Consciousness Studies: Many Teachers

Over the past twenty-five years I have been blessed to learn from numerous teachers, many who are pioneers in their chosen fields. Their influence on me has been subtle to profound, and several have honored me by accepting me as colleague, friend, and peer.

First, I offer profound thanks to Eugene Taylor, David Lukoff, Stanley Krippner, and Jeanne Achterberg, who were instrumental in my Ph.D. research, and were the magnets that drew me to graduate studies at Saybrook. Their scholarship, passion, and integrity are inspirations I strive to embody in my own life. All four of them are in their own ways experts in alternative and complimentary medicine, particularly in the various spiritual aspects of healing. Eugene and David are also accomplished in the martial art of aikido, and helped encourage me to explore the spiritual aspects of this somatic discipline. It has been a blessing to work with and learn from them.

I follow with thanks for the gifts and knowledge my many other teachers have provided, and in a loose chronological order I acknowledge: Thomas Borkovec, my first academic mentor, who drilled into me the recognition that anything worth studying may require decades before you see real progress; William Barton, my first biofeedback mentor, who embodies humanistic psychology with his passion for living, sailing, and friends; Digimbar Mishra, a yoga master, a friend, and old soul companion, who thought it important to leave India to study Western ways of describing consciousness; Ron Valle, existential-transpersonal psychologist, the first pain psychologist I ever met, who taught from personal experience as well as academic proficiency; Jerry Solfvin, statistician and psychical researcher, who walked in the analytic and the intuitive with hope that it could open the academic world to the reality of spirit and healing; Sharon Franquemont, intuition teacher and intuitive counselor, who encouraged further opening of my vision to the utility of the inner world; Julian Issacs, an academic entrepreneur who did not hesitate to take risks, journeying from parapsychology to neurofeedback and energy medicine in search of intellectual stimulation; Michael Harner, who provided shamanic training for those of us who otherwise would only have read about it in a book somewhere; Angeles Arrien, transpersonal anthropologist, who combined shamanic training with a mytho-poetic symbolic language, and deepened my experience of nature to the archetypal domain; Judyth Weaver, who introduced me to tai chi chuan as a sensory awareness training; Richard Heckler, who embodied somatic psychologist as an aikido practitioner and spiritual warrior; Ron Kurtz, who demonstrated applied Buddhism through the Hakomi method of somatic psychology; James Hardt, researcher and entrepreneur, who championed brainwave biofeedback as lever for personal transformation; George Leonard, a pioneer in exploring human potential, who’s love of aikido and passion for transformation helped me to recognize how practical a transformative practice can be; Eric von Riswald, who’s knowledge and skill in aikido embodied physical grounding in a transformative practice; Leslie Gray, ecopsychologist, shamanic counselor, and spiritual warrior, who inspired courage, authenticity, and responsible choice; Luisah Teish, story-teller, healer, and bringer of life-wisdom to service for community, who reminded me again that to serve others is to serve the larger Self; Michael Mayer, who is continuing efforts integrating qigong and Eastern energy medicine into Western psychological practice; and most recently, M. Rynda Norsell, a health psychologist, psychopharmacologist, wise elder, and mentor through my post-doctoral training in health and pain psychology.

I thank them all for gifts great and small.

With love and gratitude for their examples, guidance, and support.

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