that's not what that trip was. Even the last documentary I saw where I went to at least some of those places that wasn't honest either.
(00:52:12): I didn't get to do that with Sadu, I didn't sit there with him. The impression of watching that was that at least if I was gonna see him once, it was gonna be there at the viewing point for Kyla where he was gonna put his finger on my forehead or put his knee in my back and create this beautiful powerful experience running through me. And none of that happened. And several of the other people that were there were really irate actually, that they had been essentially sold this notion that they were gonna go to a mountain and they were going to have sabu with them just because of a documentary. And that didn't happen. And I was watching this year's going, that is not the trip I went on. And I started getting this really sour kind of feeling about it. I don't wanna live that way.
(00:52:56): I don't want to bait and switch people I don't wanna make. And I've probably made a lot of bigger promises because I thought that's how marketing needed to be in the beginning. And I was like, I just want to help to be transparent about what's real with me and what we do and I don't want this kind of burden of things. And so then he comes in the room and he's essentially behaving as if he were a kind of Jesus character. The way he talks is, I am the way and I will be there for you wherever you are in the world if you don't know what's going on. So then this lady, there's some time for q and a after he is done his chanting and everybody freaks out and you can hear it on, you can watch it live on YouTube. The SUD go to enlighten day, enlightenment day 2022.
(00:53:40): It's like a long time. And he's chanting and people are making animal noises and crying and screaming. This isn't like a rockstar concert, this is people, you would look at it like a psychotic breakdown or if you were to go to some of these other churches that are having people talking in tongues and just spontaneously eruptions from of psychological states and states of consciousness in the crowd happens very frequently around. So I'd go to a very normal in India to have that kind of thing happen. And so people are having all this stuff going on as he is chanting and whatnot. And then he gives his little speech, he's talking about feminine stuff and the city a little bit. It's all highly technical yoga stuff a lot of the times. And then he is telling jokes, having a good time. And then this lady gets up and it's time for q and a and she gets up and she is in the most sincere grief I've ever witnessed, or at least in a long time.
(00:54:31): Her mother died a month before and none of the spiritual processes and practices and teachings that she's received even from Gudu have helped her with her grief. She's got tears running down her face, her voice is cracking and acknowledges the pain of that. But then he proceeds to give a long rambling answer that felt like it was 15 minutes long and he'd several jokes in the middle and the essential message of it all was, well it's good that she died now and not when you were two months old because when you were two months old you needed her. Which is true and it doesn't matter when she dies after that because well that matters for her life, but for you it's not a big deal and you would've made an emotional mess out of it anyway and your job is to quit thinking of her in negative terms and because that's doing her a dishonor, it was basically like you're not actually treating your mother well, you need to stop it.
(00:55:20): Her grief hadn't debated. And I was watching this in utter dismay because I'm in the back of the room going, if you had given me 10 minutes with this lady, we could have resolved this. She would not be in grief anymore. She would still love her mother and maybe grief would come up from time to time, but she would not be there suffering. And yet here's a man who's saying I'm the answer and he won't get down off his stage. He won't go to this woman, he won't meet her where she's at and he won't alleviate it from. And this is one who has spent money and time and energy and she's sitting in the front, she's not back with the rest of us with our name tags and stuff. She's sitting in the front one of his closer knit group to the point where the only view you get of her is from behind because that's where the cameras are positioned.
(00:56:04): She's so close and she's somebody that's given her life to this guy. And that's the answer that she gets is, well it's a good thing this happened. You know, have to understand life moves on and don't dishonor your mother by just by thinking badly of her. You need to think of the good times, which is advice anybody on the planet could give. And so I'm like frustrated. I'm at a loss for words going, who cares if this guy can walk on water and transform stone into energy forms that create meditative. He can't even help a lady with grief. There's something off here. And then the next question or one after that, some guy's like, I don't know what to do with my life. Kind of a really vague question. And by the end of that answer he says, when you get to the point where the question really tears you then I have something for you and then I will be there no matter where you are.
(00:56:53): And I was like, I don't even know what that means. Life will be there for him. The opening is there, but Sud go to himself will be there for him. But no matter where he is on the planet, what does that even mean? So the questions are there, but then I was, there was a lady just before this who had a question that was tearing her apart and if that's the way he's gonna be there, that's not it. And so as the meeting finished and he kind of walked through the crowd with sincerity in his heart cuz he really does have sincere desires and he is doing some things in the world that seem like they might be helping. I'm just in my own heart giving this gentle gratitude, thank you Sadhguru for being a placeholder for me to be able to make some transitions and to learn some things. And this is my farewell from here on in. I have to look with my own eyes and I can no longer sit here and keep buying into another authority to be the author of the life that is within me. And it was a devastating blow in many ways, but it was exceptionally profound.
