Melinda C. 'Mo' Maxfield|
Resident of Saratoga
Mo Maxfield left this life on January 9, 2014, after several years of failing health. Born Melinda Cemira Harrison on September 17, 1940, in Waco, Texas, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority at Texas Tech, graduate of 1962. While a counselor at Camp Longhorn near Austin, she met Bob (Robert Roy) Maxfield; they married in 1964. Before the birth of her daughters, Mo taught high school English and did research for Encyclopedia Britannica, where she first encountered the subject of shamanism.
Mo's interests turned to spirituality and psychology. She became a competent astrologer. She received a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Menlo Park. Her doctoral dissertation on indigenous drumming practices made a significant contribution to the field of ethno-musicology and has been cited in journals and books. Using EEG tests, her research proved that shamanic drumming puts subjects into a natural altered state of consciousness. Her book and CD, "Drumming the I Ching," is used in hospitals and schools because of the healing impact on ADD, dyslexia, stroke recovery, and other medical issues.
Mo was known for her extensive work with indigenous peoples, including Native American medicine men, shamans from Mongolia and South America, and Maori elders. She made a significant contribution to the preservation of indigenous wisdoms and their healing modalities. She served as executive director of the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research and on the boards of the Amazon Conservation Team and The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Straight-forward advice to friends and family was a hallmark of Mo's. Many people have expressed gratitude for her help in navigating life's path.
Mo is survived by her ex-husband Bob, her daughter Melinda, son-in-law Dave Hatchett, and her two beloved granddaughters, Mary Jane and Rowan. Her younger daughter Mary Jane succumbed to leukemia in 1986.
Mo will be deeply missed by family, friends, and colleagues. A private memorial service will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary Jane Maxfield Memorial Fund at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, The Amazon Conservation Team, the Angeles Arrien Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research, or The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Jan. 19, 2014