Episode 149 | January 1, 2019

Zen-Like​ Mindset with Sam Morris

A Personal Note from Orion

2019 is going to be your year. With this episode, I am sending you a blessing that all of your dreams come true. But wait – this is not a cliche Happy New Year “warm wishes” message. Because although I wish for all your dreams to come true, I know that my wish, and your wish, is not going to be enough. There needs to be more than wishing going on – you need to take action and not be afraid to go for it, whatever that “it” may be.

Before you go full speed ahead, I want you to take a moment to center yourself and come from a place of Zen. When you enter a state of Zen, you’ll tap into your intuition and let that force guide you in going after your goals. The things that you set out to accomplish, let them come from you heart. Don’t let them be dictated by society and expectations. A higher salary just to make more money, or even entering into a relationship just to get your mother off your back…let those pressures fall off your radar and zoom – or Zen – into what really matters to you, and go after that.

My guest today is an incredible source of inspiration. He’s overcome incredible adversities to build a life that inspires others to follow their heart and live their best lives, so we may contribute the best of ourselves to the world. Tune in to hear Sam Morris, the founder and creator of Zen Warrior Training, inspire your fresh start in 2019!


About Today’s Show

Happy New 2019! Oh my god. I wish you a year that is full of Zen. Let me explain. I found two definitions of Zen in the dictionary, and I think you can use it. One, a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation or, and this is for you, a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort. We live in a physical universe, and obviously, some of the laws of this universe are that we need to take physical actions in order to manifest things into existence. But it’s not what we do. It’s how we do it. And my blessing to you this year is that you will manifest things by being guided by your intuition rather than by conscious effort that things will happen and flow into your life and you’ll have so much blessing, and abundance, and love, and light. And whatever you want will come true in the best way it can. So I looked at my guest’s bio, and I decided not to share it with you. Instead, I decided to read something that I found on his website. “I am a lover of nature, and I live in awe of its power and beauty. I am a husband, an artist, a musician, and adaptive athlete. I believe that every moment is a perfect moment for self-discovery. I believe that when people let go of who they think they should be and discover who they really are, they can change the world. I’ve lived two distinctly different lives. The life of an able-bodied athlete and the life of a paraplegic. I’ve helped thousands of people to discover the power of their souls and the brilliance of their minds and bodies. I train high performers how to navigate seemingly impossible circumstances gracefully and come out in a better place than where they started. I believe the future of the earth depends on each of us, discovering our gifts, living from our hearts, overcoming our illusions of separateness and taking the power of who we really are back.” Please welcome the founder and creator of Zen Warrior Training and my friend, Sam Morris.

Hey Sam and welcome to Stellar Life Podcast. It’s so good to have you here.

Thank you, Orion. Thank you for having me. It’s great to be here with you.

Before we start, why don’t you share a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in rural Maine on an organic blueberry farm. A lot of my childhood was spent really being close to nature and just feeling the harmony, if you will, between humans and nature. I was an avid athlete, skier, snowboarder, cyclist and in the summer of 1999 when I was 23 years old, I led a bicycling journey across the US for nine teenagers, and we camped every night, we cooked all our own food, and it was like a 52-day, 4000-mile expedition. Right after that summer in the fall of 1999, I just turned 24, and I was in a car accident which left me paraplegic. It was caused by a drunk driver, I was riding the backseat of his car, we went off the road, we hit a tree, broke my back, and I began a long healing journey.

It was a real warrior’s initiation essentially. Before my accident happened, I was very drawn to Buddhist philosophy, Zen, mindfulness and that type of thing. How to live in a place of heart-based connection with oneself and with others in the world. And that experience of going through paralysis really was my big test. It was like, how much can you really live in that connection with your spirit, or connected to your heart, or connected to your higher self as you go through such an incredibly traumatic experience? So I went through this initiation process that began in 1999 with my accident, and it’s been a very long and interesting journey since then. It’s included over two years of being hospitalized due to various injuries related to my spinal cord injury. Another two years of being bedridden at home. I’ve had four years of my life taken out of being able to function within society.

