The Urban Monk Podcast

This week's episode of The Urban Monk is extra special as guest Emily Fletcher was able to actually visit with Pedram and record with him in his own dining room! Emily was a performer on Broadway stages for ten years which is one of the high forms of insanity. She would wake up and head to a theater sometimes not knowing what role she would be performing that evening. In such a high-stress environment, what made her finally settle down to try meditation? Did she have any pre-conceived notions about meditation? How does she make time for meditation in our current world of deadlines and meetings and conferences?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-04-02_Emily_Fletcher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

At the age of 22, Leo Galland's son, Christopher, passed away. He was a brain-damaged special needs child who was able to provide uncanny insights. Though Christopher is gone, to Leo his wisdom and presence remains. What is it to feel someone's presence after they've passed away? What is the spirit? How can we feel the spirit of a loved one? How can we connect with our own?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-26_Leo_Galland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Many of us understand the importance of diet when it comes to health. Sure, eating the right food is important if we want to maintain a healthy weight, but what other effects does food have? Max Lugavere has come to know the power of food very well. His mother was displaying symptoms of Alzheimer's disease but they never made any connections that the foods she was eating may have been worsening the disease. What connections was Max seeing between what his mother was eating and what symptoms were being displayed by his mother? Were changes made that resulted in a different health outlook?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-19_Max_Lugavere.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Prion diseases are very rare. There are on average only about 300 reported cases in the U.S. every year. Because of its rarity it can be difficult to diagnose. Dr. Greg Eckel is very aware of the topic because his wife has been inflicted with a prion disease. It's been a very scary struggle for him and his family as she struggles with this incurable disease. What are prion diseases specifically? What causes them? What symptoms exist?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-12_Greg_Eckel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Water is essential to life as we know it. Not only do we need it to survive, we also use water for so many other things such as agriculture, food preparation, and showering. For many of us, we take the water that comes from our taps for granted, but where exactly is that water coming from? What sort of infrastructure is required to deliver endless gallons of water to millions of people? 

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-05_Seth_Siegel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

The earth's population is above 7.6 billion people. That's a lot of people who need to eat. Fishing is an especially large industry, but it's wreaking havoc for certain natural ecosystems and habitats. Some species are being fished in the tens of millions each year. Is there a better way? Bren Smith is a former fisherman who understood he was involved in a highly destructive industry. He then began working with a large salmon farm, but found it was essentially the same destruction. He began searching for a more sustainable way to fish and farm which led him to develop 3D ocean farms. What are 3D ocean farms? What sort of seafood is Bren able to farm? What are the benefits of 3D ocean farms versus traditional seafood farms?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-03-01_Bren_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Diets are hard. Not even in the weight loss sense, but just in the general idea of the general foods a person should eat to be generally healthy. We're told that fats make us fat, but then someone else comes along to say that fats actually help to lose weight. Salt is bad, but someone else says it's fine. Gluten will mess you up, but someone else says, "Maybe in moderation you'll survive." What is it?? Dr. Mark Hyman joins Pedram Shojai on The Urban Monk to discuss the confusing, confounding, conflicting messages regarding what to eat. Who should we listen to? What do all the various food studies mean? What the heck should we eat?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-26_Mark_Hyman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

There's a lot going on in the world and it's easy to believe we won't be able to make a difference, especially at the individual level. It's easy to think we're alone in our feelings, but what if there was actually a community that was as passionate as we are? Fiona Hazell and Emelie Ekblad had a chance meeting that led them to create MAD. What were their individual journeys and experiences through various conditions that led them to madness? How did Emelie and Fiona meet? What about their meeting led them to forming MAD? What are they hoping to accomplish? How are they forming a new community to work together to resolve the big issues they see around the world?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-19_Emelie_Ekblad_and_Fiona_Hazell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Autonomous cars hold a lot of promise. Imagine if we could reduce or even fully eliminate automobile accidents due to road rage, drunk driving, or distracted drivers. Imagine if rush hour traffic was no more! Imagine the time you could get back to nap, read, or talk more intently with someone on the phone if you didn't have to drive! These are some of the various promises made by the concept of a self-driving car, but how realistic are these promises? On this episode Pedram Shojai welcomes Eric Noble from The Car Lab to discuss the advancements auto-makers have been able to make and how much further we still have to go before we get a fully autonomous car that allows us to take a heavy duty nap on the road. What are the technological limitations? Are we sure we'll be able to overcome these barriers? What sort of time frame can we expect before everyone is able to afford a self-driving car? Are there legal barriers to self-driving cars? How long before we can expect everyone to have a driverless car?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-15_Eric_Noble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EDT

Dieting sucks. Let's just be honest about that. Holidays, birthdays, and even just a Friday night out with friends means we are all often surrounded by tempting foods that are not perhaps the best for our midsections. How can we easily navigate the endless food options that always appear in front of us at the worst times? For Robyn Youkilis, she understands this struggle. She also recently had her first child and had to re-shift her thinking as she set realistic goals in returning to her normal pre-baby weight. Regarding the struggle of losing weight, sometimes people can become hard on themselves if the results aren't immediate. How can we push back against this mentality of wanting and needing quick weight loss?

Direct download: Urban_Monk_2018-02-12_Robyn_Youkilis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT