Alright guys, let me catch you up from this morning. Also, just want to mention, I am continuing to feel great, good energy, not using any stimulants. No coffee. I’m just feeling good. Just want to share it. For whatever that’s worth. This morning, I went and did my laser hair removal. The only things that I’ll add there are, the supplement that I’m taking, a lot of you guys know that I have a low thyroid, so, I’m taking a supplement called DHEA. It’s resulting in some additional hair growth. I’m actually starting to regrow hair in areas that I’ve already had completely lasered off, which kind of sucks and I think that somewhat defeats the purpose of going for laser hair removal. But I’m going to see if we can just– They can set the intensity of the device, and so, I asked her to set it a little bit higher today, and, I don’t know, we’ll see. But, for the most part, most of the hair that we’re lasering off is staying off. most of it, but it’s definitely growing back a little bit more than it should because of the supplements that I’m taking. After laser hair removal, I met Laura at a place up the street called Zen bonsai. I’ve talked about this in a couple of episodes. I’ll say briefly that it’s unbelievable that here I am, in Medellín, Colombia, I’m someone that has been studying Zen, studying specifically Taoism for many years. This guy, he’s originally from Taiwan. He actually moved to Medellín about seven years ago. The owner’s name is Tomas. Tomás. He’s 2 blocks up the street from me, with a massive Zen garden where a guy who comes from Taiwan. I don’t know, the world is a small weird place. Laura and I have been doing these Zen Bonsai meditation classes, where we are actually learning how to meditate with a bonsai. By the way, guys, if you can hear that chirping in the background, we have a bunch of guests here today. I guess a guest appearance on today’s episode. They’re just waiting out the rain and they’ve been quiet for the most part. Now they’re chirping a lot. Anyway, they’re going to be probably making a lot of noise, and I kind of like having them there, so… We’ll just leave them there. So, anyway, Zen bonsai meditation, what’s really cool and what I’ve really enjoyed about this is, I’ve been meditating for many, many, many years. But I’ve never actually looked into the history of meditation. I’ve never wanted to, or even had a desire to understand a lot of the foundations of meditation. And so, what’s interesting with these courses, yeah, we are meditating with a bonsai plant, but the courses are so much more than that. This is not only a full introduction to meditation, it’s a full explanation of meditation, and we’re also learning how and why a lot of the different techniques and practices developed over time. When you guys see a Buddha statue, when you guys see a painting or a photo of someone meditating from the past, you’ll almost always see them in a specific position, I think it’s called the lotus position where basically they’ll have their legs crossed. Now, this leg is brought up here, I’m pretty flexible, but I’m not that flexible. And then, this leg, is brought up here. I never understood why that was, I never even had a desire to understand why that was. As our teacher, Tomás, explained, it’s actually to restrict circulation, which just creates a more calmer state. I thought that was interesting. What other stuff was interesting? From time to time, over the course of my meditation practice, which I think now it’s got to be about 6 years, I’ve wondered or questioned if I’m doing it right, which is a silly question, I can say that now in retrospect, but, at the time, I was used to see them sitting a certain way, and breathing a certain way, and holding their hands a certain way, and, the way that I meditate is very different. I usually sit cross-legged, but, if I try to sit cross-legged on the floor, if I’m not on this bean bag, that allows me to kind of move it around and manipulate it to be able to take my form. If I try to meditate on the floor, I don’t know why it is, but I think maybe my legs are smaller than my butt– I’m just never able to get comfortable. I don’t feel good and my lower back immediately starts to hurt after a couple of seconds. On this bean bag, I can get into a position where I can sit like this for hours. This is why I love the bean bag, because it takes my form versus a pillow on the ground where I have to take the form of the pillow, if that makes sense. There’s been times over the course of my meditation practice, over the past years, where I’ve questioned “Am I doing it right?” which is kind of silly. If I’m sitting a certain way, sometimes I like to sit with my back against the wall, I like to just sit sprawled out on the ground. I like to meditate a lot when I’m running, or if I’m at the gym, if I’m on the elliptical machines, somewhere stationary where I can actually close my eyes, I love to meditate there. I love meditating if I’m on my bicycle or running. And I just wondered– Anyway, it’s a silly question. That was another thing that we learned today, that there’s this style of meditation which is called Mahayana. You know, sitting a certain way and breathing a certain way, these are all recommendations but it stipulates that there’s no specific way that we have to do meditation. And it was just nice to hear that. The classes are going really well. I’m going with Laura. She’s loving them. She’s loving the classes because– She’s at a more beginner level of meditation. She’s a beginner. It’s good to see her, it’s good to talk to her and listen to her as she is practicing, and you know, running into those initial obstacles that most people face when they start meditating. The running mind, feeling like you’re not doing it right, trying to have some sort of specific objective when– It’s very complicated because with meditation, a lot of people will sit down and they have an objective. And they have an intention. You sit down, it’s like “Okay, I’m going to focus on my breath and I’m not going to think other thoughts”, and, “I’ve heard also that if I think about the way that I should approach thoughts as I’m meditating is that I should just allow them to float by me”, but then as we’re– Especially if we’re new to meditation, we always just feel like we’re screwing up or we’re not doing it right, or we’re not able to clear our mind and so, it’s interesting to learn some of the initial foundations of meditation, which I’ll share some of the stuff that we’ve learned with you guys. And this is also interesting for me too because some of the stuff is actually, it’s good for me to hear, and learn, and actually start to begin to implement in my own meditation practice so that I can improve and refine what I think is already a very good practice. Our teacher shared with us that there are five steps prior to meditation. First is stretching. You want to stretch your body, especially if you’re meditating first thing in the morning, you want to be nice and loose. Second is relaxation. And you want to, not only relax your body, there’s different ways to relax just very quickly. You want to connect your breath to movement so breathing in, I would put my hands up further, but I’m going to hit stuff. Breathing in, you want to– Something like that and then you breath out. You want to connect your breath and the movement, and just feel relaxation kind of sweep through your entire body. You want to ever develop a click, so that whenever you go to meditate in the future, or even if you don’t have time, or you’re not in a place where you can just do that, where you can just can of click and just feel your entire body relax, and you know all of the places to search to relax it. We tend to hold tension in our face, we tend to always have just some sort of tension in our face. we can just relax that, relax the legs, shoulders, we maintain a lot of tension. Relax the shoulders, just relax your mouth. We usually have a lot of tension there, and you can, with a lot of meditation practice, you’ll actually, if you guys use Calm or any of those other meditation apps, many of the classes will actually have you go through each part of your body and just let go of tension at the beginning of the meditation. Where are we? Stretching, relaxation, “Respiración”, breathing. So, this is something that I already have, that I already do naturally, but it took a lot practice and a lot of time. Which is, when you breathe, if you guys are watching at home, you can even try this yourselves, you’ll notice, most of you, that when you breathe– Just breathe and try to see, try to pinpoint where you feel it in your body. Try to pinpoint it. For most of you guys, you’re going to feel it in your chest, you’re going to feel you’re breathing to your chest. And really, you should be breathing into your abdomen. And so, what you can do, is just consciously breathe into your abdomen. What you’re going to find is your stomach will– You can actually, if you focus your attention you can breathe directly into your abdomen. And, the idea is to be able to get to the point where you’re just doing that naturally throughout the day. When I’m walking around, I usually maintain a little bit of tension here, but whenever I go to meditate, most of my meditation is breath meditation where I’m focusing on my breath, and so, for me, it’s something that I will do naturally. Breathe into my abdomen. Where were we at? Stretching, relax, breathing– Reflection. You want to reflect before you meditate, and what that means is, you want to be conscious of all of the things you’re thinking because very often when we go to meditate, we’re overwhelmed with thoughts, and the meditation isn’t that productive. Even though it’s always productive, as long as you go and you sit and you take the time, you shouldn’t look at it as “I have a goal” and “Did I or did I not accomplish this goal?” It is really helpful to, before you start to meditate, to just think the things that you want to think or desperately– Especially if you have stuff that’s really running through your mind, think that, but also be conscious of the you that is thinking that. It’s almost as if you want to get that out of the way so that you can go into your meditation and just be relaxed. You’re already conscious of all this stuff that you’re thinking about, and all of the stuff that you have to think about, so that this way, when you go to meditate, you can just meditate. And, the last thing, this is something that you do during the meditation, and this is something that I’ve never done and I’m just starting to learn now, is imagination. “Imaginación” What that means is, specifically, I always meditate with my eyes closed. Sometimes