Dr. Jay Valentine is my special guest for this Season 1 bonus episode. He is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Troy University, and an expert in Buddhism, eastern religions, meditation, and philosophy. We recorded this episode just as Alabama began shutting down right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I really thought I’d have plenty of time to edit, and release it during the stay-at-home orders, but it just didn’t play out that way. And, Jay is such a cool guy that I hated to just not release it. Pre-COVID, we spent a couple hours at his office talking about world religions, and I asked him about his particular area of research, and he just blew my mind with his work on the Northern Treasure Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It was such a good conversation that I knew I needed to record a podcast with him.
World religions have fascinated me for a long time. The stories that people tell each other to explain life, and the world seems to be a universal human trait. These beliefs share elements of truth, and fiction that we can all learn from. We cover Jay’s journey to university, and to study Buddhism and meditation. We walk through elements of meditation, and what it can mean for reducing suffering in our life. And, we talk about other ways that we can think about the world that might help us deal with the isolation, and the time alone during this pandemic.
One last thing before the interview, I’ll be posting Season 2 of The Bean Pot beginning in January, so look for those updates as well.
And now, the interview you’ve been waiting for, here’s Dr. Jay Valentine.