In this episode we talk about a portion of Vanessa’s notes from her recent retreat with Matt Kahn that we found particularly resonant. We’re talking about no knowing, and how and why “I don’t know” is a powerful, clear, open, and relieving position to come from.
This week, inspired by a quote from Gangaji, we’re taking it deeper with a conversation on the importance of vigilance. If you’ve been listening to us for a while you know we’re usually speaking on how hyper-vigilance can create tensions and feed fears of unworthiness, yet, we also want to stay alert to ways in which our unconscious programs are running. Moreover, we are served in bringing our attention towards our own innate wholeness.
We’ve talked about bypass in the last several episodes as seeking to only feel bliss, to avoid the messiness of a human life and human emotions. Which can bring up the idea that maybe we really need to double down on the grittiness of life in order to be on a genuine path. What about when suffering becomes the bypass of choice- as always, unconsciously and in innocence- we can often subconsciously emphasize the struggle. Or over-tolerate the struggle. In which case we lose access to joy, to ease, to the nourishing movements of life.
Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, speaker, and author of Embodied Enlightenment. In our conversation with Amoda, we speak of course about being fully awake and fully human, we touch on spiritual bypassing, agendas, tenderness, and common misconceptions about the spiritual path.
Spiritual bypass is commonly held up as what the spiritual path IS. When in fact, it is in direct opposition to what the path is. As Dorothy Hunt says in her book Ending the Search, "Spiritual concepts and spirit are not the same thing... It is the use of an idea of spirituality that keeps us unconscious.” Or as Vanessa says, bypass is using the spiritual path to avoid your shit. Usually while wearing the identifiers we call “spiritual person”.
In this conversation we are talking with Dorothy Hunt about her recent book, Ending the Search. We explore what the term awakening means to her and what it would look like to “end the search.” We also speak on unconditional vs conditional love, how we can come closer to our true identity, what it means to be fully human, and so much more.
Today we’re talking about agendas that we are frequently, unconsciously and in innocence, acting out in our lives. These agendas may have helped our younger selves to feel safe but they are not who we fundamentally are, and they can create exactly the opposite of what we are desiring in our lives. We call out some of the top agendas that we all take on- the tough one, the victim, the martyr, the good girl or boy. On a relative level these agendas are creating repetitive painful patterns in our lives. And it’s nice to have lives that hurt less and are more satisfying on a soul level.
In today’s episode we’re speaking about what we’re calling micro-shaming; which we could describe as the subtle ways we can inadvertently shame people for being different than us. This topic felt especially relevant in this day and age where we have so many “gurus” out there giving well-intentioned, but sometimes unhelpful, advice that may be creating patterns in shame in us without us even noticing.
Today we are being with our heartbreak, grief, rage, and sense of helplessness after the latest US mass shooting. In this conversation we inquire about how to be with the really massive, raw emotions when they do come.
n this talk we’re discussing the differences between fitting in and belonging, the experience of being in a group and still feeling lonely, and the role that shame may play in creating our sense of isolation. We also go way down a rabbit hole on the origins of shame and the relational damage it can create.
How do we forgive? How do we forgive ourselves when we can’t yet forgive? How do we at least move towards it and soften in that direction and- really- let’s look at the benefits of actual lived forgiveness instead of the typical “you should forgive” platitude. Ultimately the internal process of forgiveness can be the most powerful healing remedy both for ourselves and also for the world.
Today we’re having a conversation with Lissa Boles of The Soul Map about purpose. We touch on conscious culture making, how actively intending to change culture is an extraordinary thing- and really uniquely front and center at this particular time in human history. We get at how to recognize that we are part of a creative process and how to see our lives signs and signals as cues to our own unique process and right work. We also touch on the trouble with “I don’t know” which, if you’ve heard me say it before, tends to be one of my favorite mantras, but Lissa exposes its shadow side here.
In this episode we’re talking with John Lockley, a South African Sangoma and author of the book Leopard Warrior, what it means to be fully human, how aliveness can be a messenger of our purpose, cultural appropriation, how to heal your ancestral lineage, the danger of avoiding the shadow, and aligning with your own wild nature. John shared with us that his reason for doing this work is to support people in becoming intoxicated with the sweet spirit of Mother Nature, and you can feel it in his words.
This episode is a meditation and chant from African Sangoma John Lockley. He was kind enough to share this with us during our conversation with him and we decided to make it a bonus episode so that you can easily return to it and connect with it for your own practice.
We are very recently back from a weekend retreat with Matt Kahn at Multiversity 1440 in California. This talk was recorded pretty much immediately after we returned home and we were truly deep in digestion mode, as we continue to be. However, from through the fog of integration time we brought forward just a few of the threads that we resonant for us in a weekend that we both found remarkably transformative and powerful.
This has been an exploration for us for a while now in our own lives, and in many of our episodes. In today’s conversation we get into topics such as how concepts like blame, deserve and fairness are beliefs that can contribute to problematizing tendencies, how making ourselves into a problem is an epidemic, how to see life through a different kind of lens, and how to hold yourself from the part of you that knows there is nothing to solve.
Is it possible that the more challenging aspects of life are supposed to affect us a lot? To touch our hearts deeply? To hurt even? Why do we make suffering- our own and others- a problem rather than just a part of our alive nature? What we may not realize when we begin these practices that the root question of the spiritual path is actually, "Are you going to live or not?"
John J. Prendergast, PhD, is a psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author of the book In Touch: How to Tune In to the Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself. Both in reading his book, and after Brooke sat with him on a weekend retreat recently we knew we needed to bring him on for a conversation we could share with all of you about what it means to really land in your heart and live from there.
Today we’re talking about how extraordinary it is to come home to our ordinariness. One of my favorite Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche quotes is: “we have to be willing to be completely ordinary.” In a culture where the goal is always to become extra special, more unique, more successful, or just to strive towards being a somebody it’s worth pondering what the true gifts are of allowing yourself to rest in your ordinariness.
After reading a question from a listener who was exploring the merits of being a “positive person” versus embodying a state of authenticity, we got deeply curious. We went to town exploring this topic covering heavy hitting questions like; what happens when the idea that we should be positive actually evokes states of shame that inhibit presence and healing? What is the soil for genuine positivity? Can our attachment to being happy decrease our ability to be genuinely positive?