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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

Host and serial entrepreneur, Dave Will, leads in-depth interviews, whose featured guests include: Gazelles founder and CEO, Verne Harnish; popular podcast host and founder of Genius Network, Joe Polish; award-winning entrepreneur, Zahra Al-Harazi; and more. Tune into this top podcast made by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

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Jan 10, 2017

Dave welcomes Dandapani to the podcast. Dandapani is Sri Lankan and he grew up in Australia. He has a degree in electrical engineering but left everything behind to become a Hindu monk for 10 years. He now lives in Manhattan with his wife and is currently a speaker. Listen as Dandapani teaches us how to learn and practice meditation as entrepreneurs, why awareness is key in concentration, and discusses some of the common misconceptions people have towards monks. 

Time Stamped Show Notes: 

  • 00:33 – Introducing Dandapani 
  • 01:04 – Check out to learn more about him 
  • 02:34 – 8 years ago, Dandapani’s vows as a Hindu Monk expired—he decided not to renew them and moved to USA 
  • 02:51 – He is now a Hindu priest 
  • 03:35 – Dandapani and his wife are creating a retreat center in Costa Rica 
  • 03:52 – Dandapani met his wife while he was still a monk 
  • 04:47 – Dave went to one of Dandapani’s talks about “unwavering focus” 
  • 06:52 – A few misconceptions towards monks 
  • 07:03 – Monks meditate as a group for only an hour a day 
  • 07:11 – Monks work the whole day to develop qualities such as concentration and willpower 
  • 07:48 – People think monks meditate the whole day 
  • 07:55 – People think Dandapani teaches meditation 
  • 08:11 – Before practicing meditation, one must learn how the mind works and concentrates 
  • 09:19 – Dandapani got frustrated a year ago with what he was doing 
  • 09:36 – He worked at how he presents his ideas 
  • 10:02 – He has finally found fulfillment 
  • 10:15 – Dave and Dandapani met in Boston 
  • 10:53 – Dandapani’s talk on “unwavering focus” has been an “Ah-Ha” moment for Dave 
  • 11:05 – Most entrepreneurs are considered to have ADD 
  • 11:33 – Dave has completely believed he had ADD until he went to Dandapani’s talk 
  • 11:50 – Dandapani says most of entrepreneurs are not clinically ADD but are just out of practice 
  • 12:03 – The key point even before practicing is to learn concentration 
  • 12:35 – “How can you expect to be good at something if you don’t learn it and you don’t practice it?” 
  • 13:49 – The problem comes when you need to use concentration and you can’t 
  • 14:29 – Consciously switching into one thing to another vs. consciously doing it 
  • 14:58 – “The act of consciously switching is not ADD but an act of concentration” 
  • 15:08 – “The state of distraction is when something or someone outside of you is dictating without you having any control over it” 
  • 15:35 – How Dandapani trains people to understand the mind 
  • 16:34 – Your mind doesn’t move 
  • 17:33 – Dave describes the exercises they had in Dandapani’s talk 
  • 18:59 – Dandapani’s powerful point is in the awareness of your mind 
  • 19:18 – Dave asks about avoiding being moody 
  • 20:30 – Your energy level is low at the end of the day 
  • 20:34 – It’s harder to control the awareness of your mind when your energy level is low 
  • 21:00 – One way to approach the situation 
  • 21:04 – Realize your energy level is low 
  • 21:10 – Every time you find your awareness being low, use your willpower 
  • 21:23 – It takes practice to bring your awareness back 
  • 21:54 – Define concentration first 
  • 21:55 – Dandapani’s definition of concentration or focus is the ability to keep awareness on one thing for an extended period of time 
  • 22:18 – Develop concentration by practicing to focus on one thing at a time 
  • 23:01 – Use your willpower to bring your awareness back 
  • 24:13 – Dave challenges the listeners to think about things in your day-to-day life that require you to focus your attention and apply willpower to make those things happen 
  • 25:45 – Keep your awareness and be present in the moment 
  • 26:34 – Focus on something impactful in your life 
  • 28:10 – Dandapani wanted to be a monk since he was 4 or 5 years old 
  • 28:36 – He was born in Malaysia 
  • 28:47 – His mom invited a monk over to their house 
  • 29:02 – At that time, Dandapani said to himself, “That’s me!” 
  • 29:33 – Dandapani’s purpose in life 
  • 30:00 – Being a monk was the most effective way for him to find the answers to his questions 
  • 30:36 – Dandapani’s mom is a housewife and his dad was a biochemist 
  • 31:05 – He was looking for a teacher that could train him 
  • 32:44 – His intention was to live as a monk for the rest of his life 
  • 32:49 – It was a huge life decision to leave the monastery 
  • 33:46 – Dandapani shares a story about our purpose in life 
  • 35:02 – How can we not know our purpose in life? 
  • 35:56 – Nobody teaches you how to live life 
  • 36:30 – In the monastery, they are taught how to live 
  • 36:54 – People either don’t know how to find their purpose or they just don’t know why they need to have one 
  • 37:58 – The more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know them 
  • 38:27 – People have the struggle to find their purpose because they don’t have any time to spend with themselves 
  • 38:48 – “We make time for everyone in our life, but we can’t give that time to ourselves” 
  • 39:57 – Reflection is sitting down with eyes closed, looking inside yourself, and having that dialogue or conversation 
  • 40:33 – “The more you get to know yourself, the better you understand what you want” 
  • 40:56 – Meditation is a concentrated state – a state of focusing on one thing 
  • 42:37 – Your purpose in life helps you to create your guiding principles 
  • 42:44 – The goal defines the path and the path defines the surrounding 
  • 44:15 – Have a mission, vision, and core values in life 
  • 45:31 – Get clear on what your life is about 
  • 45:51 – The concept of legacy 
  • 46:36 – Dandapani’s guru’s teaching on legacy—what does the world need and how can I best serve that need? 
  • 46:55 – Dandapani’s legacy is to help people understand their minds, develop focus and willpower, and to become clear 
  • 47:51 – Legacy cannot be about you 
  • 48:23 – Dandapani’s plans for Costa Rica 
  • 49:06 – A 50-year and a 300-year plan for the retreat center 
  • 49:56 – Learn.Dandapani.Org/EOPodcast – Get a special discount on Dandapani’s 12-week online course on the mind and meditation 
  • 52:09 – Offer expires on April 30th, 2017 
  • 52:33 – Dave closes the podcast 

3 Key Points: 

  1. You cannot be great at something you’ve never learned or practiced. 
  1. Concentration is having awareness at that particular moment for that particular task.  
  1. Reflection and meditation are two different things, but are two things that are essential in helping you define your purpose in life. 

Resources Mentioned: