Podcast Episodes

“We design the world through the relationships that we live and through the relational qualities that we pass on to the next generation. Practicing in our intimate relationships is actually a rewriting of the past. We can heal, we can integrate, and through that we can change the world.”


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Thomas is joined by Taiwanese Buddhist nun, scholar, writer, and Founder of the Woodenfish Foundation, Venerable Dr. Yifa, PhD. They discuss the relationship between science and religion, focusing on how modern scientific advances can be viewed from a Buddhist lens, and the philosophical and ethical questions posed by new technology. Dr. Yifa shares how she chose the path of becoming a Buddhist nun, and how the discipline she learned in that process has helped her in her academic studies and life.

She and Thomas explore how both religion and science offer avenues to pursue fundamental truths and discuss how Buddhist and Taoist teachings can help us become mindful, helpful people who contribute positively to the collective karma of humanity.

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Thomas is joined by the Founder and CEO of the Agape International Spiritual Center and the author of Life Visioning, Michael Beckwith. They discuss how believing in possibility and maintaining hope are essential to growth, transformation, and our ability to live an authentic and fulfilling life.

Michael shares his insights into how our minds have been hijacked by news, media, and circumstances beyond our control, and shares practices and strategies for gaining sovereignty over our awareness. He and Thomas explore how we can ask ourselves more empowering questions instead of succumbing to disempowerment and hopelessness. Michael stresses that believing in the potential of humanity and focusing on community can help us experience greater healing and positive change in our lives.

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Episode 72

June 4, 2024

Cultivating Wisdom

Thomas dives deep into the foundational concept of wisdom – exploring what it takes to cultivate wisdom within ourselves, and how the individual effects of wisdom are deeply intertwined with the whole of humanity. Thomas believes that wisdom arises when we grow and mature through difficult circumstances, integrating what we learn from these experiences and allowing ourselves to expand.

Practicing presence can be challenging for many of us, but the more we integrate the past, the easier it gets. Presence, as Thomas explains, is a beautiful gift that transcends time. And learning how to live in presence and connection with the whole of existence, the good and the bad, is how we develop wisdom.

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Thomas is joined by Koshin Paley Ellison – an author, Zen teacher, Jungian psychotherapist, and co-founder of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. They discuss the deep benefits of Buddhist meditation practice, and how it can enhance the benefits of traditional therapy – allowing us to go to greater depths in our healing work by teaching us how to be present with pain.

Koshin has applied these teachings through his own healing journey and in his groundbreaking program for healthcare workers that developed during the pandemic. He and Thomas explore how the relevance of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, honing in on truth #3: that we, as human beings, can actually change. Koshin believes that by shifting from a model of self-care and self-orientation to an understanding of care that is service-oriented and inclusive of all people, we can learn to see our reality from new perspectives and find joy through more meaningful connections.

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Thomas is joined by the founder of the Ergos Institute of Somatic Education and the developer of Somatic Experiencing, Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. They discuss how trauma affects our physical bodies, and how the bottom-up approach of Somatic Experiencing helps to heal trauma by addressing the body first. Peter shares fascinating anecdotes from his own personal and professional history and explains how trauma is transmitted through generations, along with important information about survival and spirituality.

He and Thomas focus on connection as a crucial, if not THE most crucial element of trauma healing, and how grieving and witnessing pain together can bridge massive cultural divides.

Peter’s new book, An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey is available at:
Ergos Institute, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Amazon UK, Inner Traditions, Books A Million, and Bookshop.org

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In this special bonus episode, Thomas guides you through a meditation to connect you to your physical body, and then expand out to include your emotional system, exploring your emotional landscape. Which emotions are you comfortable with? Which would you rather avoid? You’re encouraged to approach this meditation with openness and curiosity.

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