The Earth and Spirit Podcast explores the intertwining of contemplative spirituality, ecology and social healing through dialogue with people who are rooted in a deep sense of place. Our conversation partners defy neat labels as they weave their vocations, activism and spirituality into unique stories of what it’s like to live an engaged life in whatever community they call home. By grounding the spiritual in particular places, people, and projects, we hope to transcend the abstract and faceless to uncover tangible and translatable insights that listeners can apply in their own communities.
Dr. Kate Bulinski is an associate professor in the environmental sciences department of Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, specializing in geology and paleontology. She also claims the moniker of “Catholic scientist.” In this wide-ranging conversation, we explored the relationship between faith and science in the pursuit of truth, and we delved deeply into how thinking in deep geological time offers a wise and rich perspective for our own lives and for the human legacy to this planet.
Sarah Nunez is a Latinx folk healer and activist in Louisville, KY. Through her work helping to heal bodies, communities, and unjust systems, Sarah embraces the deep roots of indigenous wisdom and storytelling. She envisions a future in which people of all backgrounds can recover our connection with each other and with the natural world that is our home and kin.
National Mijente Movement: https://mijente.net/
Louisville Mijente is on Facebook at Mijente Louisville
Aflorar Herb Collective is on Instagram at @aflorarherbcollective
This episode features Ashley Smith, the co-founder of Black Soil. Black Soil is a nonprofit in Lexington, KY, dedicated to reconnecting Black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture and to empowering Black farmers in Kentucky, who currently make up just 1.4% of the state's farmers. Anyone who eats has a stake in there being a just, sustainable food system, so tune into this episode to learn more about Black Soil's work and the powerful bonds of community that Black Soil is helping to cultivate in a state that still reckons with its history of slavery.
External Link: https://www.blacksoil.life/
This episode features Jennifer "Juniper" Owens, the co-founder of Bridge Counseling and Wellness, an integrative mental health and holistic therapy center in Louisville, KY. Juniper reflected on how our deep connection to the rest of the natural world can help us through our own individual struggles and through the collective trauma we are experiencing with COVID-19. We explored the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, or forest bathing, the idea of "rewilding mental health," and pulled back the lens to reflect on what makes for lasting social and environmental change.
Dr. Chris Schrodt, MD, is a clinical psychiatrist in private practice in Louisville, a lifelong meditator, and a mindfulness instructor at the Earth & Spirit Center. Chris joined Earth & Spirit Podcast host Kyle Kramer for a conversation about the mental health issues associated with the coronavirus pandemic. We discussed the various resources, including mindfulness, that can help us deal with the trauma, fear, and anxiety that COVID-19 has brought up for so many people.
Karen Newton is a wellbeing and resilience integrator. Formerly the director of health promotion at the University of Louisville, and still on the UofL faculty, Karen is a certified mindfulness teacher specializing in stress resilience and compassion. She’s also an Earth & Spirit Center faculty member. From our respective homes, Karen and I had a virtual conversation about what resilience looks like amid the stress of a pandemic, and how mindfulness practices can help us not only survive, but thrive.
Sign up for Karen's online 5-week Basic Mindfulness for Stress Resilience course, starting 4/9/2020.
Sign up for Karen's online 5-week Practicing Mindful Self Compassion course, starting 4/7 or 4/9/2020.
Glenda Hodges-Cook is a senior meditation instructor on the Earth & Spirit Center faculty - and one of Louisville’s village elders. A mother and grandmother, she spent a career as a psychiatric nurse. With roots in the Christian and Buddhist traditions, Glenda has practiced insight meditation for over forty years and has studied with meditation icons Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Donald Rothberg, completing the Community Dharma Leader Training Program of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. She founded the Louisville Vipassana Community and has led this meditation group for twelve years. At the Earth & Spirit Center, Glenda teaches in our Mindfulness Meditation Training Program and offers courses on mindful aging, claiming elderhood, other topics. I sat down with Glenda to talk about how she is using mindfulness and meditation to navigate the uncertain territory of a global pandemic - and coming to grips with her own vulnerability.
In this episode, Earth & Spirit Podcast host Kyle Kramer sits down for a conversation with Nellie Springston, the Earth & Spirit Center's program coordinator for youth, family, and education. Nellie offers practical advice for parents who are having to figure out childcare, at-home schooling, and other challenges. Nellie is also the founder of Calma: Calm and Loving Minds Achieve (www.calmakids.org), which provides mindfulness resources for parents and educators.
Our guest for this episode is Joe Grant. A native of Scotland, Joe is a modern-day mystic, a blogger, and the author of numerous books and articles about scripture, justice and spirituality. Prior to moving to Louisville 25 years ago, Joe worked with indigenous peoples of the U.S. and in Latin America. His work has been rooted in the Catholic Christian tradition, but his sensibilities are deeply interdenominational and interfaith. Joe spends his time writing, leading retreats, and offering spiritual guidance. His latest book, Wandering and Welcome: Meditations for Finding Peace is published by Franciscan Media.
We sat down to talk about Joe’s spiritual journey, which has led him deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest, into the pain and violence of inner city Louisville where he and his wife Anne make their home, and in all of this, into the heart of our beautiful, wounded world.
The Earth & Spirit Podcast is a production of the Earth & Spirit Center, a nonprofit, interfaith spirituality center in Louisville, KY, devoted to cultivating a flourishing world through contemplative practice. This podcast is made possible by the generous support from the Kalliopeia Foundation, whose mission is to reconnect ecology, culture, and spirituality through grantmaking, education, and media initiatives.
This short trailer introduces the Earth & Spirit Podcast, a production of the Earth & Spirit Center, a nonprofit, interfaith spirituality center in Louisville, KY (www.earthandspiritcenter.org). This podcast is made possible by support from the Kalliopeia Foundation (www.kalliopeia.org).