A Brief Biography
Not many people get to have two fulfilling careers, receive the guidance of a great spiritual teacher, have good friends around the world, travel extensively, and be happily married for nearly a quarter-century — but this has, somehow, happened to me.
The only child of two writers, my direction was set without my having to think much about it. I started my first book when I was eleven — a novel about a baseball player. Not surprisingly, I didn't finish that one, but when I did complete a book, I sold it to the first publisher I showed it to. And, it became a best seller.
Entitled Transcendental Meditation: Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Science of Creative Intelligence, it was based on my own practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), interviews with other meditators, early scientific research on meditation, and my personal experiences with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
When I was 26, I left a graduate program at Ohio University and traveled to India to study with Maharishi at his academy (or ashram if you wish) in the foothills of the Himalayas, and trained to be a teacher of TM. For about a decade, my life centered around my career as a TM teacher. By now, I've had nearly 40 years experience instructing individuals and groups of all sizes in the United States and abroad in the art and science of meditation.
I've had the good fortune (and fun!) of introducing meditation on dozens of high school, college and university campuses, as well as to leaders of business and industry. For a few years I served as Director of the New York Center of the International and Students International Meditation Society, and later briefly as Executive Vice President of the worldwide TM organization. I've led weekend and weeklong seminars on health, creativity, and spiritual unfoldment for a dozen to 500 participants, and have helped to train hundreds of meditation teachers in intensive three-month programs. I still teach TM occasionally and find it profoundly satisfying.
But my other career, following my family tradition, is creating books. I am the author, co-author, or ghost writer of numerous volumes on leadership, health, natural medicine, and human potential. In addition to my first book (now updated in a fine new edition as Transcendental Meditation: The Essential Teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) my books include:
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies (with the renowned Ayurvedic physician, Vasant Lad),
Healing with Pressure Point Therapy (with acupuncturist Steve Shimer),
Body, Mind and Sport for John Douillard,
Ayurvedic Secrets To Longevity And Total Health (with James S. Brooks, M.D.), and
Awakening the Leader Within, with Kevin Cashman.
I wrote the companion book to the movie, What the Bleep Do We Know, and helped Deepak Chopra's late father, the cardiologist Krishan Chopra, create his book, Your Life is in Your Hands.
I also had the pleasure of consulting with David Crow on his poetic and profound In Search of the Medicine Buddha, and with a rising star in the world of Yoga, Kino MacGregor, on her forthcoming book, The Power of Ashtanga Yoga.
I also translated a novella by the German Nobel prize-winning author, Hermann Hesse, which remains in manuscript form.
I thought that updating my book on TM would take me a few months — it took two years, due to all the new scientific research (more than 350 published, peer-reviewed studies) and all the new programs being offered around the world.
I am currently ghost-writing the autobiography of a Korean spiritual master, Ilchi Lee, founder of Dahn Yoga. It is a beautiful story of enlightenment and world teaching by a man who has worked for 35 years to bring enlightenment to others and create a spiritual civilization. Having spent many years studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whose life was all about bringing enlightenment to the world, and working to help him realize his mission, it is very meaningful to have an opportunity to work with another great teacher with a broad and compassionate vision.
That book is a perfect warm-up for what I believe will be the most important book of my life, the biography of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I'll be working on this during 2013 and 2014. My publisher plans to title it Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: The Definitive Biography, so with the pressure on to produce a book worthy of that title, I'll be giving it my very best shot!
When that is done I hope to finish a long-term project, a book on the development of higher states of consciousness.
I've also recently helped my 104 year-old mother complete her translation of an historical novel, A Passion for the Land, and contributed an Introduction and Study Guide.
I am, and have been since I was quite young, very passionate about improving the quality of life on earth. All my books are meant to be contributions toward this end. Also, in a more active (less sitting-at-the-desk) mode, several years ago I ran for Congress under the banner of the Natural Law Party (similar in many respects to the Green Party), which advocated preventive health care, sustainable organic agriculture, renewable, non-polluting energy sources, and other commonsense and scientifically validated solutions.
I am also, and have been since I was quite young, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic baseball fan.
Another of the things I love most in life is music, especially classical music, and especially "the three B's" (Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms), Mozart, and just about any Baroque composer. I am very fond of small-scale compositions such as string quartets and keyboard music, and play a little piano. I usually cry when I go to the ballet, for the sheer beauty of it. (How many other baseball fans can say that?)
I enjoy hiking, especially in the mountains, and used to be a pretty fair dancer.
My reading tastes run from poetry (old and modern), Shakespeare, and science fiction to some contemporary novels and short stories. People always think I must read a lot of philosophy and psychology, but I don't. At least not any more. Among contemporary writers, I admire the craftsmanship of Anthony Doerr (a fellow Boise author), the early work of Orson Scott Card (the Ender books especially), and two Indian women writers, the author and activist Arundhati Roy, and the fiction writer Jumpha Lahiri.
I have lived in New York (where I grew up), Los Angeles, Boston/Cambridge, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, and in the high desert of California near Joshua Tree National Park, and visited just about all the 50 states as a teacher and speaker. I've traveled through much of Europe, lived for some time in Switzerland, and studied in India twice. I feel very much a global citizen. I now live in green, bicycle-friendly Boise, Idaho, with my ever-more beautiful, intelligent, and wise wife of almost 25 years, Roberta.