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Podcast Profile: The Contemplative Science Podcast

podcast imageTwitter: @PredictiveLife@jamie_slevin (@PredictiveLife followed by 39 philosophers)
Site: www.thecontemplativescientists.com
37 episodes
2022
Average episode: 32 minutes
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Categories: Interview-Style • Two Hosts

Podcaster's summary: What can cutting-edge science tell us about spiritual development? And how are ancient contemplative practices helping us to investigate the nature of well-being? On The Contemplative Science Podcast, hosts Dr. Mark Miller and Jamie Slevin speak with the real experts, from Monks to Neuroscientists, to get clear on how contemplative practices work and how they might help us improve our lives. Brought to you by Monash University’s Center for Consciousness and Contemplative Studies, our diverse range of guests will cover everything from mindfulness and wisdom, to sex, death and enlightenment.

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List Updated: 2022-Dec-07 12:35 UTC. Episodes: 37. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Dec-06 • 31 minutes
The Dark Knight of the Soul
The Dark Knight of the Soul is a unique, scary and transformative experience | On a quest to track the history and improve the resources on the Dark Knight is Nathan Fisher, PhD student at University of California Santa Barbara. | Nathan is an expert on the texts and phenomenology of these states in Abrahamic traditions and Buddhism, diving into the intricacies of how mystic traditions meet with modern day clinical practice. | Today, he outlines how these experiences occur, the potential for empirical resea...
2022-Nov-30 • 33 minutes
Constructing Our Lives: with Dr Shamil Chandaria
Meditation is about getting to grips with the way we construct the world. | Today we are delighted to welcome Dr Shamil Chandaria from the Centre for Eudaimonia and Human Flourishing at University of Oxford. | An expert in his field, Shamil leads us on an investigative journey into predictive processing and its implications for perception and spiritual practice. | Touching on Bayesian models, priors, dereification, Buddhist philosophies, Amor Fati and homeostatic control - our conversation today is packed w...
2022-Nov-22 • 32 minutes
Spirituality and Psychic Abilities
What links spirituality and psychic ability with diet? | Here to explore the topic of his pioneering PhD is Michael Daw of Northampton University. | Michael outlines a long history of the connectedness of dietary practice (veganism, vegetarianism and fasting) with spiritual tradition, from Shamanism to the Abrahamic religions. | Talking us through different types of psychic ability and the prevalence of scientific research, our conversation uncovers details about Extra Sensory Perception and spirituality - ...
2022-Nov-09 • 33 minutes
Jhāna and Peak Experiences
Let's talk about Jhāna, some of the peak experiences on the spiritual journey.  | Here to lead us on a journey into these peak experiences is cognitive neuroscientist and wellbeing aficionado Jonas Mago. | Jonas is currently pursuing doctoral studies at McGill University, diving into the various cognitive mechanisms that underlie human flourishing. | He reflects on findings and anecdotes from his pioneering research: exploring Jhāna as a refined ability to ‘slip into a pocket’ of deep concentration, wi...
2022-Nov-01 • 36 minutes
Mental Health and Buddhism: with Dr Elli Weisbaum
Will Buddhism improve your mental health? | Dr Elli Weisbaum is a Toronto based mindfulness practitioner and teacher who attended her first retreat with scholar, Zen Master and Nobel Peace prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh at the age of ten. | Today, she takes us through the potential benefits (and limitations) of pursuing Buddhism for the sake of our mental health, the suprising misconceptions around around Buddhism and shares her story of spending time at the famous Plum Village. 
2022-Oct-18 • 29 minutes
The Dark Side of Meditation
Meditation does not always yield positive results. | Joining today to talk us through the ‘Dark Side of Meditation’ is Christine Kupfer. | Medical anthropologist and expert in Rabindranath Tagore's philosophy, Christine breaks down how meditation practice is often perceived as a cure-all for productivity, happiness, spiritual fulfilment. | In reality, people can suffer from experiences of non-shared reality: spiritual crisis. | We explore its many facets, incorporating Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and clinic...
2022-Oct-11 • 33 minutes
Psychedelics and Spiritual Traditions
What exactly is the role of Psychedelics in the development of the world's spiritual traditions? | Joining today is researcher and co-founder of Eudelics, Dr Richard Chambers. | Richard illuminates a history of psychedelic traditions, its suppression over many years by religious groups and governments, and its potential for exploring higher consciousness in safe and mindful settings. | Touching on neuroplasticity, his particular interest in psychedelics for leadership development, and the cross-over of Hind...
2022-Oct-04 • 34 minutes
Flow States and Meta-Awareness: w/ Dr Dave Vago
How can we define meta-awareness? | Today’s episode is a deep dive into all things connected to non-dual awareness, led by cognitive expert Dr David Vago. | We explore flow states, brain-body environment dynamics, concentration practice, meditation, depression, compassion… | Packed with cognitive research, varying perspectives of ‘self’ and references to the work of Benjamin Libet and previous guest Evan Thompson, David presents a fascinating insight into how to define the secondary interpretation of our ex...
2022-Sep-27 • 31 minutes
You are Not Your Brain
You are not your brain.  | Today we are joined by Dr Jeffrey Schwartz - one of the world’s leading experts in neuroplasticity and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  | Jeffrey’s publications include You Are Not Your Brain and Brain Lock. | Referencing Socrates, George Gurdjieff and Søren Kierkegaard, Jeffery here walks us through the state of play of modern neuroscience and the inner workings of OCD. | Listen in for a unique perspective into the nature of the human mind.
2022-Sep-20 • 33 minutes
The Mindful College Student
Suffering isn’t new - but mindfulness can help. | Joining to uncover the reasons and remedies for rising stress levels in young people, is Dr Eric Loucks. | Professor, researcher and pioneer in the study of mindfulness and health, Eric recently authored The Mindful College Student - based on work that sees him teach and study the impact of introducing mindfulness to year groups who are still in cognitive development! | Our discussion today picks apart the challenges of his research, the importance of the pr...
2022-Aug-30 • 31 minutes
Understanding Anxiety
What are the mechanics of anxiety? How can we understand and alleviate it? | Here to share her insights on this enduring issue is Lynn Koerbel. | Author, bodywork therapist and Assistant Professor at Brown University, Lynn has dedicated herself to combating mental health issues through movement and mindfulness. | Join us as we uncover the methods of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Kashmir Shavaism and a myriad of anecdotes, research findings and practical takeaways.
2022-Aug-23 • 32 minutes
Compassion, Wisdom and Training
Is compassion something you can train? | Absolutely, according to today’s guest Dr Paul Condon. | Co-writer of the Sustainable Compassion Training (SCT) model along with John Makransky, it provides a system of compassion and wisdom practices to enrich compassion in our daily lives. | In our discussion, Paul outlines a definition for compassion and the concept of field of care practice - emphasising that this is about community, not just the individual!
2022-Aug-10 • 31 minutes
The Self Made Simple with Dr Monima Chadha
The ‘self’ in the Buddhist tradition is a complex and rich topic. | Walking us smoothly through potentially choppy water is Monash University's Dr Monima Chadha, an Associate Professor in Philosophy. | Monima’s research focuses on the cross-cultural philosophy of mind - and she's particularly interested in how the self overlaps with how we typically think of of self control and perception. | Discussing human feelings of desire, freedom and the Buddhist model of sharing our knowledge and gifts with the world...
2022-Aug-02 • 30 minutes
The Equanimity Factor
How can equanimity improve the human experience? | Joining today is author, lecturer and equanimity enthusiast Dr Joey Weber. | Joey’s book Why Mindfulness Is Not Enough… paints a fascinating picture in which equanimity is a bridge that moves mindfulness to compassion. | A deeply engaging expert in his field, we discuss why mindfulness needs purpose and how you can become more equanimous - for the good of our interconnected human experience. | Dr Joey Weber: | Website - www.equanamee.com | EBCA course ...
2022-Jul-26 • 32 minutes
Mindfulness and Education: Professor Craig Hassed
How can we effectively integrate mindfulness into education? | Monash University's very own Professor Craig Hassed is an author and internationally renowned mindfulness expert.  | In part responsible for launching a pioneering programme that sees five thousand medical students a year enrolled in mindfulness classes, we talk through the effects this has on their personal and professional lives - reducing stress, clarifying decision making and lifting unconscious biases. | This episode is packed full of ...
2022-Jul-19 • 26 minutes
The Podcast So Far: a fireside conversation
Hosts Jamie Slevin and Dr Mark Miller reflect on the lessons of the podcast so far. Mixing in their own experiences with the key themes of the Contemplative Science Podcast, Mark and Jamie share their thoughts on what we've covered so far.  | One message is particularly resonant. Practice gently. After all, we are “complex ecosystems of mental, emotional, perceptual and behavioural dynamics!” | Sharing anecdotes, analogies and reflections on different teaching styles, our dive into the personal experie...
2022-Jul-05 • 32 minutes
Dr Ines Hipolito: 'The 'Complexity Wanderer'
Did you know that living beings defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics? | Joining us for a fascinating discussion is Dr Ines Hipolito, a self-described ‘complexity wanderer’. | Recently co-founding the European Institute for Global Well-being, her research develops and applies frameworks on the nature of cognition. | We dive into the free energy principle, the relationship of digitisation and wellbeing, and why ‘cognition is everything that we do’!
2022-Jun-28 • 33 minutes
How to Deal with Change: lessons from a Buddhist nun
Change is a hugely challenging part of the human experience. Today, we're joined by author, Buddhist teacher and former nun Kaira Jewel Lingo. | Sharing philosophies and learnings to help us deal with change, Kaira walks us through the role equanimity and impermanence in dealing with change.  | Here, Kaira lifts the lid on her experience of community: bridging memories of monastic life to the deeper sense of global community. | With so much of the world facing uncertainty, we break down how to reconcil...
2022-Jun-21 • 34 minutes
Getting The Dose Right: how much mindfullness?
What is the ideal dose of mindfulness? Like with any medicine, dose is a complex topic.  | Sharing her research is Dr Sarah Strohmaier, psychology lecturer and mindfulness researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University. | Does bigger dose equal bigger benefit? How do we measure such subjective outcomes? | Sarah has led a number of experiments tracking the effects of practicing mindfulness for different ‘dosages’ of time. Together, we pick apart the research, uncovering practical tips for how to inte...
2022-Jun-14 • 34 minutes
Guidance, hypnosis and Tibetan practice: Dr Michael Lifshitz on well-being
What do we mean when we talk about guidance? | We welcome scholar and researcher Dr Michael Lifshitz to break down his work in the field. | Michael is interested in practices that aim to transform our subjective experience, whether meditation, hypnosis, placebo, prayer, psychedelics… the list goes on. | Integrating personal anecdotes and reflections, we cover hypnosis, the ancient Tibetan practice of tulpamancy and, ultimately, what it means to be well.
2022-Jun-07 • 30 minutes
Well Being and Psychedelics: caution, potential and meditation
Can we use psychedelics to help wellbeing? | Taking us through this hotly contested topic, subject of both ‘warranted enthusiasm and caution’, is Adam Safron. | Currently at The Centre for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, Adam is also a dedicated meditation practitioner. | In today’s discussion, we explore the roles of psychedelics in medical treatment, meditation, creativity and freewill.
2022-May-31 • 32 minutes
Self Love and Enlightenment
We need to fall in love with every part of ourselves. | This is a key takeaway from today’s enlightening discussion with Janusz Welin, founder of the Deep Mindfulness Collective. | Master meditator and leader of residential retreats all over the world, Janusz brings a wealth of knowledge and musings on meditative practice. | From classical awakening to Internal Family Systems, we explore how to use mindfulness to discover, train and love yourself.
2022-May-24 • 38 minutes
Windows of Tolerance: the science of how to practice gently
More meditation does not always equal more progress! | We are delighted today to have the opportunity to share research from our very own Dr Mark Miller. | Mark is a veteran meditator who supports anecdotes from his personal practice with scientific evidence and phenomenological discussion. | Sharing insights from a recent paper, we break down the ‘self’, dissociative disorders and windows of tolerance to encourage a gentle and  committed meditation practice.
2022-May-17 • 34 minutes
The 5 Contemplative Landmarks
What are the five contemplative landmarks? And what do they say about our meditation practice? | Today we probe into the research of philosopher and meditation researcher Terje Sparby. | Terje is a master meditator, whose work brings together the worlds of neuroscience, spirituality and community. | Join us to explore consciousness, Dhyāna, introspective methods and religion.
2022-May-10 • 33 minutes
Meditation, the brain and meta-cognitive awareness
How can you fundamentally change your relationship with the external world? | Joining today to share the messages of the very latest cognitive research on yoga and meditation is Harvard Medical School's Sara Lazar. | Sara’s research explores the brain at varying stages of life: tracking the effects of mindfulness on its composition and capability, and the applications this can have in patient care. | Meditation is all about raising meta-cognitive awareness. Join us to find out how to start! | External URL f...
2022-May-03 • 32 minutes
Collective Trauma and Recovery
What do you know about trauma? | Joining today to lift the lid on the weight of individual and collective trauma, is Michelle Cassandra Johnson. | Activist, author, anti-racism consultant and yoga teacher - Michelle talks candidly on personal experiences, generational trauma and the whitewashing of yoga. | Humans are all interconnected, not separate! | Michelle shares practical tips for integrating mindfulness into your life, for the good of all society.
2022-Apr-25 • 32 minutes
The Black History of Yoga
How much do you know about Kemetic Yoga? If you're like most people, not much! | Enter Kemetic Yoga legend Yirser Ra Hotep, master instructor of Yoga and the creator of the YogaSkills Method. | Yirser joins to lift the lid on the origins and principles of yoga-like practices in Africa, and how he translates this research into real life applications. | Recounting pioneering mindfulness training with inmates at Cook County Jail in Chicago, Yirser underlines the importance of connectedness with our ancestors, ...
2022-Apr-19 • 34 minutes
The Science of Romantic Love
References to romantic love is everywhere - in music, in films and in our lives. But what is actually happening when we fall in love? | Diving into the heart of the matter is leading expert Dr Lucy Brown. Lucy's research is at the crossroads of love, neuroscience and meditation. | Chatting to Mark and Jamie, Lucy reveals what happens in the brain during early love, committed relationships and heartbreak - and why knowing oneself is fundamental for fulfilment.  | Listen in to understand the science of l...
2022-Apr-12 • 31 minutes
Pain, Brains and Reality
Can mindfulness aid addiction, depression and pain? | We welcome Antoine Lutz, a pioneering researcher of contemplative practices. | Antoine is fascinated by the ways in which we perceive negative thoughts as tangible and real - but more importantly, what we can do to change them. | Introducing the surprising and crucial concept of de-reification, and by sharing experiments with mindfulness amateurs and experts, he seeks to uncover how we can better deal with trauma.
2022-Apr-05 • 30 minutes
The Authentic Happiness Episode
What is authentic happiness? And how can you find it? | Enter Doug Veenhof. Doug describes happiness as a 'process of subtraction'.  | Sharing his experiences as meditator and teacher at the Center for Contemplative Research, Doug talks religion, neuroscience and the fundamental difference between Eudaimonia and hedonic pleasure. | Join us for a disarming and radical approach to achieving happiness.
2022-Mar-29 • 31 minutes
The Well-Being Curriculum
Why isn’t wellbeing part of the school curriculum? | Asking the question and doing the research is Dr Dusana Dorjee, a cognitive neuroscientist whose research uncovers how mindfulness impacts wellbeing. | Dissatisfaction and anxiety levels are rising - and young people are effected worse than any other demographic.  | Supported by cutting-edge research, Dusana advocates here for practical steps you can take to address rising levels of dissatisfaction. 
2022-Mar-22 • 28 minutes
Mysticism and Modern Healthcare: how Psychiatry and spirituality interact
How does modern psychiatry interact with the mystical, psychedelic or magical? | With difficulty! | Dr Daniel Ingram is attempting to change that. As a key member of the The Emergent Phenomenology Research Consortium (The EPRC), Daniel is on a mission to ‘tool up’ modern medicine to deal with the results of the spiritual path. | We dive into the nature of spiritual development, emergent phenomena and the challenges of helping healthcare deal with the weird and wonderful of the spiritual path.
2022-Mar-15 • 31 minutes
Why I'm Not a Buddhist
In 2022, Buddhism is perceived as 'spirituality for the rational', fully compatible with cutting‑edge science. | But this view is actually a mistake that does both Buddhism and science a disservice, says Dr Evan Thompson. | Exploring what he calls 'Buddhist exceptionalism', Evan breaks down why Buddhism is treated differently to other spiritual practices, and dives deep into both Western and Buddhist philosophy to explain how the goals of science and religion are fundamentally different. | Covering enlighte...
2022-Mar-08 • 29 minutes
An introduction to Indigenous Contemplative Science
What are the main differences between western and indigenous contemplative science? | Enter Dr Yuria Celidwen, a Native of Indigenous Nahua and Maya descent. | As Yuria explains, indigenous contemplative practices focus on the community, rather than just the self. If I flourish, the planet flourishes. | We explore cognitive imperialism, individualist attitudes and the fundamental importance of intention.
2022-Mar-01 • 44 minutes
The Meaning Crisis - and what we can do about it
We’re living in the midst of a meaning crisis. | Enter Dr John Vervaeke. The world’s leading expert in diagnosing the spiritual, practical and cognitive causes of increasing isolation and disillusionment.  | In this episode, John deep-dives into the ‘why’, and outlines what we can do to fix it. | We cover the scope of spirituality, the cognitive science of desperation and the significance of psychedelic experiences.
2022-Mar-01 • 45 minutes
What is the bottleneck to well-being?
Your life is as good as the lens you see it through. | Disillusioned with her ‘dream’ job, Julianna Raye took a punt on meditation. | 2 decades later, she credits it with changing her life and perceptions beyond recognition. | In this episode, Dr Mark Miller and Jamie Slevin talk to Julianna Raye - CEO of Unified Mindfulness - to understand the mechanics of meditation, the complexity of mental health and what steps you can take today to practically change how you perceive your world.
2022-Feb-23
Welcome to the Contemplative Science Podcast
Welcome to The Contemplative Science Podcast. Brought to you by Monash University, this is the podcast for anybody interested in the overlap of cutting edge-science and ancient spiritual practices.  | Co-hosts Dr. Mark Miller and Jamie Slevin ask the experts - from Monks to Neuroscientists - how contemplative practices work, and crucially, how they can help us improve our lives. | Join us each week for ancient wisdom made practical.