Skillful Means Podcast

#17 A Conversation with Sarah Powers

May 07, 2020 Jennifer O'Sullivan & Sarah Jane Shangraw
Skillful Means Podcast
#17 A Conversation with Sarah Powers
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Our primary teacher Sarah Powers has spent decades studying, living, and teaching from the Wisdom traditions--Buddhism, Yoga, Taoism, and contemporary western psychology. As the new coronavirus pandemic spread, Sarah joined us via Zoom from London to talk about the wisdom and opportunity for awakening amidst this suffering.

From how to be sick, to parenting, to lifestyle medicine, in this episode we hear about aspects of the harmonious approach to living Sarah developed well before our current circumstances. We examine the question, "how do we foreground what is most important and bring meaning to this precious, impermanent life?" In repsonse, Sarah discusses developing an inner life, taking risks, and healing ourselves as well as supporting others.

Sarah illuminates our 21st-century predicament – violence, environmental crisis, the harm caused by industrialized food – and shares her vision of the gifts in this global pause. May we look back on this five years from now and see, as Sarah envisions, that this is “the moment we kicked over into something totally renewed.”

During the recording of this episode, Sarah generously led an inquiry meditation for holding and healing wounded and distressed parts of ourselves with compassion. We decided to release this meditation separately as a bonus along with a very potent dialogue about Internal Family Systems (IFS) parts work.

Find out more about Sarah Powers and in the Insight Yoga Institute.

Inspiring books mentioned by Sarah Powers in this episode:

The Legacy of Luna by Julia Hill Butterfly

Lessons from the Light by Kenneth Ring, PhD, and Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino

The Light Between Us by Laura Lynne Jackson

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Unattended Sorrow by Stephen Levine

Intimacy from the Inside Out by Toni Herbine-Blank, Donna M. Kerpelman, Martha Sweezy

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You can get in touch with Jen directly at and Sarah Jane at

Interview Begins