Category Archives: podcast

Podcast: Remember to be happy (thank you very much)

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Fiona writes: Yesterday, I was grumpy. This morning Kaspa & I spoke about how easy it is to get caught up in the endless things-to-be-done, and why it is that we so often ‘forget to be happy’.

Amongst other things we cover the Eastern Therapeutic practice Naikan, vegetable & coriander soup, impermanence, and Dave Bonta’s Odes to Tools. And how tightly I clung to my grumpiness!

Kaspa mentions Cat, who’s the friend I had lunch with (waving at Cat) and David, who’s our Buddhist teacher Dharmavidya.

Do let us know if you listen to this, and what your thoughts are on the subjects. Thank you very much, thank you very much, thank you very much.

Podcast: Speaking authentically – and getting feedback

Download mp3  15.9 mb

This week Fiona and I are mulling over receiving criticism, sparked off by my receiving a negative comment about a talk I posted online, and Fiona losing some newsletter subscribers.

We’ve both had lots of good feedback as well, of course. But it’s impossible to say something meaningful without upsetting someone. It’s also impossible to connect to people in a real way if you don’t say anything meaningful.

What we don’t say explicitly in the podcast is that we both think that receiving both kinds of feedback positive and negative, is a good thing. That getting snipey comments or emails is a sign that you are being heard, and that you are saying something that has some energy behind it.

Podcast: Saved by a Poem

Download mp3 9.5mb

What does it mean to learn a poem by heart?

A couple of weeks ago Fiona and I led a week long course in France, Connecting with others through words and movement. Inspired by our experience running that course and by reading Kim Rosen’s book Saved by a Poem, we’ve been thinking about different ways of working with poetry, and how you can learn about yourself through working with poetry.

You can find out more about Sage Cohen’s book Writing The Life Poetic, which Fiona mentions in the podcast, here.

Fiona also reads Esther Morgan’s This Morning. Esther’s third collection Grace will be available in October. This Morning  won the Bridport prize in 2010.

This Morning

I watched the sun moving round the kitchen,
an early spring sun that strengthened and weakened,
…coming and going like an old mind.

I watched like one bedridden for a long time
on their first journey back into the world
who finds it enough to be going on with:

the way the sunlight brought each possession in turn
to its attention and made of it a small still life:

the iron frying pan gleaming on its hook like an ancient find,
the powdery green cheek of a bruised clementine.

Though more beautiful still was how the light moved on,
letting go each chair and coffee cup without regret

the way my grandmother, in her final year, received me:
neither surprised by my presence, nor distressed by my leaving,
content, though, while I was there.

Esther Morgan

Podcast: Entering the Silence

This morning Fiona and I spent ten minutes talking to each other, and sometimes an imaginary third listener, about our recent experience of being on silent retreat. We recorded the conversation as a podcast and you can listen to it using the player above or by downloading the mp3 below.

This podcast doesn’t tell you how to make lots of money or become popular… it doesn’t give any useful information at all.  It’s just some thoughts about an experience that we both found fascinating, and that we think others might be interested in as well.

We’re both feeling unwound, and settled, after the retreat and perhaps you can hear some of this in our voices.

The plan is to record a short conversation, either with each other, or with some other interesting folk, once a week. This one is twelve minutes long – let me know what you think.

download the mp3 11mb

Amazing podcast: Tea with Dave Bonta

Dave Bonta, poet and blogger extraordinaire, best known for his via negtiva blog, and for the literary journal he runs with Beth Adams, Qarrtsiluni, also audio blogs the interesting conversations he has with the people he bumps into. He calls these recordings his Woodrat Podcast.

Back at the beginning of May, Fiona and I had the pleasure of (deliberately) bumping into Dave when he came to Wales for the launch of The Book of Ystwyth. 

We sat down over a couple of pots of tea in one of my favorite coffee shops in Aberystwyth, the Orange Grove, and recorded a fascinating conversation, covering writing, religion and the river of stones, as well as some personal sharing (and singing!). The result is Woodrat Podcast 42: Tea with Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita. Listen online now.

That was our second attempt at recording a conversation. That day the very kind couple that were hosting Dave had invited us for lunch, and in the hour before that we had our first wonderful conversation. Dave mentioned his time in Japan living with a Pureland Buddhist family, Fiona and I talked about how we found our way to that religion, about writing small stones, and all sorts…

…it was at this point Dave noticed that the pause button was still pressed, and we hadn’t recorded a thing!

We had an amazing lunch, and then went to the opening of the Clive Hicks-Jenkins retrospective, and eventually found or way down to the Orange Grove where we had a similar but completely different conversation. That’s the one you can hear on Dave’s blog.

Fiona and I stayed up late last night to listen to it – it’s amazing to hear yourself describing your own life and work – a completely different perspective to how one hears oneself from inside one’s own head.

Anyway – go listen – I think the bit about our courtship is in the middle somewhere…..