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CIIS Public Programs

This is a podcast for people who are curious about the world and themselves featuring talks and conversations presented by the Public Programs department of California Institute of Integral Studies, a non-profit university in San Francisco. Listen here or on your favorite podcast app to a diverse array of visionaries, artists, and scholars sharing compelling experiences, offering new perspectives, and expanding creative horizons.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Cheryl Strayed: An Evening with Dear Sugar

Author Cheryl Strayed talks to Carolyn Cooke about her writing style, her work as Dear Sugar, and her best selling book, Wild.

1hr 22mins

16 Feb 2016

Rank #1

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Paul Stamets: How Mushrooms Will Save The World

Mycologist and author Paul Stamets explores the magical world of mushrooms, deepening our understanding of the planet and its people.

2hr 3mins

20 Jun 2018

Rank #2

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Gabor Mate: On Mind Body Unity

In this episode, addiction expert Gabor Mate is joined in conversation by CIIS Dean of Alumni Richard Buggs to discuss his groundbreaking work on trauma and the mind/body connection.

1hr 5mins

10 Apr 2019

Rank #3

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Matthew Walker: Why We Sleep

In this conversation with CIIS professor Rachael Vaughan, award-winning neuroscientist Matthew Walker reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.


9 Nov 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Gabor Maté: Mind Body Health

Author and physician Gabor Maté is joined in conversation by CIIS Professor Meg Jordan to explore his life and work in trauma and addiction.


14 Jun 2017

Rank #5

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Irvin D. Yalom: A Psychiatrist's Life

In this episode, Dr. Yalom is joined in a conversation with CIIS core faculty Barbara Morrill about his life, his work, and the profound power of self-reflection.


7 Dec 2017

Rank #6

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Marlee Grace: Creativity and Radical Self Care

Improviser and writer Marlee Grace talks with Julia Plevin, the creator of Forest Bathing Club about Marlee’s book: How To Not Always Be Working.


3 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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Dennis McKenna: On Psychedelic Medicines

Join renowned ethnopharmacologist and author Dennis McKenna for this engaging talk combining ethnobotany, psychopharmacology, history, and the philosophical reflections of a luminary in this field.

1hr 5mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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Shaman Durek: On Personal Transformation

Shaman Durek, a sixth-generation shaman, is the inheritor of a rich legacy of ancient wisdom. He applies this deep-rooted knowledge in a thoroughly modern context—advising everyone from celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Nina Dobrev, and royals around the world, to international corporate executives. In this episode, Kelly Ryan, the founder of Anchor Meditation, has a conversation with Shaman Durek about his life and works. They discuss the shamanic keys outlined in his book Spirit Hacking, and share lessons about how these keys can help you to tap into your own personal power—banishing fear and darkness from your life in favor of light, positivity, and strength.


19 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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don Jose Ruiz: On Shamanic Dreaming

Join Native American psychologist Leslie Gray for this conversation with don Jose Ruiz about his life and work traveling the world to share the teachings of his ancestors.


8 Aug 2019

Rank #10

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Beatriz Labate: The Globalization of Ayahuasca

In this episode, psychotherapist and CIIS professor Gisele Fernandes-Osterhold has a conversation with social anthropologist and researcher Beatriz Labate about the risks and benefits of the globalization of ayahuasca through the lens of her research on new and traditional uses of psychoactive substances.

1hr 3mins

11 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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Hannah Paasch: Enneagram for Millennials

The Enneagram is a personality typing system with ancient symbolic origins that has a sneaky way of revealing who we are and why we do the things we do. In this episode, wellness coach Kayleigh Martin talks with author Hannah Paasch about the benefits of learning our personality traits and her book Millenneagram—a revamped approach to the Enneagram that gives us permission to be our truest, enough-as-is, bad-ass selves.


12 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Chani Nicholas: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance

Chani Nicholas is a beloved astrologer and queer feminist activist with a loyal online following. For her, astrology isn’t about passively accepting our fate, it’s about action. In her inspirational and socially conscious weekly horoscopes, she encourages her devotees to take control—to confront themselves, their desires, and their needs—to fulfill their potential using the power of the stars.Recorded live at the Herbst Theatre shortly after the release of her book You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance, this episode features Chani in three parts. Beginning with a chart-reading and conversation with Fania E. Davis, a leading national voice on restorative justice, followed by a conversation with CIIS Professor Sonya Shah, and finishing with questions submitted by the audience.

1hr 49mins

20 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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Tony Bossis: Psychedelic Drug Therapy

Psychologist and researcher at NYU, Doctor Tony Bossis, reviews his work as part of the recent renaissance of psychedelic research.

1hr 16mins

31 Jan 2016

Rank #14

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Shefali Tsabary: Conscious Parenting

Author and psychologist Shefali Tsabary is joined in conversation by Dean of Alumni Richard Buggs to explore the ways we unconsciously pass on psychological pain to our children.


9 Aug 2017

Rank #15

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Trebbe Johnson: Radical Joy for Hard Times

Professor and activist Jennifer Wells talks with author and community organizer Trebbe Johnson about her lifelong dedication to finding and making beauty in the Earth’s broken places.


27 Jun 2019

Rank #16

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Lawrence Millman: Mushroom Lore

In this episode, naturalist Maya Elson talks with Lawrence Millman about his life and work as an author and mycologist exploring the fascinating world of fungi.


12 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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Steven Johnson: The Science of Making Decisions

Author Steven Johnson and CIIS Professor Carolyn Cooke consider how to make decisions - drawings lessons from cognitive science, social psychology, military strategy, and great works of literature.


13 Dec 2018

Rank #18

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John Kaag: Hiking With Nietzsche

Philosopher John Kaag and author Mark Greif discuss Nietzsche's ideals and how they relate to the messy experience of living in the 21st century.


6 Dec 2018

Rank #19

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Oren Jay Sofer: Nonviolent Communication

Author and teacher Oren Jay Sofer in conversation with CIIS’s Terese Gjernes about mindful and nonviolent communication skills.


14 Feb 2019

Rank #20