Episode 126 :: Gary Watts :: Buddhist Police Support Network

| July 15, 2012 | 6 Comments

Gary Watts

Gary Watts speaks with us about the Buddhist Police Support Network.

Preconceived notions. We all have them. Sometimes this mental shorthand provides a bit of efficiency in navigating the hectic waters of our day. But if we allow these notions to always determine our actions, and don’t question whether they are accurate, our misperceptions might close us off to other ways of seeing and interacting with one another.

This is particularly so when we lump people into certain roles. Those who are in those roles are then challenged not only by the attitudes and views of their peers, but everyone else. Finding the best way to positively represent ourselves and others in whatever role we find ourselves can be difficult, particularly when our own way of looking at the world may be a little different from the norm. There are people who do this everyday, subtlely encouraging positive change.

Sergeant Gary Watts is the Neighborhood Team Leader at Falmouth. He joined Thames Valley Police from the Royal Air Force and transferred to Devon and Cornwall Police in 2001. In both forces Gary had a broad range of experiences including patrol, the Criminal Investigation Department, Proactive Units, and Neighbourhood Policing. The majority of his service has been within Neighbourhood Policing as a Beat Manager, Team Leader, and as the Force PACT Development Officer involved with the training and development of Neighbourhood Policing. Gary is also responsible for schemes that are widely used in Cornwall including Street Reps and Speed Watch.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Earl Gray.

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez


The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “For Two Shakuhachi” from his CD, Traditional and Modern Pieces: Shakuhachi.

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Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (6)

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  1. Grateful Ape says:

    Enjoyed this ‘cast, and grateful to know that there are such thoughtful members of the police out there. Re: use of force and how this relates to buddhist ideals of non-violence…..worth examing the idea of katsujinken i.e. life-giving sword.

    Incidentally, have you considered an episode examining the art of aikido (aka ‘The Art of Peace’) and it’s links to buddhism/shared values? It’s a response to violence that (when practiced well) gives you choices other than violence..

    Keep up the good work. I suspect that secular buddhism is a thing I’ve been waiting for for many years…

    • Ted Meissner Ted Meissner says:

      Hi, Grateful. Thanks for the encouraging words, and I hope that you do find something helpful to you in a secular practice.

      You bring up a good point, it would be a good episode specifically on Aikido. We’ve done one or two related to the martial arts, but nothing specific to that alignment. Let me know if you have anyone specifically in mind that might be able to speak to that!

  2. Grateful Ape says:

    Well, my starting point would be to have a chat with Stan Pranin over at the http://www.aikidojournal.com website. He’s aware of/in touch with most of the big names, and essentially the pre-eminent aikido historian (might even be the guy to interview). There’s lots who straddle both worlds, including Prof John Stevens.

  3. Ted Meissner Ted Meissner says:

    Excellent idea. I’ve not read anything from John Stevens in years, but used to be familiar with some of his work.

  4. Grateful Ape says:

    One final point: this guy went from zen to aikido, rather than the other way around (and is quite an eloquent communicator): http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/07/07/book-review-alister-gillies-tenchi-building-a-bridge-between-heaven-and-earth-by-ken-jeremiah/

  5. Jennifer Hawkins Jennifer Hawkins says:

    The Buddhist Police Support Network link seems to be down. =(

    I finally got a chance to listen to this episode today and thought what he was doing was amazing. I wanted to check it out and add it to my article, but it seems his site no longer exists. Something like this needs to get going again!

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