DEANNA'S POETRY IN DR. ZUR'S BIO

DeAnna was excited to embark on the creative journey of writing poetry in response to Dr. Ofer Zur's biography highlights.

‘Womb Visionary’ DeAnna Lam helps women love & accept themselves unconditionally. Her original work is focused on helping women tap into their womb as source of spiritual renewal & guidance, moving from self judgment to self acceptance.

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been teaching internationally since 1993. Working on the leading edge of the Red Tent Movement, she has trained women to hold Red Tents in over 30 countries.

DeAnna brought Menstrual Empowerment to her country of origin, Israel, helping Jewish and Palestinian women surpass political and religious differences by deeply bonding around their shared Cyclical nature.

Find out more about her work here: www.deannalam.com.

Table of Contents

Shifting from Oceanography to Limnology by the Sea of Galilee

After my time in Europe I returned to Israel, this time as a limnologist and found an interesting job at a fresh water fish pond research lab located on the shore of the Sea of Galileenot far from where Jesus walked on water and ‘healed’ Mary Magdalene. It was a scientifically stimulating and inspiring locale in which to work. My main scientific work was to explore some aquaculture ‘myths’ or commonly held beliefs among the fish farmers in Israel regarding the nutrition cycle in the fish ponds. (See scholarly articles.) Exploring commonly held beliefs was a theme that I grew up with and carried with me throughout my life, whether I was researching fish, war and peace, men and women, or ethics in psychology.

Returning to the waters
The source of life
From wars of the land
From rights and wrongs
From eating and being eaten
By truths and lies…
Only in the depth,
Only under the waves
There is stillness

Jesus, Magdalena, Jean and… the Thermometer

It was 1978 and I was conducting fish pond research at a lab by the Sea of Galilee. The lab was situated in a uniquely historical and spiritually potent locale. Just a quarter mile to the south was a monument marking the sacred place where Jesus healed Magdalena and Magdalena, according to some, graciously reciprocated and, in her own ‘Magdalena way,’ ‘healed’ Jesus. A quarter mile to the north was the location where Jesus walked on the water and miraculously multiplied two fish and five loaves of barley bread into enough to satisfy 5,000 people with twelve baskets remaining. This is when I met a bright and creative woman, Jean, in Jerusalem and we embarked on a few months of intense, creative and often hilariously creative letter writing (it was 1978, before e-mails and texts). After a few months Jean moved in with me in the gorgeous historic village of Rosh Pina. I was still magically and mysteriously drawn to East Africa. I knew that when I could no longer run my fish pond experiments in the winter when the water temperature in the experimental ponds would dip below 70°F, I would be heading back to East Africa for the summer there. Creative Jean, who could write a good story of any interesting life event, made a habit of coming down to my experimental ponds with a thermometer in hand every few days, precisely and systematically detecting how many degrees were left for our relationships. She regularly announced, in a sad yet sweetly accepting or even romantic tone, “I have 2 degrees left before my relationship with Ofer is over” or “My love with Ofer has barely half a degree left.”

The miracle of bread and wine
Walks on the magic waters
of loving her
As she counts and recounts
Her love
In degrees of separation

From Fish to People: On Mothers, Women &… War

At 29 years old, I moved to the US to do my M.A. in counseling at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, ‘slightly’ shifting my career interests and path from fish and oceanography to psychology, psychotherapy and counseling. Within psychology I was interested in learning about the healing process for individuals, couples, families, communities and cultures. Initially I was intrigued by the psychology of peace and violence on all levels from the individual to the cultural. I was interested in the roots of war and the prerequisites of peace and explored a variety of theories on these topics. I was especially intrigued with how men and women co-participated in the making of war, or what I called “The role of women in the making of war”, and similarly how parents and their young adult children co-created war systems. (Later, I expanded these interests into thinking about the tensions between life, love, and mortality.)

