We often try to identify heroes and thought leaders in the mediation community, often without success. While at first sight it may seem strange a description of the Tsarist mystic, Rasputin struck a chord with me the other day.
His story remains astonishing even after all the previous tellings…He suddenly broke with family routine embarking on several years of pilgrimage, returning home only intermittently. This period of spiritual quest and adventure honed his gift of psychological insight and persuasion: as he wandered from one set of strangers to another, he learned to assess them rapidly, speak to their fears and concerns, and exude rough-hewn sanctity 
Okay, not all of us have got our “rough-hewn sanctity” nailed down quite yet. But the rest of it seems on point.
Moreover, it turns out that Rasputin was in fact frequently ignored by the Romanovs who he was popularly supposed to hold in his thrall. It was probably Rasputin who advised the Tsar shortly before the revolution that he needed to regain the confidence of his people. “Nonsense”, replied Nicholas, “It is they who must regain my confidence”.
Well we have all had private sessions like that.
A new mediation thought leader?
I give you Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin.
 Full of Ecstasy and Fire, Stephen Lovell, Times Literary Supplement 17th February 2017