(00:58:00): I'm sitting here getting a little bit emotional, just sensing some of that loss and even standing in direct contradiction to how you have described meeting him the first time in that moment. And like so said, guru has not changed, he's evolved. Anyone else has grown and whatever. But what changed? Yeah, well what changed was I think a clearer perception about what was actually him versus what my mind had made. If the first time I met him I was in deep turmoil. I was looking for any kind of answer that would help me get rid of this feeling of feeling I was worthless, feeling like there was something wrong with me feeling. Not that I hadn't made huge strides in that before then, but I wanted enlightenment, I wanted salvation, I wanted that and I needed that. And so I was grasping at straws, I was doing everything I could in that environment to really give my whole life away to something bigger and stop being the selfish human that everybody told me I was, that the sinner that everybody told me I was born as and to quit essentially being human so that I could become enlightened.
(00:59:08): And in that space I had some big experiences, some beautiful experiences that were then attributed to Sud guru's grace by the people running it and stuff. And so I just sort of accepted that and then to turn around and have him there sitting there stalk still a dead body and yet to have this feeling in the room, everything in my heart was freaking out. Now this is the result of confusion again, just like I had up on top of the mountain when confused, the body's exceptionally receptive to anything. And then when he gave an answer that seemed to match, I'm the only Mormon in the group, I'm the only one that will know about Jesus coming again and being in Missouri and all that other stuff. And everybody else is laughing thinking it's a joke. Just my mind was like, holy cow, he is talking to me.
(00:59:54): And so I grabbed onto that and I just assumed this guy is reading my mind. He has the answers for my life and so I will follow him as best I know how, as hard as that is, I will challenge everything I need to challenge and I will follow along. And I'd say that that was more nonverbal than verbal. I wanted to follow along, but I recognized the challenges of faith. I hadn't left my own faith yet. And so even I was clinging to it until I got sideswiped by the other information, I probably would've stayed as a member of the faith. Had not that other stuff gone or maybe not, I don't know. And so I was in a space where I was looking for answers. And so there are things that he did. He has an exceptional stillness about him that is profound, deeply meditative.
(01:00:39): He's not encumbered by human suffering generally, but I have also seen him irritated and a little snarky and rise to an occasion at times. And he is running around the planet thinking the world should change. So if somebody who is one with the planet thinks it needs to be different, that's not the same thing. You can't be one with the planet and then have this agenda that the world is wrong as is. That just doesn't, those two ideas don't come together. And so it is obviously not always one with everything and in that place personality arises and other types of stuff. But at that time I was willing to brush all that aside because of this one experience that was deeply profound. We could call it again a positive trauma seed idea at a time where I was emotionally vulnerable and exhausted. We'd spent four days doing all these kind of activities and I had very little sleep and so I was just totally outta my element and I was just absorbing things in a baby would in many ways.
(01:01:37): And just taking that as fact and truth beyond what was actually being shared. So in this other place where all of these other observations had come up and seeing contradictions and seeing the guy as just a normal guy and witnessing how many things were not happening to be able then to look at him and say, what am I actually seeing? And I'm seeing a beautiful human being who is just another human being who happens to be experiencing a level of peace and joy in his life that others want. And he happens to be sharing things with him that I think stretch beyond what is honest. Not that he's trying to be dishonest, but for instance he'll have you sit and do a chant or a meditative process and you do certain kinds of breathing with it. Then I would personally in honesty call that this is a breathing practice and a chanting practice, but he'll call it a spiritual practice.
(01:02:32): And by labeling it that it seems to claim more than what's actually going on now, maybe years from now I'll have a different understanding and I'll be like, oh, he was right all along, whatever, I don't know. But that level of just extra claim and extra thing I could now sit and see through and go here is a beautiful human being that's maybe got some particular skills but he doesn't have the skills that I have . And I think what helped was that I was ready to rise up in defense for that woman who he essentially called stupid and who he didn't actually help in my view now I don't know what her experience was, I didn't go find her afterwards and stuff. So maybe it was a beautiful thing, but she never got a chance to talk again. He finished the question and people clapped about something that actually felt kind of insulting to the woman and then it moved on to another question and she wasn't helped.
(01:03:20): And my willingness to rise up in defense, this is just a quality with me. I hate to see people suffering and if anybody is willing to, she had come with a question, anybody ready to change? I give them so much of myself cuz it is just, I don't call that a virtue, it's just the way that I tend to be wired right now or that I tend to behave. And so maybe there was someone there that I felt needed something more and I was ready to step up in her defense that allowed me to go look and go, wait a second, even if this guy does have all these amazing yogic powers, if he can't do this, this is significant for me and maybe it's time to reassess things. So I finished a book a couple weeks ago, the Lion Truckers Guide to Life, and he said that even in a point in the tracking process where he loses the trail, that's still a part of the process. And I was kind of struck when you came back and we were standing out in your driveway and you're like, you had to go there to be here.
(01:04:17): Yeah, I remember being up on top of the mountain and I had done a video some years before climbing up TIMOs Mountain here in Utah and we'd gotten all the way to the top and we'd started at 1:00 AM and it was a long day because my wife and some of the others we were traveling with had gotten either altitude sickness or had fallen down and heard themselves. So it took a long 14 hour day, we got to the top and I was just sitting on a pile of rocks that were not all that pretty and we look around at this great view and what are we looking at the home we left. And it's only from that vantage point that I could say, wow, that's such a beautiful place to live. But when I was living at home, I couldn't say the same thing. Not to say that hiking in the mountains is bad I beautiful experiences, but to go to the Himalayas and see this is just high mountain desert kind of stuff going on.
(01:05:09): The mountains don't look that much different a little bit but not that much different than the ones I'm used to at home. The difference in altitude isn't that much different than from the floor to the base of the mountain to the top as what I would experience at home. The snow on the mountains isn't that much different than what I experienced at home. But to get there and to be in such a foreign place and then to be able to look back and go like, wow, I left home and now I realize how beautiful it was. All the things that I had before I went through a couple of weeks of, what's interesting is now when I experience depression, it doesn't it, I'm still gloriously happy on the inside, but I can recognize the tension patterns and the sort of breath pattern that's with it and the chemistry that goes with it of a depressive or an anxious state.
(01:05:58): And it went a week and a half or so where I was like, wow, okay, I can live the rest of my life this way. I'm, I'm really glorious on the inside but there's definitely something going on where I'm a little bit stuck and where I'm a little bit down and it's not as vibrant as it was before I left for the Himalayas that was really vibrant. And so it took a couple weeks for me to, I was like, well should I look at some other type of therapy to help out or is this something I could do on my own? And I was looking at everything. I'm very aware of deep minute tension patterns. I was using the sound bowls that I bought and relaxing things and it took a couple weeks to come out of that funk. And because that's the funk of disillusionment in some ways is this, people would ask me, they're like, how is the Himalayas? And I'm like, I don't have an answer because they wanna know about landscapes and tourists and did you see multiple people and how many different religions were there and what were the mountains like? And I wasn't my focus. And so from the perspective of the tourist, the tourist was lousy. We didn't see all the things that you would want to go see on a tour. We .
(01:07:07): So it wasn't the greatest tour if you were gonna go as a tourist but as a pilgrimage it was successful. It tore away from me all of the things that I wanted to be torn away just in a way that I never expected it would ripped free from me. This dependence on anything on the outside being the answer for happiness. And when that happened and I recovered after the cough, got the cough went away and then I got rested and all the other things and the sort of depressive mood finally left. The quality of what I experience now is so different. There is that ultimate vibrance of life, but none of the effort that was required before. And there's like no reactivity in me but minor things. There's a deeper awareness of slight discomforts that I get to play with now that I never was aware of before.
(01:08:00): There's a settledness and a calm and maybe you can speak to that cuz you've been around a little bit what you've seen. But on the inside of me what I wrote was that it was kind of like a purposeless piece. It's just here and there is I, if I just sit I tears can come anytime just to sit and feel just this great, this vibrant. And I think one help for recovery was that I went to visit Ellie Tom and trained with him for six days afterwards. And he was a guy who isn't claiming to be anybody's authority and doesn't wanna be anybody's authority and owns nothing and travels around barefoot. And it's like, no, you are the source of your life and it's your journey and here's some things to look at, but I'm not your god, I'm not any of that stuff. And he looked at me and he is, thousands of people have gone to the Himalayas and come back disappointed, you're not the only one.
(01:08:52): This has happened many, many, many times and it's just part of your journey. And it was important. And I've thought about it and I'm like, I don't know about important. It did happen. And the significance of what happened is not lost on me even though it didn't come the way I thought. I thought I'd come back levitating, glowing, not radioactively and it surrounded by angels or Kevin Lee choir or not that I was consciously thinking that, but I think the little kid in me was somewhere hoping and finally it will have happened. And I can tell everybody, yes, salvation is real and enlightenment is real. And no, that was a dream. And the difference is I was trying to win in the dream and what happened was I got awakened from the dream and waking up from a dream is not the same as winning in a dream. And so many times I've had a waking up experience where something has shaken me a little bit and I wanna go back into the dream and keep you're halfway awake in the dream and so you start going, can I just twist this so I get experience it? But waking up, there's no thought of going back. Sometimes you're like, that was a big dream. Holy cow, I'm like processing this. But at the end of it, waking up is just a totally different experience than winning in the dream. And that's seems like it's what
(01:10:08): Happened. Yeah, I mean to your point, my experience of you is that you're clearer, that you're quicker to put appropriate weight on things, not take things as seriously. And it's like you're closer to joy and as you're talking I'm like, is a guru a lens that you look through and that actually keeps you, it helps you see some things, right? If it's a blue wave, light sunglasses or whatever, whatever is gonna protect your eyes at some point. But also I don't wearing sunglasses cuz things aren't as crisp or clear and I feel more vulnerable and stuff like that. But there's an element of if you take the glasses off, does it actually help you see what actually is? And so as you talk, there's a part of that as well. But then there's still a question for me, for you in the sense of are the training wheels off? And I say, I don't know that there's a way to know that. Yeah. Are you your own guru or is life that or what's that pursuit?
(01:11:21): Yeah, so there's no pursuit right now in me that there's no sense even somebody reading news, I realized up there that everybody's attempt at explaining life is just that an attempt at explaining life. All of them are theories, none of them are life itself. So I came back and now I have a difficult time believing anybody, not because I won't listen to their words and maybe use them as useful things, but now words and ideas feel like game pieces, they feel like tools. Even just the other day I was talking with Tucker and he was telling me about his experience early with me and how terrified he was about how I would challenge all of these things. They were keeping him stuck. And what happened at the end of that was like, and maybe that would be a really cool podcast to do so that you guys could get a glimpse of this.
(01:12:08): Cuz I want you guys, I mean I want everybody to know that I'm just a guy, that's what I want. I saw in Saru, but I don't want people thinking that I'm not. And then having to discover that because I know what it's like to come in on the other end and be like, oh dang, he's just a dude and now I gotta go back and look at my own life and take responsibility for my own decisions and all that stuff. And so I don't have a sense of ability to believe even people who have nutrition facts and data. Yeah, well I also have trained with people that aren't eating and drinking at all and they would be at odds with those nutrition facts. And so I go, I don't actually know. And I think I'm more willing to just admit I don't know and admit that I don't understand, not to play along with the inside joke and pretend I understand so that I'm not the awkward man out.
(01:12:55): But just to admit I don't know what you're talking about and not to try and gather information just to sound smart or without actually knowing what it is that's there. And so I came back without a really inability to believe anyone in any sincere way, a but also an ability to let people have their own views of things. And I don't feel like I need to prove that I'm right because what do I know? The processes we've developed to help people, I think they're even more profound than and more effective than they were before I left. And I've seen that in the last two retreats. Just the way that they work and the way people have been able to open up. And I think that's a direct result of it. Am I my own guru? I don't even know what that means as a question because I don't feel like there's anything that needs changing in life.
(01:13:49): Like a person looking for a guru is a person that is looking for answers and I don't need answers. I don't have any questions. There's just this beautiful and beyond curious questions or how do I get to the store? Do you have directions? But there isn't no seeker left in me there. There's nothing left to seek. And so even the notion of a guru doesn't arise in me in any way, shape, or form. And it's a really beautiful thing, but it's also brand new. Nothing I could have ever even imagined because I'd spent four plus decades seeking and having that be my identity. A person who seeks to change, who seeks the truth, and then to be like, Nope. But to wake up from that dream and to wake up from that game without hating, it was a beautiful life. And now there's a different one unfolding. I have thought of our journey together as though you're behind the boat making wake and that I get the pleasure of riding in that wake with my own perspective. I can see in front of me. But you've definitely, you're plowing, plowing away and we all receive the benefit of that. So not a guru, are you assigned pointing a direction? Are you a magnifying glass? Are you binoculars? Are you a doctor? Are you like saying, take a look at this, we need to do this work. How do you perceive yourself then on this journey with us?
