Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #231 - 13AUG16

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 author, entertainer, and two-time former guest on the show, Rick Lewis, in which Rick turns the tables and interviews hosts Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick about aspects of their Tayu spiritual practice, including the admonition Follow Your Dread

    Rick Lewis is an author, speaker and entertainer who has taken the title “professional misbehaver” to describe what he sees as his role in the world - reminding others that we are born to break our own rules and the unconscious limits of our culture. Rick is a father of 3, the husband of 1, and an over-fastidious control-freak who meditates regularly so he can appear to be a normal person when not on stage. Rick travels extensively presenting to corporate and non-profit organizations on the subject of professional and personal growth. He is the founder of Break a Rule Presentations and Trainings, www.FreedomHabits.com, and is always working on finishing his next book.
More information about Rick Lewis' work and interests can be found at:
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #230 - 06AUG16

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, hosts Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick discuss the topic of Hope as inspired from a variety of sources including the Gurdjieff Work, the Prayer of St. Francis, and the writing of Andrew Harvey. Originally we were scheduled to be in conversation with Andrew Harvey himself today, but he had to reschedule until September 3rd due to a family situation in India.

    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.

    Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, has been a practitioner of Tayu Meditation since 1985 and a Tayu Meditation instructor since 1993. He holds degrees in Physics from Caltech and UCSC, and has been an engineering manager in the electronics and software security industries since 1989. Stuart has also been a student of the shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo flute) under Master Masayuki Koga since 1996. In recent years Stuart has been applying the principles of spiritual practice and transformation in daily life as a senior executive in both Silicon Valley start-ups and global industrial manufacturers. He co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea with Robert Schmidt and Jim Wilson in Sebastopol in 2002.

    A frequent writer and speaker on spiritual topics, Stuart maintains that rationality is no way the antithesis of deep mystical experience, but is in fact a necessary ally. He is currently working on a compilation of some of his essays and transcriptions of talks to be released later in 2016.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #229 - 16JUL16

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 Alan Francis, author of the book Secrets of the Fourth Way. In his preface to the book, Francis writes: “For many years now, I have sought out and spoken to people who actually knew Gurdjieff, and others whom I respect for their dedication to the Work. Of course I asked them questions that were important to me personally, but I also tried to find out what in the Work was most vital for them. What was, in their opinion, the most important idea, method, form, direction, meaning, and how did they weight them? Finally, what was the sense and aim of this Work? Why does it, and why should it, continue to exist? What is, as Michel de Salzmann asked, the specificity of the Work? What does the Work touch and develop that the many other teachings do not? This inquiry inevitably led to trying to understand this particular phase of our Work and what is required of you and me if the Work is to evolve, that is, to continue. This moment is connected with the whole life of the Work, yet it cannot all be lumped together. It is like building a house or raising a child; each phase must be attended to and respected."

    Alan Francis began Fourth Way work with Jim and Norma Flynn in 1969 at the Los Angeles Gurdjieff Foundation. In 1999 he founded the Oregon Gurdjieff Foundation with Norma Flynn, with the approval of Michel de Salzmann. Commensurate with his work with the Foundation, Alan was the founding director of Turnaround, a skid row social services center that specialized in the treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug addicts. In 2006, Alan founded the Russian Center for Gurdjieff Studies and now leads groups in Moscow.
More information about Alan Francis' work can be found at:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #228 - 09JUL16

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 John Francis, author of the 1998 book The Mystic Way of Radiant Love: Alchemy for a New Creation. John Francis, has been meditating and practicing hatha yoga consistently for the past forty years. He has had many influential teachers, both Eastern and Western, during that time. John’s spiritual journey began with a near-death experience in 1975. Since then he has been decoding the Bible’s hidden teachings through heart-centered meditation and esoteric numerology. In 1978 he cofounded the Spiritual Healing Center in San Jose, California. At the Chicago “Parliament of the World’s Religions” in 1993 he gave a talk entitled: “The Biblical Symbols of the Soul.” His book, The Mystic Way of Radiant Love, postulates that the Bible conveys contemplative-practice teachings using metaphors, numbers, allegories and parables. He has given many talks on the radio, at expositions and in bookstores on the subject of contemplative practices. He has also been active in Buddhist-Christian dialogues in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Several years ago John retired from his thirty-year position as a college mathematics professor. His specialty was experimental design and statistical analysis. He did come out of retirement from mainstream-academic education to teach a semester-long course in sacred geometry at Ananda College. He has also written several e-books on contemplative practice, which will soon be published.
John Francis can be contacted at:

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #227 - 25JUN16

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 Solala Towler, author of a book recently published by Sounds True called Practicing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps on the Way. Solala Towler has taught and practiced Taoist meditation and qigong for more than 25 years. In addition to Practicing the Tao Te Ching, he is author of Tales from the Tao, Tao Paths to Love, and more. Solala is the editor of The Empty Vessel, a widely respected journal of Taoist philosophy and practice. He teaches qigong and sound healing at conferences and workshops around the country.
More information about Solala Towler's work can be found at:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #226 - 18JUN16

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 Aaron Krumins and Thad Malik. After visiting India in 2004, Aaron Krumins decided to stay and continue his pilgrimage which has been a story of words and paintings. Traveling from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, he has been painting his experiences and his stories of India. Aaron settled for seven years to practice his art form in the pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu, home to mystics such as Ramana Maharishi, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Seshadri Swami, and many others. Aaron presently splits his time between Austin Texas and Tamil Nadu.

    Thad Malik is an inspired yogi and poet. He has practiced and taught yoga in the suburbs of Detroit and remote Himalayan Hideaways. He is a former yoga studio owner and a current nomadic yogi gypsy. Wherever Thad’s adventures or heartfelt yoga classes lead (which is many places) they invariably come again to the juiciest of moments: Now!
More information about Aaron Krumins and Thad Malik's work can be found at:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #225 - 04JUN16

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 Daniel Terragno Roshi, and Christine Skarda. Daniel Terragno, a native of Chile, is a teacher in the koan tradition of the Diamond Sangha, which was founded by Robert Aitken Roshi. Daniel is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi of the Pacific Zen Institute. Daniel started his spiritual practice in 1967 studying the Gurdjieff Work with W.A. Nyland before taking up Zen. Daniel received authorization to teach Zen in 1995, and in 2001 received dharma transmission from Tarrant Roshi. Daniel also teaches and leads sesshin in Ohio with Yellow Springs Dharma Center and Zen on High in Columbus, Ohio; with Grupo Zen Viento del Sur (Southern Wind) in Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, and also in Santiago, Chile.

    Christine Skarda is an ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun, a philosopher and scientific theorist whose professional career has spanned the fields of philosophy, neurophysiology, and cognitive science. She has both drawn on and contributed to the insights of these fields in her quest to understand the nature of perception. This quest eventually propelled her out of the research laboratory and onto a meditation cushion, where Skarda turned to methods of inquiry drawn from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to study the perceptual process from another angle. An ordained nun, Skarda has by now spent over a decade and a half in meditation retreat in the United States and India under the guidance of some of the greatest living members of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. She returned to America in 2007 and continues her retreat in California. Occasionally she leaves retreat to lecture or teach to a diverse audience, offering her scientific background to Buddhists and her Buddhist insights to scientists and philosophers.

More information about Daniel Terragno and Christine Skarda's work can be found at: