The How to Choose Happiness and Freedom Show: davidji - Meditation Teacher and Global Thought Leader

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davidji - Meditation Teacher. Creating Happiness and Freedom through Meditation

davidji shares his amazing story from corporate guy to meditation teacher & author. Plus rituals, moon cycles and more. Watch the video or listen to the podcast! Get connected with us and stay the course! You choose how you are creating your life.


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Transcript from Today's Show

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Lauren G. Foster (1s):
Hello, and welcome to the how to choose happiness and freedom show. I'm your host Lauren Foster happiness teacher and founder of the heavy first as a certified life mastery consultant, masters of wisdom and meditation teacher and primal health coach. I'm on a mission to help 1 million women learn to be happy and free on purpose, healthy, wealthy, and joyfully living life on your own terms. Happiness is a choice and you can always choose to be happy first. Thanks so much for being here now on to today's episode.

Lauren G. Foster (35s):
Hello, I am beyond excited and a little bit nervous to have my meditation teacher, the, the man who developed the whole school, where I got certified as meditation teacher and my personal guru, David G. Well, thank you so much for being on the show with me. I'm so honored. Thank you. It's great to be here. Awesome. So at meditation teacher training, it's kind of like meditation bootcamp. You get up in the morning and you're not allowed to speak, not allowed to when he is very much suggested that we hold things sacred and be silent until after our sunrise meditation.

Lauren G. Foster (1m 12s):
And as we're finishing our meditation, the sun is rising. And then we learned so many things all throughout the day and then ended the day with meditation. And this was after about 11 months, nine months of online training. And I'm trying to remember, but 16 weeks. So yeah, lot, lots. And I signed up, like I studied for 11 months trying to get ahead on the reading was so thank you so much for being here. And so tell our listeners a little bit about who you are and how you came to meditation.

davidji (1m 47s):
Well, I started meditating when I was in college. It was an experimental Asian studies course. There were 12 of us. We sat in a circle or a Zen master stood in the corner and we were instructed to, we would meditate for like an hour and we were instructed to raise our hands. When we have thought in his hand, our master carried an 18 inch bamboo stick known as <inaudible>.

davidji (2m 18s):
And when we raised our hand to signal that we have thought pop into our head, he would come over and throw out this on the back. So I didn't last in that school of meditation very long. And I found myself really loving the benefits, but not particularly that practice. So I began a whole series of other practices over the years from candle gazing to mantra, to tantra, to mindfulness, pasta, chakra, meditations, even droplet tasting meditations.

davidji (2m 51s):
And as I got more involved in the corporate world, I suddenly realized that my meditation slipping away and with it slipping away also balance in my life was slipping away. And so for me, that was like a, a major, you know, just a little whispering in my head like, Hey, I don't do this thing anymore. And here's my life. My life was very turbulent. I had a sense of emptiness inside. I was working, you know, 16, 18 hour days, seven days a week in the world of finance.

davidji (3m 24s):
And it was, my heart was just getting emptier and emptier. And then suddenly I realized that I had traded in my morning meditation practice for an early morning train ride to the world trade center. And I traded in my evening practice for a glass of scotch. And like that meditation was gone from my life. And also what was gone was, was totally a balance. And in the wake of nine 11, as I was walking in lower Manhattan, the road cardboard boxes that people were living in, I suddenly walked past this one box.

davidji (4m 2s):
His hand reached out, grabbed my pant like this and pulled me in. And I gazed into these Crystalyn blue eyes of this man who then said to me, what's going to be on your tombstone. And it was, I call these like butterfly moments where suddenly everything stops. The traffic stopped. The people stopped. It was like, we were the only two people in all of existence. And, you know, we, we shared a little dialogue, which seemed like hours. It was probably just a couple of minutes. And when I left him, my, my knees were weak.

davidji (4m 36s):
Tears were streaming down my face. I had a lump in my throat. I was hyperventilating. And I had to like sit down and rest, you know, like 20 feet down. I couldn't, I couldn't even walk. And that was really like the spark that put me on this journey. After that, I headed off to a meditation retreat in Oxford England, that Chopra was hosting. I wasn't really familiar with him at all at the time. And I figured, well, this is a chance for me to reconnect with my meditation practice.

davidji (5m 10s):
And they were supposed to be like 3000 people there. And there were, you know, 50 because no one was flying after nine 11. And so it was pretty, was pretty special. And we meditated for like, you know, eight hours a day. And by the third day I suddenly realized that this giant weight had been lifted off my chest, that there was this for the first time in maybe 20 years, I was experiencing joy. And that was just an amazing concept to me.

davidji (5m 40s):
And so after that ended, I headed off to India on my own little eat, pray, love journey without the eating and the love, and really just was in search of the guru. And I searched high and low, you know, for the guru. I was, I went to, to the Himalayas to see, to see his holiness, the Dalai Lama, but he wasn't there. So then I headed down South and I did all the, you know, all this stuff I meditated every morning and practice yoga every morning and bathed in the Ganges and prayed and, and went to see, you know, all these clairvoyants and teachers and visited all the temples.

davidji (6m 21s):
And really, it was, it was a profound journey for me and about five and a half months. And towards the end of this, when I had about two weeks left, then my six month visa, I was laying in a hammock in a cashew forest in Carola, Southern India. And I was reading the body about Eatsa this ancient Indian text. And I'd maybe read this verse hundreds of times, but that verse was yoga stuff, Peru Karmani. This is when you know the hero of the Bhagavad Gita, Argentina he's conflicted.

davidji (6m 54s):
He finds his life at a crossroads. He doesn't know what he should do. He's, he's really lost sort of just like out hell I was at the time. And maybe a lot of our, our viewers are today lost. And he's talking to God. The Bhagavad Gita is it's really this conversation between Argentina and Krishna and God, you know, trying to figure out like, how am I supposed to live my life? And so he says, how am I supposed to walk through the world? What am I supposed to do to recover my Dharma, my purpose, my meaning in life.

davidji (7m 27s):
And Chris responded to him, yoga stop. Rukmani establish yourself in the present moment, then perform action. And so that was like this amazing aha moment for me. And I suddenly realized that's how I'm supposed to live my life. You know, first get still and then take action first, get still, and then be broke. And so it was, you know, barking on the truth, obviously.

davidji (7m 58s):
So, so I came back home and a friend of mine, you know, said to me, all you do now is sit around and meditate. And I said, I know isn't that isn't that beautiful? And he was like, Hmm, if you really want to elevate, you know, this practice, you should, you know, you should get certified as a teacher. I was like, well, I'm not really not looking to teach. I'm really not looking to share, but I would like to learn more deeply about meditation and about how I can make my life better. So I headed out to California.

davidji (8m 30s):
I was living in New York at the time, headed out to California and went to a workshop. So you'd get, you know, as part of my certification journey and deep October and David Simon, his partner for the past 20 years, they were there and it was sorta like a love connection. We fell in love with each other at that workshop. And I never left and I stayed there. They asked me if I would run the chopper center. And I was like, that was like a dream job. And so I was like, yeah, we'll do that. And would you guys share with me stuff that, you know, as we go through the journey, so I began this, this 10 year apprenticeship where I was studying the Gita and the ancient teachings and meditation and yoga and your beta.

davidji (9m 13s):
And ultimately I became the lead educator there. And then I became the Dean of the university there. And in 2012, I sorta left the nest and left that world and went on my own journey to share meditation with the world. So other people, when they find themselves lost they're at that crossroads, they have a tool kit that they can then step into their power and own their impact. And I've traveled, you know, to schools and hospitals and worked with the ducks special forces in the military and worked in the corporate world and created my own teacher training of which you and I have spent, you know, a beautiful journey on that.

davidji (9m 55s):
And, you know, at this point I've had the privilege to certify thousands of teachers in, in meditation. And that's like, that's my passion. And that's where I am now.

Lauren G. Foster (10m 10s):
And again, you are such a loving teacher and so supportive. I love it. And I love your story. Tell us about your name.

davidji (10m 19s):
Well, after I'd been at the Chopra center for probably just, I don't know, maybe six weeks I came into to work one day and Tupac and David Simon were sitting in my office and I figured out what's going on here. And they said, you know, this is a little bit of an intervention, David Simon, every time someone says, David, he whips his head around and that's your name? So people are calling you, but you know, it's a little disconcerting. So we're going to change your name.

davidji (10m 49s):
We're going to give you a spiritual name. And that name is going to be David G and D a V I D J I. And I was like, what is, what, what's the deal with that? What does that mean? And they said, well, David is your, is your given name? And G J I means beloved. So we'll call you, you know, beloved David. And I said, Oh, that's so cool. Because my mother named me David, because in the Bible, that means beloved. So I'm sorta like beloved beloved.

davidji (11m 22s):
And after a while, it felt weird to have like a capital D I know that sounds, maybe it's not with anybody else, but I didn't want to be perceived as the beloved. So I changed my, my, everything to lowercase, small D so beloved square. And, and that's, you know, I've just kept that I've kept that name. You know, that's a, I don't know, 17 years later and that's, that's who I am, who I am this,

Lauren G. Foster (11m 52s):
I totally love it. I love it. And, okay, so w the world is so different right now, of course, as you know, and I don't want to spend too much time on that, but I spent some time out in the world. I usually don't. I usually stay here alone on my mountain, unaffected by anything that's going on out there. But I spent about a week out, you know, traveling and visiting family and friends. Those who felt safe enough to, you know, come out and be around people, but everywhere you go, there's just, there's, there's a feeling of fear and a feeling of unusual stress, unusual tension, unusual uncertainty.

Lauren G. Foster (12m 36s):
And I know that if we could get people to meditate, we could get them to feel better now. And I think feeling better is the first step in fixing all the things that are going wrong in the world, but everything that I teach us about how we don't have to wait to be happy until circumstances line up. And so we don't have to wait to be serene and peaceful and fearless and comfortable until the world straightened out.

Lauren G. Foster (13m 7s):
So how, how can we teach people that medic tell us how meditation will help with that?

davidji (13m 15s):
Well, that's a really important aspect of, of, of these ancient teachings that, that I've been immersed in, in that, that I've shared over the years. And I think that, you know, they're not like specific to one culture. That's really why I wrote the book sacred powers because virtually every culture has some aspect going back 75,000 years to, to the poor of, of Africa, you know, which is where pretty much, so much civilization on the planet has stemmed from.

davidji (13m 47s):
But whether that's a native American, you know, native Americans in the U S first nation people in, in Canada, middle Easterners, going back to ancient Babylonia and two ancient Egypt, the Indian sub continent, ancient China, they all, you know, have these, these very, very deep teachings rooted in getting still, you know, the concept of oneness, the concept of awareness, the concept of rebirth, the concept of infinite flow, the concept of inner fire, these things, you know, they they're, there's, they're embedded in every single culture, which means actually they're, they're universal principles they've been going on since, before we walk this planet.

davidji (14m 42s):
And then suddenly, you know, as we start to live here. So there are tools that have been taught for tens of thousands of years, to help people to connect to the thing that matters and the thing that matters, and whether you're a believer in the soul or spirit or any of that stuff. Yeah. The thing that matters is that there's something beneath this flesh casing, there's something beneath all of our emotions. And, you know, these teachings demonstrate to us that we can choose to live life on one of two planes, either object referred, which is where the Oh, everything outside of us is the answer to our happiness.

davidji (15m 20s):
Whether that's a new house, a new car, a new relationship, you know, getting wifi, getting your wifi to work after it has, after it's been shut off. You know, you pick all those things outside of us that we have no control over, and we're waiting for those external things to make us happy. And the other way to live life is self-referred where the source of happiness actually comes from within where the source of everything comes from within. So, you know, it's often been said, you know, happiness is a choice.

davidji (15m 53s):
And in fact, so much of what we do as we walk through the world is a choice. Some of us have bigger choices. Some of us have fewer choices, but we are individuals of free will. And so we get to choose, is this where I want to be in this moment? Is this the thought that I want to have in this moment? Do I want to take it down a rabbit hole and devolve and, and wallow in my sadness? We, we get to choose that, you know, do I want to see, like, what else is there?

davidji (16m 23s):
You know, is there a silver lining? Is there better that, that I can do? And so we suddenly start to realize that every single moment is a choice and every single moment we get to, you know, essentially choose ourselves and, you know, we're all pretty dysfunctional. You know, we've all we all grew up with with lots of uncertainty in our lives. Yeah. There was certain certainty, you know, these people were our parents or our caregivers. This is the place where I lived.

davidji (16m 54s):
Here's the place that I went to school, you know, here's, here's how my world, you know, sort of, kind of looks, but there's always been uncertainty and it's just in different ways. So when the pandemic suddenly awakens, you know, sort of who knows when that was maybe January, maybe December, you know, last year, but yeah. You know, as suddenly it became this thing, so many people got caught off guard in terms of this particular uncertainty and like, am I going to die?

davidji (17m 27s):
What happens to my life? How am I going to get fired? Will, will my business shut down? What will the world look like? You know, so it's not that there wasn't always uncertainty. There was just like a new flavor of uncertainty. And suddenly that allows us to sort of put into perspective. All the other things, you know, that we, you know, you know, will I, will I be loved? Will people be nice to me? Will I be able to thrive? You know, can I move from victim to survivor, to thriver, you know, so many different types of things.

davidji (18m 0s):
And if we can say, well, all that stuff is still an external COVID is external. How we respond to it is, is internal. So I know people who were curled up in fetal positions and that, and they've been that way for, you know, going on eight months now. And I know people who have pivoted reinvented themselves, rebranded themselves, leaned in harder, nurtured themselves, taking care of themselves. We all were praying for this. Everybody, you know, for the last, who knows 20 years has been saying, Oh, I wish I had more time.

davidji (18m 34s):
I wish all this pollution would slow down down. I wish there'd be fewer cars. I wish there were fewer people. I wish I could take two weeks off of work and no one would get on my case. I wish I could just sit at home on the couch and do nothing. And suddenly here it is. And so not exactly as we anticipated, but, you know, we have pleaded and begged and prayed for a period like this. So we have an opportunity here, you know, this is the thing we've been hoping for. And so we have the, the choice, you know, what again, what are we going to do with that period?

davidji (19m 9s):
And so I would recommend that people certainly cultivate a meditation practice because people ask me all the time, if they should quit their job or leave this person that they're in a relationship with, or like what they should do. And honestly, I don't know what they should do, but I can get them to a place of clarity where they can make the best decision. And I think, you know, I didn't invent meditation. I'm just the translator of it. And so that's really, everyone has the opportunity. Everyone has the opportunity to truly in any moment, introduce a break in the action, even if that's just taking a long, slow, deep breath in, you know, I think that's the key people think meditation is so hard, but how about just starting by taking a deep breath, whenever you feel overwhelmed, a deep breath, whenever you feel a little anxious, you know, a deep breath in so many different ways, you know, and I think that's, you almost have to be like, be, give yourself permission to do that.

davidji (20m 12s):
And I know people now who have like put an alarm on their phone that every hour, just for like 30 seconds, they just stopped close their eyes and breathe. And then, and then come back. We know even such little subtle different shifts in our behavior can make such a powerful and important difference.

Lauren G. Foster (20m 34s):
Okay. So physiologically what I, I love how you described the, what happens in your body with the fight or flight response and how being in that all the time. Is it that the saber tooth tiger story?

davidji (20m 52s):
Yeah. Well, I think, you know, it, and the reason I, I, I like to share that aspect is because people say, well, what are the benefits of meditation? And I think it's important to understand the other side of that before we even get to what are the benefits of meditation. So pretty much you and I, and, and all people walking on the planet, and most animals are hardwired with a self preservation mechanism known as fight flight. It's meant to save our lives.

davidji (21m 24s):
You know, we live in a harsh world and forget our modern culture or the industrial age, but we, you know, 10,000 years ago, we were living in villages where there were scary things outside of us, maybe other villages of people who were, you know, wanting to go to war with us, or, you know, animals that were backing us. So we are hardwired with this mechanism that the moment our autonomic nervous system, so this isn't actually an intellectual awakening.

