We had the good fortune of connecting with Mario Alberto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mario, how do you think about risk?
It’s very easy to get comfortable in your craft, in your knowledge, in your position, your salary, your title, but to shake the foundation of what you have already built and to put yourself in a position of insecurity, fear, failure – it’s the ultimate opportunity for individual growth. There are no risk unless you are identified and attached to all those things you already attained. Those same things are the things that eventually weigh you down. There is always a foreboding and apprehension to change or risk so there needs to be an acceptance of whatever comes. The true gift is the time in between, the struggle, as Sisyphus and the boulder, the repetitiveness of everyday existence. Life is a struggle, and that struggle is what adds flavor to life. The outcome is always short lived, the journey is what is meant to be savored. So the approach is fuck all, let’s see where it takes me. Im fine with whatever comes.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The most important thing is the will and desire to overcome obstacles. It may sound silly – hard-headedness, stubbornness, going against conventional wisdom to achieve your goals. Through mistakes and failures comes experiential growth.

What sets me apart from others now, would be to be able to observe my thoughts and my emotions before taking action.

What I want the world to know about my story, is it’s a story about perseverance. Growing up in a place with certain odds stacked against you and finding a way to break through.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to Maison Matho on Melrose for a sandwich, Koughn Amann, or Croissant and coffee. Then drive up to Long Beach, stop at Buvons Wine shop. Have a tasting or have Marie pick a bottle. Then paddle board and splash in the water for a couple hours. Bicycle out to the hangout have a bit more vino, some sort of long conversation in the cactus garden, stumble down the block. Order a Pie at Little Coyote. Bicycle back to the car. Drive back to LA an make a stop at Dan sung sa have a couple of bites while sipping on some Hite. Then walk over to the Monte Carlo bar. A gem of a dive bar in Koreatown. Prop up at the bar and have Mari fix me up Bullet Rye on the rocks and savor the absurdity of it all.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Books

Spiritual Life of Alejandro Jodorowsky – I found this book interesting in many levels. One was his spiritual path. There is this glamorization of the virtuous path, with spiritual teachers that speak in methodical, double speak, gatherings that are ritualistic, hegemonic, and tribal. I’ve been there Ayahuasca retreats, psylocibin, differing modalities, spiritual teachers, practices, new and old. This book showed me the spiritual path is individual and non linear. There is no path. You already are. Everything else is machinations of the mind. Two was the repetitive nature of the Matriarchal goddess, and how these women shape his spiritual strength in different forms. Always coming in like angels in times of great disillusionment and desperation (Writing about this made me think of the Jungs archetypes and Patriarchal society) and much like Jodorowsky not having patriarchal guidance except for conditioned machismo and bravado, Women take on the role of mentor and teacher.

The Ethics Spinoza
I have to give a shout out to Lewis Almeida. I took a class with him on the teachings of Spinoza and Gurdjieff. The Ethics is a very difficult book. the way it is written, the antiquated language, translation. It’s fuckin dense. I found this book to be challenging and struggle with it all the time. Lewis guided me through a lot of it. The Ethics is a system/guide to navigate your emotions. The first two parts lay the groundwork of his ontological argument. Part 3 gets into the emotions. The first struggle was the idea of free will. The absence of free will. This lead to depression, anxiety, and denial. It took about a year, of struggling with this idea, meaning, and purpose. Then one day I asked myself why I was I so resistant to the thought of not having free will. Where does this attachment arise from? I realized I was so attached and identified to this idea that I was in control. That in itself had a reverse effect, all of a sudden I had a profound sense of new freedom. Then after that came the formula Desire leads to pain, pain leads to anger, anger leads to hate. That was the sum of a lot of my emotions. Everything was a cause and effect, desired expected outcome lead to unconscious destructive behavior. It has helped me in a lot ways navigating my emotions. I recommend this book to anyone looking to have a greater understanding of themselves.

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Image Credits
Augusto Piccio Jesse Hsu John Garduno

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