This is an inspiring interview with the former House DJ Christopher Dines, who hit rock bottom during a severe alcohol and cocaine addiction. Christopher miraculously found inner peace and guidance and is now a spiritual teacher and author of several books. We spoke with him about hope, love and finding your true purpose.
Christopher’s DJ alias was Kris Lopez. Lopez was one of the most unpredictable House & Garage DJ’s in London from 1994 to 2006.
Having a deep love for music, Christopher dropped out of high school at 15 to pursue a full time career as an electronic House DJ. Through this thrilling experience unfortunately Christopher’s drug taking and party life-style spiraled out of control which led to full blown alcoholism and cocaine addiction. After a gravely dark rock bottom, Christopher cleaned up aged 21 (summer 2004) and began to soul-search. This led to a deep exploration of the human mind and roads to emotional well-being and self-realization. Christopher has accomplished this through intense self-education and with the invaluable help and guidance of enlightened spiritual mentors. It was at this time that Christopher discovered the wonderful inner peace that the art of meditation could bring while spending time with monks in Thailand.
Dines ‘retired’ from the electronic dance music industry in June 2006 to give public talks on inspirational ideas and spiritual awareness and to create personal development and meditation workshops and courses. Christopher is the author of ‘A Ticket to Prosperity’ and ‘The Mystery of Belief: How to Manifest Your Dreams’. Dines just released a new book titled ‘Manifest Your Bliss: A Spiritual Guide to Inner Peace’.
Soul Love: Christopher, you had quite a successful career as a House DJ. What does music mean to you?
Christopher Dines: Music is what ‘feeling sounds like’ and some feelings sound more uplifting and inspirational than others and some feelings sound more tragic and more painful than others. Nevertheless, they will have their relevance in the whole spectrum of music. Predominantly the music that I played was like deep, uplifting, underground soulful house. It had a very soulful element with lots of vocals and I kind of moved more towards feel good music, but privately I also listened to some dark music as well, but it was all relevant to me. I could listen to some gangster rap for example, when I heard bad news. Maybe twenty minutes or so, I could feel that, it got it’s part and then, maybe a bit later I could listen to Nat King Cole and chill out. It’s all relevant.
I still love music and have lots of friends in the music industry and also friends in the international music scene who are more spiritual with a positive moral compass. I love music, I listen to music when I am writing, we have music in our workshops and music will always be very close to my heart. It’s just the channel of where consciousness wanted to flow through me isn’t playing music anymore. It’s doing what I am doing today. But I will always be involved in music in some way.
SL: During this period you have been searching for validation and fulfillment by abusing drugs and alcohol, which led you to a very dark reality. Can you tell us what was it that led you into this dark place?
CD: First of all I wasn’t able to process the natural evolutionary process of life. The change of life. I was afraid of change. I wasn’t really acquit to manage my emotions, I wasn’t able to allow emotional intelligence to blossom, so as a result of that, when I had any traumatic experience or when there was any grievance, rather than processing it in a healthy way, I would try and suppress that with hard drugs and alcohol. It now became an addictive cycle as it progressed. It made me very dependent and not being able to function without it really. The human body doesn’t need any chemicals or mood altering substances to feel good. If a human body is taking that stuff, it is going to create imbalance in the body and it also becomes an emotional and psychological dependence and in some instances, when it comes to alcohol and some drugs like heroine, it becomes a physical dependance as well.
SL: Your last resort was to go within and surrender, which led you on a spiritual path. This gave you hope, courage and a belief that it was possible to co-create a new positive life. That’s a huge transformation. Who or what triggered this change?
CD: I think it’s like the old saying, but it’s very relevant “you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired”. I think that just having enough of the mental and emotional suffering, the consequences it had on myself and those that cared for me and seeing them suffer, got me to a point where I just couldn’t do it anymore. And so, I had tried everything externally, thrills or mind or mood altering substances and felt that it wasn’t going to resolve trauma within and I felt I had nowhere else to go. Now I was compelled to look within and the only solution that I found was spirituality.
SL: That was very courageous of you to choose, because you could have also taken an overdose to end the suffering once and for good.
CD: That’s a brilliant observation. Well, I actually had several overdoses with cocaine and alcohol. I had alcoholic poisoning a couple of times when I was much younger and I was sent to the hospital and had my stomach pumped.
I can’t really give an answer to why other people might not hit that place when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. I think that had I not got to that emotional traumatic place of hitting bottom and had I continued to drink and drug the way I did then I probably wouldn’t have reached this chronological age. There was definitely some sort of shift within. That’s the only way I can explain it.
“I believe that humanity is evolving in a positive way regardless of what happens.”
SL: Looking back, what have you learned during this period?
CD: Every day I wake up, I thank spirit or consciousness for another day on earth. I write a gratitude list every morning and before I go to bed in the evening, even if I had a really emotional painful day, just a few words or a couple of sentences in the journal at the end of the day to say “thank you for another day” I feel is enough. I am grateful for fresh air, I am grateful that I can taste food, I am grateful for the peppermint tea I am drinking now. The simple things have become so profound. The ego within me which can strike at times could diminish that, so that’s where I find meditation and living by certain spiritual principles very helpful. Also fellowship with human beings, like talking with you right now, you remind me that I am grateful for this cup of tea. Those kind of things really inspire me. When you are intoxicated, it’s very difficult to appreciate things like that. When I wasn’t intoxicated, before I found the spiritual solution, I was dissatisfied because I hadn’t resolved the inner emotional turmoil.
SL: You are the author of several books and in “Manifest your Bliss – A spiritual Guide to Inner Peace” you write “Once we let go of neediness, desperation, manipulation and co-dependent patterns, we leave ourselves open for serenity, divine love and deep tranquillity to guide our perception of reality.” What does Love mean to you?
CD: Well, I can more than likely define what love isn’t to me. I know that any time I am selfish or in a vibration of self-centeredness, self-obsession, vanity, if I am judging others, if I lack compassion, any of those states, if I am in that, I know that I am not expressing divine or unconditional love. I am not sure if it is possible for me to actually say and become aware of what true or authentic love is. But I can feel it, I can be aware of it and the only way I can describe that in written or spoken language is to acknowledge what it isn’t.
SL: You have also written “The Mystery of Belief”. What is belief and what do you believe in?
CD: Belief is an awareness of what is possible. Let’s say someone approaches me and says they would like to become a doctor. If they believe that they can become a doctor, for the right motives of course, it’s an awareness of potential. They are allowing an opening for spirit or pure consciousness to make that reality possible.
I dropped out of high school at the age of 15, so there are lots of reasons for me to believe why I couldn’t put together several spiritual books because of the dogma or on the conditioning of what is programmed into society, particularly in England, but I believe I can do it.
As a result of that humble belief I gave an opening, like a channel for pure consciousness, an opportunity to express that within and through me, and that was the foundation of my writings. I know that in spirituality and in many realizations we want to be present, live in the nowness of consciousness in the now, that’s imperative, that’s the foundation but we also want to create stuff and manifest things. It is essential to believe that we can do those things and that’s essentially what the mystery of belief is all about. It is a gentle process that won’t contradict the ancient spiritual teachings or realizations of presence, it complements it. It’s a manifestation process with a foundation of presence.
I believe that I ought to stay humble and I’ve got to have humility and I believe that anytime I think that I am too important to wash some cups or dishes that I am in banging trouble. That’s what I believe [laughing].
I believe that humanity is evolving in a positive way regardless of what happens because anything tragic is a result of something unresolved within, and anything unresolved can be resolved within. When it becomes resolved, what’s left is just pure unadulterated consciousness, just light and love [ah, that’s love…] and infinite possibilities and potential.
SL: How do you apply this in your own life?
CD: Through repetition and practicing meditation and prayer, practicing yoga. Repetition is how I develop that. I amplify a healthy belief so that I can contribute something regardless of external appearances.
SL: What would your message be for all those who are looking for a more meaningful and loving life?
CD: I will bring it back to my own experience. Anytime I feel lost or hopeless and therefore I see the world as being lost and hopeless, the reality is that this is a reflection of what’s going on inside. If I look at the world as being hopeless, there’s something within me that feels slightly hopeless and therefore I can alter that by going within. If I sit down and meditate I can overcome that and I can bring peace, tranquility and serenity and I can access joy and creativity regardless of what’s going on externally.
I have been in some parks or on walks down the forest in the countryside with just a bottle of water and I left my wallet and cell phone indoors and I have been in absolute bliss, because I have been in a meditative state. There are so many different ways to meditate and this can be applied by anyone, even in countries where there might not be so much material distractions, they can still access that by focusing on their breathing so that they won’t get lost in the future or in the past. Bring your attention back to the breathing and keep doing that as often as possible. This is called mindfulness meditation and that will still the mind and you will be able to gently let go of that feeling of hopelessness. When you let go of that, then you can allow spirit or pure consciousness to flow through you and the next thing might be a creative idea which came out of nothing. So I would suggest to go within and meditate. Meditation I believe is the key.
SL: Do you have a final thought or message for our readers?
CD: I would say, let go of all neediness and trust the evolutionary process of life and everything is and everything will be okay and the results will take care of themselves.
Thank you Christopher for sharing your story with us. You have inspired us tremendously and you are our Super Soul!
For information about Christopher Dines and his books, please visit his website: christopherdines.com
INTERVIEW BY: DIRK TERPSTRA – SOUL LOVE FOUNDER
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