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Linda Marks


3 Central Avenue
Newton, Massachusetts 02460
(617) 965-7846

What is an underlying question that gives form to your work or interest in this field?

How can we join together to access and act from the power of the collective heart?

What is your personal experience of collective wisdom in groups?

I have been a “social architect” in one way or another for most of my life, as well as a healer for individuals, couples, groups and organizations.

I have founded and led groups and organizations, facilitated existing groups and management teams, led workshops, retreats and on-going therapy groups, done process consulting for boards, and run a school training body psychotherapists. Being both a good founder and a good facilitator requires recognizing, activating and cultivating the collective wisdom that is available when a group of people come together.

What is it about the work in this field that excites you and connects you to your own deepest self?

I am a heartworker in all ways. That is my mission work.

From a neurocardiology perspective, when people come together in a group, the power of their individual hearts joins them together to form a collective “heartfield.” This is an electromagnetic phenomenon. The heart generates the strongest electromagnetic forcefield in the body. People’s heartfields touch and interact when they are within 8 - 10 feet of one another, and perhaps more subtly at greater distances. The collective “heartfield” provides a powerful container for connection, healing, creating, change and fostering human evolution.

I have worked in many settings to mobilize, facilitate and direct the power of the collective heartfield. Healing in community can be profoundly transformational--and in many cases exponentially more powerful than healing in a one-on-one setting. Truly, the whole (or the collective) is greater than the sum of its parts.

Please provide a brief storyline or snapshot of what brought you to this work.

I have always had an innate sense of mission, since I was a very small child. I knew I was here to bring people together, to further human evolution, and to leave the world better than I had found it. I was always a child who lived from the heart. For this reason, a lot of what I saw happening in the world did not make sense. And it was very scary for me to be a small child and watch all the social visionaries get assassinated. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy... I was afraid if I was going to be who I really was in the world, I would get shot too.

However, I had to face death long before I was an adult and had reached my leadership potential. I faced death as a 16-year old walking home from my job at Boston’s Fenway Park, when a stranger came out of the shadows and tried to rape and murder me. I have written extensively about this “turning point,” in articles and both my books. Rather than tell the whole story here, I will simply say, that I was forced to make a choice to live, and to turn my will over to the “God I was never raised to believe in.” I chose to live. I said so to God, and a little voice came through my heart, which said to forgive the man who was beating my face and trying to kill me. Without using my mind to think about, understand or put meaning on what forgiveness meant, I spoke from my heart and said, “I forgive you.” He burst into tears and stopped beating me. Metaphorically, that was my first therapy client, and where my conscious path truly began.

I ended up at Yale University trying to study the mind-body connection, before much research had been done in this field, then at the Sloan School of Management at MIT studying Organizational Development, inspired by the spirit and work of Dick Beckhard. I was involved in the early days of the Organization Transformation movement, including Boston’s Organization Transformation Network with Jim Ritscher, and Interface’s Spirit in Business Association with Joanna Brown. I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation as an internal consultant. I was simultaneously developing my own body of work, Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, a heart-centered psychospiritual approach to body psychotherapy, which took me to Europe to speak at Findhorn, to work in London thanks to the efforts of Martin Leith, and eventually to found the Institute for Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy in 1990, to train therapists in an apprenticeship-based method.

In the early 1980’s, I attended a conference that had the early seeds of collaborative wisdom in its field of vision, and met people like John Adams, Wayne Silby, Terry Mollner, Roger Pritchard, and Susan Meeker-Lowry. I was involved in the beginnings of the Social Investment Movement, founding the Institute for Gaean Economics with Susan Meeker-Lowry. I attended several Northamerican Bioregional Congresses. In the late 1980’s, I became involved with the Association for Humanistic Psychology, leading a Boston area chapter in the early 1990’s and serving on the Board of AHP. In the late 1980’s, I co-founded the first professional association for body psychotherapists, was part of the ethics committee that wrote the first Code of Ethics for Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers, and our efforts led to the founding of the US Association for Body Psychotherapy.

In 2001, I founded the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network, which is strong and growing as I write this text. This work had its roots in my work in England, where a transgendered individual helped produce my work. Her life journey inspired me look deeply into questions of gender, sexuality and spirituality.

The work of Stan Dale and the Human Awareness Institute was another important influence. I found HAI in the late 1980’s and it was an essential part of my own healing journey.

Another important part of my journey is being the mom to my son Alex, who was born in 1996. Bringing emotional intelligence, body awareness, communication, process and relational skills to kids is a current edge in my work. Helping kids heal their traumatized hearts before they grow into adulthood, and learn the skills to build meaningful lives from the inside out--in safe, healing community--can make a profound difference in the world.

How would you like to be available to others in this field?

I love to dialogue with others. There is so much to learn and share. I can surely guarantee I will be a good e-mail correspondent. I am open to phone calls, and face to face meetings when they make sense. As a working single mom, I manage my time very carefully. Yet, I feel it is important to be open to connecting with others who walk a similar or complementary path. And one never knows what collaborative efforts might unfold.

Links to this site or others:
Heart Space Cafe Blog
Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network


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