Skillful Means Podcast

10 Episodes

By: Jennifer O'Sullivan & Annie Moyer

Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.

#97 Delighting In Joy Guided Practice

Jen wraps up her partial series on the Brahma Viharas with Mudita, commonly translated as "sympathetic joy." With Mudita, we're asked to rejoice in the good fortune of others, admittedly not easy.

This is why Jen likes to think of Mudita as "delight," specifically delighting in joy itself whether it's originating from someone else or from within. But, when we are able to delight in other's happiness, it's further solidifies our connection and sense of interconnectedness, helping to ease the suffering of loneliness and isolation.

The meditation starts at 3:39. If your podcast player support chapter...

#96 Portals of Mindfulness Guided Practice

Have you ever caught yourself (or been caught by someone else) with your head buried in your smartphone while doing something mundane like brushing your teeth or walking through your home?

If so, you can probably relate to the lure of distraction when certain moments don't seem worth our full attention. 

In this contemplation, Annie invites us to view these small, ordinary moments during the day as portals to mindfulness that may reveal a hidden treasure of simple awe that awaits our ordinary attention.

To skip the talk and go straight to the m...

#95 Tonglen Guided Practice

Continuing her mini-series on the Brahma Viharas, the Four Immeasurables, Jen shares the Tibetan practice of Tonglen. This training in compassion is an inner alchemy where the practitioner seeks to transmute the suffering of others.

Tonglen teaches us how to grow our hearts beyond the boundaries of those in our in-crowd. It invites us to embrace our common humanity as an extension of our own being.

This particular variation of Tonglen is inspired by a version by Roshi Joan Halifax.

To skip the talk and go straight to the mediation, fast forward to 4:18...

#94 Drawing A Line Guided Practice

It’s counterintuitive but essentially true: all phenomena itself is neutral, including people and events, and they have equal capacity to provoke suffering or ease alike – it all depends on how we meet the moment.

As we continues our series of practice this summer, Annie offers a contemplation on how we might work with discernment in shaping a skillful state of mind when facing difficult circumstances.

The meditation starts at 2:57. If your podcast app supports chapter markers, you can jump ahead.


Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deep...

#93 Loving-Kindness Guided Practice

Some of the most treasured and widely-practiced Buddhist Teachings are the Brahma Viharas (The Four Immeasurables). They also appear in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as one of the many practices that settle mind.

Sometimes referred to as "The Four Faces of Love," these teachings help us to foreground love in all our encounters... with ourselves, loved ones, community members, and even people that we don't particularly like.

As part of our summer series of practices, Jen is going to share 3 of the four "Divine Abodes," starting with metta (loving-kindness). In this practice, we're training up the...

#92 Mundane Ecstacy Guided Practice

The old Zen proverb that says “before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water” is a gentle reminder that chasing the ecstatic will ultimately let us down. Instead, if we can stay close to the ordinary matters of each moment, we may be much better positioned to experience luminous presence.

In this practice, Annie discusses the true meaning of mindfulness, and invites you to use your immediate surroundings as a platform for awakening to the moment.

The meditation start at 2:40. If your podcast app supports chapter markers, you can jump ahead.

#91 Mindfulness of Four Elements of the Body Guided Practice

In the last of our series on the less common practices of the First Foundation of Mindfulness (Mindfulness of the Body), Jen shares a practice of contemplating the four elements of the body: earth, water, fire, and air. 

Because everything in the manifest world contains these elements, this practice helps us to embody interconnectedness. We're also encouraged to soften our sense of exceptionalism. We are, after all, just this.

The meditation starts at 3:00. If your podcast app supports chapter markers, you can jump right to it.


Skillful Means Podcast offers these g...

#90 Yoga Beyond Asana

Could you imagine a yoga class without postures?  In fact, millions of dedicated yoga practitioners don't practice asana at all. 

In this episode, Annie and Jen discuss ways to engage with the teachings separate from asana, drawing on guidance from the "Bhagavad Gita" and their own experiences.

"Bhagavad Gita" quote mentioned in the episode:
Chapter 2 Verse 42-43
"There are ignorant people who speak flowery words and take delight in the letter of the law, saying that there is nothing else. Their hearts are full of selfish desires, Arjuna. Their idea of heaven is th...

#89 Mindfulness of Skin, Flesh, & Bones Guided Practice

In the First Foundation of Mindfulness, the Buddha shared several practices that were intended to help practitioners release their attachments to the body. Whether we are concerned about it's size and shape, the body's age, specific parts... we're encouraged to experience the body as it simple is: comprised of hard and soft tissues... organs... parts.

In this month's guided practice, Jen shares a variation on the contemplation of the anatomy of the body.


Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deepen into your yoga and mindfulness journey.


#88: A Conversation with Sarah Powers on Embodying Love & Compassion

We are thrilled to welcome Sarah Powers, author and co-founder of the Insight Yoga Institute, onto the show to talk about embodying the qualities of love and compassion. This is the "finale" episode our series on the 12 Embodiments of Yoga.

Sarah was the perfect guest for this topic as compassion is such a central theme in her teachings. Throughout the sweeping conversation, Sarah helps trace the line between practicing on a mat and love and compassion as an orientation towards living life.

Notable touchpoints include:
~ why starting a practice with self-compassion sets...