We were greatly saddened to hear that Stephen Russell, known as the Barefoot Doctor, passed peacefully on Friday 24th January 2020.
Stephen joined us for the launch of Peace Mala at the Temple of Peace, Cardiff, and represented the Taoist path. The photograph below is taken from film footage of the event, and shows Stephen lighting the peace candle for Taoism, along with Coedcae School pupil Paul Lewis.
Over the years, Stephen has kept in touch by email and telephone, and has always proved a wonderful energy of encouragement and support. He touched the lives of so many people across the world through his healing work, his teachings, his books, and his music. He was an amazingly talented man, and a truly lovely and very spiritual person. We shall miss him.
Barefoot Doctor – Peace Mala Endorsement
“World peace begins with an idea and if that idea can be carried forward by our children, it has a chance of rooting in the group psyche over time.
Peace Mala wins my heart in the world peace idea promulgation stakes because of the children who carry it and their teacher and leader, Pam, who is a rare force and visionary.”
Stephen planned to join us for our International Interfaith Liturgy for World Peace, which took place in Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff on 20th July 2017. Unfortunately, he was taken ill, and was unable to join us at the last minute. The words below are from a speech he was to have given at the end of the event. We feel it is appropriate to share those words with you now:
“Everything in life has two sides – the side you see and the side you don’t – the light and the shade, the good and the bad.
Nothing is just one or the other. Everything and everyone is a combination of both.
We want world peace. We want people to get on with each other.
But if we look past the noise of the news, which exaggerates everything, it actually turns out we already have world peace and people already do get along with each other.
It’s true. The vast majority of all the 8 billion people on this planet don’t spend their days fighting each other. The majority of us do actually get along with each other quite well.
It’s only a tiny minority of all 8 billion of us that does spend its days fighting and not getting along with each other.
In fact humanity has never achieved such peace or prosperity.
As any quantum physicist will tell you, what you focus on grows.
Focus on violence and unrest and these seem to increase before your very eyes.
Focus on the peace and harmony and these increase instead.
And more excitingly still focus on the inestimable ingenuity of humankind in having created such a hugely complex, intricate infrastructure through which we trade, ship our goods, run our nations and so on – the ingenuity that makes spacecraft that take photos of Pluto. Focus on and celebrate this brilliance and it will grow.
Be proud to be a member of such a fine species.
Don’t be ashamed.
Although the news will highlight the wrongdoings and failures of the human spirit, consider how you’d like the world to treat you, and how you’d like the world to treat everyone else – with kindness, humanness, fairness, openheartedness, nobility, honor and so on.
Then rather than feeling you’re powerless to change anything, make it your business and intention to be an exemplar of these qualities. Take it upon yourself to radiate kindness, humanness, fairness, openheartedness, nobility and honor. Be the one the show people by example how it looks when someone carries these qualities.
It will catch on.
And rather than assume the worst, assume all this present turbulence is just humanity’s growing pains. And that once these pass, which they will, we will have already entered a new golden era in humanity’s story.
It’s the duty of each of us to take responsibility now, each in our own way, to make this world beautiful for everyone in every way we can.
And as soon as we begin, we are helped by the invisible presence informing this entire moving picture show – call it God, call it Tao, call it whatever you like, these are just names.
Feel it now. Relax your heart and feel your kindness, your humaneness, your fairness, your openheartedness, your nobility, your honor and all your fine human qualities. And let it all radiate from your heart and generously spread out to touch all 8 billion of us with healing and well-wishes for all.
You won’t be alone, because aside from the help we get from the big presence, there are millions of us on the planet working for and towards the good of humanity.
Let’s take a moment together to honor humanity and the ineffable presence informing it now.
We trust that the Barefoot Doctor/Wayward/AMPEDHEAD team will be able to continue to bring Stephen’s amazing work to the world.