David DeVine: An Intimate Interview & Mindful U Year in Review

Naropa_Mindful_Podcast-DavidDeVine

The newest episode of our podcast, Mindful U, is out on iTunesSpotify, Stitcher, and Fireside now! We are excited to announce this week’s episode features podcast host, David DeVine (BA Interdisciplinary Studies, ’12), and Kelly Watt, Director for Marketing & Admissions at Naropa.

play-icon  David DeVine: An Intimate Interview & Mindful U Year in Review

Listen in to get a history of the first year of Naropa’s podcast, Mindful U, via an intimate discussion between our delightful host, David DeVine, and Kelly Watt, Director for Marketing & Admissions at Naropa. From David: “So, before I was 14, I almost became like 8 different religions. But when I turned 21 — I found Buddhism and what I realized is Spirit is within. So, I didn’t have to — go to church. And, like, kind of hear some stuff I kind of get, and kind of don’t get. What I’ve realized is like we all have self-healing mechanisms within us and we just need to learn how to activate them and or find them within ourselves. So, we have the capability to find Spirit all the time.”

Full transcript below.

David currently works as Media Manager at Naropa University. Previously, he worked as a successful production assistant for the Naropa Performing Arts Center as well as for numerous television networks, including MTV, VH1, CBS, Speed Channel, and FOX, and has served as an assistant audio engineer at Immersive Studios.

Full transcript
David DeVine
“Intimate Interview and Podcast Year in Review”

[MUSIC]

Hello. And welcome to Mindful U at Naropa. A podcast presented by Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.

I’m your host, David Devine. And it’s a pleasure to welcome you. Joining the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions – Naropa is the birthplace of the modern mindfulness movement.

[MUSIC]

David DeVine:
Hello, today I’d like to welcome Kelly Watt to the podcast. Kelly is the Senior Director of Marketing and Admissions. She’s also a wonderful singer and a dog lover and she is also my lovely boss. So, thank you for joining me today.

KELLY LAUGHS

KELLY WATT:
You’re welcome.

David DeVine:
Awesome. So, today is quite a special day and or a special podcast

KELLY WATT:
It is.

David DeVine:
We are celebrating our one year anniversary.

KELLY WATT:
Woo hoo.

David DeVine:
With Mindful U. Go team! Go us!

KELLY WATT:
Go team! Go you, David!

David DeVine:
Go all of us. So, you and the team had a really good idea to — turn the tables around and interview me. Uh oh!

KELLY WATT:
I know.

David DeVine:
So —

KELLY WATT:
How are you feeling about that?

David DeVine:
A little nervous.

KELLY LAUGHS

David DeVine:
But I feel really good. I think uh — I think it might be interesting to explore this topic, but it’s also interesting to explore the entity of the podcast and just talk about some cool stats and facts and just kind of engage the audience. I am curious what other people have to say as well.

KELLY WATT:
Great.

David DeVine:
So, with that said. Kelly is going to take over because she is going to take my place. I am going to take the role of interviewee. I hand it off.

KELLY WATT:
Oh ok. Wow. This feels big. I am taking the reins over at Mindful U.

David DeVine:
You can do it.

KELLY WATT:
I can do it. I am ready. Yeah, well first of all just thank you so much for well letting me do this. And be in this space with you because I feel like that feels really special and important. So, I appreciate that. And also, thank you for rocking this out for the last year. I will say it again at the end, but I want to make sure that I start up front with the impact of this work that you’ve done is — incredible. And quantifiable because we’re going to brag about it later, but just to say — that we really appreciate you.

David DeVine:
Cool. Thank you.

KELLY WATT:
And so, does your audience.

David DeVine:
Yay!

KELLY WATT:
Yay! All right, so we’re going to dig in. David, tell me a little bit about how you got here?

David DeVine:
Oh, how I got to Naropa?

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, well wherever you want to start. You know you can start with birth if you want or we can fast forward a little bit, but how you got to this point.

David DeVine:
All right, well I was born near L.A. Near L.A. area. Grew up and raised in California. I was really interested in a lot of things growing up. Just a very curious little being and started music. And all this crazy stuff and then — how I got to Naropa was a long time ago — I was at a wedding and I met this person and this person was a very free-spirited person and I was on — sort of the edge of doing that. You know we’re all dressed up as wedding attire — I am in my tuxedo. And this person is just like let’s go walk to the beach. And I am like all right. So, we go to the beach and all of the sudden I am like swimming in the ocean with my tuxedo.

And, I am having this like kind of beautiful moment starting at the stars and moon just like what am I doing. Like this is crazy and I feel so free right now and this person is named Alyzabeth. And she looks at me and she is like you’re going to go to Naropa. Because she is a grad of the Naropa program and — I was just like I don’t even know what that is — like whatever.

KELLY WATT:
What is a Naropa? KELLY LAUGHS

David DeVine:
And at the time, I was 26, 27 and just working in reality television and TV like California stuff. But I didn’t know how to filter that and then I went home, and I researched it and it looked like something I wanted to do. And then it took me a year and I came to Naropa.

And, when I was here, I studied interdisciplinary studies. I got a degree in INTD — Interdisciplinary Studies with music, visual arts and religious studies with a focus on Buddhism.

Ever since then I have worked here. So, I have worked here for about 8 years now.

KELLY WATT:
We’ve just kept you. LAUGHS

David DeVine:
Yeah. I mean it’s a beautiful place and I am used to like sitting in traffic and I walk to work every day for the last 8 years and my life has shifted so much. I’ve learned so much here. And, I guess like that’s the fast forward version, right.

KELLY WATT:
That’s great! That’s a great fast forward. You always have such a — I mean of course it’s the same story and I’ve heard it before, but your how you got here story is one of my favorites of all the Naropa students and alumni I’ve talked to because I just you know — like tuxedo in an ocean. Yeah, that’s the moment where you’re like I am ready to do this.

David DeVine:
I’d do that again too.

KELLY WATT:
We’re far away from an ocean though, but I bet if you go back to L.A. you can relive it.

David DeVine:
Oh yeah.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah. And be where you are now and have that moment which is yeah big profound change I would imagine. Ten years of Naropa. Oh!

David DeVine:
Getting close.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So, tell me about what your role is here now?

David DeVine:
Ok. I’ve had a couple roles here. I started in the production crew. So, working with audio, lights, sound — working events and then from there I ended up archiving so anything that we film I put into the archive and then from there I ended up working for the marketing department because the marketing team is the one that archives stuff and then I learned how to do video and photography. And, just audio editing. I am a musician so audio editing is like a huge part of my life outside of Naropa. So, I just had all these like multiple skills. Squished them together and started making all the videos for YouTube. Right now, my title is Multi-Media Manager. And so, I run the podcast. I edit the podcast. I make all the videos for YouTube. I do all the archiving. I do some photos and I do all the video editing.

So, just a lot of media properties.

KELLY WATT:
That’s a lot of — that’s a lot of media. Can you tell the audience those that don’t know about my favorite video that you have made that you always are making? Do you know which one I am talking about?

David DeVine:
Is it the sparks?

KELLY WATT:
No, no its right outside.

David DeVine:
Its right outside?

KELLY WATT:
Its right outside our door. Right out here.

David DeVine:
I am confused.

KELLY WATT:
And you take — well you — it’s a photography project as well. So, it’s the multimedia, right?

David DeVine:
Oh, the tree.

KELLY WATT:
The tree.

David DeVine:
Oh!

KELLY WATT:
I love that video.

David DeVine:
I am a creature of habit. So, what she is talking about is we have the largest — three of the largest sycamore trees on our campus and they are just — just trees filled with like huge amounts of energy and love and everybody that goes to Naropa just love this tree. It’s frickin’ huge. I just started taking photos of it and then it turned out that I started taking a photo of it every single day and now it’s been two years that I have been taking of every single photo — even when it’s cold. Like its super cold outside and you can see my footprints in the snow of like where I stand every day and there is like — I line up with a flag and then this like really discolored board of the wall. That’s how I triangulate where I am every time. So, I have been taking photos of this tree for 2 years straight every single day.

KELLY WATT:
And, you’ve made it into — there is a video, right.

David DeVine:
We have a video.

KELLY WATT:
It’s a time lapse.

David DeVine:
It’s a time lapse of one year. And, once winter passes this year then I am going to make another one of two years.

KELLY WATT:
Yes. I love this video. You all should go check it out. It’s amazing and just warms my heart. Yeah, and they are really beloved trees. They’re pretty spectacular. Yeah, I think they’re — I know one of them is supposed to be the largest sycamore west of the Mississippi. So, that’s like — it’s a thing.

David DeVine:
They are huge.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, they are huge. All right, ok what do we got next on the list of things? Oh so, what do you do outside of Naropa?

David DeVine:
Oh!

KELLY WATT:
How do you become activated in your life outside of here?

David DeVine:
How do I become activated in my life? I do a lot of different things outside of Naropa. First off, I am a professional DJ. So, I drop base music — electronic base music in Denver, in Boulder — all the time. I also do this thing called ecstatic dance where it’s a drug free, alcohol free place to go to just dance. To feel what you feel and there’s like this form of like bringing energy up, living it high and then bringing it down and so people just dance wildly.

Kind of reminds me of Naropa. It’s just like free form, self-expression. I’m also a drummer. I have been drumming for 20 years — a long time. And so, anything music I do. I also work music festivals. I am the stage manager. I run live sound. I also have my own electronic music that I write. I write it under Higherglyph. So that music that you hear in the intro — that’s my music that I wrote. Uh that’s a cute little song I call, “Crystal Sandbox.” So, if you go to like Higherglyph.com and go to Sound Cloud you can actually like download it for free — have fun. Uh and its Higherglyph — not hieroglyph. H-I-G-H-E-R Glyph dot com. And then I also do freelance video photography audio work. And, I’m in a couple music — there is a ton of stuff I do. I do a ton of stuff.

KELLY WATT:
You do. Do you sleep? Is sleeping a part of — no, ok, I didn’t think so.

David DeVine:
No, the magic comes out at night.

KELLY WATT:
That’s right. Oh man! LAUGHS. Wow, ok so you got a lot going on. I mean but also it all sounds really — I mean it is a lot, but it feels like you are really fulfilled by that. Like is that a — that keeps you going in your life?

David DeVine:
Yeah, I would say so. Base music, electronic music is just this huge thing in my life. I go to a ton of concerts and I am really into sound design. So how to manipulate the frequency of sound and how it registers within the body. So, I feel like there is this movement of people who can do things that you can’t do — ten years ago. Because of computers, because of technology and so I am really interested in sound and there is a lot of healing components within sound.

Like the chakras all have frequencies. The solfeggio tone, cymatics — so understanding how — the wave can be manipulated for healing purpose. Because we feel things through waves. We hear through waves. We see through waves. Everything is a wave. The primal audio wave of healing is kind of what I like to investigate.

So, I am just drawn to that.

KELLY WATT:
Wow. How is your relationship — I mean you studied music here at Naropa and then you were saying like the 10 years has been really impactful because of just how the technology has changed in that environment right and so like how has your training at Naropa and your relationship to music — changed — I don’t know like your work now? And like with the technology that’s evolving also at the same time?

David DeVine:
Yeah, well back in L.A. I wasn’t so much of a DJ. I started DJ-ing a couple years before I left. But I was in a band. I was a drummer in a band and we were kind of like in Emos Cremo(?) band. It was called In Memory. And you know we kind of did it – we were almost signed to Sony Interscope Records and you know we were like getting cool and selling out the Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood when I was still in high school. It was like really cool moments, but that chapter finished and then I moved here and then the music just really picked up because the scene in Boulder and Denver is so different than L.A. Because in L.A. I don’t feel like the musical opportunities would have arisen if I was still in Los Angeles because there is this community based feeling. There is this ah, how do you call it? Like I call it temple dub. So, uh what I mean by that is music that has a psychedelic base heavy electronic sound design component with world music. So, you’re going to hear like sitars and tablas and congas and just hand pans — very spacy instruments and I don’t really know if that’s in L.A. I mean I could be wrong but there was just a lot more opportunity here and during my education at Naropa — I did a performance on the 5 elements which is in I-Ching Divination book. And so, I made music per element which there is 5. And within that I had to write a 35 page paper. I’ve never had to investigate music on that level.

And to understand why I was doing music. I’ve always just played music. And now I had to write why I’m doing it. And that was the first time I’ve ever had to go deep into the music and so Naropa allowed me to consciously dissect what I was doing in the moment and not just have the moment. I could intellectualize it for other people to understand what’s happening.

KELLY WATT:
Right, yeah. And looking at it in that critical way has that changed — I mean obviously you’re probably not going to write a 35 page paper for every one of your compositions now. Yeah, you’re like I’m all set, but to have had that critical foundation and inquiry at some point — has that ever like kind of come back as your composing music now where it’s like — or is it just like hey that was a cool exercise and it laid the foundation. Like where does that play in now?

David DeVine:
Yeah, I would assume it’s a little bit of both because when I’m writing music, I could have that knowing of what’s going on. Of like oh if I was writing a paper what would that sound like? What would my explanations look like? The theory behind it. So, I try and write that into the composition I would say.

KELLY WATT:
All right.

David DeVine:
So, but yeah, I don’t know I am not a paper writer.

KELLY LAUGHS

David DeVine:
But I know how to.

KELLY WATT:
But you did. Exactly. Yeah, well and David kind of alluded to this at the beginning, but I have a background in music. So, we have this in common although we have very different backgrounds in music but it’s really cool.

David DeVine:
Yeah, you’re like an opera singer.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, I am like well yeah — well I used to be.

David DeVine:
She’s got a voice.

KELLY WATT:
Awe. Yeah, so I have two degrees, but they’re both at you know classic training so it’s really interesting to hear your perspective because it’s so different than mine but also so amazing. And like really well founded to hear why is it that you do the work that you do? So, it’s really cool.

David DeVine:
Yeah, thanks.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah man yeah. So, uh — yeah are there other things that like — because I feel like you are a man of many interests you know you got a lot.

David DeVine:
All right well do you want to keep going?

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, let’s keep going. Let’s do it. Let’s go deep.

David DeVine:
When I was really young, I was really interested in spirituality and religion. So, before I was 14, I almost became like 8 different religions. But when I turned 21 — I found Buddhism and what I realized is spirit is within. So, I didn’t have to — go to church. And like kind of hear some stuff I kind of get, kind of don’t get. What I’ve realized is like we all have self-healing mechanisms within us and we just need to learn how to activate them and or find them within ourselves. So, we have the capability to find spirit all the time. Here’s a little idea that I like to do like one day I was watering my garden and what I’ve realized is rainbows exist all the time.

Rainbows never not exist. Rainbows are always there, and rainbows have this like really good fluffy heartwarming kind of feeling. So, I was watering my garden and as I moved the water the sun was shining. I kind of looked at an angle and then I noticed there was a rainbow coming out of the water and then I moved my head and the rainbow was gone, but what I realized was the rainbow is not gone. I just changed my perspective.

So, by changing perspective you can always find what you need. You know what I mean?

KELLY WATT:
It’s like you always find the rainbow — David!
KELLY LAUGHS

That’s so wonderful.

David DeVine:
Like quantum — I am really into quantum physics. I am really into like how particles collide and like the little movements they make. I am not a mathematician or anything, but I am really into like sacred geometry, sound healing, eastern philosophy, the I-Ching, samurais — samurais are just — they are just straight up bad ass. They never make a wrong decision because they are always based in love and truth. And if you can root yourself in those — and you can make decisions you’re never going to make the wrong decision even if it is a hard decision.

So, that’s something I really like is to move forward and like just honor at all times. That’s not easy. But — if you’re trying to do it things will show up and I am really into like magic and synchronicities and just fluffy stuff. I love animals.

KELLY WATT:
I don’t think its fluffy. Well the animals might be fluffy, but I don’t think the becoming an enlightened soul that’s like — that’s some serious work and awareness and yeah, but now you can talk about the cute animals if you want to.

David DeVine:
I love puppies and I love kitties. I — anything that is like fluffy. I think I got it from my mom. I just melt. I am just like oh my God. Just like oh — just a weirdo.

KELLY LAUGHING

KELLY WATT:
Oh yeah, you tender heart.

David DeVine:
My friends get me around dogs and they are like oh my god.

KELLY LAUGHS
You’re both and — you’re tough and you’re soft. I feel like there is that. There is both. That’s like — you know I mean you’re talking about it I mean what Naropa does I think is to help us figure out that we have basic goodness and to uncover that and you know, and it can sound hokey or fluffy right? Like of like — I was inside of you all along, but it really is. Right? And I feel like you — bring that every day. I mean I see David every single day at work.

David DeVine:
Everyday.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah. Maybe not as often as the tree sees you but I see you pretty often. And you know that you show up like that with that warriorship — that level of that every single day. I know. Right, I’m going to go there.

David DeVine:
I’ll take it.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, and so I think that that just speaks to you growing and evolving as a person in the world all the time. And with that actually that I think brings me to how the project of the podcast of Mindful U got started, right? How we got to this point and like and also how that has changed — moved your own evolution and growth, but let’s start with like the basics of like ok how — how do we come up with this idea?

David DeVine:
Yeah, so about a year ago — like two days ago a year ago we’re having a marketing meeting like we always do and the idea is to spread the word of Naropa because Naropa is like known around Boulder, but is it known around Boulder, but is it known in Montana, Minnesota, Texas — like are we known around the United States — sometimes we are. Sometimes were not. Other than our digital properties of YouTube and the website like how else can we reach out with our blogs and stuff. So, the team decided what about a podcast? You know oh these are cool things to do. And, I was stoked. I was like word — work with audio. Talk to people. I like to investigate interesting intellectual conversations with people. So, I sort of raise my hand in the team and I was like I will do it.

LAUGHING

You know. I am a musician. I know how to edit audio really well and I know how to run gear. And, I feel like my mind is mildly creative and I like to speak to people and so they are like all right let’s try it out. And so, we move forward and created all the things to do it and my first interview was with Chuck Lief, the President of Naropa.

KELLY WATT:
No pressure. You two are buds come on.

David DeVine:
Yeah, Chuck is cool. He is a cool dude. I know him. You know he’s — whenever I’m around on campus he just says hi to me and you know we just high five and say what’s up. But —

KELLY WATT:
Like you do.

David DeVine:
And I would say that’s how — it was just. It was so harmless, and it was just such a trial run.

KELLY WATT:
Right yeah, we didn’t have any expectations. You know but when we did start — I think the original idea was oh we’re going to make it — so that you were going to interview primarily faculty at Naropa. And it was going to be like the — basically faculty would almost do a mini version of a class, right? So, it was like oh we’ll start and that was the idea and we thought we won’t run out of faculty forever. There are lots of classes here and we were like that will be an easy thing to do and then — but it changed so much. I mean I feel like that lasted about 3 episodes maybe — maybe longer.

David DeVine:
Yeah, it’s changed, and it hasn’t changed. Because what I do is, I like to offer the person that I am going to interview — what they want to talk about. Like what excites you because excitement tells a story, excitement draws interest. So, if people are interested in something — other people are going to want to listen to that or not. I don’t know,

KELLY WATT:
Right, no because its engaging, right? Yeah, I mean people are into it.

David DeVine:
There’s certain topics people like to explore and listen to and it’s just really interesting to kind of see how it all evolves and it started turning into interviewing the special guest. So, when we had special guests coming guest teach and or are here to do a presentation and we have some really cool people come here. Some very cool people who are working with mindfulness, with consciousness, with contemplative pedagogy. So, all these different things they are doing in their life and they come here to showcase that. Then we ask them if we can talk to them. So, we’ve interviewed some really cool people and we’ve talked to someone about a conscious music festival.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, right!

David DeVine:
You know Paul Bassis. Who is actually a friend of mine and I work for them at the music festival and that’s how we got him. But Naropa was working with him and then Holistic Life Foundation where they are working with inner city kids teaching them meditation and just like all these contemplative practices. They are like crushing it. These guys are doing amazing stuff. Lama Rod Owens — just bringing the disruptive dharma and angel Kyodo williams — they changed my life.

They straight up changed my life and taught me Buddhism work is not sexy. Its work. You got to do the work if you’re in spirituality to feel good — that’s great. But feel good. The work is like diving deep into the shadows and figuring that out. They give me chills just talking to them

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, well I felt like that was such a turning point and that was back in March, I think. Because Reverend angel Kyodo williams and Lama Rod Owens were both here as part of the Lenz Foundation event right and so she was introducing him. We managed to get both of them to come and do individual podcasts which is awesome. From my point of view of watching you and your work and just how you’re approaching it that seems like such a huge I don’t know a transitional like moment for you.

David DeVine:
Totally.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah.

David DeVine:
Lama Rod was the pinacol moment of like oh shit, something is happening here. Because I remember staying up all night like watching all his videos. Because that was the first special guest person.

KELLY WATT:
No pressure again. No big deal.

David DeVine:
Yeah, no pressure. And he was super cool. Everyone I have interviewed is super cool. And he — he like nudged angel and was like hey you should talk to this person. This person is holding some space for us to speak. And they dropped some amazing knowledge and they have such a unique perspective on dharma. You know angel is one of the first women of color who is queer to be initiated in the Zen tradition. That’s so amazing to me. And she is speaking the word. And I love that. And she comes here pretty often. Like she is part of the family of Naropa.

