Stephanie Wellen Levine spent her childhood in suburban New Jersey, where she discovered her lifelong passions for writing and getting to know all kinds of people. After high school, Stephanie attended Brown University, followed by a Ph.D. through Harvard’s American studies program. She transformed her dissertation into a popular book: Mystics, Mavericks, and Merrymakers: An Intimate Journey among Hasidic Girls. This book won Moment Magazine’s Emerging Writer Award for Nonfiction and was chosen for the national Hadassah Book Club.
Stephanie has spoken about her writing through TV and radio shows like Anderson Cooper 360° and The Leonard Lopate Show; many schools including Harvard University, Brown University, and Wesleyan University; and many other interesting places. She always welcomes a chance to discuss her work with a new audience.
Currently, Stephanie teaches at Tufts University, writes regular columns for two online magazines, The Wisdom Daily and Hevria, and works on her new book about her lifelong quest for insight into what might happen to our amazing selves and consciousnesses after we die.
The Buddha said, “May all beings have happy minds.” What does it mean to be happy? Is it really just a state of mind? Or can it be served on a plate?
When I think about the times I am most content, I picture my family and friends, and more often than not, we are just sitting around the dinner table. As an Italian-Irish girl, the central role of food was a big part of my early years, and it remains true today. I believe that anyone who comes into my home should be fed…Thank goodness I married a man whose love of food matched my own! My husband and I love to cook and throw dinner parties for our eclectic group of friends. At any given dinner we may have mystics, amateur political pundits, idealists, cynics, the uptight, the laid-back, the lovers, the fighters, the Buddhists, the atheists…or any and all of the above. Our conversations are lively, sometimes heated, but always fueled by good food and good wine (or whiskey). So in that spirit, many of the interviews you will hear on Chasing the Mind will be recorded from this little room off my kitchen where the equipment sits on my dining room table. When possible, our guests will be welcomed with a meal or at least a little nosh. My hope is that not only will our guests feel sated and relaxed, but that the conversations that take place will be reminiscent of friends, just chatting around the table after dinner.
-Dr. Angela Johnson
Psychology is a discipline that is both art and science. The role of the mind is central to how we think about ourselves and the ways in which we interact with our world. Chasing the Mind with Dr. Angela Johnson and Dr. Stephanie R. Schwartz is a podcast dedicated to sharing the science and stories of who we are, how we live, and how we experience self-growth and change.