The intention behind these podcasts is to conduct informal, friendly and informative interviews with people from all walks of life. They could involve a discussion about the person’s background or why they have become a member. Alternatively, the focus could be on something that the person is involved in or an opinion they hold that in some way is in accordance with the Middle Way. Hopefully, these interviews can play a part in helping people get more of a feel for the Middle Way, and how it plays out in people’s lives and in various scenarios.
Episode 36: Elliot Aronson, the distinguished social psychologist, author of the Social Animal and ‘Mistakes were made but not by me’ with Carol Tavris talks about his early life, cognitive dissonance and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 35: Susan Wright, author of ‘Understanding creativity in early Childhood’ talks about her research regarding young children’s meaning-making and why the arts deserve a pre-eminent place in education and culture.
Episode 34: Andrew Brown, journalist and author of ‘Fishing in Utopia’. He writes a regular column in the Guardian on themes concerned with religion and this is the topic of the podcast.
Episode 33: Iain McGilchrist, the patron of the society in conversation with Robert M. Ellis, the chair of the society, on the subject of dogma and the brain. This is a first in a series of exploratory dialogues with Robert and thinkers on various subjects.
Episode 32: Ed Catmull. President of Pixar and Disney Animation talks about his new book Creativity Inc., how one sets up the conditions in a work environment so that creativity might flourish, how this relates to the ‘Middle’ and why he joined the society.
Episode 31: Robert M. Ellis, the chair of the society, talks about cognitive biases, what they have in common, how you go about recognizing them, how you can work with them and in what way they relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 30: What is your understanding of the Middle Way? 2. Responses to the above from: Paul Gilbert, Mark Vernon, Jim O’Driscoll, Claire Kelly, Vishvapani Blomfield, Rich Flanagan, Viryanaya, Peter Worley, Don Cupitt and Kristin Neff.
Episode 29: What is your understanding of the Middle Way? 1. The first set of responses to the above from: Vidyamala Burch, Julian Adkins, Iain McGilchrist, Stephen Batchelor, Peter Goble, John Bolwell, Emilie Åberg and Norma Smith.
Episode 28: Nina Davies, in this latest member profile, tells us about growing up in Singapore, her work in social care, the importance of feminism in her life and what made her join the society.
Episode 27: Andy West, a transformative mediator talks to us about the transformative framework, the nature of conflict, the difference between transformative mediation and Nonviolent Communication and to what extent this relates to the Middle Way.
Episode 26: Martine Batchelor, a Buddhist teacher and author talks about ethics from a Buddhist perspective, exploring themes such as absolutism versus relativism, karma, ‘engaged’ Buddhism, non-harming and her understanding of the Middle Way.
Episode 25: Jonathan Rowson, a chess Grandmaster and director of the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts, talks to us about the Social Brain project, it’s aims and objectives and the working assumptions that underpin its approach.
Episode 24: Paul Teed, professor of history at Saginaw Valley State University tells us why he joined the society, what history means to him and why it matters. We also discuss objectivity, how to critically assess history and the film ‘12 years a slave’
Episode 23: Kristin Neff, Associate Professor in Human Development and Culture at the University of Texas talks about self-compassion, how she feels it differs from self-esteem, its contingent nature, and why it’s such a useful thing to cultivate in life.
Episode 22: Viryanaya on teaching critical thinking as a part of spiritual practice as opposed to a more academic focus, the value of teaching it to children from an early age and her understanding of the Middle Way.
Episode 21: Claire Kelly, the Operations Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project on why she feels it’s important to introduce children to mindfulness practices, how the project goes about it and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 20: Don Cupitt, the theologian and philosopher, talks to us about how he understands religion and his non-realist position about God. He also touches on Jungian archetypes, agnosticism, Stephen Batchelor and how he views the Middle Way.
Episode 19: Peter Worley of the Philosophy Foundation and author of the ‘If Machine’ and the award winning ‘Philosophy Shop’. The main topic is teaching philosophy to children and philosophy’s wider role in education.
Episode 18: The Forgiveness Project founder Marina Cantacuzino talks about how the project came about, it’s rationale and how she would like to see it develop. She also talks about forgiveness in more general terms and its complex nature.
Episode 17: Rich Flanagan talks to us about why he joined the society, what the Middle Way means to him, how he applies it in his life and work and why he sees that for him there is no conflict in being an atheist and a practitioner of the Middle Way.
Episode 16: Thought for the day presenter Vishvapani Blomfield talks to us about mindfulness and the Middle Way both in terms of how he sees them being approached from a more secular or a more religious perspective.
Episode 15: Language in Conflict founders Lesley Jeffries & Jim O’Driscoll on how they set up the project to look at the potential contribution of linguistics to conflict studies by examining the use of language in conflict situations and its resolution.
Episode 14: Mark Vernon, the writer and journalist, talks about his book How to be an Agnostic, and agnosticism’s relation to theism. He puts the case for virtue ethics. We discuss Plato, Socrates, Jung, Iain McGilchrist and how he understands the Middle Way.
Episode 13: Robert M Ellis, the chair of the society talks about his background, the time he spent as a Buddhist, how he became interested in philosophy, why he developed Middle Way Philosophy, how the society came about and his vision for the future.
Episode 12: Paul Gilbert, a clinical psychologist and author of the Compassionate Mind talks to us about compassion, how he came to develop Compassion Focused Therapy, Jungian archetypes, the Middle Way, the role of values, mindfulness and forgiveness.
Episode 11: Monica Garvey talks to us about Family Mediation, an integrative, non-confrontational and progressive approach to family disputes. She talks to us about children issues, overcoming dogmatic positions and the power of an apology.
Episode 10: Emilie Åberg, in this member profile, talks about why she’s studying psychology, her plan to be a horticultural therapist, her views on agnosticism, the Middle Way, integration, the Quakers, dogmatism and awe.
Episode 9: Ta’i Chi instructor John Bolwell gives an overview of this popular martial art and how it relates to the Middle Way. If you would like to see a short video of John performing one of the more common T’ai Chi forms then click here.
Episode 8: Peter Goble, in this latest member profile, talks about his career in nursing, his experience of living and working in Africa, his work as a Buddhist chaplain, both in prisons and hospices and why he joined the society.
Episode 7: Stephen Batchelor, the secular Buddhist author and scholar talks about his interest in photography and collage, how he sees art as an integrative practice and how he feels it relates to the Middle Way.
Episode 6: Iain McGilchrist, the patron of the society talks about his book The Master and his Emissary, the value of the arts, his views on, awe, modernity and religion and how he feels his work relates to the Middle Way.
Episode 5: Julian Adkins, in this member profile, talks about his life, why he joined the society and his experiences with the Christian, Buddhist and Atheist traditions. He also talks about his experiences as a ballet dancer, an engineer, a nurse and a CBT therapist.
Episode 4: Daren DeWitt, a certified trainer with the centre for nonviolent communication talks about this integrative practice and how it can be a very effective technique for dealing with conflict both with others and ourselves.
Episode 3: Vidyamala Burch talks about her new book “Mindfulness for Health” and her work with Breathworks, an organisation set up to bring mindfulness as a tool for reducing suffering to people worldwide; regardless of their situation.
Episode 2: Norma Smith In the first of a series of member profiles, retired art teacher Norma Smith talks about her life, why she became a member of the society, the middle way, the importance of art in her life, agnosticism, and the power of metaphor.
Episode 1: Robert M. Ellis In this inaugural episode of the Middle Way Society podcast, the philosopher and chair of the Middle Way Society talks about the skill of critical thinking and how it relates to Middle Way Philosophy.