Podcasts

There’s a joke that almost every time I open my mouth it gets archived here.

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. They’re uploaded once (or sometimes even twice) a week and are between 30-60 minutes long. I encourage you to follow along weekly. The podcasts are recorded at live events so you might hear coughing, airplanes, cars, sirens, laughter, and peoples’ questions—all part of the intimate experience.

This podcast has been created so that anyone can have instant access to Awake in the World. The podcast is made possible due to generous donations from members of the community. The archive goes back to 2011. Since that time, hundreds of thousands of people have deepened their practice by pressing play.

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

You can help the podcast reach more people by subscribing, rating, and commenting on iTunes.

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  • Lotus Sutra, Part 1

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    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. Recorded March 1, 2011.

  • What is the Great Meaning?

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    Roshi Enkyo gives a morning dharma talk during a weekend retreat with Centre of Gravity. Recorded at Hart House, Toronto on February 26, 2011.

  • Roshi Enkyo O'Hara on Zen Poetry

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    An incredible talk by Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara on Zen poetry and practice during her annual visit to Centre of Gravity. Enkyo Roshi is the abbot of Village Zendo in Manhattan (www.villagezendo.org). Recorded at Hart House, Toronto on February 25, 2011.

  • Eight Stages of Practice, Part 5 - Appreciation

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    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.

  • Brahmacharya (Wise Use of Sexual Energy)

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    Michael teaches the in-person ethics course on the wise use of energy (brahmacharya) - encountering all with respect and dignity. Recorded February 17, 2011.

  • Being With Others

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    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. Recorded at Centre of Gravity in Toronto on February 15, 2011.

  • Eight Stages of Practice, Part 4 - The Dry Place

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    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)

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    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. Please note, the recording cuts off at the end.

  • Eight Stages of Practice, Part 3 - Commitment and Flight

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    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 Feb. 01, 2011.

  • Eight Stages of Practice, Part 2

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    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 Jan. 25, 2011.

  • Eight Stages of Practice, Part 1

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    Drawing on Norman Fischer's essay on monastic practice & it's maturation, Michael talks about 8 stages that we all encounter during any relationship. Also, how we get wounded & repeat our relational wounds in our relationship with our body, with others & with our spiritual practice. Recorded Jan. 18, 2011.

  • Learning from the Insentient

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    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

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    Michael offers an introduction to the the five day silent New Year's Retreat. Michael 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

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    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

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    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 Dec 14, 2010.

  • Make this Country Safe for Poetry!

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    Annual Poetry Evening. Erin Robinsong, Sarah Selecky, Michael Stone read from their favourite poems. A wonderful evening of words to support practice. Recorded Nov. 30, 2010.

  • Spiritual Practice that Supports Community

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    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. Recorded November 16, 2010.

  • Your Inner Child Never Grows Up!

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    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 Nov 09, 2010.

  • When Thorns Grow in Our Practice

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    A talk and group exercise for working with thorns when they begin to grow on the branches of our practice and in our lives. Recorded Nov. 2, 2010.

  • Who Am I If Not This Mask?

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

  • Asking the Master

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    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 Oct 5, 2010.

  • I've Stopped: Can You?

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    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 Sept 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.

  • How Do You Use All Your Hands & Eyes?

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    Part two of Michael describing how to "enter the path of practice" and become a committed student at Centre of Gravity. Recorded Sept. 15, 2010.

  • Mountains Are Not Mountains

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    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.

  • Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind

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    Book Launch at the Shambhala Centre on Freeing the Body, Freeing the Mind: Yoga and Buddhism. Recorded Sept. 9, 2009.

  • Without Ideals of Violence

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    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. Jen Whitney teaches yoga and dharma with a small sangha in Brooklyn. She studied with Michael for many years as part of his mentorship program and is currently pursuing her MA and Ph.D. in Psychology at The New School.

  • Togethering

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    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 Oct 8, 2017.

  • Falling Down, Getting Up

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    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 Oct 7, 2017. Caitlin Lambstrom has studied with teachers in the Vipassana, Tibetan, and Zen traditions, and has received teacher training from Shambhala and the Interdependence Project in New York. She worked closely with Michael Stone since 2015 as part of his mentorship program and assisted him in teaching meditation on silent retreats and workshops, as well as working with students one-on-one. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband Nathan and their dog Basho.

  • We Practice Because We Forget

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    A discussion and talk Michael gave at the Yoga Festival Toronto with local teachers and studio owners. Toronto, Ontario. Recorded August 21, 2010.

  • The Creative Task of Performing One’s Life

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    Michael Stone provides a reflection on the retreat with Stephen & 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, at Centre of Gravity, Toronto, ON.

  • Symbols Of Awakening

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    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

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    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. Toronto, ON. Recorded May 4, 2017.

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

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    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. Toronto, Ontario. Recorded May 3, 2017.

  • Raw Fear is a Dot in Space

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    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. Green Bay, Wisconsin. Recorded March 28, 2017.

  • The Secular Buddha

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

  • Fear, Rebirth, and the 3 Insights

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    Describing how the Buddha met fear, Michael maps out how concentration practice unfolds, then offers a mind-opening view of rebirth and reincarnation. Wisconsin. Recorded March 26, 2017.

  • What Is This? Short Guided Meditation

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    An 8-minute guided meditation with Martine Batchelor. Centre of Gravity, Toronto. Recorded March 28, 2010.

  • From Fear to Sympathy

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    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 (jhana) practice. Wisconsin. Recorded March 26, 2017.

  • Fear, Dread & Anxiety: The Buddha in the Forest

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    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. Wisconsin. Recorded March 25, 2017.

  • 20 min. Guided Meditation on Thinking

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    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? Recorded 2017.

  • 20 min. Guided Meditation: Unstable Emotions

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    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. Recorded December 2017.

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

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    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. Recorded 2017.

  • 20 min. Guided Meditation: Tuning into Breath in the Nostrils

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    Tuning into breath in the nostrils to explore subtle sensations and bring mind into its natural state. Recorded 2017.

  • 20 min. Guided Meditation: Mindfulness of the Breathing Body

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    Mindfulness of the breathing body in the abdomen to settle thoughts. Recorded 2017.

  • 20 min. Guided Meditation: Receptive Listening

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    Using sound as an anchor to ground attention. Recorded 2017.

  • You Can’t Make A Person Into a Buddha

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    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? Moksha Westshore, B.C. Recorded February 18, 2017.

  • Spiritual Bypassing & Mindfulness of Thinking

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    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. Victoria, B.C. Recorded January 22, 2017.

  • 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. Victoria, B.C. Recorded January 19, 2017.

  • How We Practice in Family

    **BONUS** Michael Stone 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. This podcast is from our archive and was recorded November 23, 2013, in Toronto.