About My Work
I work with people to facilitate awakening and healing.
I believe in wholeness – that all of experience is valid and we need to include and validate the full richness of our inner worlds, how we engage in relationships and how we connect with the outer world.
I don’t teach a belief system. My guiding philosophy is that life is complicated and difficult for pretty much everyone and we’re all generally operating from a sincere desire for ourselves and others to be well.
All of my work is based on this understanding of life and is working towards creating more ease, wellbeing, connection, depth, resilience, understanding and care in the world, amongst other things.
Here are the ways in which I do that.
My meditation teaching so far has focused on heart practices, interpersonal practices and the imaginal.
I teach with the Dharmagarage, which is free to join and participate in. They sit regularly on weekday mornings and at weekends we take it in turns to offer teaching. Here are some of my recorded talks and meditations.
I run retreats in collaboration with my friends David and Joost. You can find out more about that here.
Shamanic Journeying & Shamanic Interpersonal Meditation
I often use this as a tool with my teaching and coaching.
Depending on the people and the situation, shamanic journeying can be used for different purposes – to explore a specific topic or question, to create more presence, to open up new ways of being and experiencing, to deepen a connection between people, to process trauma, to reintegrate shadows or just as a fun and interesting experience.
The format is fairly simple and yet deeply profound. It usually opens up a new part of experience for people that they didn’t realise existed.
It involves journeying into the archetypal realm together, where things are more symbolic and there is more freedom to express what is inside of us.
It is built on a foundation of compassionate presence for the real experiences and challenges in our life.
When I am working one-to-one with someone, I normally frame it as an interpersonal meditation, where we drop into a meditative state and then journey together through a shared conversation.
Sometimes, we have the conversation first and then meditate to some music. This also works well in a group setting.
During the meditation we may experience visualisations, emotions, energetic sensations and thoughts that tell a story or bring a sense of clarity. Afterwards we share the journey we went on and can explore what this might mean to each person.
I like to encourage people to focus on a symbol or something to remember that can bring them back to any insight they have connected with, so that they can carry this forward into their life and reconnect with the way of being that this opened up for them, which is often in a softer and more mystical space.
I work with people both regularly on a long-term basis and as a one-off on specific challenges or situations.
My coaching is about awakening and healing, increasing the ability to be present with what is really going on in experience. This can be highly mystical or it can be incredibly grounded.
When I am working with people they will talk to me about practice, life, emotions, relationships, their philosophies, their work and more. This is all part of experience so it feels important that people are able to explore the aspects that feel most relevant and important to them at this moment in their life.
It is much more important that people feel safe, open and able to connect with me than I am perceived as some kind of technical expert.
Awakening is ultimately a way to deepen our connection with ourselves and life, so the process itself needs to facilitate this. Healing is the process of creating more ease in our experience.
Both of these can make life much more rewarding and meaningful but it requires a bit of courage to show up and be present with reality as it really is in your experience.
My coaching has the capacity to be deeply transformational for people who are ready to make changes to their life and practice.
This is a list of things I consider myself to be an expert on. I have fully integrated them in my own practice and understand how they apply more universally, both intellectually and at an embodied level.
My process has included applying these beliefs and ways of being to a wide range of life situations, including very mundane ones and incredibly challenging ones. Integrity is one of my key values and it’s important to me that my beliefs and ideas hold up to reality.
I can talk about all of these topics with a huge amount of depth, precision and clarity.
When I do talk about them I’m almost always riffing – describing them in a way that feels most relevant to the moment – rather than repeating myself or quoting other people.
When I am coaching someone I’m using this knowledge and experience to first listen deeply to what someone is sharing in order to get a good understanding of their experience and then to share the things that I believe will be relevant and helpful, in a way that I believe will resonate with that person.
All of these things are an important part of the puzzle of both individual and collective awakening.
These are the topics that I consider myself to be an expert on:
- The heart states, including meditative practices and connecting with life from them
- Physical and psychological safety and how providing these in a practice setting can facilitate faster and deeper awakening
- Releasing energy and emotional blocks
- Harnessing desire in a wholesome way
- Transforming relationships to psychological issues and releasing trauma
- Somatisation – how trauma presents in different aspects of our being and how this can be worked with very directly in meditation practices
- Working with your personality type for practice and life (for example, Myers-Briggs, archetypal preferences etc.)
- The mythic and working with the subconscious
- The world as a magical place and how to engage with this while holding it lightly
- Creativity as a deep practice
- Imaginal practice
- Energy bodies and different types of energy
- Eros – the different types and how to work with it skilfully
- Empowerment – reclaiming energy from unhelpful dynamics
- Developing presence
- Making practice a pleasure
- Using music in practice
- Cultivating joy (including remembering the true definition of sympathetic joy™)
- Cultivating wisdom
- Cultivating gratitude
- Integrating psychedelic experiences into practice and life
- The nature of reality and how this applies to practice and everyday life
- Non-duality and the different ways this can manifest and be accessed
- Interdependent origination and emptiness in Vajrayana practice
- Time and the different aspects of it
- Holding paradoxes
- Navigating relationships
- Navigating work and the modern world
- Moving towards non-hierarchical working and the importance of this for fighting oppression and for the liberation of all beings
- Learning deep listening and how to hold compassionate presence
- Wholeness and working with shadows to integrate them
- Navigating dark night territory and altered states of consciousness
- Removing the boundaries between life, work and practice
- What practice can and can’t do with regards to changing our relationship to suffering
- Becoming your own guide and engaging with teachers from an empowered place
- Clarifying desires, intentions and visions for life, practice and deep service to the world
- Creating an inner compass for life and practice and aligning around this
- Discernment and the capacity to say no
- Interpersonal practices
- Resolving or working with conflict
- Moving from a place of deep care and respect for ourselves, our bodies and the environment
- Rebalancing the inner masculine and feminine
- Reducing projections and increasing ability to receive reality as it is
- Phenomenology of practice
- Tuning into spaciousness and creating room for allowing
- Deep meditative states
- Interconnection – in practice and life
- Creating belonging and building a home in connection with each other – the only place we can rest
Things I Am Not An Expert On
- Types of formal practice (samatha, vipassana etc.)
- Stages of insight
- Religious frameworks of any kind
Things I Don’t Believe In
That awakening is going to solve all your problems or that practice can end someone’s suffering.
That there is an ultimate truth or end goal that we can arrive at. Although there are clear milestones that people can experience that will change their relationship to life irreversibly, it is all just a process that we are experiencing in connection with the environment around us. The final outcome of awakening is realising this on a deeper and deeper level. We never arrive at a final conclusion or step out of this process.
Things You Need
If I am working with you, it will need a few things from you for it to work effectively:
1. Willingness to let go of religious frameworks – it’s ok if these are useful for you, but if you use terminology for describing the types of practices you do or experiences you have had I will ask you to also explain things in your own words. I find this gives a much richer, more interesting and more specific picture of what is happening in your experience and allows us to connect on a human-to-human level, which is where awakening happens.
2. Some kind of daily or regular practice. It can be very formal or very informal but you need to be able to set aside some time to be present on a regular basis if you want to see consistent changes.
If you’re struggling to maintain a regular practice we can work with that but there needs to be some kind of desire for and commitment to developing one that suits you and your goals.
3. Being comfortable with a non-hierarchical approach. I prefer the term coach (or spirit guide!) to teacher. Ultimately you are responsible for your practice, I am there to support you in your journey and explorations.
4. The desire to change and the willingness to go out of your comfort zone, to challenge your preconceptions and to be vulnerable.
Change and growth comes from these things. While people often report moments of relief and validation, where they feel they can put down something heavy that they have been carrying, most of my work involves people facing something emotionally difficult, working with a part of life they find hard or them completely changing their perspective on something.
It requires courage and vulnerability to get to these break-throughs.
Most people take away a list of practices or things they want to experiment with in life after each session.
Money & Vision
I offer all these sessions for free. I love doing them and in the spirit of my belief system, all my teachings are offered freely. Donations are welcome.
I work a part-time job in order to support my ability to do this. I’m not very motivated by money and I’m lucky to have a meaningful job that fits around being able to do this as my passion. I do hope that someday it becomes sustainable to make this my full time work.
I remember the first time I listened to a talk about Dana on retreat I was moved to tears. The concept that people were giving money, not based on the cost of something but on the value that it had brought them felt incredibly beautiful to me and something severely lacking in our culture.
Knowing what you really value and backing that up with money or action is incredibly powerful.
My ultimate vision is to run retreats that can transform peoples’ lives in an incredibly short space of time.
Not retreats where people are escaping from their lives, but a place where they can bring their own visions and ideas of how they would like to engage with the world, along with their challenges, and this becoming part of the practice.
Rather than this serving as a distraction from spiritual and meditative practice it is my experience that if people are encouraged to show up with their whole selves, they are able to go much deeper into their practice much quicker.
I want to create a place for people to have the opportunity to change how they engage with other people, themselves and their lives. As well as a place for people to do deep and insightful practice.
I would like to create an embodied experience for people that will not only change their lives, but that will create a ripple effect through the world, by helping them become healthy role models, leaders and activists for the causes they care about.
I would like to think that I am starting to do this in small ways through my coaching and teaching.
Ultimately, I would like it if this became a retreat centre or manifested in a form that could support some kind of community of teachers.
One of my biggest joys in life is collaboration and the camaraderie of working on ambitious projects with friends. I would love for this to be a larger part of my life.
Part of my personal belief system is that I trust where I am in life. I am enjoying connecting with people on the journey and am confident that the stars will align to make the vision happen in the way that is most deeply of service to the world.
I feel that it is worth acknowledging that I am very young to have cultivated this depth of insight and experience (I’m 30).
I have been through an extraordinarily intense and fast awakening process that took me to every edge of human consciousness and existence. This is combined with a series of very challenging life experiences (more than most people experience in a lifetime), which has given me a depth and maturity that a lot of people never reach.
I have been deeply humbled by my experiences and one of my core beliefs is that only you can know what your own experience is. I have a deep respect for that.
I ask for that respect in return, both for myself and for others.
I am an agreeable person and I’m pretty good at navigating difficult conversations. However, when I see people in roles of responsibility who are asserting power over others unnecessarily or undermining people, I will stand up to it and I may destroy them, in the most loving way possible.