Polly Young-Eisendrath and Eleanor Johnson, “Enemies: From War to Wisdom”
In 18 episodes, author and psychoanalyst Young-Eisendrath and filmmaker Johnson—longtime Buddhist practitioners—explore the ways in which, individually and collectively, we consciously and unconsciously create and perpetuate conflict in our relationships with ourselves, others, and the world. The two friends discuss timely topics like politics, tribalism, love, and war, as well as what the Buddha taught about hatred and non-hatred.
Finally: an explanation of this core but confounding Buddhist teaching for the rest of us! Sunyata, or emptiness, is central to Mahayana Buddhism, but it takes someone with Dunne’s bona fides—University of Wisconsin-Madison distinguished professor; expert on Buddhist philosophy, contemplative practice, and cognitive science; witty, engaging speaker—to untangle this oft-misunderstood subject in an accessible, entertaining way. The 71 minutes fly by as Dunne delves into why emptiness is not nothing but rather “a meaningful absence.”
Sonic Yogi (Jonathan Adams), “Heart Chakra Tibetan Singing Bowls”
Feeling edgy or tired and have 19 minutes to spare? Grab your headphones and dive into a sound bath. I stumbled on this while looking for a way to muffle traffic din when I meditated outdoors. Indeed, ambient noise recedes as you listen, but the sound of the bowls builds gradually in layers and the real payoff comes with the powerful vibrations that course through your body. Said to reduce stress and even promote healing, the toning is both deeply relaxing and energizing.
Diana Winston, “Working Mindfully with Pain”
The Director of Mindfulness Education at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center leads a 30-minute weekly podcast at UCLA’s Hammer Museum. In this edition, she tweaks mindfulness instruction and a guided meditation to target physical pain. I tested the meditation on pain from a fracture and muscle spasms in my back. Success! Continued practice didn’t totally erase the pain, but as Winston suggested, it relieved the suffering. Just being more relaxed helped in managing any lingering discomfort. uclahealth.org/marc/meditation-at-the-hammer
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