In memory and honor of Tav Sparks

(Recent passing of a River Watch Board Member)

In memory of Tav Sparks, the recent passing of a River Watch Board Member

Tav was incredibly generous of himself, his time, anything he had to give. He’d want the best of whatever was available to go to others. He would stay with a breather for countless hours. He loved to prepare food for people; to share the movies and music he loved; to see the best in each person he encountered; and to keep telling and showing them what he saw until they saw it too.

He was a brilliant teacher with an incredible mind. He wove magic into his work with self-deprecating humor, extravagantly elegant mannerisms, quirky southern expressions, and a knowledge of spiritual systems and understanding of holotropic principles that went both deep and wide.  He would always worry about messing up, but somehow when he started to speak, it flowed through him in a way that was both inspired and inspiring.

Tav wrote and had published three deep and wide-ranging books on spirituality and healing relating to addiction recovery, movie-watching and the holotropic paradigm, plus a book of poetry and a training manual, and five professionally recorded CDs that give listeners a feel for his teaching. Even before he lost his memory, whenever he’d pick up one of his books and look at it, he’d be surprised and say, “I wrote that?” as if it was too good to have come from him.  You might not know that he also wrote seven screenplays, with the same talent and flair that he brought to everything else he did.

I believe Tav’s greatest lasting contributions – in addition to our memories of him, his books, and recordings of his teaching – are the Awareness Positioning System (APS) and his fierce devotion to what he termed “Radical Personal Empowerment.”  This last takes the concept of the inner healing impulse and extends it as far as it’s possible to go.  In healing work, there is nothing more essential to a person’s well-being than that which comes from within – and anything that doesn’t support, or leads away from, that emergence is doing the person a disservice and taking power from where it belongs, which is with the individual.