Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #270 - 19AUG17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we speak by telephone with Ji Hyang Padma, Ph.D., who has been practicing and teaching Zen for twenty years, 15 of these as an ordained nun. She has completed several 90-day intensive retreats in Korea and North America. While her practice has been situated within the Korean Zen tradition, she has had the benefit of studying with teachers across a wide spectrum of Buddhist lineages. She is gifted at finding an entry-point into practice for people who are just beginning their journey.

    Ji Hyang has combined an academic career with her work as a Zen teacher. She holds a doctorate in psychology from Sofia University. Her dissertation research focused on consciousness & healing, through the lens of traditional Buddhist healing practices. She currently serves as Director of the Comparative Religion and Philosophy Program at California Institute for Human Science in Encinitas.

    Her dissertation, Visions of Wholeness: Narratives of Traditional Buddhist Healers, explored the relationship of worldview to Buddhist healers’ praxis, using an indigenous psychology lens. She serves on the board of Education as Transformation, an international organization that works with educational institutions to explore the impact of religious diversity and the role of spirituality in the learning process.

    Her first book, Living the Season: Zen Practice for Transformative Times, was released by Quest Books a few years ago. Her reflections have also been featured in the collections Our Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interfaith Encounters and Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy. Ji Hyang has just sent to her publisher the completed manuscript of a book on traditional healing practices.

    Ji Hyang is a mesa carrier in the Andean tradition of shamanic healing. Ji Hyang also is a professional astrologer: her intuitive astrology illuminates the journey of the soul so that we can live our life to its fullest potential.
More information about Ji Hyang Padma's work can be found at:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #269 - 29JUL17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we speak by telephone with Livia Kohn, Ph. D. Livia Kohn graduated from Bonn University, in Germany, in 1980. After six years at Kyoto University in Japan, she joined Boston University as Professor of Religion and East Asian Studies in 1988. She has also worked variously as visiting professor and adjunct faculty at Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest, the Stanford Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, San Francisco State University, and the Taoist College Singapore.

    Her specialty is the study of the Daoist religion and Chinese long life practices. She has written and edited 35 books and over 100 articles, as well as translated works from the German, French, Chinese, and Japanese. She retired from active teaching in 2006 and now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, from where she continues to write books, serves as the executive editor of the Journal of Daoist Studies, and manages Three Pines Press, the Western voice of Daoism. In addition, she still serves on numerous committees and editorial boards, leads Daoist Qigong and Core Health workshops worldwide, and is the lead organizer of a series of major international conferences on Daoism, the latest of which took place at Boston University in May 2014; the next conference is scheduled for Beijing in 2018.

    Her books include Taoist Meditation and Longevity Techniques (1989), Early Chinese Mysticism (1992), God of the Dao (1998), Daoism Handbook (2000), Monastic Life in Medieval Daoism (2003), Cosmos and Community (2004), Daoist Body Cultivation (2006), Meditation Works (2008), Sitting in Oblivion (2010), Daoist Dietetics (2010), A Source Book in Chinese Longevity (2012), Zhuangzi: Text and Context (2014), and —most recently— Pristine Affluence: Daoist Roots in the Stone Age (2017).

    In terms of self-cultivation, she began practicing Taiji quan in the 1970s and dedicated herself to Vipassana Meditation for 20 years, beginning in 1981. She is also a certified instructor of Kripalu Yoga, Qigong, and Scottish Country Dancing. Most recently, she is a leading facilitator of Core Health and co-author of Core Health: The Quantum Way to Inner Power (2012).
More information about Livia Kohn's work can be found at:

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #268 - 22JUL17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we speak by telephone with spiritual teacher J. Jaye Gold, author of Justin Time: Autobiographical Stories from an American Spiritual Master, Another Heart in His Hand: A Spiritual Anomaly, and Highway of Diamonds. In his younger years, J. Jaye Gold studied at a 500-year-old experimental Naqshbandi Sufi school in northeastern Afghanistan. He believed that the methods he learned in this school needed to be modified for people in affluent Western cultures. He took on this challenge, developing tools, dynamics, and explorations of consciousness to help lead Westerners toward “intimacy with the ultimate reality, in order to become true servants.” J. Jaye Gold has been assisting people in their search for inner meaning for 35 years.

