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Tonic Herbalism & Taoist Practice For The Family Culture with Mason Taylor on The Melissa Ambrosini Show (EP#209)

Mason joins Melissa Ambrosini on the her #1 rated podcast; The Melissa Ambrosini Show for an explorative and thought provoking conversation on Taoist tonic herbalism, conscious conception/birth, how to incorporate SuperFeast herbs into your daily life and family culture, the practice of Gua Sha and so much more!

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In today's episode Mason takes the guest seat and sits down to chat with Melissa Ambrosini on her #1 rated podcast; The Melissa Ambrosini Show

Melissa is a multiple bestselling author, keynote and TEDx speaker, and queen of mastering your Mean Girl. 

In this explorative and thought provoking conversation, Mason shares the download on Taoist tonic herbalism, conscious conception/birth, how to incorporate SuperFeast herbs into your daily life/family culture, the signature China sourcing that makes SuperFeast so unique and the importance of tradition and lore in herbal cultivation.

Mason also runs us through the practice of Gua Sha and emphasises the importance of connecting to the ancient roots that lay so deeply at its core.

With a shared passion for holistic health, Mason and Melissa cover vast ground, their dialog spanning the realms of medicinal mushrooms, tonic herbs and Taoist philosophy.

Whether you are new on the herbal path, are a sometimes herbal friend, or a seasoned pro, there are many pearls of wisdom littered for all throughout this informative conversation.

Press play and dive in. 

 

Image of ceramic cup with hot drink

"The first thing I saw with Taoist herbalism was like there are these precious treasures in the body and we're just going to capture a certain amount of functions and capacities and energies and we're going to call them the treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen, and your primary job is to guard them and treasure them."
- Mason Taylor.


Mason & Melissa discuss:

  • Birth Magic & the conscious birth of Mason and Tahnee's two children.
  • Taoist Tonic Herbalism.
  • SuperFeast sourcing.
  • The Three Treasures; Jing, Qi, Shen.
  • Longevity and the merit of daily practice in the cultivation of it.
  • The SuperFeast origin story.
  • Herb dosage for postpartum, breastfeeding and children.
  • Gua Sha, what is it and how to utilise it in your life.

 

Who is Mason Taylor ?

Mason Taylor is the CEO/Founder of SuperFeast and a renowned tonic herbalist. On a soul mission to bring people back to their body and nature while bursting through dogma, he shares passionately and uniquely in his workshops, podcast, and content on how to cultivate healing and potentiation through health sovereignty. An expert in Taoist tonic herbalism, Mason has helped tens of thousands of people globally discover medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic tonic herbs, and the healing philosophy from which they emerged. Mason is also a budding comedian; bursting the bubble on the “health scene” with his antics.

 

Who is Melissa Ambrosini ?

Named a “Self-Help Guru” by Elle Magazine, Melissa Ambrosini is the bestselling author of Mastering Your Mean Girl, Open Wide, Comparisonitis, Time Magic and the Audible Original PurposeFULL, as well as the winner of ‘The Best eBooks Of All Time’ as voted by Book Depository. 

Melissa is the host of #1 rated podcast The Melissa Ambrosini Show, where she shares her wisdom and interviews with the biggest thought leaders and experts in the world to help her audience unlock their full potential and live their dream life. 

With a deep commitment to empowering others to become the best version of themselves, Melissa believes that awakening is possible for everyone. She strives to inspire others to reclaim their power, bust through fear, step into their truth, live with intention, and move in the direction of their dreams.


Resource guide

Guest Links
Melissa's Website
Melissa's  Podcast
Melissa's Facebook
Melissa's Instagram
Melissa's Twitter
Melissa's YouTube
Time Magic
Book Wholy Mama

Mentioned In This Episode
SuperFeast YIN Gua Sha Tool
SuperFeast YANG Gua Sha Tool
SuperFeast QI
SuperFeast JING
SuperFeast I Am Gaia
SuperFeast Astragalus
SuperFeast Mason's Mushrooms

Related Podcasts
Gua Sha: Become Your Own Healer with Mason Taylor (EP#174)

 


Check Out The Transcript Below:

 

Melissa Ambrosini:

Mason, welcome to the show. I am so excited to have a fellow Aussie on the podcast and I'm so excited to hear the answer to this question. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Mason:

This morning I had little 10 month old babies clawing at my mouth upon waking because Tahnee was going off to an event at that time. I got up and had some MSM water, some zeolites, and then at this point I haven't eaten anything and I don't know whether that's intentional. I'm not necessarily an intermittent faster. It's not great in the Tao to not feed the Spleen during that 7:00 to 9:00 period. But to be honest, I've had good butterflies and thought, "I'm coming on and having a chat with you." So I thought I'd just be like, "All right Spleen, I need you to just take one for the team this morning. I've been nourishing you for the whole late Summer season, which is your season. You've got enough healthy soil in the body there to do one morning."

Melissa Ambrosini:

Yes. Yeah. And wait, back up, two babies? I heard two 10 month [inaudible 00:01:10].

Mason:

Just baby hands. Two baby hands.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Oh, I was thinking twins and I was like, "Wow." Okay. Look, anyone who has twins or more, I'm like, "You are my hero."

Mason:

Yeah, we've got three friends that have baby twins at the moment, so we were convinced we were going to have twinnies as well because Tahnee's got it in her family and carries really large and we didn't get any scans or anything so we were just waiting for possibly that surprise, but yeah, we've only got one little rambunctious boy that likes smacking me in the mouth as a nice welcome to the day.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Beautiful. I love it. A kick in the ribs, a smack in the face. It's awesome.

Mason:

It is. It's getting like in the red zone of fighting rules where it's gouging, but that's okay. That's all right. I need to harden up anyway.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Oh my gosh. And so you just have one?

Mason:

We got one 10-month-old and a six-year-old girl.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Oh, so beautiful. I love it. That's a whole podcast on its own. I would love to hear about your conscious conception journey and your pregnancy journey and your birthing journey, but maybe you'll have to come back on and talk about that another time because I'm super passionate about all of that stuff.

Mason:

Yeah, amazing. Tahnee would love to as well and I think especially she's just finished Shamanic Women's Craft with Jane, Jane Hardwicke Collins and I think you know her work and is really deep in that world and advocating for birth to have the right to have a little bit of wilderness and a little bit of faith and a little bit of appropriate boundaries, but a little trust in mama and babas and birth partners and dad's journey as well. So we would love to.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Yes, absolutely. I love Jane's work so much. She's in my programme, Holy Mama, as one of the expert teachers and she's been on my podcast and she's a dear friend. She was one of my birth mentors. I did her pregnancy course in Byron Bay. I love her. Everything that she does, I'm all for. So yeah, I love that Tahnee's into her work as well. Just quickly, how were your births?

Mason:

Incredible, transformational, both at home in South Golden Beach. First starting out with the Mullum Midwives, which became the Byron Midwives and was great. We learned a lot. It was pretty much zero intervention, but Tahnee wouldn't mind going into a few of the things that she learned. And then the birth itself was magical, in a relative sense smooth for Tahnee. Second pregnancy was incredible that we had zero intervention from anyone, no tests or scans and it was just really beautiful to watch Tahnee be on the finger on the pulse and not be doing it for the sake of free birthing and fighting. Watching her, witnessing her really make conscientious decisions day by day and knowing whether having someone encroach our area was going to detract something that was more important, especially if the outcome was ambiguous, the benefit was ambiguous and it was a beautiful learning experience for me.

