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 were recorded at live events so you might hear coughing, airplanes, cars, sirens, laughter, and peoples’ questions—all part of the intimate experience. Michael Stone (1974-2017) was a Buddhist teacher, author, and mental health advocate. His legacy is stewarded by Carina Stone. Podcast funded by Patreon (patreon.com/michaelstone).
This week we're revisiting a favorite Awake in the World podcast episode. In this talk, Michael discusses the Avatamsaka Sutra (The Flower Garland Sutra) and seeing everything as medicine. Meditation teaches us how to practice intimacy, even with old wounds. Recorded on a silent retreat at True North Insight, Ontario on April 17, 2014.
This week we're revisiting a favourite Awake in the World podcast episode. In this dharma talk, Michael talks about a Zen Master called Bird's Nest Roshi who would go out on a limb and meditate in an abandoned bird's nest. Living in the world, ignoring death, trying to make impermanence permanent, avoiding loss and suffering... What we do with our deep grooves is more dangerous than going out on a limb and meditating. Recorded on February 5, 2013.
This week we're revisiting a favourite Awake in the World podcast episode. In this talk, Michael reflects on God, gratitude, mind, compassionate action, and the encounter between what can and can't be talked about. Recorded at a retreat co-taught by Michael Stone and Rabbi Miriam Margles in Quebec in November 2013.
In this Awake in the World podcast episode, Michael references the Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha, reads a koan from The Book of Serenity, and explores how Buddhist practice is radically simple and relates to the whole of our lives. Recorded April 26, 2010.
In this 30-minute guided meditation, Michael explores how to work with thoughts during sitting practice, focusing on the breath in a way that reduces clinging, reduces rejection. The breath doesn’t decide good or bad: it is kind to our body, our nervous system, our habits. Recorded April 23, 2010
In this Awake in the World podcast episode Michael elucidates the “post-negation” part of the Heart Sutra, particularly the lines “with no hindrance in the mind. No hindrance, therefore no fear.” He characterizes hindrances as walls of the mind and describes creating a “no landing zone.” In addition he talks about “horizontal transcendence,” “knotty” thoughts, and making peace with the fears that may accompany a more “liquified” existence. Recorded April 21, 2009.
In this Awake in the World podcast episode Michael explores the “negation section” of the Heart Sutra (no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue...) and how the story-telling and I-making functions of the mind contract and cling, leading us away from intimacy. Drawing on poems by John Cage and Jack Gilbert he describes the dependent-origination of the self, our tendency to create metaphysical frames, and the paradox of being a parent as exemplified by Krishna’s mother. Recorded April 7, 2009
In this Awake in the World podcast episode Michael unpacks part of the second pada of the Yoga Sutra (2.29 - 2.39) with an emphasis on wholesome thoughts, the yamas, the cure for nihilism, and the importance of not separating inward-directed psychological work from outward-directed activism. Recorded April 20, 2007.
In this Awake in the World podcast episode, Michael emphasizes the need to view yoga as a living tradition that is relevant and useful in our contemporary lives. He discusses faith versus fundamentalism, the centrality of karma, how asana fits into the picture, and the mistake of interpreting “oneness” as “sameness.” Recorded in 2007.
In this podcast episode, Michael discusses the relationship between awareness and morality or mindfulness and ethics. When we are faced with the unprecedented and unrepeatable complexities of this moment, the question is not, “What is the right thing to do?” but “What is the compassionate thing to do?” This question can be approached with integrity but not with certainty. Recorded in 2011.
In this podcast episode, Michael discusses the ethic of brahmacharya. Brahmacharya literally translated means to live like Brahma, the creator God. It means acceleration and to have pistons fire and to build cities and make art and neighbours and architecture and grow things. It’s to live like brahma which is to take creative energy and to do something with it. That’s why Thich Nhat Hahn’s encourages us to be aware of what we’re creating. Recorded in 2011.
In this podcast episode, Michael explores the ethic of not stealing (asteya). Dogen, a wonderful Zen master, translates it this way: “The self and things of the world are just as they are. The gate of freedom is open.” This ethic is about being satisfied with what I have. Another way you could translate this is: not taking what’s not given freely. Recorded in 2011.
In this podcast episode, Michael discusses the ethic of honesty (satya). In the practice of satya, we become honesty, it arises out of the real-time situations of our loves and livings. The deepest value of practice comes through our commitment to honesty. If you look at non-violence or greed, it’s hard to enter those principles unless there’s honesty at the base. Recorded in 2011.
In this podcast episode, Michael discusses the relationship in our daily lives between form and formlessness. Wisdom is not separate from who we are. It’s like beads rolling on a tray: sudden, ready, uninhibited. Recorded in 2008.
Michael interviews Simone Moir, Registered Psychotherapist, on the precept of aparigraha (non-greed) and the practice of generosity. They discuss what comes up around possessiveness, addiction and obsession, embracing impermanence, the importance of relationship and knowing the importance of boundaries.