Colin Betts

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Colin Betts (born 9 June 1948) is an author and 1960s commentator who lives in some seclusion in the Scottish Borders. He runs a nature reserve and animal sanctuary, engages in environmental activism, writes and makes music. In the past he has worked as a university lecturer, aid worker, mostly in south and east Asia, a journalist, musician and other occupations.


Betts was born 9 June 1948, in the outskirts of Slough, England. He left home and school aged 15 to go on the road until 1979, when he went to university and began an academic career. He retired in 1997 to read, write and edit books, plays and music. He is a specialist in the 1960s counter-culture protest movement, meditation, Tibetan Buddhism (he lives close to the famous Samye Ling Tibetan Buddhist centre at Eskdalemuir, Scotland). Fluent in several languages, he has a B.A. (Hons) in drama, an M.A. in sociolinguistics and a doctorate in post-1945 Vietnamese history.

His works include: Taming the Tiger (editor, with Akong Tulku Rinpoche); Healing Relaxation, with Edith Irwin. Eskdalemuir, a local history; Frozenlight, his original 1960s memoir, privately published in 2008, and then electronically published in 2010 jointly with his play about the musician (and former traveling companion) Nick Drake. Burninglight, the second volume of his memoirs was also privately published in 2009.

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