Gavin was born and educated in South Africa. He has lived in Iran, Europe, the US mainland and now lives on the Big Island of Hawai’i.
He attended his first Insight Meditation retreat in 1981 at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, Zululand, South Africa, where he met his teacher, Joseph Goldstein. In 1983 he ordained as a Buddhist Monk, before beginning years of long-term meditation practice at the The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA.
He is a recipient of the Unsung Hero of Compassion Award presented to him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2001 for kindness and quiet dedication to others, and was honored by the Men’s Resource Centre in Amherst, MA in 1998 with the Challenge and Change Award in 1998, for “someone who personifies the positive ideals of masculinity.”
Gavin offers teachings and poetry in Hawaii and South Africa. He is a student of Tai Chi, Qi Gung and yoga. He is the author of In the Lap of the Buddha (Shambhala Publications, Boston 1994) and Petals and Blood: Stories, Dharma and Poems of Ecstasy, Awakening and Annihilation (Pau Press, Hawaii, 2013).
With hiking, snorkeling and ocean swimming in Hawai’i and Africa, Gavin continues his lifelong passion for intimacy with nature. The undersea creatures he encounters while snorkeling off the Hawaiian reefs animate Gavin’s artwork. He feels a particular affinity with the sea turtle, present in much of his work. The native Hawaiians consider the honu (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle) to be an ‘aumakua, a deified ancestral guardian spirit, frequently manifested as different animals. His artwork has been described as “carefree, fanciful and light of spirit.”
to not act from love.”