Updated: May 8, 2020
1- In less than a minute, tell us who you are and why we keep hearing good things about you?
I’m a teacher of meditation and spirituality, author of two books, former Buddhist monk, sound therapist, music producer, marketing professional, director of a nonprofit organization, and founder of CLARITY dharma and meditation collective.
2- What were the pivotal roadblocks and challenges you encountered along the way that helped you define your path?
If I had to pick just one, I’d say it was the one that almost killed me. Eighteen years ago, I overcame a serious drug addiction, and escaping from the jaws of that beast set me on the path of meditation and spirituality. It sounds extreme when I describe it like that, and it was, but you might be surprised at how common a story like mine is. The details may differ, but it has been my observation that anyone who comes to the spiritual path really seeking freedom and awakening has been through some kind of intense suffering. That’s where the motivation to grow comes from.
3- Why did you choose this field? Who were your role models? And what pushed you to learn and become who you are?
I started teaching and writing about meditation and spirituality because people asked me to. It was never about some guru or religious institution investing me with the authority to teach. It was about seeing the needs of the students in front of me, and responding from the most authentic place I can, sharing what I’ve learned so far. And I never stop learning. If you stop trying to learn and think you’ve reached some perfect plateau of knowledge and wisdom — I think that’s a very mistaken way to live in this world. I’ve considered Pema Chödrön to be my main teacher since I lived at her monastery 10 years ago. But these days, my sources of inspiration are really eclectic. Rupert Spira is huge for me right now. And Adyashanti, and Mooji, and Nisargadatta.
4- What is your legacy? Do you care about leaving a legacy?
No, I don’t really think much in terms of legacies. The drag queen Dorian Corey said it really well in the film Paris Is Burning: “I always had hopes of being a big star…. Everybody wants to leave something behind them, some impression, some mark upon the world. And then you think, you've left a mark on the world if you just get through it and a few people remember your name. Then you've left a mark. You don't have to bend the world. I think it's better just to enjoy it. Pay your dues and enjoy it. If you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you.”
5- What can we all do right now to make this world a better place?
Kindness. More kindness. That’s all. There is no situation in human life that can’t be improved upon with kindness. And I’m saying this for myself, too, because I need to be reminded of it constantly. I am so much happier when I remember to let go of grievances and complaints and relate to my life and my relationships from a place of kindness and contentment. And when I’m happy, I tend to make the people around me a little bit happier too. That’s how it works. Happiness and suffering are contagious.
6- In less than a minute, without sounding like a used car salesperson, tell us where to find you and what is the next big thing that everyone should be anticipating from you?
I don’t post a tremendous amount, but I’m on Instagram at @dennishunterofficial and @clarityishere. I’m looking forward to seeing how CLARITY dharma and meditation collective evolves this year as more people start to get involved with it. The web site is www.clarityishere.com, and a new podcast is coming soon. I’m also teaching a lot of classes for Warrior Flow, and spearheading the direction of our new nonprofit organization, The Warrior Flow Foundation. And I’m excited to share that I’ve been accepted into a very intense, year-long online training in Compassionate Inquiry with Dr. Gabor Maté, who’s another of my heroes. That training begins later this month. I’m not quite sure where that training is going to take me, in terms of the work I do, but I know it will be good. 2020 is certainly an interesting year. Wasn’t that an ancient Chinese curse? “May you live in interesting times.” Buckle up.
Warrior Flow Insiders is a series highlighting leaders and change agents in yoga, movement, mindfulness, mental health, social justice, and community outreach. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive future Insider profiles and other news from Warrior Flow. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Warrior Flow offers dozens of weekly online, donation-based classes in support of The Warrior Flow Foundation, including Vinyasa yoga, meditation, HIIT, Pilates, Barre, full-body workouts, Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, and much more.