Tami Simon, Founder and Publisher of Sounds True interviews spiritual teachers, visionary writers, and living luminaries about their newest work and current challenges—the growing edge of their inner inquiry and outer contribution to the world.
Here's the Latest Episode from Sounds True: Insights at the Edge:
Alexandra Roxo is a writer, artist, and cofounder of the online community and ritual program Radical Awakenings. Her writing on the intersection of spirituality, sexuality, and healing has been featured in Girlboss, Teen Vogue, mindbodygreen, and more. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Alexandra about her new book, F*ck Like a Goddess, discussing the path of the artist and the call to a life of expression; making love to divinity and to all that is; emotional alchemy and inner transformation; and much more.
Erica Ariel Fox is the author of the New York Times bestseller Winning from Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change. She is a negotiation lecturer at Harvard Law School and a senior advisor to Fortune 500 companies. Erica is a featured presenter in Sounds True’s Inner MBA program. In this podcast, she speaks with Tami Simon about her revolutionary approach to conflict resolution, how she defines “winning from within,” working with your “top team” of inner advisors, and much more.
Damien Echols is an author and artist who teaches classes on magick around the country. The story of his wrongful murder conviction was documented in the films Paradise Lost and West of Memphis. With Sounds True, Damien has published the book High Magick and the complementary audio program A Course in High Magick. In this podcast, Sounds True founder Tami Simon speaks with Damien about his forthcoming book, Angels and Archangels,which offers us a practical set of tools for working with these timeless forces for divine wisdom and healing power.
Steven Hayes is a professor, the chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, and the author of more than 35 books and 500 scientific articles. The cofounder of the acclaimed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (known as ACT), Steven is a contributor to the Sounds True book The Self Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Toward Yourself in Any Situation and the author of the Sounds True audio program Acceptance and Commitment Theory. In this episode of Insights of the Edge—which previously aired as part of an interview series on self-acceptance—Tami Simon and Steven discuss his experiences living with a panic disorder at a young age, and how his own bouts with anxiety shaped his clinical studies. They talk about the practice of perspective-taking and how it can be a powerful bulwark against self-recrimination. Finally, Steven offers his perspective on spirituality and how that perspective informs the core tenets of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Heidi Smith is a psychosomatic therapist, flower essence practitioner, and registered herbalist. She is the author of The Bloom Book: A Flower Essence Guide to Cosmic Balance, a comprehensive guide for working with flower essences in order to bring about healing, transformation, and awakening, at both a personal and collective level. Heidi is Tami Simon’s guest in “Bringing People to the Flowers,” a podcast exploring humanity’s call to enter into a deeper relationship with flowers. Heidi and Tami also discuss flower essences as a “verbal and vibrational” medicine, the power of intention, how to begin working with flower essences yourself, and much more.
Karla McLaren is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer. Her work focuses on a “grand unified theory of emotions,” in which she moves us beyond looking at some emotions as negative and some as positive, and instead helps people see the genius that lives inside every single emotion. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Karla about managing the multiple emotions that many of us are experiencing as we navigate both a pandemic and a time of societal transformation. Tami and Karla also discuss the importance of creating a community that shares an “emotional vocabulary,” the four keys to unlocking the wisdom of our emotions, and much more.
How well do you know your nervous system? Deb Dana is a clinician and consultant specializing in complex trauma, and is the coordinator of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. Her work at the Kinsey Institute is focused on using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma, and create approaches that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. With Sounds True, Deb has created a new audio program called Befriending Your Nervous System: Looking Through the Lens of Polyvagal Theory. In this podcast, Deb offers an introduction to the human nervous system, how Polyvagal Theory informs our understanding of the nervous system, how to manage the state known as “dysregulation,” and more.
Dr. James Hollis is a Jungian analyst, a former executive director of the Jung Society of Washington, DC, and a professor of Jungian studies for Saybrook University of San Francisco/Houston. He is the author of 16 books including Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, Living an Examined Life, and, most recently, Living Between Worlds. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Hollis about his latest work and the increasing sense of importance for many people around living more meaningful lives. They also discuss how to find resilience during difficult times, how our souls let us know when we’re not on the right path, the difference between “meaning” and “purpose,” and more.
Sarah Blondin is an author and spiritual teacher whose guided meditations have been enjoyed by thousands of people around the globe. She is also the founder, writer, videographer, and creator of the podcast Live Awake. In this week’s podcast, Tami Simon and Sarah discuss her new book, Heart Minded: How to Hold Yourself and Others in Love. Their conversation explores the profound shift from living “above the neck” to fully inhabiting our hearts, how we can transmute suffering and discomfort with the energy of our hearts, connecting to our inherent wisdom and compassion, and much more.
How do we find a sense of stability when everything seems so groundless? Pema Chödrön is celebrated around the world for her ability to help us turn toward things that are difficult and embrace our uncertainty. In this week’s podcast, Pema joins Tami to share her one-of-a-kind guidance, including a special practice she calls “compassionate abiding.” Tami and Pema also talk about how to stay embodied when panic arises, accessing the wisdom inherent in our emotions, and the importance of cultivating “unconditional friendship” and befriending even those parts of ourselves that we want to reject.
Steve Macadam was, for 12 years, the President and CEO of EnPro, a $1.4 billion publicly traded company. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky, an MS in finance from Boston College, and an MBA from Harvard University, where he was a Baker Scholar. He currently serves as an independent director on the boards of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and Valvoline Inc. In this week's podcast, Tami and Steve discuss what it means for a company to have "dual bottom lines," and the aspiration to create a business with the formal purpose of enabling the full release of human possibility. (1 hour, 13 minutes)
Tami Simon speaks with Donna Eden, a renowned energy medicine expert who has taught throughout the US, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and South America. Along with her partner, Dr. David Feinstein, Donna is author of the books Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women. With Sounds True she has produced the multimedia program The Energy Medicine Kit. In this episode, Tami speaks with Donna about her experiences as someone who both sees energy and has healed herself from serious medical challenges. Donna also shares two energy practices: a technique to evolve our fight-flight-or-freeze response, and another for opening with total trust to the energy of the heavens. (1 hour, 3 minutes)
Sister Joan Chittister is an American theologian, Benedictine nun, and the author of more than 50 books. For over 40 years, she has passionately advocated on behalf of peace, human rights, women's issues, and church renewal. This week's podcast shares with you an excerpt from Sister Joan's audio program, Catching Fire: Being Transformed, Becoming Transforming, a seven-hour conversation with Tami Simon intended to spark the fire of the divine within each one of us.
Scott Shute is the head of LinkedIn’s Mindfulness and Compassion Programs and a featured trainer in the Inner MBA, a nine-month immersion program that Sounds True has created in partnership with LinkedIn, Wisdom 2.0, and MindfulNYU. In this week’s podcast, Tami Simon and Scott discuss the new revolution that is underway at today’s workplaces. Their conversation explores the importance of being present in order to find strength from the inside, learning to relax our minds and bodies, integrating spirituality and business, the power of compassion to shift a workplace from “me-centered” to “we-centered,” and much more. (57 minutes)
Dr. Lise Van Susteren is a psychiatrist in private practice in Washington, DC, and has served as an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University. With her writing partner, Stacey Colino, she has authored the new book Emotional Inflammation: Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Dr. Van Susteren joins Tami Simon to discuss the modern condition she calls emotional inflammation, the primary drivers behind it, and her innovative RESTORE process for coming back into balance and wholeness in our lives. (1 hour, 2 minutes)
Dr. Rachael Wooten is a Zurich-trained Jungian analyst and psychologist who has been in private practice as a therapist for more than 40 years. An enthusiastic interfaith activist, she has studied and practiced in Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and indigenous traditions throughout her adult life. With Sounds True, Dr. Wooten has written a new book called, Tara: The Liberating Power of the Female Buddha.In this episode of Insights at the Edge, you are invited to get to know Tara as a very real and deeply empowering presence in your own life, as Dr. Wooten introduces you to the radiant figure beloved by millions in Tibet and across the world. In conversation with Tami Simon, she also discusses the 21 traditional emanations of Tara, the first steps involved in embarking on a relationship with Tara, and how to enlist her help at this particular time in history. (1 hour, 7 minutes)
Cate Stillman teaches audiences how to create health and wellness through yoga and Ayurveda on her weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show. She has published two books with Sounds True: Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga and Master of You: A Five-Point System to Synchronize Your Body, Your Home, and Your Time with Your Ambition. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the Ayurvedic concept of the five elements. Cate emphasizes that these elements aren't external qualities, but universal constants that live within you as well. Tami and Cate also discuss what we all can learn from Ayurveda during the COVID-19 crisis, including a "first aid kit" of practices to make the most out of days in quarantine. They talk about the inherent "superpowers" of the body and how to assess what elements you should focus on during practice. Finally, Tami and Cate speak on values you can embrace for greater productivity and what it truly means to have mastery over your life.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, poet, peace activist, and the author of over 100 books and numerous Sounds True learning programs, including The Art of Mindful Living and Living Without Stress or Fear. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Hanh about the core of Buddhist practice: discovering liberation through present-moment mindfulness. Hanh relates some of his experiences as a young monk in Vietnam, including his involvement in the "engaged Buddhism" movement. Finally, Tami and Hanh discuss why meditation is available no matter where you are or what condition you are in. (46 minutes)
Ash Beckham is an activist and public speaker whose TEDx Talk “Coming Out of Your Closet” is one of the most viewed on the platform. With Sounds True, Ash has published Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Ash speaks with Tami Simon on how anyone can be a positive culture worker in even the smallest moments. Ash explains why she refers to herself as an “accidental activist,” tying this into the theme of her seminal TEDx Talk—that everyone keeps parts of themselves in the closet. Tami and Ash consider how to apply the lessons of Step Up to everyday social difficulties, as well as the “eight pillars of leadership” that lead to effective, heartful communication. Finally, they discuss the value of authenticity and what it truly means to live courageously.
Tami Simon speaks with Terry Tempest Williams, a writer, naturalist, environmental activist, and author of several books including Finding Beauty in a Broken World and an original audio adaptation of the book, published by Sounds True. In this interview, Terry discusses her creative process as a writer and how she has been able to find […]
Lisa Lahey, EdD, is an author, the codirector of the Minds at Work consulting firm, and a faculty member at Harvard University. She is a featured presenter for the Inner MBA program, a new Sounds True multimedia learning experience that explores how to bring principles of presence and conscious leadership to the business world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lisa about the inherent difficulty of making large personal changes—especially when they are essential to the advancement of your career. They talk about the inherent human resistance to change and the need to be fully aware of our "inner landscapes." Lisa explains how much of our resistance to change is rooted in self-protective patterns that need to be reckoned with before we can move forward. Tami and Lisa also discuss how to cultivate skills such as time management and communication, as well as what we can do to regulate work-based anxiety. Finally, Lisa details the three evolutionary steps for creating meaning and shares her hopes for the Inner MBA program.(67 minutes)
Lance Allred is a former NBA player (who was the first legally deaf player in the league), public speaker, and author. With Sounds True, he has published The New Alpha Male: How to Win the Game When the Rules Are Changing. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lance about the experiences he had in professional sports that led him to reevaluate what it means to be a man in contemporary society. Lance explains how his upbringing in a rural, polygamous commune informed his original ideas about masculinity, highlighting the subconscious assumptions about money and power that affect American men’s self-worth. Tami and Lance also discuss the roles of emotional vulnerability and surrender in the lives of modern men. Finally, they talk about the principle of perseverance and the increasingly urgent need for all cultures to reexamine their assumptions and core values.(63 minutes)
Michael Singer is a spiritual teacher, entrepreneur, and the bestselling author of the spiritual classic The Untethered Soul. He has collaborated with Sounds True to release the online course Living from a Place of Surrender: The Untethered Soul in Action. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Michael about the core idea of his teachings: that it is only through complete surrender to the essence of the moment that we experience life's full potential. They talk about what this sense of surrender actually means when it comes to decision-making and day-to-day activities, as well as how to recognize when we are still clinging to resistance. Michael explains how to take a "witness position" and let go of the arbitrary attachments that inhibit surrender. Finally, Tami and Michael discuss the application of these ideas to those things we truly value, including bringing the idea of surrender to social and environmental activism. (63 minutes)
Terry Gaspard is a licensed couples therapist, college professor, and the coauthor of Daughters of Divorce. She has teamed with Sounds True to publish The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Terry about the sometimes surprising factors that go into a healthy long-term relationship. Citing years of experience counseling couples, Terry explains that physical chemistry is less important to the life span of a relationship than you might think. Tami and Terry explore how to healthily navigate relationship conflict and the steps you can take to ensure open communication of emotional needs. They talk about healing after a relationship ends and how to evaluate whether you're ready to enter another long-term partnership. Finally, Terry and Tami discuss the stress of being a stepparent and the resilience needed to weather fresh relationship challenges. (64 minutes)
Justin Michael Williams is a meditation teacher and personal coach who is also a Billboard top 20 recording artist. With Sounds True, he has published Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us. In this special video episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Justin about his upcoming "Stay Woke, Give Back" tour, in which he will explain his unique approach to meditation and give copies of Stay Woke to youth in various cities across the US. Justin explains his "freedom meditation" technique and the experiences that led him to practicing mindfulness. Tami and Justin also discuss the blind spots of traditional meditation, the need for spiritual practices to acknowledge real-life struggles, and the dangers of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about why it's essential we begin teaching all children mindfulness skills from an early age and how we as a society can make that happen. (66 minutes)
Dr. Britta Bushnell is a longtime pregnancy educator who has helped countless people prepare for childbirth. With Sounds True, she has published a new book titled Transformed by Birth: Cultivating Openness, Resilience, and Strength for the Life-Changing Journey from Pregnancy to Parenthood. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Britta discuss why birth is a momentous rite of passage and the experiences that brought Britta to her life's calling. They delve into the mythological resonance and cultural significance of childbirth. Britta and Tami also talk about life-affirming rituals that one can establish during pregnancy and the misconceptions many of Britta's students initially bring to her. Finally, they speak on the spiritually transformative dimension of childbirth, including what we both give up and gain the moment we become parents.(70 minutes)
Shauna Shapiro, PhD, is a teacher, public speaker, and author whose published works include The Art and Science of Mindfulness and Mindful Discipline. With Sounds True, she has published Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Shauna about the neurology of self-image and why conscious acts of self-compassion greatly enhance our well-being. Shauna comments on practicing mindfulness with warmth and open affection, as well as how this gradually cultivates empathy. Tami and Shauna also talk about "trusting the good heart" and the possibility of changing our baseline levels of happiness. Finally, they discuss why changing ingrained habits is so difficult and the subtle power of the daily self-affirmation, "Good morning. I love you."(55 minutes)
Pema Chödrön is an American-born Buddhist nun who currently resides at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia. Her many publications include How to Meditate, Getting Unstuck, and Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better. This special episode of Insights at the Edge—originally broadcast as part of the Living with Vulnerability online program—features a deeply heartfelt conversation between Pema and Tami Simon. Here they discuss why it can feel so hard to live with your innermost self open to the world. Pema emphasizes that choosing to be vulnerable brings a more genuine and fulfilling experience of your daily life. Finally, Tami and Pema talk about listening to the inherent lessons of your emotions and why acceptance of the moment will open you to ever-greater opportunities for joy and enrichment.(66 minutes)
Chip Conley is an entrepreneur and the New York Times bestselling author of Peak and Wisdom at Work. He will present during Sounds True's upcoming Inner MBA program, a nine-month training program for bringing your full, authentic self to your workplace and career. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Chip about socially responsible entrepreneurship and the movement toward making workplaces into spiritually fulfilling spaces. They talk about the modern business obsession with short-term profit and why this attitude does damage to both our culture and environment. Chip and Tami also consider what it is to pursue meaning rather than profit, as well as how to create "collective effervescence" within a work culture. Finally, Chip explains his lifelong habit of journaling each week's accomplishments and tells the story of the biggest risk he's ever taken. (73 minutes)
Dr. Jennifer Freed is an author, personal mediator, and an accredited psychological astrologist. With Sounds True, she has published Use Your Planets Wisely: Master Your Ultimate Cosmic Potential with Psychological Astrology. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Freed about the tenets and practice of psychological astrology. Using 2020 as a guide, Dr. Freed examines Tami's upcoming astrological chart and uses it to illustrate the deeper workings of the practice. They discuss the various heavenly bodies that influence psychological astrology (including some that might surprise you) and their archetypal functions. Tami and Dr. Freed also talk about cultivating confidence in astrological readings and "a litmus test for false prophets." Finally, they explore some of the variable symbolism of the planets and what it truly means to "use your planets wisely."(59 minutes)
Last week, the Sounds True community was saddened to hear of the passing of Ram Dass, one of the great lights of American spiritual inquiry. Born Richard Alpert, Ram Dass (meaning "servant of God") rose to the forefront of psychedelic exploration and the movement toward Eastern philosophy in the 1960s and '70s. He wrote the all-time classic Be Here Now in addition to many other published works, including Sounds True's Walking Each Other Home. This special edition of Insights at the Edge presents an interview between Tami Simon and Ram Dass from 2012. During this conversation, Ram Dass and Tami discuss a deeper exploration of the self and the individual soul. They talk about experiencing the guru Maharaj-ji living on through the bodies and teachings of his students. Finally, Ram Dass considers the everyday experience of the atman—what he calls "the mega soul" beyond all others.(64 minutes)
Brother David Steindl-Rast is an internationally renowned author, lecturer, and pivotal member of the monastic renewal movement. A monk in the Benedictine tradition, Brother David is also an expert in Zen Buddhism and a tireless advocate for building bridges between Eastern and Western religious traditions. With Sounds True, Brother David created the audio program The Grateful Heart. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Brother David talk about the innate longing that drives spiritual study and is the impetus for seeking out a monastic life. Tami and Brother David explore the concept of the “Double Realm” that lies beyond standard concepts of time and existence, as well as how practicing gratitude can be a doorway to that realm. Finally, Brother David considers the future of religion and spirituality as he enters his nineties.(61 minutes)
Micah Mortali is the director of the Kripalu School, a certified yoga teacher, and a longtime wilderness guide. With Sounds True, he has published Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Micah about humanity's growing disconnection from the earth and how "rewilding" can help slow that trend. They talk about rewilding both as individuals and as part of whole ecosystems. Micah also shares the story of an intense, revelatory trail encounter with a bear and comments on the "species loneliness" of urban environments. Mulling the sense of grief they have for humankind's effects on the environment, Tami and Micah consider how modern people can grapple with being in exile from the natural world. Finally, they discuss the barriers many have to reentering nature, as well as ways to initiate your own rewilding experience no matter where you are.(64 minutes)
John Prendergast is a retired psychology professor, spiritual teacher, and the author of books such as In Touch and Listening from the Heart of Silence. With Sounds True, he has released a new book titled The Deep Heart: Our Portal to Presence. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with John about subtle and sublime experiences of the heart. John comments on the childhood wounding that often leads to a fear of vulnerability and a general alienation from the heart's true voice. John and Tami also talk about seeking answers through the heart rather than the mind, as well as the spiritual dimensions one explores while doing so. Finally, they discuss how to crack the armored shell caused by wounding and how you can deal skillfully with the pain of living in an uncertain, often dismaying world.(69 minutes)
Dr. Elaine Aron is a clinical depth psychologist and the author of the seminal 1997 book The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. With Sounds True, she has published the new audio learning program The Highly Sensitive Person's Complete Learning Program: Essential Insights and Tools for Navigating Your Work, Relationships, and Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Aron about what it means to be a highly sensitive person and recent research into the phenomenon. They consider whether the trait is genetic or adaptive, as well as the various ways sensitive behaviors manifest in day-to-day life. They also discuss how best to approach romantic relationships with highly sensitive people and the possible social advantages of sensitivity. Finally, Dr. Aron shares the connection between extreme sensitivity and intuition, as well as attitudes necessary for embracing the entirety of your unique, sensitive self.(50 minutes)
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist best known for her roles in films such as Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin, and Death Becomes Her. She created The Hawn Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind MindUP™, an educational program that is bringing mindfulness practices to millions of children across the world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Goldie about her longtime interest in meditation and why it's so important to teach brain basics to kids. They discuss the neuroscience that demonstrates the clear benefits of teaching emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and the basics of brain science to children from an early age—as well as why Goldie is teaching these aspects to her own grandchildren. Finally, Tami and Goldie talk about what it means to differentiate one's true self from the projections of others, as well as why love and family remain Goldie's first priorities in life. (67 minutes)
James Clear is the founder of the Habits Academy and author of the New York Times bestselling book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with James about the mechanics of habit change—specifically through careful, incremental daily improvements. James shares the dramatic story of the sports injury that nearly killed him when he was a teenager, as well as how his recovery experience informed his eventual career. Tami and James talk about how to discern what habits will serve you best and why small changes lead to big results. Finally, they discuss examples of bypassing through habit change and the optimal amount of time it takes to shift behaviors. (60 minutes)
Bruce Tift has been in private practice as a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado since 1979. He taught at Naropa University for 24 years and was a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. With Sounds True, he has published the book Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bruce and Tami Simon compare and contrast two different approaches to personal transformation: the “developmental” approach of psychotherapy and the “fruitional” approach of Buddhist practice. They discuss the blind spots inherent in each approach, as well as the ways they can be addressed. Tami and Bruce talk about the nature of neurosis and how neurotic tendencies almost always involve a sense of disembodiment. Finally, they speak on “unconditional practices,” and how unconditional kindness can transform one’s outlook on the procession of life. (70 minutes)
Christian Conte, PhD, is a mental health specialist and leading authority on anger management. With Sounds True, Christian has published Walking Through Anger: A New Design for Confronting Conflict in an Emotionally Charged World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Christian about his Yield Theory of emotional management, focusing on the process of “listen, validate, explore options.” Christian explains the events that led to his interest in anger management, as well as the origins of Yield Theory. He emphasizes the importance of meeting others where they are, giving them the opportunity to drain anger's charge from their limbic system. Christian and Tami discuss why it's necessary to cultivate humility and how Yield Theory might be applied to our currently divisive culture. Finally, they speak on “the cartoon world” that angry responses often create, as well as the importance of watching what we add to our minds.(63 minutes)
Sandra Ingerman is an internationally renowned shamanic teacher and the author of many books. Her published works include The Book of Ceremony, Walking in Light, and Awakening to the Spirit World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami speaks with Sandra about the upcoming online course Healing with Spiritual Light: The Shamanic Power of Transfiguration to Heal Ourselves, Each Other, and the Earth. Specifically, Sandra comments on transfiguration as a spiritual practice, highlighting how it can be a portal to both physical and environmental healing. Tami and Sandra talk about the inherently transforming power of light, as well as some of the scientific evidence around transfiguration. Finally, Sandra emphasizes the imperative to engage with transfiguration in the face of climate change and considers the future shape of human culture. (66 minutes)
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is the internationally renowned founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts, whose trailblazing research has helped bring mindfulness meditation into mainstream medicine. Jon is the author of many books and audio programs, including Wherever You Go, There You Are and the Guided Mindfulness Meditation series. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jon about the role of science in validating mindfulness practice, the 180-degree shift that lets us rest in awareness instead of identifying with our thoughts, and the potential cultural renaissance that could arise from a “mindfulness revolution.” (72 minutes)
Caroline Myss is a renowned author, teacher, medical intuitive, and researcher of human consciousness. Her many works include Anatomy of the Spirit, Sacred Contracts, and Why People Don't Heal and How They Can. A longtime collaborator with Sounds True, Caroline has recently published the audio program The Courage to Confront Evil: The Most Important Challenge of Our Time. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Caroline about a subject that's often divisive: the concept of evil and what we can do to counter it. Caroline defines evil from a number of different angles, emphasizing that it most often arrives when someone intentionally abandons their conscience. Tami and Caroline discuss the existence of both angelic and demonic forces, as well as how the inner workings of the universe are ultimately impersonal. Finally, they consider why looking evil in the face does take considerable courage—a courage we all need to muster during an era of great arrogance and inhumanity.(62 minutes)
