As we enter the new year, this theme of natural simplicity is one I will gratefully carry with me as one of the key experiences and insights from last year.

In September 2023 I was part of a pilgrimage walk with 11 other men to Assisi in Italy. We followed the path that St Francis walked, integrating consciousness practices with reflection and walking. We walked 75 miles (120km) over 7 days, carrying our packs, starting each day at 6am, not eating anything between breakfast and dinner except fruit from the trees we might find on the way, some days fasting for 24 hrs. We were hosted beautifully by Sujith Ravindran. We covered our costs as we went, staying in simple shared accommodation. We each decided at the end how much we would like to donate to Sujith’s work as a recognition of his contribution.

I hadn’t been on a “training” for years – nothing had really called to me. When I received the invitation to this walk it just felt right. There was something in the simplicity of it.
As we walked the path, Sujith invited us to unfold what became our “leadership manifesto”. The most powerful exercise for me was a visit to my “future self”.
The three key qualities of the future Peter that I met were simple presence, crystal clarity and deep compassion. They resonated so deeply. Since that meeting I am able to tune into my future self and feel those qualities in me now. There is something really fundamental about them.
These qualities were also reflected in the world I saw around my future self. It was a world in which we are recovering from the trauma of the industrial age and the breakdown that it ended in. We are helping each other in simple ways. We are ensuring we all get our needs met. We are just getting the stuff done that needs to get done.

The unnecessary complexity, amount of stuff, debates and discussions have fallen away. Into a kind of grace. The words I wrote to describe the world I saw were “a consciousness-based world of natural simplicity, joy and grace”.
We had a found a way to make things simple. It all felt natural and obvious. We had replaced the industrial-age externally-created resource-intensive and life-depleting technologies with solutions that were life-generating and so obvious we often marvelled at how we could have got so lost in the cognitive-mind driven progress obsession that so marked the industrial age. People often carried gentle smiles.
Many of our approaches came from the co-creativity of our inner world and the world around us. We healed through intention and information. We grew, vitalised and protected our food with our consciousness. Education and learning was embedded in our everyday life with natural cross-generational exchange. The technologies we needed were fuelled by their natural design, embedding the proportions and dynamics that Gaia uses to create the incredible abundance of life around us. They were directed through our intention. Everything vitalised everything else. Waste as a concept seemed ridiculous. All of these are things we already know how to do, here at the start of 2024.
Above all it felt simple. Whenever I tune into it, which I do regularly, my whole body-mind relaxes and I feel myself drop into that simple presence. The cognitive mind quietens down. I see fully the world around me. I know what I have to do next. And that is all I need to know for now.
I am choosing to start living that future now in the belief that it is the what we in the industrialised world most need. We have become so lost in an external reality that we have made way too complicated. We simply need to reconnect, slow down and then we know what is ours to do. Withdraw our attention, energy and consent from the hollow world of materialism, and come home to ourselves, each other and this planet that is our home. Then the old will fade, the new will blossom, and we will find ourselves living in a world in which our hearts sing, our minds play and our bodies thrive. The world we choose to live in is a choice that is ours in every moment. Just choose.

3 Comments

  1. Your words take me back to the infinite fountain of love and wisdom that we shared during the walk. Thank you for your presence and leadership. You are cherished.

  2. Dear Peter, happy New year.
    Reading your post have given me certainty about some of the issues I have been grappling with for some time now, for which I had not found appropriate wording to describe them.
    You put it so beautifully.
    In appreciation always
    Luca

  3. Thanks for sharing this @peter it’s beautiful and life giving! Happy New Year!


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