An accomplished musician whilst still at school, James started on his spiritual path at the end of the 90s when he took a sabbatical from IT consultancy in Luxembourg.
James travelled throughout South-East Asia, and settled in Southern Thailand for a while, teaching scuba-diving on Koh Tao. Here he was introduced to Buddhist meditation and retreats, most notably at the nearby forest monastery Wat Suan Mokkh.
In 2001, feeling drawn to a more physically active monastic environment, he travelled to China to study at the Northern China Academy of Shaolin Martial Arts. He was, however, disappointed at the lack of interiorisation he found, and so went looking. He discovered his first teacher, Master Wan An Ping, in Jiangxi province. The process involved standing motionless for up to 14 hours each day, and James was graced with experiences which, although unclear and misinterpreted, reinforced his suspicions that there was more to the Universe than he had previously seen.
When the SARS virus hit, James had to escape China, and found himself back in Thailand, where Agama Yoga’s Swami Vivekananda Saraswati had just arrived from India to teach the First Level Intensive Course. Eastern mysticism with Western explanation. “Inspirational and life-changing was the dinner I shared with Swami. He unravelled some of the China experiences for which, up until then, I had no explanation.
It felt like I’d found something, and someone really important."
James stayed at Swami’s side for the next several years, throwing himself into his practice with the same determination that China had shown possible. He also took on much of the management of the school at that time, from accounts and website design, to lecture videoing and teaching. James considers himself very fortunate to have been on-the-ground during those first formative years: "Evenings sitting with the older students were a blessed time".
James is an experienced meditator, having initiations and completed many retreats in Goenka Vipassana, TM, Hridaya, Laya and Kriya forms.
The Agama system of yoga is, in his opinion, the most perfectly suited application of the combination of yoga and meditation that there is.
Now living back in England, James manages a private medical clinic.
In 2008 James started the UKs first branch (in Bristol), and in 2014 he opened Eternal Yoga in Norwich. Having recently completed several years of intense medical study, he now intends making annual trips back to Thailand, and to introduce seekers in The West to these most precious of teachings.
James is, at heart, a karma yogi. However, he loves the beauty and purity of tantric sexuality, the mystery of the siddhis (paranormal powers), the rewards of fasting and tapas (hard practices), and the challenges of yoga and awareness jn daily life.
He loves to see his students' aspirations and devotion to a spiritual path grow, and is eternally grateful for the Grace, love and support he has received from Swami Vivekananda, and all his teachers.
James is supported by his shakti, Ania.