Can You Stand Being Alone with Yourself?

When did you last spend time by yourself?

Nate and Jason discuss why and how they spend time alone - and how it often leads to big realizations about themselves and the world around them.

Topics include meditation, minimalism, mushrooms, freedom from technology, and finding time to be a person.

Show Notes

Part 1: The Silent Retreat

The guys talk about Nate’s recent 10-day silent meditation retreat at the Northwest Vipassana Institute.

3:20 — “It reminded me of a very low-level mushroom trip.” – Nate

3:50 — Waking Up by Sam Harris

4:25 — Joe Rogan’s bit about the end of civilization

8:50 — “I didn’t feel like I was a part of a cult, but I felt like other people were a part of a cult.” – Nate

9:20 — Meditation teacher S.N. Goenka

10:20 — Nate explains why he started meditating

10:35 — “The best way that I can explain what meditation is now, like my understanding of it, is the ability to just witness reality as it happens.” – Nate

11:50 — “The idea (of meditation) does not hold any appeal to me.” – Jason

13:40 — Nate says meditating trains your mind like exercising trains your body

17:40 — “What happens is I am much more likely and much more quick to realize that I am reacting in a certain way and to realize that I do not have to act in that way.” – Nate

19:45 — Looking for the Self, guided meditation by Sam Harris

19:57 — “I would just challenge you to try that. And you may hate it, and that’s fine, but at least you would get an idea of what the meditation is.” – Nate

Part 2: Why Bother?

Nate and Jason talk about why you should spend time alone

4:48 — “I feel like everything I’ve ever learned about myself has come in the space where I didn’t have outside stimulus.” – Jason

12:30 — Why limiting technology is essential to getting the most of your alone time

19:50 — “I think the meditation thing, and I guess being alone, has allowed me to accept myself and my tendencies a little bit more.” – Nate

20:00 — Nate goes to extreme lengths to limit his impulsivity

21:27 — “If left to my own devices, I will use my devices.” – Nate

Part 3: Emotional Minimalism

Nate and Jason talk about understanding your own emotions

2:27 — “I was the perfect example of the kid who had no problems and therefore needed to invent a lot of problems.” – Jason

3:00 — Jason explains how a psychedelic mushroom trip helped him look at his life from a different perspective

6:50 — “You’re not someone that’s just having experiences, you’re part of the experience yourself as you live and go through life.” – Nate

7:43 — “If you can cast off all the shit that’s just weighing you down and doesn’t actually add any value to your life, it’s like getting a superpower.” – Jason

Part 4: Material Minimalism

Nate and Jason talk about the importance of ditching unnecessary shit

1:20 — Fight Club: (the movie and the book by Chuck Palahniuk)

3:10 — Missoula, MT and Whitefish, MT

4:00 — Nate talks about the process of deciding what to do with his physical possessions as he prepares to leave Portland and travel for an indefinite amount of time

14:14 — The Minimalists

17:30 — Jason explains why material minimalism is important to him

18:50 — “My memories are not inside the objects that are attached to those memories.” – Jason

19:50 — “If I want to be in Tokyo tomorrow, I can do it and I don’t have to worry about who’s gonna take care of my shit.” – Jason

20:35 — “Anything that I own, I can’t take that and make it an anchor that keeps me from going somewhere I wanna go because it doesn’t exist anymore.” – Jason

24:00 — “I’ve started beating a dead horse here, so let me wrap up: umm, sell all your shit.” – Jason