Welcome back to another episode of the Numerologist Podcast with me Rose. Now, today I’m talking with Brenden Durell.

He’s a former professional athlete turned life aficionado. It brings him joy to gently nudge people with laughter and inspiration so they can understand Nirvana lives in every moment of breath. Brenden is a dedicated cacao and breathwork ceremonialist and an avid white tantric student. His motto is peace is the ultimate pleasure. And with that amazing introduction, Hey Brenden, how are you?

   

Here’s what we discuss:

  • Men and Spirituality
  • Energy Orgasm and what they are
  • Cocao Ceremonies

Show Links


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Full Transcript

Announcer:

Welcome to the Numerologist Podcast, where we bring you a very special guest every single week to help guide you on your spiritual journey, live with abundance and inspire your soul.

Rose:

Hey, Numerologist community. Welcome back to another episode of the Numerologist Podcast with me Rose. Now, today I’m talking with Brenden Durell. He’s a former professional athlete turned life aficionado. It brings him joy to gently nudge people with laughter and inspiration so they can understand Nirvana lives in every moment of breath. Brenden is a dedicated cacao and breathwork ceremonialist and an avid white tantric student. His motto is peace is the ultimate pleasure. And with that amazing introduction, Hey Brenden, how are you?

Brenden Durell:

I’m doing well, Rose. Thank you for having me on here. I’m really excited to be a part of the Numerologist community.

Rose:

Absolutely. Thank you so much. Now we’ll get to the whole of cacao and breathwork ceremonial side of things in a bit, because that sounds super interesting and I definitely want to discuss that, but before we get there, could you just tell our community who you are and what you do?

Brenden Durell:

Yes. First off, hello everybody. My name is Brenden Durell, as Rose said, thank you for having me and who I am. That’s a loaded question. What I am right now, I’m a man supporting other men, supporting women via just understanding that we all can attain peace and pleasure in every moment. And depending on the situation that’s thrown at us, because life does do that. We have a choice, whether we subscribe to it or we don’t subscribe to it. And that’s pretty much who I am and what I do right now, but all in all, I’m from New Jersey in the States, I’m a former professional athlete and now I’m just living my life and enjoying every moment as I can.

Rose:

So Brenden, I’m really interested to see how you went from professional athlete to where you are now, because that could be seen as quite a big jump. So what’s the story, how did you get there?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah, I always had this heart of let’s say adventure staring at the moon, I always had these kinds of things. I grew up in inner city, New York, New Jersey, and even at a young age, full moons, Egyptian culture, different things, always intrigued me. And that was always in me, just wanted to see that in there because that’s been me. As I became an adult and I went to uni far away from home, I played professional baseball. And then after I played international baseball and I was able to travel to different cultures and different places. And I just began seeing how we’re all the same in so many different ways, if that makes any sense. And it just intrigued me more and more to be like, wow, like hard work, hard work, hard work love on people. Let them love on you. And I went from being in sports, brotherhood, locker room talk, all of these things, but having a community, even if it was around the sport to wanting to build that in my life around support, accountability and underlining love.

Rose:

Yeah, that pretty beautiful. So I think it’s interesting that you’ve gone from that team environment to creating your own tribe and team, which is super cool. And I do want to talk a bit about how you work with men because we’ve discussed this before the call, but I really think men are so underrepresented in the world of spirituality. And you have some sacred masculinity, I think it’s called course or session. Could you tell us a bit more about that and why you chose to help men into this world?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. First and foremost, I chose to help men, because I am a man in this life and I was like, well, I want to hang out somewhere too. So let me create these spaces. But you’re right, where a lot of us are underrepresented in a lot of these spaces, healing spaces, personal development, spirituality spaces, for many reasons. And the ones that I like to go into and think about and talk about are the emotional aspects of it. Why culturally, why men aren’t, let’s say in this work, why it isn’t trending as much as it is with women in this space. And we can see in culture with emotional vulnerability, isn’t sexy in the men’s community. Being messy, seeing tears come down, letting loose, trust falling emotionally. These aren’t cool things, these aren’t “macho things.”

And I say this because that has been my experience. It’s been like, you stop crying, you fall down and scrape your knee. Nobody’s going to come and rub your back. You got to get up and go. And that’s not very sustainable if we want to build a future for our kids to thrive in, neighborhoods, I envision a future where your kids, their kids, our kids can literally walk in the neighborhood and you know that they’re taken care of, that there are safe men out there. They’re safe women out there. You don’t have to worry, Oh, the streetlights are on. Let me get my kid inside before something bad happens. So for me, men’s work is a space where we’re setting the tone for having a safe community all around. And that starts internally first.

Rose:

Sorry to cut you off there, Brenden. Have you found it difficult to infiltrate that group, because like you said, there is that air of vulnerability is not sexy. So how have you found actually being able to get into that group and get those people coming to you to take part in this?

Brenden Durell:

That’s a beautiful question. For me I don’t infiltrate, I don’t go in. I just literally attract them because just my background alone in sports and being a larger man frame and I’m still myself. That’s the biggest thing I’m very relatable. If you see what I do on social media, it’s I’ll do the meditation, I’ll do the breathwork. I’ll do the cacao. I’ll do the heart expanding exercises practices, but then I’ll go and lift weights with my trainer. I’ll go and yell some FU’s and this thing, the rave that I live my spiritual journey, it’s not like white feathers and flower men dollars all the time. I’m all about… And I don’t say balanced. I’m just all about experiencing the full spectrum of what life has to offer.

And so when it comes to these men, they look at me like, I’m not just a regular Yogi, just sitting in Lotus, I’m out there. I’m in the street, I’m doing these things. So it becomes very digestible as well. And I grew up with hip hop, R&B, pop music, all these things. I can speak, I love the NBA, I love some sports. So when guys see me are like, wait, you lead meditation, but you’re also watching LeBron James on Sports Center, what is this? So it’s normalizing that you don’t have to be one way to be one way.

Rose:

Absolutely. And I think that is such an important message because spirituality comes to different people in different ways, and there’s no one right way. Right. The end goal it doesn’t matter really how you reach it as long as you sort of making progress towards it.

Brenden Durell:

Absolutely, and we see this from just the example that metaphor is that life’s gives us, and my truth it’s once the sperm hits the egg in the reproductive process, this is the spiritual existence. It’s not, Oh, he’s spiritual or she’s spiritual. First of all, do you know the odds it takes for you to actually be here? Second off, it’s like, we live on a planet with a fireball in the sky. That’s up every morning. And we also have a moon and we have these things. We have all of this. Everything is spiritual. A lot of us have been in this space where it’s like, Oh, that’s religious, that’s spiritual and that’s not, that’s not. The fact that we’re alive, this is a spiritual journey. And that’s why just my existence is normalizing that for people. It doesn’t have to be this whole big straight on, full on ceremony. It’s just being here and having an open heart. That’s the journey.

Rose:

Absolutely. Now I just want to understand the process that you go through in one of your sacred masculinity sessions, what does a group look like? What do you do?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. It’s the same work through and through, varies whether it’s virtual or in person, but the basis of it is just emotional vulnerability. And we go through deep… You could say shadow processes, as we hear a lot of people talking about shadow work, talking about catharsis. We go through these processes where we allow men to be in that space and not be judged, which is the secret sauce. It’s you can be how you want to be, you can feel how you want to feel. And we’re not going to judge you because we all have experienced what you have experienced in some form of another and vice versa. So in these experiences, it’s literally hanging out with other dudes knowing that, Oh, we experienced the same stuff. We experienced sexual shame. A lot of men were sexually molested. A lot of men experienced all these things.

They got their hearts broken by women as well, we hear more culturally about the flip side of it, of about a lot of penetrative energy, which has been the case with, we can say what the patriarchy and things, been a lot of penetrative energy, a very unsafe for the feminine. I get that. But the men who come into this space, a lot of them that just don’t know how to act in this world with so many mixed messages, what do I approach this beautiful woman? But if I do, she might think I’m trying to come onto her, but this and that. So we just normalize a space of, Hey, just whatever you do, you do with grounded feet and open heart and express yourself.

Rose:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Now I just want to move away from what we were just talking about then to talk about your cacao and breathwork ceremonies. What is that all about? Tell me.

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. A lot of people I get is like, I love cacao so much, and just warning you, I can speak for two and a half weeks on this straight without taking a breath. So-

Rose:

All right. Well, let’s condense that just a little bit.

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. So cacao it’s the tree. It’s a beautiful tree and has grown in all over the world and notably, very indigenous tribes have used it. It goes back to most famous it’s the Mayas and the Incas they use cacao as an elixir. It was part of their diet, excuse me. And it goes back to even 5,000 years ago with a tribe in Ecuador called the Olmecs. And they found a compound that’s in actual cacao in clay pots, that date to about 5,000 years old. And cacao, let’s get this straight for your listeners as well, because I know you probably hear a lot about, I went to a cacao ceremony or dark chocolate, 80%, 90%, 82.6%, whatever this is. Cacao is just chocolate, the beans from the cacao pod and they’re roasted grounded up and made into a paste block.

And then you have it like that and you drink it. It’s very bitter, very nutritionist. And also it’s not a psychedelic, although it has psychoactive properties. So when people drink it, they experienced this nirvanic euphoria type of feeling. And it’s not like a big trip. When people hear chocolate is an aphrodisiac, at the root chocolate is an aphrodisiac when it’s in its purest form. Now the store-bought stuff, this is not cacao. It starts off as cacao but highly, highly processed, I’m talking like Cadbury’s, all the Halloween, Valentine’s chocolates, it’s all highly processed.

And most of all of them have had the naturally occurring cacao butter stripped out of it. A lot of stuff just taken out of it. So what I do with cacao it’s made for expansiveness. So with men in particular, we drink this beautiful drink and we’ll go through meditations. We’ll go through inner child work. We’ll go through breathwork. It’s amazing with breathwork. It’s amazing with yoga. It’s amazing with a lot of these things, it’s very introspective. So like I say, with everything cacao is not end all be all as nothing is, but it’s a beautiful tool for the shed.

 

Rose:

Yeah, absolutely. So can people do this cacao ceremony alone? Or is it something they have to go and see someone for? Can they even buy cacao in this form?

Brenden Durell:

I have resources on my page where you can buy sustainable cacao. I’m very, very, very pro buying from direct trade. We hear a lot about, Oh, it’s fair trade, so it’s good. To be honest, a lot of child labor is intertwined with fair trade stuff. And a lot of people don’t know this. With cacao, it literally comes from a family, whether it be the one that I work with the most is from Guatemala. It’s women’s collectives. It comes right from their family farm, their family forest if you want to say, and Google search, you find it. But I highly recommend direct trade. And as far as the cacao ceremony in itself, yes, it could be done on its own. Somebody first-timers looking for it, I always recommend you go find a cacao ceremony or you do some research or you find out just what it’s about because we also live in a day of appropriation.

And we want to make sure that we’re very, very, very careful on how we represent these plant allies, because they’re very sacred. So yes, it can be done on its own because it’s… I drink it every day. Some days I don’t drink it, some days I’ll put it in my oats usually, and I’ll just eat it like that. Because it’s very nutritionist, high in magnesium, iron, it’s amazing. So yes, the whole process of a cacao ceremony can be done solo with meditation. You just add it into what you’re already doing and it’s a beautiful practice.

Rose:

Absolutely. That’s interesting, you say that you add it to other things in your life, the oats and all those kinds of things. From talking to you, I feel like you’re a very intentional person with what you do anyway, but do you do anything special when you’re just adding it to other things? Do you take in that ritual and that practice when you’re doing that?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. Whether I’m lighting a candle or lighting a little bit of palo santo or rubbing frankincense in my hands, I’m only speaking into the cacao as if it’s my partner. It’s my life partner. It’s a lover. This is what I’m doing. I’m putting the intention into it. Just how you speak, somebody would speak life into their child. You speak life into a plant. It’s like you’re growing these things. So when I’m preparing cacao no matter what it is, I’m putting my intention into it. And I also do this with any meal that I eat as well. I put my hands over it. I shoot up my shock, the energy. I’ll get a little woo there. I shoot that into my food, because it’s all about intention. And so, yes, I do that with cacao, it’s like I know you’re going to do what you’re going to do with me, whether I eat you or I drink you.

Rose:

And then don’t worry about the woo, we love the woo here. So I want to move on to some community questions that we got, because we put it out to our community to ask you some questions. And quite a few of them are about breathwork, this kind of bleeds us nicely on. But one, is actually about reaching that state of Nirvana and it links to what we were just talking about with the cacao. So this question is, can we enter a state of Nirvana without psychedelics using just breathwork?

Brenden Durell:

Absolutely, absolutely. The first time I ever experienced an energy orgasm was through breathwork and an energy orgasm for you first time listeners is actually what it sounds like. It’s an orgasm through chill energy in your body without the physical aspects to it after. And I reached that state by breath because breath put me in this very expansive state, one biologic to the body. Anytime we pump this much oxygen, our bodies are just going to be like, what the hell? This is amazing, but also, wow. So it’s going to put us in this state, but yes, anytime we’re doing intentional breathing, we can reach that state.

You don’t have to take plant medicines. You don’t have to drink cacao. You don’t have to do psychedelics. You don’t have to. Those are beautiful tools that as I said, [inaudible 00:18:42] but breath is a thing that’s literally the most ancient technology. If we didn’t have breath we’re done, right now, we can go without water, you die and food two weeks, but breath, you can’t go longer than a few minutes and your job down. So yes, you can attain that type of feeling with intentional breathing.

Rose:

So let’s just think about, what is Nirvana then? Because we’ve thrown that word about, and a few times during this podcast. So is the energy orgasm your indicator that you have reached Nirvana? Or what does it feel like?

Brenden Durell:

My Nirvana is peace. And however that looks, that’s my personal Nirvana and it looks different for everybody else. And I can feel that from putting my toes in the ocean right outside, I can feel that at the end of a workout, I can feel that from drinking cacao, I can feel that from a beautiful conversation with somebody. I see Nirvana, not as a destination, but as an experience, as something that I’m experiencing right now. And I feel this is the same for everybody. And we all get to have what our version of Nirvana is or what it might be, but it’s not an end all be all. It’s not like this seeking enlightenment thing, because I feel once somebody is seeking enlightenment, you never going to find it. You just can’t, you got to be enlightenment, you can’t seek it. So it’s this catch-22 kind of thing. But Nirvana, I feel it’s what you feel it is, because say for you, it could be you hanging out with your family. That’s Nirvana for you, you love it so much, you love them. Somebody else is different.

Rose:

Absolutely. And I love this because I was actually just… This is a random story, but I was actually just reading a book called How to Be Fine. And for anybody listening, this is the book number one on our book club so get reading it. So I was reading How to Be Fine, and this book is all about how the authors read 50 self-help books, and this book is all about what they saw that helped them. But they also acknowledged the fact that these things help them, but they’re not necessarily going to help other people. So what I’m trying to get at is there’s no one size fits all. There’s no, this is the right way, this is the wrong way. This is what it looks like. This is what it feels like. So with that, I’m quite interested to talk about how would I know that I’d reached Nirvana? Is it something that you’re like, okay, now it’s clicked or is it something that you have a realization of Oh, wow. That was Nirvana. All right? Do you know what I mean?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah, for me in my experience it’s contentment. I have a really full schedule with work commitments, with podcasts, Instagram Lives, collaborating with different people, but yet it’s this thing that when I experience it, it’s like those moments, let’s say you go on a camping trip with your family on a Friday, and then you take a nap for 10 minutes, and it’s already Sunday arvo and you’re leaving. It’s like, where did this time go? Ultimate presence to me is Nirvana. That’s a Nirvana. That’s a Nirvana. And I’m always going to say, peace is pleasure. Peace is the ultimate pleasure, peace is Nirvana. And however that manifests in your life, as long as it’s not hurting anybody else, putting anybody else at a detriment, you get to create what Nirvana is for you. But there is no end all be all. Like, I always say, you have tools for your tool shed and same thing with experiences with Nirvana.

