Robert Augustus Masters was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1947. From an early age he was an avid artist and dreamer, but in high school switched to the sciences, with which he stayed until he found himself at the age of 21 in a PhD program in biochemistry. Little more than a year later, only a few hours after a dream of ecstatic dying, he left his doctoral studies, and began an odyssey of intense travel, initially outer, then inner.
As he did so, his passion for the arts reemerged, especially through writing. He began meditating, doing yoga, and exploring cutting-edge therapies and trainings. By 1978 he was working as a therapist and bodyworker. From the beginning his work was integral and spontaneous, creatively combining the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Structure was not (and still is not) preset, but was (and still is) allowed to emerge in accordance with individual and group needs.
In 1981 he won his first literary prize — an all-expenses paid trip for two to Hawaii — for his story of a particularly perilous Indonesian adventure he’d had 8 years earlier. This spurred him to immerse himself more fully in his writing. He also deepened his psychospiritual work, which spread worldwide in the late 1980s.
In early 1994 his life abruptly and dramatically changed, following an extremely harrowing near-death experience, which is described in his book Darkness Shining Wild. Nine months later he resumed his work with individuals and groups, but in a much more compassionate, radically inclusive manner, emphasizing the art of becoming intimate with all that we are. Robert became a student again, completing a PhD program in psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in 1999; his dissertation — an interdisciplinary, psychospiritual investigation of anger — received the highest possible award (dissertation with distinction). In 1998 he co-edited the Fall issue of ReVision: A Journal of Consciousness and Transformation (the theme of the issue being “Intimate Relationships and Spirituality”).
Evolving in fitting parallel with Robert’s relationally-rooted psychospiritual work has been his writing, so much so that his original books, published before 1994 (and now out of print), no longer represent his current work, except for containing some of the seeds of how he now works.
He is the author not only of thirteen books, but of numerous essays. In 2000 his essay “Wrathful Compassion” won the Editor’s Award for the best article of the year in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. His essays have appeared in a number of publications, most recently Spanda Journal. His books have received critical acclaim; Christiane Northrup, Jean Houston, Ken Wilber, and Jack Kornfield are among those who have strongly endorsed his writing. In 2008 his book Transformation Through Intimacy was a Nautilus Book Awards finalist (Silver Winner).
His six CD program Knowing Your Shadow: Becoming Intimate with All that You Are (published by Sounds True) was released in the Spring of 2013. He has been widely interviewed, including by New Dimensions Radio, Tami Simon, and Ken Wilber. Robert also has a strong online presence, with a Facebook fan page that he regularly contributes to.
In 2003 he began training students in his way of working, through yearlong apprenticeship programs.
In March 2005 he met Diane Bardwell. Diane found Robert through his website, read some of his poetry, and emailed (she was in California at the time, Robert in British Columbia) to ask if she could possibly convert one of his poems to a song. A year later they were married. They had an uncommonly close bond right from the beginning, and soon were working together. By 2008 they were doing all their sessions, groups, and trainings side-by-side. They have lived in Ashland, Oregon since 2010, and are now focused on training programs to teach/transmit their transformational approach to working through whatever obstructs well-being.
Robert and Diane have established the Masters Center for Transformation, a school through which their work and teachings can be optimally shared and embodied.
Robert’s books include:
Transformation Through Intimacy 2007