LAOTZU 13

June 22, 2018

This podcast deals with Chapters 21 and 22 of The Tao Te Ching. Chapter 21 is poetry impelled by Lao Tzu's encounter with the ineffable and Chapter 22 outlines the non-doing doings that can allow us to experience a similar encounter. [Free. 29 minutes.]

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CONSCIOUSNESS [THOUGHT LABORATORY PREAMBLE]

April 10, 2017

This podcast is an entirely extempore survey of 'the hard problem of consciousness' which was undertaken as a preliminary to a proposed series on this matter. It is by no means exhaustive and rather rough but I offer it to patrons in the hope of wetting their appetite. [Patrons only. 46 minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART ONE

April 10, 2017

In this podcast, we comment on the first chapter of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. Though it is very short, this chapter covers an immense amount of ground, including the paradoxical nature of talk about the ineffable, the creativity of nothingness and the character of 'the sage'. We intend to comment on the entire text over time. [Free. 41 minutes.] 

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THE BELOVED

November 28, 2016

We launch this podcast with a reading of Rumi's poem Choose Love which serves as a perfect door-way into a discussion on love. intoxication, separation and oneness.

[Free. 21 minutes.]

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PATANJALI’S ZEN: COMMENTARY ON THE FIRST SIX APHORISMS OF THE YOGA SUTRA

August 10, 2016

In this podcast, we comment on the first six aphorisms of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. The podcast stands alone but is also intended to supply the background to a practical weekend to be held at The Parkdale Yoga Centre, Wolverhampton on October 22nd - 23rd 2016. This weekend is ideal for yoga teachers, dedicated practitioners and open-minded beginners in Yoga. 

The section of the Yoga Sutra we concern ourselves with here is very direct, un-ornamented, non-technical and revelatory, if only you look in the direction it points in. [Free. 1 hour 16 minutes.]
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KUNDALINI

May 9, 2016

This podcast deals with many aspects of the Kundalini phenomenon, particularly the nature of the experience itself, the discourses surrounding it, the theories about it and the practices associated with it. [Free. 40 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART FIVE]: SEX, NATURE, CULTURE & ENLIGHTENMENT

April 1, 2016

As always this is wide-ranging. We discuss the nature of sexual arousal, sexual practices and the ideas people have about sex, attempting as we go to free ourselves from the conceptual straight-jacket imposed by the popular binary nature-culture. This naturally {!} leads to a consideration of sexual taboos and the transgression of them in Dionysiac/Tantric orgies and a fleeting analysis of the emancipatory potential of raw joy - ananda. We find it useful to identify two recognizable modes of consciousness aroused by sex. In one, fantasy is intensified. In the other fantasy is attenuated and 'immediate' sensations take over. [Free. 53 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART THREE]: ANCIENT AND CARTESIAN DUALISM

March 10, 2016

In this podcast we outline and evaluate ancient and Cartesian mind-body dualism. We find both of these doctrines incoherent and life-negating and attempt to point towards more easeful attitudes towards the body and life itself. [Free. 29 minutes.]

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ON THE BODY [PART ONE]: YOGA AND THE BODY

March 4, 2016

This is the first part of a series on the human body. It deals with various attitudes to the body found within yoga culture and texts and attempts to evaluate them against their usefulness for life. I also propose that the affirmation of the human body and the attribution of the highest value to it is essential to Yoga practice. Accordingly, the value of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika lies in the fact that it refrains from condemnation of the body whilst reminding us that "Hatha is for Raja". This recording was first put out on YouTube some time ago. We're repeating it here because it touches on many of the themes we want to explore in more detail in this series. [Free. 30 mins.]

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HUMAN INTERACTIONS: POWER DIFFERENTIALS, MASTER-SLAVE LIVED EXPERIENCE, OPEN RECEPTIVITY TO THE OTHER

November 18, 2015

In this podcast, I start by considering the nature of a compliment. This opens the door onto all the questions that human interactions give rise to and I sketch out some of them. In particular, I consider mutual recognition and the distorting effect that power differentials have on it. I relate this to the nature of the ego in the psychoanalytic sense and suggest how things could be better. Contemplation of the Other in Patanjali's spare style is, I suggest, emancipatory and not difficult, though elusive. Rumi, amongst others, made this very point. [Free. 18 minutes.]

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