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David Gore Graham and Inge Benda

 

These are our personal stories.

Inge and DAvid

 

 

David Gore Graham

 

 

After a relatively normal upbringing in Scotland through boarding school and university, when I reached my late twenties I finally admitted to myself that my life was not working. I was dreadfully unhappy and in deep emotional pain, I had a stomach ulcer, smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, my marriage had just collapsed and I became a single parent, my business had almost gone bankrupt, my family cut me off, etc. etc. I had to do something.

I became a seeker after truth and this road led to and through TM, J Krishnamurti, vegetarianism, The Karmapa and Tibetan Buddhism, Anandamayi Ma, Arica, practicing as an Astrologer in NYC for a time, Siddha Yoga, Zen Buddhism, Sufism, etc. This knowledge and practice led to significant change and I was living a life that worked pretty well. I thought I was pretty special and had a really deep understanding of the spiritual life. Little did I know!

 

"Desperation, let me always know how to welcome you." Rumi

 

After my umpteenth (well not quite) relationship collapsed, I could no longer accept that my partners anger with me (the usual outcome) was totally their fault. Serendipitously, I found a wonderful therapist who taught me that having a full intellectual understanding of my emotions is not the same as actually feeling and experiencing them. He made me, literally, stay with my feelings and stop analysing altogether. What a novel idea! Well, it was to me at the time. Prior to this, I would have argued till I was blue in the face that I was in touch with my feelings and was a real touchy feely guy! My fine mind had been in driver's seat and I had understood everything through the lens of the intellect without even realizing it.

Over a period of about three months magic happened and I had the most amazing breakthrough. I saw, for the first time, who I really was and the games I played. Wow! What a shock and an embarrassment that was. Very painful too. Nevertheless at the end of it I was transformed into an authentic and accountable feeling person, and released from the tyranny of my mind. I also learned how to get in touch with, and release, my deepest, most hidden, emotional energy and in so doing continue to let the magical transformation, as described in "Breathe and Heal" take place.

Following this transformation I received the greatest gift: my union with Inge, my life partner and friend. We have a genuine soul connection and a relationship of a quality that I had imagined was possible but never expected to experience. I am also blessed with a wonderful son, Max, a DJ and composer of world renown.

I currently offer my services as a health counselor, mediator and coach. I have just completed writing my second book Wellbeing Matters. For information on my published books go here.

 

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Inge Benda

 

 

Like most people I was a shallow breather!

From an early age I felt called to help heal the vulnerable (Albert Schweitzer and Maria Teresa were my heroes) which led me to my vocation as an R. N. I worked as a pediatric intensive care nurse in Europe until I became a mother and homesteader in Canada.

I continued my passion for the healing arts together with living a wholesome lifestyle. My interests, which I dived into, included in nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, TCM, anthroposophy (Rudolf Steiner), and especially anthroposophical medicine plus yoga, meditation, Reiki, Listening hands therapy and many more alternative modalities.

I also traveled on the path of self-improvement; self help and became a spiritual seeker. Over those twenty years of sincere seeking I accumulated knowledge, but never found what I was looking for - to live in total harmony.

In 1997 I met a teacher Garuada*, who spoke passionately about the importance of deep breathing and was himself an excellent example. I immediately recognized that this important aspect of my life was the missing link! To breathe deeply naturally all of the time made complete and total sense to me.

I had difficulty breathing deeply at first and I soon realized that I had been holding lifetimes of tension in my body. My strong armour deluded me into thinking that I was just fine. All the therapy and workshops I had taken to this point in my life were purely on the psychological level and ignored the body. The breath became like a torch that melted the ice (armour) bit by bit, and I felt that Garuda was an archeologist unearthing hidden treasures.

This breathing work started to transform my life as nothing before. I became Garuda's full time student and apprentice for the next three years. For the following two and a half years we worked together giving sessions, workshops and retreats in Canada, USA and Australia.

Doing this work, which I have named "Breathe and Heal", enables us to live with total trust, empowerment, well-being, love and compassion for ourselves and others. Fear, anxiety, stress, guilt, shame, resentments, regrets, and self-pity can’t have a hold on us any more, and that to me is freedom.

My greatest reward in having had the courage to do this work, and enter "the dark night of the soul" for a period of time, is my union with David, my life partner. We have a relationship that is 'a dream come true'. It is easy, effortless, loving, caring, honouring each other, supportive, and every positive way of being together that we can imagine. And I feel extremely blessed to have great relationships with my three wonderful teenagers. My only wish is to share this work with as many fellow human beings as possible. I now know that when we live with these principles we are on our way to a peaceful existence, and a rediscovery of our humanity. I totally agree with the saying “we teach what we most need to learn”. And I want to add to that: Everybody has the capacity and the birthright to restore full respiration and experience a life free of stress, constant fear and conflicts.

“ A heart that breaks open has compassion for the whole world ” Unknown