show episodes
 
A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment brings the inner science of Buddhist meditation to twenty-first century people hungry for happy, meaningful lives. It is a secular approach to meditation that requires no belief beyond our current understanding of science and psychology. Skeptic’s Path meditations are based on powerful analytical meditation techniques that use imagination, emotions, and critical inquiry to probe our inner and outer realities and expand our compassion. These Tibetan Buddhist ...
 
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show series
 
Dr. Rick Hanson, best-selling author of Buddha’s Brain, Hardwiring Happiness, and Neurodharma, shares insights from neuroscience on how to grow our extraordinary potential for inner happiness without denying any of our pain. Interview with Dr. Rick Hanson, Author of Neurodharma and Buddha’s Brain Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/suppo…
 
Our first episode of 2021 is a guided meditation on "purification": a healthy way to let go of regrets from the last year and make a realistic path to being our best self this year through forgiveness and self-acceptance. Episode 47: Beginning the New Year with a Purification Meditation Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)…
 
In this deep and fascinating interview with Dr. Jay Garfield on the connection between compassion and emptiness, he shows how, when we realize our interdependence on other beings, ideas, and the world around us, it helps us to dissolve our self-centered view and embrace the needs of all beings and the reality around us. Dr. Jay Garfield on Healthy …
 
From the Buddhist, as well as the psychological and scientific perspectives, gratitude and dedication aren’t just polite bookends. The process of feeling gratitude and resolve creates the mental and neurological causes to actually become better people and to better serve the world. Meditation on Gratitude, Dedication, and Determination Support the …
 
We’ve spent the better part of a year going step-by-step through a modern secular version of the major topics from Tibetan Buddhism’s Stages of the Path, what we call A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment. In Tibetan this sequence is called the lamrim. It’s a series of meditations that progressively move our mind to better understand itself, bring out …
 
Who am I? From the Buddhist perspective, there’s a systematic way of asking this question of who you are in the form of a meditation on the ultimate nature of the self, or "emptiness." This meditation is said to be the strongest antidote to our disturbing states of mind and a cause for greater self-awareness, happiness, and connection with others. …
 
Are you your body? Are you your mind? Are you a collection of thoughts, memories, and neural connections that could be uploaded into a computer to live forever? Or are you an old-fashioned soul? This episode probes the nature of the self using the Buddhist notion of emptiness, searching for the partless, independent, unchanging "I" that ordinarily …
 
"Buddhism is not meant to make people Buddhist" Western Tibetan Buddhist master Geshe Tenzin Namdak on the mind, disturbing emotions, and emptiness, the ultimate nature of reality. Geshe Tenzin Namdak on the Mind, Disturbing Emotions, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)…
 
Meditating on the interdependent nature of reality, or emptiness, breaks down the illusion of independent, partless, and unchanging objects; instead we observe their parts, causes, and our mind that wraps these with a label like phone, home, or our delicious dinner. 20-Minute Guided Meditation on the Interdependent Nature of Reality Support the sho…
 
The Buddhist understanding of how things exist breaks objects down into parts, causes, and a mind that bundles them into the illusion of a solid, singular, unchanging entity. When we apply this analysis to an iPhone, we see that it is made up of almost all the elements in the periodic table, and is connected to thousands of hours of hard labor and …
 
Objects around us ordinarily appear as if they are solid, singular, and separate from us. However, both science and the Buddhist understanding of reality show us that as we examine things more closely, they exist far more subtly and richly than they appear. This meditation focuses on an object most of us have strong feelings toward—our smartphone—b…
 
A guided meditation by Ven. Sangye Khadro (Kathleen McDonald) on the natural goodness of our mind, or Buddha nature. In this meditation we let go of all our negative, disturbing states of mind like anger, anxiety, or fear; and cultivate our positive mental qualities of compassion, wisdom, and courage. Guided Meditation on the Natural Goodness of ou…
 
Venerable Sangye Khadro (Kathleen McDonald), renowned author of How to Meditate and fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist nun, talks about the natural goodness of our mind, karma, and powerful analytical meditation mind training techniques for living a compassionate, meaningful life. Venerable Sangye Khadro (Kathleen McDonald) on The Natural Goodness of …
 
Sympathetic joy is an easy-to-understand meditation practice that expands our love and compassion by rejoicing in all the good things that others did today. It counteracts greed, jealousy, and envy, and can be done kicking back on the couch at the end of a hard day. Sympathetic Joy: Opening Your Heart to the Happiness of Others Support the show (ht…
 
Dr. Jan Willis, renowned scholar and teacher of Buddhism, talks about race and racism through a Buddhist lens. She shares stories about growing up with racism in Birmingham, Alabama; marching with Dr. Martin Luther King there in 1963; brushes with the Black Panthers; her experience as one of the first Westerners to dive deeply into Tibetan Buddhism…
 
A guided meditation on “universalizing,” a Tibetan Buddhist mind training technique for transforming our everyday problems and pleasures through love and compassion. Guided Meditation: Universalizing our Problems and Pleasures Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)By Scott Snibbe
 
One of the most powerful Tibetan Buddhist mind training techniques is universalizing, a practice that transforms everyday pains and pleasures into profound meditations. From arguing with the family to stuffing yourself with a delicious meal, life’s problems and pleasures can bring anger, guilt, and sadness. The meditation technique of “universaliza…
 
Tonglen is a meditation practice that combines meditating on loving-kindness with meditating on compassion to release our own pain, suffering, and loneliness. In translation, tonglen practice can be called “taking and giving” or “exchanging self with other." Tonglen is one of the “mind training” techniques from Tibetan Buddhism that reverse our ord…
 
Compassion is starting to rival mindfulness as the next most popular up-and-coming form of secular meditation. But what is compassion? Compassion, from the Buddhist perspective, is not just empathizing with others’ suffering, but actively wishing to take it away. What Is Compassion? Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)…
 
Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering shares his profound insights on a secular understanding of karma, the importance of analytical meditation, and a warning that the popularity of meditation today might just kill it. Khen Rinpoche Geshe Tashi Tsering on Karma, Analytical Meditation, and Mindfulness Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/suppo…
 
Love is complex in our culture, tied up with finding a single person to satisfy our huge list of needs and dreams who we then grant the exclusive gift of our affection. But love from the Buddhist perspective is simpler, free from attachment. It's wishing others to be happy. What Is Love? Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)…
 
On Ten Percent Happier a few weeks ago, The Dalai Lama described to Dan Harris a “simple meditation” for these times. This guided meditation is an interpretation of the two meditations His Holiness recommends in the morning: meditating on the mind and meditating on the kindness of others. The Dalai Lama's "Simple Meditation" Support the show (https…
 
The Buddhist meditation on equanimity teaches a technique to eliminate bias and expand our love and concern from family and friends to strangers and even enemies. It tames our fierce attachment to loved ones and our anger toward enemies for a stabler, happier mind and a more just and equitable world. Guided Meditation: Transforming Bias with Equani…
 
In everyday life we’re torn between fierce attachment to our loved ones and anger at those that give us trouble. But Buddhism, democracy, and social justice tell us that all people deserve the same rights and freedoms: we’re all equal and we all deserve happiness. The Buddhist meditation on equanimity, applied to our everyday relationships and the …
 
Venerable Robina Courtin, Buddhist nun and advocate for prisoner’s rights, on how activists can leverage meditation and mind training, how Buddhism functions as a science of the mind, and how being a Buddhist doesn’t mean being a pushover. Venerable Robina Courtin — Buddha's Science of Mind Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support/)…
 
A guided analytical meditation through Skeptic’s Path meditations, based on Tibetan Buddhism’s Lamrim Stages of the Path. Each meditation is part of an adventure for the mind to bring about inner joy and purpose considering Life’s Preciousness, Impermanence, Cause & Effect, Refuge, Suffering, and Renunciation. Support the show (https://www.skeptics…
 
Dostoevsky once said, “The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he's in prison.” This is the point of meditating on renunciation: to gain a clear-eyed sense of our state of mind right now, with many moments of frustration and anger and impatience and craving: feelings that we'd rather be free from. And turning aw…
 
A clear-eyed meditation on suffering: both what suffering is, and the mental source of suffering in our delusions of attachment, anger, and self-centered ignorance. We practice the antidotes to these delusions, giving us tools for a more balanced, less self-centered view of our experience that offers sustained stability and happiness through life’s…
 
Do each of us believe deep down that we’re just a little bit more important than everyone else? My happiness, my goals, my relationships? The root cause of our suffering from the Buddhist perspective is this belief, a delusion called ignorance, seen as the true source of all our suffering: from disappointment in the face of life’s setbacks, to the …
 
What do you do when you’re alone? When you’re anxious, lonely, or afraid, when you feel strong craving? What do you turn to? In this episode we look at where our mind runs when we feel pain, when we don’t feel balanced or whole. We’ll examine the Buddhist view on this subject that reveals a deep source of strength and support within our own minds a…
 
A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment podcast brings Buddhist meditation to twenty-first century people hungry for happy, meaningful lives. Each week on the podcast, we share powerful Buddhist mind training techniques that use our imagination, our emotions, and our intelligence to probe your inner and outer realities and expand your compassion. It’s a …
 
Millions are now faced with enforced solitude, while others, in the crush of families together all day, realize how much we needed that time alone we took for granted. The essence of meditation is getting to know yourself alone, without social stimulus, entertainment, or reputation—what we truly are deep inside ourselves. There, we can find in our …
 
A meditation practice of self reflection, taking control of the mental cause and effect that's normally unconscious: the habits and activities conditioned by evolution, our upbringing, society and the media. This is a practice you can do at the end of each day: reviewing your day, rejoicing in the positive, and finding ways to sincerely forgive you…
 
Science has greater and greater mastery in understanding and controlling physical cause and effect, from planets to particles, but we are only starting to understand cause and effect in our minds. Evolution, habits, and society all affect our behavior. How do we gain conscious control of our behavior, much less our thoughts? One method is a daily p…
 
A guided meditation on impermanence that helps us release fear and anxiety to embrace the constant change at every scale of reality: from particles, possessions, homes, and the environment, to our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, and relationships. When we embrace impermanence, we more easily take on challenges like today’s Coronavirus crisis. …
 
We cling to things as if they won’t change, but change is the nature of reality, as we’re seeing now with the Coronavirus crisis. When we embrace impermanence, we prepare ourselves for big changes, and are able to let go of our fear and anxiety to become more fully present to those around us, to make the most meaningful choices day-to-day, and to m…
 
A guided meditation combatting fear of the Coronavirus through compassion using the technique of Taking and Giving (in Tibetan, Tonglen). We soothe our own fear and anxiety by imagining how others are suffering now, just as we are. And we sincerely wish to help, to take away their pain, through a powerful guided visualization. If you're enjoying ou…
 
This guided meditation takes us through different ways of observing the mind, first examining its ever-present parts: perception, feeling, will, and awareness. Then we explore the nature of subjective reality itself by asking what is the mind without thoughts? Where is the space of our consciousness? And, how finely can we slice moments of consciou…
 
If the mind is our thoughts, then what is it that observes those thoughts? What are we without thoughts? Do we ever truly see an object, or only its mental reconstruction? Though we are all convinced that we have one, science has no agreed definition for consciousness or mind. Even subjectively, the mind is elusive, difficult to pin to any specific…
 
A guided meditation on the preciousness of our next 24 hours alive and our unique place in the universe as science understands it: intelligent, self-aware beings at the end of 14 billion years’ cosmic and biological evolution. If you are enjoying our podcast, please leave us a rating and review Support the show (https://www.skepticspath.org/support…
 
Regarding the possibility of reincarnation, Voltaire once said, “It is not more surprising to be born twice than once.” In this episode we contemplate the miracle of existing at all, from our place at the end of our universe’s 14 billion years’ evolution, to the simple joy of another 24 hours alive. If you are enjoying our podcast, please leave us …
 
Over the past few years meditation has become popular as a way to help reduce stress, be focused at work, sleep better, or simply relax. Yet meditation isn’t just a tool to improve focus or relax, but a way to strengthen the positive qualities we all naturally possess: compassion, kindness, generosity, patience, humor, and finding joy in everyday l…
 
Introducing A Skeptic’s Path to Enlightenment, bringing the inner science of Buddhist meditation to twenty-first century people hungry for happy, meaningful lives. We take a secular approach to meditation that requires no belief beyond our current understanding of science and psychology, based on powerful Buddhist mind training techniques that use …
 
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