Hacking the Self

#47: Chinese vs Western Medicine with Ben Elan

In the second conversation in our series on Ancient Chinese Medicine with acupuncturist Ben Elan, we cover the following topics:

  • fundamental differences in approach between Chinese & Western medicine
  • the pros and cons of each methodology
  • what kinds of problems or symptoms are each of these effective at treating
  • challenges in talking about, or comparing, these two systems

As always, if you enjoy the show please consider supporting the podcast by writing a review on iTunes or your favorite podcasting platform, sharing the episode on social media, and/or supporting Hacking the Self on Patreon.

I welcome questions, comments or any other constructive thoughts that you would like to share on the FB page for Hacking the Self. You can also email: hackingtheself@gmail.com.

Thank you for listening.

Adrian

 

#46: What is Chinese Medicine? with Ben Elan

This conversation is the first in a series on Chinese Medicine. I’m tinkering with a new format for the show in which I do a series of shorter (20-30 minute) conversation with one guest where we unpack one theme or topic over a number of shorter episodes.

Here is the overview of topics for the upcoming series on Chinese Medicine:

  1. What is Chinese Medicine?
  2. Advantages of Chinese Medicine vs. Western
  3. CM Theory: Yin & Yang 5 Elements
  4. Difference between kinds of Chinese Medicine

Guest Bio:

Benjamin Elan, Dip. Ac has been been studying and practicing Classical Chinese Medicine for 13 years. Trained in the Stems & Branches acupuncture tradition, he is a certified Acupuncturist, Herbalist and Medical Qi Gong instructor. He also holds a Masters degree in Narrative Therapy from Melbourne University.

Benjamin began his journey doing community and health work with indigenous tribes in Southern Israel. Today,  The scope of his practice incorporates elements of humanistic psychology, ethnography, shamanism and community work.

Ben is currently practicing and teaching Chinese Medicine at Tao Garden Retreat Centre in North Thailand.

#45: Biohacking Light & Sleep with Dayne Barkley

In this episode I sit down for another conversation with Dayne Barkley who shares helpful suggestions for biohacking light and sleep. Dayne also discusses his latest venture: developing a multi use and more stylish model for blue light blocking glasses.
Dayne educates us on the following topics including:
  • circadian rhythms
  • what types of light you want exposure to, when, why, and how much, natural light, when and
  • what kinds of light you want to avoid, and
  • other hacks for feeling our best and for optimal sleep
Guest Bio:
Founder and CEO of interchangeable blue blocking glasses range, Barkley Eyewear.
A certified Human Potential and Primal Health Coach with an integrated holistic approach to human health and performance, with a particular focus on sleep optimization and Quantum health principles.

#44: Buddhist Geeks with Vincent Horn

This week is a special week for me because I sit down with Vincent Horn, the host and founder of the podcast Buddhist Geeks, which was the first show, along with Waking Up with Sam Harris, that turned me onto podcasting. Buddhist Geeks has a keen interest in several of the topics that we like to explore on this show and most recently Vince’s interests have focused on the relationship between meditation and psychedelics. Vince and I spoke about our personal thoughts on the connection between entheogens and contemplative practices, as well as some of the challenges around having this conversation.

We also discuss Vince’s evolving relationship with Buddhism and why he now says that he keeps one foot within the circle of Buddhism and one foot outside the tradition. Vince is also deeply interested in the intersection of ancient wisdom and modernity, hence why I had such a great time speaking with him.

Enjoy.

Guest Bio:

Vincent Horn is part of a new generation of teachers translating age-old wisdom into 21st century code. A computer engineering dropout turned modern monk, Vincent spent his 20s co-founding the ground-breaking Buddhist Geeks project while doing a full year of silent meditation practice on retreat. Vincent began teaching in 2010 and since then has been authorized in both the pragmatic dharma lineage of Kenneth Folk and by Trudy Goodman Kornfield, whose contemplative training is in the Insight Meditation and Zen traditions.  Vince is one of the co-founders of Meditate.io, which is dedicated to offering deep practice opportunities for independent learners.  Vincent has been called a “power player of the mindfulness movement” by Wired magazine and was honored to be featured in Wired UK’s “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world.” He lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with his teaching & life partner Emily and their son Zander.

#43: The Art of Awakening with Katchie Ananda

This week I speak with Katchie Ananda who teaches Dharma Yoga: an approach to teaching hatha yoga that integrates the insights of Theravada Buddhism. Katchie and I discuss studying with exceptional teachers like Richard Freeman and Jack Kornfield and how these teaches have impacted her. We also discuss the ways in which entheogens, such as Ayahuasca, can complement contemplative practices and further augment the art of awakening.

Guest Bio:

Katchie Ananda is an international yoga and dharma teacher who has been teaching as a full-time yoga teacher since 1990.

She is certified in Integral, Jivamukti, Anusara, and Ashtanga yoga by Richard Freeman.

A committed student of Vipassana Meditation, she has practiced with Jack Kornfield, her Buddhist mentor, since 2000.

The co-founder/director of Yoga Sangha, a beloved yoga center in San Francisco dedicated to yoga and dharma, Katchie offers trainings in Europe and the USA.

She is dedicated to raising awareness about human and animal rights, the environment and social justice. Her leadership in yoga and social change prompted Yoga Journal to name her one of five top yoga teachers making change in the world and she volunteered for many years at San Quentin, teaching Yoga and Dharma to long-term inmates.

She has brought her humor and stories to conferences, festivals and workshops all over the world and is loved by her students for her authenticity and wisdom.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband Joshua and dog Leelou.

Links:

Katchie’s Personal Website

#42: Living with Right Intention with Roshi Joan Halifax

This week I am honored to speak with Zen Buddhist Priest and social activist Roshi Joan Halifax. Roshi Joan shares the wisdom she has learned through working with people who are terminally ill, and how confronting death honestly has taught her how to live live more fully. She also offers insight into how to live with right intention, including acting without expectations to the outcomes of our actions. I learned a great deal from my conversation with Roshi Joan Halifax, and I’m sure that you will as well.

Guest Bio:

Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D.,is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Ph.D. in medical anthropology in 1973 and has lectured on the subject of death and dying at many academic institutions and medical centers around the world. She received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in Visual Anthropology, was an Honorary Research Fellow in Medical Ethnobotany at Harvard University, and was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Library of Congress.

From 1972-1975, she worked with psychiatrist Stanislav Grof at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center with dying cancer patients. She has continued to work with dying people and their families, and to teach health care professionals and family caregivers the psycho-social, ethical and spiritual aspects of care of the dying. She is Director of the Project on Being with Dying, and Founder of the Upaya Prison Project that develops programs on meditation for prisoners. She is also founder of the Nomads Clinic in Nepal.

She studied for a decade with Zen Teacher Seung Sahn and was a teacher in the Kwan Um Zen School. She received the Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh, and was given Inka by Roshi Bernie Glassman.

A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and founder of Prajna Mountain Buddhist Order, her work and practice for more than four decades has focused on engaged Buddhism. Her books include: The Human Encounter with Death (with Stanislav Grof); The Fruitful Darkness, A Journey Through Buddhist PracticeSimplicity in the ComplexA Buddhist Life in AmericaBeing with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Wisdom in the Presence of Death; and her forthcoming, Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet to be released on May 1, 2018.

For a listing of Roshi’s books, click here:
https://www.amazon.com/author/joanhalifax

For a listing of Roshi’s film credits, click here:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1967890/

#41: The Yoga of Living Abroad with Ed Liu

In this conversation I speak at length with Ed Liu, the host of the most popular psychedelic podcast on iTunes: Psychedelic Milk. Ed and I discuss our mutual interests in psychedelics, yoga and meditation, as well as why we both like living in Asia as American expats.

Guest Bio: 

Ed Liu is a yoga teacher based in Hong Kong, as well as the host of the Psychedelic Milk podcast, which dives deep into the world of psychedelics through discussions to bring awareness to alternative medicine and spirituality from different esoteric traditions.

Links:

