Speak LOUD

Finding Empowerment Through Meditation with NEIL MCKINLAY

January 20, 2023 Tiffany Barnes/NEIL MCKINLAY Season 5 Episode 131
Speak LOUD
Finding Empowerment Through Meditation with NEIL MCKINLAY
Show Notes

Today I’m talking with Neil McKinlay, a meditation teacher and mentor who seeks to share his lifelong interest and reflection in the practice of meditation. Through his online communities, he offers a range of resources to encourage and empower meditation practitioners to access their inner wisdom and bring it into the world. 

Healing the Relationship with Self

Neil has been meditating since he was a teenager and has practiced in 2 separate Buddhist communities. However, the community was being driven by the spiritual leader’s self-centered impulses, rather than healing and meditation. The manipulation and disrespect that Neil suffered from his teacher caused him to make the difficult decision to leave the community he had been a part of for twenty years.

Neil left the community with a distorted relationship with himself and his intuition. He no longer works with a spiritual leader but is still reflecting on those twenty years and sifting through for the golden nuggets and silver linings of things he’s learned and taken with him. 

Finding Places to Gather

In Neil’s path to recovery and healing, he continued to turn towards his familiar practices of Buddhism and meditation. He has also gained a deeper appreciation for the importance of community, especially in light of COVID-19. Seeing how others were engaging in their lives with brilliance and creativity was a reminder to Neil of the same resilience and wisdom that lived inside himself. 

Meditation can offer something to heal trauma, Neil believes, but he also agrees that sitting in silence can be overwhelming for trauma survivors. His advice is to respect that experience of overwhelm as a message that meditation isn’t the right tool at that moment. While meditation works for some people, other practices may feel safer and more effective, depending on the time. Neil says that this was part of his own experience, even with his deep connection to meditation. 

Inspiring Others With Meditation

For someone who’s never meditated before, Neil suggests perusing the local library, YouTube, or podcasts for resources until something resonates with you, “like grocery shopping: just check things out based on what speaks to you.” There are many different languages and traditions of meditation, so he encourages listeners to explore what works for them.

Neil offers resources of his own through his online communities. The Living Meditation Network is a free community that offers many of the meditation resources he mentions, such as writings, guided meditations, questions, and discussion boards. This and his subscription-based community are meant to be opportunities for people to gather, learn, and give and receive encouragement and inspiration weekly. 

Listen in to learn more about what happens when we meditate, online meditation communities, and Neil’s future book and online curriculum.