Karen Derris: A Professor and Her Students Engage H. H. the Karmapa
Play episode · 59 min

In this episode of the Wisdom Podcast, Daniel Aitken speaks with Dr. Karen Derris, scholar of South and Southeast Asian Buddhist traditions and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Redlands. In recent years, Karen had the rare opportunity of working one-on-one with His Holiness the Karmapa as an editor of his book, Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society, published by Wisdom.

You’ll hear Karen share stories from the time she spent studying in Nepal as an undergraduate, where she formed meaningful connections with her Tibetan hosts through reading Buddhist literature together. From these experiences, she developed a lifelong interest in Buddhist narrative and the potential it has to transform the audience’s engagement with the tradition. 

Karen also describes the importance of human relationships and emotional experience as she moved further into her intellectual studies of Buddhism over time. It was through some of these connections that she had the opportunity to travel to Gyuto Monastery in India, where she and her students met with the Karmapa for a three-week dialogue. Karen describes how this rare connection with the Karmapa had a profound influence on her students’ professional aspirations by reorienting views of success, leading them to deeply meaningful service-oriented careers. 

Additionally, these conversations helped to inform the message of Interconnected, which offers a twenty-first century model of interdependence in support of a truly global society. Karen describes the vital message the Karmapa shares: that people must move beyond the purely intellectual to feel truly interconnected in an emotional way, and only then can the capacity for action be realized and sustained. Finally, Karen relates the ways in which the Karmapa’s direct guidance has had on her personally, an experience which she likens to being “inside a sutra” and among the most profound moments of her entire career. 

The post Karen Derris: A Professor and Her Students Engage H. H. the Karmapa appeared first on The Wisdom Experience.

Buddhist Geeks
Buddhist Geeks
The Fascism this Time, with Theo Horesh
In this timely episode–released just weeks before the 2020 US Election–host Vince Fakhoury Horn is joined by human rights advocate, public intellectual, and old friend Theo Horesh.  Theo is a long-time meditator, was one of the earliest guests on Buddhist Geeks, and is author of several books, including the one that serves as the basis for this conversation: “The Fascism this Time : And the Global Future of Democracy.”  During this conversation Vince & Theo explore what Fascism is–both historically & philosophically–how nihilism and despair are playing out in global society right now (especially in America), the many dimensions of human identity that are at play for us all, and the way that our current “split-level development” involves both a profound regression, as well as the potential for transcendence in service of the public good. _Memorable Quotes_ “Marx once noted that all great historical events repeat themselves, the first time as tragedy, and the second as farce.  And what we’re seeing now is a farce, but we should take it seriously, because it’s the same nihilistic drives that lie behind it.” - Theo Horesh “Fascism is going to end in destruction for a couple of key reasons.  One is it’s driven by nihilism. The second thing is that what sustains it, is its insulation from reality.  So, it’s not just going to be irrational in its approach to things, it’s going to be completely divorced from reality, and as time goes on it’ll be more and more divorced.” - Theo Horesh _Episode Links_ 📖 The Fascism this Time : And the Global Future of Democracy 📖 Convergence: The Globalization of Mind 🎙 Convergence (Theo Horesh’s Talk from the 2014 Buddhist Geeks Conference) 📃 The revenge of the 'Oxy electorate' helped fuel Trump's election upset 📃 Cosmopolitanism
1 hr 12 min
This Jungian Life
This Jungian Life
Deborah Stewart, Lisa Marchiano, Joseph Lee
Episode 133 - Adaptation: Meeting Life’s Demands
The world is the canvas on which we paint our lives. Through this lifelong work, we express personal vision, develop skills, and come to terms with the realities of our outer and inner worlds. The first major stage of adaptation, the transition from child to adult, requires readiness to separate from protective life structures in pursuit of outer world goals. It entails developing a strong, flexible ego devoid of overly negative or idealistic beliefs about self and world, a progressive orientation, and ability to cope with disappointment. In the second half of life, the adaptive task is introverted, and consists of relating to and integrating contents of the unconscious. While most of us come to recognize and adapt to ego’s limited control over external-world actualities, realizing the autonomy of the inner world is less universal. Jung described this process in his memoir, Memories, Dreams, Reflections as his confrontation with the unconscious. This process of adaptation led him--and can lead us--to living in relationship to something larger, the Self. Dream I'm standing outside of a pool and my sons (6 and 10) are in the pool with my ex-husband. My mother is sitting near me. I realize I need to go to the bathroom and shout to my ex-husband to take care of our youngest son. As I turn my back at the pool I see a frogman, he has the body of a man and the head of a frog. He is sitting as a frog on the floor. I'm surprised and fascinated by it. His skin is dark blue with small light green and light blue freckles. His eyes are green. It is raining and he seems to be enjoying the water. I call my brother so he can see the creature; my brother appears as a little boy and the frogman sits at a table with my brother that asks him many questions about his origin. The frogman speaks to my brother while I go to the bathroom. When I return the frogman is sitting on a small stairway, like waiting for me. I see him and I ask him if I can touch his skin. He lets me touch his arm; it is shiny and beautiful like a night full of stars. I don't remember if I kiss him or hug him. He asks me to go with him and I tell him that I have other things to do. I walk down a street and find a busy avenue with heavy traffic. I have to cross to the other side but it seems hard, like a complex coordination of moves and traffic lights. I see the frogman walking on the other side of the avenue. References C.G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Amazon).
1 hr 15 min
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
Dan Casas-Murray
Tao Te Ching Verse 56: Staying Silent
*Tao Te Ching Verse 56 * translated by Chang Chung-Yuan One who is aware does not talk. One who talks is not aware. Ceasing verbal expressions, Stopping the entry of sensations, Dulling its sharpness, Releasing its entanglements, Tempering its brightness, And unifying with the earth: This is called the identity of Tao. Hence, no nearness can reach her nor distance affect her. No gain can touch her nor loss disturb her. No esteem can move her nor shame distress her. Thus, she is the most valuable person in the world. Photo by Peter Nguyen on Unsplash *Being careful to not Kiss and Tell* I feel like after all we’ve been considering for the past 5 episodes, Lao Tzu provides us with a final thought.  And it seems to be this:  Don’t kiss and tell with the universe. I don't know about you, but I have experienced some true, correct, and wonderful things and feelings along my journey with the Tao.  There have been times when I just want to tell everybody about how cool it all is.  Perhaps I’ve had an experience when I felt intimately connected with my environment.  Perhaps I’ve experienced using the creative power of the Tao.  Perhaps I’ve grown a little and have had paradigm shifting insights.  Um, yeah I want to tell people about it.  My world just changed - how can I not talk about it? But I started noticing something when I would tell people about my adventures.  And it wasn’t because I became super aware of it on my own, either.  It was this verse and other sources - that hinted to me that I shouldn’t be going around and blabbing about my growth.  But why?  I asked.  Isn’t this joyful?  Isn’t this something I should be sharing?  You can, said the Tao, you can share all you want.  But guess what happens when you do?  You take the power out of what you have received and you will feel that that joy you have dissipates more quickly. So yes, I have learned that when I have paradigm-shifting experiences because of my efforts to move into Harmony, if I want to hold on to those lessons and make them a part of me, I must stay quiet about them.  That’s just my experience - yours may look different.  All I know is now, despite the temptation I have to talk about it, I am better off if I hold it inside and accept whatever has occurred as a precious, personal gift.  Now, does that mean I withhold information or my experience with people when they ask?  I don’t think so - of course, we are here to help each other.  But I must be careful about oversharing - and not just because I’ll diminish the beauty of my gift, either.  I can also be practicing compassion simultaneously when I am judicious about what I share and don’t.  Have you noticed that sometimes someone may not be ready to hear what you have to say?  I have, for sure.  I haven’t been ready to hear things from others, also!   The Tao, it seems, prompts us to act and to talk when its time in the manner and depth it specifies.  So I don’t need to go out of my way to not share - this stuff isn’t secret, nor is it meant to be.  It is given freely to those who are ready and willing to receive it.  So I may allow my experiences to come up in conversation, and if I’m asked, I can share about the bigger picture.  When I share out of willingness to give freely and not because I want people to know, I retain my gift and pass it on to others in the way that they need in that moment.
31 min
Psychedelics Today
Psychedelics Today
Psychedelics Today
PT214 - Dr. Michael Sapiro - Engaged Spirituality: Bringing the Mystical Into the Ordinary
In this episode, Kyle interviews Doctor of Psychology, faculty member at Esalen Institute, Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dharma teacher, and former Buddhist monk, Dr. Michael Sapiro. Sapiro talks about his recent travel pilgrimage to the northeast US, living in a camper with his dog and spending a lot of time in the woods working on himself and his connection with others. He talks about the "ways of knowing" that is taught at Esalen Institute, where people ask their cognitive brain about an important decision, then ask their body, their intuition, and even their ancestors and/or spirit guides, paying attention to their reaction to each interaction. He talks about methods to deal with body reactions, breathwork, the importance of self-talk, metaphors, cutting karma so you aren't perpetuating old ancestral wounds, the concept of post-traumatic growth, the difference between selfishness and self-focus, and knowing when to be passively working on yourself or actively engaging with and helping others. They discuss how to fuse your normal self with your mystical self and make the mystical ordinary- through action, being self-aware, staying calm, staying open-hearted, and always thinking of what can be done next to improve yourself and the health of others. This is a bit of a feel-good episode: in a hectic, stressful time, it's a reminder of the importance of checking in with yourself, taking care of yourself, and allowing yourself to just be. Notable Quotes “One of the things nature and the mystery taught me in my retreat, was to slow down and feel the presence of the mystery in a strand of a spider web. And I’m not being hyperbolic- I would slow down on a walk and see this spider web and just be with it for a while. What can I learn? What can I soak in? How can I be with it? And then I would take that into conversations when I met people. So that’s one practical way of bringing the wisdom of the forest into our daily lives.” “How beautiful that we have this access to deep knowledge of the universe through us, but we have to be quiet. We have to be quiet to hear the whispers of the heart. And when you become quiet, the whispers of the heart become louder and they start filling you in. Then you have to start believing it.” “What I learned in the forest and when I was doing my own healing work, is that the mystical states are actually ordinary- profoundly ordinary states of greeting the world [presently]- through my eyes, through my being, through being quiet when I’m agitated. ...Making the mystical states ordinary is a verb. It’s turning mysticism into an action, and that comes out through our speech, eye-gazing, through the way we listen, [and] the way we show up for ourselves and other people.” “Selfishness is doing a behavior that negatively impacts other people on purpose. ...Being self-focused is different. It’s ok that we have time being self-focused. ...You have to discern the difference. Because it’s not selfish to take care of the vessel that your consciousness is housed in. It’s important so you have good health to contribute to others’ health. It’s important because you’re precious and you matter. You don’t have to be selfish to take care of yourself, so let yourself off a little bit. Because a lot of people say ‘I feel selfish when I take care of myself.’ That’s not fair actually. That’s not fair. If you’re being selfish, call yourself out on it and change your behavior. If you’re just taking care of yourself out of self-love, because you know your health will positively impact other people’s (because we’re interdependent), then it’s really important you do take time to be self-focused.” Links Michaelsapiro.com Instagram Down, Play, or Walk Away: How my dog socialized me to be wiser and kinder during Covid-19, by Michael Sapiro, PsyD The Self-Care Vow: Turning the Bodhisattva's Gaze Inward, by Michael Sapiro, PsyD His last appearance on Psychedelics Today About Dr. Michael Sapiro Support the show * Patreon * Leave us a review on Facebook or iTunes * Share us with your friends * Join our Facebook group - Psychedelics Today group – Find the others and create community. Navigating Psychedelics
1 hr 15 min
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