Episode 83

Published on:

21st Apr 2024

On "Quiet" with Brother James Dowd and Orenda Fink S3E83

A listen back to a show from 2017 on the theme of Quiet. My guests in that two-part conversation were Orenda Fink, a musician, writer, and Jungian Depth Coach, and the Benedictine monk, Brother James Dowd. In the second part of the show we’ll hear from Orenda Fink on her music and career, dream analysis, and how a health condition requiring the quiet of complete voice rest impacted her sense of self.  First, we’ll hear from Brother James Dowd on his path from New York theater to Nebraska monastery, contemplative life, and embracing silence.

Brother James Dowd of the Order of the Holy Cross is the founding Prior of the Incarnation Monastery and the Community of The Benedictine Way, which was founded in 2018 in north Omaha. It is the first Benedictine monastery in the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. At the time of our 2017 conversation, Brother James had recently joined the staff of the Diocese for a two-year position as “Monk in Residence.” His ministry focused on enriching the community’s prayer and spiritual life, and discovering and building better ways to befriend the poor in our communities. Prior to entering the monastery, Brother James lived in his home town of New York City, where for 20 years he worked as a director of more than 100 theater productions and numerous live events for television.

Orenda Fink is a well known musician, performer, and songwriter. She has been writing, recording, and touring for critically acclaimed records since 1997. Fink got her start in Birmingham, Alabama, with the pop rock group Little Red Rocket. In 2000, she formed the ethereal folk duo Azure Ray with longtime friend Maria Taylor. Their music has regularly featured in film and television programs and Fink has collaborated widely on numerous other music projects. Currently residing in California’s Mojave desert, Fink is a certified Jungian Depth Coach with a specialization in shadow work and dream interpretation. Later this year I’ll be in conversation with Fink about her new memoir, “The Witch's Daughter: My Mother, Her Magic, and the Madness that Bound Us” which will be available in August. At the time of our 2017 show on the theme of Quiet, Fink reflected back on her musical origins, self-reflection brought about by emergency surgery to correct a misdiagnosed heart defect, and the implications for her sense of self in the world when she was required to take an extensive period of complete voice rest.

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About the Podcast

Lives Radio Show & Podcast with Stuart Chittenden
Every Sunday at 9am on KIOS 91.5FM, Omaha's NPR affiliate, Season Three of Lives will tackle the big questions: What is a good life? Why are we here? How might we feel more connected? These and other big questions about how we live will be explored each week. Through intimate conversations, fascinating guests will share their spiritual, philosophical, artistic, and cultural approaches to exploring the wonders of our human experience. Join me as we delve into the practical and profound possibilities of living well.

As well as listening to this Season Three of Lives being broadcast on KIOS, listen back to Seasons One and Two, featuring fresh voices and diverse perspectives on culture, community, business, and more. From the Midwest and beyond, inspiring guests share compelling stories spanning the fields of politics, business, media, community activism, arts and humanities, philanthropy, and more.

On air since January 2017, Lives Radio Show & Podcast initially broadcast on the community radio station Mind & Soul 101.3FM in north Omaha, housed at the Malcolm X Center, and more recently broadcast with 1st Sky Omaha.

About your host

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stuart chittenden

I believe that conversation enables us to live better and work well by building strong relationships as individuals, teams, and communities.

Driven by that belief, I founded Squishtalks to design and deliver conversation experiences and programs for small to Fortune 500 corporate clients and for a variety of non-profit organizations. I regularly speak and facilitate workshops on the principles of conversation and how their practice enlivens our potential. My belief in the profound power of conversation to awaken our humanity has led to me being selected to speak at three different TEDx events.

I am a British expatriate calling Omaha, Nebraska home since 2004. Before moving to America, I was a London-based lawyer working on major international transactions. In Omaha, as well as founding Squishtalks, I co-founded Gilbert+Chittenden with creativity expert Dan Gilbert, which is a creativity consultancy that helps individuals and organizations realize their best futures and apply design thinking processes to achieve innovative breakthroughs.

Among my community endeavors was the project: a couple of 830 mile long conversations. Inspired by John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, in an RV I adventured for four weeks along side roads and among small towns to talk with Nebraskans. Traveling through conversations, discovering the lives, cultures and stories of people I met, the project was a long hello to Nebraska.