170 episodes

Chitheads is a smorgasbord of contemplative education. Each episode is like a mini masterclass, exploring the diverse landscapes of spiritual practice, philosophy, and the transformative power of embodied knowledge. Each episode is crafted with the curious and open heart in mind, aiming to illuminate the path of self-inquiry and empowerment for yoga teachers, scholar-practitioners, meditators and other spiritual seekers and contemplative folks from around the world.

From the profound teachings of Yoga and Buddhism to the sometimes complex theories of contemplative psychology and the vibrant tapestry of indigenous wisdom, our guests share insights that awaken, challenge, and inspire.

With every episode, we dive into discussions that matter, exploring questions that guide us closer to our true selves and to a deeper understanding of the world around us. Our mission is to create a space where wisdom (and not fame, power, or money) is the center of gravity and what we are most concerned about cultivating in this lifetime. 

Join us on Chitheads as we explore the liminal spaces of consciousness, embrace the complexities of the human experience without dogma or self-righteousness, and discover the beauty again and again of the interconnectedness of all things.

Subscribe to Chitheads on YouTube and your favorite podcast platform, and please consider leaving us a positive review on one iTunes, or your favorite podcast player. Come dive into these in-depth conversations that illuminate our path of contemplative discovery. If you’ve felt like you’re the only one full of chit – full of consciousness or awareness ˀ– welcome home. This community of listeners, seekers, and scholar-practitioners is for you.

CHITHEADS with Jacob Kyle (Embodied Philosophy‪)‬ Embodied Philosophy

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 163 Ratings

Chitheads is a smorgasbord of contemplative education. Each episode is like a mini masterclass, exploring the diverse landscapes of spiritual practice, philosophy, and the transformative power of embodied knowledge. Each episode is crafted with the curious and open heart in mind, aiming to illuminate the path of self-inquiry and empowerment for yoga teachers, scholar-practitioners, meditators and other spiritual seekers and contemplative folks from around the world.

From the profound teachings of Yoga and Buddhism to the sometimes complex theories of contemplative psychology and the vibrant tapestry of indigenous wisdom, our guests share insights that awaken, challenge, and inspire.

With every episode, we dive into discussions that matter, exploring questions that guide us closer to our true selves and to a deeper understanding of the world around us. Our mission is to create a space where wisdom (and not fame, power, or money) is the center of gravity and what we are most concerned about cultivating in this lifetime. 

Join us on Chitheads as we explore the liminal spaces of consciousness, embrace the complexities of the human experience without dogma or self-righteousness, and discover the beauty again and again of the interconnectedness of all things.

Subscribe to Chitheads on YouTube and your favorite podcast platform, and please consider leaving us a positive review on one iTunes, or your favorite podcast player. Come dive into these in-depth conversations that illuminate our path of contemplative discovery. If you’ve felt like you’re the only one full of chit – full of consciousness or awareness ˀ– welcome home. This community of listeners, seekers, and scholar-practitioners is for you.

    This Crack in Time with Shambhavi Sarasvati

    This Crack in Time with Shambhavi Sarasvati

    Shambhavi Sarasvati is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula, a nonprofit community in Portland, Oregon. Her principle training is in the View and practices of Trika Shaivism—also called Kashmir Shaivism—and the Dzogchen tradition of Tibet. 

    Shambhavi is known for her humor and for making complex teachings about the nature of the self and reality understandable, practical, and always relevant to our lived experience. Her teachings are grounded in forty years of study, daily practice, and personal retreats.

    Shambhavi holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Mills College and a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. She is the author of six books about spiritual life and practice.

    In this episode, Shambhavi and Jacob discuss:


    how the war on Gaza amounts to a crack in time that is fundamentally reorienting us in this moment
    our relationship with the "other"
    how the nature of reality is a dynamic play of "wisdom-virtue"
    what the Mahabharata has to teach us about the war in Gaza
    how we each can connect to our own unique impulse to be of service in this moment
    the obstacles people encounter that keep them from speaking up, and how to move through those obstacles
    how to embody the "wisdom of the heart"

    Shambhavi has created a reading list as a resource for those interested in deepening their understanding around the historical and political circumstances between Isreal and Palestine. You can find that reading list here: https://jayakula.craft.me/palestine-learning

    Shambhavi and the Jaya Kula community gather for satsang and kirtan every Sunday at 3:30pm Pacific. Satsang is live in Portland Oregon and live-streamed. Visit jayakula.org for more information.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Ancient Greek Wisdom with Athena Potari

    Ancient Greek Wisdom with Athena Potari

    Athena Potari is a philosopher, spiritual teacher, and lineage holder of the Hellenicspiritual tradition. She is the founder of Athenoa – an Academy for Hellenic Wisdom inGreece, where Hellenism is approached as a living wisdom tradition whose coreconsists in the inextricable synthesis of scientific reason, self-inquiry and spirituality.Her work aims to revive the deeper spiritual and experiential dimensions of HellenicPhilosophy as a living spiritual lineage, combining discursive rigor, embodiedmeditative practices, and ancient spiritual practices with the aim of awakening to theever-present mystery of being – our true Self. She received her PhD from the Universityof Oxford, specializing in Political Philosophy, and her MA in Political Theory withDistinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She wasFellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University, exploring possibilitiesfor an expanded practice of Philosophy by re-integrating elements and histories of thefeminine. She is recipient of the Academy of Athens Award of Philosophy (2020),author of “A Call for a Renaissance of the Spirit in the Humanities” published by theGalileo Commission, and Member of the Galileo Commission Steering Committee.

    In this episode, Athena and Jacob discuss:


    How engaging with the Indian yogic traditions can clarify our ability to find wisdom in our own indigenous traditions.
    The unique energetic “field” of Oxford and how it nurtured her academic and philosophical development.
    The basics of the Hellenic worldview, and how it frames a spiritual path that sees the All as both One and Many.
    The inherently political nature of Being.
    The ways in which the modern university does not satisfy the deepest impulses toward eudaemonia – happiness, or fulfillment.
    A view of ethics not as “morality” but as “habits of energy.”
    Philosophy not as an “intellectual” but an “embodied” endeavor. 
    The teachings of various ancient Greek philosophers, including Plato, Heraclitus, Plotinus, and Pythagoras. 
    The holistic synergy between consciousness and matter.
    The nature of Being.

    Follow Athena on the Following Channels:


    Facebook: facebook.com/athenapotari ; facebook.com/athenoa
    YouTube: @athenoa
    Instagram:  @athena_potari
    Webpage (finished soon): philathenea.wixsite.com/athenoa-academy
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    The Wisdom of Zero with Jacob Kyle

    The Wisdom of Zero with Jacob Kyle

    In today's episode, Embodied Philosophy Founder Jacob Kyle is interviewed by Kelly Blaser for the 2024 Power of Meditation Summit. They discussed the role of the scholar-practitioner, the philosophical significance of "zero," the important synergy of knowledge and experience, "reappropriating God," and the necessary role of spirituality in the lives of queer people. 

    Jacob Kyle is a meditation teacher, writer, philosophy educator, and the Founding Director of Embodied Philosophy. He holds an MPhil in Classical Indian Religions from the University of Oxford, an MA in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research in New York City, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Jacob is a student of Kashmir Śaivism scholar-practitioner Paul Muller-Ortega and is a devoted practitioner of the Śaiva-Śākta Darśana. 

    Kelly Blaser is the founder of DharmaBridge and SomaPsychotherapy, and is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with an emphasis in Buddhism, Shaiva and Shakta Tantra, and Somatic Psychology. Her background in feminist movements and Latin American Studies and experience living in Central America opened her up to the extent that our inner struggles are reflective of systemic structures that promote domination and disassociation. Her work is to help others experience the infinite compassion beneath the chaos of life and to remind them of their true nature. Her programs and courses focus largely on the power of applying the dharma to one's relationship with oneself and others. She helps people train themselves in meditation, mindfulness practices, and compassionate self-inquiry, so they can gain freedom from conditioned mind and open up to possibility. 

    Explore the many upcoming offerings and follow Kelly's work at www.kellyblaser.com.

    In this episode, Jacob and Kelly discuss:


    how the history of "zero" as a mathematical disruptive discovery reflects the way our contemplative sādhana both disrupts and inspires different forms of knowledge
    the importance of studying yoga philosophy as a way to empower embodied experience
    how scholarship should take seriously and employ experientially the embodied epistemologies of ancient wisdom traditions
    what it means to let your subjective experience inform your practice without rejecting the knowledge systems of the tradition
    the symbolism of Nataraja (the dancing Shiva) and how it represents the five universe functions of reality
    the dance of revelation and concealment according to the Tantrik tradition
    how organized religions have rejected gay and queer people, and how this necessitates a "re-appropriation" of God in queer-inclusive theologies and philosophies that are simultaneously informed by an understanding of wisdom traditions.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Yoga Teacher Travails & Transformations with Leslie Kaminoff

    Yoga Teacher Travails & Transformations with Leslie Kaminoff

    Leslie Kaminoff is a yoga educator inspired by the tradition of T.K.V. Desikachar. He is an internationally recognized specialist with four decades’ experience in the fields of yoga and breath anatomy. He leads workshops for many of the leading yoga associations, schools and training programs in the world.

    Leslie’s book Yoga Anatomy, (co-authored with Amy Matthews), sold out its first print run of 19,000 within one month of its June 2007 release, and has been a top-selling yoga book on Amazon ever since. The book went into 12 printings before the newly-revised third edition of Yoga Anatomy was released on October 31, 2011, now with well over half a million copies in print and translations into 23 languages.

    Leslie also helped to organize international yoga conferences while serving as Vice-President of Unity in Yoga, and was part of the ad-hoc committee that established national standards for yoga teacher training. Prior to the formation of The Yoga Alliance, Leslie was a strong voice in the ensuing national debate regarding the application of those certification standards. This dialogue resulted in the creation of e-Sutra, an influential e-mail list and blog that has an active worldwide membership.

    Leslie is the founder of The Breathing Project, a New York City based non-profit educational corporation which ran highly respected year-long courses in yoga anatomy from 2003 to 2017.

