The Kind Heartfulness Podcast

The Kind Heartfulness podcast arose from the wisdom of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche in consort with the activities Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Austria-Germany. Each year many brilliant Buddhist teachers, scholars and sublime meditators grace the programs and seminars of our meditation center nestled atop the beautiful hillside above Scharnstein Austria. Therefore, this podcast is a way to share some of their insight and wisdom with you. Additionally, we will introduce you to guests from all over the world of Buddhism to share fresh insights and new perspectives. Each episode we will explore the inner reaches of the heart, the mind, and the very nature of reality. We are in the process of establishing a fully accredited university, so in that spirit, we will have as our guests some of the greatest living Buddhist philosophers currently teaching in major universities. This is will be presented in a manner that is interesting, entertaining and enlightening for everyone who is curious. Please join us on our journey as we explore, with an open heart and an inquisitive mind, the very essence of what it means to be human.

Your host: Erric Solomon

Each episode is hosted by Erric Solomon, a noted author, Buddhist teacher and meditator. Erric is the co-author with Phakchok Rinpoche of Radically Happy: A user’s guide to the mind.

Episodes list

For our inaugural podcast, our guest is Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche— teacher, guide and inspiration for all of our activities. In this episode Rinpoche offers practical, yet profound advice on the key to living a happy and healthy life.

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is a world-renowned teacher and meditation master in the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

Rinpoche is the founder and director of our meditation center, Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Austria-Germany.

Characterized by warmth, humor and wit, his teachings provide a unique opportunity to connect directly with Buddhism in a fresh, lively and timely manner.

You can find out more about his activities at https://shedrub.org/

Today we discuss the F-word, faith. Normally we think about faith as something we have or we don’t, and mostly we try to avoid the topic all together. Elizabeth and Erric playfully explore the activity of faith in practice. Uncovering a perhaps a more intriguing, gradual way to engage with faith, one you might not have expected. Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel has studied and practiced the Buddhadharma for over 35 years under the guidance of her root teacher Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is the author of two books, The Power of an Open Question and The Logic of Faith. After completing a six year retreat, Kongtrul Rinpoche appointed her Retreat Master at the Samten Ling retreat center in Colorado. Elizabeth teaches about Buddhist practice all over the world and she holds degrees in Anthropology (BA) and Buddhist Studies (MA). You can learn more about her work at https://www.elizabethmattisnamgyel.com/.

In this episode, Erric speaks with Andy Karr about his wonderful new book “Into the Mirror: A Buddhist Journey through Mind, Matter, and the Nature of Reality.” In this book, Andy examines the materialism of the modern world through the lens of Buddhist logic and reasoning. In so doing the reader is offered and accessible and powerful method for investigating our mind and our assumptions about the world.

Andy is a Buddhist Teacher, Author and Photographer. You can learn more about him at his website https://www.andykarrauthor.com/.

Professor Julia Stenzel is our guest in this episode. Julia and Erric get together to discuss her fascinating work and recent special seminar on Compassion, according to the Buddhist teachings. They further explore Julia’s insight into how Buddhist compassion fits into a modern secular setting. Julia is the Director of Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal where she is also an assistant professor. Julia also completed three traditional three years retreats. You can learn more about her work at https://ryi.org/julia-stenzel.
Today’s guest is Professor John D. Dunne. The topic of this episode is View, what is the meaning and the role of View in Buddhist philosophy and practice. The way we think about meditation practice has a profound effect on the result of our practice. Join John and Erric as they explore this crucial topic. John D. Dunne (PhD 1999, Harvard University)  holds the Distinguished Chair in Contemplative Humanities, an endowed position created through the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  He is also distinguished professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures, where he currently serves as department Chair. You can learn more about his work at https://www.johnddunne.net/.
Today’s guest is Catherine Dalton. Catherine is a Tibetan to English translator and a PHD in Buddhist Studies from UC Berkley. She has translated several important Buddhist texts including Middle Beyond Extremes (2005), A Practice of Padmasambhava (2009), Vajra Wisdom (2011), and the Lalitavistarasūtra (2013). Catherine has been following Choki Nyima Rinpoche for 20 years, and translating for him for many of those years. Catherine takes us on a deep dive in the significance of syntax, talking about what Buddhist terms can and cannot be translated and why.
Andreas Doctor is our guest in this episode. He and Erric have a conversation exploring what is really meant by reincarnation or, perhaps more precisely, rebirth in Buddhist philosophy. They end up in some pretty interesting places including the nature of reality and what that means for our meditation practice. Andreas Doctor (PhD 2004, University of Calgary) lives with his family in a small village in Denmark. He has been involved in translating and editing for the 84000 project ( https://84000.co/ )since the very early days and is currently serving as editorial director. For a number of years, Andreas has studied Buddhist history and philosophy under the guidance of Tibetan monks and lamas, mostly in Nepal at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery. As a founding member of Rangjung Yeshe Institute (www.ryi.org), he spent fifteen years teaching at the Institute and for most of this period he served as Director of Studies at Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, located at Rangjung Yeshe Institute. Andreas is Director of Dharmachakra Translation Committee (www.dharmachakra.net) where he has participated in numerous translation projects, most recently in the translation of sutras and tantras from the Tibetan canon. He is also a founding member of Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Denmark (www.gomde.dk).  

In this episode Sara Hindelang, a Buddhist practitioner and volunteer at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde is our host. She is interviewing Buddhist Yogi, Teacher and Author Erric Solomon. Sara, as a 24 year old, asks for insights on anxieties common with those of her generation, such as ecoanxiety or cynicism. Erric Solomon offers some fantastic insights into how the Buddha’s teachings are relevent in today’s chaotic modern world. You don’t have to be a young person to gain benefit from this discussion.

Erric Solomon brings together decades of Buddhist practice, a high-powered Silicon Valley career, and an abundant sense of humour. Erric speaks with an authenticity grounded in experience. Drawing on his life in the fast-paced, always on wired world, and his study under the guidance of some of the greatest masters of our time, Erric creates a bridge between modern insight and ancient wisdom.

Erric frequently leads seminars in Rangjung Yeshe Gomde Germany Austria and all over the world.

He is the author, with Phakchok Rinpoche, of Radically Happy: A User’s Guide to the Mind.

In this Episode, Author, Writing Coach, Journalist, Mindfulness expert and Buddhist Meditator, Barry Boyce is our guest. He and Erric have a wide ranging conversation about Mindfulness Meditation and Buddhism in today’s world. Is mindfulness a net plus or just a watered down version of Buddhist practice? Do modern urban Budhist centers meet the needs of people in today’s chaotic fast moving world? Find out what Erric and Barry think in this thought provoking conversation.

Barry Boyce is Founding Editor of Mindful magazine and mindful.org. A meditation practitioner since the early seventies and a teacher since the early eighties—as well as a professional writer and editor— he is the editor of and a primary contributor to The Mindfulness Revolution: Leading Psychologists, Scientists, Artists, and Meditation Teachers on the Power of Mindfulness in Daily Life.

Barry also worked closely with Congressman Tim Ryan, as developmental editor, on A Mindful Nation and The Real Food Revolution, and with Sharon Salzberg on her 2021 book, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World, as well as two of her upcoming books. Other authors whose books he has edited or been consulted on include Dacher Keltner, Janice Marturano, Caverly Morgan, Christiane Wolf, Susan Kaiser-Greenland, Frank Ostaseski, and Andy Karr.

He is a member of the group that created the renowned Denma translation of Sun Tzu’s Art of War and co-author of The Rules of Victory: How to Transform Chaos and Conflict; Strategies from the Art of War.

In addition to being board chair of the Foundation for a Mindful Society, Barry is secretary of the board of directors of the Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, and is a member of the advisory board of Peace in Schools, in Portland, Oregon.

He is a father and grandfather who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His daughters and granddaughters live in Toronto.

The Buddhist canon is filled with pithy teachings from and stories about Buddha. Many of the sutras, where Buddha gives profound answers to questions posed by his students have become very well known, even outside Buddhist circles. Lesser known to modern practitioners, are the stories that lead to the guidelines that support monastic practitioners on the path to awakening. In particular, there are many stories about his students misbehaving and how the Buddha was able to turn these situations into opportunities for progressing on the path . These stories became a list of guidelines and precepts, referred to as the Vinaya. In today’s episode, we will focus on some of the stories about nuns that are largely unknown to modern day meditators. Dr. Annie Heckman, an expert in the field, and Erric Solomon explore how these stories have enabled Buddhist practitioners‘ realization and continue to inform us in today’s the modern world.

Dr. Annie Heckman

Associate Translator, 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha

Born in Chicago, Annie Heckman is an Associate Translator for 84000 whose research focuses on stories about nuns in the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, with an emphasis on fourteenth-century Tibetan editorial and digesting practices. She holds MA and PhD degrees from the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion and Book History and Print Culture collaborative program, as well as a BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MFA from New York University in Studio Arts. She studied Tibetan language and literature at the University of Chicago Graham School prior to pursuing graduate work in Buddhist studies. She has taught at DePaul University, contributed to Bird of Paradise Press in Virginia, and worked as a reviewer of Dunhuang manuscripts at McMaster University, where she was an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student from 2017 to 2019. She was among the first three recipients of the annual Tsadra Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, with a thesis on Butön Rinchen Drub’s digest of vinaya narratives involving nuns.