Now that Adam is no longer living at Ron’s, he has either been house sitting or staying with friends he knows at SoulFood Books.  We filmed this interview near a small river that runs behind SoulFood Books where Adam has been spending time meditating.  It’s a place that gives him a relative sense of peace.

In the interview Adam talks about a time while he was in Maui where he first had the experience of being in a state of fearless love.  He said it felt almost like he was ‘hypnotized’, however the feeling would come and go.  He says that since he has come back to where he grew up he has had a much harder time getting into that state of ‘fearless love’.

Adam has been home from Hawaii now for over 4 months and is working daily to address his fears—fear of failure, fear of inadequacy and fear of judgment, especially judgment coming from his family.  Despite his desire to spend time with his mother, who is battling cancer, his personal fears combined with unresolved family issues are proving to be overwhelming.

It’s frustrating for me to watch Adam struggle as he tries to confront and conquer his fears on his own. I find myself wishing that someone, like a mentor, would step forward and help him navigate this difficult time—someone who has had to confront similar issues and has successfully done so.

Since pharmaceuticals have not work for Adam, we started interviewing transpersonal psychologists and psychiatrists, who take a different approach, and recognize the importance of integrating spirituality into mental health.  I look forward to sharing their insights with you in upcoming posts.


16 Responses to “Adam Works to Live in Love vs Fear”

  1. iainj

    Hi Adam, many of the challenges you speak of strike a chord with me and my own experience which I call ‘my brokeness journey.’ I’m holding out the hope for the growth and insight my pain is producing and I hold the same hope for you.
    cheers Iain

  2. Inigo

    Hi Phil,

    Hearing Adam talking about “fear” I remembered FDR’s First Inaugural Speech: “…let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” That was in 1933, when the Great Depression was at its peak in the US. I have taken the opportunity to read the whole speech and I’m amazed by how much it reflects the current situation, globally: “The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.” (

    In a museum I visited last February, I read: “Uncertainty: does it paralyze (you) or does it motivate (you)?

    Take care, Inigo

    • Phil Borges

      Thanks for your comment, Inigo. Yes, fear itself is definitely something to fear, especially when it overwhelms and takes control of ones psyche.

      • Matthew Markert

        Dear Phil;

        It was a pleasure to see you speak at TEDxUMKC, I originally replied to Adam below and just saw your comment here. Again, thank you so much for going out of your way to share, for advocating Adam’s inspirational story, and sharing your beautiful pictures. I am humbled, and also grateful to have seen them – every time I wonder whether I should hulk my Graflex XL, I will think of you and your Hassablad, making your way up a mountain outside Dharamsala :-). and THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRODUCTION NOTES, I love the eyedirect!!!! Please read my response to Adam below, I hope I have your blessing to have reached out to Adam, and to invite others to add their sometimes considerable weight to the inertia built in the wake of the videos you have produced, and catalyzed by your talk last month.

        Matthew Markert

  3. adam

    I appreciate both of you reaching out to me. It is great to connect. Inigo, thank you for sharing that! Stay up iainj, you are not broken! I wrote this poem shortly after i became “homeless” last year. im no FDR, but i feel that you might relate. 🙂

    light shines in my shadow,
    the truth lays where I lie,
    fear is the nightmare of my loves lullaby,
    this is my dream,
    as i open these eyes,

    i see light in the shadows,
    hear harmony in the cries,
    feel joy in the battle,
    hear truth in the lies,
    this is my dream,
    as i open these eyes,

    i see fear is my shadow,
    i see the shadow from above,
    i see fear is the illusion,
    i see this is love!

  4. Caitlin

    Phil, you have addressed all of the questions that I had when you first started this project and I am very grateful for that. You had captured me from the moment I opened the page and instantly I was engaged, and fascinated, and wanted to know more. My last question is the 10 day retreat that Adam went on where they guided him through what was happening and nurtured him. You expressed interest in learning how that nurturing was done and maybe I missed that part but what was their method to nurture and heal someone who was having those experiences? What was the process that brought peace to Adams mind?

    • Phil Borges

      Thank you for your comment Caitlin. I can’t speak for Adam, but from my own experience during a Vipassana retreat, I found it deepen my meditative practice which has allowed me to be more of an observer of my mental and emotional states. As a result feel I am a lot less reactive, especially when those states are negative. Yes, I do know that meditation, at that time and now, also brings peace to Adam. I’ll ask Adam if he would like to add to this.

    • adam

      I am currently still finding it 🙂 The teachings of Vipassana by S.N. Goenka has helped me embrace my experience. The practice of Vipassana helps me maintain a peaceful state of awareness amidst the chaos that is my life. Some days are easier than others. After attending several 10 day silent courses I decided to devote a month to the practice of vipassana and helping out at the center. This was around the time that I met Phil. My experiences were scaring me. I felt that the vipassana center was the best place for me to be. After 5 days of being there, I was experiencing much anxiety and spoke with the teacher. Speaking with the teacher is permitted at specific times. I shared with him that I was experiencing visions of future events that were unfolding accurately and that it was making me anxious. He asked me to leave. He told me that I should talk to doctor about it. This was heart breaking but I accepted his words and left. I have been spending my time at Soul Food Coffee house. I have found an amazing community of open minded loving people there. I am surrounded by people that openly talk to me about what I am going through while providing me with honest loving perspective. This is type of healing that I am in need of at this time. I am blessed to know such incredible people. Thanks to my amazing friends, I have clothes, food, a comfy couch and love. Because of the Soul Food community and people like Phil and his crew of beautiful hearts, I feel safe to heal and accept myself. I am so grateful for the unconditional love and compassion that is being shared with me. It is truly incredible 🙂

      • Peggy


        Even in your darkest moments, you are truly one of the bright and shining lights at SFB. You know how much you are loved and supported by our incredible community. I also hope that you know — and I think you do — that you can reach out to nearly any one of us at any time, and we’ll be there for you. We believe in you. You have my phone number, and Georgia’s, and Clint’s, too. You know, Little Brother, that we are here for you.

        _/\_ Blessings Bright and Dark )O(


  5. Matthew Markert

    Dear Adam;

    It is a wonderful thing to see you facing fears with perspective, and especially to hear you say “….and I know I’m going to get over it.” Bravo! It is beautiful and inspirational, and reminds me of an incredible person I met who speaks on behalf of the “Hearing Voices” movement. Your patience and vigilance to your strength are to be celebrated!
    I am a doctor of public health, a working neurology resident and an aspiring psychiatrist; I empathize with many of your frustrations, having experienced my own from both sides. I was fortunate enough to hear your story told by Mr. Borges when he was speaking at TEDxUMKC last month. Something has just come my way, and I wonder if you would be interested in allowing your story to be shared more, as a case study for the cause of advertising what has worked for you. I have been blessed to experience some, if modestly little by comparison, of the strength that a mindful meditative experience (e.g. Vipassana) can have on managing traumatic stress responses. I attended a 10-day retreat with Roshi Halifax of the Upaya Monastery, in New Mexico, possibly very similar to yours. I would be honored if I could include your story as part of an attempt to expand the use of the kind of practices that have helped you. I was recently contacted by a group asking for case studies in successful low-cost mental health interventions that use methods that originate from low-income countries, but can have broad application. Along with some work we did on PTSD in Haiti after the 2010 quake, I would like to include some of your words as a prospective case study example. Specifically, as evidence on how even brief mindfulness-based techniques can have long-term impact on a person who has lived in a high-income country. The review committee includes a public health NGO, a UN liason, a national healthcare director, and some wonderful people who are dedicated to changing mental health practices. It would mean having permission to direct people to this video in a proposal I will be submitting at the end of the month (Oct 30). If you had other ideas or questions, I would welcome contact. Regardless, it is tremendous to see your strength, and I am grateful to have learned from you through the work of the exceptionally kind and talented Mr. Borges. Good luck with your journey.
    Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
    Matthew Markert, MD PhD
    Department of Neurology – PGY1
    Kansas University Medical Center

    p.s. for Phil – I was the rather excited gentleman in the blue suit, Audrey and Ehren send their love and hugs.

    • Peggy

      Dr. Markert,

      Kudos for your work! The world needs more MD PhD’s with your mindset.

      Friend of Adam

  6. adam

    Thank you for your consideration! I would love to hear more about your ideas and goals. Please talk to Phil in regards to usage of the film. I am honored that you have found some of my words to be worthy of sharing 🙂

  7. Mary

    What I see in this segment is a sensitive person (couldn’t we use a lot more of those in Western culture) who is Unafraid to face his fears and deal with the sometimes sad reality that surrounds us, made by us, instead of chasing money and making life a living hell by yelling at spouse and kids and worse – hate, bigotry, hurting others emotionally and physically, because of not facing fears.

  8. Sunny

    How I stumbled upon Phil’s video; I was reading about Vedanta’s > Spirituality > TED Talks > Spirituality > Phil’s video of Psychosis or Spiritual Awakening and then Adam’s story.

    @Phil – After leaving India at the age of 13, for 30+ years in the States, from playing sports, college life, work, etc never bothered or cared to explore spirituality stuff, typical mind set of most people, then one day, out of the blue I started hallucinating (no – I did not take any drugs nor was on medication), ‘something’ start to talk thru me, it was a bit scary for my wife who was witnessing it, however it was quite beautiful, blissful. It was answering questions such as why we are, our purpose, how we are part of the big picture and how we need to love, respect, embrace everything around us (universe, plants, animals, people, etc). Experience lasted for few days and I was going in and out of this trance state; which became quite intense and lead me in the hospital for few days (which was determined by higher power I needed to be there to help few souls which I met, even if it’s one); science and medicine defined it as anxiety prescribed drugs for sleeping and anxiety, (which I did not want to take), but I was advised to finish 45 days course and was told to attend out-patient clinic for 30 days.
    I told myself, there HAD to be more to it, where in the ‘old days’ when medicine was not available, many of Rishis (ancient priests) who wrote profound scriptures must have known something and may have witnessed things which I needed to discover more. I trained my mind not to take any drugs as I did not want to rely on them and flushed Rx down the drain without telling my family….. and ’til this day (many months into it), I know there was more to that experience and learning/reading Vedas/Vedanta (ancient Hindu scriptures) provides some of those answers that how we are part of big picture and how eventually it sends all of us to path of spirituality that there’s more to life than this worldly desires, etc.
    Of course, there’s much more to it and I’m typing this in a hurry to validate what most of experiences others had is true. Meditation definitely help that we ARE part of the big picture and love and to accept all. (Not always easy but I’m trying to do my part)
    (sorry about typos/grammar) etc)


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)