Beginnings Show with Gregg Braden
“Beginnings” is a compelling live TV show featuring engaging exchanges with Lee Carroll’s esoteric pals, like Gregg Braden, who often joins him on stage for workshops around the World. He interviews them about their life stories – their Beginnings.
You’ll enjoy candid conversations and playful banter between Lee and his friends. Hear about the remarkable experiences they’ve had, complete with family and childhood photos!
Enjoy this Free Episode
You’ll discover secrets and stories you’ve never heard before, and personal histories you couldn’t have known about. This is essentially a talk show with Lee and his friends. There is no channeling, just casual conversation where anything goes. Filmed in front of a live studio audience in Marina Del Rey, California, this 90-minute Beginnings show explores Gregg Braden’s very interesting background. WATCH FOR FREE.
Gregg Braden is a scientist and best-selling Hay House author as well as host of the Gaia TV series “Missing Links.” You can watch the video above to learn more or continue reading as the transcription of this special Beginnings episode is outlined below.
Lee Carroll: All right, what most people know about you is you present things that are very thought-provoking. They’re out of the box. You are a scientist and you do research. And in what… What I like about this is you’re elegant, you have finesse, you have charisma, you speak the truth, and you do it very well. And this is, the part of the popularity is your honesty and the things that you present, you are passionate about. And so that’s how we know you. Now. We’re not teaching today, but we’re going to go… People are going to meet you, through this. And the first question I want to ask you is about the scheme of the pictures we show, why don’t we have more pictures?
Gregg Braden: Well, first I just want to back up about half a step. And what you said before in this introduction is so true. I think one of the most difficult things for an author to do is talk about themselves. They’re very accustomed to talking about their work, their research, their passion, but the events in our lives have led to our ability to do those things.
We really don’t get to talk about very much. So, it’s not the easiest thing to talk about sometimes, but you’re right. So thank you for that. We will not see as many pictures as I would like to share tonight because I am the archivist and the librarian in our family, all of the memories the family members have come to me. 2014 our home in Northern New Mexico is one of the coldest winters on record the temperatures were like 46 degrees below zero, three consecutive nights.
We had a pipe that froze. I was out of the country when it melted, the pipe broke, the house flooded. And since we’re telling stories, here’s how it happened. I have a man that watches my house for me, a neighbor. And he called me and I was in Western Europe and he said, “My brother, I have bad news.” He said, “There’s water coming out from underneath your front door.” And I said, “Well… I said, “Have you opened the door?” He says, “I’m afraid to open the door.” He said, “It’s all frozen on the driveway. And I said, “Well, open the door.”
So he opened the door and the water just rushed out. And the well had continued to pump the water for about 10 days while we were going on in an adobe structure. Adobe is a mud-brick structure. It was eroding away. The adobes have been built in 1888. The reason I’m sharing this is that the archive of family images was destroyed by either the water or the black mold that followed. And we have just a very few images left. So that’s why the long answer to a short question. That’s why we don’t have so many images here.
Lee Carroll: And that’s important for the people to know. So the ones we do have, I’m going to show on the screen and the audience is going to see them. And what I want to do is you’re going to see these images and what I wanted is you’re going to talk about them as, as we show them. So I want to get right to what I’m going to call the early years. And we’re going to go right through some images.
Gregg Braden: So literally in that flood, my entire life history is, is gone. So what you’re going to see here is all, all the memories I have are right here. This is an image. This is my mom holding me. This is the earliest image I have of me in the early 1950s. My father had been in the Korean war. He was stationed in a radar outpost, very cold Alaska nights, outside of Anchorage. And it was because of those cold nights, and they had a very small bed. My mom told me, and now there’s a Gregg.
Lee Carroll: I don’t understand that. Would you explain that?
Gregg Braden: So this is the earliest image I have my mom holding me. I think she was 22 years old in this picture.
Lee Carroll: And how old are you there?
Gregg Braden: Am less than a year. I don’t know the exact age, but it was within the first year of my life.
Lee Carroll: Is that the original woody station wagon?
Gregg Braden: That was a woody station wagon that my parents, they drove from Anchorage, Alaska to Kansas City, Missouri. And I was conceived in Anchorage, almost born in Anchorage. And at the last moment, they thought they had better medical care in Kansas City, Missouri. So I was where my mom’s parents were. So I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. And that’s where this image was-
Lee Carroll: Okay. Who is this?
Gregg Braden: This is probably the youngest picture that I have of my mom. This is also at 22 years old. She had just won a beauty contest ain’t she beautiful? This is my beautiful mom. Yeah. I love this memory of my mom. It’s her at the youngest age that I have. And as we go through this, you’ll see her through the years and you’ll be able to compare this.
Lee Carroll: Okay. Let’s look at the next one. All right. Who is who?
Gregg Braden: We have a small family. I have a younger brother. His name is Eric. He’s four years younger than I am. This picture was taken the year my parents divorced and it was a portrait that was taken. And it means a lot to me. My brother looks really happy in this picture and that’s the way I like to remember him. He’s still living in Kansas City. I don’t see him smiling like that so much anymore. So this was a pivotal year for our family. It was a pivotal year for us, is going into a single-parent family. And yeah, this is, it’s a good memory. I’m happy that I’ve got that picture.
Lee Carroll: Yeah. A lot of siblings when one wears glasses, the other one does too. Do you need eye correction at all?
Gregg Braden: You know an interesting thing is happening with my eyes. I wore glasses when I was younger. And as I’ve gotten older, both eyes went to exactly the same prescription and the prescription, the need for lenses has gotten weaker and weaker and weaker for both of them. So, I do sometimes. I am nearsighted. So sometimes I wear glasses, but that’s the same… Or contacts, but they’re exactly the same prescription in both eyes.
Lee Carroll: I love it. Let’s do another one.
Gregg Braden: All right.
Lee Carroll: This is the first one we’re going to see with you holding a musical instrument. We can talk about music later, but tell us what’s happening here.
Gregg Braden: Well, music has been a very important part of my life. I’ll just… Can I tell a story?
Lee Carroll: Of course.
Gregg Braden: Okay. At a very early age, this who is also, my parents actually separated twice before they actually divorced. And this is over one of those separations. And as a young boy growing up in Northern Missouri, my refuge was music and nature. And I know many people in our audience can certainly relate to that. And this was the very first guitar that I’d ever had.
So the guitar was very, very important for me. Tell you what happened in 1965, 64, 65. Paul McCartney came out with the single. It was Yesterday. People remember the music, Yesterday. And during the time that my parents were deciding if they’re going to stay married or not, one of the times my father came back, one of the conditions was that he do something with the kids because he was never around, very inaccessible.
And he said, “Well, Greg, what do you want to do?” And I said, “I want to take guitar lessons.” So my father and I for about six weeks, this is how long it lasted. Six weeks we took guitar lessons with an amazing pianist who was teaching us guitar. And her name was Ms. Kenna Passkey. I remember this Ms. Kenna Passkey, who would bang out the music on her piano while I was playing like, they couldn’t even hear my guitar. It was just her playing the piano, but it taught me how to read music.
And that was like a key. It opened the door. All of a sudden I could play with the Rolling Stones were playing. I can play with Paul McCartney playing. And that was the first guitar, had I the opportunity to play. Can I tell the rest of the story, Lee?
Lee Carroll: Yeah. I want to hear it.
Gregg Braden: So at that age, I was really struggling with what I wanted to do with my life. I was thinking about it at an early age and there were two places I wanted to do something to make this world a better world. I’ve always wanted to. In some way, to contribute just something meaningful. And at that age, there were two places where I saw that happening.
One was music and the very first concert I ever went to was Jefferson Airplane in Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. And I’m telling this story for a reason. I sat on the front row. Grace Slick was the lead singer. And from the front row, my front-row seat, I looked up at Grace on the stage and I said, “Grace, I love you.” But it came out like because it was so loud and she totally ignored me. She totally blew me off yet. But I’m telling you this now because a publicist that I know is working directly with Grace and is giving one of my new books to her and she’s going to give her the message. So it’s, what? 50 years later.
Lee Carroll: I love that story.
Gregg Braden: But think about this. I saw in that concert, I saw probably 50,000 people being moved by what was happening on that stage. And the only other place that I saw at that time, Billy Graham, the evangelist, I’m not saying identify with the message, but I was fascinated by what was happening. Billy Graham filled the stadium, 70,000 people, and it was one man speaking. He wasn’t even playing the guitar and he moved those people. He moved their hearts and their souls.
Here’s the difference, what I saw was this. When the people left the concert of any, any concert wasn’t just Jefferson Airplane. They longed for the experience again, and they needed an album or later a tape, an eight-track tape to recreate the experience.
When Billy Graham, when the people left that stadium, he had said something that changed the way they felt in their hearts and the way they thought about themselves in the way they looked at the world. And that change lasted without them needing the reinforcement. So I had to make a choice early on. I said, am I going to do something speaking? Or am I going to do music? I decided to do both.
And I’ve tried both different times in my life. So if this whole author gig doesn’t work out, I want you to know I’ve got a plan B back up, all right? We’re going to get to that. But I just want you to know that.
Lee Carroll: We will.
Gregg Braden: So that was the very first guitar that you’re seeing there.
Lee Carroll: The very first one.
Gregg Braden: And that was my mom, my younger brother, and a neighbor of ours. That was a good friend. The time when my dad was not in the family. And obviously, it was a Christmas, Christmas image that was a Christmas present for me. And that’s a happy Gregg right there.
Lee Carroll: I’ve got a couple of, just pictures of you. Let’s go to the next one. When was this and this… You know, they’re not necessarily in order.
Gregg Braden: Yeah, this, I don’t know the exact year for this. I remember this interview, this was done at the Omega Institute in New York state, upstate New York. And I had gone to do a weekend seminar and they asked me to do an interview. It’s like a Charlie Rose kind of interview, what Charlie Rose interviews used to be like. And that was an image. They asked me a question and I was giving a very passionate answer. And that was the snapshot they took during that answer.
Lee Carroll: What happens during videos, especially doing the snapshots. Let’s look at a younger Gregg.
Gregg Braden: I want to say something about this picture. We’re not necessarily in order here. And I do know what year this was. This was 2004. And the reason I know, can I tell another story?
Lee Carroll: Oh yeah.
Gregg Braden: My father was here. My father left when I was 10, and had a powerful impact on my life. I didn’t know him very well. And we never really talked through the years. In 2003, December of 2003, I was taking a group to India for the first time. And you’ve just been there.
We went into it, it was a Los Angeles international airport then Bradley terminal at LAX is where we were departing from. I just checked my entire group in, at the ticket counter. And now we had some free time and I was walking down this concourse. And then some of you probably know where this is. There is a bank of pay telephones. That’s still there. One of the few places that still have pay telephones.
And I walked past those phones and something, it didn’t pull me. It yanked me. It grabbed me and I just could not keep walking. And I turned around. I thought, what in the world is going on? And as I walked over, my dad’s image popped into my mind and he had to have quarters. And I reached my briefcase. I happened to have a couple of quarters. My father did not believe in technology. He didn’t have an answering machine if he wasn’t there when you called, no messenger or anything. And I called and my dad picked up the phone and it was the first time I had talked to him in years and years and years. The backstory of this is, so my father had never called me son. All right. So that’s going to be important here.
So I talked to him, I said, “Dad, I’m taking a group to India. And when I come home, I’ve got the book tour through your city, through Kansas City, Missouri, when I’m there, would you like to have dinner together?” He said, “Yes, son. I would like to have dinner with you.” I came back from India, got in about two o’clock in the morning at eight o’clock that morning, my brother called me and my father had died.
So we never had our dinner. But the fact that he called me son before we had that to me was the closure. And if I have not followed my intuition and turned around and put those quarters in that phone, I never would have talked to my father before he left this world. So I’m sharing that story when you get that hit, listen to that hit because it’s there for a reason.
Lee Carroll: It’s really true.
Gregg Braden: And I give thanks all. It’s just so thankful that I had the presence of mine to make that call and that we have that communication. And for me, that was the closure. That was probably better than the dinner.
Lee Carroll: Let’s look at another photo here and that’s a younger Gregg coming up.
Gregg Braden: Oh yeah. Okay. I remember this photo really well. And I’ll tell you why I remember. I had just written a book. It was called Awakening Zero Point, anybody read Awakening Zero Point? And I was doing a photoshoot in Seattle, Washington for the cover of that book. And we were in a studio that was in a residential area. And there was this huge, there was a hurricane-like storm blowing through Seattle while we were doing this shoot. And there were evacuation orders, you’re telling people, get out of your home, go find the safe area and all this.
And the guy was saying, “Nope, we’ve got to keep shooting. We’ve got to keep shooting.” So all of a sudden the power went out in the house. So we had none of these lights. We had everything and the photographer, took these huge jumper cables, and, he hooked the jumper cables up to the battery in the driveway so he could drive the lights so we could finish this photoshoot. So in the pic… I’m looking out through a plate glass window, as the wind is ripping the shingles off the house, across the street. That’s what I’m looking at right there. And that’s the energy that he captured. That’s why I remember it. So really, really well.
Lee Carroll: All right.
Gregg Braden: This was in 2004, 2005. Pardon me. Yeah, it was another photoshoot. I don’t like photoshoots. It was hard for me to do this photoshoot. I was doing an interview and they had just asked me a question about the book I’d written called The Divine Matrix. And I was answering the question of Divine Matrix. And while I was thinking about my answers, is when he caught that picture. So that’s what happened there.
Lee Carroll: Let’s look at the next one. Yeah, those t-shirts on purpose. Isn’t it? Oh, yeah.
Gregg Braden: Could you all see who’s on that t-shirt?
Lee Carroll: That’s Jimi Hendrix.
Gregg Braden: This picture was taken. I worked in corporations from the late 1970s as a scientist while I was still in college. I was hired without my degree. A lot of people go to school to get a degree so they can get a job. I was hired with my expertise and allowed to go back to school nights and finish my degree. We’ll talk more about that. And, and this is, I had just started working Cisco Systems. I was living in Northern California and caring for a friend who was really sick. And I wanted just an easy job. So I applied to a little ad that didn’t tell the name of the company or anything. I applied a little ad in the paper for technical support. I wanted tech… Just phone support.
And they said, “Well come in for your interview at six o’clock at night.” I did. They said, “Well, you got a job.” They said, “But you’re overqualified for tech support. We like you to be a manager.” And I said, “The manager of what?” And they said, “Of technical operations.” And I said, “Technical operations of what?” And they said, “For this company.” And I said, “There is no name of the company even in the ad. I have no idea who I’m even interviewing for.” And this was in Palo Alto, California.
He says a company called Cisco. And I said, “Well, what is Cisco?” Because that was before Cisco was what Cisco is today. And he told me what they were doing. And he said, “We need a technical operations manager.” And I said, “Well, who’s doing it now?2 And he says, “We don’t have one.” He said, “We would like for you to be our first technical operations manager, we’ll give you 30 days in the secretary to pull together a plan. How can we support a Cisco router in Jakarta within 60 minutes? If it goes down?” I said, “Let me think about it.”
That picture. I took a vacation to Northern New Mexico to think about whether or not I wanted to take that job. And I got my haircut obviously, and I was exploring music obviously. And this has taken actually my first trip to Taos New Mexico, where I now live. And I have for since the mid-1980s. When I was making a decision if I was going to take that job at Cisco or not. So this is a very important moment in my life. And also you can tell it’s the Don Johnson look, remember Miami Vice?
Lee Carroll: Yes.
Gregg Braden: That was in the eighties. Well, I was a little slow in the uptake. That was a holdover into the nineties.
Lee Carroll: Okay. I’ve got it. The next picture is not of you. It’s just something I want you to talk about. So yeah, this one, what is this?
Gregg Braden: Before I had that job at Cisco, I worked in the city well near where I am right now. We’re in Thornton, Colorado. I worked in South Denver, Colorado during the cold war years, mid to late 1980s. And I worked in the defense industry. And while I was on vacation… I’m just going to tell you this story, I don’t tell this story. I was living in Denver and really struggling with what was happening in the world. The cold war, the possibility of two superpowers with hundreds of thousands of nuclear weapons aimed at one another. And I was really struggling with this.
And I’ve always known. I’ve always studied ancient civilizations, ancient technologies. And I’ve always believed that if we know where to look in the past, we will find the key to transcend in the present the conditions that led to the great wars and the suffering that we have seen in our world, including the cold war. So I woke up from a dream in Denver, Colorado. I was living in Denver, Southeast Denver, I-25 in Arapahoe Road. If you know where that is. I woke up and I was saying the words, Taos, Taos. And I had no idea what this was.
So I went to work that morning and I asked my coworkers, “You guys know where Taos Colorado is?” And they said, “I’ve never heard of Taos Colorado.” And they were looking on the maps. It wasn’t there. And a guy next to me had just bought a brand new Toyota a Ford runner and took it on a test drive to Northern New Mexico. And he said, “Oh, we went through a town called Taos, New Mexico. Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of.”
Gregg Braden: So that weekend I got in the car and I drove to Taos New Mexico. And I found this property where I now live. There’s a whole story about who owned it and how it came to be. I don’t know if you want that whole story or not, but this is looking out my living room window at the land that I found in 1986 that I now own.
Drunvalo owned this land in the 1980s. And there’s a whole story about he sold it to someone else. They fell through on the payments. He’d moved to Texas. He needed to get rid of the land. I went to New Mexico. I hadn’t heard from him. I called him. I said, “What are you doing?” He said, “I need to sell this land.” I said, “Well, I’ve got a great deal for you.”
And we did the exchange. And so that is a view. That’s the view I look at when I’m at my home in Taos. That’s what I look at out in the morning.
Lee Carroll: That’s great.
Gregg Braden: Well, when I left the corporations, I asked myself a question. I said, “Do I want to move to another big city where everything is convenient? Or do I want to wake up somewhere every morning where I’m surrounded by beauty?” And beauty has always been a very powerful force in my life. I’m a triple Cancerian. If you know what that means, all my planets are in the 12th house. They’re all in the sign of cancer.
And beauty is a force of nature with me. The Tibetans told us this. It is actually a force of nature. And so for me, I’d lived in Kansas City. I’ve lived in Denver, I’d lived in San Francisco and the pendulum swung the other way and I bought a piece of property that was so rustic and needed so much work and still needs so much work. But it’s a labor of love because it is such a beautiful place to live.
Lee Carroll: I think once I actually called you for some reason, and you were, I knew you were home and whoever answers says he’s out, mending fences.
Gregg Braden: Well, this is my office manager, I just celebrated this. January is 22 years with my office manager who now lives in South Florida. She used to live in New Mexico, close by, and she gets emails and phone calls and letters from people that want to apprentice with me. And they say, “We want to come and live with you and study with you.” And they think I wake up in the morning and I go out and in my home and meditate, all day long. I said, “If you want to come and help me fix the fences around the land… And we’ve always got roofs that need repairing. And the Wells always work. I said, come on out. And I never hear from them again. Never hear from him again.
Lee Carroll: I’ve never had any offers that people wanted to come and play and channel with me. It not the same. I’ve got one more picture on this series. I love this picture. This is the only time I’ve ever seen you in white.
Gregg Braden: I actually wear a lot of white, it depends on where I am. When I’m in Mexico certainly we go down to teach in Cancun. I’ve got very few clothes I’m wearing. They’re usually light-colored clothes. This picture was taken not far from where we are right now. Before the company, Gaia was called Gaia. It was called Gaiam, G-A-I-A-M. Is formed in the early 1990s by a visionary an amazing visionary, a man who’s exactly the same age I am. And we were both competitive runners at the same time.
I was a competitive runner for 20 years and he held a conference in 1995. And from that conference opted to create one video in 1996. And this was the video that was created. It was the first project that Gaia filmed. It was on work based upon a book called Walking Between The Worlds that is now out of print. But that’s what that was all about. And I have a live studio audience for two days, 1996 and that was in Boulder, Colorado.
Lee Carroll: They’ve got some things to ask you… We’re going to get away from the pictures now. This has to do with your education. I know some things that you probably don’t know I know. And of course, I can tune in, so I know that when you were small about something, first of all, when you were very small, I know that you wanted to be a scientist from the age of four.
And I can’t even fathom that when I was four, I wanted to be Batman and the head of a Teddy bear. I mean, that was it. So, I mean, here you were thinking about science and all this. Well, what this led to, and this you may not know. I know that you had, and you can explain this. I’m going to give a few things for you to explain for us. You had a secret lab in your basement. Okay? You built a time machine that frightened your classmates and you issued radiation, survival suits. Is this correct?
Gregg Braden: Okay. So I was born in Missouri and we moved to Northern Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri is divided by river, the Missouri River, there’s North and South of the river. We lived north of the river in single-family housing. It was the only new house before, my parents actually divorced while we were in this house. They have basements in homes there because of tornadoes, we have tornadoes every year. The first tornado I saw, from this house, from this basement. We were in the basement and our dog was not with us. And I ran out of the basement, upstairs while the tornado was passing overhead.
Lee Carroll: Was your dog Toto?
Gregg Braden: My dog was Sparky. I jumped out the back door and I looked and I stopped in my footsteps. I’d never seen anything so frightening and so beautiful at the same time. The eye of this tornado was moving right over our housing development and it was at sunset. The eye of the tornado was clear. I was looking up through these slate blue and weird green skies that tornadoes create, up through this perfectly circular opening where the sunset was this deep red and orange.
When you’re in the eye, it’s completely still. It’s humid, absolutely still, no birds singing or anything. And I stopped and I looked up and you could see this happening. And all of a sudden my dad was with us then. He came and he grabbed me and took me back downstairs into the basement. Into the basement is where, as a young mad scientist, I created a laboratory that I added to every year for much of my childhood.
At Christmas time in our house, we would get a J.C. Penney’s or a Sear’s catalog. My mom would say, “What would you like for Christmas?” It was easy for me because there were exactly two pages of science in the whole catalog. Everything else was everything else. They had these sets. They had a chemistry set, a biology set, a rock collection set, a microscope, telescope. So I would check one-off.
Gregg Braden: Every year I’d get a new something and I would add it to my existing set. And the laboratory got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. There were Bunsen burners and there were, they always smelled like sulfur, and ultraviolet lights and flasks and test tubes. I had a menagerie, a collection of creatures. I had a collection of black widow spiders. And so they would live, I poked holes in the top of the container they were in, not knowing that they were about to hatch and the baby black widows would come out through the top and infest my entire basement.
So we had this laboratory. I had it for years. When I was four years old, and my mom remembered this story, when she could communicate with me, when she had her memory. She said, she and my father, at that time, took me to a museum in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s on the Plaza. It’s called the Nelson Gallery of Art. There’s probably one person in this room that knows right where that is, the Nelson Art Gallery.
But it was more than art. It was an archeological museum. There was an entire Egyptian section. I disappeared one day and they couldn’t find me for a couple of hours. I heard my name over the PA system. They were looking for me and they found me. I had found the Egyptian section. I was glued to a case, eye-locking with a mummy that was right there. It was the first time, at four years old, I’d never seen one.
And just something clicked about ancient civilizations and the past. When my mom had to go to work, after my father left, we stayed with a friend who had a library in their basement. He had an entire section on Egyptian archeology and hieroglyphs. I spent the summer months copying the hieroglyphs and learning the translations and what it was that they meant. But to understand that, I had to understand chemistry. I had to understand Geology and it all worked together really, really well.
Lee Carroll: Where’d the time machine come from?
Gregg Braden: The time machine, when I was in school, I was an inventor. Sometimes my inventions, you heard the saying, “It’s better to look good than feel good.” Sometimes my inventions looked better than they actually worked. I had a gadget I had put together and it had real knobs and real dials and real vacuum tubes and a light bulb that came on. It had this little dial. In my mind, if I turned that dial, we would go back in time. I took it to school one day. I had it under my desk. It’s illegal to bring time machines to school. They don’t like that. There was a girl sitting at the desk next to me and she was petrified that I was going to turn the switch on. And throughout the day I would pull it out and I’d go… And she’d go, “No, no!”
Lee Carroll: Go from that to radiation suits.
Gregg Braden: Yeah, radiation suits, so it is really hot and humid in Missouri in the summers. I think some of you probably know that. In a hundred-plus degree heat, I was buying raincoats, little yellow raincoats with the hoods and the whole thing, and selling them as radiation suits to protect us from the radiation of the Cold War. If you guys are old enough, do you remember we were told, in case we see a mushroom cloud, go underneath your desk and go like this?
Lee Carroll: That’s right.
Gregg Braden: Duck and roll. This was supposed to help during the Cold War. I was an entrepreneur, a young entrepreneur. What can I say?
Lee Carroll: I remember this so vividly. Just for a moment, I can remember this, because… Thinking later how ridiculous it was, is that they sounded the alarm in case the missiles were flying and you were supposed to get under your desk, like, “Yep. That’ll do it.” I mean, like, “Oh my God! I don’t want to look at Tommy. He didn’t get under his desk!” I don’t know what they were thinking. Maybe it’s just so that, I don’t know, to scare us. It’d be better if they said nothing.
Gregg Braden: Well, I think it was so we felt like we were doing something.
Lee Carroll: I agree. When you were young, your first job, and then not as a pro, what did you do when you were a kid?
Gregg Braden: We became poor really, really fast. When my father left, my mom hadn’t worked for a long time. She was thrust back into the workforce without a college degree, as a woman in the ’60s. We lived in government-subsidized housing, low-income housing. And we needed money. So the very first job I had, I was a babysitter. I babysat, I was 12 at the time, and I babysat a family of seven, and two of them were in diapers.
The mother was a paralegal, who traveled seven days at a time. So I was with seven kids during the week, all the meals… I don’t have any kids on my own now. Maybe this is the reason why. Maybe I have them all out of my system. But I brought home pretty good money as a babysitter. I lied about my age and went to work at a… Want me to talk about the next job?
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: The first real job, when I was in high school, had a little downtown area. It was North Kansas City. Some of you know where that is. There was a fabric warehouse. I was going to high school, full-time days. Then we’d get off at 3:30 in the afternoon, 3:00, 3:30. This job started at four o’clock. It would go four to midnight. Actually, it went even later. At my job, there were only two of us in there.
They had this big contraption. It was a fabric warehouse. The fabric stores would send in their orders and our job was to take these big bolts of fabric and put them onto smaller bolts that you find and load them on the pallets. And load those pallets onto the trucks so the trucks could pull out at six o’clock in the morning. Sometimes we worked till five or six in the morning. Then I would go to school later on.
But the redeeming factor of the whole time, we were both musicians. We smuggled in a turntable and two speakers. We only had two vinyl albums at that time. We listened to them over and over, and over, and over again for a year. We only had two albums, every night. One of them was Yes, Roundabout. And the other one was Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. They both came out at the same time. That job was the first paying job. But down the street from that was a copper mill.
Gregg Braden: It was called Whitaker Cable. I think the company has gone out of business. It was a copper mill and it was a union shop. The American Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers was what it was. I lied about my age. I’m not proud of that. Applied for a job. They turned me down. I went down there every single week and I gave them the same resume that I typed on my typewriter. And I think, honestly, I think they just got so tired of seeing me, they just gave in.
They gave me a job, a union job, and where I made really, well, at that time, it was good money. This is in the ’70s. We were making like 20 bucks an hour. That was good money in the ’70s. I had that job up until the time I left and went to college. It was a tough job. It was a copper factory. It averaged about 120, 125 degrees in this factory. OSHA came in and they kept telling the company to turn it down. We had to wear overalls and steel-toed shoes and ear protection, head protection, eye protection, steel gloves for our fingers. It was a tough job. I worked the shift from 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM. They were 12-hour shifts. So I worked that shift and made really good money and saved enough to go to my first college. That was how that happened.
Lee Carroll: So tell me about college.
Gregg Braden: Well, while I was working that shift in northern Missouri, northern Kansas City, I went to junior college, Maplewood Community College. It was a junior college. It took me three years to get through my two-year degree. Majored in Associate in Applied Science with an emphasis in geology. From that, I transferred to FIT, Florida Institute of Technology, in northern Florida to be an oceanography major. Majored in Marine Biology, Marine Geology. It was really humid and hot in Florida. I didn’t do well there. I went and I said, “What is the highest altitude college in the lower 50 States, where I could get a degree in geology?” Everybody said, “Well, that’s easy. It’s in Fort Collins, Colorado, Colorado State University.” And I said, “Okay.” So I applied. I was accepted. That was my sole criteria for going to CSU.
Gregg Braden: I was at NCSU and I was recruited. This was during the first energy crisis. All my jobs have been about crises. The first one was the first energy crisis in the ’70s. Some of you may remember. They rationed us 10 gallons of gas a week. If you got a ’69 Pontiac GTO, that’s not going to get you very far, which is what I had.
Lee Carroll: A block and a half.
Gregg Braden: So Phillips Petroleum hired me because I had a background in computer science and as a geologist. And they said, “We’ll pay for you to finish school if you’ll come and work for us.” So I went to Denver and began working with Phillips and finished school in Denver. I did get a degree, but I didn’t need the degree to get the job. So that was kind of the way-
Lee Carroll: We could talk about, a little more in length, your jobs. I want to talk about change. They’d known you as a kid and your first jobs and you’re going through your work and your college. Well, when it comes to the change of life, and this is what I mean about how you think and things that might have impacted you, let’s start early. What was your first and biggest trauma?
Gregg Braden: Well, as an adult, I have to say my first trauma, I didn’t know it at the time, but it was losing family, having the breakup of the family. Obviously, it was a trauma for me. Everybody deals with things like that differently. I missed my family, so I tried to recreate my own through my relationships. I started relationships very early. In my very first relationship, I was 12 and she was 11 and we stayed together until I was 16. She was 15.
My next one was 16 until I was 23. Those were tough times. Those are long-term relationships when you’re that young. We essentially grew up together. My very first one, the woman, the girl that I was with, was a babysitter for a woman that had three kids, Shelly, Shawn, and Shannon. I remember them now. That woman would leave for a week at a time and ask the babysitter to stay with the three kids and asked me to stay so there was a man in the house, at 13 or 12. So we, essentially, had a family.
I mean, we had three kids we cared for. The summer months, out of school, we took them to the park. We fixed all the meals. We watched TV. We did movies. We did all that.
Lee Carroll: Are you a cook now?
Gregg Braden: I can cook. I cook really well, a limited number of things. Some people think it’s a boring diet. It works really out well for me. Almost every meal, broccoli, rice, some form of rice, some form of broccoli or brussels sprouts, and some form of originally a soy-based protein [crosstalk 00:42:52]-
Lee Carroll: But that’s not what you were cooking for the kids.
Gregg Braden: Back then, I was cooking rice. Yeah, we were cooking rice and vegetables.
Lee Carroll: What happened on the morning of your 21st birthday?
Gregg Braden: You’ve asked me that one. Now, I’ll share things I don’t typically share.
Lee Carroll: Thank you.
Gregg Braden: About some of my habits, when my parents divorced, as a musician, I began playing in a band, a number of bands. It was illegal for me to go into the clubs because I was underage. So they would smuggle me in, stand me up on the stage. I would play my guitar. And then they’d smuggle me back out. And when you’re in the band, when they take a break, everybody’s smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee or a beer or Coke or whatever.
So I started smoking at the age of 14. I smoked about a pack. And all through when I was working in the factory, everybody smoked. You could smoke on the job. On my 21st birthday, and I remember this so well, I woke up on the morning of my 21st birthday and the world felt different. It looked different. My body felt different. I got out of bed that day. I had a 1969 Pontiac GTO. It was white with a black vinyl top, Rochester four-barrel carburetor, completely stock. I mean, it was beautiful, beautiful.
Lee Carroll: Four on the floor.
Gregg Braden: No, it was automatic. And I woke up that morning and I said, “I’ll never have another cigarette.” And I stopped that day. On the visor of my Pontiac GTO, I put a pack of Marlboros unopened. I said, “If I ever want one, they’re right there.” And until I sold that car, that pack was there. And I’ve never had one since. I woke up that morning, I stopped smoking. I began distance running. I didn’t even have the shoes to do it. I just went out for a run.
I went down the street to a shopping mall and enrolled in martial arts. I started, Mondays and Wednesdays was karate, Tuesdays and Thursdays were judo. That week, that day, I felt different. That set into motion things that stayed with me until this very moment, martial arts, I’m running. I’m not a competitive runner anymore, but I was in Denver. When I was here in Denver, I ran on the corporate teams. I did triathlons and ran for Phillips Petroleum, for Martin Marietta.
Lee Carroll: You did some swimming.
Gregg Braden: In the triathlons, I did the running and the swimming. I didn’t do the biking. I did two of the three events as a corporate team. Things I never got to do in high school, because I was working after school. I never did any intramurals. I never got to do any of that stuff. I kind of got to go back and do it later
Lee Carroll: And things that no one would ever imagine, I would think, watercolors, woodcarving.
Gregg Braden: Well, I will say my father was an artist. He was a really good artist. I used to watch him a lot. He was an oil painter. He didn’t teach me, but I learned from watching him. Woodcarving. I do watercolors. I do oils. I do charcoal, pastel, woodcarving. I don’t do it actively now, because I’m on the road doing other things, but I still consider myself an artist. I live in one of the largest artists’ communities in North America, Taos, Santa Fe. We’re surrounded by artists. I keep thinking, “If this gig as an author doesn’t work out, and my plan B as a musician doesn’t work out, plan C will be to go back to doing the art.” Ceramics, I love doing ceramics.
Lee Carroll: Let’s talk about music.
Gregg Braden: All right. Okay. So this was my second guitar.
Lee Carroll: You look pensive again. Were you being interviewed?
Gregg Braden: No. I was being photographed and I didn’t like it. This is my second guitar. I had played in bands. I played in country bands. I played in rock bands. I played in a blues band. Well, actually, the easiest thing about, and some of you, if you’re musicians, y’all know this. The easiest thing about being in the band is being on the stage to play the music.
The hardest thing is keeping everybody’s life together long enough to get onto the stage. I remember, for example, in the band, on the way to the Battle of the Bands, we had to go by the jail to bail out the drummer so he could play long enough to get us the money so we could win the Battle of the Bands and pay his bail. I mean just, you know, crazy stuff like that. So that photograph, I decided, I made a big decision, that was right about 1974 is when that is, and I went solo acoustic. I said, “I’m going to play-
Lee Carroll: Solo acoustic.
Gregg Braden: … alone.” And I was on my way to…’74. I had been accepted, but I hadn’t gone to FIT yet, so that probably was taken in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do another one. Next.
Gregg Braden: Great guitar.
Lee Carroll: Flutes.
Gregg Braden: Yeah.
Lee Carroll: How many flutes do you have right now?
Gregg Braden: Right now, I’m not sure.
Lee Carroll: More than 20.
Gregg Braden: More than 20, absolutely. In 1986, I had my first opportunity to actually explore some of the places that I had seen as a child, ancient civilizations, and took my first trip into Tibet. From that, it led to Peru. That led… I’m sorry, I went to Egypt in ’86. That led to Peru. That led to Tibet. Ended up going into Nepal, Bolivia, all through the American desert Southwest, India.
What I began to find was every culture I went to, there are two things they all had in common. And I love both of them. They all drink tea and I collect tea from all over the world. I love tea. I love to know how it’s made. I love to know what it’s grown from. I love the taste of it. And every culture has a flute. What I found was, even if I didn’t know the language, if I had a flute I could walk into a market in Cairo and start playing the flute.
I’ve done this, I could walk into a market in Cusco, Peru. I walked into a market one day, I didn’t know a soul, and started playing the flute. And a man in a music store brought out a harp. And he was playing his harp. His name was Flavio. Flavio! Flavio was playing the harp. I was playing. I didn’t know the language when I was there.
Lee Carroll: And when you say harp, you mean harmonica?
Gregg Braden: No, it was a full-sized concert harp.
Lee Carroll: A concert harp. Wow.
Gregg Braden: He was playing right in the middle of this, he just pulled it out of the store. And they recorded it. There’s actually a recording of this. So I began collecting flutes. I taught myself how to play. They’re primarily wooden flutes, five holed, six holed. The softer the wood, the richer the sound. The harder the wood, like mahogany and maple and spruce, the higher-pitched the sound. And I’ve continued to do that. I am now in the studio. I’m in the studio. I think that we might have a picture, so I don’t want to get ahead of it here.
Lee Carroll: We’ll get there.
Gregg Braden: I took 36 of these flutes into a studio recently.
Lee Carroll: Let’s go to the next slide. I think that that might be a studio slide or it might be on stage.
Gregg Braden: That’s me. Okay. This is a five-holed cedar flute that I’m playing on the stage in Scottsdale, Arizona, is where I am. The interesting thing about a flute, a lot of people think the sound comes out through the end. So people always trying to hold a mic to the end of the flute. That’s not where the sound comes from. It comes from overhead.
You’ll always see me, I’ll take a mic and I’ll put it right up over the top of the soundhole. As a play solo, I accompany other people. I recently was in the studio with a really well-known singer/songwriter, Jenny Bird. Some of you know she toured with the Lilith Fair All Women’s Tour and worked with Paula Cole and Jewel and the Indigo Girls.
I just went into the studio with her about three weeks ago with a couple of flutes. She’s releasing that CD this spring. She asked me to play at the CD release party. Some of you may have seen me play at some of the events that we do. I do use a wooden flute sometimes.
Lee Carroll: We try to make you bring your flutes every time we have a client conference. The invitation is open again.
Gregg Braden: Well, I appreciate it. It’s gotten harder with security has changed in the airports. This is what they’re doing now, they x-ray the flute in my bag. And they’ll say, “What is this?” And I’ll say, “It’s a flute.” And they’ll say, “Well, how do we know it’s a flute?”
And I say, “Well, there are a number of ways that we can determine this. You can tell that there’s nothing in there, but wood. Or you could let me touch my bag and pull it out and I will play it for you.” So I will pull out the flute and then do a little concert at TSA. And they say, “Okay”. They’re just not as easy to travel with as they used to be.
Lee Carroll: Let’s go to the next one.
Gregg Braden: I collect guitars. Twice in my life, I’ve gone through a point where I’ve given everything in my life away, including all my guitars. When I left Denver, I left a job. I left a lot of friends, relationship issues and ended up just, I gave everything away. Maybe you’ve done this before. It’s a very freeing feeling. But I started missing my guitars. So I recently have started recollecting guitars. All guitars I’ve ever had were made out of wood.
I love the sound of wood. This one does not have a speck of wood on it. It is made from the material recycled blades of military helicopters, it’s stuff that they’re made out of. It is a carbon fiber composite. It’s an acoustic-electric guitar. I can plug it in and play an outdoor festival. I can play it in a room like this without any. It is the most beautiful sound. I love playing behind this instrument. And this is, I’m doing a solo gig here. I don’t have it ready to release yet, but I am doing a singer/songwriter solo CD and this was a song from-
Lee Carroll: What’s it going to be entitled? Do you know yet?
Gregg Braden: I don’t know the title. It keeps changing. Maybe we’ll have a contest.
Lee Carroll: Okay, the next one. What’s happening here?
Gregg Braden: Well, I have been asked to play behind other people who are doing things. This is a very well-known poet. Her name is Nina Hart. She’s a published poet. She’s living in Asheville, North Carolina right now. She came to Taos, New Mexico. In Santa Fe, this was in Santa Fe, she is doing a reading and I’m playing behind her. What a beautiful venue. Isn’t that an awesome-looking venue?
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: Yeah. It’s a really beautiful place. So I’m playing while she is reading the poetry.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do one more. Actually, a couple more, but let’s do this one. Yeah.
Gregg Braden: That’s me playing fast.
Lee Carroll: I know, it’s a little blurry, but yeah.
Gregg Braden: It’s the same guitar, but that’s the action shot.
Lee Carroll: It’s of the composite that you talked about.
Gregg Braden: That is the composite. It’s the same one. It’s a beautiful, beautiful-
Lee Carroll: This next one has a story behind it. Who is that person you’re with?
Gregg Braden: This is a very well-known, Grammy-award-winning composer, a beautiful man, a dear brother, dear friend. His name is Barry Goldstein. I’m sure some of Barry Goldstein. He’s got his own meditation CDs that you may… There are different kinds of music. He has a meditation CD. One is called Ambiol, like biology with A-M in front, Ambiology. But we’re in a studio here.
He invited me to come in. We’re taking a break and listening to a playback. I’ve got the native flutes there. We are in the process right now with a native flute CD that I will be wrapping next month, in February in Arizona. This is a secret, underground studio. Nobody knows where this is, because it’s underneath a professional building. I can’t tell you where or it wouldn’t be a secret. So when we go, nobody knows we’re in this studio. It’s an awesome studio. I love recording here.
I am a night person, either late night or early morning. Most of my books are written between about 11 at night and three, four o’clock in the morning. Unfortunately, I’ve never needed a tremendous amount of sleep. I do need sleep. If I get six really good hours, I’m really good. If I get more than that, I get a little groggy. That’s why working in the factory when I was in school and doing the recordings, writing the books, works well not to need a lot of sleep.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do one more in the music, one more shot.
Gregg Braden: Okay. Well, I’m playing behind, and you may recognize this person. If you’ve ever been to the Hay House was having a series of conferences called, I Can Do It, this is the organizer, Nancy Levin, who was also a poet in her own right and has left that gig to become a poet and an author and teach workshops in her own right.
This was in Fort Lauderdale, no, Orlando, Florida. She asked me to play behind her while she debuted one of her poems for the first time. I was very honored and had a good time doing it. There’s a YouTube video of this. That’s why that little click is on there.
I just want to say this, some of you asked me about this if I have any videos. I’ve got about 30 pages of YouTube videos that are not mine. They’re bootleg that other people put up. I have no way to control the quality. I can’t control the quality or the content. But if you want to see some of these old programs, and if you want to see that video with Nancy, that is up there.
Lee Carroll: I want to get into some heavier things now. In Martin Marietta, you’ve told us about that. Now, at Martin, I happen to know that you’re working with the Star Wars Program. One of the things that you were connected to, and you tell me if I’m wrong, the Peacekeeper Missile, is that right? Is this the one that they now call the MX or they were calling the MX?
Gregg Braden: That was it.
Lee Carroll: At that juncture in your life, when you were making missiles, Gregg Braden, missile maker, when you were doing this, you told me at one time, I think that, is it the senior President Bush that came through on an inspection tour or for some questions? And he had a four-star general with him and something happened. You want to tell us what-
Gregg Braden: Well, first, I just want to back up and share this a little bit. I applied when Phillips Petroleum, when the oil industry went bust in Denver, and some of you who were living here, remember that, it was a tough time. They wanted to transfer me to Saudi Arabia. I didn’t want to go to Saudi Arabia, to Riyadh, with a company called Aramco, Arabian American Oil Company, I didn’t want to go.
So I applied to Martin Marietta Aerospace because I’ve been fascinated by space exploration. I wanted to participate and contribute to that. So I applied. They hired me. They said, “You have a job, but you need a security clearance, a secret clearance. It takes about six months.” So they said, “We’ll give you an unsecured job, a software developer until your security clearance comes through.” So one day I got called into Personnel. They say, “Your security clearance came through.”
They went back. They talked to my kindergarten teacher, who was still alive. They talked to my ex-wife’s family. I don’t know what they said. They talked to my ex-wife. They talked to neighbors. I mean, they are really thorough with these security clearances. The whole idea is they don’t care what you do. They just want to make sure they know, so it can never be used as leverage against you to blackmail when you’re working in a secure environment. That’s what the deal was. So I went to the office and they said, “Okay, you have your assignment. You now have a secret security clearance.”
Gregg Braden: I left and I had this paper and I was walking down the hall and my friend Campy said, “Did you get your clearance?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Did you get your assignment?” And I said, “Yeah.” He said, “What is it?” And I said, “It’s Peacekeeper.” You know, anything to do with peace, I’m all about it. So I’m working on the Peacekeeper. Then I stopped and I said, “What is the Peacekeeper? I have no idea.” I said, “What is the Peacekeeper?”
He laughed and said, “That is the MX Missile Program.” And I said, “What is the MX Missile Program?” He said, “That is the program that we are developing to tip the scales in the Cold War.” The MX missile was one missile that went up and once it was airborne, it released 10 independently, targetable warheads to 10 different cities. And we built 50 of these. And it turned the scales.
It’s insane. It was insane to do, but the war was already insane. So within the insanity of the war, it actually worked and helped to tip the scales, because the technology was so advanced that nobody could duplicate it. So while that was happening, we were also developing something called SDI, Star Wars Defense Initiative. The first President Bush came to the Waterton Canyon Facility to review.
I remember the Secret Service coming down three days early, camping out for three days and three nights to secure this area when he came down. And I went to my desk one day when he came down. And I went to my desk one day and they only had one invitation per department. And I wasn’t senior staff and I had this invitation. And I went to my supervisor and I said, “Of all the people,” I said, “Why do I have this?” I said, “Some of your more senior people should have it.” I remember he said, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” is what he said. He said, “Take it and use it.”
So I went, I listened to the speech, I met the first President Bush and he had a general that was with him. And we got to ask questions. And I asked this general a question. He was a very powerful man. And I said, “To be where you are you paid a very high price in your life, I would imagine.” I said, “What has it cost you in your life to be at the place and have the power that you have right now?”
And he looked at me and he called me son, which is very interesting. He said, “Son,” he said, “To be where I am right now has cost me everything.” He said, “I’ve lost my wife because of this career. I’ve lost my children. I’ve lost my friends. I’ve lost my family. I’ve lost my health.” And I said, “Wow. That is a very high price.” I said, “If you had to do it over again would you do it again?” He says, “Yes, I would.” He said, “I would do everything I’ve done and more to be where I am today.”
And it really struck me. He was very conscious about what he had given away to achieve the status that he had. And in his way of thinking it was worth to him to achieve that. So he was very candid, very honest, very candid in conversation. And we developed SDI. We developed Star Wars. A lot of people don’t know is when they tested it in space, they didn’t bring it home. So it’s there.
Lee Carroll: It’s still there.
Gregg Braden: They deployed, yeah.
Lee Carroll: Wow! We’re about to get into-
Gregg Braden: That is heavy.
Lee Carroll: We’re going to get into Gregg Braden the teacher, but still being on the heavy side, there had to be at some point in time an aha that would take you from that where you had just described to that which brought you to, “I’m going to start teaching. I’ve got something to say.”
