Insights At The Edge: Stay Woke with Justin Michael Williams

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Picture this:

Thousands of students are gathered in a public high school auditorium in a community that is impacted by violence, racism, and abuse.

A 32-year-old self-described queer, black musician and transformational speaker who grew up with “gunshot holes outside of his bedroom window” walks onstage.

His mission: To teach everyone in the room a practice he credits with saving his life, the practice of meditation.

He proceeds to offer a compelling combination of a TED Talk mixed with a concert that provides a tangible takeaway.

What is the takeaway? Every high school student receives a copy of his 328-page book Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us, plus a 40-day sequence of text messages that delivers a guided audio meditation each day.

The result: Tens of thousands of high school students across America are introduced to a life-changing practice that helps them feel more connected to their aliveness and a sense of power and possibility.

This vision is not just a fantasy.

This vision is actually occurring in Pittsburg, California; Flint, Michigan; and Atlanta, Georgia, with final plans being made for Asheville, North Carolina; Oakland, California; and several cities in New England, plus more cities being added even as I write this email to you.

The young transformational speaker, author, and musician is named Justin Michael Williams, and the tour is called the Stay Woke, Give Back Tour. You can click here to learn more.

In this podcast with Justin Michael Williams, we talk about how meditation in the way it is often taught has not been presented, priced, and packaged in a way that is inviting to a great many people who might benefit from its transformational power, and Justin defines exactly what he means by “meditation for the rest of us.”

We also talk about:
  • Why he calls the style of meditation that he teaches “freedom meditation,” and how meditation can help connect us to our emotions, to our passions, and to movements for social justice and equality
  • A “pulse meditation” for people who hate sitting still
  • How each one of us can easily discover our own mantra by immersing ourselves in what he calls “our unique energy signature”
  • Discovering how to bring into meditation high-quality (versus low-quality) questions, and removing the blocks that keep us from living into the answers we receive
  • The importance of giving people permission to access their inner light in a way that is enjoyable and creative (and the limitations that come from meditation being presented as “so damn serious”)

Click Here to Listen to Podcast


Justin Michael Williams is a talented young person who has been an answer to one of my prayers—to find ways at Sounds True (particularly through the new Sounds True Foundation) to reach people with wisdom practices who would otherwise never have knowledge of or access to such teachings. You are warmly invited to join our efforts. Please visit us at to learn more.

With love on the journey,

Tami Simon
Founder and Publisher, Sounds True

P.S. If you would like to listen to a supremely inspiring song by Justin Michael Williams that he will be performing as part of the Stay Woke, Give Back Tour, please click here. The song gives you a real feeling of how impactful each presentation will be.

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  1. […] Insight at the Edge podcast with Justin Michael Williams entitled,”Stay Woke.” It wasn’t a direct solution, but it was a soft gentle landing. Somewhere we can hold […]

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