Skip to main content
Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna

Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna

By Karuna Schwartz
Each week, Mind Oasis Founder and Executive Director interviews change makers, discusses meditation practices, and the Dharma (truth) of this world. She gets after it all in a real and sometimes hilarious way. Real talk. Real people. Real time.
Listen on
Where to listen
Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Currently playing episode

Mental Hygiene: Mindfulness, the Moon, and Self-Love

Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna

Using Your Heart to Communicate Through Differences with Amalia and Kenneth
"The mind can't end the conflict. Only the heart and soul. So what can we do with embodied practices is to open up the heart enough so that people can change their minds." - Kenneth Strickland   In this week's episode, Karuna gets straight to the heart of the matter, confessing she gets triggered by folks who act and think differently than she does and wants to know where the wisdom lives for moving beyond the unfriend button and into compassionate action? Kenneth's response is stellar, he suggests that most of us are just asking the wrong question at that moment and that when we lean into wanting to understand that other person's experience we can find the real gold that is just waiting for us to find!   You don't want to miss this short journey around the heart and mind and communications in this challenging time (especially with the upcoming election!).    Love them as much as Karuna? Amalia and Kenneth have an upcoming series on Mind Oasis, entitled "Communicating Through Differences" and it is going to be STELLAR.   Learn More and Register:
October 23, 2020
It's Possible For YOU! Self-Love Revolution with Jonathan Troen
Jonathan Troen's mission is as single-pointed as his practice: To help people find the joy inside of themselves.   Jonathan spent 20+ years in the music and entertainment business. He was living the life of his dreams, meeting the biggest stars in the world, except he wasn't very happy. He couldn't figure why.   On this week's episode, Jonathan and Karuna explore how we show up in life and make decisions and the truth behind "who" you are that is making decisions. For Jonathan it is THE Good Spirit Who Radiates Love, an aspect of his future self.  There was a whole lifetime journey that has brought him here and they explore a bit of this entertaining journey.    At the heart of the matter, Jonathan helps us to understand that most of us are living life from values that others have put on us.  He invites us to explore what it would feel like to rediscover our own values and to live accordingly.    Jonathan's belief: We all deserve success. We all deserve to be loved. And we all deserve to be treated kindly, especially by ourselves.   Jonathan is a Life Master Coach and his signature program is Self-Love Revolution.  He brings this program alive via an 8-week live online series on Mind Oasis starting 25 Oct 2020.  Learn More About the Self-Love Revolution Series
October 15, 2020
Mental Hygiene: Mindfulness, the Moon, and Self-Love
On this episode, meet Lacey Melguizo a dental hygienist committed to "mental hygiene" for children and beyond.  Sometimes nerdy always heartfelt, Lacey shares her vast knowledge about the brain, the development of the main highways of the brain from age 0-10, mindfulness, and her longtime exploration with syncing up her life to the cycle of the moon.  Find out who the dragon, wise owl, and the seahorse are in relationship to a mindfulness practice.    On Friday, 16 Oct 2020, join Lacey for a new moon meditation practice workshop that will help you to align with your intentions and practice sacred self-care. The new moon is a beautiful time and energy to plant the seeds of intentions. Intentions are a way to create the experiences you want to have and feel without being concerned with the “how” in achieving it. It is aiming in the direction of where you want to go and trusting that which we are seeking is seeking us.    Learn More:
October 7, 2020
The Search for the Perfect Croissant as the Spiritual Path
For millennia, both astrology and spirituality have attempted to map out our place in the universe.  On this episode, Mind Oasis Community Meditation teacher and astrologer Michael McSwain takes Karuna into a star-filled sky to discuss how the search for the perfect croissant led to his spiritual path and how a "chance" meeting as a waiter would later reveal his astrology teacher.  Michael weighs in on the reflection of astrology as it plays out in the world and what astrology has to say about the current pandemic.  Join Michael for a workshop on Mind Oasis on 15 October 2020: Astrology and the Spiritual Path The Vanity Fair - Lutin article Michael references.
September 29, 2020
Transforming Darkness: Finding Beauty in Forgiveness
Join this mother-daughter duo as they take Karuna down a path of forgiveness and finding beauty in every one and everything.  Jann takes the power of forgiveness to a level that most of us can only imagine - hers is steeped in her spirituality and it is so inspiring.  Not to be missed! Jann and Shari Simmons are offering a workshop on resiliency and healing from trauma on 10 October 2020 on Mind Oasis.     Jann Simmons’ story is a heart-wrenching account of an orphaned child who suffered brutality at the hands of her mother, as well as many others. As an adult, Jann’s mind was closed to the horrors of her abuse, betrayal, and abandonment until the day they all came flooding back to her conscious mind. That awareness began a 40-year transformation from a passive victim to resilient warrior.   For 29 years, Shari has been a Therapist and has managed several mental health treatment centers and psychiatric facilities. She has spent the last 5 years consulting and training therapists, counselors and CEO’s on how to implement evidence-based practices and trauma ingrained care.  She and her mother, Jann, speak to audiences across the country about their book, Which Way?, dispelling myths about trauma and mental illness. Their powerful message educates audiences and instills hope for those who want to understand themselves better.  They have a podcast on the Mental Health News Radio Network, called Which Way? Podcast.   Learn More and Register for their Workshop Purchase Which Way? Explore their podcast
September 25, 2020
The Intersection of Snow Leopards, Meditation, and Mountaineering
Guest philanthropist and mountaineer Brad Clement joins Karuna to explore the Himalayas, the waxing and waning allure of Everest, the Congo, and the exact spot where travel, adventure, and mountaineering intersects mindfulness and transcendence.   Clement is the founder of the Pangje Foundation. Pangje and Mind Oasis partner up each year to take a group of folks to Nepal for a trekking retreat destination where very few Westerners ever go.   Don't have a lot of time? Skip to 21:00 to hear Brad talk trekking in Nepal and/or minute 35:00 for a share about what it's like to walk on the trails of the Tibetan monks who fled with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the 50s. Karuna's teacher's teacher's teacher left with only a toothbrush and a mala to  his name, fleeing to India over this sometimes (often) difficult terrain!   Learn More About the May 2021 Trek:   Learn More about the Pangje Foundation:
August 7, 2020
Your Body and Mindful Movement: Accessing Your Joyful Vehicle
In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna she explores the intersection of somatics and meditation with master movement therapist Joseph Schwartz. How can we use what Joseph calls "our joyful vehicles" to feel, sense, and move well in order to experience a richer life both on and off the cushion?    Joseph teaches an ongoing series "Mindful Moving Meditation" on Mind Oasis. To learn more visit: Joseph is the master mind behind Dynamic Neuromuscular Assessment ( 
August 5, 2020
Mindfulness, Indigenous Prophecy and Toltec Medicine
In this episode, Karuna and Spiritual Teacher and Healer Brenda Salgado discuss the intersection of traditions and Indigenous Prophecy as a lens by which to understand these turbulent times.   As we face the unknown during this pandemic, how might mindfulness practices and Toltec teachings help us to understand this particular moment we are in as humanity?    On July 16th, join Brenda on Mind Oasis for guided practices for overwhelm and grief, and cultivating presence in a time of ungroundedness.    Brenda will also share about indigenous teachings about this time as a portal for deep personal and collective transformation, and the importance of inviting in a new story and ancient questions about what it means to be human.   Free for Community Meditation members or by donation. Learn More:
July 11, 2020
Ayurveda for These Times
In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, Ayurvedi Jennifer Kurdyla shares LOTS of information about the science of Ayurveda (it's more than just the doshas!) and how all that we take in is affecting our lives -- even the sounds around us.   If you've ever wondered about Ayurveda - the Science of Life, you will learn so much in this episode.  Don't have a lot of time? Listen in at minute 22:00 about how Langhana (uplifting energy) and Brahmana (grounding energy) are at play with all that we are as a society experiencing.   In partnership with Three Jewels NYC, Mind Oasis is bringing Jennifer's series, "Introduction to Ayurveda—A Yogic Journey Through the Five Elements" alive in July (now starting on July 25th!).   Learn More: Jennifer Kurdyla is an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, yoga teacher, and wellness educator in Brooklyn, New York. She is also the co-author of the forthcoming cookbook, Root & Nourish: An Herbal Cookbook for Women's Wellness (Tiller Press, 2021). Find out more about her wellness offerings, recipes, and writing at, or connect via Instagram @jenniferkurdyla.   Learn More about Mind Oasis:
July 11, 2020
Living a Life Informed by the Stars
