Image of Lighthouse Field park from City of Santa Cruz parks pages.

With loving hearts, we share the news that Kendon transitioned from this life on December 13th, 2022. He was much beloved in this community. We are grateful for all of the wisdom, love, and joy he brought to us and shared with the world.

As without, so within. What we seek to accomplish for the planet has work within as a necessary corollary.

Kendon merged a lifelong career as a psychotherapist with a passion for healing the planet, one mind at a time. A devout awe-theist, he explored the wisdom of the implicit self in a quest to help us all reconnect with the truth of Nature, without and within.

Kendon’s blog posts, pages & mentions…

Born April 4th, 1935, Dr. Kendon Smith was a full-time academic at Columbia University and N.Y. Medial College for 12 years, then Mental Health Administrator for three years, then a self-described workaholic child psychotherapist and child psychopharmacologist, emphasizing work with severely mentally ill children. His full retirement was in 2013.

Kendon’s focus in California in his last nine years has been on participation in and study of meditation and on “Focusing” approaches to personal mental integration. Dr. Smith’s neuroscience background has led to identification of an autonomous Brain/Mind system which knows implicitly and knows holistically, without access to words, yet is primary in our decision making.

Kendon was also deeply engaged with climate and social justice efforts. He advocated for greater Unity within as a necessary corollary of work towards world Unity. Kendon was an engaged member of both the Within Reach and Novasutras organizations. Within Reach focuses on effective public engagement and activism to seek the Future We Need socially, economically, environmentally and spiritually. As an Uplifter in Novasutras, Kendon helped to grow our emerging eco-spiritual movement, to nurture and uplift one other during these challenging times, as we endeavor to create a world that works for all people and all species. He offered Novasutras presentations based on his expertise and research (see details below).

As you become more capable of being present to what is “within” you become more open to what is without. You increasingly know from oneness, with a growing sense of connections to all that is.

Kendon and friends at Climate+Land+Water Meditation, July 2021

Novasutras presentations by Kendon Smith

See below for details and videos.

  • Introduction to Focusing Practice
  • Your Truest Self – How BodyMind Supports Heart-Knowing And Spirit
  • Empowering Earthlings: Awakening the BodyMind with Forest Immersion
  • Focusing and the Sacred

Introduction to Focusing Practice

background beautiful blossom calm waters

October 29th, 2020
This conversation introduced the fundamentals of Focusing Practice. Our session gave us time to review what we already know, and ask questions. As co-learners, we explored the effectiveness of Focusing Practice and its relevance to how we work in the world as change-agents for increasing ubuntu and agaya.

Your Truest Self – How BodyMind Supports Heart-Knowing And Spirit

October 7th, 2020
Dr. Kendon Smith introduced his work on connecting with felt sense and knowing from oneness, including a demonstration of Focusing partnership practice. He also discussed the neuroanatomy and its functional consequences in our lives.

Raw video

Empowering Earthlings: Awakening the BodyMind with Forest Immersion

Every cell in our bodies knows that our origins are the same as the ancient trees. Life on Earth teaches us how to be together, and how we are related to the life around us. We need only remember how to listen to those most ancient teachings.

Paul talks of his experiences with shinrin-yoku, encountering forest immersion as a kind of rebirth. We are all like “babes in the woods,” sprung from the Earth. Quiet contemplation and connection with the natural world rejuvenate and invigorate us in profound ways. We recognize that we are invited to be here by the Earth — we are welcome guests, not trespassers.

Co-presented with Paul Schaafsma & Michelle Merrill during World UNITY Week on June 23, 2020. Learn more…

Focusing and the Sacred

Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 (Presenter: Dr. Kendon Smith)

Knowing the neural substrate for spiritual experience identifies what best enhances further unfolding.

background beautiful blossom calm waters

A gathering for further conversation on Focusing Practice and its connection to spirituality. Dr. Smith’s work suggests that our experiences of awe, revelation and oneness emerge from the holistic, “implicit knowing” and emotional processing of the Bodymind. Our spiritual feelings may be situated in allocortical awarenesses, unlike the analytical processes of the neocortex and conscious thinking.

The Gendlin body model of the unconscious leads to simpler, more effective interventions for “emotional disorders” as well as for resolving obstacles to the holistic experience of reality which permits panoramic awareness of Self and the Universe. McMahon and Campbell explored the spiritual aspects of Focusing from a Jesuit tradition. Rome developed a synthesis of Focusing with mindfulness practices from a Buddhist tradition. Focusing may facilitate spiritual experience, enhancing awareness of the beauty and wonder of All.
Learn more about Focusing and the Sacred…

Kendon hosted Focusing Practice “Town Meetings” – 4th Tuesday of the month November 2020 – March 2021

Kendon was a key figure in our Discussions in Difficult Times in 2020. He also brought to our community the Feeding Your Demons practice of Lama Tsultrim Allione, as another potent practice for healthy integration of the whole self.