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. 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.

EP. 013

In 1950, a 19-year-old Stanford University sophomore named Michael Murphy had a serendipitous encounter that changed his life. Murphy had prepared to sit through more of his pre-med coursework. Instead, he wound up in a lecture hall where the great religions scholar and professor Frederic Spiegelberg delivered a message that shook Murphy to his core, altering his ambitions, his career trajectory and his spiritual outlook. “Walking out of there, one sentence kept going through my head,” Murphy, now 93, shares with Wonderstruck’s Elizabeth Rovere, “It was like an obsessional thought: you will never be the same, you will never be the same.” Spiegelberg’s influence set Murphy on a path that would lead him to turn a sacred plot of land on the Northern California coast into a cliffside hub for the study and practice of human potential. Co-founded with Richard Price in 1962, Esalen Institute has left an indelible mark on countless individuals and on a broader culture of seekers and scholars. Wonderstruck’s second season kicks off with a story only Michael Murphy can tell, about Esalen’s wild evolution and impact, guarding it against drug dealers and cults, and a lifetime, says Murphy, of moving “into this greater life that’s pressing to be born in us all.”

EP. 012

Doctor John Douillard is one of the world’s foremost natural health experts and a leading voice in the fields of Ayurveda and sports medicine. As a certified ayurvedic practitioner, John draws from ancient Indian medical knowledge and cutting edge medical research to treat the ailments of the modern world. A prolific author, podcaster and YouTube presence, millions of viewers have watched John’s videos about topics like sleep improvement, brain detoxing, healthy aging, and longevity. On Wonderstruck’s Season 1 finale, John shares his most powerful teaching. He reveals how he eliminated fatigue and found a source of “jet fuel” in his own body. And he opens up about why getting older means embracing the spiritual world in deeper ways, and the connection he’s found between wonder and inner strength. “The whole idea of exploring inner space is such a road less traveled,” John tells host Elizabeth Rovere. “But it’s so full of wonder and awe and joy. Sitting down and meditating and breathing can change your life, and give you an experience of life that is so joyful and so fulfilled that you become what I call ‘weather proofed.’ You know: you’re not happy only when good things happen, and you’re not sad only when bad things happen. You experience them, but you’re weather proofed from letting them change who you are. Nothing has the power to change who we are.”


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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