The Wisdom Podcast
The Wisdom Podcast
Apr 15, 2016
Steve Armstrong: Insight Meditation in America
Play episode · 1 hr 21 min

In this episode we meet Steve Armstrong, a teacher in the vipassana tradition who has studied the dhamma and practiced insight meditation since 1975. Steve is a co-founding teacher of the Vipassana Metta Foundation’s dharma sanctuary on Maui, and guided the creation of the new book Manual of Insight, the classic collection of teachings by the renowned Mahāsi Sayadaw.

Steve begins by telling the story of how his spiritual practice began in a commune for followers of Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead located in Maine. He then shares how he stumbled upon his first meditation retreat and slowly began to see the impact meditation was having on in his everyday life. We hear about his emerging faith in Buddhist practice. Steve recounts his involvement at the very beginning of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in 1977, and shares the powerful experiences of the early years of IMS and meeting many great teachers, including Dipa Ma, Mahāsi Sayadaw, and Ajahn Chah.

Steve tells us about the first time that Sayadaw U Pandita came to the United States and what an immense impact his teaching had on the IMS community. He explains the aspects of meditation that he has found challenging. Out of these experiences, we hear how he was inspired to ordain as a monk, traveling to Burma for the first time, and how he maintained a monastic life and practice from 3AM to 11PM every day for several years. He describes the phenomenal effects this had on his practice, sensing a change within the first two weeks of his time at the monastery. Among these effects was the arising of what Steve calls “spiritual goodies” – the blissful and ecstatic states that many practitioners experience as they deepen their meditation and continue along the path. He also explains the role of the teacher in the Burmese Theravada tradition.

Steve relates the history of how the new book Manual of Insight, and edited by the Vipassana Metta Foundation, came into being. Steve also reflects on the truly transformative potential of insight meditation practice–how it can take the practitioner beyond a basic practice of mindfulness into enhanced states of being.

The post Steve Armstrong: Insight Meditation in America 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
Bob Thurman Podcast:
Bob Thurman Podcast:
Robert A.F. Thurman
Congratulatory Rejoicing: Tibetan Book of the Dead – Ep. 244
In this episode Professor Thurman introduces the Four Noble Truths and the Buddhist Inner Sciences through reading key passages from the miss titled “Tibetan Book of the Dead”. Opening with a recommendation of “Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition” by Andrew Holecek and a lively Carlos Castaneda story, Robert A.F. Thurman gives a close line reading and recitation of his classic translation of the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” for listeners of all faiths, backgrounds or experience. Using the stories of from the Nalanda Tradition’s Tilopa and from his time studying with Geshe Wangyal, Tara Tulku, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Bob Thurman discusses value of positive intention, life affirming action and supportive behavior during the death process and in our daily lives. Podcast includes: an explanation of the restorative sleep yoga and clear light meditations, introductions to the Buddhist perspectives on emptiness, non-duality, and nihilism, an exploration of the interconnected nature of the mind, the subtle body, bliss and emptiness and an extended teaching on the place of congratulatory rejoicing in spiritual transformation and self improvement practices. Recorded during the on-going Tibet House US | Menla Online “Bardo” teachings this episode includes: a discussion on the differences between Pundits and Siddhas across Indian and Tibetan history, an introduction to the transformative power of generosity and Buddha-verses during Professor Thurman’s classic Jim Belushi “Food Fight Universe” and clear light meditations. To learn more about Robert A.F. Thurman’s new audio book version of “Liberation Through Understanding in the Between: Tibetan Book of the Dead” by Penguin Audio, please visit:
58 min
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
The Tao Te Ching for Everyday Living
Dan Casas-Murray
Tao Te Ching Verse 57: Practicing Gentility
*Tao Te Ching Verse 57 * translated by Xiaolin Yang When governing a country you must be fair and just; When fighting a battle, you must use tricks; When taking over the world, you must practice WUWEI. How do I know everything in this world? This is how. The more restrictions the government sets, the more people become poor; The more people have dangerous weapons, the more the country falls into chaos; The more people become clever, the more bizarre things happen; The more severe the law becomes, the more thieves there are. So the great leaders said: "If I practice WUWEI, the people will govern themselves; If I am always peaceful, the people will be upright by themselves; If I do not initiate things for my own purposes, the people will become rich by themselves; If I do not have desires, the people will become simple and plain by themselves. Photo by Sahand Babali on Unsplash *Let’s consider how we can apply the principle of Practicing Gentility in this verse today.* I’d like to use an acronym to practice this verse today.  The acronym is  A-S-K. Keeping in the spirit of being gentle with ourselves and therefore others, here’s what I think we can do: The A is for Acceptance - lifting those prohibitions on ourselves and others - observing things without judgment.  Of course this doesn’t mean we have to approve of anything - we’re just not judging. The S is for Simplicity.  By eliminating the weapons of guilt we use on ourselves and avoiding overthinking, we allow our lives to unfold in the natural way of things.  We grow quiet and rich in spirit. And the K is for Kindness.  By becoming aware of my selfish desires and then discarding them, I am naturally kind to myself.  There is nothing to beat myself up over when I fail to achieve that desire!  Remember that’s not saying we can’t have goals - we’re talking about desires to feel a certain way that results from our manipulating a certain set of external circumstances.  Going on a diet, stopping a habit, getting more love from people, getting approval from others because we want praise - that sort of stuff. So today, I can A-S-K ask the Tao for assistance with all of this.  I can ask the Tao to help me concentrate my attention on the light energy, the light energy that is there all the time anyway.  And after I make my request, I can relax and be grateful, knowing that that which I’ve requested is already on its way.
36 min
Adventures Through The Mind
Adventures Through The Mind
James W. Jesso
Iboga And The Bwiti School Of Life | Tatayo ~ ATTMind 130
Living in Gabon for 50 years, Tatayo was the first westerner to be initiated into the Bwiti Fang iboga tradition. He joins us on Adventures Through The Mind to discuss what he has learned about Bwiti after living in Gabon and working with iboga. **** WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BWITI WAY OF LIFE? Bwiti: School Of Life is a 4-part interactive webinar series about Gabonese culture and the spiritual practices of the Bwiti. - Sundays, Nov 8-29 2020 Learn more or sign up at (use ATTMIND20 for $20 off) ***** For links to Tatyo's work, full show notes, and to watch this episode in video, head to ***Full Topics Breakdown Below*** (Featured Photo by Tony Hoare 2018) --- SUPPORT THIS PODCAST — ► Patreon: ► Donations: ► Merchandise: ► More options: ► Newsletter: *** Extra BIG thanks to my patrons on Patreon for helping keep this podcast alive! Especially, Andreas D, Clea S, Joe A, Ian C, David WB, Yvette FC, Ann-Madeleine, Dima B, Chuck W, Alex F, & Eliz C ************** Episode Breakdown * How Tatayo came to Gabon and why he decided to stay * How he came to do his initiation * What is Ebando * What is the Bwiti, what is its connection to Iboga * Bwiti different expression in Gabonese culture * Iboga is love * What is a Bwiti initiation? * The complexities and dangers of cultural differences between Gabonese and westerners * The necessity of intercultural mediation to protect both locals and westerners * What is a Bwiti Iboga initiation ceremony like * Iboga and the realm of the dead * Iboga connects you with the synchronicity of your life * The roles and presence of spirits in the Bwiti cultural paradigm * How Iboga heals * Tatayo’s craziest rescue mission * Ebando’s upcoming Bwiti: school of life course * Racial issues of being a white man speaking n behalf of an African culture * The only secret is the plants * being a bridge between cultures ************** --- SUPPORT THIS PODCAST — ► Patreon: ► Donations: ► Merchandise: ► More options: ► Newsletter: --- BOOKS — Decomposing The Shadow: The True Light Of Darkness:
1 hr 36 min
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