On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, Mind Oasis Teacher Allison Joy discusses how the stars and planets under which we are born inform who we are throughout our lifetime. From being a new mom, to life during the time of Covid-19, and racial and social injustice, Allison Joy and Karuna discuss the importance of grounded practices in this day and age.    Don't have a lot of time? Skip to 38:16 to hear Allison Joy's Truth around Radical Love for All Beings. Get inspired to look through the lens of metta - lovingkindness.    She also discusses her upcoming 8-week series -- Inner-Planetary Yoga -- that will look at one planet each week.  Through the lens of Ayurveda Astrology Yoga, this series will focus on a different planetary archetype each week. The planetary archetypes reveal our innate strengths, as well as the areas of life needing more care to develop.  Along the way,  you'll learn which planet rules each of eight vital aspects of your life and the accompanying asana sequences to maximize your potential. Learn More: Allison Joy teaches meditation and yoga for vitality, power, and optimal performance. She practices to restore energy, revitalize the body, and rejuvenate the mind. Allison Joy offers one-on-one instruction, Ayurvedic Astrology counseling sessions, and Yantra readings both online and in-person. Learn More:
July 2, 2020
Finding Your Purpose and Path During Times of Crisis
On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, Spiritual Healer, Interfaith Minister, and Activist Leo Bierman and Karuna talk about how these times of crisis, as challenging as they are, are also sacred opportunities for change. Leo provides much insight into the process of using crisis as a catalyst to serve this aching world.    Don't have a lot of time? At minute 12:06, Leo talks about his upcoming 4-week course "Finding Your Purpose and Path During Times of Crisis" that kicks off on 1 July on Mind Oasis.    If you are committed to serving the world, and are looking to step definitively onto your soul’s path during this time, this course is for you.  Leo is also the co-author of Purpose to the People: A Handbook for Radical Transformation.   Learn More:
June 24, 2020
How to Work Your Practice: Becoming a Compassion Warrior
Enjoy this special Meditation Happy Hour with Karuna: Tea, Talk, and Truth that provides a 45 minute Compassion Warrior teaching plus a 15 minute Lovingkindness practice.    In Buddhism, there is a concept of being a Compassionate Warrior where you dedicate your practice to be of benefit to all beings. Let's face it, during these challenging times for humanity, it can be really draining to feel compassion and hard to access that compassion.  There are tools available to us through ancient meditation traditions that can support this journey to show up more compassionately for our self and others.  In this episode, Karuna explores some of those resources and tools that we can bring to the forefront of our practice so that we can show up as the best we can for the world.  “Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.” -- Pema Chodron   Learn More:
June 19, 2020
Yantra Curious? Meet an Expert!
Sarah Tomlinson, an expert in all things yantra-related, shares about these ancient geometric symbols and how they can illuminate and heal so much in our lives.  She and Karuna also talk Ayurvedic Astrology and the intersection of planetary forces and our life. If you've ever been curious about yantras and astrology, tune in for a great intro to yantra meditation.   Sarah brings bi-annual solstice satsangs to Mind Oasis.  Join us for these wonderful gatherings to discover how to en-lighten your life and give growth to the areas that require it using yantras.  The word ‘Sat’ means the real, the true. It is when you join in with practices and conversations that align you with the deepest pulse of your being, the one that is your essential truth.  These special evenings with Sarah are all about spending time with a community of truth-seekers… Learn More:
June 12, 2020
A Resiliency Tale for the Time of the Pandemic
In this week’s edition of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth, Karuna takes you on a winding journey to an airstream in the middle of the desert where Mind Oasis was born out of trauma, tragedy, and a good dose of meditation practices.  Each step along the way, she relates her month long time in isolation in the desert to the current forced retreat and uncertainty coronavirus has brought to our lives.  Don’t have time to listen to the whole 35 minutes (we strongly recommend you do!)? She drops Truth about resiliency, meditation, and how to get some at minute 29:56. Enjoy!   Please note there are a few four-letter words in this episode.    Visit for more info on our programs.
May 4, 2020
Gemmotherapy and Meditation Demystified with Expert and Author Lauren Hubele
Lauren Hubele is an expert in Gemmotherapy and in this episode, she and Karuna go for a stroll thru the trees to talk about boosting immunity (needed today more than ever!), meditation, and understanding what you do and do not consciously believe about healing thyself.     Gemmotherapy extracts are produced from select plant embryonic tissues (embryophytotherapy), most often the tree branch buds, for health restoration and maintenance. The action of these extracts on a cell level promote drainage, tonification and rejuvenation of organs. The use of Gemmotherapy extracts for acute and and chronic symptoms leads to a restoration of immunity.   On the surface, Gemmotherapy extracts look very similar to the liquid herbal tinctures frequently prescribed by a variety of health practitioners or purchased by individuals for self care. However, beyond the visual similarities lie remarkable differences in their therapeutic capabilities.    Learn More About her books:  Visit to learn more about our programs.
April 24, 2020
Sleepless? The Benefits of iRest Yoga Nidra with Guest Teacher Turi Hetherington
Turi and Karuna go for a stroll thru iRest Yoga Nidra, mantra, and the fusion of ancient practices and modern science.   As a practitioner with a lot of experience serving folks with Traumatic Brain Injuries, Turi also brings a sweet perspective on how iRest Yoga Nidra can help folks living with a TBI at home, in practice, and in life.    Don't have a lot of time? Skip to 11:23 for the juicy bit around iRest practices and what you can expect when you attend this 30-minute session with Turi on Wednesday evenings before bedtime (hint! A better night's sleep)!   Turi guides iRest Yoga Nidra every Wednesday evening on Community Meditation, a subscription online group meditation program on Mind Oasis.     Learn More:
April 14, 2020
Resiliency Practices for These Troubling Times with Yogi and Boxer Gina de la Chesnaye
Gina de la Chesnaye offers sessions on Resiliency on Mind Oasis.  In this episode, she drops her truth about the coronavirus, the practices that can help, her work in Nepal and her fear of women and girls starving in the slums of Kampala (and what you can do about it!), as well as her life in the ring as a kickboxer.    A not to be missed romp thru spiritual practices and life as a Bodhisattva and kickboxer, Gina de la Chesnaye and I get after it all in our session together. Also, learn who Carlos the monkey is….  Don’t have a lot of time? Skip to 29:04 for a juicy six breath exercise designed to help down regulate your parasympathetic nervous system - something we all need right now!   Her  Mind/Body for Resiliency sessions are recorded and available to listen to…Get out of the fear, anxiety, loneliness, and depression that might be flitting in and out of your mind these days.     Learn More:   To Donate to Gina's Work in Uganda:
April 4, 2020
Zen Practices, Feeling Hangry, and More with Guest and Ordained Mindfulness Teacher Annie Lake Mahon
Annie Lake Mahon was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2009 and is an inspired creator of spiritual spaces.  She is an author and an ordained Buddhist mindfulness teacher.   She and Karuna take a mindful stroll around retreats, Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen and the art of raising a family, and more. Annie is witty, warm, and you don't want to miss her perspective on life.  Don't have a lot of time? Skip to 23:08 to hear more about Annie's book.  Annie is the founder of the Circle Yoga Cooperative in Washington, D.C., the Opening Heart Mindfulness Community, DC Community Yoga, and DC Yoga Week. Annie has been writing and teaching about mindfulness, parenting, stress and yoga since 2004. Her blog, and social media are popular with mindfulness and yoga practitioners. Annie’s book, Things I Did When I was Hangry: Navigating a Peaceful Relationship with Food (Parallax Press, 2015), documents Annie’s search for sanity in her eating disordered family life, and reveals how mindfulness helped her go beyond the search for perfection and learn to love the moment as it is.  Annie holds many certifications in yoga, Focusing and massage therapy and dabbles in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and has as a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Religious Studies from Howard University School of Divinity. When not visiting her children, teaching, traveling with her husband, drinking Jasmine tea, writing or walking her dogs, she practices yoga and mindfulness with her community in DC.   To see what Annie is offering on Mind Oasis, visit:
March 25, 2020
The Shifting Tides of Covid-19 with Physician, Mindfulness Practitioners, and Guest Dr. Adam Smith
Dr. Adam Smith, physician, mindfulness practitioner, and co-owner of Dakini Meditative ( discusses the shifting tides of Covid-19,  implications of the disease on individuals and the world at large.    Don't have a lot of time? Skip to the seven minute mark and find out how much further Adam thinks we have to go in the COVID-19 pandemic.  He also gets into how to bring mindfulness into the equation.   This is a super informative and timely interview. Knowledge is power -- enjoy!   Learn More:
March 19, 2020
Finding Something Beautiful During Suffering Times with Meditation and Dharma Teacher Kelly Lindsey
Kelly Lindsey, master meditation teacher, Founder and Co-Owner of Dakini Meditative ( discusses practical tools for handling the coronavirus and myriad implications of the disease, the potential for something beautiful arising out of this suffering time, the idea of interdependence, how the Four Noble Truths are playing out in real time, and the importance of validating feelings - our own and others.   She also shares a bit about the series she teaches on Mind Oasis. Enjoy!  Learn More:
March 13, 2020