Ep. 206: Seeking the Experience of Being Alive

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As humans, we don’t just crave some rational understanding of life’s meaning, but rather a profound, visceral experience of vitality and connection with the world around us. We long for an embodied experience of life – getting out of our heads and into our bodies. 


It’s about living in a way where our everyday experiences resonate with our inner being because the ultimate goal is to feel fully alive, experiencing the richness of existence in all its dimensions. Not just searching for some kind of intellectual, abstract meaning or purpose in life. 


This diverges from conventional wisdom, where we’re often armchair philosophizing about what the meaning of life is. 


I remember being a dirtbag climber, sitting in my tent reading my college philosophy books and feeling so smug that it seemed us climbers had figured it all out, feeling fully alive just by playing in the mountains. Turns out we may not have been completely wrong. 


Joseph Campbell – mythologist and comparative religion scholar – said what we humans are really seeking isn’t just a cognitive understanding of life’s purpose, but “a visceral experience of being alive.” 


So it makes sense why many of us are drawn to adrenaline activities or beautiful places where we can feel warm water and sun on our skin; why some of us love to dance to amazing music; why we can feel so alive after passionate, connected sex. 


But the danger is that we can end up relying on things needing to be in-our-face exciting to feel that vitality and embodied sense of being alive: mind-blowing orgasms, intense theme park rides, climbing a peak in the Himalayas. 


All these things are great, AND we need to learn to cultivate this sense of being alive without needing things to be so epic all the time. 


We also want to practice embracing the dynamic, ever-changing nature of existence and find our Soul Purpose not in the destination, but in the journey itself. We want to cultivate mindfulness experiences every day, to be fully present with each moment and fully experience it with all the senses we have available to us. 


To bring back the magic in everyday life. 


So yes, we can feel awe and wonder for life when we’re at an amazing concert, paragliding off a mountain, or after a crazy roller coaster ride. But we can also feel that same awe and wonder and sensory immersion just by – ironically – slowing down, recognizing the utter miracle of being alive, and learning to fully engage our senses when we’re experiencing life. 


All of it. Not just the good stuff. 


Now what exactly does it mean to feel “truly alive?” It’s not just a matter of existing, but of fully engaging with the world around us in a way that resonates with our deepest selves. Our authentic selves. 




We can have an embodied experience, but if it isn’t aligned with our truth – like having sex with someone we’re not actually into – we won’t feel authentic or truly present. In fact, we might even feel a little dull or even deadened to the experience. 


So ideally we can establish resonance between our outer experiences and our innermost being.  


Ideally, we can align our actions with our values and passions, so that our outward everyday lives become a reflection of our most authentic selves. 


In this way, we don’t just experience a greater sense of fulfillment but also contribute to the greater good of humanity by living authentically and purposefully. 


Different embodiment practices can help us do this because they focus on cultivating a deeper connection between the body, mind, and spirit, giving us a sense of presence, mindfulness, and authenticity (see the full episode for examples). 


I want to also emphasize how being aware of our impermanence – of the fact that we will die and we don’t know when – can also help us feel alive. We aren’t living as much in the past or worrying about the future when we realize we might only have a few more moments of “now” left. 


In all of this, the ultimate goal isn’t just to seek meaning in life, but to embrace the joy and intensity of being alive. To have an embodied experience of it. 


Incorporating embodiment practices like mindfulness, yoga, dance, adventures and more into our daily life can support connection to the present moment, helping us have a deeper sense of authenticity and aliveness, and resonance between outer experiences and our innermost being; our Soul + our authenticity.  


We can better embrace the “rapture of being alive” in all its dimensions. 


You will learn: 


// Why humans crave more than understanding the meaning of life, but also an embodied visceral experience of life 

// Why alignment with our values is essential to feeling truly alive  

// Practices to cultivate an embodied sense of being alive (without becoming adrenaline junkies 😉 

// How to balance insight and embodiment



// Episode 13: How to Quit Buffering 


// Episode 67: Why Adventure Is Essential to Your Evolution 


// I’d love to hear from you! You can leave a review on the Rebel Buddhist Podcast on iTunes by clicking here  


// If you want to dive deeper into this Soul-level work and create a life of more freedom, adventure and purpose, head over to JoinFreedomSchool.com. It’s got everything you need in one place to build a foundation for a lifetime of self-exploration and freedom. 


// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist private group, and tune in every Wednesday as I go live with new inspiration and topics.