More About Russell
Russell with locals in Monte San Biagio, Italy. His 'home' in 2007.
Russell on the last leg of his pilgrimage into Finesterre, Spain in 2011.
Russell Sturgess has been described as a thought leader in Western Mindfulness. He was first exposed to the principles of awareness and mindfulness in the late eighties when providence led him to study Attitudinal Healing with Dr Gerald Jampolsky M.D. in Tiburon Ca. and Dr Susan Trout Ph.D. in Washington D.C. Russell established a Centre for Attitudinal Studies in his home town in 1989 and alongside his clinical work in Osteopathic Remedial Therapies, taught awareness and mindfulness practices for over a decade.
In the early nineties, Russell began teaching his approach to healing (Fascial Kinetics) throughout the USA, doing lecture circuits four times a year, as well as being a presenter and keynote speaker at conferences throughout the USA, Australia and New Zealand. A key component to Russell’s work was the way he approached his healing philosophy, which taught therapists how to do their work mindfully. To this day he is still invited to conferences for health professionals, to present his mindful approach to healing.
Russell developed an interest in the idea of there being an approach to mindfulness that had roots in the west, as opposed to the more commonly know eastern approach that emerged from Buddhism. In 2007 he lived in southern Italy for almost a year while he researched and wrote his first book Metanoia, which presented the thesis that a western approach to mindfulness did emerge during the middle-ages in northern Italy. This approach was inspired by Gnostic-Christianity which re-emerged throughout Europe with the heretical Cathar.
As a result of his research Russell, was able to identify the core difference between the eastern and western approaches to mindfulness. Where the Buddhist approach was grounded in mediation, the eastern Cathar approach was contemplation. Both required the person to be the ‘observer’, but where meditation was focused on observing and releasing thoughts, contemplation considered the choice between what was and wasn’t serving (having become aware of the options) and then releasing the thoughts.
The western approach was inspired by the teachings from the Sermon of the Mount and in particular the Beatitudes. Having been a lay Christian minister and having been strongly influenced by Jampolsky’s Attitudinal Healing, Russell went on to develop a personal mentoring program in 2009 that was originally known as Beattitudinal Coaching. In 2012 he changed the name to Enhances Awareness Program (EAP). Ten years on and Russell has trained mentors throughout Australia and New Zealand, who deliver his western approach to mindfulness. To find out more about learning how to be a mentor, or to find a mentor who you think you might be better aligned with, go to www.eapmentor.com.
Russell walked the Camino de Santiago in 2011 as a contemplative journey. What he was contemplating was if he was prepared to devote the rest of his life to doing this work. On his 53rd birthday, at Finesterre, the cape west of Santiago, Russell participated in a ritual that marked his commitment to this work. Making this commitment meant that mindfulness mentoring would be placed high in his values. Consequently, the majority of his resources would be dedicated to that end. The journey since then has been about learning how to balance the love of humanity with his love for himself and those people close to him.
Russell’s vision is to have as many people as possible being aligned with a reality in which peace and healing pervades the world. He invites you to share in his vision, either by participating in one of his programs or by becoming an EAP Mentor.