Saturday, 24 December 2011

Sharing the big plan for the next 6 months

For the summer of 2012 my plan is getting the Hastings local dignataries into a tent surrounded by meditators and mediators.

To Brighton Network of Engaged Buddhists I have requested the following:
...That Brighton NEB group might support an event in the summer in HASTINGS in which I have the 5 key people in the town in a tent to talk about ethics:
1) The MP
2) The Leader of the Council
3) The Mayor
4) Chair of Pier Trust
5) CEO, Pier Trust


My aim is that after some discussion the MP, Head of Council and the Mayor, not to mention the pier trust leave with an intention to support all the aims of St Leonards Sharing Consortium; generating a more creative, caring & sharing town.
In particular, a town that knows that restorative justice can be regenerative for victims, offenders and communities in a way that no other policy can create greater safety (perceived and real).
Secondly, I'd like to learn if they see any reason why more eg a third of the local economy might switch from cash to the trading and banking of hours. One of my companies - Mediation Support Ltd- has started doing this with Sussex Police in order to deliver restorative justice in (informal) partnership, so what stops this approach from also raising all the payment in kind from the community for the terms of the Heritage Lottery Bid for the pier to be met?

I'm really looking forward to the summer of 2012; in particular the YouTube clips with Amber Rudd (MP -Consevative), Jeremy Birch (Leader of the Council -Labour), Kim Forward (Mayor until the Spring of 2012 -Labour), Simon Opie (CEO, Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust) & Ray Chapman, Chair of the Pier Trust.
The hope is they will all come out of the (Hastings 4) Happiness Tent of one mind; the mind of greater wisdom and compassion.
Will you support them going in that mysterious tent?
Will you be there to interview them too, or simply applaud their Community Spirit when they come out?
"If the King is Righteous His Subjects Will be Righteous"

1. Once the Lord addressing the Almsmen said:
2. "Bretheren during such time as kings are unrighteous their ministers and officers also become unrighteous. The ministers and officers, bretheren, being unrighteous, Brahmins and householders also become unrighteous. The Brahmins and householders, bretheren, being unrighteous, the town-folk and villagers become unrighteous.
3. "But whenever, bretheren, kings are righteous, then kings' ministers and officers also become righteous. Whenever Brahmins and householders become righteous, the town-folk and villagers also become righteous.
4. "When cattle are crossing, if the old bull swerves, they all go swerving, following his lead. So among men, if he who is reckoned chief walks crookedly, the others crooked go.
5. "Similarly, the whole realm suffers when the king goes wrong. When cattle are crossing, if the bull goes straight they all go straight because his course is straight. So among men, if he who's reckoned chief walks righteously, the others live aright. The whole realm lead happy lives when kings are good." 

An in-depth Buddhist talk on asking/challenging our local politicians about their values:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Some days epitaphs for the Imperfect Idealist spring to mind:

"In the light of all the contributory factors, I did my best. I'm still interested in understanding what happened & doing better. Long live the highest forms of restorative justice, generating universal compassion, wisdom & humanity working in teams applying energy in pursuit of the good."

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The chapters about door-knocking & then running away (to Hastings)

Here are three films which have the text of chapters about fundraising by door-knocking.
These were filmed in situ in North London, in/near Muswell Hill:

And a film about a significant house in Muswell Hill and the move to Hastings:

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Streetbank-Pier-College in India

Draft text for comments please- Fundraising booklet:

In your neighbourhood and the groups you belong to, you can build connection with others and save money by using

In your local area, if you want to support the pier regeneration, the Hastings Pier & White Rock Trust really value a broad base of local community support &  regular financial support from residents as well as the new funding from the Lottery.

"If you have a vision that extends your support to where just £1 a day can provide a college education for those at the bottom of the caste system, the college I recommend supporting is a Buddhist college I visited and built a strong connection with, called Nagaloka. I have great confidence in the benefits of the work done there and would like you to join me in having this opportunity to make a really big difference for just a modest monthly sum.

I filmed the ambitions of these students from all over India & how they are going to use their education to generate personal dignity, empowerment & social change in the places they are working.
16 students in particular are being followed for what they will achieve for others in the next 10 years.
You can follow this on:
and/or through annual reports sent to supporters.

The course leader from the college has won a grant to come to England for two months and has chosen to spend three weeks of this time with me, fundraising in Hastings, St Leonards & Bexhill, where I live & work.

Together, I hope we shall show Nagamitra from Nagaloka in Nagpur (the central city of India), that those of us on the south coast of England are willing to make a difference when the cause is so worthwhile. Human rights, education and social justice matter the world over and you have a unique opportunity here to become personally connected with students at Nagaloka who are, one person at a time, getting empowered and helping others in a country divided by a caste system of great injustice."
(words from Paul Crosland, Director, Mediation Support Ltd)

Here's some personal stories that will help you imagine the difference you could make with each of the following projects:

1) Share some gardening tools with Anita in the Southwater Area (or someone closer to you) and some benefits may be: 
- a new friend or smiling acquaintance locally
- a sense of helping someone save money and clear their garden
- the creation of a 'pay it forward' system. 

Though it doesn't address all Anita's concerns, living as she does in a house with large cracks in the walls, support to Anita to clear/tidy her garden near St Leonards Warrior Square station gives her more of a sense of freedom & frees her to give more time to the charity store where she works.

2) £x a quarter sponsors a series of planks for Hastings Pier.
(Jocelyn* remembers how the pier featured in so many significant times of her life; not least in courting Frank* & they both want to see the new 21st century pier, or peoples pier, as they sometimes call it, rise from the ashes in their twilight years).*NB Jocelyn & Frank's story is a story made from the words of a number of people and by door-knocking I hope to meet people willing to share their pier stories.

3) Just £1 day pays for all the costs of a college place, food, teaching and administration at Nagaloka in India and you can follow how the student you sponsor progreses & makes a difference over the coming years.
Maitriratna was born in the state of Aranchal Pradesh, born into the Chakma tribe who have always been denied citizenship rights. Inspired by a contemporary of Gandhi, called Dr Ambedkar, his mission is to work peacefully and with determination towards his people getting those rights. (Maitriratna can be seen on and you can email him in Nagpur.)

If I choose to support the college in India that Maitriratna is at, does all the money get to the college in India?
90% does; only 10% is taken to pay Mediation Support Ltd for the cost of producing and distributing these booklets.

The person who gave you this booklet will call round to collect this booklet back, saving resources. By then it is hoped that you will have had a chance to consider 
1) sharing more with neighbours and groups you belong to;
2) supporting the pier
3) providing the £1/day costs of an education geared to social change in India.

The door-knocker who called on you will call back with the forms that enable you to divide the support you want to give the pier and Nagaloka college however you see fit.

Monday, 28 March 2011


At a "wolf at the door" writing workshop in March 2011, we were tasked, within 10 minutes to do the following:
1) Write your autobiography in exactly 100 words
2) Whittle it down to 30
3) Now sum-up your life in this number of non-hyphenated words: one.

For me, that word was 'justify'.

10 web-pages with photos and films make up and within these pages there is only a hint of the book's central secret.

Two days after the writing workshop, I recognise that, on one level, all 200 odd pages of The Imperfect Idealist are, so to speak, just a longer justification of my existence.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Reasons to pre-order a copy of 'The Imperfect Idealist'

Being human, on a planet over-crowded with words, those of us who try the patience of others with our use of them, and all of us who use fossil fuels more quickly than the rate of their natural production are all guilty of the crime of unsustainability.
How then can we live by the dictum "do no harm"?
Some unethical behaviour is gross; some more subtle.

"This book is, oh, so much more than an amusing and poignant social commentary by a sort of failed romantic whose work on was once described by the leading environmental think tank, Forum for the Future, as 'ahead of its time'"

"But aren't you confusing the themes of guilt, of justice, of sharing resources equitably?"
I reply: "These themes are all one, and the sooner we integrate at a level of greater generosity and learning how all can be enriched by our conflicts, the better."

