Diane Pendola is the author of The Lioness Tale and creator of The Lioness Tale Prison Project. Her radio show “The Lioness Tale: Awakening the Liberating Spirit” first aired on VoiceAmerica Talk Radio. As with Diane’s work in prisons, the podcasts aim to awaken us to the liberating spirit that lives at the center of each of our lives.

With the help and expertise of her guests, Diane guides the listener into a process of self-inquiry and discovery. Utilizing principles from a variety of traditions, the imprisoning bars of addictive patterns are unlocked and the doors to a new life open.

If you receive value from listening to these interviews please support the project by pressing the donate button on the right. Thank you!

1. The Power of Storytelling,  (5/06/2009)  Listen     Read about this episode
    Introducing The Lioness Tale with Hal Zina Bennett

2. Self-Remembering (5/13/2009)  Listen     Read about this episode
    Introducing the Enneagram and essential states of being 

3. Love, Serve, Remember (5/20/2009)    Listen     Read about this episode
    Teresa Hahn reads the first third of The Lioness Tale

4. The Enneagram: A Path to Freedom (5/27/2009)    Listen     Read about this episode
    A conversation with psychiatrist David Daniels 

5. Mirrors of Our Soul (6/03/2009)    Listen     Read about this episode
    Teresa Hahn reads more of The Lioness Tale

6. Mothers Behind Bars (6/10/ 2009)   Listen    Read about this episode
    With Jo Chapman: incarcerated mothers and their children    

7. The Power of Purpose (6/17/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    With Ken Hartman, waking up while serving a life sentence

8. Before Evil Was, I Am (6/24/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    Teresa Hahn concludes the reading of The Lioness Tale

9. The Journey Inward (7/01/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    Gestalt Awareness Practice with Christine Stewart Price

10. Creating a Healing Society (7/08/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    The impact of trauma with Susan Lawrence, MD

11. Chronic Pain and Addiction: A Way Through (7/15/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    With Dr. Howard Kornfeld

12. Adverse Childhood Experience (7/22/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    With Dr. Vincent Felitti, MD

13. The Wounded Healer (7/29/2009)    Listen     Read about this episode
    With Enneagram teacher and Catholic priest, Jake Empereur

14. The Spiritual Power of the Imagination (8/05/2009)    Listen    Read about this episode
    With Gestalt Awareness teacher Chris Price

15. The 12 Step Model of Recovery and Awakening (8/12/2009)   Listen     Read about this episode
    Awakening is at the heart of 12-Step programs

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Podcast #1 — Wednesday, May 6, 2009 — The Power of Storytelling   Listen  

Hal Zina Bennett is a master story-teller and a much sought-after writing coach. On this show we will be reading and discussing the foreword to The Lioness Tale. Hal volunteered to write the foreword after he discovered the unpublished manuscript in a rustic cabin during a stay at Diane’s retreat center. The story of Lioness addresses issues of living under difficult, even despairing, circumstances. Listeners will easily identify with the Lioness of this tale. We all know what it is like to live in a world that is indifferent to our inner lives.

We know what it is to long for the intimacy of a caring voice, of someone in our lives who knows who we are and believes that who we are is important. Tune into The Lioness Tale: Awakening the Liberating Spirit and listen to the conversation with Hal and Diane as they discuss how stories like The Lioness Tale are primary ways for a community to share its wisdom and lead us to discover what our deepest longings are all about.

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Podcast #2 — Wednesday, May 13, 2009 — Self-Remembering   Listen

On this show I will be introducing the Enneagram and discussing the meaning of essence and the higher states of being— Love, Perfection, Freedom, Hope, Origin, Omniscience, Faith, Sobriety and Truth— from the Enneagram perspective. In The Lioness Tale, when we speak about self-remembering we are referring to connecting with these essential states of being, and embodying them, actually
re-membering them.

In other words, we make these essential states, such as love, truth and freedom, flesh and blood in the members of our own bodies and our own persons. I will be welcoming Roger Rapp, Ph.D., inter-religious and cross-cultural philosopher, who is also a scholar and student of my own spiritual teacher and mentor, Raimon Panikkar. Roger is a long time friend and will be joining us for a conversation about Being, Time, and God. Please join us for a lively discussion about these profoundly engaging issues.

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Podcast #3 — Wednesday, May 20, 2009 — Love, Serve, Remember    Listen

During this episode Teresa Hahn will be reading the first third of the book “the Lioness Tale” for our listeners. We begin with the lyrics from our theme song: “Why have you come to earth? Do you remember? Why have you taken birth? Why have you come?”

In the very beginning of our story, our Lioness does remember why she’s come to earth: to embody the love for which the light has called her into life. She remembers who she is. She remembers who she is at the level of her soul, of her true nature. But with traumatic wounding she loses contact with the Truth of who she really is. We are all on a journey back to “home”; back to the essential qualities that lie beneath our wounds. Our true nature, our basic goodness and wholeness has never left us. The difficulty is that the way back is through the primary wound that separated us from our wholeness, often when we were vulnerable children. This is the journey of lioness and this is the journey of awakening the liberating spirit.

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Podcast #4 — Wednesday, May 27, 2009 — The Enneagram: A Path to Freedom  Listen

Stanford psychiatrist, David Daniels, brings his years of experience as an international teacher of the Enneagram to this conversation with the author of The Lioness Tale, Diane Pendola. David Daniels, with Helen Palmer co-founded the Enneagram Professional Training Program (EPTP), where Diane and David first met. David has continued to be a source of support for Diane’s work with the Enneagram, particularly through his book The Essential Enneagram which has just been newly updated and revised.

This show will discuss how the story of Lioness illuminates the journey mapped out by the Enneagram: from the primal experience of the basic goodness of Reality, through essential wounding and corresponding defensive patterns of personality type, to eventual transformation through awareness and compassion. Join them for a conversation about the interface between the Enneagram and The Lioness Tale: Awakening the Liberating Spirit, revealing a path back to integration and freedom for each of us.

Podcast #5 — Wednesday, June 3, 2009 — Mirrors of Our Soul    Listen

During this episode Teresa Hahn will continue reading “The Lioness Tale” for our listeners. You will remember that in the beginning of our story, our Lioness remembers who she is at the level of her soul, of her true nature. But with traumatic wounding she loses contact with that Truth and begins to identify with a limited view of herself which is only confirmed by the narrow view of her fellow captives and those who guard them.

It is through her meeting with the Panther that Lioness finds someone who can mirror back her own essential wholeness. Though Lioness still has much to suffer, her friendship with the Panther is the beginning of awakening the liberating spirit within her. If you missed the first reading of the book, you can listen to it by going to the May 20th episode entitled, Love, Serve, Remember.

Podcast #6 — Wednesday, June 10, 2009 — Mothers Behind Bars  Listen

We welcome Jo Chapman to our show for a conversation about incarcerated mothers and the devastating effects on their children as well as society at large. Jo agrees that The Lioness Tale is representative of the stories of these women and the deep grief surrounding the loss of, and separation from, their children.

Join us as Jo humanizes incarcerated mothers through sharing their stories and her love and commitment to them with us. This show moves us to re-discover the humanity of the incarcerated and in the process helps us recover our own humanity. Jo was a founding board member of Skyline Harvest and has been involved in working with women in prison for over 25 years. She is also the Parenting Coordinator for the Federal Correctional Facility in Dublin, California where she teaches parenting classes and works with the women on issues surrounding their children.

Podcast #7 — Wednesday, June 17, 2009 — The Power of Purpose  Listen

Ken Hartman is one of those exceptional human beings who are a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit. Serving a life sentence in a California State Prison, his story is a mirror reflection of the story of The Lioness Tale. He found that even here, in this monstrous world of razor wire, concrete walls and prison bars, he could wake up and choose his own path.

That path has been to make the world he is living in a better place. Ken conceived and implemented the Prison Honor Program which is a successful working model for the kind of true reform that is needed for our failing prison system. It is a shining example of what is possible when one person is ignited by the power of a purpose-filled life. Kenneth, through the crucible of his own tragic life story, has become a Panther, a teacher and a companion to others on their journey of awakening to the liberating spirit, both within their own hearts and within the soul of our society.

Podcast #8 — Wednesday, June 24, 2009 — Before Evil Was, I Am  Listen

During this episode Teresa Hahn will conclude reading “The Lioness Tale” for our listeners. The book concludes with this triumphant declaration of inner freedom by Lioness: Before Evil was, I Am! We recall that when Moses was called by God to lead his people out of slavery and exile he asked God what name to use when speaking on God’s behalf to the people. Moses is told, “Tell them, I AM sent me.”

At this stage of her extremely difficult journey, the Lioness unites with the Divine I AM and is set free. No longer is she defined by circumstances, by childhood wounds and the hurtful, sometimes evil, actions of others. She is set free from the ignorance of not knowing who she is at the most fundamental ground of her being: one in union with the great I AM in which she lives and moves and has her being. Join us to discover how she arrives at this moment of liberation. You can listen to Parts I and II of our story by going to the May 20th and June 3rd episodes.

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Podcast #9 — Wednesday, July 1, 2009 — The Journey Inward    Listen

Today we address the profound importance of breath and present-centered awareness in our journey inward toward liberation. Christine Stewart Price has been Diane’s teacher in this form of active meditation since 1994. Gestalt Awareness Practice (GAP) is a Practice of Presence and being with ‘what is’ in a spirit of kindness, what Chris chooses to call a spirit of “Aloha”.

Aloha is a beautiful Hawaiian word that encompasses both “hello” and “good-bye,” as well as “I love you.” Alo means space, and Ha means breath, so GAP is a practice of bringing a sense of spaciousness and awareness of breath to our experience. We say hello to “what is” without resistance, or we say good-bye without clinging. We contact our experience, whatever it is, with a sense of affection, kindness and self-care. If the Enneagram provides a great map of our inner experience, GAP helps us walk through the territory. Join Chris and Diane as GAP principles illuminate the journey of Lioness as well as our own.

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Podcast #10 — Wednesday, July 8, 2009 — Creating a Healing Society   Listen 

“While we are accustomed to thinking about the impact of trauma on the individual, most of us are unaware of the dramatic effect that unresolved trauma and difficult life experiences have on society and the world,” so says Susan Lawrence, MD, founder of The Catalyst Foundation and author of “Creating a Healing Society” and guest on today’s show.

In The Lioness Tale the prison can be viewed metaphorically as both inner and outer: Inner, in the sense that unconscious behaviors, driven by early childhood trauma, imprison us and bar us from our feelings, creativity, joy, compassion and passion for life; outer, in the sense that society creates institutions that continue cycles of abuse. Prisons might be the clearest example. Yet, not only prisons, but many of our social structures institutionalize unconscious projections of our collective psyche in negative ways. By awakening the liberating spirit within, not only our individual lives are healed, but also society as a whole.

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Podcast #11 — Wednesday, July 15, 2009 — Chronic Pain and Addiction: A Way Through Listen 

Human beings experience imprisonment in many ways. For some, the sense of inner bondage is a result of debilitating physical pain. Dr Howard Kornfeld is a specialist in the area of chronic pain and addiction medicine. Though not all chronic pain sufferers become addicted to the medications prescribed for alleviation of their pain, addictions can develop.

Dr Kornfeld is uniquely qualified to speak to the complexities of these issues. He has created one of the most innovative practices in the field, providing compassionate care with unprecedented quality to patients suffering from addiction and/or chronic pain. He has pioneered the use of buprenorphine which is emerging not only as the key pharmaceutical agent in opiate addiction but also one that can reduce the suffering of millions of chronic pain patients. If you, a friend or family member, suffer from chronic pain or have developed an addiction as a result, tune in to what might be– for you and them– a life-changing conversation.

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Podcast #12 — Wednesday, July 22, 2009 — Adverse Childhood Experience  Listen   

In a detailed study of over 17,000 middle-class Americans, called the ACE study, it was found that the intensity of adverse childhood experiences (ACE), directly effects the quality of physical and emotional health, as well as greatly increases the risk of addictive behaviors, in adulthood. Dr. Vincent Felitti, MD is a co-Principal Investigator in this collaborative research project between Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program and the Centers for Disease Control.

These findings have transformative implications for both our health care system and our treatment of addictions. As Dr Felitti says, “Our findings are disturbing because they imply that the basic causes of addiction lie within us and the way we treat each other, not in drug dealers or dangerous chemicals. They suggest that billions of dollars have been spent everywhere except where the answer is to be found.” Learn more about what these answers might be in this enlightening conversation between Diane Pendola and Dr. Felitti.

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Podcast #13 — Wednesday, July 29, 2009 — The Wounded Healer   Listen

On this program we will be focusing on the Enneagram as a tool for spiritual growth through the lens of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) experience. GLBT people experience imprisonment in ways that are unique, either through their own internalized self-rejection or through the cage of familial, societal and religious homophobia and intolerance. On this show we welcome Enneagram teacher and Catholic priest, Jake Empereur, who has written on the subjects of the Enneagram and spiritual direction as they relate to GLBT people.

We will discuss the special charism and prophetic contribution that GLBT people can bring to the world as they do their spiritual work of freeing themselves from both inner and outer forms of oppression. As they transform their wounds into gifts they awaken the liberating spirit within their own lives and help release that healing spirit to challenge fear and transform prejudice wherever it exists within our social and religious institutions.

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Podcast #14 — Wednesday, Aug 5, 2009 — The Spiritual Power of the Imagination  Listen 

Again we welcome Gestalt Awareness teacher, Chris Price. She will speak about the imagination as a spiritual faculty. We can enter the symbols of our night-time dreams and the images of our day-time fantasies through the basics of Gestalt Awareness Practice by making contact with those images through breath, openness and curiosity and meeting them as aspects of ourselves.

One way Chris talks about this is with the analogy of a keyboard. Most of us are very familiar with a few keys on our keyboard. We may play out our lives mostly in the key of C, or perhaps in one of the minor chords. These are the habits of personality that the Enneagram speaks of. But we have many other notes available to us that we may have never explored. “The Lioness Tale” itself is an example of entering other keys on our keyboard through the power of the imagination. Try it yourself: Who is the Lioness in you? The Panther? The Keeper? The Cage? Give these images a voice. You may be surprised by what you learn.

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Podcast #15 — Wednesday, Aug 12, 2009 —  The 12 Step Model of Recovery and Awakening   Listen

Awakening is at the heart of 12 Step programs. In order to awaken we need to surrender to a power greater than our egos, our personalities and our attempts at control. In 12 step language, we surrender to God— as we understand God. I think of the 12 Steps as the basic structure of a mature spiritual practice. You can surrender to your Buddha nature, or your Christ nature. You can surrender to a Truth greater than your own version of truth.

You can also surrender to the Life-force that shows itself in the beauty of a sunset or in the sweetness of a newborn. You can surrender to the yearning for Freedom that is in every one of us. The 12 Steps shows us a path. It’s a path of re-covery, of re-membering our essential nature. How do I love? How do I forgive? How do I move beyond myself in service to others? On this show, Darla shares her 16 years of experience exploring these questions through the 12 step model– and shares some of her answers.