We are delighted to present Rob Horsfall, body and soul explorer, journey provider, Buddhist monk, retreat review guru, and now training in Chinese medicine. To Rob, an Explorer is someone who is discovering spirituality in all its forms, who sees things in a non-materialistic way. Someone who is looking for ways in which to deepen their experience of life and… become more alive.
So let's get to know more about him!
Tell me about what you do.
Quite a few things!
I’m currently in my second year of studying Chinese Medicine, studying acupuncture, cupping and Tuinai, which is a very gentle type of massage.
Three years ago, I developed a website which allows people to list yoga, meditation, and any type of retreats, like, for example, painting retreats… anything that’s got the word retreats in it. Now it has about 700 listings from all over the world. I wanted to make it for free, so people can advertise their retreats.
I practice yoga, and chi-qong and I meditate. Sometimes I do Buddhist retreats, or other form of retreats as well. I do chanting, based on original texts written 2,000 years ago, which I learned as a monk back in Sri Lanka.
Tell us more about that.
It feels like quite a long time ago... When studying Philosophy, I had the idea that being a monk was a life that I would quite like to lead. When I went to India to try it, the monasteries there looked quite difficult to integrate. In Sri Lanka, I went to a meditation center for a while which led me to a monastery just north of Kandy and I was really inspired by this incredible place spanning 5000 acres of forested land and mountains. I quickly tied up all my loose ends in the UK, closed all my bank accounts and gave it four years.
I came back because I felt that I wasn’t giving much back. I was just meditating a lot. It was a very beautiful life in many ways, but I needed to find a balance between meditation and being in the world as well. So I started training as a psychotherapist, as a foundation course. That was really good, and I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t resonate hugely with the philosophy behind it. So, I found that I resonated more with acupucture, and its teachings. Maybe one day I’ll teach meditation, but I still feel as if I have to learn a lot before I can do that.
What is your motivation for doing what you do?
The Buddhist teachings are all about purifying the mind, the heart, and being skilfull in your actions. If you can do something that you love and it helps people at the same time… I think it’s perfect!
Where can we find you?
I built the website I've mentioned before - Review my Retreat - the idea came while in Sri Lanka, to have something like Tripadvisor, but for retreats. I'm also using Facebook, Pinterest, and also Instagram which has been very useful for me.
Do you travel often?
I took a year in between school and University, and I went to Australia where I worked on a cattle ranch, as a sort of cowboy. After, I went to Singapore and then Bali, doing touristy stuff. But I didn’t feel that it broadened my mind at all. So, about a year and a half later I went to India,to a place called Tamil Nadu. It was there that I felt a broadening experience. Seeing people who were a lot poorer than I was, but which seeme genuinely happier than I was. Which was really interesting.
I went to a place in Rishikesh, and there I started reading meditation and yoga books which I’ve never come across before. It was like the “coming home” moment. I felt like “wow, this is what I’ve been looking for all my life”. All my values changed and I wanted to become a yoga teacher or a gardener. All my material ambitions dropped away. It was just the most eye opening experience.
I’ve always felt drawn to South-East Asia. You know, some places you feel drawn to. Some places you feel at home. And I think…there are so many different ways of traveling. It might sound like a cliché thing to say, but it really broadens one's horizons.
What kinds of events do you attend?
I do ceremonies like: rhythm dancing, ecstatic dances, cacao ceremonies, and sound baths.
I’ve been on a couple of ayahuasca retreats which have been very helpful in terms of processing emotional baggage that meditation can’t get to. The last couple of years I’ve been exploring some tantra teachings that I’ve found interesting. I went to this festival in Sweden last year which was really interesting, seeing different teachings.
How can people book a journey with you?
I love trading, swapping. In acupuncture, we do this a lot. I really like that. I’ve had this idea that I would do acupuncture on a donation basis and see how that goes. I don’t know if it would work, but I want to try it. I’ve seen it before so I think it’s a good idea to take away the monetary aspect. I want to make it available for as many people as I can, because not many can afford acupuncture.
What do you think of the Truself Explorers community?
I think it’s a great idea. Any kind of structure that connects people together or brings people to events… that’s what it’s so great about the Internet, it enables people to connect with whatever their thing is, and if there’s a means of a platform to bring people together and for them to find their thing, I think it’s great!
How will the Truself Explorers community enrich your current experience?
If people are looking for an acupuncturist or a retreat, and can find what I have to offer through your website, then it’s a great thing!
Do you have friends who would be interested in joining the community?
Yes I know people would definitely be interested, and I’ll surely tell them about it!