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Australian comedian Judith Lucy grew up so heavily Catholic that she wanted to become a nun. By the time she left school, she was a committed atheist. Now she's convinced there must be something in between those two extremes ... she just doesn't have a clue what it is.
|S01E01||Genesis||27/07/2011||Judith kicks off the series where her own spiritual journey began, reliving her baptism and introducing us to her parents, Ann and Tony Lucy (Andrea Powell and Colin Lane). She talks to parish priest and Catholic thinker Gerald Gleeson to try and find out how binding the contract was when her parents signed her up with God. Wondering how different her life might be today had she done what she wanted to at age 12 and become a nun, Judith spends time with a nun her own age, Sister Rebecca McCabe and her fellow Sisters of Mercy, and the experience is not what she expects. Struggling with the limitations and exclusions ingrained in the Catholic Church, she joins the service of rebel Catholic priest Peter Kennedy, who was removed from his posting at Brisbane's St Mary's church for, among other things, blessing same-sex marriages and allowing women to preach. Peter makes Judith an offer she can't refuse, but could this church provide the spiritual alternative that she needs? Or is Judith's relationship with the Catholic church like that of Bon Scott and AC/DC, where there's never going to be a reunion?|
|S01E02||Nothing||03/08/2011||As a young theatre arts student in 1980s Perth, Judith's faith is diminishing rapidly. Dropping out of uni, she moves to Melbourne, becomes a stand-up comedian, abandons the church and finds a new religion - booze! She recalls with long-time friend and fellow comedian Greg Fleet how her love of drinking got to an unhealthy level, and how she'd tried to use boys and booze to fill the hole that was left when she gave up believing in anything. She heads off to a singles murder mystery night to see if finding a boy might still be the answer, and also catches up with another old drinking buddy, writer and performer Lily Bragge, a former heroin addict who turned her life around when she became, much to everyone's surprise (including her own) a born again Christian. Recalling how her own life and belief system hit rock bottom when her parents died, Judith talks to grief and loss educator Samantha Rennie about how ill-equipped most of us are to deal with death, and how different faiths help people cope. Judith's mother turned to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement as she stared down death, and Judith throws herself into the middle of a Charismatic prayer group to see what her mother found in it. She's welcomed whole-heartedly by the friendly suburban crowd, but she's thrown way out of her comfort zone when the congregation starts speaking in tongues.|
|S01E03||Seekers||10/08/2011||World-renowned psychic John Edward has made a living communicating with dead people. Having visited psychics in the past as she tried to make sense of her parent's deaths, Judith has an honest chat with John about sceptics, what people are looking for when they go to his shows, and what happens when we die? Deciding that, as she believes in nothing spiritual, she might as well try anything, Judith follows in her late mother's footsteps and takes the plunge into a rebirthing session, before heading to the home of spiritual seekers - Byron Bay. Among the crystals, cheese cloth and incense, Judith is spoilt for choice when it comes to New Age spiritual practices. She settles back in the rainforest for a spot of shamanic journeying, slips into and out of something more comfortable for a naked tantric massage, submits herself to a gong-filled yurt for vibrational cleansing, and heads to a place called the Lotus Temple for a group healing session from practitioners from The Divine University, who offer the chance to channel higher beings. But Judith finds her spiritual waters are muddied when she chats to "mind reading" performer and sceptic Philip Escoffey, who uses the powers of suggestion and illusion to try and prove to people that all "spirituality", from religion to psychics, is nothing more than showbiz. So is he right, or are John Edward and the Byron seekers closer to the truth? Or is there something in between?|
|S01E04||Stillness||17/08/2011||Like many people, Judith always thought that money and fame might fill a hole in her life. She asks whether fame or career success can fill a spiritual need as she chats to former Big Brother sensation Sara-Marie Fedele and to longtime friend and fellow comedian Frank Woodley. As for the money ... she relives both the soul-destroying pain and the hilarious insanity of her time in a highly-paid commercial radio job, as she attends a support group for former radio jocks, with some surprise celebrity cameos. Deciding that she needs to get out of the city to clear her over-active mind, Judith, having never camped a day in her life, heads to the desert outside Alice Springs to learn all she can from David Jungula Kriss and the Arrernte people of central Australia. With her tent pitched in the red earth, Judith is taken under the wing of three Aboriginal elder women, Gloria, Maggie and Beryl, who appear on the horizon like a far cooler version of Charlie's Angels. As she learns to be still, to be connected, and to hunt and eat live honey ants, will Judith find some spiritual answers in the desert, or will she just look like the whitest woman alive?|
|S01E05||Mind||24/08/2011||When Judith discovered yoga, it literally changed her life. But is it just a cool way to get fit, or a genuine path to spiritual enlightenment? For answers, she gets cross-legged with a man who drives an orange kombi with the number plates "OMMMM" - university lecturer, swami and yogi Phil Stevens, and pays a visit to her guru, Shandor Remete, the Adelaide-based, Hungarian-born founder of Shadow Yoga. She finds a surprise package in former Sydney Swans captain Brett Kirk, a premiership-winning AFL player and well-known tough-nut on the field, who used yoga, meditation, affirmations and spiritual practice to enhance his life as a professional footballer, and now beyond it. He offers advice for Judith's journey, and manages unwittingly to make her fall just a little bit in love with him. She catches up with a fast-talking Aussie Buddhist nun, Robina Courtin, to find out why it's so hip for people to say they're Buddhists, and throws herself into a version of Buddhist Survivor, as she joins a ten-day Vipassana silent meditation retreat. Segregated from the males in the group, Judith will be getting up at 4am to do nothing but meditate, silently, all day, every day for ten days. No reading, no writing, no intoxicants and definitely no talking. Will she survive?|
|S01E06||Revelation||31/08/2011||With her interest in Buddhism piqued, and her love of yoga firmly entrenched, Judith travels to India to immerse herself in the birthplace of both of those things. She discovers that religion and spirituality in India are like the Kardashian family in the west - you just can't avoid them. Leaving behind the steamy bustle of Delhi, she travels to Bodhgaya to visit the Bodhi tree, where Lord Buddha is supposed to have sat until he became enlightened. It's an awe-inspiring place, and Judith takes the opportunity to practise her new-found meditation skills, before she meets a young Australian woman who gave up her job, house and marriage to follow Buddhism to India. In Varanasi, the sacred city of the Hindu god Shiva, the master of yoga, Judith finds a different kind of spirituality - one which isn't contained in temples but is everywhere from the stunning riot of colour surrounding the river Ganges to the backstreets patrolled by mangy dogs. This time she meets an American woman who gave up her job, house and marriages to follow Hinduism to India -and intends to die here. In an emotional ceremony, Judith gets a special blessing from a group of hot young priests during one of the nightly rituals on the Ganges, and she gets to practise yoga on a boat on the famous river. Arriving back in Australia, Judith keeps a promise to Brisbane's rebel priest Peter Kennedy and joins his church for a very special service, where she sums up her journey with a dose of what she calls "spiritual standup". What has she learnt? Has she uncovered any answers? Has she found herself, and if so, did she like what she found? Is the journey over, or is it just beginning?|