Peter Fortunato, MFA, CHT Poet & Artist, Novelist, Certified Hypnotherapist, Ordained Minister
Welcome! You’ve found my website. On this homepage is basic information about me and my professional services. On this site you’ll also find information about my literary activities, a gallery of my artwork, and links to my social media platforms where I post various material related to all my fields of work.
My latest publication is a memoir, Desert Wind: My Life in Qatar. It’s available in print and e-book formats. Ask for it at your local bookstore or order it online: https://www.amazon.com/Desert-Wind-My-Life-Qatar/dp/1681114941
I lived and worked in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar during an exciting, transformational time for that Muslim nation, as well for me, personally and professionally. I taught at the newly opened branch of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s capital, Doha. My memoir is a rich account of the surreal quality of life in this petroleum-wealthy, desert nation.
Learn more at my publisher’s website: https://cayugalakebooks.com
My critically acclaimed novel, Carnevale, is available in print and e-book formats. Click on this link to my publisher’s website for complete information and easy, on line purchasing: https://www.fomitepress.com/carnevale.html
Pulitzer Prize winning, best selling author Alison Lurie said, “Carnevale is a classic bildungsroman focusing on the emotional and intellectual education of its hero, Guido Diamante, with vivid portraits of the world he grows up in, the important people in his life as a child and adolescent, and his gradual discovery of who he will become. It is also an absorbing story of an immigrant family and the grand Hudson Valley resort they built in the years after World War II.
I have been in private practice for 30 years as a practitioner of complementary alternative medicine working in several mind/body modalities. My present focus is on the use of hypnosis as a tool for self-knowledge, Reiki energetic healing, shamanism, and Buddhist-based counseling. I help people to learn about themselves so as to enable their personal and spiritual growth.
If you’re a past client of mine and we’ve done hypnotherapy, talk-therapy, professional coaching, or marriage counseling, I’m still available to you, but I believe I can best be of help to people who are seeking spiritual ways to wholeness and fulfillment. I am not a mental health practitioner, and I do not accept insurance reimbursements. For more information, read the page “21stCentury Shamanism,” and contact me personally to learn about my rates for any work you might want to do with me.
This painting on paper entitled “A and All the Rest” says several things about my work as an artist, author, and hypnotherapist. On one level, the title refers to the first letter of the alphabet, rendered here in one of my favorite tones of blue: sky blue, light blue, baby blue, call it what you will: the name of a hue is provisional, and in fact, I can’t say that I even intended the shape of the letter A when the paint came off my palette knife. Like most of my artwork and writing, the process was inductive; that is, over time, amounting to a finished composition.
I create in order to see what it is that I see, and I write in order to discover what it is that I have to say. This places emphasis on the unconscious mind as the matrix of creativity. The conscious mind, the critical mind, the part of me that decides how to further a work by shaping it to express an idea, usually comes forward afterwards.
The unconscious mind is far more powerful and aware than we ordinarily assume: we believe we’re in charge of our thoughts, but on closer observation, for example during hypnotic trance or during meditation, we might realize how, in effect, our thoughts are thinking themselves, unless we take control of them, as we do when deliberating on a topic. Even in such instances, however, we might scratch our heads and ask ourselves, “Where did that idea come from?”
A final thought on this subject and this painting, “A and All the Rest”: the background came first, a delightful dance of colors and lines, playful splashing on a piece of paper without a goal in mind; but then, on looking at it and recognizing that I wasn’t satisfied with what I’d done so far, something in me called for that blue slash of sky in the foreground. When I saw it as the letter A, the title came to me. It could be pronounced Ah—the primordial sound of creation according to the Tibetan tradition of Dzogchen, which is translated as The Natural Great Perfection.
For many years I taught writing at both Cornell University and Ithaca College, and from 2005 through 2009 I taught at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. There, my writing seminars for the Pre-Medical Program introduced future doctors from all over the world to literature in English, as well as to such subjects as narrative medicine and psychology.
I’m non-sectarian, and I’m always interested in how others make sense of their reality. However, as a Buddhist practitioner for more than 50 years, I have applied its principles in many settings and with diverse people. As an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church I frequently perform non-sectarian and interdenominational services, including weddings.
Telephone me to talk about yourself or send me an e-mail. Take some time at my website—and thank you for visiting!
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