48 episodes

The Meditation Freedom podcast interviews experienced meditation and mindfulness students and teachers. A meditation and mindfulness practice has many benefits, both for the individual practicing, as well for their wider circles.
Experienced practitioners talk about why they took up a meditation practice, and how it has changed their lives. They will be asked to talk about specific ways they integrate their understanding and bring mindfulness into their daily lives. How do you practice in a busy, hectic world with so little time? How do you deal with struggles, grief, kids, etc. How do they find freedom from stress, fears, obligations and the many other things and thoughts and conditioning that shackle us. This and many more interesting questions will be explored in the Meditation Freedom podcast.
Web Site:
http://meditationfreedom.com

The Meditation Freedom Podcast Sicco Rood

    • Alternative Health
    • 4.9, 10 Ratings

The Meditation Freedom podcast interviews experienced meditation and mindfulness students and teachers. A meditation and mindfulness practice has many benefits, both for the individual practicing, as well for their wider circles.
Experienced practitioners talk about why they took up a meditation practice, and how it has changed their lives. They will be asked to talk about specific ways they integrate their understanding and bring mindfulness into their daily lives. How do you practice in a busy, hectic world with so little time? How do you deal with struggles, grief, kids, etc. How do they find freedom from stress, fears, obligations and the many other things and thoughts and conditioning that shackle us. This and many more interesting questions will be explored in the Meditation Freedom podcast.
Web Site:
http://meditationfreedom.com

    MF 48 – Mindful Communications with Gregory Heffron

    MF 48 – Mindful Communications with Gregory Heffron

    MF 48 – Mindful communications with Gregory Heffron

    Gregory Heffron MFA owns and manages Green Zone Conversations Retreats. He is the only certified teacher of Mindful Communication authorized by author and Buddhist teacher Susan Chapman MA.

    He has been teaching Mindful Communication workshops with Susan since 2009, and has been a mindfulness meditation teacher in the Shambhala Lineage since 2005.

    In 2005, he apprenticed with senior Mudra Space Awareness teacher Craig Smith, and became authorized to teach this unique mind-body meditation technique. In 2007, Smith and Heffron taught this practice in a workshop for fourth-year students in the Dance Division at The Juilliard School in New York City.

    His background is in creative writing, having earned an MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing from the University of Iowa in 2003. He is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and lives in Santa Monica, California.

    What follows is a summary transcript of the interview. Listen to the episode for the full conversation)

    How did your path to meditation start?

    When I was in my 20’s and had just broken up with my girlfriend. It hit me in just that way that shook my world. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t have any tools to work with that, I was into art and literature, done therapy. I just couldn’t quite hold it all together. I came to meditation like many people through struggle and pain and challenge. Luckily I knew some people in meditation groups. Shambala Buddhist meditation group.

    It struck me as being a sensible thing to experiment with. They were kind enough to bring me along. It’s been 17 years since then.

    When you got attracted to that particular tradition and practice, was there anything in particular that stood out to you in that tradition that helped you with your breakup?

    I found there was something about just resting with my emotional experience, without having to resolve it. Without having to come up with the big solution. I think that was the most powerful part of the practice for me, even though it was quite difficult. Quite challenging. At that time I was going through a tumultuous time.

    The more I did it, I gradually gained confidence, that it could be done. That I could sit in chaos and confusion, complexity, and the richness of my emotional experience. And that it was OK to do that. Instead of finding it to be something that violated the rules of reality. It was reality, and it was OK to feel really tumultuous. There is something calming and soothing and sensible about that, that I could handle complexity and chaos and not freak out about it.

    And I imagine with most meditation practices, that is a big part, to learn to be comfortable with uncertainty, not knowing, not having the answers and like you said to be OK with chaos. Not something that most of us can just learn in a few periods of meditation sitting. 

    Yeah, the length of practice, and repetition of practice is crucial. Otherwise it is sort of like picking up an exercise regiment and doing it for a couple of days, you just feel kind of sore. And you don’t get very far. But if you keep it up, something happens.

    How did your practice evolve from there. Did you find it was helping you in other situations, or areas of life?

    Sure..I found greater ease entering uncertain situations. Situations that were unclear, where I felt anxious. That was really encouraging.

    I can think of particular situations, walking in somewhere, where I thought, “Oh boy, I’m really nervous”, and then feeling that bubbling energy, that anxiety. And then enter anyways, with a certain kind of equanimity. That was ground-braking for me. There was always that sense before that, of trying to stuff down my anxiety. Trying to suppress it, which of course only makes it worse.

    Suddenly I had a different way to relate.

    • 56 min
    MF 47 – Questioning solitary confinement and the Prison Industrial Complex with Johnny Perez

    MF 47 – Questioning solitary confinement and the Prison Industrial Complex with Johnny Perez

    MF 47 – Contemplating torture in solitary confinement with Johnny Perez

    Johnny Perez is a non-attorney advocate at the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project (MHP), a civil legal services firm that provides legal and social work services to people with serious mental illness. At the Urban Justice Center, he is assigned to MHP’s Safe Re-entry Project, where he works with people with mental illness and histories of incarceration, to connect them to the services in the community that will assist them to attain better measures of recovery and gain the stability necessary to avoid further contact with the criminal justice system.

    Mr. Perez also works to change unjust policies and practices in the criminal justice system through his participation in the Jails Action Coalition, the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement (CAIC), and the New York Reentry Education Network. Johnny is also a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee.

    Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Johnny has testified at the NY Advisory Committee to The US Civil Rights Commission about the inhumane treatment of teenagers in solitary confinement in state prisons and city jails. He is a sought after speaker having been invited to speak at Cornell Law, Fordham University, Amnesty International, and at the American Justice Summit where he discussed the cycle of incarceration with Nightline News anchor Ju Ju Chang.

    Johnny is currently completing his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at St. Francis College while also completing his first nonfiction book: Prison: The Upside Down Kingdom.

    (What follows is a summary transcript of the interview. Listen to the episode for the full conversation)

    What were some of the events that led up to you spending 3 years in solitary out of a 15 year prison sentence?

    The first time I landed in solitary I was 16 years old, and ended detained in Rikers island here in New York City for gun possession. Ended up incarcerated for 8 months for having a gun on me. While I was in Rikers Island, I got into a fight with an individual over the phone. If you don’t belong to a gang, you can’t use simple entitlements that every person that’s detained can use, like using the phone. Johnny got into a fight over the phone and as a result was given 60 days of solitary confinement.

    One of the things that made the situation worse, was that the person that brought the food, breakfast and lunch, belonged to the same gang of the person I fought over the phone with. So for the first two weeks, I didn’t eat breakfast and lunch as a result. As a 16 year old it was challenging, lot of psychological and physical adversity as a result.

     

    As an adult when I was 21 years old I was sentenced to 15 years of prison for robbery in the first degree in which I served 13 years of that, with a total of 3 years in solitary confinement.

    My reaction as an adult was a whole lot different as an adult in solitary then as a teen. Now, years later, I’m a re-entry advocate at a non-profit law-firm at the early justice center. I’ve dedicated my voice, past experiences to creating alternative solutions to solitary confinement.

    Can you tell me what that was like to be in solitary confinement?

    The cell is very small, very quiet, maybe about the size of a small parking space. I’m 6 feet tall, and can stretch my arms out horizontally and touch both walls in a lot of the cells I’ve been in. During the summer, the walls start to sweat it’s so hot. During the winter, it gets so cold you have to keep your head under the covers. Except you can’t do that, because every hour an officer walks by your cell, to make sure you’re alive and according to protocol, they have to see your skin. They leave all the lights on during the night an...

    • 1 hr 6 min
    MF 46 – Reconnecting with Nature through Eco-Therapy with Laurel Vogel

    MF 46 – Reconnecting with Nature through Eco-Therapy with Laurel Vogel

    MF 46 – Reconnecting with Nature through Eco-Therapy with Laurel Vogel

    Laurel Vogel, M.A. received her degree in contemplative ecopsychology (A Psychology of Writing) in 2006, and is an ecotherapist, writer, Zen practitioner, and Nature Immersion group facilitator. She founded and runs the Holding Earth Sangha on Whidbey Island, and conducts Nature Immersion camps on the West Coast. Her writing is anthologized in Rebearths: Conversations with a World Ensouled (ed. C. Chalquist), and her articles have appeared in Ecotherapy News, and Restoration Earth Journal.

    Interview with Laurel Vogel

    (What follows is a summary transcript of the interview. Listen to the episode for the full conversation)

    What brought you to a contemplative practice?

    I’ve been a spiritual seeker for a long time, from a young age. Vacation bible school busses would haul us off to church, and this opened up my seeking personality. I had a seeking personality, but couldn’t find a home in the traditional traditions. I couldn’t reconcile myself in those traditions. There was this God father that would punish people into eternal damnation. So I left that kind of church, and continued seeking. As a young adult, I went through many things.

    In my 30’s I started Yoga, and had a strong Yoga practice for a long time. And in my 40’s I started meditating with Vipassana. Eventually came to Zen practice 11 years ago. I found that Zen was the one place where I could have all my doubts, and be exactly who I am, but still have a really strong containing kind of a practice.

    Even though I came with all of my questions, and my sometimes contentious relationship with spirituality, it can hold that, and it can stand up to that. I find the non-exclusive nature of that, to be as close to a home in a practice as I could find.

    Interesting that you mention the judgement of the old testament religion, and then the non-judgement and inclusivity of Zen.

    Yeah, I don’t really belief anymore that all Christian religions are like that, but I’ve come to find that, maybe even not all Buddhist sects aren’t as inclusive as I would like. But for the most part, the one that I found seems to really embrace… it doesn’t tell me what to think, what to feel, and how to be.

    So I had to go away from practices that were too prescriptive..

    And the preconceived notions, and conditioning that they come with..

    And of course there are precepts which we follow, but nothing like you have to believe, and have to think this way.

    But there’s also a faith element in Zen as well. How do you relate to that as opposed to accepting something on blind faith?

    The faith is to keep practicing. To keep going, to keep sitting, to keep doing the meditation practice I think. That’s really where the faith comes in. The process will take us toward wherever it is that we’re going. I see that as different than being told what I need to have faith in.

    Through the culture, certain churches, not all of them, have really come to try to tell people a lot on how to live, and what to do. The particular church I was in for a while, they got into your life, from telling what length the sleeves of your shirt should be, to whether or not you should go bowling or swimming. It’s that kind of a context that I was reacting to when I was looking for a spirituality that was more open and inclusive.

    Would you say you’re still seeking, or is some of that now dropping away, now that you’re feeling more at home in your practice?

    In a way I think I feel at home seeking. I do feel like, no matter what I do, I’ll find a way to be seeking. Not sure if that’s a good/bad thing. I think it’s just part of my nature, and i’m finally coming to a place where I’m accepting that more. That I just maybe one of those people who needs to ...

    • 50 min
    MF 45 – Stepping Out of The Busy-ness of Daily Life Into The Sanctuary of Our Heart with Bruce Davis

    MF 45 – Stepping Out of The Busy-ness of Daily Life Into The Sanctuary of Our Heart with Bruce Davis

    MF 45 – Stepping Out of The Busy-ness of Daily Life Into The Sanctuary of Our Heart with Bruce Davis

    Bruce is the author of  The Heart of Healing, Monastery without Walls ~ Daily Life in the Silence, My Little Flowers, Simple Peace ~ The Inner Life of St Francis of Assisi and The Calling of Joy. His latest book is The Love Letters of St Francis & St Clare.  Bruce is a regular contributor to Huffington Post. A graduate of Saybrook University, Bruce is a spiritual psychologist and teacher of the essence of world religions. He has taught at JFK University in Pleasant Hill, California and many spiritual centers in the United States, Germany, and Switzerland.

    In 1975 he wrote the book The Magical Child Within You which was the first book written on trusting and nurturing the inner child.  A couple years later he coauthored another best selling book Hugs & Kisses about loving life, which has been a theme of his work ever since.

    While a graduate student, Bruce met and became an apprentice to a remarkable Shaman who had the gift of entering into and teaching people in their dreams.  For four years, Bruce was introduced to many realms and worlds outside normal western thought. These years were to be the beginning of Bruce’s quest to understand the potential of psychology and spirituality.

    Since 1983 he has led interfaith spiritual retreats in many parts of Europe, Asia, United States.  Taking people to sacred places like Assisi, Italy, participants discover the sacred place within themselves.  For twelve years Bruce and Ruth lived in Assisi, founding the Assisi Retreat Center where people of all backgrounds are welcome to enjoy the simple peace and spirit of St. Francis of Assisi.  He returned home to California in 2012 and established, Silent Stay. It is Bruce’s wish to provide a sanctuary for everyone who yearns for real peace and quiet towards finding their own inner joy, spirituality, and purpose.

    Through the years, Bruce has studied and lived with spiritual teachers in India, Philippines, Germany and Bali, Indonesia.  In 1992 Bruce & Ruth established a free food program for the homeless in San Francisco that continues till this day.  High schoolers from some of America’s wealthiest communities are traveling each weekend, into the poorest neighborhoods, serving food to people living in the streets.  At Silent Stay, Bruce has a great interest in supporting people who have had a Near Death Experience or spiritual awakening. His primary intention is helping others to develop a meaningful spiritual life including a daily life of joy.

    Interview with Bruce Davis

    (What follows is a summary transcript of the interview.

    • 51 min
    MF 44 – The Role of Mindfulness, Gratitude, & Peace Practice in Islam with Rose Hamid

    MF 44 – The Role of Mindfulness, Gratitude, & Peace Practice in Islam with Rose Hamid

    MF 44 – The Role of Mindfulness, Gratitude, & Peace Practice in Islam – Interview with Rose Hamid

    Rose Hamid is a Muslim American of Palestinian and Latin descent.  She was born in Buffalo NY, grew up in Cleveland OH, and has been living in Charlotte since 1987.  She grew up in the Catholic tradition but chose to follow Islam when she started her family.  She has been married for 33 years, has three children; Suzanne, 28, Omar, 26, Samir 24.

    She has been a flight attendant since April 1985.   She is the Co-Founder and President of the Muslim Women of the Carolinas; a local organization whose mission is to bring the diverse Muslim women of Charlotte and the surrounding area together in order to get to know one another and to do good works. She is a frequent speaker about topics such as Islam and the role of women in Islam and is a guest columnist for the Charlotte Observer, writing monthly columns.

    After the attacks in Paris, Donald Trump proposed the establishment of a database of all Muslims in the country. Later, Trump called for a “complete shutdown of all Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion.

    Hamid told CNN before the Trump rally that she only wanted to give Trump fans “an opportunity to meet” a Muslim. “I figured that most Trump supporters probably never met a Muslim so I figured that I’d give them the opportunity to meet one” she said.

    Interview with Rose Hamid. How did you get to a spiritual practice?

    My mother is from Columbia, South America. And her father is Palestinian. He went to South America in 1938, when his country was in turmoil. And the economic development had a downfall. Where he met Rose’s mom, and they got married.

    We grew up in the Catholic religion/tradition. Where she had a lot of questions. I remember asking nuns these questions. My biggest question was this concept of original sin. And when I grew up, this was they way it was taught, or at least the way I absorbed it. I recall that Eve in particular had tempted Adam, and they had eaten the forbidden fruit. And they had sinned against God. And that was the break between God and humanity.

    Therefor people couldn’t have a direct connection with god. That’s how I understood it. Therefor I would have to talk to a priest, who would talk to Jesus, who would then talk to God. Because I was not worthy of this connection to God.

    So a lot of middlemen, intermediators?

    I felt at an early age that that was not fair. So we plotted along, with going to church, until right before confirmation. When she was about 12, or 13. By that time, her father started to learn about his own faith, he was a Muslim, but wasn’t practicing it growing up.

    So we started to realize how the church was very different compared to what he was used to growing up in Palestine. Where Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived among each other and were all considered people of the book (adherents of Abrahamic religions that predate Islam) from the Muslim perspective.

    I don’t think he realized how different the teachings were, until he came to America. And until he really started to learn his own faith. So he was trying to teach us more about Islam, but we really didn’t have much interest in it, at 13 years of age. And he wanted us to wait until we were older to become confirmed.

    So I really didn’t practice anything. I believed in a higher power, God. But not much else.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    MF 43 – Guided Meditations to Help Develop a Regular Meditation Habit with OMG I can Meditate! co-founder Lynne Goldberg

    MF 43 – Guided Meditations to Help Develop a Regular Meditation Habit with OMG I can Meditate! co-founder Lynne Goldberg

    MF 43 – Guided Meditations to Help Develop a Regular Meditation Habit with OMG I can Meditate! co-founder Lynne Goldberg

    Lynne was stressed-out, sleep-deprived, type-A businesswoman, and ended up a renowned meditation coach. As she talks about in the interview, when she started meditating, no one would have labeled Lynne Goldberg “a natural”.

    Lynne had a series of devastating life blows, including the loss of twin baby girls, her mother, her marriage, and her job, coupled with years of infertility treatment and multiple failed adoptions, she counted on overworking and wine to help her survive.

    But in the quiet moments she was forced to face the fact that, ultimately, she was still alone, unhappy, unfulfilled, and disconnected. Something—in fact, everything—was missing. Dragged kicking and screaming by a friend to a yoga retreat, Lynne reluctantly abided by the meat-free, alcohol-free diet and sat through the meditations simply because there was nowhere else to go.

    But as she found her stress and anxiety slowly dissipating, the reluctance transformed into acceptance, and acceptance into appreciation and outright enjoyment. There was no denying the transformative effects this balanced, healthy approach was having on her life. She felt calm, capable, and in control.

    Lynne course-corrected her life onto a path to understanding and embraced  a new healthy and balanced lifestyle, studying along the way with Deepak Chopra, Sri Dharma Mittra and Tony Robbins.

    Today she is a certified meditation coach, yoga instructor, strategic interventionist, and author of the book “Get Balanced. Get Blissed.”

    Her passion and life mission lie in helping others transform their lives and discover true happiness, peace of mind and fulfillment through meditation and personal growth. Her ability to compassionately connect with others, and her accessible, everyday approach to teaching meditation, have led her to copach people from all walks of life, from celebrities, athletes, and business executives to 80-year-old cancer patients and five-year-old children.

    Lynne’s meditation programs and curriculum have been implemented in elementary and high schools, special needs schools, and hospitals.

    Lynne Goldberg is also co-founder of OMG. I Can Meditate!, a mobile and web meditation app that can teach anybody how to meditate in just 10 minutes a day. Lynne’s simple and clear teaching style has brought the joy of meditation to stressed-out business executives, soccer moms, eighty year olds, kindergarten kids, and everyone in between. She is the author of the book Get Balanced. Get Blissed.

    When Lynne is not helping people find their bliss, she is living her own doing the things she loves most: being in nature, hiking or biking, traveling the world, cooking, or enjoying time with her husband and kids.

    (What follows is a summary transcript of the interview. Listen to the episode for the full conversation)

    (Above: Guided Meditation video by OMG I can Meditate! Lynn Goldberg)

    What was your life like before you started a meditation practice?

    Lynne was not a natural meditator at all (stresses this point). So many folks are intimidated by meditation, and look at other meditators and think, “oh, I could never do that”. She came to meditation by accident. Her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. At the time when Lynn’s mother went through all her cancer treatments, her doctor recommended she try meditation.

    And simultaneously, Lynne was going through infertility treatments. She thought, while her mother was having difficulties with her treatments, if it can help her mother, maybe it can help her as well. And when you’re pregnant, people like to tell you, just relax, and you’ll get pregnant. So she looked at meditation as a way to help her relax, as well as deal with this stuff that was going on as well.

    And ove

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

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Captainkmc ,

Extremely Enjoyable

I learn something new from each episode of this very interesting and informative podcast.

Sis K ,

The Meditation Freedom Podcast

Sicco Rood’s podcast is engaging. I have no doubt that anyone listening can benefit from his experiential knowledge and encouragement.

Ipadnotetaker ,

Great insights on being mindful on what's important

I just started listening to this podcast and found it quite insightful about common struggles we face in life. Sicco's advice on meditation and mindfullness has allowed me to take action and find space and and slow down. Its a high quality production, and look forward to making it a part of my podcast rotation.

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