Meditations, interviews, dharma talks and audio features to awaken your heart and mind. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
We’ve been publishing for decades about every aspect of life through the lense of dharma, collecting the works of leading Buddhist teachers on topics ranging from everyday mindfulness practice to facing your fears, protecting and connecting to the Earth, taking social action, and even knowing when not to take action.
The Lion’s Roar Podcast is where you’ll hear the voices of these teachers, as well as practitioners and creative minds who have been inspired by them. Their voices tell the stories of how Buddhist wisdom can fit into your real life whether you’re Buddhist or not.
Below you’ll find an up-to-date list of our podcast archive. Listen and enjoy!
Fear and Knowing How to Be Satisfied with Koshin Paley Ellison
Fear can lead us to do regretful, hateful, and even violent things. Lion’s Roar’s new online course Medicine for Fear, inspired by Zen teacher Eihei Dogen’s essential instructions for awakening, offers a way to minimize fear’s impact on us—featuring Koshin Paley Ellison and Chodo Robert Campbell of New York Zen Center, as well as Mushim Ikeda, Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Kodo Nishimura, and Mirabai Bush. In this clip from Medicine for Fear, Koshin talks about the problem of never feeling like you have enough.
Death and What Really Matters with Shoshana Ungerlieder
Internal medicine physician and founder of the End Well Project, Shoshana Ungerlieder talks about the taboo of death and dying among medical professionals and the importance of taking time to ask what really matters to you and your loved ones, while you still can.
Black Male Vulnerability in Buddhist Community with Willie Mukei Shoman Smith, SoOn Eli Brown-Stevenson, and Malik Watkins
Black, male-identified people have experiences in Buddhist communities that are markedly different than that of the majority–not only physically standing out in the group but facing unique internal questions and struggles. Willie Mukei Shoman Smith, SoOn Eli Brown-Stevenson, and Malik (MaLLy) Watkins talk to Lion’s Roar’s Pamela Ayo Yetunde about how they deal with inhabiting white spaces in the Buddhist context, and also what white sanghas can do to be helpful.
Mindful Money with Spencer Sherman
Author of The Cure for Money Madness, Spencer Sherman talks about how one can grow spiritually while still engaging with money. Then Lion’s Roar editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod and deputy editor Andrea Miller discuss the latest issue of Lions Roar magazine, honoring both the late Thich Nhat Hanh and the late bell hooks, as well as a special look at Pure Land Buddhism.
Pema Chodron’s Four Keys to Waking Up
Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller shares Pema Chodron’s advice on how to really “walk the walk” of a spiritual person, and what being a “fake” spiritual person really means.
On the Road with Traveling Nunk Sister Clear Grace
Sister Clear Grace is a black, non-binary monastic traveling across the country to lean in to the collective experience of the United States. The traveling nunk speaks with Lion’s Roar’s associate editor Pamela Ayo Yetunde about letting go of privilege, answering the call to become a monastic, and encounters on the road to liberation.
Failure and Creativity with Seth Godin and Zopa’s “Red Sky” from Sopranos Star Michael Imperioli
Seth Godin is an expert on failure. While he’s founded several hugely successful ventures and written 20 bestselling books around the world including his newest book, The Practice, he has also learned from failing over and over. Today he explains what helps creative thought, and what so often gets in the way of true success.
The Passing of Thich Nhat Hanh and “This Monk Wears Heels” with Kodo Nishimura
We reflect on the death of one of the greatest Buddhist teachers of our time, and preview the new issue of Lion’s Roar magazine. Then makeup artist, monk, and author of This Monk Wears Heels, Kodo Nishimura tells Pamela Ayo Yetunde how even makeup and drag can be an expression of the dharma.
Anxiety and What to do About it with Bruce Tift
Anxiety can be a pretty reasonable response to times of wide spread disease, environmental disaster, social unrest and polarization. Associate editor Chris Pacheco talks to Bruce Tift, psychotherapist and author of Already Free: Buddhism Meets Psychotherapy on the Path of Liberation, about attempting to control feelings of anxiety, why that only makes it worse, and what to do instead.
The Science of Hope and Justice with Sará King
Wellbeing and social justice are one and the same, according to neuroscientist Dr. Sará King. Pamela Ayo Yetunde asks about The Science of Social Justice, her illustrative Systems-Based Awareness Map, and the implications of the framework that has the power to change how you understand yourself, your community, and even political events such as the January 6 insurrection.
Love Your Body Meditation with Trudy Goodman
A guided body scan meditation from InsightLA founder Trudy Goodman, plus an audio clip from her presentation for the new Insight and Mindfulness online learning series, available now at learn.lionsorar.com.
Refuge from Racism with Sensei Alex Kakuyo
How can Buddhist practice help you find refuge from racism? Especially from the internalized sense of inferiority that lives within the minds and bodies of racialized people? Teacher Sensei Alex Kakuyo and Lion’s Roar Associate Editor Pamela Ayo Yetunde discuss.
“Mission: Joy” with Peggy Callahan and Elissa Epel
Centered on a friendship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the documentary Mission: Joy was produced and co-directed by Peggy Callahan while its real life complement, The Big Joy Project, is an experiment in “citizen science.” She and Dr. Elissa Epel, vice chair of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, talk about how both point the way to more joy in our everyday lives.
Facing the Unknown with Kaira Jewel Lingo
As everyday normalities change, or even vanish, what used to make sense is out the door, and a new vision of our lives and our world is needed. Kaira Jewel Lingo, former nun in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village tradition, and author of We Were Made for These Times, offers a path forward.
Cultivating the Power of Attention with Amishi Jha
Author of Peak Mind, Dr. Amishi Jha talks about the book, the natural capacity we have to cultivate our attention, and how you can function at your peak for the things that really matter in life.
In the Issue: Ted Lasso, Dogen, and Death
Editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod, deputy editor Andrea Miller, and associate editor Ross Nervig talk about the latest issue of Lion’s Roar magazine and some of the highlights therein, from Ted Lasso to Dogen.
Radical Friendship and Tonglen Practice with Kate Johnson
Buddhist meditation teacher Kate Johnson leads a session of Tonglen meditation informed by current events, and talks about her new book, Radical Friendship: 7 Ways to Love Yourself and Find Your People in an Unjust World.
When Sadness Rages Like Fire with Pema Khandro Rinpoche
Pema Khandro Rinpoche shares the life of the Tibetan yogi Shabkar, whose practice and teachings were inseparable from loss and grief.
Authenticity, Wholeness, and Boldness with Mushim Ikeda and Three Breaths Meditation to Rewire Your Brain with Rick Hanson
Mushim Patricia Ikeda examines how spiritual work can help us generate wholeness, joy, ease, and even ancestral healing. Then, Rick Hanson guides a short meditation to rewire your brain for the better.
Being Mindful of Our Mortality with Nikki Mirghafori
AI scientist and Buddhist teacher Nikki Mirghafori talks about how to live and love more fully by facing our mortality and embracing it and includes a guided meditation.
The Subtle Joy of Shikantaza with Pat Enkyo O’Hara and The Buddha Was Here by Andrea Miller
On a pilgrimage to India Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller explores the life and teachings of the historical Buddha and the new insights she gained by being there. Then, Zen teacher Enkyo O’Hara shares a quick tip about the subtle joy of Shikantaza, also known as Silent Illumination or “just sitting.”
Changing Your Brain with Rick Hanson
Psychologist and author of Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness, Rick Hanson shows Lion’s Roar’s Chris Pacheco how to use your mind to change your brain for the better, including a short practice.
Life is But a Dream with Andrew Holecek and Feeding Your Demons with Lama Tsultrim Allione
The Four Noble Tasks of Recovery with Dave Smith
Secular Dharma Foundation founder Dave Smith is teaching an online, teacher-directed, community-based buddhist addiction recovery course. Buddhadharma’s Koun Franz asked him about the Four Noble Tasks of recovery and how they inform his new program.
