Podcast 969: The Enlightenment Project: How I Went From Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too with Jonathan Robinson

My guest for this podcast is psychotherapist, multiple-time best-selling author, and professional speaker from Northern California Jonathan Robinson. He just released his latest book last June 7 entitled The Enlightenment Project: How I Went From Depressed to Blessed, and You Can Too.

Jonathan has spent more than thirty years studying the most practical and powerful methods for personal and professional development. He has reached over 200 million people around the world with his practical methods, and his work has been translated into 47 languages. His works has also appeared in several publications and talk shows like Newsweek and Oprah Show.

As daily life is full of endless distractions, upsets, and challenges, Jonathan has found best ways to awaken to inner peace by studying with over 100 well-known spiritual teachers. He also found over 50 spiritual methods, techniques, and philosophies that really worked— to overcome his depression and deliver lasting inner peace. And he wants to share this with you through his new book The Enlightenment Project.

If you’re interested and want to know more about Jonathan and his works, you may click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy my engaging interview with Jonathan Robinson. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

This journey offers practical answers and transformative solutions:

  • Offering you proven and effective spiritual methods that bring inner peace to most people
  • Showing how to integrate higher consciousness into your
    • relationships
    • the pursuit of money
    • handling of difficult situations
  • Illustrating how miraculous events occur and lead to personal changes— like the author’s bestselling books
  • Discover what most spiritual seekers might miss and how to get better results with a few simple tricks

THE AUTHOR

Jonathan’s first book The Experience of God included interviews with such notable people as the late Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. Then, his second book The Little Book of Big Questions became a New York Times bestseller as did his book Communication Miracles for Couples. Jonathan’s other books include Instant Insight; Real Wealth; Shortcuts to Bliss; Shortcuts to Success, The Complete Idiots Guide to Awakening Your Spirituality, and Find Happiness Now. Jonathan also speaks regularly to Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Microsoft, Dell, Bank of America, Coca-Cola, and FedEx/Kinko’s. He is known for providing his audiences with powerful and immediately useful information in a fun and entertaining manner.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth, this is Greg Voisen, the host of Inside Personal Growth. And Jonathan, everybody knows me, so I don't have to introduce myself. But joining us from Grass Valley, California is Jonathan Robinson. And Jonathan has a new book out. He's actually the author of 14 books. But this book is called The Enlightenment project and the subtitle is, how I went from depressed to blessed and you can do and, you know, we're, we're dealing with some pretty unusual times right now, Jonathan, and we probably got some people out there that are feeling nervous, anxious, concerned. And those kinds of feelings kind of lead to depression. But I'm gonna let the listeners know a little bit about you because they don't know about you. Jonathan is an author of 14 books, a psychotherapist, a life and spiritual coach, and professional speaker. He has reached over 100 million people. And his work has been translated in 47 languages. He has been a frequent guest on Oprah, CNN and other national TV shows. And his work has been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Jonathan is also the co-host of popular podcast called awareness, explorers. He's known for providing people with immediate useful ideas and methods in humorous and entertaining manner. And he's spoken at churches, businesses, and fortune 500 companies, such as Microsoft, Coca Cola, and Google, welcome to Inside personal growth. And thank you for taking the time to profile this, this new book, 14 books as a lot of books, so you've been busy. And you also have another one that just came out most recently as well, which I'm gonna let the listeners know we're gonna do a podcast about

Jonathan Robinson
but you know, in the introduction of the book, you state that as you seek enlightenment,

Greg Voisen
you've interviewed over 100 spiritual leaders. And I love the story you told me on the pre interview about getting to the Dalai Lama and getting to Mother Teresa. You had to be the most tenacious guy there is to make a call to Mother Teresa, and you're welcome to tell that story. My listeners would probably laugh but I thought it was great. Deepak Wayne Dyer rom Das. Can you share with listeners the best advice you got from these interviews? Or maybe not even advice? Just guidance? No. You know, sometimes when you have spiritual leaders, they're really want you to figure out the answer to your own questions. They're not really saying, hey, I'm going to give you the answer. What they're going to do is give you clues about how you would go about figuring out your own challenges. What would you say to that? What was some of the best advice?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, you know, originally, I would ask them the same questions. And one of the questions was, what's the meaning or purpose of life? What are we here to do? But I found that everybody gave me the exact same answer to that question. So if your listeners want to know the meaning and purpose of life, for 1495, they can get that No, I'm joking with you, I offer that for free. But what they all said is that we're here to do two things. One is to first work to find peace and love inside of ourselves. Which is no easy task in today's world. Yes. But once you've done that, to some extent, then use that abundance of good feeling to see what's needed and help people. So I think our first task is to find methods or ideas that help us to feel peace and love in this challenging world. You know, I like to say that the world represents like channel two on the TV. It's duality. It's, it's, it's chaos, it's me versus you. It's polarization, it's separateness and that's always going on. And sometimes it gets terrible and sometimes it gets okay, but it's never peaceful. But there's also channel one, which is we're all part of this one energy, this one love, I believe, and if you can tune into that channel, things are always good there. So I encourage people in the teachers I talked to encourage people to find some way of tapping into that peace and love. And besides making your own Life better will make everybody else's life better.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, most definitely. Because the outward reflection of your actions and your speak, does have a rippling effect on everybody around you. I think that the spiritual quest to find this, quote, utopia is something many people many of my listeners are looking for. But because we're in this fiscal body, this body that we have, which feels pain, feels suffering, you know, it was the Buddha that said, there's pain and suffering. And then there's the end of pain and suffering. Well, that independent suffering comes by your realization, that you're the one that controls that. But for some unknown reason, the Maya associated with that meaning the, the Maya the cloudiness in our own minds of, of how we, how we transgress and look at that and figure it out, seems to always have this, pardon me for saying this. But like this dangling participle, there always seems to be something there, Jonathan, meaning something there that we can't ultimately 100% clear it. And I don't care how many, you know, micro doses of drugs you take, or how many things that you might do to get yourself into this altered state of consciousness. What would you say about that? I mean, how do you go about your day to maintain that centered space, as the Dalai Lama says the middle way? Yeah.

Jonathan Robinson
Well, certainly meditation helps. But what I realized is that you need something throughout the day, because the crap is always hitting the fan somewhere. And you show I specialize in methods that take less than 15 seconds to do. Okay, so I can do them a lot. And each one, each one I do, taps me back into call channel one or piece. So suffusing little moments of peace throughout my day, with these amazingly effective methods that most people don't know about.

Greg Voisen
What are some of those methods, Jonathan, that that I know that people can buy the book where they're really going to get the book or they're not. But the point is, our job here is to provide some where there's not clarity, some clarity. Yeah, where there's pain, maybe some relief from the suffering?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, first of all, I think people's responsibility is to try a bunch of things and see what works for them, because different things work for different people. And I'll give two or three of these methods. Of course, in the book, there's like 40 of them. And your mission, should you decide to accept it is to find what works for you. But take, for example, a method I call it, what else is going on? So currently, I'm a little bit annoyed, because the person who was supposed to do something for me forgot. So I'm aware of the annoyance and then I can say, well, what else is going on? Well, I feel the warmth in my butt and my chair, what else? I'm excited about doing this interview with you. What else is going on? Well, it's a beautiful day outside, what else is going on? There's an awareness of all these things simultaneously, what else is going on? I feel the peace of my breath going up and down. And as you normally when something's a problem, we get fixated on it. And we lose the perspective of all the other things going on in the present moment. So that's a great technique to

Greg Voisen
it's good, you know, you, that's a really good one. I mean, look, that's as valuable. If people shut the interview off now. And that's all they took away from this. The question what else is going on? From reframing their perspective, there's positive things going on. Right? Is really very valuable. You know, I, I watched your interview with Oprah, when you were sitting in the audience about bliss, fewer couple, three times, right. And one of the things you said way back then and whatever year that was, was, you know, to get for this to get there. You need to do an act of kindness or, or compassion, compassion. Let's just say that. Do you find that when we expand our consciousness to acts of compassion, that that has the opportunity is for us to drop into this space? is of, hey, you know, I'm more than this physical body, I'm, you know, I'm doing something greater. And I find usually when people do that it does trigger for them.

Jonathan Robinson
Well, studies show that an act of kindness to a stranger or a friend is the quickest way to boost your own happiness level. So it's not a belief, it's actually a scientific fact. So that's a method that can be as simple as saying a nice compliment to somebody that's sincere, or, you know, patting them on the back and saying, I'm here for you. So it need not take very long and most people aren't aware of these really simple methods that help you know, most people are using methods that are 2000 years old. Whereas they wouldn't think of using a computer that's even 20 years old, but we're using spiritual methods like hatha yoga, or different meditations that are 2000 years old, ends up that there's always new methods coming out, and they are getting better and more powerful and quicker. So here's, here's another method I'll use for a few seconds a day, I just imagined that I was just born. And I, you know, little kids don't have an ego or a sense of identity. They're just here. And they look at out the world. And they see colors and they hear sounds, they don't label things. They live in a wordless world of just sense impressions. And that world is always here, if we can get out of our mind and into our body and our heart. So that's a very simple thing to do. And there's a lot of these very simple ideas and methods that when you put them into your day, they really change how you perceive the world.

Greg Voisen
You know, you were just talking about happiness. And you speak about the Happiness Project. Gretchen Rubin a lot and even consider that as an inspiration to create the Enlightenment project. So this project inspired you. And you know, in our view, so many people have written books about happiness, big thing. You go to Stanford and take a course on happiness. You can go to not MIT. Harvard, it's sold out. You know, when I say sold out, every student wants to do it, because I think there's a happiness, lack of happiness epidemic. Speak with us about the Happiness Project and why it inspired you lead you to create this enlightenment project? You know, obviously it did.

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah, well, the book was about a woman using the best of positive psychology to see what would work for her. And happiness methods tend to be a little bit different than enlightenment methods. And I think enlightenment methods are actually more effective for bringing on happiness as well as these states of bliss or ecstasy. So I was inspired that that book was about her autobiography of using these methods and telling people what worked for her and what didn't. And you know, being that I've interviewed all the known spiritual leaders in the world, that's kind of what I've been doing for the last 40 years. Question. Did

Greg Voisen
you hear you and I think I'm gonna get his name, right. Andrew Cohen, the guy who started the enlightenment. Is it Andrew Cohen? Is Andrew Cohn? Yeah, cuz he's been on the show many moons ago. But he made it so complex. Yeah, he made enlightenment, a little bit more complex than I think it needed to be nothing against you, Andrew. You're listening but you know Tell us how this Happiness Project got you to this enlightenment?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, so I realized that I was using all these interviews and trying to find the greatest hits of what works for enlightenment. And usually the greatest hits are pretty simple. You know, like I mentioned the just born experience, or what else is happening? I have, like, 40 of those methods in the Enlightenment project. And, you know, I was a suicidally depressed teenager. So if I can do this, then other people can do it. And I think one of the reasons why I got on the Oprah show, and all the other shows a bunch of times is that I'm a lazy person, Greg. And if something takes longer and 20 seconds to do, it's unlikely that I will do it. So I specialize in these really simple methods. You know, one method, for example, is how to tap into gratitude. Now, everybody hears that you should do a gratitude journal. But I'm too lazy to do a gratitude journal.

Jonathan Robinson
So

Jonathan Robinson
one of the things I heard from one of the teachers, it was a teacher in India, who had a magical mantra for helping people feel gratitude all the time. So I went to India to interview this guy. Have you ever been to India?

Jonathan Robinson
Greg? I have

Greg Voisen
not been to India, but it is on my I'm not gonna say bucket list. It's on my list.

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah. Well, it's a long way away. So I travel all the way to India to talk to this guy, 20,000 miles. And when I finally get a chance to talk to him, I asked him, you know, can you give me this mantra for feeling gratitude? And in an Indian accent, he says, yes, my mantra is the most powerful on earth. He leans into whisper in my ear. And he says, whenever possible, repeat these words. The mantra I give you. Other words.

Jonathan Robinson
Thank you.

Jonathan Robinson
I look at him and I go, that's it. And he goes, no, no, that's it is a mantra you have been using that makes you feel like you never have enough money. Thank you not. That's it. That's it.

Greg Voisen
I love it. I love that. That’s as good as that the story about Mother Teresa.

Jonathan Robinson
But well, the funny thing about that, the funny thing about that, Greg, is that when I started to say, feel my heart and say thank you, for all the little things in life, I started to feel persistent gratitude, you know, we're talking about these higher subjects, you know, thank you for that. I'm feeling healthy today. It's a beautiful day out. Thank you Thank you know, it's really can be very simple.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, it, you know, it's unfortunate, you had to travel all the way to India, all that way to hear this guy whisper that in your ear that you didn't get it. But usually when you put that much effort in something, it has much more of an impact. So just the fact that you saved people $1,000 Traveling the Indian back by the show, you all gotta go get his book, because the reality is, that's a very cheap investment. If you just read, it just got Thank You for gratitude, by Tuesday, when you're a student is that you state that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear or heard that one so many times. And you tell a great story about English teacher, Mr. Downing. Can you tell the story and more importantly, how He saved your life? You said?

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah, well, as I mentioned, I was very depressed in my teenage years. And I'd actually come up with a date to kill myself. And two days before that day, this, this English teacher took me aside and said, you know, I know you're going through a hard time now. But I want you to know that I see how special of a person you are. And that if you can get through this rough patch, you're going to have an amazing life. And he said, you know, I'm here for you if you need someone to talk to. And that simple act of kindness got me to change my date for killing myself. And, you know, by the end of the year, I was in a lot better shape. So you never know when you're at somebody's act of kindness is going to impact you. And you know, I've been on a lot of shows I've affected 100 million people on various TV shows and books and such and if it weren't for Mr. Downing none of that would be possible.

Jonathan Robinson
I think the

Greg Voisen
important part about that story is your awakening your enlightenment as a result of Mr. Downing having its it is obviously his compassion for you his generosity to open up here. Is willingness to get you to have an epiphany about that. And I think that is important, that act of kindness, that act of compassion that somebody has, that this statement, just like the guy in India, thank you small little things like that, that can make a difference in one lives. Because as you said, you are really super depressed, you gotta get you got to be pretty depressed is to get to a point where you're going to commit suicide. Right? Yeah, you said in positive psychology and well-being you discuss three basic approaches to feel really good, the way of control positive psychology or awakening methods. Can you talk to the listeners about these approaches? And how can these approaches help them find lasting peace and happiness, and I think the word that should be underlined, is lasting. It's one thing to say, well, we can find peace and happiness, it's another thing to embedded in our DNA, such that it becomes part of the makeup of who we are. And you know, even me, after all these 900, and almost 80 interviews with people on positive psychology and personal growth and wellness and mastery and spirituality and all that, you know, I personally still get to a point where I look at all this and I go, What? No, I mean, they go.

Jonathan Robinson
Well, 90% of everything is crap. So our job is to find the 10% that actually useful.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, yeah, that's true. That's true. So what are these positive psychology methodologies that you think could help people in my listeners? Well,