(01:15:24): That's a great question. I don't know that I have a great answer. I would say I'm a human being and a happy one, . And so if that is a sign for somebody, then they will take me as a sign. If that is a teacher for someone, then they will take me as a teacher. And I don't really have control over whether somebody wants to see me as a guru or a master or a genius or an idiot or anything else. I don't really have control over that internally for me, on one level, life is everywhere. It's in everything. And I feel that very, very deeply. And I don't really feel like it is the place of this personality, me, Bob, to even judge whether that needs to be any different than it already is. Even including all the wars and all the pain and everything else.
(01:16:17): The universe doesn't care. The planet isn't sitting here bemoaning that fact. Even though there are people that have these experiences within themselves that say, oh yeah, I heard the mountains weeping or something. The mountains definitely receive all of the energetic effects and all of the physiological effects that come from the way that we are mining them and the way that we're wars on them and even subtle effects. I'm not denying that that's the case. And yet they're not standing in the way, they're not getting up. The planet doesn't seem to care if an animal species goes extinct, if the termites overrun an or locusts overrun an entire crop and totally obliterate the crop so that other animals can't eat it, it doesn't care if there's a famine. It doesn't seem to care. It's just going on. And so it's not human centric. Humans on the other hand believe that things need to change and that's usually as a result of, I don't like the way things are or I think that they could be better.
(01:17:13): But that's a human thing. And so I don't have a sense that anything about life itself needs any change. But then I also have this deep profound response to the suffering I see in the humans around me. And I feel like what I've learned and what I've discovered over these years and what I've put together, it's missing. It's not anywhere else I've looked. Bits and pieces I've gathered from all over the place. I didn't invent them all on my own. Some of them I put together on my own. Many of them I cobbled together in a different way. It is the most profoundly effective way I've ever seen of helping a human being get back in touch with the source of their life without having to challenge their religion. Although that does happen. People challenge those concepts, but it's just a practical way of working with the life that's in them.
(01:17:59): And I feel very, very deeply that it could benefit a lot of people. And then I have this deep response and reaction whenever I see another person suffering that wants to just reach out and wants to bec maybe because I just remember my own suffering and wants to show them another way and also recognizes that I can't want it for them more than they do. And sometimes that brings tears to my eyes. There's been a number of kids around recently on the suicide episodes that we talked about where I'm offering them just come, let's help. And they don't want it. They wanna do things on their own. We did have it this last retreat, one 16 year old who had been contemplating suicide and for a long time and had been down and this is a kid that had struggled, was in an orphanage in Africa for the first several years of his life and then was adopted by parents who really care for 'em and didn't realize the effect that those initial years had had and then didn't realize how much he was trying to make other people happy.
(01:18:58): And possibly as a reaction to I don't want to be given away again and who knows what else non-verbally happened within that. But then also feeling the expectations to live up to other people in this new environment. And in his mind it was just, life is hard, it stinks. Nobody really cares about me or I'm not really loved or whatever else was going on in his mind. And he never connected all those dots. And then we take him through these processes and all of these memories come up and all of these other things. And not because not to traumatize him, but literally he walks away feeling lighter and happier because we got rid of all the nonverbal, all the physical, all these other things. Maybe not all of them, who knows if there's more but a ton to where it's possible for him to go live his life.
(01:19:42): And the thing is, in the four day retreat, he slept for the last day and a half because he processed so much in that first day and a half or so or first two days that after that he wouldn't even participate in all the rest of this stuff. And that's how profound and powerful it is. So for me, how do I see myself as just a human being? Someone who's really wants other human beings to be joyful and has found a way to do it that is exceptionally profound and loves doing it. And so if people wanna partake of that, then I'd love to help. And if they want to challenge that, that's great. And they're welcome to prove me wrong in their own mind and stay in their mystery . But I'm really joyful. And if they'll just give it space, if they'll just give it a chance, it can really do some amazing things. Well I'm for one grateful and I know thousands of other people are as well, that you have lived the life and pursued the things that you have because we get to enjoy more life because of that as well. And as we're wrapping up, I was just thinking about the scripture that says greater love, eth no man than this that he laid down in his life for his friends. And I think that's true, but there's also an element of this greater love hath no man than this. That he live his life for his friends and live all of life and experience all of it. And engage all of it. Yeah, I mean there's an element of that as I hear you talking as I'm your friend and experience the freedom organization that I think that's true.
(01:21:12): So this has been a longer episode and I don't really want to cut it up. It may get cut up in production and I apologize for that if that happens. But I feel like as a conversation, it stands as a whole much more deeply at the end of it. I feel like if you're listened through all of this and didn't get bored and whatnot that the invitation is going to the Himalayas isn't bad or good, you may feel in your life that you need to do. If I hadn't gone there, I don't know that this would've happened this quickly, this effectively, as difficult as it was, as painful as it was to confront and as embarrassing as it was to confront the decisions I made to give another person the authority for my life, the disillusionment that came from it has produced something beyond anything I knew could be possible.
(01:22:02): And I've said that so many times because you can't know what is possible beyond what you've done. You can go and experience it, but that requires stepping into this unknown space and all the fears associated with it. I've just learned to discount because the fears are based on what I've made up in my head. They have nothing to do with the unknown. So if you've listened and you have big ideas and you're like, I wanna go do this, that and the other, I'm not saying that those are bad, they have helped. But what I am suggesting is that really the source of life is throbbing inside of you. And there is a way that you can access that daily in simple, subtle ways that blow through your whole body and transform your life and turn even the most mundane actions into something that could bring tears to your eyes.
(01:22:58): That it just is hilarious and glorious and fun and joyful and all the things because you're in touch with the source of life and it's no longer that life is a chore, that every ounce of life can be something that's glorious. That's what I was seeking the whole time, was that I didn't want rarefied states and deep experiences to be the only thing where the rest of my life felt like crap. I wanted cutting the vegetables for dinner and taking out the trash to be as glorious as having a vision of almighty God or anything. I wanted every moment of life to be filled with life. And I think you've seen that Lee, and as you've done some of these practices and you've felt it kind of blow, do you want to talk to some of that?
(01:23:43): Yeah. You don't know what you don't know. And as I've observed you and listened to you talk about your experiences, I didn't know what I didn't know. And as I walk into more of them and identify similarities or common experiences that you've referred to or as I've seen our guys do that at retreats, you know, have no , you don't know until and as I know more, it's more and more amazing. And I think I'll go back to, I forget if it was at the beginning of this podcast or another one, but before I met you, I thought this was it. I'll endure this way until I die. And that would've been an okay life and I would've done it and I would've been a good man and I would've brought other, whatever that is. And I would've brought other people along with me in that process. And there would've been a great eulogy about how I gave my life.
(01:24:42): I don't know that they would've said that I lived my life. And that's different, that endurance or experiencing all that there is and being present to that. And that's huge. And I want more of that. I don't want to endure. I want to enjoy and be present and live as long as I can because it just seems the possibility and the potential of what is actually there is huge, more so than I've ever understood it to be. And I think if there's anything that I could say, I mean that's a huge part of my interaction with you and sharing this life and this process in walking with the people. And that's the invitation to more life, more abundant life, more than they ever thought or could imagine is possible. And I'm a witness to that.
(01:25:38): Yeah. So if somebody listening, if you're hearing this, just a note that if something I've shared has in some way, shape or form, challenged some belief that you hold dear or made you feel scared because there was something unknown. I'm, I've never been asking people to give up on what brings them life, but only to note that there's a lot more of it to be had and that there are simple ways to do it. And that's what this is about. And so if you feel like I could help, then come to our retreats, come multiple times cuz there's so much to explore. It's not like it's one and done thing because it's not about fixing you. There's nothing wrong with you. You have to wake up from the dream that there's something wrong with you. Unfortunately, waking up from that dream is a lot easier and much more joyful than waking up from the dream that you were wrong that there's something else out there.
(01:26:34): So there's nothing wrong with you and there's nothing to fix, but there is a life to be explored. And that can be had at home as well as on a Himalaya mountain somewhere and everywhere in between. And the way you're gonna know that is to really trust your heart and to trust the life that is in you. Does it make you come more alive or does it dampen you and weigh you down? And if it does, let me step in and the people that work with me and let us help you lighten the load and put the burden down so that you can go actually live the life that you've been given.
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 great stuff to you. Plus it's just nice to be nice.
This Is thepodcastfactory.com