Tag Archives: Podcast

ISmile339 – Dealing With Conflict

What happens when we are in the midst of disagreement?  This can apply to a marriage, a friendship, a community or (perhaps especially) a legislative debate or an election. The Buddha had some thoughts on this as noted in the famed Quarrel of Kosambi, where he offers some guidance. Engaging in the practice of right [...]

ISmile329 – At Peace With Death

It’s about meeting every experience without avoidance or greed. In this radical honesty fearlessness will always reign.

ISmile325 – Video: Comparing Christian and Buddhist Versions of Love

In this video, Michael discusses the idea of love as inspired by Paul’s letter to Corinthians, Chapter 13. He then compares the Christian version of love to a decidedly Buddhist interpretation, drawing on the idea that love can be seen as a simple, felt sense of the Infinite. Michael’s inspiration for this talk came out of [...]

ISmile324 – When Practice Deepens

One of the things that Zen practice leaves out, according to Michael McAlister, is a more direct approach to uncovering the Witness. This simple awareness, is all there ever is, and in this talk, Michael uses a piece by Ken Wilber in order to point out this constant Witness as a way for deepening a [...]

ISmile323 – The Enormity of What You Really Are

When we let ourselves truly recognize what lies beyond our preferences and our attachments, we begin to get a sense of how expansive we really are. This recognition can be an explosive experience that rattles us to our core, scaring us from continuing our practice. In this talk, Michael encourages us to stay the course, [...]

ISmile309 – Staring Through the Eyes of God

Consciously meeting the grace brought on by deep meditative work allows for us to develop a steadiness in our day-to-day lives. This doesn’t mean that we won’t experience discomfort and pain. In fact, when we let both our physical and emotional discomfort inform our lives, instead of defining them, we can begin to fearlessly welcome [...]

ISmile304 – Untangling Karmic Knots

We usually think of Karma in terms of “good” and “bad.” And yet these cliches don’t do much to serve up a deeper understanding of Karma’s spiritual implications. In this talk, Michael touches on several topics that center around the human tendency to act and behave from a profound sense of separation. Action from this [...]

ISmile298 – The Steps to Freedom

Once we come to terms with the fact that nothing lasts, even the idea of clinging begins to lose its gravitational pull. Cultivating this opening has been taught in several traditions, with Eihei Dogen’s, “Eight Awakenings of Great Beings,” offering Zen students an excellent guide for achieving this goal. Looking closely at the Eight Awakenings, [...]