For me personally it begins with my first memories. As a small child I remembered being somewhere else and choosing to come here to write the book I have now written, and others before and after.
The internal knowledge of this has helped to make me resilient in this life, as obviously, if I remember being somewhere else before here, then this life cannot be a single event, and there is nothing to fear from death, as it is only a step into somewhere else again, some other adventure!
So to me spirituality is about being part of the vast infinite universe and everything in it. I feel that all plants and animals are brethren, all peoples and cultures. There is no reason to feel separate from anything; any feeling of separation is only an illusion for us to learn to let go of. Maybe we have to feel kind of separate first to define ourselves and figure out how we want to live, but then we can open up to the rest, and gradually collapse apparent opposites. In my main book “No Paradox – Living both in and outside the Matrix”, I speak of this theory, and of how we can widen our vision to include stuff outside of the usual net of existence, the limiting beliefs that are often given us from an early age or through narrow experience perpetuated by immersion in a narrow social narrative. Basically it is about consciously evolving our own consciousness so that we are no longer stuck in a limited reality and can thus ultimately stop reacting to that previously perceived limitation. In another book “A little book on ‘Mastery’”, I write more on how we can learn to master ourselves to enable us to live more and more often in a higher state of consciousness. I teach and create meditations to help people, but I think mindfulness is a fantastically simple way to make this whole area more easily accessible to many more people who might find the idea of meditation a bit complicated. It is fantastic news that it has been so widely embraced, and is being used in so many settings, where I know it can make a huge difference to people’s awareness and wider consciousness. I think it might even change humanity permanently for the better, especially with the younger generation growing up with it.
I was lucky enough to have my special memory of being somewhere else, so I was always open to a wider reality than most, and I was very lucky too to have an amazing upbringing with lots of travel and usually living close to nature. Sometimes my family engaged in philosophical discussions after dinner, but mostly they were more logical or science based, and I developed my own sense of spirituality through immersing myself in nature, and through reading.
When I was very young, we lived on the west coast of Ireland and I used to gaze out to sea or run on the beach as a toddler and feel joyful at being a part of it all. When we went to live in South Africa, I was just 6, and I got really close to nature in the Natal Drakensberg mountains. Wild animals would come and let me touch them, trees and streams seemed to talk. I was always pretty independent, and although often with my younger brothers, I also spent a lot of time alone.
In later years I became a healer and dowser, and can sense many things going on in the subtle energy fields of people, animals, plants, and other natural objects. I can even feel things from great distances, such as when dowsing on a map of somewhere on the other side of the world. One of my brothers is a full time dowser and works all over the world. He was trained as a Geologist but later discovered this ability, and also taught me, but he is far more able than I am at using this skill. At times I have worked with him, and sometimes I have worked on my own. When I have been finding water on people’s land, sometimes they have asked me to also dowse on a historical site for them. I told them I know nothing about history but they said don’t worry, we will ask the questions, you just tell us what you feel in response. Well, I found I had a sort of multi-sensory film going on in my head, of the past, including smell and even taste. Apart from seeing a village with people coming and going, I could also smell the animals and the straw and taste wood smoke, and was able to answer their questions to their satisfaction. When healing someone I can sense a lot about what is going on in the body, where energy is tangled or blocked and how to untangle or release it, or if it is inflamed how to cool it, for example. I can also often find an emotional reason for a blockage, which the body literally gives me a message about when I am working with a blocked area. Then when I ask them about this, such as in one example – “Do you have a sister that you have a lot of trouble with?” – the client answered “Oh my gosh yes!”, which then enabled us to explore all that and find answers to help her gradually deal with the issue. (I did train as a counsellor and life coach soon after I finished my 2 year full healer training. I found a local healing group which was part of an international organisation that I trained with. I went on to help train others and act as a regional representative for them, and then also chaired that large group for a couple of years. Since then I have also done other training such as Nutritional Therapy, and Thai Hand & Foot Massage, all of which helps me help others, and myself, with overall well-being. Now, as I work part time as a carer for PMLD people, I thought Mindfulness in Mental Health would be a good course to add, as I am ever curious to learn more. I’m also an artist, as well as a writer and poet, so I’m doing the Art Therapy course next. My poetry and art is also mostly a means for expressing my love of nature, including our amazing bodies and minds, and my sense of a wider spiritual connection.)
I revel in taking notice of nature with all its beauty, and accept that it can also seem cruel sometimes, but it all makes sense if you can step back and view the bigger picture, realise that all sides of the coin are necessary to enable existence of anything at all. I enjoy even supposedly inanimate objects, such as stones, and feel that they are imbued with energy of some kind, there is energy in everything, which I can feel. Even man made things contain signatures from those who made them, those who came in contact with them, and from any natural constituents, etc.
There seems to me to be a current or life force running through everything, but it varies greatly depending on the state of each thing – stones seem to be slow and steady, for example, giving a sense of time, history, and patience. An object linked to a nasty incident, or place where something terrible happened, seems to bear a shocking imprint of that event. If you can stand calm in the face of this, you can glean information from it. Trees seem to speak to me of their growth, water and wind of their travels, and the earth itself has a deep thrum of life giving energy. Fire seems to represent passion but also the burning off of things no longer needed to make way for the new, a kind of rebirth. I adore the sun, and enjoy arid desert territories, as well as beaches, but I also so love being in water, woods, or mountains so very much. Icy cold places do not appeal to me as I feel the cold badly, however there is a profound sense of purity in these landscapes, in a similar way to in deserts, or on high mountain planes – perhaps due to the open unspoilt space common to all of these. Open space is something I am lucky enough to have enjoyed many times in my life, and is the main thing I miss while living in England (plus I really do not enjoy the winters here). I think that unspoilt open space feels so spiritual to me partly because of my appreciation of it as a kid, but also partly because it is a bit like the open space of the wider universe, which also feels like the open space in our mind we can attain through meditation. It feels as if the far reaches could expand forever, that there is unlimited potential for life and consciousness.
So to me, this sense of spirituality feels far greater than any religion. Religion seems to be possibly a small part of it for some people, but not for me. If I had to choose a religion, it would be Buddhism, but it is entirely against my nature to try to fit into boxes. To me this spirituality also includes any ideas of both evolution and creation, I think they are both part of one continuing cycle really. To me there is no either / or, everything is interlinked. When I meditate, first my mind empties of little thoughts, then it opens up to this vast sense of beingness in an infinite universe, which seems to be just as much inside of me as all around me, swirling gently, reassuring me, and giving me access to incredible inspiration, healing energy, and knowledge. As far as I can tell, a lot of humanity’s breakthroughs stem from this mystical inspiration, since many scientists, such as Einstein, have alluded to it. (There is a great collection of mystical essays from great physicists collected by Ken Wilber about this.)
I don’t claim to understand how all this works, but my many experiences of using the energy, inspiration and knowledge in diverse situations speak for themselves. Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself, but I can’t question the results. It feels loving as well, but as to why, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is simply that if it is all around me and inside of me, it basically is me, as well as you. It must be life itself, the source of all.
Maybe for me it is also partly a sense of having come from out there somewhere, a sense of love for my other home. Strangely I don’t feel a need to try to find out from where exactly, I just feel peaceful about it. I am happy to have the opportunity to explore the wonders right here, and reflect my sense of spirituality through all my work. Perhaps I am simply bearing some tiny witness to this extraordinary range of life and environments, and to the energy surrounding, suffusing, and sustaining it all.