'10% Happier': Brian Koppelman

The co-creator of the TV show 'Billions' sat down for ABC News' Dan Harris' livesteam podcast to discuss his practice of Transcendental Meditation.
45:31 | 03/18/16

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Transcript for '10% Happier': Brian Koppelman
Hey I'm Dan Harris Miami fidgety skeptical newsman who had a panic attacks live on Good Morning America to describe sentence. We'll leave for cancer path that led me something I always thought was ridiculous. Meditation. I wrote a book about it long and half. And now starting this podcast. Try to figure out there's anything beyond 10% basically here's one of can't be an ambitious person who is nonetheless driving or enlightenment where that. Let's start the show. I'm. He is T co creator of the new show on showtime. Great show for not watching you should be he Eagles are about to movies like rounder is which is a cult classic ocean's thirteen runner runner. He's also a this is important given the context of minutes later and meditation shows up really prominently in billions. Where in the first episode you see two of the main characters one is a hedge fund billionaire the other is the US attorney's. Out to get him both of them meditate. So Brian thanks covenant. Attache at my my real pleasure I just that you government is clarity really like you derelict as we can be franchise if we actually can be friends we you have that same from kids I can't have left a in Kenya I don't know if you're looking. He's throwing Cameron camp but there's there's an electronic trumped if there is bush who were in my office alleges that in the beginning where my office was the first time are doing podcasts last vodcast in my office. And I have electronic from yet the lane that that makes me look. 75000. Times cooler than I actually am because the truth is I've never played it because until today was blocked up by boxes and pictures. Which in in in anticipation of your arrival we actually hung out the pictures. I just love the idea that you habit because it says something about exactly the right kind of aspiration for how you wanna spend your day and even if you never can. The idea that it's possible you put the headphones on to. Crank up back in black and try to play it. And crop this. At ABC news is awesome but doesn't it doesn't it has suggests that them like really not into actually working with the right kind of silly right permits hater it's the right kind of Salinas. It's I think sort of dot last year that is really a good thing and no I think. There's no question that you need. In any kind of hard endeavor that requires a certain kind of focus creativity. The opportunity to blow up the exact kind of steam that playing the drums allows you to blow off. Is probably should be required it shouldn't be something you have to excuse I just. Love these added machine tonight attractiveness and laziness that my idol hope my boss is watching. So let's talk about it they she's runner up. And because this'll shows about meditation. Used as I said the two main characters right in the pilot are you are seen meditating one is. And it's fun guys together as a US attorney why you're here care to do it and if you for of a few different reasons. Story wise in character wise it makes sense because as you do even a little research into the world of high performance. New York Greenwich Westport people. You find that their chasing. There deer chasing if if if not inner peace they're chasing a kind of actual as a nation as performance enhancement and one of the the key things that they seem to look too is meditation. So that from it fits the world and it's true to the world. Steve and I are our David Levine is my creative partner. He and I. Both the practice transit imitation and some anger or Andrew gross orders are there are our creator as well. He also does meditation though maybe if asked him how how is Tony's TM. Eight does T Emory certainly has done to him. And so wit and we've found tremendous benefit. It and it would go to events in New York occasionally watch people speak look at the ways in which people are using meditation now. And he heard this idea that are there is an it if you carry around that. It'll necessarily make you a kinder person art gentler person or I'm more giving person and ineffective and even promise. NTN naymick none of those promises that make you more of the best of what you wore as what they promised which seem sick or an idea are really. That's really fits the hedge fund world panel world of prosecutors who. Are driven by the kind of ambition that our characters are driven to their I wanna talk. At length about what meditation does for you but there are a lot of people and I hear from them who. Are critics of the rolling popularization. Laughed commercialization. Of meditation. And the idea that masters of the universe. And people who were complete jerks would be using meditation. Not to make themselves better kinder people but to make themselves better with Rory are for example you're US attorney character. Played by Paul Giamatti UC a meditating in in the next scene he threatens to put his father in handcuffs and arrests him. So this these this is not making him at a personal lessons baseline is incredibly slow. So what you're. Let's just say I love you that he does he right or your rights afforded to them path I want to dad. Or that's a mitigating. Mitigate the tea but do you do you have any problem as a guy who meditate. What is it people using. Meditation just to make themselves more effective even if they're going to be I had actors in the world how should they use it. Well I'm we say Vietnam I'm not comfortable anyone using. Anything to do you have a bad actor in in the world right but. I mean someone could decide to drink it you know a canticle colon go Carol popped up and do something that. But Tom look meditation is a tool so and it's a really effective tool. And so someone's gonna use that tool. To be more to need to be more of what that they are to help them in their own aims now. Is it possible that if you really pursue meditation. And you are doing TMs are doing forty minutes today. The vet. Perhaps some. Thoughts or some feelings of calmness or that your cortisol levels will adjust to a place where. You're just naturally. I had a little less hair trigger yeah could that be nicer for the people around you yes. But I don't have. I don't think that there's a value positive or negative in terms of societal good. To any of these things there's not a societal value to yoga vs. Doing sprints or to Bada. Right it just has certain groups eastern recruit from on that mixes make a stink that it must be more. Piece falls somehow I don't necessarily think that that's that that's the case that look. There's philosophy you can read alongside a meditation if you want there are other things you can do. But what I've found it to do for many people is just make them more what they are so out we're sure like it more distilled version it's. Possible that I disagree views that but I want to think out loud I want understand how yes account and I'm I'm I'm not sure solely Taylor before right thing outlet. I think it might be useful to define. Terms because to your climate president of meditation which is the cut the type of meditation you do in just just for the uninitiated I should explain. The transcendental meditation is derived from Hinduism. And it was popular and basically invented if you want to use that word by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Who that means that name may be familiar some of our listeners such fears because he was the guy who was for prepared a time the spiritual guru to. Reasonably well known rock band known as The Beatles. And so he kind of rocket it's a global. Fame as a consequence of that. He said he was T he was teaching transcendental meditation. Which again is. Basically a form of Hindu meditation which uses a Montrose which is a silent word he repeat yourself. And as you repeat this word yourself often in connection with your breath you can achieve his level of concentrate of a absorption that allows you to shut out if this curse of thinking mind and can put you in touch we news. Certain levels of calm and even bliss and maybe creativity. That heretofore were unveiled you know you're not chasing lists in. TM. As your meditating right one of the one of the sort of central. Tenet's. Of TM is that what happens and that's when he minute period. How the way in which you perceive what happens doesn't really matter so that I'm not looking for blissful state all I'm looking to do is say them Contra. And if thoughts come like in and he and he can exist and then don't move past and just keep saying the monster but what happened to me. And I'm not a spokesman for TM and and for how many fetus and I'm like hard core atheist and one of the first things I said when I went to talk about learning this was. That the cult like aspects of any organized meditative group a freak media. You know be you don't have to believe in any sort of ideas that came from and who has and you don't have to do. Believe that the Murray's she had tapped into some mystical thing at all. But he you can look at the side EU QE DEG's you know the scientific studies. That show what happens cortisol levels when people do this or blood pressure and blood pressure cortisol levels Hari all these things that that just happen. And you know die controlled studies. I'm and I know you've gone through this stuff but. You know if you just sit quietly for Tony minutes there's some benefits and Adam brief but if you sit quietly and repeat in my truck and I think there are more. Tangible benefits that are greater than if you go and for for me it was a salve for. And way to controlling diet. And I found that the physical manifestations of anxiety. Just dissipated by about 85 or 90% now and it so that was a gigantic life change. To not get. Feel a fluttering stomach to not get. Stratus headache re do anything we know AG JIA. Jew in agony. That's pretty good com or an atheist but damage maggots I was raised Jewish. And culturally I can I didn't make that term up justices in my view Briscoe from when no I guess when. Who when. For cystic leader comes to power decides to kill the Jews he'll kill me whether identifier known as you were not so yes I guess by that definition. I am no you know what whatever the anxieties are being someone trying to make a living in show business or more to appoint -- up a parent who loves his kids. Any kind of outsize worried that I might have and it doesn't mean I don't still have concerns Schroeder announced tool will worry as we all do. I don't still must aware of you know thin existential situation we all find ourselves and but. The physical manifestations of the actual sort of way that I walk through the world and feel. Change too dramatic amount when I started meditating after probably three weeks. So get back it is serve. Clarification of terms when I described TM I've never really done TM to when I discredit that I discredit me more or less accurately Tony minutes you twenty minutes twice a day that. This image wake up in the morning and then at some point in the afternoon before dinner. Used I sit quietly closed my eyes and repeat my true. For about when he minutes and. So the difference in this who have this sort of cut goes back to as saying before about how media disagree you but I wanted to talk it out. The difference is that the kind of meditation I practice is called mind on this meditation which is derived not from Hinduism but from buddhism. Actually eighths to be honest if you I'm on the Buddhist. Right but it but but that kind of means more and less than you might think of and I don't view buddhism is a religion. Eighties practices a religion by some people but I believe in buddhism is something to do nuts on the to believe him. And I too I wouldn't know I don't know a college and an atheist but more like a respectful agnostic so I don't believe anything it can't prove. Although I'm willing to entertain other people's arguments on behalf of those unprovable metaphysical claim. Am still in buddhism. In fact the argument is that you should. That there is an ethical component. That the exit the interesting thing about it is not a finger wagging ethical opponent it it is that if you act like. The jerk now lots where Saddam used the words I would use otherwise I can't use project manager if screws up your meditation practice because it's very hard to concentrate. When you're trying to keep your lies straight or dealing with a mass. So traumatized that on the show. There are there's a moment in the show couple episodes and where Damian Lew it it's it's our version of the king trying to play trying to pray and in Hamlet. Which is not strictly Buddhist text but I think to cat has the same idea. Universe had a tail at right yeah and Hamlet and and so. When there's Damione Lewis character by God's reticent particularly tight spot. And he is trying to. Met him he can't and you see it. So yes of course your your life leads in to your meditation practiced meditation practice pleas in your life. But. What I would what what I don't like is the fake spirituality. That gets grafted on to this kind of practice. So that people I don't agree with this idea. That if you meditate you wield com a better person in more spiritual person whatever that means. It's for me it simpler like the more I can reduce this stuff down and distill it. It's more you can make these things simpler if he's breathing with some stuff attached to it. Prime make you feel better makes feel better maybe be nicer people when that be great. Like but. I don't think you can say it's going to make people nicer it's like you know what if you listen to anxiety and less most people. Given less stress less anxiety clearer thought going to act like better versions of themselves but I don't think you can promise it. I think -- its I would agree with that like 90%. You know at a huge amen Gil any I would say is that. That there is a difference between and I don't fully understand is because again I don't know enough about T and speak about it with authorities don't be clear but that but my understanding about the difference being TM in mind on this is that my opponents goes with extreme prejudice. Act mindful which is lowered emotional reactive city. And while I believe there's a huge mindful miss component. To Adam to TM because every time you notice that you're thinking and you. You just noticed that these are just not you my name does a much much less reactive have absolutely because you see that the voicing your head is just like just compile or you know I look at the EG. EG's them mindful mess lights up. He's just certain parts of the brain that are targeted towards and the canyon TM lights up why. A broader area so it includes that area by perhaps we fires other. Things as well ya. Many friends of mine practice mind on this. You know what what drew you to that practice as opposed to you T amor one of the other. This science and there's definitely some science around. TM at that appears to be quite good I mean look I think in fact all assigned through meditation needs to be delivered with a big grain of salt because it's in danger at times being hiked. Because really in its early stages that. Having issued that caveat I think most of the science is really been done around my opponents. And initially what I like about my atlas meditation was it is he's really thoroughly secular. Whereas TM is associated with sectarian organization is obligated by the maharishi. And so for me as a pretty hard core. You rise raised by scientists America scientists. Minds on the seemed like the more interesting thing also. I was reading a lot out buddhism and I thought that the philosophy to certain intellectual infrastructure of buddhism was really compelling so I was also drawn to Buddhist meditation but I'm not snobbish about it I actually think. Mental exercise of whatever right you choose. Should you should you yeah I just knowing needed. Technology and needed some access to it and TM I had friends who done it. Friends my nation is Mena Barbara authorized it lynch foundation I'd read David Lynch's book really catch an epic finish and his book. Really spoke about the connection between. His art and meditation in a way that was incredibly compelling. And that in a few other things Russell Simmons booked as well Russell who'd lived this really big kind of crazy life. Really so huge changes and became by his own account a much better percentage through TM. And I'm he also studied with Bob rock from the data explanation and so. I got a room with Bobby and I I asked these questions you know. About its ties to. Religion and they've really. And they no longer. Really draw that connection of its connection to Larry Shipley brought to America and they love him in regard them but they do view it as a technology. Yeah actually the US me why I was drunk in my from the over. Over TM. Does the reasons why at the time six years ago but I don't have Tim I don't know why I met. You know Tony Robbins is upping the one meditation that he brought over yet I did that once with Tony and that was we are really great experience to. TM as a repeat for music practice I can repeat. I've always. Sit art as one of my favorite books and the idea of the Buddhist kiss and that kind of enlightenment is an earlier interest in this idea of enlightenment. Is really compelling. It just seems like a lot to get there be any. A lot to the river. Cash and a lot of thought to have them be hungry for a long time. A lot of stuff that's yeah I mean like Harriman's I'm in this weird position. Being interest in pursuing something. Enlightenment that I don't even know it's if it's real. So it's in its kind of a funny dilemma and yet I admire is on fire with curiosity about it who'd you met. Who you think use. In line at government anybody who collect what actually I have met I've met somebody who who claims to be. Kind of in the area fully enlightened. Hi my meditation teacher when you ask him. Are you fully enlightened his Kenyan Joseph Goldstein is like Comanche Jewish guy from here in New York went to Columbia. Joint peace corps and an inept but in Thailand. I'm meditation fifty years ago and teaching ever since. He comes from a school of buddhism where these these war levels of enlightenment these four experiences that you need to have before your fully enlightened. If you asking where are you on the spectrum he'll say he easily somewhere between the first and third. But you'd in asking the US about who I think is excellent and I have to say that all the enemies with who might ever contact. Joseph Goldstein is the closest to being assertive. Behavioral. The the I just clarity of the clarity of thought cares about what he should care about yes doesn't swept stuff that he shouldn't care that yes I mean I've seen him on having bad air days even joked that he has and have them much higher. The ides you know I've seen him get you know my old Lee person beauty about stuff but not really that much and I just did that the inmate on contrived integrity to the man. He is hard to describe its have to meet accused Nissan confidence and on lecture and enlighten Israel or this whole map that he's. That he subscribes to is a real thing I don't know as soon. Just I mean it's not like Kissinger start laying out. A metric by which to measure I'm checking out. I mean there is something about that that feels. Like belts in karate or something. And that you know nobody was really good at that stuff ever talked about the moment they went from blue about the purple belt or sump and as. The thing right people who really came practices and a different kind of continuum. That was only about learning and knowledge and minding their abilities so to me. When I've met people occasionally who teamed to really of the ability to be present. Books and keep it to me I think you can really. Just. Really take it down to. Can I exist right here in the present. Right now with mindful like empathy and all my antenna out. And ready to just lake react listen and not worry about the consequences from external. Forces can be right here. That's really challenging but that's the closest thing and I can imagine to the idea that kind of enlightenment which is like to live. Without fear for even those little moments and so you can have two seconds where your living. Without fear of judgment. And you have notes if you can look at somebody else and really be there because if you can just be present you'll do the right thing right vision nothing about the other stuff so. And you can be really do it you can help. And so they're very few people mad who. Really are like that I mean you know there's Teddy and Salinger's. Short story. But that's not a real person said lynch. He's enlightened that's good you know that he's enlightened and there in times that I haven't thought so but come. An indicated bid to the extent that meditation allows you to string. A few more of those moments of presence. Together. Then perhaps it's a road toward that kind of enlightenment but if you go back to. Said art. And the idea that. The chasing it right Cavandish chasing it the whole time starts is not chasing it. He's just following in a very present way which feels. Like. Thing he needs to do and of course that leads him to it and it's not something you share other then. By kiss and so that by a kiss the transfers of feeling not any kind of knowledge that that you can get. So. You know for some people it's listening to a great song. Or reading a book that transports them and maybe in that went a little moment that lingers you fit finish a great piece of art. There's among just like right there and maybe that's the closest to enlighten that we get to be so whatever. The latter you need to climb like whatever that thing is is worth trying I think. As long as it is the idea of trying doesn't become the thing right as long as we remember the goal is to not be trying to stitch spew right here. Will said all of that and it's also possible that there are. That there isn't a thing called enlightenment but there are things cult alignments. And there may be lots of different. Major brand and sell those things I actually do real issue selling like Aaron though heavily my mother in Leipzig he knew them in my Christmas stocking. Meriden and shoot it. Anyway but backed movement but I you raise an and I want to manager addressed which is he talked about you or your worry about like a map. Thank you to wouldn't want to be part so let me just play devil's advocate in defense of the map Adam. And the maps because in the various religious traditions within buddhism but also I believe. Within the mystical strains. Abraham act states there are mr. step wise progression. Two chord. You know you're you can start with a few moments of presents and empathy but and you get to protracted periods of it in the you can have it become. Not just a state but he treat. And and so the argument for the map is that actually you can do things. Practices and outcomes will there will be predictable and reliable outcomes to the maps. To which I'm referring don't involve like you have to study would this person you have to pay X amount of dollars at this point. What they are simply. Monastic over 2600 years have found in this I find truly fascinating that he if you see it in dude that's the practice Ian a certain way. Certain experiences happen in your mind reliably and predictably again. Arab any truth is I haven't had these experiences. But it is fascinating to me that there's something going on apparently in the human mind is at baseline capacity that you can have these experiences. If you sit and do follow the instructions. And that this has been happening for millennia is is a really really texting thing again if it's true. So I don't I'm not referring to some sort of chutes and ladders type thing where you have to study experts and paid his fee in an accident revealed that's not really comment. No and even as a skeptic which I am like I can read Tony Robbins book awakened giant wood and and I can. Find this stuff in there. That's useful and oldest but I like to look at this thing is like well is there a discovery that someone's made about like a tool or technique that I can try. And then all be able to measure whether it's. Helpful or helps me find. Direction in my life and so. I definitely look for that's up on more skeptical of it when it's in the religious. Sphere because I I that's that's been used to can even every religion has been used to control. Groups of people. Eleven share your skepticism I've failed I think as they podcast those two. Do under the primary. Things which is to get loans and give our audience a sense of like how you became Liu are. So let me let me just say a few things about your past and gently picking up from there I know. They went to tufts he grew up here New York City you'd as a rubble around Milan balance are viewed as a music executive yes and when you in in college I understand you actually starting getting interest in and recruiting artists you'd discovered Tracy Chapman of I did. A bit and I wasn't yeah. So I started going. Two. The record is here with my father I was very little boy it was an incredible thing to do. And in fact there's a little Easter again in. For my dad only in the last episode of billions someone says that body restaurant has. Laura Mars size and my dad produced the theme song from movies as Mars and so. Network scraped his eyes of NATO allies it all worked great people love the line. But and I didn't tidbits in my got a text from my dad's actively Villard Mars and which is great remember falling asleep before mr. recording. Steal a couch and Jeff skunk Baxter with a great. Musicians of all time. Played his guitar solo opinion that track in March when nine years old