Kathryn Richer

I was born in a thunderstorm in Deerlodge, Montana. Like my mom in her metal bed that night with lightening flashing overhead, I feel both awed and humbled by the power of nature. That is when the Cosmos struck me as its fiery messenger. I grew up in the Episcopal Church, where I learned the value of spiritual community and ritual. Twenty-one summers at Lindisfarne Camp Marshall, Flathead Lake Montana reinforced this in a truly embodied way. I experienced daily ritual, an abundance of fun, love, joy, and hugs, and the constant embrace of the shining lake and majestic Mission Mountains. As an adult staff member I lived in a cabin with campers, serving as counselor. Those summers were profoundly influential; Flathead Lake is absolutely my spiritual geographic home.

Music is a consistent thread through my life; both the simple enjoyment of it and also playing music. I am a classically trained pianist, and perform early music professionally. I compose reflective solo piano pieces, and whimsical songs.

Music is a constant and treasured companion throughout my days; all styles for all moods. I deeply value all creative artists in their ability to perceive and convey that which lies beyond the ordinary.

I greatly value travel as a way to experience people, their cultures and the diversity of nature’s profound beauty, while also learning history, art, and the humility of being a stranger in an unknown land. It’s been my pleasure to travel within the United States, extensively in Europe, and in Mexico. Hiking in the Pacific NW is one of my favorite things to do in nearly all seasons. At 51 I sumitted Mt. St. Helens (a peak experience!). I soak up sun, watch the moon’s cycles, peer through high-powered telescopes, and ponder the Universe’s vastness beyond the Milky Way from my deck. I love creative writing, and have written scads of free-form and haiku poems.

The bulk of my professional life was in social services, as family and crisis counselor, and then Public Health. I managed programs ranging from teen pregnancy prevention and violence prevention, to medical examiners. My focus for the last 16 years has been healthcare system emergency preparedness.

I am a lifelong spiritual seeker and constant learner. Long ago a friend dubbed me “queen of self-improvement.” My goal is to evolve in conscious awareness and radiance until I absolutely burst, like a supernova! I evolved from my Episcopal roots to a Goddess-honoring Episcopagan. My Master’s Degree was in Spiritual Traditions and Ethics. That led to me co-teaching a Women’s Spiritual Journey in Lesvos, Greece with Carol Christ, feminist theologian. I created and led the summer retreat’s yoga, music, and dance for six years. During that time I served as a Spiritual Director in Portland. I have developed programs and taught for many groups on a multitude of topics ranging from spiritual life, haiku as spiritual practice, and embodyment, to the origins of religious and secular holidays. I have had the honor of officiating weddings, dedication ceremonies, and memorials. Yoga (~35 years) and meditation anchor my spiritual practice.

Throughout the peaks and deserts of my spiritual exploring, I absolutely believed in and felt a Presence beyond myself, yet as close as my own heartbeat (and still do). In 2011, I found a wonderful, long-sought spiritual community at the Portland Center for Spiritual Living. Its philosophy and way of life resonated deeply with me. It was a coming-home that brought together all my prior spiritual beliefs, experiences, and meanderings into a cohesive, powerful and practical way of being. In 2016, after rigorous study and only two existential crises, I was licensed by the Centers for Spiritual Living as a Spiritual Practitioner. Simultaneously, I was delving into the Cosmos series hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I have always reveled in nature’s beauty and impact and felt deeply connected to it. Through the Cosmos series, my love for the Universe exploded exponentially, along with my heart, and I felt a new openness to infinite possibilities. I have joyously wedded my passions of spirituality, artistry, and the Universe in my professional spiritual guidance. It is my truest calling revealed through a lifelong path, and shining forth through Richer Within!

Not only are we in the Universe, the Universe is in us. I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling than what that brings upon me. – Neil deGrasse Tyson