Personal Discovery Groups and Coaching with Essence

You as the student should not try to learn. Never try. There should be no effort on your part. If you don’t get something right, that is not your responsibility–it is the responsibility of the teacher. You do not need to perform here, just relax.

                   -- paraphrasing Michel Thomas, 

                               language teacher

In the early 1700’s Hakuin studied Zen in monasteries until it occurred to him, the challenges of everyday life were more challenging than the challenges in a monastery. Ordinary people face more distractions, expectations, responsibilities, blame, praise, lures & heartbreaks than monks. He realized he could gain more enlightenment outside the monastery than inside. Perhaps the following story is how he learned this.

At one time Hakuin was greatly respected and had many students. He lived in a hermitage, close to a food shop run by a couple and their beautiful, young daughter. One day the parents discovered that their daughter was pregnant. They berated the daughter, demanding to know the name of the father. At first, the girl would not confess. After much harassment, she named Hakuin. The furious parents confronted Hakuin, berating him in front of all of his students. He simply replied, “Is that so?” His students lost faith in him and they all abandoned him.

When the baby was born, the family gave it to Hakuin.  He took delight in caring for the infant child. A year later, the mother felt regretful and confessed the real father was not Hakuin but a young man who worked at the local fish market. 

The appalled parents demanded Hakuin return the baby. By now he loved the child as his own. Still he agreed and gave the child away without complaint. All he said was: “Is that so?”

A person in their essence feels fulfilled and has insights or enlightenment to do amazing, nearly limitless things. Essence may be the inspiration for the word, humane. To get into one's essence can be done by recall, as Plato suggested, or by being one of the qualities he mentions, like patience, or the one the buddhists always mention, compassion. Even though we were born in essence, and children are mostly in it, as adults we have forgotten our essence. Or maybe we came to ignore it, because our culture conditioned us with advantage, control, impatience, judgment, shame, shunning, status and other things. It is difficult to get out of this pickle by oneself, because we are still using our patterns as we try to get free of our patterns. For example, we judge our judgments. We react to our reactions. With a coach, or in a group, there are others also trying to be more natural, embracing their essence. 


As your coach I am accountable for:

  • Creating the space for you to feel safe enough to change and grow. 
  • Being patient so the parts of you can have the necessary time to come into balance so you can change and grow dramatically once your parts align in partnership.
  • Listening well. Then describing to you what I hear. So you are certain I understand what you want.
  • Helping you articulate where you want to go, what you want to do and who you want to be. 
  • Connecting with the being you were created to be, your timeless essence.
  • Stimulating your spontaneity, curiosity, interest and passion for embracing your life with natural energy and vitality.
  • Reminding you there is always a way, and helping you find it.
  • Offer ways to reconsider the interpretations that delay your path.
  • Responding to you rather than reacting or judging you, or when I do, to make it a learning situation for both of us.
  • Provide opportunities for insight and enlightenment.

You may choose to be accountable for:

  • Describing your concerns, what you think hinders you, what you have tried, what has worked and what has not worked.
  • Describing what you would (or already) do to resist, distract or delay your progress.


Sessions are by phone, google meet, zoom or in person. We can meet for a walk or talk over coffee in Tucson or Bisbee, Arizona. Pricing is the same as for bodywork, so you can combine your coaching with bodywork if you like. 60 minutes $100.00. Four 60-minute Session 15% discount. Ten 60-minute Sessions 30% discount. Free consultation by phone. 

Groups are two hours, weekly on a weekday evening, 7 to 9 pm. Groups are drop-in. Come when you can. Workshops of specific topics are 6 hours on a Sunday, perhaps once a month. 

Groups allow you to practice or experiment being more natural, more spiritual or closer to your true nature, with others who also would like to be more of these things. The fact that others have the same interest, and my structure, keep the group as safe as it can be as we experiment being different from our old patterns and cultural conditioning. Groups may include discussions, dialogues as pairs, energy and other activities, all voluntary.

I participated in twice-weekly Personal Discovery groups with essence, with Stephen Bruno, 1996 - 1999. I have received coaching with essence by phone with Stephen since 1999. I have been practicing the principles of the group dynamic with essence in my workshops for massage therapists and Reiki practitioners since 2000 and in Improv workshops 2013-2015.   


Would you like to schedule a free consultation by phone? 

Ready to make an appointment? 

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Coaching with essence is a nonthreatening dialogue that can help with practically everything including:

  • Seeing possibilities where you did not see them before.
  • Responding more than reacting.
  • Feeling more equal with others.
  • Willing to have a different perspective.
  • More curious.
  • Interpreting your experiences to your benefit.
  • Taking more calculated risks and having more fun and fulfillment as a result.
  • If your life were a movie set, seeing how you are the Director.
  • More perceptive and intuitive.
  • Opportunities for insight, wisdom and enlightenment.
  • Recognize what makes life worth living, or create your own meaning and purpose.
  • Others notice as you become less judgmental, more compassionate or more curious. Which activates exponentially more opportunities.
  • Improve your parenting.
  • Improve your relationship with your partner.
  • Inspire your creativity, deepen your art, writing or other expression.
  • Dramatically improve your health, vitality and quality of life.
  • View more of your life’s challenges as Better For Having Happened
  • Embrace life challenges.
  • Embrace your essence.
  • Gain flexibility, resiliency.
  • Discover your life's purpose (which you'd love to do and be) and decide your own side-quests.
  • Be of greater service in the big picture.

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