Radical Spirituality and Sacred Activism

| with Adam Bucko | Monday at 4 p.m. CT
Radical Spirituality and Sacred Activism

Program Overview

Radical Spirituality and Sacred Activism is about personal transformation and social change and what it means to live a deeply spiritual life in a postmodern world.
We take inspiration from young people from all over the world who started the global movement for justice and solidarity by camping out on Wall Street, by taking over their cities in nonviolent occupations, and by often risking their lives to stand up for the dream that is emerging in their hearts.
We connect these new emerging dreams with inspirations and visions of spiritual giants like Father Bede Griffiths, Mahatma Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, and others whose lives reflected what it means to live a transformed life and to be a healing presence in the world.
Ultimately, this show is about reflecting on ideas and dreams that can help us build a movement we sometimes call “new monasticism,” where people can gather in small communities of friends, commit to a deep contemplative and spiritual practice, share in prayer, help each other discover their calling and gifts, and then through prayer and healthful presence build courage together to live as an expression of God’s dream of compassion, justice, and solidarity in the world.

The ideas and opinions expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect the teachings of Unity. 

Program Archives
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  • Original air date: Monday, June 15, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Join us for this intimate interview with V.K. Harber, a leader in the new monastic movement who bridges the worlds of yoga, Catholicism, and feminism. She shares her story of sexual assault, her attempts to heal, and her discovery of the God of compassion and nonviolence who is capable of transforming our wounds into insights and gifts that connect us to those who suffer and enable us to use our lives to serve them.
  • Original air date: Monday, June 01, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi has spent decades in Buddhist monasteries and is one of the most respected translators of Pali scriptures into English. He is a founder of Buddhist Global Relief, which sponsors projects around the world helping poor communities overcome hunger and malnutrition and provides education for women. Join us for this conversation as he analyzes the present spiritual milieu and proposes a Buddhism and spirituality that can not only help us to work on ourselves, but ultimately work for a world that addresses structural injustices so we can start building a world that manifests the Buddha's great compassion.
  • Original air date: Monday, May 04, 2015
    Episode Description:
    In a time when meditation and mindfulness are being turned into navel-gazing narcissism, yoga is being sold as a sexy commodity, and many of our religious truths are being used to advance a gospel of spiritual materialism, Lama Surya Das sets the record straight, reminding us what authentic spirituality is all about and how it can help us to heal ourselves and our world.
  • Original air date: Monday, April 20, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Phileena and her husband Chris have spent their lives in social justice work, among the world’s poor, helping to build the New Friar movement. For nearly 20 years they’ve built community among victims of human trafficking, survivors of HIV and AIDS, abandoned children, and child soldiers and war brides. Join us to hear what she’s learned about doing social justice work, how she discovered contemplative prayer, and in the process found a new way of doing activism she now shares through her teaching at the Gravity Center for Contemplative Activism.
  • Original air date: Monday, April 06, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Mirabai Bush has been at the forefront of building a movement known today as American spirituality. She is one of the people responsible for infusing the social change movement with contemplative tools for more conscious activism. Join us as she recalls her journey and studies with legendary teachers like Neemkaroli Baba, Shri S.N. Goenka, Anagarika Munindra, and others. We also discuss her work with Ram Dass and the Seva Foundation, as well as the inspiration that led her to cofounding the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. You don’t want to miss this lesson in American spirituality and activism!
  • Original air date: Monday, March 16, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Francisco “Pancho” Ramos-Stierle was pursuing his Ph.D. in astrophysics at the University of California at Berkeley when he learned the university's laboratories had contracted with the federal government to develop the next generation of nuclear weapons. The news transformed his life; he “stopped cooperating” with the institution and became a full-time community activist dedicated to creating a culture of peace. Today he lives in Casa de Paz (House of Peace), one of the houses that comprise the Canticle Farm, a community that provides a platform for the Great Turning—the planetary shift from an industrial-growth society to a life-sustaining society—one heart, one home, and one block at a time.
  • Original air date: Monday, March 09, 2015
    Episode Description:
    “A spirituality that is only private and self-absorbed, one devoid of an authentic political and social consciousness, does little to halt the suicidal juggernaut of history. On the other hand, an activism that is not purified by profound spiritual and psychological self-awareness ... will only perpetuate the problem it is trying to solve, however righteous its intentions.” Join us for a conversation with Andrew Harvey, an acclaimed author, spiritual teacher, and activist as he presents his vision for a new revolution that marries deep and radical spirituality with action rooted in the heart.
  • Original air date: Monday, February 23, 2015
    Episode Description:
    In November 2006 Colin Beavan launched a yearlong project in which he and his family went off the grid and attempted to live in the middle of New York City with as little environmental impact as possible. This experiment was documented in a film and book, No Impact Man, which became international hits. His work now is focused on helping individuals to build lives of meaning and purpose. Join us for this interview in which he provides a vision for contemplative and mindful activism we all need in this day and age.

  • Original air date: Monday, February 09, 2015
    Episode Description:
    Join us for this conversation with Father John Dear, a contemporary prophet of nonviolence and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who has worked closely with Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu, and Thich Nhat Hanh, as he shares with us what it means to follow the nonviolent Jesus without compromise. He shares what it means for him to show up every day—whether in his personal life or at a protest or in prison—as a witness for Jesus’ message of nonviolence. His experiences leave us with a blueprint based on the lives of Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Original air date: Monday, November 17, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Chris Grosso says, "I’m not a yogi from the Himalayas, a preacher from the pulpit, or a guru with dollar signs in my eyes. The truth is, as a result of years of heavy drug and alcohol addiction, I’ve been to some extremely dark places that resulted in a literal life-or-death search for something more." Join us for this conversation with the Indie Spiritualist. 

  • Original air date: Monday, November 03, 2014
    Episode Description:
    You might have seen him on the news challenging Gov. Chris Christie on his Hurricane Sandy record. You might have seen Christie telling him to "sit down and shut up." But Jim Keady is not ready to sit down and shut up. He is a fighter who spent the past 15 years contributing to the global movement for social justice and human rights. He was fired as a soccer coach at St. John’s University for refusing to take part in a $3.5 million deal to endorse Nike. He has challenged corporations and governments. Join us for this inspiring conversation to witness Jim Keady’s journey of faith and activism. 
  • Original air date: Monday, October 20, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Father John Stasio is an independent Catholic priest who has dedicated his life to helping gay men reclaim their spirituality and faith in a God that sees them as a gift. In this interview, we discuss the relationship between the institutional church and the True Church, the legacy and influence of Dorothy Day as well as the contemplative vision of Father Bede Griffiths as a model for social and religious transformation. We also question: Is American spirituality only for the wealthy?
  • Original air date: Monday, September 29, 2014
    Episode Description:
    A conversation with Julia "Butterfly" Hill, one of the most important environmental activists and eco warriors of our time. Perhaps best known for living for two years in a 1,500-year-old redwood tree to prevent it from being cut down, she has inspired millions through her many courageous acts, her books, poetry, lectures, and retreats. In this interview, we discuss how we can recognize our life's calling and make courageous choices for a better world.
  • Original air date: Monday, September 15, 2014
    Episode Description:
    A conversation with theologian and spiritual teacher Beverly Lanzetta about the essence of her spirituality, which takes one beyond the exclusive boundaries of religion and into a spirituality that combines the solitary depth and commitment of mothers and fathers of the desert with the justice-oriented way of spiritual nonviolence, exemplified by pioneers like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. For more information about Beverly Lanzetta's work, please visit www.beverlylanzetta.net.
  • Original air date: Monday, September 01, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Join us for this conversation with Dr. Kurt Johnson, a scientist and spiritual teacher, who offers us a new vision of spirituality based on the mystical-ecumenism of Brother Wayne Teasdale. In doing so, he addresses such topics as interspirituality, the relationship between spirituality and social change, and the future of religion and new monasticism. 
  • Original air date: Monday, August 11, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Join us for this conversation with contemplative and peace activist Philip Hellmich. He shares his experience as a peace corps volunteer during Sierra Leone’s bloody civil war and how this inspired him to work on practical peace-building initiatives internationally.
  • Original air date: Monday, July 28, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Join us for a conversation with Nathan Schneider, author, and one of the first journalists to cover the Occupy Wall Street movement. His work on the subject has appeared in multiple publications, including Harper's, The Nation, and The New York Times and was described by Ezra Klein of The Washington Post as "the single best place to start" learning about the movement. In this personal interview, Nathan talks about his involvement with the movement and the relationship between what happened in Zuccotti Park and his own spirituality.
  • Original air date: Monday, July 14, 2014
    Episode Description:
    In this intimate conversation, Chris Saade shares a lifetime of lessons. Touched by the brutality of war as a young man growing up in Lebanon during the civil war, he dedicated his life to work for peace and justice. Spending most of his life in study and direct work with people, Chris emerged as a spiritual leader for justice who beautifully articulates what he sees as a new global spiritual possibility, which he calls Second Wave Spirituality.
  • Original air date: Monday, June 30, 2014
    Episode Description:
    Join us for this conversation with Rev. Felicia Helen Parazaider about the spiritual nature of our commitment to social justice. Rev. Felicia is a minister and self-described radical sacred activist. She traveled to India and the Middle East on peace delegations, walked more than 200 miles through the Nevada desert to protest nuclear proliferation, and was arrested several times for participating in nonviolent civil resistance against drone warfare.
  • Original air date: Monday, June 16, 2014
    Episode Description:
    In this very personal interview, Mirabai Starr, an acclaimed interspiritual teacher, author, and translator known for her superb translations of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, talks about her experience of discovering the contemplative dimension of world religions and the lessons she has learned about contemplative life taking us into the heart of action. 
  • Original air date: Monday, June 02, 2014
    Episode Description:
    We are currently feeling the need for a spirituality that no longer hides our contemplatives in comfortable monasteries, but instead recognizes that we are all called to be mystics and prophets at once. This new spirituality integrates contemplation with activism and prophetic witness on behalf of justice and compassion, deals with the transformation of the whole-person, integrates spiritual practices from various traditions, and emphasizes the need for intergenerational collaboration and wisdom. Join us as we discuss this and more with renowned theologian Matthew Fox. 

Host Bio

Adam Bucko
Adam Bucko is an activist, spiritual director to many of New York City’s homeless youth, and coauthor of a new award-winning book, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation.
He grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime and spent his early years exploring the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. At the age of 17, Adam immigrated to America where his desire to find his path toward a meaningful life led him to monasteries in the United States and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where on his way to a Himalayan hermitage, he met a homeless child who lived on the streets of Delhi. This brief encounter led him to the “Ashram of the Poor,” where he began his work with homeless youth. After returning to the United States, he worked on the streets of various American cities with young people struggling against homelessness and prostitution. He eventually cofounded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless youth.
In addition to his work with homeless youth, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual “new monastic” fellowship for young people that offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism. He collaborates with spiritual leaders across religious traditions and mentors young people, helping them discover a spiritual life in the 21st century and how to live deeply from the heart in service of compassion and justice.

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