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About Psychic Matters Podcasts

Ann Théato, International Psychic Medium and Spiritual Tutor, investigates psychic development, mediumship techniques, and paranormal science, so that you can come to understand your own innate psychic ability and expand your knowledge, whilst learning to develop a curious mind.

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This Week’s Episode

“I had a teacher who was into a spiritual tradition called Taoism.  One of the meditations is done in a standing position and I decided to make a promise to myself to do this every day.  Now it was a tough position for me to hold.  So I said to myself, I will start with just 60 seconds a day and then I’ll just go from there.  But a funny thing happened, I started to feel a kind of pleasant buzz from this meditation.  It was subtle and it built up slowly, but it was there. I thought to myself I’m going to dedicate my life to it. And now my mission is to tell other people about it.”-
Nate Rifkin

 

 

PM 053
GROWING WITH MEDITATION

My guest this week is author and spiritual explorer, Nate Rifkin.  Nate was once drenched in so much debt he was terrified he’d end up homeless.   He experienced a string of entrepreneurial failures, broken friendships, & business partners who froze him out.  He went from Bankrupt, to successful; from alone to happily married, from suicidal to fulfilled. 

Nate has prospered by combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living and he dedicates himself to the Daoist mystical tradition. 

He’s on the show to tell you what his secret is!

 

You’ll Learn

 

  • What a standing meditation is
  • How to utilise self-care without willpower
  • Why life can get chaotic when taking the spiritual path
  • Why how we feel about ourselves on the inside, matters
  • The importance of consistency
  • How layers of meaning create sacred practice
  • The importance of opening up energy channels in the body
  • Why our energy is entwined with old emotional wounding
  • The benefits of daily meditation
  • Why resistance creates suffering
  • Why humans are meant to have a spiritual discipline

Episode 053 Resources

Here are some resources referred to in Episode 053, which you may find helpful.

Nate Rifkin Website 

Nate Rifkin’s Book – The Standing Meditation

 

Thanks for listening.

Why not share it now?

Or ask a question over on Psychic Matters! Podcast Facebook page

TRANSCRIPT

Hello everybody! My name is Ann Théato and welcome to the Psychic Matters Podcast – episode number 53!

 

Well, we have reached the end of 2021.  Thank you so much for supporting the Psychic Matters podcast – thank you to all of my wonderful Patrons on Patreon, it’s great to have you on board, helping and supporting, and of course your patronage enabled me to buy some better equipment for the Psychic Matters studio, which was just wonderful as my old microphone was falling apart – as you saw from my videos on the Group Facebook page!  Thank you to all of you out there who continue to be amazing fans, listening and enjoying the content, it really means the world to me, we have listeners in 93 countries and 3,489 cities/towns worldwide – thank you to my incredible guests this year, who have so willingly shared their knowledge and given their advice and guidance for free, to help and assist us all on our spiritual journeys – thanks to everyone who joined our Psychic Matters Facebook Group page – we have a thriving community of over 1200 people who love the podcast and support it on the Facebook page, with lovely comments, feedback and questions.  It’s been a great year – Psychic Matters was short listed in the People’s Choice Podcast Awards where we made the final slate of ten nominees for Best Podcast in the Religion & Spirituality category and we were long listed in the Audio Production Awards in three categories – Best New Podcast Producer, Best Factual Producer, Best New Voice.  We didn’t win, but we entered and by entering, we stood up amongst some of the best creators of audio and radio production in the world, and declared, this is who we are, this is our community, and this is what we do and why we do it, and that felt very good indeed.

 

So as we say goodbye to 2021, we welcome in 2022 with open arms and a standing meditation!

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Ann 

My guest this week was once drenched in so much debt. He was terrified he’d end up homeless. He experienced a string of entrepreneurial failures, broken friendships and business partners who froze him out. He went from bankrupt to successful from a loan to happily married from suicidal to fulfilled. He has prospered by combining ancient mystical practices with modern strategies for living. And as a spiritual explorer, he dedicates himself to the Taoist mystical tradition. He is here today to tell you what his secret is. Nate Rifkin. Welcome to Psychic Matters.

 

Nate 

Thank you, and I’m honoured to be here.

 

Ann

Fabulous to have you here, Nate. Congratulations, first of all, on coming through all of those incredible life experiences, and then coming out the other side as balanced and as happy as you can be, and a very successful entrepreneur by all accounts. And I think a lot of people listening to this podcast will really identify with your story and many parts of it, because we’ve all experienced in our own lives, you know, this sort of self-sabotage and self-doubt, and huge chunks of unhappy times. So, talk us, Nate, if you don’t mind, talk us through some of your life story and, and let us know the secret of how we too, can, can be like you, change our sad lives, or the difficult parts of our lives and become more successful and more balanced and a happier person. 

