Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #328 - 01JUN19

This week on the show, hosts Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick discuss some of the spiritual practice issues that they have been examining in their personal lives, within the context of their Tayu Meditation teaching responsibilities, and that have arisen in some of the Mystical Positivist shows over the last few months. In particular they dive deep into the sense and meaning of the Ephemeral and the Transcendental, and they discuss to what extent it makes sense to configure spiritual practice as a systematic shifting of attention from the Ephemeral to the Transcendental. Also on the show is a discussion of some recent material on Physicalism versus Idealism and the epistemic cost associated with a commitment to a materialistic (physicalist) point of view.

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:

Many Rivers Books and Tea Website: www.manyriversbooks.com,

Conscious Family Festival Website: www.consciousfamilyfestival.org,

Tayu Meditation Center Website: www.tayu.org/~tayu/,

Old Many Rivers Blog: www.manyriversbooks.com/blog1/.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #327 - 25MAY19

This week on the show, we speak by telephone with Robin Bloor, author of To Fathom The Gist: Approaches to the Writings of G.I. Gurdjieff and The Arch-Absurd. This conversation ranges from the writings of G. I. Gurdjieff, to how to approach their seemingly impenetrable nature, to the cosmology of the Gurdjieff tradition and how to translate such considerations into practical work on Self.

Mr. Bloor was born in Liverpool, England in the 1950s, studied Mathematics at Nottingham University, and eventually became a computer consultant. Aside from his consultancy work he has established a reputation as an international speaker on technology topics and as a writer by virtue of many magazine articles and technical publications. In April 1999 he published his first book, The Electronic B@zaar, which was about the dot com revolution. Much to his surprise it was a UK business best seller and was published a year later in the US, just as the dot com boom turned to bust. It received several accolades, being referred to as "a classic" by Publisher's Weekly in the US.

He has been involved in The Gurdjieff Work since 1982. In 1988 he met and became a pupil of Rina Hands, an accomplished Gurdjieff Movements teacher, and an inspirational group leader, who died in 1994. In recent years Mr. Bloor has turned his attention to writing about The Gurdjieff Work, and is widely regarded as an expert on Gurdjieff's writings. His series of books under the common title of To Fathom The Gist deal directly with the inner meaning of Gurdjieff's writings. They are gradually being rolled out year by year. Robin is also an attendee and participant in the All & Everything International Conference which takes place every year and focuses on Gurdjieff's writings.

Robin immigrated to the US in 2002, settling in Texas. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Computer Science by Wolverhampton University in the UK in recognition of 'Services to the IT Industry'. From 2004 to 2007 he participated in writing three Dummies books on technology: Service Oriented Architecture for Dummies, Service Management for Dummies and Cloud Computing for Dummies.

More information about Robin Bloor's work can be found at:

Austin Gurdjieff Society Website: austingurdjieffsociety.weebly.com,

To Fathom the Gist Website: www.tofathomthegist.com,

Robin Bloor's email address: robin.bloor @ gmail.com.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #326 - 11MAY19

This week on the show we converse in the studio with Ken McLeod , founder and director of UnfetteredMind.org, a website offering resources on practical Buddhism. Ken trained in the Tibetan Buddha-dharma, translated for his teacher Kalu Rinpoche, and has written books that translate and comment on Tibetan texts. His books include A Trackless Path, Reflections on Silver River, An Arrow to the Heart, and Wake Up To Your Life. Ken’s work focuses upon making the Buddha’s teachings relevant and accessible to western practitioners.


More information about Ken McLeod's work can be found at:

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #325 - 04MAY19


This week on the show we converse by telephone with Roger Lipsey, a biographer, art historian, editor, and translator. Roger Lipsey earned both his MA (1966) and Ph.D. (1974) from New York University. His Ph.D. was in the history of art at the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU. Dr. Lipsey has served as the director of the Society for Myth and Tradition, the publisher of Parabola magazine. He is also the author of Coomaraswamy: His Life and Work; An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth-Century Art; Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Thomas Merton; Make Peace Before the Sun Goes Down: The Long Encounter of Thomas Merton and His Abbott, James Fox; and Hammarskjöld: A Life, which has been hailed as the definitive biography of Dag Hammarskjöld. For many decades, he has been a participant in the Gurdjieff teaching. His newly released Shambhala book, Gurdjieff Reconsidered - The Life, the Teachings, the Legacy is the subject of this episode's discussion.

More information about Roger Lipsey's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #324 - 20APR19

This week on the show on the show we present a Skype conversation with Brad Warner. Brad Warner is the founder and head teacher of Angel City Zen Center and Dogen Sangha Los Angeles. He is the author of the popular Hardcore Zen blog as well as several books on Zen Buddhism including Hardcore Zen - Punk Rock, Monster Movies, & the Truth About Reality; Sit Down and Shut Up - Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, & Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye; and Don't Be a Jerk - and Other Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master. He plays bass in the hardcore punk band Zero Defex (0DFx), is the star of the movies Shoplifting From American Apparel and Zombie Bounty Hunter M.D., was director of the film Cleveland’s Screaming! and is a former vice president of the US branch of Tsuburaya Productions, the company founded by the creator of Godzilla.

More information about Brad Warner's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #323 - 06APR19

This week on the show we feature an in-studio conversation with Antonio Ramirez Hernandez. Antonio Ramirez started learning about shamanism in 1982 when he started to have experiences that were difficult to understand with rational logic. He started to seek guidance until he found the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. He studied with Michael Harner, taking several workshops including the Three Year Program in Advanced Shamanism. Antonio eventually found Medicine Person, Lorin Smith, from the Kashaya Pomo tribe. He became a student, and Lorin expanded Antonio's views about shamanism. Their relationship lasted until Lorin's death on January 15, 2019. Part of Antonio's training has included with plant medicine in the Amazon, in the Mazatec mountains, and with Huichol healers. He is currently writing two books: one about learning from Lorin Smith and another called Contemporary Shamanism.

Antonio holds a Master's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Drama Therapy and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology (both from CIIS). He is nationally and internationally recognized for creating CECEVIM, a methodology for working with Latino men to teach them how to stop violence to their partners. He is the author of Violencia Masculina en el Hogar (Masculine Violence in the Home) (2000 - Editorial Pax, Mexico) and of the chapter "CECEVIM - Stopping Male Violence in the Latino Home" for the book Programs for Men Who Batter (2002 - Civic Research Institute). In addition to his shamanic work, Antonio's academic interests include gender studies, especially concerning masculine identities; the psychological impacts of culture on individuals and families; and transpersonal psychology.

More information about Antonio Ramirez's work can be found at:

California Institute of Integral Studies website: www.ciis.edu,

EMAVoicesOfTheEarth interview with Lorin Smith on YouTube: www.youtube.com.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #322 - 30MAR19

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 on the show we present a pre-recorded conversation with Terri Daniel. Rev. Terri Daniel, MA, CT, CCTP is a clinical chaplain, certified trauma specialist and end-of-life educator certified in death, dying and bereavement by the Association of Death Education and Counseling. The focus of her work is to assist dying and grieving individuals to discover a more spiritually-spacious understanding of death and beyond.

    Terri conducts workshops throughout the U.S. to help the dying and the bereaved find healing through meditative, ritual and therapeutic processes that focus on inner transformation rather than external events. Her work is acclaimed by physicians, hospice workers, grief counselors, clergy and the bereaved for its pinpoint clarity on the process of dying and grieving, and its heartfelt depiction of consciousness beyond the physical body.

    Terri's interest in the journey of the soul through birth and death began at age 12 when she began having mystical visions that sparked a lifelong interest in spirituality. But it wasn't until the death of her 16 year-old son in 2006 that she immersed herself in studying multi-cultural religious traditions and metaphysical practices that help the dying and the living find healing through meditative and ritual processes that open a conduit to other dimensions. Her unique form of "radical mysticism" incorporates elements of Buddhism, Shamanism, ancient pagan practices, gnostic Christianity and other spiritual traditions to break down limiting beliefs about forgiveness, divine judgment and negative experience.

    Terri is the author of three books on death and the afterlife: A Swan in Heaven: Conversations Between Two Worlds (2007), Embracing Death: A New Look at Grief, Gratitude and God (2010), and Turning the Corner on Grief Street: Loss and Trauma as a Journey to Awakening (2014)

    She is also the founder of the Afterlife Education Foundation and producer of the annual Afterlife Awareness Conference. Her academic credentials include a B.A. in Religious Studies from Marylhurst University, an M.A. in Pastoral Care from Fordham University, and a DMin [Doctor of Ministry] from the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

More information about Terri Daniel's work can be found at:

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #321 - 23MAR19

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 Wu Ming Chuan (aka Jacob Newell), an ordained Daoist priest with a quarter century experience with Buddhist and Daoist meditation & qi-cultivation. He resides with his family in Santa Rosa, California and is the author of These Daoist Bones, a book of contemplative poetry. He writes the blog, Daoist Blog of Nameless Stream, and runs Old Oak School of Dao. On the website for Old Oak School, he writes:

    “My wuweidao teacher was Liu Wen Ming, a Euro-American who inherited an aristocratic family tradition from northern China. I was also ordained into an offshoot of the Dragon Gate school, and I am closely connected to the Ruyu Taiji School and Korean Zen. I am also an avid student of Russian Systema. Thank you so much to all my teachers!”

More information about Wu Ming Chuan's work can be found at:

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #320 - 16MAR19

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 by telephone with Shawinigan Ungaia (aka Guillaume Gauthereau), Shamanic healer and founder of The Sanctuary Healing Center in the Catskill Mountains of New York. In this conversation we cover Guillaume's unique spiritual path, shamanism, trauma & healing, and the depth of the calling when we feel our soul pushed for another life.

    After a career that scaled the heights of corporate success as a CEO of global companies, Guillaume reached a turning point in his life – material success and trappings had not necessarily made him really happy or fulfilled. He had the big degree, big job and success that most people aspire for, but he was not happy. Guillaume decided to completely change his life and embarked on a journey of self-exploration and meditation that took him from working with Mother Teresa’s mission in India, to the jungles of Peru in search of finding meaning in life and fulfillment beyond the material demands of society today. Through seeking to transform his own life to live with a higher purpose, Guillaume made a life-changing commitment to helping others in their search for peace, harmony and happiness.

    During his last 10 years of transformative journeys across Asia & South America, Guillaume had rare opportunities to study and meditate with master healers and teachers of all faiths. He is trained in Shamanism, Plant Medicine, Medical Reiki, Sufi Healing, Sound Healing, Meditation, and Herbalism.

    In 2015, Guillaume opened The Sanctuary Healing Center on his property in the Catskills where he does in depth work with clients, hosts workshops, and cultivates the land for organic vegetable farming, plant medicine, and honey bees. Born and educated in France, Guillaume also holds a PhD in Veterinary Medicine & Surgery from Maisons-Alfort, France. Guillaume resides at The Sanctuary in the Catskills and travels to New York City and all over the world for his work.

More information about Shawinigan Ungaia's work can be found at:

Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #319 - 09MAR19

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 on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Christopher Ives, a professor of religious studies at Stonehill College, and author of the recent title from Wisdom Press: Zen on the Trail: Hiking as Pilgrimage. In his teaching and writing he focuses on ethics in Zen Buddhism and Buddhist approaches to nature and environmental issues. His other publications include Imperial-Way Zen: Ichikawa Hakugen’s Critique and Lingering Questions for Buddhist Ethics; Zen Awakening and Society; Divine Emptiness and Historical Fullness; a translation (with Abe Masao) of Nishida Kitaro’s An Inquiry into the Good; and a translation (with Gishin Tokiwa) of Hisamatsu Shin’ichi’s Critical Sermons of the Zen Tradition. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Buddhist Ethics and is serving on the steering committee of the Religion and Ecology Group of the American Academy of Religion. In this wide range discussion we cover the question of ethics and Buddhism especially as it arises in contexts such as Imperial Japan. We also go deeply into the subject of pilgrimage and our opportunities to encounter the sacred in natural settings.

More information about Christopher Ives' work can be found at:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #318 - 02MAR19

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 on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with The Very Rev. Donald P. Richmond, Doctor of Divinity, a Priest-Oblate with the Reformed Episcopal Church and Order of Saint Benedict. He is a graduate of several colleges and seminaries as well as the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies and the Maryvale Ecclesiastical Institute. Having trained in Byzantine Iconography, Father Richmond has a keen interest in the intersection of Theology & Liturgical Arts. Author of chapbooks and over 500 published articles, poetry and art in a wide array of respected periodicals and journals, Father Richmond has published extensively on the Ancient Future Faith Network under either "The Abbey" or "The Inner Monk" and at seedbed.com.

More information about Rev. Richmond's work can be found at:

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #317 - 26JAN19

This week's podcast features:
  • This week we feature a pre-recorded talk that Mystical Positivists, Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick, gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea on Thursday Jan. 3, entitled To Create and Sustain a Habit of Open-Heartedness. The pre-talk publicity describes the talk this way:

    The meme of our time is obsession with human perfection. Focusing upon perfection, we soon find how pervasively we fall short of our high standards. Unconscious acceptance of this meme leads to fixation on our compulsive habits, faults and failures, along with the existential despair that asserts compassion and love are simply words people use to manipulate one another. It leads to a gnawing sense of restlessness operating just below the surface of awareness.

    For some, redirecting attention toward drugs, video games, careers, or other distractions more or less succeeds in numbing the growing restlessness with the gulf between ideal and real. Another common strategy to address this restlessness imagines that its resolution will be found in the application of the latest quick fix technique of mind or body. The industries of 'personal growth,' 'healing,' and 'transformation' focus upon 'consumers' seeking immediate change. By so doing, these consumers strive to experience bliss, joy, and satisfaction by attuning themselves to readymade truths linked to a variety of modalities and practices deriving from spiritual and therapeutic traditions. For such industries, quick fixes are the stock-in-trade. Yet how many customers truly find what they seek?

    Authentic training in the Alchemy of the Heart that transforms unconscious habits into food for a genuine expansion of consciousness requires time, commitment, sweat, discomfort, and persistence. It cannot be bought, but must be paid for. Join us for a discussion of how a sustainable habit of open-heartedness, in contrast to a habit of grasping after growth, might be created.


    After the talk, Rob and Stuart add some concluding observations from the studio.

More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #316 - 19JAN19

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 on the show we converse in the studio with Tibetan Buddhist nun Ani Samten Palmo. Ani Samten Palmo is a monastic at Lotus Mountain Gompa and a student of Lama Lena (aka Yeshe Kaytup) and Lama Wangdor Rinpoche of Tso Pema, India, both teachers of Direct Mind Perception Meditation and lineage holders of several Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Ani-la has been a monastic since 2001. She offers one-on-one teachings and sessions with smaller groups. Her teachings focus primarily on mind training and how we create our own reality in combination with open heartedness, compassion and connecting with other beings. This includes some emphasis on the somatic experience of trauma and emotions to help in the process of letting go and release. Such an approach benefits our ability to open up and stay in the moment, to stay in the heart. A native of Lucerne, Switzerland, Ani Palmo holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Life University in Marietta, GA, and currently lives in Guerneville, CA

More information about Ani Samten Palmo's work can be found at:

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #315 - 12JAN19

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 on the show we converse in the studio with Hal Blacker, founder of Real Dharma, an organization dedicated to helping people find inner freedom through directly recognizing their true nature. Hal teaches nondual wisdom and meditation and has until recently lead a meditation and study group in Marin County, California. Hal believes that direct liberating knowledge of one’s true nature is available to everyone without the need for dogma, priests, authoritarian structures, ritual or elaborate practice. This kind of liberating knowledge is not the end but is a new beginning for most of us–the beginning of a life lived without the bondage of fear and unnecessary sorrow.

    Hal has been authorized to teach in the traditions of Advaita Vedanta and Tibetan Buddhist Nyingma Dzogchen. Recently he has primarily focused on teaching traditional Advaita Vedanta, which he studied under Dr. Carol (Radha) Whitfield and her guru, the late Swami Dayananda Saraswati. He also was initiated by and studied Advaita Vedanta under Sri Ranjit Maharaj, a master in the lineage of Sri Siddharameshwara and Nisagardatta Maharaj.

    Hal studied Nyingma Dzogchen primarily under Anam Thubten and was authorized as a holder of that lineage in 2010. He began his studies of Buddhism under the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, in the early 1970s.

More information about Hal Blacker's work can be found at: