Like most people attracted to spirituality, my own inner journey has been one of looking for something that would help me deal with, and heal from, deep seated trauma, emotional pain and an overactive mind, that at times almost drove me to suicide.
I tried many different approaches along the way including a variety of new age stuff, 5rhythms dance, yoga, 12 step programs, therapy, and over a decade studying and practicing Tibetan Buddhism.
I met many beautiful teacher's, guides and therapists on workshops, courses and festivals. All of this helped tremendously and I am deeply grateful for it all.
However it wasn't until I discovered heart based non duality that I knew this was the truth that I had been seeking.
What made this approach so very different from everything else I had previously tried was its very direct and immediate questioning of the identity upon which all of the stories and mind based dramas are based.
It encouraged a completely fresh and naked approach, and a very radical shift in who and what I had been taking myself to be.
It also encouraged a facing and embracing of all aspects of the human condition, and an allowance of everything to be as it is, without becoming identified with any of it.
It was very refreshing that there were not too many learnt practices, stiff disciplines, or secret techniques to undertake. Just a simple willingness to be still, and quiet, and introspect.
It felt natural, genuine and in many ways very pure. With no emphasis on beliefs or learning but simply upon self discovery. It felt very clean to me.
I was also able to consolidate the teachings I had heard by looking at the various mystical branches of the major world religions and discovering that the mystics of Advaita, Sufism, Zen and Christian mysticism were all speaking of a very similar thing.
There seemed to be a very particular and consistent thread that ran through all of these traditions, a timeless invitation that superseded race, organised religion and cultural backgrounds.
'You are not what you are taking yourself to be, Find out who you are' See through the veil of the false mind made ‘egoic’ I and come to rest as the true ‘I’ as presence, as awareness, as the Self. This was the message.
Many years down the line as I reflect on this journey of self discovery that began some thirty years ago, I can see that it has been a path of less and not more, a path of taking away and not adding, a path of becoming more simple and less complex.
It has not made me special or more spiritual but more ordinary, more natural, and ultimately more real.
I love the term ‘everyday enlightenment’ because that is what it feels like. Walking in nature, drinking a cup of tea, watching a sunset, being in silence, spending time with loved ones, these things are precious.
I wish I could say the journey had gotten rid of all of the trauma and pain. I wish I could say I never ever get triggered anymore, but that simply wouldn't be true. There is still a deep sensitivity in this body and I am ok with that.
In fact I can see that the trauma and pain are very much part of the journey. They are the main reason that the search began at all, and even today they keep something within me very humble and sincere. I know that without the indwelling presence, I would either be dead, in jail, or medicated in some way.
Ultimately this journey has given me only one thing, the understanding and realisation that whatever arises within me takes place against an unchanging background of space, stillness and silence and I know myself to be that silence.
I also know that the true spiritual heart, which is Presence, can be with everything, including the most painful emotions.
This is the main reason that i teach and hold meetings these days. To support those who are called on the path of self discovery. To offer encouragement, guidance and proof that it is possible to be at peace within yourself even when having to deal with very strong personal conditioning. In fact without the personal struggle there would be no push for self discovery.
There are no promises of specialness, no secret teachings, no hidden practices. Just an open invitation to embrace our humanness from the light of awareness.
Here the journey continues, the willingness to embrace my humanness continues, the willingness to stand as Heart Presence continues, yet it does so without a false self dictating proceedings.
In essence the journey continues, without the idea that the destination is anywhere other than right here, right now.
Special thanks and heartfelt gratitude to all those who share the journey, who attend meetings, either online or in person. Who help with their support in setting up meetings and retreats, who have expertise in technical areas, with making the meetings more available.
Thanks also to those who invite me to stay in their houses, who invite me to speak at events, who help with editing videos and books, and who ultimately remind me that this path is one of self honesty, simplicity, and naturalness.