ALEX MORRIS

In today’s Soul Curriculum, Rohan speaks candidly with writer Alex Morris about how to become more comfortable asking for help. As Alex shares, it’s often our preconceptions of how we will be received that prevent us from reaching out. However, as Alex realizes in his own story, when we take the risk and acknowledge our need for help, people around us rise to our aid and can help make our world wider.

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SARA BENINCASA

As a young writer and performer, Sara Benincasa found her voice doing stand-up comedy. For years, it seemed better than therapy. But slowly, doubts surfaced. While the external validation she received made her feel successful and even loved, something was missing. In this episode of Meditative Story, Sara shares how she came to look inward, instead of outward, for richer feelings of worth.

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PATTON OSWALT

When life hands you an unimaginable sorrow, how do you begin to recover your joy, your connection, your creative spark? In a special crossover episode with our friends at the Spark & Fire podcast, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt (you might know him as the voice of Remy in “Ratatouille”) shares a powerful story about how he slowly reclaimed his creative spirit after a tragedy that left him questioning everything. It’s a story of family, community, and connectedness, co-hosted by Rohan and Spark & Fire host June Cohen.
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CASE KENNY

Sitting in the school library, staring down at his unfinished chemistry homework, pre-med student Case Kenny feels helpless. He faces a difficult choice: did I choose the wrong major? And who will I disappoint if I admit that? Now an acclaimed podcaster (New Mindset, Who Dis?), Case shares three stories from his early life about being wrong, and how he slowly learns what’s right for him. The key: Learning to see wrongness as a chance to re-examine who he is and what his right next step might be.
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ALEX MORRIS

Just out of school, writer Alex Morris gets a job performing and teaching improv comedy in London, playing absurd characters night after night. But his knack for hiding his true self starts long before he ever steps onstage. Alex is hiding a secret — one that only his family and a few close friends know: he’s slowly losing his sight. He shares a story about his struggles living with a degenerative eye disease and the lengths to which he would go to pretend he didn’t need help.
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FLORENCE WILLIAMS

Rohan sits down with author Florence Williams to talk about her award-winning Meditative Story, “To chase the sunset.” In conversation, Florence offers her candid perspective on how to face heartbreak with patience and compassion, by letting beauty mend our hearts. It’s a Soul Curriculum episode filled with wisdom and assurance that we too can accept our scars, and even learn to see the gifts they offer.
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RACHEL CARGLE

Growing up, Rachel Cargle was used to seeing things her family couldn’t afford. As she got older, became a writer, lecturer, and philanthropist, she continued to seek opportunities just beyond her grasp. Hard work and creativity allowed her to grow successful as an entrepreneur, but deeper challenges still remained. In this episode of Meditative Story, Rachel unfolds how she found fulfillment by turning her gifts outward.

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KINO MACGREGOR

How do the challenges and trauma we encounter in our lives tie to our ancestral roots? How do we hold on to these experiences in our physical body? These are questions that we explore featuring author, entrepreneur, and yoga instructor Kino MacGregor. Rohan and Kino go deeper into how generational pain can become expressed in the body, and explore ways in which physical practices can provide an antidote.

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ROHAN GUNATILLAKE

On the Mexican holiday Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, we allow ourselves space for our memories and our grief about those we’ve lost — as well as for joy, and even humor, around the continuity between life and death. 

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SHANI TRAN

Midway through a grueling, muddy obstacle course, Shani Tran is so grateful for the support of her father, her teammate, who cheers her on and pulls her through. But in other parts of life, she knows, he’s just not there for her in the same way. And that’s … okay. She shares three stories — with humor, and with honesty — that build to a lifelong lesson about seeing people for who they are, not who you wish they’d be, and learning to take responsibility for your own happiness.
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LEX GILLETTE

In today’s Soul Curriculum episode, Rohan talks with the Paralympian and current world record holder in the long jump Lex Gillette. Lex shares his insights into how music allowed him to define himself on his own terms, and elaborates on his mantra: “No need for sight when you have a vision.” Join Rohan for a deeper conversation with the extraordinary Lex Gillette about how to lead ourselves out of our comfort zones and soar.
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CARLA HALL

Celebrity chef Carla Hall wasn’t always interested in cooking. As a child, she finds that puzzles and play help her to discover her true character. When she falls upon a hard time, she instinctively turns to memories of her grandmother’s kitchen for comfort. In this story, Carla shares how sensory play finally allows her to solve her biggest puzzle yet — herself.

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ROHAN GUNATILLAKE & HENRY SHUKMAN

Rohan spends time with Henry Shukman, author and spiritual director of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in Santa Fe. The two dive into the theme of deep listening and what it can open up in us; how to hone our ability to be present to the world around us and to each other; and the importance of finding mentors to guide us along the way. 

