Born and raised in England, I developed an early interest in religion, spirituality, and mysticism, and fell into the alternative spiritual world of that country at around the age of seventeen. While I learned many types of meditation and related consciousness-based techniques of self-transformation, I nevertheless rejected much of what I saw.
By the age of twenty, I had become interested in both Eastern and Western spirituality and soon began staying in a Benedictine monastery on an annual basis. Around the same time, I was also studying fine art and Nam Pai Chuan Shaolin Kung Fu. (You may have noticed that these pursuits can be aligned to the three archetypal vocations of craftsman (fine art), Kung Fu (warrior), and meditation and an interest in religion and spirituality (magician or sage).
In my late twenties, I moved to the USA, where (except for a few years in Canada) I have remained. Not long after arriving in America, I began searching for a new martial arts school and. I practiced Kung Fu in the early morning in NYC’s Chinatown and learned a very small amount of Tai Chi. However, later, I began training with Alan Lee’s association in NYC.
In America, I began to take a more scholarly and historical interest in the world’s spiritual traditions. This led to me publishing several articles and books, and giving talks on the subjects at the Chancellor Robert R Livingston library and museum in New York, as well as at conferences and to various groups around the USA.
My first book, Freemasonry: A History (published jointly by Greenwich Editions, London, and Thunder Bay Press, USA) was released in 2005. The following year my translation of the Old English Rune poem was published in the academic Journal of Indo-European Studies. My writing has also been cited in books published by Oxford University Press and De Gruyter.
My second book, Freemasonry: Foundation of the Western Esoteric Tradition was published in 2014 and followed closely by my book, The Crescent And The Compass, exploring historical links between some Muslim thinkers and Freemasonic spiritual radicals from the 1850s to the early 1900s. This book was described by New Dawn magazine as “a highly significant work… of extraordinary importance in this time of cultural and even spiritual conflict.”
Only with my fourth book, The Three Stages of Initiatic Spirituality: Craftsman, Warrior, Magician (Inner Traditions, 2020) did I begin to break away from purely historical subjects and begin to articulate my own philosophy of self-development. In that book, I explored the symbolism and mythology of spiritual, martial arts, and related traditions from as far afield as Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. I also described several lesser-known meditation techniques and practices.
By the time I was writing The Three Stages of Initiatic Spirituality, I had I had been meditating on a daily basis for more than two decades. At Alan Lee’s Kung Fu association, I also learned new techniques of meditation and Chi Gong (breathing techniques) as well techniques of mindfulness to overcome fear and to push myself beyond my perceived limits (breaking slabs of concrete with my hand, lying on a nail bed regularly, and training in “Iron Body” conditioning).
My own system of meditation had also naturally evolved over the decades. Nevertheless, I then studied hypnosis, becoming a certified hypnotist. Many of the techniques of hypnosis were already familiar to me, some of which I had learned in my martial arts training and some I had learned through my study and practice of meditation techniques. But the experience was a fascinating and very intense one.
I do my best to live the kind of life that I advocate, dividing most of my time between writing, working out (and martial arts), and practicing meditation and mindset techniques.
I also see clients who want hypnosis for a particular challenge or a particular goal that they are working towards. And I also give talks about self-development, consciousness, myth, symbolism, and spirituality around the USA.
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