In 1991, I was in an auto accident on a mountain highway on my way to see a publisher. At the time, I was a career counselor, an instructor in the Master’s Career Development program at John F. Kennedy University and had just completed my second book in the field. My car was pushed off the highway over a cliff and caught by redwood trees. Not hurt, I took the experience as a metaphor – I’d been pushed off my path. The whispers of the Divine called me into meditation and deeper psycho-spiritual exploration and eventually away from my “householder” life.
A few years later, I attended the California Institute of Integral Studies, where I was surrounded by others on a similar spiritual quest. I focused on Jung’s ideas (shadow, the imaginal and archetypes of the collective unconscious) and wrote my dissertation on spiritual practices using the imaginal (imagination). I met brilliant minds, like Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy, Stanislav Grof, Andrew Harvey, Angeles Arrien, Howard Schechter, Michael Harner among others. In addition, my practices have been fed by the work of Arnold Mindell, Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as Christian meditation originally taught the Desert Fathers in the Jesus Prayer.
While of Dutch and Indonesian heritage, my upbringing and early adult years were steeped in the western values of Europe and the United States. Sensing the need to explore my “inferior” Indonesian heritage, I journeyed to Java at age 42. There I experienced the culture and its various spiritual traditions, but more importantly, I walked the land with presence. Since then I have made many walking pilgrimages, and, through the lens of the camera, experienced the sacred in its detail and beauty.
Not that my entire path has been a blissful connection to the divine! I've also experienced a descent: a process of letting go of ambition, marriage, family, home, and over time, many ego defenses. I came to be with my vulnerable, but authentic, self. Through this process I learned about suffering, letting go and having compassion for my self and others.
All the richness of this personal journeying, along with a continued commitment to explore the inner landscape, have led me to live a lifestyle focusing on beauty, nature, simplicity, ecological sustainability and a chop-wood-carry-water appreciation of the present. I bring to you these experiences as a witness and guide on your spiritual path.