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True knowledge, true wisdom, true enlightenment is to see every living being with equal vision, the purpose is to connect with God's love and to be an instrument of God's compassion. How could there be hatred in the name of a loving God? Sarva local from the Geita says everything that exists is coming from the source of all love. We call Krishna or God, so all of creation is God's property. How can we misuse, exploit or pollute sacred property, the very environment that we are all completely dependent on the idea of Mother Earth.


It's a reality. Just like an infant baby is completely dependent on mother for survival. Whoever we are in this world, we're completely dependent on Mother Earth for air, for food, for water, for everything. Our bodies are composed of her elements. So to be compassionate to other beings, to be respectful to God is inseparable from being an environmentalist. We can't separate them. It's hypocrisy to separate them because they're all interconnected and all living beings are interconnected.


And to understand this interconnectivity of creation, unless we change ourselves, how much can we really change the world? That's rosiness, Swami. And this is the ritual podcast. The Rich Roll podcast readings, all you spiritual beings inhabiting material bodies that wander this rotating or as it hurls itself across the multiverse. This is your host rich role. And today we ascend the ethereal with the luminous Rodney Swami, born Richard Slaven to a middle class family in Chicago.


His Holiness, and this is a holy being, is a true proper monk. He's a prominent philanthropist. He's a New York Times best selling author and environmentalist. And today he is here to talk about his journey to talk about compassion, love, empathy, and to impart a broader perspective beyond the three dimensional constrictions of this mortal coil and to help us embrace dimensions beyond.


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That's the Vytas and the organics dotcom rich role for a limited time offer of 30 percent off an entire order of organic superfoods. OK. Earth to Swami. This is a fascinating story.


This guy, Richard Slavin, was somebody who, amidst the strife and upheaval of the 60s, slowly began to find himself disillusioned with the mandates and the restrictions of our Western civilized way of life.


So in his late teens, he ends up leaving Chicago in basically in search of greater meaning. He hitchhikes across the world and ultimately ends up in India, where he meets his spiritual teacher and then undergoes this transformation into the mystic that he is today, the founder of Spiritual Communities of schools and relief programs across the world, including an eco friendly farm and even this food distribution program that feeds more than 300000 children in India every single day. Along the way, he has penned New York Times best selling books like his memoir The Journey Home.


He's spoken at many institutions like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford. He's spoken at corporations like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Oracle. He's met with many a luminary and a world leader, including Barack Obama, which we touch on for a few minutes near the end of today's conversation. In any event, he's here today to share his story.


And part of my desire to have this conversation was fueled by this dismay that I have at our cultural divide and this desire to explore various means to heal the existential tension that is tearing us apart.


So we spent quite a bit of time examining what he calls the light, how to embody space within ourselves that brims with compassion and love and empathy, and why this is more important now than ever. I understand that some of you may recoil when it comes to topics spiritual, but this is not about religion. It's not about dogma. So I encourage you to look past the road to set aside any preconceived opinions you may harbor, to open your heart to crack and just be present to receive.


With this being this evolved human has to share. And if you do that, I really think you'll find this conversation powerful, leaving you much as it did me feeling nourished, more hopeful and more positive about our global predicament.


Whether you consider yourself spiritual or not, Rodney Swami's message is packed with timeless wisdom to foster a healthier, more positive and more pleasant world view. Quick note. Given the pandemic, this one was relegated to zoom, but I hope to cross paths with this shining being in the physical realm at some point in the not too distant future. And as a final note, typically I would be publishing a roll on episode today. But Good Fortune prevented my biweekly confab with Adam Skolnick from taking place due to the birth of his son, Zouma James Kallu Skolnick, which I think just might be the most epic baby name of all time.


Zouma arrived in the third dimension this past Saturday at six 11 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.


Baby and parents Adam and April Wong are doing well, so congrats to all of you and Adam and I will be back together soon.


In the meantime, send those guys some love. And with that nugget of good news, please enjoy my exchange with Rodnina Swami. Right now, Swami, thank you so much for joining me today, it's a delight to be in your virtual presence.


My only misgiving is that we couldn't do this in person. I hope that at some point we get to cross paths in the physical plane. But for now, we are relegated to zoom and just appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.


Rich, I'm so honored, so grateful and so very happy to be with you today.


I can feel your presence already. There's so many so many things I want to talk to you about to explore with you.


But I think I'd like to begin this by spending a little bit of time talking about our present moment. We just feel so divided. Currently, everybody seems to be siloed in their respective information cells. Emotions are running very hot. People are spending a lot of time defending their respective positions, signaling their membership in good standing to their respective tribes. And I'm seeing this.


Breakdown in our ability to effectively communicate, to listen to one another, to understand each other and all of this, of course, is being heightened by the many crises that we're currently facing, both existential as well as practical, from the pandemic to global warming right now.


Greenland is melting. California is on fire. We're seeing hurricanes on the horizon and, of course, amplified by our inflamed political landscape. And all of this is leaving me fearing for our sanity and the stability of our future. I see anxiety getting ratcheted up. And I'm just interested in hearing your sense of our our current moment and perhaps how we can find our way to some place of healing as a nation, as a global community, to unite around our many shared values.


How do we raise our collective consciousness and restore some semblance of cultural cohesion so that we can write this beautiful mother ship Earth that we call home?


That's a big one.


It's really a big one.


I'm looking to you for the answers, but really in whatever situation the world may be in, because it's always changing. You know, this is the most important question. When things are in a very prosperous, pleasant state, we know that that's going to change and when things are in a very critical, painful state, we know that's going to change, too. So it's really important that we. We found the foundation within ourselves and among ourselves that really is meaningful and purposeful in life, you know, pain is pain is so inevitable as death is inevitable in this world.


But there's something beautiful in life. There's something beautiful in creation. There's something beautiful in our in our own self that's always there and that's always waiting for us. And we can do the greatest good for the world when we're connected to that and we help we help one another to connect to that.


So what is the process of creating that connection?


You know, at times at times like this, sometimes we. We take for granted the light of life. Until we're surrounded by darkness, then we really look for the light and and we really appreciate that the light is there.


And these particular times throughout history, many of the greatest accomplishments in art and science and in religion, spirituality, in architecture, have happened at times of great challenge. You know, oftentimes challenging situations brings the best out in people or could also bring the worst out in people. And that's just a choice that each and every one of us. Could make in the Alcoholics Anonymous organization, which I've been invited to speak to on several occasions. You know, there's there's a unity, a beautiful unity among the people on the basis of the crisis that they have been through and to a certain extent that they're going through because they understand that like mindedness is so important in this world.


You know, despite people's differences in background and despite people's differences of ideologies, there's something urgent that we have in common that we could really focus on. And as you said so nicely, Rich, know the environment. And in this pandemic and the political landscape, there's so much so much to be concerned with. We we need to find like minded people. We need to find unity in diversity where we could actually nourish and inspire one another. Because, you know, unity has the greatest strength and that unity becomes stronger and stronger when each individual helps others to cultivate their own individual strength and purpose.


And that's where that's where a spiritual practice is, is really important, where we actually go to that power, to that grace, to that goodness that's inherent within our own hearts, within our own souls, and tap into that and be an instrument of of God's love, of spiritual love and share that with one another. And it's beyond a sectarian idea. It's beyond a nationalistic idea. It's beyond a racial idea. It's beyond a you know, where every living being.


Is sacred, the whole creation is inherently sacred, but we can't really appreciate that unless until we understand that I am sacred, the living force within me is sacred. I don't have to compare myself to anyone or anything. I just have to be the best I could be for God and for other people, for other living beings. And the more we share this and the more we we take this serious to practice it, the more individually and collectively we could actually do something really wonderful in this world.


And there can be there could be positive transformations of light. And we have to be we have to be searching for that light and we have to be moving toward that light together.


I appreciate the optimism and the enthusiasm for a brighter future.


And I love what you had to say about how things like compassion, forgiveness begin with the self. Like we can't exude that compassion or that forgiveness for others until we extend it to our own beings. It's very difficult for a lot of people. I've had my own journey with that. And in Alcoholics Anonymous, which I also love that you reference that I've been a member of that community for 23 years. At this point, they say you can't transmit something you haven't got.


You can't be compassionate to others unless you are inherently compassionate. And that compassion begins with self compassion. And what's beautiful about that community is exactly what you said, that it is not about politics or religious proclivity.


It's about sharing a common experience for the betterment of all. It's about looking past our differences and identifying the similarities. They say to people when they come in, don't look for the differences, try to identify with what you relate to, try to find your own story in the collective stories of the people that are sharing. And I try to take that sensibility into the world because it is so precious and beautiful.


And to see so many lives healed and lives transformed as a result of this collective experience is not only a successful experiment in that subculture, but is a beautiful template that I think is applicable to all. I would only like to see it more broadly embraced and explored in society at large.


Thank you so very much. It's so true what you say. There was a great saint in India who wrote something that really had a deep impact in my heart that I refer to when there's times of challenge. He said, where there's the greatest need, there's the greatest opportunity to serve. And compassion really is the foremost of all human virtues, and it's the deepest, most inherent nature that's within everyone. Where there's a love, it's expressed as compassion and where there's great need, there's great necessity and and you referred to also the Alcoholics Anonymous people come together because there's a need people need to hold on to each other's support.


You know, right now in California, there's there's these fires and it really breaks my heart especially. It's such a blessing to the world, the redwood forests where these trees that have been standing and growing for thousands of years.


And there's an underground secret in the redwood forest that I learned from a park ranger when I was there once, that despite all the storms and the fires and all things that have happened over these centuries, how do the trees keep growing, especially on loose soil and hilly regions? Because the roots of the trees, their nature is to reach out underground, to find the roots of other trees. And when they touch each other, they embrace, they wrap around each other.


And in this way, all the trees of the whole forest are directly or indirectly supporting each other by embracing one another's roots, coiling around each other.


The giant ancient trees have the little tiny trees that are just growing. Their roots are wrapped around and they're all supporting each other. And it's true. Unity is strength. You know, the whole concept of of of America is the United States of America and and there's the United Kingdom know their union is such an important principle. And the basic ideal of that union is that all people are created equal. All living beings are children of God. How we actually find love within our own self is how we will respect and honor and be compassionate to to all living beings because life is sacred.


And at times like this, we really need to understand this is a wake up call to wake up to the sacredness of life and and put aside our egoistic and selfish ambitions because there's a higher principle.


There's a more important principle. It's beautifully put.


I love the analogy of the root system and how the collective thrives only in embracing that interdependence. And when I think of the United States of America, I can't help but think of the countervailing force, which is rugged individualism.


This idea that responsibility for your success or failure or how you make your way into the world rests solely upon one's shoulders and this kind of hoisting up of the individual and the responsibility of that person to do it themselves, to make their own way to be a self-made man, is at odds with that fundamental core idea of the United States of America and the inherent truth and need that we only thrive through our communion with others and our interdependence with the greater whole.


And reconciling those, I think, is a is a battle that we're seeing being waged culturally right now.


And I guess I would say that that I wish I shared your optimism and your enthusiasm for us seeing our way through this successfully. And of course, you're a little bit older than me. Your life experience is informed by perhaps the most similar phase in the history of our country, you know, weathering through the 60s, the late 60s, the civil rights era and all that kind of beautiful chaos that ensued there, the trauma and also the progress that was a result of that.


And I'm wondering if you see what's happening now as something similar or distinct from what you witnessed throughout that period.


The 60s were a very turbulent time. There was. A large segment of the younger generation revolted against the older generation, the government, the politics, the war in Vietnam was something very real. If you were 18 years old and you didn't have some a lot of wealth for a deferment, then you either had to kill people that you saw no reason to harm or you go to jail. Mm hmm.


You were you were actually put in that situation. It was a war that many people did not believe we should be there. And you turned out correct also. And the civil rights movement, there was so many atrocities. That have always been against the African-American community in America.


So heartbreaking, but we see that, you know, through the dark areas and through the through the conflicts and the challenges, many great things have come from that. Many transformations within people's hearts and many transformations within the society. So I firmly believe and history, I believe, echoes this idea that as long as there are individual people. Who are connecting with other like minded individual people who are really looking for the light and who are really connecting to the light within themselves and valuing the principle of love and compassion and humility, then.


Wonderful things will happen within this world. Well, I feel nourished by that statement. Thank you for that. Why don't we take it back?


I want to explore your personal journey now that we're speaking about the 60s in the civil rights movement. You grew up in Chicago, middle class family outside of the city.


Right. Your dad was a he owned an auto body shop. If memory serves me like you grew up, you were like a you were an athlete. You were a wrestler.


You grew up, you know, very in a very typical normal, somewhat suburban middle America household. Correct. Something like that.




