Have you ever wondered how to hold the following two seemingly contradictory experiences? On the one hand, you feel in touch with the vast expanse of being. You sense that your true nature is infinite, boundless, unconditionally loving, and outside of time. And on the other hand, you know that in certain situations (usually involving other people!), you are avoidant, dismissive, reactive, and shut down, and—truth be told—you have a lot of healing and personal growth work to do. Buddhist psychotherapist Bruce Tift is a master at holding these two seemingly contradictory views, and—ready for this?—he does so “without any hope of resolution.” In this podcast, Tami Simon and Bruce Tift talk about how, in his work with clients, he skillfully embraces both the developmental view of psychotherapy and the fruitional view of Vajrayana Buddhism, the blind spots that come with each approach, and how combining them can help people avoid these pitfalls. Tune in as they discuss unconditional openness, and how it is important to be “open to being closed”; how neurosis requires disembodiment, and further, how our neurosis is fundamentally an avoidance strategy—“a substitute for experiential intensity”; our complaints about other people (especially our relationship partners) as opportunities to take responsibility for our own feelings of disturbance (instead of blaming other people for upsetting us); how to engage in “unconditional practices,” such as the practice of unconditional openness, unconditional embodiment, and unconditional kindness; and more.
1 hr 10 min
For anyone deciding whether or not to become a parent, Jordan Davidson asks you to be sure to consider these questions: What have you been taught about having children? What have you been taught about what it means to be a successful adult and what makes a good life? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with the author of the new book So When Are You Having Kids: The Definitive Guide for Those Who Aren’t Sure If, When, or How They Want to Become Parents about societal pressures, fertility challenges, realistic expectations for new parents, and much more. Give a listen as Tami and Jordan discuss: the privilege of deciding to become a parent; the concept of pronatalism; being "child free" versus "childless"; the fear of regret; making the decision that's best for you; the loss of one's self and the choice to "become secondary"; adoption not as finding children for adults, but adults for children; climate change, global instability, and other factors that today's would-be parents grapple with; the problem with pros and cons lists; the practice of envisioning parenthood; and more.
1 hr 12 min
Back problems are the leading cause of disability worldwide—and most of us will endure acute or chronic back pain at some time in our lives. The good news: there are excellent, highly effective alternatives to surgery and painkillers. In this podcast, join Tami Simon in conversation with spine and neck expert Dr. Ken Hansraj for an amazing discussion of his new book, Watch Your Back: Nine Proven Strategies to Reduce Your Neck and Back Pain Without Surgery. They cover the Text Neck study; meditation and the “flash of awareness”; why proper posture is not stiff but gentle; the supination external rotation stretch; the power of movement; the “beautiful jewels” called facet joints; a guided belly breathing practice; the connection between sleep and spinal health; the impacts of stress, and how breath and motion provide an antidote; the metaphor of the “tensionometer”; how the spine connects us to divinity; and more.
1 hr 3 min
How do you view your family of origin? Our family dynamics have a tremendous influence on how we feel about ourselves, show up in the world, and relate to others. When these dynamics are subconscious, we remain bound and encumbered by them. But when we bring them to the surface, we can engage our power to change and grow. In this thought-provoking podcast, Tami Simon speaks with marriage and family therapist Elaine Carney Gibson about her new book, Your Family Revealed: A Guide to Decoding the Patterns, Stories, and Belief Systems in Your Family. They discuss family systems that serve each individual, making sacrifices versus being sacrificial, the metaphor of the labyrinth, healing emotional wounds, what a healthy functioning hierarchy looks like, the advice “wear beige and be quiet,” setting and maintaining clear boundaries, using disagreements as a tool for growth and connection, the parentified child, the phenomenon of triangulation in relationships, intergenerational trauma, the future of family therapy, and more.
1 hr 6 min
When Caverly Morgan reentered society after eight years as a Zen monk, she was confronted with a question many of us are asking these days: Considering the enormity of the problems before us, how can one individual’s spiritual practice make a tangible difference in our world? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Caverly about her new book, The Heart of Who We Are, and the connection between self-realization and collective transformation. Tune in as they explore these topics and more: the difference between the absolute and the relative; introducing teens to inquiry practice; self-improvement vs. self-realization; the core experience of who we are in our depths; the power of community; meeting our deepest needs; “changing costumes within the dance of suffering”; connecting with others “essence to essence”; broadening public access to contemplative practices; escaping the trap of perfectionism; letting go of our conditioning, individually and collectively; egoic behaviors versus “acts of being.” This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.
1 hr 6 min
At a time when many of us are feeling hopeless, angry, or cynical, how can we reclaim our joy and choose to see possibility instead? How can we change what we tell ourselves about our lives and our world? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with author and activist Lynne Twist about her new book, Living a Committed Life, and discovering the role we each must play to usher in a new era for humanity. Tune in for an inspiring discussion of strengthening your “possibility muscle”; the power of disruption; the breakthroughs hidden in the breakdowns; choosing to tell a new story; the relationship between pain and joy; the willingness to be “proximate to suffering”; grief as medicine; the origins of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) Alliance; why everyone has a role to play in the healing of our world; finding your calling and answering the question “What breaks your heart?”; envisioning a new kind of human being, a new kind of humanity; and more. This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.
Dec 27, 2022
1 hr 7 min
Celebrated author and physician Dr. Gabor Maté has become one of the world’s foremost voices on the journey of healing from trauma—in large part because it is a path he walks himself. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his new book, The Myth of Normal, sharing breakthrough insights into the nature of trauma and some of the necessary steps for our personal and collective recovery. Give a listen as Tami and Dr. Maté discuss the truth of our interconnectedness; disease as a process, not a distinct entity; self-compassion and honoring our suffering; an inquiry practice—the happy childhood challenge; the emotional work that healing requires; the concepts of wholeness and recovery; the essence of trauma—disconnection from the Self; experiencing your own natural goodness; psychedelics and the veil between the conscious and the unconscious; closing the gap between science and the practice of medicine; learning how to say no before your body does; and more. This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.
Dec 20, 2022
1 hr 1 min
Most of us are familiar with the concept of post-traumatic stress. Fortunately, there’s another way we can respond to extreme adversity. This is what researchers call post-traumatic growth—and it’s something we’re all biologically “hardwired” to access, to turn even our most difficult experiences into a source of resilience and strength. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with clinical psychologist and author Dr. Christopher Willard about “how we grow through what we go through”—which is also the title of his new book. Tune in as they explore how meditation can literally be lifesaving; avoiding the trap of spiritual bypassing; the “10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows” of our lives; embodiment practices and nervous system self-regulation; mindfulness and the capacity to respond rather than react; the practice of stretching the breath; acting ourselves into a new way of thinking and feeling; how there are many ways to healing and recovery—and finding the best for yourself; the power of posture; the connection between self-compassion and personal transformation; the practice of putting your hand on your heart; becoming a source of co-regulation for others; the concept of downstream and upstream reciprocity; and more.
Dec 13, 2022
1 hr 1 min
Many of us struggle to truly live what we believe spiritually. What if closing that gap wasn’t about trying harder, but something quite the opposite? "Through the practice of ego relaxation," teaches Miranda Macpherson, "we can stop trying to beat ourselves into spiritual shape and yield instead to an unshakable presence within." In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Miranda about taking a more feminine approach to spiritual seeking and why that involves creating an atmosphere of unconditional love. Miranda explains ego relaxation, her unique process of letting go of all the qualities that maintain the illusion of being separate from the rest of existence. Considering the roles of trust and vulnerability on the spiritual path, Tami and Miranda discuss what it means to be a channeler of grace. Finally, Miranda leads us in a guided practice for discovering the mountainous presence already available in each moment.
Dec 6, 2022
1 hr 1 min
How do we fully meet and support someone experiencing emotional distress—anger, in particular? In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Christian Conte about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, and explore options.” Dr. Conte explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger’s charge from their limbic system. Dr. Conte and Tami discuss why it’s necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on the “cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.
Nov 29, 2022
1 hr 3 min