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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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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Brad Reynolds (Part 3) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 117 (Part 3 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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Brad Reynolds (Part 2) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 116 (Part 2 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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Brad Reynolds (Part 1) – Ken Wilber’s Map of Everything: A Guide to the Brilliance & Span of Wilber’s Work from Philosophy to Psychology, Spirituality and Science

Brad Reynolds Ken Wilber Integral Theory

Ep. 115 (Part 1 of 3) | Brad Reynolds, author of Embracing Reality: The Integral Vision of Ken Wilber and Where’s Wilber At? Ken Wilber’s Integral Vision in the New Millennium, gives us a beautiful distillation of Ken Wilber’s work, starting from the beginning and spanning decades. Not only does Brad elegantly relate the major themes of Ken’s work, he also makes clear the value of Ken’s contributions—the way this knowledge can be understood and applied to literally expand our notion of reality and evolve our consciousness. Brad deftly leads us through the subjects that Ken has developed: the spectrum of consciousness, the integration of science and religion, transcending and including what has come before, the importance of the transpersonal, and much more. We learn why Ken’s teachings are timeless and also so relevant and important today.

Brad’s scholarship, his own spiritual practice and insight, his engaging, easygoing style, and the close working relationship he had with Ken for many years make this podcast a goldmine for learning the essence of Ken’s theories, for deepening our appreciation of the magnitude of Ken’s understanding, and above all, the topics covered here point the way for us to evolve as human beings. We come to understand that integral is much more than a theory: it’s a practice, a call to grow and transcend, to become more inclusive, more responsive—to live our true potential. Brad eloquently brings it home just how much we need integral thinkers and leaders right now, with regressive developmental trends on the rise. Especially pertinent in our polarized society, integral shows us how to take all that is valuable within ostensibly conflicting worldviews and integrate it for the benefit of all. Recorded January 3, 2024.

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Charles Lawrence (Part 2) – Everything is Sacred: Native American Wisdom on Following Your Destiny, Living Joyously, Dying Fearlessly & Dancing in a World Beyond Everyday Consciousness

Native American shaman Charles Lawrence

Ep. 101 (Part 2 of 2) | With extraordinary joyfulness and verve, Native American shaman Charles Lawrence tells the inspiring and fascinating tale of how as a young man, he left psychology, religion, and the white man’s domesticated world in the dust when he became initiated on his journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and a paranormal world opened its doors. “If you have a destiny, you better go gracefully, or you’ll get dragged by your heels,” Campbell told him. Indeed, to this day, now in his late 80s, Charles follows the call to ceremonies and Elder Councils all over the world, sharing his sacred shamanic energy and wisdom in blessing and benefit for all. Part Blackfoot by origin, Charles was baptized by traditional Hopi Elders, adopted by elders of Lakota and Coast Salish (Musqueam band), and acknowledged and accepted by Native American tribes and Indigenous Peoples near and far. Here, Charles transmits his love of life, his fearlessness around death, and his easy familiarity with the multidimensionality of existence, the limitlessness in every moment. “Is there joy in this moment in time?” he asks. “If not, why not?”

In regard to our collective future, Charles tells us that solutions await us beyond our normal consciousness; in relation to our personal yearning, he describes the transformative power of being seen, being witnessed for who we are at the deepest level, to free our souls and break out of the box. He urges us to sing, to dance, and to “cry our own cry.” (“Nobody has your cry, your experience. You’ve got to cry your own cry.”) Charles also shares his liberating approach to death (“Dying is simple, just pull out the clutch and go into neutral!”), about how he acquired “death medicine,” a wonderful ability to help people make the transition, and his own death medicine practice. One cannot help but be thoroughly inspired and reinvigorated listening to Charles—as Roger wrote him afterwards, “You left a legacy of joy in all of us. I will sing and laugh more and open the door wider to Mystery because of it. And try to practice my last 10 breaths.” Recorded June 1, 2023.

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Charles Lawrence (Part 1) – Everything is Sacred: Native American Wisdom on Following Your Destiny, Living Joyously, Dying Fearlessly & Dancing in a World Beyond Everyday Consciousness

Charles Lawrence Native American Wisdom

Ep. 100 (Part 1 of 2) | With extraordinary joyfulness and verve, Native American shaman Charles Lawrence tells the inspiring and fascinating tale of how as a young man, he left psychology, religion, and the white man’s domesticated world in the dust when he became initiated on his journey by mythologist Joseph Campbell, and a paranormal world opened its doors. “If you have a destiny, you better go gracefully, or you’ll get dragged by your heels,” Campbell told him. Indeed, to this day, now in his late 80s, Charles follows the call to ceremonies and Elder Councils all over the world, sharing his sacred shamanic energy and wisdom in blessing and benefit for all. Part Blackfoot by origin, Charles was baptized by traditional Hopi Elders, adopted by elders of Lakota and Coast Salish (Musqueam band), and acknowledged and accepted by Native American tribes and Indigenous Peoples near and far. Here, Charles transmits his love of life, his fearlessness around death, and his easy familiarity with the multidimensionality of existence, the limitlessness in every moment. “Is there joy in this moment in time?” he asks. “If not, why not?”

In regard to our collective future, Charles tells us that solutions await us beyond our normal consciousness; in relation to our personal yearning, he describes the transformative power of being seen, being witnessed for who we are at the deepest level, to free our souls and break out of the box. He urges us to sing, to dance, and to “cry our own cry.” (“Nobody has your cry, your experience. You’ve got to cry your own cry.”) Charles also shares his liberating approach to death (“Dying is simple, just pull out the clutch and go into neutral!”), about how he acquired “death medicine,” a wonderful ability to help people make the transition, and his own death medicine practice. One cannot help but be thoroughly inspired and reinvigorated listening to Charles—as Roger wrote him afterwards, “You left a legacy of joy in all of us. I will sing and laugh more and open the door wider to Mystery because of it. And try to practice my last 10 breaths.” Recorded June 1, 2023.

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Swami Beyondananda / Steve Bhaerman (Part 2) – Laugh Yourself Sane, Enlighten Up & Awaken to Cosmic Comic Consciousness with the Wit & Wisdom of This Hilarious Duo

Swami Beyondananda Steve Bhaerman

Ep. 95 (Part 2 of 2) | Author, activist, and humorist Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) realized the power of humor as well as his talent for making people laugh early on, when his schoolmates would laugh so hard, milk would come out of their nose. Steve’s spiritual and psychological wisdom, his deep love and concern for humanity, and his clever, refreshing humor come together in a perfect triad to create the wise, inspired, and funny political and spiritual commentary that have delighted so many for so long. Steve’s mission is to bring people together to work for the things everybody wants—rather than a tug of war, his vision is of a tug of peace, all pulling in the same direction. He has seen over and over how effective comic relief is at bridging people’s differences; it can even disrupt dualistic thinking to where oneness becomes real and unity is achieved.

Steve’s sidekick, Swami Beyondananda, will make you laugh and his humorous perspective on the great issues of our time (like truth decay) and insights about how we can create a more positive future for ourselves (like self-facing laughter and tantrum yoga) really help to lighten the load. Hope is transmitted through levity and we find we can all laugh at human behavior together. Steve explains that with laughter we release emotions, trauma, and mental structures because truth is being liberated, and that comedy’s role is to deconstruct toxic narratives yet leave people standing. In this conversation, you will experience the power of humor to make even the dire circumstances of today’s world feel a bit lighter—Steve/Swami’s inspired comedy is not only politically astute but palpably heartwarming. Recorded August 10, 2023.

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Swami Beyondananda / Steve Bhaerman (Part 1) – Laugh Yourself Sane, Enlighten Up & Awaken to Cosmic Comic Consciousness with the Wit & Wisdom of This Hilarious Duo

Swami Beyondananda Steve Bhaerman

Ep. 94 (Part 1 of 2) | Author, activist, and humorist Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) realized the power of humor as well as his talent for making people laugh early on, when his schoolmates would laugh so hard, milk would come out of their nose. Steve’s spiritual and psychological wisdom, his deep love and concern for humanity, and his clever, refreshing humor come together in a perfect triad to create the wise, inspired, and funny political and spiritual commentary that have delighted so many for so long. Steve’s mission is to bring people together to work for the things everybody wants—rather than a tug of war, his vision is of a tug of peace, all pulling in the same direction. He has seen over and over how effective comic relief is at bridging people’s differences; it can even disrupt dualistic thinking to where oneness becomes real and unity is achieved.

Steve’s sidekick, Swami Beyondananda, will make you laugh and his humorous perspective on the great issues of our time (like truth decay) and insights about how we can create a more positive future for ourselves (like self-facing laughter and tantrum yoga) really help to lighten the load. Hope is transmitted through levity and we find we can all laugh at human behavior together. Steve explains that with laughter we release emotions, trauma, and mental structures because truth is being liberated, and that comedy’s role is to deconstruct toxic narratives yet leave people standing. In this conversation, you will experience the power of humor to make even the dire circumstances of today’s world feel a bit lighter—Steve/Swami’s inspired comedy is not only politically astute but palpably heartwarming. Recorded August 10, 2023.

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A. H. Almaas (Part 2) – Nondual Love: Awakening to the Fundamental Benevolence of Reality

A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) Nondual Love

Ep. 86 (Part 2 of 2) | Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), founder of the contemporary spiritual path the Diamond Approach, beloved teacher, and author of many outstanding spiritual classics, has written a trilogy on the subject of love, and in this conversation the focus is on the recently published second book, Nondual Love. Hameed explains that most wisdom traditions target various ultimates: pure emptiness, pure consciousness, nondual awareness, being, non-being—each of which is sufficient for liberation, but fails to include the qualities of nondual love: goodness, sweetness, abundance, benevolence. Hameed brings these dimensions of love to the table, asking what does divine love feel like, look like, what is it made of?

Listening to Hameed is a beautiful, rich experience, due to his extraordinary lucidity, gentle humor, and the profound understanding and assurance that pervade his words from his long experience swimming in the waters of which he speaks. He tells us we all have the potential to experience nondual love, although there are significant obstacles along the path that are inherent to being human. Hameed describes the different stages of opening to nondual love, from the first glimmerings of “unearthly sweetness” to the realization that we ourselves are love. And he outlines the nature of the barriers we face, like the beast of anger and hatred that arises in us when we perceive that reality has abandoned us. Hameed explains that by re-establishing basic trust, and feeling the presence of benevolent love, we can regain the sense that things will be okay and unfold ultimately for the good. Recorded April 12, 2023.

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A. H. Almaas (Part 1) – Nondual Love: Awakening to the Fundamental Benevolence of Reality

A. H. Almaas (Hameed Ali) Nondual Love

Ep. 85 (Part 1 of 2) | Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas), founder of the contemporary spiritual path the Diamond Approach and author of many outstanding spiritual classics, has written a trilogy on the subject of love, and in this conversation the focus is on the second book, Nondual Love. Hameed explains that most wisdom traditions target various ultimates: pure emptiness, pure consciousness, nondual awareness, being, non-being—each of which is sufficient for liberation, but fails to include the qualities of nondual love: goodness, sweetness, abundance, benevolence. Hameed brings these dimensions of love to the table, asking what does divine love feel like, look like, what is it made of?

Listening to Hameed is a beautiful, rich experience, due to his extraordinary lucidity, gentle humor, and the profound understanding and assurance that pervade his words from his long experience swimming in the waters of which he speaks. He tells us we all have the potential to experience nondual love, although there are significant obstacles along the path that are inherent to being human. Hameed describes the different stages of opening to nondual love, from the first glimmerings of “unearthly sweetness” to the realization that we ourselves are love. And he outlines the nature of the barriers we face, like the beast of anger and hatred that arises in us when we perceive that reality has abandoned us. Hameed explains that re-establishing basic trust, feeling the presence of benevolent love, we can regain the sense that things will be okay and unfold ultimately for the good. Recorded April 12, 2023.

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Lama Surya Das (Part 2) – The Essence of Awakening: Who Are We Really—and How Can We Find Out?

Lama Surya Das Essence of Awakening

Ep. 84 (Part 2 of 2) | Lama Surya Das, beloved meditation teacher, scholar, pioneer of bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West, and author of the bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within among many more, shares bright gems of wisdom from his extensive experience practicing Dzogchen, his long immersion in meditation retreats, and studying in person with the great spiritual teachers of Asia. Lama Surya is dedicated to getting the word out, and to young people especially, that the timeless teachings of the great masters are every bit as important and transformative in today’s modern world as they ever were. One doesn’t need to go on retreat to come to a place of wonder, understanding, and appreciation for life; Lama Surya assures us that daily practice of attentive awareness on the path of “awakefulness” is doable and effective in today’s world. This is the path that leads to self-knowledge, and we just need to explore and investigate to discover for ourselves that realization of the Great Perfection, of oneness, is never far away.

Lama Surya embellishes his teachings with humorous tales of his early explorations with psychedelics, his spiritual adventures in India, how he came to undertaking not one but two 3-year silent retreats in the great Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, and coming home afterwards with a mission for transmission. He talks about divine love and how amazing and influential it was to hang out with spiritual teachers who actually practice unconditional love, here and now. Lama Surya Das’ own deep caring and compassion shine through his words, and his well-known “jolly lama” humor often elicits laughter from Roger and John. “There are a lot of lanes on the highway of awakening, you just want to watch you don’t go off into the ditch.” His authentic, endearing humility shines through as well. He is certain that “if I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it.” Recorded September 7, 2022.

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Lama Surya Das (Part 1) – The Essence of Awakening: Who Are We Really—and How Can We Find Out?

Lama Surya Das Essence of Awakening

Ep. 83 (Part 1 of 2) | Lama Surya Das, beloved meditation teacher, scholar, pioneer of bringing Tibetan Buddhism to the West, and author of the bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within among many more, shares bright gems of wisdom from his extensive experience practicing Dzogchen, his long immersion in meditation retreats, and studying in person with the great spiritual teachers of Asia. Lama Surya is dedicated to getting the word out, and to young people especially, that the timeless teachings of the great masters are every bit as important and transformative in today’s modern world as they ever were. One doesn’t need to go on retreat to come to a place of wonder, understanding, and appreciation for life; Lama Surya assures us that daily practice of attentive awareness on the path of “awakefulness” is doable and effective in today’s world. This is the path that leads to self-knowledge, and we just need to explore and investigate to discover for ourselves that realization of the Great Perfection, of oneness, is never far away.

Lama Surya embellishes his teachings with humorous tales of his early explorations with psychedelics, his spiritual adventures in India, how he came to undertaking not one but two 3-year silent retreats in the great Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Dzogchen, and coming home afterwards with a mission for transmission. He talks about divine love and how amazing and influential it was to hang out with spiritual teachers who actually practice unconditional love, here and now. Lama Surya Das’ own deep caring and compassion shine through his words, and his well-known “jolly lama” humor often elicits laughter from Roger and John. “There are a lot of lanes on the highway of awakening, you just want to watch you don’t go off into the ditch.” His authentic, endearing humility shines through as well. He is certain that “if I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it.” Recorded September 7, 2022.

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