Without a core practice, students of philosophy and self-understanding have no center from which to work. The result is vacillation, scattered attention and a lack of progress. The core practice developed by Martin Butler is SOUnd – Sense, Observe and Understand. There is nothing unusual here, and the practice follows the well tried and tested approach of observation to gain data so that understanding can be developed. The three stages of this practice are:

  1. Sense the state of the body and emotions.
  2. Observe the sensations and associated thoughts without judgment or intervention.
  3. Understand why various emotions, bodily states, and thoughts have arisen.

Understanding is a much under-rated thing. As we understand our emotions and thought patterns so we gain some power over them. The end result is an ability to live consciously and navigate life for greatest pleasure.

It all sounds simple, and indeed the power of this approach is its simplicity. However, it certainly is not easy and a practitioner will need support from someone who has traveled the same road and understands the difficulties and traps that lay in wait. Trying to do this work on one’s own makes it unnecessarily difficult and potentially counterproductive. To this end, we can offer one-on-one support for suitable candidates. This needs an agreement between the practitioner and the supporting counselor. The counselor has to be convinced that the student is sincere and serious, and of course, the student has to feel that the counselor can be of help. Students are expected to make a financial contribution after an initial introductory session.

Two counselors are available to work with students over Skype. Both are very experienced and well qualified.


You do not stumble across the SOUnd practice accidentally. That you’re here at all tells half the story. Undertaking it is the second half, and one that has no end. SOUnd isn’t a belief system, nor is it a philosophical school; it is the concerted application of attention upon the terrors and treasures inherent in the undertakings of our daily life.

Ryan, Durham UK


Outside guidance and group work has been imperative on my own journey, and I’m immensely grateful to have joined SOUnd Philosophy. Dawn’s one-on-one support has been so helpful! She has a wealth of knowledge and is a powerful communicator. Over a relatively short period, I’ve seen definite growth in my understanding and gained a flexible framework for the practical application of these ideas in my life. Invaluable! Thank you Dawn and SOUnd!

Nellie, Washington USA

Dawn Lewis Miller

Dawn began her work in 1998, training as a student of Werner Erhard and Associates and its successor, Landmark Education Corporation in New York, NY. Studying and training under various teachers, Dawn learned and practiced the art of applying the ideas of several philosophers including Schopenhauer, Spinoza and the Stoics to practical areas in life such as family, communication and relationships. In 2017 Dawn continued her training with Martin Butler, expanding her knowledge of the nature of reality and the essence of being human with a common sense approach to our world today. After 20 plus years of personal practice of these life-changing concepts, along with her talent for communication, Dawn has demonstrated her ability to keep her feet on the ground, apply this practical philosophy in everyday life herself and mentor others in this groundbreaking arena of philosophical inquiry.

Debbie Butler

Debbie is a member of the British Psychological Society and holds a BSc (Hons) Psych and a BSc in Social Sciences, she is also qualified as an adult educator. Debbie has been involved in personal development for over 30 years during which time she has actively been involved with the Gurdjieff work and other related disciplines. She has tutored graduate students in various skills including personal effectiveness and has a background in helping individual development.

Debbie’s knowledge of the Stoic philosophers and their methods, combined with her training in psychology, means that she is able to offer very high levels of insight and support for students.

If you are interested in practical work please email us at


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