Inspired words

'It is difficult to feel gloomy and thankful in the same moment. Even in the midst of suffering, there will be moments of illumination, beauty, kindness, good humour. Noticing them, and allowing yourself to receive them, is the finest emotional tonic you could have.' Stephanie Dowrick

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Our presenters

Adrian van den Bok, M.A.  is an experienced psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, lecturer and workshop leader. In addition to private practice, he teaches and/or consults at the Jansen Newman Institute, the Australian College of Applied Psychology, the Centre for Community Welfare Training and KidsXpress. For more information, visit

Almis Simans has journeyed along many of the historic trails of Europe, including the Spanish Camino, the Way of St. James in France, Offa's Dyke in Wales, the Coast to Coast Walk in England and the Via Francigena. He teaches a number of travel and history courses at the University Sydney's Centre for Continuing Education and WEA. He is interested in making walking journeys accessible to people, especially to those who have the desire but haven't yet ventured out upon a longer journey. A journey to Santiago de Compostela in 1997 inspired his interest in traditional and contemporary pilgrimages.  For more information, visit:

Does Heather Lee possess Australia's purest voice? This is a question many listeners have asked after hearing her in concert or recording. Heather  has sung at the Whitehouse and United Nations, the Sydney 2000 Olympics, been the recorded voice for major events including the Asian Games and Winter Olympics, as well as major cultural events such as the touring of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Khalili collection of Islamic Art and the Maharajah of Jodhpur's Sacred Art collection. With an ability to sing in many languages and styles, Heather (MCA Voice) has focused on both sacred traditional music and western classical music in her career. Heather has a longstanding commitment to singing the sacred, and has taken many listeners to the spiritual heights in her recordings and concerts. She has made a number of discs for the ABC including The Sacred Fire, music of Hildegard of Bingen Sweet Dreams, lullabies from around the world, and Under Eastern Skies.




Kara Yamaguchi majored in Japanese studies at the University of Sydney. She has also studied several modalities of energy healing including reiki and continues to research into ancient shamanism in Japan and its role in preserving the land through sacred sites. Kara has spent the last 20 years living in Japan where she has worked as a teacher, translator and writer. An active artist and photographer, she is the author of Spirit of Mu, the first photographic record of Japan's ancient sacred sites and ruins. Kara is dedicated to preserving the sacred sites of Japan for future generations, and her deep understanding and close connection to the people and culture of Japan, place her in a unique place to share Japan with others beyond the usual tourist experience.

Dr Kim  Cunio B. Mus, MCA  Composition, is  a  composer,  music  historian,  instrumentalist and singer  who  is  equally  at  home  in  reconstructive,  contemporary  &  classical  music  forms. Kim lectures at the QLD conservatorium in composition, world music and supervises students to Doctorate level as well as being active as a music scholar. His ability  to  research  and  compose  music  from  a  large  number  of  cultures,  coupled  with  his  classically  derived  technique,  gives  him  a  distinctive  sound  and  palette  of  instrumental  and  vocal  textures  to  work  with.  He  has  been  commissioned  to  write  for  chamber  orchestras,  brass,  chamber  music  and  vocal  ensembles;  for  the  concert  arena,  and  in  a  variety  of  other  contexts  including  festivals,  installations,  galleries,  television  and  radio.  Kim is  published  by  the  ABC  Australia’s  National  broadcaster and  has been  nominated  for  two AGSC  awards  for  his  television  music. Kim has been awarded an ABC Golden Manuscript Award for his work with traditional and new music, and also works as a freelance producer.



Stephanie Dowrick, PhD, is widely known as the author of a number of life-changing books, including her international best-sellers, Intimacy and Solitude, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, The Universal Heart, Choosing Happiness, In the Company of Rilke, Everyday Kindness, Creative Journal Writing and Seeking the Sacred. Her most recent book is the highly praised Heaven on Earth: Timeless prayers of wisdom and love. Stephanie worked for many years in private practice as a psychotherapist and clinical supervisor and has been leading outstandingly successful workshops and retreats in Australia, New Zealand and Japan for more than two decades. She has also contributed for many years to Australian media, including 10 years as "Inner Life" columnist for Good Weekend. She is an ordained Interfaith minister and has led popular, spiritually inclusive services at Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney since 2006. Formerly a publisher, and founder of the prestigious London publishing house, The Women's Press, Stephanie brings a wealth of knowledge about spirituality, well being and the creative life to her lively, inspirational teaching. She has been leading retreats for Inspired Traveller for almost a decade. "Just being in her presence is a life-changing experience," wrote Sandi Hill after the 2012 "Writing in Kyoto" tour. For more information visit Dr Stephanie Dowrick on Facebook ( or via her website: