I grew up in the east end of London, where my parents owned a pie and mash shop (a delicacy of the working classes in the 1950s!) on the Isle of Dogs, and when I was a teenager, we moved to the coast of Kent. I worked as a graphic designer in London, before going freelance for a few years.

Fencing was my love: I took to it like a duck to water, and for the first time, realised that there is more to the mind then I had previously realised: I found that I could read someone else’s intentions, and that was the beginning of my spiritual journey. Within a couple of years, I was employed teaching fencing in Israel.

Following the breakdown of my first marriage, in 1978 I made the decision to pursue my interest in fine art, and went to Florence, Italy in order to practise painting, and it was there that I met my second wife (we’ve just had our 34th anniversary, and it gets better every day!).  I’ve been painting ever since, and in 2001, we were fortunate enough to be able to spent a year studying classical drawing and painting at the Florence Academy of Art.

I’m one of those people for whom, from an early age, “life” never felt quite right. As a result, I began to investigate spiritual teachings, and spent 9 years as a student at the School of Economic Science, with its teachings that are based on the Advaita Vedanta. Following this, I practised Bhakti yoga with an Indian guru for 5 years, until becoming interested in Tibetan Buddhism 30 years ago. Initially, I studied with two lamas in the Karma Kagyu school, before finding that the Nyingma tradition, with its Dzogchen teachings where the student is directly introduced to the nature of mind, suited me perfectly.

I’ve spent most of my life in heartache – angry and frustrated – and that was the trigger for discovering the cause of this suffering. My inability to “fit in” has resulted in my being kicked out of several spiritual groups, so I can empathise with anyone who struggles to conform. I’m not well educated, and a couple of years ago, my teacher pointedly mentioned that there are people with insight who cannot express themselves: a couple of years ago, I discovered a skill that I never knew I had (my guess is that this is connected with devotional practices, which I actually found difficult to come to terms with).

Although what I write about may seem serious and heavy, I spend my life singing silly songs and joking around…strange, that! You don’t have to act “spiritual” – just be ordinary….




If you’d like to say “Hello” I am Tony Barrs Buddhainthemud@hotmail.com

12 Responses to ABOUT

  1. tt4r says:

    I like your style, knowledge and message. Much appreciated.

  2. Jutta Oelsner says:

    somehow you break my heart – Why don’t we sing a silly song like the Lambeth Walk.
    We two argued on a train to London. Today I want to apologize about my understanding on Gothic Art which I had at that time. You see I meant Gothic Art performed in the Middle Ages and you probably England’s Gothic Art Style in in the 19th century.
    Get in touch – without punching my nose.

  3. Mr. Tom says:

    I´m very happy that i found your blog. You are like a good friend who knows me very well. I can relate to everything you write. In the moment I´m a lot alone but I´m ok. I feel connected and relaxed. I´m open but not on the hunt anymore. Just a relief – to be naked – nothing to hide anymore.

  4. wonderful writing ! My refuge guru is Karma Kagyu my new teacher blends Nyingma and Shangpa traditions in too… so I seem to connect to your words… peace.

    • tony says:

      Hello Robert
      I’m a mixture of Karma Kagyu and Nyingma, which just means Mahamudra and Dzogchen – although these each have a different approach.
      Nice to meet you!

  5. Ramanand the Wanderer says:

    Wonderful to have found this blog!

  6. Leslee Hare says:

    Thank you Tony! I look forward to reading more and connecting! Looks like a wonderful site!

  7. Nick says:

    Thank you for what you do on this blog. I’ve recently become a grateful reader.
    Last week with a big local holiday looming, and my current sparse lifestyle I felt an uncharacteristic ennui, to be abstaining from alcohol when the culture here will be saturated with it.
    That morning, having not been to your site in a week or two, I clicked on, tearing myself away from my ritual wallow in alternative geopolitical analysis, which (obviously) had only increased my subtle anxiety about the current world.
    Serendipitously you posted with a dagger to pierce my problem. I immediately embraced boredom as a gift and continued to do so whilst the rice whiskey has flowed around me.
    And now I read your background. Amazing that someone who’s musings I so enjoy has a background so coincidental with my history…I even lived on the Isle of Dogs in early 2000s. Thank you. Nick

    • tony says:

      Hello Nick,
      It’s nice to meet you.
      Pure consciousness isn’t just for special people, it’s what we all are. When we realise that, everything starts to fall into place.

      The world around us is encouraged to be ‘drunk’ and befuddled.

      If you want to to chat privately go to buddhainthermud@hotmail.com

      In the fifties I lived on pie and mash!


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