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You Are Simply Infinite - ĐƠN GIẢN
Episode 8329th February 2024 • The Ultimate Coach Podcast • Meredith Bell and Ipek Williamson
00:00:00 00:31:49

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In this inspiring episode of The Ultimate Coach podcast, the spotlight is on ĐƠN GIẢN (pronounced: Dun Za-an), A.K.A. Dave Berman. He is an unconventional coach whose style and mission continuously evolve along with his way of being. These days, ĐƠN GIẢN establishes imagination partnerships, co-creating experiences pointing people to their infinite imagination, creativity, possibility, opportunity, and other “supplies” they can discover are always available. 

In Vietnamese, ĐƠN GIẢN means SIMPLE. “Simplicity is only as complicated as you make it,” he says. As the conversation unfolds, ĐƠN GIẢN describes the influence of immersing in the Vietnamese culture, living in what he calls Home Chi Minh City (Saigon). He also shares about exploring a spiritual understanding of laughter; free hugs as an expression of his infinite love supply; his legacy of sunshine; and pronoia - the belief the Universe conspires on our behalf. 

As mentioned in the episode by ĐƠN GIẢN:

  • "Any legacy of mine is gonna be sunshine and I'll leave it behind as a sign of my love for mankind." 

White Falcon Fuzz (song by The Mother Hips) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smmDsfPKKPM


  • Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia, Revised and Expanded: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings (book by Rob Brezsny) – https://a.co/d/00Q09Rb


About the Guest: 

Dave Berman is an American author, speaker, and coach who NOW goes by the Vietnamese name ĐƠN GIẢN. In English that translates to SIMPLE. This name emerged in July 2023 during the creation of his latest book called The Simple Book of Infinity. He says he knows how to be Dave and he’s learning to be simple. He’s been exploring his way of being for over 15 years since discovering Rob Brezsny’s book, Pronoia, about how the Universe conspires on our behalf. That began a transformation highlighted first by being undiagnosed and unmedicated after 20 years believing he was bipolar. From there, he got on the path to coaching and devoted himself to a still ongoing daily exploration of laughter that has taken him around the world. ĐƠN GIẢN is currently based in Saigon, which he calls Home Chi Minh City.


The Simple Book of Infinity - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CPNVCHZY

Working with ĐƠN GIẢN - https://DaveBermanCoaching.com 

Connecting socially - https://www.facebook.com/daveberman129/


About the Host:

A beacon of change and a catalyst for transformation, Ipek Williamson is a multifaceted professional who seamlessly integrates two decades of corporate expertise with a diverse skill set as a coach, mentor, speaker, author, meditation advocate, and teacher.

With a passion for guiding individuals through the complexities of modern life, Ipek specializes in helping overwhelmed individuals harness a profound sense of peace and harmony. Her coaching methodology draws inspiration from Core Values, Mental Fitness, and Mind Mastery, allowing her clients to unearth their latent potential. She adeptly navigates them through the turbulent waters of change, enabling them to embrace transformations with unwavering confidence and boundless joy, all on their own terms.

https://ipekwilliamsoncoaching.com

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Transcripts

Speaker:

TUCP Intro/Outro: Thank you for tuning in to The Ultimate Coach podcast, a companion to the transformative book, The Ultimate Coach, written by Amy Hardison, and Alan D. Thompson. Each conversation is designed to be a powerful wake up call, reminding us of what's possible for you and your life. So if you're on a journey to expand your state of being, this podcast is for you.

Ipek Williamson:

Welcome back to The Ultimate Coach podcast your go to source for insights and inspiration on personal growth and development. I'm your host epic Williamson and today, I have the pleasure of introducing ĐƠN GIẢN, aka Dave Berman as my guest. Through his innovative approach, ĐƠN GIẢN helps people uncover the power of laughter and simplicity to ignite profound transformations in their lives. What I noticed about him is that as a coach and hypnotherapist, ĐƠN GIẢN has a mission, and his mission is clear, to guide others on a journey of self discovery and inner peace with offerings like infinity laughter, and daily dance and he ends empowers people to tap into their infinite potential and embrace a simpler, more joyful way of being. So why don't we delve into Dan's unique philosophy, and explore how laughter and simplicity can unlock the doors to a life filled with purpose, joy and fulfillment? Welcome, ĐƠN GIẢN to the ultimate coach podcast. It's an honor to have you here.

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Thank you, you picked that was such a delightful introduction. And I love that it came from you that I didn't script words for you to read, I really appreciate that very much.

Ipek Williamson:

You're most welcome. I see and reflect what I get. So I love having a pre recording call with all my guests as that interaction gives me so many clues on what I would like to ask them. When we record the podcast, and during the initial call we had with you. You brought up so many amazing things that I'm sure our listeners would love to hear about, too. So let me start with this question. I believe everyone is curious about it. What is the meaning of your new name, ĐƠN GIẢN. And what inspired you to choose it?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: ĐƠN GIẢN is a Vietnamese word that Vietnamese people don't consider to be a name. It's just part of their vocabulary. And in English, it translates to simply I know how to be Dave, I want to learn to be simple. So I've chosen done Zen as my name. That was about eight months ago or so. And it came up like it arose during the creation of the simple book of infinity. And it was really integral to completing that book. So there's obviously a lot more to it. But I think that's the simple and direct answer to what you asked me, but I'm happy to give you more if you asked me, you know more about it.

Ipek Williamson:

We can talk about it later on. But I am curious about how Vietnamese people see you choosing a simple word as simple as your name. How did they react to that?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: It's funny because to them, it's like wait a second, you chose that you chose the name simple, but it's totally not simple. Like that. So I love to play with paradox I love to point to paradox as something that is beautiful to observe in nature, but we often mistake it for a riddle or a puzzle and we dive into trying to solve it. Like just another thing. Just appreciate and admire it for what it is. But my My name is kind of an example of that. But Vietnamese people are very curious about me. If we're in a conversation and they're asking about my name, which is tattooed on my wrist to my arms are ovation like the, the feedback that I get is that it's almost always considered endearing. Like, Vietnamese people love that I've chosen Vietnamese need, just like they almost always love the fact that I refer to where we are as on Chi Minh City. The the official name of Saigon is her Chi Minh City. And to me it's only Chi Minh City. And so those two things are often very endearing. When I meet Vietnamese people. And I mean, they don't come up in every conversation, but often they do. Yes,

Ipek Williamson:

I assume it would sometimes. Yeah, it's so true, though. Its meaning is simple. But for example, for me pronouncing it is not simple. So I hope I'm not butchering it, you are pronouncing it really lovely. It can you say it again? Done Zen. Yes, done Zen.

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Here's the thing. The northern central and southern regions of Vietnam have such different dialects, that often people from different regions can understand each other, which is interesting in and of itself. But when it comes to the design, I've chosen to embrace the northern pronunciation even though I live in the south. And so when I introduce myself to Vietnamese people, and I say 10, toilet done Zen, my name is done Zen. They, if if they heard me correctly, they'll say back to me done yen. And I'll say no to the Zen. And they'll think I'm just mispronouncing like, you know, I'm a dumb foreigner. And I don't know what I'm doing. And I'll, and I'll show them this. So they know what I'm saying. And they'll say, yeah, the yen. I know, that's the southern pronunciation. I just prefer the way it said in the north. And it's not like all of my learning of their language is of the Northern dialect. Like I'm, I'm, I'm trying to learn Vietnamese, and I am learning the southern dialect because that's where I am. And I want to be able to have conversation where people know what I'm saying. But this one word, I just really liked the way it sounds better with the North. So anyway, that's not at Simple.

Ipek Williamson:

Simple.

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: And that's okay. Right? Like, simplicity is only as complicated as you make it. And I'm learning to be simple, I will forever be learning to be simple. And wherever I'm not being simple, it's because I'm making it complicated. And so I can still love that about myself and about other people and, and paradox, and it's, it's all good.

Ipek Williamson:

Yeah. Well, the Thank you. So you said, You call her Chi Minh City as home Chi Minh City. What excites and inspires you about living in Vietnam in this city? How it has become your home. Tell us about that?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Yeah, there's so many things. When I first got here, in the middle of 2017, I thought I was only going to be here for three months to write a new book. And I had just completed an international speaking tour. So my idea was generate a new booking go back to traveling, but I just fell in love with being here. And I was able to get another visa and another visa. So I ended up staying for almost two years. And then I was away and COVID kept me away longer than I planned. And I came back about a year ago now. And there's there's some things that are the same for me about what I love. And you know what interest in excites me about being here now compared to before, but there's also new things. So when I first got here, you know, in 2017, the main thing was, I didn't know anybody I didn't, I didn't know any Vietnamese. I was in the middle of a daily video series that at that point, had been going for a year and a half. And I didn't know how long it would go. It turned out to go for almost three and a half years. And it was about laughter. And so when I when I first got here with like, no network and no language skills, and really all I like to was all I could do was like, just wander around the city and laugh and play with the random strangers that I would spontaneously encounter and I would make videos from those interactions and I would I wouldn't Many more interactions that didn't become part of videos. But those those interactions in its in just in restaurants and arcs on the street, wherever I was, they taught me so much about myself and about life and Puppet culture here. So that was, that was the beginning of falling in love with Han Chi Minh City and like recognize that his home Chi Minh City. And along the way, during those two years, the first two years, I wound up meeting, actually quite a few people who were fluent in English, there were young adults, most often and many of them had adopted English names, those people became really special to me, because I saw an opportunity to serve them. And so I created a public speaking class that some of these people would join. And it would allow me to help them to break through some of the barriers that were largely self imposed, you know, conditioned thinking and like cultural things that just sort of limited what they perceived as possible for them. And so I did some of that while I was here, originally, and I really loved it and the time I was away, like I said, it was it was a much longer delay coming back than I had anticipated, thanks to COVID. So that long delay was like, just time for me to nurture the dream of returning to serve these people even more, like I came back here to help the fluent English speakers who are young adults, to see their infinite possibility supply their infinite opportunity supply and to connect with them on the basis of their English being their ticket to their dreams. And so, yeah, that continues to really excite and inspire me now. And I've really expanded my network of young Vietnamese adults who are fluent in English. And then especially the ones who have adopted English names. That's where the inspiration for choosing a Vietnamese name came from. So that's an like I said, they find it endearing that that's part of why

Ipek Williamson:

it's beautiful. And when you talked before, you mentioned the song about love. And the question that comes up in the songs lyrics. I really loved what you said about it. Would you please share the song and its meaning for you with our audience?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: So the song is called, is love enough? It's a question. It's by Michael Franti and spearhead. And the story that I shared with you that I think you're asking me to tell goes back to like September 2008, in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. And it was an annual festival that I was accustomed to attending at the time. And this band Michael Franti, and spearhead was was onstage performing this song, which I knew quite well, but it landed for me in all, all new way that day. And in the chorus of the song they ask, Is your love enough? Yes, you're loving up yet you're loving up, yeah, or when you love some more. And then love some more just, it means so hard, like, of course, I can always love more. And when, when that struck me, I was in the middle of this crowded field dancing with all these other people at the festival, and I just plopped down on my ass and took off my backpack and removed my notebook. And I made my first ever free hugs sign. And I spent the rest of the afternoon exchanging free hugs with people. And then that became something that I did many times over the years in America. And I recently did it for the first few times here in Huntington city. And so that was, that was quite amazing for me to kind of return to this old hobby, you know, like something I just do for fun sometimes and hadn't done it in a while. And so reclaiming this hobby, but in a totally new environment. As a totally different person than I was the last time I did it, probably like eight years ago. So yeah, so that's the song The Lyric, the story. Was there something else about that that you wanted me to say?

Ipek Williamson:

No, you said it perfectly. But I really love the question. Can you love it? Some more. Yeah, it's so powerful, because we can always love more. Yeah. And I see love as, as something that is infinite. And our hearts are so capable of loving many, many, many, many, many people and things at the same time, simultaneously. And that's so powerful. I can love my child with all my heart. While I can also love my husband with all my heart and I can love my parents, I can love my friends, I can love strangers. With all my heart. Yeah, there is no limit. And it's so beautiful. Yeah, you're living in Vietnam, and you have a Vietnamese name now, how has this cultural immersion influenced your coaching approach? and personal growth?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Okay, so that's a huge question. I would say it's influenced my personal growth first, and then the personal growth that is what's driven the evolution of my coaching work. So I don't I don't see the culture year directly impacting my coaching word, but it's certainly, like you said, emerge, immersion. So I've lived in this environment where I'm not fluent in Vietnamese by any stretch, but like I shared about arriving with no Vietnamese and not even a local network, you know, now I've got some language skills and, you know, quite a vast network. And I've, I've seen, what is it? What's the one thing, the one thing is that I've, I've learned that everything there is to learn, can be learned through experience. And in fact, it's, it's never words that teach, it's always experience that teaches, so experienced that I had, laughing and playing with strangers on the street and turning those encounters into videos. And like, over the course of three and a half years of making daily videos, where everything yo, be the best one, right, when you're doing it every single day, it never mattered, because there was always another one the next day, another one and another one. And so I just, I learned a lot about self acceptance and self love. And it's all so many other things. The main thing, though, is that we are creating our perception, moment by moment. And it's just the nature of thought, that gives us our point of view, our perspective, our perception, fresh and new in every moment. And I had had that idea before I got here, but it was kind of an intellectual knowledge that I really was able to embody with deep understanding and new ways, by living here, immersed in this culture. But I would say that the culture taught me that than anybody who comes here and lives in this culture would learn that, well, you're going to learn whatever your experiences are inviting you to see. That's just what my experience kept inviting me to see. And I still see it. And it's like, a primary piece of my coaching what I what I'm always pointing to, for my clients to see.

Ipek Williamson:

Absolutely, very well said, I really like how you explained it. One question that comes to my mind is you said you did for over three years, daily laughter videos, and you explore laughter. More than 13 years. And every day, how do you keep finding new things to share about it?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Your infinite laughter supply is always available. To me. This is the first principle of laughter and nobody taught me that nobody told me that I discovered that laughter. The experience of laughing taught me your infinite laughter supplies always available. Laughter also taught me if it's true about laughter, it's true about light. So that's the second principle of laughter. And what what that showed me was in the book of being, we read about ontology, the word ontology. It's like Make the complete understanding of being. And I feel like there's an ontology of infinite supplies always is available that laughter has been teaching me. So when I see is your infinite creativity supply is always available. Like I just said in every single moment, you're creating your perspective. So your infinite creativity spot is always a bit. Your Infinite Imagination supply is always available your infinite possibility supplier infinite opportunity supplier infinite love supply, on and on and on. But nobody told me this stuff. I just have been laughing every day. And laughter the experience of laughing has been teaching me these things. So that that's, that's the answer to that question. Like I just, I keep seeing what's new and different in my experience of laughing every day. Laughter is my best teacher.

Ipek Williamson:

I so relate to what you said. Because in my life, daily life, my husband is someone who makes me laugh every day. And we're gonna celebrate our 10th anniversary. And there are a few years before that. And he keeps finding things to make me laugh. It's been years and years, and it's still going and I love it. I love it that about him. So I hear you. It's just about creating an intention to

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Yeah, well, the kind of laughter that I explore is intentional laughter. It's unconditional laughter It doesn't depend on comedy or humor or jokes. So my understanding of laughter itself, what it is, has been always evolved over these 13 plus years. You know, people say laughter is the best medicine and like all over the world, people kind of have that idea. But it's just the same. Like, for me, it's something that I know from experience. I don't usually say that phrase, but if I do, it's because I'm speaking from experience, not just, you know, repeating a famous phrase. Beautiful. Okay.

Ipek Williamson:

Now, there's one question I asked to all my guests. Which one of the questions in the before you begin section of the ultimate coach book, or on the back of the book, you see is the one you need to focus on at this moment in time in your life?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: I think it's the one about generating a life of abundance. Who do I need to be to generate a life of abundance?

Ipek Williamson:

Tell me about it. Why is that?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: It's, it's really interesting, because I see infinity everywhere. And yet, I don't experience infinity everywhere. I know that I've got an infinite laughter supply always available, but I'm not laughing all the time. I know I've got an an infinite creativity supply always available. And I'm creating my perception all the time, fresh and new moment to moment, but I don't always feel creative. I know there's abundant and infinite love always available, there's, there's infinite security, it doesn't come from the outside, it comes from the inside. And yet I don't always live in the experience of that. So having more consistent awareness of the abundance of love that's available to me from within and from, you know, what, what appears to be outside of me and around the end, of course, you know, finances, that's a pretty prominent example of abundance that doesn't always feel like it's available. But it's not just money. I mean, it's, it's all these other kinds of examples too. So like, in the simple book of infinity, on the back cover, you can see this on the dedication page, you can see this to it. It says, We are infinite beings pretending not to be my work here is making that simple to see. So like infinite it doesn't like abundance doesn't even seem like it equates to infinite, like abundant is like a portion of infinite, like abundant and infinite are not synonymous. I don't think I think I think Infinite is way bigger, infinitely bigger than abundant. So if I No, you are simply infinite, then, of course, I should simply be abundant all the time. But like everybody else, like, sometimes I'm pretending not to be. So my, my work is making that simple to see when I say, you know, my name is Zen, like, I'm learning to be done Zen. I'm not saying, like, I am the simplest person you've ever met, I will forever be learning to be simple. Hello.

Ipek Williamson:

Beautiful. Thank you. Now, this brings us to my three rapid fire questions. Okay, the first one is about your role model who has been the most influential person in your life?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Rob Brezsny

ings. And that book leaked in:

Ipek Williamson:

Well, it's an interesting book, and I would love to share it in the Episode Notes so that our audience might want to check it out. The second question is, what something you hope to achieve in the next year,

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: I would really like to create a job for myself working offline. In a company based here in Saigon Chi Minh City, I want to reduce my screen time, and increase my face to face time with people. There's a lot of benefits that would come to me as a foreign or an expat living in this country, if I can create that kind of situation for myself. So yeah, that's definitely it.

Ipek Williamson:

Thank you. And the third one, what do you hope to be remembered for?

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: You know, when I was doing those laughter videos every day, I sometimes, like sometimes cited a song lyric from one of my favorite bands of all time, they're based in California, they're called the mother hips. They've been around like more than 30 years. And that's a tragedy that many people have never even heard of them. They have a song called White Falcon fuzz, which contains the Lyric, any legacy of mine is going to be sunshine, and I'll leave that behind as a sign of my love for mankind. I'll say it again. Any legacy of mine is going to be sunshine, and I'll leave that behind as a sign of my love for mankind. Wow. As I was making those daily videos for such a long time, I felt like those videos would be my legacy, I would leave it behind as a sign of my love for mankind. And it's been almost five years now since I finished that video series. And I think, you know, maybe the simple book of infinity now feels a little bit more like my legacy than those videos, but it's still the same idea. Any legacy of mine is gonna be sunshine, it's going to be pointing to laughter and love and infinity and the nature of spa and pronoun.

Ipek Williamson:

I so love it. I'm so glad I chose these three questions for you. All the answers have been really profound. Thank you.

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Oh, thank you

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN What an enlightening conversation this has been for our listeners who are eager to learn more from you and perhaps embark on their transformative journey where they can they connect with you? Well,

Ipek Williamson:

ĐƠN GIẢN: Dave Berman coaching is still mine website. You can see more about them then on the website. It's it's still like, like a coming out process. You know, when the book was published the simple book of infinity I had to like, begin putting the name DUNS n out everywhere, but David Berman coaching.com is still my website. And this simple book of infinity also, which you can find on my website and on Amazon and equally present on Facebook too.

Ipek Williamson:

Yes. And we will also have your links in the Episode Notes of course. As we come to the end of this insightful episode of The Ultimate coach podcast, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to our guest, ĐƠN GIẢN for sharing his wisdom and inspiration with us today. ĐƠN GIẢN, your passion for laughter and Simplicity's truly infectious and your innovative approach to coaching has undoubtably touched the lives of many to our listeners. I hope you found value in today's discussion, and feel inspired to incorporate laughter and simplicity into your own journey of personal growth. Remember, your infinite potential is always within reach. Thank you once again, ĐƠN GIẢN for joining us today. It's been an honor and a pleasure to have you on the show. Until next time, keep seeking, keep growing, and keep embracing the joy of living.

Ipek Williamson:

TUCP Intro/Outro: Thank you for joining us today. If there's someone you know who could benefit from this conversation, please share this episode with them. Also, check out our website being movement.com You'll find valuable resources and links to connect to an engaging and wonderfully supportive community. Together, we can inspire and support each other on the path to a greater understanding of being. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself