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Natural Awakening

Natural Awakening

By WYSTAN T BRYANT-SCOTT
Interviews and conversations between scholars, practitioners, and scholar-practitioners at the conjunction of philosophical naturalism and contemplative practice.
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Tucker Peck: Awakening, Psychology, and Relationship

Natural Awakening

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Chris Letheby: Epistemology of Psychedelics, Naturalism, and Spirituality
Chris discusses the contents of his excellent book, Philosophy of Psychedelics, wherein he defends a naturalistic account of the epistemic, therapeutic, and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, and mystical-type experiences of unselfing more generally. You can find Chris at his website here: http://www.chrisletheby.com/ and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrisletheby His book, the Philosophy of Meditation: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/philosophy-of-psychedelics-9780198843122? and the Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation, to which he contributed: https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Handbook-on-the-Philosophy-of-Meditation/Repetti/p/book/9780367647469 I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, you can check out my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
56:05
August 22, 2022
Julianna Raye: Transcendence, Integration, and Connection
Wherein Julianna introduces Unified Mindfulness' approach to attentional skill development, transcendent states, traits, healthy integration, and the function of transcendence in fostering connection and care. Enjoy! You can find out more about Julianna here: https://unifiedmindfulness.com/team/julianna-raye/ and about Unified Mindfulness: https://unifiedmindfulness.com/ U.M.'s introductory manual: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Unified-Mindfulness-Happiness-Anywhere-ebook/dp/B092HMTFZW I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, you can check out my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:01:31
June 16, 2022
Graham Priest: Emptiness, Interdependence, and an Ethics of Care
Wherein Graham provides a very brief sketch of Buddhist metaphysics in classical India and its transit to China, explains the vertiginous psychedelic interpenetration of phenomena, and connects the radical metaphysics of Huayan to a practical ethics of universal care.  Enjoy! You can find Graham and his work at: https://grahampriest.net/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, you can check out my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:09:31
June 13, 2022
Stephen Snyder & Andrés Gómez Emilsson: Jhāna, Brahmavihārās, and The Absolute
Apologies for the occasional audio hiccups. :| Though, on the upside, it is quite amusing that it blipped just as Stephen began discussing cessation ;). Wherein I host Stephen and Andrés for a wide-ranging discussion and sharing of perspectives covering jhāna, Brahmavihārās, comparisons with psychedelic states, and the journey to and from the Absolute. Enjoy! You can find Stephen, his books, and upcoming retreats at: https://awakeningdharma.org/ and his Twitter: https://twitter.com/BuddhasHeart3 Andrés blogs at: https://qualiacomputing.com/ His Twitter is: https://twitter.com/algekalipso QRI's website: https://www.qualiaresearchinstitute.org/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, you can check out my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:29:42
June 07, 2022
Leigh Brasington & Andrés Gómez Emilsson: Jhāna, Neuroscience, and Phenomenological Topology
Wherein Leigh and Andrés discuss the phenomenological topology of jhāna, neuroscientific correlates, reflections on the usefulness of psychedelics, experiences without experiencers, and much more besides! You can find Leigh at: http://www.leighb.com/ Andrés blogs at: https://qualiacomputing.com/ His Twitter is: https://twitter.com/algekalipso QRI's website: https://www.qualiaresearchinstitute.org/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, you can check out my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:28:53
June 03, 2022
Tucker Peck: Awakening, Psychology, and Relationship
Wherein Tucker and I discuss the ambiguous, underspecified term 'awakening', psychological health and ethical behavior in light of meditative insight, effects on romantic and platonic relationships, and the benefits of psychotherapy. Tucker can be found at his website here: https://meditatewithtucker.com and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tucker_peck The Open Dharma foundation for retreat scholarships: https://opendharmafoundation.org/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, please see my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
49:38
May 10, 2022
Ron Serrano: The Dharmachanics; Experimental Community and Spiritual Friendship
Wherein Ron shares personal and community history and we discuss pragmatic, meta-systemic community and spiritual friendship along the path. :) Check out the Dharmachanics at their website: http://www.dharmachanics.com/ and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Dharmachanics SN 45.2: Half the Spiritual Life: So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, where they have a town named Townsville. Then Venerable Ānanda went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Sir, good friends, companions, and associates are half the spiritual life.”  “Not so, Ānanda! Not so, Ānanda! Good friends, companions, and associates are the whole of the spiritual life. A mendicant with good friends, companions, and associates can expect to develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path. - https://suttacentral.net/sn45.2/en/sujato?layout=plain&reference=none&notes=asterisk&highlight=false&script=latin I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, please see my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and/or Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
32:48
May 02, 2022
Yogi Khenpo Drimed Dawa (Dean) - Part 2: History, Practice, and Function of Ngöndro
See the first episode with Dean for more context: https://anchor.fm/wystan-t-bryant-scott/episodes/Natural-Awakening-Yogi-Khenpo-Drimed-Dawa-Dean-Vajrayana--Dzogchen-Seeing-Things-as-They-Are-e1g4t28 Wherein Dean provides a sketch of the history of tantric preliminary practices, a description of the actual activities, and explains their purpose and function within the structure of Tantric practice. Enjoy! You can find Dean's organization, lineage, online courses, and much more at https://www.awaminstitute.org/. His YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/DharmakirtiCollege Finally, I wholeheartedly recommend his excellent and thorough book, 'Innate Happiness: A Direct Guidance Manual for Householder Yogis and Yoginis', which you can find directly for purchase here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GTDDWM4/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 From Patrul Rinpoche's 'The Essential Jewel of Holy Practice', translated by Emily McRae and Jay Garfield: Samsara is mere appearance, nothing more. See mundane appearance as divine to benefit others. By seeing things this way, you grant all beings the four empowerments. Plumbing the depths of samsara, chant the six-beat mantra... Dedicate whatever arises to the guests of spontaneous liberation. Mold whatever appears into the tsa-tsas of empty appearance. Offer nondual prostrations to the protector, the nature of mind. Performing only virtuous acts, chant the six-beat mantra. I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
52:57
April 29, 2022
Daniel M. Ingram: Emergent Phenomenology; Research and Relevance
Wherein Daniel presents a sweeping overview of the Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium's intentions, methods, and ultimate aims. A delight! To learn more about, connect with, and contribute to the EPRC please see its website here: https://theeprc.org/ and the white paper: https://theeprc.org/#studies To learn more about, connect with, and contribute to Emergence Benefactors please see its website here: https://ebenefactors.org/ Daniel can be found at his website here: https://www.integrateddaniel.info/ and on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/danielmingram I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, please see my own website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:47:17
April 25, 2022
Andrés Gómez Emilsson & Roger Thisdell: Unbinding Pseudo-Spacetime
Wherein Andrés, Roger, and I discuss indirect realism about perception, the construction of phenomenal time, qualia formalism, exotic phenomenal spacetime in psychedelic and meditative phenomenology, the effects of persistent subject-object nonduality on phenomenal spacetime and hedonic valence, and more! Enjoy! Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick... However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they’re empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately... No substance here is found. - Pheṇa Sutta  (SN 22:95): https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN22_95.html Andrés' article on 'The Pseudo-Time Arrow', for reference and further explanation: https://qualiacomputing.com/2018/11/28/the-pseudo-time-arrow-explaining-phenomenal-time-with-implicit-causal-structures-in-networks-of-local-binding/ You can find Roger at: his website, where you can find articles, videos, and more: https://meditative.dev/web/ and associated twitter profile: https://twitter.com/meditative_dev and on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069819468309 and on Discord: RogerThis#8351 Andrés can be found blogging at: https://qualiacomputing.com/. Check out QRI at: https://www.qualiaresearchinstitute.org/ and the QRI Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1735260376685389 and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/algekalipso I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ and twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening!  May you be happy!  May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:26:14
April 20, 2022
Jay Garfield: Moral Phenomenology, Illusion, and Primordial Non-Duality
Wherein Jay and I discuss Buddhist ethics as moral phenomenology, the pernicious illusion of selfhood, illusionism as a theory of consciousness, primordial perceptual non-duality, and much more! A joy! You can find Jay at: https://jaygarfield.org/ I wholeheartedly recommend the books mentioned: Buddhist Ethics: A Philosophical Exploration: https://www.amazon.com/Buddhist-Ethics-Philosophical-Exploration-PHILOSOPHERS/dp/0190907649/ Engaging Buddhism: Why It Matters to Philosophy https://www.amazon.com/Engaging-Buddhism-Why-Matters-Philosophy-ebook/dp/B00QSDBVTC/ Losing Ourselves: Learning to Live without a Self, available for preorder (releases May 24): https://www.amazon.com/Losing-Ourselves-Learning-Live-without/dp/069122028X The ultimate falls out when you investigate the conventional And see how the conventional arises from the ultimate! The two truths are inseparable, transcend thought, natural and glorious. With a view free of fabrication, chant the six-beat mantra. Cut off the mind's obsession with appearance. Let the whole structure of deluded appearance crumble away. The nonduality of mind and appearance is an infinite expanse. Realizing that single essence, chant the six-beat mantra. - The Essential Jewel of Holy Practice, by Patrul Rinpoche, translated by Jay Garfield and Emily W. McRae: https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Jewel-Holy-Practice-ebook/dp/B071SDC2GT/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
54:12
April 15, 2022
Chelsey Fasano: Intimacy, Tantra; Hope in Love
