After teaching Hatha Yoga in the Chicago area for several years, my calling led me to spend six years in India and Nepal. There I studied with masters from several traditions in spiritual awakening and healing; Hindu, Christian and Tibetan Buddhist. I also attended Benares Hindu University and received a M.A. in Comparative Religion. On returning to Chicago, I worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital doing biofeedback research, exploring the approaches I'd learned in India.
In the decades since then, I've had a private practice in Intuitive Spiritual Counseling (Interfaith) and Healing, called Gateways To Transformation. The approaches I use range from energy and imagery medicine to soul reading and healing, past lives, connecting with helpers or deceased, and ceremony, as prayerfully guided through my psychic and intuitive awareness. I've also taught yoga and meditation for some fourty years.
Besides classes, spiritual support groups and workshops offered privately, I've also taught at Loyola University, Mundelein College, the World Conference of Religion, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Common Ground, Visiting Nurses Associations and mentored at the Center for Education on Death and Dying.
Some of the topics taught were: Medicine Wheel and Inner Vision Quest; Sensing the Unseen; The Sacred in the Day to Day; Healing Skills in Hospice; different forms of Meditation; Heart Work; On Being a Cosmic Human; Opening to the Divine Within; etc.
These last few years I've mostly been in retreat, though I've ministered in several blessing and initiatory ceremonies. The primary spiritual practice I use is based on a devotional and meditative Tibetan Buddhist one called Mahamudra: The Great Gesture. It calls into play many of the skills and awareness I've gained over the years in seeking, teaching and counseling to touch many aspects of my being and make the practice of awakening even more profoundly fulfilling.
Sun Bear and Wallace Black Elk: teachers and medicine men in the Lakota Sioux tradition taught and initiated me in the ceremonial and healing use of the Medicine Wheel and the Four Elements. They gave me the medicine name, ‘Shantu Ya' or ‘Crazy Owl.'
Quiria Arondapolis gave occasional talks in his little café in old Athens . When enough students gathered, his gestures and tone were enthusiastic but it was often difficult to follow his line of thought. Strong images and bursts of enthusiasm seemed to overshadow the points he was trying to teach. My favorite teaching of his was the often repeated phrase, “Pan metrov einflietz,” or “All excesses in moderation.”
Dupdop Rimpoche ran a small school in Katmandu where he taught budding lamas and interested foreigners Buddhist philosophy rituals and prayer chants. He also had a small temple on the nearby Swayambhu Mountain . Here in the large stone courtyard we had days of chanting and extended bows to the Great Lord of Compassion, fasting but for an afternoon bowl of soup.
Father Bede Griffiths, a Benedictine monk, ran an English ashram in Tamil Nadu State . He was like a father to me and I lived at his ashram in a hut by the River Kaveri, the sacred river of South India (as the Ganges is the sacred river of North India ). He intertwined the chants, practices and revelations of the Christian and Hindu traditions. There I explored the Etheric Realm and the role it plays in shaping thoughts, beings and souls.
Sidi Muhammad, the Head Imam of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem : His Holiness consecrated me into the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order and gave me the name ‘Yusuf,” the one that interpreted the Pharaoh's dreams.