Be sure to connect with Anthony over at his website here: https://www.anthonymeindl.com/
Brandon Handley 0:00
4321 Hey there spiritual dope I am on today with Anthony mondo. He is an award winning director, writer, actor, acting coach, entrepreneur, author and inspirational speaker. As an acting teacher. He’s known for revolutionising a more modern understanding of acting training. He found it Anthony mine does actor workshop in 1998 and now has the largest scene studio study studio in Los Angeles and locations and nine other cities around the world, New York, London, Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Sydney, Chicago and Cape Town. As a filmmaker Anthony has received a number of awards and acclaim. His latest feature film, where do we go from here is available on Hulu. The film premiered at outfest won Best Screenplay award at q films Long Beach and the Jury Award at nycs East Village queer Film Festival. He’s the author of five books, including the bestsellers at left brain turn right and book the fucking job. his memoir, you knew when you were to release in September, which I got? Yeah, that’s how we connected. And thanks for being here. I’m super excited.
Anthony Meindl 1:09
Yeah, my gosh, I was like gonna fall asleep during that intro Jesus. My Suppose,
Brandon Handley 1:17
you know, I had to cut some things out. I was like, I was like, is this gonna I wanted to include though your I wanted to include? For sure your you know your film, right? Because I think that’s, that’s pretty big. Right. And that’s got to feel good. Especially going through your memoir, it’s got to feel really good for you to have that out and have won those awards.
So yeah, thanks for being here.
Anthony Meindl 1:38
Well, thanks for having me, Brandon. Like, I mean, I don’t know how spiritually dope I’m going to be today. But I will try to be my dopest. And we’ll
Brandon Handley 1:45
find out we’ll find out. Yeah, so how I like to start these right is, you know, universe speaks to us, right. And this podcast amplifies what we’re saying. And there’s gonna be one specific listener out there today, that’s going to hear the message coming from you. That’s through source. What is it?
Anthony Meindl 2:08
What’s the message? Yeah. You know, I think acceptance is really a very strong word. And really is to me, the walk, we’re all walking on life, right? Like, because in life, because at the end of the day, there’s nothing else right? Even if we fight against, like, we can use COVID as an example, even if we fight against COVID it is what it is. And it’s here. And, you know, if everybody looks at their own journey, the things that they’ve maybe railed against, or fought against, is oftentimes like a misuse of energy because, or maybe it’s necessary then to get to that place of surrender, or acceptance or letting go or, you know, so I think that the, the point that life is often trying to show us is how do we exist with what is and fighting against it is what causes a lot of suffering. When I’m not, you know, when I teach, or I talk about these things, I’m not saying I’m the master of it. I mean, I definitely know these things, more than just being concepts. I do practice them in my life, but I get triggered and challenged. And it’s it is also what it is, you know, I went for a walk yesterday, and I heard a little girl, she was like, near her fence, and she just shouted, Let it go, let it go. And I was like, Oh, my God, this is a sign from the universe because I was in my head about stuff. And I was like, This, is it accepting and letting go letting these burdens go? They’re a burden, because we make them so often, you know what I mean?
Brandon Handley 3:42
Absolutely not. I love it. Right. So acceptance and surrender, I think are some of the big ones there. And the idea of COVID is here, right? Like this is this is what are you going to do about it? Right? And if you don’t have an impact, like, if you can’t impact it, then just just let it be. Right. So let’s, let’s dig in to your, well, you know, what, actually, to it reminds me of one of the lines in your books to write of the I guess there was some, you know, spiritual master, who was a master, but he’s like, I don’t want to die. Right, right. Like and so just like you’re saying, like, even even though you are, you know, novice Dave itches, right? Like, hey, you know, everybody’s fine. And I feel good, but there’s still gonna be the days that you get angered. So talk to us a little bit about that. So knowing that, you know, all these things, but still feeling these other feelings.
Anthony Meindl 4:36
Yeah, you know, also burning Can I just I want to say one other thing about acceptance, because sometimes when people hear that they might mistake. The first meaning of that to them might mean Oh, well, that just means we’re supposed to accept injustice or accept. You know, people dying of COVID No, no, no, it’s not about inactivity. It’s not About inaction. It’s not about pretending that something isn’t there. It’s really about having this awareness that I think the point about acceptance is we have these constructs in our mind constantly about what we think life should be. And in particular what our lives should be, when I get married, it will be this, when I get successful, it will be that or today, I should be having this because I want blah, blah, blah. And then when that doesn’t happen, it creates so much strife and internal and sometimes external conflict, right. And so a more Buddhist understanding of acceptance, when I say that word is understanding that this is what it is. And then from this point, how do we invite that thing in to be a part of something that we also have to deal with? Because it’s happening? I actually think it’s the rejection of things that cause us to be in so much pain, right? Like, whether it’s the social justice movement, or things that we climate change, things that we have not addressed, eventually are going to make us contend with these things. So I just want to make sure that acceptance doesn’t mean like, pass this pass entity. And I think that also leads to the question just asked is, like, I think, I think we battle our ego. And I think that ego is necessary. It’s part of what gives us the distinction of being in this body. But we also are something other than I always love the iceberg analogy, right? Like two thirds of the iceberg is under the water that we don’t see. And we only see a third of that. And so that’s like, maybe comparable to ego, right? Like we were missing the the soul of the spirit that is hidden from us. And so we’re operating from just what we see all the time.