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Soul Curriculum – Henry Shukman on Meditative Story

LEX GILLETTE

Lex Gillette is a 5-time medalist at the Paralympic Games, and a world record holder in the long jump, but he’s more than that too. As he learns to navigate the world after losing his sight, he’s worried about being left out and overlooked — or, just as bad, being seen only in terms of his disability and his athletic gifts. Lex shares the story of how he began to forge his identity on his own terms, creating a spotlight that he steps into with his entire being.
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KRISTIN WINDBIGLER

When Kristin Windbigler moves to rural Humboldt County, California, she falls in love with the wild, green, growing landscape. Her dream of being a journalist leads her to San Francisco. And it isn’t until she moves back home again that she realizes just how special her hometown is — a place where our differences fall away.

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REV. MONIQUE ORTIZ

As a Night Minister with San Francisco Night Ministry, Rev. Monique Ortiz walks the dark streets of a beautiful and aching city – a city that transforms completely when the sun goes down. Reaching out to the most desperate souls, she learns to help in a way she hadn’t imagined.
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GRACIA MARIA

Gracia María is a modern-day medicine woman, in the tradition of her Peruvian ancestors. In connecting with her deep and ancient roots, though, she realizes she also needs to rebuild the bonds with her immediate family, in order to share with them the person she’s become.
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DR. MARLA SPIVAK

Before becoming a MacArthur-winning entomologist, Dr. Marla Spivak is adrift – first as a young woman in search of direction, then deep in the Amazon, severely ill and fearing death. Time and again, it’s the hum of bees that shows her a path forward. 

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ROHAN GUNATILLAKE

In a meditation for all the senses, Rohan guides you into a relaxed state that will quiet your mind and help you drift to sleep.
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TONY TJAN

Tony Tjan grows up in the cold and dramatic landscape of Newfoundland, where snow piles high and storms rage – but the neighbors always keep a door open to help one another.

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ROHAN GUNATILLAKE

In telling three short stories from his life as a meditator, host Rohan Gunatillake explores the way a few simple words of wisdom, said at the right moment, can build your strength and resilience for a lifetime.

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DAVID DUCHOVNY

Years after graduating, actor David Duchovny realizes that what he mistook for dislike from a teacher was in fact an encouragement to go his own way, in his own time.

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JAI PUNJABI

Hoping to preserve the recipes of his beloved family dishes, Jai Punjabi returns to his parents’ home in Bombay and discovers that the secret is not in the ingredients, but in a way of being.

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CAL RIPKEN JR.

Legendary shortstop and third baseman Cal Ripken Jr. holds the record for the most consecutive games played. But just showing up was never an end in itself – it’s how he showed up that distinguishes his legacy.
What he learns: How to show up for others

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ANGELA AHRENDTS

After a series of bold choices, legendary executive Angela Ahrendts realizes that with each new day she has an opportunity to discover a new sanctuary – and that the truest sanctuary is the one within us.

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ANDREW BIRD

Looking for space to recalibrate, singer-songwriter Andrew Bird heads to his family’s desolate farmhouse. It’s there that he begins seeing, sensing, and hearing new music.

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PAOLA ANTONELLI

Struggling to make a decision that will shape the rest of her life, a young artist returns to the place where she feels most true to herself: the sea.

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REID HOFFMAN

A busy venture capitalist realizes that the driving force in his life are his friends. In his story, he celebrates the way friendship has shaped his life.

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KEITH YAMASHITA

A rushed and busy executive suffers a massive stroke; in the days and months that follow, he learns to live again, more wisely and more lovingly.

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ZENJU EARTHLYN MANUEL

One small girl, in the backseat of her family car, takes a road trip through the segregated South to her father’s Louisiana hometown.

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Krista Tippett

In the midst of the Cold War, a young security analyst steps away from the tables of power, and finds herself in an island garden, reconnecting with what truly matters to her.

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MICHELLE THALLER

While working on an experiment about the age of the universe, an astronomer is reminded once again about both the impersonal immensity around us, and the deeply personal significance of each of us.

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Larry Jackson

Working late nights in the studio on a project that feels like it’s going nowhere, a young music producer learns the clarifying power of setting audacious goals.

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ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

Arianna Huffington takes us on her journey from Athens to Cambridge, and shares a lesson she learned from her mother of embracing life’s journey without being attached to the outcome.

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PICO IYER

Stuck on a long layover in Japan, a young writer steps out to see the city – and finds himself feeling at home, for the first time in his life.

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LUCY KALANITHI

While grieving her husband, a young mom helps their daughter build a relationship with him that is based on joy as well as loss.

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