After progressing in recovery, I began to sponsor newer members and this led to counseling.  I worked 3 years as a Director for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, in Burlington, VT, and then 14 years as an officer at the school for people with mental retardation, in Brandon, VT.  During this time I met Mary Albee who became my partner, best friend, and wife.  She modeled Abraham Maslow's Unconditional Positive Regard.  In 1982 we founded The Center for Human Potential.  Mary went full time at the Center in 1985.  I worked evenings until going full time in 1993.  We and other therapists in 1996 founded Associated Psychotherapists of Vermont.  For the last 10 years I have been Treasurer and Membership Chair. 
 
Sometime in the 1980s I was exposed to Michael Harner's book, The Way of the Shaman.  Michael Harner, Ph.D. is a anthropologist who was introduced to Shamanic journeying in Brazil and brought the practice back to the western world. His book spoke to me instantly.  I took the basic workshop with Michael Harner in the 1990s, but couldn't do more with it then.  Mary transitioned in 2005.  In June 2009, I made a decision that I wanted spiritual activities in addition to AA.  In September 2009, a colleague offered me a discounted rate for her Inner Theater program.  The results amazed both of us and I regained soul parts I had lost as a child.  The next month I went to my first advanced weekend workshop in Shamanic journeying.  It was wonderful, life changing.  Since then I have been to three more advanced weekend workshops and will take another in June 2012. 
 

I have also been fortunate to attend several advanced weekend workshops by Zacciah Blackburn, Ph. D. Zacciah is an international sound healer and Shaman who leads meditations and workshops in Vermont, North and South America, Europe and Egypt. He also trains many people from around the world each year in the use of sound for healing. He has lead groups to sacred sites in Vermont, the US, Europe and Peru. Each of his events is a profound life-changing spiritual experience.

In January 2012 I was trained in the Oneness Blessing, called deeksha in India where it originated. Another heart-warming spiritual experience that qualifies me to give the Oneness Blessing.

I live in gratitude for the many people and experiences given to me, including AA and the 44 days (so far!) of advanced training mentioned above. What happens next? I don't know, but I do know it will be both exciting and worthwhile!

 

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Ray Merrihew - Center for Human Potential - Biography