I began writing articles for alternative media in January 2012. Initially the essays focused on countries I’d run education projects in under The Create Trust (www.thecreatetrust.org). 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 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. Climate change 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. I was lucky enough to work with local volunteers from Addis Ababa University, mainly young people from the theatre studies department, who translated for me and helped design the workshops. The time in Addis fostered a close relationship with the Ethiopian people and a love of the country, and 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 there are encouraging signs that the country has turned a corner and real reform is under way.
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 the Gospel of Ramakrishna and others, the works of Alice A. Baliey, who was the amanuensis for one of the Masters of Wisdom, The Tibetan, for over thirty years, Benjamin Creme, J. Krishnamurti and others.
The teachings given so far by Maitreya the World Teacher 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.