This week I am in conversation with Scott Schwenk.
He is a meditation teacher, a master coach, and a mindful Alchemist. Using a mixture of Dharma Talks. Meditations and breathwork practices. He guides seekers to explore their deepest selves. Leading them to live their lives, free from tension.
In this episode, we talk about personal development, detachment from outcomes, living in abundance, and generational trauma. We also covered breathwork and its role in helping the immune system and healing from trauma.
Scott also led us through two guided practices during the episode. One to elaborate on the power of awareness and one to reduce tension in our everyday lives.
(01:44) Your state of mind when you performed an action determines the landing
(04:02) Maps of personal development - Siddha vs Bodhisatva
(06:30) Temples of upstate New York
(10:31) Differentiating between parts of you that you refer to as ‘I’
(12:18) Detachment from outcomes: how attachments cause human suffering
(15:38) Healing from Lupus
(16:58) Intending to live in love, gratitude an abundance
(19:39) Acknowledge that you are already someone who is willing to grow
(21:11) Challenges never go away
(22:44) Our relationship with our parents and generational trauma
(25:03) The vagus nerve and the impact of vagal tone on our lives
(28:24) Breathwork and healing trauma in altered states
(31:06) Awareness exercise
(32:34) Unconditional self-love in breathwork
(34:18) Belonging and Universal Belonging
(35:44) Courses offered by Scott
(39:33) Sadhana and a life of self-exploration an the hero’s journey
(41:52) We are not separate from our source. We come from the one true energy of The Universe
(44:37) The 6 points of softening
Scott’s latest course: The Power of Presence
Sushil: Really excited to have our guests this week. He is a meditation teacher, a master coach, and a mindful Alchemist.
Using a mixture of Dharma Talks. Meditations and breathwork practices. He guides seekers to explore the deepest selves. Leading them to live their lives. Free from tension. And full of trust I can personally attest to the amazing work that he has done through his teaching. As I've been practicing his course offerings for over a year now and have had immense benefits. Please welcome my guest this week. Scotch Schwenk. Hey, Scott, it is really amazing to have you here today.
Scott Schwenk: Thank you.
It's great to be here. Sushil, it's very nice to be here.
Sushil: It's very strange for me because I have been hearing a voice for over a year. Through your courses. On commune and all your other offerings. And I have your voice. Internalized in my head.
But today is extra special. It's amazing to have you here for a one-on-one in person. So, this is huge for me.
Scott Schwenk: Thank you. Thank you. It is a gift that, you know, we live in these times when recordings can be made and they actually do carry the energy. Of the original time when the teachings were given. So it's a beautiful thing that, we do get to connect in these ways. , especially given the times, you know, at the time of this recording, we're on, on the other side, we, we hope of lockdowns and quarantines for the most part in most of the world, but never know what could come and to know that we have these ways that we actually can connect and look at each other, not quite the same as a hug or a handshake but. The energy is, able to be experienced.
Sushil: Yeah. And I think you also mentioned this a lot in your teachings, is that the energy or the intention, whatever is your current state of mind when you did that action. That is the one that the listener gets.
Scott Schwenk: That's right. There's this big subject, which is quite mysterious and really impossible to talk about in any. Perfect detail. And that's the subject of karma. It's a very misunderstood, just like love and truth. And my experience, my understanding and the words of, of my teachers and the words of the scriptures, which are a way to know something's true.
This is suggested by the Upanishads and other writings, if your own direct experience, the words of great being. And the words of the scriptures correlate, it's likely a promise, but likely you're in the zone of truth and my own direct experiences that the approach determines the. How we approach anything, determines the landing.
And when it comes to Karma, that what creates the movement of energy, we call karma that has to play out energy and motion that has to finish. Its motion is the way I like to talk about energy. That's set in motion has to finish its motion. What's the quality of that wave form. What's the amplitude? This is determined by the state of the one taking the action predominantly until one.
And I don't personally know any becomes a Siddha beyond. Return and a Siddha is said to be a being who is so developed. So re immersed in wakefulness as to not have personal motives. So it's the sense of personal motive. That's coloring the energy as it moves forward. When we take an app.
Sushil: Is that similar to being a bodhisattva? Because when I attended Vipassana, The teaching was that we are all stuck in this karmic loop. Where we are born, we live, we die. And then we are reborn. And once you get to that enlightened level. You break the chain. As you said. You start acting. Free from personal motivation.
Or doing action that is not so involved with personal motivation.
Scott Schwenk: It is possible. I believe that one could possibly be bodhisattva, but we're talking about two different maps and this isn't another important thing for the listeners that there are a lot of maps out there and all maps are. There's the developmental psychology map that maps out stages of adult ego development.
It's very helpful and can see a lot about a person's development, which practices are appropriate for that stage and how to move into the next stage. There are different maps, even within Buddhism because there's three vehicles. When you get into 10 for Diana VOD, Trey on a Buddhism, which is an entirely different practice based on having a. Yes, you have this map that talks about a bodhisattva, but that's still there's many stages after bodhisattva. So I'm not certain we could compare that to what the Hindu tantric cosmology describes as a Siddha. One who has attained so-called perfection. When we say attained, it would be releasing all the things that we think we are that we're not.
So that pure consciousness is just flowing spontaneous. And by the way, stages of wakefulness do not delete previous awareness. So I still know where to put my key in which lock to go into a house. That's actually the one that belongs to this body when it's time to go home at night, I don't just pick some random house and walk in and say, move over I'm staying. This
is all houses, all houses are my house. No, it's not quite like that. So it's like climbing a ladder. You see, When you climb And you grab the next rung, the previous rung still exist, but we let go of identifying as much with the previous perspectives. The previous rungs, you have to let go of a previous rung to climb to the next rung, but they still exist.
Sushil: When you said rung of a ladder. It reminded me of the Hindi word rung, which means color. And when you go from one shade to another personal development, it doesn't mean that the previous shades have. Disappeared. So it makes sense in that context as well. .
Scott Schwenk: Yes. Yes.
You'll probably understand a lot of what I'm saying from your original language because a lot of my learning and study in this. Derives itself from Sanskrit teachings.
Sushil: I know that is very strange that I read about your journey, that you are from upstate New York.
Scott Schwenk: Yes,
Sushil: I have been to upstate New York and I never saw Ashrams or any brown people. I visited
Scott Schwenk: there are many, in fact, one of the greatest. Temples tantric temples is in my hometown, just outside of Rochester in rush New York, the Shri Raja Rajeshwari Temple, which name for a Tripurasundari I'm not sure how, your listeners are going to be about some of these things. Tripurasundari is the female. Name for, we could say the source that creates everything that makes everything from its own self, as opposed to in another view, that would be considered Brahman male creator. So there's this temple in Rush, New York to Raja Rajeshwari. If you've seen the shree chakra, that's her geometric,
Sushil: It's probably my own confirmation bias because when I went there, visit my ex's, Family. I was telling myself it's a very conservative part of town and of this extra baggage had built up. And my experience was shaded by that.
Maybe that's why I didn't actually see things that you mentioned in upstate New York, because I felt like this I'm going to be very out of place here.
Scott Schwenk: Well, I'm aware in upstate New York, you are, makes the difference in Rochester, New York. You had the Rochester Institute of technology, which has one of the best engineering schools in the world. where I grew up in Rochester and music school, we have a school that competes with Julliard known as the Eastman school of music, part of the university of Rochester.
So there were tremendous diversity where I grew up, so much in the suburbs, some but more in the city and at the universities, especially. It's a very strong university town and arts centered. It's a very well-funded arts program. And even in the high school where I went to, we were casting silver out of is part of our arts classes and drawing and painting 1, 2, 3, and four, and started on a musical instrument, given private lessons beginning in fourth grade.
I don't know if this is still the case and this was public.
Sushil: I think that's, that's important to have like such a multifaceted development , , for kids, because I think sometimes what happens with the schooling system is that they have this certain set way of going about things. And at least I, it was the case when I was growing up, we were told like, oh, you have to concentrate on and physics and all those subjects because.
Get you to a place where you're financially well off in life. And those are the ones who should concentrate in
Scott Schwenk: That's right.
Sushil: I discovered there's so much value in having a creative side and artistic side
Scott Schwenk: The. actual group behind that temple in Russia, New York was an Indian man who trained as an engineer, as a physicist quite claimed physicist and worked most of his life as a physicist. simultaneously was doing these intense tantric practice. And built. In fact, a three-dimensional Sri chakra.
This is the one with all the interlocking triangles, a three-dimensional temple, and then had to rebuild it after I believe it was an earthquake. This is at a place called Davey Purim. His name was Amritananda, there's not a monastic. He was not a monk. He was a householder with a wife and a very powerful.
Sushil: Sounds a lot like SN Goenka who was instrumental in spreading Vipassana and Dhamma
Scott Schwenk: Yeah.
Sushil: all over the world.
