” You are old, father William, the young man said,
and your hair has turned very white,
and yet, you continually stand on your head.
Do you think, at your age, it is right?” Apologies to Lewis Carrol.
Well, that just about sums it up!
On a recent North Carolina course, I was grilled by the students for a biography. Nearing 80, I had forgotten most of it but judicious questions from my wife, who bravely attended the course, mostly starting “yes but, what about when……” got some of it out of me. At least, the bits I was prepared to remember.
I am married to Barbara and in British understatement, this is a good thing! I was married before and each of those ventures seemed like a good thing at the time. This one gets better. The others got worse. Be an optimist, anyone who is not sure; kiss a few toads!
We have 4 children, three of mine and one of hers. There are 10 grandchildren last time I counted…. I include grand-nephews/nieces.
We live in a tiny cottage in the south of England and have a lovely garden. A passion of both of us. I grow organic vegetables and she grows flowers.
Career-wise, it appears from records that I have been a clerk (for my Dad); a rubber-planter in Malaya; a soldier in the jungle; an international film distribution executive (great expense account); a dealer in Bruce Lee pictures; an organic food store manager; a counsellor; a psychotherapist; an acupuncturist; a Craniosacral therapist ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and whatever the future will bring.
I have been a therapist for about 40 years.
I have been a Buddhist for about 40 years.
All the above and some others that I wont bother you with, is called compost. Oh, and I used to be an athlete, but that was a really long time ago, now I feel very mortal..
It all comes together in what I try to teach which is, in the meaning of words of the Buddha, that enlightenment is in the body. Right here and right now.
The felt sense of this started emerging when I trained in Craniosacral Therapy with Franklyn Sills in his early teaching days before the Karuna Institute was formed. I much valued that teaching –and still do- it has lead me to evolve my own style, just as he evolved his, out of his previous work. I wish everyone would teach their own story rather than recycle someone else’s with the inevitable consequent loss of integrity.
I hope the following work will eventually reveal that the essence of what I now see the work as being is surrender. Briefly, and this will expand as we go along, the surrender of Intellect to Intelligence. It is a good deal; new lamps for old or, in this case the limited constructs of the personal, for the infinite potential of the communality.
This is the path. This is the road that hopefully, we shall explore together.
I teach a series of courses over a number of modules, which gradually step down to working totally, in the present, from the Stillness of the unknown, i.e. that which has not yet come into form. The form that defines and limits; currently I do this, on a regular basis in the US, the UK, Italy, Spain and Ireland.
I deeply love my family, my work, my students, my surroundings, and I tend to be workaholic. I have instructions from higher authority about that and must slow down. This means that I shall, in the long term, make less and less long-haul flights, which I find exhausting and will focus on running a) the new teaching facility which we is now open in France, since October 2009, to take the place of Duncton Mill where we were asked for a 85% rent increase to renew our five-year lease! and b) teaching and co-writing this with you.
Clinically, I went from reasonable success in working with infertility in women to working with babies, where I am slightly controversial in some quarters as I trust their intelligence, not my intellect. I learned the stuff I teach adults from working with babies. Not the other way round.
I have spoken at the Breath of Life Conferences in the UK and the US on several occasions and gave a keynote talk in Spain last year on the occasion of the Association’s tenth anniversary. I am a member of various teaching faculties.
Over the last several years, the teaching has evolved, out of input from students, away from the benignly mechanical, to the completely revelationary.
There is, with your help, much more to explore, in this quest to expand awareness. Awareness, not only of the nature of who we really are but further, the health that is the ground of that nature.
Among those from whom I have learned, and continue to learn so much are, chronologically;
Milarepa, tearaway and Saint, in sequence.
Carl Gustav Jung, visionary.
Joe Redfern Psycho-analyst and.Jungian training analyst.
Prof. Jack Worsley, who understood the meaning of presence. Acupuncturist.
Irina Tweedie, A Sufi who walked her talk.
Chogyam Trungpa, tearaway and Saint in parallel. Dzogchen Buddhist.
Ian Gordon Brown, who put me in touch with reality. Transpersonal psychology teacher.
Franklyn Sills, who put me in touch with levels, in the body. Craniosacral teacher.
James Low, psychotherapist, Buddhist scholar, supervisor and friend.
I am all of these and none of these. I stand on their shoulders-in gratitude.