Tim Brown – Meditation for Modern Day Living Introduction
Well, today we are talking about meditation, but today’s conversation is just so exceptional. I don’t want to spoil it for you. My guest today is Tim Brown. Tim, as you will hear, has been teaching meditation for over 20 years to literally thousands of people. He has some great analogies, some great examples, some great images if you like. And I found it incredibly empowering. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Tim Brown. Welcome to the show, Tim.
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, we’ve decided to go with video and audio. And the last few months of being on Zoom has kind of empowered us to come out and show ourselves.
Well, today we are talking about meditation, but today’s conversation is just so exceptional. I don’t want to spoil it for you. My guest today is Tim Brown. Tim, as you will hear, has been teaching meditation for over 20 years to literally thousands of people. He has some great analogies, some great examples, some great images if you like. And I found it incredibly empowering. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Tim Brown. Welcome to the show, Tim.
Tim Brown [00:01:19] Thanks, Ron. Very nice to be here.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:01:22] Tim, Meditation. Big topic and an important one, obviously, we’re going to be talking about today. But before we dive into it, I wondered if you might just share with our listener a little bit about your own journey.
Tim Brown’s Journey
Tim Brown [00:01:34] Yeah, of course. You know, originally a country boy from out set out in central west New South Wales. Before all of this, I was a rugby playing, beer drinking agricultural economist. Twenty, twenty two years ago. And, you know, school, university and actually ended up getting a job in Uzbekistan in nineteen ninety six and growing cotton. And I went and lived in a Muslim village pretty much on my own for a couple of years. Well actually developing models to privatise agriculture in the former Soviet and spend a couple of years out there and I was looking for an adventure and I got one and learnt to speak Russian and Uzbek and. And all kinds of drink vodka and all kinds of things and critical life skills and then came back to Australia and it was time to kind of settle down, grow up and get a job.
And I was very fortunate to be introduced to my teacher, that guy just up there behind me in the blue shirt. His name is Tom Nulls. Right. Tom was very well known here in Australia in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Trained neuroscientists that had given up a career in neuroscience to teach meditation, which is where I got really interested. And I was very fortunate to meet him and learn to meditate. Twenty three years ago now and learnt to meditate immediately, started feeling more relaxed and at ease and connected and open and moved out of 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 more relaxed, at ease, connected, stable. And I just started putting myself out there and some pretty, pretty fun things started happening. And yeah, so I did that for a few years, fell in love with this, decided this is what I wanted to do, ended up asking Tom to train me, which he did. And I came back here to Australia and set up the centre 20 years ago. We taught about six thousand people to meditate now over the last 20 years.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:46] Tom Noles, actually, I did one of his courses in the Paddington Centre. I think he was in Paddington in Queens. Anyway, I did that in the early 90s, early 90s, and it was called then transcendental meditation. Yes. And it’s since morphed into Vedic meditation.
Tim Brown [00:04:06] So Tom was part of the team organisation for thirty five odd years, and his teacher was that gentleman up there in the white robe with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and then Tom and the team organisation went their separate ways, as happens with many organisations and became Vedic meditation. So this has been called it was called TAM for a period of time. Before that it was D.M., which is deep meditation. This techniques actually been around for over five thousand years. There’s an unbroken lineage of five thousand years old with this practise that’s been called lots of things over the last five thousand years. We call it Vedic meditation now.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:04:51] Yeah. And of course, that Vedic meditation, Vedic tradition is that goes back over many years. We’ve actually interestingly, you’ve read so many things there. But, you know, we’ve done a programme on a Vedic medicine. Yeah. And we’ve done others on meditation, too. And interestingly, that your background is agricultural because we’ve done so many podcasts on regenerative agriculture. And that’s a whole other story. But let’s focus today on them, on the meditation and what are some of the issues in our modern world, as you said, that, you know, that make this so important?
Why meditation is important in our modern world?
Tim Brown [00:05:28] Yeah, I was watching a TED talk the other day, and it was by one of the world’s leading neuroscientists. He was saying that someone living in a city anywhere in the world in 2020 is being exposed to the same levels of stimulation in one day that someone two hundred and fifty odd years ago would have been exposed to in their whole lifetime. And he graphed it. And if we’re going to draw a little X Y er graph here, if that was two hundred and fifty thousand years ago and that was today for two hundred forty nine thousand seven hundred seven hundred and fifty years, we’ve been walking at four five kilometres an hour, running at 10, 12 companies. Now for short bursts.
The demand levels were fairly consistent for two hundred and fifty thousand years, down forty nine thousand seven hundred and fifty years. It was only two hundred and fifty or so years ago that steam turned up, that electricity and cars and then radio media plane travel only became available to the general population in the mid 1960s. We forget it was just a blink of a blink of an eye. Got it then, of course.
Tim Brown [00:06:37] And and of course, this thing just then starts to escalate when we start getting to the 80s, 90s, then be mild and Internet and Google, then mobile phones and smartphones. This thing just escalated exponentially. And in a very, very short period of time, the stimulation levels that the human brain and nervous system is being exposed to even over the last three hundred years if you look at that, but more specifically the last 30 years, it’s just increased exponentially in a very short period of time. And the third law of thermodynamics is as you excite or stimulate any system. That will naturally move towards a state of disorder or chaos, as you described, a system that will naturally move towards a state of order.
So here we are in this incredibly stimulating world with technology and travel and sugars, preservatives, et cetera, et cetera. And this enormous increase in stimulation in a very short period of time is moving the human brain and nervous system towards a state of disorder or chaos. And the qualities of an orderly, conscious state, as stated by neuroscience, are alacrity, which brings about clarity, perspective and vision, creativity, energy, joyfulness, intelligence and prince out physical well-being. That’s the printout of an orderly, conscious state.
Tim Brown [00:08:07] As you start to overstimulate that system, it’ll start to move away from those qualities. So we start to lose clarity, lose creativity, lose perspective, lose ease in the mind and the body and if unchecked, will build over time towards this. And we’re seeing that happen, Unextraordinary writes. So what when you really take all the fluffy nonsense out of meditation and there’s all that soft side to it, but the very scientific approach to it is we’re in a world where the stimulation levels are increasing. We have to counterbalance that by the exciting the conscious state on a daily basis and to counterbalance or mitigate the overstimulation.
And that’s where meditation, which is this ancient technique, is suddenly becoming such a powerful and critical tool. And we’re so fortunate that others before us have done the work and worked out how to facilitate and trigger that process of settling the mind, relaxing the body, turning off the adrenal, turning on the serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin. We can do it with meditation and doing it daily. Not a couple of good holidays a year. That’s not enough anymore.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:09:23] I shall tell you when you put it, I mean because we are still working with the same hardware and software that we have evolved too, but the programmes that are coming at us is just it’s just totally is phenomenal. And I think you may have just described what I was going to ask you because I know you’ve invented this word overwhelm ability on and overwhelm and an overwhelming and overwhelm ability. I mean, I think you’ve discovered it. Is that what it’s about?
Tim Brown [00:09:56] That’s the goal and for years, I’d be to my wife and I had three kids under two years, nine months, you know, twins, just one after the other, and then 14, 15 and 16 at the moment. And I’d be at a kid’s party or a dinner party or something. And people would say to me, tell me one word what meditation can deliver to me. You know, people are in such a rush. And I’d say to them, well, you know, if you want to talk about it, let’s talk about it. But let’s not sound bite it. But the question kept coming again and again and again.
Eventually, I thought, what? I’ve got to rise to the challenge here. And I couldn’t think of a word. So I made one up. And the word was an overwhelmed ability, the ability to be unable to be overwhelmed. And the way I talk 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 it can be an Academy Award winning actor, actress, cinematographer, costume, everything. But if you’re in the front row, it’s a really uncomfortable experience, sound and the noise and we can’t see the picture. It’s a very uncomfortable it’s an overwhelming experience.
Tim Brown [00:11:22] And the solution is not to leave the cinema. The solution is to work out how to get back a few rows in the cinema. And if we can get back a few rows in the cinema, then the screen drops back, the sound settles that chopped up in one hand, somebody like next to you or popcorn of savoury’s you think? And we can really lend ourselves to the sound and the emotion we can really lend ourselves on all levels, sincerely and emotionally to that experience without being consumed or overwhelmed by it. And this is exactly what we’re looking to do with meditation, is get back a few rows in the conscious cinema, because if we don’t know how to do that and we’re up here in the front row of the conscious cinema, which is with the lights, draw the US through triggers and demands, then the only solution to that sense of being overwhelmed is to control.
How can I control all the variables? If I can control all the variables, then I’m not going to be overwhelmed. I can get everything to be a what in a way that I can handle and manage. And then I won’t feel this sense of anxiety and overwhelm. And of course, that can’t be done. Nobody can do that, certainly not sustainably. And so it’s an unsustainable model. And this is what people are realising. And as humans are amazingly resilient, entities will kind of give that a go. Good, solid go. If I can just get the body looking like this and the bank account like this and the relationship like this and the house looking like this, I can get all my ducks lined up. They’ll be this moment where everything’s going to be hunky dory. The to do list is going to be empty and I can relax and enjoy.
Tim Brown [00:13:09] And you and I both know that time is never, ever going to come. It’s like the horizon, the more that we walk towards it, the further it pulls away from us. And this is the basis of the anxiety and the depression we’re seeing the world is people are exhausting themselves trying to get to this point where they can breathe and have a moment and relax. And it’s not coming. And this is just consuming and it’s exhausting and it’s depressing because I try and use all my effort and energy and adaptability and organising power.
And I get no closer to this moment in which I can experience some kind of piece of relief. And that’s because that methodology doesn’t work. The methodology that does work is if we can learn how to settle the mind, relax the body, process the stress every day, shift the flight, shift ourselves out of that flight, flight, biochemistry, the adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol coagulants into the what I call the stay play biochemistry, the opposite of flight and fight it. Stay in play, serotonin, Dudman, oxytocin, that wonderful biochemical cocktail and the brain and is designed to run on that, that cocktail. It’s designed to do so.
Tim Brown [00:14:25] But if we had locked in that flight fight response, which is what so many people are doing, they forget about how to access that other state, we start to cultivate that through meditation. We’re able to get back a few rows in the conscious cinema. And again, there’s that space. It gives us that mental emotional space that allows us to see things clearly, see things early, you know, adjust, adapt, interact, that timing and delivery gets better. And that’s where life becomes challenging but playful rather than challenging and stressful.
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, depends on where you are in the conscious cinema. And we all know it when we’re tired and exhausted. The teaspoon falling off the kitchen bench can throw us into flight fight response. You know, it’s like someone’s going to die here or how quickly can I get away from the demand when we’re relaxed and at ease? That doesn’t even touch the salt. And so this is what we’ve got to learn how to do is to get back a few rows in the conscious cinema and to be able to do that right in the thick and the rigours of day to day life.
Tim Brown [00:15:43] And that’s why I’ve got my centre opposite the Foreign Hand pub here in Paddington. 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 got to learn how to do this right on the coal face, in the thick of it. And that’s what I love about this practise, is it’s what I call the Formula One pit stop of meditation in Rayfield, Utah is back on track.
The world doesn’t need more people sitting around with their eyes closed for hours on end. It needs more people in it, back a few rows in the conscious cinema, you know, with clarity, creativity, energy, joyfulness, intelligent perspective that can be right in the thick of life and not be overwhelmed and consumed by it. And when we can be like that consistently, we can be a big net contributor to our families, to our friends, to our work environments. And that’s what the world desperately needs more now than ever, is people that can be big givers.
And there’s a lot of stress tension fatigue is the thief in the night and it robs us of us, robs our loved ones of us, a family of us that friends of us, society, country, world, environment of us. And we’ve got to work out how to hit the pressure to fill up our own tank on a daily basis. And my experience is as a person in my own right, as a husband to Amber and a father to Will Grace and Rosie and a meditation teacher and a son and a brother. And we’ve all got a thousand heads is if we’re going to do something around this. My experience is it’s got to fulfill three criteria. Cannot take very long. Got to be able to do it anyway and has to have very few, if any, prerequisites, and that’s what this does. Vedic meditation does beautifully.
If you can sit down and close your eyes on a bus, train, plane, car, bodhran, park bench, you can sit down and close your eyes and good to go. That’s it. And 20 minutes later, you practise my unsettled body, relax out of flood fighting to stay in play. And we’re ready to go. We’re back a few rows in the conscious cinema and we’re ready to launch in and make a contribution.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:58] I love your analogies and Tim. I really do. I mean, it does put it into context. I love the theatre analogy and I love that design. I was reminded of it yesterday as I was driving home and I was looking at a bus stop and there was a group of teenage boys from local private school. It was about 10, 15 of them, which in my experience through school would have been a raucous site. And there they were all sat all every single one of them sat looking at their phones and who knows, I mean, obviously bombarded by this exponential information that you’ve mentioned to us.
And we’ve done so many programmes on mental health as well. And what a huge and growing problem it is right across the board. I mean, you know, this is a major problem from what we are all faced with and this and overwhelming ability of it because we are overwhelmed. And you’ve covered you’ve touched on that. So the benefits, the benefits you’ve mentioned just run us through those benefits of meditation.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Tim Brown [00:19:11] Yeah. And I think, you know, I think let’s have a look at the source of those decide the conscious state of the mind and body, relax. The excitation brings about, again, clarity and thinking, creativity, energy, joyfulness points out, has physical well-being. And that’s what we’re really interested in cultivating. One of the great if I’ve over the 20 years that I’ve been teaching. If I’ve seen one real thing with meditation, people go into meditation trying to achieve something, and in fact the real subtlety to meditation is about setting meditation up, triggering it and allowing it to happen. That’s the art of meditation. And what that allows and what that does is invite in to the process that natural intelligence in the mind and body, that is you and I sitting here quietly now having a little cup of tea as we’re sitting here now. And you would know this better than I know there are six trillion things per second going on in our nervous system.
It’s an extraordinary intelligence. It’s an incredible thing. If we were to meet in nine years time, the only aspect of the body that you and I sitting in today that would be in the room in nine years time would be our your speciality, our teeth. Otherwise, every other cell in the body will have been replaced at least once in nine years time. So there’s this magnificent intelligence that is a whole body replacement programme. Otherwise, you are not sitting here quietly. Our eyebrows are growing as you and I are chatting him.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:20:58] I didn’t want to say to him,
Tim Brown [00:21:01] They’re a little bushy. I know, but this is incredible intelligence. And what meditation is about is about you, is about giving that intelligence in the mind and body that’s capable of structuring six trillion things per second and opportunity twice a day to do whatever it needs to do. And it’s about giving that intelligence 20 minutes and triggering a little process inside of that sequence. Inside of that that triggers the mind to settle, the body to relax and that incredible healing capability and restructuring and reorganising and repairing capacity in the brain and body to do what it’s designed to do. Because out here in the world where we’re out here taking stiff stuff off the list, we’re not very go forward motion.
And what we’re learning how to do is 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 meditation is archery. So the whole goal of Autry’s to hit the target twenty five metres in this direction. And yet if we know what we’re doing with a bow and arrow, we put the arrow in the bowstring. The first thing we do is draw that string back, you know, seven or eight inches.
Tim Brown [00:22:17] Now, this is a very interesting action when you look at it. I’m trying to put this arrow. What am I trying to do? The goal is to put this arrow twenty five metres in that direction in the shortest amount of time, most effectively. And the first thing we do is this doesn’t make sense initially. Yet in drawing that bowstring back, we create that potential in the bowstring. That bowstring is now quivering with potential within take and then release the bowstring and in a microsecond we get twenty five metres of result.
This is a law of nature that has us humans have forgotten to apply to ourselves. We see it everywhere and we apply in all other 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 two hundred stories that way. First foundation in, then we go that way. Every plant and tree that we’ve ever seen, the beautiful trees just out the window here. And Elizabeth Street, they all know they’ve got to invest time, effort, energy going this way in order to successfully and sustainably go this way.
Tim Brown [00:23:27] Every golfer has as they approach and address a bull. No, they’ve got one of two options. They can either flick that thing down the fairway, which is one methodology, but it’s not the most artful. Or they can take that club and do something very, very strange. They can draw, spend time and effort and energy during the club away from the ball. And then they release the club and then they get a greater result. And this is exactly the same law of nature. Remember those little cars we had as kids and you’re in the corridor with your brother or sister or friend, and you had one of two options. You gave the flick it down the you know, the car door.
You could take that moment and draw back and load it and then release it. Exactly the same principle. And yet as humans have forgotten the art of doing this and the value of doing this, and just like we don’t go back too far with the bowstring, we don’t have to spend too much time doing this. Twenty minutes will do the trick. It’s a natural circadian rhythm of risk. And we go this way, practise and then we launch. And this is where all the fun is.
But we’ve got to put a conscious foundation on our conscious experience. We’ve got to put a conscious keel, I call it. Conscious kill put a conscious keel or conscious foundation on the expert, then we launched into the dynamics and just like the foundation on this building here, not very glamorous, the route structure on the street can’t see it. Not obvious, not glamorous.
Tim Brown [00:24:55] But if these trees here decided today, I’m not doing this anymore, I’m just going to go for it. And they go for sunlight because that’s what trees do and they branch out. They look fabulous. You know, stone comes and they’re going to end up as firewood here on Elizabeth Street.
And this is what we’re seeing with a lot of humans. We’re seeing a lot of humans get wobbly. Why? Because they don’t have a conscious foundation on them. They’re getting mentally and emotionally unstable. And the solution to that is put a bigger foundation on that conscious experience, get big, get broad set of the mind, relax the body, open up that conscious basis foundation and then launch from there.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:25:39] And it’s such an interesting analogy there. Again, Tim, good on you. You’re clearly a very good educator. I can just imagine. But you know, drawing that analogy with the roots again, because as I think I mentioned to you, we’ve done a lot of shows on regenerative agriculture. And of course, you can make a plant look really good by offering giving it two or three basic nutrients and it looks OK, but it’s not nutrient dense. But if we nurture the root system and the microbes and the mycorrhizal fungi, we suddenly end up with nutrient dense foods. So what a great analogy. This is getting so nuts.
Tim Brown [00:26:18] And, you know, I think that’s so great wrong because what we’re ultimately talking about is there’s one thing, you know, let’s get right to the cut of it. The Unified Field Theory and Quantum Field Physics, which is one of my favourite areas, is suggesting it’s premises that there is, in fact, one whole indivisible conscious field expressing itself in infinite diversity while maintaining the unified nature at all times. There’s only one thing, and this is the revelation. This is where this the theme of this age is what used to look separate, other and distant is revealing itself to be closely connected and similar.
And so we look at agriculture and we see these kinds of underlying principles. And then we look at ourselves and we see that, in fact, those principles apply to us as well. Because there’s only one thing actually, when we get down to those fundamentals, we see that there are there are these what we call laws of nature that apply to agriculture, to humans, to the creative world, to all disciplines, their underlying laws of nature. And you’ll love this one. One of Marsh’s famous sayings was, what are the root and enjoy the fruit.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:27:33] I heard you say that on your website, and I love that one of the root and enjoy the fruit. And it’s not another interesting thing. As you mentioned, this unified sorry. What was the Unified,
Tim Brown [00:27:45] Unified Field Theory?
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:27:47] Unified field theory?
Unified Field Theory
Tim Brown [00:27:49] Quantum field physics is it’s all about trying to get down to the basic building blocks of the universe. What you write down on it’s fundamental. And every time we’ve developed greater magnification, what we’ve found is what appears to be the smallest entity is in fact made of smaller entities with ninety nine percent space around the edges and that great big accelerator there.
And the concern is, I think that they’re attempting to capture what they call the God particle, which is meeting the basic building block of the universe. And the theory is that as I may be simplifying this, but this is the way that I’ve been explained, it’s been explained 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 wavefunction oscillating at ten thousand billion times per second. But if it’s a wavefunction I’m not sure if you can see that. Let me see if I get a break there. It’s not closed out. That’s a particle that’s closed, that’s open. If that’s open, then it’s still connected to something.