Brandon Handley 6:50
Well, yeah, it’s funny, you bring that up? Because that’s it exactly. I think I had this conversation twice, yesterday, once with my wife and another with a client. Just the whole iceberg analogy. I mean, one part, right, you don’t see all the all the struggle that goes into what’s on the exterior. Also, you know, the reverse thing being happiness precedes happiness. Right? So like, what’s inside here? shows up outside there, right? But from the outside, say, you’re looking at me, and you’re like, you know, he’s got all the things. And he did it by those actions. But that’s not really it wasn’t those actions. It was like the intention behind those actions. It was, you know, the thoughts and the feelings, right? That kind of built up to all those. But I love I love though, you know, acceptance is not passive, right? acceptance is, like you’re saying invited in. And I also like, the idea of the the things that we’re pushing away are kind of taking all the energy away from us, right? Have you? What’s your take on Shadow Work? Have you done Shadow Work is that something is running with?
Anthony Meindl 8:05
interesting that you say that? Because I, in my teaching of actors, right? I I’ve often talked about the shadow self. And I’ve given many lessons on like, light and, and shadow and, and without going into too much detail. But somebody wants to do some time came up to me and said, Do you do Carl young? Is it young work that you do, you know, young Ian work? And I was like, No, I’ve never I mean, I’ve been to therapy. And I’ve read Carl Jung, but I don’t really remember it. Right. And, and she said, because this is very young in what you’re doing. It’s all he was all about shadows, the shadow self. And, and so I mean, not consciously, you know, I think I tap into the universal pneus of things when I teach, like, a lot of people are like, were you ever in a and I was like, I wasn’t I’m not I don’t drink, you know, but like, I definitely tap into the principles of sort of, I think, these universal spiritual messages. And, but I mean, I think that’s a great segue that we all are channelers at some level, and that the universal principles are alive within all of us. And they’re, you know, encoded in us. And they’re also decoded, if that’s the right word, like, each person interprets the information differently. And I think, again, to have a practice that helps us have access to that more often is kind of part of being here on the planet.
Brandon Handley 9:31
What’s your biggest one acting or do you have something else? Right?
Anthony Meindl 9:34
No, it’s interesting, because when I when I work with actors, Brandon, I definitely feel like I channel like I go to I mean, that’s it’s such a, whatever that word means to people, but I definitely am. So in the moment. I don’t know what I say. Oftentimes, like today I was coaching somebody and he could see here I just, he was like, Oh my god, you got to write that down. I was like, I don’t know what I said that he would tell Really good. Because I was like, it’s brilliant. Because I don’t think I’m saying it’s right. And the person meeting the moment and me with them observing it gives the insight as to how to unlock the person. And so that is a lot of shadow stuff, too, is like, I do think it’s scary. But I think COVID is a great reminder, going into the underbelly of stuff that is very scary and confrontational is necessary for us to get to the other side of what is our purpose? Why are we here? What is this mean? Who are we like, but but if we, if we continue to go on living, like I think, especially as we had been, I think we’re, we’re really asleep at the wheel. You know, what I mean?
Brandon Handley 10:47
Not 100%, I, you know, I hate to say that, you know, with with all the deaths, and all the lock downs and how life is, is a good thing. But like, it’s also been kind of this good thing, where now we’ve got more people who are taking this time to go inside to really take stock of what’s important to them, right? The example I use all the time, my wife quit her job, so that we could, you know, homeschool our children so that they weren’t exposed to, you know, the possibility, right. And, and there’s no need to live in fear. But like, why subject yourself to that possibility when there’s an alternative? Right. And and what it’s done for us is, bring us closer together as a family really see? What had been put on us x from the exterior, right, and like, so we’re doing this from the inside out. Anyway. So, you know, it’s been a good thing. And sometimes it’s hard to see that right in the middle of it. Right?
Anthony Meindl 11:48
Well, when you’re in it, for sure. Right? That’s comparable to when you’re going through a divorce or a breakup or something tragic is happening, and, and you have to hold on, like, I’m always saying, you gotta hold on for dear life while letting go at the same time. Right? It’s both. And, and and then I think when you get to the other side, you you are like, Oh, my god that was so essential and necessary. And I think what you’re speaking of is absolutely correct. I think, yes. You don’t want people to suffer and you don’t want, you know, so many lives that were lost. And we also understand that to be from a governmental place, not having things in order, like they could have been like a lot of these deaths could have been prevented. But beyond that, I think I find it interesting that the universe is always course correcting that maybe not at this epic scale that we’re experiencing right now. But like an individual experience, like you often find, like tragedy or upset occurs in our lives to wake us up to this other life. Yeah, you know,
Brandon Handley 12:51
yeah. 100% So, again, thanks. Thanks for sending me the book, right. Oh, yeah. I love that. I love I love that got the where’s it so i got i love that. And, and I really enjoyed, you know, kind of gone through I had no idea what to expect. Right. And, and are to let you know, like, there’s so many pieces of it really, really touched me. Right. Just kind of, especially the piece like about your father, even at the beginning. Like there was some great laughs right, like, you getting shoved down the laundry chute. Yeah, I don’t want to give too much away. I don’t want it too many spoilers,
Anthony Meindl 13:26
right. boiler I survived it.
Unknown Speaker 13:31
Brandon Handley 13:32
The there was a lot of fun takeaways. Lots of underlining lots of just kind of, you know, gone through it. And just the way you told the story was a lot of fun. Right? And it wasn’t it wasn’t, it wasn’t boring. Like it was fun, right? And it was it was genuine. And you could tell that it was like 100% you. And so I just want to share that with you because I haven’t written an Amazon thing yet. So I’ll just have to go back and type this out.
Anthony Meindl 14:04
The best review you give me on Amazon was it wasn’t boring.
Brandon Handley 14:09
Just didn’t suck
Unknown Speaker 14:11
Brandon Handley 14:14
so let’s talk a little bit about how you know you went from you’ve got a couple other you know, bestsellers and you’re you know, doing acting and what makes you want to become a writer and then what led you up to saying, hey, now’s the time for a memoir.
Anthony Meindl 14:28
I know like I do feel I do you have a birthday coming up next week. I feel pretty young to have a memoir. But I you know, I guess we call it a memoir, but it’s more short stories of my life. And like, you know, I maintain one of my biggest principles in my teaching for all creatives is that we all have a story. And that story of our life is the greatest expression of art, you know, waiting to be shared with the world. And it manifests differently for each person, right? It could be you’re a cook in New York City. Or you’re a ballerina, you’re an actor, you’re a writer, or whatever. And I think the, the interesting thing is the things that we have experienced in our life, at a literal level, and then at an artistic level, are are all essential on the journey of our life. And it’s like what you just said, when you’re in it, sometimes it’s really difficult to see it. But if you look back at the Mosaic, or the jigsaw puzzle of your life, and pieces starting to come together, you see themes, right. And I just for me, in my work with with artists is trying to take that autobiography out into the world in on whatever Canvas, they want to, you know, share it. And for me, it comes in many forms, whether it’s the films I’m making, or the writing I’m doing or teaching or acting myself, or, you know, but I think we do do that unconsciously. I’m just trying to, you know, how you engage with the world is a part of your autobiography, it’s been influenced by the things that Brandon has experienced how you and your wife make a dinner together. I know, it sounds so highfalutin, but it’s not it’s really infused with who we are. And I think we and, and I’m not saying these tasks aren’t also sometimes mundane. You know, writing is sometimes really boring, and I hate it. But, but I also know that it’s, it’s purposeful. And so that’s what I try to teach people is how to honor their autobiography. Because so many people Brendan, I think your listeners and and like you were saying earlier about people that you know, see the external or we don’t, especially in our media obsessed culture, we see somebody who is successful. And we don’t, we are only getting like, they’re, you know, they’re they’re opening night, we don’t see the dress rehearsal. So we’re comparing our lives that we often think is like a train wreck to something that’s presented to us as law. And we then then we link, I think, do a snow job on ourselves thinking, I suck, I’m untalented, I’m stupid, I’m not worthy. My story, nobody cares. And that’s when I think we, we lose sort of the, I don’t know, connection to the magic of our autobiography. We cannot compare. That’s just the problem.
Brandon Handley 17:19
Right? Right. Well, it’s, it’s the whole idea and is the cliche, life is what you make it right. Like when you’re talking about, hey, when you come into the kitchen, and you’re and you’re cooking with somebody else, then it, it can be an amazing moment. You can make that a miraculous moment. Or it can be right or it can be like, right, yeah. And so, but in the end there, too, what you’re talking about in my mind, right? I love to like, you know, make you purposeful, and living your biography. But you get to this point where you start to, you’re like you’re talking about why would anybody want to read my thing? Why would anybody want to participate? You’re making yourself small in that moment, right? Yeah. And that doesn’t serve anybody. Right? Like, where I didn’t really find in your memoir, and maybe it’s because reading too fast, but I don’t really find the space where you decided that acting was kind of like your purpose. And you felt like you needed to be on the stage to share all of who you were. So where was that?
Anthony Meindl 18:27
I mean, I maybe, you know, in this, I’m writing other stuff. You know, maybe I will revisit that. Like, I’m just curious. Yeah, no, no, it’s a great question. I, because I remember distinctly, I remember hat going out for dinner with my parents and telling them I wanted to be an actor. And, you know, they were like, Huh, but then they were like, Okay, my dad again was like, if that’s what you want to do, you know, he was like, go and do it. You know, they’ve always been really supportive. But I think, I guess in answer to that question, I just have always felt like not an entertainer, but like an expresser. of, of things. And I feel even more than being an actor. I’ve always been a teacher. Like if I go back and look at my own spiritual life as a child, and like, just the things that I was interested in. I and in my role in the family, I’ve always been the mediator, even though I’m the youngest one. All my siblings, and my parents kind of come to me as the sort of what did they say? And you know what I need? Right? So it’s interesting that I’ve always kind of, and I was always obsessed, you’re too young to know this but all your lives nobody will know this. But when I was in high school, I took this class call. It’s so it’s so hilarious. Anyway, it was called I, oh, gosh, I think I can or something like it was I can’t No, it was called. I can clap. Oh, wow. I hadn’t thought about this forever. And it was written by it was a class about having a positive mental attitude about life. And it was the teachings of Zig Ziggler I love Zig. You you’ve heard of Zig right? I love
Brandon Handley 20:03
Yeah. Yeah, I’m newer.
Anthony Meindl 20:05
Right? And so born to win. Yes. I will never forget, I was in the 10th grade. And I took I took the class because like, it was a pass fail. And it was I could get out of math and take that class. Right. But something deeper must have made me want to take it. And since then, I’ve always been obsessed with this sort of, yeah, dawning consciousness of what it means to think our way into the world, you know, not mind over matter. Its mind into matter. You know what I mean? I love that. Yeah. Yeah.
Brandon Handley 20:42
I love that. The Zig Zig has a lot of fun. Right. And and I think that he was, he was kind of before his time. Oh, right. In this space, yeah. And this face. And he’s actually, that’s actually probably how we’re talking today to be to be quite honest with you. So it was through a book of his that I read and ended up down this this path.
Anthony Meindl 21:07
Oh, see? Yeah, that’s, that’s funny. It’s interesting that you start to find these, you know, connective tissues throughout our lives. Right. And you’re right, yeah. That the whole wellness movement and meditation movement, and he was one of the original thought, you know, forward thinking people about, you know, how to live our best life. It’s interesting. Yeah.
Brandon Handley 21:31
Yeah. So the, the, the, a lot of the a lot of this podcast is based off of, you know, finding your spirituality, right, how you found your spirituality, and how have you leveraged that, like, for your success, or found a more fulfilling life because of it? Right. So why don’t we talk a little bit about how you, you know, became the spiritual guy?
Anthony Meindl 21:54
Well, you know, I also, I think it’s a great moment, Brendon, to tell people like, our spirit is innate. Like, it’s, I think, I think, again, with social media and like anything, if we, sometimes when I like, will watch somebody talking about spirituality in a certain way that I like, I sometimes I find it challenging because it can, again, create this sort of schism in ourselves thinking, we’re not doing spirituality the right way, or I don’t always feel love for God, or mean, or I want to just say, fuck you, you know what I mean? Right, right, right. Oh, that’s all that’s the real spirit. The real stuff is right. With it, and we our culture, loves to live in this sort of, like, you know, they call it on social media like oh my god, something positivity, like toxic positivity. Yeah, there’s
Brandon Handley 22:53
that there’s that I’ve got. I’ve got answers for that, though. Okay, but well, so my answer for the there Yes, there is. Toxic positivity. That’s the, you know, like you were talking about earlier, in the acceptance piece is just like, oh, not taking action, right? Same, same thing. But positivity doesn’t mean like, hey, everything’s fucking great. Positivity simply means we’re moving forward, there is a positive space here was like, all this shit just went down. Guess what? We’re gonna keep moving through it. Right? And, and the thing that you’re talking about here is not in my mind. It’s like, the genesis of spiritual dope is that spirituality is gritty, right? Like, there is a certain like, element of, you know, you are washed up, beat up, dried off, and you are coming back together, like kind of, you know, hopefully stronger than you were before, or whatever. But like, you get to it, you get through a certain point in a degree. It doesn’t have to be like that. But then here’s what happens. people forgot like, who they were, like, you know, maybe two months ago, right? Like, you were the person like two months ago, like, you know, I don’t know what I see some I saw somebody like saying, Hey, you know, we used to, I used to, you know, do cocaine and ecstasy and lick like, whatever off my wife’s nipples or whatever. Now we’re getting mad at each other because I lied to the dog was a meme that I saw. Yeah. So spirituality is just that they’re like, you forget, like, where you came from? You’re like, hey, yeah, you know, you did all those fucking things. And you were, nobody’s saying or even. Not a mess now. Right? But you’ve got like, I love the moment. So share the moment where you truly, at least in the book, right, you connected like with spirituality right before a book fell on you.
Anthony Meindl 24:35
Yeah, I think like what we’re talking about, of like, you know, grappling with, again, the questions why we’re here. How do we, how do I make meaning of this life? And there’s got to be something more right. And I was always searching with those things. And the shorts or I had an acting teacher who asked me Do I meditate after a scene one time and I was like, No, and she’s like, and I literally had, like, No, I mean, grapple with these things. But I didn’t have an outward process or practice of spirituality, right? She’s like, I want you to start meditating. And I was like, how and she’s like, I don’t know, take a candle do what you ever want. So I started with, you know, I was just like, oh, and I was like, This is so boring. Then my friend but that’s this is the funny thing is when you know, the pupil is ready that the the guru appears kind of thing. So weirdly enough, my friend gave me a book around that time, and up until then, he knew him to be very spiritual, but he’d never really know engaged with me maybe that way. So he gave me this book by paramahansa Yogananda. And I was like, What’s this? It’s like, 500 pages. This is way too long and boring. And I was like, Okay, thank you. And I put it away, cut to I moved to LA and I took that book and everything for I was living in New York City at the time, right? When I moved to LA, and I was like, in my place, my apartment at the time, like three or four months. And I was I literally, that book fell off the shelf. And it’s weird, because it wasn’t even it was in the back of my shelf. I don’t even know how it happened because it was buried with books. Like, I’m never gonna read this. It’s never, and I picked it up. And in that moment, I was ready to read it. And I read it. And I was like, Oh, my God, what’s happening to me? Right, and it was just an awakening and opening an aha, like, my heart was very full. And I talked about it in the book. Like, I felt a tremendous amount of love that I it was, like a real thing. And then it disappeared. I was like, Oh, my gosh, how do you get that again?
Brandon Handley 26:40
Right. Right. Right. Okay, so I so 100% that I identified with that so hard, because I went through a similar experience. Right. And, and, and, and so it was great. It’s always great when you’re like, Hey, I’m not the only one. Right. Right. And then and then the other thing that I found very interesting was, I haven’t read that book yet. But I just watched a just watched a documentary on him.
Anthony Meindl 27:10
The Netflix documentary? Yeah.
Brandon Handley 27:14
Yeah, it was one of them. Right? Like Netflix, or Gaia or whatever. You know,
Anthony Meindl 27:19
it’s called, um, you’re the name of it. Not into the light.
Brandon Handley 27:27
I don’t remember the name of it.
Anthony Meindl 27:28
Okay. But but it’s worth watching. It’s a beautiful documentary.
Brandon Handley 27:32
It was really yeah. So it was really well done. But you know, so the my biggest takeaway, though, was wasn’t just about him. And it was so awesome. Right? was super cool. Was that Steve Jobs left that book behind. Right, his funeral. That’s right. So Andy, and like, you know, since we’re in this synchronistic kind of space, right, I’ve read I wrote an article on just that. This past week. And that was like, the day before I read that chapter. I was like, shop. So and, and and so So did you move out there then? And have you been to the US and our house?
Anthony Meindl 28:07
Yep. So I went to Yeah, I’ve done every I mean, I went to India and I spent time in one of his ashrams there, and like, you know, I wasn’t really I didn’t convert to like, Guru is, um, you know, I’ve been very cautious about, you know, because you you read, or you watch documentaries about major cults, and you’re like, Oh, my God, that could have been me, you know, it’s like, I’m always like, Oh, my God, by grace. And and I’m not judging these people, because they come to that aspect with such an open heart and these things that we’re talking about seeking and wanting to know more and but, you know, with Yogananda was very practical. It was like, there is a way out of this suffering. Just do your practice, get over it. Like, it’s really, you meditate, you get your butt in the chair, and you do it. And I’ll say to the great thing about when people come to me and ask about Yogananda, or about any kind of meditation, what I always advocate because he says this, and I found it to be true for myself. After I read that book. I did not I didn’t just sort of go to him only I it opened me to I did have a passionate retreat. You know, I did everything I did. I Alaska, I went on the journey of finding what felt right for me. I went to India a couple times. And so I think when somebody is is open, then you just have to I did tm, like I did, you know, you try many different things, and then you’ll find, like, what feels right. So that’s been and it changes and it can change, you know?
Brandon Handley 29:44
Yeah, no, absolutely. I agreed, right? It, it speaks to resonance. And I hate I hate I hate resonating with anything but it’s the truth, right, like you’ll find you’ll find exactly the kind of, this is the space you should be in right now. And this resonating with me the strikes a chord my body’s like, it feels this feels amazing.
Unknown Speaker 30:05
Right? Right. Right. Yeah.
Brandon Handley 30:06
So the I wasco was was actually pretty funny too
Unknown Speaker 30:12
loud. Yeah. It’s funny.
Brandon Handley 30:14
I mean, tell us tell us a little bit about like, I mean, would you recommend somebody who’s a seeker? Does the same trip that you did like down down to? Where do you head down to? I
Anthony Meindl 30:24
think, yes, I did it in Brazil. Also, I have a good friend, who also teaches with me, she did it in Peru A number of years ago. But you know, it’s interesting reading because this was way before I Alaska has become what it’s become, like, I don’t know which coast you’re on or where you are. But I’m on the west coast and like, they’re, they do Iosco ceremonies here, technically, illegally, like, all the time, it’s become very, I think it’s great. Like, why not, however, comma, you know, I think it you kind of, and I’m not a purist about everything, because everything changes and to have access to ceremony. And to that wisdom is great, right. But I do think, for me, I was going through a horrible breakup, and it was in a lot of pain, in a way I had never experienced and my friend recommended. So this was only got 2008. So how many years ago is that? Right? So 12 years ago, 13 years ago, and I, I just I literally she told me about it, I went online to the place, she said, I booked it without even knowing what it was. And then I did a deep dive into what it was. And I was like, Oh, my God, and I was like, I gotta get my money back. So I could literally call the guy and I was like, um, you know, and I don’t think this is my thing. He talked me off the ledge. I’m glad he did. Right. And then I went there. And I had this whole amazing experience of being in nature and the shaman was from that area. And so I think there’s something to be said about doing it. You know, it’s like anything like going to India? You can’t find anything that replaces India except the experience of India. Right. Right.
Brandon Handley 32:06
Yeah. Yeah. So it’s just diminishes the kind of the truth of it,
Anthony Meindl 32:12
maybe, yeah, maybe. And I know that there’s, I’m sure there’s some great healers and and, and teachers of Iosco that have moved to LA or whatever. And so it’s fine. Just I want people to make sure that they know, you know, just make sure you know, the source, that’s all.
Brandon Handley 32:27
Yeah, no doubt, no doubt, right. Definitely, you definitely don’t want to take away from it. So how do you feel then? You know, when, when you went through, like kind of this and awakening process, right, there’s about the same time that you started your school? Right, is around that? Well,
Anthony Meindl 32:46
yeah. I mean, I started my school, literally, around the time that book fell off my shelf. So in 1998,
Unknown Speaker 32:53
Anthony Meindl 32:54
I mean, I’ve been teaching, you know, prior to them, but it really kind of coalesced there. And I just, I felt a very strong message to at the time. Now, when I look back, I was not, I don’t want to say ahead of my time, I was in the right place at the right time, because the message that I was teaching was all kind of like conscious awareness through our work. And it was very spiritual and very much about presence essence, the moment, The Power of Now, all of those things before they’ve become so much, you know, they’re, they’re so cultural now. But I and I was kind of like an outcast at first, because it was very Mooney, still in the 90s in the early 2000s, you know, what I mean? And now that work, the work has caught up with itself. And I am very blessed to have been teaching this for 25 years, because I do find that this is, this is where we are heading, you know, you know, well, I think culturally look at this is a great conversation we’re having you have a podcast called spiritual dope, you know, like, I teach from a very spiritual place and, and there’s no shame around using the word soul or spirit or consciousness as our real and it’s hard to I also think it used to get a bum rap, but it was so like a llama dama ding dong, and like airy fairy, it’s science. Now we know what our brain does. When we meditate. We know what happens when we reduce stress levels and reduce cortisol release from our body, you know what it means? So it’s, it’s those things that were fringe during Steve Jobs time, right, right, are are not fringe anymore. And to have a language around it is it’s a real thing. So it’s exciting.
Brandon Handley 34:36
It absolutely is very exciting. What do you think the future of it is for us in this area?
Anthony Meindl 34:43
Well, you know, I’m sure. You know, every prognosticator has so many things to say about 2020 and 2021. And I’m like, Jesus, I mean, Brendon, here’s my thought about I Oh, I’m feeling like I’m gonna cry. I do cry a lot. Don’t worry. It’s just tears of joy. I do feel I don’t know. That’s the first thing. Nobody fucking knows camera should
Unknown Speaker 35:06
say that. Yeah, you’re right.
Anthony Meindl 35:08
Maybe maybe a guru in India knows but I don’t know, I think
Unknown Speaker 35:13
Anthony Meindl 35:15
where I take some sort of have peace I read this book during COVID or a couple months back called, oh my god, it’s called kindred and it’s about our Neanderthal on Neanderthal cousins, right? And just what the planet was like, during their time and how they were not these brutish, you know, brutes, you know, unsophisticated and uncultured. And they were actually, like, I don’t know, quite advanced, really, you know what I mean. And, to me, it was a watershed moment, in a way because I, I kept thinking about during there, and I wrote a piece about this recently, but how during their time, there was no an early homosapiens, there was, there was no destination. Being on this planet, there was no ending to get to all of life was only journeying. And we still in our DNA, we are journey men and women, we are nomads, right? It is in our, our system to want to travel and to keep migrating, right. And I think for me, reading that book made me Just think about the the constant journey that we’re all on. It’s an and I guess my point, sorry, I was gonna say was like, they wouldn’t have even known what the word destination was, because it was all journeying. And it was all uncertainty. And that, to me, is so powerful to live in that place. Because we as a modern culture, because of the modern conveniences that we’ve become sort of asleep, because of we have fallen asleep to the truth that we are still in uncertainty, we are still in the unknown, we are still on the great journey. I don’t care that you can go to the target and buy yourself, you know, underwear for $9 it you at Target isn’t a real thing in the big scheme of things. What’s target you’re aiming? Like we’re journeying? Yeah. And there’s you you we have successes and milestones. And those are all things to be celebrated. And I love that we have technology that that creates so many things for us. And yet, we don’t want to lose sight of the journey.
Brandon Handley 37:44
Yeah, no, I love I love the idea to have, you know, it’s it’s all uncertainty, right? and always has been, always has been, and you know, COVID prove that out. Right? Like COVID is like, Hey,
Unknown Speaker 37:57
Anthony Meindl 37:59
On a rock spinning in the middle of dark matter.
Brandon Handley 38:03
Right, right. Yeah, good luck, guys. Uh, and, and the idea to, you know, when you’re talking about, like, all these things that are being mass produced, you know, getting something from Target that’s being mechanically produced, it just kind of makes me think a little bit to have the experience, right, like, you can go I can maybe I can go out to LA maybe find somebody like, you know, off the streets and and, and, you know, have that iOS experience. But am I gonna have to deal with fucking snakes? Am I gonna have to drop off like, you know, go through a couple plane hops go to the river, you know, deal with the tarantula and all that other shit? No. And I mean, there’s, there’s something lost in in that actual journey. Like, if it’s super accessible. Yes, the joy in that, like, you know what I mean, it kind of diminishes the I don’t know, it. Well,
Anthony Meindl 38:51
that speaks to our disconnect from journeying. The, the uncertainty that is the truth about existence, being too reliant on like, our phones and things and buildings, and like what we’ve become accustomed to right. And also, I think it speaks to the biggest challenge we’re facing is, is our disconnect from nature. And so that’s again, we’re part of that that’s, that’s an impulse and a pulse inside us. And I think we’re at to our detriment, we’re seeing how we have separated ourselves from this matrix, if you will, the nature matrix, and that that’s one thing that I think people are not aware of. The planet will be fine. Yeah, it will, again, turn into another been six or five other mass extinctions and it will turn into something else. Right, you know, but it’s interesting to really think about Wow, we’ve made the thing that isn’t real real.
Brandon Handley 39:54
That’s fair. That’s fair. I enjoyed your your what you took the piece of Want to pay you to the toilet paper roll? And you did that? Oh, you saw that? Yeah. How long? How long have we been here? We’re like, you know? Like, not even nothing,
Unknown Speaker 40:07
right? Nothing, right?
Brandon Handley 40:09
I’m pretty sure the dinosaurs weren’t like, hey, they’ll never get rid of us. Right?
Anthony Meindl 40:13
And then in a flash were gone. Right? Isn’t it crazy?
Brandon Handley 40:17
Maybe they just packed up and flew off, though. Come on, we don’t know nothing about him. He don’t know. Don’t know, we don’t know. So let’s talk a little bit about like, you know, how, how is acting, you know, kind of beneficial during even like COVID uncertain times or just in in a in a matter of finding yourself in flow and being able to express yourself. Tell me a little bit about that? Well,
Anthony Meindl 40:42
I always say, and I guess maybe I should just march to Congress and do it myself. I wish somebody could hook me up with, you know, a congressional page or someone, I feel like I should go teach an acting class to everybody in Congress, because the art of acting is the art of empathy and compassion. And what we’ve lost, you know, again, it makes me really sad, is this ability to stand opposite someone we may not agree with, or be in conflict with, but still see their humanity and still, to let them in? And I think acting does that, that you that actually through conflict, you have resolution. So I think conflict is really an important. And it’s, it’s kind of what’s evolved us, as you know, as a species as from organisms to it’s not been easy for anybody or anything, you know, that to be alive on this planet is churning, constantly churning to evolve into something else. So there is going to be conflict, but conflict does not have to necessarily mean what’s it’s not a pejorative, I guess you know what I mean? In other words, like, I guess I heard the other day that it’s, it’s thinking more in terms of like, even, let’s say a lion attacks a zebra, right, and kills the zebra high conflict. And it sounds like one person, one animal wins, the other doesn’t. But if you then step back and see that it’s all part of the system, it’s actually a cooperation. It’s it’s like, it’s all part of this thing. But I think if once we become fractured, and we don’t see that opposing views are also part of a thing. That’s why we are, I think, in trouble. Because it’s not black or white. It’s not republicans are bad. And democrats are correct. It’s not. It’s really about. We need both. It’s Yin and Yang. You see what I’m saying? its shadow in light. Yeah. So I don’t know if that answered your question. But I don’t know. I did. It didn’t. But I guess my point is acting is the exploration of all of that. And I think everybody should take an acting class, because you’re more in tune with, I think it’s the scariest thing for many, many people. I teach a very well known. WW. How many W’s are there WWF? Or www f whatever?
Brandon Handley 43:14
The rescue? Yeah, I think two Yeah, two dogs.
Anthony Meindl 43:18
Or maybe he’s a famous boxer. Lightweight by godsey is terrible. I don’t know those sports. But anyway, he either you would know. And then I can tell you when we’re done. But I mean, I’ve interviewed him for my podcast, so it’s fine. I can name names, but um, but he even said he was the world lightweight champion, or whatever category class he was in. And he said, Tony, being an acting class with you was scarier than fighting for that crown. And, and I think it speaks to having to be vulnerable and exposed and to share ourselves. So that’s why people should take class,
Brandon Handley 43:58
to be able to connect with that right to be able to connect with themselves and and to put them out there and share that right. I think it’s that sharing part that really holds a lot of people back, how’s acting help, you know, helping that person get over that?
Anthony Meindl 44:13
Well, I think we’ve become less self conscious about ourselves. And also, we have so much shame Brandon around, you know, we have so much shame around our feelings, our thoughts, behaviors, our past, the mistakes we’ve made people we’ve hurt, and again, realizing it’s also part of the journey. If we’re contrite, and we’ve learned and we’ve made amends. It doesn’t define it’s one part of a chapter, you know, it’s not even a chapter, it’s maybe a paragraph, you know, but I think we were in a shame based culture. Sometimes we don’t have a we don’t have a relationship to that stuff. That’s also an important conversation to have the shadow stuff. So instead, we go underground with it, which then becomes more toxic and more painful. It leads to you know, there’s no doubt That these things then lead to unhealthy expression whether that’s opioid abuse or, you know, whatever, it’s the toxicity it finds its way.
Brandon Handley 45:12
Yeah, look, I mean, it’s gonna make its way out each each thought is a seed, right? You know and and, and you know if you look at you know you you live in LA right you walk down the street cement is broken by grass seeds right that type of thing so I’m in a seat is a seat it’s gonna find its own way to express itself right and you know, we’re humans that’s what we do we express that’s we show up to express and it’s really interesting how that shows up. So, di di Did you find anything writing this book about yourself that you had forgotten about? You weren’t aware of? Were you able to share something through this book that you was like a major release for you just curiosity? Yeah, yeah,
Anthony Meindl 45:56
I mean, I think I’ve always been on this journey of like, for me, I was bullied a lot. And so I think that everybody has suffered from bullying in one form or the other. Even the bullies that perpetrate the bullying are really probably victims of either their own self bullying or are scared of or threatened by the people that they bully, you know what I mean? And so nobody escapes it and and and yet, so it’s caused a lot of damage, but it’s also put me on this path of healing and teaching and, and also seeing that it’s created my art it’s really helped me have a voice and and hopefully help inspire people in finding their voice through their pain and their struggles. And, and so I think, I think for me, it’s been all these things help heal. And and yeah, I had a lot of epiphanies. When my editor told me, she’s like, I told her when I was in therapy, because at one time I complained to my therapist, I was like, is everything you have to do with our childhood? Oh, my God. And I had great parents, as you can probably guess, by
Unknown Speaker 47:00
reading the book, like your mom
Brandon Handley 47:02
says, I want to know more about your mom, though, too. Like, she just seemed like the badass. Right? Like, yeah,
Anthony Meindl 47:07
yeah, she’s very private, like, but but but but even having great parents. Like, it’s funny, because they say having read the book, they weren’t too happy at first, because they thought it depicted them as terrible parents. Wow, I was like, Oh, my God, you guys, it’s a love letter to you. It just goes to show you our stuff doesn’t help us see things clearly. Right? So my editor said, I want you to whatever you’re talking about in therapy, when you have an image of a story that comes to you, I want you to start writing it down. I was like, Do I have to? Just like, yeah, so that’s how the genesis of the book occurred. So we all have stories, Brandon, that’s my point.
Brandon Handley 47:48
Not I love that. I was just curious if there was like anything that really just um, you know, jumped out at you that, you know, you hadn’t thought about for years or, again, was able to just you were able to just really release something. Yeah,
Anthony Meindl 48:00
what can I say? I’ve said this, I had the guy have a lesson about it. One person’s tragedy is another person’s Tuesday. Because this is true. That’s a good quote. I’ve never said that way before. I’m going to use that. But I think I have it in my book. Because my brother, one of the things that I realized is when I wrote the book, and I shared with my brothers some of the things, my brother is that an amazing human being, and we’re very close. But we, you know, I was this gay, little kid that didn’t even know what being gay was. And so he made fun of me, like any brothers would, you know, beat up or make fun of their younger brother. Right?
Brandon Handley 48:35
Especially during that time, right? Like, that was a very nice times. Yeah, that’s
Anthony Meindl 48:38
right. And so I in the book, I have a really haunting story about an event that occurred with my brother, you know, making fun of me or bullying me in a way about being gay. And it affected me so much. And yet, when I shared with him about it, he’s like, Oh, God, Tony. I don’t even remember that. Yeah. Right. He was so apologetic. So it just made me realize, like, oh, gosh, for me carrying that around. That was like a really intense moment. And for him, it was just a Tuesday.
