- What is The Portal?
It’s been cool noticing the term ‘portal’ increase in general usage recently. Many people are talking about the times we’re living in as a portal to a new paradigm—a kind of collective evolution—and that these crises we’re experiencing are opportunities for change and transformation. The film definitely speaks to these ideas in a big way, but it’s also very personal. One of the intentions with The Portal was to meet people where they are at, and I’ve heard people talk about experiencing the characters in the film as portals to knowing themselves differently or more deeply. It feels good to see that people make their own meaning from it. Whether it’s meditation, crisis, accepting change, allowing your own journey to unfold…I love that there can be so many layers to The Portal as a ‘portal’. A friend calls it a love story for humanity, so that’s my favourite portal…we need that right now.
The most beautiful part of that is accepting that I am this unique thing WITH all the scars and the life experiences, and there is beauty in that.
2. How did it all start?
Years ago, my dear friend Tom set about to make a film that would bring meditation to a wider audience and demonstrate experientially through personal stories meditation’s transformational power in modern times. It wasn’t a smooth process for him, and there were many ideas and false starts. At one particular juncture, we came together. We started working on a concept that seemed to more closely embody the original intention in a way that aligned to the needs and themes of the era we’re living in now. It became what we know now as The Portal. Suffice to say, creative projects can be convoluted to realize, and as much as we like to try to control a process, life has its own plans sometimes.
Being able to hear these messages from within about what’s right for each of us in a fearless way that emboldens us to heed our personal wisdom so we can share our particular gifts seems really crucial.
3. From your work, there seems to be another worldwide pandemic of unhappiness and inner unrest. Is there a way through?
In many schools of thought, including eastern philosophy, there seems to be some version of this: there is a relationship between what you might call unhappiness and resistance to what ‘is’. That’s not to diminish the idea that things happen to us, but that unhappiness is created when we’re in dis-harmony with our current reality. That is how I understand it, at least. We’ve painted a picture in the film, a portrait of what is happening in people’s lives. There has been trauma and suffering, personal crisis, dissatisfaction with life or the decisions we’ve made, or a sense that there can be more meaning—whatever it is—but that there is the power to be gained from seeing these experiences through different eyes and stepping forward. The film is designed to be an experience in that space where we can find a different perspective and connect with that feeling of the beauty of being human because it’s all that we’ve got. We don’t seem to be able to flourish when we’re resisting or denying aspects of it. In the film, Daniel Schmachtenberger talks about each of our individual human uniqueness in terms of a unique gift that I’m here to offer. Only the perfect storm of me and my particular consciousness and life experiences can serve up to the world in this particular way. The most beautiful part is accepting that I am this unique thing WITH all the scars and the life experiences, and there is beauty. When I think about what it takes for us to transition into a new paradigm of living and being together on this planet, it’s not denial, resistance and lack of cooperation that’s going to get us across the line. I’d say noticing the breaths of uniqueness that we each are and coming together with those brilliantly unique gifts is pretty key to navigating our way through.
Right now, the old systems are falling apart, and we’re pretty much adrift in the unknown with no rulebook.
4. You have some great people featuring in the movie what can we expect from the experts?
One of the things we hoped to achieve with The Portal was to give a sense of the current macro-dynamics at play in the world and draw threads between those dynamics and the challenges we face as individuals. For example, the expert’s Daniel Schmachtenberger, Dr Julia Mossbridge, and Mikey Siegel are futurists in civilization design, benevolent programming in robots, and transformational technology development. They give us thought-provoking perspectives on these themes and the potential to use technology and other tools to help us transition to different ways of living, being and working together as a species on this planet.
5. Why is meditation the answer to a better life and a better planet?
During the development of the film, I contemplated this a lot in terms of how the benefits of meditation would or could be felt and known, but on an experiential level. In a way, this was to build those textures of life experience into the film experience. For example, a sense of peace, calm, more connectedness—with Self and Other, less reactivity, more awareness, a love that extends beyond our familiars to encompass all beings and the planet, and so on. More than anything, we wanted people to walk out of the film with a deeply felt sense of the answer to this ‘Why?’ There’s plenty of data to show that meditation and mindfulness help with the cultivation of awareness and general regulation of the nervous system that is so useful to counter the heightened states of alertness and over-stimulation we’re often experiencing. Yet having a cognitive understanding of something only goes so far; the body needs to know it too. I know that it was many years of hearing about and ‘knowing’ the benefits of a potential practice before converting that intellectual understanding into a bodily knowing. Right now, the old systems are falling apart, and we’re pretty much adrift in the unknown with no rulebook. Being able to hear these messages from within about what’s right for each of us in a fearless way that emboldens us to heed our personal wisdom so we can share our particular gifts seems really crucial. So, what does your inner whisper have to say?