Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.
I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.
Someone like Cameron Mathison.
I first met Cameron in December when Good Morning America came to film my Karaoke Yoga class at Equinox. I knew I liked him right away when I offered to give him one of my Manifestation t-shirts which I sell to raise money for Prader Willi Research (you can see him wearing it in the segment) and he insisted to pay for it. I told him it was a gift and he refused. I knew right then and there, before we even began to film, just what kind of guy this handsome man was. He may be beautiful on the outside (and he is folks, he is) but, I can assure you, he is way more beautiful on the inside. He fished in his pockets and found $25 and made me take it knowing where the money was going. (My nephew has a rare genetic disorder called Prader Willi Syndrome.)
The whole room was meant to sing for the duration of the class but right away I asked Cameron if he wanted to do a duet with me. (Mind you, I cannot sing at all.) For me, it was a way to get way out of my comfort zone. He said no.
Sweetly, of course.
He then turned around and said he would sing the duet. He too would conquer his fear.
It was at that moment I knew that I really loved this guy.
Needless to say, we sang a duet of “I Got You Babe” and it was one of the best moments of my entire life. My cheeks hurt from laughing. I had never felt such pure joy and such freedom. I also knew I had made a new friend.
Cameron is inspiring on so many levels. He travels nonstop for Good Morning America, and yet and still, is an incredibly devoted father and husband. He practices and teaches meditation and is committed to serving others in a way I haven’t seen in many actors. He truly makes me want to be a better person, and that folks, is the kind of friend I want.
I might also add that one of the things that I find most inspiring and refreshing about him is his devotion to meditation. We can all learn from him. (Or, at least I can, with my monkey mind.) Below he says: Through meditation I have recognized that all the happiness there is in the world comes from wishing others to be happy.
Does it get any better than that?
His answers below are honest and funny, inspiring and authentic. Cameron Mathison is someone you should know.
Below he says “I truly feel that my success has been largely because I try to be appreciative, kind and I ALWAYS try to enjoy what I do.” I can safely say that Cameron is waling the talk. That is exactly how he comes across.
It is my greatest delight to share his delicious gems with you today.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?
Cameron Mathison: A family so full of love. We are so incredibly close it’s amazing. Just this morning my 5 yr old daughter said she wanted to marry her brother Lucas. Then she added… And Daddy! Just lots of love.
We are a family that tries to emphasize Love and kindness. We take the kids to a Sunday morning “Dharma for Kids” class where there is a little meditation and a teaching on Love, patience, generosity, compassion etc… So sweet.
We really feel grateful for what we have and continue to try and bring meaning into our lives by being a benefit to others. I think I’m most proud to have manifested that. A family that seems to be on a spiritual path together:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: A mantra I love by is “I do what I love and I love what I do.” You seem to embody this as well. Have you always lived this way?
Cameron Mathison: I truly feel that my success has been largely because I try to be appreciative, kind and I ALWAYS try to enjoy what I do. Even during the most challenging times in my career I really try to smile and have a positive attitude. I also try not to grasp too much at my job being a true source of happiness. I enjoy it and I am so grateful, but it’s not how I define myself. I wasn’t always that way, which was difficult when things wouldn’t go they way I had hoped. I try to keep a much healthier perspective regarding work which allows me to enjoy it even more.
Jennifer Pastiloff: I know you are pretty serious about your meditation practice. Can you share with us a bit about that and about your teaching?
Cameron Mathison: Meditation has changed my life. It has shown me how our experience of our world is totally dependent on our mind. Studying meditation makes clear nothing is fixed and is completely fluid and changeable. Engrained habits of body, speech and mind can be completely reversed through a meditation practice and in doing so attaining a much more stable and genuine happiness. Nobody is inherently angry or bad, nobody is forever one way or the other. Meditation is an extremely powerful tool to make changes in our life that lead to deep happiness regardless of our external conditions… And in doing so, we become such a benefit to those around us. All based on the fact that true happiness comes from inner peace. We know this from experience… Sometimes when things are going well in our lives we can still get upset or depressed if our mind is not peaceful. In the same way, when things externally may be falling apart, we can still be peaceful and happy if our mind is peaceful. Meditation is a phenominal tool to develop lasting peace and happiness.
Yes, I occasionally get the opportunity to teach classes at Kadampa Meditation Center. Its an extremely meaningful way for me to volunteer my time:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you the most?
Cameron Mathison: People that devote their life to benefitting others. Massively inspiring to me. Something that I continually try to improve… My ability to benefit others.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from your children?
Cameron Mathison: That I have a lot of work to do on myself! They are the ultimate teachers. I am a very involved dad and I never want to stop trying to improve myself for their benefit and the benfit of others. My kids can show me the areas I still need work on:)
I feel like our time here on this earth is very short in the grand scheme of things and I want to use my time here to become the best person I can be.
My kids show me that I can become more patient (especially at homework time!), a better listener (when I have tons of other things to attend to). They have shown me how deeply it is possible to love… How wonderful if we could expand that love to others!
Jennifer Pastiloff: From being an actor?
Cameron Mathison: Hmmm…. What have I learned from being an actor? To be less self aware. I think in order to be a good actor on some level you have to not worry about what others are thinking. To truly lose yourself in a role. I think before I began acting I was too concerned about what others thought of me. Through my career I was able to start letting that go.
Jennifer Pastiloff: From being married?
Cameron Mathison: That it takes work. That life becomes so meaningful when we work and try to improve ourselves. That taking responsibilty for OUR part in any conflict is so incredibly important. That blaming is toxic. It’s through my wife that I found the meditation practice I study so there’s no way to express my gratitude. The love and connection we have is beyond what I thought was possible, and it’s largely due to being on a spiritual journey together.
Jennifer Pastiloff: From your meditation practice?
Cameron Mathison: That true, real happiness comes from within… From inner peace. In general we try to solve our problems externally. Fixing a situation “out there”. New partner, new job, new house, change this or that. Arranging our externals so we can be “happy”. That happiness generally is only temporary. By training in meditation we can be happy “no matter what”. It’s so liberating. Of course we still try to fix a diff situation when we can, but meditation has taught me that the real the real source of happiness is a peaceful mind.
Jennifer Pastiloff: From teaching meditation?
Cameron Mathison: That I have so much to learn. Sometimes its hard to express my experience with meditation to a class. I guess because my “self” still gets in the way… Can’t wait to get out of my own way and simply just try to benefit others. It’s such powerful stuff. Luckily I have an incredible teacher so I just have to follow his lead.
The bulk of the classes are guided meditations with some Buddhist philosophy and teachings in Between.
Of course by having the opportunity to teach, I end up learning SO much about what I’m teaching.
Jennifer Pastiloff: From singing a duet with me on Good Morning America?
Cameron Mathison: That I conquered yet another fear!!! You helped me with that! Never thought I would do that.
Cameron Mathison: What has been your favorite part about being a correspondent for GMA?
Cameron Mathison: GMA has given me the chance to literally learn and expand a whole new career. They have been beyond kind to me. I love my job with them. Not only because I get to do all sorts of fun segments, but because they are like an extended family. Beyond grateful for the continued opportunities there.
Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?
Cameron Mathison: That’s an easy one: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. He is an internationally known meditation master and phenomenal teacher and author that is guiding so many people to find true lasting happiness:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: If you weren’t acting and being a host what would you be doing?
Cameron Mathison: Hmmmm… I used to say a ski instructor in the winter and work at a golf club in the summer. I’m not sure anymore. Maybe a full time volunteer:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are some words you live by?
Happiness comes from inner peace.
We can do anything we put our minds to. The mind is infinitely powerful.
Jennifer Pastiloff: Let’s talk Twitter. I love what you tweet. How has social media played a part in your life and your career?
Cameron Mathison: Thanks for saying that. I try to balance the everyday “what I’m working on” stuff, with some meaningful spiritual tweets. I find it very hard to balance it. I actually don’t think I am very good at it! I’m trying!
I’m not sure how social media has affected my life and career. Well, I do host an online show as well part owner of the app FRIENDTHEM, so I guess it has affected my career! Both opportunities have been absolutely great. Very grateful.
I think we have to be a little careful because It sure can be a big distraction if you let it. There is pressure out there to tweet about different jobs etc… But I really like to use it as a way to put out some good energy:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: What was it like being on the red carpet at this year’s Oscars?
Cameron Mathison: So cool! I was on the red carpet, then back stage during the show for a live web cast, and then GMA the next morning. What an experience.
Jennifer Pastiloff: My sister Rachel, whose one son has Prader Willi Syndrome asked me to ask you the following: How does one continue to manifest your dreams while being a parent? I watch you travel so much and I am fascinated by how you juggle it all.
