Taking on the Transformative

Ever contemplate the sheer wonder of being, consciousness, and the reality that dents the frame of mainstream materialism? Join us as we look for answers, interviewing top experts and experiencers as we attempt to bring the “out there”, in here.


Listen to the most recent episodes of the Wonderstruck podcast below or on your favorite streaming platform.

EP. 016

What do you want? Who are you bound to? Who are you, really? And what will you do when faced with difficult decisions? These are some of the questions at the heart of religion and tragedy, dramas about extreme situations, impossible choices, and their consequences. William Robert, a professor of religion at Syracuse University, studies religion by studying tragedies, since both ask the same kinds of big questions about being human: questions about love and connection, about purpose and passion, about morality and mortality. And they’re persistent questions that don’t have final answers. In performance-based classes and workshops, and in print, William uses tragic dramas to rethink how religion works, what it does, and why it matters. His most recent book, Unbridled: Studying Religion in Performance, won the American Academy of Religion’s Religion and the Arts Book Award. On this episode of Wonderstruck, William and host Elizabeth Rovere discuss performance and pedagogy as practices of wonder that generate learning. Using teaching methods that draw upon embodied participation, earnest curiosity, props and disarming playfulness, William breaks down the barriers of academia to reach new and transformative conclusions. “When we’re using our bodies, we are inevitably thinking and feeling together,” he says. “The intellectual and the affective and the corporeal dimensions are all mixed together. And that’s much more powerful than just the intellect.”

EP. 015

Seeking relief from her migraine headaches, Dr. Sue Morter turned to meditation. As a new meditator, 24 years ago, she sat down to meditate as part of a group. As she followed along chanting a mantra, her mind was stilled and she was instantaneously transported into a higher state of consciousness, that she explains “was completely altered from where we operate on a daily basis.” Dr. Sue shares with Wonderderstruck’s Elizabeth Rovere, “I could see 360 degrees…I could see in every direction simultaneously…I was a ray of light. And I had always been there. I knew instantly that this was the truth of who I was. ” Her life’s work has evolved from this formative moment and the multi-dimensional experiences and understandings she continues to access as she works to embody this greater truth of who we are, teaching it and sharing it with others through her Energy Codes coursework, BodyAwake Yoga, Spiritual B.E.S.T. (Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique) and as a best-selling author. Dr. Sue is a transformational leader, teaching us how we’re contributing to the expansion of human consciousness as “we’re waking to the truth of why we’re here and what we’re capable of.”

EP. 014

Nicole Baden’s life in Zen began with a crisis. She was 17, overwhelmed and felt she may not survive. With help from her father, and her own intuition, Nicole looked for relief in the form of her 18th birthday gift: a trip to a Zen meditation retreat. Hoping to quiet her existential dread, what Nicole took away from that trip was even greater. It set her on a path that would entirely change her concept of self, and the way she’d experience being in the world. Now known as Tatsudo Nicole Baden Roshi, she is a Dharma Successor of Zentatsu Richard Baker Roshi, and director and a resident teacher at the Zen Buddhist Center Schwarzwald in Germany—the very same place she arrived as a frightened teen many years ago. The way Nicole teaches about Zen clarifies, demystifies and prescribes ways for her students to change their own paths by practicing meditation. “You can start sitting at home in homeopathic doses,” she tells Wonderstruck’s Elizabeth Rovere. “If you start introducing bodily stillness into your daily life, that would be a really good start.” Beginning next year, Nicole intends to do more teaching in the United States, online and in-person, expanding the offerings at Dharma Sangha’s Crestone Mountain Zen Center in Crestone, Colorado, where she serves as Assistant Abbot.


Elizabeth Rovere, MA, MTS, PsyD, RYT-200 is a clinical psychologist, BodyAwake yoga teacher and podcast host in New York City.

Elizabeth is keenly interested in spiritual experience as a profound aspect of psychological transformation. Her current work interests include contemplative neuroscience, climate justice, and esoteric religious history. She is an executive producer of The Heart Revolution, a documentary film exploring the heart being more than a pump.

Elizabeth Rovere
Please join Elizabeth Rovere for the return of her very popular three–class Art of Contemplative Reading in Community October 2nd, 9th, and 16th
The Butterfly Room Dinner
Butterfly Room at the Beaverbrook Townhouse in London


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