What was your career path before you became a monk?
I started my career as an engineer - working in a diverse range of industries, and locations, before co-establishing a construction business in the Soviet Union. Few foreigners had the opportunity to engage with the Soviets during this tumultuous time - it was such a great adventure. The lifestyle became increasingly fast paced, complex and stressful so I returned to New Zealand for some respite.
But the stress continued to escalate as I lead a team developing a chain of nationwide retail stores. The stress and angst became formidable - until I decided to do something about it. I learnt the Ascension meditation techniques taught by the Ishayas of the Bright Path. Then the most unexpected thing occurred - I became an Ishaya monk.
Tell us about you and your profession and passions
I am a modern day monk – an Ishaya of the Bright Path. I lead a normal life: I have a partner, Sally, who is also an Ishaya monk.
An Ishaya monk is someone, woman or man, who is committed to remaining attentiveness to the stillness and peace within; and who is dedicated to helping others experience self-fulfilment and inner peace. Within our teaching there are no rules or regulations, belief system, or dogma. Although our teaching is ancient it is not a religion, nor do we idolise a guru, or wear robes. All that's required is to be active in letting go and remaining attentive to the Stillness throughout the day.
We are passionate about all of humanity experiencing unbroken peace, happiness and contentment; and living in harmony. It's possible, and it starts with each of us. All that's required is to make a choice.
Sally and I are passionate about producing material that communicates practical and down-to-earth ways that anyone can experience more joy in their life.
What inspires you?
Anyone who follow their passion.
What was your most recent adventure?
Sally and I have co-produced the full feature documentary film 'A Mindful Choice' that has been translated into more than ten languages and screened in fifteen countries. The film is available for streaming or download at www.choicethefilm.com/en/shop
What is your idea of pure happiness?
Remaining perpetually free from thinking – being fully attentive to the Stillness. With such an approach it is impossible to be anything other than happy and enlivened.
What is your favourite quote?
“I don’t believe that people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
Boundless: The Photographs
When I started viewing my photographs in preparation for writing Boundless, it struck me that I was viewing a visual catalogue of the Soviet Union at a significant time in history.