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TMHS 473: 7 Ways To Find More Peace, Purpose, & Power Through Meditation

“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the mental muscles of calm and insight.” -Ajahn Brahm

While the popularity of meditation is on the rise, it’s important to note that meditation has been practiced in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. The term meditation applies to a wide variety of diverse practices, both ancient and new. Research shows that meditation has numerous profound benefits on emotions and stress levels, the circulatory system, immunity, and much more. 

On this compilation episode of The Model Health Show, you’re going to hear from some of the world’s foremost experts on the topic of meditation. You’ll learn the impacts that meditation can have on the brain and nervous system, tips for cultivating a healthy meditation practice, and how mindfulness can make you a better person, inside and out.

You’re also going to learn practical tips for getting started in meditation, the truth about common misconceptions, and how meditation science is always evolving. Whether you’re a meditation expert or novice, I hope this episode provides you with inspiration and insights to create a mindfulness practice that works for you. So listen in, take good notes, and enjoy the show! 

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How to create real long-term changes by taking control of your inner world. 
  • The Albert Einstein quote that changed my life. 
  • What meditation actually is. 
  • The importance of living your life intentionally. 
  • What intention deficit disorder is. 
  • The root of the word meditation. 
  • Why there is no such thing as a bad meditation practice.
  • How meditation can help you better express yourself. 
  • Why humans are energetic fields. 
  • Tips for getting started with meditation. 
  • What a mantra practice is, and why it’s so powerful.
  • The powerful effects that meditation has on the brain. 
  • What spiritual fitness is. 
  • The importance of recognizing meditation as a skill.  
  • Why it’s beneficial to be specific with our language when talking about meditation. 
  • One critical question you should ask yourself after a meditation practice. 
  • Why consistency is important when cultivating a meditation practice. 
  • How to become more efficient at meditating. 
  • The reason why there is sometimes an emotional release during meditation.
  • How meditation can allow the body to rest and restore. 

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Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

Transcript:

SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Special announcement to kick things off. For the first time ever in the show's history, starting next month... Starting in May 2021, we're going to be delivering two episodes of The Model Health Show each and every week... This is kicking off. We're going to have a show release every Monday and Wednesday coming for you, starting off May 2021... The demand has been high. We're really working at helping to counterbalance some of the things that are going on in the world right now.

 

We need more. We need more real information. We need more empowerment. There are so many crazy things going on, and the bottom line is, the root issues are not being addressed. Not being addressed in the way that they really need to be addressed. Right now here in the United States... And this is according to the Journal of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, after doing a big meta-analysis determined that only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy... 88% of our citizens are dealing with some degree of metabolic dysfunction. I'm going to continue to repeat these statistics over and over again until we do something radical about it.

 

Now, the good thing is there's a momentum shift taking place. With all that's happening in the world, everything does seem to be a little bit crazy and kind of fluxed up... With an L. Fluxed up. And so it's just providing an opportunity really, for things to change because things are shaking up, they're more malleable and we get to determine what form they end up in, but we've got to take action right now. And also, of course, everybody can feel a little bit of turbulence, but I believe that that turbulence is a result of us really starting to lift off... So we're starting to elevate and elevate the conversation. And I'm dedicated to delivering more to help to usher in this real sustainable change.

 

Again, right now, here in the United States, over 242 million of our citizens are clinically obese or overweight. Right now we have 43% of our citizens are clinically obese, and we're rapidly approaching half of our population being clinically obese. Something is wrong. This is not normal. This is not okay. It's really a worldwide epidemic that's taking place, but here in the United States, we're really leading the charge in our state of sickness. And I believe that we are alive right now to be the generation that changes this for the better.

 

We have 130 million of our citizens right now, are type-2 diabetic or pre-diabetic. It's not okay. The Journal of the American Medical Association has affirmed, big meta-analysis 2018, what we already know to be true, the number one cause of our chronic degenerative diseases... These epidemics, of diabetes and heart disease and cancer and obesity... The number one cause is poor diet. It's the number one thing. That's just the surface level though. We're not even bringing into the equation that, poor diet is a form of stress. And the epidemics of stress, the abnormal stress and lack of stress management. The epidemics of our sedentary behavior. The epidemics of sleep deprivation. The epidemics of disconnection from community.

 

We humans, we evolved having community. We need support and other people to really survive and to thrive. And so there's so much going on in the world right now that, again, we're here to help to counter-balance this, but not just counter-balance it, but to tip the scales in the direction of what's real. To tip the scales in the direction of what's sustainable... So again, starting in May, 2021, two episodes each and every week. Sunday night/Monday morning, depending on where you are in the world, and also Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, depending on where you are in the world.

 

And I know that there's been a demand for this for many years, but I've been sitting back because of what's required. What's required of me and my family and my team to make something like that happen. Little do many people know, but it can take me several days... Sometimes weeks in advance of preparation to do an episode of the show. And hours, upon hours, upon hours that don't go into the recording, is into the prep for the show. And so really working to move my life in a dimension where I can shift things and really focus on creating more for this platform that so deeply needs it.

 

Podcasting is such a powerful medium today. We've got the majority of our citizens are listening to podcasts now. And this all started as an idea... I was a clinical nutritionist and a strength and conditioning coach in St. Louis, Missouri. And I was seeing people every day and I was seeing these incredible success stories. But what I was doing that was different, which should be obvious, but I would basically educate folks on how the disease occurred... So if somebody's coming in and they're on Metformin, and they have type 2 diabetes and they're on Lisinopril, they have hypertension...

 

The list goes on and on... They're on their slew of medications. I would basically take them and help them to reverse engineer and understand how the disease is created. If we're talking about diabetes, here's how your pancreas works. Here's how the beta cells in the pancreas works. Here's how your blood cells get unlocked to be able to fill energy. Here's how they get unlocked again, to be able to release their contents into circulation. Here's how that energy can get shipped to the mitochondria. But all of these things can sound very technical and overwhelming until we bring some life and color to it. Until we make it into something that is palpable and engaging and entertaining.

 

And so having these different dimensions, I was like, "I need to record this." Seeing people every single day over and over again in a one-on-one context, I was like, "I need to share this in a bigger way." And so we started the show. And in the beginning, it was slow going... I didn't... I'm not one of those people... I didn't have a network of people. I didn't have all of this influence and all of these followers, and I just wanted to help. I wanted to serve. And we hit record and we started to create an archive and a database of these master classes. And before you know it, about a year later, it became the number one health podcast in the United States.

 

From St. Louis, Missouri, not the hub... Not what you would consider to be the hub of health in our country. And also to say that if I can achieve greatness anybody can, coming from my circumstances, it's true. And I'm going to continue to remind you of that. And now here we are all these years later, and we're for the first time moving to two episodes a week. So I'm very excited about that. We've got some incredible things lined up and some big, big change is happening. This episode today is one that is going to be timeless. It's going to be something that hopefully helps to nudge you in the direction of empowerment and really understanding that you truly have the pen in your hand and you are writing your own story.

 

Because everything that we do in our life is based on the perception of who we see ourselves to be. Everything we do in our lives is based on the perception of who we believe ourselves to be. It's the number one driving force of the human psyche. Truly it's to stay congruent with who you believe yourself to be. You take actions based on who you believe yourself to be. You think thoughts based on who you believe yourself to be. If anything goes outside of that quickly it starts to nudge you into discomfort and we retract...

 

So if we want to start to have different actions in the world, different results in the world, different feelings in the world, we first have to begin to change what we believe about ourselves. We have to be able to get in there and do the inner work that's necessary, so that we start to think the thoughts that we want to think, feel what we want to feel, have the correlating actions that we want to take, and then see the results that we want to see in the world. That's how it really works. We can work from the back in. There is some reverse engineering that could take place because there is, this statement that our emotion is created by motion, for example.

 

If we want to shift our emotions, to change what we're doing with our bodies. And what that really does is it puts us in a state. It puts us in a different state. It's a state change that just makes it easier... A little bit easier to change our thoughts. To think what we want to think. To feel a little bit more empowered. But the real long-term change comes from really taking control of our inner world. And again, everything that we do in our lives is based on who we believe ourselves to be. And you can change that at any moment. At any moment, you can change. And you don't have to get permission from anyone to do it. Now, that said, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku said that the human mind is the most complicated object in the known universe.

 

So that's the rub. That's the other side of the story. This isn't necessarily an easy thing to do. It is very simple. It's a simple principle of changing your thoughts, but how does it actually get done? Most of us are very... Just radically disconnected from our inner world. We're so externally focused. There's so much distraction going on in the world. There's so much that's pulling our attention away from ourselves, that many of us feel this sense of just feeling disconnected, cut a drift, lost, not really on purpose and on their mission, and life is just kind of passing by. But I promise you at any time you could jump in and grab the steering wheel. But how do we do that?

 

Well, the most proven strategy, time tested... We have massive amounts of clinical evidence, but also centuries upon centuries of documented use and application of this technique, of this strategy, of this plethora of strategies to really getting in and being able to operate and understand our inner world. And again, the ultimate goal is to think the thoughts that we want to think about ourselves and about the world around us. Because the statement that really... It really changed my life, because it was something that I was coming to see, but I didn't realize that other people had experienced it or known that this was something real.

 

You know how... You might know something just kind of like maybe some deep knowing or visceral knowing, but you never consciously think of the words... When I heard the words, it really struck me and it stayed with me to this day. And this was probably maybe 15, 16 years ago that I heard the statement. And it's attributed to Albert Einstein. And the statement is that the most fundamental decision that we make is whether we live in a friendly or a hostile universe. The most fundamental decision that we make as humans is whether we live in a friendly or hostile universe. It determines everything about our reality. Everything that we see in the world around us and how we see ourselves is based on that. He said it's the most fundamental decision we make. And he knows a lot of stuff.

 

Super smart guy, obviously. But to say a statement like that, that's profound. It's profound. And that shift had taken place in me. Whereas I grew up in an environment and lived my life seeing the world as constant threats. I didn't see the world as working for me in any way. It was really more, that Tupac vibe, me against the world. But not to say Tupac had... Sometimes it is. It's going to be a battle. But it's having that fundamental underlying belief that the world is working for you, not against you. That life is working for you not against you.

 

It changes things. It changes the color of things, it changes your perception and what you see around you. It changes how you feel, and thus how you show up in the world... So, it's a little bit of Tupac mixed with a little D-Pac, together. And so with that said, getting in and making these adjustments into our inner world... I want to bring today some of the greatest teachers on planet Earth to share their insights about the importance of this, the array of strategies that are available, because it's not just one vanilla flavor of it. And again, just to implore you to take advantage of this because we need you right now.

 

We need more people who are tuned in to what's most important about themselves and understanding their inner world and understanding their power to be able to shift, not just what's going on in our minds, but what's happening in the world around us. So today we have a masterful meditation compilation. And again, it's important to understand every thought that we think has correlating chemistry that's released in our bodies. There's a resulting array of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters and hormones that get released based on our thoughts. What if we can begin to cultivate our thinking in a way that produces more things that make us feel good.

 

That make us feel more empowered. That make us feel more creative. That make us feel more giving. That make us feel more abundant. All of these super powers. These are really super powers right now. And then we unleash that upon the world... Things can get really, really good. So obviously, a big part of this equation is our overall health and wellness. And so even just prior to all of this craziness, I was continuously sharing the science around these things, but also at this point, helping to shift the conversation a little bit to those things that are really sustainable and that are clinically proven. That have not documented mountains of clinical evidence on their efficacy and also their safety.

 

Scientists from the Department of Neurology at USC found that the active ingredient in turmeric... In turmeric which is called curcumin, is able to help eliminate metabolic waste and reduce inflammation. Right now, it's on everybody's mind. Is this pro-inflammatory? This inflammatory condition that has a tropism towards our lung tissue, and the resulting inflammation is not from the thing, it's from our immune systems response. And it can be an overreaction... Or it can under react... The important thing is inflammation is not good or bad, it's your body being able to do this intelligently. And curcumin is one of those things that has this immuno-modulating benefit to help our systems to respond intelligently.

 

And it's insane how many peer-reviewed studies we now have on this. And also with turmeric and curcumin having anti-angiogenesis properties. It's clinically proven to help cut off the blood supply... Selectively cut off the blood supply to cancer cells. And this is an association with the founder of the Angiogenesis Foundation at Harvard University, Dr. William Li, who's been a guest multiple times here on The Model Health Show. It goes on and on and on. These things have existed for thousands of years, and humans have been utilizing them. Now we have so much peer-reviewed evidence affirming their efficacy. The question is, are we using them or not. And also without crazy side effects.

 

So another thing really noteworthy about turmeric is that it's also been revealed to improve the function of resident macrophage cells that operate as the front line of the immune system. Macrophage cells operating as the front line of our immune system. It's kind of important... These can take you a step from even allowing an infection to even get on top of you in the first place... There are people who have just an underlying susceptibility. As a matter of fact, the majority of people in our country, the vast majority, have an underling susceptibility to infectious diseases as well as obviously chronic diseases. And so that's just one of my favorite things.

 

Plus a new study published in the British Medical Journal, the BMJ, one of the most prestigious medical journals. The longest published journal in history... Medical journals. So this isn't like the top five... Found that COVID-19 ICU risk is 20-fold greater, in people who are deficient in vitamin D. Isn't this important to know? This should be front page news. It should be... Not only this, there about a dozen other well-done studies affirming the same thing. If we have our vitamin D levels at a sufficient place, there's an added dimension of protection and a much lower susceptibility to having poor outcomes from infectious diseases. Both of these ingredients plus some of the most Vitamin C dense super foods is found in the Organifi Immunity product.

 

Organifi Immunity. It's using real... It's whole food-based nutrition. Organic turmeric, Vitamin D and Vitamin C, coming from whole food sources. So this isn't synthetic. This is the good stuff. This is what's bioavailable to our cells. And the benefit is that it tastes good and it doesn't come along with all this crazy artificial sweeteners and all this other stuff that you find in some of these Vitamin C products out there. It's so much more... It's so much more effective. Definitely take advantage of it. Pop over. Check them out right now. It organifi.com/model.

 

That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model. You get 20% off the Organifi Immunity, and also their incredible green juice formula, all cold process, super food nutrition, they're red... The red juice formula. And also they have incredible... Or if you just... If the turmeric and curcumin really jumped out at you, they got a super critical extract of organic turmeric as well. A stand-alone product. But the Organifi Immunity is just what the society ordered right now. So definitely pop over to check it out. It's organifi.com/model. And not let's get to the Apple Podcast review of the week.

 

ITUNES REVIEW: Another five star review titled “love the content and your openness” by Run with Wolves. “Shawn, I listen to your podcast every day as I drive to work, many episodes I have listened to multiple times. I love the content. Your openness to explore topics, your research and your personal spend is beyond comparison. I'm a teacher and I was so inspired by your recent show with Laila Ali, I shared it with my class. Her message about failure was so powerful, it stopped a class of teenagers in their tracks, you could have heard a pin drop. Passing your podcast to the next generation.”

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's so powerful. That's what it's really all about. Again, this is the power of an idea. You never know who you can affect, so keep taking good care of yourself, keep speaking up, keep sharing your story, because that's what the world really needs right now. And on that note, let's get to our topic of the day. Today we have a masterful meditation compilation, and this is coming from some of the greatest teachers in the world today, and this first teacher, definitely in the three most influential people in my life in this arena, and if it wasn't for meditation, I would not be here with you today. Yes, my nutrition, changing my nutrition, and what I was putting in my body... Food isn't just food, it's information, it changed everything about me. But it didn't really get me to the place of empowerment because I didn't know that it was possible, I didn't know that it was possible, I didn't know that it was possible to think what I wanted to think about myself and about the world around me. I didn't know that I was able to make such a big impact on the world because it was outside of my paradigm, so having meditation as a gift that was presented to me for my mother-in-law first, but then this first guest that we're going to share with you really took me to a different stratosphere and really opened my mind, it helped me to think bigger than I had ever thought before, it helped me to feel more at home in my body and here on this planet.

 

And so first off, we've got Dr. Michael Beckwith, and He is the creator of The Life Visioning Process, bestselling, author and founder of Agape International. And in this clip from one of our powerful conversations, and by the way, after this episode, any conversation, any nugget that really jumps out at you, you can get the full episode in the show notes, but from this conversation, he's going to share with you what meditation actually is, and the importance of cultivating an intention, so let's jump into this clip from the incredible Doctor Michael Beckwith.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: So meditation, if we describe what meditation is, it's paying undistractable attention to reality, to the eternal, to that which is real, and you learn to have dominion, as you were just talking, you're having dominion over your attention, such you can place your attention to where you want it to be. So in meditation, you're paying attention, you can use the breath, you can use a mantra, however you want to do it, but ultimately you're paying attention to that which is changeless.

 

Now, most people suffer from an attention deficit disorder and an intention deficit disorder. So their mind is all over the place, the mind has been hijacked by worry, fear, anxiety, anxiousness, beliefs that aren't true, and then their life becomes... Then they start to experience those thoughts and those perceptions, so there are different aspects to meditation. One aspect is there's a cleansing to it, there's those thoughts, they surface so that you can look at them, is this true? Is this not true? You can embrace, help dismantle, transmute them, and then there's periods of meditation where you have real bona fide insights, you actually know something that you either formally just believed or maybe you didn't even know this part of reality even existed, so there's meditation where you have insights and there's meditation where you're clearing things. But the average person's mind is hijacked by the world, the media, social media, they're thinking thoughts that don't even belong to them, they think they're thinking those thoughts, but their mind is obtaining those thoughts from the sea of mental garbage.

 

So in meditation you're purifying your awareness. Most people, again, until they have... They live with a level of deliberate-less in their life, they suffer from an intention deficit disorder, they wake up and they're mainly reacting to circumstances, they're living as a reaction to things that are going on in the world, but they don't have an intention... A driving intention for their own life. So at the end of the day, they've simply just managed their reactions to whatever's going on rather than establishing an intention, an intention to be your best self. An intention to improve in an area of your life. Now, when you have intention, now the universe through its laws can begin to help you with that intention, but if you don't have any intention, you're just kind of buffeted around on the ocean of life, wondering why you're not going anywhere.

 

So I teach people to make sure you establish an intention. Same thing in meditation, we have a point in meditation where you actually establish an intention, why am I meditating here? I'm meditating to have a realization of my oneness with life and to activate wisdom, to activate intelligence, to become conscious that I'm supported. You can have whatever intention you want, but to live an unintentional life, you're just going to go around in circles.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That just makes so much sense, even starting... It's just like... I think a lot of us, if we're not trained in the way that you were discussing with meditation, it's just like, Let's see what happens, versus just like let's set an intention, it's just like when we set out this door, like where are you going? To set that intention. That's powerful. I never really...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: It's necessary, because the world of phenomena is swirling, we're going to go outside in the minute, we're going to read a news item about some crazy thing that's happening, and it can just suck our attention and then we're not going where we need to go, because we're caught up in the swirl of something else, you see, so intentional living is where we... We want to bring people to an intention. Now, what happens is, by law, I'm talking about mental law, when you establish an intention, you start to be... Intention is directional, it's like, I want to walk in that direction, so what happens is, by law, the mental laws start to assist you in walking that direction.

 

Now, you may not get exactly where you think you want to get, it might even be better, things may open up that you don't even know exist yet because you've established an intention. Whereas just... Rather than just sitting back and waiting to see what's going to happen. That's a different kind of waiting. You establish an intention, then you wait for wisdom, guidance, direction, but just to wait around and see what's going to happen with your life, that's foolishness.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Up next in our meditation compilation, we've got one of the most sought after experts and teachers in the world, and is Dr. Joe Dispenza. Dr. Dispenza is a neuroscientist and best-selling author of several books, including Breaking the Habit of being yourself. And in this clip from our powerful conversation, he's going to share with you what the root of the word meditation actually means. The root of the word itself, and it's really, really interesting and empowering once you understand what the root of the word actually means, and also he's going to share with you the power that meditation has to reshape your life. Let's dive into this clip from the incredible Dr. Joe Dispenza.

 

DR. JOE DISPENZA: The word meditation means to become familiar with. That's exactly what that symbol means, a familiarization... So if you're sitting in your meditation and your brain is going, You can't, quit, it's too hard, you're becoming familiar with those thoughts... That's a meditation. There's no such thing as a bad meditation, there's just overcoming yourself. You're sitting there and your body wants to get up and do things, and check your email and check your text, and you become aware that it's doing that and you become familiar with that, you're in a meditation. If you're realizing that you're angry and frustrated and resentful, and all you're doing is sitting there, that's in there, now you're becoming familiar with that old self, that's a good thing.

 

And if you start saying, what thoughts do I want to fire and wire in my brain and you keep firing and wiring them, you're going to become familiar with those, you start reviewing who you're going to be when you open your eyes and you keep reviewing it, keep reviewing it and reviewing it, you keep firing and wiring, it's going to become familiar to you and if you trade resentment and impatience for gratitude and freedom and joy, and you start making those chemicals in your meditation every single day, I swear to you, you'll get familiar with that.

 

So the process of change is unlearning and relearning, it is breaking the habit of the old self and re-inventing a new self, and we use meditation as a way to change our brain and body to be different, be greater than the environment, be greater than our emotions and habits and be greater than the predictable future and the familiar past. So meditation is a way then to get us in the right state of mind and body, so when we present ourselves to the world, we're a better expression of it. And then practicing and staying aware your entire day so that you can actually master something about yourself and now, what's the side effect of that? You're more in love with you because you overcame you. And as you overcome, and you overcome and you keep overcoming, you're going to become somebody else, and so the beauty behind that is then your life begins to change in really mysterious and unusual ways, and people say, Oh my God, I was so happy I forgot about my back pain, or my neck pain, or I forgot about my food allergies or whatever people are dealing with it, something biologically shifts in them, and they're freer, they're more whole, they're less separate, they feel more pleased and satisfied with themselves, and they really don't care what people think of him them, and they really stop judging other people because they're not judging themselves any longer.

 

So you can could only talk around these concepts, you really have to really apply them to really begin to see the fruits of your efforts, but some common people around the world are doing the uncommon... That's how powerful we are. You could actually... Like the story, we tell ourselves is how we perceive the world. And so then when we create the difficulties in our life, it reaffirms the belief that life is hard, that it's really someone out there that's doing it to us, that it's a circumstance in the past that created this. Okay, let's take away the person that did it, let's shoot them to the moon, let's erase your past. Now, what are you going to do now? You still got to do something, right? You're still alive. And I say, we already know how to do this. We already know how to do this. We're wired to be creators, we're wired to do this.

 

The thing that stops us for the most part in doing it is really the hormones of stress, 'cause living in stress constantly is living in survival, living in survival is living in emergency. And in an emergency, it's not a time to create... In an emergency, it's not a time to open your heart, it's not a time to learn, it's even a time to sit still, so most people then that are living in stress and living in survival, they can't believe in the future yet because it's not a time to create so getting people to that point where they make up their mind and they make up their mind enough to begin to think there's got to be a better way, there's got to be something else.

 

That awakening process typically happens when people reach their lowest denominator, they hit rock bottom because then they can see themselves through the eyes of somebody else, you feel so altered, you're not returning any text, you feel so altered, you don't want to go to dinner with your buddies, you feel so altered, you don't want to watch your favorite TV show, you're just disconnected, and that's when you start observing yourself, but my message is why wait for that? I mean, you can learn change in pain and suffering, or you can learn in change and joy and inspiration if you're waking up every morning being defined by a vision in the future instead of the memories of the past, and you get up and you're inspired from an elevated itself, now, instead of a limited itself, you could observe the old self from an elevated state instead of that diminished state and people are doing that, so they are aware of those thoughts.

 

And yes, it takes effort. And if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. But just because you have a thought doesn't necessarily mean it's true, and when you start looking and observing those thoughts, I think you are like Gandalf, because Gandalf also said, You may not pass when he meant that's kind of severity when it comes to how we make up our mind about things, that's the kind of energy or intention that begins to create the biggest volume of change in our life, and I've interviewed thousands of people in our work that have healed from really serious health conditions, and I would say about 90% of them when I asked them, So what happened? The first thing they say all the time is, I just made up my mind, I just made up my mind that I was going to do this.

 

And they made a decision with such firm intention that the amplitude of that decision carried a level of energy that was greater than the hardwired programs in their brain and the emotional conditioning in their body, and the choice that they made caused their body to respond to a new mind, in fact, the choice they made became a moment that they would never forget, it was an event, and the stronger the emotion they felt, the more they paid attention to the choice and then since they were remembering their future and the body emotionally was getting a sampling, a taste of the future, and they're lying to that future, and that's when the body's healing began, that's when the miracle started right in that moment, that's how powerful you really are, and what if you did that every day, but have you made up your mind every single that you weren't going to get up from your meditation until you were that person you wanted to be, game on now, 'cause you'd have to do battle with all the things that are not consistent with it, and that's exactly how our brain works. So then if you want to be wealthy, you can't feel lack.

 

You want to be a master, you can't judge your co-worker, you want to be like somebody great in history, then you better execute peace in every area of your life. That's the law. So you take the prayer out on the road now, you take the prayer, you're the living example of the prayer, that's where... That's where it matters the most. And that's when people start getting suspicious and say Shawn, man, you change your medication, you're looking way too happy all of a sudden, well, you're not relying on anything outside of you to bring you joy, you're overcoming yourself every day. And people say to me, Well, why do you do your meditations in the morning? I always say easy, 'cause if I can overcome myself at the beginning of the day, the rest of the day is easy, 'cause that's the biggest master, it is the self. And so people are waking up to that and they enjoy the process, I've seen when they make those type of changes, the feedback that's happening in their lives, the synchronicities, the opportunities, the coincidences, you know, those serendipities, they're starting to happen and they're going, Wow, I am powerful.

 

Hey, I am a creator, and nobody is excluded from the equation. That's what makes it so cool. And so we're not doomed by our genes, we're not hard-wired to be a certain way for the rest of our lives, we are Marvels of adaptability and change. So then what does it mean to change? Change means then to be greater than your body, greater than the body that has been conditioned emotionally to be the mind. Greater than the body habituated into a predictable future, to be greater than the environment, to be greater than the conditions in your life. And if you're not being defined by a vision in the future and you wake up every morning, it makes total sense then when you see the same people and you go to the same places and you do the exact same thing at the exact same time.

 

Now, your personality is no longer creating your personal reality, your personal reality is creating your personality because every person, every object, everything, every place is mapped neurologically in your brain, and since you've experienced your boss, since you've experienced your co-worker, since you've experienced your ex, the moments you've experienced them, at some point there's an emotion associated with them, so then all of a sudden people wake up and they are not aware of this, but their environment is influencing the way they think and the way they feel, so when things are going good, they feel good when things are bad, they feel bad, which means they're victims to their environment.

 

Why are you unhappy? Well, this person made me unhappy. Which means unconsciously, that person is actually controlling the way I feel and the way I think. Now I'm a victim to that circumstance, so to change then is to be greater than that environment, so then you would have to re-program the way you think and the way you'd feel to no longer return back to the same state of being now, that's the mastery, 'cause it isn't just having a great meditation and then getting on the freeway and flipping everybody off or judging your co-worker, you just return back to the old self, you got to be able to maintain that modified state of mind and body your entire day, and if you can get ready... 'cause weird things are going to happen in your life.

 

So the person who's starting to try it out in a curious way, let's just do the experiment, let's just see if I change my energy, I change the way I think, I feel and feel. Is there going to be some effect in my life. When they start seeing that, they're no longer like, "Oh, I got to go, create my life today," they're actually excited to do it 'cause they don't want the magic to end, they want to keep it going now, that's when it gets kind of cool because this is when you start believing in yourself, and when you believe in yourself, you believe in possibilities, right?

 

When you believe in possibilities, you got to believe in yourself. When you stop believing in possibilities, you can't believe in yourself. So people are waking up and going, wow, it doesn't matter your skin color, it doesn't matter how rich you are, it doesn't matter how healthy you are, it doesn't matter how young you are and how old you are, how in shape, out of shape... Not even if you ever meditated before. It doesn't even matter. It's a formula, and you don't need 40 years of dedication to meditation to get it. You just got to understand the formula. And like playing ping pong or hitting a golf ball, or dancing to salsa, you're going to figure it out sooner or later. And it's going to get easier and it's going to get fun. That's what we want for people.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Our next expert voice in our meditation compilation is Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary. And this is one of my personal favorite. All-time favorite episodes of The Model Health Show. She's a neurologist and bestselling author, including the book Sound Medicine. And this episode blew my mind. This is one that I love to listen to again. And this happened... It came out right before all the craziness set in, in the world and the pandemic kicked off. So some folks might have missed out on this one, so make sure that you listen to this episode, for sure.

 

Now, being that she's a neurologist, she has a very powerful perspective. But in this clip from our conversation, she's going to share with you why as a neurologist, she began implementing meditation for herself and for her patients in her practice. And she's also share some incredible insights about sound in meditation. Because even your thoughts have observable sound. So let's jump into this clip from Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary.

 

DR. KULREET CHAUDHARY: In India, we always say that the mother has a 100 times more influence than the father. And I absolutely do see that in my life, in terms of the introduction to meditation through my mother. My mother, when she came to the US, leaving a huge extended family in India, and all of a sudden diving into all of the challenges of American life alone developed a thyroid condition. And so here's this young mom in a new environment and young kids. And when she went to her endocrinologist... Who was not, by the way, an integrative endocrinologist... I feel like this was just like fate stepping in. She went to a regular endocrinologist who said, "I think this is a stress-induced condition."

 

That given all that you've been through, that your body is responding to stress and strain of a new lifestyle. And so he actually recommended meditation and transcendental meditation at that time was the most available to the medical community. And within six months her thyroid was completely normal. And so that was extraordinarily eye-opening for her that a meditation technique... Which is... Essentially, it's a use of sound to heal the body. It's a use of sound silently chanted or silently repeated within the mind.

 

She immediately then had my sister, and I learn. I was nine at the time, and she was seven at the time. And because meditation and mantra meditation and sound being used in that way has been a part of my life for the majority of my life it just completely changed the way that I interacted with the world. I had a way of resetting my mind on a daily basis. And it profoundly shifted... I think my overall creativity. It shifted my flexibility, meaning I was able to take what seemed like opposite concepts and bring them together. And it shaped the way that I managed my interactions with other people because I wasn't reacting. I had this buffer of silence around me, created through a regular mantra practice.

 

And so when I became a physician... And I just fell in love with neurology. When I did my neurology rotation in medical school, I just knew this is what I was going to do. And everybody around me was like, "Oh yeah, that's obvious. That this would be what you would do." So I fell in love with this field that essentially treats conditions that deteriorate... The majority of the conditions in a neurological practice get worse over time. Neuro-degenerative conditions like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And so here I was in this field that I absolutely loved, and I loved my patients, and I would have to watch them get worse.

 

And so this is where I started to dive back into some of the resources of my childhood and started bringing in things like meditation as part of my medical repertoire for these patients. And now what's happening is science has proven it. Now they're trying to turn that into a biological model. And there's always this lag between what we know to be true from a scientific standpoint to how we now translate that into medicine. And that's where this new field that I talk about in the book of bio-field science is coming in to help to bridge that gap. That if from a quantum standpoint, we know we're vibrational beings, but the way that we're addressing our patients, we're looking at them as just biochemical beings. How do we bridge that gap?

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Right. Right. It is very... Was that Newtonian science... I'm just kind of looking at it like that. But let's talk about that, let's talk about this human bio-field.

 

DR. KULREET CHAUDHARY: So this idea of this human bio-field actually came when there was a group of physicians and scientists that met at the NIH to look at some of the research that was coming out of alternative and complementary medicine. And it forced everybody to kind of scratch their head and say, "We don't have a model for why this works." And the way that medical research is chosen for printing is even if something is true, if it's true, but it doesn't fit into our biological models, they won't print it. Meaning we understand that you proved it to be true, but we don't understand why it's true, so we're not going to print it. And so this group was basically trying to challenge or... Not even challenge, but expand our paradigms of biology to allow all of this new science coming in.

 

And saying, "We may not have a full understanding of what a human being is." That our idea that a human being is just bone and muscle is perhaps limited, and in order for us to accept that these studies that have been done properly in acupuncture, in Reiki, in meditation, that we have to expand what we understand human beings to be beyond just what we're physically seeing. And we already accept that. When we do an EKG, we accept that we're creating electromagnetic fields. When we do an EEG of the brain, we accept that we're creating electromagnetic fields. And so we accept that on a diagnostic term, but we don't accept it in terms of an actual paradigm that we are fields... We generate fields and part of human beings are the fact that we exist as energetic fields.

 

So when you look at sound from a traditional standpoint, they have different ways of categorizing sound. So there's the audible sound, which is created by our external environment. And then there's the sound that we make with our thoughts. If you think that you are not having a constant conversation with yourself... Just any time of the day, just stop for a moment and just listen to the dialogues that are actually happening. What you're thinking about other people, what you're thinking about yourself. So we know that there's this constant dialogue happening. And that is also a form of sound.

 

And then there's a form of sound that mimics or resonates with nature's frequencies, and that sound has the ability to actually bring the mind to more, and more, and more relaxed states where eventually you're in a sound-less state. And that is considered transcendental sound. Where it's actually a sound-less state, but in that state, you become... You enter into a doorway to an entire new experience of sound... That's now transcendental sound. First of all, don't be intimidated. 'Cause I think people oftentimes, when they start a new health practice, just like when they start a new diet they think they have to do it perfectly.

 

That they have to sit in lotus position for an hour a day, and that they have to go find a cave somewhere in Nepal or in the foothills of India, and that's the only way that they're going to have a valid meditation experience. And nothing could be further from the truth. I always tell people, start with where you're at. If you have 5 minutes, start with 5 minutes. If you have 10 minutes, start with 10 minutes. And just to find some place that's quiet. If you can't sit on the ground, use a chair. The position should not limit you from doing the practice. And then there's many different ways of finding a mantra. People can go like you and I did to somebody who's a teacher.

 

I learned TM when I was very young. They can go to somebody that can guide them through the process. I offer several mantras that are part of the Indian lineage Sanskrit mantras. You can choose from sources like that. I always say, go to a lineage that you feel comfortable with. Almost every tradition has a mantra practice. Then just start. Just do it for however long that you can. And within the first few weeks, you're going to notice something is different. Every patient that I ever referred for a mantra practice when they came back at the next visit, they were not the same person. And people around them could tell that, and they themselves could say, "I'm not... I'm not on edge in the same way that I was before."

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So much of meditation is rooted in the brain and understanding how our mind is operating and the construct of our brain... Which our mind is so much more expensive than the brain itself, but our brain is an area that we can actually study. We can actually see the changes that take place through meditation. And we can also see how the brain itself is constantly changing... Is this dynamic, powerful, plastic... It has this degree of plasticity, adapting organ that again, Dr. Michio Kaku said is the most complicated organ in the known universe.

 

So with that said, being able to support the health of our brain is of the utmost importance. And our brain is very choosy on what it allows into itself. We have the blood-brain barrier, which is kind of this internal security system. This internal protection system. We have an external protective system as well. The brain is the only organ that is fully encased in hard bone, AKA your cranium. But it has an internal protection as well, because things coming into your body could easily damage your very delicate brain. Even though it's the most complicated and powerful entity in the known universe, it's also extremely delicate. The brain itself is about the consistency of soft butter.

 

And so having things getting into the brain that shouldn't be there can be devastating. And now we have this term, we call it neuro nutrition. The brain's very specific diet and what it allows in to feed and fuel your brain cells. And one of the things that's emerging more and more in the research for our cognitive performance and the health of our brain overall is the power of MCT. So our medium chain triglycerides. Researchers at Yale University published data reporting that MCTs can readily cross the blood-brain barrier, that internal security system... Your brain welcomes them in to be utilized by our brain cells.

 

And also a remarkable study publishing in the annals of the New York Academy of Sciences sought to find out if MCTs could have an impact on improving the condition of patients with Alzheimer's disease, which is largely considered to be something that once it takes hold, all we can do is try to stave it off. It's not often that you can find anything clinically that can help to reverse the condition. Now, it's also well noted that Alzheimer's disease is consistently accompanied by an impairment of glucose uptake into the brain cells which is basically an insulin resistance taking place in the brain. This is why Alzheimer's Disease is often called type 3 diabetes.

 

And this is a form of insulin resistance that accelerates the degradation of neurological function. And the scientists in the study discovered that since MCTs are quickly metabolized by the liver, prompting the production of ketones, those ketones are then able to easily cross the blood brain barrier, just like the MCTs themselves and provide an alternative fuel source to the glucose-impaired brain cells of Alzheimer's patients. The result, the scientists found the consumption of MCTs by these patients directly led to improved cognitive function in mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment. These are the things that have to be pushed to the forefront.

 

So many people who are struggling with this condition, and it's just impending... The rates of Alzheimer's... Alzheimer's is steadily creeping its way into the top 10 of all chronic diseases and leading causes of death for our citizens. We have to do something about it. There are solutions. More research needs to be done, for sure, but this is very promising. Now, where do we get MCTs? There are a whole food version that you could find in a variety of different types of mammal milk... So goat's milk, cows milk, camel milk... But if you're not doing... If you're not trying to be humping around with the camel, there are also very concentrated forms of MCTs that I personally use literally every day in the form of these MCT oils.

 

Because also MCTs can be found in coconut, in palm, but coconut specifically is definitely the more... The source that has a lot more efficacy... Now, here's the key, this needs to be done the right way. Marketers come along and start screwing everything up and we start having all these lower quality products. We want it to be sourced, 100% coconut, and also understanding, yes, you can get some from coconut oil itself, but the MCT fraction is a lot smaller. So getting a high quality concentrate from that coconut source is remarkable for our metabolism and also for our cognitive function. And so for myself and my family, we use the MCT oil from Onnit. That's O-N-N-I-T.com/model. Again, O-N-N-I-T.com/model.

 

You can get their incredible MCT oil and also they have emulsified MCT oils that are kind of like a coffee creamer. So they're really easy to add to teas and coffees, smoothies and things like that as well... It tastes great, but these are something that more and more science is going to continue to come out affirming how effective and really remarkable MCTs are for human health... But don't wait. Get this for yourself and for your family. Just upgrade your brain. Upgrade our metabolism. That's O-N-N-I-T.com/model, you get 10% off everything they carry.

 

And now moving on in our meditation compilation, we've got a father and son, duo. Physicians and best-selling authors, Doctors, David and Austin Perlmutter. Dr. David Perlmutter, the dad... He's the best-selling author of Grain Brain and several other books, and just incredibly impactful in the world of health and wellness. And his son Austin Perlmutter who's also been on this show on solo tip, as well. So this episode, it was both of them. But in this particular clip and understanding all the work that Dr. Perlmutter, the dad, has done in the field of neurology and understanding cognitive function... For them to add this dimension with meditation, it's really... Again it's based on sound evidence and seeing it improve the lives of their patients.

 

And so their most recent book is called Brain Wash, looking at all of these different dynamics of cognitive performance that is often negated in the circles of conventional health and wellness. And so here in this clip, Dr. David Perlmutter and again, his son, who's along with them in this episode, if you go and check out the full meal of the episode itself... But in this clip, Dr. David Perlmutter, is going to be sharing how meditation helps to maintain higher order brain function. So let's jump into this clip with Doctors David and Austin Perlmutter.

 

DR. DAVID PERLMUTER: Well, most of what we talk about in that regard has to do with meditation. And we're all aware that the amount of research with respect to mindfulness and meditation is now really robust and even prayer. When we try to keep our thought process focused and alleviate distraction there are some powerful things that happen. The prefrontal cortex lights up, and our connection to the prefrontal cortex and the top-down connection of the prefrontal cortex over other areas like the amygdala is enhanced as well. So that's the value of meditation. And it really is across the board over various mindfulness practices, whether it's paying attention to your breathing or reciting a mantra or being involved in deep religious prayer, it all pretty much does the same thing.

 

There are subtle nuances of each form, but it really brings the adult back into the room. And let me just talk about what that means for a moment. When the prefrontal cortex is not in communication with the amygdala as much as it could be, it's as if the parents are saying to the teenagers who are going invite 30 of their closest friends over to the house for the weekend. We're going to go on a cruise. Come what may enjoy. And how is that going to work out? Well, the value of reconnecting of off-loading this disconnection syndrome is it brings the adult back into the room to say "There is no monster under the bed. Don't get all excited."

 

Everything's okay. You can go to sleep now. Calming things down. We've all had experiences in our lives where suddenly the amygdala just lit up and by the grace of God, we were able to rein it in. In fact, I talk about one in the book. I was in Costco, in line with my wife getting ready to check out, and she had... There was one more thing that she needed, she kind of does that. That's alright. It's cool. And she ran off to get it. And when she brought it back, it was... It still wasn't her time to go to the cashier, so everything was cool. But the guy behind her in line had a hissy fit. And I didn't mind... He was barking at me. And that's... It's cool, I don't mind that.

 

But he started to lay into my wife and that... My amygdala just... It got plugged in. And I felt myself losing control and approached him, and somehow or another, the adult came back in the room and said that this is not a good thing to do. And I was grateful that I could rein it in. But what we recognize is many people these days have actions which we know about which demonstrate that their amygdala is not reined in. This activity that doesn't demonstrate the adult in the room. And there's hell to pay when those things happen. And we need to bring more measured activity back into our lives that we can get along better.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Up next, in our meditation compilation, we have the person who got me interested in brain health and cognitive performance, and his Dr. Daniel Amen. Dr. Amen is one of America's leading psychiatrists, neurologists and brain health experts. He's authored or co-authored 80 peer-reviewed medical articles and more than 40 books, including 12 New York Times best-selling books. And again, many different books but one of them being Change Your Brain, Change Your life. And Dr. Daniel Amen in this clip, he's going to be sharing why meditation can create spiritual fitness from a neuroscience and psychiatric perspective. So let's check out this clip from Dr. Daniel Amen.

 

DR. DANIEL AMEN: So we did a study. We actually did three of them on a Kundalini yoga form of meditation called Kirtan Kriya. It's a chanting meditation or really, it's a singing meditation. And it's all of 12 minutes. So I treat a lot of people who have ADD and they have short attention spans. So I'm like 12 minutes. Give me 12 minutes. You don't have to go to an ashram in India and sit on the floor for months at a time... 12 minutes a day. Sa Ta Na Ma. Sa Ta Na Ma. Two minutes out loud. Two minutes whispering. Four minutes silently to yourself. Two minutes whispering. Two minutes out loud. You're done. Unbelievable... Calmed the emotional brain, but activated the thoughtful brain... Just like the perfect balancing technique. And it's so simple to do.

 

I just love it. There's a term one of my friends coined called spiritual fitness. And prayer and meditation is part of that. I always think of people in four big circles... And people think of physical fitness, so I think there's a biological circle. There's the psychological circle. So that's mind fitness. There's the social circle... How we get along with our kids, our spouses our co-workers. So there's social fitness and spiritual fitness. You want to be a whole healthy person that's successful, not just in the amount of money you make, but you're more likely to make more money if you're happy... You want to be fit physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Up next, we have the wonderful insights from bestselling author and world-renowned meditation teacher, Emily Fletcher. Now, Emily's the author of Stress Less, Accomplish More. And she's trained tens of thousands of students around the world. And she's also the founder of Ziva meditation. And her modus operandi is really teaching meditation for performance. Not meditation just for you to feel more peace, but for you to experience better performance in your life. So being better at life. That's something that we all can really use. And in this clip from our conversation, she's going to be sharing an insight on the vastness of what meditation can actually be. So check out this clip from the incredible Emily Fletcher.

 

EMILY FLETCHER:  Okay, so thanks for bringing this up because I feel like as it's becoming more and more popular, it's going to behoove us to be specific with our language. Because especially for folks starting out, if you just hear the word meditation and like, "Well, this person told me to clear my mind and this person told me to focus and this person told me to let go. And this person told I need to breathe really fast, and this person told me to slow down my breathing, but... So which one is it?" What is meditation? And so then it starts to feel confusing and you're doing something wrong, and it's easy to get on the meditation shame spiral. And so I just think we need to decide on like, "Okay, let's... “We can call the blanket umbrella term, meditation, but other than that we have to qualify.

 

Just like there's exercise, but playing ping pong is very different than CrossFit... Sports. Okay, well, swimming is quite different from football, but they're all sports. So you wouldn't assume that the same technique you would use to swim will be the same technique you would use for football. And meditation is really that vast. There are thousands of different styles of meditation and because people haven't... I also think because people don't assume that it's a skill... They think that it's just something that should magically already know how to do. And so then they're like, "Well, just... Yeah, you just sit down and clear your mind." And just because it's simple doesn't mean that it's easy. Actually, I think that the profundity of this practice comes from the simplicity.

 

Like meaning that the more simple it is, the more profound the impact can be. And so because it is simple, people think they should already know how to do it, but it is a skill. So at Ziva the way that I've delineated it is I've taken these thousands of different styles and basically put them into three categories. The three M's. So you've got mindfulness, which is really good at dealing with your stress in the now. You've got meditation, which we'll define the difference in a minute. And I would say meditation is really good at helping you deal with your stress from the past. And then manifesting is all about creating your dreams for the future. So mindfulness now, meditation passed, manifesting future. And technique-wise, how I would delineate those is that mindfulness is all about focus.

 

Directing your focus, concentrating... Prefrontal cortex is involved... Left brain is online. And honestly, what most of the apps are, most of the YouTube videos, the Drop-In Studios are teaching what I personally would call mindfulness, but I’m a meditations snob. Okay, this is different than the meditation portion of Ziva, which is all about letting go, it's all about surrender, it's all about deep rest. It feels and looks kind of like a nap sitting up. Like this is a classic trademark move of Ziva meditators. This is great posture for us. It does not look good on Instagram, but it feels amazing. And it...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: By the way, for folks listening, her head was collapsed as if she'd fallen asleep...

 

EMILY FLETCHER:  As if I was in a quick heroin nap.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Oh my God.

 

EMILY FLETCHER:  I've never taken one of those, but...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: I was like... This took a interesting turn...

 

EMILY FLETCHER:  Oh this pre-Broadway of my heroin days? No... No, I'm just kidding. So that sort of wibble wobble head bob, it feels and looks like a nap sitting up. And interestingly, you're giving your body rest that is about five times deeper than sleep. And we know that because your metabolic rate decreases, heart rate slows, body temperature cools, all of which is giving you that rest, that you get at the bottom of your sleep, but that happens very quickly in the meditation. And it's actually that de-excitation of the nervous system that starts to create order in your body. When you create order in your body that is the mechanism by which the old accumulated stresses can start to come up and out. And in my experience, it is the eradication of the backlog of stresses that allows you to perform at the top of your game.

 

That is really where you start to get the ROI of the practice. It's not because you're doing a state change. It's not like, "Oh, I was stressed I did 10 minutes of the app. I feel better in the now." That's good, that's a useful tool. But where we really start to see the like, "Oh, my whole life got better." I started making better decisions. My sleep got better. My sex is better. My immune system is better. I've reversed my body age by 10 years. That comes from getting rid of the old stress in ourselves. And now we even know in our epigenetic memory. And then in the manifesting pieces, all I teach people to do is... It's ridiculously simple. I just say, "Hey, after your meditation ask this question. What would I love right now?"

 

Real simple. No one's doing it. People are asking, what do I need. What do I want? What's going to look good on Instagram? What's going to make me more money? What's going to give me girls? What's going to give me... And it's like all of that is lack. A lot of that is ego, versus, what would I love. That's spirit. That's possibility. That's present moment. That's listening. And when you ask that question from that de-excited space, and also when you've just flooded your brain and body with dopamine and serotonin and you're already feeling good... Which PS is the whole secret and point of manifesting... It's about how good can you feel right now, because the better you feel right now, one, the better decisions you're going to make, and two the higher quality things you're going to attract.

 

Because we are in fact impacting everything around us just by our state of being. As you start to combine that with a very specific order, which not... So look... I would say that you're placing your order with the cosmic waitress at the cosmic restaurant. If you want to talk science, it's that you're programming your reticular activating system, which is the RAS, which is the bundle of nerves at... Oh, sorry, the bundle of neurons at the base of your brain, which is really the brain's filtration device. And so because at any given moment, we have hundreds of millions of potential input available to us and the brain cannot process that much, we have to filter some of it out.

 

And this is where the combination of meditation and manifesting becomes so much more powerful than either one alone. Because if you're in a state of fight or flight, your reticular activating system has to filter out four potentially life-threatening situations. And if you're perceiving everyone and everything as they're out to get you then you have very little room left for your dreams. So you get out of fight or flight, first. You get in to stay and play, and then you take the time and the discipline of asking what it is that you actually want. Then you're teaching your brain what to look for and what to filter out.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now we're at our final teacher in our meditation compilation. And this is from best-selling author and renowned meditation teacher, Mr. Light Watkins. Now, Light Watkins is the author of Bliss More and the new book, Knowing Where to Look. And in this clip, he's going to be sharing with you how meditation is like going to the gym for your mind. Let's check out this clip from the one and only Light Watkins.

 

LIGHT WATKINS:  Meditation is as much of an art as it is science. And like any art, ballet, archery, floral arrangement, there are best practices. And when you know how to employ the best practices, you end up creating a level of efficiency that you wouldn't have otherwise. And it's not to say it's going to happen overnight, but the more you practice those mechanics and principles, the more efficient the experience will start to feel, and then that is what leads to success. Which I define as a meditation practice that you actually look forward to doing that you actually enjoy... Imagine that. Waking up in the morning and you are as excited about meditating as you are about eating breakfast, or about cuddling with your partner, or about playing with your dog or whatever turns you on in the morning.

 

Imagine having meditation fall into that category. And when meditation... When your relationship with meditation becomes that strong, then it becomes a practice that you literally start to do every day. And that's where you're going to get the benefits. You're not going to get the benefits from meditating once or twice a week, or doing it for two minutes. You see all these gimmicks, two-minute meditation... One-minute meditation... 30-second meditation. It's like saying a two-minute workout... Yeah, you can do jumping jacks or push-ups for two minutes or burpees or whatever, but if you really want to see some big changes in your body, you're going to have to eventually do something a little more substantial than that.

 

And you've got to be more consistent. And there's going to have to be a system in place. And that's what I'm trying to bring about is, A, change that conversation around meditation is supposed to feel heard and, B, help people find their own systems so that they can get the most out of the practice. Also just like with exercise, if you have never exercised consistently, and then you go to the gym with someone who knows what they're doing, and they put you through a little program... Even if it's just a 20-minute to 30-minute workout. If that person knows what they're doing and they know how to take you through that program... You do it. You feel good. You sweat and all that. What's going to happen the next day? How are you going to feel? You're going to be sore as hell...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.

 

LIGHT WATKINS:  You can barely be able to walk, maybe your laugh. And that doesn't mean the exercise didn't work, it means that it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It broke down some muscles, it swept out some dust and it woke some things up in your body that haven't been touched in a long time... The same thing applies with meditation. When we are... When we start off meditating and we've never meditated before, two things are happening. Number one, we are re-conditioning the mind and the body towards meditation. But number two, and more importantly, we're breaking the old habit. The old habit of not meditating for years and years, and maybe even decades.

 

And so the soreness of the muscles and the physical exercise is kind of like what happens with meditation with the mind. You have these really crazy chaotic mental experiences. You have... You may have some emotional releases surrounding your meditation practice. That doesn't mean it's not working. That's how people normally interpret this experience, it's not working. And this is the second myth I was going to talk about. This is actually a sign that it is working. Things are getting shaken up, and your mind is now going to start... It needs to go through this phase in order for it to be more conditioned to that settled experience that you will ultimately want to have with the practice.

 

So this idea that the mind is the enemy to the meditation is completely mistaken. The mind is not the enemy at all. In fact the mind is noble. The mind is just going along with the ride. And what's happening is your mind is really the out-picturing of what's going on in the body. When the body is able to achieve the different states of rest and all the wonderful things that are happening within the practice itself, which we can get into in great detail if you wanted to. But there's a lot of rehabilitation happening inside of the body, because the meditation... Certain styles of seated meditation can actually rest the nervous system deeper than sleep, minute for minute.

 

And you know all about that and the effects of getting that higher quality of rest in the body. And so it starts to cause the body to restore balance, and that is what can lead to an active mind in the practice. So when I hear people say, "My mind is too busy in meditation." It's actually not a mental problem, it's a sign of progress. And if people knew that and they were able to reframe that experience properly, then you're going to have a lot easier time in the meditation itself, and you will end up achieving more of what you want, which is again, that settled experience. So one of the techniques that I talk about in Bliss More is what I call the easy approach, which is an acronym, E-A-S-Y.

 

And it stands for embrace, accept, surrender and yield. And when I'm describing is how you want to interact with your mind while you're going through the process of meditating. You want to embrace your thoughts, you want to accept all of your experiences, surrender to them, and anything you may consider to be distracting, you want to yield to that as though this is actually what's supposed to be happening. And that's where you're going to find the most restful settled experiences in the meditation, if that's what you're looking for.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you so much for tuning in to the show with me today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. If you did, please share it out with your friends and family on social media. You can tag me. I'm @Shawnmodel on Instagram. I'd love to see that. So let me know that you're tuning in and listening to the show. Tag me. I'm @Shawnmodel. I'm also @Shawnmodel on Twitter and at The Model Health Show on Facebook. And as I mentioned, we've got some incredible episodes coming your way very, very soon. Coming up in May 2021, we're going to officially be dropping two episodes of The Model Health Show each and every week. So make sure to be ready for that. Again, I appreciate you so much for tuning in to the show today. Take care. Have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.

 

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes. You could find transcriptions, videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome, and I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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