Teaching Kids About Dharma with Sumi Kim and The Nature of Reality with Georges Dreyfus
Sumi Loundon Kim, Buddhist chaplain at Yale University, talks with Buddhadharma’s Koun Franz about what she’s learned from teaching mindfulness to kids and their parents. Then, the Buddha is believed to have said the true nature of reality is beyond human comprehension, so journalist Judith Hertog asks former monk Georges Dreyfus can we know the truth if even reality isn’t real?
The Forgotten Story of the Buddha’s Wife with Vanessa Sasson
Vanessa Sasson is a religious studies professor and author of Yasodhara: A Novel about the Buddha’s Wife, a fiction based on close study of historical Buddhist texts on the Buddha’s path to, and of, enlightenment. She talks with Lion’s Roar magazine’s Andrea Miller about the forgotten story of Siddhartha’s wife, shares an excerpt from the book, and describes some of the hidden lessons in Yasodhara’s story.
Four Rules at the Center of the Universe with Thubten Chodron / Talking Dharma Relief with Guo Gu
American Tibetan Buddhist nun, Thubten Chodron, gives a humorous depiction of the consequences of believing in a solid self and an objective reality. Then, Chan teacher Guo Gu talks about founding Dharma Relief, a pan-Buddhist Covid relief program to distribute masks in the early months of the pandemic, and what’s next for the growing organization.
Mindfulness, Work, and Deepening Your Practice with Beth Wallace
Beth Wallace is Lion’s Roar’s Associate Publisher, Finance & Operations, but she’s also big on dharma and mindfulness, and helps people understand and experience these for themselves. She sat down with Lion’s Roar’s Rod Meade Sperry to delve into the benefits of mindfulness at work, how work has changed since mindfulness entered the mainstream, and how to avoid some pitfalls in developing a deeper practice that works for you and your health, whether you identify as Buddhist or not.
Silent Illumination with Guo Gu
Chan teacher and scholar Guo Gu shares the essence of his latest book, Silent Illumination: A Chan Buddhist Path to Natural Awakening, in which he explains embodied practice and Chan methods of realizing your Buddha nature.
Anti-Asian Violence Is an Attack On Us All by Cristina Moon and Talking with Sensei Dorothy Dai En Friedman
Korean American Zen priest Cristina Moon responds to the recent rise in anti-Asian violence in her article, “Anti-Asian Violence Is an Attack On Us All.” Then a quick conversation with Zen teacher Sensei Dorothy Dai En Friedman, recorded in preparation for Love & Resilience: The Contemplative Care Summit.
Buddhist Indie Metal with Jessica Pimentel and “In This Moment” with Born I Music
In this special episode featuring music from Buddhist artists, Jessica Pimentel from Orange is the New Black talks to Lion’s Roar’s Ross Nervig about the intersection between her practice of Buddhism and her role as the frontwoman for the indie death metal group, Alekhine’s Gun. Then, rapper and meditation teacher Born I Music talks about the inspiration behind his latest single, In This Moment.
Love and Rage and Letting Go with Lama Rod Owens
Teacher, author, and radical black activist Lama Rod Owens explores what it means to let go of the person you think you are, and how to face the inevitable discomfort and brokenheartedness that comes with working to liberate yourself and others.
Asian American Buddhists and The Myth of Two Buddhisms with Chenxing Han
Chenxing Han challenges mainstream assumptions about American Buddhism with Be the Refuge: Raising The Voices Of Asian American Buddhists – a book that calls out the whitewashing and erasure of diverse communities and centers on the voices of young Asian Americans. Buddhadharma’s Koun Franz asks how the book was inspired, and Han dispels some of the myths associated with Asian American Buddhists.
Buddhist Children’s Books and The Unconditional Okay-ness of Things with Josh Bartok
Zen teacher and author Josh Bartok talks to Andrea Miller about the process of writing Buddhist children’s literature, the concept of loving-receiving, and his latest children’s book, I See You, Buddha.
The Passing of Sojun Mel Weitsman / What’s the deal with reincarnation?
In honour of the life of Sojun Mel Weitsman we’re sharing a selection of clips in which you’ll hear him speak personally about his early days with Suzuki Roshi, the founding of the San Francisco Zen Center, and the founding the Berkeley Zen Center. Then, Buddhadharma’s Koun Franz is joined by Rory Lindsay, a Harvard University doctorate in South Asian Studies, to tackle some of the most common questions we get from readers about reincarnation.
How You Help Us Give the Gift of Dharma
The prisoner subscription program is just one of the positive things we’re able to do because of the generosity of readers and listeners. So Lion’s Roar’s Rebecca Pearson, Bakes Mitchell, and Ross Nervig got together to tell the story of how the program was inspired, and how listeners can help make the dharma more accessible to prisoners in need. Plus, a big huge thanks from Lion’s Roar for your feedback on the podcast, and some special episode recommendations to revisit until we return from holiday in the new year.
Guided Tonglen Meditation with Lama Tsomo
Lama Tsomo shares a guided tonglen meditation to apply your personal practice to widening social circles, and to move from fear into love.
Leading with Love and Wisdom and Pema Chodron’s Four Keys to Waking Up
Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller shares Pema Chodron’s advice on how to really “walk the walk” of a spiritual person, and what being a “fake” spiritual person really means. Also, Editor in Chief Melvin McLeod reflects on how we can lead with love and wisdom after the historic 2020 U.S. election.
Impermanence, Illness, and Health with Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo and Pema Khandro Rinpoche
Author, teacher, and founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery, Tenzin Palmo has a frank discussion with fellow teacher and scholar, Pema Khandro Rinpoche about what advice Buddhism has to offer about health and illness during a time of pandemic. Tenzin Palmo also shares what she’s learned about suffering and gratitude while on solitary retreat in a Himalayan cave for 12 years, and what she did after.
Life Lessons from the Poker Table with Maria Konnikova
Professional poker player Maria Konnikova says mindfulness not only helps ground her in life, but in her gameplay. She tells Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller how, in an interview for the article, “Life Lessons from the Poker Table.”
Healing America’s Racial Karma with Dr. Larry Ward
Dr. Larry Ward, ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh as a dharma teacher in the Plum Village tradition, and the author of America’s Racial Karma: An Invitation to Heal, says much of the global turmoil we face today is the result of a history of thought and practice that has likewise justified slavery, environmental degradation, and other atrocities. The revolutionary act therefore is slowing down, practicing kindness, and cultivating joy. These are radical social acts. In this dharma talk about America’s racial karma Ward describes how we can start to heal the trauma in ourselves and in the world.
In the Issue: Poker, Kung Fu, Good Food, and Mindfulness
Editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod and deputy editor Andrea Miller talk about what’s in the next issue of Lion’s Roar magazine, from the cover story on teachings from the Buddha to the Kung Fu Nuns of Nepal, the power of mindfulness in poker, and tasting food from one of the best restaurants in the world. They also talk about America’s Racial Karma, a new book by Dr. Larry Ward, and an excerpt from Sharon Salzberg’s new book, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World.
Awakening My Heart on Retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh
Lions Roar’s Andrea Miller describes a six day retreat with the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh – one that promised total relaxation and ended up being a healing experience she didn’t know she needed.
Illness Can Teach Us So Much with Karma Lekshe Tsomo and Pema Khandro Rinpoche
In another helpful conversation about Buddhism, illness, and health—especially relevant in the coronavirus era—Buddhist teacher Karma Lekshe Tsomo gets personal with her colleague Pema Khandro Rinpoche, talking about what she learned from her own very scary brush with illness after being bitten by a poisonous viper. They also discuss using pain as a tool, managing uncertainty, why Buddhist practice “is more important than ever in a circumstance of illness,” and more.
