Detailed
Compact
Art
Reverse
May 26, 2020
How do we find a sense of stability when everything seems so groundless? Pema Chödrön is celebrated around the world for her ability to help us turn toward things that are difficult and embrace our uncertainty. In this week's podcast, Pema joins Tami to share her one-of-a-kind guidance, including a special practice she calls "compassionate abiding." Tami and Pema also talk about how to stay embodied when panic arises, accessing the wisdom inherent in our emotions, and the importance of cultivating "unconditional friendship" and befriending even those parts of ourselves that we want to reject.
May 19, 2020
Steve Macadam was, for 12 years, the President and CEO of EnPro, a $1.4 billion publicly traded company. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky, an MS in finance from Boston College, and an MBA from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar. He currently serves as an independent director on the boards of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and Valvoline Inc. In this week's podcast, Tami and Steve discuss what it means for a company to have "dual bottom lines," and the aspiration to create a business with the formal purpose of enabling the full release of human possibility. (1 hour, 13 minutes)
May 12, 2020
Tami Simon speaks with Donna Eden, a renowned energy medicine expert who has taught throughout the US, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and South America. Along with her partner, Dr. David Feinstein, Donna is author of the books Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women. With Sounds True she has produced the multimedia program The Energy Medicine Kit. In this episode, Tami speaks with Donna about her experiences as someone who both sees energy and has healed herself from serious medical challenges. Donna also shares two energy practices: a technique to evolve our fight-flight-or-freeze response, and another for opening with total trust to the energy of the heavens. (1 hour, 3 minutes)
May 5, 2020
Sister Joan Chittister is an American theologian, Benedictine nun, and the author of more than 50 books. For over 40 years, she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women's issues, and church renewal. This week's podcast shares with you an excerpt from Sister Joan's audio program, Catching Fire: Being Transformed, Becoming Transforming, a seven-hour conversation with Tami Simon intended to spark the fire of the divine within each one of us.
April 28, 2020
Scott Shute is the head of LinkedIn’s Mindfulness and Compassion Programs and a featured trainer in the Inner MBA, a nine-month immersion program that Sounds True has created in partnership with LinkedIn, Wisdom 2.0, and MindfulNYU. In this week’s podcast, Tami Simon and Scott discuss the new revolution that is underway at today’s workplaces. Their conversation explores the importance of being present in order to find strength from the inside, learning to relax our minds and bodies, integrating spirituality and business, the power of compassion to shift a workplace from “me-centered” to “we-centered,” and much more. (57 minutes)
April 21, 2020
Dr. Lise Van Susteren is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, DC, and has served as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. With her writing partner, Stacey Colino, she has authored the new book Emotional Inflammation: Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Dr. Van Susteren joins Tami Simon to discuss the modern condition she calls emotional inflammation, the primary drivers behind it, and her innovative RESTORE process for coming back into balance and wholeness in our lives. (1 hour, 2 minutes)
April 14, 2020
Dr. Rachael Wooten is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst and psychologist who has been in private practice as a therapist for more than 40 years. An enthusiastic interfaith activist, she has studied and practiced in Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and indigenous traditions throughout her adult life. With Sounds True, Dr. Wooten has written a new book called, Tara: The Liberating Power of the Female Buddha. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, you are invited to get to know Tara as a very real and deeply empowering presence in your own life, as Dr. Wooten introduces you to the radiant figure beloved by millions in Tibet and across the world. In conversation with Tami Simon, she also discusses the 21 traditional emanations of Tara, the first steps involved in embarking on a relationship with Tara, and how to enlist her help at this particular time in history. (1 hour, 7 minutes)
April 7, 2020
Cate Stillman teaches audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda on her weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show. She has published two books with Sounds True: Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga and Master of You: A Five-Point System to Synchronize Your Body, Your Home, and Your Time with Your Ambition. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the Ayurvedic concept of the five elements. Cate emphasizes that these elements aren't external qualities, but universal constants that live within you as well. Tami and Cate also discuss what we all can learn from Ayurveda during the COVID-19 crisis, including a "first aid kit" of practices to make the most out of days in quarantine. They talk about the inherent "superpowers" of the body and how to assess what elements you should focus on during practice. Finally, Tami and Cate speak on values you can embrace for greater productivity and what it truly means to have mastery over your life.
April 7, 2020
Cate Stillman teaches audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda on her weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show. She has published two books with Sounds True: Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga and Master of You: A Five-Point System to Synchronize Your Body, Your Home, and Your Time with Your Ambition. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the Ayurvedic concept of the five elements. Cate emphasizes that these elements aren't external qualities, but universal constants that live within you as well. Tami and Cate also discuss what we all can learn from Ayurveda during the COVID-19 crisis, including a "first aid kit" of practices to make the most out of days in quarantine. They talk about the inherent "superpowers" of the body and how to assess what elements you should focus on during practice. Finally, Tami and Cate speak on values you can embrace for greater productivity and what it truly means to have mastery over your life.
March 31, 2020
Tami Simon speaks with Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and the author of over 100 books and numerous Sounds True learning programs, including The Art of Mindful Living and Living Without Stress or Fear. In this interview, Thich Nhat Hanh talks about his experience as a young monk, the engaged Buddhist movement, and the core of the Buddhist teachings: liberation through mindfulness. (46 minutes)
March 31, 2020
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and the author of over 100 books and numerous Sounds True learning programs, including The Art of Mindful Living and Living Without Stress or Fear. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Hanh about the core of Buddhist practice: discovering liberation through present-moment mindfulness. Hanh relates some of his experiences as a young monk in Vietnam, including his involvement in the "engaged Buddhism" movement. Finally, Tami and Hanh discuss why meditation is available no matter where you are or what condition you are in. (46 minutes)
March 24, 2020
Ash Beckham is an activist and public speaker whose TEDx Talk “Coming Out of Your Closet” is one of the most viewed on the platform. With Sounds True, Ash has published Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Ash speaks with Tami Simon on how anyone can be a positive culture worker in even the smallest moments. Ash explains why she refers to herself as an “accidental activist,” tying this into the theme of her seminal TEDx Talk—that everyone keeps parts of themselves in the closet. Tami and Ash consider how to apply the lessons of Step Up to everyday social difficulties, as well as the “eight pillars of leadership” that lead to effective, heartful communication. Finally, they discuss the value of authenticity and what it truly means to live courageously.(62 minutes)
March 24, 2020
Ash Beckham is an activist and public speaker whose TEDx Talk “Coming Out of Your Closet” is one of the most viewed on the platform. With Sounds True, Ash has published Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Ash speaks with Tami Simon on how anyone can be a positive culture worker in even the smallest moments. Ash explains why she refers to herself as an “accidental activist,” tying this into the theme of her seminal TEDx Talk—that everyone keeps parts of themselves in the closet. Tami and Ash consider how to apply the lessons of Step Up to everyday social difficulties, as well as the “eight pillars of leadership” that lead to effective, heartful communication. Finally, they discuss the value of authenticity and what it truly means to live courageously.
