12 September 2016

Three paradigm shifts that affect us all

It is a remarkable thing to have lived long enough to observe 3 remarkable changes in my working life that represent major paradigm shifts. A paradigm shift is well described as a fundamental change in the way something is thought of and practiced.

So this week, we go Out on a Limb to investigate these amazing changes, and I will ask for your help to share the benefits they offer. The easiest way to do that may well be to simply share this post. The information may even be useful personally!, but first

             Thought for the day

The problems seem huge. 
What we can do seems insignificant. 
Nevertheless, it is essential that we do it!

                      Mahatma Gandhi

1. MEDITATION - from fringe to mainstream

The Change
In 1967, the Beatles travelled to India, met the Maharishi, returned and helped to popularize meditation in the West.

As a consequence, meditation perceptually became a fringe domain widely regarded with suspicion.

It was not so easy advocating and teaching it back in the ‘80s…

Now, in 2016, meditation is clearly mainstream. Widely advocated and practiced, we could say meditation is now trendy.

Certainly looks good on the CV.

This dramatic change has been driven by research and the fact that so many these days know someone whose life stands in testament to the many benefits of meditation.

How you can help
Recommend your colleagues, your clients, your friends and family to meditation.

My wife Ruth, a GP, and I have a combined history of over 50 years teaching meditation. We co-present meditation retreats regularly for those wanting an immersive experience, while my books Peace of Mind and Meditation, an In-depth Guide provide excellent entry points.

Maybe you might like to train with us personally?
We co-facilitate Meditation Teacher Training residential programs regularly.

Or be guided in your own meditation practise using our App?

2. CANCER and the IMMUNE SYSTEM - from useless to the great new hope

The Change
My own recovery from a particularly difficult cancer in the late ‘70s was based on my hypothesis that cancer could be reversed by activating and targeting the immune system.

When I started to facilitate lifestyle-based cancer self help groups in 1981, this hypothesis was ridiculed by mainstream cancer medicine. Back then it was claimed there was no way the immune system could contribute to cancer recovery.

In 2016, another paradigm shift.

New cancer treatments are moving on from where chemotherapy and radiotherapy left off.

New drugs activate the immune system and target them onto specific cancers.

These treatments offer much promise, yet can cost up to $150,000 per person per year, are as yet somewhat unpredictable in their efficacy and are prone to significant side effects.

However, they clearly do establish that an activated immune system does offer much to those affected by cancer.

How you can help
Everyone diagnosed with cancer needs to be aware that they can learn how to activate and target their own immune system - through their own efforts. This is basic. It is relatively cheap, side effect free and empowering. Everyone will benefit from doing this. It is complementary to, and will support any other treatments they have.

People are best advised to take up on this at first diagnosis, not when all else has failed.

Therapeutic nutrition, meditation, guided imagery and so on; people need accurate, reliable information and they need support to implement a therapeutic lifestyle aimed at getting the best from their own potential to heal and to be well.

Please do encourage anyone you know with cancer to become informed and to avail themselves of what is possible.

As you are probably aware, Ruth and I also regularly lead specific cancer residential programs , and my book You Can Conquer Cancer, recently updated, is a good entry point. Or you could refer those in need to the organization I founded - The Gawler Foundation.

3. COMMUNICATION - from clunky to seamless

The Change
In the early ‘80s when our groups began, anyone who was unable to attend or who wanted ongoing
support between sessions used a cassette tape.

Old enough to remember them?

And videocassettes? Then came discs – CDs followed by DVDs; and now social media, YouTube and Apps. All driven by the extraordinary rate of development in technology and the community’s enthusiasm to use it.

How you can help
Maybe you or someone you know would benefit from a meditation App?

I have been involved in developing the platform App The Meditation Gateway that enables teachers of meditation to easily and freely upload their own material and provide it to their students via a technologically advanced App. If you are a teacher, maybe it will be of use for you?

Also, Ruth and my own teachings and guided practices (as on our Mindbody Mastery program) are available via the Meditation Gateway. Maybe you can use this specific program yourself, or simply refer it to friends, colleagues or clients.

Go to the Meditation Gateway App, download it, and select Mindbody Mastery in the voice you prefer – mine, Ruth’s, a US female or Indian male. There is a free 10 day trial on offer :

Life is changing all the time – in big and small ways. All the time. It is quite a delight to have lived long enough to observe these 3 huge changes; and maybe you can be an agent for positive change and help spread their benefits.



Meditation Retreats
Ruth and I, with the help of Liz Stillwell, will personally lead our next 7 day meditation retreat in New Zealand :  October 22 - 28.

Next Aussie one, April 2017 in the Yarra Valley.

In NZ, we will give attention to the major experiences of deeper meditation – stillness, clarity and bliss. We will explore these states experientially and examine their relevance in an ongoing and satisfying meditation practice.

This promises to be one of the very best retreats – well worth travelling from Australia to attend, or making the journey to the glorious Mana Retreat Centre from anywhere around New Zealand.


Meditation Teacher Training 
The program - October 10 - 14 - may be fully booked already – check with the office.
Next year's dates will be available very soon...


Specific cancer residential programs 

8 days In Wanaka New Zealand 
- November 3 - 10
This is a comprehensive program focusing on activating and targeting the immune system, accelerating healing, much more on a therapeutic lifestyle, along with a range of strategies for heightening emotional health and wellbeing.

Again we will have the incomparable help of Liz Stillwell and the amazing Stew Burt - the ideal starting point for everyone affected by cancer.

5 days in the Yarra Valley : November 14 - 18
More designed as a follow-up cancer program for those who have done a previous program with Ruth and myself, the Foundation, or one of its affiliates. Call the Foundation for details of eligibility.


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