When I was at school I had a kind of mentor teacher by the name of Peter Hill. He was a very wise man and a keen adept of Yoga. In his own way he was a yogi and for those who would listen, he guided us, sometimes very subtly, to things which could have a deep effect. When I was twelve he introduced me to a doctor friend who helped me with my asthma by teaching me what they called “self hypnosis”. It was really meditation. It showed me I could have some effect in my life, I was not just a victim. When I was sixteen, he introduced me to a man called Douglas Harding, a spiritual teacher and author of a book and method called, “The Headless Way”. Again a very profound meeting, which over the course of an evening once a week, opened my mind to a greater understanding of Being and true nature. Those seeds planted at school blossomed when I began Tai Chi in 1977.
It started with my uncle Clifford asking me the question, “What is your thread, Richard?” He asked it at a low point in my early 20’s: I had lost my way and had my heart broken. I knew I needed to heal myself and find my path. I could have started anywhere but one day I stumbled across a friend quietly moving with grace and fluidity, a great contrast to my rock ‘n roll lifestyle! I knew I had to explore that slow graceful movement, so after a few weeks I found myself at the British Tai Chi Chuan Association in London and was hooked. The toxins flowed from my feet and heart as I came back to wholeness and the truth of myself. The answer to my uncle’s question was, “people”. I wanted to help people. To help people I had to help myself first and to do that I had to find my method, a method that would not only make me healthy but also give me understanding about who I was and how to live that. How to be stillness in the heart of action. How to be the eye in the hurricane. How to truly live life and not just survive it. I took it with both hands and became an apprentice to my teacher giving everything else up and dedicating myself to Tai Chi Chuan. Within 2 years I was helping to instruct and then, with my teacher’s permission, started my own classes and eventually began my own school in Bristol and Cardiff, the Rising Dragon Tai Chi School.
Having met my spiritual path in the method of Tai Chi, it was very important to connect with my first Tai Chi teacher’s teacher – it was always a matter of time before I began the journey of returning to the source. I needed to do that for myself to be clear what the essence of the path was.
To touch Dr Chi, to connect with him physically, changed my life and gave it another turn towards the essence that I seek. There was a point early on in our first meeting, when, after lots of tests he said, “I will teach you any secret you want, all you have to do is ask.” I asked for spiritual Tai Chi and he gave me the first of the Four Principles that set me on the path to spiritual Tai Chi
I also had a Tibetan meditation teacher for a while named Geshe Damcho. It was he who gave me the teaching of “a Cup of Tea” which you will find via the link in the panel to the right. The lineage of transmission is passed on from teacher to pupil to teacher to pupil and so he encouraged me to connect with his teachers. When I was living at the Buddhist centre, a number of teachers came through giving of their knowledge, but a profound change happened when I connected to Geshe’s teacher. I remember looking into the eyes of Tsong Rinpoche and feeling how he not only looked right through me, but in that look, allowed me to feel that who I was, really, was simply space and consciousness, rather than thought or identity.
Another very important influence was Ram Dass. He, along with Timothy Leary, were pivotal in the 60s and Ram Dass grew to be a spiritual father to a lot of young people during that time. He opened my heart and showed me the personal nature of spirituality and compassionate understanding. He also opened my heart to his teacher, Neem Karoli Baba. Between the two of them my spiritual horizons were broadened, opening me to other spiritual paths and practices. I worked with Ram Dass on his European retreats for a number of years, teaching Tai Chi and movement in the mornings. It was a deep education.
Richard Moss, another friend and guide along the way, dearly would have loved for me to meet his teacher, Franklyn Merrell Wolff, but he was no longer alive. He did the next best thing which was to take me into the terrain that his teacher lived in, the wilderness of the High Sierras. There, in that great expanse of nature, something happened to my Being. I was sitting on a rock, in a vast geographical space, simply relaxing into it. Layer upon layer of identity released until all there was left was simply an essence of Being.
I worked with Richard for nearly 20 years, usually on an annual 10 day summer retreat in southern France. I led a lot of the morning sessions to ground the participants and to challenge them physically in different ways. One of these ways was the sweat lodge. In the intense dark, heat and cramped conditions I learnt to lead from the heart and to help people to see they were more, far more, than they thought they could be. Far stronger, far wiser and far more compassionate than they imagined. There in the dark and the sweat and then into the early dawn, the new day, a new life was born. It was exquisite.
I have also had angelic teachers, and one of them, Emmanuel, came as a result of my connection to Ram Dass. When people have asked Emmanuel who he is, he has replied, “I am you without a body”. Often in response to some question about who we really are Emmanuel would respond, “You are an angel”.
Emmanuel was really important in both connecting me to natural divinity and, in a funny way, to becoming more embodied: the opposite of what you might think! The first time I facilitated an Emmanuel gathering with his channel, the now deceased Pat Rodegast, when he came through, the power of his being left me speechless, and from that moment I knew that he was not just Pat’s higher self but someone else altogether. It was no good being speechless when I was then meant to lead a meditation or take questions from the floor and relay them to Pat who then connected with Emmanuel! It was no good being out of it, I had to get into my body and ground myself…and….be in that space. Truly valuable. I walked with Emmanuel for over 20 years and he still, from time to time, makes himself known to me.
As a result of these experiences I developed work which used, what I call, the Four Strands to explore and embody the Four Principles. I started originally, like I said earlier with Tai Chi and founded the Rising Dragon Tai Chi School, then followed Soul Moves opening up these Principles through the Four Strands to anyone and then finally TMW Training (Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing) which allows anyone to bring the Principles and eventually the Four Strands to their community through simple Tai Chi movements and gestures. All of this comes together under what I call Embodied Learning.
As one of the four strands of the work, healing has been important to me. This was magnificently shown to me by a woman who, in my late twenties, healed me of the four forms of malaria which I had had since I was four years old. I was advised to ring her up and when she answered the phone, she said immediately, “wait a minute”. When she came back on, she said, “that’s got rid of three of them!” When I phoned back a few weeks later, she did the same thing with the last piece of malaria, and I have not had it since. When I asked how she did it she talked about putting me in God’s Love.
To be whole we need help, yes, we need the power of Presence so that we can take responsibility for our path, but we also need Grace and the power of mystery and the divine which can, when it is in your path, save you lifetimes of work. I have witnessed many amazing miracles happening both to me and others. I started working with healing through the Metamorphic Technique, Reiki, and my own healing method: Healing Touch. But perhaps the two most powerful healing paths I have come across are Vortex Healing and Metatronic Healing.
Vortex Healing was founded by Ric Weinman, a quite brilliant mapper of reality and tracer of the paths of illness in the bodymind. It was during this time that I came to understand that we can only work on what is conscious to us and that in fact we are really ruled by our unconscious. I began my search for a way that could free this unconscious wounding and conditioning and after a pilgrimage of discovery I came across Metatronic Healing, founded by Pippa Merrivale. One of the promises or gifts of Metatronic Healing is to “Lift the Unconscious Story/Conditioning/Wound that rules us, from the cellular memory of the Body”. Awesome.
Through Metatronic Healing, many of the influences I have already described have come together. Metatronic Healing is the healing form of another angel, archangel Metatron, said to be the Angel of Divine Presence. For me he is a deep spiritual friend whose promise to heal, by lifting the wounds from the deep cellular memory of the body, and to help us to be our divine nature by opening the heart centre, is being realised on a daily basis. It happens as I sit each day, it happens when I offer Metatronic Healing to others in my healing practice and when I teach the Course Structure of Metatronic Healing to others. It is a tremendous gift.
And so it goes on. Each meeting touches me, deepens my understanding, shows me a different aspect and invites me to walk on further. This is an ancient tradition and allows the seeker to come and find their own way as they are influenced, informed and opened by their guide or teacher. Whether it is for a day or a year or a lifetime, there is a deepening of understanding as we walk together. The whole journey is a beautiful weave of relationship and communication. Ultimately the path to the source is a journey made within oneself, for the source does not rest somewhere outside us, nor in someone else, but within us, right in our heart.
I look forward to exploring with you.