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Dealing with Dis-ease

In January of 2017, just shy of my 36th birthday I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Conventionally, a diagnosis of osteoporosis is determined by a DEXA scan, which assesses, among other things, one’s Bone Mineral Density (BMD). If you have a T score below -2.5 you are said to have osteoporosis.  Usually, they will measure a...

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#50: Reducing Stress with Chinese Herbalism: a conversation with Roger Drummer Part 1

This is the first of a two part conversation on Chinese Herbalism with Roger Drummer. Roger is the founder of Herb Works and the man who formulated its various, exceptional products, such as Tian Chi and Inner Peace. A brief description of Roger’s story from the Herb Works website will give you a taste of...

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#49: What’s the difference between Classical Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

In my fourth and final conversation with acupuncturist Ben Elan we learn about the differences between Classical Chinese Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Ben’s insights are highly relevant to anyone interested in Chinese Medicine, “alternative” approaches to Western Medicine, Medical Qi Gong or Daoism. In particular, this information is highly valuable to anyone interested...

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#48: Crash Course in Yin Yang & The 5 Elements with Ben Elan

In my third conversation with Ben Elan, Ben gives us a glimpse into two foundational pieces of Daoism and Classical Chinese Medicine: the concepts of Yin Yang & 5 Element Theory. Guest Bio: Benjamin Elan, Dip. Ac has been been studying and practicing Classical Chinese Medicine for 13 years. Trained in the Stems & Branches...

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#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,...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#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...

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#37: The Science of Self Mastery with Dr. Judson Brewer

Guest Bio: 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...

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#36: Radical Dharma with Lama Rod Owens

This week I sit down with Lama Rod Owens to discuss the intersection of Buddhist Dharma and American culture and politics. Lama Rod articulates his vision for Radical Dharma: a call to make the teachings of Buddhism relevant for tending to the suffering in the United States in this day and age, starting with addressing...

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#35: Revisiting Yoga Philosophy with Jason Birch

This week I speak with Jason Birch, PhD about the history of yoga and yoga philosophy. Jason is a scholar of classical Indian religions and philosophies at the School of Oriental Studies (SOAS), University of London. He is a Sanskritist and a scholar of the yoga tradition. He is also a practitioner who does a...

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#34: A Tantric Approach to Meditation with Sally Kempton

This week I speak with Sally Kempton, a master of Tantric meditation who shares her decades worth of Tantric meditation experience with us. Sally served as a Swami for over two decades in the Siddhi Yoga organization, after being ordained by her primary teacher, Swami Muktananda. As the mindfulness movement sweeps across the West, Sally...

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#33: Tantra Yoga with Mark Shveima

Mark Shveima and I discuss the rich world of Tantra Yoga, specifically through the collections of lineages that has come to be known as Nondual Shaiva Tantra. Through studying Anusara Yoga with founder John Friend, Mark encountered the teachings of Tantra Yoga. It was through the Anusara scene that Mark met the man who came...

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#32: The Life of Yogananda with Philip Goldberg

I speak with American Veda author Philip Goldberg to discuss his new book on the life of famed yogi and spiritual teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, titled The Life of Yogananda: The Story of the Yogi Who Became the First Modern Guru.  Guest Bio: Philip Goldberg is the author or co-author of numerous books; a public speaker...

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#31: The Unexplainable Importance of Yoga with J Brown

This week is a special week on the Hacking the Self podcast as I get to speak with one of my favorite podcasters: J Brown, yoga teacher and host of the popular podcast “J Brown’s Yoga Talks.” Guest Bio: J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and podcaster. He is at the forefront of a...

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#30: Spiritual Evolution from an Indigenous Reality with Mary Porter

In this conversation I speak wth Mary Porter, founder of the Looking Glass Peyote Church of Oregon, about a number of topics: Nature & Spirituality What we can learn from working with plant medicines like peyote, san pedro and mushrooms Why psychedelics are not for everyone Differences between a conventional Western worldview and indigenous perspective...

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#029: Mindfulness in Recovering from Addiction with Mindfulness Teacher Paul Garrigan

In this episode I speak with mindfulness teacher and addiction and recovery conselor Paul Garrigan on how the practice of mindfulness can support people in recovering from addiction. Guest Bio: Paul Garrigan is the Mindfulness Program Manager at Hope Rehab Center in Thailand. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Paul struggled with addiction to alcohol since he...

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Yoga, Jung and the Journey through the Self — Why Do I Practice Yoga?

“Yoga is the journey of the Self, Through the Self, To the Self.” –The Bhagavad Gita Why do I practice yoga? It’s a question to which I regularly return, less out of a sense of doubt than from a desire to clarify my intentions. We’ll never reach our destination if we’re unsure of what we’re...

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#028: Buddhism and Psychedelics in America with Dr. Douglas Osto

Scholar of of Indian Buddhism Dr. Douglas Osto talks about the intersection between Buddhism & Psychedelics in his most recent book Altered States: Buddhism and Psychedelic Spirituality in America.  Guest bio: Doug Osto grew up in the woods of Redding, Connecticut. He has studied and practiced Buddhism for over thirty years, and has advanced degrees...

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#027: What Fredrich Nietzsche Can Teach Us about Today with Peter Sjostedt-H

In this episode I spoke with philosopher Peter Sjostedt-H about the work of Fredrich Nietzsche. Peter tells us why the great German philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche is still relevant to our own era. Peter and I discuss he following topics including: Why Fredrich Nietzsche is considered one of the precursors to modern psychology Why Nietzsche’s writings...

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Lost Connections: How our Modern Lifestyle is Undermining our Physical & Mental Health

Recently I’ve read two books that have compelled me think to about the idea of “tribalism” is a very different way: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression: and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastien Junger Tribalism is a word that usually carries negative connotations and not without good...

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#026: Psychology of Religion with Jungian Analyst Pittman McGehee

For anyone who is interested in the psychology of religion, especially the work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, today’s guest is a wealth of wisdom and insight. Pittman McGehee shares his interpretation of Christian mythology through a Jungian lens. We also discuss: How to approach the study of religion New Atheist critiques of religion...

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#025: A Talk about The Mythology of Pre Historic Cave Art with Bernie Taylor

In this episode Bernie Taylor shares his insights into the timeless archetypal stories that he has uncovered in pre historic cave art. Bernie’s passion for his subject matter really came across. If you’re interested in mythology and the work of great thinkers in the psychology of religion like Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell you’ll enjoy...

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The Morning Routine that Keeps Me Calm & Centered throughout the Day

I’m a big believer in the power of routines, especially a well structured morning routine that’s adapted to your lifestyle and temperament. As someone who’s not naturally high in orderliness routines are particularly important to give structure and coherence to my life: physically and psychologically. The following morning routine, including breakfast, usually takes 2-3 hours....

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#024: Integrating Buddhism & Ayahuasca with Spring Washam

If you’re interested in Buddhism and Ayahuasca you’re going to love my conversation this week with Spring Washam. Guest Bio: Spring Washam is a well-known meditation teacher, author and visionary leader based in Oakland, California. She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage and Wisdom in Any Moment. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing...

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What I’ve learned from Maps of Meaning: a course by Dr. Jordan Peterson

Over the last month I’ve been watching a series of lectures entitled “Maps of Meaning,” which is the title of both a book and a university course delivered by psychology Professor Jordan Peterson. These lectures were for a course that Peterson taught at the University of Toronto. I’ll share my thoughts on the lecture I...

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How Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein have changed the way that I think about human behavior

Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein are two renegade college professors who are making a splash in larger discussions of interest to many modern, Western societies, from challenges to free speech to what evolutionary biology can teach us about human behavior. This latter point is of direct consequences to the topics that I’d like to explore...

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#023: Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson & Contrasting Approaches to the Study of Religion with Erik Davis

In this episode author and religious studies scholar Erik Davis and I consider the arguments of the New Atheists, particularly the work of Sam Harris. We contrast Harris’ approach to religion with that of Jordan Peterson, as well as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell. Topics we touch on include: Erik’s background and personal religious views...

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#022: Mitch Schultz, Director of DMT The Spirit Molecule

Guest bio: Mitch Schultz is the documentary filmaker behind “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” and “Ayahuasca: Drink the Jungle.” Mitch Schultz began his life journey in Memphis, Tennessee and has since called Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, New York, Europe, and Peru home. Guided by his lifelong love of storytelling, Mitch has cultivated a multi-disciplinary expertise in motion...

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#021: Bhakti Yoga with Raghu Markus

On this episode Raghu Markus shares his deep knowledge of the Bhakti Yoga tradition. He talks about what he learned from his own teacher, the legendary Neem Karoli Baba, and how we can all learn to live with more wisdom, compassion and trust. Guest Bio: Raghu Markus is the Executive Director of the Love Serve...

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#020: The Paths of Yoga through the Bhagavad Gita with Ashtanga Yoga teacher Richard Freeman

Show Overview: In this conversation, legendary Ashtanga Yoga teacher Richard Freeman walks us through the various paths of yoga as described in The Bhagavad Gita. Richard is an exceptional teacher of yoga philosophy. Undoubtedly, this conversation will have much to offer for those both new and familiar with this classic text of the yoga tradition....

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#019: Awakening through Ashtanga Yoga with Mary Taylor

Guest Bio: Mary Taylor teaches Ashtanga Yoga as taught by her principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971, after graduating from Julia Child’s cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes in Pari. Initially, she enjoyed yoga as a means of finding equanimity during the stress...

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#018: Ajna Light Technology founder Guy Harriman

Guest Bio: Guy Harriman is an engineer, Buddhist meditator and inventor of consciousness hacking technologies. Guy worked for many years in Silicon Valley, including for Steve Jobs at NEXT. In 2008 Guy moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand and built lannayoga.com Healing Center. Guy is the inventor of the spiritual tool called the Ajna Light. It is a unique...

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#017: Floating with Kevin Johnson

On the podcast this week Kevin Johnson, owner of Zero Gravity Institute in Austin, Texas. With over thirty years and thousands of hours in the floatation tank, Kevin is considered a pioneer of float tank technology and offers an unprecedented amount of experience and knowledge about the world of floatation tanks, altered states of consciousness and the exploration...

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