The deep watery realms of the soul
Where fish become emotions
Where riffs become rifts
Where women’s love shifts
By the seduction of war

Understanding Peace in the Shadow of War: The Roots of Enmity

From 1984 to 1991, alongside my friend and colleague, philosopher-author Sam Keen, I devoted my professional life to promoting peace by deepening the public understanding of the complex psychology of peace and war, as well as the roots of enmity. During these final and challenging years of the Cold War, I gave dozens of presentations and media appearances across the US on such subjects as: Gender and War, The Psychology of Peace and War, Understanding the Light of Peace in the Shadow of War, and Psychology of the Nuclear Age.

Following light
Leads to the mystery of shadows
Where wars lurk
Where fear thrives
Where light of consciousness
Reveals them

Presenting in Moscow on War Propaganda

In 1987, I was honored to be invited with my friend and colleague, Sam Keen, to Moscow, Russia for a symposium on “Soviet-American Images: A New Perspective,” organized by the Soviet Peace Committee and the Center for Soviet-American Dialogue. Our guest appearances included working sessions with scientists from the USSR Academy of Science. These were exciting times in Russia – the early years of Perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev’s political reforms. An interesting part of the trip was Kris Kristofferson and his crew was part of our group, where he performed the first rock concert in the history of Russia.

A new perspective
Rising from ashes of the old
The war, always cold,
Changed, transformed

The Delight of Becoming Step-Father and Father

With my first marriage in 1981, I became a step-parent to my step-children, Suzannah and Jeremy. Soon after (1983), our daughter, Azzia, was born which marked one of my most profound inner shifts; my sense of self was expanded and, obviously, my sense of responsibility for my daughter’s and step-children’s growth and well-being.

Like an arrow into the future
My children are sent
My wings are spread
My heart is set
To protect them

Wind-Surfing in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

I met my first wife in orientation to our doctorate program in psychology. We spent our honeymoon in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, where I learned wind-surfing. We also visited the lovely island of Isla Mujeres, fascinating ancient sites in Talum, touristic Cancun Island, and Cozumel.

Discovering
The Island of Women
Where one woman and I
Belonged
To the wind

Marrying Azzia’s Ballet Teacher and Being Blessed w/ 2 Boys

In 1988, I was single again and moved to the beautiful town of Sonoma, CA where Azzia went to school and rode her horses. These were special years where Sam Keen, who had moved to Sonoma a year earlier, worked with me on men’s themes and peace and war issues. Even more special was that, at Azzia’s ‘insistence’ :-), I started dating her ballet teacher, Jennifer, and later, in 1992, I married her. We had two boys, Eitan, born in 1992, and Ilan, born in 1995, and are still married, all these 30+ years later.

It was my daughter
Who led me to my heart
From the very start,
And into my future

On Being a ‘Barn-Mother’: Azzia and Her Love of Horses

Azzia, my first born (1983), besides her love of reading and ballet, enjoyed and became skillful in horseback riding and jumping. Later, she graduated from UC Berkeley in philosophy, became an excellent writer and editor, and has established herself in many ways, including as a Sensei, in an Aikido dojo in Berkeley, CA.

Riding the wind
My daughter jumps over hoops
Dances loops,
Fulfills her destiny

Re-Thinking “Don’t Blame the Victim”

In the mid 1990’s, I took on debunking the myth that all victims are always innocent and invited people to re-think the then prevalent belief in the dictum, “Don’t Blame the Victim.” While some victims are truly innocent (e.g., abused children) others thrive on being victims. The victim’s stance is a powerful one and was erroneously framed as: The victim is always morally right, neither responsible nor accountable, and forever entitled to sympathy. That perception has since changed to some degree, I am pleased to say.

The heart that goes out
To the victim
Is the heart that extends its sight
To see the victim as a powerful creator:
Both hurt
And with might

Debunking Myth: Dual Relationships are Unethical

In the mid 1990s, I stepped into the ring to dispute the whole notion of the so-called depravity and danger of dual relationships in psychotherapy and counseling and, through my writing and teaching, emphasized the importance of healthy connections and community. In 2002, I co-authored, with Dr. Arnold A. Lazurus, a break-through book, Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy, on the eponymous subject.

The health of one heart
Connected to another
Is an indisputable core
As we gather
Strength in community

APA DID Publish my Boundaries Book

In 2007, the American Psychological Association published my book on Boundaries in Psychotherapy which invites therapists to be more flexible in regard to issues, such as touchmultiple relationshipsgiftshome visitbartering, and self disclosure. This also signified that psychology, as a result of the relentless work of a few colleagues and myself, now embraces a more flexible and context-based view of therapeutic boundaries.

And where does flexibility go
When we flex our muscles
To forbid the flow
Of connection?

On Digital Natives & Digital Immigrants

In the new millennium, it became increasingly evident that technology, in its many forms, was shaking and reshaping the world. The implications for professionals in psychology and allied professions were emerging and I had become increasingly aware of how the digital-technical divide between the older, pre-computer generation of “Digital Immigrants” and the younger generation of “Digital Natives” would impact us. My digital native daughter, Azzia Walker, and I co-authored an article and a PowerPoint presentation on the subject.

We were born into different worlds
Those in the front, and those in the rear:
You, who find digital reality clear,
and us… often consumed by fear

Jungle Trekking in the Remote Tropical Forest in Malaysia

When I was invited to speak on the Digital Divide in Singapore in 2009, as usual, I looked around for possible local adventures in that part of the world and decided to do some jungle trekking in the tropical forests of Malaysia. Endless drenching by the monsoons in a remote jungle area gave me a new sense of what rain can be. Despite my efforts, the leeches were undeterred. The main reason for my trip to Malaysia was to walk the stunning longest suspension bridge in the world in the Titiwangsa Mountains. However walking on this amazing bridge was not possible, at that time, because the bridge was closed due to the monsoons.

The bridge between the forest
And the digital field
Is almost impossible to cross
When the monsoons of our minds
Obscure the way

I WAS Heard – Was nominated APA Fellow

In 2009, I was nominated as an American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow (Div. 42) in recognition of my contribution to the field. This award marked the arrival of much-needed changes in professional ethics from rigid and fear-based to more humane and care-based. Besides my private psychotherapy practice and teaching on ethics and other topics, I have been consulting with therapists and have been retained as forensic expert (expert witness) where I could combine my knowledge and expertise on ethics and standard of care issues with my sense of fairness and justice.

The times change
When ethics are put front and center Enter
The field once governed by fear
To become a soothing blanket of humanity

Rewarding 4 years of Assistant Coaching Ilan in High School

Life in Sebastopol has been quite wonderful. The culture, community, arts, and the politics have been a good match for us. The boys enjoyed their Waldorf school, although Eitan jumped ship to our local high school in his junior year. Ilan, however, continued at Summerfield, playing and starring on their basketball team for all 4 years. I had the honor to be the assistant coach for the basketball team during that period.

To serve my boys
As they shoot hoops
As they shoot hopes
Helping them navigate the ropes
Of adulthood

Zur Institute Reaches 180 (!) Online Courses

By 2014, our Zur Institute online continuing education program had expanded to include 180 Online Continuing Education Courses. Every year, thousands of psychotherapists, counselors, MFTs, nurses, and lay people have been benefiting from our innovative and unique offerings.

Because we don’t stop learning
Till we die
Because it’s a high-
Time for growing
While we continually fly
Over fields of innovation

Studying the Impact of Technology on Culture & People

Modern Internet technologies and social media have drawn me to explore the boundaries involved in “digital ethics,” which include issues of online searchese-mail in therapytelemental health, and clients as Facebook friends.

Where do I end
And you begin
When we surf the same digital wave
When we bend
With the wind?

Riding to Freedom on my new Retro Triumph Bonneville

Turning 60, and now living closer to the Pacific Ocean, I purchased a 2007 classic-looking Triumph Bonneville motorcycle (850 cc) that I could ride along the ocean and also teach my boys (15 and 18) the love of motorcycles as my dad did with me.

Like your grandfather
I soar with you by ocean waves
Hoping your future kids
Recognize me, and my father
In the rushing winds

Teaching in Singapore on the Impact of Technology

Returning to teach in Singapore in 2010 gave me a chance to further explore this unique, tiny country, which focuses on a healthy balance between community and individual needs and rights. They also had just completed a 55 story man-made wonder called Marina Sands SkyPark.

The wonders of including
‘Me’ and ‘Us’
Stretches 55 stories into the sky
Revealing why
We have to dance in balance

Tracking Genghis Khan Footsteps & Walking the Great Wall of China

Being in this part of Asia, I also could not miss the opportunity to experience that wonder of the world (age 60),  the Great Wall of China. (Reluctantly, I had to give up the idea of retracing the steps of Gengis Khan and his journey from Mongolia towards the Great Wall.) Stretching over 5,000 miles through treacherous terrain, this wall is undeniably the ultimate physical boundary.

Easily keeping armies apart
A 5000 miles of wall
Might fall
In the face of human connection

Visiting my Israeli Tribe as well as Athene and Crete

In the summer of 2011 my wife, Jennifer, all three children, and I embarked on a routine visit to Israel to my family’s kibbutz. It is a beautiful community, and home to my beloved sister and her family, which seems to give rise to new babies every year. My sister, Shlomit, is 4 years my senior and in contrast to my proclivity for adventure and mobility, she married her first love at 19 and has stayed in the kibbutz all her life as educator, writer, wife, mother, and now grandmother of 10 grandchildren.

We grew up under one roof
And we are proof
Of how each heart’s call
Makes all
The difference

Athene is Delightful & Vibrant Like Tel-Aviv at Night

The second part of the vacation was, as my children noted, about “old rocks.” On the return trip we visited Greece, visiting the Acropolis in Athens and remote palaces and caves on the island of Crete. Happily for them, Athens at night is as vibrant and full of young people as Tel-Aviv.

Our soul
Old as the rocks
Still dances freely at night
Flocks
To ancient and new rhythms

Ilan (6yo) Shooting 3’s Beyond the Half-Court Line

Ilan was 6 years old when he joined a local basketball league for young boys on a team that I led (kind of “coached”). The court was designed for young beginners and was only 42 ft. long. By comparison, standard college and NBA courts are 94 ft. long. One of the league’s rules was that teams were not allowed to defend the other team past half court. Young Ilan’s skills were unprecedented. He was able to shoot with high accuracy from the 21 ft. half court mark (a bit short of the modern 3-point line of 25 ft.). So, “according to plan” he shot the ball beyond the half court line where the opposing team was not allowed to defend or contest the shot, which led our team to endless victories and understandably infuriated both the parents of the opposing team and the league organizers 😋.

Flying a ball on wings of wind
My young son shines
Victory finds
A proud Dad
Among less than gracious parents

Eitan getting his permit Driver License

At age 15 ½ Eitan applied for a provisional drivers license in our state of California. This was the first step towards getting his license. His status was called “Provisional” which meant that he had to have an adult accompany him while he drove. Hearing about the endless arguments of friends with their children after they got the permit and constantly asked their parents to accompany them in driving around the clock, I decided to take a different tack. Eitan and I planned a trip from our home in Sonoma to Las Vegas to watch a fantastic circus show where he would drive the hundreds of miles, the WHOLE way to Las Vegas and back. The long trip was great driving experience for Eitan. A few days later, half way back home, Eitan, exhausted, stopped the car at the side of the road and announced that he had had enough driving. The plan worked out perfectly. For the next couple of years there were no arguments, begging or conflicts about driving. Eitan got it out of his system in the first week of his permit.

I decided to join him
Rather than fight
My first born
On his winding path of
Provisional independence

At 16 Ilan is the 2nd Top Scoring Junior in CA

Ilan (16) excelled on his Summerfield Waldorf High School basketbal team, which won the local Small League Championship. At that year, Ilan was the 2nd top scoring junior in California. It was fun serving as an assistant coach, applying my knowledge of and passion for basketball and psychology to coaching, and seeing Ilan’s success in his senior year.

Our passions meld
As your hand held
The ball
And my heart cheers
As you reach your goals

Sharing the Love of Motorcycles w/ Eitan & his 1,400cc Kawasaki

Eitan Zur (18) got himself a Kawasaki ZX-14 (1,400 CC), which barely fit in our garage but was fun to drive. I spent some of the summer of 2012 sharing the love of motorcycles and travel with him.

The wheels below us
Propel us like wings
On rough terrains
We glide
On desert winds

Azzia’s Marriage to Nick – A Fabulous Celebration

In July 2012, Azzia married her long time close friend, Nick Walker. Nick is the founder and senior instructor of Aikido Shusekai, an aikido dojo in Berkeley, CA, and has a 6th degree black belt in aikido. Nick holds a Ph.D. in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies and is also an author of two online courses for the Zur Institute.

That you found love
Is what makes my heart smile,
For all the degrees and accomplishments pale, while
You weave your lives together

Having All My (Grown Up) ‘Cubs’ Together at Azzia’s Wedding

Azzia’s wedding provided a wonderful chance for me to enjoy my children and step-children. From left to right: Eitan (19), Azzia (28), myself, Jeremey (39), Suzannah (37) and Ilan (17).

A papa bear’s heart
Almost bursts
As I gather you under my furry arms
To keep you like honey
Dripping from my palms

The Ultimate Challenge-Riding a Motorcycle by 4,000ft Drops

The enormity and grandeur of the Himalayas are incomparable and so are the centuries-old sacred Buddhist temples and monasteries we visited. Sometimes it felt like we were riding the clouds. The trip evoked in me such humility and helped me come to terms with physical and age-related limitations (age 62). Ultimately, once again, we looked death straight in the eyes (or at least around every blind corner). And, of course, it also intensified a special connection with my son. In contrast to my experience, Eitan found the trip joyous and quite easy.

I rode clouds with you
On soil as old as time
As sacred as your joy
My heart humbles
As I look death in the eye
With you by my side

Zur Institute Continues to Grow w/ Our Fabulous Team

In 2015, the Zur Institute celebrated 20 years of our website which we started in 1995. We truly were pioneers of the Internet. With the unequivocal support, competence, and dedication of my webmaster, Deborah Porter, and Operational Manager, Pamela Adler, the site has grown to 180 continuing education online courses. In addition to directing the Zur Institute, I have been writing books and articles, as well as teaching on variety of topics, such as boundaries, multiple relationships, TeleMental Health and much more. All of this is in addition to providing psychotherapy and serving as expert witness and forensic consultant.

I have come to rely on you
As we each play a role
Each giving of our essence
To the whole

Hearty & Caring Connection with My Family

I daily treasure and try to nourish my rich connections with my beloved wife, family, and friends. The interaction with my children is an ongoing delight, whether I am playing basketball with Ilan, biking and kayaking with Eitan, or writing with Azzia. Adventure, meditation, and community remain, as always, important to me and recently, I started writing short personal-philosophical essays for the public.

A thread connects me to each of you
And reaches out into the world
As we weave our family
Into the tapestry of community

Celebrating Quarter Century of Providing Psychotherapy

I have been practicing psychotherapy since 1988, for over a quarter of a century. I use traditional clinical orientations such as CBT, psychodynamic, humanistic, existential and other similarly well established clinical approaches. I have been privileged to work with, help and learn from individuals, couples and families who have been traumatized or struggled with existential or relational concerns, as well as those with a wide variety of diagnoses or difficulties in living, such as schizophrenic, borderline and suicidal patients. I have explored with my clients various ways to live safely and meaningfully, and how to love and connect well.

A mosaic of soulful connections
Has fed me all these years
Challenges, agony, joyful tears
An ever expanding picture
Of the human condition, here…

Educate the Profession About the Value of Flexible Boundaries

My clinical work has been enhanced by my education, as well as my various life experiences, whether living with the Masai in Kenya, mixing with the English in London or living among Israelis and Americans. Consistent with my beliefs as expressed in my writing, when clinically appropriate I have made home visits, attended the weddings of couple/clients, conducted therapy in nearby parks, appropriately self-disclosed, given supportive hugs when needed, and bartered with cash-poor, talented artist clients. I have learned from my patients, not only how to live with dignity, but also how to die with dignity. Living in a small town, I was inevitably, exposed to a wide range of unavoidable dual or multiple relationships.

In the multiple universes we each are
Transmitting and receiving
Being close and far
Offering each other the one thing that matters
Dignity of heart

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