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2023-07-20 13:29:04

Complete Guide To Meditation For Basketball (w_ Guided Meditation)

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So I'll start this off by saying something just as clearly and directly as I possibly can because I wish somebody had told me this back when I was playing .

But if you want to play at the highest levels of basketball and really find out how good you can actually be in this game , like , truly realize your potential as a basketball player , then you will treat meditation in the same way as you treat your skill workouts and your performance workouts , meaning it will be a mandatory fundamental part of your training approach .

And I'll illustrate this with a quick story actually about Jamal Murray .

So Jamal Murray , as the story goes , he , he of course played high school basketball in Canada at a prep school and he was being recruited by Kentucky where he eventually went to , to play college basketball .

So when he was being recruited by Kentucky , the scout comes from Kentucky flies all the way to Canada watches him play this game .

And after the game , as scouts always do , he walked up to Jamal to talk to him .

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Now before he could get there , Jamal's dad cuts in front of the scout and he goes , wait , wait , wait , I'm sorry .

But you've got to wait to , to speak with Jamal .

And the scout goes , well , why is everything ?

Ok , what's , what's going on ?

And his dad goes , oh , yeah , everything's fine .

But he has to meditate first .

And the scout looks over in the corner of the gym and there is high school level Jamal Murray sitting by himself meditating and as it turns out this is a practice that he had before and after every single workout practice and game that he did at that point in his career , I'm not sure if he's still doing it today .

I imagine he is .

But this is one of the , the critical reasons why he has become the player that he is today .

And if you ask him , that is exactly what he will say .

It is a fundament .

The practice of meditation is fundamental to his training and it has been fundamental for many of the greatest players of all time .

We all know Kobe used to start his days with meditation .

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Phil Jackson teams all meditated together in the film room before every film session that they would do lebron .

I read recently is now partnered with the Calm App and uh he uses that every single day .

And even in the documentary , The Last Dance , I want to share this with you .

II , I have wrote down this is one of my favorite quotes from the , the documentary , The Last Dance and you may have seen this .

So the Chicago Bulls reporter Mark Vansil who is close with Michael Jordan uh had this amazing quote .

He said most people struggle to be present , they do yoga , they meditate .

Most people live in fear because we project the past onto the future .

Michael is a mystic .

He's never anywhere else .

His gift was not that he could jump high , run fast or shoot a basketball .

His gift was that he was completely present .

That was the separator and Michael of course , was meditating with the Bulls .

My feeling is that he came by this naturally .

It was a natural gift for him .

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For most of us who are not Michael Jordan , that strength of presence comes from practice and the fundamental practice is meditation .

Every single thing that you do on the basketball court starts as an impulse in your mind and then comes through the body .

It does not start in the body , it starts in the mind and the clarity and the accuracy that your game has on the floor that your body has as you're playing is going to be directly determined by how clear , how stable and how accurate your mind is .

And the fundamental training for the mind for the entire deep game of basketball .

The part of basketball that is played with the mind , the fundamental training always has been and always will be meditation .

OK .

So in this talk , we are going to go over how to meditate the right way .

And I'm going to actually guide you through a meditation session .

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So you'll be able to put on your headphones , sit and be guided through an active meditation session that I'll walk you through .

I do want to tell you ahead of time that this is kind of like training wheels , ok ?

When you're learning how to ride a bike , training wheels are necessary and yet you can't take that thing off road and go on all the trails until you take those training wheels off .

And so my goal here is to give you a set of training wheels that you can go through your guided meditations and learn how to meditate before eventually graduating to unguided meditation .

Ok .

So with that in mind , I'll tell you , um I'll give you a , a really quick analogy .

Ok ?

And so back in 2013 , when I first started meditating , my approach was basically just to sit in a room and do nothing for 20 minutes a day , I had no training , no idea what I was supposed to do .

I hadn't really read any books .

I hadn't been taught by a teacher or anything like that .

I just knew that I should probably meditate .

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And so I started sitting in this room for 20 minutes a day .

Usually my mind was wandering , going off all over the place and that is how I started .

But I committed , I said I am absolutely no matter what , going to sit in place and do nothing for 20 minutes a day that has progressed over the last I suppose , eight years or so now that has progressed to uh basically a world of meditation that I never could have imagined before .

And my practice is , you know , increased over time to in some cases hours per day , working with multiple master level teachers going on retreats where we meditate for literally a week at a time .

Like we , we don't come out of the practice of meditation .

We sit in meditation and then we eat in meditation , we go off to sleep and meditation for a week or more at a time .

And so it has been the core fundamental , most important thing that I do in my life .

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And the analogy that I'll offer you is back before I started meditation .

It was kind of like I was seeing the world in black and white and I hadn't even , I didn't even know what color was .

And as I progressed through meditation , I started to see the world in color once again .

And how can you my myself today could never describe what color looks like to myself .

Eight years ago , it's like , how do you describe the color red to somebody that's never seen it ?

You can't .

And as I progress through meditation , the color that I see the world with is so much more vibrant and alive than it was before .

And So developing the skill of meditation is kind of like developing the ability to see the world in living color .

And we don't even realize that we're only seeing it in black and white until that color finally comes to life .

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And so it really is that fundamental if you have struggled with um really basic things like overthinking on the basketball court , doubting yourself , uh maybe surges of emotion that spin you out of the game , not uh you know , caring what happens , what , what other people think of you thinking about what your coach and teammates might be thinking of you worrying about something that may happen in the future .

Uh you know , being hung up on something that's happened in the past , all of these things are cured by the practice of meditation and it's like building this uh ninja skill or this set of like armor that you're wearing all the time where things can't quite get to you .

Nothing sticks to you .

You're just poised and stable and present and confident and like in the moment here and now , so that you have all of your faculties and the full strength of your ability can come through at all times .

It is the ultimate weapon and that is what I'd like to pass along to you today .

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So the reason that most players don't meditate in my , uh in my experience anyway , working with a lot of players is simply that they don't know how and I know like you're a serious enough player .

I know that if you knew how and you had a , a , a practice that you could follow , you would do it .

I know you would just like you would do your skill workouts and your performance workouts .

I know you would meditate and yet , um most players don't , most serious players don't because they simply don't know how .

So the fundamental like approach to meditation that the bare bones uh thing that , that we're always , always doing in meditation is number one , we , well , let , let's start here .

Number one , we sit down and I , I recommend sitting versus laying down .

Um So you sit in a comfortable position and you sit as tall as possible while also being as relaxed as possible .

And you almost want to imagine that you're giving , relaxing all of your weight into the ground , right ?

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Like relaxing everything as to as fully as possible while also uh elongating and sitting tall .

And so it's a , it's almost like you're being lengthened , your body is being lengthened .

You want to sit ideally without your back , resting against a cushion or anything like that .

You don't want any back support .

You just want to be um finding a position where you can sit tall and strong um in a relaxed way .

So once you find this position , you can close your eyes and we simply pick something to focus on , that's it .

So pick something to focus on .

I'll use the analogy of the breath for now .

Um So let's say we're focusing on our breath and again , it can be anything , it could be like a visualization or it could be a body sensation or it could be sound .

Even one of our professional players uses sound a lot to , to as his object of focus in his meditations and he meditates sometimes up to 90 minutes a day .

And so it could be anything you want .

But for now , we're gonna pick the breath because it's , it's the easiest and uh the simplest way to focus .

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So we pick something to focus on .

And let's say we're just focused on the feeling of our belly rising and falling as we breathe .

So all we do is simply with our eyes closed , sitting tall and sitting relaxed .

We focus on that sensation of our , our belly rising and falling .

Inevitably , thoughts will come up and thoughts will pull you out of that focus and you will at some point a moment or a minute or an hour later realize that , oh wait , I'm not focused anymore .

As soon as you realize that you're not focused , you gently and and calmly and uh without judgment without beating yourself up because that that's gonna spin you further off out of focus .

You just gently bring yourself back into focus .

Now , this act of noticing that you're unfocused and bringing yourself back is like , um I say , I use this analogy in the master class is like the bicep curl for your brain .

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You get a little stronger each and every time and your focus gets a little sharper , um , a little bit more , uh a little bit clearer and a little bit stronger each time you just bring your focus back .

So that's the essential process .

We pick something to focus on .

We notice when we're not focused on it and we bring our focus back .

That's the base level instruction .

OK ?

And there's more that we'll go into as we get into the guided practice .

But for now , all you need to do is pick something to focus on , let's say your belly rising and falling as you breathe and you focus on it and when you're not focused on it , you bring it back , that's it .

And our , um our goal is that we relax as much as possible into this focus .

And what you'll find once you uh begin meditating is that these moments , these pockets of clarity open up , OK ?

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And as your focus rests on one single lo location , again , your belly rising and falling , for example , as your focus rests on this location , you will come to relax in this open space where there's not much thought happening .

There's , there's really nothing but your belly rising and falling .

And you may , if you have played in the zone before on the basketball court , you may recognize this inner state as the zone .

That's all the zone is .

There's nothing before or after .

There is only what is happening right now .

And um it is this often considered like a mystical state that you have to get lucky and fall into .

Well , no , through the process of meditation , we actually train ourselves to be in this state at will and to trigger it at will when we step on the basketball court .

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And ultimately , at the advanced levels , master level meditators live in this state and they live in states that are far , far beyond what most athletes would consider the zone .

It's like way beyond even that .

Ok .

So the zone is not some mystical state that you have to get lucky and fall into .

No , like we are training our ability to activate it at will .

So this is the basic instruction .

Once again , you sit with your eyes closed , no back support , sitting tall , sitting in a relaxed way , kind of as though your body's elongated .

You uh close your eyes and focus on um your object of focus and we're gonna use the belly rising and falling for now .

And then you just notice when you're falling out of focus and you bring it back and you just do this over and over and my instruction for you .

Um , we've given uh different different minimums for the amount of time per day that players should do this for .

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I'm gonna give you the minimum of 20 minutes a day , 20 minutes a day is probably , um , you know , with beginner level players , we've said , you know , just do 10 minutes and then build up from that , from that being that you're a serious player .

I'm gonna give you the minimum of 20 minutes per day .

Find a time throughout the day .

It doesn't matter what time you do it as long as it's a time that you're alert and a time that you can stick to .

So , for Jamal Murray doing before and after every practice workout game , that's a ritual that he can stick to .

It's very predictable .

Like he knows he's gonna be at the gym .

Ok .

You meditate , do your workout practice game and then meditate after , find that rhythm for yourself .

For me , my daily practice is that I'll wake up , um , quite early and then I'll , like , have a cup of coffee , whatever , work for about an hour .

So I'm , I'm , like , woken up and then I'll take a shower .

Um , I , I'll end the shower with cold or I'll just do a fully cold shower and then I'll practice and that has been my ritual and then I'll go back to work after that .

Um , whatever works for you is totally fine .

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As long as you do it each and every day and try to do it at the same time each day .

All right .

So , uh , once again , I'm just gonna reiterate for , uh , those who are going to ask this question .

Of course , the guided meditation that we're about to get into is the training wheels .

And if you join the Deep Game program for eight weeks , we do uh some pretty advanced guided meditations actually , that can take you into some , some really , really spectacular states of mind .

But again , they are just training wheels .

And so for eight weeks during the program , we actually have a different meditation that's tailored for each one of the eight laws and will progress into uh ultimately graduating into unguided meditation with a lot of skill and our players uh really graduate in a strong way .

And so if you are a part of the Deep Game program , of course , just follow the eight weeks and then graduate into unguided meditation .

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If you're not a part of the program , I'm gonna recommend that you do this , this guided meditation for about 14 days .

OK ?

And you can use it for a little bit longer if you'd like to , I would say 14 days every day .

And once you are finished , you can just , you know , take out the headphones , stop using the guided process and just follow the process as we've been doing it .

All right .

So with all of that in mind , find a place to sit , get some headphones on it is better if you use headphones by the way .

And uh nothing else that you need to do , just listen to my voice and we will get into the guided meditation now .

OK , welcome .

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So as you're sitting with your eyes closed in a comfortable position , just allow your weight , the weight of your body , the tension of the day to sink into your seat can rest the full weight of your body in this sitting position and stretch up and settle in making sure you're sitting tall , sitting strong , sitting as relaxed as you can .

Now , with your eyes closed , we're gonna take our awareness and just see if there's any tension in your head and in your face that can be released .

Now , this tension doesn't need to be there .

There's no more work that we need to do today .

And so if there's any tension in your scalp or forehead or around your eyes , just let that soften and fall away .

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Now and in any tension in your jaw , let that soften .

Now in your neck , the muscles of your neck that work so hard , let them rest and relax .

You may notice that thoughts come up as they inevitably do and just understand that there's nothing you need to do about them .

Just like our eyes .

See , we can't stop our eyes from seeing , we don't stop our mind from thinking .

We just put our attention somewhere else .

We let those thoughts run in the background .

So there's no effort that you need to put forth .

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Just let your mind do what it'll do in the background as we continue to relax , sitting tall , we're gonna move down to the muscles of the chest and back , allowing them to soften and relax a little bit more .

If there's any tension in your shoulders , let that fall away and drop .

You may feel your arms , relax your elbows , your forearms , your wrists , your hands in particular often hold a lot of attention .

So we're just gonna soften and relax the hands now and now I'd like you to go back up to your eyes very briefly and just see if any tension has come back to the eyes soften that now relax .

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Our eyes hold a lot of attention and we want to release that moving down to the belly .

If there's any tension in the belly , you can let that fall away .

Now , there's no need to hold any tension during this meditation and your hips , your sit bones allowing them to soften , relax as you drop a little bit deeper into your seat , continuing to sit tall in good posture and as relaxed as possible , we're gonna move down to the legs , allowing your legs to relax .

Finally , your knees , your calves , your ankles , your feet , especially that work so hard .

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They can finally just rest all the muscles in the feet that work so hard for you can finally let go .

And now as we begin , just do a quick scan of your body from head to toe as we just did .

And if there's any tension that's still there , just let that fall away , let that relax as you continue sitting tall , sitting strong , sitting , relaxed , allowing your weight to sink deeper into your seat .

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And you may notice as well that thoughts come up as they always do , but you have the ability just to shift away from those thoughts and focus back again on relaxing as the thoughts run in the background .

That is your power of awareness .

And so with your awareness , let's drop down into the belly and just notice the belly rising and falling .

You don't need to breathe in any particular way , but just notice how you're breathing as you breathe , relaxed and gentle down into the belly .

How is the belly expanding and then releasing ?

You don't need to change it at all .

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Just notice it as the breath comes in , the belly expands , breath goes out , belly relaxes .

And now see if you can just , just very slightly , just soften your breath , make it a little bit more gentle , a little bit deeper but softer .

And as you soften your breath , feel your belly relaxing , just a little bit more breath comes in and belly expands .

Breath goes out , belly relaxes .

And you may even notice that the rest of your body relaxes your mind relaxes as you breathe in a relaxed way .

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As always if thoughts come up , you just let them be , let them run in the background and bring your awareness back to your belly breath coming in belly expanding breath .

Going out , belly relaxing , body , relaxing , mind relaxing .

Continuing to sit tall with good posture , sitting , relaxed , giving all of your weight to your seat sinking , relaxing , breathing in , softly , breathing out softly .

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And as you continue breathing in this way , see if you can just relax a little bit more each time you breathe out as though you're breathing out any lingering tension that's still in your body and your mind in your muscles just breathe that away .

You don't need it any longer .

There's no other work that you need to do .

There's no tension , you need to hold , breathing in expanding , breathing out , relaxing , relaxing a little bit more each time you excel .

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And as you continue breathing , relaxing , sitting tall , I'd like to give you a moment just to practice this on your own practice , just breathing into the belly and relaxing , practice , feeling the belly expand and relax and also practice just as importantly , noticing when thoughts come up and when you get pulled off into thought and take that opportunity to strengthen your focus , to bring your awareness back down into the belly .

So I'll give you just a few moments to do this to practice on your own breathing in belly expanding , breathing out belly relaxing , body , relaxing , mind relaxing .

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And when I come back , we'll guide ourselves gently out of the meditation .

But first we're going to practice .

So I'll allow you to begin now .

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Ok .

Well done .

So , continuing to sit with your eyes closed in a relaxed way , continuing to breathe softly , gently into the belly feeling it expand and release .

I'd like you to just do a quick scan once more from the top of your head , your forehead , your eyes , your jaw , see if any tension has popped up and release that .

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And so you'll notice again that the more you relax , the more energy you have available to you to use .

And as we sit with our eyes closed , fully relaxed , continuing to breathe softly gently like you to do your best to just take this state of relaxation , this state of stillness of calmness of openness into your life .

And so in a few moments when your eyes open again , see if you can just approach the world in this way for as long as you can .

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And this is the practice of bringing meditation into life , which is the point .

So once more , sitting tall , sitting , relaxed , sitting open , whenever you're ready , I'd like you to gently open your eyes .

There's no rush at all .

Take your time , gently open your eyes and come back to the talk .

OK .

Well done .

So that was our first guided meditation session .

And my hope for you is that you do this guided meditation every day for the next several weeks before graduating , ultimately to unguided meditation .

And when you graduate to unguided meditation , all you do is follow that same formula each time .

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So you can uh you know , a few weeks from now when you can take the headphones out and sit again in a good tall posture , relaxed in your seat and start with your eyes closed just by scanning your body head to toe , releasing any tension uh all the way down the body and then resting your focus in your belly , feeling it rise and fall and relax just as we just did .

And as thoughts inevitably come up , you bring your focus back onto the belly .

And when it's time to end the meditation , you end it by once again scanning your body head to toe , letting any tension fall away and then opening your eyes and bringing that state of meditation into your daily life , which is really the key .

We want not to get good at meditation , but we want to get um more skillful in our daily life through meditation .

And that happens once you carry that state into your life and over time , you will notice that you start sinking into this state almost automatically when you play the game of basketball .

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And it will open up parts of your game that you just didn't have access to before .

It's like this master key that unlocks the hidden potentials that are inside your game .

And it's such a magical process to watch .

And as a coach , it's like there is nothing more enjoyable than seeing players open up in that way and seeing these like skills that weren't there before , just come to life often without any extra training at all , except for the meditation .

And so I'm so glad I could share this with you .

And I'd also like to give you a couple of recommendations first off .

Ok .

So uh I have two books for you or rather one book and an audio book if you'd like to take this further .

And um I also have one other recommendation .

So the first recommendation which is completely free is that you go to deep game dot com or click the link around this video to take the master class and take it again .

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Actually , if you've already taken it because you are going to see all eight laws in a new way , you'll notice that the eight laws of the deep game have been engineered to bring you into this state more effortlessly and more consistently .

Um , each time that you use them , and so when you play the game of basketball , using the eight laws , you will more naturally and more effortlessly sink into this meditative state , this state that , uh , is so often called the zone , uh , just so much more easily .

OK .

So go to deep game dot com and take the master class .

Take it again if you already have because you're gonna see the these eight laws in a brand new way .

And finally , I'd like to give you those book recommendations .

So the first one is actually personally my favorite book on meditation that I've ever read .

And uh I've read it a few times now .

It's called The Posture of Meditation by Will Johnson .

It's a really quick read .

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And uh as you can see , it's quite thin , this book , uh as you go through this book , you will realize that the posture that you sit in meditation in uh just the basic sitting posture has um a a greater effect on your success as a meditator and the depth of your meditation practice than almost any other variable .

So the posture in itself is maybe the most important part interestingly enough .

And this book is just um a beautiful , beautiful instruction on the correct posture for meditation .

So this is a really quick one you can get through it .

Uh quite fast again , it's quite thin .

And uh I , I can't recommend this strongly enough the posture of meditation by Will Johnson .

The second one is uh a personal teacher of mine .

Actually , this is called The Science of Enlightenment by Shin Zhe Young and Shin Zhen .

I've done multiple retreats with him , worked with him in person .

He is a genuine master level teacher .

OK ?

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And I , I say master , meaning he's , he's a real actual living master .

OK .

So it's , it's an honor to learn from him .

And I , I know I'm holding the physical book here .

I'm actually gonna recommend that instead of the physical book , you get the audio book because it includes a lot of guided practice that uh will take you even deeper than the guided practice that we just did .

And it's also um there's something about the like the energy of the transmission that he's giving through that audio book that is really , really , really powerful .

So get the audio book version .

Uh you , you can read this if you'd like but make sure that you do the audio no matter what .

OK .

So those two books or the book and the audio book , I'm gonna recommend that you , you pick up and you study .

And in addition to that , if you want to take this much further in a , a very , very basketball specific way , then there really is no better place to do it than the complete deep game program .

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And in the complete deep game program , what we do much like what we just did here with this guided practice is I've designed eight guided practices that you'll do over the course of eight weeks that build upon each other and focus specifically on unlocking each one of the eight laws , one by one .

And then graduating you in a really , really powerful way to unguided meditation on your own .

And this , the these guided practices go um significantly actually beyond what we just did .

And we do a whole bunch more kind of advanced mental tricks and uh mental gymnastics and visualizations .

And um we actually call them audio workouts because they're much more like workouts than they are meditations .

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Um When you join and you start to go through these , these guided sessions in deep game , you'll find yourself getting into these spectacular states of mind that you probably almost definitely have never experienced before and these states will be with you as you play .

So , um I , I would love to work with you inside that full program .

I know it's not for everybody .

It is quite advanced .

And um if it's not for you or if you just don't have the resources to join right now , that is totally , totally fine .

The free master class will help you out a ton and then this guided session that we just did , you can do that each and every day until you graduate to unguided meditation .

So I hope those resources help you take this further meditation .

Really for me personally .

And for so many of our top players has been this like magical key to unlocking parts of self , parts of our game parts of life that we never had access to before .

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Like I said , it's , it's like going from seeing the world in black and white to seeing it in vibrant living color .

And they um it's just such an honor to be able to do this practice every day and to go deeper into this practice , which has been around for thousands of years and passed down from generation to generation to generation , from master to student , to master , to student for human history actually .

And it's just such a beautiful thing to be a part of .

And so um I'm so glad truly when I , when I say this , I mean , it , it , it is an honor to pass this on to you and I hope it serves you so so well throughout your life .

So I hope that helped you and I will see you in the next one .


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