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In my ’20’s and in the midst of a successful career, some form of existential unease led me to challenging and life-altering changes. This was the late 1960's, a time of  much disruption. The hippie movement challenged the status quo; civil rights issues were emerging, the war in Vietnam headlined the news, and societal values were being questioned. Breaking away from the norm I was soon embarking on a spiritual quest that has remained largely uninterrupted ever since. Various twists and turns led to my first direct encounter with a spiritual teacher in the 1990’s. Since then there have been many influences from books, videos, recordings, and such but nothing as influential as continued direct contact with living teachers. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are those teachers that most contributed to my current experience and understanding of spirituality. I’ve also provided one word that represents the most significant quality that comes to mind when I reflect upon their influence on my being.




The first moment I personally encountered Gangaji I perceived an energetic, direct transmission of love that occupied the physical space between us - our hearts directly met! Her direct teaching points to stopping habitual habits of mind and allow truth to be revealed. Gangaji powerfully articulates how to directly discover the truth of who you are, and how to be true to that discovery.


Hameed Ali (A.H. Almaas)


As the originator of the Diamond Approach, Hameed details how the psychological sense of self develops, its function and distortions. This body of teachings provided me with a practical methodology to address the obscurations to knowing the deeper aspects of my true self. A huge reference source to find clarity and understanding, Hameed’s interest is in learning how to integrate spiritual life with ordinary life as a mature human being.


Jac O’Keeffe


Jac once wrote “Phenomenal human love is a teaspoon measure of the infinite love that is within you.” Sitting with Jac I sense that motivating her enthusiastic teaching is a beautiful and profound force of love wanting to explode into the world. Add to this a brilliant mind, her extraordinary intuitive abilities, and uncompromising dedication to truth - I’ve spent far more time with Jac than with any other teacher.


Kabir Helminski


My first Sufi teacher, Kabir introduced me to traditional Sufi teachings. He is a sheik in the Mevlevi Order that traces its lineage back to Rumi. Kabir offered me personal support, encouragement, and traditional practices that I find valuable to this day. From Kabir I also learned of ‘adab,’ which refers to proper decorum, courtesy and respect; beautification of heart, soul, and mind.




My heart broke wide open during a week-long retreat with Gangaji where I discovered Kirtana’s music, or perhaps I should say that Kirtana’s music found me. That week, between group sessions all I could do was weep as I listened to her lyrics that beautifully transmit the love and gratitude she feels toward Gangaji. We’ve met since then, here and in California and I feel similar love and gratitude for Kirtana.


Miranda Macpherson


Fate introduced me to Miranda’s teaching while she lived in London, and later our paths crossed in Boston. Over the next few years Kathy and I organized 3 workshops in our home that were led by Miranda. Living together for 5 days at a time, and participating in the teachings, we came to experience the grace, beauty, and feminine aspects that Miranda so warmly represents. I particularly value the personal encouragement she offered then and since.


Pamela Wilson


I tell the story of meeting Pamela on my webpage The Gift of Pamela. Pamela represented my first exposure to nondual teachings and it’s because of her love, support, and encouragement that Eaton Satsang came into being. I’m forever grateful.


Rosanne Annoni


Within the Diamond Approach school my personal teacher was Rosanne. For over 10 years I felt blessed to have her strength, groundedness, and loving support as we spoke and met regularly. Over these years I witnessed an uncompromising integrity that I carry internally to this day. It’s a joy when you can also call a teacher your friend.


Vilayat Inayat Khan (deceased)


It was just before the turn of the century when Kathy and I attended an event organized by the Sufi Order of the West headed by Pir Vilayat. He was 81 at the time and quietly sat onstage appearing quite frail. The time arrived for him to lead a chorus celebrating this event and he responded with such intensity, power, and aliveness we were taken aback. Later retreats at a Sufi retreat center I witnessed more of the same but also experienced some form of deep transcendence as he led lengthy meditations.


So it is with deep gratitude that I bow to these teachers as well as the many others I’ve encountered  that have all supported my journey. Also, to friends who attend our satsang gatherings and helped create a supportive spiritual community. Most importantly, I wish to express my love and gratitude to Kathy, my wife and spiritual partner, who has always offered unconditional love and support, and is my constant reminder to keep a sensitive and open heart.

~ Dick


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