March 17, 2020
Tami Simon speaks with Terry Tempest Williams, a writer, naturalist, environmental activist, and author of several books including Finding Beauty in a Broken World and an original audio adaptation of the book, published by Sounds True. In this interview, Terry discusses her creative process as a writer and how she has been able to find […]
March 10, 2020
Lisa Lahey, EdD, is an author, the codirector of the Minds at Work consulting firm, and a faculty member at Harvard University. She is a featured presenter for the Inner MBA program, a new Sounds True multimedia learning experience that explores how to bring principles of presence and conscious leadership to the business world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lisa about the inherent difficulty of making large personal changes—especially when they are essential to the advancement of your career. They talk about the inherent human resistance to change and the need to be fully aware of our "inner landscapes." Lisa explains how much of our resistance to change is rooted in self-protective patterns that need to be reckoned with before we can move forward. Tami and Lisa also discuss how to cultivate skills such as time management and communication, as well as what we can do to regulate work-based anxiety. Finally, Lisa details the three evolutionary steps for creating meaning and shares her hopes for the Inner MBA program.(67 minutes)
March 4, 2020
Lance Allred is a former NBA player (who was the first legally deaf player in the league), public speaker, and author. With Sounds True, he has published The New Alpha Male: How to Win the Game When the Rules Are Changing. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lance about the experiences he had in professional sports that led him to reevaluate what it means to be a man in contemporary society. Lance explains how his upbringing in a rural, polygamous commune informed his original ideas about masculinity, highlighting the subconscious assumptions about money and power that affect American men’s self-worth. Tami and Lance also discuss the roles of emotional vulnerability and surrender in the lives of modern men. Finally, they talk about the principle of perseverance and the increasingly urgent need for all cultures to reexamine their assumptions and core values.(63 minutes)
February 25, 2020
Michael Singer is a spiritual teacher, entrepreneur, and the bestselling author of the spiritual classic The Untethered Soul. He has collaborated with Sounds True to release the online course Living from a Place of Surrender: The Untethered Soul in Action. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Michael about the core idea of his teachings: that it is only through complete surrender to the essence of the moment that we experience life's full potential. They talk about what this sense of surrender actually means when it comes to decision-making and day-to-day activities, as well as how to recognize when we are still clinging to resistance. Michael explains how to take a "witness position" and let go of the arbitrary attachments that inhibit surrender. Finally, Tami and Michael discuss the application of these ideas to those things we truly value, including bringing the idea of surrender to social and environmental activism. (63 minutes)
February 18, 2020
Terry Gaspard is a licensed couples therapist, college professor, and the coauthor of Daughters of Divorce. She has teamed with Sounds True to publish The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Terry about the sometimes surprising factors that go into a healthy long-term relationship. Citing years of experience counseling couples, Terry explains that physical chemistry is less important to the life span of a relationship than you might think. Tami and Terry explore how to healthily navigate relationship conflict and the steps you can take to ensure open communication of emotional needs. They talk about healing after a relationship ends and how to evaluate whether you're ready to enter another long-term partnership. Finally, Terry and Tami discuss the stress of being a stepparent and the resilience needed to weather fresh relationship challenges. (64 minutes)
February 11, 2020
Justin Michael Williams is a meditation teacher and personal coach who is also a Billboard top 20 recording artist. With Sounds True, he has published Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. In this special video episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin about his upcoming "Stay Woke, Give Back" tour, in which he will explain his unique approach to meditation and give copies of Stay Woke to youth in various cities across the US. Justin explains his "freedom meditation" technique and the experiences that led him to practicing mindfulness. Tami and Justin also discuss the blind spots of traditional meditation, the need for spiritual practices to acknowledge real-life struggles, and the dangers of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about why it's essential we begin teaching all children mindfulness skills from an early age and how we as a society can make that happen. (66 minutes)
February 4, 2020
Dr. Britta Bushnell is a longtime pregnancy educator who has helped countless people prepare for childbirth. With Sounds True, she has published a new book titled Transformed by Birth: Cultivating Openness, Resilience, and Strength for the Life-Changing Journey from Pregnancy to Parenthood. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Britta discuss why birth is a momentous rite of passage and the experiences that brought Britta to her life's calling. They delve into the mythological resonance and cultural significance of childbirth. Britta and Tami also talk about life-affirming rituals that one can establish during pregnancy and the misconceptions many of Britta's students initially bring to her. Finally, they speak on the spiritually transformative dimension of childbirth, including what we both give up and gain the moment we become parents.(70 minutes)
January 28, 2020
Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a teacher, public speaker, and author whose published works include The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline. With Sounds True, she has published Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Shauna about the neurology of self-image and why conscious acts of self-compassion greatly enhance our well-being. Shauna comments on practicing mindfulness with warmth and open affection, as well as how this gradually cultivates empathy. Tami and Shauna also talk about "trusting the good heart" and the possibility of changing our baseline levels of happiness. Finally, they discuss why changing ingrained habits is so difficult and the subtle power of the daily self-affirmation, "Good morning. I love you."(55 minutes)
January 22, 2020
Pema Chödrön is an American-born Buddhist nun who currently resides at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. Her many publications include How to Meditate, Getting Unstuck, and Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better. This special episode of Insights at the Edge—originally broadcast as part of the Living with Vulnerability online program—features a deeply heartfelt conversation between Pema and Tami Simon. Here they discuss why it can feel so hard to live with your innermost self open to the world. Pema emphasizes that choosing to be vulnerable brings a more genuine and fulfilling experience of your daily life. Finally, Tami and Pema talk about listening to the inherent lessons of your emotions and why acceptance of the moment will open you to ever-greater opportunities for joy and enrichment.(66 minutes)
January 14, 2020
Chip Conley is an entrepreneur and the New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Wisdom at Work. He will present during Sounds True's upcoming Inner MBA program, a nine-month training program for bringing your full, authentic self to your workplace and career. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Chip about socially responsible entrepreneurship and the movement toward making workplaces into spiritually fulfilling spaces. They talk about the modern business obsession with short-term profit and why this attitude does damage to both our culture and environment. Chip and Tami also consider what it is to pursue meaning rather than profit, as well as how to create "collective effervescence" within a work culture. Finally, Chip explains his lifelong habit of journaling each week's accomplishments and tells the story of the biggest risk he's ever taken.  (73 minutes)
January 7, 2020
Dr. Jennifer Freed is an author, personal mediator, and an accredited psychological astrologist. With Sounds True, she has published Use Your Planets Wisely: Master Your Ultimate Cosmic Potential with Psychological Astrology. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Freed about the tenets and practice of psychological astrology. Using 2020 as a guide, Dr. Freed examines Tami's upcoming astrological chart and uses it to illustrate the deeper workings of the practice. They discuss the various heavenly bodies that influence psychological astrology (including some that might surprise you) and their archetypal functions. Tami and Dr. Freed also talk about cultivating confidence in astrological readings and "a litmus test for false prophets." Finally, they explore some of the variable symbolism of the planets and what it truly means to "use your planets wisely."(59 minutes)
December 31, 2019
Last week, the Sounds True community was saddened to hear of the passing of Ram Dass, one of the great lights of American spiritual inquiry. Born Richard Alpert, Ram Dass (meaning "servant of God") rose to the forefront of psychedelic exploration and the movement toward Eastern philosophy in the 1960s and '70s. He wrote the all-time classic Be Here Now in addition to many other published works, including Sounds True's Walking Each Other Home. This special edition of Insights at the Edge presents an interview between Tami Simon and Ram Dass from 2012. During this conversation, Ram Dass and Tami discuss a deeper exploration of the self and the individual soul. They talk about experiencing the guru Maharaj-ji living on through the bodies and teachings of his students. Finally, Ram Dass considers the everyday experience of the atman—what he calls "the mega soul" beyond all others.(64 minutes)
December 24, 2019
Brother David Steindl-Rast is an internationally renowned author, lecturer, and pivotal member of the monastic renewal movement. A monk in the Benedictine tradition, Brother David is also an expert in Zen Buddhism and a tireless advocate for building bridges between Eastern and Western religious traditions. With Sounds True, Brother David created the audio program The Grateful Heart. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Brother David talk about the innate longing that drives spiritual study and is the impetus for seeking out a monastic life. Tami and Brother David explore the concept of the “Double Realm” that lies beyond standard concepts of time and existence, as well as how practicing gratitude can be a doorway to that realm. Finally, Brother David considers the future of religion and spirituality as he enters his nineties.(61 minutes)
December 17, 2019
Micah Mortali is the director of the Kripalu School, a certified yoga teacher, and a longtime wilderness guide. With Sounds True, he has published Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Micah about humanity's growing disconnection from the earth and how "rewilding" can help slow that trend. They talk about rewilding both as individuals and as part of whole ecosystems. Micah also shares the story of an intense, revelatory trail encounter with a bear and comments on the "species loneliness" of urban environments. Mulling the sense of grief they have for humankind's effects on the environment, Tami and Micah consider how modern people can grapple with being in exile from the natural world. Finally, they discuss the barriers many have to reentering nature, as well as ways to initiate your own rewilding experience no matter where you are.(64 minutes)
December 10, 2019
John Prendergast is a retired psychology professor, spiritual teacher, and the author of books such as In Touch and Listening from the Heart of Silence. With Sounds True, he has released a new book titled The Deep Heart: Our Portal to Presence. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with John about subtle and sublime experiences of the heart. John comments on the childhood wounding that often leads to a fear of vulnerability and a general alienation from the heart's true voice. John and Tami also talk about seeking answers through the heart rather than the mind, as well as the spiritual dimensions one explores while doing so. Finally, they discuss how to crack the armored shell caused by wounding and how you can deal skillfully with the pain of living in an uncertain, often dismaying world.(69 minutes)
December 3, 2019
