With graduate training in counseling psychology and Jungian studies, I am a three-time published poet and longtime practitioner of meditation and Nature spirituality shaped by elements of philosophical Taoism and Zen. When I am not facilitating contemplative soulwork through the School of Soft-Attention, I tend a year-round organic garden, go on hillwalking expeditions in the Georgia Piedmont, and study the classics of the Far East or the verses of various Wayfaring poets.
Hindsight being 20/20, my spiritual path began, in earnest, 40 years ago, over my grandmother's kitchen table (at the age of 13), when my mother — then a 36-year old chaplain/CPE supervisor-in-training and student of Jungian psychological theory — introduced me to working with dreams and how to consult the I Ching (Yi Jing), the ancient Chinese Book of Changes. This not only led to a lifelong interest in philosophical Taoism, Zen, and the approach to inner work as taught by C.G. Jung, it stoked a voracious curiosity in the arts, Japanese aesthetics, culture, comparative religious studies, and psychology.
After high school, I pursued undergraduate studies in outdoor experiential education, humanistic psychology, and Japanese religions. I studied under both the developmental psychologist Michael Piechowski and East Asian religions scholar Thomas P. Kasulis (author of Shinto: The Way Home and Zen Action, Zen Person).
My graduate studies took me to Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, a non-sectarian, Buddhist-inspired center of higher learning that has served as one of the launch pads for both the modern movements of contemplative education and mindfulness-based psychotherapy. At Naropa, I earned a M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and deepened my studies in both Buddhist and Jungian practice.
In time, my purely academic pursuits of studying creativity, ecopsychology, and Eastern religions flowed into a more unified experiential path of direct study and practice of The Way with my late teacher, Darion Kuma Gracen (1949-2007). For a decade, my study of her unique and syncretic path wove together elements of philosophical Taoism, various forms of Japanese spiritual practice, the study and practice of poetics, and mountain spirituality. Before her death, she gave me the hermit-Dharma name Inzan (隠山, Hidden Mountain). I have been a "Wayfarer" of this solitary, Nature-oriented path of creative spirituality ever since.
THE SPACE I HOLD
In my work with people, first and foremost, I come from an inclusive, welcoming, path-affirming, interfaith approach. My university studies in comparative religions, my own personal experiences with various spiritual paths over the years, and my post-graduate studies of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy in an ACPE-approved course (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education) have tempered within me a deep and abiding appreciation for all of the world's wisdom traditions.
Additionally, the School of Soft-Attention is a safe zone. I have worked with people of color, members of the LGBT+ community, and individuals-in-process around gender identity. Whatever your spiritual tradition, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, or gender identification, my space-holding ethic is to support you in your authentic unfoldment.