Intro to How it Works

In the Deep Currents Course: You listen for the murmurs and urges that reading the Crossing the Unknown Sea book provokes within you. You deepen your awareness through journal reflections in response to powerful journal questions. You achieve new glimmers of your truth, prompted by videos of David Whyte poetry readings, interspersed with the Deep Currents journal questions. And you listen for the stirrings of the heart in your colleagues’ sharing during the eight, one-hour group sessions.

Barry Heermann Deep Currents

David Whyte Crossing the Unknown Sea

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Home Page Testimonials

What Participants Say About the Deep Currents Course:

The Deep Current Course was an incredibly valuable experience that challenged, delighted, and inspired me. I recommend it to anyone, at any phase of their life or career. It reaffirmed my current path while asking me to dig deeper, to develop stronger ties with self-worth, fulfillment, boldness, and purpose — to articulate my belonging in the world through my work.

The Facilitator, prompting our deep dive into David Whyte’s wonderful book, provided a compassionate and piercing look into the deeper meaning of work, bringing an authenticity that was uniquely profound. It was the first time I had such a strikingly honest conversation with colleagues, and it took away much of the “otherness” that limited my potential. We laughed together, realizing that many of the things we all struggled with privately and rarely express or examine – acceptance, fear, uncertainty, anxiety – are universal, creating a context that was extremely empowering. I am more confident in my work and in my life because of this experience. Like good poetry, the Deep Currents Course provided a breadth of impact that meets me where I am today, perfectly.

— Emily Seibel


Through the Deep Current Course I discovered untapped inner gifts — including creativity, finding and expressing beauty, and achieving heart connection with humanity. I came to see a way to engage in work that gave as much to me as it did to others. I saw that I was not separate from my work, family, God and community.

This was accomplished through provocative questions, journaling, and the collective wisdom of the group. Everything became possible as my colleagues and I shared stories of courageous acts of leaving behind the familiar and unrewarding, achieving greater meaning and purpose. As a result, I shifted my relationship to work. I learned to say No to that which did not support my values and Yes to my essential self. My work began to feel more like play. I left behind preconceived ideas and fears, opening me to a world that greets me with open arms, rewarding me on every level, spiritual, financial, emotional.

— Annee Hayden Martin


Participating in the Deep Current Course helped me move from cynicism to faithfulness, through the vehicle of connection. I now know, at an even deeper level, that it doesn’t matter that you are alone. What does matter is that when you are connected, everything matters. My work with Deep Currents helped create that connection for me.

— Dr. Jude Gladstone Cade


The Deep Current Course was overflowing with profound insight and wisdom and yet it employed a simple, intuitive approach that made an important difference in my life. I have been taking courses that explore personal development themes for over 10 years, and what I loved about the Deep Currents Course is that, unlike some more esoteric offerings, it could be applied so simply in my life. The Deep Currents Course summarizes the most pertinent and meaningful insights, based on a guided study using the David Whyte book, all focused on living one’s life on purpose. The real learning comes from engaging the process and sharing vulnerably with class participants. My Facilitator’s tender and gentle spirit embraced all of my colleagues and me participating in our Deep Currents Course.

— Jennifer Blalock


Working with a diverse group of participants in the Deep Currents Course was an inspiring and life changing spiritual experience for me. Our Facilitator was a gentle magician, enabling and encouraging us to look below our verbal responses to the pools and rivers living beneath our words. Sharing at such vulnerable levels with the participants was enlightening, offering a well of new and fresh perspectives on old stories and patterns.

Having my adult daughter participate from across the country was truly amazing and an opportunity we could not have shared otherwise. She and I continue to grow and change in the depth of our communications, our trust, and our regard for one another. My gratitude for these gifts continues to evolve in wonderful and unexpected ways these many months later. I would very much like to participate again in the Deep Currents Course to travel even further and to see more clearly into myself, my loved ones, and our shared human experience.

— Cathy Ledeker


I embarked on the Deep Currents Course journey, using David Whyte’s amazing book, Crossing the Unknown Sea, via telephone conferencing with a remarkable group of people, led by a Deep Currents Facilitator who brought a sweet depth to each session, inviting us to relate the reading to our own lives. The book itself was so satisfying, and the Deep Currents Facilitator’s approach brought it ‘home’ to each of us.

Many new career insights emerged from this experience, but it was a startling personal awareness that was so liberating. I had been keeping something from my partner, and what I was withholding became conscious for me as a result of Deep Currents. David Whyte suggested that vulnerability was the place where real interpersonal connection is made. Upon reading this, I realized that I had resisted showing my weakness, my underbelly, out of fear of being weak and undesirable. I knew I had to push through the wall of denial to get to a place of authenticity. I am still in the middle of this dance – I can’t say that everything has worked out. But I now know that I am able to maintain my integrity and grow into my own strength, free of doubt and hiding. I am so grateful for my Deep Currents colleagues and Facilitator for creating the context for me to honor that pure and vulnerable place within myself, from which Life and Love flows eternal.

— Patricia Dallas


Amidst a whirlwind of change in my life — returning to the US from living out of the country, starting a new household, and beginning a graduate degree — the Deep Currents Course kept me grounded and focused on my values. David Whyte’s words have been an inspiration and a peaceful retreat for me for the past 16 years of my life. Connecting with a community of other individuals, at different places in their lives, around David Whyte’s words and wisdom, was incredibly nourishing for my soul. I was so amazed at how, over the phone, and from different corners of the world, the Deep Currents Facilitator was able to prompt deep conversation and connection. I’ve never felt so close to people so far away. We may have never met in person, but David Whyte, through the Facilitator’s able guidance, introduced us and gave us a “knowing” of each other far more personal than had we shaken each others’ hands. I am so grateful for the Deep Currents Course, for the grounding it gave me during a time of significant transition, and the inspiration to search for spiritual community like that experienced in the Deep Currents Course.

— Katie Spencer

1. Read


1. Read David Whyte’s Crossing the Unknown Sea book

Take your time. Savor the wisdom of the tale David Whyte tells of his crossings. Pay attention to how his experience evokes memories and recollections of your own life/work journey. Make notes in the margins of all awarenesses, insights, and inner promptings that arise within you. Highlight those passages that most speak to you for later sharing  with your colleagues during class sessions.

2. Reflect


2. Reflect on the text and then respond to the Deep Currents Course journaling questions

Contemplate and then journal about any life experiences prompted by the journal questions, consulting your margin notes from Crossing the Unknown Sea. Notice any images, bodily sensations, or emotions that may surface, and include those observations in your journal entry.

3. Share


3. Share your journaling awarenesses with colleagues

Convey your journal insights, awarenesses, and illumination to your course colleagues through a 30-second, “deep dive” share. Listen for what emerges from others. Notice how their reflections prompt new thinking for you, sharing your changing moment by moment observations.

Deep Currents Learning Cycle

The “learning cycle” for the eight session Deep Currents Course:


1. Book


All you need is David Whyte’s best selling book, Crossing the Unknown Sea — Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity (Riverhead Books). Whyte’s accounting of his life and work serves as the basis for this insightful reading/journaling/sharing experience. David has introduced poetry as a tool for self-understanding and renewal for individuals committed to exploring the depths of meaning and purpose in life and work.

2. Internet

In the Deep Currents Course, Barry Heermann, author of the book, Noble Purpose, complements Whyte’s thoughtful narrative with journaling exercises designed to reveal new understanding about one’s truest, deepest calling. Barry is a gifted teacher who employs experiential learning techniques for revealing the soul of our true calling. All you need is internet availability to access the journal questions, the electronic journal, and periodic David Whyte videos.

3. Group Sharing

The eight-part Deep Currents Course incorporates deep, probing sharing with colleagues in the comfort of your own home or work place. Drawing upon your reading of David Whyte’s thoughtful book, your responses to journaling questions, and inquiry with group participants, you achieve new life/ work understanding. This inquiry with colleagues is guided by your group’s Deep Currents Facilitator.