It Girl Who Found Inner Peace; in Part Two of Our Fascinating Series on Modern Spirituality, We Examine Why the Teachings of Buddhism Are Now So Popular in This Country

Daily Mail (London), June 13, 2000 | Go to article overview

It Girl Who Found Inner Peace; in Part Two of Our Fascinating Series on Modern Spirituality, We Examine Why the Teachings of Buddhism Are Now So Popular in This Country


JULIA STEPHENSON, 34, grew up in Guildford, Surrey, surrounded by the wealth of the Vestey family. In her 20s she was an It girl and threw herself into the London party scene. But, disillusioned with the world of shallow glamour and facing the breakdown of her brief marriage, she turned to Buddhism.

Today, she is a devoted practitioner, has stopped drawing on her family trust fund and is supported by her writing. This is the remarkable story of her unlikely conversion.

THOUGH I come from a loosely Anglican background, I was never a regular face at my local church. My education - which smacked of St Trinian's - culminated in a spell at the Lucie Clayton college, learning how to slip out of a mink coat and into a sports car. It did not encourage an interest in philosophical subjects.

My parents separated when I was eight, and the resulting childhood insecurities meant I never took happiness for granted. I had to dig deeper than most to find peace of mind. I'm convinced this is what awakened my seeking spirit.

When I left the college, I used money from my trust fund to buy a house in Fulham, South-West London, and took a couple of short-lived jobs, but all the time I was energetically trying out every spiritual craze going.

I don't regret any of those spiritual skirmishes, but they were time-consuming and expensive. I was flat out cleansing myself inside and out with meditation techniques, and worn out with the endless quest for obscure macrobiotic foods. My great problem was that, like so many young women, I didn't know what I wanted out of life.

In 1983, I went to work as a chalet girl for a season in Switzerland and met an accountant, whom I married three years later.

He was devoted, but I married in a desperate bid to find peace of mind, believing it would give me the stability and contentment I craved. I was finally living the life I'd always dreamed would make me happy.

I pursued a variety of fashionable spiritual disciplines such as reflexology, iridology (a form of diagnosis using the iris) and fruitarianism, eating only raw fruit, vegetables and nuts.

But to my surprise I felt an increasing sense of despair and frustration. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong because I was doing exactly what I wanted.

I was vaguely interested in Buddhism but I didn't have a clue about what being a Buddhist involved. So when an acquaintance suggested I attend a meeting, I went along with an open mind and some trepidation.

But I needn't have worried.

Everyone was friendly and down to earth, and I was inspired at the positive way they were dealing with their lives.

The meeting began with a short recitation of passages from the Lotus Sutra, followed by the chant 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo'.

I found it melodious, relaxing yet dynamic.

I felt a definite sense that this could be a way for me to find the peace I had been seeking for so long. Today, this practice forms the framework of my day, and its philosophy underpins my life.

When I began to chant and study, I found my character changing quickly, and my life and environment altered accordingly. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

It Girl Who Found Inner Peace; in Part Two of Our Fascinating Series on Modern Spirituality, We Examine Why the Teachings of Buddhism Are Now So Popular in This Country
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.