Tim Brown [00:28:55] And the idea is that therefore, at the fundamental level that there’s only one thing, there’s only one whole indivisible conscious field expressing itself in infinite diversity. This computer, this glass, this show, it’s all at its fundamental level. Actually, there’s only one thing. And the way that Marx used to talk about it, used to talk about it like the ocean. There’s a wave working, breaking a Bronte beach right now. There’s one breaking at Malibu Beach right now. And we refer to them as the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and the really one body of water.
And those waves, they’re not separate entities to the ocean. They’re aspects of the ocean, the. One body of water, but the waves have all got their individual characteristics, and this is the way it used to talk about it, all of physical material world is an aspect of it’s an expression of that conscious field, but it doesn’t actually separate itself to experience its individuality. Just like the wave on the ocean, the wave is actually bunched up ocean and it’s got its characteristics and its individuality.
But actually, everything is fundamentally connected and that’s where we’re going. That’s where everything is moving. Know the Internet and all of these things are revealing to us that which was once distant, separate, apparently separate. Another is in fact close, connected and similar. And that’s the whole theme of this age, the revelation of that.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:30:32] It’s ironic in many ways because I word that I’ve used professionally for many uses the word holistic and it’s somehow seen as a new age philosophy. And I’ve had to answer this question, what is a holistic Dennis? What is a holistic disorder? Hang on. It’s not a new age philosophy. It just happens to be the way the body works and it happens to be the way the planet works. And yet we are getting more and more into more and more detail. And perhaps it’s because we have this old hardware and software which doesn’t allow us the time to step back from it all and see the bigger picture.
Tim Brown [00:31:13] That’s it. And I love that. I mean that you would have heard that classic story of the five blind men or women hanging on to the elephant. You would have heard that there was.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:31:25] And I was just thinking about that, actually. Interesting. You choose that
Tim Brown [00:31:29] The one holding the leg one whole year when I was in the trunk and then the person standing back, you know, with their blindfold off looking and, you know, they’re all arguing amongst themselves about what an elephant is. They’re all holding onto an aspect. And in fact, the person with their blindfold is looking to see that they’re all holding onto the elephant. And I think this is where we’re going. I think this is where because people have been operating in silos. And so you talk about holistic.
Holistic is you know, from my point of view when you back a few rows in the cinema and you can see the whole thing, you see that everybody’s talking about the same thing might be a different terminology or language or viewpoint, but they’re actually talking about we’re all talking about the same thing and rather than arguing about that and defending our position, whether that’s religion or, you know, or our politics or what, ultimately we’re all talking about the same thing. And rather than kind of defending the position at all cost, you know, and invoking conflict and separation and otherness, there is nature wants to move towards revealing its wholeness.
That’s what nature’s intelligence is trying to do. It already is the case. It’s about it becoming apparent to us. That’s the process we’re all going through, is that is becoming more aware of the fact that that is the reality. It already is the reality. It’s about becoming aware of it. And I think that’s the process.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:33:00] So in a sense, this a sort of and this is part of the problem, I think, in my own experience with my approach to meditation, if you like, and that is this tension between stepping back as an observer and allowing myself to do it and yet constantly focussing on what I’m doing and judging it.
Tim Brown [00:33:21] And that’s right. And that’s why one of my I came up with this little saying a few years ago now just to really set again that idea of, you know, we’re doing something with a very different methodology when we meditate to what we do, the way that we approach everything else, when we’re approaching, we’re coming in. We’re trying to achieve something.
And in fact, what we’re looking to do with meditation is to see it set it up triggered and allow it. That’s the real art of meditation. And to tie in a couple of things I said a little earlier, when I when I’m instructing people, inviting meditation, which we do over either a one eyed process or a two day weekend programme, one of the things that I really instill in people is when they sit to meditate, I encourage them to have a look at their fingernails and you have a look at your fingernails and you’ll see that they’ve grown since you last cut them. And I encourage people to ask themselves the question, did I put any intellectual effort into growing my fingernails?
Tim Brown [00:34:21] Now, if the answer to that is yes, Ron, you and I need to have a very, very serious conversation. You know, I’m going to assume the answer. That is no. The question is, Will, what did that? Now, my point being is we’ve got very intellect centric. We’ve been educated, cultivate the intellect, you know, activate the intellect, intellect, engage the intellect and the delights of wonderful tool. But it’s not all of who we are. And so what we’re doing with meditation is when we sit to meditate and to have a look at those fingernails and whatever group turned my eggs and avocado from five days ago, you know, into keratin and delivered it universally, uniformly over ten fingers in 10 toes, it’s an incredible thing.
That’s six trillion that intelligence that’s capable of structuring six trillion things per second. What we’re doing is we’re going to delegate to that intelligence for the next twenty minutes. So I get people to have a look at their fingernails. I’ve got to whatever grew my fingernails is going to drive the next 20 minutes. It’s not up to me. We delegate, the best meditator is the best delegator.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:35:30] Tim, you know, I’ve got to I’m glad we do a transcript of this podcast because there are some absolute proof for you. I love it. I love it. I love it.
Tim Brown [00:35:41] This is why we check the thing. And delegates, here’s your 20 minutes. If you want to take the true Aussie approach to meditation approaches, knock yourself out. Do your best. And we’re handing over that intelligence. And then we practise. And with meditation, we practise with mantra. And a mantra is a mind track vehicle, mind vehicle. So that’s where we get our initial word from. So it’s a mine truck or a mine. A conveyance for the mind is the correct interpretation, but no different than a lift in a building is a conveyance. It’s a vehicle designed to take us through the vertical plane of a building, a mantra. And we use what’s called bija mantra, which means Seed mantra is designed to take us through the vertical plane of consciousness.
So usually we’re bouncing around here on the surface thinking, planning, projecting, whirring 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 it. Meditation is conscious scuba diving. This is where all the benefits of meditation come, getting the mind to move through that vertical plane.
Tim Brown [00:36:51] And a mantra approach correctly will trigger a response that will take the mind in through that vertical plane. And as the mind settles, because the mind and body are absolutely interconnected, as the man goes in, body will follow, as the body follows, turns off the adrenals, turns on the stay in play, as the body relaxes, then the next thing it wants to do is it wants to process, it wants to destress, process, repair, maintain, restructure, reorganise.
And that creates activity in the brain, in the body, which will present its thoughts and images and body sensations and dream sequences and fatigue. And this is fantastic. And this is the great mistake that people make. I think that’s no good. And they if I could remove one phrase from the English language, it would be this fun, naughty, mischievous monkey. Mind if we could take that out of the English lexicon? I’d take it out because this is a complete mistake. It’s a complete mis-assessment of what’s happening, those things presenting in the brain and body, thoughts, images, body sensations.
Tim Brown [00:38:01] It doesn’t matter what the content is, it’s the body putting the mental, physical and emotional garbage out. And that is a critical part of meditation. We must allow that to happen. And if we allow the mind and body to do that inside of meditation, then it allows us to enjoy an 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 little fentanyl experience in the 20 minutes. It’s all about delivering and bringing a higher conscious state with greater clarity, creativity, energy, joyfulness to the six, seven, eight hours after meditation. That’s what we’re after, just like we draw the bowstring back. That’s not the action. That’s the preparation for then the dynamic result. And this is the mistake. People go in trying to achieve something and make something happen in meditation and they get in the way of a really beautiful, really beautiful, elegant thing, which is the intelligence in the mind and body working together. And if triggered correctly, they’ll do this beautifully, not if we make it, but if we allow it and 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 I have been meditating may be too hard on myself. Yes. You know, I’m kind of oh, I am. I meditate. My mind is gone. My mind is gone over here somewhere in my mind and go, huh. You would say good to that. That’s great. I love that permission. But the mantra, the role of the mantra,
The Role of the Mantra
Tim Brown [00:39:42] The role of the mantra is a vehicle. So it’s no different than I get in the vehicle from my home and I drive here to the centre and when I get here to the centre, I step out of the vehicle. And then at some point it’s appropriate for me to step back into the vehicle again and go to my next destination. And then I step out of the vehicle. And this is the correct use of Montera because the 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 is what a mantra is, an approach correctly it’ll take the mind in. That’s what the mind wants to do.
The body naturally wants to put the garbage out so they’re working together. Mind settles body, relax, Unstress releases wave of activity through the body and all of a sudden we’re thinking about the shopping list or the to do list or a dream sequence or hearing the kookaburra outside or it 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 for that to happen in meditation.
And this is why I think meditation is not a meditation. Instruction is not use the mantra, get on it, stay on it. And the person that says it the most in twenty minutes, get to blue ribbon. We’re not playing that game. We’re saying come to it gently. Take it as it comes when thoughts on noises or images or whatever comes will down. You just meditated correctly.
Tim Brown [00:41:12] When you realise smile inside, don’t get concerned, don’t get worried. Everything’s going beautifully to that moment. Just very gently step back towards the vehicle, gently back to the country again. Come back like that. Meditation does not look like this for anyone. It’s going to look more like this. It’s going to have some undulation in it.
Mine goes in, then you’re going to head off on a tangent and then we gently come back to practise 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 able to do this. And this is a. Misunderstanding of the mechanics of the mind and body.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:41:54] The audio people, that was a deep dive to the mantra, the mantra mantra mantra is a spoken a vocal thing or an internal. It doesn’t need to be said,
Tim Brown [00:42:11] Chanted, doesn’t need to be mentioned. You’ll get some very strange looks on a bus or train or a plane. If you start doing that, you might of public transport and they don’t realise it’s just done internally. Yeah.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:42:24] And is there I mean obviously the most famous mantra is oh yeah. What is it about ARM or is there a group of mantras? What is the? Tell us a bit about the history of Montreal. How many how we picked them yet.
The History of Montreal
Tim Brown [00:42:40] All kinds of mantras. And they’re all kind of designed to do different things. The mantras that we use in Vedic meditation are what we call Bija, B-I-J-A, and they’re designed to take, again, the mind in through that vertical plane. But essentially a mantra is to vibration. And they really work on the principle of sympathetic vibration, which is we start to create a resonance, that gentle resonance, which is what a sound is. And it will have a particular impact on the mind, on the body, on all kinds of things.
So there are all different types of mantras. Veja mantra is designed to create this transcending, transcending means, moving beyond so moving beyond the surface level into these deeper, quieter supplement, blissful states writing to where the mind can actually move beyond thinking itself and come to that complete state of rest within itself in which there is no thought, no mantra, no thing. But we’re not asleep. We’re conscious, but there’s no content inside of that conscious experience. So to contentless conscious state what we call a pure conscious state.
Tim Brown [00:44:00] So we move beyond thinking itself. And that’s one of the things 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 minds of excess after meditation able to access more of that quiet still state.
And there’s a lot of talk these days about being in the present, being in the now mindfulness. It’s very interesting. You can’t force the mind to do those things sustainably. You can’t force the mind if there’s all that underlying stress and tension and activity and overstimulation, the brain and nervous system, our ability to be in the present, it’s impossible, not a static maybe for a second or two seconds, but then that underlying internal activity will push.
This is the future of the past. If we can settle the mind, relax the body daily, peel off those layers, there’s less of that stress, tension, fatigue, inventory in the 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 natural tendency, the natural tendency of the mind, it’s homeostatic state, is to sit quietly and still that’s what it wants to do.
But you load the nervous system up with stress, tension, fatigue and overstimulation and the mind all of a sudden in the future and in the past and not able to be present, present moment awareness. Being in the now, being mindful is a by-product of correct meditation.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:45:31] Because I was going to ask you, do you see mindfulness, which has become a well when I want to say trendy, but people have become aware of its importance to you? Do you see that as a kind of a want to be meditation or meditation light?
Tim Brown [00:45:45] It’s a you know, it’s they’ve done a wonderful job in bringing it to the kind of the masses and to the attention. But and it’s wonderful. And it’s given so many people a kind of a first touch and first experience. But to access a sustainably a sustained, mindful or present moment awareness experience and pushing forcing them on to try and be present is unsustainable. It can’t be done.
And this is the frustration. And there’s a beauty to that. And the beauty of that is that I get many, many people now say, oh, through my business or this or that. I had a little go and I had these little moments where I was in the present with my kids or my partner or whatever, and it felt so good that I can’t sustain it. And I’ll say, great, well, that little window is opened up for you and mindfulness is given someone that opportunity and then they go.
But I want to have that experience all the time. And my approach is fantastic. I’ll show you how to do that. And if we hit that pressure valve, release that stress and tension at a greater rate than are accumulating it, then our ability to access to allow the mind to sit where it wants to sit, which is still quiet in the present. That’s its natural tendency.
But if we got all this underlying stress and tension, the nervous system, overstimulated nervous system, it’s going 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 and cannot lead it into the present panel, beat it into submission. And that is not a relationship we want to have with our mind. That’s control and that will not bring about a liberated mental emotional state. It will bring about a state of conflict with our own internal mental or emotional state and emotional state not sustainable.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:47:40] Now, Tim, I notice also that I know you do speak in corporate speaking. And there was 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 that already or is there?
Tim Brown [00:47:55] I think so. You know, I just love I mean, people all the time. They’ll come to me and I’ll be again. I’ll be out of that. 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 I would be in an event or something. I’d 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 get that response. When I tell them I’m a dentist, I feel bad about it.
Tim Brown [00:48:24] They start taking stuff out of this and, you know, and but now, I mean, we’ve seen in the last five to seven years, I mean, we’ve seen the ABS Headspace insight. I mean, this has just been an explosion. And from my point of view, it’s fantastic. I would like to you know, they delivered a certain level and but it’s fabulous for someone at three o’clock in the morning that can’t sleep.
You can pick up download an app and they can have a bit of a go. And it’s a great Segway into, you know, their potential meditation career and their exploration into that. They can do it at arm’s length as well. Wonderful. I would like to think in our lifetime that meditation will become about as exotic as brushing your teeth. I call we could really do some work together.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:49:14] We will listen. That’s a given. That’s a given to go.
Tim Brown [00:49:19] You know, I call meditation mental and emotional hygiene and just like wash the body and we brush their teeth every day, you know, we have to do the same to the mind and the emotions. And that’s becoming a non-negotiable thing. We’re moving towards that into a world where that is becoming a non negotiable it’s not a luxury. That’s something that we just have to start to do. And if we don’t watch the body, we don’t brush their teeth, then we end up smelly. And this is what happens mentally and emotionally.
We can become emotionally and mentally unhygienic. And we’re seeing that print out. And we just at the cusp of this, it’s really starting to come into play. You know, as they say, necessity is the mother of all invention. But the inventions are already there. It’s just the necessity is getting to that level. And I teach kids from five years of age to my three kids to meditate at four years of age. And I’m saying kids come through here now.
They’ve tried spotting minds at school with one of their teachers and they don’t even blink. You know, I start talking about meditation. They’re like, yeah, I’ve done some of that. And I just think, you know, 20 years is a little bit of time, but in the scheme of things is just a blink of an eye. And I was so excited.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:50:40] I kind of feel like the way, you know, we started this conversation with describing our journey over the 250000 years of our history in the last 30 has been this seen this exponential challenge. I kind of like in this to being like kids in a toy shop where we have got into all the toys, but we haven’t quite learnt how to be adults about it. And this is part of that.
Listen, we’re going to come to we’re coming to the end. But look, one thing I wanted to ask you, taking a step back from your role as a teacher, as a meditator, because we’re all on this health journey in life. What do you think? And you may have already covered it, but what do you think is the biggest challenge to us as individuals traveling through our lives in this modern world?
The Biggest Health Challenge
Tim Brown [00:51:29] I think is I mean, I guess we always look down our own telescope that way. But I just think this stimulation thing is a huge issue. And we’re seeing it in kids. I mean, I see it in myself when I turn on my mobile phone in this room in Paddington, 18 different Wi-Fi options come up in this high density living. We’re walking around in a microwave. And when I’m not going to get rid of my phone and I, Wi-Fi is fabulous.
And when the time comes, I’ll get on an aeroplane again. And, you know, we’re not going to get rid of all of those things. So the question is, how do we operate in sort of these extraordinary dynamics without being overwhelmed and consumed by it? And we need to come through what I call the inside out and meet that with the outside inside. And we’ve been very the big conversations, collective conversations that we’ve had are around nutrition, health and wellbeing have really been about nutrition and exercise. And I really believe the next big thing that’s coming is we’ve got to learn how to relax the mind and relax the body daily.
Tim Brown [00:52:41] Maybe a generation or two ago, if someone was sleeping pretty well and having a good couple of good holidays a year, that would probably this stress tension fatigue levels were probably managing manageable. But again, as you know, just in the last 30 years, that escalation and stimulation that we have moved into a new paradigm in a very short period of time and we haven’t yet quite organised it because to use your analogy, we’ve been so busy playing with the toys and so excited about their capability that we haven’t actually had a good look at what the cost of those is.
And that’s really starting to present. And I again, I’m excited by that because it’s only really in the face of demand and an impact that we stop and look at things. And I think that is what is happening. It’s why we’ve seen an explosion in the interest in all of these apps. Meditation and apps know it’s starting to become mainstream, which is so exciting. I think we’re in that process.
But for me, it’s for me it’s absolutely fundamental that démarches st water the root and enjoy the fruit. He was saying, don’t water the apple, the leaf, the twig, the branch. Don’t do that. Attend to the fundamental, which is when you take all the fluff and nonsense around at it is what spirituality is. Spirit is essence. We need to engage with and expand and open up our conscious state.
Tim Brown [00:54:14] In a world in which we’re being systematically compressed through overstimulation, we’ve got to work out how to open ourselves up mentally, physically and emotionally at a greater rate than we’re being compressed. And therein lies the challenge. And that’s what meditation does beautifully. And you can do it on a bus when you know how to do a properly. Bus, train, plane, car, boardroom. If you can sit, close your eyes and trigger that response is incredibly intelligent. Organism will do that for us if we let 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 correctly and allow it and it’ll do it beautifully. But that therein lies the challenge, I think, for us in this dynamic.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:55:02] Tim, what a note to finish on and thank you so much for joining us today. I’ve been so looking forward to this conversation. Thank you again.
Tim Brown [00:55:09] Real pleasure, Ron. Any time.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:55:12] Well, there it is, the end of our first episode. Both audio and visual, and I must say, I really enjoyed seeing my guest and it made a big difference. I’ve often said that the podcast is a little self-indulgent because every week I get to ask people who know so much more than I do questions and I answer them. And meditation is something I’ve grappled with for many years and I’ve gone through various phases. But I think Tim’s approach to it made it seem like really in this world, with all of the stimulation that is confronting us, we’re not about to give it up.
So how do we deal with it? How do we incorporate it into our life? And when he started talking about how we’ve been going for two hundred and fifty thousand years and walking at four or five kilometres an hour and sometimes running at eight to 10 kilometres an hour, it reminded me of what I do every year and have done for the last eight years, and that is I go off and do a walking holiday. And I’ve often said that it takes me back to a level of human existence which is really back to basics. And when you get out there and walk for an hour or two or four or six or more hours in a day, day after day, it is actually incredibly meditative. But I’m not doing that all the time.
Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:56:37] And I just thought today was great. I’m going to go back and listen to it again. I’m certainly going to read over the show notes because some of Tim’s analogies and expressions, which just so fantastic, you know, so I really hope you enjoyed today. Well, of course, have links to Tim’s website for those people that are not familiar with the 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 known pub. So he’s really plonked himself in the middle of reality.
As we know, he isn’t out on a mountain in a retreat, teaching, meditation. It’s also practical. It’s also useful. And it’s certainly inspired me. And I hope it has to you and I hope you’ve enjoyed this first episode, which is both which we’ve got now out on. I think it’s going to be on TV and on YouTube. And of course, you can still listen to it as a podcast. So don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes. I’ve asked for that before. Please do it. A great way of promoting this podcast. Don’t forget also to look out for the Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich app.
I had several of our listeners saying they had real trouble finding the Unstress app. And when I went on and look for it, I could see why. But Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich is an easy one to find and there are some great resources on there and those resources are growing. We’re putting together some amazing courses coming up online in the second half of this year. And we’ve even got hopefully a retreat plan with some of my guests towards the end of the year and when we all get back together in live in person. So until next time, this is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Be Well.
This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.