71 episodes

Andrew will be tapping into the many connections he has made around the world with spiritual teachers, scientists, scholars, and experts to offer you the latest from leaders in lucid dreaming and the study of mind.

Edge of Mind Podcast Edge of Mind

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.5 • 34 Ratings

Andrew will be tapping into the many connections he has made around the world with spiritual teachers, scientists, scholars, and experts to offer you the latest from leaders in lucid dreaming and the study of mind.

    A Discussion on the Nature of Reality, Mind, and Death with Bernardo Kastrup

    A Discussion on the Nature of Reality, Mind, and Death with Bernardo Kastrup

    Join the esteemed philosopher and computer scientist Bernardo Kastrup in a wide-ranging exploration of the nature of mind and reality. The conversation begins with a look at the implications of idealism, the view that reality is essentially mental. If reality is like a dream, how do we accurately derive meaning from this collective dream and avoid the trap of projecting meaning onto it? Can we interpret disease in a meaningful way, and how do we read this form of sign language? Is there a connection to this world view with the Buddhist teaching on Mahamudra, or the tradition of the “Great Symbol”? Bernardo shares his innovative view of cancer and speaks about the compassion we should direct to our diseases. If disease is a form of dissociation, can we look at the meta-crises facing the world today as a meta-disease, and reduce the meta-crises to irreducibly simple principles? Does karmic theory have a place in the origin of phenomena?
    Dr. Kastrup shares his liberating view of death as the end of dissociation, not the end of consciousness. How do the contents of our mind contribute to “mind at large” when we die? What kind of “contribution” does someone like Hitler make? Intertwined with this discussion is the role of development, and the place of identity. What is our irreducible identity that is untouched even by death? The conversation turns to viewing the unconscious mind as the obfuscated or obscured mind. What is the main source of obfuscation, and where does dark retreat fit in? Is the light of meta-cognition a form of obfuscation? What about the relationship of light to mind, and to reality, altogether? Bernardo proclaims that philosophy must be lived if it is to be genuine. He shares two major ways his view of reality has positively affected his life, and two ways he has been challenged by his own views. What does Dr. Kastrup most want to know? See for yourself why Bernardo is a major figure in the world of philosophy, and a leading voice in the arena of nondual spirituality.

    • 2 hr 58 min
    Exploring Darkness Retreats: Scott Berman’s Perspective on Inner Work, Fear, and Spiritual Growth

    Exploring Darkness Retreats: Scott Berman’s Perspective on Inner Work, Fear, and Spiritual Growth

    Join Scott Berman, founder of the dark retreat center Sky Cave, for a look at this ancient practice that is finding its way into the modern world. How did Scott get into this unusual business, and what is dark retreat all about? Scott explores the many reasons why people are clamoring to get into dark retreat, the things you do when you’re in the dark, and what constitutes a successful retreat. We explore the indications and contraindications of dark practice, and the profiles of those who tend to thrive in the dark, and the profiles of those who struggle. “Spiritual types,” or those with long meditation histories, often have a harder time than those who enter with the “beginner’s mind.” Dark retreat is feminine in nature, and women tend to do better than mind. Why is that? And what actually constitutes a dark retreat? How long do you go in? Do you have emotional or spiritual support if you need it? How do you get your food? 
    We discuss how to work with the challenges that tend to arise in the dark, especially anxiety and fear. Scott talks about dissociation, the importance of embodiment, and the role of body work before, during, and after retreat. How does one best prepare for the dark, and how does one integrate the experience into daily life? How important is proper motivation when going into dark retreat, and why is honesty towards your experience more important than positivity? What are some of Scott’s biggest surprises in guiding over 350 people through dark retreat? We talk about the new field of darkness therapy, and the overall therapeutic potential of dark retreat. With dark retreat, you may not always get what you want, but you tend to get what you need. How do you handle those “needs,” and the revelations that unfold in darkness? See for yourself why dark retreat is being touted by celebrities, ranging from famous authors, to athletes, to business executives, and if this unusual practice is right for you. 

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Demystifying Pure Lands: A Conversation with Mark Unno

    Demystifying Pure Lands: A Conversation with Mark Unno

    Join the esteemed author and scholar Mark Unno in a wide-ranging discussion of the Pure Lands, and how much they have to offer for our modern age. Professor Unno begins with a thorough look at the history and philosophy of the Pure Land schools, before turning to the main principles of this noble tradition. The core tenets of self-power and other-power are explored, the role of nembutsu (reciting the name of Amida Buddha), true entrusting, deep listening, the power of mantra, and how the Pure Land of Sukhavati is different from Heaven, and Amida is different from God.
    Dr. Unno shares personal stories of his experience with Pure Land tenets, and how the practice of bowing and surrender has transformed him. How real are the Pure Lands? Do we take them literally or symbolically? Is there a danger in psychologizing the Pure Lands? Why should we go there after we die? Mark talks about the difference between nirvana and parinirvana, the nondual light of oneness that Amida represents, and the principle of purity and purification altogether. The discussion turns to the notion of “spiritual photosynthesis,” the power of light and the mantra of light, before moving to the idea of “reverse karmic bond” and its relationship to the Reverse Meditations. Professor Unno clearly manifests a lifetime of study and practice in the Pure Land tradition and represents the depth and profundity of a tradition that is sometimes dismissed as “Buddhism Lite.” Mark has a unique gift of taking these teachings and bringing them immediately into life, translating Pure Land principles into practical terms. See for yourself why Dr. Unno is such a treasured representative of this often-misunderstood tradition.

    • 1 hr 53 min
    Sierra Campbell on Spiritual and Practical Preparation for Aging and Death.

    Sierra Campbell on Spiritual and Practical Preparation for Aging and Death.

    Join the author, and end-of-life caregiver, Sierra Campbell in a rich conversation exploring the many aspects of spiritual and practical preparation for aging and death. She shares her own experience as a cancer survivor, and how she got involved in this work. Sierra talks about the importance of active listening, “saging” instead of aging, and the wisdom of “waking down” at the end of life. What is the profile of those who tend to transition gracefully vs those who do not? How does one work with the death of a child, and what are the best things to say, and not to say, to someone who is dying and to family members? How honest and open should you be? Sierra talks about the importance of using small deaths during life to help with the big death, and that most people aren’t afraid of death as much as they are of suffering. 
    The conversation turns to medical aid in dying (MAID), how to understand the anger and fear that often arises around death, and the place of plant medicine (psychedelics) for helping people die, and for processing grief.  Sierra talks about how the bardo teachings of Tibetan Buddhism have informed and transformed her own relationship to death, and her ability to help others. She shares her most effective meditations, like metta, the practice of Tara, the generation of merit, and breathwork in preparing for the end of life. It’s important not to try to fix things at the end of life, but to support the journey. See for yourself why Sierra is such a coveted speaker on some of the most challenging situations, and difficult decisions, anyone ever has to face.  

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Lama Palden Drolma on the Transplantation of Buddhism to the West

    Lama Palden Drolma on the Transplantation of Buddhism to the West

    Join the author, and spiritual director of the Sukhasiddhi Foundation, Lama Palden Drolma, in a rich conversation about the transplantation of Buddhism to the West. 
    What is the “state of the union” concerning Buddhism in America, and the core challenges in cultural translation? How does one find an authentic teacher, and what are the warning signs to look for to avoid corrupt teachers? The conversation turns to the role of psychotherapy on the path, the danger of blind spots, the lingering problem of patriarchy, power abuse, and other common traps that frequently snare teachers. What is “spiritual counseling,” and how does it differ from therapy? What constitutes outer and inner obstacles on the path, and how can we avoid spiritual bypassing? 
    Lama Palden is an expert in yidam practice, or deity yoga, especially the female Buddha Tara. Is Tara inside of us, outside of us, or both? What role does Tara play in the modern world? Is the West even ready for the advanced spiritual technologies of tantra? The conversation turns to the role of the imaginal, and the importance of visualization and “feelingization.” Do modern meditative technologies, like brain entrainment, have an authentic place on the path? What about psychedelics? 
    Lama Palden talks about “idiot devotion,” and the promise and peril of surrendering on the path. She offers valuable advice specifically for female practitioners, and things to look out for when working with a teacher. Where do you go to engage in genuine, and safe, spiritual practice? See for yourself why Lama Palden is such a respected teacher, and a real protector of the dharma in this challenging age.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Dr. Christopher Timmermann on Psychedelics and Their Role on the Spiritual Path

    Dr. Christopher Timmermann on Psychedelics and Their Role on the Spiritual Path

    Join the neuroscientist Christopher Timmermann in a wide-ranging discussion about psychedelics and their role on the spiritual path, as well as in preparing for the end of life. How can these agents be used to remove the fear of death, and how do they relate to near-death experiences? Is it true to say that death is a psychedelic journey? Chris shows us how we can find death in life’s experiences, and how the psychedelic trip and death are both processes of radical deconstruction. If someone is afraid of death, what’s the best way to use these agents? Is duality and the sense of self a construct, and is this what falls apart in reports of ego dissolution with psychedelics? Do these drugs also construct experiences, and are the experiences merely comforting delusions? How do we know the experiences are true? Dr. Timmermann talks about the “entropic brain,” and the heightened connectivity that takes place with psychedelics. Are psychedelic experiences due to a reduction in brain activity (the “reducing valve”), or an enhancement of brain activity? 
    Chris talks about the importance of “set and setting,” how these substances can be used to explore the nature of mind and reality, and the promise and peril of the psychedelic renaissance. What are the contra-indications for using these medicines, and where do “false memories” fit in? The conversation turns to the importance of preparation and integration, and how to avoid becoming a “state junkie.” How does one transform states into traits? What is “psychedelic-assisted meditation practice,” and how valuable is psychedelic apprenticeship? Chris discusses the clinical and therapeutic implications of his research, and why he is so excited about the future of this field. See why Dr. Timmermann is one of the brightest voices in this cutting-edge field of scientific research.

    • 1 hr 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Gr8full<3 ,

Mind & Heart Opening

Andrew is a brilliant interviewer and synthesizer of both the ancient wisdom traditions and modern science. These episodes have regularly stopped me in my tracks, softening my heart and blowing open the doors of my mind. Impossible to pick favorite episodes, but I loved the 2-part interview with Christopher Bache. No exaggeration to say it was a life changer. Do listen!

Bellpepper22 ,

Soo good

Andrew is an amazing host with a profound depth of knowledge.

Ren in SF ,

What's With the Background Music

I'm listening to the two part interviews with Christopher Bache and what the heck is the deal with the background plink plink plink music. Does the host not believe that the conversation is able to stand on its own??!!

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