After the death of my beloved wife Kaisa in 2001, as part of my “survival strategy”,
I developed a Visual Arts Programme which I called “Created in Meditation”. In this
programme I employed the full use of personal creative expression in whatever form,
combined with meditation and healing, to manage the many layers of emotion and feeling
associated with grief at the loss of a loved one. I came to realise that this programme
would be of benefit to others in a similar position and offered it as a course, both
evening and weekend, to several groups and centres in the West Country and Wales.
A natural progression to this was the establishment of a centre, open to all, which
offered this programme in creativity, healing and meditation on a permanent basis.
Thus the AshTat Centre for Creative Living was established in Glastonbury in 2006.
“AshTat” is a combined abbreviation of two beautiful Hindi words: Ashram meaning
community and Tathagat meaning in essence acceptance. AshTat brings these two concepts
together with this understanding: that there is no spiritual guru or master to follow
other than the one that is our True Self. AshTat becomes a place of acceptance of
you in every way. It is a place to be you and for you. The programme at AshTat, lead
by a team of qualified and experienced practitioners, embraced creative expression
in all forms including drawing and painting, writing, dance, music and crafts; healing
therapies included Reiki, Shiatsu, massage of many types and reflexology; and a comprehensive,
wide-sweeping approach to meditation was followed including Silent Satsang (Self
Enquiry), the active and dynamic meditations of Osho and the Ratu Bagus Bio Energy
(Shaking) meditation. In being a place for you AshTat became a place where you could
find you through whatever medium and experience.
Circumstances determined my re-location to my native Suffolk and to our beautiful
Heritage Coast. The unfolding programme here, as connections are made, is not dissimilar
to that followed in Glastonbury but the concept is broader. AshTat was always a
“not for profit” project but is now run entirely on a donation basis: there are
no direct charges for any of the meditation groups although donations are invited
and all funding raised will be given to worthy causes. Guidelines are offered on
appropriate donations for each activity. Currently there are two beneficiaries: Waveney
S.H.I.M.S, a local self-help group for sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis and their
carers; and the Shanthimalai Handicrafts Development Society in Tiruvannmalai, India
which provides training in craft skills and family support for destitute women. This
list of beneficiaries is likely to grow in the coming months.
I was born in Bury St Edmunds and have been a writer and painter all my life. I studied
at Chelsea School of Art and the University of London Institute of Education receiving
my Masters Degree in 1979. I taught Art until 1987 when I “retired” from teaching
to establish my first Suffolk Studio. Periods of working and living in New Zealand
then Suffolk were followed by our move to Somerset in 1998. I move into Glastonbury
after the death of my wife in 2001 where, in 2006 with the help of friends and supporters,
I established the AshTat Centre. Returning to Suffolk in 2008 I have now re-established
AshTat as a project benefiting worthy causes locally and in India.
I specialise in oil and gouache painting. Having exhibited widely I have paintings
and prints in collections in many parts of the world.
I have written articles for local and national newspapers and magazines and published
a book in 2001 celebrating the life of my wife Kaisa and her pioneering programme
for cancer. I continue to facilitate workshops on Visual Art and Meditation and am
about to publish my second book entitled “On Being You: A Simple Guide to Self Enquiry”.
My work is on display here in Kessingland.
The proceeds of sales secured are donated to the AshTat Project and its beneficiaries.
Our next Open Studio Week end will be 7 and 8 August 2010.
We currently run a Ratu Bagus Shaking Meditation on Tuesday at 5.30 and an Osho Kundalini
Meditation on Thursday at 5.30. I am proposing to run a Self Enquiry Non-Intensive
weekend over the summer based on my new book and the “Created in Meditation” course
again over one summer weekend. Reiki Healing is also offered by appointment and on
a donation basis.
If you are interested in joining us in any of these meditations or groups we would
be happy to hear from you.
Please visit or call. We look forward to welcoming you.