Episode 84: COVID Mutates Rapidly. Still, We Will Thrive

A friend of the show sent me an article that describes the rapidity with which COVID mutates, and it seems now that the best available evidence points to COVID mutating--or, more accurately, evolving--rapidly enough that our vaccines will only ever give imperfect protection. If that is indeed the case, then it follows that the vaccine is not going to lead to the end of COVID. COVID will not be going the way of smallpox. It will be more like the flu: though the pandemic is likely to end, we will continue to see outbreaks. With that in mind, how should we meet this latest information? How do we go forward most skillfully, when so many of us have pinned hopes to the end of coronavirus, rather than, as seems likely, a situation in which it's less all-encompassing but still relevant in our lives?

The NPR story I speak about in the introduction can be found here.

Episode 83: Michael Gurshtein Speaks About the Historical Moment

For the first time on LSH/RFB, we are joined by a guest. Michael Gurshtein is a dear friend of mine and a friend of LSH since the very beginning. On January 6th, as I was still reeling from the events of the day, I contacted Michael and asked if he would like to be a guest on the show. First of all, he has a depth of knowledge about history that gives him the ability to situate important events within the sweep of history. Second of all, back in October he shared with me a monologue he had written that spoke with great feeling about where we found ourselves as a society as the election approached, and I felt LSH/RFB listeners would benefit from hearing it.

This episode starts with Michael performing that monologue. Afterwards, we share conversation about the events of January 6th and the historical moment we find ourselves in. Neither of us believes that the dangers to our society that were exposed so forcefully on that day are going to disappear anytime soon, and Michael shares his historical understanding so that we can more effecitvely situate those events within the broader historical context.

Episode 82: On Vision, Mastery and Beginner’s Mind

In this wide-ranging conversation, Jerry and Benjamin discuss such topics as trusting the vision that drives us forward on the path, what it means to be a master, and the importance of maintaining beginner's mind.

Episode 81: The Bottom Line

On Tuesday night, I set a new bottom line for myself with respect to work on the podcast, and in doing so--and meaning it!--I discovered a surprising and exhilirating feeling of freedom. In this episode, I share the story and discuss why I believe this action offers a useful perspective when it comes to making change in our lives.

Episode 80: The Coming Mental Health Crisis

I was on a long drive, musing about why it is that, notwithstanding the constant stress all of us have been under for the last eleven months, most people seem to be doing ... okay. Most people seem to be doing okay. Why is that, I thought? Given what we've been going through, why aren't more people collapsing? And then I realized that I knew the answer to that: our stress systems are doing exactly what they were meant to do. They keep us alive, and moving forward, during times of stress.

But this level of energy expediture comes with a price. Most of us are operating at a heavy deficit. Ultimately, that debt will need to be repaid.

In this episode, we talk about this understanding, and we discuss what we can do to most skillfully prepare ourselves for the challenges that lie, more or less inevitably, ahead.

Episode 79 (RFB 21.0128): Republican Cynicism, and the Little Guy Disrupts the Stock Market

With their vote on Tuesday challenging the constitutionality of Trump's impeachment trial, 45 Senate Republicans made it clear that they were going to vote to acquit Trump no matter what. Was it really just two days ago that I put out a podcast episode expressing hope for a better political future for this country? Meanwhile, in less soul-crushing news, a bunch of exuberant investors/gamblers on a Subreddit have together sent the price of GameStop's stock soaring, with the delicious side-effect of bringing a couple of giant hedge funds to their knees.

Episode 78: Inauguration Day and Beyond

Enter our episode, child, for herein lie reflections on the recent ceremony that installed in our great nation a new, and perhaps even decent, leader; on the myriad feelings engendered by said ceremony and its implicit symbolism; and on the ways each of us, walking the path, can use this moment as a foundation for further growth. Onward! Let's start here!

Episode 76: COVID, PTSD, and Starting to Heal

Benjamin's reflexive response to a passage in a book he was reading led him to acknowledge the depth of trauma that he (and, by extension, probably pretty much everyone) has internalized around COVID. This recognition led him to ask, "Is it too soon to begin the process of healing?"

(This version with the intro restored!)

Episode 75: The Story of This Episode’s Creation Is Also Its Theme

In which the theme of how certain changes in our lives demand us to take on a new identity, and for a story illustrative of this theme I chose the recording of the episode itself. Very meta.