Andrew will be tapping into the many connections he has made around the world with spiritual teachers, scientists, scholars, and experts to offer you the latest from leaders in lucid dreaming and the study of mind.
John Dupuy - An Exploration of the Principles of Intoxication, Addiction, and Sobriety.
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2:17:17Join the author and Integral scholar John Dupuy in a wide-ranging exploration of the principles of intoxication, addiction, and sobriety. The conversation begins with the origins of his landmark book, Integral Recovery, and John’s experience with the traditional 12 step program. How does alcohol, and other substances, work to alter our relationship to the contents of our mind? Are there healthier ways to alter this relationship, like meditation? He then offers a rich rendering of the integral approach, including a thorough look at quadrants, levels, lines, stages, states (we are all state junkies), and shadow work. Why are all these factors important, and how does one engage them all? What is the difference between distress and eustress, and their relationship to translation and transformation?John elaborates on the use of spiral dynamics as a developmental schema, and the difference between dominator and actualization hierarchies, before talking about alcohol and other substances as devolutionary drivers. How can we use all this information to enhance skillful means for helping others? The discussion then explores the benefits of the Enneagram, as a method to better understand ourselves and others. These are all maps of the prison, and therefore very helpful if we want to make a prison break. The power of projection, enveloped in shadow work, is discussed in depth, including the 3-2-1 process of reintegration that allows us to take ownership of our shadows. Without this inner work, the “beasts in the basement” of our mind will constantly take us down, and back to the bottle.John shares his rich experience with brain wave entrainment, how it works, how to use it, and why it’s not cheating. The conversation closes with a deep dive into how addiction is a matter of degree, and how we are all addicts, whether we know it or not. Andrew shares his experience of “detox” in extended retreat, and the discovery of his addiction to thought and movement. Can one legitimately reduce conventional addiction, intoxication, and sobriety, to fundamental principles? What does “being sober” really mean? Is enlightenment the ultimate sobriety? John’s ability to join heaven and earth, book smarts with street smarts, makes him uniquely qualified to talk about these complex issues, and then bolt them into practical life. This podcast connects to material discussed in conversations with Ken Wilber, Dustin DiPerna, Roger Walsh, and Judson Brewer.
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche - A Rich Exploration of the Nocturnal Meditations
1:33:32Join the esteemed master of dream yoga, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, in a rich exploration of the nocturnal meditations. The conversation begins with why Rinpoche has elected to teach so extensively on this topic, which is rarely emphasized by Tibetan lamas. Why should busy Westerner’s bother with dream yoga, what does it have to offer us, and what does it mean to accomplish this practice? Rinpoche talks about how his teaching of dream yoga has changed over the years, before elaborating on all the new content in the 2nd edition of his classic book, The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. The discussion turns to how dream yoga develops flexibility in identity, and why this is so important, before transitioning into the difference between adapting a teaching vs. editing it to suit egoic needs.If teachings aren’t culturally translated and adapted, they go extinct. But if you adapt them too much, the teachings are diluted. How does one establish dream guardians, and create a protection circle for dreaming? Do we need to believe in spirits, and what are the consequences if we don’t? How can you tell if a dream figure is just a projection of your mind, or a real entity? Rinpoche then discusses the role of the subtle body, and the importance of the central channel, before turning to how the subtle body shapes our dreams. How can we work with the subtle body during the day to facilitate lucidity at night? What’s the best thing to do just before falling asleep? Can we use the subtle body to incubate dreams?Dream yoga, and the subtle body, “break all the rules,” and help us live outside the box of the gross body, and our exclusive identification with it. Rinpoche exhorts us not to limit ourselves to the outer body, which grows old, gets sick, and then dies. Transition your identity to a deeper aspect of your being that does not age, get ill, or die. See for yourself why Rinpoche is the premier voice in the world of dream yoga today.
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Sean Esbjörn-Hargens Journey into the Field of Exo Studies
2:03:29Sean Esbjörn-Hargens joins Andrew in a truly out-of-this world journey into the field of Exo Studies. Central to this field is the study of what is real, and the importance of expanding our minds to encompass the “high strangeness” of reality. “Exo” implies something outside the confines of contractive egoic domains, and the importance of leaving this limited view behind. The conversation begins with the “problematic,” or the mainstream world view that dramatically limits our perception and cognition. While reductionism has a certain power, it needs to be balanced with “mandatory complexification,” or a recognition of the messiness of reality. Sean ties this into his notion of “doubleness,” or a more integral approach to the study of phenomena. Inherent to the discussion is a critique of the constraints of materialism; its unconscious indoctrination in the virtual hypnosis that takes place up to age seven; and the invitation to open into the more expansive view of idealism. The idea of “ontological flooding” is discussed, or putting everything on the table before you clear the table. The conversation turns to Sean’s key contribution of the “ontology matrix,” or the criteria we should employ to expand our understanding of what is real. Where does evidence fit into the picture, and what is the difference between legal and scientific evidence? What about too much ontological fluidity, and the place of mental illness? Is anything off limits in such an open world view, and is it possible to open too much and too fast? What is the role of bodywork in opening safely? Do psychedelics have a place? Quantum mechanics comes into the discussion, and the participatory nature of reality, which Sean explores with his “mutual enactment hypothesis:” how phenomena, including things like non-human intelligences and extra-terrestrials, bring us into existence as much as we bring them into existence. Along the way Sean talks about possible blind spots in Buddhism; thought responsive domains; out-of-body and near-death experiences; meta-objects; the path of freedom and the path of fullness; and a vast array of mind-bending topics. See for yourself why Dr. Esbjörn-Hargens is the leading voice in the world of Exo Studies, and why you may want to blast off of this planet with him. About Sean Esbjörn-Hargens PhD(from metaintegral.com) Sean is a global leader in the application of integrative thinking to leader development, organizational design, and mixed-methods design. In 2011 he founded MetaIntegral a social impact network that supports change leaders around the world in applying integrative principles. Sean’s passion lies at the intersection of design, integral theory, and embodiment. He has published and edited numerous articles, chapters, and books. His most recent book is Metatheory for the Twenty-first Century.The MA/PhD Program Sean runs which includes a concentration in Anomalous Studies for interested students - The School of Integral Noetic Sciences:https://www.cihs.edu/school-of-integral-noetic-sciencesThe "Our Wild Kosmos" article referred to in the conversation:https://whatsupwithufos.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Exo_Studies.pdfSean's websites:www.metaintegral.comwww.exostudies.orgwww.whatsupwithufos.com
Daniel Goleman and Tsoknyi Rinpoche Discuss Their Book "Why We Meditate"
1:01:29Join Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Daniel Goleman as they discuss their new book, Why We Meditate. This conversation follows the structure of the book, with Rinpoche responding to questions from Andrew, and Daniel offering the science behind what Rinpoche covers. The podcast begins with the aspirations behind this book, what they both want readers to walk away with. Rinpoche then talks about his notion of “beautiful monsters,” and gives the example of how to work with anger in a new way, distinguishing between useful and useless anger. Rinpoche connects this to “essence love,” and his wonderful “handshake” practice. Daniel and Rinpoche then talk about balancing the two views behind meditation: are we training to achieve certain qualities, or dis-covering them? What about the sense of hollowness that so many feel today? Where does that sense of lack come from, and what can we do about it? Rinpoche and Daniel then go into depth about the “Four I’s” – the mere I, reified I, needy I, and the social I – and how this relates to the issue of egolessness. This acts as platform into the topic of reification, and its central role in creating suffering. Both guests talk about the contribution of Western psychology, and therapy as an indispensable tool for benefiting meditators. More about the book "Why We Meditate"
Bernardo Kastrup - Part II - The Nature of Reality
1:28:32Join Bernardo Kastrup for Part II of the discussion about the nature of reality. The conversation begins with a discussion about evil. Where does contraction fit into this topic, and why do we have such an infantile relationship to evil? The discussion then moves to explore: if reality is of the nature of mind, what exactly is this mind? What are the dangers of reifying the mind, and the hazards of reification altogether. If mind is not a thing, what is it? Emptiness comes into the picture, and its relationship to quantum field theory. What about authentic philosophy, and how do philosophers go astray? Bernardo talks about Nietzsche, and the importance of embodied philosophy, before turning to the topic of transformation, and how to effect it. How does one transform? How far can intellect take you? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Is there a place for psychedelics on this journey? The gifts and gaffes of relational quantum mechanics is discussed, and its relationship to the philosophy of Nagarjuna – the King of Emptiness. What is the “vertigo of eternity,” and can one avoid this vertigo? Bernardo closes with personal stories of the role of praxis, or the process of applying and practicing ideas. He shares his fundamental practice of “recognizing the movements of the impersonal within, and don’t resist it” (ie., nurture your contact with the child within). He summarizes his practice in two words: pay attention. Be in the service of “the diamond,” and find ultimate freedom in that “slavery.”
