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An Interview with The Barefoot Doctor

Author of best selling and tremendously useful books such as Barefoot Doctor's Handbook for the Urban Warrior- healer and creator of fantastic potions- the brilliant Barefoot Doctor tells us how to ad...

Author of best selling and tremendously useful books such as Barefoot Doctor's Handbook for the Urban Warrior- healer and creator of fantastic potions- the brilliant Barefoot Doctor tells us how to add a spiritual dimension to shopping.

What is a barefoot doctor?

In the ancient orient, wandering healers would tramp about the countryside keeping the people healthy and in good spirits by teaching taichi, chi gung and other psychophysical methods from Taoism. Treating them with herbs and acupuncture, massage and bone setting, energy healing, and generally entertaining them with poetry and song.

This barefoot doctor is the post-modern global, urban model -tramping about the planet, polluting the air with airplane fuel, bringing spiritual succour to the world through his self-help advice, books, TV, radio, music, performance and even perfume.

Do you shop ethically?

Mostly, but am quite led by belief in certain brands being ethical without really having full knowledge of their doings i.e. slightly emotionally led, but generally, I am not a huge consumer.

Are the consequences of what you buy important to you?

Yes, of course, but its like going on airplanes to get places to heal the world while helping to destroy it with pollution, I accept this is not a perfect scenario and no brand is totally clean.

How important are environmental issues to people's well-being?

All important in one way, the present rate of environmental destruction is bad for everyone's health because if we don't reverse it we'll all die.

How easy is it to be awakened spiritually in a consumer driven society?

Waking up happens wherever you are - consumer driven society or not. Staying awake becomes an imperative subsequently because it gets so uncomfortable every time you fall back into the consumerist, ego driven stupor. So you tend to stay awake. In reality, the realm of spirit is not affected by surface considerations as consumerism. It goes much deeper than that. The main danger is getting lost in greed and fear, but that's hard to do for long once you've woken up.

What affect does consumerism have on people at a spiritual level?

Your connection/dialogue/relationship with the spiritual realm (within) is definitely clouded in the consumerist world. Without strong self-discipline to nurture it on a daily basis, through the practice of some kind of spiritual/psychophysical training, it is distracted, diverted and dissipated. However, the actual spirit itself, is unbounded and unlimited in its essence and cannot be defiled through the profane ?it can only affect your connection with it.

What are the most common problems people seek your advice about?

Depression, anxiety, fear about the world, confusion in relationships, guilt, loneliness, then stuff like migraine, eczema, acne, breathing problems, obesity, anorexia, hair loss, cancer and all kinds of things really.

You say that depression, anxiety and fear about the world are the predominant things people contact you about, is this a reflection, in one sense, of the corrosive influence western consumer culture is having?

You mean the cynicism and emptiness of our society leads to depression etc? Yes, of course, but its also part of a greater cycle - the gradual awakening of the human race as a body. At the moment we're going through the adolescent phase where everything is coming out like acne - so it can be healed. So in a way, this mass depression thing is a good sign that the existential crisis we spend so much energy pushing down (depressing) using consumerism as the diversion device, is finally coming to the surface to be dealt with properly. In societies where spiritual awareness is more closely woven into the daily fabric, isolation is not such a problem. In non-consumerist groups you tend to find the greater family and local community is a strong force.

How did you put together your range of products, and what do they provide?

I started with a scent which I made from oils, then I designed the branding and then asked around about how to market perfume and four years later, as if by total magic, it's in 300 Boots stores, soon to be in 500, as well as in other outlets around the world.

A lot of love goes into it and that's mostly what people get - on a subliminal level anyway. No product will change your psyche, but the messages on the packaging, the smell, the feel, the texture, the colour and the vibe can trigger you to make changes yourself. Also the products are luxurious at a fair price and people can feel that.

Are they environmentally friendly or organic?

Yes, they're environmentally friendly; the containers are all biodegradable and recyclable. No they're not organic, but a blend of mostly organic, slightly synthetic, but this is only to increase the luxury factor with such actions as lathering and spreading. If entirely organic compounds were fulfilling these functionsBusiness Management Articles, the price would be so prohibitive there wouldn't be a range in the first place.

How did you learn to disseminate your energy through the Internet?

Just played around with it with the intention to emanate and in time got a bit of a result. But I'm really still working on it as far as the site's concerned. Emails are another thing - very direct - immediate effect on people. I write with energy and love and it comes through the screen in the words - same as with anyone else really.

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