The herbal expert who adoringly forgoes taking himself too seriously, Brandon Gilbert embodies an East meets West attitude all his own. Led by a voracious curiosity to share balance with the world through Traditional Chinese Medicine, he expresses his passion most comprehensively through Hyperion Herbs. His online platform and academy offer a wellspring of information (via podcasts, YouTube videos and newsletters) and products, creating a bridge into the ancient wisdom surrounding Chinese Tonic Herbs. With his refreshingly deep awareness and well-developed outlook on health, we look forward to all Brandon is destined to create in the future.
Where did your spiritual journey begin?
Hmmm, this is a tough one to answer as I don't really believe in myself as an independent solid thing nor do I put weight in the idea that there’s a difference between regular experience and spiritual experience, etc. Taking a shit in the morning is on par with an out of body experience, feeling my dan tien rotate, or taking out the trash, etc. Honestly, sometimes taking a proper shit is more rewarding than any spiritual experience ever could be! Haha, especially when traveling!
Have I offended or discredited myself yet? :)
I began studying Taoism and Zen when I was about 14-15, something about it really just felt natural and right to me. Yet it wasn't until my early 20’s after many years of poor health, deep depression, and lots of anger that I began to wake up. This pain motivated to one day ask, “Maybe I can do something different?” This then led to the realization that “Wow, I'm really a negative, angry asshole that pushes everyone away.” Super deep right? Haha!
From there my obsessive nature really started to kick in and I became focused on health and returning to a more natural state. Fast forward to the present and I'm even more obsessed and spend the majority of my time studying, learning, and practicing Taoism, Nei gong, Chi gong, Ba Gua Chang, GuQin, etc. In all honesty, the deeper I go, the more I learn, the less I really care for other things and the more things naturally fall away without my conscious effort. Perhaps a cave is in my future some day :)
What is your most practical Traditional Chinese Medicine Advice for the House of Citrine community?
There’s an old Chinese saying which is that “pure water has no fish.”
My top advice would be to begin working our way out of the mechanistic, salvational, and puritanical way of seeing ourselves and the world that we’ve all been sold as reality. This is a huge conversation in and of itself and I've done countless hours of video on the subject, but for the sake of brevity, let's understand that this is probably where a great deal of our fear, anxiety, and stress comes from. This might sound far out, but it’s a fairly simple process to understand and I’ll break it down in the following way:
At some point in our early development, we have a broadly traumatic experience which causes us to lose our sense of ease, flow, and naturalness which is then replaced with predominate fixation towards anger, fear, worry, sadness, or excitation. Whichever one we lean towards most and the degree to which we do would be largely based on our constitution and the nature of the experience, among a myriad of other factors. From there we basically distort the free flow of chi in our systems and instead prefer certain things over others, thus creating imbalance, or in other words, what we might call the Acquired self.
The funny thing is that we tend to really believe in the validity, solidity, and independence of this acquired self and as such develop our entire sense of existence around these ideas. Thus we’re actually in love with and addicted to the very cause of our imbalance and lack of ease, hence the judgment, defensiveness and coercion that we commonly understand as normal human behavior. If we examine many of the health, personal development, spiritual practices prevalent in our world today we can see that upon deeper inspections the majority of them are just variations upon the same theme and contain a great deal of self-hatred, coercion, and the salvational thinking which I alluded to previously.
Some people may read what I'm saying here and immediately default to a sense of morbidity and seriousness, but in my opinion, it can actually be quite funny and entertaining. Really what I'm getting at is the belief that live is really serious and there’s all of this evil that we have to battle against.
Really I think it would be more productive to being focusing on what it means to be a HUMAN and what is human normal. In short, to be human is to be vulnerable, to be alive is to change and flow, and normal health is actually our natural state.
What advice do you have for conscious entrepreneurs?
Do as little as possible. Think as little as possible. Instead observe, find and follow the current. Be of service to yourself and others by being honest with yourself first. From there solve problems, improve, and evolve.
Can you explain why herbs are an essential dietary supplement?
In a very simple and practical way I think herbs are essential because they contain unique information and intelligence that is not found in our modern standardized feed, i.e. diet.
This in combination with the fact that we all lead largely unnatural lives far removed from the rhythms and cycles of nature means that our systems can get a bit confused.
So other words certain herbs can be really supportive in helping to re-educate our bodies back to a more natural rhythm and cycle, ie. health.
What is your favorite herb/recipe?
My favorite herb of all time is Reishi Mushroom and I honestly feel closer to this plant than I do to most of the people I’ve encountered in this particular lifetime.
Reishi can be a profound guide and alley for certain people, which is probably why it’s been called the herb of spiritual potency and why the Chinese for Reishi, Ling Zhi, translates roughly to Spirit Herb.