Episodes
As a young writer and performer, Sara Benincasa found her voice doing stand-up comedy. For years, it seemed better than therapy. But slowly, doubts surfaced. While the external validation she received made her feel successful and even loved, something was missing. In this episode of Meditative Story, Sara shares how she came to look inward, instead of outward, for richer feelings of worth.  Sara Benincasa’s monthly podcast, "Well, This Isn't Normal," is about mental health and stress relief....
Published 12/01/22
No matter what emotions are brought up for you during the holiday season, the mindfulness techniques explored in this episode will leave you feeling relaxed even when the holiday brings challenges like tricky family dynamics, the difficulty of disconnecting from work, and the loneliness that can arise at even the most joyful times of year. Notice them, name them, release them. To learn more about the RAIN mindfulness technique – an acronym first coined by senior Buddhist teacher, Michele...
Published 11/23/22
Published 11/23/22
When life hands you an unimaginable sorrow, how do you begin to recover your joy, your connection, your creative spark? In a special crossover episode with our friends at the Spark & Fire podcast, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt (you might know him as the voice of Remy in “Ratatouille”) shares a powerful story about how he slowly reclaimed his creative spirit after a tragedy that left him questioning everything. It’s a story of family, community, and connectedness, co-hosted by Rohan and...
Published 11/21/22
Sitting in the school library, staring down at his unfinished chemistry homework, pre-med student Case Kenny feels helpless. He faces a difficult choice: did I choose the wrong major? And who will I disappoint if I admit that? Now an acclaimed podcaster (New Mindset, Who Dis?), Case shares three stories from his early life about being wrong, and how he slowly learns what’s right for him. The key: Learning to see wrongness as a chance to re-examine who he is and what his right next step might...
Published 11/17/22
Just out of school, writer Alex Morris gets a job performing and teaching improv comedy in London, playing absurd characters night after night. But his knack for hiding his true self starts long before he ever steps onstage. Alex is hiding a secret — one that only his family and a few close friends know: he’s slowly losing his sight. He shares a story about his struggles living with a degenerative eye disease and the lengths to which he would go to pretend he didn’t need help. Listen to Tony...
Published 11/10/22
Rohan sits down with author Florence Williams to talk about her award-winning Meditative Story, “To chase the sunset.” In conversation, Florence offers her candid perspective on how to face heartbreak with patience and compassion, by letting beauty mend our hearts. It’s a Soul Curriculum episode filled with wisdom and assurance that we too can accept our scars, and even learn to see the gifts they offer. Listen to Florence Williams' full episode of Meditative Story, "To chase the...
Published 11/08/22
Growing up, Rachel Cargle was used to seeing things her family couldn’t afford. As she got older, became a writer, lecturer, and philanthropist, she continued to seek opportunities just beyond her grasp. Hard work and creativity allowed her to grow successful as an entrepreneur, but deeper challenges still remained. In this episode of Meditative Story, Rachel unfolds how she found fulfillment by turning her gifts outward. Listen to Larry Jackson’s episode of Meditative Story, "To visualize...
Published 11/03/22
How do the challenges and trauma we encounter in our lives tie to our ancestral roots? How do we hold on to these experiences in our physical body? These are questions that we explore on today’s Soul Curriculum episode featuring author, entrepreneur, and yoga instructor Kino MacGregor. Rohan and Kino go deeper into how generational pain can become expressed in the body, and explore ways in which physical practices can provide an antidote.  Listen to Kino MacGregor's full episode of...
Published 11/01/22
On the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, we allow ourselves space for our memories and our grief about those we’ve lost — as well as for joy, and even humor, around the continuity between life and death. While many cultures try to tiptoe around death, the rituals of Día de Muertos ask us to look clearly at it, recognize death’s place in our lives, and honor both its everyday-ness and its mystery.  Read the transcript for this episode:...
Published 10/27/22
The strawberry field past the maple tree. A hidden nook beneath the stairs. The magical hour before anyone else is awake. Throughout her life, Angela Ahrendts has sought out sanctuaries – sacred spaces to reconnect and to dream, quiet moments to visualize what her next big decision might lead to, to stay open to the signs that help guide her. Now, after a series of bold career choices, Angela reflects on the decades-long journey that has brought her to this moment, and comes to realize that...
Published 10/18/22
Midway through a grueling, muddy obstacle course, Shani Tran is so grateful for the support of her father, her teammate, who cheers her on and pulls her through. But in other parts of life, she knows, he’s just not there for her in the same way. And that’s ... okay. She shares three stories — with humor, and with honesty —  that build to a lifelong lesson about seeing people for who they are, not who you wish they’d be, and learning to take responsibility for your own happiness.  Listen to...
Published 10/13/22
In today’s Soul Curriculum episode, Rohan talks with the Paralympian and current world record holder in the long jump Lex Gillette. Lex shares his insights into how music allowed him to define himself on his own terms, and elaborates on his mantra: "No need for sight when you have a vision." Join Rohan for a deeper conversation with the extraordinary Lex Gillette about how to lead ourselves out of our comfort zones and soar.  Listen to Lex Gillette's full episode of Meditative Story, "To be...
Published 10/11/22
Russ Ellis has led the kind of life they write books about. The first full-time Black professor at California’s Claremont Colleges. Acclaimed sociologist. Celebrated sculptor and painter. Even a recording artist. But as he reveals in this episode, even the fullest life can be haunted by a single event half a century earlier. Each episode of Meditative Story combines the emotional pull of first-person storytelling with immersive music and gentle mindfulness prompts. Read the transcript for...
Published 10/06/22
In today’s Soul Curriculum episode, Rohan and singer/songwriter Nataly Dawn invite us all to consider what it is to be a beginner, and why it’s so easy to experience shame when we’re completely new at something. Reflecting on the passage from beginner to mastery, Nataly and Rohan explore the wide range of feelings we can experience when facing the new, and the satisfaction of letting the process unfold. Join us for a delightful discussion with Nataly.  Listen to Nataly Dawn's full episode of...
Published 10/04/22
Growing up half-Japanese in South Florida, Kino MacGregor spends a lot of time feeling uncomfortable in her own body. But her Japanese grandfather is always there for her, and they spend joyful hours together every day, playing hide-and-seek, cooking and eating, practicing aikido. Behind his joy, she learns only later, hides a profound grief — one that carries down the generations. In Kino’s Ashtanga yoga practice, she finds the tools to process this grief and sadness she’s unknowingly...
Published 09/29/22
In this episode of Soul Curriculum, Rohan spends time with Henry Shukman, author and spiritual director of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe. The two dive into the theme of deep listening and what it can open up in us; how to hone our ability to be present to the world around us and to each other; and the importance of finding mentors to guide us along the way. Join us to hear two soulful meditation practitioners in candid conversation. Listen to Henry Shukman's episode of Meditative...
Published 09/27/22
As an author and poet, Mark Nepo has spent decades writing about spirituality and serenity. But his life wasn’t always as calm as it is now. Growing up, Mark feels challenged by the demands of his perfectionist father and struggles to feel seen. Years later, after surviving a battle with cancer, Mark looks back and realizes that watching his father refurbish a boat in their backyard provided one of the most important, surprising lessons of his life. Learn more about Mark: MarkNepo.com Fine...
Published 09/22/22
In this episode of Soul Curriculum, Rohan speaks candidly with songwriter, poet, artist, and musician Morgan Harper Nichols about the creation of her Meditative Story. They explore the role art plays in helping her to connect with herself and others, and how to stay open to the unforeseen ways in which a sense of belonging may arrive in our lives. As Morgan reveals, sometimes it takes risk and movement to shake us up and discover a deeper understanding of who we are. Join Morgan and Rohan as...
Published 09/20/22
Celebrity chef Carla Hall wasn’t always interested in cooking. As a child, she finds that puzzles and play help her to discover her true character. When she falls upon a hard time, she instinctively turns to memories of her grandmother’s kitchen for comfort. In this episode of Meditative Story, Carla shares how sensory play finally allows her to solve her biggest puzzle yet — herself. Listen to Danny Meyer's episode of Meditative Story, "How to find — and feed — your...
Published 09/15/22
In the UK, Joe Wicks became a household name early in the pandemic with his daily workouts, called “PE with Joe,” that helped millions of us keep moving and laughing. Early on in his own life, Joe learns first-hand how fitness can help people survive hard times, as he runs miles to escape from a chaotic childhood. As he begins his adult life, he embarks on a 2,000-mile bike ride — but this time, he realizes, he’s not racing away from his fears, but running toward his purpose. Listen to Robin...
Published 09/08/22
Lex Gillette is a 5-time medalist at the Paralympic Games, and a world record holder in the long jump, but he’s more than that too. As he learns to navigate the world after losing his sight, he’s worried about being left out and overlooked — or, just as bad, being seen only in terms of his disability and his athletic gifts. Lex shares the story of how he began to forge his identity on his own terms, creating a spotlight that he steps into with his entire being. Listen to Cal Ripken Jr.’s...
Published 09/01/22
When Nataly Dawn’s family moves from the U.S. to a tiny town in the middle of France, she finds herself unable to speak, read, or even play the way the other kids do. It’s embarrassing, being a rock-bottom beginner in 5th grade — but as she slowly learns the language, she finds a new kind of joy in the process of discovery. The singer-songwriter who is one-half of the band Pomplamoose shares how a beginner’s mindset — even if it’s uncomfortable at first — can be a doorway to connection and...
Published 08/26/22
As a boy in Oxford, Henry Shukman seeks refuge from a painful childhood by disappearing into poetry, immersing himself in nature. But the beauty and clarity he finds there is only fleeting. A series of visits with a mysterious old family friend help him to understand that experiencing beauty — and its extraordinary gifts — doesn’t have to be a chance encounter. In fact, it could become a guiding principle of his life. Through listening deeply, she shows him how to unlock beauty at every...
Published 08/19/22
Lehua Kamalu captains a vast, double-hulled ocean canoe crafted to the exact specifications of the seafaring vessels used by her ancestors. She and her crew are making a 2,500 mile journey between Tahiti and Hawaii, the same one original settlers of the South Pacific traversed, the same journeys historians once struggled to believe possible without today’s technology. The stakes are high and they sail the way their ancestors sailed, taking their cues from the water and wind. Lehua stays alert...
Published 08/11/22