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Marlborough Express Interview

Author is committed to helping others

Marlborough Express, Blenheim Marlborough
10 Jun 2014, by Angela Crompton

 Someone is always fighting somebody in the world but the wish for unbroken peace and happiness is universal.

Author Greg Hopkinson brings that message to Marlborough on Friday when he speaks at Blenheim Bookworld to promote his new book, Boundless. A subtitle identifies it as ‘‘a wayward entrepreneur’s search for peace’’.

In a phone interview, Hopkinson says he hopes the book will help others positively change their lives.

‘‘My life is committed . . . without being arrogant, to help other people.’’

Inner Peace: Author Greg Hopkinson hopes his new book will help others find a better life.

Inner Peace: Author Greg Hopkinson hopes his new book will help others find a better life.

Hopkinson grew up in Greymouth, close to the bush and the sea and where restraints on what could and couldn’t be done felt relatively few. But he says he was ‘‘always ambitious,’’ did an engineering degree at the University of Canterbury then entered the job market, ready for a challenge.

He found many when he got work in Russia, where he was employed to oversee the construction of foodprocessing plants when investors used the collapse of the Soviet Union to launch new business ventures.

Hopkinson spent a year in Russia from April 1991, then went there ‘‘off and on’’ for the next three or four years. The changes during that time were incredible, he says, and he watched people’s worlds being turned upside down as the social structures they had come to rely on started to crumble.

Curiously, he saw what was happening to the Soviet Union as like a reflection of what was happening inside my head.

‘‘Without boundaries I was making poor choices.’’

Many are recounted in part one of his book. Part two records how Hopkinson started making good choices after read- ing a book a friend loaned him, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. He learned how dwelling on the past can evoke sadness, anger or guilt, while thinking about the future can induces fear, anxiety and worry.

Curious to learn more, he enrolled in a weekend meditation course and that led to a new way of life. Everyone benefits from meditation, Hopkinson believes.

He has also come to question the Western world’s preoccupation with money and the widespread belief that having more of it brings happiness.

Actually, he says, peace and contentment comes from within.

Hopkinson is now an Ishaya of the Bright Path monk and lives with fellow monk and partner Sally in a remote part of the South Island high country.