About Leigh

My path has been eclectic to say the least (a log of studies, etc. on the journey is below).  If you browse the list you’ll see I’ve hit lots of traditions and teachers and practices and I have yet to land on one specific path.  I have a mind that tends to synthesize material so for all these years I’ve been working to reconcile the many paths into one that suits me.  So far, to be honest, I haven’t figured out how they all fit as some teachings contradict one another.  I’ve been piecing it together as I go and sometimes I just hold more than one thought.  All that studying and practicing and synthesizing have resulted in a greater level of depth than you might expect from so eclectic a path — I think depth has to do with how you approach the journey more than whether you “sit in one chair”.

You’ll notice over time that my posts will wander from New Age thinking to Buddhism to health matters to mixes of several ideas and that kind of reflects the meandering path I’ve been moseying down.

The credentials:

B.A., history and M.A., sociology from Northwestern University and J.D. from University of Washington School of Law.

I hated law school and I was miserable practicing law. In 1985, in the midst of the misery post law school and pre job, my friends started asking me whether I had considered seeing a therapist and I finally realized I needed something. My instinct went straight for a transpersonal psychologist a friend of mine was seeing who had therapies like exploring past lives and meditating among her tools and it was following my gut that changed my life. She started me with Jane Roberts‘ Nature of Personal Reality and introduced me to Shirley MacLaine‘s writings (got to take one of her weekend workshops – amazing) and Shakti Gawain as well.

I started taking yoga near the same time and wound up getting a teaching certificate from the Temple of Kriya Yoga and taking other classes there while studying for five years with teacher Bill Hunt (now of the Oak Park Yoga Studio).

Eventually the contrast between my abject misery at work and my great happiness in yoga class or meditating or working on personal growth made it clear that I needed to get out of law. Haven’t regretted walking away for a minute.

I took classes with a local psychic, Ruth Berger, and through her met Arthur and the late Ann Cataldo and went off to Florida for a week long workshop with them. They met Gay Luce and sponsored her at a workshop in the Chicago area, asking me to be a contact person in exchange for a free pass for the workshop. I knew as soon as I met her that I wanted to go to Nine Gates Mystery School.

Nine Gates blew me away. I fell in love with Huna and took another workshop with Serge King as well as reading most of his books (at the time–I’m not up to date) and all else I could find on Huna (in those days, not much). I moved to the Bay Area to be closer to the teachers and the friends I made. Then I followed some other friends to the Fisher Hoffman work of Nine Gates teacher Ellen Margron and spent nine months on the most intensive exploration of my beliefs combined with emotional release work that I can imagine.  I went on to take her Emotional Mastery class, which has been a big influence.

I also wound up studying briefly with the Sufi teacher from Nine Gates and doing Right Speech practice with some other graduates. I worked part time at the Institute for Noetic Sciences which gave me access to lots of books and info that led me into Buddhism, starting with Jon Kabat-Zinn.

When I moved to Kentucky, I meditated for a while at the Shambala Center, attended the Unity Church where I arranged for some Insight Meditation teachers to present a class on vipassana for six weeks and then sat with a local vipassana group for a little over a year. At the same time I studied for about two years with a Hopi Elder.

Other teachers whose workshops I’ve gotten to attend for a day or two: the late Brugh Joy, Richard Moss, Venerable Kendra Rinpoche, Jean Houston, Goswami Kriyananda, Panache Desai.

Around 2000 I started teaching workshops on various spiritual topics from “The Journey to Peace” to “Being Positive in the Moment” and “Right Speech” and also taught hatha yoga.

I’ve now created a series of classes combining Robert Masters’ Psychophyiscal Method with yoga.  I taught this for some years here in Lexington but am not teaching at the moment.  Current plans for this work include offering private sessions via Skype and having online classes (videos).  As that evolves I’ll update here.

That’s 30+ years of the journey in a nutshell. I’m not a master but in those years I’ve learned a lot, studied and contemplated and practiced a lot, and I think I have some wisdom to share… I hope I can help somebody.

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101 thoughts on “About Leigh

  1. Wow, that’s a lot of study, however, there is no easier way, is there? Besides, it’s the journey that matters.
    Just beginning to delve into your space here, after you clicked mine, and am liking what I see.
    The first thing I wondered when your journey landed you in the Bay Area, is whether you had run across an old friend of mine Lisa Lacroix-Betts, who also, after much journeying, ended up there.
    Anyway, I look forward to voyaging further into your site, Leigh,
    Jeff

    • I lived in San Francisco 1991-92 and in Corte Madera (Marin) from 1992-98. Sorry, didn’t meet your friend — while the community of those journeying is a lot smaller than the whole population it’s still a pretty big crowd there… I had fun poking around on your blog too.

  2. Hello bluegrassnotes, Thanks for your recent visit to my website. I have now linked bluegrassnotes as one of my neighbors on my website. Feel free to drop by for a visit anytime. Blessings, Connie

  3. Hi Leigh, thanks for finding me and following my blog, its all perfect. Now I have found you and I love reading your blog. I believe that all truth can be circumscribed into one whole. Your many paths is one path. I am delighted to find a like minded soul and learn from you. Namaste. Natalie

    • I don’t know how I missed this comment — I know we’ve commented back and forth since, but my apologies for not responding to this one. They get away from me sometimes….

    • Sorry for the delay — the first time I saw this I wandered away to look at your teachers and somehow didn’t get back apparently. Looks like you’ve studied some amazing folks. Reading certainly gets a lot of info, though I kind of like having a teacher and fellow students to share notes with. I think the thing about meditation is finding the sort that works for you. Walking, chanting, guided, etc. You might look at this post for some ideas of different types: https://bluegrassnotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/mindfulness-how-do-you-get-it/

  4. Pingback: Bluegrass Notes | XD13 Spiritual Blogs

    • Thanks so much. That’s so kind of you. I’m happy to accept if this caveat is okay with you: I’ve received this one before so I’ll do a post in which I thank you and link to you and for the rest link back to the post in which I put a list before or recopy the list.

  5. Hi Leigh!

    Thanks so much for your comment on my very first post on word press. I just realised I hit publish before checking for typos. So sorry. I am so glad I came to your blog. We have some similarities. Leaving law. interest in human behaviour related disciplines.multiple degrees. over-accumulation of knowledge through reading. Exploring everything, yet not actively pursuing one extensively. having the sense to seek therapy. being blessed to have that gut instinct guide you positively and the exploration of spirituality, not to mention kriya yoga and regression. I saw many similarities as I quick glanced through your post. Have you heard of Babaji then? you must have. Do check out the book entitled the Lightning Standing still. I found it to be heavy reading, but you may have a simpler understanding of it. I feel like we are all being prepared and gathering for a greater purpose.

    I haven’t had a chance to read through all your posts. So do bear with me if I am a little presumptuous in suggesting that you check out Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda and perhaps following this up with Self Realisation lessons which can be subscribed to by post. I haven’t in fact completed the lessons which lead up to Kriya Yoga initiation. However, i had a message from one of the lessons. Something about those wisdom seekers who accumulate knowledge as a form of addiction. I felt like I had been caught. I realised that part of this journey is fueled by the adrenaline of the search. Since then, I have conscious cut down the pursuits in my life and also took a careful look at the relationships I had gathered over the years. prioritising became key and i am thankful for it.

    I have to work on my assignment. It’s due soon and I have been procrastinating. Left law to take on a job as a school counselor :). This is part of my training. If you are interested, I would love for you to visit my blog at http://www.culturecounsel.blogspot.com. I am very excited to have come across your post. Can you tell? Thanks again for commenting.

