These representative comments come from clients and others over a period of several years, including participants in workshops I have presented from time to time.
Author John Davidson has visited three separate undergraduate anthropology seminars that I teach, related to ritual and spirituality, as well as to more-than-human intelligences and relationships. In all cases, he has proved such an astute interlocutor between experience and mind on the one hand, and heart and knowing on the other, that I’d venture to say reading selections from Soul to Soul Now* and The Soul’s Critical Path, and then digesting them together with John in the course of his visits, has been among the most impactful of all aspects of these courses for these young adult students. His entanglements with the plant medicines Ayahuasca and Psilocybin are also cross-cultural encounters, and his decolonial awareness of “watching with a Western mind” that long “hover[ed] over [his] own experience” makes him a natural ethnographer of sorts. A simultaneously critical, generous, and courageous thinker, Davidson engages serious questions of epistemology, cultural influences, and consciousness with deft interdisciplinarity, yet driven by his own fervent searching, and thus unencumbered by formal enmeshment in traditional academia. He has loaned readers his shoes, and we are able to walk miles of encounters, and the way he’s digested them, vicariously. The product makes for tremendously relatable, compelling reading.
--Dr. Sarah Hautzinger, Professor of Anthropology, Colorado College, author of Violence in the City of Women: Police and Batterers in Brazil and Beyond Post-Traumatic Stress: Homefront Struggles with the Wars on Terror
“I have experienced John’s work several times now, and I always walk away surprised at the power of each session. He acts as a skilled guide in digging into very core issues, helping me see my ‘stuff’ in a way that also helps me resolve and liberate those stuck places. Each time, I have quite vivid visions that reveal profound truths about the direction of my inner work. I recommend anyone wanting to do deep personal healing to gift themselves a series of sessions with John. You’ll be transformed.”
"John has a real gift of distilling complex concepts into language that is easily understood."
“I had the privilege to work with John during a two-week retreat in Peru. He has a full, tender, and compassionate presence. He is grounded in wisdom and love. He is gifted at calming my hyper-analytical brain, bringing a sense of safety to my body, and facilitating a reintegration of my soul with my heart/body. This unity has brought immense clarity to my life. My being continues to evolve toward inhabiting and loving my full self. For the first time in my life I feel whole and at peace. I have immense gratitude.”
[From another participant in a retreat in Peru:]
“I knew I was being called so I basically put my trust in the universe to ensure that wherever I ended up, it would be the right place. And it was. That was solely down to the people who were there. You both played an enormous part in me safely navigating my journey and I will be forever grateful. You both nurtured me through a very painful and frightening process and I really do not know how I would have got through that without you.”
[From the owner of a Peruvian retreat Center:]
“ John Davidson was recently a guest healer and teacher at our center. His work was exception and had an enormous positive impact on the results that all participants got from their work in our program. John is a gifted communicator able to convey abstract spiritual concepts in a very clear and easy to understand way accessible to all, even those having their first exposure to these ideas. In addition to teaching a new way of looking at our relationship with our soul, he teaches practical techniques to have a direct experience of the soul in the body that I found have a noticeable impact of my experience of life as I move through the day. John has deep insights into our spiritual natures and the ability to help us see how an absence of connection with that nature is at the root of much of the suffering we experience in life. His work help peoples understand what is going on, why they are in the state they are in, and is effective in moving them to a better state of being. He is kind, loving, and compassionate. I would not hesitate to recommend people consult them for almost any problem. They are a great resource for help in integrating the experiences with our program into one’s regular life."
[From a Tibetian Buddhist practitioner who consulted with her Khenpo before engaging this work.]
"I have changed as a consequence of the processes of the last 6 months—actual change, truly thanks to you. Your work opened a pathway for me that is endlessly, immediately accessible. It enables in me a strength—a wonderful groundedness—I have not had before. My own experience with your hands-on work, transmission, and way of languaging the process identifies and opens up the inner meanings of so much else I have studied and totally simplifies it. It is a true service. Much is out there that is similar, but that does not lessen the uniqueness and efficacy of what you have to give through your words and work. I differently understand many of my mantras now—rather than aspiration or a goal, their reality is felt immediately in the newly raw opening of my heart, their meaning has changed to a palpable presence felt through the gateway of my heart. Thank you."
"This book [The Soul's Critical Path] is enveloping my heart!!! Thank you!! I cried yesterday... After my first session with you, so much became so clear and I felt my soul in my body... In my heart.... I spoke with it.. I welcomed it.... I want to do this work..... I want to learn more. My vision upon the "taste" became clear to me as I welcomed my soul in..... I feel invigorated."
Allison, hospice nurse, massage therapist
"I want to thank you again for the work you did with my husband this summer and fall as he was dealing with his cancer and approaching his transition. When he was working with you he was able to put his anxiety aside and make a genuine connection with his Spirit. Your practices together and your calm support at the end of his life prepared him to face death amazingly calm and collected, and to make a clean and quick transition out of his body and this world. I will be forever grateful for the gifts of your love and guidance. You gave us both the confidence to live with grace during a very challenging time. I hope your work with others blesses both them and you."
Eileen, Registered Nurse
"After experiencing secondary trauma several months ago, I went to see John. While having learned about his work over several years, I had never imagined it as something that would be relevant to me. How wrong I was. Two sessions and my stress level dramatically decreased, the trauma symptoms I’d been experiencing were eliminated, and I was able to look back at the situation with a cool head and heart. I find John’s professional approach comforting, his way, and his ability to explain the process while working and his soothing technique very helpful. I strongly recommend this technique and will certainly consider it again in the future."
