have been meditating with Tibetan and western masters for
30 years, and teaching meditation and dharma for 10 years.
I met Lama Jetsun Yeshe (then Catherine Rathbun) in Tauranga,
New Zealand in 1976. We worked together, she as dancer and
choreographer, me as musician in her classes and with a dance
company started by Catherine, myself and a group of her dance
students. Catherine's approach to improvised movement as deep
meditation made a profound impression on me. I was soon involved
in her healing and meditation work. Through her I met Lama
Karma Thinley Rinpoche, taking refuge with him in 1977. In 1978 I met
Namgyal Rinpoche who became my principal teacher until his death
in 2003. I have studied with many other Vajrayana teachers since (see credits).
A further significant meeting was with ShantiMayi in 2002. ShantiMayi is a western teacher of the Sacha lineage of Rishikesh, India. Some meetings are beyond words, and beyond meeting and parting.
I have attended retreats
and other teachings in Australia, Canada, India, Nepal, New
Zealand, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. These retreats include Ngon Dro (foundation practices), Chenrezig and many other Yiddam vibrations, Mahamudra, 16 Buddha body practice, The six yogas of Naropa (Dumo, Dream yoga, Phowa etc), Vipassana, Abhidharma, Mandala practice. I have never counted the weeks and months spent in formal meditation retreat - it would be between 2-3 years, as well as perhaps another 2-plus years spent in semi-retreat combining several hours of meditation daily with service and dharma study. These retreats have been integrated into the life through ongoing daily practice and dharma study along with a full life 'in the world'. Several senior teachers
have suggested that I teach meditation.
This is my wonderful daughter Willow. She has taught me more than I ever knew was possible - she is an ongoing inspiration and joy. She has finished her studies in Children's Services at TAFE and is now working in a childcare centre in Fremantle. Photo was taken by Willow's friend Eleanor Nicklason.
My PhD is in Anthropology. This research included investigating
ways in which creative expression relates to identity, community and well-being in
an intensely multicultural setting in the Caribbean. My honours research was with Circus Oz, who at the time were in a fascinating transition between being an anarcho-communist utopian collective and a more mainstream performance group.
My professional life has included performance (as a percussionist, composer, actor, director), university lecturer (theatre, anthropology, heritage studies) and managing my own company as a full-time consultant in Aboriginal native title research.
My first ever job was putting the crosses on hot cross buns, then came garbage collector and fork lift truck operator. That is pretty much the path of awareness - celebration, clearing out, and shifting and letting go the stuff that's heavy to carry!
Teaching methods and approach
from students and course participants