Jill Shepherd, “The Role of Pleasant Experience in Formal and Informal Practice”
Our brains are hardwired to the negative—Velcro for bad experiences, Teflon for good, as psychologist Rick Hanson says. In this talk, Jill Shepherd, the guiding teacher at Auckland Insight Meditation, speaks about how we rarely think of effort and joy as compatible. But experiencing joy is a big part of the Buddha’s teachings, Shepherd says, and our positive experiences can both sustain our practice and be a sign of spiritual development.
The Way Through, “On Buddhism and Blackness”
Valerie Brown joins this limited Vox podcast series on radical change to discuss her background as a lawyer and lobbyist and describe how she found her way to Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition. This episode is informationally rich with the historic connections between Buddhist practice and Black activism. Brown also talks about the importance of taking refuge during times of uncertainty and shares versions of the five mindfulness trainings, rooted in the five precepts, which she updated with Marisela Gomez to address the global pandemic and racial justice.
Catching Z’s: The Millennials Guide to Mindfulness, “Miles Bukiet, Meditation Teacher and Devoted Student of Life”
When Miles Bukiet was injured while working on a New Zealand farm during his college years, he didn’t know what to do with himself, so he joined a friend to attend a Goenka-style Vipassana retreat. Those ten days in silence sent him on a path that included more than two years in solitary retreat. Bukiet joins host Nick Zolfo to discuss his motivation for helping younger people connect with meditation practices and communities, and for creating “monasteries of the future.”
Thirty years ago, Jarvis Jay Masters was sentenced to die for his alleged role in the murder of a prison guard. Freeing Masters, who became a Buddhist while in prison, has been a longtime cause célèbre in Buddhist circles. Now Masters’s allies have started this podcast series in the style of an open letter urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to reconsider the death penalty after he issued a moratorium on capital punishment in 2019. Though it could just be about Masters, Dear Governor considers an ecosystem of legally sanctioned killing across the US despite the innocence of some awaiting execution.
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