Psychedelic Milk

Instagram

#40: The Unraveling of the American Left with Carol Horton PhD

This week I sit down with Carol Horton, PhD to discuss the reactivity and outrage defining our current cultural moment and the unraveling of the American Left in the Age of Trump. Carol specializes in the intersection of yoga, politics and culture. We discuss some of the trends in American politics and culture and consider what contemplative practices have to offer us in this particular historical moment of outrage and reactivity.
Guest Bio:
Carol Horton, Ph.D., is a writer, educator, and activist working at the intersection of mindful yoga, social science, and healing justice. Carol is the author or editor of five books:
  • Yoga PhD: Integrating the Life of the Mind & the Wisdom of the Body (author)
  • 21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics, & Practice (co-editor, with Roseanne Harvey)
  • Best Practices for Yoga with Veterans (editor)
  • Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System (editor)
  • Race and the Making of American Liberalism (author)
Carol is vice-president of the Yoga Service Council and a co-founder of Chicago’s Socially Engaged Yoga Network. She is a member of the Ethics & Conduct Committee for the Yoga Alliance Standards Review Project. Carol serves as an associate editor of the scholarly journal Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity and as a peer reviewer for Race and Yoga. 
Carol has taught yoga in Chicago’s Cook County Jail, a drop-in center for homeless women, a residential foster care facility, a community health center, and several independent studios. An ex-political science professor and policy researcher, she holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago.
Topics that Carol and I cover:

Making sense of ancient teachings through a contemporary lens

The Rise of Jordan Peterson

Reactivity & outrage defining current US cultural moment

Growing Intolerance on the Left

Me Too Movement and Gender Politics

Erosion of nuance and complexity in our political discourse

Role that contemplative practices can play in creating a better climate

How to Follow Carol:
Recommended written work from Carol:

#39: Yoga Mind, Yoga Body with Gernot Huber

This week I speak with Gernot Hubert, a yoga teacher and fellow expat in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Gernot goes in depth on yoga anatomy & physiology, along with the following other topics:

  • What draws people to practice yoga
  • How yoga can either disrupt or reinforce habitual patterns
  • Managing stress
  • Alignment issues
  • How to practice safely
  • How to create more balance in your practice and your life
  • Strengthening the mind body connection

Guest Bio:

Gernot Hubert has been practicing and studying yoga since 1996. His yoga background includes Anusara, Iyengar, Forrest, Kripalu, and Ashtanga Yoga, and he holds a 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate from a Yoga-Alliance-registered teacher training program. Born in South Africa and raised in Germany, Gernot has spent 20 years in the United States as well as significant amounts of time in Argentina and Thailand. Gernot speaks English, German, and Spanish, as well as some French and Thai. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University.

In his teachings, Gernot draws on a broad range of life experiences that includes working in Silicon Valley, traveling extensively in Asia and South America, volunteering for antiglobalization and alternative-transit non-profits, conducting biological fieldwork in California’s Sierra Nevada and Argentina’s Pampa, and teaching wildlife monitoring to inner city youth. He also loves bicycling and wilderness travel, and practices Vipasana meditation. His varied life experiences help Gernot relate to yoga students from all walks of life, and help him transmit the essential teachings of yoga in a way that makes them come alive on and off the mat.

Links:

Yoga Mind, Yoga Body

#38: Yoga Synergy with Simon Borg Olivier

This week I speak with Simon Borg Olivier, co-founder of Yoga Synergy in Sydney, Australia. Simon and I discuss the unique approach style of yoga that he and his business partner, Bianca Machliss, have developed: Yoga Synergy, which they describe as an adaptation of traditional hatha yoga for the modern Western body.
As someone who has completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training with Simon, I can personally attest to the quality of Simon’s gift for the craft of teaching, as well as his genuine warm and kindness. He is a wealth of knowledge and a rare combination of talents: a former lecturer in Molecular Biology at the University of Sydney who went back to do another degree in physiotherapy after discovering his passion for yoga. Simon brings a keen scientific mind to his discussion of how best to practice yoga, and also integrates his more recent love of Qi Gong and Traditional Chinese Medicine into his practice.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
Guest Bio:
Simon Borg-Olivier MScBAppSc (Physiotherapy) is a Co-Director, with Bianca Machliss BScBAppSc (Physiotherapy) of Yoga Synergy, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected yoga schools. The Yoga Synergy style is based on a deep understanding of yoga anatomy, yoga physiology and traditional Hatha Yoga. Simon has been teaching since 1982. He is a registered physiotherapist, a research scientist and a university lecturer. Simon has been regularly invited to teach at special workshops and conferences interstate and overseas since 1990.
Simon and Bianca run international Yoga Synergy Teacher Training Courses both internationally (yearly in Goa, India) and also in their home town of Sydney Australia. The next Yoga Synergy 200 hour Teacher Training Courses will be running in (1) Sydney from May 8th 2015 to November, (2) Sydney from September 2015 to August 2016, and (3) Goa, India from March to April 2016.
Shownotes:
Coming soon.
Links: