The Mindful Cranks broadly explores the cultural translation of Buddhism in the West, various facets of Buddhist modernism, and the mainstreaming of mindfulness in secular contexts. The podcast serves as a forum for voices that go beyond the dominant narratives which have been thus far uncritical of consumerism, medicalization, psychologization, corporatization and self-help approaches. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines — the humanities, philosophy, cultural studies, education, critical pyschology, religious studies, and sociology—The Mindful Cranks welcomes new conversations that challenge the priviledging of scientific materialism, methodological individualism, reductionism, and neoliberalism. Our guests are leading edge scholars, authors, teachers, practitioners and activists that share a mutual interest in civic mindfulness and socially engaged contemplative methods. A wide range of diverse perspectives–including critical theory, critical pedagogy, ethnography, Foucauldian governmentality, feminism, hermeneutics, critical race theory, critical management studies, socially engaged Buddhism, political economy–provide the “cranky” intellectual tools for socially engaged contemplative change.
Paula Haddock - Mindfulness for Social Change
Paula Haddock is a long-time social activist and spent many years working in non-profit fundraising and with NGOs – and she is a seasoned training manager – working worldwide in supporting civil society in capacity building.. She is the co-founder of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network which explore the potential for secular mindfulness training and practice to contribute to more sustainable, caring and socially just societies.
Laurence Cox: The Irish Buddhist
This conversation explores an obscure historical figure, Dhammaloka, who was perhaps one of the first Westerners ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1901 in British occupied Burma. Laurence Cox is co-author of The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire, published by Oxford University Press.
Daniel Nehring - Mindfulness and Therapeutic Cultures
In this Episode, I spoke with Daniel Nehring, an ascending and prolific scholar in the field of critical sociology about how therapeutic cultures have penetrated our social lives and now have a global reach. We talk about the rise of the “self-help entrepreneur, the dominance of the "psychological imagination," and the relevance and important of C. Wright Mills and his classic work, The Sociological Imagination for academics to wake up, stand up and speak up as public intellectuals.
Matthew Ingram - Retreat
Matthew Ingram, author of Retreat: How the Counterculture Invented Wellness, Repeater Books, 2020. From Mohandas Gandhi to RD Liang, from the German Nature Boys to the Dalai Lama being asked what he thought about LSD -- our conversation explores the legacies of the counterculture, both shadows and light.
Christopher Titmuss - The Political Buddha
Christopher Titmuss is perhaps the most senior teacher of Vipassana and Insight Meditation in the Western modern world.
Our conversation takes a deep dive into the themes in his insightful book, The Political Buddha. We explore just how central the role of critical inquiry is in the Dharma, Buddha’s position on wealth and war, the privatization of spirituality, corporate mindfulness, ethics and institutional change, and the importance of the community.
Miguel Farias - The Buddha Pill
Miguel Farias is the co-author of the Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You? and the lead editor of the Oxford Handbook of Meditation. He has been a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is the founding director of the Brain, Belief, & Behaviour Lab at Coventry University.