“…I knew that if I went down this path I might be successful by everyone else’s standards. And everyone else might say, ‘You’re great!’ But if I didn’t have myself, I had nothing, and I’d be a failure.” –Kute Blackson on his decision not to follow in his father’s footsteps
This week Commander Divine talks with Kute Blackson about the remarkable way that his parents met and his childhood in Ghana and London. Kute’s father was a spiritual leader in the West African nation. With a great deal of hesitation, and even though it was expected, Kute decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and instead he is living his own mission by helping people find their path and purpose in life. Kute is based out of Los Angeles and has recently written a book called “You. Are. The. One.” What insights will you be able to take from his discussion with Mark?
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Transcript & Shownotes
Hey folks, Commander Mark Divine, retired, back with you with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. I am super-excited today to have a special guest named Kute Blackson with me. Before I introduce Kute a little bit more formally, I would like to remind you that it would be very, very helpful if you could rate our podcast on iTunes. That would help other people who don’t know about us, or who hear about us through word-of-mouth to find us. ‘Cause they might be looking for someone else and pop, there we are. So go rate us on iTunes if you would.
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All right, so Kute, thanks for joining us. I’m really excited. Kute is here in LA so he’s up the road from me. He is a visionary, he’s a human potential leader, a spiritual leader. He just wrote and published a book called “You Are The One,” which I read through last night. I loved it. We’re going to talk about that today. He’s an authority in transformational immersion journeys. I can’t wait to learn what that is. I’ve been on a few immersion journeys of my own, but I tell you what, I think from what I read last night, Kute’s got a special way of helping people kind of meet themselves for the first time. So we’re going to talk about that.
He’s shared his method for liberated living to millions of people over the world, so Kute’s an up-and-coming spiritual leader. He uses the latest in technology, like YouTube and really cool stuff. I am super-stoked to have you.
So couple things. Kute is Ghanan? Is that how you say it? Ghanian?
Kute Blackson: Ghanaian.
Mark: Yeah, Ghanaian. So you’re born Ghana, which is west Africa. Your mother was Japanese and your father was Ghanaian. And from what get… we’ll start here… what I get from your book they had a little challenge communicating.
Kute: (laughing) That’s an understatement. They couldn’t speak.
Mark: Is that right? So they had no understanding of the language? It was an arranged marriage?
Kute: They couldn’t speak at all. And my dad didn’t speak a lick of Japanese. My mother didn’t speak a lick of English other than “Hello.” So they couldn’t talk. So I mean, I can tell you the story of how they met if you want…
Mark: Yeah, I think that’d be a cool place to start, because that’s where you came from, right?
Kute: So here’s the deal. I grew up in London, now been in the US, so I’m like from everywhere. And so when my father was about 8 years old, he would have these visions of a Japanese guru. You know, like a Yogananda kind of guy who’s famous in the west life 50 years ago.
Mark: Yeah, we know about Yogananda.
Kute: This Japanese guru would come into his dreams and teach him about life and the cosmos and the nature of the universe. My dad was 8 years old in Africa, you know, in the forties, fifties. So here he is having this visions, these downloads. When my father was 15 he had this spiritual conversion. Started a church, started healing people…
Mark: At 15?
Kute: At 15. He started putting his hands… he had this conversion, became a Christian, started healing people, started putting his hands on people. Blind people seeing, deaf people hearing. People standing up out of wheelchairs. Became known as the “Miracle Man” of Africa.
This is kind of a backtrack, then I’ll go back to the story. My first memories as a 5 year-old boy, six year-old boy was being a chubby kid, being lost in the crowd, and seeing a crippled woman… I’ll never forget seeing this crippled woman crawling on the floor, picking up the sand that he walked on, wiping it on her face, and standing up.
So my father…
Mark: No tricks? That was all real?
Kute: It’s one thing to see on TV, you know. It’s another thing to… I saw my dad.
Mark: You saw it with your own eyes.
Kute: I would be around my dad all the time, so I would see it. Plain as day. Right there. Woman would come and he’d say, “boom, stand up,” and she would stand up. Person would come in on crutches and he’d say, “throw your crutches away.” Boom. Week after week after week. No cameras, nothing. So it was really amazing.
And so my father got known at 15 for these crazy miracles. Thousands of people started to come. He built the first church, second church… by the time he was 36–300 churches. Hundreds of thousands of followers. Maybe close to a million followers around west Africa.
Mark: Holy cow. What was his church called?
Kute: It was like a… at first… here’s where it gets interesting. At first, he was very Christian, and then he went to India. And he had these spiritual enlightenment experiences so his philosophy became very mystical. All the Christian mystics.
Mark: Well the early Christian philosophy was like that. Gnostic tradition was very, very mystical, and it syncs up quite a bit with yogic philosophies. Interesting.
Kute: Exactly. When he was 35… I don’t know… when he was 37, his first wife had died. He had 3 kids. He’s in a store in Ghana, this is in the mid-’70s. He’s in a store in Ghana. A book falls off the shelf. He looks at the back of the book… picks it up, looks at the back–he sees the face of this Japanese guru. The Japanese guru that he didn’t know was a real human being. He didn’t know this guy was real.
He’s shocked. He writes to the guy, says “You’ve been coming to me in my dreams since I was 8. I didn’t know you were even a real person.” The guy sends his son-in-law to meet my father. The son-in-law is so blown away, he says, “We want you to come do a lecture with the guru in Japan. We’re talking, like, stadiums. So my dad says yes, and he says, “By the way, I’m looking for a wife. If you could pray for me, I believe in the power of prayer. I would like to meet my wife.”
So the man say, “No problem.” The son-in-law goes back to Japan. Gives a talk. Now my mother grew up in this spiritual organization since she was a kid. So she’s now 28 and she’s not married yet. In Japan if you’re not married by 28, you’re old. And so her prayer has become… so often these days it’s “what do you want in a relationship,” and make the list, and put the list down. Her prayer was simply, “God, I surrender. Universe, I surrender to whoever you want me to marry. I will marry that person. Just let me know that this is my soulmate.” Boom. End of story. I surrender.
So she surrenders. She’s in the audience. She hears about this African man coming to Japan. She says, “Boom.” She feels the chills in her body. She writes to my father. My father’s in London, he’s meditating. God says, “Your wife’s gonna come to you tomorrow.”
He’s like, “How the hell’s that going to happen?” He goes to the mailbox, there’s a letter from my mother. His hands start to shake. He opens it, it’s my mother. Nothing romantic.
He writes to her and he says, “Would you be open to moving? To Ghana?” Kind of a proposal.
She writes back and says, “If it’s God’s will.” He writes back and says, “Yes, it’s God’s will.”
Mark: (laughing) Of course.
Kute: And he goes and she couldn’t speak English, her sister was writing the letters. And he couldn’t speak Japanese. They go and meet for the first time, they can’t communicate. My mom has never seen a white person, a foreign person, let alone a black African guy, so this was two different worlds, man.
Kute: Unreal. So they can’t speak. And my dad has no money to throw a wedding to Japanese standards. So God says, “Look, just chill.” He’s been meditating, everything’s flowing. Six weeks later he goes to his mailbox. There is an envelope. He’s told no one he doesn’t have the money for the wedding. But in the ’70s, you’re going to marry a Japanese woman, you have to throw a ceremony. Kimono, some sake, something to represent…
Mark: Was the wedding going to be in Africa or in Japan?
Kute: In Japan. It was going to be in Japan. ‘Cause you can’t just take the bride and not have… it’s gotta be respectful, right?
So he goes to his mailbox, there’s an envelope. He opens the envelope, there’s 7,000 dollars in cash, US cash. And all it says… anonymous, no name…”This is for your wedding.” And he had told no one.
Mark: Do you think it came from her father?
Kute: No, not at all. We found out 10 years later that…
Mark: Oh, wait, wait, her father wasn’t the guru. I mixed that up. So I was thinking maybe it came from the zen master.
Kute: No, no. See we found out years ago, when I was about 12, 13… The story was so rare about Africa and Japan marrying that it was in the newspapers. And a supermarket mogul… like a billionaire kind of supermarket guy, read the story. And when he read the story, he said his heart was touched, and so he sent some money. He just… he didn’t know why, he just sent it. And that’s what happened.
Following in his father’s footsteps[9:00]
Mark: You know, this is such a remarkable story, and what I love about that is, it reminds us how mysterious the world is, and how connected every one and every event can be, right? And people just think, right, that everyone’s in their own little silo, and become really contracted in our own little stories. But if you really do open up to that radiant sameness, oneness, one taste of the universe, then God’s love, God’s will, whatever words you want to use to describe it will organize things in synchronous ways to make what’s right, right. How beautiful is that story? I love that. Thanks for sharing that. And so that’s cool because you just told me a lot about your parents. So you grew up in a very spiritual family. Your father was a minister… do you call him a preacher or a minister, or what was the…?
Kute: He was a minister. I mean he was a spiritual visionary in a sense.
