A Shared Life of Wrestling, Growth, and Discovery

Welcome

 

Why do I have this website?

First perhaps some context would be helpful. Around 1988, at age 46, I developed symptoms of what I would later see was an approaching major midlife crisis. Up until then, while I had experienced several traumatic events (such as sudden death of my parents in a car crash when I was 29), I would say my life was quite fulfilling and rich on all fronts –I was deeply identified with and committed to family, church, career, several service organizations, and my hobby of wildflower photography. I was a very happy camper!

But at age 46 I seemed to begin becoming increasingly unsettled. Unconsciously and yet somehow willingly I was entering what I would come to realize was a major midlife crisis and time of profound transformation. At first the journey would prove to be wild, scary, crazy, painful and hurtful to myself and others. The first 12 years were especially disorienting — with peaks of incredible joys that I had never before experienced and valleys of total despair and confusion. I had left my job, my church, other organizations, and, most painfully, my wife. My life was awash on every front. But in 2000, at the age of 58, and quite by “accident,” I was led to Pathwork. 

This website is a result of my spiritual path since August 2000, the month I was sent to Pathwork by a local spiritual director, Julie Murray. Over these many years since — and, now approaching age 75, I see no end in sight — Pathwork has given me and continues to give me the context, the tools, the right questions of inquiry, the guidance, and the inspiration for my adventurous midlife experience, my personal and spiritual ongoing purification and transformation, a life of  wrestling, struggle, painful growth, discovery — AND great fulfillment and joy on levels I could not have imagined. And the journey is anything but over! 

So with this context in mind, the purpose of this website is to share some of these experiences and the resources that have nurtured me on this amazing path.   I find my mode of being in the world is no longer one of serving in formal or official roles as teacher, coach, manager, leader, etc., but rather simply as one who thrills at sharing what is alive in each of our souls and engaging others who are willing to join me as together we “wake up” more and more to truth and love, to Ultimate Reality as we live out our lives moment by moment each day. My “role” in life, if I have to name it, is simply to be and to live into each moment of each day as it unfolds — increasingly experiencing Beauty, Mystery, and Love.

The blog section of this website, with over 400 entries since April of 2009, is a first hand account of my experiences on my spiritual path. This blog includes insights and reflections from my wrestling with the BIG questions in my life, guided for over eight years by my Pathwork Helper Moira Shaw. Some of these questions and areas of inquiry include: 1) my relationship with Jesus Christ — an important inquiry as I integrate my lifelong engagement with Christianity with my current Pathwork practices. 2) discerning the deeper meaning of and direction for my life — including my areas of service and growth, and 3) my ever-deepening relationship with my life partner since 2003, Pat Peterson.  Pat’s path has been birthed out of Roman Catholicism and Tibetan Buddhism, mine out of conservative Lutheranism and Pathwork.  Today our paths interweave nicely as we support and “hold the vision” for each other in our respective life journeys.

Since 2012 Pat and I have worked intensely in a conscious relating program with Pathwork leader Sagewalker and her husband Anthony Wilson. Pat’s and my spiritual community consists of local likeminded friends as well as participation in the Sacred Dimensions of the Pathwork program at Sevenoaks Retreat Center, a program organized and often facilitated by Erena Bramos.

The resources available on this website are those that I have either created or found helpful for my life journey:

What is Pathwork? This section includes various views on this subject by Pathwork itself, by me, and by others.

Pathwork Lectures, including: 1) Audio recordings, including direct links to iTunes, etc.  2) Devotional Format of the Pathwork Lectures, 3) PowerPoint Teaching Presentations of Pathwork Lectures and of other spiritually oriented materials, and  4) Topical Quotes from the Pathwork Lectures.

Other materials for the spiritual life, including 1) Presentations on various spiritual topics and 2) Topical Quotes from other relevant sources.

For those using Dropbox, I have made most of these materials, and more, available via Dropbox links.

My intent in freely sharing this material is to support anyone for whom such information might be useful. This is the least I can do in return for all with which I have been blessed in this transformative journey.

Blessings on your journey, my friend.  With love, Gary

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Gary Vollbracht