Robert Lester (Founder)

From early on, exposure to varied cultures and the development of sensitivities through many modalities has been a constant through Robert’s life. The environment he grew up in was the natural training ground and teacher, informing both his spiritual and professional lives.

about-onepeople-robert-lester


In the first five years of his life, Robert’s extended family of Ojibway/Huron ancestry were a primary force. As a child, beginning in the woodlands of Michigan and Ontario, Elders trained Robert in the use of plants, animal medicine and a variety of woodland skills. Living close to the land gave him a deep connection and relationship to the natural world. Many of the teachers were locally recognized Elders, whose specific knowledge was passed on in a traditional manner. Transplanted at the age of eleven to Los Angeles, California, his multi-cultural education began in the form of a deep connection to the Hispanic community. Involved in many youth music programs, he played a broad spectrum, ranging from classical compositions to exploratory jazz improvisation. Music became the vehicle allowing him to play in the Rose Bowl, Hollywood Bowl and travel to Montreal in the host wind ensemble for the United States at the opening of Expo67. This cultural bent further opened into the Black community in Los Angeles, where he taught music for many years in cross-cultural environments.
Upon graduating from the University of California/Irvine, he moved with his young family to the Pacific Northwest, seeking a new home and exploring opportunities to write. He worked in a variety of research and creative capacities:

  • Account Executive – Weyerhaeuser Corp.
  • Communication Consultant – Boeing Corp.
  • Communication Director – Genie Industries
  • Started his own publishing firm in Seattle
Concurrent with his professional life, Robert was led to a profound experience with an Australian healer, where, due to an initiatory experience, his hands were opened to perform healing work. He followed his natural inclination to continue writing for a living, until an internal epiphany directed him to begin to do healing work publicly. During this period of development, a variety of Taoist teachers worked with him. He learned deeper healing techniques, energetic skills and studied Qigong, TaiChi and other forms of moving meditations and was initiated as Reiki Master. Following his First Nations roots, he was invited to study the old medicine ways of the Yukon Territories and Northern Alberta. Here he learned in the traditional manner of his forefathers, earning the rights to the ceremonies through the late Cree/Dakota elder Pey-a-sis. He began to incorporate the old teachings into his practice of healing and began to teach in a traditional way. His private practice and teaching schedule burgeoned to such a degree that he eventually founded the Northwest Center for Complementary Medicine, surrounding himself with other practitioners of alternative medicines.

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