Eckhart Tolle is one of the world's most renowned spiritual teachers. In addition to hosting many talks, retreats, and seminars, Eckhart has written two all-time bestselling books: The Power of Now and A New Earth. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon joins Eckhart for an in-depth question-and-answer session that includes queries from members of his teaching community. In preparation for a new, eight-week online course on conscious manifestation, Eckhart explains the difference between creating from the demands of the ego and from a place of still Presence. Eckhart also describes how to deal with doubts and fears of insufficiency during the creative process. Finally, Eckhart comments on the true origins of inspiration and how you can use the principles of conscious manifestation to affect positive change in the world.(68 minutes)
Peter Sterios is a renowned yoga teacher who has been spreading the good word of the practice for almost 40 years. With Sounds True, he has published the new book Gravity & Grace: How to Awaken Your Subtle Body and the Healing Power of Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Peter about the themes behind the title Gravity & Grace, as well as how the concept arose from Peter's own experience with performance-limiting injuries. Peter comments on the psychospiritual experience of yoga practice and the immediate benefits of checking in on the state of your body. Tami and Peter also talk about the innate intelligence of the body, how to tap into your subtle energetic field, and the bedrock necessity of knowing how to breathe. Finally, they discuss Peter's approach to "levity yoga" and the self-trust needed to craft a truly personal movement practice. (69 minutes)
Charlie Gilkey is an entrepreneur and productivity expert who founded the company Productive Flourishing. With Sounds True, he has published the new book Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Charlie about crafting our best work—and more importantly, how to complete it. They discuss the process of deciding what your best work actually is, as well as how ideas grow into successful projects. Charlie explains why a project needs to be divided into "chunks" in order to really move forward, emphasizing that tangible benchmarks are imperative for actually finishing the work. Finally, Tami and Charlie talk about "creative constipation" and the courage it takes to pour one's whole self into a beloved endeavor. (69 minutes)
Kristin Neff is an associate professor at the University of Texas and the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. With Sounds True, she has recently published the audio program The Yin and Yang of Self-Compassion. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Kristin about why it's so difficult for so many people to treat themselves with actual compassion. Kristin explains that self-compassion is not some form of self-indulgence or excuse for bad behavior; indeed, there are actually various forms of self-compassion that arise in different situations. Tami and Kristin explore the roots of wrathful or angry self-compassion, including the mythological figures that embody this concept. Finally, they discuss the most common blocks to self-assertive compassion and the necessity of taking occasional "self-compassion breaks" to cultivate a better relationship within. (64 minutes)
Mark Nepo is a New York Times bestselling author, poet, and philosopher whose many books include The Book of Awakening, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky, and The One Life We're Given. Most recently, he has partnered with Sounds True to publish Drinking from the River of Light: The Life of Expression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mark about about our collective notions around creativity and the societal role of art. Mark details how his own ideas about creative expression have shifted over the decades, as well as why we should try to separate creation from commerce. Mark and Tami talk about the "messy, magnificent journey" of being human and why art must be a "witness to what is." Finally, they discuss the necessity of holding nothing back during the creative process and why the pursuit of art is also the pursuit of timelessness.(71 minutes)
Seane Corn is an internationally renowned yoga teacher, activist, and the founder of Off the Mat, Into the WorldⓇ. With Sounds True, she has published a new book, Revolution of the Soul: Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Seane about the necessity of loving without hesitation and with heart wide open—as well as why this is so difficult for many. Seane considers the past traumas that have informed both her lowest moments and her greatest successes. Tami and Seane also talk about the moral imperative to speak the truth about abusers, even if that might mean a loss of social standing. Finally, Seane comments on the realization of her own social privilege and why people with privilege are obligated to leverage it for the greater good. (75 minutes)
Joseph M. Marshall III is a teacher, historian, writer, storyteller, and a Lakota craftsman. Joseph’s expansive body of work includes nine nonfiction books, three novels, and numerous essays, stories, and screenplays. With Sounds True, he has produced the audio programs Quiet Thunder and Keep Going, as well as the book The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage. In this episode, Tami talks with Joseph about the inheritance of wisdom he received from his grandparents, the central teachings of the Lakota people, the sense of guilt and shame that many Euro-Americans feel when reflecting on the tragedies of American history, and a story about the power of awareness and looking back. (48 minutes)
Richard Strozzi-Heckler is an executive coach, author, and the founder of the Strozzi Institute. His published works include The Anatomy of Change and The Leadership Dojo. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Richard about the somatic training that he has taught for more than 20 years. Richard explains the process of somatics and the many benefits of tuning into the messages of the body. Tami and Richard talk about the importance of breath awareness and how we can change our relationship to breathing. They discuss the relationship between somatic awareness and good leadership, as well as how to overcome resistance to unpleasant sensations. Finally, Richard and Tami consider the process of somatic change and the sometimes difficult passages that it requires. (71 minutes)
Adreanna Limbach is a personal coach and the lead meditation teacher at Mindful Meditation Studios in New York City. With Sounds True, she has published Tea and Cake with Demons: A Buddhist Guide to Feeling Worthy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Adreanna about contemplative practices that can open anyone to sitting down and becoming more familiar with their own difficult, painful feelings. Adreanna explains how these same practices helped her come to terms with panic attacks and become more resilient to extreme bursts of emotion. Tami and Adreanna discuss what it means to be "worthy" and why challenges are actually invitations to practice. Finally, they talk about the Four Noble Truths and how they might be interpreted in the modern era. (67 minutes)
Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, and fully trained lama of the Vajrayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. With Sounds True, he is presenting during the upcoming Wisdom of the Body Summit, an online event devoted to tuning into the natural intuition and awareness of our physical forms. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lama Rod about the basics of Vajrayana and how its practices can be applied to modern life. Tami asks Lama Rod how his identity as an African-American, queer man informs his practice and teachings. In turn, Lama Rod comments on how spiritual teachings should meet people where they actually live and those parts of the Tantric tradition that he had to leave behind. Finally, Lama Rod explains how Vajrayana brings you into greater harmony with the body, as well as why love and anger aren't the polar opposites you might assume.(63 minutes)
Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher whose work adheres to no single tradition, but points the way toward awakening for all seekers. He has published many books and audio programs with Sounds True, including The Most Important Thing, The End of Your World, and Resurrecting Jesus. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Adya (as his friends and students call him) about The 30-Day Wake Up Challenge, an upcoming online course designed to take listeners on a journey through the layers of awakened consciousness over the course of a single month. Tami expresses her excitement about the course and asks Adya whether it's really possible to "wake up" in just a few weeks. Adya talks about the liberation of dropping into the Spiritual Heart, leading listeners in a practice for touching this sublime, compassionate inner space. Finally, they discuss the everyday applications of touching awakened awareness, as well as why The 30-Day Wake Up Challenge has been one of Adya's intensive projects.(66 minutes)
Bronnie Ware is an author and speaker whose bestselling book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, is based on her time as a palliative care worker. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bronnie outlines these five major life regrets with Tami Simon and discusses the experiences in end-of-life care that inspired them. Bronnie explains how most regrets arise from a lack of courage and why people are willing to share so openly during their last days. Tami and Bronnie speak on the healing power of sharing our most vulnerable selves, even if it's in a letter that we never send. Finally, they talk about maintaining trust in the flow of life and why happiness is ultimately a choice.(61 minutes)
Cyndi Dale is a renowned intuitive healer, bestselling author, and recognized expert on energy healing. With Sounds True, Cyndi has published the seminal The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy and The Subtle Body Practice Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Energy Healing. Sounds True will also be hosting Cyndi's upcoming online course The Subtle Body Online Training Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cyndi about the many extraordinary experiences and important lessons that brought Cyndi to energy healing. They discuss the basic structures of the subtle anatomy and how physical ailments often have energetic causes. Cyndi explains her understanding of the chakras and details how people can maintain their personal energetic boundaries. Finally, Cyndi leads listeners in an exercise for recognizing their own subtle energetic field and talks to Tami about the "energy egg" that surrounds each of us. (70 minutes)
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, author, and teacher of prayer in the contemplative Christian tradition. She is the principal teacher and advisor to the Contemplative Society and a passionate teacher of Centering Prayer. Cynthia is the author of Love Is Stronger than Death and The Meaning of Mary Magdalene, and with Sounds True she has created the audio learning course Encountering the Wisdom Jesus. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cynthia about new insights on the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and the concept of the "abler soul"—when two souls come together to form something greater. Cynthia addresses some misconceptions of Jesus as a teacher and the path that brought her to Centering Prayer. Finally, Tami and Cynthia talk about servanthood and how we grow through service to others. (66 minutes)
Jerry Colonna is an investor, an entrepreneur, and the CEO of reboot.io, a coaching firm for executive-level businesspeople. He is the author of Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jerry about bringing our authentic selves and open hearts to the business world. Jerry describes the path that brought him from a troubled childhood to becoming a successful businessman, as well as the events that made him reconsider how he wanted to better the world. Tami and Jerry discuss how self-inquiry can help make you a better leader and why everyone needs to define "success" for themselves. Finally, they talk about bringing your full, vulnerable aliveness to the workplace and what it truly means to "grow up." (74 minutes)
Mark Wolynn is the director of The Family Constellation Institute, The Inherited Trauma Institute, and The Hellinger Institute of Northern California. His book It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle was a Silver Nautilus award-winner in 2016. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mark about inherited trauma and how it can be the source of unexplained illnesses. Mark explains how the effects of deep trauma ripple across generations, citing the evidence of epigenetic changes following traumatic events. Mark and Tami discuss the work of Roger Woolger and the possibility of trauma descending from past lives. Finally, they talk about what it means to honor our ancestors' pain while also healing and moving forward with our own lives. (70 minutes)
Ruth King is an Insight Meditation teacher, life coach, diversity consultant, and the author of Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible. She is publishing her new book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, in collaboration with Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ruth about the personal experiences that led to writing Mindful of Race and why the heart can be "a mass weapon of healing." They talk about the different ways we can interpret current racial narratives and why it takes honest self-examination to discover how one has benefited from a racist system. Ruth explains how mindfulness can open us up to having difficult conversations around racism, colonialism, and other forms of systemic oppression. Finally, Tami and Ruth discuss how "life is not personal, permanent, or perfect" and the necessity of cultivating compassion in all walks of life. (74 minutes)
Tara Brach is an author, clinical psychologist, and the founder and senior teacher of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. A longtime Sounds True collaborator, Tara is one of the creators and main teachers for the in-depth Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Tara about "the Trance of Unworthiness"—a state in which we believe that we are too inadequate, incomplete, and broken to love ourselves. Tara explains why we are so tough on ourselves and the steps needed to cultivate self-compassion. Tami and Tara also discuss how we can find refuges within no matter our current difficulties. Finally, they talk about the need for mental health professionals to understand contemplative practices such as mindfulness. (56 minutes)
Briana Saussy is a teacher, counselor, and the founder of the Sacred Arts Academy. A true polymath, she draws from a background in math, philosophy, and classic languages to teach arts such as tarot, divination, and alchemy. With Sounds True, Briana has released the new book Making Magic: Weaving Together the Everyday and the Extraordinary. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Briana about the moments of magic that permeate our days, but are rarely noticed as such.They discuss how there are potential portals to magic in every instant, including seemingly mundane acts such as entering a doorway or drinking a glass of water. Briana explains that practicing magic helps you reclaim your sovereignty and also shares the teaching story "Golden Locks and the Bear People." Finally, Tami and Briana talk about the surprising abundance of time for practice and why our society needs more headstrong women. (70 minutes)
Loch Kelly is a meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and the founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. With Sounds True, he has released the new book The Way of Effortless Mindfulness: A Revolutionary Guide for Living an Awakened Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Loch about "effortless mindfulness"—what it is, how it's realized, and what it means for the next stages of human development. Loch guides listeners in practices for "unhooking" from the stream of thought and dropping into the flow state of effortless awareness. Tami and Loch also discuss the traditional roots of effortless awareness and the many pitfalls that can divert us away from it. Finally, Loch explains that living from effortless awareness is not emotionless and automatic, but is filled with immense compassion and the joy of being in harmony with the present moment. (77 minutes)
Sheryl Paul is a counselor in the depth psychology tradition who has helped thousands of people through her website, online courses, and books. With Sounds True, she has released the new book, The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts Are Gifts to Help You Heal. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sheryl about why we should consider anxiety "a distress flare from the subconscious" that is meant to alert us to unspoken and unacknowledged inner truths. Sheryl explains why running away or numbing out from anxiety is ultimately futile, and describes how opening to one's anxious thoughts can summon valuable personal epiphanies. Tami and Sheryl also talk about what it means to develop our wise inner parent and how we can examine the meaning of intrusive thoughts. Finally, they discuss the importance of positive daily rituals and why life transitions are so acutely stressful. (69 minutes)
Fleet Maull is an author, consultant, and executive coach who founded Prison Dharma Network and the National Prison Hospice Association while serving 14 years in federal prison. In the 20 years since his release, Fleet has taught the expansive philosophy he discovered while incarcerated as a meditation teacher, end-of-life educator, and the creator of the Radical Responsibility training program. With Sounds True, he has released the book Radical Responsibility and accompanying audio program Living with Radical Responsibility. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami talks with Fleet about the roots of Radical Responsibility and how its philosophy came to define his life. Fleet explains what it means to leave behind your "victim story" even while honoring the fact that your boundaries were violated. Tami and Fleet discuss Karpman's model of "the drama triangle," which is essential to the tenets of Radical Responsibility. Finally, they speak on the neurobiology behind the Radical Responsibility model, as well as the paramount importance of recognizing the innate goodness of other people. (71 minutes)
Martha Sears is a registered nurse and former childbirth educator who has co-written more than 25 celebrated books on pregnancy and parenting. Her daughter, Hayden Sears, is a health and nutrition coach who is also the co-host of the Dr. Sears Family Podcast. Together, they have written The Healthy Pregnancy Journal, which will be released by Sounds True in May, 2019. In this special Mother's Day edition of Insights at the Edge, Sounds True associate publisher Jaime Schwalb speaks with Hayden and Martha about the extraordinary journey of motherhood—from pregnancy through day-to-day parenting. Martha and Hayden detail the Sears family's growth as parenting experts, as well as the original ideas behind The Healthy Pregnancy Journal. They talk about the benefits of journaling and a full community's encouragement throughout pregnancy. Finally, Martha, Hayden, and Jaime talk about speaking with one's partner about basic values before becoming parents, as well as how society's view of pregnancy has evolved in the last four decades. (67 minutes)
Dr. Tererai Trent is an activist, adjunct professor at Drexel University's School of Public Health, and the author of The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams. Oprah Winfrey has referred to Dr. Trent as one of her favorite guests. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Trent about the path that took her from a childhood in rural Zimbabwe to becoming an internationally renowned advocate for women's empowerment. They talk about the responsibility of honoring one's ancestors—especially those women who were silenced and unable to achieve their dreams. Finally, Dr. Trent explains how she is a "midwife for women's awakening" and details the social progress that she wants to see women make across the world. (67 minutes)
Susan Kaiser Greenland is an author, meditation teacher, and the founder of the Inner Kids Foundation, which is devoted to bringing the lessons of mindfulness to children. Her books include The Mindful Child and Mindful Games. With Sounds True, Susan has created Mindful Parent, Mindful Child, a 30-day training program for integrating mindfulness into your family's everyday life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Susan about her efforts to fold mindfulness into basic childhood education, as well as how she came to this work after 20 years as a corporate lawyer. Susan outlines some of the practices that are ideal for children and why parents should have their own mindfulness routine. Susan and Tami discuss mindfulness-based games and the steps to making common practices (such as a body scan) more fun and engaging. Finally, they consider how to balance the ideal of non-striving with motivated work, as well as what the future of children's mindfulness education might look like. (62 minutes)
Frederic Laloux is a business analyst and author whose book Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness is considered one of the most important management guides of the past decade. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks to Frederic about what it takes to become a "next-level organization" that meets the challenges and opportunities of expanding human consciousness. Frederic explains that the next stage of human development will be to move beyond ego, elaborating on how this will look in the business world. Tami and Frederic discuss the difficult balance between fulfilling financial obligations and living out one's fundamental truth. Finally, they speak on the development of open and spiritually nourishing organizations, as well as the movement toward decentralizing authority in business places. (69 minutes)
Edward Espe Brown is a Zen priest and the former head cook at Tassajara Mountain Zen Mountain Center who helped found Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. He is the author of No Recipe and the classic Tassajara Bread Book. With Sounds True, he is publishing The Most Important Point: Zen Teachings of Edward Espe Brown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Edward about the origin of his newest book: a quote from his teacher Suzuki Roshi, who said, "The most important point is to find out what the most important point is." Edward describes his discipleship with Suzuki Roshi and why Zen practice can sometimes be like feeling your way through pitch darkness. Tami and Edward talk about the tradition of "taking the backward step" and moments of realization that transcend your expected practice. Finally, they talk about Edward's path away from extremely low self-esteem and the role of difficult emotions in Zen contemplative practice. (77 minutes)
Mirabai Starr is a writer and modern mystic whose books include God of Love and Caravan of No Despair. Most recently, she has published Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce and Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics with Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mirabai about her approach to feminine mysticism and what brought her to write Wild Mercy. Mirabai explains women mystics' emphasis on interbeing as well as the innate connection between spiritual seeking and the fate of the earth. Tami and Mirabai talk about the potential forms that spiritual communities may take in the future and how we can navigate the death throes of patriarchal religious structures. Finally, they discuss the reunion of masculine and feminine perspectives, as well as why loss opens us to immense compassion. (60 minutes)
A.H. Almaas is the pen name of A. Hameed Ali, a veteran spiritual teacher who founded The Ridhwan School in 1976 to spread The Diamond Approach®, his particular path of spiritual inquiry. He has written many books, including The Pearl Beyond Price, The Unfolding Now, and The Alchemy of Freedom. With Sounds True, he will soon be launching Presence—an eight-week online course devoted to exploring the always-available consciousness underlying all of reality. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Almaas about approaching Presence as "the elixir of enlightenment"—the central key to understanding our spiritual nature. Almaas explains the experiential feeling of touching Presence and provides examples of other teachers who have attempted to explain it. Tami and Almaas discuss the possible meaning of enlightenment and why body-based practices are essential to discovering Presence. Finally, they consider why the spiritual path is essentially endless and what it means to be a "complete human being." (64 minutes)
Diane Poole Heller is a licensed therapist and noted expert in trauma, integrative healing, and secure attachment. With Sounds True, she has published The Power of Attachment: How to Create Deep and Lasting Intimate Relationships. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Diane about the different attachment styles that we pick up in childhood and carry subconsciously into our adult behaviors. Diane explains how these attachment patterns are engraved in both the mind and body, highlighting the long-term effects of trauma and neglect. Tami and Diane discuss strategies for coping with and healing from insecure and disorganized childhood attachment. Finally, Diane shares a visualization practice for disidentifying from generational trauma and strategies for increasing our innate connection to others. (67 minutes)
Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety are the founders of Motherly, a website and support network devoted to redefining modern motherhood. With Sounds True, they have created This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge, Sounds True associate publisher Jaime Schwalb sits down with Jill and Liz to talk about how they originally formed Motherly and their desire to create a more positive approach to modern parenting. They talk about the importance of regular self-care practices for parents and why it really does take a village (even a digital one) to raise a child. Liz and Jill explain how each parent has their own skills and "superpowers," as well as how you can recognize them. Finally, Jaime, Jill, and Liz discuss the discipline and clear communication needed to effectively parent. (54 minutes)
Cate Stillman has taught yoga, Ayurveda, and wellness improvement to thousands of students over the course of nearly 20 years. She hosts the weekly Yogahealer Real Thrive Show, a podcast devoted to exploring wellness with dozens of experts in the field. With Sounds True, she has released Body Thrive: Uplevel Your Body and Your Life with 10 Habits from Ayurveda and Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Cate about the 10 habits prescribed by Body Thrive for creating a more energetic, optimized life. Cate explains the Ayurvedic and biological origins of these habits, as well as how we as humans can better synchronize with our natural rhythms. Tami and Cate discuss the epidemic of sleep deprivation in modern society and why we should avoid giving in to the energy of a second wind. Finally, they talk about discovering the "bliss body" described by ancient yogis and the sacred duty humans have to preserve our ecosystem. (73 minutes)
Diana Winston is is the director of mindfulness education at UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, a member of the Teachers Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and a pioneer in mindfulness education for children. With Sounds True, she has released The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Diana about "natural awareness"—an always-available, foundational flow state distinguishable from deliberate mindfulness practice. They share "glimpse practices" designed to open up perception and embodiment of natural awareness, commenting on how each can be practiced in day-to-day life. Diana and Tami discuss the value of going on retreat, the spectrum of different awareness practices, and common misconceptions about what it takes to become a mindfulness teacher. Finally, Diana explains why it's important not to become a "bliss-ninny" as well as the difference between natural awareness and spacing out. (64 minutes)
John Welwood, PhD, was a psychotherapist and practicing Buddhist who integrated Eastern contemplative wisdom and Western science in his work. He published many books and articles, including Journey of the Heart and Toward a Psychology of Awakening. John passed away in January of 2019 at the age of 75. In honor of his amazing life, Sounds True is presenting a special episode of Insights at the Edge originally broadcast during The Psychotherapy and Spirituality Summit. In this segment, Tami Simon speaks with John about the nature of psychological suffering and the layers of meaning associated with our wounding. John comments on how spiritual practice can help therapy proceed with more awareness, and how spiritual practice benefits from the rigorous analysis of psychotherapy. Tami and John also discuss how to avoid falling into the trap of spiritual bypassing. Finally, they talk about the healing of relational wounds and the gradual spiritual awakening of the human race. (62 minutes)
Lissa Rankin, MD, is a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and physician. Her books include The Fear Cure, Mind Over Medicine, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She has worked with Sounds True to publish The Daily Flame: 365 Love Letters from Your Inner Pilot Light. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Lissa about the Inner Pilot Light—the deepest, most essential aspect of Self whose divine spark can never be extinguished. Lissa shares some of the letters from The Daily Flame and explains how their encouraging words are based on years of engagement with her innermost values. Tami and Lissa discuss how her work deals with the theme of longing and why we need to lean into the places we find uncomfortable in order to truly grow. Finally, Lissa shares the story of how she met her writing mentor and what it means to "own stock in the company of yourself." (66 minutes)
Tami Simon is the founder and CEO of Sounds True, as well as the host of Insights at the Edge. In this special episode, Tami celebrates an amazing milestone: her five-hundredth podcast. Speaking on her many years as an interviewer, Tami explains that she has been able to take in all the competing, often contradictory viewpoints of her subjects by embracing the concept of paradox. She shares numerous examples of contrasting ideas (such as the roles of anger and surrender in spiritual practice) that she has entertained as truth. Tami considers the paradox of becoming more in tune with herself over the years while also learning how interconnected she is with all other beings. Finally, Tami mulls the painful contradiction of brilliant teachers who also prey on the vulnerable and what this means for the overall quest for spiritual discovery. (36 minutes)
Ayelet Waldman is a former federal public defender, current adjunct professor at UC Berkeley Law School, and a bestselling author. Her books include Love and Treasure, Daughter's Keeper, and A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ayelet about the practice of microdosing with small quantities of psychedelic drugs in order to treat mental health conditions. Ayelet shares her own story of microdosing with LSD and how it helped her climb out of a pit of suicidal depression. Tami and Ayelet discuss the legal limitations on microdosing, the difficulty of researching the effects of psychedelics, and the possible future of the war on drugs. Finally, they talk about the many clinical applications of MDMA, including a surprising application for couples therapy. (59 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Research! Research! Research! If we are to understand how to effectively microdose with LSD and other psychoactive substances, we need open minds and quality research to guide our way. Let's move beyond any preformed biases we might have (pro or con) and pursue research that will give us the data, proper protocols, and safeguards we need.
