Holly Copeland, MA is a certified Human Potential coach and Biofield Tuning Practitioner, NeuroMeditation and Subtle Energy Meditation teacher, and Reiki Master. She teaches non-dual awareness and subtle energy meditation techniques and uses neurotechnology, Reiki and tuning forks in transformative quantum healing experiences and in her coaching work.
Holly’s childhood passion for maps, the environment, technology and spirituality initially led her to a 25 year career as a conservation scientist mapping the Earth’s ecosystems with GPS. Heartbroken by the state of the planet coupled with a personal health crisis, she set out on a new path of healing and transformation. She shifted her focus from exterior to interior and rewired her brain to a state of resilience and joy.
Founder of HeartMind Alchemy, and as a former scientist turned meditation teacher and coach, Holly unites ancient wisdom with modern science and harnesses modern technology and neuroscience to empower clients on their path to human flourishing and upgrading from “ordinary mind” to luminous awareness. She guides people out of the muddy waters of the thinking mind to live in flow joyfully and effortlessly from their own inner compass–their own stable ground of being.
Please enjoy my conversation with Holly Copeland.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 185
Holly Copeland 0:00
There is this alive, intelligent, interconnected fabric to the universe that is like the force.
Alex Ferrari 0:15
I like to welcome to the show, Holly Copeland. How you doin Holly?
Holly Copeland 0:24
I'm doing great, Alex, it's so great to be here with you.
Alex Ferrari 0:27
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I'm excited to talk to you, you've lived an interesting life. So far, you're doing some really interesting work. So my first question is, can you tell the audience a little bit about how you started down this unique path that you're on right now, where you came from, and why you are on this path?
Holly Copeland 0:46
Sure, I'd be happy to, you know, I want to roll back just to some of the earliest experiences that I had. So, you know, to say, to start off by saying, I had been on the seeking path, if you will, since at least age six, when I turned to my mom in the car, and I, I kind of held my arm out and pinched my skin. And I was like, who am I? Like, who am I, you know. And so I like to that feels to me, like that was actually the beginning of the journey at age six to want to know, really at a deep level who I was. And that continued in my teens, where I was exploring a lot of metaphysical books, and I happen to have some parents who are exploring that, so I was going to channelings and some, you know, things like that meditating, you know, age 1314. And then I went off to college and got very interested in environmental science, I was passionate about Earth conservation. And that put me on a trajectory of, really what I want to do with my career is to help save the earth if we, if I want to be blunt about it, you know, in in 12 year old terms, I want to save the whales, you know, I could see bad things happening and really wanted to orient my life to fixing that. And so I entered the, you know, the university sort of scientific system, I went off on that trajectory, I was very blessed to get a job with the Nature Conservancy, and become that lead to becoming a conservation scientist for them. And I was doing the things I mean, by all respects leading kind of the dream job life out tracking mule deer in Wyoming, tracking sage grouse and working to protect them working on condors in California, I was doing a lot of very cool wildlife oriented work working with amazing people. And somewhere along the line about five years ago, I the shall we say, the shine of that led wore off a little bit. And what was settling was just this despair, I hear people call it like environmental grief, feeling as though there would never be enough time, money or resources to save the planet. And like getting up every single day trying to do my best. And just being burnt out, honestly, with that. And also, at the same time, I got mold poisoning. So I had a personal health crisis. And I was also really, really tired of the voice in my head running the show. And just like, even though, I'd studied the spiritual path, there was still this narrator in my head that's felt like it wouldn't shut off. And so I went down a journey to kind of fix all of that to get healthy and deal with mold crisis, to rewire my brain as it were, and just got really serious about like, I've got to figure out, you know, that and it oriented me back into the spiritual path too. So sort of everything was converging and a bit of a, you know, personal crisis, if you will. And I took a deep dive inward. Because I'm a scientist, I got super interested in a lot of the different tools that might be used to help quiet the mind. I got a fancy headset called the muse to listen to my brainwaves and took a deep inner like a much more serious, deep inner dive and meditation and learning meditation. And if I were to sum it up, I'd say I, you know, all of that worked amazingly beautifully, so well, that when I came out of it, I quit my job, and I oriented my life towards helping other people find the peace, common clarity that I've found.
Alex Ferrari 4:48
Well, that sounds fantastic. I mean, I could only imagine you know, waking up every morning and go and I'm gonna save the world and you're like, Well, you know, it's, it might take more than just me, and it might take more than this Life.
Holly Copeland 5:02
And granted, I knew it wasn't just me, right? I knew it was army of people,
Alex Ferrari 5:07
But still in your head, but in your head, which is your best friend, your worst enemy, that voice is your best friend, your worst enemy all the same time. It definitely wears on you and you have kind of this. You know, I talked to a lot of near death experiencers. And that's the thing that just completely shakes their entire life. And when they come out of it, they're just a different person. You didn't have a near death experience. But you had a health crisis, a mental crisis, I'm sure an emotional crisis in there somewhere that forced you down a different path. So you were just pushed in a different way. Almost a sense. It sounds like the universe was like, You need to start moving this direction. And oh, you're not listening. Okay? We're gonna, we're gonna, we're gonna hit a sledgehammer over your head.
Holly Copeland 5:52
Exactly. The universe has a funny way of doing it doing that, doesn't it?
