Here is a little about myself and my own spiritual journey. I hope that some of the aspects of spirituality that I found inspiring might be of benefit to you too.
I first got into spirituality when I was about 18 years old through reading books like the Celestine Prophecy and Conversations with God (both highly recommended). These books opened my eyes and my mind and heart to a whole new world. I felt deeply called towards the spiritual path and read all the spiritual books I could get access to at the time.
The next major breakthrough occurred for me when I attended a 10-day silent meditation retreat at the age of 20. This was a Vipassana retreat (with Goenka) which focused on bringing attention to the breath and body sensations. I had hardly done any meditation before so doing this 12 hours a day for 10 days was a pretty intense journey! I emerged from the retreat feeling like a deep shift had occurred inside and I felt a bliss I had not experienced before. I only realised years later the deeper significance of that first retreat. It set a process in motion within me and my body and a lot of emotional baggage just fell away quite effortlessly over the next few years. I see now that this is a natural result of the Vipassana training that teaches you to just be aware and not react to what arises, which allows old emotions to surface and clear out of the body quite naturally.
Over the next 20 years I explored various kinds of meditation and spiritual practices. I completed a Philosophy degree at Melbourne University which birthed a great interest in Buddhism and other Asian traditions such as Hinduism and Taoism. The writings of the Advaita Vedanta (non-duality) tradition particularly moved me. The most famous teacher associated with this tradition is Ramana Maharshi who you may have come across. Though it was a book by Nissargatta Maharaj called ‘I Am That’ which really affected me the most. I read this book over and over and carried it round with me for about 4 years. I see now that sitting with the incredibly deep and profound writings in this book really deepened my understanding and experience of being at peace naturally and effortlessly (as you can imagine, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!).
I began a regular meditation practice that has continued in various forms until today. I studied Buddhism and became particularly interested in Zen. I attended regular zazen (Zen meditation) sessions for several years. More recently I have been blessed with studying the teachings of several modern-day teachers such as Adyashanti, Isaac Shapiro, Gangagi and Douglas Harding who are all generally associated with non-duality and awareness teachings. As time has passed a deep and permanent sense of peace has grown within me that now feels like a constant background and container for all experience.
Having found a place of deep and lasting peace within myself through this journey, I felt moved to share this place with others. So I created my book, this website and the ‘Wide Awake’ YouTube channel to make this offering in the hope that it benefits people just like you.
In humble gratitude for all I have learned, and the wonderful opportunity of sharing this peace with you.
Wishing you well on your unique journey to peace!!