Institute Director, Matt Baker
I am a non-dual teacher and shamanic practitioner, a poet and a writer. I have had a writing, shamanic and non-duality practice for over 20 years. My main interest is in how non-dual insight can be combined with a daily spiritual shamanic practice and services. I have also been a professional educational, leader and teacher for over 25 years.
I approach life from an integral, non-dual and shamanic perspective of reality. The inner world is a vivid and alive place for me which informs the outer world and the creative process. I use travel in the inner and the outer world to inform and transform my perspective and heal and shape my world.
Heart of Service
I specialize in leading groups and individuals on inner-world journeys for the purpose of transformation and awakening through Nondual-Shamanic mentoring and teaching.
More About Matt
Matt has been engaged in spiritual study and transformation for over 30 years. He completed a seven year spiritual study course through the international Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. After he completed the course he was invited to be a tutor for others in the course and did so for several years until retiring from the role.
While studying in the Celtic Druidic Wisdom Stream Matt also received an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State University. He then went on to receive a Masters in Psychology and Counseling from Prescott College, focussing on Adolescent Development, Depth Psychology, Shamanism and Transpersonal Psychology.
In 1998, while studying for the counseling degree he founded a charter school (Metro-arts.org) for the visual, literary and performing arts in Phoenix Arizona. He is still the Head of School of Metro Arts and teaches a creative writing course titled Poetry, Myth and the Art of Transformation. His undergraduate degree is in International Relations and he graduated Cum Laude from Dickinson College in Carlisle Pennsylvania in 1991. He spent his junior year studying in Bologna Italy and travelled extensively in Europe.
Matt grew up in Concord, Massachusetts not far from Walden Pond. He was inspired at an early age by the Transcendentalists who lived in Concord in the early 19th century. In particular Ralph Waldo Emerson’s urging that each person find “an original relation to the universe,” was an influential seed concept. Many years later this concept became a foundation for the Metro Arts vision which entails the quest for authenticity and the true self.
In 2000 at the age of 30, after many years of seeking and practice, Matt arrived at a critical juncture in his spiritual development. He felt a deep and powerful need to know the truth of who we really are. Then, while reading traditional Buddhist "Pointing Out Instructions" written down by Ken Wilber in "The Eye of Spirit" Matt experienced a spontaneous awakening to the non-dual nature of reality and a recognition of the conscious Awareness that all beings are and share.
That awakening radically altered his view of himself, people and even objects in the world. Everything appeared to be spontaneously arising out of one awake field of Awareness. The entire world was calling him to see this essential truth about our true nature. Over the next few months this awake Presence permeated his body-mind and opened his heart to a powerful joy and love for all of the manifest world.
Over the years since, Matt has been learning to live into that initial insight and embody the radical nature of the truth about who we really are. Although the powerful nature of the initial insight has naturally become less intense over time, the experience of the truth is always accessible to the mind and heart at any moment. In addition, the intelligence of that Awareness has in fact burned down and rebuilt his personality leaving no figurative stone untransformed in some fashion. It is this process of transformation that Matt refers to as living in the Wisdom Stream.
Transpersonal Psychology recognizes that this entire process of transformation, awakening and continued transformation is in fact a normal process in human development that can be encouraged and fostered. In recent years more and more people are traveling into and through various versions of the spiritual awakening process with each person’s experience being unique. Matt suspects that the transformational process never really ends. For there is always more of the Presence to embody and always more that can unfold on our human journey as we transform into ever wiser, more compassionate and creative beings.
Our Mission, Goal & Functions
NDS Vision Statement
To bring the path of nondual shamanism to all those people who will truly benefit.
To become a recognized and respected spiritual path that provides a genuine living tradition for those called to it and to create opportunities for meaningful fellowship and teaching.
NDS will become a recognized and respected pathway and school in the NonDual and Shamanic spiritual communities with many free resources for those called to the path.
NDS will have as its goal to help students develop a sustainable daily NDS practice and to live life from the NDS perspective.
Income for the Institute of NDS will come from donations and services for hire.
What NDS Does differently:
NDS combines the best of the Nondual traditions with the best of the personal alchemical journey and pathworking practices of the shamanic traditions to help people create an integral daily practice that becomes the foundation for nourishing and flourishing life.
What NDS does not do:
NDS does not teach all the traditional elements of shamanism that other organizations such as the Foundation for Shamanic Studies or the Sacred Trust offer.
NDS is specifically for the individual looking primarily to use these two pathways of spiritual endeavor for spiritual and alchemical growth so as to help in manifesting a personally meaningful, creative and authentic life.
NDS is not engaged in traditional mental health or in many of the practices of classical shamanism such as psychopomp work, healing, extraction, or other shamanic medicinal methodologies involving herbs or hallucinogens.