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Welcome to The Perennial Meditations podcast with J.W. Bertolotti from the Perennial Leader Project. Perennial Meditations brings you short reflections on ancient wisdom for everyday life. Each reflection is based on ancient philosophical and spiritual traditions designed to help you live your highest good. To learn more, visit perennialleader.com perennial.substack.com
 
In Search of Wisdom is a podcast for seekers and curious minds interested in timeless principles and practices for everyday life. Join the search with J.W. Bertolotti from the Perennial Leader Project as he engages in meaningful conversations with leading thinkers in philosophy, theology, and everything in between. Learn more at PerennialLeader.com.
 
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In this episode, my guest is Massimo Pigliucci, the author of the new book, The Quest for Character. Prof. Pigliucci has a PhD in Evolutionary Biology and a PhD in Philosophy. He currently is the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of science, the nature of pseudoscience,…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in the writings and Stoic philosophy of Lucius Annaeus Seneca. In a letter known today as On Brawn and B…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. What does it mean to learn how to live? Where does one even begin? The existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once said, “Everything in the world has been figured out, except how to live.” [...] Support the show: Subscribe to Pe…
 
In this episode, my guest is Kevin Griffin, the author of Living Kindness: Metta Practice for the Whole of Our Lives. Kevin is a longtime Buddhist practitioner, author, teacher, and leader in the mindful recovery movement. He is also the author of One Breathe at a Time, Buddhism and the Twelve Steps Daily Reflections, and many others. You can learn…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. In this episode, I share a short clip from a recent conversation with Massimo Pigliucci, the author of the new book The Quest for Character: What the Story of Socrates and Alcibiades Can Teach Us about Our Search for Good Leaders.…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in the writings and Stoic philosophy of Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Follow us: Instagram | Twitter | Youtube …
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Follow us: Instagram | Twitter | Youtube | Website Why does criticism impact us? Even feedback from someone we don’t know can affect us. This episode explores what wisdom traditions (like Stoicism and Buddhism) can teach us about …
 
In this episode, my guest is Bryan Van Norden the author of Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto. Prof. Van Norden is the James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College and Chair Professor in Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China). He has published numerous books on Chinese and comparative philoso…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in Stoic philosophy. Today’s selected reading comes from a letter titled On the Philosopher’s Seclusion.…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. How do you see your place in the world? The late Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh suggested, “When you ask the question, ‘Who am I?’ — if you have enough time and concentration — you may find some surprising answers.” [...] Support the …
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. In this episode, my guest is Shaila Catherine, the author of Beyond Distraction: Five Practical Ways to Focus the Mind. Shaila is a renowned meditation teacher and author of three books on concentration and insight meditation. She…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in Stoic philosophy. Today’s selected reading comes from a letter titled On Crowds. Seneca stressed to L…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Is the happiest person you know—the wisest person you know? According to the American philosopher William James, there is a direct connection between philosophy and joy. Similarly, Montaigne called cheerfulness the surest sign of …
 
📩 Sign up for Perennial Meditations to receive philosophical and spiritual lessons for daily life right to your inbox. In this episode, my guest is Scott Hershovitz, the author of Nasty, Brutish, and Short: Adventures in Philosophy with My Kids. Scott is the Thomas G. and Mabel Long Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of …
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in Stoic philosophy. Today’s selected reading comes from a letter titled On the Philosopher’s Mean. Sene…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. According to psychologist Carl Jung, “The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego; the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” Jung believed our vision only becomes clear when we dare to look into our own…
 
📩 Want more ancient lessons for modern life? Sign up for Perennial Meditations to receive timeless principles and practices delivered right to your inbox. In this episode, my guest is Eric Zimmer, the host of the award-winning podcast The One You Feed. Eric is a behavior coach, spiritual director, and someone inspired by the quest for a greater und…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. Strangely, many of us know the feeling of loneliness all too well. We all have parts of ourselves that no one will truly understand. In my interview with Dr. Kelly Flanagan (author of True Companions), he explained: “Loneliness is…
 
📩 Sign up for Perennial Meditations to receive philosophical and spiritual lessons for daily life right to your inbox. Welcome to In Search of Wisdom by the Perennial Leader Project. In this episode, my guest is Dr. Kevin Vost, the author of more than twenty books. Today we discuss his new book Humble Strength. Kevin is a clinical psychologist, pro…
 
Welcome to Sundays with the Stoics on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in Stoic philosophy. 📩 Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter to receive ancient lessons for modern life right to your inbox daily. In a letter titled, On True and False Friendship, Seneca wrote, “You have sent…
 
📩 Want ancient lessons for modern life delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter. All of us want to find happiness and many books, teachers, and resources attempt to help us become happier. Yet we all continue to suffer in some form or fashion. What if happiness is available right now, but this happiness cannot…
 
Welcome to In Search of Wisdom, a podcast by the Perennial Leader Project. In this episode, my guest is Skye Cleary, the author of the new book How to Be Authentic. Skye is a philosopher and writer. She teaches at Columbia University and the City University of New York and is also the author of Existentialism and Romantic Love. Learn more about Sky…
 
Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we search for ancient lessons for modern life in Seneca’s timeless classic Letters from a Stoic. In a letter titled On Discursiveness in Reading, Seneca wrote, “Be careful, however, lest this reading of many authors and books of every sort may tend to make you discursiv…
 
📩 Want philosophical and spiritual lessons delivered to your inbox daily? Sign up for the Perennial Meditations newsletter: Immanuel Kant once said, “It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience.” Similarly, the Buddha stressed that there is no need for dogmas or blind faith — one should experience the teachings firsthand. Bud…
 
📩 Sign up for Perennial Meditations to receive philosophical and spiritual lessons for daily life right to your inbox. In this episode, my guest is Jason Merchey, the author of Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought. Jason is the founder of Values of the Wise, author of five books, and someone with a deep interest in ancient philosoph…
 
Welcome to Sundays with Seneca on the Perennial Meditations podcast. Join us as we explore Seneca’s timeless classic Letters from a Stoic in search of wisdom for modern life. In the letter titled On Saving Time, Seneca wrote, “Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius—set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which until lately h…
 
Perennial Meditations is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a subscriber. What if there is more going on within us than we realize? The philosopher Kierkegaard once asked, “What if everything in the world were a misunderstanding, what if laughter were really tears?” In The Stranger, philosoph…
 
In this episode, my guest is Mark Vernon, the author of the new book Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Guide for the Spiritual Journey. Mark is a psychotherapist and writer interested in spirituality and inner life. He has a Ph.D. in ancient philosophy, as well as degrees in physics and theology. You can learn more about Mark’s work at markvernon.com. In th…
 
Sign up for 📩 The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. Welcome to the Sunday edition of In Search of Wisdom. Here we slow things down, find time for stillness, and take a deeper dive into the ancient texts. We reflect on selected readings from philosophical and spiritual t…
 
Sign up for 📩 The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. How comfortable are you with questions that have no answer? The psychologist Carl Jung suggested, “The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble.” There are questions in life tha…
 
Sign up for 📩 The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. In this episode, my guest is Shane Sorensen, the author of the new book Renaissance Wisdom: How to Flourish in the Modern Day. Shane is a self-taught philosopher, avid fitness enthusiast, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt…
 
Sign up for 📩 The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. Welcome to the Sunday edition of In Search of Wisdom. Here we slow things down, find time for stillness, and take a deeper dive into the ancient texts. We reflect on selected readings from philosophical and spiritual t…
 
Sign up for 📩 The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. An essential practice of any philosophy of life is examing your actions. A century before Socrates famously proclaimed that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” the philosopher Pythagoras stressed the practice of…
 
In today’s episode, I’m sharing the second part of my recent conversations with my good friend Brandon Tumblin (the host of The Strong Stoic podcast). Brandon has been on the podcast multiple times and today we focus on the wisdom of Dostoevsky. Brandon has an upcoming talk on Dostoevsky for The Walled Garden Philosophical Society which I highly en…
 
📩 Sign up for The PATH Newsletter (our FREE weekly email) and receive a free 3-DAY Introduction to Ancient Lessons for Modern Life. In this episode, my guest is Brandon Tumblin the host of The Strong Stoic podcast. Brandon is a return guest on the show and as you’ll hear us talk about in the episode — we take a deep dive into the topic of harmony. …
 
Welcome to the Sunday edition of In Search of Wisdom. Here we slow things down, find time for stillness, and take a deeper dive into the ancient texts. We reflect on selected readings from philosophical and spiritual traditions to help us live our highest good. To learn more, you can visit perennialleader.com. In this episode, we reflect on Seneca’…
 
Is practice or theory more important in acquiring virtue? The Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus was asked this very question 2,000 years ago. Theory teaches what we ought to do, and practice demonstrates it. Musonius taught that although understanding the theory behind the action enables one to speak, it is practice that enables one to act. [...] **…
 
In this episode, my guest is Dr. Brian Russell the author of Centering Prayer and host of the Deep Dive Spirituality Conversations podcast. Brian is a return guest to the show, and someone with a great deal of wisdom to share. He is a professor of biblical studies and a transformational coach for pastors and spiritually-minded professionals. In the…
 
Navigating our way through life is a perennial challenge. But does it have to be? One can discover what the most remarkable thinkers had to say on virtually any topic within minutes. Although read any book on living a good life, and you’ll find what seem to be contradictions. Take this passage from Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, “Our actions may b…
 
In this episode, my guest is Dr. Bruce Tallman the author of the new book God’s Ecstatic Love. Bruce is a Spiritual Director and Marriage Counselor. He is the author of four books and has written hundreds of articles on spirituality published in the London Free Press and other newspapers and is an adjunct faculty for the Haden Institute for Spiritu…
 
Is it possible to know too much? According to Leo Tolstoy (regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time), “It is better to know a few good and necessary things than many useless and mediocre things.” Basic knowledge is necessary to be a human being; until a person has acquired this knowledge, all other knowledge is harmful, stressed Tolstoy.…
 
In today’s episode, my guest is Chris Fisher, the host of the Stoicism on Fire podcast and the creator of TraditionalStoicism.com. Chris started his blog in 2015 to provide material for those who are interested in Traditional Stoic theory and practice. In 2018, he started the Stoicism on Fire podcast. Chris now serves as the second Scholarch of The…
 
When we search for practical wisdom today — we are wise to look to Buddhist teachings. What distinguishes the Buddha’s teaching from other religious approaches to the human condition is its directness, thoroughness, and practical nature. The Buddha explained, "The teaching begins by calling upon us to develop a faculty of careful attention." [...] …
 
Is the fear of death inevitable? In the classic Denial of Death, Ernest Becker stressed, “The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity — designed largely to avoid the fatality of death.” Although 2,000 years before Becker, the philosopher Epicurus asked, “Why should I fear death?…
 
Today's reflection comes from a portion of The PATH weekly email meditation we send every Monday, and it's on potential. One of the heartbreaking things about humans is our tendency to settle, to place false limits on our true potential. The theologian Thomas Merton said, “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” In Meditations, M…
 
In this episode, my guest is Ryan Hawk (@RyanHawk12), the author of the new book The Pursuit of Excellence. Ryan is the founder and host of The Learning Leader Show (a podcast with nearly 500 episodes). He’s an avid speaker on leadership and personal and professional development. In the conversation, Ryan and I discuss: Leadership and excellence Lo…
 
Are you on the path to becoming who you truly are? The American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson believed, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” If you're interested in a deeper dive, you can read articles on ancient lessons for modern life at the PERENNIAL publication on Medium…
 
How do we know virtue is the only good? Although the Stoics and Epicureans agreed on finding tranquility in life, they differed drastically on the topic of virtue. In Letter 76, titled Only the honorable is good, Seneca wrote, This is called virtue; this is the honorable and the sole good of the human being. Since only reason perfects a human, only…
 
In this episode, my guest is Dr. Lisa Miller, the author of the new book The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and our Quest for an Inspired Life. Dr. Miller is a New York Times bestselling author and a professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the Founder and Director of the Spiritu…
 
Is there any greater wisdom than the ability to adapt? The poet Goethe said, “Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” The greatest thinkers throughout history have all stressed the wisdom of change. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius wrote, "Is someone afraid of change? Well, what can ever come to be without cha…
 
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