LAO TZU: PART SEVEN

September 30, 2017

In this podcast, we consider Chapter Twelve of The Tao Te Ching. In this Chapter, Lao Tzu advises against sensory overload and excess in general. We contrast this approach with the Dionysian spirituality which uses excess, intoxication and the senses. We find that these seemingly contradictory approaches to living are not stark opposites and that Lao Tzu's advice, that we use a honed intuition to help us to know how and when to use the different modes of being available to us, is good. [Free. 25 minutes.]

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LAO TZU: PART SIX

September 16, 2017

In this podcast, we consider Chapter Eleven of The Tao Te Ching. This chapter deals with the uses of emptyness, not only in the sphere of practical life but also for meditation. [Free. 17 minutes.]

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YOGA’S COUNTER-CULTURAL ROOTS

November 11, 2016

In this podcast, we explore Yoga's counter-cultural roots in the ancient Saivite-Dionysian religion. [Free. 38 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 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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PATANJALI ON PRANAYAMA

September 20, 2015

This short podcast is stimulated by Yoga Sutras 2.49 to 2.52. In these few short aphorisms, Patanjali outlines four elements of pranayama.The first three prefigure the  much later Hatha Yoga pranayama of Svatmarama which is an operation of will upon the body, particularly upon rhythms of breath. The fourth pranayama is a more subtle breath disciplne which reveals the 'light'! [19 minutes. Free]

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ON YOGA POSTURES

September 10, 2015

This short podcast is one of our 'glossary' style talks. It elucidates Patanjali's take on asana as well as Svatmarama's as found in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and contrasts both of these with 'modern postural yoga'. I go on to suggest a particular approach to asana practice which I find to be fruitful. [11minutes. Free.]

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EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON? REALLY?

August 31, 2015

This short podcast takes a swipe at the current platitude that 'everything happens for a reason', characterising it a an escapist notion. [9 minutes. Free.]

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CHAOS AND COSMOS PART 2

August 31, 2015

In this seond part of four, the theme of the coincidence and mutual dependence of opposites comes to the fore. This is a theme central to the world-views of our three sages: Buddha, Lao Tzu and Heraclitus. Amongst particular opposites discussed are oneness and multiplicity, chaos and cosmos, high and low, nirvana and samsara and more. The discussion also considers language, human suffering and flourishing, interconnectedness and strategies for living.

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