It's about when life really matters. About letting curiosity, wonder and awe move us towards a purposeful life characterised by meaning. It's about exploring our deepest belonging. Our belonging to this living, breathing earth, to our inherent spiritual nature, to our bodies and to each other in the web of life...
Our life has all the ingredients to be our biggest and truest teacher! Trudy Goodman.
Trudy Goodman tells us how she came to meditation because although she had done everything right in life, exactly as was expected of a young woman, she still felt that something wasn't quite right, and she didn't understand why.
She also tells us about some big spiritual openings that she didn't understand, and hoped that maybe some spiritual teacher might be able to put into context.
Just keeping life together was challenging as a young single parent
The world of psychedelics, why do I have to be stoned to see the sacredness of the world, and she sought out a spiritual teacher together with her friend Jon Kabat-Zinn.
When we sit down with ourselves, we encounter the whole of who we are, if we dare to sit with it.
She tells us about two of her spiritual openings, one at childbirth and one when her daughter was very ill.
How we have to be aware that, even if we all have the same human heart and capabilities, every persons experience is so different, and how trauma f.ex. will inform how we experience meditation, or dropping into the body.
The importance of deep listening to other's experiences, and then learning from that.
Being sensitive and respectful to all those different identities in the world.
Trudy tells us about her shift from Zen to vipassana.
The pain of her divorce from a zen teacher was the catalyst for her change into the insight tradition.
Trudy speaks about how she and her husband, Jack Kornfield teach in very different ways.
The difference between zen and insight is like poetry and prose.
Trudy and I jump in to some pithy short zen- teachings.
Do whatever you do fully and completely.
I ask Trudy how mindfulness grows in someone who has practised for so many years.
Nobody is mindful 24/7, not even the greatest teachers, but the ability increases as we practice.
Slowly there is a shift, where being present and aware is most of the time, and you notice when you are lost.
When we can't accept ourselves, we are in conflict with ourselves.
Awareness is a light, that can shine on anything, even the darkest thing.
IFS internal family systems talks about the exiled parts of ourselves, to also accept them.
We speak about the term Loving awareness, coined by Ram Das.
Trudy tells us about how to acquire wisdom even at a young age.
Gratitude is a big part of wisdom!
Our life has all the ingredients to be our biggest and truest teacher!
In mindfulness we don't change what is happening, but rather we develop a loving wise relationship to whatever is happening.
The importance of trust, the trust that everything that happens to you, has some kind of meaning.
How a painful divorce taught Trudy to expand her window of tolerance and her compassion.
A huge part of our meditation practice is developing a heart that is open enough to hold opposite experiences
Trudy tells us about her memoir writing - her dharmemoir!
Trudy's website: www.trudygoodman.com
My website: www.duritaholm.com
The human soul's longing for mysticism and devotion, with meditation teacher Devon Hase
A conversation about meditation in different Buddhist traditions, especially the Theravada, where western mindfulness has its roots, and the quite different Tibetan vajrayana tradition.
These are some of the topics we speak about:
The power of having a lot of silent time in nature with your own heart and mind, how this connects you to yourself and how being with your own pain, opens your heart
She wrote her undergraduate thesis on meditation and ADHD
Why meditation has become so mainstream at this point in time, that it might also be because of all the scientific research shoving the benefits. This and all the challenges of our time, climate change, pandemics, anxiety, depression, insomnia.
We speak about what it means when we take the spirituality out of mindfulness, also with respect to cultural appropriation.
How Buddhism has always moved around into different cultures at different times, and it is interesting how it is adapting in our secularised cultures
What are the benefits of having a spiritual dimension to your meditation practice
The importance of becoming clear about our motivations for practising.
Buddha taught freedom from suffering - that is a radical promise!
How often unexpected things happen when you start meditating, and your practice and motivations might change
How going too deep too fast can be risky and even damaging
We speak about the differences between early Buddhism, the Theravada tradition and the Tibetan, vajrayana buddhist tradition.
The wildness of vajrayana buddhism
How the Theravada buddhism adapts better to a secular society.
How vajrayana buddhism is quite shamanic, mystical and magical, and actually takes some kind of devotion.
There is something in the human soul that longs for mysticism and devotion.
The sacredness of the world is missing today, and that might be at the root of our problems.
All indigenous traditions have this notion of the divine and the mystical
We speak about westerners teaching Tibetan, vajrayana buddhism
We speak about the progression from early buddhism to Mahayana and then vajrayana in Tibet
Devons thoughts about how we in the west have to be very respectful of the traditional and deeply culturally rooted practises of Tibetan buddhism, and how she is hesitant about our western way of appropriating these old practices, without perhaps always being ready for them.
I ask Devon if it is not a pulling back from life and society when she goes on these long retreats.
We speak about the danger of just wanting to escape from the world, when we go on long retreats
Retreat practice is such fertile ground for growing compassion, wisdom and equanimity, and when you come out of retreat you have so much energy and resourcefulness to engage with the communities, and how one also often develops much more creative responses to our challenges.
Does Devon think that deep meditative practice influence and contributes positively to the collective consciousness?
How intimacy with the world also means not turning away from the difficulty, for example climate change.
How retreat practice grows this feeling of deep belonging to nature, and how this intimacy fosters a different view, where we don't want to plunder natures resources.
Most things that are worth doing are difficult, and how sitting for long periods of time with your mind is messy and difficult, but its worth while to grow our hearts and minds.
Devon's website: https://devonandnicohase.com
My website: https://duritaholm.com
The entanglement and constant processual becoming of life and all things. Bayo Akomolafe
Home is not a stable concept, we are continually engaged in placemaking. Our perception of stability is just an illusion
We live in a processual, relational universe that is constantly emerging and open ended in its becoming
To solve the problems humanity is facing at the moment, we need to move beyond modernity and postmodernity, beyond just critiquing - we need something energetically different
Our work is not to contain this chaotic flow of reality, where everything radically interacts in ways beyond our understanding. Our work is to account for the ways we show up in the world, so that we might meet and engage with other spaces of power
How the world works, and where it goes, is not entirely up to us. Agency can not be seen as a matter of anthropocentric, human centred approaches. It is not just left to us to save the day, we need a broader understanding of what constitutes reality.
When we try to solve climate-change, we are still trying to solve it within a instrumentalist, hierarchical, patriarchal paradigm. As if we can in one phallic move fix the issues. This is extremely human framed.
Another move, is to notice, that we are climate-change - all of us, the whole world.
There is nothing that is old, that is not new, and there is nothing that is new that is not old.
It is not that all was fine and dandy in the past…
Is it even possible to correlate agency and power with skill?
It is interesting to behold, that the virus that is now upsetting the human world so greatly, that the sum of those covid-viruses that have inflicted havoc on us, would fit into a tea-spoon.
The invitation is to stay with the trouble and with the smallness, maybe that is all we need
It is not about not doing anything, it is about disturbing the assumptions in which we frame actions and solutions.
It seems that when we apply grand solutions to our problems, they mostly seem to create new problems.
Maybe we need to slow down, we need to dismantle our known ways, and let new ways come to us.
There is a lot more happening than we are able to detect. There is the molar and the molecular. The molecular is hardly perceivable, but it is happening, it is small but not insignificant in any way.
In these difficult times, It is a matter of shape shifting, and that doesn’t mean moving towards a harmonious, utopia. Its about opening ourselves to new problems, new critiques, all the different kinds of shadows as well as new ways of potentially being in the world.
Even when I come to an understanding, that not all that much is up to me, I will still find myself trying to control life and the world.
32:00 We are not individuals, we are all part of a larger flow of becomings… we are more spread out than we think we are - and this can be quite liberating
There is something emancipating about seeing agency as not human based, but ecological…
Maybe we humans aren’t as exceptional as we tend to think
This is about us noticing, that we are indebted with the world around us. An invitation to find new coalitions to act within.
There are cultures that have the capacity to engage with the remarkable complexities and paradoxes of the world.
The past is part of the thick now…
It is possible that there is a field of resonance, that feelings are volatile and atmospheric…
The pandemic can be seen as an opening, as a portal. What we need, is to get lost - not the salvation!
The difference between home-making and home-coming
Even place is a practice - it is not a static container
Where do meditation and pshycology intersect? and who are you anyway? With nico hase
A conversation with psychologist and meditation teacher nico hase, whose life revolves around long retreats and deep practice. Among other things, we speak about identity, the self, the differences between western psychology and eastern meditation practices, and to what purpose each of them serve.
How already at 14 - 15 years old there was distressing stuff going on in nico’s family, and how he was impacted by that. He didn’t know how to deal with all that anger and internal distress. Then he came across a book by meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, and that turned everything around…
Joseph’s book, Insight Meditation, spoke about suffering being an inevitable part of life - AND about the path out of suffering.
nico tells us about the experiences of his first meditation retreat, both the difficulties, but also a small opening, and with that a realisation that this could actually lead to peace of mind.
Only 18 years old he did a moth long retreat. At 19 a 5 months retreat, and shortly after that he became a zen-monk and moved into a zen-monastery.
nico says he feels that meditation saved him, and he tells us about the intense practice at the zen-centre.
How nico has practiced intensely both in the zen tradition, the insight tradition and the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Good zen books to read: Shunryu Suzuki: “Zen-mind beginners mind” and “Enlightenment unfolds” by teachers at San Fransisco zen-centre.
How meeting his future wife, Devon, while still at the zen-centre also introduced him to Tibetan Buddhism.
How meeting Mingyur Rinpoche, a renowned Tibetan teacher, made him go fully into Tibetan Buddhism.
How looking back at the suffering he experienced when he was very young, is interesting, because now, he can hardly recognise that person.
How his meditation training has made him able to work constructively with his mind when he gets thrown or upset.
nico’s thoughts on comparison between western psychology (he has a phd in psychology) and meditation practice, and how the ultimate goal of the two practices is very different.
How to bring your mind into a more peaceful state with meditation.
How to break the grip that your thoughts normally have on you, and how you can then look at your mind, and see your mind clearly, and how from there you can slowly learn to let go.
How the goal in psycho therapy is to get people who are in distress back to normal, whereas in Buddhist practice, it is assumed that you are already pretty healthy when you start, and your seeking is more existential, and the goal is enlightenment.
How it came about that nico not so long ago changed his name
How intense meditation practice does bring about big changes in our inner self, and how ingrained patterns can fall away.
We talk about how identity is more of a process and less of a fixed, defined, static and reliable entity.
How not having to defend this fixed personality is liberating.
We talk about how to be with and support someone who is feeling a lot of distress: to just be with them, and let them know that all these feelings are normal and okay
How it doesn’t work to give somebody advise who didn’t ask for it.
How the oceans make life on earth possible and the secrets of the deep abyss, with Helen Scales
Marine biologist Helen Scales passion for the ocean, all its creatures and its whole otherworldliness is truly fascinating - it shows us how to keep intact our curiosity, our awe and our respect for all life and all places, also the ones we cannot see.
Why did she become a marine biologist - a nature-kid with a tiny little stone cottage by the sea in Cornwall
The sensation of breathing under water - the closest she could get to being a fish, and the first time she saw a fish under water
The sensation of putting herself into an other world - wanting to se what is in the hidden worlds
And how when you are really paying attention, you can see the most wondrous really small creatures
The ocean is a huge mass of life, and all that life is interdependently connected
How the ocean pulls out half of all the carbon dioxide that the planet pulls down
How the ocean feeds the earth, and vice versa.
How we can so easily disrupt these networks. And how changing one thing, has consequences for other things
how the ocean absorbs both excess heat and CO2, and how that co2 absorption creates ocean acidity
The coral reefs are both being impacted by the heating of the ocean and the acidity
1/4 of all the life in the ocean lives around coral reefs
We speak about the deep sea coral reefs growing on seamounts
How the Greenland shark lives for 500 years
How we need each other to survive
Where does one life begin and another one begin, when many living beings live in such deep symbiosis
How life goes absolutely everywhere, and just adapt
Chemo-synthesis on hydrothermal vents, full of toxic chemicals, and lots of animals are adapted to that environment
How chemo-synthesis is a wholly different kind of all life than life as we know it, which is dependent on photosynthesis.
deep sea mining for our green revolution like electric car batteries
The paradigm of just keep extracting from the earth, without giving back
Thinking about regeneration
There is an increasing interest in nature and our connection to nature
Important to start individually to make changes
What kind of world do we want to live in?
Can we make the mental shift and keep exploring the world, but not having to extract what we find.
We talk about the possibility of life on other planets
NASA is looking closely at life in the deep oceans
How life on the planet perhaps started in the deep oceans
What is life actually, and how energy needs to be generated for life to arise
The power of beauty, community and mystery for thriving with ourselves and the planet. Gary Ferguson & Mary M. Clare
An inspiring conversation with the authors of the book "Full Ecology" about humans, animals, trees and even conciousness!
The fullness of ecology is bringing together the wisdom about and in nature with the wisdom about and in humans
The superpowers in nature which have evolved for millions of years, have also found their place in human beings because we are nature
Nature is not something out there that we are going to save
Can we nudge a perceptual shift in our perception of nature and of ourselves and move towards less separation between the two
Can we move towards the truth of who we are, that we are as much nature as anything else, and can again occupy our right size in the world. Not as rulers and dominators, but as an integral part of nature and in respectful kinship with each other and nature
We can’t live with out the protection of the billions of natural microbes on our skins and inside our bodies, our melatonin levels are set by millions of years of interacting with the sun, and we can’t live with out all these intricate settings from the natural world.
How sensing Kinship with the land and bonding with our natural environment benefits us immensely in our wellbeing
We explore what implications the agricultural revolution 10.000 years ago had on how humans view on nature, how they perhaps lost the notion of embeddednes in nature and the notion of reverence for the environment.
Maybe our separation from nature started with the agricultural revolution
This initial separation lead to the Cartesian notions of objectifying everything and divorcing every thing from every other thing
Is our mind still evolving? Is there a quickening in the evolution of our consciousness happening at this time? Separation
Diversity is the number one predictor of health and resiliency in nature
In wolf packs, elephant herds or lion-herds, there will always be a great diversity of “personalities”.
We have to stop believing that we are better than people of other nationality, culture or colour - that brings resiliency and wellbeing for all.
How the wolfs were exterminated from Yellowstone national Park, and how the wholeness of that ecosystem was disrupted. And how the health of that ecosystem regenerated when the wolfs were introduced to Yellowstone again.
How more and more people are questioning whether the small ego is always telling us the truth.
Can we move towards the mind and the ego being in service of the heart instead of the other way around.
The heart thrives in kinship and relationship, and life on earth is completely dependant on healthy relationships.
Why we need to just STOP and not just act all the time. To really be in touch with ourselves and our environments
To take a moment, and just listen to the peace, and from there start looking at what is actually going on here?
How improvisation is critical for us to be of true service to whatever is arising moment by moment
How it is much easier to just stop and be, when you are in nature, and from there we can then bring it into our normal lives, and see what happens.
What does it look like to bring our beautiful experiences that we have in nature, into our daily day lives.
From stopping we have the opportunity of getting a good sense of what actions are the most appropriate.
How regenerative agriculture is surging around the world, and how it supports the diversity of the land.
Acknowledging how life really works on this planet, is vital to be able to support regeneration.
Do we really stop by the edge of our skins? Do I end where my skin ends?