Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #293 - 26MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation with Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick about what Mysticism means in a modern western oriented spiritual practice. In the first hour our hosts argue about whether non-theistic Buddhists such as Gil Fronsdal and Stephen Batchelor, and atheist/materialist Sam Harris represent the modern era voice of the Mystical project. In the second hour they reconcile with a more substantive discussion about what constitutes the Mystical and how certain types of practices and perspectives can cultivate access to it. In addition, they discuss the moral dimension of Mysticism.

    Rob Schmidt, Ph.D., and Stuart Goodnick co-direct Tayu Meditation Center, owner and operator of Many Rivers Books & Tea. They studied intensively with Tayu founder Robert Daniel Ennis, and are working to complete a book of his teachings this year called, Living Life As A Work Of Art: The Spiritual Work of Robert Daniel Ennis.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #292 - 19MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with our former Mystical Positivist host colleague Dr. Nicholas Egan, an educator and long-time practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism with his teacher Anam Thubten. Nick has had long career in independent schools including time as a Sixth Grade Lead Teacher, a History Department Chair, and Administrative roles, providing him first-hand knowledge of the various interconnected layers of a school. He is currently Head of School of The Healdsburg School. Nick has successfully helped design and implement in-depth Social & Emotional Learning curriculum that integrates emotional awareness, healthy relationships, and ethical decision-making. He is also the recipient of a lifetime Sara D. Barter Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University for his achievement in working with academically talented students. Additionally, Nick has created and taught an innovative world religions program emphasizing critical thinking through studying foundational beliefs and practices of the world’s major religious traditions. His doctoral work in Asian Studies, as well as his experience leading cultural and educational tours for children and adults to destinations including Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, and Tibet, bring a rich layer of experience to his current position at The Healdsburg School. Nick lives in Healdsburg with his wife and three daughters.
More information about Nicholas Egan's work can be found at:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #291 - 12MAY18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with Kittisaro and Thanissara, Buddhist teachers and practitioners who are strong proponents of the “Engaged Buddhism” movement. They are co-authors of Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism. Separately, Thanissara authored Time To Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth—The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes.

    Kittisaro grew up in Tennessee, graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar and went on to Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years and during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK. He also taught extensively during this time and was involved in the training of monks. He disrobed in 1991 and since then has taught internationally in the US, Europe, South Africa, and Israel. He has studied and practiced Chan and Pure Land since 1980, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua. Kittisaro has completed two one year long silent self retreats and is currently writing in between continuing his teaching engagements.

    Thanissara was born into a London Anglo-Irish family, and started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. She was also co-initiator of events for children and families at Amaravati. Thanissara has facilitated meditation retreats since 1989 and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. She is author of several books: Garden of the Midnight Rosary, The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra, co-authored with Kittisaro Listening to the Heart, and her latest is Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.

    Both Thanissara and Kittisaro co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 in South Africa, where they continue to lead retreats and support Kulungile, a loving home for vulnerable children and adults. They are core teachers at Insight Meditation Society, Massachusetts, co-founders of Chattanooga Insight, TN, and are are on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California.​ They also co-founded Sacred Mountain Sangha, which is based in Sebastopol, CA, and which recently launched the Dharmapala - Protectors of the Earth & the Dharma - Training facilitated by Kittisaro & Thanissara.
More information about Kittisaro and Thanissara's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #290 - 28APR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with M. Amos Clifford, author of Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature. In addition to the book that is the topic of our discussion today, Amos is the author of the Kindle book Coyote Stories for Connection to Nature and Spirit: Tales From the Edges of the Untamed World. Amos Clifford is one of the leading voices for Shinrin-Yoku-inspired Forest Therapy in the United States. He began his career as a wilderness guide in 1972. He developed and managed programs that included pioneering approaches to eco-therapies connecting troubled teens to nature. In Sonoma County he served as Executive Director of Restorative Resources, an NGO focusing on the use of restorative justice and related practices. Amos has practiced Zen meditation for 20 years and is a founder of Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California. Amos is accompanied by Pamella Wirth, a certified Forest Therapy Guide and longtime associate of Amos Clifford.
More information about M. Amos Clifford's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #289 - 14APR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a public talk that Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol, CA, on April 5th, 2018. The talk is titled, Living Life as a Work of Art. Swimming in the river currents of life, every thought, every emotion, and every physical act ripples outward, leaving a wake. Consider this truism along with the assertion that great spiritual adepts are notable precisely because they embody the goal of striving to put attention on every moment. What is it like to cultivate exquisite sensitivity to actions and their effects within dynamically changing conditions? Is it helpful to call that practiced sensitivity, and the effects of that sensitivity, art? Traditional views of art assume a stable canvas upon which we impose a vision and expression. Tayu Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis asserted that painting with the brush of conscious habits permits meaningful artistic expression within the dynamic currents of life. In other words, we can paint meaning within the intermixing energy currents where no configuration lingers. In so doing, we can relieve a portion of God's suffering with our own exquisite artful expression in the moment, just as when we view human art, the experience of our own suffering shifts within a vaster perspective.

    Rob Schmidt, Ph.D., and Stuart Goodnick co-direct Tayu Meditation Center, owner and operator of Many Rivers Books & Tea. They studied intensively with Tayu founder Robert Daniel Ennis, and are working to complete a book of his teachings this year called, Living Life As A Work Of Art: The Spiritual Work of Robert Daniel Ennis.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #288 - 07APR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation in the studio with Douglass Truth, artist, writer, performer, and more. Douglass writes:

    I was born a long time ago in Indiana. I never knew I had any aptitude as a painter until I was in my early 40s, when I started painting pretty much by accident. As far as writing, even in junior high school I started to see myself as a writer. Decades of adventures, crap jobs, amazing jobs, and much wandering led to no marketable product, or even readable material as far as most people were concerned. I told myself I was a slow learner, a late-bloomer, and so on, and I guess I was right.

    I come from a family of professionals. I was the youngest, and maybe that gave me license to do whatever I wanted, which was not always an obvious bit of data. So, a lot of wandering and washing dishes and slinging hash and pouring coffee. I did work in Alaska as a surveyor and designer for most of the 70s, but after that I couldn't fake it anymore and I ended up tearing down old buildings around Anchorage with a Jehovah’s Witness named Dwayne. We had a lot of fun, hopped freight trains together but then we started arguing about drugs and such and our relationship soured, and it certainly wasn't one you wanted to engage when around dangerous tools.


    Douglass Truth is the creator and performer of the one-person show, An Intimate Evening with Death, Herself, next showing on April 19th at The Marsh (1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco). Tickets are $15.
More information about Douglass Truth's work can be found at:

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #287 - 31MAR18

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week’s show features a conversation with David Kherdian and Nonny Hogrogian, editor and art director, respectively, of Stopinder, A Gurdjieff Journal for Our Time. David Kherdian is an award-winning Armenian-American writer, poet, editor. He is the author and editor of over seventy books that include poetry, novels, memoirs, biographies, bibliographies, children’s books, as well as critical studies, translations, and retellings. His Armenian-American wife, Caldecott Award winning children’s book illustrator, Nonny Hogrogian, was the art director for Stopinder and many other joint projects; together they operated three small presses, that included books handset and hand-bound, and published in limited editions by letterpress. Kherdian wrote about his experience of working in the Fourth Way in his book On a Spaceship with Beelzebub By a Grandson of Gurdjieff.
More information about David Kherdian and Nonny Hogrogian's work can be found at: