PODCAST: ‘Things Unseen’ with Mike Wooldridge
I was recently asked to do this podcast interview with retired BBC journalist/presenter, Mike Wooldridge. ‘Things unseen’ is a series of such interviews with people with, as the web-site says, ‘unusual faith perspectives’. Mike was interested in my own faith journey from science graduate to Church of England Vicar, to discovering mindfulness and finally leaving my job as a vicar to focus on mindfulness – as well as my recent involvement in climate protests. He covers all these themes here and, having listened through I was relieved to feel there weren’t too many cringe moments and indeed some quite thoughtful ones! Mike is a very perceptive and thoughtful interviewer and I am grateful to him for this.
Here is the link:
My current book, SEE, LOVE, BE – mindfulness and the spiritual life (SPCK 2018) is written as an eight week course with audio meditations which can be followed either individually or with a group. It seeks to explore the relationship between mindfulness in its more familiar therapeutic context and what many would call spirituality. The aim, though, is to broaden the concept of spirituality beyond just a Christian understanding. The SEE, LOVE, BE of the title hints at the three core themes of awareness, compassion and ease of being which seem to be common threads in so many spiritual traditions and the chapter headings, ‘connecting’, ‘allowing’, ‘gazing’, ‘wondering’ etc. explore the main themes through practising, with the aid of the audio mediations, these key ways of engaging with experience.
My first book, Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality (SPCK 2016) seeks to answer the question: how can mindfulness support people who want to live out their aspirations as Christians. There is an introductory section on what mindfulness is and how I came to value it. Then a section on how mindfulness might help us to reflect on key aspects of Christian thinking. The final section explores ways that mindfulness might actually support us in our aspirations to, for instance, know God’s peace, know God’s will, find inner healing and cultivate love both for those we find easy and those we find hard to love.