Can a Catholic Priest and Buddhist Monk be captivating subjects for a talk show? Yes, if you watch Kathy Koller’s Radiance: Meditation Talk Show where she has intimate conversations with experts on a wide range of spiritual practices.
This insightful program airs weekly on Brooklyn Cable Access television (BRIC), MNN, Bronxnet as well as YouTube where Kathy’s interviewees include shamans, meditation teachers and religious figures. The interviews air in two 30-minute segments: one about the subject’s teachings and the other about their personal stories. “Some interview subjects have really interesting stories and backgrounds,” Kathy explains, “and others offer more interesting teachings.”
Kathy’s personal spiritual experience began with her own meditation practice. During a challenging time of transition grieving over the loss of her father and divorce, she began sampling guided meditations around New York, seeking secular insight into ancient practices. She wanted more and her adventurous spirit led her to Asia where she discovered exploring temples, shrines and ashrams brought her immense joy. “The chanting, incense, and people really reaching to a higher power with very serious practices was amazing, awe inspiring.”
When she returned to New York, she began trying to think of ways to bring these fascinating practices to others and went to a local cable outlet where the education director, a meditator, and others thought Radiance could be a great idea for the show. “My goal was to offer a variety of spiritual teachings, in hopes that the viewers were inspired or intrigued by something and perhaps begin to develop their own practices.” The idea just took off, she says, and started to run in August 2014.
One of Kathy’s favorite guests was a Catholic Priest, Father Michael Holleran, who spent 20
years in silent Carthusian monasteries in Vermont and France. During the interview, he introduced two types of meditation: Centering Prayer (connecting to God) and Lecto Divina (meditating on scriptures). “In Catholic Churches, we learn the ten commandants, how to be good, but never how to find this kind of profound connection,” Kathy says. “If young people learned the teachings in this way, maybe churches would be filled.”
Another popular interviewee was Myoshin Kelley, who practices a form of Tibetan Buddhism and studies with Terger with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
She taught Open Awareness which is a profoundly simple meditation where one just tries to focus on everything. “You try to notice all that is happening, from the sound of the wind and a distant bird to your hand hurting a little, without ever clinging to any of it, just letting it pass, like life passes.” It may be simple, but it sure isn’t easy.
Each show offers a different and intriguing practice and Kathy is always on the hunt to find the next wave of the unknowns -- those who aren’t famous or known, but wonderful teachers with inspiring stories.
So do a Catholic Priest, a Buddhist Monk, and a South American shaman have anything in common?
“All these practices and teachings are very different, but what we find is that there’s a common core through all traditions,” says Kathy. “It is the idea of connectedness and treating all other beings with kindness and grace.”
View all recorded episodes at: radiancetalkshow.net.
--Ashley Rose Howard