The Mindful Cranks broadly explores the cultural translation of Buddhism in the West, various facets of Buddhist modernism, and the mainstreaming of mindfulness in secular contexts. The podcast serves as a forum for voices that go beyond the dominant narratives which have been thus far uncritical of consumerism, medicalization, psychologization, corporatization and self-help approaches. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines — the humanities, philosophy, cultural studies, education, critical pyschology, religious studies, and sociology—The Mindful Cranks welcomes new conversations that challenge the priviledging of scientific materialism, methodological individualism, reductionism, and neoliberalism. Our guests are leading edge scholars, authors, teachers, practitioners and activists that share a mutual interest in civic mindfulness and socially engaged contemplative methods. A wide range of diverse perspectives–including critical theory, critical pedagogy, ethnography, Foucauldian governmentality, feminism, hermeneutics, critical race theory, critical management studies, socially engaged Buddhism, political economy–provide the “cranky” intellectual tools for socially engaged contemplative change.
Paula Haddock - Mindfulness for Social Change
Paula Haddock is a long-time social activist and spent many years working in non-profit fundraising and with NGOs – and she is a seasoned training manager – working worldwide in supporting civil society in capacity building.. She is the co-founder of the Mindfulness and Social Change Network which explore the potential for secular mindfulness training and practice to contribute to more sustainable, caring and socially just societies.
Laurence Cox: The Irish Buddhist
This conversation explores an obscure historical figure, Dhammaloka, who was perhaps one of the first Westerners ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1901 in British occupied Burma. Laurence Cox is co-author of The Irish Buddhist: The Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire, published by Oxford University Press.
Daniel Nehring - Mindfulness and Therapeutic Cultures
In this Episode, I spoke with Daniel Nehring, an ascending and prolific scholar in the field of critical sociology about how therapeutic cultures have penetrated our social lives and now have a global reach. We talk about the rise of the “self-help entrepreneur, the dominance of the "psychological imagination," and the relevance and important of C. Wright Mills and his classic work, The Sociological Imagination for academics to wake up, stand up and speak up as public intellectuals.
Matthew Ingram - Retreat
Matthew Ingram, author of Retreat: How the Counterculture Invented Wellness, Repeater Books, 2020. From Mohandas Gandhi to RD Liang, from the German Nature Boys to the Dalai Lama being asked what he thought about LSD -- our conversation explores the legacies of the counterculture, both shadows and light.
Christopher Titmuss - The Political Buddha
Christopher Titmuss is perhaps the most senior teacher of Vipassana and Insight Meditation in the Western modern world.
Our conversation takes a deep dive into the themes in his insightful book, The Political Buddha. We explore just how central the role of critical inquiry is in the Dharma, Buddha’s position on wealth and war, the privatization of spirituality, corporate mindfulness, ethics and institutional change, and the importance of the community.
Miguel Farias - The Buddha Pill
Miguel Farias is the co-author of the Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You? and the lead editor of the Oxford Handbook of Meditation. He has been a Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Oxford and is the founding director of the Brain, Belief, & Behaviour Lab at Coventry University.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I’m a licensed family therapist, systemic thinker, and have been learning about mindfulness meditation for years. This podcast has opened my mind to so many aspects of mindfulness and modern culture. It has made me a better therapist by helping me expand my understanding of systemic issues and the need to allow ourselves to be relational beings concerned with the needs of others.
Buy a microphone and widen your lens
These are really smart guys tackling some of the most important issues in western Buddhism. Sadly their podcast is recorded through a tin can and string and nearly every episode is about how Buddhists need to be more socially engaged, which is important but it’s the same conversation over and over again. The guests also leave something to be desired—hard to say what, it seems like they’re all obscure insiders in the subculture of Whole Foods Buddhists. Great potential here, will check back in a few months and resubscribe if they try a little harder.