Bernardo Kastrup – Part I – A Rich Exploration of Idealism
1:30:38Join Bernardo Kastrup for Part I of a rich exploration of idealism, the radical proclamation that reality is of the nature of mind. As a scientist and academic, Bernardo shares how he found his way into this view, and relates some of its tremendous explanatory power. If idealism is the right view, why is there so much resistance by the intellectual elite? Is it a psychological and developmental issue? And why is the standard view of materialism so wrong? The conversation turns to the nature of the transpersonal mind – is it benevolent in nature, or is it naïve to see the world this way? Bernardo talks about dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder) as a potent analogy for “dissociative alters,” or the generation of the self and the personal mind. He then elaborates on the image of a whirlpool, and its relationship to the stream (or “mind at large”). Is death the dissolution of the whirlpool back into the stream? Bernardo says that we really have nothing to fear at death, because the end of the alter is not the end of the world. Death is not the reduction of consciousness, but its expansion. Where does contraction and fear fit into this, and how about spiritual practice? What is healthy vs. unhealthy contraction? The discussion then turns to the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind, and how metacognition fits in. What is enlightenment in terms of the conscious and unconscious mind? See why Dr. Kastrup is causing such a stir in the academic, scientific, and spiritual community with his razor-sharp insights into the nature of mind and reality.
Delson Armstrong - Part II - Dependent Origination, the Intellectual Content of Enlightenment and the Core of Buddhism.
2:00:24Join Delson Armstrong and Andrew in this in-depth exploration of dependent origination, arguably the intellectual content of enlightenment, and the core of Buddhism. Dependent origination is the Theravada rendering of emptiness, and classically depicted in the “Wheel of Life” drawing you will find at the entrance to every monastery in India, Nepal, and Tibet. The twelve links (nidanas) of dependent origination, when unfolded in the forward direction, generate samsara; in the reverse direction they lead to nirvana. The conversation focuses on the first two links, and how the 12th link (death) conditions the 1st (ignorance). In one sense, all of samsara is a type of PTSD, or post-truth stress disorder, when the shocking truth of the empty nature of our being is pointed out at death, and we’re unable to relate to that truth. Delson emphasizes the second link, samskara, which are karmic triggers leading to action, and Andrew then offers the Hindu interpretation of samskara. The role of metta, the Four Brahmaviharas, bhava-samskara, intentionality, cessation vs. transformation, the speed of mind, the Six R’s, conceit, mutual causality, and a host of related topics are unpacked. How can we purify the samskaras by staying with unwanted states of mind without acting upon them? How do we assume responsibility for our suffering and our liberation? What are the “taints” that precede the first link? This podcast is the inauguration of the Edge of Mind Lecture Series, where the emphasis is on education. These lecture-style podcasts take a single topic, in this case dependent origination, and explore it in depth. See for yourself why dependent origination is such a central teaching in Buddhism, expounded by an expert who has direct meditative experience with these teachings.
Delson Armstrong - The Marvels of the Mind and “High Altitude” States of Meditative Absorption (Jhana) - Part I
2:16:20Join author and meditation adept Delson Armstrong in an extra-ordinary tour of the marvels of the mind, and “high altitude” states of meditative absorption (jhana). The conversation begins with Delson’s background in Hindu based practices, his journeys into the Himalayas, and his candid experiences with the jhanas, especially the summit of nirodhasamapatti, or “equipoise of cessation,” a form of suspended animation that can last for seven days. Delson then offers stories of his unusual memory, and his ability to recall past lives, before sharing his experience of tacit awareness throughout the night, or a form of constant consciousness that results in lucidity 24/7. One consequence of this attainment is the cessation (nirodha) of all dreams, and the actualization of luminosity, or sleep yoga. What is the role of “determination” in these attainments, or the internal alarm clock that dictates duration of absorption? Are these qualities attained or dis-covered? Do they inspire or intimidate? Or are they, as Delson asserts, “No big deal.” How can this meditative proficiency prepare one for death? And what is the difference between voluntary and involuntary rebirth? The conversation turns to the role of science, and Delson’s participation in eye-popping studies that could shift paradigms about the nature and capacity of the mind. The explanatory power of “dependent origination,” or the causal nexus that generates samsara, is explored, and how a refined mind can detect all twelve links in this chain, and break it by replacing reactivity with response-ability. Is there any risk involved in sharing so much of one’s experience, and why do so? Andrew invites Delson to point out any blind spots that tantrikas (those who practice Vajrayana Buddhism) may fall into, and to share why he practices Theravada instead of Tantra. See why this gentle scholar-practitioner is causing a stir, and bringing real benefit to the world.
Maria Kozhevnikov on the nature of consciousness, and the scientific inquiry into post-mindfulness studies.
1:54:09Join neuroscientist Maria Kozhevnikov as she shares cutting-edge research on the nature of consciousness, and expands the scientific inquiry into post-mindfulness studies. Mindfulness studies, which dominate the field, are great, but there is so much more. Dr. Kozhevnikov is a rare blend of scientist-practitioner, who has spent years studying advanced meditators in Bhutan and Nepal. Her ground-breaking work in deity yoga (generation stage meditation) and tummo (the inner heat practices) is revealing the untapped wonders of the mind from a scientific lens, and stretching research into uncharted territories. What is the promise and peril of conducting studies on practices that were previously kept secret? What is the “cash value” of this work, and how can it benefit the general public, or a meditator? Is the mind spread out across the body, or limited to the brain? Does mentation even expand beyond the body? Maria shares her work and experience with lucid dreaming (along with tips for increasing lucidity), and discusses the importance of “flow states” (the Zone) and their relationship to states of meditative absorption (samadhi). What happens to the default mode network, and the salience network, which are both central to the ego, in these deep states? Why does the Vajrayana (Tantra) engage flow states, while the Hinayana (Theravada) does not? Maria shares how her professional work has informed and impacted her practice of Vajrayana Buddhism, and then concludes with what lies ahead in her exciting arena of scientific inquiry. Dr. Kozhevnikov is a pioneering voice truly on the edge of mind.
Christopher Bache - Part II of his Remarkable Twenty-Year Journey into the World of Psychedelics
2:22:48Join philosopher Christopher Bache for Part II of his remarkable twenty-year journey into the world of psychedelics – and the mind of the universe. Using the narrative of the path as a journey into progressive opening, Chris shares the challenges of integrating so much openness – in both body and mind. How did he manage all the energy that was released, and avoid the “metabolic disorders” of consuming so much experience? Is the process one of returning to the remarkable states revealed with LSD, or recognizing those states here and now? Why is “dying” so integral to this journey, and how does it actually remove one’s fear of death? What does Chris expect to encounter at the moment of death, when he returns to the embrace of the Beloved? Dr. Bache says that to become one with the universe requires that we become one with ourselves. He then returns to the difference between cosmological exploration vs. individual liberation. Is there a cosmological dualism inherent in this distinction? The conversation gradually opens to the summit of his journey: a profound exploration of the Diamond Luminosity. What is the light that is revealed with such openness; where does it go when the absorption (samadhi) fades; why does it fade; how does that light relate to worldly appearances, and how does it actually restructure the body? The discussion then turns to evolution, the future human, and the reconciliation of that which does not evolve (emptiness/the changeless nature) with that which does (form). Does the path ever end, is there an Omega point? What is the difference between voluntary and involuntary rebirth? Is humanity heading towards a non-linear tipping point where global and rapid growth is about to occur – or is that wishful thinking? How apocalyptic is it going to get before it gets better? Chris leaves us with his prescription for a better future, and specific ways we can help ourselves and the planet. This is another mind-bending session with an intrepid explorer of consciousness, and a message that we all need to take to heart.