Last week, I spent way too much time sitting on my ass.
My excuse? I was collapsing space-time.
M co-conspirators? Over 1,000 interesting people from all over the world in Toronto at Dr. Joe Dispenza’s Advanced Weeklong retreat.
We spent over 65 hours in the same conference room together alternately digesting complex lectures on quantum physics, chemistry and neuroscience — and sitting for mind-warpingly deep, guided meditations led by Dr. Joe himself.
The event was incredibly impactful and beyond my expectations by all accounts. I thought I’d share some of my takeaways here — if only to crystalize everything in my own mind by writing out my notes.
I met my business-partner-in-crime, Daniel Thomas Hind, in Downtown Toronto on Saturday afternoon. Ready, but unsure of what to expect.
“I can’t believe we’re really doing this. Are we really going to a meditation seminar?” I said, as we packed like sardines into a conference room that was already buzzing with electricity.
DT shot his sarcastic glance at me that implied a million inside jokes and we both exploded into laughter.
“Oh boy. No turning back now.”
A little context, for the uninitiated…
10 years ago, I would have made fun of somebody like me.
I never thought I’d be that somebody who writes about dying and meeting god through DMT…or rocks a cardigan with no shirt at the beach.
But here I am. All the way out on the fringe. And it feels amazing.
At 5pm, the man appeared. Dr. Joe, in 3D.
I’d only heard of Dispenza’s work a few months ago. I was at a spiritual bookstore on Abbot Kinney in Venice and in-between seriously considering a $4,000 crystal and flipping through a book on past lives, his book #BecomingSupernatural caught my eye.
I love a strong title with a bold promise. So I picked it up and started looking through it — and to my surprise, this was not a corny book on positive thinking or what I like to call “marshmallow mysticism.”
“Supernatural” is a well-researched book that reads like a university science text in some places.
Inside, Dispenza dives deep into the neuroscience of the brain during meditation, and how states of deep trance in theta, delta and gamma ranges can be used to heal the body — even against life-threatening odds.
As the book progresses, he tackles the quantum physics of reality to prove that you can create a new future by blowing a hole through the universe and portalling into the unknown riding your pineal gland like a rocket.
Suspend your disbelief. Just trust me on this one.
I was so impressed by the amount of research that Dispenza put into the book that I had to learn more in person.
The weeklong event was part university lecture hall, part buddhist temple, part stunt scene, all wrapped into one.
There were people of all different races, from dozens of different countries. There were people in wheelchairs, walkers and casts. There were children as young as 10 and grandmas in their 70’s.
Over the next few days, we were dropped into the deep end of reality, sinking ever-so-slowly into the murky depths of the Unknown.
Mornings started at 4am with a two-hour or four-hour (!!!) meditation designed to help us separate the mind from the body. Somehow, the Westin hotel had a conference room big enough for 1,100 people to lay down flat on their backs and go into trance. Impressive!
Dr. Joe has a very particular style of meditation that’s a martial art of breath work, visualization, hypnosis, movement and technology used in combination to teach us how we can set ourselves free from the constraints of the physical plane. It’s free form, but there are guidelines to reaching nirvana and Joe helps coach you through the meditations’ various phases from the stage.
Tribal, mystical and electronic music fills the air. Through a booming speaker with an ethereal tone, Joe leads the entire group through the process of completely letting go.
The idea is to use the breath and the body to get beyond self. To go from somebody to nobody. From somewhere to nowhere. In space and time, to no space and no time.
Once you can return to the full present moment, you can create all sorts of changes in your body, your environment and even your future by accessing the incredible energy available in the zero point field.
This type of “out of the box” material, and frankly, anything that smacks of New Age is very easy to roll your eyes at if you take it at face value — but I was committed to going into this open-minded.
Dr. Joe covered a wide array of information, examining the central ideas of his newest book from every conceivable angle: chemistry, biology, neurology, psychology, physics, philosophy, medicine and religion.
Connecting all the dots fluidly, the man didn’t miss a beat. I don’t remember a single instance of him making a mistake, fumbling his words or losing the thread. The meditations were extremely deep and only got better as we learned more information because understanding why something is working makes the phenomena easier to experience. You know what you’re looking for.
Across about 15 meditations, I experienced states of blissfully calm visualization — and other, more out-of-body experiences that were not unlike some of my deepest journeys using psychedelics.
One thing I found most interesting was how physically challenging the entire week was. This “retreat” was not about relaxation. These were 14-16 hour days designed to capitalize on compounded effort over a short period of time to help build the skill of meditation.
In between guided sessions, we dove into concepts that helped create more context around why we were doing what we were doing. Dispenza is a brilliant teacher with seemingly endless knowledge on a wide variety of subjects and has the distinct ability to wade far out into uncharted territory and somehow make it back home in a single lecture.
I felt like I was being hit with a firehose stream of information. It took serious commitment to do that much work in such a short time and I was exhausted by the end of the week. But I could tell new pathways had been created in my brain. I felt my perspective on the world expand tremendously to match the new information presented.
Since the event, my meditation practice has become much more meaningful — and rather than seeing it as something that I should just “get through” for 20-30 minutes per day, I’ve really begun to enjoy the feeling of sinking into a long period of time with the self.
I’ve adopted new strategies for going deeper as well — including some pretty intense breath work exercises that have the power to create vivid visualizations that feel more real than my waking life.
I’ve developed much more sensitivity to what my brain and heart actually feel like when they are operating inside of me. Through the work, I’ve been learning to consciously control autonomic functions and can slow down my brain waves and heart rate at will through thought alone.
I feel like a Jedi discovering the Force for the first time.
I’m not sure where all this will lead. I’m not sure how weird I’ll eventually get.
But won’t it be interesting to see how deep the rabbit hole goes?
Feel free to ask me any followup questions here.
For more info on Dispenza, I’d highly recommend checking out his newest book.