Mark Fischler (Part 1) – Democracy in Decline? Making Sense of the Supreme Court, the Trump Trials, and Threats to Public Morality 

Mark Fischler Democracy in Decline Public Morality

Ep. 135 (Part 1 of 2) | Criminal justice professor and constitutional law expert Mark Fischler does a brilliant job of deepening our understanding of the challenges facing our democracy, our legal system, and our public morality. How did the democratic process and the values it represents—equality and liberty for all—come to be teetering on the brink? Mark illuminates the fact that the Constitution is not a set-in-stone document, but eminently open to interpretation, and explains that its interpretation is a direct reflection of the worldviews of the Supreme Court justices. In fact, the whole process of democracy needs to be aligned with a certain level of development in order to deliver. Mark points out that democracy hasn’t served all of us, and urges us to explore who and in what ways it has failed, that we may work to correct its flaws and continue to uphold and expand the values foundational to democracy to include respecting and protecting the rights of all beings.

Mark contrasts the moral integrity of revered public figures such as Socrates and Dr. King, who honored the rule of law despite that it went against their own self interest, with the disregard for the law so prevalent among political figures today, and points out that democracy can be subverted not only by malicious intent, but also by misplaced idealism—when people feel that supporting a charismatic leader or ideology is more important than supporting the principles of democracy. With regard to the Trump trials, the question arises, is any human above the law? Mark also shares where he finds hope—in his own university students with their openness to a deeper ethical understanding and responsibility and willingness to undertake civic action. Mark urges all of us who care about democracy to become engaged now. His wise, integral, highly informed insights about the current state of the legal system and of democracy, here and around the world, are revelatory, alarming, and inspiring in turn. Recorded May 22, 2024.

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Brendan Graham Dempsey (Part 2) – How and Why Cultures Evolve, and the Emerging Stage of Metamodernism

Brendan Graham Dempsey Cultural evolution Metamodernism

Ep. 134 (Part 2 of 2) | Author, podcaster, farmer, and poet, Brendan Graham Dempsey, brings passion, dedication, clarity, and outstanding scholarship to the fascinating and enormously important study of cultural evolution, which operates on both a personal level and a collective one. He illuminates how, when, and why we shift from one cultural worldview to the next, using his own life’s journey through the cultural stages as a map and paints colorful portraits of the outstanding characteristics of each stage: traditional/premodern, modern, postmodern, and metamodern. Brendan enlightens us as to the tumultuous and often lonely and despairing time that occurs when our prior stage has been deconstructed and we find ourselves between worldviews in a liminal space where sensemaking fails. As he puts it, we live in certain worlds to help us navigate reality. But then things change, and we bump up against the limits of things. Now the time has come to update our sense of the world; we are invited to expand and grow.

We come to understand why it is necessary for cultures to evolve—to accommodate ever increasing complexity—and why culture wars and confusion result from misunderstanding a worldview that infiltrates your psyche before it’s ready. Brendan explains why postmodernism does not serve us now, introducing and inviting us to the new, emerging worldview of metamodernism, where there is hope in positivity, affirmation, and aspirational idealism. Hope, and the promise of coming together in a new understanding among peoples, a prerequisite for dealing with the challenges of the global crises that affect us all. Brendan brings a big heart, keen mind, and a lot of verve to these complex subjects, which come alive under his brilliant tutelage. As he points out, deconstructing the psyche can help save the world, adding, this is a lot of what the metamodern community is trying to get the word out about. Recorded May 1, 2024.

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Brendan Graham Dempsey (Part 1) – How and Why Cultures Evolve, and the Emerging Stage of Metamodernism

Brendan Graham Dempsey Cultural Evolution Metamodernism

Ep. 133 (Part 1 of 2) | Author, podcaster, farmer, and poet, Brendan Graham Dempsey, brings passion, dedication, clarity, and outstanding scholarship to the fascinating and enormously important study of cultural evolution, which operates on both a personal level and a collective one. He illuminates how, when, and why we shift from one cultural worldview to the next, using his own life’s journey through the cultural stages as a map and paints colorful portraits of the outstanding characteristics of each stage: traditional/premodern, modern, postmodern, and metamodern. Brendan enlightens us as to the tumultuous and often lonely and despairing time that occurs when our prior stage has been deconstructed and we find ourselves between worldviews in a liminal space where sensemaking fails. As he puts it, we live in certain worlds to help us navigate reality. But then things change, and we bump up against the limits of things. Now the time has come to update our sense of the world; we are invited to expand and grow.

We come to understand why it is necessary for cultures to evolve—to accommodate ever increasing complexity—and why culture wars and confusion result from misunderstanding a worldview that infiltrates your psyche before it’s ready. Brendan explains why postmodernism does not serve us now, introducing and inviting us to the new, emerging worldview of metamodernism, where there is hope in positivity, affirmation, and aspirational idealism. Hope, and the promise of coming together in a new understanding among peoples, a prerequisite for dealing with the challenges of the global crises that affect us all. Brendan brings a big heart, keen mind, and a lot of verve to these complex subjects, which come alive under his brilliant tutelage. As he points out, deconstructing the psyche can help save the world, adding, this is a lot of what the metamodern community is trying to get the word out about. Recorded May 1, 2024.

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Laurel Parnell (Part 3) – The Remarkable Transformative Power of EMDR Therapy: A Revolution in Trauma Treatment & Gateway to Transpersonal Openings

Laurel Parnell EMDR therapy multidimensional healing intergenerational trauma

Ep. 132 (Part 3 of 3) | World renowned EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy pioneer and trainer Dr. Laurel Parnell has used EMDR therapy with clients for decades with truly remarkable success. Laurel relates how EMDR therapy dissolves blocks caused by trauma, freeing clients from negative constructs so they can develop their own felt sense of truth, and express from and know their own true nature. After EMDR, she says, “singers sing, writers write, dancers dance.” Not only are clients freed, but the endpoint of EMDR therapy quite often rests in a transpersonal space that is invariably characterized by an upwelling of self-love and compassion for others, an opening to mystery and boundless possibility. Interestingly, because of the resonant field between therapist and client (interpersonal neurobiology), the therapist experiences the transpersonal opening when it happens as well. More often than not, Laurel tells us, the way the session unfolds is a surprise to both client and therapist, with long forgotten little “t” traumas turning out to be responsible for the client’s blocks rather than the expected major life traumas.

Laurel makes it clear that the goal of EMDR is to empower the client; the therapist must allow the wisdom to reside in the client rather than in their own interpretation of what unfolds, and adhere strictly to a process of open inquiry. She describes how the therapist’s beliefs can limit the outcome and outlines the advantages of a therapist who has a spiritual practice and transpersonal awareness. Laurel’s leading edge at this point involves Multidimensional Integrative Healing, an evolution from her longtime experience with EMDR, where further dimensions of reality have so often emerged in her work, and her own spiritual journey. It is fascinating to hear her describe how we can not only install helpful inner resources for ourselves, but also counter intergenerational trauma by calling forward ancestral wisdom. A deeply intriguing, eye opening, and impactful conversation with a very wise, enthusiastic, far thinking trailblazer of a teacher. Recorded April 15, 2024.

