Tallis Barker (Shivantar) is a writer, teacher, translator, concert pianist and composer. He began life following a traditional academic path, going to university at Harvard (A.B., magna cum laude) and Oxford (D.Phil), where he continued to work as a lecturer for several years. During this time, he began to feel that the old Buddhist saying – that universities “teach only increasingly sophisticated levels of ignorance” – really is true, and so he eventually stepped out of the Matrix.
Tallis began his journey into fasting at the age of 40. Having grown more sensitive to the needs of his body following a spiritual transformation a few years earlier, he enjoys fasting as a means to optimise physical health through detox, as well as to express the freedom of his deeper self. Fasting is one of the most powerful tools to cleanse and transform both body and soul. In order to help others do the same, he leads workshops and retreats which focus on both these aspects. Once you have detoxified physically, once you have confronted your ego by not eating, once you fully surrender yourself to a fast, you too will experience the only thing remaining: the unconditional love which quietly permeates all existence.
Tallis is also an avid ultramarathon and trail runner, interested in exploring the similarities – both physiological and spiritual – between fasting and endurance sports, as well as our evolutionary roots as runners on the African savannah.
Besides doing crazy things like fasting and running, he also has a wife and three kids who help to keep him grounded here on Planet Earth! In his ‘spare’ time he also has several real jobs, teaching meditation, yoga, as well as classical piano (if any of these counts as a real job!). He has recorded several cds of piano music and is the author of the book Growing into Being: paths and practices towards enlightenment. He is currently working on a book dealing with stage fright and how to let go of the nerves which cause it.