I lived in a parallel universe after arriving in Australia. On one hand I was making way in the photo business, and on the other I had embarked on a much more personal journey. As is the case with many artists and creatives, living a kind of schizophrenic double life is a natural way of being, and for some maintaining their balance along this tight rope walk is a constant struggle. I was determined not to be one of them.
Having left England with some excess psychological baggage, it was natural to want to unpack some of the issues that were simmering just below the surface of my awareness. Enrolling in a weekend personal development course was another pivotal life changing moment, something I had long resisted before emigrating.
It was run by Insight Seminars, an organisation created by John Roger, a prominent western mystical teacher at the time. A large group of us were holed up in a hotel in Sydney for 2 days of intensive teaching and practice. At the start I saw a lot of hiding and resistance, but by the end there was a massive outpouring of feeling as two large concentric circles holding hands and facing each other moved in opposite directions allowing sustained eye contact with each person in the opposite circle. The tears flowed down the face of everyone there and I witnessed how a simple change in perspective from fear to love could powerfully transform the world.
I had found keys to some very stubborn locks in my own consciousness and light started to shine through a chink in a tightly locked and rusty old door. I could breathe again. As all the difficult years started to unravel, some space inside started to open up. That was the beginning of a lifelong process as one of my great teachers attests:
"The more you know yourself, the more clarity there is. Self knowledge has no end, you don't come to a conclusion. It is an endless river" J Krishnamurti.
These transformational events were shaping the ideas I was having for my personal work that is the foundation of Sahaja.
Image: Refugee Tibetan Buddhist nuns at a refuge in Dharamsala, India taken for a sponsorship push by the Tibetan Women's Association.