Dr. Elaine Aron is a clinical depth psychologist and the author of the seminal 1997 book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. With Sounds True, she has published the new audio learning program The Highly Sensitive Person's Complete Learning Program: Essential Insights and Tools for Navigating Your Work, Relationships, and Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Aron about what it means to be a highly sensitive person and recent research into the phenomenon. They consider whether the trait is genetic or adaptive, as well as the various ways sensitive behaviors manifest in day-to-day life. They also discuss how best to approach romantic relationships with highly sensitive people and the possible social advantages of sensitivity. Finally, Dr. Aron shares the connection between extreme sensitivity and intuition, as well as attitudes necessary for embracing the entirety of your unique, sensitive self.(50 minutes)
November 26, 2019
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist best known for her roles in films such as Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin, and Death Becomes Her. She created The Hawn Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind MindUP™, an educational program that is bringing mindfulness practices to millions of children across the world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Goldie about her longtime interest in meditation and why it's so important to teach brain basics to kids. They discuss the neuroscience that demonstrates the clear benefits of teaching emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and the basics of brain science to children from an early age—as well as why Goldie is teaching these aspects to her own grandchildren. Finally, Tami and Goldie talk about what it means to differentiate one's true self from the projections of others, as well as why love and family remain Goldie's first priorities in life. (67 minutes)
November 19, 2019
James Clear is the founder of the Habits Academy and author of the New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with James about the mechanics of habit change—specifically through careful, incremental daily improvements. James shares the dramatic story of the sports injury that nearly killed him when he was a teenager, as well as how his recovery experience informed his eventual career. Tami and James talk about how to discern what habits will serve you best and why small changes lead to big results. Finally, they discuss examples of bypassing through habit change and the optimal amount of time it takes to shift behaviors. (60 minutes)
November 12, 2019
Bruce Tift has been in private practice as a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado since 1979. He taught at Naropa University for 24 years and was a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. With Sounds True, he has published the book Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bruce and Tami Simon compare and contrast two different approaches to personal transformation: the “developmental” approach of psychotherapy and the “fruitional” approach of Buddhist practice. They discuss the blind spots inherent in each approach, as well as the ways they can be addressed. Tami and Bruce talk about the nature of neurosis and how neurotic tendencies almost always involve a sense of disembodiment. Finally, they speak on “unconditional practices,” and how unconditional kindness can transform one’s outlook on the procession of life. (70 minutes)
November 5, 2019
Christian Conte, PhD, is a mental health specialist and leading authority on anger management. With Sounds True, Christian has published Walking Through Anger: A New Design for Confronting Conflict in an Emotionally Charged World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Christian about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, explore options.” Christian 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. Christian 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.(63 minutes)
October 29, 2019
Sandra Ingerman is an internationally renowned shamanic teacher and the author of many books. Her published works include The Book of Ceremony, Walking in Light, and Awakening to the Spirit World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami speaks with Sandra about the upcoming online course Healing with Spiritual Light: The Shamanic Power of Transfiguration to Heal Ourselves, Each Other, and the Earth. Specifically, Sandra comments on transfiguration as a spiritual practice, highlighting how it can be a portal to both physical and environmental healing. Tami and Sandra talk about the inherently transforming power of light, as well as some of the scientific evidence around transfiguration. Finally, Sandra emphasizes the imperative to engage with transfiguration in the face of climate change and considers the future shape of human culture. (66 minutes)
October 22, 2019
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is the internationally renowned founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts, whose trailblazing research has helped bring mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine. Jon is the author of many books and audio programs, including Wherever You Go, There You Are and the Guided Mindfulness Meditation series. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jon about the role of science in validating mindfulness practice, the 180-degree shift that lets us rest in awareness instead of identifying with our thoughts, and the potential cultural renaissance that could arise from a “mindfulness revolution.” (72 minutes)
October 15, 2019
Caroline Myss is a renowned author, teacher, medical intuitive, and researcher of human consciousness. Her many works include Anatomy of the Spirit, Sacred Contracts, and Why People Don't Heal and How They Can. A longtime collaborator with Sounds True, Caroline has recently published the audio program The Courage to Confront Evil: The Most Important Challenge of Our Time. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Caroline about a subject that's often divisive: the concept of evil and what we can do to counter it. Caroline defines evil from a number of different angles, emphasizing that it most often arrives when someone intentionally abandons their conscience. Tami and Caroline discuss the existence of both angelic and demonic forces, as well as how the inner workings of the universe are ultimately impersonal. Finally, they consider why looking evil in the face does take considerable courage—a courage we all need to muster during an era of great arrogance and inhumanity.(62 minutes)
October 8, 2019
Eckhart Tolle is one of the world's most renowned spiritual teachers. In addition to hosting many talks, retreats, and seminars, Eckhart has written two all-time bestselling books: The Power of Now and A New Earth. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon joins Eckhart for an in-depth question-and-answer session that includes queries from members of his teaching community. In preparation for a new, eight-week online course on conscious manifestation, Eckhart explains the difference between creating from the demands of the ego and from a place of still Presence. Eckhart also describes how to deal with doubts and fears of insufficiency during the creative process. Finally, Eckhart comments on the true origins of inspiration and how you can use the principles of conscious manifestation to affect positive change in the world.(68 minutes)
October 1, 2019
Peter Sterios is a renowned yoga teacher who has been spreading the good word of the practice for almost 40 years. With Sounds True, he has published the new book Gravity & Grace: How to Awaken Your Subtle Body and the Healing Power of Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Peter about the themes behind the title Gravity & Grace, as well as how the concept arose from Peter's own experience with performance-limiting injuries. Peter comments on the psychospiritual experience of yoga practice and the immediate benefits of checking in on the state of your body. Tami and Peter also talk about the innate intelligence of the body, how to tap into your subtle energetic field, and the bedrock necessity of knowing how to breathe. Finally, they discuss Peter's approach to "levity yoga" and the self-trust needed to craft a truly personal movement practice. (69 minutes)
September 24, 2019
Charlie Gilkey is an entrepreneur and productivity expert who founded the company Productive Flourishing. With Sounds True, he has published the new book Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Charlie about crafting our best work—and more importantly, how to complete it. They discuss the process of deciding what your best work actually is, as well as how ideas grow into successful projects. Charlie explains why a project needs to be divided into "chunks" in order to really move forward, emphasizing that tangible benchmarks are imperative for actually finishing the work. Finally, Tami and Charlie talk about "creative constipation" and the courage it takes to pour one's whole self into a beloved endeavor. (69 minutes)
September 17, 2019
Kristin Neff is an associate professor at the University of Texas and the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. With Sounds True, she has recently published the audio program The Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Kristin about why it's so difficult for so many people to treat themselves with actual compassion. Kristin explains that self-compassion is not some form of self-indulgence or excuse for bad behavior; indeed, there are actually various forms of self-compassion that arise in different situations. Tami and Kristin explore the roots of wrathful or angry self-compassion, including the mythological figures that embody this concept. Finally, they discuss the most common blocks to self-assertive compassion and the necessity of taking occasional "self-compassion breaks" to cultivate a better relationship within. (64 minutes)
September 10, 2019
Mark Nepo is a New York Times bestselling author, poet, and philosopher whose many books include The Book of Awakening, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, and The One Life We're Given. Most recently, he has partnered with Sounds True to publish Drinking from the River of Light: The Life of Expression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mark about about our collective notions around creativity and the societal role of art. Mark details how his own ideas about creative expression have shifted over the decades, as well as why we should try to separate creation from commerce. Mark and Tami talk about the "messy, magnificent journey" of being human and why art must be a "witness to what is." Finally, they discuss the necessity of holding nothing back during the creative process and why the pursuit of art is also the pursuit of timelessness.(71 minutes)
September 3, 2019
Seane Corn is an internationally renowned yoga teacher, activist, and the founder of Off the Mat, Into the WorldⓇ. With Sounds True, she has published a new book, Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Seane about the necessity of loving without hesitation and with heart wide open—as well as why this is so difficult for many. Seane considers the past traumas that have informed both her lowest moments and her greatest successes. Tami and Seane also talk about the moral imperative to speak the truth about abusers, even if that might mean a loss of social standing. Finally, Seane comments on the realization of her own social privilege and why people with privilege are obligated to leverage it for the greater good.  (75 minutes)
August 27, 2019
Joseph M. Marshall III is a teacher, historian, writer, storyteller, and a Lakota craftsman. Joseph’s expansive body of work includes nine nonfiction books, three novels, and numerous essays, stories, and screenplays. With Sounds True, he has produced the audio programs Quiet Thunder and Keep Going, as well as the book The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage. In this episode, Tami talks with Joseph about the inheritance of wisdom he received from his grandparents, the central teachings of the Lakota people, the sense of guilt and shame that many Euro-Americans feel when reflecting on the tragedies of American history, and a story about the power of awareness and looking back. (48 minutes)
August 20, 2019
Richard Strozzi-Heckler is an executive coach, author, and the founder of the Strozzi Institute. His published works include The Anatomy of Change and The Leadership Dojo. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Richard about the somatic training that he has taught for more than 20 years. Richard explains the process of somatics and the many benefits of tuning into the messages of the body. Tami and Richard talk about the importance of breath awareness and how we can change our relationship to breathing. They discuss the relationship between somatic awareness and good leadership, as well as how to overcome resistance to unpleasant sensations. Finally, Richard and Tami consider the process of somatic change and the sometimes difficult passages that it requires. (71 minutes)
August 13, 2019
Adreanna Limbach is a personal coach and the lead meditation teacher at Mindful Meditation Studios in New York City. With Sounds True, she has published Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Adreanna about contemplative practices that can open anyone to sitting down and becoming more familiar with their own difficult, painful feelings. Adreanna explains how these same practices helped her come to terms with panic attacks and become more resilient to extreme bursts of emotion. Tami and Adreanna discuss what it means to be "worthy" and why challenges are actually invitations to practice. Finally, they talk about the Four Noble Truths and how they might be interpreted in the modern era. (67 minutes)
August 6, 2019
Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, and fully trained lama of the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. With Sounds True, he is presenting during the upcoming Wisdom of the Body Summit, an online event devoted to tuning into the natural intuition and awareness of our physical forms. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lama Rod about the basics of Vajrayana and how its practices can be applied to modern life. Tami asks Lama Rod how his identity as an African-American, queer man informs his practice and teachings. In turn, Lama Rod comments on how spiritual teachings should meet people where they actually live and those parts of the Tantric tradition that he had to leave behind. Finally, Lama Rod explains how Vajrayana brings you into greater harmony with the body, as well as why love and anger aren't the polar opposites you might assume.(63 minutes)
July 30, 2019
Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher whose work adheres to no single tradition, but points the way toward awakening for all seekers. He has published many books and audio programs with Sounds True, including The Most Important Thing, The End of Your World, and Resurrecting Jesus. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Adya (as his friends and students call him) about The 30-Day Wake Up Challenge, an upcoming online course designed to take listeners on a journey through the layers of awakened consciousness over the course of a single month. Tami expresses her excitement about the course and asks Adya whether it's really possible to "wake up" in just a few weeks. Adya talks about the liberation of dropping into the Spiritual Heart, leading listeners in a practice for touching this sublime, compassionate inner space. Finally, they discuss the everyday applications of touching awakened awareness, as well as why The 30-Day Wake Up Challenge has been one of Adya's intensive projects. (66 minutes)
July 23, 2019
Bronnie Ware is an author and speaker whose bestselling book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, is based on her time as a palliative care worker. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bronnie outlines these five major life regrets with Tami Simon and discusses the experiences in end-of-life care that inspired them. Bronnie explains how most regrets arise from a lack of courage and why people are willing to share so openly during their last days. Tami and Bronnie speak on the healing power of sharing our most vulnerable selves, even if it's in a letter that we never send. Finally, they talk about maintaining trust in the flow of life and why happiness is ultimately a choice.(61 minutes)
July 16, 2019
Cyndi Dale is a renowned intuitive healer, bestselling author, and recognized expert on energy healing. With Sounds True, Cyndi has published the seminal The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy and The Subtle Body Practice Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Energy Healing. Sounds True will also be hosting Cyndi's upcoming online course The Subtle Body Online Training Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cyndi about the many extraordinary experiences and important lessons that brought Cyndi to energy healing. They discuss the basic structures of the subtle anatomy and how physical ailments often have energetic causes. Cyndi explains her understanding of the chakras and details how people can maintain their personal energetic boundaries. Finally, Cyndi leads listeners in an exercise for recognizing their own subtle energetic field and talks to Tami about the "energy egg" that surrounds each of us. (70 minutes)
July 9, 2019
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, author, and teacher of prayer in the contemplative Christian tradition. She is the principal teacher and advisor to the Contemplative Society and a passionate teacher of Centering Prayer. Cynthia is the author of Love Is Stronger than Death and The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, and with Sounds True she has created the audio learning course Encountering the Wisdom Jesus. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cynthia about new insights on the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and the concept of the "abler soul"—when two souls come together to form something greater. Cynthia addresses some misconceptions of Jesus as a teacher and the path that brought her to Centering Prayer. Finally, Tami and Cynthia talk about servanthood and how we grow through service to others. (66 minutes)
July 2, 2019
Jerry Colonna is an investor, an entrepreneur, and the CEO of reboot.io, a coaching firm for executive-level businesspeople. He is the author of Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jerry about bringing our authentic selves and open hearts to the business world. Jerry describes the path that brought him from a troubled childhood to becoming a successful businessman, as well as the events that made him reconsider how he wanted to better the world. Tami and Jerry discuss how self-inquiry can help make you a better leader and why everyone needs to define "success" for themselves. Finally, they talk about bringing your full, vulnerable aliveness to the workplace and what it truly means to "grow up." (74 minutes)
June 25, 2019
Mark Wolynn is the director of The Family Constellation Institute, The Inherited Trauma Institute, and The Hellinger Institute of Northern California. His book It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle was a Silver Nautilus award-winner in 2016. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mark about inherited trauma and how it can be the source of unexplained illnesses. Mark explains how the effects of deep trauma ripple across generations, citing the evidence of epigenetic changes following traumatic events. Mark and Tami discuss the work of Roger Woolger and the possibility of trauma descending from past lives. Finally, they talk about what it means to honor our ancestors' pain while also healing and moving forward with our own lives. (70 minutes)
June 18, 2019
Ruth King is an Insight Meditation teacher, life coach, diversity consultant, and the author of Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible. She is publishing her new book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, in collaboration with Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ruth about the personal experiences that led to writing Mindful of Race and why the heart can be "a mass weapon of healing." They talk about the different ways we can interpret current racial narratives and why it takes honest self-examination to discover how one has benefited from a racist system. Ruth explains how mindfulness can open us up to having difficult conversations around racism, colonialism, and other forms of systemic oppression. Finally, Tami and Ruth discuss how "life is not personal, permanent, or perfect" and the necessity of cultivating compassion in all walks of life. (74 minutes)
June 11, 2019
Tara Brach is an author, clinical psychologist, and the founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. A longtime Sounds True collaborator, Tara is one of the creators and main teachers for the in-depth Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Tara about "the Trance of Unworthiness"—a state in which we believe that we are too inadequate, incomplete, and broken to love ourselves. Tara explains why we are so tough on ourselves and the steps needed to cultivate self-compassion. Tami and Tara also discuss how we can find refuges within no matter our current difficulties. Finally, they talk about the need for mental health professionals to understand contemplative practices such as mindfulness. (56 minutes)
June 4, 2019
Briana Saussy is a teacher, counselor, and the founder of the Sacred Arts Academy. A true polymath, she draws from a background in math, philosophy, and classic languages to teach arts such as tarot, divination, and alchemy. With Sounds True, Briana has released the new book Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Briana about the moments of magic that permeate our days, but are rarely noticed as such.They discuss how there are potential portals to magic in every instant, including seemingly mundane acts such as entering a doorway or drinking a glass of water. Briana explains that practicing magic helps you reclaim your sovereignty and also shares the teaching story "Golden Locks and the Bear People." Finally, Tami and Briana talk about the surprising abundance of time for practice and why our society needs more headstrong women. (70 minutes)
May 28, 2019
Loch Kelly is a meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and the founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. With Sounds True, he has released the new book The Way of Effortless Mindfulness: A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Loch about "effortless mindfulness"—what it is, how it's realized, and what it means for the next stages of human development. Loch guides listeners in practices for "unhooking" from the stream of thought and dropping into the flow state of effortless awareness. Tami and Loch also discuss the traditional roots of effortless awareness and the many pitfalls that can divert us away from it. Finally, Loch explains that living from effortless awareness is not emotionless and automatic, but is filled with immense compassion and the joy of being in harmony with the present moment. (77 minutes)
May 21, 2019
Sheryl Paul is a counselor in the depth psychology tradition who has helped thousands of people through her website, online courses, and books. With Sounds True, she has released the new book, The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts Are Gifts to Help You Heal. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sheryl about why we should consider anxiety "a distress flare from the subconscious" that is meant to alert us to unspoken and unacknowledged inner truths. Sheryl explains why running away or numbing out from anxiety is ultimately futile, and describes how opening to one's anxious thoughts can summon valuable personal epiphanies. Tami and Sheryl also talk about what it means to develop our wise inner parent and how we can examine the meaning of intrusive thoughts. Finally, they discuss the importance of positive daily rituals and why life transitions are so acutely stressful. (69 minutes)
May 14, 2019
Fleet Maull is an author, consultant, and executive coach who founded Prison Dharma Network and the National Prison Hospice Association while serving 14 years in federal prison. In the 20 years since his release, Fleet has taught the expansive philosophy he discovered while incarcerated as a meditation teacher, end-of-life educator, and the creator of the Radical Responsibility training program. With Sounds True, he has released the book Radical Responsibility and accompanying audio program Living with Radical Responsibility. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami talks with Fleet about the roots of Radical Responsibility and how its philosophy came to define his life. Fleet explains what it means to leave behind your "victim story" even while honoring the fact that your boundaries were violated. Tami and Fleet discuss Karpman's model of "the drama triangle," which is essential to the tenets of Radical Responsibility. Finally, they speak on the neurobiology behind the Radical Responsibility model, as well as the paramount importance of recognizing the innate goodness of other people. (71 minutes)
May 7, 2019
Martha Sears is a registered nurse and former childbirth educator who has co-written more than 25 celebrated books on pregnancy and parenting. Her daughter, Hayden Sears, is a health and nutrition coach who is also the co-host of the Dr. Sears Family Podcast. Together, they have written The Healthy Pregnancy Journal, which will be released by Sounds True in May, 2019. In this special Mother's Day edition of Insights at the Edge, Sounds True associate publisher Jaime Schwalb speaks with Hayden and Martha about the extraordinary journey of motherhood—from pregnancy through day-to-day parenting. Martha and Hayden detail the Sears family's growth as parenting experts, as well as the original ideas behind The Healthy Pregnancy Journal. They talk about the benefits of journaling and a full community's encouragement throughout pregnancy. Finally, Martha, Hayden, and Jaime talk about speaking with one's partner about basic values before becoming parents, as well as how society's view of pregnancy has evolved in the last four decades. (67 minutes)
April 30, 2019
Dr. Tererai Trent is an activist, adjunct professor at Drexel University's School of Public Health, and the author of The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams. Oprah Winfrey has referred to Dr. Trent as one of her favorite guests. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Trent about the path that took her from a childhood in rural Zimbabwe to becoming an internationally renowned advocate for women's empowerment. They talk about the responsibility of honoring one's ancestors—especially those women who were silenced and unable to achieve their dreams. Finally, Dr. Trent explains how she is a "midwife for women's awakening" and details the social progress that she wants to see women make across the world. (67 minutes)
April 23, 2019
Susan Kaiser Greenland is an author, meditation teacher, and the founder of the Inner Kids Foundation, which is devoted to bringing the lessons of mindfulness to children. Her books include The Mindful Child and Mindful Games. With Sounds True, Susan has created Mindful Parent, Mindful Child, a 30-day training program for integrating mindfulness into your family's everyday life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Susan about her efforts to fold mindfulness into basic childhood education, as well as how she came to this work after 20 years as a corporate lawyer. Susan outlines some of the practices that are ideal for children and why parents should have their own mindfulness routine. Susan and Tami discuss mindfulness-based games and the steps to making common practices (such as a body scan) more fun and engaging. Finally, they consider how to balance the ideal of non-striving with motivated work, as well as what the future of children's mindfulness education might look like. (62 minutes)
April 16, 2019
Frederic Laloux is a business analyst and author whose book Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness is considered one of the most important management guides of the past decade. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks to Frederic about what it takes to become a "next-level organization" that meets the challenges and opportunities of expanding human consciousness. Frederic explains that the next stage of human development will be to move beyond ego, elaborating on how this will look in the business world. Tami and Frederic discuss the difficult balance between fulfilling financial obligations and living out one's fundamental truth. Finally, they speak on the development of open and spiritually nourishing organizations, as well as the movement toward decentralizing authority in business places. (69 minutes)
April 9, 2019
Edward Espe Brown is a Zen priest and the former head cook at Tassajara Mountain Zen Mountain Center who helped found Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. He is the author of No Recipe and the classic Tassajara Bread Book. With Sounds True, he is publishing The Most Important Point: Zen Teachings of Edward Espe Brown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Edward about the origin of his newest book: a quote from his teacher Suzuki Roshi, who said, "The most important point is to find out what the most important point is." Edward describes his discipleship with Suzuki Roshi and why Zen practice can sometimes be like feeling your way through pitch darkness. Tami and Edward talk about the tradition of "taking the backward step" and moments of realization that transcend your expected practice. Finally, they talk about Edward's path away from extremely low self-esteem and the role of difficult emotions in Zen contemplative practice. (77 minutes)
April 2, 2019
Mirabai Starr is a writer and modern mystic whose books include God of Love and Caravan of No Despair. Most recently, she has published Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics with Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mirabai about her approach to feminine mysticism and what brought her to write Wild Mercy. Mirabai explains women mystics' emphasis on interbeing as well as the innate connection between spiritual seeking and the fate of the earth. Tami and Mirabai talk about the potential forms that spiritual communities may take in the future and how we can navigate the death throes of patriarchal religious structures. Finally, they discuss the reunion of masculine and feminine perspectives, as well as why loss opens us to immense compassion. (60 minutes) Loading the player...
March 26, 2019
A.H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali, a veteran spiritual teacher who founded The Ridhwan School in 1976 to spread The Diamond Approach®, his particular path of spiritual inquiry. He has written many books, including The Pearl Beyond Price, The Unfolding Now, and The Alchemy of Freedom. With Sounds True, he will soon be launching Presence—an eight-week online course devoted to exploring the always-available consciousness underlying all of reality. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Almaas about approaching Presence as "the elixir of enlightenment"—the central key to understanding our spiritual nature. Almaas explains the experiential feeling of touching Presence and provides examples of other teachers who have attempted to explain it. Tami and Almaas discuss the possible meaning of enlightenment and why body-based practices are essential to discovering Presence. Finally, they consider why the spiritual path is essentially endless and what it means to be a "complete human being." (64 minutes)
March 19, 2019
Diane Poole Heller is a licensed therapist and noted expert in trauma, integrative healing, and secure attachment. With Sounds True, she has published The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Diane about the different attachment styles that we pick up in childhood and carry subconsciously into our adult behaviors. Diane explains how these attachment patterns are engraved in both the mind and body, highlighting the long-term effects of trauma and neglect. Tami and Diane discuss strategies for coping with and healing from insecure and disorganized childhood attachment. Finally, Diane shares a visualization practice for disidentifying from generational trauma and strategies for increasing our innate connection to others. (67 minutes)
March 12, 2019
Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety are the founders of Motherly, a website and support network devoted to redefining modern motherhood. With Sounds True, they have created This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge, Sounds True associate publisher Jaime Schwalb sits down with Jill and Liz to talk about how they originally formed Motherly and their desire to create a more positive approach to modern parenting. They talk about the importance of regular self-care practices for parents and why it really does take a village (even a digital one) to raise a child. Liz and Jill explain how each parent has their own skills and "superpowers," as well as how you can recognize them. Finally, Jaime, Jill, and Liz discuss the discipline and clear communication needed to effectively parent. (54 minutes)
March 5, 2019
Cate Stillman has taught yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness improvement to thousands of students over the course of nearly 20 years. She hosts the weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show, a podcast devoted to exploring wellness with dozens of experts in the field. With Sounds True, she has released Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the 10 habits prescribed by Body Thrive for creating a more energetic, optimized life. Cate explains the Ayurvedic and biological origins of these habits, as well as how we as humans can better synchronize with our natural rhythms. Tami and Cate discuss the epidemic of sleep deprivation in modern society and why we should avoid giving in to the energy of a second wind. Finally, they talk about discovering the "bliss body" described by ancient yogis and the sacred duty humans have to preserve our ecosystem. (73 minutes)
February 27, 2019
Diana Winston is is the director of mindfulness education at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and a pioneer in mindfulness education for children. With Sounds True, she has released The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Diana about "natural awareness"—an always-available, foundational flow state distinguishable from deliberate mindfulness practice. They share "glimpse practices" designed to open up perception and embodiment of natural awareness, commenting on how each can be practiced in day-to-day life. Diana and Tami discuss the value of going on retreat, the spectrum of different awareness practices, and common misconceptions about what it takes to become a mindfulness teacher. Finally, Diana explains why it's important not to become a "bliss-ninny" as well as the difference between natural awareness and spacing out. (64 minutes)
February 20, 2019
John Welwood, PhD, was a psychotherapist and practicing Buddhist who integrated Eastern contemplative wisdom and Western science in his work. He published many books and articles, including Journey of the Heart and Toward a Psychology of Awakening. John passed away in January of 2019 at the age of 75. In honor of his amazing life, Sounds True is presenting a special episode of Insights at the Edge originally broadcast during The Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit. In this segment, Tami Simon speaks with John about the nature of psychological suffering and the layers of meaning associated with our wounding. John comments on how spiritual practice can help therapy proceed with more awareness, and how spiritual practice benefits from the rigorous analysis of psychotherapy. Tami and John also discuss how to avoid falling into the trap of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about the healing of relational wounds and the gradual spiritual awakening of the human race. (62 minutes)
February 12, 2019
Lissa Rankin, MD, is a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and physician. Her books include The Fear Cure, Mind Over Medicine, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She has worked with Sounds True to publish The Daily Flame: 365 Love Letters from Your Inner Pilot Light. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lissa about the Inner Pilot Light—the deepest, most essential aspect of Self whose divine spark can never be extinguished. Lissa shares some of the letters from The Daily Flame and explains how their encouraging words are based on years of engagement with her innermost values. Tami and Lissa discuss how her work deals with the theme of longing and why we need to lean into the places we find uncomfortable in order to truly grow. Finally, Lissa shares the story of how she met her writing mentor and what it means to "own stock in the company of yourself." (66 minutes)
February 5, 2019
Tami Simon is the founder and CEO of Sounds True, as well as the host of Insights at the Edge. In this special episode, Tami celebrates an amazing milestone: her five-hundredth podcast. Speaking on her many years as an interviewer, Tami explains that she has been able to take in all the competing, often contradictory viewpoints of her subjects by embracing the concept of paradox. She shares numerous examples of contrasting ideas (such as the roles of anger and surrender in spiritual practice) that she has entertained as truth. Tami considers the paradox of becoming more in tune with herself over the years while also learning how interconnected she is with all other beings. Finally, Tami mulls the painful contradiction of brilliant teachers who also prey on the vulnerable and what this means for the overall quest for spiritual discovery. (36 minutes)
January 29, 2019
Ayelet Waldman is a former federal public defender, current adjunct professor at UC Berkeley Law School, and a bestselling author. Her books include Love and Treasure, Daughter's Keeper, and A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ayelet about the practice of microdosing with small quantities of psychedelic drugs in order to treat mental health conditions. Ayelet shares her own story of microdosing with LSD and how it helped her climb out of a pit of suicidal depression. Tami and Ayelet discuss the legal limitations on microdosing, the difficulty of researching the effects of psychedelics, and the possible future of the war on drugs. Finally, they talk about the many clinical applications of MDMA, including a surprising application for couples therapy. (59 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Research! Research! Research! If we are to understand how to effectively microdose with LSD and other psychoactive substances, we need open minds and quality research to guide our way. Let's move beyond any preformed biases we might have (pro or con) and pursue research that will give us the data, proper protocols, and safeguards we need.
January 22, 2019
Seth Godin is a bestselling author and popular blogger who is known for his writing on marketing, the spread of ideas, and mindful business strategies. With Sounds True, he released the audio program Leap First: Creating Work That Matters. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Seth discuss the concept of resistance and how it must be sought out in any effective pursuit of art. They also talk about the contemporary "connection economy" and how there is no guarantee that one can make a living through genuine self-expression—but also how one should do so anyway. Finally, they spoke on the necessity of taking leaps and Seth’s concept of living a life of faith. (62 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Seth Godin looks at a picture every day that depicts a person triumphantly jumping off of a third story building onto a street below. The caption: "Leap into the Void." Seth leaps every day and inspires others to do the same. He teaches us not to wait to be discovered—for someone to choose us to come forward. Instead, we take the leap and "pick ourselves," engaging in the creative act of being vulnerable, making art, and expressing ourselves. And whether 10 people notice or 10 million, we have the deep satisfaction of living courageously and pouring out our creative souls in ways that matter.
January 15, 2019
Dr. Erin Clabough is an assistant professor of biology and neuroscience at Hampden-Sydney College. With Sounds True, she has published Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Erin about the experience of raising four children while also pursuing her PhD, and how this informed the lessons in Second Nature. Erin describes specific methods she's used to challenge and discipline her children in ways that encourage the development of positive lifelong traits, as well as how these methods can be applied in any family. Erin and Tami discuss the tricky modern issue of screen time and the different ways to approach rules with differently aged children. Finally, they talk about the concept of emotional "scaffolding" and what it takes to really model positive behaviors in your daily life. (56 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Have you ever noticed that sometimes when someone says, "I'm sorry" for some ignorant or destructive action, their apology can feel insufficient or incomplete? A mother of four and a neuroscience educator, Erin Clabough says to her children, "I don't want your 'sorry.' I want you not to do it again." Erin teaches her children what she calls "the OUT method." O stands for "owning the action you took." U stands for "understanding how that action affected other people." And T stands for "telling the person you hurt how you will do it differently next time." What a powerful way to build empathy in children and for all of us to make amends when we need to!
January 8, 2019
Dr. Samantha Brody is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, Oregon. With Sounds True, she has published Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Samantha about honoring intentions for the New Year rather than making easily broken "resolutions." They discuss how to approach overwhelm with greater equanimity by identifying your "true north"—those priorities and values that truly define how you want to live your life. Dr. Samantha considers what it means to make healthy, nourishing choices in alignment with your true north. Finally, Tami and Dr. Samantha talk about the revitalizing power of a good night's sleep and how to deal with the emotional overwhelm of a constantly changing world. (57 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Samantha Brody has worked with over 30,000 clients to help them "overcome overwhelm" and make lifestyle changes that support greater health and vitality. I pushed hard in this conversation to find out what Dr. Samantha feels is the chief characteristic of people who actually follow through on their intentions to live with greater health and balance (whether that involves a new diet, fitness plan, or some other approach to reducing stress). Her answer is my takeaway: The most important factor in overcoming overwhelm is a willingness to take 100 percent responsibility for our choices and the results that follow.
January 1, 2019
Damien Echols was wrongfully convicted of murder in the infamous "West Memphis Three" case and spent more than 18 years on death row before his exoneration and release. Now he teaches Western ceremonial magick—the same practice he credits with saving his life in prison. With Sounds True, Damien has published the book High Magick and a practice-oriented audio companion, A Course in High Magick. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Damien about magick and how it is meant to "constantly ingest more of divinity." Damien describes two of the central practices of magick—the Middle Pillar and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram—and details why they are so foundational to the modality. Damien explains how he first discovered magick while in solitary confinement and details the concept of "will" in relationship to the Buddhist concept of dharma. Finally, Damien and Tami talk about what it means to manifest a "light body" and the overall goal of spiritual liberation through magick. (83 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Damien Echols is a "current-bearer"—someone who is able to pass to others an experience of boundless light. When I met with Damien in November of 2018 at a launch event for his new book, High Magick, I could tell that something had recently happened to him that had dramatically increased the intensity of this current. In this conversation, he describes how the practices of magick, which he calls "a Western path of enlightenment," brought him to an experience of ego dissolution, which he describes as "experiencing myself as a small handful of sand that someone threw into a tornado." The takeaway: an invitation to let go of any feeling of separateness, enter the abyss, and discover the interconnected light that awaits us.
December 25, 2018
Father Thomas Keating was a Trappist monk in the Cistercian Order who served as abbot of Saint Joseph's Abbey Monastery in Spencer, MA, for more than 20 years. He was the author of 20 books, and was one of the architects of the contemporary Centering Prayer movement. Father Keating passed away on October 25, 2018. In celebration of his life and to honor his death, Sounds True is rebroadcasting this classic Insights at the Edge interview. Here, Tami Simon and Father Keating discuss the monastic path, prayer, doubt, and how he has dealt with both little deaths and big deaths in his own life. They also talk about the afterlife and the transformative process that occurs when one engages regularly with the practice of Centering Prayer. (72 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: This conversation was originally recorded in 2008, 10 years before Father Thomas Keating died on October 25, 2018, at the age of 95. We discussed in detail many little deaths that had occurred in his life, including a fire that occurred at his monastery, his resignation from being an abbot, and other events that Father Thomas called "invitations to greater and greater diminishment." Surrendering and accepting these little deaths anchored Father Thomas in what he describes as a "boundless confidence with nothing to stand on." We even discussed what Father Thomas imagined his own physical death would be like. His answer: "A plunge into the immensity of love, irresistibly." Listening to this conversation afresh reminded me of how Father Thomas Keating is a truly great teacher of death and resurrection.
December 18, 2018
Priya Parker is an author, strategist, and the founder of Thrive Labs, a company devoted to helping organizations from across the business and nonprofit worlds create intentional and transformative gatherings. Earlier this year, Priya released her first book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Priya about how we can forge stronger connections and more meaningful experiences through gatherings—whether it's a birthday party, formal dinner, or impromptu celebration in the park. They discuss America's current "epidemic of loneliness," how it is contributing the rise in hate crimes, and what we can do to alleviate it. Tami and Priya talk about the benefits of hosting gatherings with a predetermined purpose, as well as the rejuvenating effects of open, vulnerable conversation. Finally, Priya shares ideas for holding gatherings that are not only memorable, but have deep effects on their participants' lives afterward. (64 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: It takes courage to turn a family, workplace, or social gathering into a transformational experience. You have to be willing to take a risk—the risk of stating your desire for more meaningful connection, the risk of vulnerably sharing from your heart, the risk that some people might feel uncomfortable or "put on the spot." But meaningful connection and meaningful dialogue is worth the risk! Here Priya shares how to create meaningful gatherings that leave us feeling fulfilled instead of empty, as well as how creating such gatherings is the work of what I would call "an everyday leader"—the type of leader we all can be.
December 11, 2018
Dr. Helen Riess is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. With Sounds True, she has published The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Helen about the development of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. program—a method for teaching and promoting empathy that draws on neuroscience and physiology. They talk about how Helen became interested in the science of empathy and why recent research into the subject has yielded such positive results. Helen walks listeners through each step of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. process, highlighting the benefits of more actively attending to every social interaction. Finally, Helen and Tami discuss the active training of empathy in education, business, and the medical community, emphasizing why these skills are necessary for the survival of human civilization. (64 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: A very simple technique that Dr. Helen Riess teaches for establishing empathic connection with people is to mentally note the eye color of the person when you first meet. This is a technique that she teaches to doctors and medical practitioners who are often moving quickly in a task-oriented way, not pausing to make genuine contact with the people they are serving. (Sound familiar, anyone?) My takeaway is to employ this technique in the office at Sounds True with the 130 people who work here. The early reports indicate that these experiments in noting eye color (even during hallway conversations and in meetings) have quickly created a sense of real connection—moments that I cherish.
December 4, 2018
Judith Blackstone is a pioneering teacher of contemporary spirituality best known for developing The Realization Process, a direct path toward nondual awakening. With Sounds True, she has most recently published the book Trauma and the Unbound Body. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Judith about applying The Realization Process to the healing process—whether it's physical, relational, or psychological. They discuss the Process's application to unprocessed trauma—especially how fully inhabiting the body can highlight long-term physical constrictions. Tami and Judith talk about the methods for releasing that constriction, as well as the difference between awareness of the body and inhabiting it. Finally, Judith leads listeners in a core breath practice for settling into the body and attuning to the fundamental consciousness that is always available to us. (57 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: As part of our conversation about "disentangling the constrictions" that are held in the body as a result of trauma, Judith Blackstone teaches one of the central practices of The Realization Process—the Core Breath Practice. This is a powerful technique for quickly entering the subtle core of the body (a vertical channel that is described in many spiritual traditions). Once we enter this subtle core, we have a powerful resource available to us for releasing traumatic experiences held in the body. The takeaway: do the Core Breath Practice regularly as a way to stay in deep inward contact and "unbind the body."