Rose:

Now, the next question we’ve got is about your cacao, and I know we’ve spoken a bit about this, but it’s about the origins about, and we were actually talking before we started the podcast about the fact that you were in Guatemala, because you’re currently in Mexico, you were in Guatemala before. So were you there because you were at the farms or you were visiting these families who produced it?

Brenden Durell:

Yes. I first went to Guatemala several years ago for cacao and that’s where my journey began with it, where I was drinking it almost every day for the last five years, six years. And this past trip, I went down there. There’s an amazing brand called Keith’s Cacao and they’re situated on Lago de Atitlan, Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, up in the mountains. And in that area, it’s around volcanoes. The cacao is grown there, their trees. And these cacaos they’re not farms either, it’s amazing. It’s literally like somebody’s backyard.

You walk out and it’s just wild trees everywhere. They don’t add fertilizer. They don’t add any kind of chemicals. It’s just the season, cacao, pick it. Boom here it is. It’s very special, very special. And I was in Guatemala because Keith’s Cacao invited me out to lead a breathwork and cacao ceremony for their cacao retreat. And it just so happened that the whole world situation happened. And I just stayed there for four months, which I wasn’t complaining because [inaudible 00:24:04] that energy of that place. You know what’s odd? It’s not odd. It’s actually really even, is that I didn’t drink cacao that much when I was there. But when I’m not there, I crave it more.

Rose:

[inaudible 00:24:15].

Brenden Durell:

It’s cool isn’t it? And-

Rose:

Do you feel like it’s because you were around the energy of it?

Brenden Durell:

Absolutely.

Rose:

Yeah.

Brenden Durell:

Absolutely. It’s the [foreign language 00:24:23], as they say. The [foreign language 00:24:24], the energy of the place, it was fulfilling me. That’s why I’m very intentional with this drink. And also that’s why I don’t feel every cacao is the same, even though a spirit doesn’t discriminate, nobody can own a spirit ever. However, I just feel like from the land energetic properties, the volcanoes, the rich culture, I feel different cacaos, have a different energy imprint on things. And it’s definitely true to me from Guatemalan cacao.

Rose:

It’s such an interesting concept because I haven’t really come across anybody who does this sort of cacao ceremony before. I’m definitely going to look into it for myself. I feel like every time I have a podcast, our listeners are like, Oh, Rose, you’re going to do another thing. But honestly you pick up so many different things. And I think that’s the important thing about spirituality. You can try different things until we find something that works for you.

Brenden Durell:

Spirituality is a buffet and you just pick what you want to put it on your plate, whatever you want, want trimmings, you want dessert first, go have dessert first. You don’t want it. Okay.

Rose:

I love that. I feel like I need that quote on my wall. Spirituality is a buffet.

Brenden Durell:

But don’t indulge though because that’s the opposite of spiritual.

Rose:

Okay, cool. So the next question is, is there an easy hack for incorporating mindfulness into my daily busy routine?

Brenden Durell:

Yeah. Super easy. I love this one. Any time throughout your day, you touch a doorknob or a handle. You take a deep breath, a deep belly breath, not from your nose where you just lift up your diaphragm, you breathe into your lungs. I’m talking umbilical cord type of breath, where you’re expanding your belly out to receive nutrients from the ethos. Anytime we touch a coffee pot handle, you touch a door knob, your car handle, that’s your cue to take a deep breath. And you’re always touching things. So let’s say by the end of the day, you touch 50 things. That’s 50 deep mindfulness breaths a day, and that’s at a minimum. You touch way more things than that. So that’s my biggest hack, simple hack that I give most people.

Rose:

I love that.

Brenden Durell:

Time yourself to touch something and then take a breath.

Rose:

Yeah. That’s so powerful because it’s a tangible thing, right?It’s almost a reaction. And is that something you do every day?

Brenden Durell:

Yes. All the time anywhere I take deep breaths. I also have… It’s another one, I have alarms on my phone that randomly go off that say, okay, it’s time to breathe. And I’m like, Oh crap. I’ve been working for two hours. I’ve been taking short breaths. Okay. I’m back. Check my posture, check all that. I’m good to go. So reminding myself, we’ve got a program, let’s just face it. We’re robots. We thrive on programs that’s just who we are. I know it feels funny, but we are this organic AI that we get to program all the time.

Rose:

Yeah. I’ve got two more questions. I’m going to ask you this one question. I feel like it’s going to open a huge can of worms. So let’s just see how it go. And then I’ll finish on a question that brings us back to men and spirituality. So this question is what is tantra? And then they’ve put a cheeky LOL, because I feel like they’ve got a little bit of a clue. She said, I have no clue. It sounds so interesting and mysterious. And what exactly is it? And what does it help us with?

Brenden Durell:

Yes. So what tantra is not, it’s not sex-based. Tantra is the deepest introspection you might face in your life without taking any type of plant medicines or anything. Tantra is a lifestyle. Tantra is nervous system nurturing. Tantra is not looking at both sides of a story, it’s looking at all 10. This is what tantra is and it’s an active practice. Yes, there are sex practices you do with yourself, with a partner. That’s where the white tantra comes in, and then the red tantra all the differences is, white tantra is you’re practicing with yourself, a dormant practices intimacy. And then red tantra is the same thing. White tantra, white tantra you come together, you make red tantra and you’re doing sacred practices. So yes, tantra, it’s a lot of things, but what it’s not, it’s not just about sex. And I feel that’s where modern day society thinks that it is and it isn’t. It’s a state of being, it’s a lifestyle. It’s you think about the thoughts behind the thought behind the thought and you stay neutral to it.

Rose:

That’s a beautiful explanation. And you’re so right in that society has taken this word and added the sexual connotations to it, which is why I think this person’s like LOL, I have no clue. Cheeky.

Brenden Durell:

Cheeky.

Rose:

Yeah. So with tantra then, is it all about the breathwork?

Brenden Durell:

Breath is to me, not the most important, but it’s the most important. Because it’s moving energy in your body and it’s keeping your equilibrium in a state where you can actually be responsive and not reactive.

Rose:

Yeah. Okay. Cool. All right. So one final question, and this is my question. It’s a short question, but I’m going to put some explanation behind it. What would you say to men? And when I say this, I mean what would you say to men who are thinking they need something in their life, but they’re not necessarily sure what? What would you say to the people who are thinking about edging into spirituality, but are embarrassed? What would you say to men who were lost in life? Big question.

Brenden Durell:

For men, I would ask them a question. I would say, what are you waiting for? And how do you want to feel? Those are the two questions I would ask them, because for me, a lot of men were generally we’re on this path of seeking, seeking purpose, seeking meaning. We see allow when men let’s say they lose their jobs. It’s like, Oh, they go in this downward spiral. A lot of these things happen. So I would just pose those two questions. How do you want to feel? Because once you are clear on how do you want to feel any kind of shame, embarrassment, vulnerability starts to melt away because you’re so committed to feeling a certain way and allowing this grace to come into your life.

Rose:

I think that’s so powerful. That was such an awesome way to answer such a huge question and on that Brenden, thank you so much for being on the Numerologist Podcast. It’s been an absolute delight to speak to you.

Brenden Durell:

You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. I love you all. Thank you for listening to this as well. I really appreciate it.

Rose:

Bye, Brenden.

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