Rachel Katz, M.A., M.Ed.rach bodhi eyeing camera

A little bit more about me…

After completing my M.A. and M.Ed. in Psychology and Counseling (respectively) at Columbia University, I worked in the medical field and the arts for over 12 years before pursuing and receiving certification in Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministries. I am also a member of Spiritual Directors International and Bay Area Spiritual Directors and am not your garden variety spiritual director.

For almost 8 years, I provided practical, emotional and spiritual support to dying patients at the Zen Hospice Project. The dying were my most exquisite and inspiring teachers, and the Five Precepts of Hospice Care continue to be the guideposts for my spiritual practice and in all areas of my life.

I am Jewish, culturally speaking, and consider myself spiritual rather than religious. While I am not religious, the values I learned growing up showed me – among many things – how richly rewarding it is to serve others, handle hardships with humor and grace, and honor and respect people regardless of background. I also feel a deep connection to Buddhist philosophy and have had a dedicated meditation practice for over 15 years.

I am enchanted with the healing power of animals! In fact, my beloved cat Bodhi enjoys providing furry comfort to some of my clients (if they would like it…) To find out more about my work related to the human/animal bond check out my Human Animal Bond page.

I have a chronic condition that has resulted in multiple surgeries. I felt very alone, especially having to deal with what felt like endless and uncontrollable stalls in my life. These experiences, while at times challenging, ended up teaching me meaningful lessons at an early age. I’ve learned that life is not always fair, that acceptance, inspiration, courage and even calm can be found in our deepest suffering and in life’s uncertainties.

I’m a classically trained singer (although I revel in all kinds of music!). Music saturates my life – whether I am performing, attending a concert, walking down the street with my iPod or helping clients connect with the healing power of music.

I am a research junkie! In addition to my pet loss research, I have put my investigative skills to work in many venues including collecting data for cancer trials at California Pacific Medical Center, preparing customized health resource packets for the Institute of Health and Healing, and sleuthing out prospective donors for the San Francisco Opera. Now, finding just the right book, poem, quote or other juicy bit of intelligence to support and inspire my clients is a most welcome challenge.

I love thrift shopping. And sharks.