Alex Ferrari 5:56
They, they tap you on the shoulder at the beginning. They whisper they tap, they poke. And then the wall comes crashing down. Like apparently she's not listening. We're gonna have to take this up a notch.
Holly Copeland 6:09
That is exactly. Yeah, that is so well said I completely agree, you know. And for me, the hardest one was waking up with my face all swollen one morning, because I had mold poisoning. And it took me eight months to even figure out what was wrong. But it was like a sledge Hammer of like physical illness, to be like, you aren't listening, you know this, and I wouldn't have believed it, then I would have never thought like what I asked for that, or I wanted that. But I honestly believe there are no accidents, that everything that's happening is happening here. in service of us. And I say that in full awareness. Because as I'm saying that I you know, I see all the abuse and the pain and the suffering of people. And that's a very hard statement to say, knowing that there's real tragedy happening to real people. And in my heart of hearts from everything I know, as impossible as that sounds and feels I do. That is the truth that I live in believe. And my it's my understanding that that is actually true.
Alex Ferrari 7:14
Yeah. And I've said this in the show multiple times. And I think it can't say it enough. Life doesn't happen to us, it happens for us. And when you make that switch, it's very powerful in your life in your own life. It really is. Now Oh, when I was doing research on you, you mentioned ancient wisdom a lot. In the work that you're doing, can you explain what kind of ancient wisdom because again, broad topic, save the world ancient wisdom? Is there any specific philosophies? Today texts ideas? Where did you get them from? And how did you kind of harvest those into your work?
Holly Copeland 7:51
Yeah, thank you for that question. So I when I went down the meditative path, I started studying with some teachers who were teaching a practice called subtle energy meditation, which is grounded in Korea, and I see Paramahansa Yogananda behind you. Yeah, and inch and Christian mysticism, and some Chi Gong and, you know, Taoist practices. And that's practice, they were teaching embodied and blended all of that. So I studied that with them, and learned to bring, you know, energy up my spine, and what that was about. So I started to understand the energetic the subtle energetics that are going on in the body, which was super profound, I had never experienced or understood how powerful that can be, to tap into the subtle energy system of our own body. And I also started to study Tibetan Mahamudra and Dzogchen practices, the direct awakening practices. Are you familiar? Not familiar with that one? No. Yeah, so these are Tibetan Buddhist practices. And they're considered they came after or little bit later than some of the earlier practices that are more rooted in what's called the progressive path. So more of like the traditional Thai Buddhist path of, you know, focusing on your breath, and just keep focusing on breath until you finally have these breakthroughs. And what Zouk Chen, the great perfection says is actually that our awakening is here right now. And we're never separate from it. So therefore, we can point people into like, glimpses are seeing the seeing of that even at any moment. So even right now, and so that I found it felt that the biohacker in me was like, Oh, my God, that sounds like a shortcut. And I'm putting my hand up. Yes, please, can we quickly go there rather than you know, suffer through many, you know, hours of long meditations that last many, many weeks. So By the end those practices and the teacher teachers that I've studied with, were absolutely profound because for me, I think I was primed for it. I had, you know, the meditation and and that understanding like the Eckhart Tolle pointing to that we are not our thoughts, no or Sadhguru we're not the body, we're not the mind are all pointing to this understanding, but to actually experientially step into it through these ancient Tibetan practices was was super profound for me. And so that's some of the work that I studied and now teach and work with people on
Alex Ferrari 10:42
Now, how does science interact with these ancient wisdoms, which is one of my biggest fascinations is anytime I have a scientist on or quantum physicist on I love talking about the the sense of what reality is and how the quantum field is, and all these kinds of things and how they interact and how spirituality is interacting with science. But I'd love to hear your, in your work, how you how you combined them coming from a scientific background?
Holly Copeland 11:10
Sure, I combined them in a couple of ways. And the first one that I feel guided to speak about is this idea of wholeness that David Bowen pointing pointed to in the implicate order. And that wonderful physicist named Skye Isaac's Nelson talks about if you haven't, if you haven't seen his work, he's a fascinating on this topic from Berkeley, and wrote a book called Leap into wholeness. And so what they're pointing to is the physics, the quantum physics of quantum physics is showing that everything is a hologram. And that every particle or bit contains information about the whole. So therefore, our universe is fundamentally from from a quantum physics point of view, all. And that understanding of wholeness is actually at the foundation of, of non dual techniques, like Buddhism, the Mahamudra, and Dzogchen are both non dual traditions. So I should have maybe said that there's the Tibetan non dual traditions, which are pointing to that, that there aren't two fundamentally the universe is one. And so that's one example where those two for me come together has this understanding from quantum physics, that we aren't separate, actually marry with all of what the non dual traditions had been saying all along. And I'm just like, I'm just endlessly fascinated by the work of like sand, you know, science and non dual group that, that brings together those truths, consciousness and how everything is conscious, you know, real society.
Alex Ferrari 12:57
It's really, it's really fascinating, because I mean, quantum physics in many ways, has it goes against materialism, which is what the basis of all science has been, since science started to be recorded. I mean, it gets in the West, mostly. But now, science, right. Yeah, exactly. And then, I think it was when quantum physics came out, the concepts that are coming, I think it was 1918 or early, late 1800s, early 1900s. But it hasn't really moved a whole lot other than, you know, string theory and a few other things. It doesn't seem like it has moved, and it has created a lot of ideas. But what it's saying scares the hell out of the establishment. So there's like these two groups of like, there's the old school scientists and these new school, quantum physicists are going no, no, the world arguably could be a simulation. We the math makes sense. Now, we know we could, you know, and it's exactly what, you know, Hindus have been saying about Maya, the great illusion all along. I mean, the aborigine had been saying, this is a dream like, this is not new. But now science is starting to catch up with it. So and I think it's, I think it's starting to rev up a little bit more with quantum physics, I think. Which brings me to my next question. The quantum field. Can you explain the quantum field a little bit?
Holly Copeland 14:18
Oh, just throw me a nice easy question.
Alex Ferrari 14:24
Save the world. Good. So quantum field, let's go ahead.
Holly Copeland 14:32
All right. First, I'm not a physicist. So when I interact with the quantum field and understand the quantum field from the perspective of the fact that like, like ether, right, that there's this underlying zero point field that is the basis of everything. And I'm not going to be able to explain it anyway, in mathematical terms. But just to say that, you know, even Einstein was pointing to this idea of an ether. And then that's kind of a story that he was actually saying, we think this thing exists. And then, at one point, said that it, there was this belief that maybe it wasn't necessary ether. And so it was kind of cast aside, but actually, a number of scientists were saying, and now it's researching in different forms, like the zero point field, this idea that there is an underlying fabric, to everything that space, there isn't just empty space, it's, it's,
Alex Ferrari 15:44
There's something in between the space,
Holly Copeland 15:45
Something in between, yeah.
Alex Ferrari 15:47
And yet I was watching something, I think it was a documentary on infinity. on Netflix, they were think they were talking about that in regards to even traveling through space, that there's this, there's this energy field that is in between everything. And then if you tap into that, you can go even faster than light or something along those lines, it's dark, your brain starts to hurt after a while when we start talking about these deep thoughts. The reason I bring these things up is because people listen to like, this is all fascinating, but how is this going to help me you understand the whole, you start to understand the smaller units, which are ourselves, and the concept of the quantum field. It sounds to me in many ways, like it's Chi energy, it's gi energy in Japan, or if I may bring in George Lucas, the force. There is something that is holding us all together, moving us forward like it, you know, it's it's my quote, Yoda, it is all around us, it is within us, it moves through us, is that a kind of an understanding, at least what scientists are trying to come up with.
Holly Copeland 16:55
That's, that's my experience and understanding of it to Alex that there is this alive, intelligent, interconnected fabric to the universe, that is like the force, you know, that Lucas talked about. And, you know, I think quantum physics points to it, or even I'm gonna say, in my experience, it feels that it has to be there. Because like, when I do biofield, tuning, I do distance, energy healing work on people. And I put my tuning fork into the holographic field of somebody. And what that means is, I intend with my awareness for that client to be in front of me, and I bring the fork into there. Again, this is my imagination, this is me saying, you know, Alex is in front of me, and I'm going to bring my fork into the field. And my client will feel it. And I'll feel it, even though that client may be in Australia, 1000s of miles away. So something is connecting us, we're in that very experience. And I have this daily because I do this work daily with people, I feel and since the connection between us, and it's real, and I can't deny it, and my scientific mind may not be able to, you know, have a like, an easy explanation for it. But it's absolutely there. And, you know, that's I think all of the different people doing energy work that's that's basically proven out again, time and again, and time and again. So this alive, interconnected network or fabric to the universe that that incredible scientists like David Boehm and, you know, sky's Nelson are pointing to and talking about, and many others, there's work going on in Switzerland. I mean, there's, you've seen infinite potential. There's much of that work going on. And so, you know, a little bit to get back to your earlier question of, you know, why is it the materialist science still holds on so much. And, you know, science is founded on the idea that it's going to take, it's not going to topple easily a new idea isn't going to just, it takes a lot of convincing, right. And I, if we think about it, for example, like how much do we think that the world was flat? Before we toppled the idea that the world wasn't?
Alex Ferrari 19:16
Wait a minute, the world is not flat? I mean, I've been seeing videos on YouTube, stating the obvious. I look outside, it's flat to me. I'm joking, everyone. I'm joking. It's a joke, everybody. It's a joke. It's a joke. Please, please, I'm sorry if I offend any flat earthers out there.
Holly Copeland 19:35
Okay, and then the next one came on, you know, we thought the world went around the sun went around the Earth, and how long did it take us to, you know, topple that idea. And so here we are, I think at the cusp of this next big idea, which is that it isn't a material universe. In fact, we are it's a conscious, intelligent universe. Everything is consciousness, in which everything is arising out. Everything is arising inside consciousness. And actually, what I like to do with people is to point that this is actually true. And you can experience this right now for yourself by just asking yourself the question, Does anything happen outside awareness? Can I find an edge to my awareness? You know, if I take my awareness out in front of me, or behind me, above me or below me, is there an edge or a boundary? Right? And if you sit in this contemplation there isn't, you know, or if I asked you, where do you begin? And where do I end? Or where do I end? And you begin and can you find an edge. So we can already in our every day, like simple experience right now of being human. Notice there's no inside or outside, you can't find one because it doesn't exist. And that right there is actually your, you know, n equals one experiential proof for yourself, that, actually, there's no other, there's no separation.
Alex Ferrari 21:04
Now, your your transformation, everything we're talking about was part of the transformation that you made and the healing you did and the shift that you made in your life. One of the big things you talk about is the rewiring of your brain to quiet that the quiet that voice that we all have the monkey brain that many people call it the that the great critic in our head, how can we or how do you rewire your own brain and kind of shifting so because I mean, I've had Dr. Bruce Lipton on. And he talks all about the subconscious wiring. And in the first seven years, like we were just hardwired with our surroundings and things like that, and those are hard to rewire. It's not impossible, but it's hard. So how do you in your work, help people rewire? Thoughts, patterns that are harmful to yourself?
Holly Copeland 21:57
Yeah, it's a great question. I, I would say I use two main approaches. And the first one is the, you know, the ancient yogic techniques of learning to focus the mind, and you can't ignore the benefit of doing those kinds of practices. So sitting meditation, to focus on the breath, or some other object is incredibly helpful to take some time to actually do that. And that, you know, can be very difficult because once you start to quiet the mind, actually, that once you start to do that focus practice, the mind will actually start to bring up all kinds of thought energy in the form of thoughts that have been wanting to speak to you. So it can set people up for what feels like an impossible kind of mission, if you will. And that's where tools like biofeedback, I think can be really useful. That's where it was, for me in my, in my own story, I was using the Muse headband, which is this amazing little device that, you know, it's only a couple $100. And you it reads your brainwaves while you're meditating and gives you feedback. So that if you're having a busy mind, you hear a lot of rain. And as you focus the mind, like you focus on the breath, the rain quiets, and you hear calm, and then little birds start chirping. So for me, it sort of undid the black box of the mind. And I had like, kind of like a mind game to play. And that was, to me, that was like training wheels for learning to quiet the mind. And it's really helpful, especially in the beginning, to have training wheels to have teachers and support to not think that this is not easy to do alone. You know, and just like you wouldn't walk into the gym, and just like, I'm just going to, you know, for most people, you know, I'm just going to start playing with all the machinery, you have somebody show you how it works, and you have support, and you have a trainer, and you get help. So tools like the Muse headband, and there are some others to quiet the nervous system, I think are incredibly useful now that we have them, you know, they didn't have them in India, you know, two 300 years ago. So they have other techniques mantras and chanting and things, but I'm a bit of a tech geek. And so I like to use the modern tools that are available and suggest them for people who like that kind of thing. You know,
Alex Ferrari 24:32
So you spoke about biofeedback, I've actually done biofeedback the old old school way but like you know, hooking up to a computer and the put all the stuff in it was fascinating when you when you do it, because you start feeling the bliss, the bliss starts to turn on. And she's like, okay, hold on a second. We did the entry type thing something into the keyboard and I'm like, Whoa, like I it's, I feel it like instantly, or she wouldn't even tell me she was doing it. And I would just go What are you doing? I feel this I feel that and it just like it really does rewire you in a way. That's interesting. Can you talk about first of all, what biofeedback is for people who don't know what biofeedback is? And what are the benefits of using biofeedback? And how is the machine that I just talked about differ from the muse?
Holly Copeland 25:18
Okay, sure. Great questions. Okay. So first biofeedback is where you monitor some aspect of your body. So heart like Heart, heart coherence, which is measured. You know, Heart Math does an amazing job of this measures your heart rhythms and your breathing and measure something called HRV, in order to teach you how to breathe in such a way that you can modulate your nervous system and calm down through monitoring of of a strap that basically monitors your heart. So that would be one form of biofeedback. Another one would be like the aura ring that I'm wearing, that's measuring my temperature and heart rate and all of that, and then it's going to give me data about my sleep and stuff like that, right. And then what the Muse does, or your your Neurofeedback that you did is monitor brainwaves. So rather than a heart rhythm or temperature, it's monitoring brainwaves. And it's giving you feedback, so that you can adjust your behavior. And then ultimately, you don't want to need to use the tool you need, you want to be able to get into that state without the tool. So it's like training wheels for Well, what does a quiet mind feel like? And if you don't know what a quiet mind feels like, and you've never been there before, then how are you going to know when you get there? I mean, you might be like, Oh, this feels pretty quiet. But not, you know, it's really helpful. If a tool can say A ha, that's it. Because, you know, once you know what the target is, you can make your way back there better and better and better, right? It would be like trying to go to a archery range with no Bullseye was like, Well, where am I supposed to point this thing? You know, you you kind of it's very helpful to have guidance, to know what you're what you're aiming for, and what that feels like in your body. So what does it feel like in my body to quiet my mind? And so Neurofeedback gives it gives you that pathway to know how to get there.
Alex Ferrari 27:35
So what is the act? What are the machines actually doing? Or that are those those those machines what the machines are doing to the brainwaves? So like because I felt a change, I felt a shift like she was just how do you want to feel I'm gonna get to the end should I type something in and I would see this and there was a program that it just ran like for 30 minutes, and there's different waves and different things. And as I was going through it, I just started to feel blissful, I started to feel different. I wasn't in the meta, it wasn't a meditative aspect of things. But it was it was literally reprogramming the way I felt through electrical pulses going back into my my brain. I know that sounds scary as hell. And it's not all about me. But it can't sound like that way. But it was very calm and gentle and didn't feel anything physical. It was all internal is that's what's going on the literally just changing the field, the hertz, if you will, in your brain.
Holly Copeland 28:35
So it sounds like you had something a little different. And I want to distinguish it. So there's, there's a type, like what I'm speaking about neurofeedback or biofeedback is your brainwaves or your heart are monitored, you get information that allows you to change,
Alex Ferrari 28:53
It change it for me,
Holly Copeland 28:56
Right nobody changes anything for you. It just simply is a is just a feedback on what's happening in the brain like, Wow, your brains really noisy right now. So I'm going to play rain sound. And then as I focus my breath, and I learned to do that, and now the rain is going to quiet to a soft pattern. And as I get really quiet as I do it right, then then I get a silence. That's like passive. That's like a form, right? That's passive. There is what it sounds like you're speaking about is more of active. Were actually you were having an electrical signal passed through your brain actively. Is that correct?
Alex Ferrari 29:37
Yeah. Oh, yeah. It wasn't it wasn't I didn't have any sound or anything. It was just like, she plugged me up with some sensors. And I did a handful of sessions. And she does a lot of that I was in LA at the time. She does a lot of the big spiritual guys in LA. So so she was like, oh, yeah, this guy and this guy. This guy. I'm like, okay, great. So you're in good hands. And this is kind of like resets the brain resets the With the brain resets the body in many ways, so there was something happening where I walked out refreshed. I walked out blissful, very calm. You know, non stressed, it was doing something to me. Yeah, completely actively. I wasn't doing it myself.
Holly Copeland 30:17
Okay, great. So there's a whole side of like electrical stimulation in the brain like TDCS type of, of sensors that it sounds like you had. And I've only done a little bit of that I have one device that does that, and I'm experimenting with with a home version of that. But to say that, yes, absolutely. They, you know, people have figured out biohackers is in the mostly in the biohacker realm still have figured out that you can pass electrical waves, you know, electrical stimulation at different parts of the brain. And that can quiet the mind or that can, you know, connect different parts that changes your experience in the brain of being human. There's another one called Neo rhythm that gives a pulsed electromagnetic frequency. And you can put it across the top of your head for focus, or you can put it behind your head for more of a meditative stimulation. And it legitimately like if you put it on somebody, I put it on said, yeah, kind of feels like I have a cup. I just drink a cup of coffee, but I didn't, you know,
Alex Ferrari 31:23
So it's but it's actively is that are these are these biofeedback machines are they actually rewiring you? Or is it temporary only? In other words, if you do this, let's say, once a week, you know, for for a year, are you going to be able to get there yourself quicker, or you're going to be wired kind of like that differently? Because I know, as you know, when you meditate for a long time, you're rewiring your brain when you meditate, like there's no longer you meditate, the more we wiring of your brain, it becomes so you don't get as angry as quickly, you know, there's much more calm. So there's a rewiring. So is are these machines helping you do that on a biohacking kind of way?
Holly Copeland 32:05
You know, I can't give you a definitive answer on that. I'll give you an intuitive answer on that. You know, neuroplasticity, what we know is that the more you travel a path, the brain travels a path or develops a habit. You know, it's like I liken it to like a rut in the road, like your, you know, your wagon traveling down a dirt road. And if you keep traveling down that dirt road, now you have ruts in the wagon just kind of stays in there. And to me, that's that's the analogy I use for the way that neuroplasticity works and brain connections work, we keep doing something over and over again. And it becomes habit just like driving a car, right? At first, it's all difficult. And then you drive, you know, you learn how to shift and now you do it second nature. And so I would believe that those devices, you put them on enough and you have those connections made enough, then they're going to be established in the brain. And yes, it would be easier to get back there over and over again. But I can't give you a citation or something like that. But I've seen that that works. I'll bet people have looked at that though. But Intuitively
Alex Ferrari 33:14
Yeah, intuitively should work. Alright. Excuse I only had a few sessions about it. But I've also meditated for a long, long, long time. And I do meditate his practice. I've just noticed in my meditation practice. My life has changed so much over the last seven years that I've been meditating, you know, hour, two hours, three hours a day, sometimes. It doesn't. It does rewiring in your brain without without question.
Holly Copeland 33:40
Absolutely. Do you feel like the devices the electrical stimulation you did changed?
Alex Ferrari 33:47
No, there was only two sessions. It was it was more it was only a couple sessions. So I think that those if I would look, if I had that machine at home, I knew how to run it. I'd be on it every day. Like it was addictive. I was like, on and I was like, Man, this feels great. It's like you're, you're you're blissful. Again, the word is blissful. Not as blissful as I've gotten in my meditations, because I go deeper in my meditations than then the machine could take me. So I might be past that. As far as where that maybe there's another program. Maybe there's another level. I was maybe an introductory, I don't know. But it there's a different feeling. But it was just fascinating to me that all of a sudden, like she just hit a couple keystrokes. She's like, Okay, you're gonna get something happening. And now and you're just like, whoa, and you just kind of you just go it's not getting high, but it's like this blissful place that you just like, the relaxation, the calmness, everything just quiets down. There's nothing going on when you're when you're going through these when you're going through this bio, bio feedbacking process. So I was a friend of mine told me about I was like, Oh, sure, I'll give it a shot. Why not? And it really was It was really interesting. Again, I've been able to get to places in deeper meditations than I could in that machine. And I can get there more consistently now because of my practice. But it's like you said, training wheels, it's a good way to, if you are just coming off the street, and you've never worked out in a gym. It's like, it's like, let's put these on, before you hurt yourself.
Holly Copeland 35:24
Let's Yeah, let's supercharge you a little bit. Yeah, I do want to address just another aspect of this that I think is so important, because these tools, you know, do help focus the mind or quiet the mind. But ultimately, the path that I spoke about the Mahamudra and Dzogchen path, that breathwork that I teach, called Breath of love, is really trying to catalyze not just a blissful experience, you know, that you have on the meditation cushion, but is really trying to help upgrade your entire life so that this non dual awareness is actually your lived waking state. And to me, that's more than just learning to focus that that is way beyond just learning to focus your mind are a blissful state, that is actually surrendering into the flow of life that's here, this force that we spoke about earlier, and shifting into an understanding that is beyond conceptual, that is a lived experience, in the flow with all of life. Like that's actually where the true real life game changing transformation happens, where all of your life becomes a meditation, not just on the cushion.
Alex Ferrari 36:42
It's these are tools, and yogic, you know, yogic masters have been saying that for years, it is, these are tools to get you to the place you're just talking about. And that's why they walk around in this blissful state all the time, yet, they're not on a cushion all the time on rock, rock, because that's what they did back in the day when meditators were meditators. But, but it's true, these are all different tools, to quiet the mind and to get it again is to get back to what the truth is, of who you truly are, you are not this avatar, you are not this body, you are a spirit, a soul something that is a spiritual being having the physical experience. And, and this is such a thick, muddy, dense reality or simulation, depending how you look at it, that it's difficult to, to cut through all that kind of smoke and mud, if you will, to find the core of who you are and meditation. And these techniques that we're talking about even the biofeedback machines, they help you get there a little bit quicker to the point where once you understand once you get into the place where like a Yogananda went, or these Ascended Masters finally get leave it Oh, I got it now. I'm here now. Is that fair?
Holly Copeland 38:11
I think that's fair. And I want to say that I think the non dual pointings it's also fair to say that that's, I just want people to know it's also available to you right now. I mean, yes, you can, you know, I think Adi Ashanti said it some of the best I mean, have so many great teachers, but, you know, enlightenment is the end of resistance to what is and also right, yes, like, and for me, in my own life, I in the various you know, transitions, I hesitate to call them awakenings because just seems loaded. But when things started to shift for me, and I had this realization, one day I came into, I was out for a run, and I came in the door and there's like dog hair all over the floor. And you know, it's an ordinary Saturday morning, you know, and the house is kind of in disarray and whatever. And I stared at the dog hair. And it was like, all of a sudden, it dawned on me, that wasn't a problem, like the dog hair just was, and I didn't need to make a problem out of it. And I know that sounds like a really silly example. But in that moment, it was like something shifted, and I got it. And it was like, the moment our mind makes a problem out of what's here. That's where that's where the problem if you will starts, you know that our mind is the thing that says, No dog hair need to clean up problem, you know, thing to do, and it takes you out of this flow of life. And it's not like I stopped cleaning my house. But what I did stop doing was was constantly seeing every aspect of things My life as a problem to be solved, it simply is what it is. It's just dog hair. And it's just dirty dishes. And it's just a toilet to be clean or whatever, right? It's like the traffic is just the traffic, it doesn't care, like nothing here actually has any opinion about what you think about it, it really doesn't, you know, and it's only our mind that creates this friction, or resistance to any aspect of what's here. And to step in the flow is actually simply to recognize and allow whatever is here to just be as it is, like, just be with what's here, because by the time we're it's here, like we're aware of it, it's already here, you can't do anything about it. It's here already. So that fundamental, crucial shift that all the sages were really talking about was just to fall in alignment with what's here and stop resisting. And in the moment of that recognition that we stop resisting what's here, we can open to this potentiality of quantum field, which sky Isaac's Nelson talks about so beautifully, everything is a potential, and our attention, our awareness, is the tool that allows us to shape that infinite potential, all those little potentials that are here into our reality of what happens next.
Alex Ferrari 41:28
Isn't it? Is it an interesting that when you say the word resistance, it's in many ways, that is the ultimate purpose of life, is to release the resistance to surrender to what is and the great sages, the great spiritual masters have been saying that forever and ever and ever, in many different ways in many different flavors for many different parts of the world. And it is about the, our anger, when we get angry is because we're trying to control something that we can't control. Right, the dog here, I don't want the dog hear that you can't control that the dog ears on the floor are all over the place. Like you, you can get rid of the dog. And there's that's off the problem. But at the moment that you're angry is because I'm trying to control something that I can't control. And if you let that go, life becomes easier. And for those of those people listening who have children, God bless.
Holly Copeland 42:33
Yeah, and I have to you I had two young children. So I still
Alex Ferrari 42:36
I still do, and it's testing all the time. There's lots of resistance. I'm trying,
Holly Copeland 42:44
Oh my god, it's the greatest, you know, it's the greatest teaching tools of all time, you know, you want to be a parent.
Alex Ferrari 42:52
I always say this to people. I'm like, You know what, all these spiritual masters, none of them had kids. And then I one, I found one lahiri mahasaya, who actually had kids. years late. I was like, okay, he's my, he's my, he's my guru then. Because I need to know how he handled children. But right, but you know, Jesus didn't have any Well, maybe he did. I don't know. But maybe you're different. That's a different. That's a different conversation. You know, maybe it gives me we didn't I don't know. But generally speaking, the the common theme of of spiritual masters that didn't have kids. And there's a reason for that, because when it comes to this, we're like, Listen, if you want me to find enlightenment, I can't with like these kids. It's difficult.
Holly Copeland 43:39
Yeah, absolutely. But if we, if we simply stop the I don't like this conversation, you know, in our heads, and which is ending the resistance because, you know, awareness is actually okay with everything as it is, it's only the mind that is having an argument about what's here. And so, if you align with your awareness, if you align to the place that's within you, that isn't having an argument about what's here. You, you are basically aligning with the wholeness that you are. And in doing so you actually can harness the capacity then to do aligned action in the world, which is to step into, you know, wherever you want to serve. It's not like I think people think, well, if I give up my resistance, then the world's gonna go to hell in a handbasket. Nope, the world's actually already in hell in a handbasket. And what you need to do is find your wholeness, and then you'll find all the capacity and endless love and ability to be of service to the world that needs you. Like you don't come as an injured soldier. You come as you know, the superhero ready to help.
Alex Ferrari 44:57
Right and again, a lot of the things that you're talking about regards to, you know, things are as they are, if the milk spills, it's not good or bad, the milk is spilt. That's it, you might get angry about it, because you're trying to control it, you might get angry at the child who spilled it, because you've told her 100 times don't do that. You know, but at the end of the day, the thing is what it is. And we're the ones that put that, that that label on it, which is what I've said before, too, is, and I've heard many people say this, there is no good or bad, what is good for you, in your culture might be bad for me. And it's just the way we were raised the entry point that we came in. So it might be cultural, might be religious, might be family, that, you know, there's parts of the world that you can eat people. I don't want to do that not I don't think that's cool or kosher. But other places in the world. Their culture is like what's wrong? I don't understand. So there is good and bad is a really interesting point of view. And life is itself. But that's a whole other conversation. Yeah.
Holly Copeland 46:11
I'm so glad you brought that up. Because I wrestled with that a lot as somebody who has Jewish heritage and you know, really thought about Oh, my God, wait, how could it be that Hitler? You know, that's not bad? And how do we get beyond that? And I think Rumi said it, you know, so beautifully out beyond right doing and wrongdoing, there is a field, I will meet you there. You know, beautiful, right? Like it, we can look back. And, you know, for me, now I just look back and have compassion. And that's like the Dalai Lama is my example in this, you know, that no matter what he brings compassion. And I heard some, I heard a story that he told her Tibetan told about, you know, Tibetans that were captured by the Chinese, the Tibetan nuns, and monks who are captured by the Chinese who said their greatest fear was actually to lose compassion for their torturers. That was their greatest fear, that compassion is actually the most like, our own sense of compassion and love is the that's that's what we, that's like, what we are actually, if we've lost that, we've actually lost touch with our divine and our sacred, you know, our sacred center of who and what we really are. And so I think the mind can get really wrapped around the axle, with good and bad and, you know, evil and good, and can't make sense of it. Like, I spent a lot of time just not being able to make sense of what this perceived evil I mean, it's very easy, right to point to in the relative world, you know, I'm gonna say, you know, what, you know, raping women and children? That's, I mean, how could it be more evil than that? But it that relative level sense, I don't disagree, I actually think we can hold both ideas at the same time. And say that, that in the relative world is what we would call evil. And that's fine. Like, I'm not going to have an argument with that. But at the same time, we can hold the non dual understanding that ultimately, we are love, and everything is arising in service of love. And when we align with that, then we we see the world differently. We don't we don't get split into and lose touch with actually the love that we are.
Alex Ferrari 48:57
Can you talk a little bit about the illusionary self? I know you've talked about that before, can you explain what the illusionary self is?
Holly Copeland 49:03
I would describe the illusionary self is the confusion that the identified self, the the love Rupert spires analogy here of the movie and the screen. So the illusory self is thinking that we're the movie that's playing here, you know, and so he likes to say like, there's, you know, John Smith, the actor, and then there's the character King Lear that he's playing. And the illusory self is to see that we're only the actor King Lear. And we aren't. And there's no John Smith, we lose ourselves in the movie of character, right? And all the teachings and all the pointings from the sages are saying, you know, you aren't that illusory self. And, again, you can even recognize that right now. Because if everything disappeared, Alex and you and I were floating in space, you know, with, like, you know, Renu nothing about where we were like I woke up right now. And I knew nothing about my history or that I was on this podcast and your same thing like you have no. But you still know that you are, like, what's the one thing you would know? Right? You would say I am. Yep. And everything after that would be a description would be a story that you're making about the I Am, but the I Am, is actually the single truth when everything about our known perceived reality kind of is, is washed away. And, and so for me, the illusory self is to lose the knowing that you are, no matter what is happening in the external world, that you aren't a character you aren't any of that you are this pure. Love, you are the pure because that has no qualities to it, right? Except I would say just light love. Just beingness the light of being, if you will, if you want to just even love can sound like kind of loaded with just the light of being that we are is what we fundamentally are.
Alex Ferrari 51:15
It was I think it was Yogananda who said, most of us are focused on the movie. But what you need to do is turn around in the theater and look at the light that is projecting. MX I think that's where you need to be going towards is that light, not the movie itself. That's just, you know, it's just, you know, fun. It means nothing, it means nothing. It's just it's, you know, it's really,
Holly Copeland 51:44
Yeah, I think it's, you know, I mean, and I think to see the movie is like consciousness dancing, it's just reverse it play with itself, right? Like you and what actually, when you step into that understanding, there's a lightness to it, that that everything takes on. It's like, oh, this is just dancing light. That's all it is. You know, and
Alex Ferrari 52:11
I want to ask you this, this this question I really am interested in your thoughts on on. Why is it that we're taught from early ages, that we don't have the power to change ourselves? That this the salvation is always outside of us? That goes from the medical field to religion, to it to school, to like every institution in our lives? State that at least in the West state that outside is the answer. But in the east, it's inside is where the answers lie. Why is it like that in the West? The easy questions, again, again, meaning of life, meaning of life.
Holly Copeland 53:05
This feeling what, what how spirit wants to come through for me to answer this beautiful question that you asked. One that I've also asked myself for sure. The risk of there's no, there's no male bashing here. But I'm going to say that I think the patriarchal orientation of Western society has been one of the main things that has sent us down this road. That when, you know, maybe it starts at Nicaea I don't know, the beginning of, of kind of conventional Christianity. You know, Christianity is not the only one. That's patriarchal, right? So is Judaism. Right. But when we sort of allowed this split and that kind of looking outside to a God, Jesus or something outside of ourselves, we set up a kind of duality of a of a savior outside or a thing outside that would save us and you know, the Divine Feminine interestingly enough, is that is actually the surrender inward. And so we have a lot in the western society, our emphasis, at least up until, you know, has largely been on on the masculine action oriented outside world as opposed to the inner feminine soft surrender. And I think that orientation, which I gotta say, it feels like that's when it started in, you know, the negating of, of the ancient, you know, cultures that we're pointing towards, more towards future oriented in our and towards that Outre I feel like that's kind of where it got started. And we, you know, and that was that then sent us down, kind of conquest and, and this experience of, you know, it's a very action oriented masculine experience of the world. Interesting, right? That consciousness is playing that out. But I have to say, I mean, there must be consciousness wanted to see what happens when you go in the unbalanced direction of a lot of this sort of outward oriented focus.
Alex Ferrari 55:36
Well, I mean, if you go back even farther than then Christianity you even in Egyptian times, ancient Egyptian times did the same thing Gods outside and Mytho in Greece, you know, Gods outside of you are the answer, not inward only in the yogic texts in the Jainism Hinduism, deeper the Vedic the Vedic texts, they were always talking about inner and looking inward. And that's how you connect with source and things like that. But your I guess your I mean, I guess, right. It's a big question. I'm sorry.
Holly Copeland 56:12
It's a great question. And let me just say two, I mean, you have to say, like, we could have at various points, seen through that, right. I mean, oh, like, I feel like, you know, when Decart said, I think, therefore, I am, like, that has to be one of the greatest misstatements that's ever been said, like, anybody who's a meditator should know like, that is just not true. Because I can be, and there is no thinking going on. And I definitely am. You know, and so why, why was I Why was that held up as like? Why was he held up as some great, you know, philosopher to say that and why did everybody believe him? Why didn't they go? No.
Alex Ferrari 56:54
There was no other information. There was no other information. Like, again, the Eastern ideas hadn't come over yet. You know, even in a Yogananda came in the early 1900s, bringing meditation and yoga to the west. I mean, you know, those concepts weren't really they were kind of fizzled around, but it wasn't in the mainstream. We can go, this is a deep rabbit hole, we can keep going down. Let's, let's let's pull ourselves out here before we get before it's too late. Now, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests, what is the definition of living a good life?
Holly Copeland 57:29
That's a beautiful question. living a good life, to me is living life aligned and in flow with what's here. And in alignment with whatever your purpose or calling is, I think that, you know, it's playing out differently for every everyone that could be, you know, at some points in my life that's being a good mother or other points was in service to something else, but it's just at any moment, wherever you are, being in alignment with your highest truth. I guess that's what I would say.
Alex Ferrari 58:09
What is your definition of God?
Holly Copeland 58:13
All that is.
Alex Ferrari 58:15
And what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Holly Copeland 58:19
Alex Ferrari 58:21
And where can people find out more about you and the work that you're doing?
Holly Copeland 58:25
Heartmindalchemy.com Is my business and website and I have offerings, yeah, lots of offerings about coaching and classes and things like that.
Alex Ferrari 58:36
And do you have any parting words for our audience
Holly Copeland 58:38
Just live your, you know, to the best of your ability, I think, see through Maya see through the illusion that's here and come to the truth that you are not separate from anything and that you are fundamentally made of love. You are Loved. We're are all of it.
Alex Ferrari 59:05
Holly, thank you so much for coming on the show and thank you for the work that you're doing to help awaken the world. I appreciate you my dear.
Holly Copeland 59:12
Oh, thank you so much, Alex. I really appreciate you and the work that you are doing in the world.
Alex Ferrari 59:18
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