Life Examined

Life Examined

KCRW's Life Examined is a one-hour weekly show exploring science, philosophy, faith — and finding meaning in the modern world. The show is hosted by Jonathan Bastian. Please tune in Saturdays at 9 a.m., or find it as a podcast.

For those who love to surf, the act of riding the waves   is both a physical and spiritual experience. But for some,it is also a religious one.

How surfer Britt Merrick found his ‘spiritual home’ among the waves

For those who love to surf, the act of riding the waves is both a physical and spiritual experience. But for some,it is also a religious one.

Death and dying are inevitable and a natural part of life’s cycle. The pandemic has brought the issue of our own mortality into sharp focus.

Why planning for death should start when we’re living

Death and dying are inevitable and a natural part of life’s cycle. The pandemic has brought the issue of our own mortality into sharp focus.

Some   Native Americans have long believed that death is part of the natural cycle of life and many cultures believe the dead spirit continues to  “walk on” implying the continuation…

“We pathologize the dead.” Mortician Caitlin Doughty on funeral rituals and why death is often hidden away

Some Native Americans have long believed that death is part of the natural cycle of life and many cultures believe the dead spirit continues to  “walk on” implying the continuation…

KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian talks with Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and Professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and…

The role of spirituality and prayer in the Black Lives Matter movement

KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian talks with Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and Professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles and…

Howard University professor Yolanda Pierce talks with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian about the origins of the Black church from slavery to the Civil Rights movement and it’s legacy to Black…

The history, legacy and future of the Black Church

Howard University professor Yolanda Pierce talks with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian about the origins of the Black church from slavery to the Civil Rights movement and it’s legacy to Black…

Journalist and a New York Times bestselling author    Timothy Egan   , talks to KCRW host Jonathan Bastian about his adventures walking the    Via Francigena    trail and describes how…

Timothy Egan on finding faith on the pilgrim’s trail

Journalist and a New York Times bestselling author Timothy Egan , talks to KCRW host Jonathan Bastian about his adventures walking the Via Francigena trail and describes how…

Author Pico Iyer and Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a Vedanta nun,   talk with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian about the purpose of pilgrimage in modern day times following his interview with NYT…

The external and internal pilgrimage: Author Pico Iyer on the purpose of journeying in modern times

Author Pico Iyer and Pravrajika Vrajaprana, a Vedanta nun, talk with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian about the purpose of pilgrimage in modern day times following his interview with NYT…

Poet and professor of divinity Christian Wiman says that there are all kinds of poems he’s turned to during this pandemic.  He especially enjoys poems that are joyful and have helped…

Christian Wiman: Seeking truth and strength through poetry

Poet and professor of divinity Christian Wiman says that there are all kinds of poems he’s turned to during this pandemic.  He especially enjoys poems that are joyful and have helped…

Jane Hirshfield   , a  ward-winning poet and essayist   joins KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian from her home in Northern California to discuss her newest collection of poems, “Ledger.”

Jane Hirshfield on why poets treasure pondering life’s abysses

Jane Hirshfield , a ward-winning poet and essayist joins KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian from her home in Northern California to discuss her newest collection of poems, “Ledger.”

Dream researcher and   professor of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California       Stephen Aizenstat    and    Mark Blagrove,    professor of…

Dreams, nightmares and our state of mind

Dream researcher and professor of depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California   Stephen Aizenstat and Mark Blagrove, professor of…

Deirdre Barrett,    dream researcher and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University sits down with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian to discuss how the prolonged global pandemic has…

Quarantine dreams: Researcher Deirdre Barrett on the science of sleep

Deirdre Barrett, dream researcher and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University sits down with KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian to discuss how the prolonged global pandemic has…

Author and world renowned expert on grief and loss David Kessler offers guidance and insight on how to deal with and accept feelings of anxiety, sadness, and death.

David Kessler on learning to live with grief in a “grief-illiterate” culture

Author and world renowned expert on grief and loss David Kessler offers guidance and insight on how to deal with and accept feelings of anxiety, sadness, and death.

If spending your days in quarantine has allowed you to adopt a simpler life-style and catch up on sleep you may be onto a good thing.

Deepak Chopra on grieving the loss of our pre-quarantine lives

If spending your days in quarantine has allowed you to adopt a simpler life-style and catch up on sleep you may be onto a good thing.

Buddhist teacher and author    Stephen Batchelor    and artist    Lita   Albuquerque    discuss their views on life, death, and the concept of impermanence with KCRW host Jonathan…

Lita Albuquerque and Stephen Batchelor on what spirituality and art teaches us about life and death

Buddhist teacher and author Stephen Batchelor and artist Lita Albuquerque discuss their views on life, death, and the concept of impermanence with KCRW host Jonathan…

The coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that things can change — fast and unexpectedly. As much as we look for stability, things come and go, and we live and die.

Physicist Brian Greene on the science behind impermanence

The coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that things can change — fast and unexpectedly. As much as we look for stability, things come and go, and we live and die.

In times of severe trauma many people turn to their spiritual communities for support and guidance.

Lessons on healing trauma from a rabbi and an imam

In times of severe trauma many people turn to their spiritual communities for support and guidance.

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris talks about the latest science behind trauma, and how toxic stress can literally change our brains, our immune systems and our genes.

California’s Surgeon General on the science of toxic stress

California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris talks about the latest science behind trauma, and how toxic stress can literally change our brains, our immune systems and our genes.

It's often contemplatives — like monks, nuns, or meditators — that have the most to say about living a meaningful life.

Follow this Hindu nun’s advice on quieting your mind in anxious times

It's often contemplatives — like monks, nuns, or meditators — that have the most to say about living a meaningful life.

Author Pico Iyer is obsessed with the big questions of life.

Spiritual writer Pico Iyer says now is the time confront who we really are

Author Pico Iyer is obsessed with the big questions of life.