Monthly Archives

July 2016

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 52 – JP Sears

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Ever wondered how to be “ultra spiritual”? Look no further! The great JP Sears makes his way on to the podcast to discuss ultra-spirituality, laughter in the spiritual world, our true roles and identities and offers a whole new lens to look at non-attachment with. JP goes beyond just being the Andy Kaufman of the spiritual world – he is truly a wise, accomplished and vast spiritual teacher. Check out what he’s doing beyond just the insanely brilliant viral videos and you get thrusted into the idea of questioning everything you think you know.

From his website “I’m an emotional healing coach, international teacher, world traveler, and curious student of life. My work is intended to empower people to empower themselves to live more meaningful lives.

I run a very busy one-on-one client practice (most sessions are via skype) where I’m fortunate enough to work with people everyday on healing their hearts, resolving self-sabotage, and stepping into their true power.

I also lead retreats around the world on different healing and personal empowerment themes for like minded and like hearted people to come together and learn, grow, and heal.

I also make videos. I’m very active on my YouTube channel, where I regularly release videos to help people help themselves. I also make comedy videos known as my ‘Ultra Spiritual’ series. Aside from the entertainment value of these humorous videos, they also carry important underlying messages (at least I think so, but I’m biased because they’re my videos).”

http://awakenwithjp.com

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It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 51 – Andy Summers

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It’s the It’s All Happening one year anniversary!! And to mark the occasion we have a very special guest in the form of Andy Summers. I dropped by Andy’s studio in Venice, CA to record the episode and what followed was pure podcast magic. You, of course, know Andy as the guitarist for the iconic band The Police but going beyond those magical years he’s continued to make his mark as one of the worlds most acclaimed, thoughtful and original guitarists who defies classification. Our one hour conversation wove it’s away around the topics of craftsmanship within music, finding ones role in life, what the culture of mid 60’s UK and our overall shared love for music. We journeyed through his career somewhat chronologically to cover his work with Robert Fripp, his jazz albums, his last album Metal Dog and of course The Police. If you’re a fan of music of any kind this episode is for you. Andy is truly a remarkable mind, kind soul and unreal talent.

Andy Summers is known as the guitarist for the rock band The Police, he has also recorded twelve solo albums, collaborated with many other artists, toured extensively under his own name, published several books, and composed several film scores.

Purchase Andy’s last album Metal Dog by CLICKING HERE

www.andysummers.com

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It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 50 – Ian Forester

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A huge milestone for IAH! Episode 50!! This weeks guest at the kitchen table is Ian Forester – VR visionary, consciousness provocateur, businessman and architect for the new reality. He came by initially because I’m a lifelong fan and advocate of VR but what transpired was far more interesting, dense and exciting than just talking about the current state of VR tech. We cover everything from our relationship to this thing we call reality, to politics and to how our evolution might get mapped in the post-scarcity age which will give way to Augmented Realities. I don’t normally say this about people but keep your eye out for Ian – he may be poised to become one of the great thought leaders of our generation.

INTRO TOPIC – an Alan Watts snippet and a tale on the systemic roots of fertile soil that grow Trumps.

Ian Forester if the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of VR Playhouse which is a Los Angeles-based creative studio and full-service production company specializing in virtual and augmented reality. With a fervent passion for transporting viewers through meaningful experiences in immersive media, VRP has amassed a specialized team with diverse backgrounds ranging from production to animation, journalism, VFX, theater and live events. From creative to production and distribution, VR Playhouse delivers complete projects through its cohesive VR pipeline.

Boasting a broad range of projects in the commercial, live sports, cinematic narrative and high-end real estate industries, VR Playhouse’s original VR content transports viewers into unexplored times and locations, allowing audiences to transcend their daily lives and experience new perspectives and emotions.

http://www.vrplayhouse.com

@VRPlayhouse

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Politics

Bernie Sanders endorses HRC!

Of course. He’s a pragmatist and has common sense. Being a member of the federal governing body for so long he knows that change comes in small doses. Remember that Bernie is NOT an outsider. He is part of the US Senate – the most dysfunctional group of “leaders” ever assembled. Yes, he’s the best one of the bunch but still – he knows how the game is played. Voting Jill Stein does nothing in this particular case. Letting Trump get elected is not some game where we can say “well…he needs to get elected in order for real chance to happen. America needs to wake up!” – that is utter and complete nonsense. It’s not worth the risk. Bernie knows that and is calm and level headed enough to pick a reasonable strategy – it’s a shame many of his supporters are not.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 49 – 21st Century Value and Institutional Racism

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This is a new type of episode of the It’s All Happening podcast, no guests here – just me. Now and then I’m going to bring you more in depth thoughts around specific issues that I’ve blogged on, touched upon in podcasts/talks or that have come up in and around my day to day life.

These episodes will take on two or more issues with each one being it’s own self-contained segment. Please note that these episodes will be short – they will be anywhere from 20-40 minutes in length. So think of these as verbal blog posts or more structured podcast intro segments. I hope you enjoy it.

This episode focusses on two issues:

1.) Creating Value in the 21st Century – digging into new systems that can define value beyond antiquarian methods like the GDP

2.) Institutionalized racism – I’m no race relations expert or even a community leader but I did want to share my view of Institutional Racism from the lens of growing up an Angeleno in the 1980’s and 90s.

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People Politics

Growing up Angeleno – illusions, race and all

When I first learned that what we commonly refer to as the “ghetto” was born out of unfair economic practices, it all made so much sense to me. When the modern mortgage system was spreading in the early 20th century most of the lenders were racist and didn’t want to lend money to people of color. The result of that was that many concentrated communities sprung up in typically undesirable parts of town that no one else wanted to live in. The buildings were shoddy, the available work in that area was sub-par, and so began a system of creating a socioeconomic loop that was nearly impossible to get out of.

At that time the aftershock of the Civil War was still very palpable; it was not ancient history nor was it a distant memory. Many people alive at the time were just one step away from living through the ramifications of what happened then, and simply did not want to deal with integration. Instead it was easier to create an institutional form of racism that allowed the white individual to say “oh, but I’m not racist” but then turn around and create an economic wall that kept colored folks segregated, isolated, angry, afraid, and highly disadvantaged. This created a culture of white privilege which is borne out of a sense of more options being available to white folks because colored opposition wasn’t even around to be felt or heard.

I know this experience well, from growing up in a white, affluent part of Los Angeles in the 80’s and 90’s. Embarrassingly the only time I ever experienced the tiniest glimpse of black LA was when I attended Raiders games in the 80’s, or when my parents would get lost in Inglewood after a Lakers game. Back then Inglewood was much grittier than it is now. Other than that, I was raised to think that my entire Los Angeles was north of Wilshire and west of Vine St. – anything else might as well have been Mars. It wasn’t until I started going to public schools in the 8th grade did my world view change. LAUSD was famous for implementing “bussing” programs which allowed for kids from the inner city to be “bussed” into different schools because the schools in their neighborhoods were overcrowded. It was built to alleviate a specific problem but also helped to integrate kids who normally wouldn’t cross paths. While I’ve never experienced what it’s like to have to go back home to an apartment on Florence and Normandy in 1990 (pre LA riots), or felt what it’s like to not have a parent home when I returned from school because they were out working a second job, I was introduced to people that did live in that reality. I was exposed to something that was outside of my white bubble. I am also thankful that my parents did not introduce me to the concept of a difference in skin color or racism. That thought was never taught to me personally, but because of the segregated nature of Los Angeles in a physical sense, I can see why people who were brought up that with those values feel so much tension in and around LA. There are generations of millions of white people who are brought up to see a black person in Los Angeles and immediately think that “they” are far from home if a colored couple is walking down the street in Beverly Hills. And if that black person is wearing saggy jeans they must be a banger, right? This horrific view of the world is still so apparent within the hearts and minds of so many white people that it’s become second nature. It’s an embarrassing reality that most “liberal” white people from the Westside don’t want to admit. Adding to that is the very fabric of the way that our city is laid out physically. Sure there are some hipster neighborhoods that borderline-classify as melting pots but let’s be real – LA is a sectioned off and segregated melting pot. It so happens that many of the white people who are brought up to think like the horrific cliché when they see a colored person outside of their “zone” are now cops. That’s just math. Sure there are black and Hispanic cops in LA too, but there are also many white ones.

I understand that this week’s shootings of two black men by white police officers, and then the insane retaliation in Dallas, were not in Los Angeles. The point Aim making is that I understand how our cities were initially built to be fucked up failures, with the deck stacked against the chance of success. Until we start truly living in integrated communities, or at least integrated mind sets, the road will be long. This endless bullshit Illusion of Separation is do deeply integrated into the Maya of white America that it will take bold action to course correct the trends we are experiencing. America is not that old; only 50 years ago the peak of the modern Civil Rights movement was in full bloom. Just 50 years. That means my parents were growing up before that – they were brought up in a segregationist America. That’s just one generation away.

We need to fix our cities, address the power struggle with cops, possibly not let cops with less than 5 years on the force have guns at all, and most of all offer across the board economic equality for all. As long as our inner cities stay in the disadvantaged column, things will remain tough. These problems are systemic and ingrained in our minds, but also into the visual landscape. Breaking these molds are a necessary step so we stop viewing the city and the world as separate or that of “us and them.” I wish there was some way to wave a magic wand that erased the innate ignorance of white America, but the reality is that there is not. That’s why I think we need to combat that ignorance with systemic fixes that will force change from the inside out.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 48 – Govind Das

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My dear friend, brother, teacher and all around inspiration Govind Das stops by the kitchen table to talk with me about what yoga means in a 21st Century application, the path of bhakti, how to combat the Maya, embracing ones dharma and finding compassion in these troubling times. Govind Das is truly one of the great American yoga teachers and you should check out his classes and offerings whenever possible.

INTRO TOPIC – my confusion around the new age community and the recent police brutality events.

Govind Das first came to yoga while living in Los Angeles in 1994 because of health concerns- specifically ulcerative colitis/crohn’s/inflammatory bowel disease… After years of many different practices with the intention of healing(hatha yoga, ayurveda, buddhist meditation etc), Ira Rosen found his yogic “home’ in the path of Bhakti Yoga… the aspect of yoga frequently described as the “yoga of the heart” or “the yoga of love and devotion”. Not by avoiding or denying our life and health challenges, but only by accepting and courageously moving through and forward, the flower of our full appreciation and devotion to Life blooms. It is in this tradition of “Bhakti/Devotion” where Ira was given his spiritual name- Govind Das or simply “Govindas” which means “servant of the Divine”… This path of service is at the root of his spiritual life- to serve the Love and Spirit that lives in the hearts of all. His journey has led him to India on 5 different occasions to immerse himself in the ways of the yoga tradition at the Ashram of his “Guru” or main spirtual teacher- Neem Karoli Baba, as well as spending time in holy yogic places like Vrindavan, Varanasi, Rishikesh and many more… Through his journeys to the “motherland of yoga”- India, Govindas has been blessed to enjoy the “darshan” or be in the company of many yogic saints, sadhus, and wise teachers- It is from these transmissions that Govindas shares the authenticity of the Bhakti path… As well Govindas would like to express heartfelt gratitude to his yoga teachers here in California – Bryan Kest, Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, and Mark Whitwell… and bow to his Bhakti and Kirtan teachers Ram DassJai UttalBhagavan Das, Krishna Das, Shyam Das, Raghu Markusand many many more…

www.bhaktiyogashala.com

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Me Politics Tech

Creating Value in the 21st Century

I have a new talk that I’m beginning to get a handle on called “Creating Value in the 21st Century.”

