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.
Mindful Self-Compassion: The Antidote to Trauma and Pain (Warning Label - It May Hurt Worse First!)
Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna • By Karuna Schwartz • Jun 25, 2021
Dharma Shop, Motorcycles, and Monkeys with Sander Cohen
In this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Sander Cohen and Karuna take a glimpse into motorcycle and gompa stories that inspire introspection, chat about Dharma Shop, and inquire about the lives of the artists and artisans working and living in Nepal and their relationship with Dharma Shop. "I am so proud to walk into the house of one of our artists and know that we're supporting them and they're living in this place in Nepal. They have access to food, they have access to everything because of Dharma Shop." "No one was getting any orders in Nepal, so we placed all of our orders and they said, we can't start in these four months and we paid them for it anyway. We've been doing business forever. We trust you. And it really changed how things worked in Nepal. People realized we were there for them and we were there to support them. And I think it took another step up where people realized that we're all in this together and we're here to support you through this time because obviously everyone in Nepal is used to selling to tourists and there hasn't been a tourist there in two years." Show Notes & Links 🍵🔊🙌 Dharma Shop Buy now Buy Big! ^ Get Involved & Learn More ~ https://mindoasis.org/ Free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
April 21, 2022
Our Origin Story: It's Not Easy but It's Worthwhile with Karuna
"I think it's Pema Chodron in her book The Wisdom of No Escape, she goes to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and she's like, I'm doing everything wrong in my [meditation] practice, I can't visualize, I can't do this, I can't do that. And he just sort of pats her hand and says, Sweetheart, I always wonder about the people who say it's too easy. I wonder what's going on there. And that's been a big inspiration for me because I don't think it's easy. I think it's worthwhile." "Just recently I discovered that if you put in the hard work, that calm thing that yoga journal likes to promote, I believe it is possible and that it's more attainable. You can touch it more frequently if you really do have a consistent [meditation] practice, but it is literally that consistency that's going to get you there. And sometimes it's hard to get to the consistency because it doesn't necessarily feel good in the beginning, so, part of a strong meditation practice is the stick-with-it-ness, and you kind of just have to trust that other people have done it in the past before you and that they. Their wisdom is boomeranging back." ~Karuna, Founder & Executive Director of Mind Oasis Show Notes & Links 🍵🔊🙌 2022 MindOasis Yoga Immersion ~deepen your practice on and off the mat! Get Involved & Learn More ~ https://mindoasis.org/ Free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
April 01, 2022
Putting on Your Oxygen Mask First with Leanna Gilliam and Kelly Sell
In this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Kelly Sell and Leanna Gilliam take a peek at their truth, how they found the practices of mindful self compassion, and how these practices benefit them and others. "There's a lot and there's been a lot going on collectively in the world. And the reason for me for coming back to these practices that give me a sense of safety, that give me a sense of grounded-ness and centeredness and well-being. These practices in turn, allow me to show up for others in a very present way, a very authentic way. The metaphor we talk about and mindful self compassion is the oxygen mask. So when you're in an airplane, if you're traveling with people who need assistance, the instruction is put your oxygen mask on first and then you can help others. That metaphor of tuning into what's needed for ourselves in any given moment, and particularly in a moment of stress or struggle. And by doing so answering that question, What do I need?" ~Leanna Gilliam Show Notes & Links 🍵🔊🙌 Get Involved Free Mini Workshop ~ Leanna & Kelly's Series ~ Learn More ~ https://mindoasis.org/ Free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
March 22, 2022
Tangible Aid for the People in Ukraine with Dima Yepishin
"I don't think this is about Ukrainians. For me, it's not about Ukraine. It's not about Russia. Those divisions, those national identities, is what created the problem in the first place. That's what creates conflict in the first place. This is about humanity and about freedom Question is, are we going to sit back and wait for a perfect business plan before we act? Are we going to risk like everyone is risking? My friend is risking everything. Everyone on the ground is risking everything. It's just a big, risky, messy situation, unfortunately caused by human greed and error." "My friend's nonprofit has been chosen as one of the three nonprofits by the Ministry of Health in Ukraine to support the infrastructure through this time. They're a Ukrainian organization, unlike many other organizations coming in, so they have Ukrainian bank account and Ukrainian banks are closed. There's still an opportunity to donate to them through a wire transfer because electronic ways of doing banking is still there, it's still available... But what we are trying to do is set up a way for the international community to contribute, is easily for things like PayPal and, you know, Facebook fundraisers through all these easily available ways to raise money for nonprofits, in order to do that we need to create a way for us to set up a bank account or a sister non-profit organization that could collect money for that. So I'm a president of a nonprofit called Inner Way LA, and our board has agreed to act as a way to provide fiscal sponsorship, meaning that collecting money for this nonprofit in Ukraine is going to be a project of our non-profit. So we're using our non-profit status, using our bank account and using our fundraising tools. We can raise money for that nonprofit. So we're hoping that that will ease the ability for people internationally to donate money and we can speed up and get the funds over there. Because these people are already plugged into an existing infrastructure that needs help, because people are still having regular health issues, they're having new health issues and doctors are already stressed.... now they're being bombed." ~Dima Yepishin, Inner Way LA President Show Notes & Links 🍵🔊🙌 Get Involved & Donate Inner Way LA - California Mind Oasis Visit MindOasis.org for more free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
February 28, 2022
Revealing the Hidden Jewels with Kimberley Lafferty
"These Mahamudra teachings they're the most extensive and deep, and I'm not exaggerating, lineage of emptiness teachings that exist. It's extraordinarily precious, and it's important that this wisdom points to in our world. It's essential now that we all wake up to what these teachings are pointing out to us, and that we also save this jewel." "I can't hoard the jewels. And this is perhaps... the Vajrayogini teachings of our lineage, you know, if I don't share them, it's a wrong deed, and I think I might get sick, actually. You know, I feel very physiologically at a deep, deep level called to pass this on." Show Notes & Links 🍵🔊🙌 Study and Attend: Mahamudra with Kimberley on MindOasis Visit MindOasis.org for more free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
February 24, 2022
Tune in and Turn on with Michael Hewett
In this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Michael Hewett and Karuna take a glimpse into esoteric wisdom from Yoga and Buddhist traditions, chat about their upcoming Yoga Immersion on Mind Oasis, and contemplate the principle of waking up for the sake of helping others. "The mind that created the issue is not going to be the mind that solves the issue. Can I blaze a new pathway for myself? Where, yeah, I stumble on it because it's new. I'm trying to walk on legs I've never walked on before! But at least it's not the same old broken path that I'd been asleep on. And then celebrating the third part of this act of waking up is the fruit! Seeing the small changes in our lives that we weren't as asleep as we used to be. We're not as negative as we used to feel compelled to be. We're not lost in another person's pain as we go to serve them as we used to be. There's more of an integrity there... ...And now that there are more clusters of people in the process of waking up and communities and this is less stigmatized and we can actually look in the different religions, particularly from the esoteric view, and see how they all agree. They just express it in different ways. They're all saying the same thing. Again, this is where yoga can be a source of peace versus some silly pose on a piece of plastic that really doesn't do anybody much good anyway. We are interested in people waking up by any means necessary and then having a community to support them through that process because inside experiences can be really disruptive to a person. There also needs the ability to come back down to three dimensional normal reality and function there after we have these mind blowing epiphanies" Show Notes and Links 🍵🔊🙌 Connect with Michael https://vesselacademy.co @vesselacademy @michaelhewettmusic Book Mentioned: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda Visit our website for more free daily guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
February 21, 2022
Putting in the Work with Giovanni Dientsmann
In this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Giovanni Dientsmann and Karuna take a glimpse into stories that inspire devotion and discipline, chat about career and spiritual goals, and contemplate the essence of humanity and the future. Season 3. Episode 2. "If they want to be more disciplined? I would probably start at figuring out your why. Because discipline makes sense when you have why, when you have a goal, when you have a purpose. And unfortunately, many people these days don't have a clear sense of purpose. Viktor Frankl, probably one of the biggest voices in this field. He says that society is living in a crisis of meaning. My truth is that this whole universe is a play of consciousness. It's an expression of something that lies beyond everything. And we, too, are an expression of that infinite consciousness. And so let us play on, let us live without fear. Let us live. Knowing who we truly are and expressing ourselves." Show Notes and Links 🍵🔊🙌 Connect with Giovanni https://liveanddare.com https://www.mindfulselfdiscipline.com/ Visit our website for more free guided meditations as well as live, interactive meditation classes led by expert meditation teachers!
February 07, 2022
Brailling Each Other and the Language of the Heart
In this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Deirdre and Karuna take a deep dive into stories that inspire change, the importance of sunlight, and the difference between the voice of an academic and a voice of ancient wisdom traditions. Season 3. Episode 1. "I just heard the words in my mouth trying to fit into the academic world.. You know that and I certainly can, and I can speak the lingo. But it's not my first language. My first language is the language of the heart and being connected. And so. So the place where it's been hard for me is translating. How do you trust, how do you surrender? How do you really let go? Into a protocol based world that is now the psychotherapy world, psychotherapy isn't about really trusting your own inner wisdom. We talk about it, but we don't.... Often we talk about it, I don't know that we actually live it. We get afraid. I think we think there's a right answer, which is what the protocol driven world is all about. Here is the way you do it. And yet to really access our wisdom, is to be in the muck that you just talked about, is to be in it and to let it clean us out so that we can let more light, more divinity. No more the spirit. Just move out of us and. We don't have an easy language for that, I think, in the western world. So good for you for taking time to listen to yourself and to say no, you know?" Show Notes and Links 🍵🔊🙌 Connect with Deirdre Take one of Deirdre's Upcoming Courses Connect with the MindOasis Community and Karuna
January 26, 2022
The Art of Analytical Meditation and Working With Emotions with Three Jewels President Hector Marcel
Hector Marcel, beloved meditation guide, Dharma teacher, and President of Three Jewels in New York City, shares the power of meditation. He specifically teases out the power of Analytical Meditation to work with emotions like anger, sadness, and more. On this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, he and Karuna take a deep dive into shamatha and analytical meditation and the dance between the two, as well as the power of guru yoga. Hector is Karuna's heart teacher and this episode is quite special to her. Hector shares, "The first time I successfully and I'll talk about this in the [Analytical Meditation] master class. The first time I successfully learned an analytical meditation, I debated in my mind whether my experience of anger from a triggering reality experience with someone was really them. Being terrible people is that way I felt anger. Or is that other place that anger came from? And so you learn a little bit about the philosophy of where the possible causes for an experience can be. And then you apply that learning to your meditation, you go, OK, let's take the position that that person is the source of my anger. Every time he's around, I'm angry, therefore they're at fault, and I should get away from them and all this other stuff, right? Or I should attack or whatever our strategy is. But before the strategy, we have to understand, is that really the source of anger? For me, that was my first serious analytical meditation. And then you come up with a question mark in your mind, is that true? And you try and prove that it is true that they are the source of the problem. Meaning everybody that touches them has the same problem because if they're the source of the problem, then they're radiating that shittiness that makes you angry. And when you can't find full evidence for that to be true, you're in trouble. In his upcoming Master Class on Mind Oasis, "Analytical Meditation" you will learn what Analytical Meditation is and how to work with harmful emotions using this type of meditation. Learn More: MindOasis.org/learn
December 11, 2021
Cooking Broccoli and the Yogi's Great Death Explained by Manorama
Manoramā, the founder of the Sanskrit Studies Method and the Luminous Soul Method, is a highly respected teacher of Sanskrit, Yoga Philosophy and Meditation based out of NYC. On this episode of Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, she and Karuna take a deep dive into yoga, meditation, death, and...cooking broccoli. About the conscious death of her guru, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati (Ramamurti Mishra, M.D.), Manorama calls this a maha samadhi or yogic death. She goes on to explain, "So Maha means great and samadhi is absorption and it's yogic absorption. So it comes well, it comes from a lot of things. But something that we can easily connect with is Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. And in his eight limbs, the last three limbs are called dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. So these are called samaya. When they work in tandem together, when they come together so dharana is, you know, focus on a point. And then dhyana is absorption in that point and then samadhi is complete absorption. I like to liken it to cooking, you know, first, it's like, OK, you're on the point of putting the broccoli in the pot. That's the point. I'm on the broccoli and I got out of the fridge. I'm going to put it in the pot. So all my focus is on the broccoli. Next thing you know, I put the flame on. Now it's cooking literally and figuratively, and it's cooking. And so now the broccoli is doing its thing between the uncooked state and the cooked state. And then at some point I was checking it with a fork. Now it's completely cooked. Now it's transformed through the process of the heat and the attention and the focus. Now it's, I'm using this as an example obviously because the broccoli isn't having a samadhi, but this is a philosophical concept, but it's transformed through that sort of three part process. So samadhi means the absorption, the complete oneness with the object. And if we say that meditation is, let's say, in meditation, one of the questions, I mean, there's lots of styles of meditation, but let's say one of the primary questions is who am I? And the resolution is not necessarily a verbal answer, but the experiential answer of selfhood or selfness or just self. Then the samadhi is the absorption with that, the unity that we experience with that, the no separation, what happened to the broccoli, it became transformed. Still, broccoli, now it's a transformed broccoli. It's gone to that other level of broccoli, of cookedness or something like that. Now, maha samadhi, this is the yogi meditates on the object and becomes one with the object, and I don't mean a separate object because in meditation, it's an internal object. So maha samadhi has been loosely termed as when a yogi devotes their life to the subject of yoga and they are living in the reality of a meditative reality on a regular daily basis, and they have transformed consciousness when they leave their body, they're not said to die. They are said to take the great absorption they take, maha samadhi. So we wouldn't say that every person takes maha samadhi because not every person is conscious. But when you have a conscious death through yoga, it's called the maha samadhi." In her upcoming series on Mind Oasis, "Sanskrit Studies Method: Mantra Yoga Series Part 1," you will learn what Mantra Yoga is and how to work with it. Manoramā will discuss the value of working with mantras in your own practice and in your life. In each session, Manoramā will share teachings on Mantra Yoga, she will lead you in chanting a select mantra from that session with correct pronunciation and rhythm. She will share the translation of the verse and will offer commentary. Learn More.
October 06, 2021
The In-Between Time: Inspired by a Very Special Canine Friend
There are periods when the continuity of life is interrupted. These gaps leave us devoid of certainty, with no reference point. But these moments are full of potential. Their power lies in the capacity to link and connect the chaos and confusion of the past, with the transformative power of possibility in the future. On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Karuna’s guest Rosa Schnyer shares how the transition of her beloved dog of 13 + years, inspired her to explore the liminality of the in-between times. About the in-between time, Rosa explains, “I'm really fascinated by this idea of the in-between time. Partly it started with Chinese medicine and the way we think about the transition of time. We're all used to four seasons, right? But Chinese medicine talks about this fifth season, which is the season that we are in between late summer. Yes, late summer. So it's this transition between the most yang time of the year to the most yin time of the year. But it's also the transition between the seasons. I think that human life is very reflective of some of the chaos and difficulty we're finding in the environment. Environmentally, we cannot predict the seasons in the same way that we used to predict the seasons. But, you know, the in-between time is also the spaces of liminality. These spaces that are thresholds can be difficult, but they don't have to be terrible. They're challenging and they're times of transformation, you know, so they can be really profound times to work on the spiritual path. Recently, as you know, my beloved dog of 13 and a half years passed away and my husband and I made a commitment to see her through. And we were in this in-between time. We created this in-between space where we would hold the space for her to pass. And in this in-between time, the dance between David and I (Rosa’s husband) and how we approached the uncertainty of every day was so remarkable to me that it really kind of brought it up to my attention, and I started to contemplate this liminality and how precious those times are, not just before death, you know, but what kind of resources we need to be able to walk these transitions with integrity and not by holding on to who we've been, but by really having spaciousness around what's arising in the moment.” In her free mini-workshop, “The In-Between Time,” Rosa will share how these times can be a potent catalyst for your life. If you missed it on 22 Sep 2021, don’t worry! It was recorded. Access the course here. Recent findings support the idea that mindfulness meditation exerts its effects through several mechanisms that work synergistically including (a) attention regulation, (b) body awareness, (c) emotion regulation (including reappraisal and exposure, extinction, and reconsolidation), and (d) change in perspective on the self. However, mindfulness meditation is not a panacea. Rosa will break down what is and isn’t supported by science when it comes to mindfulness in her Master Class on 4 October. She also has an upcoming Master Class, “The Science of Mindfulness-Positive Neuroplasticity and the Awakened Heart” as well as a 6-week series, “AWAKEN the Healer Within – Nurture Resilient Wellness” that starts on 6 October. Awaken the Healer Within is a seasonal offering to help you create and sustain your own unique roadmap to optimal wellness and resiliency. Each series will include discussion, breathwork, approachable movement, personal inquiry, and group sharing of experiences, health tips, and resources. The Fall is a key time to support our immune system and prepare ourselves for the Winter time. This Autumn, unlock resilience and nurture your physical and emotional wellbeing while sharing in the wisdom of community. Learn more about both here.
September 21, 2021
Into the Mystics: Saints, Sinners, St. Teresa of Avila, and Mindfulness
“If you want to make progress on the path and ascend to the places your soul has longed for the important thing is not to think much, but to love much, and so to do whatever best awakens you to love.” - St. Teresa of Avila Never one to shy away from a saint or a sinner, Karuna brings us to the intersection of Christianity, Buddhism, and the path of the seeker. Her guest on this episode of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna is Community Meditation teacher and Mind Oasis colleague Jane Coburn. Jane shares about her journey, 'About 11 years ago, I got introduced to Father Richard Rohr and his writings and his Center for Action and Contemplation. I started taking courses there and was learning all about the Christian mystics. The thing that stood out for me is that they're so human and they really embrace their humanity. Through their brokenness and through life and hard crap that happened to them in their lives, they found God and found an inner God inside them. Then they found that love and brought that out into the world, in their teachings and in their daily life. It just really spoke to me and I thought, oh, they're not just this saint in the sky. These mystics were real people that went through real shit, you know, and through that reached out to others and found a closeness to the divine and helped other people. That really spoke to me. Then the interesting thing is…I hadn't really thought about it for a while and then actually being on Mind Oasis and being in your Thursday morning class Karuna and other classes around Buddhism, a lot of the things that I was hearing in those classes were things that the Christian mystics were teaching and had taught me. And it was almost like this full circle moment. It's like studying Buddhism brought me back to this, you know, these Christian mystics. So that's what called to me to teach these classes because it was like, oh, the universality of these teachings, you know, is just beautiful to me, and if more people from all different backgrounds could learn from different backgrounds, maybe we would find the commonality rather than the differences." Jane is bringing two offerings to Mind Oasis in fall of 2021. Her 'Just Another Mystic Monday" mini-workshop took place in mid-September. Watch the free recording. She kicks off a 4-week series, "Into the Mystics: The Spirituality and Wisdom of the Christian Mystics" on 4 Oct 2021. Learn more here. Jane loves people and will provide a welcoming presence where each person will hopefully feel seen and held. Jane’s classes will focus on sensory awareness, self compassion, listening to your own heart’s intention, and finding joy even when life gets difficult. Jane finds joy and connection out in nature. She is an avid hiker and kayaker who loves to play in mountain creeks and meditate at the base of waterfalls. Jane can usually be found reading a book, dancing and singing with family and friends, or sipping a cup of tea on her porch feeding her soul with the mountain view. Jane has been meditating on and off for ten years. She joined Community Meditation on Mind Oasis in March 2020 and fell in love with the welcoming community. As a life-long learner, Jane has immersed herself in many courses offered on Mind Oasis and graduated from the 300 hour Meditation Instructor Intensive. She begins her Advanced Meditation Immersion in September 2021!
