My writing career began when a client of my counseling practice, a thirty-something married man who was clearly frustrated, asked me the following question. “Would you please tell me, in understandable language, just what a ‘feeling’ is?”
“Oh” I responded, “that’s a great question and not so easy to answer.”
I made some notes for him on the topic and later (1990) turned them into a self-published 40-page booklet, which became a successful small book, which became Nothing’s Wrong: A Man’s Guide to Managing His Feelings, which is still selling.
And I’m still writing.
Seven books later, I see a common thread that runs through all my work: Awareness.
Specifically, trying to be as aware as possible of what is actually going on right now, as well as in the whole arc of life, and helping others to do the same.
That idea is first and foremost in my writing and is well exemplified in my most recent book Being Present: A Book of Daily Reflections. Awareness is also at the heart of the practice of Stopping. (See “Home” on this site for an exposition).
I’ve been fortunate to have a couple of best-sellers, Stopping: How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going and Quiet Mind: One Minute Mindfulness, the latter being the best-selling of all.
Among the others is Nothing’s Wrong, mentioned above; an autobiographical work, Coming To: A Biomythography; a follow-up to Quiet Mind, titled Awakened Mind: One Minute Wake Up Calls, and a work with a co-author on ministry.
A reviewer commented, “Kundtz is an innovator in bringing the ancient wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions to modern readers, using language and concepts familiar to the contemporary, and too often pre-occupied, western mind.”
My books have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese (in both Portugal and Brazil), Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. My work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Redbook, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Complete Woman, the Utne Reader, Body Mind and Spirit, and many more…as well as abroad in the Financial Express, Here’s Health, The Irish News, and The Herald (Glasgow).
In 2009 my short play, “Words for Wine” was produced in New York city as part of a series of short plays by the Native Alien Theater Company.
For some reasons that have faded into the mist of memory, I made a resolution when I was a boy of about nine or ten that I would do my best not to “sit behind a desk” for my life’s work. I would try to do something that would get me out and about.
I have more-or-less stuck to that resolution, even though, here I am, sitting at my desk, writing. I believe the feeling behind my youthful decision was a desire to do something I enjoyed, that had to do with being helpful to people, and allowed a certain amount of creativity.
So at the age of 21, I started out my adult life by choosing something that surprised my family and friends, and in an odd way, even surprised me: I entered a seminary to become a Catholic priest.
Of course, there are a lot of stories behind that decision, but in any event, so I did, and in 1963, I entered the ordained ministry for some 20 enjoyable years and many wide-ranging experiences. I did make a bid for independence by leaving my secure and family-filled home of Cleveland, Ohio and leapt across the country to do ministry in the unknown, beautiful state of Idaho, with a wonderful three-and-a-half year service in Cali, Colombia.
Not everyone has a mid-life crisis, but I sure did and, as a result, I left religious ministry and entered graduate school at the age of 42, earning a doctoral degree in psychology at a school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
That led to my second career: marriage and family therapist, a profession that I love to this day. I first worked at a social service agency in Oakland, California and then moved into a private practice in Berkeley for another 20 some years.
So – psychotherapist, writer, and erstwhile priest – Here I am and grateful to be. Please feel free to contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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