I began writing articles for independent media in January 2012. Initially the essays focused on countries I’d run education projects in for The Create Trust. A UK registered charity I set up in 2005 after a friend asked me to conduct a series of therapeutic art workshops for tsunami affected children in Galle, South West Sri Lanka.
After six months in Sri Lanka I went on to work in Ethiopia, Palestine and most recently India, where the work is ongoing. Whilst I’ve probably written more about Ethiopia than any other topic the scope of the essays has broadened over the years to include a range of subjects and interests. The environmental emergency is the number one issue facing humanity and, despite my limited knowledge of a vast and complex matter, all things environmental have become of increasing concern to me.
I spent two years in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, from 2006 to 2008 running education programmes for street children, under 18 commercial sex workers, HIV orphans and delivering discussion based teacher training sessions. The time in Addis fostered a close relationship with the Ethiopian people and a love of the country. I have been involved in the struggle for democratic change there since I took up the pen and began writing about the repressive, often criminal methodology of the ruling party. Thankfully the TPLF are now out of office and the country has its first democratically elected governmemt, led by Nobel Prize winner, Abiy Ahmed.
I have also worked with many refugees and asylm seekers in London, people from different countries including a large number from Ethipia and Eritrea.
Prior to writing and the charity work I was a visual artist, working as a photographer for over twenty years and a painter. I studied fine art at Goldsmith College where I made drawings and paintings rooted in metaphysical ideas of Being. It was a mixture of my creative orientation, volunteer teaching and philosophical background that led to the founding of Create.
The project work has tried to blend my creative nature with a philosophical view of humanity and the world that finds its roots in eastern philosophy, the ageless wisdom teachings and Advaita Vedanta. I have studied a wide range of eminent teachers from the Indian Vedanta tradition including Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nirsagadatta Maharaj and Shankaracharya, as well as Ramakrishna, Anandama Mai; the works of Alice A. Baliey, Benjamin Creme, J. Krishnamurti and others.
The teachings given of Maitreya Buddha colour much of my writings, His call for sharing, social justice and freedom is something close to the heart of many of us. The implementation of these principles of goodness would go far towards overcoming the various interrelated crises besieging humanity.
We need pragmatic solutions to the issues confronting us; pragmatic solutions rooted in universal truths. The essays here are an attempt in this direction.