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 87: Stephen Batchelor on his book After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age, why it’s important for him to legitimize his teaching with early sources and whether the Middle Way should be promoted beyond Buddhism.
Episode 86: Barry Daniel, Susan Averbach, Robert M Ellis and Willie Grieve discuss faith. If we are going to avoid using ‘faith’ as a cover word for dogmatic belief, what does it mean? What can we have faith in, and how does faith relate to the Middle Way?
Episode 85: Alva Noë, a professor of philosophy at the University of California talks to us about his latest book Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature in which he explores what art is, why it matters and what it tells us about ourselves.
Episode 84: Mark Williams, a professor of paleobiology on ‘The Anthropocene Biosphere’ which explores the impact of humans from a geological perspective on the biosphere. It also looks at how humans are potentially driving a sixth mass extinction.
Episode 83: Ellen Langer, a professor of psychology at Harvard University who she has often been described as the mother of mindfulness. She talks to us about mindful learning and the power of possibility
Episode 82: Peter Sheath, A mental health nurse, counsellor, consultant, trainer and person in long term recovery who has spent many years in the field of health and social care. He talks to us about addiction, mental health & the Middle Way.
Episode 81: Amelia Womack, a British politician and deputy leader of the Green Party of England and Wales on Ecocide and Environmental Law for which she is an active campaigner.
Episode 80: Steven Heine, a leader in the field of cultural psychology on the distorted view we have of the mind derived from the research of behavioural scientists due to most studies in this field being done on WEIRD people.
Episode 79: Susan Averbach, Tim Crane and Shana Averbach in this round table discussion talk about feminism, how it has evolved, the progress it has made, the challenges it faces and how it relates to the Middle Way
Episode 78: Marc Lewis, a developmental neuroscientist talks about his latest book The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is not a Disease in which he argues that seeing addiction as a disease is not only wrong but also harmful.
Episode 77: Christopher Beckwith, an award-winning historian, discusses his latest book Greek Buddha with Robert M Ellis. He attempts to show how Early Buddhism shaped the philosophy of Pyrrho, the founder of scepticism in ancient Greece.
Episode 76: David Mcraney, an internationally bestselling author, journalist, and lecturer. talks to us today about his latest book ‘How to Beat your Brain’, an attempt to help us overcome our quirks and make decisions more effectively.
Episode 75: Monica Dare, who is a Pilates and Alexander Technique instructor, talks to us about the origins of Pilates, how one goes about it and why she sees it as an integrative practice .
Episode 74: Arno Michaelis, former racist skinhead, one time leader of hate metal band Centurion and now peace activist, talks to us about his life, overcoming hatred, his peace work and how all this might relate to the Middle Way
Episode 73: Sarah Dickinson, who is a volunteer with Samaritans, tells us a little bit about the rationale of the organisation, what it does, how one can volunteer and how it might relate to the Middle Way
Episode 72: Hári Sewell, sociologist and director of HS Consultancy Associates, specialists in mental health, equalities & social care, talks to us about race, racialization and inter-relatedness and how all this might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 71: Pete Goble and Rich Flanagan in this member’s discussion, talk about how people perceive pain, the assumptions we make about it, how it’s influenced culturally, psychic and physical pain and, attitudes in dealing with pain.
Episode 70: Baroness Susan Greenfield, the neuroscientist, writer, broadcaster and member of the House of Lords, talks about her latest book Mind Change in which she explores the potential impact digital technologies can have on the mind
Episode 69: Barry Daniel, In this latest member profile, talks to Susan Averbach about his life and background, why he joined the society, what other interests he has and how it has been for him producing the Middle Way Society Podcast.
Episode 68: Jonathon Porritt, the environmentalist, talks to us about his latest book ‘The World we Made: Alex McKay’s Story from 2050’ and the prospects for people engaging with the issue of climate change in general.
Episode 67: Richard Shusterman, professor of philosophy at Florida Atlantic University and author of Body Consciousness and Thinking through the Body. He talks to us about the emerging field of somaesthetics and its relation to the Middle Way.
Episode 66: Robert M. Ellis, the chair of the society talks about politics, political ideologies, the relationship between our values and political parties, the role of democracy and how all this might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 65: Bjorn Ihler, peace activist, writer & survivor of the attack on Utøya island in Norway in 2011. We discuss extremism, how education and critical thinking can play a key role in addressing the problem how all this might relate to the the Middle Way.
Episode 64: Susan Averbach, a rabbi with the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. One of her goals is to work towards integrating Buddhist practice with humanistic Judaism and to promote a more Middle Way perspective.
Episode 63: Noreena Hertz, the renowned economist and Honorary Professor at the Centre for the Study of Decision-Making at University College London, talks to us about her latest book ‘Eyes Wide Open’ How to make smart decisions in a confusing world’.
Episode 62: Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia talks about his book ‘Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy’ and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 61: Alison Gopnik, developmental psychologist and philosopher talks about her book ‘The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds tell us about truth, love and the meaning of life’ and how this might relate to the Middle Way
Episode 60: Rod King, the founder and campaign director of ‘20’s Plenty for Us’ a movement set up to campaign for a default 20 mile speed limit in the UK. He talks about its rationale, the effect it has had and the challenges it faces.
Episode 59: Rupert Sheldrake, is a biologist, research scientist & is perhaps most well known for his book ‘The Science Delusion’ and his morphic resonance hypothesis. He explores this as well as the idea of science as an integrative practice.
Episode 58: Philip Kitcher, the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at the University of Columbia talks about his latest book ‘Life after Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism’ and how this might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 57: Lynne Franks was the founder of one of the UK’s best-known PR consultancies in the 1970’s. She has in recent years focused her attention on women’s empowerment and sustainability and this is the topic of the discussion.
Episode 56: Julian Baggini, the philosopher and author, talks to us about his latest book ‘The Virtues of the Table‘, how our relationship with food and drink is a great way to explore what it means to be human and how to try to live conscientiously
Episode 55: Peter Mallard is the manager of the Barn Retreat near Totnes in Devon. He talks about the Barn, what it does, the ethos behind it, the value of going on retreat and how all this might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 54: James Sturtevant, is a social studies teacher from Ohio, USA. He talks about his recently published a book aimed at helping teachers bond with students entitled ‘You’ve Gotta Connect’ and how this might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 53: Jean Boulton, who has a background in theoretical physics is passionate about the implications of complexity theory for management and policy development and its connection to spiritual traditions. The talk focuses on this latter relationship.
Episode 52: Gay Watson, is a psychotherapist and author who is very much concerned with the dialogue between Buddhist thought, psychotherapy and the Mind Sciences talks about her latest book ‘A Philosophy of Emptiness’.
Episode 51: Stephen Batchelor in conversation with Robert M. Ellis, the chair of the society, on the subject of the Middle Way. This is the second in a series of exploratory dialogues with Robert and thinkers on various subjects.
Episode 50: Michael Brooks, the popular science writer talks to us about the state and role of science today, how one goes about doing good science, some pitfalls to avoid and what the future may hold for this fascinating field of human endeavour.
Episode 49: Elizabeth English, the founder Life at Work and a teacher in Focusing with the Focusing Institute, talks about Focusing, what it is, how you practice it, what are its benefits and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 48: Rubin Naiman, is a sleep specialist and he talks about why so many of us are deprived of good quality sleep, in what way we might take some steps to address the balance and how this might relate to the Middle Way
Episode 47: Ha Vinh Tho, the Programme Director of the Gross National Happiness Centre in Bhutan talks about the project, it’s underlying philosophy, how it’s applied, the challenges it faces and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 46: Frank Ledwith, in this member profile, talks about his career as a university teacher and lecturer, his interest and involvement with Buddhism, the work of Stephen Batchelor and what the Middle Way means to him.
Episode 45: Tim Kasser talks to us about his book ‘Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity’ , how he sees this as being often a missing link in environmental campaigning and how this all might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 44: Steven Howlett, co author of Volunteering and Society in the 21st Century talks about volunteering in general, some of the research projects he’s been involved in and how it might relate to the Middle Way
Episode 43: Shauna Shapiro, a clinical psychologist and internationally recognized expert in mindfulness talks about the IAA model of mindfulness, the integration of mindfulness into psychotherapy & the empirical evidence to support it.
Episode 42: Lancaster Co-housing resident Mary Searle-Chatterjee talks to us about the history, aims and values of this award-winning project. She also takes us on a tour of the place which is accompanied with photos in the slideshow.
Episode 41: Sir Harry Burns, the professor of global public health at the University of Strathclyde and a former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland on the causes of inequality in health, the causes of wellness and some solutions that he has implemented.
Episode 40: Alison Armstrong, a mindfulness teacher and researcher and founder of Present Minds on mindfulness and compulsive buying which began as a research project for her PhD and became a ground-breaking RESOLVE study.
Episode 39: Steven C. Hayes, co-founder of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), talks about ACT, how it came about, what’s unique about it, what it involves, what are its goals and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 38: Adam Corner, journalist and Research Director of the Climate Outreach & Information Network (COIN) talks about COIN, its approach to climate change, its aims and objectives and how it might relate to the Middle Way.
Episode 37: Marek Duda, from the Centre for Effective Altruism, talks about what Effective Altruism is, it’s five main principles, counters some of the more common objections against giving aid and how this all might be related to the Middle Way.
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 on 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, 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.