Rock Climbing Pioneer, Arno Ilgner joins David to share how to face our fears, follow our inspirations, and become more authentic human beings by following the mental training of The Warrior’s Way.

Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and ‘80s when the top climbs were bold and dangerous first ascents. These personal exploits are the foundation for his unique mental training program – The Warrior’s Way – inspired through warrior-based spiritual traditions and literature from notables like Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Arno has authored The Rock Warrior’s Way, as well as, Espresso Lessons, as written guides for rock climbing, mental training, motivation, and alchemizing stress into comfort. For more information on his training programs and offerings, please visit:

The Rock Warrior’s Way: Mind, Body, & Awareness
Welcoming rock climbing legend, Arno Ilgner to Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck, David invites him to share on the method/practice he created/uncovered – The Warrior’s Way. Although the methodology was learned from (and is based around) rock climbing, Arno describes how applicable this wisdom is to just about any facet of our everyday existence. Through this lens, he outlines how he first merged his appetite for intentional warrior-based spirituality with his unbridled passion for mountain climbing.

“Climbing was like a really tangible metaphor for being able to understand concepts that make up mental training, so that we can then bridge it to becoming better climbers, but also to living our lives more intentionally.” – Arno Ilgner

Facing Fear & Becoming a More Authentic Human Being (18:28)
David shares his teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s thoughts and feelings on the warrior tradition being a global phenomenon that goes beyond culture and how—much like the idea of the spiritual kingdom of Shambhala—it is accessible to everyone open enough to face their fear with a smile, gentleness, and inquisitive curiosity. This prompts Arno to offer tips on facing fear and overcoming perceived personal weaknesses using his method of mental training involving self-compassion, humility, and vulnerability.

“Mental training, it reveals what’s inside. You start inquiring, ‘What’s in here?’ and sometimes you find out things that you don’t necessarily like. But we can start working with liking it as much as we can, or at least changing how we view it; seeing it as an opportunity that we can learn and draw from what’s being revealed, so that we can expand our awareness and become more authentic human beings.” – Arno Ilgner

Climbing Metaphor: Focused Goal, Inspired Motivation, & Intrinsic Value (45:00)
Sharing the Warrior’s Way, Arno relays a three-pointed metaphor for climbing which can be applied to any external situation. Particularly helpful in facing stressful or challenging circumstances, this method can help us blend, adapt, and grow through self-compassion, vulnerability, and flow.

“Once we step off the ground onto the rock, we value the work that we’re doing for it’s own sake. In other words, we blend with the rock, looking for the easiest way to climb, going towards something inspiring. So we’re going to be going through stressful situations, but we do it in a self-compassionate way, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable so we can learn, adapt ourselves to the rock, to the external situation, so we can blend with it and work with it.” – Arno Ilgner



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