I suppose I grew up travelling.
I was born in the Kalgoorilie goldfields and for 13 years my mother and I followed my father on his restless endeavor to find himself.
First he took us through the minefields of Northern Australia (he was a mining engineer) and then overseas - through Italy, France, Egypt, Sri Lanka to England, when we lived. Eventually we ended up back in Australia where we continued to live with our suitcases, cartons and scuffed furniture constantly on the move. Then, when I was 13, my parents decided I was going a bit feral, so we settled in Ringwood, in Melbourne and the traveling stopped.
For my family anyway ...
Because by 18, I'd left home, and since then it's been a strange life, and extremely interesting, though I often wish had been a little more settled. But as they say, you can't always get what you want, can you - but I got what I needed.
In the early 70's, Melbourne was alive with artists, musicians and film makers - everyone was doing something, and most pubs had bands playing.
I went to Art School in Melbourne, and lived in a huge dilapidated mansion which, in a later novel, 'Levin's God' I called the Lighthouse. It was in the chaotic warren of echoey rooms and stairways of that vast house, that I began writing songs - which lead me to a rock band called the Cruisers, whose principal fans were the Melbourne chapter of the Hell's Angels who tended to scare every one else away.
Next I formed a punk band called Secret Police and the catharsis of singing, performing and writing songs suited me, so I got ambitious, and decided I wanted to be a famous pop star. For that purpose I formed a pop band called The Little Heroes, and though we did indeed become quite famous - we made 3 albums, a hit single and we were on the radio and tellie - we were never a great live band, and I think in Australia you really need to be good live if you're going to make it. I loved performing, but I didn't like all the ridiculous poncing about that went with being a pop star.
Plus my chaotic temperament made me feel like a caged animal in that band so, in 1985 I left with no idea where I was headed next.
To be truthful, it took a long time to let go of the trappings of fame, however mediocre it might have been. I think it's hard for any performer to let go of all that cheap adulation, because it fills up that part of our heart that feeds on love - our most primal need to be acknowledged and adored. Standing on a stage beneath bright lights, with all those eyes watching you, and many adoring you, certainly fills that hole.
Eventually I got past it .. I'm sure I must I sound like a recovering addict ...but ...well, it's a very powerful drug which only the very strong can handle. And I don't think I was strong enough at that time. Some are, some aren't - I wasn't.
It took about 5 years for me to recover a degree of physical health and mental equilibrium, during which I worked as a waiter in a friends coffee bar and traveled to South East Asia and China.
Then I became fascinated with Vipassana meditation. Or maybe Vipassana found me .. I"m never quite sure.
Beginning in 1991, I spent months, then years (cumulatively speaking) in Thailand in a number of monasteries, being trained in various methods of Vipassana meditation and working under different Acharns..
I spent a large part of 15 years training in Vipassana meditation methods, and it gave me new abilities - principally it gave me back my physical health, it calmed me down and gave me focus, and I found the focus and ability to write books.
So that's what I did next.
I have since written four books, of which two so far have been published - 'Happy to Burn' (about meditation) and more recently a novel, 'Levin's God', which was published in 2006.
Since 1994 I have taught meditation and led seminars and retreats throughout Australia and in Bali, and continued to write, with a new novel, "Sweet Emptiness" only recently completed.
I have also just finished recording the entire 12 hours of my meditation course, to make it available for download. Just scroll down to the end of any of my posts on the 'Meditation Makes Sense' blog and you'll find the download link.
I currently live with my girlfriend Anna in Thailand and travel throughout SE Asia ... going wherever life and my activities take me, and I have absolutely no idea what will happen next.
Life the adventure.