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TMHS 768: What’s Causing Our Epidemic of Sleep & Health Problems?

TMHS 687: Mind Fasting, Dealing With Conflict, & The Overlooked Root Of Depression – With Dr. Michael Beckwith

It’s never been easier to access information than it is today. Most of us have access to multiple devices with endless apps and notifications. While in some ways, having a wealth of information at our fingertips can be beneficial, it can also lead to overstimulation, distraction, and disconnection.

On today’s show, you’re going to learn about the importance of tapping into your own mind and intuition. No matter your personal relationship with technology, we can all use practical ways to experience more clarity and to clear away the mental pollution that is so prevalent in our society today. And there’s no one more qualified to speak on this topic than my friend, Dr. Michael Beckwith.

Dr. Michael Beckwith is one of the most influential thought leaders in personal development and meditation. He is a bestselling author, speaker, and the founder of Agape International Spiritual Center. Today he’s back on The Model Health Show to share the important principles of mind fasting, how to tap into authentic modes of thinking, the power of leading a life with intention, and so much more.

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • How reductionism in healthcare can lead to misunderstanding.
  • What mind fasting is.
  • The importance of introspection.
  • Why we’re seeing skyrocketing rates of mental health conditions.
  • The relationship between depression and expression.
  • How mentation differs from real thinking.
  • Why you should allow your opinions to change over time.
  • How mind fasting allows you to transcend your ego.
  • Why awareness allows you to choose, rather than react.
  • The number one way to deal with violence.
  • How to begin mind fasting.
  • The power of setting strong intentions.
  • Different types of meditation, and how to get started.
  • Why consistency can benefit your meditation practice.
  • The two greatest techniques of meditation.

Items mentioned in this episode include:

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. Modern science has really unfolded to follow a principle called reductionism, being able to break things down into their parts to different components to try to understand the whole. Now although reductionism has led to some phenomenal discoveries, we still seem to be very lost when it comes to human health and functionality, and part of the issue is that we've become so reductionist that we're missing out on all the coherent synchronous systems and how things work together. The result is we get outsourced to different people. You got an endocrinologist for this thing. You've got a rheumatologist for that thing. You've got the cardiologist for this thing.

 

Yes, obviously, specialty is incredibly valuable, but what tends to happen is we think that our thing is the thing. We might be looking at an issue with the thyroid, for example, and if we're a specialist who's looking at the heart, for example, the cardiovascular system and focused fully on the cardiology, the cardiovascular system is where the issue is. The person has heart disease, hypertension, inflammation. C-reactive protein is elevated. And they think that this is the thing we have to manipulate, and they don't realize that their patient who they've been feeding statins and lisinopril and these different drug modalities to try to manipulate the cardiovascular system, that their patients root issue is actually rooted in their root canal. It's actually rooted in their gum disease.

 

Yes, gum disease, individuals that have gum disease, and this is affirmed by researchers at Harvard University who've affirmed that individuals with gum disease have a two to three times higher risk of having a heart attack. Now this gets into that issue of causality. What came first, the chicken or the egg, the gum disease, or the heart disease? But we know that there is a direct connection. And if we're not able to communicate and to have this whole being understanding of what's going on in this person's body not to be so hyper-focused and reductionist that we miss out on the bigger picture, this is part of the reason we're not seeing patients get well in our current healthcare system.

 

Yes, we are great at managing symptoms, but as far as the resolution, as far as remission, as far as the elimination of diseases, "curing" chronic diseases, our current system of healthcare is terrible at doing this. Now again, there is incredible value in being able to reduce things down to its parts, but we unlike machines and this mechanistic view of human health, when you break us down and take a look at our parts and try to maybe change the parts out or to re-establish where parts are placed and how certain parts are working together and tune up certain things, we miss out on the fact that we are not machines. We are something far more remarkable, far more powerful.

 

In fact, the human brain itself that has so much influence over what our body is doing... If we just talk about the hypothalamus in the brain, for example, often considered to be a master gland, it's having a huge impact on our metabolic rate, on managing our body temperature, on what's going on with the production of various hormones, like human growth hormone, for example, what's having by the pituitary gland, what's going on with our heart rate. It's having an influence even on our immune system. It's influencing everything about us just this one area of the brain, but here's the thing, every area of our bodies, every cell in our bodies is influencing what's happening with the whole. It's influencing what's happening with the hypothalamus as well. It's all deeply integrated. It is a truly coherent hyper-intelligent system, and the sooner that we can understand that the sooner we can start to shift what's happening in our society as far as our health and our well-being by truly understanding that we're so much more than a collection of our parts.

 

Now if we really want to talk about systems thinking and being as expansive as we can possibly be, now I don't know if you've been keeping up with the James Webb telescope that was launched by NASA recently, but the images that are coming back are absolutely mind-blowing. When we look up at the sky, we used to be able to... I know that when I was a kid, it was much more accessible to just look up and see a sky full of stars. Today, depending on where you are, due to light pollution, pollution, whatever the case might be, we might not readily see the stars in the sky. But essentially what NASAs discovered is that every single micrometer of the sky that we look up and see, every inch of the sky around the entire earth is absolutely filled with entire galaxies. There isn't a part of the sky that isn't filled with galaxies. There are billions of galaxies entire...

 

We live in the Milky Way. We're in the Milky Way galaxy. This is one. There are billions. And so, the scientists are being able to actually see more of what is known as the observable universe and to really get more of a clear picture at the origins of the universe as well. And now there's actually some turbulence happening with the Big Bang Theory because things are not appearing to emanate from one unique spot or one unique source, but there might be multiple origins, and in addition to that, with chaos theory, which definitely holds some relevance in science today, absolutely, but the scientists were expecting to see a lot more evidence of especially in the early development of the universe, more chaos, more galaxies colliding with one another, and from what they can see, and we're talking about... We're getting feedback from what is millions and millions and millions of light-years away. All right. So, this... Potentially, these can be galaxies that are long gone, but there's so much more cohesiveness and order throughout the universe than they ever thought possible.

 

Now I'm sharing all of this to say, and this ties in with our special guest today in this incredible episode that to see the vastness of things and to compare that with reductionism and us even seeing ourselves as just a tiny, tiny, tiny speck, a tiny part of this vast universe, we miss out on the fact that we are not a part of this universe. We are this universe. We are it. It's like seeing a immaculate cashmere sweater, for example, that somebody's wearing, and when you see the sweater, you see it as a whole. Now we can of course dissect and really drill down and pull-out individual strings and parts of the strings and say that, hey, this thing is separate from the cashmere sweater, but in its whole it is the cashmere sweater itself. It definitely has different ingredients that make it up. Yes, but it's still part of the whole. And so, what I'm trying to engage in your thinking is for you to realize that you are not a part of it. You are it.

 

Everything that it is existing within you. Literally the cells that make up your body are from the cosmos. They're sayings that might sound cute on the surface that you're made of stardust, for example, but truly you are literally made from ingredients from this entire universe, from this cosmos, and because we see ourselves as separate, we have our unique consciousness, we can sometimes feel cut adrift, or we can sometimes forget that we are it. We are... And I'm just using this for language because we can get caught up in lexicon. We are part of something that is so much more grand. As a matter of fact, again we are it. And so to really understand this at a deeper level and to experience more wholeness within our own lives and to experience more unity within our own lives, we've got to clear away the mental garbage or the mental pollution as my special guest is going to talk about today and also talk about practical ways that we can free ourselves from a lot of the things that hold us back from understanding our greatness, from understanding the vast nature of the amazing human being that you are.

 

Now before we get to our special guest, we're already talking about some of the things that dreams are made of, and even when we talk about dreams, what are those? All right. What are they? What are dreams? Where do they come from? How do they work? We've uncovered some really profound information about dreams recently in science as well. And there are many different theories. Still, they're still theories, but being able to essentially be a processing protocol that the brain undergoes to be able to essentially problem-solve while we're unconscious or in this altered state. There are theories regarding different processes, different dreams being based on different things getting healed within our bodies and of course within our psyche as well. So, there's a lot of different theories on the table, but one thing is for certain is that dreams are real, and we might not think that they're real. We don't see them out here in the waking state necessarily. But when we have thoughts, whether it is a conscious thought or the thought taking place within a dream, there's a physical substance. There is a physical expression of that taking place in the real world, taking place in that amazing brain of yours.

 

Now sleep... The larger thing, the thing that we can really put our fingers on has a huge impact on our brain's ability to clean itself and to help to reduce the risk of degradation and disease. We know that Alzheimer's disease, one of the really interesting aspects, and Alzheimer's by the way is inching its way into the top five leading causes of death in the United States right now. Currently, it's number six. So, we need to really take this more seriously. One of the aspects is an inability of the brain to clean itself. All these metabolic wastes that accumulate in our brains, we are supposed to have efficient systems in our brain being able to eliminate metabolic waste products to help and heal our brain cells because our brain cells are different from the other cells in our bodies. We oftentimes have to keep our brain cells alive and well and regenerating for years where there can be a much faster turnover at other places of our bodies. And so, understand that the glial system that has a lot of roles in waste management within the brain is helping to run the glymphatic system. Alright. So, the glymphatic system is the brain's... Essentially, it's the brain's waste management system. It's called again the glymphatic system.

 

Today, we know that the glymphatic system helping to clean and renew, regenerate the brain is ten times more active when you're sleeping than when you're awake. That's when the real housekeeping is taking place. So, our sleep matters. We are the most sleep-deprived culture in the history of the world, not to mention our record levels of chronic diseases. But sleep deprivation is one of those ingredients that's leading to these health outcomes. And so, we really want to put more of a priority on optimizing our sleep quality. We know about avoiding things that disrupt our sleep quality. Having a screen curfew, going to bed right after being on a screen, we know that researchers at Harvard have uncovered that this is definitely going to suppress your melatonin secretion and increase the production of stress hormones, catecholamines like cortisol. But in addition to that we can take steps to really stack conditions in our favor to improve our sleep quality by creating a sleep sanctuary.

 

So, making our bedroom into a place that makes sleep something that is much more accessible to slip into. If you've got a bedroom environment where you're doing a lot of other stuff, and I'm not talking about the fun stuff. All right. The bedroom can be for the two S's, alright, sleep and sex. But if you're watching television in your bed, there's a neural association for when you go into your bedroom and in your bed to turn on the TV, even if you don't turn it on, your brain is expecting that dopamine hit is expecting that feedback loop, and the same thing if you're doing a lot of work in your bed. Now this is not to say that you can't do these things from time to time. But if those things have become habits, this can, and again, this is proven to disrupt our sleep quality even if we're unconscious. And so, another thing is we can make sure that it's cool in the bedroom. We can make sure that it's nice and dark to elicit the secretion of melatonin, but also what we're sleeping on matters, and it can be helpful or it can hinder our sleep quality.

 

Now I used to sleep on the equivalent of what would be sandpaper bedding. I didn't care. All right. And I didn't know that there were sheets that could actually improve my sleep quality, support healthy sleep. And a randomized controlled trial was conducted recently, found that mental alertness the following day improved by 25% after sleeping on these particular sheets and 94% of people preferred sleeping on these organic bamboo lyocell sheets. They're free from harmful chemicals, irritants, allergens. They're hypoallergenic. They're antimicrobial. They're moisture wicking. They're thermal regulating. They truly do help to create a healthier sleep environment and sleep hygiene. And I'm talking about the organic bamboo lyocell sheets from ettitude.

 

Go to ettitude.com/model. That's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model. Use the code model15 at checkout. You're going to get 15% off of your first purchase. You're going to love... With a capital L, you're going to love these sheets so much. They also have some other incredible things as well, the pajama jammy jams. All right. They're pajamas made of the same incredible material and it's just... It is such an attractive aspect, I cannot wait to slip into these sheets at night and you're going to feel the same way. It's something that you've got to experience firsthand. It's very difficult to explain it. You've got to experience. Plus, they've got a 30-night sleep trial. Sleep on them. Think on them. Dream on them. If you don't absolutely love them, send them back for a full refund. That's ettitude.com/model. E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model. Use the code model15 at checkout.

 

And now let's get to a very special review of the week. Typically, we use an Apple podcast review but this week we're going to use a comment from the YouTube channel. Make sure that you're subscribed to The Model Health Show over on YouTube because we're sharing content over there. You get to see the visuals along with the masterclasses that we do, and it's just an incredible experience. And we're going to be sharing exclusive content over on the YouTube channel. So again, make sure that you're subscribed over there. Without further ado, here is a YouTube comment of the week.

 

ITUNES REVIEW: Here is a YouTube channel comment of the week brought to you by DD Jones. “Shawn, this subject is exactly what I needed answers on. I just didn't know where to turn for. I thought about my physician, but I didn't think I would get the answer that I believe is out there apart from a prescription. Thank you for another interesting, much-needed, informative, helpful, insightful podcast and subject presented with clarity and thoughtfulness towards those of us who need this knowledge. Wonderful guest too.”

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Thank you so much for sharing your voice over on the YouTube channel. That's what this is all about is that empowerment, and I really do appreciate that, and that was actually from our recent episode with Dr. Izabella Wentz, integrative pharmacist. She went to a conventional pharmacy school and got her doctorate and struggled mightily with her own health and also again helping the patients that were looking for solutions from conventional medicine, but just were not getting well, and she's been able to impact the lives of millions of people. And so again, that's over on the YouTube channel.

 

And now without further ado, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is Dr. Michael Beckwith, and he's a best-selling author and sought-after meditation teacher and incredible speaker. I've had the opportunity to attend several events that he has spoken at and share the stage with him as well. And he is by far one of the greatest speakers on the planet. He's been featured on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Larry King Live. The list goes on and on and on.

 

He's been part of Oprah's esteemed Super Soul 100, and his new podcast, Take Back Your Mind with Michael Beckwith is now available on all podcast mediums. Let's dive into this conversation with the amazing Dr. Michael Beckwith. Rev, so good to see you. Thank you for stopping by, and obviously in recent years this knowing and all the science backing for intermittent fasting and things of that nature have really come to the forefront, all those benefits, metabolic benefits, cognitive benefits, but you talk about mind fasting as well and being potentially even more important for us to partake in, so can you talk about what that is?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely. Mind fasting is another name for meditation in which you're not putting external stimuli into the mind. You're actually stopping and going within, exploring your own inner terrain so that you're able to touch the places within you that are not being derived by anything outside of yourself. So, you're actually fasting from stimuli and interestingly enough, though we both appreciate healthy diet, we appreciate good food, we appreciate good supplements, we appreciate good nutrition, we can take all of the good nutrition but if our internal dialogue or a lack of self-worth and appreciation or unhealed trauma is not dealt with then all of the good nutrition can't overcome a lot of that. So, mind fasting is extremely important for the transmutation of superstitious beliefs and thoughts and perceptions and things of that particular nature that will spin out and become our experience. So, introspection that leads to transfection is extremely important. I just call it mind fasting. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Obviously, there's a lot to consume out here on these streets today. There's so much information, so much content, so much to choose from, but if we are constantly consuming, I would imagine that we would become backed up in a sense, you know spiritually constipated.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Constipated. Yeah, absolutely. I think... I don't want to say the majority of people, but a great many of people don't feel alive unless there's some kind of external stimulation. Some people... We've heard the old statement; I think therefore I am. Some people's statement is, I have drama therefore I am. Or I have extreme excitement therefore I am. I have some kind of extreme stimulation therefore I am. And so, they're addicted to that. Many people are addicted even to negativity. They're addicted to the tonic chemicals that flow through the body. And so, we have to prime ourselves to come to an awareness that there's something about us that's already all right. It's already magnificent. It's already beautiful. It doesn't need any external. It just needs our appreciation of it, our embracing of it, and then instead of consuming... We didn't come to the earth to consume. We came to the earth to radiate, to express, to create, to glow, to give, to share, to shine, so it's not consumption, it's an emergence of something that's already there that wants to express itself. It's totally opposite then from consuming. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. This would make me think that we're going to have obviously some side effects from that overconsumption. And right now, we have epidemics of mental health challenges going on in the world and multiple mental health challenges, and things have grown exponentially in some ways, but there's debates is it better testing, better screening, all these things? But one of my friends and colleagues, Dr. Christopher Palmer, professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, and he had the audacity to compile the data to look at a variety of studies and see, no, these numbers are in fact going up beyond just testing and screening, things like that. They're going up precipitously. And in fact, our treatments have been largely failing as well. And so, one of the studies that he shared was individuals were tracked for depression and looking at conventional treatments for their depression. And they found effectively, short-term there was some effectiveness for a small percentage of these folks, but long-term depression the effectiveness of the conventional treatments only one out of 10 of these folks who were experiencing depression and seeking conventional treatments actually experienced a resolution of their symptoms. So, it's 90% ineffective.

 

But then there's another 10% to 20% that had management of symptoms reduction, but only 10% actually had a full resolution. And so, it starts to garner the belief that people are not helpable, that we can't resolve things because of the way that we've been treating things. So, I like to ask from your perspective, what do you think about these growing rates of mental health issues? What is this a symptom of and most importantly, what can we do to turn it around?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: What you're saying is absolutely true. Even in terms of the rising rate of suicides among all ages, particularly our youth, depression, and depression and trauma have become kind of normalized and popular in the atmosphere of the mentality of the world. And so, when you look at our culture, the Western world culture, there is a heavy movement around commercialism, around materialism, around gaining, but there's not a real vision about the activation of the potential within us. We don't hear about character anymore. We don't hear about becoming the best version of ourself. Unless they're listening to you, unless they're still listening to me or listening to people who are awake.

 

People are reaching outside of themselves to get something to make themselves happy. Again, the consumption. So that leads to a depression rather than an expression. So, depression means that something's not being expressed. So just in terms of long-term healing, the studies that I've seen is that if a person walks around, if a person hydrates, if a person begins to stimulate their mind with a vision, then something begins to change within, not only chemically, but mentally. Their focus becomes, I'm not trying to get famous. I'm not trying to get likes. I'm not trying to be known on Facebook. I'm not trying to get something out there that's going to fill me up.

 

I have something, and I want to express that. That's creativity. It's beyond just mere creation. It's actually, I'm tapping into something within me that I want to express. That leads to a greater sense of happiness, a greater sense of peace, a greater sense of joy, a greater sense of being available to inspiration, you see. And so, I think, when was the last time you heard a political leader or a leader stand up and say, we have to garner our country to have a vision of what can be possible. Generally, our leaders will stand up and they're always against something. They're going to fight a virus. They're going to fight another country. They're going to add more nuclear weapons.

 

They're going to do something that's going to augment fear within the population rather than focus an individual towards a vision of possibility, a vision of peace, a vision of community, a vision of working together. So, kids growing up and all they're hearing is what they are to be afraid of. That's all they hear. They go to school. We've got to get under the table there's going to be a mass shooting. Here's how you get out if a mass shooter comes in. Here's the next disease you might get. If that's all they're hearing, then that leads to a kind of a depression of energy. You take a child and I've met your kids. So, I know you do this consciously or unconsciously, and you speak to their potential. You speak to their possibility. You speak to the greatness within them on a regular basis.

 

They start to rise up differently than kids growing up with everything you can be afraid of. Now, of course, you have to teach your kids not to run in front of a car if a car is coming. There are certain basic things. Don't touch the oven if it's hot. Yeah, but if that's their only message that there's something bad out there and it's going to get you, then there's a curtailing of creativity and hearing the inspirational broadcast that's happening everywhere throughout the universe. So, depression is a lack of expression. That's how I kind of frame it.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow. That's so important. You just mentioned a couple of tangible things that folks can do to help to shift their state. We've got a tremendous amount of science around this, movement, nutrition, and of course our sleep quality is a huge...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Oh, you're the man... You're the man on that one.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Of course, if you think about it, these are biological needs. But the thing that we're still not really addressing is the right management of our mind, right management of thinking and being able to understand that we are the gifted owner of this mind, and we have the ultimate influence over what is precipitating through our bodies. But at the same time, if we're outsourcing our thinking, as you're saying, as we're outsourcing our thinking, if we're constantly externally focused, we're not taking the time to actually choose the thoughts that we want to think. And I think that we are lacking empowerment from, like you just said, people who are in a place of authority to give somebody the access. They already have access, by the way.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: It's free.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: They already have it. It's just like reminding you that, hey, you get to choose the thoughts that you think. But that goes back to the mind fasting, to be able to have, I guess, more of a kinship or relationship with that access.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Well, absolutely. There's a difference between real thinking and what is called mentation. Mentation is the daily regurgitation of the thoughts you had yesterday, day before, day before, day before. And some people mistake that for thinking. Real thinking is inspiration. I call it human interruptus where you interrupt the mentation. If you read a good book on inspiration, you listen to this podcast, you listen to something that's going to interrupt your mentation, then a new idea can come in, an inspiring thought can come in. Now that's thinking, but most people don't think. They're just regurgitating. And then what happens is the ego, the vanity of the ego takes ownership in those thoughts that become opinions, points of view, positionalities. Those are my thoughts. Those are my opinions. And then the vanity of the ego wants to protect that. I'm right. That opinion's wrong. This opinion's right.

 

I tell people, don't cherish your opinions. It's an old Zen statement. Above all cherish no opinions 'cause they're going to change. The opinions you had when you were 16, you don't have those opinions today, but you probably fought for them when you were 16. So, the idea is to hold all of your opinions lightly, because as you get new information, new insights, new revelations, you will grow. So, we move from mentation through mind fasting, interrupting that flow, and then become open to inspiration. And then we change. That is... That's what we want to do. We want to... We don't want to be the same person we are at this moment, or who we were five years ago. We want to be always on the edge of discovery of the good and the beautiful and the lovely and the intelligent that's within us.

 

So, we're actually living to grow. But when you're unconscious, you live to protect who you think you are. That's the ego's job, to protect this limited identity. But when you're able to mind fast, able to meditate, you're able to sincerely study to grow, then... Psychologically we would say having a healthy ego. Spiritually we would say you're going to transcend the ego's clutches, but ultimately, you're living to discover more and more about yourself. And again, many people aren't living there. They're living to protect themselves and to protect their identity, rather than what within me is trying to emerge that I don't even know about yet? The unknown, like who I am today, my 16- year-old was like, would be flabbergasted as to what I get to say and do and who I get to associate with and where I get to travel. It'd be like, no, that's not, no. So, we have to always live on the edge of greater discovery.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on, come on. Now, my question is, what if the environment and people around you, what if you get pushback? What if they don't want you to grow? What if it makes them uncomfortable with your growth? You don't want to forget where you came from. You don't want to forget where you came from.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Well, you don't want to forget... You're not going to forget where you came from unless you lose your memory. But there's... The universe is so progressive that it will create a crisis for you to push you out of that comfort zone. And at some point, there has to be a choice. Am I going to come out of my comfort zone or am I going to stay in my comfort zone to appease those who want me to stay in that comfort zone with them? And if you study the autobiography of anybody who's gone from a small, limited experience to a larger experience, at some point, they had to leave the comfort zone. They had to leave the people saying, oh, you'll never be good enough. Our family has never been successful. People growing up in this environment have never made it, whatever the excuses have been.

 

At some point, there's something called choice. You have to choose to leave the nest. You have to choose to grow. You have to choose to... Sometimes, there are buddies and partners, and you can't associate with anyone. You still love them. I always teach people you never leave people out of your heart. You keep drawing this circle big enough that everybody fits in it, even though you may not be hanging around with individuals that aren't about success, aren't about growth and unfoldment, aren't about health. I look back on my life I was having a meditation a few years ago and a lot of my old buddies were just going across my awareness. Some sitting in meditation, some praying for them, just holding a high spot. And then when I finished meditation, I realized they were all dead, that the people had gone... Who had gone across my mindscape had all died. And at that moment, I just became very grateful for my life because I could have had that same experience if I had not been moved into other choices that made my life different.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Wow, this reminds me of... I think that this is one of the textbook things that you should expect to come along your path of growth. If you choose intentionally to become more of yourself, to become more creative, to find a way to serve and to find a way to dare I say, not be limitless, it's going to... It's going to inspire some turbulence in your environment.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yes.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And another thing this reminds me of because we also have to understand that people are very comfortable. We're comfortable with ourselves. We might not want to change because we might not even like ourselves, but we can be comfortable with where we are. And also, same thing with our relationships. Sometimes, people like you in a certain pocket, where they know what to expect. They potentially know how to control you, and there's no... There's no surprises. And also, there can be a remorse of you leaving, especially if love is an ingredient here, but also even our definition of love could be a little scary.

 

But this reminds me of my relationship with my little brother. And I remember, this is probably maybe 15 years ago. And at this point I had made this huge transformation in my life, and I was waking up every day and finding a way to become better, just be a better human being, be a better father, be a better husband, be a better teacher. And I spent a lot of time with myself and going within, a lot of time in meditation, a lot of time writing. It was just kind of this incubation period. And I went over to his house, and he was just like, yeah, I heard you was meditating or something. What is this meditation and whatever? He was just kind of like... Danny was like, he did the same thing, eating organic, what is that? What is organic? I'm just like... It's just not sprayed with all the sh*t that you're eating. It's just... It's not that big of a deal. It's the same thing. And also, of course, but I know that he felt that thing of me potentially leaving what's comfortable and leaving him.

 

And I remember also during this time, I was fasting from the type of music that I was listening to previously, because I went... I was deep in it; you know what I'm saying? Like 8Ball & MJG, Master P, all the things. And so this is just a part of culture. But also, at the time when I'm listening to this, I was also in a lot of fights. I was shutting the club down sometimes, getting into stuff. But just like it didn't resonate with me. And so, I was even fasting from that. It's not that I was against hip hop or didn't still have this love or kinship or might occasionally, but somehow, he got wind of that. And he heard about the music thing. That was really when he said the ultimate catchphrase. Man, you forget where you came from when he heard about the music thing.

 

And this is coming from a guy. Last I checked, last time we ever talked about music, my little brother was listening to the Spice Girls, all right. Dead serious. This was the last time we had a conversation about music, which maybe been 10 years ago, whatever. I'm actually from the hood that he might think he's hearing about in the songs. He was little. He was in the house. I was in the streets; you know what I'm saying? And so, for him to say that to me, it was...

 

I finally got the thing when people hear... You hear it, maybe hear it in a song or a movie or friends, you hear the thing, and I finally got it from somebody in my circle, from somebody who I love. And it was also comical at the same time because I was aware that, oh, this is that. And I had this kind of like, where am I going to put my attention? Am I going to feel bad or threatened that he's saying this thing that I didn't want to hear because I never want to forget where I'm coming from. But the reality was in order for me to grow, it's not a forgetting where I'm coming from its moving beyond it. It's elevating myself.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yes.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: But even for that to happen, and I learned this from you, one of the prerequisites was me fully embodying my human experience, really being present and in it so that I could then elevate.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely. That's a lot, what you just said. And people are so afraid of moving beyond on that. But you also said something very important is that people can try to control you based on how you've always been. And I can remember a number of years ago I worked for the mayor, and I was assigned to a particular council district and there was some political shenanigans going on in the office. And a couple of these guys wanted to get this woman fired. And so, they knew that she was high strung and high tempered. So, they had a whole plan to go in and to trigger her. And when then she went off that she would sometimes do, and that's when they'd have the reason to fire her.

 

So, I went in and talked to her. I said, listen, this is what they're going to do. I said, I want you to just watch your breath. Whenever they say anything crazy, just say, I'll think about that. Just don't get into it with them. You leave on your own terms. And anyway, I counseled her for a while. So, they came in, these two guys. They knew they had her. And they did all the trigger points. And she just kept smiling and says, oh, that's interesting. I'll think about that. And they came out of that meeting so mad because they could not find any reason to fire her because she didn't go off. But they were going to use how she normally acted to get rid of her. But that changed... That moment with her changed her life. And she realized that all those triggers were from past experiences and that they were being used by other people to get her to go off. So, as you said earlier, people can use all of that within us to actually run their own agenda. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: In saying that embodying this human experience, because there's typically two paths. We're so externally focused, just living in the world, not really aware that you're aware. And then once you have kind of an awakening or you become aware that you have a consciousness, and you can actually see all the chatter going on in your head. And we can go down a path of seeking more of that, just living in this spiritual world. And so, you really helped me to meld them both together because what tends to happen is, and I remember this statement, you said, being so airy-fairy that you're no earthly good. And so being able to bring back, spend that time with the mind fast and bringing back insights and gifts and ways of being that I could then share with the world. And of course, enjoy the world, enjoy this human experience.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's what we got downloaded here for.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely. We're not... I always say, we're not here to be ascended masters. We're here to be descended masters. That is we've taken an incarnation. It wasn't... We're not here by accident. We weren't here just because our parents got together. We actually chose to be here as a spiritual being. So, we're here to be descended masters, to be in form, to have a body, and to actually bring intelligence, love, peace, joy, wisdom, harmony, beauty, to bring it to earth. And to do that, we have to actually embrace our humanity, our emotions, our feelings. And you said something very important. Once we become aware that we are awareness itself, then we can look at the thoughts that are moving through our awareness. And we now, once we become aware that we are awareness, we now begin to operate from choice. Choice is a function of expanded awareness. When there's limited awareness, we're mainly reactionaries. When there's expanded awareness, we can actually choose.

 

This is how we've moved as a society in the civil rights movement and the human rights movement. For instance, Dr. King, he wouldn't allow the reactionaries to be on the front line. He put them in the office, 'cause they would train them. They would stand and people would call them all kinds of names. And if they wanted to fight, he says no you're not ready. You're going to be in the office because they can touch you at that nerve and then you'll start fighting and... But those who could take it and not react and understand that they were a child of God, that they had worth, regardless of what a racist was saying to them, they could be on the frontline, they could go to the counters of the restaurants, they could because they had expanded their awareness, you see, and I'm using the extreme example that's anywhere in life, once you become aware, I can choose rather than react.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. So how do we handle that conflict, 'cause it sounds, again, it sounds logical and ethical with you saying it, but what about when you're in it, when somebody is presenting you with a threat, how do we handle that in the moment?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yeah, the only way to be big enough to handle things in the moment is to have some level of practice, you can have a theory, you could have an idea. Oh, when I meet conflict, I'm going to forgive, I'm going to bless, I'm going to walk away. But when you're triggered, all that goes out the window at times, so you're talking about expanding your vessel to be able to hold more energy, and the way you can do that, you have to have some level of practice. A few years ago, I was going to a movie with a friend of mine and one of the ministers at Agape, she's white, and so we were waiting for a parking lot. A parking spaces. A guy was coming out, and these guys behind me, started calling me just three or four white guys, and they were going off, 'cause I was holding up the line, but I'm waiting for a parking space, and she was turning red, you know what I mean? And there was a split second where the old Michael was about to reach into his glove compartment, but I realized there's nothing in the glove compartment these days. It was just like a second...

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: And I just stopped and breathe, I'm said, I'm not even going to respond to these guys, they don't know who I am, and they don't know who they are. I waited; I parked in the parking... My parking space. And she looked at me and she said, "Does this still happen?" This was four years ago. I said, "Yeah, this still happens occasionally." She said, "You didn't say anything to them." I said, "I can't speak into ignorance, I know who I am, I know who I am." That the container was big enough that I didn't have to react to those guys. Now, my 16-year-old self would have reacted to it and probably got into something that would have been very nasty for everybody, but that self was like... They don't know, they're ignorant.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And those are decisions changed the course of your life as well, whether it's when you're 16 or the now, and to have that bigness to be aware of that in the moment, when you feel threatened, when you feel that agitation, to think of the big picture, to consider who you are, to consider all the work you might have done, to consider the ramifications, and also I think that especially today, there's a lot of volatility, a lot of people are on edge, and some...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Shooting people. People are shooting people, knocking on doors. Yeah, it's a lot of... People are... It's ramped up. It's in the atmosphere, and because it's in the atmosphere, that behooves us to even more mind fast, even more pull away because it's popular. Things become popular. Symptoms become popular. They've discovered... You may have done some research on this. People were going to the hospital with certain symptoms, only to discover there was nothing there, but because the symptom had become popular, they started manifesting the symptom even though they didn't have the disease, because it was in the atmosphere, it was on the news, you see. And so it behooves us to do the mind fast to go within, and it's reminding me of a story, a true story that happened with Dr. King and Dr. James Lawson told me this story, who was the cohort of Dr. King, and he said they were going somewhere to speak, and Dr. King was about to approach the podium to speak, and this guy came up to him and said, "Are you Martin Luther King?" He said, "Yes, I am." And the man spat on him, and Dr. King looked at the spittle and took out a handkerchief and wiped it off, folded it up very neatly and said, "Sir, I think this belong to you," and went up and spoke.

 

And I remember sharing that at Agape and then some musicians took that and turned that into a song, but to have the wherewithal to be able to just stop and say, "I think this belongs to you," that was a lot of prayer. There was a lot of expanded consciousness. If someone comes and spits on you, you have maybe a little bit of a right to do something. He said, "No, I think this belongs to you brother," and went on. It probably changed that man's life.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, this is bringing up for me, because even in that scenario, how much are we wired to tolerate and at the same time, I believe that we all have different dharmas, we all have a different path, a different approach to things. There is an area, and this is what I really work to instill in my children, to train them to be able to handle these situations, even if things living in a universe that we might even... You were just share with me before we got started the safari that you went on and seeing the violence of that lion, but there's a circle of nature here in this instance with humans, we can choose it, it's different, but at the same time, having my kids to have the capacity to respond as a warrior and have the capacity, especially to be able to not use it on a day-to-day basis. So having the capacity to not just defend themselves, but to write a situation when it's truly called for it, but most importantly, and this is taught in a lot of martial arts.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: They talk about that of being able to really... The battle is inside the mind of being able to withhold yourself, and I had the opportunity to talk to Tony Blauer, and he's largely regarded as one of the pioneers or gurus in this field of self-defense, he trains a lot of elite military and different forces and things like that, but a lot of just everyday folks. His number one principle is de-escalation.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yes.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Is de-escalation. The number one way to avoid a violent outcome is to remove yourself from it or find ways to de-escalate the conflict, have the tools if necessary but... And hear that from somebody of his stature, of his nature, seemingly his nature, but his nature is beauty, love. He doesn't want this ass whooping to unfold. So, find ways, especially again, when you're threatened like in those instances that you gave, to be able to see the bigger picture and to de-escalate the situation it takes... That's a real warrior.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yeah. That's the highest form of martial arts, is to actually to de-escalate, but as you said, you can handle the business, but can you de-escalate before it gets into violence, that's the highest form. There's a wonderful story that Ram Das shares before he made his transition, and there was a gentleman, I can't think of the guy's name right now but very proficient in the martial arts. But he always wanted to use it, but his teachers always said de-escalate, only use it if you absolutely have to, but he always had this secret desire, he was hoping something would jump off. So, he's in New York and he's on the train and this big guy walks in, he's drunk and he's knocking people over, and he knocks over a pregnant woman, and so the guy thinks to himself, oh my God, I finally have an opportunity to right this wrong. He just knocked over a pregnant woman. And so, the guy's snarling. So, he blows a kiss at him.

 

Now, the guy's mad, so the guy is coming at him, he's ready 'cause he knows he can take this guy down. And right when he's about to take this guy down, he hears this, "Hey," and it's this small Japanese guy sitting down saying, "Hey," and he looks at the guy and says, "Hey, how're you doing man?" And he goes, "Huh?" He says, "Come sit down. Come sit down next to me." So, the guy lumbers over and sits down. He says, "You smell like sake. You like sake?" "Yeah." "I like sake too." He says, "What's wrong?" He says, "My wife died. I don't have a job." He says, "I know." He starts rubbing the guy. "I know, my wife died too man. I know how you feel."

 

And he lays his head on the shoulder of the guy and the martial artist says that was the best demonstration of martial arts he had ever seen. He just de-escalated. This guy had problems and he was able to circumvent everything just by "Hey." [chuckle] But that's... Who knows? This old Japanese guy may have been proficient in martial arts, but in that particular moment, he said, well, to see some... This man was in pain. He was struggling, and he just pulled him. And I think at the end of the story, he took the guy to his house, gave him dinner or something to that effect, but this is... It doesn't happen overnight. Again, when I think about my younger self, he was kind of crazy. I remember there used to be a bully across the street from us growing up, I was maybe 12 or 13, and he was always bullying the kids, and when he did something, I went home crying one day, and my father locked the door on me and told me to go handle it.

 

This guy was 16, I'm like 12, 13 when you are younger those are big age gaps. So I'm walking down the street, I'm crying, I'm mad at my dad, I'm mad at the bully, and I walked down this, but I can't go home unless I handle this, and I'll always remember, there was a loose brick on this wall, and I took the brick and I came up and I just clocked the guy in the side of the head, he hits the ground, I jump on him and I just whaled like there's no tomorrow. Because if he gets up, it's over for me. Anyway, his face was marked up and he never bullied anybody in the block again. He walked on the other side of the street, but there was a few years where my dad had unleashed this crazy guy, if you even, if you tried to do anything to me, my motto was when I was young, the fight isn't over until I win it, I don't care how big you are, I don't care what's going on, I'll keep going. And then fortunately, I grew and came into my spiritual nature, now it's more... You can say what you want to me, you can say, you can talk, you can gossip about me. I may not like you, but I'm going to love you because I know who you are, even if you don't know who you are, it's kind of where I live.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. Oh man, Rev, I appreciate you so much. I think that another one of the barriers for being able to access that level of peace and patience and awareness is something else you talk about, I love the terminology, mental pollution, mental pollution. A lot of people are concerned about pollution, things going on in the world, it's another oil tanker busting open in the ocean and the smog and nuclear stuff, and the list goes on and on, but again, all of these things are still a result, these are outer reflection of the mental pollution that people are just essentially building up within their own spirit.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: That mental pollution or mental debris are un-examined thoughts and beliefs, the ego construct, it's often un-examined perceptions, and if you stop long enough and look at it, you'll see lies that are formulating that pollution, the lies of unworthiness, powerlessness, loneliness is many, many lies that are part of this pollution, and that pollution then becomes a part of our inner dialogue, it becomes a part of our conversation, how we speak, what we say, and then it moves into... The inner energy moves into action or inaction, lethargy, inertia, not doing anything, but if we sit and we dissect those lies, we understand that there's a truth underneath that and the truth is we're connected to the universe, we're connected to a presence that's never an absence, and then we can begin to shift our conversation, we can begin to shift it into affirmation.

 

Emotionally backed affirmation, we can begin to shift that until the pollution begins to be what it's called transmuted their thoughts, and as you know, energy it's constantly being transmuted, energy is never destroyed, but it goes to different frequencies, just like water can be ice or it could be gas. Those thoughts can be transmuted to higher frequencies, just through observation. We all know about the observer effect, anything you observe changes on the subatomic level, just you looking at it. So, as we begin to look at those thoughts and those emotions observe them, but we're observing them, you used the word intention, we're observing it with the intention of growing, then those thoughts become transmuted into higher frequencies, self-love, self-appreciation, self-worth. Oh, I'm not alone. I'm connected to everything. You know, oh, the universe is progressive, oh, everything's working together for my good, even if I don't feel it right now, we begin to slowly change until the inertia of that pollution is transmuted into momentum of a higher frequency. This means there's work we have to do on ourselves. It's not going to just happen. As one of my teachers used to say it doesn't just happen, it happens just by law.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Even with this analogy, you don't want to recycle the garbage, it's transmuting it, so it's having the inner technology to shift something that might be garbage into some regenerative inspiration or creativity.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yes.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So, I love that so much and...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: It's like, there's like the old garbage has been transmuted to non-polluting oil, they had that technology that does that, what used to be garbage is now becoming non-toxic fuel. We do the same thing within ourself, that which is the garbage thought of unworthiness or hate, or unforgiveness or resentment or animosity gets transmuted into love ultimately. Because that's what's within us.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: We've got a quick break coming up, we'll be right back. Did you know that there's a spice in your spice cabinet that can very likely improve your insulin sensitivity and help you to burn more fat. This spice has been utilized for thousands of years, and now today, we've got tons of peer reviewed evidence showing how incredible it is for so many aspects of human health. I'm talking about renowned spice turmeric. Turmeric is actually in the ginger family, but it has its own claim to fame today. And researchers at the Department of Neurology at USC found that one of the active ingredients in turmeric, curcumin is able to help eliminate amyloid plaque in the brain, slow down the aging of our brain cells and also help to remove heavy metals and reduce inflammation in the brain. By the way, I'm talking about its impact on body fat. Turmeric has been found to both prove insulin sensitivity, reduce blood fats, and directly act upon our fat cells and to take it up one more mental notch, research published in the Journal of ethno-pharmacology points to turmeric's potential to reduce both anxiety and depression.

 

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So, the question is, how do we do this? How do we mind fast?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: You used one of the most powerful words and a shoutout to one of my students who has a book called The Technology of Intention, Kim Terranova, and everything begins with intention. Now, the average individual that's just reacting is suffering from an intention deficit, not just an attention deficit, but an intention. They don't have an intention, they're just kind of buffeted around by the world, they just react to what's ever happening, but they don't set an intention, and so if you wake up in the morning, you have an intention. I intend to be a better version of myself. I don't know how I'm going to do it. It's not how yet. See, the ego says, how do you do it before you even know what it is, but if you set an intention, then what comes into your life are the how tos. So, if I establish an intention, which I do every morning, I establish intention every day, then the universe brings for me into my orbit ways to fulfill that intention. I'll meet somebody, I'll have a conversation, a book will fall off the shelf, something will happen that will begin to grab my attention to walk in a different direction, so I suggest to people start with some basic intentions. I intend this week to be more available to the opportunities for prosperity.

 

I don't know where it's going to come from. It's not my job, but I intend to be more available to prosperity. I intend to be more available to the health of my body temple. I intend to be more available, to really good friendships. And that's my intention. So, what happens then, by law? The Universal Presence law begins to wrap itself around that vibrational intention. And new worlds begin to open up. Now, here's the deal. The worlds are already there. But if the mind is full, if the mind doesn't see the possibility, then the eyes can't see the opportunities. It's an impossibility. You have to be able to hang in the possibility then you start to see opportunities. But they're already here but you can't see it if the mind says it's impossible. You, see? So, start with intention first and then that starts to move you in a different direction.

 

It starts to move you into the realm of possibility. You start to see opportunities. You start to meet different people. It's, I remember one time, one of the first times, we don't, it doesn't exist anymore, but back in the day, there was a bookstore called The Bodhi Tree. It was on Melrose, and I used to go there. I remember in the beginning it was Sawdust on the floor. They had a tea kettle and they had books. And then it became a big business with all the books. And I remember walking in there one day, I just walked into the store and a book literally fell off the shelf with... And it was very quiet. And everybody looked at me, this book must be for me. I didn't have any money. I was broke. I picked up the book and I sat down, and I read the entire book while I was in the Bodhi Tree. And it gave me some very powerful information that transformed, helped transform my life. So, I was in my intention of growing spiritually, book falls off the shelf. It was the right book that I needed at that particular moment. And later on when I had money, I bought the book.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: You invest in it.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I invested in it and it became a part of my, my basis for teachings. And but if you established an intention, the universe will meet you right there yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. This, the thing about being in your life and, being exposed to your teachings has been, for example, it helps to affirm and make sense of a lot of things that I've experienced. So, when I made the decision to get healthy and the opportunities, the resources, the right foods, all of these things were already available. And it wasn't until I made the intention to get well that, a person who had been in my life for years, a friend of mine, she was in chiropractic school. I'd known her for years, and now suddenly she's taking me to Wild Oats. And the Wild Oats I drove past it all the time.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I know.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And now I find a book again. There was a book there, nutrition, I believe it was called Something along the lines of nutrition prescription. It was like a big textbook. And it had all these different conditions and I looked up what I was dealing with this degenerative disc disease. And there was some published papers. It was referencing in this. And I, me being in college, because I'm... I was very much seeing is believing guy, I'm like, wait a minute. I didn't know that this was possible. I didn't know this was a thing. And so, it started to direct me towards putting different things into my body, essentially provide the raw materials to build a better body. That I didn't even know I needed; I didn't even know existed. But it was there all the time. It wasn't until I was attuned to it.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: That happened to me as well. When I started getting involved in wanting to eat better. I remember driving down Crenshaw Boulevard and I saw this pink building. It was Lindbergh's Nutrition. So I went, I said, how long y'all guys been here? And they said, 20 years I had driven by it, I could see Fat Burger I could see these double chilly cheese with some pork bacon on top.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Holy moly Donut shop.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yeah. I could see all that. I never noticed that store. It is pink It's a big pink building. I said 20 years, and then I saw all these different supplements and all this good food and organic this and organic that. But you're right, I didn't even notice it growing up until I became interested in good nutrition for the body temple. You don't see it until it becomes possible, or you make a choice or there's an intention around it. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. You have to become aware. Part of the process is becoming aware that this issue, this condition that we might be experiencing right now, the NIH is published their most recent data. 73% of United States citizens are overweight or obese. 42%...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I know. It's crazy.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Clinically obese. But this was prior to the pandemic, which things have, yeah. They've gone up quite a bit since then. So, I'm interested to see the new figures. But here's the thing at the end of the day, if we don't have the awareness or the revelation that my situation can change and I can change it if we don't start with that we're going to continue to exist in that reality, in that struggle. And so now, today a popular narrative is saying it's not your fault. It's saying it's, there's nothing you can do about it. And again, not to discard the fact that the environment can foster obesity. The environment can inform and cultivate conditions that make it very, very difficult for you to not have said condition. But the first step is you being honest with yourself and saying, I intend to have other than, I can get better.

 

To have a mind and body to be in unison versus one of the other fighting amongst each other. You doing things proactively trying to "get healthy" but you don't really believe it's even possible for you. Man, you're just, you're in struggle season big time.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I do believe an individual whether they're obese or not should have a high degree of self-love and appreciation. And I don't believe in fat shamming or anything like that. So instead of dealing with the fact that that individual might be pulling a lot of weight on their heart we're just accepting it. The higher percentages that most people are big we're just accepting it and it's not their fault rather than saying as you're saying, there is something to look at there, in terms of walking, in terms of food we're putting in our body, is it full of pesticides?

 

Is it full of sugar? Is it real food? You know what I'm saying? So, there's like a thin line there. Because if you go too far and wanting to teach that they may say, "Hey, well, you're not accepting people" and if you ignore it then the levels of strokes and heart attacks have gone up. So, there's a way of embracing people with self-love and appreciation and saying, hey, maybe you should learn this exercise, which is pushing the plate back a little bit instead of eating all of those donuts or whatever the case may be, so yeah. So, self-love, start where you are, self-love and appreciation, and then have an intention. Just have an intention to be healthy and see what comes into your atmosphere.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Absolutely. And to access that, of course, it makes it so much easier when it is a part of the culture. We are existing in a culture that is severely unwell. It's from a health perspective. And so, for you to pull yourself or elevate beyond that you're going to be weird. You're not going to be normal. So, we, and what you're talking about here is having a culture that's normalizing being unwell. That's normalizing, instead of saying, you know what, we have these particular issues.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: And There's nothing wrong with you.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, and everybody's invited to the party, please love yourself into wellness. But also understand you're putting yourself at risk for all manner of pain and suffering. Under the guise of celebrating this instead of saying, you know what, this is the current situation that we are experiencing. Let's start the stack conditions in your favor. Let's start the stack conditions socially, societally, so that we can make health more accessible. So that we can reduce your risk of chronic infections. Chronic debilitating diseases. For me, it was arthritic condition when I was in my teens and twenties. For my grandfather's heart disease and early death from that. From family members the depression, the diabetes, the whatever the case might be. The consistent factor with the majority of my family members experiencing chronic issues was obesity.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Wow. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And so, we know that we're in a pre-inflamed state, and we're putting a tremendous amount of pressure on our internal organs. We know that, for example, and we'll put the study up for everybody to see Dr. Daniel Amen directed me to it initially, but some of the latest data, looking at what happens with the brain as our waist is expanding effectively. And this is from researchers really looking at how our body mass index, how our waist circumference, how waist management is potentially more important than weight management, and how as our waist expands the size of our brain is shrinking.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: That's an interesting study right there.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: And in particular looking at the gray matter of the brain that has a lot of functions as well in keeping us function, because our brain is informing so much of what's happening downstream. And so, this isn't something to take lightly or to act like this isn't existing to normalize.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: We're not talking vanity either. We're talking health. I used to say over the years, your waistline is your lifeline. And again, it's not putting anybody down, but it's just becoming conscious. I remember I was in the parking lot at Agape, and this guy comes up to me, I kind of recognize him but I kind of don't. And we're talking, he says, "you don't remember me, do you"? And I said, "your face is familiar." So, he pulled out his license, and at the time this picture was taken, he was over 300 pounds, now he's 185. I said, what happened? He says, "well, I went on a meditation retreat with you over a year ago, and you wouldn't allow us, you only allowed us to eat healthy food during the retreat." And I said, well, "I can do this for these few days."

 

He said, "but I never stopped, He said, well, I can do it one more day. I could do it one more day. I started hydrating, I started walking around the block. I started going to bed a little ear early. He did all these things that we did at the retreat. He said, I just never stopped. He said, now I'm 185 and you don't even recognize me. I said, no, I don't. I recognized the other guy. But it wasn't, the retreat wasn't even about diet. It wasn't about weight loss, anything. It was about meditation. But the food that was available was all healthy salads and good food a lot of eating... The meat was good, it was wild, and this and that. And but he just, one day at a time, he lost a small child. He lost, another human being inside of him.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's incredible. But this also ties into one of the most important revelations, really, which is we tend to think that we're getting energy from things.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Ooh. But this is going to be important.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: I know.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I like this conversation.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: But the truth is we create energy and what really matters here in understanding this. There's... We know about diesel piezoelectricity, for example, and the electricity that we generate just from moving. But what are we putting our power into? So, we are not getting energy from the world or again, we think, this food is giving me energy, we create energy. We are a energy spring.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: We're a generator.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: We're a generator. And so, the question is, what are you plugging into? What are you putting your power into? Because that's really going to determine your life experience. Are you putting your power into all of these things that's helped to create a culture that is now, again, the most chronically diseased society in the history of humanity with all manner of dysfunction and separation and disempowerment? Are you putting your power into that or are you putting your power, which is also available in abundance into things that are lifting you up, that are empowering you, that are reminding you how capable you are? What are you putting your power into?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely. You're reminding me of something that, Bruce Lipton told me it is going to be in his next book. He talks about the quantum field. We all kind of talk about it in our own ways. And he was saying that we receive 20% of the energy that we need on a daily basis from our food. We receive 80% directly from the quantum field, that the quantum field intersects with our melanin and generates energy. So if the pollution of your mind begins to be dissolved, if you have intention, if you're connecting you, since you're getting most of the energy from the quantum field anyway, you get in higher doses when you're mind fasting, when you're meditating, when you're connecting, and I'm listening to him and it reminded me of the teachings of Yeshua Ben Joseph, the first generational Palestinian Jew named Jesus, who said man is not meant to live by bread alone, but by the every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

 

So, he's 2000 years earlier. So directly from the quantum field, we get the energy that we need when we plug in. You see so Bruce has given us the scientific aspect of it and the Palestinian Jew is giving us the spiritual aspect of it. But it's exactly what you're saying. Why do you bless your food? 'Cause you're putting the energy into it. You see, why do you bless people when you meet them? 'Cause you're generating a field of joy and of love and of harmony. Why do you wake up in the morning and establish an intention that all you're going to do is meet peace today? You're putting that out there from in here. You're not hoping that it's peaceful out there. You're generating that field.

 

I teach people, if you're going to walk into a meeting or anywhere, you ask yourself, what energy do I want to meet when I walk into this meeting? You tap into that energy first and you bring it into the room. You don't say, "well, I sure hope they're in a good mood. I sure hope that they bring peace." No, no, no, no. You generate it, you bring it, you walk into the room with a smile, you generate it, and the highest energy wins it begins to just be the atmosphere. You bring it because you are a generative being. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah. And it's attractive as well. The highest energy wins. Is attractive force. You know what happens when you walk into the room? Rev, you change what's going on in there. You can't help it. It's who you are. That's the great thing about this work in this practice and honoring your uniqueness and making the intention again, and practicing being the best version of you, or just continuing to find ways to access your greatness, is that you can't get rid of it. You are it once you turn, because I think we can be fearful, am I going to be it in this situation? Am I going to be able to... But you can't help it. You can't shake it off. Once you really become aware of who you are and what you stand for, what you're about, it's just automatic. It resonates from you. Even if you're having an off day, it's still going to resonate.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: You're right. It's still part of your consciousness. Yeah. You can't turn yourself off. Once you have an insight about yourself, about life, about whatever name you choose to give God, whatever, and then you integrate it, and you embody it. That's just who you are. You don't even have to; you don't have to prepare to be yourself. You just who you are. And that becomes your new baseline for the next level of growth. You develop a new norm. I have a great norm of joy and happiness. It's just like, I'm happy most of the time the external things going on, I may not like certain things. Sadness may move through my awareness, but my baseline is joy. My baseline is happiness. That's my baseline and then that's my norm. And then that particular plateau is a steppingstone to the next level. There's bliss, there's ecstasy, ecstatic living. This, keeps going, there's moments of just why am I so happy? You know what I'm saying? I don't have any external reason that I should be this happy, but I'm happy because it's an inside job, yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on, come on. Well, you shared as far as our mind fast. Intention. This is a huge part of it. But if you could, can you articulate, you mentioned meditation as being, if we're talking about the practical application of mind, fasting. But what is meditation? Can you talk about what it is? And so, is there a certain way, certain form of meditation we should be doing in order to mine fast most effectively?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Interesting. I'm working on a book on meditation right now.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Come on.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: It's already, it needs to be edited. It's already there. And I'm meeting with the editor every two weeks to get it done. So that's, I just, I've been teaching meditation for so long, I don't have a book on. So, I just said, "you know what, it's time to do this." So, there's many ways to meditate as there are people. So, the mistake that people make is they ask, "how do you meditate?" So, you have to ask, what is meditation first? Then you can get the how to. So, this is how I describe meditation. Meditation is paying untractable attention to reality, capital L reality not what the news cycle is spinning out or anything like that, because that's curated. That's not reality. That's just the slither of what they want you to know. So, reality is love, peace, joy, wisdom, harmony, intelligence, harmony, order. That's real. And it, now, it's everywhere except where it's suppressed by limited perception. So, when you, so when you begin to practice meditation, whether it's having an intention to wake up, beginning to pay attention to your intention, the vibration of it, watching the breath, again, there's many techniques. What happens is you start to have an insight and we break down insight.

 

Insight is an event that takes place in your awareness where you incrementally or suddenly know something that you formally believed. So, let's say you have a belief that this presence is everywhere called by millions of names. It's your belief. So, in meditation, you have that as an insight. Suddenly, wow, I'm connected to everything for real. That's an insight. So, as you keep practicing, that insight becomes internalized and becomes normalized, and it becomes a part of your daily perception. So, meditation is paying untractable attention to that which is real. There are many techniques for meditation. So, you're actually, you're learning to become rich enough to pay attention because most people's attention span is so small that they just fleet all over the place. So, you're learning to pay attention to your intention and then...

 

There are sensations of the body temple, there's emotions, they are thoughtful, and all of this is going on. With practice, you're able to sit and be aware of all of that without interfering. "Oh, there's a weird thought. Oh, there's an emotion from something that happened to me when I was six. Oh, there's a sensation and my body is itching. It's fidgeting." The Buddhist called that "Breaking karma" meaning, it's something that was lodged in you is now being set free. So, after a while, you're able to sit and watch it all without interfering. And then as I said earlier, the observer effect is now put on steroids. Everything starts to be transmuted, that which you've identified yourself as before, you saw it was just thoughts, beliefs, opinions, points of view, positionalities now changing because you're sitting with intention, observing with intention.

 

And so, there's something called Satori and there's something called Kensho. Kensho is the slow change of your perception. Satori is, "Ooh, I got it. I've seen it." Somewhat, we bounce back and forth. Most of the time it's Kensho. Most of the time, it's just... You don't notice you've changed until you look back on yourself. Six months, you say, "That used to bother me. It doesn't bother me anymore. What happened?" Like a thief in the night, an insight happened, and it just eradicated who you thought you were. And you look back three or four years ago, and you say... Or you may have friends who will come up to you maybe and say, "Is that you Shawn? What happened?" But you may not even notice the change, but something has been eliminated. This is one thing. Nothing's gained 'cause we can't add to perfection, but we can eliminate the pollution that's keeping the perfection from showing. That's what meditation does. It eliminates the pollution so we can see better.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So, can we start where we are? I would imagine...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: It's the only place where we can start is right where we are.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Because I think, well, we create, again, mental barriers to being able to implement something like this, something that can be so profound and affect every area of our lives. So, is there a time requirement? Is there a place requirement? What are a couple of small things that we could just have as insights? Can we just start to practice for five minutes a day?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Absolutely. Now, the subconscious mind will gravitate towards consistency. So, if you have a place where you do it every day to start. Now, down the line, you don't need it, but in the beginning, if you have a chair that you love or a place in your home that you might have some flowers, you might have a candle, you might have some incense or just something that when every time you sit there, the mind starts to gravitate towards, "Oh, we're about to get still. We're about to be quiet for a period of time," that's a good thing. And if you can do it the same time every day, at least you'll be getting steps. That's good. You establish an intention. The intention I generally have people do is, "I'm intending to wake up" because we're in an intoxicated sleepwalk, a sense of separation from our real nature. So, I'm intending to wake up.

 

And so, the two greatest techniques of meditation... Like I said, there are many techniques. We can go to Vipassana. We can do the breath work. We can do all kinds of things. The two greatest techniques are earnestness and sincerity. What do I mean by that? Earnestness is, "I'm going to do this whether I feel like it or not. I'm going to sit." And some days you wake up and you say, "I don't feel like doing this." Psychologists call that emotional reasoning. It's a disease. Somebody says at the beginning of the year, "I'm establishing a New Year's resolution. I'm going to walk around the block for 20 minutes every day. I'm going to drink at least X amount of ounces of water every day. I'm going to get enough sleep." And then you check in with them a couple of months later, "You're still walking around the block?" "No, I didn't do it." "Well, why not?" "I just didn't feel like it." So that becomes an excuse. So, earnestness is, "I do it even when I don't feel like it." That's earnestness.

 

Sincerity is the reason behind what I'm doing it. I pick a really good reason, a really good focus. I'm doing it to wake up. I'm doing it to become a better version of myself. I'm doing it to unleash the greatness that's within me. Choose whatever word works for you. So, if you have earnestness and sincerity, any technique will work. Every guru will tell you, "This is the technique," but if you have earnestness and sincerity, all the techniques will work. You see, whether you're doing a mantra, whether you're watching your breath, whether you're establishing an intention, whatever, you're doing yoga first and then meditating, if you have earnestness and sincerity, it'll all work for you. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: This is so exciting because this energy, this information, this empowerment is more accessible than ever. You just started your own show, and it is phenomenal. It's already just taken off like a rocket, Take Back Your Mind Podcast is now available everywhere that you get your podcasts. And can you talk a little bit about the show? And, yeah, it's very exciting.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Well, like you, I'm going to be part of the movement of individuals taking back their mind. As I've taught over the years, our mind... We have a mind. We're not our mind. We have one, and the mind is a set of programs. Some of the things we didn't put in it. We didn't program it. Some of the things we disinherited from society, from religion, from schooling, from whatever, the environment. You talked about environment earlier. It programmed our mind. So, the mind has been hijacked by mediocrity. So, the podcast is Take Back Your Mind that's been hijacked by the world and to begin to open it up to greater possibilities. So, every week I have people like you. You were my first guest that I had on the podcast.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Amazing.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: So, I have people on there who in their particular gifted area have taken back their mind and their life is a living testimony to whether it's health, whether it's spirituality, whether it's success, whatever the case may be. We have good conversation about that and how they assist in un-hijacking the mind. So, as you say, it's like it's taken off. Obviously, it's all over the world now and it's still fresh, still freshly minted. It's still new. And so, definitely, they can go to Apple. They can go to Spotify. It's on YouTube. All they have to do is put in Take Back Your Mind and the smiling face will pop up with whoever my guest is. So, if they want to see Shawn Stevenson, go to Episode Number 2. The first episode, it's solo. That's where I break down what Take Back Your Mind is all about. The second episode, my first guest is you. And then I have other guests in there that...

 

I realized... I used to have a radio program. I interviewed a lot of people that I knew. I know a lot of people and I have good associations with really great individuals who are really living their dharma. They're really living their thing. It's not like... They're not just academicians about something. They've actually lived these teachings in whatever area of their expertise is. So, yeah, Take Back Your Mind. Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, definitely subscribe, literally, right now. And I shared this with you then, it was a huge honor to be your first guest for your show. The word honor isn't even strong enough because you've been so instrumental in my growth and in my thinking over the years prior to even meeting you and the way that we met is so remarkable, me being from the inner city of St. Louis and you out here running these streets and all the craziness that you have come from, and to have such a life of impact and education and empowerment that you've created. And we met in Portugal of all places.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I remember you looking at me like, "You, Michael Beckwith?"

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: It just... But also, I think we knew each other.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yes, we did. It was a moment.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: You know what I mean? That's how it felt. It felt like we already knew each other.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: And it's true. It's like... And it's never ended. We have dinner with each other. I come to your house. You come to my house, and we hang out. So, when I say, "This is my friend, Shawn," it's not like Hollywood friendship. Do you know what I mean?

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: My good friend. Right. No, and also, I'd never even been to Europe, which was like all of these small things into... For us to intersect at that moment, was pretty remarkable, but I just really do appreciate the way that you show up. You've created such an incredible community of teachers as well. You influence influencers and it's just been such a great experience. Moving to California, you've been a lifeline.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: 'Cause I moved here at a very volatile time. And so, us... And I think, of course I've had that for you as well, just being able to share certain insights and experiences together has been really special. And to share this new show Take Back Your Mind is just... I'm so grateful that people are going to get more of this on a medium that's just exploding as well.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yeah, well, I appreciate... You helped launch it. You assisted. You and Anne gave me the different things to do and not to do. So, I used your example and your energy, and I appreciate that. And I don't know what else to say other than it's been a wonderful ride with you. It's been great. And I always refer people to your podcast, and I'll say, "Listen, if Shawn is saying it, he's done the research. This isn't just off the cuff, an opinion or a belief, even though that opinion and belief might be true. He's gone and curated the studies and it's not just anecdotal. It's like real deal." So, I'll always send certain things to people and say, "Look at this. This is what I'm talking about. He's done the research. You want the science? Here it is. You want the doctor saying it? Here's the doctor. You want the PhD from Harvard saying it? Here he is." They can't argue with it. And so, I appreciate the great work you're doing out here in the world for all of us.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yeah, thank you. I receive that. Seriously. That's why we do what we do and to create in such a way now today where all you got to do is push play. And it's a really special time that we're here. There's a lot of craziness going on, seemingly, but there's also at the same time so many wonderful things that we have access to that have never existed before. And we showed up at this time for all of this party to happen.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: That's right.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: So, go and subscribe right now, Take Back Your Mind with Michael Beckwith. Is there anywhere else people can follow you and get more information?

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Well, obviously, they can go to agapelive.com, which takes them into the portal of the spiritual community which has classes and my retreats and things like that. Pretty much every day I do an inspirational video or saying on my Instagram page that will also tell you about who the next guest is on Take Back Your Mind. So those are the places, yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Perfect, perfect. Well, we're just getting warmed up. So...

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: I know.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: We got... You just said it's been a great ride. We've got a lot more rides to go on.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Hey, we just... We're still on full.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Let's go.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: We make it.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Yeah.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: We make the energy. Michael Beckwith, I appreciate you so much.

 

DR. MICHAEL BECKWITH: Thank you, I'm glad we're on the vibration of the same movement of transforming the world in a very affirmative and life-giving way.

 

SHAWN STEVENSON: Yes, absolutely. The one and only Dr. Michael Beckwith, everybody. What are we popularizing today in our culture? That is the question. Just because something is popular does not mean that it is healthy. Just because something is normalized does not mean that it's normal. And so, we want to create a new revolution, a new way of being in the world today that is different from what we're experiencing right now, which is the normal state of the average person in our society today is one of chronic illness. And for us to do that, we have to set an intention. For us to do that, we have to have the audacity to walk in the direction of that intention. And as Michael Beckwith shared, it's not about figuring out all the pieces in the house, it's just getting clear on what we want to take place. And again, right now, a big part of that is not just the intermittent fasting that has it's place, that has science to back it up and is valuable but it is the mental fasting. It is the mind fasting to unplug from all of the chaos and the craziness and the busyness and the nonsense, sometimes, and be able to go within, to have that introspection to spend time associating with our own thoughts and not just constantly having our thoughts given to us.

 

And so, again, I hope that this was inspiring for you. Definitely check out Take Back Your Mind with Michael Beckwith. And we've got some incredible guests. Powerful master classes coming your way very, very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. 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 the modelhealthshow.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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