[Transcript] – How Musicians Stay Fit, Why Meditation Is Crucial, Should You Try To Live Forever, Shroomies & More With Mike D Of The Beastie Boys.

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/how-musicians-stay-fit-why-meditation-is-crucial-should-you-try-to-live-forever-shroomies-more-with-mike-d-of-the-beastie-boys/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:48] Podcast Sponsors

[00:06:25] Ben and Mike D Talk About How Music Relates to Health

[00:14:23] Mike's First Experience with the 5 Tibetan Rites

[00:19:10] How Mike Dealt with the Physically Demanding Nature of Performance and Touring

[00:30:55] Podcast Sponsors

[00:33:00] How the Discovery of Yoga Led Mike D to a New Consciousness of Health

[00:40:14] Ben and Mike's Discussion on Healthy Habits During Family Time

[00:42:35] How Mike's Meditation Practice Has Evolved and What It Looks Like Now

[00:46:36] Mike D's Morning Routine

[00:52:20] What Ben Said When Mike Quizzed Him on the Best Adaptogenic Mushrooms

[00:53:16] Mike's Pet Peeve About Anti-Aging

[00:58:20] Why Having Children May Result in Less of an “Anti-Aging Obsession”

[01:03:46] The “Non-Negotiables” for Mike's Spiritual and Physical Health

[01:14:36] Closing the Podcast

[01:15:37] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Mikey:  People don't realize when you're a band, or an artist or a writer, whatever, like people think you actually have the solitary thing and you do it, but it's actually no, you've got to mobilize a small army sort of.

Ben:  I think that that is the same type of fear of death that created a lot of the problems that we run into during the pandemic. Nobody is allowed to die.

Mikey:  Being a punk rock kid, you look different than other kids, and that meant that other kids would chase you. If they catch you, they're going to beat you. And so, I became good at running.

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Alright, you guys. Today, I got for you Mike D of the Beastie Boys, Michael Louis Diamond, better known as Mike D. He's an American rapper. He's the founding member of the hip-hop group Beastie Boys. He's a guy who was introduced to me by my friend Rick Rubin, and it turns out that Mike is actually super dialed in to health, to fitness, to caring for his body, to longevity, to fringe supplements and superfoods, smoothies, and some of the stuff we get into today's show. And I think you're really going to enjoy it. It's not often that I interview a musician versus a scientist or a physiologist, or an athlete, or someone like that, but I always, always enjoy talking to folks from different backgrounds, and Mike definitely falls into that category.

So, shownotes for everything we talk about is going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/miked. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/M-I-K-E-D. Enjoy the show.

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Alright, let's go talk to my friend Mike D.

Mike:  It's cool. It's funny, I've never–

Ben:  Got to get this out of the way and get my soda open first.

Mike:  On my podcast, unless we're doing music, we don't do headphones. So, this is —

Ben:  I didn't even know you had a podcast.

Mike:  Yeah. Well, it's more of a music show. It's on Apple music.

Ben:  Okay.

Mike:  I'll send you a link to every other Sunday. It's a very wide range of guests from the actors like Seth Rogen, John C. Reilly. Yeah. And truthfully, a lot of people are either friends or good acquaintances, and a lot of musicians and people I've worked with. But down to visual arts, like it's pretty eclectic, the mix. It's interesting because the whole thing is it's sort of like we do a back-and-forth playlist where I have them pick 10 songs, and I pick 10 songs.

Ben:  Oh, so you're merging music in with it?

Mike:  Yeah. So it's really music-focused and music-driven. But what is interesting about it is that, especially with guests that I have on that have–they're out promoting something that they're doing, and they're doing a lot of shows. Music is like this entry. It's kind of like what we were just doing. We were just doing these Tibetan longevity exercises together, right? But that is this thing where we've come into this common experience together and it sets a totally different tone for what we're going to do right now. And music I feel is this similar thing where it activates–you're in this experiential realm, and so especially with these guests who I had to talk a lot, it takes them out of this professional talking mode and into a more personal–

Ben:  Right. And it turns into more multi-sensory and personal experience.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  That's interesting. I'm going to have to start doing it. What I'm going to do is just to annoy people and just play random tracks, intervals during the Ben Greenfield Show. Let's see if that works out. By the way, the Tibetan longevity exercises, which we just–well, we actually didn't do the Tibetan rites, which we'll explain first. First, you did the Rapé nasal spray.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  What do you think of that stuff, the Zen spray?

Mike:  It was intense for me in a good way. You saw I didn't right nostril first. I don't know if I did it out of–

Ben:  No. Yeah. And anytime you're using like an essential oil inhaler or even doing like left, right, alternate nostril breathwork, you want to make sure that you balance out which nostril you're breathing through or breathing a substance into so that you balance your nervous system. With a few exceptions, like with alternate nostril breathing, I think, and I may be remembering this incorrectly, I believe breathing in through your left nose and out through your right nose is more activating for the parasympathetic system. And then, through your right nose out through your left nostril, not your left nose, we only have one nose, through your left nostril, would activate the sympathetic. And therefore, if you were too wired up, you could do alternate nostril breathing and just breathe in through your left and out through your right, and do it asymmetrically. But usually when you use some kind of an inhaler or anything like that, you want to hit both nostrils.

Mike:  Or like I said when I did it with you, right away, I felt it's in the top back of my ears. And then, when I went to the second nostril, it was like the whole dome of my head lit up with sensation. So, it was a really interesting–

Ben:  Yeah. It's a real opener. That's why it's so commonly used prior to either meditation, or breathwork, or plant medicine. But I think you said when we were doing the Tibetan longevity exercises after that you felt like your body was a lot warmer than usual. And I've found that to be the case, too. And because of that, because I like to do breathwork in the sauna, but I really like to sweat in the sauna and feel like I'm super hot, I'll use that before a sauna breathwork session, too, just to amplify my body even more.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Had you done Rapé before that?

Mike:  Yeah. So, my experience with Rapé before was in a much more extreme form. I had a shaman blowing it.

Ben:  Oh, yeah, with the kuripe pipe. Or no, the kuripe is self-administered. I forget what they call them.

Mike:  It's some kind of shamanistic straw, basically.

Ben:  Yeah. It was shaman. It had feathers hanging off.

Mike:  Yeah. So, anyways, you blew it up quite for slaters. You almost go blind for a second because it makes such an impact on your nervous system right away.

Ben:  Yeah.

Mike:  I guess that's part of the thing of going in nasally. It's just you're immediately–

Ben:  There's another one that goes in through your eyes called Sananga. That's the same thing that's in your–I have some in the mini-fridge over there. That's like what you did up the nose times 10 though. You feel like your eyeballs are burning out for good two or three minutes. And then, there's another two or three minutes where you feel like you're blind and you can't see anything. And then, after that, you have extreme clarity, heightened sensory perception, visual awareness, the head-clearing effect, but it's definitely a more hefty and uncomfortable experience. And then, the Rapé in the nostrils.

Mike:  Yeah. So, what I did before was blown up one, and then I was like–but it was a full lift-off out of body. OB, the professionals call it.

Ben:  OB, yeah, out of body.

Mike:  OB, out of body experience. Very quickly, it's like one nostril then the other. And then, he was like, “Okay. Again, another round.” I was like, “Okay.” And then, it was like a third round. I was like, “No, no.” I'm like at it and he's like, “Yeah. You have to do that.” And then, after that third round, it was kind of DMT like, then I was full out of body, and all of a sudden, I was sort of like–when I came back into my body, I was actually sitting in the backyard here at the house and I just felt the grass underneath me, and my body went into such like a fast sweating, you talk about it, getting heated, like my t-shirt immediately was soaked.

Ben:  Yeah. I've had the same thing happen just doing the actual powdered Rapé from the Amazon but use the kuripe where you're doing what the shaman did to you but blowing through one tube straight into your nostril the way that it's shaped.

Mike:  So, you're blowing from your mouth.

Ben:  It's where you're self-administering.

Mike:  Yeah, self-administering.

Ben:  Yeah. So, one nostril to the other nostril, repack it, do it again, repack it and do it again. And I did this before meditation session. And five minutes in the session was literally just drenched in sweat and an incredible experience in terms of the head-clearing effect, but the body heat increase was almost distracting. And we could even do this after the podcast if you want to try it. Try round two, is you do that spray, and then you do just one round of Wim Hof. You only need one round. And as you hold the exhale, the experience in terms of the DMT response and the tingliness, and the light sensations, and everything, is just vastly amplified like that.

Mike:  For everyone listening, you said there's some essential oil mixed in this tincture with the Rapé.

Ben:  Yeah. It's made by Dr. John Lieurance, who's been on the podcast show before. It's called Zen spray and he has one that's like peppermint, and rosemary, and all these cognitively enhancing essential oils with some terpenes just for clearing out the nasal passages. And he's into killing mold, and mycotoxins, and biofilms, and stuff, too. So, there's some helpful agents in there for that just for clearing out the nasal passages. So, the other mix that he has though is that same thing plus the Amazonian herb, the Rapé in it. And that's what we did, was the Rapé with the oils.

And then, we did the Tibetan rites.

Mike:  Yeah, yeah. Can we talk about that a bit?

Ben:  Yeah.

Mike:  Just because it was my first time doing it. And like I'd mentioned, my girlfriend had something she talked about before. I was already open and curious to do it, and we just talked about it. There are a few things I loved about it. I love that for each asana or posture, you're setting an intention or [00:14:51] _____.

Ben:  Right. There's a very, very brief mantra associated with each of the five movements of the five Tibetan rites. Although like I was telling you, as we were doing them, there's six, but the sixth rite is actually designed for a lot of the monks or the so-called lamas where this practice came from to enhance their ability to be celibate or chased because it draws all the energy up from the sexual organs and the root chakra. And I don't do that one much because I have no desire to be celibate. But the five rites–

Mike:  We were householders, Ben. We need to activate our [00:15:24] _____.

Ben:  We are responsible. We must take that responsibility. I want to protect and to provide, but also to pro-create. That's an important P. The five rites though, so they come from this–it's an old book and I forget the name of it, written by an English army colonel who went and discovered these monks and lived with them, and they had incredible vitality into old age. And they had these five movements that they did each morning, 21 repetitions of each. And the movements, and we just did them, and I've been doing them in the morning now. I'm on this–what you called it, a gong of these Tibetan rites each morning. And so, the first is called the whirling dervish where you have your arms out to the side. You spin from left to right 21 times. And it's from left to right because ideally, you're moving in the direction that supposedly the actual cells spin in tune with the frequency.

Mike:  Clockwise.

Ben:  So, you are turning counterclockwise from left to right, counterclockwise, 21 times. And you're a little dizzy when you finish that one. And then, the second is you're down on the ground almost doing kind of like a leg lift, and there's a mantra associated with each. And also, one is associated with water, with earth, with wood, with fire, et cetera. And for example, the third one, the bridge where you're bridging your hips up towards the sky, that's the earth one. And so, your mantra is “I'm strong and balanced” as you do that one. And then, the fourth is–it's the one where we're kneeling backbend.

Mike:  It's almost like a modified camel. You're not touching your hands to your heels, but to the back of your hamstrings, and then down to the knee crease.

Ben:  Exactly, exactly. And then, the last one is just like that basic down dog Chaturanga type of series. And 21 repetitions of each, and it's designed to open up all your chakras to move energy through your body, to activate digestive fire, to initiate a bowel movement. There's all these downstream effects, both spiritually and biologically.

Mike:  Not to be too graphic, but you checked all those boxes for me.

Ben:  Yeah. You did actually go disappeared in the bathroom I think before we started recording.

Mike:  I think that happened before we started the recording.

Ben:  Yeah. Of course, we also had a giant superfood smoothie. I did not blow out your blender this time.

Mike:  Yeah, it was fine. It recovered last time, so don't worry. You're not able to take the vitamins down.

Ben:  You could smell the smoke in the kitchen last time.

Mike:  Yeah. It took a day or two for the smoke to dissipate, but the Vitamix came back.

Ben:  Vitamix, they're like the Volvo of blenders.

Mike:  They are truly remarkably invincible.

Ben:  Yeah. Not the new ones, the old ones that–

Mike:  Yeah. No, the one I have here is the one that you almost put into the grave, is one of the old ones. I literally think I have–it goes back to the days when I was married to Tamra. Literally, it predates my kids. I mean, Davis is 18 years old. [00:18:26] _____ I think is over 20 years old.

Ben:  They don't make them like they used to because I've got two Vitamixes and both have kicked the can after a couple of months. And these are like the $450 [00:18:36] _____ Vitamixes.

Mike:  Retag Vitamix.

Ben:  I know.

Mike:  Please.

Ben:  Somebody's got to invent it completely because–

Mike:  Yeah. You need to make an OG model Vitamix.

Ben:  What we need to do is a Greenfield blender where–because all of my–there's a dog attacking us–all of my smoothies I make so thick that they're like an ice cream texture and you could eat them with a spoon. But that's also hard on the blender because you're blending it so much more thick. So, we need to develop a blender that can be like [00:19:07] _____ style blender instead of a smoothie blender.

So, you're obviously, as we've already alluded to, into fitness and health, although most people would probably associate you with your background in music.

Mike:  And probably unhelpful.

Ben:  Yeah, possibly, yeah.

Mike:  Living in a lot of ways.

Ben:  Exactly, yeah. You don't associate the Beastie Boys with your spa massage, yoga session necessarily, or your superfood smoothie.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  But I know that you grew up as a punk rock kid, but eventually, at some point along the lines, you got into taking care of your body, and arguably also your spirit and your mind.

Mike:  Well, spirit and mind, yeah.

Ben:  So, what happened? How did that evolve for you?

Mike:  Well, I think it's like anything. It's not just one or two events and it's not just–there are some light switch or light bulb moments, but it's a trajectory, right? So, as you eluded to, I grew up sort of like angry, punk rock kid in New York City, and really in Manhattan. And especially at that time, New York City was kind of a tough world, like you couldn't be soft in any way. I get chased all the time.

Ben:  And I just want to contextualize this for you. You're talking to someone who grew up with the most boring plain Jane, Christian, homeschooled, safe kid in North Idaho. So, we come from quite different backgrounds.

Mike:  Right. So, I'm lucky I came from economic privilege. But my dad died and I was angry about that, and I had two older brothers, but they were both out of the house. So, it's just my mom and I. And New York in that time was a rough place where being a punk rock kid, you look different than other kids, and that meant that other kids would chase you. And if they catch you, they're going to beat you. And so, I became good at running.

Ben:  That was where [00:20:59] _____.

Mike:  That was really where cardio really first entered my life.

Ben:  Yeah. That's functional fitness.

Mike:  That was my first medicine.

Ben:  Right, right. I'm actually running from the lion.

Mike:  Survival. Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Ben:  But this is something I've wondered about musicians in general, especially performing musicians. Although they may not have come from a background in fitness, it seems as though somewhere along the line, you would have had to have developed a great deal of, especially cardiovascular fitness for–I mean, tell me about how that actually was in terms of the physically demanding nature of performing.

Mike:  Sure. Well, fast forward. So, I was like that punk rock kid. And then, before I knew it, we shifted gears in terms of our passion along with Adam. And Adam, my bandmate, and Kate who was in the band at the time, we really shifted, like all of a sudden, rap music was just taking over in New York City, and it was the most exciting rebellious thing that we'd ever heard and we had to be involved in.

Ben:  What year would that have been approximately?

Mike:  So, this is around when I was like finishing high school, like 1983, 1984. And then, by the end of 1986, our first album which we made with Rick Rubin, who you know, called “Licensed to Ill,” that came out in the fall of 1986. And we put out some singles before that, and leading up to that, we had really the good fortune of like we were working with Rick. And Rick, at that time–Rick, we knew, was very, very radically different.

Ben:  And by the way, just so you guys know, who's listening, Rick and I told this whole story. I interviewed Rick Rubin. If you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/miked, M-I-K-E-D, I'll have all the shownotes for everything that Mike D and I talk about, but I'll include the interview with Rick because, yeah, he also caught the health bug later in life, the music scene.

Mike:  Absolutely. I'll get into it, but I think it's something you see almost every musician that lives through this process. It's an inevitable thing to happen because I think part of what happens with us as musicians is first off, we are basically kids, right? So, we're going out to clubs with Rick, writing lyrics on napkins, then going back to the studio from the club at 3:00 in the morning, recording vocals until 5:00 in the morning, going to sleep at 6:00, waking up at noon, and hitting repeat.

Ben:  But you had blue light blocking glasses.

Mike:  I was going to say our awareness of circadian rhythms was zero. That was a term that had never surfaced for any of us, Rick or any of the three of us. Then here we are licensed, and it all comes out as this hugely successful or commercially successful record, and we're on tour all the time. And very quickly, you get–and I think this is for absolutely any group that goes on tour with any degree of success. You get burnt out really, traveling all the time. Now, I have this vocabulary to discuss it, but at the time I'm 20 years old, I don't have the vocabulary, and I certainly don't have any of the tools to mitigate, or getting on airplanes every other day, getting exposed to whatever. I mean, this is even pre-Wi-Fi, pre–probably spared EMF.

Ben:  Had you only go outside bare feet at least.

Mike:  Right, right. But yeah, we had no idea of grounding, no concepts of grounding, and you're just constantly like airplane to [00:25:01] _____. The clichés are real and you're sleeping in a bed that's not yours, you don't know where you are. You're waking up in the middle of the night not knowing where you are. You're talking about the on-ramp to this was you asked about this cardio thing. You're running around on stage and out, whatever it is. So, an hour and a half, let's say every night. I mean, as our time went on, our shows would get even a bit longer. But let's say you're running around literally for an hour and a half and you get off the stage and you're drenched in sweat, it truly is cardio because you're literally yelling while jumping around–in that case, jumping around like in the–

Ben:  [00:25:43] _____ wearables on you guys, and you actually see the step count and the heart rate–

Mike:  And then, think about just the adrenaline every night because, I mean, the best way I have to explain after having done it for decades of touring. And again, then later on, we'll get to that, I would get to the point where I could really see clearly. It's just this energy exchange, but you're putting out a massive amount of energy and make it a truly special or really good show. You also have to be willing to just sort of go into it open-hearted and take on the energy that's out in this room of sometimes tens of thousands of people. And so, you also have to sort of get–nobody gives you–it's not like when you start going on tour and you're 20 years old, anyone gives you a roadmap or, say, a Tibetan book of longevity practices. You're just thrown out there, and then you get home from being on tour, and then it's a real sort of mind fuck because you're not having this adrenaline source every night. You're not getting the energy exchange or not having like all thousands of people giving you their energy every night while you're putting your energy out. And I think that's where a lot of musicians lose it. And that's where so much chemical dependency and alcoholism, where it comes about of just like–of course you're going to end up self-medicating because it's like, how do you possibly balance–get this one extreme? And again, you're totally adrenalized, nobody's–

Ben:  Yeah. Highly dopaminergic event that when you step out of it back into your home cave, all of a sudden, with the absence of that huge flood of neurotransmitters that you're used to getting every single night, I would imagine that some type of chemical assistance would help with that. And then, the other thing is from the–

Mike:  Well, and ritual, too, right? You get on the tour bus and you're with everybody else and you've got–I mean, I look back and I was like, whatever it is. That point, it was putting a VHS tape and watching it. On the bus, it's like you had to have the ritualistic sort of cool down. I think for a lot of times, for people, that's maybe an unhealthier off-ramp than others. And so, we didn't have the awareness of this idea of, “Okay. Well, there's a parasympathetic nervous system and there's a sympathetic nervous system.”

Ben:  The other thing I think that a lot of–

Mike:  I mean, even now, it's hard. Like if I stay up with my kids, if you hear any music in the background right now, kids working in the studio next door. But even when I stay up 'til whatever, all of 11:00 p.m. if I'm working on something with them, now I know I have the tools of like, “Okay, I've got glasses that are blocking out the blue light.” Also then, I know maybe, okay, I've got to do some melatonin because I got to get my body into that state because I'm not going to–

Ben:  Right. Or things that combat sleep deprivation like creatine or NAD probably to the better ones for sleep deprivation. The other thing that a lot of people don't realize is that based on this myth that stress makes you sick is the idea that epinephrine and this constant release of adrenaline and these excitatory neurotransmitters actually enhance the activity of the immune system. And so, what happens is you're probably getting all that flood of adrenaline and epinephrine while you're touring. What happens is it's not during that period of time that most people get sick, it's when all the excitement subsides. And then, the immune system's like, “Oh, I'd get sick now.”

Mike:  Right. Well, it's also not during obviously–touring is fun in life. And in that sense, it's where I think there's a commonality with all performers, athletes, pro-athletes who are–they're in a game for 90 minutes, and then they've got to calm down again after being in totally adrenalized state, and then get on a plane, check into a hotel in some other city, and then hit repeat, show up, practice in the afternoon and play a game the next night on their road trip. It's the same thing. And so, I think it's what gets you sick in touring is just the thing of not sleeping. It's pretty basic of not sleeping, not eating properly, not balancing, not having practices later on. That's why I discovered yoga and I immediately had this profound reaction/attachment or discovery of it was–

Ben:  Was this like in the '90s?

Mike:  Yeah. So, this would have been early '90s, yeah.

Ben:  Okay.

Mike:  Early '90s is all of a sudden, now, I had something that created some semblance of balance in this chaotic touring lifestyle, and yeah. And then, the tools could build from there all of a sudden. Then it was like whatever room I was in, I could have a series of postures that I would feel a little more regular.

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Tell me how that happened, the discovery of yoga.

Mike:  I'd have to credit my first wife. I have to credit Tamra Davis, who I was married to. She introduced me to yoga practice. You and I have talked about this before the same way that I was–I didn't come from any kind of gym practice other than running away from people.

Ben:  Right. And running around on stage.

Mike:  And running around on stage. I didn't have anything that led me towards flexibility at all. Everything was tight. My postural muscles were non-existent. My posture is horrible, but still it could use a lot of improvement even in my thoroughly middle-aged–

Ben:  I see you working on that with your current fitness program, which we'll get to, but it sounds like yoga is what started that slippery slope.

Mike:  Yeah, yeah. Well, slippery slope or–yeah, good slippery slope, yeah.

Ben:  Climb to the top of mountain, yeah.

Mike:  Yeah. Maybe a little bit of both.

Ben:  And what was a particular form of yoga that you really got into?

Mike:  We were living in New York at the time and Tamra took me to a place–it was on 2nd Avenue in the East Village at the time called Jivamukti. It was a lot more active than–it wasn't this yoga that I had sort of stereotypically thought of in my mind that was very slow and taught at your local YMCA with like 70-year-old people in leotards. All of a sudden, I walk into and it was like an East Village freak show. Everybody is completely tattooed up in Pierceton and everybody seems to be able to do everything really well except for me. Then I'm in there and I'm sweating profusely and barely able to do anything.

Ben:  Everyone's first experience with the yoga class is that that overwhelming sensation that everyone is looking at you and you're doing something wrong. Whereas in most cases, nobody sees you at all, but I think that yoga class is one of the places we tend to be the harshest judge of ourselves.

Mike:  Unless you smell really bad.

Ben:  Yes, unless you smell really bad or unless you're that person who perhaps ate some, what do you call it, resistant starch prior to–that can also be a situation.

Mike:  Yeah. If you had some bad oils.

Ben:  Right. Don't be that, [00:35:10] _____ stay in the back.

Mike:  [00:35:12] _____ hard for your body to process that.

Ben:  But obviously, as you know now, unless you're doing–well, I mean, like the old yoga where it was more–I was recently conversing with the podcast guest on breathwork named Niraj Naik about this, and the original yoga involved a lot of minimal breathing in, long exhales, and extremely long isometric holds of each position for like three to five minutes. So, similar to blood flow restriction band training, there was a lot of lactic acid that accumulated in the muscles. It was from a strength and stability standpoint, perhaps more physically demanding than some of the forms of yoga that are practiced now. But painting with a broad brush, yoga is not the only thing that you need to stay in shape if you want to check off all the physiological boxes. So, did you realize at a certain point that you wanted to do more than yoga? Or did you move onto–because I see you now, you like kettlebells and you got a trainer. You're doing a lot of mobility exercises, a lot more functional strength exercises. So, when did all that begin to develop for you?

Mike:  Well, first, to give yoga, it's do–yoga is great for me because it was also a transportable practice. So, I'm on tour and I don't have infrastructure. So, any hotel room. Now when I think about it in hindsight, it's interesting. In the vast yoga lineages, there are, as you and I both really interested in pranayama and breathwork, I mean, that is something that really resets me and something that I find now I'm awed up to being thoroughly middle-aged at least in terms of where my body is at. Pranayama or breathwork is a tool that really is so completely dependable in terms of providing–setting the tone for that day, I really can, if I need to be up, I can do a pranayama series that's going to lend itself. More than that, if I need to–oh god, I'm going to have a really insane day and I need to do more alternate nostril breathing because I need to just go into it in a very serene, calm–

Ben:  Your breath like a gas pedal and the brake pedal, just like we were talking about with alternate nostril breathing, or like we were talking about at dinner last night, that ability to be able to control your psychological state via something as simple and free as your breath should be woven into the core curriculum of every young human being on the face of the planet. And it's nuts that people think, “I can't get to sleep tonight. I'm going to take NyQuil, a Valium, melatonin, CBD, whatever.” And perhaps their parents never just put them to bed at night with breathwork. That should just be a thing that you know as–

Mike:  Well, or even at school, teenagers are showing up their circadian rhythms are–they're going to be waking up later in the day, but they're having to wake up early. What if they started their day [00:38:10] _____?

Ben:  Why couldn't you start PE class with Wim Hof and with 4-8 breathwork, right?

Mike:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben:  Yeah.

Mike:  Yeah. Or think about they talk about kids in their attention span, and how prevalent attention deficit disorders are in kids, and how greatly that would be affected by just throwing in the toolbox in the middle of the day or coming into the afternoon where kids are all over the place in terms of attention span. I mean, I find it myself as an adult, one of the most powerful tools I have is just taking a 20-minute break and doing a 20-minute meditation in the afternoon, and then that just sets me up to deal with whatever I have to deal with for the end of the day. I can go into another round of emails with this total clarity, and answer back, and get on calls, or do whatever I have to do, and then go into the fun stuff of having dinner or sauna and ice with my boys and being totally present for them and giving me what I credit sitting meditation with a lot of things. But one of the things is it just gives me this patience, like this elasticity to the span of patients I have.

Ben:  I absolutely agree, although I'll sometimes use this strategy if I know that my wife and I want some time alone in the evening and we want to get the kids to bed a little earlier, I do sauna and breathwork with the boys before dinner. I take them through a 20 to 25-minute routine. I bring them into the ice bath, afterwards do sauna, we do ice, and they're lights out by like 8:30 p.m. And that's my strategy if I just want the kids to fall asleep early. So, you talk about like ADD or ADHD. Especially in boys, you do some sauna, some breathwork, and some ice. Not that I would endorse this in children, but it's literally like your kid just smoked a joint in their [00:40:14] _____.

Mike:  Well, look, you've seen how our household functions. I mean, I thankfully have kids that–a complete freak of nature household where I have two teenage boys who were very focused on music and they're lights out at 8:39 p.m.

Ben:  I've noticed that, yeah.

Mike:  They're not interested really in staying up. And also, if they could live every day of their lives being able to do sauna and ice into dinner cooked by themselves with the ingredients they can control, they would be completely happy of that.

Ben:  Like the Groundhog Day of happiness for us as a family is typically something very much like that evening, family tennis, or walk, or sauna and ice with breathwork, family dinner where everybody's pitching in and helping to prepare, family prayer and gratitude, then eating, story time, songs in the guitar, in bed. We literally could do that 365 days a year.

Mike:  Yeah. I mean, I think that's one of the things where we like to be sensitive to everybody out there. Everybody had different quarantine, COVID experiences and were impacted differently. For us as a family, we really flourished in a lot of ways because my kids have grown up their entire lives with me traveling. And traveling either with me traveling, or them traveling with me, or them traveling with their mom because both of their parents have to travel for work. And so, all of a sudden have this thing in place to realize like, “Wow, we can really be happy in this lifestyle.” And of course, music is very, very integral in that. As you've seen, in that sauna and ice tub, there's always music leading right up to that in their studio that we have right here. And then, it's like then everybody get pitches in, like what you described for dinner, and then it's usually a little bit more music afterwards. Whatever the circumstance is, one of us is going to be rolling out straight, doing some kind of sort of like that wind-down decompression–

Ben:  Right. Foam rolling.

Mike:  Yeah. There's some foam rolling going on with that last bit of music. And then, grateful and happy to go to bed early–

Ben:  Yeah. Well, your house is somewhat like mine. There's like a body work tool or a Theragun, or a foam roller, or a lacrosse ball, littered about nearly every room.

You mentioned meditation, and I have noticed in staying here that you definitely have a meditation practice. I'm curious how that evolved and what that looks like now.

Mike:  Actually, after I had been practicing yoga for quite some time and then some friends introduced me to Bob Roth at the David Lynch Foundation. David Lynch Foundation does an incredible job of being intermediaries, of introducing transcendental meditation practice to, a lot of times, people like myself in the entertainment world. But then also, they have incredible programs going on in schools where they've had a lot of success and really spent energy being able to put data to that success to basically get–to allow kids to have time to meditate into school, you have to be able to have data on that. You can't just say, “Oh, we think it would be a good idea. I enjoy doing it so I think they would, too.” Anyway, the David Lynch Foundation has done a great job, so I had the good fortune of learning TM. But I'd say for that matter, anyone listening, anyone who wants TM, you can just look it up online, there's a TM center near them, and I think there are TMs all over the world.

Ben:  They're all over the place. As a matter of fact, Rick is who introduced me to TM. I wound up working with a TM practitioner and going through the whole series, and I am not as consistent at it as I think you are because it's technically twice a day for around 20 minutes.

Mike:  Twenty minutes, yeah.

Ben:  And is that where you currently stick to?

Mike:  Yeah. If I can get that in, that's great. I always get my 20 minutes in in the morning, as you've seen sometimes when you're coming in getting coffee or whatever. And sometimes in the afternoon, depending what my work cycle is and what my obligations are, sometimes it can be a little harder. But even then, if I can get 5 or 10 minutes in, I mean, even when I've gone through like a couple of years ago when we were doing this show that became a movie that when we were performing it on stage in New York City, I would get it in either backstage or riding in a taxi from Manhattan to the theater. It's like a lot of things in life. If you'd really decide you're going to do it, it's really interesting that you can find–even if it's not 20 minutes, it's fine. You can find some time in that second.

Ben:  Slash manifest the time, if you set your subconscious upon actually knowing that that's expected.

Mike:  And I think for me, then I had this similar experience with yoga. And then, I'll circle back to what you're asking about, the evolution of why I started training. All these things I think I'm good. I stick to them because I feel the effect, I really feel the effects. And like I said with meditation, I can't imagine–and actually, I have to shoutout Rick Rubin. He was instrumental in me starting TM. And actually that now I think back at it, he was the one who linked me with Bob Roth and the David Lynch Foundation.

For me, it's such an incredible tool for being a parent, and just not even being a parent, also just made me better like when we are doing those shows, people don't realize when you're a band, or an artist, or a writer, whatever. Like, people think you actually have the solitary thing and you do it, but it's actually no, you've got to mobilize a small army sort of. Every night, you're getting on stage, there's 30, 40 people made me so much better at managing people. Imagine that situation by having tool of meditation because, A, it gave me the patience, and B, it also gave me–well, I think TM combined with also a lot of therapy gave me the ability to be very comfortable being honest with people. And in hindsight, I wished that I had that when we were banned. We're touring all through our 20s and 30s, but you're young and you don't–

Ben:  Right. As you've alluded to, we wish we'd have that when we were boys, right?

Mike:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben:  Just been taught that from birth. So, for you, doing things like TM in the morning, some of the bodywork that I see, what does your morning actually look like? Because I know you have a trainer come over and work with you. So, I'm curious what the morning looks like and how the training has evolved.

Mike:  Yeah. So, mornings, the early part is very, very regular in that. Wake up, hot water, lemon, apple cider vinegar. And then, I do a little bit of movement, what I've been–we talked about this earlier. I do a bit of these series of yoga postures before meditation, but now I'm actually really interested to–

Ben:  You're doing the Tibetan rites before the meditation.

Mike:  Yeah, which I think will be–

Ben:  Yeah. I really like those Tibetan rites before my own prayer and meditation in the morning. So, I don't get up and do prayer and meditation first. Now, I get up, I do a movement routine. I read my Bible and journal in bed, then I get up, do the movement routine, and then do the prayer meditation after movement routine.

Mike:  So, for me, it's hot water, lemon, apple cider vinegar, movement, sitting for 20 minutes, then I am very much into the ritual of caffeine. So, we go to–

Ben:  Yeah, [00:47:50] _____.

Mike:  Coffee. And I thank you for–you actually introduced to my household the awareness of toxins or microtoxins in coffee, which is–

Ben:  In coffee? Yeah.

Mike:  Yeah. No. Actually, it's something I wanted to ask you about on your show because I feel like I still am not–like Kion, you guys are the only people I think who bring that up. Are there other coffee brands? If you're walking into an Erewhon or any health food store that you have, not to sound like too hoity-toity privilege. I feel bad I said–I mean, Erewhon is for us, but whatever health food store you have near you, or for that matter, local coffee shop. How do you go in and no other than you're checking in with yourself and getting a gut feeling of like, “Well, I think these guys, I think they've roasted their own beans and they've done it recently?” So, I think and feel good about how you actually–

Ben:  Well, yeah. Generally, for me, it's three things. A, I think it was Dave Asprey in Bulletproof Coffee that probably were responsible for bringing a great deal of awareness to the coffee-loving community about mold, mycotoxins. And I think a lot of other coffee companies, including my own, have sprung up since then as either organic, or mold, and mycotoxin-free, or pesticide and herbicide-free offerings for coffee. It's not as though those are difficult to find though. I mean, you can find certified organic, or if you're actually going to the website of the company, you can find what farms have been grown on, and whether or not those are organic farms where the coffee is sourced from, how it's grown, et cetera, and how it's shipped and packaged, whether it's nitrogen flush packaging that might retain freshness, and so on and so forth. It's not impossible to find–there's probably, gosh, like 40 different brands in the U.S. that you can actually find.

Mike:  Right. So, yeah. But I guess what's the language that I'm looking–

Ben:  I always look for organic. I would also look for nitrogen flushed. So, you've got a guarantee of freshness with a little less risk for mold and mycotoxins. And generally, just because a lot of times I don't know–if you go over to my suitcase over there in the corner of the bedroom, I just always have one box of the Four Sigmatic chaga and one box of the Four Sigmatic lion's mane. And we just launched a ground coffee at Kion, so now I'm throwing that into–if I'm at a hotel room or a place where I know I have a coffee maker, but I'll generally just do–I'll go to coffee shop and order 16 ounce of hot water and a little packet of stevia, and just dump a couple packets of lion's mane and one chaga and some stevia, and stir that up. And so, I always have a backup if I don't know, and I want a hot beverage that's kind of a pick-me-up, and I don't know if it's organic. That's generally what I'll do.

Mike:  Now, can I ask you about the adaptogenic mushrooms for a second? Because we've cycled through in this household, doing lion's mane, doing cordyceps, and mixing those in with our coffee. And then, I got to a point where I was feeling like, “You know what, I'm not getting any effect like substances or what–“

Ben:  Generally, you just have a few mushrooms that I use. So, if it's immunity because I'm traveling, or I know that cold or flu is going around or whatever, usually it's turkey tail or chaga. Those are my biggies for the immune system. If I'm going to do like red light therapy or long walk in the sun, also chaga because the melanin in chaga acts similar to methylene blue, it'll amplify ATP production by the mitochondria.

Mike:  Interesting. Quick question with the chaga, do you soak it overnight? Do you keep it soaking overnight?

Ben:  No, because I use the Four Sig stuff mostly. And I have some of the other chaga chunks and those require like a 24-hour soak time, and then you boil them up after that. But the powder is already in an alcohol and water extracted solution, so it's just good to go for hot water. For relaxation, reishi. Reishi is amazing, just to settle you down at the end of the day, or for meditation or nap session in the afternoon or something like that. And then, for energy, either lion's mane for mental energy or cordyceps for physical energy. I'm not a huge student of medicinal mushrooms, but those are the ones that–and you could arguably say that sometimes with the lion's mane, there would be like a microdose of psilocybin, for example, which I would also consider to be a little bit of a medicinal mushroom, and that's how I use them.

Mike:  Okay. Yeah, yeah. I would say lion's mane. An interesting thing that I'll bring up was people at the farmer's market that Skyler and I get our–that we buy fresh lion's mane from, which is great that we cook with all the time.

Ben:  Yeah, with little olive oil, little salt, lion's mane is amazing.

Mike:  Oh, yeah. We cook it up with ghee and a little bit of garlic and salt. I mean, mind-blowingly good.

Ben:  I haven't tried with ghee, but I'm adding it to my list.

Mike:  Oh, yeah, do it. It's really, really good. And you have to cook the mushrooms obviously before you cook your other vegetables and leave them in your cast iron skillet, like in kind of a mound. Let them cook down on their own, almost like a meat the way you don't touch it. It's like you wanted to just seer a little bit in a mound. Yeah, if you have access to fresh lion's mane, it's great, but well, I didn't say the–

Ben:  [00:52:52] _____.

Mike:  We haven't done it. You can get a kit to grow your own.

Ben:  That's the Greenfield project this spring is we're starting to grow mushrooms on log on our forest.

Mike:  Alright, I'm curious, yeah. I want to see it. I should check in on your podcast or your blog.

Ben:  I'll send you a little air–

Mike:  Yeah. Let me know how that [00:53:10] _____.

Ben:  What do you call it when you air seal a bag of our homegrown mushrooms?

Mike:  Post-coffee. Ben, it's either going to be, for me, training or surfing in an ideal world. And that's where training really I think evolved out of aging, I'd say. And there's something I wanted to get into on your podcast because I have a pet peeve about anti-aging.

Ben:  About anti-aging? I want to hear it.

Mike:  Well, just that we are all aging. The only two things that are inevitable with us in our trajectory is that we're all constantly aging and we're all going to die. And then, I actually even looked up before doing this, I started looking up meaning of anti because I think maybe part of it is just how I perceive anti to be. Anti, actually, if you look it up the route, it's not as negative as we use it.

Ben:  And my take on this is I'm not grasping at straws. I'm not trying to live until I'm one set number, 160, 170, 180. I realized that that perhaps discounts the power potentially of manifesting yourself to that age. But let's set that aside for now. I feel as though probably the biggest advantage into account and implementing many of the tactics such as, say, NAD, or hyperbaric therapy, or sauna and ice, or any of these things that are coming out of the anti-aging longevity community, even like stem cells or exosomes, et cetera. It would not be a transhumanistic-esque effort to live forever to as many transhumanists might do. Freeze one's head at death and cryopreserve it. So, that severed head can be attached to a new body and your brain where I don't think any of your consciousness will reside anyway. That scenario could go on to live forever, almost as a form of technological reincarnation.

I think that that is the same type of fear of death that created a lot of the problems that we run into during the pandemic. Nobody, nobody is allowed to die, period. Death is dishonorable and horrific. Therefore, let's do everything from locking our elders away to shutting down the economy because God forbid, anyone should die. So, I think that the transhumanistic live forever movement is also one that's heavily flavored with the fear of death or a denial of the beauty and honor involved in the natural aging process. Yet at the same time, by engaging in efforts that would increase one's lifespan and health span simultaneously, efforts that are responsibly implemented so that you're not spending like maybe 40 of the years of extra life that you got in a hyperbaric chamber, cold libidoless and starving because of all the things you're doing so that you age less, but responsibly implemented in well-balanced anti-aging longevity procedures, in my opinion, simply equip one to be more impactful with however many years they are on this planet. If I'm 60 and I can function like the average 40-year-old, I'm going to be a lot better speaker, writer, researcher [00:56:16] _____ I'm doing when I'm 60, or playing with my grandkids. That's the reason that I engaged in these efforts is so that I can simply live life to the fullest and be as impactful as possible with the unique skill set God has given me to live my purpose on this planet. So, that's why I like a lot of these protocols so I can simply do more and do better.

Mike:  Yeah. Well, and I think for me, and I'm curious to ask you this question, but I found for me, having kids was greatest wake-up call to this because when you have kids, a bunch of things happen and a bunch of things change. But one of them that's super immediate is your relationship to time and time management. Honestly, I look back at it like in my time when we're making records and touring endlessly before having kids, time was literally an endless supply. It didn't matter when I'd go–we would all just keep recording until we're just bleary-eyed and quit. It was just diminishing returns and go to sleep, and then show up back the next day and hit repeat and just do that, and you'll see the same with touring. But then with kids, you realize like, okay, that becomes your priority. And so, this whole idea of structuring time and having this responsibility to time teaches you that.

Ben:  Yeah. Something in your life that gets shoved that high to the top of the priority list forces you into an intensity placed upon time management that never existed before. And what's interesting, I don't know if you think about this, is the idea about anti-aging longevity. I think you actually see less of an obsession with that with people who do have children. Now, of course, people, when they have children, definitely are motivated to want to be with their grandkids, see them hit a home run or throw the football around them in the backyard. So, I think to a certain extent, there is some bit of preservation that becomes something you're motivated to do when you have kids.

But at the same time, if you look at this from an evolution or ancestral standpoint, once you have replicated yourself, there's a little bit less of a need for you to be alive any longer now that you know that you're living on through these other pieces of biology, these other human organisms that are related to you that you brought into the world. And we even see things like men when they become fathers, their testosterone declines. And I think that part of that is the implementation of like a decreased wandering mechanism. So, you're more likely to stick around and be with the [00:58:57] _____ because you're not out chasing tail all day. But I think part of that might also be he's replicated himself, and now, I don't want to sound morbid, he can slowly die or die a little faster now that he's got the kids.

Mike:  But that's where I feel so lucky in my life. I look at it like for my whole life, at one point, it was like in two-year cycles of making records and whatever. Now, it's all different projects, right? We did a book, then we did a stage show, then we did a film. But in each of these processes–that's not the plural of processes.

Ben:  Processi?

Mike:  Processi.

Ben:  I don't know. I think processes is actually–I think that is the plural.

