My birth name is Craig. I was born in Elizabeth Vale, South Australia. My father was in the army and moved my mother, little brother and myself to Perth when I was four years old and I have been here ever since. I have a wife and two beautiful children all of which provide both joy and challenges! My work also proves challenging as it has taken me away from home over the years, sometimes for over a month at a time. As time went on the stress of both work and family life began to stack up and I found myself in a very dark place. Couple this with years of drug and alcohol use I was in a very fragile state indeed! So I began researching various new age ideologies and like a lot of ‘seekers’ eventually came across Buddhism. It seemed like a subject worth exploring so I began looking into it and found the Dharmadatu Sangha operating out of a room adjoining our local yoga studio here in Mandurah. After a few emails between Paul Beard and myself I mustered the motivation and courage to go down and have a look. What I found was a serene learning environment for both meditation and the Dharma, all presented by an experienced teacher in a western context. This was a couple of years ago now and although there are still bumps in the road, the Dharma has provided me with a sense of ‘home’, especially when times get tough. My practice is a work in progress and is constantly tested by both my own actions and outside entities. Meditation has helped me immensely to clear away negativity and gain clarity in my day to day life. I am and will be forever grateful for the support offered by the sangha and the Dharma path set out by the Buddha all those years ago.