#97 My awesome guest this week is Tom Cronin, producer of the new documentary ‘The Portal’. A film that focuses on six individuals and how meditation has helped them move beyond personal trauma.
I’ve known Tom for many years and was excited to get him on the show to share his on wisdom from this work and also what he learned from putting a huge project like this together with one goal in mind; to shift humanity out of global crisis. Enjoy!
About Tom: Tom Cronin spent 26 years in finance markets as one of Sydney’s leading bond and swap brokers. He discovered meditation in the early stages of his career, when the anxiety and chaos he was experiencing hit a crisis point. Meditation completely transformed his world, both personally and professionally.
Today Tom is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives, and helping them to find peace, and calm.
Links & Resources For Tom Cronin:
Guy: Hi, I’m Guy Lawrence and you are listening to the Guy Lawrence podcast. If you’re enjoying this content and you want to find out more and join me and come further down the rabbit hole, make sure you head back to the guylawrence.com.au. Awesome guys. Enjoy the show.
Guy: Tom, welcome to the podcast.
Tom: Thank you. It’s good to be here.
Guy: Mate if you are on an airplane and you sat next to a complete stranger and they asked you what you did for a living these days, what would you say?
Tom: That’s a great question. It’s so diverse now. Uh, it probably would start now because this is the current focus that I’m involved in is as a film producer, which is not what I ever expected myself to be saying. And then I’d add to that, uh, meditation teacher, coach, uh, and an author.
Guy: Yeah. Fantastic. Well, you know, we’ve crossed paths many times over the years, Tom. And uh, and I saw you getting behind them producing a movie and I was like, Oh my God, that’s huge. Like that’s no small task, you know, and it’s big decision. What drove you to go in this direction?
Tom: You know, I was actually quite naive looking back over the last seven years since I had that idea. We had our, interestingly, we’re talking about this, but we had our premiere of the film, our Australian premiere last night in Dandy new town at the cinemas sold out, which was great. And uh, you know, it was quite a phenomenal experience to sort of just sit and assess, wow, this has been seven years from having an idea that I plucked out of the field of infinite possibility. And the idea was really part of a, another idea which was I wanted to inspire a billion people to meditate daily through the stillness project. And to do that, we wanted to do it through a number of different modalities, which has online programs or traits, speaking gigs, books, and one of those modalities we wanted to create as an incentive and a motivation for people to meditate daily was through film.
Tom: Because film is such a great, powerful medium to show the power of something through personal story. And, um, and that’s what we wanted to capture was personal stories, very diverse backgrounds, very moving and emotional that showed you that. Yes, regardless of what your background, you can actually have an alchemy or a Christ list as we talk about in the film, like a Caterpillar does with the butterfly through this medium called meditation. And then there’s multiple mediums you can do that. It’s just the one that’s one-on-one to focus on and I’m skilled in. Um, and so that’s what gave birth to the film.
Guy: Got it. Got it. And how was the film received last night? It must’ve, you must’ve been nervous sitting before, you know, going into it.
Tom: You know, it’s, it’s one of those films that will, I guess, polarize an audience. You know, it’s a, a very differently made film. It’s a very different style is there’s a meditation in there, there’s Barno Bates, there’s animation, there’s, um, you know, it moves around quite a lot between these different stories and future. It’s not a traditional documentary. You’re not going to get a lot of information as to why she meditate, it’s a, it’s a journey that you kind of twists and turns and throws you around a bit and it opens your heart up. And if it’s what we find is those people are very cerebral and very much looking for just information, they kind of feeling a little bit let down. Um, but those people that kind of feel through the heart a lot more, they’re just completely blown open by it. And in all of it. So, um, it was obviously last night, been the opening night. It was a lot of the choir we call it, you know, the, the, the people that are into this sort of genre and this space. So they really, really, uh, resonated well with it and as being some great reviews.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. Congrats mate. I, um, I read a quote on your website, um, from the director and I think it’s, I think the film is a gorgeous coffee table book, not a sensational paperback.
Tom: Well, you know, it’s a very visual, you know, we put a lot of emphasis on it being experiential. Um, so it’s, you know, beautiful visuals and beautiful sound, amazing score or amazing sound design and, uh, some very intimate Lee shot, uh, moments of human life.
Guy: Beautiful, Why call it the portal?
Tom: Yeah. You know, it was originally called the stillness effect, uh, which I, I still to some degree really love that name, uh, because it was the effect that stillness has on our lives. Um, and then we sort of played around with some other titles. Um, the portal represents two things. One is, um, the individual experience of transcendence when we go through this, a pathway in the process of meditation because meditation is really just the medium or the vehicle to take us through to a space that’s beyond form and phenomenon.
Tom: And we go from form to formlessness, from boundaries to boundarylessness, uh, from, from, uh, impermanence to permanence. And that’s the experience of transcendence that happens in meditation when we go into that infinite from finite to infinite. And the portal is the process, which is meditation. But the portal is also representative of the macro, which is this transitional point that we’re going through, uh, for us as a species. And it really is a fork in the road that we’re at in there right now in that portal. On the other side of that really lives to very polo uh, experiences, possibilities. One is a very lightened and beautiful and integrated and harmonious and unified experience for us as a species, not just as humans species, but for our integration with other species on the planet as well, which we have really still exist in a very separate sort of idea of, um, and the other option through that portal is really quite unpleasant, which I don’t want to put too much attention on, but it doesn’t all go well for humanity. Yeah. And many other species, which is I think we’re saying 10,000 species at the moment, getting extinct every year on the planet.
Guy: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. Uh, I love, I love the name of the portal and how you describe that then and from my own personal experience, Tom, having those experiences in seeing life from a certain set of eyes for, for many years of how culture and my upbringing into my whole belief systems and everything of who I thought I was and how I interact with this world and then almost life kind of pushing me in a direction that forced me to go through my own very own portal of transformation. Just like the butterfly effect, like you were saying earlier, you know, from a Caterpillar going through the Chrysalis to coming out and having a deeper sense of connection to everything and everyone and a lot more compassion than, and once you have those experiences, you can’t take it back. You can’t change. Like, like it’s, it’s amazing
Tom: the bottom, the butterfly Congo back to being a Caterpillar.
Guy: That’s right. Yeah, exactly. And, and you know, just like what you’re saying there and I can S socio where you, what you’re doing with this movie, it’s a beautiful experience and it’d be incredible to think what I guess civilization. And, and us as humans on a planet would be if we all started to experience our own true potential and what it’s like to actually go through something like that.
Tom: Yeah. You know, um, Daniel Schmeck hamburger, one of the gentlemen in the film who’s a futurist and he specializes in looking a long way down the road into the future for humanity. Um, he, he, he, he says in the film that he used to come to play what life was like as an enlightened planet, but we had a discussion with him prior to him coming on the film when we’re interviewing him for it. And, and the Austin divided us as Mike is, or the project to invite our audience to start contemplating individually and potentially collectively as a body, as a group, what life might be like on a not on enlightened planet. Because at the moment, no one currently, um, particularly collectively is, is, is, is drawing up a vision for that. And if we don’t have a vision for it, if we don’t contemplate what it looks like, if we don’t have a design for it or a blueprint, we can’t actually create it.
Tom: We can’t get there. And so because we’re not looking for it because we’re not looking to design it because we’re not designing it, then it’s very difficult for us to experience it. But if we start to contemplate it, we start to map it out and we start to visualize it, not just for our own self individually. What do I look like on an enlightened planet? What do I look like as an enlightened person? What do I act my actions? What am I emotional States? What are my relationships like? What is my relationship with money like? What is that banking system like? What does our education system like? What is that sporting system? Is there a sporting system on it in a Latin planet? Why are we still in these win, lose paradigms and all of a sudden you start to get a North star and then an ended up direction that can start to give you a roadmap as to, Oh, this is where we need to go now.
Guy: Yeah, totally. And as about taking our attention of the, the, the things
Tom: that are holding us back in life and being that future focused. Yeah. You can look at where most of our attention goes. It’s on Trump and Biden. It’s on what’s happening in Turkey and Syria or it’s on [inaudible], you know, the massive debt bubble as being credit. We’re looking at past and current present day, you know, catastrophe disaster, low grade mediocre type of stuff. We’re not really forecasting and looking forward to something that we’ve never seen in credit before because we didn’t know what it looks like. So that’s the hard thing about it. Yeah, totally under, within the movie as well. Um, I believe, cause I haven’t seen it yet, but I believe you focused around six people and their journeys and their stories. Yeah. The central theme of the film is the six personal stories of transformation. And um, [inaudible] you’ll get to see the film on December the fifth at palace cinemas in you, in Byron bites.
Tom: There’s a steel plug. I’ll be there. But yeah, you know, what we really wanted to do was not to lecture people, not to give people a whole suede of information. We wanted to take them on a journey, on a path with some other people that have walked that path. And we didn’t want to take monks from monasteries that had lived in blissed out life from the age of seven. We wanted to showcase people that were in drug dens that were in crisis, were in abusive relationships that had incredibly poor and challenging childhoods. And so, um, yeah. And, and, and have, have had crisis in their lives in some way, shape or form. And when, when you showcase the power of meditation in those situations and the contrast of what it can do, it’s like, Oh, that, that includes me now. And so rather than it being exclusive, it becomes inclusive and invites the audience to start to ponder what life might be like for them if they start to practice something like that on a daily basis.
Tom: Totally. Yeah. How did you go about selecting the six for the movie? That would have been quite a task, but yeah, it was a phenomenal task. You know, we, um, you know, thank goodness for Google, um, that we, we researched 300 individual stories. That was an interview for each story and that’s a, you know, you’re talking about almost an hour interview for each store and then you’d do follow ups. And then, you know, the, the stories had to have three components, four components really to the one component was they had to have a crisis in there. Um, some challenge, some difficulties, some struggle. Um, the hot tub, obviously meditation as the central practice that helped them get through that crisis. Um, because you know, there’s so many different mediums to get people through crisis, but rural focusing on meditation, um, they had to have a global theme.
Tom: So we’re talking about, you know, Vietnamese refugees, us soldiers, um, United nations, human rights lawyers, people, you know, people that had qualified for the Olympics. So very sort of macro themes. So it is embracive of global stories and it didn’t exclude people from that as well. And then, um, and, and then I guess the, the final one that we wanted it to really have to land was that, you know, we had some such beautiful Epic stories, but the had to resonate with the audience, you know, the, the character and, you know, they had to be something about them, the way they spoke and the, that personality and that that would have some appeal. You know, we had one story, it was phenomenal story. It was that we were really, really excited by it when we got to interview the person for it and you know, their response to questions. Ah, yeah, nah, nah, maybe, I don’t know. Maybe. And it was just like, ah, nah, the story’s so good. But there was this no level of eloquence and engagement. So that was obviously just, you know, didn’t qualify.
Guy: Yeah. Fair enough. And, um, do you mind touching? Can we, without giving too much of the movie away, cause you know, without the spoilers or anything, but can we touch on the stories a little bit, the six people and goes through them? Cause I’m intrigued to know what’s been going on in their lives and, and what happened.
Tom: Yeah. So we’ve got Buddha, who’s an amazing, it’s B double O da, that’s his nickname. He was a U S soldier in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he’s an amazing, beautiful man. And he suffered from PTSD in a very, very severe way. And he ended up going to the veterans clinic in Augusta where he learned to meditate. And that was completely life changing for him. Nothing else would, you know, the drugs, the pharmaceuticals, psychologists, nothing was getting him throw it. It was just getting worse until we learned meditation. Um, we have a Vietnamese refugees, Y who her name’s way, which is written Dua and uh, you know, she, she grew up in a very, very violent and very poor area of Philadelphia out arriving, you know, as a one year old in the USA and, um, was incredibly gifted, intelligent, wise, and became a hobby. She won a Hobbit scholarship, which she thought was going to be a ticket out of the ghetto, but it ended up being a cross this moment for her where she’d nearly sort of committed suicide and had a very deep, dark depression and anxiety because the, it was like going into, onto another planet from, you know, being in the hoods and ghettos of Philadelphia to being in some of the most elite environments and people and feeling a complete sense of disconnect and pressure.
Tom: Um, and that’s been shown in meditation help to, through her journey. Uh, we’ve got a Jewish rabbi that had a stroke locked in syndrome, which maybe he could only move his eyes. Um, but he’s probably one of the most enlightened people you’ve ever met in, you know, busy meditation. It was a very spiritual person before that is one of the senior rabbis and the Jewish community in Montreal. But it was a real opportunity for him to embody his practice where the only thing left for him was meditation. And I’ve never met such a blissed out enlighten person who’s lost the greatest asset we could ever possibly want, which is our body.
Guy: How is he, I’m communicating with you then he, he
Tom: in the film,
Guy: uh, he communicates, he can speak now. He wasn’t able to just make an easily, you can only use these eyelids to blink one for yes, two for no, um, taken here, but he couldn’t use his body. But now as he’s developing and developing and he believes he can actually eventually get back through the power of the mind and the body, but he can now speak, which is great. Incredible. Yeah. Some other stories, Heather, us track athlete. She just a won the nationals and was going to the Olympics, won scholarships to some of the top universities, broke her back three weeks later, jumping off the cliff. Um, you know, there’s some phenomenal stories in there. Uh, who else have, we’ve got, we’ve got Dodi Jim Doty who lost a ton of money in the tech crash and Amanda in is United nation human rights lawyer who suffered immense PTSD and trauma from being working with eon in Afghanistan and Syria and um, and Africa and uh, and up turning to meditation ended up becoming a yoga meditation teacher after seeing the power of it in the, uh, in the camps.