 

Nate

I’d love to.  Maybe something in my story will help everyone be their best selves. So, I grew up in a very emotionally shut down family, very cold and distant. And I was an unhappy kid growing up. And the older I got, the more angry I got. And the more my anger, anger turned inward, and I got more depressed. I had very few friends, almost none, and they were all superficial friends. Prom Night, in high school, I stayed home & watched TV.  When I went to college, and when I went to university, I thought, well, I’m moving out, I’ll be around a new set of people. So, I can turn things around, everything will be different. But when I showed up to school, I realised how wrong I was. Because I was, I was around a sea of strangers. But I was still the same person on the inside. I was still this emotionally shut down, awkward, depressed, kid. I was technically an adult, but I still felt like a kid. I felt more frustrated, and kind of hopeless than ever. The sort of the one ray of light I had at this point in life, was that I wanted to be an entrepreneur of some sort, or business owner. I had no idea what, but I knew I wanted to be one. I start thinking, do I really want to stick around and pay to go to school where I’m miserable?  Nah, probably not. So, I actually, after one and a half years, I dropped out, I said goodbye to nobody. I don’t think a single soul knew I was gone, except for my roommate, because he probably walked in the door and saw like half the stuff cleared out the door and wondered where the heck that kid went. And I did actually start an online based business in the health niche. And this is back. Oh gosh, this goes back almost 15 years ago. And I use my own personal credit cards to fund the business. I partnered up with my older brother, because he loves yoga, and he’s an expert on yoga. So, we were selling products around teaching that. And we have some hit or miss success. But it started, it was, it started to lose money. And I started to go deeper into debt. And credit card bills would come in the mail. I mean, I’d sort through the bills and then I’d do that thing where you drop the bill on the floor, with me it was the floor. I didn’t even have a table and I put other mail on top of it to hide it. Which is, which is a terrible financial strategy as it turns out. And I was really, really scared. And soon debt collectors were calling.  Worse than the fear though, was how I was still depressed. I was still a lonely guy. And I didn’t have the coping mechanisms to really figure out how to change my lot in life. And I remember at my worst, I’d be on the floor in the foetal position silently crying. And I actually started, I started one, like looping and looping, looping on thoughts about killing myself. And what made this really bad, is that I was super into self-help stuff. Like, I was setting goals. I never achieved a single goal I said, but I was setting him. I even had like a vision board. I was trying to think positive and say affirmations, and something was missing. And at my worst, I started drinking alcohol every morning, like I’d pour myself a couple of shots of vodka, pour an energy drink, and the mixture would be my breakfast. That’s how I got through the day. That was my low point. But I got a bit of good fortune. I had a teacher at the time, like a mentor of sorts, and he was into a spiritual tradition called Taoism. And he started teaching meditations and exercises from Taoism. Now I have no idea what Taoism was but something about it caught my eye. It was interesting. I never been a spiritual person but something about it drew me in and one of the meditations is is is done in a standing position. And then I learned the basics to how to do it. And I decided, Okay, I’m gonna make a promise to myself. I’ll do this every day. Now it was it was, it was a tough position for me to hold. So, like, I said to myself, I will start with just 60 seconds a day. And then I’ll just go from there. And I still drinking every day. So, what I did is I would do the meditation, and then I’d still go drink. But a funny thing happened, I start to feel kind of a pleasant buzz from this meditation. It was subtle, and it built up slowly, but it was there. And it started to catch up from the buzz I got from alcohol. And one day, I was feeling good enough meditating, that when I took this sip of vodka and energy drink combo, I didn’t feel any better. I just felt more drunk and out of it. And I thought, I wonder what will happen if this trend continues? Well, within a day or two, I was meditating, feeling good, I go to drink, and I actually felt a little bit worse. And I realised the meditating had made me feel good enough about myself, that drinking alcohol, like first thing in the morning, was bringing me down. Now this is just what happened to me. But I actually, I decided to stop drinking in the morning. And it was done without any effort or willpower, just because it didn’t feel good. And from there, my life started to turn around. Other people started to notice the difference in me. So, I knew it wasn’t just in my head. And I still remember one evening, it was like, around midnight, I did this meditation, and I started to feel like my body was glowing. And even in my mind’s eye, I saw myself like glowing like the sun. And I sat down on my futon, my life was still in shambles. I was still alone; I was still in debt. But this was a ray of hope for me. And I felt so good. I thought to myself, that nothing has worked out in my life like this, I’m going to dedicate my life to it and figure it out. And that was about 12-13 years ago. The years keep piling up, but I kept my promise. And now my mission is to tell other people about it. And you know, that’s, that’s why I love having these conversations.

 

Ann

Wow, that’s, that’s pretty impressive. Having alcohol for breakfast, and then making a decision, Okay, I’m going to see, you know, I’m going to make a decision. So, this interests me Nate, why? That seems to be a pivot point. I’m going to see, well, no, it wasn’t about the alcohol, you were speaking about, it was about, I’m going to see if I can use meditation every day. And that was the pivot point. So, what, what made you decide I’ll do it every day?

 

Nate 

It’s a great question. And I’ll just be really honest with you. This was like my first foray into like a spiritual tradition. And that, honestly, just I could talk about like, as building the habit, which is all true. And that I was like, interested in how this could change, like my confidence and feeling good. And that’s all true. But along with that, was that it was my first introduction to like, an ancient spiritual tradition with a rich history behind it. And there’s something about it that just caught me. And I think everyone can have that or has that, because we all, we’re all spiritual beings, it’s just that we might not be as fully in touch with it. Because maybe we just haven’t really happened upon the spiritual tradition that really resonates with us. Because there’s, there’s ones from every corner of the planet.  Taoism was was what resonated with me. But some people, there’s like Buddhism, there’s South American, mystical traditions, Celtic, it’s, it’s all over the world. And I think when you find something that resonates with you, all of a sudden, it’s more than just like, Okay, I’m going to focus on this and dedicate myself to it. There’s an inspiration involved. So that’s, that’s my honest answer about that.

 

Ann

Yeah, that’s really interesting. And it’s true. There are so many different traditions. And I guess whichever one possibly blows across your path at the right time, maybe. And you said you weren’t a spiritual person before that, like your family weren’t spiritual at all?

 

Nate

Oh, yeah. Not at all. We were raised Jewish, but it wasn’t. It was just something where we went to synagogue, like every few months for like, the High Holidays, and my dad’s definitely not religious at all. And it was just never really a big part of our lives for sure at all. Yeah. And so, then you met this teacher, and he, take us from that point. So, you meet this teacher? Where did you meet him?

 

Nate

That’s a good question. Actually. It was. I’ve read a book and I was back at, back when I was in my teenage years, I was really into lifting weights. So, I read a book on lifting weights. And the author of the book references this teacher, I actually, I think it was it was almost like in the back of the book, there was like, maybe even just an advertisement for him. I remember just checking him out because he, this is early 2000s. And he already had a website and he was teaching not only fitness, but also entrepreneurship. So, I It had nothing to do with spirituality or meditation or anything like that. It was actually learning to be an entrepreneur and business owner and learning advertising.  And I signed up to go to some of his classes. And that’s how that started. It was only a few years later that he actually started to kind of open up about spiritual teachings. Yeah.

 

Ann

Interesting.

 

Nate

 

Yeah, it’s almost like kind of meant to, meant to.

 

Ann

So, he definitely yeah, it was definitely meant to happen for you, because you had that drive, didn’t you, to, to be an entrepreneur, but you weren’t sure in what, what direction you wanted to take that, so.

 

Nate

Yeah, I was, I kind of stumbled into it. And I’m, I’m happy I did, because it was sort of like I had the drive. But at the same time, I did, since I didn’t know what I was doing. I was open to like, wherever I would get pushed. So yeah, that combo has always kind of worked for me.

 

Ann 

And so, had you quit drinking before you met the teacher?

 

Nate 

No, it was definitely after and after I started practising. And it was only like, I only quit. Like in the morning, I quit, actually entirely for like, probably a couple of years. But then I started experimenting with just having like a glass of wine in the evening, because I realised for me, and this is just personally for me, it wasn’t about an addiction, per se, it was more about how I felt about myself. And could I enjoy an indulgence without needing it, you know what I mean? Like needing it like, oh, just to get through the day, so yeah, so that’s the timeline of that.

 

Ann 

So, there’s quite a lot of reflection there then about self-discipline in some way for you.

 

Nate 

Absolutely. And it was funny because it began, you know, like I said, I didn’t want to drink the alcohol in the morning, because I was just feeling, just taking care of myself emotionally and energetically. So, I didn’t have the urge to. So, there’s no willpower involved. But later on, I started to like experiment with like, what kind of indulgences are best for me and that and that did require discipline. And what I started to pick up on was that all my discipline began from self-worth, if I didn’t value myself, there is no discipline to muster. It’s almost like discipline is the fire and self-worth is the is the kindling and the wood. If you don’t have that, you can’t, you can’t have the other and I found the more I could work, the more I worked on my emotional health, the more discipline actually resulted from it.

 

Ann

So, then what happened?

 

Nate

Oh, and then my life exploded like no, no kidding. And I love talking about this. Because whenever we start walking on a spiritual path, I think a lot of people, they’re under the impression that your life will be kind of smooth sailing from there, when actually it can get a lot more chaotic, because stuff is going to start shifting. So, after I started practising, I had another start-up business with, with two partners, so separate from my first business with my brother. And that was sort of it, it dissolved, it just like, it just kept on losing money until I had to fold it. But this other start-up with two partners, we started disagreeing more and more, we’re just arguing, and we’re all in different parts of the United States. So, we talked on the phone a lot, and we just started bickering more and more. And then one day I woke up, and I just, you know, mosey over to my computer to check the online stats, the business and the passwords had been changed. I couldn’t log in first, I didn’t know what’s going on until I realised, oh, they had shut out my access to the business. And I had enough presence of mind to realise it’d be better to simply move on. This is a sign to move on rather than the sign to get entrenched in a fight with them. So, I lost that piece of the business. Everything, all my other income had dried up, and I was still in all this debt. But at least on the inside, I was feeling more confident and more centred than ever, so I actually, I hopped on Craigs List and found a job spinning signs on the street corner. Now, why the heck would I take a job like that? Well, I dropped out, I dropped out of school. I didn’t have, I didn’t have much of a resume to speak of. I was 25-26 years old; I was 26 and I was also terrified.  I had no confidence, I mean, I was building confidence but I still really terrified because my life was shifting and I didn’t know how. But I realised if I take this job, I can listen to audio books all day, while I stand on the street corners spinning a sign, and it’s not going to tie up so much of my mental energy that I would be mentally exhausted. So, I realised I can still work at my entrepreneurial career when I get home after my work. And it turned out to be this wonderful experience. I would spin signs all day, listen to audiobooks or sometimes music, and then I would go home and work on my business. And for the first time in my life, I managed to earn more money than I spent, consistently. I was able to save money because I mean, I moved into the cheapest place I could find, I cut out all expenses. I got rid of my television, there was like a five-year period in my life. I have no idea what movies came out because I never went to the theatre and I have no idea what was on TV and I hardly any close contacts because a lot of my old friends just drifted away. So it was, it was like the second part of this, like spiritual journey I was on and it was tough. But I had enough presence of mind to know that it was there’s a purpose to all this. I wasn’t being punished, things were going wrong. It was more like I was being like, moulded as being refined.

 

Ann 

And you say spinning signs. Can you explain what that is for some people who may not know what spinning signs is?

 

Nate 

Oh, yeah, gosh, I found, the ad was for a chain of stores. I was living in Denver, Colorado at the time in the US. And it was a chain of stores. And literally the role was dress up in a costume, stand on the street in front of the store, and wave around a sign advertising the store to get attention of people driving by because that, that is a thing. And it worked. And it but, but that’s what that is.  I was getting paid $10 an hour USD. It was a full-time gig, 40 hours a week.

 

Ann

But it was hot. It was hot and sticky. And it was hard. It wasn’t an easy job, was it?

 

Nate

Oh yea, it was bad. Um, yeah, it was hot in it, like, that summer reached like 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And in the winter, you could dress for it, because I just bundled like four layers of clothes on, but in the heat, there’s not much you could do except like, I sometimes I put my head behind the shadow of a stop sign, so I wouldn’t get too hot. So yeah, it was rough. But I’ll tell you though, because I was doing my meditative practice, though, mentally, and emotionally is actually very peaceful. Because once you get in the zone, you know, it actually wasn’t that bad. I could, I could, you know, I could just put on my headphones. And that’s, that’s when I realised truly that how we feel on the inside about ourselves matters so much more than the outer. Because anyone driving by and I’m sure plenty people did, would think I was a failure. They feel bad for me. I was the happiest I’d ever been. The happiest I’d ever been. I miss that job sometimes. Not totally, not totally.

 

Ann 

Sure. And you say you carried on with your meditative practice? Was that every single day you did this? Every day?

 

Nate 

Absolutely. Every day? No. I mean, sometimes maybe it was only a couple of minutes. But sometimes it was more. I was fortunate in that time of my life because I had so little money and no friends. So, I had a little more free time than usual. This is back in whatever it was 10, going back 10-11 years ago, so I was actually able to meditate. But it’s funny you asked, because I’m on the street corner spinning, signs and standing all day, I’m going home and I’m doing a meditation in a standing position. It would have been really easy for me to talk my way out of that one. But I realised it’s important. I saw how my life had been changing so far. And I realised I can’t stop doing the one thing that I found so healthy. You know, even if it doesn’t make logical sense.

 

Ann

Yeah, for sure. And then did you Nate, do it at the same time every day? Like first thing in the morning or last thing at night? When did you do it?

 

Nate

Yeah, I did. I did a little just a few minutes in, the first thing in the morning. So, my routine was, and actually kind of still is, get up, shower, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, do your thing. And then before I would turn on my phone, I actually I didn’t even have a smartphone back then, I couldn’t afford a smartphone. But these days, like, before turning on the smartphone, before checking email, before doing anything, yeah, I meditate. Now, it may not always be the same time on the clock. But it’s within the sandwich layer of my routine. It’s the same, like, slot. And then when I was a sign spinner, I do more when I got home after work, because then I wasn’t like rushing out the door or something like that to commute to work. But yeah, the consistency was extremely important for a couple of reasons. One, the more consistency you can add, the more your brain is going to be programmed to make that into a habit. And the second reason is, the more consistency you put into something, the more layers you put into it, the more meaning you give it. And the more sacred you make it, the more you honour a practice. That’s why a lot of these mystical traditions they’ll teach like, okay, when you meditate, face the Eastern direction, have a window open, light this kind of incense, do this, do this, do this, it adds layers of meaning to what you’re doing. Even if you know that’s what it’s for, it still does. And that’s what helps drop you into that really sacred space. A lot of times when we learn about this stuff, it’s not explicitly said, but that’s what’s going on.

 

Ann

And your particular meditative practice, there is a name for it. What’s it called?

 

Nate

Oh, it’s the Immortal Post, other than the fact that you’re standing, so you are like a post in the ground, I don’t really know why it’s called that, but I think it’s a cool name. And yeah, and it’s, it’s done with your, your feet wider than your shoulders and your knees are a bit unlocked, just like barely unlocked and your hips are tucked like you’re sitting on a barstool, like an invisible one that’s like really high up. So, it’s like you have to almost tuck your hips to even fit on it. And then you hold your arms out in front of you, like you’re holding a beach ball or hugging a big old tree, and you’re tucking your chin down to lengthen your spine. So, it’s not, it’s a weird way of standing. But the idea is to kind of open up the, the channels of energy in your body. So, it’s like a body based meditative practice. And as, it was the first time I’d ever heard of anything like that.

 

Ann

And you said, you just did it for a minute to start with? Why was that? Why did you not immediately launch into 45 minutes of trying to?  I’m only asking, because I know, myself… I’m starting with me. And possibly those listening. It’s, it’s the discipline to meditate that we find so very difficult. So, it makes sense to me to just start with one minute, but I’m just interested in your, what, you know, why you started with a minute?

 

Nate 

Oh, sure. Um, for me, it was it was accidental. Because, because in this standing position, because you have to unlock your knees, after a minute, my thighs would start to burn from the effort. So, it was just a practical thing, it is like this, this is a tough workout. I can’t do this for more than a minute. And it was kind of embarrassing. But I realised, if I start with just a minute, my muscles will adapt, and eventually learn to relax. And then I can add five seconds a day. Now, do, consciously do I know the difference between a minute and a minute and five seconds? No way I don’t. But my body would be able to adapt, especially if you go from five to 10 to 15. And you know, a couple of weeks later, you’re doing a minute and 30 seconds. And then you just go from there. And what happened for me personally, was that, once I got to a couple of minutes, I got more confident. And the habit was more ingrained. And I had a track record where it’s like, I’m kind of feeling good about this. So, then I could add more time. And the habit was already ingrained. And like I said, I discovered all this accidentally, because it’s just a practical thing for me. But looking back, I realise, that is how you build that, build a habit. It’s not about the amount of time, it’s about making it part of your day. Because once you make it part of your day, and you do it every day, even if it’s just a little bit of time, eventually it becomes part of your identity. Because it’s just like, oh, yeah, that’s just, it’s just what I do. It’s like right after I brush my teeth. Yeah, I just I do this, and then I move on. Well, once, once you get to that level, where if you were to skip it, it would feel weird, now you’re unstoppable. Because it because it’s just part of who you are. It’s all about getting, it’s all about going from one end, where it feels weird to start, to get to the other part where it’s like it would feel weird to stop. And that and that comes from just even the tiniest amount every day.

 

Ann 

Yeah, that’s incredible. And the benefits then of the Immortal Post, obviously, you’re releasing chi and that it’s all about the chi. Tell us all about the chi!

 

Nate 

Yeah sure, I’d love to. You know, when I first learned about all this, I was like, this sounds kind of woowoo, I don’t know. But you know, there’s, there’s a little bit of science that is starting to show this is all real. If you look at any spiritual tradition, or mystical tradition, they all reference this kind of subtle energy that kind of permeates our basically, the entire universe.  The Daoists call it Qi, I think in India’s, it’s called prana. And I I’m just not as familiar as other mystical traditions, I don’t know. But it’s the idea that it’s the subtle energy that powers all of life and all the things. Now, if you’ve ever heard or have gotten, like an acupuncture treatment, where they stick like, needles, little, little needles throughout your body, what they’re doing is, they are adjusting and balancing your levels of chi, because you have this energy flowing through channels in your body just, just like blood. And instead of blood vessels, they’re called meridians, the channels that the energy runs through, so some science is actually showing that within the tissues of your body, there’s pieces of electric energy running through them in channels. And this could, I’m not a scientist but I believe that this could be the energy that the ancient Taoist and other traditions talk about that runs through our body. So okay, so, so what? Well, this energy is intertwined with old emotional wounding, and old patterns based on emotional wounding. So, like when we’re young and a parent yells at us, or when we’re, when we’re hurt or abused. Usually what happens is that the emotional pain we go through gets crystallised in part of our physical makeup and our energetic makeup and it’s, it’s a way to sort of cope with it. It’s like, I don’t know how to deal with this. I can’t like, this is all going on beneath your conscious awareness like, yeah, I don’t know how to process this, I can’t. So, I’ll just like kind of put it away. Now, it helps us survive. But it also kind of limits our life in ways because it might show up later as self-sabotage. Like if you, if you get yelled at when you’re younger, it might show up as having less confidence later in life. And little do we realise it’s like a survival mechanism beneath our conscious awareness. So, how does this all come together? Because when we do, really any kind of really, genuine, beneficial, meditative practice, we’re opening up the channels for energy to flow and when the energy flows, it starts to resolve these crystallised blockages. And that’s why we can, if we have a daily practice of meditation, we start to grow in ways that, it’s like we can’t even predict, but it’s beautiful to see it happen.

 

Ann

Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s very interesting that chi that’s held within the body because I believe that chi is held within organs as well.

 

Nate

Oh, yeah, absolutely. And the, Taoist and I’m sure other traditions as well mapped out like, oh, this organ tends to have this and this organ tends to have that.  So, for example, Taoism, the liver will, you could say, like houses stagnation, related to anger. And if you if you’re able to, like process that properly, the result is its natural state, which is more like benevolence, compassion. So, it’s fascinating because if you look, a lot of people who drink too much, you could get like an angry drunk, and your liver processes, the toxins and alcohol. Just on a personal note, when I when I drank, I was more like the happy drunk, but, but a lot of people are like the angry drunk. And there’s other organs like kidneys, the kidneys, house fear. Now, what happens when you’re super, super duper afraid, is that your knees get weak and your legs get weak, which are connected to your kidneys. So, there’s our our modern-day culture actually knows all this and picks up on it. But, but we’re, most people are not as familiar with the connection to the energy.

 

Ann

And when you have an organ transplant, what happens, Nate?

 

Nate

Well, I’ve actually done a little bit of research into this. Spoiler alert, there’s not a lot of research, but it’s fascinating because when someone gets a transplant, they can start getting emotional tendencies of the person that donated the organ. And you can look this up, there are some really interesting studies. They’re met with a lot of scepticism because the evidence is just, there’s not a lot of it as of yet. But it’s, it’s really fascinating. Sometimes, a person can get an organ transplant and start picking up the food preferences of the person who donated the organ, which is also interesting because a lot of times our food preferences can be based on the energetic balances in our body. Like, for instance, someone might have a craving for hot, spicy food, which can relate to like energetic heat in our body, whether it’s bouncing out, or we’re just, we just want more of it. So, it’s, it’s truly, truly fascinating. I mean, we could really geek out, because one of the things you can do, if there is an organ transplant is a meditative practice, we’ll be able to cleanse that so the person gave you the organ doesn’t have as much of that jarring effect on you. So, it’s truly wild once you think about it. Isn’t it?

 

Ann 

Fascinating? Gosh, thanks for sharing that with us all. That’s really interesting. And of course, you’ve written a book Nate, about this whole spiritual meditative practice that you undertake, called the Immortal Post. And your book is called The Standing Meditation – excel in the modern world using an ancient practice. So, when did you write the book? What, what part of your journey did you start writing this book?

 

Nate 

it was a little over four years ago, I’d gotten to a point where I worked on the street corner spinning signs. And gradually over the years, I got my career back on track. And I paid off, I actually went through a bankruptcy, but I still had some debt leftover that I couldn’t get rid of. But I paid all that off very, very slowly over time, and I paid off my debt. And then I started saving and investing my money. And I got to a point in my life where I realised two things. One, I had really finally gotten over that, that really crippling sadness I had, and that self-sabotage I had. And the second thing I realised is that so few people really are aware of these practices. And there’s a lot of material out there, but it wasn’t, I felt like it was almost like a disconnect. It wasn’t written in like this, like, hey, I’m a human being. Here’s what happened to me. And here’s, you know, here’s how it could help you. And here’s, here’s some pitfalls that I fell into, that you could avoid. And I love writing. So, I decided, Okay, I’m going to sit down and write this book, as if I was like writing to the younger me. You know, almost like, I wish I could hand the book to 20-year-old me is like your, you will avoid a lot of heartache if you if you just read this. A lot of confusion. I can’t do that. But the next best thing was to write the book. So yeah, over, over about three years, every well, not every morning, but a lot of mornings. That’d be the first thing I do after I meditate was just working on this book.

 

Ann 

Well, you say you love writing. And I can tell you this, I’ve read that book and is absolutely brilliant, you are brilliant at writing. It’s fabulous. It’s so funny. And it’s so raw, and it’s so honest about your entire experiences you’ve been, this is only a podcast, we can only go into certain little pieces of your life on on in this hour we are together. But in the book, you go into so much detail about your feelings, what happened, who said what to you, and you go through this process of doing your Immortal Post every day, and how it begins to unlock piece by piece by piece, all the locked in energy, all the anger, all the self-sabotage and all of that, it all begins to unfold in this beautifully written, totally insightful story that you’ve put together. And …

 

Nate

oh, thank you so much.

 

Ann

Yes, it’s fabulous Nate, honestly. And it’s like an instruction manual, isn’t it? So, you’ve gone… I’m flicking through it like my listeners can see!  But it’s like an instruction manual. So, you’ve got diagrams in here of how to stand. Tell us a little bit more about the content of this book.

 

Nate 

Oh, sure. Thank you again, I went through a lot of drafts and the entire first draft, I actually pretty much chucked in the recycling bin, because I met with an editor and he really helped me open up and you can, he deserves a lot of credit because he said, look, people want to see about the real emotional struggles you went through, you know, you need to take them on that journey. And I listened. So, the way I wrote the book was, every chapter starts with like, a story from the struggling portion of my life where I struggled. And then I related that to something I had to learn. So, I wrote about that. And it’s something where it’s like, it’s pretty near universally applicable, to other, to, to the reader, to anyone who would read it. And then I would take that lesson I learned and apply it to a meditative practice, to really kind of make it like, so here’s, here’s the nitty gritty, you know, it’s not just, it’s not just a philosophy, Let’s see how we can install this in our lives. And I just kind of went through chapter by chapter, the basically, the biggest struggles of my life and that’s, that’s, that’s that’s how I structured the book.

 

Ann 

Yeah, it’s brilliant. It’s so brilliantly structured. And you, yes, hats off to your editor it is fantastic. He did a fantastic job there. So, give us some more insight, Nate, we need more insight from you a wise man. Because we’re not so wise. I speak for myself, listeners, I only speak for me, I cannot speak for you. I’m sure you’re all incredibly wise. But in the book, you say, to invite resistance is to create suffering? Can you comment on that a little bit more?

 

Nate 

Sure. And this actually relates a lot to how we started the conversation, when I mentioned that I had, I had like a dream of what I wanted my life to be like, but I didn’t really know how, so it left me open. There’s this, you know, the spiritual concept of surrender, I think it’s not very well described. And I had to kind of wrap my head around it. But at a very practical level, it’s the idea that you can move forward in life and try to create plans and execute on those plans. But you have to be open to the spiritual path that you’re walking. And it’s going to put certain obstacles in your path, and you have to be open to learning from them. Because learning from them might mean changing the trajectory in your life, or it might mean ploughing through them. But either way, you’re going to get a lesson. So, on a very practical level, the opposite of inviting resistance is to surrender. Surrender does not mean giving up. Surrender means being open and flexible, and humble enough to realise that there’s, you’re part of a bigger plan, and resistance with a capital R, the resistance that’s really going to invite that suffering, is when you try and fight against that greater flow that you’re a part of. Now, when I talk about greater flow, I’m not talking about culture, I’m not necessarily talking about society, or relatives, or extended family, I’m not talking about that, what I’m talking about is what the spirit realm has in store for you. And the more you can devote yourself to quiet time, so that you can be open to the subtle feeling of that spirit realm. And the intuitive hits that it’ll send you, the better your life is going to be at a really deep core level, because you’re not going to be resisting, there’s still going to be pain, and there’s still gonna be learning, it’s still gonna be struggle, because that’s, as I found, that’s the, this world, that’s, that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to learn and grow and change and transform and our old selves to die, so a new or new selves can be born. But when we do that, without resistance, that’s how we can, we can change and die and even struggle in the state of grace and flow. And it’s a very spiritual concept. And I think it’s not one that a lot of people are going to be like immediately grasping, but I think anyone listening to this, and I think you, we are meant to be grasping that. So that’s why I usually don’t talk about it. But here I am. I’ve kind of talked myself into circle. But that’s, but that’s the essence. It’s like the, the lack of resistance comes from getting in touch and being able to hear what the Spirit Realm has in store for you.

 

Ann 

I love that, that’s really beautifully put. Thank you, Nate. And you said earlier as well, about you go and do this standing meditation before you even turn on your telephone. And that’s a discipline in itself. So, talk to us about what you’ve learned about managing social media and our relationship to that.

 

Nate 

Oh, sure. I consider my kind of emotional makeup. And I consider my time and my focus to be very fragile. And I’m not putting myself down it, I’m just kind of treating it with almost like, I treat it as really sacred. It’s like a balancing something, balancing like a really full glass of water. So, when I wake up in the morning, and I don’t know what my messages are, and I don’t know, like what’s going on in the news. And I don’t know what people are talking about on social media. That leaves me like halfway towards a really good meditative state. So, in my mind, I treat that as really sacred and really fragile. It’s like, I’m going to make hay while the sun is shining. So, I will do my meditative practice, while I’m still very like, is in a state of solitude, because monks in a monastery, they will go that monastery to have solitude to facilitate their growth. So, I’ll do a meditation first thing in the morning, and then I’ll do my most important work that I want to do in the morning, which is usually writing and then and then, then only then, will I turn on my phone. And at this point, my working assumption is that my day is just gonna like, be destroyed, and then I’ll have to go put out this fire. Now oftentimes, it’s not true, but sometimes it is, I just, just like three days ago, it was something like three or four days ago, I turn on my phone, I checked my bank account, and I realised there’s, there’s a charge on my bank that shouldn’t be there. So, I very calmly, and I knew this was like a test, I had to call the customer service and initiate a chargeback on my bank account to make sure that charge was removed and deal with that. And to do that in a very calm, centred grateful state. Just as grateful as I was during my meditation. So, so really, it’s, it’s about, I do this to protect myself. And I think I think it’s a great strategy that anyone can implement, because social media and the feedback, we get there in the news, it, it cannot not affect us. It affects us.

 

Ann 

And so, can you go over the exercise again, to remind people how to do the Immortal Post?

 

Nate 

Oh, yeah. I briefly said before, but again, it’s it’s when you stand, it’s it can be made very simple. You stand feet facing forward, wider than your shoulders. And when you do this, like really, my feed are that wide? But yeah, yeah. And then you just unlock your knees, not bend them, choose to unlock them. And then you imagine you’re sitting on a really high barstool. So, you, you, you tuck your hips forward a little bit, and you’ll feel like your lower back start to straighten. Because everyone has that natural little curve in your lower back area with your spine. So, you’re kind of like straightening and lengthening that. And then you hold your arms out in front of you like you’re holding a big beach ball, and then you tuck your chin down, which actually lengthens your spine and the back of your neck. Because if, if the front your head goes down, the back of your head is going to go up. And then you just hold that. Now here’s an extra key, you want to make sure to breathe deeply and slowly to relax. Now the exercises I love to do, by the way, you can do this even sitting, you can do this at any position you want. Put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. And when you breathe, make sure the hand on your belly rises and falls, and the hand in your chest remains more still. So, this gives you real time feedback, to learn how to breathe deeply. And when you do this, this will help you calm down help you focus and help slip you towards that meditative state. And now you can see why you can do that in any position. Because you’re always breathing. And start with a minute. And you don’t even have to bust out time. Or you could start with 10 breaths. 10 breaths can be profound. Because if you really do this, and you and you really focus on it, you will be a different person. When you’re done. It’ll be, it’ll be a subtle difference. But but you’ll be a different person. And if you do this every day, wow. Trust me.

