Shrugged Collective

Mark Divine: Meditation & Architecting Your Future #21

Mark Divine is from Upstate New York with a degree in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in finance from New York University Stern School of Business. Mark’s first career was with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouse Coopers) as a Certified Public Accountant. Clients included esteemed financial firms such as Solomon Brothers and Paine Weber. Four years after joining Coopers, Mark left behind the corporate world to pursue his vision to become an elite Navy SEAL officer. At twenty-six he graduated as Honor Man (#1-ranked trainee) of his SEAL BUD/S class number 170. Mark served for nine years total on active duty and eleven as a Reserve SEAL, retiring as Commander in 2011.
Mark embarked on his third career as an entrepreneur in 1996 by co-founding the successful Coronado Brewing Company (CBC) and founding the web e-commerce site www.NavySEALs.com. He later sold his interest in CBC but continues to run NavySEALs.com as the leading website for SEAL gear and information. In 2006 he launched US Tactical, a government contracting business, where he gained contracts with Naval Special Warfare Group ONE for training support and with the Navy Recruiting Command for a nationwide mentoring program for SEAL trainees. This latter program was credited with increasing the quality of Navy SEAL candidates and reducing the attrition rate at BUD/S by up to five percent and was the inspiration for SEALFIT.
Mark was an adjunct professor of leadership at the University of San Diego, where he left a PHD program due to the Iraq War Reserve call-up. In Baghdad with the SEALs again in 2004, he conducted a special study for the Department of Defense on the role of the US Marine Corps in the special operations community. Upon return home he decided to focus fully on his business and family.
Mark is an accomplished martial artist with black belts in Seido and Goju Ryu Karate, a military hand-to-hand combat certification in SCARS, and senior ranking in Saito Ninjitsu. He is a trained Ashtanga Yoga teacher and created the innovative Unbeatable KOKORO Yoga program taught to his students.
After working with thousands of special ops candidates and professionals developing mental toughness, Mark self-published his first book, Unbeatable Mind, in 2011 and launched the at-home study program www.unbeatablemind.com. He is also the author of The Way of the SEAL, published by Reader’s Digest, and 8 Weeks to SEALFIT, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Mark is a highly sought-after speaker for corporations, where his Unbeatable Mind program is helping to forge mental toughness among business leaders. He lives in Encinitas, California, several blocks from the SEALFIT Training Center, the 20,000-square-foot facility where he enjoys training with his family and team.

BreathMark day to day uses a square breathing technique. 4 seconds in, 4 seconds hold, 4 seconds out, 4 seconds hold. On some footage that was recorded, to go through the film they had to fast forward by 4x, and they knew something seemed really off, but they didn’t know what it was. Until they realized it looked like Mark was breathing normal, at 4x speed, and everyone else looked like they were panting dogs! There was some discussion about how some yogi’s only breathe every few minutes.
Float Tanks are an amazing way to settle into a meditative state. The one I goes to, and the one Mark is going to is Float North County. If you want to try it, give it a dozen tries before you judge it. I loved the first one but not everyone does. While you’re in the tank, you’re entirely relaxed, and your muscles aren’t engaging at all to stabilize because your senses are entirely deprived, so it’s very rejuvenating.
“How do you concentrate your mind? Focus. Concentration is focusing for longer and longer periods of time. So we bring our awareness to one thing, and then we hold our awareness on that one thing for longer and longer periods of time, and you practice that” -Mark Divine
There are two standard ways to practice meditation. Chants with Om-namah-shivaya, or counting to 10. One count per breath, holding your focus only on the numbers. The younger you start meditating, the better the benefits because your brain has much more neuroplasticity.
Start a journal, for self-study. Analyze your journal over time for the complexity and intricacy of thought. Read for external-study to further develop yourself.
My meditation practice starts with 20 minutes of breathing, followed by sitting anywhere between 15-45 minutes, I don’t time it, but I do have a limit because I have to work at some point, sit and watch my breath, not control it, watch it.
Architecting your future
Remember your past to help you in the present, remember your future differently to help you in the present. Imagine the progress you make in the 20 years, and then imagine if you had all of that power now.
Mark Divine’s chants for doing burpees when he’s travelling, and want’s to move.
Easy day, I’ve got this, Hoo-yah!
I’m feeling good, looking good, otta be, in hollywood
Day by day, in every way, I’m getting better and better, Hoo-yah hey!
Speech in front of congress

Mark felt a little bit like a pet, being paraded around. He said it was nice, but it feels like a dungeon. Everything is connected, all the halls and corridors. Mark was following Claudia, the congresswoman, down past this hall past all these reporters, who were curiously looking at Mark, wondering if he was famous. Mark found it very interesting to see who was there to be there, and who was playing roles. Congressman wearing cowboy boots and a hat, obviously from Texas etc.

Politicians have to represent the lowest common denominator of their constituency, so they merge their identities into it, and it’s pretty clear to see.

Remembering the futureIn my practice of imagining myself 20 years in the future, to bring that knowledge and experience into my current being, we have to think a lot about the future, and who I am. The body plays a huge role in human consciousness, and it’s not being studied. The poor, and the religiously timid are people who definitely won’t adapt to the new technology.
There is a possibility that the rich are going to become superhuman and dominate, there’s also the possibility of the expansion that we solve all the world’s issues and, knowledge, creativity, and coding will all be the skills of the future. We will have food from 3d printing, much less agricultural impact.
A large percentage of the population is going to become neurally connected. How I’ve heard it explained, in the podcast with Austin Felton, is that nanotechnology will eventually get so small that it will be able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and attach to our neurons and connect us to the cloud. That leads us to ask what if the hive-mind is the spiritual experience of one-consciousness? Mark thinks that it could potentially be a cacophony of distractions. There’s nothing there, but everything, but unless we can program it that we can unplug.
I think that a lot of people are missing out on spiritual or mystical experiences because they’re just not honoring themselves. Honor Yourself, and Honor Other. So honor your own experience, and honor the experience of others. That means a lot of different things, but what it means to me on a deeper level is, when I have an experience, not to quickly dismiss it as ‘That was just a chemical reaction,’. No, that actually happened, but just because I can’t describe it well to others, or because I haven’t heard other reports of the same experience, doesn’t make it any less real.

Mike Bledsoe

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