I had carefully drafted my backstory, ensuring it adequately captured a synopsis of my most private of thoughts, struggles and experiences: my darker, hidden side (or one that I attempted to keep hidden, anyway). Then I realized, I don’t really care about the “story” anymore. Not hiding it. Just have no need to ‘out’ it, own it, or even overcome it. The story (including the bits that still drive certain preferences or behavior) was never really real, never really "me," to begin with.
Anyway, if you read the blog, you’ll probably get glimpses of the backstory here and there. In the meantime, the TLDR regarding the hidden or more difficult bits goes something like this:
In November 2021, I headed to a silent retreat at a nearby Buddhist retreat center. I wasn't Buddhist and didn't know the teacher (Jason Bartlett). I just desperately yearned for the quiet of retreat and meditation while in a beautiful natural setting where I could, hopefully, get a little peace of mind. What I actually got was a surprising twist to my life journey.
I suppose my outer life, at the moment, looks basically the same except several of my behavioral habits have drastically shifted. My inner world and life-orientation since that retreat have become quite different as well. There appears to be a transformation unfolding that I'm watching, but clearly have no control over. Given that I don't know what will unfold, I could, of course, be way off the mark and the perceived transformation may be some temporary blip. Who knows!? Regardless, the rest of the "story" is whatever wants to be written through me and shared here at this site. (If you're curious, I start off with a bit more context in the post titled "How I Got Here.")
Let's see what's around the bend!
I've been "officially" interested in spiritual teachings since around 1990. But I started asking deep life questions when I was six, so I guess the "spiritual instinct," as Adyashanti calls it, has been fairly strong for me since childhood. I had out-of-body experiences, powerful dreams, what I felt as premonitions, remote viewing and other psychic type stuff. I didn't continue down the path of trying to further develop these senses or skills, but they had a lasting impression on me. They pointed at something... a potential, that made me curious.
Over the decades since my mid-twenties, I've followed a number of paths. I was a disciple of a Master whose group practiced a Quan Yin sound-light meditation, followed the path of a yogi (to some extent), completed A Course in Miracles in 2014, explored tantra, was part of Gangaji's sangha for a few years, studied the Tao Te Ching, develop contemplation, and now following Buddhist teachings. What I've ended up with, it would seem, is a mix of practices that combine several non-dual traditions: Advaita Vedanta, Taoism, and nonsectarian Buddhism.
You may read more about my practice in the blog, but suffice it to say here that this is the most important part of my life, wherever it takes me. I haven't stopped working or being a friend or a relative to people I love, or participating in society. Rather, the most important thing is what informs how I show up in what unfolds in life as I perceive it.
Aside from that, in case it's of interest, I hold a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology, have a certificate in Transformational Life Coaching, a certification in Feng Shui consulting, and I've completed numerous various personal, technical and professional trainings over the course of 30 or so years. My full-time career is currently as a Program Manager in the healthcare IT and cloud hosting industry. Prior to this, I've been in software and telecommunications for most of my career. doing project and account management. But my absolute favorite work was in 2007-2008: while taking a break from tech, I created and led several self-development workshops in the Seattle area.
As of 2021, I now also get to share my endearing craft of jewelry design and making malas. Other hobbies and interests include facilitating deep conversations about life-the universe-and everything (more specifically, about emptiness and non-volitional living), Tarot, hiking, Pilates, yoga, and I’m a total nerd about home organizing and power tools.
Long nutshell, but there you have it.
Again, welcome! AwareBeing.com was first launched in 2002 and has undergone many transformations and taken a hiatus now and then. Here, 20 years later in 2022, I'm looking forward to bringing a fresh new site to readers. I will share my journey, my creative passions, and some resources I hope will be of service to you.
I don't know who first wrote this, but a colleague shared it once and it resonated deeply. Whether in my full-time job, hosting a Meetup event, hanging out with friends, playing with my dog, sitting on a meditation cushion, or making jewelry, if I am doing what I love - if I am being with and from love - there is a natural balance that occurs. A tuning into an effortlessly wise, authentic way to engage in the world.
What shows up on this site will, to the best of my ability, always come from a place of truth. Sometimes it may be straight from my heart and truth will be intuited. Sometimes it may be just be opinion or even personal pain rather than truth speaking; but I will try to be honest about that too. This journey is ongoing. I'm pretty sure I'll mess up at times. But I am always doing my best, so that's okay.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for taking this journey as a fellow sentient being. Thank you for doing your best (and you really are always doing your best). In deepest gratitude and appreciation, thank you, and welcome.