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The Wok Experiment: Volunteers Biographical Information

Biographical Sketches

Rod Rees (volunteer from Sept. 10 '06)

Born a small town midwesterner, I'll soon turn 65. My undergrad degree was from the Design Department at Southern Illinois University (1965). This was a radical program in its day, emphasizing a generalist approach to problem solving. Our star professor was Buckminster Fuller, so you could say that early on I was indoctrinated in the Fulleresque way of looking at the world.

My doctorate was from Brown University in experimental psychology (1970), specializing in learning in non-human primates. My training during those years was hard-core behavioral research, and I got involved in some of the early uses of lab computers in psychology. My minor field was sensation & perception.

My next 20 years were spent in a smallish west coast state university. Within a few years I was teaching courses primarily in sensation/perception/states-of-consciousness, as well as statistics (ANOVA) & research design. My favorite course was the History of Psychology which allowed me to range freely over the story of consciousness. My research interest was the experiential exploration of self-hypnosis, delving into what we called "mutual trance states."

Since retiring in 1990 I've had a low-key lifestyle pursuing a wide variety of interests, including two years in Costa Rica. Living now in southwestern New Mexico, I find my life filled to the brim with the sorry state of affairs in U.S. politics; with hiking; with digital photography; and with yet another attempt to codify my world view in a way that satisfies me.  (Rod's entry round)


Heloisa (volunteer from Oct. 11 '06)

Born in South America, I was exposed to a European culture in my family and spoke English and French from a very early age. As a result, my interest towards traveling and learning about different cultures was greatly stimulated. In my adult life, I lived and took extensive trips to Europe, Africa and Asia.

My marriage to an American brought me to the United States, where I got my training and completed my graduate work in clinical psychology. My master’s thesis was among an Indian group in Brazil and consisted of a study of the effects of acculturation on the responses to non-verbal “culture-free” intelligence tests. My doctoral dissertation was about the effects of migration on the family structure of low-income Brazilian families that migrated from the rural to urban areas.

I specialized in family therapy from a system’s perspective and have been in private practice for many years. Parallel to my work in psychology, I was mesmerized with the dream world and spiritual dimensions of our lives. As I got deeper in my spiritual practices, I became aware of the importance of taking those dimensions into account in the understanding of all levels of our bio-psycho-social continuum. In my clinical work, I have been attempting to apply a systemic intrapsychic model that takes those dimensions into account, to the understanding of the dream world. This work has made a strong impact on some clients and in several instances, became a turning point in the therapeutic process. I have been writing articles and am gathering material for a book on this topic. (Heloisa's entry round)


Maria Yung (volunteer from Nov. 6 '06)

I was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to Hong Kong when I was 6 years old. My family immigrated to the United States when I was 9 years old and I have lived in California, Bay Area, since.

After receiving my undergraduate degree in Economics from UCLA, I worked for 6 years in commercial real estate, managing various office buildings in downtown San Francisco. The job was demanding and not quite satisfying. I couldn't see myself in that career for the rest of my life. When I turned 30, I decided to fulfill a childhood dream of traveling and living abroad in various countries. My trip took me to Europe, Northern Africa, Middle East, and finally Asia.

It was on this trip that I became interested in spiritual matters and took special interest in Buddhism. I studied for 6 months with various rinpoches in Nepal and read works from different Tibetan, Indian and Chinese masters.

Upon returning to the U.S., I studied acupuncture and Chinese medicine. To me, this was a return to my family roots as my grandmother, aunt and uncle are all in this field. Currently I have a clinical practice in Oakland, CA specializing in pain care and woman's health. (Maria's entry round)

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