Empathetic Witness
Empathetic Witness
Oct 25, 2022
Delving into the incredible mysteries of life With Paul Garrigan
Play • 1 hr 9 min

My guest is a nurse, who works in addictions, Paul Garrigan, is an Irish Buddhist living in Thailand with his wife and son.  He is the author of two books, Dead Drunk and Thai Fighter.  

He views life as an astonishing gift, and he says it might be considered ungrateful to have expectations about the duration of this gift and to be bothered by whether there are going to be more gifts following this one.  This gift, of life, that is here right now, is one incredible gift. 

Life is an astounding occurrence. We get to have this miraculous experience of being alive - why does it bother us so much that it might one day end? I suppose this is like the attitude many of us have when it comes to romantic relationships - we want them to last forever or we feel cheated and betrayed when it ends. Why does it have to be all or nothing?  Doesn't it make sense, that we fully appreciate it while it lasts?

My conversation with Paul goes deep into who we think we are as humans, why we are afraid of dying. He illustrates this point by telling a story about a dream. The concept being his character in his dreams disappears when he wakes, just like life, we cease to exist when we die and that is all we know, but our experience does not die. 

Paul's journey and recovery with addictions. Lucid dreaming, regular dreams, trusting our perception and bias, trauma, and pain, Buddhists perception of emptiness, meditation Paul gives three recommendations for his 15-year-old son to have a full and happy life.

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