 

But just at home there, just us, the dog in the room, waking my daughter up in the morning. He was posterior so it was a little bit more on the painful side, didn't realise that that was going to be the case, but Tahnee just got into the guts of her experience and brought that through. Knowing that that would be something of its posterior that would've been... Within a hospital would've been dragging her off to go to a c-section.

 

So for me, I really had an incredible experience, just really respecting if I did have as a birth partner, just really gently bringing up my worries, my concerns and just having such a long run up this time in voicing them and not having a midwifery system, just going, "Oh, whatever, don't worry about that." But no, Tahnee and I would spend three weeks going, "Okay, well, what is it? What is there for me? What is it?" And Tahnee going, "Actually, it's how beautiful it is to have a birth partner that has had the chance to really get to the bottom of why there's something I feel convicted about or something I feel concerned about. And then following that thread to the end where we arrive at that point where there's no more charge and we can both be like, "All right, hell yes. Yeah, we're going to keep on going down this path."

 

So what that does to lock in that family, that birth magic, what it does in terms of locking you in, in terms of just whether it's your marriage or your partnership and your unity, it's that invisible thing that within and that medical system has such a great place, but obviously it's off its head with ego and so inappropriate and pierces because it can't see or perceive that birth magic. I think Tahnee saw you at that Jane course in Byron and knowing Jane's work and knowing what Tahnee is doing and you know Oni's doing up here and in that birth pregnancy and beyond group, and I'm around it enough to watch especially women, but feel and cultivate that birth magic space. It was just nice for me to be able to sit in it and experience it and it was really transformational.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Beautiful. It is truly magical. It's truly, truly magical and I had no intention of talking to you about this today, but it just started there because I am so passionate about it, which is why I created my programme, Holy Mama. And it's so important that we hear these stories, that we hear these positive, inspiring, magical birth stories because the societal narrative is the complete opposite. So I feel like the more that we can share these beautiful stories, the better. So I think I'll have to have you guys back on to talk all about it and dive deeper into it on another episode.

Mason:

It's going to be great. We can segue into Taoist tonic herbalism very easily there because although everyone knows SuperFeast, a lot of people know us being the mushroom company, a lot of people know me as the mushroom man. Some people know us as adaptogens, which is great, I love that. And that's an appropriate way for people to perceive us. At the depths we're working with a very old lineage of tonic herbalism that transcends the capacity for it to be institutionalised into a university course. The origins and the most well documented, documented in a way that slippery and talks about principles rather than rules that can be regulated by an institutional board or something like that and give licence. It's a medicine for the people, but the terminology and the principles are so old world, they allow us again to perceive the invisible thing that a system or an institution can't see.

 

So it's the same with birth magic. It's this invisible thing that although they can't see it, therefore they don't respect that it is there. And likewise, our capacity to go beyond a symptom-based approach or just crossing our fingers and hoping we don't get diseased, there's an invisible cultivation that comes about. We can get into the treasures. The first thing I saw with Taoist herbalism was like there are these precious treasures in the body and we're just going to capture a certain amount of functions and capacities and energies and we're going to call them the treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen, and your primary job is to guard them and treasure them.

 

And the whole point of we use herbs to guard and treasure and cultivate and refine and get greater efficacy and the way that we balance ourselves between the Jing physical or physical potential Qi, the animation of ourselves so we can animate our progression through big life stages, and our Shen is that diamond we're shining to bring that very unique infinite part of us expressed is our personality and our virtues, but connected to that part of us, which is just for us to sense and is that invisible part and the most important parts there are how we birth and how we die.

 

And so all of Taoist herbalism, all we're really ensuring that's in terms of birth, I very accidentally our tonic herbs have just been out there supporting the preparation for a strong birth, the body preparing through stages of conception, helping men and women cultivate and get a relationship with fertility rather than thinking it's something clinically that you have or you don't have, but getting a relationship with it and just watching the Jing herbs go in and help people feel, "Oh, if I get my Kidney Water flowing and I have a balance between Yin and Yang, oh my gosh, there's this blossoming of fertility." You realise you're walking on eggshells with your energy and you come back into a cultivation space which the herbs demand of you.

 

Yes, they're adaptogens, yes they're mushrooms, but these are the superior, precious tonic herbs. They suck you back into the place where you perceive your Jing and then you invisibly perceive that life Essence that is the wax of your candle and no longer is it, are you able just to blindly leak it or give it to someone else, give someone else that responsibility. And from there, magically a lot of the time, whatever fertility is appropriate for people, blossom then comes about. But then the other way that when we're on the ground as adults taking these herbs, we're leading towards our last breath.

 

And so the fundamental treasure that we start focusing on is our Jing because that Jing energy lives, resides within the kidneys and regulates the bones. Our brain matter, which is called the sea of marrow, our marrow, our capacity to regenerate, have robust vigour for life. If we leak that, which is everyone listening knows what that looks like in the west. We're all just walking around at times excessively living or living unconsciously leaking just that Essence out of our Kidneys, just spraying it all over the place. That leads you to a dependency because you haven't been able to depend on yourself to not leak that Jing, in later years we start deteriorating.

 

So in the original text they'd say, "Take Jing to extend your life and make sure that you don't age prematurely. So that means you don't degenerate prematurely. And when you have that foundation, you have that capacity to enter into those elder spaces. You have the capacity to not get distracted by unnecessary degenerative disease or unnecessary degeneration. So you have a greater capacity and physical body that can take you into those elder years and you are able to refine your experiences and become that in that encyclopaedic wisdom that we all have within us and lead towards that last breath with absolute potential and springing off into the next adventure no matter what you believe, it still lies. Even if you're a raving atheist, it's still such a conscientious walking towards that breath with all those heightened senses and even just the legacy of what you share in those moments.

 

That's what the whole herbs are about. So it's fun for me to start there with you because I also love talking about the very daily symptomatic, "Mushrooms are awesome and they're cool," and all that stuff, but you bringing up birth, it's like, it's funny because when we really talk about SuperFeast's Essence and what I felt when I first started interacting with the essence of what this business became, that's all it was. That was the whole intention and learning how to cultivate and uniquely dance towards my destiny rather than just getting dragged along with degeneration and sickness and disharmony and my Qi therefore disharmony in the way I process thoughts and emotions, and not knowing whether something is my Shen, what's really true for me, or whether it's something that I've been invaded by and I didn't actually have the strength to go, "I've learned enough from this external belief system, it's now time for me."

 

I can't even help it now. You just bang, just pop out the other side of it and be like, "Thank you. I've now embodied what I need to embody and move on." And for me, that Taoist system was charging into SuperFeast to be like, "You have that intention? This is us as well." And Taoism and the magic of it was like... And classical Chinese medicine was crushed in the 50s by that red wave of Mao Zedong and communism. They literally tried to cut away the essence and the root of where we came from. That root being you have an intention and a spark and you have the right to cultivate it and it's going to mean you're a unique, well put together person.

 

Everyone listening's like, "Yep, that's the lineage I'm banging as well." The Taoist herbalism was just like I couldn't keep them out. I couldn't keep them out of the business. I started with super foods and cellular detox supplements and things. It was all just an excuse to have these kinds of conversations. But Taoist herbs were like, "Yeah dude, look, we're coming back in a decentralised way. We're a system that's ready and wants to be out there and utilised." Got the terminology. And here we are 12 years later, still having the conversation.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Wow, 12 years. That's amazing. And I want to dive into the origin story of SuperFeast, but just to touch on a few things that you mentioned that are really important, and I was having this conversation with a girlfriend yesterday and we were talking about the way that we live and to some people it might look extreme how we live with our health. And we were talking about how now more than ever, you have to do these daily things. You have to do these things to take care of yourself because we're surrounded by wifi. We are having to work so much harder than we have ever in our life to stay well. And also, the mindset is such a huge piece of this because so many of the older generation, like my parents, they have that mentality of, "Oh, this is just what happens when you get older. This is just part of getting older," and I'm like, "No thanks. I'm not subscribing to that narrative. That is not mine. Thank you very much."

 

I want to live a long and healthy life and actually in Time Magic, which is mine and Nick's new book that has literally just hit the shelves, well, it's on pre-order right now, by the time this episode comes out, you'll be able to order it and get your copy, but we have a whole chapter in there on everyday longevity, the basic things that you can be doing to extend your life but not just extend your life but make those later years in your life vibrant. Because there's no point in extending your life if you are riddled with disease and can't do the things that you want to do. So it's these little things that we do each day that add up to big results or big consequences.

 

For example, this morning I made my daughter and I a smoothie and I put in my SuperFeast. It's a little thing that I do each day that just contributes. Going to bed early, taking care of myself, getting out of nature, self-care, nourishing food, clean water, not spending too much time on my devices, all of these little things, what we do each day that add up to these big results or big consequences. So I love that this is what you're about, this is what you're about and it's about extending our life but making those years healthy and thriving.

 

And like I said, I love your products. I have been using them for years. I love the packaging. It's so beautiful. Can you tell us, you said 12 years SuperFeast has been around, how you created it, why you created it, what exactly does SuperFeast offer and did you grow up in a household with Chinese medicine? How did this all unfold for you?

Mason:

Yeah. My parents split when I was two and they kept on so I had a lot of contrast, but my dad was a martial artist, a Japanese jujitsu black belt. So grew up with that. To get to that point, you have to have a certain connection with the elements in nature. So I grew up with a lot of Book of Five Rings and Miyamoto Musashi, which actually ironically was it irritated me so much when the Tao started really shoving its way into my life because I was just, at the time, I was just so committed to that Japanese five element system. And so it took me a long time to get over that and really embrace the five elements of Taoism.

 

But yeah, pretty typical, Mum always had a proclivity towards doing something, a little bit towards prevention, liked doing the whole garlic thing. And then I just stumbled around in my late teens, around early 20's ski instructing and being a backpacker and just going to uni because I just couldn't figure out that next move and I knew it would make mum and dad happy. And then in my last year... Well, I went away, I deferred for a year, went to South America and during that time I just had workers and yogis start just travelling with me. And so it was just all there in my world and I couldn't deny the emergence of some I guess values at that time.

 

And then I had a download, I was on a bus in Bolivia and I just froze in my body and I could just feel this path I was on and this divergence, this fork in the road. I was feeling really exhausted. I had some immune things going on and I was like, "I don't feel too inspired to go down this path anymore." And the fork in the road was there and it took me back to when I was 14 sitting in a car listening about all the statistics and disease. I'm just going, "I just can't accept that this crossing the fingers that you don't become the one and two is acceptable." And it was beyond anything in terms of, "I want to make a change." I was just like, "This is such..." Although I'm not charged around it anymore, I can look at the circumstances of civilization exploding and population exploding and the excessiveness of institution, maybe just having to match that.

 

And of course, that creates parasitic energy of particular people and groups and I'm just looking at that as a fold out of nature and the cosmic Tao at the moment. But regardless where I was at during that time, it felt so parasitic and such a blight. It felt so invasive that even at 14, I knew I... And then when I was 23 having that moment in Bolivia that I just knew that was it. I was on that other path. And it's interesting reading the old Chinese text, you see it especially start getting talked about and I'm sure it went into time immemorial. You can see these forks in the road between say that let's institutionalise and capture some of the chaos and then let's stay decentralised.

 

And so you see 400 AD was the first time you actually really start seeing it documented that the barefoot herbalist that wanted to continue cultivating medicine within the home so that people could be the masters of their own destiny, they split versus the people that decided to take herbs away from growing where the original texts said, "You grow the herbs here," in order to have them the most spirit and treasures within them and going, "Now let's just grow them near the hospitals so it's convenient." So they lose a little bit of the magic, but you're able to actually institutionalise it to an extent and it's a beautiful dance that one, back and forth and it can be done with harmony that I felt that in Bolivia and I felt the excessiveness and I felt myself move towards that barefoot herbalist side a little bit more.

 

And then I just went deep and I had spent my whole last year just studying. I just didn't want to address my symptoms of immunity and some fungal stuff going on, my exhaustion. I just was really wanted to know what... I just wanted a language for cultivation to try to... I really wanted to not cross my fingers and I think that's what happens a lot in the wellness world still, people we don't realise that we might fall into a particular dietary system and we're like, "Fine, great, carnivores. It's all the people I like and trust are saying it's good. I don't have to use my faculties to question anymore and be engaged," which is fine for a certain amount of time. But we've watched everyone, whether it's diets or supplement things or just say get into their camps and the thing maybe we don't... We're seeing the emergence of that middle ground of the bridge of how to transform the energy is what all it is in the body. Yin and Yang transforming.

 

And when you go back to the classics, all we're looking for in the body in treatment is going, "Why is Yang not transforming to Yin or why is Yin not transforming to Yand?" And that can very, very easily be taken into hormonal, into metabolism science. We can see exactly what they're alluding to, although it's hard to layer them exactly over each other. They are talking about the same thing. Whereas you can see the excessive divergence towards institutionalisation goes, "There's an deficiency of Yin, let's work on that deficiency of Yin or let's work on that tumour or anything like that.

 

If you go back and be like... Regardless, there's a transformation not happening. Everyone thought I went to the against institutions and although that's in my... When I walked out of university and I'd been studying Taoist herbalism because that's where I came to in looking for a language around cultivation rather than something to treat my fungal stuff or treat my immunity or taking a herb just for immunity. It was too boring for me. I was like, "I just can't see my 60-year-old or 80-year-old self really developing a relationship with herbalism if I come from this context," seemed a little bit narrow.

 

And so when I walked out of university, at that time I was so disgusted about the way that that was set up and my experience that yeah, I was like I really want to move forward in creating a capacity for institutions like that not to get their claws into minds as I watch people just absolutely get their uniqueness demolished and just get completely homogenised.

 

And an aspect of myself was as well, I allowed it to, invited it to, it was my little initiation, but despite the fact that I was using my charge against that institution, the essence was born right there from SuperFeast in terms of where's that bridge between so we can find a harmony and let's go into the health world now in terms of when is it appropriate? How can we develop an appropriate relationship with all of these institutions and then how can we develop an appropriate relationship with our own cultivation in our household so we don't have to be... You can see there are people right now who reject any say business because they're so extreme in decentralisation, which you don't see being a very free and harmonious as well.

 

But that's all that I wanted SuperFeast to be, is to find that intersection and be a force for that harmonisation point for the evolution of how we heal and how we cultivate health. That's where I landed and I didn't really have the herbs in mind at that point. I just wanted us to not be against anything in order to find our identity. And I wanted us to be able to sometimes use that charge of againstness to find that inner spark and cultivation and what we needed to build in terms of our own conviction so we could be self-propelling. That's the lofty essence, that's the feeling that I had and regardless of how hard it is to run a business off that foundation, I can't deny that that was the sense of the idea, the source idea, the source spirit of SuperFeast when it decided to come into creation.

 

Therefore, even though I've changed a lot and that's not exactly where I am anymore in terms of the focus of my life, when I'm in SuperFeast, I'm the custodian of that idea, that source idea still. And so the processes and everything, the products can evolve around it. We can expand into different areas and markets and have a similar conversation, but it will never, ever go away from that very simple lineage of that millions and millions of people have always sat in and energised all over the world and just imagine how many... So let's look in the Tao system. How many people sat on mountains just tuning into the way their organs worked and tuning into the interaction of their... What happened at different times when the atmosphere was doing this or that and taking goji berry and taking ginseng and reishi in order to help support particular phases of their life, growth phases.

 

It's all the same lineage everywhere. There's nothing new. We're just like, "That's what SuperFeast is." So then when my mum was just like... I was like, "I don't know what to do." My mum was just like, "Start a business with all these super foodstuff and maybe the mushrooms," and I was like, "No, no, no, there's no room for me in market for mushrooms. That's been done." This is 12 years ago because I'm such a good businessman. And I said that because I was just into Ron Teeguarden and George Lamaro. These were just such big hitters. They'd been initiated in China, they were master herbalists.

 

So I started in another way and then we were getting going and then I was not really taking it seriously-ish. I was just plodding along. Now, my mom had an aneurysm so she nearly died, it was six months in hospital, nine if you include the rehab. And that really set me straight in terms of looking at, "All right, well, I need to be very intentional with my energy here. And we're at the point now where she's just about to move up here and I really need to make sure she's supported. She's heavily, heavily disabled." But that was a pinnacle moment for SuperFeast.

 

So that then spurred me when she was in rehab to go, "Right. I'm going to start interacting with people and really flesh out this source idea, and at the same time I'm going to refine my skills and see what skills need to be in the business in order to really honour that core purpose, evolutionary purpose." And spent three years at the Frenchs Forest Farmers Markets just having these conversations, and one day just was talking about the mushrooms a lot and trying to get people to go out and forage them themselves in Lane Cove National Park and so on and so forth.

 

And the mums especially at the time were just like, "Mase, I really..." Oh, I'm telling them to go order from Jing Herbs over in America and they're just like, "Please, you really, really need... I need you to source these because you are the person I want to come to." And me bumping up against my uncomfortableness around how to interact with these in a commercial way has always been a slow creep like that, rather than just going into argy-bargy, "You're worth it, you can do it. Money's good." I didn't get it. I couldn't feel the way money resonates with this source idea.

 

So yes, I needed business principles and I need to grow up there, but I need those business principles to be an exact reflection of that source essence, that Shen of the business. And that's something even we as humans, we can see. You might like muscles and you like that that's your physical focus is developing heaps of muscle, but perhaps you're spending so much time there that it's stopped being in service to that which you need in terms of the refine your Shen and your true essence so that it can be expressed.

 

You've gone into a physical material place and that's a difficult thing because it means you need to be adaptive and you need to be agile as your essence expresses itself in different ways. You need to be willing to go into different phases of life and different focuses and then embody particular levels of consciousness and then move on to the next level, and business was the same. So I did that over those years and Frenchs Forest markets and the herbs just found their way in.

 

It was so weird. There was no stopping them. Through quarantine, yep, easy. Non-irradiated, yep, easy. Finding Di Dao, because by that time I was taking them. I was mega dosing for years. I did two years, two heaped tablespoons of Chaga and Reishi every day. I'm fasting on Reishi mushroom. I knew these mushrooms inside out and I knew in terms of facilitating these conversations I was having around, "No, let's really look at what's important to you. You are the steward of your body and your purpose and your family. Trust yourself, what are you sensing is the most important thing? Don't go based on the practitioner." These are the kinds of conversations I'm having at the markets and people, this is what I'm really sensing is in danger of being depleted right now. Very real conversations with the Jing of the family unit is depleting. You might as well start deplete your skeletal integrity and you know that's going to take you 20 years into the future where there's going to be other destruction and you're not going to have the capacity to degenerate.

 

And that's very scary to face that. You need to sustainably move to that place where you can face that fear. And that's why I liked the Dao system. Even though I didn't really want to use it. It was just so complete and so it was important to SuperFeast. It actually wasn't as important to me and that's my capacity to sit in my role of steward of SuperFeast versus when I'm able to take it out and step into my own life. I use the Taoist principles, but it's not as ensconced as it is in SuperFeast in my life. It's just there in its own appropriate way. That's another thing is you'd know the enmeshment cycle of a founder and you're like, "What's me the business? Am I the role?"

 

But there, that's the difference between the Jing of the role and what your job is when you're in the role is one thing, that I am the Qi that goes in and animates it. The business needs the Qi. I'm not the Jing, I'm not the processes, I'm not the principles. The business has its principles, it has its constitution and its membrane that states if you step into this world, you better not try and completely just blindly bring your approach to life. This is this environment and this is how we communicate in a generous way. This is how as well, we relate to the business in the sense that you are not the role, you come in and animate it with your Qi.

 

So anyway, moving along in that direction, the herbs, they just charged in. I couldn't stop them at that point. And I started watching, talking to these mothers and having a framework of coaching and having a framework of the Tao and looking, "Well, where's the Qi not transforming?" And coming up with the Jing formula and watching how often the Qi was not transforming through the Kidneys for people. So they were just stuck in fear and stuck in institutional fear and had those entities of institutions. It didn't even matter whether it was naturopathic or modern medicine.

 

Just like it's not the intention of those institutions. It was just not providing people the capacity to really go that extra mile and looking at what is the true motivation for you coming here and getting all this testing? How does it relate to your 80-year-old self? And so I was having very slow, gentle conversations with people about this and then utilising some of the herbs and then of course, practises I'm sure you've got in the book and I've seen you talk about. They're all these tools but that framework, it's really, you can't take for granted that people will just be able to land there. There's a lot of stuff packed as we know.

 

So you get as close as you can to that intention, act upon it, watch you in a sovereign manner. Yes, with some Jing herbs taking them in and watching, "Oh my gosh, I'm actually building capacity to face that which I'm willing to do." The will comes out of the Kidneys. "I'm willing to take responsibility." It's not a shell. Everyone knows that logically they want to, but the embodied willingness to really go, "I'm going to take this on and it's going to be on me." It's scary. Think about your 80, 90-year-old self and imagine dancing towards that destiny of your death and conscientiously looking at the potential things that could come up. Get into that place of preparedness.

 

Do you have the preparedness for when you get a surprise diagnosis or when despite all your best intentions, you get blindsided by something in your family? That's what's there behind the veil of taking responsibility. Naturally it's very scary and we should be facing fear and only by really understanding it because we don't understand sometimes the magnitude of what we're doing in an environment that doesn't support that. Can we cultivate that real, "I'm understanding the map here and I've got somewhat of a system that's like..." Whether it's Taoism and whether it's true vedic yoga, you get back to the source root of it and it's the lineage of humans that are like, "This is the best we've got."

 

So that's why I went for Di Dao herbs that are connected to sourcing that is written about within a 2,000-year-old text that goes back and can bring the herbs in this way. Because if I just went through an organic herb that was in a shed and ticked all the marketing boxes, it doesn't actually have... Not that it's bad, it has its place. If hospitals all of a sudden came to me and were like, "Mason, we've decided to bring Reishi into the hospital because we've finally read all the data on say, let's look at particular nasty treatments for a particular nasty thing that people go through. Oh my god, there's actually a whole body of evidence of just how incredible using Reishi and Chaga and Turkey Tail in conjunction is, and it doesn't impact. We want Reishi from you." I couldn't because I don't have the scale because I'm working with independent farmers who are aligned to an old tradition.

 

So in terms of me saying I can't go organic, I'm not saying that that's bad or any better or worse. Those types of mushrooms are appropriate for addressing particular scales and spaces. But the kinds of conversations that we're having, the way that you're living when we share these herbs with our grandparents and know we're not trying to just get them to fix a problem. We can sense a spark in them. We can sense a spark in our intention and it's deep and the herbs that we source and likewise the practises we do, well for me in terms of stick to the herbs, it had to be able to have the lineage and the resonance that is worthy of that intention.

 

And I really learned that at the markets and that's why I'm such an advocate for education and people also understanding the why. People are like, "Oh, why do your herbs work so much better in this instance than someone else's?" I'm just like, "Yeah, because I'm a match for where you are at currently on your journey." In terms of clinical, I might not be a match. If I have the intention, if people have the intention of specifically working on this tumour or cutting off this metabolic pathway, you're not going to see maybe SuperFeast really sing. It's going to be the time for other herbs and products that have that really specific specialisation and intention.

 

So that's where it all came from and it's been one heck of a journey and it's been really nice to not premeditate what the business was going to become, and just our only North Star at SuperFeast is not testimonials that are like, "I really liked your mushrooms," because nothing, "They're really nice." I love it when people really give those ones because they're prompted but surprise testimonials because no one knows what's ahead on their initiation process or what's going to happen when they engage with their Liver Qi or what happens if they really engage with why fertility isn't coming.

 

And so they get drawn to the herbs and SuperFeast in these formulas, maybe even through really generic marketing, but they get drawn in and they start the practise of tonic herbalism. They're not treating a symptom. You can't. You might start there but SuperFeast and Daoist herbalism sucks you into cultivating and really facing why this is important to you. And so then of course, people generate their own benefits, not dependent on the herbs, although the herbs play their role. That's an important thing because I can't create dependencies on tonic herbs, which is, it's hard to have a modern business that doesn't frame things in that way, but it's a worthy place because I'm expecting people to not have dependency ultimately. They can depend on themselves.

 

So people come about and all of a sudden they're like, "So the herbs, I worked with them and this happened. I wasn't expecting it. I wasn't expecting things to happen between my social anxiety. I wasn't expecting myself not only to have energy but have a roadmap for how to cultivate energy." That's literally our North Star at SuperFeast. So we've got our finger on the pulse of sweet spots of gross profit and profit and the joy people have in their roles, all that kind of thing. So it's not that all these multiple variables aren't important, but the one, one, one, one thing that we know that we're harmonically working in and worthy of stewardship of that essence of SuperFeast express are those surprise cultivations and people expressing to us when people come... Some person, a woman the other day stopped me in the river when I was with my son and be like, "I just took your Qi and I Am Gaia just someone said it would be nice. And I just never would've expected for me to all of a sudden understand the nature of what happens when I build my Blood."

 

This person had never... They just went and looked at a blog around the conversation around Qi and blood and how they dance with each other and they perceived something in themselves and they just, "I just had to tell you that." And so that's the only thing that SuperFeast runs on, so we know that we're on track because that means people are doing the work and we're facilitating that work and we're doing so in a way that isn't creating dependencies.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Beautiful. I love it. I have to be honest with you, I have not taken them daily consistently. Now, I'd love your thoughts on whether you think that that makes a difference. And I also want to hear you talk about where can people start? You have so many incredible mushrooms and adaptogens and different types. Where's a good place for people to start and what's the dosage and do you feel like it has to be a consistent daily thing or is a couple of times a week really going to move the needle for a lot of people?

Mason:

Yeah, a couple of times a week will move it. It depends on where you're at. Some people will benefit through just go for 30 days straight just so that you can bust through anything in your head going, "I hope this is working," and really experience it working because they do work. And if you're not getting it then it's not a bad idea to up the dose a little bit just so you can get the experience of what Jing herbs or the mushrooms feel like, but at some point it does just become like your meditation or your breath work. It's a practise that finds a sweet spot in your life. So I think everyone just needs to know, really acknowledge. A lot of people listening to this won't be in a position where they're in a rule base like, "Okay, I have to do it every single day."

 

These herbs for thousands of years in a system that has tens of thousands of herbs have been the top, say like 50, 60, 80 of the superior herbs. In this 2,000 year old text, the Ben Cao Jing, it has these superior herbs, which are the ones that are worthy to enter into your diet and to enter into your life and for you to work with to ensure that you don't degenerate prematurely, that you bring aliveness and lightness to your body and that you can express your Spirit. So naturally, for many people they don't understand the gravity of just how precious these herbs are, but likewise, a lot of people are doing that work on their own.

 

So already Annette, you're not going to get these massive explosions because you're already connected to your Essence. You're not exhausted. You know how to not become exhausted. You've got boundaries already. So a lot of the time the motivation to really stay consistent isn't there a lot of the time because you're like, "It's already so good," that's the time. You might just need a little bit of discipline to be like, "Cool, I'm going to go 30 days or 60 days and just see how..." Because it's shocking how amazing these herbs are, especially when they're sourced the way that we source them with independent farming. It's a microclimate that's set in this book. This is the microclimate and the province you get it from. The seeds and the spores that we source with, they come from that same microclimate.

 

So they're not industrial spores. These things are dripping in Essence. So just some people, you're not going to have that explosion of benefits. Other people here will feel that, "Oh my gosh, this is something I have to work on." And you'll have that charge. And in that case, yeah, it's good to work with one group of herbs, whether it's the Jing formula, if you're a woman working on Blood or fertility, working with the I Am Gaia blend and do it consistently because you've got to explore what's there for you. And if you're not really getting that palpable experience, then increase the dose. Say if you started a quarter teaspoon, you get to half a teaspoon. You're like, "Yeah, it's doing all right." Well, maybe you can now engage with doing what you want.

 

These herbs are here to be played with, they're safe, they're not aggressive, which gives you the capacity to play around a little bit. So you might go, "Well, I'm going to try at the half a teaspoon morning and afternoon, or I'm just going to increase to a teaspoon." Some people will be like, the frothers will be like, "I'm going to go a heap teaspoon." Go for it. The only thing there is if you are that kind of person and a good place to start is the JING formula, J-I-N-G, because that Kidney Essence is often what's under unconscious or conscious attack. The way that we live in the west, we're draining our Essence and it's the linchpin for a lot of people starting their journey. And you're like, "Oh my gosh," it's not a Red Bull energy. It's a self cultivated energy. It's really palpable.

 

And so they might be like, "I'm going to go two teaspoons a day." And it's like, yeah, listen to you and the herbs and go for it. But then you have to be just as willing to listen when your body says, "Okay, that's enough of that phase." And so it's just about being aware of that because a lot of people will just maybe be too distracted and be like, "No, no, no, that's what I do. I do my two teaspoons of JING every day and it's like oh, just be ready to adapt your relationship to the herbs or maybe you'll stop feeling like JING. And then the progression for a lot of people is moving from a JING formula to what's on top of that to a Qi formula and seeing what happens when you take the Qi herbs that help you animate all of that potential and Essence and Jing, the Qi comes in and moves thoughts and moves emotions and moves metabolism and regulates all those kinds of things.

 

So JING is a good place to start. The most common pairing is JING and Mason's Mushrooms. The Mason's Mushrooms is the oldest formula. We have eight beautiful medicinal mushies and the mushrooms are just like... We know what they're going to do for immunity. We know what they're going to do for nervous system. We know what they're going to do in an adaptogenic regulatory sense for the endocrine system. So all of that's really clinically clear. But the thing we don't know, they're so regulatory to all of those systems and more. We just don't know what direction it's going to go in, which is exactly what we want. So it's like the mushrooms are a mystery to us, that fungal kingdom is a mystery to our psyche and we're having a renaissance of around mushrooms at the moment.

 

But likewise, when people take medicinal mushrooms, we don't know what's going to happen, but you better know that it's going to be something that's incredibly beneficial to you. So often that's the one to create the placebo for people.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Talk to me about breastfeeding and pregnancy. Are they safe? Do we have to lower the dosage? What's your thoughts on that?

Mason:

It depends on whether you've been on them and you've got a relationship with these herbs because this is a practise. It's the same way if you go into Kundalini, if you've never done a Kundalini before you were pregnant or when you were breastfeeding, you'd want to be mindful because you don't understand what gates you're going to open and what kind of energy you're going to be moving. Same through breath work. But if you've been doing it five years prior, you know your relationship to that practise, and it's the same with herbalism. So if you are starting to get onto them in that stage of breastfeeding, you would go very, very slow because the thing that the herbs will do, if you have fundamental imbalances, say through the Liver, if you have a real stuck Liver Qi, you'll start increasing that capacity of your Liver to start going through phases of detoxification.

 

And you'd want a bit more of a strategy. You'd just want to maybe be on clay or something to make sure that you're going through that phase three of eliminating what gets removed from the body. So that it's common sense again. It's not like even though I've got a lot of TGA listed products, so they are listed medicines, they're not in the pharmaceutical range. And the tonic herbs are also, again, the reason they're a superior herb listed here in the Ben Cao Jing and not a regular herb or a lower herb because they don't have that intense pushing of the body in the direction that is the herb wants and not what the body wants. So I don't want to create any fear around it. I don't. I want to give enough of a... Be mindful and go slow, but at the same time it's your... Continue to follow. Why do you want to use them? Do not stop because I give you a rule. Be mindful.

 

I'm not saying engage. Keep on going and just start an eighth of a teaspoon. You don't want to do my Neural Nectar just because if there's too much out there around the Macuna inhibiting prolactin, not that that's completely proven, but don't bother with it. The things like Lion's Mane, so safe, the Mason's Mushrooms, so safe. The Jing herbs, that might as well be... The postpartum protocol is really get on JING. And again, if you haven't got a relationship with the herbs, then just go slow. But nonetheless, it doesn't mean do nothing, do nothing. When you realise that you've just gone through one of the most Jing draining, rewarding, but you've used so much Jing to that experience and just like, "Oh, let's just be safe and not do anything." It's such an inappropriate, modern western medicine approach, which is so complacent and just such an awful place to live because I just want to be safe and not create any possible whatever, law lawsuits, I don't know what they're saying. Everyone's just so scared to respect and honour that mama's intent.

 

Looking here, yes, I need to be really appropriate that I don't take advantage of that real... Such a stage like that, it's such a raw, it's so easy to take advantage of. That raw, "Yeah, you should take this and that and that." No, but you keep on following it, engage. You're going to take herbs, take them very slow. JING is a good one to get onto in that breastfeeding stage postpartum. And then also, I Am Gaia to help you build back that blood and really regulate the warming of those sexual organs as well. Make sure the Liver's regulated. So that's what we'd stick with there.

 

And yeah, Qi is also a really incredible one. So postpartum, we normally see people go JING and Gaia, and then finish the JING and if they're feeling, "I'm really past that pure exhaustion stage and I'm just tired now," then switch the JING for the Qi and go Gaia and Qi. And that seems to be the best protocol for us in postpartum and breastfeeding.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Awesome. I'm writing that down, Gaia and Qi, and I'm getting everything. You have convinced me and inspired me so much to really just go for it 30 days because I'm still breastfeeding, and just see how I feel and I'll start small and just work my way up, but you've inspired me so much. Tell me, children, can they have them? What's the dosage for them? Talk to me about that?

Mason:

Yeah, again, so start realising why you want to bring herbs into your home life and start developing a relationship with you as a herbalist and you as a barefoot herbalist and the herbalist and the healer of your household. It's really incredible hat to put on, incredible role to put on. And then from there, filtering through your sovereignty and what's appropriate and what's appropriate dosage from that, you taking on that space. We focus on those herbs to support the Qi and the Spleen especially of the children. So that's going to lead us towards the Qi herbs and the mushrooms.

 

So we generally say after two is when you start getting a little bit of more capacity to be like, "Right, I'm keen to get in there." But like Aiya, Aiya's a Reishi baby. So in terms of pregnancy, Reishi, there's a lore about the creation of Reishi babies. When the mum takes Reishi and the kids come out just with this... There's been a guardian mushroom, a protector of their Spirit. So they come out just beaming with their Spirit and Essence. And of course, babies always are, but Reishi babies are their own thing. But Aiya had her first little touch of Reishi when she was six months.

 

And it's funny, you want lemon reaction videos for babies, try a bit of Reishi reaction videos, they're very funny. I felt a little bit mean, but that was just to... For me, I'm so connected to these herbs. I felt it appropriate to get that Essence into her. I haven't really done that with Leo. Tahnee's on a lot of mushrooms and doing breastfeeding. So that's enough for me just letting the breastmilk do its thing. But yeah, my six-year-old loves tremella mushroom. She eats it out of the bag. It's an incredible snow fungus. It might as well be a food. It's so safe. It's a good place to start and it has incredible immunological capacity. That's what kids need. They don't need immune stimulants. They need immune regulators because they're Qi just all over the place. They're just so crazy. They've got Jing coming out of their eyeballs, so they don't need the Jing herbs necessarily.

 

But in terms of regulating and grounding in that... Like what the Taoists called, not a Christian heaven, but that heaven and earth, humans are the bridge between heaven and earth, and that Qi is so erratic that as they're down, we give them Qi herbs to just help them facilitate that. And we're not trying to prevent illness necessarily, but just increase their capacity to learn when they do get those immune invasions. So that's where we look at Qi herbs, like Astragalus is a magical kids' herb. So let's just say generally we're looking from that two plus little bit of that Astragalus to help them cultivate that Qi. The Qi formula is the one that I focus on giving Aiya, and I have from... I think I created it when she would've been three or something, and that was the primary. Before that, it was the Astragalus, those electrifying Qi herbs. Those Qi herbs are pure vitality.

