He brings a deep interest and belief in the power of mindful living to help transform our difficulties.
Gary says that there are two wings to mindfulness practice – the practice of calming and stabilizing our emotional life, and the practice of developing a true understanding of the nature of our mind, and of the reality that it perceives.
Gary has been a student of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community in France, since 2002. He took his Five Mindfulness Training vows in 2003, receiving the lineage name ‘Stable Path of the Heart”.
He subsequently co-founded the Blue Sky Sangha in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2004, where he was able to share the teachings and practices of Plum Village with the downtown community.
Gary is now a senior practitioner in the Plum Village tradition and received his Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in 2008, becoming a Member of the Order of Interbeing.
Gary has an extensive background in various aspects of Psychology.
He studied and conducted research for his PhD in experimental neuropsychology at McGill University in the late 1960’s. His thesis was on the effect of fear on the perception of reality. This work was conducted on cats, and at an advanced point in his work, he quit and left behind a promising career, because he did not want to have to kill his laboratory cats any more, which was a necessary aspect of his research into brain function.
One of the key findings of his research was his developing understanding of the nature of personal reality, and how the mind basically sees and reacts to itself.
He went back to school to take a Masters Practicum in Pastoral Counselling at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, in 1983. This was among the most valuable training he ever received – it taught him the value and power of just listening to someone to help them free their mind, so they could make better life decisions.
Gary subsequently worked as a Training Specialist for the Government of Canada, and later began his own training business, teaching instructional skills, counselling skills, conflict resolution skills, as well as the principles of instructional design and evaluation.
Gary is very happy to be here at New Life, to share his skills and interest in Mindful Living as a path to liberation from suffering.