Episode 13

Delving into the incredible mysteries of life With Paul Garrigan

Published on: 25th October, 2022

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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About the Podcast

Empathetic Witness
Rethinking addictions
The podcast is a personal invitation to a conversation on addictions.

The format is one of compassionate Inquiry. Compassionate inquiry is a psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician who specializes in trauma and addictions.

Who is the target audience?

A person who struggles with addictions, or who knows someone who battles with drugs, alcohol, eating, shopping, over working, pornography, even iPhone, usage, how to curb your addiction, how to manage your addiction, and how to get rid of it completely. Also, someone who works in the field of addictions.

In this podcast you will hear important new perspective on addictions. I will give you content that will keep you interested and coming back for more. We will interview experts, reveal stories and success in addictions. We will give you tips to handle your addiction or to address the addictions of others. I invite you to listen to the podcast Empathetic Witness.

Do you sometimes unintentionally overhear other people's conversations?

We designed the podcasts like we are eavesdropping on a private conversation. It is unassuming, but direct. The interviewer’s questions anticipate what you, the listener may want expanded and clarified. We delve deeply into different types of addictions, alcohol, work, smoking, eating, shopping, sex, etc. the guests are selected for their expertise and reputation on the subject of addiction.

Your host is Angelina Pratt… over 25 years experience on addictions.

The first episode looks at the impact of colonization on how we view addictions, by the language we use, our attitudes, and our behavior. Once we can understand how colonization has impacted our Indigenous worldview, we can look at addictions more effectively. It is a journey. A healing journey that begins within a conversation, and we can begin the process of decolonizing.

The podcasts future episodes will explore how trauma impacts and creates addiction.

Some of the subjects we will be discussing are;

• What is addiction
• Residential School
• 60s scoop
• Adult children of alcoholics
• Adoption
• Abandonment
• Survivor's Guilt
• Child Welfare
• Harm Reduction
• Judicial system
• Loss of culture and language
• Global Pandemic 2020
• Solutions to addiction

About your host

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Angelina Pratt