Presentation Title

Black World, Plant World: A conversation about Spirituality and Ecology with Eduardo Duran and Rachel Bryant

Panel Title

Community Forum

Presenter Bio

Eduardo Duran was born in Northern New Mexico and at age 14 his family of 6 children and parents moved to California in order to escape economic hardships of poverty. The move did not resolve the hardships and in a way made them somewhat worse as the family had to work as migrant field workers in order to simply survive. The hardships eased somewhat as the family became a bit more economically stable and by 17 Eduardo decided to join the military as a way to gain an education that would otherwise have not been possible due to economic hurdles.

Eduardo was able to complete extensive electronic training and served on board Naval surface vessels as well as submarines. Eduardo was deployed to the western Pacific twice where he served on patrol on “Yankee Station” in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War. In addition, he also served on other missions in other parts of the world.

The first college course Eduardo took was on a submarine tender at the submarine base in San Diego. This course was the launching of his educational career as it validated to him that he was able to do college work. When he was discharged Eduardo worked as a lab technician on specialized electronic equipment and later worked as an engineering psychologist for Naval Ocean Systems.

As he progressed through a master’s degree Eduardo found that his spirit was no longer compatible working for defense and military systems. At that time he decided to begin the journey into the clinical realm of psychology and healing. Eduardo was admitted to a doctoral program where his life was turned upside down by the events that occurred shortly after that. Early into the course work Eduardo was hired to develop a mental health program for a tribal consortium. The initial work on the project let Eduardo know that the Western paradigm was falling short of what the Native community required in order to heal from what later became known as historical trauma.

It was at this time that Eduardo unknowingly met his ‘root teacher’ disguised as a patient. The relationship with this holy man gave Eduardo the seeds that have evolved into the theoretical and clinical work that he writes about and works with on a day-to day-basis (more on this story in his book “Buddha in Redface”). Several papers and books have been published by Eduardo as he continues to unravel the teachings that were transmitted to him by his root teacher and wise beings he continues to relate with.

Eduardo lives and works in Bozeman Montana with his wife Judith Firehammer and his daughters Katirie and Anaya.

Rachel D. Bryant serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, where she earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Community Mental Health. Her passion and research interests situate her life-work and scholarship at the intersection of social justice, education, and psychology. She is working to facilitate closure between knowledge production in institutions and the need for knowledge in communities traditionally excluded. She serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology and Undergraduate Studies Programs at CIIS. Rachel is also a Core Member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which provides loving traditional healing sessions to people from especially traumatized populations in the Bay Area. As a teacher-student, Rachel honors the wisdom and intelligence of everyday people, the human body, and the natural world. She confidently believes that all people have the innate wisdom and intelligence to serve as healers and educators in their communities. When Rachel is not working, you can find her creating multimedia artworks, gardening, or in the kitchen experimenting with soul food from around the world. She lives in East Oakland with her daughter.

Presenter Photo

Dr. Eduard Duran


Rachel Bryant, MA


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Mar 17th, 12:00 PM Mar 17th, 2:00 PM

Black World, Plant World: A conversation about Spirituality and Ecology with Eduardo Duran and Rachel Bryant

https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/religionecologysummit/2021/Wednesday/8