I’m a psychotherapist and spiritual mentor located in Santa Fe. As a spiritual mentor, I help people learn practices like meditation so they can awaken to greater vitality, mindfulness, insight, compassion, and intuition.
I’m married to intuitive life coach Emilah Dawn DeToro; we live in Santa Fe with our dog and two cats. I enjoy writing, teaching, and working with clients; I spend about half my time writing and creating educational resources. When I’m not working or doing spiritual practices, I’m usually spending time with family or enjoying the sky and nature.
I was born in 1968 and grew up in Ohio. I attended Swarthmore College (a small liberal arts school near Philadelphia). I felt drawn to study both psychology and computers; deciding to focus on computers first, I completed a BA in computer science at Swarthmore and a PhD in computer science at Indiana University. After finishing my doctorate, I managed software development projects in the semiconductor industry for eight years—first in Silicon Valley (south of San Francisco), then in New Mexico.
In my 30s, my interests shifted back toward the mind. I left my high tech career in 2004 and pursued training in life coaching and nonviolent communication. From 2005 to 2010, I worked with individuals and couples as a life coach and communication trainer.
To deepen my ability to work with emotional issues, I completed an MA in counseling in 2015 and a certificate in human sexuality in 2016—both at Southwestern College in Santa Fe. As part of this degree work, I interned at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Eating Disorders Treatment Center. I’ve been licensed as a mental health counselor in New Mexico since 2015.
I attended Unitarian Universalist churches sporadically through my 20s. I grew up appreciating science and rational, humanistic values; I was skeptical of spirituality and organized religion. However, this started changing in 1998 when I discovered Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolent communication model. I appreciated its focus on empathy and compassion, and I adopted it as my first spiritual path.
In 2002, I started feeling drawn toward meditation—at first, for stress reduction. Around that time, I discovered philosopher Ken Wilber and found his work to be a helpful bridge from science to mystical spirituality. As I learned more about mystical spirituality, I became determined to access spiritual insight. I explored many spiritual traditions and communities seeking effective support for awakening; I eventually focused on Tibetan Buddhism.
With study, practice, and guidance, I started awakening to new ways of experiencing life; as I did, I gradually let go of my focus on Buddhism and started exploring a broader range of approaches to spiritual practice. These days, I don’t adhere to the beliefs or practices of any particular religion; my spiritual life is guided by an inner knowing and informed by a wide range of approaches. Meditation instructor Kenneth Folk is a current spiritual mentor of mine.
I describe parts of my spiritual journey in my book Tricksters in the Desert. In 2014, I founded Spiritual Awakening for Geeks, where I regularly publish articles on spiritual practice and awakening. Learn more about spiritual mentoring with me.