Study Versus Practice with Stephen Batchelor
Stephen Batchelor is a teacher and author of the national bestselling title Buddhism Without Beliefs. Buddhadharma deputy editor Koun Franz asks him about the role of study in Buddhist practice – what divides the scholars from the practitioners – and how Batchelor bridges that gap, showing how practice opens up questions we can pursue with an attitude of curiosity that inspires us to investigate its foundations.
A Marriage Made in Heaven with Anne Lamott and Neal Allen / Positive Change in Buddhism with Melvin McLeod
Anne Lamott grew up in a family with atheist parents and a great disdain for spirituality. Neal Allen was raised in a Protestant Christian family but until he was 52 years old believed he had no use for god. They were married by an episcopal minister, a Jesuit priest, and the Buddhist author and teacher, Jack Kornfield. In an interview for Lion’s Roar magazine, the joyous interfaith couple describe how they found the sweet spot where seemingly opposite beliefs meet.
Apology from an Abusive Father with Eve Ensler
Sharing your most personal stories can seem impossible. But in her book The Apology, Eve Ensler goes one impossible step further. She tells the story of her abusive father from his perspective. Ensler is known for her famous episodic play, The Vagina Monologues – a testament to the healing power of sharing the traumatic, scary experiences that we think we can’t tell anyone. In her interview with Lion’s Roar’s Andrea Miller, she explains how she found the courage to tell the story of her abuse, what it means to tell the true story of your trauma, how to respond when someone tells you their traumatic story, and how to create a culture around apology that allows for true healing in the aftermath of abuse.
Right Livelihood with Buddha’s Office author Dan Zigmond
Life as we know it has changed, including work life. Technology tends to fill in the gaps left open by the need to distance ourselves from one another, but can work and technology actually help our spiritual well-being? In his book, Buddha’s Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well, Dan Zigmond gives a lot of thought to bringing technology and spiritual life together in healthful, wise ways. Melvin McLeod talked to him about how we can find a balance between the two, and how to incorporate our work lives into our spiritual lives in a way that can help us achieve right livelihood.
The Dalai Lama’s First Album / Why PoC Sanghas are Different with Julio Rivera
Julio Rivera is the founder and CEO of Liberate, a meditation app and community for black indigenous and people of colour. We spoke in March, at the height of coronavirus related deaths in New York City, where he lives and works. We talked about what makes a sangha of non-white practitioners different, and why Liberate has shifted to focusing on black and indigenous healing foremost – a message that’s only amplified by the recent news, and demonstrations in response to, police violence against George Floyd and too many others. After the interview you’ll hear “Compassion,” the first song released from the Dalai Lama’s first album of music, Inner World.
Self-help with Melvin McLeod and Mental Health with Jeff Warren
The podcast is shifting to bi-weekly starting with this episode, allowing us to prepare a slew of new projects coming your way. Today, Lion’s Roar publisher Ben Moore speaks with Canadian meditation teacher and co-author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics, Jeff Warren about founding the Consciousness Explorers Club and engaging mental health through the lens of spiritual practice. But first, our editor-in-chief Melvin McLeod shares why Buddhism — famous for its doctrine of non-self— is the ultimate form of self-help.
How to Love with bell hooks / The Truth of Romantic Love with Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath / Pure Love Tonglen Meditation with Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown
Author and activist bell hooks shares a simple formula for a healthy romantic relationships, starting with the myth that love is a feeling – a noun.
Jungian psychoanalyst and Zen Buddhist Dr. Polly Young-Eisendrath lays out the pitfalls of romantic love that lead us to idealization, delusion, disappointment and depression, and how to avoid them.
Then an introductory tonglen meditation to refresh and expand your heart, from the online course Flight of the Swans: Dharma Comes West, by Lion’s Roar and Naropa University.
How to Be Sick with Pema Khandro Rinpoche and Toni Bernhard
Buddhist teachers Toni Bernhard and Pema Khandro Rinpoche have both known chronic illness first hand. In this conversation—especially relevant in the coronavirus era—they talk personally about relating to health and sickness through the Buddhist lens, and Bernhard describes the teachings that continue to help her find peace even 20 years after being diagnosed with a life-changing illness.