davidji (21m 58s):
This is something that happens at the hormonal and chemical level based on a neurological spark. So the moment that we sense a threat to the physiology, the moment that we sense, Oh, this thing could be hurt. My physical body could be, could be, you know, attacked and killed in under five seconds. This process unfolds really in rapid fire. And so the first thing that we start to do is perspire. And it's not to make us more slippery to escape. You know, the, you know, the saber tooth tiger or the threat that we hear out there.

davidji (22m 33s):
And that's the thing you don't even have to like, see someone like running at you, you know, with a machete, you can just suddenly hear a sound of something. And, and 10,000 years ago, you would hear the sound of a saber tooth tiger or a lion roaring or something that would be like, Oh, I'm going either going to have, I'm going to have to save myself right here. This is, this could threaten my existence. I'm in mortal danger. And so first we start to perspire because the mind body knows that we're about to overheat either fighting this threat or running away from it.

davidji (23m 5s):
So the first thing we do is, is perspire. So that's like really interesting that like, that's the first thing, you know, and we experienced that way. If we're driving, you know, really fast and someone cuts us off, same exact thing. Suddenly we sense a threat to the physiology. First thing that happens is like, you instantly start to sweat from that before anything else happens. But right after that, within like a quarter second after you start to perspire, then you start to breathe more rapidly and shallowly, and that's to get the blood flowing through you.

davidji (23m 35s):
And in fact, the blood moves to your extremities, to your legs so that you can run away if that if you choose to and to your arms so that you can fight. So you're really getting prepared For, to, to fight or flee. Then what happens is once your heart is really racing, because your breath has made it race, suddenly your body says, you know, let's suppress everything. That's not critical right now.

davidji (24m 4s):
So, you know, instantly, you know, when like the, the, the few things that are gifts that we have such as, you know, cellular development, your autonomic nervous system says, we really don't need to be thinking right now about cellular development. We don't need to be thinking about, you know, making sure your hair is lustrous and making sure your nails are hard. In fact, let's shut down that entire operation of cellular development.

davidji (24m 36s):
So that gets shut down. I mean, it's pretty, it's pretty intense, you know? So your nervous system just goes, Put that down. Then your, your autonomic nervous system says, huh, what else is here that sort of extraneous that's not needed right now. And so one of the most important aspects of course, are your sex hormones. So procreation is really important to the species, but it's distinctly not important when you're just trying to save your life right now. So essentially your reproductive system also gets suppressed.

davidji (25m 8s):
And then your immune system, because your autonomic nervous system said, you could be dead in just a couple of minutes here. We don't need to be fighting germs. Let's shut that down too. So suddenly that gets suppressed. And once all your nonessential functions are suppressed, then your autonomic nervous system says, okay, now let's surge. Whatever we need to fight this threat or runaway. And then adrenaline cortisol and glucagon come surging into your bloodstream. And you're, you're ready now to fight or run away.

davidji (25m 41s):
But the coolest thing is the last thing that happens, the hard parts of your blood, the platelets that flow through the plasma become plump and sticky. You actually start clotting before you get cut, because we're hardwired that in the past physical threats were probably going to cut us. It certainly was fighting an animal or fighting a warring tribe. And so we start to, you know, our blood thickens and then we're ready, but, you know, fast forward, you know, 10,000, 20,000 years, we're really not in mortal danger on a consistent basis.

davidji (26m 22s):
In fact, unless you are in the military or search and rescue or in a war zone, you know, or some type of, you know, or we're policing on a daily basis, we're, we're never in mortal danger. We're not facing, you know, even the threat of COVID, it's a threat of COVID, you know, if you isolate or don't interact with people, nothing's going to happen to you. And so we have sort of like the modern version of this we've evolved as well as saber tooth tigers became extinct.

davidji (26m 59s):
Suddenly we've evolved that exact same fight flight process to an emotional process. So now it's not, when someone threatens your physical body, it's when you sense of threat to your ego is when someone challenges you, when someone barks at you or yells at you, when someone challenges something that you think you own, and that can be a belief system that could be your house, your, your city, your team, your religion, a project that you just worked on, an outfit that you're wearing, that you thought was great.

davidji (27m 36s):
And someone says, really, you know, it can be as simple as something like that. So throughout the day, that's happening like 20 times a day that we are experiencing our needs not being met. And that's really the definition of stress that I like to use stress is how you respond when your needs are not met. So when we were talking about these things, all these things external to us, so then we start to realize like, well, there's like a lot of times during the course of the day where my needs are not met and I'm, I have a choice in how I want to respond to that.

davidji (28m 12s):
So how we respond becomes the fabric of our life. So we know the same thing is happening. Someone pushes your button and those same, those same processes happen. You either hold your breath or you start to breathe more shallowly. You start to perspire, you suppress your sex, hormone, you growth hormone, and your immune system, you elevate adrenaline cortisol and glucagon who could go on and sorta like when it surges into, it's like eating five Snickers bars at once.

davidji (28m 42s):
And so suddenly our platelets are getting thicker and like, all this stuff is happening. We could just like sit at a dining room table and someone's, it said something that pushed our button. And so this is how we are wired to walk through the world. And if we're having this experience 20 times a day, at least 20 times a day when our needs are not met, There's a, there's a state that we can awaken to as well.

davidji (29m 12s):
And that's the state of restful awareness or restful alertness. And we get that through meditating. When we meditate, we cultivate that state. And like, why, why would we care about that? Well, because the state of restful awareness is almost exactly the opposite of fight flight. So in restful awareness, we don't perspire, our perspiration level comes down. We actually feel a little more relaxed and cooler. We don't breathe shallowly and rapidly.