November 27, 2018
Robert Augustus Masters is an integral psychotherapist and author whose works include To Be a Man, Emotional Intimacy, and Spiritual Bypassing. Most recently, he teamed with Sounds True to publish Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark: Breaking Free from the Hidden Forces That Drive You. In this illuminating episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Robert about the influence of the shadow side of the psyche—especially Robert's own encounters with it. Robert describes his experiences as the leader of a psychospiritual community that gradually transformed into a cult, including the near-death experience that forced him to confront the reality of his actions and change his life. Tami and Robert also talk about the powerful influence of shame, as well as the important differences between anger and aggression. Finally, they discuss the desire to place spiritual guides on pedestals and what we can do to address the difficult aspects of student-teacher relationships. (63 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: One of the ways that Robert Augustus Masters describes our personal shadow is that it contains experiences of wounding and early conditioning that we have yet to face. How do we know what we haven't yet faced? Robert teaches that one of the best ways we can start to identify our shadow is to pay careful attention to moments of reactivity (we all know what those feel like) and then ask, "How old do I feel in this moment?" By entering the pain of these early disowned experiences, we start the hard task that Robert calls "illuminating the shadow," a great life work that is endlessly deep and endlessly liberating.
November 20, 2018
Van Jones is a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and host of The Van Jones Show on CNN. This special edition of Insights at the Edge re-broadcasts Van's powerful session from Sounds True's Waking Up in the World online event. In this in-depth interview, Tami Simon speaks with Van about the necessary meeting between spiritual practice and social activism. They discuss the currently fraught political climate and why it's essential for everyone to break out of their respective bubbles to engage with people with diverse views. At the same time, Van emphasizes the need to combat rising hate and why we all need to stay true to what we value most in life. Finally, Tami and Van talk about the possibility of broad societal change and how spiritual people can catalyze that movement. (66 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Van Jones challenges people who drive hybrid cars, eat lots of kale, listen to NPR, and go to yoga classes (people like me!) to break out of what he calls our "resistance bubble." This means connecting with people who live dramatically different lives, in different socio-economic circumstances, and with radically different political views and affiliations. When we do, we stop polarizing and congratulating ourselves on our progressive ideals and start building coalitions that lift up everyone, especially the people in greatest need.
November 13, 2018
Stan Tatkin is a clinical psychologist, couples and family therapist, and the author of Wired for Love. With Sounds True, he has published a new book titled We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Stan about his unique methodology, the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). Stan explains his definition of a couple as a "biological survival unit" and some of the common occurrences that threaten the long-term cohesion of that unit. Tami and Stan discuss the ways attachment styles affect our ability to be in relationship and how we have to accept partners along with their burdens. Finally, Stan details what it means to have "secure functioning" in a relationship and the key lessons for creating a healthy, loving long-term partnership. (69 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: "Everyone is a pain in the ass," teaches Stan, "and so are you." Listening to Stan, I developed an even deeper appreciation of my beloved wife of 17 years, how she puts up with me . . . and how I put up with her. It also illuminated how the combination can lead to what Stan calls "a secure functioning relationship" where we see each other realistically, not idealistically, and are committed to collaborating as a successful "survival unit" consisting of two perfectly imperfect human beings.
November 6, 2018
Dr. Kristin Neff is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas and a practitioner of Buddhist meditation. The book and documentary The Horse Boy chronicle Kristin and her family's extraordinary journey to help her autistic son. With Sounds True, Kristin has created the audio program Self-Compassion Step by Step, which includes clinical evidence of the importance of self-compassion along with techniques and exercises for cultivating this pivotal quality. In this interview, Tami Simon and Kristin talk about the vital distinction between self-esteem and self-compassion, three pillars of self-compassion, 'self-compassion breaks,' and the importance of recognizing our common humanity during difficulties that feel unique and isolating. (68 minutes) Tami's Takeaway In any moment of self-criticism or self-blame, a "go-to move" that is immediately effective and state-changing is to gently touch your arm, stroke your face, or place your hand on your heart (any form of soothing touch). This activates our mammalian "tend and befriend" system, releases oxytocin, and shifts us out of the threat-defense system. Try it next time you feel self-critical. Gently touching your body can shift your state of mind—fast!
October 30, 2018
Ronald Siegel is a longtime assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and the author of many books. With Sounds True, he has created the audio program Healing Through Mindfulness: Effective Practices for Chronic Health Conditions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Ron talk about the psychological contributing factors to chronic pain—especially in the back and spine. Speaking on his own brush with debilitating pain, Ron explains the ways that stress and other psychophysiological components can instigate everything from insomnia to irritable bowel syndrome. Ron and Tami also discuss how to have frank conversations around chronic pain, as well as how to make friends with negative emotions like fear and anxiety. Finally, Ron shares his thoughts on the increasing willingness of the medical community to embrace mindfulness meditation. (70 minutes) Tami's Takeaway In my own experience, I can often trace the relationship between the onset of stress, an increase in muscular tension, and back pain. However, the problem for me has been when other people share about their painful conditions. I often jump to the conclusion that there must be a psychological component to their suffering—and then the person in question feels judged at best, and at worst that I am "blaming them for their illness." Dr. Ron Siegel teaches how to meet someone in their pain (and by extension, how to meet our own pain) with utter openness and curiosity. The takeaway: pre-drawn conclusions shut exchanges down; genuine openness and curiosity create connection.
October 23, 2018
Miranda Macpherson is an international spiritual teacher who founded the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation in London and currently leads the Living Grace community of California. With Sounds True, she's published the book The Way of Grace and the audio series Meditations on Boundless Love. 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 the audience in a guided practice for discovering the mountainous presence already available in each moment. (60 minutes) Tami's Takeaway Miranda began the podcast in the same way that she begins her in-person teachings, immersing us in a palpable atmosphere of love and unconditional acceptance. As soon as she pointed to this, it was like the sun came out in the small, dark studio room where our conversation was recorded. Miranda likens "ego relaxation"—the releasing of our fixations, fears, and need to be in control—to hardened ice melting in the light of love and acceptance. My takeaway: a commitment to remembering that this warm light is always here and always available.
October 16, 2018
Mary O'Malley is an author, counselor, and acknowledged leader in the field of spiritual awakening. With Sounds True, Mary has published What's in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Mary discuss the eight "spells" that keep us feeling separate from life—as well as the remedies that bring us more fully into the energetic flow of existence. They speak on the need for curiosity and the role it plays in uniting our attention with our present-moment experience. Finally, Mary explains her understanding of the awakening process and the skills one can cultivate to come into a robust and joyous alignment with life itself. (60 minutes) Tami's Takeaway One of the worst feelings for me is helplessness. Mary teaches that "life is destined to bring up what is bound up." This podcast brought up for me how I push away feelings of helplessness. According to Mary, "what's in the way is the way," and we can become what she calls "tightness detectives" to see how we clamp down in certain situations and resist what we don't want to feel. When instead we meet our feelings with curiosity and spaciousness, we discover the free flow of aliveness and the absolute trustworthiness in every experience.
October 9, 2018
Miles Neale is a prominent member of the current generation of Buddhist teachers, championing the emerging field of contemplative psychotherapy. With Sounds True, Miles has published Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Miles about Lam Rim, the Tibetan Buddhist framework for moving into enlightened awakening step by measured step. They discuss the difference between gradually awakening and coming to enlightenment in a sudden burst, as well as the potential interplay between the two. Miles also leads Tami and the audience in a seven-step mentor bonding visualization that takes advantage of the mind's capacity to create a "flight simulator" for felt experience. Finally, Miles and Tami talk about the need to re-embrace religion and ritual in order to transcend the "cinderblock civilization" of materialism and nihilism. (69 minutes) Tami's Takeaway When Miles led us through a brief version of the mentor-bonding process that he teaches, I was surprised by who showed up in my mind's eye. It was not a spiritual mentor, business mentor, or a psychological guide, but someone who has recently begun helping me become physically fit. This underscored for me how many different dimensions there are to mentorship, as well as how important it is to be utterly open to receiving help from a surprising source.
October 2, 2018
Zainab Salbi is an author, humanitarian, and media commentator who founded the nonprofit organization Women for Women International when she was only 23 years old. With Sounds True, she has published the book Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Zainab discuss what it means to be an agent of social change while also navigating the everyday journey of being human. They talk about why it's necessary to let go of what no longer works in our lives in order to embrace our most deeply held truths. As an Iraqi-American, Zainab speaks on engaging with people whose values oppose ours—especially those who currently oppose Muslim immigration to the United States. Finally, Zainab and Tami talk about the healing power of making amends and what "freedom" really means. (83 minutes) Tami's Takeaway Zainab teaches how we can befriend people who hold opposing views not through debate, but through embrace and a strong, open stance that is curious about the other person's underlying needs and emotions. I believe this skill—truly understanding people who disagree with us and feel "other"—is one of the most important skills we need to be peacemakers and bringers of love in all of our interactions.
