Josh Korda’s podcast has been one of my favourite things to listen to over the past year. Josh is a meditation teacher at Dharmapunx in Brooklyn. A teacher in the Theravadan Buddhist tradition, it’s actually Josh’s keen passion for psychology that makes his talks so engaging, as well as his straight-talking humour.
Josh will often start with a psychological concept, frequently attachment theory and theories of childhood development, to shed light on common problems such as addiction, envy, and shame. He also talks about aspirational topics like ‘how to live a purposeful life’, creativity, contentment, and self-esteem. Much of the time, though not always, there’s a confluence between these ideas and Buddhist thought and Josh usually offers beneficial strategies, tools and techniques.
There’s a real honesty and openness to the talks. One anecdote recounts how after recognising his alcoholism and resolving to go sober, his job as an advertising executive required him to attend a whisky distiller’s party. He describes a kind of surreal whisky fountain at one end of the room. Someone dressed as a grouse tried to hand him a free quart. While he was drinking no one ever tried to give him a free bottle of whisky, he says. He decided that, even if it puts his job at jeopardy, he had to leave the party immediately or risk everything. He makes light of heavy themes with a knack for pointing out the absurd.
Josh eventually left the advertising party altogether, having risen to the rank of Art Director because he’d grown to loathe it. Over a period of seven years, he moved from a salaried job, to freelance, to doing what he’s passionate about: teaching at Dharmapunx, where these talks are recorded, and taking one-on-one counselling work.
The audio quality suggests the talks are recorded on someone’s phone – not slick by any means but with lo-fi charm. Don’t let that put you off, you’d be missing out.