Karuna: [00:00:08] I did it. Did the deed. I like your mug!

Michael: [00:00:12] Isn’t that cool?

Karuna: [00:00:14] It’s really cool. A little Kundalini Rising or what?

Michael: [00:00:17] Yeah. The recipe has five dates and cashews, and you put it in a Vitamix with a tablespoon of MCT. And blend it with with the French press coffee. It’s really nice you don’t really need to sweeten it because of the dates.

Karuna: [00:00:45] Well, that sounds lovely. I think we’ll start our time together on that note because we’ll keep it in the recording so people know what one should put in their mug. So I’m Karuna and I’m the founder and executive director of Mind Oasis, which would not be here today without my guest today. Who’s Michael Hewett, who is one of my teachers and friends and colleagues. And compadres on this walk of life, Michael Hewett, how are you?

Michael: [00:01:21] I’m good, I’m phoning in from the snowy north, where it’s hibernation land for sure. We had a huge ice storm about five days ago where literally every single branch  [00:01:35]and berry was [00:01:36] covered in a sheet of ice. So that’s kind of the climate right now. Very hibernating, I would say.

Karuna: [00:01:46] Michael, you’ve been my guest, I think, three times on meditation, happy hour, because you teach pretty regularly on Mind Oasis, and while that’s fascinating and we’re going to talk about the yoga immersion today. I was thinking about this interview and I really want to actually go back in time with you. I want to go back to when you first got interested in yoga, and I’d love for you to tell us sort of about the journey that brought you to yoga.

Michael: [00:02:19] Yes, it was one of necessity. I had graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1995 and the next weekend moved to New York City, and I had begun to explore physical practices that also opened up my nervous system in Boston through a Kung Fu / Tai Chi school. But then when I moved to New York, I moved to Midtown and Boston to New York is not apples to apples. New York is a lot louder, a lot bigger and a lot more of an assault on the nervous system. I had found another Tai Chi school, but the person who had started it was in her 90s and then she passed. And so the band that I started in New York, the drummer gave me autobiography of a yogi to read, and I don’t know how he knew to do that, but it was the right place, right time kind of book. And I’m older than I looked, so after I finished the book, I opened the Yellow Pages and flipped to why.

Karuna: [00:03:27] Wait, wait, pause right there, readers and listeners. If you don’t know what the Yellow Pages is, you used to have to open a yellow book and look up places businesses that you wanted to go to. Ok, proceed, Michael.

Michael: [00:03:40] Right. So I figured, OK, yoga starts with why? Let’s go to the back and see other studios nearby. And sure enough, there was a studio in the lineage of [00:03:50] Paramhansa Yogananda, [00:03:51] who wrote Autobiography of Yogi, three blocks away from my house. So I walked to the studio and they had a help wanted sign for studio manager. So I said, I’ll do that. It comes with two all the free classes you can take. And I ran the studio and took two classes a day until they said, Hey, you’re passionate, why don’t you come to our teacher training? We’ll gift it to you. And then that was 1997 that I touched someone for the first time in child’s pose. And then I was pretty addicted after that, and I’ve been teaching and exploring yoga and the yogic arts ever since.

Karuna: [00:04:35] That book is a life changer when you’re at the right place to read it, it’s really beautiful. And actually that leads me into another question that I was thinking about asking, and that is sort of the influence of music and books and literature and art. You know, your tatted. You are a musician. And I happen to know you like Dune, so talk a little bit about the influences of your life. And the reason I’m going there specifically is because I believe that yoga in its truest form embraces all facets of our life, right? It’s all things that are coming in all all of the inputs and all of the outputs. So tell us a little bit about the inputs in those areas.

Michael: [00:05:24] Yes. Well, as we both believe and know, yoga is not poses on a piece of plastic. The asanas, the postures are a way to open our body, our nervous system and clear the mind to come into states of flow or union with what we’re doing. We are present with what we’re doing, and we’re practice, particularly when we’re doing something we love doing that flow state extends out and it could keep us up all night working, serving, making music, really whatever a person’s passion is. This is why they’re addicted to doing it, because they’re in a state of yoga. So as a musician, guitar is my yoga. That’s the thing that instantly quiets my mind. My body loves doing it. And nine times out of 10 after I put the guitar down, there was a new idea or a new song that came through so. When, I explored meditation/yoga like how to bring the mind into the present moment. It. Awoken a lot of mystical states that I had as a child, it helped me remember things that I had bumped into when I was very young. And then through that, I started to get curious about, OK, well, who else has experienced this? And I would find allusions to it in science fiction books, and I would find teachers who could say, Oh yeah, this is what happened. And here’s a here’s a scriptural text that puts that experience within an integrated series of steps to re-experience it.

Michael: [00:07:29] As well is this funny thing where humans, when they do, what puts them in the zone or is their groove. If we do it too much, we tend to burn out. And it’s it’s a double double edged swords where our groove can become a rut. So when I founded the Academy, Vessel back in 2010, the whole idea was to look at how yoga has different expressions. Yes, the physical as an expression is beautiful, and there’s a yoga of the heart as far as serving artistry, exchanging with ourselves with another or a community. There’s a yoga of the mind, which is like the path of the scholar or the geek. And then there’s the path of the contemplative was the art of like just merging with what our present experience is showing up as. Right? And so the call to work these different kinds of intelligences learn to yoke ourselves in these different forms of presences. Basically is the invitation to have a well-rounded day. It’s also the invitation to curiosity and the beginner’s mind that is not stained by all of the narratives or cognitive overlays to use a technical term that come with being an adult. And how do we reliably come back to an unadulterated experience of the now, not just in one way, but in many ways?

Karuna: [00:09:10] When we. Embarked on the journey of the yoga immersion last year it was Mind Oasis’ first offering. It was certainly not your first offering. So you have this experience of teaching. Yoga teacher trainings. And we looked at one another, and I think almost immediately said, this isn’t a yoga teacher training, this is a yoga immersion. I would love to hear from your perspective. Why that’s so important and why we grooved on that.

Michael: [00:09:51] Yes. Well, it was the idea that burst the Academy back in 2010 that so many people want to deepen their experience of yoga but don’t have any interest in being a teacher. They like what they’re doing. Being a yoga teacher is difficult financially, and you know, you have to run back and forth in different studios and like social media now. So it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And why should it be? Because the frankly, the the job market is super saturated with teachers and it’s hard to find a job even as a seasoned teacher. So to move around that and say, OK, well, here’s a practitioner immersion versus the teacher training just seems skillful and logical, and I couldn’t find anything else out there like it. It had stripped out all the things that you do need to know if you want to teach and just say, OK, well, here are the practices that lead to experiences. Here is the information that’s lineage based that allows us to have some confidence that this will work if we put some sweat equity into it. So right there you and I were in accord. And frankly, I feel like humanity at this time needs to have the gates open to quietude in their mind, how to turn off the narrative. How to calm their nervous system, because after all, we’ve been through a hellish two and a half years with the pandemic to learn how to come back together as social animals, given the the fear of one another that the media is touting this person’s vaccinated, this person’s unvaccinated, this person’s partially vaccinated, this cordoning off and chopping up of of people based on these important facts.

Michael: [00:11:51] But it’s ripping us apart at the same time. So I think as a healing balm, a practitioner training makes all the sense and there’s a great difference between knowing about something and knowing something. And so this union, this yoga to what these non ordinary states of reality are like is extremely important. I want to acknowledge the proliferation of plant medicine and psychedelic therapies that are starting to spread out even, you know, technologies that can actually dial someone’s neurology into a deeply realized state. These are powers that we have now, but they’re kind of Promethean. Meaning you give someone a substance, you give someone a technology, they have an experience and that’s real, but can they do that on their own? Can they integrate what they saw in a way that allows them to continue to live their worldly life without it being greatly disrupted from seeing? A whole other reality through that experience. You know? So what we’re offering is. A kind, stable way of people empowering themselves into the depth of who they are and the dimensions that are hidden in plain sight all around them in a way that builds community and has a vocabulary to speak about it and also gives people the seat belt, if you will, or the reins to sanely go into psychedelic therapy if they feel cold or working with a new technological powers that are out there to basically force a deep inside experience and that they would be OK. They would know how to navigate their way through it and come back to normal reality and go to work and do their life.

Karuna: [00:14:18] Yeah. One of. Well, let me say it a different way, we’ll for sure engage in a Q&A and we’ll include Joseph because he’s a key part of the team that will bring the 2022 yoga immersion to life. Can you talk a little bit about your personal physical practice and maybe your philosophy around yoga, asana and maybe what folks can expect? Because the truth of the matter is if you’re scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, a lot of yoga teacher trainings show very able bodied people doing difficult poses. I have to admit I haven’t done a handstand. I think in probably a year or so, maybe longer. Right? But there is a time that I would do handstands every day. So, you know, yeah, I’ll leave it at that.

Michael: [00:15:23] Yeah, well, we’re visual beings, and when we look at Instagram and you see someone doing something very impressive, it’s a contortion or like a dangerous pose or a pose in a beautiful space. It captures the eye and you want to look and then you continue to look. You can’t take a picture of someone’s mind and quietude. I don’t know how you do that, right? The mind doesn’t have an appearance. You can’t take a picture of a person’s heart as its opening or going through an emotion. You can only see correlates in their behavior and their body language. So I get it right. It’s it’s a it’s an attention grabbing tool. It also helps people sell things like Here’s a mat, here’s an outfit. Here’s a bottle. Buy my thing, I get it. And it can lead to compare and despair for someone who has been sold that yoga is asana yoga, are postures. You’re only a good yoga practitioner if you can put your foot behind your head, which I can’t either is B.S. first of all, and it just promotes more of the same. You know, inferiority. That someone that could dissuade someone from even lifting weights if they thought that the only way to start was to pick up the heaviest weight. Right? So what’s? First of all, about me, I was never a physical person. I was the kid that was picked last in gym class when I did find guitar…

Michael: [00:17:03] That’s all I did. I was 10 years old and I stayed hunched over the instrument until I went to college. And then I met my martial arts teacher, he said if you don’t start attending to the fact that you’re embodied, you’re going to be decrepit by the time you’re 40. Ok. I couldn’t touch my toes at that time without a lot of pain. So I know what it’s like to start from zero. In my case, I believe that Asana Yoga is incredible because it shows someone how to align their skeletal body in all different ways so that their breathing can be unimpeded. So that their muscles can be in an optimal state of relaxed sadness and activation when they want to, that their nervous system can be regulated, we can feel when it’s too excited to focus on one thing or to be restful. And we can feel when it’s too low, when we want to be excited and want to be engaged. The controlled stressful environment of a physical practice also teaches people if it is, you know, a harder practice. Not all asana practices are. But when it is more challenging, it shows us how to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, the calm part when we’re in a stressful situation. And so after that gets rinsed and repeated over, you know, weeks and months.

Michael: [00:18:45] I mean, I remember what it felt like to get up off the mat and go out into the day, go out into the New York street and feel calm. Which was very alien because, you know, everybody’s on their third cup of coffee and everything’s like loud and honking and coming at you. And I was like, Wow, what an amazing thing. If I can do it here, I can do it anywhere. So I am passionate about classical yoga asana postures, and I lift weights and I rock climb and I ski and I skip days where I don’t do any asana. And that’s OK. So. What’s beautiful about this training is it’s going to start at the beginning. If there is a beginning but start at the foundational principles and then in a stepwise orderly fashion, expand from there with the caretaking that each person that we’re working with is an individual. So if we’re talking about, let’s say, something like handstand, we’re not expecting everyone to be able to do it, but to deliver the principles about how it’s done, why it’s done, how to do it in variations, if you wanted to attempt it without having to go from, I’ve never done this to like, I’m doing it, you know, on a cliff in Peru, we’re not doing that.

Karuna: [00:20:15] One of the things that I love about what you just said. There were so many gems, however, one in particular is around alignment and how with learning alignment, how it can actually improve your relationship with the breathing apparatus. And of course, this is where my husband Joseph comes into play because for him, I feel like there’s two things. Well, there’s a lot he brings to the immersion, but there are like two things that. I never heard even until I met him, and that’s around keeping the container safe, and what he means by that is that not just physically keeping your body safe, but also your nervous system, because if you’re all jacked up, it’s difficult then to integrate anything you’ve learned. So I feel like we offer a very safe container, a safe container to explore whatever you’re working with. You know, we’re coming out of maybe the pandemic, maybe we’re moving into endemic, which is going to feel different. And so it’s this wonderful time for us as individuals too. Feel into what’s next. Right? So I kind of feel like our immersion is a beautiful cocoon, and that’s what I saw. A lot of people use the immersion last year to as kind of like a cocoon container. Safely held by the three of us. The other thing that Joseph talks a lot about is that it all begins with the breath. And, you know, many of us have a difficult relationship with our breath. Some of us have asthma, some of us have trauma, but working with it, rather than a rejection of, I think, is something that’s really important and beautiful when one is ready to step into that particular arena. So one of the modules that you offer during the immersion is called light through the veins. I hope I got that right, or at least I’m close to what it’s called

Michael: [00:22:28] Perfect

Karuna: [00:22:33] Light through the veins. Tell us everything.

Michael: [00:22:36] Yes. Well, it’s an illusion to the subtle body or what’s called in Sanskrit the pranamaya kosha. So prana means that which comes before the breath. So when someone exhales all the way out, there is an impulse that brings the inhale. A pulsation of energy that triggers the body to breathe in, and that is the spark that our life is hanging from, for Joseph to say the breath comes first. I completely agree. It’s our first nutrition. When we were born, the first outward nutrition we took was that inhale just before we started crying. And so. Getting familiar with that. In and of itself is extremely powerful, because if that is the spark of life, then we have a death meditation just before it. We don’t know that there will be that impulse that brings the inhale. We we don’t know. So right there, there’s a reordering to presence. Because, you know, this whole idea of me being middle aged within that framework is a myth. This might be my last breath. I don’t know. So in terms of getting rid of procrastination, getting rid of being divisive. Putting all other fears in a context in next to death is an invitation to greatness in that next moment over and over again. So just there. It’s powerful now. Prana is like if I take out a wire here, Prana is like the electricity that moves through this wire light through the veins as my body has physical veins that blood flows through. Prana flows through these things called knots or energetic channels as blood flows through a vein.

Michael: [00:24:58] The channels that the energy flows through in the scriptures and in the practices of energetic yoga, these channels are like the the light correlates to our psychology. Basically, in a present moment when we either feel an aversion to what’s happening now, it could be an annoyance. Like if someone’s tapping their fingers and that really gets on your nerves, it could be that feeling of I don’t I won’t be OK until this stops or on the other side. The palliative side or the anxious side, like, I won’t be OK until I get something I don’t have. So these two forms are craving that basically pushed someone out of the present moment in their mind can be felt at the level of a nervous system of the light body. And as we get familiar with that, we can use our breath, we can use our posture. Many, many other tools that we show in the light through the veins module to self-diagnose. From a place of dignity, from a place of not taking things personally and then based on getting familiar in that way, self-regulate using a whole arsenal of techniques. I could go on and on, but you know, all of this connected to the language of chakras and channels and drops of consciousness that basically, are the elevator that we take to explore different realms, different realities that are unfolded all around us from a mystic point of view. This is also how we travel into those states by becoming more and more attuned to the subtlety of our light bodies or our nervous systems.

Karuna: [00:26:58] Beautiful. The energetic nervous system. Yeah, I you know, one of the things that we’re going to do again this year is you and Joseph have kind of the physical yoga asana and movement labs, which will be really awesome and then you’ll be bringing in the the philosophy side of yoga. And then I’ll be actually offering kind of what I would call just Buddhism one on one, you know, four noble truths six perfections, lots of lists and things like that. But what’s interesting is I learned those things from you. Right, you were my first. Buddhist teacher. And I’d love to just hear a little bit about how you came to Buddhism and how it has informed maybe even your life yoga. And and things like that.

Michael: [00:28:05] Yes. Well, it’s it’s an honor to share these things because the excitement of learning about them and having a friend to talk about it with is such a gift. So. To be a Buddhist means to be interested in waking up. Like when we’re dreaming at night and we think that that is the real reality. When there’s all kinds of discontinuities like you, you suddenly appear in an airport or you’re suddenly in the backyard of where you grew up, there’s no continuity there. But we take it as reality. If we woke up to the fact that we were in a dream, a realm made completely of mind. Meaning there’s no physics to hold us back from flying or traversing wide spaces in a single instant. Nothing to fear because it’s all made of mind. We would be awake inside the dream. Now, as we are awake now, which is kind of difficult to confirm. Like basically, you know, I can throw this up in the air and gravity seems to function. My senses tell me that what’s around me is real and we can have consensus by saying, Hey, do you also see a green rectangle? You know, I think we’re both awake here, I think, and our apparatus of senses are working. We can have consensus that this is real enough. This is real enough to say it’s here. So the work of waking up in waking life is Buddhism.

Michael: [00:29:57] Why to do that? Well, again and again, we project narrative about the reality we are in. The places, the people, the circumstances. We project that reality so much more so in our heads. We’re so in our narrative that we forget we’re doing it. We actually become asleep and an ignorant to the, let’s say, reality shaping power of our own minds and its relationship to that reality. So it’s like an amnesiac god or goddess. Having an intimation that, hey, mate, there’s something funny going on here, like wherever I’ve moved in my life, whichever partners I’ve switched between, whichever jobs I switch between. With enough time I still see, I can’t escape my mind. There’s the same issues. So maybe there’s something in me that’s I’ve been asleep to as a reality, shaping power. Ok, so this is the first step of Buddhism, it’s called getting familiar, and it’s usually not fun. So we wake up to the fact that, hey, wherever I go, there I am, I can’t escape my mind. It doesn’t matter how I shift the deckchairs around on the Titanic. I can’t escape my mind. And that can be like kind of a dark night moment, which is why I think a lot of people don’t want to look in. It’s scary. But the good news is that allows for the second aspect of the Buddhist path, which is a new pathway, a new way of living to be illuminated.

Michael: [00:31:41] Through getting familiar or sick of the cycle that we’ve been on. The mind that created the issue is not going to be the mind that solves the issue. Can I blaze a new pathway for myself where, yeah, I stumble on it because it’s new. I’m trying to walk on legs I’ve never walked on before. But at least it’s not the same old broken path that I’d been asleep on. And then celebrating the third part of this act of waking up is the fruit like seeing the small changes in our lives that we weren’t. As asleep as we used to be. We’re not as negative as we used to feel compelled to be. We’re not lost in another person’s pain as we go to serve them as we used to be. There’s more of an integrity there. And this, you know, I’m also inked so that this is my reminder of that, right? Getting familiar with the path, the fruit over and over again moments, a moment that starts to actually create a profound change in the psychology and the neurology in the nervous system. It radiates out through every part of our being, whether it’s consciousness or animal based. So that opportunity to wake up is there each moment. And so sharing these profound, beautiful instructions is such a privilege and such a joy, there’s it’s so cool and so useful.

