I have listened to some wonderful talks and have been refining my thoughts on teaching MBSR in Sydney, Australia in 2019. Most of the presenters talk about the overlap between contemplative buddhist informed ideas, western psychology and neuroscience.
Many of these podcasts have been thought provoking and I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you.
Dharma Punx NYC is a secular Buddhist community. The podcasts are put together by their teacher Josh Korda. It took me a while to get used to the tone of no-nonsense NY brashness but I've come to like these a lot. Josh speaks in a very informal way and this can mask how many ideas and how much information is in each recording. They are pretty down to earth.
Josh's choice of topics are very relevant to modern life. Examples of a couple of podcast titles are, "Unseen Costs: How Social media and Text Based Communication Contribute to Emotional Isolation" and "Taking Inventory: "Reviewing the Quality of Our Actions Without Beating Ourselves Up"
Each podcast goes for an hour and includes a talk and guided practice. The first part of the practice is usually a recognisable practice (if you have done an MBSR course) but it will end with a guided experiential exercise, a way to self-reflect on the topic of the talk. It's a bit like how we engage with the weekly topics in MBSR. I think of it as Continuing Education.
Tara Brach is an old favourite. She presents an entertaining talk each week and a separate 12-20 minute guided practice. She's a master story teller, weaving together stories, jokes and poems to cover her weekly theme. She's a psychologist and an insight meditation teacher - the meditation tradition the MBSR is originally derived from.
If you are feeling a little emotionally tender - these podcasts may hit the mark.
Once again the talks are relevant for most people leading a modern western life. The titles can feel a bit more sermon like - but I'd encourage you to give the talks a go to see if they are to your liking. Examples of titles include, "Navigating Conflict With a Wise Heart, Transforming Two Fears: FOF and FOMO, and Spiritual reparenting".
Tara's talks are more polished than Dharma Punx and from time to time bits get recycled....but far from being annoying, when a poem or anecdote is repeated, it feels more like meeting an old friend than bumping into someone annoying. The 1 hour talks and the 12-20 min practices are separate recordings, so it is easy to choose just one or the other.
This really is geeky. It will suit you if you have an interest in Buddhist or contemplative psychology and wonder whether the ideas behind mindfulness meditation have much to offer in the modern world with it's social, political and ecological crisis.
Here's a bit of text from their website,
"Buddhist Geeks is a story about what comes after modernity. It’s a story, still being written, about how the human species will respond to the multiple overlapping crises, the metacrisis, that we now face. This metacrisis is an ecological crisis, an educational crisis, a crisis of identity, and a crisis of relationship—our relationship with each other and with Earth. At this point the metacrisis far outstrips our capacity to respond, so we must ask ourselves: “What does the Buddhist story have to offer now in the age of the Anthropocene—in the Age of the Network?”
Buddhist Geek podcasts have titles like, "The Mindful geek: Mindfulness Meditation for Secular Sceptics or Deconstructing Yourself". MBSR is a secular course that combines some western psychology with Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practices that are derived from Buddhist practices. The questions these podcasts ask often appeal to me.
Podcasts are great to help keep you engaged in your mindfulness practice or to inspire some interest but an MBSR course offers and 8- week structure to immerse you in the practice with the support of a time tested curriculum, an experienced teacher and the groups support.
The topics we cover won't have complicated sexy names but will be practical and relevant to daily life. If you've done a course and are reading this you might like to add a comment below and let others know a little about your experience.
Our course runs in Marrickville 4 x per year and the next 8-week course begins Tuesday evening Oct 29.The early bird discount ends in 2 weeks time. For more information or a booking link go to our website www.headrest.com.au If you'd like to speak with me about the course call 0431842950 and if I don't pick up let me know when to call you back.
We also put out an occasional newsletter. This will give you information about upcoming courses and links to articles that may have inspired me. Subscribe to the newsletter by entering your details below.