item2 Personal Intro item2
item4g Lifeworks Gestalt item4g
item4h My Book item4h
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Personal Intro Personal Intro Personal Intro Lifeworks Gestalt Lifeworks Gestalt Lifeworks Gestalt My Book My Book My Book My Poetry My Poetry My Poetry Resources Resources Resources Prout Starter Prout Starter Prout Starter Cool Links Cool Links Cool Links

Welcome to my home page!


Hi. Breaking all the rules about keeping webpages short...this one is a bit of a personal essay. Well, in case you want to know something about me!!

The turning of the world

I am 64. Thats significant to me in a bunch of ways.

I've got a solid ground of life experience - good, bad and ugly. I've made plenty of mistakes, and paid dearly for them. I've achieved some great things, and am proud of them. That includes the work sphere, and in family life. And, I have failed, many times and in many ways. As Samuel Beckett said... 'Fail, Fail again. Fail better'...

I know something about myself - well, a lot more than ever before. I see myself as a mix of wonderful traits and some unhelpful habits and identities. I am constantly working on increasing awareness and choicefulness. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't. Well, like everyone I guess!

 I love Gestalt therapy - teaching it, practising it. Applying it. I learned it 35 years ago, and still into it. I put quite a few years into a website of Gestalt resourcs -   

 I love travelling. Encountering new cultures. Learning, expanding, discovering. Being challenged, to see the world from new angles. 

So…whats important to me?

My kids (three children, two step children), my grandkids( four), my partner (Sixu).

My work - teaching, training, therapy. Gestalt, Family Constellations.

Helping people find their bliss - identifying their perfect career path in a unique process I have developed.

Having an impact on the world.

Spirituality - my own, and helping others discover theirs.

Both sides now

The upbeat side of me is that I am enthusiastic. I am creative. I throw myself into projects. I get things done. I am incredibly persistent - doggedly so. I can be very focused.

And the other side is I can get carried away with my vision, with my excitement. I can get ungrounded…only seeing what can work, and not taking into account the vagaries of life. I can focus so much I ignore those around me. And I can persist past the point when in fact it may be time to let go.

It's easy for me to bite off more than I can really chew, taking on too many great projects, filling my time until there is nothing left. I have achieved a great deal, and its cost me a great deal. I used to focus on the expansive achievement; now I am paying more attention to the personal and interpersonal costs. This is a sobering process and I am learning to be more cautious about my spontaneous excitement. I can vision up a new project in minutes, but miss a lot of detail that the manifestation actually requires.

My talents are many and have meant that I have played too many roles. This is very useful at startup, but I have been doing the work of 3 or 4 people for too many years, and that takes it toll of course. I am learning about delegation, and about limits.

Work - Yeah!!!

I love teaching, and am pretty good at it. I founded the The Northern Rivers Gestalt Institute in 1994, and ran it for 17 years. I worked with a lot of students, and gave as much as I could towards their knowledge - intellectual, personal, interpersonal, and skill based. I now teach internationally - Japan, China, Mexico, the USA , Colombia, South Africa. The travelling life…

I really like doing Family Constellations, because I love Field Theory. Systems Theory. Chaos Theory. I like those meta views, and complex ways of understanding the world. I derived my fascination with cybernetics from my father.

I love doing therapy, and have always been good at it. I get really energised by working with people.

I started as a teenager with Co-counselling, studied a silent type of therapy called Processing, then studied Gestalt. I've done lots of other therapy studies over the years - Narrative therapy, some NLP, family therapy, neo-Reichian character typology, and lots on relational psychotherapy. I've been privileged to study with many great mentors - Jorge Rosner, Joesph Zinker, Chris Campbell, Lynne Jacobs, Michael White, Johnella Bird, Albrecht Marr, Ernesto Spinelli, Jeffrey Zeig, Lester Wyman, Julie Henderson, Erv & Miriam Polster, Jean Huston. I've learnt so much from each of them, both in terms of content knowledge, as well as who they are in the world and relationship.

I was a professor of a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology at Ryokan College, in LA for a while. My focus now is China, where I spend the majority of my time, teaching and practising Gestalt.


Spirituality is central for me. I became interested in meditation at a tender age, 47 years ago, and every year it just gets better and better. I have found so much benefit I could never imagine wanting to stop. The essence of my path is a balance of internal and external: Self Realisation, and Service to the universe. Sounds rather grand, but it gives my life a focus, a sense of purpose, and hey, you've got to have something to keep you going.

I have been a one-gurukind of guy, though I know eclecticism is pretty fashionable these days. My inspiration has been Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, founder of Ananda Marga. You can check out Ananda Marga related links below. I set up the Ananda Mela festival 40 years ago, as a way to create a relaxed spiritual holiday, and it continues to provide inspiration to people each year. I also, with my first wife, set up a spiritual community called a Master Unit, called Ananda Rainjana. 

I developed a workshop on the topic of spirituality. I look at the differences and similarities between the two. I am always delighted at just how much it helps people integrate the two endeavours - personal growth and spiritual growth.


I loved doing theatre and music, my 20's I did lots of political street theatre, studied clowning with Kenja, and participated in some large scale performances south of Sydney (Wattomala, a natural amphitheatre consisting of a beach, lagoon and cliffs). 

I also like design work. I love sitting at my Mac and designing anything - posters for my workshops, curriculum, databases (my maths side..I always thought I would be a scientist when I grew up).

I enjoy writing poetry. I was a dedicated aficionado of the regular Stand Up Poets nights in Lismore for 20 years - monthly readings where up to 20 local poets get up and share their latest pieces. I think poetry is meant to be spoken - it really comes alive. And I know its kind of indulgent to put a page of mine here - I usually skip the poems that occasionally get sprinkled in certain newsletters I get. However, this is my home page, and you might want to check out a few of my pieces.

And I like listening to music. Mary Black, Eva Cassidy, Classical such as Bach's mass in B minor, and Brahms' sonatas for piano and cello (and particularly when they are played by that wonderful Russian, Janos Starker). I like Tuck and Patti, and Gospel. And my latent Jewish blood boils when I hear any kind of Klezma.

Social change

I am very interested in social change work, and for many years plugged into the local Heart Politics conferences. People working for change in their own ways, valiantly, sometimes noisily, sometimes quietly. Originally inspired by Fran Peavey and her book of the same name (well worth a read); do have a look at her article on strategic questioning. In terms of social change, I am inspired by PROUT (PROgressive Utilisation Theory), which is surprisingly unknown, considering it is probably the most comprehensive and viable alternative to communism and capitalism. Do check it out if you are interested. There is the official home page, and then the information I have placed on my page.

My unusual father

I'll tell you something else about me that you might find strange: my father is a transsexual. He came out at the ripe age of 62 or so. What a surprise. Had the op and all. I can't say I feel particularly delighted by the whole thing, but its certainly something I have to deal with, and learn something from. If you are interested, I originally wrote an article in the Australian, and have since updated it here. People reading it write me - mostly children of transsexuals, every few weeks. Theres not many resources out there for this demographic.


I am fascinated by systems thinking, systems practice. I love doing organisation development work, I enjoy the way general systems theory challenges so much of the way the world thinks, and I am fascinated by the numerous applications in therapy, and social change work. There is an article by Herb Kopolwitz that really grabbed me many years ago, which I have put here for your interest - well worth reading.

As you might have guessed by now, I also love networking. I like connecting up people, ideas, experience. I do that a lot, and for that reason really like what the web has to offer in this regard.

Dr Dr

I recently completed a doctoral program, studying the interpersonal dynamics of power. Its an evolving focus, but my aim is the development of an educational program which helps people to increase awareness and skill in the ways they use power. You can read more here.

Whats in a name

My name - Steve Gunther was given to me at birth. Doesn't sound very Jewish, but then my parents eschewed everything Jewish when they migrated to Australia from Los Angeles. My spiritual name, given to me soon after I learned meditation, is Vinay. As a teenager at the time I expected some dashing name that would means something like Brave Warriorspirit. I was rather miffed at the meaning of my new name: Modesty. It seemed, well, wimpy. However, I have come to appreciate over the years the deep significance of that name for me ; as someone who gets deeply involved in a lot of things - and I guess I shine because of that - the reminder of humility is something I value more and more. I have tended to trip in places where my great confidence has led myself or others (because I like leadership) into places which sometimes looked sticky, sometimes a total mess. Anyway, I like the name Vinay, my friends call me that. But it doesn't quite have the right ring for the business card or advertising for clients. There are too many kooks in this area. Its a bit strange having two names, but its practical.

I have appreciated the value of support, and learned to draw on that more in hard times. I am coming to see life in less rosy terms, which is a good thing for me. I am learning the value of true groundedness. And, of the meaning of my name Vinay: humility.

Thierry La Fronde and Zorro...childhood heroes

I watched the ‘original’ Zorro when I was 6, before my parents (wisely) gave away our TV and I started reading books furiously. We are talking about 1965. I was also absorbed in Thierry La Fronde, a French period series, based on a guy who lived in the forests of France in medieval times, and used only a slingshot. Both characters were good at cleverly outwitting oppressive authorities. Yeah! I went as far as mounting the entire seasons of Thierry on my YouTube site. They wont allow it to come up in search engines due to copyright, which is ridiculous as it’s not actually available anywhere, to buy, or to watch. So I got it subtitled in English and made it available. The seasons are here:

Thierry la Fronde season 1 (13 episodes subtitled in English)

Thierry la Fronde season 2 (13 episodes subtitled in English)

Thierry la Fronde season 3 (13 episodes subtitled in English)

Thierry la Fronde season 4 (13 episodes subtitled in English)

When I watched it, it was dubbed. I was too young to know what that was, I just thought they talked funny. .

The book

At the top you will have seen the link to my book. I wrote this book over a period of about 8 years. I really enjoyed the writing process, it just kind of jumped out of my fingers onto the keyboard - the distilled wisdom I have gained so far about relationship. Far from finished, and I am sure in another 10 years I will would write a different kind of a book about relationships. But this is my understanding and learning to date. I wrote it for men, but mostly women seem to buy and read it. It is published in Mexico, and Australia.The Australian edition is called Understanding The Woman In Your Life.

And I have come to realise firstly that its impossible to really understand a woman; that the real understanding derives from understanding myself better. Boy, after 25 years of psychotherapy and more of spiritual practice, I thought I knew myself. But recently I have come to see that this knowledge only went so deep, and there is much more of me that lay in the shadow of my understanding. As I have become more willing to look into those shadows my self image has changed quite dramatically. For every caring act, I can see my selfish motivation; for every act of generosity, I can see my counting the cost somewhere. This has been a sobering realisation, but important in grounding myself more in the reality of who I am.

So,  I have developed a workshop on the Unvirtues - information here.

Painful learnings

A number of years ago we set up a family business - a cafe in Lismore. We served vegetarian food, internet, and fresh Gelato daily. I mention this as it was one of our painful 'learning experiences'. I was a great place, people loved it, we served delicious fresh food...but financially it just never panned out. Ouch!

Family and the turning of the world

My life partner is Sixu. We hang out, adventure through the joys and travails of daily life together. We live in Shanghai. She meditates with me, joins and supports my Gestalt work, and we share exciting visions about having an impact on the world. Her background is HR, but these days she is much more interested in personal and spiritual growth. She has been supporting the development of Rudolph Steiner education and Bio Dynamic farming in China, and also works through Lions International on projects such as helping a village in Tibet restore the environment.          

I have three children from my first wife - their names are Kavita, Giitika and Dhyanesh. The oldest two girls and the youngest a boy. The names are sanskrit and mean, respectively: A poet who inspires others; One whose constant song is for God; The spirit of meditation.

Giitika graduated with an Honours in Fine Arts from the UK, along with her partner Sam. She now runs two vegans store in Sydney, Sam is a Master Dive instuctor. Kavita is a stay at home mum with her sons: Francis and Hugo, and partner Jimmy.

Dhyanesh travelled to Canada, where he was seeking his fortunes on the oilfields. Subsequently he became a paramedic, and now works in the UK, currently on a team which deals with disasters, national emergencies etc.

I have two step grandsons from my second marriage - Jimmy and Theo. I journeyed through life for 23 years with my second wife, Sutara, raising kids, then grandkids. I learned so much from that marriage, and I am a better person because of it.       

All my kids are in their 30's, and my grandsons are tipping into the double digits.



Well that's all for today folks, follow the Cool Links or Articles sections to see the directions of my interests.