September 25, 2018
Paul Hawken is an author, entrepreneur, and environmentalist whose books include Natural Capitalism, The Ecology of Commerce, and the New York Times bestselling Drawdown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the spiritual origins of his lifelong devotion to the natural environment. They talk about Project Drawdown—Paul's far-reaching plan to reverse global warming—and the fact that climate change is an alarm bell telling humanity it needs to transform itself. Paul explains that dealing successfully with climate change won't just involve phasing out fossil fuels, but also reorganizing the systems of labor, culture, and economics that led us to this point. Finally, Paul and Tami discuss why life regenerates life and how we as a species can rise to the challenge of our present crises. (73 minutes) Tami's Takeaway Most of the time, when I hear people talk about climate change, I feel some combination of fear, helplessness, and resignation. Listening to Paul Hawken, I felt activated and turned on. As he says, it's not about "game over" for the human race, but "game on" . . . and how this is a time when we are called to step forward into our greatest human capacities and possibilities. Paul Hawken transmits the beauty, flow, and regenerative power of the natural world in a way that is contagious. When the interview was over, I felt like everything around me was in a shimmering fluid state, in unstoppable regenerative flow.
September 18, 2018
Rhonda Magee is a law professor at the University of San Francisco, a longtime mindfulness teacher, and a fellow of the Mind & Life Institute. Rhonda is a featured presenter in Sounds True's Waking Up in the World—a 10-day online event showcasing prominent voices who embody the meeting between social action and spiritual exploration. This special episode of Insights at the Edge is drawn from a previous presentation given by Rhonda as part of our Mindfulness Monthly subscription program. Here she explores how mindfulness practice can be used to uncover our biases and help us understand any privilege we carry in our interactions with others. Rhonda encourages us to fully consider how aspects such as race, gender, and economic background have come to shape our perception of the world. Finally, Rhonda leads us in a guided meditation to inquire deeply into how our environments have guided us to this moment in our lives. (63 minutes) Tami's Takeaway We often hear how mindfulness can help us discover our common humanity. Here, law professor Rhonda Magee helps us embrace what is unique about each of us: our embodied experience as a particular person with a specific human inheritance, residing in a particular place, with a particular position, skin color, gender, and sexual orientation. We are applying mindfulness to what makes us different. And what a critical skill this is if we are going to learn to take a different person's position and work together to bring mindfulness to what Rhonda calls "the cutting edge of mindfulness"—shifting our institutions and social structures to reflect our deepest values.
September 11, 2018
Susan David is a psychologist teaching at Harvard Medical School, cofounder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, and the bestselling author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Susan about modern society's attitudes toward emotion—specifically our tendency to label certain feelings as good or bad, and the dysfunctional behaviors that arise as a result. Susan explains that a much healthier approach is to identify "bad" emotions as "tough" or "difficult," allowing us to examine them in a granular way that helps in processing them. Tami and Susan discuss how this informed method of dealing with emotions can be taught to children, which is especially important for learning not to bottle or brood upon unpleasant feelings. Finally, Susan draws upon a story from her adolescence to illustrate why emotional honesty is paramount for living a fulfilled life and why forced positivity never works out in the long run. (66 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: I loved hearing from a Harvard professor that "chasing happiness just doesn't work." It certainly hasn't worked for me. Instead, she teaches how rewarding it can be to orient ourselves towards fulfillment and living a life that is meaningful. And then in some strange, unexpected way, happiness dawns. My two favorite quotes from this interview are: "Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life," and "Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility."
September 4, 2018
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) is a world-renowned spiritual teacher and the author of the indispensable classic Be Here Now. Despite suffering a massive stroke that left him with aphasia, Ram Dass continues to write and teach from his home in Maui. His longtime friend Mirabai Bush is the founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and was the one of the co-creators of Google's Search Inside Yourself program. They have teamed with Sounds True to publish Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush about changing our society's dysfunctional relationship to dying, focusing on how to ease fears around the process. They talk about facing a lifetime of regrets and why going into our last moments consciously is so important. Finally, Mirabai leads listeners in a practice designed to help release attachments and comments on why grieving is an important act of love. (63 minutes) Tami's Takeaway: Ram Dass, who is now 87 years old, has planned at the time of his death for there to be an open-air funeral in Maui. He has even secured a government license for this to happen. Ever the teacher (even when it comes to his own death), Ram Dass's intention is to introduce Westerners to teachings from the East—in this case, the value of sitting with a burning corpse while contemplating impermanence and living whole-heartedly. Of course, we don't need to wait until we are at an open-air funeral to engage in such contemplation. We are each asked to die in some way every day, to let go of an old image of ourselves or an outmoded configuration of some kind. Can we embrace the dying we are going through right now? And in the process, experience our hearts breaking open so that we can live and love fully, without constraint?
August 29, 2018
Terry Real is a family therapist, public speaker, and the founder of the Relational Life Institute. Terry's written works include I Don't Want to Talk About It, How Can I Get Through to You?, and The New Rules of Marriage. With Sounds True, he has created the audio program Fierce Intimacy: Standing Up to One Another with Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Terry about his somewhat unusual, do-or-divorce approach to couples therapy. They talk about deal breakers in relationships and why they don't necessarily need to end a partnership. Terry explains what it means to hold a "core negative image" of a partner, why this is all too common, and why recognition of that core image can actually strengthen a relationship. Finally, Terry and Tami discuss what "fierce intimacy" truly entails and why canny relationship skills are the very same qualities that will help the human race rise to meet the challenges of the future. (64 minutes)
August 21, 2018
Stephen Cope is the scholar emeritus at Kripalu Yoga Center and the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, as well as the bestselling author of The Wisdom of Yoga and The Great Work of Your Life. With Sounds True, Stephen has produced an eight-week online course titled Your True Calling: Essential Teachings of Yoga to Find Your Path in the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Stephen about discovering and living out your dharma—the true purpose of your life. They discuss the wisdom found in the Bhagavad Gita and the many ways this ancient parable can be applied to modern life. Stephen explains why "missing by an inch is the same as missing by a mile," as well as why we need to decide what not to do in order to bring our gifts to life. Finally, Tami and Stephen talk about the concept of being a warrior and what this means as we bring our unique skills to bear in a world that needs them more than ever. (67 minutes)
August 14, 2018
Gary Gach is a writer, meditator, and mystic who draws on his diverse life experiences to inform his nonfiction and poetry offerings. He is the author of What Book!? and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. With Sounds True, he has most recently published Pause, Breathe, Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Gary about the titular process of pausing, breathing, and smiling—how it can center you immediately, plant seeds of awakening, and help light the way on the path to peace. They talk about the "mouth yoga" of the half-smile and why meditation is only "part of the menu" of daily mindfulness practice. Gary and Tami also discuss what it means to exist in three kinds of awakening reality: the spaces of impermanence, interbeing, and selflessness. Finally, Gary shares his love of reading and writing haiku, offering a spontaneous haiku poem that arises in the course of the interview. (59 minutes)
August 8, 2018
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an award-winning poet, senior Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of old stories in the Latina tradition). Dr. Estés is the author of the bestseller Women Who Run With the Wolves, along with over a dozen audio programs from Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Estés about the themes and stories in her book Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul. They speak on the different manifestations of the Holy Mother figure in many cultures, how our relationship with our own biological mother affects how we relate to the archetype of the great mother force, and what it means to live with "an unruined heart." (65 minutes)
July 31, 2018
Rick Doblin, PhD, is a Harvard-trained researcher and the founder of MAPS—the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Rick and MAPS work to develop a legal framework for the application of psychedelic drugs both as medication and for personal psychological growth. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Rick about the current clinical research surrounding the use of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as many other possibilities for other psychedelic-assisted therapies. They talk about the current "psychedelic renaissance" in therapeutic treatment, reflecting on some of the risks of such drug-assisted regimens and the need for careful integration of psychedelic experiences. With this in mind, Tami and Rick discuss his relationship with the Zendo Project, a department of MAPS devoted to helping individuals who are having emotionally challenging psychedelic experiences at festivals and events. Finally, Rick explains his own lifelong relationship with psychedelic drugs, including his hopes for future treatments and a national "coming out party" of prominent individuals who can attest to the difference psychedelics have made in their lives. (73 minutes)
July 24, 2018
Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit devoted to intervention, social reintegration, and job training for former gang members. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Father Greg and Tami Simon discuss the work of Homeboy Industries and what it takes to move from a culture of violence to one of open tenderness. Father Greg describes the path that brought him to working with gang members—specifically his experiences in Bolivia, where his experiences with the poor brought to life the teachings of the Gospels. Tami and Father Greg talk about living the tenets of one's faith and what it means to offer love no matter the situation. Finally, they speak on the judgments many have of gang members and other criminals, and how we can seek a compassion that can "stand in awe at what people have to carry, rather than in judgment of how they carry it." (63 minutes)
Loading earlier episodes...
    15
    15
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00