    Leslie Kaminoff founded The Breathing Project in 2001 as a non-profit dedicated to the sharing of educational, community-based programming related to yoga, anatomy and health enrichment. From 2003 until mid-2017 the main vehicle for this mission was the physical studio we ran in New York City. The Breathing Project continues its mission of community service by producing and co-sponsoring workshops, immersions, symposia and publications featuring thought leaders from the fields of yoga, anatomy, somatics and other allied fields.

    The courses Leslie taught at The Breathing Project in New York City have been available online to a worldwide audience at yogaanatomy.net since 2011, with thousands of students worldwide participating in this growing online community.

    In this episode, Jacob & Leslie discussed:


    three tiers of yoga education: instructor, teacher, educator (and therapist?)
    the yoga teaching landscape post-Covid
    the historical arc of yoga's popularity
    the psychology of the classroom & student/teacher dynamics
    studying the anatomy of the mouth through Sanskrit
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 54 min
    The Vibratory Power of Sanskrit with Lucy Crisfield

    The Vibratory Power of Sanskrit with Lucy Crisfield

    About the Guest

    Lucy Crisfield is a speaker at the World Yoga Festival, a plenary speaker at the British Wheel of Yoga Festival, and the founder of ‘Original Wisdom’, through which she shares the inner teachings of mantra and yoga philosophy with sound, meditation, and scholarly precision. Lucy has just finished writing a book with the same title as her signature course, ‘The Sounds of Sanskrit ~ The Language of Yoga’. Taking seven years to write, the book is a direct expression of her own experience in response to the meditative inquiry and realizations that the Sanskrit sounds have brought forth.

    Lucy studied the violin and piano at the Royal College of Music from the age of eleven, and after receiving a first class honours degree in mathematics and Music, she left London to travel solo through twenty countries over five years in her quest for a deeper understanding of life. As well as immersing herself in yoga and finding herself at the feet of many revered teachers of the tradition, she also studied Arabic and the recitation of the Quran in Damascus, Yemen, and East London, and Hebrew at SOAS in London.

    Many years later, when back in London, Lucy eventually found the master of sound she had been looking for, Peter Harrison, who initiated her into the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Lucy now lives in the South West of England with her partner and two children, where she offers unique classes which share the teachings and sounds of the yoga tradition to illumine the intellect and connect us to the creative wisdom of the Self.

    In this episode, we discuss: 


    How previous teachers have shaped the understanding of Sanskrit 
    The difference between academic and vibratory approaches to Sanskrit
    The metaphysics of sound
    The difference between music and mantra
    The philosophy of sound in the modern yoga world
    The potential effects of mispronounced mantras
    The role of grammar in receiving Sanskrit’s vibrational potency
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Subversive Sanskrit Studies with Bihani Sarkar

    Subversive Sanskrit Studies with Bihani Sarkar

    About the Guest

    Bihani Sarkar is a Calcutta-born, Oxford-educated, scholar of classical Sanskrit literature and pre-modern Indian history and religious traditions. Bihani is a historian of early Indian politics, religions, and literature (poetry and drama) between the 2nd and the 15th centuries CE. She is lecturer in Comparative Non-Western Thought at Lancaster University and formerly a departmental lecturer in Sanskrit at Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. Bihani has researched and taught in universities in the UK and in Europe. Her teaching goal is to enable everyone access to early Indian Sanskrit texts and traditions in the original language, regardless of ability or prior knowledge, and to think about them in critical, modern, and exciting ways.

    Bihani’s publications span the history of the Śākta (goddess-centric) traditions, their metaphysics, their relationship to power, their role in the growth of the state and kingship and, most recently, on Śākta epigraphy as well as on histories of classical Indian literary genres, aesthetics, and emotions. Her most recent book is Classical Sanskrit Tragedy: The Concept of Suffering and Pathos in Medieval India.

     

    In this episode, we discuss: 


    Marginalized voices in the study of Sanskrit.
    Wild women and goddesses in ancient Sanskrit poetry in mythology.
    Shaktism as a stand-alone tradition.
    Shakta as a homegrown feminist tradition inspiring and emancipating Indian women.
    Does one need to be from a culture to understand a culture?
    The importance of valuing the place where something comes from.
    Being an accidental academic.

     
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
163 Ratings

163 Ratings

BeckyTeschy ,

Fills my need for deep philosophy

It’s often dense and academic, and i love it for that. They bring ancient and in depth yogic philosophy into the modern world and it’s so interesting and wonderfully challenging. I need the academic info and experienced and researched perspectives.

longstarr ,

Good content / Terrible audio quality

YMMV, but I really wish they would invest in better sound production. I often need to turn up my car stereo to full blast to try to make out what the host or guest is saying. Most times, I find it best to listen with headphones / earbuds in a quiet environment. So good luck listening on your commute. Content-wise, it’s often deep nerdy yoga and philosophy (which is great!) so do appreciate their niche and POV.

SteveShibby ,

Excellent podcast

This is one of my absolute favorite podcasts! The topics, the host, the guests; it’s all so relevant and applicable to my practice and life.

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