Tom lives with his wife and children in London UK. He holds weekly meetings in person and online with the intent of sharing this wonderful message of freedom from suffering. He is also available for online and one-to-one sessions. Please see here for details.
Hi, I’m Tom. I’ve been enchanted and captivated by this mysterious magical event that I call life for as long as I can remember. This following personal story is not actually that important, but I include it in case you want to know a bit about me.
My spiritual seeking began early. I was lucky enough to be taught aikido, yoga and how to meditate as a young child, all of which in retrospect probably instilled some kind of spiritual sense into me, although I wouldn’t have thought it at the time. At school we all received a copy of the New Testament and Psalms and I became fascinated by the teachings of Jesus as found in the New Testament Gospels. Amongst other things I was inspired by Jesus’s vision of love and his uncompromising nature.
Later my world was turned upside down after finding a copy of Swami Vivekananda’s book Raja Yoga on my parents’ bookshelf. He introduced the revolutionary idea to my conscious mind that God was not something that you had to believe in, but something that could be experienced directly. Up until this point I had always been told that God was something you had to believe in. This notion of the possibility of having a direct experience of God really got my seeking juices flowing. I wanted to know God.
Next on my spiritual hit parade was Jiddu Krishnamurti – I encountered some of his books in my mid-teens and was instantly hooked. Something about his writings deeply resonated. I read practically everything I could get hold of of his and it was when reading one of his books that I had my first conscious spiritual awakening aged 18. Everything was seen to be one, the sense of personal self fell away and I had a deep sense that what I truly was was not the limited being that I commonly took myself to be. This experience was short-lived and further fuelled my seeking. I wanted to try to re-experience it again. I think because this experience happened in the context of reading a book, I subsequently developed a voracious appetite for reading spiritual texts. I read books on everything such as on Buddhism, Zen, Taoism, Mystic Christianity, Vedanta, Dzogchen, and the core texts of each, as well as many self-help and new-age type books. I never had a strong yoga or meditation practice but continued to meditate and practice yoga on and off.
As well as my spiritual search for truth, I also had a keen interest in science and mathematics and my studies took me along this route in school. I later got married and now have two amazing and lovely children. Alongside my studies, career and home life, the spiritual seeking continued for 15-20 years.
One other notable teacher on my journey who I want to mention is Ramana Maharshi whose teachings I fell in love with and for whom a sense of love and devotion developed quite by itself – the idea of devotion towards a guru was not something that sat well with me so this sense of devotion rising up within me took me very much by surprise.
During these years of seeking I have read many teachers had many ‘spiritual experiences’. I have had experiences of oneness and bliss, of no thought, of consciousness during deep sleep and many meditative experiences and samadhis. I have never had a guru or spiritual teacher as such. Each experience of oneness/the divine/self-realisation came and went, leaving me wanting more.
However in recent years these have given way to a much simpler sense of life living itself, just as it is. It’s nothing special but also cannot be put into words. The sense of a ‘me’ living a life and the dissatisfaction that fuelled my spiritual seeking have both disappeared, leaving behind an ordinary life ‘being lived’ or living itself. I call it Freedom and have described it in more detail here.
When exactly did this happen? I’m not entirely sure, but this is just the way it is now. Because this has not happened to me as a single event and has taken place so gradually, probably over a five or six year period, I often find it difficult to remember what identification as a person is actually like and sometimes find it difficult to express exactly what is so different about this non-personal seeing.
You can hear me talk about my ‘awakening’ here:
To me there is nothing particularly special about this Freedom. It is just our natural state. I still make mistakes and still often say or do silly things that I later regret. I’m also still ‘me’ with all my personal quirks and idiosyncrasies. It is just the mind and body functioning without the illusory sense of authorship. It is free, easy, light and very ‘human’ – at least that’s how it’s been for the most part so far. Often it is only when I see other people harbouring ideas and doing things that cause them to needlessly suffer that I realise how freeing this way of life actually is and just how caught up in illusion people often are.
I currently live with my wife and children in London. I hold weekly meetings in person and online with the intent of sharing this message of freedom from suffering. I am also available for online and 1:1 sessions; please see here for details.