Tom Cronin is co-creator of The Portal movie and book, and is leading a global movement to inspire one billion people to meditate daily.
Tom discovered meditation in the early stages of his finance career, when the anxiety and chaos he was experiencing hit a crisis point. Meditation completely transformed his world, both personally and professionally.
Today Tom is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives, and his work in cultivating inner peace through meditation takes him around the world as a speaker, teacher and hosting meditation retreats.
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Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 063
Alex Ferrari 0:34
I'd like to welcome to the show Tom Cronin. How you doing, Tom?
Tom Cronin 2:21
I'm great. Thanks. Thanks for inviting me along today.
Alex Ferrari 2:24
Thank you so much for coming on the show. I found you online. How your website came in front of me, I'll never know. I don't remember. But I saw that there was a documentary that you made called the portal, which then of course, has a book as well. It's all about meditation. Meditation is is such a subject matter that I'm so passionate about, as well. So I reached out to you to come on the show to talk meditation and, and I'm looking forward to our conversation, my friend.
Tom Cronin 2:54
Yeah, likewise myself as well.
Alex Ferrari 2:55
So how did you start your spiritual journey in this, because I'm assuming you weren't meditating at five.
Tom Cronin 3:04
Now, I did have quite a sort of a connection to spirit and source, let's just call it back then God, I had a very Catholic upbringing. And as a as a Catholic, you know, we did the rosary all the time. We did grace we did. You know, penance and Lenten, you went to Confession and went to church every week. So it's a very Catholics or upbringing. But within that sort of structural framework of the church, I had a strong sense of connection and communion with with God, and I guess it was just some higher self or some source or something back then I kind of put into the Catholic sort of framework. But then in my 20s, I went completely off the rails and went into finance became a broker like Wolf of Wall Street, very much Fast and Furious, finance markets, trading room floors, which came with a lot of drugs, drinking, partying, and I kind of took a big detour then away from sort of spirit and source and that sort of connection. And I got a long way off track, I guess, from where I was going like, and that really just led to a lot of crisis, a lot of turmoil, a lot of, you know, discomfort, I got a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal tendencies, a lot of narcissism, selfishness, and really just being a long way from what's what's true, what's wisdom, what's love, and then, universally, you know, there's an intelligence I believe, that is always guiding us, like a sort of parental figure that sort of overseeing this sort of bunch of children and it has this incredible ability to sort of enforce some discipline at times if things aren't going according to plan. And so for me, you know, that's what came in was some severe sort of symptoms, signals science to sort of make some changes and I ignored them for a long time and things just got worse and worse to the point where I reached like a bait bifurcation point where we kind of really break down or break through. So for me, that was a very dark period of time in my life. But it was in that time that I came across meditation. It was actually what watching a documentary of all things about the property developer that was very successful here in Australia, but he was using meditation as a tool for his success. And I've never come across meditation. But when I saw this in the documentary, it was like this sort of epiphany. And I thought, wow, I really need this in my life. And so that was when I started to do a lot of research into meditation, spirituality and mindfulness. And it was like a turning point, it was like, okay, everything that I've been looking for, you know, in the drugs, or drinking, the partying, and all that was, was really to be found in this direction to go within to, instead of looking outside of ourselves. And so that was a big starting point for me.
Alex Ferrari 5:39
Isn't it funny how the universe works, that it will occasionally nudge you? And when you don't listen to the nudge, the sledgehammer comes out?
Tom Cronin 5:48
Absolutely. Yeah, I think humanity is getting a sledgehammer right now.
Alex Ferrari 5:51
Yeah, we're going to talk about that as well. I mean, I mean, just look, I've been saying this on the show for a while now that I feel like the entire planet is going through such a once in a, I think once in our in our existence as a humanity, going through so many different things as a collective, like, between political economic, the planet, war, the pandemic, the entire world's feeling many of those things all at the same time. That's not regional only. And I've never felt that I've never experienced that. Nor have I ever heard of a time where the entire planet was feeling multiple things at the same time, completely disrupting every norm, every system, everything that we've felt that is a bedrock in our society is starting to, you know, like, like the earth like weather. You know, you'd expect certain things and now it's all over the place. I call it the great shaking of the etch a sketch of the planet. We're just kind of like shaking things around a little bit. What I just love to hear your opinion on what's going on in this kind of, I feel that there is some sort of evolution going on, I feel that there is some sort of rising awareness of an awakening going on with this process. I mean, just what's going on with the Ukraine, how everybody just went against what's going on? Like, I've never seen that before. Like, ever. All the countries said no, and we're all like, I really hadn't seen that before. So I'd love to hear your opinion on that.
Tom Cronin 7:27
Yeah, look, I think we look at things on a macro perspective, we look at on a micro and macro. So on a micro perspective, my personal journey was this journey of going into a dark night of the soul being way off track from what I was actually here to actually do. Then given a shake up call, which was a bifurcation point where I baked break down that is I was literally having suicidal tendencies. I didn't want to go on or break through, and I start to realize what I'm here for, and become realized in that process, self realized, and the individual is representative of, you know, multiplied by millions and billions, that what the collective is and so the collective is actually on that same trajectory, where it's going into a dark night at a time of mayhem, Discord, discomfort, dis ease, with pharma normalized to being in this particular space, however, it's accelerating. And we've been in this space for 1000s of years, which is this in Sanskrit. It's called the Kali Yuga. It's an Age of Ignorance, you could being a long period of time and Kali being ignorance or darkness. And we've become so familiar with hospitals for people getting sick people going to war people beating each other up, people drinking, using drugs to get sort of distracted and disconnected, that we've just think that it's normal, but it's actually not it's just a very dark time for humanity. Now, what follows on from the Kali Yuga, is a period of time called Set Yuga, an age of enlightenment and wisdom. Now we know enlightenment exists. We know it's possible because monks for 1000s of years have been accessing that field. And what's happening now is we're on the cusp of what was very esoteric and restored and retained in very remote regions in ashrams and monasteries of the world in caves and hilltops is now starting to integrate into the household. It's we've got podcasts talking about it, you've got a book behind you called the wake, we've got masters whose messages are on Instagram now that are no longer embody. And so the ability to get that knowledge, the techniques, plant medicine, meditation, yoga, integrating into the houses of the world is the first time this has happened in 1000s, and 1000s, of years. And so now we're on this sort of interesting cusp of the breakdown or breakthrough, we move into a set you get the Age of Enlightenment, which can happen very quickly, as we see this proliferation of the knowledge and the techniques to get us into that state of awareness. For we break down we simply don't make it across that threshold and we're very close to that as well. Now, this has been contemporized with some wonderful language by of all people Daniel shmack, Ken Vogel, who is in our film and a few other people You can look this up on Wikipedia. If it is typing game B wiki, and game B is the new language around color you get into set you here. So there's game A, which is a finite win lose paradigm, but we're currently playing. And then game B is a win win paradigm. That's an infinite game. And the point of the game is to keep playing the game, we're in a sort of win lose paradigm here and game A, which is very unsustainable. And we actually don't have longevity in game a models, because the way it's structured, we have to look at a game B model, which is based upon sustainability, interaction harmony, and I guess, one that doesn't get functional upgrade and get created from an ego structure that's all about the eye.
Alex Ferrari 10:43
That's fantastic. There's a fantastic explanation of it. I've heard this similar concepts just spoke said it different ways, but the Age of Ignorance and the Age of Enlightenment, and we are going to go through a very difficult time we are going through a very difficult time. I you know, I don't think it's going to get we're not out of the woods yet. Let's just put it that way. I think it's going to we're going to get a little bit more pain a little bit more shake up. Because the old systems have to be brought down. I mean, the pandemic shook the entire planet. Now people are like, No, I don't want to go to work. I want to stick in traffic anymore. I want to work at home. I know what's important to me, my family is important to me my spending time with my kids or, or, you know, why am I spending, you know, four hours a day in a car to go work for eight hours is this life? That was the pandemic that shook a lot of those systems up. I don't know how it is in Australia, but here that we can't there's there's not enough workers. People don't want to work. You know, I walk into a restaurant, I'll see empty tables everywhere. And they're like, it's going to be a 45 minute wait, I'm like, What are you talking about the like, you just don't have the people people are not willing to do this anymore at the at the price that we were paying before the now. Rates are every everything is being shaken up right now. And it's a really interesting time to be alive. This is a very interesting time to be alive. And like I said before, I don't think it's gonna go away anytime soon. But I think we are getting, we are getting to that point. I think there's going to be a note, and that what was happening in the Ukraine, I mean, that's insanity. We're getting to that point of no return whether, like you said, you either break down or you break through.
Tom Cronin 12:25
And I think to give people hope, is that you know, we've we've done it, my wife and I've done quite a few renovations where we'll take an old home, and we'll we'll deconstruct it and then reconstruct it right now has to be broken down, has to be broken down. And so you know, when we're in the middle of the deconstruction, one could come in halfway through the renovation and go, What the heck have you guys done, this house was okay, there's no kitchen in here, there's no bathroom, you've ripped up the floorboards. It's like, just wait, it's it's that you got to look at the timeline, right? You got to look at the vision, look at that, here's the 3d architect vision we've got to this place is going to be phenomenal. The problem is, we don't have enough people looking at the vision of what the Enlightened planet looks like. And we don't have a blueprint for it. When I'm doing a renovation, I can see what the house is gonna look like. And the problem is at the moment, we don't have enough visionaries looking into the future. And because a politician is not going to do it, they got four years of this legal flavor get reverted. So they're just thinking about, you know, can the power industry stay keep me in power, right? So they're just all about boats. We don't really have long term visionaries, looking at what is the best outcome for humanity and the planet as a whole, to give us, you know, not only just longevity, but better, greater harmony between not just humans, but also humans and the planet itself. So, yeah, it's, we're not, we've got a long way to go. But the thing is that the pillars that hold up our society, that's the banking pillar, the financial pillar, the political pillar, the educational pillar, the pharmaceutical and medical pillar, in these pillars were built long time ago by people in particular states of consciousness. And so when the consciousness of the collective starts to change, their expectation of those pillars is going to change as well. So we're gonna see a lot of those pillars come crumbling down, that we're holding up the fabric of society, and people starting to rebuild pillars from the ground up. And that's why we've got crypto. It's why we got social media instead of magazines, radio, and TV. It's why we've got other platforms starting to merge a lot, a lot more people looking at alternatives to the education system, this education system is not stacking up for my child anymore. And so we're gonna see a lot of the fabric or the pillars of society, get challenged and question start to fragment and people wanting to as they evolve, having expectations on those pillars to evolve as well. And they're not doing that at the moment because they're very slow to move,
Alex Ferrari 14:50
Right! Even even food and even shows like this. I mean, I wouldn't need permission to have a show like this. In the olden days. We're now anybody with an idea which is good and bad, has the ability to broadcast their ideas out into the world. So that like, like I said, it's good and bad depending on the ideas and the concepts that you're putting out into the world. But that didn't exist 1010 1015 years ago, this did not exist in the way that we have it today. Podcasts and didn't exist YouTube was I was I was there when YouTube started I've one of the I was I have one of the oldest videos on YouTube, I was one of the first people to start uploading to YouTube in the filmmaking space. So I, I saw it, there was just nothing there. So this is all fairly new. We consider this all itself podcast has been offered like now it's only been around for, it's only been around for a second, not even a blink. Now how, you know how do you think meditation can affect the awakening and the consciousness of the planet and helping heal so much of the trauma and the anger and the division? This of what we're doing to ourselves? What do you think meditations? Well, part meditation has in that
Tom Cronin 16:10
It's a critical part, I think it'd be very hard to find someone who's enlightened, that didn't use some form of inquiry with an eye not an IE, to inquire within, to go within to go beyond the outer world beyond your separation beyond the ego structure. And to transcend that is to go into the field of unboundedness of formlessness. The state of being or presence. To transcend means to go beyond your physical, mental and emotional structure, and experience what's called in Sanskrit Toria. In your listeners can go to Wikipedia type in Turiya T URI, ya, it's the fourth state in Sanskrit means fourth. So that's the fourth step beyond physical, mental and emotional beyond your deep sleep, your dream state and your thinking state. To bring that into the world to mainstream that, to give people access to that, what happens when we transcend the ego, ego structure beyond our emotional body, we start to experience a profound state of a field of interconnectivity that's always there. It's like a field of intelligence, or creativity or potential rises out of that field. So what happens is it gives us greater capacity, and greater creative capacity, greater adaptive capacity and a sense of interconnectivity. It's like the wave becoming the ocean. The wave is the ocean. And you are and I am the field, it's just that we're so caught up in our own individualized thinking, feeling and physical state, we lose the sense of connectivity, and unboundedness of that oceanic experience. And so what we find when people start meditating is that they, they naturally, by default, become kinder, more caring, more conscious, more adaptive, less attached to the past, more creative about the future, the amount of benefits that come from this simple act of closing the eyes, finding a technique that takes us inward, is absolutely phenomenal, and blew me away. When I started to meditate. I was like, Why is the world not doing this, you know, went from being a completely stressed, overwhelmed, addicted broker, to someone that just not perfect and certainly not enlightened, but just certainly became a better person. And still, it is in the process of becoming a better person. And it's an ongoing process. But I think when we caught in our own program, and code that comes down through our genetics and our social upbringing, we get very trapped in a limited framework of thinking, and that keeps us very contained and confined. But when we transcend meditation, we liberate ourselves from that code, and we start to access something much more conscious than that. And that's where I think we start to build better systems become better people.
Alex Ferrari 18:49
Yeah, I think that so many times that meditation when I meditate, and I've been and as my listeners know, I've meditate two hours a day, try to do at least two hours a day, I find that it takes a while you start to the baggage, the the the jet, the heavy jacket that you're wearing, that every coat that you're wearing, which is material your material body starts to be, you start to take your hat off, and you start to really feel what's inside you and you're able to go to a place that you can't, if you're just walking around, it's harder to do so. And I think that's where people look for drugs, because drugs tend to get you into an altered state. And you in obviously, LSD, and psychedelics and things like that. I've taught I've talked to many doctors and neuroscientists who who done that kind of research where those drugs do take you to a place where meditation takes you, but it takes it to a very short place where it's a short trip, versus what meditation does, which is much longer lasting, deeper, all that kind of stuff. But I found that meditation just kind of takes all of that away and allows you to start to feel what's inside you and, and kits all that baggage off of you. Is that fair to say? We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Tom Cronin 20:18
I think some of the challenges with the some of the drug taking type experiences that we're looking for, which is really just again, addiction to accelerating and exacerbating the eye or the ego, right? And what meditation is really about is, are we ready to let go of every aspect of ourselves? Are we ready to be no body? No thing? And are we ready to be part of a unified field. And from that something really quite profound happens. And of course, we still have an individualized persona and identity like I do. But when we incorporate and stabilize within that, the waves to maintain this wave like structure, but to simultaneously experience the subtlety of reality, and its interconnectivity. And this is this non changing status within us, which is always there, it's just that we're very distracted from it, because it's so subtle, I think it's critical to have that because without that experience, we're really falling short of what it is to be truly human. And we're limiting our experience of what this experience of life is. And at the moment, we've got a lot of us really sort of trapped in this addiction to seeking pleasure to make the ego feel good. And this is again, it can even happen in spiritual circles as well, where we kind of get trapped in the seeking and the seeking and the seeking, which is also a little bit egoic as well,
Alex Ferrari 21:41
Well I mean, I could be much more spiritual than you, my ego tells me so. So obviously. So even even this, I'm the most spiritual, I am the most spiritual out of everybody. So that that's also ego speaking. Even in the spiritual space, I've met. I've met
Tom Cronin 21:56
Alex Ferrari 21:57
Shocking, I know. So I wanted to ask you, okay, so let's, let's go back to meditation, the basics of it going into the, you know, someone who has never meditated before? How do you suggest that they quiet the monkey brain? The thoughts that are flowing in, in and out, and that kind of even the negative talk, because I remember when I started meditating, the ego, the mind was telling you, this is stupid. This is not why are you wasting your time, you're not getting anywhere, go back to watch TV, go eat something, go do something else go whatever. But it was the ego trying to stop the progression of what is happening with meditation, which was where were you and I get to now by meditating as much as we have. So how do you quiet that mind and break through that kind of that first obstacle of meditation?
Tom Cronin 22:51
Yeah, in our world that we live in, where we have emails and Instagram and Tiktok, and meetings and podcasts, and reading books, and integrate integration into society, to just close our eyes and switch off the mind is a very, very challenging proposition, in a way we've demanded of the mind that it is very active, and it processes lots of information all day long. And so it's very good at sort of almost counterintuitive to sort of say to the mind, hey, I know I need you to be a real beast and just work like crazy all day long. But now what you do suddenly stop, the mind is like, what are you talking about this, I can't do that. I don't want to do that. And so it's very challenging just to sort of sit and try and empty the mind because the mind doesn't want to be empty. And also, you've filled it up with so much already, it's difficult to just suddenly clear it out. We need to understand the nature of the mind that its natural tendency is to see charm. And the most charming proposition for the mind is thinking and that's why it does it all day long. The minds very delighted that we have now iPhones because you can put in front of the mind feeds like Facebook, and Instagram and Tiktok. And I just devour that content all day long. And it's insatiable. And we'll never get bored of that. So what we want to do is find mechanisms or methods that enable us to take the mind deeper away from the outer world with some sense of charm or pleasure. For me personally, after doing a lot of research, I've found what worked for me, and this is all purely subjective, was techniques where there's a mantra or transcending mantra. So for me, transcendental meditation or Vedic meditation, or primordial sound technique, where there's a charming device that we repeat, over and over inside the mind that has this capacity to move, move and lower the mind away from the gross world, the world of form and phenomenon, into the subtle world, the world of silence and stillness, the mind won't naturally gravitate there. It won't have a tendency to go there. But the mind likes to do is go to a point, an object, a place or destination, future, past or present, that will activate some form of stimulation or excitation This is what the mind is doing. If we really want to sit down deeply and acknowledge, acknowledge this and identify this will say that the mind moves to a place from the moment you're awake to the moment you go to sleep all day long, there will trigger some form of activation, some form of stimulation in the body. And that's the feeling body. So we've got a thinking body and a feeling body. And these two work together, mind you go and find something to land on, that will activate something here, which is a sensation. And so what we want to do is we want to acknowledge that and then find a way to take the mind away from the outer world where it's looking for stimuli and go to the inner world where it's going for the excitation. And be, I guess, be aware of that process and relish that process of de excitation. Because once we start to realize and acknowledge that there's going to be the excitation because it's very unfamiliar for us, and it's not something we naturally gravitate towards. We watch Netflix, we listen to Spotify, we go through Instagram, only for the stimuli, the feeling sensation. And so to go into a place where we don't have that is kind of counterpose to what we naturally tend to do all day. So find techniques where we can learn to use that sound or mantra. But if we just suddenly close our eyes, and suddenly try to shut our mind out, there's going to be a lot of tension, a lot of friction, because you're going to try and force the mind to do something that simply won't want to do. And if there's conflict or tension, it's going to be uncomfortable. We don't like doing uncomfortable things in our world. And we tend to not sustain them. That's why people don't sustain a lot of meditation practices, because there's just not a lot of pleasure in it. And I found that some of the practices was so challenging, and so uncomfortable, that a lot of people would just drop them by the wayside. So finding a technique that will work for you that you find that you can integrate into your day, I would suggest minimum. I know you said two hours, a lot of people will probably get overwhelmed at that idea.
Alex Ferrari 26:51
Of course, by the way, I didn't just start it two hours it takes it takes time to build up right. Yeah, it took five minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, and then you slowly build up to that that space. But you were saying something really interesting. He's like, most people don't find any pleasure or, or benefit from it. But what I found is that, the longer I meditate, the more of that blissful energy, that contentment that you come out of it. I have now become addicted to that wonderful feeling sometimes that I'm in the meditation. And I'm aware that like I've been here probably a while longer than I than I originally planned. And I literally have conversations, my mind is going, I don't want to go. Like I don't want to leave. Why are you Why do you want to get up? So funny that same mind years ago said, What are you doing? This is ridiculous. So it's kind of like breaking through that place to finally get that feeling. It's that you get once you start to heavy meditations. I mean, I've never I think my record is three and a half hours. And I can't even imagine what it's like doing an eight or nine hour meditation like some of these monks to do daily. Like I don't even understand how that's even possible yet. But I can only imagine the the blissfulness that you must feel it's insane.
Tom Cronin 28:14
If we look at happiness or fulfillment, we can see that there's two sources of fulfillment where there's outcome oriented fulfillment, which is dependent upon circumstances or phenomenon to activate a response within us, that gives us some form of elevation, excuse me. And this outcome oriented fulfillment will be upon someone liking you on Tinder, someone, you know, the weather turning out, or you're getting a pay rise or your Bitcoin going up. The problem with outcome oriented fulfillment, it's very unsustainable, the outcomes are fleeting. And even if they do occur, they don't last quite often, like we get a new item of clothing. The new item of clothing that activates fulfillment will wear off quite quickly because that new item of clothing won't be new in a couple of days time. So the other source of fulfillment is self referred fulfillment. And that's something that is an innate state. And this is what you're talking about. So bliss, love and joy aren't emotions that are triggered through former phenomenon. Love, bliss and joy are innate. They're in within all of us. And we aren't really able to identify them as much because we're very distracted by gross forms of phenomenon. And so when there's constant chasing for an external experience, however, when we get across the threshold and we do sustain and develop a meditation practice, we start to tap into this geyser, this upflow of something within us like striking oil, and it starts to percolate out of us from within rather than coming in from the outside. Sublime bliss. Love and joy are such innate experiences that when monk start to really stabilize that experience, as you say, there's such pleasure and such delight and such charm in that state. It's almost like what there's so much fulfillment for them. The idea of going into action to get fulfillment, it seems so inconsequential. And it doesn't mean that we stop being in the world and stop acting the word, it's just that we put the horse before the car. Now, we don't go into action to find fulfillment, we go into action to express and share fulfillment. And so now action becomes motivated from a very different base, not from lack, but from overflow.
Alex Ferrari 30:24
What I find fascinating is that throughout my life, anytime I've searched for enjoyment outside of myself, a movie, a relationship, food, a travel, whatever that is, it's, it could be very intense for a short amount of time. But then it fades. It always fades. Anytime you find you looking for that kind of that the pleasure outside of yourself. You find it and that's why people overeat. That's why people have sex addicts, or drug addicts, or you can find it, but it's superficial. Whereas what I've discovered within my meditation practice, is something that's endless. It is bountiful. And it's sustainable. And it's so easy to it's also easy to tap into it now, where even after I'm even after I'm gone, like I'm not like right now I'm currently not meditating. But I still feel the bliss. And the contentment and the the joy almost within me, because I meditated probably around 3040 minutes ago, and it and I got out of it. So what I still feel it and it's just something that's you could just tap into whenever you want. And the longer you do it, the deeper it goes, the more that oil and I love the oil drilling for oil analogy, because those first 30 feet, nothing. First 40 feet, nothing. And you could you could stop inches away from oil popping out. And a lot of people do, but you don't know how far you have to go to find your Geyser of bliss inside of me. And I I use the word bliss because people like what do you feel I'm like, It's not happiness. It's not even joy. It's bliss is the only word I could actually use the has some and it doesn't really explain it all. But there is there's there's a contentment, there's a knowing a connection of a deeper, a deeper, something deeper with inside of us. And after I was able to tap into that my whole life has changed so dramatically that I've become calmer, kinder, nicer. I don't I don't hold on to anger anymore. I've let go of things in the past, I don't worry about the future. I can't Oh, look, we all have bills to pay. You know, we all have those kinds of worries. But I don't sit there worrying about the future, which is my imagination about something that I have no control over. I tried to stay as present. And that's another thing that meditation does, it keeps you in the moment as well do you find that as well?
Tom Cronin 33:09
Look, I find meditation and what you're just talking about there. So meditation is a tool, that the state is what we're looking to sustain and that state of bliss that you're talking about. There's a beautiful quote from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who says no one needs to suffer in life, there's an ocean of bliss within everyone. And it's just that we don't know how to look for it, we don't know how to find it, we don't know where it is most of the time. But when we do find it, when we do tap into it, it's just like you say it stabilizes, and it's there inside meditation and outside meditation. And so one of the great, I think, the great, greatest thing we can do to relieve ourselves of the trauma of generations of, you know, all sorts of mayhem and pain and suffering is to really bring us into that state. Because when we're in the state of bliss, and love, which is innate, then all of that just melts away. No, we don't need to do the years and years of therapy to try and overcome some experience because that experience doesn't exist anymore. There is a purification requirement of the body, the physical form does require, you know, drinking lots of water to hydrate and doing your stretching and doing some physical things to cleanse the body of toxic sort of energies that can get trapped in the physical form. So I got to acknowledge the physical apparatus does hold on to some column in Sanskrit samskaras. So there is a purification on a physical level that does need to be done with the practices of meditation to clear some of these lower frequency energies. But when we're meditating, a lot of that will start to take place anyway. And you'll find that the early stages of meditation can be a little bit uncomfortable, particularly when we do our retreats and there's a lot of breath work, yoga and meditation to help facilitate the cleansing of the physical form and so we see a lot of energies coming out of the body, emotional clearing, this all done in a safe space letting them know that this is not got negative energy going into your system, this is negative energy, like when we're renovating the house, we're going to take the old kitchen out, we're going to take the old carpets out, there's a purification of the old and irrelevant that leads to sort of exit from the body. So some people can get that as their vessel starts to cleanse some of the lower lower frequencies out of the system.
Alex Ferrari 35:19
Now, can you talk about the science behind meditation because meditation is one of the most studied things in medicine and science, the benefits of it over the last 50 years or so mean, there's 1000s and 1000s of peer reviewed studies about what it does. And I could just give you an anon peer reviewed study of just me going to the doctor and getting bloodwork. And my nutrition is looking at me going, you meditate, don't you? This is like because there's no reason a man of your age should have this level, it should be much higher. So you must be meditating to get that whatever that market was down. And I'm like, Well, yes, I do meditate. So there is there is some physiology, aspects of the benefits, the physical benefits to meditation, as well as blood pressure, and all these kind of things. But I'd love to hear your point of view.
Tom Cronin 36:12
Here, we will look at it through the lens of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous system. So the body has these two systems to continuously switch in and out and oscillate between based upon what's required at that particular point in time. So if we've got a marauding tribal saboteur, tiger, that's sympathetic nervous system, which is as for stress response gets activated immediately. And what happens then on a physical, mental and emotional level is an incredible change in the body to protect you from danger, your body's primary response here is to keep you alive. And so physiologically, your, you know, your blood pressure changes, your blood sugar levels, change your breathing changes, you get a coagulation in the blood, because if you get bitten or stabbed, we don't want your blood gushing out. So it starts to thicken up. Why are we getting liver heart disease, your digestive system such shuts down because it's not time for eating. That's why when we're stressed, we have a dry mouth, we're not producing saliva, to break down the food, which is why we're getting leaky gut and irritable bowel and guts problems. Diabetes, because we're getting these blood sugar levels changing when we're not actually running from saber toothed tigers, we're sitting in a chair playing fortnight. And so we get all these physiological symptoms happening. When we're in a do or die sort of situation. That's physiological, then on a mental level, what happens is your brain functionality starts to change dramatically. So we have the frontal lobe of the brain. And the real lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is this big forehead that we've got, which is the CEO, it's sort of the boss of the brain. And we develop this as Homo sapiens, which is the wise ones, there was five homo species, and we were the Sapiens, which means the wise one, we developed his forehead, which gives us greater intuitive and wise sort of capabilities, adaptive capabilities. But when we're in a stress state, we default back to the primal part of the brain, reptilian brain, we have very limited functionality in the frontal lobe of the brain. And our brain gets very impaired because we're only going to do one thing here, not to market some new business model or not to come up with a design for an app or not to come up with a film script, but to actually just stay alive. So it's like fight like crazy or run like crazy. So we get very limited brain capabilities when we're in a stress response. And then finally,
Alex Ferrari 38:28
But just just out of curiosity, because there's been so much, you know, you see so much violence and people attacking other people for like, the stupidest things on the street or things like that, is that the ego being offended? And then that flight fight or flight response gets triggered? Because of the ego being like, How dare you cut me off in traffic? How dare you look at me the wrong way? And that's triggering that where that response is? Because I mean, you and I seem to be of the same of similar vintage growing up. I don't remember seeing so much of that. Growing up, maybe it's because we didn't I mean, the internet sees everything now. But still, there wasn't as much of that kind of stuff going on. Now. Do you do think that that's exactly what's happening when when, when all this stuff is happening in it, someone cuts you off and people react so irrationally?
Tom Cronin 39:23
We have too many people in sympathetic nervous system. That's the problem. We have a world now, because of the fast pace and the amount of information flow and the amount of busyness that we have in our lives. We've gone out of what was very much a long term sustained parasympathetic nervous system state, and people have bumped into sustained sympathetic nervous system state which are very, very unhealthy state to stay in. And so the guy that sort of loses the plot because someone pulled into his lane and he gets out at the traffic light starts beating up his window, is because he was already in the stress response. He can't see things clearly. He's purely in a very survival state mode, which is fight or flee. And so the smallest thing can trigger him more than anything is that what happens on our biochemical level when when the sympathetic now because our body's trying to protect us. The last thing we want to do when we're running from a saber toothed Tiger is fall asleep, so it shuts down melatonin. It doesn't want you to be happy, it shuts down serotonin. It certainly doesn't want you to feel compassionate love if you've got to go into battle with a bunch of soldiers. So it doesn't give you the oxytocin, the biochemical for love, compassion, empathy, and connection. So we don't have oxytocin, we don't have serotonin. We don't have melatonin in our system. We have cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine. That's all good. We're on a battlefield. It's not good when were coming home from work. And we're about to go into our family. And the smallest little thing like little Johnny not doing his homework can trigger someone over the edge, what we want to do is get people into the parasympathetic, because when we're in the parasympathetic, and the fastest way to get them think of peace for peace response, is through meditation. I run meditations in large organizations, Amazon, Coca Cola cuantas, I'll be in an auditorium with 500 people, I'll put them into a meditation experience within five minutes, and all the heads are nodding down like this falling asleep. And that's because their body's very quickly shutting down the cortisol and adrenaline. It's saying, Wow, you don't have any problems here because you're not even thinking you're safe. And so immediately, the body starts to correct all the anomalies in the imbalances, produces melatonin identifies fatigue, and the system produces oxytocin, and serotonin. So just so we can get to the science of what you're talking about before with bliss. I was quite addicted to ecstasy, just to be pretty upfront about it. And ecstasy really is a cool name for MDMA. And what MDMA is, it's a mechanism that can trigger large amounts of serotonin and oxytocin to move into the body. So when we have so serotonin and oxytocin moving into the body, we have a sensation called bullets. It's an ecstasy, that really is a biochemical that we always have the capacity to produce. It's just that very rarely do we have a mechanism that will produce it. The MDMA will trigger that flood. But the problem is it floods too much. And then we kind of get left depleted. Now the beautiful thing with meditation, this blew me away, when I discovered it was like, wow, it regulates a sufficient and sustainable production on a regular basis of the oxytocin and melatonin. But more importantly, what it does simultaneously producing oxytocin and serotonin is that removes the cortisol and adrenaline. So the problem is, when we were up all night in some rave, and we're taking some MDMA, the stress chemicals are going to be there. As soon as that wears off, because we're so exhausted, our nervous system is so shattered, we've had so little sleep with eating poor food. And then we're back to defaulting into the stress response, which means we don't have any oxytocin and serotonin, because your body won't let you do that in stress response. So then we have to go back to getting more pills, try and get into the oxytocin serotonin state. And so this is where addictions start to happen.
Alex Ferrari 43:19
That's fascinating, because you're absolutely right, when you when you come out of a meditation, a deep meditation, and you are in that, I call it like a haze, like, it takes me five minutes or 10 minutes to come down from the high. Like, I'm almost, I can't even speak sometimes it's hard for me to even get my mind to focus. It's the opposite of fight or flight. It's composed the complete other end where if a saber toothed Tiger attacked, they would have a few seconds before my system would kick. I would be completely I'm just like, what is like it's, it's, it's fascinating to feel that way. And I don't I personally don't drink. I've never done drugs. So I don't know what that feels like. I've had a drink, like a sip of something here and there, but nothing that ever impaired me. So I can only assume that people use those devices to do a lot of the things that you're just talking about that meditation does naturally Correct.
Tom Cronin 44:27
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And this is what we will do. And this is why it's early stages for humanity, because it's very early for us to be introduced to these techniques in the households of the world. You know, like I said, they were in ashrams and monasteries for 10,000 years, and they didn't have that capacity to come into the integrated life that we're living right now. So this is a very new phenomenon, where literally 10 years old people living there today lives on mass. You know, there was a few sort of early adopters in the sort of 60s 70s 80s and 90s. But really, since the internet's X loaded, a lot of these programs gone digital, we're seeing plant medicines as well as emerging into a mainstream way. So we know that these states are possible, we're just trying to shortcut and find accessibility to them. We're going to make sure we do it with some degree of integrity and not find that there's just another addiction happening. But that can be a trap for humanity. But I know some friends that are developing more accessible plant medicine type experiences. Obviously, meditation, going into apps and online programs is another way of making it accessible. But yeah, this is a this is something if we can get the masses into this state that's inherent within us. I think we'll say a profoundly different world.
Alex Ferrari 45:39
And it's so interesting, because the the the blissful feeling that we're talking about that kind of high that we have, you're absolutely right, it is self regulating it, it's not like you're being flooded. Like if you take ecstasy flooded with a certain drug, a certain chemical in your mind, to make you feel that way. It just knows us there. It's like it's perfectly built with these techniques with meditation to be able to get to these places. And I'm assuming you've been How long have you been meditating now?
Tom Cronin 46:16
26 years now.
Alex Ferrari 46:17
So just starting. So 26 years, you've been meditating? I imagine, as you go deeper and deeper and deeper into it, you could get to it much quicker. It takes me probably 10, five to 10 minutes. Sometimes it depends on my where my court where my adrenaline is at the day and how stressed I am that that day, but I'm able to get to it pretty quickly. And I maintain it. I know meditators who can get there in a few seconds, they just close your eyes, take a deep breath and dive deep in. So I agree with you 100%, that I feel that if I if everyone felt the way I am you do after a meditation, there'd be no war, there would be no famine, there would be no, there would mean all the problems of the world in many ways would go away, because people would feel so differently about life. And so more connected with each other. Do you find that that after you started meditating, did you feel that you, you were just you felt that you've tapped into something that is at a higher state of awareness, a higher state of consciousness, and you just start looking at people differently, you start looking at them more empathetically, you start looking at them more kindly than you did before.
Tom Cronin 47:40
Okay, definitely becomes experiential. And this is one of the things that we emphasize is that the practice, the Siddhanta, of sitting in meditation is so critical because to intellectualize these states is almost impossible, you can't think your way to that state, right? It's got to be an experience. And when we start to have the experience, it has to integrate into our daily experience of life, where there's a subtle interconnectivity, I used to be petrified of spiders. And as soon as I saw one, I just pull out a shoe and swallow swallow it, you know, because that would make me feel better. If the thing that was the thing that makes me afraid, is no longer there. This tends to be how we are that if that religion wasn't there, and I want that every person in that religion, then maybe I will feel better, because they're a threat to my religion. Yeah, that's right, that that group of people or that football team fan base, or whatever it is, that's opposed to my individual ideology, or viewpoint or experience, if I can eradicate that, then my life gets better. But interesting, with my spider situation, you know, I, over time I got, I got quite surprised when I'd see a spider, instead of my first reaction, I've done a swat it was like a little fella. And I go and get a lunchbox and put the lid on it with the spider in it and take it out to the bush and put it down. And it became not that I'm this sort of holy person, it's just that I found I was more connected. And I found it really hard to stop killing things, because I saw them as a threat or that will make my life better or, and so it just became a lot more of a compassionate experience in life as a whole. And that's because experientially, at a subtle level, you do actually experience a very subtle interconnectivity with things. It's like falling in love with trees. Sometimes I'm like, Oh, this is really crazy. But I just really feel this incredible sense of connection with that tree. It's so beautiful. And you start to connect with things at a much subtler level and a lot more love.
Alex Ferrari 49:38
Do you do you find that there's a lot of misconceptions? Are there any misconceptions you could tell us that people have about meditation?
Tom Cronin 49:46
Yeah, there's plenty. There's so many firstly, you know, a lot of schools won't allow meditation because they see it's a threat to their religious code. And so they've got a lot of kids in it who are very stressed and not functioning very well. And meditation plays such an integral role. It's really just a science really, that's where like to sort of break down the stigma around it. It might have been embraced by some particular religions, but itself is a scientific process that gives someone full potential of the individual. And so firstly, that meditation doesn't necessarily belong to a religion, or sort of some spiritual sort of group of people. It's really just a science. Secondly, that there's this big misnomer that meditation should be an experience where there's no thought, particularly with Transcendental Meditation, one of the things we emphasize is that there will be thoughts appearing in the process of meditation. And they are part of the process of meditation, it's part of the stress releasing and the clearing of the body of these anomalies. And that activates, at times a thought process. And so we see thoughts in meditation really, as part of the process of clearing, and we don't judge them or condemn them, we actually acknowledge them and almost embrace them, and then return back to the meditation allow that process to continue to unravel. Just as when we're renovating a house, there's going to be a lot of movement, a lot of noise, a lot of activity, then the same thing happens in meditation. When we renovate the body in the meditation, there can be some reorganization that's fairly busy, and sometimes even a little bit disturbing. And that's
Alex Ferrari 51:26
Because because you don't know what's behind those walls, you start knocking those walls down, you find a hornet's nest, you can find rats, you can find roaches you can find, oh God, termites. So there's a whole lot of things. When you start rattling things around. You're right, those thoughts start coming in those, the brain will start to try to, in its own way, try to protect you because it doesn't want to go to the dark places. It doesn't want to go to the places that feel pain or hurt. It's just doing its job protecting you.
Tom Cronin 51:53
Absolutely. Yeah, it's a great way to put it now like that analogy. If you know what's behind the render here, what's behind the floorboards.
Alex Ferrari 52:01
You're gonna shake some stuff, you're gonna listen, if you didn't move that wall, the rats would have stayed alone. But the second you open up that drywall, oh my god, there's they're there everywhere
Tom Cronin 52:13
Yeah, some of the things we find that, you know, I've gone through so many challenging process in meditation, I remember my first retreat, I thought I was gonna be the Zen monk, and it's gonna be awesome. It was the most uncomfortable experience, I was having all sorts of clearings and re releasing. And I just felt it was it was not pretty. And I and I say to people, you know, my retreats, we knock them out. And so it's a real powerful shift that people go through and we get, you know, phenomenal 10 out of 10 rankings, we always ask for people to sort of get responses about the retreat, but it's not a walk in the park and I say to people, you know, if I tell you what you're gonna go through, you wouldn't sign up. But now you've gone through it. You're delighted as in full of joy, but that's because it's an uncomfortable process at times meditating or retreats.
Alex Ferrari 52:58
Let me ask you, how do you think meditation can help in traumas because there's so much trauma in the world? Childhood dramas, you know, accidents, emotional traumas, physical traumas, traumas, depression, anxiety. What place does meditation have in those healing of those traumas, deep, deep seated traumas, traumas that even medication is not a candidate can't deal with it, because it doesn't go to the core of the problem.
Tom Cronin 53:29
Number seven medication is really just a masking agent. Look, I get the people I just want to preface this that I get people use it. And that's, that's relevant and certainly not to discredit it or get someone to stop taking the medication if they're on it. To work with a doctor. It plays a role like a putting a cast around a leg, you know, it stabilizes the like, while there's a healing process. But we do want the healing process to take place and it's the cast has to come off eventually, to let that healing process continue as well. So firstly, on two levels, meditation plays it an incredible role in PTSD and trauma. Firstly, when we when we meditate, and we come into this state beyond thinking and the mind is in the future in the past, but when we meditate, we come into a present moment. Now in that present moment, there is no trauma in our present moment. There is no past experience in that present moment. There is no association with something that happened back in some historical event. There's just now and in that now moment beyond the thinking mind is this incredible, blissful state. So firstly, we want to stabilize this essence within us and start to give people a sense of their true nature, the true quality, don't let them be defined by our past experience. Some people make that past experience, very much their story and their life and it can actually ripple through their life for many, many decades and cause absolute havoc in so many different areas. And when What's happening is that they're so disconnected from what's inherently deep within them. And that's that inner silence in a being in a joy in a bliss. So firstly stabilize that essence within them, regardless of the background experience or the previous experiences, then there's still there is still some energies can be trapped in the body that were connected to that past experience of God acknowledged that it's very physiological at times. And so what meditation does, which is really interesting is that certainly the deeper meditations, where we get the body into a deep physiological rest, there's an incredible intelligence within the body, to start to identify these anomalies, these energies that are trapped in the body. And there can be some unraveling and this disentangling of that energy. And it happens on two levels. One is that there's an intelligence to actually purify and normalize and optimize the body. And that's not an intellectual intelligence. It's a cellular intelligence, we need to put the body into a particular state, which is deep rest, that allows that process to unravel. The second thing that happens is as the frequency of the body changes, and it gets into a higher frequency, that's a higher vibrational state of bliss and joy and love are very high vibrational states over 500 Hertz. Whereas the trauma is around shame, guilt, fear, anger, rage, and the very low frequencies 20 to 50 hertz. So as the body rate moves up into higher frequencies through meditation, the vessel becomes a higher frequency vessel and starts to purify lower frequencies and no longer can coexist in that in that vessel. As I tried to get am radio on FM, you can't get it because the frequency is too high. It can't reach that frequency. And so we're purifying the vessel. And it comes along with other things like what we're eating, what we're reading the people we're hanging around the places we're going to purifying on every level, we start to see a lot of those lower frequencies naturally start to expel themselves out of the vessel and they just don't exist in there anymore. After time, the expelling process can be a bit uncomfortable and does need some guidance and support. It's
Alex Ferrari 57:06
I've said this story in the show before but I love telling the story about Yogananda. Paramahansa Yogananda, who had a disciple come up to him is like, Paramahansa, I can't, I love to drink. I love to smoke, I love to, you know, have sex with women. I don't know if I can go down this road with you. And he's and Paramahansa. Just ask them. Do you? Do you like to smoke? He goes, yes. You may continue. Do you like to drink? Yes, you may continue. Do do you like to do drugs? He goes, yes. You may continue. Do you like to have promiscuous sex with women? He goes, Yes, he goes, You may continue, he goes, but if you keep with my teachings, I cannot guarantee that you will want to keep doing those things. As exactly what you're saying is at a certain point, you start realizing that certain things don't mean what they meant to you before and you start cleansing yourself of ideas of feelings of materialism, in general. Like, you know, my kids keep coming in, like, Would you want for Christmas and I add on underwear? Like, so. Like, I'm like, I don't want I'm good. Like, I'm, I'm good. I don't need. I don't need anything new. You know, it's just fascinating. But you're absolutely right. As you go deeper and deeper into meditation practice, certain things just start to, to wear away, and especially feelings, where there was anger and bitterness and bitterness before. That kind of starts to wash away. Slowly. It's not overnight, it takes time. But the deeper you go into it, the more and I love that. I love that explanation you gave because it's so, so true. I never really articulated it within myself. But as I've noticed my own changing in the way I deal with people in life. i Everything goes back to my meditation practice, it's just like that vibration. And I wanted to ask you the hertz that you're talking about? How is how do you measure that? Can you measure that?
Tom Cronin 59:09
It's pretty good question. I'm not sure exactly. I mean, hertz is a measurable frequency that you can measure the Hertz of things IGRT Zed, and they have these quantifiable, measurable frequencies of vibrations. And so that's if you look at the FM da, you'll see let's say one Oh, 1.6 you'll see an H Zed at the end of it. Right? And that's, that's a Hertz. It's a frequency. And so they are measurable. I'm sure that there's a way of measuring it within humans using particular devices. And they can measure what's called your tone scale or your your sort of vibration airy scale. And, you know, we one of the things that really inspired the film and the book The Portal was, I'd seen a few documentaries about the crisis that the planet was going about to go through to climate crisis and all that other crises, and one thing I started to realize was that they were all being stemmed from the same thing, which is 7 billion people with an insatiable appetite to try and find fulfillment, fulfillment through experiences and acquisitions.If I can continue, if you go to a supermarket 90% of that supermarket is purely in the seeking of pleasure, not for nutritional value. And the supermarket the shopping malls, and people walking around filling their cars up with things is the discontent of an ego that is continuously insatiably looking for more to get happy and fulfilled. And there's a beautiful Sanskrit word called santosha, which means inner contentment, or bliss, or peace. And what we don't have a lot of is Sentosa in the world, which means that we have to go and acquire more and work harder, so we can acquire more to try and get fulfillment. And because we're working so hard to try and get fulfilment, from the acquisition of experiences and things, we get so exhausted and worn out, that we need to work harder and get more things. And this is vicious cycle, which keeps the world and this consumption model that is literally going to see the end of us if we're not careful.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:28
And we're well and ask you a couple questions, I ask all of my guests. What is your mission in this life?
Tom Cronin 1:01:41
I guess there's two missions, one is an internal one, which is to, to realize the fullness of my being, I still have my ego. And I still notice there's plenty more left in the journey for me to be free of those trappings. So there's, there's that individual journey and mission to be as awake as possible. And then there's the sharing of that. So my mission now is how do I how do I let as many people in the world know about what's possible, what's been ignored, and to help us to self realize to realize the nature of the self through for me, what I find is one of the most effective tools, meditation, there's others as well, of course, we've got chi Kong and yoga and plant medicine, so not to dismiss all of those, I recognize and respect all the different modalities that gets us to the ultimate experience of source and being a presence. Now for me, the one that I used and felt connected with is meditation. So try and get meditation into the households of the world.
Alex Ferrari 1:02:43
And what is the ultimate purpose of this life?
Tom Cronin 1:02:49
It's to to realize, to to be aware that we're not the body, we're not the mind. We're not the emotions, the vehicles vessels that we have been granted to us in the process of realization. And everything along the way, is fun. It's the tourist route, where we get to have families and go to the shopping mall and have holidays in Florida, or wherever we go and do all the fun things along the way and do the tourist scenic route. But ultimately, it's Tu, Tu, Tu, Tu realize, to transcend ignorance and to be aware of what our true nature is?
Alex Ferrari 1:03:24
And where can people find out more about you the work that you're doing, watch the movie, read the book and so on.
Tom Cronin 1:03:31
And I can go to my website, tomcronin.com, or Instagram is Tom Cronin as well, just one word, and then the film that can find on the website, but they can also find the entire thing at entertheportal.com, entertheportal.com.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:48
Tom, I appreciate you coming on the show my friend. It has been a joy talking to you and I could go deeper and deeper and deeper into this conversation about meditation. We'll have you back one one day soon to continue this conversation. But I appreciate all the work the work you're doing for the world. My friend, thank you so much.
Tom Cronin 1:04:04
Thanks for inviting along with said Great way to start the day having inspiring conversations like this. So thank you.
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