On the Hero’s Journey, the Hero meets teachers and guides. The teacher points out new directions, Guides help the Hero get through difficult situations. Both will be needed to complete the journey.
Here, in gratitude, is a list of my Teachers and Guides — in chronological order.
Fred Paddock, 1959-1960
My youth minister. He opened my eyes and my mind to much broader vistas that what I learned at home.
Esalen and Gai-Fu Feng, 1967
Esalen showed me a whole new world beyond my formal education. Gai-Fu Feng was in my group and tantalized me with ideas from his native Taoism
Western Electric, 1968-1969
My first employer provided me with a highly structured and supportive work environment where I could hone my new skills in Training and Development.
Jack Brewer, 1972-1978
Jack took a personal risk by hiring me as the Training Officer for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and supported me in introducing experiential training at the Lab. Most important, he kept my feet out of the “bear traps.”
Creative Initiative Foundation, 1972-1981
A spiritual cult centered around Palo Alto, CIF provided me and my family with a highly structured and focused family life during the tumultuous 1970’s. Their workshops on “de-conditioning” helped me explore my shadow side and to release a great deal of sub-conscious anger. But its heavy-handed approach also inflicted a lot of pain and heartache on me and the family.
Winona Christiansen, 1981-1982
When we finally freed ourselves from the rigid orientation of Creative Initiative, we felt disoriented and ungrounded. I had to start all over in finding some spiritual direction. Winona’s therapy and courses on Christian Mysticism served as an invaluable bridge to my next focus. She also introduced me to my next guide.
Evelyn Sullivan, 1983-1984
Evelyn introduced me to energy work. She developed her own approach to energy work which looked a lot like massage except she never touched my physical body. Whatever it was it produced powerful results. I decided
I needed to learn how to manage my own energy directly.
David Kyle, 1984-1992
We moved from the East Bay to Menlo Park in 1984 and I started looking for kindred souls to connect with. Someone told me about David and I found his eclectic knowledge of different spiritual traditions stimulating. I turned to him whenever I had questions of a spiritual nature. He also taught me how to meditate.
David was a Professor of Communications at the local community college and had developed a consulting practice with local business. I hired him on a number of occasions to help me with my own projects. David moved away from the Bay Area and we lost touch over time. Recently we reconnected and it felt good to be together again.
Gay Luce and the Nine Gates Mystery School, 1984
Gay Luce developed the 9 Gate Mystery School that helped us to experience 9 chakras and how each shapes our experience of the present moment. I attended the second of these schools which held one workshop a month for 9 months. Each workshop focused on a different chakra. I found the whole experiencing a bit disorienting but it confirmed the importance of learning about my own life energy.
Jeff Krock and Life Energy Fundamentals, 1985-1990
I met Jeff at an Organization Development Conference and saw him work with a client. The energy in the room was so strong that I could not stay awake. When Jeff said he was conducting a year-long training program and wanted to get a group started in the Bay Area I volunteered to help get it started. Jeff taught us techniques for recognizing and shifting our own internal energy. We learned how changing our normal patterns of energy could dislodge limiting beliefs that we held in our sub-conscious about the way we have to be. This was a powerful learning experience and I considered it a great loss when Jeff discontinued the program in the early 90’s. It was on one of the LEF weekends that I had the bodywork session which released my deeply ingrained unconscious fear.
Steve Lawrence and the Lakoda spiritual tradition, 1992-1996
This was something that I did not want to do. But my inner guidance strongly insisted I do so. The Lakoda was a warrior culture and their spiritual practices were very demanding, including flagellation of the body. My guidance told me that this was not to be my path but it had things to teach me. Only in retrospect did I see it for what it was, a test to see if all my fear had indeed been released from my system. I appreciated the great commitment and sacrifice required by Steve to carry out the tradition of the medicine man.
Bill Weaver and Roger Long, 2004-2006
In 2003 my wife and I relocated to Bend Oregon. Bill and Roger, long time Zen practitioners, had just started a public meditation group when we arrived. They taught us the basics techniques of meditation and introduced us to week long meditation retreat at a Zen monastery outside of Portland.
Jan Chosen Bays and Hogan Bays, 2005-2006
For a year and a half my wife and I alternated attending monthly meditation retreats at Great Vow Monastery west of Portland. Jan and Hogan were the co-abbots of the Monastery and taught us how to go deeper into our inner world through Zen meditation.
Adyashanti is an American born enlightened teacher living in the Bay Area. During my first week-long retreat with Adya I had an awakening experience that began my transition stage of life. That transition last about 5 years.
Loch Kelly, Dorothy Hunt, Sharon Landrith, Marlies Cocheret, Steven Bodian, 2007-2014
These five teachers were given transmission to teach by Adyanshti. I had at least one workshop with each and they helped to solidify my transition into enlightenment.