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The Mindful Cranks

The Mindful Cranks broadly explores the cultural translation of Buddhism in the West, various facets of Buddhist modernism, and the mainstreaming of mindfulness in secular contexts. The podcast serves as a forum for voices that go beyond the dominant narratives which have been thus far uncritical of consumerism, medicalization, psychologization, corporatization and self-help approaches. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines — the humanities, philosophy, cultural studies, education, critical pyschology, religious studies, and sociology—The Mindful Cranks welcomes new conversations that challenge the priviledging of scientific materialism, methodological individualism, reductionism, and neoliberalism. Our guests are leading edge scholars, authors, teachers, practitioners and activists that share a mutual interest in civic mindfulness and socially engaged contemplative methods. A wide range of diverse perspectives–including critical theory, critical pedagogy, ethnography, Foucauldian governmentality, feminism, hermeneutics, critical race theory, critical management studies, socially engaged Buddhism, political economy–provide the “cranky” intellectual tools for socially engaged contemplative change.
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Nov 5, 2017

In this episode Brian Victoria, author of Zen at War, discusses how Buddhism, and Japanese Zen in particular, have a long history of violence. From Japanese kamikaze pilots in World War II to Corporate Zen training of "industrial warriors," Brian Victoria expounds on the dangers and risks of religion serves the powers of nationalism and the state.

Jun 8, 2017

Ruth Whippman Ruth Whippman is an author, journalist and documentary film-maker from London, living in the USA.

 Ruth’s humorous essays and comment pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Guardian, The Independent, The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine and The Pool among other places.  She is a regular contributor to Time.com and a blogger for the Huffington Post.

She is the author of America the Anxious, How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks (St Martin’s/ Macmillan, out 4th October 2016)

Before becoming a full time writer, Ruth was a producer and director at the BBC making numerous documentaries and current affairs shows for BBC television

Be sure to check out our website, mindfulcranks.com, our Facebook Page, and on Twitter.

Apr 13, 2017

Barry Magid, MD, is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. He received Dharma Transmission from Charlotte Joko Beck in 1998 and has been teaching Zen at the Ordinary Mind Zendo for the past twenty years.

In addition to co-editing “What’s Wrong with Mindfulness (And What’s Not) with Bob Rosenbaum, he is the author of three books integrating Zen and psychoanalytic theory and practice: "Ordinary Mind"; "Ending the Pursuit of Happiness", and "Nothing is Hidden” all published by Wisdom Publications. He has also edited (with Hugh Witemeyer) a volume of the correspondence of poets William Carlos Williams and Charles Tomlinson, as well as "Father Louie: Photographs of Thomas Merton by Ralph Eugene Meatyard,"  and “Freud’s Case Studies: Self Psychological Perspectives.” 
Feb 5, 2017

In this interview, Katie Loncke begins by sharing her personal journey of how she came to be both a Buddhist and activist for social justice. As a granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor from the most infamous Nazi concentration camps, and her grandmother a descendant of Afro-Caribbeans who survived the Middle Passage, Katie’s activist roots go deep. Her mother--an attorney for Planned Parenthood in Sacramento; her father--one of the first black students to attend Yale and become a state judge. From her education at Harvard University to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Katie offers a wealth of insights forged from being on the front lines of socially engaged Buddhism.

Katie Loncke is a Co-Director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF), combining dharma with social justice. She connects with others similarly fixated on the paradox: how to love and accept the world as it is, while fighting like hell to change it. Nationwide she speaks, facilitates, and trains groups on combining Buddhist ethics with concrete skills for nonviolent direct action. Her writing has appeared in digital and print publications — most recently, she authored the chapter on race and racism in A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring for Your Buddhist Community (2016, Sumeru Press), edited by Nathan Jishin Michon and Daniel Clarkson Fisher.         

Katie loves lemons, cats, warm nights, Black Power, clean water, and the Temptations. 

Go to the Mindful Cranks website.

Jan 12, 2017

In this interview, Funie Hsu provides a very personal account of why she became increasingly critical of the mindfulness movement, particularly given her Asian heritage. She explains why it’s time we recognize the contributions of Asian American Buddhists by taking notice of the racism and cultural appropriation that has marginalized their voices.

Funie Hsu, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at San Jose State University. She received her Doctorate in Education from the University of California, Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis in the School of Education.

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