Gregg Braden: I’m asked this question a lot, what was the turning point? And I think for me, it was less of a turning point and more of a logical progression, because all through my corporate career, I was working at Phillips, I was working at Cisco, I was working at the copper mill, at nights and on weekends I’ve always studied the ancient texts, ancient traditions, the scriptures, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mahabharata, the archaeological studies, David Hatcher Childress, who now is my friend, I used to read his book when I was a kid. He hitchhiked across the world to study ancient civilizations. So I’ve always done that. And what happened is they’ve just shifted priorities. So I now do that full time.
But the two things that happened, there was… Well, I want to say when I met Bush and during that time, the height of the cold war… If you don’t remember, behind the scenes it was a very scary time. We came this close to doing the unthinkable, the two superpowers and unleashing nuclear weapons on civilian populations. And it disturbed me. When I got my job as, peacekeeper, I had sleepless nights.
I would lay in bed at night and sweat and say, “Why me? Why am I here? Why am I doing this?” I’ve always had a feeling, and I mentioned this before, if we know where to look in the past that we will find the key to transcend the hate that separates us now and avoid the kinds of wars that we found ourselves in the 20th century and now the 21st century that we’re in, so that was important for me to…
Gregg Braden: I’ve always felt that that was the reason I was in that position because I learned that world. I learned about the way those people think. I learned how they train military thinking people with new ideas, and I share a lot of those ideas. You don’t know that, but those are techniques that I use when I’m teaching.
But there was a day… I was still doing my workshops while I was in the corporations. I would do it on the weekends. So one Friday afternoon, I had a workshop planned for Saturday, 300 people, and were going to meet me in a room, we were going to do Saturday workshop. My supervisor came in at Martin Marietta, and he had a way of doing this, Friday afternoon he would come in and he’d say, “Well, men,” because it was all men, he’d say, “The good news is it’s Friday, the really good news is there are only two working days left until Monday.” Think about that.
So that told me that we were working overtime over the weekend. I said, “Well, I can’t work this weekend. I’m doing a workshop.” And he said something to me, he said, “Son,” I’m going to have to look into that. He said, “Son, you have to make a choice. Are you working for this company, or are you working for those people?” I said, “Well, this is a good choice.”
So I took some time off and I went to Egypt, two weeks. And when I was in Egypt, I went onto the Sinai Peninsula and I climbed Mount Sinai. I love high elevations and if there’s ever a high place and you’re with me on that trip, we’re going to climb a mountain, just know that. And there was a moment when the sun was setting, and if you’ve ever been to the top of Mount Sinai, there’s nothing there. I mean, nothing grows, no plants, no water, no trees, nothing. There’s you and the sky and the earth and God, and that’s it.
Gregg Braden: And the sun was setting and there are those last rays shot up over the curvature of the earth. I could see it over the desert. It was so beautiful. And I’m moved by beauty. And this feeling welled up inside of me, and I asked myself, for some reason, a question I never asked before. And I said, “At this moment, if my life ended right now,” I didn’t think it was going to, but I said, “If I left this world right now and I could never come back and I look back on everything I’ve ever done and I could never change a thing, would I feel complete with my life?” And before I even got that question out, the answer that was welling up inside me was no, no, no. I wouldn’t feel complete. There are some things I haven’t done.
So my next question was, what would it take to say yes? What would it take to feel more complete with your life? And the answer to that question became the guidepost, the yardstick, by which I’ve measured every opportunity to this moment that has come to me. A lot of good opportunities, but which ones are going to get me closer to my yes. And I went back from that trip and it wasn’t long after that I turned in my resignation, I left the corporation and began doing what I’m doing now.
Lee Carroll: What was the reaction of your supervisor at that time?
Gregg Braden: Do we have time? Can I tell the story?
Lee Carroll: I want the story.
Gregg Braden: All right. So my supervisor here in Denver, Colorado… I’m going to tell the whole story because it has a happy ending. He had a corner office with big windows and a big dark wooden desk. And I went back and I told them I was leaving, and first, he was upset and he said, “You’re crazy.” He said, “Son,” I get that a lot. He said, “You’re on the fast track in this company.” Nobody ever told me that. He says, “You’ve got security, you’ve got insurance, you’ve got benefits.” He said… I love this. He said, “All you have to do is ride it out for 30 more years and you’re home free.” 30 more years. So before…
Before I went into the office I asked the universe for a sign because it’s a big decision. Am I making the right decision if I leave? And I thought that was my sign. So I said, “I’m glad that you said that because I could never work for a company where I’m just… My life isn’t about riding it out for 30 more years.” Well, then everything changed. His whole demeanor changed, he got up from behind that desk.
We weren’t allowed to smoke in the building, but he smoked cigars. So he always had a soggy unlit cigar in his mouth. It was always there all day long. He came out from behind the desk and got about this far from my face and that soggy cigar was in his mouth. And his Ps and his Ss, I was wearing them. And he was really upset and he took his forefinger and he poked it in my sternum really hard. Ex-military guy.
He said, “Son if you…” He took this very personally, “If you turn your back on me right now,” he says, “If you walk out that door,” he said, “I will personally see to it, not only will you never work in this department again,” he said, “Not only would you never work in this company,” he says, “I will blackball your name from this industry. You will never, ever, ever work in this industry again.” I said, “Oh God, thank you.” Because…
Lee Carroll: No more Gregg Mr. Builder.
Gregg Braden: No. I said, well, I asked for a sign when I came in and I thought the last thing you said was the sign, but this is the sign because I could never work someplace where this is the thinking, where this kind of thinking is here. And I left. But here’s the rest of the story. I came back to Denver a couple of years later and I did the program, it was at the Mile Hi Church in Denver. Some of you are from Mile Hi Church. And that man was on the front row of the Mile Hi Church, and he said… Because he had to make the same choice a few years later, it doesn’t all happen for everybody at the same time.
And he said, “Now I understand what you do and I understand why you made the choice that you made.” He says, “I’m glad that you made that choice.” So it had a happy ending. And he comes to my programs sometimes now. He thought I was going to leave and go with the competition, Boeing Computers, BCS, was our competitor. He thought I was going to go work with Boeing.
So my careers have always been during times of crisis, the energy crisis of the 70s, the Cold War crisis of the 80s, the information sharing crisis, first Gulf war of the 1990s. And so people ask me and they say, “Well would you ever be an engineer again?” And I kind of think we are consciousness engineers, and this is a time of crisis. It’s just we’re going about a little bit different way. So I’m still working in crisis mode and still problem-solving, just a different application using what I learned in the corporations. And I want to say corporations were good to me. I learned a lot from them. It was a different world, those were different times.
Lee Carroll: Much different world.
Gregg Braden: And I would not make a very good software engineer right now.
Lee Carroll: I know that you started slowly. We have this in common with four and five people in the living room and all of these things, and at about the same time, I think, the timeframe, and-
Gregg Braden: Harmonic Convergence time.
Lee Carroll: That’s right. Exactly-
Gregg Braden: Can I tell a story about Harmonic Convergence?
Lee Carroll: Yeah, please.
Gregg Braden: Really quick. I had no idea what a Harmonic Convergence was when it was happening here in Denver, Colorado, but I was heavily into music at the time as a software developer.
Lee Carroll: That’s ’87.
Gregg Braden: ’87. And people were coming to the office, they were saying, “Are you going to the Harmonic Convergence? Are you going to the Harmonic Convergence up in Boulder, Fort Collins, wherever it is? Chaco Canyon.” And because I didn’t know what it was, you know how your mind assigns a meaning to the closest thing that makes sense to what you think you’re hearing. As I heard Harmonic Convergence, I thought they were talking about a rock group, Harmonica Virgins.
Lee Carroll: Harmonica Virgins?
Gregg Braden: Harmonica Virgins. And I thought, “Man, everybody’s going to see this concert, Harmonica Virgins.” I had no idea what it was, but I actually came to Harmonic Convergence there in Boulder, Colorado is where I was. So yes, it was about the same time when… And my very first talk was that the Open Door Bookstore in Denver, Colorado. The very first and I didn’t have a book and they let me come and do a talk with them.
Lee Carroll: You have a big history here. It’s just really nice that we’ve been able to do it here in this area.
Gregg Braden: And it’s awesome, yeah.
Lee Carroll: That’s from your work to this time. We’re going to skip some time. Let’s do some more pictures. I’m going to call it people in your life.
Gregg Braden: All right. We can go through them fast. I don’t want to keep people up too late.
Lee Carroll: Ah, that’s right. You just tell what they are when you see them and what’s happening, because it’s more about where they were and what was happening.
Gregg Braden: Audience, how are you guys doing? Are you okay? All right. Just checking.
Lee Carroll: Thank you.
Gregg Braden: Just checking in.
Lee Carroll: Okay. Who is this?
Gregg Braden: This is my dear, dear, dear friend, colleague, and spiritual brother, Dr. Bruce Lipton. How many of you have studied with Dr. Bruce Lipton? All right. So a hand for Dr. Bruce Lipton. All right, my brother Bruce. He wrote the book Biology of Belief. Bruce and I have lost track of how long we’ve known each other. It’s been over 20 years. And people used to tell us before we knew each other, they said, “You guys should meet because you look like brothers.” I don’t really see the connection there, but maybe we did at one time. We both have more hair or long hair and bigger beards, I guess.
Lee Carroll: You and Bruce just recently went to the United Nations. And to hear you say it, and you said this over dinner to me, you gave them a message they didn’t want to hear. Carl, can I have the next picture? Because this is you, I think, and Bruce, after that was over.
Gregg Braden: This is the after picture. So Bruce and I were invited. He is a life science major. He’s a biologist. I’m a geologist. They invited us to come in. It wasn’t like the UN General Assembly or anything like that, it was a special group, they were asking for input to know what to prepare for the next 15 years. Money, resources, preparation, what’s happening. They wanted our perspective on what was happening in the world. And as a biologist, Bruce talked to them about cooperation, as a geologist, I talked to them about cycles of time, cycles of human conflict, cycles of climate change, economic cycles.
And when you say the United Nations, it’s not just one organ… There are United Nations within the United Nations. And there are some very forward-thinking, new, young, vibrant people that are there that really want to address these things head-on, and there’s an old guard that is having a hard time with the new thinking and in the new world. And this is what we were up against. So I shared a message of cycles, a cyclic conflict. We both talked about the fact that nature is based upon cooperation rather than competition. And when it was over, this was us walking out when it was over and Bruce is very happy and I’m very happy. I think we were happy that it was over.
Lee Carroll: I have a few pictures in a row and you just can tell us what’s going on. You’ve done a number of times when you do the circles of friends.
Gregg Braden: This is Dr. Joe Dispenza, Dr. Bruce Lipton, and Gregg Braden. And this is at a Kryon Conference. I think in Hot Springs.
Lee Carroll: Yes. Let me, let me show you another one and it’s very different from this one. Go to the next one.
Gregg Braden: Okay. So you probably know the story behind this. The three of us were invited… First of all, we’re friends. We love one another and we present well together. And it makes sense for us to work together because our work dovetails. There are some people that wouldn’t make sense with.
We become even better friends, we tour together all over the world, Western Europe, and rarely do anything here in the States together. Lee invited us to speak at the Hot Springs conference in ’16, right? 2016. And somebody said, “Oh yeah, the Three Amigos are going to show up.” The Three Amigos was a movie. Steve Martin. Does anybody remember Three Amigos?
So this happened. This was part of the promo. And from this, Bruce loves to have fun. And Bruce got the sombreros and he brought them and we rehearsed, and we choreographed, and we did the Three Amigos dance for the Hot Springs.
Lee Carroll: And when you were done you threw this sombrero.
Gregg Braden: We threw the sombreros into the audience.
Lee Carroll: Never to be seen again.
Gregg Braden: Damaging as few people as possible.
Lee Carroll: Here’s the next slide. And it’s you three again at another place.
Gregg Braden: I think this is us in London. And we were doing a Q and A after… This was at the International Conference on Human Consciousness and Evolution. Perfect conference for the three of us. Happens every year, and this is us doing a Q and A afterward and Joe is saying something. I love the way Bruce is looking.
Lee Carroll: Next one. This is kind of you doing a selfie, I think.
Gregg Braden: People don’t get to see this kind of stuff very much.
Lee Carroll: No, you don’t.
Gregg Braden: Bruce and I, recently spoke together just the two of us. We did an evening at the Harris Center at Folsom college in Folsom, California. So it’s known for Folsom Prison and Folsom College.
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: And it’s a beautiful, beautiful theater. We got there early, there were exactly 1000 seats, they sold exactly 1000, the fire code with Morin. We were backstage and I think Brucey was a little nervous. And we were playing and I said, “Well, I want to do a selfie,” but we were surrounded by mirrors. And I said, “Well, let’s do a selfie in the mirror.” And you can see that little… I mean, look at his eyes. Can you see that again? Look at his eyes. That you could see the both of us. I mean, there’s a little boy in those men.
Lee Carroll: That’s right.
Gregg Braden: And we’re having a great time. I love this man. He is a brilliant, brilliant man. Way ahead of his time. I want to tell you, Bruce was cloning stem cells in the late 1960s and writing the papers on epigenetics before that word became the popular word that everybody’s talking about now, and his work was discounted because it did not fit the model and that’s why he left. He left the university…
Lee Carroll: Where he was teaching.
Gregg Braden: I left the corporations where I was working at about the same… Here’s what Bruce, Joe, and I have something in common, we were all in academia, we were all in the corporate world to some degree, and we all had to make a decision do we stay with the universities, write white papers that are published through peer review journals that are cool but very few people will ever see them or do we take a very well-researched, rock-solid message directly to a mainstream audience because we need it now?
And independently, we each made the same choice. So there’s a preclude to us from doing the white papers, but we don’t have the credibility because we don’t have universities behind this the way we may have had in the past.
Lee Carroll: Here’s somebody that you’ve talked about in the past. Next, I want you to tell me, who is this?
Gregg Braden: All right. This sweetie is my office manager, January of 22 years. We just celebrated 22 years together. Her name is Laurie, Laurie Wellmont. I met Laurie at an event that she was helping to produce in the mid-1990s and she did an awesome job.
And I said to her at the end of the event, casually, I said, “If somewhere down the road, some future time, you and your husband and your daughter ever would remotely consider the possibility of moving to New Mexico and working for me,” I said, “Give me a call.” It was Sunday afternoon, Monday morning they called me. Monday morning she said, “My husband wants to meet with you.” And we’ve worked together ever since. So that’s my office manager, Laurie.
Lee Carroll: Here’s somebody who’s very special to both you and me, and there’s a story on this one. There always is.
Gregg Braden: Ah, this is Louise Hay. Louise Hay, the founder of Hay House books. This is my last time that I saw Louise alive. I didn’t know it was going to be at the time. And what happened, I had just done the Hay House “I Can Do It.” They had just done the last “I Can Do It” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and I was invited to be the last speaker on the last day for the last ever Hay House “I Can Do It.” And I’ve been doing it since 2003.
I had just finished, I walked into the restaurant… had gone to the restaurant and finished, I was leaving, Louise was coming in and somebody wanted a photo. And Louise looked at me and she said, “You need some color in your life.” She took off the scarf that she was wearing and she dressed me in her scarf, and we took that picture. And that’s the last time I saw Louise.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do one more.
Gregg Braden: This was… And now I didn’t know this, but this was at the same event. Because it was the last event, I was doing a tribute to Louise Hay and the authors that she had attracted and the company that she created. So I’m on stage in a beautiful theater. I don’t know if you have a picture of the theater in there or not.
Lee Carroll: Yeah, go to the next one.
Gregg Braden: This is the theater. The very last day. Beautiful theater, three tiers, it was completely sold out. And I had just done the tribute to Louise and then saw her at dinner after. So one funny story about Louise, the time before this, we had been backstage behind the big screen, and they are rear screen projection so that there are the projectors shooting behind the screen toward you, rather than projecting from the front.
Louise was backstage. She’d just gotten off stage. I was going on stage and she came up and she always gave me a big kiss. She came up and she gave me a big kiss right on my lips. And it happened right in front of the projector that was projecting on the screen. And the silhouette showed for all 3000 people in the room, saw me kiss Louise behind the stage on a huge silhouette. She’s a very brilliant, very powerful, very passionate woman. And she was a very brave woman.
Lee Carroll: Very brave.
Gregg Braden: In the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was first starting and no one knew what it was and everyone was afraid of it, she invited people into her home that had this new affliction that wasn’t well understood, and she said very clearly that we don’t know what this is, but whatever it is there’s something within us that can heal it. Let’s find what that is. And that was how she began her journey. It became the book, You Can Heal Your Life.
Lee Carroll: I once asked Louise, I said, “When you did, You Can Heal Your Life, what was the pushback?” And she looked at me for a moment and she said, “Besides the death threats?” And I said, “You’re kidding.” And she said, “That is how it was received by some.”
Gregg Braden: I remember that.
Lee Carroll: Very brave woman.
Gregg Braden: I was at Martin Marietta, we worked in a secure vault environment. You’d go in in the morning, there were no windows, they would close this vault, a little light would go on to remind you you’re in a secure environment, and the cafeteria where we had lunch was in a secured environment. And I remember when this happened, that the engineers… You started seeing people that go through the cafeteria with their trays, instead of getting together to talk, they would go into isolated little places and begin reading a couple of different books.
One of them was A Course in Miracles, which had just come out, and the other one was, “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. And I remember people reading those books that showed very powerful influence. Over 40 million copies had been sold at the time of her death. And now that number is just kind of a…
Lee Carroll: It’s got to be more than that. Quickly, coming up to speed, there’s a couple of people who’ve made it very meaningful just in the last few years. Can we do this one?
Gregg Braden: Oh yeah. This is my dear friend, spiritual brother, colleague Howard Martin, who is one of the vice presidents of the Institute of HeartMath. He and I got together professionally in 1995. We became friends after that. I can now call him one of my closest dear friends. We tour together, we traveled together, presented on stage, as well as Deborah Rozman.
Lee Carroll: Next.
Gregg Braden: Right there. And this was at the Kryon Conference. Where the three of us were presenting, in Yellowstone is where this was. So this is Deborah Rozman. She is also a vice-president of a different part of HeartMath. I’m not their employee, but I met them about a year after they began doing what they’re doing now. And they, as an independent author, have given me permission to share their work in ways that they do not because they present primarily in corporations, a very corporate vibe, and we’re not in a corporation, we’re doing something in a very, very different level, so.
Lee Carroll: So this next one is a picture of you and Dr. Todd Ovokiatys. What is behind you? Where are you?
Gregg Braden: Dr. Todd and I, are in Geneva, Switzerland at the CERN Superconducting Super Collider, and that is a section of the Superconducting Super Collider right behind us. It’s not in use. They were showing some of the equipment in a park and this was in ’16.
Lee Carroll: I was there with you. That was an amazing time.
Gregg Braden: Was it 2016?
Lee Carroll: Yeah. I like it because I’m such a nerd, but you loved it too, I saw that.
Gregg Braden: And I’m just going to tell you, and I think maybe Lee heard about this. I had a similar experience. I caught so much flack for going to CERN. And I was amazed. The Facebook community said, “How could you go there and support what…” They had all kinds of fake news about what they thought was happening at CERN.
And well, I want to tell you, CERN itself doesn’t do anything. All they do is operate the equipment. They don’t even do the experiments. They operate the equipment so universities can come in and do an experiment for a period of time and then they leave. So it’s not like a CERN group of scientists that they operate this, it’s the largest human-built machine in existence.
Lee Carroll: There’s a lot. There’s almost a university of young businesses there.
Gregg Braden: Yeah. And it is the largest cooperative effort in the world right now. I think it’s about 50 countries or something like that are cooperating to keep this thing, to explore the fundamental particles of matter and confirm what you and I probably already… Except about the field of energy that connects all things and how we relate to that field. But that was Dr. Todd and me there.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do another one. Who is this?
Gregg Braden: Do you want to do the lightning round?
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: Okay. Now, this is interesting to me because yesterday I was mistaken for Robert Coxen. And I certainly can see that resemblance now, I guess. I don’t know. This is my…
Lee Carroll: So that’s Robert Coxen from Canada, who is a musician that we’ve used forever. He’s the Kryon musician. And of course, when they get together with Gregg, being both musicians, they kind of hit it off.
Gregg Braden: I played flute with Robert in the past. And Robert saved my life once. We were in France, driving to Belgian.
Lee Carroll: I was right behind you.
Gregg Braden: You were driving to Belgium on the freeway to do a gig and there was an accident in front of us. And if Robert Coxen’s reflexes… The hood flew off the car in front of us, air blown.
Lee Carroll: And he did a spin.
Gregg Braden: He did a spin so that we didn’t hit that hood with our windshield.
Lee Carroll: That’s right.
Gregg Braden: Head on. And I owe my life to Robert Coxen. He’s a beautiful man, a dear friend, and what an absolutely awesome, brilliant musician.
Lee Carroll: I was right behind you.
Gregg Braden: If the woman who mistook me for Robert is in here, thank you because I was so honored. I was surprised, what an amazing musician to be compared to. I was very honored. I glowed for the rest of yesterday because of that. Thank you.
Lee Carroll: Next slide, who is this?
Gregg Braden: If you’re going to come and see us in Vancouver, this is my dear sister, friend, and spiritual colleague, Lynne McTaggart. wrote the book The Field, wrote the book, The Intention Experiment, wrote the book, The Power of Eight. This is, we had a conference in London, I went to her part of the world and we are in a panel discussion together. And we’re listening to someone that we both have very different reactions about what we’re listening to.
Lee Carroll: Yes. Candid pictures. Let’s do another one.
Gregg Braden: This is a very powerful image for me. This was in Sedona, Arizona, where I do a conference every spring. This was the last time I was with the eldest elder of the Hopi nation, grandfather Martin before he passed. This is actually the only picture I have with grandfather Martin here. And he could no longer hear when this picture was taken, but he would still sing his songs, his prayers of peace and healing. And he was just a beautiful, beautiful man. Yeah.
Lee Carroll: I know your connection to the indigenous and I feel this. I’ve got two pictures here before we do something amusing, and they are powerful for me in ways because I know the story, and for you too. And it happened very recently. Now let’s have the next one.
Gregg Braden: Okay. This is my mom now. This was taken the week between Thanksgiving and Christmas of ’17, just a few weeks ago. My mom no longer knows me, she has advanced dementia Alzheimer’s. I cannot care for her in my home any longer I have to find a… It’s a really beautiful care facility. It’s a memory care facility.
It’s a Spanish hacienda, they have goats, chickens, a small community of only 25 people. I was her date on this night at a holiday party. And during the course of the evening… She doesn’t know me, and I know many of you know what that’s like. During the course of the evening, there was a two-hour party and something clicked, and there was this moment of lucidity where she remembered who I was, and this is it. She’s looking at me. And she said to the woman who took this picture, “This is my son.”
Lee Carroll: This is my son.
Gregg Braden: And that was such a really beautiful, powerful moment.
Lee Carroll: Can we see the next one too? Because this is her then looking at the camera.
Gregg Braden: Yeah, this is after two hours. Her legs are so weak she doesn’t walk. So we sat in that chair. We actually danced sitting down in that chair for two hours. And you can tell she’s a little fatigued here. But it was a really, really great night.
If I never saw my mom again, I have such beautiful memories of this night. And I was supposed to be in Israel for a reconnaissance trip that did not happen and I went back home and had this time with my mom. If I had gone to Israel when I was supposed to I wouldn’t have had this time with my mom. So, thank you, Lee.
Lee Carroll: Again, thanks for sharing.
Gregg Braden: You’re welcome.
Lee Carroll: I’ve got two subjects left and some more pictures. And the advertisements right now is when we’re supposed to finish and we’re not going to. So this is for the listeners and for you, we’re going to continue until we’re done. Is that all right audience? That we can continue? All right, good.
Gregg Braden: I don’t know what we’re doing so I’m just going to say yes.
Lee Carroll: I want to talk… just because nobody thinks about these things. You told me once you had stalkers. What’s it like? I mean, what does that mean?
Gregg Braden: Well, I’ve been doing this… This is my 33rd year. And in those 33 years, I’ve only had two dangerous stalkers, so I think that’s a pretty good average; of people that felt it was their karmic duty to take me off the planet. I’ve had two of those. One of them apologized after she went back on her medication.
But this is part of, and you all know this … I mean, okay, the new age movement means a lot of things to a lot of people. And we’ve had people who are convinced that I need to complete something with them in this lifetime that started in another lifetime, and has actually moved their families and followed me to places where I’ve lived, hoping that that would happen. I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of stalkers. I mean, they haven’t shown up in my hotel room.
Lee Carroll: That’s good.
Gregg Braden: Yeah. That’s happened to other people. Or anything like that. But there are people that are very passionate, they’re passionate about what they believe. And for me, my work has always been less about me and more about the work. I like to de-emphasize myself. If I could take myself out of the equation and just share the work, I would. So I’m always a little amazed when so much of that significance is given to me. It’s not about-
Lee Carroll: Well, in that same way, there’s something I want to talk about. You can go as far as you want to with this one, and I know who you are and probably what you’re going to do, but all of us, having done these things for this many years, will have disappointments that people want to take what we have done, put their name on it and call it theirs. I’ve actually had that with my work. I’ve had people sell conferences with my picture and things like that, and I wasn’t involved. And I know this has happened to you, and I know that there have been some profound things. To any degree that you wish to address this, tell us what you think.
Gregg Braden: Yeah, well, the first time it happened, I was surprised, and actually, it’s happened over the years, where people … The first time it happened was people that were my friends, that I trusted. I’m a triple Cancerian, so it’s all about nurturing and friendship.
Gregg Braden: And so people would invite me, they’d say, “Come and do a seven-day workshop and bring everything you’ve got, and make handouts by the way, of all your material.” And I’d say, “Okay, let’s do a big workshop.” And I would leave. And I would learn, a few weeks later, that all my handouts became a book that they were now publishing, and all my work, they were trying to teach.
Or I’ve had people that travel with me, you know, I take groups into Peru, Egypt, Tibet, Bolivia, not so much all those places anymore, primarily Peru, but they would go on the trip and they’d say, “Oh, all I have to do is use the same itinerary Gregg’s using, and I can do my own trips.”
They have no idea what has to happen behind the scenes; the security that we create, checking in with the authorities, sometimes every hour, to make sure what we’re doing is safe; working with the people preparing our food. We might have 20 people preparing a meal, but only two people who can physically touch our food, and their hands are sterilized before they do that. And if you don’t know that …because of the way we do it, it’s transparent.
People don’t know. It looks easy because we do a really good job. We’ve learned to do a good job over the years. So I’ve had people mimic that and they’ve tried to do those trips and they’ve had horrible experiences. They’ve become so sick. Some of them were hospitalized. The people that wrote books based on my work, were interviewed. The interviewer asked them questions about their work and they couldn’t answer because it’s not their work.
So one of two things has to happen when that occurs. You either lie and say something is not true, or you’re honest and say, “I don’t know.” And if your ego is going to make a book that you stole from someone anyway, your ego is probably not going to feel comfortable saying, “I don’t know the answer.” So what happens is, false information gets disseminated.
When I think about it, and I’ve been asked if it makes me angry, I’ve never been angry about it. I’ll just tell you all right now. I’m a Cancerian male, and Cancerian males tend to be hurt before we’re angry.
Lee Carroll: Disappointed and hurt.
Gregg Braden: And I’m disappointed in my friends and it hurts me that it happens. And also, I really advocate for my audience. If you’ve ever been with me in a venue, I want a beautiful uplifting venue. I want good quality sound, good quality images to honor you that have come to see me from halfway around the world sometimes.
So knowing that my work is out there in ways that I don’t have any control over … And sometimes it’s misrepresented, and when people email me and they say, “Well, you said this in this book,” and I said, “Actually, I didn’t say that. That’s somebody else’s work.”
Lee Carroll: Wasn’t true.
Gregg Braden: So this has happened. There was a man in Australia that was … Actually, he took my VHS video, put his own title on it, and was selling it. And people said, “Isn’t that Gregg Braden?” And he’d say, “Well, yeah, but … You know.”
And there was a guy in Italy that did the same thing with my workshops, and people called me and they said, “Do you know that he’s teaching your work?” And I said, “I do now because you just told me.” And I said, “How’s he doing?” And they said, “Oh … ” They said … I can’t tell you what they said, because we’re on the camera. But they said that it’s not going well at all. So the universe has a way of balancing these things out.
My regret is that my work can be misrepresented and people hear it differently. For example, I’ve had people recently in interviews say, “Who’s Gregg Braden? He was one of the doomsday sayers about the end of the world in 2012.” And I said, “Did you read any of my work?” And they didn’t, but other people said that I was. That’s not what I said at all.
Lee Carroll: This is exactly what has happened to me on YouTube.
Gregg Braden: I know it is, yeah.
Lee Carroll: There will be things that say, “Kryon says the end of the world is coming.” And they will get their advertisement, they’ll get their clicks, and they will go to a channel of mine that has nothing to do with it, that is quite uplifting. So this is very common. Yeah.
Gregg Braden: It happens. And also, I mentioned I’ve got over 30 pages of YouTube videos. Where the technology is right now .. Bruce Lipton and I both talked about this. We were just in Milan, Italy. Before we got off the stage in Milan, what we had just presented was on YouTube. It had been recorded and uploaded from the audience and it was on YouTube before we ever even left the stage.
Lee Carroll: We were in Turkey and we told the audience, “No videos.” And there was a guy about three-quarters of the way back who had a video camera with a light. And it was huge, and it stayed on. And we had to say, “Excuse me, are you doing a video?”
Gregg Braden: Yeah. People don’t know that, from where we are, we can see that.
Lee Carroll: We can see everything, but this was a huge light. It wasn’t just a red light. I mean, this was a bright light. So it’s just astonishing what they’ll do.
I want to do something fun. This is cute. This is cute and funny. I have another story. It’s a fun one. We go through security all the time. We go through … And you were going through customs and you were taken aside. In fact, they saw you and they said, “Mr. Braden, we want you to come with us for a moment.” What went through your head and what happened?
Gregg Braden: Well, this has happened twice. The first time when I was taken aside in security, I was in a foreign country. So the last thing you want to do is have the guys that say “Policia”, to have them come up and say, “Come into this room behind this door that has no window on it and sit here for a while.”
So what was going through my mind, I didn’t know what was happening. I can’t tell you what I was really thinking. So I went in this room and I waited and waited and waited, and pretty soon the door opened and about six security people came in, and I thought, “Ooh, this must be really bad if it takes six of them.” And they all had … A magazine had published an article and my picture was on the cover, and they wanted me to sign their magazine.
Lee Carroll: That, I love.
Gregg Braden: Something similar happened at the Albuquerque International Airport. There’s something called Global Entry, TSA Global Entry, where you have to go through a security interview. And I went through an entire security interview. I thought we were done, and he said, “Can I ask you just to sit here and wait for a few minutes?” I said, “Are we finished?” He says, “Almost.”
And I waited and waited and waited, and pretty soon I saw some other guys come in through the door and they all went to the back, and then the guy came. And magazines are free at the airport. I think it’s called Truly Alive. And I’d been out of the country so I didn’t know I was on that magazine, that I was on the cover, and they wanted the same thing. So it was all good news.
Lee Carroll: And when you go through airports, you’ve told me people mistake you for stars.
Gregg Braden: Depends on what country I’m in.
Lee Carroll: That’s right. And one of them, would you show this, is Andy Gibb. This is Andy Gibb, right? This is how he looks right now. Now, I can understand that a little bit. I don’t know if you can.
Gregg Braden: Okay. Now, Andy Gibb lives in South Florida. I was at the Palm Beach International Airport, and I got out and I had a driver in a big black car that had taken me there. So I got out and the attendant, curbside, curbside check, he goes, “Are you, Andy Gibb?” And I said, “No.” And he said, “Your secret’s safe with me.”
So I got to the ticket counter, and at the ticket counter, they said, “Mr. Gibb, you don’t have to wait in this line. Come over to the other side.” And by the time I got to security, everybody’s saying Andy Gibb was coming through security.
Lee Carroll: There you were.
Gregg Braden: I don’t look like that now. There was a time my hair was longer. You know, my hair began turning silver the month I buried my father. That’s when it happened. 2004. And it was right around that time. My hair was about that long, and I can see maybe why.
Lee Carroll: Well, here’s another star that people mistake you for, and that’s Wolverine. Would you show that? I can understand this. Now this one, I understand.
Gregg Braden: Oh, I’m honored.
Lee Carroll: This looks a lot like you. Let’s go ahead and show Wolverine now. There he is today.
Gregg Braden: You know, maybe sometimes. I don’t know. But do you have Chuck Norris in there?
Lee Carroll: You do. Next slide.
Gregg Braden: Okay. Now this … This isn’t the one, but there’s a movie that Chuck Norris made and he and I had hair very similar. When I get off the plane in Lima, Peru, for some reason they think I’m Chuck Norris. So I had these kids that came up and they said, “Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris.” And I said, “No.” I said, “Gregg.” And they said, “Just sign Chuck Norris.” So I said, “Okay.” So I signed “Chuck Norris.” [crosstalk 01:40:42] So I don’t know. You know, I got to go with it sometimes. They said, “You’re somebody.” I was at LAX, where the paparazzi waits for people.
Lee Carroll: Yes.
Gregg Braden: And there was a guy, a camera guy, there at the bottom of the escalator for American Airlines. And he saw me one day going in and he said, “Are you, somebody?” I forgot even [inaudible 01:41:00]. And I said, “No.” He goes, “Well, you’re somebody.” And so he started taking pictures. “I don’t know who you are, but you’re somebody.” He was going to do something with them. I don’t know, probably the National Enquirer. I don’t know.
Lee Carroll: That must be it.The lightning round. It’s a quote from you, and then I want to take you through some photos of some countries and just very briefly just make some comments. And here’s the quote I want to read. When I asked Gregg, in the questionnaire, some of the questions I was going to ask him, “What is profound and rewarding, really? What’s profound and rewarding to you?”, here’s what he said. He says, “The opportunity to document firsthand some of the most beautiful, remote, pristine, and rugged places remaining on the earth today, places that have marked the turning points in our past and have defined our world history.” And so, we’ll do the lightning round through some pictures of Peru, Tibet, Egypt.
Gregg Braden: This is a shaman that I have worked with now for about 15 years. He’s a Q’ero shaman. Have you studied with … ? Michelle, are you in the room? If you’ve studied with Michelle, you know about the Q’ero. They live about 15,000 feet above sea level, there aren’t many of them left, in about three villages in the Southern Andes. And by the way, he’s standing on his tiptoes here.
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: He’s about the height of my mom. He leaves his village for three to four days when I take my group into Peru so he can be with us. And while he’s gone, the village has no elder, they have no shaman. They have no … The wisdom that comes from him. But he comes and he’s worked with us many, many years. His name is Don Benito, and he loves to hug. He loves to give us hugs. He gives everybody hugs.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do the next one.
Gregg Braden: This beautiful woman. This is Marleny. Marleny was on the cover of National Geographic over 20 years ago. And she looks exactly like she looks. This was taken last year. She has not changed. She organized the women in the village of Chinchero in the Southern Andes into a co-op so that they can support the schools and they can support the families. And ladies, you would love this because the women run the shop and the men work for the women. So it’s a really good way to do this. And she’s become a dear, dear sister. Dear sister to me.
Lee Carroll: Next.
Gregg Braden: To me, Peru is not Peru until we go near the Bolivian border in Lake Titicaca. And this is on one of the artificial floating reed islands that the natives have built for over a thousand years. Everything is the same color as the straw, except the textiles. And I’ve got my group here and we are shopping with the textiles, the really beautiful colored textiles here. I’m a good shopper. I’m a power shopper. I had a great time here.
Lee Carroll: Let’s do the next one. I like this one. It’s really candid of you..
Gregg Braden: You know what? I love this for this reason. I’m okay here in Colorado. I’m really at my best at really high elevations. And I love Peru. If I didn’t live in New Mexico, I would live in Peru. And somebody caught me, this is one of the people on our trip, caught me just beaming. I was just a happy Gregg, happy boy on this day.
This is at Ollantaytambo, the temple complex of Ollantaytambo, on the first day where the group is out.
Lee Carroll: All right. Next.
Gregg Braden: Oh, I love this picture. All right. I work with the same guides and translators now that I began with in 1986. My tour operator had a daughter before his wife passed away, and his daughter looks exactly like his wife. I met her when she was nine years old, and this is her 20 years later last year when she now is a guide, and we get to work with her. And somebody got a picture of us. She just had her first baby. She’s married, she’s had her first baby. And this is us together. I’ve known her since she was nine years old.
Lee Carroll: Last Peru picture.
Gregg Braden: Yeah, this is part of my Peruvian family. This was taken at a high pass a little over 14,000 feet above sea level. It’s a baby lamb and a llama there. It’s not a baby llama. But again, I love being in high elevation, and this captured that very moment. That’s what’s happening there.
Lee Carroll: Turn the page. Next one, Tibet.
Gregg Braden: Aha. My very first trip into Tibet. This is the Potala Palace outside of Lhasa, about 12,000 feet above sea level. It is massive, massive … Well, this is the home of the Dalai Lama before he was exiled in 1959.
Lee Carroll: Next.
Gregg Braden: This is a monastery about 16,500 feet above sea level. It took us 16 days approximately to get there, to acclimate. It’s one of the most remote monasteries, and the more remote they are, the more intact they are. And what we went through to get here, I think we’re going to talk about.
Lee Carroll: Yeah. In fact, the next ones, I have seen in your presentations. It’s actually profound. Let’s do this next one. It’s the unlocking of a door.
Gregg Braden: So we had gone to this monastery, and what I know is, in every Buddhist monastery, there’s a library that’s hidden. It’s supposed to be a secret library, but they’re all there. So I had just asked. And look how young this monk is in this picture. Most of the monks you will see, they’re very young or they’re very old. The ones middle-aged, our age were all exiled or killed in the revolution.
So this is a young monk. And I asked him, “Will you show me, this group, your hidden library?” And they don’t get much company here and he is thrilled to be able to open this door to an empty chanting hall and show us the library.
This was the library. That’s my hand at the bottom of the image; got a flashlight, we’re looking up. It’s three stories tall, but it’s only about 12 feet wide. And we’re looking at the corner where two walls meet. These Tibetan books are 1500 years old. And this library now no longer exists. It’s been dismantled. So I’m happy that we have the photographic records of this.
These are Tibetan books. They’re loose pages sandwiched between the covers here, is what these are.
Lee Carroll: Amazing. Next.
Gregg Braden: They were dismantled and the books were taken, they were given to universities, to libraries, to private collections.
Lee Carroll: Yeah.
Gregg Braden: This is the abbot of a monastery that I had never met. There was a previous abbot that I’d known for years. I went back and he was gone. And I said, “Where is he?” And they just said, “He’s gone.” And I said, “Did he die? Did he get transferred?” All they could tell me is he wasn’t there. This is the new, younger abbot who’s only in his eighties. And somebody captured us going through a ceremony where I’m meeting him for the first time. And this is called a khata. I’m exchanging a khata, where I offer it to him, he either keeps it or blesses it and gives it back. In this case, he gave it back to me.
Lee Carroll: Next.
Gregg Braden: The same trip. We had the opportunity to meet nuns in a nearby nunnery. And not many people go to where the nuns are. There’s so much I could say about these beautiful ladies. They’re very strong, very powerful, very resilient, very compassionate women. And I enjoyed being with them.
Lee Carroll: And because I was very close to this very recently, what’s that around your neck?
Gregg Braden: Yeah. I’m wearing probably the khata that the abbot gave back. They’re white, and it’s a currency. It’s an exchange.
Lee Carroll: That’s right. It’s actually pretty formal when you meet them.
Gregg Braden: Okay. I didn’t know we were going to go back this far. This was my first trip to Tibet. I used to carry a Native flute everywhere I’d go. Everywhere in the world, I would take a Native flute.
So we went into this monastery, and this was at the end of the trip, and all through the trip, I kept saying, “Who am I going to give this flute to? I’m going to leave it here in Tibet. I’m not taking it home with me.” I mean, there were people I could have given it to and it would have collected dust, they’d never touch it again.
So we got to this monastery and I’m playing the flute, and can you see this monk? Can you see the look on his face? He is into this flute. And when I finished playing, I offered it to him as a gift. And do we have a picture of him accepting?
Lee Carroll: I think so. Next. There we are.
Gregg Braden: I’m offering it as a gift. I mean, he is absolutely thrilled. This is a hoot. When you think of Tibet, the word hygiene is not the first thing that comes to mind usually. The first thing he did when I gave him this flute was he took it and he wiped this mouthpiece off on his dirty old robe.
And then the next image … I may have changed forever the culture in Tibet. And he learned to do this really quickly. So here he is playing a Native American Red Cedar flute from the Taos Pueblo. It’s a [fivefold 01:50:14] flute and it now lives in Tibet.
Lee Carroll: This is where it never snows, is that right?
Gregg Braden: My very first trip, my guide, was a brilliant man. He and his partner were the fifth and sixth Americans given visas to teach English when they opened China for the first time to trade and commerce. And he told me, I said, “What’s a good time to go?” He told me, and he said, “You know, it only snows early in the year, so you’re probably safe.” So I think we went in June.
So we were at the high pass one night and it started to snow, and it snowed like crazy. It snowed and snowed and snowed. It snowed so much that there was an avalanche blocking the only road so that we could get to the monastery that you’ve already seen the picture of.
Lee Carroll: Okay, let’s go to the next one.
Gregg Braden: That is the avalanche. And you can see there’s a little tunnel cut through, and I asked my guide, I said, “Well, how long until this is cleaned off?” And he said, “Man, you know, three or four months.” And I said, “Why so long?” And he says, “It’s going to take that long for the snow to melt.” And I said, “Well, don’t they help?” He says, “Oh, we can, but why?” So we had a bus on one side of this. That bus was on one side of that avalanche.
It would not fit through the opening. And we had to take all of our belongings, we never saw the bus again, and walk through the avalanche… You can see how tall that snow is, to the only mode of transportation we could find on the other side. And I tell you until we could find that open bed truck, you can see the avalanche behind us, that took us… Because that’s the only way to get to these monasteries. If they were easy to get to, everybody would be there.
Lee Carroll: I have one slide of Mexico.
Gregg Braden: Ah. Okay, this is a very recent slide. I take groups into the Four Corners area, including Chaco Canyon, where there are a number of kivas; underground ceremonial structures that have been excavated. Few people know, north of Chaco Canyon, near Aztec and Farmington, is the only restored kiva that I’m aware of. And what you’re looking at, this is an underground, fully restored, Native American kiva. This is what they look like. And you can see, I mean, they are very, very powerful, very sacred. You’re in the womb of the earth when you’re inside of one of these.
Lee Carroll: I’ve just got a couple more pictures, and they are of Egypt. Then we’re going to say goodbye.
Gregg Braden: I mentioned earlier Mount Sinai. This is Saint Catherine’s Monastery looking down in the valley on the mountain at Mount Sinai. This is where I hiked back down to after I had my experience that I shared a little bit earlier.
Lee Carroll: One more of Egypt.
Gregg Braden: Well, it’s Egypt and other places. In the lower right-hand corner, this is the first trip to Egypt, to a site that was being excavated in the village of Saqqara. It is a temple complex of the beings that are called Hathors. And what you’re looking at, is the top of a column from the temple, and the floor is still 30 feet under the surface of the earth where I’m standing. They haven’t excavated down yet. And a dear friend of mine, Tom Kenyon, had just written a book about the Hathors and he asked if he could use my slide because he’d never been to Egypt.
So I gave him my slide of the Hathors, and when I went back the next time, I guess the second time, I took his book and held it next to the actual image.
Lee Carroll: I presented with Tom Kenyon. We just came from Egypt, where we were at a temple of the Hathors. There’s a lot of disfigured images of the Hathors, but this one is beautiful.
Gregg Braden: That’s why this is so powerful. This was the one site that was buried that was not disfigured. And they excavated and exposed the faces.
Lee Carroll: Okay. Two more photos and we’re going to say goodbye.
Gregg Braden: This is Yucatán in Mexico. And these are remnants of ancient … The one on the upper left is Olmec. These are the Olmec heads. And we don’t know who these people were, where they came from. The lower right is Mayan. Obviously, they’re Mayan hieroglyphs. I have taken groups down there. There’s a whole history. And another time, we can talk about what’s happening.
Lee Carroll: And the last photo.
Gregg Braden: This is the shaman that we work with in the Yucatán. And this is in the archeological site of Palenque if you’ve ever been into Palenque. And I am amazed that their hair stays black forever. I want to know their secret. In another program, I’ll talk to you about their secret.
Lee Carroll: Yeah. You have a secret. I have it written here somewhere; you told me that from 1986 to the current, you had a waist that was, what? What did it measure?
Gregg Braden: So when I was in high school, my waist was 29 and my jeans were 30.
Lee Carroll: And now it is?
Gregg Braden: It’s 30.
Lee Carroll: One inch.
Gregg Braden: Makes it much easier…When I do these parties, I can pull on my bell-bottoms and they still fit.
Lee Carroll: We have closets where we can identify how old we were by the size of our clothes. So it’s very different.
Gregg Braden: It takes a lot of work. It’s a project rebuilding from the inside out.
Lee Carroll: It’s great.
Gregg Braden: Yeah. Well, for me to do what I’m doing … I could not do this if I didn’t take care of myself.
Lee Carroll: Gregg Braden, Thank you.
Gregg Braden: Thank you, brother.
Lee Carroll: This is so awesome. It’s so awesome. One last thing.
Gregg Braden: Thank you all for hanging in there.
Lee Carroll: Is there anything we didn’t say that you’d like to say?
Gregg Braden: You know, I think we pretty much covered it. I thank you for sharing some memories from my life. I’ve never done this before. And those are some of the very few photographs that remain. So thank you for giving me the opportunity to share those. I don’t talk about myself a lot, probably more than you wanted to hear tonight.
Lee Carroll: Well, this is what we wanted to hear tonight. This is the reason for this show. And I know that we’ve gone over, but we’ve gone over for a good reason.
Gregg Braden: Well, thank you for that.
Lee Carroll: So what I want to say to you, audience, those of you who are still with us, who’ve tuned in, this particular video will be available, will be streamed, for a long time. Then the idea is to carry it to YouTube so that people can see this from now on. And so this is where we are. Gregg, thank you so much. We’re going to say goodbye.
Gregg Braden: I want to thank you all for being here.