I was raised in a middle-class Jewish family in Los Angeles. While my family was not religious, there was a strong sense of tikkun olam (healing and repairing the world). This was mainly expressed in my family by social action such as labor organizing and working for racial integration in the 1940s and 1950s.
By the time I was growing up, my family was less politically active, and I had a pretty typical California childhood, at least on the surface.
Under the surface, I was struggling wih many issues. I found school hard socially. I was bright and sensitive, and I didn't really fit in with other kids my age. More deeply,áI started grappling with questions of life and death at an early age. By the time I was seven or eight, I was aware of and afraid of death. In my teenage years, I had a deep "existential crisis" where I felt that no matter what I did in life, it didn't matter because death was at the end of it.
Because of this crisis, I started practicing Zen meditation at age 17. Zen gave me a "meditative stability" that produced a foundation in myself that had been missing from my life. Almost from the first time I meditated, I felt a sense of "coming home" that was very strong.
I lived at the Zen Center of Los Angeles for eight years, and took vows as a monk at age 19. I found my life purpose in the Bodhisattva Vow ("saving all sentient beings") and I also found a community of like-minded souls. This period was also when I had my first experiences of Consciousness. However, in my late 20s, I realized that there were parts of me that weren't allowed to grow and develop while living life as a Zen monk, and I left the Zen Center.
Following my time at the Zen Center, I pursued vipassana and Advaita practice. In addition, I engaged in therapy and personal growth work at several points in the following years. Even with all the spiritual practice and psychological work I did, something was still missing.
It wasn't until finding the Waking Down path that I realized that the missing "piece" was an embodied and grounded sense of "me" as both human and Divine. My deepening in the work has been a period of great joy and growing strength for me. I've been able to express and much more fully embody all aspects of myself, and experience the oceanic depths of my Being.
Beyond my inner journeying, I've also had several careers in the world. I've been a small-business manager, a consultant, a tenured professor of business for a decade, and a life coach. I also have an MBA and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior.
Because of my many and varied experiences, I feel I have a pretty broad understanding of how life is, both in the world of daily work and in spiritual life. I also have a deep grounding in my Self that allows me to hold people deeply in their process. Finally, I offer a good balance of masculine and feminine energies such that I can hold deeply but also offer good insight and questioning.
I welcome the chance to talk with you and see if there's a fit between us and a way I can support your deepening and fuller embodiment. I offer a free introductory hour-long session. After that, my rates are on a sliding scale of $50-75 an hour.