 

And you think vitality comes from a hit of energy. No, the reason we feel so energised from Qi herbs is because all of a sudden our capacity to regulate and get into the song and dance of our system and our metabolism, it happens easier. So we're not using as much in order to get through the day regulated, and so that's why the Qi herbs are really good. And then yeah, mushrooms. I'll just put Mason's Mushrooms in her little tonics and always, always will. And I just let it become a part of the household. She can have a drink of my thing that's got... If I have Jing herbs and the Shen Spirit herbs in there and I made it into a hot chocolate and she wants a little bit, yeah, no problem, it's fine. These are the herbs that we can feel safe with, Qi herbs and mushrooms.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Awesome. And we'll put a link to SuperFeast in the show notes. You can use the code, "Melissa," and there's a special discount and we've also got an awesome giveaway that we will be doing. But I want to switch gears to Gua Sha, which is something else that you guys are really passionate about. Now, I get it when I go and get my organic facials and I have one at home. I have one of yours at home and I occasionally do it, but to be honest, again, it's not something that I do daily and I would love to do it more.

 

Talk to us about Gua Sha, what is it? Why is it so awesome? And how can we do it and incorporate it into our everyday routine?

Mason:

Yeah, surprise, surprise, the idea of these Taoist practises, say like Gua Sha, which is, you can essentially be getting a spoon. You can get one of those... The soup spoons that you have at any Asian restaurant that you go to and use that just scrape. And so it's like there's a grouping of practises where there is Qigong and physical exercise is one. We're all quite comfortable with that, but then the idea of self-massage or getting into our organs and doing an organ massage or when someone has blocked energy within their neck or within their body somewhere, getting our stones out and scraping and knowing how to bring up that stagnation, whether it's stagnant Blood, everyone wouldn't realise that what's called the Sha is that little grains that pop up. It seems like a lot of the time people will watch after someone's been scraped on the back and you'll see all the little blotchy spots or everyone will have their own different version of Sha, which is almost its own sovereign cultivation thing of going why is my Sha like that?

 

What's my constitution? Versus someone who has real pale, dark Sha that emerges. And a lot of people will just be like, "Oh, that's just because you're scraping too hard." No, you scrape that line whether it's a meridian or just a muscular line and it'll produce Sha. So maybe the first couple of times and then you'll even go harder next time and it won't produce it because you've released that heat or stagnation or that blockage. It's so empowering to know that you are physically going and creating that manipulation and you're not like, "Oh, am I allowed to do this?" If someone is going through a migraine and you have the capacity to know that that person, first of all, from a herbal perspective, all right, I know what's maybe going on for that person's Liver and I wouldn't mind bringing in say a tonic formula.

 

I wouldn't have one yet, but I might bring a Bupleurum formula because I know how to move that energy for someone and dredge their gallbladder and then I'm going to go and help them because we know that Liver Qi rises and goes up into the neck and I'm going to help them scrape that and move it along. And it might take it from that lasting 24 hours to lasting 12, and then eight and then four. And then we can track that back and be like, "How can we stop this from happening again?" Until you go into the temperament and you go into the patterns that lead to that and the whole system is there. And that's what SuperFeast has really fleshed out one part of its system with herbs and talking about the Taoist organ wheel, the 24-hour wheel and just the seasons and the organs associated with the seasons, but Gua Sha physically getting in there and transforming yourself, scraping through muscles or scraping along meridians and removing stagnation that no herb was really ever going to be able to get into.

 

Tahnee, my wife practises, Chi Nei Tsang Taoist organ massage. People who say have no... We were talking about fertility at the very top. Well, herbal protocols, incredible, physical movement, distressing, but when someone gets their thumbs deep in and triggers that response of what's actually going in there and they know what they're doing, Gua Sha, the organ massage, you can feel how they all represent this physical manipulation, this physical touch that is going to give us this biofeedback, which you can't get any other way. And we have a little bit of palpation in modern medicine, but the fact that we're not actually getting in there and having a practitioner really touching and a lot of body work just doesn't quite get there. It's still like the organs are a faux pa to get into. The genitals definitely are, which is like that's an area where so much tension builds. It's kind of the linchpin.

 

And so the cultivation of that type of massage and Gua Sha's that support that maintaining, you're just removing blockages that you couldn't possibly expect a herb to because you work at a high rise and you haven't... We were talking about EMFs and all that kind of stuff. If you look at all these principles of any wisdom tradition, physically getting in there and feeling what's going on, yoga's incredible for that. Making sure we're lubricated and our capacity to cleanse is increased and we're unplugging those blockages, Taoism as well. Many, many wisdom traditions. It's not just Taoism.

 

We're getting in there and going, "Okay. Well, if I'm worried about wifi and EMF, why don't I have the capacity to work on it? Let's actually get in there and figure out how I can support this body to regulate itself." And that's why we do align with the flow of where the sun and the earth are oriented at the moment in terms of the time of day and what that's going to produce as an environment and get into flow, because the Qi is within an organ during that time of day.

 

That's why we will go with the seasons. That's why we physically touch ourselves to be like, "Maybe there's something," and that's happened. It's just been willing to acknowledge the pain in their uterus and then after a few sessions, all of a sudden that physical tension that's stopping them from getting pregnant is started to dissipate. And then they're free to go on their cultivation journey. And likewise for Gua Sha, people taking those stones and scraping and watching them alleviate something in their body which caused pain and distress, even running it across their organs, just gently running it across the meridian, once you find that there's meridians and helping the transformation cycle of Qi occur, you can't help but become a badass sovereign person in that sense. And not in a pretentious way, in a way that I can feel the conviction and the power I have.

 

Just the fact that we don't want to create this charge around, "I'm dependent on no one or anything." No, you want to be able to very appropriately interact with these bodies of medicine, these institutions of acupuncturists are incredible. The specialisation is magical. Likewise, naturopathy, likewise, modern medicine, they're amazing. I don't want to be charged around those things. And the reason I am charged is because I am actually really concerned that I don't have the knowhow and I don't have the conviction of knowing how to not be dependent upon them. So I just need to keep on exploring that tension that I have and I see Gua Sha, the self-massage, the herbs, all of these things that you are doing, we're doing. We're just trying to cultivate that so that then we have the capacity to have really beautiful and appropriate relationships with these specialisations.

 

And remember, we don't owe them anything. I don't owe the institution of medicine anything. You have no right to bully me or inflict anything upon me. And likewise, when you come across a pretentious acupuncturist that thinks... Well, maybe not pretentious, just in that phase of their life where the only way that they've just been institutionalised and they're like, "It's dangerous for you guys to use the herbs. We're the ones that own the herbalism and it's not good for..." And I've had this. We've had the head of acupuncturist societies write to us and essentially say that to us and we've written back a couple of pages to them going, "We'd love for you to call us. What's your number? Here's our stance. This is what we're cultivating. I know you can't see that space but we're really not against you. We're really in that middle ground and we want to maintain this beautiful relationship where people... Even in your institution, we want to make sure that we're contributing to people not coming back and being dependent on you."

 

So we talked, we have a lot of practitioners who we work with to help connect to the classics and connect to the beautiful essence of this tradition so that they know that they are going to have a boundary around, "I'm not this type of practitioner that you can come back and be dependent on. If you want to come into this environment, I can demand that you engage," and that's so much more rewarding. And so we've been able to bridge that. It took a long time to stay there in that uncomfortable fusion point. But nonetheless, that's where we are. We're not against anyone.

 

And that's what Gua Sha represents for me. And they're cool stones. We got a Yin one, we got a Yang one and I'll go into the practical and get out of the philosophy because I guess as everyone can see I like going flying off into the macro quite often. It comes with a guide in how to... A little bit of a guide for how to do that... The facial Gua Sha and you can relate to it as a lymph drainage if you want, although that's not what it is. It's yours to relate to. And wherever you're at, you can get a little guide in terms of scraping along the back if people in your household have a bit of tension.

 

Again, it's a safe thing, don't be scared of it. Go really gentle. Go to 70% of what you think. There's no reason to go, "Arg," you cane that person's back. But nonetheless, if there's a tension point, get the pointy bit of the YANG one and get in under your arm and go, "All right. Well, what's this going to do?" Sit there and relax and keep on pushing it in there. Just explore. You get to explore your body with these things and as long as we know. This goes back beyond any formal Chinese medicine, Gua Sha, it predates Chinese medicine. Grabbing a rock that's smooth and this is particular, very highly energised rock, space rock that we've got at SuperFeast. It's got that electromagnetic vibration that has a resonance with healing and people would just grab these things and they were smooth and just have a scrape because we knew that prevented disease.

 

And then just get used to with Gua Sha, eventually with tonic herbalism. You're going to have to hit that point where you're not going to get a lot of the time these massive cathartic explosions of healing feelings and that's not what we want anyway. I love it when people come to me and go, "I took Mason's mushrooms and I've had social anxiety crippling for two years." I wouldn't promote this as a reason to take Mason's mushrooms. This is just one of those accidental things. We never know what's going to happen, but it's good for people to know they do happen.

 

Someone come along to a conference in Brisbane, they're like, "I can't believe I'm here. I've just been taking the mushrooms for a week. And that social anxiety is manageable where I've been able to come to a city, which for two years I've not been able to." That's amazing. We don't want that to become the long-term standard, which of course, we see in our wellness world that people love going back again, again and again to cathartic plant medicine, cathartic big breath work, having this big process. It's amazing. And every now and then you'll get one, but that charge around it, the chop wood, carry water. That's the best advice I ever got from my acupuncturist who selfishly moved away even though he was the best Chinese classical acupuncturist that they ever had, and I miss him. But anyway, whatever, that's myself. He was like, "Just remember, you're going to get these pops of enlightenment as you go along. And the job is to just integrate the charge as soon as possible and get back to chop wood, carry water. Just get back to it."

(01:06:01)

And that's the thing with tonic herbalism. If you can get there with tonic herbalism, things like Gua Sha, things like organ massage, know that the next phase of the development is going to be having a depth of really feeling, "Oh my gosh, this is deep." There's a deep benefit here that I can sense because I'm quiet enough and I'm not chasing the big explosive catharsis of, "I can't believe how much energy I have." Watch what happens when you do it for five years straight and then you reflect and you go, "Oh my gosh, that has completely transformed the path of my life. I can't believe the comparison of how much easier it's for me to get through my day and not react to stressful situations and there's many contributions."

 

With the herbs, you'll go, "Wow, I know that I've got bolstered and sped along that integration journey because of Jing herbs or Qi herbs." You can feel it. You can feel just the same way you can feel it with a friend or a colleague. You're like, "My gosh, what a beautiful relationship that I had. It was me that did it, but I'm so grateful I had that friend along the way." It's the same with the herbs and practises like Gua Sha.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Beautiful. Well, you have definitely inspired me to get out my Gua Sha again and to take my mushrooms regularly. Yeah, I'm thinking as well. I'm like, okay, I've got to tell my husband we're going to do this. We're going to commit to it together and we're going to do it, because he actually does it a lot more than me. He does it every day. He loves it. He's always doing little concoctions and making warm drinks. For me as a mum, a working mom, I just am like, if I can throw it in my smoothie, I am killing it if I can throw it in my smoothie that day.

 

So thank you so much for inspiring me and thank you for the incredible work that you are doing. You can feel the heart behind SuperFeast. You really can. And for me, it's all about integrity and there's so much integrity in SuperFeast, so much love, so much integrity, so much heart has gone into everything that you create and everything that you put out there. And you can feel it, you can really feel it. And you can taste it too because you can energetically taste the love when you have your mushrooms. So you truly can.

 

I've had lots of different brands over the years and you can really taste the difference and you feel the difference in your energy. So thank you for creating such magic, for putting it out into the world, for being the custodian for this and for just helping and serving and inspiring so many people. So I want to know, my last question to you my friend, is how can I give back and how can I serve you? How can myself and the listeners give back and serve you today?

Mason:

Honestly, what you've just committed to in terms of finding that sweet spot for you, what's appropriate? The charge is there for the herbs. So there's no need to create another habit. If you're doing a smoothie, great. If you're able to ask someone that's already making hot drinks to make another one and put it in a keep cup, then good. Let it fit in there but that consistency, if you're feeling that charge, find a way to go with it and cultivate that connection with the herbs and in terms of what... The integrity is there and I really appreciate your acknowledgement of it.

 

And for me, when you look at just how much integrity has gone on for thousands of years that humans have dedicated their entire lives to allowing us at this point living these incredible lives that we are in the modern world and know and have access to these herbs cultivated in exactly the way that helps us develop this unique essence and expressive, just really for everyone to really helpful for me to make sure that the narrative is out there of, "Yeah, sure, I love doing what I do and SuperFeast loves doing what it does."

 

And really then looking beyond that and looking and really feeling just how long this has gone on and how long there is and how many people have committed themselves to this line and having this much integrity so that we can have a philosophy that we can integrate with and know that it's not full of shit. And we know that it transcends all need for marketing even though it's got a bedrock and for us to have that. That's a lot of indigenous tradition has been destroyed and they tried to destroy this and it's not. That's really worth... I'm getting emotional thinking about that. It's really something and now it's back and it's rising up.

 

So when you're thinking about the herbs and when you think about China, go beyond. Don't relate to these herbs around in terms of all the communism or that industrial wave. Relate to the land. It's the same way. I don't relate to Australian's being someone with the worst land clearing record and people who love destroying their indigenous culture more than anything. That's not you. Go beyond and remember there are humans there. They're not the Communist Party. They are not that deceitful industrial wave that's creating all that toxicity in those commercial areas. We're talking about these very deep valleys and these crags in these rural areas. These are humans that are beating the drum of a tradition and millions of people have gone into bringing this tradition. So that's what I would ask for yourself and everyone and connect to that. There's a gratitude that's innate there when you're connected to it, when you're taking those herbs.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Absolutely, absolutely. Oh, you are such a legend. I am so grateful that you are out there in the world doing this incredible work. I am pumped to go and try some more mushrooms today. I'm going to have another little hot drink today and to get out my Gua Sha. So thank you so much for sharing, for all the work you do. I literally want to have you and your wife over for dinner so we could just chat for hours because I feel like we have so much in common and there's so many more rabbit holes that we could dive into.

Mason:

Absolutely. Yeah. And I can feel it as well. Let's follow those threads and it'd be lovely to hang out and chinwag with you guys.

Melissa Ambrosini:

Definitely. All right my darling. Thank you so much for coming on the show and we are so grateful for your time and your wisdom today, and we'll have you back on to chat about your birth.

Mason:

Great. Thank you. Lots of love, everybody.

 

 

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