In this episode of ON Purpose, Jay Shetty’s guest is Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mindvalley, a personal growth platform with over twenty million followers in almost two hundred countries.
Lakhiani recently launched his book, The Six Phase Meditation Method, a guide for everyone new to this practice. It contains practical tips that you can implement in your daily routine.
Lakhiani was fourteen when he first laid eyes on a book called The Silva Mind Control Method by José Silva and Philip Miele. It was on his father’s shelf and immediately sparked his interest as it spoke about how the mind could heal the body.
This promise immediately resonated with Lakhiani, a teenager with skin problems. He admitted to Jay Shetty reading and rereading the book to understand its teachings better. This is how he started practicing meditation.
But the results didn’t come as expected, so he went down a rabbit hole, trying to find more information on how the body can indeed cure itself. And suddenly, one day, he had a revelation.
Lakhiani understood that the Silva Method was not about hoping and wishful thinking. Instead, it was a process that followed a particular method. He told Jay Shetty that there was also psychology involved. From the moment when he understood all this, it only took him five weeks to heal his skin problem.
Nowadays, there is even a clinical term to describe the connection between mind and skin health. It is called psychodermatology.
Can The Mind Influence Our Reality?
After healing his skin and having first-hand evidence of how the mind can influence our bodies, Lakhiani wanted to apply this knowledge to other areas of his life, too.
Born and raised in Malaysia, Lakhiani always dreamt of visiting the United States. And so he decided to apply his newly-learned knowledge about the power of the mind to achieve his goal.
In 1993, he became very interested in Taekwondo, a form of karate that originated in Korea. Eventually, Lakhiani managed to qualify for the US Open Taekwondo championship, and flew to the United States for the first time in his life.
Meditation As A Tool
Lakhiani grew up in a Hindu family in Malaysia. However, he couldn’t relate very much to how he was taught this religion, and upon turning nineteen, he gave up Hinduism.
In his quest to find himself, the Midvalley founder came across Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.” This was when something in his mind changed.
Lakhiani became “obsessed with spirituality,” as he admitted to Jay Shetty. So he started reading books on this topic and how it emerged in the United States.
While most of his readings talked about spirituality, José Silva’s fascinated the Mindvalley founder the most. The reason is that Silva broke down the meditation practice into actionable steps.
The Silva Mind Control Method teaches how to change the brainwave frequency to the alpha, delta, or even theta level. It also provides methods to reprogram the subconscious, manifest a goal, and heal.
On top of that, Lakhiani learned the term “active meditation,” precisely what Silva’s book taught the readers. He explained to Jay Shetty that it differed from the passive meditation instructed in Eastern cultures, where you go within and focus on your breath. Instead, Silva taught meditation as a means to solve problems rather than pushing them away.
Coffee Maker vs. Electric Drill
Lakhiani shared with Jay Shetty how he divided his meditation practices into two categories—daily practices and power tools. He compared daily meditation practices to the coffee maker we use every day and power meditation to an electric drill that we only use occasionally.
In Lakhiani’s view, the electric drill’s power tool is the Silva method. Dr. O. Carl Simonton has proved it to be a very effective form of imagery therapy for accelerating healing. You might use this meditation technique when you feel sick or have a migraine.
On the other hand, the six-phase meditation that Lakhiani developed is to be used daily, similar to the coffee maker. He told Jay Shetty, “it helps put you in a peak state for work, for happiness, for human connection. And it puts you in this beautiful state where it almost feels as if the universe has your back like you have the Tinkerbell fairy following you around, blessing everything you do, and making your life magical.”
Compassion Is Key
Lakhiani believes that we can make the world a better place by showing compassion to ourselves and others. In his view, “compassion is something you do for yourself. It changes the way you function and show up in the world.”
In a study conducted by the HeartMath institute, the researchers found that if you close your eyes and picture the face of a loved one and you feel the love you have for them, it changes your heart resonance.2 It is an exciting discovery because heart resonance correlates with health.
In addition, Lakhiani told Jay Shetty that “compassion is like a muscle.” You need to train it to become more loving. He recalls one meal at a restaurant right after the pandemic restrictions were lifted. His service was not up to his expectations. Despite this, Lakhiani gave the waitress a big tip.
When asked why he did that, he replied that he was happy to be able to eat out again finally. He understood that the server was most likely under a lot of pressure. She might not have worked for as long as the restrictions were in place.
He admitted to Jay Shetty that he found himself in a state of appreciation and love for the humanity around him. This was all thanks to practicing compassion regularly.
“When you see someone else, even if it seems like what they did is wrong to you, you look at them with a sense of empathy with a sense of understanding. And it is that understanding that changes and reframes your definition of the world,” Lakhiani shared with Jay Shetty.
Compassion in The Workplace
People respond better when they feel understood. However, there is a big difference in how employees react depending on how their bosses treat them, Jay Shetty noticed. They will close off if called out for every mistake and receive negative feedback.
However, when the boss tries to find out the reasons for the decreased performance, they create a safe space for the employee to open up. Then, in a trusted environment, the employees will do their best to deliver.
A Gallup study showed that employees who felt their direct supervisor or someone at work cared about them as a person achieved more than their peers.3
For the longest time, compassion and kindness were seen as signs of weakness. But Lakhiani disagrees. He believes that “compassion is the flex in today’s society.” He explained to Jay Shetty that people moved on from showing off the material things they achieved. Instead, social media posts today revolve around acts of kindness.
In his book, Lakhiani describes a method called the circle of compassion. It is a specific exercise designed to open your heart. It consists of six techniques, layering on each other to open up six different aspects of your being.
However, Lakhiani doesn’t believe that happiness is the goal we should pursue. Instead, he talks about blisscipline, a term that describes “the discipline to ensure that you are nurturing your positive emotions,” as he shares with Jay Shetty.
PQ – Positivity Quotient
The positivity quotient measures how much importance we give to our positive emotions. A study in Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence analyzes the ratio of good thoughts versus overall thoughts.4
If you elevate your PQ and get more done, the quality of your work will also increase. Lakhiani found it fascinating to learn that harmony in the workplace was determined by the ratio of positive emotions within the team and between its members.
Another great sustainer of blisscipline was John D. Rockefeller. Towards the end of his life in 1937, he wrote a poem that described his life in five lines, which Lakhiani shared with Jay Shetty and the listeners:
“I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play-
I dropped the worry on the way-
And God was good to me every day.”
Phase three of the six-phase meditations described in Lakhiani’s book is forgiveness. It comes right after compassion (phase one) and gratitude (phase two). This is where you learn to forgive yourself and others and alleviate feelings of shame and guilt, he explained to Jay Shetty.
From a consciousness point of view, guilt and shame are the lowest human emotions on David Hawkins’ scale, with the lowest vibration.5 When you practice the third phase, you forgive yourself and others, bringing you to a higher spiritual level.
Studies on monks’ brains have shown that their left and right brain function at a high frequency, at the alpha amplitude.6 However, the study was conducted on monks with twenty to forty years of meditation experience.
Lakhiani shared with Jay Shetty his one hack to get to that level through forgiveness. It is “forgiving people who hurt you, as well as forgiving mistakes that you made in the past.”
It is crucial not to beat yourself up for the mistakes you make. Forgiveness, in its manifestation form, can increase your heart health, improve the quality of your sleep, reduce anxiety and depression and even alleviate back pain.
However, in a world with rising narcissistic tendencies on the rise, it is essential to go through the steps in order. You need to show love and compassion for others first.
A Vision For The Future
The fourth phase is future-oriented. Lakhiani based this stage on the philosopher Ken Wilber’s essay, “Egolessness” in the book, The Essential Ken Wilber. In his essay, Wilber stated that the world’s great spiritual teachers focused on the future.
“So if you want to practice your spiritualness, you can’t just be sitting on your meditation cushion. You’ve got to have a vision for the future,” Lakhiani told Jay Shetty.
In phase four, you get to play with intention and manifest your dreams, but you also leave some space open for the universe to bring you things. For example, if you are looking for your soulmate, you don’t want to be too specific. Your environment may influence your requirements regarding looks. If you’re too specific, you may not be open to the true soulmate who may look different than you envisioned.
Defining the soulmate up to the smallest detail is immature wanting, Lakhiani added. Mature wanting is understanding that your soulmate may come to you in many different forms. It isn’t the looks but the energy and essence that will eventually spark the love in you.
Lakhiani told Jay Shetty that the central questions in phase four are the “what” and the “why.” So focus on that and the forward momentum, he advised.
Many people define who they are by using their job titles. However, this is only a tiny fraction of who we are as people.
Moreover, we change over time. Our focus and priorities shift as we grow, and it becomes a question of acceptance to identify as a different person than we were some years ago. Yet change and evolution are necessary.
Jay Shetty remarked, “allowing yourself to become new things is probably one of the biggest challenges in the world.” So he changed when he became a monk, a storyteller, and now a podcast host.
Mindvalley recently acquired LifeBook, a program created by John and Missy Butcher.8 It is an extensive goal-setting protocol that divides life into twelve sections. As an example, three of them are emotional life, financial life, and character.
Lakhiani endorsed this program because it helps set goals very in a detailed way. Then, at the end of the class, people end up with a hundred-page-long so-called Life Book, which serves as the vision for their life. It encompasses all twelve areas of life identified by John and Missy Butcher.
When he created his Life Book, Lakhiani dared to dream big. He told Jay Shetty that he had wanted to speak on big stages worldwide, stay in five-star hotels, and even win an Emmy. He didn’t write the means through which he planned to achieve these goals, but over time, the ideas came to him. Today, he has completed all these goals.
Lakhiani advised the listeners: “Get clear on the quality of life and the values you want to have. And the ideal job will follow.”
Six Daily Questions
Jay Shetty asked Lakhiani to describe what successful meditation means to him. The Mindvalley founder asks himself every day if the six qualities of the six phases have expressed themselves during the day.
The questions he asks himself are:
1 – compassion: Who did I help today?
2 – gratitude: What was something that made me happy today?
3 – forgiveness: What have I come to learn today?
4 – vision for the future: What is a new concept or desire I saw today that I want to bring into my life?
5 – command your perfect day: What was my favorite part of today?
6 – blessing: Did I genuinely feel connected to God/ to a higher power, and did I think that the universe had my back today?
Build Your Own Path
Lakhiani told Jay Shetty that people must differentiate between mean and end goals. It is intriguing to see how many Americans work hard to become attorneys solely because it is a reputable career.
However, doing something others want you to do will make you miserable. So Lakhiani encouraged the listeners to craft their path in life. “Very often, your destiny, the stuff that you’re meant to be doing, is something that you would do if you were not even getting paid for it,” he added.
Some of the most successful people in the world did what made them happy and turned it into a career. Everyone can do the same thing. So, what is it that you choose to do with your life?
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Vishen Lakhiani ON 6 Questions To Ask Yourself To Get Out of Any Rut & How To Change Your Heart by Changing Your Mind” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.