CAN’T Meditate? Monk REVEALS Ancient Technique to Connect with Higher Self! with Monk Gelong Thubten

In today’s profound episode, we welcome the deeply insightful Gelong Thubten, a Buddhist monk who has dedicated nearly 30 years of his life to the pursuit of mindfulness and meditation. Gelong Thubten’s journey is a tale of transformation through intense suffering, revealing the potential for profound change within all of us.

Gelong Thubten began his spiritual path not from a place of serenity, but through the throes of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Growing up with Buddhist parents, the seeds of spirituality were planted early, but they did not bloom until a series of life-altering events forced him to confront his inner turmoil. As a young actor in New York, he experienced a dramatic burnout, leading to a diagnosis of a stress-induced heart condition. This wake-up call led him to a Buddhist monastery in Scotland, where what was intended to be a one-year retreat turned into a lifelong commitment to monastic life.

The initial period of his monastic life was anything but tranquil. Meditation forced him to face the inner voices of self-doubt and self-hatred that had been amplified over the years. Yet, it was through this confrontation that he began to transform his suffering into a source of strength and compassion. Gelong Thubten emphasizes that the journey of meditation is not about eradicating thoughts but about observing them with kindness and letting them be.


  1. Embrace the Inner Struggle: Gelong Thubten’s story teaches us that facing our inner demons is not a sign of failure but a crucial part of the journey towards self-compassion and acceptance. As he puts it, “The meditation really started to become an important way to resolve that by looking at that with compassion, rather than pushing it away.”
  2. Meditate Through the Hard Times: Gelong Thubten highlights the importance of meditating even when we least feel like it, especially in times of sickness, stress, or emotional turmoil. This practice trains us to remain calm and centered, even in the most challenging circumstances, ultimately preparing us to face life’s ultimate transition—death—with tranquility and mindfulness.
  3. Non-Judgmental Awareness: One of the key lessons from Gelong Thubten is learning to meditate without judgment. By giving our minds freedom and observing our thoughts without trying to change them, we cultivate a loving and accepting attitude towards ourselves and others.

Gelong Thubten’s teachings extend beyond the personal to the communal and global. He passionately advocates for bringing meditation into schools, hospitals, prisons, and workplaces, believing that mindfulness can transform society by reducing stress and increasing compassion. His work on the set of “Doctor Strange” illustrates how mindfulness can enhance performance and presence in any field.

In our conversation, Gelong Thubten discussed the deep impact of meditation on the brain and body. Regular meditation practice can reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, promoting a state of relaxation and well-being. It also activates the premotor cortex, enhancing our ability to set and achieve compassionate intentions, thereby rewiring our brains for kindness and empathy.

Gelong Thubten’s vision for a more compassionate world is rooted in the belief that true happiness comes from within. It is about accepting and loving ourselves as we are and extending that love to others. He emphasizes that the purpose of life is to help others and alleviate suffering, a mission that resonates deeply in today’s turbulent times.

Please enjoy my conversation with Gelong Thubten.

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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 086

Gelong Thubten 0:00
And that's the best preparation for death. Because when we die, we want to die in a meditative way. We want to be able to meditate through our death experience. But if in our life we've only learned to meditate when we feel great, we'll never be able to activate that as we're dying.

Alex Ferrari 0:16
I've been able to partner with Mindvalley. To present you guys FREE Masterclass is between 60 and 90 minutes, hovering Mind Body Soul Relationships, and Conscious Entrepreneurship, taught by spiritual masters, yogi's spiritual thought leaders and best selling authors, just head over to

I like to welcome to the show Gelong Thubten how you doin Gelong?

Gelong Thubten 1:03
Hi, good to meet you.

Alex Ferrari 1:04
Good to meet you, too. My friend, I've, I've been a fan of yours for quite a while I discovered your work on Mindvalley. And as I dug deeper and deeper into your world, I really believe that your message is needed more than ever, in today's world, so I wanted to bring you on the show and kind of dive into your remarkable story, as well as your teachings and talk about your book, your wonderful book, amongst guide to happiness in this century. So first questions I have for you, sir, is how did you begin your spiritual journey?

Gelong Thubten 1:40
Actually, it began through intense suffering. So growing up, I did have some contact with Buddhism. My parents are both Buddhists. And so in my upbringing, it was kind of there in the background. But I never really thought about it very much. And in my teenage years, I kind of went off the rails and became a little bit of a sort of party animal, but not happy, I wasn't having a good time, even though I thought I was, I was really suffering a lot, I was experiencing quite a lot of depression, anxiety, even panic attacks. And I was just running from all of that by trying to keep myself as busy as possible. So I was very driven to just party as hard as I could. I was also very ambitious. I became an actor, I was living in the UK, and then in the US in New York. And it was in New York that I had a huge, huge burnout very, very suddenly, literally, from one day to the next. I just collapsed. And I went to the doctors and they said, you have a heart condition that's been brought on by stress, and you need to stop, and you need to get your life back together. And this was kind of like a wake up call, because I was incredibly sick for about five or six months, unable, really to get out of bed just really, really washed out worn out with a racing heart, all the symptoms of a massive burnout. And I was only 21. And so while I was sick, I started to read books about meditation. And these books gave me some hope. You know, they gave me some some hope that the way I was feeling is something I could transform something I could work with. I got into the whole idea of the Buddhist philosophy of our potential is deeper than just our ego and our achievements. It's something deeper within ourselves, our spiritual potential. And I thought I want to learn meditation, but I don't know how or where to do it. And just at that time, an old school friend of mine told me about a Buddhist monastery in Scotland, where you can become a monk for a year, like a one year retreat. And I thought, this is all coming together at the right time. I'm incredibly sick. I'm searching for something now my school friend is telling me about this place, I'm going to go. So we went together and she became a nun and I became a monk. And she cheated the year and then left, but I stayed. Somehow it really got under my skin. And I started to want to do more of it. So initially, the intention was just one year then leave but I stayed longer. And then after a few years of being short term monk, I decided to take lifelong vows. And now I've been a monk for nearly 30 years. So it's become my life where initially it was just a kind of rehab experience. Now it's become something deeper obviously.

Alex Ferrari 4:48
That's an amazing story. I mean, do as you were saying, like just could become a monk for a year and get away, as you were saying and I'm like, Oh, that'd be nice.

Gelong Thubten 5:00
It was actually quite challenging. You know, I thought, Okay, could this be like an escape? Or like running away from something? Or would it mean facing something? I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure what it would be like, I wasn't sure, would I get kind of into the whole Buddhist thing and just be sort of chanting all day? And was blissed out, or how would it be, but actually, it became like a very intensive kind of psychotherapy. But without a therapist, you, you're doing it for yourself. So I, you know, started to have to look at my own problems and my own in a habits that were making me so unhappy. So it's, it's quite a challenging experience, but incredibly rewarding.

Alex Ferrari 5:43
So that's very interesting. Because, you know, a lot of times when people start to meditate, they, they, they don't like it, because it forces them to sit there with themselves. And many of them, many people are not comfortable with themselves, they have a mask on that they've put on a suit they've been put on throughout their entire life. And when they start looking at what's underneath, it starts to really struggle as a struggle. So you being thrown into that intense environment where you have no choice, you have to sit there with yourself. I love the term self psychotherapy, because it truly is a working out of quote unquote, demons and issues and things that you in concepts and stuff that you're dealing with. And you were 21. So can you imagine someone may be 20 years older than that 4151, who's got another 30 years of stuff that they have to deal with? So you are in many ways lucky that you were able to find this early in your life.

Gelong Thubten 6:37
Yeah, very lucky. And I think if I hadn't found it, I would have really spiraled out of control. Because I was living such a crazy kind of wild lifestyle, and I was so unhappy. And I was just heading for disaster. So something in me kind of saved me. And yeah, like you say, it's really hard to sit with yourself, because you suddenly realize that you've been running from yourself all this time. And trying to wear a mask. I mean, my my whole ambitions with performance and acting, were not so much about the creativity, but more just to try and be somebody else, because I didn't like myself. You know, it wasn't so much the creative side as The Escapist side. And so for me, it was unhealthy. Of course, I have great admiration for the arts. But in my case, it was a hiding, hiding from something, and not wanting to be myself. And so when I went to the monastery and started to do intensive meditation, those inner voices of self doubt, really amplified. Yeah, almost like shouting inside my head, shouting, you're no good, you're terrible. I hate you this kind of self hatred. And the meditation really started to become an important way to resolve that by looking at that with compassion, rather than rather than pushing it away.

Alex Ferrari 8:03
That's a really interesting idea, as far as compassion, looking at ourselves with compassion, because, you know, many, I've heard someone say that, if we had somebody in our life who spoke to us, like we speak to ourselves, we will run away from them as fast as possible. And it's so it's so true. And as I've gotten older, my my personal journey I've, I've started to give myself much more compassion, and much more. Like, I'm not as hard as I once was on myself, because I was the most brutal person to myself, throughout my life, and even my, my wife would look at me sometimes she says, Why are you so hard on yourself? Why are you beating yourself up? And that's a good question. I'd love to ask you. Why do we want to be like, it's it seems counterintuitive to beat ourselves up over something, a mistake or perceived mistake or perceived bad thing that we did, or, or perceived situation that didn't work out, or things that are outside of our control that we blame ourselves for? Why do we do that?

Gelong Thubten 9:08
I think there are a couple of elements there. I think one of them is in terms of how we are culturally with commerce, and advertising and trading. You know, this is the modern world is all about consumerism, which involves a lot of advertising, which involves a lot of messaging to make us feel lacking. messaging that makes us feel there's something missing in your life. And if you buy this product, you will feel better. So obviously, that has a psychological effect on the individual, where we grow up feeling always as if something's missing and we're never good enough. And so the pressure from outside is making us feel incomplete all the time. And of course, it's like chasing a dream because you can, you can gain what you think you want materially and then You will supposedly be happy and complete, but you're not, we just want more, we're always going around feeling incomplete. And so I think that's one thing. I think another thing is that we, we have this sense that when something goes wrong in our life, we're sort of doomed. It's like we're bad to the bone. That's That is who we are. We whereas in Buddhist cultures in the east, they, they tend to grow up with a with a sense that, then they have Buddha within Buddha's literally mean, Buddha just means the inner purity of all beings, the pure potential of mind that everybody has. And so all of our mistakes, and our negativity is like mud on the surface of this pure crystal that's there all along. And I think in the West, we don't grow up with that model of the mind, we don't grow up with a sense of, deep down, we are pure and good. And everything is just surface when we can clean the surface. So I do find that in the West, there's much more of that sense of self disgust and self hatred, I, myself, have been brought up in both cultures, because I'm half Indian half English. And so I can kind of taste the difference in my own life between those two cultures. And I definitely find that in the eastern countries, there's more of a sense of the spirituality that's embedded within all everybody. So so the negativity doesn't have to feel so ultimate and so persistent.

Alex Ferrari 11:34
Yeah, and even in please correct me if I'm wrong, you know, even in Buddha's journey to enlightenment, he made a few false steps he made, he went down a couple of paths that he's like, that didn't work out for me. Nope, that didn't work out for me till he finally discovered his true nature. But he, we all make mistakes, we all go through the journey, we're all here to learn. In one way, shape, if we're here, if we're incarnate in this life, we're here to do some work and to learn some lessons is that even even great spiritual masters, none of them pump up pump out of the womb going, I have in the way, like, that's it they work towards that their life experience is what allows them to become that spiritual master, they enlightened ones like Buddha, and Jesus and, and many others. Is that a fair statement?

Gelong Thubten 12:22
I think so I think the reason they have something to teach us is because of their own struggles, their own mistakes, their own suffering, you know, we have to find to find the light, we have to understand the darkness. Otherwise, how would we know what light is. And so I, I really believe that all the things that go wrong in our life, if we learn to, to view them in a creative way, those very things can become the juice of our spiritual practice, the the engine that keeps us going. So looking at it that way, the negativity becomes part of the journey rather than something terrible. It's something that's wrong with us.

Alex Ferrari 13:09
Now, when you began to meditate, and you sat down for the first the first session, and you started to meditate, you already mentioned that you had struggles of the voice and things yelling at you. And you were in a very unique position where you, you really had to face that you put yourself in a position that you had to fit. In other words, you burn you burn the boats at the shore, there was no going back at this point. So how did you break through those those obstacles, because so many of us when we start to man, it's like I tried meditating for years, and I couldn't, I couldn't get past five or 10 minutes, because of this. And my ego was saying all this. And now I've been a heavy meditator and heavy meditator by my standards, hour to two hours a day, for the past six years or so. And it took me a while. But once you it's kind of like this thing is once you get going, it becomes much easier, and much easier. And to the point where you're like, longing for it. And if you don't get to do it, you you feel like I'm missing something. So how did you break through those initial obstacles?

Gelong Thubten 14:14
Yeah, the first few times I tried meditation, I hated it. In fact, I think I hated it for a year or two. Huge struggle, partly because I'm having to face myself this, this person I've been running from and disliking and trying to escape from and then you stuck with you. That's a really challenging experience. Yeah, but you have to go through that sometimes. And it's not like that for everybody who meditates but for me, it was definitely like that. I think the other thing is that I had this this notion that you're supposed to clear your mind and empty your head of all thoughts. And so when I tried to meditate the first few times, I felt like a failure because my Mind is so busy, there's so many thoughts and then you, you're trying to silence those thoughts. And the more you try to silence them, the louder they seem to become. So I was kind of on the wrong track, because I was trying to suppress everything and silence everything. And then my teachers very skillfully started to explain to me that there's nothing wrong with your thoughts. You're not trying to kill your thoughts or go into a trance, or a kind of blank state, but you're trying to observe your thoughts, you're trying to step back and watch your mind rather than be so in it. And so when I began to overcome this false notion of clearing or emptying the mind, things became easier. But I think another big challenge, which which I faced, which I know a lot of people face, is, when I meditated, there was a lot of expectation that I should feel something when I sat down to meditate, and then I'd be sitting there thinking, well, when is it going to work? Am I getting something from this? I'm like, am I getting a hit from this?

Alex Ferrari 16:08
What is Jesus walking in the room? What's going on? When does that happen?

Gelong Thubten 16:13
Easily even even just when will I feel good?

Alex Ferrari 16:17
Right? So something as basic as that?

Gelong Thubten 16:19
Yeah, like, am I gonna start feeling good? Am I gonna feel happy? Am I gonna get some kind of feeling from this, because we're, we're so conditioned in our lives to always want some kind of sensory experience that makes us think we're happy. Maybe our, our notion of happiness is very much about feeling something, oh, if I feel something, then I know I must be happy. Maybe that's all we know of happiness is to get some kind of energy, energetic lift in our system of feeling of, obviously a little bit like, like drinking lots of coffee and feeling kind of the buzz from the coffee. So I was using meditation a little bit like that. And actually, it had the, it had the opposite effect. The more meditation I did in those early days, the more miserable I became.

Alex Ferrari 17:09
Because you were, you were bringing up all this stuff that had been buried for so long.

Gelong Thubten 17:14
Well, no more that I was sitting there, and wanting to feel great, and ending up feeling a kind of sadness and disappointment. And then when I took this issue to my teacher and said, Look, I'm doing loads of meditation, and I'm feeling dreadful, what's wrong with me? He said, you're meditating like somebody's taking drugs.

Alex Ferrari 17:37
Right, you're waiting for it, you're waiting,

Gelong Thubten 17:40
You're waiting for a hit, you're sitting there waiting to feel something. And because you have so much need to feel something, there's going to be a disappointment, because desire, this desire, this grasping this, craving, just creates more craving. That's the problem with craving is that you want more, you'll never have enough. So just like drugs, you want more and more and more, and you never feel satisfied. So I really started to look at these two problems, the problem of trying to clear my mind and the problem of trying to feel something exciting from the meditation and I started to work with overcoming those misconceptions. And that those, those two obstacles were the things that I had to work with in order to start to want to meditate rather than to see it as a horrible battle.

Alex Ferrari 18:32
And it's, it's very, I mean, to my experience, it's very similar to working out in a gym, you go to the gym, one day you work out, you're like, I haven't lost any weight. I haven't I'm not buffing it, I don't have my six pack, it's a day. It's this constant, doing it again, and again, without an outcome without looking for an outcome and just doing it for the sake of doing it is where the benefits come in. And then all of a sudden, one day. Oh, I, I feel something. And it could be a month, it could be five years. It all depends on the person has that been your and it was my experience that way took me a while before I had to struggle probably for the first year. So and that was doing 20 minutes, 30 minutes. But then it started to get easier. And then I would go to three, I think my record is about four hours, which you know, as long as I could stay, and it started to get easier and easier and easier. But those for that first year, you're like you're just sitting there and like, your mind is going What do you do? Why are you here? You You're not gaining anything from and then the ego is trying to stop it because it doesn't want you to meditate or god forbid, find yourself. Did you find that as well?

Gelong Thubten 19:44
Yeah, I like your example of the gym. I think that's really true. You know, if you go to the gym and you do like, you know, 30 minutes of exercise, you'd be pretty crazy to then run to the mirror and expect to have a different body. But people do that and people on diets why Eat themselves every 10 minutes expecting some huge weight loss. And that just sends you crazy. We know that with dieting with exercise, you've got to just do the thing. And then slowly, slowly over time, the results will creep up on you. And I think meditation is like that you just have to do it like an exercise. And then slowly over time, it's not that you're suddenly going to have some rainbow coming out of your head or anything like that. It's more that over time, you start to feel more relaxed, less stressed, you start to notice how you react to things differently, you start to notice that you're able to access a sense of peace more easily. But these, this has to kind of slowly develop. And I think the thing that stops it developing is our constant expectation and grasping after results, the more you want something, the more you're going to want something. So whatever happens is never good enough. We're just wanting all the time.

Alex Ferrari 21:00
That pretty much is the definition of what many of our world's problems is, is everybody wants more and more and more and more of everything, they want more of this, they want more of that. And as I've said many times in the show, I've never seen a U haul attached to a hearse. You can't take it with you. But what you can take is the things inside the kindness, the compassion, the love that you give the world those are the things you take with you but not the big screen TV or the houses or the you know, or the cars or any other the physical things that we go after. So So we've discussed the the noisy brain or as many call it the monkey brain. What can you do in that those first stages to kind of just deal with with the noise? What did you do to deal with the noise? Did you let it flow through? You can't fight it. So how did you eventually quiet that down? Because then it wasn't like I think I've heard you say in many another spot. Another talk that the biggest misconception is this. I mean, my mind silent. And if you go if you if you put your mind silent, you're in a coma. Let's just think so well, how do you deal with the monkey brain, especially at the beginning,

Gelong Thubten 22:13
You've got to give the monkey some food. Okay, you know that monkey is looking for something, so give it some food. So you give the monkey something to eat. And so in terms of meditation, that means you give yourself something to hold on to that that's the first step in the meditation journey is to use a focus. So you might use your breathing. Some people use mantra, some people use visualization, some people use body sensations, sounds, there's loads of techniques, but I think the breathing is the most common one. And that is a little bit like giving the monkey something to eat, the monkey is jumping around, but you keep trying to do you're attracted back to the breath. And every time you bring your attention back to your breath, you are teaching that monkey how to settle, you're attracting it back to one place. And it's a very messy experience is very messy, because you're sitting there for 10 minutes or one hour or whatever your session length is. And during that time, the mind is going all over the place. But you keep bringing it back. And naturally the bringing it back is the meditation is not about being in some kind of trance, or some kind of blissed out state, it's about the work of returning to the breath again and again. And then your mind flies off. Again, we don't even notice our mind going away. And we realize a few minutes later. But when we realize that we got lost, that is meditation, noticing that you've got lost your back, that is meditation. And now you're bringing yourself back to the breath, that is also meditation. And if you understand that coming back to your breath is what makes you strong, then that means the thing that took you away from your breath, ie the thoughts are quite useful. Because they enabled you to come back. So this is the compassion part. Because you're starting to forgive yourself for having a busy mind. You're not seeing your busy mind as the enemy of your meditation or sign of failure. You're You're embracing it as part of the whole journey. The mind wanders, and then you can come back. So the wandering mind enabled you to come back. It's part of the process.

Alex Ferrari 24:33
It's very interesting when you say when you get lost, that's meditation, because that's what I discovered as well. When I meditate sometimes. I'll go, I'll go to a I'll go to a place I don't know what that place is. But I lose track of time. I'll look at my watch and like oh my god, I was gone for 45 minutes and I'm back and I'm like, where did I go? But I feel and that term blissed out is very true. You get this kind of blissful feeling. Yeah, it's very difficult to use the word a word to describe the feeling because it's not particularly happy. But bliss is the closest thing you can have to it as is very blissful place. And it took me a while to get to that place. But when I got there it and it doesn't happen every meditation. But when it does happen, it's a really beautiful place. And I can feel that same thing when I'm lost. And also when I'm focused on my breath, but when I'm lost, it's just, it's kind of like I use the term dipping my toe in the universe, which is kind of the way is that what you found?

Gelong Thubten 25:35
I think what I'm trying to describe is you get lost, but then at some point, you notice you've got lost. Yeah, exactly. And that moment where you notice you got lost. For most people, they take that moment, as a moment of failure, you know that their mind was wandering. And then they suddenly realize, Oh, I'm supposed to be meditating. And then they think, Oh, I failed, and they defend really when themselves back to the breath. But actually, the best way to do it is your mind gets lost. And then at some point, you notice you got lost. And then you can see that as now you've regained your awareness. So that's a really good thing. And you can be happy about that. You can be happy that you're back, and you're back in the awareness, and then you're bringing yourself back to the breath. And the bringing yourself back is the very thing that disempowers all of the addiction we have to our thoughts and emotions. And so because you are not fighting the thoughts, but you're just learning to bounce back to the breath, you start to forgive your thoughts, and a kind of inner atmosphere of acceptance, and happiness can start to build because there's no more war. There's no more battle.

Alex Ferrari 26:50
Exactly. Now, did you ever? Do you ever experience that kind of loss of time, when you're in meditation, that you lose it all track of time and you look down, you're like, it didn't feel like I was here for two or three hours.

Gelong Thubten 27:05
It's more than when the mind wanders, we are lost, isn't it when when we're lost, we lost. And then we don't know how long we will last for. But for me, what's important is when we've reached when, when I regain my awareness of I'm back, I'm meditating and then coming back to the breath. And what is also important to me is to have a sense of timing in the session, because, you know, I used to do this thing where I just sit down and meditate and see how it goes. And the whole thing becomes really messy. What became very important to me was to set a session time and to say, right, I will do this length of session. And you know, I will do an hour or I will do two hours or sometimes three hours. In the long retreats, our sessions were at least three hours long. And then of course, it's very, very structured. But the timing of it is really crucial. Because otherwise, you just sort of your ego starts to run the show like Oh, when I feel like it, I'll do a long session. When I don't feel like it, I'll do a short session, it's really important to kind of hold the timing so that you so I will use a clock, or in the retreats and monasteries, we have somebody who rings a gong, and that signifies the end of the session.

Alex Ferrari 28:20
Well, that's what is if you don't mind me asking what is the longest you've ever gone in a session?

Gelong Thubten 28:27
I think I'll in the retreat our most our session before lunch was the longest every day. And that was always three hours and 15 minutes. And so I remember that was the longest maybe the toughest session. And even generally, we'd be alone in our rooms, you know, there were 20 of us in the retreat that I'm talking about a long retreat I did. And in the year 2005, which is four year long meditation retreat. And there's 20 monks in there. And we're all in our own rooms meditating. And you have a schedule, everyone's following the same schedule. But at one point, the abbot of the monastery came and meditated with us. And he said, Actually, we're all going to meditate together in the meditation hall. And I'm going to see whether you guys move during that three hour session. I'm going to watch you so then it became a whole different experience because he said, just sit there and do not move. And that's like a challenge, isn't it? And actually, I enjoyed that a lot because it was like jumping out of an airplane with no parachute. And you want to move you want to kind of do this, but then you learn to just relax into the stillness. I found that very challenging, but also quite exciting.

Alex Ferrari 29:40
That's amazing. That's amazing. Like as you're talking I'm like, oh my god, three hours rich retreat, meditation retreat when all you can all you're basically doing is focusing on meditation and yourself. So it was there ever during all of your meditations, did you ever have a profound event to happen? Something that that you say, Oh, that's not normal. Anything. Nothing like that just a norm just

Gelong Thubten 30:07
No miracle. No, no, no,

Alex Ferrari 30:09
No, I'm not asking for a miracle. I'm just asking. Like I said, I'm thinking Buddha Jesus walked in this door. But just curious. It's like if there was any, any because I've heard and read obviously through through spiritual texts of meditators having some sort of profound revelation about themselves or about something I was just I was just curious, because you've been such a meditator for such a long time. I was just curious.

Gelong Thubten 30:34
No. And yes, you do read about that in the kind of life stories of the great Yogi's, you read about them having fantastical mystical experiences. And I haven't, but I'm not bothered about that. It doesn't make me think of, you know, when am I going to have the rainbows? For me, it's very much about working with the ordinary, and working with the mind and working with letting go and accepting. And you know, these long retreats, they sound like, like it would be heavenly to have all that time off just to meditate. But actually, it was like, having surgery with no anesthesia, it was incredibly painful. Because you are alone with yourself for years and years and years, with no, no distraction, nothing to take the edge of your own pain. So you have to face the pain. And it was incredibly painful, but incredibly helpful, because it really helped me to get to know myself, and to learn to be with myself with more kindness. And this is, for me, so important, because I used to hate myself so much. I used to find myself so awful to be around, which is why I was always trying to be somewhere else or be busy. And so learning to resolve that inner struggle is really the journey for me. And then and compassion, compassion, I mean, it really is about, it's not a self centered exercise, you're doing all of this so that you can help others. Otherwise, it could become a little bit self indulgent, like, Oh, I'm gonna lock myself away in a cave and just meditate, and it's all about me. But actually, every session, you do you pray, may I do this for the benefit of all beings, may I learn something so that I can then bring benefit to the world. So there's a sense of service, a sense of duty, a sense of wanting to be more loving? And I think that that's really, really important. Otherwise, it could become a little bit self indulgent.

Alex Ferrari 32:43
Right! You can you can, your ego could say, I'm the most spiritual, I'm the most pure, I'm the most spiritual humble person in the world, then you start to believe

Gelong Thubten 32:53
We can believe our own game very easily, very,

Alex Ferrari 32:56
We drink our own Kool Aid quite quite, quite easily. It's very intoxicated. Now, can you discuss judgment in meditation, where we judge a good or a bad session of meditation? And that thing's another thing that stops us at the beginning? Where there's like, Oh, I couldn't quiet my mind. That was a horrible meditation. Can you talk a little bit about that judgment and how you how you can overcome that.

Gelong Thubten 33:23
That's, that is so common, isn't it? And back to your brilliant example of the gym. It's this, if you go to the gym, and you run on a treadmill, for 10 minutes, you don't get off that treadmill and think, did I do that running well, and maybe like, halfway through, I was better than at the beginning. You just do the exercise. It's literally do the exercise and let go and move on. And that's the same with meditation, it becomes a huge trap. When we sit and judge our sessions, was that a good session? Was that a bad session? I mean, how are we defining what is a good session? What what is what is our

Alex Ferrari 34:00
December's rainbows, rainbows?

Gelong Thubten 34:04
Or even was my mind really busy or less busy. But actually, if your mind is really busy during the session in a way that's giving you more to work with, so it doesn't necessarily define your session as bad. So non judgement is crucial. And it really starts with how you how you relate to your own thoughts. So when you're meditating, and the thoughts and emotions are coming up, the whole idea is just to not to judge them just to leave them alone. You don't need to push them away. You don't need to make them bigger or tell stories about them, you just leave them alone. And this sense of letting things be is the training and non judgement. So we can start to judge ourselves less judged our thoughts less and hopefully judge others less which is why this is all to do with love and compassion. Non judgment is the The key to having a more loving mind.

Alex Ferrari 35:03
Yeah, and it's, again, if I can use that analogy, again, it's like going your first session of working out, you go on the bench and you try to lift weight, you can't barely lift any weight, and you're like, Oh, that was horrible. I barely got two reps in. And that was such a low weight. And if you start judging yourself at that point, you'll never go back to the gym. So it's that same kind of trap. It's an easy trap to fall into in meditation. Because your your mind is looking for out, your mind is looking for an excuse not to continue. Because it's, it's out of the comfort zone. And you're in, you're going to, you're bringing in pain sometimes. And then the minds there. As as many have said, your mind cares not about your happiness. It cares about your survival. And yeah, it doesn't care about your dreams, it doesn't care about your happiness, it cares about you not being eaten by the tiger. And meditation represents the emotions are coming up are the tiger that can hurt you. And they're trying to stop that. Is that fair?

Gelong Thubten 35:59
Yeah, you're trying to meet that tiger with compassion. And, and just allow it allow it to be there, like giving, giving your mind freedom. But one of the first things my teacher said to me was give your mind freedom. And I didn't know what he meant, because I thought does is he saying just sit there and daydream. But no, he was trying to explain to me that I should stop trying to force my mind to be a certain way and just let it be and observe. So this is why in Buddhism, they often use imagery, like the sky and clouds, the sky is behind the clouds, and is always there. And we need to be more like the sky, and just let the clouds come and go without trying to block them or change them. And I think that's very important. Otherwise, our meditation becomes incredibly judgmental, and incredibly harsh. And, Richard, that's very hard for us, isn't it? Because we live in a culture that it's all about inputs and outputs, like if I put this amount of time in, what will I get out, I want to draw a graph that, you know, if I do this amount of hours, will the graph go like that? It's very, it's very hard for us just to let go.

Alex Ferrari 37:07
It's interesting, because as you're saying that the concept that comes into my mind right away is transactional, very transactional way of looking at things. And if you treat people as transactional, it doesn't work. But when you just love to love somebody, and to give without looking for research, first, anything to come back to you. That's, in many ways, a true meditation, like you're not looking for anything that come out of the work you're putting in, I'm doing it out of compassion, out of love, out of concern, or whatever, that empathy. But that's true. But if like, if I do this for you, you gotta do this. For me, you can't walk into meditation like that.

Gelong Thubten 37:46
I think that's a brilliant analogy is that meditation should be the same as labs. If you really love somebody, you just love them, you don't have to keep a list of all the things you've done for them, and then expect them to do that back for you. Because then it's not love anymore. It is transactional. But real love is where you just love somebody the way they are, and you don't want them to be any different. So I think we need to have that love for our own mind and our own meditation, just let it be don't don't judge it, don't try to make it into anything. It's not just leave it, leave it be. But I think one of the crucial things that helps with this is to meditate every day, even when you don't feel like it. You know, one of the big problems is when we say, Oh, I'm not going to meditate now, because I'm not in the mood, I'll wait till I feel more like it. And then that means our mood has really kind of won the race, and we're putting our mood above our meditation. But I find it really, really helpful to meditate when I feel sick, when I feel tired, when I feel stressed. So that I'm learning to meditate, no matter what, and it doesn't have to be. It's almost like I'm just gonna meditate badly, whatever, if badly is a thing, and I'm just gonna meditate doesn't matter. I'm not going to try and make it be a certain way. So that daily approach and doing it when you least feel like it is crucial. And that's the best preparation for death. Because when we die, we want to die in a meditative way. We want to be able to meditate through our death experience. But if in our life, we've only learned to meditate when we feel great, we'll never be able to activate that as we're dying.

Alex Ferrari 39:25
Interesting. That's Can you explain it? Can you dive into that a little bit?

Gelong Thubten 39:29
Well, when we die as we approach death, I mean, obviously we'd have no idea how we're going to die and it could be a very sudden thing we don't know. But wouldn't the best thing to be is to be able to go through that experience with meditation, to be able to activate our meditation in that time so that we're less frightened and we can be more calm as we approach what is really the most terrifying thing is dying. So what we need to do is make meditation into our default state, our default habit Even in times when we feel we're falling apart. So if you learn to meditate when you're sick, or when you're depressed, or when you're having a rough time, you are teaching yourself that you can meditate even when you are falling apart. And then that can become more of your habit. So that when you're dying, the meditation might automatically start to activate instead of fear and terror.

Alex Ferrari 40:26
Hope everyone took notes on that one, if you can, if you can use that at the, at the at the at the beginning of the great journey beyond that's a good way to use meditation without question, but you can just pick it up a couple of days before, it's kind of like before you die, you kind of have to have some light. It's kind of like everyone finds Jesus, or Buddha when, when things are not going well. Generally, that's what when the fit is hitting the Shan as they say, then all of a sudden, you're looking for Jesus. And but when you're on your boat in your yard, and everything's good, who's Jesus?

Gelong Thubten 41:03
Yeah, I find that because I run, I run a meditation center. And you do find people come to the center when things are going really badly. And then they find they find a relationship or a new job, and you never see them. And then they come back when, when they're having a rough time. And that's just human nature isn't sure, but I always tried to, I always try to encourage people to meditate no matter what if you're having a bad time or a good time, meditate because it can only enhance who you are. And it means when you have a good time, you can really have a good time and be present. I see so many people going on these expensive holidays, and they're spending the entire time checking their phone, they're not even there. So if they were a meditator, they could really enjoy the good times instead of be like half their half not there.

Alex Ferrari 41:50
Now, I have to ask you, because I come from the film industry. And I read I read somewhere that you worked as a consultant on Dr. Strange so not only am I a filmmaker, I am also a Marvel fan. And I have to find out how did that go? What was that experience like working with Benedict and Dale and and that whole experience you were literally teaching them how to meditate to be the mystic, the Mystic Arts, the the master of the mystic arts, as as Dr. Strange is Can you can you talk a little bit about that?

Gelong Thubten 42:22
Yeah, so I worked with Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, Benedict played Dr. Strange until he was playing the Ancient One who is is his spiritual teacher. And I worked with them a little bit before the filming, but also during the filming. So while they were resetting the cameras, or in breaks, we would meditate together so that they would be kind of in the zone, because the the scenes they were filming involve them having to be in a mindful state to be in a deep kind of meditation state. So the best preparation for them was not so much about character preparation or learning lines. But it was to be into it be in that zone of peace and tranquility and inner connection. So we were actually doing these meditations in quite crazy set of scenarios, as a filmmaker yourself, you know that a movie set has, you know, 500 people running around with cables. And we still managed to use those moments to meditate. And I remember at one point, Tilda said to me, of course, this makes total sense when we were doing this now with this film. But she said, You know, I'm playing the Ancient One and playing this sort of spiritual person. But I can see how this will be helpful. Even if I was playing somebody else. If I was doing like a cops and robbers movie or anything, it would still be helpful, because for any kind of creativity, or performance, you want to have that stage presence, you want to have that ability to be totally in the zone. I think most performers have that to a certain extent, especially people who work in film. Because working in film, you have to really embody the moment. I mean, for one thing, you're not following your characters arc from A to Zed. Like in a play on stage, you follow the whole journey. It's a one hour performance. But in a movie, it's all chopped up, you film the end before the beginning. And the scenes are completely chopped up because of the nature of production. So as a performer, you have to be able to completely inhabit the moment just like that when the cameras roll. And so we were using meditation to get people to do that. So I worked with the actors. I also worked with the director. I worked with some of the stunt people. It was really interesting to see how we could bring meditation into that environment.

Alex Ferrari 44:53
I think we I think the world needs more meditation as a general statement and being on Any movie sets over the years, it's insanity, let alone on a project the size of a Marvel movie like Doctor Strange, which is hundreds, if not over 1000 people running all over the place with just obscene amounts of gear and stuff and stress and pressure, and I could only imagine. And then there you are, Everyone calm down. Let's center ourselves. It's fascinating. I think, if I could afford you, I would bring you on all my movie sets. And just get all the grips and all the electricians, everyone, everyone, five minutes, let's all get down.

Gelong Thubten 45:37
I think it's fantastic, because it completely changes the energy of what people are seeing. Absolutely. Otherwise, it really is quite stressful, because you're rushing around, and then you stop and the cameras roll. And that that disjointed feeling between the energy of rushing and the energy of stillness is very hard to handle. And as you know, the hours are really long the days are, you know, 1416, even 18 hours long, night shoots, all of that meditation can be a survival tactic during those situations, without so I really love to bring in meditation into really high stress situations. So either working on a movie set, also I work in hospitals, I teach doctors and nurses, I work in prisons, I work in schools with kids and the teachers. And I'm really passionate about showing people meditation isn't just for people living in retreats or monasteries, if suddenly you can bring into the most busy, most stressful situations of lives.

Alex Ferrari 46:36
Now you've mentioned it, and another talk about how meditation can activate the pre mortal premotor. Cortex. Can you explain what that is?

Gelong Thubten 46:49
Well, it's about intention. So this is really the compassion part of, of meditation practice, that people often ask the question, how does sitting there meditating, alone in a room connect with compassion, what it seems so separate, but there are there are two main things is that when you when you meditate, and you're learning not to judge your thoughts, you're learning to be at peace with yourself. That is compassion, isn't it, that is loving kindness, that is self acceptance. And that will help us to be able to carry that attitude into our relationships with others, and maybe do more good in the world. But also, the intention aspect is really, really crucial. So whenever I meditate, and when I help others to meditate, I always encourage everybody to take a moment at the start of the session, to set the intention, I am going to do this for my own benefit, but also the benefit of others. It's not just for me, it's for others too. So you're kind of planting the seed of positive motivation. And it doesn't mean that in that moment, you're going to help people but you are planting the seed that your meditation will enable you to help people from a deeper place. So we start the session with that moment of intention setting. And then we end the session also by dedicating the practice in our minds to the benefit of all beings. In Buddhism, it's often done through prayer, on prayers may I benefit all beings, but often people don't relate to prayer. So I just suggest they take a moment of kind of affirmation or intention setting. And what this does in terms of our brain is it activates the intention aspect. That's the motor cortex part of our brain, which is the part that we use before doing something, even to make a cup of tea, you have to activate the intention, I want to make the tea. So if you are meditating every day and activating that intention part of your brain, I want to help others, I want to help others, I'm going to help others, that then becomes your reality. And you become a more helpful person. It's literally using your own neuroplasticity in a beneficial way.

Alex Ferrari 49:08
You're rewiring yourself in other words, absolutely,

Gelong Thubten 49:11

Alex Ferrari 49:12
So since you've worked with so many people over the course of your your life, and if met people at difficult times of their life, as you were saying that many times they are having problems when they come to you. Why do you believe so many of us are unhappy?

Gelong Thubten 49:30
Well, I think we, we are we have a tendency towards unhappiness more than we do towards happiness, don't we? I mean, that's really the reality. You know, we we, we have to go on a course to learn how to be happy and compassionate. We don't need to go on a course to learn how to be angry.

Alex Ferrari 49:53
Why is that? What is it the negative bias that's in our in our like, reptilian brain

Gelong Thubten 49:59
I think that That element is that we are wired for survival. So we're wired for that fight or flight. So our biology is kind of programmed for surviving and noticing problems and errors and focusing on those because those might kill us. So you know, back from early times, we had to be constantly on guard for danger constantly focused on the negative in order to survive. And now fast forward to the 21st century where safely in our houses, and sure there is danger in the world, but it's not like it used to be. And yet, we're still experiencing that negative bias, we're still experiencing that searching for danger looking for trouble. It's wired within us. But we are more than our biology, our consciousness is more than just our body and our brain and our, our biological programming, we can we can evolve further than that, which is why human beings are able to do so much good in the world because they can, they can transcend their biological impulses and do something of real benefit. So we have that we have to kind of work against, we're working, working with our natural tendency to find mistakes and find problems. Then on top of that, I think we have a modern problem, don't we, which is that in the modern era, we are so bombarded with information through technology that makes us look at what's wrong all the time. I mean, what is the news? The news is never Hey, have you heard about this great thing that happened yesterday, it's always this is terrible. That is terrible. And that news sells papers, it sells clicks, it sells adverts, the more negative, the more frightening, the more withdrawn in, the more money is made. So we are very much feed manipulated by information that veers towards the negative. So we're kind of being taught to be angry and fearful, all the time. And so I think meditation is a crucial intervention to protect us from that input.

Alex Ferrari 52:09
Now, you said the word consciousness and I'd love to hear your definition of consciousness.

Gelong Thubten 52:14
Well, this is the this is the great debate between Buddhists and scientists, you know is the body is the brain is our mind, the brain is that all we are just the brain, or is that is the consciousness, something beyond that. And so, of course, spiritual people believe that the body, the brain, they are simply projections of the consciousness our consciousness is, is something bigger than ourselves. And meditation is about connecting with that larger kind of spiritual side of us, rather than just the thoughts, the emotions that the kind of brain stuff. And in Buddhism, we talk about mind, we talk about consciousness, we talk about awareness. And there are entire texts, that kind of books and manuals that describe the different levels of the mind. But what is it just to an ordinary human being meditating? What are we doing? We are actually experiencing our consciousness, aren't we? Because when you sit there, and you are aware of your thoughts, and you are aware of your emotions, it's your consciousness that is being aware. And that consciousness is not the thought, not the emotion. Yes, the thought or emotion is happening within the consciousness, but there is an observer, there is an ability to observe. And I think that is the crucial element of meditation training is your learning to find out that you're bigger than your own thoughts. And that's how we can start to free ourselves from suffering.

Alex Ferrari 53:46
What is your definition of true happiness?

Gelong Thubten 53:50
Well, I think it's a lot to do with acceptance. It's a lot to do with loves. I mean, acceptance is a difficult term, because it sounds a little bit like, Oh, you're gonna have to put up with everything, like put up with all the crap. Yeah, just like put up with the crap and kind of, you know, shut up and just get on with it. But I don't mean that. I mean, like, I mean, to be able to laugh. The reality that is in front of you right now, whatever that reality is, whether it be something that normally feels positive, or something that normally feels negative, to be able to have a sense of loving awareness and compassion towards that. I think that is happiness. So it means to stay positive even in bad times. I think it doesn't mean just to have a great time all the time. I think it means to be able to. It means to be able to find something within yourself that you can, you can connect in with that nobody else nobody can give you a nobody can take away from you. It's you. It's connecting with your own inner inner space of calmness and an inner truth inner happiness. And that's what meditation does, it connects us within.

Alex Ferrari 55:04
Now, there's so many people who are listening to this right now. And they're like, this all sounds great. But what are truly the benefits of meditation besides the spiritual? And from my understanding, it's been one of the most scientifically tested and experimented on and studied subjects in modern medicine last 6070 years. So can you just give a couple of things that a meditator who's meditating constantly will do to themselves mentally and also physically?

Gelong Thubten 55:36
Well, absolutely, it helps us to be less stressed, and more happy. I mean, that is undeniable. Stress is a state of mind. Of course, there are things happening in life that trigger our stress. But ultimately, it's our thoughts and our emotions and our attitudes that make us stressed. So meditation is a way of working to transform that so that we can learn to stay happy and positive in the middle of stress. So it absolutely helps us to deal with stress, it also helps us to be more focused, more focused, more present, this is a crucial skill for us to enjoy our lives more, and to be able to get more done to be more productive. And so on a physical level, we are literally training our brain to release different chemicals. Normally, our brain is so conditioned to release a lot of cortisol and adrenaline, just to get through the day, we have that fight or flight mechanism, where the you the brain, the amygdala is always on red alert for danger. And so then it causes the body to release cortisol and adrenaline, which makes us very tired, it makes us ill it leads to hypertension, that leads to all kinds of illnesses, all kinds of aspects of fatigue. And then we tend to drink loads of coffee and eat loads of sugar to try and make ourselves feel better. We're just creating a kind of toxic waste dump inside our bodies. Whereas if you meditate, you're training your brain to stop going into that emergency mode all the time. So you're cooling down your engines, so that there'll be less production of those harmful chemicals, and maybe more production of oxytocin, which is the hormone of kindness, love, compassion, and happiness, maybe that can start to flow more more easily in our bodies. So all of this can be can be measured, as you say, there's been a lot of research, you can put people in a scanner, you can meditate, put them in a scanner and show the differences even after a few days. It's absolutely has brain and body benefits. But the reality is, if you meditate every day, it's pretty much guaranteed that after a certain amount of time, you're going to start to feel a sense of calm, and a sense of being less heavily affected by suffering and stress. And then you want to do more of it, because you notice the benefits.

Alex Ferrari 58:02
What is it? Because I just want to do that into that really quickly. What is it about meditation that does that? Is it the connection with self? Is it the connection with a higher, higher power source? Whatever you want to call it? Is it chemic? Is it a chemical reaction that, like you're saying, certain chemicals are released, because there is no doubt, I am such a different human being than I was six years ago, when before I started meditating. I'm calmer, I have children. So you can imagine I need some calm in my life. So I react differently to certain situations of raising children and just I react differently. And I'm not perfect by any stretch. But you're absolutely right, your whole outlook on life starts to change and shift. And you start looking at things completely differently. It is profound. So in your opinion, what is that?

Gelong Thubten 59:01
I think it's because we through meditation, we stop being a servant of our automatic programming, you know, with our minds have this automatic programming of reacting getting stressed out kind of old habits of how we always react under pressure. With meditation you're learning to, to listen to those reactions less and be able to step back and create more positive creative responses. So as you said earlier, you're rewiring yourself, you're reprogramming your internal computer. And yes, it has a lot to do with changing the chemistry and the body. Yes, it has a lot to do with being less of a slave of your own thoughts. And yes, for many people, it also has a lot to do with a connection with with your, your higher potential, your your spiritual side, your, your your consciousness. Of course in religious terminology, we say you know trying to become more connected to our inner Buddha or the inner Christ, or the God within whatever one wants to call it, it's the connection with something deeper. So for some meditators, that becomes a very positive, attractive thing. For others, it's not they prefer a more scientific approach or more kind of psychological approach, it really doesn't matter. If you do the exercise, you're gonna get the benefits, just like lifting weights.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:23
Yeah, exactly. Now, I'm going to ask you a couple questions, ask all of my guests, what is your mission in this life?

Gelong Thubten 1:00:32
I am passionate about normalizing meditation, making it very normal. And very, when I say normal, I mean, getting people to understand that anybody can do it. Because I think for a long time, it's it felt like it was the domain of Buddhists and people who are on a spiritual journey, people who are into Eastern mysticism, which is fine, but you for me, when I wanted to meditate, I was already kind of in that world, I came from a Buddhist family. But what about everybody else? So I, I'm passionate about getting it into schools, getting it into universities, into government, into business, into health care, medicine, all the different areas of life where there's so much stress, I'm passionate about helping meditation to become part of that. And then of course, my own personal, what I want is to develop myself spiritually, so that I can become more kind, more compassionate, more useful. So I need to do more practice, you know, I need to, I need to do more retreats, I need to do more of the inner journey. So in one sense, there, there is a kind of ambition there like a goal. In another sense, you've got to let go and just live in the moment and try to be like day to day and not be too grabby about goals and and ambitions is a curious mixture.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:00
And what is the ultimate purpose of life?

Gelong Thubten 1:02:04
I think the ultimate purpose of life is to love others, and to help them to suffer less. We are not alone, we are surrounded by others. And there's so much suffering in this world. And we need to love and not just love as a feeling but love as an action, we need to get out there and help people, we need to stop being so fragmented or living in these little boxes next to each other, and not speaking to each other. So I think the ultimate purpose of life is to help people. And there are many ways to do that. And I think meditation can provide you with a foundation of wisdom and strength, so that whatever your modality of helping others is, you can do it better.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:46
And where can people find out more about you and pick up your amazing book amongst guide to happiness?

Gelong Thubten 1:02:53
Well, the book is published in I think, like 12 countries, now it's in the US, it's in the UK, other places. So that book, is where you can read more about the kinds of things I've been saying. And also in the book, I give techniques, I give methods. I'm also currently writing a new book, which will come out next year, it's called handbook for hard times. So it's kind of going into the how to work with suffering, how to work with the mud, and how to find some some meaning in the pain. And yeah, if people want to know more that the books are there, and also I'm, I'm I don't make videos and put them online, but people do film my talks, and they end up on YouTube and other places. So apparently, you can find me on the internet.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:45
Not too hard to find. And while you're obviously welcome back to to talk about your new book, I can't wait to read that one as well. And my very last question, because I think it goes right into your new book handbook for hard times. What do you think is happening right now in the world, in this in just in the world, there's such a shift happening in the world with the between the environment in politics and economy in the pandemic? There's so much stress and almost like a shaking of an etch a sketch for humanity. What do you think is happening? And where do you think we're going?

Gelong Thubten 1:04:20
So I think the COVID experience was obviously terrible. For myself, it was terrible. I caught COVID Very, very severely, and I'm still, I'm still sick two years later. So I had a very, very bad time with COVID. And of course, there's been a lot of death and destruction, because of COVID. But the one thing I think we've learned is how much we rely on each other, and how much we are interrelated, interdependent. So I wonder if it's given us a little bit more of a sense of community. I wonder if it's helped us to think more about how we can take better care of each other I wonder if this will make us kinder to refugees, for example, I hope so, I hope it will make us feel that we want to help the sick more and help and maybe respect people who do that help. You know, during COVID, we suddenly woke up to the fact that the frontline people, the first responders, they are, they are the people we should be really respecting, rather than just the rich and famous. So we normally put them on red carpets and think they're so brilliant, but actually the people who really were working during that pandemic, I think it's given us a healthier and healthier outlook on life. And I hope we can take that further. So what is happening right now, there's a lot of fear isn't that there's a lot of fear. There's a lot of judgment, there's a lot of negativity, but there's this maybe green shoots of compassion, green shoots of people wanting to connect on a more loving basis with the world around them. We have to otherwise we're going to burn ourselves out. We are going to we're destroying ourselves. We're destroying our planet. But there is hope. And I see that hope quite strongly because of my role. And I go around teaching meditation. And so I'm seeing how that world is growing, growing and growing and growing. And more schools are wanting to bring meditation onto their curriculum, teaching the kids how to meditate. It's happening in hospitals, it's happening in prisons. So I have quite a hopeful outlook, because I see how many more people are thinking about inner peace, compassion, wisdom, all of those qualities that are so important. So I don't feel too desperately sort of frightened about the state of the world, because I'm also seeing the positive is arising and getting stronger.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:50
Thank you so much again, for coming on the show. It has been a pleasure and honor speaking to you I've I've enjoyed our conversation immensely. Because I've asked all the meditation questions I wanted to ask. And I truly appreciate, I hope that this interview in this conversation helps other people listening and gets more and more people into meditation and really gets the benefit of of what meditation can bring to our lives. And if we can help our lives, we can then share that joy with other people and hopefully, create a chain reaction that helps the world get to a better place. So my friend, thank you again for being on the show. I appreciate you.

Gelong Thubten 1:07:29
Thank you. And thank you. I really enjoyed talking to you as well. Thank you so much.

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