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137: Sam Morris – Zen Warrior

By May 5, 2018Podcasts
Reading Time: 6 minutes
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Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play
Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play
Whole Life Challenge Podcast on Google Play

Sam Morris Zen Warrior TrainingIn November of 1999, at the age of 24 and having just led an unsupported cycling trek across the United States with nine teenagers, Sam was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. In an instant, he went from being an avid outdoorsman, athlete and Zen enthusiast to being paralyzed from the waist down.

Determined to not become the victim of his circumstances, Sam spent years learning from some of the world’s top experts in the fields of somatic healing, meditation, breath work and mind training. Bedridden for the better part of four years and hospitalized for over two years, Sam’s will to survive was tested on multiple occasions. Throughout it all, he developed a deep fascination with the power of the mind and body to overcome seemingly unconquerable obstacles. Friends and acquaintances frequently remarked on his resilient nature and the quality of his attitude and mindset. Being forced to experience such consistently unfavorable circumstances, and rise above them, cultivated the foundation of what later became Zen Warrior Training.

Zen Warrior Training trains high-performers including CEO’s, spiritual leaders and professional actors to go beyond their perceived limitations and turn any challenge into an opportunity. Sam trains his clients to move beyond their own unconscious, self-limiting perceptions and into an embodied experience of their authentic power, creating more fulfilling relationships, generating more income, and optimizing health with far less pressure and stress.Sam Morris Ski Adventure Zen Warrior Training

Do you know when you meet someone for the first time and after a few minutes, you feel like you’ve known them for years? That’s what it was like for me with Sam. Wise beyond his years, having had to deal with life challenges I hope I never have to, Sam brought an emotional and honest depth to our conversation. I especially like the conversation we get into in the second half of the podcast – about existential mental agility, flow, freedom, and the path he uses to get there.

By the way, if you’re interested in working with Sam privately, he offers a complimentary strategy session. To find out how to take advantage of this, apply at Sam’s website –

Enjoy this one. I sure did!

Andy Petranek Whole Life Challenge


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Episode Notes – #137: Sam Morris

  • John of God – a spiritual healer in Brazil
  • Traveling with a wheelchair – when it gets lost by the airlines, you’re S.O.L.
  • In the summer of 1999, Sam was an avid outdoorsman – NOLS graduate, cyclist, avid snowboarder, skier, hiker, and outdoor adventurer.
  • On becoming a paraplegic – a car accident in November, 1999 changed his life forever.
  • Coming off morphine – going from no pain to max pain
  • On his existential crisis (panic attack) one week post accident
  • Sam’s shift in consciousness – a separation from his identity and ego
  • During his spiritual experience, his profound connection with his breath.
  • Moving to Los Angeles to work with Emilie Conrad – a somatic practitioner and founder of Continuum Movement.
  • Developing a pressure sore that would last for years from lack of sensation when sitting.
  • Having surgery for his deep and long-lasting pressure sore, and the long recovery process.
  • Learning how to deal with the long-term passage of time and extreme boredom while healing from surgeries, and unable to move (even an inch) or do anything but read, watch TV and play video games.
  • Moving on with life – making a go at becoming a professional musician, singer, songwriter
  • The benefits and downsides of having a passive income
  • How Sam has managed to not give in to his long-term depression and some of the ways he’s done that largely through extreme acceptance.
  • A dog’s seemingly unique ability to be in the present.
  • Sam’s belief that human beings’ ability to be in the past, present, and future is both our greatest asset and greatest handicap
  • Sam’s mentor, Mariane Karou, founder of Dance Alive…she doesn’t do “should.”
  • Sam’s Zen Warrior Training – helping people break the habit of judgment to live more fulfilling lives.
  • Sam’s work with his coaching program, Zen Warrior Training – working with people who are deeply ambitious to become fully mindful of their daily experience, coming back to breath, energy, and flow.
  • Sam’s answer to the question, How does one know that they’re in flow in life?
  • The freedom that we experienced as a child is obtainable as adults, but it takes work to get there, living authentically, and cultivating that energy daily.
  • Why Sam believes that the skill set needed for existential mental agility, to be able to go with the flow no matter what, will be highly valued and necessary in the coming decades.
  • What are the crutches in your life? How would you be were they to be taken away? Agile? Resilient?
  • Understanding the difference between judgement and discernment – how judgment is misplaced discernment.
  • University of Santa Monica
  • How our minds have been wired for survival for millions of years. How can we shift from a survival mindset to a thriving mindset?
  • Sam’s regular daily practice of wide and varied physical training that includes movement, mind, language, body, breath, stillness, and meditation.
  • Marathon Monks of Mt. Hiei documentary
  • How Sam practices constant awareness of his energy, breath, and state – in whatever he’s doing.
  • Being in your body brings you into full presence. You can’t think your way into being present, if you are in your body, truly, you are present.
  • Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Connect with Sam Morris

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If you enjoyed this podcast, here are some others to check out:

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109: Richard Janes — Find Your Passion, Purpose, and Authenticity

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Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.