Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #243 - 26NOV16

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 we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Stephen Batchelor, a contemporary Buddhist teacher and writer, best known for his secular or agnostic approach to Buddhism. Stephen considers Buddhism to be a constantly evolving culture of awakening rather than a religious system based on immutable dogmas and beliefs. In particular, he regards the doctrines of karma and rebirth to be features of ancient Indian civilization and not intrinsic to what the Buddha taught. Buddhism has survived for the past 2,500 years because of its capacity to reinvent itself in accord with the needs of the different Asian societies with which it has creatively interacted throughout its history. As Buddhism encounters modernity, it enters a vital new phase of its development. Through his writings, translations and teaching, Stephen engages in a critical exploration of Buddhism's role in the modern world, which has earned him both condemnation as a heretic and praise as a reformer.

    Stephen was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1953. He grew up in a humanist environment with his mother Phyllis and brother David in Watford, north west of London. At the age of eighteen, he travelled overland to India, settling in Dharamsala, the capital-in-exile of the Dalai Lama, and studied at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives with Geshe Ngawang Dhargyey. He was ordained as a novice Buddhist monk in 1974. He left India in 1975 in order to study Buddhist philosophy and doctrine under the guidance of Geshe Rabten in Switzerland, and in the following year he received full ordination as a Buddhist monk. In 1979 he moved to Germany as a translator for Geshe Thubten Ngawang at the Tibetisches Institut, Hamburg. In April 1981 he travelled to Song-gwang-sa Monastery in South Korea to train in Zen Buddhism under the guidance of Kusan Sunim. He remained in Korea until the autumn of 1984, when he left for a pilgrimage to Japan, China and Tibet.

    He disrobed in February 1985 and married Martine Fages in Hong Kong before returning to England. From 1990 he has been a Guiding Teacher at Gaia House meditation centre in Devon and since 1992 a contributing editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. In August 2000, he and Martine moved to Aquitaine, France, where they live in a small village near Bordeaux with their cat Zoƫ. While at home he pursues his work as a scholar, writer and artist. For several months each year, he travels worldwide to lead meditation retreats and teach Buddhism. He is the translator and author of various books and articles on Buddhism including the bestselling Buddhism Without Beliefs and Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil. His most recent books are Confession of a Buddhist Atheist and After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age.
More information about Stephen Batchelor's can be found at:

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #242 - 19NOV16

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 show an in-studio conversation with author Theresa C. Dintino, an ancestral Strega (Italian wise woman), Earth worker, and initiated diviner. For more than 20 years Theresa has studied and practiced an Earth-based spirituality. In 2011, she was initiated as a diviner in a West African tradition. She currently helps others reclaim their personal lineages through her divination work. Theresa is the author of the Tree Medicine Trilogy which includes: The Amazon Pattern: A Message from Ancient Women Diviners of Trees and Time, Notes From a Diviner in the Postmodern World: A Handbook for Spirit Workers, and Teachings from the Trees: Spiritual Mentoring from the Standing Ones. Theresa is also the author of The Strega and the Dreamer, a work of historical fiction based in the true story of her great grandparents, Ode to Minoa and Stories They Told Me, two novels exploring the life of a snake priestess in Bronze Age Crete, and Welcoming Lilith: Awakening and Welcoming Pure Female Power.
More information about Theresa Dintino's can be found at:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #241 - 12NOV16

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:
  • With regular host, Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, out of town once again this week, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo on today’s show. He writes:
  • With Stuart’s absence, and as responses to the 2016 US national election emerge all around the world, on this week’s show I have decided that continuation of last week’s focus on “something different” is in order for this installment of the show. As I said last week, the conversation about who’s up and who’s down in our social hierarchies and distribution of power distracts us from contemplation of those questions that will always remain larger than the ups and downs of wins and losses. I don’t at all mean to suggest that the political questions at stake in the aftermath of the election are trivial; far from it. What I want to create in this installment of the show is a reminder that there are contexts even bigger than politics, bigger than the zero-sum game of human social hierarchies, the game where I believe that if I win, you must lose, and vice versa. So instead of our usual fare of conversation, this week the Mystical Positivist offers an eclectic mix of music, interspersed with readings of short quotes and longer passages from books, literature, and sacred texts that I appreciate. I’ve brought along a big bag of books, and a bag of cds, and don’t know what I’ll play and what I’ll read. We’ll let ourselves discover all that together in each moment during the next two hours. For now, I invite listeners to relax in whatever way seems appropriate, and let a more contemplative, generous space open among us.
Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002. 
Currently he’s collaborating with practitioners of many spiritual traditions to create the Conscious Family Festival, a community event scheduled for October 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.

More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #240 - 05NOV16

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:
  • With regular host, Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, out of town this week, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo on today’s show. He writes: 
  • With Stuart’s absence, and as the paroxysm of the 2016 US national election draws to its close this coming Tuesday, I have decided that something different is in order for this installment of the show. The national conversation about who’s up and who’s down distracts us from contemplation of those questions that will always remain larger than political wins and losses. I don’t at all mean to suggest that the political questions at stake in this election are trivial; far from it. In fact I am persuaded that the great dis-ease of politics we are currently experiencing, in both the US and abroad, offers both profound dangers as well as enormous possibilities for the future. Yet I also want to create in this installment of the show a format that can be helpful to remind us that there are contexts even bigger than politics. So instead of our usual fare of conversation, this week the Mystical Positivist offers an eclectic mix of music, interspersed with inspirational short quotes and longer passages from some of my favorite spiritual/religious literature. I’ve brought along a big bag of books, and a bag of cds, and I am not even sure, at the moment, what I’ll play and what I’ll read. We’ll let ourselves discover all that together in each moment during the next two hours. For now, I invite listeners to relax in whatever way seems appropriate, and let a more contemplative, generous space open among us.
Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002. 
Currently he’s collaborating with practitioners of many spiritual traditions to create the Conscious Family Festival, a community event scheduled for October 2016 in Santa Rosa, CA. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.

More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #239 - 29OCT16

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 senior Western translator, author and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. He received traditional training mainly in the Shangpa and Kagyu lineages through a long association with his principal teacher Kalu Rinpoche, whom he met in 1970. Under Kalu Rinpoche’s guidance McLeod learned the Tibetan language and completed two, traditional three-year retreats (1976-83). In the years that followed, he traveled and worked with Kalu Rinpoche on various projects and became a respected interpreter and translator of Buddhist texts.

    After Kalu Rinpoche’s passing in 1989, McLeod established Unfettered Mind in Los Angeles as a place for those whose path lies outside established institutions. In the early ’90 his private practice model of one-on-one consultations on Buddhist practice roiled the Buddhist world, only to become an accepted model for Buddhist teaching in the West. McLeod has always been concerned with translation, including the translation of texts, of rituals, of practices and of teaching methods. Currently his interest is in presenting traditional Buddhist teachers to bring out their mystical basis and orientation. His books include The Great Path of Awakening (1987), Wake Up to Your Life (2001), An Arrow to the Heart (2007), Reflections on Silver River (2014) and most recently A Trackless Path (2016).
More information about Ken McLeod's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #238 - 22OCT16

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 we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Alexandra Pfohlmann. Alexandra Pfohlmann has over twenty-five years experience in the study and practice of Buddhist philosophy and meditation. For the last fifteen years she has lectured at the Buddhistiche Academie Berlin-Brandenburg and for the last three years she has also served as a meditation teacher at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig. Now, through workshops and lectures, she offers a range of guidance and perspective for people engaged in spiritual practice. In doing so, she takes a highly individual approach. She writes: "For a long time, I felt that Buddhist practice, and more generally spiritual practice, had to take place within the spheres defined by the great spiritual traditions. While I have a deep respect for these approaches, the circumstances of my life have shown me that at a certain point, one has to embark on one's own path, and it is that transition that interests me in my work with people today."
More information about Alexandra Pfohlmann's work can be found at:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #237 - 15OCT16

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 show we converse in the studio with Kalia Chan, author of the recently published novel A Treasure of the Heart: A Journey of Satsang, Awakening, and Evolution. In 2003, after sitting with Adyashanti for a couple of years, Kalia Chan experienced a “recognition”. He continued to sit with Adyashanti for another five years. In 2009, the skillful means of Vajrayana awoke an ongoing process of energy and penetrating awareness. A few years ago, another “recognition”, this one brilliant luminosity, occurred in the presence of Ammachi, the “hugging saint.” Kalia currently lives near Sebastopol, California with his cat, Lion.
More information about Kalia Chan's work can be found at: