Falling in Love with the TruthBuddhist Geeks add
During this episode I'm joined by an old friend and mentor, David Gold, to discuss, as he puts it, his "evolution from a non-teacher to a non-teacher." We talk about our shared history, going back to my time as college student at NC State, where he was a facilitator of the Self-Knowledge Symposium. He also shares his history with American mystic, Richard Rose, and with the fallen guru, Andrew Cohen. He shares the learnings that were borne out of working with those teachers, and the way that his path has opened into "a love unimaginable."
This is part 1 of a 2-part series.
“I decided I was going to stick around until I figured out how this man [Richard Rose] did what he did, and I was going to learn his tricks and go take it out into the world and make a lot of money with it, or whatever. Instead, I feel in love with the truth.” - David Gold
“The radical equality of unimaginable love is so intrinsic, so natural, and so liberating.” - David Gold
“When the truth and you and your deepest desires line up to be one thing that’s pretty much as close to heaven-on-earth as I could possibly imagine.” - David Gold
Episode Links:???? Love Disruptors (David’s Teaching Site) ???? Richard Rose ???? “After the Absolute” by David Gold ???? Andrew Cohen
The Present, Past, & Future of MindfulnessBuddhist Geeks add
In this episode I'm joined by my old friend and colleague, Rohan Gunatillake. Rohan is the founder of Mindfulness Everywhere, a creative studio combining meditation, technology, & design. Mindfulness Everywhere is perhaps best known for it's popular meditation app buddhify, and for it's innovative-indie approach to developing digital mindfulness products.
In this conversation we talk about the importance of making mindfulness accessible, about the discontinuous changes that have happened to mindfulness as it enters a capitalist-based system, two different ways to scale mindfulness, Rohan's Designing Mindfulness manifesto, buddhify's new social meditation feature Transmission, and "the missing middle" of mindfulness between the for- and non-profit sectors.
“Meditation, mindfulness, Buddhism has always changed. It’s a history of innovation, from the Buddha’s awakening onward.” - Rohan Gunatillake
“Mindfulness & meditation has become a content business, as opposed to a wisdom business.” - Rohan Gunatillake
Episode Links:????Mindfulness Everywhere ????buddhify????"Modern Mindfulness" by Rohan Gunatillake????The Blogisattva Awards ????Designing Mindfulness ????Headspace ????Center for Humane Technology ????Why Transmission Matters ????Become a Buddhify Member ????The First Alexa Board Game is Both Fun and Terrifying ????Siempo: Use your phone, not the other way around????Google and the Rise of ‘Digital Well-Being’ ????The Second Generation of Mindfulness
The Dharma of NetworksBuddhist Geeks add
I discovered Christoper Vitale's writing after doing a google search on the "philosophy of networks." At the time I had recently started doing the Buddhist Geeks podcast again and had formulated a new tagline for the project: Dharma in the Age of the Network. I wanted to dive deeper into what networks are, not in a specific sense (of say a "computer network"), but in more general & philosophical terms.
What I discovered in Chris' writing was a clear philosophy of networks, and a generalized way to under what is common among all networks. I was also somewhat shocked to find that he had studied Buddhist philosophy in Nepal and had several articles on his personal site about dharma & networks!
In this episode, which was originally a prep call, we explore the very interesting relationship between Buddhist philosophy & networks, and discuss some of the topics related to his Networkologies project. Look for more from Christopher on Buddhist Geeks soon!
“All the binaries start coming down when you start thinking in terms of networks, because there’s nothing binary about a network, nothing dualist.” - Christopher Vitale
“Consciousness is just what happens when really complicated matter feels itself from the inside. That’s what a brain is.” - Christopher Vitale
Episode Links:????"Networkologies" : A Philosophy of Networks for a Hyperconnected Age????Buddhism Beyond Buddhism : Reimagining Tibetan Buddhism as Virtual Praxis for the Networked Age????The Santa Fe Institute????Pratītyasamutpāda ('interconnectedness')????Madhyamaka????Graph theory????Panpsychism????Sreedevi Bringi
Aya & VajraBuddhist Geeks add
In this episode I was joined by my dharma friend Lama Karma. During our time together we explored his time in Peru, using the native plant medicine ayahuasca. He said he couldn't help but relate to his experience through the lens of his vajrayana training, and shares some of how he makes sense of the experiences he had while using ayahuasca ceremonially.
We also get into a heart-felt conversation about Lama Karma's teacher, Lama Norlha, who recently passed away and who at the very end of his life was embroiled in a controversial storm with his community regarding widespread allegations of sexual misconduct. Karma shares his experience of being at the center of that storm, torn by paradox.
"For me it was this simultaneity of insanity and openness.” - Lama Karma
episode links:Milarepa Retreat CenterShanghai KagyuAyahuasca Lama Norlha Rinpoche, founding abbot of Kagyu Thubten Chöling, dies at age 79
Existential MedicineBuddhist Geeks add
This episode comes from a live event on "Waking Up with Psychedelics" that occurred in Los Angeles, co-hosted by InsightLA. I was joined in this dialogue by Trudy Goodman, Spring Washam, & Dr. Charles Grob. Ram Dass joined us at the end of this dialogue, and his talk is on available for Buddhist Geeks Patrons as a bonus episode.
"An untrained mind may go into panic, but a mind that's steeped in wisdom can start to say, 'Oh, this is the teaching right here.'" - Spring Washam
"It's a practice to be able to let the conventional self just dissolve into the not yet known." - Trudy Goodman
"Isn't it remarkable how we ingest plants in order to learn how to be human." - Ralph Metzner
Episode Links:Psilocybin: A Crash Course in Mindfulness with Dr. Roland GriffithsThe Utter Perfection of Everything with Trudy GoodmanCollective Wisdom Rising with Spring Washam"A Fierce Heart" by Spring Washam"Be Here Now" by Ram DassLotus & Vine JourneysEast Bay Meditation CenterMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)Ecstasy as a Remedy for PTSD? Your Probably Have Some Questions."Island" by Aldous Huxley
Collective Wisdom RisingBuddhist Geeks add
I’m joined in this raw & intimate conversation by meditation teacher & author Spring Washam, as we discuss the integration of Buddhist contemplative practice with the Peruvian plant medicine ayahuasca. We begin with Springs dharma journey and the way that silent practice no longer served her deeper healing journey, and how the ultimately brought her to the jungles of Peru. I share parallels on my path of working with psilocybin and healing ancestral trauma, and we go into how a deeper collective healing process underlies each of our personal journeys. Spring shares an interesting perspective on how these “medicines of the earth" can be understood as collective wisdom rising from nature itself at a crucial point in our time on this planet.
“For me insight and healing are one and the same.” - Spring Washam
“I think a big part of what we are unpacking collectively is our ancestral suffering, our community suffering, our collective karma.” - Spring Washam
“Yes, our lineages are alive! Your great-great-grandparents are alive in you.” - Spring Washam
Episode Links:???? Spring Washam???? A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment???? East Bay Meditation Center???? Lotus Vine Journeys
The Utter Perfection of EverythingBuddhist Geeks add
I don’t want to over-hype this episode too much, but listening back over it today and preparing these notes, I was left feeling that this was perhaps the most intimate, raw, & profound conversation I’ve had throughout the Meditating on Psychedelics series so far. It might have something to do with the fact that my guest is Trudy Goodman, who is also one of my teachers. My wife Emily & I had the great honor of being authorized to teach by Trudy last year, at her center InsightLA, where we lived for a short time so that we could train more closely with her.
I always describe Trudy as a living koan, because she demonstrates the teachings, lives the teachings, and in those moments of living them simply IS the teaching. Seeing someone be the teachings of kindness, wisdom, & generosity, as you've probably experienced, is much more impactful than hearing people talk about them. In Zen they call this, when it’s voiced through words, the difference between “live words” and “dead words.” I hope you enjoy these live words from one of my most favorite people in the world.
“Why do I have to be stoned to have this experience? This should be an experience that we can just have, we’re human beings, we have this capacity.” - Trudy Goodman
“I learned from all of those experiences, and yet the experiences themselves don’t exactly help you so much afterwards. I stopped doing them because I didn’t like the feeling of being kicked out of the garden of eden over and over again.” - Trudy Goodman
“What is it that brings us into a more committed engagement with the mystery?” - Vincent Horn
“Meditating can help the mystical experience, or the opening, that people have on psychedelics become not just a state, an experience that is after all only a memory, but can help make those insights and awakenings present in our everyday life.” - Trudy Goodman
“We ask our students to be vulnerable. And I don’t think we should ask our students to be doing things we aren’t doing.” - Trudy Goodman
Episode Links:Trudy GoodmanInsightLA“In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor MateRam DassMeditating on Mushrooms with Roland Griffiths"Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors”“Leopard Warrior: A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams” by John LockleyThe 4 Unmentionables: Sex. Money, Power & Race Series Father Greg BoyleTristan HarrisCenter for Humane Technology Filter bubbles
An Open Field of InquiryBuddhist Geeks add
On this episode I had the great pleasure of speaking with Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care, Roshi Joan Halifax. One of my previous guests, Raghu Markus, recommended I speak with her as part of the Meditating on Psychedelics series, and so that's where the conversation began.
I think it's fair to say that by the end of our discussion it had expanded out quite a bit to include broader questions about the relationship between contemplation & action, and how the Mahayana emphasis on bodhicitta requires that we integrate our understanding with contemporary issues, of which psychedelics is just one.
"I wouldn't say that I'm ambivalent with regards to hallucinogens, I'd say I'm discerning." - Roshi Joan Halifax
"I have a lot of respect for entheogens. I have more respect for my mind." - Roshi Joan Halifax
"I want to live in a country that loves our children, more than they love our drugs." - Roshi Joan Halifax
Episode LinksUpaya Institute and Zen CenterBe Here Now FoundationMeditating on Mushrooms w/ Roland GriffithsBodhicittaStanislav Grof"The Human Encounter with Death" by Stanislav Grof & Joan HalifaxWilliam Richards on ErowidThe Dependent Co-Arising of Psychedelics & Meditation by Vanja PalmersJohn Dunne on Language and Non-Duality
The Future of Work & MeditationBuddhist Geeks add
In this episode I'm joined by one of my favorite productivity writers, Tiago Forte. Tiago is part of a new generation of productivity thinkers, whose exploring new ways of working in the digital age. I've found his writing both refreshing and insightful, and when I discovered that he also has a serious interest in meditation & spirituality I knew I'd have to invite him onto Buddhist Geeks.
The first part of our dialogue explores Tiago's background and work, and then we get into the relationship between network thinking, productivity paradigms, and different types of meditation.
"You can't understand a paradigm from within it." - Tiago Forte
"What we can borrow from, network metaphors, telecommunications, the theory of constraints, mindfulness & meditation, to make the way the world is going into an opportunity instead of a threat?" - Tiago Forte
Episode LinksTiago Forte (https://www.fortelabs.co)"The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer"Design Your Work" by Tiago ForteBuilding a Second BrainRibbonFarm : experiments in refactored perceptionThe Throughput of Learning by Tiago ForteFrom Multitasking to Multiplexing by Tiago ForteThe Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer by Tiago Forte"Networkologies" by Christopher Vitale"Deep Work" by Cal NewportMetcalfe's law
Meditating on LSDBuddhist Geeks add
In this episode we speak with meditation teacher & author Michael Taft about his experience of meditating on LSD. Michael describes himself as someone who has likely done more LSD than anyone you've ever known, while also being a hardcore meditator, a skilled teacher, and one of the more high-functioning & well integrated adults that you're likely to meet.
In addition to discussing the potential dangers and downsides of using LSD, Michael also shares his unique experience of the 3 characteristics of the LSD experience, Impermanence, Suchness, & Meta-Rationality, each of which mirror what can be found through Buddhist meditative training.
"For this stuff to be powerful it has to be powerful." - Michael Taft
"It's like opening a door in your mind you did not know is there." - George Harrison
Episode Links:???? Deconstructing Yourself (Michael's Website & Podcast)???? "The Mindful Geek" by Michael Taft???? "Cosmic Trigger" by Robert Anton Wilson???? "Dharma Bums" by Jack Kerouac???? "The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley???? Pattern and Nebulosity
Was Jerry Garcia a Bodhisattva?Buddhist Geeks add
In this episode we speak with author, podcaster, award-winning journalist, and dharmic psychonaut Erik Davis about the intersection of psychedelic practice & culture with dharmic practice & culture.
- "Zig, Zag, Zen"
Bhakti BuddhismBuddhist Geeks add
During the 2nd part of my conversation with Raghu Markus, director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation, we speak about the powerful fusion of of bhakti (devotion) practice and more traditional buddhist meditation practice.
- Rick Doblin’s Psychedelic Studies: https://beherenownetwork.com/mindrolling-ep-148-rick-doblins-psychedelic-studies/
- Ram Dass: https://www.ramdass.org
- Be Here Now Network: http://beherenownetwork.com
- SHARANAGATI: The True Meaning of Surrender from the Bhakti Yoga Tradition: https://www.ramdass.org/sharanagati-the-true-meaning-of-surrender-from-the-bhakti-yoga-tradition/
- The Buddhist Geeks Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/?&tag=buddhistgee0c-20
Bookmark the link above and whenever you use to to buy something on Amazon Buddhist Geeks will receive a small percentage
Yogi MedicineBuddhist Geeks add
Raghu Markus lives in Asheville (my hometown) and is the executive director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation, the same organization that runs RamDass.org. Raghu traveled with Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert) in the 70s to India and studied with the Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba. There he also met Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, & Lama Surya Das, who all became lifelong friends.
During this first part of our conversation Raghu & I met up at a local tea shop and spoke about psychedelics. I hadn't expected to discuss this topic with Raghu originally, but it made sense given his connection with Ram Dass as well as his own journey through the psychedelic 60s & 70s, so that's where our conversation began.
I hope you enjoy the lively stories and reflections that Raghu shares about his time with Ram Dass, Neem Karoli Babi, his father, as he explored spiritual practice and psychedelics side-by-side as a young seeker.
Psychedelic BuddhistsBuddhist Geeks add
In this episode we speak with Dr. Douglas Osto, author of "Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in America".
- 'She didn't know what was real': Did 10-day meditation retreat trigger woman's suicide?
Meditating on PsychedelicsBuddhist Geeks add
The intention of this series is to gain a deeper understanding of the relative merits and dangers of the mixing Buddhist contemplative practice and ritualized psychedelic use.
- "Meditating on Pyschedelics: What Camp Are You In?" http://bit.ly/2fcNQW1
Talking Race, Love, and LiberationBuddhist Geeks add
Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei is a maverick spiritual teacher, master trainer, and founder of Center for Transformative Change. She is the author of "Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation". Sensei williams joins host Vincent Horn to continue the current series on ethics in a talk about race, love, and liberation. They address race and class in American capitalism, the construct of “whiteness” as a social form of ego structure, and how Buddhism provides the tools to uncover entrenched social structures and implicit bias.
Rev. angel Kyodo williams Sensei
Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation
Buddhist Geeks: Ethics Series
Secularizing Buddhist EthicsBuddhist Geeks add
Stephen Batchelor is a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. He is the author of "Buddhism Without Beliefs" and most recently has written "After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age". In this entry to the Buddhist Geeks series on ethics, Stephen joins host Vincent Horn to consider what it means to secularize Buddhist ethics. They discuss the process of removing early Buddhist ethics from its early Indian metaphysics, and between the ethical practice laid out by early Buddhism and more Western versions of ethics. They finish by discussing the metaphysical faith of secularism, in particular the role that rationalism & individualism play in this translation project.
- "After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age" by Stephen Batchelor
- "Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age"
by Alexander Bard & Jan Söderqvist
- "Cyber Philosophy and the Void"
- "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari
- Buddhist Geeks: Ethics Series
The Science of CompassionBuddhist Geeks add
EMMA SEPPÄLÄ, Ph.D is Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Emma joins host Vincent Horn to share the science behind compassion. She describes the current state of compassion research, and she and Vincent discuss the effects of unbundling mindfulness, compassion, and ethics in a capitalist society.
The Happiness Track