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
Hacking the Self
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Practice; Simplicity in the Complex: A Buddhist Life in America; Being 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:
For a listing of Roshi’s film credits, click here:
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.
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.
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)
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
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
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.
Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, combining nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research. He is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at UMass Medical School and a research affiliate at MIT.
He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, trained US Olympic coaches, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TEDMED, Time, Forbes, BBC, NPR, Businessweek and others.
A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments (Eat Right Now, Unwinding Anxiety and Craving to Quit).
He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI.
His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Fetzer Trust among others. Dr. Brewer founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for eating, smoking and other behavior change into the marketplace.
Personal Website of Judson Brewer
Considered one of the leaders of the next generation of Dharma teachers, Lama Rod Owens has a blend of formal Buddhist training and life experience that gives him a unique ability to understand, relate and engage with those around him in a way that’s spacious and sincere. His gentle, laid-back demeanor and willingness to bare his heart and soul makes others want to do the same. Even when seated in front of a room, he’s next to you, sharing his stories and struggles with an openness vulnerability and gentle humor that makes you genuinely feel good about who you are, with all your flaws and foibles, you’re lovable and deserving of happiness and joy. He invites you into the cross sections of his life as a Black, queer male, born and raised in the South, and heavily influenced by the church and its community.
Through his lens you catch glimpses of your own often conflicting identities. Through it all he weaves in time-tested, traditional Buddhist principles and practices that give listeners real tools for healing and evolution.
With grace and humility, he doesn’t claim to have answers, and merely poses questions and encourages conversation so that others may find their own truth.
Lama Rod delivers his knowledge in a way that says, I’m just like you, no better and no worse. He reminds you that he too is human and a work in progress. He asks audiences to call him out if he says anything that is perpetuating misogyny, racism or anything divisive. Lama Rod has done and continues to do his own work, every day, and it’s palpable.
Lama Rod also speaks and leads workshops across the country for organizations such as Summit and Dharma Ocean, check his latest schedule here. He also officiates wedding ceremonies. Contact him to learn more!