If you’ve taken my Mindfulness Module, you’ve experienced an exercise where I play a piece performed by Aaron Goldberg’s trio, and we discuss how the layers of jazz are similar to the layers of the meditative process: Body (as the rhythm), breath (as the bass), thoughts (as the piano). And people invariably comment, “Who’s that musician? I love it, and I didn’t think I even liked jazz.” Here’s my interview with that musician – a modern master, Aaron Goldberg.
For the last few years, I’ve been deeply influenced and inspired by Jason Siff’s approach to meditation that he calls Recollective Awareness Meditation. This is an approach to meditation that comes at Buddhist teachings and practice from a very different angle; it’s an approach that invites and explores the experience of thinking!
In Buddhism, it is often said that the core teaching of the Buddha is his teaching on Dependent Origination. There are passages in the Suttas where the Buddha says, “He who sees dependent arising, sees the Dharma.” It’s pretty central stuff!
But, whenever I’ve tried to make sense of the more detailed explanation of this central teaching, I’ve always been left feeling bewildered and confused. To describe this teaching as opaque would be an understatement.
In Part 2 of my ongoing conversation series for www.meaningoflife.tv with David Barash, we dive more deeply into his intellectual trifecta, “Existential Bio-Buddhism.” And we look at how each system of thought and understanding can help develop an orientation to life. It’s not that we discover the meaning of life, rather we uncover a way to create […]
As part of my ongoing conversation series for www.meaningoflife.tv, I’ve had the great pleasure to connect with David Barash, professor emeritus of psychology – specifically evolutionary psychology – at the University of Washington. In this conversation, David unpacks the convergences and divergences between Buddhist views of the world and those of a biology. David’s book: […]
During his junior year of college, a tragic accident during a game of pick-up basketball disrupted Howard Axelrod’s course in life. As a way to make sense of himself and of life, Howard did what I’ve only fantasized of doing: he went to live in the woods, in utter solitude, for a very long time. In […]
Ellen Langer is a social psychologist at Harvard University who has done four decades of research on non-meditative mindfulness. This is a unique form of attention regulation. Ellen defines mindfulness as an “active state of mind, where you notice new things.” Sounds simple, and it is. But its simplicity belies the profundity of its power. In […]
In this conversation, I speak with one of my meditation teachers, Jason Siff. When I first encountered Jason’s teachings a few years back it caused me to re-evaluate many ideas that I had held dearly about the process of meditation. Inevitably I had to let go and unlearn many of those concepts. If you have […]
In this conversation, I speak with Alex Howard, founder of www.conscious2.com and producer of the documentary on the spiritual teacher, Andrew Cohen: How I Created a Cult. This documentary is important for a number reasons. It is the first documentary that I know of to chronicle the story of a fallen spiritual teacher, their process of […]
In this interview, I speak with neuroscientist, Sara Lazar, about her work on the study of mindfulness. Sara is one of the leading scientists studying how the brain responds to mindfulness meditation. Are the benefits of mindfulness exaggerated? Meditation and our “neuroplastic” brains How meditation alters the fear response Why studying mindfulness is hard Mindfulness […]
JP Sears is a man who needs no introduction. If you’re unfamiliar with JP, please stop reading now, pull your head out of the sand, take a shower, and come back once you can say your name and the current year. I’m still rather in shock that I was able to grab him for an […]
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing my friend, Chip Hartranft, for MeaningofLife.tv. In the yoga and meditation world, Chip is the rare practitioner who balances encyclopedic scholarship with equally profound depth of practice. In our conversation, we explore Patanjali’s road map to liberation, The Yoga Sutra. We also get into the […]
I am very pleased to announce a new opportunity that has developed for me. Robert Wright, author and founder of Bloggingheads.tv and MeaningofLife.tv, has invited to me to “try my hand” at interviews for MeaningofLife.tv with thought leaders in the worlds of meditation, yoga and spirituality. This is an enormous honor for me, and as cliché […]