One of the highlights of our month was easily the blessing of being able to sit down for a refreshing, insightful interview with Buddhist psychotherapist Dr. Miles Neale.
Miles is the author of the book, Gradual Awakening. He’s immersed himself in the world of Tibetan Buddhism for over 20 years where he’s been mentored by wonderful teachers such as Professor Robert Thurman and Geshe Tenzin Zopa.
In the talk, we take a deep dive into why Miles was drawn to Tibetan Buddhism as a young man, and why he feels this profound tradition in particular holds immense power as a surviving tradition where the majority of its wisdom and practices are still miraculously intact.
Miles shares the practical and scientific aspects of this ancient tradition as an effective way to awaken for the benefit of yourself and others.
We delve into the very essence of pilgrimage, of that powerful, visceral experience of visiting the holy sites of the Buddha, and why he’s so passionate about it.
We are honored that Miles chose to collaborate with us on his pilgrimage, Finding Buddha with Dr. Miles Neale and special guest Geshe Tenzin Zopa – A Pilgrimage to the Source of Awakening in Nepal & India, Oct 28-Nov 11, 2021, with pre-trip extension, Rouse the Goddess: Pilgrimage to the Power Spots of Vajrayogini, Oct 24 – 28, 2021.
Miles has a special gift for articulating the transformational power of the tradition, appealing to both the rawness of traditional spiritual practice as well a more “westernized” scientific mind.
During the interview, I told Miles that from the outside looking in, the Tibetan Buddhist tradition may look confusing and “out there” to many. If anyone were to read your book, Gradual Awakening, I went on, they’d be able to coherently explain the tradition, with all its exotic rituals and colors, to their friends.
A huge pro of working with Miles is the mythopoetic stance he takes on both the journey within and his journeys through Nepal and India. He often invokes the words of Joseph Campbell to compare a journey to true awakening to that of a hero (and the type of hero we need on the planet right now at that). In this interview, he also uses the archetypal hero’s journey to help us understand the type of transformation many of his pilgrims undergo on the journeys he leads.
We hope you enjoy this potent interview. There’s a lot on offer here and plenty to learn about the nature of sacred travel and growing the soul.
~Jacob Lopez, staff writer