#5244 – Interview with Philip Shepherd

Philip Shepherd is best known as the author of New Self, New World: Recovering Our Senses in the 21st Century.

He has worked as a writer, actor, workshop leader, director, editor, personal coach, house builder, dance dramaturge, teacher and lecturer.

Philip currently lives with his wife and two daughters in a home he designed and built in a little car-free community on an island south of Toronto.

Learn all about Philip’s writings, workshops, and other activities at www.philipshepherd.com

Here are the themes we talked about, most of which are discussed in his book:

“As you experience the body, so you experience the world.” History of our relationship to the body and how it changed beginning with the Neolithic revolution.

Philip discusses the meaning of nonduality and duality. We have lost the ability to integrate perspectives, he says. It is as if the secret of life is in the union of opposites.

Parmenides, Heraclitus and western philosophy. The smallest indivisible unit is the cosmos itself. A thought experiment showing how all is interconnected. Yet we feel separate.

Philip’s life in Toronto, what he’s doing in Nova Scotia. His family. Parenting.

His teenage crisis, questioning his education and the culture in which he was being raised. Standing at a crossroads in his life. Powerful effect of seeing Japanese Noh theatre. Architecture.

Stories on what it means to be human. Meaning of hara in Japanese culture and relation to Noh and the journey back.

Parenting. Each child has within it an elder who knows what it needs, to paraphrase an Inuit expression. “Child’s particular hunger.” It’s easy to “slam a door on a child’s awakening.” The effect of saying “No” to a child. The heart of nonduality.

Nature of Philip’s workshops: coming into relationship with the world. What you experience lives in your core. “It’s such an easy way to be.”

Philip leads the listener in the exercise called “the elevator shaft,” moving the center of your awareness down through the body. Reanimating the sensitivity in the pelvic bowl.

Philip’s book New Self, New World, how it was written. Philip reads from his book. More about Philip’s workshops.

Opening and closing music by Prosad. (Byron Bay and I Am Free, respectively.)



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