Dr. Ken Pargament: Within A Jigsaw Puzzle: A Personal Story

April 4, 2017

Welcome to the first episode of Season 2: Readings, Stories, & Studies 

Is a jigsaw puzzle just a bunch of shapes we piece together, or could it be more than that?  In today’s episode, we hear Ken Pargament’s story about how a jigsaw puzzle evolved like an orchestra of movements, bringing pieces of his own story together.  Dr. Ken Pargament is an emeritus professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University.  He works with individuals in private counseling, and is a researcher and writer.  He is also a long-time ISH friend and on ISH’s faculty.  



Julia Jung: Consciousness & Religious Aspects

March 14, 2017

Today, we feature an Interim Season Edition.  

We'll hear from Julia Jung, a Rice University sophomore studying Cognitive Science.  During the fall semester of 2016, Julia worked with ISH as a practica student, concentrating on the religious significance of disorders of consciousness.

As Julia delved into her project, she became increasingly fascinated by the impact of religion and spirituality on patients and healthcare professionals, particularly around their perception of health. Julia explored profound questions through dialogues and interviews with scholars, religious leaders, and health professionals.  In today’s episode, Julia takes us with her on this journey.  Thanks for joining us.


Dr. Louis Markos: Fully Physical, Fully Spiritual

February 21, 2017

Welcome to Episode 10 of Season 1.  In today’s episode, we’ll hear Dr. Louis Markos talk about what it means to be embodied, from a Christian theological perspective.  Dr. Markos talks about how the body and soul are intimately related, which has great implications for our health, as individuals, and as a society.  This is particularly true in a culture that has become increasingly dualistic, dividing the body and soul, we can sometimes forget that we are both fully physical and fully spiritual.  Dr. Markos is a professor in English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University.  He holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities, and has written several books, including: From Achilles to Christ, and On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis.  Dr. Markos also offers lectures throughout the country, in Houston, and for the Institute for Spirituality and Health.




Dr. Jerry Ruhl: Love As A Spiritual Journey

February 14, 2017

Welcome to Episode 9 of Season 1.  In today's episode, psychologist and author Dr. Jerry Ruhl shares thoughts about the gravitational force that pulls individuals together: love.  Pop culture movies, songs, and images stir notions of the ideal soul mate – a person who will fulfill all of our desires, produce happiness and harmony.  Dr. Ruhl suggests that human-sized love between mere mortals is inherently filled with trouble, which inspires us to grow and become more conscious.  Dr. Ruhl is a former trustee of the C.G. Jung Society of Colorado and served as Executive Director of the Jung Center of Houston.  He is a psychologist in private practice and office at the Institute for Spirituality & Health, and conducts dream groups, seminars, and workshops across the nation.


Dr. Bing You: Stress, Spirit, & Wellness

February 7, 2017

Welcome to Episode 8 of Season 1.  In today’s episode, Dr. Bing You talks about the different expressions of stress: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  Through the integration of eastern religion and philosophy into western medicine, Dr You has dedicated his work as a practitioner to bring body and mind together, with acupuncture, herbal supplements, meditation, tai chi and qi gong to help patients treat the root causes of their pain. Dr. You is the Director of weMed Wellness Center of Integrated Medicine in Houston, and is an Associate Professor at Baylor college of medicine and MD Anderson Hospital.  He is also a long-time friend and adjunct faculty at the Institute for Spirituality & Health.   


Dr. Bob Hesse: Spiritual But Not Religious

January 31, 2017

Welcome to Episode 7 of Season 1.  In today’s episode, Dr. Bob Hesse reflects on “spiritual but not religious,” and what it means for him as a Catholic Deacon and as a Contemplative prayer leader.  Dr. Hesse’s reflection is adapted from a homily he shared at a Sunday mass at St. Michael’s church in Houston.  Dr. Hesse is an ordained Catholic permanent deacon serving the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Co-founder and President of Contemplative Network (CN) since 2011, dedicated to interdenominational Christian contemplative prayer.  He was inspired at Gethsemani Trappist monastery, at the time home to Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, and was appointed by Trappist Monk Thomas Keating, Commissioned Presenter since 2003, Co-coordinator for Contemplative Outreach Ltd. (COL) 2004-2011, and Emissary in 2005 to the first COL dialogue with the Mind & Life (M&L) Institute for research on contemplatives, in response to an invitation by The Dalai Lama to Keating. He is also an active ISH faculty member. 


Dr. Jon Allen: Hope, Psychotherapy, & Spiritual Connection

January 19, 2017

Welcome to Episode 6 of Season 1.  In today’s episode, Dr. Jon Allen talks about hope, psychotherapy, and spiritual connection.  In his work as a psychotherapist, Dr. Allen has found that restoring hope is based on re-establishing a sense of a benevolent connection and secure attachment. When healing occurs in human relationships, parallel healing occurs in the relationship with God—each reinforces the other. Psychotherapy can be helpful in repairing such ruptures, and pastoral counseling is often essential.  Dr. Allen’s reflection stems from a talk he gave at ISH’s annual November psychotherapy and faith conference.  Dr. Allen is a Senior Staff Psychologist at Menninger Clinic and Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, and on ISH’s adjunct faculty.  Dr. Allen is also a composer, and in this episode, has shared his musical composition and performance titled “Reflection." 


Dr. Jill Carroll: Of the World

January 10, 2017

Welcome to Episode 5 of Season 1.  In today’s episode, Dr. Jill Carroll reflects on religion, nature, and being human.  Religion is a place that helps us address existential questions – reflecting our deepest selves back to us.  Being part of the natural world is essential to our existence. The earth is a true home, and to love the world means to embrace it.  Dr. Carroll is a scholar, writer and consultant.  She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Rice University and formerly served as Executive Director of the Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance at Rice University.  Dr. Carroll is the creator and founding director of the Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues.


Lex Gillan: A Guided Meditation

January 3, 2017

Happy new year!  Welcome to Episode 4 of Season 2.  We start 2017 with a guided meditation by Lex Gillan.  Lex is the founder of The Yoga Institute in Houston, Texas, and has taught more than 25,000 yoga classes, 100 ten-day retreats, and 300 meditation workshops.  He offers a Yoga Teacher Training and National Certification Course and is a founder and Trustee of Rose Mountain Retreat Center outside Las Vegas, New Mexico.  Lex is on the Faculty of the Institute for Spirituality & Health (ISH).


Fr. Donald Nesti: Love & Community

December 21, 2016

Welcome to Episode 3 of Season 3.  In today’s episode, Fr. Donald Nesti talks about the transformational impact of love.  Inspired by the words of St. Paul, Fr. Nesti reflects how we are called to love one another from both a civic context and within a Christian framework.  When we learn to set the table for one another, we can find the space to be ourselves, love, and grow.  Fr. Donald Nesti teaches at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Theology, and is the Founder and Director of the Center for Faith and Culture.  He writes, lectures, and conducts workshops and retreats for clergy, laity and religious groups.  Fr. Nesti is also part of ISH’s Board of Trustees.