290. Stone By Stone: The Pathway To Enlightenment W/ Panache Desai

Panache Desai

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.

Panache Desai is a bestselling author, thought leader, and business and life catalyst. His loving and compassionate presence and unique power of insight have transformed countless individuals, organizations, and companies across the globe. Through his gift of energetic transformation, Panache empowers people to break free from suffering and limitation, guiding them into greater states of connection, collaboration, and love. This mastery delivers astonishing levels of personal and professional success allowing them to discover and live a life that is truly without limits.

Panache has been interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on her wildly popular Super Soul Sunday show. He has collaborated alongside Deepak Chopra, steps in for Rev. Michael Beckwith at the Agape International Spiritual Center, and worked with Neale Donald Walsch, Brian Weiss, MD, and James Redfield. Panache’s new book “You Are Enough” was published by Harper Collins in February 2020.

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.

When Oprah Winfrey, Jack Canfield, and Deepak Chopra all agree on something, you know it’s probably worth at least checking out — and I was absolutely blown away by my time with Panache Desai, author of "You Are Enough: Revealing the Soul to Discover Your Power, Potential, and Possibility."

There are few conversations I’ve had in my life that were more uplifting or inspiring than this one. Panache is truly a spiritual teacher for the modern age, able to communicate spiritual truths and ancient concepts in a way that feels simple and approachable. 

"You Are Enough," for example, shares a revelatory energetic process that moves you beyond what holds you back, opening a gateway to passion, purpose, and possibility. It isn’t just a theory. You can put the ideas that Panache shares in this podcast and in the book into action right away, transforming the way you experience life.

But, above all else, we both hope you leave this episode with one takeaway — that YOU ARE ENOUGH!

07:45 — Being grateful

  • There are small gifts that came during the pandemic, especially if you get to spend more time with family
  • The health struggles that Panache’s youngest child went through during the first 18 months of her life
  • We need to suffer in order to be humble
  • Advice for anyone struggling with the trap of fear in this time of magnificent change and social upheaval

14:15 — Growing up & finding the spiritual path

  • Panache grew up Indian in London 
  • Spirituality was a big part of his life from a young age
  • Realizing he was born with true spiritual gifts and insights
  • How his saving grace came through music
  • Getting burnt out, taking a break, and then returning to spirituality with renewed vigor
  • The uplifting energy of being around Kundalini when you’re young

26:40 — Reconciling the brand with spiritual service

  • Panache’s awakening
  • The difference between having a career and having a calling
  • How to maintain humility as one grows in fame, notoriety, and success
  • How to be empathetic and serve others without taking on their burdens

36:05 — “The Fallen Guru” phenomenon

  • The first time Luke prayed to a particular entity
  • The subsequent scandal around that guru
  • Not mistaking yourself as the source when you are a spiritual teacher
  • How Panache has had to contend with the spiritual ego and the feeling of specialness
  • Every role we identify with is a limitation that we eventually have to transcend

43:35 — How ayahuasca served as a catalyst for Panache

01:02:45 — Your luminous self

  • Finding an entry point to the luminous aspect of yourself, even without plant medicine
  • Purifying the vessel
  • Nurturing sustainable states of connection
  • What it’s like to see non-physical entities on a regular basis, including the ones behind me during this recording
  • Everything required to make it through this life and beyond has already been gifted to us
  • "The play of consciousness =" by Muktananda

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Welcome to the show, sir.

[00:00:29]Panache Desai:  It's great to be with you, brother. Thanks for having me on.

[00:00:32]Luke Storey:  Absolutely, man. So, tell me about the most exciting thing going on in your life right at this moment.

[00:00:38]Panache Desai:  The highlight of my life right now is walking out of my office, into my family room, and seeing my wife teaching kindergarten and first grade to my children, and then having the gift and blessing of having their mother be available to them all day long without interruption. Literally, every time I'm walking in there, I'm just so touched and just so grateful for the gift that is emerging out of this challenging time that we as a family together and spending time in proximity, that is just time that is just so valuable. And so, that, for me, right now is everything.

[00:01:18]Luke Storey:  I love it. I love it. That's a great way to start off this conversation. And this will come out, hopefully, as things have calmed down and this pandemic drama has subsided to a degree, but I'm sure there will be repercussions, especially for many people that have become unemployed and are going to be hit financially as a result of this country basically shutting down. So, I'm sure that people will need that perspective at whatever time they're hearing this.

[00:01:45] But likewise, as we kind of discussed briefly before we started recording, I've been put back into the stone ages of my recording technology here. Back when I started, I did everything on Skype and Zoom, and there were always these technical problems with connections, and earbuds dying, and this kind of stuff. And I've been so fortunate to do them live in person. So, when that became impossible, as was our originally scheduled in-person interview, I had to make some mental adjustments and find the silver lining in my production process and in my ability to still do what I do. And one of the main things for me has been going, wow, to think about all of the people that can't go to work and earn a living now because of what's going on.

[00:02:28] And thank God, I'm able to do what I do with a computer in front of me and an internet connection despite my being kind of spoiled with really high quality audio and video over the past couple years, from doing them in person and really fine-tuning and always upgrading the end product of the content I'm putting out. So, I'm stoked that I'm still able to do that and talk to people like you and even livestream it for our friends here on Facebook and Instagram. So, that's cool, man. Thank you for the attitude adjustment. And speaking of your kids, from what I understand, you've got two sets of twins, right?

[00:03:04]Panache Desai:  I do. I've got two seven-year-olds and two five-year-olds.

[00:03:08]Luke Storey:  Wow.

[00:03:09]Panache Desai:  Yeah.

[00:03:10]Luke Storey:  That's so incredible. And I know that one of your daughters has had some health challenges. How is she doing right at the moment?

[00:03:19]Panache Desai:  She's doing great. So, Celeste and Leo were born in February of 2010—it's February 10th actually of 2015. And my first set of twins were born in 2012. And she was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease and complication of a heart disease. And so, basically, we were told while we were pregnant with her that she probably wasn't going to make it. She was subsequently born. Within hours of being born, had her first open-heart procedure. Subsequently, went on to have four other open-heart procedures, and then a heart transplant. And so, this is within the eight first 18 months of her life. And she's five now. She's healthy. She's the boss baby of our house.

[00:04:05]Luke Storey:  She's the alpha baby?

[00:04:07]Panache Desai:  She has fundamentally redefined everything for me and for my family. And she just puts everything into perspective every day for us all.

[00:04:17]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I sent a friend of mine, who will, I guess, remain unnamed, but he could be watching or eventually listening to this. I sent him a podcast of yours that I listened to this morning, actually, while I was getting up watching the sunrise. That's another benefit of what's going on? The sunrise practice, sun gazing for me has been something that's been difficult to keep up with living where I live now in Laurel Canyon, because I have to drive up the hill. It's cold. It's dark.

[00:04:44] But I've been doing it because I go to bed early now because nothing's going on. But I was listening to your podcast episode this morning, he has a daughter with, I would say, a similar degree of complications. And as you know, I'm sure having a hard time with that at various times. So, it's a real gift to be able to hear your story regarding that and sent that to him. And he had just texted me before we started, he said, "Oh, my God, thank you for sending this. I really needed to hear this right now." So, it's out of suffering often, isn't it, that some of our greatest gifts emerge?

[00:05:16]Panache Desai:  Yeah, we need to suffer in order to be humble, in order to access the vulnerability to receive the help that we need, to know that the whole timing of everything with life was just so divinely orchestrated because I was on Oprah in February of 2013, my book came out in April of 2014, and we were notified that we were pregnant again and we were just on one high after another. I mean, it was just this amazing wave of grace that was traversing through our life.

[00:05:42] And all of a sudden, we get a phone call from the hospital that there was an issue in one of the ultrasounds. And in that moment, it's like everything gets redefined and everything stops. And it's the cracks, right? It's the cracks in the identity, the cracks in the persona, the cracks in the success, and the fame, and the reach, and whatever all of these things are to which grace enters our lives. And her journey for the last five years has been nothing short of extraordinary because as much as she's the one that's been going through it, my family's closer together now than it ever has been.

[00:06:19] And I always say to people, she specifically came into my life to help me correct my own heart defect, to help me become clearer about what I was living for, what was driving me, what was motivating me to help me understand what was important and what we, as human beings, really need. And I've discovered in so many ways, brother, through all of the explorations that I've done during that five-year window, that really, our biggest blessing is just this gift of connectivity that we share with each other. There's nothing transcendent about it. There's nothing amorphous about it. There's nothing other-dimensional about it other than just one human heart authentically being present for another like we are now.

[00:07:02]Luke Storey:  Out of all of the spiritual teachers and inspiring people that I've interviewed and there's been, well, I guess, right now, I'm up to about 200 interviews. Some of them have not been necessarily spiritually-oriented, many of them just about general health. But it's very rare that I interview someone who is deeply committed to their path that hasn't gone through some pretty serious adversity.

[00:07:26] And the ones that haven't, I always find them to be the most interesting, because it leads me to believe that they must have had a lot of experience in suffering in prior incarnations that led them to their commitment in this one, because you look at their life here and everything's been relatively smooth. They didn't have a significant amount of trauma, or addictions, or illness, or any of the things that so often drive us. As you said, through those cracks, they create the armor, the shell of the ego, the identity that persuade us and encourage us to seek a greater understanding.

[00:08:01] So, I always find those people really interested. I'll ask them, like what was it that that hooked you, that caused that surrender experience? And every once in a while, someone's like, nothing, I just love God. I always find that so odd and so curious. In terms of your experience growing up as an Indian kid in London, did you experience any adversity as a kid? Was there any trauma, or bullying, or not feeling as though you fit in or any of that that led you to a spiritual path, or were you just drawn toward meditation, and mindfulness, and all the things that you like to share now? 

[00:08:43]Panache Desai:  I think the biggest blessing for me was that the first five years of my life was spent with my grandmother, and my grandmother was an extremely devotional woman. And she would pray every day. She would chant every day. I grew up in the meditation room, in the house. There's the big smell of incense every day, that good temple incense, and this was my introduction onto this planet. And of course, being Indian in the UK, lots of gurus, and saints, and sages would come to visit London on their way to America, on the way to other places. 

[00:09:15] And on the weekends, we'd go and see them and have darshan, and like buck you on your head with some peacock feathers, and pick up some Indian sweets. And typically, you have to stand in line for about two or three hours because of a lot of Indians everywhere. And I would always get to the front of the line with my family, whatever family member I was with, and they would always just say, thank you for incrementing, we've been waiting for you. And I just found that to be the strangest thing ever, and this is when I was still very young.

[00:09:41] Also, this phenomenon that's kind of expressing itself through me was also expressing itself through me then, I just didn't understand it, and in some ways, I was afraid of it. I've always had a very heightened sensitivity, very, very heightened sensitivity. I could basically feel things in people. I could see things that were going to happen, I could experience things inside of myself that were happening in the other person, and I would be able to tell them exactly what I was feeling.

[00:10:10] And it's like, how do you know that? I've never shared that with anyone in my life. And some of the earliest occurrences of this phenomenon or the manifestation of it, where that my mind was actually dating, who is now my uncle, the best, at the time. And my grandparents are having a bit of a hard time with this relationship. So, my auntie would say to my grandma, I need to take Panache up to get some ice cream, right? So, scraped me, obviously, it was a lot of ice cream.

[00:10:36] And so, I'd end up in a park and they would kind of keep an eye on me, and I'd be sitting there just kind of playing and minding my own business. And I remember distinctly the people would be drawn to me. And this is one particular occasion when this slightly elderly gentleman was drawn to me, and he had just been burdened by a life just that kind of worn down, like shoulders hunched over kind of an energy, and he sat next to me.

[00:11:01] And then, all of a sudden, he began to unburden himself, and all of this stuff again came out of him, like all of this sadness and everything that have been repressed to the subconscious level, we call them some scars, began to come out. And once this was finished, he got up and he was sparkling. The only thing that I can liken it to is like somebody before an ayahuasca journey and somebody after an ayahuasca journey.

[00:11:26]Luke Storey:  I'm familiar with that contrast, yes.

[00:11:28]Panache Desai:  Yeah, except that there was no ayahuasca. It was just my presence alone and my beingness was, this was happening. So, I was just weird, bro, like I was like so bizarre in the context of life. And even though I was in a spiritual family, they didn't. I mean, they didn't know what to do with me. I mean, this is beyond what they were even aware of. And so, life was hard because when you get older, you become a teenager, it's all about finding belonging and community, and I didn't really fit in anywhere.

[00:11:57] I didn't understand this kind of herd mentality, right? So, of course, it made me a target. Subsequently, was bullied and I had to learn to stand up for myself, and I learned very early on that if I could match the energy of the person, that that would be enough. So, I learned as almost like a self-defense mechanism that if there was an energy coming at me, if I could match the intensity of that energy, that nine times out of 10, that person would back down because what we were responding to is the energy.

[00:12:27] And so, for the most part, I was fine. There were some experiences that I've had. But my savior, my saving grace came through music in the UK, in my teens. During all this bullying, and everything was going on, and there's stuff going on at home with mom and dad, where I wasn't sure that they were going to make it at this point in their marriage. And I turned on the radio, the FM dial at that point, FM dial.

[00:12:48]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I remember the FM dial.

[00:12:49]Panache Desai:  Some viewers are going to have to Google it. And basically, in London, they would hijack both ends of the FM dial, right? And this is music coming out. By then, it was like drum and bass at the time, and jungle. And then, it was basically garage and two-step. I was just like wow, this is the coolest thing until all of a sudden, I found an outlet for myself. I began writing lyrics, and writing rhymes, and got involved in pirate radio. And I was the only Indian kid involved in like the underground music scene. 

[00:13:18] Of course, the only problem with that at the time was that it was very dangerous because all of the best music was going on one of the underground clubs, and was typically a lot of violence there, a lot of kind of beefs that were being settled in real time in these environments. And the combination of this for me, this kind of phase of life in London happened, actually, at the club in Brixton. I had an altercation prior where three people had kind of jumped me because I was Indian and in a place that they felt Indian people shouldn't be.

[00:13:43] And then, I was embarrassed to go home, so I went out ended up in an after-hours club. And before we got there, somebody had been shot. And this is a very serious situation that happened we didn't know about. Next thing you know, there's another altercation that happens with some friends of mine. Next thing, guns are drawn and the Metropolitan Police surrounds the club. They won't come in because they don't want to breach the club because they don't want a shootout or a hostage situation, and we were basically just let out one by one.