and remember sitting up watching and over again and mind and experience. But what when I was in college. He was at the time it is that. So because it was around music and listen to songs all the time and and says music fan I've learned. Had a drought what was good I learned about me some good songwriter singer we've talked about. Spent hours and hours listening closely then when I was in college I was rebounds to government and college stricken northeast. There was a big movement. Dave endowments were invested. Many of them in companies do business in South Africa during a part of it and so. I was one of the two or three people who led the movement on my campus. For divestment. Which was to get the boards to agree to divest from these companies doing business in South Africa is endowments were hard punch in the dollars. And in doing that I organized an all day boycott of classes and got speakers from all over knowing when to come and speak. And a friend of mine. And computers as though. Said there's this folk singer element ago seeker she might agree to play at this rally hiker. An early this year Tracy Chapman and I got. I broke ten years to perform because my elected set up to recognize what was that she was able to do and and talk a matter pollution night and so like countries where the rally in and spent the next two years trying to agree record demos and com. To make record in. And brought in York and management and took a long time but that did end up coming that first huge trees each. And unions and many years those. Colleges and air art and art and the music business and with the law school night and and then when I turned thirty. Were skipping steps to basic right turn thirty realize that if fighting in my first child was born are for child for child and a I look to my son. Counseled an I realize that. There was a decline which was I was gonna talent to grow up in chased these dreams and realized I was inches line who has won the artist. And that. That guy if by fighting Latin chase it. Somehow opening commit to it wouldn't be able to talent that look really in the and I realized as a bloc rider was blocked writer for a long time and I. I realized that. He. If you use your blocked writer. It it becomes toxic and that toxicity when that to mean I dreamed the toxicity spreads and I think. But coming talks people round when it won the Buick great Osmond and a great father. And so that's when Magnus for an island basement Greek communities and read and we wrote our first routers and the research that movie was involved you're getting vote I was playing on a vote yes years of poker underground yeah. Two out of that that was all part of like that the realization that wasn't happy. The realization that I wasn't living a life or disposed to be living was. Elements of in my office one night and I'd like gain weight and I'd never been a cigarette smoker my entire life and 29 and a resorts voter like smoking and I'm cards like an every opportunity. And realist but the problems from. His post. Use and built. Fantastic. Writing career seated at thirty or 49. And nineteen years of nineteen years of tunes. Yeah and and we waited an entity should start. So. What I did then when I was thirty I was meditating it I was doing something very close to which are still there which is Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way which is these I'd have free writing for. A half an hour in the morning the real long and pages we write anything you want right. You in fact you can't censor its which one Irish is what happened to write. And so they are something very and meditative about that practice because you're not censored your free flowing. You were not in any way east's reacting to the words. And Ian comes in your your putting it. For from the center mr. taking very long walks and so did those things and that's red round book and figure out. Why do. And I started meditating five years ago and because I felt like to stress and pressure. All of this stuff. Was coming. Intrusive. And I'm always looking for ways like fine tune whenever it is that I'd view as. For me is apparent husband and then as an artist and says sailor red book by David Lynch and hundred Russell's book in and talk to a few other people. I'm the thought that I I should really investigated and contrived what does it help with creativity and exactly what is the mechanism by which it held that creativity well. Being a so anxiety and fear to me are the greatest blocks. To creativity right now. Because. For for me I need to be in a state. Where where I feel for. Where a don't Schubert and and were I don't feel the pole. To the monkey mind right and to those where I don't feel the poll to. That stuff to reactive thinking. And so it helps because I think. You know the sign says it change your cortisol levels and it does all the stuff to make you feel a sanctions. And then also. There are I've just found a few different times and you don't push for it in fact it's the opposite right you're just saying Matra. Some going to be sitting there and like the answer will just show up where show up ten minutes later and I mean an answer hugely answer to something that happens in the season finale of billions. Just. You know. I get all the stuff but I always do. To generate ideas and then I remember I just sat down close my eyes and like this whole things popped in an assessment and did you stop snitching yeah I asked by brought the other day what do you do. He said if it's really one of those ideas. You stand up your right down and come right back in minutes. You think. He and specifically. As Tikka it's such a big way in among celebrities and I also like. In Hollywood general. What intent terrorist T and a few notes I don't know his a friend of mine and. He says it acts and he. Five her own words and their percent of his guests and all communities or these incredibly. High achieving people. A do. UT ammerman meditation but my I think I. Huge percentage of them museum but it's very simple right the fear many people haven't meditation mind on this. Is everyone it does baca most people who do your kind of meditation. Custom hardness. People who do TM content on about how easy games we're not Salant. Because I get Noth and by talking about it. It's just easy. And so it's easy and let's say for the sake of argument. Let's say that you or. Maybe and maybe slightly more benefit. To use and to me if you're looking at than science or whatever may be mindful this practiced every day. Correctly. Let's just say for the sake of it gives you 5% more of some I don't know that I had no I don't even think that that's true but I'm saying let's say that it does. The thing is I know I'm not doing the stuff that I have to do to do the mind. Timmons to sit down a semi trend whether I can do it or not doesn't matter all I have to do is at a much of myself. You can't fail at Tia the whole point of it is you can't fail the whole way you relax into it is to know. And the feel like it was a good meditation I don't have to. Succeed blocking fox out I don't have to notice my breath on my upper lip. You know I mean I was an actor all through college it's a good deeds stuffed it was similar to mine for what you did breathing stopped Hedo. TM I love how I feel afterwards and I love every part of doing it it's. Look in our culture I think we feel like if something hard it's not worth doing. And or how can and the gain if it's not challenging. TM is great because he it's simple to do he just have to carve the time. And you get results so. I think that's why I think that's way cash. Also mean effective Bob rock who you ref reference able times. He is available to T you know he's he works as Hewlett foundation I've never actually Menem met. You I ran that had a month for sure when a recount and he seems like such an interesting guy but he. He makes himself available as far as I understand attempt two pretty prominent folks to teach them one on one and I think that. I think that has made a big gifts. He does and his team well but I mean they're not a lead to stay in that I've walked in that office and obvious teaching somebody for free who's the furthest thing from famously all pointed at him and our nation is. And he'll say the numbers again I'm not amount furthest thing from a spokesman for any of it. Today ethnic taught hundreds and hundreds of thousands of inner city kids to meditate and veterans. Who have posed you know. Post traumatic sentiment to to meditate. Yen high schools for sheer pressure you know Louis switching gears slightly YouTube you mention the name Tony Robbins a couple times. Yes. And I know you're producing you're involved in producing a new document is gonna come out about him yet David are executive producers of the doctor major overruling her who's a great documentarian you know one like legendary documentarian to meet some kind of monster and he made them here he made to paradise lost movies which. Important films. Really important and figuring out who was this in Israel the West Memphis three guilty in the West Memphis three murders. Earlier made the film demonized introduced him to Tony. Two what is your view because you you have establish yourself in the course of this interview I think in a sort of rock solid way as a skeptical dude what is your view of of Tony Robbins I mean I actually I will admit again is not that I am having to admit there's a lot in this interview that he's not somebody about whom I have an ounce encyclopedia. It's an encyclopedic knowledge but I know he does have its critics so what is your view of him. We all over critics. And but but I think from Tony has fewer and fewer quirk critics now and I think he's he burrowing errors. Movie you'll get or a really clear sense of what it is that Tony Robbins does again I'm not a spokesman Tony but. I'm a huge fan. The walk in and Kohl's thing yeah well the walking on calls thing to me is met a metaphor and he talks be about it as metaphor in incidence. But that's the performance piece. Why he does. What works about what Tony her arms talks about is that there is. It's me he found a way to codified some questions. That. Are really important and I think the easiest way if you watch as Ted talk he habitats up and Al Gore in the audience. A few years ago it's like most popular Ted talks. And if you guys maybe dazzling two in the show knows something