Investing in Loss, and Crowdfunding

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai -

It’s only superficially ironic that work on Creative Regeneration and making a healing refuge should leave me so wiped out.

So the day has dawned of launch and release.

I’ve just launched the terrealuma healing refuge needs a road! campaign on, a crowdfunding platform intended to be a social enterprise, helping people to help people. I’ve also released a rather special music track for the first time as a part of Tambulus, the musical wing of terrealuma. It feels like a culmination but it’s actually only the start. There’s been an intense push forward, a huge amount of work and moving components, then the fall, and a settling on a different level.

It’s exhausting. It seems that you should be able to just jump onto the desired level immediately. But it never happens without the leap. To tell you the truth, I’m exhausted. It is, however, only superficially ironic that work on Creative Regeneration and making a healing refuge should leave me so wiped out. Without exhaustion there’s no regeneration, without resistance there’s no creation. The bigger and better the project, the more it takes out of you and I think this is a kind of natural law that holds even when the project itself is about gaining energy. The Taoists have a principle known as ‘investing in loss’ and that sums up my experience pretty well.

Part of the creative process is a deep dive into what feels like impossibility. No money, no energy, you name it, there’s none of it; it all seems insurmountable. Staying there, neither panicking nor struggling to escape, is where the investment comes in. Somehow by staying there without resistance you gain momentum, and then when you push back up again, you rise further, almost viscerally feeling the power of the time spent in ‘loss’. If that makes it sound like an extreme sport, that’s what it feels like. There’s never a loss of hope, though. It feels, somehow, like the shadow side of hope. The natural state, the point of it all, is still there, even when I can’t feel it.

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And that natural state is the source of the energy that comes back every time, and starts working to spread the healing further; it’s infectious.

In an attempt to spread the infectious healing and get people in shape for the challenges that are facing us all at this moment in time, I am raising money to build an access road into terrealuma. It’s simply the first step in front of my nose. It’s also doable.

More places like terrealuma are needed, because therapy just isn’t enough if you’re living in conditions that continuously deplete you. We’re busy working to make those conditions, starting with food and the roof over your head, physical health, good air to breathe and water to drink, real fire to keep you warm and also warm your connections with others. The permaculture farm is flourishing, thanks to the help of a succession of volunteers to whom we’re inordinately grateful. The landscaping and infrastructure are taking shape.

Moving on from that there’s creative expression of all kinds, particularly writing, painting and making music. Everything we do is grounded in a Buddhist framework and pretty much soaked in practice. It’s an ideal place for meditation, hard work and deep relaxation alike. All those things in themselves are pretty healing, and the idea is to open the place up to people who need that, regardless of their financial means.

You can partake of some of the creativity over at the crowdfunding campaign, where we have some pretty inspiring team members and fundraisers, including the venerable Barefoot Doctor. The perks are quite enticing, though I say it myself: one is a digital version of the Creative Regeneration workshops I’ve been running live here in Glasgow and at terrealuma. The creative regeneration process takes you from whatever burnt out, exhausted or stuck state you might be in, through meditation aimed at clearing your mind and re-feeling your natural energy, into focusing, a gentle method that enables subtle kinds of feelings to arise, carrying information about your life and what wants to move forward. From there you travel — straight past the inner critic — through free writing and into the welcoming waters of some intuitive painting — which you just can’t get wrong. If you read about the process here in previous posts and were interested, please do check out the crowdfunding page.

And the icing on the cake is the release of a song and video by Tambulus, the musical wing of terrealuma. It’s our take on an ancient Buddhist text: the essence of the Heart Sutra seeps out of guitar riffs, invigorated by percussion, and lifted by a touch of shimmery electronics. The video is made up of footage I took on the trip to Kathmandu I mentioned in “Sense of Self and the Traffic in Kathmandu”. Have a listen.

If you feel like helping to get this magic place built for people who need it, by giving what you can or just by sharing the news and the energy, please stop by the crowdfunding page. Thank you!

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

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