I wrote the below in late 2015. Quite a bit of it is still true. For a more current description of the face I present to the world, go to my consulting website.
I am a shamanic practitioner, a singer, a teacher, and a creative artist in multiple media (more about my works here). I have a well-developed sense of creativity and imagination that is my primary source of spiritual guidance and inspiration, and also enables me to connect to other realms. Balancing that is a grounding in physical reality and the practicalities of this world. I am committed to keeping my heart open all the time, and am so grateful that tangible help for my clients emerges from the healing work I do.
I have a day job at a remarkably sane technology company. I've been married blissfully to the amazing multidimensionally creative and loving Victoria Scarlett for 30 years and am happiest being in my home.
Here is more of my story:
My journey toward healing work has led me through many sacred realms. I spent the first few decades of my life exploring the Christian tradition, which included study of Biblical languages, time in Israel, and a stint in seminary. This led me to deep investigations of many other spiritual traditions (particularly Jewish, Buddhist, and Sufi Muslim).
For the last twenty years, my focus has been on a profound encounter with contemplative practices, especially through the vehicle of sacred chant, which I have shared and taught in all sorts of contexts--from traditional religious services to exuberant interfaith gatherings to deep meditative retreats. This work took place in collaboration with the Center for Sacred Art, of which I have been Associate Director since 2000.
Along the way I was led to the incredible blessing of shamanic practice, an ancient spiritual tradition that involves the use of drumming-induced trance states to connect to higher sources of wisdom. I quickly realized, with great gratitude and joy, that this path not only offers great spiritual sustenance for me personally, but is also the vehicle that allows me to be available as a "hollow bone" through which healing blessings can flow to others.
I discovered a surprising answer to the question “who am I?” It grows out of much that has gone before, but also new: “I am a healer.”
As part of this calling to heal I have adopted the middle name “Hakim.” This term for “wise scholar and healer” from the medieval Islamic world connects me to the long tradition of healing practice that springs from spiritual wisdom.
“Hakim” has the same first letter as my given middle name, “Howard”, which is my father’s name. While he is on a different path than me, he is a healer himself and I honor him for the wisdom he has taught me.