Dr. Fleet Maull about his early days as a spiritual seeker who lived a compartmentalized life—which included meditation and mindfulness, but also substance abuse and drug trafficking. This led him to eventually serving a 14 ½ year prison sentence. Dr. Maull discusses how prison was the wake up call he needed, and he realized his mindfulness practice was missing an ethical component.
Dr. Fleet Maull speaks about his early days as a spiritual seeker who lived a compartmentalized life—which included meditation and mindfulness, but also substance abuse and drug trafficking. This led him to eventually serving a 14 ½ year prison sentence. Dr. Maull discusses how prison was the wake up call he needed, and he realized his mindfulness practice was missing an ethical component.
Insufficient instruction makes mindfulness much more of a struggle. It’s important to seek out a qualified instructor.
There are many paths, traditions, and teachers to choose from. We are all different and require different approaches. When choosing what feels right, look closely at the actions of the teacher and their students. It’s important not to expect perfection from teachers or students, but look for something genuine happening. It will feel right if it is right.
Mindfulness without an ethical or moral component is not transformative. It need not be religious. There are secular practices that are rooted in compassion.
Define your ethical and moral framework, and commit to it. Each morning recommit, and set your intentions for the day. Each evening identify and acknowledge any mistakes made, and the next day you start again with a fresh start.
The blame and shame approach to social justice is causing harm. The real work should always come from a place of love. When we lead with love, we show others a better way.
Taking ownership of our actions is not about guilt or shame. Guilt and shame are detrimental, but accountability helps us grow, so we can move past our mistakes, make our lives better, and add value to the world.
Fleet Maull 0:02
I’ll try to make a decision whether to go on the run, or stay on faces. And I put that question to my spiritual teacher. And, you know, he advised me that I should stay and face it, and that I wouldn’t really be able to continue as a student if I was living life on the run. But even if I do serious prison time, I could continue as a practitioner as a student. And I mean, I was terrified to go into prison, but also not really thrilled about the idea being on the run actually had very little financial resources at that time, the way things worked out. And in fact, I was working selling cars for a living to support my family. So it was kind of a relief. And it was really the first time I ever took anybody’s advice. Before that, if you want me to do some, just tell me the opposite. You know, I did take that advice, and I turned myself in. As tough as that journey was, I’ve really never regretted it.
Mark Divine 0:53
Welcome to the mark Divine show. This is your host, Mark Divine. On the show, we discover we dive deep and discuss what makes the world’s most inspirational, compassionate and resilient leaders so courageous. We talk in depth to people from all walks of life, such as martial arts grandmasters meditation, monks, CEOs, military leaders, Stoic philosophers, proud survivors, and great adventures, and many more. In each episode, we get deep into our guests life, their experiences, their lessons learned. And we come up with actionable insights that we can use to follow and lead in life, filled with compassion, and courage and to do good things in the world. I’m excited today to talk to Dr. Fleet Moll, a fascinating guy. He’s a ordained Zen monk, and also a Tibetan Buddhist monk. And he’s developed programs around them that he teaches through heart MIND Institute, which is heart mine Co. And he’s written an incredible book called Radical responsibility. But the most interesting thing is the guy was a drug addict, an alcoholic, and he ended up running drugs and got sent to prison, originally for 30 years ended up doing a 14 year sentence in prison. And that’s where his meditation practice really took hold and dive into that and to completely transform himself into being a force for good. Dr. Fleet Mau Nice to meet you, how are you today?
Fleet Maull 2:16
I’m great. Nice to meet you.
Mark Divine 2:17
Yeah, thanks so much for doing this. I really appreciate it. You’re about the third or fourth mindfulness professional that I’ve spoken to you in the last six months. Haha, seems to be in the air these days, which is good news for the world?
Unknown Speaker 2:31
I think so.
Mark Divine 2:32
I agree. I want to get into a lot. I have some intersection with your world as a having taken I think three MBSR courses, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Ben to Spirit Rock than to have about 1000 hours of yoga certifications. And I got my start in Zen at age 21. Oh, wow. Yeah, so I’d love to talk to you about that. I’m not, I’m not like a serious Zen practitioner anymore. But um, I credit that with kind of getting me on a meditative path myself. So this interview will come from a little bit of that perspective. And that I, I understand tiny bit of your world, but I’m fascinated with it. And I think it’s so important. But your story is incredible. Like, you give us a sense of your upbringing in what led you to the turnaround point, which is the 14 years you spent in jail, which is incredible. And then we’ll get into the work that you’ve done since then, which is helping a lot of people.
Fleet Maull 3:24
Sure. So I grew up in the Midwest, Roman Catholic family. I don’t know anybody that grew up in the 1950s kind of middle class, Leave It to Beaver kind of suburban world. And my family had a family business, good basic family, good education. But there was all the shadow stuff happening. We had alcoholism in my family. And that created a real kind of psychic split for me. And I ended up kind of growing up with a big hole in my gut and a lot of stuff going on and graduated from high school in 1968, which was one of the most tumultuous years in US history, culturally and politically, with all the assassinations and so forth. Anyway, I was just classic, angry young man and the timing of the counterculture. I just went headlong into that. And I was pretty well immersed in it already in high school and eventually became, you know, kind of disillusioned with the craziness of the times. The whole you know, I was definitely full blown into drugs, sex and rock and roll and anti war politics and all the rest of it. And I became, you know, kind of disillusioned with things we’re looking for something real and took off traveling in Latin America, just hoping to plug back into something real why I remember in my early childhood, things being very vivid and real and magical feeling very kind of plugged into reality and somewhere around starting school that kind of disappeared, I don’t know whether which is entering into school or whether it was to alcoholism in my family, whatever things just went from being vivid, real and magical to kind of gray tones and I never really accepted that. And so I was always you know, looking for something You know, some I had this idea that I would find a traveling in South America and I have even had this idea about getting to Peru. It took over a year to get there, but almost a year on a sailboat in the Caribbean and traveling all to Central America and Latin American, quite an adventure. I did finally make it to Peru. And I did discover something really genuine and real. They’re very magical place. But the first time I returned to the US, I ran out of money had to come back and work for a while. And I realized I wasn’t able to bring that back with me it was kind of environmental.
Mark Divine 5:31
Can I pause you here for so yeah, sure. What do you think you discovered in Peru?
Fleet Maull 5:35
Well, it’s hard to say exactly. But I was living up. I mean, the whole country was pretty magical. But especially living up in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and the Cusco Obama region. you’d wake up in the morning, and it was almost like you had consumed some kind of psychoactive substances. It was just, you know, just this environmentally, it was so powerful in that way.
Mark Divine 5:55
Did you participate in any of that, while you’re down there would come across that I definitely
Fleet Maull 5:59
was still involved in drugs, although not the kind of hard drug usage I’ve been involved in previous to starting my travels, I’d gotten involved in I all the craziness, I mean, a lot of a lot of psychedelic experimentation, and then got up into hard drugs and IV, drug usage, and so forth. And in some ways I was traveling to escape that world. The drug thing kind of shifted into the background during my travels in South America much more interested in indigenous culture and the archeology and the ruins and a history of these places. But it was still there. And then in South America, I got very into experimentation with cactus source for basically mescaline, which is different than the peyote cactus we have here in us. It’s called San Pedro down there, right? It’s a little different, a little different. And but anyway, so it wasn’t just the fact of that it was literally something about that environment with a really magical
Mark Divine 6:48
place, the energy level, the entire region is vibrating and just the energy
Fleet Maull 6:52
level of the region. Yeah, very much so. But anyway, you know, I was still looking and I ended up back in Peru again. And eventually while down there, I you know, I’ve been on a spiritual journey my whole life and really always been a spiritual seeker. And you know, say all this craziness of the counterculture going on in one hand, but I also was continuously interested in the mind I was a psych major as an undergraduate, and always kind of a spiritual seeker. And by this time, I zeroed in, I figured out I was a Buddhist by the time really my sophomore year in high school, I started reading some books on Zen, and it was the first thing I ever read that really made much sense to me, right. And so I kind of knew that but I hadn’t really met a lot of other people I was growing up in Missouri, it wasn’t exactly a hotbed for that kind of thing. And but in my travels, I started to meet more spiritually inclined people. And then I kind of zeroed in on the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. And there weren’t very many books published at that time. For five most of the heavens one series and Englishman who did some of the early translations of some of the Tibetan Buddhist teachings and but I was living way up in the mountains of Peru and had those with trying to study and try to practice on my own trying to figure it out on my own. And that’s when someone showed up at my house with a copy of Rolling Stone magazine in 1974, with a big article, big feature article about the first section, summer sessions that then Europa’s shoe which is now in their Open University, founded by the great Tibetan meditation master children from from Shea. And when I saw that and saw his name, and just like grass, I just knew I had to go there. There were even some things I saw in a feature toy that things didn’t resonate with somebody was just him his name, that and I didn’t even know that he was actually of the bride lineage. I was kind of zeroing in on through my reading anyway, so I knew I had to go there. And it took me I went up to check it out and came back. And it really took me until I think 1977 To enroll, but I went and got my master’s degree there and, and it was there a program called master’s degree in Buddhist and Western psychology, they now call it a master’s degree in contemplative psychotherapy. But it was a very intensive three year clinical training program training us to work with really people experiencing extreme state schizophrenia and things like that. Very, very powerful program grounded in deep meditation training, which is primarily what I was looking for. I hadn’t really decided I was going to be a therapist, per se, but I wanted that deep meditation training. Right. But you know, along the way, I’d gotten caught up living as an expat in South American small scale drug trafficking and, and I financed my way through graduate school with that, and you know, was getting very involved with my teacher in that tradition. But I had the secret life I disappear once or twice a year to South America to a smuggling run, I have enough money to survive and continue living outside the system. I wasn’t trying to get rich I was just a way to live outside the system and keep my problems at bay. My marriage was falling apart, much having to do with my lifestyle. My wife was from Peru, she never quite assimilated to the US and so I was keeping my problems at bay with money and I and I had a lot of cognitive dissonance around being involved in what I was involved in getting more and more involved in the Buddhist path and at the same time being involved in all this craziness and but I self medicated around that you know the deal with that cognitive dissonance and I knew it had to and I was kind of on the way to try to untangle it. But before I could earn my way into a federal drug sentencing, and I was indicted in 1985, I knew the indictment was coming for about a year. How did you
Mark Divine 10:14
guys get busted? Or how do you get rolled up? What’s that story?
Fleet Maull 10:16
So, you know, the proverbial last run, right, we decided to, things had kind of fallen apart in different ways, I’ve just got to go do one more run, kind of pay off for bills come out with a little, you know, cash positive, and leave this behind, right. And of course, that’s when you get caught, I didn’t actually get caught on that run, an associate of mine did, I was actually on the island of Curacao on the run for three or four days and, and escaped that island and made my way back to the US. And that associate of mine never did cooperate, but he had somebody with him who did. And then somebody else I’ve been involved with, you know, ended up getting busted and some other people I’ve been involved with, and various people I’ve been involved with, ended up getting busted and started cooperating and decided to invite me to the party. So I knew that I was being investigated. And back to one point, they seize my home, outside to make a decision whether to go on the run, or stay on faces. And I put that question to my spiritual teacher. And, you know, he advised me that I should stay and face it, and that I wouldn’t really be able to continue as a student if I was living life on the run. But even if I do serious prison time, I could continue as a practitioner as a student. And I mean, I was terrified of going to prison, but also not really thrilled about the idea being on the run actually had very little financial resources at that time, the way things worked out. And in fact, I was working selling cars for a living to support my family. So it was kind of a relief. And it was really the first time I ever took anybody’s advice. Before that, if you want me to do something, just tell me the opposite. You know, right. I did take that advice. And I turned myself in as tough as that journey was, I really never regretted it. And, you know, my time in prison was a bit unique, because I went in with a lot of skills already. I mean, Prinzen, for most people is incredibly damaging and debilitating. And people mostly come out worse than when they went in. But I went in with a lot of skills. I already had a master’s degree in Buddhist and Western psychology. I’ve been trained as a meditation teacher. You know, I had a good strong context from my early education, my family, despite the shadow wishes and the alcoholism, but I had a lot of preparations, I went in there, and the shock of going to prison really woke me up, obviously. And more than anything, it was the fact that my son was nine years old, and he was going to grow up without his dad. And I was originally sentenced to 30 years without parole, a 30 year, no parole sentence, and I was 35 years old, pretty much thought my life as I’d known it was over with, and you know, that my son was literally I pretty much abandoned him and his mother were his mother. And I’ve been separated for quite a while, but nonetheless, now is completely abandoning them financially, and so forth. And so I was absolutely devastated, you know, having to face all the selfish decisions I’ve been making for so long, and putting my son’s life at risk, and his mom at risk. And, you know, I just really had to face all that. And I was absolutely devastated. So I became radically dedicated to get all the negativity out of my life and take all the good, I’ve been given and do something with it. I didn’t know surely that I would even survive my prison time. Right. But I wanted to do something with it, if I could, that will leave a better legacy for my son than just a dad with the prisoners. Even his dad died in prison.
Mark Divine 13:26
Right. It’s interesting if I can pause you there. Yeah. I don’t know if you experienced this. But when I in my early days, especially, you know, as a meditation student, you know, as I mentioned earlier, I got my start in Zen and read Suzuki’s book and was really inspired. This is my 1819 year old and I found a martial arts Grandmaster named Nakamura, who was a Zen master. And we would small group of us would take periodic retreats up at the Zen mountain monastery in Woodstock, New York. And so in the early days, you know, I had fantasies about being a yogi monk in a cave, and I bought and then I went in the military and became a Navy Seal, continue my practice. And I thought, well, this is kind of cool, because that military vastly simplified things for me. I didn’t really have to worry about money anymore. Money just came into my bank account out of it tax free and, and I had all this time to train. And I’ve often fantasized us more on the negative side, that prison could be the same thing. If you’re a spiritual seeker. It’s like, you get your own cave to train in. And if I find myself in prison, I went and donated a few 1000 of my books through the Prison Fellowship. And so I got to visit Norwalk prison, shattered my fantasy, but my fantasy was, man, I get to go and I get fed three meals a day and I can just work out and meditate. Probably wasn’t like that for you. But yeah, was there any truth to that? You know, it provided you that protected space to advance your practice?
Fleet Maull 14:44
Yeah, well, people sometimes to try and make that comparison of a prison and a you know, an ashram or a monastery or something like right now, there really is very little comparison other than, you know, three hots and a cot, right, right. And you know, y’all were more or less the same clothes and your life is simplified and you know, In that sense, it’s similar but but all shops and monasteries are set up for awakening and for mindfulness and being away and leading a disciplined life and, and imprisoned people are just trying to be mindless, you know, just get through their time and numb out not experience and they’re full of chaos and noise and anger and violence. I mean, they’re really horrific environments. So yeah, it’s nothing like that. Nonetheless, I was very dedicated. And so I did live a very monastic life in their life, but also life of service. So I actually took monastic vows while I was in there, because I wanted to, I want to try out what would it mean to be a monk in prison, when it wasn’t just about being celibate, but well, to live a really disciplined life in prison, and I felt if I could figure something out, maybe that’s something I could share with other prisoners. Mm hmm. So I took novice monastic vows and a Tibetan tradition that I’d already been part of. And then I actually got the woodwinds thing, the way I got involved with Zen was, you know, I found even though I taken these vows and I and I was corresponding with Pema children who was part of my lineage and as she tried to one of the most famous Buddhist teachers in the world today, I was corresponding with Pam was kind of my my monastic mentor. But I still found it very hard. Even though I was leading this very disciplined life. I’m practicing a lot to remember the mastic politics. I wasn’t wearing robes with nothing else to remind me of it. And at one point, I had this idea well, because Trump broom Shea, was very close to a number of Zen teachers. And he used to wear a rock sue over his western style suit a lot when he taught rocks who was Zen vestment, right. It’s an abbreviated investment. It’s a cloth around the neck and and kind of a square investment here. And this worn by Zen priests and Zen teachers. And so he had two of them. And one of the things I traveled with him a lot, I was one of his close attendants and traveled with him a lot. And I would take care of his robes, and then I almost would put them on them. And before he would teach sounds very familiar with that thought, well, maybe I could get a Zen roku. And I had already started this organization, prison Dharma network, to support other Buddhist prisoners and people, Buddhists volunteers, people interested in bringing Buddhism and dharma and meditation into the prison system. So I started that nonprofit and one of one of the teachers on our spiritual board of advisors was with Dido, Laurie, from Zen monastery. Yeah, from the same place you were going, Okay, John data, Laurie Roshi.
Mark Divine 17:16
He was the teacher Dido? Yeah, the former merchant marine with tattoos on his body. Yeah, I’m a neat guy.
Fleet Maull 17:21
So I wrote to him his Congress path, he said, you know, well, if you’re gonna do that, you’re gonna have to become my student, you’re gonna have to do this. And he was about jumping through all these hoops, right? You know, and I understood that, but I already had a full blown tradition I didn’t. But I realized he was being honoring his own tradition. But there was kind of no acknowledgement of the fact that I’ve been a serious practitioner for like, 13 years already. And I don’t fault him for that at all. It just didn’t connect. But then later, I read about Bernie Glassman, who’s his Dharma brother and his senior, really, because Bernie was the first person made a Roshi, by maezumi Roshi, who was both of their teachers. When I read about Bernie’s talking Zen Peacemaker order, in somewhere in the mid 90s. It just really struck me this idea of being able to fully embrace a monastic path, but your vocation being in the streets, not in a monastery, and the integration of social action and Zen and so forth. And I had that was really just who I was what I wanted to do, I wasn’t going to give up my own Tibetan tradition, but I thought I could do this as well. I actually got permission from my teacher in the Tibetan tradition, who was by vengeful and prompt a son from from China had died. But I got permission. And I wrote to Bernie and Bernie was just immediate, yes, right. You know, he was just like, absolutely, you know, you’re exactly the person kind of person we’re looking for. You’re already doing it, we can empower you further. And so I started starting with Bernie, and that began my Zen path. And I studied with Bernie, probably from 1994, through the rest of my prison time, and I ended up doing jucai in prison with him. And if you’re
Mark Divine 18:47
in prison, how did that work? Like, how did you actually study with him? Was it through phone conversations, or
Fleet Maull 18:52
correspondence and phone conversation, both he and his wife, then Jishu homes, okay, I correspond with both of them. And they both came to visit me in prison quite a few times. They’re very generous, really, they came in to do that Ukai ceremony for me, which is when you become a lay practitioner, with the commitments to the lineage and the bodhisattva vow and so forth. Then later, I was ordained a novice priest and his MPs make order while in prison. And today, I’m a Roshi. In that tradition, Bernie made me a Roshi about three years ago, just a year before he died. So anyway, I’ve had these dual paths all along both the Tibetan tradition and the Zen tradition, and that’s still true. today. I’m a senior teacher in Bolton, I would say the Tibetan tradition, really my core practice lineage. But I’ve also very involved in his mph marry, work, work, and especially because it’s all about integrating Zen with peacemaking and social action and social justice work. But during my prison years, what it was like was, this was a maximum security federal prison hospital. There were 1000 patients 600, medical 400 psychiatric, and then about 300 general population and mates there to help run the place. I was among that group. And I got a job teaching school because I had a master’s disagree. So my day job for 14 years with teaching school, helping other inmates learn to read or get their GED or 30 per college classes, I managed to get a meditation group started in the prison chapel. That meant twice a week, we started to post hospice, I was there in the height of the AIDS epidemic. So we started to post hospice in a prison anywhere in the world. That was a big part of my life for 11 years, all my meal breaks and a lot of my free time up in the hospital caring for men who were dying, of aids and other illnesses as well. And that gave birth to these two national organizations, I ended up selling Dharma network to support prisoners interested in Buddhism and meditation, and the National Prison hospice association to get that prison hospice model out into the world. And today, there’s probably 75 or 80, prison hospice programs in US alone today. And it’s really transformed into life care and prison. So those are a big part of my life while I was there in prison, you know, I really, I got really disciplined into, you know, getting physically fit and working out all the time, very active in a hospice work, very active and 12 Step work, you know, just really working on transforming myself, meditated two or three hours a day study two or three hours a day, just led us very, very disciplined, kind of monastic lifestyle, but also engaged, you know, having a job and engaged in service activities. So, and I ended up doing 14 years, when I went in, I thought I was going to do 30, the next day and paper, it said, I’d be 65 before I’d have any chance to release. But once I got out, and I learned how the good time worked under the old law, I was sense before 1987, everything changed in 1987. But in the federal system, but I was a sense in 1985. So then you got a lot of good time, especially if you had a sense 10 years or longer, you got 10 days a month, statutory good time, and then five days a month, what they call extra good time, or work good time, or Kanko time if you just kept a job, and you’ll earn that as you went. So it took me a while to figure all that out. But I eventually realized that if I stayed out of trouble, I’d serve 18 and a half. And that still felt like forever, right? Then it took my appeal about three years to go through the quarter, two and a half, three years. And they knocked off one of the five counts I’ve been convicted of. And that reduced my sentence from 30, down to 25. So that at that point, I knew I would serve 14 and a half on my sentence. And that’s what I ended up serving 14 inside then six months and a halfway house and on house arrest when I got out. That was my lifestyle in there, which is totally focused on training myself, and discipline but doing it in our environment, I really had to completely create that for myself, there was nothing in the environment that supported it.
Mark Divine 22:32
Right. fascinating stories. It’s one of the reasons that dharma societies exist, and OSH roms is that environmental and also social support for a practice. And I think it’s one of the reasons that a lot of people who get into mindfulness today, they fall off the course, it’s difficult for them, if they don’t have an environment, as well as the Dharma, you know, group to social support. Is there any advice you have for people to like, stay the course, if they don’t have that or where they can find those two things that are missing?
Fleet Maull 23:02
Well, there’s so much available today. And there’s so much available online. Now, unfortunately, we’re missing the in person quality of being involved in Dharma groups and tsonga’s and communities. That’s very important, right. But at the same time, there’s so much available online. In fact, the many, many students are having so much more contact with their teachers than they ever had before. Because right, you know, especially well known teachers, you know, you might go to retreat with them once or twice a year, and then you go back home, and you have your practice, maybe you have your local group that you sit with or something. But you know, now, so many major Dharma teachers are teaching on a regular basis over zoom. And those students are, you know, having a lot more contact with them. So that’s quite interesting. But, you know, I think you need for me, you know, I haven’t had social support, being part of a community, I think, is really important, not only in terms of supporting our practice, but it’s very much part of the practice. I mean, certainly in the Zen tradition, and Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which are both part of Mahayana Buddhism, any notion of realization really shows up in a relational field, that’s where you actually see that people are actually becoming more awake and more realized, and more compassionate and kinder, and that shows up in a relational field. And so our practice, there is a solitary part of our practice, which is incredibly important. But then there’s the communal aspect of it, and they’re both important. I also think it’s important to get really good instruction. You know, I’ve been a student of the art of meditation for more than 50 years now. And I’ve studied meditation from all different traditions, all the different Buddhist traditions, and even from Hindu traditions, and Taoist traditions, I really consider myself, you know, a student of the art of it, as well as the science of it with what’s emerged in a neuroscientific study of mindfulness and meditation over the last 10 to 20 years. And so, you know, I think a lot of people get insufficient instruction, yes. And therefore, they really struggle with the practice. And, you know, they struggle with working with their mind and they find it hard and they find it boring, and it’s hit or miss. And it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve developed a model called neuro somatic mindfulness, which is a deeply embodied approach neuroscience Typically informed, deeply embodied approach to practice that can help people stabilize their mind much more quickly, and start experiencing the profound states of awareness that you read about in the books much more quickly. And when you start experiencing that, you’re much more likely to continue because you go, wow, this is this is actually doing something this works. This is amazing, right? And so you’re much more likely to continue, right. So I think it’s really important to get really good instruction, and to have an ongoing relationship with some kind of teacher or mentor. And then as we’ve been discussing, I think the community aspect is very important.
Mark Divine 25:34
So that brings it and this is actually personal to me, because similar to you. But I came to the martial arts tradition. And I’ve done a number of martial arts, I have three different black belts, and now pursue Aikido. So I have some instruction there, but they’re not meditation. Teachers, right? Mm hmm. And then through yoga, I found some great instruction there, but still wasn’t, you know, the yoga, the way is transmitted to the west didn’t have the meditative practices really come with it. And so I’ve done this kind of like, smorgasbord. And then here I am, at my age with, you know, meditating, since I was 21. Finding I’m kind of doing it on my own. And so I do a lot of people, this relates to what you’re just talking about, how do you find a teacher in a lineage that you just know is right for you? Yeah, there’s no one one right way. And I’ve tried a number of things I said, interesting. But that’s not right. For me. I thought Zen was right for me. And I could still be, but I found a difficulty finding a teacher here in San Diego. But now I’m thinking well, that’s because I was thinking I had to do it in person. So to answer the broader questions, how does one find a lineage or a teacher that they think is right for them? Do you just keep trying things out? Or use your intuition? Yeah,
Fleet Maull 26:42
I actually had a close friend who’s a wonderful Zen teacher in San Diego, but she’s retired now and actually living down in the Baja saves on part of mice, same lineage. maezumi Roshi plainedge, right in Soto Zen, but you know, that’s a perennial question, right? How do you find that teacher that lineage that really is the right home for you, I had bounced around quite a bit as I was interested in this I got involved in Gurdjieff work a little bit, I was really I read all the books, I was very interested. But I got around a couple of groups I didn’t resonate so much I, you know, I’d had contact with this and that around and could have easily gotten involved in a few things. But it just the clarity wasn’t there. As I said, when I first saw it from from Chase name, even in that article in Rolling Stone magazine, something just gravitational pole just practically grabbed me by the throat. And then when I got up there to check out neuropathy, still, everything kind of felt big clear. It took me a while because in meantime, my son was born. And he originally had some heart issues, which fortunately resolved themselves. And so I took a while until 1977, that I was able to enroll. But when I first got on in Boulder, Colorado, start going to classes and to being around some of the teachers most of whom were students of Trump from Shay not all but especially in the Buddhist classes. They were, I just got around that world. And I would say the square peg found the square hole. You know, it was just like thunked. I just knew I was home. And I’ve been very grateful for that clarity that has never departed from me. So I don’t know whether that who knows whether it has to do with past lifetimes and connections and karmic connections, I don’t know, people may or may not even consider the possibility of multiple lifetimes. But it’s hard to say. But I think, generally, we will know, when we found that tradition. That’s right for us. But I think we need to go and really clear eyed, you know, if you want to know about a teacher and their teaching, you know, look at the students, what do you see in the students, that you can expect the students papers to be perfect in any way, shape, or form, because we all have feet of clay, we’re all human beings, we’re all struggling, we’re doing our best. And until somebody attains complete realization up to the very moment of that kind of realization, you know, they’re still subject to all kinds of problems and obstacles and neurosis and so forth. And you know, even people can have, I think, profound levels of realization, and it still may not be complete, there still can be kind of shadow stuff going on, which is why some teachers, you know, have gotten in trouble with various scandals around money and sex and different things in power, right. And it doesn’t mean they didn’t have any realization, it just means it wasn’t complete, there was still shallow things they hadn’t dealt with. And so it’s complex, right? So he, I don’t think we should expect perfection from our teachers or from their students. But you need to see that there’s something genuine going on, that there’s some real people are being processed, and there’s some kind of a willingness to really commit to practice and commit to a path. You know, today, I think, I don’t want to get off on on this seemed too much. But, you know, there’s a certain kind of strain of I’ve been an activist and been involved in social justice work, at least since I went to prison. So for a long time now, and I’m still very involved in trying to transform our criminal justice system by bringing mindfulness based intervention not only to the incarcerated, but also to everybody that works in the system, the correctional officers, probation and parole officers, the judges, prosecutors, the police and so forth. That’s a very big part of my life today. And I’ve been involved in all kinds of peace Work and Social Change work, but nonetheless, there is a kind of social justice movement mill you today that I personally feel is kind of a wrong padri blame and shame focus, and it has really just come in and taken over our society, right. And it’s really influencing all the Dharma traditions as well. And I think there’s a lot of people today involved in various meditation centers that they think that IDI ology and the Dharma the same thing and they’re not at all you know, they’re not, they’re not at all and
Mark Divine 30:30
are coming from love. It’s got to come you know, any kind of Justice has to come from love
Fleet Maull 30:33
has absolutely has to come from love. You know, I just interviewed for one of our summits, an amazing woman who lives in the state of aqui in Brazil, very remote part of the Amazon rainforest. And she and her husband, her husband, chief of the yellow Ngunnawal people, and she’s originally a native person from she’s architect from Mexico from Wahaca. But they met and she’d been an activist for indigenous rights and climate emergency all over the Americas for a long time. And now, she and her husband lead the widow of people in this very challenge part of the Amazon rainforest, she could have been talking all about the injustices and how, you know, modern people are destroying the world she got to share wasn’t her message at all, she was very clear about what we need to do. But it was a message of love and inclusivity. And working together, you know, there was just none of that blame and shame approach to activism. And yet she’s fierce, she’s fierce for protecting the rainforest and protecting the rights of indigenous people. But she totally comes from that Gandhian King in traditional blood. Anyway, that’s not what’s current today. It’s really affecting a lot of Dharma communities, many of which I think, are tend to be more focused on political correctness than they are on actual Dharma these days. So, and I think it’s trouble for the teachers too, because I think a lot of teachers are hesitant around their students anymore to really teach, they don’t want to get cancelled. They don’t want to get cancelled. Right, right. You tickle somebody’s ego a little bit and suddenly thereafter, you know, right. I think it’s tougher than ever to find. But they’re there. They’re there they are there, the genuine thing is still there, it can be found.
Mark Divine 32:06
Yeah, I think a key point is that they’re not going to find you. You have to see exactly right. You got to be on the path that when you’re rejected,
Fleet Maull 32:14
we have there was a period I probably think my teachers gonna find me just gonna
Mark Divine 32:19
magically appear right, and
Fleet Maull 32:20
I really work that way.
Mark Divine 32:25
Gonna take a short break here from the mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners. I recently received a question from a listener, she wanted to know if it was possible to avoid digestion problems by eating only healthy organic food. It’s a nice thought, but unfortunately, just not possible. You see your natural ability to digest food declines with age. This is because your body produces fewer enzymes, which are the proteins responsible for digesting food. Fewer enzymes means more difficulty digesting food. Even organic foods won’t provide enough enzymes to properly digest them. This is especially true if you cook your food because cooking kills the enzymes. This is why you may have digestive problems even after a healthy meal, your body just can’t produce enough enzymes to get the job done. This is where supplementing with high quality enzyme supplements can be a huge help to personally recommend mess times by bio optimizers. It’s a best in class supplement loaded with full spectrum enzymes for digesting proteins, starches, sugars, fibers and fats. Taking mess designs daily helps top off your enzyme levels and replace the enzymes that your body is no longer producing, which means you’ll be able to eat all sorts of delicious foods and digest them quickly and effortlessly. After you start taking mess. You may notice that you no longer feel bloated after meals and that your belly feels flatter. And if you have a leaky gut mess signs can reduce gut irritation and help you absorb even more nutrients verified by our Mike sigue a mess signs a five star rating saying quote, It has definitely helped me address digestion and health issues and quote, listen, life’s too short to suffer from digestive problems. If you want freedom from your food, especially during the upcoming holiday season, try mass signs risk free and experience for yourself the magic of high quality enzymes for an exclusive offer for my listeners go to Mass designs.com forward slash unbeatable that’s ma SSZY mes.com forward slash unbeatable use the code unbeatable 10 to get 10% off again, that link is mass simes.com For slash unbeatable use the code unbeatable 10. One zero. Thank you very much. And now back to the show. There’s a couple things that are interesting to me. I also grew up with an alcoholic family, many, many generations, both sides. And so I had you know when you were talking about your childhood is really reminding me of mine and growing up in a village of 375 in upstate New York dairy country, and all the chaos of the house and whatnot. And for me, I found solace in nature because I got outside a lot, and maybe you did too. But in the last few years, I found a lot of benefit. I know a lot of people find benefit in the 12 step traditions Al Anon for me particularly right. I’m not an active participant, but I know, you know, occasionally attend to class with my wife and, and I know people who use that as a complete spiritual practice, do you think absolutely 12 Step programs can be like a Dharma practice in and of itself
Fleet Maull 35:24
like that very much. So yeah, it was a big part of my path. While I was in prison, I was very active in a 12 step groups there, we have both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous kind of a joint group, and amazing sponsors that came in from the outside. And, you know, that was one place in prison at least once a week, we’re up in a space where you’re with fellow human beings that just treated you like ordinary fellow human beings, there was no right because otherwise in prison, generally, you’re you’re regarded as less than human and as a real edge around how you’re treated. And, and even some of the volunteers that come in from the outside and some religious groups, it’s a little bit of this patronizing thing. But these are just fellow jianxin addicts, and they just come in. And so it was like, at least once a week, you were kind of out of prison, and in the human realm, at least up in that room for an hour and a half. And so it was a real blessing. And, and we had great spots, one of them remained my close friend until his death just a couple of years ago, you know, that was a big part of my path of transformation. When I got out, I was going to meetings for a little bit, I didn’t quite find I released to Boulder, Colorado, I didn’t quite find the meeting that I really connected with. But part of it was, I was really busy with my own life and my own spiritual path. And I wasn’t going to be able to make that my primary path or become a person resourcing it like I was in prison, like in prison. I was like the backstop, resourcing that program for 14 years, because people came and went, and I kept training people into all the positions, you know, but I was always in a background keeping going. And, and one of my early sponsors said, if you want this program to really work for you become somebody that’s making it work for others, that’s getting it off, and you know, the basic 12. So I really believe that. So just being kind of a consumer of the meetings was a little difficult bit of an adjustment. And at some point, I realized that alcohol really wasn’t an issue for me anymore, nor were drugs. And my own Tibetan Buddhist path demands so much time and so much commitment, that it just didn’t make sense to continue both. So I didn’t, but I love the path. I have a very close friend that I do a lot of work in the criminal justice world with. And I would say that is he’s also a meditator. But in many ways, I would say the 12 step work is his core community and his core path, right? Yeah, it’s a beautiful programming. It’s saved countless lives. So I’m a big believer in it.
Mark Divine 37:30
And that’s fascinating. I agree with that. Can you describe this as against something? It’s really interesting, because I’ve studied Zen in my early years, and then zijin Tibetan Buddhism, more recently, what do you see as the primary differences between the two paths?
Fleet Maull 37:43
Well, in terms of Tibetan Buddhism, it depends on who the teacher is my teacher, Trump brim che who died 1987 really emphasized basic meditation practice. And he actually incorporated some of the Zen forms. And you know, we had these month long sittings called dotson’s, which was similar to a Zen session except longer. Some people would go that we also have what we call weekends, which is basically a seven day intensive, very similar to the form of the session. And the basic pajamas of Vipassana meditation practice in the Tibetan tradition, and very similar dissolves. And they’re both they’re very similar course the different processes all Zen, and some people are doing breath counting and different things. And under shikantaza, just sitting in general, in Zen, there’s my experiences, teachers give less precise instruction and say it just kind of go sit on your cushion and figure it out. I don’t particularly think I mean, you’ll get there eventually, as long as you stay on your question, but I personally believe in giving people much more helpful instruction. And I think that Tibetan tradition has a lot. I mean, it’s um, you know, the Tibetan culture, they embrace Buddhism back in eighth or ninth century and brought it from Northern India and some influence from China into that remote Himalayan region and worked on it for 1500 years without much interference. And you know, either it became like the Harvard Stanford of Buddhism, right, I mean, tremendous, tremendous depth, but the basic practice is very similar. But then in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, you have all these various Didi yoga practices, visualization, a mantra, you have the deep inner yoga practices. So you have all this advanced tantric BAYADA kind of practice, which is really high tech. Spirituality is basically what it is, which you don’t have in Zen, in terms of the view, though, in terms of the kind of understanding of the nature of mind, there is a lot of similarity, the ultimate view, as understood in both the Tibetans and then their delight, in fact, people have written books, you know, sometimes the highest view in Tibetan Buddhism and the highest more formless practices are what are called Zoho Chen or Maha Mudra. And people have written books about the similarity between shikantaza Or just sitting in the Zen tradition and Maha Mudra and zilch and in Tibetan tradition, so you know, there are a lot of parallels and you know, my teacher from Russia, my first teacher, he wrote a fabulous book called this cold cup and the tea cup or the tea cup of the skull cup. I can’t remember the teacup representing Zen. And it’s called cup representing Tibetan Buddhism. Because it’s us ritually, right. The book is based on a set of seminars he gave, and those were transcribed and edited into a book. But it was all about Zen and Vajrayana. Buddhism, it’s a fascinating book, highly recommend it. But there’s a lot of date very much sync up, there’s certainly no conflict in my life, being deeply involved in both there’s no place where they conflict.
Mark Divine 40:29
Okay, well, that’s good to know, interesting, very influenced by the yoga tradition and understand Tantra path. And so it’s, it’s interesting to see the effect of yoga in the Indian tradition on the Tibetan Buddhism, I think there’s a lot of overlap, and then some dissimilar things.
Fleet Maull 40:45
While I was in prison, it singly for some reason, I guess I was reaching out, and then people were finding me. But I became really connected. I was destined for many centers of my own community that budget out to now the international Shamala community, and there wasn’t much going on. And this prison was in Springfield, Missouri, southwest Missouri, so much going on there, although there were a couple of local practitioners that did come in and sit with us. But at any rate, I ended up getting connected with people in all kinds of different Western Buddhist traditions, and also other traditions, more Hindu yogic traditions, and so forth. Many, many close closer relationship I have today. So unlike a lot of practitioners, who mostly know about their tradition in their communities, I’m really broadly connected. And then of course, because of the prison work, and then other things, I became very immersed in the secular mindfulness world. So I’m very broadly connected there as well. And I know most of the major teachers and Western Dharma traditions and secular mindfulness traditions as friends and colleagues. And so I just gotten connected in that way, but also some very close connections and other traditions. One of my closest spiritual brothers is a teacher in a tradition that is kind of a mixture of the impermanence Advaita school and the influence of Ramana Maharshi Indian spiritual culture, and then more the Divine Mother bhakti yoga, like Papa rom das and his particular teacher was influenced by both of those will Yogi rom Surat Kumar from to him nonblack, India. This Camilla is also very connected with the bowels of Bengal, which is a tantric sex, originally, mostly located in Bengal, India. They’re kind of like gypsies, and they’re musicians and dancers. And they’ve been persecuted a lot, but they attribute their origins to both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra. And so anyway, my friend who has an ashram up in Montana, he’s really one of my closest virtual brothers and I go out and visit his ashram a lot. His teacher had an ashram in Arizona, his teacher passed about 10 years ago, but I used to go down and teach at that ashram as well. So I’ve been back connected across these traditions. And there is a lot of intersection. When you get into deep inner yogic work. I mean, it’s, it’s all related. There’s different systems and different approaches. But you know, things are mixing, you know, I mean, we have access to all of it in the west today in ways that are just mind boggling. It’s all in Wikipedia, right? It’s all everything’s been published, right. And there’s all this interchange. But but that’s this isn’t the first time that happened. There were times in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, when there were mystics and Yogi’s running around in that interchange, and who were Christian historians who are Hindu, yogi’s who are Buddhist, yogi’s, or, you know, or Sufis, you know, and that interchange has happened before. And so right, you know, when you get into deeply working with our mind and being you know, we’re there’s a universality to it, we’re all the same, we all have the same basic mind consciousness and being so these different traditions all have a way in, and I really, really appreciate all of it.
Mark Divine 43:43
Yeah, no, I agree. 100% One of the things that is challenging for a lot of people, and you kind of alluded to it, you had been a practitioner for many, many years, but and maybe was chipping away at your emotional moral well being but it wasn’t transformative. Right. And I think was it Jon Kabat Zinn who wrote after enlightenment, take out the trash and one of my yoga instructors, said, You know, if you’re an asshole and you meditate for 20 years, you might be just more and more focused asshole, right. So, how do we get the moral and emotional development built into a
Fleet Maull 44:12
practice? You know, the fact that I was, you know, really a serious practitioner before went to prison really begs the question, How the heck did that happen? Right? Suffice it to say I was really compartmentalizing my life, right? choosing to ignore a lot of what my teacher was saying. And I was focused on what I was interested in, which was basically the mind and awareness and meditation training. Now it’s complete, ignoring the ethical foundations of the Dharma. And also he really emphasize not compartmentalizing your life. You know if you show up and you look really good to meditation all but you go home and you got a sink full of dirty dishes. There’s something fishy about that, right? So he was all about, you know, not compartmentalizing, completely integrating into your life. But I wasn’t doing that I was ignoring that. Even though I was completely committed to that lineage. It I just was still caught up in my own conditioning and compartmentalization and also my addictions. and all the rest of it. So when I got locked up, you know that cleaved all that craziness away and I was really able to focus. But also I realized what was really missing in my life would have been missing was a focus on the ethical foundations. So I decided to complete build my life in prison based on to begin with the lay precepts of the Buddhist tradition, which are classic, you know, religious precepts of refraining from killing, refrain from lying, or failing from stealing or fleeing from sexual misconduct, refraining from use misuse of intoxicants, and then I went on to take the novice monastic vows, which has some more, right, but I was really serious about grounding every aspect of my life. In those precepts, I knew that had to be the foundation from which I built a new life. And so I was really, really serious about that. And also got really clear about the nature of cause and effect and karma, you know, like, if I came out to the vending machine, or was a quarter in it, I’m leaving it there, you know, it’s like, because I don’t want the karma of that. I’m here experiencing all this karma, you know, now I’m in prison for all that I don’t want anymore, right? I’m just gonna live cleanly as I can. So, you know, that was a big part of it, but also really understanding, you know, morality of enters to me and my Roman Catholic education is more of a should, and then with a big punishment, reward context to it, right. And Buddhism, you’ve been understand what you do, I deeply I mean, there are the precepts and guidelines to help beginning to lead an awake life and a compassionate life and an ethically, ethical life and a moral life. But if you dive deep into these teachings, it’s really understanding that this is how life actually works. If you really understand cause and effect, and you really understand how life works, you’re naturally going to be motivated to live an ethical, more of life, because you realize this is actually what works, right. And wisdom is inherent in the nature of reality, wisdom is inherent in the nature of our being. And when we go deep enough, we begin to get that clarity. So then you don’t really so much need the external reinforcements, because it’s really your beginning to allow to, you know, bring forth what we really are the depth of our being, which is naturally ethical, moral, compassionate, awake, and so forth. Right. But initially, it is helpful to take vows and have precepts. I’ve taken so many vows, am I in the Buddhist tradition, in the Zen tradition, I’ve taken so many vows that you know, by air, you know, I’m headed for lifetimes of problems, right, because I’ve made so many commitments. And that is good for me, you know that I’ve some pretty clear boundary markers out there right above starting to get out of my lane, I’m going to feel it pretty quickly, right. So it is helpful for any of us that have those things. But it’s helpful if we can, you know, unlike in some religious traditions, where ethical codes and morality are presented as shoulds, and you know, if you bear, you’re going to be punished, and it’s about good and bad, and good and evil, and so forth. In a Buddhist tradition, it’s really just practice. And in some ways, even with precept practice, even if you make lifelong commitment, it’s always a 24 hour practice. And you know, you renew your commitments in the morning. And yet you do your best in a day to live ethically and live according to your principles, your commitments. At the end of the day, you see how you did if you see places where your beard off, or drop the ball, or really screwed up, you acknowledge that yourself. And if you’re in a community, you might acknowledge it to a teacher to your fellow practitioners, but at least acknowledge that yourself. And you know, you purify let go. And then the next day, you start with a fresh start, you always start with a fresh start. So it’s the precepts are there to clarify our habitual patterns. And let us actually see all the confusion of our life and our conditioning and the legacy we’ve the fear and survival based legacy we all inherit. And to really see that with clarity so we can begin untangling it, and naturally begin to lead an ethical life, but it’s not about shoulds. And it’s not about good and bad punishment. It’s just practice. And it’s just clarification. And that makes a big difference.
Mark Divine 48:41
I 100% agree with that practicing as a daily, just a daily initiative. My teacher Nakamura used the expression one day one lifetime, and this is what he was talking about, you wake up and then you begin your practice. And then the end of the day, you look back and you learn from you know, what went well, and what didn’t go well. And then tomorrow, you know, hopefully we get another chance. That’s beautiful, simple. You wrote a book, radical responsibility, how to move beyond blame, fearlessly live our purpose and become an unstoppable force for good in the world. The message is pretty clear from that. But what’s the key point that you’d love listeners to know and inspire them to go out and get this book and get on? Get on the path?
Fleet Maull 49:25
Well, that book came out two or three years ago, but I’ve been leading radical responsibility seminars and workshops all over North America and Europe, even Latin America for about 18 years. And I finally got the book out. But where that philosophy and Moloch kind of emerged for me was really in prison. And when I got locked up, it became really clear to me the world I was in was full of negativity and bitterness and anger and violence and everybody had a big victim story going on. In fact, generally when you met a fellow prisoner, the rituals you might go out walk the track, you know, on a meal break or something and they share their victim. So you share your victim story, right. And as I went through that a few times, I didn’t want to hear my story. And you know, like, your lawyer screwed you over and your fault partners or all the whole victim story. And I didn’t want to hear my anymore and I didn’t really want to hear there is which wasn’t very compassionate. But that’s just not where I wanted to be. And I realized that if I didn’t proactively do something else, I can easily come out of prison angry and bitter and get caught up in while I was living, I didn’t want to live that way while I was there. And you know, it’s natural that prisoners go there. Because when you get arrested, the whole process of being arrested and going through the justice system and being incarcerated, you’re just being demonized and buried under a mountain of guilt and shame. Now, maybe you have caused harm. But nonetheless, the process is just like, almost annihilating you under this mountain of shame and blame and guilt demonization. So naturally, people just kind of armor up just to survive psychically, you know, mentally and emotionally. And generally, they armor up with bitterness and anger and with their own victims story. And that’s really sad, because for me, the real process of transformation begins, when you can actually really see the impact your behaviors have had on others the harmful impact, and develop, not feeling bad about yourself, not guilt and shame, but genuine remorse and regret, where you realize, wow, wow, I see the I really created harm for others. And if there’s any way I could undo that, or repair that, or if I could wind the clock back, right, that genuine because that’s about others. And it’s very hard for most prisoners to contact that because they’re protecting themselves from this attack on their being really, but anyway, I didn’t want that’s not where I wanted to go. And I realized, you know, if I was gonna had a chance of getting out of prison and having any kind of a life, when I got out, I needed to embrace 200% ownership for having got myself in there. And for what I was going to do with myself, while I was there, all the choices I was That’s it became crystal clear to me. And so that’s what I did. And through doing that I was able to spend 14 years in a deep path of transformation. But I was also able to create national movements and national program, things you’re not supposed to be able to do from inside prisoner. If you had asked if I’d ever asked permission, they would say no, you’re crazy, you can’t do that. So that’s where it was born. And of course, there were a lot of influences. One influence was I connected with that man, who I’ve mentioned before, is in that kind of Bible bite bhakti yoga tradition, who had a secular training called the event. And he ran into some I was publishing in various journals while I was in prison, he ran into my rice, he wanted to use it as curriculum. So we got in touch, and we quickly connected and he came to the prison and we connect even more in person. And I started reading all this up, I want to get this training into the prison. And I managed to do it got a couple of psychologists to go out and try it. And we got it in. And during the last three years I was there we did the about four times very intense, three day group process that takes you deep and very quickly and very deeply into your family of origin conditioning, and traumas, all the rest of it, it helps you shift your relationship to it. And it’s really powerful in prison, because once you got, you know, 30 prisoners in the room, you see that 90% of them suffered profound abuse as children, yes, you know, sexual, emotional, physical abuse, just heartbreaking stuff. And most of them, I’ve never shared it with anyone. So you know that some of the context of rack responsibility came from that program, but a lot of different influences as well as it’s grounded in mindfulness that’s grounded in the context of basic goodness, which the fundamental teaching of my Tibetan teacher, that that we all have innate, unconditional, primordial, basic goodness, that’s the ground of our being, developing a reflective mindfulness awareness practice of some kind, doing emotional intelligence work. And then really learning the science of change. Understanding the brain understanding the mind understanding how how to deconstruct habits that are no longer serving us how to form new habits. I use the context a lot of carbons Drama Triangle, understanding that the triangulation that creates endless drama throughout the world of the victim persecutor rescuer, which just fuels I mean, it’s the basis of all our great novels and plays and so forth. But it also deals with conflict and destroys families and organizations and kids and families and endless war. It’s this basic Drama Triangle. And people find it incredibly liberating once they see it and can make boundaries with it, learn to get on hooked from it. So you know, radical responsibility is a book. It’s really a manual on how to begin to really take ownership for our own life, to understand enough about our own physiology and psychology to really step into an owner ship or a self leadership position, using mindfulness techniques using self regulation techniques. So we’re not just being driven by the world around us mechanically, unconsciously, we’re actually owning our own life and owning our own circumstances. You know, I often describe Racal responsibility as voluntarily embracing 100% ownership or responsibility for each and every circumstance we face in life. Each and every section, including those we can see we had something to do with but also including the ones that we can’t see we had anything to do with they just seem like they fall sky and landed on our heads. But the important thing about this model is The distinction between ownership and blame. RAC responsibly has nothing to do with blame. It’s clearly not about blaming others. But it’s not one iota about blaming ourselves. And it has nothing to do with blaming victims. It’s about ownership, because that’s the only place we have any real personal power. I mean, it’s natural. We’re all gonna, you know, kvetch and blame and you know, but how long do we want to indulge that we want to focus on? What can I do? What can I do to move my own life forward? Right, right, because that’s the only place I have any power. And so all this is done in a context of tremendous self compassion, but at the same time, just beginning to see that blaming and complaining and all the rest of it is just a really inefficient use of our time and energy and doesn’t take us anywhere. In fact, it will take us backwards. So so that’s the model, but it’s, you know, other people like, Oh, your fellow Navy Seal, what’s the name of Extreme Ownership, Nakamura is just thinking Jocko willing Jocko willing. So Extreme Ownership is a similar context. And there are other writers who have written about that kind of mental toughness, but they don’t get so much into the deep, how do you do it? That, hey, this is what you got to do. Right? Right. But how do you do that? How do you understand enough about your own mind and psychology and emotions, and how you develop a reflective awareness practice to actually give yourself the ability to really get in the driver’s seat of your own mind. Now, of course, you know, I’m sure Jocko Willink, actually, through his Navy SEAL training embraced a lot of awareness training that even if it wasn’t called that right now, but nonetheless, you know, this similar context of books like that, but I would say it’s a little more spiritually grounded and go deeper into the, into the house.
Mark Divine 56:32
I love that I was gonna mention Jocko his book, Extreme Ownership. And
Fleet Maull 56:35
I love his book. I’ve used it in my consulting work. Yeah, one of my business clients, I bet all the managers read the book, and we use it a lot as a reference point. Yeah, it’s
Mark Divine 56:43
great. Again, it’s great for the secular minded and those who just need a little bit of a club over their head to say, go do this. And here’s why it’s important. But I think you’re right, the work of self awareness is a little bit more subtle and requires the requires introspection, not doing. And so this is part of the challenge of our society where we got such a massive bias toward action, right? In tax that we don’t take the time to do the introspection. Yeah. Doing versus being. That’s right. Yeah, we
Fleet Maull 57:08
don’t honor the being quality of life. Right.
Mark Divine 57:11
This has been a fascinating conversation. I really, really appreciate your time and the work that you’re doing, how do people connect with you? And I’m curious about the neuro somatic mindfulness program and the work that you’re doing. How do people find you? And where should they kind of started competing on their interest? Yeah,
Fleet Maull 57:25
well, if people are interested in my book, radical responsibility, they can go to radical responsibility, book calm, okay, and you can read all about the book there, you can get a free chapter download, and you greet all the accolades from other best selling authors like Daniel Goleman, and tar, Brock and Jon Kabat Zinn and Rick Hansen, and many others. And then you can order the book right from there. I mean, you can choose any books or Amazon or Barnes and Noble way to however you want to order the book, in terms of my courses and the summits that I put on it’s heart MIND Institute. So you can go to heart mind.co.co not calm but to co heart mind.co Write my basic website is fleet mall.com, you can always start there and find most of what I do from Fleet mall calm. And if people aren’t seeing the whole prison work site, or what I do. Prison mindfulness Institute is prison mindfulness.org. That’s the work we do with without risk and crisis rated and returning youth and adults. Then we have the engage my Flintstones two which is engaged my plus.org where we train mindfulness teachers and trauma informed approaches to bringing mindfulness to underserved populations, and people have been placed at risk and, and then we have the Center for mindfulness and public safety, which is all about bringing mindfulness based wellness and resiliency to first responders. So that’s my full public safety.org.
Mark Divine 58:39
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. And I look forward to tracking your work. And yeah, Nuff said. Happy New Year and may 2020. To be a blessing year for you. Yeah.
Fleet Maull 58:51
Thank you, Sam, you Mark. Thank you very much.
Mark Divine 58:56
Wow, what a tremendous guy. So it’s an incredible story of transformation and fleet is very, very effective at communicating some pretty powerful concepts around mindfulness and understands the differences between all the different traditions, we had a conversation about the difference between Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, how the 12 step programs can be a spiritual practice how to find a teacher or lineage that’s right for you. Understanding the emotional and moral development component and how important that is to really take that on as part of your spiritual practice. Show Notes and transcripts will be on our site at Mark Devonta calm the video will be going up at our YouTube channel you can find that our mark Divine site or Mark Divine.com/youtube I am at Twitter the handle Mark Divine and on Instagram and Facebook. It’s at real Mark Divine and you can find me on LinkedIn as well. In January late January we’ll be launching divine inspiration a new newsletter I’d love for you to receive it. And if you’re not on my email list, please go to the website Mark Divine comm and subscribe. And we will do disseminating really interesting tidbits of inspiration for myself and also some updates or summaries from this podcast, and some other, maybe products that I’m testing and trying out. So lots of interesting things you’ll find on that new divine inspiration newsletter coming to you soon. Special shout out to my amazing team Jason Sanderson. Geoff Haskell, Michele Czarnik, and Amy Jurkowitz, who do amazing things to help bring this podcast to you every single week. Also really appreciate reviews. And if you review this podcast, thank you very much. If you have not, please consider reviewing it. It really helps with awareness and other people finding it now. Share it with your friends as well. Well, this is going to be an incredible year 2022. We’re choosing to overcome a lot of the challenges that we found from 2021 We’re going to learn from we’re going to grow from them. We’re become stronger, more resilient, more focused, less distracted, more introspective and 2022. It all starts with you. We must be the change we want to see in the world. Hashtag Gandhi. And that’s what this is all about. Mark Divine show is about helping you learn how to take control of what you can control and live one day at a time doing amazing things that are in line with your purpose. So I’m here for you. If I can do anything to help you out, please let us know. Hit us up on social media. And I look forward to talking to you next week.