Russell Makoto

(nee McClelland)

For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to find the deeper meaning of what it is I am doing here on this planet at this time... What is life about...? This search has taken me on a winding path that has traversed many countries, many cultures, spiritual practices, and countless perspectives to now finds me at a place of incredible beauty; a place in the Australian bush that asks me to live a simple life, a life growing our own food, eating well & sinking into slower pace where a more natural expression of my humanity is possible.

This winding and often challenging path that has led me to where I now am has seen me traverse an array of spiritual disciplines, including healing and martial arts, formal meditative practices and less formal traditional practices. From an early life immersed in the ways of making a living from the land, where many of the practical skills that I now find invaluable were honed, I traveled the well worn road to the city. What was to be an information day for a massage course turned into a 20 year odyssey that at times took me to the depths of despair and at others to peak experiences of the human condition. Arriving in "the city" and meeting my teacher set me on a path of no return and although he no longer walks beside me, his laughter still guides my steps. Settling on the study of shiatsu, aikido, yoga & meditation as the mainstays of my spiritual practice, I found a way of watching myself in the world that has given me the ability to constantly reference my actions. After more than 25 years these practices have come to inform my daily life in a way that I cannot imagine being without.

These days I find myself sinking deeper than ever into a slower way of living that is no longer a retreat from another way of life but has become the whole of how I try to live. No longer is there a stepping into and out of different ways of being. Now life is the practice  and shiatsu, aikido, yoga and meditation provide the reference points for all experiences, from washing the dishes to digging in the earth. Living a life in this way has been my deepest motivation and to have the environment that supports this I feel so much gratitude. With this feeling of gratitude comes a strong feeling of responsibility to share what I have learnt and experienced on this journey.