Tim Brown – Meditation for Modern Day Living

Meditation teacher, Tim Brown, joins me to talk about the importance of meditation for modern-day living. The concept of overwhelmability, emotional and mental hygiene and why health and wellbeing have been so focused on nutrition and exercise but the next big thing will be how to relax the body and mind daily. This was an incredibly inspiring episode and Tim is such an excellent communicator/storyteller.

Tim Brown website

Tim Brown Instagram


Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:07] Hello and welcome to Unstress. I’m Dr Ron Ehrlich. Now, this is an unusual podcast and the first of many. This is actually both video and audio. So, if you’re used to listening to this just as the audio. Well, I hope you continue to use it. But if you’d like to put some faces to the names and some expressions to it all and make it seem a whole lot more personal and real.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:30] We’vedecided to go with video and audio and use the last few months of being on Zoomhas kind of empowered us to come out and show ourselves. Well, today we aretalking about meditation. But today’s conversation is just so exceptional. Idon’t want to spoil it for you. My guest today is Tim Brown. Tim, as you willhear, has been teaching meditation for over 20 years to literally thousands ofpeople. He has some great analogies, some great examples, some great images ifyou like.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:01:08] And I foundit incredibly empowering. So, I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with TimBrown.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:01:18] Welcome tothe show, Tim.

Tim Brown [00:01:19] Thanks, Ron. Very niceto be here.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:01:22] Tim,meditation. Big topic and an important one, obviously, we’re going to betalking about today. But before we dived into it, I wondered if you might justshare with our listener a little bit about your own journey.

Tim Brown [00:01:34] Yeah, of course. Youknow, originally a country boy from out near Central West New South Wales.Before all of this, I was a rugby playing, beer drinking agriculturaleconomist. Twenty-two years ago. And, you know, school, university. And actually,ended up getting a job in his Uzbekistan in 1996 and growing cotton. And I livedin a Muslim village pretty much on my own for a couple of years while actuallydeveloping models to privatise agriculture in the former Soviet and spent acouple of years out there. And I was looking for an adventure. And I got oneand learnt to speak Russian in Uzbek. And all kinds of drink vodka and allkinds of things. And, you know, critical life skills. And then came back toAustralia and it was time to kind of settle down, grow up and get a job. And Iwas very fortunate to be introduced to my teacher, that guy just up therebehind in the blue shirt. His name is Tom Noll’s. Right. Tom was very wellknown here in Australia on the 70s, 80s and 90s. Yes. Trained neuroscientiststhat had given up a career in neuroscience to teach meditation, which is whereI got really interested. And I was very fortunate to meet you and learn tomeditate. Twenty-three years ago, now. And learnt to meditate immediatelystarted feeling more relaxed and at ease and connected and open and moved outof agriculture into event management. And then brand strategy and development.Things that I had no backgrounding in and would never have had the confidence.But I was just meditating twice a day for 20 minutes and just felt morerelaxed, at ease, connected, stable. And I just started putting myself outthere and some pretty, pretty fun things started happening. And yeah, so I didthat for a few years. Fell in love with this. Decided this is what I wanted todo. Ended up asking Tom to train me, which he did. And I came back here toAustralia and set up a centre about twenty years ago. We taught about sixthousand people to meditate now over the last 20 years.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:46] Tom Noll’sactually I did one of his courses in the Paddington Centre and I think he wasin Paddington.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:53] Anyway, Idid that in the early 90s, early 90s, and it was called then Transcendentalmeditation. And it’s since morphed into Vedic meditation.

Tim Brown [00:04:05] That’s right. So, Tomwas part of the TM organisation for 35 odd years, and his teacher was thatgentleman up there in the white robe, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And then Tom andthe TM organisation went their separate ways, as happens with manyorganisations. And became Vedic meditation. So, you know, this has beencalled… It was called TAM for a period of time. Before that, it was DM, whichis deep meditation. This technique has actually been around for over 5000years. There’s an unbroken lineage over 5000 years old with this practisethat’s been called lots of things over the last five thousand years. We call itVedic meditation now.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:04:52] And, ofcourse, that Vedic meditation, Vedic tradition is that that goes back over manyyears. We’ve actually interestingly, you’ve raised so many things there. But,you know, we’ve done a program on Ayurvedic medicine. Yeah. And we’ve doneothers on meditation, too. And interestingly, that your background isagricultural because we’ve done so many podcasts on regenerative agriculture.And that’s a whole other story. But let’s focus today on the meditation. And,you know, what are some of the issues in our modern world, as you see it, thatyou know, that make this so important?

Tim Brown [00:05:29] Yeah, I was watching aTED talk the other day, and it was by one of the world’s leadingneuroscientists. He was saying that someone living a city anywhere in the worldin 2020 is being exposed to the same levels of stimulation in one day thatsomeone 250 odd years ago would have been exposed to in their whole lifetime.And he graphed it. And, you know, if we’re going to draw a little X Y air graphhere, if that was 250 thousand years ago and that was today for two hundredforty-nine thousand seven hundred odd or seven hundred fifty years, we’ve beenwalking at four, five kilometers an hour, running at 10 to 12 kilometers anhour for short bursts.

Tim Brown [00:06:08] The demand levels werefairly consistent for two hundred fifty thousand years, jump forty-ninethousand seven hundred fifty years. It was only 250 or so years ago that steamturned up, you know, then electricity and cars. And then, you know, radio,media, plane travel only became available to the general population in themid-1960s. We forget it was just a blink of a moment ago, blink of an eye ago.Then, of course, you know, and of course, this thing just then starts toescalate when we start getting to the, you know, 80s, 90s, you know, thenemail, then Internet, then Google, then mobile phones and smartphones. Thisthis thing just escalated exponentially. And in a very, very short period oftime, the stimulation levels that the human brain and nervous system is beingexposed to even over the last three hundred years, if you look at that. Butmore specifically, the last 30 years, it’s just increased exponentially in avery short period of time. And the third law of thermodynamics says, as youexcite or stimulate any system will naturally move towards a state of disorderor chaos as you de-excite a system it will naturally move towards a state oforder.

Tim Brown [00:07:24] So here we are in thisincredibly stimulating world with technology and travel and, you know, sugars,preservatives, et cetera, et cetera. And this enormous increase in stimulationin a very short period of time is moving the human brain and nervous systemtowards a state of disorder or chaos. And the qualities of an orderly,conscious state, as stated by neuroscience, are alacrity, which brings aboutclarity, perspective and vision, creativity, energy, joyfulness, intelligenceand prints out as physical well-being. That’s the printout of an orderly,conscious state. As you start to overstimulate that system, it’ll start to moveaway from those qualities. So, we start to lose clarity, lose creativity, loseperspective, lose ease in the mind and the body. And if unchecked, will buildover time towards dis-ease. And we’re seeing that happen at extraordinaryrates. So, you know what? When you really take all the fluffy nonsense out ofmeditation and, you know, there is that soft side to it. But, you know, thevery scientific approach to it is we’re in a world where the stimulation levelsare increasing. We have to counterbalance that by de-exciting the consciousstate on a daily basis. And to counterbalance or mitigate the overstimulation.And that’s where meditation, which is this ancient technique, is suddenlybecoming such a powerful and critical tool. And we’re so fortunate that othersbefore us have done the work and worked out how to facilitate and trigger thatprocess of settling the mind, relaxing the body, turning off the adrenals,turning on the serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin. We can do that with meditationand doing it daily. Not, you know, a couple of good holidays a year. That’s notenough anymore.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:09:23] I’ll tellyou when you put it, I mean, because we are still working with the samehardware and software that we have evolved to. But the programs that are comingat us is just it’s just totally it’s phenomenal. And I think you may have justdescribed what I was going to ask you because I know you’ve invented this word”overwhelm ability”…. unoverwhelmability. I mean, I think you’vejust covered it. Is that. Is that what it’s about? Is that just that that’s thegoal?

Tim Brown [00:09:57] That is the goal. And,you know, for years, you know, I’d been you know, my wife and I had three kidsunder two years. Nine months. Wow. No twins. Just one after the other. They are14, 15 and 16 at the moment. And. And I’d be at a kid’s party or a dinner partyor something. And people would say to me, you know, tell me one word whatmeditation can deliver to me. You know, people are in such a rush these days.And I’d say to them, well, you know, if you want to talk about it, let’s talkabout it, but let’s not soundbite it. But the question kept coming again andagain and again. Eventually, I thought, what? I’ve got to rise to the challengehere. And I couldn’t think of a word. So, I made one up and the word wasunoverwhelmability. The ability to be unable to be overwhelmed. And the way Italk about it is with the rigours of day to day life and that overstimulation,we’re being drawn up into what I call the front row of the conscious cinema.So, you know, when you go to the movies, you get stuck in the front row.Horrible experience. It can be, you know, can be an Academy Award winningactor, actress, cinematographer, costume, everything. But if you’re in thefront row, it’s a really uncomfortable experience, sound and the noise and youcan’t see the picture. It’s very uncomfortable. It’s an overwhelmingexperience.

Tim Brown [00:11:22] And the solution isnot to leave the cinema. The solution is to work out how to get back a few rowsin the cinema. And if we can get back a few rows in the cinema, then the screendrops back. The sound settles, you know, choc up in one hand, somebody you likenext to you or popcorn if savoury is your thing. And we can really lendourselves to the, you know, the sound and the emotion. We can really lendourselves on all levels, sensorial and emotionally to that experience withoutbeing consumed or overwhelmed by it. And this is exactly what we’re looking todo with meditation, is get back a few rows in the conscious cinema, because ifwe don’t know how to do that and we’re up here in the front row of theconscious cinema, which is where the lights drawing us to it triggers anddemands, then the only solution to that sense of being overwhelmed is tocontrol, you know. Can I control all the variables? If I can control all thevariables, then I’m not going to be overwhelmed. I can get everything to be ina way that I can handle and manage. And then I won’t feel this sense of anxietyand overwhelm. And of course, that can’t be done. Nobody can do that. Certainlynot sustainably. And so, it’s an unsustainable model. And this is what peopleare realising. And us humans are amazingly resilient, you know, entities willkind of give that a go. Good, solid go. If I can just get the, you know, thebody looking like this and the bank account like this, and the relationshiplike this and the house looking like this, if I can get all my ducks lined upthey’ll be this moment where everything’s going to be hunky-dory. The to dolist is going to be empty. And I can relax and enjoy. And you and I both knowthat time is never, ever going to come. It’s like the horizon, the more that wewalk towards it, the further it falls away from us. And this is the basis ofthe anxiety and the depression we are seeing in the world. These people areexhausting themselves, trying to get to this point where they can breathe andhave a moment and relax. And it’s not it’s not it’s not coming. And this isjust consuming and it’s exhausting and it’s depressing because I try and useall my effort and energy and adaptability and organising power. I get no closerto this moment in which I can experience some kind of peace or relief. Andthat’s because that methodology doesn’t work.

Tim Brown [00:13:52] The methodology thatdoes work is if we can learn how to settle the mind, relax the body, process,destress every day, shift the flight, shift ourselves out of that flightbiochemistry, the adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol coagulants into the whatI call the stay and play biochemistry, the opposite of flight and fight is stayin play. Serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, that wonderful biochemical cocktail.And the brain and body are designed to run on that that cocktail. It’s designedto do so. But if we get locked in that flight fight response, which is what so manypeople are doing, they forget about how to access that other state. We start tocultivate that through meditation. We’re able to get back a few rows in theconscious cinema. And again, there’s that space. It gives us thatmental-emotional space that allows us to see things clearly, see things early,you know, adjust, adapt, interact. Our timing and delivery get better. Andthat’s where life becomes challenging but playful rather than challenging andstressful. There’s no such thing as a stressful situation. It doesn’t exist.There’s a stress response to a given demand. But that, from my model, dependson where you are in the conscious cinema. And we all know it. You know, whenwe’re tired and exhausted, the teaspoon falling off the kitchen bench can throwus into flight fight response. You know, it’s like someone’s going to die here.You know, how quickly can I get away from the demand? When we’re relaxed and atease? That doesn’t even touch the sides. And so, this is what we’ve got tolearn how to do is to get back a few rows in the conscious cinema. And to beable to do that right in the thick and the rigours of day to day life. Andthat’s why I’ve got my centre opposite the Four in Hand pub here in Paddington.You know, I want to show people how you can do this right in the thick of it.I’m not up in the Blue Mountains. I’m not sitting up in Byron Bay. You’ve gotto learn how to do this right on the coal face in the thick of it. And that’swhat I love about this practice, is it’s what I call the Formula One pitstop inmeditation, refuel, new tyres, back on track. The world doesn’t need morepeople sitting around with their eyes closed for hours on end. It needs morepeople in it. Back a few rows in the conscious cinema, you know, with clarity,creativity, energy, joyfulness, intelligent perspective that can be right inthe thick of life, but not be overwhelmed and consumed by it. And when we canbe like that consistently, we can be a big net contributor to our families, toour friends, to our work environments. And that’s what the world desperatelyneeds more now than ever. Is people that can be big net givers. And there’s alot of stress, tension, fatigue, you know, is the thief in the night. And itrobs us of us, robs our loved ones of us, our family of us, our friends of us,society, country, world, environment of us. And we’ve got to work out how tohit the pressure and fill up our own tank on a daily basis.

Tim Brown [00:17:02] And my experience is,as a person in my own right, as a husband and or a father, Will Gracie Rosieand a meditation teacher and a son and a brother. And we’ve all got a thousandhats, is if we’re going to do something around this. My experience is it’s gotto fulfil three criteria. Cannot take very long. Got to be able to do itanywhere. It has to have very few, if any, prerequisites. And that’s you know,that’s what this does. Vedic meditation does beautifully. If you can sit downand close your eyes on a bus, train, plane, car, board, drone park bench, youcan sit down and close your eyes. You’re good to go. That’s it. And 20 minuteslater, you practise mind settled body relaxed, out of flight and fight, intostay in play, and we’re ready to go. We’re back a few rows in the consciouscinema and we’re ready to launch you to make a contribution.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:58] I love youranalogies, Tim. I really do. I mean, it does put it into a context. I love thetheatre analogy and I love that building. I was reminded of it yesterday as Iwas driving home and I was looking at a bus stop and there was a group ofteenage boys from a local private school. Yeah, it was about 10, 15 of them,which in my experience through school would have been a raucous site. Yes. Andthere they were all sat all every single one of them sat looking at theirphones and who knows? I mean, obviously bombarded by this exponentialinformation that you’ve mentioned to us. And we’ve done so many programs onmental health as well. And what a huge and growing problem it is right acrossthe board. I mean, you know, this is this is a major problem from what we areall faced with this unoverwhelmability… love it because we are overwhelmed.You’ve covered you’ve touched on that. So, the benefits, the benefits you’vementioned just run us through those benefits of meditation.

Tim Brown [00:19:11] Yeah, I think, youknow, I think, you know, let’s have a look at the source of those de-excite theconscious state, settled the mind and body. Relax. De-excitation brings about,again, clarity in thinking, creativity, energy, joyfulness prints out asphysical well-being. And that’s what we’re really, you know, interested incultivating one of the great if you know, over the 20 years that I’ve beenteaching. If I’ve seen one real thing with meditation, people go into meditationtrying to, you know, achieve something. And in fact, the real subtlety tomeditation is about setting meditation up, triggering it and allowing it tohappen. That’s the art of meditation. And what that allows and what that doesis it invites into the process that natural intelligence in the mind and bodythat as you and I sitting here quietly now having a little cup of tea as we’resitting here now. And you would know this better than I you know, there are sixtrillion things per second going on in our nervous system. It’s anextraordinary intelligence. It’s an incredible thing if we were to meet in nineyear’s time. The only aspect of the body that you and I sitting in today thatwould be in the room in nine year’s time would be your specialty, our teeth.Otherwise, every other cell in the body will have been replaced at least oncein nine year’s time. So, there’s this magnificent intelligence that is awhole-body replacement program. As you and I are sitting here quietly. Oureyebrows are growing as you and I are chatting here.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:20:59] I didn’twant to say to me that they’re a little bushy. I know it.

Tim Brown [00:21:06] But, you know, this isincredible intelligence. And what meditation is about is about, you know, it isabout giving that intelligence in the mind and body that’s capable ofstructuring six trillion things per second, an opportunity twice a day to dowhatever it needs to do. And it’s about giving that intelligence 20 minutes andtriggering a little process inside of that sequence. Inside of that thattriggers the mind to settle, the body to relax. And that incredible healingcapability. And, you know, restructuring and reorganising and repairingcapacity in the brain and body to do what it’s designed to do. Because out herein the world where, you know, we’re out here ticking stuff, stuff off the list,you know, we’re that very go forward motion. And what we’re learning how to dois to go this way just for a few moments before we launch into the dynamics.And this has become a forgotten art. And the ultimate metaphor for meditationis archery. So, the whole goal of Archery is to hit the target, twenty-fivemetres in this direction. And yet, if we know what we’re doing with the bow andarrow, we put the arrow in the bowstring. The first thing we do is draw thatstring back, you know, seven or eight inches. Now, this is a very interestingaction when you look at it. I’m trying to put this arrow. What am I trying todo? The goal is to put this arrow twenty-five metres in that direction in theshortest amount of time, most effectively. And the first thing we do is thisdoesn’t make sense initially. Yet in drawing that bowstring back, we createthat potential in the bowstring. That bowstring is now quivering with potentialwe then take aim and then release the bowstring. And in a microsecond, we gettwenty-five metres a result. This is a law of nature that has us humans haveforgotten to apply to ourselves. We see it everywhere and we apply it in allother kinds of ways. But we’ve forgotten how to apply this to ourselves.Everyone in construction knows you want to go up two stories or 200 storiesthat way first foundation in, then we go that way. Every plant and tree thatwe’ve ever seen. There’s a beautiful tree just out the window here in ElizabethStreet. They all know they’ve got to invest time, effort, energy going this wayin order to successfully and sustainably go this way. Every golfer as theyapproach and address a ball. No, they’ve got one of two options.