but it did you really clear sense of what it is that he's interest and which is like. Human beings and they are why your reason for doing things that they do and how he can help you figure out. Whether you're doing things just reactive earlier whether you doing things. For an actual reason and I can tell you there a few different times in my life where. I read something that Tony's or listen to something and that was translated into language made sense for media and help me to get to the next level it's. It's been a Maggie be specific like the specific little things their tiny things. I'm David are trying to get a movie made called solitary men and which it was very difficult to do. He was a small independent movie we had Michael Douglas wanting to do it for the lead I'd written it took me four years to write it to Americans wrecked together. And we did this conversation. Prom with some. Agents who sent out and their be able to raise money for Disney gives all these like technical reasons why. And I happen to be listening to thing we're Tony talked about the danger of listening people who hold themselves out as experts are Smart avenue and an area. If it's possible he's Smart enough to late due to researcher self. Read up on thing. And figure out the sort of deconstruct their language and figure tests and treatment sounds like I can do that and so I started reading a little bit more about how foreign sales were Don. And I'm he talks about ways to sort of remind yourself take action every day so I may rest of apparent Nike ID issues that the words solitary on them. Written a hundred times and I Wear them every day for until it ultimate agreement and I would look shoes and they were remind me to do something to move. Solitary men follow and I called these agents Monday and I said okay. He said he you've got some of those conversations Dave and I gonna go out and said us of the meetings of these parcels to poem like they're bankers who wanted to talk and that's in the know on the talk them. But merely them I get the money will make the movie. We've been weakening and a call we have the money because they realize we were gonna go do it yes it was hard they had to do but. Rather than be embarrassed by having us do it they had to go out and figure out ads and that was a direct result of light reading three things that the guys said now I'm. I don't I'm not a fan of though walking on coal idea but really it's possible people missed the metaphor it think it's actually dangerous. But. I think that. He's helped a lot of people and I think that the work is like has helped me. I'm looking toward election movie the movie. Was the best reviewed thing of our career it was Roger Ebert year and best listing your times your best list the small movie art movie like I said. But we knew that it was really an important thing. Terry get made and this really help us do we only at government is left. In the remaining minutes are there any other things that you wish I'd ask any other project she won aren't the only other thing I would say is that if people like this kind of conversation I host a podcast called the moment. Where. I've conversations with people that are similar that's about. The in inflection points Oracle inflection points in their lives moments where. Everything will it was kind of in the balance so I'll talk to someone like Seth Meyers about what it feels like to be on the cover of time and Newsweek. You know as like. Bruce Springsteen reform or how to Tamar Vitale about. The night he had an and terrorism and what that changed and so I'll talk to authors that I love musicians. And really drove down about how. They found the band's version of themselves so it's also an iTunes store. At optimum going to subscribe one last quick I was recently wrote in about the things that you dude can put up and down. And one and and we Olathe economically he was exercising meditation. And you mentioned. Which kills your listeners or viewers might not know it if you mention of ankles that he. They're domino so that's that the settlement podcasters start with is that the separate and Creag and tat I got both men tag cooler so. I've IE I get along. Since deceased slash euthanized show about in the rock many years ago and amplified and I had them on an air incredibly guys. And are also great band so. It for the video version of this we can't do it but for the audio version might be. What's your favorite old states on that we should plea. Hadera. Regret for I mean really probably sequester Memphis but. The ref friend and rep frank people don't know that's wrong to grant agreement aiming activists at how resurrection really feels. But switchers the switch right sure right well sector effort out. Phenomenal phenomenal song almost killed me man hold steady almost killed at at at. My friend my new friend they absolutely do in this you're phenomenal guests what a pleasure great talked about this and I'm really glad you're doing this research tell me what you find. This is. Ever elect billions Everett agent at the moment thank you and appreciate it okay.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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