274. Mastering The Mantra: Sound, Vibration, & Kundalini Creation with Aykanna

Sukhdev Jackson

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

The dynamic musical duo Aykanna joins the show to talk about how they became bandmates and life partners, the process of recovering from addiction, the magic of mantra, carrying on the legacy of other cultures, and the role of shamanic plant medicines.

Sukhdev and Akahdahmah passionately share a joint vision to express freedom, unity, peace, and love through their work with sacred music, quantum healing and Kundalini Yoga. Their love for one another, as well as our mother earth is infectious, and spreads through their music and teachings. Joined together they are the dynamic musical duo called Aykanna. 

Their powerful synergy captivates and inspires the listener with a soulful, rhythmic blend of inspirational wisdom and sacred devotional music. In ancient Aramaic text Aykanna translates as the pipeline between heaven and earth, and their music seeks to bring people closer to their divinity. Sukhdev’s earthy, soulful voice, and deeply soothing presence, paired with Akahdahmah’s entrancing shamanic­ percussion, creates an ethereal musical paradise. Aykanna has released four inspirational albums entitled: Livelight, Mother, Mantra Mala and their current release “ Seeds Of Love”.

Sukhdev was birth named Pauline Drossart in Brussels, Belgium and moved to London when she was 11 years old. After the loss of her mother at the age of 7, an uplifting musical movement in West London fostered Sukhdev Jackson in her early childhood. Curious to discover the music her mother loved, Sukhdev began to collect vinyl records shortly after her mother’s passing. Music legends such as Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Earth Wind and Fire sparked beautiful memories and inspired her young spirit.

Influenced by a wide array of musical genres such as Jazz, 70’s soul and the budding hip hop movement; Sukhdev channeled her creative expression and connection through music and movement. Ambitious yet unable to speak a word of English, she was motivated by a multi-cultural community on the streets of London. Jackson began writing poetry and break dancing with a dance crew on the street corners of Portobello road in Notting Hill at the age of 13. She expresses, “Music and writing became my medicine.”

By the age of 18 her talents had naturally progressed and Jackson landed an EMI record deal with Parlophone Records – the label The Beatles were signed to. She was in a musical category of her own in the mid 1990’s, with a unique poetic fusion of French and English Hip Hop and RnB. She toured the world, appeared on MTV, and was recognized for her unique style by Billboard Magazine. As part of the urban sound of London, she thrived in the creativity and dynamism of rap music, but a chaotic industry devoid of spirituality left her empty and searching for something more.

Sukhdev discovered Kundalini Yoga and meditation upon moving to Los Angeles in the year 2000. After a decade of battling drug addiction, she experienced the healing power of meditation, yoga, and prayer, which changed her life dramatically. Her newfound spiritual path led her to becoming a certified Kundalini Yoga and Meditation teacher in 2006, when she was also was given the spiritual name Sukhdev – which means the angel of peace. For the past ten years she has had the privilege to study extensively with Yogis, Holistic practitioners, Shamans and the Native people of the Chumash tribe.

Upon finding her life’s purpose, Sukhdev attracted her soul mate and now life partner, Grammy nominated percussionist (with India Arie), and Kundalini Yoga teacher, Akahdahmah. A 5th generation plant and spirit medicine man, inheriting this legacy from his Great, Great Aunt Mamie, a pinewoods plant and spirit medicine woman from Alabama,  Akahdahmah uses drumming as “medicine music” for humanity. He explains, “With every beat of my drum, I intend to transmute the pain of the heart into the joy of the soul.” In 1985 he left his premedical studies in New York to discover the true power of our bodies function and its ability to heal. He was especially motivated to restore balance to his aching heart. Akahdahmah journeyed to California where he was introduced to the healing effect of drum meditation and indigenous ceremonies. This led him, in 1994, to study with Max Borisoff a retired Orthopedic Assistant, Digestive Physiology Researcher and founder of the Healing Ministry in Los Angeles, California. Akahdahmah went on to complete a 6-year training in Herbal Formulation and Holistic Counseling, and was ordained as a Healing Minister in 2000. He is currently training in Medical Qigong.

As a husband and wife team, Aykanna has toured and taught all over the world including:  Central America, United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Switzerland. Aykanna has performed for thousands at Yoga Festivals and other conscious gatherings including: Sat Nam Fest, Wanderlust, Hanuman Festival, Yoga Journal Conference and the Summer Solstice Sadhana Celebration. Sukhdev and Akahdahmah offer a joyous approach to yogic teachings rooted in love and faith. Aykanna’s music is positive and inviting, reaching out beyond the boundaries of Kirtan and New Age music genres and into the hearts of all people.

Sukhdev’s passion is to work specifically with women by leading a transformative online programs and workshops called “Shakti School”, using  Ancient teachings of Kundalini Yoga, sacred music, and yoga she guides women on a journey to reclaim their voice, power, and grace by empowering them to reconnect with all aspects of themselves.  Sukhdev and Akahdahmah live with their daughter Sahej Rose in Ojai and are working on their latest album “Walking Sky, Dreaming Earth”

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

This week we have a double dose of inspiration and good vibes because our guests are Sukhdev and Akahdahmah, who make up not only the dynamic musical duo Aykanna but also one of the most loving and supportive couples I’ve ever witnessed.

Sukhdev and Akahdahmah passionately share a joint vision to express freedom, unity, peace, and love through sacred music, quantum healing, and Kundalini Yoga. Their love for one another, as well as our mother earth, is infectious, and spreads through their music and teachings — and most certainly through this conversation.

Getting the opportunity to meet these two was one of the highlights of my trip to Attune last year, which is one of the most diverse and thoughtfully curated events of the year. I don’t know what that event will look like in 2020 right now, but I do know we’re going to need the transformational resources and community that Attune provides every year. Head over to attuneexperience.com to learn more and reserve your tickets.

09:55 — The origins of Aykanna, the musical duo and the couple

  • Meeting at Landmark Forum
  • Struggling in addiction
  • Falling in love with Kundalini
  • Being called to be a mantra band

17:00 — Recovering from addiction

  • The root causes of addiction & how yoga and meditation can assist recovery
  • Embracing the Kundalini lifestyle
  • Replacing the addiction lifestyle with the Kundalini lifestyle
  • Existential loneliness
  • The essence of recovery
  • Cultivating connection

27:05 — The magic of mantra

  • Mantras = the ancient languages of the Earth
  • The power of mantra music
  • The language origins of the mantras they use
  • The forgotten power of voice, breath, and intention
  • How vibration affects our biology
  • Mantra is an ancient technology

39:20 — The origins of mantras in Aykanna’s music

  • We are frequency first
  • Every culture has its own version of mantra
  • Creating a village through music

49:10 — Carrying on the tradition or legacy of other cultures

  • The fine line of cultural appropriation
  • Living as part of one nation
  • Showing respect for what we’re learning
  • How we created ceremonies so that men could connect to Mother Earth
  • Be invited & Ask Permission

59:00 — The role of shamanic plant medicines & how to reconcile addiction recovery with their use

  • Plants don’t allow us to do anything that we couldn’t do ourselves
  • The systems within us that the plant reminds us how to use
  • Are you there for spiritual lessons or community and connection?

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  Welcome to the show, you two.

[00:00:05]Sukhdev Jackson:  Thank you. Hi, Luke. 

[00:00:06]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Hey.

[00:00:06]Luke Storey:  Hi.

[00:00:07]Sukhdev Jackson:  I'm really happy to be here.

[00:00:08]Luke Storey:  I'm happy too. I love interviewing couples.

[00:00:11]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Oh, yeah.

[00:00:11]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I've done that a couple times before because-

[00:00:13]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's right.

[00:00:14]Luke Storey:  Especially couples that work together.

[00:00:15]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yes.

[00:00:15]Luke Storey:  I think that's a really interesting dynamic. 

[00:00:17]Akahdahmah Jackson:  It is.

[00:00:18]Luke Storey:  I've tried that experiment a couple times. And they're no longer standing, so I can't wait to talk about that.

[00:00:25]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Oh, we love that. We love that.

[00:00:27]Luke Storey:  How did your groove, Aykanna, come to be? Were you guys together before, and then you made a group or did you make a group, and then become together?

[00:00:35]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Wow.

[00:00:35]Sukhdev Jackson:  Great question.

[00:00:36]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:00:36]Sukhdev Jackson:  Well, it's a long story, but I'm going to give you the short version. We met in '99 at the Landmark Forum. And I noticed he was playing music at some kind of celebration there, and I asked him, I was putting together a nine-piece band back then. That's when I was doing hip hop and I was signed with Alanis Morissette's management in LA. And I basically asked him to come play percussion in that band. And so, he came—and that was two years later after I met him. 

[00:01:06] And so, we went on that whole ride for four years and played a lot around LA. And, you know, talks of a record deal and lots of things going on. I was in addiction back then and kind of hit a rock bottom, and we were still really just playing together. And he was a healing minister with an herb biology practice. And I basically came to him for healing after we had played music together. And I started working with him. He started prescribing herbs to me. He introduced me to kundalini yoga. This was back in 2004.

[00:01:43] And so, we started taking that journey together. And I started doing kundalini yoga. I fell in love with the mantra. I fell in love with the music. I felt like it was just such a natural expansion of where I'd been. And the music business, which I'd been in since I was 17, was so devoid of any real connection and really spirituality, which I didn't know. I mean, that word is very expansive, but I didn't know that I was ultimately looking for a connection with myself.

[00:02:14] And so, through the work that I did with Akah, which spanned a good two years, part of that was kundalini yoga. And inside of that, within the teacher training, I started playing the mantras, we started playing together. And then, Kia Miller, who you probably know, she asked us to create two-and-a-half hours of music for her yoga DVD. And we just started playing in her classes at Yoga Works in Santa Monica. And so, we did that, we made the music. 

[00:02:43] And all of a sudden, we were heading to a kundalini festival and we just looked at each other and we thought, "Well, we should probably print some of this music on a CD and take it with us." And we did that and we got to the festival and we gave the CD to somebody. And from there, it just took off, and it gave us a path. It's not like we decided to be a mantra band, it really called us. And it was an act of service of seva, actually, that called Aykanna into being.

[00:03:12]Akahdahmah Jackson:  I think there's some roots to that as well because I had been involved in a medicine music project called The Urban Shaman. And, you know, this yearning to calm the noise of the heart, calm the emotional noise that I didn't know was anxiety or depression or post-traumatic stress from family trauma. And I was invited to a kundalini yoga class during this time, 2004. I thought it was some weird sexual thing because in my looking to understand sexuality, I had been studying tantra and the kundalini was associated with tantra, you know, so I kept refusing the invitation, you know, being a healing minister and at the church and everything.

[00:03:55] I mean, it was a service. The healing ministry was a service to the community. And I really wouldn't say I am the healer. It was more of creating programs where people could be an administrator, a minister of their own gift, and she was the minister of music. And how can I help guide them to understand how the value of their gift can take care of their life and their lifestyle, as well as be a contribution to uplifting humanity?

[00:04:20] And I went to a Guru Singh class April 8, 2004. It was a Thursday night class, and he broke out with the music, broke out with the mantra. And I say, "Wow", it just opened my heart. I felt the most peace I had felt since I started practicing qigong. And it was just the most incredible thing that moved me to the front of the class afterward and I asked them, "Can I bring my conga to play with you during class?" And he says, "Sure. Come on."

[00:04:51] And that was the beginning of being connected or creating the connection between music and this idea of mantra yoga, this way of guiding our mind to serve our soul, which establishes a deep internal peace from our experience. And that was the impetus that began to grow and grow and grow and grow into what you see today, and what she was mentioning as well. So, that's some of the roots of that.

[00:05:24]Luke Storey:  Did you also have any background with addiction issues?

[00:05:29]Akahdahmah Jackson:  I didn't know it and I did, right? I come from a culture where if you go to see a therapist, then something's wrong with you. So, for the most part, people in my neighborhood or the community I was around, you look to work it out the best way you can. Most of the time, it's just, work through it, push through it. You either have some substance that helps you get through it, but the substance is not considered as helping you get through it. The substance is more about belonging to the community of folks you're with, the people that go to the club.

[00:06:02] The people that DJ, the people that play sports, the people that are in the studio playing music. You know, these substances that were ways of living, which, in a sense, originate as sacred plants, where there was the cocaine or even the heroin or the alcohol or the marijuana. You know, for example, alcohol is a way of extracting the essence of a medicine plant. So, it can go—the essence can just seep into your being. You don't have to worry about digesting it. But we want to extract the good feeling.

[00:06:39]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:39]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right? We want to extract what we think is benefiting us. You know, it's the trap of good or bad, and right and wrong.

[00:06:46]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I guess a lot of it, you know, the poisons in the dose, and then the intention, right?

[00:06:51]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah, exactly.

[00:06:51]Luke Storey:  I remember when I first quit drinking, which is, at the most, coming on 23 years ago, I got really into healing and herbalism and all this stuff. And a lot of the good extracts are in ethyl alcohol, you know.

[00:07:02]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:07:03]Luke Storey:  Your chaga mushroom extract, whatever.

[00:07:05]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right. Right.

[00:07:05]Luke Storey:  And everybody is so paranoid and used to boil the extracts. You know, I boil like a $50 little bottle down to a one drop or full. I mean, like, what the hell?

[00:07:16]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right. Right.

[00:07:17]Luke Storey:  I'd be like, "All right. Let me do two drops, make sure I don't go off the rails."

[00:07:20]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right. Right.

[00:07:21]Luke Storey:  You know, now, I don't even worry about it.

[00:07:22]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah. Yeah.

[00:07:23]Luke Storey:  But it is interesting, you know. It's not like alcohol is good or bad.

[00:07:26]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:07:26]Luke Storey:  It's kind of like, you know, what's the tool being used for. So, in your case, I'm really fascinated. And people that have kind of gone down this shadow path of addiction and things like that because in my experience, so few of us make it out to tell the tale.

[00:07:42]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's right.

[00:07:42]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's right. Yeah.

[00:07:42]Luke Storey:  And, you know, the statistics are not in favor of people who have issues—you know, acute issues with addiction.

[00:07:49]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:07:49]Luke Storey:  So, what were the kind of primary tools that you were able to use to get out of that and live the good life you're living now.

[00:07:58]Sukhdev Jackson:  You know, I think that for me, Akah and having somebody that I saw something in him initially when I met him, and this had nothing to do with attraction. It really was like I saw something in his eyes, and I was like—and I had never seen that. And I had never had a friend like that who had been so kind and so supportive. And I saw something in his eyes and I said like, "Whatever that is, I want that." And I was at the point where I come from a long matriarchal lineage of suicide and just of addiction all around my family. And I just knew that it was my moment, like I was either going down that road of my matriarchal lineage or I was going to do a 180.

[00:08:40] And so, I just began the process of, you know, doing kundalini yoga. You know, he introduced me to veganism. We went to sweat lodge. We fasted. I mean, I went on a two-year rigorous, what we called a spiritual warrior training with him. And he was there the whole time holding my hand. And I had community through kundalini. I was in 12-step. I did so much at the same time, you know. And as an addict, like I was deep in addiction with Class A drugs and everything. You are an extremist, you know. And growing up in trauma, it's kind of like that's locked into your cells, you know. And I'm still-

[00:09:16]Luke Storey:  I relate, yeah.

[00:09:17]Sukhdev Jackson:  Right. I'm still—there's still something in me in this healthy, conscious life that I have to pay attention to, like, "Oh, when am I the extreme of trying to cleanse or do this or that?", you know. And to find more of the middle path. But for me, the essential tools were community was a daily practice, which in kundalini yoga, we call daily sadhana. And that—and good, good food, like really good nutrition, prayer, right? Those things, 15 years later, are still the foundations of my conscious and healthy, sober life.

[00:09:54] I have a daily sadhana, I have community. I pay attention to what I eat, you know, and my prayer is active and exercising and all of that. I think it's really a lifestyle. It's a consciousness. And when you can get out of the consciousness of addiction. And it's really through surrounding yourself with inspirational people who are on the path and who are living that life. Then, I feel like that there's a real chance, you know, to really come out of addiction because I think isolation and disconnection creates addiction. 

[00:10:29]Luke Storey:  Yeah, absolutely.

[00:10:31]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:10:31]Luke Storey:  I always contextualize addiction as, at the core of it is existential loneliness. You know, it's like—I think that's what leads us. Many of us leads into that, you know. It's just, there is no connection. There is no safety. You've experienced trauma. There's no way to express it or process it in a healthy way. So, it's like I have my one friend, you know, I remember when I was a kid, like smoking weed, that was my legit best friend. 

[00:10:56]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right. Exactly.

[00:10:58]Luke Storey:  You know, it's like kids have invisible friends. My friend was in a little Ziploc bag, you know, and that was like, if I had that, I was safe because I could change my perception of the world instantly if I started to find that my perception of the world was uncomfortable. I knew I couldn't change my outer circumstances but I could change the chemistry of my body and brain to have a different lens. You know, it's like a lens shift. 

[00:11:21]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And that's it.

[00:11:21]Sukhdev Jackson:  I think that's why so many people who are in addiction love and gravitate towards kundalini yoga because you're activating this frequency of being very elevated naturally through breath, through movement, through pranayama, right? And through the group experience because it's so much about the group consciousness.

[00:11:43]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And I think that is, what you're saying, Luke, there's a line that my wife wrote, "Isolation brings temptation", or did I write that?

[00:11:53]Sukhdev Jackson:  You wrote that. 

[00:11:54]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Okay.

[00:11:56]Luke Storey:  Unified mind. You know, it's all one.

[00:11:59]Akahdahmah Jackson:  But, you know, that idea, as I said earlier, I didn't think I was addicted because I didn't grow up in a culture that thought about addiction. It was just-

[00:12:09]Luke Storey:  Where did you grow up? 

[00:12:10]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Jersey City, New Jersey.

[00:12:11]Luke Storey:  Okay.

[00:12:11]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And then, at 16, I moved to New York. So, you see-

[00:12:14]Luke Storey:  I just heard it. I moved to New York.

[00:12:16]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah, he always has that voice.

[00:12:18]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right. So, you see the junkie on the corner or the local wino, but it never clicks that that's an issue. That's just part of the neighborhood. Like, "Make a right turn at the wino at the corner, and then a left turn at that stop sign with the bullet hole in it", you know.

[00:12:35]Luke Storey:  Right.

[00:12:36]Akahdahmah Jackson:  It's just part of the fabric of life. But then, when you begin to expand and come out of that, the key that I've seen in now going from a spiritual counseling herbalist to working in specifically addiction and meeting Tommy Rosen, and then the R20 community, there is a sense of isolation. And here comes something that helps us to feel we belong. It was marijuana for me as well. Anything that disturbed my internal being, it made me upset the next day, like sometimes, drinking too much liquor or, you know, trying cocaine, just like anything like that couldn't work.

[00:13:19] But marijuana, it was the thing that could make everything all right, make everything all right. And I think it's—when I—when we speak of recovery, it's recovering that true self. And that's the essence in kundalini yoga and many of the ancient traditions that recognize we are an energy body as well as a physical body. So, it is, in a sense, something to reclaim when we recognize there's an energy aspect to us. How can we relate to that? How can we develop a relationship with that?

[00:13:52] Because that's all the cocaine is dealing with anyway, and the alcohol and the marijuana, if we take those big three, and then all the pharmaceuticals. I talk to clients and say, "Okay, we think the alcohol is making us feel a certain way. We forget our physiology is organizing these constituents to give us the sensation." Right? There are neurotransmitters that are being secreted. I mean, look at heroin, it's just blowing the roof off neurotransmitters. It's so concentrated, right?

[00:14:25] So, the body is like—even marijuana, the euphoria that we have, the endorphins that are being pumped out. And that's why we go to the phase of now, we've produced so much energy to create the feeling. And then, the next thing, what do we do? We get the munchies, right? So, "Give me something sweet", right? That's the fastest way to get energy into the system, "Give it to me. Give it to me." And then, once we get that enough, then what do we want to do next? We want to knock out, go to sleep.

[00:14:54] So, the body has produced so much energy, but we give credit to this outside thing we can relate to rather than relating to the internal energy system that has infinite resources at its disposal. And that's what kundalini yoga, if people know about qigong or tai chi or other practices out there, that helps us to cultivate a connection to something that gives us a sense that there's an infinite resource that we have available.

[00:15:24] And that's what switched me off from marijuana, is to want to know that because I could drop—so, I'm making formulas and oils, and this is the time of dispensaries coming online in California. People just bring me pound bags of black bags, "Make me a hit formula, you know, make me a liniment", make something they can rub on their sternum and make them feel better, like give it some essential oils. And that is seeped into their sternum. And, you know, they got ideas about they want to be the dispensary with the hit formulas, right?

[00:15:56]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:15:56]Akahdahmah Jackson:  This is before CBD and everything like that. But I could drop some in my shake and no one would know. I could put it in my tea and no one would know. I'm getting my micro dose to help calm the noise inside, but to go to the energetic system that you have already in you. Like Yogi Bhajan, who brought kundalini yoga to the United States, said, "It's our responsibility", and I'm paraphrasing a bit, "to feed our soul, prana." 

[00:16:23] And prana is that essence of energy that is contained within the breath that allows us to maintain this consciousness in this space suit, as we call it, right? And here we are with this infinite energy at our disposal that can help us to feel anything we need to feel as a solution to what we don't like or what causes us to have isolation. To know that we can have a connection to something is what really shifted my addictive behavior, which I realized was really emotional. I was creating these—and Dr. Joe talks about it, right? 

[00:17:04] These emotional neurochemicals that I create when I'm thinking about the traumas from the past that I had in the womb to three years old and my family and, you know, all of sudden, I'm thinking about something's wrong, and then I'm something about, "Man, why do I feel this way?" And then, all of a sudden, my body is giving me the neurochemicals to help me feel this way. Even if I don't have the identification of depression or anxiety, I feel this way. And why do I feel this way? Something must be wrong with me. And then, I get more neurochemicals to help me feel this way.

[00:17:34]Luke Storey:  It's so good, the vicious cycle.

[00:17:37]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah. Oh, man.

[00:17:38]Luke Storey:  Yeah. It speaks to, you know, that all of that happening internally. Also, I think when many people are faced with issues of addiction, we erroneously think that it's that thing, it's the weed. "Okay. It's the weed. That's what's messing my life. And so, I just get rid of that, and I'm cool." But it's the underlying dis-ease and discontentment.

[00:17:59]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:17:59]Luke Storey:  And then, you take away the medicine, at least for me, it was like, "Oh, my God, now I'm really screwed." You know, it's like I don't have a means by which to process the traumas of the past. And I don't know that like what I'm really addicted to is negativity and those, you know, addictive emotions and repetitive thoughts and all of that stuff. And it's such a—I think we're in a great time right now because the kind of business and even medical model of addiction is starting to realize that the outer addiction is a symptom of the disease within us, you know. And there's more tools available now. I think people are really fortunate if they are fortunate to ever get over that first hump.

[00:18:37]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:18:38]Luke Storey:  One thing that's been really transformative for me, specifically within kundalini yoga, which I discovered, I don't know, eight, nine years ago, is mantra. There's something magical that happens when you listen to holy words with a vibrational resonance sung by people, played by people who are doing it intentionally that changes how you feel and ultimately who you are over time. And sometimes, I find that in class, I find it easier to transcend when I don't understand the language, you know what I mean? Because it is like I know you guys sing a lot, you're like—your mantras are in English, which are beautiful. And you're in my Spotify playlist and everything. Do you think there's a difference, like if you know what the words mean or not or is it just the essence and the energy of it?

[00:19:33]Sukhdev Jackson:  Well, when you're looking at mantras, what you're working with is the ancient languages of the earth, which are the codes behind all modern languages. So, there's a wiring that happens with the mantra with these ancient languages that really connects to the essence of our being. And so, you know, like English and French and, you know, it's all these modern languages are so literal. And these ancient languages are multi-dimensional.

[00:20:05] And so, the activation of the neurotransmission of fluids of the brain through the tongue hitting the 84 meridians on the roof of the mouth are really activating these experiences that are not accessed through modern languages. So, that's what you're feeling, a lot of like when you don't understand, but there's an energetic resonance there that you can't put words to and that has a very specific activation, like different mantras activate different things, right? 

[00:20:42] So, when you chant Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung with the tip of the tongue and the way that it's moving, it's activating and opening certain parts of the brains that are going to feel and connect to this healing, blissful, connected sensation than you might chant like a mantra like Har Har, which is from the navel, and then all of a sudden, you're really activating your life force energy and your personal will and your power.

[00:21:09] So, different mantras have these different experiences. And because we're so locked with the English, with literal, and I think that English mantras are also very valuable because they help reprogram the loops that we have because the mantras that we have in English or whatever language you speak, most of them are not positive. So, we replace the negative loops with these positive English mantras as well, which can really be helpful.

[00:21:40] So, we love both. But mantra, you—mantra, in and of itself is a technology, man is the projection of the mind, mantra. And so, it's bringing light to the mind. And how you projecting light into the mind so that your projection from your being into the outer world is that of light. It's that of connection. And then, everything when you're in the light, you're feeling love, you're feeling connected, you're out of fear, you're out of the darkness, right? So, I'm sure Akah has some.

[00:22:13]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Well, I was just going to say, you know, any time someone engages in a devotional activity, what we call the bhakti yoga, that devotional activity of using the voice. There is a transformation that has an opportunity to blossom. In the beginning was the word, right? This vibration that we're engaging. So, whether it's English or native language mantra, as you were saying earlier, that intention of utilizing an aspect of the universe, whether it's a physical substance or what was taught to us, the sound, there are living beings.

[00:22:53] A person could chant the vowels and begin to discover the secrets of the universe. But again, it would be from that devotional place. Sometimes, when we're in recovery, we call that the rock bottom where we realize we need to change. There's something that must change. And where can that begin? So, we look at the breath and the voice being connected when we're chanting. And as she mentioned, there is a technology that's within this space suit that's energetic.

[00:23:23] And when you connect to it, and mantra and breath are perfect ways to do it. So, it's an entry point. Whether they're English or whether they're in a language of sacredness, like Sanskrit or Aramaic or something like that, that you still, yes, now, you're getting into more specific, more advanced, you know, like a pure heart degree, you're getting your PHD. Now, you're really diving in the mantras. And sometimes, yeah, without knowing what they mean, go into the feeling of it, you know. 

[00:24:01] Let it ignite from there because we fell into the language of meaning and words, and it was more tonal, you know. There was a vibration that was coming out of you that was maybe a lower vibration than I'd respond with a tone to raise the vibration. But there was no looking at you as bad for your tone or looking at me as good for my tone. It was just this connectedness to toning, and allowing the universe to speak through us. And I think it's happening for us now in this Aquarian Age.

[00:24:34]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I do too.

[00:24:35]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:24:35]Luke Storey:  Something else that's been interesting to observe is the popularity of sound healing and, you know, the crystal balls, the gong, and the sound buds and stuff, which I think first experience in kundalini yoga at the end of a class, it's a wrap, bomb, here comes the gong.

[00:24:50]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:24:50]Luke Storey:  You know, that's like I always wait for that and like, why do I like this so much?

[00:24:53]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yes.

[00:24:54]Luke Storey:  It's so restorative that the vibrational tone of that, and then going in, you know, of course, for years now, in all kinds of different sound experiences, and I think there is something mystical yet deeply scientific about the effect of vibrational tones on our biology at a cellular level. And when I would first hear, you know, my teachers like Tej and Guru Singh, whomever, and they would be quoting Yogi Bhajan about, "Oh, this just activates the pineal gland and extra magnetic field." And I'm like going—I mean, I'd be sitting there like, "I'm cool with this, but I know this is bullshit, you know what I mean?

[00:25:29]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:25:30]Luke Storey:  It makes me feel good. So, it's like, "Okay, Yogi Bhajan, say whatever."

[00:25:34]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:25:34]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:25:34]Luke Storey:  But now, all these years later, you've got people like Joe Dispenza actually explaining the science of it, where you're like, "Oh, you're sending the synovial fluid up, you know, your spinal cord and it is going into the center of your brain and activating the pineal gland", as he calls it.

[00:25:49]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:25:51]Luke Storey:  So, now, it's like, "Oh, wow, there is—the mystics and the scientists are sort of converging."

[00:25:59]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's what they say.

[00:26:00]Luke Storey:  And I think one of the main ways is looking at the effect of sound and vibration, you know, because you know subjectively, "Wow, I feel really good if I listen to Chopin." And if I listen to Slayer, it's a different feeling, you know what I mean? So, I don't know. I don't know where I'm going with that. It's just-

[00:26:16]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah. No, I think it's important too to understand that mantra is a technology, like it has nothing to do with religion. It is really an ancient science.

[00:26:25]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:26:25]Sukhdev Jackson:  It's the ancient science of yoga, you know. And in some religions might have attached to that eventually, but in essence, it was just the people, the indigenous people, the people of the earth were communicating with the cosmos because I mean, that's all they had. You know, they moved with the cycles of life and they communicated with the stars and the cosmos. And that's how all these mantras would download. You know, it's a very essence practice, you know, that was created. And I think it's no coincidence that at this time on the planet, we have every tradition literally accessible through a head of a keyboard.

[00:27:10] It's no coincidence because we're needing these technologies to just hopefully, you know, overcome what's happening to humanity and what's happening to the planet. So, I mean, I feel they're so valuable. And I know that, you know, whenever we're dealing with anything emotional or we're getting into something together or as a family, like the mantra is always what gets us through, you know, chanting together or even chanting silently or—you know, it's a powerful tool, powerful tool.

[00:27:42]Luke Storey:  In addition to the more Eastern-based mantra coming out of the yogic traditions, I saw you guys do a beautiful opening ceremony in which there were what I thought were kind of Native American sound and chanting and whatnot going on, what's your experience with other traditions and have you integrated those? 

[00:28:02]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Indigenous songs that we were singing. I always look to the physiology of the body, physical, and how that has an energetic effect and also connect to the energy aspect of ourselves. And you mentioned the word frequency, to consider that we are frequency first is something to graduate to. Because then, there's an opening of awareness, especially if we have behavior that is counterproductive for our health and well-being, that could be called addictive behavior habits. What is the way to transform? Energy is flowing through our body that in the past, initiating us going out and taking a drink, getting to know each other or in this time, we can sit at a holistic conference called Attune and have some purpose to our conversation. All right? Because of our frequency. What-

[00:29:05]Luke Storey:  I've had no small talk all weekend. It's been amazing. Thank God.

[00:29:10]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right?

[00:29:10]Luke Storey:  You could just sit out with any random person and just dip in.

[00:29:13]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Boom, you see what I mean?

[00:29:14]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:29:15]Akahdahmah Jackson:  So, the singing of—it's part of our fabric as beings that are vibrational. And so, wherever you go on the planet, whatever culture you wind up in, if they're close to the earth, they have a connection to songs that are not just songs like the next greatest hit because the chief really liked this one, it's because, you know, they would balance out the energies because they're going to plant, and they want to sing the vibrational energy into existence, that we're going to plant the seeds, we're setting our intentions, just like we sang the song, an Eagle Song or Earth song.

[00:29:55] So, we sing that Earth Song so that we touch base with where we get this space suit from, where we get everything, these cameras. Everything we have came from Mother Earth. So, what keeps us from recognizing that as a manufacturer, when we make something that is plastic, especially with our daughters' toys, what's it going to wind up being when that child is not playing with it anymore? Why do we only stretch out thought into making something that is marketing a movie, and then give that—let a child or parent buy it and let them play with it? Now, how come we don't think about what happens after that if the earth gave it to us, right?

[00:30:39]Luke Storey:  Every time I walk in like a Target or something, I just see a landfill. You know, it's just all this junk, right?

[00:30:46]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Because how long does it stay in a child's mind or even in ours as far as the sturdiness of it? How long does it stay in its function, right?

[00:30:54]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:30:55]Akahdahmah Jackson:  So, the idea of singing these songs is to come to our essence and the truth of who we are so that we can return to being aware of what is simple. So, we sang a Mother Earth song so we can realize where we come from. So, when we walk on the earth, we tread lightly. We were aware of what we're buying so we know where it's going to go. Sometimes, those little plastic things—because we're in Costa Rica and we're sweeping up the beach and sometimes, those little plastic tags that tagged on the—that the price, sometimes, I just put them under the sink. I don't even throw them away because I just imagine where they're getting caught in the throat of some animal, some marine animal or in the belly of some marine animal.

[00:31:38] But mostly to your point around the songs, you know, we sang an Eagle Song. So, it is to connect to that essence of us that has the ability to see like an eagle because we're made of all the energies of the universe from indigenous perspectives, right? So, how can we embody that? And here come the songs, you know. And we're in the ceremony and there's a—we may do it for the closing ceremony, but there's a traveling song, okina, you know. And when you see it, you feel your body move to create the sound with enthusiasm because these songs are not whispered—you know, these are songs so, well, the earth can hear us.

[00:32:21]Luke Storey:  Now, you guys were bringing it in opening ceremony. That sounds like I want to ask them about what this is.

[00:32:25]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah. And I would just like to relate. You know, Akah, initially, all this came before kundalini yoga. Akah has been sitting with this tribe up in—close to Ojai up on the 33 for over 20 years. He introduced me to them 15 years ago, Mahutasan, when I started doing healing work with him. And, you know, religiously, we go up there multiple times a year and sweat and we do the bare ceremony. He's not the lead drummer.

[00:32:55] And, you know, we've been sitting with these people, watching these children grow up on the land and singing these songs. And that's been such a gift, you know, such a gift. Nothing, again, that he sought or I sought out or it is fun, then to just try to learn these songs. It was just like it fell into our lives. He was invited and I was invited. And then, all of a sudden, it's like you want to keep going that and you want to keep showing up and you want to serve and you want to be a part of their mission and you want to understand their ways.

[00:33:24] And it became another healing path, like the sweat lodge for me became like a dual path to kundalini, very, very important for me and my recovery. And these songs, I mean, these songs are so, so healing. And we sing them often as a family, you know. And we've been given—I always want to say this, but, you know, by Turtle Hawk, who was the chief who recently passed of that land or was the caretaker. He would never call himself a chief.

[00:33:49]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:33:50]Sukhdev Jackson:  But he really gave us permission to share these songs and sing these songs. And yeah. And, you know, I think anything, any practices that can help us to reconnect to the earthly ways. This is what really our family's mission is about. It's like, "Let's get back to nature."

[00:34:08]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:34:08]Sukhdev Jackson:  You know, it doesn't have to be drastic. It doesn't have to be extreme. But let's just connect to these earth songs. Let's connect to how we used to eat and how we take care of ourselves. Let's slow down. Let's put the technologies away. Let's go on walks. Let's be in nature. Let's get barefoot in nature. You know, just simple little practices and technologies that we can do as a family on the daily to stay more connected.

[00:34:37]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And let's talk about that connection because you've mentioned this isolation earlier when we were talking about addiction. But imagine, I went to this land, and Lauren is Turtle Hawk's oldest son. And all of his children, you know, he has eight children with Bonnie. And imagine I go there and about four of his children, you know, there are still some in diapers and still just walking around, and Lauren was about maybe six or seven years old.

[00:35:07] And now, here we are today, and Turtle Hawk would always say that, and his daughter's so diligent about making sure and supporting their mother about having this nonprofit, this inter-tribal preserve to continue, and battling with Ventura County, you know, all the things that happens in the behind the scenes. You know, we hear the songs and we see, but just the support that was given to Turtle and Bonnie by their family, by their children, right? 

[00:35:35] Turtle Hawk would always say that these ceremonies are for the children. Think about the legacy that we have to pass on so that they know where they belong and their responsibility to being in communication with what the earth needs and how to share these songs in ways that help to meet that need. Because I've seen some miracles around healing, but the big thing I wanted to share with you is around legacy and creating connection because now, Lauren has stepped in.

[00:36:06] And it is no easy task. You know, he's stepped into the role of being the leader of the ceremony. And he's in his late 30s, mid-30s. And so, this is something that Turtle Hawk talked about. So, for 20 or so years, and I've watched the Vietnam vets, I've watched those that not just were having addictive problems, but they have served this country and they're dealing with the issues of serving this country and trying to find solutions the best way they can, which may be viewed as addictive behavior. I've seen them come. 

[00:36:41] And this ceremony means something so dear to them and have the guidance of this man so dear to them, that they no longer need the substance or the psychiatrist at the VA, and they can live their life as men with dignity and not remember whatever they remember that doesn't allow them to feel complete and whole anymore. You know, whether it's the guilt or shame of what they had done to serve this country, but just this idea of a legacy and the children get a chance to see that. So, in our lives, what are we doing? These songs, these mantras, you know, Yogi Bhajan created a community. It's more about the village of people that gather around these concepts. In a sense, we think they remember something. 

[00:37:29]Luke Storey:  This brings me to a question in terms of the legacy and passing on and keeping traditions alive, I'll preface it by saying I'm not someone who strives to be politically correct. I strive to be a conscious being, but I think a lot of the sort of fascistic control of our language right now is a slippery slope, so I'll just say that. But I am also reverent and respectful of different cultures and traditions.

[00:37:53]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yes.

[00:37:53]Luke Storey:  And there's this idea that I find is often supported by people who aren't even part of a certain culture or race, which is so weird, but where they're sort of fighting against cultural appropriation, right? Where if you're singing Native American songs or you're doing ceremonies brought from South America or West Africa or wherever, that you're somehow desecrating that by bringing it into Western White culture or something, right? And so, there are people that are, you know, pissed off because certain types of ceremonies and artifacts and art and things are being celebrated and shared. And I kind of see that perspective, right? But at the same time, I look at myself as a teenager who's listening to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, who culturally appropriated blues from African-Americans, right?

[00:38:46]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yes.

[00:38:47]Luke Storey:  I would've never bought a Howlin' Wolf record if it wasn't for Keith Richards. How was I going to find out about Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf or Miles Davis or whoever, right? So, it's like, well, that someone needs to carry on the tradition, and how do you do so in a way that's ethical and supportive of the lineage? In other words, if everyone stops culturally appropriating, then culture ceases, and there is no legacy to carry on because you're not allowed to do that without breaking some sort of unspoken rule that's made up by arbitrary people who are easily offended.

[00:39:20]Sukhdev Jackson:  Such a great statement.

[00:39:21]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:39:23]Sukhdev Jackson:  And me coming from Europe, right? So, coming—so, not being American, I'm really a world being. I was born in Belgium. I moved to London at age 11. I've traveled the world. I came to LA when I was 25. I grew up around Black music my whole life. It just was what I was into and where I was drawn. So, in London, a very eclectic, you know, raising, I just—my normal friends were African, were Moroccan, were Latino, or West Indian. 

[00:39:55] I came to LA and it was very—I felt very segregated, like landing in Santa Monica when I was feeling like, "Where's my people?", you know. So, for me, I have such a different lens on that. And I have more of this world embracing view of that, the intention behind what we're doing as an individual, how we're singing those songs, how we're honoring those that came before us that gave us the permission to sing this song, how, you know, the mantras, you know, being so solid in our daily practice and so devoted to the practice that it feels like second nature to sing these mantras, you know. So, for me, it's much more of this worldly perspective of embracing one nation, like there is no separation.

[00:40:45] We're all one people. We all have the same color of blood, you know. So, that's where I'm coming from with it. And I think that in America, it's very different. And there's a lot of these kind of issues that get raised up and talked about. And I think it's important to a certain degree. But at the end of it, like we are just a human being, we are a soul having a human experience. How can we be the best human we can be and just really let all these separations fall away and be as one people, as one tribe, you know? So, that's the vision that I think we hold as a family of consciousness. You know, it's just like there is no separation.

[00:41:24]Luke Storey:  Do you think perhaps the—and I agree because, you know, I don't look at myself as like a White male. I know the world does, and I'm sure my life has been somewhat easier growing up in America as a White male, like I acknowledge the reality of, you know, people that are too ignorant to see past that, but I truly believe that I've had many experiences here before. And I might have been a shaman in, you know, Peru, right? 

[00:41:51]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yes.

[00:41:51]Luke Storey:  And so, like who's to say I can't wear the garb of a shaman in Peru now just because, you know, God put me in this particular colored meat suit this time, you know.

[00:42:00]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:42:00]Luke Storey:  So, it's like I don't know, it's a funny issue. And I guess the key there is like maybe the gripe of that is when there is not a respect of where it came from or when there's kind of a theft and someone's profiting. So, you have like an Urban Outfitters that's like crystals and, you know, dream catchers are on trend right now, let's capitalize on that shit.

[00:42:22]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:42:23]Luke Storey:  You know, perhaps there's no equity going back to indigenous tribes that are still struggling or, you know-

[00:42:29]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's a really good point.

[00:42:30]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's like-yeah.

[00:42:31]Luke Storey:  Yeah. You know, I don't know there's an answer. I just—these are the kinds of questions that I ponder sometimes because I see the point on both sides. But to me, it's like there is no separation ultimately. We're all spiritual beings in a different-colored, kind of different-gendered meat suit. And if you really zoom out of all the lifetimes we have, it doesn't necessarily matter. Let's all share what works to heal each other and create unity, you know. So, I don't know. What's your take in all that?

[00:42:54]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah. Well, I do think there's that balance as we were just talking about between tradition and how we evolve. And I think at the core of it, Turtle Hawk would always say, "Be invited and ask permission", in terms of how we would conduct ourselves on the land, right? And I think that's what happens with regard to when something is learned and something is liked. Well, there's Keith Richards or was it George Harrison who picked up a sitar and started to-

[00:43:34] It's a respect for where we're learning what we are learning, and then asking permission, you know, "Can I allow it to evolve in me because this is awakening as a way to share it?", which might not be traditional because it comes up in every culture and within the culture, whether it's with regard to indigenous songs and Turtle Hawk had the dream that a woman should be on the drum. And the women are considered to have their own ceremonies. One that happens within their body is their moon cycle, right? 

[00:44:11] So, this ceremony, as the story goes, was brought to man so we can remember the ways to be connected to the movement of the universe. The woman already has everything built within her to know the movement of the universe. And some people, traditionalists, feel it should stay as a ceremony for men. And Turtle Hawk had a dream that a woman should be on the drum. And people were upset about that.

[00:44:38] So, here's a line, "Are we going to trust in what's being spoken to us and speak that out to everyone who's concerned? And if they disagree, will we not do it?" But I think the respect is in expressing it. So, listen, I'm feeling this, I'm hearing this as I'm playing this beat. You know, I don't want to be disrespectful to you. How do you feel about that? And they'll say how they feel. And then, you know, we sit with that.

[00:45:10] And what is the best for everyone? You know, as we act different. My wife will ask permission to teach certain courses in a certain way from the elders. And I think that's the key. We're in a youth-oriented society, and the traditional ways are held by the elders. And there's this separation where we, maybe the elders, are holding on to what they think should be traditional, and then the young generation coming up is saying, "But it needs to change. And, you know, how can we connect?"

[00:45:46]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's such a good point, Akah.

[00:45:48]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:45:48]Sukhdev Jackson:  Really a good point.

[00:45:49]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:45:49]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:45:51]Akahdahmah Jackson:  So, about that connection, it's back to that connection once again. What's best for everyone?

[00:45:55]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:45:56]Luke Storey:  What serves the highest good? Yeah. I guess that's-

[00:45:58]Sukhdev Jackson:  And then, ask permission. You know, be invited and ask permission, those two simple things, I feel like they've gotten me really far.

[00:46:04]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:46:05]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I think I just—you know, I look at concepts like that, and when I see it's a slippery slope, it's sort of like, you know, if you keep going with all of these confines and rules in terms of who can say what and do what culturally and what's appropriate, I mean, at the end of the day, like I can't eat spaghetti anymore because I'm robbing from the Italians, you know. It's like, where does it end, you know?

[00:46:26]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's a big talk right now in the wellness committee.

[00:46:28]Luke Storey:  Yeah, it's-. 

[00:46:28]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's a big topic, yeah. And I think that, yeah, it's good to talk about it and it's good to bring it out into the open and get the different perspectives. And I think that something like what Akah mentioned, which is what Turtle Hawk gifted us, be invited, ask permission. Just those two principles can really diffuse some of the tension that people might be feeling about, like, "Oh, we're singing their songs or we're wearing the—or there's a White man now leading an ayahuasca ceremony in Tapanga", you know. It's like ask permission to be initiated if that's—if it's an initiated kind of process. You know, kundalini yoga, and that's why I love it, it's self-initiation. You have to activate your own power and initiate yourself, you know. So, yeah. But there is really good conversation ongoing.

[00:47:20]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Respect.

[00:47:21]Luke Storey:  And on that note, I know we're limited on time here because we all want to go see Joe Dispenza, my interviews go three sometimes, you know.

[00:47:29]Sukhdev Jackson:  Really?

[00:47:29]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:47:30]Sukhdev Jackson:  Wow.

[00:47:31]Luke Storey:  They go as long as they need to go.

[00:47:32]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah, that's cool.

[00:47:32]Luke Storey:  I've tried to put containers around them and it's just—I can't stop sometimes. I did want to ask you though, just in the context of addiction recovery and the work you do with Tommy Rosen and this kind of world, and then the side of shamanic practices and healing traditions that include plant medicines, is that something you guys have worked with at all? Do you have any desire to? What's your take on unconsciously exploring the world of medicines?

[00:48:03]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah, it's an interesting thing coming through herbal training and having a consciousness of being in communication with plants. Of course, everyone's journey is their own, right? But for me, and even letting go of marijuana, plants come, and when you look at it, they have the plan planted within them, right? We're in a planet, there's a plan. There's a plan for us.

[00:48:28]Luke Storey:  I like that plan. That's some Guru Singh shit right there.

[00:48:33]Sukhdev Jackson:  Totally.

[00:48:33]Luke Storey:  There are like five meanings for every word. You know, that's like, "Oh, I never looked at it like that."

[00:48:38]Akahdahmah Jackson:  But think about there's that plan, so plants have that ability to help us discover that plan or remember that plan. I think it's—especially today as the energy field is being more activated, our energy systems are being more activated, our physical body is being more activated, that it's important to realize when we're leaning on something, to do something for us that we have the ability to do. And that's where I see in the addiction rooms as far as spiritual counseling is concerned. 

[00:49:13] When people are suffering, after I get to know them, they're not stepping—cancel, delete. They are they are somehow preventing themselves from stepping into their abilities. That would be the solution for what they face. And sometimes in this culture of transforming from the outside thing that we do, Piscean Age to the internal being that will initiate the experience being in the Aquarian Age, that I wonder, are we catching remnants of the Piscean age in terms of the plants that helped to activate our true being? 

[00:50:01] And we're now graduating deeper into a time of being. So, now, what is the infinite energy system designed into us that allows us to access that energy? Now, let me tell you what opened my eyes to that. In practicing Qigong, I met a Tibetan master. And what she does is she will chant the mantra into water, and that will be your medicine. So, we seek out certain traditional indigenous practices. And it does, yeah, it ignites within us. What's there? You're catching me in my research now with this question. What about the systems that are in us that the plant is reminding us we have the ability to use?

[00:51:01] Are we taking an extra step outside of our ability, giving it to the plant to do for us, then experiencing it, and then hopefully recognizing that we have the ability or do we gravitate to the communal aspect of that? And it gives us a place to belong with other people that are on that same journey. And then, we gain significance by being with other people on the same journey rather than really focusing on the essence of what's calling us to connect to that plant in the first place. Where are we in our consciousness as far as our journey and where are we in thinking about connecting to ourselves, that whole connection piece or isolation? 

[00:51:48] Because we've seen it, you know, the spiritual ego can slip into the isolation and that isolation mimics itself as belonging to a group. That's with this master, and that's where they feel they belong and safe. But when they get out of that, the medicine keeps working because the plant medicine wants you to be you. Plant medicine doesn't want you to rely on it, from my experience of being with plants. They're there to ignite in you the awareness of carry on.

[00:52:20]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:52:20]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right? Carry on.

[00:52:21]Luke Storey:  In my, you know, not the earlier use of different plants and substances, I had a couple of awakenings, like one on LSD, one on mushrooms that I think informed my worldview to some degree, but it was accidental, you know, whereas my most recent exploration earlier this year in Costa Rica, it was like going in knowing I'm just going to get a glimpse, the veil is going to be lifted, but that's not the real world, you know, that it's like it's just a chance to kind of be a fish and poke your head above water and, "Oh, shit, there's sky out here", but you still got to go back underwater and be a fish because you don't know how to fly.

[00:52:59] You know, you can't go through the world on ayahuasca or something. You know, it's just not practical to stay on that wavelength where all of the dimensions are available to your perception. So, it's just like a peek at, "Oh, okay. I get what's there. Let's put—let's close that box back up, go back in the world and take that knowing or those realizations or healings back into real day-to-day grind", driving and traffic, going to the bank.

[00:53:21]Sukhdev Jackson:  And that's where the daily practice, the daily sadhana, which is really the foundation of all the work we do and the work that I do with my women school, it's the heart of any transformation. So, if you're coming out of a ceremony and you don't have a daily practice, get yourself one because then, you will be able to preferably implement, you know, the realizations and the different realms that you've opened up within you, the medicine that you've opened up, that must be a daily practice. I mean, must is a strong word, but I mean, that's been my saving grace, is the daily sadhana before the sun rises, that's like everything.

[00:54:01]Luke Storey:  You're my hero. 

[00:54:01]Sukhdev Jackson:  You know, it's my thing.

[00:54:02]Luke Storey:  My dream in life and my goal is to sun gaze every morning, you know, which is difficult to do in Ojai, you know, to get that because you have—it's in that valley.

[00:54:12]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yes.

[00:54:12]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yes.

[00:54:12]Luke Storey:  I want to move there, but I'm like, I don't know, I've got to find a vantage point for the sunrise, and then you're going to go really far to get the sunset because that one mountain is in a way, you know.

[00:54:19]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:54:19]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's right.

[00:54:20]Luke Storey:  But the days when I am able to do that, this morning, I got out there a little bit after sunrise and did, you know, my breathing, grounding, shirt off, like praising the sun and all that, and it just made it just a completely different day.

[00:54:32]Sukhdev Jackson:  Absolutely.

[00:54:33]Luke Storey:  There's nothing that compares to that. And I think that someone could utilize things like that as a regular discipline, and probably achieve, like you're saying, what's on the inside that you could get a glimpse of by sort of taking a fast elevator to a certain point of consciousness with medicine, where you're like, "Oh, I'm on the 32nd floor, shit", you know. But there's the other path, which is kind of climbing your way up the stairs, you know, and it's like you keep that vantage point as you go. So, you know, I don't know if there's a right or wrong, good or bad. To me, there's not. It's all useful. And it's on context.

[00:55:06]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yes.

[00:55:06]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, it's been proven that they've done studies with people who've been deep in addiction, about 60% benefited from those kinds of ceremonies and have stayed sober, and then 40% haven't, you know. So, there is genuine studies out there that are showing that. And I think it's a very individual path. You know, our path is kundalini and these native songs and activating the inner pharmacy, you know. And that's been what's working for us and what we're sharing and teaching.

[00:55:37]Luke Storey:  The inner pharmacy, I like that.

[00:55:39]Sukhdev Jackson:  The inner pharmacy.

[00:55:40]Luke Storey:  I like that.

[00:55:40]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:55:40]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Well, we have DMT in there already, you know.

[00:55:44]Sukhdev Jackson:  That's right. You've got everything you need in there.

[00:55:45]Luke Storey:  Yeah, if you could find ways to activate it.

[00:55:47]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:55:48]Luke Storey:  All right. So, we got to get out of here really quick. I'm going to give you a lightning question. And that is—and you can each answer and give me three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and work that the audience might be able to go study up on.

[00:56:03]Akahdahmah Jackson:  We'll go back a fourth, one and one.

[00:56:06]Sukhdev Jackson:  I would say Yogi Bhajan from the kundalini tradition.

[00:56:11]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And I would say George Washington Carver. Incredible, right? The man who talked to flowers.

[00:56:19]Luke Storey:  Interesting.

[00:56:20]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah. Yeah. We can clear the space and say, "Hey, dig up under here", and there's a rose bush.

[00:56:25]Luke Storey:  No way.

[00:56:26]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And he'll take the soil out, separate it into pigment, then draw by—I should say, paint by hand the rose bush that he saw.

[00:56:35]Luke Storey:  Holy crap. 

[00:56:36]Akahdahmah Jackson:  So, I mean, the idea of having that connection to creation is what he teaches me.

[00:56:42]Luke Storey:  Cool.

[00:56:43]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah, I would say the Sufi master, Inayat Hazrat Khan, who wrote The Music of Life, that book and those teachings have had a big impact on me. Yeah.

[00:56:54]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah. And The Secret Life of Plants. Again, nature in me, that's my medicine.

[00:57:04]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:57:04]Akahdahmah Jackson:  So, anything that helps to really-

[00:57:08]Luke Storey:  I'm with you on that.

[00:57:09]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:57:11]Sukhdev Jackson:  For me, like all the ancient women, feminine mystics, you know, Mary Magdalene and all those ancient mystics that are really the feminine that have really awakened the feminine aspect, the shakti aspect of what it is to be a woman and to be in the flow and to nurture the earth and nurture ourselves and each other with that feminine touch. You know, that's been a big teacher right now for me. Yeah.

[00:57:37]Luke Storey:  Cool.

[00:57:38]Akahdahmah Jackson:  And there's a book called The Prayer of the Cosmos. And that was influential in growing up Baptist and doing my training in the First Evangelical Church of Christ. It was a book that put the teachings, the essence of the teachings from the Middle East into perspective. And this is from Aramaic, the Lord's Prayer and the Beatitudes or broken down from a metaphysical, literal and a cosmic meaning because that's how Aramaic should be interpreted. But, you know, Latin or Rome, you know, these languages are literal.

[00:58:17] So, we didn't get our father, which art in heaven. So, when I need my father, where is—well, how am I going to connect? But in the first line of Aramaic, it's abwoon d'bashmaya, the great parent of creation that dwells in the center of creation. And that's where Aykanna comes from, that line, the fourth line, that will be done on earth as it is in heaven, neywey tzevyanach aykanna d'bwashmaya aph b'arha, right? So, that Aykanna is that just as, is that link. It's that connection, that pipeline, that connection we're talking about that allows us to experience heaven while we're in earth.

[00:58:54]Luke Storey:  That's dope.

[00:58:55]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:58:55]Luke Storey:  That reminds me a lot of Emmet Fox's work, you know, scientific Christianity.

[00:59:00]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah, true.

[00:59:01]Luke Storey:  Doing away with all of the metaphor, you know.

[00:59:03]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:59:04]Luke Storey:  And just getting down to the essence of what it's actually saying.

[00:59:07]Akahdahmah Jackson:  That's right.

[00:59:07]Luke Storey:  Because I never grew up in a religion or church, but years ago, I got into Emmet Fox's stuff and I was like, "This is the Jesus stuff. This is dope."

[00:59:15]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Right.

[00:59:15]Luke Storey:  You know, "This works. You do what it says on this page, your life's better. It's very simple."

[00:59:19]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Exactly.

[00:59:19]Luke Storey:  Well, thank you, guys. Lastly, where can we find you online? Websites, social media, any of that.

[00:59:24]Sukhdev Jackson:  We're at aykanna.com. Spotify, you know, on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. Akah has a platform under akahjackson.com.

[00:59:33]Akahdahmah Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:59:34]Sukhdev Jackson:  And I have a women's empowerment school under shaktischool.com.

[00:59:38]Luke Storey:  Awesome.

[00:59:38]Sukhdev Jackson:  So, there's a few places.

[00:59:40]Luke Storey:  Cool.

[00:59:40]Sukhdev Jackson:  But mostly, you'll find us on Instagram.

[00:59:42]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:59:42]Sukhdev Jackson:  Sukhdev, Akah, Aykanna.

[00:59:43]Luke Storey:  All right. Great. Awesome.

[00:59:45]Sukhdev Jackson:  Yeah.

[00:59:45]Luke Storey:  And you guys can find all those links in the show notes too. Well, thanks for joining me.

[00:59:48]Sukhdev Jackson:  Awesome.

[00:59:48]Luke Storey:  Let's get out here.

[00:59:49]Sukhdev Jackson:  Thank you.

[00:59:49]Akahdahmah Jackson:  All right. Okay.



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