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Meet Leonard George, PhD, who lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Now retired, he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Music Therapy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C., and served as the Chair of the School of Social Sciences there.

How did you become interested in this line of work? (tell us a little bit about your background)

How did I become interested in this passion of mine? It chose me. Ever since childhood, I’ve had experiences that hinted there is “more to it” than our conventional sense of things. I’ve explored this angle in every way I know, through esoteric practices (copied and devised), through seeking out teachers, through travel around the world, through developing skills to engage the relevant material in an intellectually deep way, and, most importantly, through striving to help others benefit from the mystery of “more to it”. And at this point, I have no attainment to report. I’m just another student. But I do enjoy sharing what I’ve found.

Please share a wellness tip or word of advice that relates to the workshop you will be presenting.

I hope my program has a practical side, as well as being informative and amusing. (“Amusing” is guaranteed, because there will be pictures of kittens.) If we can notice the living depth which is always present, that can do wonders for our pain, and I aim to point at it. Also I hope to outline some therapeutic themes connected to imagination (which is the gate to that living depth), and talk a little about the link between the esoteric imagination and mindfulness. “Mindfulness” is all the rage in wellness and healing circles nowadays, but not everyone knows the halo of meaning surrounding the term, going back to the Hebrew Psalms in the West and the Buddhist text collection called the Sutta Nipāta in the East. If time permits, I will unpack this treasure too.

What or who inspires you? (This could be anything from your mentor to your favorite quote)

Oh, the list is long. Among the humans, my beloved Marjorie inspires me, for a lot of reasons. My father inspired me. For their first date, my dad asked my mom to attend a family wedding. At the reception, a fight broke out among my relatives (true to form) and the throwing of chairs ensued. My father made peace. He always was the family peace-maker. I’m glad my mother married him. Ralph White (co-founder of the Open Center) inspires me. This man is so smart and charismatic that he could cause a lot of damage. But he has used his power in the service of making the world a better place. Among the non-humans, the goddesses Hekate and Isis loom large as founts of inspiration. Also Carolina Wrens and Baltimore Orioles. And cats, always cats.

What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

I was working in the Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit in a hospital, and looked through the window one day at the adjacent rooftop – about a thousand square feet – and thought we should create a healing garden out there, with a fountain and potted trees and trellises and leafy bowers for private spaces. I had zero expertise in gardens or the engineering and politicking needed to do such a thing, but after a couple of years of furious barking and fund-raising, it came into being. I like this one because it had nothing to do with any alleged specialty on my part, just the furious barking. Burn survivors who hadn’t been outside in months experienced their “welcome back to life” there; they did their agonizing physiotherapy sessions there with the grand distractions of sky and wind; they communed with their loved ones in the bowers. One of my patients chose to be married there. That felt good.

Leonard George, PhD, lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Now retired, he was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Music Therapy at Capilano University in North Vancouver, B.C., and served as the Chair of the School of Social Sciences there. MORE


DON’T MISS:

The Lynx and the Butterfly: Exploring the Esoteric Imagination
Three Workshops (can be taken individually)
Friday, April 30, 2021, 7:00 – 9:00 pm ET – MORE INFO
Saturday, May 1, 2021, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm ET – MORE INFO
Sunday, May 2, 2021, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm pm ET – MORE INFO
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