499. Giovanni Dienstmann

Giovanni DienstmannGiovanni Dienstmann is a spiritual practitioner and teacher, and the creator of Live and Dare, one of the top five most visited meditation blogs on the planet. As an author, meditation coach and speaker, Giovanni helps people overcome anxiety and stress to live a more calm and centered life, through spiritually-inspired personal development work.

Since the age of 14, spirituality has been the center of his life. In his journey, he practiced over 9,000 hours of meditation, tried 70 different techniques, and nearly became a monk twice.

His spiritual thirst and eclectic approach led him to be formally initiated into the traditions of Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Raja Yoga, and Mantra Yoga—by the masters Moriyama Roshi, Lakshamana Swami, Shivarudra Balayogi, and Nikhileshwarananda (respectively). In February 2010 he experienced a powerful awakening in the presence of Mooji in South India, and that has been a point of no return in his path.

Giovanni is the author of the best-selling book Practical Meditation: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide, which has been translated to 5 different languages and has popularly been called “The Meditation Bible”. As a coach, Giovanni’s clients range from stay at home parents to entrepreneurs, C-level executives and pro athletes.

In the field of meditation, he brings a contemporary and pragmatic approach to help both meditation novices and spiritual seekers alike. In his role as a spiritual writer, he balances deep reverence for traditional teachings with critical thinking and a comparative study of spiritual traditions.

To learn more about Giovanni and his work, visit LiveAndDare.com.

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Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded April 20, 2019.

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introducing Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:04:43 – Different Meditation Techniques
  • 00:09:24 – Discovering Zen and Meeting the Roshi
  • 00:14:05 – The Zen Tradition and Lineage
  • 00:18:51 – Disappointment and Closure in Zen Practice
  • 00:23:24 – Doubts on Enlightenment and the Value of Knowledge
  • 00:27:25 – The Value of Reading and Studying in Spiritual Paths
  • 00:31:38 – Integrating aspects of the human experience
  • 00:35:45 – The Path of Advaita and Integration
  • 00:40:32 – Surrender to the Lord within
  • 00:45:15 – Neo Advaita: Mistaking Temporary Realization
  • 00:49:57 – Different Categories of Spiritual Practitioners
  • 00:54:45 – The Role of Practice and Spiritual Bypassing
  • 00:59:01 – Tuning in to Spiritual Books
  • 01:03:33 – The Enjoyment of Spiritual Practice
  • 01:07:48 – Benefits of Lowering Stress and Relieving Depression
  • 01:12:10 – The Silence and Self-awareness
  • 01:17:13 – A Powerful Milestone in my Spiritual Journey
  • 01:22:02 – Maintaining Discernment in Spiritual Teachings
  • 01:26:34 – The Importance of Purification and Discernment in Self-Realization
  • 01:30:45 – The Dangers of Following Gurus
  • 01:35:11 – Concentrating the Mind with Objects
  • 01:39:26 – The Importance of Having Different Levels of Teachers
  • 01:43:31 – Exploring Different Spiritual Paths
  • 01:47:43 – The Bodhisattva and Continuing Existence
  • 01:52:02 – The Concept of Leela in Tantra
  • 01:56:35 – The Importance of Choosing the Right Meditation Practice
  • 02:00:39 – The role of charging for meditation and spirituality
  • 02:04:46 – The Role of Dakshina in Spiritual Exchange
  • 02:09:09 – The Responsibility of Siddhis and their Role in Science and Society
  • 02:13:26 – Demonstrating Siddhis through Scientific Means