Guy: Yeah. Incredible. Amazing. Ambassador is this interest in, um, I didn’t realize you had James Dody on, um, in there, cause I interviewed James a few years back. [inaudible] OK. When uh, yeah, with his book into the magic shop and um, yeah, he’s phenomenal man. Beautiful man. Yeah, 100%. Yeah, it was, uh, it was excellent. Wow. That’s fantastic. Um, the next question I wanted to ask you was because what fascinates me about this work, Tom, is that, um, and this was my belief before, uh, I sort of started delving into it myself was that, well, I’m not meditation. Uh, I’m not in a crisis. I don’t need to go and do that. I’ll, I’ll wait. I mean, what are your thoughts on why we tend to wait before a crisis happens before we start looking at this work? When my belief is now is that if we were all doing it anyway, life would just get so much more better.
Tom: Yeah, absolutely. Look, I mean, we don’t need a crisis to be the catalyst for change. Generally we do, but we don’t need to. So interestingly, um, the crisis is really, uh, a technique or it’s not a technique. It’s a device used by evolution or nature or God or the divine, whatever you want to call it, to, to create real alignment. That’s what crisises whether it’s personal, planetary, company wise, relationship wise, it’s a, it’s a mechanism of evolution that is the catalyst for change when the prices of changes become resistant. So if we’re not growing, if we’re not evolving, if we’re not increasing our consciousness, if we’re not increasing our level of awareness, if we’re in a static plateau, plateau, if we’re, you know, as a company, as a relationship, if we’re just not growing and evolving, then, um, then you’re defying, trying to defy the law of evolution, which insists you must grow and must change.
Tom: You must evolve. And if you’re not, then what happens is the universe says, Hey, we’ve got one over here, Bob, that’s kind of not, not evolving. We need to give them a little bit of a, um, I’ve, I’ll send a few messages their way, you know, some karmic consequences, Shiva, the destructive operator to come in and try and give them a few. So for me personally, if who translate to my story, and I started getting, uh, doing lots of drugs and drinking and pot and getting lost in the sensory world of deprivation and just sensory desire and you know, all that sort of stuff as a broker and the universe is saying, we’ve got one here that’s not really evolving. He’s kind of trapped in this world of illusion that drinking and taking drugs is going to be the pathway to enlightenment, old fulfillment or whatever.
Tom: So you start getting these, these cues, these symptoms signals, which is maybe anxiety or insomnia or something that’s some discomfort and that suffering is the catalyst for change. But if we resist suffering, then the suffering has to increase. It doesn’t just drop off. And so the universe is always as a maternal guiding mechanism looking to support a narrow you to wake up and realize fundamental truth. Um, and if we resist this process, then the universe is there as a beautiful loving parent. This going to corral you and guide you. And some of that, they have to use his discomfort just as if we’ve got a child in our family that’s, you know, playing with a knife in the knock in the PowerPoints socket, then that parent is going to have to use some discipline as a level of love and protection. And so we get eventually you have to resist them, resist and resist.
Tom: Then the crisis moment will come and that’s the shakeup. But we don’t need crosses because see what happens is we start to wake up, we preempt because there’s calmer and Cray inviting philosophy, calmer is the big corresponding reaction after the action. Korea is the subtle sensation before the action that can guide you before the karmic action. Yeah. Right. So it’s that, that little subtle feeling in you that says this way or that way. And we get more and more in tune to that. The more we wake up. Okay. Which means we have less and less crisis. And that’s why if we get more people on the planet waking up, we’re going to have less crisis.
Guy: Yeah. No, I love it. I love your description, Tom. And in our day and age now, I believe we’ve forgotten how to feel.
Tom: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. We caught in their heads very much.
Guy: Yeah. And then there are so many distractions now that can keep us completely distracted from looking at any of those things. And it just, it just, it’s so easy to, to, to dismiss something and put it away until, until it. Um, so let’s read your, explored our reviews. Yeah. Yeah. I’m intrigued with the six people that you had on the movie. How did they all view their own crisis? Looking back?
Guy: with, I guess life behind them.
Tom: That’s a really good question. Um, I think they say them all. Well I don’t, Oh, I can’t say personally for them all, but I, I, my feeling is that they see them as I see them, um, as an essential part of your own evolution. And in a, for me, I look at my crisis, I thank God that happened. Yeah. Otherwise I’d still be under a complete douchebag and um, I’m not, I’m not a, not in a lot monk and I still have flaws. Don’t get me wrong. Um, but yeah, I have, it has helped me grow and has helped me grow.
Guy: And how bad did they get for you to him? Cause I know you were a broker in Sydney and you live in quite a, a, a, a drug fueled partying life at a young age and then, and lots of money and like
Tom: how, how bad did it get for you to, to, yeah. It’s interesting. You know, I’ve, I’ve had since that one other crises along the way as well. I mean, you moved through them quicker and you see them more consciously for what they are, but they don’t actually stop. Challenges don’t stop. But for me at that point, that was like a real fork in the road, which defined my life as pre and post meditation. Um, and uh, you know, for me at that point it was really severe, severe depression, uh, really severe anxiety, severe panic attacks. Uh, I would definitely say suicidal tendencies cause the pine was so immense that particularly the daily panic attacks, which would have me crippled in a bowl and just really, uh, [inaudible] wanting to do anything to get rid of those panic attacks.
Guy: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And how do you, and it’s so hard, isn’t it? When you, when you’re having those emotional and feeling experiences to get beyond those emotions, to see things with a different level of mind, you know, how, how do you see crisis these days if you, like you say, our problems never go away. It’s just those skill sets and prove to, to handle problems as they come. Right. Yeah. I mean, how do you take that wisdom from your own life’s experiences into something that might happen now?
Tom: How you look at them? Yeah. Um, you know, we had some family issues recently, some family challenges. Um, you know, people getting sick and things and um, you see the fragility and the vulnerability of life for what it is, uh, with gratitude, um, and recognize, um, the impermanence of it. Um, and, and you know, within that, you know, it’s a deep respect and a love for it and the temporary nature of it, uh, to know that there are people in your life and experiences that are so temporary and circulating. So you, I think you have more gratitude, um, more acceptance of, of the nature of life. Um, as Buddha says, lean a life is struggle and, um, and to have more compassion for it and for others are struggling with it as well. You know, there’s a, there’s not a person on the planet that you can’t, you know, if you ask any of them, you know, is there a metal malady and you’ll live, is there a struggle in some way, shape or form? Is there a challenge? And then I, there’s not many people I’d imagine would be able to say no. Um, and so you start to realize that, um, wow, this is, you know, this is, uh, a beautiful fragile experience that you, you tend to have more grace and compassion and love for humanity as a result of it.
Guy: Yeah, fair enough. It’s, um, yeah, it’s interesting. I had done, uh, dr John martini, uh, Dimartini on a few months back and I asked him about trauma in this horse. And, and his first reply was, there is no trauma. It’s only the meaning we associate to it. And it really made me contemplate that for a long time. But I know, um, looking at this work, I would say that all my, all the hardships and, and, and things that come my way, there’s always been that a lesson that I’ve been able to look upon back in time and find, like you say, gratitude within, not even though at the time it can feel like how and it could, it could last for years. Yeah. It’s certainly, yeah, it’s certainly an interesting, um, interesting processes to go through.
Tom: Yeah. I mean not touching on Demartini cause his works helped me a lot through those times. Um, which overloads very nicely into Vedic philosophy, which is the, the permanents and unbounded and unmoved nature of self with a capital S which is a, when we say self for the capitalist, we’re talking about the, um, the divine nature that permeates and pervades all reality at the subtlest level of reality beyond foremen phenomenon is, and some can call it love, some can call it divinity, some can call it being, some can call it, um, self. Uh, but really there’s this experience to be had as it, as a human and a white can human, um, where we Trent in this, why transcending meditation so important cause you access that on a regular basis beyond the limitations of the forms of phenomenons of reality lies another reality, which is a very subtle reality which is just being itself, which is his presence or when this, and it’s a quiet watchfulness that isn’t affected.
Tom: It doesn’t have emotions, doesn’t have thoughts. It’s not disturbed in any way, shape or form. And um, what we get in the world of forms of phenomenon is, is constant polarity, which is equal measures of support and challenge [inaudible] experience. So there’s a dynamic in the relative failed in the field of form and phenomenon, which is this support and challenge in every moment. So whenever you’re in crisis, there’s, you’ll be able to locate within that crisis and that challenge, equal measures of support. But what we tend to do as humans, and this is the conundrum that we face, is that what we tend to do in our current reality, which is today we look at our challenges, our maladies, uh, our struggles and what we see in the future generally is what we see is so we’re only seeing the challenges. We’re not seeing the support.
Tom: Like, you know, I’ve got the amazing, well I’ve got amazing kids, got amazing house, I live in amazing suburbs. You know, go affluence, accuse me, survive. It’s got fresh running water. All this supports how much support in my life, but we don’t put our attention on that on a daily basis. We just take it for granted. What we look at in the future is a reality that where there’s only support and no challenge. If I can just get to barn and buy this house and live on a farm and have this amazing experience, my life life’s going, it’s going to be incredible. But we’re not taking into account that there’s going to be a challenge somewhere. Like your mother might get steak or you know, you might have challenges in your life or you might have challenges in your finances or you’re going to have some challenges in your work. Um, and we’re not seeing that in our future. And what we’re seeing in our present is just the challenges. And so there’s this always a big separation between what we see to be a future reality and possibility to what comedy is, which is actually the same equal levels of support and challenge in both.
Guy: Yeah. I love it. It’s almost like an, I cough often thinking about this when I catch myself daydreaming and fantasizing about this Nirvana future that’s coming my way soon. Yeah. And then if that’s the case, then I’m actually coming from a place of lack right now because then, then I’m automatically or subconsciously telling myself, well, I’m not fulfilled right now. I’m not happy in this one until that I might ain’t going to feel whole and complete.
Tom: It’s a function of the ego to think that somewhere, some way or some experience is going to provide fulfillment and it’s not and the other. So that’s one characteristic of the ego or, um, you know, the, the, the entity that’s existing within you. The personality is that somewhere in the future there’s a reality that I can have an experience or formal phenomenon that’s gonna make my life better and that this current reality, the second pots that quit, that, uh, that characteristic is that this reality is never gonna be enough. Yeah. So that they, they had two traits of the ego that leaves us in a constant state of despair and discontent, which is why the shopping malls are full of people buying things. Um, now self itself has its own experience or the divine or being, or presence, which is us as well at the subtlest level, beyond our thinking, feeling body is that it is complete. There’s no hunger. There’s not a lack. There’s not, it’s like the divine or God’s going in. Finally, I could get more.
Guy: Yeah. Yeah. Totally. Totally.
Tom: Just is, it’s just amness. It’s just presence.
Guy: Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s a fascinating topic. I don’t know. What do you do on a daily basis then, Tom? Too?
Guy: Keep yourself like, I like it. Like, I appreciate, like you said, you’re not walking around like a Buddhist monk and you, nothing phases you with some tragedy, but what are your practices? What do you generally do to kind of, cause I look at it like flossing or brushing my teeth. Like there’s almost this element. You just stay on top of it.
Tom: Mmm. Yeah. I have some go-tos, um, on a daily and weekly basis that keep me grounded and, um, vitals. So I, I’d say it is a very holistic approach. You know, I have to really have a date, respect and gratitude for my physical body. Um, it’s such a gift to be given a physical body and experience this plane of earth. Um, and so I have to look up to that and in with so much respect now, which I didn’t use to. So, you know, it’s, um, you know, I, I, I do gym workout three times a week. I do yoga three times a week. Uh, I do a sauna sweat, uh, two to three times a week. Um, you know, I try to surf, which is getting less and less time while I’m doing the film. Um, and then of course my daily go to without that, I’m gonna I try to do at least one to two of those things each day. And then my meditation is my call, which is sitting. Um, and, and you know, I’ll sit and do a mantra, transcendence to meditation and then some, some sitting itself, which is in silence. And then I’ll do some visualization and gratitude.
Guy: Yeah. Beautiful. And um, what would you say to someone listening to this that might be in a bit of a crisis right now, might be kind of reaching up pain point, but looking at these tools is access but hadn’t taken the first step, what would, what would you say to that person?
Tom: The, the, the challenge we tend to face when we’re in these moments is thinking that we need to, to run from it or do more or get more or get something or try and fix it. Okay. Um, and the thing that we’re less inclined to do, but the most important thing to do is to go where that crisis is not. So we put a lot of our attention on the crisis and this is the problem. This is the problem. This is a problem. But we want to go with a cross. This is not, which is stillness and silence. It’s like if you think of a tornado and it’s swirling around is mayhem and chaos, um, in the, in the outer regions of that tornado. But where the tornado was not is in the center of it isn’t that tonight. Today it’s that there’s silence and stillness and that’s what we want to start doing is we don’t need to try and fix the problem.
Tom: We don’t need to try and resolve. We don’t need to sit and talk for long hours about it. And I used to take drugs to try and get rid of it. We go to where the crisis doesn’t exist and that’s in the silence of being. And to do that, we can use number of different devices. The one I’m skilled in, in teaching is meditation, transcending style. Meditation is to take us into transcendence beyond form. Now some people might say, but isn’t that running away? Well, what it does is it allows you this, the date foundation and stability of your own conscious and knowingness. And it gives you great clarity, run a wisdom, greater, um, emotional stability to be able to move through that crisis, see that crisis for more of what it is rather than what we tend to do want to do is move away from the pain of the crisis, move away from the crisis.
Tom: Who really, when we find that in a stability in that inner silence and then a thingness, then we say the cross, what is is like, Oh this class is actually not a liability. These crisises an asset. This crisis is waking me up this crisis. And if we have the ability in that moment to have gratitude for the crisis, it melts, it melts and the impact of the cross is suddenly just starts to melt away. Now this is all very easy to send it cause I still get challenges and I still get disturbed and I still get ruffled emotionally by some circumstances in life. So I’m talking very idealistically and very, um, you know, longterm goal oriented. But starting that process, you know, when we had a major, major crisis in the, in one stage of the film, and I couldn’t find my way through it, it was a date dock, not as assault for me.
Tom: Um, but we had to pave it on the film. We’d spend a lot of money and it was a real crisis moment. And I knew that may try to think my way out of this wasn’t gonna work. So let’s just do what the film’s about. Let’s just meditate. And I met a Titan Meadows had admitted to my ass off. And, and interestingly one night at two in the morning, I woke up because I was accessing more and more of the field of creative possibility, infinite possibility and infinite love, infinite wisdom. And by immersing my, my field of thought in that space, more and more the solutions would come from that cause all solutions to our problems lie in the field of possibility. Just as all creative designs dislike. This mouse in my iPhone was all as a possible creative design at some point in the field of possibility. Um, and so at two in the morning I woke up and all of the films is suddenly downloaded and I got out of my bed. It’s still in my phone. In my notes. I wrote down this outline of what the film will be and that morning I went back to sleep, woke up and pulled in the Crow and said, this is what I think that the new film is never one year. That’s it. That’s fantastic. Let’s do it. Yeah.
Guy: Amazing. Amazing. It’s like a, I’ll think of it like there’s a big database and if you get out of your own way and get out to those stress responses and like you’d say, trying to solve it from the mind all the time,
Tom: especially when you stress, because when you’re stressed, you’re, the functionality of Brian is so impaired, you know, you’re really coming from such limited Brian functionalities, reptilian Brian, you know, which is just fight or flight and so you don’t have access to that. Ironically, you don’t have access to the credit impulses that you need to get you through that crisis. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. I got to ask you before we move on as well, is interested in everything you say there and what was, what was the language or what was the trigger point for you to get you into this work in the first place?
Tom: Good question. I’m always fascinated to get it means the work is in, is in teaching it or as in experiencing meditation experience. Well, look, I, I was in a dark place. I, I developed Agora phobia, anxiety, panic attacks and depression. I’d been put on pharmaceutical drugs and was seeing psychologists and psychiatrists at that time as a broker at 29. Um, now I’m at 29. Uh, you know, this is 1996 and there was no internet and that Fox, still not Netflix. I’m at home watching TV and there was as a documentary about a man called Bruna Grollo who was a big property developer. And part of that story about his success was that he meditated and I’d never really come across meditation, didn’t know anyone in my life that meditated and never really explored it at all. And he was sitting in a chair in a suit, meditating.
Tom: And it was like an epiphany because, you know, I sit in chairs and I wear suits. So as a broker and it suddenly lit my mind up as to a field of possibility and I’ve got this incredible, intriguing my body, this curiosity. And that was the starting point. I literally went and got the yellow pages phone book. Can I remember it distinctly opening that up on the coffee table and looking up meditation in the yellow pages for those people who have no idea what I’m talking about. The [inaudible] was the phone directory before we got Google. And um, you know, you had to look up the local sentence that offered, you know, painting or posturing or plumbing. And I looked up M for meditation and there was a list of six or seven meditation centers that I rang them up and went and spoke with them.
Tom: And that’s when I found that transcendental meditation. Wow. That was neat. To hook. Doesn’t that like, yeah, this something relatable list. Yeah, absolutely. Amazing. Um, I asked everybody on the show a few questions and, um, every week and my first one is to you, what does your morning routine look like? Yeah, it’s a bit different at the moment because we’re, we’re about to go to the U S with a large distribution of the film. And so a lot of our distributors are in, uh, in the U S our publicist in the U S our social media teams in the U S so I’m doing morning calls at the moment, which is really disrupting my morning schedule. Cause what I like to do is I like to get up and do something physical. So that’s a for a swim or so on or a workout or a yoga class. I like to get up and burn off that cortisol has been growing through the night and ready to allow you to sow the field or collect the eggs or milk the cows or chop down the wood for the fire. Um, so we generally should wake up with a bit of burst of cortisol. Um, and then I like to burn that off with some physicality and then go and do some stillness, which is my meditation and then gratitude and some intention setting and then my breakfast. Um, so that’s a little bit disrupted the moment, um, that, that we’ll get back on once we pass the U S distribution.
