Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning

Author and Film Producer Tom Cronin on “The Portal Book and Movie: How Meditation Can Save The World”

August 5, 2021

Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast for episode #154 with someone who travels globally presenting about something we all need to learn how to experience in today’s world--- author of 6 books and the co-creator of the Portal Film/book experience, where he teaches about the power in the stillness and the science behind the stillness—Tom Cronin, also known as The King of Calm.[i]

Watch this interview on YouTube here

Learn more about Tom Cronin here

See past episodes of The Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast here 

On this episode, you will learn:

✔︎ How Tom Cronin, from Australia, overcame a nervous breakdown by starting a meditation practice, inspiring him to share his story others with The Portal Film and Book.

✔︎ A Deep Dive into the Top 4 Meditation Styles (Concentration, Contemplation, Chanting and Transcendental).

✔︎ Tom’s thoughts on The Plane of Possibility and How to Create Something Out of Nothing.

✔︎ Why meditation is an important and timely topic to change the world during these high-stress and anxiety times.

I'm Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies in our schools, sports, and workplace environments with ideas that we can all use, understand and implement immediately.

Our guest this week, Tom Cronin[ii] spent 26 years in finance, as one of Sydney Australia’s leading bond and swap brokers. He discovered meditation in the early stages of his career when anxiety and chaos he was experiencing due to stress and poor lifestyle choices led him to a breakdown. He came across meditation, and it completely transformed his life—both personally and professionally.

Today Tom is passionate about reducing stress and chaos in people’s lives and his mission is to inspire 7 billion people to meditate daily through his Stillness Project that aims to transform and teach people the power of stillness and calm through the power of deep meditation and coaching. His work in transformational leadership and cultivating inner peace takes him around the world as a speaker, presenting keynotes, hosting retreats and teaching.

Tom has appeared on national TV, and featured in Vogue, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Business Review and many other media outlets.

When I first was introduced to Tom Cronin, and looked up his work with The Stillness Project, I knew he was someone I needed to speak with and immediately recognized how important and powerful his mission is. Especially in today’s times. We have featured some speakers on the podcast who have explained meditation, and how to begin, with episode #25[iii] with Mick Neustadt on “How Meditation and Mindfulness Changes Your Life” and episode #28[iv] with Dr. Daniel J Siegel took us a bit deeper with his episode on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence.” I’m excited to dive even deeper into the power of meditation, exploring what we can all expect with our practice, and where and how to begin, at a time when we could all use stillness, calm and peace in our lives.

“When life is built on the stillness of being, it becomes an effortless flow.” –Tom Cronin

Let’s meet Tom Cronin!

Welcome Tom Cronin, thank you for meeting with me today—all the way from Australia! It’s incredible to speak directly with The King of Calm-just what I need today.

INTRO: Tom, before we get to the questions to dive deeper into The Stillness Project, and your Movie and Book The Portal, can you share what even brought you to start looking at meditation in the first place? Especially since it’s been challenging times for many people all over the world, and times where stress is at an all-time high, along with anxiety and depression. Can you share what happened to you that made you decide there has to be a better way, leading you to the work you are doing today and a healthier outlook on life?

Q1: I watched a few of your podcast interviews and will link them in the show notes, so listeners can go back and listen to you dive deep into the best way to begin a meditation practice, that you cover on your interview with Brian Scott[v] but I did love how took a deeper dive into the Top 4 meditation styles for people who might want to begin, and they aren’t sure of the best entry point? For these Top 4 meditation styles, can we start with what I think I know about them, and you expand them a bit?

  • Concentration: I was looking for ideas to improve my focus and concentration in the late 1990s when I first began studying with Bob Proctor. I came across an exercise with a candle to improve meditation, focus, concentration, and even use the mind to change colors.
  • Contemplation: Guided Meditation- I began using these types of meditation with John Assaraf’s Winning the Game of Money (wealth consciousness) and Business Programs (business mindset). These types of guided meditation are to help us to improve our mindset in a certain area?
  • Chanting: Andrew Newburg (professor and director of research from the from the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health) EPISODE #88[vi] talked about the power of the Kirtan Kriya Meditation[vii] (that I have not done, but his books swear by this technique for even the toughest guys he’s ever seen) and when I worked with Bob Proctor in the seminar industry, I was given a card with a Buddhist chant written on it from someone I would consider to be highly influential, who shanded me this card and said “Say this every day and watch your life change in front of your eyes.” That card has gone everywhere I go for over 20 years now. I didn’t have any training on what this chant was supposed to do, but I said it for years…what is the purpose behind chanting to improve focus/mindset or our results?
  • Transcendental: I think Dawson Church’s Bliss Brain Meditations from EPISODE #98[viii] fall into this category but I would like to learn more from you on this. I know you talk about this style of meditation leading someone to pure joy and bliss. I haven’t stopped listening to Dawson Church’s[ix] meditations since I interviewed him last December. They are all focused on finding peace, joy and happiness. How would you describe this type of meditation?

Q2: After I interviewed Dr. Daniel Siegel, when we first launched this podcast, I did a deep dive into the Science Behind the Benefits of a Meditation Practice, since Dr. Siegel highlighted so many of the proven health, wellness, and even anti-aging benefits of meditating on episode #60.[x] There is one concept that I think I’m still learning, and you covered it on the podcast I listened to with you and Brian Scott, but I wonder if you can go a bit deeper into explaining this. I have put an image in the show notes of what Dr. Siegel would call the “3 P Diagram with State of Mind” that I think is that plane of possibility that we enter during meditation where all possibilities open up. Not to say that everyone gets to this place on day 1 of meditating, but for those looking to solve problems, or gather insight about their life, can you explain some things you have learned about accessing this plane of possibility and what some people might have discovered here?


Q3: I loved hearing that you were inspired by the movie, The Secret[xi], to produce your own movie on meditation. I mention that I did begin my journey with Bob Proctor[xii] in the late 1990s and many of the Secret teachers over the years have inspired the work that I am doing today. From what I have seen with The Portal Movie[xiii] and Book with the trailer is that what you have created is equally as inspiring and life changing as the movie The Secret. How do you see this moving changing the world, helping people to find more happiness and joy and calm their minds in these challenging times?

Q3B: How can someone watch The Portal Movie?

Q4: What are some of the other programs and services you offer through your website?

Q5: Is there anything important that you think I have missed?

Thank you very much for speaking with me today, Tom. If someone wants to learn more about Tom Cronin, visit his website  or 

Thank you!



Andrea Samadi’s First Book The Secret for Teens Revealed was also inspired by the movie, The Secret, published in 2008.




[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #25 with Mick Neustadt on “How Meditation and Mindfulness Changes Your Life”

[iv]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #28 with Dr. Daniel Siegel on “Mindsight: The Basis for Social and Emotional Intelligence.”

[v] Brian Scott Interviews Tom Cronin, The Founder of The Stillness Project on “How Meditation Can Save the World” Published August 13th, 2020 on YouTube

[vi] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #88 with Dr. Andrew Newberg on “Neurotheology, Spect Scans and the Aging Brain”

[vii] Kirtan Kriya Meditation

[viii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #98 with Dawson Church on “The Science Behind Using Meditation: Rewiring Your Brain for Happiness”


[x] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #60 “The Science Behind a Meditation Practice: Daniel Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness Meditation”

[xi] The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #66 with Bob Proctor on “Social and Emotional Learning: Where it All Began”


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