SOFIA, Bulgaria — Departing from countries ranging from Japan to Brazil and Canada to New Zealand, men of countless walks of life journeyed to Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe’s highest capital, to absorb the teachings of a lineup of lesser-known gurus assembled by a comedian-turned-pickup artist-turned-professional at “waking people up.”
Alex Lasarev, better known as Sasha Daygame, kicked off the 2017 Infinite Man Summit on Friday with standup toilet humor, and within hours participants were singing, dancing, hugging and doing cartwheels. But the three-day event — for which one New Zealander even took out loans to attend — was no joke. United Kingdom based-trader Siam Kidd prepped prospective pupils on managing multi-million dollar trading accounts, and several attendees moved funds out of fiat money and into cryptocurrencies following a talk by Lasarev, a fellow contrarian investor.
The Infinite Man Summit was not about money, though. The event brought tears to some male eyes and served as a platform for one man to open up about his sexuality. Even men from Russia engaged in frank talk about insecurities and personal shortcomings.
“Initially I felt that I would get from this event only mindsets,” said Ivan Petrushin, of Saint Petersburg, Russia. “But I’ve got so many connections with people, and this beautiful atmosphere and sharing and caring for each other and being able to express myself, my true self, so there is no mask.”
Critiqued — in a playful manner — by some as a “hippy event,” Lasarev’s summit featured a globetrotting tantra guru as the first speaker. Becca Tzigany currently lives in Ecuador, but she flew to Bulgaria to share her tantric insights and promote “ecstatic dancing.”
“In to me see,” Tzigany said when explaining the concept of intimacy. Tzigany, who stuck around the entire weekend offering literal heart-to-heart hugs to all takers, presented at times a contrarian view on dating at a conference put on by a YouTube-celebrity pickup artist. Tzigany encouraged the “infinite men” in attendance to view sex as a “union of polarities” and view females as “infinite women,” rather than girls or prey.
A self-proclaimed mind master who takes on the personality of a Jedi took the stage later on the first day. Jane Tepley, an author and coach, instructed the audience to “know thyself” and live in tune with their purpose.
Tepley, who dons kimonos in London and trains with ninjas in Japan, has a monk-like persona but the appearance of a young woman. She says she looks much younger than her age due, at least in part, to her mind mastery. Tepley also said she uses her mind to speed up recoveries from injuries.
“Essentially it’s like having superpowers except the superpowers actually come from you,” Tepley said. “They’re already there. They’re dormant. And I encourage you to use those superpowers.”
Following a business-focused middle day, the Infinite Man Summit delved back into the esoteric on Sunday. Shae Matthews, an “inner game” coach for popular dating company The Natural Lifestyles, instructed attendees to search for the truth and be cautious of postmodern deconstructionism while tapping into their creator-selves. In simpler terms, Matthews said during an interview that his key messages were about accessing unlimited potential and parting from an ego-driven identity in favor of becoming a person moving toward what he loves.
“He’s like a wizard,” Lasarev said of Matthews.
A bald, bearded martial arts educator and rising star in the self-improvement industry delivered the most impassioned speech of the weekend. Jesse Elder awed the crowd with his delivery while describing past philosophical battles and encouraging audience members to accept and appreciate who they are.
“What you appreciate appreciates,” Elder said.
Following philosophy with raw physicality, ex-bodybuilder Ben Greenfield offered tips, routines and biohacks for boosting levels of the primary male sex hormone. Greenfield, who is also an accomplished ironman and Spartan athlete, does everything from working while on the treadmill to placing his testicles in front of red light in order maintain high testosterone.
In addition to listening to speakers and engaging in intermittent dance, meditation and exercise, conference participants pitched businesses to a panel of entrepreneurs and sought relationship advice from a panel of dating coaches. Lasarev, who gained a worldwide following from online videos of him flirting with women, told attendees there is no shortcut to approaching and attracting females.
“You must face your ego head-on and crush it brutally,” Lasarev said.
The conference wrapped up with hugs, bows, an impromptu Jesse Elder Facebook live video and a brief speech by Lasarev.
“I’m really happy that I found my path and what I’m here to do, and I’m very happy that it’s inspiring and helping amazing people like you find your path,” Lasarev said. “I couldn’t be luckier. I feel like the luckiest person on the fucking planet.”