The Path to No Path

About Me

At various points in this web site, I mention various places and events in my life, so I thought it might be helpful to give you a brief resumé of what I have done and where I have been. I may at a future date include a much more detailed biography (around 100,000 words), but the following should help you get an idea of the context.

I was born in Britain, in a small town in South Wales. At first, as a very young child, I was very happy, but the circumstances surrounding me were hostile towards genuine happiness, and I soon became utterly miserable. When I was ten, my parents moved to another town perhaps ten miles away. By this time, I lived mostly in a state of depression. This lifted only very briefly when I went to grammar school at age 11.

Some five years later, I had an 'accident' from which I could easily have died. I was walking on a cliff face overlooking a beach, on a narrow sloping path that had loose stones on it. I realised that I was in serious danger of slipping, and kept on walking until I fell.

As I plummetted to the ground, I realised that death was highly probable, imminent and that there was nothing I could do to avoid it. With this realisation, the mind fell silent. I saw the pebbles on the beach rushing up towards me, and lost consciousness.

I then had a near-death experience, which I told no-one about, not for many years. One result of this near-death experience was that it helped me very much to cope with the next few years.

After leaving school, I went to university and obtained a degree in electronics. I worked as an electronic engineer for some years, but continued to feel profoundly unhappy. Eventually, I took the plunge. I took a job just outside London, went into therapy and worked intensively on myself. Within a few months, I abandoned my career, hitch-hiked around Europe for the summer, and returned to Britain to live in Oxford where I resumed the therapy.

This period of therapy culminated in going to an ashram in India. My time there was, until now, by far the happiest time of my life. For some time, I continued with the therapy. I also started to meditate on a regular basis.

Then one day, totally unexpectedly, I had an immensely powerful experience that irrevocably transformed my outlook on life. I knew that I no longer needed any therapy; in fact, there didn't seem to be any need to remain in India. But I had no reason to leave, either, not while my money lasted.

The following year, I returned to Britain and lived very happily for many years. I was fortunate to meet Maggie, an intelligent, supportive, and loving woman who taught me a great deal about living in what is called the ‘real world'. Thanks to her encouragement, I took a job in the Probation Service. I had toyed with doing this for years, and found working with the clients immensely satisfying.

Yet slowly I came to reflect on the experience I had had in India. I had briefly tasted ultimate freedom, and I now yearned to taste it once more. I tried to revive my meditation practice, but found this difficult to keep up. Then one day, a neighbour told me of a Thai Buddhist monastery not too many miles away, and I knew that I had to visit it, and if possible go to live there. I looked forward to having the opportunity to devoting myself whole-heartedly to the meditation practice with minimal distractions.

It was with a deep sorrow that I left Maggie, but I knew that I had no alternative but to resume my quest for freedom. I went to the monastery, Amaravati, to live there for the indefinite future. I was delighted to be there, and it seemed to me to be the best place for me to be.

Later, I had the great good fortune to be sent to another monastery in Switzerland for six months, a stay which I thoroughly enjoyed and which was very beneficial to my progress. I thoroughly overhauled my meditation practice, studied Krishnamurti, and tried out his suggestions during the meditation.

Yet by the end of my time there, I was also glad to return to Amaravati, where I felt utterly at home. After some time back in Britain, I came into some money. Knowing that if I were to ordain as a monk I would have to relinquish this money, I considered what I might do with it. I felt that I had some unfinished business to attend to in India, and decided to return there for four months.

Some days after arriving in India, I dealt with this unfinished business. This was very important to me, for I wanted to be clear with the past, yet it also only took an hour or so. I travelled around India for some months.

In Udaipur, on the night of the full moon in December, I was meditating in the very early hours of the morning when an event occurred which totally transformed my outlook on life once again. I spent the remainder of my time in India adapting to the immediate effects of this change, mostly staying in a traveller's hostel on the small island of Diu.

Some months after returning to the monastery, I took samanera ordination, one step short of becoming a monk. I soon found that this was now not appropriate for me. With a heavy heart, I knew that I could no longer stay at Amaravati for much longer, and I eventually returned to lay life.

What will happen next, I do not know. I have no yearning to do anything. There does not seem to be anything of any urgency left for me to do in this world. All motivation to achieve something disappeared on that night in Udaipur.

I offer you the words on this web site as a gift. Perhaps somebody may find something of value for them here.

In any case, I wish to share my tale, my path from deep unhappiness to its very opposite, and beyond. And hence the name of this web site.

May all beings be well. May all beings be at peace.

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If you should wish to contact me about anything you have read here, especially if you feel strongly for or against what you have read, or if you feel that something is missing, I offer you an opportunity to share.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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