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Who Is Patty?

Like you she is both an ‘I’ and a ‘me.’ And strangely enough, although they live together they don’t often pay attention to each other.

Why is that? Aren’t me, the psyche, and the Body Being wrapped in an embrace with I that nothing can sever? Though I don’t often think about it, I’m pretty sure that I is connected with a larger energy that contains the familiar me who saunters and suffers through my life.

Wise men have meditated on this for thousands of years. They have shared their efforts to find out how an evanescent bridge of awareness can be built between I and me. They tell us to wake up and go against the flow, otherwise we will never know more than what’s in front of us or what me wants.

So like perhaps you and many others, I have spent a lifetime trying to find out why these two parts of myself almost never communicate with each other. And from all this studying and seeking I’ve learned a lot, though many questions remain. For one thing, I now realize how important it is to listen more, and to wait like a hunter, alert in all directions.

My understanding has been shaped by an early encounter with the path toward Conscious Action in the ideas of G. I. Gurdjieff and his sacred dances. I am full of gratitude for my amazing parents, part of the first generation who taught his Work in Life, and the many cherished companions with whom I have studied and taught his ideas and exercises for more than half a century.

In my twenties I also studied Hindu and Buddhist texts while I worked as a reporter for Time magazine. At thirty, my mentor Jeanne de Salzmann, who guided the Gurdjieff teaching after his death, suggested I study Tai Chi, so I turned to master T. T. Liang, just arrived from Formosa, became his student, immersed myself in Daoist thought and struggled toward an effortless effort. Recent work with Qigong masters Yang Yang and Robert Peng has deepened my appreciation for the importance of Grounding to Mother Earth.

Married to a Peruvian, I lived for twenty years in Lima, raising three children, writing for a local magazine, running a school, and serving as first lady of the largest province in Peru. When my marriage broke up I returned to New York filled with a sense of failure. I got a job as managing editor of a trade magazine, and turned to C. J. Jung and other psychology experts to understand better the unconscious forces that drive us where we don’t always want to go. Work with Jungian analyst Marion Woodman and her BodySoul Rhythms intensives helped me toward deep renewal.

Throughout this time of work in the world to support my family, I continued to practice and teach the Gurdjieff movements and Tai Chi. When I retired as deputy chief of reporters of Fortune magazine, I wrote my first book, The Practice of Presence, and became communications consultant for an internet startup. I also took the three-year training to become an Alexander Technique teacher, which provided new insights into Body Consciousness.

In an attempt to span the seemingly irresolvable divisions between science and the sacred, I began to delve into neuroscience and wrote articles about it and other subjects as contributing editor for Parabola magazine. Along the way I connected with Pavi and Nipun Mehta and the amazing worldwide Service Space team with which I now I work as a volunteer editor of The Daily Good.

A gift from the grace that envelops us all, I have been led to experience three doors to another level of Reality. They are centered in the belly, where we can connect with vital earth energy; in the prefrontal cortex or wisdom eye, which can open to universal energy; and most dearly and clearly at the center of the chest, in the space which Daoists call the Heart-Mind.

While all three are functioning in us all the time at a human level, they also serve as gateways to another level of Being. The practice of conscious awareness and intentional action can call them into balance with each other, at which point we are offered access to another level of energy. Filled with a new sense of meaning, we are able to become servants of a larger intention.

I am happy to share my discoveries with you as I blog on this new website. They are summarized perhaps most clearly in my new book AWAKENING BODY CONSCIOUSNESS. But sparks will also be found in my blogs, in my other three books, and in my effort to be present to you if you choose to contact me for life coaching, Alexander Technique or Tai Chi/qigong classes.

Stay well in these more-than-difficult times. As they say in Peru, Adelante, pero con carino. Let us press forward, but with love.

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