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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Jane Hirshfield (Part 2) – Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions

Jane Hirshfield spiritual poet Zen practice

Ep. 120 (Part 2 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?

An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.

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Jane Hirshfield (Part 1) – Exploring Life Through Poetry & Practice: The Art of Asking and Opening to Life’s Deepest Questions

Jane Hirshfield spiritual poet Zen practice

Ep. 119 (Part 1 of 2) | Many time award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield has spent her life steeped in poetry and spiritual practice. Here, we feel almost as if we’ve been invited into her kitchen to talk about life, love, and especially about poems and how they offer us various answers to the abiding questions: who are we, what are we, what is our relationship to each other, what must we be grateful toward? Jane describes poems as vessels of discovery and poetry as taking your understanding and putting it into a form that is holdable, retrievable, transmissible. Poems can also be keys to unlock our despair, she explains, creating a crack in the darkness, a re-entrance to the possibility of wholeness. Jane’s sublime poetry is many-layered; the same poem might be about human love or peace between nations, about the end of love or the fact that love never dies. Jane shares that her lifetime of questioning (her most recent book of new and selected poetry is titled The Asking) has boiled down to one question: How can I serve?

An awareness of our interconnectedness with all beings, all of life, permeates her work, and Jane is driven to provoke action on contemporary, pressing issues of biosphere, peace, and justice, and help us navigate the tightrope between hope and despair. The conversation also turns to early feminism and the poetry of women mystics that Jane put together in a beautiful anthology called Women in Praise of the Sacred, covering 43 centuries of spiritual poetry by women. When asked about her longtime Zen practice, Jane said, “I needed to become more of a human being, understand a different way of living inside this life I had been given” to become a good poet. She tells us that both poetry and Zen are paths of discovery, exploration, and awareness, and both paths insist that we attend to this world fully. This is a warm, personal, deeply illuminating, and thought provoking conversation, and Jane reads several of her poems, revealing their depth and beauty. Recorded November 30, 2023.

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Gail Hochachka (Part 2) – The Psychology of Climate Change: Understanding the Causes and Finding Solutions to the Great Challenge of Our Time

Climate change researcher Gail Hochachka

Ep. 88 (Part 2 of 2) | Climate change researcher, sustainable development expert, and activist Gail Hochachka works on the front lines of climate change research, asking—and answering—questions like: How does the way we make meaning, at all our different stages of development, relate to the ways we act on climate change? How can we foster more engagement with climate change? Is climate action scalable? And how are we going to show up for the people who are facing the greatest impacts? So far, in searching for solutions, we have largely neglected tapping into the human dimensions of the problem—the ways we understand climate change, the ways we respond, and the ways we can communicate together and make decisions about how to act. Herein lies the potential to come up with more viable solutions than we have so far, and this is the focus of Gail’s current research.

Climate change is such a hugely complex and also emotional issue, it is understandably hard for anyone to wrap their head around it, Gail tells us, but the good news is that research is showing that taking action—in whatever way seems most appropriate and meaningful to each individual—is scalable, and that there are ways, which Gail outlines, of creating meaningful communication between people who have very different understandings, to where people can actually come to a place of agreement on how to move forward. Gail’s deep understanding of integral theory and stages of psychological development, combined with her extensive experience in sustainable development, gives her a uniquely insightful perspective on ways of confronting the climate challenge. Gail relates that, surprisingly, a positive way to look at climate change has come to light, which is that climate change is actually presenting us with an opportunity—an opportunity to become more conscious about the way we live, to the great benefit of people and planet. Recorded January 18, 2023.

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Gail Hochachka (Part 1) – The Psychology of Climate Change: Understanding the Causes and Finding Solutions to the Great Challenge of Our Time

Climate change researcher Gail Hochachka

Ep. 87 (Part 1 of 2) | Climate change researcher, sustainable development expert, and activist Gail Hochachka works on the front lines of climate change research, asking—and answering—questions like: How does the way we make meaning, at all our different stages of development, relate to the ways we act on climate change? How can we foster more engagement with climate change? Is climate action scalable? And how are we going to show up for the people who are facing the greatest impacts? So far, in searching for solutions, we have largely neglected tapping into the human dimensions of the problem—the ways we understand climate change, the ways we respond, and the ways we can communicate together and make decisions about how to act. Herein lies the potential to come up with more viable solutions than we have so far, and this is the focus of Gail’s current research.

Climate change is such a hugely complex and also emotional issue, it is understandably hard for anyone to wrap their head around it, Gail tells us, but the good news is that research is showing that taking action—in whatever way seems most appropriate and meaningful to each individual—is scalable (the more people who act, the easier it becomes for yet more and more people to act), and that there are ways, which Gail outlines, of creating meaningful communication between people who have very different understandings, to where people can actually come to a place of agreement on how to move forward. Gail’s deep understanding of integral theory and stages of psychological development, combined with her extensive experience in sustainable development, gives her a uniquely insightful perspective on ways of confronting the climate challenge. Gail relates that, surprisingly, a positive way to look at climate change has come to light, which is that climate change is actually presenting us with an opportunity—an opportunity to become more conscious about the way we live, to the great benefit of people and planet. Recorded January 18, 2023.

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