The James and Claudia Kripalu Workshop – The Daily Practice: Finding Success From Within

I’ve been shy about promoting this despite advice from two very smart people. In 2006, CNBC kept calling me to go on TV. I was afraid to go on TV. I don’t know why. When you go on TV you sit in a dark room, a camera is facing you, and you argue with people. Then on message boards everyone makes fun of you. I was afraid to go on. So I wouldn’t call CNBC back. Finally, Jim Cramer said to me, “why aren’t you calling CNBC back? You’re embarrassing me.” I said, “I feel funny about promoting myself.” He said, “If you don’t promote yourself, nobody else will.” So that was advice number one.

Advice number two was just a few weeks ago. I was listening to a talk by Ramit Sethi, who wrote the bestseller, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. Ramit and I are doing a video in a few weeks where we read each other’s hate mail and analyze it. Ramit was saying to an audience of about 100 that when he doesn’t promote the products he is proud of it’s as if he’s “punishing the audience”. If a reader likes Ramit’s stuff, Ramit should communicate to them as clearly and often as possible when he has new things for them to read. Here’s another video Ramit and I did recently.

So in that spirit, I’m proud to talk about the Kripalu retreat that Claudia and I are doing. The retreat is from January 18-20, 2013. Friday night until Sunday afternoon.  It’s in the beautiful Berkshires area in Western Massachusetts at Kripalu.

Here is the link to the retreat:

I asked Claudia: What is good about Kripalu other than our fantastic retreat? She has been there before. She said, “Food is great and nutritious, spacious, nice walks because the surrounding area is very beautiful, hikes, fitness rooms, very quiet, peaceful, sauna, spa treatments, massages.” Here is a link to their website describing their general amentities.

What is our retreat about? I originally wanted the title to be something like: The Daily Practice: Finding Success From Within.  But the Kripalu people didn’t quite like that.

I think there is a schism between four factions that are all equally important in life: art, spirituality  science, and financial  success. Ironically, technology, specialization, and the demands of modern life have created this schism.

In the Renaissance, there was a merger of art, science, finance, and spirituality. You look at a painting  like “The Last Supper” and you see elements of all four. Clearly it is a work of art. The details of the bodies themselves are a result of da Vinci’s scientific efforts (he would do autopsies on corpses just to understand musculature and bone structure better so as to be able to draw and sculpt them with more accuracy than his competitors) and clearly the painting is of a spiritual topic, with various interpretations ranging from religious conspiracies to bestselling fiction (the da Vinci code). And, by the way, da Vinci very much demanded to be paid for his work and he demanded top dollar, even before he was a well-known success.

But now there’s a separation between these four areas. Scientists often look down on the arts and spirituality. People interested in spiritual matters often look down on finance and science. Artists often cling to the myth of “the starving artist”. Financially minded people tend to think spirituality is corny and will never help them achieve happiness (i.e. money). Because of the intense specialization of the modern world it’s as if we all have to divide up into teams early on and go off into our respective corners, never to speak again.

The reality is, to do well in both body, mind, and spirit, you need to be be aware of all of these different aspects of life. They need to connect with each other and flourish inside of you in order for you to flourish in the external world. Understanding these connections and how to manifest them will  put you in a league above the masses that stay on their specialized teams.

But to fit the catalog I changed my original title for the retreat and changed it to: “The Daily Practice: Awakening The Full Power of Spirit”.

Here’s what we will do:

Sessions will start Friday evening and continue until Sunday noon.

Every morning there will be an hour of basic yoga. Before each session there will be five to ten minutes of yoga. The idea of the yoga is not to kill you with hard-core exercise. The idea is to wake you up and clean you out a bit. Claudia will explain further how yoga does that. But the basic idea is this. You get into a stretch, or a twist, and you stay there while you breathe deeply. She will guide people into the right stretches and twists.

The breath then goes to parts of the body that are not accustomed to seeing such fresh oxygen. You hold the breath there, soaking up all the toxins, and then exhale. This is a cleansing. As Claudia will explain, yogis measure their lifespans not in years but in breaths. So we will all be learning quality breathing during the weekend.

Each session will then be a combination of:

  • Talks
  • Exercises
  • Group sessions
  • Q&A

The entire retreat will be small (I don’t know what the number is but I know there is a limit to how many people can sign up) and I also hope to spend one-on-one time with each person who goes. I also hope that the effects of the retreat last beyond the weekend and we all remain in touch.

In addition to the yoga that starts off  each session, here are the topics I will discuss:

  • – What is the Daily Practice, Why do I use it, How did it help me? What are the scientific and spiritual justifications of every area of the Daily Practice. From neuroscience to Taoism.
  • – How to Deal with Stressful  People, Stressful situations, Stressful jobs, Stress, Stress, STRESS!
  • – How to Avoid Dying (i.e. the Physical side of the Daily Practice).
  • – How to become an Idea machine
  • – What is Spirituality? No matter what you believe, how living a spiritual life can become a source of great happiness and even wealth in your life.  In this talk I will  discuss how you can see magic in every aspect of your life, and how you can manifest that magic externally to create success. I will  also  discuss issues about meditation in modern life, and how to achieve the results of meditation and a spiritual existence without having to spend months or years trying to achieve some hoped-for “Nirvana”.
  • – What is Abundance? How do we create it in our lives?
  • – How to Get “Unstuck”
  • – How to Build Your Network
  • – How to Achieve Mastery
  • – What are the Secret Effective Habits that nobody speaks about? There are many books out there like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” but I think these books put too much stress on us . (“oh no! I am not being effective!”) The reality is, we are most happy and even most effective, when we bring together art, science, finance, spirituality, to create a holistic life that is not too dependent on any one thing, person, definition of success, definition of happiness, and so on.
  • – The “Choose Yourself” Era – why historically and economically we are living in a unique moment where it will become necessary to implement the ideas of the Daily Practice in order to succeed.

Why am I doing this? I want to meet some of the people who have been readers. I want to have fun. I hope people bring specific examples from their lives that they would like to improve: a job, a relationship, a wanting for purpose, etc. We will talk about those situations in the Q&A sessions and in the breakout sessions.

Most of all, we will have a lot of fun getting to know each other, solving problems, coming up with ideas, and then over the next year manifesting the success in our lives that we deserve.

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