I grew up in Marrar, (not to be confused with Mara the buddhist mythological figure) a farming community north of Wagga Wagga in country NSW. Marrar is a great community and I still love going there, but there was always a sense there was more to life and I found myself really curious to find out what that might be. So after a few years on the family farm, some travelling in Europe and studying computers at CSU I went looking. In 1991, I started meditation with The School of Philosophy, which led to yoga and then, Goenkaji's vipassana and then India in 1995. First stop in India was Bodhgaya, the place where the Buddha awakened under the Bodhi tree. As soon as I walked into the Mahabodhi temple, the place where the Bodhi tree is, I felt like I had come home. Here, I heard my first Insight Meditation dharma talk and I was hooked. It touched me deeply and tears flowed as I realised that without knowing it, I had waited my whole life to hear these sweet teachings. Thank-you Mike Kewley. It always touches me to look back on that time.
Apart from a year at Gaia House and some time with Kittisaro and Thanissara in South Africa in 1997-8, India then largely became a refuge and home and supported me through many long meditation & yoga retreats and much extended spiritual practice until 2007. In this time I was blessed to be involved with the annual Insight meditation retreats with Christopher Titmuss at the Thai temple in Bodhgaya and Sarnath and also with Jaya and Ajay from Opendharma at various venues in India.
Once back in Australia, it became clear I needed to understand more about the healing of the psyche and this lead to Hakomi therapy training, a Buddhist, Taoist based body therapy that continues to be a major source of inspiration. Other formal trainings have included Eco-Therapy with Dave Talamo, Internal Family Systems, Voice Dialogue and Relationship Therapy with Terry Real, a training to work with couples.
Over the years I've also studied and benefitted from Plant medicines and shamanic practices, Yoga, Qigong, The Diamond Approach, Voice Dialogue, Integrated Awareness, Common Ground for Men and completed initial leadership trainings with The Pathways to Manhood program among quite a few others. I continue to be open to learning and have a "whatever works" approach to new possibilities. In recent years James Baraz, Reggie Ray and Robert Masters have been influential.
I'm forever grateful to Jaya and Ajay from Opendharma for showing me the subtleties of meditation practice and who along with Christopher Titmuss, encouraged me to teach. I wouldn't be here without the tireless dedication of Christopher Titmuss to teaching and pushing others to also teach when they are ready. Diane Long lovingly helped tear my ideas of yoga apart and leave them aside. A deep bow to you all and anyone I've missed out.