Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #345 - 14DEC19

This week on The Mystical Positivist, hosts Stuart Goodnick and Rob Schmidt feature a recording of a talk that they gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea on Thursday December 12th, along with some additional remarks recorded in the studio after the talk. Entitled “Pimples on the Butt of the Absolute: Awareness and Awarenessing”, the pre-talk publicity described it this way: “In the contemporary spiritual scene, "awareness" can be as much a buzz word as "mindfulness." Awareness derives from the concept of being watchful or vigilant. Thus, to beware-to be wary of-something implies guarding against the arrival of a potential danger. From this root, awareness has developed into the common idea of a mental status where one observes the inner and/or outer realms, without any necessary object of awareness implied. But there is an unexamined assumption underlying this idea, which is that it is feasible to maintain a kind of vigilance as a more or less unitary, ongoing state. In this talk, we examine this assumption. Can a "state of vigilance" or "awareness" ever be more than a string of unique moments that we retrospectively link together in the mind? When we watch a sunset, are we not "awarenessing" the rising and passing of discrete perceptions, emotional responses, bodily sensations, and thoughts? Is it possible to relax the flow of awarenessing such that serial fixation upon each unique pimple on the butt of the Absolute gives way to something more like an appreciation of the contours of the overarching butt that graces the Absolute?”

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 upcoming 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:,

Conscious Family Festival Website:,

Tayu Meditation Center Website:,

Old Many Rivers Blog:

Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #344 - 07DEC19

This week on the show we present a conversation pre-recorded on December 7th, 2019 with Rick Lewis, author of Confident Under Pressure – The Hidden Advantages of Stress. Rick Lewis is a motivational speaker, thought leader, author, comedian, and entertainer par excellence who delivers a world-class presentation for meetings and events of all kinds. In the world of meetings where attendees have "seen it all," Rick is the ace in your meeting hand; a fresh, surprising and delightful experience they never saw coming. He makes his living by putting leaders, executives and organizational teams into challenging situations to help them see the habitual ways they respond to stress. He then offers unique guidance in the practice of "stress production," rather than stress reduction revealing how to make a dynamic turnaround, an attitude of YES to stress.

His book, Confident Under Pressure, weaves colorful personal stories, recent neuroscience, the research of human performance experts, and the inspiration of leading business executives into a compelling and lucid argument for moving toward stress, conflict and change in order to become more creative, effective and happy in life, on the way to making our highest contribution in the world. The result is an eminently readable and practical book that anyone can use, at home, on the job, and in one-on-one relationships. Rick is also the author of 7 Rules You Were Born to Break: How Intelligent Misbehavior Can Help You and Your Organization Thrive, The Perfection of Nothing: Reflections on Spiritual Practice, and You Have The Right To Remain Silent.

More information about Rick Lewis' work can be found at: