From Physical Therapist to Co-Owner of the Philadelphia 76ers NBA team to Zen Monk, our guest today is NOT TYPICAL!
He IS, however, something very few people ever achieve which you can argue is far less likely than any of the above. He is a Philadelphia LEGEND!
His name is Pat Croce and I have known about him for most of my life (having grown up in the Philly area and being a Philly sports fanatic).
As a serial entrepreneur, Pat has created many business ventures including my former favorite bar in Key West, Florida (he sold it off and I am not one bit pleased about that!) as well as restaurants and museums in St. Augustine. FL.
He’s always been fascinated with Pirate Life! He even wrote a kick-ass book on it entitled, The Pirate Handbook.
About eight years ago, Pat embarked on a deep inward journey where he unplugged and immersed himself in reading, woodworking, Chinese calligraphy and stillness.
A cancer diagnosis inspired his reemergence and we got him back now. And our wildman Philly Boy ain’t the same! He’s a Zen Master now! He’s The Philly Buddha! Imagine THAT!
Well, you don’t have to imagine. I’m bringing him to you. And you’re gonna love him! Tune in as we explore the distinction between pain and suffering, the wisdom of following your enthusiasm, and how to strengthen your “Let It Go Muscle.”
Here is the AI-generated transcript of the whole podcast:
TEASER & INTRO
[00:00:00] Pat Croce: Lemme clarify that he was the ex-president, but was ex-president. Ex-president. President wasn’t the city president. Right. However, I get a call from N B A headquarters, David Stern’s office. That President Clinton wants to be in my box. It might have been, it might have been the Lakers game or it was one, it was 2001.
[00:00:24] Pat Croce: It was during one of those great series. It was either Toronto, Milwaukee, or Lakers, and he wanted to come into my box and, and sit there, and he was just coming back from Wimbledon. I said, no way. Wait. I mean, he comes in, then he has to have his entourage and his secret service, and all my buddies, the river rats and quarter guys and bikers, and anyone from the street to the elite who was with me during this journey, from worst to first over five years.
[00:00:56] Pat Croce: Are gonna be acted out and everyone’s gonna have to sit there on their [00:01:00] hands. Those who are left, no fuck. No way. So, so next thing I know, two boxes down is Comcast Box. Mm-hmm. There’s our suite that I would take during the Sixers games, and that’s during the flyers games, a box. And then another one, Brian Roberts calls me and says, pat, what happened?
[00:01:20] Pat Croce: I had to give my box up to the President Clinton. I said, well, no you didn’t. He said, well, yes I did. I said, well, I didn’t, and I wasn’t. Yeah. And so, Chris, so funny during the game, and I would only let the dance team come out three or four times and they leave. They weren’t like cheerleaders. This was a show.
[00:01:39] Pat Croce: So, so I we’re looking over there, everyone’s looking, there’s the president, just one box over sitting in the first row. But he’s not paying attention to the game. However, at the break of the first quarter, the dance team comes out. You see him, reach behi below, get out the binoculars, please, please.
[00:01:57] Pat Croce: Watching the dance team.
[00:01:58] Chris Dorris: Most of us never [00:02:00] learned how to train our brains, which is why most of us needlessly, settle, struggle. And we’re stuffer. My name is Chris Doris and I wanna make brain Training mainstream. This is my series, tough Talks, conversations on mental Toughness. I’m interviewing bad asses from all walks of life on what mental toughness means to them and their unique approaches to strengthening their minds.
BEGINNING OF EPISODE
[00:02:25] Chris Dorris: Hey everybody, welcome back to Tough Talks, conversations on Mental Toughness. I am your host, Chris Doris. And before we get to, uh, the introduction of our remarkable guest today, I’m super pumped about this guy. Uh, let’s take care of our singular housekeeping item as always, which is if you’re not getting.
[00:02:45] Chris Dorris: The Daily Dose mental toughness tips in 30 seconds or less, delivered to your email inbox every morning at around 6:00 AM wherever you are in the world, 365 days a year. And if you’re not getting [00:03:00] my blog posts in your email, uh, every Tuesday, and if you’re not getting notified of these new Tough Talks, podcasts, episodes, then let’s fix that all up virtually, effortlessly by going to christopherdorris.com/lists.
[00:03:17] Chris Dorris: LISTs christopherdorris.com/lists. Name, email, click. All right, our guest, today’s named Pat Croci. I love it. I’d love that. I get to say that I’d known him about Pat Croci for most of my life, because he’s a Philly boy and growing up around Philly and being a huge sports fan, everybody knows who Pat Croci is.
[00:03:39] Chris Dorris: Pat Croci is a freaking icon, and Philly’s a tough city to become like. You know, adorned in, like to be loved and to, and to, to be loved sustainably. Oh, he’s one of the few because of who he is, you know, and, and I’ll read you his, his, um, his bio in a second. You know, the short version is, is he was a physical trainer who [00:04:00] ascended into the ranks and ultimately became a minority owner of the freaking basketball, the NBA team in Phillys, Sixers, which is my, which is my squad.
[00:04:08] Chris Dorris: He worked with all my boys. He work with my, my sports hero, Dr. Jay, and my, and my, uh, baseball hero from the Philadelphia Phillies, Schmidty, Michael Jack Schmidt, Mike Schmidt. So these, those are my two sports heroes of all time. And he trained them, which is cool. So anyway, he’s a physical trainer and ends up owning, you know, being a part owner of the Sixers, which is amazing.
[00:04:32] Chris Dorris: And there’s incredible stories. We’ll dig into some of them. You know, then, you know, he sells off his partners, up his ownership, Sharon, he’s, he’s doing businesses cool shit and really cool shit. Actually some stuff down in Key West in St. August in Florida. One of my fav, I love Key West. I love, love, love Key West.
[00:04:50] Chris Dorris: And one of my favorite places was his former is called the Rum Barrel. It’s gone, it’s, it’s closed now. I’m gonna have to give him a rash of shit for that because it is that cool logo. It’s a Phillys in the [00:05:00] pirate. He’s all into pirates. He’s way into pirate. He’s into a lot of shit. He’s into a lot of stuff.
[00:05:05] Chris Dorris: So, but one of the things, he’s into Pirate, it’s one of his books, which is just, he’s got a whole bunch of books up. I mean, the guy does all this shit. He’s like, he’s like in phenomenal. I think he’s almost 70. Where do you see him? You’re like that guy. And he, and he’s in phenomenal shape. And he went deep recently, I think within the last decade, he, um, decided to unplug and go off into the wilderness and do a deep dive into consciousness.
[00:05:31] Chris Dorris: And, um, and that’s why I just can’t wait, you know, to explore that with him. He, uh, a good friend of mine, Tim Mooney, shout out Tim, thank you brother, uh, is friends with Pat, and he created the introduction and he told me that, you know, one of the things that Pat does is called the Sang. Yeah. The Me Meditation Hill.
[00:05:50] Chris Dorris: Aga Sanga is a, is a, is a, um, Sanskrit word for, uh, that means a community. So every Sunday Pat facilitates [00:06:00] a, like a 90 minute meeting where they explore some consciousness stuff. Okay? And then now, so the topic for last week’s Sangha happened to be, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Tim told me that and I thought, Tim, can we get Pat on the podcast?
[00:06:13] Chris Dorris: And he set it up. So now we got him. And I’m freaking pumped about that and I can’t wait to hear about all kinds of things. Philly and all kinds of things. Uh, optional suffering. All right. Oh, let me read you, let me read you. Hi, the, uh, his bio. Okay. So, pat CROs has enjoyed diverse entrepreneurial careers in sports medicine, professional sports, in the hospitality industry.
[00:06:36] Chris Dorris: Pat is a New York Times bestselling author. His entrepreneurial endeavors included growing his sports, physical therapists business to 40 centers across 11 states before selling for a huge sum, uh, 10 NovaCare props. In 1996, pat became minority owner and CEO of the Philadelphia 76 ERs, where he led them from last place in [00:07:00] 1996 to the NBA finals in 2001.
[00:07:03] Chris Dorris: For the past eight years, he’s been on a spiritual journey around the world leading inward, and for the past three years, he’s hosted Meditation Hills, sang via Zoom for all with the love for the truth, raging from movie producers, college professors, uh, veterans of war. Pat’s the founder of the American Cancer Society.
[00:07:21] Chris Dorris: Healed community, healed, by the way, stands for health. And energy through active living every day, uh, community movement, his spiritual path guided him through his experience as a cancer patient and fueled his partnership with the American Cancer Society to launch the Healed community movement, raising over 2 million with a membership of over 700.
[00:07:45] Chris Dorris: And when I asked his, his amazing assistant and shout out to Lauren McShea, thank you for your help in arranging this so quickly and thoroughly. I, I, I messaged Lauren, I said, Hey, you know, um, I really wanna make sure that [00:08:00] I always honor my guests. Like my first priority is you the tribe. And my second priority here is to honor the, and serve our guests.
[00:08:07] Chris Dorris: So I told her that and I said, well, let’s make sure that we, um, you know, I’m clear on what Pat’s top priority here is and, and promote it or, or talk about it. What is it? And she wrote back, very simple. Pat’s top priority is to wake up the world from their personal suffering. How good is that? Well, Let’s
[00:08:26] Pat Croce: chat, shall we?
[00:08:27] Chris Dorris: Let’s chat. Pat. Where at
[00:08:32] Chris Dorris: Paqua? I didn’t know your name was. Pasqua.
[00:08:36] Pat Croce: Pasqua. Pasqua Pasqua.
[00:08:43] Chris Dorris: Well, it’s great to see you, man. It’s great to meet you. Thank you so much for making time to, uh, bless my tough talks tribe with your incredible presence.
[00:08:54] Pat Croce: Well, thank you Chris. I’m honored to be on and tough, tough tr tough, tough, tough. It’s tough to say. [00:09:00] Uh, how do you say it? What is it? Tough. Tough Talks.
[00:09:03] Pat Croce: Tough talks. Tribe podcast
[00:09:04] Chris Dorris: is called Top Talks and that’s, yeah, that’s a tribe. Right on, man. So, you know what I wanted to start with? I also love Pirates. Oh, oh. You know, of all the damn books that you’ve written, this is the one I chose to get, man, because that’s the one that popped for me. That’s good.
[00:09:22] Chris Dorris: This is ridiculous. That’s good. Lot
[00:09:25] Pat Croce: of, lot of work and, and passion went into that.
[00:09:27] Chris Dorris: I can tell. I mean, it’s, it’s um, it’s like a guidebook on how to be a pirate. It’s even,
[00:09:36] Chris Dorris: we’ve got a
[00:09:36] Pat Croce: map. Oh no. It’s like a pirate book for dummies, but truly with true legends of piracy. And you know, back in the day I was really infatuated and I’m, again, I believe in fellow and your enthusiasm. And I always was passionate about pirates. Just the way they operated, the freedom with which they fought the, the British, [00:10:00] uh, royalty, the way they let slaves be free as part, they’d sign the, they sign the orders of piracy to come on board.
[00:10:11] Pat Croce: You know, everyone knew that they got a share and it was, uh, Welfare and uh, handicap insurance prior to, you know, workers’ comp back in the day. And I got to dive some great wrecks, Blackberry Queen Revenge, and I went after the great part of all time. Sir? Sir? Uh, Drake. Drake. Oh yeah. So Francis Drake, I mean here, here it
[00:10:39] Chris Dorris: was.
[00:10:39] Chris Dorris: Oh, that’s right. Yeah. You went, there’s a, I read somewhere in my anma. Yep. Yeah, that’s cool man. So, um, na, I’m a big
[00:10:48] Pat Croce: fan of Key West. Well, this part museum, you know, we moved it outta Key West. I know, I know. It’s St. Augustine, right? St. Yep. St. Augustine.
[00:10:56] Chris Dorris: So, um, um, but I [00:11:00] mean, I’m a huge fan of Key West, so, you know, I got, I got my Rumbar hat right here, baby.
[00:11:07] Pat Croce: Uh, unfortunately rum barrels not stone. I know. What the hell, uh, once we moved the Pirate Museum from Key West where it did not work to St. Augustine, where it works unbelievable because Pirates really did walk the shores. There may be parts living in Key West and Pirates visiting Key West, but it never really was a iCal Island where Sir Francis Drake and Robert Surles, they did plunder St.
[00:11:31] Pat Croce: Augustine back in the 16th, 17th century. So when that left, the Run Barrel didn’t have a differentiator compared to the other 400 bars, restaurants in Key West. So it just didn’t work. It did for me. Oh, it,
[00:11:45] Chris Dorris: I loved it. I don’t have any half from many other day. I don’t have a half from Floppy Joe’s. Okay.
[00:11:50] Pat Croce: I loved it, Chris.
[00:11:51] Pat Croce: But you know what, sometimes you say, okay,
[00:11:54] Chris Dorris: done. Let’s move on. Well, that’s interesting because, you know, I, I just read [00:12:00] people in the introduction, your, uh, really remarkable biography. It’s your life is So Cool, man. You know, you went to Pit, you started as a physical therapist. You created an unbelievable business, you know, an an unbeliev, an unbelievably successful business.
[00:12:19] Chris Dorris: Now the Sixers hired you, well you were working for the Flyers right at the time. Yes.
[00:12:26] Pat Croce: What’s that? It’s just a text message came up. Oh,
[00:12:30] Chris Dorris: it’s, it was, it was a mindfulness
[00:12:32] Pat Croce: bell. Yeah. Yeah,
[00:12:33] Chris Dorris: good. Mindfulness Bell man. Woo. So you’re working for the flyers or with the flyers, and then the Sixers hired you to help bulk up Sean Bradley, the seven foot six dude,
[00:12:44] Pat Croce: that, what was even before that?
[00:12:46] Pat Croce: It was even before that because Andrew, Tony was injured. Andrew
[00:12:50] Chris Dorris: Tony.
[00:12:52] Pat Croce: So 1980, I started with the flyers as a consultant. Okay. Was started by training Paul Holmgren, who [00:13:00] was the enforcer on the team prior to being a coach in gm, uh, in martial arts. And then in 81, pat Quinn hired me full-time as the first physical conditioning coach in the N H L.
[00:13:11] Pat Croce: And luckily, as you said, I had a physical therapy degree, but I also had a certification in athletic training. So I melted to two until what we now know is the realm of sports medicine. And then around 1985, Harold Katz contacted me, one about Andrew Tony, two, about Charles Barkley to get the round mound of rebound down from 300 pounds to, we did eventually get to two 50, but I was not his favorite individual.
[00:13:41] Pat Croce: Why not? Uh, Charles was, Just an art foreman himself. He, he was like Al Iverson decades later. He loved the game, but the training off the court now that wasn’t part of him. Now forget about, forget about strength training. He did [00:14:00] bicycle at times, but he really didn’t. He was not, he was not one who did what we used to call off the ice training and flyers and off the court training with like Doc and, uh, Mo and uh, even Big Mo, even Moses did it.
[00:14:16] Pat Croce: So, but that was so for
[00:14:18] Chris Dorris: a decade and you worked with so many of my heroes, that chocolate thunder. Oh, oh yeah. Dr. J. You know, Dr. J as I mentioned is my all time sports. I’ve never met the doc. I gotta get, I wanna get him on the podcast. He is my all time sport. I, so when I was growing up just for fun here, you know, I was blessed.
[00:14:35] Chris Dorris: That, and, and our house over in Collinswood, we had a full court basketball court in the side yard. Sweet. And I loved it when it would rain and there was a Sixers game on. Right. Because, uh, so I’d watched the game. I would just study doc and his moves and I’d go outside with a rubber basketball so that I could palm off the dribble if it was wet.
[00:14:58] Chris Dorris: Mm-hmm. Cause it was sticky. [00:15:00] And then I could do all ducks. I could imitate all docs move.
[00:15:04] Pat Croce: He was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. He still is a wonderful human being. But I enjoyed working with Doc cuz he would, and at the time when he came in, I didn’t have the Philadelphia Phillies, but I had two of the Phillies who were mine, who trained with me.
[00:15:19] Pat Croce: Mike Schmidt and Schmidty. I think I mad. I think I’ve heard. And who else? Gary Maddox. Gary Maddox. Well those two came every morning and Doc would come in and it would be, They’d be Julius and Mike Schmidt together training, and it was just like, whoa. Oh my
[00:15:38] Chris Dorris: goodness. That’s so beautiful. This is every
[00:15:40] Pat Croce: once in a while since Bobby Clark lived over by your way, or he, he lived over Atum.
[00:15:46] Pat Croce: He’d come in. So now I had like the, the hat trick of Phil’s. It’s ridiculous.
[00:15:54] Chris Dorris: Wow. All you needed Was Randall coming there? Yeah. I didn’t. Or, or Ron. [00:16:00] Or, or the, or. Jaws.
[00:16:02] Pat Croce: I didn’t do anything with the Eagles. They didn’t contact me. Well,
[00:16:05] Chris Dorris: shame on them. Oh, they took, they did. Well, what’s that? They did well. Yes. And, and they’re doing well now. Uh, so anyway, you’re, you know, you’re, you’re build, so you were, I guess you were building right?
[00:16:18] Chris Dorris: Your business at the same time as you’re working with the teams you had. Oh, sure.
[00:16:22] Pat Croce: Oh, are you kidding me, Chris? That’s how it helped me build the business. I used that notoriety. Mm. And that platform as a market’s, that’s where you got
[00:16:30] Chris Dorris: your insane street cred.
[00:16:32] Pat Croce: Well that if I could help the pros get back on the court ice or field.
[00:16:37] Pat Croce: Yeah. Then how about if we treat you in the same way? Yeah. Exact same way. We’re not gonna cast a sprained ankle. We’re not gonna have you sit in warm Epson salts. No. We’re gonna put you in contrast bass and tape you and give you exercises and you’re gonna move your ass till you’re better and get back to play work, sports, weekend Warrior, whatever it might be.
[00:16:59] Chris Dorris: Yeah, [00:17:00] man. So it worked. Wow. Why not? Why not? Just a good confluence of events. Right. And then you, you sold your business for Pretty Penny and then became minority owner of the Sixers, which was such an amazing, is an amazing story for people from Philadelphia. Cause everybody knows the story, loves the story.
[00:17:18] Chris Dorris: Mm-hmm. You know, it’s just, it’s a remarkable story. Do you still appreciate
[00:17:22] Pat Croce: that? I rarely delve into the past, Chris, but that was a fun. That was a fun transformation from the locker room or the training room to the boardroom and you, I never lost from where I’d come. So to grow up on the corner and you get move into business, you treat everyone with respect.
[00:17:39] Pat Croce: It’s the same in sports. If they knew I was in the locker room, in training room and now I’m in the boardroom and I can present myself and like example, whenever Ellen Iverson and Larry Brown were having some tit for tat, some, some conflict of behavior, I could go into the [00:18:00] training room when he was getting taped or massage and sit there and talk to AI Bubba, Chuck, I could talk to him one-on-one.
[00:18:08] Pat Croce: With a loving, caring feeling. So he understood that what I said I meant, and it was so, I never lost that trainer’s touch You never lost the every day workman’s touch. That’s awesome. That, that’s the beauty of it. You treat everyone with respect. It’s the golden rule. Right?
[00:18:27] Chris Dorris: Amen. And you walked that talk because you know, as you know, I mean, you’re from Philly, you were born in Philly, weren’t you?
[00:18:33] Chris Dorris: Yes you are. You are. A
[00:18:35] Pat Croce: Philly A block from Connie Mac Stadium, two blocks from Connie Mac. That was an usher there. Yeah, I
[00:18:41] Chris Dorris: know. I read that. That’s amazing. So we were having a, so on Sundays here during football season, my house is the place. So all the Philadelphia, you know, exfil people congregate. Here at my home, we have cheesecakes and we kill it.
[00:18:54] Chris Dorris: Oh, you gotta tell Ron. One, I’ll invite him. Is he a fan? Is he still a fan?
[00:18:59] Pat Croce: Oh, [00:19:00] totally. I would think he’s from Philly. What
[00:19:03] Chris Dorris: else? Just just so people know what, you know, Pat’s talking about a, a guy he mentioned a minute ago who’s a former submarine commander around who lives out here in Scottsdale now. And I’m gonna call him up and meet him, hopefully interview him, but definitely have him down for an Eagles game.
[00:19:17] Chris Dorris: So we were having a conversation re this past season about Connie Mac Stadium and none of us, and I’ll tell you, I hang out with some guys that are Philadelphia sports encyclopedias, but nobody in the room could say the exact location of Connie Mac Stadium.
[00:19:34] Pat Croce: 21st and Lehigh.
[00:19:36] Chris Dorris: Nice. Watch that. There you go.
[00:19:38] Chris Dorris: Pooch and Czar. That’s the name of the two guys. Oh, that’s Pooch. Pooch. Andr are the, the, the two encyclopedia guys. 21st and Lehigh. So. All right. So then, so you know, you had a, it’s tough to be loved in Philly [00:20:00] and you are, and some of the Yeah. Man, you, um, when you were part owner, you were known for creating the opportunity for employees of the six ERs to get floor level seats?
[00:20:20] Pat Croce: No. Well, here’s exactly how that goes. Okay. There were four front row seats underneath the basket. Yeah. The home bench was just to your left four seats. They were Brian Roberts, Comcast tickets, who was my partner, the majority partner Oh, cool. For his tickets. And when he didn’t use them, he allocated. To me for my use, but I didn’t put in, I rarely put in anyone doing business with the Sixers.
[00:20:51] Pat Croce: I would put in janitors and Yeah, yeah. Concessionaires and shit. Yeah. I mean, you could see, I’d tell ’em, put your brushes down like, cuz I [00:21:00] opens Right on. Can you do that if you had, you’re like a genie If I could. Yeah. Yeah. You’re like a genie. Every home game
[00:21:06] Chris Dorris: they must have gone berserk. Like, like you say, put your broom down, you’re gonna watch the game down
[00:21:11] Pat Croce: downtown.
[00:21:11] Pat Croce: I had I, I had my assistant. Call their direct report manager and tell ’em, okay, these four guys are, they’re gonna sit down and they would have beers and food delivered to, oh man, that’s
[00:21:24] Chris Dorris: everything. So awesome. Hey, can you tell the story of, um, and, and, and this is, I think this is beautiful, uh, like no diss on the main character here whatsoever.
[00:21:36] Chris Dorris: In fact, that’s not what the story’s about. It’s my understanding. But when Bill Clinton requested to, uh, come hang in game three or some playoff series into the owner’s suite, how’d
[00:21:47] Pat Croce: that go? Let me clarify that. He was the ex-president, ex president, president. President wasn’t the correct city president.
[00:21:54] Pat Croce: Right. However, I get a call from NBA headquarters, [00:22:00] David Stern’s office, that President Clinton wants to be in my box. It might have been, it might have been the Lakers game or it was one, it was 2001. It was during one of those great series. It was either Toronto, Milwaukee, or Lakers. And he wanted to come into my box and, and sit there.
[00:22:19] Pat Croce: And he was just coming back from Wimbledon. I said, no way. Wait. I mean, he comes in, then he has to have his entourage and his secret service. And all my buddies. Yeah. The river rats and quarter guys and bikers, and anyone from the street to the elite who was with me during this journey from worse to first over five years are gonna be acted out and everyone’s gonna have to sit there on their hands.
[00:22:47] Pat Croce: Those who are left. No fuck. No way. No,
[00:22:50] Chris Dorris: you’re safe. You’re safe. Here with, with the No.
[00:22:52] Pat Croce: And so, so next thing I know, two boxes down is Comcast Box. Mm-hmm. It’s the bar [00:23:00] suite that I would take during the Sixers games. Yeah. And that’s not during the flyers games, A box. And then another one, Brian Roberts calls me and says, What happened?
[00:23:10] Pat Croce: I had to give my box up to the President Clinton. I said, well, no, you didn’t. He said, well, yes I did. I said, well, I didn’t and I wasn’t. Yeah, and so Chris, so funny during the game, and I would only let the dance team come out three or four times and they leave. They weren’t like cheerleaders. This was a show.
[00:23:29] Pat Croce: I had a show on that court. So when you saw whether it was a halftime show with Teddy PGAs or, or Patty LaBelle, it didn’t matter. Whoever sang the national anthem, it was a show from the bedroom, from the Jump street. So, so I we’re looking over there, everyone’s looking, there’s the president, just one box over sitting in the first row, but he’s not paying attention to the game.
[00:23:50] Pat Croce: However, at the break of the first quarter, the dance team comes out. You see him reach behi below, get out the binoculars. [00:24:00] He’s watching the dance team. We, we were laughing and hollering.
[00:24:05] Chris Dorris: Oh, that’s funny. Shit. That’s true. He got better than I thought it would. Uh, that’s outstanding. So then more recently, we’ll fast way forward.
[00:24:20] Chris Dorris: I, I don’t know, was it about eight years ago? I don’t know. What is it you, well, you, um, retreated. Oh, oh,
[00:24:27] Pat Croce: oh, oh, oh, okay. Yeah. I didn’t know where you were going.
[00:24:30] Chris Dorris: Yeah, yeah. I didn’t give you much of a cue there. So, um, it’s a big segueway, but you, you, um, would just say it was upper, well, whatever. Uh, you got your own space.
[00:24:43] Chris Dorris: Out there outside of Philly. Right. And you
[00:24:46] Pat Croce: went, well, that wasn’t started. That came afterward. So it was about, it was eight years ago, January, exactly. January 20th, 2015. I happened to be on a plane going down the Key West where I had operations. However, I had retired January 1st, [00:25:00] 2015. I just turned 62 months earlier.
[00:25:02] Pat Croce: Day of the dead, November 2nd, all Souls Day. And my son and son-in-law were running the operations in St. Augustine and Key West, our bars and restaurants and museums. And I was heading back down with Diane and I happened to pick up a magazine, Chris, just a travel magazine. And then it was this article by a guy named Pico Ire.
[00:25:21] Pat Croce: Never heard of him. I Y E R. And in this article, he had a sentence, most of our life occurs in our head memory, imagination, speculation, interpretation. So if you want to change your life, you best begin by changing your mind. Hmm. And I went, that’s what I did. I went, Hmm. And it was kind of like a no mind moment that the Zen Masters call is tui.
[00:25:51] Pat Croce: You transcend the mind and you’re just blank thinking. Ah. It’s like an aha moment, right? Yeah. Yeah. And I went, can you change [00:26:00] your mind? I could change a body. I can change my opinion, but can you change your mind? So then I saw he did a Ted talk. So when I got to Key West, I went on and he had a TED Talk on stillness.
[00:26:15] Pat Croce: Now, why the hell stillness would interest me is still one of the first fascinating mystifying concepts in this whole journey. Yeah. However, I watched it and I, I really thought stillness meant stealing the body. I didn’t know it meant stealing your thoughts, stealing your mind. And it led me to a second talk by Andy Comb, who I had since found out, created that.
[00:26:41] Pat Croce: Meditation app Headspace, which I, oh yeah. That went well. And he is juggling for 10 minutes talking about meditation. And for me it was kind of like, I thought of meditation as the WOOWOO stuff we did, guys did in college just to pick up the hippie chicks, you know? But that, that was in like the seventies, you know, TM and [00:27:00] that like, yeah.
[00:27:00] Pat Croce: And then that led me to a third talk on happiness by this monk, Matt Ricard, this French interpreter for the Dai Lama, who two years later I dragged Diane, my wife, up to Bhutan in the Himalayas.
[00:27:14] Chris Dorris: Yeah. I wanna talk to you about that. I wanna definitely talk to you about, can we get to little bit, can we get to that?
[00:27:19] Chris Dorris: I wanna, I definitely wanna hear about
[00:27:20] Pat Croce: that. Sure, sure, sure, sure. Look, hey, no one really knows where I’m going in three weeks now. I mean, I’m heading to Tibet. I go to Tibet in three weeks by myself. I’m heading to Tibet, going, starting in Capmandu, go over to lasu where. The Dimus palace is where he used to be his home.
[00:27:40] Pat Croce: And then from there, transverse, the entire country of Tibet to go to the Sacred Mountain Mount Collash and uh, do a, what’s called a three day Cora, a circum ambulation of the mountain up to 18,500 feet. You, you, you come back [00:28:00] like, I got sleeping bag. I’m getting ready. I mean, I’m there by myself. I think.
[00:28:04] Pat Croce: Wow, man. Another dozen people. But I don’t know who they are from around the co I don’t even know who, where they are. I don’t know. I’m doing this by myself cuz no one wants to go. But I’m training really hard, hey, speaking to the flyers. So I am doing what I used to make them do. And in addition to hill climbing, I’m stewing a wall seat.
[00:28:21] Pat Croce: You know how you sit against the wall, like Yes, yes, yes. So I’m doing that and this morning I hit four minutes. Holy shit man. So I want my goals. Five minutes. How old are you now? I’m 68. That’s best in heart rate. This morning was 48. Holy shit, man. I’m in good enough shape to do this. It’s just, it, it’s a bumpy ride.
[00:28:43] Pat Croce: That’s why my wife, there’s no way to, I’m cuz when I took her to Dylan, man, one road around the
[00:28:48] Chris Dorris: whole, I can’t wait to hear about this. Is it good? Oh wow. That’s so great. Now you saying you’re starting in ktm? You’re starting in Nepal.
[00:28:55] Pat Croce: Okay. We, that’s where I fly into from Philly through, [00:29:00] uh,
[00:29:00] Chris Dorris: okay. I have a, one of my closest friends in the world, she’s an actress in India.
[00:29:06] Chris Dorris: She’s from K t m. Okay. Ah, so after we stop recording, she’s actually a former podcast guest. Manisha. Her name’s Manisha Kok. She was on the show, and she’s a dear, dear friend of mine. I’m gonna introduce you guys in case there’s a moment for you guys to meet Laura. No, I’ll have a moment. It would be
[00:29:22] Pat Croce: incredible.
[00:29:23] Pat Croce: Well, so, because I’m going two days earlier just to acclimate to the, uh, to the time difference. It’s an 11 hour time difference. The altitude’s not too bad A catman do That’s only 5,000 feet, the 18 five. Now that’s a different story. Yeah, man. Wow, okay. Oh, so I’m wearing My crazy ass daughter bought me for an Advanced Father’s Day gift.
[00:29:43] Pat Croce: One of those elevation training masks that you adjusted orifice. Yeah. So that, you know, you get no air in there and so it’s like you’re getting used to it, walking in the thin air.
[00:29:54] Chris Dorris: Sweet. Are you gonna
[00:29:55] Pat Croce: document any of this? I, I journal every day anyway, so, yeah. [00:30:00] Yeah. Just for my own purposes. So, back to our
[00:30:02] Chris Dorris: history lesson, where you, you, you started with, you said Bhutan, We’re talking about how you e eventually went off the grid for a while.
[00:30:10] Chris Dorris: You, you went into an inner exploration,
[00:30:14] Pat Croce: so the, that, that was that day. January 20th, 2015. Yeah. Yeah. You’re on the plane. I was not, was, I didn’t think it was anything. I wasn’t a spiritual seeker. I wasn’t in search of enlightenment or awakening. I never even heard the, I never even heard mindfulness until that Andy Pot.
[00:30:29] Pat Croce: I didn’t even know what it meant. I never, Chris, gave any mind to the nature of my mind. Never. I was so fascinated with doing, doing, becoming, doing, that I never sat still enough to, like, never realized that nothing in the external world is bringing me the happiness and peace that I’m seeking. I’d never listened and said, cut.
[00:30:53] Pat Croce: And turned around and went the other direction inward. This was the beginning of an entirely different journey. So [00:31:00] you’re on a plane and there was a
[00:31:01] Chris Dorris: magazine on a plane
[00:31:02] Pat Croce: magazine, just a
[00:31:03] Chris Dorris: magazine. Just pick up the damn magazine. And
[00:31:06] Pat Croce: that was the beginning. That was truly, and I’ve been curious to have, curious to have that energy of curiosity was one of my greatest gifts.
[00:31:16] Pat Croce: I was always curious and always asking questions. That right there,
[00:31:20] Chris Dorris: let’s slow that down because that’s a takeaway for everybody, that that is a takeaway. That could be the thing for some people. Ted Lasso,
[00:31:32] Pat Croce: Ted Lasso fan, here’s how it works. This is 1995. I just retired. I had sold my company and I didn’t know what I was gonna do next.
[00:31:42] Pat Croce: I wasn’t gonna retire at 40 years old, however old, 41 years old, and I’m in a Barnes and Noble bookstore. I. Barnes Noble Bookstore Borders. And I used to go there on Sundays cuz I loved to read. And I saw an article about how the N [00:32:00] B A was on the upswing and the Sixers were on the downswing and da da da da.
[00:32:06] Pat Croce: And I thought to myself, wow, what if, and I had, I’ll give you another nugget that people might relate to a three word mantra. At the time, I didn’t know the term mantra, but I use that now. Relationships determine results. I had a relationship with the former owner of the 76 ERs, Harold Katz, who got his money as the creator of Nutrisystem.
[00:32:29] Pat Croce: And if I didn’t, I would never have had the opportunity to invite him to lunch. I was his conditioning coach for the Philadelphia 76 ERs. As we talked about with Dr. Jay and right Barkley and Mo. That relationship allowed me. To have the result of eventually creating the dynamic of buying the team from him, bringing Comcast on board and boom, and the rest just unfolded.
[00:32:54] Pat Croce: Ron Rubin, my friend, introduced me to Comcast, but it was the curiosity of this [00:33:00] article in a Borders of Barnes and Noble, which I went, wow, what if, you know, what if? And everyone thought the Sixers at the time sucked. And they did. I mean, they were, but they only won 18 games out of an 82 game schedule that year.
[00:33:12] Pat Croce: But to me, I thought, yes, what an opportunity.
[00:33:17] Chris Dorris: Are you a Ted Lasso fan? Yes. So when I say be curious, you know the scene that I’m referring
[00:33:23] Pat Croce: to? Oh, with the darts? Yeah. Well see. That was, yeah. And all the people who were part of my songa, Ron is one of them, uh, several hundred on Sundays. I’ve been doing it for him almost
[00:33:34] Chris Dorris: four years.
[00:33:34] Chris Dorris: And shout out to Tim Mooney, who’s the person who introduced us,
[00:33:37] Pat Croce: who’s, yeah, Tim Mooney, one of our, one of the first sads I give a sadina every week, which is a tool and instrument. A sauna is an exercise, and you can do it if you choose to do it. And alls it is, is to bring you into the awareness of the present moment, all of them.
[00:33:53] Pat Croce: But this one,
[00:33:58] Pat Croce: four years ago, uh, [00:34:00] September, the first one was, Substitute curiosity, substitute judgment with curiosity. Oh my God, that was four years ago. Oh, they got it from you. But when I saw this on this
[00:34:13] Chris Dorris: Deka stolen
[00:34:13] Pat Croce: from you, man, I saw it on the 10th last show I went, yes. Wonderful. I think we even played that snippet on sang afterward.
[00:34:21] Pat Croce: Yeah. So that’s a good, oh, it’s not mine. You know what? I think I took that stole out from the Dai Lama. So, no, nothing’s new.
[00:34:28] Chris Dorris: Exactly. Exactly though.
[00:34:30] Pat Croce: But yeah. Oh, you wanna hear my only thing new? This might be a bug. This might be a bullet for people to take home. Okay. This is something that I’ve created from all the teachings, the perennial teachings that go, and all I do is in my journal, put ’em in a way that worked for me, and then I share them from my experience.
[00:34:48] Pat Croce: Okay. And I always say, don’t believe anything I say. Right. Take it on a provisional basis and see if it works for you. And what it means working for you is, does it bring more peace and happiness on the inside and less [00:35:00] drama conflict. On the outside, less suffering on the outside, more equanimity and serendipity on the outside.
[00:35:08] Pat Croce: Mm-hmm. And more just a feeling of fulfillment on the inside. This is it. The zen proverb goes, how you do anything is how you do everything. Yeah. Now I’m gonna take that how and say how you do what you do. Chris in the now creates the wow. The hell and the creates the wow. So just imagine. Whatever your goal is.
[00:35:37] Pat Croce: I say don’t be attached to it. Set up the plan to go to it. You know, you set up, you have your vision, your purpose. You break it down into strategies. You take each strategy, you break it into goals. You take each goal, break it down into strategies. You take the strategies and break ’em down into action steps.
[00:35:53] Pat Croce: You put ’em on your to-do list, and each and every one of those action steps is not a means to, an end is an [00:36:00] end and unto itself. You put full mindfulness in the present moment on purpose, on that action steps. Whether it’s to call Chris, whether it’s to jot, I need milk and bread down, whatever it might be, but you do it fully attentive in the now.
[00:36:20] Pat Croce: The hell and the now, and that’s a celebratory event. When you check it off, that’s celebration. So if you have check marks all day long and what you don’t get, you move to the next day on your to-do list. How can the outcome not be a stupendous success?
[00:36:37] Chris Dorris: So say it again for me one more time. How you do
[00:36:40] Pat Croce: how in the now creates the wow. How do you do All right. How? How in the now
[00:36:44] Chris Dorris: creates the wow.
[00:36:46] Pat Croce: How you do whatever you do with whomever. You’re doing it wherever you’re doing it. Yeah. You do it your best and allow the divine universe and God to take care of the rest.
[00:36:57] Pat Croce: Beautiful.
[00:36:58] Chris Dorris: All [00:37:00] right, let’s go back to the history lesson. This is fun. I like the way this is going. This is pretty cool. It’s definitely non-linear. It’s beautiful. And I’m doing a little Sherpa. I, you know what, I got a a note here. This is so fun that you’re going up there. This is a, a reminder to myself, every once in a while, I am a conversational Sherpa boy.
[00:37:19] Chris Dorris: I love that. Yeah. So I’m sherpaing right
[00:37:21] Pat Croce: now. You’re not carrying any baggage. Exactly. Leave the baggage at the front door or, okay. Leave
[00:37:28] Chris Dorris: that or let the yaks take care of it.
[00:37:30] Pat Croce: Let, let, let tell, let the yaks take care of it. No baggage. You can always pick it up on the front porch and the way out of this time we have together.
[00:37:36] Pat Croce: But right now, all of your tribe leave all the baggage, the beliefs, the concepts, the desires, expectations, fears, comparisons, guilt, leave them all at the door.
[00:37:49] Chris Dorris: So, so you get turned on to the inner world inquiry experience.
[00:37:56] Pat Croce: Right. The v the at [00:38:00] what? Yep. You just, well, the way you said it, I thought you knew Yeah. That the inner world inquiry Yes. Is called ahera. Ahma meaning the self, the inquiry about the self. Who am I? What is the nature of the knowing with which I know this experience, that inquiry takes you inward.
[00:38:19] Pat Croce: You use the mine instead of allowing the mine to abuse you. Okay.
[00:38:24] Chris Dorris: There we go. So you, I’m just trying to finish the history lesson. You ain’t going, oh, go. You keep going. You ain’t gonna lemme me.
[00:38:29] Pat Croce: Oh yes. I’ll
[00:38:30] Chris Dorris: can I just, you know, for helping people along the deal, so. All right. So, but you unplugged, or I don’t know if you unplugged or not, but you went, I did you, you off the grid.
[00:38:40] Chris Dorris: Yeah. Did you seriously build your own damn log cabin?
[00:38:45] Pat Croce: No, uh, not this, not our home, but I did build a log cabin in the woods cuz I wanted, It’s about 2016, a year later. And I said, hon, I, I don’t want to be here. I want to be in the woods. So Diane, you’re talking about your [00:39:00] wife? Yes, my wife of, of, uh, in January 45 years.
[00:39:04] Pat Croce: Wow. Yeah. November was a 50 years from our first date, so That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Saint Diane, she was making the whole journey the entire time. So the whole everything. I every kind of, but this time when I said, you wanna go to Tibet? She said, get the fuck outta here. I’m not going to, that’s exactly what she said.
[00:39:24] Chris Dorris: Philly girl, I’ve assumed she’s a Phil. Of course. She’s a
[00:39:26] Pat Croce: Philly girl. Oh, Alden, Delaware County. She’s a Delco
[00:39:29] Chris Dorris: Delco. Sweet. That was
[00:39:32] Pat Croce: me. As a matter of fact, I’m bringing a Delco sweatshirt. I’m wearing it. Yes. You’re damn it. I. And a buddy of mine gave me these cigars and the cigar band has, uh, Buddha on it, and they’re called Satori.
[00:39:45] Pat Croce: How cool is that? I’m gonna make sure I have one of those up there.
[00:39:48] Chris Dorris: Who was that? You bring a steak up there. What?
[00:39:51] Pat Croce: No one knows this. You’re the first one I’m telling, but, um, okay, that’s great, man. My light on fire with the oxygen only being a 40. No shit. [00:40:00]
[00:40:01] Chris Dorris: So you unplugged, you’re off the grid. Yeah, I really, I, uh,
[00:40:04] Pat Croce: space for something.
[00:40:05] Pat Croce: I, excuse me. Was Diane with you when you went off? N No. She travels back and forth. Now, I, I didn’t Sam going off the grid, but had this home built and a, a, a barn, which has my workshop and I started getting into woodworking and Chinese calligraphy. I got an art studio there, so I did build, to answer your question, a log cabin in.
[00:40:31] Pat Croce: My zen path back in the woods. This is a lot of acreage. And so that was really, I want to build these trails. I hand-built, physically built three miles of trails on this property. One of which you can walk the other two, you can, you can drive a gator, a John Deere around. So, but it’s great cuz to me, I have two dogs, Satchi and Maya, which came after the fact and it’s just, uh, you know, follow your enthusiasm.
[00:40:57] Pat Croce: I’m just going flowing with the dow. Just allowing [00:41:00] whatever unfolds. And so I did, I disappeared. And the only reason I really, no one could find me. I wouldn’t do any interviews. I wouldn’t do sports radio. Yes. Pam would call, you know, with a lot of a AI stuff. Sixers no good. They were trying to get me, no, I’m not interested.
[00:41:15] Pat Croce: I did come out when, uh, my body was diagnosed with cancer. Mm-hmm. And I realized that that was a sign that I should come out. And help others deal with the pain and suffering that may exist when they have a diagnosis. And I hooked up with the American Cancer Society and I became a spokesperson for them a couple years ago and raised a couple million for them.
[00:41:35] Pat Croce: Yeah, yeah. Right.
[00:41:36] Chris Dorris: We’ll talk about that hill. So, um, which is a cool acronym by the way, and, uh, well, the acronym is Health and Energy through Active Living every Day. But, uh, when you, so when you were going quiet and going into the Ahma Vatra, the self inquiry, did you have a cell phone? Yes. Yes. [00:42:00] Did you have a tv?
[00:42:01] Pat Croce: Yes. Oh, no, I didn’t, I didn’t go off the grid in the sense where I just disappeared in a sleeping bag. I am gonna do that in three weeks from now. Sure. But nevertheless, no, no, no. I, I was not attached to anything. So that is, if you’re really going off the grid, How people do it is fine. But my off the grid was just to have a lot of soul time.
[00:42:26] Pat Croce: Soul mean a capital S, you know, just true. So I, when I say soul, I mean self time. My soul in your soul is the same soul. I don’t believe we have separate souls. That’s just in spiritual ego acting. No, I believe the self that I am is the same self that you are. That I am, that I am, that God said I am. It’s no different.
[00:42:47] Pat Croce: That’s I am. We just qualify with I am white, I am 68, I am six foot. No, forget about all the qualifications and just rest in that aware presence. That’s really, so I wanted [00:43:00] space to do that. However, you could still contact me people, but no one really could find me cuz I really wasn’t available for interviews or you know, I just, I would still post on Twitter, however, it wasn’t.
[00:43:15] Pat Croce: So you were
[00:43:15] Chris Dorris: doing woodworking, you were learn teaching yourself Chinese calligraphy. Were you reading a lot?
[00:43:21] Pat Croce: Were you saying Yes. Oh, I read, I read a whole, I have an unbelievable
[00:43:23] Chris Dorris: library. Well, so gimme a little bit of like, what were you reading? And then this was like six years, wasn’t it? Eight.
[00:43:29] Pat Croce: Eight years?
[00:43:31] Pat Croce: Well, it’s eight years ago when I started. Eight years ago.
[00:43:33] Chris Dorris: But then when you got cancer was like, oh
[00:43:35] Pat Croce: no, that was only a couple years ago. Yeah, that was, I don’t know when that was. I don’t know about the pulse too good.
[00:43:41] Chris Dorris: Right. But yeah, so, so what’s like some of your great reads? Oh, wow. I, I know there’s a million.
[00:43:48] Chris Dorris: It doesn’t, yeah, but you can go. I’m not asking you for your favorites. I’m not doing that. I’m just
[00:43:52] Pat Croce: Well, no, no. Let me give you some of the ones that I would recommend to you. All
[00:43:55] Chris Dorris: right. Yes. Tribe. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:43:57] Pat Croce: And some of them may go, nah, I’m not interested. [00:44:00] Don’t be interested then. But you know, the power of now by Ecker tole, hey, that q and a, that q and a comes from.
[00:44:10] Pat Croce: In the mid eighties, there was a guy named Niga Niga. Maharaj Niga. I am that. That’s it. It’s one of my favorite. Be as you are. Romano Maharshi of Rupert Spira. Being aware of being aware. Oh wow. Yeah. There’s uh, oh, a great one is The Untethered Soul by Michael. A singer. Just got that. Oh, you’re gonna love it.
[00:44:38] Pat Croce: And his second, oh, he did a follow up. One second book is The Surrender Experiment. Yeah. Okay. And there is another one on, no, that there’s
[00:44:45] Chris Dorris: another
[00:44:45] Pat Croce: one. Yeah, a new one. Yeah. Bob Berg
[00:44:48] Chris Dorris: recommended it to me. Do you know who Bob Bergers? Bob Berg is the author. He, this is a beautiful human being. Bob Berg is the author of this amazing book called The Go-Giver.
[00:44:57] Chris Dorris: Oh yeah, yeah. He’s one of the, he’s one of, he’s [00:45:00] the co-author with John David, man. But, uh, anyway, but he just recommended that the follow up to the Untethered Soul. So you did all this great reading and all this amazing stuff, and then you got
[00:45:10] Pat Croce: cancer and then, well, a second Wait, I didn’t get cancer. Oh, oh hmm.
[00:45:19] Pat Croce: My body was diagnosed with cancer. Okay. Big difference. Okay. Tell me what’s the difference? Well, I’m not my body that, no, just like I’m not the voice in my head. And if your tribe is saying What voice, that one. Those thoughts that are emanating in your mind continuously. That shatter is not who I am because they come and go.
[00:45:43] Pat Croce: I’m that which is aware of them coming and going. The sensations in my body, the tingling at the souls of your feet right now, you’re aware of them. They come and go, but you’re aware of them. That doesn’t change the perceptions of the world. They come and go. Close your eyes, [00:46:00] everything’s gone. Open them.
[00:46:01] Pat Croce: There they are. The thoughts, sensations, feelings, images, perceptions, they all come and go. They flow with the universe. However, one thing never changes. One thing is not temporary, one thing is not localized. One thing is not limited. That which I am, I am that, that book you said, that’s what he’s saying. I am That which is aware.
[00:46:24] Pat Croce: The presence of being aware. You, Chris, your tribe listening to me right now, right there is just being aware That’s reality. Awareness is the reality that is hearing my words right now. I’m not saying it’s localized in your body. I’m not saying anything. I’d rather you say you do not know where it is than say, oh, it’s limited to my body.
[00:46:47] Pat Croce: There’s no proof that that which is aware of my words and aware of seeing, perceiving us right now on this screen is related to the body. There’s no proof, no [00:47:00] evidential proof.
[00:47:03] Pat Croce: And that I am that being aware the I that I am is aware that I am. I is the being. And I is aware amness, the isness is being. I am being aware. The aware presence right now. Right now, once you start thinking about it, you’re not, the mind kicks in, the mind needs time. The mind can’t operate in the now. The mind has to think about it and say, what the hell’s he talking about?
[00:47:30] Pat Croce: However, right there, just in that space of quiet stillness, you’re just aware. That’s peace. You lack nothing. That’s happiness. You’re not different than anyone else. That’s love. That’s truly who we are by nature. And it’s takes time. It takes inquiry because that, who am I that . It’s a really slow process, but once you know Chris, you cannot not know.
[00:47:59] Pat Croce: [00:48:00] Once you know there’s a voice in the head and the thoughts aren’t yours, the thoughts aren’t true. They aren’t you, you let them flow through. No thought is true. Not one fricking thought is true. Absolutely true. The only true statement is I am because you know you are. And that never leaves that’s ever present.
[00:48:20] Pat Croce: The three signs of absolute truth, one ever present, two, never changes the eye that I am the absolute presence, that I am not the body mind. The absolute aware presence is ever present, never changes and self-evident. You know it by being, it, it’s like the sun illuminates itself. It heats itself by being itself.
[00:48:44] Pat Croce: It doesn’t need anyone else to tell it who it is. You know it by being it. It’s the only way it transcends the mind. The mind can’t think about it. It can’t think about the I am, it can’t think about being aware. As [00:49:00] soon as it thinks about it, you’re out of just the present now. You know what,
[00:49:04] Chris Dorris: so you know there’s a large portion of my career where I was working exclusively on the mental game with athletes, competitive athletes.
[00:49:10] Chris Dorris: Right. You know what I’m hearing you describe right now? Flow. Yeah, man. The
[00:49:18] Pat Croce: zone. Yeah, exactly. Well, everyone can be in that. I call it meditation in motion. You don’t have to sit on a cushion and play incense and ring a bell, the Tibetan bell to meditate. Meditation can be a practice, but it’s who you are.
[00:49:33] Pat Croce: The how and the now, that’s when you invest vertically. Invest your being in the doing. That’s flow. You used the word
[00:49:44] Chris Dorris: vertically right
[00:49:45] Pat Croce: there. Right? Because the now the, it’s only now. Think of a crucifix. Jesus hung out in the now the vertical column. The horizontal part is past in future. Nah, everything.
[00:49:59] Pat Croce: Vertical [00:50:00] integration. Oh, that’s interesting. That’s intervention.
[00:50:07] Pat Croce: I love that Buddhist proverb saying is inevitable. People don’t understand that. Okay,
[00:50:12] Chris Dorris: let’s go there for, is that, does that make sense to go there right now?
[00:50:15] Pat Croce: No. Anything you go, cause everything you say is perfect. There’s another quote, there’s another three word mantra that I love. That’s zen. Never not perfect.
[00:50:25] Pat Croce: Aw. People say that’s full. You’re full of crap, pat. No, it is. It is what it is. It can’t be otherwise. So it’s perfect. Whether you say God, Brahman, the da, the consciousness, how divine universe, however it unfolds is perfect. Doesn’t mean it, you can’t help it change, but in the present moment, it’s perfect.
[00:50:47] Pat Croce: However, that pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Mm-hmm. I love that shirt because in the human experiment, in our experience, we all have pain. Look it, I was in a severe [00:51:00] motorcycle accident. My body underwent cancer. I mean, there are so many broken bones in my karate competition days that pain is inevitable.
[00:51:09] Pat Croce: Suffering however is truly a choice. You do not have to suffer. No one listening to your podcast right now needs to suffer. It’s optional. Now, the suffering that I’m talking about is fear-based, love-based suffering as in grief or sadness with a loss of a loved one. That’s love manifesting is grief with tears.
[00:51:33] Pat Croce: That’s a different kind of suffering. It’s love-based. It’s love emanating out into the universe. However, fear-based suffering, resisting what is right now. I want what is not Now, that’s the whole sentence of suffering resistance. Can you repeat that? Would you repeat? Go ahead. Yeah. Suffering is boils down to one sentence.
[00:51:55] Pat Croce: I don’t like what is now. I want what is [00:52:00] not now. That’s it. Resistance and seeking. Fear and desire, that’s all suffering is. We don’t want what is? How stupid is that? It is already. How can you not just accept it and move on? That’s the whole idea of spiritual awakening. You awaken to your true self. You’re not the voice in your head, you’re not the body, the symptoms and the sensations in the body.
[00:52:27] Pat Croce: The body is an instrument. Please don’t get me wrong. The body is an instrument to be utilized by the divine as a means for. Her to witness the world as herself. I’d like to say her so that people don’t think it’s some man up there with a beard like you and me.
[00:52:47] Pat Croce: I think I ve the 14th century Sufi mystic said this line that I love, I am the hole in the flute that the Christ breath moves through. Listen to this music. We’re [00:53:00] holes in the flute, so do your best at making the clearest, most spectacular hole so that the great musician can play her music. And that music can be in your podcast.
[00:53:13] Pat Croce: It can be in your carpentry, it can be in your gardening, it can be in your dancing. It could be in your cooking meals, in your vacuum cleaning and your’re raising children. Just be the best hole in the flute that you possibly could, possibly can be, and then you merge with the music.
[00:53:30] Chris Dorris: So what does that look like?
[00:53:31] Chris Dorris: So for somebody that’s listening to this and saying, that sounds really wonderful. How that, how the, how do I practice that?
[00:53:38] Pat Croce: Well, that’s good. That’s really good. First, you have to realize that what you have and what you want, get that space a little closer. The wider the space, the more you suffer what you have now and what you want.
[00:53:56] Pat Croce: If you can make ’em the same, what I have, [00:54:00] I’ll take, and then you just keep moving on. It’s desiring something more than you have right now that causes this inner angst. Two, be wondering what is unfolding before me is for me, not to me. Whatever happens before you is for you, it doesn’t, the universe doesn’t happen to you.
[00:54:26] Pat Croce: The universe knows exactly what you need. It doesn’t give a flying what you want, doesn’t care. Mm-hmm. It knows what you need. So if you look at everything, Chris, as a pointer to the truth, truth with a capital T, meaning a point or two, awakening to enlightenment, to realize in your true self of peace, love, and happiness.
[00:54:48] Pat Croce: And once you uncover that enlightenment, which we all are, this is one path where the goal we start at, we start at the goal, and we uncover, [00:55:00] we excavate all these conditioned beliefs. However, now everything that happens before you is a pointer. As Bruce Lee said, enter a dragon, a finger pointing away to the moon, which comes back from Buddha.
[00:55:13] Pat Croce: However, you can also once awaken, realize that everything happens before you. Is also a pointer to celebrate the truth, to dance, to enjoy life, to take your dharmic skillset, your special skills that God gave you, and bring them out. Bring them. I never knew I could do woodworking. I never knew I could do Chinese calligraphy.
[00:55:35] Pat Croce: I never knew I could draw and I, I all kinds of cool stuff.
[00:55:43] Chris Dorris: Finish this sentence, even though I know that you just articulated on this, but finish this sentence for me if you would. I’ll be happy when,
[00:55:54] Pat Croce: when there’s no, when.[00:56:00]
[00:56:03] Pat Croce: That’s true. That is true. There’s no when.
[00:56:09] Chris Dorris: Yeah. Right, because the you can be part When is the future? Right? Right. Like future desire, when, when is the paper coming or when is they’re not gonna be ready. It’s always a fu like when are you going to
[00:56:21] Pat Croce: Chris? The Bagga Ada, the Bagga Ada, one of the ancient Hindu books of wisdom, has really one major theme.
[00:56:29] Pat Croce: Do not be attached to the fruits of your action. Do not
[00:56:33] Chris Dorris: be attached to the fruits of do not so outcome.
[00:56:36] Pat Croce: Right? No. So surrender. You can set it. You can set it, but come back into the nail because with your eye to the when you’re missing life now. So most people don’t live life. They think about living life as Ron Doss would say, the spiritual teacher.
[00:56:53] Pat Croce: Most people are one thought away from where all the action is next. Chris, there are [00:57:00] those people who vacillate. Between being mindful of what they’re doing and losing themself in thought, past or future, pulling from the past, projecting worries into the future, and they vacillate between pain and pleasure, mindfulness, and some sort of thought produced angst, suffering then.
[00:57:22] Pat Croce: Then there are those who align with life and they’re mindful of the how and the now, and sir, they’re enjoying life, even if it could be not enjoyable for most people, whether it’s boring or they’re just in the now. And then there are those who allow life to live through them, the whole and the flute.
[00:57:45] Pat Croce: They come back and welcome how life unfolds, and that could mean a diagnosis of cancer. That could mean, so I was asked, I was asked numerous times from, on a scale from. One to 10, what’s your angst level with this diagnosis? With the [00:58:00] radiation, the surgery I had T-cell lymphoma, I said, I’m not off. Zero doesn’t bother me.
[00:58:05] Pat Croce: It’s nothing. If anything, it’s an impetus for me to meet new people. It was, to me, it was an what an
[00:58:11] Chris Dorris: amazing interpretation of reality right there.
[00:58:14] Pat Croce: Oh, it gave me, like going to Tibet, you know, people are, you know, the high, high altitude sickness and the travel will be boring on dangerous roads. And, you know, my stomach, the body, the stomach of my body is, has a restrictive diet.
[00:58:30] Pat Croce: Well, so what? Look at all the, I’m gonna come back with like, what’s going unfold for me. For me, whatever happens will be wonderful. Living
[00:58:42] Chris Dorris: in a, happening to me or happening for me world. John Dobos brought that up in, uh, in our, uh, episode.
[00:58:48] Pat Croce: Beautiful. Well, he know, look it, if someone right, Julie. The universe kicked him in everywhere, and he took it.
[00:58:58] Pat Croce: For those
[00:58:58] Chris Dorris: that are listening to this who [00:59:00] don’t know who John Doen boss is, to give some meaning to that reference right there. John Doen boss is a former Tough Talks guest also. John Dobos currently holds the record for the most consecutive games, played for the Philadelphia Eagles, and he’s got an unbelievable story that the, the, the piece that’s super relevant that Pat and I are, uh, elaborating upon right now, uh, was like, if a guy whose father bludgeoned his mother to death with a sledgehammer in their garage when he, when he was 12 years old, uh, can heal from that and, and, and give forgiveness, uh, for all of that, and then say, life doesn’t happen to me, it happens for me.
[00:59:42] Chris Dorris: Then we can all adopt that belief. Amen. Well, I wanna be sensitive to your time cause I think you got something coming up here. Um,
[00:59:57] Chris Dorris: favorite cheese take place?
[00:59:59] Pat Croce: [01:00:00] Chinos really, really well. I don’t eat ’em anymore, but nevertheless, I, uh, what I
[01:00:06] Chris Dorris: did. Oh, you don’t eat ’em anymore?
[01:00:08] Pat Croce: You eat? No. Oh. I don’t eat, I don’t eat, uh, wheat, so I don’t. Okay. However, they took Clinton’s picture above the window down and put mine up there back in the day.
[01:00:18] Chris Dorris: Seriously? Seriously.
[01:00:20] Pat Croce: Oh, that’s beautiful. When I was raising money for 9 1 1, this was 9 1 4. Uh, I went to Joey Vento, who was alive at the time, knows his son, and asked if he would help. He gave us all the proceeds. Oh. For some crazy, I think it was 24 hours, 120 grand in cash. Oh. What? That’s a lot of cheese steaks.
[01:00:48] Pat Croce: Yeah, man.
[01:00:49] Chris Dorris: Holy shit. Good on Ginos. Right on. So, um, you know, one of my favorite things is, uh, about being from Philadelphia area is the way we speak, [01:01:00] right? So, uh,
[01:01:08] Chris Dorris: yeah. And I love how we offer answers to our questions. How you doing? Good. Yeah.
[01:01:13] Pat Croce: And my dad used, my dad used to say, use? Use.
[01:01:16] Chris Dorris: Yeah. I, I use, you go down a short today or tomorrow. Hey, here. Waters cold, man. Well, this could go on all day. I wish it would. Um, thank you. Got 10 more minutes? Fuck yes. Yes, absolutely.
[01:01:30] Chris Dorris: Let’s go. Yeah. All right. All right. Sweet practice. I do pledge. To my tribe, as I mentioned to you, that every episode will, uh, give them something, at least one. And we already did give one, which is be curious. So it’s a thing, it’s a practice. Right? And, and, and, uh, what else, if anything, and it could be a practice in being not doing, I [01:02:00] don’t care.
[01:02:00] Chris Dorris: Whatever comes up for you. Uh, Chris, I got a
[01:02:05] Pat Croce: great one. Okay, let’s go. We talked about the voice in the head, and if your followers, this is really to me the first big step on the spiritual path to recognize that you are not the voice in your head. That those thoughts are cosmic convergence of countless causes over time and space that’s centered right into your mind.
[01:02:28] Pat Croce: But you have, you can’t control that. It’s, I’m not saying to stop thinking. The only way you can stop thinking if you can stop the clouds moving. No. Thinking will happen. You just observe it and let it go in the front door. Come on in, don’t give it any coffee or donuts right out the back door. So to be observant of the voice in the head is really powerful.
[01:02:50] Pat Croce: So one thing that I recommend, and it doesn’t have to be a saying, practice of meditation. However, if at a time you want to be still and not think, [01:03:00] because all understanding, all answers come between thoughts. A thought doesn’t think a thought is thought understanding or true thinking. Intelligence arises within thoughts.
[01:03:13] Pat Croce: A tree, a thought of a tree doesn’t think what I’m gonna have for lunch. You still all creation, art, science, math, everything. Your greatest intentions come when you’re still between thoughts. So how do you get still. Not by saying stop thinking, that’s the ego will just pervade and get stronger. Here’s a little way that I call the red balloon.
[01:03:39] Pat Croce: It’s the red balloon. As soon as you catch your mind in this monkey mind swinging from thought to thought, screeching, and hollering in your mind, and you want to quiet it down, I want you to imagine a red balloon. And in this red balloon, I want you to [01:04:00] place in bold letters, the word thinking. Now, this red balloon has the bold letters thinking in it.
[01:04:07] Pat Croce: Now, Chris, I want you to do this with me, okay? I want you to take a deep breath in through your nose, focus on the air coming in, and now exhale through your mouth. And as you exhale, let the air come under the red balloon and lift the red balloon into the sky. And if it takes another breath, take another breath in through your nose and out through the mouth and let the balloon, the red balloon lift higher and higher and higher into the blue sky.
[01:04:39] Pat Croce: Until it’s a spec. Until the spec disappears in the blue sky
[01:04:48] Pat Croce: there, you’re not thinking for that brief moment. It’s just without thought. And what is it? When without thought, you’re at peace. Peace. You’re fulfilled. When the [01:05:00] mind comes in afterwards says, well, what do you mean peace? No, forget about the mind, what you felt. Remember. Feeling, understanding that felt, understanding has to, the only way you know it is by being it, and that’s just a little, I call it the red balloon exercise.
[01:05:16] Pat Croce: And it’s great for even during meditation, but it’s great in the car, it’s great on the John. It’s great. Anytime. Just one, you focus on the breath, you don’t realize that you’re meditating for those of your, yeah, following that, don’t meditate. That’s meditation. Yeah. And for those of you who are really enthusiastic and joyful in whatever you’re doing at that time without judgment, that’s meditation.
[01:05:43] Pat Croce: And I recommend another doing is to journal. Is to journal, write a journal of these tips and instruments and tools that Chris has given you in your journal because the mind doesn’t remember everything. I have [01:06:00] journals dating back. This my 20th one I’m on from. And I didn’t date the beginning ones. I had to go back and find according to my calendar, cuz I didn’t think I journal didn’t mean anything to me.
[01:06:10] Pat Croce: I was just trying to take notes from, the first book I read was The Art of The Art of Happiness, the Dai Laas book. That was the first book and it came across my path serendipitously. And anything that’s serendipity, I think, oh, that’s, God tickling me. Okay, gimme that.
[01:06:28] Chris Dorris: So thank you for those. Uh, I love, uh, the, the practice the way I love the red balloon. So I’m become practicing quieting, letting my thoughts go, becoming a disinterested observer of the activity of my mind, letting. You know that it’s, it’s, it can’t not be true. You’re
[01:06:50] Pat Croce: allowing, you’re welcoming and allowing, don’t force it.
[01:06:54] Pat Croce: It’s not, Weiwei goes back to the Dde Chun, the, the great Chinese book [01:07:00] of wisdom from the, you know, 2,500 years ago. Hu WWE is effortless action. That’s when you’re in the flow, like you train your athletes. So allow, don’t resist, don’t attachment or aversion. Don’t attach to it, but don’t avert it either.
[01:07:16] Pat Croce: Whatever comes up, comes up and let it go. I say strengthen your, let it go muscle. That’s just a text. Someone wants to, that’s my assistant Lauren saying, I hope everything went well. She doesn’t know we’re still on. Oh, that’s so awesome. Hey, Lauren, you builder let it go muscle by allowing thoughts to come.
[01:07:36] Pat Croce: Let them tell their story and let it go. Just no stickiness, no hold
[01:07:39] Chris Dorris: on. Strengthen your letting go muscles that it, let it go.
[01:07:43] Pat Croce: Let it go muscle and
[01:07:45] Chris Dorris: let. It go
[01:07:47] Pat Croce: muscle. It’s a let it go. The stronger you make it, the more you can let everything go. Someone will call you a putts, let it go. What’s it matter? I don’t believe the voice in my head.
[01:07:58] Pat Croce: Why would I believe the voice in [01:08:00] yours? Are you an
[01:08:02] Chris Dorris: Alan Watts fan? Oh, I love Alan
[01:08:04] Pat Croce: Watts. How you not Right? I love him. That’s why I started Chinese calligraphy in 2000. I watched a P B S on him. He had a show in 1959. He would start each one with a Chinese calligraphy, like observation was the first one I watched, and I saw this.
[01:08:19] Pat Croce: I went, oh, and that real Alan Watts turned me onto Chinese calligraphy. Oh, I have all of his books. His latest one is Talking Zen by his son, edited by his son. Oh, neat. It’s all of his talks, but only about 40 of them extracted where he talks about Zen in particular and Zen’s the way of being. It’s not a way of becoming, it’s not a way of believing.
[01:08:40] Pat Croce: It’s just a way of be two words that make up zen. Just this. That’s it. And Alan Watts is so good at saying that in his brilliant method, I have
[01:08:55] Chris Dorris: thoughts, but I am not my thoughts. That’s what I’m
[01:08:59] Pat Croce: thinking. [01:09:00] Here’s my little poem that was mine from the beginning in my journal, thoughts aren’t true. Thoughts aren’t you let them flow through.
[01:09:09] Pat Croce: Thoughts aren’t true. There’s not one thought that’s true. Not absolutely true cuz it doesn’t stay at moon. Leaves not and no thought is true. Not one. The only concept is that you can experience is I am, I am is a concept. But you can experience, you know you are right. That’s true. And you never not are you are.
[01:09:32] Pat Croce: You’re always you. You always are. I am you. That’s, that’s true. That’s absolute truth. The other ones are concepts. They can be true one day, not true. That’s why beliefs are full of shit. I don’t believe in anything experiential, experiential understanding is the only means of truth. I believe that dogma doctrine, Hmm, that dogma doctrine believes hearsay opinions.
[01:09:58] Pat Croce: You can have ’em
[01:09:59] Chris Dorris: fine. You know [01:10:00] what, I, you know what? I love to believe that, uh, the Eagles, the Phillies, the Sixers, the flyers and Villanova basketball games really, really, really do fucking matter. I, I love believing that. I’d
[01:10:15] Pat Croce: love believing that, uh, you know what, uh, that is a belief, and it’s a belief you’re attached to because when they don’t win, you suffer.
[01:10:28] Pat Croce: So it’s a belief you’re attached to. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I understand. My other question is, my, my good question that I pose to people, which is of the chair question. And investigate. How’s that working for you? At the moment, that’s it. Yeah, I know, but that’s it. That’s with everyone.
[01:10:45] Pat Croce: I don’t care. You can go to church every morning. How’s it working for you? Yeah. But to me it’s always, how’s it working for you? If it’s bringing peace, happiness, and love. I mean, if you’re going to church every morning, but you don’t hold the door for someone behind you going outta church, [01:11:00] like how’s it working?
[01:11:01] Pat Croce: That’s great. That’s
[01:11:02] Chris Dorris: great. Hey, so is the sang, is that like, how do people get involved? Well, actually can you, I don’t think we, you have referenced it, but can we
[01:11:11] Pat Croce: tell people, oh, the only way you can get on is if you’re recommended by someone on Sangha and I don’t allow any, anyone. So use Sangas social media.
[01:11:19] Pat Croce: So because something can be taken out of context. Sure. Like you can take any one of my sentences here and take it out of context. I don’t believe in, they’ll say, well, you don’t believe in God. Well, God is a concept no. With a man who judges with a beard and punishes. No. However, Do you know love? C You know love?
[01:11:41] Pat Croce: Yes. You know, love you. You feel love. You know love. Yes, love is, love is God is. God is whatever God is. God is whatever. God is. The supreme being the creator. [01:12:00] Whatever there is the isness of everything, God. So if God is and love is, then God is love. So you and I know God, right? So that’s not a belief, that’s an experience.
[01:12:17] Pat Croce: I experience love. I experience God every time I love. This is that’s, you know, heaven. Jesus said Heaven is within you. The kingdom of heaven is within you. That means right now, being aware right now is heaven. When the mind comes in, the egoic separate self mind comes in and starts giving you all this baloney.
[01:12:38] Pat Croce: That’s hell
[01:12:40] Chris Dorris: yeah. Yeah. Amen.
[01:12:42] Pat Croce: Pull in the red balloon, put amen in the red balloon. Yeah.
[01:12:49] Chris Dorris: Anything else you want people to know about what, like where?
[01:12:53] Pat Croce: Just so you know the song, if, if you’re interested in coming on, you know, you’re welcome cuz I’m welcoming you. Tim welcomes you. [01:13:00] How? And then it’s Sunday, every Sunday, 11 o’clock Eastern time.
[01:13:03] Pat Croce: I, I was doing Zoom before Zoom was a household word, so it’s coming into four years and for 90 minutes, I never, ever. Ever go over 90 minutes because I believe in your, I’ll trade in rhythms. Nothing happens after 90 minutes. Oh, nice. And everything. All my meetings and all my business activities never lasted.
[01:13:22] Pat Croce: You could set your clock to my meetings if I said 11 o’clock. You know, by 1230 it’s done. And if they’re hands no questions. However, if you’re on and you feel that Sanga Sanga, meaning that’s a Sanskrit word for gathering another SAT song, means the gathering of being. One being I ring a Tibetan bell each time to start, and that’s the doorbell to opening the sacred space that we all share.
[01:13:48] Pat Croce: But we share it not only during Sundays all the time. And people are, as I told you, submarine commanders, movie producers, college professors, trial lawyers, teachers, [01:14:00] yogis. It can be anyone doing anything. And if it resonates with you, then you can recommend other people. However, it’s not for everyone.
[01:14:08] Pat Croce: Mm-hmm. Grace tickles us who wants to come? And that’s it. Like this, this conversation we’ve had for the past hour isn’t for everyone. Right? However, those who resonate with us and say, whoa, or they get a little ping, I call it a ping, a little hammer on the chisel knocking that block of rock apart, unveiling their true self.
[01:14:30] Pat Croce: It’s a ping. It’s a path of pings, a pathless path, a vertical path.
[01:14:37] Chris Dorris: You have such a great vibe, man. Brother, I appreciate you so much. I am so happy to have been able to spend this time with you today. Thank you so much for making it and for bringing your vibe. You’re re remarkably high vibe to my
[01:14:51] Pat Croce: tribe. Oh, Chris, I love what you’re doing and thank you.
[01:14:55] Pat Croce: Really. Thank you for the invitation and I truly believe, I feel [01:15:00] that grace has brought us together. Yeah. Now for what reason? There is no why question. We never asked the why question.
[01:15:11] Chris Dorris: Have a miraculous journey in Tibet, in in Cat Mandu, and I’ll introduce you to my friend. Right on. Can’t wait to hear about it, man.
[01:15:20] Chris Dorris: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you brother. Namaste. Namaste, man. How fun was that for me? That was all the boys he’s worked with. All of my childhood sports heroes, the Doc Julius Irving, Dr. J and Schmitty, Mike Schmidt. Those are my two sports heroes from life. My, and those are my sports, basketball and baseball.
[01:15:50] Chris Dorris: And those were my guys, Dr. Jay and uh, and Mike Schmidt. That’s why I wanted to play third, I played third base playing baseball cause of Schmitty. That’s cool. And, [01:16:00] and the whole, um, Key West deal, but goodness. What, what, what a fascinating man, huh? I mean, to, to create so much business success, right? From being a physical therapist and then growing this practice, and then getting some work with the flyers and then with the Sixers, and then ultimately ascending to become a minority owner.
[01:16:24] Chris Dorris: And I love how he prioritized, you know, just really caring, you know, for people. Tell ’em, put the broom down. You’re sitting down, down the front four, four rows or whatever, and you’re watching a game and drink some beers. Eating a hotdog. You ain’t working. You ain’t sweeping up today, buddy. And, uh, I’m sorry, former President Clinton.
[01:16:43] Chris Dorris: I no access. Not here. Get down to Comcast. That’s awesome. And we never even got to the Bhutan. There was just so much fun, so much to discuss. And what, what a, what a fascinating deal that he, you know, he unplugged and, [01:17:00] and really, uh, Went deep into self inquiry. So many, you know, I’ll tell you, there’s obviously so many great takeaways.
[01:17:08] Chris Dorris: Um, but I think that, um, I think my favorite, I’d be interested in hearing, let me know what your favorite is, but follow your enthusiasm. I think that’s my favorite mic drop. But there’s a, there’s a bunch of them. So anyway, what an amazing human being. I hope that, uh, that was, uh, as valuable for you as I suspect it was.
[01:17:33] Chris Dorris: And, uh, thanks for tuning in. And as always, until next time, great miracles.