Karen and I had just been talking about wanting to find someone who could speak to using mindfulness in real estate, and that very next morning Karen stumbled upon an article in New York Magazine aptly named "The Woo-Woo Agents of Real Estate: Can Unblocking Your Chakras Get You a House? Maybe!"
In it we were introduced to New York City real estate agent Cary Tamura with the Corcoran Group. Cary is ranked within the top 1% out of 50,000 of real estate agents nationwide within the NRT group which includes companies such as Corcoran, Sothebys, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ERA and others. In addition to his work as a real estate agent in New York City, Cary has been a meditator for over 17 years and a teacher of meditation for a good portion of those years. He has been credited by Corcoran VP, Ida Fields as being responsible for bringing meditation to the company. He trains Corcoran real estate agents in mindfulness-awareness meditation as well as teaching at other meditation centers, schools and businesses in and around New York.
Cary says “The benefits of that in your business, be it dealing with difficult clients or a negotiation, are being keyed into the stuff in between the words."
We know our connection with Cary is divine. He brings a grounding and helpful perspective to the fiercely demanding real estate market and to the importance of mindfulness in our everyday lives.
If you’re interested in meditating, Cary shares an easy way to begin – and inspiring resources for you. If you’re buying, renting or selling a house, Cary shares mindful ways of approaching the real estate market.
For more from Cary Tamura visit:
Books mentioned in today’s podcast:
Buddhism, Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen
The Places That Scare Us by Pema Chödrön
For more from Robyn + Karen, and to sign up for Weekly Inspo visit seekingcenter.app
You can also follow Seeking Center on Instagram at @seekingcenterrobyn
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Karen: and I'm Karen Loenser. Welcome to seeking center. The podcast,
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Robyn: Karen and I had just been talking about wanting to find someone who could speak to using mindfulness in real estate and that very next morning, Karen stumbled upon an article in New York magazine aptly named
the Woo Woo agents of real estate.
Robyn: Can unblocking [00:01:00] your chakras,
get you a house. Maybe in that we were introduced to New York city real estate agent, cary Tamura with the Corcoran group.
Cary is ranked within the top 1% out of 50,000 real estate agents nationwide within the NRT group, which includes companies such as Corcoran. soThe. Coldwell banker century 21 era and others. In addition to his work as a real estate agent in New York city, Cary has been a meditator for over 17 years and a teacher of meditation for a good portion of those years.
He has been credited by Corcoran, VP, Ida fields, as being responsible for bringing meditation to the company. He trains Corcoran and real estate agents in mindfulness awareness meditation, as well as teaching at other meditation centers, schools and businesses in and around New York. Cary says the benefits of that in your business, be it dealing with difficult clients or in negotiation are being keyed into the stuff in between the words. [00:02:00] We know our connection with Cary is divine.
He brings a grounding and helpful perspective to the fiercely demanding real estate market and to the importance of mindfulness in our everyday lives. Let's get talking. Hi, Cary. Hi.
Cary: How's it going guys?
Karen: good. We're so happy to have you here. Just feel like it's serendipitous that we had that first meeting.
Cary: The idea that you were talking about it the day before and then read the article, the next day is pretty
Robyn: synchronous. It is. And there were several real estate agents mentioned in the article. And what I said to Karen was that your name for me, was highlighted.
you just know those moments where you're supposed to meet and you're supposed to talk. And so we were so grateful that when we reached out, you got back to us and from there we started this conversation.
Cary: And I'm very grateful you reached out as well.
part of that is also just because, meditation and real estate have been a thing for me for a long time now. But I haven't had the opportunity to really talk about it with too many people. And I've been like looking for more opportunities to actually, talk about
the two in context of one another, not just talking about real [00:03:00] estate as I often do, or just talking about, meditation as I often do. So thank you for giving me the opportunity. I really appreciate it.
Robyn: speaking to that can you talk about your philosophy and how that helps realtors and not only the realtors, but also your clients and what that helps you bring to your work every day?
Just to add
Karen: to that as we're just talking, it occurred to me so many people listening might think real estate and meditation, mindfulness, it seems like they're almost. Oxymoron they're just the antetheis of what you would ever expect to be in one sentence. So maybe jump into that a
Cary: little bit too.
I think that's a great point. I've heard this from certain people they're like, how can do be a meditator and teach meditation and do real estate. And what's interesting to me is actually it's not really a question so much.
It's interesting. The assumptions that are going on underneath that question, The assumptions that are typically going on is somehow that if you meditate, that you can't be involved with material concerns, like. Where somebody lives for example, from my perspective, and then if you're involved [00:04:00] in Manhattan, New York city, real estate, which is multimillion dollar real estate, typically, that somehow that is exclusive of the ability to have a spiritual practice or practice of mind, or to wanna be a better, more fulfilled and happy person, so I laugh at that when I hear those kinds of questions not at the people who are asking it, but I see why people are sometimes are confused, but I think it's because they don't understand that,
I think with any profession, anything that we do in the world most professions that we have are absolutely necessary for society. a lot of times I tend to think of myself as very progressive and liberal person politically maybe not financially, so maybe I'm more like a libertarian anyway, not to get into politics.
But the idea being that some people think, oh, we don't need bankers. actually, we need bankers because bankers help people grow businesses, little businesses and big businesses and so I think that whatever the thing is that you.
In your life, you can do it in a mindful, compassionate and aware way, or you can do it in a selfish and, closed, way as well.[00:05:00] And what mindfulness and meditation does, is it helps you go about your life in a way that is a little more aware, a little more awake, hopefully a little more patient, a little more happy, and that awareness part, which I think we're gonna talk a little bit about, particularly in the context of real estate is that's part of the thing that really helps you interact skillfully with whatever you're dealing with professionally or personally or both. So I think you're right to ask that question or make that point because sometimes people don't understand that, I work with people who are buying studios of.
Cost $350,000. And I've had listings on my team I worked the whole spectrum and I try to treat everybody the way I would wanna be treated and what, the meditation practice in my life that has helped me is to help recognize that it's not just about, oh this listing is $10 million and this listing is $500,000.
So I'm gonna spend, 10 times more attention on this listing than I'm gonna spend on the other. It doesn't work like that. I just try to be a good person and help people
Robyn: First of all, I love that you point out that this goes in any profession, And that you hope you bring that mindfulness, [00:06:00] no matter what you're doing, which we'll talk more about mindfulness in general, and that you're also, you're seeing. Someone's soul that's really what you're doing is you're seeing inside you're recognizing that person, no matter what the money, the financial attachment is, doesn't matter.
Cary: And that's actually super important to doing real estate well and effectively. And again, one of those things that really helps it's perceiving. You have a conversation with somebody and they're like this is what I want. I'm looking for this, and this.
And I live light and space and it's gotta be in this area. And I don't want it to be like this. And really what you're doing is you're trying to get a sense of what is important to that other person. And what's very interesting is, and this happens all the time and I guarantee you ask any real estate agent has been doing it for a while.
Is that when people initially tell you what they're looking for and they end up buying something or renting something that is totally different from what they initially tell you that they're looking for. And that's natural. It's like a part of the exploration process.
Cuz a lot of times people think they want one thing and then they see other things or things change and with experience. And for me, part of my job. And this comes [00:07:00] down to that kind of reading in between the lines thing that you can do when you are calm and present with the person that you're talking to is recognizing that sometimes what we say is not exactly what we mean.
And not that that person is trying to deceive you, but just that they may not really be clear on their own priorities. And by talking to you about it they're helping work those out. It's helping work those out for them, and so that's part of your role in real estate is to really understand not just what people are saying to you, but also what they're not saying.
Robyn: That's right. Yeah. Great point. Yeah. So tell us how you started on this whole journey with mindfulness and meditation. Yeah. Even prior to real
Cary: estate. Yeah. A lot of my long term friends thought of me as a musician for a long time. I was a musician in New York city.
And I did that for a while. And this is going back, 15 years ago now. And I was having a really bad year back in about 2003. it was a really tough year for me. And it was tough because. I was a full-time musician at the time. my money was running out.
I realized in my years of being a [00:08:00] musician, that was great artist, but not great at doing music for other people. I really liked making music for the sake of making music and the kind of music that I wanted to make and nothing else basically.
And so I was running outta money. My band had broken up I broke up with my girlfriend. I was in the process of getting evicted from my loft on Bowery, which I'd lived in for a few years, but by no fault of mine, I was paying my rent. But I was on a month to month situation and the landlord was selling the building and It was a tough year.
And I remember coming home one night
it was like three o'clock in the morning. I sat down on my couch and I looked around at this big empty apartment that I had. And I was like, I'm not happy. this sucks. my life, it sucks. And the thing is that it's not anybody else's fault. I had this realization that my life was the way I had chosen to make it.
Obviously we can't control everything that happens in our lives. But where I was in my life, I realized. it was all resulting from the choices that I'd made. And when I realized this series of choices had led me to a fairly unhappy place
I decided to try and [00:09:00] figure out some way to make better decisions in my life. And the way I would describe it now is what I was really looking to do was I was seeking, I was seeking center. I was seeking to be more in touch with my core values and that way, I felt like if I could be more in touch with what was important to me on like really fundamental.
Basic human, happiness level. Then I could make better choices going forward and hopefully be happier in my life. And so that's what I did. I was talking to a friend of mine, still friends to this day and he was like CT. went by my initials.
He's like CT, go to the bookstore cuz bookstores were a thing back then. yes. He's go to the bookstore, go to the self-help section and read all the book. Titles choose two that you like the titles of you resonate with the name of the book buy 'em and. I was like, okay, that sounds like a good place to start.
So I went to Barnes and gold on union square on 14th street which is still around one of the only ones. And I went up this self-help section, and I was looking at the different book titles and none of 'em were really speaking to me. And right next to the [00:10:00] self help section was the Eastern religion section.
