I was born in a loving family, in a beautiful natural environment (the hinterland of Nice in the South of France), and I had the great fortune to be able to take full advantage of the gifts that life holds for young children: wonder and innocence.
It was this golden age, I think, that allowed me during my business studies (ESC Reims) and my apprenticeship in Treasury at LVHM to quickly realize that I was not doing well, that my love of life – and my passion for nature – was not being satisfied… and that a little voice deep inside me was desperately screaming to be heard.
I was on the track that had been laid out for me for years, I was good at what society had prepared me for, I was starting to make a good living… Yet I felt myself wasting away, and satisfaction had deserted every dimension of my life.
I followed my instincts, listened to my body and my emotions rather than my parents, teachers, colleagues, and social relations. I left with my best friend for Asia with a one-way ticket. With no other goal than to wander, to discover the world with an open heart… I wanted to make myself available for whatever offer life had to offer.
This journey, I did not know when I left, was my initiation into Life and its Mysteries. No words can accurately describe the transformations I experienced, but the seeds that were planted in me at that time continue to grow today and inspire much of the nature of my work.
It was through Buddhism, first Tibetan and then Zen, that I entered into spirituality: accepting death and opening up to the Sacred explains the polarity of my coaching approach: honouring both the sacred and the pragmatic. To anchor oneself in mindfulness so that every gesture of daily life is imbued with wisdom and love.
Wilderness and mystical Nature have been my second mentors: two years on an almost deserted island in the south of Thailand, without electricity, exploring and searching for the direct experience of unity with the living through shamanic rituals in particular, allowed me to create an intimacy with my natural allies. This mystical reconnection with Nature, wild and within us, inspires my various offers and also the theme of the book I am writing: a Practical Guide to Inner Ecology, extracts of which are available to subscribers of my blog.
Finally, it is at Punpun (a study centre for local resilience, Chiang Mai, Thailand), that I discovered permaculture and found a meaning to my contribution to society. By learning how to build natural houses, grow vegetables, save seeds, recreate meaningful relationships and circular economies and simply live together, I discovered how to free myself from a destructive and domineering economic system to actively participate in the advent of a society that regenerates life, that is just and flourishing: what I call the new world.
My Sacred Activism
This is how I came to fight not against (industrial economy, fear, injustice, destruction…) but for (a just world, regeneration, love, mutual aid). This is the sacred heart of my activism: to let the perfect devotion to nature and and its principles inspire and nourish my determination. The Perfect Light as Myamoto Musashi would say. The unwavering determination to live up to my highest ideals and serve my most sacred ambitions.
When I became a father, my wife and I founded the Seedlings project in northern Thailand (Environmental Foundation: www.seedlings-foundation.org): a playground for permaculture, environmental education and local resilience. Rather than give in to conformist pressure, we decided to live up to and embody our values in a lifestyle project, to confront them, and to pollinate the ideas and practices that seemed to us to be the most effective in relearning to live in communion with the Earth.
COVID forced us to slow down and allowed us to take time to synthesise years of experience in the field of nutritional, emotional, physical and spiritual resilience. The essence of this synthesis is what I now offer through coaching and consulting, with the same passion and determination for the same cause: cultural rebirth through and for reconnection to nature.
Pai Seedlings Foundation
Pai Seedlings Foundation is the playground I founded with my wife Lyse Kong when our first son was born in 2015. In just a few years we transformed monoculture abused rice paddies into an oasis of abundance that produces food for 5 human families and a host of animals, insects, bacteria, plants and no doubt evil spirits that brighten our daily lives.
We wanted to explore, learn and share an alternative lifestyle that would be based on strong values (love, happiness, mindfulness, resilience, self-reliance, sharing, nature education) and an inalienable determination to become self-reliant in order to meet our natural needs and desire: build a natural house, grow healthy food, care for ourselves, have a lot of time for our kids, and create local support networks.
While COVID has seriously affected our ability to organise workshops and retreats on site, we have also seen it as an opportunity and have created a CSA project (community supported agriculture) to anchor our work more locally, which has been a success. This has enabled us to continue to train local people in sustainable agriculture and create jobs while producing enough food for several families!
To learn more about the Seedlings Project: www.seedlings-foundation.org
Coach, Consultant & Mentor
We live in a time that expects us to radiate our true nature, our authenticity. When we live up to our ideals and the dreams of our souls, life offers us solutions that we would not even dream of! To enter into Transition is to accept to fully play the game of Life. My mission: to accompany those who have the courage to undertake this transformation.
Living is an Art
These years of experience with nature-inspired lifestyles have taught me a great lesson. The main obstacle to a resilient world is not technical: we already have all the knowledge and practical solutions to create a world in harmony with Nature. What stops us from moving forward is in our heads (possessions, shadows, fears, doubts) and in our hearts (lack of connection to the living to draw the strength and confidence to transform ourselves). With humour, we call this syndrome the FHF: the Fucking Human Factor!
I offer my services as a coach, consultant, and mentor to help people face themselves with compassion so that they can identify and overcome their limitations, free their creative capacity, and magnify their everyday experience of life!