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Season 2, Episode Two: “Whose Body is This?”

Today’s episode is a sonic rocket ride to the past.

Back, in fact, to a series of conversations which Jess and Jon recorded in the final few weeks before Jess’s son was born. This is a snapshot view of how a dhamma teacher in the throes of the pregnant condition deals with the realization that the pregnant body, on the whole, just might offer more pricks than kicks (to borrow a phrase from Samuel Beckett).

Our super special guest: 

Annie Sussman—professional lady, super-mom, and, coincidentally, Jon’s wife, whose views on navigating the winedark waters of post-partumhood bring the dhamma back to life.

Topics touched upon for your consideration:

The feeling-tone of pregnancy. | Extra-sensory mommy perception. | Your baby is so bald, I can see what he’s thinking. | Life wants to be lived. | Nervous systems within nervous systems. | The two babies. | The instinctual act of cherishing one’s own poo. | Baby power moves. | This is for you, Dad. | How a Buddhist gains the upper hand in a stand-off. | Disattached from imperviousness. | Unexpectedly pleasurable effects of the pregnant body. | Baby’s first gifts. | The quality of not-collapsing. | The pregnancy industrial complex. | Non-manipulation of experience. | Giving oneself permission to be a complete wreck. | Who needs an octopus app?

Plus—“This wild, raw, and magnificent world”: an equanimity meditation. Jess offers a guided meditation that riffs on the dialogue we were having during Episode Two of Season 2, specifically, how sensations of anxiety, even terror, that might crop up around aspects of one’s own pregnancy; over the state of the world; over our knowledge that we have so little control over what happens to our children before and after they are born. But, as Jess will remind us: the Buddha’s on it. This equanimity practice will teach us to stay connected with those qualities we most want to cultivate, while still understanding how much remains outside our control. FYI—this is a multi-purpose meditation, useful for dealing with physical pain, mental or emotional pain, or just the pain of waking up and remembering you’re a human.