Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #375 - 30JAN21

This week on the show on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with two of our favorite guests, Ken McLeod and Jim Wilson. Today we tackle a number of questions that have been bubbling up from the early days of Christianity through to the Reformation and into the modern epic. Topics include Faith versus Works as a path to salvation, what happens when Mythos is projected onto Logos, the distinction between Belief and Faith, how practice depends upon context, the practice of asceticism, and the relationship between allegorical thinking and the opening of the heart.

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 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.

Jim Wilson was a monk and abbot under the direction of his teacher Seung Sahn, a Korean Chogye sect Zen master. He served as a Buddhist Prison Chaplain, studied western philosophy, co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, conducts a website devoted to syllabic form Haiku, and has penned and published many books of poetry. In recent years his spiritual practice has centered on the Quaker Christian tradition. In addition to his many poetry volumes, he has published several books on spiritual matters, including On Trusting the Heart, a commentary on a famous poem by the third Zen patriarch, and An Annotated Edition of a Guide to True Peace.

More information about Ken McLeod and Jim Wilson's work can be found at:
Unfettered Mind website:,
On Trusting the Heart - A Commentary on the Xin Xin Ming: On Trusting the Heart,
An Annotated Edition of a Guide to True Peace (2nd Edition): Guide to True Peace,
Shaping Words Poetry Website:

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #374 - 09JAN21

This week on the show we feature a pre-recorded conversation with Father Joseph Azize, author of the 2020 book, Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises. Father Azize is a priest in the Maronite Catholic Church, working chiefly in the Chancery. He is also an honorary associate at the University of Sydney. For twenty-three years, he was a practicing attorney for the Commonwealth of Australia, serving at one time as acting Senior Assistant Director of Publications. He has published academically in three areas: ancient history, litigation law, and now in religious studies, and has also written some music for use in the Maronite liturgy.

In Gurdjieff: Mysticism, Contemplation, & Exercises, Azize explores the mystical dimension of the Gurdjieff work and details the evolution of Transformed-Contemplations in the later stages of Gurdjieff’s teaching. Our conversation examines the meaning of the mystical in Fourth Way practice, the use of Transformed-Contemplations to metabolize the finer energies necessary to stabilize presence, the relationship of Transformed-Contemplations to the Prayer of the Heart, and more.

More information about Father Joseph Azize's work can be found at:

Joseph Azize's website: