Recommended Viewing: Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey
Posted: October 14, 2013 Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: abc, comedy, Judith Lucy, Meditation, series, spiritual journey, spirituality, stand-up, tv, yoga
Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey
I never liked Judith Lucy.
There is perhaps some truth in the nature/nurture argument, because my dislike of her was born exposure to her comedy in an unpleasant childhood memory.
I was never good at maths, and for good reason. If I were good at math it would distract everybody from my beauty
But back when my parents believed that I could be good at anything, they sent me to an after-school tutor once a week (for as long as I can remember … or until it became clear they were wasting good money).
One of my most vivid memories from this practice, aside from finding ways to kill forty-minutes, was sitting in the car before my session when the radio was tuned to Judith Lucy’s afternoon spot. I remember thinking that she was simply not funny. I wasn’t alone in this, as my Mum also believed she wasn’t funny, but failed to change the station I might add.
A true fish-out-of-water … Eva Gabor in ‘Green Acres’
So over the years, whenever a comedy event featured Judith, I would associate the unpleasant experience of after-school homework and her comedy. The result was being irked by her stand-up for many years. What caused me to investigate her series then is anybody’s guess. But for some reason I wound up giving it a go, merely because of my desire to see sardonic comedians in fish-out-of-water situations.
Like a light-switch being flicked on, I suddenly ‘got’ her comedy. Perhaps I had been too young to appreciate it, or maybe it was because of the subject matter she tackled, but I suddenly found her resoundingly hilarious.
Her spiritual journey is a sarcastic take on her Catholic upbringing and a genuine exploration of Buddhist teachings, yoga and meditation. Combining two subjects I’m interested in, comedy and spirituality (the two can co-exist), I found the series hilarious and interesting. Some practices (including rebirthing, tantric massage and gong therapy) are touched upon lightly, humorously and are obviously just for the giggles. If you’re looking for a profound experience, you probably won’t find it here – let’s not forget that Judith is a comedian, with the hell-bent intention of making her audience laugh. Her appreciation of yoga and meditation however seems genuine, and she states that she has long practiced both.
“Hi, my name’s Judith and I used to work in commercial radio”
In addition to her search for spiritual understanding, we also get a brief look at her career as a stand-up, her family and friends, her foray in commercial radio (hilarious segment!) and her time on The Late Show, which was the 90s standard in Australian comedy I say with unashamed bias.
She interviews past friends, psychic mediums, football players, nuns, priests, monks, you name it – in a quest to get to the heart of what makes anybody tick spiritually, all the while hilariously providing her own take on the subject.
She travels to Alice Springs to experience Aboriginal spiritual practices in the Australian outback, and this is when she first begins to note the power of returning to nature to quiet the mind. She undertakes a vipassana meditation retreat (ten days of complete silence from participants ) and gives a recap that is brutally honest, recounting ‘incredible highs and incredible lows’. I really admire her for this, she likens it to a ‘Buddhist Survivor’. I cannot contemplate sitting in stillness for ten days with only my mind to keep me company … maybe after thirty more years of meditation, but for now I’ll stick with my fifteen/twenty minute practice.
She finishes her journey in India, practicing yoga on the river Ganges and meditating under the Buddha bodhi tree. Leaving the ending ambiguous, the last episode features a recap of her experiences in the form of light stand up to a Sunday mass, and it is really quite insightful.
Maybe Judith’s humor is a bit ‘love her or hate her’. Perhaps it is the subject matter that made me enjoy it so much. Whatever the case, Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey is a funny, quirky series that isn’t too deep but isn’t superficial. It’s the perfect blend of stand-up and spirituality.