Mateo Fred Koehler

Golden Heart Bear

Mateo generates respect from others – and for others – by his very presence; he listens and is available. Mateo very much embodies grace – and as such, has a deep well of humility.  His long work with and commitment to children through “CASA” testifies to his lasting legacy.

Mateo holds space in a gracious and sovereign way. He understands and holds the “center,” and helps to bring a clear sense of sacred space to around him.
Mateo’s heart (Golden Heart Bear!) is radiant and his gentle creativity springs from his own deep vulnerability and authenticity. Besides that, he has a great sense of humor Mateo is one of the most natural elders in the Northern California community. His ability to listen with curiosity, love, and compassion is unparalleled. His natural elder presence holds space for the sacred and the vulnerable and inspires others – even if they don’t realize it when it’s happening.

On Thursday on one NWTA weekend, a man was sobbing uncontrollably on his shoulder in front of the lodge for all to see. Mateo never spoke. He just listened and then held the man in his arms with compassion and vulnerability. His silent love and eldership were exactly what was needed at that moment. The space he held for the man to be sad and afraid, and to let his vulnerability be seen by other men, set the tone for the entire weekend in a truly amazing way. Mateo is an elder in every sense of the word.