Three Zen Gifts

Three Zen Gifts

Three Zen Gifts

In Production

Three Zen Gifts is a new documentary exploring resonances between Zen and the Irish language, heritage and old Celtic Christianity.

The documentary will feature contributions by leading writers, scholars, poets and thinkers who have explored this area.  In addition it will feature current female Zen teachers and practitioners active in Ireland.   

The structure and title of this documentary draws from the three Zen gifts that are given to a new teacher in the final stage of their installation ceremony, namely; the teaching stick, the lineage stole and the teacher’s cloak.

Three Zen Gifts will offer unique insights into the challenges and possibilities of a transforming and ever-evolving spiritual landscape.

An Anú Pictures Production.

Arna Mhaoiniú ag Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann leis an Táille Ceadúnais Teilifíse /
Funded By The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland With The Television Licence Fee

In Association With DCTV

OUR STORY – A Call To Ecological Consciousness

OUR STORY – A Call To Ecological Consciousness

OUR STORY – A Call To Ecological Consciousness

In Development

A project exploring the central stories, narratives and metaphors that underpin the ecological crisis – and how we might begin to transform them – to reclaim our natural human inheritance, ‘Our Story’ of ecological consciousness.

The unfolding ecological crisis, according to professor of science Thomas Lovejoy, is ‘the greatest challenge of our species’. (1)

For author and Jungian analyst Andrew Fellows this crisis has resulted from our ‘dysfunctional relationship’ with ‘both inner and outer Nature’. (2)

And for cultural historian Thomas Berry this dysfunctional relationship comes from a crisis of narrative:

We are in trouble now because … we are in between stories.
The Old Story is (no longer functioning) properly and we have (yet to fully articulate) the New Story. (3)

The Old Story – embodied by the Western anthropocentric worldview – has come to dominate international affairs over the past two hundred years with disastrous planet-wide consequences.

As we witness ‘the ominous consequences of what we have been doing to the earth and to ourselves’ it is clear that The Old Story/anthropocentric worldview narrative – based on a philosophy of separation built on linear thinking – has become perilously dysfunctional and degenerative. (4)

For many the development of a new regenerative paradigm can only be facilitated by the emergence of a New Story/ecological worldview – based on a philosophy of interdependence built on interdisciplinary systems thinking and embodied in indigenous peoples worldviews the world over. (5)

This evolving New Story is embodied by new – and very ancient – movements right across the spectrum of human experience.  These movements are challenging the core metaphors of the Old Story by radically re-imagining – what Buddhist scholar and ecophilosopher Joanna Macy describes as – our whole ‘relationship to our world, to ourselves, and to each other’. (6)

This project will facilitate a direct engagement with the central narratives and metaphors of the Old and New Stories.

And it has the potential to act as a catalyst for inspiring new narrative possibilities for engaging with the urgent and compelling themes of the pivotal times we live in.

The working sub-title of this project is inspired by a 1977 address to the NGO’s of the United Nations in Geneva by a delegation from the Iroquois Confederacy.  

This historic address was described as a ‘Call to Basic Consciousness’ – of the ‘Sacred Web of Life in the Universe’ – that has ‘ancient roots and ultra-modern, even futuristic, manifestations’. (7)

This project is evolving from over a decade of inter-disciplinary research.

It is an organic articulation of the essential themes underpinning all of my own creative work; exploring the connections between culture, spirituality and ecology that are so central to the major challenges facing us in the pivotal times we live in.

Its articulation was facilitated by the the “anthropause” in human affairs that came with the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Its germination was nurtured through an Arts Council Bursary award in 2021.

Its manifestation is being cultivated through a Creative Practice PhD currently being undertaken through LSAD (Limerick School of Art & Design) & TUS (Technical University of the Shannon).

  1.  Lovejoy, Thomas The Greatest Challenge of Our Species. New York Times Op-Ed, April 2012
  2.  Fellows, Andrew Gaia, Psyche and Deep Ecology – Navigating Climate Change in the Anthropocene. Routledge; 1st edition, 2019 (p. 1)
  3. Berry, Thomas The Dream of the Earth. San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1988; reprint Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2015 (p. 123)
  4. Loy, David Ecodharma – Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis. Wisdom Publications, 2018 (p. 1)
  5. The term ‘Philosophy of Interdependence‘ is borrowed from the title of a course run by Dr. Kevin Power at UCC in 2021.
  6. Macy, Joanna The Great Turning. Wild Duck Review, Vol. IV, No. 1, Winter 1998 (p. 14)
  7.  A Basic Call to Consciousness, The Hau de no sau nee Address to the Western WorldGeneva, Switzerland, Autumn 1977. Copyright © 1978 by Akwesasne Notes, Mohawk Nation, Via Roseveltown, NY.
The Red Book: Jung’s Myth For Our Times

The Red Book: Jung’s Myth For Our Times

The Red Book:
Jung’s Myth for Our Times

In Development

Inspired by Carl Jung’s enigmatic The Red Book this art-house style feature length film will bring the book to life for contemporary audiences in a labyrinthine odyssey through this, the central work of Jung’s life.

The Red Book‘s Relevance for Contemporary Times
Jung’s deep probing exploration of the human psyche and consciousness allows us to contextualise and account for a lot of what is challenging in modern times.

It comes at a time when mankind is desperately in need of a new vision of renewal.

It also gives us hope for finding ways to effectively engage with those challenges for the common good.

These central motif’s – at the heart of Jung’s work – will be the key underlying themes for this new film; situated as it is at such a critical cross-roads in the history of mankind, in the end-times of modernity and under the shadow of ecological crisis.

This film will bring Carl Jung’s enigmatic book to life in a probing, labyrinthine odyssey through the human psyche as a vehicle for exploring the state of contemporary life; combining styles from narrative, documentary and experimental film traditions fused into a unique poetic form.

About C. G. Jung
“Who spoke to me then? Who talked of problems far beyond my knowledge? Who brought the Above and the Below together, and laid the foundation for everything that was to fill the second half of my life with the stormiest passion? Who but that alien guest who came from above and from below?” (Jung 1963/1995: 30).

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was brought up in a religious family (his father was a priest). As a child he experienced powerful ‘big dreams’ and ‘visual hallucinations’ that were at odds with the Christian worldview of his times. These profound experiences were of seminal influence toward his subsequent theoretical innovations, and also toward his critique of Western culture which he believed had ‘lost its soul’.

In his early profession as a psychiatrist, Jung became an avid follower and acolyte of Sigmund Freud and his psychoanalysis. However, after some years of fruitful collaboration, Jung eventually broke away in 1912 and founded his own school, known as Analytical Psychology. Jung’s conception of the unconscious went beyond Freud’s understanding of it as ‘repressions of personal wishes’ to include a collective dimension comprised of numinous elements he termed archetypes. Jung also had wide interests that went significantly beyond psychiatry and psychology. These included areas such as mythology, folklore, art, literature and religious symbolism, as well as more arcane interests such as Gnosticism, alchemy, astrology and the kabbalah.

According to Professor Sonu Shamdasani, Jung “is widely recognised as a major figure in modern Western thought and his work continues to spark controversies. He played critical roles in the formation of modern psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry” and further that “his work has had its widest impact however, outside professional circles … in the arts, the humanities, films and popular culture.”

About The Red Book
“You know, Oh Philemon, the wisdom of things to come … Your wisdom is invisible, your truth is unknowable, entirely untrue in any given age, and yet true in all eternity, but you pour out living water, from which the flowers of your garden bloom, a starry water, a dew of the night” (Jung 2009: 316).

The Red Book is a richly ornate, illuminated manuscript that combines calligraphic text with exquisite watercolour painted images. It has been likened to the Irish Book of Kells and to the imagery and prophetic vision of William Blake.

For eighty years the book had been kept from the public eye. Eventually thanks to the tenacious perseverance of Sonu Shamdasani, this work finally came to light by way of a ‘true to size’ colour publication in 2009.

Since publication of the Red Book there have been numerous conference presentations, symposia, web forums, academic articles, book chapters and even entire books written on this enigmatic work. Not surprisingly, a vast array of perspectives and interpretations have accumulated over the few years since its publication. In essence, this visionary work by one of the most significant minds of the 20th century is sure to have momentous ramifications for the 21st century.

According to Shamdasani “There can be few unpublished works that have already exerted such far-reaching effects upon twentieth-century social and intellectual history as Jung’s Red Book.

The Red Book – An Epochal Opus for the 21st Century
The Red Book’s relevance for contemporary times comes further into focus with the advent of a new book series that is currently being published entitled Jung’s Red Book for Our Time: Searching for Soul under Postmodern Conditions (Editors: Murray Stein and Thomas Arzt).

The Editors write that “the essays in this new series are geared to the recognition that the posthumous publication of The Red Book was a meaningful gift to our contemporary world. Similar to the volatile times Jung found himself in when he created this work a century ago, we today too are confronted with highly turbulent and uncertain conditions of world affairs that threaten any sense of coherent meaning, personally and collectively. The Red Book promises to become an epochal opus for the 21st century in that it offers us guidance for finding soul under postmodern conditions.”

About This Film
Primarily this will be a lyrical, poetic invocation of Jung’s work rather than an attempt to explain or present the Red Book in a cognitive or fully rational way. Following Jung’s mystical gaze, the film will draw upon its poetic points of departure, illuminating his weave-like, dreamlike work. The film will take the viewer on a series of dream-like encounters through the Red Book invoking a sense of the journey that brought the work to life. By the end, the viewer will have shared in some part of that long, challenging and inspiring odyssey of ‘soul retrieval’ undertaken by Jung himself.

Combining styles from narrative, documentary and experimental traditions the film will fuse a number of stylistic approaches into a unique poetic visual form.

Dónal Ó Céilleachair :: Director & Screenwriter

Prof. Sonu Shamdasani :: Project Adviser  Sonu is the noted Jung scholar primarily responsible for bringing The Red Book into publication after thirteen years of exhaustive editorial work. Sonu is a professor of Jung history at University College London. He is author of several books, including C.G. Jung: A Biography in Books.

Dr Mathew Mather :: Screenwriter & Collaborator  Mathew completed a PhD on Jung and Alchemy at the University of Essex in 2013. His thesis was adapted into a book publication The Alchemical Mercurius: esoteric symbol of Jung’s life and works (Routledge 2014) – a work that illuminates a uniquely esoteric perspective on the Red Book. Mathew has presented on The Red Book at international conferences, and at the International School of Analytical Psychology ISAP, in Zurich. He is a full time lecturer at Limerick School of Art and Design (Limerick Institute of Technology), Ireland and co-founder of Art & Psyche, Ireland.

Bettina Wilhem :: Creative Collaborator  Granddaughter of Richard Wilhelm (contemporary and friend of C.G. Jung) Bettina is the director of ‘Wisdom of Changes – Richard Wilhelm and the I Ching’. Bettina was born in Shanghai, China. She received a Postgrad. Diploma in Film and Television from Middlesex Polytechnic, London. She is co-founder of the Berlin Transform theatre and works there as director, actress and producer.

All images are courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. and Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung.

Adventures of a Waterboy

Adventures of a Waterboy

Adventures of a Waterboy

In Development

Inspired by Mike Scott’s recent memoir Adventures of a Waterboy, this film – the first full Waterboys film – will follow Mike and his band recording a new album and will look back over a 40 year musical odyssey “ever in search of new sources of inspiration”.

Mike Scott’s 2012 memoir Adventures of a Waterboy did something that nobody was really expecting. For someone who “reputedly spent much of the defining decade of his music career refusing interviews and disappearing for years at a time in the Celtic mists”¹ Mike wrote a book that turned out to be surprisingly revealing; “a wonderful, eloquent memoir, a captivating, often transcendently evocative read” ¹. Reading it, one cannot help becoming reimmersed in the decade-defining ‘Big Music’ from The Waterboy’s early days – with hits like the ever popular The Whole of the Moon – and being swept back up into the atmosphere of an entire era in the process.

In many ways the early worldwide success of The Waterboys overshadowed a lot of the great music that followed, especially as Mike Scott turned his back on rock stardom and began to constantly challenge his audiences with ever transforming musical styles and sonic explorations. Many will be forgiven for not managing to have followed what one critic describes as “the adventures of a man and a band that never came close to making the same record twice” ¹.

And the records keep coming: 2015 saw the release of The Waterboy’s 11th studio album; Modern Blues (Mike’s 13th album in all), praised by critics as “likely to induce a state of rapture”2. 2015 also saw The Waterboys on tour – playing over 100 concerts across three continents – to a loyal and enduring worldwide following that culminated in Ireland and the U.K. in October and November 2015.

And the records keep on coming with the release of GOOD LUCK, SEEKER in 2020!

Joining The Waterboys as they complete their world tour gives us rocking front row seats to some of their best contemporary performances and a chance to look back over a 30 year career through the lens of the present; combining archive footage with return visits to the key locations from Mike’s long journey including Dublin, Connemara, Edinburgh, Findhorn and New York.

This unique creative music documentary gives us the rare opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of the musical adventures of one of Ireland’s most beloved Scotsmen, and the songwriter that The Telegraph recently lauded as “the closest thing to a Neil Young figure in British music”².

1. Paste Magazine Review 28.08.12
2. The Telegraph 17.01.15

An Anú Pictures Production.

To find out what Mike Scott and THE WATERBOYS are up to at present visit them

Are We One

Are We One

Are We One
In Distribution
A legacy portrait documentary tracing the transmission of Zen meditation through the life work of Irish-American Jesuit Zen Master Robert Kennedy – and his successors and students –  in a contemporary exploration of interfaith dialogue on the common ground of human experience.


Robert Kennedy, S.J., Roshi joined the Jesuits in 1951 at the age of 18.

After an extensive spiritual and academic training, he was ordained a priest in Japan
in 1965 at the age of 32.

In Japan, he studied Zen with Yamada Koun Roshi in the 1970sa central historical figures in 20th Century Japanese Zen.  Yamada had a profound effect on his life. Here was a married layman with a family, who expressed insight and humanity in a way that powerfully touched the young Robert Kennedy.

Returning to the United States the young Jesuit began studying Zen with Maezumi Roshi in Los Angeles and then with Bernard Glassman Roshi in New York City – two central historical figures in American Zen.

Bernie Gassman installed him as a Sensei (Zen Teacher) of the White Plum Asanga lineage in 1991 and conferred Inka (his final seal of approval) in 1997, making him the first U.S. Catholic Roshi (Zen Master) in a ceremony together with the writer Peter Matthiesen and Janet Richardson.  Facing some objections from his students for appointing a Catholic priest as one of his first dharma heirs Glassman famously refuted the objections by asking his students ‘Are we one, or are we not?’.

Robert Kennedy is the former chair of the Theology department of Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, where he taught theology and Japanese.  In addition to his work at the college, he was a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City and a representative at the United Nations of the Institute for Spiritual Consciousness in Politics.

He is also the author of two books, ‘Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit’ and ‘Zen Gifts to Christians’.

He sits with his Zen students daily at the Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City and holds Sesshins (Zen Retreats) internationally.


To date, Robert Kennedy has installed 20 Dharma Successors; lay teachers who have studied Zen and worked with him over the last thirty years and have been approved by him to teach, including:
Janet Richardson, Roshi (1994/1997), Charles Birx, Roshi (1998/2014),
Ellen Birx, Roshi (1998/2014), Janet Abels, Roshi (2000/2015),
Kevin Hunt, Sensei (2004), Ray Cicetti, Roshi (2004/2015),
Gregory Abels, Sensei (2006), Paul Schubert, Sensei (2007),
Inge von Wobeser-Hopfner, Sensei (2008), Patrick Eastman, Sensei (2009),
Michael Holleran, Sensei (2009), Carl Bachmann, Sensei (2010),
Carl Viggiani, Sensei (2013), Miriam Healy, Roshi (2014/2019),
Dr. Maria “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Roshi (2015/2019),
Timothy Butler, Sensei (2015), Susan Efird, Sensei (2018),
Monica Maher, Sensei (2018), Mary Laheen, Sensei (2019)
Alice Potz (2020), Russell Michel (2021) & Amy Yee (2022)

Executive Producers:
Miriam Healy
Turlough O’Donnell

And for Morning Star Zendo
Noel Brennan
John Ankele (Old Dog Documentaries)
Dr Cuca Montecel
Amy Yee

Dónal Ó Céilleachair

An Anú Pictures Production in Association with Morning Star Zendo