Upcoming Courses

There's so much that can happen when we journey together as a cohort. More courses and details are added to the schedule periodically. To be notified of new offerings, please sign up for the mailing list.


Emergent Inquiry Monthly Practice Group at Living Arts Collective

Offered the second Thursday of every month, 7:15pm-8:50pm at Living Arts Collective in Durham, NC, this monthly class is an ongoing exploration of the life of the soul and the navigation of our unfolding initiatory journeys. All are welcome. For our next meeting date and details, click here.


The Emergent Quest: A Soulcentric Purpose Journey
IN-PERSON. September 15–December 8, 2019.

How do we hear the mysterious call of what is wanting to emerge in our lives? What does it mean to live in service to one’s deepest calling and walk our authentic path in the world?

Registration now open. Read about the program here.

Liberating the Natural Breath
ONLINE. Next program date to be announced.

This online, four-week, small-group course is co-taught by Simon and Alexander Technique teacher and certified teacher of The Art of Breathing Amira Glaser.

Read about the program here.


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Rising Earth: A residential program at the Eco-Institute in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Annual/seasonal.

I've had the pleasure of accompanying Odyssey Fellows at the Eco-Institute on their 10-week journeys of discovery since 2015. Up to 12 fellows are accepted each season, and generous scholarships are often available for participants. The Eco-Institute has now launched a new and enhanced version of this residential program, Rising Earth, to which I’m excited to be contributing through program development, participant mentorship, and facilitation of an Emergent Quest-like group journey woven into participants’ 10-week stay. The journey begins September 2019. For more information, visit the Eco-Institute site.


The Emergent Quest: A Soulcentric Purpose Journey

A three-month, small group journey offered in North Carolina

September 15, 2019 – December 8, 2019

What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?
—David Whyte

This program is an opportunity to fully embrace the unfolding initiatory journey that is your life. With a special emphasis on further discovering and living your most authentic direction and offerings in the world, this quest-based journey amplifies what’s waiting to emerge on the continuing path into one’s deeper nature and greater purpose. Up to eight participants will gather in person over the course of three months as we move toward a solo, full-day wilderness quest based on the pattern of the pan-cultural vision quest. Over the course of these three months, we will encounter layers of ourselves and our conditioning that are ready to transform, heal, and shift; we will open to the core of who we are; we will listen to the authentic direction, soul, and creative expression that wants to come to life in us. Together, we will step into new and unknown territories as we approach the threshold of the larger conversation with life that is wanting to emerge.

This program is suitable both for those who already feel they are following some of the threads of their deeper purpose, as well as for those who feel drawn to discovering these threads or are in a period of transition in their lives. Our journey will incorporate several bodies of work into an integrated, experiential arc, including contemplative and meditative traditions, somatic listening, models of adult human development, and in particular depth psychology and traditions of nature-based practices. The Emergent Quest also includes the 12-module Purpose Discovery Program created by Purpose Guides Institute, a process aimed at uncovering and refining one’s most authentic purpose in the world through the eight facets of Vision, Values, Core Powers, Essence, Giveaway, Task, Message, Mission, and Delivery Systems. We will work with these eight facets both as bridges into a deeper knowing of authentic purpose and as bridges from the core of ourselves to the world through our offerings and roles, while also moving toward glimpses of what Bill Plotkin calls one’s “mytho-poetic” identity—that is, one’s most essential, soulcentric niche to inhabit in the world.

The Purpose Guides Institute’s Purpose Octagon

The Purpose Guides Institute’s Purpose Octagon

Between meetings, participants will engage in soulcentric purpose discovery practices and curriculum with the guidance of the facilitator. During our in-person meetings, we will draw on a variety of sources to deepen our work experientially through guided journeys, contemplative processes, triad and dyad exchanges, nature-based experiences, and council work. We will also discuss relevant materials, exploring themes such as soulcentric models of human development and the role of the imaginal realm, symbol, and mythic and poetic sensibilities. This arc will culminate in our November quest weekend, during which each participant will spend a full day in solo fasting (water only) and ceremony while immersed in the natural beauty of one of our nearby state parks. We will then begin integrating the shifts, insights, and openings of our journey as we prepare for our final meeting as a group. 

Together, we will venture into the potent unknown, preparing to release parts of who we are and allowing ourselves to be awakened and transformed by life. Ultimately, we live our most authentic path by recognizing the journey that is already beckoning and saying yes. In doing so, we discover that listening to our deepest call and living in alignment with our inherent wholeness is the doorway to fully discovering and living our gifts in the world.

I began this journey feeling stuck and a bit lost. I’ve been going through some big changes and knew I needed some guidance. I now feel more clear than ever about who I am, having gained perspective of my personal challenges and strengths. And I feel emboldened to step across this new threshold having had all of the gems and highlights of my journey mirrored back to me. It’s been powerful to experience someone willing to hold space for me, to question and explore the deepest parts of my soul. I would recommend this purpose work to my best friends; to anyone who isn’t satisfied living life on the surface. Anyone ready to open to their Larger Self. It’s a beautiful, intense journey that will challenge you beyond your comfort level. It’s no easy task, but it is oh so worth it!
— 2019 Emergent Quest/Purpose Program Participant
Your presence is so gentle, yet so strong and balanced. You are a mentor, a friend, and a brother. You just create the perfect space for things to manifest themselves. It’s like magic! Thank you for inspiring me.
— 2015 Emergent Quest Participant

Program Details:

Our outdoor meeting space

Our outdoor meeting space

  • Three-month program (September 15–December 8)

  • Maximum of eight participants

  • In-person format (15 minutes from Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC) organized around five in-person group sessions and a weekend quest, complemented by check-in calls, an online forum for our small group only, and practices to engage with between and during group sessions

  • Quest format (culminates in solo, full-day wilderness quest and ceremony in November)

  • Incorporates the Purpose Discovery Program curriculum created by Purpose Guides Institute

  • Price: $650 total (standard) or $495 total (earlybird registration by August 31) (The online, large-group PGI purpose program alone is priced at $1200-$1400; this entire in-person Emergent Quest journey is being offered at a special introductory price.)

  • For those who prefer an individual program rather than a group experience, I also offer a similar journey in an individual setting. Please see the final section of the About page for an overview.

Program Schedule:
(all dates listed are Sundays, except for the Saturday of the quest weekend)

Our indoor meeting space

Our indoor meeting space

  • September 15, 1pm-4:30pm: Meeting 1

  • September 29, 4pm-5:30pm: Call 1 (online)

  • October 13, 1pm-4:30pm: Meeting 2

  • October 27, 4pm-5:30pm: Call 2 (online)

  • November 10, 1pm-4:30pm: Meeting 3

  • November 16-17 all day: Solo quest and preliminary integration

  • November 17, 1pm-4:30pm: Meeting 4

  • (FYI: Thanksgiving 2019 falls on November 28)

  • December 8, 1pm-4:30pm: Meeting 5

To Register:

Complete and submit this short Google Form to register for the Emergent Quest.
We will be in touch with you within two business days.
Please direct all queries to: simon@emergentinquiry.com

Further Information:

To learn more about the program, join me for a group Zoom video call on August 18, 4pm-5pm (EDT).
Register here, and I’ll send you the link for the call as we approach August 18.

It's not possible to save the world by trying to save it. You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift—your true self—is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs.
—Bill Plotkin

About your facilitator:

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Simon Spire brings to his facilitation years of exploration of self-inquiry, non-dual wisdom traditions, and meditative practices; the perspectives of post-conventional human development and soul-centric depth psychology; and his long experience with artistry and the creative process. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Auckland and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Columbia University; is a Certified Trainer of Focusing, a mindfulness-based, somatic approach to psychological healing and development; has completed a yearlong Soulcraft and vision quest immersion with Bill Plotkin and Animas Valley Institute while also certifying as a Purpose Guide through Purpose Guides Institute and studying in Thomas Hübl’s Academy of Inner Science; and is currently pursuing doctoral studies in psychology and philosophy. He has been a director with organizations active in international sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, leadership development, and mental health, and was led from his New Zealand homeland to the US by his career as a recording artist and songwriter.

It’s a gift you have—helping us to open our hearts, dive deep into our feelings, our innermost core, and discovering our light, our spirit, our soul. I can’t wait now to go out and shine my light and explore the depths of my soul even further while connecting at this level with those I already love and those I have yet to meet.
— 2016 Emergent Quest Participant
Thank you for putting me in the right place to grow. You exposed things for me and handed me the tools to get to work. Epiphanies and manifestations and proclamations. I have a notebook full and a future vast and open. I am excited to live! On a high and filled, pressurized with a mass of buzzing energy. Love, I am swelling with love. Thank you for being you and helping me be me.
— 2016 Emergent Quest Participant
Simon is an incredibly gifted facilitator whose unique skills, intuitive insights, and integrated depth of wisdom combine to form a powerful process of authentic, somatic discovery of one’s inner dimensions. Simon has a gentle presence and creates a space for one to contemplate, heal, and reveal new aspects of self. He guides one into layers of acceptance and illuminates the aspects of self that need healing. His reflective questions, deep listening and techniques allow one to touch the core of one’s inner self where the truth resides.
— 2015 Emergent Quest Participant

Liberating the Natural Breath: An Online, Small-Group Journey


An experiential program designed especially for those experiencing air hunger or breathing tension and drawing on transformative development and principles of the Alexander Technique.

Begins December 2, 2018

Breathing is perhaps the most natural thing a human being can do. Why, then, do many people suffer from breathing tension, air hunger, and discomfort? Why is there so much confusion surrounding how to respond to such problems? Liberating the Natural Breath addresses these questions and the struggle we experience when the natural dynamics of our breathing are disrupted. Rather than trying to respond to unconscious tension with even more tension by imposing some conception of “correct” breathing from the outside, Liberating the Natural Breath goes to the core of the dysfunction using principles of the Alexander Technique and inner development. Through physiological understanding, experiential exercises, self-knowledge, and the progressive unwinding of habitual interference, participants are shown the way toward the liberated breath—the easeful, natural, comfortable breath that the body innately knows how to re-establish, if given the opportunity.

Facilitators Simon Spire and Amira Glaser will introduce participants to the elegance and physiological intricacies of the breathing mechanism and the relationships that exist between psychological growth and easeful breathing. They will orient participants to the profound understandings of habit and embodied ease developed by F. M. Alexander (1869-1955), the founder of the Alexander Technique, while also integrating knowledge from Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing. And they will guide participants in their journey toward the deep relief of being at home in one’s own easeful breathing, a process that is rich with newfound freedom, insight, and self-discovery.

This course is designed to be a potent and very specific addition to in-person Alexander Technique instruction whenever possible.


Included in this class:

  • 4 live group classes, each including facilitation and class content; guided experiences; possible paired or small-group activities; group discussion; and individual reflection and exploration. (Each class will run between 90 minutes and 120 minutes.)

  • A 50-minute, private, one-on-one session with Simon.

  • Suggested weekly activities between classes.

  • Class size limited to a maximum of 8 participants to ensure individual attention and space for discussion.

  • Live sessions will be held via video conferencing using Zoom and will take place Sundays, 1pm-3pm Eastern Time. The first three classes will be held on December 2, 9, and 16. The final group class will be held on January 13 so that participants can all share their progress since the December classes and have further questions addressed.

  • Guidance in finding an Alexander Technique teacher in your local area for continuing to deepen the work in-person.

  • Total price: Earlybird rate: $300 if paid by November 18. Standard rate: $350 if paid after November 18. Tuition payable by PayPal.

To Register:

  • Step 1: Complete and submit the short form at the bottom of this page.

  • Step 2: We will contact you within two business days.

  • Step 3: After contacting you, we will send a PayPal or Venmo invoice. Once paid, your place in this small-group journey is confirmed.

Please direct all questions to: simon@emergentinquiry.com

More about this course:

The lead-up to this course offering has a long history. Simon began experiencing pronounced air hunger and breathing difficulties in 2001. After a long journey, he eventually discovered the way back to the natural breath largely through the Alexander Technique. When he wrote about the process in the article Discovering the Liberated Breath, he was surprised to learn how many people experienced both the same struggles and the same near-absence of solutions from health care professionals. Over the years of conversing with people who contacted him after reading the article, he started to realize the need for a more structured delivery of information, explorations, and practices that could support this community. One-on-one sessions can be great, but a class allows for a broader communication of essential information at a lower cost, while also providing a forum for us to learn from the experience of others dealing with similar challenges.

Amira has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 2005. She has also studied extensively with Jessica Wolf, the founder of the Art of Breathing technique based on the work of F. M. Alexander and Carl Stough. Amira is a certified Art of Breathing teacher, a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, and a licensed acupuncturist. Lucky for Simon, he found Amira in 2008 after moving to New York and began the awesome journey of embodied freedom invited by the AT.

About your facilitators:


Amira Glaser is a Wellbeing Partner for those on a journey of healing and self-discovery. Amira creates her practice from a deep respect and love for human nature and our innate ease and capacity for healing. In her own journey with artistic expression, back & neck pain, auto-immune dis-ease, and a love for nature and organic self-expression, Amira found her way to becoming first a teacher of the Alexander Technique, then an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner. She bridges these Eastern & Western understandings of health, balance, and the power of non-doing, and draws on their transformative teachings for each individual’s unique needs.

Amira is a North Carolina Licensed Acupuncturist, a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine (Acupuncture & Herbology) with the NCCAOM, an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher, she also holds certification in Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing, and in Jeffery Yuen’s Classical Chinese Dietary Therapy.

Learn more about Amira’s journey and her work with Jessica Wolf’s Art of Breathing.


Simon Spire’s transformative framework, Emergent Inquiry, invites people into a space in which shifts can happen. He brings to his facilitation years of exploration of self-inquiry, non-dual wisdom traditions, and meditative practices; the perspectives of developmental and depth psychology; and his long experience with artistry and the creative process. Simon holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Auckland; a master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University; is a Certified Trainer of Focusing, a mindfulness-based, somatic approach to psychological healing and development; has completed a yearlong soulcraft immersion and vision quest with Bill Plotkin and Animas Valley Institute; and is currently pursuing doctoral studies. His life has been inspired by two interrelated, core questions: what is the nature of full human development and flourishing, and how can we create more life-supporting economic dynamics in our world? This exploration has also led him to involvement as a director with organizations active in the fields of leadership development, mental health, social entrepreneurship, and sustainable development. He is currently affiliated with Post Growth Institute, the Eco-Institute at Pickards Mountain, and the Center for Ecozoic Studies. He found himself on an emergent quest of his own years ago when he was led from his New Zealand homeland to the US by his career as a recording artist and songwriter. Learn more on the About and Bio pages of this site.

Register for Liberating the Natural Breath

Please complete and submit this form to register for Liberating the Natural Breath. We will contact you within two business days to complete registration. Please direct any questions to simon@emergentinquiry.com

Name *