After twenty-eight years as a minister in a progressive Christian denomination, I sensed it was coming to an end. I spent most of this time trying to shift the cultures of the congregation I served to go deeper, open up, and evolve. I wrote a lot of books about evolutionary Christianity and gave talks and workshops all over the world. But I was running out of steam.
Then I found my soul mate, Mia, to whom I am currently married and share a beautiful daughter. This relationship proved to be an invitation to make some changes and discover what was getting in the way of deep intimacy. Thus began and new phase of a healing journey.
In an ayahuasca ceremony I realized that I wasn’t living my own true life. This medicine ceremony was a powerful invitation to return to my soul calling, to my heart, and to the wisdom of my body after years of depending on my cognitive capacities. This was humbling to say the least, an ego death that the ancients describe as necessary to orient in life from heart and soul.
In time, this healing prompted me to return to an earlier passion: psychotherapy. At the same time as I was training for ministry I received training in psychotherapy and marriage and family therapy. I have been a Clinical Fellow with the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (RMFT) for over thirty years.
I wrote a book about my healing journey, Dismantled: How Love and Psychedelics Broke a Clergyman Apart and Put Him Back Together. The medicine, along with the wisdom of my mentor and therapist, Andrew Feldmar, and a lot of love (and patience) from my wife have made it possible for me to reclaim my soul’s life. My psychotherapy practice and teaching is my way of paying it forward. The on-line course I teach, Live Your Own Life: Principles and Practices, is launching in the fall of 2023. Sign up by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief bio. Registration is limited to 20.
The recent pandemic also caused me to look more closely at what was going on in the world. I saw a disturbing alliance between mainstream media, Big Pharma, local and global health authorities, unelected private interests, and nation states. Solid research was being censored along with the voices of preeminent scientists and medical doctors who questioned the dominant narrative about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines, the social policy of masking, and the origins of the virus. Those who chose to not be vaccinated were attacked by mainstream media, friends and family, and banned from social engagement. I found it chilling, a stark reminder that historically the desire to politically control the masses along with the temptation to sacrifice our individual sovereignty for the collective “good” is the norm. Living our own life means looking within absolutely. But it also requires that we stay alert to the agenda of those who would be happy for us to live their lives. It means cultivating a spiritual practice of staying positive, in the light, and full of compassion for a world that has lost its bearings.
In my previous life, as a Christian minister, I wrote seven books. You can read a retrospective of this work here. While I no longer identify as Christian and don’t attend church, the core biblical metaphors and narratives are rich in meaning when stripped of a literalistic meaning. Jesus, as shamanic rabbi, teaches a deeply subversive wisdom that the mainstream church has managed to trivialize for centuries.
I am on the teaching faculty of ATMA Journey Center, which provides psychedelic-assisted therapy training to psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists and counsellors.