Empower Your Mind ‘Meditation,Fasting, Wealth & Buddhist Super Powers’
Today I am very fortunate to speak with David Midgley, son of well known philosopher Mary Midgley. David is a freelance philosopher, eco-activist and founder of Schumacher North and Jamyang Buddhist Centre Leeds.
David’s educational background is in maths, chemistry and the philosophy of science and has studied Buddhism and other faiths extensively for many decades.
00:12 David talks about his background and how he became interested in Buddhism in 1980
01:57 What is Buddhism and is it a religion? Can you follow the Buddhist way of life and have other spiritual beliefs too?
02:55 David talks about anxiety and depression and how spirituality or Buddhism can help with these issues and touches on some of the causes.
05:00 David talks briefly about issues which he helps people with which include changing jobs, money and spiritual growth
06:00 I ask David what his thoughts are on money, wealth and spirituality. Can we be rich and spiritual?
08:38 We discuss value of service vs money and David mentions the teachings of Wallace Wattles in his book ‘The science of getting rich’ (link to audio version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur9GR9Q_6Xc )
09:46 David talks about the Buddhist ethics anybody even if they are not religious or just toying with spirituality can incorporate into their life for better wellbeing
11:15 I ask David about fasting and Buddhist way of life. David talks about why fasting is helpful for meditation and why Buddhist monks often have one meal a day, which other people do but not for religious reasons. David also talks about deep spirtitual experiences that people obtain in a fasted state and briefly how to prepare your body for these from a Buddhist perspective
13:23 David talks about the 3months fasts that some monks do and how they do it.
14:01 As I am interested in hypnosis, prayer, flow states I ask David about altered states of consciousness and meditation
14:35 David describes concentrated meditation
15:04 David talks about different objects or themes which people focus on during concentrated meditation
15:55 With stress being a problem in society today and meditation and mindfulness being a good way to combat this, David shares his thoughts on modern mindfulness and Mindfulness Apps. Are they any good?
17.20 David talks about the value of group meditation and how to progress from doing mindfulness on your own or with an App to doing it with a teacher or spiritual leader to get the full benefits
19:45 We discuss Siddhis (Buddist ‘superpowers’ eg clairvoyance) and Tummo (advanced tantric meditation ‘inner fire’) what can be gained from advanced mediation and why is it not for beginners
22:06 David talks about Tummo and explains what it is
23:52 David describes the purpose of tantric and requirements
24:24 David talks about Kundalini energy and how to prepare for such types of advanced meditation and why it can be unsafe for inexperienced people
26:19 David talks about similarities between other faiths/religions and Buddhism. Is having any faith better than having none at all?
27:17 Contemplative meditative paths and deep spiritual teachings in other religions such as the Kabala , Sufism and St John of the Cross
28: 54 Are deep spiritual experiences all the same regardless of beliefs ?
29:56 I ask David for his thoughts on why some people are nicer than others regardless of backgorund. Are we born like this? Can we change?
31:39 Can spirituality help people become a ‘good person’
33.22 In our modern day society with social media, us wanting everything right now and always wanting more What impact does this have on us and the environment.
33:37 David talks about E.F Schumacher and economics of sufficiency
37:19 The book 2052 what is the significance of this year and is this when we will see an environmental crisis if we do nothing?
39:30 Consciousness and the mind. Does it exist inside or out side the body like Rupert Sheldrake and Gregory Bateson talk about ?
Rupert Sheldrake discussing consciousness for those not familiar with him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MHfBhZzXmU
40:36 David describes the ‘Mind and Life Seminars’ where Dalai Lama and other lamas along with western scientists who are biologist, physicists debate consciousness and how David feels the western view on the mind is not convincing
41:44 David describes how a brain state is something physical and consciousness is an experience and mentions Gregory Bateson book ‘Steps to an ecological mind’ as further reading
43:42 Certain states of consciousness are not permitted in society, including people using psychedelic drugs like LSD, DMT etc Can these ‘trips’ be obtained from meditation
46:55 What might an altered state of consciousness feel like and can they imporve intelligence and memory or reduce pain?
47:24 How long does it take to develop concentrated meditation skills
47:53 Which physical activities help improve meditation skills?
48:22 David talks about Karma
49:19 David describes how regret and repentance are key to spiritual development and to eliminate negative karma
49:45 God and higher beings
51:13 How does do those who teach Buddhism keep up with changes in society
52:06 David gives his views on what to do if you want to pursue a more spiritual path in life or are a bit curious about Buddhism or any other faith/religion.