Raghu gets the opportunity to chat with new found friend Vincent Horn, host of the Buddhist Geeks podcast. They discuss the interplay of technology and spiritual experience. In what ways do the internet, smartphones, and emerging technologies affect our spiritual practice and how can we utilize them to their greatest potential?
Vincent founded his podcast “Buddhist Geeks” and website “Meditate.IO” with the philosophy of taking a fresh approach to old practices. He and Raghu talk about this philosophy and what role they think technology and the internet have in the practice of spirituality. What are the potentials of our newfound interconnectivity via the internet and smartphones? How can they be used to foster a network of awakened individuals as opposed to separating and polarizing us? Listen as Vincent tells his vision of our “technodelic” future. Using technology as a teaching tool to bring us into altered states of consciousness and awareness.
03:15 – Vincent is asked by Raghu what mindfulness means to Vincent. He explains how his approach slightly differs from the classic Buddhist conception of mindfulness.
07:50 – We hear Vincent’s story of growing up on a commune in Mars Hill. How he rebelled from the popular new age movement, only to come back to spirituality and practice on his own terms.
11:20 – Raghu and Vincent discuss Buddhism in the internet age. What is the role of technology in the western renaissance that we find ourselves in the middle of? Our interconnectedness is changing the spiritual experience from that of the awakened individual to a network of individuals awakening together.
16:05 – What are the downsides of this new interconnectivity? How polarization and isolation can come from this new freedom. Raghu also reminds us that the drawbacks can have a silver lining.
20:45 – We should be mindful of how much of our daily experience is focused on our comfort. Raghu reminds us of the importance of allowing ourselves to remain in the zone of discomfort.
22:15 – Raghu shares the labor that Ram Dass gave him of bringing their wisdom to the new generation.
25:29 – How do we maintain presence in a world of glowing screens? Vincent talks about using technology as an ally in service of a greater good. What does it mean to make everything a meditation practice for real?
35:00 – The two discuss the commercialization of mindfulness. Despite the pitfalls and shortcuts, the results seem to be worth the jarring change of presentation. With more people than ever being introduced to an array of concepts and experiences, they would have never found a connection with otherwise.
40:30 – Vincent talks about the upcoming “technodelic” revolution, what he expects EEG headsets to bring to how we approach consciousness. Imagine the potential of trans-personal experience available at the push of a button. What role does the emerging virtual reality technology in the future’s approach to spiritual practice?
46:30 – Shinzen Young is discussed, his belief of how science and technology based “boosters” could be added as the third tool in awakening the spirit.
50:20 – A brief history of the Buddhist Geeks podcast and website. Creating a space for people from all backgrounds to question and approach things from a different angle.
54:50 – Vincent shares how he brings love into his practice. Breaking down the original practices to their most useful core components and re-assembling it into a more approachable modern fusion.
For more on Vincent visit his website subscribe to his podcast Buddhist Geeks and check out his great meditation courses at Meditate.IO
Vincent Horn is part of a new generation of meditation teachers translating age-old wisdom into 21st-century code. A computer engineering dropout turned modern monk, Vincent spent his 20s co-founding the ground-breaking Buddhist Geeks while doing a full year of silent meditation practice. He began teaching meditation in 2010 with the encouragement of his teachers, Kenneth Folk and Daniel Ingram. In 2016 he helped start a new project–Meditate.io–dedicated to offering mind training for the digital age. Vincent has been called a “power player of the mindfulness movement” by Wired magazine and was honored to be featured in Wired UK’s “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world.” He is married to the super-fly Emily Horn and is father to a beautiful little boy named Zander.
The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works by Shinzen Young
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein