My Journey to a Life of Mindful Mentorship
I’ve spent more than 55 years now shaping my personal framework for living a fulfilled, driven, and compassionate life. And I truly believe that the strategies I pass along to my students have tremendous power to reshape their life experience and outlook for the better — but before you listen to any advice I give, I think it is important that you know the story behind the teacher passing along the wisdom you intake.
Where it All Began
Harmless as it may seem, that comment became an inherent truth in my mind. I didn’t know it yet, but he had planted what is known in Buddhism as a bijah, or a seed memory that started shaping my reality before I even had the tools to ignore it. I believed I was uncoordinated, clumsy, awkward. I became an introvert and shied away from challenges simply because that was the truth I had.
But then I found martial arts…
Beginning My Quest Toward Building My Own Reality
At some point in my childhood, I remember sneaking into the living room when I should have been in bed and seeing my parents watching a James Bond movie. On screen there were ninjas flying around the scene — I was hooked immediately. I had always hated injustice and watching others suffer, and martial arts presented a perfect path to becoming the protector and sage I wanted to be.
Within days, I had convinced my mother to sign me up for Judo lessons, and over the next 10+ years martial arts became my life. I worked tirelessly to improve, earned multiple black belts, won tournaments all over the country, and while I didn’t realize the importance of it quite yet, I proved my father’s simple assertion wrong time and time again.
My skills were developing, my competition was dwindling, and my ego was exploding, and then I met a man that completely changed my life.
Evolving Into a More Mindful Existence
As I was moving up in the world of martial arts in my teens, at some point someone handed me some Dale Carnegie books. Those books sparked in me an obsession with the human condition that I continued studying over the next few years. I began to shape opinions about how we make decisions, how our actions come to pass, and how we control our emotions.
But what really changed my course forever was a meeting I was lucky to be awarded with a gentleman who was the first American ever to be accepted for authentic ninja training under the tutelage of the 34th generation ninja grandmaster.
During this meeting, he asked me to punch him…and damn if I didn’t try. When I swung for him, a blur hit me. I landed in a pile upside down with no understanding of how I arrived. He was world’s beyond my skill — realms above my understanding of what the body could do.
And as we talked, I learned that he understood things about the human condition I couldn’t yet comprehend, which gave him incredible power to control his reality in ways most could not.
Shaping My Own Outlook
After my meeting with this master, I was on a quest. I needed to understand the fundamental psychological, spiritual, and physical truths available to us all that allow us to achieve the mindfulness and mastery this man had shown me.
Over the next four decades, I studied everything from Buddhist teachings and metaphysics to western psychology and neuroscience. I dove head first into various traditions of spirituality training, personal leadership development, and the science of the mind to develop a core set of beliefs which have shaped my and my students’ life experiences.
Over decades of studying and experimenting, my objective has always been to cut through the dogma and window dressing to focus on what is practical and effective; minimum effort, maximum results. Personally, these practical techniques have helped me overcome the toughest challenges in my life. Challenges like a marriage ending, inherited anxiety disorder, and eventually my toughest challenge of all, prostate cancer. Just like my students who have used my framework to face challenges like addiction, marital issues, career stagnation, or depression, I have been able to train my mind and body to face these challenges from a place of creativity, compassion and confidence rather than fear and frustration — and it has truly saved my life.
Let’s Build Your Roadmap to a Reality You Want to Live
My story is one that is still evolving every day, and I invite you to join me on our quest to enhance the realities we live in through mindful training of our thoughts, speech and actions!