We sat down with former Tribe facilitator, Dr. Bill Epperly for a chat about spirituality, mindfulness & meditation. It was an enlightening conversation!
1. What are some key things you share with people who have never experienced your class/ workshop/ experience?
There are lots of misconceptions out there about what it is to be spiritual, what spiritual life is really all about. To me, spiritual life is first and foremost about life, about becoming fully alive as a human being. I like to say that spirituality is the science of human aliveness. That’s what we’re awakening to, to greater and greater human aliveness.
Now this aliveness has several different aspects and people differ in which are more developed due to our gifts and our experience. Some people are firmly grounded in their bodies in a healthy and affirming way. For others, the body is a difficult place to be and so they may need to heal up before they can become fully embodied. Still others prefer to be in the transpersonal realms, the formless realms of higher vibrations, love and light. It’s a lovely realm and I totally understand why someone would want to hang out there, but in the integral approach that I embrace, we are to bring all aspects of our being together into a seamlessly integrated whole person.
There’s no need to disown our power, our pleasures and our point of view. Some people see these as “not spiritual,” but I think that’s a mistake. We’re all here to live our lives and to contribute our unique perspectives. Everyone’s voice is needed if we’re to face the challenges of this time. I don’t need to tell you what a difficult time this is and the voices of spiritually sensitive and spiritually awakened people are need now more than ever.
2. What inspired you to share your work with others?
When I discovered integral spirituality in the 90’s it blew my mind. It allowed me to bring together and integrate my rational, sceptical scientific side with my intuitive, free-flowing side (what i used to call my spiritual side). And the way integral spirituality honors all aspects of our being and our lives is really cool, and powerful for people. The idea that I can make all of my life a place of practice, not just the 30 minutes I spend in meditation every morning, but every moment, was a total reframe for me.
I love to share what I’ve discovered with other people. I’ve been offering these programs since the late 1990’s and every workshop changes lives. The changes can be subtle but profound or they can be real “peek experience” moments that change the course of someone’s life. On top of all of that, I teach in a way that makes the experience really enjoyable for everyone in the room. It’s something I’d teach to a class of one and I’d be happy doing so!
3. How has this work influenced your life personally?
How long do you have for my answer? It’s totally transformed me. And I mean that not in a bragging way as a matter of fact. My life has changed so much and so quickly since i took up this practice that I cannot believe it. It’s helped me to embrace my body as a place of practice - and I had a lot of hangups about my body. It’s helped me to find my unique career path, one that has led me out of the biochemistry lab into college teaching and now into being a spiritual life coach and workshop leader!
4. How might others benefit from experiencing your programs for self-care?
It’s a little different for each person. That’s another thing I love about this work, but which makes it hard to talk about. For one person, they may discover a new meditation practice that will be perfect for them - maybe the first meditation they ever liked. For another person, they may discover that they love the relational practices they learn - ways to deepen intimacy with loved ones and to consider all relationships as places of practice. Yet another person might come away with greater clarity about her career path.
What I believe everyone will come away with is the experience of feeling more alive, more in their body, more in relationship with all of life - happier, more content and more at peace with themselves.
5. When and where do you offer these classes?
In addition to workshops and talks, I also work as a spiritual life coach, helping folks navigate the challenges of their ongoing spiritual growth. And I offer mindfulness-based coaching to executives looking for everything from stress reduction to enhanced on-the-job performance.
[Bill currently teaches ongoing meditation classes downtown at Chill Meditation + Massage]
6. Anything else you'd like to share?
Anyone interested in my work can check out my websites, billepperly.com for mindfulness based coaching and integralawakenings.com for spiritual life coaching and workshops. Thanks for your time. This has been a great conversation!