Raised by a shaman in New York City and signed to Sony Records at 19, Biet's life has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, clarity and addiction. Now dubbed the “Lady Gaga of Meditation,” her approach to spirituality is pragmatic and practical: You will find enlightenment within your life's circumstances, and nowhere else. It's not about changing the facts of your life, but working with and within them.
Biet Simkin: My family emigrated from a communist Russia in '79. I was born a month later. They had literally emigrated a month before. My dad had cured himself of tuberculosis in the woods of Russia with a secret shaman. He was this newfound Torah reading Jew and mystic and newly God-believing. He had always been an angry chain-smoking atheist. This was this huge transformation.
Biet Simkin: He had actually decided to have circumcision because, in communist Russia, that wasn't something that was being done at the age of 40 with no anesthetic to prove his Judaism to...
Like a reef or rainforest, what we call a human is actually a multispecies superorganism — technically a "holobiont." We evolved to exist with our microbes and the microbiomes of others. Breast milk co-evolved to feed the growing garden in an infant's gut. We exchange microbes when we hug and kiss or have a pet in the house. Today, Ara Katz, co-founder of Seed, talks about the importance of microbes and how they can impact the health of our bodies, our children, and our planet.
Jeff: Ara Katz. How's your gut today?
Ara Katz: Resilient.
Jeff: Good. That's how I make all my friends. Just ask them how their gut is.
Ara Katz: Would they probably answer differently than the nerdy scientist in my office?
Jeff: Fair enough. I also like to say, I'm not myself today, because I'm actually not myself. And maybe that's a decent place to start. Why am I not myself from a microbiota...
None of us imagined motherhood under these conditions. Some of us are essential workers navigating front-line jobs, but most of us are now stay-at-home moms, our careers vying with our kids for breathing room. Schuyler Grant hosts today's Mother's Day episode where she, along with other mothers, reflect on what it means to be a mom in this moment.
Schuyler: Welcome to the Commune podcast, a global wellness community and online course platform featuring some of the world's greatest teachers, usually hosted by the intrepid Jeff Krasno. But occasionally I push him out of the studio and offer up something a little different. This is Schuyler Grant, and today's podcast goes out to my fellow mothers in quarantine. We who so badly need not cold coffee and scrambled eggs in bed, not flowers delivered by a masked stranger, but an uninterrupted week of reveling with our dearest friends. No children, no partners, no kitchens, no newsfeed, no Clorox wipes.
Schuyler: But ladies, here we are...
Capitalism bombards us with the message, “You’re not enough, but to compensate we're going to sell you a product.” This gets particularly dangerous when the products are pills and medical devices, and in particular, hormonal birth control. Today, Allison Behringer, creator of the Bodies podcast, shares her personal story with "the pill" and discusses how the -isms (sexism, racism, and capitalism) cause problems in modern medicine.
Allison Behringer: Basically, I was in my mid twenties and I fell deeply in love for the first time.
Allison Behringer: It was with this guy and things were going great. I thought I was going to marry him. And then all of a sudden, sex started to become painful. I had never had any issues with that before. At the time, I was like, "I don't know. Maybe it'll go away, whatever." It was going away and it was just getting worse and worse.
Allison Behringer: I remember I went to my geochronologist and she was just like, "Oh, lots of women...
Is your personal narrative true? Or do you manipulate and aggregate past phenomena to support your current story? Today, Nick Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution, talks about how the simple technique of tapping can powerfully address fear and anxiety and aid the process of healing. Plus, experience a short tapping session!
Jeff: Nick Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution. Thank you for coming on the Commune podcast.
Nick Ortner: Jeff, it's always a pleasure to chat. You know I do a lot of podcasts, some with people I don't know, and others like this one with friends. So it's always interesting when I talk to a friend in this live public fashion to see what we can uncover. I enjoy it more because maybe we can go deeper and uncover some things about tapping and the world and what's happening and how we can help people heal.
Jeff: Absolutely. We have a lot of common interests, and common friends common, even political beliefs and allies, which would maybe be another episode someday....
Our patterns of behavior are often rooted in our lack of self-worth. When there is something wrong on the inside, our instinct is to look for external agents to deal with those issues. However, radiance only comes from self-reflection. In today's episode, Danielle LaPorte discusses the importance of introspection, as it allows us to forgive, better understand our stories, and reach a place where we accept our enoughness.
Jeff: I've learned more about people over the last month, just through the backdrop of their life. You know what I mean?
Danielle LaPorte: Right?
Jeff: I've learned a lot about people that way.
Danielle LaPorte: Yeah.
Jeff: For me, this has become my look. I'm not really crazy about it either. I like a cleaner look. Steamed glass, that's too institutional for me from a religious standpoint.
Danielle LaPorte: A little [inaudible 00:00:35]
Jeff: Yeah. I'm trying to reclaim the notion of communion. That's a whole other conversation, and then the plants, bringing the...
What is the new world story that will spin out of our situation? Meditation doesn’t necessarily lead to a passive life — it can also encourage an active one. Today, author and recording artist Justin Michael Williams talks about how meditation helps us quiet the mind and rest in gratitude while becoming engaged members in our community. Together, we can be part of the solution.
Jeff Krasno: Justin Michael Williams, welcome to the Commune Podcast. Thank you so much for-
Justin Michael Williams: Thank you. Thank you.
Jeff Krasno: I have, in my research on you, your behaviors and proclivities, I have heard you say that you actually enjoy spending time by yourself. I'm wondering if you could talk about that, because I don't think that that's the normal human condition for people. I think people have a very difficult time spending time with themselves, and of course, our current situation is forcing a lot of us to do that.
Justin Michael Williams: Yeah. I think for so many...
If ever there was an opportunity to introduce a more local way of life, one not engineered for corporate globalism, it is now. Today’s guest is the founder and director of Local Futures, Helena Norberg-Hodge, who discusses how we can address some of the world's most salient issues, from global warming to income inequality, through localization. Yes, we CAN create sustainable local economies that don't require exploitation of anonymous workers and the desecration of the planet.
Jeff: Thank you for being on the show. Thank you for coming.
Helena: Glad to be here.
Jeff: And yeah, I would say that right now, and I always like to give some context because the global situation is very fluid. So we're speaking on... Well, I'm in America, so it's Thursday, April 9th. Here, in Australia it's Friday, April 10th.
Jeff: And obviously we're in a very, very liquid situation. But I think it's incredibly prescient to be speaking with you in this moment in history, because from what I know...
Why are so many of us sick when we value health? The American way of processing and marketing food is spreading. All over the world waistlines are expanding, hospitals are filling up, and people are getting sick with chronic illnesses. In the time of COVID-19, our health is becoming more important than ever before. Today, we talk about the relationships between immunity and a healthy diet, regenerative agriculture, localization, and how Ocean’s unique family history shaped his life’s work.
Jeff Krasno: Welcome to Commune, a global wellness community and online course platform featuring some of the world's greatest teachers. We are on a mission to inspire, heal, pass down wisdom and bring the world closer together.
Jeff Krasno: This is the Commune podcast, where each week we explore the ideas and practices that help us live this healthy, connected and purpose-filled life. So if you're hunkered down at home right now, this may be a good time to check out our course...
When information overloads us, we need a reset. But how do we really surrender and let go of so much thinking? Today, Tracee discusses how Yoga Nidra can help us quiet the mind, unwind and understand our stories, and ultimately reach a place of discernment and clarity.
Tracee Stanley: My name is Tracee Stanley and I was brought up on Long Island. And I would say the quickest way for me to tell you where and how I got to where I am right now is, I was sitting on a balcony in South Africa watching the sunrise one morning and everything suddenly got very still and quiet. And in a moment I felt like I had answers to some questions that I had been asking myself for a long time. And I didn't know what had happened, but I knew that something really special and profound had happened that I couldn't give a name to. And I started to ask around and tell people what I had felt during that time and eventually I found someone who led me to a number of books. And we went into a spiritual...