Wherein Chelsey shares what drew her to contemplative practice and academic study, and we discuss intimacy both spiritual and sensual, the lack of ultimate distinction between the two, the foggy genesis of Tantra, and conclude that all you need is love. :) You can find Chelsey at: https://www.chelseyfasano.com/ and on twitter: https://twitter.com/fasano_lee The podcast series we mentioned (highly recommended!) can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlkzlKFgdknxjhwG5wmXRVfrkeGczVPVI Ikkyu: ...Rinzai’s disciples never got the Zen message, But I, the Blind Donkey, know the truth: Love play can make you immortal. The autumn breeze of a single night of love is better than a hundred thousand years of sterile sitting meditation... ...My life has been devoted to love play; I’ve no regrets about being tangled in red thread from head to foot, Nor am I ashamed to have spent my days as a Crazy Cloud— But I sure don’t like this long, long bitter autumn of no good sex! Follow the rule of celibacy blindly and you are no more than an ass; Break it and you are only human. The spirit of Zen is manifest in ways countless as the sands of the Ganges. Every newborn is a fruit of the conjugal bond. For how many eons have secret blossoms been budding and fading?... Taken from: https://www.lionsroar.com/love-letters-sent-by-the-wind/ I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy, knowing always and in all ways the innate intimacy and connection of your senses, sensuality or no ;). May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:00:43
April 02, 2022
Roger Thisdell: Emptiness of Identity, Space, and Time
Wherein Roger and I briefly cover his bio, what brought him to practice, stream-entry and beyond, diving into phenomenological description of centerless, 'empty' consciousness, concluding with epistemological and metaphysical musings. His website, where you can find articles, videos, and more, is: https://meditative.dev/web/ and associated twitter profile: https://twitter.com/meditative_dev You can find Roger on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100069819468309 Dogen: To study the buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of realization remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly. Garfield, Jay L. Engaging Buddhism (p. 69). From the Kaccānagotta Sutta (SN 12:15): “By & large, Kaccāna, this world is supported by [takes as its object] a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, ‘non-existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it has come to be with right discernment, ‘existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one." https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/SN/SN12_15.html I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
01:03:25
March 26, 2022
Yogi Khenpo Drimed Dawa (Dean) - Part 1: Vajrayana, Dzogchen; Seeing Things as They Are
Wherein Khenpo Dean and I discuss briefly his biography, the deity yoga distinctive of Vajrayana, a cursory outline of Dzogchen practice, and the concomitant relief and skillful action arising through perceiving the constructed 'empty' play of perception, relating this briefly to science. You can find Dean's organization, lineage, online courses, and much more at https://www.awaminstitute.org/. His YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/DharmakirtiCollege I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS A few lines from Dzogchen master and tertön Jigmé Lingpa: No outside, no inside and nothing in between — that quality of attention is Mind itself, free from conceptual distortions. - McLeod, Ken. A Trackless Path: A commentary on the great completion (dzogchen) teaching of Jigmé Lingpa's Revelations of Ever-present Good . Thanks for watching and listening! May you be happy! May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
47:51
March 23, 2022
David L. Collins - Part 3: The Good, The True, and The Beautiful
Wherein Dave and I cross the conceptual categorical chasms between philosophy, religion, psychology, contemplative practice and experience(s) using my bio as scaffolding. Can the manifest and scientific image(s) converge in nondual fulfillment of the good, the true, and the beautiful? Listen to find out! Well, we tried, anyways ;). Check out Dave's writing (it's really good!): https://utexas.academia.edu/DavidCollins His twitter is https://twitter.com/bodhidave3 I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/  My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for listening!  May you be happy!  May all beings everywhere be free from all suffering!
46:17
March 10, 2022
David L. Collins - Part 2: Practice In Crisis
Informed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Dave and I discuss intersections between contemplative practice, politics, social engagement, mental health, breaking down the distinction between sacred and mundane, and different strategies for taking care of ourselves and others in times of trouble. May everyone abide in well-being, in freedom from hostility, in freedom from ill-will, in freedom from anxiety, and may they maintain well-being in themselves. May all beings be released from all suffering. Dave's links: https://utexas.academia.edu/DavidCollins  https://twitter.com/bodhidave3 Wystan: https://www.wystantbs.com/ https://twitter.com/WystanTBS
01:01:45
February 25, 2022
David L. Collins - Part 1: To Know Like Love Like What It Is To Be
Wherein Dave and I discuss his near-death experience early in life and subsequent draw to contemplative study and practice, similarities between the practices and outlooks of the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing and Dogen, the apparent paradox of effort and effortlessness along the path, deep jhana, meditation in sleep, life as sacred display, and what it means 'to know like love like what it is to be'. In a future second part, hopefully we'll get around to how this fits a naturalistic understanding of our selves and the world. Check out Dave's writing (it's really good!): https://utexas.academia.edu/DavidCollins His twitter is: https://twitter.com/bodhidave3 I mentor meditation in Shinzen Young's Unified Mindfulness system. If that or any of my ambling thoughts in long-form are of interest to you, check out my website: https://www.wystantbs.com/ My twitter: https://twitter.com/WystanTBS Thanks for listening! May you be happy!
01:00:16
February 18, 2022