Philip Shepherd has a passion for adventure and exploration that has guided him for most of his life. At 18 it took him from his native Canada to cycle alone around the world through Europe, the Middle East, Iran, India and Japan. But that trip, adventurous as it was, merely expressed a commitment to a more crucial adventure – coming to understand the subtle and often hidden aspects of our culture that affect us all, compromising our sense of self, our connection with the living world, our freedom of expression, and our creative engagement with the present.
As a young teenager, Philip could feel that influence pulling at him like an undertow to conform to given limits of thinking, understanding, values and body awareness, and felt he could resist its pull only if he understood it. That prompted him to study classical Noh Theater in Japan, design and build several houses, co-found an arts magazine, “Onion”, co-found an interdisciplinary theater company, teach workshops on embodied thinking and spontaneous creativity, write two internationally produced plays and a CBC documentary, and earn a reputation as a corporate coach. In 2001 Philip began to write “New Self, New World”, and over the next nine years worked on it continuously to pull all the strands of his understanding together, and challenge the 10,000-year-old story of our culture, which tells us what it means to be human.
Philip speaks with Joanna about the reconnection with the body’s energetic intelligence; world-centered self-knowledge; gut feeling, vulnerability; surfers of presence; partnering with the world; rooted in the mindful earth; the brain in the belly; immersed in the wild peace; the participatory dimension of consciousness.
”I Can’t Sit Still”, original music by Evarusnik