Jonathan Robinson
first of all, the three approaches to happiness, one is wave control, you know, get a bunch of money, be in good shape, and try to get things in the world to be the way you want. The problem with that is that you can't control it all, you know, so that has limited value. Positive Psychology basically says, you know, focus on good things in life, like what's going well, you know, what you appreciate about your partner, these little techniques actually are very useful for feeling better about your life. And then the awakening approach, which is the approach that I talked mostly about in the Enlightenment project, is these little techniques that get you to be very present in any experience that you have. And being that we're always in the present, if you can get your body and mind and heart more fully committed to the present. While the present is always pretty peaceful, I mean, unless you're being tortured, it's always just like right now. And babies who are always in the present generally feel pretty good unless they're in physical pain. So we have all these methods to not only get present, but to open up into it so that you are actually opening your heart to greater love, and greater peace in any moment. And that's the thing that most people really don't know, effective, quick methods for doing that.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, and I think it's important, you know, I watched not that long ago, and you probably have as well, but Michael pullins, documentary on Netflix. And I go back to this because, you know, people are experimenting more and more with plant based drugs, which they have for eons and years, 1000s of years, but now, in micro dosing situations to have them overcome depression, to have them overcome PTSD or OCD or these conditions that they have. Do you believe that that has a place in assisting one because there are people that say, well, I medicate myself, I like everybody. I'm not saying I do, but they say, and I smoke a joint every morning, and that makes me feel a lot better. You know, I'm calmer I'm more peace it whatever it is. But you know, this has been going on since the beginning of time. This isn't new. What was it that the Greeks used to use cayenne or chi, chi? Chi, something or what it was, I remember, but tell me Does that have a place in this for you? As a surgeon teacher?

Jonathan Robinson
It certainly did in my life. Because, you know, a lot of times we're so caught up in our minds that we don't realize what's possible. So when I first took magic mushrooms, MDMA, that are known as ecstasy or LSD, it showed me what's possible that there's a whole world outside my little mind and little thoughts and that got me interested in things like meditation. So I think they have a lot of use in first giving people a glimpse of higher states of consciousness, love ecstasy. But I think after that they can often be abused, because then you're just using them to get back to something which you could get back to without the drugs, if you knew the right approach.

Greg Voisen
I agree with that. I think it opens up, it opens you up into a world that you've never experienced, allows you to perceive what can be. And as you said, you can do that on your own. And let's uh, let's talk about meditation you state that, for you. It's like having your very own Batcave. And, you know, like, people go to India to go into a cave and sit there for I don't know, who knows how many years or they go to an ashram. And they think, you know, Nirvana is going to happen. Just like One bad man, you said, would retreat when things got crazy. In your chapter about mindfulness and meditation, you speak about different patterns and methods of meditation. And obviously, my listeners are pretty aware of all of these various meditation methodologies, because the audience that we speak with Sharon, talk to our audience about the three meditation methods that have come highly recommended, and why do you consider them the most? I'm gonna say useful, not powerful.

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah. Well, most people actually aren't aware of the latest methods because you know, they, they learn things from, you know, TM, or Vipassana meditation or yoga. A lot of the most effective ones, according to research have only been invented in the last three years.

Jonathan Robinson
So we'll get

Greg Voisen
invented for lazy people. Because now you don't have to actually sit there for 35 minutes. On the pillow, you can do yours in three minutes. Because exactly, exactly. I'm out, are now really what I would call for the modern age, you know, you only have three minutes? Well, great, you get three minutes to do this. You're not gonna sit there for all day, right?

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah, well, different times require different methods, like one of the methods I use is called Lester love, where I made a list of the 50 people who I have had a loving or really good interaction with, you know, some families, some past partners, some friends, people who I can feel a heart connection with. And what I'll do is I'll just focus on each one for about a minute. And think about what I love and appreciate about them. Well, love is a very powerful force. And if you can inundate yourself with love, by tapping into your love for all these people, it starts to really affect your energy and affect your mood and affect who you are. Because I believe that at our essence, we are in love. So as you align with that love, it's, it's a very powerful technique. So that's an example of one technique that most people don't know about that is really easy and powerful. And if I do that for 30 minutes, I'm usually in such a state of ecstasy that it's, it's better than a drug.

Greg Voisen
I can imagine that. Yeah, definitely. I think the fact that you've removed yourself from the current environment, which thrusts you in to the normal day to day, which we, which frequently we all refer to as the real world, that isn't the real world, the real world is the altered state of consciousness that you can achieve as a result of 10 minutes, three minutes, 20 minutes, whatever it might be, on the cushion, because I always know that when I do that, I'm much more centered, and much more focused. I'm much more compassionate, I'm much more open. And my day always goes better. Now, for my listening audience, you know, you've heard that. I don't know how many times, but how many times is it going to take us all to get into the new habit of doing what Jonathan's talking about? And I

Jonathan Robinson
created a method for that for people who are really lazy like me. I decided that, you know, meditation would be a good habit. So I decided that I would meditate at least 20 minutes a day, every day for the rest of my life. And then any day that I skipped it. Before I went to bed, I would take out $1 and rip it up. Because I'm cheap, as well as lazy. So I want to make sure that I did meditate and you know, about twice a year, I have to rip up $1 Because I'm too lazy to meditate that day. But it's gotten me to a point where now meditation used to be He kind of challenging now it's intense ecstasy for me all because I came up with a way to an easy way to motivate myself to stay persistent with it. Is the

Greg Voisen
dollar working? Is that enough money? Maybe it should be $100?

Jonathan Robinson
No, no, I find I find that $1 The threat of rip up $1 puts a fear of God and most people and if you're willing to do it, you almost always will avoid ripping up that dollar.

Greg Voisen
It does say In God We Trust on there. So maybe that maybe there is something about that. I think though it for certain people, is the repercussion. Great enough, you know, $1 may not be enough, but it's a good way to start out and really think about it. For me, I'm going to say it might take $20. But that's it. And I would have a hard time ripping up a $20 bill that's reserved. Well look, in living your right livelihood, you outlined five approaches for enlivening one's livelihood, can you talk about our to our listeners about these approaches, and how it will affect their daily life?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, this is something that people don't usually talk much about, you know, we spend a lot of time at work. So the question is, how can you make your work more quote, spiritual? How can it be part of your enlightenment project? So I talked about these different ways. One of the ways is just being able to listen, get quiet every day and listen to intuition. I always ask, at the end of my meditation, how can I serve better, and I've been very lucky in that sometimes I get very clear direction. And that clear direction has usually led to me doing something that was like a bestselling book or video. So I think if you align with the universe, if you align with your intuition, and listen to it, and act on it, good things happen. But most people, they don't do that they think I gotta work for a living, I got to do this, I got to, you know, do something that is hard and difficult and not meaningful. And that's a recipe for not really feeling very much a sense of mission in your work.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, I wrote a book on called hacking the gap, a journey from intuition to innovation and beyond. And I did a lot of research on intuition. And what I realize is that intuition, when you tune in, whether it's before meditation or not, you, in essence, get glimpses of, it doesn't always download in one big download, right? It's not like, okay, great, I got the answer to this right, or signs and symbols that you see, right, you drive down the road, and you see a bird that flies across in front of you, or, or you see a sign on the side of the road that says something that has some meaning, I say, be aware of that kind of stuff. Because it has a lot of significance, with relation to you interpreting the messages that you're receiving, be open to it, you know, just like intuition, you have to be open and ready to receive. Because those downloads are always there to happen. And then you maybe get 123 Different downloads. It doesn't all happen at once, as I said, and then you can connect the dots. And then you have this aha moment. It's like, ah, yeah, I had this aha moment about this. Now in grace, miracles and motivations, you state that you've been blessed to experience a lot of what we call the grace in miracles. Can you share some of those stories with the listeners are one of those stories about, you know, the grace and the miracles that you've been able to have in your life?

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah, you know, I used to be a researcher on this stuff at UC Santa Barbara was a psychic studies major. So I was very interested in psychic phenomena or weird events. I've had so many, it's hard to choose. But you know, initially, they helped me to think Oh, there's more than meets the eye going on. Or something that happened not that long ago, is I was in the desert with a bunch of friends. And we, I've had this experience before, where there's what many people would call angels, but I call them orbs. They are balls of light. That come They especially like music and they like to hang out in the desert. So my friends and I, you know, had these six balls of light in this case are about five feet in diameter. You can see through them, and they would descend on us and they make music with us. They make sounds kind of like children plain and spiritual teacher, I know. said that. Yeah, it's just a different species on Earth that doesn't have a physical body. You know, some people call them go something call them angels. But I find them to be very friendly, very loving, and very playful. And that's an example of something that I get to experience every now and then.

Greg Voisen
Yeah, well, and you can actually see probably a lot more of those when you do some mushrooms ahead.

Jonathan Robinson
I wasn't doing that. But yeah, no, I

Greg Voisen
get that. I'm just kidding with you. But the reality is, that is the kind of stuff you can see when you try to experiment with things like mushrooms. That's what happens. Right? So, yeah, I, I'm with you. In your chapter on the many myths about enlightenment, you enumerated myths about what leads to enlightenment. What are some common myths about enlightenment or things that would surprise people who are just learning about enlightenment looking that there was the Enlightenment era, you talk to people like Ken Wilber, they speak about enlightenment, I was just at the referencing Andrew Cohen, his whole enlightenment, I don't think it's called Project not like you, but it's a whole thing around enlightenment. You know, this term gets used pretty loosely. Yeah. And so put some edges on it for us and tell us, you know, how we may want to look at it or how you look at

Jonathan Robinson
it? Yeah. Well, one definition of enlightenment is any moments that you perceive without the lens of the ego. It's like a direct perception of reality. And most people have had moments, you know, maybe watching a sunset, or making love, or being in nature, where you're just fully present, and you're not judging anything. And that's a moment of enlightenment, but some people live in that state all the time. And I, so a lot of people think, oh, you have to do a spiritual practice for 30 years to have more of those moments. No, you don't you can I have that moment right now. Because you're always in the present, it's really just a different relationship with the present, of letting go of your mind and entering into your heart and a direct perception of reality, which is accompanied usually by peace and a feeling of love. So what people miss is that they think that, oh, they can't become enlightened, or they can't have more enlightened moments. But in reality, everybody can. And it's really just a matter of the right method or the right idea and having a strong desire for those things.

Jonathan Robinson
Well, you know,

Greg Voisen
you, as a psychotherapist, understand that when we alter the chemical states of the body, through endorphins, release of endorphins, releases certain chemicals with inside of our body that gives us this euphoric feeling. They call it the runner's high, you get all these people that are in extreme sports. The reason they do that, is because it gives them this euphoric feeling from the things that they do. And what you're saying is that euphoric feeling is available at any time. And so how is it that

Jonathan Robinson
you would guide people

Greg Voisen
to alter those releases of chemicals within the spa and the body that actually give us a euphoric feeling? Or a feeling of non-attachment to that ego? Because what happens is that ego as you would adamantly agree, I think, it separates us. It basically separates us from the one, right, yeah, that's what you if that's what you believe, I don't know, there's probably listeners out there, don't believe in that. But look, it separates you from the one source. So if we are all trying to get to this one source, and the ego is the one that divides it,

Jonathan Robinson
how do we get to that spot?

Jonathan Robinson
Yeah, well, it's a matter of finding the right way to step out of that ego. You know, we all have one, but you don't need to make it the most important thing in your life. So things like gratitude or focusing on love, or focusing, like you just got born now, or the 30 other methods in the book, The Enlightenment project, you know, you find what works for you. And most people have only tried a couple of things and what they've tried her methods that are really outdated that they don't work in modern society. So I find when I found a method called the headless way, which takes five seconds to do, it totally changed my experience a reality and made me experience a lot more peace right away. So that's why I try to give all these methods out for free because the idea The is if you find something that works for you, then you have a friend for life. In fact, I give him my five favorite

Greg Voisen
tell my listeners what the headless way is? Well, it's,

Jonathan Robinson
it's a way of perceiving the world, and noticing that you can't see your own head, that you're actually kind of like in this void, when which you see your arms come out of the void and your body coming out of the void, which is actually how we see. And as you do that, you start to not identify so much with your body or your thoughts. But instead identify with the piece that's behind your body and thoughts.

Jonathan Robinson
That is a great

Greg Voisen
way for people to look at it. So the fact that you've mentioned it, and it's in the book, so I'm gonna encourage my listeners, again, you know, you can go to the enlightenment project.com

Jonathan Robinson
Don't actually, it's the enlightenment project.net.net Sorry, there

Greg Voisen
is another one with the enlightenment project.com, I apologize, I made a mistake, no doubt net, we will put the link up to the right one in the blog entry. So just remember, it's dot net, you know, in creating your own enlightenment project, you state that most things in life are worth having involves staying motivated over a long period of time. And you also share the three bath motivation methods. And again, that's this whole thing I say about becoming part of our DNA, something where we can actually take an idea, and we can turn it into something that becomes part of who we are, you know, and I say it's more than a belief. It's a truth, right? There's a lot of people that carry around beliefs, and then I see a lot of beliefs that change. But when something becomes a truth for somebody, and I would probably spell that with a big capital T, it doesn't change, it doesn't usually change. It can speak with the listeners about the best motivation methods, and what best advice can you share, for our listeners be motivated for a long period of time?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, the best motivation method is to have an accountability partner who keeps you accountable to what you want. So for example, I mentioned earlier, once a week, I talked to my friend, Dan, and he asked me, so how did you meditate every day this week? And if I say, well, I did it six hours, seven days. He says, Okay, well, did you rip up $1 for that day that you didn't meditate? And that's all it takes. It's a one minute conversation with my friend, Dan. And that has kept me meditating. And it's also kept me going to the gym, and all these other things I want to do. And having that accountability is enough to know Oh, I better do it. So that's

Greg Voisen
a lazy man's Jim look like Jonathan.

Jonathan Robinson
It looks like doing YouTube video exercises.

Greg Voisen
I love it. You know, you kept saying it earlier in this podcast, but you're lazy. And I'm like, Yeah, I get a lot of people are. But when you got to actually motivate yourself to go to the gym, that means you're actually going to work, you know, you're actually going to work on your body. But here's what I would say about that. Find something you love doing, whether it's playing volleyball and riding your bike, walking in the woods, or taking a walk with your dog, or any of those kinds of things. It's still exercise, it may not be like strong, super, you know, like, some of it is like when I hang up from you here, I'm gonna go on a bike ride with my wife, then. So the reality is, is that you got to find something that you enjoy doing. And I always say, try to find something you enjoy doing with somebody else. You know, it's always good to have a partner to do something with. So you ended each chapter, the book with lessons learned from the chapter. If you were to give our listeners, three guidance, opportunities, the Enlightenment project, what would you leave the listeners with? And why would they want to implement that in their life?

Jonathan Robinson
Well, one thing would be to have what I call an experimental attitude, try a bunch of stuff and see what works through for you through your lived experience, not through your idea, but just try simple stuff. Another idea is at the Enlightenment project on net, they get my five favorite methods that can be done in under a minute. And I like to give those out for free at that website. Another idea is that, you know, a lot of teachers said love and peace is our true nature. I once went to a teacher and he said, who are you? And I rattled off all the roles I was, you know, man, America and things like that. He said, no, no and then he sent me through his eyes. This was a miracle, overwhelming amount of love and peace. And I ended up crying because I'd never felt such intense love and peace. And as I'm crying in his lap, he says, this love and peace you feel that's your true nature. That's who you really are. And your job in life is to get back there. So if you think of this as your job as a human being, as the best thing you can do for yourself and your family and your friends, then you get more serious about it, like what really works, how can I get back there? And that level of urgency is really helpful.

Greg Voisen
Well, Jonathan, I'm gonna hold the book up for the listeners, because it's been an awesome interview, an opportunity to explore some methodologies that you are teaching people to reach enlightenment. Whether or not you sustain it or not, isn't so important. It's whether or not you practice, start to practice some of the methodologies that he teaches. And again, go to the enlightenment project.net. To learn more about Jonathan's other books, we're going to have Jonathan back on the show, again, for all my listeners, about one of his new books that just came out another new book that just came out, and so please be looking for that. We'll set up a time and we'll promote that as well. Jonathan, Namaste to you. Thank you for all that you've contributed today. All that's been said, between you and I, and hope goes into the ether and into the ears of other people. And those people basically say, Yeah, I think what Jonathan told me today was worth listening to. Thanks for being on Inside Personal Growth.

Jonathan Robinson
Thank you, Greg.

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