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Laurel Parnell (Part 2) – The Remarkable Transformative Power of EMDR Therapy: A Revolution in Trauma Treatment & Gateway to Transpersonal Openings

Laurel Parnell EMDR therapist transpersonal trauma treatment nonduality

Ep. 131 (Part 2 of 3) | World renowned EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy pioneer and trainer Dr. Laurel Parnell has used EMDR therapy with clients for decades with truly remarkable success. Laurel relates how EMDR therapy dissolves blocks caused by trauma, freeing clients from negative constructs so they can develop their own felt sense of truth, and express from and know their own true nature. After EMDR, she says, “singers sing, writers write, dancers dance.” Not only are clients freed, but the endpoint of EMDR therapy quite often rests in a transpersonal space that is invariably characterized by an upwelling of self-love and compassion for others, an opening to mystery and boundless possibility. Interestingly, because of the resonant field between therapist and client (interpersonal neurobiology), the therapist experiences the transpersonal opening when it happens as well. More often than not, Laurel tells us, the way the session unfolds is a surprise to both client and therapist, with long forgotten little “t” traumas turning out to be responsible for the client’s blocks rather than the expected major life traumas.

Laurel makes it clear that the goal of EMDR is to empower the client; the therapist must allow the wisdom to reside in the client rather than in their own interpretation of what unfolds, and adhere strictly to a process of open inquiry. She describes how the therapist’s beliefs can limit the outcome and outlines the advantages of a therapist who has a spiritual practice and transpersonal awareness. Laurel’s leading edge at this point involves Multidimensional Integrative Healing, an evolution from her longtime experience with EMDR, where further dimensions of reality have so often emerged in her work, and her own spiritual journey. It is fascinating to hear her describe how we can not only install helpful inner resources for ourselves, but also counter intergenerational trauma by calling forward ancestral wisdom. A deeply intriguing, eye opening, and impactful conversation with a very wise, enthusiastic, far thinking trailblazer of a teacher. Recorded April 15, 2024.

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Laurel Parnell (Part 1) – The Remarkable Transformative Power of EMDR Therapy: A Revolution in Trauma Treatment & Gateway to Transpersonal Openings

Laurel Parnell Eye-movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy Transpersonal trauma treatment

Ep. 130 (Part 1 of 3) | World renowned EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) therapy pioneer and trainer Dr. Laurel Parnell has used EMDR therapy with clients for decades with truly remarkable success. Laurel relates how EMDR therapy dissolves blocks caused by trauma, freeing clients from negative constructs so they can develop their own felt sense of truth, and express from and know their own true nature. After EMDR, she says, “singers sing, writers write, dancers dance.” Not only are clients freed, but the endpoint of EMDR therapy quite often rests in a transpersonal space that is invariably characterized by an upwelling of self-love and compassion for others, an opening to mystery and boundless possibility. Interestingly, because of the resonant field between therapist and client (interpersonal neurobiology), the therapist experiences the transpersonal opening when it happens as well. More often than not, Laurel tells us, the way the session unfolds is a surprise to both client and therapist, with long forgotten little “t” traumas turning out to be responsible for the client’s blocks rather than the expected major life traumas.

Laurel makes it clear that the goal of EMDR is to empower the client; the therapist must allow the wisdom to reside in the client rather than in their own interpretation of what unfolds, and adhere strictly to a process of open inquiry. She describes how the therapist’s beliefs can limit the outcome and outlines the advantages of a therapist who has a spiritual practice and transpersonal awareness. Laurel’s leading edge at this point involves multidimensional healing, an evolution from her longtime experience with EMDR, where further dimensions of reality have so often emerged in her work, and her own spiritual journey. It is fascinating to hear her describe how we can not only install helpful inner resources for ourselves, but also counter intergenerational trauma by calling forward ancestral wisdom. A deeply intriguing, eye opening, and impactful conversation with a very wise, enthusiastic, far thinking trailblazer of a teacher. Recorded April 15, 2024.

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Yogi Hendlin (Part 2) – Shifting Individual & Corporate Values: Acknowledging Our Sensitivity & Interconnectedness in an Age of Corporate Malfeasance & Forever Chemicals

Yogi Hendlin Corporate Values Corporate Malfeasance Decolonization

Ep. 129 (Part 2 of 2) | Environmental philosopher, public health scientist, and corporate malfeasance researcher Dr. Yogi Hendlin is dedicated to understanding, communicating, and addressing the psychological, social, political, and economic barriers that keep us from treading a solid path toward sustainability. One of the areas Yogi is extremely knowledgeable about is the dynamics and drivers of corporate decision making. An underlying belief that the planet is indestructible makes it okay to prioritize profit above global health, or companies may find themselves in a double bind where they would actually prefer to be more strictly regulated but that would mean corporate suicide unless their entire industry was regulated. Interestingly, Yogi has found that learned helplessness operates at all levels of power in inverse relation to actual power and responsibility, citing how some of the most powerful people in the world are saying, “What can I do?” when Indigenous groups with very few resources find ways to thrive in a sustainable way.

Yogi points out that changing the world is not an event but a process—and delves into how we can make real changes to get off the destructive path we are on, overshooting the limits of our biosphere on every metric. We can create circuit breakers for our habitual, counterproductive routines, we can cultivate skillful communication that allows our defense mechanisms to drop away, we can recognize our fundamental need for community and connection, and we can use spiritual practice and psychedelics to help us regain a sense of wonder and reverence for life. Yogi believes that decolonization and creating ecologies of discourse that reward honesty, vulnerability, admitting mistakes, and asking for help is the way forward. This is an earnest, thought provoking, heartfelt, and inspiring discussion of the way things are, the barriers to change, and hope for the future. Recorded January 11, 2024.

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Yogi Hendlin (Part 1) – Shifting Individual & Corporate Values: Acknowledging Our Sensitivity & Interconnectedness in an Age of Corporate Malfeasance & Forever Chemicals

Yogi Hendlin Corporate Values Corporate Malfeasance

Ep. 128 (Part 1 of 2) | Environmental philosopher, public health scientist, and corporate malfeasance researcher Dr. Yogi Hendlin is dedicated to understanding, communicating, and addressing the psychological, social, political, and economic barriers that keep us from treading a solid path toward sustainability. One of the areas Yogi is extremely knowledgeable about is the dynamics and drivers of corporate decision making. An underlying belief that the planet is indestructible makes it okay to prioritize profit above global health, or companies may find themselves in a double bind where they would actually prefer to be more strictly regulated but that would mean corporate suicide unless their entire industry was regulated. Interestingly, Yogi has found that learned helplessness operates at all levels of power in inverse relation to actual power and responsibility, citing how some of the most powerful people in the world are saying, “What can I do?” when Indigenous groups with very few resources find ways to thrive in a sustainable way.

Yogi points out that changing the world is not an event but a process—and delves into how we can make real changes to get off the destructive path we are on, overshooting the limits of our biosphere on every metric. We can create circuit breakers for our habitual, counterproductive routines, we can cultivate skillful communication that allows our defense mechanisms to drop away, we can recognize our fundamental need for community and connection, and we can use spiritual practice and psychedelics to help us regain a sense of wonder and reverence for life. Yogi believes that decolonization and creating ecologies of discourse that reward honesty, vulnerability, admitting mistakes, and asking for help is the way forward. This is an earnest, thought provoking, heartfelt, and inspiring discussion of the way things are, the barriers to change, and hope for the future. Recorded January 11, 2024.

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Jonathan Gustin (Part 3) – Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis

Jonathan Gustin Metacrisis Nonduality Spiritual Practice

Ep. 127 (Part 3 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries.

This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.

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Jonathan Gustin (Part 2) – Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis

Jonathan Gustin Nonduality Metacrisis Spiritual Practice

Ep. 126 (Part 2 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries.

This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.

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Jonathan Gustin (Part 1) – Integrating Activism and Spiritual Practice: Nonduality and the Metacrisis

Jonathan Gustin Spiritual Practice Nonduality Metacrisis

Ep. 125 (Part 1 of 3) | Purpose guide, activist, nonduality student/teacher, and meditation teacher Jonathan Gustin is passionate about bringing the subject of the metacrisis into spiritual practice, essentially updating spiritual traditions that originated on deeply local levels to reflect the world of interrelated global crises we live in today. Jonathan proposes we delve into the relationship between nondual awakening and the metacrisis, using the metacrisis as our spiritual koan, and fostering within our contemplative practice a sense of responsibility for life that manifests in activism. Jonathan’s focus is also on guiding individuals to explore the notion of soul-level purpose—not only to discover our true purpose but embody a purpose that is consistent with love without boundaries.

This is a warm, lively, far reaching, and enlightening discussion, tying many intriguing subjects to the overarching theme of nonduality, metacrisis, and soul-level purpose: Native American vision questing, karma yoga, skillful communication, the developmental stages of purpose, the consequences of the delusion of separateness, the difference between humancentric nonduality and ecocentric nonduality, and much more. It is deeply inspirational to approach the metacrisis (which Jonathan provides a wonderful definition of) as an investigation into our relationship with life and reality. Recorded April 4, 2024.

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Dr. Nikki Mirghafori – Bringing Ethics and Wisdom to AI: Navigating the Ever Growing Potentials & Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

Dr Nikki Mirghafori AI Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

Ep. 124 | In this engaging, informative, and thought provoking conversation, artificial intelligence expert Dr. Nikki Mirghafori gives us a clear picture of where AI technology stands at this point and enlightens us as to its gifts, its potential, and its dangers. Nikki, who is also an internationally acclaimed Buddhist meditation teacher, is passionate about helping to bring equanimity to the whole issue of AI and emphasizes that the fear mongering going on around it is doing all of us a real disservice. She opens our eyes to the enormous potential of AI as applied to global issues such as cleaning up the environment, ending hunger, providing clean water, improving methods of food production—even acting as a wise mentor in supporting people to be their best selves. Nikki tells us that ethical use of AI depends on both designers and users, and that we are not powerless in the way things unfold.

How can AI systems be benevolent and supportive and bring out the best in us? Will we be able to maintain our values and ethics as our use of AI continues to expand? If our perception of AI was sort of murky or limited before, this conversation effectively brings us to a much more informed understanding. Nikki explains everything from where we have been exposed to AI without knowing it, the important distinction between weak/narrow AI and strong/general AI (AGI), personal choice engineering, our natural tendency to anthropomorphize AI, and the difference between benevolent AI and compassionate AI. Nikki is a superb teacher and a pleasure to listen to; this conversation is invaluable in its timeliness and its ability to bring us all up to speed on AI. Recorded January 29, 2024.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 3) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 123 (Part 3 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 2) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 122 (Part 2 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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Joseph Goldstein (Part 1) – Living on the Spiritual Edge: The Ever-Deepening Healing & Transformative Gifts of Opening to Experience and Life

Joseph Goldstein insight meditation awakening

Ep. 121 (Part 1 of 3) | Joseph Goldstein, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, brilliant spiritual teacher, and prolific author, whose books have been foundational to many people’s understanding of Buddhism, mindfulness, and insight meditation, shares rich nuggets of wisdom stemming from a lifetime of ever-deepening practice. The focus of this conversation remains very much in the present, as Joseph describes how the leading edge of his practice never stops moving forward and how his understanding of the most basic ideas becomes ever more refined and liberating. In sharing his insights, he sheds light on and smooths the path for the rest of us: about the mysterious arising of compassion, made easier the more open we are and the less self-referential, about reframing our experience in a way that frees us, about spontaneous responsiveness, and about awakening being a gradual process—until it’s sudden.

Joseph’s new favorite definition of enlightenment is “lightening up” for the way it conveys a sense of making progress along a journey. And with his humor, humility, and easy, lighthearted manner, Joseph exemplifies and transmits a lighter way of being in the world. He makes it ever so clear that spiritual practice and meditation, examining and investigating our experience moment to moment, naturally leads us to compassionate responsiveness and out of the shackles of what binds us to a self that is ultimately just a construct. Recorded November 2, 2023.

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