[00:14:21] And in that moment, I realized that I was living alone, but I had to get back to the spirituality of my childhood that I was tired of making other people happy, predominantly my grandfather, because I was Indian. I was even studying a degree at that point that I didn't really love. I want to study philosophy, but he basically told me to go and go to study because unless you're a doctor or a lawyer, you're a failure when you're Indian.

[00:14:46]Luke Storey:  Many of my Indian friends support that same narrative in their experience. It's interesting. Yeah.

[00:14:53]Panache Desai:  So, my wake-up call came in this moment of just, okay, if I keep doing what I'm doing, not just the music, but everything that I'm doing, not only is the suffering getting louder, and louder, and louder, but I'm actually not putting my life in jeopardy in being in this situation. And I sat down with my mom, and I said, "Mom, I'm dying here. I'm miserable. I'm trying to make everybody else happy. I'm trying to do what everybody else wants me to do, but this is just, I mean, miserable. 

[00:15:24] I have to go be a monk. I have to go away and live like a monk for six months." And these words just fell out of my mouth. And I ended up moving to an ashram, residential retreat center, lived the monastic life for six months. And that's really where my return to spirituality returned to the deep immersion and spiritual connection, the oneness and the return of all of the gifts, again, was in the ashram.

[00:15:49]Luke Storey:  Wow. There's so much to unpack there. It's interesting that you were a kid and experiencing these cities, right? It sounds like of varying degrees, meaning, these sort of phenomenon of spiritual energy and transmitting shock to the kids in school, and they're going, who is this freak? And I imagine that it's like the kid that has a ESP powers and everyone's sort of afraid of, I'm picturing that. And also, I really relate the experience to a lesser degree because it was only a couple of times this happened. 

[00:16:24] But I remember being a little kid in the Bay Area where I lived primarily, and at one point, my mom, she doesn't like when I call her a hippie because in the '60s, hippies didn't shower a lot, and kind of roam the streets, and did a lot of drugs, and that wasn't really her scene. She's like, I was a mod, but to me, she was a hippie because of the incense and the music that's played in the house, and the floral dresses, and just the whole vibe. Lots of plants in the house. It's very earthy kind of vibe.

[00:16:52] But anyway, at one point, we got invited to go see a Swami Muktananda, who, at that time, in the late '70s had an ashram in Oakland. And so, we went there to go to darshan with a friend of my mom's, went and stayed the night in Oakland. And I remember being a kid, and the minute I walked in there, and took my shoes off, I just felt so at home and it had such a huge impact on me to the point that later in life, when I was really in dire straits myself, Eastern mysticism and the Indian Saints, sages, and gurus were the path that I first found as a means to salvation.

[00:17:35] But the shock, the experience of Muktananda just being in his presence had that much of an imprint on me. I think I was eight or nine years old. It would have been '78, '79, something like that, that that really forged my path. And of course, all of these years later, now, I'm 49 years old, I mean, those teachings and the various forms of yoga, and meditation, and going to India myself many years ago for a period and all of that, it had such a big impact.

[00:18:03] And it's interesting, I think, as I'm not a parent, but as a parent, I can imagine you don't know the impact those experiences are having on a kid because you're just kind of dragging them along to what you want to do, but that spiritual energy is real, and it's palpable, and influential, and it does imprint the consciousness of a kid who is perhaps karmically destined to be there at that moment and have that experience, but I'll never forget that.

[00:18:28] And also, the thing that I remembered about it was when I went up to get my blessing, my mom was by my side, and he said, "Oh, this boy has a very old soul." And I was like, yeah, because when you're a kid, everyone treats you like a kid, and you want to be old, and tough, and all those things. And I was like, yeah, mom, listen to that, I've got an old soul. And it's just one of the most cherished experiences of my life, and memories like that, and many others to follow.

[00:18:59] So, I love that part of your story that those things had an influence and I'll be in a Kundalini yoga class or something now and see someone there with their kids. And I'm always like, yes, good move because no matter what path they end up taking, maybe they don't become the spiritual teacher, but the energetic imprint and influence is undeniable, whether they're interested or not, it's just being in an energy field that's that uplifting is so powerful. So, thank you for sharing that.

[00:19:26] So, you have this kind of awakening experience where you realized, although you're enjoying music, and clubs, and you're finding a tribe amongst your friends, you go off on this retreat for six months, how did that evolve in you becoming a spiritual teacher and earning a living doing that? And B, although I didn't name A, have you ever struggled with reconciling kind of creating a brand and marketing spiritual gifts? So, what was that transition like? And has it been something you've had to tread carefully around or has it just been a natural progression that you didn't have to think about much?

[00:20:11]Panache Desai:  So, first of all, what you just said to me was beautiful because my mother before she had me had a stillborn baby girl and she went to Ganeshpuri and Baba Muktananda blessed me in the womb at three months old.

[00:20:23]Luke Storey:  What?

[00:20:24]Panache Desai:  Yeah.

[00:20:24]Luke Storey:  No way. Wow.

[00:20:25]Panache Desai:  Yeah. And the meditation center that we had in the home was swarming with the numbers of padakas, which are the sandals, were there, and we had a signed picture swarming with an under wall and Bagja Jatin on the back wall. And so, this was my childhood. And when I went to the ashram, I went to South Fallsburg, Upstate New York, because there's a room there where Baba Muktananda is cherished there and his sandals.

[00:20:55] And the reason why I went there is because people don't really go to that room. They spend most of their time in the temple or doing their seva. And so, when I wasn't doing my selfless service, I would go and sit with Baba who actually always felt more like my father than my actual father. It's a very strange connection I have with him. And this is where everything began to kind of awaken in me. So, I can't believe you just shared that, but of course, you just did.

[00:21:22] So, this is how we're related. And then, the other part of it is that so in the ashram itself, it was very hard for me because there was a guru there at the time, Gurumayi, and I love Gurumayi. I'm so grateful to her for everything that she's done for me that she's done for my family for keeping Baba's teachings alive in the world and for doing everything that she's doing. She's just an incredible, incredible presence on this Earth.

[00:21:50] And the hard thing for me was that people were experiencing things through me that you're only supposed to experience through the guru. And so, like, I would touch people, they would go into samadhi. I would know things about people that I would share with them, like I just had this habit of showing up at the right time, in the right place with people, and all of a sudden, sharing what was required. And then, they would just fall on the floor and trying to touch my feet and say, "You're my guru", and I'll be like, no, get away from me.

[00:22:15] And so, yeah, it was very hard for me. And it's been very hard for me from the beginning because I think that what happens is human beings need to compartmentalize things. And because I'm Indian, people put me in the box, right? A spiritual teacher or guru, but I'm not really that. Really, I'm just like an old friend. That's the only way I can describe it. I'm not better than you. I'm not further ahead than you. I don't have anything that you don't have.

[00:22:49] I'm just displaying a potential that you have yet to remember. That's all that is. And so, when everything first happened, especially after I had my real kind of awakening experience, where I experienced the divine, I wasn't teaching. I was in bliss. I was in absolute bliss for three to six months, just in an exalted state of the connection. And there were no words. People had heard what had happened to me, and they would just come and sit with me, and just you being in the presence of the shakti, whatever was going on with them would transform, you see?

[00:23:19] And so, the misconception is that teaching happens through language. It doesn't. In India, we have this deep tradition of presence. And that is actually the presence, the transformative presence that is the guru, but that doesn't belong to the individual. That belongs to God. That belongs to all of us, right? I think that we falsely identify with it as us, but it's not us at all, which is the vessel of the vehicle through which this manifestation is unfolding in the world.

[00:23:47] And so, thank God, I've always been a reluctant messenger. Thank God, egoically, I've never identified with spirituality. It was the furthest thing in the world that I ever wanted anything to do with. There were points when I could run the other way. And as it relates to the formation of the role and the identity, what happens is people create that. It's not that you create them. People create them, and they create to have a box of understanding.

[00:24:16] And I said this with Oprah, too. Oprah said, "So, you're like Deepak." And I said, "No, I'm Indian." I'm just Indian and in a spiritual capacity. So, people then automatically assume, oh, he's like Deepak. And I love people, right? But if I was White, Wayne Dyer was alive at the time, they would have called me Wayne Dyer, right? But this is what we do as human beings, we take a phenomenon, we take an expression, we put it in the box of conformity that's understandable.

[00:24:47] So, for me, I allowed this to become an expression when I met my wife, Jan. And when I met my wife, Jan, I finally met somebody whose intentions were pure, who love me as the human being that I was and who really wanted to be in service. She didn't need anything. And she said to me just as she sat down, she said, "I love what you're doing. I love the integrity with which you're sharing it, can I create some structure around this to help you?" 

[00:25:13] And I said, yes. And so, this is kind of how it all began. But prior to that, like prior to '07, I was just wandering around with a backpack, and a gold donation box, and a second-generation iPod, just giving shakti pot people, basically, just completely giving shakti pot to everybody, just at the end, it didn't matter, like I was just completely in flow. And when she basically said, "You know what, I really believe in what you're doing, let's give it some structure", that's when it began to take the form and began to cultivate a platform.

[00:25:45] And I realized the benefits of that because I think that sometimes, people have an aversion to certain things. And I don't think that we're meant to have an aversion to anything. I think that we're meant to be empowered to create some kind of instruction, not that it becomes a prison, but just enough of a structure so that we can be effective in the world. And so, that's how I navigate it now. Of course, the shock being in it of itself is formless and boundless.

[00:26:13] So, it doesn't matter what containment you put it in, it expresses infinitely because it's what it is. And so, that's how I reconcile the two. And the other thing, too, bro, for me, is that, you know what, this is a calling. It's a calling. And I think that's the other thing, too. There's a difference between having a career and having a calling. And when it's the thing that you have to do and it's aligned with who you are, the love of your soul, it's so natural and authentic to you that you have no choice but to be that in the world. And so, that's basically how I've ended up here.

[00:26:49]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:26:49]Panache Desai:  Yeah.

[00:26:50]Luke Storey:  That's a really great articulation of that experience. And going back to the beginning of that and a phenomenon that I've always found really interesting is the phenomenon of the fallen guru, the one who's being used by source as a channel is given certain abilities and powers, and then through a lack of education about the potential risks involved in the ego, taking ownership of that, and using it for its own selfish ends, they fall prey to lowering their consciousness and even becoming quite an integrist in some cases.

[00:27:30] And it's part of the human phenomenon I've always been so fascinated with, is you have someone, and I don't know this to be a fact, but based on observation and other people's accounts, the saint, Sathya Sai Baba comes to mind, who I went to see and have darshan with many years ago in Puttaparthi, India, in Southern India, and a few members of my family had been travelling there quite a bit, and living there for long periods of time.

[00:27:56] And that was the first time I ever heard firsthand accounts of miracles being performed, the buddhi being manifested in little trinkets, and rings, and by location, and speaking multiple languages at once to a group of people, and really fantastic things that were being relayed to me by people that I knew, A, weren't liars and weren't nuts. And so, that was kind of my first introduction into seeing that perhaps God can work through people and that some people are chosen and they have these powers.

[00:28:27] And so, that was really, actually the first kind of entity that I ever prayed to in my life because I didn't really grow up with a strong structure of spirituality, or religion, or anything. And when I was addled with addiction, I think the first prayer ever had was praying to Sai Baba. And I had his book or a picture of him, and I would ask if I could be set free from these addictions. And so, that's a whole other story that, perhaps, we'll get into another time, but whether or not he was able to channel the answer to that prayer. 

[00:28:58] Now, the prayer was answered, and I've been free for 23 years now from that bondage, but what ensued after that was all of this scandal around that particular guru and that the general story of people that have no agenda in tearing him down is that he's one that had natural God-given powers, and could manifest things, and use his powers for good, and built hospitals, and schools, and people that donated money, he gave it away, and just really was acting in a saintly way.

[00:29:27] And then, at some point, because the personality or ego came into play, then he had to start faking the miracles as a magician in order to kind of keep things afloat. And again, I don't know whether or not that's true. It could be used as a parable for any number of enlightened beings that have graced the planet that were unaware of that particular part of the teaching that you just explained that one must be careful to not take themselves personally, right? 

[00:29:58] And to think that one is the source of these powers or abilities to cause someone to go into somebody or whatever these experiences that you're describing. So, it's so fortunate for you that inherently, you kind of knew to watch out for that. And early on, I've never had those kinds of powers that I'm aware of, although, I have been told when I'm around people, they tend to calm down, which is nice to hear in certain cases.

[00:30:24] But one of my early teachers used to always warn me about the spiritual ego. As you start to awaken, you must be ever mindful because the ego's there waiting for any ability or identity to embody, and capitalize on, and use for its own ends. And so, this is back into that phenomenon where you have someone who has true gifts, but then, they lose touch with the essence of it because of the propensity of the ego.

[00:30:52] And there was another part that you talked about that I want to touch on, too, but I think that's just something that's so important for anyone to remember that is exploring their gifts, or as God-given gifts, or they're doing their spiritual work. And they're studying meditation and keeping up with their practices that as you start to elevate your consciousness, we're all at risk for sort of being led astray through the maya of that tendency of the ego to rob you of that gift.

[00:31:27]Panache Desai:  Yeah, that's a beautiful awareness. And I think that just to help further cement that for people is that in India, spiritual gifts are the booby prize. You're not engaging in your sadhana, your spiritual practice, to cultivate gifts and abilities. Any manifestation of a gift is actually a trap and a limitation. And what's been interesting for me, too, is that I could always see through everybody. So, when I was around a lot of these teachers, and gurus, and around a lot of people in the space that I can see through them, I can see through their energy and their intentionality.

[00:32:06] And I was always very present to where it was coming from. And the interesting thing is, and this isn't just as it relates to gurus and spirituality or spiritual teachers, this is as it relates to all of us. Any books that we put ourselves in is a prison that we have to live inside of. So, if I were to, all of a sudden, become a guru, then I would have to live inside of the box of a guru, and then have to experience every limited agreement and construct around that role.

[00:32:39] And this is why we have to understand that every role that we identify with is a limitation that eventually, we have to transcend. In oneness, life is as you are. And all of these phenomena that are unfolding through people, and we all have the capacity to have these things unfold through us, it's just that we're limiting ourselves so much. When you relax and you allow yourself to just simply be present with somebody, whatever needs to be shared is being shared. We don't have to label it. We don't have to identify it.

[00:33:13] It doesn't have to be even be made a big deal. But the more you diminish yourself in who you are, the more the self, the essence of who we are begins to express through us. And one of the things that I love about what you're talking about is the notion of the spiritual ego because there's a core identity that, for whatever reason, we believe isn't good enough. And then, we create this spiritual identity, which is almost a better-than version, right? 

[00:33:44]Luke Storey:  Right.

[00:33:44]Panache Desai:  So, it's not enough that we have one identity, now, we have another identity superimposed over the first identity, which is better than, look at me, I'm holy and I meditate, right? 

[00:33:56]Luke Storey:  Look at my mala beads and orange robe.

[00:33:59]Panache Desai:  Exactly, right? But it's just another prison. All we've done is we've upgraded our prison, right? We have the slightly nicer toilet seat. We have slightly nicer toilet paper. Maybe the prison bars are fuzzy and warm instead of cold and hard, right? But ultimately, we're still in prison. And for me, my intention and my pursuit has always been absolute freedom. What is available to me beyond roles, beyond gifts, beyond all material phenomenon? And one of the main catalysts for me in that discovery has been ayahuasca.

[00:34:33] And it's interesting how ayahuasca came into my experience because right around the time when I was going through everything with Celeste, she received a heart transplant. And then, shortly after receiving a heart transplant, Michael Beckwith called me and said, "Bro, I need you to do me a favor." I'm like, what? He said, "Can you go lead a retreat in Costa Rica for a week? They do plant medicine. Is that okay with you?" I'm like, yeah, sure, what's plant medicine? He said, "Oh, it's this plant from the Amazon, people take it there for mystical experiences. I'm like, sure, I'll go. So, I went-

[00:35:03]Luke Storey:  Is it at Rythmia?

[00:35:04]Panache Desai:  Yeah.

[00:35:05]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:35:06]Panache Desai:  And the first time I was there, I wasn't going to do the medicine, but I had people that had come there from all over the world who were doing the medicine for the first time. So, I'm like, well, listen, I mean, I better do this to find out what it is so that I can help people the next day. If I don't have the experience, how am I going to get through that? And the interesting thing is that my interfacing with ayahuasca, breath work, the Amazonian kind of lineages of light allowed me to not only shatter, but fundamentally scrub whatever is left of the marsh that was in the way.

[00:35:49] And that experience began, it's been about a three-year journey, I've been going back every year. And through that experience, I have really now gotten to a point where I'm able to be embodied, able to be fully present and available. I'm not just offering transcendence, barely tethered to this reality by a golden thread. It's been very transformative for me because what we forget about in Eastern mysticism is the body. We're cultivating the ability to transcend, the ability to live in these states of super consciousness, but we're not embodied.

[00:36:00] And so, it's through these experiences and the blessing of this consciousness and this mother coming into my life that I was able to finally embody and actualize all of the potential that I had inside of me. And the shamans were always shocked that I would do the medicine. Everyone was always shocked that I would do the medicine. They were like, normally, people in your position don't do the medicine, and I'm like, well, listen, I owe it to my children to drink the medicine. I owe it to my lineage.

[00:36:01] I owe it to my wife, like I owe it to the people that come to see me drink the medicine because in drinking the medicine, it's like walking through a metal detector, you can fool the world and you can be deluded in yourself, but the medicine is going to show you the truth of who you are. And in walking through that metal detector, I was able to see all of the parts of myself that I had to see, feel what I had to feel inside of myself, and then emerge as the authentic natural creation that God had made and today, which would be a piece in that, an embodiment. And so, I knew I just wanted to share that.

[00:37:32]Luke Storey:  That's amazing. It's funny. I didn't have in my list of questions, which sometimes, I just completely ignore, as has been the case in this conversation because they're not necessary, at least not yet, but I was going to ask you just intuitively if you've experimented with plant medicines, because in my own journey, just really, it's been in the past year and maybe almost a-year-and-a-half, there's been, I don't know, a lot actually, a lot of those experiences. And it was a huge step for me because as I said, I have a background in addiction.

[00:38:07] So, 22 years of not taking anything mind-altering other than coffee and cigarettes back in the day, still coffee, lots of it. It was a huge sort of risk for me, and I really had to, took about a year of contemplation and really going inside to determine what my motives were. In other words, if my motives were pure and if there was any risk of being drawn back into the old way of life. And I became convinced that there weren't, that it could only be beneficial.

[00:38:36] But, oh, my God, I feel like in the time since I first went to Rythmia, which was my first experience, and did those first four, and then did four more a couple months ago, and I've done a number of peyote ceremonies, and even some mushrooms, and whatnot, I can't imagine where I would have been had I not done that. I would feel like I was in the dark ages in a sense.

[00:39:01] I think because of all of those years of work that were just householder work, man, just meditate, pray, be devotional, study the books, do the yoga, do the breath work, go to darshan, seek out holy company, just the basic fundamental stuff, addiction recovery principles, all of that, I think because of that foundation, I really knew what I was doing when I walked in there, even though I had never done it before.

[00:39:29] I absolutely know what my intention was. And when the insights started to come, I knew what was going on and it was like, cool, let's do this, let's go deep into the shadow. And some of it was deep into bliss, and just oneness, and universal consciousness, and all the fun parts of medicines that sometimes ensue. But when it came to the things, as you said, the metal detector elements for me, the things in my pocket that were setting off the detector, I mean, I was excited to get in there, and really dig in, and heal those things, and still am because I'm sure there's still more to discover.

[00:40:02] But I honestly can't imagine where I would be having not had those experiences. I would be fine. I'd be living my best life, I'm sure. But plant medicines have just catapulted me into a completely different stratosphere of understanding and been able to clear so many of my blocks, really the things just blocking me from my full expression, all of those limits that I've put on myself because of early traumatic experiences. 

[00:40:33] I mean, just like it's one thing to have an intellectual understanding of as you describe being bullied or reaching this sort of existential crisis as a teen where you weren't living your purpose and things like that or traumas that are more acute that many of us have gone through, like some of mine have been, regardless of the degree, I think that it can take a really long time to really ferret out the truth without that assistance.

[00:41:01] And that, for me, just sped things up so much, where in four days, I just went through years of shit, and just got it out of my experience, and moved on. And it's just incredible. And I always add the caveat that I don't necessarily know that that would be the experience for everyone, so I'm not a cheerleader, yay, go off, everyone, do psychedelics or plant medicines. For me, it was the right time. I was in the right place, the right setting with the right guides and had done enough foundational work, where I really walked in and was very solid about who I am, what I'm about, what my intentions are, and I think with all of those things combined, it's been amazing for me and I look forward to exploring more and was not expecting that from you as you said. 

[00:41:47] Shaman was like, wait, you're going to drink? Yeah, man, I'm here with everyone. So, I appreciate your courage. And also, amongst the spiritual teacher circles and the guru circles, there are some people that are adamantly opposed to that path, also, for various reasons. And so, I know that anyone that has a platform that's going on, sitting down with Oprah and doing the things you've done, you stand to perhaps get a bit of criticism or be discredited even in some cases because of that exploration. So, I respect your courage to follow your own heart, and path, and just do you.

[00:42:25]Panache Desai:  I had the blessing of sitting down with Daito Juanito who's from the Colombian lineage. It has kind of become the foundation of everything that shared with me. And I said to him, "I said what you're doing is giving shakti pot with plants." I said that my experience of mother ayahuasca and the Kundalini shakti is, it's the same phenomenon. You're giving the transmission through nature, right? And I said, "In India, we give this initiation of this transmission person to person", right? 

