Category Archives: Podcast Reviews

Jon Kabat-Zinn video

Google kindly and generously films and web-publishes classes it offers to Google staff, here is an excellent talk by Jon Kabat-Zinn where he even leads you in meditation.




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Robina Courtin Podcast Review


She talks (very quickly for a nice long time) about compassion and wisdom. Defining compassion as seeing suffering and not wanting it. Loving someone is wishing for them happiness. You may dislike someone and wish them unhappiness.

Insight Meditation enables an ability to see more clearly, lessening attachment and aversion. See the bare bones of the emotions and hear the stories grounding them.

Equanimity as a starting point. If you have a long term view you can have more patience with getting where you want to go. She mentions Buddhists may think of working towards increasing compassion over many lifetimes. That is an interesting point for me because I think sometimes I think a task feels so insurmountable that it feels hopeless.

Attachment exaggerates the deliciousness of cake, the cake doesn’t really have all that, part of it is a delusion.

Someone asked her what do Buddhists do about violence in the world and she responds, there is a saying in Buddhism that if you can change something than please change it and if you can’t then don’t go crazy with it. If you have the wisdom to go to your friends and just by giving them advice you can calm them down and get them to come around, please do it. And she says it starts with compassion wanting them to not have suffering, then wisdom having the skill and ability to create change. If that means one letter to the newspaper, etc. We do what we can one drop at a time, not in anger, and all those little drops become an ocean.

As she says, all this development is really about practicality, simply, it is not about shame on you, you should…it is just practical.

I found this podcast at Zencast


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When you are you, zen is zen

hase.jpg source
“When you are you, zen is zen, not when you get to be zen enough you will finally be cool.” This is a quote from Edward Brown quoting another zen teacher in (a podcast already reviewed previously in this blog). And more quotes from the talk:

“At last an authentic movement, you are not just posturing.” (from a yoga teacher) It was interesting to think of yoga as being an avenue for bringing your authentic self into the present.

“You are attempting to do you in a way that gives the right impression to the world…”

“Do you really want to be here?” “Can you welcome yourself home?”

“How will you ever become acceptable if you can never measure up to your scale or standard?” How do you get comfortable being you if you have all these other things besides you, that your are trying to be? Meanwhile knowing you grow and develop and change.
When you have a daily habit of listening to what is in there, you are don’t have to hold back in fear of what might be sitting there that might come out. The keeping yourself in check, lets go more and you find yourself freer. And people love that you are there. That gives them liberty to also be present.

When you obtain realization it might not look the way you thought it would, it seems certain it will be you there when it happens.

One gets especially hard to meet yourself is when you are suffering and think oh I have done all these right things so I can’t be suffering and yet there you are suffering something. So we are human once again.

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Edward Brown

My favorite podcast so far, Ed’s “Facets of Self”. Ed is just who he is and invites you into that experience…his is the most engaging and even humorous…many times I am tempted to surf or do something else while I listen, I just couldn’t with Ed, I felt so me afterwards…hard to explain…he gets at the fakeness and the absurdity of it…

About Edward Brown:
“Edward Espe Brown has been practicing Zen since 1965 (and yoga since 1980), and has been head resident teacher at each of the San Francisco Zen Centers: Tassajara, Green Gulch, and City Center. He has led meditation retreats and cooking classes throughout the United States, as well as Austria, Germany, Spain, and England. He is the author of several cookbooks including The Tassajara Bread Book and Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, and is the editor of Not Always So, a newly published book of lectures by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He has also done extensive Vipassana practice.” See more description by clicking on “comments” for this post.

Once again this was found through, I am still pouring through their podcast archive.


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Blanche Hartman

“Freedom” podcast on impermanence and death. She quotes poet Kay Ryan, “We set up our table and chairs right in the river…” and poet Mary Oliver, “…Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” and Socrates about fearing death as assuming you know what that is…it could be the greatest thing…knowing you don’t know…

Getting curious about death…hoping she can be this curious about death even in the face of hers.

From Zen Mind Beginners Mind: Niagra falls…whether a single drop of water or a river, water is water, our life and death are the same thing, how very glad the water must be to rejoin the river…

About Blanche:
ZENZEI BLANCHE HARTMAN began sitting in 1969 with Mel Weitsman and Suzuki-roshi. She was ordained a priest in 1977 by Zentatsu Baker and received dharma transmission with Sojun Mel Weitsman in 1988. She became Abbess of San Francisco Zen Center in 1996. She is married to Shuun Lou Hartman; they have four children and five grandchildren.


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“Finding Joy in the Heart of Pain”

Photo by iceman9294 via
I invite you to listen to Darlene Cohen’s podcast on “Finding Joy in the Heart of Pain”, she suffered from terrible arthritis and talks about living with pain in a casual light hearted way. She earned a graduate degree in Physiological Psychology in 1966. She says some nice (even fun) ideas and insights for people living with others who are in pain. I discovered her podcast via

Topics covered:
Living with pain
How to live with someone in long term pain
Attachment to the outcome as a source of pain
The value in sometimes distracting yourself intentionally

Difference and interconnectedness between pleasure and pain, the difference is they produce different emotions, the interconnectedness is that they exist almost simultaneously.

The “Disinterested Pursuit of pleasure” as key to survival in living with long term pain, where you have to do more than let pleasure be happen chance, you have to plan for it and this pursuit of pleasure will be key in producing compassion! Very interesting.

Within the pursuit of pleasure there are three ideas:
engagement, engage a situation/person/problem rather than ignore it and your energy goes up
ecstasy, where you let go of your critical mind.

Enjoy the podcast

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