I received my doctorate in philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1967, and have taught there and also at Yale, the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, Antioch University, the University for Humanistic Studies, the International University of Professional Studies, and elsewhere, in departments of Philosophy, Buddhist Studies, Far East Studies, Transpersonal Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and Clinical Psychology.
As the first Western disciple of V. R. Dhiravamsa—widely respected International Vipassanā Meditation Master, who earlier had been known as Chao Khun Sobhana Dhammasudhi, when as a monk he served as Chao Āwās (Abbot) of the Royal Thai Buddhist Mission to Great Britain, which served all of Western Europe—I was invited by Dhiravamsa after extensive training and study to become a kalyāṇa-mitta (teacher) in the Thai Buddhist Vipassanā Meditation Tradition in 1975. Subsequently, I led Mindfulness-Insight Meditation workshops and retreats in England, France, Norway, and the USA, and was Moderator from 1996 to 2010 of the on-line discussion group Insight Practice.
I continue to use Buddhist psychological principles in my private therapy work.
I studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, and have held Post-doctoral, Visiting Scholar, or Research Scholar appointments in Psycholinguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in Buddhist Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, in Indic Studies at Yale University, in Short-term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Complicated Grief—a condition that is more recently understood within the framework of the now-widely recognized diagnostic category of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)—at the Langley-Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute of the School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and in the Judaic Studies Program, in the Middle East Studies Program, as well as in the Departments of Psychiatry and of Family Medicine and Public Health, both in the School of Medicine, all at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).
After early experience (1968) in the Yale-University-administered Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC), the country’s first community mental health center, and as family therapist and member of the research team on schizophrenic family communication (1971-1972) at Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH), a state mental hospital, I completed a Clinical Psychology Internship (1972-1973) through the Yale University Department of Clinical Psychology at the West Haven Connecticut Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital, and later, in 1982, I participated in the Advanced Family Therapy Training Program at the Istituto di Terapia Familiare, with Maurizio Andolfi and colleagues, in Rome, Italy.
In the late 1970s, I worked in the Soteria Project, a research protocol designed by Loren Mosher MD, Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) focusing on a population of young adults diagnosed as schizophrenic, using the Kingsley Hall model (as set up by the London-based Philadelphia Association in the 1960s), and investigating alternative treatment protocols (formats or models) that relied on interpersonal communication as the core element in the therapy, rather than focusing on pharmaceutical medications as a key ingredient in the treatment.
Since 1981, I have been a licensed psychotherapist in California. I served from 2002-2008 as an expert witness in US Federal Immigration Court for cases of asylum, providing testimony and Psychological Evaluations for people with reported histories of torture from numerous countries: from Haiti, Burundi, Kenya, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (or DCR; formerly Zaire), Ghana, Togo, Bénin (formerly Dahomey), Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia), Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Vietnam, etc., and have done psychotherapeutic work with this same group of individuals.
In 2010, I founded Wisdom Moon Publishing as a specialized boutique publishing house and continue as its Editor-in-Chief.
I have a number of scholarly articles published in academic journals in four countries. My published books include Mind and Belief: Psychological Ascription and the Concept of Belief (1972); The Far Shore: Vipassanā, The Practice of Insight (1980/2009); The Inner Palace: Mirrors of Psychospirituality in Divine and Sacred Wisdom-Traditions (2002/2013); Peace and War and Peace: The Heart in Transformation (2012/2015); and Mindful Raft over Troubled Waters (2015). I have served as the editor and contributing author for the 2nd (2012), 3rd (2014), and 4th (2018) editions of Effective Psychotherapy: The Contribution of Hellmuth Kaiser, in addition to being co-translator of two German texts (themselves from 1934 and 1958) prepared especially for this book.