Author, journalist, coach and meditation teacher, Conor Creighton has been travelling the globe as a reporter, a motivational speaker and a meditation teacher for nearly twenty years. He teaches courses throughout Ireland, from prison yards to corporate boardrooms, and more recently in collaboration with the artist Maser. He is also an award-winning journalist and the former editor of Totally Dublin magazine.

Now Conor has published This Is It, a memoir and meditation guide, published by Gill Books - read an extract here.

We asked Conor for his choice cultural picks...

FILM

I have always listened to the teachings of the American spiritual teacher Ram Dass. He's a funny character. He came to spirituality through acid. A little like me. I don’t think I’d ever have given meditation a go if I hadn’t taken many psychedelics first. There’s a very special movie about him called Becoming Nobody.

MUSIC

The very first time I taught meditation to groups was in Limerick. I feel a great sense of gratitude to the place because of this and even though I was barely there a month, I check in on the city through its music. I really like an artist called Strange Boy. His new track Waiting is very '2020’ vibes.

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BOOK

I could read Pema Chodron over and over again. She’s an 84 year old Tibetan Buddhist nun. Anything she’s written is gold. I adore this woman and her wisdom but if I had to pull a favourite out now I’d say, When Things Fall Apart.

TV

I’m the worst person to ask about TV. If I ever sit down to watch something it’s nine out of ten times going to be a nature documentary that I’ve already watched half a dozen times.

GIG

The last show I saw was at the Sugar Club actually. It was Hailu Merga, an Ethiopian Jazz Musician. The Sugar Club is kind of an awful venue if you want to dance and Hailu was full of energy performing for this bunch of people who were rooted to their seats. Until suddenly one brave woman ran up front and started dancing. Seconds passed that felt like minutes, and more people joined her, until half of the club was in front of the stage dancing.

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ART

Kathleen Ryan has a series of bejewelled, gone-off fruit pieces that I really love. One because they’re actually beautiful but also because they’re a serious reminder of how much food we waste. We humans are wanting machines. It’s no wonder we buy more than we consume. A big part of my work is helping people, and I include myself in that, to find contentment inside themselves and want less.

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PODCAST

Pat Divilly is brilliant. He’s a true national treasure. I find his sincerity and his capacity to listen are really the two wonderful gifts that underpin his conversations and his whole way of being. We men don’t have many great role models. That’s a shame. Pat is definitely a wonderful Irish male role model and beautiful teacher.

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TECH

There’s a really interesting Instagram account called Tanistry. It’s run by a young lad from Belfast. He’s an historian called Andrew Clarke and his whole vibe is non-sectarian history. He’s funny too and wise, and for someone who grew up neck-deep in sectarianism and Nordy politics, it’s so refreshing and impartial and enjoyable to read about the North without all the finger-pointing.

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THE NEXT BIG THING...

Vulnerability please. My generation, my parents’ generation and theirs before grew up hiding so much of their emotions and true feelings, pretending to be strong when they were dying inside. I would love for people to become more comfortable with vulnerability, to have the courage, not the weakness, to say, this s**t is really hard to deal with, how is it for you?

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This Is It by Conor Creighton (published by Gill) is out now.