London-born Stephen Russell aka The Barefoot Doctor counts Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Jade Jagger among his fans. Master of Taoist martial arts, energy medicine and meditation with 14 books to his name, he lives in Ibiza where he runs revolutionary Get Healed While Your Party dance floor meditation sessions hailed as the hottest thing on the island this year by The Sunday Times. He travels the world spreading love the Taoist way.
Why do you think what you do is so popular with celebrity clients?
Same reason it's popular with everyone else. Celebrities, however, have their realities amplified by being subjected to high levels of attention, which lead to an extra level of stress. It's different when you potentially have the whole world gossiping about your private life.
What I do is teach people the inner game of enjoying life to the full, including how to deal with other people overstepping the mark and interfering in your life. I also teach the mechanics of relaxation which lends itself splendidly to the strain of public life.
Why do you live in Ibiza? What's special about it?
It's one of the most spiritually charged points on Earth. This affords me a heightened level of consciousness, which in turn inspires my writing and music, plus makes for a great place from which to transmit energy to the world. The party atmosphere is really fun too, as an expression of the celebration of life. Ibiza is also the world capital of electronic dance music. I'm co-producing three musical projects here including Psychoactive the EP by Hofer66 Vs Barefoot Doctor, out on November 22.
What's Taoism got to do with life today?
Taoist techniques and the philosophy informing them are universal and timeless. They relate to the basic factors common to everyone, such as how to breathe, how to relax, how to meditate, how to communicate and so on.
All of these methods are relatively quick to learn and only take a few minutes practice every day to feel a huge shift occur.
You've said you think women will rule the world. Tell us a bit more....
I was referring to the 'yin' principle more than women per se - the maternal 'goddess presence' - as opposed to the patriarchal principle that's been guiding us the past couple of thousand years. The yin emphasizes cooperation; the yang, domination.
It's already obvious that the yang way is a fast-fading phenomenon, as the world makes the subtle yet all-powerful shift from one paradigm to another. Spearheading the transition between old and new worlds is the feminine principle, which is mostly carried and exhibited by the girls. Women will come to the fore over the next decade in all areas of public life and will be the saviour of humankind.
What's it like being you? Are you enlightened?
Forty four years of training in the inner game of life has given me an ability to let go, trust life to work out and enjoy the surprising way it does that.
As for enlightenment, if you mean not taking the actions of others personally, seeing past the disguise of people to the radiant spirit within, being in constant dialogue with the presence informing all of us, feel love and compassion, then yes, I am enlightened.
What do you know that we don't?
I know that each of us is in essence a divine being momentarily inhabiting human forms and that ultimately we'll all know that and that something unprecedented will occur as a result.
We need a laugh; please tell us a joke
Funny you should ask that. Do you know why the actor Edward Woodward has so many ds? Because otherwise he'd be Ewar Woowar.
Psychoactive the EP by Hofer66 Vs Barefoot Doctor is out now. Visit The Barefoot Doctor's personal site at www.superchargedtaoist.com