So, before we start, I’ll tell you a little bit about me and my story. Just as much as anyone, I’m familiar with the ins and outs of daily modern living. I’m aware of the challenges of everyday life. I’m a meditation teacher, but I’m not a monk in a monastery. I’ve found that meditation is a different way to approach life, yet I’m a regular person just like you.
I started out with no knowledge of meditation. I wasn’t born in India. I didn’t grow up in a family of hippies. And I don’t wear robes. I grew up in Maryland. I wear normal clothes. And I went to a normal high school and university. But the one thing that I have known my entire life is that I wanted to live a life in which I followed my heart and found my passion.
This passion of mine, meditation, is the product of many years of search. I’ve traveled quite extensively. I’ve lived in many of the major cities around the United States, and I’ve visited a variety of other countries. And I always traveled because I thought that each new circumstances would bring happiness and inspire creativity. I thought that each new circumstance would help me find myself and help me discover my purpose in life. But alas, I found that each new circumstance would not. I found that the more I traveled, the more the solutions to my everyday problems would evade me. And I found that the more I traveled, the more frustrated I became.
So I started reading books. Lots of them. I ate them like apples. I read philosophy especially and found many inspiring works. Alain de Botton, the author and philosopher, often wrote about the tendency of people to travel the far lands, seeking something, only to encounter disappointment and delusion. In his book, The Art of Travel , he said, “The sole cause of a man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” The Roman emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, shared a similar sentiment. In his book, Meditations, he said something to this effect: “Men seek retreats for themselves — houses in the country, seas-shores, and mountains — and I too want those things. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for you have the power to access any of this, at any time, by going deeply within.”
So with these words, and others like them, I opened to the possibility that I could actually find myself, find my purpose, and find great happiness and creativity, by diving directly within. Through this opening, I stumbled upon a variety of incredible teachers and fascinating institutions. And through these teachers and institutions, I came to understand the importance of meditation, not only for resolving the stresses and concerns of my everyday life, but for discovering my fullest potential.
I studied with teachers of diverse abilities, and I visited and studied the mission and histories of diverse establishments, such as the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and the Kripalu Institute in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. When I first met each of my teachers, I had so many questions. So I asked them. How could I find myself? How could I find my purpose? And how could I find great happiness and creativity? And again and again, their answer was meditate, meditate, meditate.
Meditation, I want to propose, is your grand opportunity in life to find true happiness and creativity. And meditation is your grand opportunity in life to find yourself, to find you .
Now, who are you? Just ask yourself, who am I? Well, whatever your response, it’s one that I want to challenge and explore as we proceed together. Because I bet that you aren't who you think you are. My guess is that whatever your answer to the question — who am I? — the actual answer points to something much greater. Because I believe that you are not just some ordinary and boring person walking around. You are pure potential, waiting to actualize your infinite abilities through physical, mental, and spiritual development.
Meditation is your opportunity in life to find everything that you’ve always been seeking, your greatest creativity and happiness, which always rests within you, not hinging on external circumstances.
Well, I hope you’ll agree. But join me on this journey. I promise you it will be a great one.