I am an Australian living in Switzerland. I live with two sons born in Switzerland and going to school here. I also have two adult daughters who live in Australia. I grew up on the north coast of NSW and moved to Sydney at the age of 14, where I later went to university and trained as a physicist. While doing my PhD I became more interested in population health issues and made my career in developing national health statistics for Australia. Since moving to Geneva in the year 2000 to work for the World Health Organization (WHO) on global health statistics, you could say I have become a global health observer. I have recently retired from WHO and continue to do some part-time consulting work, as well as pursuing other interests.

I have kept a journal on and off since teenage years and am also a keen photographer.  This site is an experiment to post images and to write about them and about some of my other interests. You can get an idea of these from the categories on my blog, and I expect these to evolve and change as I go. I hope to develop my writing skills as well as to document some of my explorations and adventures, and to aim to post on various topics of interest to me. I am not sure just how regular my posts will be. Time will tell.

Colin pointing to the Alps

I have been a keen bushwalker, caver, canyoner and kayaker since university days, and have dabbled in rock climbing and alpine climbing, but basically I just like being in the mountains. When I came to Switzerland, I took up alpine skiing also. I decided to name the blog “Mountains and Rivers” to reflect my love of the mountains and outdoors as well as my interest in Zen practice (the Mountains and Rivers sutra is one of the best known writings of the medieval Japanese Zen master Dogen Zenji).

I am largely keeping this site as a personal blog, not related to my professional work. If you want to know more about that, google can help, or you can take  look at:





© Colin Douglas Mathers, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without my written permission is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Colin Douglas Mathers and this Mountains and Rivers blog with appropriate citation or link to the original content.

5 thoughts on “About

    • THank you for your confidence in me. I am certainly full of ideas for blogging and semi-compose things in my head as I am driving to work or similarly occupied with non-brain-involving activity. But actually doing it….I shall have to develop some focus and make time. The busyness of life is a problem at present, I am hoping to change that somewhat. But the blog may be a slow or spasmodic developer for the present.

  1. Hi Colin,

    Just before departing for July sessin with my teacher Rolf Drosten Roshi, one of the Dharma heirs of Aitken Roshi, I found the photo of Aitken roshi, Bolleter roshi, et al. at your homepage. For private use, I have photo-shopped it to get a good portrait of Aitken roshi.

    May I use this excellent portrait of Aitken Roshi officially?

    Cheers, Björn

    Björn Lindgren

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