The joke used to be that every time Michael opened his mouth what he said was archived here. We couldn’t be more grateful for that now because it is one of the best ways Michael’s teachings will live on.

The Awake in the World podcast is the heart of the Community Library. Talks are on a wide-range of topics, including: bringing mindfulness and meditation practice into daily life; personal and community issues regarding mental health; and social change.

This podcast has been created so that anyone can have instant access to Michael’s teachings. It has been made possible due to generous donations from members of the community. In the six years that the podcast has been available, over half a million people have pressed play as a way to be more—like the name says—awake in the world.

Each podcast is between 30-60 minutes long. As always, you’re encouraged to follow along weekly as part of your practice. The podcasts were recorded at live events so you might hear coughing, airplanes, cars, sirens, laughter, and peoples’ questions—all part of the intimate experience.

You can listen to any of the podcasts on this page, on your mobile device through iTunes, or over on SoundCloud.

Lotus Sutra, Part 6: The Parable of the Prodigal Son

A son leaves his father and 50 years later the father finds ways of healing the son’s low self-esteem. You don’t have to be good or walk on your knees for a hundred miles, just love what you love.

Lotus Sutra, Part 5: Upaya & The Parable of the Burning House

Michael begins by discussing death and Japan’s earthquake. Using the image of the burning house and a father trying to save his children, he teaches how we need to leave our burning houses on our own steam, nobody can do it for us. The father in the parable, like the Buddha, uses skillful means to teach a path of freedom. And, is it ok to lie to uphold compassion?

Lotus Sutra, Part 4

Michael talks about Fukushima, Libya, and how lucky we are to practice in a place that is safe. The talk outlines how Mahayana Buddhism developed after the death of the Buddha with an emphasis on serving others and putting off personal enlightenment to serve the world. It ends with a moving story about a high school student rubbing the back of an elderly man at an evacuation centre in Japan.

In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon

Contemporary debates about intellectual property and the practices of meditation and yoga are both built around a questioning of ideas of property, ownership, self and other. In this talk, Marcus Boon, writer, journalist and Professor of English at York University in Toronto, explores the relationship between interdependence and imitation, on the yoga mat and off, along the way reflecting on recipes, hip-hop, file sharing, laughter, money, maternity, and practice.

Not Being Possessive and the Gift of Fearlessness

Michael gives a talk during the in-person ethics course about the precept of aparigraha and using our imagination. Recorded at Centre of Gravity, Toronto, on March 17, 2011.

Lotus Sutra, Part 3 – Skill and Wisdom

It’s not enough that our intentions are clear, our actions need to make a difference. Being a Bodhisattva means serving all beings including one’s self, yet this can only occur when we see all beings as Buddhas.

Lotus Sutra, Part 2

Michael introduces the first section of the Lotus Sutra where the Buddha casts a light from the centre of his eyebrows and wakes up 18,000 worlds. Is this a reminder that the light of the awakening goes everywhere, leaving nothing out? Maybe we can put off enlightenment in order to serve others.

Lotus Sutra, Part 1

Michael teaches the basics of Mahayana Buddhism, defines what a Bodhisattva is, and explains the context of the Lotus Sutra. This talk has a good description of the history of Mahayana Buddhism as it applies to waking up ourselves and others until every blade of grass is free.

Roshi Enkyo O’Hara on Zen Poetry

An incredible talk by Roshi Pat Enkyō O’Hara on Zen poetry and practice during her annual visit to Centre of Gravity. Recorded at Hart House, Toronto on February 25, 2011.

Eight Stages of Practice, Part 5 – Appreciation

After surviving “the dry place”, slowly our relationship transforms and appreciation arises. Appreciation leads to love and finally to letting go. Recorded on February 22, 2011.

Being With Others

Cathleen Hoskins, Psychotherapist/Philosopher, gives a lecture on the work of Martin Heidegger, philosophy, interconnectivity and being. Martin Heidegger is widely acknowledged as an original and important, yet controversial, philosopher in the 20th century.

Eight Stages of Practice, Part 4 – The Dry Place

Michael begins talking about the reasons for bowing. Then he dives into what it’s like to be caught in the dry place during relationship with practice and with others. Fear and its transformation. How to heal the wounds of abandonment. Recorded February 8, 2011.

Not Stealing (Asteya)

Michael teaches the ethics course and discusses not-stealing, right after his computer is stolen at the NYC airport. Not taking what is not given freely and being satisfied with what we have. Recorded February 3, 2011.

Eight Stages of Practice, Part 3

Michael goes through detailed instructions on sitting meditation posture and talks about lineage. Then he discusses our urges to run away when commitment arises and how commitment has departure built into it. Recorded February 1, 2011.

Eight Stages of Practice, Part 2

Drawing on Norman Fischer’s essay Michael explores how the honeymoon period of practice comes to an end and about the ten obstacles that show up which we tend to miss in deep practice. Psychologically, there are so many ways we get caught in practice and can’t see how we are caught. Recorded January 25, 2011.

Eight Stages of Practice, Part 1

Drawing on Norman Fischer’s essay on monastic practice and it’s maturation, Michael talks about the eight stages that we all encounter during any relationship. He discusses how we get wounded and repeat our relational wounds in our relationship with our body with others and with our spiritual practice.

Learning from the Insentient

Drawing on Instructions to the Cook, Michael offers a talk on the teachings of the insentient. The snow and silence are teaching us. Can you give attention to the way the insentient teaches us? Recorded December 29, 2010.

The Way Seeking Heart

Michael offers an introduction to the annual five-day New Year’s Silent Meditation Retreat. He talks about what can show up on retreat and Dogen’s idea of the Way Seeking Heart. Recorded December 28, 2010.

The Stages of Meditation Practice, Part 2

Michael talks about how the person in us who is sick has the resources to take care of the parts of us that are not sick. This paradox is the entry point of maturing meditation practice. Recorded December 21, 2010.

The Stages of Meditation Practice, Part 1

Michael begins talking about the snow and the differences between people and birds and then ends up speaking about the map of what to look for in meditation practice over time. Recorded December 14, 2010.

Make this Country Safe for Poetry!

A recording of the annual poetry evening at Centre of Gravity. Erin Robinsong, Sarah Selecky, Michael read from their favourite poems – a wonderful evening of words to support practice. Recorded November 30, 2010.

Spiritual Practice that Supports Community

Michael talks about the G20, the power of shared attention, and how letting go of fixed views opens us up to community. When we are attentive to suffering we are more tender and connected. A self connected with others is a political self.

Your Inner Child Never Grows Up!

A talk by Michael on how even the best meditators have old wounds that need attention. He talks about how we need support for working with old patterns of our psychology that spiritual practices may not reach. Recorded November 9, 2010.

Who Am I If Not This Mask?

Michael continues his month-long discussion about masks and how they shouldn’t stick to your face. He gives the sangha some homework. Recorded October 11, 2010.

Asking the Master

Michael introduces Case 12 of the Mumonkon, “The Master”. He ties waking up with social action and the teachings of the Burmese Monks who visited the evening prior. A funny and lively talk with practices you can use in your life. Recorded October 5, 2010.

I’ve Stopped: Can You?

Michael tells the story of Angulimala, a murderer who met the Buddha and changed his ways though was still stoned to death. This teaching illustrates how we are never free of karma and that our conduct always shapes our lives. Recorded September 28, 2010.

Deeply Secret Mind

Jen Whitney investigates a favourite koan of hers and relates it to the passing of Michael and how the community can move forward from here. Recorded at the Eight-Day Silent Meditation Retreat in France, August 2017.

Mountains Are Not Mountains

Jen Whitney explores the famous saying by Seigen Ishin, integrating the wisdom of poet David Budbill. Recorded at the Eight-Day Silent Meditation Retreat in France, August 2017.

Without Ideals of Violence

Jen Whitney discusses working with ideals, expectations, and perfection, and turning towards it with love. Recorded at the Eight-Day Silent Meditation Retreat in France, August 2017.


During a weekend retreat in Michael’s honour, Carina Stone speaks about how practice shows up as both a scaffolding for loss and as the path forward. She responds to the questions what do we do now and why do we practice in light of his unique struggles and death. Recorded in Victoria, BC on October 8, 2017.

Falling Down, Getting Up

Caitlin Lambstrom remembers Michael and what he taught her: that practice is not a way to transcend our humanness, but to embrace it.  Awakening is not an end goal, but a possibility that exists in each moment – even the painful ones. Recorded on retreat in Victoria, BC on October 7, 2017.

The Creative Task of Performing One’s Life

Michael provides a reflection on the retreat with Stephen and Martine Batchelor. He speaks to making a practice of our lives where all our roles, our actions are interconnected. Michael examines the end of the first chapter of the Yoga Sutra. Recorded March 30, 2010.

Symbols of Awakening

Martine Batchelor explains and explores ceremonial offerings in Korean Zen practice. Recorded March 28, 2010, at Centre of Gravity in Toronto, Ontario. Martine Batchelor, a former Buddhist nun, studied Zen Buddhism under the guidance of Kusan Sunim and is the author of several books.

Mindfulness in the Classroom

Gifted school teacher Kristie Burnett offers a funny and brilliant presentation on how she brings meditative practices to kids. She describes class plans, games, managing emotions, rethinking the role of a teacher, collaboration, problem-solving, and how to model mindfulness with young people and why. Recorded May 4, 2017.

Aim & Allow: How Mindfulness of Breathing Helps Us Manage Expectations

In meditation we need ‘initial application of attention’ then ‘sustained application’ so that we cultivate a spacious field in which thoughts and sensations can come and go. Sometimes blessings are all over the place and we miss them. Recorded May 3, 2017.

Raw Fear is a Dot in Space

More people are afraid of uncertainty than they are of physical pain. If we do something about our own pain, we can connect with the pain of others. 50% of our practice should be inward and 50% in our environment. Recorded in Green Bay, Wisconsin on March 28, 2017.

The Secular Buddha

Stephen Batchelor reflects upon secular Buddhism and revisits the Four Noble Truths, primary Buddhist ideals, assumptions, and dogmas. Recorded March 28, 2010.

From Fear to Sympathy

How to meet others who are in fear or anxiety, how to help anxious kids, how to validate the feelings of other people without exacerbating what’s going on for them, and how to develop concentration practice.

Fear, Dread & Anxiety: The Buddha in the Forest

On retreat, Michael speaks about the Buddha’s instructions for practicing alone in the wilderness, how past actions haunt the body, how to turn towards anxiety and a moving story about his son and autism. Recorded March 25, 2017, in Wisconsin.

20 min. Guided Meditation on Thinking

For the purposes of meditation, what you’re thinking about is not important. But as we pay attention to thinking in meditation, you might notice other aspects of the process of thinking besides the content. So, for example, if you’re thinking words or images, what’s the quality of the inner voice? What’s the quality of the pictures that you see?

20 min. Guided Meditation: Unstable Emotions

See if you can find out where in your body that emotional state or mood is most manifested, most expressed. What sensations or feelings in your body let you know that you’re having this emotional state? See if you can notice how the emotional state is expressed through your body, through sensations in your body.

20 min. Guided Meditation: Feeling the Sensations of the Body

Nothing needs to be refused. Let the breath travel the body without picking up speed. The clouds of thought haul across the sky. Let them come and go. Let the breath move the way blood moves: let it find its own rhythm.

You Can’t Make A Person Into a Buddha

Michael explores practicing without an idea of gain, the Universal Self, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Pattabhi Jois, the Buddha and Shunryu Suzuki. How can you blend your breath with the larger self? Recorded at Moksha Westshore on February 18, 2017.

Spiritual Bypassing & Mindfulness of Thinking

Michael integrates a discussion of spiritual bypassing (using practice to avoid dealing with painful feelings and unresolved emotional habits) with a teaching on using labeling to let go of ruminating thoughts and overthinking.

My Body is My Teacher Now

How to not leave your body, even when it feels untrustworthy. We can always turn to the body in pain, grief, and even in altered states of consciousness. Anxiety, compassion, and equanimity always play out in your body.

How We Practice in Family

Michael and Matthew Remski read personal letters they wrote to each other as expectant fathers. These letters later become their co-authored book, Family Wakes Us Up. They explore their process as fathers, as parents, and as two people integrating spiritual practice and the demands of parenting.

Not Picking & Choosing

Michael uses an old Zen tale, a troubled story about him falling in love with his wife, and quotes from Shunryu Suzuki, to describe the practice of not-knowing and not holding onto anything. He ends with a very interesting and subtle meditation instruction on breathing.

Seals, Owls & Letting Go of Destructive Relationships

Michael explores the sensitive topic of knowing when to pull out of relationships, kindness to one’s self, emptiness, love, and a story about appreciating that you and others are divine.

From Blame to Gratitude

Michael unpacks different kinds of blame, both inward and outward, followed by a description of projection and the link between blame and projection and how they cover over underlying feelings. Then he describes how we can make room for gratitude, as taught in the Tibetan Lojong teachings.

Turning Things Around

Tibetan Buddhist Teachings for transforming what’s unpleasant, letting go of grasping, and the 3 treasures of awakening, reality and community. Recorded in Portland, Oregon on December 4, 2016.

Tonglen: Sending & Receiving Practice

A talk, followed by a guided meditation on inhaling suffering and exhaling peace. A practice of learning how to exchange your happiness for someone else’s suffering – how to train your heart to do what it doesn’t want to do.

Not Giving Up On Ourselves & Fully Inhabiting Our Lives

What’s happening right now in our lives can be the raw material that shows us the path of awakening & compassion. In Portland, Michael teaches from the Lojong Training in Compassion.  Recorded in Portland, Oregon on December 2, 2016.

I Can’t Say, I Can’t Say

In Berlin Michael talks about Zen Case 55 of the Blue Cliff Record “Tao Wu’s Condolence Call.” He talks about the Yoga Sutra, not being afraid, and how an awakened person has a very wide palette of emotion, it’s just they don’t grasp so much.

Superhero Practice: Balanced Energy, Improvisation, and The Vow to Serve Others

A ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what ships are built to do. Michael talks about the ways that we can balance calmness with vitality, how not to be afraid of our power, and how balanced energy can have superhero qualities.

What Do You Do When People Fall Down?

Using a Zen koan about the Pang family, Michael talks about wholehearted activity, compassion, and throwing yourself to the ground when someone falls down. He ties this into the refugee situation in Europe, racism, and how to take compassionate action when we have no idea what to do.

The Self Has No Self: What to do with the Ego?

Describing the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th limbs of yoga, Michael offers a very clear talk on the self, the ego and the emptiness of what we cling to. At the core of the personality we are trying to create permanence because we’re trying to come to terms with how fluid things really are.

Allowing For Experience: Practicing Non-Separation

Michael lectures on the end of 2nd chapter of the Yoga-Sutra and then gets into a very precise mapping of what happens to the ego when you get into deeper states of calm and how to practice without dissociating.

I Saw You Fall, So I Helped

Based on a Zen story, Michael talks about wholehearted activity, compassion, and throwing yourself to the ground when someone falls. He ties this into the refugee situation in Europe, racism, and how to take compassionate action when we have no idea what to do.

Ethics, Forgiveness, Breathing, and the Body

Michael speaks about the ways that being mindful of the body helps us make ethical choices and how our hostility and poor conduct only happen when we have lost track of the body. An interesting exploration at the nexus of ethics and breathing.

Deeper & Deeper Patience

Michael speaks about composure, waiting 5 breaths when we are aggravated, and how patience is not about waiting for something, it’s really a matter of being where you are. The talk begins with a story about his young son and ends with a sing-along. 

Healing Trauma Through the Body

Michael suggests that you need to get deeper than cognition and stories, in order to heal trauma. It’s what we have created in the wake of painful events, that need healing. Knowing when to name our symptoms and then when to drop the pathology.

Symptoms of Trauma

Michael details fear, dissociation, and shame, and how they impact the body, mind, and relationships. Very clear talk about the strategies we use to protect ourselves and create recognizable symptoms. Michael ends with a story about generational trauma.


A tender and personal talk Michael gives during silent retreat about his father, forgiveness, and how we need to practice forgiveness all the time. He talks about how, and why. He talks about the painter Hellen Frankenthaller’s death and practicing in good times and bad.

Love: Sometimes We Can Really Show Up

An hour before New Year’s Michael gives a quiet talk on the Heart Sutra and Forgiveness. “When I hold someone’s hand as they are dying I chant the Heart Sutra. Or when I watch my son sleeping.” A tender and quiet talk on silent retreat.

Learn How to Stop Breaking Things

Michael gives a talk on New Year’s Silent Retreat on Dogen and how to practice meditation without memory and imagination. Learn to step back and turn your light inwards. Living in your small grass hut, covered in weeds.

Being Independent in our Practice

**BONUS** Michael Stone talks on silent retreat about how meditation works over the long-haul, how to practice with a teacher that encourages independence, and how to live without gain. This is the second last talk of the year and the group was in deep silent practice, and it was snowing.

Speaking Up, Resilience, Non-Grasping

Michael Stone talks during the New Year’s Silent Meditation Retreat about the depth of meditation, an old koan about bowing, Zen master Dogen, and Edward Snowden. This powerful talk wraps up 2013.

Letting Go of Expectations & Having the Last Word

Michael begins teaching concentration technique by aligning attention and the body. Recognizing expectations we have for ourselves and others and how grasping creates suffering. Not allowing others to change. The more you seek enlightenment the further it goes away.

Blending Traditions: Yoga & Buddhism

A community talk at Tassajara Monastery with Michael Stone & Zen teacher Paul Haller. They each share some of their biography and field questions about practice. Paul shares from his 40 years of Zen practice.

The Deep Request: 30 Minute Guided Meditation w/ Paul Haller

Followed by a talk on how meditation unfolds, and how to use the space of meditation to investigate experience. Recorded on retreat co-taught with Michael Stone, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California.

Carl Jung & Meditation Practice, Part 4 of 4

Michael talks about feeling the breath; the limits of Jung’s ideas of images; how to go beyond internal dialogue and how Jung falls apart for 2 years and how he deals with it. Recorded on September 25, 2012.

Carl Jung & Meditation Practice, Part 3 of 4

Michael explores happiness; how the Buddha saw a “self” as creative and not destined by fate or individuation. Become who you are. As we drop into practice, happiness is a by-product, not a goal. Recorded on September 18, 2012.

Carl Jung & Meditation Practice, Part 2 of 4

Michael explores what it’s like to feel like two people; how Jung felt alone as a kid; the place of religious images in life as a child; how do we relate to the vastness of the unconscious and memory; the gods are on the inside now. This dharma talk is from our archive and was recorded September 11, 2012.

Carl Jung & Meditation Practice, Part 1 of 4

Michael talks about Jung and Freud’s split, dreams, work, the unconscious as a process of compensation, madness and meditation, and what it’s like going into cellars. This dharma talk is from our archive and was recorded September 4, 2012.

30 Minute Guided Meditation w/ Paul Haller

Zen teacher Paul Haller guides a gentle and clear meditation on noticing what it is to attend to experience. Recorded on retreat co-taught with Michael Stone, Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, California in June 2016.

No Attributes: How Do You Know If Someone Is Awake? (Diamond Sutra 6 of 6)

Because the Self is absent when we are awake, we cannot know if we are awake because we are one with our activity. So how do we know when someone is awake? Isn’t it all projection? This is the final talk in our Diamond Sutra series recorded at Spirit Loft in Toronto in June 2016.

Life is Hard w/ Norman Fischer

Love and compassion are necessities for basic sustainability. Norman Fischer gives a lecture to a packed house in Toronto on the importance of love, care, and ordinary suffering. This episode is from our archive and was recorded March 16, 2014.

The Discipline of Relationship w/ Norman Fischer

Norman Fischer talks on not speaking destructively, not criticizing the faults of others, and working with conflict. This episode is from our archive and was recorded March 16, 2014.

You Can’t Get Anywhere With Meditation! w/ Norman Fischer

Norman Fischer facilitates discussion about meditation, prayer, loss, compassion to oneself, and the liberation of sitting still even when it seems useless. This episode is from our archive and was recorded March 16, 2014.

Letting Go of Control (Diamond Sutra 5)

There are hungers we just can’t satisfy. So how can we open to desire without grasping? There’s no satisfaction at the end of the money or fame path. Meditation is controlling your posture and mind in order to let go of control. Spirit Loft, Toronto.

Labeling Thoughts & Acknowledging What’s Present (Diamond Sutra 4)

Michael talks about wedding Vows in community, labeling our thoughts so we can honour them, and how generosity is about the way we give our attention. The most profound gift we can give others is our attention. It’s a form of love. Spirit Loft, Toronto.

Attuning to Ourselves & Others (Diamond Sutra 3)

The benefit of our practice must be wider than the benefit to our body. How wide do you draw the circle of self? Self-soothing. Michael talks about “a secure base” and how to manage reactivity that’s both inside and outside. Spirit Loft, Toronto.

How Does a Buddha Stand, Walk & Control Thoughts? (Diamond Sutra 2)

What does being alive feel like? Michael tells the story of Subhuti and the questions he asks the Buddha about how to practice. Haven’t we been blessed with greatest of trusts? Aren’t we all blessed? Isn’t meditation learning how to trust? Spirit Loft, Toronto.

The Diamond of Practice (Diamond Sutra 1)

The first in a series of six talks on the Diamond Sutra. Michael speaks on the three aspects of ourselves we can let go of through practice: Possessiveness (This is mine); Conceit (This is me); and Beliefs about what the self is (This is what I am). He connects this to both meditation practice, daily life, and the teachings of the Diamond Sutra. Mental states are not inherently fixed, and you can hold them much lighter than you are now.

Can You Return to the Breath?

As the breath becomes smooth and slow, the mind settles and we become less interested in wanting “an experience.” Be kind to yourself, cultivate an un-agitated heart, and live a life that connects. London.

Anxiety & Meditation

Michael explains how we can cultivate a field in which anxiety can arise and change, surrounded by spaciousness. We have forces of good inside us, we aren’t fated to live out our history, and we are loveable just as we are. London.

Labeling & Noting Thoughts

How to meditate when your are thinking a lot. Michael also explores language and emotions in children and how this gets internalized in adults. A very clear talk on mindfulness practices for transforming overthinking and identification with thoughts.

Not Identifying With Your Moods

How to become interested in how the mind functions rather than being caught in the content of our stories. Meditation is a physical practice and we use breathing to settle the mind and heart.

Mindfulness of Mental States

In Meditation Facilitation Program Michael explores how: mind states are not inherently fixed; you can hold mind states lightly; moods are phenomena, not who you are, and; you can sculpt your attitude.

Training Your Heart (Lojong Teachings #6)

1.) What was your first experience of solitude, and 2.) What were your first experiences of being with others? The best thing we can leave our kids is to show how we loved.

Training Your Heart (Lojong Teachings #4): Compassion in a Tough World

Michael starts out linking Aylan Kurdi’s body washing up on shore in Greece, with unemployment, austerity, and our interconnection. How do we wake up in the middle of confusion? He then talks about emptiness as a practice of not-knowing, and how to work with confusion.

Mindfulness of Feeling Tone

Michael teaches the 2nd foundation of mindfulness and how all of our experiences comes down to pleasant and unpleasant tone in the body and how important it is that we know how to feel the unpleasant. He also speaks about anger and how a heightened awareness in the middle of our original pain can free us.

Mindfulness of the Breath & Taking the Backwards Step

Learning how to be present with an un-agitated heart. Meditation teaches us to be wiser with what’s difficult. Embodying our meditative practice by learning how to stop and see clearly.

Appreciation & Joy

Michael teaches a group of clinicians (with Brian Williams) on the Buddhist teaching of Mudita – Appreciative Joy. He speaks of the ways that joy is contagious and how we can train to notice it more often.

15 Minute Guided Tonglen Meditation

This is instruction for a meditation practice called tonglen. Tonglen is a Tibetan term that means giving and receiving. In this practice you send out happiness to others and you take in any suffering that others feel. (Lojong Teachings #2)

Training Your Heart (Lojong Teachings #1)

Michael teaches Tibetan practices for training in empathy: Turning what’s arising into the path, see everything as a dream, don’t get stuck on peace, rest in an open mind, and after meditation just become a beginner.

Making Friends with Your Mind

Meditation, how the mind functions, and contra-indications for meditation are the subject of this talk. Michael explores karma and also the delay of gratification, borderline personality, and the difference between practices that uncover repression and practices that strengthen the personality in helpful ways.

Stabilizing Our Cluttered Minds In A Digital Age

Michael explores the way “interruption technologies” like phones and messaging etiquette, create hyper-arousal in the body and mind and de-stabilize emotions. He connects this research with practical things we can do at home to stabilize our minds and re-establish depth in relationships.

Standing Motionless

Michael talks about the goal of practice as being yourself. He tells the Zen story of T’ing being slapped and explores trusting yourself, not telling black and white stories about those we love and hate, and how meditation is the same as art.

Heaven Realms, Hell Realms, And Protection

First day of retreat Michael talks about walking meditation, bowing, and practice tips for going deeper on retreat. The talk ends with a beautiful description of Samadhi and how concentration can protect us.

Jewish Prayer

Rabbi Miriam Margles leads beautiful morning prayers (in Hebrew & English) during the Jewish-Buddhist retreat exploring the intersection of practices & teachings from both traditions, co-taught with Michael.

Opening To Fear

During a Jewish-Buddhist retreat Michael speaks about fear of failure, fear of disappointing others and being scared of missing out. He begins by talking about the death of writer Oliver Sacks. 

Mindfulness Of Breathing Part 9 – Turning the Body Into A Ballast

Final talk about relaxing the breath to settle the mind. Noticing how when we go on line to “rest” we end up over-stimulating ourselves and lose track of what we feel and our emotions become unstable.

Mindfulness Of Breathing Part 7

Did you cut my shoelaces? Q & A about different forms of meditation for different people. Michael tells some funny stories about his son and practicing mindfulness in family. He also talks about mindfulness at work.

Mindfulness of Breathing Part 6

Michael talks on finding the sane part of the breath, seeing how all thoughts pivot around a construct of “me,” and how to cultivate a non-reactive mind. Also, the way there are many conditions that give rise to depression or psychosis, and how to actually see that backdrop to our mental states.

Mindful Breathing Part 5 (Anapanasati)

Michael goes into detail about emptiness, working with shame, connecting with the emotional body in order to transform traumatic scars, and how to connect with the depth of the breathing body with concentration and safety. Also, how reconciliation does not heal trauma.

Mindful Breathing Part 4 (Anapanasati)

Michael maps out how meditation based on concentration can bring intense pleasure and joy (piti) and how for some students these levels of concentration (jhana) can reveal deeper levels of holding and/or old trauma. Then he details how trauma works: we will do anything not to be re-traumatized, we dissociate, and shame emerges.

Stabilizing Ourselves In The Digital Age

A public lecture about the effect of phones, the internet, and digital media on our minds and relationships. Michael offers very practical tools for managing our minds in an era of information overload.

Mindful Breathing Part 3 (Anapanasati)

Michael maps out the first two levels of concentration (jhanas); the importance of not being too awake; and a very different approach to working with strong emotions like anger but leaving it alone.

Mindful Breathing Part 2 (Anapanasati)

Michael explains the first level of concentration that emerges when the mind settles (first jhana). Also: distinguishing concentration from mindfulness in the Buddhist and Yoga Sutra traditions.

Mindful Breathing Part 1 (Anapanasati)

Michael offers instruction on the Buddha’s teachings of mindfulness on the breath: learning how to let the breath be natural; what happens when joy arises and various energies appear in the body during deeper levels of concentration; and how to our mind tends to move in loops and what we can do about it.

Chanting For Ill And Dying Species

Chanting for Ill and Dying Species. On the last night of silent retreat in Cubjac, France, the community chanted outdoors for all ill and dying species. Based on a traditional Buddhist chant for humans, we translated it for other living beings. Led by Emilie Lindsten & Michael Stone.


Rose Riccio gives her first dharma talk on retreat exploring the Ox-herding images and how there are 84,000 gates into practice, and you only have to enter one.

Intimacy, Transmission & Awakening – The 10 Ox Herding Pictures (Part 6 of 6)

Michael gives a series of 6 profound talks during silent retreat on the Zen Ox-Herding images & poems. You can feel the depth of this r