True success is measured by peace of mind.

Peter Bligh

Peter Bligh was my special guest last night on Voices from the North. From Hastings to Herekino, with many hallowed stops in between, Peter Bligh’s life journey has been more than one of physically moving north and west on New Zealand’s North Island. It has been a journey of awakening to the reality that success is not necessarily measured with dollars and cents or with rungs on a career ladder, but by the peace of mind felt in daily life. His school days saw him rubbing shoulders with people who’ve become household names. Paul Holmes was a classmate. Paul is indisputably the most well known of this country’s media stars. Paul has been successful in a traditional sense. Peter Bligh’s life has been a success in another less tangible way.

Click below for the complete interview:

Today Peter is a teacher of yoga and meditation. Yesterday he was a professional fundraiser. He sees no dichotomy between these two functions. For centuries Indian holy men have answered the call to move to forest or mountain to establish ashrams: places of retreat from the pulls of everyday existence; places specially designed for immersion in the ancient arts of yoga and meditation. The building of such ashrams requires external input and money. So, perhaps, these Indian saints have been the originators of what is called fundraising today.

Vivekananda in London in 1896

Thou art He that beareth the burdens of the universe;

help me to bear the little burden of this life.

Extract from a prayer Swami Vivekananda delivered at the Chicago World’s Parliament of Religions September 1893.

In our hour together Peter told the story of how the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the world’s largest and best known philanthropic charities, was seeded through a meeting of John D.  Rockefeller with one of India’s greatest yogis, Swami Vivekananda, in the last years of the 19th century. When Rockefeller foisted a huge sum of money on Vivekananda, he was surprised to hear not even a word of thanks from the saint. Swami Vivekananda’s only words were, “It is for you to thank me.” Perhaps the pundit was pointing out through his actions that through receiving the monetary gift from Rockefeller, he was giving the wealthy industrialist the joy of giving. For more on that famous story visit here. 

Sometimes the greatest act of giving you can make is to wholeheartedly receive the gift of another.

Mandala Yoga Ashram

Peter Bligh has spent years working, studying and teaching overseas: at Mandala Yoga Ashram in Wales (the UK’s largest ashram), at Satyanandashram Hellas in Greece, throughout northern Europe and in India. He initially came to the relative remoteness of Herekino in the Far North to deepen his own spiritual practice.

He teaches yoga and meditation because he sees these skills as indispensable means for improving flexibility of body and mind and for training one to overcome the fears innate to the human condition—fears which often motivate us to turn to temporary antidotes like alcohol and drugs or to indulge in the over-busy-ness we in the West tend to turn to. Peter wonders if this tendency to over-activity represents a running-away-from or masking of the innate fears chasing us all. I wonder too. I am grateful for the hour I had with Peter Bligh on the radio. Once again, you can hear it below:


Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit:

In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews


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