Dan Kern

© 2019 by The Den. All Rights Reserved.

MY STORY

Everyone has a first awakening domino. Many die without ever toppling it. I waited 26 years before poking mine. It was an offhand suggestion from my Mom to battle psyche-ravaging insomnia. “Have you ever tried meditating?” No, I had not. Desperation edged skepticism, so I downloaded Headspace and dropped in for the first time. 

I'd competed in the Great Western Wealth & Status Marathon up to that point. I raced the rats full sprint by consuming, grinding, experiencing, posting, and manning-up with reckless abandon. I robbed Peter to pay Paul in Silicon Valley... pushing growth for big tech brands through the ad platforms of tech giants. Societal validators kept me on track until stress jeopardized my health. On the brink of collapse, insomnia got my full attention. Meditation came to the rescue. Literally it helped me fall asleep...more importantly, it compelled me to wake up. 

More dominoes fell thereafter. Improved sleep energized my work - I earned seniority and goodwill. Mindfulness opened my eyes to a next dimensional game and playbook - I gained confidence to pioneer my life. All roads converged on a fateful bench in Golden Gate Park, where I decided to send it on a world travel tour. 3Q approved my remote work request. I touched down in Cape Town 8 months later.

I left the American hustle behind. Tranquil days were more foreign than the countries I visited... but divine. I day-dreamt in beautiful city parks and peaced-out on hiking trails and coastal bike lanes. I read Watts, Thoreau, Aristotle, Harari, and Tolle, whose elegant words caused me to cry, yelp, or dance in a jig of ecstatic appreciation. The walls of my Western reality castle fell, one domino at a time.

Two months in, my heart spoke while meditating atop a towering Saharan sand dune at sunrise. The voice, my voice, instructed me to leave the Remote Year group and organize my own travel itinerary. Done - I waved farewell at the Marrakech airport two weeks later.

Traveling solo allowed me to follow every curiosity sans limitation. Oh the dominos that followed... a cascade of magical synchronicity that culminated at a meditation retreat in the Colombian rainforest over Christmas. As I bid farewell to the guru, he took me by the arm and urged me to, “go find others like you, gather them, spread and celebrate the wisdom that I sense you’ve acquired.” Boom, just like that… hello, life's calling. I quit my job the day after New Years to start building an urban landing pad for all who are waking up to call home. The Den was born.

My mission is clear: Elevate Western consciousness through cultural revolution. Not only to spread the wellbeing benefits, but to sustain all that we hold most dear. Natural beauty, free thought, our coastlines, deep connection, usefulness... all are endangered in an unconscious world. From first to last dominos, we must accelerate the Great Awakening. It marks the calling of our generation, the climax of human history. GAME ON. 

 

These two mission-critical functions maintain the majority of my focus these days: 

  1. Unite Heartful leaders to accelerate systems change

  2. Support young people toppling their first dominoes

Be assured, I know most people don’t have the fortune of finding spiritual truth in exotic jungles… nor can most unplug for 2 years on a global adventure... nor can our world handle those jet-setting carbon emissions. I’m grateful for my privilege and vow to use the fruits of my journey to support awakening right at home in the urban West. 

 

My work is energized by questions like these: 

  • What if X more urbanites ditch corporate America to support the great awakening revolution? 

  • What if X more weekend warriors choose to enrich their soul rather than poison their bodies? 

  • What if X more Westerners escape psychological jail cells using a mindful key?

 

I don’t mean to put myself on a self-righteous pedestal… but I’m sure as hell a more positive influence on the world now than I was as an unconscious thorn in its side. All of us have the capacity for transformation in our hearts.

Thank you for your interest in my projects and story. Perhaps you're on a similar truth journey - thrive on, my friend. No matter what brought you here, I hope we'll have the chance to learn, celebrate, collaborate, or all the above together. Godspeed.

Love, Dan

September 16, 2019