Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #298 - 11AUG18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the Mystical Positivist, George Barselaar, a devotee of Swami Lakshmanjoo and practitioner of Kashmir Shaivism, returns for an in-studio conversation about the teachings of the Kashmir Shaivist Tantric tradition, the meaning of Grace, the function of Free Will, and more. George Barselaar was born in 1951 in a small town in the south of Holland. He grew up in Sydney, Australia, studied Civil Engineering, and spent all of his spare time Surfing or playing Soccer. At the age of 19, George took a keen interest in Yoga, which inspired him to eventually learn Transcendental Meditation (TM). In 1974, he completed the Teacher Training Program in Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the direction of its founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Having a keen interest in the Vedas and Indian Philosophy, in 1975 he studied Sanskrit for a year at Newcastle University in Australia.

    In 1981 George travelled to India and spent six months travelling and studying the ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine. During this time he had the great fortune to meet with some of India’s renown saints including Anandamayi Maa, and many others. Following his interest in Shaiva Philosophy, in 1982 George travelled to Kashmir to meet the respected Saint and Shaiva master, Swami Lakshmanjoo. George remained in Kashmir for 9 years, until Swamiji’s passing in 1991. It was during that time that he became associated with John and Denise Hughes, who had already compiled a library of over 700 hours of recorded lectures given by Swami Lakshmanjoo on the oral tradition of Kashmir Shaivism.

    In 1988, after years of working in the garden and doing various construction jobs in the small ashram, Swamiji gave George permission to begin transcribing his recorded lectures. Working closely with John Hughes, it took almost 20 years to completed the English transcriptions of all of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s recorded teachings.

    For a decade after Swamiji’s passing (September 1991) George returned to Kashmir each summer, specifically to learn certain rituals unique to Kashmir Shaivism. Part of that study was learning the recitation of hymns and various mantras that accompany the Shaiva rituals.

    In 2000, George and his partner, Claudia Dose, moved from Australia to the USA and began working full time with John and Denise Hughes. At that time a decision was made to publish all of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s teachings as original transcripts along with the original audio recordings. This format, enabling the student to hear the teachings directly from a master of the Oral Tradition, has been well received by sincere students of Kashmir Shaivism worldwide.
More information about Swami Lakshmanjoo's work can be found at:

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #297 - 04AUG18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation in the studio with Bruce Fortin, guiding teacher of the Occidental Laguna Sangha in Sebastopol, California.

    Bruce Fortin began studying Zen at San Francisco Zen Center in 1971 and was ordained a Soto Zen Priest in the lineage of Suzuki Roshi in 1976. He spent thirteen years as a resident in Zen Center’s three monastic practice places: Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Green Gulch Farm and Zen Center’s City Center, and has received Dharma Transmission to teach from Zoketsu Norman Fischer. He has also studied with a number of other teachers in the Tibetan and Vipassana traditions and his teachings reflect their influence.

    Bruce’s work experience in the world includes serving as Executive Director of Home Hospice of Sonoma County for a number of years. In addition to being a Buddhist teacher, he has a private practice in Sonoma County where he practices mediation law and psychotherapy with a specialty in relationship counseling and transpersonal psychology.

More information about Bruce Fortin's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #296 - 28JUL18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation by telephone with Shinsu Roberts, author of the recently published volume Being-Time: A Practitioner’s Guide to Dogen’s Shobogenzo Uji.

    In his forward to the book, author, Zen teacher, and previous Mystical Positivist guest Norman Fisher writes “Impermanence is time itself, being itself—yet time and being are not at all as we imagine them to be. To really understand and fully embrace this point is to live in a radically different world—a world of awakening, inclusion, and love. Zen Master Dogen frames the teaching on impermanence explicitly as a teaching about time—and all of Dogen’s profoundly poetic teachings flow from his seminal understanding of time, as expressed in Uji (Being-Time), the famous—and famously difficult—essay in his masterwork, Shobogenzo. In Uji, Dogen teaches that time itself, being itself, is luminous awakening. It is all-inclusive, all-elusive, ultimately healing, and eternal. In this book, Shinshu Roberts does full justice, as does no other book I know of, to Dogen’s words. She offers interpretation of Uji only after careful consideration and marshaling of many sources—and offers simple everyday examples to illustrate points that seem at first abstruse. If this text causes you to doubt your most cherished concepts about your life, it will have done its work.”

    Leilani Shinsu Roberts is a Dharma Heir of Sojun Mel Weitsman, abbot of Berkeley Zen Center and in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. She received her priest training at San Francisco Zen Center and from the North American branch of the Japanese Soto School. She has been appointed Kokusaifukyoshi (International Dharma Teacher) by the Shumucho (Japanese Soto Administration). She co-founded Ocean Gate Zen Center in Capitola, CA with her spouse Jaku Kinst.

More information about Shinsu Robert's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #295 - 30JUN18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation in the studio with Ken McLeod, a teacher and translator in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many decades. Ken is the author of a number of books, including his most recent title A Trackless Path, as well as Wake Up To Your Life, Reflections on Silver River, and An Arrow To The Heart: A Commentary on the Heart Sutra. In the first hour of the show we discuss the three core lines of Vajrayana practice (Direct Awareness, Transformation/Energy, and Protector) and how these translate for a Western audience. This leads into a rich discussion of Protector practice, traditional Tantra, and the principle of "Saying Yes to Life." In the second hour we explore more deeply the project of Mysticism including questions such as whether Mystical practice is necessarily a solitary pursuit or whether an important element of the Mystical is found in work within community.
More information about Ken McLeod's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #294 - 16JUN18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation with Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick about a recent trip our Mystical Positivist team made to Japan to follow and support Shakuhachi Master, Masayuki Koga, on a series of performances throughout Japan. Many Rivers co-founder Stuart Goodnick has studied Shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute, for over 20 years with Masayuki Koga sensei, one of the greatest performers on this instrument on the planet. Koga and his American student ensemble gave a series of performances across Japan in early June, returning to the Bay Area earlier this week. Today we mix some wonderful flute performances tempered in the fires of presentation to Japanese audiences, and some trip reminiscences from Stuart and humble roadie Rob. Included are recorded performances by Masayuki Koga from Kobe and live in-studio performances by Mystical Positivist, Stuart Goodnick.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #293 - 26MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation with Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick about what Mysticism means in a modern western oriented spiritual practice. In the first hour our hosts argue about whether non-theistic Buddhists such as Gil Fronsdal and Stephen Batchelor, and atheist/materialist Sam Harris represent the modern era voice of the Mystical project. In the second hour they reconcile with a more substantive discussion about what constitutes the Mystical and how certain types of practices and perspectives can cultivate access to it. In addition, they discuss the moral dimension of Mysticism.

    Rob Schmidt, Ph.D., and Stuart Goodnick co-direct Tayu Meditation Center, owner and operator of Many Rivers Books & Tea. They studied intensively with Tayu founder Robert Daniel Ennis, and are working to complete a book of his teachings this year called, Living Life As A Work Of Art: The Spiritual Work of Robert Daniel Ennis.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #292 - 19MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with our former Mystical Positivist host colleague Dr. Nicholas Egan, an educator and long-time practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism with his teacher Anam Thubten. Nick has had long career in independent schools including time as a Sixth Grade Lead Teacher, a History Department Chair, and Administrative roles, providing him first-hand knowledge of the various interconnected layers of a school. He is currently Head of School of The Healdsburg School. Nick has successfully helped design and implement in-depth Social & Emotional Learning curriculum that integrates emotional awareness, healthy relationships, and ethical decision-making. He is also the recipient of a lifetime Sara D. Barter Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University for his achievement in working with academically talented students. Additionally, Nick has created and taught an innovative world religions program emphasizing critical thinking through studying foundational beliefs and practices of the world’s major religious traditions. His doctoral work in Asian Studies, as well as his experience leading cultural and educational tours for children and adults to destinations including Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, and Tibet, bring a rich layer of experience to his current position at The Healdsburg School. Nick lives in Healdsburg with his wife and three daughters.
More information about Nicholas Egan's work can be found at:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #291 - 12MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with Kittisaro and Thanissara, Buddhist teachers and practitioners who are strong proponents of the “Engaged Buddhism” movement. They are co-authors of Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism. Separately, Thanissara authored Time To Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth—The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes.

    Kittisaro grew up in Tennessee, graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar and went on to Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years and during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK. He also taught extensively during this time and was involved in the training of monks. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally in the US, Europe, South Africa, and Israel. He has studied and practiced Chan and Pure Land since 1980, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua. Kittisaro has completed two one year long silent self retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.

    Thanissara was born into a London Anglo-Irish family, and started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. She was also co-initiator of events for children and families at Amaravati. Thanissara has facilitated meditation retreats since 1989 and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. She is author of several books: Garden of the Midnight Rosary, The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra, co-authored with Kittisaro Listening to the Heart, and her latest is Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.

    Both Thanissara and Kittisaro co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 in South Africa, where they continue to lead retreats and support Kulungile, a loving home for vulnerable children and adults. They are core teachers at Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts, co-founders of Chattanooga Insight, TN, and are are on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California.​ They also co-founded Sacred Mountain Sangha, which is based in Sebastopol, CA, and which recently launched the Dharmapala - Protectors of the Earth & the Dharma - Training facilitated by Kittisaro & Thanissara.
More information about Kittisaro and Thanissara's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #290 - 28APR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with M. Amos Clifford, author of Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature. In addition to the book that is the topic of our discussion today, Amos is the author of the Kindle book Coyote Stories for Connection to Nature and Spirit: Tales From the Edges of the Untamed World. Amos Clifford is one of the leading voices for Shinrin-Yoku-inspired Forest Therapy in the United States. He began his career as a wilderness guide in 1972. He developed and managed programs that included pioneering approaches to eco-therapies connecting troubled teens to nature. In Sonoma County he served as Executive Director of Restorative Resources, an NGO focusing on the use of restorative justice and related practices. Amos has practiced Zen meditation for 20 years and is a founder of Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California. Amos is accompanied by Pamella Wirth, a certified Forest Therapy Guide and longtime associate of Amos Clifford.
More information about M. Amos Clifford's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #289 - 14APR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a public talk that Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, CA, on April 5th, 2018. The talk is titled, Living Life as a Work of Art. Swimming in the river currents of life, every thought, every emotion, and every physical act ripples outward, leaving a wake. Consider this truism along with the assertion that great spiritual adepts are notable precisely because they embody the goal of striving to put attention on every moment. What is it like to cultivate exquisite sensitivity to actions and their effects within dynamically changing conditions? Is it helpful to call that practiced sensitivity, and the effects of that sensitivity, art? Traditional views of art assume a stable canvas upon which we impose a vision and expression. Tayu Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis asserted that painting with the brush of conscious habits permits meaningful artistic expression within the dynamic currents of life. In other words, we can paint meaning within the intermixing energy currents where no configuration lingers. In so doing, we can relieve a portion of God's suffering with our own exquisite artful expression in the moment, just as when we view human art, the experience of our own suffering shifts within a vaster perspective.

    Rob Schmidt, Ph.D., and Stuart Goodnick co-direct Tayu Meditation Center, owner and operator of Many Rivers Books & Tea. They studied intensively with Tayu founder Robert Daniel Ennis, and are working to complete a book of his teachings this year called, Living Life As A Work Of Art: The Spiritual Work of Robert Daniel Ennis.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at: