The help I offer has a starting point in meditation. I believe that meditation offers a sanctuary for self-exploration and the opening of the heart, and shows how it is possible to find the sanctuary within yourself.
This self-exploration takes place in a weekly guided meditation group. I also offer help in one-to-one consultations.
The group meets in a room dedicated for meditation near the Angel, London EC1. Most meetings last about two hours.
The aim is to create a safe space for those interested in spirituality and meditation to gather and withdraw from the hectic pace of daily life.
The gathering is structured around a guided visualisation meditation, which I lead.
As a prelude to the meditation,
- I read texts that I have chosen from ancient and contemporary mystics across many different traditions, and we discuss their themes
- we explore how those themes are relevant to our lives at the moment,
- we raise any issues in our lives which we wish to air and give a sense of how we are feeling.
‘Journeys bring power and love
back into you. If you can’t go somewhere,
move in the passageways of the self.
They are like shafts of light,
always changing; and you change when you explore them’
— Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-73), trans. barks and Moyne
I then improvise the visualisation meditation around a core structure to be able to incorporate ideas raised during the discussion. The meditation takes the participant on a journey to move from the busy world of everyday life and gain the strength to open the heart and connect with the whole of creation.
The meditation explores core techniques of transformation such as sending roots deep into the core of the earth to draw up power and the ability to shift shape. As the journey deepens, the guidance moves into silence for a while to allow each participant the space and time for their own exploration.
Here is a recording of one of the guided meditations:
The way I can help in private one-to-one sessions is by:
- acting as a careful, sympathetic listener,
- intuiting the real issues you are facing,
- creating an energetic connection to assist you in working through blockages and fears and finding more freedom to express your true authentic self
‘As a bee sucks nectar from all kinds of flowers,
seek teachings everywhere;
Like a deer that finds a quiet place to graze,
Seek seclusion to digest all that you have gathered;
Like a madman beyond all limits, go wherever you please,
And live like a lion, completely free from fear’
— Tibetan Buddhist Tantra
Dissolving the fears which govern your actions and feelings is like unpeeling layers of the onion which cover up your true self. As the fears are released, you become ever more free to act according to your true desires. You can break patterns of reaction programmed from early experiences in life or from the burden of ancestral influences and past lives.
Very often, the real issues which are inhibiting us only emerge during the work. The fears may seem obviously related to everyday practical matters ( e.g. fear of making a mistake) or to you in relationship with others or your working career and livelihood. There may also be deeply seated fears relating to progressing with your spiritual evolution and connection with the divine. Identifying the issue which is the prime limiting factor to concentrate on requires careful listening and the use of my intuition, rather than applying any analytical schema.
The journey to dissolve the fears involves drawing on the spiritual teachings of the masters. It also involves establishing an energetic connection between us.
The role of love and compassion, and of accepting life as it is at the moment, are amongst the core themes of spirituality.
‘I have just three things to teach:
Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thought,
You return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
You accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
You reconcile all beings in the world.’
— Lao-tzu (571-? BCE) trans Mitchell
Other ideas we might explore would include:
- the aspiration to detachment from desires and outcomes and to ego death and how these can be reconciled with continuing to act in the world,
- the importance of wholeness and embracing the shadow,
- the role of emotion,
and many others.
As a crucial complement to reflecting on the teachings of the masters, it is the practices which help train our body, mind and spirit to embody those lessons that bring about personal transformation. The embodiment will be assisted by establishing an energetic connection between us, whether through meditation together in the session, or through other modalities I have been trained in. I will also suggest ways of maintaining the practices and connection between sessions, so that the work of transformation is continuous.
My own journey
My adult life has involved transitions similar to those you may seek guidance for. I studied Philosophy and German literature at university, then spent 17 years working for an investment bank in the City of London. I stopped working at an institution when I turned 40 to be more in control of my own life. I was still an adviser, working independently, for the next 17 years. My commercial involvement was giving financial and strategy advice mostly to publishers. My pro bono work involved sitting on the Boards of several arts organisations covering the areas of theatre, classical music, contemporary dance, decorative arts and old master museums. I found it very fulfilling helping to reconcile the financial constraints and artistic aspirations of these organisations and also mentoring individual artists.
During this phase of my life, a wide-ranging personal crisis led to a spiritual awakening. This was an internal realization that, rather than scientific materialism, it is the essential oneness of the whole of creation, rooted in a divine source, which expresses the true underlying nature of the cosmos. This awakening led me to many routes of personal transformation which treat the body, mind and soul as deeply interconnected. With the guidance of my teachers, I was introduced to the thinking of the spiritual masters of all the great wisdom traditions and to meditation. At the right moment I was also introduced to various healing modalities, past life regressions, transformational breathing and to other practitioners taking retreats covering a great variety of themes. All my teachers have worked syncretically, taking influences from a range of traditions, and that is how I also work.
Helping and guiding others in their evolution has emerged naturally from my own spiritual journey, and more recently I resigned all my external appointments to concentrate on this, the third incarnation in my working life.
If you would like to try out the meditation group or discuss your own life journey in a one-to-one consultation, please contact me initially on firstname.lastname@example.org.