And there was a bunch of books on Buddhism and meditation. And I just found myself in this section all of a sudden. And I was looking through and I found this book and it was called Buddhism, plain and simple by a guy named Steve Hagen, who is a Zen guy from Minnesota.
And I saw that book and then there was one other I think it was something by the, like the Dalai Lama or something, but this book, Buddhism, plain and simple, I got it. I took it home and I read it and it was like everything that I.
About the universe and my place in it and the way the world works and the way we work as human beings to me was outlined in this book. And it was this thing called meditation or Buddhism or both. And from the moment I finished this book, I was like, I gotta know more about this meditation stuff.
I wanna read whatever I can about it. And for six years, I did nothing. the only books that I read were books on meditation. I just really explored it. And that was really what got me, started with meditation. And I just wanna say too, because for me, I was baptized Catholic and confirmed [00:11:00] Episcopalian stuff, but I was not looking for another religion.
I was looking for something not to replace or supplant or have a new kind of religion, but more of something to help me with understanding myself and the world better. And that was what I found there. I would have
Karen: to just say that's what struck me.
And I'm glad you underscored that because you could have picked the title I don't know, heal your life or change your thoughts, change your mind. Like something that would be so nonreligious. You would think that in a way, Buddhism could have been like a big leaper and is for a lot of people to go there.
But it feels like somehow deep inside you knew you were looking for a practice versus just changing your thoughts or changing your way of thinking .
Cary: Yeah, it's a very good point, right? Because like, why I was I've almost actively not looking for a religious anything.
And so Buddhism a as a Eastern religion, does not necessarily make the most sense, but I read it and it changed my life. And I would say that a book that, for example, I prefer even more than Buddhism, plain and simple is pretty much anything by payment Chodron, I [00:12:00] read payment's book The places that scare you.
And that, to me, if I could only have one book for the rest of my life, it would probably be that book. the thing that I loved about Pema's work and this is true also about her teacher Chu Trump and Pache, who was my meditations teachers teacher as well, is that she does a fantastic job of communicating what Buddhist would call Dharma.
In really simple and plain terms, she doesn't get technical with a lot of in her case, Tibetan Buddhist jargon, although she does introduce concepts, but she really is the wisdom just falls off the page because she just is. She's a very wise person and she presents everything in the simples.
Easiest to understand way that I've found. And that really resonated with me even more than anything else.
Robyn: And I think also, just to point out from that initial epiphany for you at three in the morning, sitting in your apartment, that idea that you realized you weren't happy, but that you also were responsible for that and that because you're responsible [00:13:00] that you could also change it.
Yeah. And I just think all of that and then leading to going to the bookstore and finding that book, that was the time. It was like the unlocking for you to this next chapter in your life.
Cary: yeah. And I am really grateful for the miserable year that I had that year.
Because it was life changing and it was life changing in a good way, because I was able to embrace this fact that I was suffering. I didn't try and pretend like I wasn't enjoying the year. And thus work constructively to try and, figure out an alternative way of living, so
Robyn: then what happens? So you read this and now you start practicing. How did you incorporate this into your life? And then how did you see things start to change?
Cary: Yeah. So that's a great question. , I started by reading primarily and I dabbled in meditation, but I didn't do it regularly for the first couple years that I was reading books.
And after a couple of years of reading books and dabbling, I finally decided to try and get a little more serious about meditation. I was actually reading the Shimbalah sun, which is now called lions roar, I think. And it had always had great articles. I would read it, cover to cover [00:14:00] every three months or whatever it came out.
And I looked at it, it was like Shimbalah publications. And then I Googled on the web and I was looking for meditation centers and I found the Shimbalah center in New York city. And I was like, oh, this is like a few blocks from where I am. And I love this magazine and Pema Chodron is also part of, and so I was like oh my God.
That's amazing. yeah. so I started going there. One of the things they teach you is that you need to find a teacher if you're serious about learning and growing as a meditator. And so I found a guy named John Baker, who to me, to this day, one of the best, maybe unsung meditation teachers around and That coincided with a more regular practice. So I finally started meditating every day, 20 to 40 minutes a day for, better part of a year. And one of the things that I noticed and this comes back to one of my things about meditation and when I'm teaching it is that to me the
effect that you would see from a meditation practice is very similar to the effect that you would see from a workout regimen. So I say that, meditation is like going to the gym for your mind and your heart and your [00:15:00] spirit. But especially for the mind.
I liken it too let's say that you never train and you go run a marathon for three hours one day, that is not gonna be good for your body. You need to work up to it. You need to train, you need to get better.
You're more likely to hurt yourself into three hours or four hours of one day that you're trying to run but if you, take it like slow, if you do 15 minutes a day of working out for a couple of weeks, you start to see a change. You do 15 or 20 minutes a day of working out for a few months.
You're definitely seeing a change. And you do that for a few years. it's a life changing practice. And meditation to me is the same thing. If you try and sit down and meditate for four hours one day, and you don't know what you're doing, you've never done it before.
It's really not gonna be that helpful. I think, you're not gonna see much, but probably a lot of frustration and misunderstanding. but if you can meditate for 5, 10, 15 minutes a day for a couple of weeks, you'll start to see that difference. You do it for a couple months. you'll notice a real difference and you do it for a couple years and it's a life changing practice,
Karen: Is there a [00:16:00] specific practice or a specific way that you practiced your meditation just for people who might be thinking, oh, that, that sounds great, but I don't even
Cary: know where to start. Sure. Yes. So the kind of meditation that I typically both practice and teach is a mindfulness awareness hybrid meditation and the Buddhist terms would be Tibetan would be Shama, VAPA, meditation shamatha is mindfulness.
VAPA is awareness. And they say VAPA and other traditions so mindfulness awareness meditation, and what that is, is learning to sit in place. I typically do it with my eyes open, although sometimes I start out with my eyes closed. I work on relaxing my body and. once I've relaxed my body a little bit, after a few minutes, I try to maintain a a light attention on my breath and a greater awareness of the space.
So the mindfulness part, the Shama part is mindfulness of the breath by just noticing the feeling of the breath without changing it. And then the awareness part or the, of a passion part is sitting and being aware of the space. Around you, and as you develop your [00:17:00] awareness, it also comes to being aware of what's happening in your mind as well.
In the Tibetan tradition, they talk about six senses, And I think in the west, we associate six senses as ESP, Is the sixth sense and in this tradition, I don't think it's so much ESP is its awareness of mind. If you think about the way that we experience the world, we experience it through our sight, our hearing, our touch, our taste, our smell, and through our mind, our mind creates thoughts. I don't hear or see or feel my thoughts or smell them. But I experienced thoughts. So the sixth sense is the mind sense. And so as I sit. It's a really simple instruction. As I sit. What I do is I try to keep that light attention on the breath, like 30% of my attention on my breath and 70% of my attention on my awareness of the space of what's happening in the moment.
And what's interesting is when you try and do that you realize very quickly how easy it is to get distracted. And then the instruction is when you notice that you're distracted and usually when you're distracted, it means that you're thinking about something that either hasn't happened [00:18:00] yet or happened in the past, you're having some kind of mental converse chatter in your head. So when you notice that you're chattering away and that you're distracted from the present, you just notice it, you let it go and you bring your attention back to the breath and back to the present. And that's it, in a nutshell, there's a lot of nuance.
I'm sure as you are aware that in a lot of instruction that can go into this, but the key is to just sit. And keep returning, keep coming back. I describe that, noticing that you're distracted and then coming back to the present as a mental curl, you're strengthening your mind's ability to be present.
And what happens just like when we work out, is the more that you do that, the more you notice you're distracted and you come back to the present, the better you get at being present, The longer you're able to be present. And the first thing that people always say, they're like, oh, my mind's too busy.
I can't clear my mind and just be present. It just doesn't work for me. And what I tell them is it's actually that. if your mind working your mind, chattering away about things. That's what you need to work with in meditation. Meditation is not sitting and doing nothing.
[00:19:00] Meditation is an activity and that activity is the noticing what your mind's doing and is taking you away, letting go of that. And just bringing yourself back. and I think the thing that I like that translates in between the metaphor or the, analogy between working out and meditation is that the more you do it, the more times you do it in a 15 minute, meditation, if you get distracted a hundred times in 15 minutes and you come back a hundred times that's the work, That's, what's making you a better meditator or making you more present and more aware and more relaxed. So I really love that analogy and that's what I do. And that's what I teach
Robyn: I love that. And I love the fact that introducing this to people and talking about it, you also can come back to it throughout your day.
So it doesn't have to be just a one time thing. We all have. We like to say crazy days, And in the midst of that crazy day, you may not have 15 minutes, but even in a minute, once you have that down where you've been practicing, you can reach that level of mindfulness and grounding in a minute.
if you are familiar with [00:20:00] how that makes you.
Cary: Yeah, absolutely. And the more you do it, the better you get. and I do the same thing. So I try to walking down the street in between appointments. it's so easy. We get so busy in our days.
It's so easy to walk down the street and not be at all aware of what's going on with the weather. Is it a beautiful day outside? Is the sun shining because you're so wrapped up in your head and just that act again, it's an exercise that act of being like, oh, let me just see, let me just forget about all the things I'm stressed out about for one minute and just notice the feeling of the day of the light of the sounds whatever's going on around me.
And every time I do that, it's a little mental break. It's like climbing the top of a really little mountain and just like getting a breath of fresh air and being present for a second,
Robyn: Then how did you come into real estate?
As we know, you're a top realtor in New York city, how did that happen?
Cary: Yeah it's interesting. The thing that meditation, the part that meditation played in my growth and transformation as a person, is that one of the tenets of Buddhism and meditation and Eastern meditation certainly [00:21:00] is that, everything is always changing.
You're changing. The world is changing. Everything is changing, even if it's somewhat imperceptible to us, we think of like a rock or a table or whatever, or my shirt as not changing, but it is always changing. And so one of the tenants is to practice a non-attachment So you don't get too attached to things being just the way they are and expecting 'em to always be the same.
And I think that, you probably have experienced this in your lives. I think we literally, everyone has experienced this in our lives. And maybe we know people who clinging onto things being the same, and they really invest in things being same. Because they're happy the way things are, but they don't wanna let things go.
And they're gonna hold on really tight to trying to keep things from changing, but things always change. And the more meditation practice, you do the more comfortable with change you become. And I think that also for me, the more honest I became about what was important to me and what I realized in my early mid thirties, was that the lifestyle that I've been living, the work that I've been doing as a musician, there are some [00:22:00] unhealthy aspects being out all night, every night and touring and all these things that didn't speak to me anymore.
They didn't hold what they held for me 15 years earlier. And when I realized that, and when I really saw that, which I accredit mostly to meditation, it I realized that was not what I wanted to be doing anymore. And I wanted to make a change and I wanted to find something that would speak to me more.
And it was that self honesty with how I was feeling and about my situation that led me to wanting to change. And, so I traveled the country for six months in a van, camping and doing all this stuff and lived in Boulder for three years.
Which was awesome. . And it also led me to trying something new, something that I had actually been interested in which was real estate. And really in some ways it was the evolution of real estate and neighborhoods because as a musician for many years, I was constantly living or hanging out in the coolest places in New York city, because, as a musician, an artist and actors and students, and, you tend to find cool places to live that are not expensive.
And one place like [00:23:00] New York city, there's not a lot of those places. and so I saw the transformation of the lower east side happen in the mid to late nineties, I saw the transformation of Williamsburg where it was rezoned and it became the coolest place to go play shows, in the mid two thousands,
and so I had this natural radar for , where you might wanna buy a. And see a great returns either for renting it or living in end selling, and so I had a natural inclination or knowledge about this stuff.
And then I also did some scouting work for an investment firm. And they were asking me to actually use those skills to help them find properties that made sense from various perspectives. And that was where I started.
And when I got out to Colorado I was like, I think I want to try this and I did, and I closed 10 deals in my first year and I never looked back.
Karen: I thought it was something when you were talking about how this evolution in your own journey brought you to that place of really knowing who you were and what you were wanting to do.
And it's that idea of finding your home within your self first. Of really getting to that place where, this is my center, this is who I really am. And in my [00:24:00] authentic self, not on what I'm putting on or the walls or the address that I have, or the furniture that I'm putting in it, but really tuning into that aspect, which is you first and then finding the right place to live and live being the big word.
I just think that's so much bigger even than just real estate and has such potentiality of directing people. When they're looking for a home that's looking really within themselves first, before they're trying to define that space for themselves on the outside.
Cary: And I think that a mistake that a lot of people it's very easy to make is both your own identity for me, I had an identity as a musician, for many years and letting go of that identity, which is just change Is really scary, but being comfortable or being okay, it's okay to be scared by something. That's what bravery really is being a little scared, but doing it anyway because it's the right thing to be doing.
And I think that act of letting go of a concept of what defined me. I am a rock and roll musician in New York city. that is a fictitious, construct that I placed on [00:25:00] myself. And I letting go of that. It really opened up my life and my ability to make good decisions cuz otherwise all the decisions I made are wrapped up in this little box and I can't deviate I can't get outside of the box.
And I think where it also, leads into what you're talking about is sometimes we look for neighborhoods and we look for our homes to maybe define us or we label them. We're like, this place will make me, this is gonna make me feel special.
this neighborhood is where I need to be, because that's where only the cool kids live in this neighborhood or whatever it is these concepts. And there's good things about different neighborhoods and neighborhoods that I would like to be, and not like to be.
but the idea that you're somehow defined by the place that you live or the apartment that you live in or the price of the apartment, those things are not important. They really are not, and they're not gonna help you be happy in that space.
That was one thing I learned back when I was sitting in Bowery all along a big apartment, it's so
Robyn: true. Yeah, you're right. It is so much deeper than that and I think you said this at the beginning of our conversation, a lot of [00:26:00] times your clients will end up in places.
They never thought, but you help them open up to exploring You see them and then you're opening them up to places and neighborhoods that they would never have thought of. And then it's that feeling of what, when you walk into a certain place or you stand on land that somehow, you're exactly where you're supposed to be.
And you hope that most people experience that I know I have, but it's helping them get.
Cary: That is very accurate. And the thing I always say this to people, especially if they are having any kind of troubles making decisions on places, because it's very easy for our minds to convince us s all the boxes that I thought I wanted, but it doesn't feel good.
And I always tell people no matter what the price point is, no matter what the situation is. I say, look, you need, when you walk into the space that you're thinking about spend buying, especially if you're spending millions of dollars on the space, it needs to feel good.
It needs to feel like a place that you could be happy living in it doesn't need to define [00:27:00] you. It doesn't need to tick all the boxes that you had on your checklist. It doesn't necessarily need to even be in the right, the place that you thought you needed to be. It needs to feel good when you're in there.
and no matter what your mind is telling you, if it doesn't feel good, then you should really reconsider whether or not you wanna purchase that place. And I do that a lot and I find it's so helpful for people because they'll, they constantly will come back to me later.
And they'll like, yeah, you said it should feel good. And, I thought about it. And it just, even though it takes all the boxes, it didn't feel right to me. And I'm like, great. You just learned something about that. you learned about thing, like about what you actually are looking for.
And maybe it's a little different than you thought. And that to me is part of the job, and you're
Karen: teaching them to listen to their intuition. And many people probably don't even know what that is, but that's exactly. What you're asking them to do is look within. And so many people are just never taught to do that.
Maybe about a relationship, but not necessarily
Robyn: I was gonna exactly, but you can apply it to relationships in life, and as you said, Kara, maybe they've thought about it in that way, but they didn't think about it with the place they [00:28:00] live or they're planning on living.
So it's really important because it's, it's energy.
Cary: I enjoy the physics. Like I, I'm a little bit of a science sci-fi nerd. I enjoy reading the occasional article that pops over my phone about the latest fusion, reactors or whatever.
But one of the things that I like is strength theory and the fact that particles, as far as we can tell scientifically particles don't exist and to people who are skeptical about energetic things, right? But , when you look at the physics of it particles don't really exist, it's really waves. It's energy waves, that we're dealing with in terms of what puts together reality on a basic level. And when you think about it that way, What is happening when your mind is working, your mind is an energetic process.
It's an electro a magnetic process. when your heart beats, there's an , electromagnetic process there too, we are just energetic beings on a very basic level. So the idea that what I'm thinking or feeling can't affect the world around me or vice versa is actually doesn't make scientific sense in a way.
This is like a round hole that I don't really like to go down personally, but
Robyn: I love that you just went down that we do[00:29:00]
Karen: cause let's face that there's a lot of people, probably the majority of the people who are fighting the idea of meditating because they think their minds are too busy.
Are the ones that would be open to the more scientific or even theory that you gave about the workout. I can see a lot of people going, oh, I never thought about it that way. If I can gain strength in my mental ability to even just connect with my inner thoughts and that will help me from a business.
That's a whole nother conversation, then the title of the article that we found in the new Yorker magazine, which was more about the Woo woo and, will that help you, if you balance your chakras it's there is science to it. There. Absolutely it, yeah.
Cary: Yep. And that's what we've seen.
So that's what we've seen in the last 10 to 15 years, is 15 years ago, especially, I feel like, if you talked about meditation, it was really, you were immediately pigeonholed into this new age spiritualism that may or may not have any scientific background on anything, to where there have been so many studies now about the benefits, the health benefits, the mental, emotional benefits [00:30:00] and physical health benefits of meditation. You can't deny it from a scientific standpoint. And for those people like us who maybe have actually incorporated meditation practices into our lives, you can't deny the effect that it has on you as a person either.
And that's also right. Why you see it popping up in popular culture, more, Silicon valley Google and all these different a company is, having meditation rooms, teaching meditation. I know a guy at Google friend of mine, who we used to meditate together and stuff.
Who's actually, that's one of his main things at Google is he's working on, bringing meditation to to people there. And the dirty secret of it all is right is as we try to work on ourselves and through meditation is that it helps us not be present and more aware in our professional lives, but it also helps us with our personal lives.
It helps us just with everything that we do, because literally. Every interaction we have is in the present. So the more skillfully we are able to, the more we're able to see what's happening right now, the more skillfully we are able to interact with the present, and that's, I think the maybe one last [00:31:00] thing I would want to say about meditation is that the more you meditate,
the more choice you have in terms of your reactivity to things, because what happens is somebody says something, in a relationship your personal relationship or professional relationship, somebody says something that pisses you off or annoys you then you wanna react to you, be like screw you.
whatever it is you said if you get me at the wrong time, and in the middle somebody says something inflammatory, I can react just normal human being be pissed off. But the more I meditate, the more, I'm aware of how.
What's happening inside me and having a choice about it. It's oh, that comment or that situation is actually making me upset. It's making me anxious or it's making me angry. And I have a choice about how I wanna react, what I wanna say, what I want to do. And that choice, is just so key to making the good decisions that I started seeking many years ago.
Robyn: Oh, I love that. You just brought that up and I actually. I think that is such a practical way for someone to understand how they can use meditation on a daily basis. And it leads to also what you somewhat brought [00:32:00] up earlier. when you talked about walking down the street and being able to center yourself no matter what's going on, can you talk about the sitting project and what that is and how you've used that and introduce that in New York
Yeah, sure. So the sitting project started back. It was like more than 10 years ago now. And when I was starting to really get into meditation I was getting a lot of questions from people cuz I was talking about it. I was really enjoying the process. I was really appreciating what meditation was doing for me and the happiness that was helping me
and the and so people started asking me a lot of questions. So I decided to create a site that I could point them to, because I was literally answering questions every week, multiple times a week, people are asking me questions about meditation. And so I was like, let me create a site.
So I created the sitting project and I called it the sitting project because I didn't wanna call it meditation because 15 years ago, meditation was a dirty word. I wrote an article on the sitting project. It's still there called meditation is a dirty word. And I'm very happy to say that things have changed right in the last 10 or 15 years.
But I wanted to answer [00:33:00] basic questions about meditation from my perspective. And then what I actually decided I wanted to do, which I thought would be fun was I was meditating every day for at least 20 minutes a day, sometimes a couple of times a day.
So I decided it would be cool if I started videotaping myself meditating, which is interesting. Because when you're meditating, you're not moving. So it's very much like a picture, but it's a live feed. And I would just sit there in front of the camera and I would meditate live for 20 minutes a day every morning for months.
And then I started, I recorded some. And so originally the idea was to just to do that, it was just to be a place for people to actually see other people meditating and to normalize it and bring it into the mainstream a little bit.
What I realized was that, when you meditate sitting in a quiet room, or in a meditation center or whatever, in bed it's much easier to meditate, especially in the beginning. You think things need to be quiet and things need to be chill. And if there's sounds outside is distracting to your meditation and all this stuff. And what you realize as you meditate, as you become more and more of a meditator, you start to realize that this is not , an activity where you sit and exclude the external world.
There are [00:34:00] certain things like mantras and, like TM and where you are focused on something, it's a mindfulness for meditation where you focus on something, a candle, the breath, mantra, whatever. But the awareness part the VIPA part of meditation, which is what mindfulness sets you up for mindfulness.
Allows you to relax in the present moment that focus on something that's happening in the present allows you to let go of the future in the past. And it allows you to be a little more relaxed and be present. That being present that comes from mindfulness meditation is what actually allows for your awareness to open.
The more relaxed in the you are in the present, the more aware you can be of what's going on around you and what's going on inside of you. And the more aware you are, it's I think of mindfulness meditation, as techniques, as something that will relax you in the moment and awareness meditation and practice is what relaxes you for your life.
And so when I realized that it is an all inclusive meditation when you are sitting and doing the Shama of passion, mindfulness. [00:35:00] Awareness hybrid that I teach or just awareness, I think in general meditation, we are trying to let everything come in.
We're we're trying not to focus on one thing in particular, we're trying to let go of and relax into the present so that we can allow everything to come in. And it doesn't matter what it is. It could be your cell phone ringing. It could be noise traffic from outside. It could be somebody, a television playing, it could be birds, it could be anything and we're trying to be.
Relaxed and aware enough to let it all come in to experience it all. Because if you think about it when you are sitting right now, you are experiencing the world. The world is right there, your eyes and your ears and your nose and your body is all aware of what's going on right now.
But our mind is what actually focuses us on certain things to the exclusion of others. And so what we're learning to do, and there's an activity like it's like grabbing a hold of something. And so what we're learning to do is to let go of that hold and so that we can experience more of the world.
And one of the things that happens in longer [00:36:00] meditation retreats and. People have been meditating a lot of time is they will say that, you literally experience the world in a more vivid way. colors literally will become more vivid. , sounds become more detailed.
I've had this experience as well in longer retreats. It's not like this unattainable, mystical magical thing. It is mystical and magical, but it's a very ordinary thing that just happens when you let go of the things that you're worried about and you just experience the present more directly the experiences more intense of life.
Cary: I'm glad. It's inspiring to me, right? I've learned, I've heard these teachings and I'm just trying to communicate them to other people too. Because I've had the experience and I'm so grateful for it.
I just wanna share it with other people. And the last thing I'll say so the reason that I started doing these meditations in times square is exactly for that reason, As a new Yorker, the last place on earth that I want to go on any kind of regular basis is times square.
Okay. It is the most crowded, noisy, smelly, busy place. You can't walk new Yorkers, to walk [00:37:00] fast, cuz we're trying to get from one place to the other. You cannot walk fast in times square. So I was like, what better place to meditate to go and practice meditation to go practice relaxation, mindfulness, and then awareness of what's going on than the belly of the beast, which is, times square.
So the sitting project became evolved into Doing these meditations in the heart of times square, right by the red steps and this father Duffy statue. And the thing that is awesome about it is that you go and you sit down in the middle of all this bustle there's you got traffic and horns, more lights than probably anywhere else on earth.
People all over the place. Sometimes it's really crowded. Sometimes there are people standing right next to you, over you and around you, and what happens is you feel self-conscious, you meditate in public like this, especially a place like that.
You feel self-conscious at first, you work with that as you sit. And then to me, the most amazing thing happens once you relax and you're more aware of what's going on, not from a specific like that dude, standing too close to me. I don't like that There are ebbs and [00:38:00] flows to the traffic.
There are ebbs and flows to the people there's ebbs and flows to the lighting. You start to see the natural rhythms of times square, which you think of it as the most unnatural place in the world, but it is actually full. It's just the world.
It's like the world lives and breathes. And you start to connect with that when you sit there and are open to it. And it's I think I told you guys this before. I think meditating in time square should be every meditator's on every I
Robyn: agree. Honestly, I worked there many years ago. I worked a 15, 15 Broadway.
Yeah. And I wish I knew that
Karen: I bet you are challenging some people right now. yeah. To go out, even if they're not in New York to go out somewhere, that's a little bit crazy and challenging
Cary: to you. I absolutely do it alone. I think people like doing in groups, let me know. I'll like I said, I'll step one up.
We'll go do it.
Robyn: What I find also hilarious in many ways is that in New York you can get away with doing anything so that the idea of sitting in silence in the middle of times square.
I would imagine there's some people [00:39:00] trying to heckle you
Cary: almost like it's guaranteed that you're definitely not the most unusual thing. You're not there's
Robyn: but that amazing, but that's so smart. It's a good challenge. I look forward to doing that with you. And then we've talked a lot today about incorporating this in all aspects of your life. And obviously we talked a bit about real estate. We know that in the Corcoran group, you've become known as someone who is a mindfulness teacher, even within the company. How have you seen that change
some of the realtors that have come through working with you in order to learn more and become more in touch. Themselves and the practice of meditation.
Cary: So I think there are two ways one way less obvious. The first way I would say is that people when they're meditating so they formed a group.
that meditates every Monday morning, I believe it is Monday or Tuesday mornings, I forget. and I think that group feels there's a [00:40:00] connection that is created amongst meditators who are meditating together regularly. There's a sense of community. And that sense of community is is a beautiful thing.
It helps, your coworkers, it helps interactions and communications. And then I think more directly for instance, Meditating with my team. I started meditating with, I have a small team or a four person team at Corcoran and even though, couple of the people on the team had never meditated before, they seem to really love it.
They love doing it and they feel calmer and more relaxed at the end of it. And that's just the beginning, right? I think that the more you do it the easier it is to go through your day and be more present.
And that just comes back to what we were talking about before the the Tibetan Buddhist call it skillful means, which is a skillful interaction with the present with whatever the situation is. . So I think I've certainly seen that in my life. And I think other people are seeing that in theirs as well.
Robyn: I love that. And then talking about clients that you work with, do you ever introduce it to them? Do they know that's part of your day to day.
Cary: So I don't proselytize the meditation stuff in my real [00:41:00] estate practice. part of the reason that I was excited to be able to talk about it, with you, for example, and with New York magazine and some others is because I'm hoping that people who are open that this kind of resonates with will track me down and say, Hey, let's talk about working together.
And let's do a little bit of mindfulness meditation prior to a showing, which is one of the things that I do offer to anybody who's interested, it's so easy, especially if you're looking at six properties in a row, 15 minutes at a time it's very easy for details to get jumbled up together to miss deepen the things There are certain apartments where you can feel the subway rumble in New York city, right underneath your feet. But it's very easy to miss that. I've seen so many people miss that. I had an apartment that was that listing. it was that every few minutes, the six train rolled by, or the four, five, or both would roll by.
And you would feel the rumble in this low first floor apartment and so few people actually noticed that, and the ability to take a breath and have a little silence and relax into that moment is the kind of thing where it helps you not miss details.
And so if I can help my [00:42:00] clients do that, I will absolutely do that. And then the, dirty secret of is that I get to do more meditation and mindfulness throughout my day. So if every client, every day just wanted a little bit of mindfulness before each showing I would be totally down oh my gosh,
Robyn: I love that.
And I do think people listening today, and I know we have a lot of people in the New York area who do listen, maybe reaching out to you, especially because if they're listening, they're open enough. When I think about buying a new home, it's really another chapter in their lives.
So whether they're selling their current home and looking for another What better way to do that than with intention and mindfulness. Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you for sharing all of it. And if people want to find you, what's the best place.
Cary: best place is Cary tamura my website.
C a R YT, a M U R a.com. it's mostly real estate focused. I do have an article a little post there about mindfulness and real estate which is actually how the writer from New York magazine found me. And where I talk a little bit about, these kinds of [00:43:00] more specific, how can we incorporate mindfulness into a daily, real estate routine
Robyn: Excellent. And we'll have that in our show notes, along with the books that you recommended. And we'll also have a link to your sitting project.org as well.
Cary: That's been great. Awesome. Cary,
Robyn: thank you so much.
Cary: no, thank you. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to talk about this stuff with you.
Robyn: And we look forward to meditating with you in person at some point in the near future.
Cary: Yes, that would be great.