So some version of that you encapsulated very well. Yes. When I was young, my my parents were struggling middle middle class. You know, they were really struggling. You know, they came out of the depression and and they were really trying to do the best for the family. At the same time, this the scenario that we have already discussed, you know, civil rights, Vietnam War, counterculture, they they were unfolding as I was growing up.


I was born in 1950, and I just could not be content just winning some athletic medals or being cool and having nice things unless I could be a change.


So where do you think that that sensibility emanated from? I know you showed, you know, indications of this as a young as a very young child, like not wanting to sit at the table, wanting to sit it on the floor for dinner and issuing meat and dairy and sort of demonstrating these sadistic impulses as a very young person, which is unusual.


Right. So where do you think all of that was coming from? Is this a, you know, past life made manifest or how do you think about that?


Has life made manifest? Transformation through experiences in this life. And ultimately, I believe God's grace is all these things come into play, we may or may not be able to specifically understand the reasons, but we can understand the effects that are happening. And there are so many little things that that happen, a person's life that gradually creates a perception.


I'll say one thing, that when I was young, my father went through bankruptcy. So when I got a little older, maybe 14, 15 years old, I always had jobs after school and on weekends just so I wouldn't be a burden. And my first job. Was in a place where it was mainly African-Americans who were there. It was at a carwash and they were coming from the south side of Chicago and they were my parents age and they became my dear friends.


And I just love them. I love their music.


I loved the spirit that they had so deeply. And I saw how, you know, in those days in the early 60s, they really hardly had a chance. They would most of them were alcoholics. They were in poverty. They were discriminated against. They were treated unfairly and. This so much disturbed me.


It's so much disturbed me, I was I felt that we were one in our love for each other, and how could I be happy if my brothers are being treated like this and.


Of course, you know, my my family is from Jewish. Ancestry from Eastern Europe. So many of the people from my family were killed in the Holocaust. Uncles and aunts and cousins and like that. So. You know, there's this dark side of humanity that needs to be changed. There's the saying, if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem, and I really wanted to be a part of the solution. And I heard Gandhi's statement that be the change you want to be in this world.


So I became a social activist. Mm hmm. But then I came to an understanding that the greatest social activists that I admired were people who had a deep spiritual connection. A connection to God's love, which actually gave them strength against all challenge, and unless we change ourselves, you know, how much can we really change the world?


So little by little, I went on a spiritual quest to find myself, and that became the very predominant goal of my life, is to is to have a spiritual connection. Yeah. And in my own life, I traveled across the world looking for that spiritual connection. But what I ultimately discovered is it's right within our heart rate, within our own home, wherever we are. If we can't find it there, we really can't find it anywhere. But I I had to go through this great journey to come to that discovery.


Well, there's a beautiful nobility and, you know, a large maturity to develop that kind of awareness at such a young person to understand, like, I am here to be an agent of positive change and to shoulder that mantle and to try to figure that out. In your case, you go on this walkabout, you describe it in your books and in your many talks.


And when I read this, I can't help but think about some of the other great spiritual seekers over the ages from paramountcy Yogananda to, you know, I think of Siddartha and I think of Ramadoss and all these people that have had similar versions of your experience.


And I compare that to my mind set at 16, 17, 18.


And it's in such stark contrast that expanded awareness, that devotional commitment and that sense that there is something more beyond, you know, the athletic medals or trying to be popular in the hallways of your high school.


That is unique. And so I'm still trying to get at like that sensibility.


I understand you have these experiences as a young person, but there were a lot of people that had experiences like that.


They may carry that trauma or that may inform their life in a certain regard, but to shed the shackles of Western society completely and to give yourself over in this ascetic way to go on this walkabout, you know, basically penniless, relying on the kindness of strangers and all the adventures that ensue is, you know, is is is such a beautiful way of trying to develop the awareness that you carry today.


I'm not so sure that it would have happened had you not experienced the world in that manner. We all have our calling. And it's not really so important what age we have that calling, but when that calling for goodness, when that calling for truth, when that calling for light, when that calling to be the change that you want to see in the world. And I deeply believe that it's God's calling coming from within us, which could echo from around us through other voices too.


But ultimately it's a calling from within. And we all have our ways of responding to that, calling to. But in my life, you know, this is how I responded to that calling.


Yeah. I suppose in order to heed whatever calling is happening, you have to be present and aware enough to notice it's a rising and sometimes situations in the world that are startling, that are worrisome.


Even sometimes situations that appear hopeless and they alert us.


To responding to that calling, so you find yourself in London, you're trekking about Europe, you're in Athens, you're sitting on the banks of the Thames in London night, soaking in the moon, watching the river flow.


At some point you have this undeniable urge or calling to go to India. So walk me through that experience.


Well, you know, coming from northern Illinois. I went to Europe with two of my friends. We were supposed to be there for just two months and then come back for going back to college.


I went to one semester of college and that was the plan.


That was our plan. But we got we got robbed the first day we were in Europe and we had no money. And one of my friends went back to America that same day in the in the other. You know, we made the scene in various places and we were very popular and in many ways we saw there was the world was opening up to us like anything, even though we really didn't have a home or money or anything just because, you know, the interactions with such beautiful people and such opportunities.


But this calling this little whisper to find a spiritual connection was always there in my heart. And it was getting louder and louder and louder. And that's really what started. Me on this quest, I was spending a lot of time on riverbanks and in forests, and I was meditating and reading various spiritual literatures from various religions. I was going to synagogues. I was going to churches. I was going to cathedrals. I lived in Catholic monasteries. I was studying.


I was searching. I was going to museums to study art, to find spiritual clues. And eventually I was living in a cave on the Isle of Crete, which is part of Greece. And I was just praying to God for direction. And it was there that I had this voice within my heart that said Go to India. And I had never met an Indian person in my life. I never ate a chili pepper in my life. I had no map.


I had no money for a map. But I just left my friend the next day and started hitchhiking to India.


And I just believed if I just go in the eastern direction, eventually I'll get there eventually.


Right. You travel through Afghanistan, you're immersed in extreme poverty and that situation. You're in Pakistan. You have this extraordinary story about getting caught up at the border between Pakistan and India. Can you tell that story?


Well, I hitchhiked through Turkey. And then Iran. And then through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The whole trip took. Over four months now, I get on an airplane and I from London and I do it in nine hours, the same amount of distance, but it's not as educational, but it's much safer for sure.


