Mary Arden, a beloved Hoffman Process teacher and coach, taught the Process for nearly 30 years. In this spirited and delightful conversation with Drew, Mary shares her experience taking the Process, teaching the Process, and working directly with Bob Hoffman. She also, lovingly, shares her experience of being with her beloved partner, Jim, while he was alive and now after his passing.
Mary bridges Earth and Spirit as she speaks of her life, relationships, and work to help facilitate wellness and healing in people so that our world can know this profound and practical relationship between the two, between Earth and Spirit. One of Mary’s profound experiences during her own Process was feeling deeply rooted in the Earth. The work she did there brought her into her own body and a direct embodied relationship with Earth. Mary also shares that the Process teaches us “that there is a whole realm that is a spiritual realm and we get to be in that by choosing.”
From an early age, Mary learned that we are here to be of service. Her older sister had an intellectual disability. (Mary uses the term, mentally retarded, which was the predominant term used in Mary’s early years as a child in the 1940s.) She shares how very different things were then and how remarkable her parents were in their response to how to raise Mary’s sister, during this time. Her parents’ response had a direct impact on Mary and her life. Those of us who know Mary, and truly all who have taken the Process since Mary started teaching and working to help shape the Process into what it is today, have deeply benefited from her dedication to serving her students and this beautiful relationship between Life and Spirit.
We hope you enjoy this conversation with Mary and Drew.
Mary Amrita Arden holds a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities, a certificate in Secondary Education, and a Master’s degree in public health. She is also a certified Neuro-Lingustic Programming coach.
Mary taught the Hoffman Process from 1991 to 2019. She once shared that what was most meaningful for her about teaching the Hoffman Process was “facilitating people to a healthy way of holding their life – listening to their inner wisdom, finding strength in their essence/spirit, learning true self-compassion, and living a fulfilling life of connection, love, and presence.”
In Mary’s own words, what she got from taking the Process was “a deep sense of my essential worthiness, separate from any role or achievement, and a way to live passionately with an open heart, connected to spirit.”
Mary is now retired and lives in California.
Bob Hoffman, Founder of the Hoffman Process
Human Potential Movement
An awakening to the understanding that… “we are more than just these human beings who have a job and raise a family. That we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” Mary Arden
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Generous, Demonstrative, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
Francis Weller, MFT, “is a psychotherapist, writer, and soul activist. He is a master of synthesizing diverse streams of thought from psychology, anthropology, mythology, alchemy, indigenous cultures, and poetic traditions.”
The Wild Edge of Sorrow and the First Gate of Grief:
Mary reads a section on the first gate of grief from Francis’ book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow. You can learn more about these stages of grief from Francis Weller here.