    • Nice to meet you. It does sound like we’ve traveled a similar path. Appreciate the book suggestions — read Autobiography of a Yogi a long time ago. I rarely read books on metaphysics any more but I’ll bear your suggestions in mind if I wander to the spirituality section of the bookstore. The blog looks good and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the spiritual networking one I saw last night. Look forward to reading more from you.

  6. Hi, what a lovely blog. Thanks for liking a post in my blog 🙂 Please feel free to visit it once in a while.

    And oh, you are welcome to join my ongoing giveaway. Just go to my homepage and you’ll see it in the top post.

    Cheers,
    Monica

  7. Hello, just wanted to say “hey” and thanks for dropping by my blog. Glad you liked The Hero Within. I’d say from reading your posts, there is a Hero Within for you too. Best wishes.

  8. What an incredible journey, Leigh. I hope you publish a memoir when you get the chance. I was wondering if you spent time at Spirit Rock while in Marin. I look forward to reading all the posts on your blog. I’m a little late to the party and need to find out what has happened. Thankful to have “met” you.

  9. Sounds like a “master” to me! Just sayin’ 😉 from another master, walking while waking 🙂 Thanks for sharing your journey with us, every thread now weaving together to create beautiful new energy tapestry…Hugs, Brenda

  10. Hello Leigh. Thanks for visiting our blog and for following. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journeys – inner and outer.
    I was amazed by how your inner journey coincided with my own. I too began with Seth, and Shakti Gawain and Shirley McLean, and many others. ‘Seth Speaks’ most of all was the book that changed my life – way back in ’84. I also took many courses and workshops and retreats, taught people how to connect with inner guidance, became a rebirther and regression therapist.
    Are you familiar with Adyashanti?
    I loved your post on the power of prayer and totally agree that the inner produces the outer, and that prayer *is* doing something.
    Blessings
    Alison
    PS I found you through Kozo’s reblog 🙂

    • Oh very cool. I’ve not heard of Adyashanti but it sounds like we’ve studied a lot of similar things. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. I’m so grateful to Kozo for the reblog — it brought some interesting people to me,, which means I’m now following more great blogs.

      • Check our Adyashanti – from Zen lineage but not Buddhist (I’m just not Buddhist either!) – Adya’s teachings are more along the non-duality path.
        I’m trying not to follow due to time constraints – but just clicked your follow button. Couldn’t help myself 🙂

        • Adyashanti looks interesting — thanks for pointing me. I so know what you mean — I hesitate every time I click “follow’ because I feel a little overwhelmed by all the reading — but I’ve also gotten to be pretty callous about jumping down the reader with quick looks and not clicking to read the rest of any post that doesn’t grab me…
          I rarely post more than a couple of times a week so hopefully I won’t overwhelm too much :>)

  11. one word..amazing!
    you have touched on so many belief systems in your life!
    im the same….i tend not to get involved with religion..any religion….religions are fine if they teach us to be better human beings…but when religions become all about rules and hierarchies….then im afraid i dont want to know….life is made to enjoy..not to live in fear propogated by fear of the devil and what-not…!
    my favourite is a sufi saying….”far, far away….far from the righteous, far from the wrong-doers, far from the angels, far from the demons…..there is a field…..i will meet you there someday..”
    great blog!
    PS i learnt yoga from a blind master in Katmandu over 30 years ago…i try and hold classes in Vancouver sometimes if i can…!

    • Sounds like you’ve lived an interesting life. Intrigued by the yoga master and the exotic locale. Thanks so much for commenting and following — I really appreciate it!

  12. Thanks for coming to my blog… I’ll enjoy popping in and out of your journey… You write well and from the heart… Shirley Maclaine was actually the one that my heart, body, mind said…. whoow… I want to know more…. then I read Jane Roberts Seth in dutch!!! I’ve read a lot since then and decided that all teachers can only teach their truth… and decided to find my own path with probably a mix of everything… everything that resonated with my heart… and here IAM… and here YOU ARE… a greeting to you… now to enjoy life, explore the unknown… creating our hearts desire here on earth…

  13. I love that your journey has taken you on so many different adventures. And I envy that you’ve been able to connect with so many amazing people for over 25 years. When I look back, it’s hard to know when to say it began for me, because, lately I see that something I learned back in my very first sociology class is making a big difference now (almost 30 years ago). I did go on to earn a B.A. in Sociology. But have spent my career making a living on the ocean. Back during my merchant sailing years, a friend on ship turned me on to Scott Peck and Jane Roberts. Read Seth Speaks back in about 1994. Since I came to shore and have become a wife and mother, my life went through some struggles and in an effort to help our son, I discovered energy healing and had a spiritual awakening (about 3 years ago).

    These days, I am working on my own progress, I am a Reiki practitioner, have studied with a local teacher about communicating with spirit, about energy healing, and about clairvoyance, attended a Matrix Energetics (amazing!) workshop, and am an avid reader. I absolutely love hypnosis as a healing modality (for myself), and will most likely study one day so I can help people, as I’ve been helped.

    The coolest thing I see is that with all these different modalities, there are usually common threads that bring it all together. Perhaps the vocabulary differs, and the routes differ, but the end goals are pretty much the same. We all want to feel good.

  14. I wanted to thank you for stopping by my page, and had to come and check yours out. I’m amazed by your travels, and thank you so much for sharing. Certainly following your blog now!

  15. Hi Leigh, I feel like I am a little bit late in the finding you …. but am glad I did. You have explored so many pieces of the puzzle. I look forward to visiting and seeing how this experience comes to life as you continue on your journey. I too am drawn to different paths and exploring the paths up the same mountain.
    Namaste,
    Val

    • Thanks for the offer but I don’t have a studio and the main work I do is the movement work I put together and with private clients in their homes so I don’t really need yoga products.

  16. Thank you for stopping by Sophia’s Children, Leigh, and sharing a bit about your own wonderful journey here. I’m glad to know about your place here in the blog-o-sphere as well. Looking forward to sharing inspiration. Blessings, Jamie

  17. Leigh- do I know you? I lived in Lexington for 23 years. We have so many crossovers. You went to school at NW and in WA. I grew up 8 miles from Evanston and went to school in Olympia, Wa. I too, am eclectic in my background and interests. My name used to be Lisa Kaplan. Or Bhavsar. Now I’m Robin Rainbow Gate – but how amazing that I discovered this blog today. I also worked with Dr. Sirota starting in 1980. I didn’t know he’d died. Blessings to you.

  18. I can relate to a lot of what you say here. When I started my personal therapy in the early eighties I was in a Nursing Research PhD program. One of the first things that happened was that I realized I had no interest in Nursing Research, that I was doing the PhD program because I thought maybe my father would speak to me again if I had a PhD. I dropped the program and moved on with finding my own passion! I’m glad that you moved away from law and found yours.

  19. Hey! This is, hopefully, the most automated comment you will ever-ever receive from me. I’ve popped over to say I finally put together the blogroll for NanoPoblano, I wanted you to check it out, and make sure that (1) you still want to participate and (2) your blog name is written as you want it written, and (3) I didn’t leave out super important information. Then, leave a comment introducing yourself. This is the page I’ll be directing people to through the month, so I’m hoping they’ll see your comment and be excited to go check you out. It should say something like, “Hey, Cheer Peppers– I’m So&So. I write about such&such. Come by and say hey.” I’ll be pruning comments on that page so it’s just link backs from posts, positive Pepper messages, and your intro. I’ll be sharing the page tomorrow night, all over town, so if you can put something up before then, that’d be awesome. If not, no worries, we have a whole month to go. https://rarasaur.wordpress.com/nanopoblano-2015/

  20. Pingback: On Living and Dying Day 21 by Leigh Gaitskill | The Seeker's Dungeon

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