Recycled Paper

Contemplative Practice

Do not try to become anything.

Do not make yourself into anything.

Do not be a meditator.

Do not become enlightened.

When you sit, let it be.

When you walk, let it be.

Grasp at nothing.

Resist nothing.

 

~ Ajahn Chah

I first came to contemplative practice in my early twenties, during a time of pilgrimage in India. My own training for the past twenty-five years has been predominantly in the Insight Meditation tradition where my primary teachers have been Christina Feldman and Joseph Goldstein. This training has included many periods of intensive silent retreat practice in Europe, Asia and North America. Study with Robert Aitken Roshi (one of the founders of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship) and Joanna Macy has been influential in my understanding of the inseparability of contemplative practice and issues of social justice and ecological sustainability. In recent years the work of Toni Packer and John Tarrant have also been influential in how I teach.

 

Although I make use of traditional teaching around the four foundations of mindfulness, I teach contemplative practice as an organic and very natural capacity of the mind, rather than as a practice within any particular tradition or religion. The emphasis in my teaching is in opening to this natural and organic nature of awareness, as well as the recognition of what obscures this.

As with all my work, I offer contemplative practice within the context of the times we are living through. I am involved with other teachers and activists in exploring the ways practice can bring resilience in our engagement, and how engagement in turn can deepen and broaden our practice. I am particularly drawn to offer retreats in the outdoors, combining elements of nature-based practice with contemplative practice. I currently teach at various retreat centres and organizations in the UK and Europe.

DSC00095.JPG