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Podcast title Buddhist Geeks
Website URL http://www.buddhistgeeks.org
Description Dharma in the Age of the Network
Updated Thu, 26 Oct 2017 12:37:22 +0000
Image Buddhist Geeks
Category Religion & Spirituality
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Episodes

1. Rebel Buddha
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Description: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche—a dynamic and engaging Gen X Tibetan Lama who has spent half of his life living in the West—joins us to explore several key points related to the development of a more contemporary Buddhism. We explore some ideas from his newest book, Rebel Buddha, including the idea that there is an essential aspect to Dharma that goes beyond culture, the ways that teachings on emptiness are often confused or misunderstood, and the nature of enlightenment and the possibility of awakening in the here and now. Episode Links: Rebel Buddha ( http://www.rebelbuddha.com )

2. Live the Questions
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Description: We’re joined this week by Buddhist teacher Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel to explore some of the topics from her most recent book, The Power of an Open Question. Elizabeth speaks about the nature of questioning, and why questioning is one of the best ways to come in accordance with the way things are. She also explores the qualities of faith & doubt, how questioning fits in with both, and how skepticism and openness are related. We finish the discussion off by looking at how the quality of “not knowing,” that often gets developed through sincere questioning, might manifest in our human relationships. If you’re looking for answers, this may not be the episode for you! Episode Links: The Power of an Open Question ( http://amzn.to/cbeXst ) Madyamika Prasangika ( http://bit.ly/1CQJ4Ti )

3. The Lazy Path to Enlightenment
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Description: We’re joined this week by author, teacher, and Tibetologist Glenn Mullin. During our conversation with Glenn we focus primarily on a system of teachings in the Tantric tradition called The Six Yogas of Naropa. He speaks about each aspect of the practice—including such practices as sexual yoga, dream yoga, and bardo yoga—and also explains why he thinks the 6 yogas are a perfect compliment for the modern lifestyle. Episode Links: www.GlennMullin.com The Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa ( http://amzn.to/cEm5jP )

4. Making Joy Our Default
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Description: Insight meditation teacher James Baraz joins us to explore the many facets of joy, happiness, and well-being. We begin by finding out how joy became an important part of James’ practice, since in his early years with Buddhism he was, in his own words, “dead serious about practice.” It turns out that part of what helped him break the spell was the Advaita Vedanta teacher, H.W.L Poonja, as well as the teachings that the Buddha himself gave on joy and well-being. We also look at the positive psychology movement, which James pulls from often in his teachings on Joy, comparing and contrasting positive psychology with Buddhist psychology. And finally we discuss what it means to cultivate Joy, and how that cultivation relates to a recognition of Natural Joy (the joy that’s present without any special effort). Episode Links: www.JamesBaraz.com Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness ( http://amzn.to/bnPnPR ) Authentic Happiness ( http://amzn.to/9DIPlr ) H.W.L Poonja ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._W._L._Poonja ) Nibanna for Everyone, by Ajahn Buddhadassa ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/265212/Nibbana-for-Everyone ) Dvedhavitakka Sutta: Two Sorts of Thinking (Majjhima Nikaya 19) ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html ) Transcendental Dependent Arising ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/wheel277.html )

5. Living as a River
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Description: Bodhipaksa is a teacher from the Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order. He joins us this week to explore the Buddhist teachings on impermanence and “change blindness.” We also explore one of the central practices that he teaches, called the 6-elements practice—one of the primary methods found in the earliest strata of Buddhist teachings. Finally, we explore the importance of enlightenment in his teaching, what is traditionally called stream-entry, but which he refers to as “entry-level enlightenment.” Episode Links: www.bodhipaksa.com Living As a River: Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change ( http://amzn.to/aMZqzN ) Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Properties ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.140.than.html )

6. Living in Buddha Standard Time
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Description: We speak with Lama Surya Das this week about what it takes to integrate spiritual understanding into our lives as 21st century citizens. He explores the question of whether our sense of time has sped up in the “over-information age,” and how we can change our relationship to time. He also shares the outlines of what he calls the Six Building Blocks of a Spiritual Life—a post-traditional model aimed at integrating the inner and outer dimensions of life. We conclude our discussion by looking at what he calls, “Positive Buddhism.” Positive Buddhism is a formulation of the Buddhist teachings that emphasize some of the more life-affirming aspects of the awakened life, instead of some of the more life-denying aspects, such as suffering, renunciation, and non-attachment. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Tao of Twitter. Episode Links: www.Surya.org The Mind is Mightier Than the Sword ( http://amzn.to/cmIOru ) Positive Psychology ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_psychology ) Awakening the Buddha Within ( http://amzn.to/9HeJJ0 )

7. The Tao of Twitter
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Description: When it comes to leveraging the technologies of our time, Lama Surya Das is one of the most active American Buddhists around. He blogs, tweets, skypes, hosts webinars, and participates in virtual retreats. And yet he acknowledges that if it were completely up to him, he’d be leading meditation retreats in-person and writing books. We speak with Surya Das on why he has decided to engage these technologies, as opposed to treating them merely as distractions or as “necessary evils,” as so many teachers do. We explore both the upsides and downsides of what he refers to as, “beaming, streaming media.” As he points out during the interview, he feels he has two feet firmly planted in the old tradition, and two feet firmly planted in the new. What happens when someone is immersed in both? This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Living in Buddha Standard Time. Episode Links: @LamaSuryaDas ( www.twitter.com/LamaSuryaDas ) www.Surya.org The Tao of Twitter: The Spirit in the Machine ( http://bit.ly/9wtD4c ) Dzogchen Center ( http://dzogchen.org )

8. Intimacy through Practice
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Description: We’re joined this week by Flamenco guitarist and Zen practitioner Ottmar Liebert. Ottmar shares the story of how he broke with his childhood religion of Catholicism, started doing Transcendental Meditation, and then found his spiritual home in the Zen tradition. We also discuss the nature of practice, and compare how it manifests in both music and meditation. We also explore the distinction between solitary practice and performance, seeing what parallels to music we might find in Zen. Episode Links: www.OttmarLiebert.com Petals on the Path ( http://www.ottmarliebert.com/music/album/petals-on-the-path ) Letter to a Young Musician #1 ( http://www.ottmarliebert.com/diary/?p=6374 )

9. Non-Meditation and the Nature of Thought
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Description: “You need not make efforts to create non-conceptuality. You need not regard thoughts as a fault. And so that your practice does not succumb to famine, from the beginning have a bountiful crop. Not searching for a state that is calmly resting, vividly clear, and filled with bliss, bring into your experience whatever arises without taking it up or discarding it.” – Orgyenpa We’re joined again this week by one of our favorite Buddhist Geeks, Robert Spellman. In our discussion with him, we delve into the often tenuous relationship that meditators have to their own thoughts. Robert shares a profound teaching from a 13th century Tibetan teacher, Orgyenpa, on how to relate to the thinking mind. He also talks about the difficulty in getting personally identified with insights, and explores what is meant by “non-meditation.” For those meditators out there who are interested in having a more empowering and healthy relationship to their own minds, this promises to be a very interesting interview. Episode Links: www.RobertSpellman.com Orgyenpa ( http://www.kagyuoffice.org/kagyulineage.karmapa2.html#Orgyenpa )

10. A Different Way of Approaching Meditation
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Description: We’re joined again by meditation teacher Jason Siff to conclude our exploration of the fundamental ideas and practices behind his unique approach of Unlearning Meditation, or what he calls Recollective Awareness. We begin with exploring what recollection, or mindfulness, is and how it can be harnessed through a practice of meditative journaling. Jason continues his deconstruction of the type of prescribed practices which suggest doing something “all of the time” and suggests instead that we find out for ourself what meditation is about and where it is leading. We wrap up the discussion by exploring a different way of developing samadhi, a method that Jason describes as “drifting off in meditation.” This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Unlearning Meditation. Episode Links: Skillful Meditation Project ( http://www.skillfulmeditation.org ) Unlearning Meditation: What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way ( http://amzn.to/c0iBUm ) A Mindful Balance ( http://www.alanwallace.org/spr08wallace_comp.pdf )

11. Unlearning Meditation
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Description: “Meditation instructions that disallow thinking, reflection, or being open to the full range of experience usually imply a distrust of the mind.” – Jason Siff We’re joined by meditation teacher and author Jason Siff, to explore what happens when meditation instructions and techniques get in the way. Jason explains that meditation instructions and rules contain within them certain limitations, that can lead to impasses in our practice. We explore Jason’s approach, Recollective Awareness, as well as discussing the role that both trust and intention play in untangling these unhelpful meditation habits. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Episode Links: Skillful Meditation Project ( http://www.skillfulmeditation.org ) Unlearning Meditation: What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way ( http://amzn.to/c0iBUm )

12. Bodhisattva, Superstar
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Description: We’re joined this week by filmmaker Michael Trigilo, to explore some of the themes from his newest allegorical documentary, “Bodhisattva, Superstar.” Included in our conversation are questions around what it means to be “spiritual but not religious”, what purpose Religion serves and what difficulties come with it, and why anger is such a hot topic in the Buddhist tradition? We also discuss controversy in spiritual communities—with Michael highlighting his own experience of disappointment and disillusionment—and how these controversies and scandals can become opportunities for a more transparent “cultural conversation” to occur. Finally he shares what he hopes both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike might get from watching this edgy and sophisticated Buddhist documentary. Episode Links: Bodhisattva, Superstar ( http://www.starve.org/superstar/ ) “The Buddha” on PBS ( http://www.pbs.org/thebuddha/ ) Bewitched, Buddhist, and Bewildered ( http://conceptualart.dreamhosters.com/npr/archives/102 ) The Kalama Sutra ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wheel008.html )

13. The Timeless Tradition of Spiritual Apprenticeship
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Description: In the last part of our discussion with Buddhist teacher and scholar Hokai Sobol, we wrap up our exploration on some of the important influences and forces that shape Western Buddhism. As part of that we discuss the fluid nature of his consumer-client-colleague model. We also talk about the deep problems that have arisen from adopting traditional models, instead of current ones, and how this has generated a multitude of scandals—including scandals of power, sex, and also of the generational problem of their being so few young practitioners today. Finally, we talk about how to reinvigorate “the timeless tradition of spiritual apprenticeship.” Hokai speaks about what he calls “essential apprenticeship,” and also brings up a couple of questions related to the way that spiritual apprenticeship relates to current cultural forms. This is part 4 of a multi-part series. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info )

14. Exchanging Dharma: Client and Colleague Mindsets
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Description: We’re joined by Buddhist teacher and scholar Hokai Sobol, as we continue exploring the different mindsets that we often take, while exchanging Dharma here in the West. In the last episode he described the Consumer mindset, and in this one goes on to speak about the Client and Colleague mindsets. He explores the healthy and unhealthy versions of each, as well as how each of the three mindsets differ from one another. This is part 3 of a multi-part series. Listen to part 1, The Invisible Forces that Shape Western Buddhism and part 2, Exchanging Dharma:The Consumer Mindset. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info ) Herbert V. Günther ( http://bit.ly/1CQHrVP )

15. Exchanging Dharma: The Consumer Mindset
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Description: We’re joined again this week by Buddhist teacher and scholar Hokai Sobol, to continue our exploration of the hidden mindsets and cultural forces that shape Western Buddhism. In this episode Hokai explores a tradition of exchanging knowledge, which is at least 1,000 years old in Europe, that of the “master & apprentice.” Hokai describes the process by which Europeans used to, and in some cases still do, learn a particular trade, by first becoming a novice apprentice, eventually striking out on one’s own as a journeyman, and then finally coming back to become part of the local guild, as a full master of one’s craft. This model, he explains, has striking similarities to the traditional model found in the Asian countries where Buddhism thrived. He then presents a new model for how we might look at exchanging Dharma. This model includes three mindsets, or roles that we take on as Dharma practitioners and teachers, with the first one being the “consumer mindset.” We look at both the immature and mature versions of this consumer mindset, and how as a consumer we tend to approach the exchange of Dharma. In the next episode Hokai completes his contemporary model by describing the client mindset and colleague mindset. This is part 2 of a multi-part series. Listen to part 1, The Invisible Forces that Shape Western Buddhism. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info ) Internet access is ‘a fundamental right’ ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8548190.stm )

16. The Invisible Forces that Shape Western Buddhism
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Description: In the first part of a multi-part discussion with Buddhist teacher and scholar Hokai Sobol, we explore the invisible, and rarely discussed, forces that shape Western Buddhism. In particular what we call “culture” shapes our institutions and communities in ways that we rarely see with clarity. Hokai spends a good bit of this initial discussion exploring the traditional story that has been handed down to us. This story includes the various cultural assumptions surrounding the Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions, in the different countries and time periods in which they existed. These norms include the what it means to have a “healthy attitude” (or “right attitude” as it’s often formulated), what the proper teacher-student relationship is, and what hierarchy looks like in these cultures. This is part 1 of a multi-part series. Listen to part 2, Exchanging Dharma – The Consumer Mindset. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info )

17. An Evidence-Based Spirituality for the 21st Century
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Description: We’re joined by Charles Tart, one of the founders of the branch of psychology known as transpersonal psychology. Dr. Tart’s life work has to do with putting forward an “evidence-based spirituality for the 21st century.” In this conversation we explore the evidence that he explored for phenomena like reincarnation, as well as the “big five” of telepathy, clairvoyance, pre-cognition, psychokinesis, and psychic healing. With all of these phenomena Charles warns about adopting a “scientistic”—as opposed to scientific—view of reality, which says that none of those things can be real, simply because they don’t fit into the mainstream view of materialism. Instead, he suggests, we should be looking at the evidence and letting it shape our understanding of reality. Episode Links: Charles T. Tart’s Official Website ( http://www.paradigm-sys.com ) The End of Materialism: How Evidence of the Paranormal Is Bringing Science and Spirit Together ( http://amzn.to/9VA93n ) Ian Stevenson ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson ) The Division of Perceptual Studies at The University of Virginia Medical School ( http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops )

18. Growing Up Versus Waking Up
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Description: We’re joined this week by clinical psychologist and Buddhist practitioner John Welwood. John has spent his entire adult life exploring the intersection between Eastern and Western psychological approaches. In our discussion we cover the following topics: the three realms of human experience, spiritual bypassing (a term that John coined), the Buddhist perfections, waking up and growing up as different tracks of human development, and the ways that spiritual awareness can be used in service of psychological growth and well-being. Episode Links: www.JohnWelwood.com Toward a Psychology of Awakening: Buddhism, Psychotherapy, and the Path of Personal and Spiritual Transformation ( http://amzn.to/bKvera )

19. Working with Sexual Energy
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Description: We’re joined again by British meditation teacher, Christopher Titmuss, to continue our exploration into the powerful, and often challenging, realm of human sexuality. Christopher shares a couple of stories of monks dealing with sexuality, one a traditional story and the other a story of a 92 year old monk that he practiced with in Thailand. He also explains that if sexual energy, which is a natural part of our humanity, is repressed than it can wreak havoc on how we engage in the world. Finishing up our conversation with Christopher, we ask him if there’s anything he’d like to share with the Buddhist Geeks listeners. He responds with a very interesting caution on not over-emphasizing the development of the mind, over the development of the heart and the vibrancy of our “feeling lives.” This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1, The Place of the Erotic. Episode Links: www.ChristopherTitmuss.org

20. The Place of the Erotic
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Description: We’re joined this week by Insight meditation teacher and engaged activist Christopher Titmuss. Our main topic of exploration is the place of sexuality, eros, and love in the practice of Dharma. Contained within that topic we explore what is often meant by the word ‘desire’ in English, and how that differs from the what the Buddha taught as the source of suffering, tanha (often translated as thirst or craving). Christopher explains some of the historical reasons that Buddhism has not be able to provide many helpful suggestions concerning sexuality, and also challenges what he sees as a common orthodox among Western teachers and practitioners in regards to sexuality and relationships. We conclude our conversation by exploring the importance—in a cultural climate where long-term monogamous relationships are becoming more and more rare—of treating the ending of relationships with greater care. “How,” Christopher asks, “if we are ending a relationship, can we make a transition from intimacy to that of a caring friendship?” This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Working with Sexual Energy. Episode Links: Bodh Gaya Retreats ( http://www.bodhgayaretreats.org ) www.ChristopherTitmuss.org

21. The Buddhist Atheist
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Description: Secular Buddhist teacher Stephen Batchelor joins us to explore some of the ideas presented in his newest book, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist. We start off by examining the two Buddhist doctrines of karma and rebirth, using the original teachings of the Buddha, especially the “imponderables” as a touchstone for the conversation. Stephen’s basic claim being that the belief in rebirth doesn’t have sufficient evidence behind it, and it actually takes away from the core practices and teachings of the Buddha. We conclude the interview by exploring the difference between agnosticism and atheism, which Stephen claims can be integrated together into what he calls an “ironic atheism.” Episode Links: Stephen and Martine Batchelor ( http://www.stephenbatchelor.org ) Buddhism Without Beliefs ( http://amzn.to/bHGkI7 ) Confession of a Buddhist Atheist ( http://amzn.to/9WL5X1 )

22. The Mindful Therapist
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Description: This week we speak to vipassana meditation teacher, and psychotherapist Trudy Goodman. Trudy completes the story of her early Zen days, and also describes how she transitioned into becoming a vipassana teacher. She also shares some of her training in psychology, wherein she studied with the famous child developmentalist, Jean Piaget in France. She was eventually led her to work with children diagnosed with extreme developmental disorders, and with adults as well. Trudy shares how her practice of meditation was crucial in supporting people in their own therapeutic process, and how the key for all therapists who want to practice some sort of mindful therapy is to really practice and become familiar with their own mind. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Zen, Vipassana, & Psychotherapy. Episode Links: Jean Piaget ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget ) InsightLA ( http://www.insightla.org )

23. Zen, Vipassana, & Psychology
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Description: This week we speak to vipassana and Zen teacher, Trudy Goodman. Trudy shares how she got into both Buddhist meditation and psychotherapy, and uses her story to illustrate the powerful ways that these different methods can compliment one another. Trudy also reflects on the differences between her experience in Zen training with Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn, and her practice of vipassana meditation. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Mindful Therapist. Episode Links: Zen Master Seung Sahn ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seung_Sahn ) Insight Meditation Society ( http://www.dharma.org ) InsightLA ( http://www.insightla.org )

24. The Core of Wisdom
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Description: We’re joined again this week by professor and meditation teacher Roger Walsh. This week we dive into his study of the common practices seen in all of the world’s wisdom traditions. He shares each of these practices, and then also explores with us the ancient tradition of Shamanism, which is estimated to be tens of thousands of years old. We explore how ancient Shamanism relates to the neo-shamanism and core shamanism practices being taught in the West today, how Shamanism might have been repressed during recent times, and also the difference between meditation, mental disorders, and shamanistic states. Roger wraps up the conversation by expressing how he sees Buddhism having a unique role in helping us face the unique challenges and opportunities of our day. In this stirring topic he emphasizes the need to harness relevant technological mediums, to understand the difference between Buddhism crossing cultures and crossing eras, and the crucial link between the extraordinary challenges in the world today and the states of mind that Buddhism helps to cultivate. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, A Technology of Transcendence. Episode Links: Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind ( http://amzn.to/dt8mGz ) The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition ( http://amzn.to/buqPaU ) The Foundation for Shamnic Studies ( http://www.shamanism.org )

25. A Technology of Transcendence
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Description: This week we speak with professor and teacher Roger Walsh. Roger shares his journey from being a hardcore neuorscientist and psychiatrist to becoming an avid meditator and mystic. Once Walsh discovered that at the core of all the religious traditions was “a technology of transcendence” he jumped head-long into vipassana meditation–bringing, as he put it, his personality into his practice. Following that he practiced Shikantaza in the Zen tradition, and then also spent many years practicing in the Vajrayana tradition, which he now teaches alongside Lama Surya Das. Roger also explores with us a model of human needs and development, based on Carl Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. He points out that Maslow added a level of needs above self-actualization toward the end of his career, that was about the need to transcend the self. He builds on this by saying that with that need has been met, the culmination of spiritual practice is service, otherwise known as the bodhisattva aspiration. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Core of Wisdom. Episode Links: Shikantaza ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikantaza ) Lama Surya Das ( http://www.surya.org ) Trekchö ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trekcho ) Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs )

26. Enlightened Society
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Description: This week we’re joined by the President of Shambhala, Richard Reoch. Along with overseeing the Shambhala organization, Richard is also a long time human rights, activist, and environmental leader. With this unique background, we thought it would be particularly relevant to explore the topic of “enlightened society.” Enlightened society was an idea presented by Chogyam Trunpa, but which he said was originally taught by the Buddha. We explore what Trungpa meant by the term, and how it has evolved over the past few decades in the Shambhala community. We also look at the parallels, between the path of the activist and the contemplative path. With one we are trying to fix ourselves (often), and the other we are trying to fix the world. As Richard says, both are paths where one moves first from a position of arrogance toward one of humility. Episode Links: Shambhala ( http://www.shambhala.org ) Kalachakra Tantra ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalachakra )

27. The Most Fundamental Duality
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Description: We’re joined again by Zen Master Diane “Musho” Hamilton, this time to explore the most fundamental duality of masculine and feminine. Diane points out that if you have an objection to looking at it in these terms, you can also think of it as the polarity between receptivity and activity or between personal and impersonal. She describes this polarity, how it’s been helpful for her as a Zen teacher, and also how to look at compassion from this perspective. Finally we talk about an approach that goes beyond these dualities, but doesn’t shy away from them. This approach of “not 2, not 1″ is characteristic of many Zen teachers and is a way of understanding non-duality in a completely different way. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Integral Zen. Episode Links: www.dianemushohamilton.com Hal and Sidra Stone ( www.delos-inc.com ) Karl Renz ( http://www.karlrenz.com )

28. Integral Zen
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Description: We’re joined by Zen Master, Diane “Musho” Hamilton, to explore an approach to spiritual practice called “Integral Zen.” In our interview we explore several related topics, including the difference between a path of renunciation and one of transmutation. As part of this we also look at the role that the shadow—a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung—plays in our spiritual practice. In addition we examine how different Buddhist traditions have, or have not, incorporated an understanding of the shadow. We also explore the role that community plays in helping wake each other up, and the verticality of the teacher-student relationship. Finally we talk about how she is incorporating, what are called the “3 faces of spirit” into her Zen teaching. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Most Fundamental Duality. Episode Links: www.dianemushohamilton.com Hal and Sidra Stone ( http://www.delos-inc.com )

29. I Vow to Feed All Hunger
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Description: We’re joined this week by one of the pioneers of the socially engaged Buddhist movement, Zen Master Bernie Glassman. Although he grew up in a family that valued social action, after some years of Zen practice he had an experience that amplified his calling to serve those in need. At that point he made a vow to feed all hungers. We speak about the interconnection—and accordingly to Bernie, the inseparability—between contemplative practice and social action. He shares details of many of the projects he has been part of, including the Greystone project in Yonkers, New York, which helped to cut homelessness in that area by three-quarters. He also shares some of the key tenets from the group that he founded, called the Zen Peacemakers. These tenets link together the “not knowing” of spiritual practice with the “loving action” of social engagement, and make it possible for us to turn our spiritual awareness into a vital force for all those in need. Episode Links: Zen Peacemakers ( http://www.zenpeacemakers.org ) The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology ( http://bit.ly/bslllz ) Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master’s Lessons in Living a Life That Matters ( http://bit.ly/bwjC4R )

30. What Young People Want
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Description: “We always talk about the Sangha as part of the triple gem, but I think it is the least developed part of Buddhism in the West.” – Sumi Loundon Kim We’re joined this week by Sumi Loundon Kim, author of Blue Jean Buddha and The Buddha’s Apprentices, to explore what young people want from spiritual communities. We explore young people’s need for belongingness, their natural spiritual inclination, and the big questions that they are asking. Sumi, who is in her mid-30’s now, gives several suggestions for how Buddhist communities can engage more effectively with a younger population. She points out that though Buddhist communities tend to be somewhat asocial when compared to other communities, there are many things we can be doing to better reach a new generation of seekers. Many of these suggestions are surprisingly obvious, but few are implemented on a large scale in Buddhist communities. Episode Links: Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists ( http://bit.ly/aiCOoV ) The Buddha’s Apprentices: More Voices of Young Buddhists ( http://bit.ly/abRn7U ) I Married a Monk ( http://bit.ly/aw2s6K )

31. I'm Not Babysitting Your Ego
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Description: We finish up our discussion with spiritual teacher Adyashanti, focusing on several topics relevant to contemporary seekers. We start off by exploring his thoughts on questions of power & hierarchy in the student-teacher relationship. Adya’s approach is to put power back on the student, encouraging them to be their own inner authority from the beginning. We also explore a type of writing meditative inquiry practice that Adyashanti has done, and which he teaches others. He explores how this type of inquiry can be used in conjunction with silent meditation practice to eliminate roadblocks on the spiritual path. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Now That’s Zen.

32. Now That's Zen
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Description: We’re joined by spiritual teacher Adyashanti to discuss his 15 years of training with Zen teacher Arvis Joen Justi. He shares details from his initial awakening at 25–where he realized that he was what he was seeking–to the end of the search several years later at 31. It’s at that point that Arvis asked Adyashanti to begin teaching, and as he shares with us, his teaching evolved and changed fairly quickly. He shares how it changed, and how he saw it as a natural evolution of his Zen training, rather than an entirely new form. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, I’m Not Babysitting Your Ego. Episode Links: Yasutani Hakuun Roshi ( http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Yasutani_Hakuun_Roshi ) Soen Nakagawa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soen_Nakagawa )

33. Contributing to the Gross National Happiness
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Description: Richard Brown–a long time Buddhist and contemplative educator–joins us to share some of the details from his recent involvement in helping the small Buddhist country of Bhutan reform their public education system. Bhutan, which since the early 70’s has had as its main goal to increase Gross National Happiness, wants to create an education system that pulls the best from the West. The main principles they’re holding with this reform, include Contemplation, a Holistic approach, Sustainability, Cultural Integrity, and Critical Intellect. They’re aim is to educate their populace in such a way that they’re prepared for the onslaught of some of the more negative aspects of modernity–including the barrage of information and gross commercialization. Richard was a core part of a recent 5-day workshop aimed at starting to plan the reform of their education system. Richard shares many of the details from that workshop, and shares some of the amazing steps that Bhutan has already taken, as a result, to foster the happiness and well-being of their countries inhabitants.

34. Happiness: There's an App For That
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Description: In this episode we’re joined by Soren Gordhamer, long time tech writer, and author of Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected. Soren often writes for the Huffington Post and Mashable (a social media blog) on the relationship between the inner world with technology and social media. He explores with us some of the potential shadow sides of technology, as well as some of the remedies that can be used in balancing our internal life with our external. He suggests that focusing more consciously on our internal world actually puts us in a position where we can use technology, instead of technology using us. Soren also shares some details on a conference that he’s organizing, which will be bringing together luminaries from both the spiritual and technology worlds. His hope is that a conversation between the two can better answer the question of how we live a life of wisdom in the modern world. Episode Links: Wisdom 2.0: Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected ( http://bit.ly/czcde1 ) digital_nation : life on the virtual frontier ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/ ) 4 Steps for Managing Social Media Attention ( http://mashable.com/2010/02/17/social-media-attention/ ) The Wisdom 2.0 Conference ( http://www.wisdom2summit.com )

35. The Jedi Mind Training of Concentration
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Description: In this episode we wrap up our discussion with meditation teachers Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder, two of the only lay Western teachers authorized to teach the jhana system of Pa Auk Sayadaw. They share the deeper purpose of concentration practice, which isn’t to attain any particular states, but rather is to serve as a purification of the mind stream, what they describe as the “thinning of the me.” They describe the 8 jhanas as states that progressively reach toward the unconditioned, with the 8th jhana, neither perception nor non-perception, as a realm that is as close as you can get to the unconditioned without being itself unconditioned. From there emerges no-thingness, then consciousness, space, and finally form itself. They tell their students that orienting toward the unconditioned, or “the force”, is a type of jedi mind training. And we thought we were geeks! We complete the discussion by exploring the vipassana technique of Pa Auk Sayadaw, which is a powerful way of exploring materiality, mentality, and dependent origination, using the jhana states as a super-powered basis for that investigation. Tina and Stephen share their understanding of this practice, and how it leads to liberating insight and awakening. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Mastering the Jhanas. Episode Links: Jhanas Advice ( www.jhanasadvice.com ) Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw ( bit.ly/d9ucXu ) Knowing and Seeing, by Pa Auk Sayadaw ( www.paauk.org/files/knowing_and_seeing_rev_ed.pdf )

36. Mastering the Jhanas
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Description: This week we speak with Theravada mediation teachers Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder. In 2005, while on a 2-month retreat, they were the first Western lay practitioners (i.e. non-monks) to complete the traditional concentration practices of Pa Auk Sayadaw–a well-regarded Burmese jhana master. The Sayadaw encouraged them to teach what they’ve learned, and they have, as a result, starting leading retreats and have written a book entitled, Practicing the Jhanas. In this episode they share the progressive practice that they did with Pa Auk Sayadaw, which includes all sorts of traditional practices from the Pali Canon. They also make many traditional distinctions, including the distinction between 3 different types of concentration–momentary, access, and absorption–and the way that they distinguish between these types of concentration. They also share some of the traditional benefits that come from concentration practice, and frame the jhanas not as much as something to attain, but rather as a by-product that arises from purifying the mind. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2 (airing next week). Episode Links: Jhanas Advice ( http://www.jhanasadvice.com ) Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw ( http://bit.ly/d9ucXu ) Knowing and Seeing, by Pa Auk Sayadaw ( http://www.paauk.org/files/knowing_and_seeing_rev_ed.pdf )

37. Can Dharma Help Us Turn the Corner?
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Description: This week we share a public talk given by Integral spirituality teacher Terry Patten and Vajrayana teacher Hokai Sobol, on the question of whether traditional Dharma can (or can not) help us turn the corner in a high-speed world. The talk was given in 2009 at the Boulder Integral Center, and was hosted by Buddhist Geeks. A description from the event: In an imbalanced, accelerating world-in-crisis we face problems that cannot be solved, as Einstein famously said, “from the same level of consciousness that created them.” Many contemporary practitioners have turned to the Dharma as a source of that higher consciousness. But traditionally, the path was described as the way to awaken from the dream of human life, not to improve it. The traditions saw that as futile. But today, we no longer see life as an endless cycle. We have an evolutionary view of ourselves and even of our spirituality. And we have seen the folly of “bypassing” our critical life challenges in an attempt to be “spiritual.” How does the wisdom and clarity of ancient Dharma have relevance and meaning in the midst of contemporary evolutionary challenges? How can spiritual insight and illumination empower us to more effectively meet the emerging challenges of our time? Episode Links: Andrew Cohen ( http://www.andrewcohen.org ) The Evolution of God ( http://bit.ly/9IlIpB ) Integral Heart ( http://www.integralheart.com )

38. The Zen of Zen History
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Description: James Zito is a Buddhist film-maker, and the director of a newly released documentary on the history of Zen Buddhism, Inquiry Into the Great Matter. James joins us to discuss his new film, focusing primarily on what he learned while making the film. He shares some specifics on the lives of the famous Zen masters, Daito Kokushi and Ikkyu Sojun. While quite different, each masters reflected very important aspects of Zen Buddhism. We conclude our discussion, exploring the state of Zen in Japan today, which compared to times in the past several hundred years, has declined greatly. Will traditional Japanese Zen be able to exist in a hyper-modern Japan, and as it spreads across the world? Episode Links: Inquiry into the Great Matter: A History of Zen Buddhism ( http://historyofzendvd.com ) Vajra Video ( http://www.vajravideo.com )

39. Unifying Developmental Enlightenment with Timeless Realization
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Description: We’re joined again this week by Kenneth Folk, a long-time Theravada practitioner and meditation teacher. Kenneth completes his harrowing spiritual story, all the way to the point, where he says that he, “got off the ride and was done.” He speaks about how uncommon it is, in Western Buddhist circles, to believe that enlightenment is possible, a phenomenon that his teacher Bill Hamilton described as the “mushroom culture.” Kenneth then goes on to describe two different ways of understanding enlightenment: one as a developmental process, much the way his path is described, and then two, as a timeless realization that’s available at any moment. After his awakening, Kenneth went on to explore the timeless realization through the direct teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, the Dzogchen teachers of Tibet. He found that the direct and developmental teachings could be integrated, and that integration led him to what he calls the “3-speed transmission”. Listen in to hear about the 3-speed transmission, and how one can shift between levels, all the while supporting a deepening sense of awakeness and non-distracted-ness. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Ordinary People Can Get Enlightened. Episode Links: Kenneth Folk Dharma ( http://www.kennethfolk.com )

40. Ordinary People Can Get Enlightened
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Description: We’re joined this week by Kenneth Folk, a long-time Theravada practitioner and meditation teacher, who describes in exquisite detail his spiritual journey. It began in earnest at the age of 24, when having done several hits of LSD, he had a life-altering experience that put him squarely on the path of seeking. Several years later, he really began gaining some traction, when he met his teacher Bill Hamilton, who claimed that enlightenment was something that could be systematically attained by applying a technique. By dedicating himself completely to those techniques, and through doing years of intensive meditation practice in the West and in Asia, Kenneth claims that he went through a gradual development through the various “stages of enlightenment,” described in the literature of Theravada Buddhism. Listen in to hear Kenneth describe these stages, as well as the many things he learned along the way. And listen in to next week’s episode, to hear Kenneth complete his story. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2, Unifying Developmental Enlightenment and Timeless Realization. Episode Links: The Progress of Insight ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html ) Mahasi Sayadaw ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahasi_Sayadaw ) Kenneth Folk Dharma ( http://www.kennethfolk.com )

41. The Mountain of Spirit
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Description: This week we’re joined by Zen-inspired dharma teacher, Michael McAlister. Michael is the leader of the Infinite Smile sangha, just east of Berkeley, in what Michael calls, “the hard edge of suburbia.” After many years of Zen practiced with the San Francisco Zen Center, Michael set up to teach a form of dharma that wasn’t bound by tradition. Some of the topics we discussed with Michael include climbing the mountain of spirit–a stirring and ancient metaphor for the spiritual journey, the 7th, 8th, and 9th spiritual senses, and finally the things that Michael has learned while endeavoring “to integrate a relevant spirituality with 21st century living.” Episode Links: Ken Wilber ( http://www.kenwilber.com ) Awake in This Life: A Guide for Those Climbing the Mountain of Spirit ( http://bit.ly/6B44Zf )

42. Feminine Zen
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Description: Grace Schireson is a Zen master in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and is the abbess of the Empty Nest Zendo in northern California. She joins us today to explore some of the main themes in her recently released book, Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters. Among the topics we discuss are what the traditional stereotypes of females in Zen have been, and the recently discovered literature on women in Zen who did not fit these stereotypes. We then look at the unique way these women practiced Zen and how what they learned can be applicable to us today. We finish the discussion by speaking about feminine spirituality in general, and the prevalence of the “great mother” in all of the world’s wisdom traditions. Episode Links: Empty Nest Zendo ( http://www.emptynestzendo.org ) Zen Women: Beyond Tea Ladies, Iron Maidens, and Macho Masters ( http://bit.ly/5jlS2D )

43. Returning to the Marketplace
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Description: This week we speak with Zen Master, Genpo Roshi, about the relationship between money and spirituality. It’s a hot topic and one that he is incredibly passionate about. He shares the details of a successful new fundraising campaign that his community puts on called the Big Heart Circle or 5/5/50. 5/5/50 stands for five people for five days, and at the cost of a $50,000 donation do a retreat with Genpo. He shares with us the specifics behind that retreat, including how the money is used, and responds to those people who find what he’s doing offensive. He also shares his observations on how he, and many other spiritual practitioners, disown their own ambition, competitiveness, and greediness in a way that causes it to come out in extremely pernicious ways. The key, to him, is to re-own those parts of ourselves that we can be of benefit to all sentient beings, and just as in the 10 ox-herding pictures, re-enter the marketplace with gift bestowing hands. Episode Links: Big Mind – Big Heart: Finding Your Way ( http://bit.ly/JRp9q ) Big Mind Zen Center ( http://bigmind.org )

44. Eddies in the Stream
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Description: We conclude our uber-geeky conversation with neuropsychologist and dharma teacher Rick Hanson this week, exploring what might be happening in the run-up to the transforming moment of nirvana. In the Theravada tradition of Buddhism the moment or nirvana (or nibbana as it’s called in that tradition), and even the period leading up to it, is spiritually transformative. Using one common map of the experiences leading up to nirvana–the 8 jhanas–Rick explains what he thinks might be happening in the brain as it approaches the “event horizon” of nibbana. He also uses the metaphor of eddies in a stream to explain the way that experience arises on a moment-by-moment basis, through the firing of neural coalitions in the brain. He also explores the parallels between the eddies of experience and self in our subjective experience with the material world. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, A Crash Course in Applied Neurodharma and part 2, Self is a Network Phenomenon. Episode Links: Wise Brain ( http://www.wisebrain.org ) Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/J4gPr )

45. Self is a Network Phenomenon
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Description: We’re joined again by Neuropsychologist and Theravada teacher, Rick Hanson. This time we explore the Buddhist proposition of anatta, or selflessness, from the point of view of neuroscience and the brain. Rick explores whether a self actually exists using the following 4 core attributes of how a self is often defined: 1. It is unified & coherent 2. It is stable & enduring 3. It is independent 4. It is the whole of experience Looking at current research on how the self manifests in the brain, as what Hanson calls a “network phenomenon”, he deconstructs each of these four attributes, arguing that “self is not special inside the brain.” This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, A Crash Course in Applied Neurodharma and part 3, Eddies in the Stream. Episode Links: Wise Brain ( http://www.wisebrain.org ) Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/J4gPr )

46. A Crash Course in Applied Neurodharma
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Description: This week, we’re joined by trained Neuropsychologist and Theravada Buddhist teacher, Rick Hanson, to explore what he calls “applied Neurodharma.” We begin by exploring the 1st noble truth of suffering, but from the perspective of evolutionary neurobiology. In other words, why does it appear that we’re hard-wired to suffer, and what are the mechanisms behind it? And just as in the 4 noble truths, where we start with the diagnosis and end with a prescription, after exploring the 1st noble truth, Rick shares some suggestions for training the mind to overcome some of the hardwired tendencies we have to fixate on the negative. These suggestions come both from the Buddhist tradition, as well as directly from what we know of the distributed nervous system (and the Brain) from modern-day neuroscience. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to part 2, Self is a Network Phenomenon and part 3, Eddies in the Stream. Episode Links: Wise Brain ( http://www.wisebrain.org ) Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/J4gPr )

47. Work, Sex, Money, Dharma
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Description: Martin Aylward continues his discussion with us how we can bring forth a more relevant, relational, and potent form of contemporary dharma practice. He begins by exploring the tendency for Western practitioners to rely too much on retreat practice, instead of on the juice that comes from their daily lives, and the need to work more skillfully with our everyday experience. In particular he highlights the areas of money and sex, as being areas of our lives that have a lot of charge, and yet are usually nominalized in dharma teachings. In 2010 Martin will be leading a special urban-based retreat (or sandwich retreat) entitled Work, Sex, Money, Dharma that deals specifically with these parts of our human experience, in the hopes that we can create a practice of awakening that includes every aspect of our lives. This is part 2 of a two part series. Listen to part 1, Freestyle Awakening Episode Links: Le Moulin Meditation Centre ( http://www.dharmanetwork.org ) Work, Sex, Money, Dharma ( http://worksexmoneydharma.com )

48. Freestyle Awakening
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Description: The theme of distinguishing between the Buddhist teachings and forms which lead to awakening, and those forms that are culturally inherited and perhaps unsuited for our current Western context, is an ongoing one on Buddhist Geeks. This week, we continue this exploration with Dharma teacher, Martin Aylward. Martin, who lives in southern France, where he runs and teaches as Le Moulin Meditation Centre, has been actively exploring what it means to translate Dharma to the West. He recognizes that we’re still quite early in that process, but is a pioneer when it comes to adapting the forms of Buddhism to the West. His use of technology and emphasis on relational dharma, as well as what calls “Freestyle” or “DIY Awakening” is a striking attempt at making Dharma more relevant for the lives of Western, engaged, lay practitioners. This is part 1 of a two part series. Listen to part 2, Work, Sex, Money, Dharma. Episode Links: Ajahn Buddhadasa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhadasa ) Le Moulin Meditation Centre ( http://www.dharmanetwork.org ) Work, Sex, Money, Dharma ( http://worksexmoneydharma.com )

49. Investing in the Future of American Buddhism
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Description: We continue our discussion with Shambhala acharya, Judith Simmer-Brown, about how we can strategically invest in American Buddhism so that it survives in the long-term. We explored the first three areas of importance in-depth in part 1, which included the translation of core texts, the development of a monastic lineage, and the appointment of dharma heirs. In this part of the discussion we flesh out the details of the fourth area, which is royal patronage. Judith speaks about how, given a lack of that kind of support, most dharma teachers and organizations turn whole-heartedly to the market to sustain them. And with that come all sort of issues–including the pursuit of fame and fortune. We finish the discussion, going back to the question of whether we’ll be able to develop a monastic community in the West, and why that’s important to the healthy development of Buddhism in America. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Survival of American Buddhism. Episode Links: Naropa University ( http://www.naropa.edu ) Tassajara Zen Center ( http://www.sfzc.org/tassajara/ ) Gampo Abbey ( http://www.gampoabbey.org )

50. The Survival of American Buddhism
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Description: This week, we’re joined by Shambhala acharya and Naropa University professor, Judith Simmer-Brown. She joins us today to discuss four areas, which she learned about while at Colombia University in the late 60’s, that help determine whether or not Buddhism will take root in a new country. These four are: 1. The translation of core Buddhist texts into English 2. The development of a monastic lineage w/ American lineage holders 3. The training and appointment of dharma transmission holders 4. Royal patronage, or financial support from within the country After describing each area of focus, Judith goes into depth as to how we’re doing with the first three areas, today in America. She shares her reflections, while also raising some provocative questions, as to how we’re doing with building a sustainable infrastructure for Buddhism to prosper in the West. Next week, we’ll finish the conversation by exploring the 4th area in depth, and speaking about how we can best invest in the future of American Buddhism. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Investing in the Future of American Buddhism. Episode Links: Becoming Whole: Lineage and Gender in American Buddhism ( http://bit.ly/1VrfRUW ) The Scholar-Practitioner: Joining Theory and Practice ( http://bit.ly/1Vrggqu )

51. Turning Your Back to the Buddha
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Description: Insight Meditation teacher, Rodney Smith, joins us to explore the topic of “urban dharma”–seeing that the transformative potential of one’s life and relationships are on equal footing with silent, more passive forms of meditation. Rodney critiques the common tendency to elevate silent retreat practice above all other aspects of practice. As part of that exploration he also shares a moving story from his time studying with the famous Advaita teacher Nisargadatta Maharaj. Rodney concludes by exploring what it might it mean to be a “Buddhist revolutionary,” updating and contemporizing the Buddhist teachings, while “turning one’s back to the Buddha and moving forward…” This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Stepping out of Self-Deception. Episode Links: I Am That ( http://bit.ly/1gfAD2 ) Dharma Talks by Rodney Smith ( bit.ly/1TOJ5LH ) Seattle Insight ( www.seattleinsight.org ) Lessons From the Dying ( bit.ly/40F0Gh )

52. Stepping out of Self-Deception
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Description: Rodney Smith, the founder of the Seattle Insight Meditation Society, joins us today to discuss several fascinating topics. We start with an exploration of how the Big Bang and the origin of life on Earth (some 3.8 billion years ago) and spiritually significant events. We also discuss the overall compatibility between Buddhist teachings and these new found scientific findings. Finally, Rodney shares with us a powerful mathematical analogy for understanding the spiritual path, that of fractions. The numerator of the fraction represents the appearances of things, and the denominator represents the undifferentiated wholeness underlying appearances. Rodney shares how spiritual practice, and the process of dying, can both help us cross the fraction line. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Turning Your Back to the Buddha. Episode Links: Dharma Talks by Rodney Smith ( http://bit.ly/1TOJ5LH ) Seattle Insight ( http://www.seattleinsight.org ) Lessons From the Dying ( http://bit.ly/40F0Gh )

53. Buddha in a Cup of Tea
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Description: This week, we’re joined by Kenneth Cohen, a well-known qi-gong master. Along with his training in the Taoist qi-gong and tai chi chuan, Kenneth has a strong connection to the Zen tradition and to the Japanese tea ceremony. In this episode, he shares with us some of the history of tea (the camellia sinensis plant), its long-standing relationship to the Buddhist tradition, his own training with Japanese tea master Millie Johnstone, and the wonderful profundity of drinking a simple cup of tea. Episode Links: www.KennethCohen.com Tao Te Ching ( http://bit.ly/1UysbC ) The Way of Qigong ( http://bit.ly/1P0BiP )

54. The Mechanisms of Kensho
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Description: "A perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding; and by this understanding will you awaken to the truth of Zen." – Zen Master Huang-po The above quote, taken from James Austin’s newest book Selfless Insight, is a description of kensho, an "initial awakening" to the true nature of things. We continue our discussion, this week, with James Austin about the importance of both kensho and satori in the Zen tradition, and his hypothesis as to what is happening in the brain, leading up to and during these events. We also discuss the vast importance of the thalamus, which Austin describes as a type of gateway of perceptual experience. Finally, Austin makes a strong distinction between both the absorptions and various types of quickenings that can precede kensho or satori, but that are not the same as them. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, This is Your Brain on Meditation. Episode Links: Selfless Insight ( http://bit.ly/QRGFu ) Zen and the Brain ( http://bit.ly/KxYDq )

55. This is your Brain on Meditation
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Description: This week we speak with academic nuerologist and Zen practitioner James Austin. Austin, who wrote the well-known book, Zen and the Brain, joins us to explain some of the physical mechanisms underlying both attention and the way we process reality. In terms of attention, he shares with us a very descriptive difference between “top-down” and “bottom-up” modes of attention. He also shares the difference, from the perspective of the brain, between self-centered (egocentric) processing and other-centered (allocentric) processing. He also shares the ways in which these two are related to the different forms of meditation that are commonly seen in the Buddhist tradition. Although sometimes technical, his descriptions are extremely interesting for those who have an interest on the intersection between meditation and the brain. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Mechanisms of Kensho. Episode Links: Selfless Insight ( http://bit.ly/QRGFu ) Zen and the Brain ( http://bit.ly/KxYDq )

56. A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea
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Description: This week with speak with the author of Saltwater Buddha, Jaimal Yogis. Jaimal, a Zen surfer and journalist, wrote Saltwater Buddha to chronicle his late teens and early 20’s as he learned to surf and delved into Zen. He shares with us some of the highlights from this time of his life, and also shares what a powerful metaphor the ocean has been for his spiritual life, especially given his passion for surfing. He also shares some prescient observations about what it’s like being a young Buddhist, and what he notices that is different about the young generation of up-and-coming practitioners. Episode Links: Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer’s Quest to Find Zen on the Sea ( http://bit.ly/3gkIZX )

57. Reflections on 21st Century Dharma
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Description: In this episode we have a round-table discussion, with members from the NYC-based Interdependence Project, on issues surrounding 21st century dharma in the West. Both Buddhist Geeks and the Interdependence Project tend to attract younger practitioners in their 20s & 30s. So, in this dialogue, where the oldest of us is 31, we take on some interesting questions about how Dharma is changing in the West, what challenges we face in the future, the economics of dharma, and the implications of a generation who are so interconnected with technology and culture. Listen in to hear a genuine conversation between young practitioners who are trying to find their way as Buddhist practitioners in the 21st century. Episode Links: The Interdependence Project ( http://theidproject.com ) Free: The Future of a Radical Price ( http://bit.ly/2seHGB ) Buddhism & Money: Does Priceless Mean It’s Free? ( http://bit.ly/ukzoG ) Nellie Tinder ( http://www.nellietinder.org )

58. Artificial Wisdom
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Description: We’re back again with Artificial Intelligence researcher and Zen-dabbler, Ben Goertzel. We continue our exploration of some of the major themes in his non-fiction story “Enlightenment 2.0″. This precipitates a conversation about whether consciousness is a result of the mechanisms of the brain, or whether it is fundamental. And connected to that, what are the ethical implications of creating an artificial intelligence, if we do indeed see it as having BuddhaNature? Finally, Ben shares what he has discovered while exploring the notion of “artificial wisdom”–including what difference there is between intelligence and wisdom. He also talks about the seeming incompatibility between intense scientific thinking and enlightenment, and how that might be rectified by creating a more wise and intelligent super-mind. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Enlightenment 2.0. Episode Links: Artificial Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/2sVNQu ) Enlightenment 2.0 ( http://www.goertzel.org/new_fiction/Enlightenment2.pdf ) The Multiverse According to Ben ( http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com ) www.goertzel.org

59. Enlightenment 2.0
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Description: This week we speak with Ben Goertzel, an artificial intelligence researcher and Zen-dabbling spiritual seeker. Ben shares with us his introduction to Zen and his on-going relationship to spiritual practice. He also explains what is meant by “strong artificial intelligence” and AGI (artificial general intelligence) and explains why he thinks a fully functioning AI may be as little as a decade away. Finally, we explore the overlap between his work as an AI researcher and his experiences with Zen and other spiritual practices, through discussing a story he wrote entitled, “Enlightenment 2.0″ about an enlightened AI being who determines that it is possible to construct a more enlightened mind, what Ben calls a “super mind”, but isn’t sure whether or not it is possible for us. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Artificial Wisdom. Episode Links: Enlightenment 2.0 ( http://www.goertzel.org/new_fiction/Enlightenment2.pdf ) The Multiverse According to Ben ( http://multiverseaccordingtoben.blogspot.com ) www.goertzel.org

60. Meditation is Good for Your Life
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Description: In this episode we speak with Karma Kagyu teacher, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. He starts off by telling us about how he got into formal Buddhist practice, at the tender age of 9. He also shares some of his initial challenges with anxiety, and how he was able to work with it on his first 3-year retreat. Rinpoche also shares some suggestions for meditators who are fairly new to the path, suggesting that they focus on 1) Wisdom & 2) Method. In addition to that he speaks about what makes a good teacher and whether or not it is vital to practice in a particular lineage. We finish our interview with Rinpoche discussing the importance of Joy on the Buddhist path, and of what he calls “Boundless Joy.” Tying in with that he shares what it was like participating in the meditative research conducted by Dr. Richard Davidson, and what the results of that study were. Episode Links: Sitting Quietly, Doing Something ( http://happydays.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/16/sitting-quietly-doing-something/ ) The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness ( http://bit.ly/8Se7E ) Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom ( http://bit.ly/UcxEb ) The Yongey Foundation ( http://www.mingyur.org )

61. The Erotic Embrace of Life and Meditation
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Description: We’re joined today by Vidyuddeva, a young Zen teacher who spent 5 years in monastic training with Zen Master Steve Hagen. Vid is now a teacher in his own right, and teaches with both the iEvolve Practice Community as well as with the Integral Spiritual Center (founded by Ken Wilber). In this episode, Vid shares with us how he came to the dharma, and how it eventually led to his time as a Zen monastic. He also turns the table on the Geeks and begins questioning us as to what the significance is between meditation and life. Listen in to hear more from this young & dynamic voice of wisdom. Episode Links: Dharma Field Zen Center ( http://www.dharmafield.org ) Buddhism Plain and Simple ( http://bit.ly/ZjJFK ) iEvolve: Global Practice Community ( http://www.ievolve.org )

62. Erik Curren: The Buddhist Politician
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Description: Erik Curren is a business leader, community activist, author, Buddhist meditator, and politician—who is running for state legislature in Virginia during the 2010 election period. We were contacted by Erik’s campaign manager, who told us that Erik’s Buddhist background was causing a backlash of religious intolerance from some camps, including his fellow Democrats. We spoke with Erik about the importance of religious freedom in American politics, as well as about the way that the Bodhisattva ideal impacts his work as a politician. Finally, we speak with Erik about his first book, Buddha’s Not Smiling, which explored some of the issues behind the current controversy between the two young men who both claim to be reincarnations of the 16th Karmapa–the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school. It turns out that there is corruption and misunderstanding in Tibetan politics, just as there are in American politics. Episode Links: OnBeing: Liberating the Founders ( http://www.onbeing.org/program/liberating-founders/122 ) Buddha’s Not Smiling : Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today ( http://bit.ly/UnLD6 )

63. Buddhist Chaplaincy, Buddhist Youth
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Description: This week we’re joined by Reverend Danny Fisher–a Buddhist Chaplain and author. Danny shares with us his reasons for becoming chaplain, where the notion of chaplaincy or service to others comes from in the Buddhist tradition, and what it’s like to undertake a Buddhist-based divinity program. In the 2nd half of our conversation we ask him about his take on the challenges and opportunities that young Buddhists encounter. Being an emerging voice for young Buddhists, and a popular Buddhist blogger, Danny shares with us some of his thoughts on what it’s like being a young Buddhist today. Episode Links: Girimananda Sutta ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.060.than.html ) University of the West – Buddhist Chaplaincy Program ( http://bit.ly/1TOH8yZ )

64. Buddhist History 101
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Description: This week we speak with esteemed scholar, and the former professor of Buddhist Studies at UC Berkely, Dr. Lewis Lancaster. Lewis shares with us the important history of the Buddhist tradition, focusing in particular on the unique attributes of Buddhism that made it the first “world religion,” a religion that is able to detach from it’s original homeland and language and travel wide and far. We also discuss the recent history of Buddhism transitioning to the West, and how Buddhism continues to morph and change through time. Listen in for a great dose of geeky history! Episode Links: Buddhism in a Global Age of Technology ( https://youtu.be/cX2f6QHkU-I ) Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative ( http://www.ecai.org )

65. Buddhism and the Evolution of Religion
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Description: Zen teacher Norman Fischer—a teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi—joins us again to speak about the religion, evolution, and Buddhism’s unique role in both. The conversation begins with an overview of American sociologist Robert Bellah’s schema on the evolution of religion throughout the ages. We then discuss the important role that Buddhism can play in the evolution of religion in the West. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1, Buddhism May Need a Plan B. Episode Links: Robert Bellah ( http://www.robertbellah.com ) Everyday Zen ( http://www.everydayzen.org )

66. Buddhism May Need a Plan B
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Description: As Buddhism transitions to the West, we see that it is doing so in a couple different ways. Some forms look more like their original Asian roots, while others are secular and non-Religious in their presentation. Zen teacher Norman Fischer, an early 2nd generation teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, calls the more traditional forms part of “Plan A” and the more secular forms, “Plan B.” In this interview we discuss with Norman the importance of Plan B approaches, like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction. We also discuss his personal experience teaching Plan B at places like Google. Finally, we explore how the livelihood of trained and competent meditation teachers may rely heavily on Plan B approaches. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Buddhism and the Evolution of Religion. Episode Links: Why We Need a Plan B ( http://bit.ly/1TOGMs0 ) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction ( http://www.mindfullivingprograms.com/whatMBSR.php ) Everyday Zen ( http://www.everydayzen.org )

67. Peter Fenner on Entering into Natural Meditation
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Description: This week, I speak with non-dual teacher and former Tibetan monk, Peter Fenner. Peter was a monk for nearly a decade before he disrobed, realizing that the Buddhist practices he was engaged in weren’t leading him to what he was looking for. He then looked to Western psychotherapeutic technologies, and in the process developed a non-dual teaching that relates in part to Madhyamika, Advaita Vedanta, and Western psychology. He calls this approach Radiant Mind, and in this episode we speak with him about the various aspects of his teaching, from a type of deconstructive inquiry based on dialoguing with him, to the formless “practice” of natural meditation. Listen in to hear more about this type of “fruition or results” based spiritual path. Episode Links: radiantmind.net Landmark Forum ( http://www.landmarkeducation.com ) Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness ( http://bit.ly/4a8bZQ )

68. Natural Wakefulness
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Description: This week we speak with Shambhala acharya and cultural anthropologist, Gaylon Ferguson. Gaylon speaks about the view of Natural Wakefulness, in short that innate wisdom is there from the beginning. We also discuss the four foundations of mindfulness as they were taught by Chogyam Trungpa, and the differences between emphasizing naturalness and training on the spiritual path. We wrap up by exploring how cultural anthropology and the study of religion fit in with being a practitioner of the dharma. And since Gaylon has done and taught all three, he has a distinctly interdisciplinary approach that you’ll probably find quite interesting. Episode Links: Turning the Mind Into an Ally ( http://bit.ly/19BJgj ) The Insider/Outsider Problem in the Study of Religion ( http://bit.ly/11SuEG ) Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With ( http://bit.ly/MbrIM )

69. Pop Buddhism & Satori Porn
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Description: This week we speak with Gen-X Zen teacher Brad Warner, author of the newly released Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. We talk a little bit about his book, which leads to a critique of what we might call “Popular Buddhism.” We then ask Brad about an article he wrote called, “Satori Porn”, where he argues that descriptions of enlightenment that make it sound like an experience just aren’t that helpful for students. Even so, at the end of the episode he tries his best to talk about enlightenment, while not describing it in terms of experience. Episode Links: Zen Wrapped In Karma Dipped in Chocolate ( http://bit.ly/ZZOxS ) Hardcore Zen ( http://amzn.to/1TOGnG7 ) Sit Down and Shut Up ( http://amzn.to/1TOGotw )

70. Insights at the Edge
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Description: We’re joined again by Tami Simon–founder of the spiritual media company Sounds True and senior student of Vajrayana teacher Reggie Ray. This week we ask her about her new podcast series, Insights at the Edge, where she has been interviewing many of the best spiritual teachers in the world. Jokingly, Tami said that she wanted to name the show, “Grill the Guru.” Even though that was a joke, there is some truth in it, and she uses her opportunity with these different teachers to ask them tough questions about their lives. We also ask her about some of the people that have impacted her the most during her decades of being around, and working with some of the brightest spiritual teachers of our time. She shares stories from some of her favorite luminaries, including Quaker teacher and activist Parker Palmer, Julia Butterfly Hill, Adyashanti, and finally “the living now gate,” Eckhart Tolle. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, You Will Get the Dharma You Need. Episode Links: Eckhart Tolle TV ( http://www.eckharttolletv.com ) Geneen Roth: No Situation is Unworkable ( http://bit.ly/1TOG2TT ) Insights at the Edge Podcast ( apple.co/1TOFNrL ) Sounds True ( www.soundstrue.com )

71. You Will Get the Dharma You Need
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Description: In this episode we speak with Tami Simon–founder of the spiritual media company Sounds True and senior student of Vajrayana teacher Reggie Ray. Tami shares us with us the intimate details of her initial meeting with Reggie, and the amazing results that followed. She also describes what she has learned from beginning to teach the dharma to others, while also making a vow to only teach that which she truly knows. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Insights at the Edge. Episode Links: Dharma Ocean ( http://www.dharmaocean.org ) Meditating with the Body ( http://bit.ly/1TOFIV5 ) Insights at the Edge Podcast ( http://apple.co/1TOFNrL ) Sounds True ( http://www.soundstrue.com )

72. Dharma Music Can Sound Like Anything
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Description: This week we speak to the Buddhist-inspired musician Ravenna Michalsen. She explains why dharma music need not sound the way we think it should (think monks chanting in Asian in a cave). Instead, Ravenna’s music crosses musical genres and stretches our notion of what dharma music is. We also discuss the life and teachings of Machig Labdron, one of Tibet’s most famous female masters and the inventor of the Chöd lineage of practice. At the end of the interview we end with a song from Ravenna’s album Dharma Song called “Ki Ki So So.” Episode Links: Women of Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/BZTyo ) Mindful Music ( http://www.tricycle.com/insights/mindful-music )

73. The Evolution of the Mind and Life Dialogues
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Description: This week, Adam Engle, the business mastermind behind the Mind and Life Institute, joins us to discuss both the evolution of the project as well as its larger impact. The first Mind and Life Dialogue was held in Dharamsala, India in 1987 with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since then, Adam says, it has done more than any other organization to help “legitimatize the scientific study of meditation.” Listen in to hear more about how they’ve gone about creating an active collaboration between scientists and contemplatives, and what kind of fruit that collaboration has borne. Episode Links: Educating World Citizens for the 21st Century ( http://www.educatingworldcitizens.org ) Mind & Life Institute ( http://www.mindandlife.org )

74. The Great Work of Western Magick
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Description: Alan Chapman is a Western magick practitioner, and the author of the newly released book, Advanced Magick for Beginners. Alan found his way into the field of Chaos magick through the work of Aleister Crowley and since has worked with a powerful technique called “the Holy Guardian Angel,” which very much like the guru yoga techniques of the Vajrayana schools, allows one to surrender to an external guide on the path to enlightenment. Alan shares with us the details of the Western occult tradition, including its core purpose of enlightenment, which he calls “the great work” of magick. He also connects some of the spiritual practices of magick with the Buddhist maps and models. Finally, he shares with us some of the details of a project he has recently launched called Open Enlightenment, whose purpose is to promote a transparent and open discussion surrounding the nature of enlightenment throughout the world’s mystical traditions. Episode Links: The Baptist’s Head ( http://www.thebaptistshead.co.uk ) Advanced Magick for Beginners ( http://bit.ly/2v5mMu )

75. The Mystery of the Mind: Ten Zen Questions
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Description: Dr. Susan Blackmore–a psychologist and long-time Zen practitioner–shares with us the discoveries that she made while writing her latest book, Ten Zen Questions. Listen in to find out what she discovered after many, many hours of asking questions, such as: “Am I conscious now?”, “What was I conscious of a moment ago?”, &“There is no time. What is memory?” Also, listen in to hear how she feels this type of exploration, often called Koan training in the Zen Buddhist tradition, can illuminate and inform the traditional scientific study of consciousness. Episode Links: The Headless Way ( http://www.headless.org ) Ten Zen Blog ( http://tenzenbookblog.wordpress.com ) Dr. Susan Blackmore ( http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk ) Ten Zen Questions ( http://bit.ly/bxloL )

76. The Dharma Overground
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Description: Daniel Ingram, Theravada meditation teacher, joins us today to discuss the online community he and Buddhist Geeks host, Vince Horn helped create, The Dharma Overground. Daniel shares how the Dharma Overground has been a grand experiment in discussing practical, down-to-earth, and empowering dharma out in the open and the results of that experiment thus far. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book. Episode Links: The Dharma Overground ( http://www.dharmaoverground.org ) Interactive Buddha ( www.interactivebuddha.com ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( bit.ly/E1tF )

77. An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book
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Description: Daniel Ingram, a Theravada meditation teacher and one of our most popular guests, joins us again to discuss his recently published book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. In discussing the book we dive into some of the more foundation distinctions he makes, including that of the three trainings. Daniel claims that the trainings in morality (or ethics), concentration (or meditation), and insight (or wisdom) are distinct trainings, each having their own unique gold standard. He explores each of these gold standards and pays particular attention to the gold standard of insight, which has to do with seeing the three characteristics of experience—impermanence, suffering, and not-self. Listen in for some geeky, technical, and hard-hitting dharma from one of today’s little known, yet extremely profound, American dharma teachers. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Dharma Overground. Episode Links: Interactive Buddha ( http://www.interactivebuddha.com ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

78. Western Buddhism: Megatrends & Scandals
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Description: Lama Sarah Harding, Tibetan translator and student of the late Kalu Rinpoche, joins us again to discuss some of the major trends in Western Buddhism. Having taught a class on “Buddhism in America” for the past several years, Sarah is uniquely positioned to share some key insights on this topic. We cap the conversation off discussing the regular, and unfortunate, occurrence of scandal within different Buddhist communities in the West, and what some of the major causes seem to be. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Traditional 3-Year Retreat: Intensive Training for a Nonexistent Job. Episode Links: Zen Masters: Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves ( http://bit.ly/1TOEOYQ ) The Darker Side of Zen: Institutions Defining Reality ( http://bit.ly/1TOEOrF )

79. The Traditional 3-Year Retreat: Intensive Training for a Nonexistent Job
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Description: Lama Sarah Harding, Tibetan translator and student of the late Kalu Rinpoche, joins us to discuss the experience of doing a traditional 3-year retreat in the Tibetan tradition. She was part of a small group of people, who in the mid 70’s did the first 3-year retreat held for Westerners. Listen in to find out more about the practices one does during the traditional retreat, what the biggest challenges can be, and what the benefits are (especially when compared with shorter periods of practice). This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Western Buddhism: Megatrends & Scandals. Episode Links: Jamgon Kongtrul’s Retreat Manual ( http://bit.ly/3oIyzG )

80. The Buddha Didn't Have a Credit Card
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Description: Insight Meditation teacher, Diana Winston, joins us to discuss an extremely relevant topic: Buddhism & Money. We explore whether or not spirituality and money are incompatible (as they are often seen) and if not how they might go together. Diana shares with us some of the original, though not so well known, teachings that the historical Buddha gave on money. She also discusses why both Buddhist teachers and practitioners should work with money and become familiar with it, and recounts her own journey with spiritual practice and money and how she has been able to bring the two together. Episode Links: The Dighajanu Sutta ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.054.than.html ) Hooked!: Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume ( http://bit.ly/1IjV3V ) Wide Awake: Buddhism for the New Generation ( http://bit.ly/S7BlN )

81. Different Types of Jhana: Sutta, Vishudimagga, & Vipassana
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Description: We continue our discussion with insight meditation teacher and author, Richard Shankman. In this episode we continue to dissect the different kinds of samadhi and their respective fruits–what in the Theravada tradition are called jhana (or “meditative absorption”). According to Shankman there are two ways of approaching the attainment of jhana, one as was taught in the original canonical texts of the Theravada, the Pali Suttas, and the other from the later commentaries on the Buddha’s teachings, the Vishudimagga. As a result we get two different forms of jhana–one called Sutta jhana and the other called Vishudimagga jhana. This two-fold understanding, though geeky, shines light on the different methods of practicing both samadhi and vipassana meditation and offers a unitary model for understanding the two together. We also briefly touch on a term called “vipassana jhana,” which is used by notable Burmese and American insight meditation teachers, and relate the development of insight (via vipassana) to these two jhana systems. For those folks who have experience practicing or studying in the Theravada tradition you will likely find your understanding of the tradition deeply enriched. For those in other traditions you will almost certainly find this an interesting glimpse into the detailed intricacies of a one of the oldest Buddhist traditions of meditation. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Power of Samadhi. Episode Links: The Visuddhimagga ( http://bit.ly/18bagN ) The Pali Suttas ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sutta.html ) richardshankman.org The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation ( http://amzn.to/1TODIMI )

82. The Power of Samadhi
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Description: Richard Shankman–a teacher in the insight meditation tradition and the author of the recently released book The Experience of Samadhi–joins us to discuss the various teachings and approaches to what in the Theravada tradition is called samadhi or concentration meditation. During this episode Richard shares some of his personal background with samadhi practice and also explains two different forms of deep samadhi, called jhana in the Theravada tradition–one from the time of the Buddha as captured by the Pali Suttas and another which arouse hundreds of years later and which is captured in the authoritative text, the Visuddhimagga. Listen in to find out about these different forms of deep concentration and absorption, which are a hallmark of the Theravada tradition of Buddhism… This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Different Types of Jhana: Sutta, Vishudimagga, & Vipassana. Episode Links: The Visuddhimagga ( http://bit.ly/18bagN ) Mahasi Sayadaw ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahasi_Sayadaw ) richardshankman.org The Experience of Samadhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation ( http://amzn.to/1TODIMI )

83. Vajrayana in Plain English
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Description: In this episode, we continue our dialogue with Shingon teacher Hokai Sobol. We begin our conversation by dropping a difficult question on Hokai, asking him how the Vajrayana traditions (both the Japanese and Tibetan) can maintain relevance in our post-modern and rapidly changing world. He suggests that we must develop a “Vajrayana in Plain English,” one that is germane to the particularities of this time and space. And as the 1st generation of Buddhist teachers and leaders near retirement-age, now is the only time that we have to do so. Listen in to hear his take on making the Vajrayana not only more relevant, but on it becoming a pioneering force and cultural leader in today’s world. This includes the way that Buddhist teachings, practice, & even creative expressions are presented. It includes nothing less than a bold transformation of the tradition. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Japanese Shingon: The True Word School. Episode Links: Hokai.info Mindfulness in Plain English ( http://bit.ly/a7Z4L )

84. Japanese Shingon: The True Word School
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Description: In this episode we are joined by one of our favorite Buddhist Geeks, Hokai Sobol. Hokai who is a teacher in the Shingon Buddhist tradition–a form of Vajrayana found in Japan–joins us today to speak about the Shingon school. Hokai shares with us a brief history of Shingon tradition and its main teacher Kukai, the artistic dimension of Shingon, and also begins to explain the basic teachings and practices of the lineage. Similar to the Tibetan Vajrayana approaches Shingon harnesses things like mudras (gestures), mantras (sounds), and mandalas (visualizations)–which lines up with the three-fold Body, Speech, & Mind. Speaking about mantras specifically Hokai brings us through the three distinct dimensions of mantra practices and shows us how we can understand and practice with the basic mantra of “om”-“ah”-“hum.” This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Vajrayana in Plain English. Episode Links: Hokai.info

85. Embodied Zen
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Description: “Meditation is the royal road to the unconscious.” – Carl Jung Gerry Shishen Wick, Roshi joins us today to finish the discussion on koan training, Rinzai and Soto Zen, and on a method of training he uses to help people deal with certain psychological issues–called the Great Heart Way. He sees all of these methods as leading toward a more genuine and embodied Zen. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Koan Training and the Different Styles of Zen. Episode Links: The Great Heart Way: How To Heal Your Life and Find Self-Fulfillment ( http://bit.ly/16ZWG7 ) Great Mountain Zen Center ( http://www.gmzc.org ) The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans ( http://bit.ly/la3Lt )

86. Koan Training and the Different Styles of Zen
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Description: Gerry Shishen Wick, Roshi is a dual-lineage holder of both the Soto and Rinzai schools of Zen. His teacher Maezumi Roshi passed along both lineages, and so we take this unique opportunity to ask Roshi to compare these two different approaches. He talks about shikantaza (Just Sitting) and also about koan practice–sometimes referred to as logical paradoxes. He explains that the koan system includes many different kinds of koans, each with different purposes. Some are meant to reveal the oneness of reality, while others are point to the multiplicity within that oneness. He also discusses the difference between “live words” and “dead words,” and why that distinction is so important in the practice of Koan training. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Embodied Zen. Episode Links: The Three Pillars of Zen ( http://bit.ly/dTTbS ) Great Mountain Zen Center ( http://www.gmzc.org ) The Book of Equanimity: Illuminating Classic Zen Koans ( http://bit.ly/la3Lt )

87. Joseph Goldstein on The Science of Insight
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Description: Joseph Goldstein–one of the primary figures in the development of the Insight Meditation movement–finishes up his conversation with us by sharing his perspective on the recent cross-pollunation of the Buddhist meditation with scientific investigation. He shares some of the recent studies that he has contributed to–including an in-depth study at the Insight Meditation Society–and also discusses a few research possibilities that he has recommended to scientists. Finally he shares an interesting idea he had for creating a “virtual bardo machine.” This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Joseph Goldstein on the Benefits of Long Term Practice. Episode Links: Mind and Life Institute ( http://www.mindandlife.org ) One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism ( bit.ly/kELk5 ) Insight Meditation Society ( www.dharma.og )

88. Joseph Goldstein on the Benefits of Long Term Practice
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Description: Joseph Goldstein–one of the primary figures in the development of the Insight Meditation movement–joins us today to discuss the unique benefits of long-term practice. He touches in on the need the train the mind, and hence the need for long periods of dedicated training. He also shares some of the background and vision behind the long-term retreat facility that he helped start called the Forest Refuge–a place where people can come and do long, self-guided retreat practice. Finally, we touch in on the future of the insight meditation tradition, and really the development of Western Buddhism in general. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Joseph Goldstein on the Science of Insight. Episode Links: The Forest Refuge ( http://www.dharma.org/meditation-retreats/forest-refuge ) One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism ( http://bit.ly/kELk5 ) Insight Meditation Society ( http://www.dharma.og )

89. Tibetan Buddhist Lineage in the West
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Description: Reginald Ray, Tibetan Buddhist scholar and teacher, is back with us this week to discuss some pretty big topics. We explore the break that he made, several years ago with the Shambhala tradition, and the larger implications of becoming a Western teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Connected with that we explore the whole issue of Westerners not being regularly empowered to be teachers, and several of the factors involved in that dynamic. We also touch on whether or not Westeners make the best practitioners, and what seems to keep them from going deep. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Forest Dwelling Yogi. Episode Links: Dharma Ocean ( www.dharmaocean.org ) Your Breathing Body – Vol 1. ( bit.ly/1HOKNVR ) Your Breathing Body – Vol 2. ( bit.ly/1HOKR81 ) Touching Enlightenment ( bit.ly/ia0sJ )

90. The Forest Dwelling Yogi
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Description: “Enlightenment is found in the Body and nowhere else.” – famous Dzogchen saying We’re joined in this interview by Reginald Ray–author of numerous books on Tibetan Buddhism and teacher in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In this episode we discuss the forest dwelling meditator, a category of practitioner outside of the normal lay / monastic dichotomy. In particular we look at the role that retreat–both group and solitary–plays for the type of practitioner that does intensive retreat but is not a full-time practitioner. We also discuss Reggie’s teaching emphasis on the shamanic aspect of Vajrayana Buddhism, particulary the role that the body plays in awakening. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Tibetan Buddhist Lineage in the West. Episode Links: Naropa University ( http://www.naropa.edu ) Buddhist Saints in India ( http://bit.ly/ixNr8 ) Civilized Shamans: Buddhism in Tibetan Societies ( http://bit.ly/mJeGn ) Dharma Ocean ( http://www.dharmaocean.org ) Your Breathing Body – Vol 1. ( http://bit.ly/1HOKNVR ) Your Breathing Body – Vol 2. ( http://bit.ly/1HOKR81 ) Touching Enlightenment ( http://bit.ly/ia0sJ )

91. Enlightenment for the Rest of Us
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Description: Shinzen Young joins us again to discuss the possibility of a new way to deliver classical enlightenment to the masses. He discusses the classic delivery systems, which included monastic and lay life. He then builds on that to show a hybrid two-fold delivery system that would incorporate his artificial intelligence system with virtually led home retreats. This Home Practice Program is what is currently being offered at BasicMindfulness.org. Finally Shinzen discusses the “crowning glory” of his mission to unify Western and Eastern technologies, and that is to help nurture the emergence of a “neuro-scientific paradigm for classical enlightenment.” This paradigm could help lead to the emergence of technologies which have the potential to bring classical enlightenment to the masses and hence make large-scale social and individual change. Though Shinzen doesn’t think he’ll see these changes in his own lifetime, he does believe that he can do a lot to help train the future scientists who will. This is part 3 of a 3-part series. Listen to part 1, Shinzen Young: The Hybrid Teacher & part 2, Building a Dharma Successor. Episode Links: Shinzen.org: The Science of Meditation in Action ( www.shinzen.org ) Basic Mindfulness: Home Practice Program ( www.basicmindfulness.org )

92. Shinzen Young: The Hybrid Teacher
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Description: Shinzen Young, professional meditation instructor and geek-extraordinaire, joins us today to share his unique journey as a contemplative. From discontinuing his PhD studies to become a full-time shingon practitioner to taking up Japanese Zen and finally discovering the mindfulness practices originating from Theravada Buddhism, Shinzen has gone deep with several contemplative techniques. In addition to his training in the contemplative traditions of the East, Shinzen took time to train himself to become a relatively qualified mathematician and scientist so that he could one day be poised to bring together the best of the East (contemplative practice) with the best of the West (the scientific method). The hybrid of which, he thinks will yield a comletely unique fusion. Listen in to hear more from this incredibly gifted and incredibly geeky meditation teacher. This is part 1 of a 3-part series. Listen to part 2, Building a Dharma Successor and part 3, Enlightenment for the Rest of Us. Episode Links: Shinzen.org: The Science of Meditation in Action ( http://www.shinzen.org ) Basic Mindfulness: Home Practice Program ( http://www.basicmindfulness.org )

93. Building a Dharma Successor
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Description: Shinzen Young, professional meditation instructor and geek-extraordinaire, continues his discussion with us on the unique approach he has taken to combining the best of the scientific approach with the best of the contemplative modalities of the East. The result of this combination appears to be a delivery system for enlightenment that uses an interactive and algorithmic approach to guiding a student in their practice. In short, instead of appointing a human dharma successor, he is trying to build one. Listen in to find out more about this artificial intelligence system, which he refers to as “virtual Shinzen,” and how it might revolutionize the way that dharma teaching is done! This is part 2 of a 3-part series. Listen to part 1, Shinzen Young: The Hybrid Teacher & part 3, Enlightenment for the Rest of Us. Episode Links: Shinzen.org: The Science of Meditation in Action ( http://www.shinzen.org ) Basic Mindfulness: Home Practice Program ( http://www.basicmindfulness.org )

94. Hollow Bones Zen
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Description: Jun Po Roshi, an American Zen Master in the Rinzai Zen tradition, joins us again this week to discuss the limitations of Japanese Zen as it enters contemporary American culture. He also shares the way that his Hallow Bones Zen community has re-organized the core teachings of the Buddha in their five training elements: Sacred stewardship Philosophical re-indoctrination Emotional maturity & integrity Conscious embodiment Genuine insight These five training elements are a re-working and re-presentation of the original 8-fold path, but one that was designed specifically for our time and place. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Psychotropics and NeuroLinguistic Zen. Episode Links: Hollow Bones Zen School ( http://www.hollowbones.org )

95. The Zen Tree Fort in the Sky
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Description: Ken Wilber coined the terms “ascending” and “descending” to describe two possible orientations to spiritual practice. The ascending path has to do with transcending the world, leaving samsara behind, and fusing with the infinite. The descending path has to do with finding spirit in the world–in the midst of everyday life. Both approaches are important, and both have been clearly highlighted in Stuart Davis’s journey as a Zen practitioner. Listen in to hear Davis’s radical flip-flop between these two approaches. Where Davis once found himself sitting up in his “Zen tree fort in the sky” he now finds that “the mystery” is most intimately connected with being a father & husband. Lastly, Davis shares with us a very strange and powerful connection he has with crows (yes, the animals), who apparently are an important symbol in the Zen tradition. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Stuart Davis: Bodhisattva Rocker. Episode Links: Stuart's Crow Paintings ( http://www.stuartdavis.com/paintings ) StuartDavis.com Sex, God, & Rock ‘n Roll ( http://www.sexgodrocknroll.com )

96. Psychotropics and NeuroLinguistic Zen
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Description: Jun Po Roshi, an American Zen Master in the Rinzai Zen tradition, joins us to discuss his fascinating history with psychotropic drugs, including a form of LSD, called Clear Light, that he helped to create and distribute a long time ago. We also speak with him about his new form of Koan practice that uses NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) techniques to help anchor spiritual realization in one’s linguistic structures. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Hollow Bones Zen. Episode Links: Hollow Bones Zen School ( http://www.hollowbones.org )

97. Stuart Davis: Bodhisattva Rocker
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Description: This week we’re joined by prolific musician, artist, writer, & comic Stuart Davis. Davis, a long-time Zen practitioner, shares with us his background as a creative and the resulting unique understanding that he has of the Bodhisattva’s path. Specifically, we discuss his current creative projects, including a language called IS that he is in the process of developing & and a spiritual talk-show that he’s hosting entitled Sex, God & Rock ‘n Roll. We also cover the topic of re-incarnation, and the spiritual tutelage he has received from his wife Marci. We hope you enjoy this interview with one of the most creative, absurd, and hilarious Zen-artists we know! This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Zen Tree Fort in the Sky. Episode Links: StuartDavis.com Sex, God, & Rock ‘n Roll ( http://www.sexgodrocknroll.com )

98. The Dhamma Brothers: Vipassana Meditation in Prison
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Description: We are joined this week by Jenny Phillips, Director and Producer of the newly released documentary, The Dhamma Brothers. The Dhamma Brothers gives an in-depth look at how a trial program of vipassana meditation courses radically transforms the lives of inmates in a the maximum-security prison facility in Alabama. In our interview with Jenny we explore the story behind the film, her intentions for creating it, and the potential ramifications of introducing these powerful meditation practices into an environment where genuine positive transformation is almost unheard of. Put another way we discuss what happens when “East meets West, in the Deep South.” To find out more about the movie and to watch the trailor please visit: www.dhammabrothers.com. Episode Links: Interview with Jenny Phillips on Oprah’s Soul Series ( http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Jenny-Phillips-on-Oprahs-Soul-Series-Webcast ) Doing Time, Doing Vipassana ( http://www.karunafilms.com/dtdv/dtdv.htm ) The Dhamma Brothers Film ( http://dhammabrothers.com )

99. The Particularities of Awakening
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Description: The Geeks of the Round Table are back, continuing our discussion of Judy Lief’s article Glimpses of Awakening. We speculate on the language and culture surrounding enlightenment both here in the West and in various countries in the East–including Japan, Burma, and Thailand. We also speculate on how likely it is that people can have initial breakthroughs in their practice (the first glimpses of enlightenment) and how useful it would be to have an empirical, longitudinal study that tracked these kind of breakthroughs. And if you make it all the way to the end of this dialogue you’ll hear something that has a %99 chance of getting you enlightened, right there on the spot. :::wink, wink::: This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Buzz Lightyear Model of Enlightenment: To Infinity and Beyond. Episode Links: Episode Links: “Glimpses of Awakening” by Judy Lief ( www.lionsroar.com/glimpses-of-awakening-2/ ) The Zen Center of Las Cruces ( www.zencenteroflascruces.org )

100. The Buzz Lightyear Model of Enlightenment: To Infinity and Beyond
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Description: In this episode we bring back the Geeks of the Round Table segment. Joining us is one of our regulars Duff McDuffee, and a new geek to the lineup, Mike LaTorra. Mike is the resident teacher of the Soto Zen Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. During this conversation we discuss an article written by Shambhala Acharaya Judy Lief entitled, Glimpses of Awakening. We discuss the ideals surrounding awakening, and use the classic three trainings model (of ethics, concentration, & wisdom) to explore what enlightenment is about. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Particularities of Awakening. Episode Links: “Glimpses of Awakening” by Judy Lief ( http://www.lionsroar.com/glimpses-of-awakening-2/ ) The Zen Center of Las Cruces ( http://www.zencenteroflascruces.org )

101. Horizontal and Vertical Enlightenment
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Description: Philosopher and long-time Buddhist practitioner, Ken Wilber, continues his discussion of the meditative terrain and of his spiritual philosophy in general. He finishes off his discussion of the meditative maps with an exploration of what it actual takes–both in terms of time and effort–to master these various stages of consciousness. He also explains the difference between what he is now calling “horizontal enlightenment” (which is basically everything we’ve explored up to this point) and “vertical enlightenment” which encompasses other areas of human development that can’t been developed while on the cushion. According to him the traditional notion of Buddhist enlightenment isn’t he be-all-end-all of human development. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, The Meditative Maps: Happy Mornings and Dark Nights. Episode Links: Integral Life ( www.integrallife.com )

102. The Meditative Maps: Happy Mornings and Dark Nights
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Description: Philosopher and long-time Buddhist practitioner, Ken Wilber, shares with us a 10,000 foot view of the terrain of meditative experience. He describes several of the most common Buddhist maps and their progression, including the one presented in the Visuddhimagga (one of the most prevalent in the Theravada tradition), the 10 ox herding pictures in the Zen tradition, and the Anuttara Tantra from the Tibetan tradition. He also gives an overview of the very difficult stages of practice called the Dark Nights. These are periods where after being plunged into a whole new experience of reality we have it stripped from us and feel like we have lost what was once discovered. Another meaning of the dark night has to do with dis-identifying with previous levels of consciousness, and the difficult journey of releasing our grasping and addiction to these lower levels. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Horizontal and Vertical Enlightenment. Episode Links: Integral Life ( https://www.integrallife.com )

103. Buddhist Studies in the West
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Description: Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins, one of the most important figure in the development of Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the United States, joins us to discuss the importance of academic studies. We explore what Buddhist studies are like in the West, the relationship between being a scholar and practitioner, and the broader role that Buddhist academia plays in Western Buddhism. This is part 2 of a two-part series Listen to part 1, The Practice Adventures of Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins. Episode Links: Tsong-Kha-Pa’s Final Exposition of Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/yIAVZ ) Light of Berotsana Translation Group ( http://berotsana.org )

104. The Practice Adventures of Dr. Jeffery Hopkins
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Description: Today we speak with Dr. Jeffrey Hopkins, Professor Emeritus of Tibetan & Buddhist Studies at University of Virgina. Dr. Hopkins is a prolific translator–with 40 books translated in his career–and a committed meditation practitioner. In this episode we ask him to share some of the details of his early practice. He shares with us his experience doing sky meditations and dark retreats, all of which he did before being exposed to Tibetan Buddhism. He also shares some of the details of his meeting the Dalai Lama and working with him on translating some of his books to English, as well as being his translator. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Buddhist Studies in the West. Episode Links: Tsong-Kha-Pa’s Final Exposition of Wisdom ( http://bit.ly/yIAVZ )

105. The Logistics of Being a Bodhisattva
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Description: Join us as we finish up our dialogue with Venerable Robina Courtin, the highly energetic Tibetan Nun, who some refer to as a “Dharma CEO”. In this episode she continues to share the specific logistics behind her approach to balancing wisdom and compassion in today’s world. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Venerable Robina Courtin: Bodhisattva CEO. Episode Links: Liberation Prison Project ( http://www.liberationprisonproject.org ) Chasing Buddha Pilgrimage ( http://www.chasingbuddhafilm.com )

106. Venerable Robina Courtin: Bodhisattva CEO
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Description: Join us this week as we converse with one of the most energetic and high-powered Nuns that we know, Venerable Robina Courtin. A long-time Nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Robina shares with us the importance of approaching work in the world, from the “Bodhisattva perspective” while also maintaining a firm grounding in emptiness. Listen in to find out more about the work that Robina does, and more importantly, how she approaches her work. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Logistics of Being a Bodhisattva. Episode Links: Liberation Prison Project ( http://www.liberationprisonproject.org ) Chasing Buddha Pilgrimage ( http://www.chasingbuddhafilm.com )

107. Technology Makes our Delusion More Functional
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Description: We’re joined again by CEO and Founder of Twine.com, and long-time Dzogchen practitioner, Nova Spivack. In this episode we discuss the short-comings of the Western traditions understanding and pursuit of consciousness, especially with regards to finding an ultimate particle in physics. We also explore the strengths and limitations of technology to aid in the process of awakening. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Does the Web have Buddha Nature?

108. Does the Web have Buddha Nature?
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Description: This week we are joined by CEO and Founder of Twine.com and long-time Dzogchen practitioner Nova Spivack. Nova has been a student of many of the world’s most well-known Rinpoches while simultaneously being one of the first pioneering entrepreneurs on the web. In this episode Nova shares with us his background as a Buddhist practitioner and launches into a discussion on the intersection between Buddhist practice, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and the future of the world wide web. He shares a unique perspective on the evolution of the web and tackles the question of whether or not the web will ever become sentient. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen part 2, Technology Makes our Delusion More Functional.

109. How Did Descartes Die?
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Description: Join us this week as we speak with Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, director of the Consciousness Laboratory at Naropa University, about the difference between Eastern and Western modes of inquiry, sensory awareness practice, and of the importance of contemplative education. Peter ties together the Eastern and Western schools of thought by pointing out that they are both loosely interested in the empirical, or what is observable. He also explains the sensory awareness practice that he guides students through, and in our first guided practice here on Buddhist Geeks, leads us through a few minutes of sensory awareness practice. We finish our discussion with Peter touching briefly on the role of “contemplative education,” or in an education that is attempting to bring together conceptual and non-conceptual modes of learning. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1, The Consciousness Laboratory. Episode Links: The Naropa University Consciousness Laboratory ( www.naropa.edu/consciousness )

110. The Consciousness Labratory
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Description: Join us this week as we speak with Dr. Peter Grossenbacher, director of the Consciousness Laboratory at Naropa University, about his research on meditation and contemplative spirituality. Along with finding out about the specific work that Dr. Grossenbacher is engaged in in the Consciousness Lab, listen in as we ask we ask such questions as: Can awareness be defined through empirical methods? And if so, what methods might those be? And finally, can the emphasis on objectivity found in much of mainstream science be applied to subjective research? This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, How Did Descartes Die? Episode Links: The Naropa University Consciousness Laboratory ( http://naropa.edu/consciousness )

111. Dream Practices: Comparing Dream Yoga and Lucid Dreaming
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Description: B. Alan Wallace joins to us to compare and contrast two fantastic dream practices. One comes from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, going all the way back to India, with the yogi Naropa. This practice, called Dream Yoga, is a type of insight practice which utilizes the dream state in order to wake up. The other practice, called Lucid Dreaming, comes out of the pioneering research of Dr. Stephen LaBerge. Lucid dreaming breaks down the same goals that Dream Yoga aspires to, but into smaller and more attainable goals. It is also firmly grounded in the scientific method. Listen in to hear Dr. Wallace, who is authorized to teach both of these methods, discuss the similarities and differences in these two different approaches. Episode Links: The Lucidity Institute ( http://www.lucidity.com ) Train your Mind, Change your Brain ( http://bit.ly/1RYFWH ) Building the Dream Body ( http://www.wie.org/j39/zane.asp ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com )

112. The Yogas of Dream and Sleep
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Description: Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, an esteemed teacher in the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet, joins us again to continue describing the importance of dream yoga as part of the larger system of the 6 yogas of Naropa. Rinpoche guides us through the three different kinds of dreams that we can have, including samsaric dreams, dreams of clarity, and clear light dreams. He also discusses the importance of dream practice, for those that have a naturally tendency toward being active in their dreams, comments on the methodology of lucid dreaming, that Western dream research Stephen LaBerge has created, and explains the importance of dream yoga in relationship to the process of death and the bardo. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Sleep as a Spiritual Journey. Episode Links: The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep ( http://bit.ly/IjSZC ) Ligmincha Institute ( https://www.ligmincha.org )

113. Sleep as a Spiritual Journey
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Description: “Look to your experience in dreams to know how you will fare in death. Look to your experience of sleep to discover whether or not you are truly awake.” – Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, an esteemed teacher in the Bon Buddhist tradition of Tibet, joins us to discuss the importance of sleep in relation to the spiritual path. Since we spend nearly a third of our lives asleep, the focus on sleep and dream practice becomes of utmost important for those practitioners that want to make the best of the time they have. Listen in to find out more about the Bon tradition, the dissolution of the sense of self during sleep, and the way that dream practices can contribute to greater awareness during both sleep and death. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Yogas of Dream and Sleep. Episode Links: The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep ( http://bit.ly/IjSZC ) Ligmincha Institute ( https://www.ligmincha.org )

114. The Inevitable Tension: Going Deep vs. Spreading Wide
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Description: Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-Chief of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, concludes his conversation with us, this time discussing the inevitable tensions that arise in Buddhist media. These tensions center primarily around going deep vs. spreading wide. Listen in to hear how these magazines find the middle ground between condemning Buddhism to the irrelevant on the one hand (too much depth) and selling out on the other (too much breadth). Also at the end Melvin shares the specific ways that their publications are looking to integrate new media technologies into their projects. Exciting times! This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Peering Under the Hood of Buddhist Media. Episode Links: BuddhaDharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly ( http://www.thebuddhadharma.com ) Shambhala Sun ( http://www.shambhalasun.com ) One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism ( http://bit.ly/dy5egV )

115. Peering Under the Hood of Buddhist Media
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Description: “Buddhism offers the most profound critique or criticism of life imaginable in it’s analysis of the role of ego, and of the nature of samsara, as well as in its basic doctrine of emptiness. There could hardly be a more profound critique of life then to say that neither your nor it exists.” – Melvin McLeod Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-Chief of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines, joins us to share his perspective on the differences and similarities that Buddhist media sources have with more traditional media. Listen in to find out more about the philosophical underpinnings of a publication that has at it’s heart a commitment to the teachings of non-ego. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Inevitable Tension: Going Deep vs. Spreading Wide. Episode Links: Mindful Politics: A Buddhist Guide to Making the World a Better Place ( http://bit.ly/KnkeU ) Shambhala Sun ( http://www.shambhalasun.com ) BuddhaDharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly ( http://www.thebuddhadharma.com )

116. Existential Threats and Risks: We Can't Escape Impermanence!
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Description: “At any moment the Yellowstone caldera could blow up, wipe out %99 of the life on the surface of the planet, and probably all humans, and in our last minutes the degree of equanimity with which we face that prospect is the test of our dharmic fortitude and wisdom.” – James Hughes In our final episode with professor James Hughes we tackle the less rosy side of Transhumanism, which has to do with massive existential threats and risks. Though there are many natural risks that could threaten humanity as a whole, including large asteriod collisions, gamma bursts, and super volcanoes, the Transhumanist recognize a whole host of other ways that we could threaten ourselves with advanced technologies. In addition to discussing these threats and all of the possible side traps on the way toward a more techno-utopian future, James ties these together with our understanding of the dharma. He argues that even in a techno-utopian future (assuming we make it), we will still have to deal with annica—the ever changing flow of reality. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, Transhumanism and the Authentic Self and part 2, Cyborg Buddhas & Techno-Utopian Pure Lands! Episode Links: The Cyborg Buddha Project ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/cyborgbuddha ( http://bit.ly/Wh12u ) Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future The Lifeboat Foundation ( http://www.lifeboat.com )

117. Cyborg Buddhas & Techno-Utopian Pure Lands!
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Description: With radical advances in science in technology would it be possible for us to turn our world into a so-called, “Buddha Realm” or would it be more likely that we create some sort of God Realm, where awakening is discouraged because the conditions are so radically pleasant? And how specifically could these advances help us develop spiritually, on the path toward Buddhahood? This week, we discuss this and other questions with professor James Hughes, author of the upcoming book Cyborg Buddha. If you want to have your views regarding technology and it’s relation to the Buddhist path challenged, please listen in! This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, Transhumanism and the Authentic Self and part 3, Existential Threats and Risks: We Can’t Escape Impermanence! Episode Links: The Cyborg Buddha Project ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/cyborgbuddha ) Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future ( http://amzn.to/1HOESA8 ) Technologies of Self-Perfection ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/hughes20040922/ )

118. Transhumanism and the Authentic Self
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Description: “The longer our lives, the more we’ll have a chance to see that there’s no self living them.” – James Hughes What is Transhumanism and how is it related to Buddhist practice? Will technology enable us to radically extend our lifespans, help us control our thoughts and emotions, and bring about the potential to upload our consciousness into virtual reality spaces? And if so, what are the deeper implications for our contemplative traditions. Will these advances actually support the deepening of wisdom? According to professor James Hughes, a Buddhist practitioner and leading voice in the Transhumanist movement, these advances will enable us to deconstruct the notion and experience we have of an “authentic self” and will support the development of happiness, and the cessation of suffering. Listen in to find out how… This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to part 2, Cyborg Buddhas & Techno-Utopian Pure Lands! and part 3, Existential Threats and Risks: We Can’t Escape Impermanence! Episode Links: The Illusiveness of Immortality ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/430/ ) Zen and the Brain ( http://bit.ly/KxYDq ) The Cyborg Buddha Project ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/cyborgbuddha ) Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The Future ( http://bit.ly/Wh12u )

119. Rebirth and Suffering: How Important Are They?
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Description: “I do not believe in an after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.” – Woody Allen The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche joins us again, this time to discuss the importance of the teachings of rebirth in the Western context. He also gives many detailed suggestions on how to work with suffering in practice, especially when your awareness of it becomes more acute–a common occurrence in practice. We finish off this fantastic dialogue with Rinpoche hearing his thoughts on transplanting Buddhism to the west to form a genuine form of western buddhism. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, Analytical Meditation: Going Beyond Coffee Table Dharma and part 2, The Best Preparation for Dying Well is Living Well. Episode Links: Bodhi Magazine ( http://www.bodhionline.org ) Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche ( http://dpr.info ) Mind Beyond Death ( http://bit.ly/OJHKT )

120. The Best Preparation for Dying Well is Living Well
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Description: The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is the only Rinpoche we know who owns and uses a Blackberry! Rinpoche shares with us the different ways that he has adopted modern technology into the work that he does and into his teaching style. We also speak with Rinpoche about his most recent book, which explores the Bardo teachings, Mind Beyond Death. Rinpoche explains to us that death, one of the greatest sources of suffering, gives us a palpable opportunity to live well. He also points out that in terms of the trained mind, both death and life are but two sides of the same coin. Both can bring about enlightenment. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, Analytical Meditation: Going Beyond Coffee Table Dharma Episode Links: Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche ( http://dpr.info ) Bodhi Magazine ( http://www.bodhionline.org ) Mind Beyond Death ( http://bit.ly/OJHKT )

121. Analytical Meditation: Going Beyond Coffee Table Dharma
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Description: The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, one of the foremost teachers in the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism, joins us to discuss his efforts in creating a genuinely Western form of the traditional shedra tract of Buddhist learning. This traditional scholastic training system is being translated and slightly altered for Westerners so that they can learn the full system of monastic training. In this episode we spoke with Rinpoche about the ways that these systems are being altered for Westerners, how this in-depth training is different from “coffee table dharma”, and how analytic meditation—using the mind to analyze the mind—actually works. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to part 2, The Best Preparation for Dying Well is Living Well. Episode Links: Nitartha Institute ( http://www.nitarthainstitute.org ) Bodhi Magazine ( http://www.bodhionline.org ) Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche ( http://dpr.info )

122. Zen Masters: Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves
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Description: Long-time American Zen practitioner Stuart Lachs has spent some 40 years practicing Zen. First with Suzuki Roshi at the Tassajara Monastery in California and then with Eido Shimano Roshi, Walter Nowick, and finally with Ch’an Master Sheng-yen. In all of these communities Stuart ran up against strange and unfortunate dynamics playing out between the Zen Master and their communities. After getting heavily involved with the academic and sociological study of Zen, Stuart began seeing some of the cultural (and invisible) reasons that these communities would falter, whether from sexual scandals, the intense vanity of the teacher, or worse. In this episode he shares with us some of the ways that the legitimacy, authority & power of the Zen Master are spread through the Zen institution, and how these sometimes ridiculous ideals are accepted without questions from many intelligent, well-meaning, people. If you’re a Buddhist practitioner of any sort, you won’t want to miss this conversation! This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, The Darker Side of Zen: Institutions Defining Reality. Episode Links: Zen Master in America: Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves ( http://mandala.hr/samsara/Stuart_Lachs.The_Zen_Master_in_America.pdf ) The Sacred Canopy ( http://bit.ly/Svhwi )

123. The Darker Side of Zen: Institutions Defining Reality
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Description: "What the teacher really offers the student is literally living proof that all this talk and the seemingly impossible goals [of Zen] can be realized in this lifetime.” – Baker Roshi in the Introduction to Zen Mind, Begineer’s Mind Stuart Lachs, who for many decades has studied Zen from within and from without, challenges the legitimacy and authority of the Zen Master by deconstructing the structures and invisible institutional systems that grant this authority to the Zen Master. Listen in to find out how Noam Chomsky’s notion of “useful doctrinal fabrications” applies to Zen, how the story of an unbroken lineage of Zen masters going back to the Buddha himself is basically bogus, how all of the elements of Zen itself weave together to form a seamless web of nearly unquestionable power, and why it’s so hard to leave these communities even if you want to. This isn’t to say that the practice of Zen isn’t extremely powerful, and Stuart himself is a huge fan of the practices therein, but it is to say that many of us aren’t aware of the ways that the institution itself defines reality for us. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Zen Masters: Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves. Episode Links: Zen Mind, Begineer’s Mind ( http://bit.ly/pecQo ) Shoes Outside the Door: Desire, Devotion, and Excess at San Francisco Zen Center ( http://bit.ly/ipGKl ) Zen Master in America: Dressing the Donkey with Bells and Scarves ( http://mandala.hr/samsara/Stuart_Lachs.The_Zen_Master_in_America.pdf ) Mahākāśyapa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahakashyapa )

124. Mind Like Space
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Description: Our conversation with Susan Piver continues this week as we wrap our discussion on the relationship between meditation and writing. We also also explore the role that intention plays in offering or marketing the dharma. Finally, we wrap up the conversation by touching in on personality theory and productivity. Find out which enneagram type the Buddha was, and why productivity systems can bring about more bliss than meditation, in one of our geekiest (and fun) conversations to date! This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Susan Piver: The Fearless Writer. Episode Links: susanpiver.com Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity ( http://bit.ly/grQY1 )

125. Susan Piver: The Fearless Writer
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Description: When Susan Piver’s book, The Hard Questions, hit the top of the NY Times Bestsellers list (and stayed there) she decided that she needed to deepen her practice immediately. Listen in this week as speak with Susan about her journey as a popular author and Buddhist practitioner. And if you have an interest in writing, or the creative process, you won’t want to miss out on her description of the “meditation for writers” retreats that she leads, where writers of all backgrounds are able to combine their interest in writing with the power of the retreat environment. Are creativity and meditation really all that different? This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Mind Like Space. Episode Links: How Not to be Afraid of Your Own Life ( http://bit.ly/UwJpP ) Susan Piver ( http://www.susanpiver.com ) The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity ( http://bit.ly/YX85s )

126. Every Generation Creates the Dharma Anew
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Description: The Round Table Geeks continue their exploration of Whitney Joiner’s article, “Dive-bar Dharma”. In a flurry of paradox, perspectives, humor, and exploration they tackle questions of integrating dharma into life, the Buddhist secular movements, contemplative practices in other traditions, and the historical and sociological dimensions of Dharma’s spread to the West. We hope you enjoy this dynamic and fun conversation between fellow Buddhist geeks. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Dive-bar Dharma: Making it Fresh or Sensationalizing it?. Episode Links: Dive-bar Dharma ( http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/02/20/dharma_in_dive_bars/ )

127. Dive-Bar Dharma: Making it Fresh or Sensationalizing it?
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Description: Join the Geeks of the Round Table as we discuss an article published on Salon.com entitled, Dive-bar Dharma. The geeks explore several questions, sparked by this article, including whether or not we should update ancient metaphors with more contemporary metaphors? Also of interest is how far teachers should go in adapting the teachings of the Buddha to the culture and counter-cultures that they teach within? How do we discover the fine between making the dharma more fresh and relevant and of sensationalizing it? This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Every Generation Creates the Dharma Anew. Episode Links: Dive-bar Dharma ( http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2008/02/20/dharma_in_dive_bars/ ) Buddhist Peace Fellowship ( http://www.bpf.org )

128. Everything Arises in the Mind of the Yogi
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Description: "Real creative expression, to me, is a process of discovery … It’s entering the mystery." – Daido Roshi John Daido Loori, Roshi continues his discussion with Robert Spellman on the intersection between contemporary art and contemplative awareness. The two teachers share revealing stories about their understanding of the importance of meditative awareness in the creative process, and of specific exercises that one can do to tap into deeper ways of seeing, participating, and merging with the creative process. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Zen Mountain Monastery: Zen and the Arts. Episode Links: The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training ( http://bit.ly/11HmaQ ) Zen Environmental Studies Institute ( http://www.mro.org/zesi/ ) Robert Spellman ( http://www.robertspellman.com ) Zen Mountain Monastary ( http://www.mro.org/zmm/ )

129. Zen Mountain Monastery: Zen and the Arts
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Description: John Daido Loori, Roshi abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery in NY and well-known Buddhist author, joins us to discuss the history and development of his teaching, especially with regards to the key role that Art plays in Zen practice. Naropa University teacher Robert Spellman joins us as guest host to ask Daido Roshi about the 8 gates of zen, Roshi’s training with Minor White, the difference between Western and Eastern forms of art, how the wildness of nature relates to Buddha-Nature, and ethical issues of taking responsibility for one’s state of mind and their art work. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Everything Arises in the Mind of the Yogi. Episode Links: Mysticism – by Evelyn Underhill ( http://bit.ly/aQOOs ) Zen Mountain Monastary ( http://www.mro.org/zmm/ ) Robert Spellman ( http://www.robertspellman.com ) Minor White ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_White ) The Eight Gates of Zen: A Program of Zen Training ( http://bit.ly/11HmaQ )

130. The Three Faces of Spirit: Where is Awareness Locating Itself?
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Description: Where does awareness tend to locate itself? And how is this important in our experience and understanding of the Buddhist path of awakening? This week Diane Musho Hamilton—Zen sensei and Big Mind lineage holder—joins us again to discuss the importance of what Ken Wilber calls the three faces of spirit. Using this powerful notion as a lens we explore questions about how and why lineage is passed down, the way that Buddhism adapts to new cultures and why it is particularly vulnerable to being destroyed, how cultural development impacts the tradition, issues surrounding the master-disciple relationship, and finally whether or not one can regulate the erotic impulse. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1: Discover Yourself as a Perspective-Taking Being. Episode Links: BigMind.org Women Who Sleep with Their Gurus … and Why They Love It ( http://bit.ly/1HO1QHI ) Essential Spirituality: The 7 Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mind ( http://bit.ly/732ga )

131. Discover Yourself as a Perspective Taking Being
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Description: Diane Musho Hamilton, Zen sensei and Big Mind lineage holder, joins us to discuss her personal story on the path of awakening. From experiencing the death of several friends at a young age, to studying with Chogyam Trunpga in the mid-80s, to becoming the first lineage holder of a unique new spiritual process called Big Mind, join us as Diane shares the intimate details of her life as a seeker (and non-seeker). In this dialogue we also touch in on the importance that the work of integral philosopher Ken Wilber has had on her teaching, especially with regards to what Wilber calls the three primordial perspectives. These three perspectives can be summarized by the pronouns, “I” (first-person), “we” (second-person), and “it” (third-person). Find out why these perspectives are so important to someone who is trying to bring together the spiritual quest with all of their other endeavors. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2, The Three Faces of Spirit: Where is Awareness Locating Itself? Episode Links: BigMind.org Integral Institute ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral_Institute ) Ken Wilber ( http://www.kenwilber.com )

132. Unwavering Samadhi: Meditative Achievement and Its Impact in the World
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Description: We continue our discussion with Buddhist teacher and author, B. Alan Wallace, on the impact of the recently completed Shamatha Project. Dr. Wallace shares the astounding levels of concentration that were achieved during the 3-month retreats he led and tells us more about the achievement of shamatha. Find out how deep the students on this retreat went, and why nearly %20 of them decided to continue on with intensive retreat practice after it was over! Dr. Wallace also discusses the potential impact that a study of this magnitude could have on the scientific community as well as the culture-at-large. Questions that the study aimed to answer included, “Is it possible to train attention?” &“Does meditation have an effect on ethics?”. While the answers may be obvious to meditators, having them scientifically validated could have a major impact on the fields of education, mental health, and psychology. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: Reverberations from The Shamatha Project. Episode Links: The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind ( http://bit.ly/HIW1o ) Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality ( http://bit.ly/1at9hH ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com ) AlanWallace.org

133. Reverberations from The Shamatha Project
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Description: B Alan Wallace, author of “The Attention Revolution” and “Embracing Mind”, joins us to discuss the initial results from The Shamatha Project—one of the most extensive studies on the long-term benefits of meditation practice ever conducted. The terabytes of data that were collected during the course of the retreat-study included physiological and psychological measurements, thousands of entries from student journals, and the ongoing evaluations from Dr. Wallace as he interviewed with the students. Find out what his evaluations were, and how deeply the yogi’s progressed over the course of their 3-month retreats. Also listen is in to hear Dr. Wallace’s perspective on the relationship between shamatha and vipassana, and whether deep states of shamatha are necessary pre-requisites for the advanced practices of insight found in the Buddhist tradition. This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Unwavering Samadhi: Meditative Achievement and Its Impact in the World. Episode Links: The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind ( http://bit.ly/HIW1o ) Embracing Mind: The Common Ground of Science and Spirituality ( http://bit.ly/1at9hH ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com ) AlanWallace.org

134. Buddhist Magic: What is Possible with the Powers?
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Description: Have you ever considered what it would be like to cultivate, what in the Buddhist tradition are called the siddhis or magical powers? Buddhist magic is an endlessly fascinating topic, and in this episode we speak with Daniel Ingram, one of our favorite guests here on Buddhist Geeks, about the powers. We cover their historical treatment by some of the major traditions, including the Zen, Tibetan, and Theravada. Daniel also gives us his first-hand experience having explored the powers, and considers the implications of doing public magic, and whether or not this kind of magic is “objectively real”. We also discuss the ethical issues involved in using magic and issues of reproducibility. Finally, we take a look at the ancient text, The Fruits of the Homeless Life, and explore what was said in that text about the powers, especially about the greatest power of all, the power of insight. Episode Links: Mahasi Sayadaw ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahasi_Sayadaw ) InteractiveBuddha.com Pa Auk Sayadaw ( http://www.paauk.org ) The Fruits of the Homeless Life ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.02.0.than.html ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

135. Geeks of the Round Table(tm)
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Description: The Geeks of the Round Table™ continue their discussion on the Big Mind process and the criticisms from Zen teacher Brad Warner, in his article Big Mind™ is a Big Load™ of Horse Shit (link goes to SuicideGirls, an alt porn site). The geeks focus on these criticisms which include charging for the dharma, the nature of an authentic transmission, trademarking Dharma practice, ethical issues with marketing the dharma, and issues of confusing personal psychology with transpersonal states and stages. Hold on to your seat and be prepared to be whisked into a world of geeky and fun banter between these young (and foolhardy) practitioners. This is Part two of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: McZen: A Double Satori with Cheese. Episode Links: Seth Godin ( http://www.sethgodin.com ) Sex, Ecology, Spirituality ( http://bit.ly/awSyG ) BigMind.org Instant Enlightenment: Fast, Deep, and Sexy ( http://bit.ly/H1vIn ) Tracing Back the Radiance: Chinul’s Korean Way of Zen ( http://bit.ly/1aB1KR )

136. McZen: A Double Satori with Cheese
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Description: This is an experimental dialogue called Geeks of the Round Table. In this session we speak with two young Buddhist practitioners in a round-table format about Brad Warner’s criticisms of the Big Mind process, in an article he wrote called, Big Mind™ is a Big Load™ of Horse Shit . We are joined by a student of Genpo Roshi’s as well as someone who has a more skeptical view of the Big Mind process. This quick-paced dialogue covers a number of interesting topics including the difference between altered states and permanent traits, issues of marketing the Dharma, the nature of skillful means, transmission and practice, the important dialectic between tradition and innovation, and the recipe for a sensational new sandwich, the double satori with cheese. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Geeks of the Round Table™. Episode Links: Skillful Means / Upaya ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skillful_means ) Big Mind Zen Center ( http://bigmind.org ) Big Mind(tm) Sucks (Part a Million) ( http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2010/04/big-mind-sucks-part-million.html )

137. Crazy Wisdom Saves the Day!
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Description: Crazy Wisdom, a phrase coined by the late Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, is used to describe uncommon, unique, and even wild ways of sharing wisdom. Wes Nisker, insight meditation teacher, shares with us his connection to the crazy wisdom teachers of the past, including such spiritual teachers as Jesus, Rumi, Kabir, and Benkei as well as philosophers, scientists, and artists from the Western tradition. We discuss the importance of crazy wisdom, especially with regards to it’s ability to pave the way for new ways of thinking. Quoting Oscar Wilde, Wes explains that, “all great truths begin as blasphemy.” At the end of the talk we share an except from Wes Nisker’s comic monologue album, with a track entitled Meeting the Buddha on the Road. With his own unique brand of Crazy Wisdom, Wes shares his initial exposure to the dharma and to the difficult, albeit funny, truth of how the mind works. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Atto, Zepto, and Yacto: The Buddhist Marx Brothers and Part 2: Science as the Western Wisdom Tradition. Episode Links: The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom ( http://bit.ly/D9jv7 ) Crazy Wisdom Saves the Day Again!: Handbook for a Spiritual Revolution ( http://bit.ly/izX6Q )

138. Science as the Western Wisdom Tradition
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Description: “The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained to liberation from the self.” – Einstein One would think that the above quote would come from one of the East’s great sages, but instead it comes from one of the last centuries most celebrated physicists. In this episode Wes Nisker shares with us his understanding of the similarities and differences amongst the Eastern and Western approaches to knowledge. He uses the human brain and it’s two hemispheres as a metaphor for understanding these two different, and yet intimately related perspectives, and explores whether or not science is actually be a valid wisdom tradition. We also discuss issues of intelligent design and evolution, as well as what it’s like to look at the history of humanity through a “deep time” perspective. Enjoy this fast-paced and intellectually stimulating dialogue. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Atto, Zepto, and Yacto: The Buddhist Marx Brothers, and Part 3: Crazy Wisdom Saves the Day! Episode Links: The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom ( http://bit.ly/D9jv7 ) Einstein: His Life and Universe ( http://bit.ly/aEW2wV ) Einstein and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings ( http://bit.ly/Sm6v7 )

139. Atto, Zepto, and Yacto: The Buddhist Marx Brothers
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Description: We speak to insight meditation teacher and comedian Wes Nisker about humor, enlightenment, and the way that the scientific vision has impacted and informed the teachings of the Buddha. Quoting Wavy Gravy, Wes comments that, “If you don’t have a sense of humor, it just isn’t that funny.” Wes, who also has a passion for science, shares the Buddha’s teachings on karma and impermanence and how those teachings relate to the current state of science. Find out how much happens in a yactosecond, and what science and the Buddhist teachings in karma have in common. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: Science as the Western Wisdom Tradition & Part 3: Crazy Wisdom Saves the Day! Episode Links: The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom ( http://bit.ly/D9jv7 ) Inquiring Mind ( http://www.inquiringmind.com )

140. Insight Dialogue: Extending Meditation into Mutuality
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Description: What would it be like if we were able to extend the silence & clarity of the meditative mind into our relationships? Would this impact how we listen, what we say, and even how we perceive reality? Gregory Kramer, teacher of a unique interpersonal meditation called Insight Dialogue, claims that it does this and much more. In this dialogue we find out about the specifics of the Insight Dialogue practice, covering each of the six steps of this practice (see below), as well as exploring what it’s like to be on a retreat where both individual and interpersonal contemplation takes place. The six steps of Insight Dialogue: Pause Relax Open Trust Emergence Listen Deeply Speak the Truth This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1, Interpersonal Meditation: Awakening as Relational Beings. Episode Links: Insight Dialogue: An Interpersonal Path to Freedom ( http://bit.ly/U4EAi )

141. Interpersonal Meditation: Awakening as Relational Beings
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Description: Gregory Kramer, teacher of an interpersonal meditation practice called Insight Dialogue (and author of a book with the same title) joins us to explore the question of, “What is the path of awakening, when we realize that we are essentially relational beings?” We discuss his early path as a meditator and the later work that contributed to the co-creation of the dialogic meditation practice, insight dialogue. We also delve into the interpersonal truths behind the 4 noble truths, especially as they relate to interpersonal suffering and hunger, and see how interpersonal meditation is one way to become free both personally and relationally. This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2, Insight Dialogue: Extending Meditation into Mutuality. Episode Links: Insight Dialogue: An Interpersonal Path to Freedom ( http://bit.ly/U4EAi )

142. Virtual Zen: Dropping Here and Now
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Description: Jundo Cohen, student of Gudo Wafu Nishijima Roshi, and abbot of the almost completely virtual Treeleaf Zendo joined us to discuss his virtual sangha. Jundo formed the community to meet the needs of those people who were living in highly isolated situations, or were too sick or elderly to continue to sit with a local Sangha. Using technological tools such as Skype, U-Stream, and Operator 11 Jundo has found a way to do daily sittings, ceremonies, and even retreats online. Listen in and find out more about this ground-breaking endeavor. Episode Links: Treeleaf Zendo ( http://www.treeleaf.org ) U-Stream ( http://www.ustream.tv )

143. The Spiritual Radical
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Description: We continue our discussion with spiritual teacher and dharma punk Noah Levine, and cover several more areas of interest, including the traditional Theravada ideal of enlightenment. We also discuss what it looks like to live as a Spiritual Rebel, Revolutionary, and finally a Spiritual Radical. Finally, Noah shares some of his thoughts on ways to engage environmental and political issues from a Buddhist perspective. Far from trying to escape samsara, Noah finds himself more and more interested in taking on the ideals of the Bodhisattva. We finish the dialogue asking Noah whether he thinks the Buddha was a boxers or briefs kind of guy. Be prepared to fall out of your chair (or cushion) in laughter when you hear his reply. This is the 2nd part of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: Being Human and Suffering Less Along the Way. Episode Links: Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries ( http://bit.ly/KKrC8 ) Dharma Punx ( http://bit.ly/cmiwi4 )

144. Becoming Whole: Lineage and Gender in American Buddhism
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Description: Finishing up our discussion with scholar-practitioner, and Shambhala Acharaya, Judith Simmer-Brown we explore two very important issues for Western Buddhists: lineage and gender. Judith shares her take on the importance of lineage for new teachers, explaining the role of an Acharaya, and discussing the need to connect strongly to the roots of the tradition. She also warns that if as Western Buddhists we aren’t properly educated in our traditions we can’t make intelligent adaptations, however important those adaptations might be. We also discuss the role of gender in the West, acknowledging first and foremost that Western Buddhism has a very different relationship to gender then our Asian forefathers. A large percentage of Buddhist practitioners and teachers in the West are women, and as a result there have been interesting changes afoot. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: The Scholar-Practitioner: Joining Theory and Practice.

145. Being Human and Suffering Less Along the Way
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Description: Noah Levine, Buddhist teacher and dharma punk, shares the intimate details of his early lifestyle of punk rock, drugs, and jail and his climb out of a harmful way of living that was facilitated in part by meditation practice. For more details about his journey check out his spiritual memoir, Dharma Punx. He also shares with us his experience of becoming a Buddhist teacher under the tutelage of Jack Kornfield. We go on to talk about Noah’s most recent writing Against the Stream, and his unique way of expression the dharma. We also discuss the difference in how 1st generation & 2nd or 3rd generation teachers might express the Dharma in the West. He claims that there is a difference in emphasis, but that they are expressing the same fundamental teachings. We finish our conversation discussing the ideas of karma and grace, and their inter-relation, as well as the true aim of the path, which for Noah is about “being human and suffering less along the way.” This is Part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: The Spiritual Radical. Episode Links: Against the Stream: A Buddhist Manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries ( http://bit.ly/KKrC8 ) Dharma Punx ( http://bit.ly/cmiwi4 )

146. The Scholar-Practitioner: Joining Theory and Practice
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Description: Judith Simmer-Brown, a professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University and authorized teacher in the Shambhala tradition speaks with us about the coming together of theoretical study and meditation practice in the context of academia—what professor Charles Prebish calls the “scholar-practitioner”. She shares with us the historical precedents for this movement in America, and how it is changing now. When asked about the benefits of doing both study and practice together, Judith shares much of what she sees are the benefits of using a “contemplative pedagogy” (or contemplative education approach) in the classroom. She also relates the danger of not bringing these two forms of practice together, in that one could become either a “stupid practitioner” or “arrogant scholar” without the grounding of the opposite discipline. We finish the conversation with Judith sharing some of resources she suggests for those people who want to deepen their theoretical understanding of the Buddhist tradition. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Becoming Whole: Lineage and Gender in American Buddhism. Episode Links: Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo ( http://bit.ly/1zYRW ) The New Panditas ( http://www.thebuddhadharma.com/issues/2006/spring/scholar-practitioners.html ) Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism ( http://bit.ly/Euzrb ) The Path of Purification: Visuddhimagga ( http://bit.ly/f68Cm ) Swallowing the River Ganges : A Practice Guide to the Path of Purification ( http://bit.ly/Mbntv )

147. Monasteries as the Conscience of Society
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Description: We continue our discussion with the Venerable Thubten Chodron, a long time Western Buddhist Nun, and founder of Sravasti Abbey in Washington State. In this dialogue she shares with us the vision behind Sravasti Abbey, discussing the benefits of living the monastic life and using community life as a means to continue to deepen practice. She also discusses the importance of monasteries in western culture, and maintains that monastics can serve as the conscience of the society, citing the recent events in Burma as an example. She also holds that monasteries are a place of hope and optimism, and that many people feel inspired and challenged by the monastic lifestyle. Before closing off the conversation she also touches on the importance of the dharma being offered freely to all people, especially with regards to gender. We hope you enjoy this conversation with one of the West’s most beloved Tibetan Nuns. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, Reformatting the Hard Disk of the Mind. Episode Links: Sravasti Abbey ( http://www.sravastiabbey.org )

148. Marketing Mindfulness to the Youth
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Description: In the second half of our conversation with Buddhist teacher Diana Winston we go on to discuss the various ways that Buddhism and more secular mindfulness practices are being marketed to youth. The mindfulness movement itself seems to be one of the most promising of these different methods, as does the promulgation of Buddhist teachings via the internet. We finish off our discussion exploring the promises and perils of starting a serious practice when one is in their teens, and explore how serious, young practitioners end up often missing out on some other important areas of development. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to part 1, What Happens to the Dharma when the Boomers Die Out? Episode Links: Wide Awake: Buddhism for the New Generation ( http://bit.ly/RHZXx ) UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center ( http://www.marc.ucla.edu )

149. Reformatting the Hard Disk of the Mind
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Description: Thubten Chodron, a long time Western Buddhist Nun, and founder of Sravasti Abbey in Washington State, took time with us to discuss her work as a teacher, including all of the work she has done with students online. She shared with us the potential down-sides of having a purely digital relationship with a teacher, as one doesn’t have the opportunity to see experience teacher as a living example. Chodron also commented on an issue she sees our society having with spiritual practice, in that we tend to want things to be easy and quick. Her, and other teachers, have observed a tendency to want a kind of “push-button enlightenment”. The truth, she says, is that there aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to transforming the mind and realizing suffering and it’s cessation. We finish off our conversation with Chodron exploring what has changed as Buddhism has come to the West. She mentions that much of the packaging has changed, but that it’s always a tricky process differentiating the packaging from the teachings of liberation. What is culture and what is the dharma? She gives her opinions on the subject, and shares some of the ways in which her community is trying to change with the times. We hope you enjoy this conversation with one of the West’s most beloved Tibetan Nuns. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Monasteries as the Conscience of Society. Episode Links: Sravasti Abbey ( http://www.sravastiabbey.org )

150. What Happens to the Dharma when the Boomers Die Out?
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Description: Diana Winston, insight meditation teacher and author, took a break from a busy day of work from the UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center to join us in a discussion on Buddhism and youth. After sharing some insight into what her most recent work at UCLA is aiming to accomplish, Diana explored the question of whether or not youth are flocking to Buddhism today, as they did in the 60s and 70s. In her experience, the number of people under age 30 has actually increased since she was a young meditator in the early 90s, but it is still remains a small percentage of the overall demographic of Western Buddhists. We discuss why that might be the case, touching in on both historical and financial factors. We also hear from Diana about efforts that are being made at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, including teen and young-adult retreats as well as youth scholarships. She then asks the three younger participants (all of us in our 20s) what brought us to the teachings of the dharma. We finish the conversation sharing the personal reasons that we were drawn to the dharma in our late-teens and early 20s. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Marketing Mindfulness to the Youth. Episode Links: Wide Awake: Buddhism for the New Generation ( http://bit.ly/RHZXx ) UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center ( http://www.marc.ucla.edu )

151. Bodh Gaya is "The City"
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Description: In our final segment with Buddhist teacher and author Sharon Salzberg, she starts off by describing what it’s is like doing a retreat in the Insight Meditation tradition. She includes information about the daily structure of the retreat and also discusses what it is like to be in a silent retreat environment. Gwen and she also discuss the common experience of boredom in meditation practice, especially with regards to the conditioning that comes from living in a “culture of stimulation”. Sharon goes on to describe her experience of seeing the Bodhi Tree while in Bodh Gaya in the 70s, and about the importance of that place—what she calls “The City”. She also gives her telling of the Buddha’s experience of enlightenment under the tree. This conversation ends with Gwen asking Sharon what she sees her next steps are as a student of Buddhist practice. We hope you’ve enjoyed this wonderful series with one of America’s most well-respected Buddhist teachers. We also want to thank Gwen Bell for the interview, of which it will be her last here on Buddhist Geeks. You can find out more about Gwen and the other fantastic work she is doing at www.gwenbell.com. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Sharon Salzberg on Now and Then & Part 2: From the Point of View of Insight Meditation. Episode Links: Insight Meditation Society ( http://dharma.org )

152. Neuroscience and The Enlightenment Machine
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Description: In this episode we spoke with neuroscientist and Buddhist meditator Daniel Rizzuto. Vince and he discussed a number of topics including the link between contemplative and scientific methodologies, some of the potential technologies that could emerge for the neuroscientific research, including Daniel’s favorite, an empathic training device. Daniel also shared some of the meditation research he was aware of, including Dr. Sara Lazar’s research out of harvard where she found that meditation actually affected the structural basis of the brain (check out the study here) as well as some of the recent meditation research that was conducted using EEG devices. We then discussed the possibility of constructing a neural map that describes a practitioners evolution, and the potential that such a map could be used to help create a device—a so called “enlightenment machine”—that could actually accelerate that process. The question soon emerged, how might this machine impact one’s ethical understanding? Can someone actually go through the process without a revolution in their ethical understanding? The Buddhist tradition often describes the inseparability of insight and ethical understanding or the unity of Emptiness and Compassion. Daniel proposed that a sub-field of neuroscience, neuroethics is an attempt at understanding the neural correlates of one’s ethical choices, such that this information could be built into a device even if it weren’t a by-product of the process of spiritual maturation. Episode Links: Cyborg Buddha Project ( http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/cyborgbuddha ) Dr. Sara Lazar ( https://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~lazar/ )

153. From the Point of View of Insight Meditation
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Description: In the 2nd part of our conversation with Sharon Salzberg, Gwen Bell speaks to her about a number of fascinating subjects. They begin with Sharon’s experience writing for secular publications, such as Oprah’s O Magazine and her experience writing her most recent book, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience. They also discuss some periods of Sharon’s practice where she was confronting the “banality of her own mind” and a large amount of suffering and despair. The conversation ends with Sharon’s account of the early days of the Insight Meditation Society. She also touches on how the organization has evolved over time, from it’s early disorganized beginning to it’s current condition as a well established center. She also discusses in detail what it’s like to do a retreat at the Retreat Center and at the newer long-term retreat facility, the Forest Refuge. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Sharon Salzberg on Now and Then & Part 3: Bodh Gaya is “The City." Episode Links: Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience ( http://bit.ly/a9qSHL ) Insight Meditation Society ( www.dharma.org )

154. Sharon Salzberg on Now and Then
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Description: Sharon Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass., when she was twenty-three. In this episode Salzberg shares some of the insights that she’s discovered along the way, telling stories in a way that will make them accessible to new and seasoned practitioners alike. May they illuminate your day, your car ride or your walk to work as you listen. This is part one of a three part series. Listen to Part 2: From the Point of View of Insight Meditation & Part 3: Bodh Gaya is “The City”. Episode Links: Insight Meditation Society ( www.dharma.org )

155. How Do You Sell the Dharma?
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Description: In our final segment with meditation instructor Ethan Nichtern, he shares his perspective on selling the dharma, transforming culture, the Shambhala tradition, and the need for more dharma teachers who aren’t necessarily enlightened. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: What Did Jessica Alba Eat for Breakfast? & Part 2: Buddhism & Money – Does Priceless Mean it’s Free? Episode Links: The Interdependence Project ( http://www.theidproject.com ) One City: A Declaration of Interdependence ( http://bit.ly/pw6lx )

156. More on Tibetan Studies at Naropa
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Description: In this episode, Ryan continues his conversation with Troy Omafray and Cory Leistikow, two of his fellow classmates in Naropa University’s MA Indo-Tibetan Studies program. They discuss requirements of the program including Nitartha Institute, dathun, and Tibetan language. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Naropa University. Episode Links: Nithartha Institute ( http://www.nitarthainstitute.org ) Naropa University ( www.naropa.edu )

157. Buddhism & Money: Does Priceless Mean it's Free?
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Description: In the 2nd part of our conversation with author, artist, and meditation instructor Ethan Nichtern we deal with the slightly off-limits topic of spirituality and money. Ethan shares his perspective on what Right Livelihood ought to look like in a market economy, where the Buddhist teachings are as valuable as many other services. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: What Did Jessica Alba Eat for Breakfast? & Part 3: How Do You Sell the Dharma? Episode Links: The Interdependence Project ( http://www.theidproject.com ) One City: A Declaration of Interdependence ( http://bit.ly/pw6lx )

158. Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Naropa University
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Description: In this episode, Ryan chats with Troy Omafray and Cory Leistikow, two of his fellow classmates in Naropa University’s MA Indo-Tibetan Studies program. They discuss the nature of the courses, their personal experience, and what to expect if you decide to pursue the program. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: More on Tibetan Studies at Naropa. Episode Links: Naropa University ( www.naropa.edu )

159. What Did Jessica Alba Eat for Breakfast?
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Description: Ethan Nichtern, recently published author, meditation teacher and founder of the ID Project, met with Gwen Bell in Manhattan at the Om Yoga Studio. He talks in this podcast about how, in the 21st century, we’re coming to Buddhism because we’re already very “hooked in” to the world and want to work more on discovering our own minds. This is part one of a three part series. Listen to Part 2: Buddhism & Money: Does Priceless Mean it’s Free? & Part 3: How Do You Sell the Dharma? Episode Links: The Interdependence Project ( http://www.theidproject.com ) One City: A Declaration of Interdependence ( http://bit.ly/pw6lx )

160. Theory, Yoga, & Art
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Description: In our last segment with art and meditation professor Robert Spellman he shares with us a key distinction between the theoretical and the yogic and how that important distinction relates to artistic practice. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Dharmic Throw Up & Part 2: An Antidote to Seriousness.

161. An Antidote to Seriousness
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Description: In this episode Robert Spellman delves into the liberating nature of humor and laughter. He also touches on the question of whether a genuine spiritual practice leads to a diminishing of one’s personality. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Dharmic Throw Up & Part 3: Theory, Yoga, & Art.

162. Lacking Leadership, Lacking Conceptuality
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Description: In our final segment, speaking with Hokai Sobol and Daniel Ingram the conversation wraps up with a criticism of what is missing from some of the Buddhist leadership in the West, as well as the issues surrounding conceptuality and non-conceptuality. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Croatia, Alabama, and Colorado Collide! & Part 2: Are you Stuck? Get Unstuck! Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

163. Dharmic Throw Up
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Description: This week, we had the great pleasure of speaking with teacher and artist Robert Spellman, who was a long-time student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In the first part of the series Robert shares several personal vignettes and also introduces a somewhat (w)retched metaphor for understanding the development of the path. Sounds tasty huh!? This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: An Antidote to Seriousness & Part 3: Theory, Yoga, & Art.

164. Are You Stuck? Get Unstuck!
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Description: In the 2nd part of this interview Vincent Horn, Daniel Ingram, and Hokai Sobol continue to explore the territory of meditation and psychology, discusses the mastery of meditation techniques, and touch on how people can get unstuck if they are lost in the content and stories of their minds. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Croatia, Alabama, and Colorado Collide! & Part 3: Lacking Leadership, Lacking Conceptuality. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

165. Croatia, Alabama, and Colorado Collide!
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Description: In this episode Vince Horn speaks with two of Buddhist Geeks most active users: Daniel Ingram and Hokai Sobol. They discuss the reasons that people get into Buddhist practice, what really inspires one to “go for it”, and what hinders one from doing so. They finish off their conversation touching on the differences between Western Psychology, and the territory that contemplative practice covers. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: Are you Stuck? Get Unstuck! & Part 3: Lacking Leadership, Lacking Conceptuality. Episode Links: Hokai Sobol ( www.hokai.info ) Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

166. Mass Producing Meditators
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Description: In this episode Vince talks with Theo Horesh and Duff McDuffee, two S.N. Goenka practitioners. They discuss the effects of what can be called the mass production of meditators. They also explore the differences in using a single technique or multiple techniques for realization. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1: Entrepregurus and the Meditation Factory. Episode Links: Vipassana Meditation by S.N. Goenka ( http://www.dhamma.org )

167. Entrepregurus and the Meditation Factory
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Description: In this episode Vince interviews Theo Horesh and Duff McDuffee, two S.N. Goenka practitioners. They discuss the techniques of the Goenka tradition and how one might see it as a meditation factory. In the next episode, they discuss the power of the Goenka approach and possible criticisms of the practice. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2: Mass Producing Meditators. Episode Links: Vipassana Meditation by S.N. Goenka ( http://www.dhamma.org )

168. A Crisis of Curiosity
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Description: A Crisis of Curiosity by BuddhistGeeks.com

169. The Dharma of Second Life
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Description: This week we’re joined by Zen teacher Jiun Foster, who is actively involved in teaching dharma in the virtual world of Second Life. We speak with him about what it’s like being a participant in Second Life, and what the limitations and strengths of Second Life are, compared to other social media technologies. Finally, we patch in Adam Tebbe, the wizard behind the curtain, to share some details of the organization he helped start, that is responsible for getting so many good dharma teachers onto Second Life. Episode Links: Kannonji Zen Retreat ( http://kannonjiretreat.com ) Five Mountain Buddhist Seminary ( http://five-mountain.org ) Zen Sitting Group of Cincinnati ( http://cincinnatizen.org )

170. Buddhist Geeks Highlights
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Description: In this episode, the three geeks gather at the Falling Fruit studio and reminisce about the first six months of Buddhist Geeks. Each discuss their favorite podcasts and posts. They also plug the new hot and sexy Buddhist Geeks t-shirts. In the next episode the geeks will discuss feedback from the sangha and the future of Buddhist Geeks.

171. Are you Stalking Us?!
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Description: In this episode, the three geeks process listener feedback about podcasts and blog posts. They also discuss the future of podcasts on Buddhist Geeks and creating more dynamic conversations.

172. The Dualistic Conundrum: Insight Meditation and Primordial Awareness
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Description: In the next episode with Insight Meditation teacher John Travis, he discusses how both the gradual and sudden schools of enlightenment fit in with the practice of vipassana meditation. Find out how this teacher has resolved this paradox in his own teaching and practice. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: On Being a Dharma Bum & Part 3: With the Light Comes the Dark.

173. With the Light Comes the Dark
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Description: In our final podcast with insight meditation teacher John Travis, he describes the training that new teachers are going through in his tradition. He also touches on the subject of enlightenment, the shadow, and our tendency to try and bypass the human condition. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: On Being a Dharma Bum & Part 2: The Dualistic Conundrum: Insight Meditation and Primordial Awareness.

174. Feeding the Beast
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Description: In this episode, Warner talks about excited states like anger, the trouble with online community, and our attachment to ego. How do we “reinforce the Self” and how do we begin to work with our anger (trigger work? just noticing?)? Two questions Brad and Gwen talk about that we invite you to discuss in the comment section at Buddhist Geeks. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Buddhism is Something that Old Folks Do & Part 3: It’s Like Phil Donahue! Episode Links: Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality ( http://bit.ly/aAN0U7 ) Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye ( http://bit.ly/bC0Bf6 )

175. Buddhism is Something that Old Folks Do
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Description: Anyone that’s had the chance to study with Brad Warner knows he’s young(ish), funny and knowledgeable about the Dharma. Warner’s new book, Sit Down & Shut Up, chronicles the life and times of Dogen, author of the Shobogenzo. The book simultaneously tracks Warner’s own career as a punk rock bassist and Zen teacher, weaving Dogen’s story seamlessly with his own. With warmth and humor coming through in both the book and the interview, we get a chance to hear Warner talk about the book, the four points of zazen, being bored and innate perfection. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: Feeding the Beast & Part 3: It’s Like Phil Donahue! Episode Links: Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality ( http://bit.ly/aAN0U7 ) Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye ( http://bit.ly/bC0Bf6 )

176. It's Like Phil Donahue!
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Description: At 87, Nishijima Sensei, Brad Warner’s teacher, loves the fact that he can blog. In this episode, Gwen and Brad discuss the pros and cons of using the “tech factor” to spread the Dharma. In the comment section, a few possible questions for further exploration: How important is the accumulation of “Information” in your Buddhist practice? Why can’t we have all the things we desire? Does sex equal evil? The last few minutes are questions from the Buddhist Geeks sangha members, thanks geeks! This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Buddhism is Something that Old Folks Do & Part 2: Feeding the Beast. Episode Links: Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth about Reality ( http://bit.ly/aAN0U7 ) Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye ( http://bit.ly/bC0Bf6 )

177. Genpo "Big Mind's" Gwen
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Description: In this final segment with Genpo Roshi, Gwen Bell is guided through the Big Mind process. This final portion of the interview gives listeners a rare opportunity to listen to the Big Mind experience happen unscripted and raw. An intimate conversation and a glimpse into one Geek’s practice, beliefs and experience. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Genpo Roshi on Big Mind & Part 2: Is Zen Enough? Episode Links: Big Mind – Big Heart: Finding Your Way ( http://bit.ly/JRp9q ) Big Mind Zen Center ( http://www.bigmind.org )

178. The Vipassana Vendetta
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Description: In this episode, Vincent Horn continues to share his reflections and experiences of a two-month meditation retreat he recently completed. In this podcast, he discusses doing karma yoga during long-term retreats, state chasing in meditation and suffering and death in practice. We hope you enjoy this conversation with this insightful buddhist geek. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Vince Horn on Taking the Two Month Plunge & Part 3: Leave the Pot on the Stove. Episode Links: VincentHorn.com ( www.vincenthorn.com ) @VincentHorn ( www.twitter.com/vincenthorn )

179. Leave the Pot on the Stove
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Description: In this final episode with Vince Horn, he continues to share his reflections and experiences of a two-month meditation retreat he recently completed. In this podcast, he discusses the relationship between dharma study and mindfulness practice. Vince also describes his experience of leaving retreat and transitioning back into the relative world. Finally, he leaves listeners with some parting words of encouragement for those aspiring to do long-term retreats. We hope you enjoy this conversation with this insightful Buddhist Geek. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1: Vince Horn on Taking the Two Month Plunge & Part 2: The Vipassana Vendetta. Episode Links: VincentHorn.com ( www.vincenthorn.com ) @VincentHorn ( www.twitter.com/vincenthorn )

180. On Being a Dharma Bum
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Description: In the first part of our interview with Insight Meditation teacher John Travis, he shares the story of his many years of practice and seeking in India, as well as the time after that in which he had to bring what he had learned back to America. We hope you enjoy this personal account of one “dharma bums” adventures in Asia. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: The Dualistic Conundrum: Insight Meditation and Primordial Awareness & Part 3: With the Light Comes the Dark.

181. Genpo Roshi on Big Mind
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Description: In this episode Gwen Bell interviews Genpo Roshi, a Western Zen teacher and lineage holder of both the Soto and Rinzai traditions. He is also the author of four books, as well as an upcoming release, Big Mind, Big Heart. In this epsidoe Genpo Roshi discusses Big Mind, his unique method of introducing practitioners to their true nature. We hope you enjoy this conversation with Genpo Roshi and be sure to share your thoughts, insights, and experiences in the comment section. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: Is Zen Enough? and Part 3: Genpo “Big Mind’s” Gwen. Episode Links: Big Mind – Big Heart: Finding Your Way ( http://bit.ly/JRp9q ) Big Mind Zen Center ( http://www.bigmind.org )

182. Take Your Seat: The Importance of Boundaries in Practice
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Description: Fleet Maull talks about how we work with the boundaries of the self and of the heart in the maitri, bodhichitta and tonglen practices. This is part 2 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 1, Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Fleet Maull on Plunge Experiences. Episode Links: Peacemaker Institute ( http://www.peacemakerinstitute.org ) Dharma in Hell: The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull ( http://bit.ly/iBaRH )

183. Is Zen Enough?
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Description: In this segment, Genpo Roshi goes into an eloquent description of the role that Big Mind process, zazen, and koan practice can play in a more whole and integrated Zen training. He also touches on the develop of the spiritual practitioner, and his understanding of how one can progress through this developmental territory. This is an exciting conversation with one of the most controversial, and perhaps most brilliant, Zen Master alive today. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to part 1, Genpo Roshi on Big Mind and part 3, Genpo “Big Mind’s” Gwen. Episode Links: Big Mind – Big Heart: Finding Your Way ( http://bit.ly/JRp9q ) Big Mind Zen Center ( http://www.bigmind.org )

184. Vince Horn on Taking the Two Month Plunge
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Description: In this episode Ryan Oelke interviews fellow resident geek, Vince Horn, who shares his reflections and experiences of a two-month mediation retreat he recently completed. In this first podcast, Vince talks about the role of extended retreat in his personal practice, the nuts and bolts of preparing for a long retreat, and the basics of a two-month insight meditation retreat. Whether you’re a long-time yogi or considering your first extended retreat, we think you’ll enjoy these series of podcasts with this Buddhist Geek. This is part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2: The Vipassana Vendetta & Part 3: Leave the Pot on the Stove. Episode Links: VincentHorn.com ( www.vincenthorn.com ) @VincentHorn ( www.twitter.com/vincenthorn )

185. Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Fleet Maull on Plunge Experiences
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Description: In this episode, Gwen Bell interviews Buddhist teacher Sensei Fleet Maull. Fleet recently spent a month on retreat with Roshi Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers in Massuchusetts, where he became a fully empowered Zen teacher. Fleet teaches at Naropa University and leads weekly meditation sessions there. His teachings are accessible to a wide audience and his authenticity is a breath of fresh air in the world of Buddhist teachers. In this episode Fleet shares his practice background and discusses the value of plunge experiences. This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to Part 2, Take Your Seat: The Importance of Boundaries in Practice. Episode Links: Peacemaker Institute ( http://www.peacemakerinstitute.org ) Dharma in Hell: The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull ( http://bit.ly/iBaRH ) Zen Peacemakers ( http://www.zenpeacemakers.org )

186. Enlightened Teachers
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Description: In this episode, with Theravada teacher Daniel Ingram, he breaches the taboo of enlightenment by discussing the enlightenment of other teachers. Not only that but he argues for a more transparent approach to enlightenment within certain teaching circles, in hopes that enlightenment can become more attainable. Listen and see why he thinks this will help. This is Part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, You Can Do It! and Part 3, Models of Enlightenment. Episode Links: Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

187. Where are all the Western Rinpoches?
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Description: In this episode, Phil Stanley discusses lineage in Western Buddhism, the lack of western teachers, what it will take to develop more qualified individuals. Phil notes that we are in an awkward phase in Western Buddhism, where we have several intermediary teachers and few fully empowered and authorized lineage holders. He discusses the development of such teachers in terms of training and cultural and economic resources. Phil also discusses the development of Western translators. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, Phil Stanley on the Development of Western Buddhism and Part 2, We’re Not the Cheerleaders of Buddhism. Episode Links: Naropa University ( www.naropa.edu )

188. Models of Enlightenment
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Description: In our final conversation with Daniel Ingram he goes on to explore various “models of enlightenment” and weighs the relative value of these different models, which we carry around with us unconsciously. Daniel also tries to answer the all-important question of, “How does one practically go about becoming enlightened?” Dive in and enjoy this dynamic conversation that pushes the very boundaries of what we normally consider “socially appropriate” Buddhism. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, You Can Do It! and Part 2, Enlightened Teachers. Episode Links: Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

189. The Shamatha Project
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Description: In 2007 Dr. Wallace will be leading a joint scientific project named The Shamatha Project. A battery of studies will be conducted in two 3-month meditation retreats (one retreat is a control group), and the results will be submitted to the most prestigious academic journals. In our final podcast with Alan Wallace he discusses this project, both in terms of its structure and his hypotheses. This is part 3 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, Alan Wallace on Achieving Shamatha and Part 2, Get a PhD in Contemplative Science. Episode Links: The Attention Revolution ( http://bit.ly/HIW1o ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com ) The Shamatha Project ( http://www.sbinstitute.com/research_Shamatha.html )

190. You Can Do It!
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Description: We’re joined this week by Daniel Ingram, MD, an authorized teacher in the Theravada tradition and an avid fan of out-right honesty with regards to the spiritual path. In this episode Daniel (aka “Dharma Dan”) shares some of his more formative experiences as a meditator, touches on some of the Buddhist maps of awakening, and shares a powerful message, namely that enlightenment is possible. This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2, Enlightened Teachers and Part 3, Models of Enlightenment. Episode Links: Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha ( http://bit.ly/E1tF )

191. We're Not the Cheerleaders of Buddhism
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Description: In our second episode with professor Phil Stanley, Phil discusses Buddhist lifestyles in the West and how our approach to practice differs from traditional Eastern practitioners. He addresses our relationship to retreats and monasticism, as well as the difficulties Westerners face in finding a livelihood that supports practice. Phil also discusses controversy over what constitutes a legitimate lineage and teacher. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, Phil Stanley on the Development of Western Buddhism and Part 3, Where are all the Western Rinpoches? Episode Links: Naropa University ( www.naropa.edu )

192. Get a PhD in Contemplative Science
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Description: In our second episode with Alan Wallace, he presents a new model for “professional” contemplatives. Instead of trying to transplant the monastic model to the West, Dr. Wallace suggests that contemplation become an actual profession. Just as a neuroscientist would go to school to get a PhD and then spend 40+ hour a week working in their field, so too could we have “contemplative scientists” who devote their time to the exploration and investigation of subjective experience. This is part 2 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 1, Alan Wallace on Achieving Shamatha and Part 3, The Shamatha Project. Episode Links: The Attention Revolution ( http://bit.ly/HIW1o ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com ) The Shamatha Project ( http://www.sbinstitute.com/research_Shamatha.html )

193. Phil Stanley on the Development of Western Buddhism
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Description: In our first episode with scholar-practitioner Phil Stanley, professor at Naropa University, he chats with us about how he became a practitioner and his passion for Buddhist study. Phil shares his thoughts on the importance of intellectual study, as well as what changes he sees Buddhism experiencing as it takes root in the West. This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2, We’re Not the Cheerleaders of Buddhism and Part 3, Where are all the Western Rinpoches? Episode Links: Naropa University ( www.naropa.edu )

194. Meet the Geeks
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Description: In our 1st episode, “Meet the Geeks” you’ll hear the three founding members of Buddhist Geeks discussing the vision behind this project. By weaving together snippets of a larger conversation this podcast should give you a sense of what this project is about and how you can contribute to it. The following episodes will be interviews with Buddhist teachers, scholars, and advanced practitioners who we feel have provocative perspectives to offer. We hope you enjoy!

195. On Achieving Shamatha
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Description: In our first interview featuring scholar-practitioner B. Alan Wallace, we asked Dr. Wallace to give us the low-down on his spiritual journey, as well as describe the stages of deepening relaxation and vividness of attention leading to the culmination of an attainment he calls shamatha. This is Part 1 of a three-part series. Listen to Part 2, Get a PhD in Contemplative Science and Part 3, The Shamatha Project. Episode Links: The Attention Revolution ( http://bit.ly/HIW1o ) Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Consciousness Studies ( http://www.sbinstitute.com ) The Shamatha Project ( http://www.sbinstitute.com/research_Shamatha.html )