In 2013, I was doing some deep soul searching for what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had so many people say to me, “wow, I have no idea how you have overcome the types of challenges that you’ve overcome, and whenever I’m going through some really difficult, dark situation, I always think about you. I always think how is it that Sam has been able to overcome what he’s overcome and if he can do it, then perhaps I can overcome whatever dark situation or obstacle that I have to deal with.” So I heard that so many times from so many different people and for a long time I just took it as a compliment and I just said thank you. I appreciate that. I took that in, and I was glad that I was able to influence them or inspire them in that way. But then in 2013 it all clicked, and I realized this has to do with my life’s calling. This has to do with my purpose for being here on earth. My job is to help train people how to orient towards their lives in a similar manner, through mindfulness meditation, through breath work, somatic training, coaching… The modalities that I didn’t invent but I learned over the years and that are thousands of years old, and that are based on these wisdom traditions that are profound and powerful. I’ve really absorbed as much as I can and continue to absorb more from the ancient wisdom traditions of the earth including Zen philosophy and practices, meditation, breath, work, etc. so that I can help other high performers to transcend their perceived obstacles and step into a higher expression of who they truly are.

That’s so beautiful. What was the first step in learning those methodologies?

Interestingly enough, right after I got injured and I was in the hospital in rehab, I heard this name Emilie Conrad twice over the course of two weeks. I heard that she was a somatic practitioner or in other words, she worked with the body. She had more of an education and personal experience with working with the body than anyone I’ve ever encountered before. She had started a program called Continuum Movement back in the 1960s. She, at the time, was the only person alive that I knew of that had any success in helping people with paralysis to recover function in their bodies. So I contacted her, and I was like, hey, I want to study with you. If there’s someone who can help me to heal, I need to study with you. Now, it’s not that I didn’t have any prior experience with somatic disciplines because before my injury I was into Aikido and yoga and stuff like that.

But it was really my exploration of continuum movement and of learning how to focus my attention into the subtle communications of my body that really helped to transform what was a deeply traumatic experience into an experience which was more on the side of empowering than traumatic, there was still trauma that I had to go through and overcome. But I started to experience the transformational nature of connection with the body and action with the breath and how that could serve as a vehicle by which we can get in touch with our latent potential. Because for most people, the potential is defined by how we identify. It’s defined by ego, and it’s defined by the thoughts that we have about ourselves, most of which we didn’t even come up with which just came in through unconscious imprinting over the course of our lifetimes. So most people identify potential through how they think about themselves and then using willpower to try to live up to their idea of who they think that they could or should be. But I took a different route to tap into potential, and that was the route of deeply connecting with my body and the sensations and feelings inside my body and the experience of being connected to my breath, which grounded me into a more expanded version of myself than my egoic identity.

Every moment is a perfect moment for self-discovery. Click To Tweet

What are some other practices that you did?

The practice of Zen is pretty simple and yet far-reaching in its implications. It’s the practice of being with whatever is occurring and being so totally engrossed in reality that any discussion in the mind of how things should or could, or would be different if, or whatever, all dissolves. It just all dissolves, and you are experiencing a place of pure presence in reality. A pure embrace of reality exactly as it is including the pain, including the frustration, including happiness, the joy, including everything. Letting all of those feelings be there exactly as they are without any fight without any conflict. So how that differs from how we normally orient is the egoic mind orients around thinking that things could or should be different. If I were only out of this traffic right now or if my alarm clock had only gone off an hour later, or if I only had a partner who could understand me better. We do a lot of that type of if only or as soon as, a type of communication in our minds which keeps us somewhat removed from just being in reality as it is. The reality, as it is, is the richest, most functional place to live from. And reality as it is, when you are just pure presence, you also see that you’re grounded in the space of pure potential because you’re not orienting around limiting beliefs you’re orienting just around the possibility. That’s a big part of the practice.

But when you feel all your emotions there is this fear of  “oh my god, my emotions are going to take over and I won’t be able to be in the presence of my emotions and function, and be a monk-like warrior that cannot be triggered and perceive the world in a peaceful way.”

So when you’re in that state of “oh my god, my emotions might take over” your emotions have already taken over.

I guess it’s about the practice in between those times where the emotions take you over?

If you can let the emotions take over, it’s about witnessing the experience. Whatever experience it is, just simply witnessing, and observing it neutrally, as opposed to fixating and clinging to any given experience. It’s okay if the emotions are taking over. If there’s a fear that the emotions are taking over, then that’s just a flood of feeling that is occurring. Now If you can just sit back and observe that flood of feeling and say, I am not the feelings, I’m not the emotions, I’m the observer of the feelings and the emotions and the thoughts associated with them then you are grounded in your witness consciousness and you’re grounded in the field of pure potential.

When I was in Oneness University in India, the monk said “let the tiger devour you.” Meaning, allow the emotional tiger to be there and feel your emotions but don’t stay there for more than 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t need more than that.

Don’t try to control how long it takes for those things to move through. Ultimately it’s just a practice of seeing that we’re always at choice of how we perceive our experience. And that’s what the initiation with my spinal cord injury taught me more than anything is that in any moment, I am the one choosing how to experience my circumstances. And as long as I’m at choice, then the question becomes how do I make the most empowered choice right now with whatever is right here in front of me, that will lead me in the direction that I intend to be going in?

Life is all about perception. Everything is about perception. Like your connection with your body, the way you perceive your current situation, the way you perceive your emotion, the way you perceive your abilities. It’s all about perception. Do you feel like you have a lot of work to do on yourself or are you done?

What else would I be here to do other than do work on myself? But I think really, the work on myself that I have to do right now is related to the work that I have to do in being of service to humanity. I’ve done a lot of work on my individual self and I’ve done a lot of work with individual clients that I’ve worked with, or groups that I’ve worked with but I’m only just be beginning in terms of doing the work on myself that are needed to be able to have a substantial impact on humanity. And that’s really my ultimate goal is to help to leave the world a better, brighter place than it was when I arrived.

Your purpose is playing bigger and reaching more people and helping heal the world on a greater scale.

Specifically working with organizations and corporations who have great influence because it’s the influencers that I most want to influence. That’s what I’m most attracted to because the ripple effect is that much more powerful.

The ultimate goal is to create a ripple effect. Help others become of help to others.

What are the problems that you see in a corporate environment?

For one thing, there tends to be a focus in our culture and any capitalist society that focuses on money being the most important part of the equation. And I think that has created or contributed to creating a lot of the problems that we’re facing as a society today. We’re putting money ahead of everything else. Now, money is just an expression of value. It’s meant to recognize a real value and be an expression of it. But if you put money ahead of everything else, not that there shouldn’t be a focus on money because I understand that the way business and capitalism works, you have to focus on mone. But I think we’re rapidly shifting into a world that has a purpose-based economy where the money will be secondary to the value that you can add to society. That’s the world that I see. That’s the world that I envision. Now, is that a utopian dream? Maybe. Is that just being idealistic? Maybe, but I’m going for that goal. That’s the outcome that I’m looking for. I’m looking for a purpose-driven society where people are connected to their higher purpose, their spiritual intelligence, and giving back to the world, giving back to the environment, giving back to other people.

I don’t mean some socialist society or whatever. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the value of how you can contribute to the world being the biggest priority for the business and then within the business, the teams all revolving around how can we most contribute to each other so that we can actually work in a way where we are uplifted by the work that we’re doing and uplifted by the people that we’re around with as we work. So that when we wake up in the morning, we want to go to work. Where we’re like, “oh my gosh, I’m so excited to go to work today because the people that I’m around really uplift me and the work that we’re doing to contribute to the world is so uplifting.” I believe that that is a possible future and I believe that’s ultimately where we’re heading. And now, will we get there during my lifetime? I don’t know. But I certainly am endorsing that vision. And I think that it is possible. My sense tells me that that is possible that we can live in a truly value-based economy that prioritizes value where money follows actual contribution versus money just following the development and distribution of useless material goods.

Here’s the difference between a conversation I am having right now with a Zen warrior to a conversation that I just had a couple of days ago with a mom to two teenage girls. Her perspective was, there is no value, they want to get they want instant gratification. There is a big problem with millennials where they want to have a purpose but not work for it and jump over all the steps of advancing in a company or environment. They go in and look for what they can get instead of what they can I give. That’s perception? What do you think about that?

It’s slightly more cynical than what my perception is. I see that. I can understand that perspective. I certainly would not say that any generation, whether it’s x generation, millennials, or anyone has it together. I don’t think anyone has it together. Something that I see in the millennial generation that does worry me is their resistance or their inability to embrace the really hard work and the pain of being a human being. The actual challenge that we have to face, I think that there’s a level of comfort that exists in the millennial generation given how comfortable things were as they were growing up, where they’re conditioned around life is supposed to be comfortable.

Everybody gets a medal. Whether you win or you don’t win, you get a medal. And if you didn’t win and you got a medal, you still feel bad about yourself, and it lowers your self-esteem because you know that you’re not a winner. It’s super complicated. I just flew yesterday from Philadelphia, and I saw a couple of Orthodox Jews couple. Very sweet people. They were super friendly. They were talking to everybody. They were kind. They had two daughters, I think one was one and a half, and one was just a few months old, but they were so curious. The little girls were looking and talking to people, the flight was about six hours, and they didn’t use iPads or any technologies to soothe the kids.

They were present with the kids for six hours, and you see the rest of the plane, everybody we’re holding the device, either sleeping or holding a device. Distraction, distraction, distraction, distraction. And what I saw that was beautiful with them is that those two girls were either focused on their parents… they were reaching out. I was walking by them, and the little girl was holding me, and the mom was like, “oh, I’m so sorry.” And I was like, “no, she’s so cute. That’s great.” They’re so freaking cute and so alive, and they weren’t into their little machines, they were into people, and they were present.

I feel bad for the kids, they’re growing up with all those machines and technology, and they don’t know how to communicate. Young guys, they don’t know how to say “hey, would you like to go on a date with me?” They’re like, swipe left, swipe right.

It’s true. There’s, there’s a ton of work that must be done. The distraction culture deeply concerns me, and I think it’s creating a level of detachment that is very frightening to see. And yet there’s a part of me that is still very optimistic that we can do this, that we can emerge from this time period. And as more wholly connected individuals than ever before, I see this as a temporary phase, it almost feels like a necessary breaking point of human civilization. It’s almost like we’re going through, or about to go through or in the midst of a worldwide initiation process where the choices that we make over the next 10 or 20 years are going to have profound implications on the future of humanity. And those who are too distracted and who are also used to not being present and not able to communicate effectively with people are going to suffer very deeply as a result. And so I have a great amount of compassion for kids who are growing up in the age of social media and screens and detachment because I think that they have more pain that they’re going to have to endure than people who did not have those types of distractions.

It concerns me. And what I spiritually know is that there is always a balance of light and darkness. And when there is a darkness that arises in some area or another, there is a big movement of light. What are what are some of the core values of the Zen warrior training?

So I think the greatest core value is being of service to mankind. Living in a place where you’re serving something greater than just yourself. That’s probably the greatest core value. In addition to that, I feel that there are ways in which to get to that place where you naturally orient around being of service. And some of those things include letting go of attachments. So we, as individuals, we have a tendency to try to attach permanently, try to make permanent that which cannot be permanent. Try to make our spouse permanent, or try to make our home permanent, or trying to make our job permanent. We attach ourselves to this idea of “unless these things are in my life, I’m not going to be okay.”

That then creates a distortion of reality. Because the fact of the matter is, is that will then reinforce a place of living from fear and scarcity. It’s like trying to hold on to water. It’s like trying to grab water and hold it in your hand. It’s going to trickle through your fingers and run down your arm. You’re not going to be able to hold on to that water. And in the same way, we humans go through life trying to hold on to things that can’t be held on to and then it freaks us out because the wiser part of ourselves knows that these things cannot be held on to, but the more unconscious part of ourselves says, “oh, I need to hold on to these things. I need to have this much money. I need to have this home. I need to have this to be okay, to feel okay.”

Well, that is just creating a conflict inside that is then making it harder to access that pure state of potential. That pure state of potential is the part of us that naturally wants to serve the greater good, so that’s how the value of serving the greater good and letting go of attachments co-mingle. Because if you’re freaked out, even unconsciously freaked out a little bit, you’re not able to live in 100% potential. There’s always part of your mind that’s distracted with other more mundane and meaningless things, trying to hold on to things that are not actually mission driven.

Zen is letting all of your feelings be there exactly as they are without any fight or conflict. Click To Tweet

So you and I, we both live in LA, which is the capital of attachment. People here are, not everyone, there is a large spiritual community and hippies, and people don’t care about material possessions, or all into like, spiritual growth. But a lot of this society here is Instagram driven. “This is my new car.” “This is my new Gucci.” “This is my humungous house where I get lost in, and I have to have a map to find my way out.” “But look at me, look at me, look at me because when you see me, you see that I have all this and I’m important.” And then they have millions of followers that are like, wow, they have this and therefore they are important. And they become the kings and queens of our modern day time. And this is because of fame and wealth and fortune.

Really what they’re doing is, they’re just numbing themselves to their existential pain that they don’t even really necessarily know they have.

Being in this society, I get into this trap of attachment too like, “wow, if I had a fancier car, people will see me differently.” If I had this, these people would love me more. And I know the Zen warrior principles, and I have learned, and I’ve traveled the world, and I’ve meditated in India, and it still comes back.

It’s very insidious, and I don’t think that there’s nothing wrong with having nice things too. I mean, I drive a BMW. The part of the reason why I drive a BMW is because I really like the way it drives. I like the way that I feel in the car. I like the feeling of wealth and abundance in my life.

I’m not talking about being spiritual meaning you can’t be abundant. I am totally with you where you should have the best of the best. But sometimes it’s not about that. It’s about ego. That it’s about ego that is like, wow, if I show up with my car to this event, people will look at me differently. Where in our lives, for example, we will drive a simple car but we invest in masterminds and traveling the world.

The tricky thing is that people really do look at you differently when you drive a fancy car. If you pull up to the Beverly Hills Hotel in an old beat up Honda Civic from 1982, people will look and judge you. And so that’s actually a reality. That’s part of the culture that we live in. So on the one hand, it is actually true that we do live in a culture that is highly judgmental, especially here in Los Angeles. And it’s just part of what we have to deal with. Now the question is, how much do you want to buy into the illusion? And how much do you want to just accept it for what it is?

I want you to provide me the Zen warrior shield for this type of events.

I can’t provide you with it because you already have it.

Do I? Tell me about it.

I’m really glad you brought that in because really, we all do possess an energetic shield. It’s just that a lot of the time people don’t know how to use it, or that it even exists. That shield, it starts with actually physically grounding into the earth, feeling the safety and security that is coming from our energetic connection to the earth. And what I’m talking about may sound woo-woo to some people, but it’s not. We have an energetic relationship with the earth. And by tuning into that energetic relationship to the earth, then we can feel the flow of energy coming from the earth. So that establishes the safety, that establishes our primary support. So our egos are constantly looking for safety. Our egos are going, “if I show up at this event, and I’m driving this old beat up car, I’m going to get judged and then I’m going to feel unsafe.” essentially.

If you’ve studied Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he talks about the foundational part of our psychology being physiology. So it’s only when we have a relationship with the physiological domain of existence that we can then feel the higher levels of consciousness which include love, self-esteem, and eventually self-actualization. But it starts with your physiological connection to your body, and to the earth because it’s our relationship with the earth that is our home. This is where we are home inside of ourselves. But most people live in mind, they live in a world of mind, of ideas, and thoughts.

So they’re not sensing where they are at home inside of themselves, and where they are home connected to the earth. And so when you do that, when you do sense that you’re home inside of yourself and you’re home and connected to the earth, then naturally, this energy starts to bubble up inside of you. That energy is your natural protective energy. Because you feel safe and secure here inside your body, inside the earth and anything could happen around you, you could have a pigeon fly over your head as you’re standing on the red carpet and shit right on top of your head, and you would still be okay because you weren’t basing your self-esteem on your appearance. Your self-esteem instead comes organically from your connection to yourself. So that then becomes your existential shield. That’s how you can defend yourself from other people’s perceptions and judgments naturally without being defensive, without coming from defensive posturing or trying to only be a certain way around people to be defensive and not let their judgments in. Instead, you are naturally protected by your relationship to your body and the earth, which is already creating that vital source of energy.

Your greatest resource is right beneath your nose. And that is your breath.

So let’s pretend that I’m driving. I look hot. I’m wearing this beautiful dress, I’m driving my car to Beverly Hills, to a top of the hill mansion, one of those fancy places, and then everybody stands out there and looks at me and judge me. What do I do at the moment? How does this connection to the Earth happen? What do I do in that moment or the moment before that to condition my poor existence?

If I were you, I’d leave the party and go do something more fun.

It’s a fun party. I’ve been to situations where I was in places where I felt like an outsider. I don’t deserve to be here because they’re so lovely and I’m not. What do you do at the moment? It doesn’t happen anymore like it used to be but every once in a blue moon, I will feel that way. So what do you do? I watched this YouTuber, he’s a makeup artist, Jeffree Star, and his brand is about his new pink Tesla custom made, and he wears Gucci suits, and he makes a bazillion of dollars. That’s his brand.  I see that and all of a sudden, I feel like I am a little less than because I want to be there. I don’t want to have a Tesla, but I want to have one of those Lamborghinis or whatever cars day they are driving. What do you do in the moment when something like that happens?

Your greatest resource is right beneath your nose. And that is your breath. It’s right under your nose. So by connecting and consciously, I know that you’ve practiced this through the practices that you’ve done with meditation and so forth but when you’re in the heat of the moment, and you’re at a party or something like that, and suddenly, there are all these eyes on you, and you can tell people are judging you and so forth, then what tends to happen is you’re not at all connected to your breath. You’re in your system. Your energy goes into a state of trying to defend itself from the onslaught of judgment that is coming at it. So what actually happens is energetically, we start to go up and into our head, our energy gets pulled up into our head, and then all of those insecurities that we grew up with, about who we thought we were, and who we need to be, and how we need to appear to society and all of the garbage, all of the stuff about what car we need to drive and what we should have worn, and all that type of stuff gets all activated, because our energy has been pulled up into our head.

So when that happens, the only way to pull your energy out of your head, people say, “get out of your head.” And then what? What do I do when I get out of my head? Or how do I get out of my head? Well, the way of getting out of your head is getting into the body. So the way to get into your body is by bringing your awareness to that which is already present. The only tangible thing that we can experience that is truly present is the physical sensations in our body and the movement of breath in and out of our body. That is the only tangible thing that is present and embodied. And so by bringing your awareness to your breath, and breathing deeply, and staying connected, keeping your attention connected to your breath, then you naturally start to sink into yourself deeper than the head. You’re no longer your energy is no longer consumed inside of your head.

It’s no longer just located just purely inside your head, it’s located inside your body. When you locate your energy inside your body. Well, guess what? Your breath is moving past your heart, then your heart can start to get activated, then you can start to feel “oh wow, a moment ago, I was feeling really judged by these people and right now, I’m actually feeling compassion towards them because of the fact that they have to judge me. I’m feeling empathy towards them. Because I understand what it’s like to be judgmental.” And it’s not a fun place to live. It’s not a beautiful place to live. It’s a very fragmented place to live when you are in judgment. And so it’s so by your breath moving past your heart, your heart energy is activated, then you start to have compassion towards those very people who are judging you.

That’s beautiful. I also think culturally. I come from a culture where people can have millions in the bank and still drive a normal family car, and it’s not a big deal.  They don’t look at the cars. It’s just not a big deal as it as it is here. And I think it’s a little bit of a culture shock to me even though I’ve been here for years.

LA is one of the world’s best judgment dojos.

I guess that’s why I came here. To handle that. That’s why my soul brought me here. That’s my spiritual correction on this earth.  So one thing that I do, I guess it’s like the feminine version of what you told me, is that I’ll go to an environment, and it doesn’t have to be poor or rich, just an environment where I feel maybe a little bit stressed or intimidated or I don’t know anyone, and I feel like an outsider, I’ll pull energy from the earth and have it go through my base chakra, my Kundalini energy, my feminine energy and then have this almost like central sexual energy rise and feel me. And it helps because all of a sudden I shift and the energy rises, and I am stronger and more connected than I was. So that’s a way of elevating the energy, and I want to circle back and ask you a little bit about how to create that energetic boundary?

Well, first of all, I love that you brought that in as the feminine version because you’re right. Because energetically, men tend to orient top down and there’s this orientation with the sky and the heavens, and that’s the whole male mystic energetic thing, you see this in yoga a lot, you see an emphasis on going up and out through the crown chakra, contacting the ethereal realms and so forth. Whereas women, they are much more connected to the energy of the earth. So the energy comes from the ground up with women. So men tend to be pelvis up, women tend to be pelvis down. I love that you brought that in.

In that case, from what you’re describing, yes, bring that energy up from the earth, letting it activate your root chakra, your energy center, and we’re letting that that energy from the earth up so that you can then feel you’re grounded nature. It’s only once you’re grounded into your connection to the earth that you can then activate that Kundalini space that you’re just describing. It’s there that your body feels safe enough to start to open up’ If you don’t feel that ground and energy then you’re going to be restricted in your higher chakras. It’s going to be cut off, and everything is going to be restricted. So by bringing that energy up and letting it flow through then, you were activating that Kundalini energy and bringing that up when you’re able to like you said access that sensual or sexual energy and I mean that not in terms of going out and necessarily being like a seductress but feeling your inner sexuality. And I get that you understand what I mean. But I want to clarify that for the listeners. I’m not talking about advertising your sexuality to other people, but feeling it and owning it inside yourself.

We always have a choice on how we perceive our experience. Click To Tweet

Doing it for you and not for the world. Basking in your own beauty, basking in your own sensuality.

Exactly. So that then naturally starts to create the protection. Now with that basking in your sexuality, then you’ve still got a container for your energy. If you are oriented around wanting to share that sexual energy before you truly own it inside of yourself because you’re looking for attention, then your defenses are lost.

Destructive to you and to the environment.

You don’t have a boundary. Your boundaries are gone because you’re focused on attention versus actual ownership of that sexual energy. By creating that container for your sexual energy, that container then acts as a natural force. There’s a force field that surrounds you because you’re connected to that and you contain it.

That’s beautiful. What are some breathing or somatic exercises that you can share with us?

One of my favorite breathing exercises is holotropic breathwork, and it’s something that I use in my private practice. I can talk about it, but to have the proper experience, you need to seek out a class or a workshop on holotropic breathwork.

Do you do classes?

I do periodically. So holotropic breathwork is truly, and I don’t mean this lightly, this is truly a transformative form of breath work. It was initially created by a guy named Stanislav Grof back in the 1970s and Stanislav Grof graph was one of the very few therapists who was legally allowed to work with people undergoing through psychedelic therapy treatments. And towards the end of the therapy treatments, he would often notice people doing a particular type of breathing that seemed to reactivate their extra sensory experience. As the psychedelic wore off, they could bring themselves back into a deeper part of the trip by connecting to their breath in this way.

And then he realized that you could do this independently of psychedelics and still have a very profound experience. And so what I’ve experienced with this type of breathing, for the first time I had a very powerful experience, at least in this lifetime, of this breathing before I even realized it was a thing. I just started doing it accidentally. A week after my spinal cord injury happened, the doctors took me off morphine. And suddenly, with no morphine, I was in a state of absolute shock at what had happened to me. And I was borderline suicidal. I probably would have killed myself if I had a sharp instrument around me. But since I didn’t, the only thing I could think to do is to breathe deeply. And so I started doing this breath as it turns out is basically the same breath that is taught in holotropic breathwork where the breath originates in the belly and then it moves up into the chest, and then you exhale deeply, and then you keep repeating that breath over and over. It’s like a wave of breath.

And sometimes in workshops, you’ll do this for three or four hours, just deep, deep breathing. And what happened to me a week after my injury, when they took me off morphine. A few minutes after I started breathing like that, I reached this threshold of consciousness where on one side of that threshold was everything that I had ever known about myself and my identity, everything that I had ever identified with, basically, my ego was on one side of that threshold. On the other side of that threshold, there was no ego. There was just pure consciousness. It was a pure presence and I no longer bonded to my body, I was no longer bonded to my mind, I saw that I was just pure consciousness. And I saw that everyone is just pure consciousness.

We are just consciousness in these body suits and mind suits, thinking that we are these individuals. But when we’re inseparable from God, it was that experience that was part of what started me on my healing journey. And it was the most extraordinary experience that I had ever had. And I highly recommend people try out holotropic breathwork, whether it be with another practitioner or with me. It has profound implications on your experience of self.

I want to do that. I’m joining your class.

Cool. Let’s do it.

Before we finish, I want to be respectful of your time. What are your three quick tips to living a stellar life? And then where can people find you?

My three quick tips to living a stellar life. Well, I think some of them have already been discussed. First, coming from a place of pure genuine service to the world, I think that that’s part of what distinguishes a high performer from an elite performer. And it’s elite performers that I feel are living stellar lives. You can be a high performer and make a lot of money and be great at doing what you do, and managing teams and that kind of thing. And you can be classified as what people would call a high performer and still not have a particularly connected life.

So elite performers, people who are living stellar lives are those who are coming from a deep sense of service to the world and letting that service inspire them day in and day out. Now, speaking of inspire. The other definition of inspire is to breathe in, to inhale. And so like we’re saying, focusing on your breath. So coming from service, number one, focusing on breath and getting that you have a tool of inspiration alive inside of you all the time. You don’t have to get inspired by looking at YouTube videos. You don’t have to get inspired by like seeing the latest meme that so and so posted. You can inspire yourself physically through your connection to your breath, and that’s the source of pure inspiration.

Number three tip to living a stellar life, embrace every experience no matter how painful and seemingly destructive for you to complete your journey here on earth and see that there are no bad experiences. We create bad experiences in our minds. So by doing those three things, by coming first of service, then inspiring yourself through your breath and then including every experience that you have as an integral part of your path, you’re an unstoppable force of nature.

embrace every experience no matter how painful and seemingly destructive for you to complete your journey here on earth and see that there are no bad experiences.

Sam, thank you. Today’s conversation was extraordinary. And I’m sure, so many people want to connect with you and study with you. Where can they find you?

They can reach out to me by going to my website www.zenwarriortraining.com, and if people want to apply to have a personal consultation with me, I do two-hour consultations for anyone who’s serious about wanting to work with me. And those are complimentary consultations. So please feel free to reach out to me, and we can talk about how we could transform your life and help you to transcend your obstacles and step into your next level of personal potential.

Awesome. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Orion.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

✓ Do more than just wish: when you have a goal in mind, outline the tangible steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal.
✓ Master the art of Zen through practice – in every moment, try to be fully present and engrossed in the people, places, and things around you. Notice colors, smells, feelings.
✓ Experience every moment fully, including the ‘bad’ ones. When you are sad, mad, emotional, or distraught, let the moment pass, as you’ll soon realize it is but a moment, not who you are.
✓ Remember you have the power: you have the choice to determine how you will perceive a certain experience. You can let it define you, or you can let it be nothing more than a bump in the road.
✓ Do not get too attached – to your possessions, to your relationships, to your career. Life is fluid and in order to achieve Zen, you have to be able to adapt to change.
✓ Reflect on where your self-esteem is coming from. It should not be determined by your appearance, but by your connection to yourself.
✓ If you are feeling self-conscious, get out of your head and connect back to reality through breath work.
✓ Next time you find yourself saying “if only…” or “as soon as…” stop. The only time that exists is now, and you’ll find your life to be much richer if you are present in the moment you are in.
✓ If you own a business, think about leading it in terms of value to the world, not in terms of profit.
✓ When you feel insecure about a place, around people, tap into your energetic field to shield you from the negativity of others.

Links and Resources

About Sam Morris

Sam Morris is the founder of Zen Warrior Training, an executive coaching program. Borrowing from the ancient wisdom of Zen philosophy, meditation and breathwork practices, Sam trains high performers how to master the mind, body and spirit and live from a place of deep purpose and resolve.


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