Tue, 21 February 2017
This week we talk to Adyashanti about waking up
Adyashanti, author of The Way of Liberation, Resurrecting Jesus, Falling into Grace, and The End of Your World, is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.
Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” Based in California, Adyashanti teaches throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, and Australia.
In This Interview, Adyashanti and I Discuss...
- That our work as humans is on the journey from a walking contradiction to a walking paradox
- That if we see something out of alignment with our value system we feel it in our body as tension
- That our bodies are our best aid when it comes to navigating our inner consciousness
- That there are different types of awakening
- That awakening is a fundamental shift of identity
- The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to answer your questions but to question your answers
- What to do when you WANT to change but then you can't seem to change
- The 5 foundations of spirituality
- What is my aspiration?
- That wanting to feel pleasure can only take us so far
- When we start feeling better we'll stop looking deeper
- Never abdicate your authority
- That "true" meditation is the art of allowing everything to be exactly as it is
- That meditation is there for us to get experiential insight into the nature of our being, our consciousness
- The importance of bringing your intelligence along for the ride in meditation
- To let go of what the outcome should be in meditation
- Our whole body is a sensory instrument through which we experience life
- That self-inquiry is joining the intellectual mind with the contemplative spirit
- An unresolved deep question is often what sparks an awakening
- How contemplation is different from meditation and inquiry
- The three means of evoking insight: contemplation, meditation, and inquiry
- The Jesus story is a map for awakening
- How the Jesus story is so compelling
- What life is like for awakened people
- That awakening can be sudden and/or it can be a gradual unfolding
- How enlightenment is the end of one game and the beginning of another
- The difference between exploration and seeking
- Whether or not psychedelic drugs play a role in awakening
Direct download: Adyashanti_Final.mp3
-- posted at: 6:35pm EDT
Tue, 14 February 2017
This week we talk to Dean Quick about the healing power of music
Dean Quick, MT-BC is the Program Director and Board Certified Music Therapist for TranscendED, a treatment center for eating disorders. He also provides broader music therapy through his personal practice. He is also a member of the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina.
In This Interview, Dean Quick and I Discuss...
- His work as a music therapist for people with mental illness
- How he works with clients who have no musical ability or skill
- That live music is most effective as well as the client's preferred music in music therapy
- That music bypasses the cognitive processes of trauma and allows a person to reach a place within themselves that might otherwise be difficult to access
- How Gabby Giffords has used music to retrain her language
- That music can ignite the brain unlike anything else
- Where someone would go to explore music therapy as a patient
- That music can be used as therapy for children with developmental disabilities
- How music can be used by anyone as therapy on their own as therapy with some simple approaches
- Being mindful of the power of music in your own daily life
- Honoring the feeling in the moment with music
- Asking yourself "how am I honoring my feeling in this present moment"
- How we can engage with music in a mindful way to increase the power it has in our lives
- Using music to pace your practice of progressive muscle relaxation
- Why it's better to choose our own music rather than buying music playlists that are "for relaxation"
Direct download: Dean_Quick_Final.mp3
-- posted at: 8:08pm EDT
Tue, 7 February 2017
This week we talk to Emma Seppälä about success and happiness
Emma Seppälä, Ph.D is Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and the author of The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success. She is also Co-Director of the Yale College Emotional Intelligence Project at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and a Lecturer at Yale College where she teaches The Psychology of Happiness. She consults with Fortune 500 leaders and employees on building a positive organization and teaches in the Yale School of Management’s Executive Education program. She graduated from Yale (BA), Columbia (MA), and Stanford (PhD).
In This Interview, Emma Seppälä and I Discuss...
- Her book, The Happiness Track: How to Apply the Science of Happiness to Accelerate Your Success
- The false notion that in order to be successful you have to work so hard that you postpone your happiness
- The 6 major false theories that are behind our current notions of success
- The false theory of "You can't have success without stress"
- That our stress response is only meant to be fight or flight, not "most of the time"
- That high adrenaline compromises our immune system, our ability to focus, make good decisions
- The role of meditation in one's success
- What prevents us from getting into a creative mindset
- How to manage your energy vs managing your time
- What we can learn from the resilience in children and animals
- Where veterans and civilians can go to learn the art of breathing to recover from trauma
- For Veterans: Project Welcome Home Troops
- For Civilians: Art of Living
- How "looking out for #1" can actually be harmful to you
- Why workplaces are incorporating compassion training
Direct download: Emma_Seppala_Final.mp3
-- posted at: 9:26pm EDT
Tue, 31 January 2017
This week we talk to Srini Rao about being unmistakable
Srini Rao is the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast. He has written multiple books including the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Art of Being Unmistakable; and his latest book: Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best
He is the creator of the 60-person conference called the Instigator Experience; He has an economics degree from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
In This Interview, Srini Rao and I Discuss...
- His book, Unmistakable: Why Only is Better than Best
- That the process holds so much joy and that there really is no moment of arrival
- How doing the work itself is the reward and the importance of being present
- The temptation of trying to copy something that works and expect the same result
- The three layers under which everyone's unmistakable nature lies
- Stories, Labels, and Masks
- The story of I have enough and the story of I don't have enough
- That labels limit our capacity
- The importance of constructing environments
- That 96% of personal development projects fail
- Just because it's a best practice doesn't mean it's best for you
- That life is basically just one giant experiment
- The idea of being ready and how it gets in our way
- How crucial it is to commit to the process rather than the outcome
- The insidious nature of validation
- Our warped perception of longevity
Direct download: Srinivas_Rao_Final_V2.mp3
-- posted at: 10:50pm EDT
Sat, 28 January 2017
The Middle Way
One of the wisest teachings I have found is the middle way. Both Aristotle and the Buddha taught it. The Middle Way has been used as a wisdom tool in many traditions.
Which Wolf are You Feeding
Which Wolf Will You Feed
It also often features different animals, mainly two dogs.
Direct download: Mini_Episode-_The_Middle_Way_1-001.mp3
-- posted at: 7:58pm EDT
Tue, 24 January 2017
This week we talk to Greg Marcus about the spiritual practice of Mussar
Greg Marcus has a BA in Biology from Cornell University, and earned his Ph.D. in biology from MIT. He worked for ten years as a marketer in the Silicon Valley genomics industry, after which he became a stay-at-home dad, writer, life balance coach, and biotech consultant. Greg’s first book, Busting Your Corporate Idol: Self-Help for the Chronically Overworked, is a five star Amazon best seller. His latest book is called The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar
In This Interview, Greg Marcus and I Discuss...
- The One You Feed parable
- His book, The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar
- Mussar: A Thousand Year Old Hebrew Spiritual Practice
- Soul Traits
- That you can be too truthful and it can be counter productive
- That being untruthful to spare yourself embarrassment is not ok
- That being untruthful to spare someone else's feelings can be ok
- And the intention is the most important determiner of whether or not to tell the truth
- Choice points
- The evil inclination and the good inclination
- Mussar helps us by opening the space between "the match and the fuse"
- That we all have free will but it's not always accessible to us
- What qualifies as an act of kindness
- Mussar = "Extreme Spiritual Fitness"
- Morning Mantra, Daily observations and practices, Evening journaling
- Mussar helps you specialize and deepen your knowledge and practice of the Soul Traits
- The four assumptions of Mussar:
- We all have a divine spark that is occluded by our baggage
- We all have the same Soul Traits but we have different amounts of each
- We have a conflict between the good inclination and the evil inclination
- We all have free will and it's not always accessible to us
- That patience is the cure for helplessness
- Mussar: repairing the Soul Traits within us and how it can help the world
Direct download: Greg_Marcus_Final.mp3
-- posted at: 9:50pm EDT
Tue, 17 January 2017
This week we talk to Brian Tom O'Connor
Brian Tom O’Connor is an actor, theatre director, cabaret performer, and formerly depressed guy who stumbled onto the source of joy and happiness in the background of all experience.
In This Interview, Brian Tom O'Connor and I Discuss...
- The One You Feed parable
- His new book, Awareness Games: Playing with Your Mind to Create Joy
- Real reality vs Virtual reality
- Why games are a more effective approach than questions to exploring awareness
- The fact that you don't have to believe anything to play a game
- That trying to reproduce an experience isn't doable
- That trying to get rid of an unpleasant feeling isn't doable
- That the mind is an excellent servant but a poor master
- The power of noticing "the whiteboard itself" rather than what's written on it
- The three basic questions: What's in awareness now? What is awareness? Who/what is aware?
- The Future Fishing game
- The Past Catching game
- The game, Slippery Mind
- That awareness games can be a good break from a serious meditation practice
- The benefit of allowing emotions to flow through you
- The game, Include Include Include
Direct download: Brian_OConner_Final.mp3
-- posted at: 10:01pm EDT
Tue, 10 January 2017
Please Support The Show With a Donation
This week we talk to Emily Esfahani Smith
Emily Esfahani Smith is the author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters
She graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a master of applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
She writes about psychology, culture, and relationships. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times,Time, The Atlantic, and other publications. Emily is also a columnist for The New Criterion, as well as an editor at the Stanford University's Hoover Institution,
In This Interview, Emily Esfahani Smith and I Discuss...
- The One You Feed parable
- Her new book: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters
- The difference between happiness and meaning
- That the defining feature of a meaningful life is connecting and contributing to something that lies beyond the self
- The three criteria of a meaningful life: feeling that one's life is significant in some way, feeling that one's life is driven by a sense of purpose and feeling that one's life is coherent
- That human beings are meaning-seeking creatures
- That there's more to life than feeling happy
- That our current culture doesn't emphasize meaning and purpose
- Victor Frankel's important work related to the role of meaning in our lives
- The role of meaning when facing adversity
- That responsibility and duty are wellsprings of meaning
- That the wellsprings of meaning are all around us
- The four pillars of a meaningful life: Belonging, Purpose, Storytelling, and Transcendence
- The wisdom in what George Eliot has to say about the people that keep the world going in small yet indispensable ways: that the goodness of the world is dependent on their unhistoric acts
- What kind of relationships lead to a sense of belonging
- That purpose can come in all shapes and sizes
- That reflecting on the story of your life can lead to a greater sense of meaning in your life
- The two different types of storytelling
- That transcendent experiences are crucial to having a greater sense of meaning in life
- The good news about what's happening to us as a species
Direct download: EmilyEsfahaniSmithFinal.mp3
-- posted at: 4:48pm EDT
Tue, 3 January 2017
This week we talk to Koshin Paley Ellison
Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, cofounded the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which delivers contemplative approaches to care through education, direct service, and meditation practice.
Koshin is the co-editor of Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care . He received his clinical training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association. He began is formal Zen training in 1987. He is a senior Zen monk, Soto Zen teacher, ACPE supervisor, and Jungian psychotherapist.
In This Interview, Koshin Paley Ellison and I Discuss...
- The One You Feed parable
- His new book: Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End of Life Care
- The influence of his grandmother on his life and his work
- The story that changed his life forever
- That to truly love someone means to love all of the parts of them, even the ones you don't understand or like
- The importance of asking "where am I contracting away from things around me?"
- How we get into trouble because of our aversion
- The power of asking "I'm so curious about why you are angry?"
- Learning how to feel the feeling without becoming the feeling
- How his job is not to change people but to be with people
- That it's difficult for someone to move until their cry has been fully heard and received
- The healing connection with other people
- That dying people reflect on how well they loved and who loved them in their lives
- The recipe of resiliency: Including ourselves in how we care, the importance of community and having a contemplative practice with a group
- The relationship between having a contemplative practice and caring for the dying
- Learning how to give and receive freely = generosity
- To show up with beginners mind, to bear witness and identifying the loving action are the three important teachings for service
- Operationalized meditation
Direct download: Koshin_Paley_Ellison.mp3
-- posted at: 9:11pm EDT
Mon, 2 January 2017
This week we talk to Dr. Rick Hanson about hardwiring happiness into our brain
Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence as well as Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom and Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time.
He is the Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and an Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he's been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.
An authority on self-directed neuroplasticity, Dr. Hanson's work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, CBC, Fox Business, Consumer Reports Health, U.S. News and World Report, and O Magazine, and his articles have appeared in Tricycle Magazine, Insight Journal, and Inquiring Mind.
In This Interview Rick and I Discuss...
- The One You Feed parable.
- His latest book: Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence.
- That feeding the good wolf is a daily habit.
- How it's our responsibility to feed our good wolf- no one can do it for us.
- How frequently our brain changes.
- Experience-dependent neuroplasticity.
- That our brains are like velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good.
- Deciding what we cultivate and what do you restrain.
- The human tendency to overlearn from our bad experiences and under learn from our good ones.
- Learning to "install" our beneficial experiences.
- His practice of "taking in the good".
- The difference between positive thinking and taking in the good.
- The benefits of realistic thinking over positive thinking.
- Moving positive memories into longer term memory.
- How neurons that fire together wire together.
- Ways to deepen our experiences: Duration, Intensity, Multimodality, Novelty and Salience.
- The fundamental neuropsychology of learning,
- Taking on the good in four words: Have it, Enjoy It.
- How self hate and harshness are not motivating in the long term.
- Being numb from the neck down.
- The three-step way to working with negative emotions.
- The analogy of a garden for how we tend to our minds: Be with the Garden, Pull the Weeds, Plan Flowers.
Direct download: Rick_Hanson_2.mp3
-- posted at: 9:30pm EDT