17 episodes

Blissful Thinking is a podcast wherein I ask people of color the big questions: What is life? What happens when we die? Why are we here? What does "god" mean to you? How do you get through each day? What have your biggest struggles been?

Blissful Thinking Rajeev Balasubramanyam: Writer

    • Religion & Spirituality

Blissful Thinking is a podcast wherein I ask people of color the big questions: What is life? What happens when we die? Why are we here? What does "god" mean to you? How do you get through each day? What have your biggest struggles been?

    Vimalasara Mason-John - "Life is to be of Service"

    Vimalasara Mason-John - "Life is to be of Service"

    This week's guest is Vimalasara (Valerie) Mason-John, an award winning author of 9 books,  including her most timely book published this year I'm Still Your Negro, An Homage to James Baldwin. She is the co-founder of the accredited program Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery MBAR and of Eight Step Recovery, an alternative and addition to the 12 step recovery meetings. She is one of the leading African Descent voices in the field of mindfulness approaches for addiction.
    Ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Community, she is a senior teacher in her lineage, and works as a lead facilitator and practitioner in the field of Compassionate Inquiry as taught by Dr Gabor Mate. www.valeriemason-john.com  

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Mita Mistry - "Life is a Gift"

    Mita Mistry - "Life is a Gift"

    My guest this week is Mita Mistry, a writer, mindfulness-based cognitive therapist, and acupuncturist based in the UK. Mita is an incredibly sensitive and empathic person, and in this episode she introduces us to the world of five elements acupuncture in the Taoist tradition, along with many other subjects including narcissism, codependence, and abuse south Asian families. Her website is below, and you can also find her articles at https://muckrack.com/mita-mistry/articles. She tweets @mitamistry .
    https://www.mitamistry.co.uk/

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Kevin Martin - "Life is Interconnection"

    Kevin Martin - "Life is Interconnection"

    My guest this week is my friend Kevin Martin. He is a native of the Bay Area and a practitioner of vipassana and, more recently, a student in the Dharmacharya Program under the teachings of Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni and Venerable Pannidipa Bhikkhu.  Kevin is a Dharma Community teacher at Insight Richmond and currently serves as a Restorative Justice Facilitator with at the Contra Costa County - Criminal Diversion Program in the Northern California, Bay Area. Kevin's take on the world is always original, and he has those essential qualities for the path: curiosity, honesty, humour, warmth, and humility.  I've only known him for four years, but I feel we are fellow travellers who have already come a long way together. Enjoy being a part of Kevin's world!
    www.insightrichmond.com
     
     
     

    • 1 hr 38 min
    Kadija George - "Life is Living Your Best Life"

    Kadija George - "Life is Living Your Best Life"

    This episode features Kadija George! She's a legendary figure in the Black British literary world, one of the truest pioneers. Kadija writes under the name Kadija Sesay, and is an literary activist, poet, short-story writer and publisher of Sable LitMag, which is on hiatus but will be back. Kadija's achievements are huge. She has helped so many writers, soooo many, and has been rewarded with the Cosmopolitan Woman of Achievement, Candace Woman of Achievement, the Voice Community Award in Literature and the Millennium Woman of the Year. She deserves all this and more.
    In 2015 her cousin Sheku Bayoh was killed by Scottish police and an incident not unlike George Floyd's murder, and there are links beneath to the campaign, so please do check those out. 
     
     
    Justice for Sheku Bayoh
    https://www.change.org/justiceforshekubayoh
     
    UFFC
    https://uffcampaign.org
     
    Injustice -UV
    https://4wardeveruk.org/2020/06/injustice-uv-appeal-and-petition-channel4-on-screening-injustice/
    (there isn't a trailer yet)
     
    Kadi Johnson on the comparison of the cases of Sheku Bayoh and George Floyd 
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP9BVL1j840&t=34s 
     
    BLACK POETS SPEAK OUT
    https://youtu.be/uHrINnw17Yc
     
    Mboka Festival of Arts Culture and Sport
    https://www.mbokafestival.org
     
     

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Blissful Thinking #13: Dean Dorsett - "Life is about Getting Better at Being More Loving"

    Blissful Thinking #13: Dean Dorsett - "Life is about Getting Better at Being More Loving"

    Dean Dorsett is my oldest friend! He was my companion, confidante, and comrade-in-arms during my 3 years at Oriel College, Oxford, very much in the news now due to the Rhodes Must Fall campaign. In this episode we try to understand what Oxford was, its intellectual culture, the racism we both encountered and were hurt by, and Dean explains his initial transition from being a Jehovah's Witness in Dominica to a medical student at one of the most right-wing institutions in Britain. He ends by explaining how his experience as a doctor in Ipswich, during the Covid pandemic, aligns perfectly with everything else he has learned about how western civilisation functions. 
    https://www.burlingtonprimarycare.co.uk/team/dr-dean-dorsett

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Thomas Davis - "Life is a Process of Discovering Who You Are"

    Thomas Davis - "Life is a Process of Discovering Who You Are"

    This week's episode is with my friend, the dharma teacher Thomas Davis. Thomas was a lay minister in the church for over 10 years before crossing over to Theravada Buddhism. He graduated from the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader Training Program, and after co-founding the the Insight Richmond Meditation Group, moved to Los Angeles where he now teaches at Insight LA. Thomas combines warmth, calm, and love with acute political insight and has one of the best laughs of anyone I know. I love him dearly, and I'm sure you will too. 
    https://insightla.org/teacher/thomas-davis-2/
    And beneath, a brilliant piece by Thomas on Duke Ellington and meditation:
    https://tinyurl.com/yaykbxz4

    • 1 hr 38 min

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