Skillful Means Podcast

Jennifer O'Sullivan & Annie Moyer

Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.
Play Trailer
Trailer: Introducing Skillful Means Podcast
#59 The Kleshas, Part 3: Contemplating Raga Guided Practice#58: Lessons from "Ted Lasso"#57 The Kleshas, Part 2: Contemplating Asmita Guided Practice#56 Better Together#55 The Kleshas, Part 1: Contemplating Avidya Guided Practice#54 Welcome Annie MoyerChanges Coming to the Show#53 Progressive Relaxation for Managing Stress and Anxiety Guided Practice#52 Sensing Subtle Energy in Yin Yoga Guided Practice#51 Mindful Awareness of Feelings Guided Practice#50 Pause, Soften, Connect Guided Practice#49 Finding Calm Amidst Uncertainty Guided Practice#48 Embodying Equanimity Guided Practice
Equanimity is a steadiness in heart and mind that has a spacious feel. It is “being with” rather than “reacting to” present-moment experience, which makes possible the beat between stimulus and response. We can choose what we do next rather than impulsively react. Thus, equanimity supports agency and choicefulness. Also, it balances the three other “Divine Abodes”or “Immeasurable Qualities” so valued in Buddhist tradition: loving-kindness, compassion, and empathetic joy. For example, when we are equanimous, loving-kindness will not become harmful attachment. Compassion will not have the quality of pity. Joy will not tip over into unmitigated exuberance. Keeping equanimity in heart and mind as we go about our days ensures we are not thrown off course by unpredicted circumstances; we are steady.  We are not as uncomfortable or fitful with uncertainty; there is ease with not knowing. We do not feel betrayed by life when things don’t go as planned; we more easily adapt. In this equanimity meditation with Sarah Jane we spend time calling to mind properties of the natural elements and feeling how they can support equanimity. This is the final practice in Sarah Jane’s second series of meditations inspired by Buddhism’s four “Immeasurable Qualities.” For meditations using the traditional phrases to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity, try episodes 9, 13, 16, and 24.  This second set is less traditional, calling on the flavor and feel of each. You’ll find these meditations in episodes 42, 44, 46, and 48.~Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deepen into your yoga and mindfulness journey. We welcome your comments. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, send us a note at feedback@skillfulmeanspodcast.com, or leave us a voicemail at https://www.speakpipe.com/skillfulmeanspodcast. You can get in touch with Sarah Jane directly at https://www.sarahjaneshangraw.com/ where she offers a donation-based mindfulness/compassion practice group, weekly Insight Yoga classes, and 1:1 sessions.
Aug 12 2021
21 mins
#47 Pathway to Spacious Awareness Guided Practice
In our latest guided practice, Jen blends two potent practices to help you land in the tranquility of open, spacious awareness.The traditional way to call forth this energy is to concentrate on the breath while gently discouraging distracting thoughts, sensations, and other inputs from taking root in the conscious mind. But a lot of people find this very challenging, often retreating from meditative practice thinking that they aren't cut out for it.If you struggle with quieting your inner chatter, you might find this Internal Family Systems (IFS) meditation more accessible. Instead of trying to screen out your inner voices, you'll be invited to be a compassionate witness for their concerns before you kindly ask them to give you a little space. Jen uses IFS parts language in this practice. Although you don't have to know anything about IFS to follow this meditation, if you're unfamiliar with IFS and Parts Work, have a listen to Episode 29, where Sarah Jane and Jen chat about what IFS is and why yoga and mindfulness practitioners should look into it. In Episode 30, Jen shares a practice of getting to know your parts. This episode starts with a little dharma talk followed by the practice. If your podcast player supports chapter markers you can skip ahead. Otherwise, the meditation starts at: 03:08.~Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deepen into your yoga and mindfulness journey. We welcome your comments. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, send us a note at feedback@skillfulmeanspodcast.com, or leave us a voicemail at https://www.speakpipe.com/skillfulmeanspodcast. Jen is a Level 2 IFS Practitioner and an enthusiastic booster of parts work. You can get in touch with her directly at https://sati.yoga where she offers yoga and mindfulness classes, workshops, trainings, and IFS coaching for groups and individuals.
Jul 29 2021
23 mins
#46 Inclining the Mind Toward Gladness Guided Practice#45 Yin Yoga for the Heart & Small Intestines Guided Practice#44 Self-Compassion to Antidote Stress Guided Practice#43 Microcosmic Orbit Guided Practice#42 Disrupting Inner Chatter and Establishing Presence Guided Practice#41 Dharma Book Club: "Tao Te Ching"
In our second book club, Jen and Sarah Jane follow some dharmic threads through the ancient Taoist text the “Tao Te Ching” by Laozi and enjoy the poetic language used to, somehow, beautifully illuminate something that cannot be defined. The Tao is the source of everything and the way of life, and this text invites us to align ourselves and our lifestyle with the natural order of things. In their discussion, Jen and Sarah Jane focus on just a couple of themes: effortless action (wu wei), as well as Taoism’s Three Treasures: compassion, frugality, and humility.Both Jen and Sarah Jane’s teaching practices and offerings have been informed by years of study and practice in Yin Yoga, which is based in Taoist energy practices. Their appreciation for the text, the lineages it has birthed, and the teachers who transmit its teachings is great. If it has been years since you read the pithy 81 chapters that constitute this metaphysical classic, or you haven’t yet picked it up, you won’t want to miss this.  As Skillful Means Podcast heads into a partial summer break (though Jen and Sarah Jane will continue adding guided practices to the podcast feed), you are invited to also drop into simplicity inspired by advice both practical and profound of the “Tao Te Ching.”Tao Te Ching Translations Used in this Episode"Tao Te Ching Online Translation" is Derek Lin and Lama Surya Das’s “Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained.” https://taoism.net/tao/tao-te-ching-online-translation/“Tao Te Ching” translated by Gia-fu Feng, Jane English, and Toinette Lippe: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780679724346"Tao Te Ching" translated by Wikisource: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:Tao_Te_ChingOnline ProgramsJen leads Yin Yoga teacher trainings and is offering a 35hr Yin Yoga & Taoism virtual course in June 2021. You can find out more at www.sati.yoga. Giving to IndiaUNICEF: https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/india-faces-brutal-covid-19-crisis-unicef-there-help/38520Indian Red Cross:  https://www.indianredcross.org/ircs/COVID19DonateOxfam: https://www.oxfamindia.org/coronavirusWord Central Kitchen: https://wck.org/news/wck-activates-chefsforindiaCare: https://www.care.org~~~You can find us on  Facebook and Instagram. We also welcome your messages at feedback@skillfulmeanspodcast.com or in our voicemail box on SpeakPipe.You can also get in touch with Jen and Sarah Jane directly. Don't forget! You can also practice with us live each week: https://www.sati.yoga/practice/virtualclasses.html
May 11 2021
51 mins