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Podula Rasa podcast

Podula Rasa podcast

By Dave Blank and Jim Esch
Two friends who grew apart in time and space, are bridging the distance and exploring by means of open conversation the space between, where impressions are received, seeds planted, and significance found. Starting with the blank slate, we move from nothing to something. And you are a part of that story. Maybe something flavorful, essential, and inspiring will be perceived in the space between us and you.
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Currently playing episode

Show 8: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 2

Podula Rasa podcast

Show 8: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 2

Podula Rasa podcast

Season 2. Show 7. The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 13: Scorpio.
Dave interviews Phil Charron, an early student of Thom's, only slightly later than Dave and Jim, revealing insights about Thom in his early teaching career. 
June 21, 2021
On the creative process and growing older: a conversation with Jill Benedict
In her mid 20's, Jill Benedict quit writing. When Covid crashed into our lives, she clawed her way back to the creative path. Jill reads two stories for today's show. The first is about the shocking reawakening of the creative process. The second engages very honestly way with that looming pivot point we all must face, turning 30. You can follow Jill on Instagram at 
June 3, 2021
Words and Music Live with John Grecia: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 12
Dave and Jim talk with musician / songwriter John Grecia, a student of Thom Williams, about their songwriting collaboration and the rediscovery of a cache of songs they wrote back in the day. We discover the revelatory power of music, how it can speak to our contemporary moment, spanning years and bridging lives. The show includes the following Grecia/Williams demos:  She Danced January If Wishes Were Rain Slide Miranda 
May 2, 2021
Season 2, show 4. Dave's Dream: "Got Transcendence?"
Jim and Dave have an extended conversation about dreams, meditation, atman, Narcissus, the conservation of energy, entropy, transcendence, metaphysics, and the meaning and non-meaning of life.  
March 21, 2021
Season 2. Show 3. The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 11: Behind the Music: The Legend of the Skull Farmers
Dave interviews filmmaker, musician and New York Times best-selling author Jeff Alulis, a former student of Thom's.
March 7, 2021
Season 2. Show 2. Life is but a stream...running on empty
Jim and Dave push against the boundaries of nothing into something in a free wheeling conversation about music, streaming, Buddha statues, G men, Dads in wartime, new band discoveries, punk rock Sphinxes, and Dave's plan for getting Brian Eno to sue us. Prepare for a wild scenic route into nothingness and beyond! 
February 21, 2021
Season 2. Show 1. Dave catches up with his son as 2020 vanishes (thank goodness).
As we kick off 2021 and Season 2, Dave chats with his son Stasha about life and the future.  The episode ends with Stasha's composition, 'Rainy Days,' which is featured on SoundCloud.  Dave encourages Stasha to compose more! If you happen to be in the San Francisco area, check out the best Chinese food on the planet: San Tung!
January 17, 2021
Show 18. Walk Outside, Shut the Door: Ski & the Golden Retriever in Human Form look back on season 1 and experiment forward
Dave and Jim check-in and reflect on season 1, recapping highlights, insights, and lessons learned. We hope this podcast has made this difficult year a little easier to endure. We know it has for us. Coming soon in 2021, season 2 of Podula Rasa...until then, season's greetings and happy new year! To show your support for what we've been doing, we ask that you make an end-of-year contribution to the Thomas Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Thom Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Principal John Beltrante Marple Newtown Senior High School 120 Media Line Road Newtown Square, PA 19073
December 18, 2020
Show 17. Our House: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 10
Jim interviews Dave Forman, a student of Thom's. In the conversation, you'll hear about the influence TW had on Dave's public speaking and leadership skills, and we get the full back story on the political book Dave published (in high school!) with the help of Thom and Maury Joseph, who sold songs on-demand to raise funds for the project. 
December 5, 2020
Show 16. The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 9: Jon-Michael Frank
Dave talks with artist Jon-Michael Frank for a freewheeling conversation about TWill, the teenage heart, haiku, the secret life of fungi and trees, and more.  Music interludes provided by Jim and Stacy Esch. 
November 21, 2020
Show 15. Coloring without staying in the lines: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 8
Today we are joined by Danielle DeCaro Buchanan, a former student and close friend of Thom Williams. Danielle shares stories of meeting Thom, reading Ralph Waldo Emerson and haiku, and how their friendship developed over the years.  The creative inspiration and wisdom she drew from him is unforgettable. 
October 24, 2020
