Podcast 30: Claire Kelly -Mindfulness in Schools Project

Claire Kelly- Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project

Claire Kelly- Director of the Mindfulness in Schools Project

As the Renaissance Team continues with its Mindful theme, we are always on the look out for people that are going above and beyond to help spread awareness of Mindfulness.  We believe whole heartedly that there are so many benefits that students can gain from mindfulness however the research is not entirely there yet to back all the claims (especially improvement in grades), so we have to be careful as to what we say the true effects are.  Having said that, Claire is working with 1000's of students with the .b (secondary curriculum devised by Chris Cullen and Richard Burnett) and paws.b (primary curriculum developed by Sarah Silverton, Tabithia Sawyer and Rhian Roxburgh). The success of the program and the positive results that are filtering in is leading the way in helping to get Mindfulness into the Education System


Claire joins Team Renaissance for Podcast 30.  This is quite a mile stone for us and it motivates us to keep moving forward and having these wonderful conversations.  

Claire leads the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP)  team with a focus on partner relations and curriculum development.  A not-for-profit organisation, MiSP now delivers teacher and student training in 12 countries, where their work has been translated into 8 languages. Claire is also a trained teacher of mindfulness for adults (MBSR). Claire graduated from Cambridge Uni in Social and Political Science in 1988. She has worked in education for 25 years, and most recently was Deputy Head at South Hampstead High School, one of the leading girls’ schools in the UK, where she initiated a mindfulness programme that continues today.  Click on the image below to access the website.  You can follow all the work that is being done by the Mindfulness in Schools group. 

Click on image for link - .b [dot-be]

Click on image for link - .b [dot-be]

Click on image for link : Primary School Curriculum

Click on image for link : Primary School Curriculum

Team Renaissance: Anh, Gui and Fran on the Podcast for this one

Team Renaissance: Anh, Gui and Fran on the Podcast for this one

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to Surf

Podcast 29: YouthMindfulness with Michael Bready

Click on the image to view the YouthMindfulness website

Click on the image to view the YouthMindfulness website

Michael Bready: Founder of YouthMindfulness.co.uk

Michael Bready: Founder of YouthMindfulness.co.uk

How old does a child need to be before their brain is receptive to Mindfulness techniques?  How much study and research has been done on this matter?  Surprisingly not much.  It is very difficult to put percentages or stats to the work being done with children, especially primary and secondary school children as the results are usually more qualitative than yes/no answers.   More concentration in class, creating a great learning environment, better grades, more enthusiasm and the understanding that the Brain is a  muscle and it can grow.

Although we have discussed Mindfulness on several podcasts, we have not yet addressed this in relation to our youth and we are joined by Michael Bready, founder of the Youth Mindfulness program in Scotland who has worked with thousands of children and is the creator of a Mindfulness course and curriculum that is getting fantastic reviews

Michael discovered mindfulness at the age of 18 and has been practising ever since. He established Youth Mindfulness 3 years ago and in that time has taught thousands of children, teens and young adults. Bringing humour, energy and passion to his teaching, Michael seeks to inspire young people, enabling them to realise that such qualities as awareness, inner strength, clarity, and kindness can become living realities.

He is currently working in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh in evaluating the Youth Mindfulness Kids programme as well as leading the development and delivery of a mindfulness programme for young offenders. He holds a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and has trained in mindfulness with both the University of Bangor and the University of Aberdeen.

To find out more, please visit Michael's website where you can find out more about him, the courses and the Mindfulness curriculum.

Podcast 28: The Renaissance Crew - group meditation

Getting back to our roots:  Its been over a year since Team Renaissance had a catch up podcast.  We have had so many wonderful guests that we felt it time for the 3 of us to catch up.

Fran, Ahn and I do a 25 minute guided meditation just before recording the podcast.   It's an amazing video that Sam Harris narrates and is available on Youtube.  If you have not  meditated before, I strongly suggest that you commit to doing the 25 minute exercise and watch how you grow and develop in such a short time frame. 

As soon as you begin to meditate, you will have so many thoughts rushing into your mind such as, this is a waste of time, my back hurts, this is stupid, why am I doing this, what am i going to eat for dinner, I am no good at meditating etc.  The purpose of the exercise is to realise that this is going to happen and to also realise that we have tools to help control how we respond to it.    This is the basis to controlling how you feel in life and will make you feel better if you keep it up.  Scientifically proven to change the shape of your brain!

Anh, Fran and i talk in detail about our internal dialogues during the Meditation on the podcast - it's funny how we all go through similar thought patterns and voices when meditating

Podcast 27 - Muay Thai Podcast with Team Tieu

From left to right: Dave, Michael, Gui, Joel, Phil, Q, Rich and Matty.

From left to right: Dave, Michael, Gui, Joel, Phil, Q, Rich and Matty.

Muay Thai heavy weights Team Tieu are back in the studios to fill us in on the latest results and updates.  Head coach phil and top ranked fighters give us behind the scenes commentary on their last fights and their thoughts on the up coming MTC show on the 19th of October.  Listen in as we discuss the line up and what to look out for. 

We discuss Michael Pham's English title victory at the last MTC show, Richard Lee's win at the Nak Muay event and David Tieu's controversial decision in Germany.  It's really nice to just chill out and take the time to discuss aspects of Muay Thai as a group and its also nice to look back and review the recent fights.

What are your thoughts on fighters putting their fights up  on youtube?  Does this give too much of your game away, or does showing your videos help to spread your name and your brand?  Leave your comments below.

Watch the teaser below for the Biggest show yet, Super MTC at KOKO's on the 19th of Oct. Tickets are available through the website teamtieu.com

Teamtieuofficial on Instagram

@Teamtieu on Twitter



Search Team Tieu on Facebook

We don’t teach technique, we teach Style
— Philip Tieu-Head coach

Podcast 26: Best-selling Mindfulness author Danny Penman

Fran and I holding up Danny's Best selling book-  click here to purchase the book

Fran and I holding up Danny's Best selling book- click here to purchase the book

Dr Danny Penman is a feature writer for the Daily Mail, having formerly worked for the BBC, New Scientist and the Independent newspaper. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and specialises in reporting on science, health, the environment, and animal welfare. He is a commentator on these issues for BBC Radio Four and Five and has made a number of documentaries for BBC One and Channel Four News.

The amazing book he wrote, guides its readers through 8 weeks of mindfulness exercises based on the groundbreaking work that co-author Mark Williams has spent many years researching.  Jon Kabat -Zinn writes the foreword to this amazing book.  

Danny shares his journey from smashing his leg to bits paragliding to following a Mindfulness path that led to becoming a best selling author and a huge voice for Mindfulness. 

It's great to speak with someone at the forefront of this movement. 

In 2009 and in 2011 Danny won the Humane Society of the United States Brigitte Bardot International Print Journalism award for his investigations into animal welfare abuses around the world. In 2011 he won the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) 'Special Investigation Award'.

The BBC video below is a great 12 min clip on what mindfulness is and follows the journey of Journalist David Sillito.  Watch as he describes his experience on the BBC breakfast couch with Danny.  I highly recommend watching this clip as this highlights the advances of science and technology in Mindfulness and we see how the brain physically changes after 8 weeks of meditation.  

10% of people in the westernised world this year will become clinically depressed and Mindfulness is now a serious contender in helping to reduce this figure.  

Help spread the word

Danny also has great guided meditations on YouTube.  These are great to on their own, but even more so when accompanying the book. 

Check out the amazing website: www.franticworld.com

Purchase the best-selling book here : Mindfulness-A practical guide to Finding Peace in a frantic world

Purchase Danny's latest book here : Mindfulness for Health: a practical guide to relieving pain, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing

Follow Danny on Twitter : @DrDannyPenman

Follow on Facebook : click here


Former guest and Hawaii resident, Sofia Wilt co-hosts this episode on a subject very close to her heart (and health).  Following the aftermath of Storm Iselle, Sofia along with many other Hawaiian residents were exposed to poisonous gasses, released from the local and controversial PGV Geothermal Power Plant.  Trapped due to trees and debris on the roads, residents were left without help and without guidance.  To add insult to injury, the government has played this down and the jury is still out on what will happen to the power plant.  Sofia and I are honoured to have Tom Travis and Bob Petricci on the podcast sharing thier expertise and knowledge:

Tom Tavis

Tom Tavis

Tom has spent a life time in service, and served as Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, Deputy Commander for the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CGN 71) Battle Group, director of the Navy’s experimentation program, and submarine commanding officer aboard USS New York City.  Tom now works as a National Security Analyst, having served as primary author and editor for two foundational studies on the Iraq War and as editor on USG participation in Hurricane Katrina response.  

Bob Petricci heads up the Puna Pono Alliance that support environmentally safe, culturally sensitive, economically viable, and sustainable energy alternatives for Hawai`i County.  His understanding of the geothermal history in Hawaii is shared with us on the podcast and his work for protecting its citizens is great.  Check out his website where you can learn more about the work Bob is doing but it is also a forum for residents to upload their own stories of how they were affected.  http://bobpetricci.com/geo/index.php/pgv-incident

Listen in (media player above) as we get into what Geothermal Energy is, its shady history in Hawaii and we try to understand how and why this disaster took place and why alternative energy methods such as Solar are being ignored and muffled.  Questions as to why the government is downplaying this are asked and we discuss what can be done and what the next steps are.

If you want to share your personal experience,  voice your opinion or show your support,  you can visit Bob's site:  http://bobpetricci.com/geo/  where you can email him directly.   Message me too and I can forward all communications.  Also please visit punapono.com

Robert Petricci

Robert Petricci

Key words:

Goethermal :  Thermal Energy generated and stored in the Earth. 

Costic Soda: Sodium hydroxide, also known as caustic soda, or lye, is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula NaOH.

Heavy Metals : Is any metal or metalloid of environmental concern. The term originated with reference to the harmful effects of cadmiummercury and lead, all of which are denser than iron.

Abatement filter: Filters out 94% of the Hydrogen Sulphide when power plants release excess gas

Check out this video from the bigIslandvideonews.com as this gives a great summary of what happened and how the locals feel about it.   We refer to it several times during the Podcast. 

We also discuss the unstoppable Lava flow that has started to gather significant speed on the Big Island - Sofia lives in an area catagorized as the highest risk area on the Island and almost has no choice but to move homes to avoid Pele's flow.  What a podcast. 

To find out more about Sofia, check out Podcast 19

Actualized.org - Mindfulness and the purpose of Life -Podcast 24

Click on media player to listen to the podcast with Leo. Full house for Team Renaissance as Ahn, Fran and Jay drop by

Click on media player to listen to the podcast with Leo. Full house for Team Renaissance as Ahn, Fran and Jay drop by

One of the subjects that has re-shaped the Renaissance Podcast direction is Mindfulness.   I thought I knew what this word meant and you probably think you do too. It wasn’t until co-host Anh Nguyen sent me Leo’s short 14 min video (below), that I had the big 'Eureka' moment and started to see that there were new tools that I could use when things were a bit tough...and just as importantly, tools I now use to be happier. With over 1.5 million YouTube views, Leo's ability to explain tough 'down the rabbit hole' type subjects is remarkable.   

After months of e-mailing and waiting patiently, Leo finally joins the Renaissance team and explains how his journey has led him to helping others find their purpose in life.  This podcast begins with the concepts and benefits of working on the mind and the sense of self, but we also get into the depths of advanced mindfulness in the latter parts.

Click on the image to visit Leo's site and all of his amazing videos such as: 

How to stop being a victim, Spirituality vs Religion, How to forgive someone, How to master your emotions, Self-Discipline vs Freedom

Hopefully the podcast will get you interested. However, the real work has to happen in your head.  You have to sit down and practice, otherwise it's just theory...

I would recommend watching this video after the Podcast and commit to doing the exercises as this is truly one of the best short videos out there on explaining mindfulness.  Do comment and let us know what you think.

You’re so wrapped up in yourself that every thought you have is promoting your own sense of self. And as this grows, your happiness diminishes.

Podcast 23 -Mindfulness MBA Project

During a Q&A session with Jon Kabbat-Zinn (one of the leading figures in spreading Mindfulness) he suggested that we reach out to the MBA project to get a better understanding of how Mindfulness based techniques are being used to help troubled youth.   A year on, we have two of the most significant members of the Mind Body Awareness project and two truly enlightening guests on the podcast.

I cannot stress how important Mindfulness has become in my life and how it has increased my happiness significantly just by having tools I can use in times of negative thought.  If you haven't heard about it before, try sticking through to the end on this one.  Listen in to find out why and how both Sam and Micah, draw from their personal experiences combined with Mindfulness to help 'at risk youth'.  Some of their stories will blow you away - 

Micah Anderson, MBA Senior Instructor

Micah Anderson, MBA Senior Instructor

Sam Himelstien, Phd -Program Director 

Sam Himelstien, Phd -Program Director 

To find out more about the work that Sam and Micah are doing with the MBA Project, check out the podcast ( stream using the media player-top of page) and also visit mbaproject.org

This website has links to some of the success stories and the results of the research and great work being done there (hit the 'research' tab from the MBA website), or email Sam directly : sam@mbaproject.org

Master Ayahuasca and Cannabis Shaman - Hamilton Souther, Podcast 22

hamilton with shamans.jpg

Hamilton, has been learning from Master Shamans deep in the Peruvian Amazon for over a decade.  He sought out Peru to help find answers to the trouble in his life.  His story since then is pretty remarkable and now thousands of like minded people are taking the big leap and are visiting his Blue Morpho Tours, with many finding the happiness and contentment they seek.

Hamilton blesses us with several ceremonial chants during the podcast and he introduces us to the evolution of Hip Hop and house music fusioned with the shamanic beats and melodies.  Fast forward to the times below for the chants and music:

-Icaros chants: 42 mins - Hamilton explains the purpse of the Icaros (invoking the spirits) and gives us a live Ayahuasca and Cannabis chant.

-Shiwawaku:  48mins 30secs - Amazing dance track produced by Hamilton (wait til the beats drops...) 

-Alive: 1hr 25mins- Hip hop alternative to Shamanism - Shamanix, lyrics to chorus by Hamilton



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Master Ayahuasca and Cannabis Shaman - Hamilton Souther, Podcast 22

You may or may not have heard of a South American plant brew called Ayahuasca.  This spiritual plant medicine, made popular in the past few years,  thanks to shows like the Joe Rogan Experience, Lindsay Lohan and Graham Hancock's controversial Ted talk.   It has medicinal claims of curing Cancer, Lime disease, depression, PTSD and meth addiction to name but a few.  Hamilton Souther, has featured in the National Geographic and NY Times, where his explanation of the plant and his incredible journey of finding happiness so great that he is dedicating his life to sharing and teaching it.  He is by far the leading western expert in Ayahuasca and it's ceremonies having lived, studied then mastered this particular area of Shamanism.

Check out this great 3 min video below that really sets the scene and tone for this Podcast.

For more information on trying Ayahusca and becoming more involved, visit: 






http://inty.bandcamp.com/  NEW SINGLE inspired by Cielo Ayahuasca Icaros. This track will take you right back to ceremony or awesome to listen to after a good smoke. 

http://inty.bandcamp.com/album/inty  - you will find Hamilton's music here, so please show your support.

Podcast 21: Total Philosophy

Total Philosophy -  YouTube Philosophy video makers

Total Philosophy -  YouTube Philosophy video makers

Listen in as Philip shares his story of how he was introduced to Philosophy and also about his recent interview with Philosopher Richard Swinburne, an influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God.

Its about asking the questions and having the debate

-Search Total Philosophy in Facebook           

-Follow on Twitter: @TotalPhilosophy

-Search for Total Philosophy on Youtube where you can find the full range of videos including this Descartes video

If you have never really understood what Philosophy is and how it could positively impact your life in a very real way, then I would recommend sticking with this episode to the end. We are joined by Total Philosophy creator, whos online videos have been viewed more than 50k times.  He takes very complex philosophical ideas and animates them in a very clever and easy to understand way. We discuss Descartes' ‘I think therefore I am’ statement and why it is so significant.  The words of Descartes have been the back bone of so much of my thinking since it was first introduced to me by fellow co-host Anh 15 years ago.

This 5 min video is an amazing introduction to Descartes explaining his 'I think therefore i am' quote.  If you haven't heard this before or are not too sure what it means, you need this to listen in.

Nutritionist, Journalist and great Chef, Sofia Wilt – Podcast 19

Reach out to Sofia : sofia.wilt@facebook.com

Follow on Twitter @Sofiawilt


How many times per day, or even week do you see something online that blows you away.  These paradigm shifting videos and stories we see are wasted unless we do something with them.  What exactly I’m not too sure, but talking about some of them on a Podcast seems like a great way to start.  Sofia joins us for a second sitting and what a treat it was. Listen in as Sofia and I talk Fukishima- what are the effects of a nuclear plant leaking out into the ocean?

I commit to one month of Yoga.  I have never tried it before and I am finally giving in.  I’ll keep a log of what I do and how it feels.  I believe in it.  I also believe that the breathing element is extremely important in Yoga, so ill combine it all together and hopefully will have some good things to say about it. 

If you want to try out Yoga and see how it changes the way you feel, Sofia has recommended the following videos:

1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvOBVb-15OA   - 20 min 

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15B_Qv5ecbo   - 3 min