I have always asked the philosophical questions since an early age and always believed there is a power higher and greater, beneath and beyond our normal perception. I have never found any difficulty in naming this power ‘God’ and invite you to term ‘it’ as you see best. I was asked only yesterday by a new student, “Do you really believe in all this – all of these things you talk about – God?”. For me it’s always been easier to respond “How can I not!?” If there is such a thing as intelligent consciousness is it likely this derives its existence from anything other than something ineffably all inclusive?
I grew up in a privileged home, not wealthy but well to do. I was educated at a great private school in Hertfordshire UK. I was always full of energy, (except when asthma slowed me down) and always had some underlying disease or angst within my bones. I remember an Ayurvedic doctor once telling me I would ‘always be like that’ and took this as another opportunity to find a better option as to how flexible ‘that’ could be.
When I was at infant school my form teacher asked me what I wanted to ‘be’ later in life ~ I said a ‘writer’. When I was 15 I answered the same question with “happy”, as I was far from it at that point in time.
From a young age, having had much experience with sitting up in the middle of the night with chronic asthma, I also became very familiar with hours of sitting contemplation and sometimes meditation. Sometimes referred to as ‘The Back Door Method’, initially I learned by circumstances rather than choice. I could observe the surfing of waves from most stormy and frightful, to the deepest peace of release, which usually followed afterwards.
Upon first sight, I was interested in martial arts and started Judo when I was 9 years old. A little bit of Karate and a sprinkle of Taekwondo later, this led me to learning Shaolin Kung Fu at the age of 17 with two wonderful Sifus – Jeffrey Guishard and Christopher Lai Khee Choong. I studied the Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan System (Buddhist Martial Arts) under them both between 1986 and 2000. I left the UK for India, Nepal and Thailand in 2000 pursuing a deeper understanding of the internal practices of both Hatha Yoga and Chinese Martial Arts, still looking for that very elusive inner peace The year’s sabbatical from teaching both yoga and martial arts in the UK led me to three great teachers ~ all of whom infused me with the energy of their lineage respectively. I met the Dalai Lama in Northern India, spent a short time in the ashram of Avatar Sai Baba in the South and worked and lived for 7 months in the retreat centre of Taoist Master Mantak Chia in Northern Thailand. I returned to the UK in August 2001, with my feet on the ground and my head way up in the skies.
I have been teaching martial arts and yoga since 1987 and full time professionally since 1996.
If you want to know a little more you can find it here on our website https://pranasanayoga.com/about-matt