Show 14. Libra: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 7
Dave interviews Lisa D'Annunzio Jones (aka. "Libra"), a teaching colleague of TWill. Thom and Libra shared a special bond which transcended the classroom. 
October 18, 2020
Show 13. Feedback Loops. The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 6
Catching up on listener mail we have received over the past couple months. Dave reads a Thom Williams poem, and we hear a rare clip of TWill in the classroom rapping! Plus a new Oblique Strategy from Brian Eno. 
October 11, 2020
Show 12. "The World is Not the World": The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 5
We interview Dr. Maury Joseph, a clinical psychologist and former student of Thom Williams. Maury shares his memories, music, and thoughts on creativity learned from Thom that have been useful in his practice as a therapist.  
September 17, 2020
Show 11. The Thomas Williams Experience, fragment 4: A Virgo born on the day of fate
To celebrate the birthday of Thomas Williams, we’ve created a montage of moments that we have had with some of you: conversations of consequence, from thoughts, memories and collaborations with Tom.  Includes portions of interviews with: Lisa D’Annunzio-Jones, Danielle Buchanan, Jeffery Alulis, Phillip Charron, Jon-Michael Frank, Jim Morris, John Grecia, Murray Joseph and Jimmy Develin. Musical Credits:  A HUGE thank you to John Grecia for the liberal use of his and Tom's music, including:   White Star, When You Fall, We Stayed Up All Night, Two Autumns, Turning of My Heart, Spanish Jane, Slide, She Came in Time of Meteors, Quiet Conversations, Monterey, Love is the Cure, Lightning Rod, Kingdom of One, January, If Wishes Were Rain, Hiroshima, Blue Camero, Andromeda. Happy TWill birthday to all! Dave and Jim
September 6, 2020
Show 10. The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 3: Back to School
We interview Lorisa Friedman, a high school English teacher and colleague of Thom Williams at Marple Newtown. What was it like to work alongside TW? What did Lori learn from him about teaching and life? We hope this show will jog memories of the important teachers and coworkers in your own life.
August 30, 2020
Show 9. Day by day, the journey goes on
Dave and Jim discuss the virtues of keeping a writing journal, the podcast itself as an audio journal, the connections between journaling and meditation, and how sometimes, it's OK to purge yourself of pieces from your past. Plus, the return of the segment "oblique strategies"! 
August 24, 2020
Show 8: The Thom Williams Experience, fragment 2
Mark Christaldi joins us for a conversation about how a single high school English journal assignment made a deep and lasting impression on his journey through life. Mark also shares his thoughts on what we may really be up to regarding this podcast. Thanks Mark for the wisdom and insights.  We invite you to make a donation to the Thom Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund at Marple Newtown High School. You can send checks to: The Thom Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Principal John Beltrante, Marple Newtown Senior High School, 120 Media Line Road Newtown Square, PA 19073
August 15, 2020
Show 7: The Path, fragment 1.5
In this followup to the previous episode, Dave and Jim talk about finding your path, dealing with regrets, and how to be present in the moment.
August 8, 2020
Show 6. Thom Williams experience, fragment 1
Did you have influential teachers and mentors growing up? Thom Williams was that for us. He was the cool English teacher at our high school. He inspired and influenced the lives of countless students. Ten years since his passing, we reflect on his life and legacy in the first of what we hope to be a recurring feature in the podcast.  We invite you to make a donation to the Thom Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund at Marple Newtown High School. You can send checks to: The Thom Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund   c/o Principal John Beltrante Marple Newtown Senior High School 120 Media Line Road Newtown Square, PA 19073
July 25, 2020
Show 5. Meditation updates
A look at how our meditation practices have morphed under the shadow of the 2020 pandemic. Plus dreams, mental roller coasters, books of nothing, and oblique strategies. Strap yourself in for the ride. 
July 2, 2020
Show 4. The Persistence of Memory: Zeus & the Druids, Behind the Music
Dave, Jim, and their bandmates Mike and Jim remember one brief shining moment of high school rock band glory as Zeus & the Druids. When a video surfaced 38 years later, how did watching the performance for the first time on youtube affect them? A reflection on memory and what happens when the past suddenly comes back to the present.   
June 17, 2020
Show 3: meditation
Dave and Jim discuss their varied experiences with meditation, what it can do for the mind and body. 
June 4, 2020
Show 2: listener feedback
Dave and Jim interview two friends to glean their thoughts about the show and where they look for bright and shiny things in their lives. 
May 28, 2020
Show 1: Bright Shiny Things
Dave and Jim lay out the vision for the podcast and talk about musician Jon Hassell, his “bright shiny things” approach to art, and how we can apply his advice to daily life.
May 22, 2020