podcast reveals happiness

As in life, there lies a wealth of wisdom within books. The open book journey podcast is karuna’s initiative to unleash this wisdom and transform it into actionable happiness by making it easily accessible to all.

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the open book journey podcast
unveiling the wisdom of happiness in books with the authors who wrote them

 

A simple conversation can be the catalyst for transformation, and our intention is to make that shift in perspective a reality. 

 

Listen now to become part of the intriguing, unique, and invaluable conversations that take place between Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, and his esteemed guests - authors of blockbuster books that are leading the happiness movement.

 

The open book journey offers listeners the chance to gain a more intimate understanding of the knowledge and insights contained within the large body of work developed by world-renowned authors, researchers, and thought leaders in the science of wellbeing such as Frederic Luskin, author of Forgive for Good; Barbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0 and Positivity; Sonja Lyubomirksy, author of the The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness; Richard Davidson, author of the The Emotional Life of Your Brain, Altered Traits and The Science of Meditation, among many others.

 

You can find the open book journey on Spotify, Apple Music, or wherever else you get your podcasts. 

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Oprah Winfrey had not published either of her books - The Path Made Clear and What I Know For Sure - when she appeared in Arun Sardana’s (founder of karuna) Symbology exercise at Columbia University on July 6th, 2016. It was last month in April, 2020, almost four years later, that she finally ‘spoke’ to him through her books and showed him how to achieve his life's purpose. If you believe in the power of symbols and their manifestations in our lives precisely when you need them, then this is a must-see episode for you. It might just lead you to your life's purpose! Please, join Arun on this very intriguing journey

The word forgiveness comes from the Latin word perdonare which means 'to give completely, without reservation.' In The Book of Forgiving, Desmond Tutu calls forgiveness the greatest gift we can give ourselves when we have been wronged. However, most of us find forgiving others and ourselves to be one of the most challenging acts in life. 

 

Why is it so hard to forgive? How can we do so more easily, and what is the greatest gift awaiting us in this act? Can we forgive and forget when we are wronged?

 

In this interview with Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of Stanford University's Forgiveness Projects for over 20 years, we'll explore these and other profound questions surrounding forgiveness. He is currently a lecturer at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the School of Business as the co-founder of the Wellness Education Program. He is the author of the best-selling books Forgive for Good and Forgive for Love. He has created a train-the-trainer program for forgiveness and has helped people recover from grievous wounds in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Columbia and the World Trade Center.

Brené Brown's books Daring Greatly and Gifts of Imperfection had a profound effect on the life of Arun Sardana, founder of karuna. They gave him the courage to become vulnerable so he could face his demons, his deepest fears, and ultimately, find his authentic self. Her writing became the launch pad for Arun’s journey which ultimately revealed the Five Vulnerabilities that allowed him to see his true image.

 

In this episode, Arun shares these Five Vulnerabilities, and then offers you three practical ways of discovering that you are also worthy of love and belonging. So, join Arun on this journey of finding the courage to become vulnerable because the prize that awaits us is invaluable. After all, what is more liberating than finding your authentic self and your true inner voice? 

We have all experienced a desire, a vice, or an attraction that was simply too hard to resist...and so we succumbed to its power. Does this mean that we don't possess willpower, dubbed as the greatest human strength, to fend off what may not be good for us? Is moral strength the same thing as willpower and self-control? Are we born with it, and can we strengthen this muscle of willpower or resilience to overcome adversities and "weak" moments?
 
Join us in exploring these and other important determinants of happiness In this interview with Dr. Roy Baumeister, former professor of psychology at the University of Queensland. He is among the most prolific and most frequently cited psychologists in the world, with over 650 publications. His 42 books include the New York Times bestseller Willpower. His research covers the self and identity, self-regulation, interpersonal rejection and the need to belong, sexuality and gender, aggression, self-esteem, meaning, consciousness, free will, and self-presentation. In 2013, he received the William James award for lifetime achievement in psychological science (the Association for Psychological Science’s highest honor).

The uncertainty we all face today - COVID19 - is not only unprecedented, it is threatening our financial and psychological well-being. Uncertainties, though, are a part of life, even if they are likely more short-lived and not as wide-spread and deadly as what we face today. In this episode, we derive inspiration from Steve Jobs' life, his personal story of getting fired from Apple at 30, and how he used that extreme uncertainty to launch into one of the most creative phases of his life that ultimately led to the creation of companies like the world-renowned Pixar Animation Studio and the Apple we know and love today.

 

This week, follow Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, as he combines two Nobel Prize winning theories from Quantum Mechanics and Developmental Economics to help solve the problem of the paycheck! Using the science of wellbeing and ancient wisdom, we will explore five tools to help us all deal with this extreme uncertainty and find some sense of stability and sanity during this very unstable time.

The pursuit of happiness is an age-old endeavor, but this positive emotion has eluded much of humankind. Happiness is one of the strongest motivators in our personal and professional lives as it drives many decisions. 

 

Are successful people more happy or are happy people more successful? Should our goal be to be happy with our life or in our life? Can we control the moments that lead us to experiencing joy and happiness? If yes, to what degree can we exercise control over our own happiness?

 

We explore the answers to these questions and many others in this interview with Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, (AB Harvard, summa cum laude; PhD Stanford) Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness which has been published in 36 countries. Lyubomirsky and her research on the science of happiness have been the recipients of many grants and honors, including the Diener Award for Outstanding Mid-career Contributions in Personality Psychology, the Christopher J. Peterson Gold Medal, and a Positive Psychology Prize.

Intense grief, anxiety, pain and fear have become commonplace in the COVID-19 world and it is wreaking havoc on our physical and mental health. While we are capable of handling episodic stress and negative emotions, our bodies are not designed to endure long-term chronic stress of the kind we have been experiencing for the last several months. In a similar way, the renowned author, C.S. Lewis, experienced a similar cocktail of emotions when he lost his great love and his soulmate - his wife. He penned his emotions in a journal, which were later published in a book called A Grief Observed.

 

We will use his work to first examine the root cause of these negative emotions and the impotence we feel against the silent enemy called COVID-19. Then Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, will offer five practical ways, derived from the science of wellbeing and ancient wisdom, to help dissolve them so you can find some sanity in these uncertain times.

Positive emotions are something we experience from time to time and, occasionally, we find ourselves in an upward spiral that brings immense joy and inner peace. When it comes to negative emotions, though, the opposite is also true. The resulting downward spiral can sometimes get out of control, causing stress, anxiety, depression and burnout. 

 

How can we build more upward spirals of love and positive emotions while reducing the incidence of anxiety-triggering downward spirals? Are there simple ways in which we can find happiness more consistently using simple techniques? How can we broaden and build on our positive emotions, including the capacity to love and be loved?

 

Join us in exploring the answers to these questions and many others in this eye-opening interview with Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab (a.k.a. PEP Lab) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has published over 110 peer-reviewed articles and her esteemed books, Positivity (2009, Crown, www.PositivityRatio.com) and Love 2.0 (2013, Penguin, www.PositivityResonance.com) have been translated into dozens of languages. Among the most highly-cited scientists, in 2017, Professor Fredrickson was honored with the Tang Prize for Achievements in Psychology, awarded to recognize exceptional career contributions to the well-being of humanity.

While the science of positive psychology has identified two primary categories of happiness, namely hedonistic or pleasure-based happiness, and eudaimonic or purpose-based happiness, Arun Sardana believes the actual experience of happiness manifests itself in five different ways depending on a variety of influences in the environment in which we were raised.

 

After explaining these 5 Happinesses - yes, that's an actual word :-) - Arun, founder of karuna, will discuss the concept of Ikigai, or Way of Being, in Japanese culture and derive inspiration from it. We will then redefine the word HAPPY as an acronym that will give you practical strategies, embedded in the science of wellbeing and ancient wisdom, that you can utilize to find what truly makes you happy. Join Arun this week on this HAPPY journey.

"The best way to activate positive emotion circuits in the brain is through generosity." - Richard J. Davidson.

 

Compassion and kindness are often thought of as ad-hoc actions that humans engage in from time to time. Science, however, shows that we are born with these traits. Despite this, we somehow become disengaged from this true nature of our mind. While there's a way to activate this circuitry in our brain, it requires work and nurturing to achieve a state of altered traits.


In this episode, we explore this thought and more with multiple award winner Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., Arun Sardana’s personal inspiration in the world of mindfulness and a light for thousands who have benefited and have been transformed by his groundbreaking research in contemplative practices and methods to promote human flourishing.  He is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder & Director of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 440 articles, numerous chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain published by Penguin Books in 2012. He is co-author with Daniel Goleman of Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body, published by Penguin Books in 2017.

"If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles; if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, suffer a defeat; if you know neither enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle." 

 

This is the wisdom of Sun Tzu in the oldest military treatise called The Art of War that is still as prized today as it was 2500 years ago.

 

In this 3-part series, we transform 13 chapters of Sun Tzu's wisdom of winning wars in the battleground into 4 Principles and 9 Tactics of defeating your inner demons. Please, join Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, on this powerful journey of ancient wisdom and modern science.

"If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles; if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, suffer a defeat; if you know neither enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

 

 This is the wisdom of Sun Tzu in the oldest military treatise called The Art of War that is still prized today as it was 2500 years ago.


In this 3-part series, we transform 13 chapters of Sun Tzu's wisdom of winning wars in the battleground into 4 Principles and 9 Tactics of defeating your inner demons. Please, join Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, on this powerful journey of ancient wisdom and modern science.

"If you know the enemy and yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles; if you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, suffer a defeat; if you know neither enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

 

 This is the wisdom of Sun Tzu in the oldest military treatise called The Art of War that is still prized today as it was 2500 years ago.


In this 3-part series, we transform 13 chapters of Sun Tzu's wisdom of winning wars in the battleground into 4 Principles and 9 Tactics of defeating your inner demons. Please, join Arun Sardana, founder of karuna, on this powerful journey of ancient wisdom and modern science.

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