This week, Roshi Joan Halifax returns to the show for a conversation around finding freedom at the edge where fear and courage meet.
Standing at the Edge (Opening) – In her newest book, Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet, Roshi Joan has identified five psychological territories she calls Edge States―altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, and engagement―that epitomize strength of character.
Read an excerpt from Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet at RamDass.org
Yet each of these states can also be the cause of personal and social suffering. In this way, these five psychological experiences form edges, and it is only when we stand at these edges that we become open to the full range of our human experience and discover who we really are. Raghu and Roshi Joan discuss the book’s premise and read a few passages from it.
“I explore five edge states in the book. Like any doctor who diagnoses an illness before recommending a treatment, I felt compelled to explore the destructive side of these five virtuous human qualities. These are edge states that I found to be really important for people who are involved in selfless service. Along the way, I was surprised to learn that, even in these degraded forms, edge states can teach and strengthen us. Just as bone and muscle are strengthened when exposed to stress and become stronger for having been injured.”
More Than the Story of Me (14:05) – Roshi Joan talks about practices that remove us from our ordinary self-referential frame of mind which is the source of so much suffering. She discusses the important role that accepting death plays in dispelling our selfish inclinations.
Listen to Dr. Joel Salinas’ conversation with Raghu about lessons that mirror-touch synesthesia has taught him about breaking down the barriers between ourselves and others on Ep. 195 of the Mindrolling Podcast.
Narrative of Letting Go (27:20) – The two discuss the transformative role that meditation plays in bringing our lives into balance and getting at the truth of who we are.
“I have been meditating since 1965. I feel like my neural networks have been nourished in a way to help me not get caught in the narrative of loss, but instead to be caught in the narrative of gratefulness and letting go.”
Getting Real About Karma (40:00) – Roshi Joan and Raghu talk about how working with the Edge States discussed in Standing at the Edge allows us to get real about what is happening in our lives and in the world. Roshi Joan looks at the importance of karma and the wisdom it can provide in our journey of awakening.
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