Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #235 - 10SEP16

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 Christopher Hareesh Wallis, author of Tantra Illuminated. Christopher Wallis, also known as Hareesh, was introduced to Indian spirituality at the age of seven and initiated into the practice of yogic meditation at sixteen. His degrees include a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. on the traditions of Saiva Tantra from Berkeley. He received traditional education at yoga ashrams in upstate New York and India in meditation, kirtan, mantra-science, asana, karma-yoga, and more. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darsana (philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling. 
    Hareesh is the Founder and Head Faculty of the Mattamayura Institute. His teachers, mentors, and gurus, in chronological order, include: Gurumayi Chidvilasananda (diksha-guru and mula-guru), Paul Muller-Ortega (Shaiva Tantra and Classical Yoga); Alexis Sanderson (Shaiva and Shakta Tantra and Sanskrit); Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication); Somadeva Vasudeva (Shaiva Tantra), Dharmabodhi Sarasvati (Tantrik Yoga); and Adyashanti (Meditation). Hareesh is the author of
    Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition. This conversation was recorded at Tayu Meditation Center in Sebastopol, CA.
More information about Hareesh's work can be found at:

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #234 - 03SEP16

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:
  • Hour 1: A telephone conversation with Andrew Harvey, Founder Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective, and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability. Andrew was born in south India in 1952, where he lived until he was nine years old. It is this early period that he credits with shaping his sense of the inner unity of all religions and providing him with a permanent and inspiring vision of a world infused with the sacred. He left India to attend private school in England and entered Oxford University in 1970 with a scholarship to study history. By 1977, Harvey had become disillusioned with life at Oxford and returned to his native India, where a series of mystical experiences initiated his spiritual journey. Over the next thirty years he plunged into different mystical traditions to learn their secrets and practices. In 1978 he met a succession of Indian saints and sages and began his long study and practice of Hinduism. In 1983, in Ladakh, he met the great Tibetan adept, Thuksey Rinpoche, and undertook with him the Mahayana Buddhist Bodhisattva vows. Andrew’s book about that experience, Journey in Ladakh, won the Christmas Humphries Award.

    In 1984, Andrew Harvey began a life-long exploration and explication of Rumi and Sufi mysticism in Paris with a group of French Sufis and under the guidance of Eva De Vitray-Meyerovitch, the magnificent translator of Rumi into French. Andrew has written three books on that subject: The Way of Passion, The Celebration of Rumi, and Perfume of the Desert, an anthology of Sufi mysticism. In 1990, he collaborated with Sogyal Rinpoche and Patrick Gaffney in the writing of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. In 1992, he met Father Bede Griffiths in his ashram in south India near where Andrew had been born. It was this meeting that helped him synthesize the whole of his mystical explorations and reconcile eastern with western mysticism.

    Andrew has since lived in London, Paris, New York, and San Francisco, and has continued to study a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. He has written and edited over 30 books. Among Harvey’s other well-known titles are: Dialogues with a Modern Mystic, Hidden Journey, The Essential Mystics, Son of Man, The Return of the Mother, The Direct Path, and The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.
  • Hour 2: Hosts Stuart Goodnick and Robert Schmidt review themes of the conversation in Hour 1 with Andrew Harvey with a particular focus on the nature of Sacred Activism and the Student/Teacher relationship in spiritual practice and development.
More information about Andrew Harvey's work can be found at:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #233 - 27AUG16

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:
More information about Jill Nephew's work can be found at:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #232 - 20AUG16

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 with Siddhartha V. Shah. Siddhartha Shah received his BA in art history from The Johns Hopkins University (2000) and his MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (2003) with an emphasis on Hindu philosophy from a Jungian perspective. He has been an art dealer for 15 years, specializing exclusively in Hindu and Buddhist art of the Kathmandu Valley since 2005, and has written for numerous publications including Art Asia Pacific Magazine, Marg, Namarupa, and Orientations. Siddhartha is currently a Ph.D student at Columbia University. His academic interests include theories and uses of Indian ornament in Britain and British India, Tantric cults of the Divine Feminine, and late 19th century French and British painting. Siddhartha is also a yoga instructor and serves on the Editorial Board of Illumine, a Chicago-based publication focused on yoga, wellness and psycho-spiritual development. He is a recipient of the Steven Kossak Graduate Fellowship in South Asian/Indian Art (2014 & 2016), the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Doctoral Summer Fellowship (2015), a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship (2015), and an Honorary Mention for the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by Graduate Students (2016). This conversation was pre-recorded at Tayu Meditation Center in Sebastopol, CA.
More information about Siddhartha Shah's work can be found at:

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: