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Life, Death, and the Space Between

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Ryan Estes


Buddhism in Business with Ryan Estes


Dr. Amy Robbins


December 9, 2021


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“When people weave in and out of this way of being, what makes them step away from it? And what brings them back?” -Amy Robbins

“Sometimes people use these concepts as a spiritual bypass, saying ‘I’m spiritual’ but not acting that way.” -Amy Robbins

“Know me? Hard enough in this reality, right?” -Amy Robbins

“It’s important to incorporate kindness and love towards everybody, particularly the people we work with.” -Amy Robbins

“Vulnerability is the key to a great conversation.” – Amy Robbins

“You have so many different components to who you are.” – Amy Robbins

“I’m exploring how we integrate spirituality in the workplace, because it’s something we don’t talk about.” – Amy Robbins

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Buddhism in Business with Ryan Estes

In this episode of “Life, Death, and Space Between,” Ryan Estes speaks with host Dr. Amy Robbins. Amy is a doctor of clinical psychology and a wellness speaker whose passion revolves around helping people experience more meaningful connections. Aside from practicing psychology for 15 years, Amy is also the founder of the #1School1Community Initiative in her area, which seeks to bridge elementary school kids to the high school that serves her neighborhood. 


In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why spirituality is important in the workplace
  • What the role of spirituality in the workplace is
  • How Buddhist ideas are seeping into the American culture


Good Question & Answer 1:

Dr. Amy Robbins: So, how do you integrate spirituality and entrepreneurship?

Ryan Estes: It’s a good question. How do you integrate them? To me, it’s like things I do in a daily manner. From a business perspective, there are three criteria that I’ll all address to qualify every kind of business idea. Is it fun? Is it a service? Is it an endeavor, or does it make money? It’s got to do all three things. Otherwise, I just can’t do it because I just don’t have any time. So the service part is important. And I think oftentimes, it’s up to us to kind of spin the narrative of the importance of our work to maybe observe that and wake up in the morning and feel gratitude. It might not come naturally. At least it doesn’t work for me. I have to put gratitude practice into my day… So, you know, to me, it’s really just about setting a pace for the day, in the same way, you might think about, like, “Hey, I’m doing leg days on Monday, because I know, I’ll be sore all week.” And by the time it gets to the weekend, and I can go run a marathon, or whatever I want to do, I’m not right. But in this, I treat it as I would treat training my body. It’s just training for the mind.


Good Question & Answer 2:

Dr. Amy Robbins: I’m curious about your thoughts on this. One of the things that I talk about often on this podcast and something that I see sometimes is people taking these concepts and sort of using them as a spiritual bypass as saying things like, “I’m spiritual,” for lack of just saying they’re spiritual, but then not acting in that way. So how do you really integrate that?

Ryan Estes: You just gotta check yourself all the time, as best you can, I mean, trunk paw, and that book, spiritual materialism spiritual bypass. I’m wearing beads, but how much of your identity are you wrapping around your spiritual path? Dangerous. That’s just that. That’s the hole you can fall into and never get out of. I think maybe a technique that also comes from my culture was just like, trashing it. You know, don’t mate. There’s no holy cow. Do you know what I mean? Like, make fun of yourself. Be self-deprecating… If I show up to the barbecue, and I get a toe ring in some Birkenstocks, I hope somebody calls me out. Like what are you doing, man? Are we here yet? We have toe rings now. Not that there’s anything wrong with toe rings, but that is really important, and it’s a very common trap, especially when people start to have awakening experiences.


Additional Topics Discussed:

  • Spiritual bypass vs. integrity in spirituality
  • Jujitsu
  • Metta meditation


Host Bio:

Amy graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She then moved to Illinois School of Professional Psychology to get her Master’s and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Amy received her education at Chicago-area community mental health clinics. As a result, she witnessed a broad range of human misery. At Jewish Child and Family Services, Amy finished her internship and postdoctoral training.

Her cause reaches past mental health. Amy is a firm believer in staying connected to her community. She launched the #1School1Community Initiative in her area, attempting to link elementary school kids to the high school serviced by her neighborhood. She also works as elected Vice-Chairperson and Secretary of her Local School Board and on the Board of Directors at Gardeners, an NPO formed to promote horticulture instruction and current school curricula around healthy eating in Chicago Public Schools.


Guest Bio:

Ryan Estes is the co-founder of Kitcaster. He has managed a media and marketing agency for the last ten years. He hosted the founders’ podcast Talklaunch for eight of those years. He has recorded 300+ interviews with over a quarter-million downloads and is highly recognized in the iTunes “Top 100” podcasts. Podcasts have brought in over $1 million in revenue, according to him. He is a big fan of podcasting and thinks it has a lot of potential for entrepreneurs.


Resources and Links Mentioned in the Show:

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