I’ll meditate with a candle. But I’ve never practiced what’s called the third eye, and imagination is basically where you’re practicing your third eye, where you are meditating with something in front of you you keep your eyes about 80% close-20% open, and you you basically, see a connection between your third eye and that thing that you’re observing. You want to basically imagine like a bridge of light going from you to that thing. I think, the purpose of this is for you to be able to see yourself inside of that thing, and for you to also see that thing inside of yourself and to understand that, in doing that, that you are the same thing. I think that’s purpose. I’ve always, if I meditate with a candle in front of me, I always try to do that. But I’ve never actually tried to imagine a light bridge. What’s really useful about meditating with a candle is, if you close your eyes, you’ll actually see the light kind of form like a bridge, like a connection. Anyway, I think this is all interesting stuff. I wanted to just share that with you guys. Most of the classes that we’re doing over there, we’re focusing on just basics and understanding what Zen meditation is. Then we’re spending some of the class actually meditating with a bonsai plant. Tomás, our teacher, will have us go out into his yard. It’s really an incredible place. He’s got thousands and thousands of bonsai. And what’s more incredible is that, this guy lives 2 blocks away from me. The world is so small. I’m in Medellín, Colombia. Tomás will have us go out into his yard, we’ll pick out a bonsai that we feel that we kind of resonate with, and we’ll bring it over to a table, and we’ll sit down and we’ll meditate with it. Basically, that process of meditation, we’re learning new techniques every time, so, today what we did is, we focused on the totality of the plant. What’s really interesting with bonsai is, they’re so detailed. If I were to show you guys a little tiny photo of a bonsai, you’d probably think it was a massive tree. There’s so much detail in this little tiny plant, and they’re all so different, they all have different colors. When you start to really look at them, and connect with them, you’ll see that they have different energies. It’s beyond just the physical characteristics of the plant. They all have an essence, and each one is so distinct and unique, and it’s really cool. What we do is, we sit with the bonsai in front of us. Eyes, 80% closed-20% open. We observe every detail, we try to see the essence of the plant inside of us. We try to see ourselves inside of the plant. There’s a whole bunch of different techniques and things that we’re doing today, we focused on vitality. We actually focused on using that third eye to see like a green vitality color within the plant, and then to bring that into ourselves. Anyway, it’s really interesting. I really love it. I would love to actually make a full episode if you guys are interested, just let me know in the comments below and I can do that. Last thing I want to mention, this is kind of exciting news actually, is I finished off today– We’re just going to finish the episode now because I want to go do other stuff, but I had my boxing class after the Zen bonsai meditation, and I’ve decided what I’m going to do, this actually relates to my Dark Mode goals, my previous expressive goal was to compete in a salsa competition. What I’ve decided to do now that I’m more focused on boxing, and I really want to explore the world of boxing, is I’m going to have an amateur boxing match. What I’m going to do is, I’ll set a date. I think I can be ready by late February-early March. Roughly that timeframe, so about 3 months. I’m already working with my trainer to find events, and basically, see if I can fight someone that’s roughly my level. At that point, I’m going to have about 4 months of experience. I’d like to fight someone that has maybe a year of experience. I think I’ll be able to learn really fast because of my dancing, and I think also stuff like endurance and cardiovascular, I can build up very quickly. I’m already pretty strong, but I’m going to have to lose a good amount of weight if I’m going to be competing against people that are more my height. Anyway, I don’t know. I’m excited about that. I’m going to basically give everything that I have. As a human being, I function really well when I have goals and I have dates, and I can’t escape them. Friends are back on the ledge, by the way. It’ll be really nice to just know, “Okay, March 5th, I am fighting someone”. “He’s going to be trying to take my head off and I need to be ready”. Now that I have my energy back, and I feel good. And, I love fighting. You guys know, I’m a huge UFC fan. I just love everything about fighting and it’s really exciting to actually now be learning techniques, pushing my body physically, being able to connect the physical to my expressive. I wish I’d started fighting when I was younger. Alright guys, I think we’ll leave the episode here. If you guys enjoyed the episode, please give it a Like. If you guys like me, please give it a Like. I’m not asking for money. I’m literally just asking you guys to click the little Like button. So, help me out. If you guys haven’t already subscribed, please subscribe, please click the notification bell. And, I’ll see you guys in the next episode. Bye!