Tamar, Licensed Social Worker
"I am still processing all of the feelings, knowledge and techniques. As soon as I think one part of the training was best, another comes to mind. Appreciation: Your soul, my soul, your stories, your attention to my heart. Your willingness to learn from your students. Very inspirational."
Lora, Sacred Hot Yoga Training (2014)
"John obviously has years of practice under his belt. He made certain that he shared the relevance of his practice to what we were doing in our training as yoga teachers. His approach was direct and yet, you also knew that he had heartfelt intentions. John also has a wealth of knowledge about his own practice and clearly has integrated his own learning into the heart of his soul. He treated me with respect and made certain I felt safe and secure to a practice that was new to me."
Nicole, Sacred Hot Yoga Training (2014)
"John's exceptional cognitive listening and speaking skills have been instrumental in helping me get clear around understanding my own stresses, and the way I perform the HeartMath exercises. I look forward to working with him again."
Beth, massage therapist, Denver (2009)
"About a year a half ago, I lost my mom to suicide. This was and still is the toughest, most traumatic event that I have experienced in my life. With all the trauma and stress, I developed anxiety and panic attacks that were uncontrollable and very difficult to deal with. I had a difficult time concentrating on life itself and getting through each day without the overwhelming feeling of anxiety. I was referred to John Davidson where I learned to turn to my heart and not let my mind take over in difficult situations. In learning how to do this, I was able to overcome the panic attacks. When feeling overwhelmed, I go to my heart and know that is where everything makes it okay. Since working with John, I have worked on heartmath and have taught my children how to use it so they can learn to go straight to their heart in difficult situations instead of letting their mind take over."
"Since I began working with John my life has entirely changed. Through my private practice with HeartMath programs, I've learned to live in my heart, coming from a place of love, compassion, and appreciation instead of angrily striving to beat life into submission. I've finally been able to take an honest look at my life and admit where I need to make changes. And most importantly, I feel more like myself than I ever have. Learning unconditional love for myself . . . has woken me from the terrible nightmare I was living into the great unknown realm of possibility. I am so grateful...and John has been an integral part of that journey".
“John is a unique and accomplished healer whose practice combines ancient practices with cutting-edge scientific research. My work with him is an amazing experience of expansion and growth! He explains his approaches and answers any questions fully, empowering my full participation in my own journey. The HeartMath techniques he shared with me are simple, yet had an immediate positive impact on my daily life by reducing my stress and improving my health. John is a gentle guide who has helped me develop a deeper relationship with my Higher Self both through his subtle energy work and by stimulating my own self-examination with thought-provoking discussions. Over the past several years much of our work has been by telephone, yet John's ability to totally focus and his insightfulness make it no less effective than an in-person visit. When I find my spiritual work to be challenging, in John's presence I feel calm and nurtured, knowing that Love totally guides his practice.”
I felt absolutely amazing afterwards . . . It was so helpful and I know put some things in motion or gave me the jump start I needed.
“I love the way I feel after my sessions--I have peace and a greater understanding."
“John is a person who really lives his truth… He really walks his talk and lives with an open heart of love and compassion..”
“I haven't felt this good emotionally for years! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's working! YAY! .”
"My life has been tumultuous the last 9 months. First I was diagnosed with and battled breast cancer. Shortly after that I was laid off from my job and found myself unemployed and looking for a job for the first time in 24 years. I started working with John after I lost my job, and I have had an incredible sense of peace and reduction in stress as a result of my work with him. John has helped me to focus on my heart, what my core desires are, and what my value is, no matter what the circumstances in my life. My work with him, as well as my life in general, is an ongoing process and I can't wait to see where I end up!"
“I began working with John years ago. I can still vividly remember my first one-on-one “heart” work with him at the Mandala Center, which I consider the first step in the path I’ve been on since. Through his skill and compassion, I’ve achieved a higher level of heart energy, spiritual awareness and clarity. His influence has greatly enriched my life.”
COMMENTS FROM VARIOUS WORKSHOPS:
"Makes me want to know and be more."
"Fascinating to see the spiritual and technological connection."
"Amazing man and speaker. I would have liked a longer session."
"Excellent info. I want to learn more. Very practical – made the connection to coaching."
"Authoritative, research-backed information on harnessing technology in service of the spiritual."
"Would like more application. Like to see him again."
"Great. Really felt a connection."
“Very helpful in taking the ‘woo-woo’ out of meditation practice.”
“Knowledgeable, compassionate and open minded.”
“Good instructor; calm, quiet and soothing voice.”
“Phenomenal! Thank you. Loved it.”
“Well educated, eloquent and makes concepts easy to understand.”
“Your passion about your work is evident.”
Samples from various workshops: “I felt you affirmed each person there, honoring where each one is on the path.”
“John is a very special and sensitive teacher, very well read and qualified.”
“The depth of your knowledge was matched by the depth of your love and care.”
“You are terrific. responsive and compassionate.”
“You gave me some insights and a deeper understanding of what I’ve been feeling and working with on my spiritual walk.”
“Good energy abounded. I feel I acquired a basic road map to assist me, being that I’m a novice.”
“This particular class was refreshing in its simple approach.”
“Love your acceptance of all of us. I have a greater awareness and acceptance of who I am. Wanting more.”
“It was great to see that the instructor practices what he teaches.”
“I gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be present, to be aware. There is more acceptance of who I am and of my own path.”