Karuna: [00:33:24] I just want to take a moment before I ask you. One of my last two questions to acknowledge and to share something with you. So on Thursday mornings, I have a long running group. We meet on Mind Oasis and sometimes I guide the Lamrim and sometimes I do something else. And right now we’re we’re using Pema Chodron books. Last year we we went through the Lamrim, which of course you took me through twice. So when I share with you listeners, is that Michael, that Mind Oasis wouldn’t be here without Michael. It’s not like a joke. It’s not like to be taken lightly. Like, that’s literally the truth. I went through Vessel Academy twice and and it taught me everything that I know, and I think the thing I want to share with you is so I had, I think, 11 people today and I had 12 people last week, and they fluctuate anywhere from a five to 15, just kind of depending on the week. And all of these, these principal paths, all of these foundations are being heard and contemplated and tested and retested by people who are identify as recovering Catholics and Catholic, practicing Catholics, and the range of ages anywhere in early 20s up to seventies in these classes. And these are people who have expressed enough interest and have an open mind. The idea that there’s something to awaken within. The waking life, and it’s it’s so it’s a the acknowledgment I’m making is the lineage, the transfer of your knowledge to me and then the studies that we’ve both done in order to be able to then share to the best of our ability that knowledge with others. And and then looking back at our teachers and our teachers, teachers going back to the historic Buddha himself and who knows before that, right? So it’s just an acknowledgement that like a tree with many roots and all the different directions that goes, up and out, that I have so much to be grateful for from you, but also that I’m passing it on so the branches continue to grow, right? Isn’t that cool?

Michael: [00:35:49] Yes.

Karuna: [00:35:50] So my my question to you is the Union of Buddhism and Yoga for you. Talk a little bit about how these practices complement.

Michael: [00:36:03] Wow, that is an infinite subject, and first, I like to say thank you. For doing the work and creating Mind Oasis and teaching and spreading these incredible. Ideas and techniques. Thank you. This is how it doesn’t die out in the world, this is how it radiates out. Again, we agree that yoga is not the physical poses. That’s to think that yoga is asana is like thinking that the rainbow is blue. It’s myopic. It’s how it’s been sold and branded largely in the West and our alliances to shatter that myopic idea and show people that the opportunity and the techniques for awakening are not just about physical animal. Now, the physical animal, one thing that’s amazing about it, I mean, many, countless, is that it’s present. It’s always here. It’s always here, and it understands that it’s a part of an integrated system. Thích Nhất Hạnh, who just passed, used to tell, OK, I have my right hand, has a hammer and my left hand has a nail and I’m hammering and hammering and hammering and I hit my thumb right hand hits, left thumb left thumb doesn’t lawyer up and sue right hand. The body knows the thumbs know, that much that they’re part of an integrated system. The right hand instantly drops the hammer and comes to the aid of the left hand because it understands it’s part of one system. At the same time, the thumbs are not one. This is the right thumb, and this is the left arm. That’s to last. I checked. That’s not one. There are different aspects that understand their their union. Ok, so it’s like non duality. Buddhism at its core. Teaches this. OK. If people got this, here’s the so what if people got this?

Michael: [00:38:29] It would eliminate the capacity for war. Because the different perspectives on. A situation could be understood. Right, like in a soccer match, you have this team that thinks they’re the best and this team that thinks they’re the best and they’re fighting to see who’s the best. Now. Healthy competition is the backbone of sports like you can’t have a game unless people are like competing. It can be a healthy competition. But to think that the other side is wrong is exactly potentially in ignorance, what both sides are thinking about each other. Right. Each side has a right to their perspective, just like if two people sat down in an ice cream parlor and put their spoons in the pistachio ice cream and one person thought yuck, and the other person thought, Yum! We had two other people eating it. One person thought, I’m allergic to that, and the other person didn’t really feel one way or another. Those are four relative truths that are equally true for each of those minds. No one’s more correct than the other. There’s room for all of it because the ultimate truth and this is the deep core of Buddhism. The ultimate truth is that ice cream has a potential nature that isn’t any of those particular ways at all. It’s not yucky, it’s not yummy, it’s not allergy and it’s not neutral. There’s a primordial, deep, absolute nature to everything that allows our minds to interact and shape the reality. But that forgetting a [00:40:25] Avidyā, [00:40:25] they say in Sanskrit is so deeply ingrained in us and so reinforced by the systems that we’re a part of the world systems that need people to stay asleep. To continue, this is where yoga is quite rebellious and dangerous to the status quo.

Karuna: [00:40:49] Isn’t it great?

Michael: [00:40:52] Yes, and I mean, think about it, if one of your heart cells woke up to the fact that it was a heart cell inside of a cluster swarm of heart cells that made a heart inside of a being named Karuna, who was also existing inside of a vast system that’s infinite. That heart cell wouldn’t beat your heart. It would stop around and go. Holy cow. And that radical hard sell might start tapping unknown anthropomorphizing heart cells, but it might start tapping the other heart cells go, Hey dudes, did you notice? And then they might start stop beating and give you a heart attack. So there is a necessary amount of sleep, I think needed a disruptive idea for the for the systems to move. You know, because like the tune in turn on drop out model of the Sixties was powerful, except for the dropout part. The dropout part was really the thing that I think turned the whole psychedelic movement into a very negative space versus tune in turn on. Be better. You know, understand as you’re in the middle of your life. Holy cow. The reality is far more than we had been sold. And now that there are more clusters of people in the process of waking up and communities and this is less stigmatized and we can actually look in the different religions, particularly from the esoteric view, and see how they all agree. They just express it in different ways. They’re all saying the same thing. Again, this is where yoga can be a source of peace versus some silly pose on a piece of plastic that really doesn’t do anybody much good anyway. We are interested in people waking up by any means necessary and then having a community to support them through that process because inside experiences can be really disruptive to a person. There also needs the ability to come back down to three dimensional normal reality and function there after we have these mind blowing epiphanies. And that’s also something that our program offers.

Karuna: [00:43:22] So I think I’ll wrap by saying that. Our unofficial motto last year was that the world needs more Jedi. And I think what we meant by that you coined it, but I bought into it, I think, yeah, I think what we meant by that is. If the yoga and the Buddhism isn’t shifting your heart. And your ability to help, to be a helper, like what Mr. Rogers says to be a helper. And then what are we doing other than mental gymnastics? And there are people who study Buddhism very much in the head. There are people who study very much physical in the yoga asana, but we study in many different directions and I think moving always towards having an open enough heart to be a helper.

Michael: [00:44:27] Yes. And and body positivity, you know, like you don’t have to look like a live Instagram model to be a high yoga practitioner. It doesn’t have to look one way. And that’s also a pretty disruptive idea, because there is a virtual virtue signaling that happens like, Oh, if I’ve got this Crystal and I burn this Palo Santo and I wear this felt hat that I got into loom, then that means I’m a. And it’s just more high school. It’s just more high school. The diversity of the expressions of yoga, there’s a also a an undercover aspect to it. You know, this could be something that wakes up inside of a company CEO, and this could be something that radiates through the mission statement and the values and principles of that company. The change the world from the inside, not by ripping things down and just creating more polarity between left and right, but actually changing from the inside, and I believe in this very much, and that’s why I love working with you guys

Karuna: [00:45:50] And I’ll just echo or in in your kitchen, in your home, your family, yoga with your partners and your pets and your everyone. And in your own temple and the temple of your own mind. And so the the sneaky seeds can blossom in really interesting ways. Michael, how do people connect with you? What’s your website these days?

Michael: [00:46:19] The website is

Karuna: [00:46:24] And then I’m assuming you’re on Instagram.

Michael: [00:46:29] Yes, under Vessel Academy, if they want to see my musical side, they can go to Michael Hewitt Music. I have beautiful playlists on SoundCloud to help go to sleep, to help Lucid Dream. There’s a YouTube channel under Vessel Academy with some practices, guided meditations, some foundational practices that I really couldn’t find being taught out there. So I offer them and also gets a chance to see a little bit about my voice as a guide.

Karuna: [00:47:02] Yeah, awesome. And stay tuned because we will do a Q&A for the yoga immersion with Joseph as well. Michael, it’s always amazing to connect with you. Thank you so much for being with me for Meditation. Happy Hour today.

Michael: [00:47:16] Yes, it’s wonderful. Thank you. I’m so excited about this training.

Karuna: [00:47:20] I’m really excited to you and all when you hear the music, the intro and the outro to the Meditation. Happy Hour that is off of one of Michael’s beautiful songs. So thank you, Michael. I think it’s gold.

Michael: [00:47:34] Yes.

Karuna: [00:47:34] Yeah. All right. Thanks, Michael.

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