Loreena McKennitt on NPR

Suffering from a virus last week, and it’s subsequent manifestation as a stonker of a head cold this week, I haven’t been much use in the writing department, with a pounding head of thick fog and a need to just sit quiet, knit and listen to the people who are inspirational to me to lift me out of my self-misery.  Today I came across these two similar interviews with my favourite artist, Loreena McKennitt, on National Public Radio, which I thought I would share with you all.


J. x

Loreena McKennitt on NPR

Interview with Emma Restall Orr, March 2014

Photo courtesy of emmarestallorr.org

Photo courtesy of emmarestallorr.org

Below is a fairly recent interview (March 2014) with Emma Restall Orr, author, founder and director of Honouring the Ancient Dead, and former Head of The Druid Network. Here, she is talks about Druidry, labels, the priesthood, anarchy, understanding the self and the importance of earth-based religions. Enjoy!

Listen HERE.

My interview with Philip Carr-Gomm

Druidcast 94 is now out, with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids‘ Chosen Chief, Philip Carr-Gomm interviewing me last June for their 50th anniversary gala. We talked about religion and philosophy, my books and also what is Druidry today. Have a listen, and check some great music and another great talk by Jonathan Wooley on Druidry and the young adult!


Interview with Emma Restall Orr

Here is a link to a fairly recent radio interview with Emma Restall Orr (aka Bobcat) that gives a really good introduction to what Druidry is, what Druids believe and so on. Enjoy!

Emma Restall Orr Interview – Beyond the Dark with Pete Price

OBOD 50th Anniversary Gala

As some of you may know, the Order of Bard, Ovates and Druids are celebrating their 50th anniversary this June, 6 – 9 in Glastonbury.  This is quite a momentous event, and I am very honoured to have been asked by Philip Carr-Gomm for an interview on the Friday night which will be available at a later date on the podcast. Many thanks to OBOD for thinking of me, and I hope to see many of you there! x

P.S. To read my review of the event, click HERE

Charlotte Joko Beck Interview

I really enjoy Charlotte’s way of looking at life.  I’ve copied an interview with her and the original can can be found here:- http://www.oxherding.com/my_weblog/2009/03/charlotte-joko-beck.html

Look up her books on amazon.  Then stop reading and just do it! x

Charlotte Joko Beck

Shambhala SunSpace recently published an interview with Charlotte Joko Beck, conducted by Donna Rockwell.

In my experience, few teachers have Beck’s willingness to jettison all the trappings and traditions of Buddhism, in order to express themselves without disguise. I hope you’ll read the entire interview, below.


How old were you when you started meditating?

Charlotte Joko Beck: Thirty-nine, forty, somewhere in there.

Did you have any realization through meditation?

No. Of course we have realizations, but that’s not really what drives practice.

Will you say more about that?

I meet all sorts of people who’ve had all sorts of experiences and they’re still confused and not doing very well in their life. Experiences are not enough. My students learn that if they have so-called experiences, I really don’t care much about hearing about them. I just tell them, “Yeah, that’s O.K. Don’t hold onto it. And how are you getting along with your mother?” Otherwise, they get stuck there. It’s not the important thing in practice.

And may I ask you what is?

Learning how to deal with one’s personal, egotistic self. That’s the work. Very, very difficult.

There seems to be a payoff, though, because you feel alive instead of dead.

I wouldn’t say a payoff. You’re returning to the source, you might say – what you always were, but which was severely covered by your core belief and all its systems. And when those get weaker, you do feel joy. I mean, then it’s no big deal to do the dishes and clean up the house and go to work and things like that.

Doing the dishes is a great meditation — especially if you hate it…

Well, if your mind wanders to other things while you’re doing the dishes, just return it to the dishes. Meditation isn’t something special. It’s not a special way of being. It’s simply being aware of what is going on.

Doesn’t sitting meditation prepare the ground to do that?

Sure. It gives you the strength to face the more complex things in your life. You’re not meeting anything much when you’re sitting except your little mind. That’s relatively easy when compared to some of the complex situations we have to live our way through. Sitting gives you the ability to work with your life.

I read your books.

Oh you read. Well, give up reading, O.K.?

Give up reading your books?

Well, they’re all right. Read them once and that’s enough. Books are useful. But some people read for fifty years, you know. And they haven’t begun their practice.

How would you describe self-discovery?

You’re really just an ongoing set of events: boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, one after the other. The awareness is keeping up with those events, seeing your life unfolding as it is, not your ideas of it, not your pictures of it. See what I mean?

How would you define meditation?

Awareness of what is, mentally, physically.

Can you please complete the following sentences for me? “The experience of meditation is…”

“…awareness of what is.”

“Meditative awareness has changed my life in the following way…”

“It has changed my life in the direction of it being more harmonious, more satisfactory, more joyful and more useful probably.”Though I don’t think much in those terms. I don’t wake up in the morning thinking I’m going to be useful. I really think about what I’m going to have for breakfast.”

“The one thing awareness has taught me that I want to share with all people is that…”

I don’t want to share anything with all people.

Who do you want to share with?

Nobody. I just live my life. I don’t go around wanting to share something. That’s extra.

Could you talk about that a little bit?

Well, there’s a little shade of piety that creeps into practice. You know, “I have this wonderful practice, I want to share it with everyone.” There’s an error in that. You could probably figure it out yourself.

I think that’s something I need to learn.

You and I know there’s nothing that’s going to make me run away faster than somebody who comes around and wants to be helpful. You know what I mean? I don’t want people to be helpful to me. I just want to live my own life.

Do you think you share yourself?

Yeah, but who’s that?