MY professional journey
More than thirty years ago I realised that something was missing and, not knowing where to turn for answers, I began an intensive search.
The first immensely fertile ground that I explored was the work of the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung.
Deeply inspired by Jung, I trained as a clinical psychologist and many answers emerged. My life improved significantly and I went on to establish busy private practices both in Cape Town and, later, in Harley Street, London.
But I still felt that something was missing and I found that I was not alone.
Many, many people feel similarly.
This 'something' that is missing can be experienced in many ways:
As an emptiness
As a feeling of loneliness
As a sense of not 'getting it right'
As an experience that life is not working as you feel or think it should work
As a general sense of unsatisfactoriness
Or even as depression or a sense of meaninglessness
I did not know then what I know now and so I looked to other options within the field of psychology and trained in several forms of psychotherapy.
Many more gems were unearthed but I knew that the search was far from over.
So, I decided to explore a much broader focus.
In the early nineties, I went to a talk in London by the Dalai Lama and was so impressed that it led to a deep exploration of both western and eastern spiritual traditions.
I trained in Transpersonal Psychotherapy - a form of therapy that integrates both psychological and spiritual points of view and I read voraciously, went on workshops and retreats, trained in Buddhist meditation and had my first awakening on a retreat with Ram Dass in the mid-nineties.
This awakening was the beginning of the realisation of a much deeper aspect of myself, an aspect that is intrinsically peaceful, wise, and happy.
But, as happens with most awakenings, the realisation came and went.
Another awakening occurred during an initiation by Khenpo Petse Rinpoche on a Buddhist retreat in 1996.
This realisation came and went too but now I had a deeper sense of what was missing and so the spiritual search intensified.
Real life seldom goes in straight lines and so, in the late 1990's, I found myself drawn to explore the indigenous healing traditions.
I trained as a Vision Quest Guide in the USA and later as a Doctor of Traditional African Medicine in Botswana.
These opened up the subtle realms to me and deepened my understanding of the vital importance of fully embodied experience.
But still something was missing and so the spiritual search continued and, over the last decade, it has been non-dual teachers (particularly Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Nirmala and Loch Kelly) who have enabled me to deepen things enormously.
I am very lucky. I no longer feel that something is missing. The 'seeker' has gone but I continue to learn and to explore.
In retrospect, I can see how all of the threads - all of the experience, all of the learning, all of the pain, all of the 'mistakes' - have led to this moment and I am very grateful for it all.
My work as a spiritual teacher developed gradually.
Over time, I found more and more people coming to me - not so much for psychotherapy or coaching - but for assistance with their spiritual lives.
Some simply wanted to experience the immense value of deep meditation, acceptance, gratitude, kindness or self-compassion.
Others wanted to discover a spiritual path that was right for them.
Some wanted to take the 'big dive' - to awaken to their deepest nature.
And others had already had awakenings and wanted to integrate them in some way.
There were also practitioners of various kinds who wanted to understand and deepen the spiritual and psychological aspects of their work.
The shifts in these clients have been deeply gratifying and I am delighted to be a vehicle for this kind of work.