Brandon Handley 49:12
Yeah. Yeah, but so sounds like you had an opportunity to kind of release that right. Oh, for sure. And that that was no, it’s amazing when you get to release something like that. Just how much lighter you feel?
Anthony Meindl 49:24
Yes, absolutely. And forgiveness and, you know, all kinds of things.
Brandon Handley 49:29
So I’m gonna move it back into spirituality just for a second. Yeah, you use that for you know, that’s that’s basically your coaching, right? Like your coaching is your spiritual practice. You know, you’ve gone to India you’ve had chased, you know, you’ve done the soul searching, you’ve been the seeker. But without spirituality without you know, kind of developing and honing your practice. You wouldn’t be as fulfilled as you are now safe to say.
Anthony Meindl 49:57
I mean, it’s impossible to answer random because There’s only been this unfolding there is a you can’t put that back in the bag. I’ve got a friend of mine,
Brandon Handley 50:06
a friend of mine, he goes, is he could use the acronym Tina, there is no alternative. You know, but you know, if you look at, you know, I guess the kind of the pre the pre awakening and pre spiritual Tony versus, you know, novice a Tony?
Unknown Speaker 50:26
Anthony Meindl 50:26
I mean, I think that they still are so interconnected. You know. And I think again, I think the thing for our your listeners is to remember that spirit abides within us whether we have a conscious relationship or dialogue with it, it’s there. And it’s there to be awakened whenever you’re meant for it to be awakened. And so for me, it was always something that was a part of my experience, even if I didn’t know how to label it. You know what I mean? Yeah, no, I
Brandon Handley 50:54
agree with that. Right? Isn’t? You said it a couple times. It’s in a right. It’s everybody. It’s in everybody. Right? is and what I like, though, what you just said there was like, addressing it consciously. For me, I did, right? for 40 years, I was like, I was like, I got all this other shit to do. Right? And then then my spirit was like, I was like, Well, what do you want? Right? I’m very similar to your, you know, your moment, like there was like this. You know, days, maybe weeks, I forget exactly how long like you’ve got this kind of natural, vibrant body. Hi, you’re like, I didn’t miss anything. I didn’t take anything. And so what’s happening right now, you know, in my mind, after talking to several people, it could only be one thing. Right? So but it’s it’s inside of everybody. And having that conscious conversation with it, I think is the important thing, and not giving up who you already are kind of really loose back into this too. Because, like you said, You’re not separate from who you ever were just because like, you know, you have this spiritual moment. It’s not changing yourself either. Right. And we talked about like the the grittiness, allowing it to still be gritty, like, I mean, yeah, it’s okay.
Anthony Meindl 52:12
It’s work, right? I mean, it is work. It’s a relationship like any other. I also think though, as I’ve gotten older, I have a birthday next week. And I, I, when I look back at those stories I told or when I think about even my 30s, cuz I’m gonna be 53. I’m like, whoa, I’m a completely different Tony. And if, if you follow science, right, they say, cellularly, your body is regenerated every seven years or something like that, or so I am, like, at a atomic place, I am completely a cellular place, I’m different. But also your awareness and your evolution. If you do work on yourself, you are changed. I don’t even really identify with that, Tony. So every decade or every year, really, you’re a different person, which is so cool. That also speaks to how people can change even though I know there’s the saying that you can’t change someone, but we do change.
Brandon Handley 53:05
Rod, you had a great line in the book too, about realizing in a relationship that, you know, you can’t change somebody realize you can’t change anybody that the only thing is leftovers, like love or something like that. That was like a really good was a good line. It’s right. And it is and then the other part, too, that you mentioned there was your awakening was a Saturn, you know, rebirth away, you know? 29 so I’m in I’m in one of those this year, I think. So, which is also just more entertainment value for me as I’m reading the book. Anyways, listen, I you know, I identified with it, you know, you know, it must have been a challenge, you know, sounds like it was a challenge, especially growing up gay in the Midwest, right? I’m actually from San Francisco, born in San Francisco in the 70s. I was back out there in the 80s. And, you know, I always I embraced gay, you know, growing up, right, like, I wasn’t gay, but I was like, it was there. So it was just like, hey, right, that’s just part of part of life. Right. So, but then to, you know, kind of, you know, be able to express that run your business and and, you know, fully express yourself. I think that’s super awesome to be able to see who you are and to Yeah, well, thank
Anthony Meindl 54:15
you, Brandon. I feel like I’ve known you and I, it’s so great to have this talk about I’m so inspired. Like, I feel like I can I have to go teach it a little bit. But I feel like oh my god, the class tonight is gonna get an extra dose of spiritual dope ism. Now. That’s right. That’s right.
Brandon Handley 54:31
Get your head. Right. So get your commercial dope, Tony. Thanks again for being on Where should I go and send? Is there anything else that you want to you want to cover anything else you want?
Unknown Speaker 54:42
covered at all? Awesome.
Brandon Handley 54:44
Where should we send people to go hang out and find you? Yeah,
Anthony Meindl 54:48
I mean, I guess if they’re interested in my work, I guess, acting related or otherwise, you can go to our website www dot Anthony meindl memd elle.com and then you can always find me on Instagram, just Anthony meindl I’m on Twitter, but I don’t really use Twitter. I just, it’s too much so but so but I am on Instagram because I like photos. So, you know, you can always hit me up there and, you know, I really do try to answer people’s questions if they DM me and I try to be in service as best I can. So,
Unknown Speaker 55:24
yeah, awesome. Thanks again.
Unknown Speaker 55:27
Transcribed by https://otter.ai