Show cover of Deep Transformation

Deep Transformation

Deep Transformation offers dialogues with cutting-edge thinkers, artists, contemplatives, and activists who combine big-picture, integrative perspectives with profound, contemplative depths. With these remarkable people, we explore the great questions of our time, such as how best to live, and how best to heal, learn, create, and contribute in our era of unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Visit our website at https://deeptransformation.io/ to learn more.

Tracks

Jonathan Gustin (Part 2) – Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis
Ep. 126 (Part 2 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries. This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.“The metacrisis is non-separate from meditation, from spiritual awakening, from your soul purpose.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2Vision questing, praying for guidance, being the open space where insight can enter: “Show me the path that my people can live” (00:52)The benefits of outdoor meditation: “Throughout the universe, one body revealed” (02:58)Nonduality and forest activism (07:40)Can we be responsive to the suffering of the whole, wherever it may be? (09:59)Skillful ideals are pointers, not destinations: it’s all a journey (10:39)Developing collectively to where everything is sacred again (14:36)The consequences of the delusion of separation awaken you to wholeness: being wholeness, expressing wholeness (17:15)The shadow of nonduality: responsibility, the soul piece, activism (20:02)Why are nondual teachers not talking about the metacrisis? (24:40)Traditional spiritual teachers were practicing on deeply local levels; we are now living in a world of global crises, all interrelated, all creating exponential growth of more crises (31:45)How can we talk about the metacrisis? How can we not talk about the metacrisis? How comfortable do we need to allow people to be? (35:52)The beauty of the word “both”: can we hold two people, two perspectives, opposite aspirations at the same time? (39:19)Skillful communication: listen, ask people to explain their positions, do these conversations as a spiritual practice (41:26)Practicing karma yoga: using our work and relationships—our life—as the vehicle of awakening (43:54)It’s going to take every mature person possible to power us out of our adolescent stage (46:38)Resources & References – Part 2Wallace Black Elk, Native American shamanic teacher, 
51:17 4/18/24
Jonathan Gustin (Part 1) - Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis
Ep. 125 (Part 1 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries. This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.“When we wake up, we wake up to a love and a responsibility for all things.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing meditation teacher, activist, nondual student/teacher, and founder of the Purpose Guides Institute & the Green Sangha organization, Jonathan Gustin (00:51)What inspired Jonathan to adopt climate change as a spiritual practice: Jonathan’s vision of whole person midwifery (02:20)A passion for bringing spiritual practice and activism together (04:20)How can the metacrisis inform nonduality? How can nonduality inform the metacrisis? (05:27)Why does a nondual experience not effect more change in people? (07:43)Nonduality defined: “not two;” the difference between separate and individual, and the underlying unity of reality (09:42)The responsibility aspect: expanding our circle of care, the realization that we are responsible to life brings us to our purpose (12:50) Marrying liberation (moksha) and service (dharma) into one: liberation/service (15:03)Purpose discovery falls between self-actualization and self-transcendence (17:04)Native American nondual wisdom and Jonathan’s daily practice (19:45)“What is this?” Seung Sahn and Kalu Rinpoche (23:16)For the first time in history we can access all the world’s wisdom: YouTube is the new Alexandria (24:12)Privilege, the top 1%, and the option of service (26:11)Handling the overwhelm of the world’s suffering (29:10)Awakening soul-level purpose and mythopoetic identity (31:09)Understanding and implementing whole person midwifery: Who are you at a soul level? Who are your people? What are you good at? (34:27)“Find the place where your deepest gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” – Frederick Buechner (37:51)Resources...
44:04 4/11/24
Dr. Nikki Mirghafori – Bringing Ethics and Wisdom to AI: Navigating the Ever Growing Potentials & Challenges of Artificial Intelligence
Ep. 124 | In this engaging, informative, and thought provoking conversation, artificial intelligence expert Dr. Nikki Mirghafori gives us a clear picture of where AI technology stands at this point and enlightens us as to its gifts, its potential, and its dangers. Nikki, who is also an internationally acclaimed Buddhist meditation teacher, is passionate about helping to bring equanimity to the whole issue of AI and emphasizes that the fear mongering going on around it is doing all of us a real disservice. She opens our eyes to the enormous potential of AI as applied to global issues such as cleaning up the environment, ending hunger, providing clean water, improving methods of food production—even acting as a wise mentor in supporting people to be their best selves. Nikki tells us that ethical use of AI depends on both designers and users, and that we are not powerless in the way things unfold. How can AI systems be benevolent and supportive and bring out the best in us? Will we be able to maintain our values and ethics as our use of AI continues to expand? If our perception of AI was sort of murky or limited before, this conversation effectively brings us to a much more informed understanding. Nikki explains everything from where we have been exposed to AI without knowing it, the important distinction between weak/narrow AI and strong/general AI (AGI), personal choice engineering, our natural tendency to anthropomorphize AI, and the difference between benevolent AI and compassionate AI. Nikki is a superb teacher and a pleasure to listen to; this conversation is invaluable in its timeliness and its ability to bring us all up to speed on AI. Recorded January 29, 2024.“There’s so much good that can come from this technology… the list is endless how much AI technology can be helpful.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time StampsIntroducing AI research scientist and inventor & gifted meditation teacher and practitioner, Dr. Nikki Mirghafori (01:13)What exactly is AI? (03:07)The important distinction between weak or narrow AI and strong or general AI (AGI) (05:11)AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) which is self-aware and conscious is still only theoretical: fear mongering around AGI is really a disservice to us (06:46)Where have people been exposed to AI without even knowing it? (10:28) The gifts that AI technology can bring are endless (13:33)The most exciting AI applications for Nikki: finding creative ways to clean up the environment, stop hunger, provide clean water, produce our food, and be a mentor in supporting people to be their best selves (15:07)Pattern recognition: taking input patterns and producing output patterns is the heart/brain of AI (17:35)How can AI help us to become wiser and more compassionate? The ethics of AI depend on both designer and user (20:14)Creating AI in our image and how our developmental level fits in—it’s in the data that the AI system is fed (28:16)Personal choice engineering (32:11) Kids have become ruder interacting with chatbots like Siri & Alexa: how can we keep our humanity alive and be true to our ethics as we interact with AI? (34:40)Resisting temptation and avoiding sliding down the slippery ethical slope (36:50)What is the mystery of being human?...
60:36 4/4/24
Joseph Goldstein (Part 3) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life
Ep. 123 (Part 3 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.“Nirvana is like the peace that comes when the refrigerator stops humming.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 3An ever-deepening understanding of refuge: for Joseph, refuge feels like being held (00:56)In mindfulness, unwholesome states of mind no longer act as distorting filters—they are wholly accepted (04:12)The effects of recognizing aversion and resistance to your experience (07:03)Liberation is impossible as long as there is attachment to the pleasant, aversion to the unpleasant (08:02)Nirvana is like the peace that comes when the refrigerator stops humming; it also describes the mind free of defilements (10:09)What is unique about the experience of nirvana? What gives it the transformative power to uproot defilements? (15:17)Does the path ever end? Who knows! (19:29)It’s the quality of your interest that is key to staying on the spiritual path: “If you want to understand your mind, sit down and observe it” (22:55)Joseph: “The fact that liberation is inevitable gives me a lot of joy.” (25:18)Reflections on how Buddhist teachings apply to the crises of today: the balance of equanimity and compassion make effective response possible (27:39)Resources & References – Part 3Dogen, founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan in the 13th centuryA.H. Almaas, founder of The Diamond Approach, see also Deep Transformation episode #43, 
37:04 3/28/24
Joseph Goldstein (Part 2) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life
Ep. 122 (Part 2 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.“The forward edge has more to do with the attitude of exploration rather than any particular thing.“(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2The mysterious arising of compassion and what does this say about the nature of reality? (00:52)Compassion is the manifestation of emptiness; responsiveness is the activity of emptiness (03:00)Understanding bodhicitta (05:47)The near enemy of compassion is sorrow, because in sorrow is aversion (09:57)Moving out of sorrow to compassionate response transfigures sorrow into an uplifting energy: moving from self to non-self (13:52) How unwholesome mind patterns keep us bound, and uprooting the first 3 fetters/defilements in the 1st stage of enlightenment (17:36)Desire and aversion are uprooted at the third stage of enlightenment but conceit, or some manifestation of “I am-ing,” remains (19:47)The experience of the zero center: when we know unmistakably that self is a construct—still there are still deeply conditioned habits of mind, one of which is the habit pattern “I am” (21:38)The power of recognizing the particular defilement that triggers our suffering (23:50)Don’t conflate clear perception, recognition, with mindfulness—recognizing fear is different from accepting fear (29:59)Resources & References – Part 2Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche & Lama Surya Das, Natural Great Perfection*Ram Dass & Paul Gorman, How Can I Help*
39:00 3/21/24
Joseph Goldstein (Part 1) - Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life
Ep. 121 (Part 1 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.“The fact that liberation is inevitable gives me a lot of joy.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing Joseph Goldstein, renowned Buddhist meditation teacher, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, and author of many spiritual books (01:05)What’s on the edge for Joseph now? The edge is always about clinging, and as what you cling to changes, the edge changes (03:45)Over time, the understanding of mindfulness becomes more and more refined (04:51)Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment: lightening up (08:53)Don’t waste your suffering! Relate to it with interest (10:58)The ultimate reframe: “I” becomes “no-I” (13:44)How walking meditation can open us to a vivid experience of selflessness (15:06)Our lives are lived in relationship to our overlay on experience, going to the direct experience is itself healing and transformative (18:56)The conceptual level lends some sense of permanence but on the level of direct experience, everything changes, nothing is permanent (20:07)Clinging to things that are impermanent gives you rope burn (21:44)Awakening is always gradual…until it’s sudden: the diminishment of defilements and the uprooting of defilements (22:55)Sudden awakening, gradual cultivation, and the necessity to integrate an awakening experience (26:57)There are 4 stages of enlightenment because we are not able to open to the magnitude of suffering all at once; we have gone beyond belief in self, but there is still desire, aversion, conceit (31:53)Practice is a continual deepening (34:35)Resources & References – Part 1Joseph Goldstein, co-founder 
39:00 3/14/24
Jane Hirshfield (Part 2) – Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions
Ep. 120 (Part 2 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.“I don’t want a model of spirituality that excludes other forms of connection. Inclusion is the only path that makes sense.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2How can we become a magnet for creative imagination? (00:49) Artist retreats are the monastery of creativity (03:51)How Jane was drawn towards poetry, haiku, and Buddhist understanding early on (07:56)In 3-year retreat at Tassajara, writing wasn’t permitted, and how poetry returned after the monastic years (12:40)Both poetry and Zen are paths that insist you attend to this world fully (14:12)Women poets throughout history and the story of Enheduanna, earliest known poet (18:07)Protofeminist movement in the Middle Ages: the Beguines (25:08)Reading of Mechthild of Magdeburg’s poem, and how we carry a molecule of divine remembrance with us (26:56)Spiritual poems of male and female mystics, are they different? (30:12)Poems of the sacred rather than poems of suffering: dark nights of the soul come after moments of awakening as much as before (33:19)Spiritual poems often use the language of eros, and how inclusion of all forms of connection is the only path that makes sense (35:01) Women have found their voice…yet women have
49:12 3/7/24
Jane Hirshfield (Part 1) - Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions
Ep. 119 (Part 1 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.“Nonduality is inherent in an existence experienced as a verb and not as a noun.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing award-winning poet and long-time Zen practitioner Jane Hirshfield (00:59)Jane’s recent collection of poems, The Asking, tracks the story of her evolution as a poet (02:33)How the title The Asking came about: a poem is an exploration of a question that can’t be answered (04:50)What is poetry? Poems are vessels of discovery that are retrievable; they provide you with a record of having worked through the questions (08:54)Sacred questions, Zen practice, and how Jane’s questions eventually became one: “How can I serve?” (11:55)Remembering we are all interconnected—this is not a solitary venture (16:16)Jane’s reading of “Today, When I Could Do Nothing,” written the first day of the COVID stay-at-home mandate (18:52) Entering the zone of poetry you become more open: when you ask a question, you start hearing answers everywhere (24:41)How does the invisible become visible? Poetry finds a way (26:11)If we could understand existence as verbs rather than nouns, it would change everything (27:19)Opening to poetry, synchronicities show up everywhere, things...
61:44 2/29/24
Keeping the Soul of Ukraine Alive: Maintaining Personal & National Ideals while Under Fire in Ukraine, with Kateryna Yasko & Vytautas Bučiūnas
Ep. 118 | Psychologist and non-violent communications trainer Kateryna Yasko and her husband, Vytautas Bučiūnas, Integral Master Coach and leadership development expert, relate what it’s like to live in war-torn Ukraine, two years since the Russian invasion began. They share why they chose to return to Kyiv from the safe haven of Lithuania, and describe a “special form of happiness” that occurs when the fragility and beauty of life is brought to the fore, as Russian missiles and drones continue to target civilians and cultural landmarks. It is an existential battle being fought for Ukraine, and Kateryna & Vytas are deeply aware of the importance of keeping the soul of Ukraine alive, the cultural code, the foundation of any democratic nation’s identity. Among other things, Kateryna works with theater groups to stage productions that help make meaning of what Ukrainians are going through, help with processing PTSD, and keep cultural expression alive.This poignant conversation reveals what extraordinary courage human beings are capable of when put to the test: to protect loved ones, country, and the values of truth, justice, freedom, and democracy. Kateryna and Vytas emphasize that love is not enough to protect our innate rights and that pacifism is not an option in this case. They provide us with a glimpse into personal family life in modern wartime, a psychological portrait of where Ukrainians are at, a request for help, and a wake up call for all to understand that democracy around the world is not a given and that there are times, like this, when we need to stand up and fight for it. Recorded January 23, 2024.“We cannot leave this war to our children.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time StampsIntroducing Ukrainian psychologist Kateryna Yasko and integral leadership development expert Vytautas Bučiūnas, who have returned to live in Kyiv despite the ongoing war with Russia (01:13)What is it like living in a country at war? The bombing of civilian buildings all over Ukraine happens according to schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays & holidays (03:21)The interior personal dimensions: stress, fear, anger, but also a very meaningful time, a special form of happiness with life so fragile (06:18)Why Kateryna & Vytas have chosen to return to Kyiv, rather than staying in Lithuania where it’s safe (08:51) Pacifism in this case is not an option: Putin is explicit about his intention to destroy Ukraine as a nation (10:08)Kateryna’s work with military recruiters (as a psychologist), every one of whose motivation is “We cannot leave this war to our children.” (14:33)Maintaining the cultural code, the soul of Ukraine: Kateryna works with producers & directors to support theater groups whose venues have been targeted in Russia’s attempts to destroy Ukraine culturally (16:09)How theater helps people make sense of their trauma, and the staging of Pinocchio to address how to remain humane under circumstances that evoke so much fear, anger & stress (20:08)A philosopher, PhD, and theologian friend has now become a sniper, and how Kateryna, a professional non-violent communications trainer and psychologist, realizes she too may need to become a sniper if Ukraine doesn’t receive enough support to protect itself (22:53) If...
41:21 2/22/24
Brad Reynolds (Part 3) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science
Ep. 117 (Part 3 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.“Integral thinking is really about encouraging people to be their best selves.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 3Ken’s Phase 5: Ending the solitary period and establishing the Integral Institute to apply the AQAL model in the world (00:49)Ken’s health issues multiplied in 2006 (05:19)Brad’s favorite book of Ken’s: Integral Psychology (06:37)Ken’s critique of postmodernism in his novel Boomeritis (09:05)Ken’s new book would often address the flaws in his last book (13:28)What Ken’s The Marriage of Sense and Soul intended to do: how to integrate value-free science with value-laden religion? (14:40)And how do we mitigate the clash of civilizations, the war of worldviews? (19:01)How psychology uses the scientific method to develop our interiors and help heal our fractured culture (20:52)Ken’s theory is based upon the reality of his transpersonal awareness (22:04)The need for integral leaders to permeate our institutions and establish global reconciliation—otherwise there will be a regression (23:39)History is calling on us as a collective to address the pathologies we haven’t addressed or we will lose our democracy and regress down the spectrum of consciousness (25:16)Integral is really about encouraging people to be their best selves, to be inclusive; it’s a way of securing the rights of liberty and justice (27:32)Ken’s most recent publications, The Religion of Tomorrow, A Post-Truth World, and Revolutionary Social Transformation...
41:10 2/15/24
Brad Reynolds (Part 2) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science
Ep. 116 (Part 2 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.“Reality encompasses all perspectives.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2How Phase 3 evolved: the importance of practice & the AQAL map (all quadrants, all stages, all lines, all states, all types) (00:49)No boundary awareness: the limits of the mind and how the heart becomes the driving force (04:19)Hierarchies and the great chain of being—the great nest of spirit—from matter to nature to body, mind, soul & spirit (08:33)Rescuing the interior from scientific materialism and the development of the four quadrants: interior elements of reality are just as authentic as exteriors (10:31) The importance of a stable ego and the current emphasis on growing up and showing up to avoid spiritual bypassing (13:16)Finding our way in spiritual traditions, cults, and with gurus, and Ken’s map to distinguish spiritual teachers’ legitimacy, authenticity, and authority (17:16)The timeless nature of Ken’s teachings and how they point to the evolution of humanity (26:48)In a cult (and some religious traditions) we are looking for the leader to play our parent, submerging our autonomy (31:15)We are largely at an adolescent stage of development; the difference between adolescent and mature stages of development (33:03)Crucial distinctions between problematic spiritual groups and beneficial spiritual groups (35:49)Roger’s summary of Ken’s 4 phases, with phase 5 still to come (37:35)Resources & References – Part 2Ken Wilber, 
39:56 2/8/24
Brad Reynolds (Part 1) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science
Ep. 115 (Part 1 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.“Ken’s theory is based upon the reality of his transpersonal awareness—in other words, it’s based upon practice.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing author Brad Reynolds, who has synthesized Ken Wilber’s life work in his book Embracing Reality (01:01)What led to getting involved with Ken Wilber? How Ken treated the subject of human evolution with extraordinary depth to include stages of development and the contributions of mystical traditions (03:16)Ken’s teachings are timeless partly because he encourages people to take up spiritual practice—something that will always be very important (10:57) What are Ken’s main contributions? Evolution and development of consciousness using a spectrum model (12:55)Using psychedelics as an entheogen in the 70s: trying to understand the manifold secrets of spirituality (13:32)Ken’s pre-trans fallacy is an excellent critique of scientific materialism, modernity & postmodernity, exploring the development of mysticism and having it transcend and include rational, magical & mythical thinking (17:57)The beauty of using the spectrum model (21:56)How our center of gravity influences us and the attractor aspect of higher levels of development that awaken us to new possibilities (23:28)Ken’s Phase 1: The spectrum of consciousness, how different psychologies and contemplative traditions address different levels of the spectrum (25:01)Ken’s Phase 2: The evolution revolution and Ken’s satori experience that the entire spectrum itself is grounded in divine consciousness...
42:18 2/1/24
Marianne Williamson - A Presidential Candidate Speaks from the Heart: The Challenge of Bringing Soul & Integrity to American Politics and the 2024 Election
Ep. 114 | Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson is astonishing in her openness, authenticity, and candor in this moving conversation that enlightens on a spiritual level as well as a political one. First, we learn why she is running for president, and how she thinks she can help America. As Marianne explains it, her talent lies in translating what is happening so people can grasp the full picture. “Everybody sees it,” she says, talking about our money-driven culture and corrupt political system, “but not everybody can put the pieces together.” She adds that if people were to fully understand what is going on, it would create a space for transformation to occur. Marianne’s remarkable ability to consider all sides of an issue and look beyond symptoms to the root cause of some of our greatest problems is also evident, from calling on liberals to assume their share of responsibility for allowing this country to decline morally in the way that it has to her understanding of the political and psychological forces driving the Israel-Hamas war.More than a political talk, Marianne reveals a psychological and spiritual portrait of the United States, referencing the brilliant vision of our founding fathers, Martin Luther King’s goal of Beloved Community, and telling a stirring story of the way Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration reflects the high morality of the populace at that time. On a personal level, Marianne’s uncompromising path towards growth and transformation is both clear and inspiring—she talks about the importance of taking 100% responsibility for one’s experience, about practicing what you preach, living a life of service, and the reality of love. The only thing that is missing from any situation, Marianne tells us, is what we can do about it. Recorded January 9, 2024.“We don’t need just another technocrat or political car mechanic…we’re on the wrong road.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time StampsIntroducing bestselling author and 2024 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson (01:10)On the importance of practicing what you preach, living a life of service (02:06) We’re living in a very mean-spirited time: people smear, lie, and ruin others very casually (03:50)The division now is more between decent and indecent than left and right (04:55)The effects of social media and the argument Trump created of “why not?” Now everything is a mud bath (06:18)The commodification of our culture: everybody sees it (07:06)Marianne is running for president because she can translate what’s happening to people, thereby creating a space where things can actually transform (07:58)The lack of values we need to concern ourselves with is neoliberalism—by our own passive permission, we are on some level acquiescing, making way for demagogues (10:17)We made a businessman (Trump) a god and now we see the consequences (13:44)The American people are not the problem (15:22)Take 100% responsibility for your experience or you won’t be able to change it (16:45)Running for president, waking up to the ugliest things you can imagine, has been Marianne’s greatest spiritual crucible: what an opportunity to forgive herself and others (18:31)How Marianne addresses symptoms and problems but also their...
43:50 1/25/24
Bruce Alderman (Part 2) – Integrating Spiritual Practices from Different Paths, Deepening Our Explorations of Reality, and Developing Leaders for a World at Risk
Ep. 113 (Part 2 of 2) | Bruce Alderman, poet, mystic, and spiritual explorer, is also an integral scholar and pioneer of the emerging field of metatheory, looking at how to put our disparate fields of information—spiritual, psychological, philosophical, environmental, scientific—together and integrate them into a useful whole. Here Bruce tells the tale of how he was drawn into an experiential exploration of different worldviews, how he came to find the value in navigating different spiritual traditions, and how he discovered how to integrate mystical experiences, Asian spiritual teachings, and Western education, science, and psychology. Bruce’s unique understanding of interreligious relationships and their potential for meeting current challenges informs his call to the global community of spiritual practitioners to dialogue, critique, deeply listen, and reap the benefits of reflecting back to the other a view that takes them deeper in their understanding of their own position. Bruce also shares a brilliant vision of leadership training practices for developing the skills leaders will need to navigate the unfolding global crises of our time. This program will take form in the upcoming Blue Sky Leaders program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.Bruce is beautifully eloquent on many levels, sharing insights on intensifying our intimate experience of Being, trusting our dialogue with Being to bear fruit, and finding coherence while holding multiple paths. Bruce describes his turn towards scholarship and academia as “dancing on the subtle plane,” and thinking as one spiritual practice among many—a practice of union. There are so many gems of wisdom here, relayed in Bruce’s gently humorous, humble, and erudite manner. Bruce also inspires on how each of us can become a change agent simply by being integrous with who we are. Recorded December 6, 2023.“We can each become change agents just by being integrous with who we are.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2The wild knot as symbol for a human being or culture: we are threads of a relationship that don’t have a final terminus (00:53)The challenges of our time and the need for entangled deep listening (01:59)A leadership training program that includes ongoing contemplative inquiry & practice, and also looks at cultural, political, ecological & spiritual dynamics and new cosmologies (02:26)Hyperobjects: you can’t see climate change, economic collapse, or evolution from a local point of view—it demands collective vision to perceive and apprehend it (04:13) Bruce’s vision for leadership development and the Blue Sky Leaders program empower people to serve in the great issues of our time (06:13)The bodhisattva ideal is both empowering and self-canceling (10:07)The metaphor of light, salt, and leaven for anyone wanting to be a change agent and serve the flourishing of life (13:23)Krishnamurti’s idea of “living in learning” and a program that is “deliberately developmental” (16:42)What are the specific practices essential for cultivating leaders to navigate the crises that are unfolding? (22:00)We evolved to be optimally functional on a much smaller level—without proper grounding, facing world problems can cause existential crisis (26:13) Holding a loving center, living and learning together...
56:13 1/18/24
Bruce Alderman (Part 1) – Integrating Spiritual Practices from Different Paths, Deepening Our Explorations of Reality, and Developing Leaders for a World at Risk
Ep. 112 (Part 1 of 2) | Bruce Alderman, poet, mystic, and spiritual explorer, is also an integral scholar and pioneer of the emerging field of metatheory, looking at how to put our disparate fields of information—spiritual, psychological, philosophical, environmental, scientific—together and integrate them into a useful whole. Here Bruce tells the tale of how he was drawn into an experiential exploration of different worldviews, how he came to find the value in navigating different spiritual traditions, and how he discovered how to integrate mystical experiences, Asian spiritual teachings, and Western education, science, and psychology. Bruce’s unique understanding of interreligious relationships and their potential for meeting current challenges informs his call to the global community of spiritual practitioners to dialogue, critique, deeply listen, and reap the benefits of reflecting back to the other a view that takes them deeper in their understanding of their own position. Bruce also shares a brilliant vision of leadership training practices for developing the skills leaders will need to navigate the unfolding global crises of our time. This program will take form in the upcoming Blue Sky Leaders program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.Bruce is beautifully eloquent on many levels, sharing insights on intensifying our intimate experience of Being, trusting our dialogue with Being to bear fruit, and finding coherence while holding multiple paths. Bruce describes his turn towards scholarship and academia as “dancing on the subtle plane,” and thinking as one spiritual practice among many—a practice of union. There are so many gems of wisdom here, relayed in Bruce’s gently humorous, humble, and erudite manner. Bruce also inspires on how each of us can become a change agent simply by being integrous with who we are. Recorded December 6, 2023.“We of the global community of spiritual practitioners owe it to each other to dialogue, critique, and deeply listen.“(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing spiritual pioneer, polymath, and master of metatheory, Bruce Alderman (01:38)How Bruce was drawn into an experiential exploration of different worldviews (04:06)Bruce’s first mystical experiences (07:17)Traveling in Asia, studying music & meditation, not wanting to have to choose one tradition to the exclusion of others (08:37)How to integrate mystical desert experiences, Asian spiritual teachings, and Western education, science, psychology? (11:16)Finding the value in navigating different spiritual traditions and coming face to face with the contradictions between them (14:45)Practicing more than one path at once can cause anguish, incoherence, and also has distinct benefits, and how some traditions can hold the one and the many at the same time (19:55)As A. H. Almaas also came to, the recognition of co-ultimacy of multiple ultimates (22:20)Opening oneself to as much as one can: psyche and existence are self-awakening (23:56) Hungry for the stories and experiences of humankind and all of their engagements with Being (25:59)The concept of generative enclosure: that consciousness is embedded in the environment and embodied in the body—our experience of the world is mediated by our own context (29:47)Spiritual practice, focusing...
55:34 1/11/24
Colette Baron-Reid & Dr. Bob Weathers (Part 2) – Humanizing Addiction, Sustaining Long-Term Recovery: Healing Effects of Trauma, Stigma & Shame, and Forging Lives of Connection, Service & Gratitude
Ep. 111 (Part 2 of 2) | Colette Baron-Reid and Dr. Bob Weathers shine a bright light on the big picture state of addiction in our fragmented culture today—how people have become addicted to disconnection, dissociation, and identifying as victims in addition to substance use and other more traditional addictions—as well as sharing the essential elements and practices that have made their sustained long-term recovery possible. Dr. Bob explains that the first step in addressing addiction is to humanize the conversation around it and why. Our tendency toward addiction is universal, embedded in human nature itself, for one. And research shows that people who have suffered childhood trauma are five to ten times more susceptible to becoming addicts—their stress threshold five to ten times lower than other people’s, their stress hormones five to ten times higher. Studies also show that addiction is the most highly stigmatized mental disorder of all. It is humbling to realize what addicts are up against, calling us to compassion, understanding, and action.Both Colette and Bob are solidly grounded in long-term sobriety and deeply dedicated to helping others out of their suffering. Top down, intellectual information is clearly not adequate to sustain recovery—so what is? Spiritual connection, social connection, shadow work, healing shame, surrendering. As Colette says, “In recovery, you discover there is something greater than yourself, your pain, your story, and your limitations—this is the solace.” There comes a turning point when it stops being all about us, and the desire to serve arises. With service comes the all-important experience of belonging. As Bob relates, “It’s not just about not drugging or drinking—I want a vital life.” And what is missing on a global, universal level? Again, connection and community. Recorded August 28, 2023. “Gratitude is the abracadabra that creates our reality. Forgiveness is essential too.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2Trauma feeds directly into addiction: studies show childhood trauma victims are 5 to 10 times more at risk for addiction (00:59)Shadow work is absolutely required to sustain sobriety (05:07)Dealing with the shame element of shadow (06:58)Surrendering, letting go, opening up to other individuals and to your higher power (09:40)Living in 24-hour compartments (13:52)The effects of COVID on addiction: living in uncertainty and disconnection and how fear isolates us (15:07)Ideology addiction (20:40)The spiritual aspect of recovery (22:37)Colette’s practices today: conscious connection with a higher power, therapy, EMDR, cultivating humor, and more (25:39)  Bob’s recovery practice and how it evolved (30:09)The bedrock of forgiveness practice and gratitude practice (31:29)Service and love: you matter (37:23)Resources & References – Part 2CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experience studies John Bradshaw, Healing the Shame that Binds...
41:50 1/4/24
Colette Baron-Reid & Dr. Bob Weathers (Part 1) – Humanizing Addiction, Sustaining Long-Term Recovery: Healing Effects of Trauma, Stigma & Shame, and Forging Lives of Connection, Service & Gratitude
Ep. 110 (Part 1 of 2) | Colette Baron-Reid and Dr. Bob Weathers shine a bright light on the big picture state of addiction in our fragmented culture today—how people have become addicted to disconnection, dissociation, and identifying as victims in addition to substance use and other more traditional addictions—as well as sharing the essential elements and practices that have made their sustained long-term recovery possible. Dr. Bob explains that the first step in addressing addiction is to humanize the conversation around it and why. Our tendency toward addiction is universal, embedded in human nature itself, for one. And research shows that people who have suffered childhood trauma are five to ten times more susceptible to becoming addicts—their stress threshold five to ten times lower than other people’s, their stress hormones five to ten times higher. Studies also show that addiction is the most highly stigmatized mental disorder of all. It is humbling to realize what addicts are up against, calling us to compassion, understanding, and action.Both Colette and Bob are solidly grounded in long-term sobriety and deeply dedicated to helping others out of their suffering. Top down, intellectual information is clearly not adequate to sustain recovery—so what is? Spiritual connection, social connection, shadow work, healing shame, surrendering. As Colette says, “In recovery, you discover there is something greater than yourself, your pain, your story, and your limitations—this is the solace.” There comes a turning point when it stops being all about us, and the desire to serve arises. With service comes the all-important experience of belonging. As Bob relates, “It’s not just about not drugging or drinking—I want a vital life.” And what is missing on a global, universal level? Again, connection and community. Recorded August 28, 2023.“Addiction means to be enslaved.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing Oracle expert, personal transformation thought leader, and bestselling author Colette Baron-Reid; and recovery coach, addiction educator, author & speaker, Dr. Bob Weathers (01:04)The changing face of addiction with technology and the internet: the addiction to disconnection, dissociation, even the addiction to identify as traumatized, as a victim (04:06)Colette’s entire reason for being clean & sober: conscious contact to a higher power (05:47)Fragmentation: addiction used to be more social, but now we are becoming more and more fragmented as we become increasingly disconnected (06:19)Victimology and the universal nature of addiction (07:51)Addiction is the most stigmatized of all disorders and 46.3 million Americans over 12 years old have been identified as substance use addicted (09:18) Addiction means to be enslaved: the first step is to humanize the conversation about it (10:47)Normality is looking more and more like developmental arrest: we’re all fearful, addicted, and so much less than we could be (12:20)In recovery you discover there is something greater than yourself, your pain, your story, and your limitations—this is the solace (14:13)What are we here to recover? Our original face before we were born (15:28)The importance of practice: Roger’s therapeutic life changes (TLCs) and John’s work on Integral Recovery...
40:37 12/28/23
James Finley (Part 2) – Sacred Psychotherapy: Bringing Depth and Spirit to Healing, Suffering, and Trauma
Ep. 109 (Part 2 of 2) | Dr. James Finley, clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, scholar, poet, and author of the powerful memoir, The Healing Path, has an extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding about trauma and the alchemical effects of adding a depth dimension to therapy. Here, he shares about his own experience of trauma and healing, the therapeutic effects of introducing the depth dimension to his clients, the dynamics of anger and forgiveness, the path of longing, and how love gives itself away in the preciousness of each moment, rendering ordinary life sacred. James’ profound understanding of grace is unmistakable, beautiful, riveting—both from personal experience and as a student of Thomas Merton, who introduced him to the wisdom of the mystics at the Trappist monastery, Gethsemani.Practically everything James says is both a poem and a revelation, so whether you are Christian, Buddhist, or atheist, this conversation offers a therapeutic wisdom and understanding of trauma that goes way beyond the norm, as well as a transmission of infinite love, bottomless mercy. At the end, James laughs at how he is talking: “I can’t believe I’m talking like this…a traumatized kid from Akron, Ohio. It’s not coming from me; it’s flowing through me. All I’m doing is passing on what was passed on to me. So as it catches fire in you, it might pass through you into others.” Recorded August 17, 2023.“Each person I meet is an infinitely loved broken person.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2A story about the root broken place: Is there an end to love? (01:22)The bottomless abyss of love gives itself away in the preciousness of this moment, which renders it sacred (02:58) We can’t bear being unconditionally loved (04:17)The path of longing: one longs to be freed of suffering, but there is also the longing that is an echo of God’s longing for us (05:21)The “thorn in the flesh” is your teacher and reminder, and how powerlessness unites us all (07:53)The “set aside” prayer in James’ memoir The Healing Path and the recognition that we live in bottomless mystery (09:36)A deeper way to understand lies in the deep acceptance of the limits of our understanding (10:55)The first pillar of three-fold practice: finding a quiet place for a daily rendezvous with God, discursive meditation, journaling (12:01)When you ask for help, that is the prayer—the prayer from the heart (15:34)The second & third pillars of practice: a teacher/guidance and community (17:08)James’ daily meditation practice and passing on the lineage, heart to heart (20:01)What is James’ attitude toward death? (24:19)How can I learn to die of love, at the hands of love, till there’s nothing left of me but love? (28:07)Accepting death you have freedom from the tyranny of death in the midst of death (29:15)Learned helplessness can transmute into a profound capacity to surrender and merge (31:30)How God enters through the wounded place, and the parable of being broken and whole (35:01)James’ thanks and his upcoming book on the mystical depths of the Enneagram and psychological and mystical discernment...
42:43 12/21/23
James Finley (Part 1) – Sacred Psychotherapy: Bringing Depth and Spirit to Healing, Suffering, and Trauma
Ep. 108 (Part 1 of 2) | Dr. James Finley, clinical psychologist, trauma specialist, scholar, poet, and author of the powerful memoir, The Healing Path, has an extraordinary breadth and depth of understanding about trauma and the alchemical effects of adding a depth dimension to therapy. Here, he shares about his own experience of trauma and healing, the therapeutic effects of introducing the depth dimension to his clients, the dynamics of anger and forgiveness, the path of longing, and how love gives itself away in the preciousness of each moment, rendering ordinary life sacred. James’ profound understanding of grace is unmistakable, beautiful, riveting—both from personal experience and as a student of Thomas Merton, who introduced him to the wisdom of the mystics at the Trappist monastery, Gethsemani.Practically everything James says is both a poem and a revelation, so whether you are Christian, Buddhist, or atheist, this conversation offers a therapeutic wisdom and understanding of trauma that goes way beyond the norm, as well as a transmission of infinite love, bottomless mercy. At the end, James laughs at how he is talking: “I can’t believe I’m talking like this…a traumatized kid from Akron, Ohio. It’s not coming from me; it’s flowing through me. All I’m doing is passing on what was passed on to me. So as it catches fire in you, it might pass through you into others.” Recorded August 17, 2023.“In the momentum of the day’s demands, we feel we are skimming across the surface of the depths of our own lives: we are suffering from depth deprivation.” (For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing Dr. James Finley, clinical psychologist specializing in trauma, spiritual therapist, author of The Healing Path & Merton’s Palace of Nowhere (00:58)How does James bring the worlds of psychotherapy and spirituality together? (03:32)James’ experience of God responding during his traumatic childhood and how Thomas Merton introduced him to the mystics at the Trappist monastery (04:22)Teaching high school religion, writing Merton’s Palace of Nowhere about how to find our way to our true self, leading silent contemplative retreats, and becoming a clinical psychologist (07:25)Where trauma and the presence of God touch each other: into the broken places, the light shines through (08:54)There is healing without forgiveness, but there is no healing without anger (11:21)Standing in the clear mindedness of anger, you’re not completely free until you forgive (14:29) Self-hatred and how we perpetuate the violence until we find a safe place to work it through (18:14)Finding refuge in zazen, forgiving abuse at home and in the monastery, and how James found his way back into mystical Catholicism and the depth dimension (20:58)Where faith comes in to interior healing, where the alchemy happens: being carried along by mercy equals salvation (25:00)Getting past the distortions of religiosity: regrounding therapy in the depth dimension, moving back and forth from the hurting place to infinite love and mercy (26:36)What shines forth out of love or out of tragedy: being intimately overtaken by the nearness of the unexplainable (30:11)When we have just lost everything, we glimpse the infinity of mercy, and a longing is born
41:23 12/14/23
Mamphela Ramphele (Part 2) - Wired for Compassion, Self-Respect & Social Justice: Birthing South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, Becoming Who We Were Created to Be, and Finding Hope in a World
Ep. 107 (Part 2 of 2) | Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, global thought leader, author, medical doctor, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa has lived her extraordinary life guided by the knowing that every one of us is part of an inextricably linked system, and to live life as an authentic human being means assuming responsibility for oneself, others, and the whole web of life. Here, she connects the dots for us in so many ways, telling the remarkable story of how the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa was born with the realization that accepting a second-class identity was only perpetuating apartheid, internally and externally, and right away, the group became aware they needed to bring forth practical manifestations of this new consciousness. Mamphela has worked to do exactly that—bring the values of expanded consciousness into being—her whole life, first as an anti-apartheid activist and doctor, in bimonthly meetings with Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, writing books on social-economic issues in South Africa, and later, working to manifest the values of compassion, dignity, and social justice on a global level as a managing director of the World Bank, co-president of The Club of Rome, and more.When asked what hurts, Mamphela describes the terrible conditions in South Africa, which she explains could have been averted if post-apartheid leaders had chosen to act for the wellbeing of all rather than getting enmeshed in party politics. And what gives Mamphela hope? The hope she sees in the eyes of young people (and old), and the transformations already underway in small communities. As she says, “the world has lost its way…it’s all about having more rather than being more,” but Mamphela believes real change will happen in the next couple of decades, when our personal, professional, and political lives become framed by the same value system—the values of ubuntu, the traditional, indigenous wisdom values of Africa, which are not only Africa’s heritage but all of ours. Inspiring and enlightening, this conversation is a transmission from a vibrant elder who fully understands and puts into practice what it means to live an authentic, compassionate life, with courage, humor, integrity, and wisdom. Recorded November 9, 2023.“We need to recognize we are one human family: Europe, America, and MOST of the world—not Europe, America, and the rest of the world.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2We are wired to be compassionate, wired for self-respect, wired for social justice (01:40)The Global Compassion Coalition and reawakening our basic human compassion (03:44)The personal, professional, and political all have to be governed by the same value system—then we can have wellbeing economics (06:31)What hurts is how we gave away a wonderful opportunity and chose short-term party politics over the true transformation of society (09:04)What brings hope is the hope seen in the eyes of young people—even old people—and that the process of true transformation is underway in small communities (11:39)Ubuntu: living the ethics, principles, and compassion that are embedded in what it means to be human (14:51)The world has lost its way: it’s all about having more rather than being more (16:45) Assuming responsibility for yourself, others, and the...
44:33 12/7/23
Mamphela Ramphele (Part 1) – Wired for Compassion, Self-Respect & Social Justice: Birthing South Africa’s Black Consciousness Movement, Becoming Who We Were Created to Be, and Finding Hope in a World
Ep. 106 (Part 1 of 2) | Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, global thought leader, author, medical doctor, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, and co-founder of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa has lived her extraordinary life guided by the knowing that every one of us is part of an inextricably linked system, and to live life as an authentic human being means assuming responsibility for oneself, others, and the whole web of life. Here, she connects the dots for us in so many ways, telling the remarkable story of how the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa was born with the realization that accepting a second-class identity was only perpetuating apartheid, internally and externally, and right away, the group became aware they needed to bring forth practical manifestations of this new consciousness. Mamphela has worked to do exactly that—bring the values of expanded consciousness into being—her whole life, first as an anti-apartheid activist and doctor, in bimonthly meetings with Nelson Mandela when he was in prison, writing books on social-economic issues in South Africa, and later, working to manifest the values of compassion, dignity, and social justice on a global level as a managing director of the World Bank, co-president of The Club of Rome, and more.When asked what hurts, Mamphela describes the terrible conditions in South Africa, which she explains could have been averted if post-apartheid leaders had chosen to act for the wellbeing of all rather than getting enmeshed in party politics. And what gives Mamphela hope? The hope she sees in the eyes of young people (and old), and the transformations already underway in small communities. As she says, “the world has lost its way…it’s all about having more rather than being more,” but Mamphela believes real change will happen in the next couple of decades, when our personal, professional, and political lives become framed by the same value system—the values of ubuntu, the traditional, indigenous wisdom values of Africa, which are not only Africa’s heritage but all of ours. Inspiring and enlightening, this conversation is a transmission from a vibrant elder who fully understands and puts into practice what it means to live an authentic, compassionate life, with courage, humor, integrity, and wisdom. Recorded November 9, 2023.“The majority of white people [in apartheid South Africa] were petrified of losing their privileges—in the same way we continue with business as usual today, in the face of climate change.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing Mamphela Ramphele, physician, scholar, anti-apartheid activist, author, and global thought leader (01:32)Growing up in a family of educators with encyclopedias & books all over the place, asking, as a young child, what makes my country so different? (03:42)The day the penny dropped: as long as we call ourselves non-whites, we’re perpetuating the rule of the oppressors (06:00)First came a sense of power—we can change things—then the purpose: make a world where no one is identified as a “non-something”  (08:52)This also liberates white people from their superiority complex, which is a burden (10:51)The system itself funded the first meeting of South African students, the founding organization of the Black Consciousness Movement (12:32)The evolution of the Black Consciousness Movement: freeing mind, heart & body from...
40:20 11/30/23
Shachar Erez (Part 2) - Coping with the Horrors of War: An Israeli Therapist Shares the Agony, Grief & Uncertainty of Wartime, Insights on Alleviating Trauma, and the Grace of Integral-Spiritual Pract
Ep. 105 (Part 2 of 2) | Shachar Erez, longtime spiritual practitioner and integrally informed therapist in Israel, opens his heart, sharing his pain and overwhelming grief since the outbreak of war with Hamas and revealing another dimension of what’s going on than what we see in the news. It is a profound experience listening to a sensitive, compassionate person openly, honestly, courageously sharing what it feels like to be living with his family under threat of extreme violence, struggling to accept humanity as it is, working to help survivors reframe trauma to prevent PTSD, all amidst utter uncertainty as to the future of Israel and its people. Universal questions are raised: How to remain human in wartime? How is an ethical, spiritual, peaceful person to cope? Is there any hope for peace between Palestine and Israel? And, we are all broken—how do we accept the brokenness and continue to function?The sustaining power of an integral-spiritual practice is clear—it is practice (intense workouts and meditation especially) that gets Shachar through and able to muster up the energy to help others, which in turn is so helpful to him. Shachar marvels at how sitting in the therapist’s chair allows him to embrace all that he hears—all the realities, all the horrors—when if he heard it on the news, he couldn’t take it. As a therapist, Shachar is very much thinking ahead to the near unimaginable challenge of helping all the people who are hurt by this war, in Gaza and in Israel, after the fighting stops. “How do you find a shrink for 12 million people?” he asks, adding, “This should be an awakening all over the Western world—people should not be living in fear like this in 2023.” Recorded November 1, 2023. “People should not be living in fear like this in 2023.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2What is Israel to do in this situation? (02:04)Israel is inevitably dropping to lower developmental stages—to hope there would be no vengeance is naive (03:40)How to understand a level of motivation where you sacrifice your own people? (06:49)There’s no more left wing in Israel—what’s the future of this place? (07:49)Why Shachar left progressive Berkeley and returned to Israel (10:53)Can peace happen? The Palestinians have been taught to hate, but John reminds us how the U.S. and Germany, the U.S. and Japan, were reconciled very quickly after WWII (13:30)The most important practice now: high intensity workouts (17:45)If numb, do something small to regain functionality and motivation (18:21)Other helpful practices: talking to people, meditation, volunteering & helping others (19:41)In trauma, you always feel like you are alone, but Israelis are good at coming together socially if not politically (21:25)In the midst of trauma and hatred, human kindness is healing (22:43)What can we who are not near the battle do to help? Stay open to the suffering, to the questions, and avoid dogmatic certainty (23:27)What would be the most humane response? Holding compassion but holding strength (26:35)This should be an awakening all over the Western world – there’s something that needs to be realigned: people should not be living in fear like this in 2023 (27:31)What is the right response ethically, practically?...
37:21 11/23/23
Shachar Erez (Part 1) - Coping with the Horrors of War: An Israeli Therapist Shares the Agony, Grief & Uncertainty of Wartime, Insights on Alleviating Trauma, and the Grace of Integral-Spiritual Pract
Ep. 104 (Part 1 of 2) | Shachar Erez, longtime spiritual practitioner and integrally informed therapist in Israel, opens his heart, sharing his pain and overwhelming grief since the outbreak of war with Hamas and revealing another dimension of what’s going on than what we see in the news. It is a profound experience listening to a sensitive, compassionate person openly, honestly, courageously sharing what it feels like to be living with his family under threat of extreme violence, struggling to accept humanity as it is, working to help survivors reframe trauma to prevent PTSD, all amidst utter uncertainty as to the future of Israel and its people. Universal questions are raised: How to remain human in wartime? How is an ethical, spiritual, peaceful person to cope? Is there any hope for peace between Palestine and Israel? And, we are all broken—how do we accept the brokenness and continue to function?The sustaining power of an integral-spiritual practice is clear—it is practice (intense workouts and meditation especially) that gets Shachar through and able to muster up the energy to help others, which in turn is so helpful to him. Shachar marvels at how sitting in the therapist’s chair allows him to embrace all that he hears—all the realities, all the horrors—when if he heard it on the news, he couldn’t take it. As a therapist, Shachar is very much thinking ahead to the near unimaginable challenge of helping all the people who are hurt by this war, in Gaza and in Israel, after the fighting stops. “How do you find a shrink for 12 million people?” he asks, adding, “This should be an awakening all over the Western world—people should not be living in fear like this in 2023.” Recorded November 1, 2023. “I feel I’ve been practicing my whole life for this moment.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing Shachar Erez, integrally informed Israeli therapist specializing in helping couples fall back in love (01:16)Roger’s hope that this podcast can in some way help allay the extreme partisanship and anti-Semitism arising as a result of Israel’s war with Hamas (04:07)Describing murder, kidnapping, funerals brings Shachar to tears (05:22)John’s early experiences gaining an understanding of Israel and the Jewish people (06:10)How can a man with spiritual values like Shachar get through this time of war and acute stress? (09:23)The first week just doing small things to keep functioning, then being there for others, working out, doing Integral practices, is what’s getting Shachar through at this point (11:50)The blessing is a knowing at a deep level that everything is “okay” despite the horror and the brokenness (12:52)Struggling to find the “other” inside himself, in this case the ability to commit horrific acts, as part of his spiritual practice (13:29)The Nova music festival massacre, and working to prevent PTSD later by remembering, telling the story, and reframing terror into resourcefulness (14:16)A therapist’s ability to contain the realities they hear, and the idea of being a sin-eater, eating people’s pain (17:21)Telling the story, as an Israeli to Americans, Shachar’s heart is torn open—he is usually more of a “tough guy” (18:53)We are all broken: how do we accept the brokenness and continue to function? (20:49)Shachar feels he’s been...
38:59 11/16/23
Tyson Yunkaporta (Part 2) - Indigenous Knowledge & the Web of Life: Living & Learning in Times of Crisis, Recognizing our Relatedness, Healing Grief & Mental Illness, Sharing Healing Stories & Sustain
Ep. 103 (Part 2 of 2) | “What if I lean into the pain and come out the other side and survive it—and what if I take you with me, as the reader, and together we deal with our pain?” asks Tyson Yunkaporta, author, senior research fellow, founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab. Tyson embodies this era of metacrisis, actively working with the global issues of our time in his work and in his personal life. His books are paradigm rattling and his whole life is a contribution—bringing forth ways in which Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge can help us, stating the need to find a collective narrative we can all agree on in order to survive, expressing himself with utter authenticity, and pointing out emphatically that each one of us is a web of relations, and that’s what matters most.In his own uniquely raw, unguarded, authentic (and funny) way, Tyson describes his personal challenges with mental health and bipolar disorder and the states of mind he was in when he wrote his two books. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, was written in just weeks while manic. In dramatic contrast, Right Story, Wrong Story: Adventures in Indigenous Thinking was written while wrestling with depression. Tyson talks about disinformation and how we collectively need to get to the “right story;” about Aboriginal culture and what it means to be living in a colony; the amazing psycho-technologies Aboriginals have to deal with grief; the radicalization and polarization exacerbated by COVID lockdowns in Australia; the similarity between Indigenous knowledge and the scientific method; the sacredness of magic and how this cannot be scaled. Tyson is a window into Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge and a brilliant translator of that wisdom for the rest of us. Recorded September 21, 2023.“Everything you are is a web of relations – you are a relational net.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing artist, academic, author, podcast host, and founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab, Tyson Yunkaporta (01:21)Aboriginal & white Australia is really just one world, with Australia squatting on top: living in the overlap space of the Venn diagram (02:50)How we survive: Aboriginal culture has amazing psychotechnologies of mourning and excels at cultivating humor to effectively heal the grief from facing death so often (05:45) How the Aboriginals were indirectly responsible for the first corporation after spearing Dutchmen 500 years ago (06:57)Tyson’s new book, Right Story, Wrong Story spends a lot of time refuting his first book, Sand Talk (09:20)Sand Talk was written in a bipolar/manic episode in 2 weeks flat—it includes a lot of solid Indigenous wisdom as well as propaganda about Western institutions (09:51)Right Story/Wrong Story was written in a state of suicidal depression modeled on Dante’s Inferno (13:14)The effects of COVID and the harshest lockdowns on the planet on Aboriginal Australia & on Tyson (14:11)Right Story/Wrong Story looks at disinformation: how can we collectively get to the right story? (16:10)Tyson explains his mental health challenges and the paradox of being dependent on Western medicine and other Western institutions (17:55)The capacity to laugh is what gets you through (22:16)The neurological capacity of an echidna (22:58)How secular gurus, influencers, are nudging people in horrible directions like fascism, autocracy, exclusionary politics (24:31) People get...
36:58 11/9/23
Tyson Yunkaporta (Part 1) - Indigenous Knowledge & the Web of Life: Living & Learning in Times of Crisis, Recognizing our Relatedness, Healing Grief & Mental Illness, Sharing Healing Stories & Sustain
Ep. 102 (Part 1 of 2) | “What if I lean into the pain and come out the other side and survive it—and what if I take you with me, as the reader, and together we deal with our pain?” asks Tyson Yunkaporta, author, senior research fellow, founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab. Tyson embodies this era of metacrisis, actively working with the global issues of our time in his work and in his personal life. His books are paradigm rattling and his whole life is a contribution—bringing forth ways in which Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge can help us, stating the need to find a collective narrative we can all agree on in order to survive, expressing himself with utter authenticity, and pointing out emphatically that each one of us is a web of relations, and that’s what matters most.In his own uniquely raw, unguarded, authentic (and funny) way, Tyson describes his personal challenges with mental health and bipolar disorder and the states of mind he was in when he wrote his two books. Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World, was written in just weeks while manic. In dramatic contrast, Right Story, Wrong Story: Adventures in Indigenous Thinking was written while wrestling with depression. Tyson talks about disinformation and how we collectively need to get to the “right story;” about Aboriginal culture and what it means to be living in a colony; the amazing psycho-technologies Aboriginals have to deal with grief; the radicalization and polarization exacerbated by COVID lockdowns in Australia; the similarity between Indigenous knowledge and the scientific method; the sacredness of magic and how this cannot be scaled. Tyson is a window into Aboriginal Indigenous knowledge and a brilliant translator of that wisdom for the rest of us. Recorded September 21, 2023.“If you can get a fellow like me to line up and share a narrative with everybody else and an agreement on what is real and what is not in the world, then I guess there’s going to be hope for everybody.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing artist, academic, author, podcast host, and founder of the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab, Tyson Yunkaporta (01:21)Aboriginal & white Australia is really just one world, with Australia squatting on top: living in the overlap space of the Venn diagram (02:50)How we survive: Aboriginal culture has amazing psychotechnologies of mourning and excels at cultivating humor to effectively heal the grief from facing death so often (05:45) How the Aboriginals were indirectly responsible for the first corporation after spearing Dutchmen 500 years ago (06:57)Tyson’s new book, Right Story, Wrong Story spends a lot of time refuting his first book, Sand Talk (09:20)Sand Talk was written in a bipolar/manic episode in 2 weeks flat—it includes a lot of solid Indigenous wisdom as well as propaganda about Western institutions (09:51)Right Story/Wrong Story was written in a state of suicidal depression modeled on Dante’s Inferno (13:14)The effects of COVID and the harshest lockdowns on the planet on Aboriginal Australia & on Tyson (14:11)Right Story/Wrong Story looks at disinformation: how can we collectively get to the right story? (16:10)Tyson explains his mental health challenges and the paradox of being dependent on Western...
40:41 11/2/23
Charles Lawrence (Part 2) – Everything is Sacred: Native American Wisdom on Following Your Destiny, Living Joyously, Dying Fearlessly & Dancing in a World Beyond Everyday Consciousness
Ep. 101 (Part 2 of 2) | With extraordinary joyfulness and verve, Native American shaman Charles Lawrence tells the inspiring and fascinating tale of how as a young man, he left psychology, religion, and the white man’s domesticated world in the dust when he became initiated on his journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and a paranormal world opened its doors. “If you have a destiny, you better go gracefully, or you’ll get dragged by your heels,” Campbell told him. Indeed, to this day, now in his late 80s, Charles follows the call to ceremonies and Elder Councils all over the world, sharing his sacred shamanic energy and wisdom in blessing and benefit for all. Part Blackfoot by origin, Charles was baptized by traditional Hopi Elders, adopted by elders of Lakota and Coast Salish (Musqueam band), and acknowledged and accepted by Native American tribes and Indigenous Peoples near and far. Here, Charles transmits his love of life, his fearlessness around death, and his easy familiarity with the multidimensionality of existence, the limitlessness in every moment. “Is there joy in this moment in time?” he asks. “If not, why not?”In regard to our collective future, Charles tells us that solutions await us beyond our normal consciousness; in relation to our personal yearning, he describes the transformative power of being seen, being witnessed for who we are at the deepest level, to free our souls and break out of the box. He urges us to sing, to dance, and to “cry our own cry.” (“Nobody has your cry, your experience. You’ve got to cry your own cry.”) Charles also shares his liberating approach to death (“Dying is simple, just pull out the clutch and go into neutral!”), about how he acquired “death medicine,” a wonderful ability to help people make the transition, and his own death medicine practice. One cannot help but be thoroughly inspired and reinvigorated listening to Charles—as Roger wrote him afterwards, “You left a legacy of joy in all of us. I will sing and laugh more and open the door wider to Mystery because of it. And try to practice my last 10 breaths.” Recorded June 1, 2023.“I live by deliberate intent, my default place is joy, my ultimate place is ecstasy.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2Solutions are already waiting for us beyond the average consciousness (01:17)Being a hollow bone and how opening to the Mystery is an ongoing practice (03:42)Stepping over the threshold, you are not the same person coming out: how are you different now? (04:56)Once you have been witnessed, you are forever changed (07:10)Raisa Gorbachev, Grandmother Carolyn, a trip to Russia in 2001, and on to South Africa with the Bush people (11:18)Why buy death by default? Die individually and make it a glorious journey, take your last 10 breaths as a practice (14:30)What is death medicine? (17:05)Everything about the journey is sacred, everything is wakan, and some of us are wake-makers (18:47)Grief is one of our biggest teachers (20:14)What is it that’s just waiting at any moment to burst out of us in joy? (22:29)Singing and dancing: your joy is essential to the emotional well-being of the village (25:31)The multidimensionality of existence and the shadow issues of Western culture—but it can be win-win-win, a benefit for all beings...
39:52 10/26/23
Charles Lawrence (Part 1) - Everything is Sacred: Native American Wisdom on Following Your Destiny, Living Joyously, Dying Fearlessly & Dancing in a World Beyond Everyday Consciousness
Ep. 100 (Part 1 of 2) | With extraordinary joyfulness and verve, Native American shaman Charles Lawrence tells the inspiring and fascinating tale of how as a young man, he left psychology, religion, and the white man’s domesticated world in the dust when he became initiated on his journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and a paranormal world opened its doors. “If you have a destiny, you better go gracefully, or you’ll get dragged by your heels,” Campbell told him. Indeed, to this day, now in his late 80s, Charles follows the call to ceremonies and Elder Councils all over the world, sharing his sacred shamanic energy and wisdom in blessing and benefit for all. Part Blackfoot by origin, Charles was baptized by traditional Hopi Elders, adopted by elders of Lakota and Coast Salish (Musqueam band), and acknowledged and accepted by Native American tribes and Indigenous Peoples near and far. Here, Charles transmits his love of life, his fearlessness around death, and his easy familiarity with the multidimensionality of existence, the limitlessness in every moment. “Is there joy in this moment in time?” he asks. “If not, why not?”In regard to our collective future, Charles tells us that solutions await us beyond our normal consciousness; in relation to our personal yearning, he describes the transformative power of being seen, being witnessed for who we are at the deepest level, to free our souls and break out of the box. He urges us to sing, to dance, and to “cry our own cry.” (“Nobody has your cry, your experience. You’ve got to cry your own cry.”) Charles also shares his liberating approach to death (“Dying is simple, just pull out the clutch and go into neutral!”), about how he acquired “death medicine,” a wonderful ability to help people make the transition, and his own death medicine practice. One cannot help but be thoroughly inspired and reinvigorated listening to Charles—as Roger wrote him afterwards, “You left a legacy of joy in all of us. I will sing and laugh more and open the door wider to Mystery because of it. And try to practice my last 10 breaths.” Recorded June 1, 2023.“What is it that’s just waiting at any moment to burst out of us in joy?“(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing psychologist and Native American shaman Charles Lawrence (01:04)How Charles left Western psychology & religion behind in the dust, beginning with his meeting mythologist Joseph Campbell and the opening of several paranormal doors (02:33)Living your destiny: follow the guidance, the intuition, whatever shows up (06:42)Native American wisdom has much medicine for us today; the knowing that everything is sacred (08:02)The Native American attunement to nature, sense of interconnection, and knowing that elders are to be revered contrasts sadly with our present culture (10:11)Charles’ call to meet Wallace Black Elk and his wife, Grace Spotted Eagle (12:17)Indigenous people’s special lens on reality and the death medicine tradition of the Ojibwe (14:23)Charles’ first Vision Quest in the Rockies while still a newbie (16:51)The Ghost Dance, the legend of the Broken Hoop, and inquiring into what would happen if we started gathering together again: weaving the basket of connection (19:10)How John came to travel with Wallace Black Elk, a man of connection and love with all beings...
40:46 10/19/23
Dr. Bob Weathers (Part 2) - The Future of Addiction & Recovery: Wherein Lies the Hope? Integral Responses, Skillful Social Strategies & Exploring What Leads to Real Happiness
Ep. 99 (Part 2 of 2) | In this riveting, disturbing, and hopeful conversation, addiction expert and recovery coach Dr. Bob Weathers explains the enormous difference it makes when we apply the Integral Model to addiction and recovery. It helps us cover all the bases in our understanding of addiction, from the neuroscientific to the spiritual, and offers a map for recovery in the form of integrated practices that target our physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and system-coping needs. Bob’s mission in life is to educate—his clients, treatment professionals, policy makers—everyone who is affected by addiction one way or another (which is pretty much everyone) about this set of perspectives that is comprehensive enough to address something as complex as addiction. Bob is deeply familiar with addiction and the suffering it causes on a firsthand basis, and he shares his own experience with an open heart. He is also well informed about the big picture of addiction and shares the latest statistics: 46.3 million Americans are currently clinically addicted—only 6% received treatment last year.What about the future of addiction? Technology is becoming increasingly capable of creating powerful “super stimuli,” making it ever more difficult for people to exercise self-restraint, and internet addiction and internet porn are through the roof. What can we do to influence the powers that be on a social/systemic level to guide us on a new path? One that recognizes that happiness correlates with connection, contribution, and flow rather than the never-ending quest for more acquisitions? Listening to this honest, heartfelt, and impassioned conversation, you will not be in the least surprised to find out Bob is the 2022 winner of the Most Dedicated Substance Abuse Education & Recovery Coach award. “Living a life of value, meaning, and purpose? If you want to talk about happiness, let’s talk about that.” Recorded May 15, 2023.“We have got to begin to find creative ways to endorse restraint at all levels of our society.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2Making the turn towards recovery from addiction is like an “incredible lightness of liberation” (01:23)Transformative lifestyle changes (TLCs) and daily practice invite the grace to change (04:28)The crucial element of giving something up: surrendering self (06:50)Cultivating a daily practice of acceptance: How surrendered am I in this moment? (09:01)Addiction is a progressive disease—and it’s devolutionary (11:33)The changing face of addiction: internet addiction, internet porn, super stimuli, evolutionary traps, globesity (15:36)Is the plague of addiction going to get even worse? What happens when virtual reality goes online? (18:05)The importance of a soul-centric approach: finding your higher power and higher purpose (20:08)Richard Rawson’s research on the effect of drugs on the dopaminergic system in the body and the brain (23:44)46.3 million Americans are currently clinically addicted—only 6% received treatment last year (25:36)To be human is to be enslaved: acknowledge there is no way we can compete with the stimuli we’re evolving, and the importance of restraint (26:06)What can we do as educators? Educate towards shifting public policy to something better than incarceration;...
38:52 10/12/23
Dr. Bob Weathers (Part 1) – The Future of Addiction & Recovery: Wherein Lies the Hope? Integral Responses, Skillful Social Strategies & Exploring What Leads to Real Happiness
Ep. 98 (Part 1 of 2) | In this riveting, disturbing, and hopeful conversation, addiction expert and recovery coach Dr. Bob Weathers explains the enormous difference it makes when we apply the Integral Model to addiction and recovery. It helps us cover all the bases in our understanding of addiction, from the neuroscientific to the spiritual, and offers a map for recovery in the form of integrated practices that target our physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and system-coping needs. Bob’s mission in life is to educate—his clients, treatment professionals, policy makers—everyone who is affected by addiction one way or another (which is pretty much everyone) about this set of perspectives that is comprehensive enough to address something as complex as addiction. Bob is deeply familiar with addiction and the suffering it causes on a firsthand basis, and he shares his own experience with an open heart. He is also well informed about the big picture of addiction and shares the latest statistics: 46.3 million Americans are currently clinically addicted—only 6% received treatment last year.What about the future of addiction? Technology is becoming increasingly capable of creating powerful “super stimuli,” making it ever more difficult for people to exercise self-restraint, and internet addiction and internet porn are through the roof. What can we do to influence the powers that be on a social/systemic level to guide us on a new path? One that recognizes that happiness correlates with connection, contribution, and flow rather than the never-ending quest for more acquisitions? Listening to this honest, heartfelt, and impassioned conversation, you will not be in the least surprised to find out Bob is the 2022 winner of the Most Dedicated Substance Abuse Education & Recovery Coach award. “Living a life of value, meaning, and purpose? If you want to talk about happiness, let’s talk about that.” Recorded May 15, 2023.“I’ll trade off the burdensomeness of addiction, of enslavement, any day for the freedom of transformative life practices.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1Introducing addiction expert, recovery coach, psychologist & author Dr. Bob Weathers (00:52)There are so many different perspectives on addiction and they often tend to be reductionistic (03:30)Fifty percent of people who see a therapist are clinically addicted (04:33)Bob’s own history with addiction and how he encountered 12-step meetings, Refuge Recovery, and eventually Integral Theory in the process of recovery (06:10)The neuroscience of addiction is often the missing piece in recovery and how incredibly important that piece is (11:39)The War on Drugs and the deinstitutionalization of mental hospitals in CA in the 70s resulted in drug related offenses accounting for 80% of those incarcerated (13:37)Providing conventional religious/spiritual responses to addiction doesn’t work for all (16:10)The road to recovery involves service (19:22)Do you need to have firsthand experience with addiction in order to understand and help addicts? And, the importance of knowing suffering (19:53)John’s portrait of addiction and the unspeakable hell of suffering it involves (23:15)John’s groundbreaking book, Integral Recovery, which applies the Integral Map to recovery...
52:40 10/5/23
Chief Ryan Johansen & Ret. Lt. Chris Orrey (Part 2) – Buddhas in Blue: Enlightened Ways to Make Policing Work For Everyone
Ep. 97 (Part 2 of 2) | In this moving, illuminating, and impassioned discussion, retired Police Lt. Chris Orrey and San Bruno Police Chief Ryan Johansen open our eyes as to the realities of policing in today’s world and offer solutions as to how the entire institution of police work could be transformed to become more effective and sustainable, both for police officers and for the communities they serve. Ryan and Chris explain that applying an Integral approach to police work—which BTW encompasses a lot more than simply law enforcement, to include the roles of social worker, mental health counselor, EMT, and more, in crisis situations—is exactly what is needed to turn around an institution that is controversial and flailing at this point. They point out that it is essential to prioritize officer wellness—not just physical wellness but interior wellness as well—and give officers the coping mechanisms and support they need to integrate the inevitable trauma of the job and role model resilience for the victims and survivors they interact with. An Integral understanding also paves the way for police leadership to become servant-based; where leadership puts the welfare of the officers first and foremost, and in turn, officers are in peak condition, mentally, physically, emotionally, to serve and protect their communities with compassion and skill.Nationwide, it is a time of catastrophic crisis in police recruitment and retention. Most departments are severely understaffed and morale is at a dangerous low. Chief Ryan’s San Bruno police department, however, is fully staffed and the officers have high morale. By applying the principles of the Integral Model and practicing a heartfelt, servant-based leadership style, Ryan has turned this national trend around. Whether policing impacts you directly or not, there is much to be gained by listening to this stirring conversation, which reveals so much about the realities of our society and the incredible courage, compassion, and outright nobility it takes to be a police officer—putting your life on the line to protect and serve others every single day. Recorded July 6, 2023.“I think that most police officers are exceptional human beings in that they are willing to endure tremendous suffering on behalf of others, most of whom they don’t know and will never actually get to know, and many of whom a lot of society has simply decided to bypass and would prefer to not even see.”(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2The pendulum swing of society’s opinions about cops and the story of Isaac Woodard (01:26)We can’t ignore what communities have suffered at the hands of police officers—historically and currently (04:58)What would Ryan do to make things better for officers? Focus on legitimately taking better care of cops (06:24)What the pendulum swing is doing today: the middle way is the right way (07:44)The developmental levels aspect of the Integral model holds great promise for policing (09:22)The expectation of officers to check their whole identity/personality at the door and California’s allowance of tattoos and other physical details (15:45)How do we help a community see cops as people like them? Overcoming the us vs. them mentality (17:45)How to develop officers as exceptional people who will show up? (19:42)If cops internalize the...
46:15 9/28/23

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