    He is currently living in the Sierra foothills of Northern California where he works with several dozen seekers of truth. Over the years he has deliberately resisted the trend to become a “traveling guru” with thousands of followers around the world in favor of preserving an element that he considers precious — that of maintaining opportunities for developing an actual teacher/student relationship. He is available to anyone who seeks his guidance.
More information about J. Jaye Gold's work can be found at:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #267 - 15JUL17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we speak in the studio with Jeff Tipp, a psychotherapist and spiritual teacher and practitioner in Sebastopol, CA. Jeffrey Tipp was ordained as a monk in an order of Christian mystics in 1968, entered into the Dharma with Lama Tsultrim Allione in 1973, met Zen Master Seung Sahn in 1978, and founded Blue Heron Zen Community, an urban residential Zen Center in Seattle, in 1980. He received Inka from Zen Master Ji Bong in 2006, and permission to teach from Lama Tsultrim in 2010. Jeff is an authorized Feeding Your Demons Psychotherapist.

    Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Kilung Rinpoche have both trained Jeff in the highest Dzogchen practices, having completed the Barchey Kunsel Ngondro and many extended group and solo retreats. Jeff’s 45 years of contemplative practice and teaching inform his whole life and his Psychotherapy practice. He is a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice and lives with his wife Roberta in Sebastopol, CA.
More information about Jeff Tipp's work can be found at:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #266 - 08JUL17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we converse in the studio with Sam Webster and Jim Wilson on the subject of Immanence and Transcendence in spiritual practice.

    Sam Webster, PhD, M.Div., Mage, has taught magick publicly since 1984. He graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley in 1993 and earned his doctorate at the University of Bristol, UK, with a thesis on the History of Theurgy from Iamblichus to the Golden Dawn. He is an Adept of the Golden Dawn, and an initiate of Wiccan, Druidic, Buddhist, Hindu and Masonic traditions, publisher at Concrescent Press, and author of Tantric Thelema. In 2001 he founded the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, in 2013 founded the Pantheon Foundation, and serves the Pagan community principally as a priest of Hermes.

    Jim Wilson studied Buddhism in Korea, Japan, and the US, principally under his teacher in the Chogye Zen tradition, Seung Sahn. Jim is a former Prison Chaplain, and one of the founders of Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol. Currently a practicing Quaker, Jim has published a critical edition of A Guide to True Peace, a manual for the practice of Quaker Silent Prayer and an Annotated Edition of A Guide to True Peace, which traces both sources to and changes in this foundational text. He has published many books of poetry, and his most recent title is On Trusting the Heart: A Commentary on the Xin Xin Ming.
More information about Sam Webster and Jim Wilson's work can be found at:

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #265 - 17JUN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we converse in the studio with Daniel Terragno, Roshi, of Rocks and Clouds Zendo in Sebastopol, and Ken McLeod, a teacher, writer and translator in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

    Daniel Terragno, a native of Chile, is a teacher in the koan tradition of the Diamond Sangha, which was founded by Robert Aitken Roshi. Daniel is the dharma heir of John Tarrant Roshi of the Pacific Zen Institute. Daniel started his spiritual practice in 1967 studying the Gurdjieff Work with W.A. Nyland before taking up Zen. Daniel received authorization to teach Zen in 1995, and in 2001 received dharma transmission from Tarrant Roshi. Daniel founded Rocks and Clouds Zendo in Sebastopol, California; he also teaches and leads sesshin in Ohio with Yellow Springs Dharma Center and Zen on High in Columbus, Ohio; with Grupo Zen Viento del Sur (Southern Wind) in Argentina, based in Buenos Aires, and also in Santiago, Chile.

    Ken McLeod met his principal teacher, Kalu Rinpoche, in 1970. After completing the preliminary practices and learning Tibetan, he translated for Kalu Rinpoche and helped to develop Rinpoche’s centers in North America and Europe. In 1985, Kalu Rinpoche authorized Ken to teach and placed him in charge of his Los Angeles center. Faced with the challenges of teaching in a major metropolis, he began exploring different methods and formats for working with students. He moved away from both the teacher-center model and the minister-church model and developed a consultant-client model. Ken is the author of Wake Up to Your Life: Discovering the Buddhist Path of Attention, The Great Path of Awakening, An Arrow to the Heart, Reflections on Silver River, and his most recent book, A Trackless Path.
More information about Daniel Terragno and Ken McLeod's work can be found at:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #264 - 10JUN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the Mystical Positivist, we converse in the studio with George Barselaar, a devotee of Swami Lakshmanjoo and practitioner of Kashmir Shaivism. George Barselaar was born in 1951 in a small town in the south of Holland. He grew up in Sydney, Australia, studied Civil Engineering, and spent all of his spare time Surfing or playing Soccer. At the age of 19, George took a keen interest in Yoga, which inspired him to eventually learn Transcendental Meditation (TM). In 1974, he completed the Teacher Training Program in Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the direction of its founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Having a keen interest in the Vedas and Indian Philosophy, in 1975 he studied Sanskrit for a year at Newcastle University in Australia.

    In 1981 George travelled to India and spent six months travelling and studying the ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine. During this time he had the great fortune to meet with some of India’s renown saints including Anandamayi Maa, and many others. Following his interest in Shaiva Philosophy, in 1982 George travelled to Kashmir to meet the respected Saint and Shaiva master, Swami Lakshmanjoo. George remained in Kashmir for 9 years, until Swamiji’s passing in 1991. It was during that time that he became associated with John and Denise Hughes, who had already compiled a library of over 700 hours of recorded lectures given by Swami Lakshmanjoo on the oral tradition of Kashmir Shaivism.

    In 1988, after years of working in the garden and doing various construction jobs in the small ashram, Swamiji gave George permission to begin transcribing his recorded lectures. Working closely with John Hughes, it took almost 20 years to completed the English transcriptions of all of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s recorded teachings.

    For a decade after Swamiji’s passing (September 1991) George returned to Kashmir each summer, specifically to learn certain rituals unique to Kashmir Shaivism. Part of that study was learning the recitation of hymns and various mantras that accompany the Shaiva rituals.

    In 2000, George and his partner, Claudia Dose, moved from Australia to the USA and began working full time with John and Denise Hughes. At that time a decision was made to publish all of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s teachings as original transcripts along with the original audio recordings. This format, enabling the student to hear the teachings directly from a master of the Oral Tradition, has been well received by sincere students of Kashmir Shaivism worldwide.
More information about Swami Lakshmanjoo's work can be found at:

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #263 - 03JUN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the Mystical Positivist, hosts Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick speak about the work of their spiritual teacher Robert Daniel Ennis. Robert died 19 years ago today on June 3, 1998. They read from some of Robert Ennis' writings and transcribed talks, and speak to how their time with Robert was a catalyst in changing their lives.

    Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002.

    Currently he is collaborating with Stuart Goodnick on an edited volume of talks and writings of Tayu Meditation founder, Robert Daniel Ennis. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts

    Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, has been a practitioner of Tayu Meditation since 1985 and a Tayu Meditation instructor since 1993. He holds degrees in Physics from Caltech and UCSC, and has been an engineering manager in the industrial motion control and software security industries since 1989. Stuart has also been a student of the shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo flute) under Master Masayuki Koga since 1996. In recent years Stuart has been applying the principles of spiritual practice and transformation in daily life as a senior executive in both Silicon Valley start-ups and global industrial manufacturers. He co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea with Robert Schmidt and Jim Wilson in Sebastopol in 2002.

    A frequent writer and speaker on spiritual topics, Stuart maintains that rationality is no way the antithesis of deep mystical experience, but is in fact a necessary ally. He is currently working on a compilation of some of his essays and transcriptions of talks to be released later in 2017.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #262 - 27MAY17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the Mystical Positivist we converse in the studio with Shozan Jack Haubner, a priest in the Rinzai Zen tradition. He studied Zen for years with his Roshi, and is the author of Zen Confidential: Confessions of a Wayward Monk, published by Shambhala. His writings have earned him a Pushcart Prize, and his essays have appeared in periodicals including Buddhadharma, Tricycle, and The Sun. A former screenwriter and standup comic, he moved to a Zen Buddhist monastery in the early aughts. He was drawn to the rigors of Zen practice, the deep insight of the tradition, and the fact that Zen monks do not have to refrain from cursing or drinking alcohol. A year into his life as a full-time Zen monk he discovered that Buddhism is fundamentally about "not self." He is still wondering if an exception can be made in his case. Besides Zen Confidential, he is also the author of upcoming book, Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order).
More information about Shozan Jack Haubner's work can be found at:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #261 - 20MAY17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show we replay a talk that Mystical Positivists, Rob Schmidt and Stuart Goodnick, gave at Many Rivers Books and Tea on Thursday May 11, 2017, entitled Intelligence, Consciousness, and Slack. After the talk, Rob and Stuart continue to discuss the ideas addressed in the original talk. The published talk description is the following:
  • We have the habit of thinking we know what intelligence is. After all, didn’t I get higher grades in school than my neighbor (or the other way around)? Yet deep inquiry into its nature reveals that intelligence resists unambiguous definition. Is intelligence defined by the capacity to comprehend and manipulate symbols, or must we also consider so-called “emotional intelligence” and even body awareness as attributes of intelligence? So too with consciousness. Surely dogs and dolphins are conscious, yet is their consciousness undifferentiated from that of humans? Can we speak meaningfully about intelligence and consciousness in systems or processes larger than individual biological organisms like individual human beings? Even recent materialist writers like Yuval Harari (Sapiens and Homo Deus) acknowledge that consciousness too resists unambiguous definition. In this talk, we ask how the concept of the “third force,” or to use another formulation, “slack” can help us recast how we think about, and how we embody intelligence and consciousness. Slack is the “X factor” or space that enables us to move past our own mental and emotional habits so that we move around obstacles like water moving around a boulder in a stream.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #260 - 13MAY17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation by telephone with Estelle Frankel, MFT, a practicing psychotherapist, spiritual guide, storyteller, and seasoned teacher of Jewish mysticism and meditation, who blends the healing wisdom and spiritual practices of Kabbalah and Musar with depth psychology. She was ordained as a rabbinic and spiritual guide by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. She has taught Jewish studies in Israel and throughout the U.S., in both academic and religious settings, for over forty years, and is part of the spiritual leadership team at Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley, CA. Estelle is the author of numerous essays on Judaism and psychology and the groundbreaking book on the integration of kabbalah and psychotherapy, Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness. Her latest book, just published by Shambhala, is The Wisdom of Not Knowing: Discovering a Life of Wonder by Embracing Uncertainty.
More information about Estelle Frankel's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #259 - 06MAY17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation with Jim Wilson, a poet and writer on religious and spiritual topics, and a co-founder of Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol. Jim is the author of at least 15 poetry titles, including A Night of Many Sonnets and Hiking the Quatrain Range. In the spiritual realm, Jim has written An Annotated Edition of A Guide to True Peace, Communion in the Manner of Friends: A Manual for Quaker Communion, and his latest work, which will be the subject of our conversation on today’s show: On Trusting the Heart: A Commentary on the Xin Xin Ming. This latest book was predominantly written thirty years ago, when Jim was acting as a teacher in the Korean Chogye Zen tradition, after having spent six years as a full ordination monk in that tradition, under his teacher Seung Sahn. Jim went on to become a Buddhist Chaplain at an institution for the criminally insane, and he eventually transitioned from Buddhism to the Quaker tradition, his current spiritual home. Jim has appeared on the Mystical Positivist multiple times.
More information about Jim Wilson's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #258 - 29APR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo once again while Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, is away on business in Europe. Rob offers an eclectic mix of musical selections plus inspirational quotations from the world’s great spiritual literature, and what books he has have been reading lately.

    Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002.

    Currently he’s collaborating with Stuart Goodnick on an edited volume of talks and writings of Tayu Meditation founder, Robert Daniel Ennis. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #257 - 22APR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream
This week's podcast features:
  • A conversation in the studio with Ken McLeod, a teacher and translator in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition for many decades. Ken is the author of a number of books, including his most recent title A Trackless Path, as well as Wake Up To Your Life, Reflections on Silver River, and An Arrow To The Heart: A Commentary on the Heart Sutra. Today’s conversation with Ken is something of a departure for the show, in that we usually focus the conversation on our guest’s career and recent work. While Ken is working on a new book, we don’t ask him about that project. Instead we invit him to join us in a free-form conversation about whatever issues and questions each of us has been pondering lately within the context of our respective spiritual practices.
More information about Ken McLeod's work and interests can be found at:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #256 - 15APR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we speak by telephone with Chris Moore-Backman, an activist-organizer, journalist, and educator who has worked with a wide variety of human rights, peace, and social justice organizations. Although he has roots here in Sonoma County, Chris currently lives in Chico, California. Chris has served with Christian Peacemaker Teams, in places including Palestine. He is author of the recently published book, The Gandhian Iceberg: A Nonviolence Manifesto for the Age of the Great Turning, and is producer of Bringing Down the New Jim Crow, a radio documentary series examining the movement to end the US system of mass incarceration.
More information about TChris Moore-Backman's work can be found at:

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #255 - 01APR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo for the second of two weeks while Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, is away on business in Europe and India. Rob offers an eclectic mix of musical selections plus inspirational quotations from the world’s great spiritual literature, and what books he has have been reading lately.

    Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002.

    Currently he’s collaborating with Stuart Goodnick on an edited volume of talks and writings of Tayu Meditation founder, Robert Daniel Ennis. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #254 - 25MAR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo for the first of two weeks while Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, is away on business in Europe and India. Rob offers an eclectic mix of musical selections plus inspirational quotations from the world’s great spiritual literature, and what books he has have been reading lately.

    Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002.

    Currently he’s collaborating with Stuart Goodnick on an edited volume of talks and writings of Tayu Meditation founder, Robert Daniel Ennis. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #253 - 11MAR17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we speak by telephone with Robin Bloor. Mr. Bloor was born in Liverpool, England in the 1950s, studied Mathematics at Nottingham University, and eventually became a computer consultant. Aside from his consultancy work he has established a reputation as an international speaker on technology topics and as a writer by virtue of many magazine articles and technical publications. In April 1999 he published his first book, The Electronic B@zaar, which was about the dot com revolution. Much to his surprise it was a UK business best seller and was published a year later in the US, just as the dot com boom turned to bust. It received several accolades, being referred to as "a classic" by Publisher's Weekly in the US.

    He has been involved in The Gurdjieff Work since 1982. In 1988 he met and became a pupil of Rina Hands, an accomplished Gurdjieff Movements teacher, and an inspirational group leader, who died in 1994. In recent years Mr. Bloor has turned his attention to writing about The Gurdjieff Work, and is widely regarded as an expert on Gurdjieff's writings. His series of books under the common title of To Fathom The Gist deal directly with the inner meaning of Gurdjieff's writings. They are gradually being rolled out year by year. Robin is also an attendee and participant in the All & Everything International Conference which takes place every year and focuses on Gurdjieff's writings.

    Robin immigrated to the US in 2002, settling in Texas. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary Ph.D. in Computer Science by Wolverhampton University in the UK in recognition of 'Services to the IT Industry'. From 2004 to 2007 he participated in writing three Dummies books on technology: Service Oriented Architecture for Dummies, Service Management for Dummies and Cloud Computing for Dummies.

More information about Robin Bloor's work can be found at:

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #252 - 18FEB17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we speak in the studio with Beverly Lanzetta, a theologian and spiritual teacher of new traditions of contemplative wisdom. Her career began almost forty years ago with her study of emerging religious paradigms, and their relationship to mystical theology, spiritual healing, energy medicine, and soul guidance in the world’s religions. She was a respected spiritual teacher before receiving her doctor of philosophy degree in theology and contemporary religious thought from Fordham University. Subsequently, she joined the faculties of Villanova University, Prescott College, and Grinnell College, offering courses that honored the rich heritage of the world’s mystical religions and new interfaith, interspiritual traditions emerging in our time.

    Beverly also is the author of seven books on global spirituality and new monasticism, which have won praise for their wisdom, eloquence, and mystical insight, including Nine Jewels of Night: One Soul’s Journey into God; Path of the Heart: A Spiritual Guide To Divine Union; Radical Wisdom: A Feminist Mystical Theology; Emerging Heart: Global Spirituality and the Sacred; and The Other Side of Nothingness: Toward a Theology of Radical Openness Beverly recently formed Blue Sapphire Books to publish works that deepen the contemplative life and bring practical relevance to people exploring an integral, embodied spirituality.

    Dedicated to a vision of theological openness and spiritual nonviolence, Beverly has worked and taught widely, founding a number of religious and monastic initiatives, including the Interfaith Theological Seminary and the Community of a New Monastic Way. She is actively involved in teaching, writing, sacred art, and the formation of (new) clergy, spiritual directors, and monks.

More information about Beverly Lanzetta's work can be found at:

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #251 - 04FEB17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, co-host Rob Schmidt flies solo as Stuart Goodnick, the Mystical Positivist, is away on business. Rob offers an eclectic mix of musical selections plus inspirational quotations from the world’s great spiritual literature, and what books he has have been reading lately.

    Dr. Robert Schmidt, spiritual director of Tayu Meditation Center, met and began intensive, 24-hour study with Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis in 1977. After five remarkable training years, he received ordination as a minister of Tayu, and co-taught with his teacher until Mr. Ennis’ death in 1998. His work with Mr. Ennis included co-writing and publishing a book entitled God Is Gay: An Evolutionary Spiritual Work. Rob succeeded Mr. Ennis as Tayu spiritual director, a post he still holds, in collaboration with yours truly. With Stuart Goodnick and Jim Wilson he co-founded Many Rivers Books & Tea in Sebastopol in Sebastopol, CA, in 2002.

    Currently he’s collaborating with Stuart Goodnick on an edited volume of talks and writings of Tayu Meditation founder, Robert Daniel Ennis. Along the way, Rob completed a Ph.D. in anthropological archaeology at UC Berkeley, where he was co-editor with his grad student colleague Barbara Voss of the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first academic edited volume to examine the phenomenon of sexuality as a object of knowledge in archaeological contexts.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #250 - 28JAN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we speak in the studio with Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. DHL. (Doctor of Humane Letters). Born and raised in outback Australia, Roger graduated from Australia’s Queensland University with degrees in psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and medicine, and then came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar. He is now at the University of California at Irvine where he is professor of psychiatry, philosophy, and anthropology, as well as a professor in the religious studies program.

    Roger’s research and writings span several areas. These include the nature of psychological health and well-being, meditation and contemplative practices, religion and spirituality, wisdom and other virtues, integral studies, and the psychological roots of our current global crises. He is deeply immersed in contemplative practices as a student, researcher, and teacher.

    Roger’s books include Paths Beyond Ego (one of Common Boundary’s “Most Influential Books”), Meditation: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives (which received the “Outstanding Academic Book of the Year Award”), Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices with a foreword by The Dalai Lama, and The World of Shamanism. He is currently editing The World’s Great Wisdom: What Sages Say about Living Wisely and Well.

    Collectively, Roger’s writings and research have received over two dozen national and international awards and honors, while his teaching has received one national and six university awards. He recently received the University of California at Irvine’s Distinguished Writer Award.

    In his other lives, Roger was formerly a circus acrobat, as well as a record holder in high diving and trampolining. Recently, he graduated from the San Francisco Comedy College and tried his hand, rather unsuccessfully, at stand-up comedy. He is married to the psychologist Frances Vaughan and together they have co-authored several books.
More information about Roger Walsh's work can be found at:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #249 - 21JAN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the show, we speak by telephone with Bandhu Dunham, author of Creative Life: Spirit, Power and Relationship in the Practice of Art. An internationally respected glass artist, author and teacher, Bandhu's work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums in the US and abroad, and his Contemporary Lampworking books are the authoritative, standard instructional texts in the field. Our conversation will focus on his book Creative Life, about the interface of art and spirituality in everyday life. In language that is both elegant and streetwise, compassionate and tough, the author takes issue with the self-indulgent devolution of much contemporary art. His reflections about the nature of "spirit" - which he defines not in terms of religious dogma but as creative inspiration - affirm, moreover, that art is meant to be shared.

    Painters, dancers, sculptors, musicians and other artists throughout the ages have used their creative work for greater self-knowledge, exploring the motivations, moods and meanings that affect a human being. For many artists, their expressions have provided an entry point to a deeper, objective, more ultimate dimension of life - which they have commonly identified as the "numinous" or "spiritual." Creative Life presents practical ways and means whereby any serious artist can use his or her life and practice for developing greater clarity, dignity, generosity, and more profound insight.
More information about Bandhu Dunham's work can be found at:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #248 - 14JAN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week on the Mystical Positivist hosts Stuart Goodnick and Rob Schmidt review a recent talk entitled The Chaos of Karma that they gave at Many Rivers Books & Tea on Thursday Jan. 12, 2017. They discuss various themes on the subject of karma: what it is, what it isn’t, and why it is beneficial and important for spiritual practitioners to develop clarity about this concept.
More information about Tayu Meditation Center can be found at:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Mystical Positivist - Radio Show #247 - 07JAN17

The Mystical Positivist is now a weekly radio show on KOWS-LP 107.3 FM, Occidental, CA. Listen live on Saturday evenings from 4:00 - 6:00pm, PST, via the web at KOWS Live Stream.
This week's podcast features:
  • This week we feature a pre-recorded conversation with spiritual artist, Narasimha. Narasimha (Marcus Allsop), a longtime student of Indian spirituality under the guidance of Baul Khepa Lee Lozowick and his guru, Yogi Ramsuratkumar, was educated in the north of England, and studied fine art at Newcastle College of Arts and Technology. He has been painting Deities for over twenty years. Nara paints in both the Hindu and Vajrayana Buddhist sacred art traditions. He trained with renowned artist and writer Robert Beer for five years. Nara travels to India for darshan (sacred sighting) of her various Deities on a regular basis and currently resides in rural Arizona where he helps facilitate a retreat center by cooking, chanting, and meditating.

    In additional to his considerable artistic work, Nara is also the author of several books including Western Sadhus And Sannyasins In India, We Like Our Teeth, and We Like To Help Cook. This conversation was recorded at Triveni Ashram in Northern Arizona.
More information about Narasimha's work can be found at: