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Rank #16 in Buddhism category

Religion & Spirituality
Buddhism

The Wisdom Podcast

Updated 4 days ago

Rank #16 in Buddhism category

Religion & Spirituality
Buddhism
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Wisdom Publications

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Wisdom Publications

iTunes Ratings

116 Ratings
Average Ratings
94
10
2
5
5

Great Podcast

By Soaring Crane - May 01 2018
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Excellent interviewer, very interesting guests.

Fantastic !

By D T J - May 22 2017
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Enjoying all the interviews

iTunes Ratings

116 Ratings
Average Ratings
94
10
2
5
5

Great Podcast

By Soaring Crane - May 01 2018
Read more
Excellent interviewer, very interesting guests.

Fantastic !

By D T J - May 22 2017
Read more
Enjoying all the interviews
Cover image of The Wisdom Podcast

The Wisdom Podcast

Latest release on Dec 13, 2019

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Wisdom Publications

Rank #1: Barry Magid: Psychologically Minded Zen

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Dr. Barry Magid, psychoanalyst, meditation teacher, and author of Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans. Barry has dedicated his life’s work to the integration of Western psychoanalytic psychology and Zen Buddhist practices. In this fascinating conversation, Barry discusses what he calls “top down” versus “bottom up” approaches to practice, and the difference between searching for peak experiences in meditation versus engaging in moment-to-moment vulnerability with oneself. He then offers illuminating insights on the pitfalls of viewing zazen as a “technique” versus zazen as a religious practice, or in other words, meditation beyond the framework of means-to-end thinking. Furthermore, Barry points out that our worst experiences in meditation are actually the most beneficial and that it is possible to discover the absolute in the most mundane aspects of ordinary life. 

The post Barry Magid: Psychologically Minded Zen appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 05 2019

1hr 21mins

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Rank #2: Alan Wallace: Dzogchen and the Science of Mind

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, recorded live as a part of the Wisdom Academy course Introduction to Dzogchen, we hear an interview, lecture, and Q&A with Alan Wallace, renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and teacher. We hear how Alan’s spiritual path began and what drew him to dzogchen practice in particular. He describes his life in college and how he dropped out to study meditation intensively. He traveled to India where he met many great teachers, including the Dalai Lama, who became his root guru. He tells us about the years he spent in intensive meditation retreat and explains why he feels that he was “born at age 20.” After spending time in India he returned to college at Amherst and began studying physics under the guidance of Arthur Zajonc. Alan also tells us what drew him to shamatha practice and relays a teaching on how shamatha supports the development of bodhicitta. He tells of the pivotal experience he had while on a retreat with S. N. Goenka and reflects on why shamatha is so important across Buddhist traditions. Alan then tells the story of how the Buddha slipped into a state of mindfulness when he was only a child and comments on what this meant. Alan then gives an illuminating talk about dzogchen practice, touching on the conversation currently happening between science and Buddhism. He also teaches on the essential nature of the mind and how to truly and wisely observe the mind and naturally discover awareness. Finally, the Q&A with the live audience provides even more rich, eye-opening, and immediately applicable teachings to help you along the Buddhist path.

The post Alan Wallace: Dzogchen and the Science of Mind appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 08 2016

1hr 40mins

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Rank #3: Bhante Gunaratana: A Special Teaching on Mindfulness

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Bhante Gunaratana, renowned meditation teacher, Buddhist monk, and author of the now-classic Mindfulness in Plain English, published by Wisdom. Born in Sri Lanka, Bhante Gunaratana was ordained at the age of twelve in the Theravada tradition. In this episode, we hear “Bhante G” (as he is affectionately called by his students) recall his early years as a precocious young monk. After suffering the tragic loss of his photographic memory when he was a teenager, Bhante G regained his mental faculties by teaching himself meditation, despite being forbidden by monastic rule. Drawing wisdom from his own experience, Bhante G shares the value of studying meditation directly from the suttas. In this extraordinary teaching, you’ll hear Bhante G recall the words of the Buddha himself as he explains the very heart of an effective mindfulness or meditation practice. Bhante G encourages a more complex understanding of central terms as bhāvanā, or cultivation, sati, or mindfulness as pre-conceptual awareness, the five aggregates, as well as the term vipassana itself. He also reminds us why sīla, samādhi, and paññā—or morality, concentration, and wisdom—are inextricably bound to one another within mindfulness and meditation, and also shares his thoughts on the wisdom of non-labeling. As part of this special episode, you can also listen to a guided meditation led by Bhante G available below.

The post Bhante Gunaratana: A Special Teaching on Mindfulness appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jan 05 2018

1hr 15mins

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Rank #4: Alan Wallace: Meditation for Balanced Living

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In this special taping of the Wisdom Podcast in front of a live audience at Harvard Divinity School, renowned Tibetan Buddhist teacher Alan Wallace explores with us the benefits of shamatha practice for leading a balanced life. Recorded as part of his Wisdom Academy course, “Shamatha: Meditation for Balanced Living,” Alan shares with us the meaning of shamatha and its place among the Buddha’s meditation techniques. He relates how it is an essential practice in all schools of Buddhism, including Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, and he specifically highlights its importance in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet.

The post Alan Wallace: Meditation for Balanced Living appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jun 16 2017

1hr

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Rank #5: Lama Tsultrim Allione: Path of the Sacred Feminine

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Lama Tsultrim Allione, teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and author of Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. Lama Tsultrim is also founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala Retreat Center in southern Colorado. In this rich conversation, you’ll hear Lama Tsultrim tell stories from her remarkable spiritual journey—from her ordination by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa as a young woman, to her studies with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Years later, after starting a family and the tragic death of one of her children, Lama Tsultrim began a path toward the sacred feminine, and began researching the role of women in Buddhism. She talks about giving up her vows after being a nun, how motherhood became a form of spiritual training for her, as well as her experiences as a feminist Dharma practitioner. Lama Tsultrim addresses the urgency of women’s issues in both Buddhism and in the world large, as well as remedies for healing through spiritual practice.

The post Lama Tsultrim Allione: Path of the Sacred Feminine appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 16 2018

1hr 18mins

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Rank #6: John Dunne: Dharmakīrti, Perception, and Cognitive Science

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with John Dunne, Distinguished Professor of Contemplative Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of Foundations of Dharmakīrti’s Philosophy, published by Wisdom. John’s research focuses on Buddhist philosophy in relationship to contemplative practice, religious studies, and cognitive science. In this rich conversation, John covers a wide array of fascinating topics. He talks about the innate need for physiological connection with other human beings and its relationship to both fear and anxiety within both Buddhist and cognitive science perspectives. He then delves deeply into the world of Dharmakīrti’s philosophy of perception, comparing Dharmakīrti’s views with that of other Indian Buddhist philosophers as well as Tibetan Mahāmudrā. John weaves all this together within an intriguing account of his own life story. He talks about his spiritual quest for his so-called “true identity” as a young person, his multiple paths through college including his time at Harvard University, and the great impact of his teachers such as Robert Thurman and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche.

The post John Dunne: Dharmakīrti, Perception, and Cognitive Science appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jun 13 2019

1hr 35mins

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Rank #7: Stephen Batchelor: After Buddhism

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This Wisdom Podcast episode features Stephen Batchelor, renowned Buddhist author, teacher, and proponent of secular Buddhism. Batchelor tells us of his coming of age in the 1960s counterculture—listening to bands like Pink Floyd, reading Herman Hesse and Alan Watts, and being inspired to visit India, traveling there overland from France in 1972.

He then shares how he began studying Buddhism at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, in the presence of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey, and living amongst Tibetan refuges. We hear what the Buddhist scene was like for Western “seekers” in India and Nepal in the early 1970s, and Batchelor’s experience practicing with Geshe Rabten. Batchelor describes his experience as a monastic and how he reached a point of crisis in his Tibetan Buddhist training when it came to believing certain fundamental doctrines.

He then tells us how he learned vipassana meditation from S.N. Goenka and began developing his own view of Buddhism, also inspired by Aristotle’s concept of flourishing. Next we hear how he practiced as a Zen monk in South Korea for three years, and what he found uniquely helpful in the Zen tradition. Batchelor and host Daniel Aitken also discuss classical Greek philosophy in tandem with Buddhism philosophy, analyzing several interesting parallels. Batchelor then shares his thoughts on secular Buddhism: defining the word “secular,” the social responsibility that secular Buddhism implies, and his vision of what secular Buddhism has to offer the world.

The post Stephen Batchelor: After Buddhism appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jan 08 2016

57mins

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Rank #8: David Loy: Modern Buddhism

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Join us for an intimate and wide-ranging discussion with David Loy, Zen teacher and Wisdom author. David tells us how he was introduced to Buddhism, sharing stories from key points in his life and his experiences as a student of Yamada Koun and Robert Aitken. He then discusses how modern spiritual people tend to distort spiritual ideas to their own ends through a process known as spiritual bypassing, and how Buddhists today might engage with issues like the institutionalization of ignorance and suffering.

This is a rare opportunity to hear a leading Buddhist thinker discuss his personal story and the ideas he’s renowned for, including the most pressing issues of Buddhist philosophy in our time.

The post David Loy: Modern Buddhism appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Oct 16 2015

45mins

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Rank #9: Jan Westerhoff: Nāgārjuna and Madhyamaka

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Jan Westerhoff, professor of Buddhist philosophy at the University of Oxford and specialist in the Madhyamaka philosophical tradition. In this episode, Jan shares how his early studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy eventually led to a PhD in contemporary metaphysics, before leading to a second PhD on Nāgārjuna and Madhyamaka. In this fascinating discussion, you’ll hear Jan give nuanced explanations of key philosophical concepts as such as svabhāva, or intrinsic nature, as defined in early Buddhist metaphysics (in the Abhidharma) versus Nāgārjuna’s later interpretations. This leads to further analysis on the topic of causation and its relationship to intrinsic nature, as well as differing views between Madhyamaka and Abhidharma on the role of human conceptualization. You’ll also hear Jan explain some of Nāgārjuna’s central arguments on emptiness and language, as well as how some of these ideas fit into broader Buddhist imperatives such as the cultivation of wisdom and compassion, meditative practice, merit-making, and ethics.

The post Jan Westerhoff: Nāgārjuna and Madhyamaka appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 08 2017

1hr 17mins

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Rank #10: Deborah Schoeberlein David: The Meaning of Living Mindfully

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, our host Daniel Aitken interviews mindfulness author Deborah Schoeberlein David. They begin by discussing how her book Living Mindfully came to be, and go on to the importance of understanding mindfulness deeply as it becomes increasingly popular. Deborah reflects on the difference between mindfulness and meditation in modern terms, how to have a more meaningful experience of mindfulness, and the debate around what mindfulness is. She brings up the importance of morality in mindfulness and shares what she thinks it actually means to be mindful in everyday life–for example, when going to the movies. Deborah then tells us about the experience of being with her father during his death in summer 2015, how her practice helped her during that time, and how the experience was both “extraordinarily painful and absolutely fine.” We hear how her father’s death was a profound teaching for her. Finally, we learn how to have a flexible, resilient, useful mindfulness practice; Deborah’s take on what mindful parenting really means; and the danger of trying to “force” mindfulness on children.

The post Deborah Schoeberlein David: The Meaning of Living Mindfully appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 25 2015

53mins

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Rank #11: Christina Feldman: Meditation as Cultivation

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Christina Feldman is a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society and co-founder of Gaia House in England. She has been teaching insight meditation retreats since 1976 and has recently been involved in the dialogue between cognitive therapies and Buddhist practice.

This interview took place at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Christina begins by telling us about the retreat she was teaching at the time, which was specifically for people teaching mindfulness in the workplace—such as in social work and the justice system. Christina then talks about the first use of the word “mindfulness” as a translation for the Pali term sati, and reflects on the more nuanced meanings of sati that are sometimes missed when using mindfulness. She then shares the English term that she thinks better reflects the meaning of sati.

Christina shares with us how we can take the present moment as an object for meditation. She also explores how being in the present moment is a means of “stripping away of the extras,” and what it really means to practice that. We learn how to approach the present moment with a more inclusive and investigative attitude, and why this can lead to a much more profound experience of what the present truly is.

We then hear Christina’s thoughts on bhavana, or cultivation. She addresses the many kinds of cultivation we do in our lives and minds, and how powerful it can be to take on a more engaged and aware exploration of what we’re cultivating.

Christina dives into the translation of dukkha, and the limitations of the well-known teaching that “life is suffering.” She then identifies perhaps the most important thing we need to do in relation to our suffering. She reflects on how a sense of disappointment or a promise broken is such an essential part of the human experience, and how Buddhist practice can engage with and transform those feelings.

She also shares what her own practice looks like when she is going through troubling or difficult times and speaks of the importance of guarding the mind when we’re struggling. Christina underscores how concentration practice can be used as an excuse for escapism, and shares how renunciation has a near enemy, disassociation.

Finally Christina tells the story of how she came to Buddhism, including how she began practicing Tibetan Buddhism as a student of the Dalai Lama, Geshe Rabten, and Ling Rinpoche before meeting S. N. Goenka and transitioning to the Theravada lineage. She also tells us about Bodhi College, her teaching project with Stephen Batchelor and others.

The post Christina Feldman: Meditation as Cultivation appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

May 27 2016

50mins

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Rank #12: Malcolm Smith: Translating Dzogchen Texts

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast we meet Malcolm Smith, translator of the core Dzogchen text Buddhahood in This Life, recently published by Wisdom Publications. This inspired translation of the Great Commentary of Vimalamitra offers insights into one of the earliest and most influential texts in the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We sat down with Malcolm to hear the fascinating historical context of this classic text as situated within Tibet’s terma, or treasure, tradition. Most profoundly, Malcolm provides extensive insights on the finer points of Dzogchen meditation, including topics such as the pathway of pristine consciousness, how delusions arise, and the importance of receiving transmission from a qualified Dzogchen teacher.

The post Malcolm Smith: Translating Dzogchen Texts appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Oct 20 2017

1hr 34mins

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Rank #13: Mingyur Rinpoche: Stories of Wandering and Awakening

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, we hear an interview with Mingyur Rinpoche, a beloved teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. Rinpoche discusses his experiences with panic and how he deals with feelings of anxiety. He talks about how trying to avoid panic actually makes things harder and how meditation techniques have helped him. He tells us how he trained at Sherab Ling Monastery, and how his anxiety affected him there, including when he was on a three-year retreat. Rinpoche shares how he decided that he would see panic as a teacher, and what this meant in his everyday practice. He gives a teaching on the purity of awareness itself, unchanged by whatever is happening within one’s awareness. We hear many other wonderful stories and teachings from Rinpoche, including stories from his four years on wandering retreat, from which he only recently returned—about the people he met, the profound experiences he had, and much more.

The post Mingyur Rinpoche: Stories of Wandering and Awakening appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Aug 05 2016

38mins

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Rank #14: Joanne Cacciatore: Bearing the Unbearable

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In this episode we meet Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, Zen priest and leader in the field of traumatic grief. We explore with Joanne her path to Buddhism and her work with the bereaved. She tells us how encounters with animals like her rescue horse, Chemakoh, have helped her open both to her grief and to compassion. Joanne shares with us her own transformative experience of grieving for her young daughter and how this set her on the path to work with other bereaved families. She helps us deconstruct the myth that it is a failure to grieve, and guides us to look at ways that we can relieve unnecessary suffering around the experience of loss and the fear of our own or others’ emotions. In this way, she explains, grief can be a transformative experience that expands the heart rather than contracts it.

The post Joanne Cacciatore: Bearing the Unbearable appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 01 2017

47mins

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Rank #15: Bhikkhu Bodhi: The Buddha on Social Harmony

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This episode of the Wisdom Podcast features our second interview with renowned Buddhist scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi. Ven. Bodhi tells us about the process of creating his book The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony and how it arose from a real need in various Buddhist communities. Bhikkhu Bodhi shares what “right view” means in the context of social harmony, explaining the meaning of “mundane right view” and its usefulness in promoting social harmony.

Ven. Bodhi then tells us how Buddhist teachings hold the key to promoting communal peace, tolerance, and understanding. He also reflects on how changing our consciousness can produce changes in our society. Then he tells us about the types of government at the time of the Buddha, and how that affected the development of the Buddha’s thoughts, including his ideal of the “wheel-turning king”–the king who ultimately serves the Dharma. Bhikkhu Bodhi then shares his thoughts on which of Buddhism’s three poisons is causing the most suffering in our time.

Bhikkhu Bodhi then advises us how to understand and use the teaching of “right speech” in the present day, and shares what the Buddha taught about how to be a good friend. He also imagines what advice the Buddha might give world leaders today, especially when dealing with conflict and social strife in their own countries. Ven. Bodhi reflects on what the Buddha might have thought about how to approach ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Bhikkhu Bodhi then tells us how he came to found Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit organization that focuses on addressing global hunger. He also shares what he’s working on now: a translation of the Sutta Nipata, which includes advice for both lay life and monastic life. Bhikkhu Bodhi imagines, based on his studies of the Pali canon, what the Buddha’s daily life might have been like. Bhikkhu Bodhi also shares with us the different words that the Buddha used for meditation, and what the subtleties are between different terms such as jhana, samadhi, vipassana, and bhavana. He then reflects on modern definitions and understandings of mindfulness. At the end we hear Bhikkhu Bodhi’s own definition of mindfulness.

The post Bhikkhu Bodhi: The Buddha on Social Harmony appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Apr 01 2016

1hr 2mins

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Rank #16: Bhikkhu Anālayo: The Satipatthana Sutta

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This week on the Wisdom Podcast you’ll have the chance to learn about Theravada Buddhism from one of its finest scholar-monks, Bhikkhu Anālayo. Bhikkhu Anālayo discusses the role of mindfulness in early Buddhist texts, specifically the Satipatthana Sutta, and then explains some important etymological points regarding the word “satipatthana.” He talks about how Pali became one of the early languages of Buddhism and provides some pointers for doing comparative study of the Satipatthana Sutta. He also reflects on how it is important to not reject certain Buddhist teachings just because they were not originally taught by the Buddha himself. Bhikkhu Anālayo then explains what the true meaning of the “direct path” to awakening means and how to understand the various types of mindfulness. He also discusses the role that mindfulness plays in the path to liberation, the relationship between mindfulness practice and breathing practice, the continuity between the four satipatthanas, the importance of body contemplation practice, and much more.

The post Bhikkhu Anālayo: The Satipatthana Sutta appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Sep 21 2016

53mins

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Rank #17: Mark Van Buren: Actual Happiness

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Mark Van Buren, author of A Fool’s Guide to Actual Happiness, published by Wisdom. Mark is a specialist in mindful living, yoga, and meditation, and has been promoting health and wellness for over a decade. In this episode, you’ll hear Mark share humorous, anecdotal stories from his early years as a practitioner in the Chan tradition. He speaks candidly about various pitfalls along the way—like feeling the need to impress his teacher and being preoccupied with spiritual breakthrough in his practice. You’ll also hear Mark and Daniel discuss this subtle tension between goal-driven progress in meditation and the practice of letting go, and how to think about this tension both on the cushion and in daily life. Mark also shares his experience with transformative practices in the Chan tradition, such as koan and hua tou practice, silent illumination practice, and Mark’s favorite, the practice of asking “who am I?”

The post Mark Van Buren: Actual Happiness appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 21 2018

57mins

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Rank #18: Jamyang Rinchen 1: Translating for the Dalai Lama

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Jamyang Rinchen (蔣揚仁欽) moved away from his family in Taiwan at a very young age to become a monk and study at the Dalai Lama’s Institute of Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala. In this first episode of two, Jamyang talks about his early life and education at a monastic institution, and how he later went on to become the Dalai Lama’s principle Chinese translator.

Jamyang also tells the story of his journey to Boston to complete his doctoral degree at Harvard and shares some of the key points from his dissertation.

Jamyang now lives in Dharamsala, India, which is where this interview took place in Jamyang’s home.

The post Jamyang Rinchen 1: Translating for the Dalai Lama appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Oct 30 2015

1hr 27mins

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Rank #19: Joseph Goldstein: Bringing the Dharma from the Masters to the West

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, we hear stories and teachings from Joseph Goldstein, one of the most well-known Buddhist teachers in the United States. Joseph Goldstein has been teaching meditation for 40 years and founded the Insight Meditation Society in 1976 with Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield, a center that has since introduced thousands of people to meditation. He also has recently begun teaching meditation to, and with, ABC News anchor Dan Harris.

Joseph first tells us how he came across Buddhism at age 21 while in the PeaceCorps in Thailand. He describes his first meditation experience and what about that made him want to keep meditating. He also tells us about the book that influenced his early practices and reflects on whether he could tell at that time whether he was pioneering into uncharted waters for a Westerner. We hear what Joseph’s early practice looked like and what inspired him to spend more time practicing in Asia. He shares experiences and stories from traveling in India in his early 20s, including meeting his first teacher, Anagarika Shri Munindra, who had been studying with Mahasi Sayadaw. We hear how Joseph was so powerfully drawn to meditation, despite the fact that it was not at all easy for him at first.

We hear how in the fall of 1970, renowned teacher S. N. Goenka came to Bodhgaya and Joseph began to practice body-scanning meditation with him. Joseph highlights the difference between mindfulness practice and concentration practices, and then goes on to share his experience being a student of beloved teacher Dipa Ma. In 1974, Joseph returned to the United States and was invited by Ram Dass to teach with him and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche at the first summer session of the Naropa Institute. This led Joseph to be invited to lead retreats all around the country, and shortly afterward, he joined Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield in founding the Insight Meditation Society. Joseph tells of IMS’s early days and what teaching alongside Trungpa Rinpoche was like.He also tells of his experience practicing with Tibetan teachers Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche, underscoring the contrasts between the various practices he’s done. He shares with us a profound teaching he received from Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche on compassion and emptiness.

Finally, Joseph shares the realizations that set his mind at rest when he was struggling with some of the central philosophies and teachings of Buddhism, and offers his thoughts on how the Dharma has taken root in Western culture.

The post Joseph Goldstein: Bringing the Dharma from the Masters to the West appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

May 14 2016

1hr 12mins

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Rank #20: Sharon Salzberg: Loving-Kindness: More than Just a Concentration Practice

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned meditation teacher and practitioner, and New York Times bestselling author. Sharon is also cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts, the first ever western meditation center established in the United States. In this episode, you’ll hear Sharon discuss one of her all-time favorite topics: the practice of metta, or loving-kindness. Sharon talks about what initially drew her to the practice and its transformational effects over the course of her lifetime. In her down-to-earth style, Sharon explains the practical application of loving-kindness in daily life. As more than just a concentration practice, loving-kindness can function as an antidote to fear, anxiety, and emotional withdrawal. It can heighten a sense of connection with others, help us be more assertive, and even transform the most difficult of relationships. She compares it to what the Buddha taught as “gladdening the mind,” or ways of cultivating a loving mental environment in which to navigate the more difficult aspects of life and practice. If you’re interested in hearing more from Sharon, be sure to check out our first podcast with her, Sharon Salzberg: Faith and Doubt.

The post Sharon Salzberg: Loving-Kindness: More than Just a Concentration Practice appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 01 2018

34mins

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Larry Rosenberg: Early Pioneer of Buddhism in the West

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Larry Rosenberg, meditation teacher and founder of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, established in 1985. Larry is among the earliest pioneers of Buddhism in America. At 87, he has observed a great deal of American Buddhism’s growth and transformation in his forty years of teaching. In this rich conversation, Larry talks about leaving academia after being a professor of social psychology at both Harvard and Brandeis University, and how his craving for more experiential knowledge of the mind led him to meditation. Larry also shares his early encounters with J. Krishnamurti, who was a major influence on his spiritual path, and how many years in the Korean Zen tradition led to his interest in Vipassana. Later, the profound advice of His Holiness the Dalai Lama would help Larry develop his teaching philosophy at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. Larry shares how the Dalai Lama’s instruction to narrow his focus on the Four Noble Truths has proven successful after many decades of teaching. Larry and Daniel also discuss the topic of engaged Buddhism in the West, monastic versus lay life, and how Larry has developed as both a practitioner and teacher over the course of his lifetime.

The post Larry Rosenberg: Early Pioneer of Buddhism in the West appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 13 2019

1hr 6mins

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Koshin Paley Ellison: How to Forgive

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Koshin Paley Ellison, author of the wildly popular book, Whole-Hearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up, published by Wisdom. Koshin is co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and a teacher in the Sōtō Zen Buddhist tradition. In this fascinating conversation, Koshin tackles the subject of forgiveness, asking what it means to hold ourselves and our loved ones accountable within a broader framework of compassion. He asks: how do we come to see that every individual has some level of innate goodness, some innate capacity to wake up, even while also being capable of doing bad things? Koshin also addresses helpful ways of framing difficult conversations, and how an honest exchange, even when challenging, can yield even deeper connections with the people in our lives.

The post Koshin Paley Ellison: How to Forgive appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Nov 22 2019

49mins

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Ajahn Brahm and Shaila Catherine: Dialogue on the Deep States of Samadhi

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to Berkeley, California, to attend After Mindfulness, a two-day conference and retreat bringing together Buddhist practitioners from around the globe to ask the question what is mindfulness? At the conference, Daniel joins revered meditation teachers Ajahn Brahm and Shaila Catherine for a live panel discussion on the topic of deep states of samadhi. Both Shaila and Ajahn Brahm are widely revered for their knowledge on jhāna practices in the Theravada tradition. In this conversation, they discuss their shared and contrasting points of view on theory and practice. Both speak to the necessity of “letting go” as a primary orientation, and how deep states of absorption allow one to return to the world of the senses with unprecedented insight. Ajahn Brahm teaches the practice of letting go as a non-effort—that you can’t “do” letting go and how one must completely disengage from the “doer” frame of mind. Shaila shares a more systematic approach to this notion of letting go, and stresses the importance of developing a clear understanding of how one both enters and exits jhāna states.

The post Ajahn Brahm and Shaila Catherine: Dialogue on the Deep States of Samadhi appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Nov 01 2019

55mins

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Robert Thurman: The Practice of Deity Yoga

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On this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to upstate New York to speak with Robert Thurman, pioneering scholar and translator in the Tibetan Buddhist world, and professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. Professor Thurman has long been recognized as a leading authority on Buddhist religion, culture, and philosophy. Since this is Wisdom’s second podcast with Professor Thurman, we decided to focus on a topic that is of great interest to our listeners. In this conversation, Professor Thurman shares his expertise on the practice of deity yoga. Specifically, he explains the unique function of creation stage practice, describing it as a high-tech form of genetic engineering in which one is transformed into the embodiment of a buddha. Professor Thurman fleshes out the broader context of this practice, and also sheds light on the potential benefit of engaging in such an elaborate visualization of the mind. Furthermore, he addresses the relevance of creation stage practice in the context of everyday life.

The post Robert Thurman: The Practice of Deity Yoga appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Oct 11 2019

53mins

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Ajahn Brahm: Letting Go, Stillness, and Vanishing

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In this episode of the Wisdom podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to Berkeley, California, to speak with Venerable Ajahn Brahm, a meditation teacher in the Thai Forest tradition and author of many popular books including Falling Is Flying; The Art of Disappearing; and Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond. In this conversation, you’ll hear Ajahn Brahm talk about his early interests in theoretical physics at Cambridge University and how this intersected with his interest in Buddhist thought. He talks about the constructed nature of perception and how what we perceive is largely contained within the limits of our own imagination. Ajahn Brahm also discusses what he calls the art of disappearing—namely the relationship between letting go, stillness, and vanishing. You’ll hear him explain how true mindfulness emerges from this place of disappearance as well as its connection to the necessity of higher states of meditation.

The post Ajahn Brahm: Letting Go, Stillness, and Vanishing appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Sep 06 2019

1hr 2mins

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Cyrus Stearns: Translating for the Great Sakya Masters

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State to speak with Cyrus Stearns, independent scholar and translator in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Cyrus is the author of several books, including Taking the Result As the Path: Core Teachings of the Sakya Lamdré Tradition.

Cyrus has had the rare opportunity of working in an intimate context with some of the greatest masters in the Sakya tradition. In this rich conversation, he shares stories about his experiences working with both Dezhung Rinpoche and Chogye Trichen Rinpoche in India and Nepal. He compares their individual teaching styles, and explains how most of what he learned about his own practice was the result of simply observing their wisdom and compassion behind the scenes. Additionally, Cyrus reviews the basic structure of the Lamdré, which is the fundamental system of teaching and practice in the Sakya tradition, and includes a touching story about how he received these teachings that have guided his career for decades.

The post Cyrus Stearns: Translating for the Great Sakya Masters appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Aug 16 2019

1hr 26mins

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H. H. the Sakya Trizin: Preservation of the Dharma and the Sakya Tradition

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For this very special episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with His Holiness the Sakya Trizin, the 42nd throne holder of the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism. In this fascinating conversation, you’ll hear His Holiness talk about his childhood growing up in the prestigious Khön family of Tibet. It was the Khön family who originally founded the Sakya order in the 11th and 12th centuries. His Holiness talks about what it was like growing up as the eventual successor to his father as throne holder and how this impacted his years of study in the monastery. His Holiness also talks about his responsibility in the preservation of the Dharma and ways this is connected to the preservation of the Sakya teaching lineage itself.

The post H. H. the Sakya Trizin: Preservation of the Dharma and the Sakya Tradition appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 26 2019

41mins

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Barry Magid: Psychologically Minded Zen

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Dr. Barry Magid, psychoanalyst, meditation teacher, and author of Nothing Is Hidden: The Psychology of Zen Koans. Barry has dedicated his life’s work to the integration of Western psychoanalytic psychology and Zen Buddhist practices. In this fascinating conversation, Barry discusses what he calls “top down” versus “bottom up” approaches to practice, and the difference between searching for peak experiences in meditation versus engaging in moment-to-moment vulnerability with oneself. He then offers illuminating insights on the pitfalls of viewing zazen as a “technique” versus zazen as a religious practice, or in other words, meditation beyond the framework of means-to-end thinking. Furthermore, Barry points out that our worst experiences in meditation are actually the most beneficial and that it is possible to discover the absolute in the most mundane aspects of ordinary life. 

The post Barry Magid: Psychologically Minded Zen appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 05 2019

1hr 21mins

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John Dunne: Dharmakīrti, Perception, and Cognitive Science

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For this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with John Dunne, Distinguished Professor of Contemplative Humanities at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of Foundations of Dharmakīrti’s Philosophy, published by Wisdom. John’s research focuses on Buddhist philosophy in relationship to contemplative practice, religious studies, and cognitive science. In this rich conversation, John covers a wide array of fascinating topics. He talks about the innate need for physiological connection with other human beings and its relationship to both fear and anxiety within both Buddhist and cognitive science perspectives. He then delves deeply into the world of Dharmakīrti’s philosophy of perception, comparing Dharmakīrti’s views with that of other Indian Buddhist philosophers as well as Tibetan Mahāmudrā. John weaves all this together within an intriguing account of his own life story. He talks about his spiritual quest for his so-called “true identity” as a young person, his multiple paths through college including his time at Harvard University, and the great impact of his teachers such as Robert Thurman and Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche.

The post John Dunne: Dharmakīrti, Perception, and Cognitive Science appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jun 13 2019

1hr 35mins

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Charles Hallisey: Reimagining Buddhist Scripture

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Charles Hallisey, scholar and beloved professor at Harvard Divinity School. Professor Hallisey’s research centers on Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, Pali language and literature, Buddhist ethics, and literature in Buddhist culture. His most recent book is Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women (Harvard University Press, 2015). In this fascinating conversation, Professor Hallisey shares his earliest encounters with the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and the ways in which his most revered teachers have left lasting impressions on him and his life’s philosophy. He mentions by name some of his teachers who introduced him to the human heritages of Buddhism in Sri Lanka: John Ross Carter, Mahinda Palihawadana, Kenneth Morgan, B.M. Kiribanda, P.B. Meegaskumbura, and especially G.D. Wijayawardhana. Professor Hallisey also talks about the study of Buddhism in academia as a process of calling oneself into question and how this factors into his life as both a student and teacher. Lastly, Professor Hallisey delves deeply into the world of reading Buddhist scripture and literature and suggests ways we might reimagine our engagement and interpretation of texts in radically new, inspiring, and ethically conscious ways.

The post Charles Hallisey: Reimagining Buddhist Scripture appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

May 21 2019

1hr 34mins

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H. H. Karmapa: Vegetarianism, Online Education and Nuns’ Ordination

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Since this is our official 75th episode of the Wisdom Podcast, we thought we would rebroadcast our very first episode in commemoration of this meaningful milestone here at Wisdom. For this special conversation, host Daniel Aitken traveled to Dharamsala, India, to meet with His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, leader of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. His Holiness talks about the efficacy of listening to Dharma classes, receiving empowerments, and taking ordination vows online, touching on the differences between Tibetan and traditional Western education and how each benefits from dialogue with the other. He further shares some thoughts on how Western Dharma centers could be improved; he talks about vegetarianism, including anecdotes from his own and his previous emanations’ experiences with vegetarianism; and he discusses his recent involvement planning to re-establish the tradition of full ordination for Tibetan Buddhist nuns.

The post H. H. Karmapa: Vegetarianism, Online Education and Nuns’ Ordination appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Apr 13 2019

22mins

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Graham Coleman: Preserving Tibetan Culture in the Digital Age

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Graham Coleman, editor and critically acclaimed filmmaker in the Tibetan Buddhist world. In this lively conversation, Graham shares fascinating stories from the making of his feature-length documentary, Tibet: A Buddhist Trilogy. An invaluable exploration of the sacred in Tibetan Buddhist culture, this extraordinary film includes rare and historic footage shot in Dharamsala, Ladakh, and Bouda, Nepal. Graham also shares what it was like working closely with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, H. H. the Sakya Trichen, H. H. Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche among many others as part of his film. Additionally, Graham is the founder of Gompa Tibetan Monastery Services, a new online platform bringing together teachings and practices from multiple Tibetan monasteries and nunneries throughout India and Nepal. Graham also discusses his multiple online resources for the preservation of Tibetan culture, including the Classical Tibetan Knowledge Archive and Multimedia Study Resource, which includes thousands of hours of oral commentaries, video and audio documentation of ritual arts, and texts and images.

The post Graham Coleman: Preserving Tibetan Culture in the Digital Age appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Mar 22 2019

48mins

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Narayan Helen Liebenson: The Immediacy of Freedom

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On this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Narayan Helen Liebenson, revered meditation teacher and author of The Magnanimous Heart, published by Wisdom. Narayan is a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, as well as the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center where she has taught since its inception in 1985. Her training over the past forty years includes study and practice with meditation masters in the Theravada, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. In this truly fascinating conversation, Narayan shares the intricacies of her development as a meditator over the course of her lifetime. She talks about her method of integrating multiple styles of meditation and how she prefers meditation as a creative exploration rather than a mere adherence to discipline. Narayan also shares her experiences with both faith and doubt, and the deeper sense of inner dignity she has encountered as a result of her practice.

The post Narayan Helen Liebenson: The Immediacy of Freedom appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Feb 26 2019

1hr 9mins

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Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche: Prioritizing Aspirations Along the Path

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On this special Losar episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to Kathmandu to speak with Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, world-renowned teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and founder of the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal. In this special teaching, Rinpoche shares his past life memories and talks about his own experiences with the continuity of consciousness. He then speaks about consciousness itself as well as delusion—how we perceive what is not real as real, what is unclean as clean, and what is impermanent as permanent. Rinpoche teaches how to properly prioritize our aspirations along the path and the wisdom of placing virtue and wholesome living before the realization of the nature of mind. He teaches on the building of a proper foundation and how compassion and loving-kindness are essential ingredients to the highest of practices.

The post Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche: Prioritizing Aspirations Along the Path appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Feb 05 2019

27mins

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Alejandro Chaoul: The Bön Tradition and the Art of Tibetan Yoga

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Alejandro Chaoul, scholar and practitioner in the Bön tradition of Tibet and teacher of tsa lung trul khor, the art of Tibetan yantra yoga. In Tibetan, tsa lung means “channels and winds” while trul khor translates as “magical movements.” Alejandro is a professor at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he researches Tibetan mind-body techniques for cancer patients. In this fascinating conversation, you’ll hear Alejandro share his lifelong spiritual journey—from studying with Hindu masters in India, to practicing Dzogchen with Yeshe Dorje Rinpoche and Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. Alejandro talks about what initially drew him to the Bön tradition, and how his primary teachers, H. E. Yongdzin Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche and Geshe Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, have profoundly shaped his life and career. Alejandro also shares insights on what distinguishes Bön from other Tibetan traditions, as well as the differences between Tibetan yoga and Indian yogic traditions.

The post Alejandro Chaoul: The Bön Tradition and the Art of Tibetan Yoga appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jan 12 2019

1hr 1min

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Mark Van Buren: Actual Happiness

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Mark Van Buren, author of A Fool’s Guide to Actual Happiness, published by Wisdom. Mark is a specialist in mindful living, yoga, and meditation, and has been promoting health and wellness for over a decade. In this episode, you’ll hear Mark share humorous, anecdotal stories from his early years as a practitioner in the Chan tradition. He speaks candidly about various pitfalls along the way—like feeling the need to impress his teacher and being preoccupied with spiritual breakthrough in his practice. You’ll also hear Mark and Daniel discuss this subtle tension between goal-driven progress in meditation and the practice of letting go, and how to think about this tension both on the cushion and in daily life. Mark also shares his experience with transformative practices in the Chan tradition, such as koan and hua tou practice, silent illumination practice, and Mark’s favorite, the practice of asking “who am I?”

The post Mark Van Buren: Actual Happiness appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 21 2018

57mins

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Sharon Salzberg: Loving-Kindness: More than Just a Concentration Practice

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned meditation teacher and practitioner, and New York Times bestselling author. Sharon is also cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts, the first ever western meditation center established in the United States. In this episode, you’ll hear Sharon discuss one of her all-time favorite topics: the practice of metta, or loving-kindness. Sharon talks about what initially drew her to the practice and its transformational effects over the course of her lifetime. In her down-to-earth style, Sharon explains the practical application of loving-kindness in daily life. As more than just a concentration practice, loving-kindness can function as an antidote to fear, anxiety, and emotional withdrawal. It can heighten a sense of connection with others, help us be more assertive, and even transform the most difficult of relationships. She compares it to what the Buddha taught as “gladdening the mind,” or ways of cultivating a loving mental environment in which to navigate the more difficult aspects of life and practice. If you’re interested in hearing more from Sharon, be sure to check out our first podcast with her, Sharon Salzberg: Faith and Doubt.

The post Sharon Salzberg: Loving-Kindness: More than Just a Concentration Practice appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Dec 01 2018

34mins

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Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel: On Faith and Dependent Arising

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On this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, meditation teacher and practitioner in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and author of The Logic of Faith: the Buddhist Path of Finding Certainty Beyond Belief and Doubt. In this rich conversation, you’ll hear Elizabeth speak about her spiritual curiosity as a child and young adult, and her early ventures to Nepal where she met her husband and teacher Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Having spent four years in retreat, Elizabeth shares how she learned to transform feelings of loneliness into a greater understanding of contingency and connection. This insight into the nature of dependent arising is at the heart of Elizabeth’s practice. She shares insights on the subtle ways we both lean into and resist this wisdom, and how a deeper understanding of this nature of contingency naturally paves the way for care and compassion. She and Daniel also discuss her devotional orientation to Madhyamaka philosophy and how she reconciles faith, reason, grace, and doubt.

The post Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel: On Faith and Dependent Arising appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Aug 17 2018

1hr 6mins

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Thupten Jinpa: Translating for His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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On this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken travels to Montreal to speak with Thupten Jinpa, scholar and former monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and primary English translator to His Holiness the Dalai Lama since 1985. In this rich conversation, Jinpa describes his intellectual training at Shartse College of Ganden Monastic University in South India, and reveals fascinating insights on the value of memorization as well as the art of debate in monastic education. Having worked in an intimate context with His Holiness the Dalai Lama for over thirty years, Jinpa shares how observing the Dalai Lama has influenced his own character and spiritual practice. He talks about the Dalai Lama’s rare and impressive qualities—his unusual joy, how he balances confidence with humility, and his precision in combining scholarship with meditative practice.

The post Thupten Jinpa: Translating for His Holiness the Dalai Lama appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 31 2018

1hr 20mins

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Lama Tsultrim Allione: Path of the Sacred Feminine

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In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, host Daniel Aitken speaks with Lama Tsultrim Allione, teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and author of Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine. Lama Tsultrim is also founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala Retreat Center in southern Colorado. In this rich conversation, you’ll hear Lama Tsultrim tell stories from her remarkable spiritual journey—from her ordination by His Holiness the 16th Karmapa as a young woman, to her studies with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Years later, after starting a family and the tragic death of one of her children, Lama Tsultrim began a path toward the sacred feminine, and began researching the role of women in Buddhism. She talks about giving up her vows after being a nun, how motherhood became a form of spiritual training for her, as well as her experiences as a feminist Dharma practitioner. Lama Tsultrim addresses the urgency of women’s issues in both Buddhism and in the world large, as well as remedies for healing through spiritual practice.

The post Lama Tsultrim Allione: Path of the Sacred Feminine appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Jul 16 2018

1hr 18mins

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iTunes Ratings

116 Ratings
Average Ratings
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5

Great Podcast

By Soaring Crane - May 01 2018
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Excellent interviewer, very interesting guests.

Fantastic !

By D T J - May 22 2017
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Enjoying all the interviews