I offer a “non-religious,” interfaith orientation to my services that focus on creating sacred ground for ceremony, as well as community experiences rich in fellowship and soulful, prayerful exchanges. I’ve worked extensively as a guest speaker at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Portland and Bend, Oregon, as well as at the First Presbyterian Church. I counsel individuals and families as a chaplain and spiritual director preparing for the transition into death. When designing ceremonies, I work closely with the individuals to customize the process for their needs.
- End of life spiritual care
- Guest speaker at churches
- Ceremonies including: weddings, house blessings, baptisms, and memorial services
Both my wife and I had experienced life-rending divorces and long years of painful healing. In asking Caryl to marry us, we wanted to start our marriage with a spiritual wisdom that would help us navigate the difficulties that we both knew could lie ahead.
We had rented a sweet ridge top house in the San Geronimo valley of Marin County with a view over the gentle Marin hills, now golden in the late summer light. The wedding itself was held on the terrace overlooking Spirit Rock Meditation Center across the valley.
Caryl began the service by alluding to the sacramental presence of family and friends as an integral part of our marriage. Her words were spoken with the ease and comfortableness of an old friend; yet they carried a natural solemnity and weight that carried us into a sacred place.
“Weddings invite us to a sacred threshold,” she said,
“a place to consider anew in all of our hearts the meaning of love and commitment. We know deep within us, that we are only fully human through the act of love. And marriage is the ground where we can most completely love another human being.”
And then, addressing us directly she said:
“Marriage is a promise to honor one another, and look at each other with soft eyes. Marriage is a commitment to always be true to yourselves, as well as to each other. Marriage is a vow to protect each other’s solitude. Marriage is a promise to be a friend to each other, to turn to one another first. . . . Marriage is a vow to love and trust one another in heart, body and soul. Marriage is created; it is a common search for the truth, the beautiful, for a place to heal your wounds, and to honor the Divine.”
I have quoted Caryl’s words extensively to let them show you directly her fierce spiritual wisdom rather than have me describe it. Truly, she led us at the beginning of our life together as a spiritual guide, initiating us in the central mystery and promise of deep relationship.