Spiritual and Wellness Coaching
What is coaching all about? It’s a private, non-judgmental, space to process issues, brainstorm ideas, set goals, and learn new skills. Mojo is focused on honing your spiritual path, improving your health, and developing life strategies to help you be who you want to be.
Spiritual and wellness lifestyle coaching helps in the following areas:
Spirituality is inclusive of all parts of a person’s life. A spiritual life is about cultivating the inner dimensions of deep meaning in everything we do. Physical health, career and livelihood, family and relationships, are all part of wellbeing and fulfliiment. There must be a sense of connected wholeness between who we believe we are, who we aspire to become, and what we actually do in our daily life. A spiritual life is situated in the cosmos, amongst beings seen and unseen, gods and demons, forces we can control and forces beyond conception—and our life at the center of it all. Spiritual coaching is the process of discussing and deepening understanding of our beliefs about this vast and meaningful world, making sense of our place in it, setting our intentions and reaching our goals.
Meditation and spiritual practice
Spiritual practices are methods for deepening our intuition and developing our awareness, both inner and outer. There are countless spiritual techniques, and the marketplace bristles with a bewildering array of workshops and apps. Meditation can serve a variety of purposes, such as developing stillness, relaxation, concentration, awareness, sensitivity, intuition, contemplation, prayer, forging a relationship with the divine, or any combination. There many more spiritual practices that don’t involve silent sitting and, indeed, any aaspect of our life can be ritualized and imbued with spiritual potency. Perhaps our calling is savoring tea or wine, crafting meals for our loved ones, working with textiles or tools, drawing or painting, reading or writing, or creating and appreciating music. A fundamental cornerstone of living a spiritual life is discovering what activities invoke a sense of creative expansion and connection with our higher, greater, aspirational self. Spiritual coaching explores these questions, engages us in experimentation and refinement, and helps us hone our spiritual practice.
Relationships and sex
Humanity may be characterized most by our social life and interpersonal relationships. Here is where our feelings are experienced most intensely. Those we love seem at times more important than our own life. Fury transforms us into a raging monster that we don’t recognize. Those who hurt us can be the focus of a hatred that seeths for years. Joined in sexual union we can lose ourselves to enveloping bliss with another that is too fleeting. Our most terrible conflicts can be with the people we love the most. And the most destructive betrayals come not from our enemies, but those we deeply trust. All aspects of relationship are part of the spiritual life. Spiritual coaching includes building relationships with patience and kindness, forging lasting trust and passion, navigating loss with resilience, and learning to forgive in order to heal our own wounded heart.
Health and nutrition
The body is how we experience our self and our world, yet we are constantly reminded of its fallibility and transience. An irony of life is our mind, capable of vast sophistication of thought and depth of feeling, is constrained by a body subject to injury, illness, and death. It is natural, then, to be preoccupied with physical health and fitness—we want our vessel to be responsive to our beck and call for a long and vital life. There is tremendous pressure from materialistic forces to pursue an idealized body image as an end in itself, but we can choose how to respond: perhaps we strive for the physique of an athlete, or rather prefer to be comfortable and at ease in all our tasks. How we choose to define and preserve health is an individual choice. There are many appraoches to maintaining good health, including whole-foods nutrition, working with culinary and medicinal herbs, integrating nutraceutical supplements, mindful healing movement—such as taiji, qigong, and yoga. In spiritual coaching, we determine what health means to us personally, set realistic markers for success, and develop strategies to reach our goals.
Spirituality in a secular world
The modern world is increasingly characterized by materialistic faith in science and technology. Although unproven, neuroscience assumes the mind is merely an emergent phenomenon of chemical processes in the brain. Yet our experience is too rich and deep to be satisfied by the materialistic explanation. We sense that our life has a mythic quality, that we are not merely the sum of our biochemical processes. Technology expands our knowledge to near-infinite—we have access to the world’s information, and can instantly discover what is happening anywhere in the world—yet we struggle to not be absorbed by the allure of notifications, social media, and gaming. With spiritual coaching, we can learn to balance the inner richness of our spiritual life with the mundane, materialistic, and technology of the outer world.
Philosophy and truth-seeking
A spiritual life is defined by our values, by discovering what we truly believe. Reflecting on our deeper values, and putting them into practice, is to live a philosophical life. Truth can be defined metaphysically—discovering the ultimate nature of the universe—or ontologically—establishing the the boundaries of the mind and discovering what is knowable, and what is not—or both. Incorporating empiricism, epistemology, mysticism, wisdom handed down in ancient lineages, and our own good judgment, we embark on the life-long process of discovering truth and meaning. Yet, there are many perspectives, and they sometimes contradict one another. With a spiritual coach, we can navigate the complex web of our experiences and contemplations, gradually untangling the knots and weaving our own unique philosophical fabric.
Gurus, Lamas, and spiritual teachers
Many spiritual traditions have a hierarchy of respected elders—priests and pastors, gurus and lamas, teachers and mentors—spiritual practice often involves working with a source of guidance along the way. Relying on a spiritual teacher requires a great deal of faith and trust; after all, we are depending on someone to guide us towards discovering wisdom and peace, and possibly the fate of our soul after physical death. It’s not a simple thing to assess the qualifications of a spiritual guide; the yoga traditions recommend watching a teacher for 12 years before accepting one as your personal guru. Even scarier is revelations of exploitation by seemingly-spiritual people who take advantage of their power in secret. With spiritual coaching, we have a neutral person with whom we can discuss our relationship with a spiritual teacher.
Life in community
Living in community can be stressful, since we need to balance the demands of many different relationships and personalities. Spiritual community can be as deep as living in a rural residential spiritual center, or attending teachings or church events as part of an urban lifestyle. It’s likely that some conflict will emerge, or we will encounter people who rub us the wrong way. This is particularly stressful in spiritual community, since we are often asked to put our disagreements and preferences aside for the harmony of the community. Spiritual coaching is a safe and confidential place to discuss these relationships—and vent frustrations—while deciding how best to manage a difficult situation.
Spiritual coaching is, above all, a non-judgmental, non-sectarian, confidential space for us to explore what it means to live a spiritual, philosophical life. We can explore any or all of the topics above. While it’s helpful to come into the process with goals in mind, coaching can help make sense of confusion, to get clear on objectives, to make a plan to resolve an issue, or to set concrete steps to move a project or relationship forward. Spiritual counseling can help us find our center, to establish a spiritual practice, to engage more deeply with a spiritual teacher or community, or to take a step back when we’re in too deep. Regardless of religion or practice, spiritual coaching is aimed at helping uncover the deeper meaning and purpose of our spiritual life.
Michael “Mojo“ Tchudi has been studying and engaging in spiritual practice for over 15 years. His formal education began with Taoist meditation and healing arts at Heartwood Institute, where he studied classical Chinese medicine, nutrition and herbs, and multiple bodywork modalities. While practicing as a natural health coach and tai ji instructor, his studies continued with formal yoga and Buddhist training under the personal guidance of experienced teachers, including Lama Sumati Marut. He has participated in multiple spiritual “families,” lived in spiritual residential communities, and practiced several retreats, including a 30-day solitary retreat in his hand-built cabin on his family’s farm in rural northern California. Most recently he completed a Master of Arts in Buddhist Classics at Dharma Realm Buddhist University in 2019. He is currently teaching ethics and religion at Developing Virtue Secondary School at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California—the largest Buddhist monastery in the western hemisphere. He is also pursuing his second postgraduate degree, a Master of Arts in Counseling, at Saybrook University. Mojo is dedicated to the helping professions, and enjoys teaching and coaching people one-on-one, in couples, and with small groups.