It’s based around the idea of pushing our culture to see value beyond antiquarian measurement systems like the GDP or the DOW and move towards the inclusion of social and connection value systems that the new culture paradigm is establishing. For instance, the value of the United States as a country is still measured in the GDP, or the Gross Domestic Product, and as long as that number is going up our value as a society is as well. For reference it is defined as ‘the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country during one year.’

Adding to that, there is a formula where the actual GDP number itself derives. Investopedia lays it out in the the following way:

GDP = C + G + I + NX

where

C is equal to all private consumption, or consumer spending, in a nation’s economy, G is the sum of government spending, I is the sum of all the country’s investment, including businesses capital expenditures and NX is the nation’s total net exports, calculated as total exports minus total imports (NX = Exports – Imports).

(For more detail click here)

I am not an economist however, I understand that as an economic indicator in and of itself there remains popularity in the GDP because it deals with not just the value of what’s sold but also of the materials that go into whatever it is that is sold. So, theoretically the entire supply chain is accounted for.

If we take that snap shot and use it as the tell tale lens for a peoples overall health as a nation I propose there is something very flawed about that because it doesn’t take into account all the subtle, spiritual, inspirational, thought provoking and peer to peer work that most of us our doing on any given day. Therefore, with all of our insanely amazing ability to think, inspire and grow ourselves into these increasingly complicated biological connection machines there has to be a system of measurement that goes beyond just rudimentary manufacturing and sales variables that make up things like the GDP.

Let’s take the example of a favorite yoga teacher within your community. Let’s say your specific community and friend pool has a yoga teacher that is everyones favorite. His or her regular classes are usually packed and the feeling that is felt when leaving the class is commonly experienced to be ecstatic, inspired and transformational. For the sake of this example let’s say that there are 50 people who are in each class 4-5 times a week and of those 150 are unique (the other 50 being repeats). Those 150 people go out into the world completely changed people and take that change into their own individual lives. It’s without question, they are better teachers, parents, workers, lovers and friends all as a result of this one yoga teacher. Therefore the exponential effect that this one person has on the endless touch points of the 150 students is enormous and unmeasurable. If you really think about it, this yoga teacher may indirectly effect thousands of lives. Literally. That is value. That is real, tangible, un-esoteric value that makes the fabric of our society a better place. Yet, this person is often ignored as a value stake holder unless he or she creates a business around it.

Let’s look at another person. Let’s make it up and just say this person is the CEO of a successful pen company. Plugging in the variables lets determine that the pen company is in the US, does not outsource manufacturing, has been profitable for the last several years and employs around 300 people. Certainly, employment is good because it allows the worker to earn money that can provide for food, gas and various living expenses. Thus the town that the pen company is headquartered experiences value because of local tax revenue and steady employment for many local families. Because we’re assuming the pen company is profitable that means the CEO is wealthy as is credited for stimulating the GDP and might be heralded as a powerful and valuable person because of his or her ability to guide the success of the company. That CEO may rise to fame and fortune because he or she has managed to create a financial eco system that makes good on the American dream. These are the heroes of our society – take Jack Welch or Henry Ford for example.

When comparing and contrasting the two people and their function in society I’m sorry but I do not see the pen company CEO as providing more value than the amazing yoga teacher. It’s just that the value of the pen company can be measured so specifically and with great precision that we have gotten in the habit of only looking at value this way. This is flawed. The yoga teachers value, while not instantly measurable, provides for healthier, more compassionate, stable and inspired people which when trickled out into the world is certainly very powerful.

One may ask – well…if you had no pen company then the workers could have no money to take the yoga class! True! But if you had no yoga teacher then the worker wouldn’t be nearly as good of a worker thus productivity at the pen company would be down.

There are many more examples that I can illustrate. Many of which go beyond employment mechanisms and roles and stretch out into more nebulous realms like social media and media. More on those in follow ups to this post.

The point is that I think we need to stop and re calibrate our overall value systems. I don’t propose we do away with gigantic pillars of the industrial age but I do propose we integrate new thinking and consider new combinations of system indictors as we move into the future.

(Thank you Douglas Rushkoff and Joi Ito for inspiring me on the topic of value)