Consciousness Explorers Podcast

Jeff Warren & Tasha Schumann

The Consciousness Explorers Podcast (CEP) is an experiential sandbox for mind and body hosted by Tasha Schumann and Jeff Warren. Each episode is a real-time adventure, where a different guide takes us through a short meditation or personal growth practice: from meditation to movement, art to dreaming, voice to breath, therapy to hypnosis, the possibilities are endless. Afterwards, we attempt to reassemble ourselves into coherent human beings, so we can discuss what the heck just happened and what impact it can have on our daily lives!

The Sensual Self with Ev'Yan Whitney
Jun 16 2022
The Sensual Self with Ev'Yan Whitney
In today’s episode (the Season 1 finale!) we get slow and personal with Ev’Yan Whitney, sexuality doula, podcast host, and author of Sensual Self. “Sensuality” often gets lumped in with sexuality… Ev’Yan wants to change that, to tease apart these two aspects of being human and demonstrate how everyone can connect with a more sensual version of themselves.Ev’Yan’s 19-minute practice is a tour of the senses. Take your time. The pacing of Ev’Yan’s guidance – the way she encourages us to pause and savor each sense – is part of its sensual magic.Afterwards we have a wide-ranging conversation, from issues of sensuality and consent, to how sex changes over time in relationships, to the fundamental right of pleasure. Many of us feel guilty talking about pleasure, as though it were somehow frivolous or self-indulgent. For Ev’Yan, in a world that is continually forcing us out of our bodies, out of safety, out of softness … “Pleasure in such a world is an act of resistance.”“When we feel good, we do good … so feel good!” It’s the perfect way to finish our season.Season 1 Finale Message from Tasha & Jeff:Thank you so much to all our listeners for an incredible 1st season! We’ve had so much fun this past year, creating these 23 episodes of mind-body adventure. We (and our awesome producer Timmy) will be back in the fall with a BRAND NEW SEASON of exploration and consciousness-expanding guests! In the meantime, drop us a note if there’s a guide or a subject you’re keen to explore with us.And of course, if you’d like to support our time-and-resource-intense labor of love, consider contributing to our Patreon! Have a wonderful summer ❤️Ev'Yan's Links :• Sensual Self podcast• Sensual Self book• Ev'Yan's website• Ev’Yan’s instagramSupport the show
Direct Pointing with Angelo Dilullo
Jun 9 2022
Direct Pointing with Angelo Dilullo
Our guest today is Angelo DiLullo, a medical doctor and author of a fine book called Awake: It's Your Turn. Angelo points directly to the true nature of self / consciousness / or whatever you want to call this bizarre ululating mystery we all seem to be living inside. He probably wouldn’t even say he “teaches” this, since all he really does for his guided practice is describe his own experience of operating in a world without a sense of a panicked separate self running around going “I gotta get more stuff!” In fact, the whole conversation is a direct pointing. And what is Angelo pointing Tasha, Jeff, and  our listeners to? His term for it is “unfiltered reality.” Which turns out to be right here, right now, only we overlook it, on account of our enthralment to thinking and the organizing structures that lie below thinking. This shit is so fun. That’s why we do it. We like the existential shivers, the shiver-me-timbers, the sense of beautiful ordinary that settles all around as we get wide and full of Being (beans!), trembling righhhht at the threshold of …. of what? Of almost getting it? – but getting what? If it can’t be got, if it’s already right here? Etcetera etcetera and so on and so forth. What pleasurable times we had conversing about perceptual distortions and the need for emotional work and metabolizing energies and the twitchy “sphincter of the mind” and the tragic way Jeff has reified awareness and thus will probably never get enlightened and that’s fine at least he still has most of his hair (not for long Dad!). The EndAngelo's 12.5 minute nondual "direct pointing" begins at 9:28 and ends at 21:52. Links:Angelo’s book: Awake It’s Your Turn youtube channel, Simply Always Awake: the show
Unconscious Bias with Rima Dib
May 25 2022
Unconscious Bias with Rima Dib
Today we’re joined by Rima Dib, a good friend of Tasha and Jeff’s who also happens to be an expert in unconscious bias and anti-oppression education. Rima teaches workshops about difference – race, age, gender, sexual preference, ability – to people around the planet. She makes it fun. Is this possible? Yes, it turns out. We laughed our asses off. In Rima’s words, “If it gets too heavy, we’re gonna want to put it down. By keeping it light, we can carry it longer.”Fun doesn’t necessarily mean comfortable. Her acting and word association practices are very revealing. We go with our first flash or gesture, before we have time to edit our responses for popular consumption. Gulp. Thus Jeff squirms in his seat as various juvenile biases are uncovered. Fortunately, we also learn how our unconscious biases are NOT the same as our chosen values. So there's a lot of healthy normalization here. For Rima, everyone has biases; healing and change begin by bringing them into our awareness.Our conversation is very lively! We explore everything from “cancel culture” to Mr Clean to educating your kids about bias and dealing with racist babies. This is good medicine my friends. Thank you Rima, we love you.The first practice of identifying our embodied biases begins at 10:50 and ends at 19:25. The second practice, where we visit “the attic of our imaginations,” begins at 32:53 and ends at 37:56.Links• Rima Dib’s "Harmony at Work" website: • The Harvard Implicit Bias Test: the show
Spontaneous Thinking with Shinzen Young
May 18 2022
Spontaneous Thinking with Shinzen Young
Meet Shinzen Young, a long-time instructor of mindfulness, author of The Science of Enlightenment, and now co-director of the “Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness” or “SEMA” Lab at the University of Arizona. Shinzen is Jeff’s OG meditation teacher. He is both a scholar of comparative mysticism, and a highly creative designer of strange and beautiful (and practical) meditation techniques.In this episode, instead of trying to banish thoughts, we drop into a "global unfixated state," and allow creative images and words and associations to spontaneously unfold. Both Shinzen’s exposition and his guided practice are quite precise – so much so that Tasha kind of bristles against them, which makes for a lively discussion afterwards. But if you’re patient, and able to trust what Shinzen is pointing to, it can lead to genuine insight. Thinking can shift from something rigid and constrained, to something more free-flowing and intuitive and even wise.This matters. For Shinzen, the best of humanity comes through via our creativity and intuition. In his words, we can train ourselves to “let nature take over.” Shinzen himself demonstrates this at the end, when he comes apart during an emotional discussion of Japanese Noh theater. Much good stuff on the “deep mind,” subconscious processing, and the better angels of our nature.So: here we go … like “seaweed in a tide poodle”!Links:Shinzen’s website: YouTube channel: original “Science of Enlightenment” audio series from the 90s. In Jeff’s opinion, this series – NOT his more recent book of the same title – is one of the smartest things ever created on the subject of meditation.Shinzen’s “Unified Mindfulness” training program: “Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness” Sema Lab at the University of Arizona: the show
Tarot and the Imagination with Tatianna Morales
May 12 2022
Tarot and the Imagination with Tatianna Morales
Today we hang out with the incomparable Tatianna Morales – aka @tatiannatarot – a Brooklyn-born spiritualist, priestess, and Tarot diviner! Together, we plunge into the imagination, learning how the age-old tradition of reading Tarot cards can give us insight into our personalities and our life situations. It turns out we’re meeting Tatianna at the very moment her own relationship to Tarot is changing. And not only hers: there’s a revolution happening out in the culture – artists and enthusiasts are creating their own tarot decks, imagining new archetypes to better reflect the realities of 21st century life. As we discuss, this is one way that culture and consciousness change and evolve.So how do we give listeners their own personal Tarot reading? Tatianna starts by asking listeners to think of a question or theme they want to explore. Then all of us – Jeff and Tasha too – choose a number between one and three. Tatianna pulls a card for each number and does a reading for each. Listen closely to the reading for the number you choose! All the readings are fascinating, as examples of how Tarot works and the kinds of dynamics they help us explore.Much goodness here and a wonderful animated discussion afterwards. Enjoy!Practice begins at 8:52 with Tatianna’s readings from 10:30-19:36; Jeff and Tasha get a personal reading from 20:17 – 32:38, and finally our general discussion begins at 32:38. Links:- Tatianna’s website: Tatianna’s instagram:  Support the show
Effortless Meditation with Peter Russell
Apr 28 2022
Effortless Meditation with Peter Russell
Today’s episode: Peter Russell. Peter started out as a theoretical physicist, a student of Stephen Hawking’s, until sometime in the early 70s he made his way to India and had his brain blown open. He became one of the West’s early proponents of meditation, and in the 80s wrote several seminal books on consciousness and technology. He’s had a big influence on the culture of meditation in general and on Jeff in particular – Jeff tells the story of meeting Peter in San Francisco back in 2008 and afterwards getting “let go” tattooed on his forearm.Appropriate then, that Peter’s new book is called Letting Go of Nothing. What does “letting go” actually mean, and why do so many meditation teachers go on about it? We explore this in real-time, as Peter guides us in a wonderfully simple and accessible “effortless meditation” practice. Afterwards, very relaxed, we lazily discuss whether all this effortlessness is really just cheating and won’t actually get us anywhere. “Thinking you need to get somewhere is exactly the problem!” says Peter, or something like that. And on we go, a deep dive into the ordinary perfection that is already right here. This is good medicine.Peter’s 12 minute effortless meditation practice begins at 7:55 and ends at 19:58.Apologies for the rustles and muffles – sound improves after the first ten minutes.Links:Peter’s WebsitePeter's Book: Letting Go of Nothing Peter's Youtube ChannelSupport the show (
Hypnosis with Dr. David Spiegel
Mar 31 2022
Hypnosis with Dr. David Spiegel
Today we’re joined by Stanford psychiatry professor Dr. David Spiegel, an expert in the clinical use of hypnosis. David is co-author, along with his late father Herbert Spiegel, of Trance and Treatment, a classic work on hypnosis published by the American Psychiatric Association. And therein lies a story … almost 20 years ago, Jeff interviewed David’s 92-year old father Herbert Spiegel. Not just interviewed – Dr Spiegel managed to hypnotize Jeff, demonstrating to him first-hand the strange persuasive power of this mind-body intervention. Now listeners can get their own taste. David’s first practice is a guided hypnosis session – essentially, he tries to hypnotize you. Then, depending on your suggestibility, he offers a specific therapeutic strategy for working with anxiety. David’s second short guided practice is an exploration of our innate hypnotic capacity. Hilarity ensues, as Jeff and Tasha observe their own dissociated arms tingle and float.Our conversation explores the nature and neurobiology of hypnosis, how it is different from meditation, and the under-appreciated potential of hypnosis to help with all kinds of health conditions, from addiction to chronic pain to anxiety. As David says, “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” This is a safe, internally-directed healing modality that ultimately does not depend on experts, or medication, or anything except a willingness to open yourself to experience. The first 10-minute hypnosis session begins at 8:05 and finishes at 17:51. The second eye-roll / arm floating test begins at 25:05 and finishes at 31:00. To use the Eye Roll Test to figure out your own innate hypnotic capacity, check out this illustration from Jeff’s book, The Head Trip. LinksDavid’s Self-Hypnosis App, “Reveri”:  His Stanford Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences webpage: clinician page: and his father Herbert Spiegel's classic book: Trance and Treatment: Clinical Uses of Hypnosis: www.appi.org/Products/Psychotherapy/Trance-and-Treatment-Second-EditionThe Eye Roll Test: the show (
Connecting to the Land with Warren Hooley
Mar 17 2022
Connecting to the Land with Warren Hooley
If you live in the US or Canada, you may have noticed a movement to acknowledge local indigenous groups who've historically lived in a particular territory. For example, Tasha and I live in Toronto, Ontario, which is also where our nonprofit meditation community group –  The Consciousness Explorers Club or "CEC" – operates. These days, at the beginning of every CEC retreats and meditation sits, even our virtual events, we say some version of "The CEC operates on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit, and is covered by Treaty 13." We say this as a way to situate us in an actual physical place. And we say it because we support the movement of truth, justice and reconciliation for Indigenous peoples in this country. It's been too long in coming.In today's episode, we explore the inner practice of territory and ancestor acknowledgement. Our guide, Warren Hooley, comes from a mixed indigenous and western background. He lives in the Syilx (Okanagan) Territory in Penticton, British Columbia, where he runs workshops on Facilitation, Indigenous Allyship, and Compassionate Communication. He also teaches at the Consciousness Explorers Club. Warren has really wrestled with this question of why territory acknowledgment matters, and how to engage with it in a way that is real and meaningful for the practitioner. His beautiful guided practice is really a ceremony, complete with drum and singing. It has three parts: an acknowledgment of local indigenous groups, an exploration of our own ancestral roots, and finally connecting in a personal way with our own local landscape.Warren’s 21-minute practice starts at 7:00 and ends at 28:00.Links:• Warren’s bio: the show (
Radiant Rest with Tracee Stanley
Mar 3 2022
Radiant Rest with Tracee Stanley
Today our explorer-in-residence is Tracee Stanley, a longtime student and teacher of Yoga and Tantra, and author of Radiant Rest: Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity. We’ve explored rest before on this pod, but not quite like this! When we sit and attempt to let go, what gets in the way? What messages about safety and worthiness are hiding in our nervous system?For Tracee, rest is about sanity, empowerment, and resistance. Resistance to our own self judgements and the pressures of dominant culture. We talk about all of this from a place of rest. To prepare for this week's practice, prep a space where you can get cozy. There is also a short journaling practice, so have a notebook and pen on hand.Tracee’s 20 minute deep rest practice begins at 4:03 and ends at 24:03 with lots of juicy, insightful discussion after!Just an extra note: our ambition with the “Mind Bod Adventure Pod,” as Tasha calls it, is to become part of your daily or weekly practice regimen. It is a place to explore a broad understanding of practice – from quieter meditation and movement practices, to more engaged life and work and communication practices. To do this in real-time, together. And then, after, we talk honestly about our own experience, as a way to help you get clearer about yours. In this way, we both connect to helpful practice resources, and we develop more confidence around being our own teachers and mental authorities.The other part of this is exploring what kind of conversation emerges after we do a practice – when we're still influenced by the practice itself, when it is still in our nervous systems, as it were. That’s one reason it's important to actually do the practices. They help us see what else might be important. They can change the way we live and relate and listen and communicate.So let’s party! And by "party," we mean close our eyes and do practically nothing.Links:• Tracee’s website: www.traceeyoga.com• Tracee’s Deep Relaxation Course on Commune• Tracee’s Yoga Nidra TrainingSupport the show (