I love that you give the example of and how he was doing all this inner work, but he wasn't a monastic. And he was like a regular person with a wife and a family. And for me, what came up was what you said in one of your guided meditations, is that anything is possible, but the part is not fixed that we should let go of clinging to a certain outcome. Can you expand a bit on that? Because when I think of anything is possible, I'm immediately grasping to the goal or clinging to a certain outcome or destination.
Scott Schwenk: First of all, let's start with the I. So we say I many times a day and we could say I'm hungry at one part of the day. We could say, I miss you at another part of the day is the part that's hungry. The same one that misses our. No, the one that's hungry, we're referring to the body and we've collapsed our sense of self with the body.
I'm hungry. Is it true that I'm no, the body is hungry. The body needs food. I am not my body. I have a body in the same way that I'm not my car. I drive the car. The body gets me from a to B. Now when we say I want to go to Disney world which I speak. There was a great teacher in Russia, Russian teacher who moved all around.
Gurdjieff very fierce teacher, very fierce non dual teacher. And he would say in any one person, there is a theater of selves, all presenting as the true eye. And he would say verify the eyes, which I is speaking in. Is that the true I? And this is really important before we even set any big intentions.
Which part of my psyche is setting the intention. Is it the part that has wounding and trauma from growing up and unmet needs? Is that the part setting the intention for my career, from a schooling or from which spiritual pack practice all select or how fast? I think my progress should be, or is it something deeper?
Something unchanging the I I as Ramana. Maharshi called it. The I I is awareness. My sense of I. Or is it something temporary that has unmet needs from the past and will grasp, cling and chase? There's nothing wrong with an intention in Sanskrit known as sankalpa, a very clear intention that sets the direction for how I'm going to participate in an activity.
But if I begin to, as you say, get attached to an hour. Then I'm stuck. Like Let's say we're driving in the car and we're driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco together and we've got great music going. And suddenly we hit a, roadblock on our chosen route. Well, If we're attached that the, that we have to drive that route and that route only we might be sitting there for days, if the roadblock is sufficient Or if we're not attached to the way we get there, we're just clear that our intention is to arrive in San Francisco.
Then we can explore other routes. If the first one is no longer event. We have the flexibility to be spontaneous and be guided by the truth of the present moment, as opposed to being attached to the guidance of the ordinary, thinking mind, the lower mind, which just really has us walk in circles. How many people have dated the same type of person over and over again, trying not to, but ended up in a similar circumstance or can't seem to leave a same basic zone of how much money they can make or how they feel about their sense of self looking in the mirror.
We tend to walk in circles. The bull thinks he's going on this big, long journey. He's got the blinders on, but he's walking in circles, grinding somebody else's grain all day. Hasn't gone anywhere. And this is the life for most people. This is what in Sanskrit we call Samsara the wheel of suffering. This business of getting attached to having a particular experience, human experience. That That's going to give me my happiness. then we arrive at the experience and we're no happier because ego is onto the next thing and the next thing, and the next thing never resting in our authentic contentment, which is what happens when we turn our attention back to its source through practices like meditation, Dhyana contemplation, atmavichara, selfless service, seva. Giving of our wealth generously for no attachment to an outcome dakshina. So there's these basic principles that if we can do them without attachment, while remaining aligned as best we can with the source of our own attention, the source of our awareness, the source of our own love, there's an evolutionary process that happens that transforms us entirely. And if we're consistent, it happens rather quickly. It's been well said that if we put as much time into our spiritual development and healing our from our past, as we do to growing a building a career, it would happen very, very quickly. And I've watched this.
Sushil: I feel like to some degree you described a lot of my own life the last two years, I felt like someone else had given me this journey or this pot, this is your path to happiness. And I was having the blinders on and. I was told that maybe you know, working in tech or being a software engineer is the only way you can have enough money and you can be happy.
And miserable. As you said, I reached that point in life. Is this it? Is this what life has to offer?
Also another personal experience from my life was like, when I wanted to heal from Lupus. And I just had this very clear intention. I will heal from lupus and that's what I will do.
And the part was not guaranteed at all. I, I wrote it down in a book, underlined it three times, and the next day I got hit by a car and
Wow. what is happening in my life. And then with time and healing, I realized. Because of the accident, they had to remove my spleen and removing the spleen made the immune system less active.
So the auto-immune kind of eased itself down. And that's how I tested negative for disease.
Scott Schwenk: That is such a perfect example right there in your own life of the jury. I could go any number of ways. It could seem very zigzag. What I want to remain focused on is what's the intention, what's the goal. And for me, the clearest intentions it's easy to set intentions. Like I want to heal from lupus, not easy to set them, but that's a clear intention.
If one is suffering from lupus or I want to make, I don't know, quarter of a million dollars a year or whatever the correlate is in your currency. I find that the clearest intentions are, are things. I want to live in the state of love, regardless of circumstances, I want to be able to be fully anchored or deeply anchored in compassion no matter what happens.
So then no matter what I can know if I'm living my intention. And that inner feeling state is what organizes the flow of my activities. It directs the energy of my life. It sets up what I attract. So for me, it's about waking up each morning and two main things ramping up the desire to grow the willingness and the desire to grow and gratefulness.
And it may start with something really, really simple that you might laugh listener, but like for me, it's, it might be the gratefulness of how comfortable my bed feels and that I get to have a comfortable bed, something that's simple. And then just really settling into that feeling of gratefulness and contentment.
And then the next thing, few more things you know, I'm grateful that I can breathe without a machine. I'm grateful that I have an income that supports. I'm grateful that I have friends that are kind to me you know, you can go on like this and build it.
and build a momentum. And then that inner feeling can color the day, as opposed to starting the day immediately looking at what the news which we could call the bad news has to say. And that informs the mind and the nervous system without even realizing. And how the day will go and how I will experience and perceive my moments will be shaped by however I started the day and whatever state I'm choosing to realign myself with throughout the day.
Sushil: Okay. As a followup, we're going to do some time traveling. Two ago, I. Had much hate, internalized unworthiness and negativity that I could never wake up. Like you said, like being grateful that I have a bed. So there are a lot of people who go through that, like the strong, inner critic, strong sense of unworthiness.
And as my case it, it morphed into lupus, like my own. Body's trying to kill me. So what would your messaging would be ? Like, how can they change? Even in the smaller moments, someone who is so entrenched in this kind of thought process.
Scott Schwenk: First of all, if you're still listening at this point in the podcast, you're already somebody who's ready to grow you, you would have tuned out a while ago. So if you're still listening, You actually have an interest in growing. So take a moment and just appreciate that about yourself. Wow. Yeah, I really do have a commitment to grow and I'm sticking it out.
Some of the things that Scott is saying are foreign to me, or I don't know those terms or what I still want to listen. I have this feeling that I should keep listening and something good is here for me. Well, Honor that about yourself and then notice how it feels. To be kind to yourself in that way to actually honor yourself for how you do show up, not for your failings.
How do you show up? I challenge you each of you listening to think of three to five things right now that went well today. They could be very small things. Like you cut your fingernails and you didn't cut your finger, that you could've cut your finger. I've done it plenty of times. Cut too close to the quick of the nail.
So maybe it's something like that, or you cooked your dinner without burning it and it tasted really lovely what are the things that went well today and notice how it feels once you get on the roll of thinking about things that actually went well, notice how it feels in your body. Notice what happens with your breath.
Is it easier and freer? These are indications of how your interstate work is going. How's your breathing and how's your muscles. And how's your ability to pivot when challenges come because they will come. I don't care how awake somebody is. Challenges are still going to come to the ordinary life. We live in a world full of all sorts of temporary circumstances, colliding against each other.
So not everything is going to be ideal.
Sushil: No. And to your point on Gurdjieff was that in his teachings, he says that as the more you grow, the greater the challenges, get the greater, the shadow, the greater.
Scott Schwenk: Often. Yeah. And, my own first teacher, she would say that the further you go, the harder it gets, that's a very Eastern analogy by the way. So if we kind of look back, we pull back from actually being a particular culture. If we can. And we look at Eastern culture like Eastern Jyotish Eastern astrology, they tend to be rather fatalistic.
The reason is to scare people into practice because they believed in understood over hundreds or thousands of years that people would get complacent without a sufficient desire to grow fat, dumb, and happy. As at work, they say that during such a UGA, the golden age, people live to be over a thousand years old, but it took that long to wake up because there weren't enough perturbations that people wanted to get out of suffering.
So it's easy to become complacent if it's all just hotels and holidays. So the suffering becomes a temple bell, the challenges become a temple bell. So if we can actually find a way and don't force yourself if you're not there yet, but if you can find a way to really choose to see that everything is actually moving you towards your highest good and learn how to use it, though.
Contemplate, how might this be for me? What is my part in this thing that happened? What do I, what might I be served to let go of? What am I, attached to that I can let go of? How might I adjust my effort and perspective, then everything really quickly helps us to grow losing my mother and father six months apart, a little over two years ago, or about two years ago.
As challenging as it has been, has been one of the biggest catalysts for my growth at the same time
Sushil: Yeah. And I think you speak about this in one of your guide meditations, is that your understanding of mother kinda completely changed after her? That I also struggled with this, like I, as. He's a very tight, sometimes there's a lot of
Scott Schwenk: control.
Control. Let's just call it what it is control. You will, You will marry who we say you will have the job we say, because we really, as your parents can't stand the idea of you not surviving, if something happens to us. So we're going to push you to do the thing we think is best, but without realizing that comes from our conditioned behaviors, conditioned experiences from how we.
Sushil: Yeah, culturally Indian parents can be pretty controlling. I would say I was somewhat fortunate on the marriage front. I was asked to marry someone because my parents thought it's the right thing, but there is a certain element of control. And I think you said in your talk that even you would get into loggerheads with your mom.
And to be honest, that humanized you a little bit. And I had this false belief that maybe you had a perfect relationship with your family
Scott Schwenk: No, and they have far less than perfect relationship with my father who abandoned me over and over and over. Made very selfish choices over a long period of time. I'm not, I don't believe to be cruel based on his own conditioning, based on the things, the traumas that he didn't metabolize from his own upbringing.
His father passed away from a heart attack when he was. And that very same father would be, would be my grandfather was sent to an orphanage when he was a small boy because his mother died and the father couldn't take care of all the kids and work at the same time. So he sent what would be my biological grandfather to an orphanage.
So there's this pattern that's been playing out generation after generation of a loss of a primary caregiver around seven, eight or nine years old.
Sushil: You talk about this in your main practice that is breath, work doing breath work actually changes your vagal tone how much of an impact does generational or transgenerational trauma on your vagal tone?
Scott Schwenk: Huge impact. And I want to just adjust something. My main practice isn't in work, my main practices breathing because without which my body would be a corpse, but actually my main practice is contemplation. And. My core practices. Mantra. If you cut me open, mantras would come out when I'm not required to think in words, I'm in mantra for several decades and I'm not particularly special.
That's just where my attention has been trained to go. Breath work happens to be what the public finds sexy and interesting because It delivers an experience very quickly. So I can tend to be asked about that the most. Uh, I actually honestly secretly prefer teaching meditation because there's less grasping around meditation.
There's a lot of grasping around breath work. If people don't have some people, if they don't have a big emotional during the breathwork they're upset, or if they don't get really high in the breathwork, they're really upset. So breath work can come with its own attachment. Now vagal tone.
The vagus nerve is of the cranial nerve system. And it said to be the most important it wanders tends to term Vegas or vagabond wandering it. It moves all the way down towards the gut tube from behind the ears and absolutely affects the auto-immune system. The sense of self when there's the terms are toned up or toned down.
So in the Vegas complex is toned down. Auto-immunity goes down with it. Resiliency to stress, goes down. Things like anxiety, depression can increase when vagal tone is increased. These things reverse, and there's a lot of improvement in health resiliency, sense of self confidence, grounding. And and there are some, there's a long list of things that one could Google to find some of the more potent ones that I tend to focus on our breath work, chanting, singing humming, or gargling Macy, making sound in this chest throat region.
Whether you think you can sing or not irrelevant laughing, which combined stuff medic breathing and say. Those are three of them that really, really make a difference and exposure to extreme cold. So whether that's cold showers for starting with 30 seconds at the end of your shower or working a, up to three minutes or ice baths, or if you have cryotherapy access where you are, these things have been proven to increase vagal tone.
Sushil: Wim Hoff technique is one of the other things that I think he also focuses on like icebox and doing the breath work.
Scott Schwenk: Correct. And he's teaching the breath work.
And from my understanding of his people, I worked with some of his teachers come to my work that breathwork is designed to make you able to sit in cold for longer periods of time. It's not necessarily. Intentionally like rebirthing, transformational breath work or what I call ecstatic breath work.
It's not meant to just be a psychoactive experience. It's meant to help you to tolerate the cold and not go into shock.
Sushil: Yeah. I think the goal there is more to improve your immune system and
Scott Schwenk: Yes.
Sushil: It's I think that's centered around that.
Uh it's it's funny how you said that rhetoric is sexy, I believe that people like breathwork or in a way is because, are able to . Make a lot of changes or make strides of improvement in, , in their thought process.
And day-to-day they entered, uh, enter into an altered state and work on their trauma work on the baggage that they're carrying. I'm guessing breathwork gets people into altered states or that, that state where you're more,
Scott Schwenk: Yeah it can, for people who it's appropriate for, and it's not appropriate for everybody to do. And we're talking for the listener, we're talking about often rhythmic breath work gets done through the. There are well over 500 different patterns of breathing in the tradition called pranayama and pranayama does not mean breath work pranayama means regulating controlling and balancing energy.
Otherwise known as Prana. It's not breath work. So just simply learning the full yoga breath is breath work, breathing in through the nose to the count of seven, holding for seven exhaling for seven. Holding for seven and then repeating the process is also breath work. Each of these breathing patterns regulate shapes And directs energy in unique ways.
Some are heating, some are cooling. So what I'm talking about when I say breath work is considered sexy and de rigueur right now is the more active kinds. it's Wim Hoff, the ecstatic breath work, I teach holotropic breath work. Rebirthing. These things are considered often sexy because people do get into peak experience.
And peak experiences can be really valuable because they can build faith that there's something more than my ordinary mind and my past I've had plenty of people do breath work and say to me, my goodness, that was more impactful than a number of years of talk therapy. Because we get into the breath work, there's a shift in the nervous system from the sympathetic and within the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous.
And there's an energy that begins to vibrate and tingle along the body. That's a real actual energy. It's not just a mineral imbalance or some sort of deprivation or hypoxy what's going on is energy is building Pronto is building to be able to move. So the breath is not the work. When I teach breath work, the breath is not, the work awareness is the work.
The breath is a tool to get energy moving. And then what we do with that energy is where. The real student ship comes online. So when you begin to tingle and vibrate, you can send that anywhere. You can send it into your low back and you'll find that the energy will go there. You can send it into your right foot.
Let's just prove this right now. Sushil, let's just do a little exercise, so everybody will do it with you, put all of your attention and focus, just breathe normally, but put all of your attention and focus on the bottom of your right foot. All of your awareness, all of your attention, all of your energy.
of right. When mind wanders, just bring it back. No special experience. Just bring your attention to the bottom of your right foot. How many of you are feeling tingling, vibrating, maybe heat, or some other sensation building at the bottom of your right foot. Now move all of your attention. All of your awareness to your left ear.
Just bring it to the whole region of your left ear. All of your energy, all of your awareness, all of your focus to your left. You'll begin to feel sensation in your left ear where awareness goes, energy follows. So when you're in the heightened state, the peak state that's built through active, rhythmic breath through the mouth.
This can be even more powerful and more intense because of the energy that's been built up. So people can release deeply held blocks. It's been very. helpful for people who are ready to release old traumas tension. And wounds held in the nervous system and then go on to have different experiences of life than the ones they walked into the session with.
Start to see things differently, start to take different actions, different approaches, different ways of engaging.
Sushil: And I had Very intense experience recently, the most intense, and I've been doing this for a year and I usually get , artistic inspiration. I get visions which I bring to the canvas. But recently what happened was I had an experience as if I was back in one of my Ayahuasca ceremonies and I was focusing on the heart.
And I think it was one of the days when we do work on the heart, like the Anat, the chakra, and Just thought about love in a way. And suddenly I just burst out crying because it was about like paths and all of the delusional ways of about love confused it with preference and of that just came and it unraveled and I was crying.
And in that moment, I actually felt very intense self-love I felt like this inner child needs some support and someone to hold it. And I was able to. And that was one of those peak experiences, which I experienced after almost a year of doing the practice.
Scott Schwenk: Yeah, those are common experiences for many people who engage with deep breath where. Particularly often it helps even though more and more people are taking like say my online courses and it can be stronger when there's a facilitator in a live situation, whether that's on the phone, over zoom or even better in person, because there's a sense of safety or I can let go.
If I trust this person, I trust how it feels to be around them. I can let go into something that's unfamiliar and uncomfortable and keep moving with.
Sushil: Totally agree with that because I think being able to be vulnerable and having that sense of community, I think it's one of the four basic needs is belonging.
Scott Schwenk: Yeah.
Sushil: belong in in that setting, or you're able to just let go, great things can happen.
Scott Schwenk: And then that, and then the true belonging can foreground in our experience, which is what happened to you when you burst into tears. And the connection with love is to recognize. I completely belong to the one and I could never not belong to the one. My mind took me away. Into the idea that I'm separate and unworthy, but those were just ideas.
So that's why I say the breath can be like truth serum. It's considered psychedelic. If you check out how to change your mind by Michael Pollan, he's reviewing his experience and other people's studies of working with psychedelics for transformation of the mind. And he includes a whole chapter on breath work because it is.
Psychedelic it without having to take a chemical. I think this is why more and more people who are pursuing sobriety are also pursuing breath work and feel confident using the breath without having to worry about their sobriety. Some people would worry going into a psychedelic ceremony session Ooh, is this going to lead me to start to use again?
Sushil: As Wim would say high on their own supply,
Scott Schwenk: Yeah. Yeah.
Sushil: Coming to your online courses that you just mentioned.
What are some offerings that you're coming up with in the near future?
Scott Schwenk: There's a number of things already that exists on my website. We have what's called the complete breath work and meditation practice package. So there's nine guided meditations, nine guided breath work sessions.
And with associated Dharma talks and they're grouped in threes in themes like resilience clear boundaries Restoring the energy to thrive and things like this. So that's one offering. There is my power of presence, 25 hour training. Then that training. Really all the levers and dials for facilitating teaching and leading without teaching open particular technique, like how to guide meditation or how to lead breathwork or plant medicine ceremony, or be a therapist it's the D delivers and dials through five pillars, practice, integrity, preparation, interstate, and empathy.
So that's another offering and it gets 25 hours of continuing education units with the yoga Alliance along there. Subject matter speaker, subject matter expert pathway let's see, there's some smaller trainings. Like my living in was a training and love training. Yeah, it was like a one off workshop.
So there's things like that. Then there's my commune courses. There's the five day ecstatic breathwork course. It's like about 40 minutes of session. It's completely focused on ecstatic breath work. There's the abundant joy course, which has seven additional breathing techniques. In addition to the ecstatic breath work with Dharma talks and we're moving through understanding metabolizing and opening to.
How these laws of alchemy that are often called the law of attraction really work by building a coherent state, an interstate of abundant joy, and noticing how that attracts different circumstances and changes how we move through life. The most recent one with commune was the living from the heart, and that's a 10 day meditation opportunity.
Each day, we go through meditation through a different lens forgiveness. Healing creativity and so on. And there's the option to do the meditation as a 20 minute version or a 40 minute version for those who are ready to sit a little longer, something I'm cooking up. Actually I should touch on this too.
I've got a retreat coming up in June at the omega Institute, the fifth through the 10th, the alchemy of compassion, there will be future retreats. The omega institutes upstate in upstate New York and Rhinebeck. I'm building out. Some sort of a sadhana training. is the Sanskrit word for the inner work we do from initiation to milestones to culmination points that combines meditation.
Self-inquiry contemplation, selfless service study into a real transformation of your sense of self. And consistent and steady sadhana is what transforms a person while I'm really happy that lots of people are doing physical yoga around the world. Physical yoga has been colonized in a way is to separate it from its roots.
It was never meant to just be physical practice by itself. It's embedded and it's actually originally a tantric tradition, part of a whole awakening. Hi TA how to yoga, sun and moon. That represents the two channels on either side of the, this central channel running just forward of the spine called this assume the sun and the moon channels that EDA and Pingala that each correspond to a nostril.
So half the yoga was originally a tantric system for awakening the Kundalini and guiding it to purify all the blocks and obscurations to live as Wakefield. So I'm really interested in teaching the willing, who are ready to grow, how to do serious. Sadhna that leads to beautiful outcomes and not just for oneself, but where that one becomes a fountain, wherever one goes, whether one's a public teacher or an engineer or a stay at home dad or whatever.
Our interstate is contagious, regardless of what our interstate is. So when we're doing real sadhana, that's connected to an authentic lineage. There's an energy of grace that inspires intuition and clarity about how to meet the practice, how to meet an ordinary moment in a new way. All these sense faculties awaken and become bright.
It's easier to enjoy a lovely bite of food because we're present for it. It's easier to enjoy beautiful love making because we're more present. So I want to be really, really clear depending on who's listening that doing sadhana, doing real skillful, powerful, inner work is not about leaving the world. It's about being fully in the world without, with while being fully not of the. So social media, no longer shaping your sense of self, the new cycle, no longer shaping your sense of self and what you believe is possible. Getting what's possible from source itself and being a fountain of that into the world, regardless of your job.
So that's really what I'm called to do next is courses that show people the joy and the power of.
doing sustained deep practices.
Sushil: Yep. And sadhana is a lot like is actually the hero's journey
Scott Schwenk: A hundred percent.
Sushil: The hero's journey was the motivation for this podcast as well. I wanted to document my own inner work and how this journey is unfolding for me at the same time. If there's even one listener who feels motivated to. Delve into this self exploration are motivated to be 1% better today than they were yesterday.
Then it's a success.
Scott Schwenk: When, When we consider a larger perspective than just earth during say the last 20 years, and we've just imagined even what we understand and have learned about the cosmos. The multi-verse one that there's more than one universe and they can have different laws. Gravity may operate differently in different universes.
Time may operate differently. There may be no time. What there is an abundance of some source material that can become galaxies, planets stars, supernovas, black holes. Multiverses can become anything without losing any of its original power And the tantric writers especially back in the sixth century, Abhinava Gupta wrote about this prolifically or the writer of the Pratyabhijnahrdayam and heard I am the first sutra the one fundamental energy.
Is simultaneously appearing as all things and all possible things without losing any of her original power Citiḥ svatantrā viśvasiddhihetuḥ. Svecchayā svabhittau viśvamunmīlayati she's projecting this like a movie the screen of her own awareness. She is the screen. She is the actor. She's the story.
She's the camera, she's the audience. she is you, whether you know it or not, we are not separate. From our source and therefore we are not less than our source. This I think is why Buddha said place no head above or below your own recognize the truth. don't wait as the great St Kabir said, don't wait, don't think that ghosts are going to do it for you when you're doing. People often wait to do practice until there's some calamity when they feel like they need help. Getting through the surgery, getting through the court case, getting pregnant when it's difficult or whatever start now, death is certain. The time is not. What is the most important thing since death is certain for all of us at the end of the Greeks would say, or is it Greek?
I think it's actually Latin memento. Mori. I'm not a Latin expert memento Mori. I believe that's Latin. Not remember death to feel bad, but remember it could happen at any moment let that have you, I, us fully live in the truth of the present moment now, now, and now, and now.
Sushil: fully live in the truth of the present moment. Now what a wonderful message to close on before we go, Scott, what is one small thing that our listeners could. And our day-to-day lives, which would improve it by just a little bit.
Scott Schwenk: The six points of softening is what I call it.
Sushil: Could you walk us through that?
Scott Schwenk: for sure. Some people have really learned how to relax and inner meditation through a body scan, sweeping up and down the bottom. Finding tension exhaling it. And that, that works just fine me. What came about a number of years ago the six points that when you soften all of them, everything in between will soften.
It's easier to be more present in the board meeting, listen to your children when they've been prattling on too long, or go into meditation or go into any other circumstance. So begin with softening the soles of your feet. Like you're opening fists with your imagination, so you don't need to use any muscular moves.
Just imagining the soles of your feet, opening like flowers, like fists, easy, effortless, the softening, the skin, and connective tissue in the muscles all the way to the boat. Let the breath come in a little deeper and let it go out a little slower. Have the feeling that you're receiving the breath rather than taking the breath that the universe universal energy is breathing your body. You continuing to soften the soles of your feet now include your hands in the same way. No special hand position, just softening the souls and the palms softer and softer. Make it up that it's easy. And let the next inhale lift your awareness to the region of the physical head, where you're now softening the four corners of your eyes.
The inside corners of the outside corners melting like butter on a hot. While you're also softening the region inside and around your ear. Letting go, Letting go, and let your tongue and rest in the floor of your mouth. Softening your tongue from end to end. As you soften all the little muscles running throughout the pelvic floor grind region, sphincter, PC muscle, softer and softer.
So the breath comes in a little deeper and goes out a little slow. And playfully, you soften all six points. Now at the same time, soles, palms, eyes, ears, tongue, and pelvic floor groin region, noticing how that feels. And you're already in a light meditative state and it's easy. And the more you practice, the easier it is.
So I invite you to practice this throughout the day sorts of activities and notice that?
you'll be more present and better at the activity.
Sushil: I'm so relaxed right now, personally, I just feel like everything melted away I do this a few times a day and I noticed immediate results.
Thank you so much for that. And Scott, has been, it's been an absolute pleasure and thank you for a time and it's it's an honor that you able to join this podcast and I'm extremely grateful to have.
Scott Schwenk: Thank you for having me. And may it benefit as many people as possible.
Sushil: Thank you.
Scott Schwenk: You're welcome.
Meditation Teacher, Master Coach, Mindful Alchemist
Scott Schwenk’s teaching, through a mixture of Dharma talks, Meditations, and Breathwork Practices, guides seekers to explore their deepest selves leading them to live their lives free from tension and full of trust.
Known for his hugely popular Wanderlust Festival workshops, his Unplug teaching, and online trainings, Scott has been catalyzing the inner evolution of others for decades: helping them to grow, transform obstacles into opportunities, and find Love within.
Scott spent several years living and studying in a Hindu monastery which introduced him to the core body of Tantric traditions, which continue to flow through each of his teachings. Apprenticeships in leadership development, meditation and philosophy training, spiritual awakening, and Vedic rituals were all part of Scott’s development into the thought-leader
that he is today.
Scott’s teaching moves through the core principles of Waking Up, Growing Up, Cleaning Up, and Showing Up. These lenses can be used to allow willing participants to work through their adult ego development and access wider perspectives through consistent meditative practices.