About

img_8129Hello and welcome to the dhamma footsteps About page. The posts in this blog are written from a Theravadin buddhist perspective, in the lineage of Ajahn Chah. There are also aspects of Advaita Vedanta – and how do these two points of view sit together? Well, you can decide. The process of sourcing the texts and writing the posts has become part of the Practice for me. The links are probably the most important part of it all – I’m glad to share these with everyone out there. Gratitude to all the Ajahns in Thailand, Switzerland and UK for their guidance.

How did I come to be doing this? Long ago and far away. I started doing publications and artwork for Non Government Organizations (NGOs) in South India. After that I was with an NGO in Thailand and support organizations working on the issue of child labour and children in hazardous situations. Around that time I met the Buddhist monks in Wat Pah Nanchat in Thailand who showed me the Buddhist Path.

“… the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving. (the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha) “— SN 56.11 (dukkha nirodho ariya sacca).

The work in Thailand continued for 10 years, then it was up and running so there wasn’t much more I could do to help. I was teaching English in Japan for 3 years and continuing with publications for the NGOs. Meanwhile, the group I’d been working with in Bangkok was now supported by a UN network and I’d gotten married to a Thai along the way who became part of that network. So, off we went on our travels together and that about takes us up to the present day; situated in New Delhi and frequent visits to Thailand to visit family.

 I’m originally from the UK, born in the Moray Firth in the North of Scotland where it’s cold and windy most of the year – open the door to go out in the morning and the wind is so strong it would blow you back in again. My father’s father came from Orkney, my mother came from Aberdeenshire and I studied in Glasgow. A heritage of Northern skies, a seeker who wandered away in search of the sun.

One last thing, I recently contracted Post-herpetic neuralgia on the right side of the head and neck, which means headaches all the time and many and various meds to deal with it. The blog is also a way of focusing the mind so I can deal with the pain a bit better. Please contact me about anything you see here. Click the little grey-coloured speech bubble at the top right of each post. Thanks again for all the comments and ‘likes’ and I look forward to hearing from you.

I’ve been part of the Buddhist community and a friend of the Sangha for nearly 20 years. This blog is created in the spirit of generosity, kindness, friendship, kalyanamitra. And that’s it for the moment. I hope all is well where you are.

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162 thoughts on “About

  1. Being a Thervada Buddhist I was delighted to find this blog. It is not easy to find genuine Thervada commentries. Look forward to being in contact and meeting you in person.. Gota

    • Hi Gota
      Thanks, good of you to drop by.
      Yes, the Theravadin approach is the one for me: ‘the remainderless fading and cessation….’ If you’d like to discuss any of the posts as we go along, I’d like to hear from you, I’m around most of the time.

  2. Hey there, I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award since I love reading your blog.. In case you have already received this award, please consider it an honorary mention – a reminder of how much your time and effort means to strangers halfway across the world. And a thank you for being an inspiring and lovely blog for me 🙂 Please see the link if you would like to accept… thanks Aalif

  3. Glad to have found your blog! Always nice to meet a fellow Scot – I live in the north-east (moray firth coast). I’ve never been a fan of the cold, so may have to take your lead and move somewhere warmer 🙂 Look forward to reading your posts.
    -Rory

    • Well, there’s a coincidence, I was born in Leanchoil hospital, Forress – I try to picture it in the mind’s eye, that’s where I entered this world. My father’s side of the family are from Orkney. I have relatives in Lossie, Buckie, Elgin, Fochabers and all around that chilly little corner. Nice to meet you. Thanks for dropping in, I’ll be over to look again at your site soon.

  4. Hello friend, I’m so happy to have found your blog. Wishing you a most joyous New
    Year and look forwards to sharing ideas and posts with you. Be well!

  5. Lovely to connect with Buddhist-minded people. We live near the Dhagpo Kagyu Linga Buddhist Centre near the tiny village of Le Moustier in the Dordogne. I’ve often been there. Many thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a ‘Like’. 🙂

    • You’re welcome Jude.
      I found a YouTube video about the Dhagpo Kagyu Linga Centre; all these wonderful Buddha images in the main room, the gardens and everything set in that old French farmhouse context. How fortunate to be able to live in that area and so near to a Buddhist centre too. They are lovely people.

  6. I really like your style of writing and how you use your natural surroundings and self-observations to reveal what you are learning and discovering. In your moment by moment discoveries and hindsight disclosures you are revealing to us your inner state and in doing so you become a model for your readers. Great stuff!

    • This is v much appreciated! I was just doing what I thought being a blogger was about and now it’s like you’re holding up a mirror so I can see aspects I hadn’t noticed before. Thank you. And thanks too for your *likes*. I’m very glad to have your comment, it’s really helpful.

  7. That’s what I want. To live and travel abroad—for forever, basically. Lol. Thank you for stopping by my blog. It means the world to me. I’m happy to be following the adventures posted here, too!

    • Thanks Jessica, I’m in Delhi until May then back to Chiang Mai. Maybe you’ll get another opportunity to travel abroad, I’m sure you will, but you’ve got to get your career sorted out first – from what I read in your blog. Hope that goes well…

  8. What a cool and fascinating story! One of my personal dreams/goals is to live in South East Asia so your story is very inspiring 🙂

    Looks like a great resource you’ve set up here with your blog, great work!

    Take care, all the best 🙂

    Rohan.

    • Hi Rohan, thanks for dropping by. There’s a lot to write about, just going around in these countries, and I use that as a setting for things I’ve discovered about the Theravadin Way and Non Duality – they don’t agree completely but the differences are interesting. That’s what fuels the blog, and what I learn from other people…

    • Thanks for your comment. I’m interested in the expat point-of-view since I am one myself, have been on the road for more than 30 years. So I’ll be over to read your posts soon, nice of you to drop in!

  9. Good day! I’m nominating you for the Sunshine award for being such an awesomely inspiring blogger on this post right here:
 http://amindfultraveler.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/metta-monday-kindness-and-the-sunshine-award/

    If you choose to accept it, here is a little bit about the award and the rules: “The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!

  10. What a divine find you are…. thank you for your likes. This makes for a beautiful gift for the day. I’ll look forward to following your ‘vision’ on things. Good luck with the eye operation. Namaste

    • Thanks for joining us here. The seen world really is a novelty with this new vision in the left eye, getting ready now for the next eye operation third week in September and I’ll be writing about that. Posts are usually twice a week, look forward to receiving your comments…

  11. I am so pleased you enjoyed my post today about Child Labor. I hope you visit again soon and often. I checked out your blog and it is very unique and quite interesting . Glad we connected! Namaste. . . . . .. . I do hope all will go well with your sight.

    • Good of you to drop in! I’ve been browsing your pages for some time. Seems to me, creating social change means long term goals and, about the child labour issue, the best way is to focus on the children themselves. There are examples of this in your post. [http://talesalongtheway.com/2013/09/04/child-labor/] Small reactions, like the boy waving from the building. People like to read about details like that, the world needs to know the little things; what it’s really like to be a child in these circumstances – ordinary responses we can identify with and recognise, rather than it being only a social problem that specialists in government departments deal with. Thanks for visiting here and welcome. I’ll have the operation on the right eye in late September, so things will definitely improve after that. Look forward to more discussion on this and other subjects…

  12. Hello there. I just came across your blog after you left a message on one of my posts last year (apologies, I have only just seen it)…I don’t write there often. I’ll be coming back to yours from now on.

    Paul

  13. Good to hear from you. Yes I remember you were living in Thailand and had some interesting observations about the culture. I would have liked to hear more about it. Hope you get back to writing 🙂 Thanks for following up my message

  14. It was really nice of you to be on my blog ! I am happier that I came here and discovered another world of thoughts, beliefs and experiences. Indeed a pleasure and honour to know the world through different perspectives!

  15. I do look forward to learning from your thoughts, your knowledge, your insights into life as you know it and that you have experienced.

  16. Hello tiramit, nice to meet you. I’ve been travelling around your blog. You paint such beautiful pictures with your words. I am drawn in; I wish I had time to read more.
    Thank you for visiting our blog and for the ‘likes’.
    Blessings
    Alison

    • Hi Alison and Don, good to hear from you. I’m amazed by your journeys, the travelling life is something I know a bit about but you’re way beyond my itineraries. So many interesting things in the world. Thanks for the visit.

  17. Amazing to see many more people being inspired by the work of the Ajahns! I’ve been inspired by Ajahn Brahm a lot.. he was there for me (in the virtual) at the right time when i needed guidance and teachings the most. Now, one year later i’ve started studying Buddhism myself.

    Ajahn Brahm is also the source of my blog subtext: Be Kind, Be Compassionate

    I wish you all the best on your path and i’ll follow your footsteps from now on 🙂

    Pieter

    May all beings be free from suffering!

    • Thank you Pieter, and welcome to the blog. It was the Ajahns in Wat Pahnanchat, Thailand and Wat Dhammapala in Switzerland who showed me the Way. I’ve read one of Ajahn Brahm’s books Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond. There’s a similarity in all of these teachings, as you know, they are all sourced in Ajahn Chah’s Teachings. Thanks again for making contact, I’ll be in touch…

  18. Hi T,

    Interesting site!

    Love Thailand, people | food | culture etc.

    Thx. For your continued support of NDA.

    Please send us a direct email (via our contact form) when you have time.

    Matthew King
    Non-Duality America

  19. Hello, many thanks for reading my blog – it’s great to discover yours too. A friend of mine has been in Thailand recently, caught up in the Bangkok unrest – was it as turbulent as it seemed? All the more reason for zazen I think – keep calm, rise up and carry on!

    • Thanks for dropping in. Yes, the strange thing about the unrest is that it’s the (intense) calm that you notice. Buddhists don’t get caught up in ‘feeling’ and that’s how the majority cope with it. Not easy to hold that mindfulness though, traffic flow is a big problem because roads are closed due to demonstrations. It’s not turbulent really, more like increasing pressure, a tightening grip. It’s like we’re just on the edge of it, near the tipping point. There are examples in the past of people going a bit mad in situations like this and the emotional holding gives way. Hope it doesn’t come to that.

  20. Thank you so much for reading my most recent posts and sending me supporting energy by way of a “Like”. It means a great deal to me that you read my work and that you liked it enough to let me know. I am grateful. So grateful. For you.

    • Thanks for visiting here Dana. I’m interested in your observations about our shared world, awakenedness, and the spirit of transition. Blogging is a way to contemplate the mutuality of conscious awareness…

  21. Hey tiramit, thanks for liking my new blog. You also visited my old blog, and we had some correspondence regarding my struggle whether to disrobe or not. Well I took the middle path, didn’t disrobe but became an independent monk. Keep up the good writing and mindfulness!

    • Dharmasar, I found you again by chance in the WordPress blog category: Buddhism. There’s something about this – the recollecting of former lives… good to know where you are now and thanks for visiting

  22. Hello, thank you for a really gripping blog; insightful and thoughtful at so many levels. Thank you also for stopping by. I hope to have a conversation with you about buddhism and advaita, as I am fascinated by both traditions. Many thanks again.

    • Thank you, wow… such a generous comment. Glad to meet you and know you have these interests. I started off with Theravadin buddhism and still follow that but I’ve integrated the advaita way of seeing it. Listening to Rupert Spira talks at the moment and Lisa Cairns

      • That’s quite something! Incidentally, just a month or so ago I discovered Rupert Spira on the net; very clear communicator. I am not familiar with Lisa Cairns but I’ll look her up. Thanks for the pointer 🙂

      • Lisa Cairns is more into just conscious experience. I prefer Rupert S and his meticulous explanations. Another series worth looking into is Conscious TV with Ian and Renata McNay. They have interviewed all the Non Duality people. I was quite amazed by the interview with David Bingham (see link above) I think it was the first interview with Renata McNay…

  23. Thanks for the like Tiramit! I always appreciate your support! Hope all is well. I am getting your posts weekly in my in box. Need to get to the latest one. I always enjoy them.
    Suzanne

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