50. IBP: Ken McLeod & Hokai Sobol on Practice (P.1)


This is a quick introduction to help you on your way through the new season of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. After a year of traipsing the globe with academics in an outrageous attempt to address the anti-intellectualism rife across Buddhism, and spirituality more generally, we have landed with both feet on the ground in the terrain of practice.

The challenge for this season is clear: to approach the whole concept of practice afresh. Not ignoring the past, but looking at it all in as contemporary a lens as possible, whilst bringing the great wealth of knowledge gained from our academics to bear on the personal, the subjective, the intimate, and the phenomenological.

Our first foray into such terrain is carried out in Kostrena, Croatia with Ken McLeod and Hokai Sobol and together we discussed all manner of topic from practice to culture wars, from Peter Sloterdjik to Jonathon Haidt, from non-conceptual mind to evil, from social duty to the great themes of our time, and the way they all interrelate with practice.

The conversation is divided into two parts. Being recorded live outside the studio, the quality is not the best but it is perfectly listenable and I hope the occasional passing car and slight echo won’t get in the way of your listening pleasure.

End music provided by The Naturals from Bristol. The track is entitled 2HGS and is rather wild.

Enjoy the episode and let us know what you think at the usual places.

O’Connell Coaching: https://oconnellcoaching.com
Post-Traditional Buddhism: https://posttraditionalbuddhism.com

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Twitter: Imperfectbuddha


  1. The discussion on the Hierarchy of Competence sounds much like this statement from aristocratsofthesoul.com: “Traditional Buddhists sects tend to be hierarchical. Advice from those who have practiced longer or with better education is given priority, and those who are new to the religion or haven’t been through proper training aren’t likely to have their opinions taken seriously.” http://aristocratsofthesoul.com/secular-buddhism-vs-traditional-buddhism-six-key-differences/. And the Jordon Peterson reference was also quite interesting. Fits right in with “New Right + Alt Religion” crew, which also includes guys like Sam Harris. The whole article on Secular Buddhism v. Traditional Buddhism shares many of the views of Post-Traditional Buddhism, but mostly from the Secular Buddhist side.


    • Hi Shaun. I often find your comments a little left-field and am not sure what to make of them. Are you making an observation, critiquing the guests, or something else? The lumping of Sam Harris into the Alt-right has never made much sense considering he always votes Left-Wing. He might be better defined as hovering around an emergent centre, conservative Left, if that can work as a thing…well…why not in today’s multivariate political environment.


  2. I cringe when anyone mentions Stephen Bachelor. That guy only like two things anout buddhist: the breadth of his vocabularly and the sound voice. Its rather shocking to me when someone who claims to be so learned and informed about buddhist practce seems to be only able to gring his own axe in opposition.


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