27. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu: From Mindfulness to Heartfulness

Hello my friends today, my guest is Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu. He is a psychologist and has training and clinical and community psychology, Yoga, meditation, and Chinese medicine. He holds a Doctorate from Harvard University. He’s been a teacher and counselor in Japan and the United States working with all ages from daycare to medical school. His current research is in the assessment of mindfulness and promoting personal wellbeing, leadership and social transformation. I was privileged to find Stephen’s book in the basement of the Strand bookstore in New York City. In it, he uses his personal experience to expand concepts that help us to transform ourselves, ultimately help us transform society using compassion. Stephen talks with me about the power of listening and how to be a more effective listener, what it really means. He also talks about actually seeing others and being seen, why it matters how we can do it. Stephen talks a lot about this duality, this tension between serving our ego, which of course we all have while remaining humble. So how do we walk that line between ego and humility? How do we share the things we know, the gifts we have with others in ways that make a difference while not letting it go to our head, not just being arrogant jerks. With that, please enjoy this conversation with Dr. Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu.

00:04:03 – Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu on what life’s about.
00:07:06 – Living to 111.
00:15:10 – A short meditation.
00:28:49 – Unhappy students.
00:38:41 – Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu’s mentor.
00:49:20 – Intellectual compassion.
00:57:29 – Lightning round.
01:21:16 – Who inspired you to write?
01:34:22 – Technical writing tools.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu’s Books
From Mindfulness to Heartfulness by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
Multicultural Encounters by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
When Half is Full by Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu

26. Colin Beavan: A Fulfilling Life and a Better World

Today, my guest is Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man, the Adventures of a Guilty Liberal who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process. Colin has also written a book called How To Be Alive. Now, I found Colins’s book used at a second-hand bookstore. This book is printed on post-consumer waste paper printed with soy ink. It’s very environmentally friendly, which is no surprise given that it contains the stories and experiences of a man who lived a year without producing any trash except for compost. Purchasing no goods except for food and that food had to be grown within a 250 mile radius. He used no carbon-emitting transportation, no airplanes, no buses, no cars for a year. He didn’t even use elevators, taking the stairs. Now, all of that with a family living in New York City. Oh, and no paper products either including no toilet paper. He’s appeared on the Colbert Report, Good Morning America, Nightline, just about every morning show in the country. He holds a PhD from the University of Liverpool and he’s an all-around good guy.

00:02:21 What is life about?
00:03:53 Daughter Bella’s purpose of life.
00:14:34 Criticism surrounding the documentary.
00:28:15 Building literal bridges.
00:30:11 A model for changing a persons life.
00:51:04 What Colin would have changed with No Impact Man.
00:54:56 Lightening round.
01:10:16 Specific questions about writing.
01:33:14 Qualities of a great sentance.

LINKS – (In order of appearance)
Colin Beavan’s website
How to Be Alive by Colin Beavan
No Impact Man by Colin Beavan
Operation Jedburgh by Colin Beavan
Fingerprints by Colin Beavan
No Impact Man documentary