Sunday, 9 November 2014
An interview with Prajna Ginty
The Edge of Grace
Prajna is a mother, spiritual teacher and author of the book, Edge of Grace - A Seeker's Path to the Heart of Liberation. She was on top of the 'enlightenment mountain' and spent 7 years in Samadhi when she was thrown by spirit into a cauldron of transmuting fire. A long walk into the dark night began where she felt she could not live this life anymore. One night she went close to the cliff and began jumping when something picked her up saying, 'This is your purpose and the life to live, you're staying, go home.'
In Prajna's words
'I want everyone to know that regardless of their circumstances, they can directly experience wholeness, return to the deepest peace and live in freedom'
Renate McNay's complete interview with Prajna is now available on Conscious TV via this link.
An interview with Eimear Moran
A Feather on the Breath of God
Eimear Moran is the author of the book The Garden Path Home to Eden - A new Way of seeing Love, Self and the Garden.
Eimear could always see the Divine in Nature and when her life seemed to fall apart she could only allow this total "Free Fall" in the safe place of her garden where she would sit with all her pain and loneliness. One day she sat in her garden looking at a Hawthorn Tree, it was a grey, cold day and miserable. The tree looked poor and barren and she thought 'I must look as barren to this tree as he is to me.' In that moment she woke up and realized her true nature. An amazing feeling of love came over her, it was a reality of heavenly perfection and she knew she had met God.
Eimear can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Renate McNay's complete interview with Eimear can now be viewed through this link
An interview with Adrain Rides and John Flaherty
Addiction and Awakening
John is author of the book, 'Addiction Unplugged - How To Be Free' and has worked in the field of addiction for 25 years. He was previously a Catholic Priest but left when he was 35, having felt he had handed his life over to the Church. At this point he felt physically, mentally and emotionally drained and he knew it was time to move on.
Adrian started drinking heavily at an early age to avoid feelings of intense anxiety and reached the point where his marriage had broken down and he was in a deep depression. He discovered meditation and his life started to change. Shortly afterwards he had an experience:
'I realised that now is all that there is and that the past and future were simply torments of my mind. I realised that I was alive, that my aliveness was not separate from the aliveness in everything, I realised that I was life itself and that I had found myself.'
Adrian also works in the field of addiction and teaches mindfulness in London.
You can read more about Adrian's work through his website at www.lovelifelivenow.com and to read more on John and his work, you can visit www.beawarebealive.com
Iain McNay's complete interview with Adrian Rides and John Flaherty can be viewed via this link
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Higher Being Bodies
an interview with Ocke de Boer
Ocke is the author of the book Higher being Bodies, which is based on a non-dualistic approach to the Fourth Way.
Ever since hearing the song, ‘Why Are We Sleeping’ by Kevin Ayers when he was a teenager, Ocke realized that reality was different to what he had learnt and wanted to wake up. He became a sailor when he was 16, worked in a youth prison when he was 20 and then started to read Ouspensky and Gurdjieff. “This was like coming home,” he says.
In this interview, he talks about applying sacred ideas and explains ‘coating', the dual-nature of human beings. We have a physical body composed of material from the Earth and a Kesdjan body which is composed of matter from the solar system.
“I am the absence of my presence and I am the absence of the presence of my presence.”
Iain McNay's complete interview with Ocke is now available on Conscious TV through this link.
Being Knowing Being
an interview with Deborah Westmoreland
Deborah Westmoreland is a poet, a spiritual teacher and the author of Being Knowing Being, which is an upcoming book of spiritual essays.
After several tragedies, her big question was "How can I end suffering?" She was sick and tired of Deborah. Her mind was too busy to sit in meditation so she started doing running meditations...to find the moment, never got ahead of her breath, nor behind. She disconnected from all her belief structures and attachments until she awakened one day, and realized that she had always been in Heaven.
In Deborah's words "You have to become disinterested in the character, not interested in the story. Suffering is optional, it’s self-imposed.”
Deborah has never had a spiritual teacher, nor followed any teaching.
Renate McNay's complete interview with Deborah is now available on Conscious TV through this link.
Only This Emptiness
an interview with Bart Marshall
In the Vietnam War, a mortar landed nearby that blew Bart into a clear and brilliant blackness that “Felt like home. I would have gladly stayed in that blackness but instead I was brought back into a world I could no longer view in the same way.”
When he returned in 1968, he experimented with LSD, read everything he could find that might offer clues to what had happened to him, studied meditation and attended workshops. After 20 years, he hit a wall as a seeker and then met the teacher Richard Rose with whom he studied for 5 years. It was after a weekend with Douglas Harding that a breakthrough finally happened.
“Being the source of everything that is nothing - everything and nothing, only this emptiness.”
Iain McNay's complete interview with Bart is now available on Conscious TV through this link.
The Matrix of Silence
an Interview with Thomas Mueller
Thomas Mueller is the author of The Natural Health Matrix: Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds. He is an Ayurvedic practitioner, meditation and yoga teacher and the founder of AYUWAVE.
In this interview, he tells us about his journey for health and peace and his path to waking up. He spent 10 years in the Ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Vedic University in Holland and taught Ayurvedic therapies, meditation and yoga to hundreds of students around the globe. One of the significant lessons for him was TRUST and listening to the song of silence which became the Matrix, leading him to an incredible source of energy and peace.
You can watch Renate McNay's complete interview with Thomas on Conscious TV by clicking on this link
Monday, 2 June 2014
An Interview with Dennis Moorby
In his mid-40s Dennis was at the top of his professional career when he went with a friend to India who was visiting his guru Swami Shyam. Dennis looked into the guru’s eyes and saw that he was a really happy man. In that moment something happened, a hidden door opened in him letting out all the happiness he had stashed away for years. He spent the next 2 weeks in India in absolute bliss.
What opened up seemed like a series of calamities. His wife of seventeen years decided to leave him, his nine year-old daughter went through a difficult phase and was put in boarding school and the cut and thrust of climbing the corporate ladder lost its lustre.
From Swami Shyam, Dennis migrated to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and did Dynamic Meditation every morning for three months on the trot. Everything that had been self-evident in his life up until that time was called into question and usually found wanting. The result was a more malleable outlook that made the process of letting go that much easier.
The second phase of his journey began when he fell in love. And so started a new intense relationship which provided fuel for the gradual breaking down of the ego and the opening of the heart.
Several years later after going through a period of depression, Dennis went to hear Sogyal Rimpoche talk:
‘I sat in the front row and listened intently to forty minutes of ancient Tibetan wisdom, delivered in an impeccable Cambridge accent. On looking into his eyes at the formal departure, I had my third major Samadhi. I was on cloud nine for the next three months. But the euphoria began to fade but the awareness was such at that time that I had understood the components that had created the spiritual breakthrough for me. Awareness and focus for just forty minutes.'
He then set about bringing these aspects together in meditation to reignite the impetus to seriously follow the spiritual path and cast around for a teacher but nothing rang true.
He picked up a book by Ayya Khema which detailed the path of the Jhanas as a way to explore deep meditative states of consciousness and that resulted in forming the basis of an intense 18-month retreat he did alone in a small apartment in a village in Germany using the road map of the Jhana meditations, facilitated by long and frequent sittings.
‘Equally important in this period was the time outside of formal meditation, where agitation of the mind was kept to a minimum, life was kept quite simple. Walking out in the park, the trees, for example, were treated with full present awareness, as was the bird song and the cake at the Schloss café.
After about eighteen months of this exploration which took me through to touching ninth Jhana, it felt time to take a break. The apartment in Germany was sold, we moved from Ticino to an Alpine Chalet and after Christmas 2009 I took a Giorgetti Chair (it is important to be comfortable in meditation) and began a similar meditation routine. After six weeks of intense meditation I had the breakthrough into a place where the expanded state of awareness was always available in waking state.
So we come to where I am now, coping with living life from the point of view of expanded awareness and relearning to operate in everyday life from a different point of view.
Jac O’Keeffe helped me about a year ago to ‘embody’ the experience, bringing the sense of infinite awareness down into the heart area and grounding through the body. This has allowed my feet to touch the ground a good deal more effectively.' Dennis Moorby
Dennis Moorby sat with Iain McNay for an interview on Conscious TV on the 4th June. You are welcome to watch the complete interview by clicking the link here
Sunday, 1 June 2014
An Interview with Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell
Godhead - The Brain's Big Bang
Godhead - The Brain's Big Bang
Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell are authors of many books together including new release ‘Godhead.’
The book sets out to draw together psychology, science and mysticism into the same river of human experience. In doing so it throws new light on questions that mankind has pondered for centuries.
The authors take us on an exciting investigative voyage that produces clear reasons for why those who think human life is essentially meaningless are wrong. En route, through the lens of evolution, cultural history, poetry, psychology and a plethora of new scientific insights, they not only throw fresh light on ancient mysteries, the origin of creativity, hypnosis, spirituality, religion and indoctrination but also meet head-on the central questions at the heart of science today. Science and mysticism are essential aspects of human functioning, they say, and both are linked with why we are so uniquely prone to mental illness and understanding this is a part of effective self-development.
Among some of the key questions they explore (and answer) are:
Why is it that we are capable of creating societies that foster the highest pinnacles of extraordinary individual and collective creative achievement, yet so often let our cultures degenerate to the nadir of inhumanity and bestiality?
Where is the 'nothing' that existed before 'something' first appeared?
Where did the quantum information come from that made our vast universe and all forms of life possible?
What is consciousness? How could consciousness arise from inanimate matter?
Can the claims about the nature of reality made by mystics throughout the ages be reconciled with our best scientific insights?
What is mysticism for? What does 'enlightenment' mean exactly?
Can our individual consciousness survive death?
Are 'God' and 'Godhead' useful terms?
Is there a future for our species? What is 'destiny'? And how should one prepare oneself to meet it?
On June 6th, Ivan Tyrrell sat with Iain McNay for an interview on Conscious TV. The complete interview is available via this link.
Sunday, 18 May 2014
An Interview with Mike Kewley
You Are Not What You Think
Mike was obsessed with becoming Enlightened since childhood – for him that was the point of living. He knew from an early age that the voice in his head wasn’t him. He had some terrifying experiences of no-self which led to panic attacks and depression. Eventually he decided that he needed to drop the desire for enlightenment and somehow fix his life.
And then, after a time, he was much happier. He then had the experience that ended his search for enlightenment.
In Mike's own words: ‘There's just the impersonal flow of awareness being everything without exception, no way to get it and no way to get out of it. It basks in the ordinary and mundane as well as the fireworks.'
On May 8th, Mike came to Conscious TV studios for an interview with Iain McNay. You can view the complete interview on conscious.tv by clicking this link.
Monday, 12 May 2014
An Interview with Alan Budge
Challenges of the Spiritual Path
Alan is the author of For God’s Sake, which he describes as his true story of his tragi-comic quest for spiritual enlightenment.
In Alan's words:
‘Having given up on the entirely godless realm of would-be smart London restaurants, I journeyed widely through India, China, Tibet, and parts of West Yorkshire. I also worked for various would-be deeply spiritual organisations. This unflinching quest for truth led, not entirely unexpectedly, to a far from enlightened descent into alcoholism and misery. But then after sobering up I began to ponder: what is really at the heart of all this spiritual carry-on? Can it be of any use, given the challenges we face?’
On May 8th, Alan was invited for an interview on Conscious TV with Iain McNay. You can view the complete interview on conscious.tv by clicking this link.
Saturday, 10 May 2014
An Interview with Miranda Macpherson
Be Nothing Do Nothing Get Nothing Become Nothing
Author of the book Boundless Love, Miranda has been teaching since 1995 and is known for her depth of presence, clarity and refined capacity to guide people into direct experience of the sacred.
On March 8th, when she sat down for an interview with Renate McNay, she told Renate of her "dark night of the soul" begging God to let her die and eventually her profound Non-dual awakening while meditating in Ramana Maharshi’s cave after which her ego engine stopped for a few weeks and her life was completely changed.
In Miranda's words: ‘Our soul is longing to belong to humanity and Enlightenment is the Human Nature'
On May 8th, Miranda came to Conscious TV studios for an interview with Renate McNay. You can view the complete interview on conscious.tv by clicking this link.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
An interview with Nigel Linacre and Erika Uffindell
The Art of Stillness in Business
Nigel is author of several books including ‘Why You are Here - Briefly’ and ‘An Introduction to 3-Dimensional Leadership.’ He is the co-founder of ‘Extraordinary Leadership’ and his clients include ‘Wellboring’ which provides water solutions for African communities.
‘I practice self-awareness. I can be still. I practice gratitude and explore consciousness. I Pray. See and you shall find yourself, and you find everything.’
Erika has worked as a brand manager for 25 years and is now transitioning out of this business to focus more on working with leaders to embrace the principles of conscious business. She works with Pinea3, the Global Institute for Conscious Leadership and Consciousness Capitalism UK.
On April 1st, Nigel and Erika were at Conscious TV studios for an interview with Iain McNay. You are welcome to watch the complete interview through this link.
Saturday, 12 April 2014
An interview with Prakash Mackay
Prakash grew up in Glasgow and travelled overland to Australia when he heard an inner voice telling him to change his life. He started to work with people with AIDS who were dying at a time when it was a taboo subject and there was a lot of ignorance on how AIDS was transmitted. It was a time when there was little resource available in how to help people to die in a conscious way.
‘Death was in the closet and only Steven Levine and Elizabeth Kluber-Ross seemed to be talking about how to bring it out in the West.’
After a time Prakash became burnt out, one day three of his patients died and he had to take time out to recharge. In 2009 he had his own scare and was told he had 3 months to live. Despite all his work with dying people, he realized that he himself was not yet prepared for his own death. The diagnosis turned out to be false but the scare deepened his work. He takes us through the stages we all go through when faced with death and shares the vast experience he has gathered over the years. This is not an easy subject but one we all have to face at some point.
Iain McNay's interview with Prakash is now available on Conscious TV through this link
Saturday, 29 March 2014
An interview with Tim 'Mac' McCarthy
Tim is the author of 'Finding Soul - The Invisible Path to Authentic Leadership'. The book is the story of one man’s search for meaning and purpose in a society that is captivated by values and beliefs that are assaulting the Earth’s living systems and collapsing society in upon itself. It is a call to people who find themselves standing on the side lines. It demonstrates how pain, loneliness and some measure of suffering can become doorways to courageous acts that have the potential to illuminate our lives.
In 1983, Tim was a gardener at a management training centre, by 1987 he was the head of consultancy at the same place and two years later had his own London based people and organization development consultancy working with the leaders of multinationals.
He has foot in two worlds…there has been times when they have been at war with each other; one part is shocked at the beauty of the earth, the other loves the business of business
‘Leaders are failing us and we fail them too…we get the leaders we deserve. We are at a time when we all need to find our own self-leader. Real vision cannot embrace conformity yet most organizations insist upon it. Conformity is the place of the slave. Leaders need to be restless truth seekers. They exist to articulate the dreams and aspirations of a community, they may get burnt but they don’t give up; they must sit by the people side by side as equals and listen.
As things are now, we are in a war with ourselves, with life and the lines are drawn. We are implicated whether we like it or not. We can pretend that the corporations are the enemy but all of us are employed by them, eat their food and derive our power, fuel our cars, furnish our houses and take out entertainment from the same organizations. We can deride our politicians but someone keeps voting them into power. We are the problem.
Around the world, small and big initiatives are being born that are the response of dedicated and visionary people...there are millions of people just one step away from entering the garden and picking up the spade.’
Iain McNay's interview with Tim 'Mac' McCarthy is now available on Conscious TV through this link
Sunday, 9 March 2014
An interview with Iain McGilchrist
Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and writer who lives on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. He is author of ‘The Master and his Emissary – The Divided Brain and The Making Of The Western World.
McGilchrist's other interests include the relationship between creativity and mental illness, and he is currently working on a number of books: a critique of contemporary society and culture from the standpoint of neuropsychology; a study of the paintings of subjects with schizophrenia; a series of essays about culture and the brain with subjects from Andrew Marvell to Serge Gainsbourg; and a short book of reflections on spiritual experience.
He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains. He argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite different priorities and values.
In McGilchrist's words:
" Most scientists long ago abandoned the attempt to understand why nature has so carefully segregated the hemispheres, or how to make coherent the large and expanding body of evidence about their differences. In fact to talk about the topic is to invite dismissal. Yet no one who knows anything about the area would dispute for an instant that there are significant differences: it's just that no-one seems to know why. And we now know that every type of function - including reason, emotion, language and imagery - is subserved not by one hemisphere alone, but by both. My book argues that the differences lie not, as has been supposed, in the 'what' - which skills each hemisphere possesses - but in the 'how', the way in which each uses them, and to what end. But, like the brain itself, the relationship between the hemispheres is not symmetrical. The left hemisphere, though unaware of its dependence, could be thought of as an 'emissary' of the right hemisphere, valuable for taking on a role that the right hemisphere - the 'Master' - cannot itself afford to undertake. However it turns out that the emissary has his own will, and secretly believes himself to be superior to the Master. And he has the means to betray him. What he doesn't realize is that in doing so he will also betray himself.
The book begins by looking at the structure and function of the brain and at the differences between the hemispheres, not only in attention and flexibility but in attitudes to the implicit, the unique, and the personal, as well as the body, time, depth, music, metaphor, empathy, morality, certainty and the self. It suggests that the drive to language was not principally to do with communication or thought, but manipulation, the main aim of the left hemisphere, which manipulates the right hand. It shows the hemispheres as no mere machines with functions but underwriting whole, self-consistent, versions of the world. Through an examination of Western philosophy, art and literature, it reveals the uneasy relationship of the hemispheres being played out in the history of ideas, from ancient times until the present. It ends by suggesting that we may be about to witness the final triumph of the left hemisphere – at the expense of us all. "
Iain McGilChrist's complete interview with Iain McNay on Conscious TV is available via this link
Monday, 10 February 2014
Philip Jacobs talks to Conscious TV about ‘illness and the spiritual path'...
‘I had always previously thought that it was possible to change my attitude to any situation. With the illness, I realised that there was a stage where you couldn’t. You could have a good attitude either side of the experience, but not while you were in it. This was when the illness was deep in the brain, there was no way out until it passed and you just had to allow the experience to be what it was and if it was darkness then it was just darkness.
I loved being on the river. Some days I would manage to get myself to the river and slowly row the large boat downstream, tying it to the trees along the waters edge. As the sun went down I sat and meditated on those grassy chalk downlands. Then a great happiness and stillness would surge through me. It had taken the whole day to slowly climb out of this pit of illness but the next day I would start right back at the beginning.
It reminded me of doing the “Big Prayer” in the movements at Colet House, there was this great process of effort and despair and more effort as if you were being torn apart and then at the end you arise as from the dead surrendered and empty as if new born.
I was having to assimilate the idea of illness and suffering as a gift - what looked like suffering on the physical and psychological levels could often have a transforming effect on the deeper spiritual levels, that may not be apparent to the casual observer.
I had often witnessed people go through a period of intense suffering. At the end of it, it was as if all their hard bits had been washed away. They showed a softness and gentleness which previously had been absent or covered over. It was as if in the journey of life, having built up a separate identity and a separated ego, life’s events then caused it all to fall away again, until what you were left with was the true Being, who you always were, the place you never left.’
On February 13th, Philip Jacobs was back in our CTV studios for an interview with Iain McNay. To watch the complete interview, please click here
Sunday, 9 February 2014
An interview with Aloka David Smith
Aloka has been a practicing Buddhist for nearly 40 years. He began training with Zen, practicing with the Venerable Myokyo-ni, a teacher from the Rinzai school, at the Buddhist Society in London for 5 years. He then travelled to Sri Lanka in 1980 where he lived for three years as a Theravada monk under the guidance of the Venerable Dhammaloka Maha Thera. While in Sri Lanka, his spiritual breakthrough took place in 1981, and it is that, that formed the framework of his first book, ‘A Record of Awakening’, published in 1999.
On his return from Sri Lanka, Smith matured by living on his own for a number of years in east London.
‘At the time of my breakthrough in Sri Lanka, my teacher told me I should travel and begin to teach, but it was to be around 20 years before I took that role by leading retreats at several retreat centres of the Triratna Community in the UK and abroad. My association with this movement came to an end in 2006.’
Aloka David Smith has written 4 further books: ‘Dharma Mind Worldly Mind’ published in 2002, ‘A Question of Dharma’ published in 2008, ‘The Five Pillars of Transformation’ also published in 2008 and ‘Blue Sky, White Cloud’ published in 2012.
In his words: ‘At the moment of ‘coming back to life’ after awakening the ‘awakened Mind is born’. Before awaking there is only the ordinary mind a mind that is always deluded. After years of practice this mind develops wisdom into the nature of itself and becomes more and more refined in that respect until it finally reaches the point where it cannot know any more about itself and falls into equanimity. Shortly after this awakening takes place and with that the Bodhisattva path is alighted upon. There is a popular misconception that with awakening the everyday ignorant mind is swept away leaving just the pure wisdom of enlightenment. There remains a paradox which many find hard to accept, the transcendental is awakened but shortly after that, the small mind comes back with all its ignorance and power – everyday living doesn’t change much at all. The practice that takes place afterward, the ‘breakthrough’ is precisely about these two minds.’
On February 13th, Iain McNay interviewed Aloka David Smith at Conscious TV studios in London. To watch the complete interview, please click here