In January 2012, Robert Rabbin was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and told he had a few months to live. However, in keeping with his contrarian nature, he took a non-conventional path.

Robert began his professional journey in 1985, after spending 10 years living and working with meditation master Swami Muktananda in India.

Long before then he was on a pursuit – a pursuit to understand the “why”.

The questioning and the wondering, has been the signature characteristic of his life.

Who am I? What is my purpose? What is real?

At 11 years of age Robert asked himself those 3 questions and has been on a relentless journey to answer them ever since.

The spirit of inquiry, wondering, and curiosity has allowed him to go deeper and further than most people – deeper than those that accept a preexisting condition of knowledge.

In this conversation we take a deep dive into mindfulness and the meaning of a “thought stream.”

We discuss why words and language can be insufficient when it comes to truly understanding what is transpiring as an experience of being “here now.”

Robert shares how listening deeply without projection, allowing space to be playful, and removing ego are all at the center of what has made him successful.

Robert has developed an international reputation as a brilliant speaker and public speaking guru, as well as a distinguished self-awareness facilitator and leadership advisor.

He’s an author: Two of his books that I’ve appreciated are: The 5 Principles of Authentic Living, and Speak Truthfully.

I hope this conversation drives you to think just a bit deeper and get curious about who you really are.

“Your breathing is always present, it’s always here in time, and it isn’t subject to what you think.”

In This Episode:

  • Growing up curious, seeking to understand the “why”
  • Experiencing an “awakening” at 11 years of age
  • What it means to get caught in your thought stream
  • Practicing mindfulness vs. living it
  • Why language is at times insufficient
  • His tactics for helping others be more authentic
  • How to become a better listener
  • What he learned from studying mindfulness for 15 years with Swami Muktananda in India
  • How he’s proven doctors wrong and lived for 5 years with what was thought to be Stage 4 terminal cancer
  • Why breathing is key to being present
  • His own source of clarity, wisdom, and humanity: The 5 Principles of Authentic Living



On character: “The why, the questioning, the wondering has been the signature characteristic of my life.”

On control: “My response will determine my reality.”

On mindfulness: “The whole idea of being present is to not be caught in the thought stream and therefore living in the projection of the thought stream on the screen.”

On becoming more present: “To not be defined or determined by your thought stream, develop the capacity to hear and feel your breathing and stay in constant contact with that.”

On mindfulness: Mindfulness is a capacity of consciousness that is not defined or determined by the thought stream which is where we live when we create and belief in a historical account of anything.”

On character: “I never identified with being a cancer patient, a cancer victim, a cancer survivor. The languaging is important because the languaging creates the space.”

On character: “Once most people learn something, especially if it seems to be right and true and certain, we lose the spirit of inquiry.”

On character: “I’m playful and sincere. They don’t cancel each other out.”


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Want the full transcript from the episode? Click here!



  • Mindfulness in Public Speaking – Read here
  • Introduction to Speaking Truthfully – Read here
  • Why I Love Speaking Truthfully Masterclass – Read here




Director at Speaking Truthfully |

Robert is the creative source and director of Speaking Truthfully, through which he offers masterclasses and private mentoring in authentic self-expression and public speaking. He has published eight books and more than 200 articles on authentic living and public speaking, leadership, self-inquiry, spiritual activism, and meditation. His signature book is The 5 Principles of Authentic Living.