Guy: Yeah. Fair enough. If you could have dinner with anyone tonight from anywhere in the world, from any timeframe.
Guy: Who do you think it would be and why?
Tom: Hmm. Wow, that’s a good question. Um, I’m not religious, but I really do and have a strong connection and admiration and curiosity for the man Jesus. Uh, and, and I like to spend some time with that person. Um, and if he was busy cause he was, uh, you know, on a Tinder date, then, uh, I’d probably like to sit with, uh, someone like, uh, just shanty or Moochie.
Guy: Okay. Okay. And, um, what’s one thing about yourself? Most people wouldn’t know?
Tom: Gosh, so many. Uh, I’m still a, you know, I, I S I still, I still have fee, you know, this is one things that I still, you know, I, I know a lot of people see me, you know, on podcasts and retreats and teaching and think of an a, and it’s interesting because I, I’m starting to realize after spending a lot of time with very awakened to people that they still have their own challenges and some traits that exist that contained within the ego. So I, I like to share and convey my humanity and, um, and, and not, uh, not portray a false sense of reality that, you know, all of us grapple with our own personal struggles no matter even the Dalai Lama. I’m sure it has a lot of things on his plate, a lot of challenges. He’s surrounded by 12 body guards. He’s constantly under threat. He’s got so many things on his schedule. And, um, there’s that question is, I’m personal health issues. Um, you know, so we’ll, we’ll have our struggle and, and we’re not exclusive of that.
Guy: Yeah, totally. Um, what are your hopes for this movie?
Tom: Um, the hope is that, uh, I hundred million people get to watch it and B, that it inspires some form of action. You know, it’s not just an entertainment piece that then they go off and think about, let’s go to the pub and get wasted. It’s like, you know, it’s, it’s something to contemplate and discuss and share and um, and then be inspired to go on meditate hopefully. Because if, if nothing comes of it, then it kind of,
Guy: what was the point of it? Yeah, it was like getting people to meditate and become more conscious, more loving, more kind, more unified then that enlightened planet will probably profile. Yeah. Beautiful. And last question, Tom, with everything we’ve covered today and we’ve covered quite a few areas actually, the tongues floor, um, what would you like to leave the listeners to ponder on the takeaway?
Tom: The one thing that really inspired me with this film, and it’s actually the turning point in the trial. So if anyone has, if anyone hasn’t seen the trial, you can want you to enter the portal.com um, and it’s wind up to Julia Moss bridge says in the middle of the trailer, most people don’t know that they’re in a world exists. And in Sanskrit it’s called Turiya the fourth state. So our first three States are thinking state of physical state and our emotional state. So we have these devices, all these uh, vehicles called a mind, a body and an emotional state of feeling body. But we have a full state, which most people are unaware of. The state of transcendence, the state of being, the state of presence. It’s the unmoved, it’s our invincibility, it’s our unconditional love. It’s the wisdom within us. Analyze deep within, as soon the silence and stillness of being and whatever device you use to get there, use it. But we need to start realizing that that is part of who we are as well. Just as the wave is the ocean at old times, even though it can be very identified as the form of itself being the way, but it actually is the vastness of the ocean. Yeah.
Guy: Fantastic Tom. And uh, if anyone wants to catch more, like, uh, where, where can I send them?
Tom: Um, so TomCronin.com or EnterThePortal.com.
Guy: Beautiful. And you, the portal will be screaming screen and all around Australia over the next month or two, right?
Tom: Yeah, we’re open on the 17th. We’ve got Q and A’s on next week and capital cities and we open nationally on the 17th of October. If people can’t see it in their local town, they can, um, or even anywhere in the world, they can actually host their own screenings. We’ve got hosts that are starting to screen in Kansas, in Ireland, in, gosh, Mexico, uh, urban regions, rural regions of Australia. So it’s, um, it’ll be in capital cities predominantly, but also, uh, if someone wants to always look for their community, they can do that on our website.
Guy: Beautiful. Tom. Um, look, thanks for coming on today, mate. And congrats on a mammoth project. I fully appreciate everything you’re doing at the moment, mate, and, uh, wish you nothing but the best for your all.
Tom: thanks so much. Appreciate it. It’s good to be, and thanks for listening everyone.
Guy: Thanks Tom.