I share my journey, written in installments 22 years apart, in order to get some perspective that may be of value to others interested in facing up to a less than spotless past.
    If you've ever been affected by crime, or aggrieved with anyone, this book is particularly telling in the story of years spent putting right such wrongs. (This was well before the TV series 'My Name is Earl' presented a fictional karma-cleansing).
    The work is ongoing that brings new insights and meaning out of facing personal difficulties with encountering "the other".
    My teacher says that the experience of sitting down to write an autobiography is that it brings into relief all the things that you are unwilling to share publically. For me, this is the working ground; what to share of my imperfections in order to become more ethically refined?
    By testing myself in what I am willing to share about my own journey, I hope I offer something useful; that this book is more than just entertaining in an Adrian Mole way. 
  • "This book of disclosure and personal enquiry will open doors between hearts."
  • "If you actually read it, it will inform your choices of what to take and what to leave behind in life."
  • "Why not use this book to prepare to give appropriately next time an imperfect idealist comes knocking on your door?"
The book will be published in 2011 and is available for £20; or £10 if you order the version for Amazon Kindle.
Please place pre-orders via the Mediation Support Ltd contact form.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Front Cover

 The Imperfect Idealist
-one flawed case in restorative justice.

By Paul Crosland, instigator of the book: "40 Cases: Restorative Justice & Victim-Offender Mediation"; which is now available on Amazon Kindle for £5 payment to Mediation Support Ltd; use this contact form please.

Described by his defence barrister as "the most idealistic man I've ever met", Paul Crosland begins this autobiographical story aged 44, working as a charity fund-raiser, knocking door to door in London, in order to end the caste system in India.
"I work as I door-knocker; fund-raising. Near the beginning of this book, I recount a charged encounter with Tony Blair, who had invited me to 10, Downing Street to thank me for my work on behalf of the victims of crime.

Now aged 44, I believe the most useful work that can be undertaken alongside (or possibly outside) a spiritual journey is the work to heal past harms to the extent that's possible. No process of a 'victim' being approached by an 'offender who wants to put things right' is perfect, and so, I continue my quest for the Holy Grail of Restorative Justice."

About the author:
Paul Crosland is, amongst all the other things he doesn't quite handle perfectly, a Charity Trustee, on sabbatical amidst controversy informed by an 'enemy-image' held that Paul is like an anarchist throwing bombs at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Others say Paul is ahead of his time and an innovator most likely to reduce youth offending and youth custody with the developments -including a Restorative Justice iPhone app - being proposed by Restorative Technology Ltd, of which he is CEO and sole director. Paul hopes this book will help generate a team willing to work with him.
The Restorative Technology Ltd vision is both to enable increased understanding between those involved in and affected by crimes and also to encourage responsibility being taken by all who can contribute to generating safer societies.

As if this was 'enough', Paul also tries to:
Words below from Paul's best friend in India, Nagamitra (नगमित्र) धम्म दाना

Nagamitra speaking in Hindi:

Support some students yourself!:
If you want to support one or more students, you can support them:
  • to complete their year at the Nagaloka Nagarjuna Training Institute (which costs £28 per student per month), 
  • to carry on their studies and develop their intitiatives beyond Nagaloka.
If you want to support Nagaloka directly you can: "Dream Cycle")
All money donated goes to India, and I'll even cover bank overheads for you. Please request what % of your money donated through Mediation Support Ltd you want to go directly to the Nagaloka Institute and what % to the support of individual students beyond their time at Nagaloka by naming your preferred student(s):
"I found that I could afford to support 3 students at the Nagarjuna Institute at Nagaloka for the next four months. I'm glad to have been given this opportunity to make a difference enabling three students complete their academic year at Nagaloka. If you wish to support students and avoid bank fees, I will cover the bank fees for the payments"
Paul Crosland, Director, Mediation Support Ltd
If you want to email Paul Crosland at Mediation Support Ltd to discuss making a donation, please do so via this form and I'll phone back any UK numbers or arrange an international call at a mutually convenient time.