A Tribute in
Douglas Wright Boyd April 15, 1935 -
by Lynn B.
that which is best for all of life come to pass”
Doug was a dedicated humanitarian,
researcher, lecturer, teacher, activist, internationally known author, and
founding director of the Cross-Cultural Studies Program, a long-range
investigation of traditional and esoteric ideologies. He traveled all over the world and was a
student and friend of adepts and healers of many traditions and cultures. Possessed of incisive wit, he was a master storyteller
who shared personal tales of telepathic experiences and communication,
rainmaking, and psychic healing from his many years of experience working with
and learning from culturally diverse yogis, monks, psychic healers, and
medicine people. He was a student of some, a mentor to many, and a friend to
Doug was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
When he was 9 years old, he moved with his parents, Elmer and Alyce Green, and
his three sisters, Pat, Sandra, and Judy, to Canada. They later moved to California, where he attended school, high school,and a couple of years of
college. One of his first jobs was using
his wonderful voice as a radio announcer.
He left California as an army enlistee
stationed in Korea. He reenlisted in
order to attend the Monterrey language school,
more thoroughly learn Korean, and then served in Intelligence in Korea, where he
was discharged. While making many
friends, Doug remained in Korea
for eight more years, founded a language school, taught English, and mentored
several students, helping them through college.
Back in the United States, in the Voluntary Controls Program
at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka,
Kansas, Doug worked with others
of special abilities, including the Indian Yogi Swami Rama and the Native
American medicine man, Rolling Thunder.
From these projects, Doug wrote two seminal books, Rolling Thunder and two years later, after a trip to India with the
Voluntary Controls program, Swami. His book Rolling Thunder, went through many printings and translations into 28
languages and is still in print.
Doug wrote two more books: Mystics, Magicians, and Medicine People, a
book with stories of many special people he met while traveling, and Mad Bear, a story of a remarkable
contemporary medicine man with whom Doug traveled extensively.
Doug germinated, envisioned, and
developed the ideas of the Cross Cultural Studies Program, which he founded in
1971. Unknown to Doug, Native elders applied many traditional Native tests,
made much medicine, to determine the sincerity of CCSP and Doug, who passed
repeatedly. In 1978 CCSP acquired 501(c)3 status, enabling it to host numerous projects and Doug to
travel and write in support of cross cultural understanding. Doug was so successful in those endeavors
that Native Americans looked to him and CCSP as friends and helpers with whom
they collaboratively actualized many initiatives.
For the next 35 years, Doug directed
CCSP, and it was the focus of his life and work. With a board of directors and many volunteers
over the years, a large number of special projects were accomplished. As an
example, Doug facilitated planning and convening of a Spiritual Summit in 1979,
bringing representatives from the United Nations, from the Dalai Lama and from
other religious groups together to meet with representatives of Native American
tribes of the United States
and Canada. In addition to the many human participants,
there were hundreds of birds that came to the prayer circle.
Doug worked quietly, effectively,
and with humility in close cooperation with a wide variety of cultural groups,
helping to resolve complex issues by guiding those involved toward
transpersonal communication and collective empowerment. He facilitated many councils
of leaders of diverse disciplines, lending support to resolution of many
difficult social issues. A primary
emphasis in Doug’s work was on the principles of volition and
self-regulation--the voluntary control of psychophysiological states, which he
expanded to an emerging interest in the wider applications of those principles
to a Principle of Group Endeavor and to social change.
In addition to his commitment to
CCSP, Doug had great allegiance to a wide circle of friends. He was known for his virtually instant
friendships and for his willingness to mentor others, especially students from
As an example, Doug had as many as six Korean
students at a time living with him. Some
he’d meet on the street, looking lost and fearful. Others would be brought in by students
already living with him. When the
numbers were too big for his apartment, Doug would find a bigger space and
In December of 2000, Doug was dining in an
Indian restaurant in the San Francisco
area. So was Angche Sherpa, an exchange
student from Nepal
who had just learned that his college sponsor had dropped out, leaving Angche
without finances or living arrangements. Doug and Angche met in that restaurant and
had several follow-up telephone conversations.
Doug volunteered to help. Angche
related, “He actually paid for my college and logistics for the first two and a
half years. We got the loan only in the third year,” with Doug as Angche’s guarantor,
cosigning a note for financial aid. Doug
again volunteered, moving closer to Angche’s college so that Angche would have
a place to live. According to Angche,
Doug would stop his own work to help with Angche’s: “He would spend hours and
hours helping me with my school work. He
was completely family to me, a fatherly figure. He was always there to motivate me, to uplift
me. He had vision to show me the path,
to help me and to help my family still in Nepal.”
A devout Buddhist, Angche attested
to a relationship with Doug across lifetimes, one echoed by Doug at times when
he suggested that the ease with which he could help Angche resulted from their
knowledge of each other in previous lives. Watching Angche working so hard,
Doug told his sisters, “I was meant to be there for Angche. If I’m unable to do so, I want you to make
sure he finishes school.” A very proud
father figure, Doug attended graduation of the suma
cum laude Angche’s receipt of a degree in Business Administration, an
In discussion about Doug, Angche
recalled Doug’s big sense of humor and his friendliness, “a most friendly
person. Doug was very unpredictable,
willing to help anyone, not caring what it would take, forgetting about himself
when it came to helping others...having such a big heart. Many friends would call him, even in the
middle of the night, and he would listen.
If someone would confront Doug, he would just smile. He’d have no bad words, no anger at
all.” Angche also recalled Doug’s
ability to know without being told, “He was a very special and powerful
April 13 -16, 2007 a CCSP Wisdom Keepers
(native American) Elders Open Forum met at White Memorial Camp in Council Grove, Kansas. On April 15, 2007 those in attendance
celebrated what would have been Doug’s 72nd birthday with a memorial pipe
elder, Lloyd Elm, called in the spirits of the four directions and invited Doug
in, into the empty chair that was for him.
Love for Doug was palpable in the circle as grandfather Lloyd reminisced
of Doug’s love for all human beings.
Doug’s older sister, Pat, told charming stories of
his excitement with learning, obvious even in his preschool years. By the age of seven or eight, Doug was
already telling and writing stories, most memorably his Oliver Sudden stories,
where the protagonist would stumble into a situation when “Oliver Sudden” would
come to the rescue--at least it went something like that. Pat sang a song written by her brother and
confided by the time she was 14 and he 12, she saw him as a leader in her life.
She told of a very large, unusual, bird with white, beige, tan and gold
feathers that arrived at a window of a board meeting that Pat, Karen and others
were attending in Kansas City.
The bird came right to the window, a few hours after Doug’s death, and sat with
wings open for several minutes before soaring away. All attending felt this unusual behavior was
a message from Doug, whom the birds often followed. Karen Malik, CCSP
president, told of seeing the same kind of bird sitting on a fence post on the
road leading to the April, 2007 Forum, just sitting there.
Doug’s younger sister, Sandra,
recalled Doug’s taking her around in his bicycle basket to look at plants and
to press leaves. “It was like he never
left the spirit world, like he was just visiting Earth. And he was the funniest.” She pictured the smile on Doug’s face at
death and the victory fist by his ear.
Grandfather Lloyd Elm spoke
humorously of seeing Doug riding gleefully away on Lloyd’s now inspirit horse,
Easy Girl. The assembled bid him happy
travels. And, the board of directors
voted to keep CCSP active for continuing projects such as Wisdom Keepers, The
Tibetan Education Project, and The Eagle and the Condor, bringing together
shamans from North and South America.
Because Doug wrote with greater
clarity than most, because he was unique, special, powerful, because his own
words are such beautiful representations of his soul, enjoy them now.
From an email, May 17, 2005:
“I believe (and
I may not be too lonely in this) that personal experience is the only
validation that really counts---even if imagined (as in: “Wow this tastes
delicious, but, unfortunately, it might only be my imagination”).
Elmer often telling me that. ‘The only
use science has in this world is to find out what works and work it---and, for
those who cannot see it, that’s their problem.’” ...
science, does not engage in research suppression, proselytizing, or any sort of
campaigning whatever; and real honest skeptics do not coerce conclusions
regarding subjects they are openly unwilling to investigate. No blame here---only understanding of these
perhaps regrettable circumstances as we move our growing edge of observation
and experience closer and closer to the portals of Truth that Threatens.
Sustained and very comforting love to all...Doug.”
From an email, May 28, 2005
Intuition (in however many languages) has had a different, fuller and more
encompassing implication over these many centuries than mind reading and
prediction. Intuition is a precious word
and a precious treasure. Intuition is a
word we must use more and more so that we encourage its recognition, its
development, and its invaluable service. Without the use of intuition,
conscious or otherwise, we’d all be stuck with the rational mind which, left on
its own, would atrophy pretty rapidly.
Therefore, fortunately, none of us has a choice about that. It is with the intuitive mind that we learn
anything and everything. The rational
mind is incapable of learning anything.
That’s not what it’s for. As with
any computer, it deals only with its content.
“It is only the
intuitive mind that can see all the pieces.
It is only the intuitive mind that can put the puzzle together.
Both these minds (or parts of mind,
if you prefer) are tools of the Higher Self.
The Higher Self, with its constant unconditional love (sometimes called
submissive love), allows the personality the gradual unfolding of all aspects
of mind with infinite patience. ...
“By the grace
of intuition I can now delegate the articulating capacity of my rational mind
to speak of its own limitations. I
appreciate this arrangement.
“If I am employed
at all, which is questionable, I am self-employed---in the same chosen work
since 1962. My job-my only job-is to
actively promote (with the help of so many enduring traditions) intuition--the
word, the concept and the application--in its most loving, peaceful,
benevolent, magnificent, or magical potential.
More love yet,
From Mad Bear, page 352
recall his response when I related to him the ‘message’ he had urged me to
listen for: ‘Those Who Care care deeply and strongly,
and blame is beside the point with us...and for those who fear...jump up...unto
the level of the Heart.’
the important part,’he had said,’...that part about
no blame and about the heart level...’”
had committed to memory and had often recited...the well-known speech of Chief
Seattle. I hear Mad Bear’s voice when I
recall it, and the closing lines remain strong in my memory. ‘At night when the streets of your cities and
villages will be silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the
returning hosts that once filled and still love this beautiful land. The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my
people, for the dead are not powerless. ‘Dead’ did I say? There is not death,
only a change of worlds.’”
From Mystics, Magicians, and Medicine People, page 173
“We all have
our own dynamic and developing designs, but we share the same big picture. The picture has no frame; it simply extends
in all directions beyond our conscious view.
It is a boundless context within whose infinite weavings every living
being moves in and out of form--constantly changing places and patterns--and
everything keeps going back to good again.”
Douglas Wright Boyd lives in the
memories of those who knew him in this world, in this time. He has changed worlds, a new weaving now in
the picture with no frame, available in its boundless context.
Asked about making contact with Doug
since his departure from his physical body, Angche Sherpa replied, “Yes, I have
met Doug in my dream a few times. When Doug transitioned, I had left a note to
Doug on his bed asking him to contact me through my dreams. And since then, I
have had conversation in my dreams a few times. The most memorable one was: I
met him, and he was back at our home. He was very happy and very usual with his
wisdom. I was happy to see him, almost breaking in tears with happiness. In my
dream I was very conscious of Doug's death and I was very very
sad. I asked him why did he leave so early? He answered he was still with us, and in
fact, he was at our home when I met him. He made me feel so realistic that he
was cleaning our living room to welcome some guest at home. I believe that was
the only way Doug could make me believe that he was still with us. In that same
conversation, he also said he was doing very well and not to worry about
him. I had very similar dream twice,
which confirmed that Doug is still with us and very happy.”