KELLY WATT:
Yes, she was a Lenz Foundation speaker as well several years ago. And so, I think for her to come back and to bring I don’t know that she brought Lama Rod, but I mean like she introduced him, so it felt like an ushering in of this new person to hold that work with her. They’re just — oh that’s so incredible. Yeah, how does it feel to get like Lama Rod stamp of approval and like hey — hey —

David DeVine:
It feels good.

KELLY WATT:
This guy is good. Yeah. This guy is —

David DeVine:
It’s great. I love it.

KELLY WATT:
So, you talked about this a little bit but how do you prepare for the real people you interview — not me because I am interviewing you, but you know for everybody else — when you’re preparing because you’ve interviewed such a wide range of people from faculty to alumni to like these special guests artists that we have that are a pretty big deal — how do you prepare for someone like — like let’s say one of the more recent ones was Richard Miller, right. I know that was kind of —

David DeVine:
Super cool dude.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, exactly and that kind of just — we started doing this thing where we’re like oh every special guest that we’re going to have we’re going to try to get them to come on the podcast and so he sort of fell in our laps, but like how did you prepare for something like that with him?

David DeVine:
Hmmm. Well — so we’ve done 45 podcasts now. This is like 46 or 7 depending on how we haven’t posted yet. But I’m starting to see an outline and a flow happen. Because first off, I am curious what I think the audience is curious about because most of the time they might now know this person and or they do know it and they just like the topic. They are like who is this person? Qualify yourself. You know what I mean. And then after that it’s like what is the work you are doing? And then after that I get into the nitty gritty of like what does that actually mean? And then after that it’s the like sort of outro vibe. And within that there is a lot of —

KELLY WATT:
I feel like outro vibe is total David speak so you may need to clarify what outro vibe is.

David DeVine:
Outro vibe to me means — how does someone follow you deeper? What is the website? The work you’re doing for instance Richard Miller — he does iRest yoga nidra. So, he is working with PTSD people. And, teaching them meditation and techniques to deal with this thing that they have. And or coping with. So, he’s doing the really good work and if someone is interested, I am like ok well how does someone follow you. Like do you have an Instagram handle? Do you have a website? Do you have some audiobooks or like what is it — you know I want to promote the person too because they’re showing up for me and giving me their time. So, I am really just interested in what people are doing in their lives. Like how is we’re developing in every single moment to be unique and exquisite because you know if we’re not then what are doing?

KELLY WATT:
Also, David says something like that every day. Ya’ll this is not just for this podcast. I feel like I hear you say something so close to that sentence every single day and it’s just such a representation of how you live your life.

David DeVine:
It feels good right?

KELLY WATT:
It does feel really good. I just want everyone to know the real David. Real D-Devine.

David DeVine:
You’ll never know.

KELLY LAUGHS

KELLY WATT:
They’re getting to know more. Uh let’s see oh wait — I don’t think we need to know — you are qualified to do a podcast. Uh —

David DeVine:
What are the qualifications for a podcast?

KELLY WATT:
Well, for like you to be a host. I mean yeah, the answer is David Devine.

David DeVine:
You got to talk a lot. You talk a lot. You — ask engaging questions. One thing I have noticed about doing the podcast is people listen. People are listening you know I see the numbers on the back end. I see the stats and all that.

KELLY WATT:
Oh yeah let’s do some of the bragging. Let’s —

David DeVine:
Very interesting.

KELLY WATT:
I want to hear that.

David DeVine:
So, what I’ve noticed is like when we are speaking like my mind has shifted in such a way that I want to make all knowledge available to anyone who is listening. So, when someone is saying something, and they use Naropa language I am doing air quotations — you can see that.

KELLY WATT:
They felt it.

David DeVine:
Like when they do the hmmm – you know this like warming loving grab my heart space center like oh that is so cute. You know? I am actually curious how does one speak in such a way that everyone can digest the information? So, when someone is saying something, and I am like well what does that mean — unpack that? Dive deeper into that. We have a language here so —

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, there is so much — well its interesting because I mean obviously you’re here with the marketing team, but that is something we deal with across the board is like the translation of Naropa because we do totally have our own lingo and it’s kind of — weird because you know Naropa, but also to make it so that it is translatable so that this — the work because I think it’s so important right — like the work that you are doing, the people, the voices that are being heard — to have a platform to be heard by — people all over the country and the world. You know to have that — the accessibility of that work.

David DeVine:
Yeah and — I mean it’s come a long way. Because I’ve just felt like a kid in the corner — that like had a couple microphones — I was using my own gear — when we first started you know because I am the audio nerd. I had my own microphones. I had my own cords, my headphones. I was using my own gear and there was this moment where you came up to me and you’re like hey I see what you are doing and uh — do you need anything? I was like oh God thank you for asking.

KELLY WATT:
Let’s get you some stuff. Let’s make this a thing. Well yeah can you talk about sort of your favorite — I can’t believe this is happening moments. It could be like good and bad. LAUGHS. It’s both and because its Naropa.

David DeVine:
Wow. Oh man. So — I mean I would just say the people I’ve interviewed. It’s just like oh wow angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens, Hunter Lovins, Higher (Holistic) Life Foundation — Ali, Atman, and Andy. Krista Tippett — that was a huge —

KELLY WATT:
What?

David DeVine:
I don’t know how we did that. Thank you so much Naropa. She’s a podcaster and she has “On Being” podcast and that just felt really cool to sit with her and interview her. That was a really exciting moment. C.A. Conrad was a favorite of mine. He’s a traveling teacher, writer, poet — just super amazing dude. Writes amazing poetry. Has a crazy life story. And just — is intentional about everything. It’s kind of amazing. I just interviewed Hunter Lovins. Richard Miller, Fanshen Cox. There is so many people. A lot of the faculty here I looked up too because I went to school here so it’s really interesting to interview people that I was in a class with.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, that’s interesting. You have this like dual relationship with them, right? From where — and also an historical one. Like you started with them maybe 10 years ago and then — and now you’re interviewing them.

David DeVine:
Now, look at us.

KELLY WATT:
Now, look at what we got.

David DeVine:
Look at us.

KELLY WATT:
That’s so great! I love that, yeah. Well I am also thinking too that as you started out and it was kind of like hey let’s just try this and see if this works for — as we were starting Mindful U. You were recording in — some places — that were like maybe a little what?

David DeVine:
Yeah. So, when we first started out there was a couple times where we had to record just in — just get the content. You know? Sort of vibe. I remember this one place I did it with Ian Sanderson and we were talking about like wilderness survival and just like spatial awareness and readiness of — engaging in the world. Super amazing dude. We went to some warehouse — and we just like did it in this really cold warehouse during winter and — we just like set up the microphones on some boxes. And, we’re sitting on chairs that we’re kind of broken, kind of not because he was in this space that was in transition and it was in this like dojo studio. I’m just like wow. Look at — if only the people actually saw the space we were in and I’ve done them in closets. I’ve done them in just like dark rooms and I don’t necessarily have a place to do it.

And so, my gear is always portable. So, I can — I have actually been to a lot of teacher’s houses. Because they feel comfortable at their house and I am like as long as we have like a safe space and a place that I can plug my stuff into — I will go anywhere.

KELLY WATT:
We’re all good. Yeah.

David DeVine:
So, there’s been some places that you don’t get to see.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah on the other side —

David DeVine:
You just get to hear.

KELLY WATT:
You get to hear it. And feel the vibe of those boxes. LAUGHS. The mics are on.

David DeVine:
But we’ve come so far. For instance, here is some stats right. We are super close to breaking 60 thousand downloads.

KELLY WATT:
Wow! We just hit 50 I feel like. I blinked, and we just hit 50.

David DeVine:
I know right.

KELLY WATT:
And now we’re —

David DeVine:
We — we —

KELLY WATT:
Thanks, you all.

David DeVine:
We made a little thing about 50 and we’re just super close to 60. Its exponential. Its exponential. And I think that was before Krista’s came out and that one kind of like bumped us a lot. But, to me that feels like a lot. I wasn’t even sure this was going to be a thing. Now it’s like the thing I do. You know so — its shifted. We get about — 14 hundred —

KELLY WATT:
Downloads per episode.

David DeVine:
Average per episode and then we get 5 thousand a month.

KELLY WATT:
Right because right now we are churning out an episode a week during the academic year.

David DeVine:
Every 2 months that’s another 10k that like people listen and what I am really interested in is I want to — keep interests to the people that keep listening and I also want to keep interest to the people who find us. So, because we have 45 podcasts if someone just finds us, they have like a huge amount.

KELLY WATT:
A whole library of topics and —

David DeVine:
So, they can just explore. And there is so many topics. We’ve investigated things on herbal healing, music — conscious music festivals, sense perceptions, consciousness, mindfulness, sustainability, poetry, and creative writing. So many diverse topics are happening and it’s like yeah, what’s this week about?

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, and they all sit within this foundation of like Naropa is the foundation of all of that type of work, all that varied stuff which is so incredible to have this place to be able to — to showcase that.

David DeVine:
Yeah, you’re right it all lives here. This is all stuff you will find at Naropa.

KELLY WATT:
Right, and you’ll also find David and he is pretty cool.

David DeVine:
I am here sometimes.

KELLY WATT:
You are here sometimes. Yeah, when you are not taking off doing all the things, which you got a lot going on.

David DeVine:
Yeah, I take some time off. I like to go music festivals.

KELLY WATT:
Wait, so I want to hear if there were any topics or guests — because I know you prepare a lot for every episode and you prepared a lot for this episode which I think is really awesome because my job is super easy — thank you man. But if there were any topics or guests that surprised you — like you had an initial — expectation of what was going to be or how it was going to go and then actually the act of doing this interview and recording — like really shifted? Right — it kind of took you by surprise or pivoted?

David DeVine:
Holistic Life Foundation. So, talking with Ali, Atman, and Andy — that was the first time I did more than one person. And so, I had to bring in a bunch of studio gear from my like home studio and I needed like 5 microphones and a bunch of headsets and I brought all this crazy stuff and just set it up and as I was talking to them, I can tell like Ali he held the space really well. And I had this feeling like Ali didn’t like me. You know?

Wah. I had this feeling he wasn’t feeling it you know it he just wasn’t feeling the podcast. That was the first time I felt that during an interview, but it turned out he loved the podcast. He was loving the conversation. Atman and Andy, I could feel their vibe they were really into it and having a good time. They are smiling. Ali was very reserved. But I ended up loving this dude. I ended up loving all of them, but I just wasn’t sure if he was digging it. And — he ended up — like having one of the best interviews he said, and I was just like what?

Like dude.

KELLY WATT:
Well how do you — so in the moment like that – I mean this too is like as a performer with an audience — like you can tell — when you DJ I am sure it’s a similar thing like you — you are reading the vibe of the space and the people in the room right and so when you’re in the middle of a podcast so granted this isn’t a live recording session, but it is like how do I get this person back on board. How did you handle that in the moment knowing like you had 2 out of 3 of Holistic Life feeling it? How did you bring him back? Bring him in.

David DeVine:
Well, the thing I didn’t even bring him back because he was never gone. It was just an assumption that I had, but I would say just relatability. So, what I try and do is try to engage and relate and — be with the person. And I feel like these are skills that Naropa taught me. So, having like — I am staring at you right now. We’re having the eye contact. We’re doing the hand movements. We’re engaging in the conversation. So being able to show up — and not just look at a piece of paper and ask like a really big question about consciousness blah, blah, blah — mindfulness whatever it may be but being able to ask a question that ignites passion within the person that they want to engage in the conversation.

And, my direction is to figure that out. What is it that ignites people. How can I get you excited if you’re excited — anyone else listening is going to be excited? And that’s awesome. Let’s be excited together.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, about this amazing work. I mean just all of the people, all of the stories you’ve heard and been a part of and it’s just I don’t know how does that feel a year in?

David DeVine:
It feels — like it went fast. It’s kind of hard. We post once a week. And sometimes it’s hard to get podcasts and other times I am like I have like so many right now and — it just depends some emotionally it can be hard. Because I hear a lot of stuff where I am just like oh my God. Like I’ve almost cried a couple times on air and you know you might get one out of me, but I am trying to hold it back. There has been a couple times where I’ve gone home and just cried. Just released because I’ve heard some stuff where I am just like wow it’s so powerful. And, I feel like it’s just character development to be able to filter this and there has been times where I just come home, and I am like that was fucking badass. Like — damn that was such a good conversation and I didn’t know about this and now I do.

And now I am really into it. You know and there is — so many things to be learned and just integrate into one’s life. Everyone is so amazing. It just keeps going.

KELLY WATT:
It does. You know you are talking about like oh I didn’t know about that and I learned about it and now it’s really amazing and I am going to like take that and carry it with you and like also — that happens to your audience. Do you ever think about that?

David DeVine:
Does it? Does that happen to you out there?

KELLY WATT:
Well actually this is good because then we should transition to — like hey —

David DeVine:
Look at you.

KELLY WATT:
Look at me.

David DeVine:
Getting it.

KELLY WATT:
So, one of the reasons I think that when we had this idea of turn the tables and we interview you for the — one year anniversary of the Mindful U podcast. The idea was also to find a way to be able to engage our audience more actively like a year in to be like hey — what do you think, how is this impacting you? What do you want to hear? Who do you want to hear?

David DeVine:
Yeah.

KELLY WATT:
So, what does that look like for you — how do you want to gauge — how do you want to activate your audience?

David DeVine:
How does that look like for me? What that looks like is — asking the people listening right now — what do you want to hear? What — sparks your interests? Because when I am investigating and researching who to interview — I am actually thinking about what does the audience want? I have no idea. I have no idea. And so, we just try and grab a bunch of diverse topics and figure it out. And through the statistics that we have with the website that we go through I can sort of see topics become more popular. And, it’s interesting to kind of notice that so — what I want to do is propose to the people listening like comment, subscribe, let me know what you like. Let me know what you don’t like. Tell us some topics that you might be interested in. Feedback is crucial.

And, I’ve gotten a couple feedback and its usually from alums saying like oh I am listening to the podcast. It’s really cool. Good job you know. But, let me know what you want to hear.

I’m here for you. I’m here to explore topics that while you are driving in your car, while you are at home cooking, while you are just doing a run or exercising — whatever it may be with your ear buds or you’re just listening.

What do you want to hear?

What is it that ignites you?

KELLY WATT:
You know as you’re saying this it’s like — I think that’s such a wonderful invitation to give. And also, a really brave thing to say to be like I want feedback. I want to engage an audience because that I don’t know can be scary. It can be a little like — be kind. David Devine is the nicest person in the world.

David DeVine:
No, be kind.

KELLY WATT:
Be kind but also —

David DeVine:
Use your big words.

KELLY WATT:
Be real. But also that as you’re engaging them that I think that there is audience members here that are listening and maybe they are just starting to scratch a surface of this kind of podcast or like the work that we’re doing at Naropa — but to realize maybe that even though you’ve encompassed so many different voices and subjects on this podcast — there is so much more that I think and I think you do too that like that can be held by Naropa and by Mindful U. And like so if you’re out there thinking well there is like this really weird thing that I am into that like nobody else is into or whatever. It’s like I think that’s the stuff that we want to hear. Like that outlier perspective — the things where something that is so meaningful to you as a listener, right, that could be felt and heard here and yeah.

David DeVine:
Yeah, I notice there is a interest when it comes to consciousness, mindfulness, spirituality. A lot of people tend to gravitate towards those. Anything that has like self-help, self-development. They like that stuff. I like that stuff too. You know — that is where the nectar is. The energetic nectar as I like to call it.

KELLY WATT:
Oh David. The energetic nectar.

David DeVine:
I just make stuff up.

KELLY WATT:
You do. Its great stuff though. I am like down and I am going to make a bumper stuff out of that or something.

David DeVine:
Oh wait! One more thing — aren’t we making an email address.

KELLY WATT:
Yes, we make — yes, we’re making it right now and by the time this is published. So, the way that we would like you to engage — to provide your feedback to give us your story ideas, to tell David how awesome he is — would be at the email address — mindfulu@naropa.edu.

So, mindful — the letter U @ naropa.edu. And we should also probably post that once we get it all up and running, we will post it and like a description for the podcast, so you can also reference that.

David DeVine:
Yeah, we will Facebook it.

KELLY WATT:
We’ll Facebook that. We’re going to put it out there because we do marketing is what we do. We spread the word.

David DeVine:
One thing that I find interesting is — I didn’t go to school to learn how to podcast. Nobody taught me how to do this. You know. I just listened to a lot of conversations. I listened to a lot of diverse topics. And, we just kind of went for it you know. And, I don’t know if I am doing well. I don’t know if I am doing good. I don’t know. All I know is — that — I would love feedback from people. You know give me some tips. Give some pointers. Tell me what you like. Tell me what you don’t. I feel like feedback is really crucial for the development. I am — I want to get better. I want to develop. Show me how. Help. Help. Help me.

KELLY WATT:
Do you hear this? This awesome vulnerable person sitting in front of me here.

David DeVine:
I am down.

KELLY WATT:
That’s pretty great.

David DeVine:
I am down to get down.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, I will give you feedback — you’re great. This work you’ve done is great. What you have provided to Naropa University is an institution with this work. And also, what you’ve provided to like the world of getting Naropa’s message and the mission and all the amazing things about whacky, awesome, cool shit that we do here out into the world. You should be really proud of that man.

David DeVine:
Yeah, it feels good. I mean — ok, I am going to shout my team because we got a — we got a team.

KELLY WATT:
What is it the outro — what? Outro vibe. We got to do an outro vibe of how can you find David in other places?

David DeVine:
So, I just want to shout out my team. We have a couple people that really do help. It’s not just me. We have Kelly Watt who is actually interviewing me now. My lovely boss. KELLY LAUGHING. We have Betsy Pearce who does all our closed captioning. This girl is on it. I actually never met her. We just —

KELLY WATT:
No, you just like — you just like know each other from afar.

David DeVine:
We have an email relationship. You know so shout out to you Betsy. You’re going to hear this because you write it all down. And then Cassie Smith who is our brand — what’s her title?

KELLY WATT:
Creative Brand Manager.

David DeVine:
She is also my cubicle person. She lives next to me. And, we poke each other a lot and talk about like how we want to move forward in marketing purposes and its really fun to work with her and then we have Billy Thieme who does all the posting. He makes sure he is on top of it with getting it out there so if it wasn’t for him you probably wouldn’t get it. So —

KELLY WATT:
That’s true. That is true.

David DeVine:
He makes sure that allowing everyone for it to be available and so that’s our team. Like we got a pretty tight solid crew behind this. So — thank you to everybody.

KELLY WATT:
Oh. Oh man — ok so where can people find out more about you and your awesome stuff that you do.

David DeVine:
Ok. Well, I write my own electric music under Temple Base and I go by Higherglyph so H-I-G-H-E-R-G-L-Y-P-H music dot com.

You can check out my website. All my music is free. Just download it. I’m also the professional DJ thing, but I don’t post anything just because SoundCloud doesn’t like DJ stuff, but I DJ a lot around Boulder and Denver. And then I also do a bunch of freelance video, video editing, photos, audio editing and I am willing to podcast with anybody else too. So, if you go to David — D-A-V-I-D dash Devine — D-E-V-I-N-E dot com — that is my website. And you can check out my stuff. And, just see what is going on in my world. I think that’s it. I don’t know.

KELLY WATT:
I don’t know. I can’t keep track of all of your stuff.

David DeVine:
I post a bunch of stuff on Instagram about puppies and — cats.

KELLY WATT:
But if you want to get in touch with David anything that has to do with this —

David DeVine:
If you want to email me at Naropa —

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, hit up the MindfulU@naropa.edu — because

David DeVine:
Should I give them my email.

KELLY WATT:
No, we’re not going to do it man. No, I would like —

David DeVine:
Hit me up at Mindful U.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, that’s right hit you up at Mindful U. What else do we need to talk about? We good? How do you end this thing?

David DeVine:
It’s an outro vibe.

KELLY WATT:
I don’t know how to do an outro vibe. First time host. Clearly.

David DeVine:
I just pretty much say what I said in the beginning. But with more of an ending.

KELLY WATT:
But with more of —

David DeVine:
Kind of thing.

KELLY WATT:
Then I will say it has been a pleasure and my honor to get to interview you David.

David DeVine:
Oh, thank you so much.

KELLY WATT:
And to have you be on the marketing team and part of Naropa and just every single day — living your authentic life — that’s pretty cool. And I am so happy that I got to do this! And that I am going to hear more from you as this goes on and we go into — move into year two.

David DeVine:
Oh!

KELLY WATT:
What will that bring?

David DeVine:
I don’t know. Let’s find out.

KELLY WATT:
Stay tuned. Go listen to all the episodes. Start with some awesome ones, but then you know listen to all of them because there is 40 odd and they are great. And then — keep hanging out with us. Give us some feedback. Let us know how it’s going.

David DeVine:
And I just want to say thank you to you Kelly. You are my fearless boss. You hold it down. She is a great singer. She loves all the fluffy animals like me. So, we kind of like do this weird thing. But — I’d just like to say thank you for holding space and interviewing and just allowing this space for us to engage our audience a little bit deeper and to see what is on the horizon for this project and I am super excited to just continue. There is so much — passion with this. I love it! So, hope you like it too.

KELLY WATT:
Yeah, thanks everybody. We like — we are looking forward to hearing from you all. All right. And we’re out!

David DeVine:
Bye.

[MUSIC]

On behalf of the Naropa community thank you for listening to Mindful U. The official podcast of Naropa University. Check us out at www.naropa.edu or follow us on social media for more updates.

[MUSIC]

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