Home' Nova West : February 2011 Contents 18
© NOVA FEBRUARY 2011
Margaret Evans meets an NLP trainer bringing his passion
and spirituality to our shores for an extended stay.
'Gary believes WA is the spiritual centre of Australia and it's
interesting to hear this view from someone who has studied
intensively many shamanic traditions.'
"Jump into the river, do not cling to the
shores. The river has a destination, choose
to celebrate." -- Hopi Indian saying
For a man steeped in the shamanic
traditions of four continents and
with the blood of North American
Plains Indians running in his
veins, this Hopi philosophy sits easily on
his shoulders. Gary de Rodriguez is well
known to NOVA readers and many others
throughout Western Australia because
of the extraordinary commitment he has
made to visit our shores three times a
year for the past 11 years. Now, true to the
Hopi view, Gary has pulled up his roots
in Texas and followed his destiny to Perth
where he plans to spend all of 2011.
While many suggest there's a distinct
similarity between the West and Texas,
especially since our mining boom has
gained momentum, it's nevertheless
a major commitment to "jump into
the river ". As Gary explains, "I'm
literally going where life leads me. I'm
celebrating all the changes, all the
unknowns, all of the seeming of people.
So I think it's all perfectly planned.
"The bottom line is you have to
practise flexibility in perceptions and
behaviour because only with that can
you move through the changes that are
After 30 years in the field of personal
development, the past 20 as a leading
practitioner in the expanding area of
Neuro Linguistic Psychology or NLP, Gary
has lived and studied in India, Hawaii,
Peru, North America and Australia. Over
that time, he's compiled an impressive
"portfolio" of 10,300 client sessions. So
what, I have to ask, brings him now to
our far flung state experiencing its own
extraordinary transition with growing
pains the like of which we've never
encountered before. Quite simply, Gary
believes WA is the spiritual centre of
Australia and it's interesting to hear this
view from someone who has studied
intensively many shamanic traditions.
"People think it's Byron Bay or some-
where like that, but I really do think
there's a heap of people here doing
quite extraordinary things. They do call
Perth the City of Light. I've been pulled
here and pulled here and pulled here...."
Gary regards his particular practice
as really an evolution of NLP that derives
from the shamanic wisdom of indigenous
traditions he has studied since he was
a very young man. After being initiated
by "a perfect living Master" in the Punjab
in India, he has studied with kahunas
on the Big Island of Hawaii, spent nine
years as Lodge Keeper for a Lakota Sioux
medicine woman, with responsibility
for keeping the sacred space for the
Lakota sacred ceremonies, studied with
respected shamans at Maccu Picchu and
has also worked with an Aboriginal law
keeper here in WA.
It's this deep well of traditional
wisdom, together with his more
conventional studies in the science and
biology of how we create our subjective
reality, that Gary believes helps him to
bridge spirituality and science. In fact, it's
exactly the description the Aboriginal law
keeper used when they met five or six
years ago. Gary is still a little overawed in
recalling their meeting: "She hugged me
and whispered something special in my
ear that was important only to me: 'White
Buffalo Calf Woman, now you know why
you are here.'
"I thought 'Oh my God, she sees
everything.' White Buffalo Calf Woman is
the Christ of the Plains Indians, my tribe."
True to his ongoing commitment
to furthering his knowledge, Gary has
brought a new focus to the program he
is launching in Perth this month. He has
developed a four step process to help
individuals define where they are now so
that ultimately they can be clear about
their chosen destination.
"The metaphor is, 'If you're going to
take a trip you can't be lost -- you have to
know where you are!'," says Gary, bringing
his own understanding as a traveller to
this dilemma facing so many people in
our uncertain age.
"So in Step One you have to clearly
define what your destination is -- all
aspects of it -- your spirit, mind, career,
relationships, what you want to achieve,
what's meaningful to you."
His years as a trainer have shown
him that most people don't have that
sense of clarity. Instead, when we run
into the blocks of misaligned values and
unresolved emotions and we don't have
a way forward, we sink into despair from
a sense of stagnation. Official figures and
anecdotal evidence all around us suggests
it's a pervasive angst of our times.
Developing emotional resourceful-
ness to rise above life's setbacks has
always been a key focus of his work and
takes a central place in his current pro-
gram. Says Gary, "The biggest energy drain
any of us has in our lives is our relation-
ships, our current adult relationships,
those with our birth family, our children,
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