Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart

I started meditating when I was 24 years old at Spirit Rock in California. Describing an experience of hearing music in the woods (which was impossible as we were sequestered on private, silent retreat grounds!)  to my teacher, Sylvia Boorstein, during a month-long meditation retreat, I remember being slightly worried that I was having auditory hallucinations.

Since I felt otherwise entirely sane, I let my Vipassana meditation practice continue to unfold over the years, and began working as a clinical psychotherapist specializing in anxiety and trauma treatment.

It was a good time to be practicing as a psychotherapist from a mindfulness frame in the U.S., as the nation experienced a secular mindfulness boom. I trained in and practiced Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and various other treatments, all of which were at the cutting edge of practice.

Clients seemed to find benefit from these approaches, and–even better!–insurance companies covered treatments.  What I started to realize was that people respond to what actually makes us feel better, whatever leads us towards the deep peace within.  Although (for the most part!) this stance worked for me, I also kept encountering the places where psychotherapy, and even the concepts of ‘mindfulness’ and ‘healing’, felt limited. 


Clients who came to me with chronic developmental trauma would improve. But, when I thought about whether the clients reported feeling not only less distressed, but actually whole —the true meaning of the word healing–I couldn’t honestly say following  protocols seemed to move anyone towards wholeness. As long as we still experience deficiency, lack, and desire for things to be different than they are, we aren’t truly free.

In 2016, I moved to Alaska and experienced about 6 months of grueling pain in a mental health clinic.  The suffering was too great, the gains too few. That period of my life led to a dark season of the soul, where I knew in my bones that I couldn’t stand seeing people continue to suffer so much.

I left the clinic and, without knowing what was happening, set off on a journey of radical transformation. After learning about the chakras, I began to have spontaneous movements which I later realized signified a Kundalini awakening. Siddhis, or spiritual gifts, meant I now had the ability to heal in ways that previously had seemed like science fiction. I started having experiences that I had no rational explanation for—I communed with Archangels on a mountaintop five minutes from my house; I merged with an eagle in a parking lot near the town dump.

Wanting to better understand what was happening, I undertook training in various modalities, becoming a Reiki master, doing advanced training with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and learning and incorporating Internal Family Systems, EMDR, and intergenerational trauma healing into my psychotherapeutic work.  Astonishing things started to happen, such as clients who’d never meditated going into deep states of concentration (known as Samadhi) or journeying,  being able to perceive energy, feeling the presence of deceased relatives.

While these experiences felt, quite frankly, impossible to the conscious mind and ego, they also led to authentic and profound experiences of healing beyond anything I’d known while coloring within the lines of evidence-based practice.

As a natural skeptic (and a person temperamentally aversive to any system that asked me to “believe”), I realized that  as soon as I was able to let go of the need to label what I do and how I do it, life became limitless.  I’ve been awed and humbled to see what flows through me. Ultimately, the one path I orient to is the path of the heart. I invite you to walk this path with me.