September 21, 2021
When Life Pulls the Rug Out from Underneath You, How do You Stay Balanced?
When life pulls the rug out from underneath you, how do you stay balanced? Through the practice of equanimity we learn to remain centered, stable and grounded despite life’s ups and downs. Not only that, one in three adults aren’t getting enough sleep for optimal health. Sara-Mai and Karuna take a deep dive into equanimity, balance, and practical tips for feeling restored in a time of great uncertainty and sleeplessness. Sara-Mai Conway goes on to say about equanimity and the art of balance, "My October workshop is all about balance and equanimity. We are so removed from circadian rhythm in our crazy, busy, stressful lives. It's like the stress is the water you swim in and we don't really even realize how much this is affecting us until we do something like go out into the desert where, you know, there's maybe not electricity or the when it gets dark, what can you do? You know that kind of stuff? Becoming more in tune with how our bodies have developed to best express themselves after thousands and thousands of years living without technology and without electricity, I think is only of benefit to us as happy, healthy human beings.... Are we surviving? Are we really thriving the way that we could be? Sleeping better and really giving your body rest, letting your body see what a drastic change that is and how much it can improve your life is, you know, maybe the first step of just letting go of even more of the things that just keep us off balance or on edge constantly." Sara-Mai shares her workshop "Equanimity: Remaining Balanced in a Topsy Turvy World" on Mind Oasis starting 10 October 2021. Learn More Her FREE Mini-Workshop, "A Brief Morning Practice for More Restful Nights" is happening on Mind Oasis on 26 September 2021. Learn More Sara-Mai Conway is a writer, yoga and meditation instructor who lives in Baja Sur, Mexico. Her teachings and classes encourage understanding and experience through both body and mind. Her career has long been centered on athletics and physical fitness, and is equally inspired by her advanced studies in mindfulness and Tibetan Buddhism. Her teaching seeks to transform through a balance of movement and stillness. Sara-Mai is a 500-hour certified yoga instructor with Britain’s Independent Yoga Network and an e200-hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor. A HUGE note of thanks to our dear friend and Mind Oasis teacher Michael Hewett for lending his musical talents to Meditation Happy Hour. We hope you enjoy this new addition to the Podcast. Want to check him out? You can find the song "Gold" from his Muses album that is now featured on MHH on Spotify or wherever you purchase your music.
September 16, 2021
Evolution of Shadow on the Path: Growing Up, Cleaning Up, Waking Up
Shadow is a hidden part of our awareness where the most potent aspects of our human selves hide. Shadow hides both our brightest light and gifts, and our dark pain. Because it is hidden, it is tricky to find. On this week's episode, Karuna and Kimberley talk about how liberating shadow work can actually be. Kimberley Lafferty explains, "My studies from the western side are in the field of adult human development. Some of us studied a little child development maybe when we were in college or if we become a parent or an auntie or an uncle, you know, we might read up a little bit about how children go through different stages of development. The ego mindstate, the personhood of a two year old and how they see themselves in the world. It's very different than that of a 10 year old, for example. We can see that that's evident, right? There's evolution that happens. And that 10 year old is very different than a 16 year old evolution. The ego evolves. Our personality, our sense of identity evolves which reside in our consciousness just like everything. And the field of adult human development really looks at how as adults, we can actually continue to go through these evolutionary changes. I study what it takes for our consciousness to evolve, really, and how that expresses in different ways. And one of the most important aspects of consciousness studies and definitely one of the most essential aspects to understand our Path, our psycho spiritual Path is the phenomenon of shadow. I'm excited to share with Mind Oasis an upcoming shadow workshop and really look at how psychological shadow...what that means, how that shows up in an individual's life, particularly when when we're just going through our normal life...and also how it gets accelerated when we're on the spiritual path and even making progress and also during times of stress and anxiety, which naturally happen, then the shadow begins to emerge. And with all the wonderful spiritual tools we have from these ancient traditions of meditation and contemplation and yoga and breath work, we really [also] need the modern tools of psychology in order to deal with our shadow." Kimberley shares her workshop "Evolution of Shadow on the Path" on Mind Oasis starting 16 September 2021. Learn More Kimberley Lafferty, MA, is a scholar practitioner specializing in human development, adult education and extraordinary experiences. Her trans-disciplinary practice includes private counseling, online and in-person educational retreats. She is a seasoned teacher in Indo-Tibetan contemplative psychology, leading hundreds of hours of Mahayana, Vajrayana and Classic Yoga trainings internationally. She is the founder and decade long director of the global non-profit Yoga Studies Institute, and is a certified Stages therapist. A HUGE note of thanks to our dear friend and Mind Oasis teacher Michael Hewett for lending his musical talents to Meditation Happy Hour. We hope you enjoy this new addition to the Podcast. Want to check him out? You can find the song "Gold" from his Muses album that is now featured on MHH on Spotify or wherever you purchase your music.
August 14, 2021
A Quick and Dirty Dive Into Embodiment: The Wisdom of the Body
In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, guest Hannah Kinderlehrer breaks down the difference between an up regulated and down regulated nervous system, the power of dance and movement, and what it means to embody chronic pain. Hannah has Lyme disease and has found the wisdom of the body to be her best ally. Hannah believes we can all live an amazing, full life through the wisdom of the body. "I believe we have bodies for a reason. I do believe we are spiritual, energetic essence beings, absolutely. But there's a reason we have bodies -- we're supposed to be in them. And the only way to experience the present moment is through our sensations, through being home in this body. Our thoughts are about the past or about the future, not about now. If we actually want to live our lives, it's now and it's through the body." In her workshops she offers, she uses accessible movement to work with the nervous system. Hannah explains, "So we'll be doing some parasympathetic nervous system, building safety in the body, building safety in the moment, building safety in the space we're in [in workshops]. And these will be tricks and tools you can take with you and use anywhere you go in the whole wide world. And then we'll be doing some delicious super gentle movement about finding pleasure...Sometimes when folks first come to me, they say, well, why would I want to live in this body? Like, this body has pain. And I don't love the way it looks. And I kind of feel like it's betrayed me. I'm like, our bodies don't betray us, but we do abandon our bodies. And if we come home to our bodies and listen and nourish and enjoy that feeling of betrayal is a thing of the past and we become alive. And so even though, I'm standing here telling you, like I've got wonky brain chemistry and I have Lyme disease, and I have a million other things that are technically and physically wrong with my body, this is my home and this is my greatest resource. And I wouldn't want it any other way." Hannah holds a degree from Naropa University, the Peacemaker Institute and is a Certified Hakomi Practitioner. She is the founder of Awaken The Dance which currently has 20 trained teachers, and is a holistic coach at Rise and Thrive Coaching. Hannah has studied dance for 40 years and has been a student of Buddhism for over 20 years, and is currently studying and practicing Shamanic Healing Arts. Hannah has two upcoming offerings on Mind Oasis, including a free mini-workshop, “A Quick and Dirty Dive Into Delicious Embodiment” (25 August 2021) and a four-week series, “The Wisdom of the Body” that starts 15 September 2021. Learn More
July 21, 2021
Mindful Self-Compassion: The Antidote to Trauma and Pain (Warning Label - It May Hurt Worse First!)
In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, guest Kelly Sell explains mindful self-compassion through the very personal lens of his life and experiences. An avid mountain biker, hiker, paddler and snowboarder, Kelly’s work is to help people live their lives to the fullest. It is through his own personal mindful self-compassion journey that he brings the listener into a world where we can find more compassion for self and others by realizing we are not alone in our suffering. How is it that mindful self-compassion helps with trauma and/or chronic pain? Kelly Sell, a Mindful Self-Compassion practitioner and guide explains, “The idea with the mindfulness self-compassion is we have to ask ourself about mindfulness first, what's really happening? What am I feeling? What am I experiencing? And, we ask the question, what do we need? Because a lot of times we've grown up in such a way that when we ask what's going on or what do we need, we don't hear a nice voice in our heads. We often are very hard on ourselves and depending on who we are and how we grew up, we can be very hard on ourselves when we're going through a hard time that we're doing it wrong. We're not doing it right, or to use the term we're a f*ck up or, you know, we're messed up or whatever the thing is that we say to ourselves. They're showing in research that is not helpful when we're dealing with a hard time that we hear stronger, harder voices. And there's this amazing thing Paul Gilbert talks about when somebody yells at us or says something to us strongly, negatively, our body has a whole cascade of chemical events that happened to make us feel a certain way. And we know that happens in the brain and we can measure it. If we silently say those same words to ourselves in our brain, in the same voice, our body does the same thing. It doesn't know the difference whether it's us saying it to ourselves or somebody is saying it to us, which is really an amazingly intense and sad thing to learn, thinking about how we often talk to ourselves, when we're dealing with trauma. I am no expert. I'm a Chinese medicine practitioner who's had to do this work on my own, so I'm not a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. I'm, you know, just some guy who can sit with people and likes to ride his bike. But in that learning and sitting with my own trauma and learning that if I can be nice to myself, I'm able to maybe make more mistakes, fail and get back up and explore things a little bit more. I can be nicer to myself when I feel bad. The best example of self-compassion or mindfulness self-compassion and why we would do it is if we have a little kid who's sick. If we are really nice to them, it doesn't make them get better any faster. We're just nice to them because they're sick. And so it's a hard thing to get a hold of with a lot of these practices. I think we were promised with therapy and meditation and a spiritual path that we're going to feel better. We're going to find a better way. Otherwise, I mean, you can't sell a program that's like this is a practice of you're just going to feel bad before you feel better. Who's going to want to do that? And that's a hard thing to commit to. So that's the biggest thing is how can we just be nice to ourself just because we're feeling bad? I was just reading something Chris Germer says, that this mindfulness self-compassion is a practice of goodwill, not good feeling. Can we bring goodwill to our trauma and suffering?” Kelly has two upcoming offerings on Mind Oasis, including a free mini-workshop, “The Self-Compassion Break” (22 July 2021) and a six-week series, “Mindful Self-Compassion: Being Kind to Ourselves in Moments of Sufferings” that starts 5 August 2021. You can learn more about both here.
June 25, 2021
There's a Reason I"m Still Alive: Reformation, Courage, and Vulnerability with Ceasar F. Barajas
On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, Ceasar F. Barajas, International Wellness Mentor and Advocate, gives us a wonderful peek into his journey toward a no-bullsh*t truth about mental wellness. Karuna and Ceasar go deep about truth, vulnerability, and being courageous. "What I want to share with people is that the definition of reform is to relinquish what once was self-critical behavior, self-destructive lifestyle. So in being a teacher, I want everyone to understand that through movement, through breath, and this is what the [Restorative and Reformative Meditative Movement] master class is going to cover. We can find ourselves in a position of reformation, which means it doesn't matter where you came from, friends, it doesn't matter. We are always at power and liberty and at will to rewrite, reshift, regenerate, to restructure neural pathways so that we can step away from what was once blindingly heavy -- a ball and chain. You can't move through the muck in the mud to make it just a little bit easier to move because I'm not sitting here telling you that all of that's going to go away. I had to sit and meditate to make sure that I was even in a position to receive this podcast interview with you, because my self-destructive thoughts this morning were like. Who makes you an expert on talking about this? So that's self-doubt. My insecurity issues started to rise and then I stopped and I paused and I breathed. And before I logged onto the Zoom account to talk to you, I thought, no, there's a reason why I'm still alive. And here I am, friends to help share this information. Not for profit, not for money, because I'm going to tell you right now, I don't care [about that]. It's just getting people to understand that they're never alone. You're always seen. You always heard. You always appreciated.” Ceasar has an upcoming Restorative and Reformative Meditative MovementMaster Class on Mind Oasis on 10 July 2021. You can Learn More Here
June 25, 2021
The Power and Relevance of the Yoga Sutras
Master Yogi Michael Hewett explains what the Yoga Sutras are and why they are such a relevant and potent resource as we move out of the pandemic. Karuna and Michael geek out about attachment styles, practice, and compassion. "The Yoga Sutra is so bloody important because: it's a fun text, the ideas are magnificent, and the way I'll be sharing them is very understandable. Yes, we could talk about the Sanskrit and the verses roots, but I really don't too much. That's not my specialty. My specialty is taking these ideas that could be esoteric and making them relatable, funny and applicable for one's relationship with themselves. And then how we relate to others. For me, it's also been pivotal in my understanding of how I have loved myself and others. Where I mistook anxious and avoidant attachment for love, meaning grasping someone else or kind of playing at this game of, you know, I'm not really available because you seem too eager for me like a manipulative energy that feels like the dance of love. Piercing through that and through the ideas of the future and the practices humbly, I feel like I've gone to a deeper place in my heart and cleaned up a lot of my misunderstandings about how to be a present loving person for myself and someone else." Michael has an upcoming 7-week series exploring the Yoga Sutras on Mind Oasis. Learn More.
May 27, 2021
Chakras for the 21st Century
Chakra Curious? Want to about Chakras in the 21st Century? Interested in feeling into the intersection between modern technology and design and your energetic body? This podcast with I-We guests Reda Charrafaddine, Daniel Pittner, and David Celis Garcia is for you. What Reda has to say, "For me, chakras are like the mixing boards of the body, and they are connected to our psychological states, our physical state and our spiritual state, and having the ability to balance them, maneuver them, turn the knobs on them in these like pressure points in our spinal system and our central nervous system will create harmony in our lives. So the reason I call it in the 21st century, is because we're bringing a very practical nature to it. One of the fun things we do is to look at YouTube videos of Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada and we talk about what her chakras are doing. And then we also are using very practical techniques to activate or deactivate some chakras. I mean, some things that most people don't know is like your chakra could be too open, not just closed. How they interact with each other is also incredibly important. Like sometimes you want your root chakra to be incredibly open while your sacral want to be slightly more closed. So that way you could balance the two depending on the scenario of the events." The I-We team brings a couple opportunities to study the chakra on Mind Oasis. Learn More.
May 26, 2021
What is the Path of the Bodhisattva?
In this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, guest Rosa Schnyer explains what a Bodhisattva is and how Tonglen is a potent practice of choice for the resiliency needed during these difficult times. She goes into how one's aspiration is a key element in avoiding empathetic distress. About the Bodhisattva Path, Rosa says, "It's to put a focus of our attention on our shared human suffering. It's been rough around the world for a while, really rough you know, and if you orient your heart towards alleviating suffering for and devoting your life to the benefit of all beings, how in the world do you hold space enough to have resilience to move not only through your own challenges and difficulties day in, day out, but to hold space and to hold the intention that what you're doing in the world is for the benefit of all beings? How in the world do you do you not lose hope and heart and energy? And how do you do that? That's our challenge. That's the path that we are walking. That I am walking, that you are walking, that we committed practitioners are walking, you know. So it's about taking the spotlight from just our own suffering and shining it in all of us and then finding an effective way to transform that in our hearts so that we can continue to show up and adapt, and you know, work through wholeness without breaking down and falling into empathic distress. I have found that the practice of Tonglen has really helped me do that." Rosa brings her Resilience: The Awakened Heart of the Bodhisattva workshop to Mind Oasis on 6 June 2021. Learn More
May 07, 2021
The Five Elements and YOU! Meditation Happy Hour with Rachel Joyce
In traditional Chinese medicine there are five elements. There's fire, water, wood, earth and metal. The balancing of these five elements energetically is how we balance our being. The balancing of these five elements helps to define who we are in the world, our relationship with nature, as well as our relationship with the cosmos. Karuna and Rachel Joyce get down about the five elements, yoga asana, the difference between yin and restorative yoga, and so much more in this short podcast. Mind Oasis hosts Yin Yoga, The 5 Elements: A Master Class with Rachel Joyce on May 1st. Click here for more info! About the intersection of the five elements and yoga asana: "If we're in a water pose and in water, we want to relieve the feeling of fear. And I'm holding you in a paschimottanasana, you know, five minutes, seven minutes. What happens to you with fear? What comes up? And the the goal is, again, to not be the fear. Don't be the intensity. But you're quiet and you're deep. These are yin qualities, right? You're within and you watch that and you say, oh, what is my relationship to fear? Is it fear in the body? Am I going to pull a hammy? Is it fear in the mind that I can't take this anymore? Is it emotional fear or is it existential fear, like is God real? You know what I mean? Whatever it is, what comes up for you in that five minute paschimottanasana, let's examine that. Then you examine that relationship to your entire elemental makeup with the hopes of releasing and balancing across your bodies, your energy body, your physical body, your emotional body, your spiritual body." -- Rachel Joyce
April 22, 2021
Exploring the Divine Feminine via the 11th Century Yogini, Lady Niguma
“Lady Niguma was this incredible practitioner...she was sought out by one of the other masters of the time, this guy named Naropa. And he was looking for someone to teach him to take him deeper into the practices and he heard [from a sage]...she is the one who's going to guide you deeper into your practice. And so it's, again, a whole story. He goes out on a quest looking for this angel Niguma. When he finds her, it's interesting. At first she's like, no, no, no, no, no, I can't do it. I’m not teaching you. You're not ready. And he has to prove himself to her. But what she ends up doing is passing on this lineage that she has of how to move the energy in your body in a very specific way that will get you towards the goal of liberation. And in layman's terms, it's like “do this” to be happier. She was a master of using very specific tools and techniques for us to reach a higher state of peace. And it's such a beautiful story. I can't wait to dive more into the detail of it. And it is so special because I think as we talk about the philosophy and go through the asana, it has that really beautiful feminine flair to it, which I love. It, speaks to my heart so much and it's powerful.” - Sarah Blackburn Sarah Blackburn brings this 1,000 year practice alive on Mind Oasis on 10 April 2021. Learn More and Register
April 05, 2021
The Gift of Criticism
Guest Kathy Leader on overcoming inner and outer criticism through meditation as an artist. "As I developed along my life, I had lost my confidence completely. When I went to [art] school, I started really thinking about that. What is it that is stopping me...what was I being afraid of? Clearly, my mother, in a critical way of being was what was stopping me, so I kind of delved into that. I've always been into meditation and yoga. That's a huge part of my life. And I started to just meditate a lot about it and. I came up with this idea that my mother and that judgment had imprinted, implanted itself in my brain, and I had to in some way move it, move past it. Through years of meditation and teaching, I did a lot of teaching in schools and on schools. I learned that, everyone, kind of [with] myself first, I needed a kind of liberation through meditation and breathing. But my students also needed it. So sometimes it wouldn't necessarily just be through meditation, but it would be through journaling or writing that I would encourage them to be less judgmental about their own work. I, as a teacher and a coach, had to be encouraging and not be at all critical because it just stops the whole process. So I think, you know, in a backhanded way, I can thank my mother for giving me that opposite experience that led me to do this work for myself and for my students." Kathy is a fascinating artist, as is this interview on Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna. She brings a freebie to Mind Oasis in mid-April and a series thereafter. Learn More and Register.
April 02, 2021
What is yoga for all?
"I titled this class of yoga for all, because I really want to make sure that's accessible to everyone. It's so often that I hear I can't touch my toes, and that's not the point. So more than the physical practice and I love the way that Michael Hewett puts it, it's more than just poses on a piece of plastic. And as I'm sure you know, it's the whole philosophy and the lifestyle around it and working with where you are rather than where you wish you were. So I would say that my students can definitely expect a level of teaching that is accessible to everyone. I will be offering several appropriate accommodations for all bodies and for all ability levels." Lindsay Komp Enjoy this short Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna where Lindsay Komp and Karuna chat about how yoga works and what it means exactly to say yoga is for all. Lindsay teaches weekly vinyasa sessions on Friday nights on Mind Oasis. Learn more and register.
April 01, 2021
Voice Empowerment, Identity, and Truth
Vocal empowerment goes beyond the voice as an integration of identity. On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, she and Vocal Empowerment Coach Melissa Grogan explore how voice not only means the words that you express, but equally is about your ability to listen mindfully. It's a fascinating romp through science, esoteric practices, breath, and identity. Check out her upcoming offerings on Mind Oasis. “So voice means not just the sound that you hear me saying right now, but it also means identity. So to say I have a voice in this world means I have an identity that takes up space and that is meant to be here...our culture, our family, perhaps ourselves, something has for most of us gotten in the way of us being able to to connect to that and to know how to interrelate. Honestly, I know I keep bringing that word up, but it's an issue. I want to bring this work into schools. I want to bring it into the the political spectrum. I would love to work with prisoners. I would love to work with all populations. I think this is honestly something that culturally we need. And what I love is that I'm seeing people more and more recognizing that voice is this piece that they're missing, that they don't know how to access." - Melissa Grogan
March 25, 2021
Meditation Happy Hour with Michael Hewett
"We need more Jedis, not more teachers" - Michael Hewett Meet our lead Yoga Immersion teacher Vessel Academy Founder, Michael Hewett! He shares his philosophy about what it means to be a worthy vessel, how curiosity can help you lead a more fulfilling life, and if you stay until the end you get to enjoy an original song he plays for the Mind Oasis audience. Learn more about the upcoming Yoga Immersion (starts 3/29/2021).
March 10, 2021
How to Amplify Your Mind/Body Connection with Christina Ionno
On this episode, Karuna's guest Christina Ionno (@dakinilounge) of Dakini Lounge, talks about life as a model and how meditation has helped her to roll with the punches of the highs and lows of the fashion industry. She shares the magic of finding a teacher, living with a big open heart, and the heartfelt desire to live authentically -- even in fast-paced NYC! Christina brings a 4-part series designed to amplify the mind/body connection with Dharma-infused meditation and asana on Mind Oasis starting 1 Feb. Learn More: https://mindoasis.org/classes/workshops-and-series/
January 29, 2021
Finding Refuge in 2021
On this episode, guest Elizabete Gomes shares her experience studying Buddhist philosophy over the past 15 years and how she invokes the power of refuge in navigating every day life. If you're curious about Buddhism, Elizabete breaks down how the teachings and her teachers from her family, partner, and friends to more formal practitioners have helped her to understand this experience we call, life. And how regardless your belief system or spiritual penchant, the concept of refuge is more relevant today than ever! Elizabete brings her wonderfully rich and informative Buddhism 101 course to Mind Oasis, starting in 2021 with the mooring teaching of refuge. Learn More
January 13, 2021
Witches, Herbs, and Reclaiming Herstory
On this episode, Karuna's guest Ashley Sapir-Lathrop dismantle misperceptions of witches and deep dive into the potency of herbalism, ritual, the moon, and more in this short but powerful interview. Learn how you too can come out of the "broom closet." Interested in returning or understanding your draw to nature? Curious about teas, herbs, and other rituals based on the seasons? Ready to shed linear thinking and feel into the spiral of life? Ashley brings her "Herbalism Around the Wheel of the Year" immersion to life on Mind Oasis in 2021 starting in mid-January. This episode gives you a great sneak peek you don't want to miss. Learn More
January 13, 2021
Is Love and Heart Opening the Key to Happiness in 2021?
In this short first episode of 2021, guest and yogini Karlie Lemos and Karuna discuss what it means to move from a place of love. Whether it's heart openers on the mat or finding an opportunity in every moment to open your heart again and again to life just as it is, when you can remember to move from love and openheartedness there is the possibility to transform every moment into a reminder that what really matters is love. They also deep dive into the fact that whether you are looking for it or not, by studying the asana limb of yoga, the other seven limbs will eventually whisper into your ear as well! Karlie brings her 3-week series to Mind Oasis, starting Saturday, 9 January 2021. You can learn more about her series: From Snakes to Wheels by visiting MindOasis.org and looking under Learn - Yoga.
January 05, 2021
Joyeux Noel: A Message of Light for Difficult Times
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”― Rumi On this special edition of Meditation Happy Hour, Karuna shares with us a short Dharma talk and a guided meditation designed to bring a message of light during these dark and often difficult times of 2020. Using the combination of what to throw into the fire and connecting with your heartfelt desire, she weaves the teachings of joy and rebirth in each moment as a salve for the aching heart. Happy Holidays from Mind Oasis!
December 24, 2020
The Power and Subtlety of Somatic Therapy with Author Livia Shapiro
Calling all yogis, teachers, therapists, and anyone working on their "stuff." On this episode, guest and author Livia Shapiro talks about somatic therapy and her newly released book, The Somatic Therapy Workbook: stress-relieving exercises for strengthening the mind-body connection and sparking emotional and physical healing. Learn some of the nuance of somatics, embodiment, and more. Livia is a mama, long time yoga practitioner and teacher, somatic psychotherapist and author. She concurrently writes prolific and vivid prose and free verse on topics including; feminism, dismantling and healing misogyny, narcissistic abuse, and the vast array of motherhood experiences. She has been featured on a variety of podcasts speaking elegantly to all of these topics with nuance, sanity, complexity, and courageous humanity. On 16 December 2020, Mind Oasis is hosting Livia's worldwide book premiere. Join her as she reads and discusses her book and offers a sample practice. Learn more and register (free).
December 11, 2020
What's Your Spiritual Nutrition? Finding What Works in this Day and Age
On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour: Tea, Talk, and Truth with Karuna, Autumn Righino shares how what we put into our bodies from food, to beliefs, emotions, and more all comprise our spiritual nutrition. Karuna and Autumn take a deep dive into food, relationships, meditation, and how it all has the potential to wake us up to our highest version of ourselves. Even Pirate's Booty (a Karuna fav). Autumn's upcoming workshop on spiritual nutrition is a supportive and confidential group experience where you can expect to discuss the most important aspects of nutrition, the factors that influence your food choices to determine what is right for your body, and the achievable steps you can take to implement in your life. Explore what nutrition truly means in today’s society when fad diets dominate the media and how you can take small steps in implementing small changes to feel better in your body and improve your health. Dive deep into the lifestyle factors that influence mental, physical and emotional wellbeing through the lens of a scientific nutritional foundation. Learn more (it's happening on 12 Dec 2020): https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/spiritual-nutrition
December 09, 2020
Yoga Nidra Demystified
On this episode, iRest Yoga Nidra practitioner and trainer, Karen Soltes explains the power of Yoga Nidra. From exploring your inner resource, to being blissfully guided. Yoga Nidra is an evidence-based practice used widely in the VA system to help with PTSD and chronic pain. Whether you just are looking for extra rest and rejuvenation or are looking for new ways to deal with the epic challenges of 2020, this modality is right for you. Karen offers a two-hour workshop on Mind Oasis (6 Dec 2020) that is designed to reset your resiliency just in time for the holidays. It will be a wonderful introduction or reconnection to iRest Yoga Nidra. Learn More: MindOasis.org
November 29, 2020
Challenging Emotions Into Wise Actions
In 2020, emotions run strong, fast, and hard. In this episode, sisters Shannon Bronson and Allison Zamani of the Share Your Heart Project (https://www.shareyourheartproject.com/) explain to the listener the benefit of understanding the yogic lens of the 5 vayus and harnessing our somatic experience to respond from a potent and caring place. They take the listener on a cursory view of how the wisdom can actually come from the challenge! Plus learn about Cosmic Hearts in your everyday life... In their series on Mind Oasis, Shannon and Allison will educate practitioners to care for difficult emotions and help transform them to inform wise action in our lives. With intention, emotions can become empowering rather than disabling. We reclaim our power when we care for all layers of our being: our body, breath, energy, and thoughts. This course will help harness emotions to take wise action in our lives through healing movement, somatic meditation, visualization of the 5 Vayus, and creative expression. Learn More: https://mindoasis.org/classes/workshops-and-series/
November 05, 2020
The Power of Tapping Into the Breath
On this episode of Meditation Happy Hour, guest Noga Shefi discusses these times in 2020 when our breath feels as if it is being shut down. From the pandemic and masks to the wildfires raging across the West, it can feel as if our very life line is being threatened. How do we meet this edge and connect instead to the possibility of our body and breath? Noga explains how the Breath as Bridge, her series on Mind Oasis, will focus on practices anyone can use to do so. Breath as a Bridge is an opportunity to go deeper into the ancient yogic breathing practices and meditations which are now backed by science in their incredible effects on our wellbeing and all areas of our lives. You'll learn about Noga as a musician, Israeli, and heartfelt yogi all along the way! Learn More: MindOasis.org
November 02, 2020
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: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/communicating-through-difference
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: MindOasis.org
October 07, 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: https://mindoasis.org/classes/snow-leopards-meditation-retreat-and-trekking-in-nepal/ Learn More about the Pangje Foundation: http://pangje.org/
August 07, 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: https://mindoasis.org/classes/workshops-and-series/ Joseph is the master mind behind Dynamic Neuromuscular Assessment (DNA-Assessment.com).
August 05, 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: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/mindfulness-prophecy-toltec
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: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/ayurveda5 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 benourished.me, or connect via Instagram @jenniferkurdyla. Learn More about Mind Oasis: MindOasis.org
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: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/inner-planetary-yoga 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: MindOasis.org
July 02, 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: https://mindoasis.thinkific.com/courses/purpose-path
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: MindOasis.org
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: MindOasis.org
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 MindOasis.org for more info on our programs.
May 04, 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: https://laurenhubele.com/books/ Visit MindOasis.org 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: MindOasis.org
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: MindOasis.org To Donate to Gina's Work in Uganda: https://second-response.networkforgood.com/projects/7739-second-response-the-nachan-project
April 04, 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, rawmindfulness.com 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: MindOasis.org
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 (www.dakinimeditative.com) 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: MindOasis.org
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 (www.dakinimeditative.com) 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: MindOasis.org
March 13, 2020