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.
Michael Stone discusses The Heart Sutra, nirvana, worry and fear. The Buddha lists five fears. Fear is a trance state. Some of the worst things in my life never happened. During sitting meditation, feel the stable knowing behind fear and bliss. Nirvana is fearlessness. We’re all practicing in nirvana right now. Day 9 of a 12-day intensive. Recorded on July 17, 2012.
Self liberation. Thoughts without a thinker. The Buddha talks about the All. What is taste? Spiritual air miles. Bukowski has a bluebird in his heart. Three kinds of burnout. A talk by Michael Stone at Centre of Gravity on day seven of a 12-day intensive. Recorded July 15, 2012.
Michael Stone continues discussing The Heart Sutra — form and emptiness, the Buddha's troubles, making families in Toronto, bathing in Japan. What is underneath language in sitting practice is self-acceptance. Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra are both in you. Waves are the practice of water. Recorded July 13, 2012.
Emptiness is not place or process. Mistaking emptiness is like catching a snake from the wrong end. Moving out of stories in order to feel. Five skandhas. How perception works. Two kinds of teachers. A talk at Centre of Gravity on day three of a 12-day intensive. Recorded July 11, 2012.
Beginner's mind threatens the part of us that wants to control experience. Knowing before knowing. Hakuin: wisdom is not separate from you. It's like beads rolling on a tray: sudden, ready, uninhibited. We all want to be more comfortable, and slowly the comfort starts to kill you. Knowing is a kind of renunciation. You're already there. Recorded on July 9, 2012.
The mind makes snapshots and creates categories, our patterns contain the world keeping us small and separate, mindfulness is the new Tylenol, dying as generosity, perhaps practice means simply catching up to what you actually feel, instead of living in your descriptions of what you feel. Recorded on June 26, 2012.
How do we bow? Everything becomes your teacher. Throwing up dualistic ideas. Teachers are heavy, students are feathers. The pain of panic wakes you up to what hasn't grown up. Sincerity. The sense of something else gets in the way of satisfaction. Recorded on June 14, 2012.
People who practice Zen are always asking: what is this all about? Whatever you do, Buddha is in that activity. Becoming the breath. Hitting the pillow. Occupy the wall. Suck your thumb. Recorded on June 5, 2012.
Don't ignore what your life actually is. Practice tattoos us. Life stains us. Your life carves your face all the time. Michael reads section 17 - every action you do carves your life. So, how do you carve what's true into your life? Recorded on March 20, 2012.
Water has its own integrity, like you. Every event is interconnected and empty, and yet, everything has its own integrity. You can't say exactly what a river is, and yet, it's not the same as every river. Recorded on February 28, 2012.
Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara talks about the Lotus Sutra and the parable of the burning house. Even in the world of the dharma we can get caught up with playthings and forget that we're living in a burning house. It looks like we’re living in a comfortable place, but half the world is starving. It can be hard to see the suffering that is all around us. Read the notes and transcription: https://michaelstoneteaching.com/2014/10/23/burning-house-betrayal-as-innovation-by-roshi-pat-enkyo-ohara/
Can we express with language what is most true for us? Maybe all philosophy is heading towards poetry. Michael Stone tells a story about finding the nectar of compassion in the centre of practice. Recorded on February 14, 2012.
How do we use words to say something meaningful about our lives? This is what Dogen tries to do. There is no "outside" or "inside. There is just "this." Being is the ongoingness of "this." This is all our lives have ever been. Recorded on February 7, 2012.
Pranayama is a practice of settling your attention on your breath. As attention becomes balanced, so too does the nervous system. Michael Stone and Grant Hutchinson teach the ways yogic breathing returns the nervous system to "factory settings." Topics include ujjayii pranayama, the palette, the spine and viola pranayama. Recorded on February 6, 2012.
Mountains are actually walking. If you can understand that mountains walk, you can understand impermanence. Nothing is as solid as you think. What, in your life, do you think is solid? Your body is like a mountain and it's also like water. Recorded on January 31, 2012.