I grew up in Maine, a good place to grow up. That probably contributed to my dry "sense of humah," which has made a lot of painful experiences more bearable. Irony has its place, except when it is an excuse for avoiding heart to heart contact.
I am a 1967 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy and earned a Ph.D. in resource economics at the University of Rhode Island in 1975. I taught environmental and resource economics at Western Washington University from 1975 till 1982, when I "dropped out" of academia to study Zen Buddhism and about the same time became a potter. Pottery is a good thing to do. It is hard to make money at it, but it is good for the soul, and I have always found potters to be invariably a group of people I am happy to be associated with. That's more than I can say for any of the other professions I have practiced over the years. In an odd way, people who step out of the mainstream to live as artists often seem more grounded and Real than those of us who remain stuck in the false security of our everyday "lives of quiet desperation."
After several years of intensive practice of Zen meditation and t'ai chi I found myself emotionally and physically stuck and uncomfortable. And this is actually a very interesting point; our own pain and difficulty opens our hearts to feel compassion for everyone and everything, because even though life is wonderful and magical, it is also painful and scary. In my quest to get some relief from this pervasive "angst of being," I (fortunately) stumbled onto the Feldenkrais Method and Hakomi Therapy , and found them to be extremely valuable, effective, and satisfying ways to begin moving beyond my own patterns that imprisoned me. They also made perfect scientific sense, were supportive and noninvasive, taught me ways to be a lot more comfortable in my body and in my life, and how to evoke similar experiences in others as a practicing therapist.
Since completing multi-year trainings in Hakomi Therapy (1988) and Feldenkrais (1991), I have maintained a small private practice combining Feldenkrais with body-centered psychotherapy in Bellingham, Washington, where I also continue to make pottery part-time.
I have practiced zazen (Zen sitting meditation) and t'ai chi more or less daily for over twenty years; and though I have detected no discernible result, it is too uncomfortable to stop, so I am compelled to continue. I also hold a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (which was pretty challenging for a pacifist in his late forties...). As the world has grown more noisy, I find have developed a taste and frequent need for quiet and the sounds of Nature, and I enourage all who read this to make space in your life for quiet, and setting aside regular time for limited input.
I have learned that no matter how much I learn about anything, I am always at "the threshhold of ignorance," a frontier of inner and outer awareness (and lack of it) in which some things have become second nature, some things are new and a little uncomfortable, and some things are a complete mystery.
To paraphrase Suzuki Roshi, "Of course everything is perfect just as it is; but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement." In this modern world, it is very important to take time out from tense body, busy mind, and keep the door open to "flowing body, flexible mind." My tapes are a tool to help you do that.