 

Ann 

I trust you. It’s a, it’s an amazing book, your story is incredible. You spoke about the sacredness of this meditative practice. And you do say in your book that humans are meant to have a spiritual discipline. Can you comment on that, Nate?

 

Nate 

Yeah, and it actually it relates to something we talked about a bit earlier about how we’re in this world to learn and change and grow and die and be reborn again. The reason I, and I pair these words very purposefully, spiritual discipline, we are spiritual beings like this, this three year, the tissue is a temporary, is a housing for our eternal soul. So, we are spiritual beings in human bodies, and we’re on this world to learn and grow and change and die and be reborn again. So that’s where the spirituality comes in. We’re immortal spiritual beings in human bodies. The reason why we have a disc or why it’s, it’s we thrive with a spiritual discipline, it is because practices like the ones I’ve described, and there, there, there are so many others out there. And I think I firmly believe everyone has one that is meant for them. Or an entire system that’s meant for them, when you engage them, these spiritual practices, assist and propel you in that spiritual death and rebirth. They change you on an emotional level, on a very practical level, like we just talked about, they help your calmness, they help your focus. Well part of it, that’s transformation. So, they help you on the emotional level, which gives birth to changing on a spiritual level, with getting more in touch with the spirit realm, and becoming more of who you’re truly meant to be in this incarnation and interact with the people around you in a way that helps them out and and learn lessons you’re supposed to learn. It all comes from having both the spiritual connection and the discipline to be able to go through the changes that you’re meant to go through.  As my teachers like to say, when our lives are over, and we go back to the spirit realm, it’s beautiful. It’s lovely, we all love each other, what we’re missing there, is that transformation, that, that, the learning, the struggle to grow. That’s what we get down here. So that’s, that’s why oftentimes people get involved in spirituality because they, they, they want to avoid the, the transformation, the struggle, which is understandable, because it can be very painful. But it’s not a way out. It’s a way to, to transform in a healthy way. So that’s why the book, I emphasise discipline so much. It doesn’t have to be drudgery. It can be something that, it’s a way of honouring your transformation and growth. And it can be very, very sacred.

 

Ann 

Nate that is just so beautifully put, and it is such a sacred thing. And you’ve written about it so beautifully. I can’t say it often enough, tell everybody where they can buy your book, The Standing Meditation.

 

Nate 

Well, thank you again, I appreciate that. Best ways to go to the website, thestandingmeditation.com. And actually, right now that just forwards to its page on Amazon. So, Amazon is the place to get if you see the big red book, that’s a big red book.

 

Ann  

Brilliant. Have you got another book coming after this one? This one’s all complete now. So, your work is done? What about the next book?

 

Nate 

I am right, I’m in the middle of draft number two of the next one. So, I’m, I’m still going through that process where like, oh, what edits do I have to make? And I try and I try and stay open to what I’m supposed to write? Give me another year or two on that one.

 

Ann 

That’s fabulous. And I was teasing? Of course, I didn’t know that you had another one in the in the pipeline? Are you able to tell us an outline of what I might be about?

 

Nate 

Um, yeah, just briefly. So, The Standing Meditation is really about my, it was a solo journey, it is really there’s a lot of solitude, it is about really working on my inner stuff. This next one is actually going to be more about how to gather and work with a group of close friends. And because having close friends is really an essential part of the spiritual path. So, I talked about my struggles with that. And then and then what I learned

 

Ann 

Brilliant oh how fascinating. It’s been so wonderful talking to you, Nate, thank you so much for coming along and sharing all of the knowledge that you hold, with everybody listening.

 

Nate 

Oh, thank you, Ann, it is my it’s my honour to be here.

 

Ann

Nate Rifkin there everybody – could you tell I really enjoyed his book!  I definitely recommend you go and check it out on Amazon – The Standing Meditation by Nate Rifkin – it’s a big red book! And it may absolutely set you up and help you to honour and keep sacred your own spiritual practice in 2022.

 

As always, the resources for this episode, including a full transcript and are over on my website under podcasts, so do head over there and you can pick everything up on the show notes. www.anntheato.com. 

 

If you have enjoyed this podcast – please can you leave me a written review on Apple podcasts? It will take 2 minutes of your time and I’d be so very grateful. Written reviews are really important as they help the podcast to move up the podcast charts, which means it is easier for those who seek spiritual guidance to find us. 

 

Meanwhile, we have reached the end of 2021.  I have got some fantastic podcast content coming for you in 2022, some fabulous guests already booked into the studio.  I cannot wait to introduce their work to you next year.

 …. until next time… my name is Ann and thank you for listening to PSYCHIC MATTERS!

CREDITS

Reach by Christopher Lloyd Clarke. Licensed by Enlightened Audio.

 

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