Pedram Shojai: Cultivating Your Own Identity and How to Live Presently


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If time is relative, how can we dilate it to live presently? How can you improve your focus to bring more time, energy, and money into flow? What does a monk think of money and what financial advice does he give?

In this episode of the Align Podcast, I have a conversation with Pedram Shojai, a.k.a. The Urban Monk, about the very fundamentals of meditation, how to be present and mindful, and how you can go as far as you can with the means you have today.

Plus, we talk about the concept of identity and how so many of us nowadays find our identity structure through ideology groups. We also discuss the value of rites of passage and the importance of wilderness, which often seems to be a missing component in urban life.

Pedram is a master herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, and wellness consultant. He is a dynamic teacher, Taoist minister, and lifelong student of various Alchemical Traditions. Pedram is also a Filmmaker and author, father, and husband.

What we discuss:

03:55: Pedram’s experience of studying with the Dalai Lama

04:47: Explaining educational and philosophical differences between Tibetans and Westerners

06:51: How and why Pedram became a Taoist monk

10:16: How to self-reconcile

12:53: Best practices for optimal focus

14:55: Why do we spend so much time online and how can we stop doing that?

20:08: The value in rites of passage

26:41: Money is trade

29:28: Financial advice from a monk

33:15: Being able to re-write our own story

38:42: Can meditation have different forms?

40:32: How to meditate effectively

44:17: Dissecting the perception of time and how to dilate it

:51:44: Dealing with imposter syndrome

53:55: Transitioning to a bigger game in life

To learn more about Pedram Shojai:


Instagram: @official_urbanmonk

Book: The Urban Monk

Podcast: The Urban Monk Podcast

333 episodes