“Angels in the human body. What a blessing for all of us!”

“I can't thank you enough for the wonderful gift of your music at the Christmas Mass. It was simply breathtaking and a wonderful preparation for the liturgy... I look forward to a growing relationship.”

“Thank you for your wondrous gift - music that touches the heart and the human spirit.”

Biography

Katy Taylor: What Katy really loves is to be involved in the art and practice of life—in co-creating and allowing/inviting beautiful spaces, gardens, and parts of herself and others to emerge. She is drawn to beauty, order, and balance in all things, and finds that (especially as an Enneagram Type One) this dance is a lifelong journey full of many deep learnings.

Katy is a Holistic Life Coach, an Enneagram teacher, a singer (original and traditional, celticky, and medieval music), an Interfaith Minister and spiritual counselor, a life-practitioner, and a lifelong spiritual seeker. She loves to be involved with life, music, spirituality, and art in order to keep her creative, expressive, intuitive, passionate juices flowing.

She is blessed to share her life with Dave Hall, for whom the collage "Man of Action" was created. They are students of the Diamond Approach Work, a spiritual school that emphasizes the connection between psychology and spirituality.

Katy was ordained in 2006 as an Interfaith Minister and she combines this learning with the wisdom of the Enneagram and the fruits of her own spiritual explorations in all of her offerings: health coaching, workshops, classes, consultations, and spiritual/life mentoring. As a Holistic Life Coach, she has a full pantry stocked with a wealth of ingredients to help you get in touch with your own inner wholeness and come home to your natural and authentic self.

More about the Enneagram
Katy was introduced to the Enneagram in passing at a Dance New England Summer Camp in the mid-1990s in Maine. Someone had just returned from a Workshop, had brought a 1-sheet handout, and invited people to gather at lunch time to hear about it. Having an affinity for psychological systems, Katy was taken by it immediately and she and her then-partner used it extensively to understand their relationship conflicts and work on their issues.

In 2002, synchronicity landed Katy a job at The Enneagram Institute (the EI), working for best-selling Enneagram authors Don Riso and Russ Hudson in Stone Ridge. When she went for the interview, Don said he was looking for a One or a Three, and Katy piped in with "I'm a One with a Two wing." She was hired to assist the Operations Manager, who later left, and she then stepped into his shoes. She found two more employees to help run the office and moved into overseeing the office and working one-on-one with Don to develop programs, products, and special projects. She worked for The Enneagram Institute for 14 years.

Dave Hall: Dave was introduced to the Enneagram while in couples counseling with a former partner. He and his then-partner found it extremely illuminating and clarifying around their relationship issues. He has practiced Vipassana Buddhist meditation since 1988 and QiGong since 1998, and currently works as a psychiatric RN at United Hospital in St. Paul.

Dave and Katy Katy and Dave met at The Enneagram of Holy Ideas Workshop in January of 2005 and since then they have been working and living together, practicing the challenging art of "awake" relationship, using the Enneagram as a primary aid in this process.

Both Katy and Dave completed the full Riso-Hudson Enneagram Training Program, and became Certified and Authorized Riso-Hudson Teachers. As they continue to study the Enneagram, they find its wisdom continues to deepen, bringing more insight and understanding into their own lives and the lives of others. They are also both currently participating in the Diamond Approach Work, a spiritual school that emphasizes the connection between psychology and spirituality, which is also an integral part of the teaching of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram. They belong to Midwest Group II, and find being involved with this spiritual school invaluable in their lives and Enneagram work.

Katy and Dave live, teach, and breathe the Enneagram, and are committed to the process of ongoing inner work to lead happier and more fulfilled lives, finding the Enneagram to be a wonderful guide for this process. It is life-affirming, showing us our vast, untapped potential, and also offers a clear and precise lens to see how we lose ourselves and fall short of that potential. Katy and Dave bring the fruits of their own spiritual explorations together with their experience of the Enneagram in their offering of Workshops, Consultations, and Coaching.

Katy and Dave have also taught the Enneagram with Karin Grosscup, a Riso-Hudson Certified Enneagram teacher, a spiritual director and supervisor at Sacred Ground in the Spiritual Direction Training Program. She has been a psychotherapist for 29 years, is married, has three grown sons, three grandsons, and loves to learn. See endorsements of Karin's teaching.

More about Katy's Music
Katy has been singing since she was a child, starting her career at school talent shows and singing in chorus, school musicals, and church choirs. She has a Bachelors from Alfred University (Alfred, NY) in Performing Arts with a voice emphasis, where she studied voice classically. Katy then studied in Vienna, where she acquired a taste for medieval music by singing with Vienna's St. Augustine Church Choir, immersed herself in music, and studied voice and German. She later studied Swedish, earning a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN).

While living in Vermont, Katy toured with the group Northern Harmony in the United States, Canada, England, and Europe, performing and recording traditional music of all kinds. singing with Peter and Mary Alice Amidon and Tony Barrand. She also sang with the eclectic, traditional music group, the Bayley-Hazen Singers and with Anima, a medieval women's group. With Anima, she participated in the recording of two albums of medieval music.

Anima first introduced her to the music of 12th c. German mystic Hildegard von Bingen. This music felt like home and Katy promptly learned all she could of it, furthering her study of Hildegard and medieval music by training with the internationally-acclaimed medieval ensemble, Sequentia, and eventually co-directing Anima.

Katy released her first CD, Mirabilis, from a live recording of a concert in January 2000 in Kingston, New York. Before moving to Minnesota, she performed extensively in the MidHudson Valley of New York, and recorded 3 more CDs since her first, including a Mass commissioned by the Foundation for Universal Sacred Music.

Katy performs alone and with her dear friend Amy Fradon. Making music together is one of the ways in which Katy and Amy express their friendship/love for each other, while at the same time finding connection to True Nature. While singing can be just pure fun, it can at the same time be a vehicle for profound and deep transformation and unfolding. Both Katy and Amy feel it has been one of their greatest teachers and deepest spiritual practices.

 


 

Some Definitions

Spiritual/Enneagram

True Nature or Essence. I mean that innate spiritual impulse that is within all-call it the Divine, the Beloved, God, Higher Power, Allah, the Buddha, Love, etc.. Each type feels most sensitive to a particular Essential Quality of our True Nature or flavor/slice of the Divine. In the Riso-Hudson approach, the teaching is that we are working more directly with our True Nature in the Healthy Levels (Levels 1-3), and at Level 1, we are our True Nature. Our type, in fact, is a facet of our True Nature.

Ego/Personality. As psychologists know, we need an ego to be able to function in the world-it is a useful and necessary structuring of our soul up until Level 1, at which point Consciousness/Awareness replaces it. In the Riso-Hudson work, we understand the ego, or personality, to be a structure or an imprint, which can be likened to a room. In the Healthy Levels, this room has more and more transparent walls, allowing our True Nature to shine through. As we move down through the Levels, the walls are getting a little more occluded and it's harder not only for our True Nature to shine through, but also for us to see it-our view is getting a little dimmer. And finally by the bottom of the Unhealthy Levels, the walls are so solid that no light can shine through at all, and we have lost contact with our True Nature. As Russ Hudson puts it, "The problem isn't that we have an ego, but that we think we are our ego."

Levels of Development. This refers to the nine Levels of Development, discovered by Don Riso and further developed by Russ Hudson, that describe our capacity to be present and lay out the path for each type's development. We each have a center of gravity in the Levels, a comfortable range in which we are used to operating. At the same time, we can hop up to a higher Level and have a taste of True Nature, or something can trigger us and we can drop down momentarily to a much lower Level, but we tend to return to our center of gravity. Major crises can cause us to have a center of gravity shift downward, away from our True Nature, and moments of grace and spiritual work can create a shift up in our center of gravity, towards greater Presence.

Most of us are operating in the Average Levels (Levels 4-6), but we like to think of ourselves in the Healthy Levels. Understanding the Levels explicates how sometimes we have greater choice and flexibility (at a higher Level) and how at other times, we have little or no real choice (at a lower Level), and are truly driven by our ego needs of the moment. At the higher Levels, we are more in touch with Essence and are integrating more parts of ourselves. At these Levels we are living more of our "positive" qualities because we are more in touch with Essence, and thus more "real." In the average to lower Levels, when we are more identified with ego, we become more predictable and habitual, less flexible and open.


Music

Why Mirabilis?
Mirabilis is my business name. Giving a name to the business of my music was, for me, like naming my child. It was a way of making concrete my intention, taking myself seriously, and in essence, giving birth to my music. I chose a Latin word that I have sung many times in medieval music, that means "full of wonder." This seems appropriate for me as a reminder to take in the amazing wonder of life and because my music is about God/Spirit communion, which is, in itself, full of wonder.

What's a Hurdy Gurdy?
Hurdy Gurdy refers to any of several instruments that are operated by turning a crank which turns a wheel. The most widely known hurdy gurdy is the one the organ grinders with monkeys played. This was actually just a box outfitted like a player piano.

The hurdy gurdy I play in concert is based on a medieval design from the 12th century, when it was often called a Sinfonia (from symphony) or a Rote (from "to rotate"). It was found in England and Europe. Later hurdy gurdys were developed with larger bodies that often resembled lutes or guitars.

The hurdy gurdy makes music in the following way: four strings sit perpendicular over the wheel and vibrate as the wheel turns. Two of these strings are drone strings and are tuned to the tonic of the scale, and the other two are melody strings tuned to the 5th above the drone.

Hildegard von Bingen Illumination
(I am only using the lower of the two drone strings as I find the upper octave drone adds too much volume for vocal music.) The keys on the front of the hurdy gurdy shorten the length of the melody strings and allow a tune to be played.

 

The Music of Hildegard von Bingen
Hildegard was a 12th century abbess, mystic, visionary, politician, revolutionary, herbalist, and healer. She received her music in visions from God, and, while she practiced a very proscribed and ordered medieval Christianity, she was also very connected to the Earth and the Feminine as sources of inspiration and holiness. Ever since I first sang her music, I have felt deeply connected to it.

 


 

Links

Here are some links you might want to check out... I'm sure there are many more we could recommend, but these are a few that we find very useful. Enjoy!

Spirituality

Life Practices

Artists and Musicians

Hildegard von Bingen

  • Sequentia, premier interpreters and performers of Hildegard's and medieval music
  • Norma Gentile, singer and healer
  • Sinfonye, beautiful, earthier interpretations

 


 

Further Reading

Spiritual/Enneagram

  • Riso, Don Richard, Enneagram Transformations, Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 1993.
  • Riso, Don Richard and Russ Hudson, Discovering Your Personality Type, 3rd Ed., Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 2003.
  • Ibid, Personality Types, rev. ed., Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 1996.
  • Ibid, Understanding the Enneagram, rev. ed., Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Co., 2000.
  • Ibid, The Wisdom of the Enneagram, New York: Bantam Books, 1999.

We also recommend the following Diamond Approach Books:

  • Almaas, A.H., Diamond Heart Series, Books 1-4, various publishers.
  • Ibid., The Pearl Beyond Price, Berkeley, California: Diamond Books, 1988.
  • Ibid, The Point of Existence, Boston: Shambhala, 2001.
  • Ibid, Spacecruiser Inquiry, Boston: Shambhala, 2002.
  • Ibid, The Unfolding Now, Boston: Shambhala, 2008.
  • Davis, John, The Diamond Approach: An Introduction to the Teachings of A. H. Almaas, Boston: Shambhala, 1999.

Life Practices

Nutrition

  • Fallon, Sally, Nourishing Traditions, Washington DC: New Trends Publishing Co., 1999.
  • Eisenstein, Charles, The Yoga of Eating, Washington DC: New Trends Publishing Co., 2003

Art

  • Booth, Eric, The Everyday Work of Art, Naperville, Illinois: Sourcebooks, Inc., 1999.
  • Cameron, Julia, The Artist's Way, New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam's Sons, 1992.
  • Schwarz, Joyce, The Vision Board, New York: Collins Design, 2008.

Body

  • Putnoi, Johanna, Senses Wide Open, Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2000.
  • Johnson, Will, Aligned, Relaxed, Resilient, Boston: Shambhala, 2000.
  • Knaster, Mirka, Discovering the Body's Wisdom, New York: Bantam Books, 1996.
  • Lasater, Judith, Living Your Yoga, Berkeley, California: Rodmell Press, 2000.
  • Palmer, Wendy, The Intuitive Body, 3rd ed., Berkeley, California: Blue Snake Books, 2008.
  • Aposyan, Susan, Natural Intelligence, Boulder, Colorado: Now Press, 1999.