Mark: And a healer.
Kute: A healer, visionary, minister, leader… I mean in Ghana, he’s iconic. Really iconic.
Mark: Is he still alive, by the way?
Kute: He’s still alive. He’s in Ghana, west Africa. He’s getting older, so he’s not doing as much, but his whole operation’s going.
Mark: Now very clearly he wanted you, or he had some hopes that you would follow in his footsteps?
Kute: Yeah, he wanted me to take over his church. So when I was age 8 I started speaking in my father’s church. I gave my first talk at age 8 in front of 5,000 people. I was sleeping in the crowd, and…
Mark: (laughing) You got tagged to come speak. Was that to wake you up? Or to see if you had what it took?
Kute: I don’t know. I think it was a combination of both. ‘Cause it happened to be when I was sleeping. And that’s when it began. That’s when something started for me.
Mark: So you channeled to, so did…?
Kute: Yeah, something just came through, man. Something just came through that wasn’t of myself. And it was just coming through. And I don’t really remember what I said, it just started happening. So I start speaking every month when I was 8, 9 ’til 14 and then I was ordained. I was ordained as a minister, and I was kind of announced and given the mandate to take over my father’s organization. But I knew in my heart that that wasn’t my path. I knew, I knew that this is not right. This is not…
Mark: Let me characterize this. So to me, growing up in America, 14 sounds really young, but as you’re speaking, I’m wondering if 14 was like 20 for me. Like, you were expected to step into manhood that early in Ghana, just because of the way you grow up, and the culture.
Kute: Yeah. It was young, but, you know, I grew up also… I started reading when I was age 8, you know, reading from spiritual books, so I was always a little different. I grew up in London, so I was in London, but I was always in service to community. I was always… my life was in the church, and being around the church, so it was a different orientation. I wasn’t necessarily spending all my time hanging out playing with Legos. You know? It was a slightly different exposure to people and life and things. So that really informed me.
But I knew when I was 14 that that wasn’t my path. And I was afraid to speak the truth, because I felt like if I spoke the truth… I was afraid of the consequences. I’d lose my father. We wouldn’t speak again. I’d abandoned, I’d be outcast. I’d be alone. And so I suppressed the truth. I didn’t acknowledge the truth, and sort of denied what I felt inside in order to fit in and to not rock the boat in order to keep things going. And it was tough, it was really tough.
Mark: I bet. And how common is that? Oh my gosh. A lot of people I train are still locked in the story that they were kind of fed. That they were spoon-fed by their family. And a lot of times it’s unconscious. It’s not like it’s intentional. “Hey, we’re going to lock our son in this story that he’s going to be a minister.” It’s just, “Hey, this is a good thing. He’s going to follow in my footsteps, he’s got the skills.” But if it’s not your dharma, not your purpose, then you’re basically heading down the wrong path. So you felt this intuitively probably because you were fairly open and all the contemplation and connection to God, you were able to feel that. And so many people are closed off from that. So I guess you must feel really fortunate that at that early age you had that insight.
Kute: You know what, I knew at 14 my truth, but it took me 4 years. ‘Cause I went along with it. I got ordained, and I went with it. ‘Cause I really wanted to help people, but deep down I was afraid. If I told the truth, what would happen? I would never have a relationship with my father again.
So I compromised. And there was a deep sense of knowing… I remember the night before my ordination, I knew, like, “This is no good, man. This is not it.”
But I knew. And I was terrified. So it took me 4 years to really muster up the courage… to develop the courage to face the truth of like, “This is not my path.” And those 4 years were very painful, and very tumultuous. And there came a point where I knew I had to make a decision. I was 18, I had to make… “What am I going to do now. Now I can’t hide.”
And I looked at my path, the path my father had laid out and I knew that if I went down this path I might be successful by everyone else’s standards. And everyone else might say, “You’re great!” But if I didn’t have myself, I had nothing, and I’d be a failure. And I took the other path, which is the complete unknown. And I realized, even if I was poor, broke, I had nothing, I had no one, if I had myself–it would be challenging maybe, but I would have peace. And that’s when I made a decision that nothing was worth compromising myself. Nothing was worth compromising my truth. Because when we compromise our truth, we compromise ourselves. We lose the inner integrity, and when we lose inner integrity, we lose everything. We lose our sense of power. We lose our sense of self-respect, and that’s… our sense of relationship with ourself, that’s that the foundation.
Mark: So how did that conversation go with your father when you finally said, “Okay, this is it. Today’s the day. I’ve gotta do this.”
Kute: I had had that conversation in my head 3000 times. In my mind, just “dad, dad,” you know. I said, “Today’s the day.” And I walked up the stairs. I thought he was going to scream and shout and what-have-you. He was lying down and I looked at my father… and this was the day I became a man. I think the day I became a man was the day I was willing to face the consequences of whatever my actions were. That was an initiation into manhood where you could say I symbolically, symbolically had to kill my father. Had to disappoint my father in order to reclaim my life. That was the beginning. And I looked him in the eye, he was lying down. I said, “Dad, I have something to tell you. I don’t feel called to take over your churches.”
He was silent, which was even worse. Even just scream at me. He was silent, and he just looked at me and he said, “Are you sure?” I said yes. He said, “Are you sure?” “Yeah.” “Okay.” And that was the conversation. And it was… I don’t know what was worse, because he didn’t really give me a response.
Mark: There was no dialogue. It was just that? Fascinating.
Kute: There was nothing. That was it. And that was… I mean, I felt elated. I felt free. And it was scary ’cause…
Mark: Terrifying right, because what’s next?
Moving to LA[16:38]
Kute: He hasn’t said anything. And what’s next was we didn’t speak very much, you know. And then what happened to me is I believe that whenever we follow our true soul’s calling. Whenever we are true to our knowing, the universe always supports us somehow. It may not always be kind of how we think it’s going to be, but it’s going to be what it needs to be. Cut a long story short, I was like, “I want to come to the US. How am I going to come to the US? I feel called to come to the US, because this is where, in LA, southern California, San Diego–this is where all the authors are. You know, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Barbara De Angelis, John Gray, they’re all down in this area.
Mark: Mark Divine. (laughing) I’m just kidding.
Kute: That’s all right. (laughing) I didn’t know you back then. So they’re all here, right? And so I wanted to come to the US, and it was a dream, and I said, “God, if this is my destiny, you have to help me now. I have given everything up.”
People say, do you really want it? I was willing to give my whole life for this dream. And it wasn’t theory anymore, I’d spoken to my father. This was it. I was floating in the unknown.
Mark: That’s a “burn your boat” commitment, right there.
Kute: It was like, “Let me burn everything.” And I said, “God, universe, I’m standing in the middle of the ocean. You’ve got to help me. 2 days later someone gives me a magazine called “The Economist.” I look in the back of the magazine I see an ad that says the American government’s giving away green cards in a green card lottery. Cut a long story short, I won a green card in a lottery. And that really gave me profound confirmation that “Kute, you’re on the right path. The universe is supporting you.”
Especially in those beginning years, when I came to the US with two suitcases. Newcomer to the country. Just a dream. When I got afraid, or I got doubted, or discouraged I would remember, “Hey, Kute, you won a green card, man. That’s destiny.” And that’s what kept me going in those beginning years.
Mark: Right. So you ended up in LA. What did you do? Like, were you just…? Did you go try to find a job at a coffee shop or something? Like what did you do when you landed in LA and said, “Okay, here I am. I made it to America and now what.”
Kute: Up in LA I knew no one. I asked the taxi guy to take me somewhere safe and cheap. He takes me to a very… a place called Venice Beach Cotel. It’s “Cotel” with a “c,” not a motel or a hotel, a cotel.
Mark: I’ve never heard of a cotel.
Kute: You don’t want to know what a cotel is, trust me. I cried my eyes out for a week, basically. I was afraid.
Mark: You felt so alone, probably.
Kute: I was so alone, because this was 18 years ago, 19 years ago in Venice. California, which is a little edgy, crazy then. It’s cleaned up a lot. And I knew no one. I didn’t know what to do, and I’d never lived by myself. After crying for a week, and I said, “Kute, you’re going to have to get your shit together.” I got a tiny little apartment, slept on the floor. And just began hustling, you know, I worked odd jobs, I worked in a Chinese one dollar dish restaurant, mopping the floor. Whatever it took.
And then I got into multi-level marketing, and through that I did okay. I was in it for like 8 months, but through that I got to meet so many people. And that’s when I started promoting speakers and seminars and what-have-you and kind of got some contacts in the industry.
Mark: Did you know that you wanted to be…? I think you said earlier that you had a sense that you wanted to be a author/speaker.
Kute: Oh yeah, I knew when I was 10. Like I read… the first book I read was Shakti Gawain, “Creative Visualization.” And around 10, 11, 12 I knew. By the time I was 14 and I was ordained, I knew that this was my path. I started reading people like Deepak and Marianne, I’m like, “There’s a different way to do this? I don’t have to do it through the church? These people are doing in seminars.” This was my path. And so I knew, I had visions, I saw… as a young boy, because we didn’t have a lot of money, we lived right behind my dad’s church in an attached apartment, a small apartment. And my bedroom was… I don’t know if it was 8’x10′, but all you could put was a single bed in the bedroom and squeeze by to get on the bed. It was so small. So my room was so small, and I felt so limited by my circumstance. I felt so limited by my environment, and yet I felt such big dreams in my heart, wanting to express. And I felt so frustrated, like, “How am I going to manifest these dreams in my heart?” And I would sneak out, Mark, in the middle of the night sometimes 11 o’clock, 10 o’clock, and I sneak into my father’s church, with the lights off ’cause I didn’t want anyone to see. And I would lock the door, and I would imagine–this was age 14–myself speaking to the empty chairs. And I would speak for 2, 3, 4 hours, giving seminars to the empty chairs imagining their souls getting transformed. And imagining I was in Madison Square Garden, and just speaking and so whenever I… I always knew so whenever I get the sense to speak now, it’s very humbling because I remember, wow. I imagine souls in these chairs and here they are now. And it’s really… gives me chills every time. It’s really special.
Mark: That is really cool.
Transformational Immersion Journey[22:47]
Mark: So, let’s shift focus a little bit, ’cause I’m really intrigued by the story of the fellow you took to India on the transformational, you call them a “tranformational immersion journey.” Where did that idea come from and can you tell us about that experience?
Kute: Which experience? With the fellow? Or just the experience in general?
Mark: Well, both. Like, maybe tell about the experience through this one incident. This one story.
Kute: Which story are you referring to?
Mark: The business guy that you took to India, and you had I think it was a transformational immersion journey that you took in India, or that you do in India. So first tell us about what is a transformational immersion journey.
Kute: Yeah, so a transformational immersion journey is where I really kind of unplug people from their regular tick-tock environment. I unplug people from their routines, and I immerse them. And I take away everything, from them. Every place that we tend to hold onto for a sense of safety. For a sense of this who I am. For a sense of identity. I take all of that away, because we think we’re free, but the moment you take away someone’s iPhone…
Mark: You take away their first layer of identity, which is their physical stuff and their routine.
Kute: I take away that level of… because we’re often placing our sense of self, “my car, my makeup, my shoes, my clothes, my image. The me that I think I am on the surface, I take that shit away. The question is, when you take that what’s left. And then it forces you to just go deeper. It’s like scuba diving, you go deeper, and deeper and deeper. If I’m not that belief, there’s the physical, then there’s the thoughts, then there’s the emotions. If I’m not that, then who am I? And it starts taking you deeper to the source.
So I take all that away. So we think we’re free, but we’re not really free. And then I customize and I create experiences situations on many different levels that put people, that challenge you, that stretch you, that push your limits, that trigger, that bring up anything that’s unresolved, or that inhibit the full expression of your being. That inhibit your ability to truly be who you really are in the world and live love.
I create situations that really expose that, help you face that, become aware of those things, and heal and shift through that. It’s really dynamic and it came about in India when I was doing the one-on-one journeys, the liberation experience which I write about in my book.
Mark: Oh, I think that’s what I was thinking about. You called that a liberation experience. And that was one client that would take for a couple of weeks.
Kute: One client, but I took 19 clients in 6 and a half years. So it was a lot. So how it came about was on the back of a train on my own journey. 16 years ago. 15 years ago. On the back of a train in the poorer section of India. And I found myself in sardine can situation, freaked out and I couldn’t believe… I was with the poorest people in the world and what I saw, the level of suffering… there were people that were sick. It was right there with me. And there was this kid, head hanging out the train, if this kid fell off the train no one would care. And it broke my heart, ’cause I thought, “we live in a world where we can send people to the moon. We have computers, but we can’t feed a child. This is just insane.” And I just started crying.
And then I looked into this woman’s eyes, and what was looking at me, was looking at her and it was this oneness. There was a sense of oneness, that was breathing us both, and I just felt this explosion of love. And I thought, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if the head of Nike, the head of Google, people in leadership positions were on this train with me, having this transformational experience? Getting to know who they were, and feeling the interconnectedness of all humanity? How would they use their money? Their resources? If Oprah was here, how would they use their money, resources, influence and power to impact the world if they realized that we’re all one. We’re all one family.”
Then I forgot about it thinking, “No one’s going to be crazy enough to do this journey.” ‘Cause I shaved my head, I had a backpack, I was just roaming India. Then I became successful as a coach, and over the course of years I built a very successful coaching company. And in 2006, I got the down-low, create that journey. That became the 12 day liberation experience. Take away your passport. Take away your money. Make you write letters to everyone in your life in case you don’t come back. Make you sign your will, in case you don’t come back.
And ultimately you have to face death, because so often we’re so busy avoiding death that we actually afraid to live. So I make people face that themselves and face their fears. So that they can free themselves. And free themselves to live life, and ultimately do what they’re here to do. And that’s what it became about.
Mark: Fascinating. So was each one of these journeys with these 19 clients, like, very customized, based upon your intuitive sense of what fear they needed to face?
Kute: Yes. Sure.
Mark: And also very spontaneous, in the moment.
Kute: Each one was very customized and I planned many of them out, because we traveled around. 14 cities sometimes in 12 days which is non-stop. First 4 or 5 days, clients don’t see a bed. Literally, they don’t see a bed. So it unravels them, it breaks them down, but it makes them… Like I give an analogy, it makes them deal with their conditioning, right? So when we’re born, we’re born free. As children we’re born as these free beings, fully expressed, and we jump on the table. And we don’t care. “Am I fat? What do you think? Can I sing?” We’re just expressing ourselves. But then we meet our parents, who sometimes seem a little crazy. Or they have their own issues. And they’re just doing the best that they can, which is based on what’s been passed down from their generation which is their parents and their grandparents. Now we meet our parents and all of a sudden we’re these free beings and now we often face pain, trauma, abuse, hurt. Maybe they neglect us. Maybe they don’t know how to love us in the way we need to. It’s not their fault, they’re just in their own stuff. So we start learning 2 things: As children we start learning a way of being in order to avoid the pain, to not feel the pain of what’s going on around, so we start numbing, disconnecting, shutting down from our emotional capacity, because it’s too painful feeling like, “My dad’s not around,” or feeling like, “My mother doesn’t love me,” or whatever it might be. So we start disconnecting from our feelings.
2nd part is we start learning a way of being. We start learning a mechanism, a strategy to develop a personae, a mask to get love, be validated, be approved. And it’s like, “Who do I need to be in order for you to love me? Who do I need to be?” So we start developing this mask, maybe become the good-boy, the independent person, the nice guy, the… whatever it is. We become arrogant, we become the caretaker of all people because that’s who we thought we needed to be in order to be loved. And we get identified and locked into that way of being. And we think that’s who we are. So really what I do on these journeys is I ask people, “Is who you are who you really are? Is it who you really are?” And the degree to which we’re… we think we have free-will, but the degree to which we’re conditioned, we actually don’t have the free-will that we think we have. So, for me it’s about freeing people from all the places they’ve held onto. Has become an identification that then inhibits a full expression of our freedom.
Mark: I love that. That’s terrific. And, you don’t know this, but we have a tranformational journey at SEALfit we call Kokoro. Kokoro is a Japanese word that means heart, mind–the essence of heart. And it’s 52 hours of non-stop physical and mental training. No sleep. And we have a saying that people will meet themselves, their true self for the first time.
And then in some of the preparatory work for that is just to meditate on the concept of “who am I?” Which is a classic yogic meditation because you just go through the layers. “Who am I?” “Well, I’m Mark Divine, I’m an MBA, and I’m a CPA, and I’m a Navy SEAL.” And then no-no all that. What’s beneath that? And what’s beneath the next layer.
But to experience it headfirst like what you’re talking about where you have to face–in a facilitated environment–you have to face your truth and strip that away. That’s very powerful.
So what… so those came early on to your kind of coaching, one-on-one relationship. How do you take that kind of energy and serve more people? Like, what was next for you? How do you take that from one-on-one to be able to serve groups and thousands of people? Because that’s such a personal experience, and intense, and this is something that I’ve often thought about is, like, how can we impact more people? And so how can you impact more people? What’s next for you? Or what are you working on now?
Kute: I mean, I did a lot of one-on-one and I started working with groups, and I started speaking in public. And then I started making… using media in terms of videos as a way to impact people. And I started that years back, started making videos. And some of my videos started getting seen by quite a few people. And some of my videos kind of had a viral effect, and so that’s what I started doing, is using media and the visual medium to impact people in a pretty cool way.
Mark: That is cool.
Kute: Part of my vision now is also to use media. Working on a TV show, but to use media as a vehicle to impact millions of people.
Mark: Well, good luck with that. Okay so that makes sense. So that’s the next step for you.
Kute: One of the next, yes.
Mark: One of the next, step it up to TV. I like that.
The Bali Experience[32:17]
Tell us about the Bali experience.
Kute: Yeah, the Bali experience came about, Mark, because people… I could only take one person to India, right? So people started saying, “Can you take a group to India?” I’m like, “Hell, no.” I’m not taking a group to India, it’s too crazy.
And then I went to Bali, I had such a profound experience in Bali. It was transformative. Bali is the feminine. India just takes your head, cracks you open. “Deal with this.” And you’re gonna just surrender.
Bali just melts you. It’s like the feminine grace, it’s like you don’t even realize you’ve been melted, other than you’re like, “Was I just melted? Did I just… something just happened, you know.” And there’s no even space for resistance. The mother that just heals your heart and loosens the layers in you. And so I went to Bali many years back and I had this experience. I don’t know what happened, but something really changed inside of my body. My cells… holy shit my cells are different. And that’s when I got this download, I need to create something in Bali. That’s really based on what I do in India, but now for a group. It’s basically I take… twice a year I take 20 visionaries, 18 to 20 visionaries to Bali for 12 days. It’s a 12 day experiential immersion training without walls, where I use Bali as the seminar room. And I facilitate a similar process that I do in India, but for a group. And it’s just as dynamic, and it’s just as powerful. And I put people in situations, I create situations that expose your deepest unresolved issues that are getting in the way of your next level. And I create a synchronized process that helps you heal, transform, shift the patterns that are blocking you. And then we catapult you forward into living your destiny, and really manifesting major things in the world. So we’ve got everyone from billionaires, celebrities, models… we had a 19 year-old kid, mothers. But ultimately people that feel a deep calling to serve humanity. And they know that they are… like, “I’m here to impact society at a huge level.” It’s not just for someone that’s “Aaah, I’d just would like something to do.” It’s for those that really want to impact the world, and feel that calling in their lives.
Mark: That sounds fascinating. I’ve never been to Bali. That sounds fascinating.
Are most of your clients men, or do you have kind of a…
Kute: It’s a combination.
Kute: Everyone, yeah.
Mark: You know, this kind of brings up an interesting point that I’m experiencing through SEALfit, and Unbeatable, that men are kinda hurtin’ in western society, right? And the suicide rate for young men is double, and then quadruple depending on the age. And then six times the female population, and then it kind of stays there and then it actually jumps again back in post-middle age. It’s a real, real problem. Without getting into the reasons why we think that’s a problem, what can we do about this? What can we do? What are you doing about it? I mean, how do you help men?
Kute: Yeah, I mean… I help human beings. That’s what I do. Whether your a man or a woman, I mean, I have specific work for women, because women kept asking for very specific teaching. About love, relationship, understanding with men. They kept asking and they wouldn’t leave me alone, saying, “You have to create this.” And that’s really why I created a specific thing for women called “The Man Breakthrough Experience.” And it’s a seminar experience for women where I use relationship and love as a bridge to have a conversation with a woman about herself. Because love often brings up unresolved issues.
But what I’ve also found is indirectly, as women transform, they impact men. As women evolve and elevate, men have to raise their game if their going to relate with these women. So in a strange sense, it impacts men. But for me… I work with human beings. And I believe at the deepest level… at the core level we are all here to evolve. We incarnate into this experience because we are sent lessons to learn. We’re here to evolve, and to grow and learn those lessons.
For me, it’s about real success, it’s not just what you attain, but the degree to which you learn the lessons, and you evolve and you become who you really are. And to me, that’s the game that I help people deal with… “Am I becoming who I am? Am I evolving? Am I learning the lessons that I was put on this planet for?”
Mark: So whether you’re male or female, when you connect to that essential nature, when you begin to taste and experience your purpose or what the Buddhists call your “dharma.” And you can live from that truth. That’s when the pain subsides, that’s when suffering ends, essentially. You’re still going to have challenges, but those challenges are opportunities for further growth and insight. That’s beautiful.
The Last Day of Your Life[37:17]
So probably should wrap this up pretty soon, ’cause I know you’ve got stuff to do and I’ve got stuff to do, and this has been an amazingly cool conversation. And I hope we can pick it up some time, and maybe serve each other in some way. I’m going to look into that Bali experience, but… I’m going to ask you a question that you ask your clients, and you asked me in the book, but… What would you do if today was the last day of your life?
Kute: I think a couple of things. To be honest, I don’t know if it would be that different from what I’m doing, because what I’m doing… I’m doing what I feel I’m supposed to be doing in life. Which is giving my gift as radically… as intensely as I can. So on one level I’d be doing more of what I’m doing. I’d be pumping out more…
Mark: You’d have a little more urgency, right?
Kute: More urgency, but I feel that urgency now, because I live like I don’t know when I could die. I could die any moment. And I’ve seen death many times while on my travels. Like faced it, thought I was going to die, and like “Whoah, I’m still alive. This is crazy.”
So for me, I’ve synchronized my life where I’ve eliminated as many BS, unnecessary distractions. No drama, commitment to living my dharma like fully. And that’s really, I think the deeper we go as human beings, the more we taste the truth of our being, the less we has the taste for drama and inconsequential stuff. And for me, the more… all I really want to do is serve God. All I really want to do is what I’m here to do. And that’s my commitment.
So I would just keep doing that, but also, you know, I love my parents and… even though I love my father, I love my mother, even though there not here. I would probably just go spend some time with them. You know, just be with them. It’s kind of pretty simple.
I wouldn’t go eat 7 donuts, and cheesecakes…
Mark: (laughing) Go to Vegas…
Kute: But when we face that… “If today were the last day of my life what would I do?” To me it forces us to go, “How would I live my life?” ;Cause we’re all going to die. All of us. It’s guaranteed. Jesus died. Buddha died. Muhammed Ali. Bruce Lee. David Bowie. Bob Marley. Mother Teresa. Muktananda. Yogananda. Everyone died. It’s just reality.
But somehow we think we’re going to live forever. We’re surprised. “Oh, I’m going to die? So-and-so died?” Of course, it’s like guaranteed. You don’t need a psychic reading. We’re going to die. From the moment we’re born… we start dying the moment we’re born. But we live like we have 2000 years.39:49 And I think when we face death. “Whoah, I’m gonna die.” Not as a morbid thing, but as a beautiful reminder of the preciousness of life. As we look at death and make it our friend and say, “Thank you for reminding me to live.” Then we… to me that’s the best time management tool we have is just facing death. ‘Cause when we realize “I don’t have time for this BS right now. I don’t have time for my own mind friction. I don’t have time to just wallow and indulge my fear and my insanity. I don’t have time for this for the next 4 days.” Then it’s like realigns… at least for me it realigns me to go let me do what’s important. What can I do now/
Mark: Right. I love that. My zen master who I spent 4 years training with, and he was also my martial arts master, but he was a zen master truly. And got me into meditation at 20 years old. One of my favorite concepts that he laid out in one of his little dharma talks was “one day, one lifetime” and that was his term. “One day, one lifetime.”
Mark: Isn’t that beautiful? So he’s saying the same thing, it’s like everyday is an opportunity to live a full lifetime. You can get… you can find enlightenment in a single breath, you can find enlightenment in that, and you can live a lifetime in a single day if you slow down and just focus on what’s important. And, oh, by the way, it might be your last day. That’s beautiful.
So Hooyah! That’s Navy SEAL for you rock. This has been very, very enjoyable. I know Unbeatable Mind tribe is going to really enjoy this and love it. And probably want to reach out and connect with you. So how can we do that?
Kute: Couple of ways. I mean, I would love to connect with and serve anyone in your tribe. It’s just been great hanging with you, and this conversation, I had a really… even though we haven’t met in person, I feel your heart, man. So thank you for having me on. And keep doing the great work.
For those that feel called to connect, couple ways. My website, kuteblackson.com is one. Social media, Facebook, hit me up on Facebook. Follow my fan page. Instagram is another way. But also those that feel maybe called to go to the next level, and kind of live their life at the next level, the boundlessblissbali.com. We have our next journey in December, so it’s about 2 months away, 3 months away I think. And just an open invitation, we have a few spots available, so those that feel the calling.
Mark: All right. And if you want to check out the book, the book is called “You. Are. The. One.” by Kute Blackson.
Kute: Yeah, and if they go to youaretheonebook.com and order it through there, takes them to Amazon, but if they come back there, and enter their email with a receipt they get 6 free gifts. That’s another… and their really pretty valuable gifts. So I think it’s some great gifts.
Mark: Okay. Awesome Kute. Don’t sign off just yet. Thank you very much everyone, Unbeatable Mind tribe. This has been very, very important discussion. I encourage you to go check out Kute’s book and connect with him on Facebook and all that stuff.
And, as you know, I also encourage you, or request of you to continue your daily practice. Right? The daily discipline–show up, grow up, clean up, open up and wake up. But it happens through your daily practice and through your 20X challenges, so continue the work, stay focused and we’ll see you on the grinder.