Awake in the World Podcast
Summary: Awake in the World Podcast is a library of talks on a wide-range of topics, including bringing mindfulness and meditation practice into daily life; personal and community issues regarding mental health; and social change. The podcasts are recorded at live events so you might hear coughing, airplanes, cars, sirens, laughter, and peoples’ questions—all part of the intimate experience. Michael Stone was an internationally-recognized Buddhist teacher, author, host of the Awake in the World podcast, and mental health advocate.
Focusing on equanimity as a deep roundedness, Michael explores how to be balanced and creative without becoming indifferent. Equanimity doesn’t wear out. How joy, delight and tranquility arise in meditation. At the end Michael gets into some interesting ideas about working with frustration & consumerism. ENSO Foundation, Kelowna, B.C., 1 hour.
Michael describes the basics of mindfulness practice as a practice of spaciousness, non-reactivity, and conduct in our lives. Practice isn’t so much about finding peace but discovering spaciousness. Michael talks about three layers of suffering & how “what arises” is not as important as how we relate to it. ENSO Foundation, Kelowna, B.C., 1 hour. Photo credit: Andrèa De Keijzer
Michael gives a talk in Wisconsin on the ways illness strengthens our heart. Dongshan was ready to die. He said goodbye to everyone. They wept and wept. Then he jumped out of the casket and gave them a teaching about loss. Green Bay, Wisconsin. 50 min. Photo credit: Andrèa De Keijzer
One 2nd day of retreat Michael talks on another Dongshan where he asks his students if they can go to a place where there are no weeds. Michael’s commentary is that weeds are not the problem and that what we need to let go of is not “stuff” but our reactivity. Christine Centre, Wisconsin, 50 min. Photo credit: Andrèa De Keijzer
On retreat in Wisconsin Michael talks about a Zen story where a teacher describes his teaching as “Just This Is It.” Guilt, remorse, devotion, you can’t really see yourself, finding your true path. Christine Centre, Wisconsin, 50 min. Photo credit: Eagleclaw Thom
Michael begins with talking about finding simplicity in meditation practice; stepping back from the details of thinking to notice the subjective experience of awareness; and then he launches into a discussion about grieving and loss and how we can never get satisfaction when we make war on ourselves or others. He ends by talking about how loss is part of our experience of being a self and how when we reduce ourselves we rescue others. Recorded at Kushala, Port Moody, British Columbia. 1 hour.
Rage, nonviolence, and embracing what’s unbearable. Michael begins by talking about embracing the limits of our lives and then explores how to be with what is unbearable without turning it into destructiveness or someone else’s problem. The last part of this talk on rage and frustration is really great. Richmond, Virginia, 1 hour.
A master is dying & a student asks him how he is feeling. Michael uses this Zen story to explore letting go of expectations and blame. He also talks about being to diffuse or too sharp in our reactivity. Richmond, Virginia, 1 hour.
Michael explains how kundalini, moksha and other Hatha Yoga terms are metaphors for awakening. He then talks about intimacy, creativity and the false self. A very clear talk about common haha yoga terms. University of Toronto. co-taught with Kathryn Bruni-Young. 1 hour.
During a 5-day intensive Michael explores key terms from a 15th century text on yoga and talks about mental habits, yoga postures, and the ways that the habits of mind and body are actually the path. Michael explains savasana, corpse pose. University of Toronto. co-taught with Kathryn Bruni-Young. 1.5 hours.
Michael explores Patanjali’s teaching on pratyahara in both meditation and daily life. We don’t really understand why things happen in our life, and yet we hold so much in our bodies. He talks about settling the self, the fact that there is no inside or outside, and the way others change when we do. Antibes, France. 1 hour. (translation: Cecile Payne).
Michael translates Patanjali’s teachings on ethics, posture, steadiness, and not holding onto anything. He also speaks about greed, anger and non-duality. Antibes, France. 1 hour (translation: Cecile Payne).
Michael Stone is interviewed by CBC Regina about SIT UP HERITAGE - an outdoor urban day-long retreat in Regina's Heritage Community. Recorded May 2015.
Michael reads from his new book and then opens up in a very personal talk about fathering, his doubts about the nuclear family, co-parenting in a split-family, his relationship with writing about family, and his friendship with Matthew Remski. 1 hour. Banyen Books, Vancouver, B.C.
Sofia Forman gives her first dharma talk on trust, death and her process of practice. Silent New Year’s Retreat, Chapin Mill, New York, 35 min. Photo credit: Andréa de Keijzer