Why study mindfulness?
To help you become more relaxed and at ease with yourself, more able to live in the "now", less likely to be caught up in harmful patterns of emotional reactivity and distressing relationship conflict. Mindfulness offers something more than mere stress reduction or cognitive behaviour therapy, though it is often used in conjunction with these therapies.
Why study deeper mindfulness ?
Because mindfulness, as taught in most places, is of limited value. At best, it takes your mind off your troubles, and at worst, it can make you feel responsible for the distress in your life. You can become uncreatively detached from your feelings.
Deeper Mindfulness, on the other hand, goes to the heart of the human condition. It helps you find a deep joy in life. Your life becomes more vivid, creative and fulfilling. It helps you deepen your connection with other people.
Why study with me?
Because I was given a spiritual calling in a near-death experience as a small child. That profound transpersonal event led me on the path to becoming a pastoral counsellor, psychotherapist and teacher. I was one of the first people in England, at just thirty years of age, to qualify as a professional pastoral counsellor and psychotherapist. Since then I have studied psychotherapy and counselling in a very broad range of methodologies and taught professionally in this field for forty years. Most significantly, I received a Kundalini awakening experience called "Shaktipat" by a world teacher called Baba Muktananda in 1981. This was my guiding light on the road to becoming a founding director of The Oxford School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in 1989, as well as the inspiration for my art and poetry.
I have had time since retirement to distill all the learning I attained through psychotherapy and spiritual practice into these courses. They combine aspects of mindfulness, meditation and personal psycho-spiritual development.
What makes deeper mindfulness different and distinctive?
My work covers both eastern and western methods of thought. It provides ways for people to unlock profound teachings, based on thousands of years of philosophical and practical study in the east, and at least a hundred years of scientific research in the west. This material is suitable for people of all religions and none.
What makes me a good teacher?
I have taught in several of the leading universities including Oxford and University College, London and in several therapy training institutes in England. A number of my graduate students have become leaders in their fields of counselling or psychotherapy.
What have I achieved in life that makes my work worthy of study?
- 1973 Graduated in Psychology and Philosophy; first class marks in Philosophy of Mind
- 1974 Qualified as a Teacher
- 1976 Plenary Presenter, First European Congress of Humanistic Psychology, London
- 1978 Plenary Presenter, 2nd European Congress of Humanistic Psychology, Geneva
- 1980 Qualified as a group and individual Psychotherapist.
- 1981 Elected to the Training Committee of Westminster Pastoral Foundation
- 1982 Elected to the Board of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Counselling.
- 1982 Initiated into Siddha Yoga through “Shaktipat”
- 1984 Principle Officer for Group-work for Hammersmith Social Services, London
- 1989 Director of the Oxford School of Psychotherapy and Counselling
- 1992 Elected External Relations Representative UK Council for Psychotherapy
- 1999 Director OPPERA Charitable Trust
- 2001 Director Wombtwin Charitable Trust
- 2002 Guest of Honour, British Psychological Society Annual Conference
- 2002 Guest of Honour, British Association for the Advancement of Science
- 2002 Retired from full time psychotherapy and teaching to create poetry and pictures
- 2003 Plenary Presentation World Embryology Psychology and Psychotherapy Congress
- 2004 “Telling It Like It Is” Book of Poems published
- 2006 Poem Picture Artist of the Year on Flickr Website
- 2007 Presentation to Sylvia Plath 75 Congress Oxford University
- 2010 “A Journey Through Grief” in poetry, prose and pictures, was published
- 2013 Poetry and Pictures at the Ashmolean; Project Director
- 2018 Royal Photographic Society Prize, Science Photo-walk
Creative Arts Credits
- A play published by the UK Arts council and performed in Brighton
- Digital Art and Photography published in an American Art Magazine T.H.E
- Featured in "Universe D'artistes," a French based on-line fine art nude magazine
- Featured in "Oxford Inspires" Celebrating Oxfordshire magazine for “Poetry and Pictures”
- Published poet, with a book of fairy tales in verse, "Telling It Like It Is", and a contributor to many anthologies both UK and Internationally. My work is increasingly taught in schools across the south of England.
- Poem_Picture Artist of the Year 2006
- Prize winner, landscape art competition, "Outside In," Nuffield NHS Trust and OVADA
- Retired director of “The Oxford School of Psychotherapy and Counselling”
- Retired Director of Wombtwin.com
- Contributor to the 75th Anniversary Sylvia Plath Oxford Symposium, and the first edition of the American based on-line Plath journal
I have taught counselling and psychology at the London School of Economics, Oxford University, Westminster Pastoral Foundation, The Oxford Centre for Human Relations and many other colleges.
I created "Poetry and Pictures International" and "Poetry and Pictures England" hosted on Flickr.
In 2012 I started the poetry and pictures at the museum at the Ashmolean in Oxford which continues today
In 2018 I won a prize for photo-walk photography for the Royal Photographic Society.
My work was also showcased in a major Paris exhibition by Huawei New Image Photography.
I teach courses in Mindfulness through DeeperMindfulness.com
I live in West Oxfordshire with my wife and dog.
Personal and Historic Background
I was born in Bromsgrove U.K. in 1950. I was identified at Malvern College as the most creative history student of my generation, with a particular interest in the history of Art. I was also the A level prize winner in English Literature in a group that included Jeremy Paxman, but I chose Psychology and Philosophy at University, coming out with first class honours in my special subject, the Philosophy of Mind. I then qualified as a Drama Teacher, specialising in drama as a therapeutic tool.
After five post graduate years teaching and studying I became one of the first professionally qualified counsellors in the U.K. in 1980, at Westminster Pastoral Foundation. I then combined skills in art and psychology to build a creative therapy practice, first in London and then Oxford, which culminated in my becoming Director of the Oxford School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in 1989.
I retired from full time teaching and therapy in 2000. Since then I have focused on the development of mindfulness, including my arts, play writing, poetry and photography.
I have had a play published by the Arts Council and was showcased in the Oxfordshire Millennium Magazine “Oxford Inspires”.
I am committed to participatory arts activity, working as a Mindfulness teacher, group leader, coach and educator with people of all ages, who want to lead more artistic creative fulfilled lives.
There is also a political dimension to my work. My scathing anti-war trilogy called “Falluja in Charlbury” was performed at Methodist Central Hall for “The People’s Assembly”, when protesters gathered there to oppose Blair’s criminal adventure in Iraq in 2003. I feel a deep sense of compassion for human suffering.
My book of twenty first century Fairy Tales, written in verse, “Telling It Like It Is,” explores with infectious humour how children of today still live out the patterns of classical folk story. Children are often inspired to write their own stories. The poems also work well for emotionally disturbed adolescents, or visiting foreign students learning English.
I am also passionate about the Oxfordshire Wychwood landscape, a main focus of my poems and photography. I take groups on mindfulness walks in the countryside helping create beautiful poetry and pictures.
Over the last three years I have helped over 600 people become involved in this “poem-picture” arts genre.
I see the forest as an Eden, where Adam and Eve may be found and even photographed naked among the trees.
My wife, Gill, died in June 2009. My book, “A Journey Through Grief,” describes my grieving process in prose, poetry and pictures.