Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #413 - 17JUN23


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Ken McLeod, Buddhist teacher and author of the newly released book, The Magic of Vajrayana. In today’s conversation, we explore four ways of working in spiritual practice sometimes characterized by the archetypal forms of the King, the Warrior, the Magician, and the Lover. We discuss how these ways, Compassion, Will, Insight, and Ecstasy, can be brought into balance for a richer and more complete spiritual engagement with life.

One of the more innovative Buddhist teachers today, Ken McLeod is known for his clear explanations, poetic translations, and pragmatic approach to practice. He is one of the first generation of Western teachers in the Tibetan tradition and one of the few to be authorized to transmit the full scope of these teachings to students. In particular, his approach resonates strongly with those whose path lies outside established institutions.

After graduating with a degree in mathematics, Ken cycled across Europe to Istanbul and then continued his journey overland to India. In 1970 he met his principal teacher Kalu Rinpoche at his monastery near Darjeeling. There Ken began a study and practice in Tibetan Buddhism that lasted more than twenty years. He completed the traditional three-year retreat program two times, translated for many teachers, and helped set up Buddhist centers in Canada and the United States. After his teacher's passing, Ken moved away from the hierarchical structures of Asian Buddhism to explore new approaches.

In 1990, he founded Unfettered Mind in Los Angeles. His approach of one-on-one consultations roiled the Buddhist world in the early '90s, but was quickly recognized as a viable way to teach and guide students in the West. He made individual interviews a central feature of the many retreats he taught in California, New Mexico, and British Columbia. Through numerous small groups in Southern California, he developed the materials that became the encyclopedic meditation manual, Wake Up to Your Life.

Now retired from formal teaching, he lives in Northern California where he hikes and writes. His writings and translations include The Great Path of Awakening (1987), Wake Up to Your Life (2001), An Arrow to the Heart (2007), Reflections on Silver River (2014), A Trackless Path (2017), and The Magic of Vajrayana (2022), as well as a corpus of articles and translations in Tricycle and other Buddhist magazines.


More information about Ken McLeod's work can be found at:
 
Unfettered Mind website: www.unfetteredmind.org.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #412 - 18MAR23


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Ken McLeod, author of the newly released book, The Magic of Vajrayana. The Magic of Vajrayana weaves original translations of instructions, insightful commentary and context about key practices, and authentic personal experiences into a powerful transmission of this vibrant tradition of mystical practice.

One of the more innovative Buddhist teachers today, Ken McLeod is known for his clear explanations, poetic translations, and pragmatic approach to practice. He is one of the first generation of Western teachers in the Tibetan tradition and one of the few to be authorized to transmit the full scope of these teachings to students. In particular, his approach resonates strongly with those whose path lies outside established institutions.

After graduating with a degree in mathematics, Ken cycled across Europe to Istanbul and then continued his journey overland to India. In 1970 he met his principal teacher Kalu Rinpoche at his monastery near Darjeeling. There Ken began a study and practice in Tibetan Buddhism that lasted more than twenty years. He completed the traditional three-year retreat program two times, translated for many teachers, and helped set up Buddhist centers in Canada and the United States. After his teacher's passing, Ken moved away from the hierarchical structures of Asian Buddhism to explore new approaches.

In 1990, he founded Unfettered Mind in Los Angeles. His approach of one-on-one consultations roiled the Buddhist world in the early '90s, but was quickly recognized as a viable way to teach and guide students in the West. He made individual interviews a central feature of the many retreats he taught in California, New Mexico, and British Columbia. Through numerous small groups in Southern California, he developed the materials that became the encyclopedic meditation manual, Wake Up to Your Life.

Now retired from formal teaching, he lives in Northern California where he hikes and writes. His writings and translations include The Great Path of Awakening (1987), Wake Up to Your Life (2001), An Arrow to the Heart (2007), Reflections on Silver River (2014), A Trackless Path (2017), and The Magic of Vajrayana (2022), as well as a corpus of articles and translations in Tricycle and other Buddhist magazines.

After the main podcast conversation, we include a recording of a book event that Ken McLeod gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, CA, on March 23rd, 2023. The event includes an extended moderated question and answer segment with a live audience.


More information about Ken McLeod's work can be found at:
 
Unfettered Mind website: www.unfetteredmind.org.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #411 - 25FEB23

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Jason Shulman, author of the 6-book series, Practical Guides to Enlightenment, Awakening, and Healing. Jason is an American spiritual teacher whose original work springs from his Judaic and Buddhist background. He is the founder of A Society of Souls: The School for Nondual Healing and Awakening, based in the United States and the Netherlands. There he teaches the distinctive body of nondual work he has developed to awaken the human spirit: Nondual Healing, Impersonal Movement, and the Work of Return. Jason’s main concern has been to develop paths of healing the mind, body, and spirit based on his own understanding of the difficulties inherent in the human condition.

Through his studies and practice, Jason has developed a unique perspective on human consciousness and the nature of existence. His work seeks to translate this perspective into a replicable and clearly-delineated path for other seekers of truth to follow. He has been especially interested in applying personal spiritual work to methods of transforming society at large. To that end, he has created the MAGI Process, a nondual method of working with conflicts between people, institutions and governments. He is the author of numerous monographs and books, and several albums of his work as a singer and songwriter.

More information about Jason Schilman's work can be found at:

A Society of Souls website: www.societyofsouls.com,

The Foundation for Nonduality website: www.nonduality.us.com,

Nondual Healers Association website: nondualhealersassociation.org.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #410 - 18FEB23

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Bernardo Kastrup, philosopher and author of many books and essays including, The Idea of the World: A Multidisciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality and More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth, and Belief.

Bernardo Kastrup is the executive director of Essentia Foundation. His work has been leading the modern renaissance of metaphysical idealism, the notion that reality is essentially mental. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy (ontology, philosophy of mind) and another Ph.D. in computer engineering (reconfigurable computing, artificial intelligence). As a scientist, Bernardo has worked for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the 'Casimir Effect' of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). Formulated in detail in many academic papers and books, his ideas have been featured on Scientific American, the Institute of Art and Ideas, the Blog of the American Philosophical Association and Big Think, among others.

More information about Bernardo Kastrup's work can be found at:

Bernardo Kastrup's website: www.bernardokastrup.com,

Essentia Foundation website: www.essentiafoundation.org.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #409 - 28JAN23

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Carol Squire, Sufi Dervish, Fourth Way teacher, Transactional Analysis (TA) facilitator, Sound healer, Reiki Master, Leader, Woman, Mother and a student just like all of us.

Carol Squire is also the co-founder of the International Akhaldans 4th Way School begun with Akash Dharmaraj in India. Together, they have co-created a unique style of transmission of the Fourth Way work using the movements as a vehicle for Awakening and Transformation. Carol is a loving, compassionate human who cares deeply about the Work and does this work of transmission only because she loves it. Carol has been leading groups all over the world for the past 35 years, integrating Sufi practices and Transactional Analysis into her work with high profile corporate leaders, non-profit organizations, personal groups, individuals, and whoever asks to learn. She has taught the Gurdjieff Sacred Dances in India (including in the Osho Commune in Pune), Israel, Portugal, Ethiopia, Israel and in North America where she is now based. From Whidbey Akhaldans, her center on a beautiful island in Puget Sound, WA, she conducts on-going classes, workshops, weekend retreats, and offers residential opportunities for those who wish a longer exposure to the Akhaldans Way.

More information about Carol Squire's work can be found at:

Akhaldans website: akhaldans.org,

Caroil Squire on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #408 - 21JAN23

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with William D. Glenn about his latest book, I Came Here Seeking a Person: A Vital Story of Grace; One Gay Man's Spiritual Journey, published by Paulist Press. William D. Glenn, a psychotherapist and spiritual director, is a longtime leader in the LGBTQ+ community. Influenced by Thomas Merton, Carl Jung, the Society of Jesus and Queer Culture, Bill elucidates moments in his life from his childhood in an Irish Catholic family mid-20th century through his nearly decade as a Jesuit, to his subsequent life as a sober, out, married gay man. Former president of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, executive director of Continuum HIV Services, Bill is currently the chair of the board of trustees of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, an inter-religious graduate university. A co-founder of the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies at the Pacific School of Religion, he has focused on the intersection of queer and soul for the past four decades.

I Came Here Seeking a Person: One Gay Man's Spiritual Journey is Bill's interior-focused memoir: this volume details his complex journey of faith—in practice—over the span of his lifetime. Shaped by loving and courageous individuals and scores of writers—spiritual, intellectual, cultural, psychological, imaginative—whose words have formed, instructed, confronted and healed. His book is invitational, accessible and a true story of grace.

After the main podcast conversation, we include a recording of a book reading event that Bill Glenn gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, CA, on January 19th, 2023. The segment includes a riveting reading from a chapter of his book as well as an extended question and answer session.

More information about William D. Glenn's work can be found at:

Bill Glenn's website: www.williamdglenn.com,

Bill Glenn at the GTU: www.gtu.edu.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #407 - 24DEC22

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Henry Schoenfield, ordained minister, spiritual director, and ICF certified professional coach, about the arc of his spiritual journey, the tension between an inner calling and the outer form that calling may take, and the challenges of inspiring modern American Christian congregations in the possibilities of deep contemplative Work on Self.

Henry Schoenfield is a life-long spiritual seeker and mystic. He was born into a family of mixed religious and cultural backgrounds — his father’s family of English and German-Jewish descent and his mother’s family of Scots-Irish and Cherokee descent. Raised in the Episcopal Church, he was formed and ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. He left the priesthood seeking greater integrity in his life and work as a gay man. This search led him to the United Church of Christ — the liberal Protestant denomination in which he currently serves. All the while, the grounding spiritual relationship in his life has been the experience of the Divine in prayer, meditation, and liturgy. He has worked in parishes and congregations; in hospital and hospice spiritual counseling; and clinical education of spiritual care providers at major trauma centers and teaching hospitals in Seattle and New York City. Currently, he serves in interim congregational ministry in Lowell, Massachusetts, while also working with individuals in spiritual direction and coaching as well as leading workshops and retreats. His joy is to companion others as a teacher and guide through times of disruption and transformation. He is a certified professional coach through the International Coaching Federation and a student of The Fourth Way and Christian Contemplative path in the lineage of the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault.

More information about Henry Schoenfield's work can be found at:

Henry Schoenfield's website: www.henryschoenfield.com,

Henry Schoenfield on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com.

Friday, December 16, 2022

ChatGPT on Mystical Positivism

The following is a brief conversation with the newly released AI authoring tool, ChatGPT, on the topic of Mystical Positivism. Though ChatGPT will not profess knowledge on a non-existent topic, it seems very able to invent a response when requested. My questions are in red, and the ChatGPT responses are in green.

What are the basic tenets of Mystical Positivism?

I'm sorry, but I am not familiar with a philosophical or religious movement called "Mystical Positivism." Could you provide more information about what you are asking?

If you were to invent a philosophical tradition called Mystical Positivism, what would be its principal tenets?

As a language model, I do not have the ability to invent philosophical traditions or movements. However, I can try to offer some ideas for what the basic tenets of a hypothetical philosophical tradition called Mystical Positivism might be based on my understanding of philosophy and the terms "mystical" and "positivism."

Here are a few possible ideas for the basic tenets of Mystical Positivism:

1.                The existence and nature of ultimate reality is unknowable and cannot be fully understood or articulated by human reason.

2.                Mystical experiences or practices, such as meditation, contemplation, or rituals, can allow individuals to directly encounter or access a deeper level of reality or truth.

3.                Positivism, the belief that knowledge is based on empirical evidence and scientific method, is a valuable approach for understanding and explaining the natural world and human experience.

4.                Mystical experiences or insights can complement and enrich the understanding gained through positivist approaches, leading to a more comprehensive and nuanced view of reality.

5.                The ultimate goal of Mystical Positivism might be to integrate the insights and perspectives of both mystical traditions and positivist approaches in order to gain a more complete understanding of reality and how to live in accordance with it.

I think that with respect to 3) and 4), mystical experiences constitute the empirical evidence on which a positivist approach can be grounded.

It is certainly possible to view mystical experiences as a form of empirical evidence that can be used to support positivist approaches to understanding reality. Positivism is a philosophical tradition that emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence, particularly scientific evidence, in the pursuit of knowledge. Some proponents of positivism might argue that mystical experiences, because they are subjective and not verifiable through the scientific method, cannot be considered reliable sources of knowledge.

However, other proponents of positivism might take a more inclusive approach and argue that all forms of empirical evidence, including subjective experiences, can be considered valid sources of knowledge if they are properly documented, analyzed, and subjected to critical examination. In this view, mystical experiences could be considered a valuable source of empirical evidence that can be used to inform and enrich our understanding of reality, especially if they are studied in a systematic and rigorous manner.

It is worth noting that the relationship between mysticism and positivism is a complex and contested issue, and there is no one "correct" way to understand the role of mystical experiences within a positivist framework. Different proponents of Mystical Positivism might have different ideas about how these two approaches can be integrated and how much weight should be given to mystical experiences as a source of knowledge.

I think from a positivist approach, we can say that a mystical experience is a concrete datum and empirical in the sense that the experience is a fact I have directly verified by virtue of having had it in the moment. The critical examination to which you allude most certainly applies to any inferences I might be tempted to draw from this experience. These inferences might be colored by a number of implicit biases that I bring to my subsequent process of abstracting conceptual representations by which to recall the experience. Positivism requires that we not let our abstractions about the nature of our mystical experiences get too far ahead of what we can directly verify in in our immediate experience.

You are correct that, from a positivist perspective, a mystical experience can be considered a concrete and empirical datum that is directly verified by the person who experiences it. Positivism emphasizes the importance of empirical evidence, which refers to observations or data that can be directly experienced or measured. Subjective experiences, such as mystical experiences, can be considered a form of empirical evidence if they are properly documented and subjected to critical examination.

However, it is also important to recognize that our understanding of any experience, including mystical experiences, is shaped by the way we interpret and conceptualize it. It is possible that our interpretation of a mystical experience may be influenced by our biases, assumptions, or prior beliefs. In order to ensure the reliability and validity of our understanding of mystical experiences, it is important to carefully examine and critically evaluate the inferences we draw from them and to be mindful of the potential impact of our biases on our interpretation of the experience.

Positivism emphasizes the importance of examining the evidence in a systematic and objective manner, which can help to reduce the influence of biases and subjective interpretations on our understanding of reality. By following this approach, we can strive to gain a more accurate and reliable understanding of mystical experiences and their significance.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #406 - 03DEC22

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Mary Angelon Young about her recent book, The Art of Contemplation, published in 2021 by HOHM Press. In this compassionate and resourceful book, Angelon gently guides the reader into a larger awareness, reminding us of simple ways to stay grounded in the present moment and connect with what is real in an increasingly unreal human world. With personal narrative, meditative reflections and invitations to creative expression, she draws us into the garden of her inner world. Here we witness how it is possible to transform the suffering we experience in ourselves and others into a nourishment that feeds our essential being.

With a background in Jungian studies and counselling, and decades of life within a contemplative community, Mary Angelon Young draws from a wide range of faith traditions as well as from transpersonal, psychosomatic and archetypal psychologies. She fearlessly engages both the soul and the shadow elements of our human nature, inviting us to confidently welcome the potential for self-understanding contained without our dark moods, doubts and even our despair.

More information about Mary Angelon Young's work can be found at:

Mary Angelon Young's website: www.maryangelonyoung.com,

The Art of Contemplation at HOHM Press: www.hohmpress.com.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #405 - 12NOV22

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Bruce Miller about his latest book, Uplift: How to Harness the Hidden Engine of Continuous Renewal, published this year by Miller eMedia.

After studying filmmaking and screenwriting at UCLA, Bruce Miller has spent his career as a brand strategist, media producer, writer, and marketing partner in an Atlanta brand development agency.

Beginning the 1970s, Bruce’s spiritual search led him to English author, performer, and teacher, Reshad Feild, as well as to his subsequent long-term relationship with Dr. Bhagwan Awatramani. This journey, as well a number of personal life challenges along the way, are told in UPLIFT in the context of the principle of the Octave.

Bruce and Reshad, with others, started The Institute for Conscious Life, the Mevlana Foundation, and later, Chalice Guild. In these schools, Bruce helped bring the work of Jalaluddin Rumi to America, now considered “the best-selling poet in the US.” This story is recounted in Bruce’s second book, Rumi Comes to America. Bruce also collaborated and edited Steps to Freedom, Discourses on the Essential Knowledge of the Heart based on talks given by Reshad Feild.

Bruce has led residential seminars on Sapelo Island in Georgia and Mendocino, CA on the knowledge of the Octave and Enneagram, ideas brought forth by P.D. Ouspensky and G.I. Gurdjieff, and the Law of Hazard, an understanding of risk and uncertainty from the work of J.G. Bennett.

Bruce’s first book, FORTUNE, Our Deep Dive into the Mysteries of Love, Healing, and Success, explored the karmic mystery of why stuff happens. Bruce has also written business books. Brand Story™ – How to Position Your Shoestring Start-Up Like a National Brand, draws on his decades-long professional career. He also co-authored Seven Superpowers, a parenting guide by Dr. Maria Gilmour.

Bruce is an avid sailor, yoga enthusiast, and has taught the turn of the Whirling Dervishes. His wife Karen is an ordained minister and chaplain educator.

More information about Bruce Miller's work can be found at:

Bruce Miller's I-Thou website: ithou.com.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #404 - 01OCT22

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Neil Douglas-Klotz about his latest book, Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus – The Hidden Teachings on Life and Death, published by Hampton Roads.

Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. is a renowned writer in the fields of Middle Eastern spirituality and the translation and interpretation of the ancient Semitic languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. He was for many years co-chair of the Mysticism Group of the American Academy of Religion. He currently lives in Scotland.

A frequent speaker and workshop leader, he is the author of several books. His books on the Aramaic spirituality of Jesus include Prayers of the Cosmos, The Hidden Gospel, Original Meditation: The Aramaic Jesus and the Spirituality of Creation, and Blessings of the Cosmos. His books on a comparative view of ‘native’ Middle Eastern spirituality include Desert Wisdom: A Nomad’s Guide to Life’s Big Questions and The Tent of Abraham (with Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Sr. Joan Chittister). His books on Sufi spirituality include The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish and A Little Book of Sufi Stories. His biographical collections of the works of his Sufi teachers include Sufi Vision and Initiation (Samuel L. Lewis) and Illuminating the Shadow (Moineddin Jablonski). He has also written a mystery novel set in the first century C.E. Holy Land entitled A Murder at Armageddon.

He also recently edited five “Little Books” published by Hampton Roads, four devoted to a new selection of the work of Lebanese American writer, poet, and painter Kahlil Gibran, and one dedicated to Wild Wisdom, a collection of early ecological writers and mystics.

More information about Neil Douglas-Klotz's work can be found at:

The Abwoon Network website: abwoon.org,

Dances of Universal Peace website: dancesofuniversalpeace.org,

Neil Douglas-Klotz on Facebook: www.facebook.com,

Neil Douglas-Klots on The Mystical Positivist: mysticalpositivist.blogspot.com.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #403 - 24SEP22

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with OM C. Parkin about his upcoming October West Coast US visit and his recent book, Intelligence of Awakening - Navigating the Wisdom Path, published by Gateways Books & Tapes.

OM C. Parkin is a renowned European wisdom teacher and the founder of the mystery school, Enneallionce, and Gut Saunstorf, a modern monastery. His books also include The Birth of the Lion and The Digital Age - A Critical View from a Wisdom Perspective.

OM embodies in his work the link between Eastern non-duality and Christian mysticism, of depth psychology and philosophy, beyond the limits of religions and confessions. He often references the tradition of Advaita Vedanta, which has been revived in the 20th century by Shri Ramana Maharshi, Shri H.W.L. Poonja, the American Gangaji, and others. OM acts in the tradition of these teachers and by being rooted in early Christian teaching. His work in the tradition of silence can be described by three functions: teacher (of wisdom), healer (of the soul), seer (of the heart). He has been supporting people to find their true nature for more than 30 years and founded the modern Satsang movement in Europe.

OM will be touring the West Coast of the US in October. Public and semi-public events include a book reading at Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, CA, on October 8th, 2022, at 7pm, a private darshan at Tayu Meditation Center in Sebastopol, CA, on October 9th at 3pm, a gathering at the Ojai Retreat Center on October 13th, and a visit to Triveni Ashram in Paulden, Arizona.

More information about OM C. Parkin's work can be found at:

OM C. Parkin website: www.om-c-parkin.com,

OM C. Parkin upcoming US visit: OM C. Parkin West Coast US Tour,

OM C. Parkin at Gateways Books & Tapes: www.gatewaysbooksandtapes.com,

OM C. Parkin previously on The Mystical Positivist: mysticalpositivist.blogspot.com.


Saturday, September 17, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #402 - 17SEP22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with returning guest Ken McLeod. Among the topics explored in this conversation are the engagement in spiritual practice with beings and deities, how to negotiate when entering into the ontology of a spiritual system, how to pray, the valuation implicit in focused attention, and the release of control in the deepening of a spiritual practice. This episode is another installment in an extended conversation that we have been having with Ken over the last couple of years.

After learning Tibetan, Ken McLeod translated for his principal teacher, Kalu Rinpoche, and helped to develop Rinpoche’s centers in North America and Europe. In 1985, Kalu Rinpoche authorized Ken to teach and placed him in charge of his Los Angeles center. Faced with the challenges of teaching in a major metropolis, he began exploring different methods and formats for working with students. He moved away from both the teacher-center model and the minister-church model and developed a consultant-client model. Ken is the founder and director of UnfetteredMind.org. He is the author of Wake Up to Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention, The Great Path of Awakening, An Arrow to the Heart, Reflections on Silver River, and his most recent book, A Trackless Path.


More information about Ken McLeod's work can be found at:
 
Unfettered Mind website: www.unfetteredmind.org.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #401 - 10SEP22


This week on The Mystical Positivist, hosts Stuart Goodnick and Rob Schmidt feature a podcast they recorded on July 9th, 2022, for the Western Baul Podcast Series entitled Fourth Way Magic: How Hermetic and Indigenous Traditions Interface with the Gurdjieff Work. The podcast description is as follows:

The Fourth Way is a Western spiritual tradition founded by George Gurdjieff, a mystic of Greek and Armenian origin who taught in Russia, Europe, and America and died in 1949. The system he developed out of his own spiritual search, which is shrouded in mystery, is completely unique and geared toward working with a modern mindset of “waking sleep” in the West. The Fourth Way Tradition has been considered by some to be humorless and dogmatically committed to a rigid system of practices and ideas, but this ignores Gurdjieff’s own flexibility ranging from playfulness to penetrating compassion. Today’s speakers are dharma heirs of Tayu Meditation Center’s founder Robert Daniel Ennis, whose teachings were anchored in the Fourth Way but ranged widely beyond that source material. In recent years, Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick have explored and adopted practices from the western hermetic magical traditions and indigenous traditions including African and native Californian. In this talk they will discuss how the work from these traditions can enrich and expand the indispensable foundation they honor from the Fourth Way.

Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick are the spiritual directors of Tayu Meditation Center. Rob has made contributions to the practice of anthropological archaeology and currently runs Tayu’s spiritual bookstore in Sebastopol, California, Many Rivers Books & Tea. Stuart is an executive in a Fortune 500 company and plays the shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) as a spiritual practice.

More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

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

Western Baul Podcast Website: westernbaul.org.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #400 - 25JUN22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with returning guest, Zen teacher, Brad Warner, about his latest book, THE OTHER SIDE OF NOTHING: The Zen Ethics of Time, Space, and Being, published this year by New World Library. In the West, Zen Buddhism has a reputation for paradoxes that defy logic. In particular, the Buddhist concept of nonduality — the realization that everything in the universe forms a single, integrated whole — is especially difficult to grasp. In THE OTHER SIDE OF NOTHING, Brad untangles the mystery and explains nonduality in plain English. To Brad, this is not just a philosophical problem: nonduality forms the bedrock of Zen ethics, and once we comprehend it, many of the perplexing aspects of Zen suddenly make sense.

Drawing on decades of Zen practice, he traces the interlocking relationship between Zen metaphysics and ethics, showing how a true understanding of reality — and the ultimate unity of all things — instills in us a sense of responsibility for the welfare of all beings. When we realize that our feeling of separateness from others is illusory, we have no desire to harm any creature. Warner ultimately presents an expansive overview of the Zen ethos that will give beginners and experts alike a deeper understanding of one of the world’s enduring spiritual traditions.

Brad Warner is the also the author of numerous other titles including Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen, Don’t Be a Jerk, and Hardcore Zen. A Soto Zen teacher, he is also a punk bassist, filmmaker, and popular blogger who leads workshops and retreats around the world. In addition to his books, his writing appears in Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and Alternative Press. He also hosts The Hardcore Zen Podcast and talks about Zen almost every day on his YouTube channel.

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

  Hardcore Zen website: hardcorezen.info,

  Brad Warner on YouTube: www.youtube.com,

  THE OTHER SIDE OF NOTHING at New World Library: www.newworldlibrary.com,

  Brad Warner on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org,

  Brad Warner on Twitter: twitter.com,

  Brad Warner on Facebook: www.facebook.com,

  Hardcore Zen on Facebook: www.facebook.com.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #399 - 21MAY22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Dean Sluyter, author of The Dharma Bum’s Guide to Western Literature, published this year by New World Library. Some of us were lucky enough to have one passionate, funny, inspiring English teacher who helped us fall in love with books. Add a lifetime of teaching Dharma — authentic, traditional approaches to meditation and awakening — and you get award-winning author Dean Sluyter. With droll humor and irreverent wisdom, he unpacks the Dharma of more than twenty major writers, from William Blake to Dr. Seuss, inspiring readers to deepen their own spiritual life and see literature in a fresh, new way: as a path of awakening.

Dean Sluyter (pronounced “slighter”) has led meditation workshops and retreats throughout the US since 1970, at venues ranging from Ivy League colleges to maximum-security prisons. For thirty-three years he taught English and Literature of Enlightenment at the Pingry School. He lives in Santa Monica, California, where he sings with the Threshold Choir, plays old songs on the ukulele, and happily zips about on his Vespa.


More information about Dean Sluyter's work can be found at:
 
Dean Sluyter's website: deansluyter.com,
 
The Dharma Bum's Guide at New World Library: www.newworldlibrary.com.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #398 - 09APR22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Roger Jackson, author of Rebirth: A Guide to Mind, Karma, and Cosmos in the Buddhist World, published this year by Shambhala. This first-ever guide to ideas and practices surrounding rebirth in Buddhism covers the historical context for the Buddha’s teachings on the topic, explains what Buddhists believe is actually reborn and where, surveys rebirth-related practices in multiple Buddhist cultures, and considers whether all Buddhist traditions agree about what happens after death. The book also addresses interpretations of rebirth in modern Buddhist contexts and recent scientific attempts to document reincarnation in conversation with Buddhist beliefs. It is, in short, the first truly comprehensive overview of rebirth across the major Buddhist traditions, written by a leading scholar and teacher of Buddhism.

Roger Jackson is Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies and Religion at Carleton College. He has nearly 50 years of experience with the study and practice of Buddhism, particularly in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. His special interests include Indian and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, meditation, and ritual; Buddhist religious poetry; religion and society in Sri Lanka; the study of mysticism; and contemporary Buddhist thought. Roger is a highly respected and beloved scholar, Dharma teacher, and writer. He has authored many scholarly books and articles, and is a frequent contributor to Lion’s Roar, Buddhadharma, and Tricycle magazines.


More information about Roger Jackson's work can be found at:
 
Rebirth at Shambhala Publications: www.shambhala.com,
 
Roger Jackson at Lion's Roar: www.lionsroar.com,
 
Roger Jackson at Tricycle: tricycle.org,
 
Roger Jackson at Carleton College: apps.carleton.edu,
 
Roger Jackson on The Mystical Positivist: mysticalpositivist.blogspot.com.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #397 - 26MAR22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Dr. Asa Hershoff about his development of what he calls the 5-Element Energy Healing and Elemental Psychology system. This system posits a three-self model of the human being (Spirit, Essence, and Persona) in which the Essence has five modes of being corresponding to the five traditional elements (Ruler, Creator, Lover, Warrior, and Guru). These modes are in turn reflected in the Persona as expressions of Empowerment, Loss, and Shadow. One therapeutic aim of this system is to support practitioners in moving from a Persona-centered life to an Essence-centered life.

Asa Hershoff has practiced Mindbody medicine and Vajrayana concurrently for 40 years. Completing the traditional Tibetan 3-year meditation retreat under the auspices of Kalu Rinpoche, he was later ordained as a lay Lama. A pioneer in the Canadian holistic health movement, he is founder of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (1978) and currently author of 3 books on holistic health. Asa has developed Elemental Psychology as an integration of Vajrayana, humanistic psychology, bioenergy medicine, and a pan global perspective on the 5 elements. This transformative methodology of self-healing, therapy, and spiritual growth is represented in his many current book projects, You: True & False and The 5 Ways of Wisdom.


More information about Asa Hershoff's work can be found at:
 
Asa Hershoff's website: www.asahershoff.com,
 
The 5 Wisdoms website: www.the5wisdoms.com,
 
5 Element Energy Healing website: www.5elementenergyhealing.com,
 
Asa Hershoff's Healing Practice website: www.drasahershoff.com,
 
Asa Hershoff on Facebook: www.facebook.com.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #396 - 26FEB22


This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with returning guest Ken McLeod in which we continue our ongoing discussion about the degree to which a transactional mode of being permeates our lives, relationships, and spiritual practice. We explore goals in relationship, the transactional as the currency of the Horizontal Realm, what a non-transaction way of living might be, and the unconditioned nature of the Vertical Realm.

After learning Tibetan, Ken McLeod translated for his principal teacher, Kalu Rinpoche, and helped to develop Rinpoche’s centers in North America and Europe. In 1985, Kalu Rinpoche authorized Ken to teach and placed him in charge of his Los Angeles center. Faced with the challenges of teaching in a major metropolis, he began exploring different methods and formats for working with students. He moved away from both the teacher-center model and the minister-church model and developed a consultant-client model. Ken is the founder and director of UnfetteredMind.org. He is the author of Wake Up to Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention, The Great Path of Awakening, An Arrow to the Heart, Reflections on Silver River, and his most recent book, A Trackless Path.


More information about Ken McLeod's work can be found at:
 
Unfettered Mind website: www.unfetteredmind.org.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #395 - 12FEB22


This week on The Mystical Positivist, we feature a pre-recorded conversation with returning guest Stephen Aronson about his new book, The Search for Meaning and the Mystery of Consciousness – A Psychologist’s Journey Through Gurdjieff and Jung, published by Karnak Press in 2022. This book explores the existential questions of reality, one’s purpose for existing, attention, consciousness, and the nature of the Universe all from a scientific and psychological perspective grounded in over 40 years of practice in the Gurdjieff work.

Stephen Aronson is a psychotherapist with an eclectic training background ranging from cognitive behavioral therapy to the alchemical approach of Carl Jung. His spiritual life has been a search for verification of a deeper reality underlying the ordinary world of our senses. His personal aim has been to find a reconciliation between science and spirituality which would allow reconciling the concepts of Universal Intelligence with rationality. The arcane language of specialized methods, although necessary for advanced training, is often a barrier for those seeking an initial understanding. After dozens of years in Jungian analysis and four decades of study and practice in the system of transformational psychology introduced to the West by G. I. Gurdjieff, he has sought to find an approach to illustrate these deep and complex ideas and methods in common language and universally shared experiences.

Steve lives in rural Maine where he retired in 2013 from forty-three years in the private practice of psychotherapy, education, and training. He has published on the work for G. I. Gurdjieff in Proceedings of the Annual All and Everything International Humanities Conference as well as in Parabola, a magazine dedicated to myth, tradition, and search for meaning.

More information about Stephen Aronson's work can be found at:

The Seekers Café website: seekerscafe.org,

Stephen Aronson at The Gurdjieff Club: Preparation for the Third Line of Work,

Stephen Aronson on The Mystical Positivist: Show 350 - 08FEB20, and Show 332 - 20JUL19.