"Inner Harmony" with Pete Amato PhD

September 02, 2022 JoeVanWie / Pete Amato PhD Season 2 Episode 28
"Inner Harmony" with Pete Amato PhD
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Dr. Peter Amato is revolutionizing today’s Holistic Healthcare Model and is also a world renouned leader in Addiction Recovery

A revolution is quietly taking hold as patients and recovering addicts become more and more dissatisfied with the mainstream healthcare system that fails them time and again. This dissatisfaction fuels a search for answers and new truths.  And the truth is, we have answers! 

As a pioneer in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Amato has been healing patients for over 25 years from acute and chronic conditions.  His enlightened and forward-thinking approach to wellness addresses not only symptoms of disease (including addiction recovery), but gets at the root cause to allow for enduring wellness.  He has forged a unique approach to the the 11th Step of the "12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous Program." 

Dr. Amato’s approach requires an appreciation for the connection between mind, body, and spirit - and how all three play a key role in your overall health and/or enduring sobriety/recovery. This is the exact point where, and why, traditional healthcare approaches repeatedly fall short.

Dr. Amato is a Board-Certified Doctor of Natural Medicine and Founder of Inner Harmony Wellness Centers.  

  • Co-founder (with Andrew Weil, M.D.) and past chair of the National Integrative Medicine Council.
  • Consultant, cutting edge healthcare study with colleagues from Harvard, Duke, Georgetown, and other prestigious Institutions: “Mapping the Emergence of Integrative Medicine.”
  • Consultant, American Cancer Society, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  Designed and implemented a holistic cancer care program using alternative modalities. 
  • International lecturer on such topics as consciousness and culture, wellness and personal growth, engaged spirituality for businesses, and the Inner Harmony Approach to Enlightened Living.
  • Consultant, transformational business individuals, and organizations.  Areas of focus include education, health care, addiction recovery, and organizational development.
  • Recipient of 5 Research Grants from the US Dept of Education, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Susan G Komen Foundation, American Cancer Society, and Pennsylvania Dept of Health. 

Additionally, Dr. Amato was a Managing Partner of Integrative Life Centers.  He has conducted and published his research in many peer-reviewed medical journals.  Together with the Inner Harmony Group, he has served as a consultant on various corporate workforces to develop forward-thinking business models worldwide.

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Leaders Of Long Term Recovery in Pennsylvania 

We combine proven recovery principles with new, innovative techniques to provide one of the most effective programs for young men in the country.

 Discussions on addiction and recovery. We interview clinicians/researchers, legislators, and individuals that include a variety of means to recovery. Joe Van Wie is a father, husband, filmmaker, and reformed media consultant in recovery. 

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Pete Amato Phd  0:03  
Hello, and thanks for listening to another episode of all better. I'm your host, Joe fan week. If you like what you hear, stop over at Apple podcasts and all better, and leave us a review. These reviews help us become more relevant in searches that are on recovery, mindfulness, and life after addiction. Today's guests is a friend, and it's Dr. Pete a model. Pete Reese received his doctorate degree in mind body medicine from Saybrook University, and is a board certified in natural medicine with a master's degree and transpersonal psychology. Additionally, Dr. Model received a bachelor's degree in nutrition, which inspired him to open one of the nation's first models of integrative medicine. That was in 1997. Dr. Model is also the successful author, and I just finished his book and it was the second time I read it. I read it 10 years ago. He's a Los Angeles Times bestselling author, and the books titled soul silence a unique approach to mastering your 11 Step. Dr. model has also provided expert insight or its research study and is published in multiple journals with colleagues from Harvard, Duke, Georgetown, and other prestigious institutions at the cutting edge of healthcare entitled mapping the emergence of integrative medicine. He has worked closely with the American Cancer Society. And the Centers for Disease Control is designed and instituted a holistic Cancer Care program using alternative modalities was proven beneficial to cancer patients. Dr. Amato was the co founder with Dr. Andrew Weil, and the past chair of the National integrative medicine Council. Dr. Matta was an international lecturer and presenter travels extensively He lectures on such topics as consciousness and culture, wellness, personal growth, engaged spirituality for business in the inner harmony approach to enlightened living. Additionally, Dr. A model has conducted and published his research and many peer reviewed medical journals, certified by Jon Kabat Zinn, mindfulness as well as Deepak Chopra and primordial sound meditation, and has been ordained as a lay monk. And the Buddhist tradition by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tich not on, unfortunately passed away this year. We get to me, Pete, and I always love talking about consciousness and open awareness that makes reality stranger and stranger, the more you kind of try to look at yourself, is there something to even look at? Do you do that? We talk a lot about that today. And what produced Pete's own recovery and a years ago, and what sustains in his spirituality today at his harmony Mountain Institute, and his opening up this fall for lectures, weekend retreat series. So talk more about that today. Let's meet Pete. We're back to all better. And in studio today is Dr. Peter moto. It's been a friend of mine for about 10 years now. And we reconnected not too long ago. And I wanted to catch up on a lot of things. Because I've had a lot of experiences in the last two years. Pete's been a real help to just chatting about Pete, thanks for coming in.

My pleasure, Joe, thanks for having me.

Pete, I went back and I read a soul silence your book. And I just found it while we've been friends for a while chatting and we were out of touch for a little bit. But I read the first half of how you entered recovery. And we never talked. I never talked to you about that. So I'm reading this theory as a guide. I've known 10 years and I didn't know your entry to recovery.

I just found a while because like people in recovery usually chat about the past all the time.

And I read yours. How would you summarize At the end of an addiction, you're at the end of your addiction and start a recovery. How did that produce itself?

Well, for me, it was startling. You know, they say a nadrich Roger, a judge. For me, it was the judge. And I just kept acting out more and more and more around town. You know, they used to give me a pass, you know, I just kind of locally known, so I would get a pass a lot of times, but at some point, it became startling to me that I was, you know, throwing glasses of vodka up at a woman was singing on a stage that was the the end the bitter end for me. He called me out on it. You know, it was with a tragedy. And I was devastated that I had acted out so ridiculous. And so, you know, it's not who I am. I was reaching out in a way that I didn't even know I was reaching out, apparently. And then I got a call the next day, you know, either go to jail or go to rehab.

Yeah, that was scary to read it. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Like, I had a pause for a second. I was like, I forgot, we all have what gets us into recovery. Like I said, to not talk to you about it. And Pete, I've always known. I was like, Oh, that's right. We all come from a dark place screaming for help. And then ended that that week, you decide it and we're pulling you course, legally into a treatment center. Right? The easier softer way? How long ago? Would that be now with over

28 years, 28 years?

Let's come up with? So you went to a treatment center, then? I would have been more

worth right. 20 a day?

And was that what was that like for you at that point of your life?

Well, I was scared. So I just settled in and with with people from all walks of life. And for me, that was a new thing. Because I had lived a pretty pretty high life. You know, we had fancy cars, jet airplanes, all kinds of like travel and your name and you know, all kinds of drugs and women and blah, blah, blah. So to show up in a rehab with people from all walks of life was like, a new way of experiencing life at at Mar worth. But I was grateful to know enough that I had humble beginnings in my life. And once I begin began to like, sober up, after a day or two or three, I was able to settle into my my roots. The biggest gift I ever became in touch with in my whole life. To experience my essence we grew up with very little. And I reported back into that with knowing this. And I became part of it was 60 or 80 people that were there.

And you experience you you grew up Scranton working class. A family owned business explodes success and keeps moving forward after a lot of hard work. You're now in treatment center. Did you feel you were out of touch with the the beginnings then? Is that what you're reconnecting with when you would hear other people's share?

No question. When I shared I had to cut in the corner my share to better my two brothers until the first one got married. And then I got my own single bed. But you know, eventually our business we worked hard. I started when I was 13. My family we worked hard, got lucky and did good. And I was enjoying the highlife. Yeah. And that's when I when I hit the wall, and ended up in that rehab. And that's when I realized, you know what? And they told me this, they taught me they said, You know what, you're not any different than these people who you're exactly the same. But that was a big concept for me to swallow. But it didn't take me like I'm a smart person. But I realized that they were exactly right. That was a spiritual experience for me in rehab, to tap into that right size nest of where I came from my essence, and to experience that with other people listen to their stories. And to realize that you know what, my story isn't all that special. It's just another Bozo on the bus, if you will, but call it today.

Yeah. And what could have separated you at that point to, you know, was was well, an experience a life that was not what, you know, most of the population was experiencing at work, you work for it, but what was it about the success that it wasn't enough that our addiction kept growing with your success? What was going on? not?

Well, that's a great question. You know, and I, as I reflect, apparently I was isolating at the level of my own mind, and living such a narrow life of what I thought was fulfillment until I started to go downhill and act out. And, you know, I was able enough to witness you know what, there's something wrong here. This isn't normal behavior. And then what I ended up in, in treatment, that was the cross I had to bear was, you know, what, you've had a great life, you know, wonderful lived experience, lots of success, anything you want in the hallway world, but was unhappy. It was like, an impossible thing to bear for me. Because then I because what's the answer to that? Well, what do you what do you do to get happy, and that became the problem. And the solution. I didn't even know what that meant. But I knew that that was the problem in the solution. So

you have an addiction, cocaine, alcohol, right? Kind of a workaholic, up to that point until addiction starts to be a conflict everywhere. What What was your mind like when it wasn't using substances in that period? If there was little windows where you would maybe sober up? Or you were? What was going on? In your mind then? Was their state? How would you describe the state of your mind without drugs or alcohol?

Well, within that 28 day experience, a number of things happened to me, one of the I think biggest things that happened was I began to see people I know from the community show up and put on meetings. And some of these people were successful people, people, I either knew them or I knew their name, or I knew of them. And then I would just say, and you're here, and you're in this program, this club, aftercare, AAA. I had no, I didn't even know it existed. That's how I called it. I wasn't life. I didn't even know there was rehab.

Yeah. You know, you you were, you know, soup to nuts, cars, but I was

out there. I was way out there. I didn't know it. I thought it was like everybody else is. So

you see in this entry like that, you know, not only can anyone be an addict or an alcoholic, but anyone can enter recovery. Yeah. So socioeconomics just falls, the floor falls out? This is all of us, you, you started? Did you feel you're making the first connection in years with people they're going to?

Well, not only that, before that, I think what I recognize that these people were happy. That was like a new thing for me to see people sober and happy. Like, I wasn't even sober. But I certainly wasn't happy. And these people were putting on meetings and talking about their new life and all this happiness. And I was simply amazed. Here, I had everything in the world, and I wasn't happy. So blew my mind to know that people can be happy without the substance and the alcohol. That was a spiritual awakening of its own in rehab. And then to recognize these people and you know, know their life, know what they do in the community and say, Okay, I haven't seen these people in years. But here, they are not drinking, they're sober. And they're happy. That's what got my attention was the happy. That was the missing ingredient for me. I didn't even know about spirituality. All I wanted to be was happy.

Yeah. When did you make the connection that? So you're already attracted to the idea of recovery? Because you're seeing it, you're seeing it firsthand that you have an attraction, others sincere happiness? When did you make the connection that maybe it's just not produced by sobriety and itself? Like, was it at treatment?

Absolutely. And as simplistic as it sounds in that 28 Day program, they talked us about the first three steps of a 12 step program. And it got my attention. It just made sense that I have to surrender. Now, I didn't even know what I had to surrender, but that was their big thing. And then to get in touch with a higher power, I had no basis in religion or any type of higher power. I didn't even know what that was since I was a young kid. But that's what they said would be the the win is to get those first three steps over time under your belt. So that was just a concept for me and I had no idea what that meant or how to figure it out. So I just kind of would hang out with these people for a month and watch them get happy and tell their war stories. And a big thing happened that I had a he became a nice Panther at the time, he was doing service work, so he would come in and talk with different people, you know, in the cup of coffee kind of thing, Tom see. And he told me, You're gonna be okay. You know, your business and all that there and I respect them. I never met him. But I respected him. I knew him from the community. And he said, you need to follow the direction when you get out of here. Do the deal, go to the meetings every day. And he says, If you want to talk to me, we can hook up and, you know, start calling him.

The lo and behold, he was a fellow that said to me, it would be good if you started the 11 step.

Right out of treatment. I didn't know what he was talking about. But that's what happened to me as I did.

So the day after

I got out of treatment, he taught me how to meditate.

And you know, you got a little pushback when you got to your home group. I know that, hey, you shouldn't be on the 11 step right away. But the funny thing is my sponsor did the same thing for me this last go around. And it was right. Right when it came in start doing this every night. He said, here's here's a suggestion what you don't hear it means a lot of times a suggesting you pray and or meditate twice a day. I've been around a since 16. I was like, what is it what is Ace was like, they call it in treatment centers, the 10 step like you take your inventory of the day. But when you read the book, closely, it's a no, this is our just a broad approach to step 11. Enjoy your day, review it, don't get more of it, but deal with an apology where you've where you're afraid. There's something you should tell somebody at once. And then take a position of non judgement, forgiveness and make corrective measures in the morning. Make sure you could start the day without self pity. I totally missed how profound and easy that is for someone to first venture into it. Why wouldn't you start that right away? My sponsor told me don't start a new fires while we're cleaning up the old ones, putting the old fires out. So I think that's a great suggestion. And I still give that advice I want to know is what do you think that practicing that gave me a leg up? Right? In early sobriety? Do you believe that? Did you see the difference between people who weren't doing it versus people who are?

Absolutely, and here's what happened was hard for the first couple of weeks, because it brought up all of my emotions that I wasn't even able to identify. So in treatment, they told me I'm spiritual and emotionally bankrupt. I didn't know what that meant. But then when I tried to connect with my breathing, and meditate, you know, for 20 minutes, and then go to a 7am meeting every day, all these emotions come up, anger, fear, resentment, guilt, shame. So I will be talking to my sponsor about this crying, it was a mess. But after a few weeks, he talked me through the fact that you know what, first of all that's in the past, you have to acknowledge it, and name and claim it and dump it is what he said. And just realize that that's not happening now. It make peace with it. And eventually, if you have to make your amends, you make your amends. But you open up your own heart to the fact that that was in the past, you have an addiction. And you're spiritually disconnected. And this is what happened. He says, but the more you let it go, the more you'll quiet the mind. And the more you'll have the ability to be present. Again, I didn't know what he was talking about. But I did it out of fear. Because they didn't want to relapse, I didn't want to die. So I followed direction, like there was nobody's business. And I'm at these meetings. And I hear these people sharing and they seem to be sharing about the same same stuff a lot. You know, when I would travel and I would come back and they still be talking about what they're talking about. So because I had a quiet mind, I realized that, that they're kind of stuck on the same story. And that's when I knew that the meditation was working for me. And I didn't have anything to say. Wow.

That's interesting. That's I find true myself when I want to talk a lot. There's a lot going on in me. But I want it to go back meditation. So getting better meditation can be uncomfortable, but you but it's still healing. But it doesn't it's not about just pleasantry. No,

like Jack Kornfield said after the ecstasy the laundry

so that's what you experienced kind of from the start but you stuck to it big but you had support Um, was supportive of this?

Absolutely. And we, we did like retreats early on, we wouldn't go for like weekend retreats, eight day silent Vipassana retreats in early sobriety. Yeah, we don't talk for a week, like, thrown to the wolves.

What did that bring up like that? That silence because you've lived a fast life a you were a racecar driver. You're built around motors and speed and fat. You dove in, like no one I know, locally, to to the healing qualities, not only a meditation, but the multiple ways to practice it really early on. But I think it's it's, it's key to mention that it was uncomfortable. But you still pursued it, because you did you know, intuitively then this is healing this discomfort is healing?

I did because what happens is, you know, I say to my students today, like what's the worst thing that could happen? With something that comes out of your mind? Like, we blow up or like, it's just an illusion, you know, that wants to control your ego mind, something from the past, that always have has to do with people, places and things never has anything to do with me. It's my relationship

to Yeah. And you made that connection early.

Yeah. Because through meditation, you know, the first arrival when the heart opens, is to is to be able to witness your words and look at it, rather than being in the story to look at it separately. Yeah, and only then can you make sense out of it, that it's not real, that it's outside of you read the inside of you?

Yeah, I can make that connection watching a great series. I was saying this someone podcasts like the wire sopranos, you see this dynasty of just interrelationships between people. But we're getting this ultimate view. And we could see all the things that could be coming for the main character, how his relationships are falling apart before he knows it. I mean, no show how boring would a show be if it was a POV from one person's view, I mean, you would be in the dark the whole time. But that's I don't make that connection with my personal life that I'm in the dark.

Race, just see my view.

Right. And with that, the more the more I progressed with meditation is I could see myself and everybody.

And how else would you explain that? Because we were talking about that earlier, before we went on.

You know, I got to learn it from the levels of consciousness, of which, you know, in my worldview, and teachings and understanding lived experiences that there's seven of them. So, you know, we're all we're all tribal, for example. Okay. We're all vigilantes. And then we all want to be successful. So we have the BMW and the briefcase. And you know, we all go through those life stages. But a lot of people stay in those stages. Yeah, that's it. I mean, you see yourself in everybody in the park of time that they're stranded in, as opposed to being all seven different evolutions of consciousness up to the integral worldview, which adopts the notion that, you know, I am you, I am that vigilante, that tribal guy that likes to go to drum circles that were not meant to. But I'm also this guy that is an integral list.

So this is, these are advanced ways to look at consciousness just to kind of pick out. It's hard to not pick out I've been stuck in a bunch of them. Yeah,

it's even worldviews, and we've all been stuck in them. But that's the way we meditate our way through that is to find what I like to call our center of gravity. And that's where meditation brings us is that the Epi Center of your center of gravity, that you realize that you're not in any one any more than the other, that you've, you're a part of all seven, and therefore that helps with them. being judgmental on yourself and others, because you can see yourself, you know, the guy on the street is you Yeah, like all of the Spirit material, marry and all the saints and that's the reality that you end up living when the ego is gone, you know, diminished as far as acting out the wrong side of the healthy ego, the bad side of it, to see yourself everywhere, in everybody recognize everything as a miracle.

Yeah, the miracle of existence. It's just something's happening. And we just,

we just are. So not this and we're not that we just are are

right, from early sobriety to step back, you you start this practice you're going to retreat in the past now was one of the early kind of forms and that's insight meditation, kind of this awareness of self see where the the relationship between you and other, like how am I relating to what I think's going on in my life, Mike system,

right. And there was these body and soul conferences going on around the country was like an ongoing series where all of the latest authors and theologians and writers would show up for a weekend, you know, Chopra, and Marianne Williamson, and John for like, all of the latest and greatest, and this is the 90s, right? Out of Britain, this guy when he's had to be the 90s. So I would go to all of them and get on the plane and go, I was a sponge for I was a seeker. Yeah, that became a sage, you know, I went to India and Africa and blah, blah, blah, I wanted to know all about who I was becoming. Yeah.

Describe, if you can describe the first experience, you've never been to India. You're an auto part giant. You reef your life is now taking in total transformation. You decide to go to India, you've been practicing meditation, you've gotten the bait, the grounding of 12 Step life and recovery. What was it like to venture off to India? Like, can you give me give me a taste of this experience that you've had?

Sure. So let me give you a little bit about before that how I ended up making that choice and decision. So even going back to the Vipassana retreats, one interesting thing that came to me was they suggested that we all carry a notepad and a pencil. And during the silence, whenever we thought anything was very important, you know, I had my sponsor with me. Just write it down. You don't need to say it's not, you know, because the mind thinks that it must be said, It's powerful. It's profound. Somebody needs to hear this. If I don't say it, I'm gonna forget it. Write it down. And then at the end of the week, when I looked at everything written down, I had a good laugh and throw it all away. I didn't have to tell anybody, anything that was all just, you know, minutia. Those things like that, that sent me deeper inward to realize that you know, what, beyond the mind and the body, there's a spirit and essence, in studying like, with people like Deepak Chopra, I learned about our essential state. And that needed to become it was from antiquity was what I learned it wasn't from Western civilization, for the most part. And it was still going on in the east. So I started to read a lot about Eastern spirituality and the metaphysics of the ancient seers and sages and saints who used to sit in the caves and blah, blah, blah. So I started to buy books and read about, you know, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Ramana Maharshi and Sai Baba and all of these avatars and saints and stages, living in debt. And as I read their books, I wouldn't get a buzz. Yeah, almost like an addiction, I would get a kundalini rushes. I know what today because I teach, you know, Kundalini Yoga. So the founders were all from India. So that was why I decided I wanted to go to India and then a trip came up with Gianni where he cinco where they were going to go to Sai Baba as ashram and we couldn't stay at the ashram and meet him, maybe get a personal meeting and this guy, he materializes things out of thin air and blah, blah, you know, it's just far out. So I did, I went and it was a, I forget a two or three week trip, toured all around, and went to all the different handful of different ashrams of both living in St.

Pete, what would you say an ashram as if someone didn't know?

So it's a community of living, where it's mostly spent in silence the whole time. And then the saint or sage who was the, you know, I don't know, Teacher of the ashram would do a lecture a couple times a day. So you'd meditate and then you go to a lecture or meditate and go to a lecture we'd line up like a two in the morning and had these marbles that you would like like full table of marbles and you pick a number that tells you like, what row you're in, because what row you're in, get your how close to this teacher or what teacher Yeah, that was what Sai Baba.

So they sustain themselves by being a retreat center, education, and people are drawn all over the world. This is very ancient. It's Hinduism, and Buddhism are all around their Hindu doesn't mean the older form. And this still exists today in India that you could go. And there's teachers or there's always an a teacher there to learn always. Yeah. And I went on an experience. Yeah, they went a second time years later, where I did a lot more research

and went to a lot more of the ashrams and met the teachers. And, you know, at that point I was I was a teacher myself, I was I was invited into some of their homes. Wonderful Life Experience like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. You know, I lectured at a conference in India, my second trip with the Dalai Lama was on the roster. I mean, it was just a far out thing. I met Sri Sri and he had a brand new man Mandir, an ashram invited me over i, you sat in his little hush and had all of some Morocco or something I forget, it was far out. And

was this unlike any experience, like growing up, you know, grew up around the lens of Catholicism school? Well, how is this such a departure from the way we grew up the first half of our life being taught something that invigorated you so much that I mean, you? You spent the next couple of decades studying and teaching? What was it about the geography, the attraction to the way Eastern thought much of it, but which predates how we were raised was describing the experience of reality? Well, what,

so right off the plane in New Delhi, it's like, you're immersed in a feeling, you know, what I call a felt sense. At that point in my meditative life, that was like no other experience I ever experienced. So the essence of the culture reeks in the history of the way it feels there. And it's like New York City on steroids, like millions of people, like, there's always, you know, there, there's, you know, it's so like, prehistoric distill cows on all the streets in Hudson, like, but at all, like intermingles, like nobody's business. It was just something for the nervous system, just overwhelming, overwhelming. But none of them are overwhelmed. So for whatever reason, I became not not overwhelmed. It was a real blessing to be immersed in that culture. And to be in that meditative state. It was a deeper meditative state than I had ever been in. was another reason I was called to go there, because they read about and hear about all these seekers. And somehow I knew that it was attainable. I just needed to experience what that meant. Yeah, that's what I what I did. And

so the time you spent a lot of time back for traveling, and this time would be spent. You know, in a wave, one would describe formal practice, practicing meditation, through teacher and learning and doing formal. How do you separate what someone like? How would you describe the difference of formal practice? And then the rest of your day, as you come back towards the west, when you start making trips back, like what was the experience when you would come off the plane back home?

So that was challenging. And that's really the work itself is to bring your meditative experience into your daily life and not let it rock your world or freak you out? Because that obviously happened earlier on. But like, Dr. Troper would tell us you know, it's like the maybe it was him when you go into for a swim in the pool and your wife needs hot dog bungee jump in the car and you go to the corner to same same guy, the wet guy goes to the grocery store. So it's like the meditative guy still lives his life. Yeah. But he's still still wet. So,

you know, I never understood the difference. And I think I'm getting more of a glimpse this year, myself personally on it's the rain. Sounds nice in the back from

beautiful, yeah, soothing. The difference between

formal and practice of what I'm like I carve out my mornings, and I do it. What I was, I wasn't making the connection of why what am I doing, but I really valued and I want to protect my mornings that time. When I've seen a veil these last couple of months, I was trying to we've talked a little bit now that we reconnected but I'm exploring there's this veil dropping now.

So So that's A beautiful thing because think about that word formal, it sounds like form, right? And form is a little bit rigid. But when when the veil opens up, and the form drops a little bit, you have a deeper experience because it becomes more of a lived experience than a formal experience.

Yeah. Because here I am meditating even a year ago, and there's a lot going on downstairs, I'm like, this is interfering with, right, how dare they? Yeah. And I'm thinking, Well, what,

what is this

doing? And I heard other people speak. And, you know, because of the internet, perhaps today, I mean, so many resources were being off. And I heard someone speak to that, like, I, that's what I'm experiencing. I'm protecting it as if it's a place to recharge. And I was missing a little bit of the point myself. Yeah. And I do that

a lot. So think about our life work, right. What is our life work when we're on the spiritual journey to life's work? Is the space between formal meditation periods? Yeah. So that's life itself. So the work is how do we handle whatever comes up in the moment, called life? You know, don't stay in the meditative space? Or do we let the ego mind trigger us into let let that being a negative or positive emotion or not? It's tricky. It's very tricky, but it's just a choice that we make in the subtlety of the round of a breath.

So the more you you dived into practice, where we're at, describe to me what the practice did for your awareness. And when I mean, specifically, when we're talking about meditation, the awareness of being lost and thought, seen Pete, as this story, whether we tell ourselves in our mind, me, I'm a Joe, what kind of awareness was rising up now? That would be a defense against what someone in early sobriety would call depression, little anxiety, just discontent? resentment? What, how did meditation let you see that? Maybe sooner rise up in you?

Very soon. Yeah, so yoga therapy, and meditation allowed me to recognize, first of all, that all of these issues in my tissues were basically just artifacts of time.

Wow, that's a that's a neat way to say

that they were all illusions. Lived or unlived true or false? They're not here now. So that was a big deal to understand that I can release these illusions from my tissues and do different types of yoga therapy. For me it was different types of chakra meditations, whether it was sound therapy or color therapy. Chanting

what's what sound therapy How would you describe that? So what you're what you're talking about, and I've experienced this, my anxiety has left like markers, you calling them artifacts in tissue. But it's kind of a little traumatizing the body records all this this is what the client looks like, from negative emotions. And this gets trapped you're seeing your practice with yoga color therapy, I would like to describe that I don't know what color and sound therapy as helps alleviate the damage that could cause to a body just carrying that angst with you that well you did another way to describe it. I thank you

very much so so when we wonder about anxiety, where do we locate that you can't write Yeah. Now might play out like as a tightness for some people that moves from here from your head to your chest. So that means that the key to all of this the halfway point is the heart center.

And then would be located in your chest? That's correct.

So we talked about it from a vibrational essence of stored history. And we can even talk about I don't want to get too esoteric but the the seven chakras you know the first three chakras are about money, sex and power. The fourth one is the heart center as the midway point of the seminar, eight chakras. So that's where we would do the work to release the anxiety release the stress release the illusion by doing heart centered meditation, forgiveness, meditation of self and others, to be able to let go of the trauma.

And chakras are this way to set intention where harm and pain are

Are when tension would be the after

work after work?

Because you don't really need an intention, if you released it, it already has gone on.

So we're talking about this, and we're talking about it in detail. It's because, you know, I mentioned it in the beginning, in your intro, but you you work with individuals one on one.

Right? I'm not a medical doctor, but I'm a board certified doctor of natural medicine. 25 years of practice 10 years of college. So

natural medicine. Well, how would you describe, like me, for instance, of anxiety on and off my entire life, and it's hard to separate it from what one would call or observe as my addiction, I actually, you know, from the school thought my addiction is kind of a response to my other problems to treat them. What would be the approach if I came to see you, which I will. I'm anxious, and I don't know where it begins or at.

You know, so it's always we look at people from an integrative perspective. And these days, even from a hologram, or from a quantum perspective about our place, in, you know, the world, if you will, and more. So it's always about mind, body, and spirit to be for full integration. So way back in my grad school studies, we learned about something called psycho neuro immunology, long word, but think about that the psyche is the mind, and the soul, and the thoughts and the thinking and the emotions. How does that play out in my physical body? And how do I get sick over that sick with my thinking or sick physically, is the immune system, psycho? Neuro is the neurology? Yeah, it's the wiring of the mind to the body. So that's, we've learned through the advent of quantum physics, how to do different types of energy work. Today, we call it bio photon therapy. There's great, great research on this field as it emerges, but it doesn't make the mainstream and it probably never will. And here's why. Is because it's not cookie cutter. In other words, we can't do studies because it never repeats itself because everybody's different. Yeah, to me, that's a beautiful thing to traditional science that makes it be not repeatable. Therefore, we can't do you know Studies

show but you you have done research in the past. Prior to this practice. You published you republished in four different journals have read your research on diet, and diet and its relationship to addiction. mindfulness practices in studies, control groups, the practice in early recovery with mindfulness tactics. What What drew you at that point? Well, at what point in your sobriety, were you? Okay, this, I'm all in. You have all this practice, but you, you delved into, let me see if I could take measurement of the effectiveness of how mindfulness was practiced. And its effect on people's recovery. And the bottom marker of that recovery, is that a they're sober? I mean, that's always a quick way to measure your success and sobriety. But I left it downstairs but the one went nutrition I really liked because you work with people in nutrition, it was the neural at the neuro be 12 and B six. I mean, that's just everywhere. I'm reading now of the deficiency that seems to rise up in alcoholics. So that was interesting stuff. What drew you to do some research?

Well, somehow on my path, and doing these holistic retreats, and body and soul conferences, I ended up at the feathered pipe ranch in Helena, Montana, which was a yoga you know, beautiful yoga setting. And I went to be with a medical doctor called Andrew while he's very famous today. We went and did some hiking with him and some yoga. Lo and behold, we became best friends, and I would end up visiting his ranch and he would come visit me. He started something at the University of Arizona Tucson. The first medical education for integrative MDS and do is to learn the healing arts and it's the largest in the world today. secondarily, he did a nonprofit where he wanted to go out and do grassroots teaching of lay people to understand more about the integration of Mind Body Spirit into the their lives. He chose me as the chairman of his board and co founder of this national integrative medicine Council. And there's a, that's what got me into the grassroots of nutrition and food as medicine, with regard to having that kind of stimulate my relationship between mind body and spirit medicine. You know, and then I went out to study with German medical doctors, Dietrich Klinghardt, is a big teacher of mine. And these days, you know, so much is going on. With the addiction, people that doesn't even get talked about in traditional medicine or addiction medicine with the the actual nervous system doesn't even get tested. So probably six to six out of 10 of my everyday clients, I see people in our at a time a waiting list practice that they have issues between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, that the nervous system is actually dysregulated. So in essence, the mind is not connected to the body. But then they have all these issues. So for example, the body has a lymphatic system with the brain, the brain has a lymphatic system. And then we have a vagus nerve bundle that comes down all the way from the certain hormonal glands in the in the mind brain that connect to the endocrine system that then connect to the digestive system. So the nervous system, endocrine system and digestive system, from an integrative approach all need to be integrated. Six out of 10 of my clients are dysregulated, based on you know, the way of the world for the last couple of years for one thing, sure,

and what symptoms will be produced by what you're describing? So people describe this all the time in 12 step or peer to peer groups have, I'm not connected and connected to other people I've disconnected Mind Body Spirit. But to put it under kind of a microscope, what are we talking about? What is the actual thing happening? That someone could relate to direct experience of outside of that broad language? Are they lost in thought, like in my car? Is it rumination? Like, would that be another way of describing rumination I can experience the life I'm having. I'm disconnected from my body because I'm constantly in retreat to a trauma from the past. relationships that may or may not exist, they're just continuing in my head, but they're not happening in the life I'm living. Would that be descriptive of what you just described? Would that be a symptom someone would be experiencing?

That would be an advanced system for somebody that's, you know, intelligent, my clients, basically, they, they're not that they just, they just say that I'm just going through the motions, and they don't know what's happening. I'm not passionate about anything. I'm just kind of doing the daily grind. And I don't know what's wrong with me. So you know, brain fog is prevalent, and most of these people they, you know, they just, they're not sharp or witty, like they used to be. And then they have, you know, breathing issues, the arrhythmia, heart issues, and they can't quiet down the mind because they're basically in fight or flight mode. That's the problem.

So I can overactive amygdala, you're just constantly locked down. Thanks.

Yeah. And we fixed that like in 1010 minutes.

And as a follow up to their practice to is every one of them get better results in a daily meditation practice. Do you find

Well, the meditation would not help those people? Okay. Okay, that would be down the road. A while they would have to go through some we would have to get the neurology firing. Yeah, appropriately. So we do a lot of holistic mental health

and diet nutrition. Well, not really diet but more about nutraceuticals nutraceuticals. That's what I meant to say. Yeah,

amino acid therapy, hormone therapy. I think plant based medicine that's the key to our business if we get people back on fire again.

And this all started with the integrated studies that you when you met Dr. Andrew Weil I look at him and I he's such a familiar face, but he does click nom dos two.

Well, Imran das actually went to Harvard. They were best friends. You you actually met I actually met rom das with Andrew while that was a real trip by the Yeah,

I've seen a C In some pictures of you hanging out rom Das, what was that experience? Like? How did you guys connected me?

You know, I somehow got involved with the Omega Institute up in Rhinebeck, New York, that's the nation's leading place to go for holistic studies. They have weekend retreats, and so on. So I, you know, I became a fan back in the 90s. And I would go there all the time to see all these people. So lo and behold, I met the founder, Stephen rec chef and the founder of omega, we became friends, I ended up teaching up there for a brief time, how to develop a holistic learning center, because that's what I do. And then I ended up on his board, he ended up on my board, and blah, blah, blah, and through all that, I would meet some of these wonderful teachers, we'd have small group gatherings and blah, blah, blah. And I met round us and then they were building a campus and I got involved in their project because they felt really strong about holistic work and they wanted to build a library in ROM das his name. So they were looking for help and support I became a donor and part of that so I have a wing in a library. Yeah. You know,

did you have any experience with psychedelics back in the day? Psilocybin and LSD?

I skipped that chapter.

You just used it alcohol.

I didn't even like marijuana. I just did token alcohol.

Well, you did you know, psychedelics, long form meditation and pasta, deli. That's

right. And that was the most incredible highs I've ever had having not done the real psychedelics. But I took eight years off and basically all I did is meditate need vegetables?

Pete, I want to dig in, you know, we've been chatting while popping in and out. What would you how would you describe harmony Mountain Institute, what is harmony Mountain Institute.

So that's a an idea that somehow worked itself through me way back when I was going through a divorce and looking for somewhere to build a home buy a piece of land. At that time, I was traveling and I was going to a lot of holistic centers and retreats and all over the world. I was immersing however I can I was a sponge, to the point where I said someday I'd like to have a place of my own like that. This land came my way, which basically connected to the house I was living in prior to that, that there was 100 acre dairy farm for sale and Jeep. So I bought it. But before I bought it, I walked the land a number of times, and it felt really special to me, because I was immersed in energy medicine by then. But I doubt it, you know, so I did some research and I brought in some energy expert. They flew them in and I'll you know, when the guy did those rods, you put in the tuning fork that you put him in the ground like a farmer. Well,

I've seen them when they twirl. Yeah, yeah, picking up what they would call magnetic fields. Yeah, I've seen that.

And I had the art of sacred placemaking people come in and walk the land. Why don't we hold that I was right, the land from as they say it is on double ley lines, l EY ley lines are the core of the energy coming from the core of the Earth, that there is special energy on ley lines in certain places. So I was right, whatever that meant, the energy on my property was extra special. And I was right. So I bought it. And I even have hotspots that I felt. And then they felt and later in life, I did some work with the Dalai Lama and he sent his people and they felt it. And so it brought me to the place of where I am today basically is building the place. I mean, I aluminum clad every wire in my house 20 years ago, I will not have electromagnetic fields, I did a lot of crazy things. So I'm trying to like open it up and ramp it up and open it up to the community. And yeah, really trying to tap into more of the like what I call a stage to recovery program for Mind Body Spirit, people who are sober a couple of years and maybe hit the wall or they want to advance their relationship to their health and well being in spirituality.

I like this idea. When you say stage two, it's from a an earlier program you had for a long time. And now you're you're advancing this with the Institute for stages, right?

Is it for it's actually what I did my doctoral thesis on just the four stages.

And the second stage of what inner harmony is focusing on is cognitive cognitive cognition you become aware of something is perceived in your colon of existence now it's not just identified with you, your existing this this could not open up an entire adventure for a person race like yourself, symbolizing materializing and socializing. So a lot of this is a big

There's a chart in there, I think there might be.

And you base in a lot of the retreats off there, which I want to experience this fall, you're gonna have an open house. And I'll announce that put that That's September 6, from six to 7:30pm. You'll see the link below. Conditioning stage questioning stage. So this is a place for people to discover different forms and practice, Eastern, a lot of its centralized and Eastern which is rich in a multitude of a multitude of ways of practicing yoga. mind body connection through them pasta, meditation. What other offerings did you have? You have a lot coming up this fall, there's a Harvest Moon Party, right? So I'm going to announce a lot of these things. But this has been about over a decade in the making. And now you're

right, you're right there this this place is

it's the most striking peaceful land I've ever walked across. And it's special. And now you're going to share this through would it be an ashram?

I mean, I guess, you know, I guess some people would call me a modern day mystic or Western shaman, you know, I don't call myself any of that. But I just pass on who I've become as my, what do I have left to do? You know, it's like a legacy for me. Yeah, pass it on, hopefully have teacher training at some point and let it continue and flourish when I'm gone.

I I never thought this was accessible to a guy like me. You've known him see me, there's a cynical bone in me, but I'm very excited to go up there for the classes you're offering. In the Wellness Center, where that's we signed up for? Where's it full moon harvest ceremony that looks awesome. And then we'll be up for the meditation lecture on the six. What's Qui Gong, the Chi Gong series, I want to describe that.

So Qigong is like Qigong, Qigong, it's like a Tai Chi, or a slow moving meditation, where you connect with your breathing, and you move the body slowly, like they do in Asia in China. My mother

does Tai Chi. My mother said in the worst parts of my addiction, my youth that stuff might get real trouble. She would always say it's a full moon don't go out tonight. Like she was really, but she would shoot her shield. She said she had an energy shield. And I'm like, Alright, Mom, just give me the shield the nose.

Right? That's so beautiful. Yeah, it's Yeah, big tip. Yeah, you gotta meet her. She loves Tai Chi, she still goes up to date. She shoots her energy through the valley. Like she just very real

energy beings first.

Why? Why couldn't that be considered your bunch of atoms, some empty space. We can't describe just vibrating for times and telling me I'm telling me a story.

Right? It's all we are.

Pete, I'm really looking forward, I'm going to list a lot of these offerings. And I'm very excited. And I'd love for you to come back. And maybe we could just dig in maybe one specific topic of meditation of what it can do for you know, some ailments of what we're talking about. Because everything we talked about, I could just unpack for an hour, I always enjoy your company. I'm really glad we reconnected and I'll be seeing you soon.

Beautiful Joe. I appreciate the opportunity. Nice being with you as well again, it's been a beautiful time spent in the past and today as well. Thanks, man.

I'd like to thank you for listening to another episode of all better. Find us on all or listen to us on Apple podcasts. Spotify, Google podcasts, Stitcher, I Heart Radio, and Alexa. Special thanks to our producer John Edwards, an engineering company 570. Drone. Please like or subscribe to us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And if you're not on social media, you're awesome. Looking forward to seeing you again. And remember, just because you're sober doesn't mean you're right.

Transcribed by

Step 11
Formal Practice and the Rest of Day
Harmony Mountain