One of the ways I think about myself is as a guide. I like new territory to explore. And then I like to guide others through those spaces, helping their exploration. I’ve guided people on walks in the hills, on journeys through their psychological past, and on explorations of their spiritual development.
I am a guide who has been guided. Over the years many friends, and also writers and practitioners like Ken Wilber, Arnie Mindell and Thich Nhat Hanh, have been guides for me, kept me challenged, and helped me understand.
I’ve mostly lived in the UK, including Leeds, Oxford, Sheffield, and, for the last 32 years, Bentham, near Lancaster.
I’ve earned my living in community work, being a psychotherapist, in the voluntary sector, and in public health. And other bits and pieces.
As a child I read voraciously and have continued that exploration into knowledge and new worlds ever since. Three years studying English at Jesus College, Oxford gave me a grounding in scholarship, and a delight in the creative playfulness of our minds.
My books are a series of reports back from my explorations into the challenges life sets me. Sometimes this is a playful process, sometimes a wrestling match.
While I have dabbled periodically in poetry over the years, these current poems all came in a rush in the six years after May 2010. That’s when Mary, my partner of 25 years, and I got married. So thanks in particular to my beloved wife for her creative inspiration.
I heard this question one time in the island grove,
where we were gathered in the early morning:
‘How does a perfect teaching work?’
An offering dropped gently into my being,
as though into the clarity of water;
it was itself as transparent as water
so that its slow progress down was visible
only as the slightest ripple in the stillness
at a certain depth,
the offering transformed in a moment
into shimmering blues and greens and reds,
a kaleidoscope of bubbles and colour,
bringing the beauty of the rainbow to my being,
softly exquisite and benign,
lingering on and on and on.