Speaker 1: Welcome to the Gladden Longevity podcast with Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, M.D. FACC, founder and CEO of Gladden Longevity. On this show, we want to answer three questions for you. How good can we be? How do we make 100 the new 30? And how do we live well beyond 120? We want to help you optimize your longevity, health and human performance with impactful and actionable information. Now, here's today's episode of the Gladden Longevity Podcast.
The Gladden Longevity Podcast is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All we seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The use of any information and materials linked to this podcast is at the listener's own risk.
Jeffrey Gladden: Hi everybody. I'm delighted to let you know that I'm going to be having a conversation with Jason Campbell today on the podcast. He's a seventh degree black belt. He's practiced breath mastery for over three decades. But what's cool is he's also a musician and he's composed over a hundred albums. He's been number one on multiple Billboard and Amazon charts. He can be found on virtually any music app. His combination of breath work and music has basically been designed into Zen wellness, which is described as a journey of vibrant health, energy and mental clarity.
He's releasing his 40th album in 40 months today, as I understand it. And he also coaches entrepreneurs in masterminds and he's been an integral part of many startups in terms of getting the energy right for them. I think you're going to love this conversation with Jason. It goes a lot of different directions. You're going to find that he's not only centered, but constantly pushing himself at the same time. And will even do some breath work in the course of the conversation. Enjoy this one.
Welcome everybody to this edition of the Gladden Longevity Podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Jeffrey Gladden. And I'm joined today by Jason Campbell. Jason, it's such a pleasure to have you here. I think we first bumped into each other at a consumer health summit conference in May of this year, if I'm not mistaken.
Jason Campbell: Yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: But I'd heard things about you previously. And so, it's really a pleasure to have you on the show. Welcome.
Jason Campbell: Well, thank you so much for having me.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. We were just chatting for a few minutes before this show and I think the audience, I think, you're going to love this conversation because as you know, the life energy circle that we've created here is really kind of the ring that binds them all from the standpoint of longevity and health and performance. And Jason is really kind of a master of many things on the life energy circle. And so, I kind of wanted to bring him in to talk about some of these things. I had a chance to do kind of a, was it a Qi Gong, experience with you?
Jason Campbell: Yes. Yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. So, give us a little bit of a take on your sense of life, energy, and how you orchestrate that to optimize it for yourself and other people.
Jason Campbell: So, if we just go back to basics, I'm going to go a little Eastern here, there's a very old concept many thousands of years old, it's called the three treasures. And the words we use for the three treasures, I can even show if you're watching, I have a little picture here. It translates to mean Jing, Chi and Shen. And it's not important that anyone remembers those words, but let's remember the meaning. And it means that we're made up of matter, energy and consciousness.
And so, the analogy is H2O, so H2O shows up as a solid, a quid and a vapor. And the matter, the Jing, is everything we can see, touch and feel. That's the body. And most science or Western science is based on the Jing, the matter. But we have these two other components and one is the Chi and that's sometimes called Qi, Gee, Prana, bioelectrical energy. It also includes the breath. It also includes the emotions. And then, of course, we have what we call the Shen, which is the spirit. We can call it the mind. We can call it the connection to the divine. We can call it the eternal I am. It's a big category. So a lot of things fit into that. So, the oversimplification of that we're made up of three things matter, energy and consciousness. And ...
Jeffrey Gladden: I love that.
Jason Campbell: It's very easy to get all focused on the matter, which is everything you can see, touch and feel, however, I used to say this a lot and this is like a half joke because it's not real. So we'd say to our members, hey, I have two pills. One pill makes you healthy, but not happy. The other pill makes you happy, but not healthy. Which one do you want to take? And of course, I wish I actually had those pills. I don't have those pills so it's all ... And there's ...
Jeffrey Gladden: I'm actually glad you don't have those pills. It's our choice.
Jason Campbell: And of course there's all types of problems with this question. So just go with me on the concept of the question because it's much easier to be happy when you are healthy, but just in theory.
Well, you're usually going to be better off being happy because if you're healthy and unhappy, what's the point. Especially if you ask your spouse, which pill should you take here? She's going to say, take the happy pill.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, pretty sure.
Jason Campbell: As opposed to the healthy pill. And so, in addition to being strong and vibrant in your physical body, there is, I call it emotional mastery. And what emotional mastery doesn't mean is not having any emotions or not ever having upset or never being angry, never being sad or any of the darker emotions.
Well, no, that's impossible because, see, if you're always happy, then you're never happy. If everything is blue, nothing is blue. And what creates blue is contrast. So, what creates happiness is contrast. And you need a little bit of its opposite, whatever word we want to use for the opposite of happy. There's a lot of words we can use. And so, I was taught as a child, I say as a child, in my teen years, I was taught, I had a Daoist master and told me, he said, "It's not your shirt. It's the shirt you wear. It's not your car. It's the car you drive."
Now, obviously, this is not a legal viewpoint. Legal viewpoint, sure, it's my shirt. It's my house. It's my car. It's my stuff. But that was a spiritual viewpoint.
Jeffrey Gladden: I was just going to interrupt for a second. You know what I'm hearing here as I'm listening to you, is that the idea of what's matter is actually transcended by energy and spirit always.
Jason Campbell: Yes, yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: It's always transcended by energy and spirit. And therefore, even if the wheels are coming off the car, you can still have the energetic and the spirit of joy and opportunity and positivity, if you will. To your point, I think, in Western civilizations, we put so much emphasis on the concrete, whether it's a nice shirt or a nice car or a nice house or a nice whatever that we lose sight of the fact that it's the least important of the three because it's the energy and the consciousness that transforms everything.
I mean, a raggedy shirt can be the most beautiful thing on the planet, right. And I think that's kind of where you're going with this. But I was just sitting here kind of letting the wheels spin while we were chatting about that. It's pretty interesting.
Jason Campbell: Well, to your point that you just said, there's a great teaching that almost everybody has seen to that point. If you've ever seen the statue of the Fat Buddha, where he's lifting his arms in the air and he's smiling. There's a secret teaching in that statue. He's actually doing one of the Qi Gong movements. It's called double palms press the heavens. But he has a very deformed body. It's this big giant belly, some of them have one, two. What we wouldn't call a healthy body, but joy still shines through and God still shines through. So the teaching in that is you can have a deformed body, but the light can still shine through.
Jeffrey Gladden: Is that why Buddha is always depicted as being this very heavy set guy?
Jason Campbell: That's one of the reasons. I mean, the original Buddha was thin. He ate one meal a day and [inaudible 00:08:46].
Jeffrey Gladden: Okay, interesting. So he ate one meal meditated and was very thin. And yet all these images are of this more circulant person. So, close the loop for me on that. How do we get to that?
Jason Campbell: Well, Buddha just means awaken one. So there's many Buddhas. There's the original Buddha, the Indian prince, Sidharta. And he had the experience of going through extremes because he was raised as a prince with plenty of hedonism. So. he had every physical pleasure he wanted. This is the very short story of it. And at age, in his early 20s, he went the other extreme and denied the body of everything and just ate one grain of rice a day and went the other extreme.
Now, there's a cute little story. I wasn't there so I don't know if this happened, but it's a great little teaching. So, as he was meditating, he was by the river and a boat went by. And it was a musician teaching his students how to tune a guitar. And he said, "If you make the string too tight, it snaps. If it's too low, you don't get a sound. You have to find the middle." And he's sitting there meditating, "I get it. I have to find the middle."
Jeffrey Gladden: Right? And [inaudible 00:10:02] two extremes. Yeah.
Jason Campbell: Yeah. Again, I wasn't there but that's a nice little story.
Jeffrey Gladden: Exactly. So, I think for the audience as they think about meditation, sometimes that's a little bit of a foreign concept to them. It's a word that everybody's familiar with, but it's not necessarily an experience that everybody's had. And maybe you could describe, I won't use the word enlightened, but maybe you can describe a little bit about what meditation is and what it isn't. People might actually find that helpful on some level. Yeah.
Jason Campbell: Well, a very simple way of thinking of meditation. See, we have between 50,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day. And 98 or so percent of those thoughts are the same thoughts we had yesterday. So, what happens is we have this skipped record of just the repeating inner dialogue. Like for example, you're listening to this podcast now. There's a really good chance that you have a voice in the head commenting on our conversation and that's the voice in the head.
And the voice in the head is neither good, nor bad it is. It is what it is. But however, most of the thoughts we have, we don't need. They're excess thoughts. We already had them. And when you can create an off switch with the voice in the head, that's the first level of meditation. Now, I was taught that at a very young age. My age right now, I'm 52. And at age eight I was taught this, but we didn't use the word meditation. I didn't realize I was meditating for many years later.
My piano teacher said to me, she said, "Never ever listen to notes, idiots listen to notes." This was my first lesson, my first music lesson as a kid. And then she said, "Monsters listen to the space in between the notes. Because when you focus on a note, your mind gets cluttered and you hear nothing. When you listen to the space, the inner dialogue drops and then you hear everything." And as a child, we would just sit there and play one note. And we would listen to the note dissolve into nothingness and still listen to the nothingness. That was my entry point into meditation, came from deep listening.
Jeffrey Gladden: That's awesome. You know what's interesting about that? Just hearing you describe that I'm tracking with you on this and I'm a musician myself. I play the guitar. I don't know if you still play the piano or maybe something else. But anyway, that concept of listening into the silence, if you will, what's interesting is it becomes kind of this pluripotent, omnipotent space where almost anything can arise from, right?
There's a sense of limitless possibility in the silence. Whereas, the note is already committed to a particular vibration, right? And so, knowing that vibration, accepting that vibration, letting it fade away into the infinite possibility of what either is or will come next is kind of a spiritual experience, quite honestly. I mean, I can feel it right here in the conversation, right?
Jason Campbell: Yeah.
Jeffrey Gladden: It's kind of interesting.
Jason Campbell: Well, it's going to the place of no thing or the place of silence. There's the funny thing we called the Daoist riddle and the question is, what's the closest number to infinity? And then the answer is zero.
Jeffrey Gladden: Zero. Sure.
Jason Campbell: Because you have the extremes. And so, how do you go to a place of everything go to the place of nothing. And if we put this into music, so yes, I have over a hundred albums and I do a new Zen piano album the fourth Friday of every month. So I just had one come out a couple days ago. And ...
Jeffrey Gladden: Awesome.
Jason Campbell: ... part of the creativity and one of the reasons I can create and write the music, or I should say my little technique, is I go to the place of nothing, whereas complete silence. My mind is completely off. And then, I just wait. And I wait for a theme to arise. I wait for an idea to arise. And it always comes, now, it's not always good. Sometimes they're lousy ideas or they don't work. You have to discriminate what's good and not. But when you go to the place, the deep place of silence and stillness, it's really amazing. It's like you have access to everything by going into the place of nothing.
Jeffrey Gladden: So this is almost like a metaphor though. I mean, it works in music, but it seems like this would work in many, many, many, many areas of life, right? Is that ...
Jason Campbell: Yeah. It's a technique of creativity of stopping the mind. And I'll tell you another story I had when I was a teenager. I was deep into martial arts and that's actually where I learned a lot of the medicine because I had a ... I was fortunate. I had a martial arts teacher that said to me, "Look, an idiot can hurt somebody. Anybody can hurt. It takes seven pounds of pressure to break a knee. So anyone can do that. And yes, I'll teach you how to do that. But it's way harder to heal. So it takes a master to heal. A thug can hurt, a master it takes to heal." And that was later on in my training.
But in the very beginning, I said to him, I said, "What is Zen?" Then he looked at me and he side kicked me and I went flying across the dojo and I hit the wall and I just sat there dazed and he smiled and walked off. And it took me a little while to figure the teaching. But in that moment of me being flown through the dojo in pain because it was a hard sidekick, I experienced Zen. There was no past, there was no future, there was only now.
Jeffrey Gladden: There was only pain in the moment.
Jason Campbell: That's right. Zen could show up many ways.
Jeffrey Gladden: That's yeah. That's pretty cool. Very, very cool. Yeah. So, I'm really liking this. So you've really, really had a connection to Eastern teaching really your entire life is what it sounds like. Have you traveled and done things in other countries and all that sort of thing too, or?
Jason Campbell: Actually not very much. I found everything I needed and all the teachers and everything I needed, I was able to get in the US.
Jeffrey Gladden: Okay. And these masters are able to heal statement that you made is fascinating. Is it the fact that masters are able to heal others or they're able to heal themselves from the injuries that they incur or both?
Jason Campbell: Boy, that's a really good question. I mean, it really comes down to, I mean, ultimately, we're all responsible for healing our self. You get the wisdom and you gather it. I mean, for example, the work you're doing is amazing. Even the presentation that I saw that you did at CHS was just phenomenal. And so ultimately, I mean, it's a little bit of both. You heal yourself, but also, you have to take complete ownership of it.
So you can help somebody. You can guide somebody, you can give them all the guidance, but at the end of the day, you have to own it.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. That's interesting. Because in the life energy circle, we talk about love and self love and that's really an inside job, right. Only you can do that for yourself. There is no external way to do that. The same is true for safety. There's nothing outside of you that will ever make you feel safe. Safety has to come from within it's another inside job, so to speak. And what's reassuring about that is that everything we need is already there. It's already inside of us. And we're just distracted by the external. So it's kind of reassuring on one hand. It's not like you have to go accumulate a lot of stuff in order to get where you need to go. It's all right there.
Jason Campbell: Well, a lot of times it's almost removal. It's like the concept of addition and subtraction.
Jeffrey Gladden: Right.
Jason Campbell: You usually don't need more thoughts. It's usually less thoughts are going to get you to where you want to go or even just make you a little happier. It's very hard to think your way into happiness.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, absolutely. I find it's very hard to think your way into sleep also.
Jason Campbell: Yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: Right?
Jason Campbell: It's the same idea.
Jeffrey Gladden: It's like, if I just complete this thought, then I'll fall asleep. It doesn't work. You just have to let go of thinking completely, focus on your breath and then you'll fall asleep, right?
Jason Campbell: Yes. Yes. That's really right. And that also, when I say about emotional mastery, what we're saying before, it's like, this is not my shirt, it's the shirt I wear. It's not my car. It's the car I drive. You can also take that and you can say with an emotion. So let's use anger for an example, you can say, I am angry. But if you really think about that, what does that mean? Or what is anger? Anger is a vibration that runs through you. But no, you're not angry. You're a dollop of consciousness that's living in this big body that happens to have anger type energy running through you.
Now, we can kind of get ridiculous with the wording. But instead of saying, I am angry. If you say, I have anger energy running through me, there's now a little bit of space between you and the emotion and you don't identify with the emotion and then you actually feel it fuller. And it runs its course. It's like a stormy cloud. It can come and it can go and you don't hold onto it. If you think I'm so angry, I'm so angry. You're holding on to that emotion much more and identifying with it.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. You don't become the victim of it, right? You're not riding the bull. You're seeing the bull bucking, but you're not riding the bull. There's a bull bucking, but I'm not on it, right? And so, yeah, it's a really interesting separation, right? All of a sudden, then the bull becomes manageable whereas if you're riding the bucking bull that you don't know how to ride, it's an unmanageable kind of scenario. I think these ways of looking at things, the way we frame things, the way we understand things, it's virtually everything. And I think so much of our pain and strife and suffering comes from the way that we're looking at stuff. So it seems to me that in your world, you've figured out ways to reframe things and relook at things.
You can articulate them extremely well, but also then you experience them differently in your own practices and things like that. Have you noticed that there have been periods of your life where that wasn't as true and where it is as true and your life is really different in those two eras of your life, so to speak, whether it's health or relationships or productivity or anything like that? Can you speak to that?
Jason Campbell: Well, that's a really good question. I mean, I started this whole process at a very young age and I started the music and the meditation at a very young age. And I think when I was in music school at age 19, I figured out that it was all the same. I thought, oh wow, all the sound and vibration of sound and all of these disciplines and these Eastern disciplines, it ties in beautifully together. The ancient character for medicine or the Chinese character was a combination of herbs and music you put together and that was the medicine.
Because when you get into sound, it's a funny thing, and I really like this, because this is musician to musician here. It's the human ear, we go in Eastern medicine, the ear is connected to the kidneys. The kidneys are the batteries of the body in, again, Eastern medicine, we call that the water element. And the ears are the first sense that's developed in the womb. So the first thing we hear is mom's heartbeat in the womb. We start with a rhythm in a rhythm of the heartbeat ...
Jeffrey Gladden: Right. We do. We develop in a musical environment. Yeah.
Jason Campbell: Yeah. And if you take a hundred people and you say, hey, has music ever given you chills? The answer is yes for most people. But it's a different song. It's a different time. There's no one way to get chills through the vibration of music because the ear picks up anywhere between like 20 Hertz and 20,000 Hertz. And Herz just means vibration. So, if I vibrate my hand ...
Jeffrey Gladden: Faster or slower. Yeah.
Jason Campbell: Like a guitar string, 264 times per second, you're getting a C and we're big bags of energy. So, somehow that energy vibrates with us and it can heal us. It can actually make us angry. Some music, it can do all types of things with that range. Now here's the interesting thing. I remember as a kid, we would ask the question and at one point this was profound. Now, the answer's kind of obvious is when a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear the tree, does it make a sound? And the answer is, of course, no, it makes a wave. It only makes a sound if there is a person or a surrogate, like a recording machine, something, to turn the wave actually into a sound because it moves air if a tree falls in the forest. But it doesn't actually turn into a sound.
A lot of the music that I write is a translation of some of the, let's say the principles, the Eastern principles. It's very Daoist and Thetic. And I take those principles and then I translate them into sound and into music.
Jeffrey Gladden: So when it comes to your own health, are you utilizing music as a therapeutic as well as meditation? Do you have anything like, I feel myself coming down with a cold. I know that I'm going to be listening to that or doing this or thinking this or meditating about this. Do you have things like that or are you, at that point, do you jump into Chinese herbs or certain things? Like if I feel myself coming down with something, I have things I take and the next morning I wake up feeling fine. I'm not relying on music or meditation in that sense, it's more of a biochemical approach. But I'm wondering if you do a similar thing or if you're actually branching out into these other energetics.
Jason Campbell: Well, I think ultimately the answer is all the above. I wish there was one pill, potion or lotion that fixes everything. So yes, the herbs absolutely, the biochemistry of course. But if we go back to what we spoke about earlier, Jing, Chi, Shen, we can think of this as breath, movement, intention. So the breath is the Chi. And then, of course, there's movement. You got to pump life and pump energy and move the body. Stagnation is not our friend. Inflammation is not our friend, especially after 40. And then, the mind making the mind very still.
But what I find in our programs, it's always easiest to start with the breath. And sometimes it's hard to start with meditation, especially if, as an entrepreneur, or if you have a lot of thoughts, because you sit there and you meditate, okay, I'm not supposed to thinking or think. And then sometimes it becomes stressful for the beginner. Oh, I could be doing things. What am I doing right now? Almost the mind gets worked up so it's opposite. And so what we find ...
Jeffrey Gladden: What's a good point?
Jason Campbell: If we start with the breath and focus mind intent on the breath, and some of the breath is pretty intense. We have breath exercises where you really feel it. I mean, you go deeply into the now because you're holding the exhalation or holding the inhalation or pumping oxygen into it where you really have to focus and concentrate. And that will still the mind more than just trying to sit ...
Jeffrey Gladden: Still the mind.
Jason Campbell: ... any intensity. Yeah.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. I remember you did something at CHS, I think, where it was seven minutes long or something like that. And you ...
Jason Campbell: Yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: ... basically walked us through some things. Is that possible to recapture on a podcast where we could actually do that or a piece of that?
Jason Campbell: Absolutely that we ...
Jeffrey Gladden: There's a musical element to it. I'd like for the audience, I'd like for you guys to experience this because we're talking about some things that really have to be experienced to be understood. So maybe if Jason, and this is just off the cuff here, he had no fore knowledge that I was going to ask this. But it just dawned on me that you guys might get a lot more out of this if you could actually experience what he's talking about, so.
Jason Campbell: Do I have the ability to share audio and pump it into the podcast?
Jeffrey Gladden: Can you use your microphone and play music and let the microphone pick it up?
Jason Campbell: It usually doesn't come out very well. So, I'll do it without it.
Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Jason Campbell: Usually, it sounds like it's underwater when we do that. So, here, just very simple. We'll just do a couple simple breathing exercises. Now, the first thing that we're going to do all in and out through the nose, let's not use the mouth and picture a balloon in the bottom third of your stomach. So when you inhale, the balloon expands, the stomach pushes out. And then, when you exhale the balloon contracts.
So let's just try that a few times. So we breathe in and then exhale through the nose. Simple enough. Let's do it again. Inhale and exhale. And one more, inhale and exhale. Okay. Now, we're going to add to this. So we breathe in about four seconds and then we're going to hold your breath for four seconds and then exhale. Now, here's the magic. Hold the exhalation for four seconds. Let's try it again. So breathe in. Now, when you hold your lower abdomen is a little tight. You squeeze it in while keeping the shoulders relaxed and then slowly exhale. Now squeeze your lower abdomen so there's no oxygen in it. And if you really want to breathe in right now, that's okay. See if you can resist.
We'll do a couple more, just breathe in and then hold. And the mastery here is your lower abdomen is tight, your face is relaxed, shoulders are relaxed, but the mind what we spoke about earlier, the Shen, put it right in your lower abdomen. See if you can hold it there and then exhale. And then hold your mind. Don't breathe in yet. Hold it in your lower abdomen. Let's do eight more seconds, 7, 6, 5 shoulders are relaxed, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Then, take a deep breath in and exhale. Now, that was a very short sample.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no, that was great. Certainly all of your attention ends up going on to your breathing, right? That's kind of the beauty of breathing, I think, is that it does pull you away from the other random thoughts that are shooting around in your head. Particularly when you're holding your breath on the exhale for what feels like an extended period, right, so yeah. Very, very cool. Do you have instructional courses on this that you do?
Jason Campbell: Yeah.
Jeffrey Gladden: Okay.
Jason Campbell: Yeah. We have different groups. I have an entrepreneur only group that was the one you came into and joined. We have all types of stuff. We're actually in the process right now we're building a new retreat center out in the mountains in Arizona. You're going to have to come join us next time you're in town.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. Didn't you buy a town or something out there?
Jason Campbell: We did. We did. We purchased a town.
Jeffrey Gladden: A ghost ...
Jason Campbell: Yeah.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. Cool.
Jason Campbell: That was a fun project. I'll tell you something interesting about that. So, as the sheriff of the town, you have the badge, the five points in the badge, the star, and everyone knows that. And traditionally, a sheriff is the protector of persons and property, which we would call Jing, that's the matter. Usually, you don't call the sheriff when you have an emotional, to help you with your emotions or to help you with your spirit. However, true self defense has to defend against all three. If only we could take a firearm and shoot away unhealthy emotions.
But most of what we're defending against is germs, stress disease, far more than a bad guy coming out and trying to attack you. So we're really upgrading. It's a different kind of town, a different kind of sheriff. And so, on one side of the badge is of course the Western badge. But then, if you flip it over, it's the five elements on the other side with the five points. And when I say five elements, we call it wood, fire, earth, metal, water, but it's not literal wood, literal fire. It's just a metaphor for the repeating pattern of five that we find everywhere in nature.
Jeffrey Gladden: Very cool. And so then basically, the sheriff, is the sheriff in that context being tasked with taking care rather of people's energetic and their consciousness as well?
Jason Campbell: Yeah. We're developing that. It's still pretty new what we're doing in the town, it's Cleator, Arizona.It kind of ties in as like a metaphor. There's a website, what's your cleator.com and it's a metaphor for something that is outside your comfort zone and taking on something like us buying a town is, I don't know what I'm doing. I have no idea how to run a town. I'm making this up as I go along.
Jeffrey Gladden: Right. How do you spell cleator? I want to look it up.
Jason Campbell: Yeah. C-L-E-A-T-O-R. And you can Google the town. It's a well known town. It was a mining town around the turn of the century.
Jeffrey Gladden: Interesting. Interesting. So, what are the biggest challenges for you at this point in time in your life? Because I know that entrepreneurs are always facing challenges. The audience is always facing challenges. Do you have challenges or do you feel like you've kind of mastered everything to where it's good? I understand the idea of putting yourself out of your comfort zone, but there's also ways to feel comfortable being out of your comfort zone if you know what I mean and actually ...
Jason Campbell: Comfortably uncomfortable.
Jeffrey Gladden: That's right. And there's actually a certain joy in that, right?
Jason Campbell: Yeah.
Jeffrey Gladden: We kind of do that with a roller coaster or something like that. What are the challenges for you at this point?
Jason Campbell: That's a good question because we have a lot of entrepreneurial projects that we're doing because I find them fun. I mean, we're developing the town. We have a 400 acre ranch as a retreat center that we're developing right now. I'm building a new music studio out by the lake and it's a house. So we have many projects. I have all the music, the albums that we're doing, I'm the music director of a VR company. We have a first breathwork course in virtual reality coming out in the next few and involved in a bunch of different apps. I write sleep music for a bunch of companies. So we have a lot of different projects.
And so, I like to take on challenges and something that's interesting, or especially even musically or something that hasn't been done before or something that's going to force me to stretch and force me to grow. And I take joy in that. So I take joy in that and it can be uncomfortable, like pushing the edge because as we all know, things don't go as planned things may rarely go as planned. But what fund would that be if everything did go exactly as planned? As an entrepreneur, that's part of the journey.
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah. So this is a really interesting point that you bring up because I think a lot of people have a preconception that life is good when life is easy and when there aren't challenges. When things go as planned, according to how they should go, right. And there's a certain amount of distress potentially that comes up when there's a hiccup or this didn't get done right or that or the other thing. And I think, to me, that kind of a mental construct is kind of very rigid, if you will. And it seems to me that one of the most important things we can develop is a sense of adaptability, being able to adapt and change. And so, in your approach, what I'm hearing is, yes, I have a sense of who I am energetically, spiritually. I feel connected to that. But now I like to go out and I like to test that against these projects, right?
And I like to throw it out there to see what's going to happen. It's almost like taking on a new opponent if you are a martial artist to see what new things will I learn in dealing with this series of whatever? And I think that's really inspiring because I think some people have the idea that if you come to a place of being kind of spiritually centered and enlightened and everything, then you're going to sit under a tree with your hands kind of pushed together and that's it. You're just going to sit there for the rest of your life. So I think nothing could be further from the truth. It almost gives you an energetic and a skill set to actually now want to test out on as many different situations as you can. That's almost what I'm hearing is that ...
Jason Campbell: Well, anyone can be a Zen master when all the conditions are perfect and everything goes your way. It's when things don't go your way is when your plans just completely fall apart. And nothing is working the way that you want to be, well that's when you really get tested. Years ago I had a teacher, an old Daoist master, the flowing hair, the robe, the sword in the back say to me, he said, "Jason, don't worry about being at one with the universe right now, you have death in all eternity to be at one with the universe, enjoy your separateness."
The other thing that you said is that, okay, so I hear people say, okay, when they come to us, I want to be more centered. And okay. What does that really mean? Well, being pulled off center creates the center. If you're never pulled off center, there is no center. And so the only way to be centered is to get pulled off of it forward, backward, left, right however that is. So you have to love in one way being pulled off center, and it's not, if you're going to be pulled off center, it's how quickly can you recover when you're pulled off center?
Jeffrey Gladden: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And then how many situations can you put yourself into and remain centered that would've pulled you off previously, right? There's a sense of mastery there too.
Jason Campbell: Yes.
Jeffrey Gladden: In terms of navigating, yeah, what would've been difficult, right? You see this all the time in athletics in a way, right? Like you see a great snowboarder or a great skater or something like that, where it's like, it doesn't matter what's happening. They're always centered on the board or a great skier, they are always right over their skis. They never get thrown out of sync with it, no matter what they're kind of encountering. Even if they fall, they just bounce right back up into the perfect position.
So just to give people an idea of what you're going for here in this whole sort of spiritual journey of becoming aligned is to get pushed off so you can learn how to be in more situations and not get pushed off. And that leads to sort of this flow state. And then, you can take on bigger challenges where you do get pushed off. But it's really important, I think, to have both those things so that there's growth occurring. That's kind of what I'm feeling as I lean into this conversation with you. Yeah.
Jason Campbell: It's the muscle. It is the muscle.
Jeffrey Gladden: It's the muscle.
Jason Campbell: And so, there's an old saying that the obstacles to the path create the path because if there's no obstacles, there's no path. So you make the obstacles your best friend, even if you don't like them, you're still your best friend.
Jeffrey Gladden: Well, actually you start to like them because you realize that they represent opportunity. They're really not there to hinder you. They're actually there to enhance you. And I think if you go through life that way, your stress levels go down dramatically, which ultimately is good for your health, so.
Jason Campbell: And we could even take that a step further, because we'll say, okay, you have germs. Let's just say, germs and disease, all types of disease, trying to penetrate you, trying to get into your system. And so we can first say, oh, germs and disease are bad and I'm good. Okay. That's one viewpoint. But then if we look at it, we say, okay, germs and disease, you exist. I exist. We all exist from universal viewpoint. And you trying to get inside of me forces me to have an immune system. The fact that I have an immune system makes me exist. So, in a funny spiritual sort of way you, disease germs, make me exist.
So in that way, then the word I like to use is peaceful coexistence. So you can exist. I can exist. But you can't exist in here. Oh no, there's no vacancy. That's why we want a good immune system. We call it the way to field. So it is like your border patrol here. You got to keep them out, but there's not a war. That's not a war on disease. It peacefully coexists. You just exist over there. And I exist over here and we actually can be best friends.