Mike:  Yeah. What I've noticed in common, in going through the process of each of these things is that every time I'm going through something, on the one hand, I feel comfortable about who I am and what I'm doing, especially now that that's one of the great things that maturity gives you, or can give you, but that also I get to do something new each time I am out on a hunting mission. There is no roadmap. We're trying to make something that's never been made before each time. It really is this wide open. I'm out on the planes. I take some planes that I've never been on before trying to hunt in my process. So, I feel like I'm the beneficiary. I'm really, really fucking lucky, basically, that I get to have this testosterone active work life. And then, I guess I would balance that of saying like you talk about why I have these different practices. I do them so that basically, overly simplified example that I can surf every day with my kids. And obviously, they're going to surf circles around me because, A, they've been doing it their whole lives and their muscle–it's like I watch them. Every move they make, there's no lag between processor and activation.

Ben:  Right. Unconscious competence.

Mike:  Right, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.

Mike:  And now, I am the middle-aged surfer. Everything is I'm connecting between processor–

Ben:  A little bit of conscious incompetence maybe, yeah.

Mike:  But I want to be able to do that as long as I possibly enjoy it, as long as I possibly can with them. And mobility is a huge part of that with aging. Myself, you, all of us are going to come up against–it's going to be harder to keep muscle on, and I want to just be able to keep doing these things to the ability that I can and enjoy them.

Ben:  Yeah. And now, I see you doing that. I mean, we're talking about how–were you saying you're doing like blood flow restriction training now?

Mike:  Yeah. Recently, I somehow just through being a general [01:02:11] _____, I chipped off a little piece of bone on my right knee. And thankfully, orthopedics are very good these days with just very non-invasive surgery. They're able to get that out with wooden robot arm with the camera and the other robot arm.

Ben:  Yeah. And you just got PRP done as well, yeah.

Mike:  Yeah. Then I just got PRP done. They did it when they did the procedure and I just got PRP shot yesterday. So, thankfully, you can do these things and feel great and bounce back. But the BFR was game changing for me in terms of–it was really interesting work. I hadn't done it, but doing that as part of the physical therapy process–

Ben:  Yeah. It's amazing blood flow restriction for anything like that.

Mike:  Without having to, obviously, as you know, do heavy weight loads, but to really be able to push like that you're trying to protect against atrophying, push it to failure in a protected way was incredible. I mean, it's actually really, really interesting to see how the effect it would have on my nervous system. I mean, there's sometimes days when we do like full-on BFR. We're doing like pistol squats, the BFR bands, and doing the 30-15, 15-15.

Ben:  Right, the classic Japanese set rep sequence.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  30-15-555.

Mike:  Yeah. I mean, I'm shocked for hours.

Ben:  Yeah. It's great. And I've got them in my bag over there. Kind of like you were saying about yoga, it's my go-to hotel room routine.

Now, I know that there's so much I wanted to cover, but in the interest of time, I know that we kind of partially into your morning routine and it sounds like [01:03:57] _____ other things we could get into in the morning routine. But I want to make sure that we give the folks listening in some of what you would consider to be at this point, if you could just choose a few, your non-negotiables, spiritually, physically, mentally, relationship-wise. What would be a few things that you, having lived the life that you've lived, and also merged into a career in the arts, also a keen interest in health and fitness, and caring for one's body and one's spirit, what type of piece of advice would you have for the audience as a few non-negotiables that are part of your routine that you think have been helpful for you and maybe helpful for others?

Mike:  Okay. It's a great question and I'm going to try to hone it down because that could be a whole another 90 minutes, literally, unto itself or longer.

Ben:  You can even lightning round it, like read this book because XYZ, do this every morning because XYZ.

Mike:  Yeah. Well, as I've mentioned, for me, meditation practice is a huge thing, a huge tool, and that's going to be I think–but listen, there's all different forms of meditation and all. Some people will say, “Oh, I need to be moving,” or, “I need a walking meditation,” whatever it is. I'm not saying it has to be this method, but having a kind of practice, I'd say I try to every single day be as grateful or show as much gratitude as I can and that I am incredible lucky.

Ben:  You write it down and just naturally go through the–

Mike:  I would say I go through it mentally. I don't journal it generally, although maybe that's something I should add on. I should be open to it.

Ben:  Right. I'll write it down. Something happens mentally when I write it down for some reason.

Mike:  Yeah. And something I think we actually as a family learned from you is just doing the prayer where we first give thanks for the food and all the energy that's gone into it, and then we give thanks for the company, and then we give thanks for the–

Ben:  Yes. I love that blessing. I was thinking about that last night. I got to the table and everybody was already eating. So, I tried to at least raise a glass and bring a toast. But yeah, usually 9 times out of 10, I love to bring in dinner with something very ceremonial like that.

Mike:  Yeah. And we just do that as standard operating procedure now and it's so great. My kids, honestly, I almost feel a little teary-eyed and great as a parent being able to say that here I have 16-year-old and an 18-year-old boy and they wouldn't even think of eating dinner without doing that simple practice.

Ben:  Yeah. It's just amazing. What a gift for them.

Mike:  So, thank you for introducing that. So, that is a non-negotiable. I also say in terms of–yeah, I'm very grateful for my girlfriend, for the romantic relationship I have. But I think a non-negotiable is I'm only interested in being in relationships where I'm willing to do the work and I'm partnered with somebody else who's willing to do the work. And when I say do the work is really go in dealing with–we all just grow up with an incredible amount of–various amounts of trauma and different things that we sort of keep closeted within us. It's going to come out, but if we don't deal with it, it's going to come out in ways that can really be damaging to other people or to relationships.

And so, I really only want to invest that time. Even in work, when I'm working intensely, one of the things I loved about when we were doing the filmed version of our show Beastie Boys Story with Spike Jonze and Adam Horovitz is like my oldest friend and bandmate, and Spike who's our oldest collaborator. And so, it felt so safe in that. And then, Jonah Hill joined us. Jonah is great. Everybody there was really willing to go in and it was all about–I felt very safe and I was fine pitching out an idea and having it completely ruthlessly torn down because, A, it's for this greater good, but B, we're in this relationship where everybody that we know were all willing to kind of like going up to our own shit.

Ben:  When the frequencies are that of love, and peace, and joy, and there's forgiveness in the room, it's far easier to progress, not only to be creative, but I've found in my relationship with my wife, the more open and transparent we are with each other, the more we get done, the more that we love our time with the boys. And probably the best book we went through with, “Love and Respect,” this idea that, painting with the generally broad brush, women need a whole lot of love and guys need a whole lot of respect. And once that lightbulb moment went up for us and I could just like realize that, oh, she seems to be doing fine all day, but I should just give her a hug right now for like 90 seconds, bear hug, and just love on her. And then, for her, because we're super competitive with each other, and this is a hard pill for her to swallow for a while, saying something to me during the day like, “You're working really hard today, babe. Thanks for everything that you've just done all morning. I see that.” And then, for me, my chest swells up and I'm proud. I love that respect and admiration I'm getting from her. The whole love and respect tradeoff for us has been really impactful.

Mike:  Right. And it's interesting, right? As men, I am only just so aware now, I'm needy in that department. I need the appreciation. I need to be recognized that I'm making these efforts. I start to sort of shrink a bit and it's not good. But then to be able to get into that dialogue in really clear ways–

Ben:  Yeah. It's my wife says to me, and this sounds funny, but I feel 10 times better if she says to me, “You're amazing,” or, “You absolutely crushed that,” then, “I love you.” I actually like the former better.

Mike:  Yeah.

Ben:  Alright. So, throw one more at me as we wrap things up. What would be your final non-negotiable?

Mike:  At this stage of my life, it's connection with outdoors, though I grew up as a complete city head and I love some of the adrenalized excitement and stimulation of being in a city. For me, being able to be outside in the morning and get immediate exposure to sunlight, daylight, be able to be active outside, whether it's going for a walk, a mountain bike ride, going for a surf. I know this is what I'm very grateful for, so I'm coming from a place of privilege, being able to do it every day pretty much. But you want to talk about non-negotiables. For me, that's something that I'm not ready to move to Paris.

And I love visiting my friends in Paris or whatever, but great there for a bit, but in terms of where I'm going to live, I need that outdoor access and be able to have that with–that's I guess for me a non-negotiable is also connection to family, obviously, like with my kids. I have to be okay with–at this point, they're just all of a sudden, now they're writing on other people's records and they're going to be there traveling to other people. It's sort of all starting now. Now, they're starting to go to other people's studios and working there, and it's all growing from there. So, I have to be okay with the distance that is going to inevitably happen. But that's okay, that's part of aging, and I'd just be grateful for what a great close connection we do have.

Ben:  It is so-called empty nester before you know it.

Mike:  Yeah. Well, I don't know with these guys. I think they're pretty darn happy in this nest.

Ben:  I want to create a scenario where my kids want to keep on coming back. That is a “don't let them grow up” type of thing, but just a scenario where you have a magical place for your family to always be able to gather and connect. And I think that the benefits of that outweigh the digital nomadic lifestyle for sure. I would much rather have a castle that the whole family comes to and gathers at frequently than living out of an Airbnb or a condo and being free and flexible.

Mike:  Right.

Ben:  So, yeah.

Mike:  Well, and I would also draw out one last thing. Wait, wait, wait, it was along those lines. Wait, I'm just trying to think what–

Ben:  Something wants to get off his chest. It's going to be good.

Mike:  Now, I've forgotten what you're–I think just really that–oh, that's what it is. For me, I'm trying to think out a best articulator. It's this combination of maturity and immaturity. I think actually now I'm really loving some of the things that I experienced in maturity. I mean, some things are pain in the ass, chip off a piece of my knee that can thankfully be remedied easily. But there's so much that I can see and experience now and not be as reactive to or not get as thrown off by or whatever. And I think that comes from maturity because when I'm going through those things, I'm hopefully a bit more secure in who I am. I've dealt with a little more–

Ben:  Detachment, surrender, trust, release of control, and flow.

Mike:  But I think then immaturity is important. As my girlfriend and my kids will attest, I make a lot of bad–I fart. I'm an immature guy. But no, immaturity is underrated in the sense that I want to always–like I said, I have the luck of doing it in my work, but just in life, I want to always strive to challenging myself with things that are new, and not give up on that, and not be complacent on the things.

Ben:  Novelty and joy are very much yoked to youthfulness and vigor with age. And so, the motivation to maintain those I think is pretty admirable.

Mike:  But it's doable. Look, I mean, this morning, you taught me these Tibetan longevity practices. I'd never learned those before, and now I'm going to incorporate them. So, it's so doable and enjoyable.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I'll always be a curious, voraciously, intensely curious seeker of new things in life. I think it's a great way to live. For those of you listening in, I'm going to link to everything that Mike D and I talked about if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/miked. I'll link to my other podcast with Rick Rubin. And also, I know that you guys have a book on the whole Beastie Boys experience. I think you shipped out to me. I'll link to that one, too, in the shownotes because that was a fun book, pretty jam-packed with photos and cool stories. And so, Mike, thanks so much for coming on the show, for hosting me at your house.

Mike:  Oh yeah, of course.

Ben:  I feel like we could easily have done a round two. So, that may actually have to happen. In the meantime, folks, again, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/miked. Leave your questions, leave your comments, leave your feedback. I love to hear from you guys. I read them all and 'til next time. I'm Ben Greenfield along with Mike D signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.



Michael Louis Diamond, better known as Mike D, is an American rapper and founding member of the hip hop group Beastie Boys.

The Beastie Boys have sold more than 20 million records in the United States, have had seven platinum-selling albums, and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

As part of the Beastie Boys, Diamond rapped, sung, and played drums.

In 1979, Mike D co-founded the band The Young Aborigines. In 1981, Adam Yauch, aka MCA, a friend and follower of the band, became their bass player, and on the suggestion of their then-guitar player, John Berry, the band changed their name to the Beastie Boys. By 1983, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) joined, and the Beastie Boys sound began to shift away from punk to hip hop.

A friend of theirs, and former podcast guest of mine, New York University student Rick Rubin (aka “DJ Double R”)—who first introduced me to Mike D—was an early turntablist for the Beastie Boys before becoming a world-renowned record producer and label mogul.

Mike D is a well-known contributor to the genre of rap music, but even the biggest Beastie Boys fans may not know that he has a strong spiritual practice, incorporating transcendental meditation, Tibetan Rites (a new addition we discuss!), yoga, and more into his daily routine.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Ben and Mike D talk about how music relates to health…06:30

-Mike's first experience with the 5 Tibetan Rites…14:20

  • The Eye Of Revelation: Ancient Anti-Aging Secrets Of The Five Tibetan Ritesby Peter Kelder
    • Ben's Morning Energy Flow
  • Setting an intention with each movement
  • 6th rite was designed for monks who are practicing celibacy
  • 1st: Spinning counterclockwise
  • 2nd: Raising and lowering the head and legs
  • 3rd: From knees, leaning backwards and pulling forwards
  • 4th: Tabletop
  • 5th: Upward and downward dog

-How Mike dealt with the physically demanding nature of performance and touring…19:10

-How the discovery of yoga led Mike D to a new consciousness of health…33:00

-Ben and Mike's discussion on healthy habits during family time …40:15

-How Mike's meditation practice has evolved and what it looks like now…42:35

-Mike D's morning routine…46:45

-What Ben said when Mike quizzed him on the best adaptogenic mushrooms…52:20

  • Four Sigmatic Mushrooms
    • Turkeytail and Chaga for the immune system
    • Melanin in Chaga acts similar to Methylene Blue
    • Reishi for relaxation
    • Lion's Mane is for mental energy and Cordyceps for physical energy
  • Homegrown mushroom growing kits

-Mike's pet peeve about anti-aging…53:30

  • We're all going to age and the negative connotation of the word “anti”
  • The trans-humanistic, let's live forever idea is unhealthy and unrealistic
  • Responsibly implementing a well-balanced anti-aging routine allows us to ‘do more and do better'

-Why having children may result in less of an “anti-aging obsession”…58:20

  • The desire to maintain mobility and health increases when we have kids
  • Watching his kids surf helps Mike stay in the present moment
  • Some of Mike's favorite anti-aging techniques

-The “non-negotiables” for Mike's spiritual and physical health…1:03:55

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

– Mike D.:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Food And Supplements:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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