So, what was the motivation for this site and my company???What motivated me to finally develop this business and create this web site to promote it? Good question!
Simple...starting around 1998, through a friend I met at the coffee shop in Long Beach, CA I spent time at, I was introduced to one book that radically changed my life. I think I'll highlight that event and its impact on me first, and then fill in the supporting background that led to it!
The book is "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda. It details Yogananda's life and journey to the US to help build a bridge between western business strengths and Eastern (India in particular) spiritual strengths. Without going into detail here, I will simply say it is a beautiful writing by an amazing human being.
That reading led to almost 13 years of continuing study of the human spirit, a subject that had held my attention on and off during most of my life. Roughly four years after the first reading, and several books in that subject area later, I decided to re-read the book. During that re-reading, I was sitting outside in my backyard one afternoon reading it. After completing a particular paragraph I set the book in my lap to contemplate what I had just read.
Without warning, something that still defies explanation, and for which there are no words to adequately express the depth and intensity of what happened, the following occurred...
Starting at my fingertips and toes, and moving rapidly inward to the center of my body, all feeling or awareness of my physical body left me. I still recall my initial reaction and thoughts - "Am I having a stroke? A heart attack? What's going on here?" The next awareness I had was of being in a brilliant white light, so brilliant as to be beyond description, so bright it made the sun appear as a guttering candle about to extinguish. Present within this light were the energy patterns of innumerable beings, not in physical body forms, but energy forms nonetheless, including everyone, human and animal, I had ever known, past or present. In that instant, an awareness struck me that time and space as we think of them do not actually exist, but are constructs we have made up in an attempt to explain something beyond explanation. There was an intense feeling of absolute peace and joy, beyond anything I could previously have conceived of. I had no idea how long I was in this state - it could have been a moment, or hours...again, there was absolutely no sense of time! My next awareness was of feeling my chest again, and a reversal of the first process - becoming aware of my physical self as the awareness of arms, legs, fingers and toes returned. I realized my cheeks were wet with tears of absolute joy, the likes of which I had never before experienced.
So what was it? A momentary stroke? A brief instant of loss of all sanity? A second of escape from the pressures and stresses all of us feel at times being in this physical body on this physical earth? To be truly honest, I don't actually know. Various religions, cultures and belief systems have made up a number of labels - epiphany, holy instant, and miracle come to mind among others. Call it whatever I will, there is no name, and no words, that can properly describe the depth and intensity of this experience. It sounds very much like what I have read about people who have had near-death-experiences, particularly the element of the amazing white light.
The one thing I can say with assurance is that nothing has been the same since. Never had I experienced such a level of joy in simply being as I have known since. Never had I been able to let go of the myriad of fears we are taught as has occurred since. Perhaps more importantly, never had the concept of "eternity" that the Bible and other books speak of made any real sense to me in this time based existence we find ourselves in until this experience had befallen me.
Over the next several years, while continuing to read in the subject area, a few more experiences occurred that finally led me to this point. The first occurred one evening just around dusk, as I was standing in my front yard watering the lawn. An experience similar to the one noted above occurred, wherein I felt to have "checked out" of my self for an instant. In that instant, a voice stated rather loudly one word - "TEACH!" I recall thinking by way of reply "who, what, when, where, teach what?" and came out of it feeling more puzzled and confused than anything else. Fast forward a month or so later, again watering the lawn around dusk, when the same thing occurred again - a voice loudly stating one word - "TEACH!", yet this time with that word came an unstated assurance, almost as clear as if spoken aloud, that said, "Don't worry about who, what, when where...you will kow".
Will I know? Do I know? I have no idea, I only undertsand that this path has unfolded before me. Numerous people, some who are aware of the background I just shared here, others who are not, have told me I should start a church, or teach, that I seem to "get" people, that they feel an ease of being around me that lets them open up to me as they are seldom able to do with others. To share intimate aspects of their life or being, without feeling they may be judged or "put down" for whatever it is they share.
I do know that the greatest passion I have known in my life is those times I have been able to help others realize a beauty or strength in themselves they may not have known previously. I also know that there is nothing special or different about me that allowed me to have this amazing experience, that is not available to every other living being. I now realize that the only requirement to awakening to our incredible power and beauty within this Creation is, first and foremost, a genuine desire to have a change in our lives. To move beyond the day to day pain and suffering we see and experience all around us. More importantly perhaps, is a willingness to see that by remaining stuck in our old beliefs and the teachings that brought them to us, we unknowingly and unintentionally contribute to that pain and suffering, both our own, and that of the people around us in our lives.