What was it that first called you to train as a OneSpirit interfaith minister? Rather an accidental conversation with Bernd Leygraf at a Forgiveness Project Workshop in 2009. He mentioned the course and I said “what's that?”. He said, “google it”. So I did. I went on the website and had a look round and within 20 minutes filled in the application form. I can't say I was 'drawn', but I was fascinated that such an organisation existed. The rest is history.
In which year were you ordained? 2011
What is your minister’s vow, and your relationship to it?
It is in three parts, the first taken from the Integral work of Ken Wilber: (1)"May my consciousness and my behaviour be of service and a refuge to all beings in all worlds, liberating all into the Such-ness of this and every moment, (2) as I walk on this path of compassion, forgiveness, of mercy and of grace. (3) And I vow to stand fully in my vulnerable heart-self." It's part of my meditation.
What was the most important thing that changed in your life as a result of the training?
I no longer feel the need to belong to an organisation to define who I am. I came to realise that what I really needed was to do some deep personal work. I eventually sought professional therapy for Post Traumatic Stress.
How does your ministry or your life’s purpose manifest in the world now?
I'm not trying to do so much 'out there' and am staying 'closer to home', both physically and metaphorically. My 'ministry' has become a kind of pastoral care for those I know within my community of friends and family. My wife, Edie Campbell (ordained 2014), and I are often the first port of call for friends, family, acquaintances; we’re often on the phone with, or visiting or being visited by, any one of these several times a week. This has happened on its own by us just making ourselves available.
What main sources of inspiration or guidance do you draw on for your continuing spiritual journey?
Quiet. Finding times of quiet. I have created for myself a form of deep meditation that focuses on surrendering and embracing All That Is. It is very healing and nurturing. I’d be glad to share this with anyone who wants to know more.
Where is your ‘edge’ currently — what most challenges you on your path?
Paying attention to my reactions to what’s going on in the political climate at present. In my meditation, I work with embracing All That Is (the 'suchness' as stated in my vow), focusing on working deeply within myself rather than trying to change what is 'out there'. Practicing being 'at peace'.
How do you envision your ministry developing in future?
I don't really think about that. Somehow 'developing' is no longer what is interesting to me. Acceptance and healing, being present ‘with' — whether that’s just with myself or with an ‘other' — walking alongside, giving space for others to 'be', is enough. I have no idea where it may lead. But that doesn't interest me. I'll know as I proceed.