Zen Bites is a free monthly audio podcast series featuring Mindfulness-based psychotherapist Jamie Shavdia and Zen Buddhist teacher Martin Goodson, with discussion focusing on Zen, Buddhism and Mindfulness, to more generalised themes of Psychology and Spirituality.    The podcasts are available on this website (www.jamieshavdia.co.uk), The Zen Gateway (www.thezengateway.com) and on Apple's iTunes (under Podcasts).

ZEN BITES #20 Podcast: (November 2016)

Mapping the Mind 

In this final episode Jamie & Martin discuss how the infinitely complex nature of the mind is often modelled in both Buddhism and psychology.


The Wheel of Life, the Nine Worlds of Norse myth, Freud's 'Id, Ego & Superego', Jung's personal and collective unconscious are just some of the ways that have been imagined and used to map the inner realms.


These models offer us a map in order to give structure to an otherwise chaotic terrain however in the end this map must be laid down after the arising of the awakened mind.


You can download Zen Bites # 20: Mapping the Mind here



ZEN BITES #19 Podcast: (October 2016)

Change & Impermanence - Living wth Uncertainty

In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss the inevitability of change and impermanence, both core concepts in Buddhism and Mindfulness practice. Topics range from the Buddha's life story to Brexit, the end of cycles to intrapsychic momentary change. 

How did the Buddha cope with the fact of uncertainty in life? How can changing the feeling tone of this theme alter our relationship with this fundamental fact of life?  These and many more questions are discussed in depth.

You can listen to Zen Bites podcast # 19: Change & Impermanence by clicking here.

ZEN BITES #18 Podcast: (August 2016)

The Shadow, Repression and Acceptance

In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss the unconditional acceptance of the shadow self, those unfavourable parts of "I', the ego, that are often repressed and not allowed in. The case is made for the acknowledging, allowing and accepting of these aspects of the fallible self, before one can truly find peace of heart.


Another name for Zen practice is 'acceptance practice'; what happens when we repress something out of fear? How does it continue to affect life? Does accepting something mean the same as 'letting it all hang out'?   These question and more are discussed in this podcast.  You can listen to this podcast here.

ZEN BITES #17 Podcast: (June 2016)


In this episode Jamie & Martin discuss the role of 'gratitude' as an attitude that can help dissolve the delusion of a separate self; expand consciousness, with recognition of our interdependent reality and be the basis for insight into the True Nature - the heart of Mahayana Buddhism.


Discussion includes looking at what gratitude is, and why it is so important within the context of mindful daily life practice. Contrasting an 'I' based attitude with one that cultivates the relationships between things, as part of a web of existence and how one should practice it?


You can listen to Zen Bites podcast # 17: Gratitude by clicking here.

ZEN BITES #16 Podcast: (May 2016)

Body Wisdom

In this episode Jamie & Martin discuss the role of the body as a source of insight and wisdom, relinquishing the cognitive agenda and exploring a realm of pure sensation. Topics include the body's innate wisdom arising from a bottom-up rather than a top-down more cognitive approach to spiritual practice, the difference between knowledge and wisdom, insight experiences and a gradual training approach. They also look at practices that can be used to access this wisdom of the body.


You can listen to this podcast here.

ZEN BITES #15 Podcast: (February 2016)  

Bereavement, Loss & Dying

In this episode Jamie & Martin discuss the difficult topic of bereavement, loss and dying.

The effects of near-death experiences on those who experience them; the danger of expecting 'techniques' to 'sort' out my feelings of loss; the centrality of death and loss in the Buddha's life-story; awakening to the reality of personal death; the transformative effect on the psyche of this reality; the problem of isolation from life when experiencing loss; the loss of self-image due to the onset of a disability; the healing power of spiritual stories in re-connecting with our humanity.
Discussion ranges from how loss is worked with and experienced in the therapy room as well as the role of death in providing a sense of mystery within religion. 
You can listen to this podcast here.

ZEN BITES #14 Podcast: (October 2015) 


In this episode Jamie & Martin discuss the spiritual potential of transcending the individual ego and therefore the limited confines of our own cognitive prisons which limit our potential as human beings.  Topics range from relative/absolute truth, group dynamics, crowd psychology and the Buddhist doctrine of emptiness.


You can download the podcast here.

ZEN BITES #13 Podcast: (July 2015)

Sounds, Chanting and Mantras

In this episode Martin and Jamie take a different stance by looking at the use of sound, mantras and chanting. How do mantras work?

How does sound affect consciousness? Why has chanting always been integral in religious practice? All shall be explored!

You can download this podcast here.


ZEN BITES #12 Podcast: (June 2015)


In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss the importance of mindfulness within relationships.


The changes that mindfulness can bring about in the individual in both the spiritual and psychotherapeutic sense are discussed, specifically in relation to the interpersonal dynamic between people/partners.


Later the conversation broadens to the relationship consciousness itself has to the environment and objects.


You can download the podcast here.

ZEN BITES #11 Podcast: (April 2015)


In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss sitting meditation, otherwise known as 'Zazen' in the Zen Buddhist tradition.

They take in the history of meditation, why it is used as a central practice, the effect on the mind and tips to setting up a Zen practice. This includes the environment, posture and the breath.

You can download the podcast by clicking here.

ZEN BITES #10 Podcast: (March 2015)


In this episode Jamie Shavdia & Martin Goodson discuss the importance of the body in the practice of mindfulness and Buddhist practice, as well as the pivotal role of following the breath.


Along the way they also discuss the feeling of an existing 'I' that develops through habitual patterns of thought and emotion, psychosomatic symptomology, Zen Master Hakuin and gumboils.


                                      You can download the podcast by clicking here.

ZEN BITES #9 Podcast: (February 2015)



In this podcast Jamie and Martin discuss the mindfulness of eating and drinking, and how a meditational way of being in this inevitable act, helps us to connect with the present moment. Eating and drinking is discussed as an important part of meditational daily life practice in both the secular world but also in a temple environment.  Other aspects of the discussion include an eating meditation exercise and the Buddhist view of relative and absolute truth. 

                                   You can download the podcast here.

ZEN BITES #8 Podcast: (December 2014)



In this podcast Jamie & Martin discuss the necessity of working with the emotions, as key to transformation of the heart and laying down the delusion of self.


They discuss what is an emotion from both a Buddhist and mindfulness perspective; the somatic and cognitive components of affect and why it is important not to judge emotions as something to 'get rid of'. Instead to recognise their elemental basis and the importance of humanising them so that they can inform 'being' rather than become squandered in obsessive compulsive behaviour.


Zen Bites #8: Working with the emotional household can be downloaded here.

Zen Bites #7 Podcast:

Walking in Meditation

(October 2014)

In this podcast Jamie and Martin discuss the act of walking in meditation, and how movement helps us to connect with the body and in turn the present moment.


Walking is discussed as a practice in several of the Buddhist schools, as well as other religions and spiritual ways of life.  Other aspects of the discussion include Wu-wei (non-intentional action), and walking as part of the pilgrim's journey.


This episode of Zen Bites can be downloaded here


Zen Bites #6 Podcast: Meditation in Daily Life

(September 2014)


In this episode Jamie & Martin explode the myth that meditation is only carried out in a sitting position and discuss how the mainstay of a Buddhist Mindfulness practice is to take it off the cushion and into daily life. 


They discuss different approaches to this practice; looking at the elements involved in setting up a practice in daily life; plus the importance of working with the emotional household as the key to transformation of consciousness. 


Zen Bites #6 - Mindfulness in daily life can be downloaded here.

Zen Bites #5 Podcast: The Compassionate Heart (August 2014)


In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss the emergence of the compassionate heart in Buddhist training, uncovering what is intrinsic to every sentient being and fundamental to the/our Buddhanature. Discussion also covers the recent adoption of compassion training in western psychotherapy. 


This podcast can be directly downloaded from here.


Zen Bites #4 Podcast: Meditational Retreats: Why do them and what are they for? (July 2014)


In this episode Jamie and Martin discuss the construct of a meditational retreat, both in general terms as well as from their own personal experience.

Discussion includes; what a retreat is, why one would attend, the importance of silence, keeping to a time schedule and the transformational effect this has on our inner life.

Download Zen Bites #4 here.

Zen Bites #3 Podcast: What is Mindfulness for? (May 2014)


In this episode Jamie Shavdia and Martin Goodson discuss what mindfulness is actually for, and how the context for Mindfulness varies considerably depending on whether it is cultivated towards religious or therapeutic ends. They also discuss the effects on perception which can result when glimpses of no-mind arise.


Podcast can be downloaded from here.

Zen Bites #2 Podcast: What is Mindfulness...really? (March 2014)


In this episode Jamie Shavdia & Martin Goodson discuss whether Mindfulness is a technique or a way of life?  What defines the mindful awareness state?  How is it attained?


Along the way they discuss a history of MIndfulness-based therapy, the Buddha's teaching of 'No-I' and where next for a Mindfulness practice?


You can download the podacst here?


Zen Bites #1 Podcast: Who am I? (January 2014)


Zen Bites' is the first in a series of podcasts featuring CBT & Mindfulness Psychotherapist Jamie Shavdia and Martin Goodson co-founder of the website The Zen Gateway. In Zen Bites #1 (entitled Who am I?) discussion ranges from the nature of consciousness to the realisation of mortality, compassion and…….Alan Partridge.