davidji (29m 43s):
We breathe more deeply. And our, and our breaths are longer. Our heart doesn't erase our heart slows down and our blood pressure slows down those hormones and chemicals that get suppressed in fight flight actually get elevated. So our growth hormone elevates our sex hormone elevates. Our immune system is boosted and adrenaline cortisol and glucagon are suppressed. And the platelets that run through the plasma flowing through our body, they don't get plumped and sticky.

davidji (30m 17s):
They get thinner and more fluid. So when we can cultivate that on a consistent basis, then it's like the antidote to stress. It's the antidote to all of those ways that we would otherwise react in the world. And the next time someone pushes your button, you don't even realize that they're pushing your button. You're like, where are you trying to push my button? I didn't even feel that. And that's because we don't feel it emotionally and we don't feel it hormonally and chemically, and suddenly there's this new tool.

davidji (30m 49s):
So that's, you know, if you just want to look at this on a physiological basis, that ultimately leads into an emotional basis, forget spirituality in any way, this practice can save our lives. Like, what do we need now in the era of COVID, we need something that's going to help us not spin out, help us boost our immune system, help us be stronger, you know, against something that we don't even know really what it is. And so that's why I think meditation can, has so many physical, emotional, spiritual, mental benefits that can help us deescalate situations, which is why I like working with cops because, you know, teaching them these techniques, you know, what are all the reasons for, for all these cops, you know, shooting, you know, young, black men, it's, it's, it's because everything's escalating.

davidji (31m 45s):
So imagine, you know, a world where their first thought was to deescalate rather than escalate, no matter what their implicit bias would be, but if they can live their lives, knowing that there's another gear that they can choose in that moment. And each of us has that same opportunity. Each of us has the ability to choose another gear and that can, you know, realistically that can change our lives, that can change every single aspect of, of who we are and how we walk through the world.

davidji (32m 20s):
And I think just having that sort of like in your back pocket, as, you know, as an important tool to help you walk through the world with greater grace and greater ease, I think that's what we all want. You know, we're all just looking for more happiness and more love. We're all just looking to like, you know, feel better about ourselves and about the world. And this is like really powerful platform for doing that. Right.

Lauren G. Foster (32m 48s):
Okay. So you recommend 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night. So explain to us how meditating at six in the morning is going to help me with facing down my boss at noon.

davidji (33m 3s):
Yeah. Okay. Well, that's really, you know, that's really important. And again, I don't want to scare people away, so yes, that's the ideal amount that we should aspire to, but this isn't aspirational. If we can just meditate for five minutes to start our day and end it with five minutes and then add a minute, you know, every month, you know, to do that, we ultimately so longterm practice. So we ultimately can really be in that space. But I think one of the most powerful and important things that we can do on a consistent basis, no, there's two ways to view meditation.

davidji (33m 36s):
You know, in the moment, the stress of in the moment, stress hacks, you know, someone says something and you suddenly have like a tool to suddenly breathe and not respond in a way that's not necessarily our best version. And the other thing is to create, you know, proactively create a practice proactively, you know, build something up so that instead of being a crisis meditator, you're actually, there are fewer crises out there. So one of the most important things that I, that I do recommend is to start your day with meditation.

davidji (34m 9s):
And I think if we can just start our day by connecting into stillness and silence and receiving and awakening all those physiological benefits that I was just talking about, we then have like a little bit of stillness and silence resting inside us and that little bit of stillness and silence as absurd as this may be, but that little piece of stillness and silence, and maybe it's a thimble full of stillness and silence suddenly, you know, that's the trajectory of our day.

davidji (34m 46s):
And so that's our starting point. That's the platform, that's the blueprint, that's the foundation for everything that follows it. So yes, you're suddenly having this interaction with your boss, but you've got a little piece of stillness and silence. Now, imagine if you did that every single day, start your day and end your day at a certain point after just like a few weeks and after a few months, and imagine, you know, you don't have those, those harsh interactions with your boss or, or, or with anyone you don't get twisted up.

davidji (35m 20s):
When, when people say things that aren't to your liking, you, you don't live this knee jerk reaction life that every time someone says something, if it doesn't serve you, you get upset. And the same thing as outside of you, you know, a life is full of peaks and valleys. And every single day is filled with peaks and valleys. And sometimes we find ourselves in a lot more valleys and peaks, but if we can again, see them with greater clarity, then we can make decisions that will see them as opportunities.

davidji (35m 59s):
And we can actually like turn a challenge into a potential win, you know, and maybe we're not so harsh with ourselves. Maybe we're a little kinder to ourselves. And so these are gentle, you know, this is a gentle practice. And so it's all about, you know, how kind can I be? How can I help? How sweet can I be to me so that I'm in a, you know, a better space. You know, we, we talked about people having compassion. I have so much compassion for this group of people or for that person or for this situation.

davidji (36m 31s):
Well, there's self compassion is here's the most important aspect of that. And we need to start with self-kindness self-compassion self do that, sweetheart. Self-forgiveness and self-love,

Lauren G. Foster (36m 45s):
So I love how you put this and I want to add to this. So it's like, you're, if you, if you start your morning with meditation, it's like, you're filling your tank up with, with kindness, with peace, with calm, with serenity, and you have that to draw on all day and night.

davidji (37m 1s):
Yeah. It's like making a deposit in your bank, you know, as soon as you wake up and then you can access it throughout the course of the day. And as long as you know, well, it's okay, I'm making a deposit this afternoon as well, and tomorrow morning. And that's why for me, rules are not how you get people to really meditate. I think people like structure, but most people don't like rigidity. And I don't want to ever feel like I'm part of a cult or have to be forced to do this or do that.

davidji (37m 36s):
Right. So this is, you know, that's why I find such joy in sharing these teachings with, with so many different types of people, because everyone can benefit from a present moment practice.

Lauren G. Foster (37m 50s):
And that's what, you know, I've discovered his words, that words don't teach, but if people will try this and, you know, start to develop their own meditation practice, and yeah, this is a giant cat, his name is Romeo Romeo. So no buddy, when you that, this is what happened when I first met you and this that you taught me to when hook my meditation does something that I do anyway, like feeding my cat or, and, and start with five minutes.

Lauren G. Foster (38m 25s):
And, but it wasn't very long before I started noticing how much more in charge I was of my own thoughts and how, you know, I, I got to be the boss, what I was thinking instead of just reacting. And then once you have that proof, then it's not like something you have to do. It's like, Oh, I can't wait to do this. I can't wait to get better at this and, and watch my life get better and watch my days get better.

davidji (38m 50s):
Yeah. I think that's a really important aspect of it. If we can reach a realize it, when you can add meaning to ritual, that equals transformation. Otherwise, you know, we have rituals for making coffee, making tea, getting dressed, you know, doing whatever. But if we can hook this, if we can hook our morning practice, you know, push it to the very, very front of our morning, ablutions rituals, then we're not thinking about it as a chore. You know, we're not thinking about like, we just, like, we don't think about going to the bathroom as a chore or brushing our teeth or taking a shower or getting dressed or making ourselves coffee.

davidji (39m 28s):
You never see that as a chore. And so that can be one of the most powerful understandings that like, Oh, this is a gift. It's not a chore. And it's just something that I do. And so, you know, that's what I've managed to do over the years. I don't even think about, you know, like, Oh, I have to wake up and do nothing. Now I have to wake up and meditate. It's just, I just do that. I just do that thing. And then there's just a little bit more stillness and silence that flows through, you know, every conversation, every interaction, every, every thought that comes into my awareness.

Lauren G. Foster (40m 10s):
That's awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Okay. So also at meditation teacher training, we did some very fun rituals, like writing down something that we wanted to be rid of, and we didn't literally throw it into the ocean because that would be littering, but we threw a rock that was representation. Tell, tell, talk about that ritual or give us a couple of other of your favorite rituals to help you feel like you're in charge of your day.

davidji (40m 42s):
Yeah, well, I'm big on ritual and I think, you know, there's a lot of stuff that we have absorbed since we were kids that actually doesn't serve us. Maybe it did at a certain period of time. It doesn't necessarily serve us now. So there's a lot of baggage, you know, for lack of a better word, belief systems, limiting beliefs. There's a lot of stuff that we, you know, hold onto and I've held on to very effectively, you know, through our teams, through our twenties or thirties and beyond.

davidji (41m 15s):
And so I believe that, you know, as Aristotle said, nature, abhors a vacuum. So if we can create a ritual for releasing that stuff, then we can have a space that can be filled with other things that we would, that are more relevant and effective at this moment in our life. And so that's, so number one is having that second meditation of the day. I've said the importance of, I call them the bookends of the day.

davidji (41m 47s):
So there's the importance for like starting your day with just a little stillness and silence, starting your day by setting an intention, starting your day with a gratitude practice. These are all parts of my morning ritual. And then there's that second meditation of the day, somewhere between two and six, where we can sort of let go of something that we might have absorbed or taken on from the moment we wake up. So that moment maybe we took something personally, maybe we, we read something and it really bothered us.

davidji (42m 24s):
Maybe we got a little overdramatic about something, maybe we'd beat ourselves up. So this would be that time. You know? So the first meditation of the day is the one that sets the table. The second meditation of the day is the one that washes the dishes. So you would never confuse those two, you know, set the table and we eat the meal, you know, and then we wash the dishes. If you never wash your dishes, then ultimately you'd have to move. You'd be like over plates.

davidji (42m 54s):
That would be unwashed everywhere. And then ultimately you're like, I gotta get outta here. You know? So it's the same thing for us. We absorb, you know, we have 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day add to that, all the experiences that we encounter over the course of the day and layer over that, all the interactions that we have with people, whether it's digital or in person, it's a lot. And so we need a release valve either. I'm not going to take that personally. I don't want, I don't want to hold onto that energy.

davidji (43m 26s):
Cause that's normally what we've been doing. You know, we have a bad day. Someone cuts us off at like eight o'clock in the morning, on the highway. And at like six o'clock at night that's dinner conversation, you wouldn't believe what happened to me, you know, 10 hours ago. And he, you know, and it's absurd. You know, if you think about that, that is absurd that we would hold on to something really not relevant. And then of course there's the concept of emotional leakage. So we like got p****d off at eight o'clock and we were like annoying to be around for the entire day.

davidji (43m 58s):
Just because someone called us off that, you know, we could have said to ourselves and like, let it go. But instead, now we like held on tighter and tighter and tighter. So that second meditation of the day, whether it was a comment that you receive, whether it was something that you read, whether it was something you, that you took personally, that's our opportunity for like a release meditation. So that's why I think, you know, the rituals are really, really clear. We start our day by setting intentions. We end our day by letting go with what no longer serves us.

davidji (44m 31s):
So that's like the first, you know, ritual that we can do on a daily basis. Even using the simple mantra. Let go, as you breathe in salary and as you breathe out silently, repeat, go, and just do that for five minutes. It's amazing. You know, you think, Oh, how powerful could that be? Well, since she never did it before you can transformation life changing. So that brings us to like, well, well let me share one additional benefit.

davidji (45m 2s):
Typically if you hold onto something and then you bring it into dinner time, and then you're going to bring it into post dinner time, then you're going to breathe, bring it into your evening time. Then you're going to bring it into your bedtime and then you're going to bring it into your bed and then you're going to bring it into your sleep. And then you bring it into your dreams and you wake up the next morning. And that's a part of, you know, ultimately it becomes toxic emotional if you do that every single day for 10 years. But as you even just doing a five minute, let him roll or release meditation, you start to let go of this stuff that you took so seriously that day.

davidji (45m 39s):
And as you continue to do that, you start letting go of stuff you held onto yesterday and the day before and the week before and the month before. And you start really like, you know, clearing out your emotional closet. And then suddenly this becomes one of the most powerful and beautiful aspects of your life. I'm big on that ritual. But you know, the ritual that we performed was we got very, very still, you know, to start the process because this is not an, you know, when you're in emotional pain or if something's been sitting in your heart for 20 years, it's not an intellectual conversation.

davidji (46m 17s):
It actually needs to be a heart-based conversation. So we spent, you know, spent about 45 minutes getting really, really still, you know, through, you know, through the chakra tuning, through, through a process to really, you know, Logan Neidra full surrender. And then we wrote down three limiting beliefs that we have three things that we think we're holding us. And then we probably that paper up, we held it to our heart, right?

davidji (46m 52s):
And then we picked up a rock, just a simple neutral rock in that moment, it was neutral. And then we held the rock to our heart and we allow the emotional charge. That's in our heart to move into the rock. We actually would allow my, my psychic pain, my emotional turbulence to move from my heart into this rock. And so with our paper of our, you know, our heart filled with grievances, moving into the rock and our paper, you know, written down with, with blockages, we walk to the edge of the water and then we threw that rock, which was now filled.

davidji (47m 33s):
Ideally we were transferring the emotional pain that was in our heart, that emotional charge into the rock and threw that into the ocean. And you might say, Oh no, no, no. You're just like polluting the ocean with this constant emotions. Like check it out. The ocean is big. Ocean can handle it. We can't have it. We're the ones with the limitations notion can, you know, it's just like the earth and the people say, we're going to kill the planet. We're not going to call the planet. We're going to kill ourselves. It's going to be here. It's going to do just fine.

davidji (48m 4s):
We will have colluded it and destroyed it. And so many different ways. But at a certain point, we, you know, our lives will become unsustainable. And in the moment we vanish, you know, within like a week, just like what happened with the first month of COVID suddenly, you know, no smoke belching into the air, suddenly all those cars, not on the road, the factory shut down and like all this pollution that was just, you know, they were even saying like in Venice, you know, the canals were clear for the first time. It's like a hundred years. So we know that notion can handle it.

davidji (48m 37s):
You know, sweet mama, Oh, can handle it all. So we throw our rocks into the ocean that are emotionally charged, pulling that emotional charge out of our heart. And then we made a bonfire and then we surrounded, you know, that, that flame and took a piece of paper, which now had our limiting beliefs inside it. And one by one, we realistically went into, you know, drop that into the fire as we chanted the Sanskrit phrase <inaudible>, which means I surrender to the fire of transformation.

davidji (49m 13s):
So taking that, that whole ritualized process suddenly, you know, there's an opening here and it's again, what do you want to fill it with? So of course we filled it with chocolate, as we do something sweet, you know, chocolate and strawberries, but, you know, we can, anyone can do that and you don't have to like live near the ocean. You know, you can find the, some, some puns in a park near you or something along those lines, and you don't need a bonfire because you know where I live, you know, California wild fires all over the place.

davidji (49m 50s):
So, but, you know, you can just kind of put it in a, put a, put it in a pot and put it in a, you know, in a pot, in your, you know, indication. So there's so many ways that we can, you know, do this ritual. But if we do this on a consistent basis where we're giving ourselves space, and then we invite new intention, new belief system, we invite new pathways and in this space.

Lauren G. Foster (50m 22s):
And so all about doing things on purpose, being purposeful about choosing our emotional and choosing our spiritual health and choosing our connection and all that. Okay. So I almost forgot that I wanted to very selfishly, because this is my new interest. I wanted to talk with you about moon cycles, or I want you to share with us about, about moon cycles and how we can, you know, have fun increasing our connection and our, our state of mind and things like that. According to the moon.

davidji (50m 54s):
Yeah. Well, you know, when it comes to the moon, it's something that we just meet. We could be paying more attention to it. Often times we just go like, yeah, yeah. Full known. And so probably productive teen years. I have, I'm not a woman. I grew up in a household of women. So I was aware of it, you know, aware of, of, of, you know, the ebb and flow. And then of course, you know, we know that, I see that our bodies specifically, women are so linked to the lunar cycle.

davidji (51m 31s):
So LinkedIn at 28.3 and every six hours, when you move from high tide to low tide and we, 15 days, you know, wherever you are, 14.1, five days when we move through this cycle, following from, from, from full new, you know, in getting, going back and forth, getting that. And so right now we're in halo of a full knowing full moon and the full moon. If you think of it, think of like, well, what's the new moon it's like empty.

davidji (52m 4s):
So the new moon is that we fill it up. When we pour our intentions into that, you get really, really deep into that it's empty. So we can be filled with anything sort of like, you know, our hearts at the end of the day when we released them, opens there. So to put it in new things. And so same thing with the moon. So the full moon is at its fullest. So we wouldn't call that a manifestation room because of the new moon, which is the manifestation that we'd put all our intentions and desires and commitments and dedicate ourselves to new things.

davidji (52m 41s):
The full moon, I like to refer to it for the pruning. This is where no differently than I had, like this giant garden where trees have grown or grown, we would come and say, well, they'll grow better. If we can just prune it off the stuff, that's not necessarily serving this. So the full moon is actually that opportunity where we can let go of some stuff that's not necessarily serving us. And so that, that chance to choose new, but figure out where are directions that I'm going.

davidji (53m 19s):
That really aren't serving me. What projects have really just turned out to be a distraction, what behaviors mine aren't necessarily serving. You know, I may be doing it for 20 years, but they're not really serving me right now. So the beauty of the full moon, cause we can look at our lives in terms of best snapshot. You know, what's going on today, you know, past few days, past week, past month, past year. And this allows us to sort of like prune everything in a way that isn't necessarily serving us so that new shoots can grow new sprouts and grow.

davidji (54m 1s):
So we're sort of like these slash gardeners, for lack of a better term, we're taking our cue from the moon in terms of when's the best time to be doing this. That's the beauty of a full moon is that you're in such, you know, the moon is only lit by the sun. A lot of light gone made, but realistically it's the sun that likes everything.

davidji (54m 32s):
So when the moon is full and the wound is all, it's fine, feminine energy. And it's being fueled by the sun, which is all divine, masculine energy and energy. So in the full moon there's total balance. So we get to witness this reflection of that energy coming into the moon and then bouncing onto the scene. And it's a really powerful balancing aspect as well, balancing balancing.

davidji (55m 10s):
And so that's, you know, Ronan's give us a chance to sort of like we center ourselves around ourselves, getting to that place where we were like being pulled over to like either share that or refine it or rebirth it. So I'm like, we're still in the halo. You know, typically they say the energetic halo of any moon, anything along those lines, it's like, you know, 72 hours. But the reality is, you know, it's the word about your awareness that, that makes that impact.

davidji (55m 44s):
So I would encourage everyone just kind of a little attention, you know, the next, you know, at a new one soon, I want that new, that would be the moments to really plant all your seeds. And then the next phone comes that we need at the moment to sort of prune away, what's grown so that you can have greater growth.

Lauren G. Foster (56m 7s):
So when does harvest come in this cycle? When so

davidji (56m 11s):
Well that that's exactly it. We're, we're harvesting that whole pruning is, you know, we are reaping the benefits of the things we planted and that's why harvest, you know, they call it harvest moon. You, you know, kind of big, <inaudible> almost like day, but we are, you know, this is not the planter, it's the harvest. So we're really taking stock again, in so many ways, you be the gratitude practice we've taken stock of what has unfolded, the steps that you take.

davidji (56m 50s):
And this period of time, you know, we can really start to move through this and see that our lives are so much in the flow of the exact same thing. Certainly women, women are feeling it biologically physiologically, but this isn't what it should be. Sort of like a cue that we can also do it on an emotional and like, where's my attention. What am I putting my attention on in my life? Where's my agenda. What am I leaning hard into lean harder?

davidji (57m 22s):
Should I back off? What areas do I not have attention and put a little bit more attention. So this is called the full moon. Also like anywhere. This is our opportunity to really take stuff to the big picture of all things and take a deep breath in and harvest and pruned. And then we're gonna have to do anything after that. That's the beauty of this one a differently than when you plant something in your garden, you plant it and then the seeds grow and then they grow into the thing that you wanted them to help control over that.

davidji (58m 4s):
And then that's why we have to be detached as well. But then when those trees grow to a certain amount, then you say, okay, let them be pruned. That is a little bit, so it can be a little stronger when we prune the branches. We're energy goes into the roots. So that's one cleaning and passing a little more energy.

Lauren G. Foster (58m 31s):
Okay. But I knew that we were at that. I was going to have to watch the clock cause I could talk to you all day, but it's is there anything that you want to add before we, before we go? Anything that must be said?

davidji (58m 46s):
Yeah. Well, I do want to say that first of all, thank you so much for inviting me to, to hang out with you this morning and you know, we transform the world by transforming ourselves. So we've got an opportunity here to really impact on the world, around us and on what we care about. What's important to us and we should not little, so much to change that thing we need to, to look inside and elevate what's inside on us.

davidji (59m 24s):
Vibration always wins. So when we can just see raising our vibration within the vibration, right, you know, really close one will start to shift a little bit further up and then a little bit of that. And that's how we shift the world. We have a low vibration thing. It's something that we don't like probably not going to be able to affect change in the way that we want. I know it's going to be everyone with meditate, meditate, meditate. And then of course in <inaudible>, but I would also stress to people.

davidji (59m 60s):
You know, don't meditate in a crisis. See if you can launch those bookends of your day. And even if it's like start your day with five minutes and end your day with five minutes and then maybe add a minute to that every so often. And then ultimately will have an amazing practice check out Lauren, because she can teach her that you are.

Lauren G. Foster (1h 0m 28s):
Ah, it's fantastic. So yeah, like he said, he has thousands of free meditations. He has programs launching all the time. I highly recommend that even if you don't want to be a meditation teacher, go learn to be one because it was an experience like no other. So you can find all of [email protected] I'm so honored that you were here with me. We're going to be back here next week with another great guest that I don't know who it's going to be yet. But in the meantime, remember that happiness is a choice and you can always choose to be happy first.

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