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Mindsprings Podcast

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United Kingdom






British Museum Talk - The Pain Of Ego Constriction

This is an excerpt from the talk that Alistair and Ajahn Sundara gave at the British Museum in September 2017, looking at aspects of Buddhist practice and how they impact the contemporary mind.

Duration: 00:07:20

Ego Is An Lethal Addiction To Painkillers

Taken from the September 2017 weekend retreat on "I see you, Mara", Alistair talks about how this problematic notion of the "ego" can be understood as an excess of thinking, a slipknot round your own throat or as Reggie Ray describes it, an lethal addiction to painkillers...

Duration: 00:11:34

Why Doesn't The Ego Get Behind Us If The Open Space Is So Good?

An excerpt from the 2016 Samadhi retreat looking at the way in which ego arises and constricts the open space.

Duration: 00:15:13

Definitions Of Mindfulness

Recorded at the August 2017 Gayles "Drawing on Mindfulness" retreat, Alistair gives a fundamental overview of the different streams of meditation coming out of the Indian Tradition and notes how mindfulness is unique and distinct from other forms.

Duration: 00:15:40

A Bigger Frame

This is a recording of a chat between Alistair Appleton and the art teacher Isobel Dutton after the close of the Gayles 'Drawing on Mindfulness' retreat in August 2017. Over a cup of tea, they talk about the similarities between art anxiety and meditation anxiety and how making a mark and being your true self both require 'breaking the frame'.

Duration: 00:12:45

10 Ways To Save Your Brain From Becoming A Web Zombie

This is the last bit of Internet related podcastery for a while. It's the 10 bits of advice I gave at the end of my 2015 talk on the Internet and Meditation in Scarborough.

Duration: 00:08:50

The Dissociative Universe Of The Web And How Mindfulness Can Save Us

This is the second extract from a talk I gave in Scarborough in 2015 on the subject of 'Mindfulness in the Age of Twitter'. This part looks at the fascinating field of dissociation and how the Net really feeds into that desire to zone out from life.

Duration: 00:13:53

The Neurochemical Net And Why Twitter May Be Eating Your Being

This is Part 1 of a series of podcasts on the effect of Internet use on the brain. It's excerpted from a talk I gave in Scarborough back in 2015. This part looks at how the Web fires up potent areas of the brain...

Duration: 00:17:54

"The Scrunch"

This is an excerpt from the 6 week course in Mindfulness taught in 2016 at St Mary's Church in Brighton. Alistair uses the image of the scrunched up scarf (which he, in turn learned from the Dharma Ocean teacher, Neil McKinlay)to illustrate how awareness becomes claustrophobic in direct relationship to the number of I-me-mine thoughts

Duration: 00:09:24

The Seven Mammalian Emotions That Drive Us All

In memory of the great affective neuroscientist Jak Panksepp who died 2 weeks ago, I've extracted a short explanation of his brilliant work on human emotions and how we can understand them so much better by seeing their mammalian roots.

Duration: 00:16:11

Sex Is Not About Making Babies, It's About Making Friends

This is Part 2 of 2 from a talk I gave in Norwich back in 2012, looking at the alternative spiritual view on sexuality and sex. The Tibetan shamanic traditions and the Tantric deities give a different take on how to be sexual and spiritual.

Duration: 00:18:58

Why Do Most Religions Grudgingly Tolerate Sex Rather Than Celebrate It?

This is Part 1 of 2 from a talk Alistair gave in 2012 exploring the nature of religious attitudes to sexuality. This part touches on some of the archetypes of the Old Man and Mother that prevent sex becoming central and explores the alternative notion of exuberance as a way of framing sex.

Duration: 00:16:02

If Living In The Soma Is Like A Funfair Why Do We Resist?

This is an excerpt from the Mindsprings Holy Island retreat in October 2016. The theme of the retreat was Samadhi and here Alistair talks about our resistance to well as his rather dramatic experience up in the snowy mountains of Colorado in 2016.

Duration: 00:15:44

The Topsy Turvy Logic Of Tonglen And Why It's The Better Way Of Being

This is an extract from some teaching Alistair gave as part of a study day on Compassion - he is outlining the benefit of the Buddhist practice of 'tonglen' which involves giving away the good and drawing in the bad - the opposite of our usual egoic way-of-being. It's a counter intuitive practice but from the Buddhist point of view, ultimately effective.

Duration: 00:08:58

Wagner & Mindfulness Edit

This is a recording of the 45-min lecture I gave at the magical woodland glade that the folks at the Southbank created for the events around Opera North's performance of the whole of Wagner's Ring Cycle.

Duration: 00:52:31

The Fifth Field

This is an excerpt of the 2016 Winter Eight Week course taught by Alistair at St. Mary's in Brighton. It's from the seventh week where we started to explore the experience of what Alistair calls the "fifth field": the stance of the experiencer to what is experienced. Enjoy!

Duration: 00:08:10

What Is Mindfulness?

This is a talk Alistair gave at the Samye Foundation Wales in Cardiff on Friday 26th February 2016. It was outlining the historical precedents of the current vogue for mindfulness; making some distinctions about what exactly it is from a Buddhist point of view; discussing how it can be problematic when dealing with people who dissociate; and - in the Q&A - talking about the merits and demerits of 'mindful' colouring-in books!

Duration: 01:22:40

Mindfulness in the Age of Twitter: A Public Talk

This is a public talk and Q&A, Alistair gave in the Scarborough Art Gallery on June 26th 2015. In it he talks about the unprecedented nature of the 'social media revolution'; how the internet and social media works on the brain; how we can understand it in the buddhist terms of attachment, aversion and dissociation. And how mindfulness is the skill we need to develop to survive it.

Duration: 01:21:45

Harare Mindful Life

This was a talk given by Alistair Appleton at the CABS Business Centre in Harare, Zimbabwe during his trip to Africa in February 2009. It’s an impromtu ramble over many subjects connected to Mindfulness and Alistair’s experiences in Zimbabwe - fairly relaxed and chatty. The talk is introduced by Alistair’s fantastic hostess in Africa, Pam Sheehan.

Duration: 01:08:11


Talk given in Norwich in 2012 on the knotty subject of sexuality and spirituality.

Duration: 01:47:13