From:Mandala April - June 2014
Chayim Douglas Barton, 59, died in
Aptos, California, United States,
November 14, 2013, after a bicycle
By Yakov A. Barton
Chayim was a psychologist who traveled a
vibrant and healing spiritual journey. He
drew from Jewish, Tibetan Buddhist and
Native American traditions and had a
transformative effect on his family, friends
Chayim graduated from the Univer-
sity of California, Santa Cruz in 1982 with
a double major in psychology and religious
studies. He was introduced to Tibetan
Buddhism in the spring quarter of 1978.
He enrolled in a course led by Lama Yeshe.
By the end of the quarter, Chayim was so
impressed with the teachings of Lama Yeshe that he continued to study Tibetan
Buddhism and practiced his vows until the
end of his life.
In 1980 he embarked on a nine-
month pilgrimage and field study that lead
him around the world. Most of his journey
was spent in Nepal and India. His three-
month stay in Nepal included a lam-rim
course at Kopan Monastery, teaching the
young monks English and yoga and
trekking along the Jomsom Trail in the
Himalayas. In Dharamsala, he stayed at the
Tushita Meditation Centre. He stood in a
long line of hundreds of people at Losar to
be able to greet His Holiness the Dalai
Lama. In 1983 he participated in the Six
Yogas of Naropa taught by Lama Yeshe at
Vajrapani Institute in California. He was
also present at Lama Yeshe’s cremation.
Chayim obtained his Ph.D. from the
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in
Menlo Park, California, in 1990. His disser-
tation was titled Jungian Psychology and the
Mahamudra in Vajrayana Buddhism.
He had a psychotherapy practice in
Soquel and led vision quests in the deserts
and mountains to help people seek out
deeper meanings and reconnect with the
Earth. He engaged people in joyous rituals
that were inclusive, musical and infused
with love. Chayim was a shaman, a sailor,
a kayaker, a backpacker, a bicyclist and an
amazing downhill skier. He was an avid
drummer and lovingly crafted ornate
drums and rattles from buffalo hides,
sticks and bones. He loved the sacred and
the absurd. Chayim lived a life unencum-
bered by fear.
Chayim was a devoted husband and
adventure companion to Shamaya for 40
years. He was a beautiful father to Yakov
and his fiancée Cynthia, son to Stan and
Sharon, brother to Dan and Lynn, and
uncle to Dimi, Chelo, Miquel and Jaume.
He fought for many hours to recover from
a bicycle accident he suffered on his way
to work, but could not win that battle.