Cameron Mathison: Great question. The answer is I pretty much cut out everything else in my life! Until I find a bit more balance with work, the only things I’m doing these days are work and be a dad (all while integrating my spiritual practice). I literally schedule my flights and trips around pick up and drop offs at school:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: Do you practice yoga?
Cameron Mathison: No:(
I certainly have the wish! Vanessa and i even had someone come to our house to try and do private classes so we could fit it into out life. Didn’t last:(
Help me Jen!!!
Jennifer Pastiloff: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?
Cameron Mathison: I literally don’t have the time to write the list it would be so long!
The obvious ones are my parents, wife, kids and My spiritual teacher Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
I really try to be grateful all the time.. To everyone. I train in it actually. It’s such a powerful mind. Even the people that might seem unkind can be seen as people to be grateful to. For helping me train in patience, compassion, love etc…
Jennifer Pastiloff: When is the last time you have laughed at yourself?
Cameron Mathison: All the time! I think laughing at oneself is a great way not to take ourselves too seriously.
(Note from Jen: My most famous rule in my yoga class, as Cameron very well knows, is if you fall you MUST laugh.)
Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite memory?
Cameron Mathison: I’m not sure if these are my actual top 3… But they are up there:)
1) The birth of both my kids. In an instant when Lucas and Leila came into the world my life had greater meaning. It’s very hard to explain, but it was like my first real experience of how blissful it is to be more concerned about others than myself. Of course I thought about others before that, but this was on such a deeper level.
2) A sort of meditation retreat I did in Brazil. My spiritual teacher was giving teachings at this remote temple in Brazil and I flew down to listen and meditate. There was no cell service or emails or any distractions like that. All I did was listen to beautiful teachings, meditate and volunteer. I remember noticing such freedom from any negativity in my mind. Totally free from anger, attachment, craving, jealousy or any agitation. Just a truly peaceful mind.
It made me realize the potential we all have.
3) Our honeymoon. It was 7 years late so I thought I had to go all out! We were in the Maldives and it ws the first time we had been away from the kids like that. Really spectacular time together. I will never forget it.
Jennifer Pastiloff: How has meditation changed your life?
Cameron Mathison: I’ll try to keep this short because I could talk about it all day:)
Meditation has had the single biggest positive impact on my life.
We live in a world where it seems we are encouraged to do everything possible to distract ourselves. Internet, tv, movies, video games, cell phones, ipads, etc… Its so rare to take an opportunity to look “inward”.
I couldn’t even go across town in a cab in NYC without plugging into my iPod, or getting on my cell phone. Literally I panicked when I was somewhere alone and couldn’t “tune out” through distractions. I had literally never been alone with my own mind in a still and peaceful way. Whenever problems arose I would just try to adjust “externals” to fix them. I would also try to numb out through distractions and objects of attachment. That would work for a little while but it never lasted.
Meditation changed all of that.
When faced with adversity I learned first to look inward to solve the problem. Of course I still try to adjust situations externally if I can, but the key is to do it with a calm and peaceful mind.
My meditation practice has brought inconceivable meaning to my life.
I have learned to watch my mind and see what thoughts are beneficial and lead to real happiness, and which thoughts are deceptive and lead to agitation and suffering.
I have learned that if I change my mind, I change my perception of the world.
I have learned how much more of a benefit I can be to others by watching and training in virtuous states of mind.
Through meditation I have recognized that all the happiness there is in the world comes from wishing others to be happy.
I should point out that we don’t need to be sitting in formal meditation to meditate. We can do it anytime in anyplace! Some of my best insights come to me meditating in a car, walking, or on a plane:)
Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s next for you?
Cameron Mathison: Wish I knew. So much change in my life lately. It’s been a great opportunity to practice acceptance and patience. Whatever is coming my way I hope I handle it with a happy mind:)
Cameron on Dancing With The Stars:
Clip of the class singing “Let It Be” during Karaoke Yoga:
Jennifer Pastiloff is currently a writer for Positively Positive and is writing her first book. She travels the world leading Manifestation Retreats and workshops. When she is not traveling, she is based in Los Angeles where she leads public and private yoga classes. To book a workshop with Jen or to buy a Manifestation t-shirt to raise money for Prader Willi Syndrome please visit jenniferpastiloff.com