Certified Teacher of Kundalini Yoga and Meditation as taught by Yogi Bhajan
Experienced spiritual seeker, yogi and contemplative
Artist and teacher, tenured professor
I am a yogi, artist and professor, living in the great state of Alabama with my wonderful wife Gillian and our dog, Momo.
From my own journey, I've discovered the underlying motivation for most adventures (and misadventures) is happiness. We are seeking a deep sense of happiness and contentment. Ultimately, this is a spiritual quest, a desire to be completely free. My journey has been long, and at times, arduous. After graduating from college, almost 30 years ago, I recognized that I wasn't yet ready for the cold, hard, "real world." I floundered in my attempts to find a career, working for a while as a mental health counselor, manager at a major coffee retail chain, corporate cubicle warrior, graphic designer, and various odd jobs to make ends meet. Deep down, I felt resistance to becoming a cog in the machine, all the while finding it difficult to break free from family and societal expectations for "success."
I was always happiest playing bass and singing in a band, walking in the woods, making pictures with my camera, and writing poetry. Recognizing this, I eventually went to graduate school for my MFA in photography, and have since become a tenured professor and artist.
That is one of my outward personas, my public face, that attempts to align my worldly work with a deeper longing for the spiritual. While art can serve as spiritual practice, I yearned for an even more direct connection to the divine, and most importantly, a connection not contingent on a career, occupation, activity, or anything that might be temporary. In short, I wanted to know the Truth, Reality, or Spirit, now and all the time.
After a bumpy move to the Deep South about ten years ago that derailed much of what had been going well for me "back home" up north, I recognized that I needed to start fresh. I needed some kind of practice or discipline. After numerous trips to the "spiritual salad bar," dabbling in this and that, I began a more formal spiritual path. I had encountered Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, years before while living in Boston. My fist Kundalini yoga class in the late 1990s was with Hari Kaur Khalsa, the teacher who would, years later, become one of my important spiritual teachers. Now in the Deep South, with Hari as my guide, I began an intense sadhana (spiritual practice), consisting of several hours of yoga and meditation daily, at the break of dawn. I continue a modified form of this sadhana to this very day. My association with Hari would prove fortuitous in a number of ways, leading to a yoga teacher certification, and most importantly, to meeting Gillian, my soul mate and wife.
Years later, after working with Hari, and years of sadhana under my belt, I recognized a few important threads still needed tying. Hari had provided me vital tools for grounding myself and expanding my creative awareness. Still, I recognized a yearning for mystery and wonder. I felt like a young man with the need for a heroic adventure. Around this time, I read the autobiography of the modern Indian mystic Sri M, "Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master." I was hooked. I had to meet this man. My first journey to India intersected with Sri M's "Walk of Hope," an epic march across India to promote peace and harmony. I have met with Sri M on several occasions since, having been initiated into his practices. Sri M doesn't particularly cultivate followers. At least that has been my experience. At a great distance away, I have been ripening in the Alabama sun.
My years of sadhana have awakened an inner sense of peace and happiness. My early interests in psychology and the arts have merged with a desire to know the Supreme Reality. I cannot say that I have reached my goal, but I am walking in a truer direction. I've also discovered a desire to help others on their journey. I will share with you what has worked for me. Perhaps, working together, we will both discover new ways to appreciate our respective journeys toward our goals. Onward!