Show cover of The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

The podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network

Are you spiritual, but not religious? Or grounded in a traditional religion but are seeking something more? Or interested in exploring new approaches for integrating spirituality in business and other aspects of life ? If you answered "yes," to any of these questions, check out the podcast of the Sacred Inclusion Network. We interview experts, share our take on diversity and spirituality, and let you know what's going on with the Network. You can learn more about us by going to


Lucas Johnson on the Power of Nonviolence and Spiritual Activism
Host Angelo John Lewis and guest Lucas Johnson engage in a powerful conversation about spirituality and social justice. Lucas Johnson, an ordained minister and Executive Vice President for Social Healing for the On Being Project, shares his deep global experience in conflict resolution and community organizing. Drawing from his global experience, Johnson shares examples of nonviolent activism from around the world. From South Africa's truth and reconciliation process to the American civil rights movement, he highlights how nonviolence can effectively bring about positive social change. Key Takeaways: Nonviolence as a Strategy for Social Change: Johnson emphasizes the importance of nonviolence as a powerful strategy for social change. He believes that nonviolence allows for broader participation in campaigns and protests, leaving room for opponents to grow and change their views. Nonviolence is not just a tactic, but a spiritual orientation to life that recognizes our interdependence with others.  Inner Work and Healing: Johnson underscores the significance of inner work and collective healing in the pursuit of social justice. Nonviolence requires personal and collective healing to create conditions that make it possible for others to choose nonviolence. Viewing opponents as sick and in need of healing can shift attitudes and promote reconciliation. Spirituality and Social Justice: Johnson's upbringing in diverse religious traditions, his connection to the black Christian tradition, and his personal experiences have shaped his understanding of the interplay between spirituality and social justice. He credits his family, particularly his grandmother, for instilling in him the values of justice, care, and community.  Finding Joy and Gratitude: Amidst the complexities of the world, Johnson emphasizes the importance of finding joy and gratitude. He shares his spiritual practices of experiencing joy, being in the company of loved ones, and sitting with silence. These practices help him stay spiritually grounded and navigate the challenges of the world. Links   Links: Lucas Johnson's On Being Project Lucas on LinkedIn Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
59:02 10/24/23
Spirituality and Social Justice Symposium
This Spirituality and Social Justice Symposium explores the intersection of spirituality and activism. Host Angelo John Lewis engages in a dynamic discussion with guests Shariff Abdullah, Lucas Johnson, and Cat Zavis about their experiences in social activism and successful projects. The panelists highlighted the significance of inner work and personal transformation in effective activism. They emphasized the need for individuals to engage in self-reflection, challenging systems of oppression while practicing empathy and kindness. They agreed that the collective exploration of solutions and the cultivation of curiosity and dialogue are essential for creating meaningful change. Further into the symposium, they delved into the concept of leadership and its role in social justice movements. They express the need for leaders to prioritize love, compassion, and the well-being of the community over power and financial gain.  While they acknowledge the complexity and nuance of leadership, they advocated for a shift in consciousness and a reimagining of leadership that fosters inclusivity, empathy, and care. Johnson shared his involvement in representing nonviolent activists at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, while Rabbi Cat Zavis discussed her experience advocating for women prisoners in Alaska and improving their living conditions. Shariff Abdullah discussed his involvement in the Sarvodia Peace Action Plan in Sri Lanka, and emphasized the role of grassroots movements in promoting peace and unity. Abdullah is the founder of, who in the early 1960s he helped found the Black People’s Unity Movement (BPUM), an organization dedicated to self-help and development in the inner city of Camden. Johnson is the Executive Vice President of the On Being project and a human rights advocate and public theologian with deep, global experience in conflict resolution and community organizing. Zavis is the Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, and a long time activist in social change work. The event was sponsored by the Sacred Inclusion Network, and was held April 23, 2023. The panelists emphasize the importance of community and collective efforts in their work, highlighting the power of inclusivity and connection. Links: Abdullah's The Network of Spiritual Progressives The On Being Project Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!
64:39 10/24/23
The Intersection of Faith and Activism: Cat Zavis on Spirituality and Social Justice
Cat Zavis discusses her personal journey and insights on integrating spiritualism and activism. Zavis is Executive Director of the Network of Spiritual Progressives Cat and her colleague, Rabbi Michael Lerner, have worked tirelessly to build a Religious left movement in Israel, countering the religious right movement. They recognize the trauma and PTSD experienced by both Israelis and Palestinians and understand that Israel, as the dominant power, has the responsibility to address the unjust and inhumane situation created through the occupation. Having personally witnessed the devastating situation in the occupied territories, Cat emphasizes the need for healing, repair, acknowledgment, and transformation to move towards justice. Trauma plays a significant role in both Israeli and Palestinian reactions, reinforcing a cycle of domination and imposing trauma on others. This episode was recorded as a precurser to the April 2023 Sacred Inclusion Network Syposium on Spiritualty and Social Justice. Zavis shares her journey of discovering her passion for social justice. Although she always felt a spiritual connection as a secular Jew and explored various spiritual paths she didn't find answers that integrated her outrage and passion until she discovered Judaism's powerful blend of spirituality and social justice. She highlights the tension between the domination worldview, which promotes power and oppression, and the love worldview, rooted in connection and care. Social change movements often reflect these contrasting ideologies, and the work of social justice extends beyond fights for specific issues to raising consciousness. The conversation delves into the importance of prophetic empathy as a bridge between these worldviews. While activism can sometimes conflict with spiritual beliefs, it is necessary to heal the world. Zavis draws inspiration from the story of Moses, who was sent to overthrow the consciousness of oppression. Engaging in social justice work can be profoundly spiritual, challenging, and transformative. The episode concludes by discussing the importance of embracing people of different faith traditions while acknowledging historical trauma associated with oppressive religious practices. It is vital for activists to have a spiritual center to ground themselves and sustain their work, and younger generations are recognizing the need for spiritual support in their activism Links: Network of Spiritual Progressives Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!
38:53 10/24/23
"Art as a Sacred Calling": An Interview with Tasleem Jamila Firdausee
Tasleem Jamila Firdausee, the executive director of Art as a Sacred Intiative, here talks about her Baptist upbringing, her immersion into mystical Islam, and her academic scholarship into the role of women in Sufism. She shares of her spiritual journey and the teachers she's encountered along the way, and illustrates them with readings from her two books, Black Baptist Muslim Mystic: from the Cosmos and From Mississippi Clay to African Skies in Search of Sacred Presence. By chance, this interview was conducted during the birthday week of the Prophet Mohammed. "There are traditions all over the world and every country from Malaysia to Sudan, to the hills of Russia, to Senegal... to Morocco, where you have the tradition of Muslims writing poetry, singing praises to the Prophet Muhammad.  And so I, as a poet as God,  want to be a part of those who actually write poetry in the praise in English, because this is my first language," Tasleem said Tasleem Jamila Firdausee is an internationally award-winning poet, author, multi-disciplinary artist, interdisciplinary scholar, cultural curator and organizer and holistic wellness therapist who uses heart-centered storytelling to examine the intersections of culture, spirituality, and indigenous holistic healing modalities. She's the founder of the Art As Sacred Initiate, an initiative and curatorial organization created to produce and curate experiences that strive to challenge unimaginative conceptions of spirituality, art, and the healing effects of artists' often marginalized cultural production.  Links: Tasleem's site Her most recent book A video about her work Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
50:49 10/6/23
Talismans and Lucid Dreaming
Dream Researcher Ryan Hurd talks about lucid dreaming and the secret history of using talismans to elicit lucid dreams. He defines lucid dreaming and its benefits, explores liminality and dreaming, and how to use talismans to facilitate lucid dreaming. Ryan Hurd is a dream researcher and life-long lucid dreamer. He edits the website, lectures internationally about dreams and consciousness, and is a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. Ryan has a MA in Consciousness Studies and Certificate in Dream Studies from John F. Kennedy University. This podcast is an introduction to Ryan's 8/19/23 Sacred Inclusion Network Event, Unlock the Power of Your Dreams with Talismans.   Links: Ryan's Dream Studies portal Lucid Talisman site Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!    
22:45 8/13/23
"What it means to be human": an interview with Bob Dunham
For leadership authority Robert "Bob" Dunham, there's a fundmantal difference between machines -- even complex computers that mimic logical thinking -- and humans. Before we even begin to talk about effective leadership, Dunham says, we need to get clear on this difference. The capacity of “caring,” Dunham says,  is the fundamental aspect of what it means to be human. "What's fundamental to being human is we are creatures that care. And so it's not only for leaders, it's for all of us as human beings. Our care is fundamental to our life experience. It's fundamental to our action. It's fundamental to our judgments and choices." So a leader, he continues, needs to be clear about what he or she cares about and seek alignment with that of his or her team or organization  In this interview, Dunham expands on what he means by generative leadership, what he learned from his mentorship with Fernando Flores, and how he maintains enthusiasm and creativity in these challenging times Dunham is the founder of the Institute for Genererative Leadership. Prior to founding the Institute,  he was a VP at Motorola Computer Systems, COO of Action Technologies, and VP of Consulting for Business Design Associates. He's the author or co-author of several books, including The Innovator's Way and The Power of Owning Up. Links: Bob Dunham's LinkedIn Institute for Generative Leadership Power of Owning Up Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!
60:04 5/30/23
Sleep Medicine: the Practice of Yoga Nidra
Restorative yoga practioner Jennifer Piercy explains the philosophy of yoga nidra, leads participants through a yoga nidra session, and answers questions about dreams, sleep and rest. This is a recording of the 11/19/22 Sacred Inclusion Network Managing Dark Spaces exploration.  The yoga nidra practice starts about 16:14, goes for approximately a half-hour, and is followed by questions and answers. Piercy’s sleep meditation tracks on the Insight Time app have been played more than 21 million times. An experienced Restorative Yoga Practitioner, she’s studied with Dr. Rubin Naiman, a pioneer in integrative sleep and dream medicine, and has spent thousands of hours in her 16+ years as a yoga practitioner guiding people in the impactful and neglected art of slowing down.  Links: Piercy's site Article on yoga nidra Podcast interview with Jennifer Recommended resource (see Chapter 15, Dreams and Multidimensional Reality) Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel --  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!
86:39 11/21/22
Restoration, Dreams and Navigating Dark Spaces
Integrative restoration and dream educator, and yoga facilitator Jennifer Piercy here talks about yoga nidra, the importance of sleep and restoration practice, and the "wake-centric" bias of contemporary culture. Rather than view sleep as a necessary evil, Piercy suggests approaching it as a kind of spiritual practice and an invitation to explore the unknown.   "Part of being at home in the unknown is that we literally need to practice being at home in the dark. And sleep and rest are both literally and metaphorically inviting you into that. I think of it as a superpower that people forget they even have," she says. Piercy's sleep meditation tracks on the Insight Timer App have been listened to more than an astonishing 21 million times. Piercy is on a kind of mission to help people view sleep and restoration in a more holistic light.  One of her favorite quotes of from Dr. Rubin Naiman, a pioneer in integrative sleep and dream medicine, and the man who coined the "wake-centrism" term. "We are oblivious to a profound and pervasive bias in our perception, that waking is our sole, primary form of consciousness. Consequently, we tend to view sleep and dreams as secondary, subservient states of being. Wake-centrism is a kind of flat earth consciousness that discourages us from approaching the edges of our awareness. It is not a blind spot but a loss of peripheral vision. Wake-centrism is not a way of seeing, but a way of NOT seeing the bigger picture — the world behind the world," Naiman wrote. In this podcast, Piercy talks about the path that led her to become a restoratation and dream educator, shares some practical suggestions for those struggling with sleep issues, and talks about the dangers of an overly medical approach to sleep disorders. Piercy will facilitate the Sacred Inclusion Network's 11/19/22 event, Navigating Dark Spaces.  Links: Piercy's site Article on yoga nidra Recommended resource (see Chapter 15, Dreams and Multidimensional Reality) Piercy's 11/19 Sacred Inclusion Network event Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel --  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!
40:03 10/17/22
Activating Egyptian Spirituality (Excerpt)
Marques Redd on African spirituality, the lure of Egypt, and what to expect during the 10/15 Sacred Inclusion Network exploration. Watch the full video here: Marcus Redd's site Sacred Inclusion Network
11:40 10/7/22
Activating Egyptian Spirituality
African cosmologist, independent scholar and multimedia artist Marques Redd discusses African spirituality, the legacy of Egypt, and the tradition of the gatekeepers. Redd here explains he first became interested in African spiritualty, his academic studies on the influence of ancient Egypt on Plato's philosphy and 19th century literature, and how these studies became the basis for his intellectual, artistic, and spiritual work. "The reason why I'm attracted to African spiritual systems is that within them you can still see the remnants of these early understandings of what it means to be human, and conceptions of the Divine that, in a deeper sense, made us human, and made us into the beings and creatures that we are today." he says. Redd will facilitate the Sacred Inclusion Network's 10/15 Online Community Exploration, in which he'll provide a map for activating ancient Egyptian rituals that can be used in one’s individual practice. The workshop will be grounded in guided meditations and an exploration of how to use hieroglyphics as shamanic tools. For more information about Redd's work, visit For information about the 10/15 Activating Egyptian Spirituality event, visit For information about his 10/21-10/23 Esalen Institute workshop, visit To learn more about the Sacred Inclusion Network, visit
41:04 10/7/22
Archiving the Impossible
Within the halls of academia, the exploration of paranormal activity is for the most part off-limits to serious scientific inquiry. There are a variety of reasons for this, says religious scholar Jeffrey J. Kripal: the rise of behaviorism; the belief that the brain is in essence a biological computer; and the concurrent belief in physicalism - that there is nothing over and above the physical dimension of life. Kripal here explains why he’s devoted his professional life to taking this phenomenon seriously. He’s one of a small, but increasing number of scholars who believe it’s as important to look at reality from the inside out as it is to examine it from the outside in. Kripal, the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University, is the author of eight books, including Esalen: America and the Religion of No Religion, and Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred. Here he explains his latest project, Archives of the Impossible, which is both an actual archive of paranormal materials and a March 2022 Rice University conference. He also details the evolution of his own interest in the paranormal; his view on the importance of the humanities; and what-he-calls “the flipped” experiences of materialists who changed their perspective to embrace the view or that mind or consciousness is primary and the material world is secondary. The plenary speakers at the March 2022 Archives of the Impossible conference include Jacques F. Vallée, PhD, the founder of Documatica Research; Leslie Keen, author of the best-selling Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife and UFOs; Whitley Strieber, author of Communion and many other books; Diana Pasulka, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington; John Phillip Santos, Rhodes Scholar, writer, journalist, and documentarian; Edwin C. May, president and founder of the Laboratories for Fundamental Research, Palo Alto, California. and Sebastiano De Filippi, Italian-Argentinian musician, author and scholar. Links: Archives of the Impossible (conference page) Kripal's website Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel --  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
41:28 2/19/22
Bridging Together Indigenous and Modern Science
The sacred pipe, the Raven, and a peyote ritual were three touchstones of the path of Dr. Apela Colorado, traditional cultural practitioner and indigenous scientist of French and Oneida descent. In this podcast, she shares stories of how each of these elements formed an essential part of her journey, from growing up as a mixed-race child in rural western Wisconsin to founding in 1989 the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN). As she relates in this podcast and in her recently published book, Woman Between the Worlds, she as a teenager followed her grandfather’s advice and attended college, an action that rare for native women at the time. But while climbing the academic ranks and eventually attaining a Ph.D. from Brandeis University, she always remembered another part of her grandfather’s counsel: “Remember the pipe,” he told her, another way of saying “remember your roots.” In this podcast, Colorado relates milestones from her remarkable journey, from her involvement in Indian Movement, through her encounters with indigenous elders in the south of France, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Central Asia. She also sheds light on native ritual and symbolism, such as the role of the sacred pipe in ceremony. She also shares some lessons she learned from elders along the way, and mystical encounters with real and allegorical ravens, and how a peyote ceremony transformed her perception of life.  Dr. Colorado is in equal measure shaman and academic, and her accomplishments are many. She's a Ford Fellow, who in 1982 received a PhD from Brandeis University, and went on to create the world's first doctoral program in traditional knowledge at the California Institute of Integral studies. She also directed the Indigenous Mind Program, which for 20 years taught students into ways of exploring their ancestral and earth-based holistic consciousness within an academic framework.  Links: Worldwide Indigenous Science Network (WISN) Woman Between the Worlds Amazon page Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel --  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
65:31 1/31/22
When Spiritual Practice Gets Messy
Author, teacher and coach Raphael Cushnir learned from hard experience that the results of spiritual practice aren't always warm and fuzzy or particularly pleasurable. In his case, they included kriyas, or very intense involuntary movements, sometimes accompanied by rapid breathing and non-nonsensical speech. These were challenging enough to handle in private, but were especially problematic when occuring in public, such as in a meeting with colleagues. Cushnir, the author of six books and a leading voice in the world of emotional intelligence, here tells a story he previously kept private. Sharing it now, he says, can help others more comfortably navigate the unexpected terrain of the mystical path. Cushnir here talks about his upbringing, his belief in the importance of integrating spiritual practice and psychotherapy, his work with sacred sexuality, and the surprising things he learned when interviewing professed spiritual teachers about their personal growth edges. Cushnir has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. In addition, he coaches individuals and teams at Fortune 100 companies, governments, religious organizations, and leading non-profits. The kriya experiences he shares here are elaborated in his most recent book, Surviving the Divine: A Memoir of Rude Awakening. This podcast was recorded in advance of Cushnir's 12/9/21 Sacred Inclusion Network Event, "Navigating Spiritual States."  Links: Cushnir's website Surviving the Divine Amazon page Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel --  Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
52:59 1/28/22
"Matrix Man": An Interview with Whitley Strieber
In 1985, a strange incident occurred that would totally transform the life of Whitley Strieber, at the time best known as a writer of horror novels, including The Wolfen and The Hunger.   As memorialized in his book, Communion and the movie of the same name, this was his abduction by a group he calls "the visitors."  Communion and Strieber's subsequent work has gone a long way towards changing the world's perception of paranormal phenomena.  In this podcast, Strieber describes the childhood incidents that foreshadowed his later Encounters of the Third Kind; the biomechanical implant visitors placed in his left ear, and the "sensing" meditative exercise he believes has facilitated his ability to communicate with "the visitors." Since the publication of Communion, Strieber has become one of the world's leading investigator and chronicler of paranormal activity through his Unknown Country website ( and his long-running Dreamland podcast. 
69:35 1/20/22
Inner Work and the Path of Leadership
For Robert "Bob" Dunham, the art of effective leadership is as much as inner game as an outer one. It begins, he says, with the leader identifying what h/she cares about, what h/she'll will do to respond to that caring, and then engaging with others about shared meaning. When beginning his work with prospective leaders, Dunham often begins by asking them to define what they care about, a question which many find perplexing. Many can only answer it in simple terms, for example citing their need to take care of their family.  "But how is that going to inform your value satisfaction in the domain of your work life, your action life?," he asks. "There's a deep part of us -- many traditions would call it your soul -- that has one concern and that concern is, 'are you alive?', 'are you really living?'.... But that's where we have to go, and that's where we meet Spirit," Dunham says. In this podcast, Dunam explores the art of mastering what he "generative conversation" for answering questions of caring, and developing shared commitment in teams and organizations. Generative questions -- ones that elicit commitments -- can have a transfomative effect in personal, workplace, and societal contexts. Dunham is the founder and director of the Institute for Generative Leadership and the the co-author with Dr. Peter Fleming of The Innovator's Way: Essential Practices for Successful Innovation. He holds two degrees from Stanford University, completed three years of postgraduate work in Ontological Design, and four years in Somatic Leadership with the Strozzi Institute. Early in his career, he led the onboard software development team for the Hubble Space Telescope.   
57:37 12/24/21
A New Look at American Spirituality
Although the US is nominally a secular state, the majority of its citizens think of themselves as spiritual. That's one of the central findings of a recent major study of spirituality in the United States. "About three quarters of the respondents said that spirituality is either very important to them, or somewhat important," said Bob Boisture, the president and CEO of the Fetzer Institute, which sponsored the 2020 report, What Does Spirituality Mean to Us. "As we probe more deeply in terms of what that translates to.... we found that it's not just important in the abstract, it manifests in these very real ways." In this podcast, Boisture discusses the different ways that people define spirituality, how they express it within and apart from organized religious frameworks, and the degree to which spiritually-oriented people get engaged in civic life. Among the report's conclusions: 86% of survey respondents considered themselves spiritual; about 66% aspire to be more spiritual; and people who identify as spiritual are more liable to be civilly engaged,, get involved in politics, and vote. "A cross-cutting theme of what spirituality meant to people was around this theme of connection to a higher power, to other people, to the natural world, in whatever combination. And that connection was not just a physical connection, it was a connection of moral significance," Boisture said. The Institute funded the study as part of its core mission of helping build the spiritual foundation for a living world. The Kalamazoo, Michigan based organization has a long-standing commitment to supporting research that deepens our understanding of spirituality and how it can animate concrete and positive change.  Links: The Fetzer Institute - Interactive Spirituality in the US Study site - PEW Religions Landscape Study - Sacred Inclusion Network -- Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group -- Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel -- Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!  
47:10 3/12/21
Hack the Brain!
Contemporary neuroscience is an essential ingredient in our understanding of human development, including our capacity for greater happiness and wisdom.  The past three decades have seen the study of the brain and its relationship to human experience move forward with more vigor and enthusiasm than any other scientific field.  In this podcast, author and educator Jim Hickman, explains how our evolving understanding of neuroscience gives credence to the value of certain forms of spiritual practice. The relatively recent scientific consensus that the neural networks in the brain can change through growth and reorganization means that cognition is malleable: not only for children (as was previously believed), but for adults as well.  Certain meditative practices have been shown to alter the way the brain functions, and thus affect practitioners' ability to better adapt to stress and reduce anxiety. "It's is not just mindfulness, Hickman said. "Kundalini Yoga, for example, has been shown to decrease arousal when dealing with unpleasant situations: in other words, it affects the limbic system." In this podcast, Hickman explains how his early research into parapsychology and concurrent personal immersion into meditation practice led him "to understand that our choice of attitudes and beliefs are the determinants in our experience of success and happiness."  This foundational belief led him to the study of neuroscience and its practical applications. Hickman teaches a regular course in Applied Neuroscience at Ubiquity University, which explores "the history of neuroscience ...  and how a neuroscience informed personal practice can assist in dealing with the unpredictable challenges that accompany increasing hypercomplexity in the 21st century."  "There's the social side," Hickman said,  "where dramatic changes are occurring within our own culture and other cultures around the world. And at the same time, our brain is opening parts of itself to opportunities for change that we didn't know were there."  Hickman is Board Chair and Professor of Neuroscience at Ubiquity University.  After his first trip to Moscow in 1972, Jim was active for the next 35 years developing economic and professional relations between the US and the USSR/Russia.  For the past 15 years, Jim has been a student of contemplative practice and neuroscience.  He has written numerous articles for such publications as the Wall Street Journal Europe, the Moscow Times, and Inc. Magazine.  He is currently writing a book on how the latest discoveries in quantum physics, epigenetics, and neuroscience, when combined with the teachings of the wisdom traditions, inform us about successful Living in turbulent times. Ubiquity University -- ( Jim's course in Applied Mindfulness ( Sacred Inclusion Network -- Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Want a copy of the slides Jim uses in this podcast? Write him directly at Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!   
65:43 2/9/21
The Mystic, the Psychic, the Paranormal
Jeffry J. Kripal is a bit of an iconoclast when it comes to the study of religion. He's more interested in anomalist phenomena -- the mystic, the psychic, the paranormal -- than he is in things like religious history or the philosophy of religion. A professor and Associate Dean of Humanities at Rice University, Kripal began his publishing career in controversy. Some Hindu scholars took exception to his 1995 book, Kali's Child: in which he characterized Hindu saint Ramakrishna's mystical experiences as homoerotic. The response to the book wasn't all negative. Michael Murphy, the cofounder of now iconic Esalen Institute, loved it. Thus began an immersion into the intellectual epicenter of that Big Sur epicenter of the human potential movement, and Kripal's 2007 book, Esalen: America's Religion of No Religion. As Kripal relates in this podcast, his Esalen exploration marked the beginning of the second phase of his work, which he describes on his website as a "history and analysis of the relationship of mind and matter, particularly as this relationship is made manifest in 'paranormal' events and experiences, such as mystical experiences, parapsychological phenomena, near-death experiences, abduction events, ufological encounters, and psychedelic states." Kripal's quest is to expand scholarly inquiry into the study of phenomena that can't be easily explained within the constraints of the scientific method. "What's happened in our public culture is we have conflated science and materialism, which is just an interpretation of the science. It's a good interpretation, but it's an incomplete interpretation. And it rigorously blocks out all of this stuff I want to talk about, because this is the stuff that drives religion," he says. Links: Kripal's personal site His Rice University site His Amazon page Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!         
58:18 10/27/20
Into the Mystic
Author Paul Corson had two out-of-body experiences that have shaped his view of the world. Now 86, he's now on a mission to share what he's leaned. His principal vehicle is his new book, Regaining Paradise: Forming a New Worldview, Knowing God and Journeying into Eternity,  "a guided journey into self-knowledge, identity, empowerment, and sublime understanding that will open the mind's eye." But this podcast isn't really a review of the book Instead it's a conversation with two individuals who share a mystical way of being in the world. The two discuss the nature of miracles, the relationship between spiritual substance and the material world, and Corson's born-again experience. "The human experience... is a flat out veritable,  literal miracle. , Once you realize that you're a miracle, that you're never going to die, it's kind of changes things. You're not running to buy that new car because you have all this time in the world. You know that you're going to be living in eternity," Corson said. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Corson is a former pharmacist who established a protocol for the treatment of HIV/AIDs. He received the 2000 Philadelphia Hero Award for his contributions in support of AIDs survivors. Links:  Paul's website Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!         
55:18 9/25/20
The Sara Minkara Story
Don't think of Sara Minkara as a blind person. Think of her as a person who is blind.  Social activist, speaker, and a winner of multiple awards, the founder of the advocacy organization Empowerment for Integration (ETI) has never let used her absence of vision of an excuse or crutch. The slew of honors she's achieved are evidence of her accomplishments. Her awards and fellowships include the Clinton Global Initiative Outstanding Commitment Award, Forbes "30 Under 30" and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Global Challenge Award. When Sara lost her sight at age seven, her mother had two options. "She has one option of wallowing in our misery and really feeling bad for herself and her kids...But she took the other path and the path of,believing in God's will and saying there is a purpose behind this. "She said 'I'm not going to listen to the outside world of what the world thinks about disability... I'm going to just focus on home and make sure our kids go to school and live a very much -- I'm not gonna say 'normal life' -- but a full life, an integrated life and mainstream life." As she relates in this podcast, Minkara never set out to become a full-time advocate. "I was a math and econ major. I'm an introvert. So I had a plan of doing a PhD." But as a sophomore at Wesleyan College, she applied for a grant from the Clinton Foundation to run an inclusive summer camp in Tripoli, Lebanon, the home of her parents. "It turned out to be impactful not only for the kids, not only for the parents in the community, but for myself, she said. In this podcast, Minkara describes the set of circumstances that caused her to found ETI, , how people stigmatize blind people, and how anyone can be an advocate for people with disabilities. Links:  Empowerment through Integration ETI's Ambassadors of Inclusion program Sara Minkara's site Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!     
33:31 8/21/20
"Touching the Jaguar"
Author, activist and renegade economist John Perkins traces his journey from Peace Corps volunteer to co-founding the Pachamama Alliance, a non-profit devoted to establishing a world future generations will want to inherit.  Best known for his best-selling book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, Perkins describes how his life was irrevocably changed when a Shuar shaman in the Amazon jungle healed his life-threatening fever. "He healed me by helping me change my perception...and he demanded as payment for having healed me that I become his apprentice." Having graduated from business school before joining the Peace Corps, Perkins didn't see a future in becoming a shaman. So instead, he became an economist and, eventually, chief economist of a major consulting company. His job was to "identify countries that had resources our corporations coveted... and then convince that country that it should accept huge loans from the World Bank or other organizations" to pay for costly infrastructure projects.   It took him awhile, but eventually it dawned on him that the game was rigged. The result of the countries taking out loans was not "increasing the prosperity of the people...(but) increasing the prosperity of the rich families in the country, as well as our corporations. But in fact, the people were suffering because money was diverted from health education and other social services to pay the interest on the loans." In this podcast, Perkins describes the common denominator of what he learned from his first shaman teacher and his work as an economist: that perceptions shape reality. Where once a shaman helped shift his view of the conditions he found threatening as a young Peace Corps volunteer, he later was also able to use data to persuade heads of countries to borrow large sums of money to pay for infrastructure projects.  The shaman he worked with taught him about the process he calls "touching the Jaguar," the key to shifting perceptions and the title of his new book. "'Touching the Jaguar' means that we identify the things that are holding us back:  our barriers, our fears...When we touch that Jaguar, we receive energy from the Jaguar or wisdom or creativity that allows us to change our perception. And when we change our perception, we then can take new actions that change reality." That desire to positively shift perceptions is part of the origin story of the Pachamama Alliance, which Perkins, Bill and Lynn Twist founded in 1995. The three and a team of others had traveled to the rain forest at the invitation of the Achuar, an indigenous Amazonian community.  "They came to me and asked me, 'will you help us touch the Jaguar? Help us reach out and join forces with the people we most fear -- you and your people. Help us create a partnership and alliance with the people we most fear so that we can help you  change your dream, and we can all work together to change the this terribly destructive dream of the modern world that's creating a death economy." In this podcast, Perkins explains what he means by "the death economy." He also gives a simple five-part series of questions that anyone can ask themselves to help them more easily get in touch with and actualize their purpose. Perkins' latest book is Touching the Jaguar: Transforming Fear Into Action To Change Your Life And The World. Links:  John Perkin's site Pachamama Alliance  Pachamama Alliance Global Commons (open community site) Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!   
48:52 8/12/20
Digital Disruptor: The Internet's Impact on Religion and Spirituality
Digital culture is transforming religious practice in multiple ways, says Texas A&M Professor of Communication Heidi A. Campbell. "Scholars of religion are finding that people practice 'lived religion.' They may say, 'I'm Jewish' or 'I'm Christian," but they draw on multiple sources to define what they mean. Religion is more personalized in a digital age," Campbell says. How people define religious authority is also changing. Although pastors, imams and rabbis hold authority in their traditions because of of their theological knowledge, a new type of  "algorithmic authority" has emerged, Campbell says. "Involvement online builds this kind of authority... It's the number of 'likes' you have on your posts, it's the number of followers you have or how many people link to your content. All of this gives a sense of authority and validity...that's gained not from religious knowledge, but technological fluency," she says. The internet, Campbell says, "allows people to create their own tribe."  Although people may have roots in a traditional congregation, they can explore their particular interests in an online global community. "There can find online global connections that kind of feed their souls, whereas they couldn't do this before" in pre-internet days.  A major contributor to the study of digital religion, Campbell is the author of Networked Theology: Negotiating Faith in Digital Culture. She is the Founding Director of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies. She is currently studying the phenomena of internet memes and how these memes shape religions perceptions.  Links: Campbell's Wikipedia page The Internet challenges and empowers religious institutions (article) Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies Sacred Inclusion Network Sacred Inclusion Network's Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network's YouTube Channel Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!    
