A Continuing Sense of Call
A Personal Biography
The youngest of three boys, I grew up in an affluent suburb of New York City. After graduating from Wabash College in Indiana, I spent four months in Spain and lived independently while learning the language. Returning to the USA, I served three years in military service with Army Intelligence. Later, I attended graduate school at Temple University, earning an M.A. in Political Science while enjoying the support of a teaching assistantship there. I spent summers working, and, for the Experiment in International Living, led high school and college-age groups abroad to Denmark, Japan, Chile, and Colombia.
Returning to the Academy, I received the Ph.D. in Comparative Government from the University of California at Riverside, while receiving the support of another teaching assistantship. While in California, I started personal-growth work that included est and their seminar series, TA discussion, and other miscellaneous groups.
In researching my dissertation, I lived for a year in Bogota, Colombia. To support myself, and in my off-hours, I taught English to Colombian students at a bi-national center in the city.
After returning to the States, and writing my dissertation, I was awarded a Ph.D. in political science. After failing to find my niche in California, I returned to the East Coast and settled in Boston. I participated in, and later ran the office of a small educational institute that offered seminars in marketing management to foreign business executives. After a management change there, I spent a year at Harvard's Graduate School of Education where I received an Ed.M. in educational administration.
An internship with the Academic Affairs section of the Board of Regents of Higher Education led to full-time work there. While at the Board I completed five-plus years of psychotherapy, participated in various Insight Seminars, was active in church work, and sang in two choral groups.
Deciding to make a major career change, and open up more of the right-brain side of myself, I became a full-time student at the Massage Institute of New England and earned a Certificate in Massage Therapy. Later, I hosted a local-access cable television show entitled "Calling All Laity."
Two years in Colorado followed, in support of a friend who wanted to create a holistic health/retreat center there. Returning to a longtime family retreat on Lake Michigan, I completed a book, Soul Sailing: How Life-Stories Can Transform the Voyage, and created Telos Institute (telos being a Greek word meaning "end, purpose, or ultimate aim").
The mission of Telos Institute is twofold: to encourage individual people to tell their stories with awareness, honesty, and reponsibility in mind; and to encourage us collectively to create a more rational political system. That twofold mission is accomplished through speaking engagements, workshops, and mini-retreats. The ultimate purpose in all of this? To realize our individual - and collective - telos in life.
A Spiritual Biography
In his brilliant volume about the Christian Bible, entitled The Good Book, Reverend Dr. Peter Gomes (Professor, and Minister of the Memorial Church at Harvard University) quotes the familiar "from those to whom much is given, much is expected" (Luke 12:48).
For many years now, that sentence has spoken to me in a very profound way. While not exactly "born to the manor," I have enjoyed many privileges in life and been the recipient of too many blessings to recount here. In my own way, and with too many detour-stories to tell here, I have attempted to be worthy of those blessings.
Giving back is therefore an important part of who I am. And, I feel blessed to be able to do so.
Why Buy "Soul Sailing"?
Let me share with you what someone wrote of my book:
"Utillizing storytelling techniques, Soul Sailing offers hands-on advice for helping readers grow spiritually. Rather than a "preachy" book (with lots of black space inside) it has an open and accessible feel to it. The book therefore offers readers a chance to interact with key episodes from their past. As a result, it involves the reader on virtually every page.
"Why should you want to revisit key episodes from your past? To grow spiritually. To gain a greater understanding of how stories resulting from your experiences can lead to a more fulfilling future.
"Soul Sailing presents a non-denominational approach to spiritual growth. For as an individual person, the book summons you to chart your own course toward growing spiritually. Whatever that looks like for you.
"The concepts are reinforced with numerous stories, exercises, and resources. Together, they make each leg of the voyage both accessible and actionable.
"The exercises and resources guarantee that Soul Sailing can be turned to again and again for help in charting a course toward spiritual growth and development. The nautical theme emphasizes the buoyant feeling of progress that comes with a voyage of discovery."
And what another person said of me:
"A man abounding in wisdom, grace, and joy."