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Whether we’re in the boardroom or the classroom, we spend far too much time and energy looking for the right answer. But the truth is that questions are just as important as answers, often more so. If you ask the wrong question, for instance, you’re guaranteed to get the wrong answer. A good question, on the other hand, inspires a good answer and, in the process, invites deeper understanding and more meaningful connections between people. Asking a good question requires us to move beyond what we think we know about an issue or a person to explore the difficult and the unknown, the awkward, and even the unpleasant.

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Direct download: UrbanMonk115JamesERyan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

For some there is a huge disconnect between mind and body. This can be exacerbated when regarding lovemaking. For Charu Morgan, she was able to find a strong connection to her body through the practice of tantra. What is tantra? Is it specifically related to the act of sex? How does the practice reconnect the body and mind and how does it lead to enhanced pleasure during lovemaking? Is this something that can only be practiced during the act? And for those of us currently flying solo, is there anything we can benefit from practicing tantra as well? I'm, uh, asking for a friend...

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Direct download: UrbanMonk114CharuMorgan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

What is the principle purpose of a brain? A simple question, but the answer has taken millennia for us to begin to understand. So critical for our everyday existence, the brain still remains somewhat of a mystery. Gary L. Wenk takes us on a tour of what we do know about this enigmatic organ, showing us how the workings of the human brain produce our thoughts, feelings, and fears, and answering questions such as: How did humans evolve such a big brain? What is an emotion and why do we have them? What is a memory and why do we forget so easily? How does your diet affect how you think and feel? What happens when your brain gets old?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk113GaryWenk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Economics affect all of us. Whether good or bad, whatever is happening in the world of economics affects policy decisions, multi-billion-dollar investments, and even social and environmental policy decisions. But according to economist Kate Raworth, most ideas about economics are extremely out of date and college courses are behind by decades. What is the traditional view of economics and how is it out of date? How would Raworth reframe the way we think about economics? What kind of changes could occur if we change this thinking?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk111KateRaworth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

More than thirty-five million Americans currently suffer from Hashimoto’s—an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland and causes the body to attack its own cells. To alleviate the symptoms of this debilitating condition—including chronic cough, acid reflux, IBS, allergies, chronic pain, hair loss, brain fog, and forgetfulness—patients are often prescribed synthetic hormones that have numerous life-altering side effects. Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at twenty-seven, pharmacist Dr. Izabella Wentz knows first-hand the effects of the disease, as well as the value—and limitations—of medication. The key to improved health, she argues, involves lifestyle interventions. In Hashimoto’s Protocol, she outlines a proven treatment that has helped thousands heal and many others feel better—in as fast as ninety days.

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Direct download: UrbanMonk111IzabellaWentz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Second Amendment rights in the United States is an extremely contentious issue. There are compelling arguments from every viewpoint and everyone has an opinion. Coming from a background of journalism, author Iain Overton explored the lifecycle of the gun, from those who make firearms, to those who sell them, use them, and die by them. In a conversation with Pedram Shojai, Overton talks about his time and travels around the world as he spoke to ER doctors dealing with gun trauma, SWAT team leaders, gang members, and weapons smugglers. He talks about the fear that can paralyze a person when a gun is pointed right in their face and how that happened to him!


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Direct download: UrbanMonk109IainOverton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Trust in the government tends to be rather low these days. A Pew Research Center study back in 2015 found that only 19% of Americans trust the government "always or most of the time." For Bao Nguyen, that wasn't acceptable so he jumped into the political arena himself. Starting on the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education, he eventually went on to become mayor of Garden Grove, CA. What does it take to jump into the political arena? What experience does someone need? What kind of person does it take?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk110BaoNguyen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

There are many famous last words. From Caesar to Marie Antoinette to Benjamin Franklin, there are many famous examples of people uttering great quotes before they pass on. But what about everyone else? What do the ordinary people have to say as they die? Author Lisa Smartt began transcribing conversations with her father after he became terminally ill. Her father lived with a secular world view in his last days suddenly developed a deeply spiritual outlook. What caused this change? She began to examine the final words of other ordinary people. After looking at over a hundred case studies, interviews, and transcripts, what did the last words of loved ones reveal?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk112LisaSmartt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT

What can a State's Attorney General do? What is their role? To help explain this part of the US government, James Tierney, a former state attorney general of Maine and current Harvard lecturer, joins the program to help Pedram understand all the responsibilities of a State Attorney General. How does their role differ from an elected congressperson? What was Tierney's experience as a State Attorney General? What does he think about the current administration and how the government is being handled?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk107JamesTierney.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Losing is a part of life. For a while children were getting participation trophies, but understanding what a loss means can actually be a critical part of success. Whether losing a hockey game or bombing an important math test, what can these setbacks teach us and how can we grow stronger from the experience? Joining The Urban Monk, author and sports journalist Sam Weinman had to convince his two boys that losing and failing are important experiences to learn from. How can we take these setbacks and turn them into comebacks?

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Direct download: UrbanMonk106SamWeinman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm EDT