29:13 6/8/20
Galvanizing Change in this Pandemic Moment
Most of us progressive-minded folks are members of multiple communities, be they religious, spiritual, environmental or political. What unites us are our values, the foremost of which is an innate sense of our sacred interdependence, or reverence for both the entirety of the interconnected web and all of its connected parts. In this excerpt from the Sacred Inclusion Network's monthly Online Community Exploration, Angelo John Lewis and David Wetton explore the possibility of harnessing our individual, and group energies for the full expression of the higher values that unite us, a project that assumes greater urgency in moments of crisis, such as this pandemic moment. They also explore how to inspire and galvanize a deeper sense of these higher values in both ourselves and our multiple communities. And how attuning to these higher values activates the power of the Network of Light. David Wetton helps Conscious Leaders grow themselves and develop Purpose-Led High Performing Leadership Teams through 1:1 Coaching & Tailored Leadership Programmes. He runs a Leadership Legacy Programme™ to help senior executives and their leadership teams define and deliver their legacy to the world. He’s an ordained UK interfaith minister and spiritual counselor; which means that he’s committed to holding a safe, heartfelt compassionate space for all those he coaches. Angelo John Lewis is the Director of the Sacred Inclusion Network and the originator of Sacred Conversations and the Dialogue Circle Method.  He is also the author of Notes for a New Age, and a coach and consultant who has designed, developed and conducted group problem solving, team and community building interventions for clients that include AT&T, Verizon, ACNielsen, and a branch of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Links:  About David Wetton Richard D. Barlett's Microsolidarity Proposal World Summit Movement   Sacred Inclusion Network
26:27 5/29/20
Lucid Dreaming as a Pathway to the Divine
Ryan Hurd's first experiences with lucid dreaming -- the experience of being awake while dreaming -- were the nightmares he experienced as a child. After watching the 1982 film Poltergeist, he'd have these repetitive dreams of tentacled monsters escaping from his television set and coming after him.  Eventually, he learned to confront these monsters and tell them they weren't real, causing them to sink back into the television set and go away. These early nightmares were a precursor to Hurd's lifelong fascination with dreams. He's since studied and written about the phenomena of nightmares, how to experience lucid dreams, and how dreams can be portals to the expansion of consciousness. In this podcast, Hurd describes his early training as a field archaeologist and his ventures into dream archaeology; how he's used dream incubation to gain insight into issues affecting his waking life, and his experience with dream mentors. "Part of this (the study of dreams) is realizing that in waking life we're not always as lucid as we think we are. It's waking up to the dream of waking life as well, and just appreciating the ups and downs of consciousness throughout our day," Hurd says. In addition to describing his own experience, Hurd explains how anyone can begin the process of working with their dreams, his studies on the impact of galantamine paired with meditation and dream reliving on subsequent dreams, and how dreams can be portals for expanding consciousness. Hurd is the editor of, and the author or co-author of several books on dreams. He's an adjunct lecturer at John F. Kennedy University. is currently serving as Director of Spiritual Development at Unitarian Society of Germantown in Philadelphia, PA. Links:  More Info  RYAN HURD Ryan Hurd's Books: The Committee of Sleep and Holistic Blueprint For Lucid Dreaming More Info visit Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!   Facebook Page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network Twitter Sacred Talk LinkedIn Sacred Inclusion Network Instagram Sacred Inclusion Network    
38:55 3/27/20
Healing the Wounded Masculine
Men who exhibit toxic "Me Two" behavior are not just predators, but victims, says leadership coach and spiritual teacher Wendy C. Williams. They are victims that unconsciously act out society's unacknowledged expectations for their gender. Because of these unspoken norms, they subjugate both women and the female aspect of themselves. They simply haven't learned to express emotions in appropriate ways, she says.   "As a society, we’ve put men in a box that says that in order to be masculine, you have four acceptable emotional states: angry, neutral, happy (for short periods of time and for good reasons), and sad (for short periods of time and for good reasons). Men are not allowed to otherwise express themselves, and if they do," they're vilified.   "The fact that woman are not safe in society is related to this topic. What I see happening in society is that there is an unspoken societal norm that says that certain bad behavior by men should not be talked about, acknowledged or punished. That's why the Me Too movement is so radical and polarizing."   In this podcast, Williams shares how taking an inventory of her own relationships with men broadened her understanding of the difference between what she calls Divine Masculinity and Toxic Masculinity.     She shares her belief that this is a "humanity problem," and not just a male one.    "Work needs to be done by both men and women. Women need to be stronger and step out of the victim role." They also "need to stop supporting ridiculous social norms for men that are both inappropriate and harmful." Links: Watch the interview on More info about Wendy C. William's Wendy C. Williams  More info about Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record Voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!   Twitter Sacred Talk Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network YouTube Subscribe  Sacred Inclusion Network LinkedIn Sacred Inclusion Network Instagram Sacred Inclusion Network    
43:44 3/11/20
Sound, Healing and Spirit
Musician Jonathan Adams eight years ago was suddenly stricken with a crippling form of depression and anxiety. It was then he discovered a new way of experiencing music and sound. Instead of using these tools to entertain others, he used them instead to  calm himself down. Over time, he realized that music and sound could became a gateway of transformation and a means for expanding consciousness. For the past several years, Adams has become less of a performer and more of teacher and sound therapist.  His passion these days is helping others use sound and music for healing and spiritual upliftment. In this podcast, Adams (aka, The Sonic Yogi) shares his origin story, the concept of brain wave entrainment, and how sound and music are used in religious and spiritual traditions. "Nearly every culture and many if not all of  religious traditions use some sort of sound" as a way to transform consciousness," he says. "The first form of brain wave entrainment was drumming. Indigenous cultures around the world have used drumming as a ceremonial act to get the brain to a different place." In addition to explaining how sound and music affect the brain, Adams here shares an original composition, improvises with drum and Tibetan bells, and explains  how  certain frequencies stimulate the focal points in the subtle body or chakras.  Adams started his career as a professional musician, recording albums for classical guitar with albums for Pamplin, Intersound Records and his own label. As the Sonic Yogi, he's put his focus into the exploration of the healing potential of music, and has given talks and workshops on  sound therapy at Tedx, national spiritual living conferences and elsewhere. His vibrational sound therapy tracks can be streamed on Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Youtube and the Insight Timer app. Links: More Info  Sonic Yogi YouTube Adam Sonic Yogi More Info Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record Voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon!   Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network Twitter Sacred Talk YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network LinkedIn Sacred Inclusion Network Instagram Sacred Inclusion Network  
65:24 2/14/20
Indigenous Spirituality, New Age Spirituality
Is there anything in common between how indigenous people experience of esoteric, spiritual phenomena and the contemporary New Agers who presume to be their heirs? If anyone is qualified to begin to answer this question it's Michael F. Brown, a cultural anthropologist who's done a deep dive into both of these worlds.  Back in the mid-1970s, Brown spent a year living with the Awajún also known as the Aguaruna), an indigenous people of the Peruvian jungle, whose ancestors had a reputation as fearsome headhunters and whose cosmology includes beliefs in shamanism and sorcery.  Peru's Shining Path insurgency in the 1980s forced Brown to refocus his work elsewhere, to the study of the New Age phenomena of channeling, which was peaking around this time. Just as he immersed himself among the Awajún, Brown spent a season with the channels, their clients and audience. He documented what he discovered in his aptly titled book, The Channeling Zone: American Spirituality in an Anxious Age.  In this wide-ranging conversation, Brown discusses his fieldwork in both of these milieu; sorcery and shamanism among the Awajún, cultural appropriation;  and the work of the School for Advanced Research (SAR). where he's been president since 2014.  SAR advances creative thought and innovative work in the social sciences, humanities, and Native American arts. Links: More Info Michael F. Brown and Sch. of Advanced Research More Info Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record Voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon! Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network Twitter Sacred Talk YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network LinkedIn Sacred Inclusion Network Instagram Sacred inclusion Network  
55:34 1/30/20
A Transgender Journey
Growing up in a traditional southern church, Christina King quickly learned that she wasn't accepted. That's because her church saw her and people like her as anathema:  living embodiments of sin. King at an early age knew that she was a transgender woman. But to verbalize how she felt about herself wouldn't have been received kindly by her conservative Lutheran Missouri Synod congregation. Their attitudes were informed by the so-called "clobber passages," verses some use to justify the belief that any deviance from heterosexual norms is sinful. King spent much of her youth estranged from the church. She came to a place, she said, "where she had to be herself or kill herself." That separation was painful because even though she felt ostracized, a part of her missed the congregation's sense of community. Her estrangement ended because of the influence of a pastor at  the First Lutheran Church of Galesburg, Illinois, the city she moved to after growing up in the south. This pastor accepted Christina for who she was, but also encouraged her to reach out to others who because of their LGBTQ+ orientation had felt victimized by the church. King did so and shortly after the 2016 presidential election started a group called Safe Space.  The group has been meeting regularly since then. In this podcast, King shares her evolution as a transgender woman, common misconceptions people have about trans people, and how a life of prayer helps her stay upbeat in a challenging political climate. King last year was named Miss Trans Illinois. Links:  More Info Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record Voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon ! Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network Twitter Sacred Talk LinkedIn Sacred inclusion Network YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network Instagram Sacred Inclusion Network
24:06 1/5/20
Sacred Inclusion Sampler: Volume One
Selected excerpts from some of the best interviews in the first three seasons of the Sacred Inclusion Network podcast. > UK political activist and United Reformed Church Elder Mark Argent on the deeper meaning behind the rise of Donald Trump and Brexit. > Former Black Panther party leader and spiritual activist Ericka Huggins on learning to meditate while in solitary confinement > Rev. Yvette Flunder on the one quality that all people of color, LBGPQ+ and all marginalized people share. >  Sacred Design Lab's Casper ter Kuile on how Millennials find meaning >  Buddhist poet Diana Goesche reads her poem, Black People Can't Swim. Excerpted from: Spirituality, Sexuality and the Meaning of Trump Brexit Social Activism and Spiritual Practice The Radically Inclusive Ministry of Yvette Flunder How Millennials Find Meaning The Poet, the Buddhist, the Trans Warrior Other Links: More Info Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record Voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon! Twitter Sacred Talk Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook group Sacred Inclusion Network linkedIn Angelo John Lewis YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network Inatagram Sacred Inclusion Network
46:37 11/12/19
Spirituality and Earth-based Feminism
Walking the conventional path was only briefly in the cards for Staci Boden, who these days proudly calls herself a "mama-bear, life-guide energy teacher." While in law school 25 years ago, it didn't take long for Bodin to realize that she was less interested in legalism, then following in the footsteps of people like Starhawk, a pioneer of the goddess movement and earth-based feminism.  So she dropped out of law school and enrolled in the California Institute of Integral Studies' master's degree program in women's spirituality. She later became a certified Doula, studied non-ordinary states consciousness training through the Center for Sacred Studies, and established a counseling and facilitation career focused on helping people integrate the spiritual with the practical.  In this podcast, Boden talks about earth-based spirituality, the contrast between talk therapy and energy work, and the role of ceremony in transformation and healing. Boden is the author of Turning Dead Ends into Doorways: How to Grow through Whatever Life Throws Your Way. Links: Staci's More Info Her Read Book More Info  Sacred Inclusion Network Provoked by this episode? Record voice Message! Like the podcast? Support us on Patreon! Twitter Sacred Talk Facebook page Sacred Inclusion Network Facebook Group Sacred Inclusion Network YouTube Sacred Inclusion Network LinkedIn Angelo John lewis Instagram Sacred Inclusion Network  
44:26 10/10/19