Radical Ecology has two paths of origin: historical and existential. These paths meet in my relentless exploration of the nature of my immediate experience. This exploration took place mainly on my mat and cushion, and began when I was 16 years old, when I started to practice yoga. It deepened in my commitment to zen meditation. My sitting praxis taught me not only how to become one with my inner experience, however unpleasant, but also how to do nothing. It was in discovering that effort and intention have no spiritual value that the seeds of a Radical Ecology began to sprout. They began to flower in realising that genuine spiritual experiences do not result from skill or knowledge, but from feeling completely safe.
Over many years my practice and teaching yoga and meditation became less and less traditional and more and more led by the somatic intelligence of the body. Eventually the Dynamic Yoga Training Method and Somatic Meditation were complimented by Slow Tantra. This brought to my teaching a relational aspect not to be found in yoga or meditation, and the significance of our social needs and nature began to assert itself and its importance into my experience and teaching.
Ever since I was a "counter-cultural" teenager I had clearly sensed that human civilisation was undergoing a terminal crisis that would almost inevitably fulfil itself in my lifetime. It was this presentiment, more than anything else, that prevented me from surrendering my curiosity, passion and values to the forces of convention. However, I kept this perspective apart from my teaching as much as I could, on the, spurious, grounds that it was not a spiritual concern. Nevertheless this became a less and less tenable option.
Gradually my interest began to shift from the personal, interior journey to the inter-personal social matrix upon which it depends. It was clear that while so-called 'spiritual practice' could provide a deep peacefulness, this often came at the expense of an unacknowledged detachment and isolation. It was abundantly clear that, despite authoritative declarations to the contrary, all of our needs can not be met through isolated practice. We are social beings, with deep and powerful social needs. These needs must be addressed if we are to experience genuine peace and safety.
As time passed into the 21st Century my practice, and my teaching, became less and less driven by tradition. Instead they were guided by the presence of Natural Intelligence within my own body: Cognitive, Somatic and Spiritual. My practice and teaching of yoga became more fluid and sensitive, emphasising movement over stillness. My practice of meditation more passive and generous, especially to the activity and presence of my mind. This began to transform my teaching also. While my practice of yoga became more and more simple, and my practice of meditation more and more passive, my teaching of Tantra became more and more subtle. In each case it became clear that, as far as intimacy and safety are concerned, "less is more".
Eventually, in 2018 I let go of contextualising my teaching within overtly spiritual goals, such as "selflessness" or "otherlessness". Instead I began to present them as means to feeling completely safe in the world as it is. This shift was based on understanding how much we are social, as well as spiritual, beings. Nevertheless Radical Ecology is based on the understanding that our social and biological vulnerabilities will always create unease, unless they are experientially contextualised within our Spiritual Invulnerability. While accessing our Spiritual Nature has limited effect and value if it is not experientially integrated into our social vulnerabilities.