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The co-founder of Runa, Tyler Gage, stops by the studio to discuss with Pedram how he started his company. A graduate of Brown University, what made him leave behind his suburban life to go explore the Amazon rainforest with indigenous elders at the age of 20? Runa, according to Inc Magazine, has become one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the US. How has Tyler been able to expand his the company so quickly? How does Runa's mission statement help better the Amazon rainforest while still allowing growth and expansion in a consumer economy?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk136TylerGage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

At forty-four, acclaimed cardiologist John Day was overweight and suffered from insomnia, degenerative joint disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. On six medications and suffering constant aches, he needed to make a change. While lecturing in China, he’d heard about a remote mountainous region known as Longevity Village, a wellness Shangri-La free of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, dementia, depression, and insomnia, and where living past one hundred—in good health—is not uncommon. Day, a Mandarin speaker, decided to spend some time living in Longevity Village. He learned everything he could about this place and its people, and met its centenarians. His research revealed seven principles that work in tandem to create health, happiness, and longevity—rules he applied to his own life. Six months later, he’d lost thirty pounds, dropped one hundred points off his cholesterol and twenty-five points off his blood pressure, and was even cured of his acid reflux and insomnia.


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Direct download: UrbanMonk135JohnDay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT

We make big fusses about political elections every couple of years. Beyond that many people think they aren't able to enact big changes on their own. But what about the choices we make every week regarding what we buy? A big power of the people is regarding the economy. The decisions on where we spend our money send big signals to big companies. To help distill how much power each citizen has, Andrew Winston joins today's program to discuss the thought process of companies as they observe and track spending. How does change from a citizenry affect corporations and how does that change affect actual policies?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk134AndrewWinston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:38pm EDT

In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of the next seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. Moor reveals how this single topic—the oft-overlooked trail—sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk133RobertMoor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

For Jaimal Yogis, the path to enlightenment is surfing. Between water and air, between control and surrender, between the tangible and intangible realities of life, the spiritual can be found. Born to a family of seekers, he left home at sixteen to surf in Hawaii and join a monastery—an adventure he chronicled in Saltwater Buddha. Now, in his early twenties, his heart is broken and he’s lost his way. Hitting the road again, he lands in a monastery in Dharamsala, where he meets Sonam, a displaced Tibetan. All Our Waves Are Water follows Jaimal’s trek from the Himalayas to Indonesia; to a Franciscan Friary in New York City to the dusty streets of Jerusalem; and finally to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Along his journey, Jaimal prays and surfs; mourning a lost love and seeking something that keeps eluding him, until he ultimately finds what he’s been looking for—that the perfect ride may well be the one we are on right now.

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Direct download: UrbanMonk132JaimalYogis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Happiness is a very common goal. Who doesn't want to be happy? But what does that mean to be happy? How can we attain happiness? For some of us, though we may have a great job and supportive family and friends, we may still be hit with feelings of insecurities, anxiety, or even depression. Why can this still happen even in the best of situations? Psychiatrist Anna Yusim works with patients who have expressed these very concerns. She's even struggled with them herself! She spent fifteen years studying this phenomenon and concluded that the issue deals with spiritual neglect! What does this mean? How can people address their spiritual and psychological needs at the same time? What effects can this have on people's lives to address their spiritual needs?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk131AnnaYusim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

The rainforests cover about 16% of Earth's total land surface, though that number is shrinking. Many of us understand the importance of the rainforests and their great ability to help absorb carbon dioxide. Many of us also fully understand the need to protect them from further deforestation. But how can we do that from where we are? Do we have to get on a plane and fly to South America to help? Lindsey Allen of the Rainforest Action Network joins today's show to explain that each of us has the power to help and we can help everyday. In what way can we send a message to corporations that might contribute to harmful practices regarding rainforests? What everyday actions can we take to send messages to such massive corporations?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk130LindseyAllen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. What else could possibly happen? Journalist Peter Brannen has taken a close look at the five mass extinctions our planet has gone through. What exactly happened to cause extinction on such a massive, planet-wide level? How did any life make it past these events? Do these past extinction level events provide any clues to how it could happen again? If life was able to continue after these past events, does that provide any hope for humans should something catastrophic happen?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk129PeterBrannen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

We all feel fear. Yet we are often taught to ignore it, overcome it, push past it. But to what benefit? Once recognized as the best extreme skier in the world, Kristen Ulmer knows fear well. Rebuilding our understanding of fear from the ground up, Ulmer starts by exploring why we’ve come to view it as a negative. From here, she unpacks fear and shows it to be just one of 10,000 voices that make up our reality, here to help us come alive alongside joy, love, and gratitude. How can we harness our fear to overpower what we are fearful of in the first place?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk128KristenUlmer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Life has a way of getting us into a very comfortable, yet repetitive grind. We wake up, we shower, we go to work, we get home, we eat dinner, we sleep, we repeat the pattern day after day. Some of us used to do stuff. Some of that stuff might have been considered fun. What happened? Matt Walker wonders that too, but actually wants to help infuse some adventure back into your life. He founded and directs "Matt Walker Adventures" which leads small groups on mountain adventures with a focus on individual development. Why is it important to travel outside of our small town borders and see what else is out there? What irrational fears might some people have regarding international travel? What concerns are actually well founded? And what can be gained by experiencing something firsthand? Adventure is out there!

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Direct download: UrbanMonk127MattWalker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT