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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The Mindful Cranks




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Now displaying: 2018
Sep 26, 2018

Dr. Deborah Rozelle is a clinical psychologist who trains widely on psychological trauma and its rela­tion to contemplative practice. She is co-director of the Jewel Heart Buddhist Chaplaincy Program, co-editor of Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices, and was Senior Fellow for the Initiative for Transforming Trauma at Garrison Institute. She is a long-time Buddhist practitioner under the tutelage of the late Gelek Rimpoche.

Dr. David Lewis is a student and independent researcher of western and eastern philosophical and psychological traditions. David is a retired computer scientist, mathematician and software development manager, and served on the faculty of Brown University, Cornell University and Ithaca College. He is a long-time Buddhist practitioner under the tutelage of the late Gelek Rimpoche.

In this episode, Deborah and David begin by discussing their work with trauma and its relationship to contemplative practice. Our discussion examines mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), comparing these psychological treatments to the fundamental tenets and ultimate goals of the Buddhadharma. Deborah and David employ a unique analogical methodology to compare key aspects of the MBIs and the Buddhadharma teachings and practices, focusing on commonly used terms as suffering (dukkha), impermanence, and no-self. Our discussion takes aim many of the claims put forth by Jon Kabat-Zinn – the MBSR (and other MBIs) embody the essence of the Dharma. This discussion is based on their chapter, "Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Clinical Psychology, Buddhadharma, or Both? A Wisdom Perspective," which was published in the Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Springer, 2016).

Sep 25, 2018

After a summer hiatus, Ron Purser and David Forbes, discuss what they have been up to on our summer break, as well as make mention of upcoming episodes.

Jan 15, 2018

In Episode 10, we interview Justin (Lama Karma) Wall, a mindfulness teacher trained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. We explore his paper, "Sacred Groundlessness: Deepening the Ethics of Mindfulness in the Midst of the Global Crisis."

Justin Wall (Lama Karma) has over seven years of teaching experience, both as a facilitator of Mindfulness training through Clear Light Mindfulness and in more traditional contexts.  He graduated with honors from Columbia University with degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies and completed two three-year retreats and one six-month retreat in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  He completed a year-long certification course in Mindfulness Facilitation through the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA


He is also an accredited facilitator of the 8-week Open Mindfulness Training through the Altruistic Open Mindfulness Network, as well as the Tibetan Inner Yoga Training.  He is the spiritual director of the Milarepa Retreat Center in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and founded the Earth Vase Pilgrimage project in the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountain region.