The notions of Karma (and consequently Dharma) are mostly sensible within a worldview that assumes the doctrine of reincarnation… or not necessarily? In this episode, I very broadly sketch out three different ideas that can make the case for modern humans’ capabilities of living “many lives” even within one literal birth-to-death journey. These notions, for me, fulfill so many of the same functions as a worldview that assumes many births and deaths in a cosmic cycle.
Dk13 – Ekalavya And The Idol of the Guru
As a lifelong self-directed learner, this is one of my favorite episodes of Indian storytelling. What does this story illustrate about self-learning and the “guru” system? What does it tell us about the potentially cruel tuition owed by predatory and opportunistic education models? What does it offer in terms of mind-hacks for self-learners who want to deepen their process?
DK12 – Consistent Mediocrity As Seeds For Mastery
In my own practices, I’ve seen this process play out repeatedly: people who show up consistently over long enough periods of time seem to outlast (and even: outperform) those who show up with unsustainable intensity, overly aggressive goals, and unforgiving standards. I’ve also seen the incredible results of B+ level competencies combining to form unique masteries in unique niches. Can we apply this to a life strategy at a broader level?
DK11 – Knight Of The Crab
Why I “knight” people, and in this case: why I extracted a knightly vow from one of my best friends in the world, and asked him to extract the same from me.
DK10 – Teach Individuals Not Projections
If you’re a student, do you have a teacher that engages with you as an individual, distinct from them? Or are they teaching you as if they are teaching their own past selves? Why might the difference matter? It matters a lot: as much as we have in common, every difference makes a difference. Good teachers honor that, effective teachers work accordingly.
DK9 – No “Positive Vibes Only” Please
Have you encountered the “positive vibes only” flavor of popular spiritualism? Have you heard the term “spiritual bypassing”? Does the term “holding space” compute to you? Have you noticed in yourself (or others) the tendency to talk over others (offer advice or solutions) when they give testimony to their suffering? Most crucially: have you found ways to beneficially PRACTICE the “negative”?
DK8 – Compassionate Resiliency
Compassion and resiliency are two concepts that rarely share the same stage, at least in American society. Maybe our collective conditioning to think of ourselves as rugged individualists gives us some blind-spots to the necessity of cooperation and compassion in a functioning society, and maybe those billing themselves (not always authentically) as “compassionate” are not investing enough in personal toughness? In my own personal experience, there’s a very uncomfortable middle-space to occupy…
DK7 – About the Author
A brief introduction, in very rough outlines, about the sort of person who is making this podcast. Where am I coming from, what am I trying to say, and why am I saying it? How does it apply to others, and their journeys?
DK6 – Play (Lila)
In a world of seemingly endless conflict and adversarial processes, what does it mean to approach life with a spirit of play? Maybe more specifically: what does a spirit of “play” (or even: re-enacting the divine “lila”) mean when we apply it to embodied practices like yoga and martial arts? Does it make a difference in essence? Does it make a difference in pragmatic results? These questions and more, discussed on this episode.
DK5 – Forests and Wastelands
In this podcast, I discuss the dual motifs of mythic forests and wastelands as settings for a questor, wherein they go further and further from civilization and the orthodoxies of their society, and deeper into themselves (and even, to a significant extent: beyond themselves) for spiritual boons with which they can eventually share with their loved ones and culture.