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YOGA REGULATION? NO THANKS

YOGA REGULATION? NO THANKS

September 13, 2016

This podcast addresses a situation current on planet Yoga in the UK and will be of special interest to UK Yoga teachers and teacher trainers. The situation I allude to is the decision made by a government licensed body [Skills Active]  in conjunction with the British Wheel of Yoga to institute a 'National Occupational Standard' [NOS] for a Yoga teacher. This was attempted 12 years ago and didn't succeed, most likely because of considerable opposition from the Yoga Community. I give an outline of the history and the players in this mad game and then demonstrate that Yoga should not be regulated by any governmental agency or narrow interest. Rather, I contend, it is necessarily diverse and therefore beyond the scope of regulation. I then give an account of the Independent Yoga Network which was set up 12 years ago in the face of the first attempt at NOS to defend freedom and diversity and promote Yoga.  [Free. 44 minutes.]

A CRUEL DECEPTION: THE MANUFACTURE OF DISCONTENT AND THE SPIRITUAL SUPERMARKET

A CRUEL DECEPTION: THE MANUFACTURE OF DISCONTENT AND THE SPIRITUAL SUPERMARKET

August 26, 2016

In this podcast, I take issue with a couple of examples of a common new age trope that promises the fulfillment all your desires easily if only you partake of this or that snake oil. I assert that this idiocy both exaggerates and underestimates the promise of meditational quietness given that its motivations lie in a quest for profit and influence. The discussion briefly explores will, desire, the tendency to wish-fulfillment fantasy and suggests what the real possibilities for meditation might be. [Free. 18 minutes.]

ENERGY MEDITATION

ENERGY MEDITATION

August 5, 2016

Energy meditation outlined: as the anti-dote to dogmatism, as the revelation of the dance of things, as the loosening of identity, as the revelation of our perspectival condition. It's role in giving sparkle to letting-be, mind meditation is considered. Focused awareness is compared with spacious awareness. The koan of non-doing is encountered and the passion of life becomes the fuel for easeful meditation. The use of bardos of any kind (including those between moments) to leap into freedom is hinted at. [Free. 52 minutes.]

YOGA AND ANATOMY

YOGA AND ANATOMY

June 11, 2016

This squib questions the relevance of anatomical study to the practice of Hatha Yoga and the training of 'yoga teachers'. Warning: lots of swearing. [Free. 33 minutes.]

TRAVELLING LIGHT

TRAVELLING LIGHT

June 1, 2016

We started this podcast with no topic in mind. Consequently it meanders from a consideration of the plasticity of mind through the matter of the historical variety of cultures and the character formations they produce and require, on through a story about our current situation in which consumerist capitalism requires hyper-individualism as the preferred human character, on through a narrative connecting discomfort with this plasticity with social conservatism and the metaphysics of stasis. Somewhere amongst this, we remember childhood and celebrate and recommend travelling light. [Free. 51 minutes.]

CHAOS AND COSMOS PART FOUR

CHAOS AND COSMOS PART FOUR

May 17, 2016

Here, somewhat belatedly, is the final part of Chaos and Cosmos, a talk given at Parkdale in 2015. The main thrust of this part of the talk is to abstract the practicalities implicit in the discourse thus far for practitioners of meditation and creativity. We also hear about Taliesin's shit-or-bust attempt to win the high priestess.

For the sake of intelligibility, I've pruned some labyrinthine Q and A and ribald interaction. The other three episodes are still on this site as you'll find if you go back a bit. [Free. 30 minutes.]
THE ROLE OF THE ‘SPIRITUAL MASTER’?

THE ROLE OF THE ‘SPIRITUAL MASTER’?

April 26, 2016

In this podcast a specific instance of the authoritarianism that often accompanies spiritual culture is treated critically. Listeners are urged to value their autonomy and hone, not repress, their critical faculties because both of these are conditions for spiritual inquiry to take place at all. [Free. 15 minutes.]

ON RUTS: REPETITIVE PATTERNS OF THOUGHT, FEELING AND BEHAVIOUR & THEIR RAMIFICATIONS

ON RUTS: REPETITIVE PATTERNS OF THOUGHT, FEELING AND BEHAVIOUR & THEIR RAMIFICATIONS

March 1, 2016

This short ramble investigates 'ruts' or repetitive patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour and how some are necessary and others cause us to suffer and to be discontected from the glory of life. I make the observation that in many cases, such patterns are held in place by our very own expenditure of energy to the extent that they become a part of our identity. Refraining from this expenditure, i.e. relaxing and forgetting, is often sufficient to rlease us from the suffering of endless circling. [Free. 19 minutes.]

THINKING ABOUT THINKING [PART ONE]

THINKING ABOUT THINKING [PART ONE]

January 22, 2016

In this podcast, Anna and I engage with a subject that we have been gnawing upon for many years, namely, the nature, scope and potential of thought and how it is intimately entwined with spirituality. We take issue with those who recommend the exclusion of thought from spiritual life and who see it as inimical to meditation. By contrast, we celebrate thought and relish the manfold vistas it opens up for us. This is a vast and juicy field and we will return to it!  [Free. 47 minutes.]

NIETZSCHE, GURDJIEFF AND DISGUST AT MAN

NIETZSCHE, GURDJIEFF AND DISGUST AT MAN

January 1, 2016

In this podcast, we discuss Nietzsche's 'disgust at man' and Gurdjieff's 'horror of the situation'. Both of these, it seems, are due to a propensity on the part of humans to succumb to mass hypnosis, which can nevertheless be avoided. [Free. 32 minutes.]

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