Benjamin Joon – Building Consciousness from Experience and Learning

Wisdom is knowing what’s worth understanding, understanding the value of ideas, and always placing knowing in the context of not knowing–seeing the limits of knowledge and our understanding.

From the wisdom of our deep consciousness, we can understand what is needed to experience deep happiness. We can learn to free ourselves from unwholesome thoughts, to sense our bodies, and to feel our emotions mindfully. We can find ways to broaden our consciousness, to live authentically, to be free from anxiety, to be in love.

In this podcast, Benjamin Joon shares his life journey from South Korea to Germany. He shares his struggle being different from others and being an orphan, along with his good and bad experience in his childhood. Benjamin lets us into his spiritual journey through his experience and the challenges throughout his journey being a coach, a teacher, and a father.

To Benjamin, spiritual experience often produce ideal outcomes and blessings, but the most memorable ones come during unfortunate incidents.

Regardless of whether you have a religious affiliation or have no spirituality at all, it will not keep you from spiritual experience. They happen to everyone, and some of the people are attuned to them while others are not. There is no baseline as to who gets to experience them. Sometimes they are the product of something positive, although being in the darkness often results in the biggest spiritual experiences of them all.

Benjamin Joon believes that integral learning is based on four pillars: studying, practicing, serving, and playing.

Benjamin is currently a student of Bettina Romhardt / Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and Shai Tubali, and Tamar Brosh in Chakra Psychology. Benjamin is participating continuously in seminars and retreats for further education.

Links mention in the podcast


Podcast Highlights

  • 2:36-4:52 – Moving Life to Germany from Korea
  • 6:46-9:37-  All Kinds of Complexes
  • 10:30 – 13:41- Spiritual Experiences
  • 27:53 – 29:35 – Faking
  • 31:03-36:07-  Challenge being a Father
  • 37:53- 39:30 – Personal Insights

Pocket Quotes

  • “Suffering is part of life which is very difficult to understand. Sometimes we ask why we suffer and shouldn’t life be beautiful.” – Alexandra Kreis
  • “There’s nothing wrong with faking if you are not only clinging to faking.” – Benjamin Joon
  • “Solution is the way of joy and that you feel motivated by your own deep joy to practice.” – Benjamin Joon
  • “Practice is for anyone, not only for monks but also for overwhelmed fathers.” – Benjamin Joon 
  • “Perfect circumstances are not the goal. It’s the way we create these circumstances in our lives.” – Benjamin Joon

Guest Bio

Benjamin was born in South Korea in 1977. He lived from 1980-1981 as an orphan in Suwon and was adopted from a German family in 1981. Benjamin moved to Berlin in 2000 and started his own business as a creative project developer, film and advertising actor, and minimal house DJ. In 2004, Benjamin began to study the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, Geshe Michael Roach and Hong Thay Lee. He was co-founder of PAPPA E CICCIA (Organic Restaurant & Catering) and NEXT ORGANIC (Trade Fair for Organic and Slow Food Trends). Since 2013 Benjamin offers the integral movement training “Movement Play” and in 2015 he started with the Integral Life Coaching.

Gary O’Toole – Traveling with the Stars

Today’s podcast is a daring conversation about a hot topic. But hopefully, casts a light of hope for everyone.

With Gary O’ Toole, an astrologer based in Galway Ireland, we will talk about traveling with the stars. Gary takes us to an enlightening ride to understanding astrological perspectives and how they view what’s happening around us right now.

Despite still getting a weird look when he talks about what he’s doing, Gary loves his craft and practices Indian astrology and what he calls timeline astrology. Like the way yoga was a weird place 20 years ago, Gary decided to just follow this interest and a teacher studying the stars and planets because, to him, he gets a sense of release with astrology. It frees him to be who he is and to be in the moment. Gary and Alex looking at how astrology was reduced to horoscopes that claim a one fits all. Instead, it’s true nature; it’s about reading those patterns and using them as a guide to the person we’re becoming.

No one astrologer can predict 100% accurately. Astrology is like describing the same thing using two different languages but still using the same alphabet. Different perspectives, different outer travels to guide one inner journey.

Looking at 2020, astrologers see that we’re in the conjunction of stars, Jupiter (expansion) and Saturn (contraction). Jupiter is in line with the philosophy of expansiveness and abundance while Saturn is more in line with the stoic philosophy. In history, looking at those times when all planets have come together, it’s marked with epidemics and upheavals. But what message do we really want to pick up from these?

To Gary, it is both an opportunity and a responsibility that he may be able to predict but he will always have to skirt a fine line between not scaring people but preparing them at the same time. There’s enough fear already. And so we have to focus our eyes on what other messages are in front of us. The stars like Saturn are showing us that, ultimately, things are all good. Things have to happen in a certain way. Sometimes we don’t like the way they happen but it has to happen that way. And 2020 has been a very good time to really look inside and see where we’re measuring ourselves.

Coming from different practices, there’s one wisdom Gary and Alex share: Step back. Let’s be grateful for the things that we have as we have them. It’s always helpful to align a little bit out of the self-consciousness into the bigger consciousness by just noticing that you’re not alone. Worry not, there’s an energetic movement in the skies and everywhere.


Links mention in the podcast


Podcast Highlights

  • You are who you are. You can have a million different labels and each one could bring a different aspect of you. But Indian astrology brought out a map of my life. It was amazing that my life can be explained by the planets and how they move. – Gary O’Toole
  • Astrology is like looking at a person from many different angles. But it isn’t about pinning you down and labeling you, it’s more about the timeline, about timing things and decisions. In ancient India, astrology was used to time rituals. – Gary O’Toole
  • It is a pivotal year. But it’s like we’re turning a corner; it’s going to be some years before we can see that corner in the distance and see where we’ve come around. – Gary O’Toole
  • Simplifying life: 2020 has helped me clear out all the things I thought I needed to do in my life. The biggest lesson of Saturn and Capricorn this year is about sustainability– what can you keep doing every day. – Gary O’Toole
  • Astrology has always been for me a double-edged sword. It’s solving a problem and at the same time, when you’ve addressed something, you can no longer pretend that it’s not happening. The more important thing is to be open. Astrologers will give you different stories based on what they’re looking at. You can take whatever from that. – Gary O’Toole
  • We’re all human. We all have traits that we can see as we have in common. But astrology is about what we want to extract out of this moment, what personality traits we want to emphasize, what is being emphasized in these timelines. It’s not so much about who you are, but who you’re becoming. – Gary O’Toole
  • Sometimes the best of the best seems to be the worst of the worst at that time. Like a prediction of my death. I went past that date but it helped me a lot in life. I think that as a possibility, and it completely changed the way I lived my life. That way, it helped me, but it was also highly unethical. – Gary O’Toole


Guest BIO:

Gary O’Toole is a Vedic (Indian) astrologer living in Galway Island, Ireland. He trained in counseling and studied Ayurveda with the American Institute of Vedic Studies and at the International Academy of Ayurveda. He is a member of the British Association of Vedic Astrology and lectured at their annual conference. Gary practices timeline astrology and has authored a book titled Cosmic Bodies: The Ayurvedic Astrology Guide to Health & Well-Being, available on Amazon and am currently working on a book about timing techniques titled Timeline Astrology. He writes every day to share with people what he reads about planets which is soon to be available in an app!