Episode 151 :: Ben Fleury-Steiner :: Dying Inside

| January 10, 2013 | 2 Comments

Ben Fleury-Steiner

Ben Fleury-Steiner joins us to talk about mindfulness practice in Delaware at Open Heart Zen, and to continue our theme of compassion for others as he discusses his book Dying Inside: The HIV/AIDS Ward at Limestone Prison.

Hi, everyone. When we do metta practice, starting with ourselves, then our loved ones, families, friends, associates, and all the way to those we are at odds with, it’s very… removed. We are typically in a safe and comforting environment, and don’t really have to grapple with the very tangible activities of dealing with people who are suffering. That’s something we do off the cushion in our daily lives.

But, we might not actually be engaging with others who are suffering. For many of us, though our metta practice is sincere, innocent, and with the most heartfelt compassion, we might not actually deal directly with those who are in true torment. Only some of us have that face to face engagement with the suffering of others, their pains, sorrows, and often tragic circumstances. Some of us do, have either never had or have taken off the blinders of ignorance, and very really and tangibly give back to those most in need.

Professor Fleury-Steiner earned in his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and his master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Northeastern University. His research interests include inequality, law and society and social control.

Thanks also to Dwight for your review on iTunes, I really appreciate your very kind words.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Mint Julep.


Web Links

Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Hon Shirabe” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.

Category: Book Reviews, The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (2)

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  1. keithounet says:

    Talk about inspirational! Such courage & dedication & sense of direction, thank you Ben and Ted for um, finding each other and giving us all a model of purpose in life. And what’s more I’m a huge Eno fan so here I go to yr site!

  2. Thanks, Keith! I haven’t launched the label yet. But here’s links to a beautiful video for a track “memory” shot by videographer/visual designer Marc Douma:


    And another, “white wmbers,” from the white vinyl LP, “The Places that Find You,” that I talked about in the interview:


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