Seth Godin is a bestselling author and popular blogger who is known for his writing on marketing, the spread of ideas, and mindful business strategies. With Sounds True, he released the audio program Leap First: Creating Work That Matters. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Seth discuss the concept of resistance and how it must be sought out in any effective pursuit of art. They also talk about the contemporary "connection economy" and how there is no guarantee that one can make a living through genuine self-expression—but also how one should do so anyway. Finally, they spoke on the necessity of taking leaps and Seth’s concept of living a life of faith. (62 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Seth Godin looks at a picture every day that depicts a person triumphantly jumping off of a third story building onto a street below. The caption: "Leap into the Void." Seth leaps every day and inspires others to do the same. He teaches us not to wait to be discovered—for someone to choose us to come forward. Instead, we take the leap and "pick ourselves," engaging in the creative act of being vulnerable, making art, and expressing ourselves. And whether 10 people notice or 10 million, we have the deep satisfaction of living courageously and pouring out our creative souls in ways that matter.
Dr. Erin Clabough is an assistant professor of biology and neuroscience at Hampden-Sydney College. With Sounds True, she has published Second Nature: How Parents Can Use Neuroscience to Help Kids Develop Empathy, Creativity, and Self-Control. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Erin about the experience of raising four children while also pursuing her PhD, and how this informed the lessons in Second Nature. Erin describes specific methods she's used to challenge and discipline her children in ways that encourage the development of positive lifelong traits, as well as how these methods can be applied in any family. Erin and Tami discuss the tricky modern issue of screen time and the different ways to approach rules with differently aged children. Finally, they talk about the concept of emotional "scaffolding" and what it takes to really model positive behaviors in your daily life. (56 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Have you ever noticed that sometimes when someone says, "I'm sorry" for some ignorant or destructive action, their apology can feel insufficient or incomplete? A mother of four and a neuroscience educator, Erin Clabough says to her children, "I don't want your 'sorry.' I want you not to do it again." Erin teaches her children what she calls "the OUT method." O stands for "owning the action you took." U stands for "understanding how that action affected other people." And T stands for "telling the person you hurt how you will do it differently next time." What a powerful way to build empathy in children and for all of us to make amends when we need to!
Dr. Samantha Brody is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and the founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, Oregon. With Sounds True, she has published Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Samantha about honoring intentions for the New Year rather than making easily broken "resolutions." They discuss how to approach overwhelm with greater equanimity by identifying your "true north"—those priorities and values that truly define how you want to live your life. Dr. Samantha considers what it means to make healthy, nourishing choices in alignment with your true north. Finally, Tami and Dr. Samantha talk about the revitalizing power of a good night's sleep and how to deal with the emotional overwhelm of a constantly changing world. (57 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Samantha Brody has worked with over 30,000 clients to help them "overcome overwhelm" and make lifestyle changes that support greater health and vitality. I pushed hard in this conversation to find out what Dr. Samantha feels is the chief characteristic of people who actually follow through on their intentions to live with greater health and balance (whether that involves a new diet, fitness plan, or some other approach to reducing stress). Her answer is my takeaway: The most important factor in overcoming overwhelm is a willingness to take 100 percent responsibility for our choices and the results that follow.
Damien Echols was wrongfully convicted of murder in the infamous "West Memphis Three" case and spent more than 18 years on death row before his exoneration and release. Now he teaches Western ceremonial magick—the same practice he credits with saving his life in prison. With Sounds True, Damien has published the book High Magick and a practice-oriented audio companion, A Course in High Magick. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Damien about magick and how it is meant to "constantly ingest more of divinity." Damien describes two of the central practices of magick—the Middle Pillar and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram—and details why they are so foundational to the modality. Damien explains how he first discovered magick while in solitary confinement and details the concept of "will" in relationship to the Buddhist concept of dharma. Finally, Damien and Tami talk about what it means to manifest a "light body" and the overall goal of spiritual liberation through magick. (83 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Damien Echols is a "current-bearer"—someone who is able to pass to others an experience of boundless light. When I met with Damien in November of 2018 at a launch event for his new book, High Magick, I could tell that something had recently happened to him that had dramatically increased the intensity of this current. In this conversation, he describes how the practices of magick, which he calls "a Western path of enlightenment," brought him to an experience of ego dissolution, which he describes as "experiencing myself as a small handful of sand that someone threw into a tornado." The takeaway: an invitation to let go of any feeling of separateness, enter the abyss, and discover the interconnected light that awaits us.
Father Thomas Keating was a Trappist monk in the Cistercian Order who served as abbot of Saint Joseph's Abbey Monastery in Spencer, MA, for more than 20 years. He was the author of 20 books, and was one of the architects of the contemporary Centering Prayer movement. Father Keating passed away on October 25, 2018. In celebration of his life and to honor his death, Sounds True is rebroadcasting this classic Insights at the Edge interview. Here, Tami Simon and Father Keating discuss the monastic path, prayer, doubt, and how he has dealt with both little deaths and big deaths in his own life. They also talk about the afterlife and the transformative process that occurs when one engages regularly with the practice of Centering Prayer. (72 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: This conversation was originally recorded in 2008, 10 years before Father Thomas Keating died on October 25, 2018, at the age of 95. We discussed in detail many little deaths that had occurred in his life, including a fire that occurred at his monastery, his resignation from being an abbot, and other events that Father Thomas called "invitations to greater and greater diminishment." Surrendering and accepting these little deaths anchored Father Thomas in what he describes as a "boundless confidence with nothing to stand on." We even discussed what Father Thomas imagined his own physical death would be like. His answer: "A plunge into the immensity of love, irresistibly." Listening to this conversation afresh reminded me of how Father Thomas Keating is a truly great teacher of death and resurrection.
Priya Parker is an author, strategist, and the founder of Thrive Labs, a company devoted to helping organizations from across the business and nonprofit worlds create intentional and transformative gatherings. Earlier this year, Priya released her first book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Priya about how we can forge stronger connections and more meaningful experiences through gatherings—whether it's a birthday party, formal dinner, or impromptu celebration in the park. They discuss America's current "epidemic of loneliness," how it is contributing the rise in hate crimes, and what we can do to alleviate it. Tami and Priya talk about the benefits of hosting gatherings with a predetermined purpose, as well as the rejuvenating effects of open, vulnerable conversation. Finally, Priya shares ideas for holding gatherings that are not only memorable, but have deep effects on their participants' lives afterward. (64 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: It takes courage to turn a family, workplace, or social gathering into a transformational experience. You have to be willing to take a risk—the risk of stating your desire for more meaningful connection, the risk of vulnerably sharing from your heart, the risk that some people might feel uncomfortable or "put on the spot." But meaningful connection and meaningful dialogue is worth the risk! Here Priya shares how to create meaningful gatherings that leave us feeling fulfilled instead of empty, as well as how creating such gatherings is the work of what I would call "an everyday leader"—the type of leader we all can be.
Dr. Helen Riess is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the Empathy and Relational Science Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. With Sounds True, she has published The Empathy Effect: Seven Neuroscience-Based Keys for Transforming the Way We Live, Love, Work, and Connect Across Differences. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Helen about the development of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. program—a method for teaching and promoting empathy that draws on neuroscience and physiology. They talk about how Helen became interested in the science of empathy and why recent research into the subject has yielded such positive results. Helen walks listeners through each step of the E.M.P.A.T.H.Y. process, highlighting the benefits of more actively attending to every social interaction. Finally, Helen and Tami discuss the active training of empathy in education, business, and the medical community, emphasizing why these skills are necessary for the survival of human civilization. (64 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: A very simple technique that Dr. Helen Riess teaches for establishing empathic connection with people is to mentally note the eye color of the person when you first meet. This is a technique that she teaches to doctors and medical practitioners who are often moving quickly in a task-oriented way, not pausing to make genuine contact with the people they are serving. (Sound familiar, anyone?) My takeaway is to employ this technique in the office at Sounds True with the 130 people who work here. The early reports indicate that these experiments in noting eye color (even during hallway conversations and in meetings) have quickly created a sense of real connection—moments that I cherish.
Judith Blackstone is a pioneering teacher of contemporary spirituality best known for developing The Realization Process, a direct path toward nondual awakening. With Sounds True, she has most recently published the book Trauma and the Unbound Body. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Judith about applying The Realization Process to the healing process—whether it's physical, relational, or psychological. They discuss the Process's application to unprocessed trauma—especially how fully inhabiting the body can highlight long-term physical constrictions. Tami and Judith talk about the methods for releasing that constriction, as well as the difference between awareness of the body and inhabiting it. Finally, Judith leads listeners in a core breath practice for settling into the body and attuning to the fundamental consciousness that is always available to us. (57 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: As part of our conversation about "disentangling the constrictions" that are held in the body as a result of trauma, Judith Blackstone teaches one of the central practices of The Realization Process—the Core Breath Practice. This is a powerful technique for quickly entering the subtle core of the body (a vertical channel that is described in many spiritual traditions). Once we enter this subtle core, we have a powerful resource available to us for releasing traumatic experiences held in the body. The takeaway: do the Core Breath Practice regularly as a way to stay in deep inward contact and "unbind the body."
Robert Augustus Masters is an integral psychotherapist and author whose works include To Be a Man, Emotional Intimacy, and Spiritual Bypassing. Most recently, he teamed with Sounds True to publish Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark: Breaking Free from the Hidden Forces That Drive You. In this illuminating episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Robert about the influence of the shadow side of the psyche—especially Robert's own encounters with it. Robert describes his experiences as the leader of a psychospiritual community that gradually transformed into a cult, including the near-death experience that forced him to confront the reality of his actions and change his life. Tami and Robert also talk about the powerful influence of shame, as well as the important differences between anger and aggression. Finally, they discuss the desire to place spiritual guides on pedestals and what we can do to address the difficult aspects of student-teacher relationships. (63 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: One of the ways that Robert Augustus Masters describes our personal shadow is that it contains experiences of wounding and early conditioning that we have yet to face. How do we know what we haven't yet faced? Robert teaches that one of the best ways we can start to identify our shadow is to pay careful attention to moments of reactivity (we all know what those feel like) and then ask, "How old do I feel in this moment?" By entering the pain of these early disowned experiences, we start the hard task that Robert calls "illuminating the shadow," a great life work that is endlessly deep and endlessly liberating.
Van Jones is a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and host of The Van Jones Show on CNN. This special edition of Insights at the Edge re-broadcasts Van's powerful session from Sounds True's Waking Up in the World online event. In this in-depth interview, Tami Simon speaks with Van about the necessary meeting between spiritual practice and social activism. They discuss the currently fraught political climate and why it's essential for everyone to break out of their respective bubbles to engage with people with diverse views. At the same time, Van emphasizes the need to combat rising hate and why we all need to stay true to what we value most in life. Finally, Tami and Van talk about the possibility of broad societal change and how spiritual people can catalyze that movement. (66 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Van Jones challenges people who drive hybrid cars, eat lots of kale, listen to NPR, and go to yoga classes (people like me!) to break out of what he calls our "resistance bubble." This means connecting with people who live dramatically different lives, in different socio-economic circumstances, and with radically different political views and affiliations. When we do, we stop polarizing and congratulating ourselves on our progressive ideals and start building coalitions that lift up everyone, especially the people in greatest need.
Stan Tatkin is a clinical psychologist, couples and family therapist, and the author of Wired for Love. With Sounds True, he has published a new book titled We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Stan about his unique methodology, the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). Stan explains his definition of a couple as a "biological survival unit" and some of the common occurrences that threaten the long-term cohesion of that unit. Tami and Stan discuss the ways attachment styles affect our ability to be in relationship and how we have to accept partners along with their burdens. Finally, Stan details what it means to have "secure functioning" in a relationship and the key lessons for creating a healthy, loving long-term partnership. (69 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: "Everyone is a pain in the ass," teaches Stan, "and so are you." Listening to Stan, I developed an even deeper appreciation of my beloved wife of 17 years, how she puts up with me . . . and how I put up with her. It also illuminated how the combination can lead to what Stan calls "a secure functioning relationship" where we see each other realistically, not idealistically, and are committed to collaborating as a successful "survival unit" consisting of two perfectly imperfect human beings.
Dr. Kristin Neff is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas and a practitioner of Buddhist meditation. The book and documentary The Horse Boy chronicle Kristin and her family's extraordinary journey to help her autistic son. With Sounds True, Kristin has created the audio program Self-Compassion Step by Step, which includes clinical evidence of the importance of self-compassion along with techniques and exercises for cultivating this pivotal quality. In this interview, Tami Simon and Kristin talk about the vital distinction between self-esteem and self-compassion, three pillars of self-compassion, 'self-compassion breaks,' and the importance of recognizing our common humanity during difficulties that feel unique and isolating. (68 minutes)Tami's Takeaway In any moment of self-criticism or self-blame, a "go-to move" that is immediately effective and state-changing is to gently touch your arm, stroke your face, or place your hand on your heart (any form of soothing touch). This activates our mammalian "tend and befriend" system, releases oxytocin, and shifts us out of the threat-defense system. Try it next time you feel self-critical. Gently touching your body can shift your state of mind—fast!
Ronald Siegel is a longtime assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and the author of many books. With Sounds True, he has created the audio program Healing Through Mindfulness: Effective Practices for Chronic Health Conditions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Ron talk about the psychological contributing factors to chronic pain—especially in the back and spine. Speaking on his own brush with debilitating pain, Ron explains the ways that stress and other psychophysiological components can instigate everything from insomnia to irritable bowel syndrome. Ron and Tami also discuss how to have frank conversations around chronic pain, as well as how to make friends with negative emotions like fear and anxiety. Finally, Ron shares his thoughts on the increasing willingness of the medical community to embrace mindfulness meditation. (70 minutes)Tami's Takeaway In my own experience, I can often trace the relationship between the onset of stress, an increase in muscular tension, and back pain. However, the problem for me has been when other people share about their painful conditions. I often jump to the conclusion that there must be a psychological component to their suffering—and then the person in question feels judged at best, and at worst that I am "blaming them for their illness." Dr. Ron Siegel teaches how to meet someone in their pain (and by extension, how to meet our own pain) with utter openness and curiosity. The takeaway: pre-drawn conclusions shut exchanges down; genuine openness and curiosity create connection.
Miranda Macpherson is an international spiritual teacher who founded the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation in London and currently leads the Living Grace community of California. With Sounds True, she's published the book The Way of Grace and the audio series Meditations on Boundless Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Miranda about taking a more feminine approach to spiritual seeking and why that involves creating an atmosphere of unconditional love. Miranda explains "ego relaxation," her unique process of letting go of all the qualities that maintain the illusion of being separate from the rest of existence. Considering the roles of trust and vulnerability on the spiritual path, Tami and Miranda discuss what it means to be a channeler of grace. Finally, Miranda leads the audience in a guided practice for discovering the mountainous presence already available in each moment. (60 minutes)Tami's Takeaway Miranda began the podcast in the same way that she begins her in-person teachings, immersing us in a palpable atmosphere of love and unconditional acceptance. As soon as she pointed to this, it was like the sun came out in the small, dark studio room where our conversation was recorded. Miranda likens "ego relaxation"—the releasing of our fixations, fears, and need to be in control—to hardened ice melting in the light of love and acceptance. My takeaway: a commitment to remembering that this warm light is always here and always available.
Mary O'Malley is an author, counselor, and acknowledged leader in the field of spiritual awakening. With Sounds True, Mary has published What's in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Mary discuss the eight "spells" that keep us feeling separate from life—as well as the remedies that bring us more fully into the energetic flow of existence. They speak on the need for curiosity and the role it plays in uniting our attention with our present-moment experience. Finally, Mary explains her understanding of the awakening process and the skills one can cultivate to come into a robust and joyous alignment with life itself. (60 minutes)Tami's Takeaway One of the worst feelings for me is helplessness. Mary teaches that "life is destined to bring up what is bound up." This podcast brought up for me how I push away feelings of helplessness. According to Mary, "what's in the way is the way," and we can become what she calls "tightness detectives" to see how we clamp down in certain situations and resist what we don't want to feel. When instead we meet our feelings with curiosity and spaciousness, we discover the free flow of aliveness and the absolute trustworthiness in every experience.
Miles Neale is a prominent member of the current generation of Buddhist teachers, championing the emerging field of contemplative psychotherapy. With Sounds True, Miles has published Gradual Awakening: The Tibetan Buddhist Path of Becoming Fully Human. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Miles about Lam Rim, the Tibetan Buddhist framework for moving into enlightened awakening step by measured step. They discuss the difference between gradually awakening and coming to enlightenment in a sudden burst, as well as the potential interplay between the two. Miles also leads Tami and the audience in a seven-step mentor bonding visualization that takes advantage of the mind's capacity to create a "flight simulator" for felt experience. Finally, Miles and Tami talk about the need to re-embrace religion and ritual in order to transcend the "cinderblock civilization" of materialism and nihilism. (69 minutes)Tami's Takeaway When Miles led us through a brief version of the mentor-bonding process that he teaches, I was surprised by who showed up in my mind's eye. It was not a spiritual mentor, business mentor, or a psychological guide, but someone who has recently begun helping me become physically fit. This underscored for me how many different dimensions there are to mentorship, as well as how important it is to be utterly open to receiving help from a surprising source.
Zainab Salbi is an author, humanitarian, and media commentator who founded the nonprofit organization Women for Women International when she was only 23 years old. With Sounds True, she has published the book Freedom Is an Inside Job: Owning Our Darkness and Our Light to Heal Ourselves and the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Zainab discuss what it means to be an agent of social change while also navigating the everyday journey of being human. They talk about why it's necessary to let go of what no longer works in our lives in order to embrace our most deeply held truths. As an Iraqi-American, Zainab speaks on engaging with people whose values oppose ours—especially those who currently oppose Muslim immigration to the United States. Finally, Zainab and Tami talk about the healing power of making amends and what "freedom" really means. (83 minutes)Tami's Takeaway Zainab teaches how we can befriend people who hold opposing views not through debate, but through embrace and a strong, open stance that is curious about the other person's underlying needs and emotions. I believe this skill—truly understanding people who disagree with us and feel "other"—is one of the most important skills we need to be peacemakers and bringers of love in all of our interactions.
Paul Hawken is an author, entrepreneur, and environmentalist whose books include Natural Capitalism, The Ecology of Commerce, and the New York Times bestselling Drawdown. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Paul about the spiritual origins of his lifelong devotion to the natural environment. They talk about Project Drawdown—Paul's far-reaching plan to reverse global warming—and the fact that climate change is an alarm bell telling humanity it needs to transform itself. Paul explains that dealing successfully with climate change won't just involve phasing out fossil fuels, but also reorganizing the systems of labor, culture, and economics that led us to this point. Finally, Paul and Tami discuss why life regenerates life and how we as a species can rise to the challenge of our present crises. (73 minutes)Tami's Takeaway Most of the time, when I hear people talk about climate change, I feel some combination of fear, helplessness, and resignation. Listening to Paul Hawken, I felt activated and turned on. As he says, it's not about "game over" for the human race, but "game on" . . . and how this is a time when we are called to step forward into our greatest human capacities and possibilities. Paul Hawken transmits the beauty, flow, and regenerative power of the natural world in a way that is contagious. When the interview was over, I felt like everything around me was in a shimmering fluid state, in unstoppable regenerative flow.
Rhonda Magee is a law professor at the University of San Francisco, a longtime mindfulness teacher, and a fellow of the Mind & Life Institute. Rhonda is a featured presenter in Sounds True's Waking Up in the World—a 10-day online event showcasing prominent voices who embody the meeting between social action and spiritual exploration. This special episode of Insights at the Edge is drawn from a previous presentation given by Rhonda as part of our Mindfulness Monthly subscription program. Here she explores how mindfulness practice can be used to uncover our biases and help us understand any privilege we carry in our interactions with others. Rhonda encourages us to fully consider how aspects such as race, gender, and economic background have come to shape our perception of the world. Finally, Rhonda leads us in a guided meditation to inquire deeply into how our environments have guided us to this moment in our lives. (63 minutes)Tami's Takeaway We often hear how mindfulness can help us discover our common humanity. Here, law professor Rhonda Magee helps us embrace what is unique about each of us: our embodied experience as a particular person with a specific human inheritance, residing in a particular place, with a particular position, skin color, gender, and sexual orientation. We are applying mindfulness to what makes us different. And what a critical skill this is if we are going to learn to take a different person's position and work together to bring mindfulness to what Rhonda calls "the cutting edge of mindfulness"—shifting our institutions and social structures to reflect our deepest values.
Susan David is a psychologist teaching at Harvard Medical School, cofounder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, and the bestselling author of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Susan about modern society's attitudes toward emotion—specifically our tendency to label certain feelings as good or bad, and the dysfunctional behaviors that arise as a result. Susan explains that a much healthier approach is to identify "bad" emotions as "tough" or "difficult," allowing us to examine them in a granular way that helps in processing them. Tami and Susan discuss how this informed method of dealing with emotions can be taught to children, which is especially important for learning not to bottle or brood upon unpleasant feelings. Finally, Susan draws upon a story from her adolescence to illustrate why emotional honesty is paramount for living a fulfilled life and why forced positivity never works out in the long run. (66 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: I loved hearing from a Harvard professor that "chasing happiness just doesn't work." It certainly hasn't worked for me. Instead, she teaches how rewarding it can be to orient ourselves towards fulfillment and living a life that is meaningful. And then in some strange, unexpected way, happiness dawns. My two favorite quotes from this interview are: "Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life," and "Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility."
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) is a world-renowned spiritual teacher and the author of the indispensable classic Be Here Now. Despite suffering a massive stroke that left him with aphasia, Ram Dass continues to write and teach from his home in Maui. His longtime friend Mirabai Bush is the founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, and was the one of the co-creators of Google's Search Inside Yourself program. They have teamed with Sounds True to publish Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush about changing our society's dysfunctional relationship to dying, focusing on how to ease fears around the process. They talk about facing a lifetime of regrets and why going into our last moments consciously is so important. Finally, Mirabai leads listeners in a practice designed to help release attachments and comments on why grieving is an important act of love. (63 minutes)Tami's Takeaway: Ram Dass, who is now 87 years old, has planned at the time of his death for there to be an open-air funeral in Maui. He has even secured a government license for this to happen. Ever the teacher (even when it comes to his own death), Ram Dass's intention is to introduce Westerners to teachings from the East—in this case, the value of sitting with a burning corpse while contemplating impermanence and living whole-heartedly. Of course, we don't need to wait until we are at an open-air funeral to engage in such contemplation. We are each asked to die in some way every day, to let go of an old image of ourselves or an outmoded configuration of some kind. Can we embrace the dying we are going through right now? And in the process, experience our hearts breaking open so that we can live and love fully, without constraint?
Terry Real is a family therapist, public speaker, and the founder of the Relational Life Institute. Terry's written works include I Don't Want to Talk About It, How Can I Get Through to You?, and The New Rules of Marriage. With Sounds True, he has created the audio program Fierce Intimacy: Standing Up to One Another with Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Terry about his somewhat unusual, do-or-divorce approach to couples therapy. They talk about deal breakers in relationships and why they don't necessarily need to end a partnership. Terry explains what it means to hold a "core negative image" of a partner, why this is all too common, and why recognition of that core image can actually strengthen a relationship. Finally, Terry and Tami discuss what "fierce intimacy" truly entails and why canny relationship skills are the very same qualities that will help the human race rise to meet the challenges of the future. (64 minutes)
Stephen Cope is the scholar emeritus at Kripalu Yoga Center and the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, as well as the bestselling author of The Wisdom of Yoga and The Great Work of Your Life. With Sounds True, Stephen has produced an eight-week online course titled Your True Calling: Essential Teachings of Yoga to Find Your Path in the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Stephen about discovering and living out your dharma—the true purpose of your life. They discuss the wisdom found in the Bhagavad Gita and the many ways this ancient parable can be applied to modern life. Stephen explains why "missing by an inch is the same as missing by a mile," as well as why we need to decide what not to do in order to bring our gifts to life. Finally, Tami and Stephen talk about the concept of being a warrior and what this means as we bring our unique skills to bear in a world that needs them more than ever. (67 minutes)
Gary Gach is a writer, meditator, and mystic who draws on his diverse life experiences to inform his nonfiction and poetry offerings. He is the author of What Book!? and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism. With Sounds True, he has most recently published Pause, Breathe, Smile: Awakening Mindfulness When Meditation Is Not Enough. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Gary about the titular process of pausing, breathing, and smiling—how it can center you immediately, plant seeds of awakening, and help light the way on the path to peace. They talk about the "mouth yoga" of the half-smile and why meditation is only "part of the menu" of daily mindfulness practice. Gary and Tami also discuss what it means to exist in three kinds of awakening reality: the spaces of impermanence, interbeing, and selflessness. Finally, Gary shares his love of reading and writing haiku, offering a spontaneous haiku poem that arises in the course of the interview. (59 minutes)
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés is an award-winning poet, senior Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of old stories in the Latina tradition). Dr. Estés is the author of the bestseller Women Who Run With the Wolves, along with over a dozen audio programs from Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Estés about the themes and stories in her book Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother's Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul. They speak on the different manifestations of the Holy Mother figure in many cultures, how our relationship with our own biological mother affects how we relate to the archetype of the great mother force, and what it means to live with "an unruined heart." (65 minutes)
Rick Doblin, PhD, is a Harvard-trained researcher and the founder of MAPS—the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Rick and MAPS work to develop a legal framework for the application of psychedelic drugs both as medication and for personal psychological growth. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Rick about the current clinical research surrounding the use of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as many other possibilities for other psychedelic-assisted therapies. They talk about the current "psychedelic renaissance" in therapeutic treatment, reflecting on some of the risks of such drug-assisted regimens and the need for careful integration of psychedelic experiences. With this in mind, Tami and Rick discuss his relationship with the Zendo Project, a department of MAPS devoted to helping individuals who are having emotionally challenging psychedelic experiences at festivals and events. Finally, Rick explains his own lifelong relationship with psychedelic drugs, including his hopes for future treatments and a national "coming out party" of prominent individuals who can attest to the difference psychedelics have made in their lives. (73 minutes)
Father Greg Boyle is a Jesuit priest and the founder of Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit devoted to intervention, social reintegration, and job training for former gang members. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Father Greg and Tami Simon discuss the work of Homeboy Industries and what it takes to move from a culture of violence to one of open tenderness. Father Greg describes the path that brought him to working with gang members—specifically his experiences in Bolivia, where his experiences with the poor brought to life the teachings of the Gospels. Tami and Father Greg talk about living the tenets of one's faith and what it means to offer love no matter the situation. Finally, they speak on the judgments many have of gang members and other criminals, and how we can seek a compassion that can "stand in awe at what people have to carry, rather than in judgment of how they carry it." (63 minutes)
Richard Schwartz, PhD, is a therapist, author, and the founder of the Internal Family Systems modality of psychotherapy. With Sounds True, he has most recently created the audio program Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts: Discovering Your True Self Through Internal Family Systems Therapy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Schwartz about the origins of IFS—specifically how his family therapy practice made him realize that every client had a multiplicity of internal parts that were often in conflict with one another. As he delved more deeply into the issue, Dr. Schwartz crafted a therapeutic model that directly engaged these parts, addressed their grievances, assured their safety, and eventually brought them under the leadership of a primary, centered "Self." Dr. Schwartz and Tami discuss how parts take on emotional burdens, freezing their development in moments of high stress or trauma. They also talk about the intersection of IFS and MDMA therapy, as well as how research in that area might open new avenues for treatment of serious psychological disorders. Finally, Dr. Schwartz describes how IFS can be applied to social activism, spiritual exploration, and the ups and downs of everyday life. (70 minutes)
Sarah Seidelmann is a former physician who decided to "right-size" her life, devoting her career to the path of personal transformation. With Sounds True, she has published The Book of Beasties: Your A-to-Z Guide to the Illuminating Wisdom of Spirit Animals. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Sarah about animal spirits and totems—how they show up in our lives, the meaning they carry, and how they can reveal our true paths to us. They discuss midlife career changes and the dark night of the soul that led Sarah to embrace a different sort of calling (including a fateful encounter with a walrus). Sarah and Tami also speak on the nature of synchronicity and recognizing when signs are pointing us in a particular direction. Finally, Sarah considers how we can actively create our best possible lives. (56 minutes)
Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk and the author of several books including Altruism, The Monk and the Philosopher, and The Quantum and the Lotus. Sounds True has recently published the English-language edition of In Search of Wisdom, a bestselling French book Matthieu co-wrote with Christophe André and Alexandre Jollien. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Matthieu about practicing altruism and the attempt to create caring, more equitable economic systems. They discuss the difference between compassion and empathy—specifically how empathic responses in the brain can be overwhelming while compassion inspires resilience. Tami and Matthieu also talk about reforming education with an eye toward cooperation rather than competition. Finally, Matthieu considers what it means to live with no regrets, practicing strengths in conjunction with our most deeply held values. (63 minutes)
Kelly Boys is a teacher and author who directed the launch of the renowned Search Inside Yourself training program, based on the emotional intelligence and mindfulness program developed at Google. With Sounds True, she has published The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What's Right in Front of You. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Kelly speaks with Tami Simon on the different kinds of blind spots, how we develop them, and how to finally see through those blockages. Kelly describes what drew her to the subject and also leads the audience in a guided practice for homing in on their own blind spots. Tami and Kelly talk about "the endowment effect"—a psychological need to grasp onto what is familiar even if it no longer serves our best interests. Finally, they discuss the greatest (and most common) blind spot of all: the feeling that we are separate from the rest of humanity. (62 minutes)
More than 30 years ago, Elizabeth Lesser helped cofound Omega Institute, now one of the world's premiere centers for the exploration of the spiritual journey. These days, Elizabeth is known as the bestselling author of The Seeker's Guide and Broken Open, as well as a frequent collaborator with Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey. In this episode, Elizabeth and Tami converse on the role of spiritual teachers, the power of prayer, and the inevitable price of wisdom. They also talk about fear and fearlessness, as well as the strength one can find in solitude. Finally, Tami and Elizabeth discuss psychotherapy as a modern sacred practice and how it might one day become a widely accepted form of spiritual seeking. (66 minutes)
Steve Taylor is a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University in the UK and the author of many books, including The Fall, The Leap, and Waking from Sleep. With Sounds True, he has published the audio program Return to Harmony: From Turmoil to Transformation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Steve and Tami Simon talk about the concept of spiritual awakening: what it means, the different ways it arises, and how it changes a person's day-to-day life. They also discuss why the most common and sudden form of awakening occurs during psychological distress and trauma. Steve describes his concept of a "wakeful self system" that comes online after a spiritual awakening and how this corresponds to the concept of the higher self. Finally, Steve and Tami speak on spiritual awakening as a part of the evolutionary process, including Steve's thoughts on humanity's historical relationship to wakefulness and the joyous possibility of an "evolutionary leap" to come. (65 minutes)
Karen Johnson is a co-developer and long-time teacher of the Diamond Approach, a spiritual and philosophical modality that strives toward inner realization. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Karen speaks with Tami Simon about the experience of developing the Diamond Approach into what it is today, including how she first met Hameed Ali—the man who would take up the pen name A. H. Almaas. Drawing on her recently released book The Jeweled Path, Karen relates how she discovered presence in the midst of great turmoil, as well as how that discovery set her on a lifelong path of spiritual inquiry. Tami and Karen discuss the principles behind the Diamond Approach, including an explanation of "wisdom vehicles" and how they manifest in the course of daily life. Finally, they talk about the Diamond Approach's stance on ultimate truth and how Karen hopes the Approach will impact the world. (67 minutes)
Steven Kotler is a journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and the director of research for the Flow Genome Project. His many books include Tomorrowland, Abundance, A Small Furry Prayer, and Stealing Fire. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Steven about his interest in "flow states"—those states of consciousness in which we act largely without thought, purely in the moment, and at the peak of our abilities. Steven draws upon his personal experience of healing from Lyme disease to illustrate the many beneficial ways these states can be harnessed. Tami and Steven discuss the steps necessary to achieve a flow state, as well as how these experiences fit into the "ecstatic spectrum" of states characterized by selflessness, timelessness, and lack of ego. Finally, they speak on the tricky proposition of using psychedelics to induce a flow state and whether there are better alternatives—especially in the treatment of psychiatric conditions such as PTSD. (58 minutes)
Sera Beak is a scholar of comparative religions who has conferred with shamans, monks, and mystics the world over. She is the author of The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark and Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic's Love Story. With Sounds True, she has most recently published Redvelations: A Soul's Journey to Becoming Human. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sera about the fragmentation of the soul and the journey that Sera undertook when she realized that pieces of her own soul had gone missing. They discuss the passage of core wounds between lifetimes and Sera's experiences of remembering and reclaiming Sarah, the forgotten daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, as a lost part of her own soul. Sera describes how she reckoned with her experiences—first wanting to not share them with anyone else, and then growing into the realization that to not do so would be to abandon a key part of her essential self. Finally, Tami and Sera talk about how to embody true, divine love and how this eternal love transmits through "the organic lineage" of all life. (61 minutes)
Edward Espe Brown is a renowned chef and Zen teacher who is best known as the first head cook at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. In addition to writing several cookbooks including the classic Tassajara Bread Book, Edward founded Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. With Sounds True, he has published No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Edward about Zen teachings on what it means to have to feel our way through the dark—both in the kitchen and on the spiritual path. They talk about cooking as a form of offering and why working with food can be one of the most potent ways to express our hearts in wholeness. Edward shares what he learned in his turbulent first days as the head cook for a spiritual community, including insights from his first Zen teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Finally, Edward and Tami discuss what it means to seek out our heart's true desire, as well as how to embody that search in all that we do. (72 minutes)
Gustavo Ferrer, MD, is a pulmonologist who specializes in end-of-life care and has been named one of the best doctors in the nation—including Most Compassionate Doctor—by US News & World Report. With Sounds True, he has published Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Ferrer about our society's anxiety around death and how he tries to alleviate it for both patients and their families. Dr. Ferrer advocates strongly for a conscious approach to dying, especially when it comes to getting one's affairs in order so that death does not become even more of a burden for loved ones. Tami and Dr. Ferrer also discuss the need for open, honest conversations about dying and why this can actually help alleviate our fears around the process. Finally, Dr. Ferrer recounts the time he spent with the Warao people of South America as a young medical student, describing how their acceptance of death and grieving as a people greatly influenced his current approach to end-of-life care. (60 minutes)
Nataly Kogan is a public speaker, author, and the founder of the training organization Happier. With Sounds True, she has published the book Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones). In this edition of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Nataly about redefining happiness not as a state where we experience no negative feelings whatsoever, but as a skill we must constantly hone. Nataly shares some of her life story, including her childhood experiences as a refugee and why she spent much of her life chasing the unattainable goal of "I'll be happy when . . ." Tami and Nataly also discuss the benefits of maintaining a regular gratitude practice, then walk listeners through a five-minute "happiness workout" that can be done on the spot. Finally, they talk about how personally fulfilling creative activities can actually make us more productive and help us practice the everyday skills of happiness. (67 minutes)
Dr. Mark Bertin is a pediatrician, mindfulness teacher, and the author of regular articles for Mindful.org, Huffpost, and Psychology Today. With Sounds True, he has published How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Mark discuss his research on executive functioning—those mental processes that allow us to organize and responsibly manage our immediate environment—and how this develops in children. Drawing from his extensive work, Mark explains the healthy stages of executive function development and why a supportive, open-minded, and fun-promoting environment is what kids actually need to thrive. They talk about Mark's previous work with childhood ADHD and how it led to his current focus, as well as why attention disorders can be interpreted as delays in executive function development. Finally, Mark and Tami speak on setting boundaries around technology use and how introducing mindfulness practices early in childhood leads to healthier, happier lives down the road. (64 minutes)
Rob Bell is a former pastor and the New York Times bestselling author of books including What We Talk About When We Talk About God, What Is the Bible?, and Love Wins. Andrew Morgan is a filmmaker whose works include After the End and The True Cost. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with both Andrew and Rob about the new documentary film that they collaborated on—The Heretic. In making this film, Andrew followed Rob over several years as the author challenged deeply held views of conservative (especially evangelical) Christianity and reckoned with some of the most highly charged cultural issues of our time. Here Tami, Rob, and Andrew discuss the evolving role of Christianity in the modern era and what it means to innovate through religion. They speak on heeding one's inner call, as well as why the current revolution in spirituality will be galvanized largely on a local—and even personal—level. Finally, Tami, Andrew, and Rob talk about the connection between pain and the creation of art, and how art can be a force for great societal change. (63 minutes)
Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, internet pioneer, and the author of Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks. Her most recent film, 50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power, debuted at the TEDWomen conference and is the inspiration for 50/50 Day, a global event devoted to bringing about greater gender balance in all sectors of life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Tiffany about 50/50 Day—its origins, how it will be rolled out, and what steps we can take to ensure women have a better say in society. They talk about Tiffany's approach to encouraging social change through film, including the background behind her short documentary The Science of Character. Using that film as a foundation, Tiffany comments on the difference between virtue and character, as well as why we should focus on cultivating our strengths rather than obsessing over our weaknesses. Finally, Tiffany and Tami discuss our current relationships with technology and why she recommends a "technology Shabbat" in which we spend 24 hours away from our screens. (54 minutes)
Aaravindha Himadra is a spiritual teacher and the founder of Sambodha, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the awakening of human consciousness. With Sounds True, he has published the English-language edition of Immortal Self: A Journey to the Himalayan Valley of the Amartya Masters. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Aaravindha about the events described in Immortal Self—after a grueling expedition into the interior of the Himalayan Mountains, Aaravindha found himself in the secluded valley home of a deeply secretive spiritual lineage. Aaravindha describes his tutelage under the valley's long-lived Amartya monks and why he has become the spokesperson for this ancient wisdom tradition. Concluding this fascinating conversation, Tami and Aaravindha discuss the expansion of consciousness and what it means to "listen from the floor of creation." (73 minutes)
Clemens Arvay is a biologist and nonfiction author who specializes in landscape ecology, applied plant science, and the emerging field of eco-psychosomatic studies. With Sounds True, he has released The Biophilia Effect: A Scientific and Spiritual Exploration of the Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Clemens about the term "biophilia" and what it implies for human health and wellness in relationship to nature. Clemens explains the role of terpenes—complex biochemicals emitted by plants—and how they interact with the human body. Branching from this concept, Tami and Clemens discuss the idea that humans are much more tightly connected to the rest of nature than we realize, as well as what this might mean for the future of medicine. Finally, Clemens describes the practice of forest bathing and how we can maximize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of spending time in nature. (69 minutes)
Latham Thomas is a lifestyle maven who founded Mama Glow and was named one of Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul 100. She is the author of Mama Glow and Own Your Glow. With Sounds True, she has created the audio program Beditations: Guided Meditations and Rituals for Rest and Renewal. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Latham and Tami Simon talk about the true meaning of self-care, as well as why there are such strong societal factors that work against it. They discuss those internal aspects of the self for which we have been shamed in the past and how these are actually our deepest reserves of personal power. Tami and Latham also speak on personal boundaries in terms of both protecting ourselves and what kind of emotional support we allow in. Finally, Latham explains why heeding clear internal messages actually takes courage—a courage that is always rewarded in the long run. (70 minutes)
Rolf Gates is a yoga teacher, counselor, and author who cofounded the Yoga, Meditation, and Recovery Conference and currently teaches at Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center. With Sounds True, he has published the audio program Meditations on the Mat: Practices for Living from the Heart and co-wrote the children's book Yoga Friends. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Rolf about his unique background as a former US Army Airborne Ranger and addictions counselor, as well as how those experiences brought him to contemplative practice. They discuss how yoga can soothe both mental and physical agitation, bringing the mind and body into greater harmony. Finally, Rolf explains how he discovered the power of prayer and opening to grace, and why that discovery led him to embrace gratitude as a way of life. (63 minutes)
Charles Eisenstein is an author, speaker, and "degrowth activist" whose books include The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics, among others. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Charles and Tami Simon speak on the many crises currently facing the planet, from the increasingly urgent issue of climate change to the loss of meaning and trust in the center of civic life. They discuss the two fundamental mythologies of our time—"the story of separation" and "the story of interbeing"—and how many people feel like we live according to both at once. Tami and Charles talk about the wounding at the root of cynicism, and how the best way to ensure a brighter future is to give ourselves over wholly to the service of the planet. Finally, Charles speaks on his new book on climate change, explaining that he thinks the real work of ensuring a better future will come from unexpected sources. (70 minutes)
James Hollis is a licensed Jungian analyst and the author of many books on personal development and the search for meaning. His works include What Matters Most, Why Good People Do Bad Things, and Through the Dark Wood. With Sounds True, he has published Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with James about what it means to "grow up" in a contemporary society that infantilizes its citizens. They talk about how to recognize the summons of our deep psyche and the steps we must take in order to answer it. James explains that the greatest obstacles to attaining spiritual maturity are fear and lethargy, and describes the inevitable periods of darkness that we will encounter along the way. Finally, James and Tami discuss why it's important to our development that we choose meaning over happiness. (67 minutes)
Dorothy Hunt is the spiritual director of Moon Mountain Sangha and founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Invited to teach the dharma by Adyashanti, Dorothy is the author of Only This! and Leaves from Moon Mountain. With Sounds True, she has published Ending the Search: From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness, a collection of teaching stories, inquiry practices, and original poetry. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dorothy about the modern search for spiritual awakening and the process of serious self-inquiry. Dorothy leads a guided practice for dropping into heartful awareness in order to clarify who and what we are seeking. Tami and Dorothy also discuss what it means to be both a woman and modern spiritual seeker, and what roles gender plays in nondual thought. Finally, Dorothy shares a heartfelt excerpt from her poem titled "The Invitation." (67 minutes)
Wim Hof is an athlete and extremophile daredevil nicknamed "The Iceman" for his feats of withstanding extreme weather conditions. The holder of more than 20 Guinness World Records, Wim attributes his endurance to specific meditation and breathing techniques. In this intriguing episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Wim about "The Wim Hof Method" of exercises, mindfulness techniques, and cold exposure, and how this regimen can shift our mental perspective as well as physical resilience. Wim describes the ways his practice dovetails with ancient Tibetan Buddhist inner fire meditation and how it alters body chemistry. Finally, Wim describes coldness as a noble force, asserting that by testing our physical limits we also gain a better understanding of the boundless capacities of the human spirit. (72 minutes)For more information about the Wim Hof Method, please visit wimhofmethod.com.
Robert Wright is a scholar, journalist, and the author of books such as Why Buddhism Is True, Nonzero, and The Evolution of God. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Robert and Tami Simon examine meditation from a slightly different perspective, discussing the practice as both a tool of discovery and a kind of rebellion against the hardwired instincts of natural selection. They speak on whether there is a secret order to the universe and what truly fuels moral action. Robert and Tami also talk about different ways to conceive of the arising of thought and of "enlightenment" itself. Finally, Robert comments on how stepping back from our mental processes comprises a "metacognitive revolution" that is key to the survival of the human race. (76 minutes)
Sadhguru is a yogi and mystic who created the Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to exploring the outer limits of human potential. Belonging to no specific tradition, Sadhguru has taught at many international gatherings, including the United Nations and World Economic Forum. With Sounds True, Sadhguru has created an audiobook version of his New York Times bestseller Inner Engineering. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sadhguru about his teachings, their foundations, and why he considers nonprofit work an expression of his devotion. Sadhguru shares the tale of his awakening experience on the Chamundi Hills outside Mysore, India—specifically of the dimension of memory that opened for him and how this shifted his perspective forever. Finally, Sadhguru and Tami talk about connecting with Adiyogi, the first yogi who is said to have begun the tradition more than 10,000 years ago. (69 minutes)
Gabrielle Bernstein is the New York Times bestselling author of such books as Spirit Junkie, Miracles Now, and May Cause Miracles. Her newest book is Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living a Better Life, which details a six-part process for applying spiritual principles to shuck off the toxic ideas holding you back. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Gabrielle on the principles underlying Judgment Detox and what it means to detach from the "judgment cycle." They speak on the difference between judgment and discernment, and how we can walk the fine line between the two in a culturally challenging era. Finally, Gabrielle talks about making feeling good a priority in our life, and how we can approach our core wounds in order to do so. (61 minutes)
Dr. Joel Kahn is a holistic cardiologist, clinical professor of medicine, and author who is known as "America's Healthy Heart Doc." With Sounds True, he has published The Plant-Based Solution: America's Healthy Heart Doc's Plan to Power Your Health. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Joel and Tami Simon discuss why making the switch to a whole-food, vegan diet is the best decision you can make for your long-term heart health—as well as for diabetes prevention, sexual energy, and overall longevity. They compare a plant-based diet to other contemporary methods such as the keto and paleo diets, and Joel explains how to address what's missing in purely vegan foods. Finally, Tami and Joel talk about how the switch to a vegan diet is especially important for contemporary environmental crises and why a plant-based lifestyle will soon be a social standard. (58 minutes)
Margaret Wheatley is a writer and management consultant who draws upon systems analysis, chaos theory, and other diverse fields of study to inform her work. She is the author of Leadership and the New Science and Who Do We Choose to Be?, among others. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Margaret about the cycles of life and history, especially as they apply to the chaotic contemporary world. Margaret emphasizes that we need to see our present moment with clear eyes, even if doing so might court despair. Tami and Margaret speak on the need to create "islands of sanity" within our communities and what it means to become a warrior for the human spirit. Finally, they discuss what it means to be such a warrior without engaging in the same fear and anger we are trying to fight. (62 minutes)
Dan Millman is an author and international lecturer who is best known for his semiautobiographical first book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. Almost 40 years and 17 books later, Dan has worked with Sounds True to release the spoken-word audio offering The Complete Peaceful Warrior's Way: A Practical Path to Courage, Compassion, and Personal Mastery. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Dan and Tami Simon speak on the idea that life is a constant learning process—a cosmic school designed to challenge and guide us toward our highest potential. Dan explains the 12 "courses" of life that we are called to master and just what "mastery" actually means. They also discuss what embodied lessons Dan has learned through a lifetime of athletics, as well as the various kenshōs—enlightenment insights—that Dan has experienced. Finally, Tami and Dan talk about why we must know death in order to meditate and what it takes to be a peaceful warrior in the modern world. (72 minutes)
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, and activist best known for her roles in films such as Cactus Flower, Private Benjamin, and Death Becomes Her. She created The Hawn Foundation, the nonprofit organization behind MindUP™, an educational program that is bringing mindfulness practices to millions of children across the world. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Goldie about her longtime interest in meditation and why it's so important to teach brain basics to kids. They discuss the neuroscience that demonstrates the clear benefits of teaching emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and the basics of brain science to children from an early age—as well as why Goldie is teaching these aspects to her own grandchildren. Finally, Tami and Goldie talk about what it means to differentiate one's true self from the projections of others, as well as why love and family remain Goldie's first priorities in life. (67 minutes)
Sister Joan Chittister is a member of Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania; the bestselling author of more than 50 books and hundreds of articles; and one of the most influential contemporary leaders and activists for human rights, women's issues, and church renewal. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sister Joan about the endless interplay between doubt and faith. They discuss the ways in which God sees all of creation, and what this perspective then asks of us. Tami and Sister Joan talk about the necessity of embracing humility, as well as what it means to know the right questions to ask on one's spiritual journey. Finally, Sister Joan comments on the maturation of faith as one grows older and the "last great adventure" offered by death. (66 minutes)Loading the player...
Gretchen Rubin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before. She hosts the immensely popular weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Gretchen about the principles detailed in her newest book, The Four Tendencies. They speak on how to discover which of the book's four archetypes you embody—whether you're an Upholder, Rebel, Questioner, or Obliger—as well as the challenges and advantages each type faces. Gretchen and Tami also discuss what it takes to start changing an entrenched habit. Finally, Gretchen explains why it's so important that you keep personal spaces uncluttered. (61 minutes)
Mel Schwartz is an author, public speaker, and psychotherapist who has been in private practice for more than 20 years. With Sounds True, he has recently published the book The Possibility Principle: How Quantum Physics Can Improve the Way You Think, Live, and Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Mel about the central ideas of quantum physics and how they can be applied to our day-to-day mental health. Mel describes the implications of quantum theory for perfectionists, as well as how the nanoseconds between thoughts contain near-infinite possibilities. In the same vein, Tami and Mel discuss the roots of anxiety and why it is so difficult to surrender to the uncertainty of the next moment. Finally, Mel leads listeners in a guided practice for letting go of our sense of safety in order to align completely with the flow of life. (67 minutes)
Chandresh Bhardwaj is a globally acclaimed speaker, the founder of the Break the Norms movement, and the lineage-holder of a family of Indian gurus that dates back seven generations. With Sounds True, he has published the book Break the Norms: Questioning Everything You Think You Know About God and Truth, Life and Death, Love and Sex. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Chandresh about the legacy of his family's teachings and what he needed to break away from in order to make his own way in the world. They talk about the paramount importance of knowing the right questions to ask, and how a question can powerfully shape one's spiritual path. Tami and Chandresh also speak on his conception of death and its implications. Finally, Chandresh shares the story of the difficult steps he had to take in his own journey when his inner path contradicted society's expectations. (64 minutes)
Rainn Wilson is a multitalented actor, comedian, producer, and activist who is best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the American version of The Office, but is also renowned for roles in cult favorites such as Juno, Super, and Galaxy Quest. He has cofounded the digital media company SoulPancake and the nonprofit organization Lidé. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Rainn about the Baha'i faith that he was raised in and eventually returned to as an adult, as well as the reasons why he once again opened to that spiritual path. They talk about the founder of the Baha'i faith, Baha'u'llah, and the persecution both he and his followers faced as Baha'i evolved into what it is today. Rainn also discusses the search for God as the greatest mystery and what it means to seek the unknowable. Finally, Tami and Rainn converse on art as an expression of faith and how that expression can be used in service of the betterment of humanity. (67 minutes)
Kelley Kosow is a Certified Master Integrative Life Coach and the entrepreneur behind the popular Go Goddess!™ brand of books, games, and seminars. Today, she is the CEO of The Ford Institute. With Sounds True, she is publishing her first book, The Integrity Advantage: Step into Your Truth, Love Your Life, and Claim Your Magnificence. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Kelley speaks with Tami Simon about the definition of integrity: what it is, why it isn't necessarily evenly spread across every aspect of one's life, and how it arises from our greatest personal truth and vision. They also talk about Kelley's journey from being focused on future outcomes to one of self-acceptance—a journey facilitated by her mentor, Debbie Ford, that required her to confront and integrate even those parts of herself she considered "negative." Finally, Tami and Kelley discuss the legacy of Debbie Ford, her death, and why Kelley decided to take up her mentor's mantle as an Integrative Life Coach. (59 minutes)
Karen Brody is the founder of the Daring to Rest™ Program for Women, which promotes women's empowerment and increased health through yoga nidra meditation. With Sounds True, Karen has published Daring to Rest: Reclaim Your Power with Yoga Nidra Rest Meditation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Karen and Tami Simon have a serious discussion about the epidemic of burnout and exhaustion in modern culture. This is especially true for women, who are often held to the societal expectation that they serve the needs of those around them before they ever consider taking even the most necessary rest. Karen offers yoga nidra as a one part of the solution to this wave of fatigue, describing how her own practice and the cultivation of turiya—"the sleep of the yogis"—helped her move past a period of intense, chronic sleeplessness. Finally, Karen and Tami speak on the liberation in abandoning perfectionism and how yoga nidra can be folded into the course of our daily lives. (64 minutes)
John Lockley is a traditional healer, or sangoma, from the Xhosa lineage in South Africa, the same tribe that gave us Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He runs "Ubuntu" (humanity) workshops worldwide, helping people connect to their ancestors, the earth, and one another. His mission in the Western world could be summed up in the Xhosa word "Masiyembo"—involving a profound remembering of the human spirit. As John says, "When people can remember their dreams and connect to their life purpose, then their true vocation surfaces; namely being in service and acting as guardians to our planet." With Sounds True, John has published Leopard Warrior: A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, John speaks with Tami Simon about his startling journey to becoming a sangoma and what he learned while caught between two cultures in apartheid-era South Africa. They speak on what it means to honor one's ancestors and how life takes on a new richness with that practice. Finally, John sings a blessing song called "The Great Spirit," inviting listeners to share in its calling. (69 minutes)
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche is a celebrated Buddhist teacher, artist, poet, and author whose many books include Rebel Buddha, Wild Awakening, and Emotional Rescue. He is the founder of Nalandabodhi, an international association of Buddhist teaching and cultural centers. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Rinpoche about his ongoing efforts to develop a genuine dharma tradition unique to the West, as well as the ways he adapts his teachings for Western sensibilities and problems. Speaking from his decades of experience, Rinpoche shares anecdotes of his own teachers and comments on the modern conception of the teacher/student relationship. Finally, Tami and Rinpoche talk about the current turbulence in the world and what it might mean for spiritual seekers of all stripes. (55 minutes)
Megan Devine is a mental health counselor who has become known as one of the most promising emerging voices in the field of grief therapy. With Sounds True, she has released the new book It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami speaks with Megan about It's OK That You're Not OK and the tragedy that inspired the book—the accidental drowning of her partner. With this in mind, Tami and Megan discuss "the wild howl at the center of grief," the challenge of shouldering things that only we can carry, and why "letting go" is a myth. They also talk about what you can do for someone enduring the grieving process and why it can be best simply to lend an understanding ear. Finally, Megan unravels the concept of "fixing" grief and why there is an intrinsic connection between grieving fully and loving well. (69 minutes)
Anne Lamott is the celebrated author of many books of fiction, essays, and memoirs. Her works include Bird by Bird, Hallelujah Anyway, and Crooked Little Heart. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded for The Self-Acceptance Summit, Tami Simon speaks with Anne about acts of "radical self-care" and how they are essential for anyone's well-being. Anne talks about self-acceptance as an innately feminist concept, especially around issues of body image and self-esteem. Finally, Anne and Tami discuss how it is necessary to fully accept oneself before being able to show up for others, and why modern society often argues the opposite. (54 minutes)
Pedram Shojai is a former Taoist monk, Qi Gong master, physician, and bestselling author known as The Urban Monk. Renowned for his diverse and direct teachings, Pedram has teamed with Sounds True to release The Urban Monk Inner Stillness Training Program: How to Open Up and Awaken to the Infinite River of Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Pedram about the awakening that led him to Eastern esoteric practices and why he decided to bring those practices out of the monastery and into the world at large. Pedram and Tami talk about the practices of Taoist inner alchemy and how these can initiate profound personal change on many levels. They also discuss Pedram's experiences with documentary filmmaking and how they have informed his view that conscious capitalism needs to take a more active, focused role in helping the world in these turbulent times. Finally, Pedram leads listeners in a breathing exercise intended to settle the body and bring a glimpse of timelessness. (64 minutes)
Lauren Walker is a certified energy medicine practitioner, teaching assistant to Donna Eden, and one of the originators of Energy Medicine Yoga, which she teaches internationally. With Sounds True, Lauren has released The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Lauren discuss the ideal ways that energy moves through the body and how that flow can be manipulated to help heal a number of conditions. Lauren highlights specific practices for the treatment of insomnia and gut issues, as well as a method for listening to "meridian pulses" to diagnose unknown pains. Tami and Lauren also speak on how the development of self-acceptance in conjunction with Energy Medicine Yoga can help us reclaim pleasure and joy in our daily lives. Finally, Lauren leads listeners in "The Wake-Up," a short practice designed to readjust the natural flow of our subtle energy. (63 minutes)
Albert Flynn DeSilver is an author, poet, and leader of writing workshops held worldwide. In addition to work appearing in dozens of literary journals, he has published the books Beamish Boy, Letters to Easy Street, and Walking Tooth and Cloud. With Sounds True, Albert has released the new book Writing as a Path to Awakening: A Year to Becoming an Excellent Writer and Living an Awakened Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Albert about the difference between writing as a creative endeavor and writing as a gateway to spiritual inquiry. They talk about the exploration of difficult subjects such as failure and death through writing, and how those deep inquiries can help open us to the present moment. Finally, Albert comments on the cultivation of discipline and how the concept of time is one that we create for ourselves. (57 minutes)
David Wallin, PhD, is a practicing psychologist whose work on attachment theory has shaped related fields for decades. The author of the classic text Attachment in Psychotherapy, David has partnered with Sounds True to offer the online course Attachment in the Practice of Psychotherapy: Relational Transformation, Nonverbal Experience, and the Psychology of the Therapist. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, David and Tami Simon discuss the basics of attachment theory—specifically how our early childhood experiences influence social patterns later in life. They speak on the four general attachment patterns and the three factors that help influence these patterns for the better. Finally, David and Tami talk about what it takes to raise a securely attached child, including the importance of making room for a child's entire inner life. (69 minutes)
Martha Beck is a renowned life coach, New York Times bestselling author, and monthly columnist for O, The Oprah Magazine. In partnership with Sounds True, Martha released the audio program Follow Your North Star and will be a featured presenter in the upcoming online offering The Self-Acceptance Summit. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Martha and Tami Simon talk about the courage necessary to clearly evaluate difficult situations and to know when to leave when that situation no longer suits you. Martha speaks on her journey through "the center of hell" that came with her son's Down Syndrome diagnosis and what that experience taught her about maintaining faith during times of change. Tami and Martha also discuss her experiences as a life coach and the many challenges that stand in the way of self-acceptance, especially relating to body image. Finally, Martha explains how she remains confident, positive, and joyful in her commitment to awakening consciousness and healing the natural world. (63 minutes)
Caroline Myss is a bestselling author, medical intuitive, and leading voice in the fields of energy medicine, human potential, and spiritual exploration. Together with author Andrew Harvey, Caroline has partnered with Sounds True to create The Shadow Course: An Eight-Week Journey to Know Yourself and Bring Light to the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Caroline about this upcoming online course and how it guides participants in a deep exploration of the aspects of themselves that they have disowned or denied. They discuss the ways that Shadow issues such as greed, entitlement, envy, and self-absorption show up in everyday life and can even manifest as symptoms of physical illness. Finally, Caroline explains how bringing awareness to our personal Shadows is the first step in initiating deeply needed social changes for our world. (72 minutes)
Andrew Harvey is a prolific scholar, poet, and teacher whose work spans television appearances, audio teachings, and more than 28 books. Working with Sounds True and Caroline Myss, Andrew has created the upcoming online course The Shadow Course: An Eight-Week Journey to Know Yourself and Bring Light to the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Andrew examine the concept of the Shadow and why it is so important that we learn to work with the greed, fear, and lack of conscience that it contains. They speak on how the Shadow can affect our sense of physicality, as well as how we can work with our Shadow self to truly embrace every aspect of our bodies and sexuality. Andrew comments on "the golden shadow"—innate inner strengths that we displace or deny—and its affects on our social interactions. Finally, Andrew and Tami talk about collective Shadows that exist on the societal level—especially the Shadow of human extinction and the imperative lessons it holds. (65 minutes)
Chris Germer, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, lecturer at Harvard Medical School, and one of the cofounders of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy. The author of many books and articles on mindfulness, Chris has partnered with Kristin Neff and Sounds True to launch the upcoming The Power of Self-Compassion online course in October. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Chris and Tami Simon talk about the practice of mindful self-compassion and the foundational questions it asks of us. They explore how this practice can be applied in the alleviation of pain and current research into other, everyday applications. Chris also details the ways in which self-compassion can help us ride waves of emotion such as shame and self-recrimination. Finally, Tami and Chris discuss how one has to adjust the messaging around self-compassion in order to reach a male audience. (62 minutes)
Elena Brower is a New York-based yoga instructor, designer, artist, and author. With Sounds True, she has released the audio programs Grounded and Free and The Return Home. She also coauthored Art of Attention—a bestselling yoga workbook—with Erica Jago. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Elena speak on concepts of self-inquiry, spiritual discipline, and facing up to hard truths about the course of one's life. Elena tells the story of how she faced her addictions to marijuana and tobacco, and the benefits that arose when she quit both. Drawing on prompts from Elena's upcoming book Practice You, she and Tami also discuss how one needs to be completely present for the experience of learning. Finally, Elena leads listeners in a guided meditation for embracing our love and releasing it into the world. (62 minutes)
Lodro Rinzler is an author and renowned meditation teacher who has led trainings at Google, Harvard, and the White House. His many books include The Buddha Walks into a Bar and How to Love Yourself. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Lodro discuss the Shambhala tradition of Buddhism that Lodro teaches in—specifically, its goal of creating an enlightened society. They speak on how to truly cultivate kindness and what it takes to be a mindful leader during difficult times. Lodro comments on what he calls "The Four Exhilarations" and "The Four Dignities," and in a culmination of the discussion, explains his overarching mission in teaching meditation to the world. (62 minutes)
Jeff Strong is a sound researcher and percussionist whose rhythm-based therapeutic music has been used in clinical settings worldwide. With Sounds True, Jeff has created several albums of rhythmic entrainment music, including The Better Sleep Program and The Focus and Attention Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Jeff about the concept of brain entrainment through rhythm and how it has deep roots in tribal ceremony. They talk about the therapeutic application of this music for anxiety, ADHD, autism, and mood disorders, and explain the difference between rhythmic entrainment and "neuro beat" recordings. Finally, Jeff offers two excerpts from The Brain Shift Collection for calming and the exploration of deep meditative states. (66 minutes)
Jeff Foster is a spiritual teacher whose methods do not belong to any one lineage or style. He teaches a form of total acceptance—a dismantling of the armor of the heart so that we can live vibrantly in the here and now. With Sounds True, Jeff has published several books and audio programs, including The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Jeff and Tami Simon speak on the obstacles that stand between us and rest, and how learning to abide in discomfort is a difficult but necessary step to achieving true rest. Reading an excerpt from his newest book, Jeff explains why it’s actually a daring act to choose to rest. Finally, Jeff and Tami talk about depression and the desire to die, and why that desire can be a gateway to a deeper, richer understanding of the self. (71 minutes)
Jonathan Foust is a longtime teacher of yoga and meditation who has guided learners at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC for more than 20 years. He is a featured presenter for Sounds True's Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Jonathan discuss the practice of body-centered inquiry—specifically the surprising ways it can be applied to pain. Jonathan explains how he has worked with body-centered inquiry to explore his own migraines, and how he has discovered a curious freedom therein. Finally, Jonathan and Tami talk about using body-centered inquiry for decision-making and interrogating the self-made obstacles to our own freedom. (61 minutes)
Patrick O'Malley is a grief counselor with more than 35 years of experience. He has written many well-regarded articles on grieving, including the namesake New York Times article that inspired his new Sounds True book Getting Grief Right: Finding Your Story of Love in the Sorrow of Loss. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Patrick discuss his unique approach to grief and how it diverts from the popularly accepted five-stage model created by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross. Patrick asserts that the Kübler-Ross model, while helpful as a foundation, can actually create an emotional cage for people as they struggle to find the acceptance and closure that they expect to end their grieving. Tami and Patrick also talk about the odd way in which the concept "closure" became entwined with grief therapy and why sharing our stories of loss can be the most important step in the process. Finally, Patrick shares his own story of loss and explains that the simple act of being compassionately heard can be the most important step toward healing. (60 minutes)
Linda Graham is a trainer, life coach, author, and ardent researcher in the fields of personal growth and the life of the mind. She's the author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring the Brain for Maximum Resilience, and with Sounds True will be one of the teachers in the Leading Edge of Psychotherapy online course. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Linda talk about recent findings in neuroscience that psychotherapists (and their patients) will find useful in the treatment of shame and anxiety. Linda explains her view of resilience—what it means to be resilient, how to cultivate the quality, and how the brain's prefrontal cortex is "the CEO" of resilience. Finally, Linda and Tami discuss the intersection of meditation and psychotherapy, including how to reconcile their contradictory aspects through the lens of modern neuroscience. (65 minutes)
HeatherAsh Amara is a spiritual teacher and the founder of Toci, the Toltec Center of Creative Intent. Drawing from a blend of traditions including Toltec wisdom teachings, shamanism, and Native American ceremony, HeatherAsh is the author of several books and audios. With Sounds True, she has most recently published Awakening Your Inner Fire: A Step-by-Step Course to Ignite Your Passion and Create the Life You Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and HeatherAsh talk about bringing our innermost values to our work. They speak on contemporary society's unspoken assumption that we only have value in productivity, and how we can step outside this mindset to recognize our inherent worth. HeatherAsh describes how each of us can stoke our own inner fires, including the little-explored heart and spiritual fires. Finally, Tami and HeatherAsh discuss our "true work" in the world and how to bring a touch of the sacred to everything you do. (58 minutes)
Diane Musho Hamilton is a spiritual teacher, mediator, and group facilitator who has been studying mindfulness for more than 30 years. She is a featured presenter for A Year of Mindfulness, Sounds True's yearlong online meditation program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Diane discuss how her experience with mindfulness has helped her to become an effective group mediator. Diane speaks on how mindfulness skills transfer to interpersonal communication and skillful relationship—especially when it comes to being able to take on someone else's perspective. Finally, Tami and Diane talk about the importance of relating to others with different views than us and how we can foster a better, more open engagement with the entirety of the world. (69 minutes)
Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach are two of the leading authorities on mindfulness and meditation in the West. Jack is the bestselling author and teacher widely credited with combining mindfulness with modern western psychology. Tara has been teaching meditation for more than four decades and is the author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge originally recorded in 2015, Tami Simon sits down with both Jack and Tara to discuss the big insights that form the foundation of mindfulness practice. They speak on the concept of awareness itself and how to distinguish "awareness" from "thinking." Tara and Jack share some of the everyday benefits of a meditation practice, including personal clarity and more conscious relationships. Finally, Jack, Tara, and Tami have a frank conversation on how awareness training could affect the state of the world. (60 minutes)
Wendy Strgar is an award-winning entrepreneur, writer, and the founder of the renowned organic personal care product company Good Clean Love. With Sounds True, she has published Sex That Works: An Intimate Guide to Awakening Your Erotic Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Wendy about Sex That Works—particularly the insights it draws from Wendy's work as a sexual health educator and her own 30 years of marriage. They talk about the most common obstacles to achieving personal sexual harmony and what it takes to keep a long-term relationship sexually satisfying. Wendy describes her own journey to the creation of Good Clean Love and how she discovered her calling as a "loveologist." Finally, Tami and Wendy discuss what is to have a healthy fantasy life and why true sexual freedom is taking responsibility for one's own needs. (66 minutes)
LiYana Silver is a life coach and public speaker devoted to helping women embrace their innate feminine strengths in every area of their lives. With Sounds True, she has released the new book Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, LiYana and Tami Simon talk about the importance of listening to one's deepest inner intuition—your own inner "Oracle," and LiYana guides listeners through a meditation to invoke this Oracle. Tami and LiYana also speak on enduring difficult times and the lessons contained in the dark patches of our lives, including LiYana's own "Year of Hell." Finally, they discuss the necessity of accepting pleasure and how to relate to other women in their own unique embodiments of Feminine Genius. (65 minutes)
Caroline Miller is one of the world's foremost experts in positive psychology and the author of books such as Creating Your Best Life and My Name Is Caroline. With Sounds True, she has recently published Getting Grit: The Evidence-Based Approach to Cultivating Passion, Perseverance, and Purpose. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Caroline discuss the concept of "grit"—the ability to stay passionate and persistent in one's long-term goals even in the face of considerable hardship. Caroline explains the different kinds of grit, including "false grit" that encourages stubbornness or flatters the ego. Finally, Tami and Caroline talk about the startling fact that we don't become happy when we are successful; rather, we become successful because we're happy first. (56 minutes)
Ruth King is a life coach and insight meditation teacher of the dedicated practitioner program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She's the author of the book Healing Rage: Women Making Inner Peace Possible. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge hosted by Sounds True producer Kriste Peoples, Ruth explains the difference between anger and rage, as well as how examining the patterns of our rage can help us both understand its source and channel its animating energy. They talk about how rage covers over our soft spots and how the experience of it can lead into fruitful lovingkindness practice. Finally, Kriste and Ruth speak on how a deep understanding of these concepts can help craft healing conversations around racial difference and injustice. (69 minutes)
Henry Grayson, PhD, is a psychotherapist, public speaker, and the author of such books as Changing Approaches to the Psychotherapies and The New Physics of Love. With Sounds True, he has published his newest book, Your Power to Heal: Resolving Psychological Barriers to Your Physical Health. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Henry about how our beliefs and cultural conditioning may affect our long-term health. Henry discusses how identifying our subconscious limiting narratives can help us embrace our own self-healing capabilities. Tami and Henry also speak on methods of pulling ourselves out of entrenched conditioning and seven steps for identifying what might be underlying physical symptoms. Finally, Henry shares a practice for approaching and eventually getting clear of a limiting personal belief. (69 minutes)
Dr. Richard Davidson is a world-renowned research professor, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds. His research focuses on the neurological basis of emotion and its effects on everyday behavior. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Davidson about the exciting frontiers being explored by neurology, including how regular contemplative practice can change the structure of the brain. They also talk about curious discoveries in the field of epigenetics and other studies conducted by the Center for Healthy Minds. Finally, Dr. Davidson discusses what he's learned about cultivating well-being through his years spent investigating the brain. (59 minutes)
Judith Orloff, MD, is a psychiatrist and the New York Times bestselling author of books such as The Power of Surrender. With Sounds True, Dr. Orloff has recently published The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Dr. Orloff explore the lives of empaths: what being an empath entails, how to approach the world as one, and how the rest of us have much to learn from these particularly sensitive people. Judith shares helpful practices for when empaths feel overwhelmed by a world that always seems to be cranked up to eleven. Finally, Tami joins Dr. Orloff in a guided heart-breathing meditation designed to open all of us to empathy's most potent gifts. (67 minutes)
Emily Bennington is an author and teacher both of contemplative practice and leadership strategies. With Sounds True, Emily has released the book (and companion audiobook) Miracles at Work: Turning Inner Guidance into Outer Influence. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Emily about the perennial spiritual text that inspired Miracles at Work—A Course in Miracles. Emily comments on how the Course can be applied to everyday business issues such as overwhelm, conflicts with coworkers, and approaching difficult tasks. Tami and Emily talk about "spiritual intelligence" and how this trait's cultivation can bring about greater calm and equanimity. Finally, Emily discusses the primary point of A Course in Miracles—that anyone and everyone can become a vessel of unconditional love. (58 minutes)
Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his views on modern mental health evaluation—specifically the widespread diagnoses of ADHD and depression. They discuss the connection between emotional expression and immune response, as well as how the body can be an effective teacher. Finally, Dr. Maté comments on how mental health issues can often be rooted in compensating behaviors from childhood and how healing can be approached from a bio-psycho-social perspective. (68 minutes)
Alexandra Katehakis is the founder and clinical director of the Center for Healthy Sex, specializing in therapy for sexual addiction and sexual issues within marriage. In addition to writing several books on the subject, Alexandra will be presenting on sexual dysregulation during Sounds True's upcoming Neuroscience Training Summit 2017. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Alexandra discuss the roots of sexual dysfunction and how to approach it in adulthood. They speak on "grownup sex"—a sexuality based in honest communication of needs, preferences, and desires for novelty. Tami and Alexandra also explore topics such as asexuality, sexuality without intimacy, and why orgasms are overrated. (58 minutes)
Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa are two of the most important teachers of kundalini yoga, a form made popular by Yogi Bhajan. Karena has taught various forms of yoga for more than 20 years, and is a respected writer on the subject. Dharm is a Sikh minister and was Yogi Bhajan’s personal assistant for many years. With Sounds True, the duo have published Essential Kundalini Yoga: An Invitation to Radiant Health, Unconditional Love, and the Awakening of Your Energetic Potential. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dharm and Karena about the unique qualities of kundalini yoga and the energies it can awaken in the body. They discuss the history and principles of kundalini yoga, as well as the "love frequency phenomenon" of mantra. Finally, Dharm and Karena lead listeners in two guided practices intended to help awaken their own kundalini energy. (62 minutes)
Acharya Shunya is a renowned expert in Ayurvedic lifestyle medicine and the founder of Vedika Global, a school of Ayurvedic study based in California. With Sounds True, she has released the new book Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks to Shunya about the Ayurvedic legacy she teaches and embodies—including its baseline concepts, history, and modern attitudes. Tami and Shunya also talk about Ayurveda's repudiation of the concept of health as a commodity. Finally, Shunya discusses the universality of Vedic teachings and how an "infinity mindset" is a necessary cure for the foundational problem of hopelessness. (69 minutes)
Bessel van der Kolk is a clinician, teacher, author, and one of the most esteemed researchers on post-traumatic stress in the world. A veteran professor at universities and hospitals across the United States, Bessel is the New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body and the Treatment of Trauma. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Bessel speak on his many decades researching trauma. They talk about recent developments in the treatment of trauma—specifically the effectiveness of such methods as EMDR, psycho-dramatics, yoga, and introception. Lastly, they discuss the healing of trauma at a societal level and why—despite the suffering he has encountered over the years—Bessel is essentially optimistic about humanity's ability to heal. (61 minutes)
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, teacher, and former congregational rabbi whose written prayers are used in books around the world. With Sounds True, he has published the spoken-word offering How to be a Holy Rascal and the forthcoming book Holy Rascals: Advice for Spiritual Revolutionaries. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Rami and Tami Simon talk about the concept of the "holy rascal" and just what it takes to become one. Rami speaks on his background as a rabbi and how he came to a practice of "nondual Judaism." Tami and Rami also discuss his encounters with God as a mother figure, and how these mystical experiences led to a burning away of his clinging tendencies. Finally, Rami underlines the importance of ecstatic experiences and why holy rascals are needed now more than ever. (68 minutes)
Larry Ward is both a Baptist minister and a teacher of the Buddhist dharma, personally ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh. A lifelong advocate for nonviolent social change, Larry draws his main inspiration from the life and works of Martin Luther King, Jr. He will be a featured presenter on Sounds True's Year of Mindfulness program. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Larry discuss how to tap into inner reservoirs of resilience and the factors that keep us from performing our very best work. They consider issues of race and ancestral healing in a time when these questions are prominent in the wider culture. Finally, Larry encourages listeners to develop a "fierce equanimity" and explains just what that means in day-to-day life. (64 minutes)
Bonnie Badenoch is a therapist, teacher, and author who has devoted much of her career to helping trauma survivors and those with attachment wounds to rediscover balance and resilience in their lives. With Sounds True, Bonnie has created the online course Trauma and the Embodied Brain, which is the first eight-week module in a yearlong curriculum called Leading Edge of Psychotherapy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bonnie and Tami Simon speak on the modern understanding of how traumatic wounds often arise from a sense of isolation and helplessness rather than the traumatic event itself. They discuss the recent research supporting this view and how a therapeutic environment of nonjudgmental presence is essential to begin the healing process. Finally, Tami and Bonnie talk about different kinds of trauma and what it means to be a source of therapy and healing. (60 minutes)
Reverend angel Kyodo williams is an activist, master trainer, founder of the Center for Transformative Change, and the acclaimed author of Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace and Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation. Rev. angel will be a featured presenter on Sounds True's upcoming A Year of Mindfulness program—a unique yearlong series of monthly talks given by a group of meditation teachers from a diverse background of traditions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge—adapted from an earlier presentation given by Rev. angel during Sounds True's online Meditation Summit—she and Tami Simon speak on the sense of retreat that attracts many to mindfulness, even when it is an engagement with our inner fullness that is meditation's most valuable gift. Rev. angel discusses the cultivation of a "warrior spirit" that enriches and empowers our interactions with the world. Finally, Rev. angel offers a meditation practice on these themes called "Effort and Release." (47 minutes)
Theresa Reed is a recognized expert in the field of Tarot reading who writes, speaks, podcasts, and coaches on the subject. With Sounds True she has released The Tarot Coloring Book, a full-length reference to the imagery and importance of the classic Rider Waite deck that doubles as an engaging coloring experience. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Theresa discuss the heart of Tarot and how it's not simply a passive tool. They speak on the concept of adult coloring books and whyThe Tarot Coloring Book reinforces learning with fun and imagination. Finally, Theresa performs two live readings and interprets their results in the light the current situation in our world. (52 minutes)
Dr. Shamini Jain is a psychologist, scientist, and social entrepreneur who is also the founder and director of the Consciousness Healing Initiative (CHI). She will be a featured presenter on Sounds True's upcoming Energy Healing Summit, where she will speak on "Biofield Science: How Consciousness Catalyzes Healing." In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Shamini speak on how biofields are the missing link in understanding how consciousness affects our health. They also discuss biofield-centric therapies such as Reiki and acupuncture, as well as the role of belief in healing. Finally, Shamini explains her vision for the future of biofield study and how it might be the component needed to bridge the spiritual with the scientific. (65 minutes)
José Luis Stevens is an author, international lecturer, teacher, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, and the cofounder of the Power Path School of Shamanism and the Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange. With Sounds True, José has written a new book called Encounters with Power: Adventures and Misadventures on the Shamanic Path of Healing. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and José discuss his definition of "power" and the necessity of approaching it from a shamanic perspective. José relates stories about his brushes with true natural power and how they have shaped his ceremonial practices. Finally, José and Tami talk about the various crises now facing the planet—especially environmental ones—and how to take an empowered stance in the face of them. (75 minutes)
Amy Kurtz is a health coach and Pilates instructor whose painful, multi-decade struggle with chronic illness made her decide to stand up and take better charge of her life. Now much healthier and happier, Amy describes her nightmarish journey through modern medicine—and how you too can take the reins of your health issues—in the new Sounds True book Kicking Sick: Your Go-To Guide for Thriving with Chronic Health Conditions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Amy discuss her approach to whole health. They talk about the need for an "A-Team" of expert support during the healing process and how only you can intuitively know what your body needs. Finally, Amy describes becoming what she calls a "glow warrior" and what it takes to truly stand tall in the face of chronic illness. (59 minutes)
Mooji is a spiritual teacher who draws upon his discipleship with the great Advaita master Poonja. He shares satsang with audiences at retreats, intensives, and other gatherings across the globe. With Sounds True, Mooji has published the book Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Mooji speak on his discovery of our truer, deeper nature and how that discovery brings with it a tangibly felt sense of peace. They discuss the danger of spiritual bypassing and the intersection of the eternal and the transitory within everyone. Finally, Mooji leads listeners on a “guided pointing” that leads the way to a glimpse of our own timelessness. (84 minutes)
Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist, interfaith minister, meditation teacher, and the celebrated author of books such as Inviting a Monkey to Tea: Befriending Your Mind. With Sounds True, Nancy has written a new book called The Power of Off: The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Nancy have a frank discussion of the large-scale modern addiction to cell phones, email, and social media. Nancy offers ways one can recognize addictive behavior and how we can break out of compulsive cycles around technology. They also talk about parenting in the digital age and the importance setting appropriate boundaries when it comes to electronic media. Finally, Nancy considers the need for a "digital detox" and how it is imperative that we all set aside time to spend in silence. (65 minutes)
Terri Tate is a clinical nurse specialist, teacher, and down-to-earth inspirational teacher disguised as a standup comedian. Drawing on the experience of nearly dying from oral cancer, Terri infuses stories of some of the darkest moments of her life with a spritely humor. With Sounds True, she has published a memoir called A Crooked Smile, which shares her experiences of cancer diagnosis, falling into the endless machinery of the healthcare system, and emerging with a startling new appreciation for all of life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Terri discuss the ability to tap into inner guidance and recognition of the different internal voices she learned to discern during her ordeal. Terri reads and comments on a passage from A Crooked Smile. Finally, Terri and Tami consider the greatest lessons learned after going through a life-threatening crisis. (62 minutes)
Hank Wesselman is a paleoanthropologist and a shamanic practitioner who has devoted his life to exploring the mysteries of human origins. He has authored several books and articles detailing his adventures in altered states and shamanic journeys. With Sounds True, Hank has published The Re-Enchantment: A Shamanic Path to a Life of Wonder, which offers a path for reclaiming a sense of wonder at the many joys of life and the universe. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Hank speak on his interpretation of the soul—including the personal over-soul and a world-soul that communicates through every living being. They discuss the imperative need for humanity to return to a more balanced relationship with nature. Finally, Hank describes the qualities he sees as necessary for someone to step onto the shamanic path as a teacher. (69 minutes)
Damien Echols was wrongly convicted of murder in 1994 as part of the infamous "West Memphis Three" trials. He spent almost two decades in prison, until new DNA evidence exonerated him in 2011. In this fascinating episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Damien on how he rejected bitterness at his mistreatment by the justice system and used his incarceration to explore the practice of hermetic magic. They talk about what it took for Damien to survive prison and what brought him to the path of the magician. Finally, Damien leads listeners on a guided practice of hermetic magic he calls "The Middle Pillar." (65 minutes)
Jacqueline Freeman is a biodynamic farmer and natural beekeeper who speaks internationally on organic beekeeping, women in agriculture, and cultivating a more holistic relationship with nature. With Sounds True, she has published the book Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Jacqueline discuss the unique unity consciousness of bees and how understanding their perspective opens up profound new views of existence. They talk about the challenges facing bees in the modern world and why thriving beehives are essential for a healthy ecosystem. Finally, Jacqueline describes her ability to communicate with bees, the messages she has received from them, and the purpose of a bee's life—from the bee's perspective. (70 minutes)
Janine Shepherd is an author, motivational speaker, and former Olympic-level skier whose work draws upon an incredible journey of personal healing. She details that journey—from the car accident that broke her spine through intense rehabilitation and beyond—in the Sounds True book Defiant: A Broken Body Is Not a Broken Person. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Janine talk about the active choice to be alive and the power in knowing that decision. They speak on what it means to be truly resilient, and how one can experience fear without being afraid of it. Finally, Janine explains the realization that she is more than just a body and how that has reshaped her view of death and dying. (55 minutes)
Shinzen Young is a renowned mindfulness teacher known for his live gatherings, where he uses a scientific, "algorithmic" approach to explain the many aspects of meditation. With Sounds True, he has published the decades-in-the-making book The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works. In the second half of an extensive interview on Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Shinzen talk about how to bring equanimity to both pleasurable and painful sensory experiences and how that has a purifying effect on consciousness. In order to ground this experience, Shinzen leads Tami and the audience on a guided practice to help give a "taste of purification." Finally, Shinzen shares a quick, powerful technique for starting on the path to enlightenment and something intensely personal—his happiest thought. (75 minutes)
Shinzen Young is a renowned mindfulness teacher known for his live gatherings, where he uses a scientific, "algorithmic" approach to explain the many aspects of meditation. With Sounds True, he has published the decades-in-the-making book The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Shinzen speak on his approach to mindfulness, including a method of breaking down sensory experience into easily parsed categories. They talk about the three core powers of focused attention—sensory clarity, concentration, and equanimity—and how mindfulness can free us of the impression that our selves are static and unchanging. Finally, Shinzen and Tami discuss the different ways in which we can understand the concept of enlightenment, including an in-depth consideration of what Shinzen calls "classical enlightenment." (66 minutes)
Snatam Kaur is an American-born, internationally renowned kirtan singer raised in the Sikh and kundalini yoga tradition. Known for her blends of ancient chant and modern instrumentation, Snatam also teaches meditation and yoga. With Sounds True, she has published the book-and-CD set Original Light: The Morning Practice of Kundalini Yoga. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Snatam discuss the roots of her spiritual practices and the meaning of the Aquarian Sadhana, which is one of the most important aspects of Original Light. They speak on the tradition of Japji meditation and why working with the spine is an essential part of kundalini yoga. Finally, Snatam shares a pair of potent chants for expressing and celebrating one's own sense of kundalini. (71 minutes)
Krista Tippett is a Peabody® award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author whose works focus on faith, ethics, and moral wisdom. She is the host of the radio program and podcast On Being. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Krista discuss how journalism can be an art that drives healing, as well as the difference between being driven by a mission and being driven by an agenda. They speak on the virtue of hope and how it contrasts with optimism. Finally, Krista and Tami talk about the impetus for societal change, how that change happens in the margins, and the responsibility we have to see it shepherded to its fruition. (70 minutes)
Elena Brower is a yoga instructor, artist, and designer who is devoted to cultivating meditation as our most healing habit. With Sounds True and coauthor Erica Jago, Elena has published Art of Attention: A Yoga Practice Workbook for Movement as Meditation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Elena about her upcoming audio offering, The Return Home: Essential Meditation Training for a Vital, Centered Life. Elena talks about the "home frequency" that each of us possesses, as well as how the return to that frequency requires a breaking of compulsive habits and addictions. They discuss the necessity of prayer and forgiveness, and consider the foundational principles of returning to one's home frequency. Finally, Elena offers a practice for calming and returning to one's center in the face of stress and overwhelm. (67 minutes)
Cheri Huber is the founder of Mountain View Zen Center and the Zen Monastery Practice Center in California, as well as the author of 19 books including When You're Falling, Dive and What You Practice Is What You Have. She is the founder and director of Living Compassion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to peace and service. With Sounds True, Cheri has released the audio series Unconditional Self-Acceptance. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Cheri discuss how your life is what you give your attention to, and how to work constructively and compassionately with what Cheri calls "negative voices in the head." (55 minutes)
Eric Kaufmann is a leadership consultant who has advised executive teams at companies such as Sony and T-Mobile. With Sounds True, Eric has published the book and audiobook The Four Virtues of a Leader: Navigating the Hero’s Journey Through Risk to Results. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Eric about his unusual life and how he came to be a leadership consultant by way of his training in Zen Buddhism. Tami and Eric talk about the journey of leaving the familiar and braving risk to grasp hold of one’s goals. Finally, they discuss the virtues outlined in Eric’s book—focus, courage, grit, and faith—and how all four must be cultivated in order to rise to the challenge of true leadership. (66 minutes)
Raghu Markus is a musician and artist who collaborated with Ram Dass on the groundbreaking spoken-word and world music album Love Serve Remember, and currently serves as the executive director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation. Raghu has collaborated with Sounds True and Ram Dass to create Being Here Now: The Essential Teachings of Ram Dass, a nine-week online course beginning on September 19. Parvati Markus has written and edited many nonfiction books, including the recent Love Everyone: The Transcendent Wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba Told Through the Stories of the Westerners Whose Lives He Transformed. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Parvati and Raghu about the influence of Neem Karoli Baba on Western spiritual thought, as well as how Ram Dass spearheaded those changes. They also listen to and discuss an excerpt from the Being Here Now course, in which Ram Dass teaches on the essence of karma yoga and how we can maintain joy and lightness even in difficult times. (63 minutes)
Terry Real is a family therapist, author, and founder of the Relational Life Institute, which hosts workshops on family and relationships throughout the country. He has written several books, including The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Make Love Work. Terry will be a featured presenter during Sounds True’s upcoming online training summit Psychotherapy 2.0, which will take place September 7–13. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Terry talk about the inherent challenges of being in relationship and the many approaches to addressing those challenges in couples therapy. Terry discusses how men and women relate to one another in different ways, as well as the steps necessary when couples are badly out of sync. Finally, Terry and Tami speak on the Relational Life approach to therapy and the skills we need to develop in order to take our interpersonal relationships up to “full throttle.” (67 minutes)
Mark Nepo is a poet, philosopher, and spiritual teacher who is the author of numerous books and audio projects, including the New York Times #1 bestseller The Book of Awakening, which made the list of Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things. With Sounds True, Mark has published many books and audio courses, including Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon has an intimate conversation with Mark about the two most important lessons he has learned from his journey with cancer, the role of effort and grace in our lives, what it means to take “the exquisite risk,” and how we can shift our perspective to see with the eyes of the heart. (73 minutes)
Diana Fosha is the developer of AEDP—Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy—a transformational psychotherapy model that grows and changes according to the latest findings in attachment theory, neuroplasticity, and interpersonal neurobiology. She is one of the featured presenters for Sounds True’s second annual Psychotherapy 2.0 online summit, which will take place September 7–13, 2016. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Diana and Tami Simon discuss the central concepts of AEDP and its flexibility as a therapeutic approach. They speak on the role of transformational therapy in modern society, and how AEDP helps clients “undo aloneness.” Finally, Diana and Tami consider in full AEDP’s motto, “Stay with it and stay with me.” (68 minutes)
Tehya Sky is an author and metaphysical guide who focuses on the integration of our physical humanity and our innate divinity. With Sounds True, Sky has published the book A Ceremony Called Life: When Your Morning Coffee Is as Sacred as Holy Water. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Sky speak on how embracing our vulnerability leads to catharsis and personal revelation. Sky discusses her own journey to become an up-and-coming teacher, including the process of "deconditioning" she went through in order to step fully onto the spiritual path. Finally, Tami and Sky consider misconceptions of the path and how achieving a silent mind is not necessarily required for greater spiritual evolution. (63 minutes)
Iyanla Vanzant is an author and expert on personal empowerment whose work includes five New York Times bestsellers and many appearances onstage, over the radio, and on television as the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life. With Sounds True, Iyanla has created several audio programs, including Giving Thanks and Living from Your Center. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Iyanla speak about cultivating intimacy with God and holding onto faith during trying times. They mull on values that are seemingly fading from modern society—including integrity, accountability, and even trust itself. Finally, Iyanla and Tami discuss the unique calling that every person has, and how that calling gives birth to one’s true and most authentic self. (58 minutes)
Jack Kornfield is a world-renowned teacher and one of the key figures to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He is the author of many books and audio programs, including The Wise Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Jack and Tami Simon discuss Buddhist views of how best to navigate periods of difficulty and heartache. Jack reflects on four decades of personal meditation practice and how this has informed how he works with students. Jack and Tami also explore insights into the nature of suffering, whether or not it is possible to be liberated even in spite of our neuroses, and what is meant by ”the crystal of liberation.” (49 minutes)
Michael Carroll is the COO of Global Coaching Alliance, a former executive, and a certified meditation teacher of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A globally recognized expert on mindfulness in the workplace, Michael has written many books including The Mindful Leader and Fearless at Work. With Sounds True, he has created the audio series The Mindful Leadership Training. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Michael and Tami Simon speak on using mindfulness to foster a better workplace environment—one that values openness, generosity, and fearlessness. They discuss the challenges inherent in this transformation both from the perspective of business leaders and the entirety of an organization. Finally, Michael describes an example of a mindful leader and the qualities of confidence and vulnerability this person embodies. (64 minutes)
Lissa Rankin is a physician, public speaker, and the founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Lissa speak on her incredible personal journey and how it led her to quit traditional OB/GYN medicine as an act of personal integrity. They talk about trusting one’s inner voices and developing the discernment necessary to know when it is time to take an intuitive leap. Finally, Lissa and Tami consider the ability to soften in the face of what might be otherwise overwhelming pain, and how an act of surrender can bring us into better alignment with all of life. (106 minutes)
Lama Tsomo—born Linda Pritzker—is an author, teacher, and ordained holder of the Namchak Buddhist lineage of Tibet. She’s the cofounder of the Namchak Foundation and the author of two books: The Princess Who Wept Pearls: The Feminine Journey in Fairytales and Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner’s Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Lama Tsomo and Tami Simon speak about her teacher Gochen Tulku Sangak Rinpoche and what he has to say about karma, taking responsibility for our lives, and transforming resentment. They also discuss the science of visualization practice and how recent discoveries in quantum physics support key aspects of Buddhist philosophy. Finally, Tami and Lama Tsomo talk about motivation on the spiritual path and how clarifying that motivation can lead to lasting happiness. (67 minutes)
Bruce Tift has been a psychotherapist since 1979, a practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for more than 35 years, and has taught at Naropa University for 25 years. He is the author of the Sounds True audio learning course Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Bruce about his perspectives on therapy as informed by Buddhist insights—examining how our “neurotic organization” exists to insulate us from legitimate suffering, why much of our growth comes from acting in ways that are counter-instinctual, and what it might mean to practice psychotherapy with the view that there is no problem we actually need to solve. (66 minutes)
Andrew Holecek is an author and spiritual teacher whose work blends a background in ancient Tibetan Buddhism with the leading edge of contemporary Western thought. With Sounds True, he has released the book Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep. In the fascinating second part of his interview on Insights at the Edge, Andrew speaks with Tami Simon about pressing beyond lucid dreaming and into the actual nighttime practice of dream yoga. They talk about illusory form yoga and invoking specific imagery within dreams to cultivate positive qualities. Finally, Andrew describes the ability to actually meditate within dreams—as well as the doorways to personal inquiry this practice can unlock. (78 minutes)
Andrew Holecek is an author and spiritual teacher whose longtime study of Buddhism blends ancient wisdom with contemporary knowledge and insights. With Sounds True, he has published the book Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Andrew and Tami Simon speak on the practice of dream yoga and the foundational practice needed to plumb its depths: lucid dreaming. They discuss how to train to induce lucid dreaming, including daytime practices one can use to awaken in a dream. Finally, Andrew talks about the innate need for healthy sleep and how beginning a new spiritual practice during the nighttime hours is not something to be undertaken lightly. (67 minutes)Listen to Dream Yoga, Part 2 »
Natalie Southgate is an internationally respected teacher who drew upon her background in psychology, dance, and energy healing to create the ecstatic movement practice now known as Chakradance. With Sounds True, Natalie has released the DVD 7 Keys to Freedom and its companion CD of the same name. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Natalie Southgate talk about the origins, principles, and healing possibilities of Chakradance. They discuss the influence of music upon the chakras and why it is so important that we balance our energy centers in order to release pain and trauma. Finally, Natalie shares three pieces of music from the 7 Keys to Freedom CD—each designed to work with a different chakra. (65 minutes)
Solala Towler is a widely respected author and teacher who has been spreading the word of Taoism and qigong for more than 20 years. Solala is the editor of the Taoist journal The Empty Vessel and has written several books, including The Tao of Intimacy and Ecstasy and Practicing the Tao Te Ching: 81 Steps on the Way—both released in partnership with Sounds True. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Solala and Tami Simon speak about the eternal appeal and usefulness of the Tao Te Ching, as well as how it can be a source for potent spiritual practices. They also discuss Lao Tzu’s original composition of the Tao Te Ching and his assertion that a true sage is one who can return others to their childlike essence. Finally, Solala leads listeners in two practices drawn from the Tao—“Filling the Jade Pond” and “The Small Heavenly Orbit.” (63 minutes)
Mark Thornton has more than 20 years of experience in meditation, and has become one of the world’s leading executive meditation coaches, specializing in finding the best techniques for busy people. He’s the author of the Sounds True audio learning program and book Meditation in a New York Minute. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Mark and Tami Simon discuss his personal journey, which took him from being an investment banker to being a meditation coach. They consider the ways that Mark helps his clients find both a sense of purpose and a sense of meaningful connection with the people that matter most to them. Finally, Mark offers practices to create calm even in the midst of the chaos of our busy lives. (55 minutes)
Christopher Willard is a licensed psychologist who focuses on mindfulness, anxiety, and learning issues. With Sounds True, he has released a new book and companion audio called Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Chris and Tami talk about the inherent difficulties of being a child and how mindfulness practice can help ease the tensions of growing up. They discuss the different ways one can teach meditation techniques to kids, as well as the different ages at which one can start this instruction. Finally, Chris shares his vision of how mindfulness could be a powerful public health intervention—one that could possibly have an essential place in the future of childhood education. (59 minutes)
Adyashanti is a widely beloved, American-born spiritual teacher whose practice is rooted in Zen Buddhism but has expanded beyond any one path or perspective. He has created many books and audio programs through Sounds True, including Resurrecting Jesus, Emptiness Dancing, and Healing the Core Wound of Unworthiness. In this episode of Insights of the Edge—which previously appeared as part of the provocative interview series Waking Up: What Does It Really Mean?—Tami Simon and Adyashanti inquire deeply into what exactly constitutes “awakening.” Adya describes his own experiences of awakening, vividly comparing and contrasting his felt sensation of each of these life-changing experiences. Tami and Adya also discuss whether awakening is a sudden or gradual process, and what one can and cannot expect from these moments of profound epiphany. Finally, Adya shares his pith instructions on how to encourage such a spiritual awakening. (57 minutes)
Steven Hayes is a professor, the chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, and the author of more than 35 books and 500 scientific articles. The cofounder of the acclaimed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (known as ACT), Steven is a contributor to the Sounds True book The Self Acceptance Project: How to Be Kind and Compassionate Towards Yourself in Any Situation. In this episode of Insights of the Edge—which previously aired as part of an interview series on self-acceptance—Tami Simon and Steven discuss his experiences living with a panic disorder at a young age, and how his own bouts with anxiety shaped his clinical studies. They talk about the practice of perspective-taking and how it can be a powerful bulwark against self-recrimination. Finally, Steven offers his perspective on spirituality and how that perspective informs the core tenets of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. (42 minutes)
Seane Corn is a celebrated yoga teacher, philanthropist, and the cofounder of Off the Matt, Into the World—a leadership training organization devoted to the use of yogic principles to foster global activism and education. With Sounds True, she has most recently released The Yoga of Awakening, a trilogy of instructional DVDs intended to guide viewers from the purely physical aspects of yoga into its more openly spiritual depths. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Seane and Tami Simon talk about yoga as a path of inquiry, and how that path could be a palliative for a world still saturated with conflict. They discuss the possibility of healing trauma through yoga, as well as how that trauma has long-term effects on the chakras. Finally, Tami and Seane speak on what it means to live purposefully and seven essential aspects of a fully embodied heart. (71 minutes)
Dr. Daniel Amen is a practicing psychiatrist, the director of the wildly successful network of Amen Clinics, and the bestselling author of titles such as Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He has partnered with Sounds True to release several audio courses including Relaxation, Focus, and Memory Training and Unchain Your Brain: An Audio Program for Breaking the Addictions that Steal Your Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon engages Dr. Amen in a conversation about his pioneering brain imaging techniques and the vast implications these methods could have on psychotherapy—as well as society in general. They talk about cultivating better brain health and the effects even minor brain injuries—such as those suffered regularly in contact sports—can have on everyday quality of life. Finally, Dr. Amen and Tami speak on the intersection of neurology and spirituality, and how we can all help our brains age gracefully by making more considerate personal choices. (62 minutes)
Brother David Steindl-Rast is an internationally renowned author, lecturer, and pivotal member of the monastic renewal movement. A monk in the Benedictine tradition, Brother David is also an expert in Zen Buddhism and a tireless advocate for building bridges between Eastern and Western religious traditions. With Sounds True, Brother David created the audio program The Grateful Heart. In this episode of Insights at the Edge Tami Simon and Brother David talk about the innate longing that drives spiritual study and is the impetus for seeking out a monastic life. Tami and Brother David explore the concept of the “Double Realm” that lies beyond standard concepts of time and existence, as well as how practicing gratitude can be a doorway to that realm. Finally, Brother David considers the future of religion and spirituality as he enters his ninetieth year of life. (62 minutes)
Thomas Moore is a psychotherapist, former monk, and the bestselling author of the spiritual classic Care of the Soul. Thomas has collaborated with Sounds True on several books and audio programs, including Soul Work, Darkness Before the Dawn, and most recently A Personal Spirituality: Finding Your Own Way to a Meaningful Life. In this week’s fascinating episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Thomas about the definition of “meaning” in a modern context, and how we must stay true to our consciences no matter the social consequence. They discuss the importance of maintaining a personal spirituality and the ways one can borrow practice from other traditions while remaining faithful to one’s core beliefs. Finally, Thomas and Tami ruminate on the contemporary distaste for mystery and how the embrace of the unexplained is necessary for a fully embodied spirituality. (68 minutes)
JP Sears is an emotional healing coach and spiritual teacher who leads workshops internationally on inner growth and how to lead fuller, more meaningful lives. In 2017, JP will release his first book through Sounds True, How to Be Ultra-Spiritual: Thirteen Steps to Spiritual Superiority. In this very special, early-April edition of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon sits down in the Sounds True studio with JP’s alter-ego, His Enlightenedness—an astonishing ascendant master and the star of the popular “Awaken with JP” YouTube channel. JP expounds on the idea of “spiritual superiority”—how to be just plain better than anyone else at meditation, humility, and crafting a proper story of one’s spiritual awakening. JP also explains that to be the most spiritual kind of vegan, one must hate animals and practice total dominance over plants. Finally, Tami and JP discuss why the deep symbolism of his Thirteen Steps is innately superior to the Twelve Steps—and maybe some other stuff about spiritual bypassing and how humor can be a powerful form of inquiry, too.Loading the player...
A.H. Almaas is the pen name of of Hameed Ali, the author of more than 14 books, founder of The Ridhwan School, and creator of the “the Diamond Approach” of spiritual inquiry and development. With Sounds True, Hameed has created a new online course called Endless Enlightenment: The view of totality in the Diamond Approach. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Hameed converse on the markers one can recognize on the path to enlightenment—and beyond. They talk about how nondual realization isn’t the endpoint of the spiritual path, and how setting goals for that journey may do more harm than good. Finally, Hameed explains his teaching of the view of totality, its development over a span of 20 years, and why he’s decided to share it now with the world. (67 minutes)
Sandra Ingerman is an award-winning author and internationally recognized teacher of shamanism and ceremony. Sandra will soon join many other leading shamanic teachers—including don Oscar Miro-Quesada, Luisah Teish, and José Luis Stevens—for Year of Ceremony, a Sounds True-hosted online gathering that will take place each full moon for the next 13 months. Intended to form an international community devoted to the power of ceremony, each gathering will highlight different shamanic concepts, rituals, and diverse traditions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sandra Ingerman about the preparations essential for and the role intention plays in an effective ceremony. They also discuss the advantages of calling in the aid of the primal elements and their invaluable role in ceremonies of transformation. Finally, Sandra shares stories of some of the most powerful ceremonies she has presided over—as well as the pitfalls that can impede shamanic practice. (60 minutes)
HeatherAsh Amara is the founder of Toci—the Toltec Center of Creative Intent—which is an organization devoted to the development of an authentic and aware global community through a blend of Toltec wisdom, European shamanism, Buddhism, and Native American ceremony. With Sounds True, she has created The Warrior Goddess Online Training: Becoming the Woman You Are Meant to Be, an eight-week training filled with insights, meditations, and question-and-answer sessions for embracing one’s divine womanhood. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and HeatherAsh discuss the concept of “stalking oneself” and how to explore the challenge of everyday moments. They also speak on the necessity of becoming intimate with oneself no matter the discomfort that may cause. Finally, HeatherAsh talks about her apprenticeship with don Miguel Ruiz and her days as a firewalking instructor—as well as how each helped her to embrace every aspect of her being. (67 minutes)
Mary O’Malley is an author, counselor, and acknowledged leader in the field of spiritual awakening. With Sounds True, Mary has published What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Mary discuss the eight “spells” that keep us feeling separate from life—as well as the remedies that bring us more fully into the energetic flow of existence. They speak on the need for curiosity, and the role it plays in uniting our attention with our present-moment experience. Finally, Mary explains her understanding of the awakening process and the skills one can cultivate to come into a robust and joyous alignment with life itself. (60 minutes)
Temple Grandin is a renowned American author, animal behavior expert, and advocate for autistic people. She’s written many books—including Animals in Translation, The Autistic Brain, and Thinking in Pictures—and is currently a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Temple talk about the differences between verbal and visual thinkers, and how to bridge the gap between them. They speak on Temple’s lifelong relationship with animals and how—as a nonverbal thinker—she feels a deep kinship with them. Finally, Temple and Tami discuss the importance of helping people on the autism spectrum to invest their efforts in what they love rather than what they lack. (60 minutes)
Matt Kahn is an author, spiritual teacher, and highly attuned empathic healer whose intuitive abilities allow him to bridge the mystical with the mundane. With Sounds True, Matt has created the book Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You and an upcoming online course of the same name. In the second part of their conversation on Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Matt talk about the connection between a sense of safety and the ability to truly live one’s life to its fullest. They also discuss the four kinds of inflammation the ego can experience when overstimulated, and how to work with these energetic reactions. Finally, Tami and Matt speak frankly about what he means by “the love revolution” and how the practice of loving oneself can uplift the entirety of the world. (65 minutes)
Dr. Friedemann Schaub is a physician best known for his breakthrough programs for the treatment of fear and anxiety disorders, which combine his medical expertise with Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy™, and clinical hypnotherapy. He is the author of the Sounds True book The Fear and Anxiety Solution. In this second half of their two-part conversation on Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Friedemann discuss cellular memory, our “blueprint for wholeness,” and how to root ourselves in our essence instead of continual, low-level anxiety. They also talk about the inner protector at the root of our negative self-talk and a “Parts Reintegration Process” for working with this sometimes fractious guardian. (62 minutes)
Dawna Markova is an inspirational speaker and writer, and Angie McArthur is one of the creators of the Worldwide Women’s Web, a network intended to retain and encourage women in corporate leadership roles. With Sounds True, Dawna has created the audio series The Open Mind, where she offers a seminar on different learning patterns. Most recently, Dawna and Angie have written a new book called Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently, in which they teach how to recognize mental patterns and use that knowledge for better coordination, teambuilding, and long-term planning. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Angie and Dawna about the different styles of attention, learning, and thinking—and how a better understanding thereof could improve our education system. They also discuss the best methods of collaboration, and the great joy that comes with understanding how to work in concert with someone with a completely different mode of thought. (69 minutes)
Fleet Maull is an acharya—or senior mindfulness meditation teacher—in the Shambhala International Meditation Community. In 1989, Fleet founded the Prison Dharma Network—now called The Prison Mindfulness Institute—while serving a federal prison sentence. He is the author of the book Dharma in Hell: The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull and has founded several prisoner advocacy organizations. In this fascinating edition of Insights at the Edge, Fleet and Tami Simon discuss practices for dealing with regret and what it means to truly devote ourselves to the service of others. They also speak on Buddhist views of basic human goodness and how they helped Fleet to come to terms with his prison experience. Finally, Fleet talks about his vision for the reform of the American criminal justice system and the slow growth toward a more enlightened society. (72 minutes)
Marianne Williamson is a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, social activist, and respected teacher who draws extensively from the spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles. With Sounds True, she has created the audio programs Love’s Manifesto and Meditations of the Heart in partnership with Andrew Harvey. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Marianne and Tami Simon talk about the ineffable moment in which we come into inner communion with the divine. Marianne also challenges listeners in the transformational community to put their beliefs into action through direct activism. Finally, Marianne speaks frankly about a political campaign that failed to bring her into office—but also brought her into a much deeper understanding of herself and her true purpose in life. (64 minutes)
Dr. Friedemann Schaub is a physician best known for his breakthrough programs for the treatment of fear and anxiety disorders. The author of the Sounds True book The Fear and Anxiety Solution, Dr. Schaub has developed a method of self-empowerment that combines his medical expertise with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), timeline therapy, and clinical hypnotherapy. In the first half of a two-part conversation on Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Friedemann about how we can develop a language that lets the subconscious and conscious mind work in harmony. Dr. Schaub also outlines the root causes of anxiety and leads us through the Pattern Resolution Process for resolving emotional wounds. (69 minutes)
Matt Kahn is an author, spiritual teacher, and highly attuned empathic healer whose intuitive abilities allow him to bridge the mystical with the mundane. With Sounds True, Matt has published a new book called Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Matt talk about the development of a “a personal love statement” that we can return to as a centering practice. They also discuss the recognition of our innate innocence, as well as how to nurture that quality through all the ups and downs of life. Finally, Matt invites all of us to join the love revolution with his most potent teaching. (67 minutes)
Alice Walker is a poet, essayist, and New York Times-bestselling author who has won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. With Sounds True, Alice has released the audio program My Life As My Self, which vividly recounts her personal, professional, and spiritual journeys. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Alice and Tami Simon speak on what it means to step into the line of fire and receive criticism for what one believes. In this vein, Alice explains her role as an activist in locations such as Gaza and the Congo—and how standing up for one’s principles brings an ineffable lightness to the heart. Finally, Alice and Tami discuss stepping into the role of a societal elder and why it is imperative that we reconnect with the whole of the Earth. (55 minutes)
Adyashanti is an American-born teacher trained in the Zen tradition who teaches an inclusive path toward awakening. With Sounds True, he has published several books and audio programs, including Falling into Grace, Emptiness Dancing, and True Meditation. In this episode, Adya draws upon his book Resurrecting Jesus to examine the deep mythic underpinnings of the story of Jesus and how it can serve as a map of awakening. He also talks about Jesus as a revolutionary figure, how the metaphor of the crucifixion helped him process his own experience with intense physical pain, and the redemptive power of love to restore us to our natural state. (79 minutes)
Mirabai Starr is an author and teacher best known for her well-regarded translations of Christian mystics such as Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint Francis of Assisi. Her most recent work with Sounds True is Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of of Loss and Transformation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Mirabai and Tami Simon talk about “the dark night of the soul” and how this intense experience is essential to the spiritual path. They also speak on the process of writing about grief and loss, and how such an act can spark a powerful personal metamorphosis. Finally, Mirabai shares a pair of potent excerpts from Caravan of No Despair. (65 minutes)
October Project features composer Emil Adler, poet-lyricist Julie Flanders, and vocalist Marina Belica. With Sounds True, the group has most recently released the album The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace. In this special episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon converses with the members of October Project about the power of the human voice and the pure, direct joy of a cappella singing. They speak on the shape and intent of The Book of Rounds, detailing the complexity of singing in rounds and the aural journey created by the album. Finally, Tami and October Project share and comment upon four different songs from The Book of Rounds. (61 minutes)
Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is an author and an ordained Zen Buddhist priest whose work and teachings focus upon lived experience in the context of race, sexuality, and gender. Her most recent book, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender, discusses how spiritual wisdom divorced from everyday reality is insufficient to heal the wounds of those who have been marginalized. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Zenju speak about her experience of racism within dharma practice communities. Zenju also details what she calls “the fiery gateways” that she had to walk through as part of her spiritual journey. Finally, Tami and Zenju talk about what Zenju calls “liberated tenderness.” (79 minutes)Photo Credit: Vaschelle André of Divine Photography
Joan Ranquet is an animal communicator and energy healer who teaches workshops nationwide. With Sounds True, she has published Energy Healing for Animals: A Hands-On Guide for Enhancing the Health, Longevity, and Happiness of Your Pets. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Joan and Tami Simon speak on the baseline concepts of animal communication—its history, evidence, and various applications. They also talk about the use of energy healing with animals, including the similarities between the energetic bodies of people and their pets. Finally, Tami and Joan discuss the many ways we can use energy healing to enhance the health and well-being of our pets—especially during times of stress or transition. (71 minutes)
James Finley is a clinical psychologist and the author of books such as Christian Meditation and The Contemplative Heart. With Sounds True, James has created several audio learning programs including Meister Eckhart’s Living Wisdom and Transforming Trauma (with Caroline Myss). In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and James discuss the concept, history, and direct experience of “the dark night of the soul.” They also speak on the possibility of healing trauma through spiritual practice. (54 minutes)
Richard Miller is one of the world’s leading authorities on the practice of Yoga Nidra—a deep form of yogic meditation and relaxation. With Sounds True, Richard has published iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Resiliency, and Well-Being, a comprehensive audio toolkit for the contemporary use of Yoga Nidra practices. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Richard talk about the use of Yoga Nidra to treat trauma—especially among returning military personnel. They also speak on the core ideas behind iRest, as well as events that led to its development. Finally, Richard guides listeners through a full iRest meditation practice designed for the reconciliation of seemingly opposite thoughts and emotions. (68 minutes)
Tosha Silver is a veteran spiritual teacher and the author of Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender. She runs the online Living “Outrageous Openness” school, which guides participants in discovering their own “inner love.” In this inspiring episode of Insights at the Edge, Tosha and Tami Simon speak on offering ourselves and our situation to the divine—especially during tough or troubling times. They also talk about the importance of knowing how to receive, and why so many find it difficult to do so. Finally, Tami and Tosha discuss the importance of clearing clutter from our lives and how to write our own prayers for personal change. (65 minutes)
Susan Piver is a Buddhist teacher and the New York Times bestselling author of books such as How Not to be Afraid of Your Own Life. Susan is one of the contributors to the Sounds True anthology Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Susan and Tami Simon discuss depression as a catalyst for unexpected change, and how this “strange friend” can help us to become more compassionate. They talk about meditation as a path to opening the heart, and why some people instinctively resist the meditator’s cushion. Finally, Tami and Susan speak on what it means to live each day with bravery. (63 minutes)
Caroline Myss is an internationally renowned speaker, medical intuitive, mystic, and pioneer in the field of energy medicine. She is the author of five New York Times bestsellers, as well as the Sounds True audio learning programs Energy Anatomy, Sacred Contracts, and Your Creative Soul. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Caroline discuss what it means to “heal beyond reason.” They speak on near-death experiences and the nature of the soul. Finally, Tami and Caroline talk about spiritual metamorphosis and the seven graces that can empower a person to live a richer, more authentic life. (56 minutes)
Loch Kelly is an author, psychotherapist, meditation teacher, and founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. With Sounds True, he has released the book and companion audio program Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge—which comprises the second part of the conversation that began on August 18 of this year—Loch leads Tami and the audience through three “doorways” toward unhooking from the flow of thought and entering the deeper realm of “awake awareness.” They also speak on using the senses as jumping-off points to a greater intuitive knowing. Finally, Tami and Loch speak on waking up, waking in, and waking out—and how this process is important to the next steps in humanity’s evolution. (69 minutes)
Robert Thurman is a prolific author and professor at Columbia University, where he holds the first endowed chair in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies. A close friend of the Dalai Lama, Robert is a cofounder of Tibet House in New York City, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the fragmented culture of Tibet. In this rollicking installment of Insights at the Edge, Robert and Tami Simon discuss how bliss is a fundamental component of our being, as well as how we can tap into that bliss in our everyday lives. They speak on how people can choose a career that keeps them close to their spiritual tradition and some of the pitfalls involved with becoming a full-time spiritual teacher. Finally, Robert and Tami talk about what exactly continues after reincarnation, and Robert clarifies some of the Dalai Lama’s recent comments about his next life. (90 minutes)
don Oscar Miro-Quesada is a shamanic healer, teacher, and the originator of the Pachakuti Mesa tradition of cross-cultural shamanism. With Sounds True, don Oscar Miro-Quesada has created a new audio program called Healing Light: An Apprenticeship in Peruvian Shamanism. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, don Oscar and Tami Simon speak on the practice of Peruvian curanderismo in the modern world. They discuss the importance of creating a personalized altar space and how doing so creates the best possible environment for shamanic journeying. Finally, don Oscar and Tami talk about the relationship between shamanism and contemporary psychology, as well as what the Pachakuti Mesa tradition says about this critical moment in history. (80 minutes)
Chris Grosso is a public speaker, writer, spiritual director, and recovering addict who leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, youth centers, hospitals, and festivals worldwide. With Sounds True, Chris Grosso has released a new book called Everything Mind: What I’ve Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening, and the Mind-Blowing Truth of It All. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Chris and Tami Simon discuss the deep connection between spiritual awakening and recovery. They also consider methods of working with self-loathing and judgment, as well as how genuine communication provides a doorway to meaningful connection. Finally, Chris shares a sampling of the practices on offer in Everything Mind. (76 minutes)
Reggie Ray is a lineage holder of the great Tibetan Buddhist meditation teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a faculty member of Naropa University, and spiritual director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation based in Crestone, Colorado. He is the author of several books, including Touching Enlightenment and Secret of the Vajra World. With Sounds True, Reggie has released audio learning programs such as Meditating with the Body and Meditation in Seven Steps. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon—who is a student of Reggie—poses a series of challenging and difficult questions to her instructor. (52 minutes)
Dominique Christina is a writer, performer, educator, and activist. She holds four national poetry slam titles, including the 2011 National Poetry Slam Champion. With Sounds True, Dominique has released a new book called This Is Woman’s Work: Calling Forth Your Inner Council of Wise, Brave, Crazy, Rebellious, Luminous, Loving Selves. In this episode of Insights at the Edge Tami Simon and Dominique discuss a deliberate use of language and how that use can help women to better author their own lives. They talk about courage, and how a woman taking control of the narrative of her own life is “a stunning act of bravery.” Finally, Tami and Dominique speak on the 20 different female archetypes introduced in This Is Woman’s Work, focusing on two of the most difficult: the Whisper Woman and the Ghost Woman. (63 minutes)
Bradford Keeney is an internationally renowned scholar, therapist, speaker, and teacher. In addition to being the author of several classics in the field of psychotherapy, including Aesthetics of Change and Shaking Medicine, Brad has a deep connection to elders of numerous indigenous cultures and is a recognized spokesperson for the old ways of ecstatic shaking. He is the author of the Sounds True audio learning course Shaking, and coauthor of the book Shamans of the World. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Bradford have an intriguing conversation about being “struck by lightning” on the path to awakening, the value of both arousal and relaxation in our practice, and the vital role of absurdity in our spiritual journey. (56 minutes)
Dr. Diane Poole Heller is an expert in the fields of adult attachment theory, trauma resolution, and integrative healing. In partnership with Sounds True, she will be hosting the Psychology 2.0 online summit—a 14-day series of presentations from some of the most innovative and engaging figures in contemporary psychotherapy. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Diane and Tami Simon talk about attachment theory and how psychotherapists can work to create a secure holding environment for the healing of attachment-based wounds. They also speak on how Diane came to attachment theory and how it relates to her previous work with trauma resolution. Finally, Tami and Diane discuss the traumatic freeze response and how to deal with its paralyzing aftermath. (64 minutes)
Loch Kelly is a meditation teacher, author, and founder of the Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. With Sounds True, Loch has just published the book and a companion audio series Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Loch and Tami Simon speak on the discovery of “awake awareness” and how to get in touch with a state that is already present in all of us. They also talk about the difference between effortful and effortless mindfulness practice, as well as methods of “unhooking” from the relentless flow of thought. Finally, Tami and Loch discuss stabilizing one’s mindfulness practice and living from awake awareness in every moment. (64 minutes)
David Tresemer is an associate professor of psychology at Rudolf Steiner College. Lila Sophia Tresemer is an author, ceremonialist, and trans-denominational minister. Together with Sounds True, the Tresemers have released The Conscious Wedding Handbook: How to Create Authentic Ceremonies That Express Your Love. In this episode of Insights at the Edge the Tresemers join Tami Simon for a lively discussion about the building blocks necessary for a conscious wedding ceremony. They talk about the “sacred moment” at the core of such a ceremony, as well as the role of witnesses in blessing the opening moments of a marriage. Finally, David, Lila Sophia, and Tami speak on conscious relationships and how marriage is a far more interesting adventure than “happily ever after.” (60 minutes)
Father Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and prolific author. With Sounds True, he has released the six-part audio learning program, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis, in which Richard explores the life and teachings of this beloved figure, and offers ways we can incorporate his wisdom into our lives. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Father Rohr and Tami Simon discuss the relevance of Saint Francis in today’s world, what he calls the "spirituality of subtraction," Jesus’ teachings on nonduality, and what genuine contemplation might look like. (52 minutes)
Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times bestselling author, professor, and Episcopal priest. She has served on the faculty of Piedmont College as the Butman Professor of Religion and Philosophy since 1998, and has released such widely praised books as Leaving Church and Learning to Walk in the Dark. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Barbara and Tami Simon speak about appreciating the power of divine absence as well as divine presence. They talk about the value of becoming familiar with darkness and a “lunar spirituality” inspired by walking beneath the light of the moon. Finally, Tami and Barbara discuss the modern predilection toward busyness and how a dedicated Sabbath day can help alleviate the stress of everyday life. (54 minutes)
Deepak Chopra is a world-renowned figure in mind-body medicine who has authored more than 80 books. Marilyn Schlitz is a social anthropologist and public speaker who’s been a leader in the field of consciousness studies for more than three decades. With Sounds True, Marilyn Schlitz has written a new book called Death Makes Life Possible: Revolutionary Insights on Living, Dying, and the Continuation of Consciousness, for which Deepak wrote an insightful foreword. In this special edition of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Marilyn and Deepak about the continuation of consciousness after death. They discuss the Western taboo about direct engagement with death and how we might move past it. In this spirit, Tami, Deepak, and Marilyn also talk about increasing “worldview literacy” and how we may be in the first stages of a “death awareness movement” that seeks to ease the cultural fears around dying. (57 minutes)
Malidoma Somé is a West African elder and teacher from the Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso, West Africa. A beloved speaker and workshop facilitator, Malidoma is the author of several books including Ritual: Power, Healing, and Community. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Malidoma and Tami Simon discuss the methods and rituals required to contact one’s ancestors—as well as the nature of the parallel world that they inhabit. They also talk about what we can do to resolve interpersonal issues with family members that have already passed into the next world. Finally, Tami and Malidoma speak on the most important lessons that the West can learn from the Dagara, and in turn what the Dagara might learn from the West. (68 minutes)
Tami Simon speaks with Terry Tempest Williams, a writer, naturalist, environmental activist, and author of several books including Finding Beauty in a Broken World and an original audio adaptation of the book, published by Sounds True. In this interview, Terry discusses her creative process as a writer and how she has been able to find beauty in a broken world. (47 minutes)
Ekabhumi Charles Ellik is an artist, poet, and teacher of classical Hatha yoga. With Sounds True, he has created The Shakti Coloring Book—which is not only a beautifully illustrated coloring book for adults, but also a comprehensive guide to dozens of goddesses and their associated yantras. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Ekabhumi speak on how he understands various goddesses and their energetic presence in the world. They also talk about the relationship between the goddesses and yoga—particularly those goddesses that inspired specific yogic postures. Finally, Tami and Ekabhumi discuss the concept of “deity practice” and how inviting specific goddesses into our lives can align us with the great virtues they embody. (68 minutes)
Bruce Tift has been in private practice as a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado since 1979. He has taught at Naropa University for 25 years, and was a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. With Sounds True, he has published the book Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Bruce and Tami Simon compare and contrast two different approaches to personal transformation: the “developmental” approach of psychotherapy and the “fruitional” approach of Buddhist practice. They discuss the blind spots inherent in each approach, as well as the ways they can be addressed. Tami and Bruce talk about the nature of neurosis and how neurotic tendencies almost always involve a sense of disembodiment. Finally, they speak on “unconditional practices,” and how unconditional kindness can transform one’s outlook on the procession of life. (70 minutes)
Kevin Griffin is one of the leading lights of the mindful recovery movement, which applies Buddhist concepts of compassion and mindfulness to the journey out of addiction. A longtime meditator, teacher, and Twelve-Step participant, Kevin is the cofounder of the Buddhist Recovery Network. With Sounds True, Kevin has published the book Recovering Joy: A Mindful Life After Addiction, and the audio programs Recovery One Breath at a Time and One Breath, Twelve Steps: A Buddhist Path to Recovery from Addiction. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Kevin discuss the challenge of embracing joy after recovering from addiction. They also talk about the connections between Buddhist meditation and the Twelve Steps, as well as the importance of showing up for life’s events after addiction. Finally, Kevin and Tami speak on the changing relationship to happiness during and after the recovery process. (64 minutes)
Parker J. Palmer is a writer, speaker, and activist who is world-renowned for his many insightful books, including Let Your Life Speak and Healing the Heart of Democracy. With Sounds True, he has most recently contributed to the anthology Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Parker discuss his own passages through clinical depression and the meaning he derived from them. They also speak on the modern cultural taboo surrounding depression, and how depression is actually an innate part of the life journey. Finally, Parker and Tami talk about how depression can act as “a befriending force pushing you down onto safe ground”—an agent that can help course-correct a life lived “at altitude.” (86 minutes)
Vidyamala Burch has lived with chronic back pain as a result of a car accident, multiple surgeries, and congenital spine weakness for more than 30 years. Searching for a way to cope with her situation, she started practicing mindfulness meditation to help accept and move beyond the pain. She is cofounder of the Breathworks organization in the United Kingdom, where she teaches mindfulness-based approaches to living with physical pain and illness. She is also author of the Sounds True book Living Well with Pain and Illness. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Vidyamala speak about what it means to turn toward pain and soften to it. They also discuss the great value in learning to live one moment at a time. (57 minutes)
Agapi Stassinopoulos is an author, blogger, and motivational speaker who conducts seminars worldwide on embracing one’s natural gifts. With Sounds True, she has released the audio version of her book Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love, enhanced with new guided meditations. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Agapi and Tami Simon speak on how disappointment can be an important teacher and how each of us needs to define success for ourselves. They also talk about lessons Agapi learned from her mother—including potent slogans she shared with her daughters. Finally, Tami and Agapi address the expectations of young women just starting their careers and how contributing to the lives of others may be the true path to freeing our hearts. (63 minutes)
Lionel Corbett is a professor of depth psychology at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Drawing from the works of C.G. Jung, Lionel focuses on the integration of psychology and spirituality into a seamless whole. With Sounds True, Lionel has published the audio series Spirituality Beyond Religion: The Direct Experience of the Sacred. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Lionel and Tami Simon talk about numinous experiences and what they say about humanity’s innate need for a connection to the spiritual. They also speak on the role of suffering in our lives and how it can be seen as a call to move toward our respective destinies. Finally, Tami and Lionel discuss faith as a kind of inner knowing, as well as the importance of visionary experiences. (53 minutes)
Karla McLaren is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and educator whose empathic approach to emotions informs her studies of sociology, anthropology, neurology, and cognitive psychology. With Sounds True, Karla has most recently contributed to the anthology Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Karla and Tami Simon discuss depression as an essential human emotion—one that may carry important messages about what’s no longer working for you. They also talk about the questions you can ask of your emotions to determine their cause and the course of action they are asking you to take. Finally, Tami and Karla speak on the necessity of understanding and embracing the full range of human emotions—even those you deem unpleasant—in order to live a fuller, healthier life. (58 minutes)
Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western scholars of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the founder of the Dzogchen Foundation and the author of many books, including Awakening the Buddha Within. In this episode of Insights at the Edge the good lama and Tami Simon discuss his newest book, Make Me One with Everything: Buddhist Meditations to Awaken from the Illusion of Separation, focusing on the concept of “inter-meditation.” They talk about inter-meditating in nature, inter-meditating with difficult emotional experiences, and even inter-meditating with people we could call our enemies. Finally, Lama Surya Das expounds on some of the book’s potent aphorisms for leading an enlightened life. (68 minutes)
Dr. Kristin Neff is a professor of human development and culture at the University of Texas and a practitioner of Buddhist meditation. The book and documentary The Horse Boy chronicle Kristin and her family’s extraordinary journey to help her autistic son. With Sounds True, Kristin has created the audio program Self-Compassion Step by Step, which includes clinical evidence of the importance of self-compassion along with techniques and exercises for cultivating this pivotal quality. In this interview, Tami Simon and Kristin talk about the vital distinction between self-esteem and self-compassion, three pillars of self-compassion, “self-compassion breaks,” and the importance of recognizing our common humanity during difficulties that feel unique and isolating. (68 minutes)
Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News, an anchor for Nightline, and a co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. After experiencing a panic attack on live television in 2004, Dan turned to mindfulness meditation for help—a journey chronicled in his book Ten Percent Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works—A True Story. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Dan and Tami Simon discuss his previous skepticism of meditation and how the practice has a branding problem among a generation raised in “the Age of Irony.” They also talk about how Dan deals differently with the world since taking up meditation. Finally, Dan and Tami speak on the real, quantifiable benefits of a regular mindfulness practice. (57 minutes)Photo Credit Ida Mae Astute/ABC
Mary Pipher is a clinical psychologist whose area of expertise is how contemporary US culture influences the mental health of its citizens. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Reviving Ophelia, and recently contributed to the Sounds True anthology Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Mary and Tami Simon discuss the connection between despair and a lack of trust, as well as how personal writing can be a panacea for hopelessness. Mary also shares advice for journeyman therapists who are dealing with clients buried deep in their own despair. Finally, Mary and Tami talk about how despair can crack the heart wide open. (52 minutes)
John Prendergast is a psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and the editor-in-chief of Undivided: The Online Journal of Nonduality and Psychology. With Sounds True, John has published the new book In Touch: How to Tune In to Inner Guidance of Your Body and Trust Yourself. In this episode of Insights at the Edge John and Tami Simon talk about the concept of “inner knowing” and its four hallmarks, which also double as gateways into experiencing it more fully. At Tami’s request, John leads listeners through a series of guided visualizations to give them a brief taste of their own inner knowing. Finally, John and Tami discuss the painful conditioning these exercises can evoke, and how we can inquire into our core limiting beliefs to reach a deeper sense of self-trust. (64 minutes)
Mariam Gates is a highly skilled teacher and yoga instructor with decades of experience, as well as the founder of the Kid Power Yoga program. Mariam is the author of Sounds True’s first children’s book, Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story—a tale designed to bring parents and children together in a relaxing flow of postures and visualizations. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Mariam about integrating yoga into public school education and the special considerations of teaching the practice to children. They also talk about Mariam’s vision for teaching yoga and meditation from kindergarten through twelfth grade, as well as the possible benefits from such a sweeping program. Finally, Tami and Mariam discuss the background and inspirations behind Good Night Yoga. (54 minutes)
Lama Tsultrim Allione is an author, former Tibetan nun, internationally known Buddhist teacher, and founder of the Tara Mandala retreat center. Lama Tsultrim has created several audio programs with Sounds True, including The Mandala of the Enlightened Feminine and Cutting through Fear, which helps us meet and release the demons of fear—as well as other unhelpful emotions and obsessions. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami and Lama Tsultrim speak about the sacred feminine within Buddhism and how to understand it without creating duality. They also discuss the eleventh-century Tibetan yogini Machig Labdrön and Lama Tsultrim’s journey through grief over the sudden loss of her husband. (68 minutes)
Anakha Coman uses her expertise in organizational leadership and mindfulness techniques to speak, teach, and consult with leaders and businesses worldwide—including Intel, Nike, and Save the Children. The founder of the Awakened Leadership Institute, Anakha has recently partnered with Sounds True to offer the online learning program Awake at Work. In this episode, Tami Simon speaks with Anakha about workplace mindfulness programs and the benefits thereof. They also talk about the qualities of mindful leadership and the three core principles underlying the Awake at Work curriculum. Finally, Tami and Anakha discuss the false (and often destructive) motivation of shame, as well as how one might begin a grassroots mindfulness program in one’s own organization. (57 minutes)
k.d. lang is not only a multi-Grammy®-winning singer, songwriter, and producer—she’s also an active proponent for LGBTQ issues, animal rights, and international recognition of the Tibetan diaspora. Recorded live at 2014’s Wake Up Festival in Estes Park, Colorado, this special edition of Insights at the Edge is a frank and inspiring conversation between k.d. and Tami Simon. They speak on the origin of k.d.’s current spiritual journey and how her motivation is to “make an offering to the benefit of all beings.” Tami and k.d. also discuss the difference between the discipline of spiritual practice and the discipline needed for her art. Finally, they talk about the voice as a living, breathing entity, as well as what it means to k.d. to have faith. (35 minutes)
Dr. Roger Teel is Senior Minister to the storied Mile Hi Church and serves as the spiritual guide and teacher to more than 30,000 congregants. He is a gifted community builder, tireless advocate of interfaith dialogue, and the author of the critically acclaimed book This Life Is Joy: Discovering the Spiritual Laws to Live More Powerfully, Lovingly, and Happily. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Roger sit down face-to-face in the Sounds True studio to discuss the journey towards opening the heart and how our greatest strength lies in our vulnerability. They also talk about how hardships such as disease and judgment can be unlikely portals to spiritual transformation. Finally, they speak about Roger’s innate knowing of the joy that undergirds the universe and the continuity beyond death. (68 minutes)Photo Credit Tommy Collier
Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston’s graduate college of social work who has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené is the author of the number-one New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly, and with Sounds True she has created the audio learning course The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings on Authenticity, Connection, and Courage. In this episode, Tami Simon speaks with Brené about the cultural myth that equates vulnerability with weakness instead of recognizing it as the greatest measure of our courage. They also examine Brené’s research into the qualities that allow someone to live in a wholehearted way. (66 minutes)
Sandra Ingerman is a licensed psychotherapist and shamanic practitioner who teaches workshops around the world on shamanism and environmental sustainability. With Sounds True, Sandra has written the book Walking in Light: The Everyday Empowerment of a Shamanic Life. In this episode, Sandra and Tami speak about spiritual light and a practice called “transfiguration,” in which one transforms into a radiant being. They also talk about working with ceremonies—in particular ceremonies that can be used when we feel blocked or stuck in life. Finally, they discussed the evolution of what shamanism can offer contemporary society—not just as a set of techniques and practices, but as a way of life. (64 minutes)
Seth Godin is a bestselling author and popular blogger who is known for his writing on marketing, the spread of ideas, and mindful business strategies. In this episode, Tami Simon and Seth discuss the concept of resistance and how it must be sought out in any effective pursuit of art. They also talk about the contemporary “connection economy” and how there is no guarantee that one can make a living through genuine self-expression—but also how one should do so anyway. Finally, they spoke on the necessity of taking leaps and Seth’s concept of living a life of faith. (62 minutes)
Mark Epstein is a practicing psychiatrist and noted writer on Buddhist meditation practice. With Sounds True, Mark has created What the Buddha Felt: A Buddhist Psychiatrist Points the Way to Uncommon Happiness, an audio program concerning the merging of Western psychotherapy and ancient meditation practices. In this episode of Insights at the Edge Tami Simon speaks with Mark about the often paradoxical benefits of Buddhism’s emphasis on non-identification. They also talk about the early childhood traumas experienced by Siddhartha and how they shaped his journey towards becoming the Buddha. Finally, Tami and Mark discuss what can be learned from the Buddha as a realist. (60 minutes)
Robert Augustus Masters is an integral psychotherapist and spiritual teacher whose work emphasizes physical embodiment and greater relational maturity. With Sounds True, he has published the book To Be a Man: A Guide to True Masculine Power. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Robert and Tami Simon talk about the deep shame that men often experience in a society that encourages them to “man up” and ignore their emotions. They also speak on developing a healthier approach to anger, as well as coming to a new understanding of masculine sexuality. Finally, they discuss Robert’s interpretation of what women truly need from modern men. (68 minutes)
Jena la Flamme has devoted her life to helping women around the world heal emotional eating, reach their healthy weight, and cultivate stronger self-image. Through her popular seminars, “Pleasure Camps,” and a plethora of online resources, Jena has guided thousands through a more joyous and sustainable approach to weight loss. With Sounds True, Jena has published Pleasurable Weight Loss: The Secrets to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Loving Your Life Today. In this episode, Jena and Tami Simon speak on distinguishing types of pleasure and how they can be harnessed in daily life. They also talk about the dos and don’ts of the Pleasurable Weight Loss program—including what it means to achieve your body’s “ideal ecology.” (68 minutes)
Tami Simon speaks with Dr. David Grand, a pioneering psychotherapist, lecturer, and performance coach. Dr. Grand is best known for his discovery of the internationally acclaimed therapy called Brainspotting. He’s the author of the book Emotional Healing at Warp Speed, and with Sounds True he has released his book on Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change. In this episode, Tami speaks with David about what Brainspotting is and why it represents a new evolution in brain-based therapy. Dr. Grand reveals the central insight of Brainspotting—that where you look affects how you feel—and offers a simple practice that you can try right now. (60 minutes)
Duncan Trussell is a writer, producer, and stand-up comedian who has appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Funny or Die Presents: Drunk History, and Adventure Time. He hosts the podcast The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, in which he and guests discuss everything from contemporary comedy to chaos magick and spiritual inquiry. In this episode, Duncan and Tami Simon discussed how mindfulness practice can affect performance and the use of what Pema Chödrön calls “the pause.” They also spoke about Duncan’s experience as a cancer survivor and how it changed his outlook on life. Finally, Tami and Duncan talked about his understanding of the Earth as a living, evolving being—as well as humankind’s role in that evolution. (61 minutes)
Contemporary spiritual teacher Thomas Hübl has spent much of his life helping to bring a deeper dimension of self-awareness and responsibility to people’s inner lives. In 2008, Thomas founded the Academy of Inner Science, an organization devoted to the exploration of modern mysticism and spiritual awakening. With Sounds True, Thomas has released the audio program The Power of We. In this episode, Tami Simon speaks with Thomas about the importance of asking the correct question when triggered in a relationship. They also talk about the two competencies Thomas believes are necessary for the process of spiritual awakening. Finally, they discuss the nature and necessity of transparent communication in the awakening process. (73 minutes)
Though he comes from a background in nuclear physics, astrophysics, and cosmology, Claude Poncelet has been one of the world’s foremost authorities on shamanic practice for more than 25 years. With Sounds True, Claude has released the book The Shaman Within: A Physicist’s Guide to the Deeper Dimensions of Your Life, the Universe, and Everything. In this long-awaited second part of their interview for Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon and Claude discuss applying shamanic practice to one’s professional life and the advantages therein. They also talk about the spiritual underpinnings of the cosmos—from the stars to the black hole at the center of our galaxy. Finally, Claude and Tami speak on the pursuit of impeccability not only in shamanic practice, but in every aspect of life. (70 minutes)
Erin Olivo, PhD, is a psychotherapist and assistant clinical professor of medical psychology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. With Sounds True, she has recently released the new book Wise Mind Living: Master Your Emotions, Transform Your Life. In this episode, Tami Simon and Erin discuss the evolutionary roots and value of our emotions. They also speak about the cyclical nature of emotions and how they can affect us in seemingly contradictory waves. Finally, Tami and Erin talk about how we approach emotional reactivity as parents—as well as ways to teach our children how to healthily approach their own emotions. (63 minutes)
Snatam Kaur is one of the most recognized voices in the world of devotional chant. Snatam is an American artist who was raised in the kundalini yoga tradition and schooled in kirtan meditation and Gurmukhi, the Sanskrit-based language of Sikh scriptures in northern India. She is the lead singer for the Celebrate Peace tours and has released eight records. In this episode, Tami Simon speaks with Snatam about her bottom line in terms of daily meditation practice, what has been her go-to mantra in life, and how motherhood keeps her ego in check. She also shares three excerpts from The Essential Snatam Kaur, the Sounds True compilation of her favorite sacred chants for healing. (76 minutes)
Lessons from CentenariansDuring the process of researching the roots of biocognitive science, neuropsychologist Mario Martinez interviewed dozens of centenarians—people who live healthily past 100. In the second part of their conversation about Mario’s new book, The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success, Mario and Tami Simon discussed these centenarians and the four essential beliefs that they all share. They also talked about the different ways that various cultures view aging and how these views impact health. Finally, Mario and Tami spoke on forgiveness and its potential to positively affect our well-being. (61 minutes)
Archetypal Wounds and Their Healing FieldsMario Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist and the founder of biocognitive science—a new paradigm that identifies complex discoveries of how our cultural beliefs affect our immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. With Sounds True, he has written a new book called The MindBody Code. In the first half of a two-part interview, Mario spoke with Tami Simon about how our cultural assumptions can affect our health and well-being. They also talked about archetypal wounds of shame, betrayal, and abandonment—as well as their corresponding healing fields of honor, loyalty, and commitment. Finally, Mario and Tami spoke on what means to feel worthy of making meaningful change in one’s life. (61 minutes)
Dr. Edward Tick is the founding director of Soldier’s Heart veterans’ Safe Return Programs. A psychotherapist and a tireless advocate for war healing and peacemaking, Dr. Tick is the author of the award-winning book War and the Soul, and with Sounds True he has published a new book called Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War. In this episode, Ed speaks with Tami about how we can heal the broken social contract between warriors and civilians in the United States, the universal warrior archetype, what it means to mature into a spiritual warrior, and his advice for speaking to returning veterans in a way that supports and honors their service. (77 minutes)
Beryl Bender Birch is one of the most well-known teachers of classical yoga in the United States, as well as the author of many books and audio programs on the subject. With Sounds True, Beryl has recently created the book Yoga for Warriors: Basic Training in Strength, Resilience, and Peace of Mind. In this edition of Insights at the Edge, Beryl and Tami Simon discuss the usefulness of yoga for people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In order to better communicate these techniques, Beryl walks Tami through basic ujjayi breathing. They also talk about the link between quantum physics and yoga, as well as the “revolutionary” role of yogis in modern society. (70 minutes)
Stephen Batchelor is a former monk in the Tibetan and Korean Zen traditions with a humanistic, non-dogmatic approach to Buddhism. He is the author of the book Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, and the Sounds True audio learning program Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening. In this episode, Stephen speaks with Tami Simon about the importance of doubt in spiritual practice, lessons from the historical life of the Buddha, and how he is exploring the Buddha’s teachings in a postmodern world. (64 minutes)
Lauren Walker is a teacher of both yoga and energy medicine, who has served as Donna Eden’s teaching assistant and founded the yoga program at Norwich University. Lauren’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the Jerusalem Post, and Yoga Journal. With Sounds True, she has released the book Energy Medicine Yoga: Amplify the Healing Power of Your Yoga Practice. In this episode, Lauren speaks with Tami about the effectiveness of combining energy medicine techniques with yoga, how these practices can release trauma, and on-the-spot techniques to calm the fight-or-flight response. Lauren also shares a profound transformational practice called the Pure Breath technique. (76 minutes)
Tara Sophia Mohr is an expert on women’s leadership and well-being, best known as the creator of the global “Playing Big” leadership program for women. A unique voice who blends intellectual rigor with intuitive wisdom, Tara is the author of the book Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. In this episode, Tara speaks with Tami about overcoming the fear that can stop us from realizing our most cherished dreams, creating what Tara calls a “success architecture” for actualizing what we most want to bring forward in the world, and a vision of leadership that celebrates diversity and embraces the contributions of brilliant women. (63 minutes)
Dr. Julia B. Colwell has spent over three decades and many thousands of hours with individuals, couples, and groups, exploring the world of relationships. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami speaks with Dr. Colwell about some of the various skills needed to support a long-term intimate relationship. Their discussion explores how to tune to the sensations in your body as a primary means to creating a loving partnership, learning to speak the “unarguable truth”—and receive the same from your partner, stopping fights before they start by working with your “reactive brain,” and more. (65 minutes)