When I was in the European countries, I was studying Christianity and Judaism. When I was in the Middle East, I was studying Islam from some Islamic scholars and very holy people, actually. And when I finally came to the border. Of India. India and Pakistan, you know, have been in conflict politically for, you know, since the partition, and there's a no man's land between the two countries. And when I left the border of Pakistan, I had to walk a couple of hours through this no man's land to get to India.


And at that time, the the border post was in a forest near the city of Feroze Poor in Punjab. And when I arrived, they asked how much money I had. And as far as I remember, I had 26 cents in about four different currencies and the immigration agent was very, very angry. She said that we have enough beggars in India. We don't want another one. Go back to where you came from.


Hmm. And I pleaded with her that I just hitchhiked from London and I got so many diseases that almost killed me and people tried to kill me and so many difficulties, I had to get here because I want to learn from your people. Please give me a chance. And she wouldn't do it. So for hours and hours and hours, I was just sitting under a tree and kept coming back and asking and getting rejected. But the problem was I couldn't go back to Pakistan either because I only had a one time visa.


So I was in this no man's land and there were no cell phones in 19. This is 1970 and there was no phone booths. There was no I was just there.


And finally, just around the sunset time. The guards changed and one man from the Sikh community who was a soldier took took the post and after the other immigration drove off in a jeep, I went to him and this man said to me that I have been ordered by my commanding officer to reject you unless you show me at least two hundred dollars at that point. I cried and I really cried because, you know, I was 19 years old and I was hopeless and I begged.


I said I've I've given up everything of my life to learn from your country and to learn for your people. Please just give me a chance. And I promise you that someday I'll do something good for the people of India. And being an immigration agent, he looked into my eyes with such a interrogating glance, he was just looking into my mind and into my heart for about a minute. He just stared at me.


And then he spoke. He said. Sometimes a man must follow his heart, and even though I have been ordered to reject you, I am going to give you the chance that you're crying for me. Then he stamped my passport and said, welcome to India. I love that.


That's beautiful. I feel like you need to reunite with him. I would like to see you visit him again and recount that story.


I wish we could. Yeah, that was this year. Marks 50 years since that event happened, and so what was it about this experience in India that was so compelling and transformative for you?


Well, I was I went to the Himalayas. And I was studying from from yogis, some of them were living in the forests and mountains and in caves, and I was going to different ashrams of different saints or gurus. Some of them were very famous. Some of them were unknown to the world.


I was studying Burmese Buddhism and Zen Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism. And I was I was I met people who were from the Baha'i faith. I was really trying to understand. And of course, within the Hindu faith, there's so many different branches of right of ways of approaching the one supreme being. So I was just like a little sponge that was absorbing and absorbing and absorbing and learning.


And many situations were such blessings to my heart. Some of them were very disappointing and some of them were enthralling and so full of joy and gratitude. But they all kind of were were bringing me forward in my in my search and and Rich, I ended up like this.


I now look at you who you know. Right.


I was part of this this quest, an effort or an attempt to to reconcile the.


Hypocrisy of many of the religious traditions that you've grown up around, like this idea that there's something unhealthy about the institutionalization of many of these ideas and face. But beneath all of that, there must be some kernel of shared insight and wisdom. And the quest is about getting to the truth of that. Is that a fair assessment? Thank you so much for asking that question. It's a wonderful assessment, and I'll I'll just echo what you have already so brilliantly spoken, you know, from my own experience.


Both as a child, as I was growing up. And as I was traveling on my quest. I saw so much sectarian. Ideas. I saw how religion. Could create or let us say could nourish so much arrogance that I am better than you and we are better than them. And that arrogance. Lee can lead to prejudice, to judging people on the basis of our own ego. And even to hatred. Bigotry. And violence in the name of God.


How could there be hatred in the name of a loving God, so I came to a crossroads where either I had to completely reject religion, as many very thoughtful people that I was reading about and meeting personally, they were rejecting God and religion because of all the things I just said.


So either have to reject religion as being something very dangerous or very superstitious, or there must be something very beautiful, something very wonderful that's at the heart of all great religions. And somehow in my life, I believed that that beautiful essence was there at the heart of all true spiritual paths, and I wanted to find it. And as I was searching, I found that that when people have. The insecurities where they need to feel above others. They take religion as.


As a justification, sometimes even as a weapon to just for that purpose, but actually the whole purpose of religion is to become completely humble and free of ego. It's supposed to free us of our ego. It's not supposed to nourish and build our ego. But that's based on free will. Like anything, we could use science for destructive purposes or we could use science for very beneficial purposes, we can use education, academia to help people, or we can use it to exploit people.


We can use strength to uplift people or to push people down.


Everything in this world, you know, we have a knife. Is it good or bad in the hands of a thief? It kills someone. And the same knife in the hands of a surgeon cure someone saves a person's life. So religion is like that, too. If we're really looking for the true purpose of religion, what the what the actual saints taught us, what's at the heart of the scriptures, then we find that. It's to humble ourselves before God's love and to be an instrument of that love and to see every living being as God's children.


And when I read the Bhagavad Gita, a particular verse, I remember when I read it, I thought, this is yet. Because in the Bible, it is said the first and great commandment is not to be this religion or that religion, it's to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.


And actually, everyone's our neighbor. Not only all humanity, but all living beings are our neighbors, if we love God, we will naturally love our neighbor as ourself, if we know ourself.


And that was a very important principle. And then I read in the Bhagavad Gita and I'm going to I'm going to recite the Sanskrit first vedova nice company.


Bramnick Obvious Dinny Sooni Chiva swap acacia pundit's some additional. True knowledge, true wisdom, true enlightenment. Is. To see every living being with equal vision. To see that the living force, wherever there's life, is a part of God is sacred, is divine. And when we understand that divinity within ourself, we actually can recognize it within others. And then it's not just about tolerating one another and tolerating our differences, it's actually appreciating the unity within the diversity of this world.


And the more I went into the religion of Bhakti or devotion to Krishna that I follow, the more I went deep into that, the more I really loved and appreciated all other aspects of religion and spirituality, because it was. I was looking for the essence, and you found that in Bhakti Yoga, are you, you know, over the course of your your travels, in your your seeking and you're searching, you've sat at the feet of many a master from Krishnamurti and all kinds of people.


But there was something specific about probably that spoke to you that didn't immediately compel you to, you know, relinquish everything and follow him. You know, it seems like you crossed paths with him many a time before you fully embraced that this would be somebody to follow and that this methodology, this this approach to spirituality, this, you know, guidebook for living would become a guiding force in your life. But what was it about?


Or is it about Robert's message and specifically Bhakti Yoga that distinguished it from many of these other, you know, sort of spiritual strains in the various, you know, paths you could have explored with Hinduism and, you know, many other strains of religion from Christianity to Judaism for me, Rich.


Bhakti yoga. Puts its greatest emphasis both in the goal and in the practice, in cultivating love, love for God and compassion for all beings. There's a beautiful statement, Porra Duka, Dukey, that one who's really enlightened in any religion is one who. Feels the sufferings of others. And who feels the joys of others, one who rejoices in the happiness of others and one who suffers in the suffers of suffering? No, but when we suffer for the sufferings of other on the basis of compassion that actually creates.


An inner ecstasy, because it connects us to our own natural love. And Bhakti is that path, which is very much focused on awakening. Ecstatic love and to and whatever our words, whatever our actions, where our whatever our thoughts were really trying to harmonize that in a spirit of compassion to others. And I found that in that sense, humility doesn't make one fearful. It actually makes one's very courageous, but not an egoistic, selfish way. We understand there's a higher power that's with us and that higher power is meant to heal us and to help.


US to heal others and in Bhakti yoga, the idea of the supreme truth is very personal. You know, there's an all pervading, absolute omniscient, omnipresent existence of the one supreme. But the the scriptures of India teach simultaneous to that the impersonal, all pervading truth or light. There's also the supreme, all beautiful, all loving person of the Supreme. And that idea, that realization and meeting people who were connected with that, it just attracted my heart so deeply.


And when I when I met Prabhupada, I met him several times. And it was in Brinda Bond where I was living in a place where there's over 5000 temples of Krishna. Some of them are thousands of years old. When I was living there on the bank of a river, the Yamuna, I happened to meet, but he came there for a few days and I had already accepted the path of Bhakta just by my own experiences and my own studies.


That this is what I wanted to follow. But I didn't know who my teacher would be. And I remember I was sitting in a room with Sheila Prabhupada and and there were. I heard his talks, I heard about him, and it very much opened my heart. And one thing that really had a special effect on me is there was just a few people in the room one day and one was a I think, a journalist, and he asked, are you the guru for the whole world?


And by this time, she proposed had thousands of disciples that he had temples all over the world, and I was wondering how he can answer this. And she was sitting on the floor, as we all were, and when he asked that, when he was asked that question, he looked down.


And I saw such a sense of humility in his eyes, and then he looked up.


And he said no. I'm just the servant of everyone that saw me and I was thinking of all the people I met, you know, people who could perform miracles, I saw so many of these supernatural powers and people who had so much knowledge and so much in the powers of so many ways.


I felt this is what I want.


That expression of genuine humility spoke to you, that type of love where you're so humbled by by your love for God. You just want to serve everyone.


And you could do that as a business person and you could do that as a politician, and you could do that as a teacher, and you could do that as a technologist or a scientist with.


And and when you have. The ambition of compassion in the forefront of your heart to please God, then you're more motivated than greed.


Sometimes people think without greed, what will be our motivation? But it's only due to an absence of love and compassion that that greed comes into our life. When we actually have that, we're even more motivated. A mother's love for her child. She'll do anything and everything. She'll stay up night after night to help her child because there's love and, you know, the greatest, the greatest people who have changed the world have worked tirelessly and risked everything on the basis of compassion and love.


And and it's it's that principle that attracted me to property and attracted me to this passion.


Well, you certainly exude it. And in your recounting, I'm thinking of this distinction between my inclination to intellectualize it. Like, I understand that that makes sense.


I get it versus the embodiment of it and the practice of it and the exuding of it and all of your interactions and in how you, you know, sort of walk through the world and encounter people and nature.


Those are two different things. And I think in our Western mind, we want to we're prone we're kind of driven to live in our heads and to intellectualize these things.


And that is very different from the experience of living and breathing it Wolf.


Philosophy intellectualization is something that has such great value if we have the capacity for that. But if we don't, we could still achieve the same thing.


But. When the heart and the head are harmonized. Then we could really move in a in a beautiful direction in our life. I probably had once said that philosophy without spirituality is just mental speculation and spirituality without philosophy can degrade to sentimentalism or superstition or even fanaticism so that the harmonizing of philosophy and spirituality and when I say spirituality, that means, you know, having a practice in which we're really striving to live with character.


Yeah, I believe that we're all here to walk that path in our own respective and unique ways to become more fully actualized and integrated, that connection between the head in the heart and in my own personal experience, pain has been my lover in order to help me wake up then and start to grapple with many of these issues and to come to an awareness and understanding that although we instinctively know that the material world like consumerist goods, power, fame, none of these things are going to fill this hole that we all have that they're not going to to us, they're not going to sustain us or give us that sense of wholeness that that we yearn for, that we seek.


And yet, like addicts, we pursue these things to the depths of depravity and insanity until we meet that personal pain point. And then when we reach that, we think. Well, if I just get that promotion or if I can just lease that new car or I can move out of this neighborhood into the other neighborhood, then that hole will be filled. Then I will feel fine. So I think it takes quite a bit. To compel. The human mind to broaden itself and entertain the possibility because of the strictures of our culture and how materialistic it is and the messages that were being constantly bombarded by that, that the true path to happiness and fulfillment lies beyond all of this.


And and breaking that that denial coming into that awareness is is a difficult journey for most.


So well said. It's like if we're on a ship.


And the see, it's really important we have a compass that we're going in the direction of our desired destination.


But the compass that we're sort of given is do well in school, go to the right college, get the right job, you know, work hard and then you can get the stuff. And then everything is going to be fine.


Like, that's the compass. That's the that's that's how we calibrate our decision making. And yet we know.


Intellectually, that this is leading us awry, and yet it's so difficult to recalibrate that compass according to a spiritual principle of the idea of Satsang or the company of enlightened people is important because then we get.


A real life, Thomas. Not not the wrong compass. We want to actually have a life compass that actually gives our life deep, profound meaning and purpose. And this is what all the avatars, the incarnations of God and all the Saints, they're giving us a compass. And then when we're on the ship, there's so many things. It's not that we just follow the compass. There's so many things we have to do simultaneously. Sometimes there's a storm and we have to make all kinds of adjustments.


Sometimes it's a nice day and we have to keep things clean and we have to keep things in. There's so much we have to do, but at the same time, we're going in. The direction that we really want to be in and the same way like what you're saying, we have to pay the rent and we want some of us want new cars and some of us want some popularity. All these things of this world, they're there. We deal with them.


We have sometimes we have parents that don't understand us. And sometimes we have children that don't understand that. There's so many challenges in life. Being spiritual doesn't mean neglecting those duties, whether they're financial or emotional or social. It doesn't mean that we. Ignore them. Doesn't mean we reject them, it means we deal with all of them, but with in harmony with the compass of where our life really. It's meant to be where we want to go as spiritual beings, having a human experience and as much as as you are a renunciations you to live in the material world, you dress in a certain way and you carry yourself in a certain regard and you spend your time in India and you do these things, but you are still of the third dimension.


You still have to operate in 20, 20. Right. As much as you might want to opt out of that, of course, I'm more immersed in in modern culture than you are, and that brings its own unique challenges. So the practice then becomes how do we bring these principles into our life and infuse our our mindset and our daily actions with that energy?


Is it you know, what is the practice for you? Is that ahimsa? Is it Savea? Is it devotion? Is it prayer? Is it compassion? Is it love? It is all these things. How do we do that?


How do we bring more of that into our into the daily life experience of the average person who is perhaps listening or watching to this and being introduced to these ideas for maybe the first time in Sanskrit?


There is words, Satsang, Sadhana, so that Shah Sabr and I'd like to explain these four practices. Satsang means if we really want that Compas to be going toward a divine, enlightened destination. If we really want. To connect with God's love and be an instrument of God's love, we need that compass and that comes by. Regularly as much as possible. Being with like minded people, being with enlightened people. We have a choice of what we're going to read and who we're going to be with, and we need regular nourishment to give us confidence that this is where I want to go.


And the second is Sadhana, when we really have a spiritual purpose in our life. It's not just something sentimental, it has to actually be practice, we have to give some time of the day to cultivate that. Just like somehow or other, whatever we have to do in our life with our families or our occupation, we find time to eat, we find time to sleep, because without that, we become weak. So spiritually, in order to have a spiritual strength and whatever we do, we need to nourish ourselves.


And that Saddam and in my Satina, we chant God's name, we chant mantras. We also pray. And putting some time aside each day, early mornings are really good time, whatever time where we're actually focusing on our spiritual practice. Making it a priority. And then when we go out into the world with the strength and the direction from the people who inspire us and our own spiritual practice, then we live with integrity. We live with character.


We don't we don't perform our. Our worldly activities with excessive arrogance or selfishness or greed or envy, but rather we actually do it with with moral principles, with character, and ultimately we're trying to harmonize whatever we're doing in a way that we can best be compassionate to our family and to the world. And then Savea. Then whatever we're doing in our life, it all becomes part of how we're serving God and serving. All of our brothers and sisters of all species of life within this world, and that's something that's totally doable and totally practical for everyone in whatever situation we may be in if we just.


Take it seriously. And make it a priority, beautifully put, can we spend a couple of minutes talking about the Joppa, the mantra and what it is that is so powerful about the repetition and the sequencing of these words that creates that?


Very particular vibration that I've sensed and experience that allows me to tap into something I don't know what to call it beyond or more profound than my ego, which I love to cultivate, the word mantra is to Sanskrit syllables.


Montera man means the mind or the heart and try to try it as a means to liberate. So Montera means a sound vibration that liberates the mind from suffering and from a. Which are? Caused by. Pollution Chato daughter Barnham, outrage that the mind is compared to a mere. And when you look in the mirror. You expect to see yourself, but when the mirror is covered by layers and layers and layers of dirt and pollution and debris after so many years of neglect, then what do we see when we look in the mirror?


We just see that dirt. And what is that, Dirch? It's our selfish passions, it's our arrogance, it's our greed, our envy, our anger at people and things that just don't go the way I want them to go. And so many illusions of misconceive who I am and who and what the world is. So this is the dirt. And a mantra is a sound vibration that actually has the power to clean the mirror of the mind and assets cleaned.


We actually see our self. And who is the self, the back Berkovich that the self is the living force that's seen through the eyes and hearing through the ears and tasting through the tongue and thinking through the brain. That living force that animates a body, that gives consciousness and that living force and Sanscrit is the optimal for the soul. And that soul is.


Never born and it never dies, my mom. So do you believe that soul is a sacred part of the supreme soul? It's full of light.


Its inherent nature is unmotivated, unconditional love. That's the nature of the soul within everyone. But due to the various. Coverings over the mirror of the mind, we're not seeing our soul, we're not living according to the mind, is supposed to reflect the nature of the person of the soul. So this mantra is a cleaning process, an awakening process as we become cleaned of these Ainata, as are unwanted characteristics that we're clinging to our natural innate ainun or happiness is awakened.


And when we're happy with the end, then nothing of this world can make us really unhappy because our happiness is beyond all the things of this world. And then we simply want to be an instrument of that happiness to make others happy. Vedic literature, there's a beautiful verse of a supernova, one to the whole purpose of religion, of spirituality is. Let all beings be happy to be an instrument, to give happiness to others, so that's what this mantra does and it's like a frequency it's a divine spiritual frequency and mantras usually composed of names of God.


And there are many names of God and all the various religious parts and these mantras or these names of God when chanted with the right temperament, with the right purpose, a, they actually tune us in to the divinity that's within us and all around us, just like a on a television. There are so many channels and if you press one station, you go to a frequency where you see a football game in Dallas, Texas, and then you press another one and you see the president of the United States giving a lecture.


And then you see you press another one and you see a soap opera. People are crying and loved ones are separated. And according to the frequency, you get a completely different experience. So within the world today, there's so many accumulated frequencies. There's the there's the accumulated frequency of arrogance and lust and envy and anger and and prejudice and and all of these things. And according to what we do and who we're with, we tune into those frequencies and they affect us.


A mantra is the frequency of love, a frequency of compassion, a frequency of inner happiness and peace. And when we chant sincerely and and our lifestyle is not contradicting the progress we make then through Joppa or through chanting God's name, we actually awake and. By tuning into our true inherent potential and beautifully put, the irony, of course, is that most people are are living their lives, you know, subsumed by the mire. Right. Their mirrors are obscured and polluted.


And there is no sense of what it would be like for that mirror to be cleaned because the mire is so all consuming. Right.


That the illusion of our material world and I reflect back on my youth and I would see how Christian monks at the airport chanting or in the, you know, the parks and just thinking that's another version of humanity that I can't connect with.


Like, I don't not only do I not understand what's going on with these individuals, I was, you know, sort of scared of it and.


I remember that being a barrier when I started to open up to different ideas around spirituality. It was a barrier to me embracing the practice of Joppa, like if I'm going to chant Hari Krishna, then suddenly I'm like those guys in the airport that I thought were so odd that I couldn't connect with that I couldn't relate to.


How do you communicate to the average human being who who doesn't have experiences with these things so that they can they can kind of overcome whatever barrier they may have because of the superficiality of of appearance.


Does that make sense, do you know what I'm getting at? I was trying to be very politic at how I described that it was beautifully staged.


It is a reality that our tendency is. To see things according to our external perceptions without really understanding them, you know, like that beautiful speech that Martin Luther King gave in Washington, D.C., and when will that I have a dream that people will not judge a person by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.


So, you know, when I was living in the West, you know, I had the same experience as far as strangeness, you know, things that were just very different and hard to understand. And look at you now. And and when I went to India, it wasn't really in the context of the Western Krishna movement, but it was I saw and I found and I discovered within my own life something so beautiful that was so deep and inherent within the culture of India, which was so universal at the heart of all religions, really, you know, of humanity.


And I found that.


And then when I reconnected in Brindabella and especially a holy place with the people from the Krishna movement, the birthplace of Krishna.


Yes. Yes.


I understood that. You know, in the West, it may seem strange, the dress and it may seem strange the cultural habits, but it's what's at the heart of it. And there's also a lot of people who just don't represent properly, you know, the real spirit, right?


The institutionalization of the teacher. That's true. With any path. There's those who really represent the real spirit and those who don't. And that's there. You know that we all struggle with that. But when I saw that this is at the heart of what is being taught is a culture and a philosophy and and a lifestyle that's.


That's. At the very core. Of the Veda's at the very core of of India's culture and religion and at the very core of what I believe the universe of of religion itself, and and that's really why I became like this.


And there are and there are various, you know, cultural traditional ways of expressing it. And, you know, I I just find so much joy and so much enlightenment in in this way of expressing it. But I understand that there's so many ways of expressing it. And in fact, I live in India for for many, many decades now. And, you know, we have, you know, several communities that I oversee and there are monks who are like me because this is really the the robes and the dress of a monk.


Yeah, but we have tens and thousands of people who have families. Who are working? We have a hospital with doctors and nurses and administrators, we have industrialists, there are CEOs of international corporations as farmers, as professors at colleges, there's mothers and fathers.


And in the congregation, you would only know that they're devotees of Krishna by their character and by communicating with them in that way. But otherwise, they look just like everybody and they're doing exactly the same things as everyone as far as, you know, occupational life. But the purpose is. To connect with God's love and to be an instrument of God's compassion, and that's a beautiful thing.


And my mother and father, when they came to India and they saw people like them who were so deeply devoted, and then they understood that, that actually this is really a beautiful spiritual paradise and not everybody's going to be a monk.


Yeah, I watched a YouTube interview with your dad. He was recounting the experience of what it was like for him when you left and were in parts unknown. And, you know, the challenges that that presented for, you know, basically and middle class family.


But what was undeniable was his love and his pride for for what you ultimately became. It's it's it's very touching. Heartwarming.


It's very heartwarming. It's it's even more heartwarming hearing it from you. Rich, thank you.


What is the role of the the ascetic, the renunciations, the monk in the modern age?


Like how do you view yourself in that kind of context?


It's a role. In our tradition, it's not that being a monk makes you more. Enlightened or God conscious? One could be in politics, one could be in business, one could be an entertainment, one could be an athlete. If if we follow these principles of being with people who enlighten us and having a spiritual practice that we that we do sincerely and we live with character and the desire to serve, then one can make just as much spiritual progress, maybe even more.


As the Bible says, be in this world, but not of this world. And that's really a universal principle.


So being a monk is a service to society. I'm not a monk because I think that I'm making more spiritual progress than other people who are living with families who have homes and jobs, but not having a family of my own, in the sense being celibate and living according to the traditions I do, is an opportunity where I could make the whole world, my family and I can just make my role is to have no other purpose except to remind people, enlighten people and try to educate and inspire people.


And beautiful. Well, part of that is, I mean, you have the ashram and you've got the hospital and you also have this eco village, which I wanted to hear a little bit about.


Can you explain what this is all about?


It's called Govardhan Ecovillage, and I won't go into the history of it, but the principle of it is. That humanity really needs to not only intellectually understand, but to see models of how to apply the principle that creation is sacred in all living beings are sacred. We see so much of the pollution in the world and so much of the exploitation of the world. You know, there's there's this the social crisis that's happening, you know, between races and between prejudice, between religions.


And there's also, you know, ecological you know, the air, the water, the land being being polluted. And when we understand that all beings. Are God's children. All species of life, wherever there's life, there's a desire to be happy, there's a desire to live.


And, you know, I became a vegetarian 50 years ago when I saw a cow. And her little calf and how much they loved each other, and it was the first time I was so close and I remember thinking that mother cares about her little calf as much as any mother, and that little calf loves the mother and depends on the mother, just like any child. And why can't we see that they want to live and they want to be happy just like us.


And, you know, humanity and all beings. Are seeking pleasure, our space, everyone is seeking life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because everyone's God's child and everyone should be respected as God's child, and there may have to be justice for people who violate other people's rights, but it should be with that spirit and all of creation.


Sara Locomotor from the Geeta says everything that exists is coming from the from the source of all love. We call Krishna or God. So all of creation is God's property. How can we misuse, exploit or pollute? Sacred property. The very property, the very environment that is we are all completely dependent upon the idea of Mother Earth, it's a reality, just like an infant baby is completely dependent on mother for survival.


Whoever we are in this world, we're completely dependent on Mother Earth for air, for food, for water, for everything. Our bodies are composed of her elements. So to be compassionate to other beings, to to be respectful to God is inseparable from being an environmentalist. We can't separate them. It's hypocrisy to separate them because they're all interconnected and all living beings are interconnected. And to understand this interconnectivity of creation is the basic principle of Govardhan ecovillage.


So we have models, we have environmental models because we see in India, we're in a village environment. We see so many problems. There are and we have water harvesting because we understand the value of water. There's so much drought, so many people around us are committing suicide due to the poverty based on drought. But we can teach them how to harvest water and have enough water throughout the year without changing anything except knowing how to do something. And, you know, we we.


Have people who created a machine that turns plastic, that pollutes into usable oil without any without any trace of pollution in the air, it's all sealed. And we make our bricks out of the ground that we walk on and their beautiful bricks that theoretically the last for hundreds of years will see. But they're beautiful and we do organic natural farming and we have an animal sanctuary, a bird sanctuary, a butterfly sanctuary. And it's all based on spiritual themes.


And we take all these various technologies of mulching and and and creating organic natural fertilizers and pesticides. And many more things, and we go to the villages, hundreds of villages, and we give them an opportunity to see how you can improve your life by just applying these natural principles.


What a beautiful expression of this ethos of oneness. You know, the consistency with which you practice the philosophy of bhakti yoga, like very much with boots in the ground. I love that. And I feel like that's a wonderful model that we need to bring, you know, more to the United States. We're seeing this resurgence of regenerative farming and care for the soil. And then separate from that, you know, people who are developing technologies around plastic, et cetera.


But to create a model that is replicable where you're doing all of these things in one place to tend to the land in this practice of of devotion, really, to to Gaia, to Mother Earth, I think is beautiful.


We're really trying over an eco village. We have the Govardhan School of Yoga, where we have teachers training and we have a school for Ayurveda and a whole Vedic hospital, which is natural natural medicine. And we also have a college there where we're teaching these things. And we've had universities, Yale University, Harvard University professors coming for symposiums. And and people are coming actually from all over the world just to see, you know, how we're doing this.


And it's great. He recently got a award from the United Nations being it was like the first place in the world for for creating a model of a retreat center that's environmentally very exemplary and that's really helping the villages and the communities around us.


That's fantastic. I want to visit these. We invite you. I would love to do I would love to do that.


I don't want to take up too much more of your time. But there's two things that I want to ask you before I let you go. The first thing is, I know that you you've met a lot of amazing people over the course of your lifetime, but I know that you had an encounter with Barack Obama. And I just want to know what you guys talked about when you met him.


I really found President Obama to be a beautiful man. We didn't speak for a long time, but but quality is oftentimes much more powerful than quantity of of time. Sure. I really felt a deep heart connection and I really felt he truly and genuinely wanted to do something really good for America and for the world. And of course, in politics, there's so many challenges and so many so many considerations that somebody has to make. But we we had a beautiful connection.


That's good. You're not going to tell me what you actually talked about. That's a joke. Well, I'll tell you, I'll tell I think it's better actually only if you feel comfortable.


Maybe it's better if you don't like. I feel like you ought to keep that like there's something sacred about that that you just want to keep to yourself. I'll tell you mine.


All right. Go ahead. He looked at me. You know, I'm a saddo from India is the only person like that. But but a fellow Chicagoan.


When I told him I'm from Chicago, he just he just lit up and he said, you are from Chicago.


And, you know, from that point, we were just brothers.


No good. I feel better.


Last thing and I'll let you go, which is I want to leave people with something practical, something tactile that they could practice or build into their lives that would help them develop some spiritual awareness. If somebody is at the starting line of this journey, this adventure, and they think, well, awakening, how do I become more integrated? How do I align my heart with my head? Like these are very ethereal principles right there. They're elusive.


It's like, well, tell me just just tell me what I actually should do.


Like what is a practice that I can begin that will perhaps catalyze some growth or progress in this area. One little spark. If it's fand and given proper oxygen can become a blazing fire. We shouldn't underestimate a spark, so when we come in our life where there's this spark of an inclination.


To understand who am I? And why is there so much suffering?


And what is the purpose of life, what is what will make my life truly meaningful and if there is a God, you know, really, what is that connection when that spark of awakening comes, then to seek out people who can give oxygen to that spark, to have a spiritual practice of meditation, a chanting of a mantra of God's name, to actually fanned the spark of our spiritual inclination.


For meaning and purpose, and as we do that, then the light grows brighter and brighter and brighter, and then we can actually give light to the world.


Beautifully put. Thank you for that. And thank you for spending this time with me. I feel much better than I did an hour and a half ago. How do you feel? You feel good? I feel so much better at you. You are an amazing personality, just that you're so pleasing to be with.


Your questions are so insightful and so, so well thought out. And from the heart, my ego thanks you.


Actually, there's two egos.


There's there's the real ego and there's the false ego. And the real ego is that I'm an eternal soul, an instrument of love, part of God. And the false ego is what separates us from everybody else. The real ego unites us. So I your your real ego is something very, very beautiful. And we all have to, you know, as the real ego becomes more and more stronger and emerges than the false ego.


Dissipates, yeah, well, may we embrace the real ego I'm working on the other part, it's a work in progress slike in northern California sometimes there's such a heavy fog, but when the sun starts rising, then the fog is just dissipates.


Yes. Lovely.


Well, promise me that if you find yourself in California that we can do this in person once again.


I would love to do that. And I want to thank you so very much for including me. And I want to thank all of your viewers or listeners for so kindly and patiently on being with us today.


If people want to learn more about you, they should pick up your books, The Journey Home, The Journey Within both fantastic reads. Where's the best place to direct people online who want to learn more?

[01:45:13] has both of them.


But your website right now, Swami Dotcom, that's on Facebook, also on the website. Is there good?


Well, I'll link up all of those destinations in the show notes and until we meet in person, my friend, thank you for spending this time with me. I really greatly appreciate it. And I wish you well and continued health and happiness as you spread your light across the globe, because we need you. We need you now more than ever.


Oh, if I have brought some happiness to your precious heart, Rich, then my day is very auspicious and wonderful. All right.


Thank you. And with that we conclude. Thank you. Peace Blatt's. Can you feel the vibes, how are you doing? Do you feel nourished?


If so, I encourage you to check out Rodney Swami's memoir, The Journey Home, and its follow up, a New York Times best seller as well. The journey within. Give him a follow on the Sociales at Rodney Swami on Instagram and Twitter. And please visit the show notes on the episode page at Ritual dot com to read more and peruse the many links to expand your experience of this human and our conversation beyond the earbuds. If you'd like to support the work we do here on the show, subscribe, write and comment on it.


On Apple podcast, on YouTube and on Spotify. Share the show or your favorite episodes with friends or on social media and you can support us on Patriota Rich WorldCom Forward Slash Donate.


I want to thank everybody who worked hard to produce today's show. Jason Camillo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music. Blake Curtis for videoing and editing today's show. I assume DKA for advertising relationships. Rodnina Swami, of course, and his team for helping facilitate today's conversation and theme music by Tyler Trapper and Hari. Appreciate you guys. I love you. I will see you back here in a couple of days with another amazing episode. Until then, try to cultivate more compassion, love, empathy and share that with the world.


We need that now more than ever. Peace plants.