My search for meaning took me to many teachers and involvement with many human endeavours: formal studies in philosophy and psychology; yoga; self-development workshop leaders; trainers in methods of counselling; social change activism in the peace, environment, women’s, and reconciliation movements; gender studies; spiritual teachers; communities of visionaries for a better society.
I learned many good things, and I played a role in many good outcomes in terms of the development of humanity. But one of the most effective roles I have been able to fill is the one where I am working closely with individuals (sometimes in small groups of individuals) to reach in to themselves and connect with their moment-to-moment experience. For herein lies, not answers in the sense of fixed information, but a process that can be tapped into to go on understanding who we really are, what really matters to us, and what can be done to remove any obstacles in the way of pursuing our goals and dreams.
For when people reach for what they truly value, they tend to become more compassionate. And as they remove obstacles to the following of their own personal values, they draw themselves up to their full height as the better human being that they really are: dignified, responsible, and able to care and think about the planet and their fellow creatures. Their vitality and ability to act on behalf of what they care about, returns. So the solutions to the problems that beset humanity begin to manifest. And this type of solution, whilst it may be slow, seems nowadays to me to be the most lasting and truly respectful one.
When I work with people though, I don’t pre-suppose any particular result: I do my best to sit with them, receptive to what they are experiencing in the moment. My having worked through some tough things myself helps me stay open to whatever experience the other person is having. I have learned some skills in responding to private experience in ways that allow me to get on with building the life I want, and it is those skills which I am eager to share with you. I am not perfect: I still fall into the trap on many occasions of responding to my own inner experience in less than useful ways (so you wont find me being judgmental there); however, I do have some useful skills that I can draw upon (skills in responding usefully to the antics that my mind gets up to!), and also some training in conveying those skills to others.
These days I find life to be a fascinating journey. One of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of my life is having the privilege of being able to share a little of the journey of those who come to me to share their challenges, hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.