About Me • A Brief Summary
I incarnated in New Brunswick, New Jersey to a very devoted and loving mother. She was an avid oil painter and art teacher. She was the happiest in open country fields where she would set up her easel. My father was the original Mad Man. He worked on Madison Ave. in New York during the 60’s. He was an enchanting storyteller but came from a violent home and could be extremely moody and aggressive. He was well loved and admired at work but often feared at home. My sister suffered from childhood schizophrenia, which she overcame by the age of 18, but had deep scarring for the remainder of her life. She was my opposite; loud and vocal!!! She was also psychic and could read people's thoughts at random.
I was a kind, openhearted child who spent an inordinate amount of time worrying and trying to establish peace between the warring factions of my family. I became a full time therapist at the age of 8! Music was my great passion and I received a music scholarship from Juilliard during my junior year of high school. Saxophone! I studied art history and world literature at NYU and graduated from Rutgers with honors, majoring in psychology. I received my Masters Degree in Psychology from Antioch University.
I began practicing yoga and meditation at 22. This evolved from two sources; a deep desire to overcome the tension and pain of a dysfunctional family and a series of spiritual experiences that I had beginning at age 12. (see section below). I became a transcendental meditation teacher at 24 and taught two thousand people throughout the United States.
I taught graduate and undergraduate psychology and art classes at Antioch University, Monterrey Peninsula College and UCLA extension. I have practiced spiritual psychotherapy for over thirty-five years and have conducted Buddhist meditation retreats and loving kindness and relationship workshops throughout California. I currently have a band that plays eastern music and recites poems of Rumi and other ecstatic poets. I have been married and divorced and married again. I have a daughter Elyse who is 29 and a stepdaughter Melina who is 25. My wife Cynthia and I are twin flames and we are deeply in love.
About Me • My Spiritual Path
I have always been intrigued about the meaning of life. Beginning at twelve years of age, I would lie awake at night imagining where I came from and what would happen to me after my death. I wanted to understand my unique place in the cosmos while living on a spinning planet, 93 million miles from the Sun. It was a topic that both fascinated and frightened me.
At about the same time, I had a direct experience of unbounded awareness that led me to question who I really was. I was at a YMCA camp in Northern New Jersey and as I was awaiting my turn at bat, I suddenly found myself sitting on top of a tree near the outfield watching the baseball game play out. As odd as this experience was, I was without fear because I was in a state of blissful awareness. From that vantage point, I not only saw all of my friends playing baseball but I also saw myself standing anxiously, awaiting my turn at bat. In that moment, I realized that there was two of me, a drifting, unlimited awareness and a young twelve-year-old boy!
The next time this occurred was ten years later while sitting in meditation in Majorca, Spain. I had just started to meditate when I heard a deep rumbling sound emanating from my body. At the same moment, I was observing myself from the ceiling, sitting on my bed with eyes closed. In another instant, I was shooting out of my body, through the roof of the hotel and traveling through space. Just like my experience ten years earlier, I had no fear but just a blissful heavenly awareness. I remember being in awe of the brightness of the stars and blackness of the surrounding sky. I was traveling spellbound, at enormous speed. Suddenly, I came to an end point. A cosmic barrier loomed up ahead of me and I knew that this was the portal between heaven and earth, between life and death. I remembered reading about this barrier in individual recollections about near death experiences and how for many people, this moment gave them pause. Do I return to my material body and earthly life or do I continue on, into the stars and my heavenly home? Before I had time to make that decision, I found myself returning home. As I traveled through the stars, I saw the earth from heaven, that gorgeous, glowing orb, spinning in dark space. Suddenly I was traveling back through the roof of the hotel and I was gently deposited back into my body. When I opened my eyes, I saw the earth for the first time. Every object in the room was aglow with a radiant, divine light and I finally had an answer to my twelve year olds quest; I had discovered who I really was. I was a living, breathing human being but more than that, I knew that I was also an eternal, timeless Soul with infinite access to the universe.
My initial curiosity about my place in the universe and this spectacular, otherworldly, out of body experience created a hunger for spiritual knowledge. I devoured books on Zen Buddhism, listened, spellbound, to talks by Alan Watts, practiced Yoga with Swami Satchitananda and later became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation. This journey continued at Naropa Institute in Boulder where I studied Tibetan Buddhism and mindfulness and two decades later it culminated in a meeting with the Toltec Shaman, don Miguel Ruiz, who took me to Teotihuacan, Mexico, where I experienced the splendor of heaven through the portal of my own heart.
As I traveled down these highways of mystical experience, I integrated the wisdom that I acquired into the framework of Western Psychology. My psychology practice became a place where people learned meditation and mindfulness and tools for developing gratitude, compassion, generosity and loving-kindness. I combined these meditative techniques with Gestalt therapy, family systems work, heart science, cognitive behavioral therapy and compassionate, gentle listening.
By delicately moving back and forth between my human experience and my Eternal Self, my greatest desire has been fulfilled; to finally know who I really am and with that, an abiding experience of inner peace, unconditioned love and a joy that I have always longed for.