Tim Brown [00:23:33] They can either flipthat thing down the fairway, which is one methodology, but it’s not the mostartful. Or they can take that club and do something very, very strange. Theycan draw, spend time and effort and energy drawing the club away from the bowl.And then they release the club and, you know, then they get a greater result.And this is exactly the same law of nature. Remember those little cars we hadas kids and you’re in the corridor with your brother or sister or friend, and youhad one of two options. You can either flick it down, you know, the corridor,you can take that moment and draw it back and load it and then release it.Exactly the same principle. And yet us humans have forgotten the art of doingthis and the value of doing this. And just like we don’t go back too far withthe bowstring, we don’t have to spend too much time doing this. 20 minutes willdo the trick. It’s a natural circadian rhythm of rest. And we go this way,practise and then we launch. And this is where all the fun is. But we’ve got toput a conscious foundation on our conscious experience.

Tim Brown [00:24:38] We’ve got to put aconscious keel. I call it, conscious keel. Put a conscious keel or consciousfoundation on the experience. Then we launch into the dynamics. And just likethe foundation on this building here. Not very glamorous. The root structure onthese streets can’t see it. Not obvious. Not glamorous. But, you know, if thesetrees here decided today I’m not doing this anymore, I’m just going to go forit. And they go for sunlight because that’s what trees do. And they branch out.They look fabulous. You know, a storm comes and they are going to end up asfirewood here on Elizabeth Street. And this is what we’re seeing with a lot ofhumans. We’re seeing a lot of humans get wobbly. Why? Because they don’t have aconscious foundation on them. They’re getting mentally and emotionallyunstable. And the solution to that is put a bigger foundation on that consciousexperience. Get big, get broad settle the mind. Relax the body. Open up thatconscious base his foundation and then launch from there.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:25:39] And it’ssuch an interesting analogy again. Tim, good on you. You’re clearly a very goodeducator. I can just imagine. But, you know, drawing that analogy with theroots again, because as I think I mentioned to you, we’ve done a lot of showson regenerative agriculture. And of course, you can make a plant look reallygood by offering to give you two or three basic nutrients and it looks okay,but it’s not nutrient-dense. But if we nurture the root system and the microbesand the mycorrhizal fungi, we suddenly end up with nutrient-dense foods. So,what a great analogy this is fitting so nicely.

Tim Brown [00:26:18] And, you know, I thinkthat’s so great, Ron, because, you know, what we’re ultimately talking about isthere’s one thing, you know, let’s get right to the cut of it. You know,unified field theorem and quantum field physics, which is one of my favouriteareas, you know, is suggesting, you know, its premises is that there is, infact, one whole indivisible conscious field expressing itself an infinitediversity while maintaining its unified nature at all times. There’s only onething. And this is the revelation. This is where this the theme of this age iswhat you still look separate, other and distant is revealing itself to beclose, connected and similar. And so, we look at, you know, we look atagriculture and we see these kinds of underlying principles. And then we lookat ourselves and we see that, in fact, those principle apply to us as well?Because there’s only one thing actually, when we get down to thosefundamentals, we see that there are there are these what we call laws of naturethat apply to agriculture, to humans, to, you know, the creative world, to alldisciplines. Their underlying laws of nature. And you’ll love this one. One ofMaharishi famous sayings was “Water the root and enjoy the fruit”.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:27:33] I heard yousay that on your website, and I love that. What are the root? And enjoy thefruit. Let’s not. Another interesting thing, as you mentioned, this unified.Sorry, what was that? Unified…

Tim Brown [00:27:44] Unified Field Theorem,Unified Field Theory of Quantum Field Physics. You know, it’s all about tryingto get down to the you know, the basic building blocks of the universe. What doyou write down on its fundamental and every time we’ve developed greatermagnification, what we’ve found is what appears to be the smallest entity is infact made of smaller entities with 99 per cent space around them. And thatgreat big, you know, accelerator there and in CERN is know, I think thatthey’re attempting to capture what they call the God particle, which is meaningthe basic building block of the universe. And the theory is that as and I maybe simplifying this, but this is the way that I’ve been explained, it’s beenexplained to me, is that the idea is when we get to that basic building block,what we’ll find is that it’s a little wave function oscillating at ten thousandbillion times per second. But if it’s a wave function, I’m not sure if you cansee that. Let me see if I get there’s a break there. It’s not closed down.That’s a particle that’s closed. That’s open. If that’s open, then it’s stillconnected to something. And the idea is that therefore, at the fundamentallevel that, you know, there’s only one thing, there’s only one wholeindivisible conscious field expressing itself in infinite diversity. Thiscomputer, this glass, this shawl it’s all at its fundamental level. Actually,there’s only one thing and the way that Maharishi used to talk about it, heused to talk about it like the ocean. You know, there’s a wave working breakinga Bronte beach right now. There’s one breaking of Malibu Beach right now. Andwe refer to them as the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean but really onebody of water and those waves they’re not separate entities to the ocean.They’re aspects of the ocean. All one body of water. But the waves have all gottheir you know, individual characteristics. And this is the way you used totalk about it. You know, all of physical material world is an aspect of it’s anexpression of that conscious field. But it doesn’t actually separate itself toexperience its individuality, just like the wave on the ocean. The wave isactually bunched up ocean.

Tim Brown [00:30:07] And it’s got itscharacteristics and its individuality. But actually, everything isfundamentally connected. And that’s where we’re going. That’s where everythingis moving. You know, the Internet and all of these things are revealing to usthat which was once distant, separate, apparently separate and other is, infact, close, connected and similar. And that’s the whole theme of this age, therevelation of that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:30:32] It’s ironicin many ways because I word that I’ve used professionally for many years is theword holistic and it’s somehow seen as a new age philosophy. And I’ve had toanswer this question, know what is a holistic dentist? What is a holisticdisorder? Hang on. It’s not a new age philosophy. It just happens to be the waythe body works and it happens to be the way the planet works. And yet we aregetting more and more into more and more detail. And perhaps it’s because wehave this old hardware and software which doesn’t allow us the time to stepback from it all and see the bigger picture.

Tim Brown [00:31:13] That’s it. And I lovethat. I mean that you would have heard that classic story of you know, the fiveblind men or women, you know, hanging on to the elephant. You would have heardwhere it was.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:31:25] And I wasjust thinking about that. Actually, interesting.

Tim Brown [00:31:28] You choose that theone holding the leg one year, one holding the trunk and then the personstanding back, you know, with their blindfold off looking and say, you know,they’re all arguing amongst themselves about what an elephant is they’re allholding onto an aspect. And in fact, that the person with their blindfold offis looking, seeing that they’re all holding onto the elephant. And I think thisis where we’re going. I think this is where because people have been operatingin silos. And so, you talk about holistic. Holistic is you know, from my point ofview when your back a few rows in a comfortable cinema. And you can see thewhole thing. You see that everybody’s talking about the same thing. Might be adifferent terminology or language or viewpoint, but they’re actually talkingabout we’re all talking about the same thing. And rather than arguing aboutthat and defending our position, whether that’s religion or, you know, or ourpolitics or what, ultimately, we’re all talking about the same thing. Andrather than kind of defending the position at all cost and invoking conflictand separation and otherness, you know, there is. Nature wants to move towardsrevealing its wholeness. That’s what nature’s intelligence is trying to do. Italready is the case. It’s about it becoming apparent to us. That’s the processwe’re all going through, is that it is becoming more aware of the fact thatthat is the reality. It already is the reality. It’s about becoming aware ofit. And I think that’s the process.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:33:00] So in asense, this is sort of this is part of the problem, I think, in my ownexperience with my approach to meditation, if you like. And that is thistension between stepping back as an observer and allowing myself to do it. Andyet constantly focusing on what I’m doing and judging it.

Tim Brown [00:33:21] And that’s that.Right. And that’s why one of my I came up with this little saying a few yearsago now just to really set again that idea of, you know, we’re doing somethingwith a very different methodology when we meditate. To what way? The way thatwe approach everything else when we’re approaching, we’re coming and we’retrying to, you know, achieve something. And in fact, what we’re looking to dowith meditation is to sit. Set it up, trigger it and allow it. That’s the real artof meditation. And to tie in a couple of things I said a little earlier, when Iwhen I’m instructing people in Vedic meditation, which we do over either afortnight process or a two-day weekend program. One of the things that I reallyinstill in people is when they sit to meditate, I encourage them to have a lookat their fingernails. And, you know, you have a look at your fingernails. Andyou’ll see that they’re grown since you last cut them. And I encourage peopleto ask themselves the question, did I put any intellectual effort into growingmy fingernails? Now, if the answer to that is yes, Ron, you and I need to havea very, very serious conversation. You know, I’m going to assume the answer.That is no. The question is, well, what did that? Now, my point being is we’vegot very intellect centric. We’ve been educated, you know, cultivate theintellect, you know, activate the intellect, intellect, you know, engage theintellect and the intellect is a wonderful tool. But it’s not all of who weare. And so, what we’re doing with meditation is when we sit to meditate,encourage that to have a look at those fingernails and whatever grew turned myeggs and avocado from five days ago, you know, into keratin and delivered ituniversally, uniformly over 10 fingers and 10 toes. It’s an incredible thing.That’s that six trillion. You know, that intelligence that’s capable ofstructuring six trillion things per second. What we’re doing is we’re going todelegate to that intelligence for the next 20 minutes. So, I get people to havea look and go right whatever grew my fingernails is going to drive the next 20minutes. It’s not up to me. We delegate, the best meditator is the bestdelegator.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:35:30] Tim, youknow, I’ve got. I’m glad we do a transcript of this podcast because there aresome absolute pearls here. I love it. I love it. I love it.

Tim Brown [00:35:39] So this is why we situp. Sit. Check the fingernails. Delegate. Here’s your 20 minutes if you want totake the true Aussie approach to meditation approaches is. Knock yourself out.You know, do your best. And we’re handing over that intelligence. And then, youknow, then we practise in with Vedic meditation. We practise with mantra. Youknow, our mantra is a manas mind tra vehicle, mind vehicle. And so is where weget out of this red truck from the mine truck or a mine. A conveyance for themind is the correct interpretation, but no different than a lift in a buildingis a conveyance. It’s a vehicle designed to take us through the vertical planeof a building, a mantra. And we use what’s called BGA mantra, which means Sedemantra is designed to take us through the vertical plane of consciousness. Sousually we’re bouncing around here on the surface, thinking, planning,projecting worrying, scenario, building. This is what I call conscious snorkeling.We’re doing this all of the time. What we want to learn how to do meditation isconscious scuba diving. This is where all the benefits of meditation come,getting the mind to move through that vertical plane. And a mantra approachcorrectly will trigger a response that will take the mind in through thatvertical plane. And as the mind settles, because the mind and body areabsolutely interconnected, as the mind goes in, body will follow. As the bodyfollows, turns off the adrenals, turns on the stay in play. As the bodyrelaxes. Then the next thing it wants to do is it wants to process. It wants todestress process, repair, maintain, restructure, reorganise. And that createsactivity in the brain, in the body, which will present its thoughts and imagesand body sensations and dream sequences and fatigue. And this is fantastic. Andthis is the great mistake that people make. They think that’s no good. And theyif I could remove one phrase from the English language, it would be this onenaughty, mischievous monkey mind. If we could take that out of the Englishlexicon… I’d take it out because this is a complete mistake. It’s a completemis-assessment of what’s happening. Those things presenting in the brain andbody, thoughts, images, body sensations. Doesn’t matter what the content is,it’s the body putting the mental, physical, emotional garbage out. And that isa critical part of meditation. We must allow that to happen. And if we allowthe mind and body to do that inside of meditation, then it allows us to enjoyan elevated, conscious state. For the six, seven, eight hours after meditation,and that’s the whole point of meditation. It’s not about having some littleFandango experience in the 20 minutes. It’s all about developing, deliveringand bringing a higher conscious state with greater clarity, creativity, energy,joyfulness to the six, seven, eight hours after meditation. That’s what we’reafter. Just like we draw the bowstring back. That’s not the action. That’s thepreparation for then the dynamic results. And this is the mistake. People go intrying to achieve something and make something happen in meditation. And theyget in a way, it’s a really beautiful, really beautiful, elegant thing, whichis the intelligence in the mind and body working together. And if triggeredcorrectly, they’ll do this beautifully. Not if we make it, but if we allow itand let it. And that is the art of meditation.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:39:12] And I mean,the idea of one of the things that I think a lot of people I know I have when Ihave been meditating, I might be too hard on myself. Yes. You know, I’m kindof. Oh, how am I meant to. Am I what? My mind is gone. My mind is gone overhere somewhere. My mind, you know. Oh, good. You would say good to that. That’sgreat. I love that permission. But the mantra of the role of the mantra.

Tim Brown [00:39:42] The role of the mantrais a vehicle. So, it’s no. No different than, you know, I get in the vehiclefrom my home and I drive here to the centre. And when I get here to the centre,I step out of the vehicle and, you know, then at some point it’s appropriatefor me to step back into the vehicle again and go to my next destination. Andthen I step out of the vehicle. And this is the correct use of mantra. Becausethe mantra is not the goal. It’s the vehicle. And what will happen is, again,understanding that the mind’s natural tendency is given a vehicle, which iswhat a mantra is, and approached correctly it will take the mind in. That’swhat the mind wants to do. The body naturally wants to put the garbage out. So,they’re working together. Mind settles, body relaxes, stress releases, wave ofactivity through the body. And all of sudden we’re thinking about the shoppinglist or the to do list or a dream sequence or hearing the kookaburra outside orit doesn’t matter what that content is. It’s not because of your naughty,mischievous monkey mind. It’s your body processing. And we’re very happy forthat to happen in meditation. And this is why, you know, Vedic meditation isnot mantra meditation. The instruction is not. Here is the mantra. Get on it.Stay on it. And the person that says it the most in 20 minutes gets a blueribbon. We’re not playing that game. We’re saying come to it gently. Take it asit comes when thoughts or noises or images or whatever comes. Well done. Youjust meditated correctly. When you realise smile inside. Don’t get concerned.Don’t get worried. Everything’s gone beautifully to that moment. Just verygently. Step back towards the vehicle, gently back to the mantra again. Comeback like that. Meditation does not look like this for anyone. It’s going tolook more like this. It’s going to have some undulation in it. Mind goes in.Then you’re going to hit off on a tangent. And then we gently come back topractise and we’re off on a tangent. And this is what it’s going to look like.Not this. This is what people think. If I was good at meditating, I’d be ableto do this. And this is a complete misunderstanding of the inner mechanics ofthe mind and body.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:41:55] For theaudio people left was a deep dive. Yes, mantra, the mantra is a spoken a vocalthing or an internal.

Tim Brown [00:42:06] Internal

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:42:08] It doesn’tneed to be said?

Tim Brown [00:42:11] It doesn’t need to bea chanted. You’ll get some very strange looks on a bus or train or plane. Youknow, if you start doing that, you might be marched off public transport. Yes,it’s just done internally.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:42:24] And isthere. I mean, obviously the most famous mantra is OM. Yeah. What is it aboutOM or is there a group of mantras. What, what is that. Tell us a bit about thehistory of mantra and how we pick them.

[00:42:40] Yeah, all kinds of mantras and they’re all kind of designed to dodifferent things. The mantras that we use in Vedic meditation are what we callBija. And they are they’re designed to take, again, the mind in through thatvertical plane. But essentially a mantra is to vibration. And, you know, theyreally work on the principle of sympathetic vibration, which is we start tocreate a resonance, that gentle resonance, which is what a sound is. And itwill have a particular impact on the mind. On the body. On all kinds of things.So, there are all different types of mantras. Beja mantra is designed to createthis transcending. Transcending means moving beyond. So, moving beyond thissurface level into these deeper, quieter, subtler, more blissful states. Rightinto where the mind can actually move beyond thinking itself and come to thatcomplete state of rest within itself in which there is no thought, no mantra, nothing.But we’re not asleep. We’re conscious, but there’s no content inside of thatconscious experience. So, to content less conscious state what we call a pureconscious state. So, we moved beyond thinking itself. And that’s one of thethings. There’s a number of things that we’re wanting to happen in meditation.Mind settling. Body relaxing. Mental, physical, emotional garbage going out.And as we peel off those layers, then the mind is able to access. Aftermeditation. Able to access more of that inner quiet still state. And there’s alot of talk these days about, you know, being in the present. Being in the nowmindfulness. It’s very interesting. You can’t force the mind to do those thingssustainably. You can’t force the mind if there’s all that underlying stress andtension and activity and overstimulation. The brain and nervous system. Ourability to be in the present. It’s impossible not to study. Maybe for a secondor two seconds. But then that underlying internal activity will push us intothe future or the past. If we can settle the mind, relax the body daily, peeloff those layers. There’s less of that stress, tension, fatigue, inventory inthe nervous system on a daily basis than we had the day before. And therefore,the ability for the mind to sit quietly and still, which is its naturaltendency, the natural tendency of the mind. Its homeostatic state is to sitquietly and still. That’s what it wants to do. But you load the nervous systemup with stress, tension, fatigue and overstimulation. And the mind all of asudden is in the future and in the past and not able to be present. Presentmoment awareness being in the now, you know, being mindful is a by-product ofcorrect meditation.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:45:31] I was goingto ask you, do you see mindfulness which has become, well, not to say trendy,but people have become aware of its importance. Do you see that as a kind of awant to be meditational mind? Or, meditation, light.

Tim Brown [00:45:45] It’s an it’s you know,it’s done a wonderful job in bringing it to that kind of the masses and to theattention. But it’s wonderful. And it’s given so many people a kind of firsttouch and first experience that to access a sustainably sustained, mindful orpresent moment awareness experience. Pushing or forcing the mind to try and bepresent is unsustainable. It can’t be done. And this is the frustration. Andthere’s a beauty to that. And the beauty of that is that I get many, manypeople now say all through my business or this or that. I had a little go and Ihad these little moments where I was in the present with my kids or, you know,my partner or whatever, and it felt so good but I can’t sustain it. And I’llsay, great well you got that little windows opened up for you. And mindfulnessis given someone that opportunity. And then they go. But I want to have thatexperience all the time. My approach is fantastic. Well, I’ll show you how todo that. And, you know, if we hit that pressure valve release, that stress andtension at a greater rate, then we are accumulating it, then our ability toaccess to allow the mind to sit where it wants to sit, which is still quiet inthe present. That’s its natural tendency. But if it got all this underlyingstress and tension, the nervous system, overstimulated, nervous system, it’sgoing to push the mind up here. And the presentation is this mind that’s very,very active. But the mistake that people make is they try panel beat it intothe present panel beater into submission. And that is not a relationship wewant to have with our mind. That’s control. And that will not bring about a liberatedmental emotional state. It will bring about a state of conflict with our owninternal mental or emotional state and emotional state not sustainable.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:47:40] Now, Tim, Inotice also that I know you do speak in corporate speaking. And there was onethe one thing that you gave, which was and you may have covered this already,but myth busting meditation. It’s not what you think. Have we covered thatalready. Or is there? I don’t want to.

Tim Brown [00:47:56] I think so. You know, Ijust I just love, you know, I mean people all the time. They’ll come to me andI’ll be again, I’ll be out about. So, what do you do for a crust and say, well,I teach meditation. Now, when I started teaching 20 years ago, I kid you not Iwould be at an event or something and I would say that I teach meditation.People would pick up their drink and walk up the other end of the bar.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:48:19] Now I getthat response. When I tell them I’m a dentist, you kind of feel bad about it.

Tim Brown [00:48:24] They picking stuff outof their teeth. And, you know, and but now, I mean, we’ve seen in the last fiveto seven years, I mean, we’ve seen the apps, Calm, Headspace, Insight. I mean,this has just been an explosion. And from my point of view, it’s fantastic. Iwould like to you know, they’ve delivered a certain level and it’s fabulous youknow for someone at three o’clock in the morning. Can’t sleep, you know, canpick up, download an app and they can have a bit of a go. And it’s a greatsegway into, you know, their potential, you know, meditation career and theirexploration into that. They can do it at arm’s length as well. Wonderful. Iwould like to think in our lifetime that meditation will become about as exoticas brushing your teeth. I call. We could really do some work together. Welisten.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:49:16] Listen,that’s a given. That’s a given Tim, go on.

Tim Brown [00:49:19] You know, I callmeditation mental and emotional hygiene. And just like we wash the body and webrush the teeth every day. We have to do the same to the mind and the emotions.And that’s becoming a non-negotiable thing. We are moving towards and into aworld where that is becoming a non-negotiable. It’s not a luxury. That’ssomething that we just have to start to do. And if we don’t wash the body andwe don’t brush the teeth, you know, then we end up, you know, smelly. And thisis what happens mentally and emotionally. We can become emotionally andmentally unhygienic. And we’re seeing that print out. And, you know, we just atthe cusp of this, it’s really starting to come into play. You know, as theysay, necessity is the mother of all invention. But the invention is alreadythere. It’s just the necessity is getting to that level. And I teach kids fromfive years of age. I taught my three kids to meditate at four years of age.And, you know, I’m seeing kids come through here now. They’ve tried SmilingMinds at school with one of their teachers and they don’t even blink. You know,I start talking about meditation and they are like yeah, I’ve done some ofthat. And I just think ohh, you know, 20 years is, you know, a little bit oftime. But in the scheme of things is just blink of an eye and it’s so exciting.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:50:40] You know, Ikind of feel like the way, you know, we started this conversation withdescribing our journey over the two hundred and fifty thousand years of ourhistory in the last 30. Has been this seen this exponential challenge. I kindof liken us to being like kids in a toy shop where we have got into all thetoys, but we haven’t quite learnt how to be adults about it. And this is partof that. Listen, where we can come to, we’re coming to the end. But look, onething I wanted to ask you. Taking a step back from your role as a teacher, as ameditator. Because we’re all on this health journey through life. What do youthink you may have already covered, but what do you think is the biggestchallenge to us as individuals travelling through our lives in this modernworld?

Tim Brown [00:51:29] I think it. I mean,you know, I guess we always look, you know, down our own telescope that way.But I just think this stimulation thing is a huge issue. And we’re seeing it inkids. I mean, I see it in myself. I turn on my mobile phone in this room inPaddington, 18 different Wi-Fi options come up in this high-density living. Weare walking around in a microwave. And, you know, when I’m not going to get ridof my phone and I, Wi-Fi is fabulous. And, you know, when the time comes, I geton an aeroplane again and, you know, we’re not going to get rid of all of thosethings. So, the question is, how do we operate inside of these extraordinarydynamics without being overwhelmed and consumed by it? And we need you to know,we need to come through what I call the inside outs and meet that with theoutside. And we’ve been very you know, the big conversations, collectiveconversations that we’ve had are around nutrition. You know, health andwellbeing have really been about nutrition and exercise. And I really believethe next big thing that’s coming is we’ve got to learn how to relax the mindand relax the body daily. Maybe a generation or two ago, if someone wassleeping pretty well and having a good, you know, a couple of good holidays ayear, they were probably their stress tension fatigue levels were probablymanaging… manageable. But again, as you know, just in the last 30 years, thatescalation in stimulation that we had moved into a new paradigm in a very shortperiod of time. And we haven’t yet quite organised it, because to use youranalogy, we’ve been so busy playing with the toys and so excited about theircapability that we haven’t actually had a good look at what the cost of thoseis. And that’s really starting to present. And I again, I’m excited by thatbecause, you know, it’s only really in the face of demand and an impact that westop and look at things. And I think that is what is happening. It’s why we’veseen an explosion and the interest in all of these apps, meditation and apps.You know, it’s starting to become mainstream, which is so exciting. I thinkwe’re in that process. But for me, it’s for me, it’s absolutely fundamental.Back to Maharishi’s. Same water the root and enjoy the fruit. He was sayingdon’t water the apple. The leaf between the branch. Don’t do that. Attend tothe fundamental, which is when you take all the fluff and nonsense around at itis what spirituality is. Spirit is essence. We need to engage with and expandand open up our conscious state. In a world in which we’re being systematicallycompressed through overstimulation, we’ve got to work out how to open ourselvesup mentally, physically and emotionally at a greater rate than we’re beingcompressed. And therein lies the challenge. And that’s what meditation doesbeautifully. And you can do it on a bus when you know how to do it properly.Bus, train, plane, car, boardroom. If you can sit, close your eyes and triggerthat response this incredibly intelligent organism will do that for us if welet it. Not if we force it. Not if we control it. It knows what it’s doing.We’ve just got to give it the opportunity. Trigger it correctly and allow it.And it’ll do it beautifully. But that therein lies the challenge, I think, forus in this day.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:55:02] What a noteto finish on and thank you so much for joining us today. I’ve been so lookingforward to this conversation. Thank you again.

Tim Brown [00:55:09] Real pleasure, Ron.Any time.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:55:12] Well, thereit is, the end of our first episode. It’s both audio and visual, and I must sayI really enjoyed seeing my guest. And it made a big difference. I’ve often saidthat the podcast is a little self-indulgent because every week I get to askpeople who know so much more than I do questions and they answer them. Andmeditation is something I grappled with for many years, and I’ve gone throughvarious phases. But I think Tim’s approach to it made it seem like really inthis world, with all of the stimulation that is confronting us, we’re not aboutto give it up. So how do we deal with it? How do we incorporate it into ourlife? And when he started talking about how we’ve been going for 250000 yearsand walking at four or five kilometres an hour and sometimes running at eightto 10 kilometres an hour, it reminded me of what I do every year and have donefor the last eight years. And that is I go off and do a walking holiday. AndI’ve often said that it takes me back to a level of human existence, which isreally back to basics. And when you get out there and walk for an hour or twoor four or six or more hours in a day, day after day, it is actually incrediblymeditative. But I’m not doing that all the time. I just thought today wasgreat. I’m going to go back and listen to it again. I’m certainly going to readover the show notes because some of Tim’s analogies and expressions were justso fantastic. You know, so I really hope I hope you enjoy today. We’ll, ofcourse, have links to Tim’s website for those people that are not familiar withthe suburbs of Sydney. Tim was referring to the fact that his studio office,whatever he calls it, is in one of the most densely populated parts of Sydney,Inner-city suburb of Paddington, right across the road from a very well-knownpub. So, he’s really plonked himself in the middle of reality as we know it. Heisn’t out on a mountain in a retreat, teaching meditation. It’s all sopractical. It’s all so useful. And it’s certainly inspired me. And I hope ithas to you and I hope you’ve enjoyed this first episode, which is both whichwe’ve got now out on. I think it’s going to be on IGTV and on YouTube. And ofcourse, you can still listen to it as a podcast. So, don’t forget to leave yourreview on iTunes. I’ve asked for that before. Please do it. It’s a great way ofpromoting this podcast. Don’t forget also to look out for the Unstress with DrRon Ehrlich app. I had several of our listeners saying they had real troublefinding the unstressed app and when I went on and looked for it, I could seewhy. But Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich is an easy one to find and there are somegreat resources on there and those resources are growing. We’re puttingtogether some amazing courses coming up online in the second half of this year.And we’ve even got hopefully a retreat planned with some of my guests towardsthe end of the year. And when we all get back together in live in person. So,until next time, this is Dr Ron Ehrlich.

Thispodcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health andrelated subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed asmedical advice or as a substitute for care by qualified medical practitioner.If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult withan appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in thispodcast express their own opinions, experiences and conclusions.

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