Category: Health & Healing

Kelly Boys: Illuminating Our Blind Spots

Kelly Boys is a teacher and author who directed the launch of the renowned Search Inside Yourself training program, based on the emotional intelligence and mindfulness program developed at Google. With Sounds True, she has published The Blind Spot Effect: How to Stop Missing What’s Right in Front of You. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Kelly speaks with Tami Simon on the different kinds of blind spots, how we develop them, and how to finally see through those blockages. Kelly describes what drew her to the subject and also leads the audience in a guided practice for homing in on their own blind spots. Tami and Kelly talk about “the endowment effect”—a psychological need to grasp onto what is familiar even if it no longer serves our best interests. Finally, they discuss the greatest (and most common) blind spot of all: the feeling that we are separate from the rest of humanity. (62 minutes)

Sera Beak: Bringing Your Soul Home

Sera Beak is a scholar of comparative religions who has conferred with shamans, monks, and mystics the world over. She is the author of The Red Book: A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark and Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story. With Sounds True, she has most recently published Redvelations: A Soul’s Journey to Becoming Human. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Sera about the fragmentation of the soul and the journey that Sera undertook when she realized that pieces of her own soul had gone missing. They discuss the passage of core wounds between lifetimes and Sera’s experiences of remembering and reclaiming Sarah, the forgotten daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, as a lost part of her own soul. Sera describes how she reckoned with her experiences—first wanting to not share them with anyone else, and then growing into the realization that to not do so would be to abandon a key part of her essential self. Finally, Tami and Sera talk about how to embody true, divine love and how this eternal love transmits through “the organic lineage” of all life. (61 minutes)

Edward Espe Brown: No Recipe

Edward Espe Brown is a renowned chef and Zen teacher who is best known as the first head cook at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. In addition to writing several cookbooks including the classic Tassajara Bread Book, Edward founded Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. With Sounds True, he has published No Recipe: Cooking as Spiritual Practice. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Edward about Zen teachings on what it means to have to feel our way through the dark—both in the kitchen and on the spiritual path. They talk about cooking as a form of offering and why working with food can be one of the most potent ways to express our hearts in wholeness. Edward shares what he learned in his turbulent first days as the head cook for a spiritual community, including insights from his first Zen teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. Finally, Edward and Tami discuss what it means to seek out our heart’s true desire, as well as how to embody that search in all that we do. (72 minutes)

Gustavo Ferrer: Making Peace with Death

Gustavo Ferrer, MD, is a pulmonologist who specializes in end-of-life care and has been named one of the best doctors in the nation—including Most Compassionate Doctor—by US News & World Report. With Sounds True, he has published Graceful Exit: How to Advocate Effectively, Take Care of Yourself, and Be Present for the Death of a Loved One. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon talks with Dr. Ferrer about our society’s anxiety around death and how he tries to alleviate it for both patients and their families. Dr. Ferrer advocates strongly for a conscious approach to dying, especially when it comes to getting one’s affairs in order so that death does not become even more of a burden for loved ones. Tami and Dr. Ferrer also discuss the need for open, honest conversations about dying and why this can actually help alleviate our fears around the process. Finally, Dr. Ferrer recounts the time he spent with the Warao people of South America as a young medical student, describing how their acceptance of death and grieving as a people greatly influenced his current approach to end-of-life care. (60 minutes)

Nataly Kogan: Happier Now

Nataly Kogan is a public speaker, author, and the founder of the training organization Happier. With Sounds True, she has published the book Happier Now: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones). In this edition of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Nataly about redefining happiness not as a state where we experience no negative feelings whatsoever, but as a skill we must constantly hone. Nataly shares some of her life story, including her childhood experiences as a refugee and why she spent much of her life chasing the unattainable goal of “I’ll be happy when . . .” Tami and Nataly also discuss the benefits of maintaining a regular gratitude practice, then walk listeners through a five-minute “happiness workout” that can be done on the spot. Finally, they talk about how personally fulfilling creative activities can actually make us more productive and help us practice the everyday skills of happiness. (67 minutes)

Clemens G. Arvay: We are Eco-Psychosomatic Beings

Clemens Arvay is a biologist and nonfiction author who specializes in landscape ecology, applied plant science, and the emerging field of eco-psychosomatic studies. With Sounds True, he has released The Biophilia Effect: A Scientific and Spiritual Exploration of the Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Clemens about the term “biophilia” and what it implies for human health and wellness in relationship to nature. Clemens explains the role of terpenes—complex biochemicals emitted by plants—and how they interact with the human body. Branching from this concept, Tami and Clemens discuss the idea that humans are much more tightly connected to the rest of nature than we realize, as well as what this might mean for the future of medicine. Finally, Clemens describes the practice of forest bathing and how we can maximize the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of spending time in nature. (69 minutes)