Alan Hopking, MA MNIMH MRCHM FINEH, is the son of a copper miner. He was born an identical twin in the copper-mining town of Mufulira, Zambia, on May 12, 1950. Throughout his childhood he had an interest in plants. At school he excelled in sports and athletics. He went to one of the best private senior boys schools in the southern hemisphere: Falcon College in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He was a successful and popular student especially on the sports field. Due to unrest in Zambia his family moved to South Africa. He finished his schooling in East London.
At twenty, while working in Cape Town in the Cape Times, he formed a band called Grave Concern and wrote most of the music. In Cape Town he was initiated into Transcendental Meditation (TM). On his first meditation under his initiator he was told he had the experience of Sachitananda (bliss consciousness). During this time Alan became vegan and went on extensive fasting and meditation training; one fast lasted thirty days. His interests were wide and he went to many Theosophical Society meetings and Lucis Trust full-moon meditations. He loved to walk in the mountains and swim in the cold streams and waterfalls, and meditate.
He then decided in 1971 to train as a teacher of TM with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Spain. Before completion Alan had another important spiritual experience, and he decided to go to England in 1972 with the intention of studying for the Anglican priesthood. Instead he joined the Anchorhold Community associated with the monastery St John in Oxford, the first monastery to be re-formed in England since the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Two years later he decided to join the monks of the mother house in Oxford. He trained in theology for three years while he was a postulant and novice. At the same time he studied Buddhism. During his noviciate he became a scholar of and was strongly influenced by the life and teachings of Jakob Boehme, a mystic of the seventeenth century. Then he started to study the writings of Rudolf Steiner. As a result he decided not to take the vows of a monk. So after five years living a monastic life he left going straight into the Shalesbrook Seminary, to train as a priest for the Christian Community founded by Rudolf Steiner. He became an active member of the Anthroposophical Society.
After completing the priesthood training, he was sent out to test his vocation: first in San Francisco for a year, then to Coburg in Germany for a year, where he worked on an Anthroposophical farm with adults with special needs. Here his interest in the teachings of Alice A Bailey was reignited. He became an Arcane School student while in Germany. At this time, when reading the book Esoteric Healing, he decided he wanted to train in medicine and healing. It was this book and Treatise on Cosmic Fire that particularly captured Alan's imagination. The latter work was extremely abstract and the former had an unstructured practical thread running through it. The following years saw Alan painstakingly inwardly digesting the Bailey works and linking these to the practical skills learned via INEH. This eventually led to the writing of his Practical Guide to Esoteric Healing.
At twenty-eight, Alan returned to England and enrolled as a full-time student of the College of Phytotherapy. Here he met Susan, his future bride. He graduated four years later in 1981 as a herbal practitioner. He started his clinical profession in Christchurch in the south of England. In 1983 he founded the WhiteWays Group to study and meditate and later to practice group healing. This group continued for fifteen years, studying most of the books of Alice Bailey and following the meditation requirements each day, with new and full moon group meditations. For years the group met two to four times a week. During this phase Alan also volunteered to become an Arcane School secretary.
In 1984 he trained with Brenda Johnston, founder of the International Network of Esoteric Healing. He graduated in 1985. Soon afterwards he was asked to teach for INEH. This started and continues Alan's international teaching career of esoteric healing, taking him to Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In 1988 his first book on esoteric healing was published. Alan remained on the INEH committee for over 12 years. He founded and still co-edits and writes for (and publishes) the INEH's bi-annual journal, The Esoteric Healer. In 1991 he graduated from the two-year post-graduate practitioner training in Chinese Herbal Medicine, London. In the same year, after three years writing, he published his Practical Guide to Esoteric Healing. He became the director of the Faculty of Healing in the University of the Seven Rays, co-teaching an advanced degree-level curriculum of esoteric healing in California and in England.
In 1994 he published the Emergence of the Planetary Heart, which traces the details of the Christ's second coming. In 1995 he published Advancing in Esoteric Healing. The year 1996 saw the birth of his second son, Kingsley. While meditating with him as an eight-week-old baby, Alan found a new insight about the cause of cosmic conflict and why esoteric healing is particularly important and necessary for the participation in the saving of our planet. Sceptical and dubious about their truth-value, Alan decided to search extensively for confirmation about these insights in the works of all esoteric and religious writings. Confirmation was nebulous or limited, even in the works of Djwhal Khul and H.P. Blavatsky, but it was confirmation. He tested out these new or expanded theories in his lectures and in his healing courses: would they be rejected, or would they be accepted as logically possibly or intuitively true? He also wanted to test them out in academic philosophy. In every location they were accepted as giving a deeper explanation for the esoteric teachings, giving a profound reason for and purpose of meditation, healing and living a (simple, tuned-in) spiritual life. A new edition of the Practical Guide would have to be written! Alan sincerely salutes Paul Clemens of Blue Dolphin Publishing who has been a pivotal part of the spiritual test of the new edition: he took the book on, and throughout he has accepted endless updates, additions, changes, deletions, and large sections of unbudgeted new material (and hence delays), without ever questioning or complaining.
In 1998 Alan founded the Global Academy of Esoteric Healing under which he still teaches today. In 2004, after four years, he graduated from The Open University, UK, with a master's degree (MA) in philosophy. Alan is married with two sons. He lives in Christchurch, England. He is still in practice at his busy clinic of herbal medicine in the town center. He still loves plants, often gathering them fresh from the countryside which he loves. He makes the individual herbal tinctures and formulated tonics himself - nearly 400 of them. To contact him about health and healing visit his website www.botanicmedicine.com. He continues to heal and to teach esoteric healing.
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