[00:43:00] We extended this invitation through individual to individual. Baba used to give shakti pots to thousands of people, right? And Gurumayi just gave shakti pots to tens of thousands of people at once. And so, what's happening is that we are communing with this presence that is outside of time, outside of content, outside of context that is pure. And in the presence of that purity, our vibration and our frequency gradually begin to up-level and everything is dissonant and everything that isn't in harmony begins to fall away.

[00:43:38] And the interesting thing is that in everything that I was experiencing with ayahuasca, every time I would teach at Rythmia and do a session there, they would have ayahuasca experiences without drinking the medicine. And they were shocked. They were just like, how was this happening that we're experiencing these things, and having visions, and seeing all of these things without drinking any medicine? And I would have to explain, in India, it's called shakti pot.

[00:44:06] This is what happens to the gift of shakti pot because what we're doing is awakening the dormant potential that resides at the base of your spine. So, the ego goes to sleep, and mother ayahuasca begins to rise and goes through all the chakras, goes through the bodies, and goes through a very intense purification, purifies the pineal gland. And you're going through this very intense purification, right? But she's working through you diligently, layer by layer by layer.

[00:44:34] When you give somebody shakti pot, same thing, the dominant control part goes to sleep, and then the Kundalini shakti arises. As the Kundalini shakti arises, and she's freed from the dominance of the mind and the ego, she purifies the chakras and the nadis, and produces this phenomenon. And so, for me, it was like a master class in shakti pot, and what was happening in shakti pot through ayahuasca, which is a manifestation of that.

[00:45:06] And Luke, here's what I'll say, ultimately for me, people need to follow their heart and connect with what resonates with them. And at the point when Rythmia came into my life, I was literally unwinding 18 months of the hardest window of time that I'd gone through. There was a moment with Celeste where she literally flat-lined for eight minutes during one of her surgeries, we lost her for eight minutes. And as they were about to put on life support and make the incision, she came back into her body. 

[00:45:37] And so, it was a very, very intensive time that I needed with every fiber of my being, right? And so, again, search your heart, search your intuition, search for guidance, be aware of what works for you. But in any way, actually, it doesn't discredit anything that anybody's doing. It actually validates it. Because if you can make it through that method of ayahuasca, and still be sharing, and still be being of service, then that means that what you had was real in the first place.

[00:46:13] A lot of my peers and colleagues were afraid of drinking ayahuasca because they were afraid, in some way, it's going to mess up their gift, or their vibration, or their ability. And actually, that's just fear. It's just fear. That's all it is. It's not going to mess anything up. It's going to leave what's meant to be left. And what isn't meant to be left is going to be stripped away, which is the same thing with the Kundalini shakti pot.

[00:46:38]Luke Storey:  That's a really interesting correlation. I appreciate that perspective. And I've observed, as I said, through interviewing so many different people, plant medicines, even before I did them, was something I was curious about, so I would often ask a spiritual teacher of sorts what their opinion is because I was curious and I wanted to take in as much information from different perspectives as I could. And I can almost say with 100% certainty that every person that was anti-plant medicines was a person who had not had the experience.

[00:47:13] And every person I've interviewed that has had an experience said that they benefited and that they're glad they did it. I mean, I can't think of an exception. There may have been, but that's pretty universal, 90%, if not 100%. And that was one of the indicators to me that's like, well, what's everyone so afraid of, the people that haven't done it? Whereas, all the people that have done are like, oh, my God, it changed my life, and they tell me all these stories, of all these healings and the understanding that they have about themselves, and their life, their mission, and all of that, and all of the healing of trauma.

[00:47:45] And that was one of the big things that really piqued my curiosity. I thought, well, I'm going with the people that have had the experience and came back to live to tell the tale. And it's largely a positive tale apart from, you have a tough night here or there. Everyone's had, I think, a night that they've struggled a bit, and some journeys are easier and more fun than others, but I've never heard anyone come back from the experience yet, I'm sure they exist, I just have interviewed them and saying, oh, my God, it was a huge mistake, I wish I had never done that.

[00:48:17] So, that's kind of what led me to it. I'm curious, though, on your perspective now that we're on this, which is an unexpected topic, as I said, I'm going back to my first four experiences in Rythmia and, oh, man. I mean, I've told the story a bunch and I've done multiple podcasts, in fact, when I went to Rythmia, and then later in the year, Soltara in 2019, I did six hours' worth of content about each of those weeks and documented the experience while I was there and did interviews.

[00:48:45] And it was really pretty extensive kind of gonzo journalism, immersive reporting experience, so people can go back and hear that. But aside from just having a very visceral memory of the very first moment when it started to come on in the first ceremony, again, to create the context here, I had not had a sip of wine or anything that made me feel anything except coffee in 22 years at that point. And when ayahuasca hits you, man, it's like you're not sitting there wondering, do I feel anything?

[00:49:21] You're wondering that for a little while. But then, when you feel it, man, you really feel it. I remember, it was almost a sense of relief that I was safe, especially within the context of recovery, that when it hit, it wasn't like, oh, shit, am I drunk? Am I going to start drinking now or doing drugs? It was like the last thing on my mind. It was just, oh, I'm safe. I'm okay here. This is okay for me. And it's good. It was a sense that this is a positive thing, but I have to admit, it was also really fun the first couple of nights.

[00:49:58] I mean, I was like, oh, my God, this is amazing, to just be able to be unencumbered by the body, and the personality, and the mind, and just to be in that place of blissful, conscious awareness, which is, it comes in spurts every once in a while on the notch. but it's exceedingly rare. And when it happens, it, for me, hasn't been that intense or that long lasting. So, to have that experience for hours on end. It was just, that alone was life-changing.

[00:50:27] But what I wanted to get to and kind of get your take on is, my experience of it, in general, is that it somehow has the ability to lift the veil of our senses that limit us to our physical, subjective experience, and allow us to experience that wider degree of consciousness to where, sure, I still know my name's Luke, and I know my body's laying there, and I still have a thought here or there. But largely, it's like I'm a fish that's poked my head above the water of the sea going like, oh, crap, there's a sky out here? 

[00:51:07] It's like you're able to access all of these different dimensions. And within those different dimensions, for me, what seemed to be happening was that there were other unidentifiable beings of consciousness or other entities that possess intelligence and knowledge that weren't me, per se, and they weren't the Godhead, the Supreme God itself, but rather beings, messengers, entities, et cetera, that I was able to then interface with because I had pop through the dimension of my limited, subjective experience.

[00:51:50] And they came to me not as faces, or little green men, or anything like that, it's just, when I would go to communicate with it or them, it was always, if I had a question, it wasn't like, God, what do I do about this, or what's the answer to that God, or even Mother Aya, what's the answer to this or that? It comes out most of the time as what do you guys think about this or that? It's almost like a council of beings of some sort that are, as I said, unnamed and without form, but it's a group of intelligent beings that seem to be there, and perhaps. 

[00:52:34] They're here right now, but because I'm in my body and there's nothing that's activating the pineal gland or doing whatever the ayahuasca does to enable me to work interdimensionally, at least, on a perceptual level right now, that the ayahuasca facilitates that. And in that experience, I mean, I got answers to everything. Anything I ask is just, boom, here's the answer. Why am I like this? Boom. Why am I stuck in this pattern? Boom. There it is. What happened in this relationship, this career choice? What is it about money? What was it about my childhood, about the abuse, this, that? 

[00:53:06] And it's just the answers are instantaneous and seem to be coming from these other beings of sort, almost an ET kind of experience without the spooky alien bit, just extraterrestrial, meaning, not of this earth, of other dimensions. I settle that to kind of just create the context for some of my experience. Did you get the sense of any of that, too, or what was it like for you in terms of where the answers and insights were coming from?

[00:53:37]Panache Desai:  So, everything in the shamanic tradition is an initiation that takes you deep into the core of yourself, actually, interestingly enough, to the sweat lodge and on the surface of the sweat lodge. It's uncomfortable, you're in a crowded space and sweating on top of each other, it's hard to breathe. But the very second you close your eyes and surrender to the experience, you're in the womb of creation, being loved by all of creation. And everything in life is an initiation.

[00:54:08] Ayahuasca is an initiation into the truth known in India for thousands of years, that we have a body, but we're not our body; we have a mind, but we're not our mind; we have feelings, but we're not our feelings, that really, what we are is a luminous body, but we've been programmed to believe that we're our physical body and our physical manifest environment. And so, ayahuasca and all of these phenomena, shakti pot, ayahuasca, whatever it is, they're giving you an entry point into the luminous aspect of yourself. And what's interesting about what you're saying right now is that those same beings that you experienced on ayahuasca are around you right now. Do you know this?

[00:54:45]Luke Storey:  Okay. 

[00:54:47]Panache Desai:  Are you aware of this?

[00:54:51]Luke Storey:  In theory, yes.

[00:54:53]Panache Desai:  Okay. Close your eyes.

[00:54:55]Luke Storey:  Okay.

[00:54:56]Panache Desai:  And just take some breaths and just try.

[00:54:58]Luke Storey:  Okay. I'm going to get back to focus here. Forgive me. I'm having such a good time that I'm trying to push my next recording back a little bit. I was just sneakily firing off a text that didn't work, an email, but I got the question, am I aware that these beings exist? Making sure that our live streams are going here. That's another thing I'm getting used to, is doing all of this myself. When I do my live interviews, I, at least, have one assistant here kind of making sure everything's happening. And so, we're fine. I'm going to now close my eyes. 

[00:55:30]Panache Desai:  Just close your eyes and just breathe in and out. So, we are always surrounded by sadhus, around luminous beings. Okay. So, we have this phenomenon of sadhu local where all these amazing, brilliant, golden, luminous beings reside. And we always have access to them. So, just take some breaths and just completely relax. And I'm just going to ask you some questions and just give me the first answer, okay? And just relax and just breathe. Are you ready?

[00:56:07]Luke Storey:  Yes.

[00:56:08]Panache Desai:  Okay. So, in this moment, as I'm observing you, you are surrounded by luminous golden beings that are about 10-foot tall, that are sadhus, luminous golden beings. So, the first question is, how many of them are there, brother?

[00:56:28]Luke Storey:  Four.

[00:56:29]Panache Desai:  Great. Just take a deep breath. Good. And please ask them what they would like to be called. We need a name for them collectively.

[00:56:42]Luke Storey:  What would you like to be called? Friends.

[00:56:54]Panache Desai:  Okay. Good. Okay. Now, what we've done is establish the connection between you and the core essence of yourself. Okay. So, here's what we're going to ask for. Ask them to fill your heart with the love of God.

[00:57:20]Luke Storey:  Please fill my heart with the love of God.

[00:57:32]Panache Desai:  And just for the benefit of the people that are at home and that are tuning in, just describe to us, please, what you're feeling or what you're experiencing.

[00:57:45]Luke Storey:  The moment I ask that question, my mind got incredibly quiet. And still, to the point where the clock on the wall is thundering, and it's ticking, and talking, and I had not previously noticed that it was even there. 

[00:58:06]Panache Desai:  And just continue to breathe and relax, and we're going to continue to just ask them, please fill me with the love of all creation. Please fill my heart with the love of all creation.

[00:58:23]Luke Storey:  Please fill my heart with the love of all creation.

[00:58:34]Panache Desai:  Just describe to us what you're feeling. 

[00:58:48]Luke Storey:  A profound stillness.

[00:58:49]Panache Desai:  Beautiful.

[00:58:50]Luke Storey:  Very still. Very, very, very relaxed, very Theta.

[00:58:58]Panache Desai:  Every phenomenon that we encounter is a manifestation of ourselves in a different form. Everything that we experience is us, whether they be another human being or whether they be a golden, luminous presence. We are the source of it all, in oneness life is as we all. And so, you can now use this bridge of friends, this connection to this intelligence that's always with you. I ask questions to receive the answers, to connect with energy, to connect with support, to be of service to others. And so, here's what we're going to do, ask the friends to fully awaken all of your gifts and abilities.

[00:59:50]Luke Storey:  I'm going to ask you friends to fully awaken all of my gifts and abilities. When I said that, I heard back, get ready. It's funny. It's so good.

[01:00:17]Panache Desai:  So, what's happening is this, we've established a connection with this core essence and intelligence that we have inside of us that we all have access to. You see, it's just that we're looking outside of us, and it's not outside of us. My journey with plant medicine ended with the medicine telling me that I was the medicine. And so, through that experience, I feel like I've come to completion with that work. It served its purpose.

[01:00:49] But ultimately, what it did was purify the vessel, the body, the body is nature. So, for me, the greatest blessing that they offered me was a purification of the vessel because the light, and the gifts, and the presence and the manifestation was already flowing through the vessel. So, the more we purify the vessel, the more everything opens up. And since my experiences now, what I've been able to support people is guiding them into sustainable states of connection. So, you know how you're having those experiences in those peak experiences of less than a joy?

[01:01:24] Well, those are our natural state of being. And we can embody those states because when we're being naturally who we are and we're being authentic of who we are, at that point, we have access to every energy, every vibration, every frequency, every intelligence because we're no longer separating ourselves from ourselves. We realize that we're the core essence of everything and everyone. And so, even when I'm working with people, I'm not resolving anything. And then, I'm resolving whatever they have going on inside of myself. And then, resolving it myself, it disappears in them, and that's life.

[01:02:03]Luke Storey:  Oh, wow. That's a trip.

[01:02:05]Panache Desai:  That's life.

[01:02:07]Luke Storey:  That's really interesting.

[01:02:10]Panache Desai:  Yeah. So, have fun with the friends and let me know how this interaction evolves and how it unfolds because you can ask them for anything, you say, please send me vibration, send me support, send me—whatever it is that you need, right? This is your way now of connecting with this infinite consciousness. So, think of it in terms of this, there's the physical body, then there's the light body, then there's divine consciousness.

[01:02:41] At first, because we're stuck in this illusion of matter and density, we forget that we have a light body, we forget that we have access to divine consciousness, then we have some form of spiritual awakening, and then I remember, oh, wait a minute, I'm not my material possessions, I'm not my mind, I'm not my pain, I'm not my story, I'm not my emotions, I am this luminous presence, I am awareness, then beyond that, we begin to gain access to this divine consciousness that's ever present, which is basically just an infinite field of energy with no beginning and no end. It just vibrates at the resonance of love, but it's beyond the human definition of the word, love. This is what got it, right? 

[01:03:18] And so, what happens eventually is that all three of those bodies merge into one, they blend. Divine consciousness, and the light body, and the physical experience of reality all blend into one. And at that point, we become a doorway and a bridge through which love and all of these greater expressions are made manifest in this world for the benefit of others. And typically, that's right around the point where your individual self, this notion of an individual self dissolves. And at that point, you become more identified as the universe will expand itself. And through that, you become a bridge for others to go through that same transformation. 

[01:04:05]Luke Storey:  Beautifully stated. Before we sign off, tell us about your book.

[01:04:11]Panache Desai:  Well, the book was born as a result of my journey with Celeste, and also, as a result of working with people for the last 20-something years all over the world. I began to just see some commonalities. And one of the biggest commonalities that I could see, that regardless of what somebody had accomplished or what somebody had done in their lives, was this feeling of not being enough. For me, it was this, in every single person, there was the same feeling, just they didn't feel like everyone else, so they went and built a billion-dollar company group that they were in now.

[01:04:46] They didn't feel like they were enough, so that's why they were self-sabotaging over an addiction or were undermining themselves in some way, right? Because there's a pain of not being enough, a pain of rejection, a pain of abandonment, whatever that pain was that they were experiencing. And so, in working with people, I realized that what we must do, what is imperative now is to restore the feeling of being enough in humanity, that we must remember that we are enough and that that remembrance of being enough comes from the re-connection with who we are with our essential self.

[01:05:23] Because at that level, we're already everything. Everything that we want resides there. In every wisdom tradition, when they speak of healing, they speak of returning to the essential self, returning to nature, returning to authentically who you are, becoming simple again, becoming childlike, becoming innocent. And so, the book is a doorway into that reality. And really, it's a book about samadhi, it's a book about living in connection, and how living in connection and living in this state of being is really the answer and the solution that everybody's looking for, that everybody wants, and that everyone's trying to get through external means.

[01:06:06] But the very second we start to look inside of ourselves, when we start to examine who we are and we start to disengage from all of these carrots that are done with in front of us, and lies that are projected on top of us, and the pain, all these other things will revert back to our original design, and the more than our humanity becomes the doorway through which we experience our divinity or I should say, the more our humanity becomes the vehicle through which divinity expresses itself in this world.

[01:06:36]Luke Storey:  Beautiful. And the book is, You Are Enough, just for those listening. And those watching the video on YouTube, you can see the cover, that yellow cover right behind you. Well, well-placed cover. Had you been here in person, it would have been over on that little table there in between us. I like to have the talk show set, with the little book there and everything.

[01:06:58]Panache Desai:  Had I been there in person, I would've just hugged you the whole time, we wouldn't even have a conversation because I just love you, like I just reconnected with a brother.

[01:07:07]Luke Storey:  Likewise, man. Yeah. We would have been hanging out with the four luminous friends there. But I really resonate with that and I think it's such a great reminder for people that the answers really are within, you're enough, in that sense. Also, not just that you're worthy, but that everything that's required to make it through this life and beyond has already been gifted to us.

[01:07:28] And going back to the plant medicine experiences, as those experiences for me progressed and I would ask those questions of the they or the them that appeared to be there, what progressively started to happen was that the answers actually were coming from myself to myself, which wasn't the case at first, but eventually, that's where it got to. So, I'd be like, what do you guys think about this? Like why did this breakup happen? What was there to learn there, or what should I do about the books that I want to write, or this, or that?

[01:08:01] And then, I would be telling myself the answer. And I found that to be really interesting, that it started to communicate to me from me like a letter to myself. And that was a further indication to support your premise here and the premise of your book that they are there because there is no separation between me and that answer that lies out there in the great plain of reality and truth, that there is no separation between the truth that I contain cognitively as an awareness and the truth that lies universally in existence. It's all one and the same thing. And I'm just a single point of awareness within that consciousness that gets caught up in that single point thinking that, oh, it's out there, I don't have it yet, right? 

[01:08:48]Panache Desai:  What's amazing, too, is that, actually, the more you cultivate this, the more you realize that this little black box called the subconscious has been recording everything your whole life and all of the information that you need for your life is there. And then, all of a sudden, you start having complete recall of everything.

[01:09:04]Luke Storey:  Right.

[01:09:06]Panache Desai:  Of everything, of all of it, the whole thing. And that comes in stillness. And it comes from the state of peace and connection, because when we're feeling peaceful, that's when we're being ourselves. Everything else that we're feeling isn't really who we are, the peace is really who we are. And so, when we're being peaceful, all of a sudden, when we need to know something, it's almost like we have a recall of it. We're accessing into this wisdom that is beyond the cognitive mind.

[01:09:38] We realize the limitations of the mind and even the need to develop the mind because all of the answers and everything resides intuitively for the love of soul. And so, this is how we begin to start to live in life. And it becomes quite magical because there are only really two signs of awakening. The first is you become less reactive. And the second is you experience heightened synchronicity. That's it. And so, if you're less reactive and you're experiencing one synchronicity, that's it, you're heading in the direction of your soul. That's it.

[01:10:10]Luke Storey:  Right on.

[01:10:11]Panache Desai:  Yeah. 

[01:10:12]Luke Storey:  Right on, man. Well, I've learned so much from you today, as has our audience, I'm sure. Who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced you and your work that you might recommend the audience go check out as well?

[01:10:26]Panache Desai:  I love, obviously, Baba Muktananda and I love the books that he wrote. I think Play of Consciousness is a must-read for people, absolutely people who meditate on the path of awakening. Ram Dass, for me, was such a blessing on this earth, bro. He was such an amazing bridge between India and America. And his teachings and his presence were very, very powerful and very, very instrumental in bringing the wisdom, and the gift, and the blessing of the East into the Western psyche and into the forefront of the Western consciousness. And so, Ram Dass, while he was here, was so instrumental. And then, the third, for me, is all of the people that I get to meet every day.

[01:11:17] After a while, you realize that it's only God speaking to you when you really learn to listen. You realize that this infinite intelligence is speaking to you through every form, to every person, through nature, through all things. And the more we cultivate this ability to listen and be available for what's being communicated, the more we realize that there's only one energy at work here, and that energy is love, and that everything's bringing us home to ourselves. And so, check out Play of Consciousness, check out Be Here Now, then also, just cultivate the ability to be available to what life is wanting to communicate to you and how life is communicating to you because it's all manifestation of grace.

[01:12:04]Luke Storey:  Awesome, man. What a great time to put a bow on that gift. Thank you so much for your time today. In closing, tell us about your social media, websites, and where we can find you, your books, your work, any events, anything you want people to know about.

[01:12:18]Panache Desai:  So, the website is panachedesai.com, which is P-A-N-A-C-H-E-D-E-S-A-I-.com. I'm on Instagram, @PanacheDesai, and then Facebook at Official Panache Desai. I think it is the Panache Desai fan page, so just search me, you'll see me with a check mark and just stay connected. I can't wait to just stay connected with everybody. And I'm so grateful to you, Luke, for this platform, and for the gift and blessing of this time, and for the way in which you share yourself and your journey. Bro, it's been wonderful just watching you, and seeing your evolution, and to connect with you. This makes my heart so happy. So, I love you. Thank you, brother.

[01:13:01]Luke Storey:  Likewise. Love you, too. Thank you so much. And with that, we'll end the show and I look forward to seeing you again.



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