In some ways I have always been a poet, seeing the world through a poet’s eyes, a contemplative lense. As a teenager I wrote poetry to express my passions, and now I write poetry that reflects my view of the world around me – nature through a contemplative lense, inspired often by my photography.
Integrity, nurture and beauty are important to me. I make beautiful things with my maskmaking and gardening, and show my appreciation of beauty with my photos; I nurture my clients, my friends and family, and my permaculture garden. And I nurture myself by living a healthy life and taking time for contemplation. All this I express in my poetry, and instead of putting it in a book that no one will read, I create videos with music and imagery – often the images that inspire the poetry.
See all my published poetry on my Poetry Pinterest Board
My Contemplative Past
I spent twelve years in partial home retreat while I studied Buddhism and completed the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana preliminaries and further practices, and I try to always live a life of awareness and integrity. I’m a trained meditation instructor and was the Teaching Services Director of Rigpa Australia’s Distance Education Centre for 12 years. I left Rigpa after revelations that our teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche, was physically, emotionally and sexually abusing his close students. I wrote a book called Fallout: Recovering from Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism about the subsequent learning I and others went through in the wake of the revelations.
During my twenty years as a Tibetan Buddhist, I did a lot of meditation. These days, I just turn my mind inwards at various times throughout the day and take time for quiet reflection. Poetry writing is my contemplation. And if I’m inspired to write on anything related to psychology or spirituality, I publish it on the Beyond the Temple website. That blog began talking about the issues raised by abuse in Buddhist communities, but has evolved from there into a wider range of topics related to conscious living. I also have a You Tube Channel dedicated to the same kind of content, and a Beyond the Temple Facebook page.