“Wisdom is not manufactured on demand. It takes time and patient cultivation.”
• Life strategies • Vedic astrology
• Teacher • Author
My story… a complex and arduous journey to grace
Overcoming adversity and an effort to realise human potential are big themes in my life. I had a difficult childhood thanks to a hard working but chronically violent alcoholic father. As the oldest of six I was the primary focus of his wrath, which I survived, unlike four of my siblings who I lost to drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, suicide and mental illness. I owe my survival to my spiritual interests and creative nature, and my need to make sense of things and create order out of chaos.
My search for meaning and purpose led me to a discovery of Vedic astrology and the wisdom of the Vedic tradition of yoga and devotion known as Bhakti. I was 18 when I found refuge as a Vedic brahmacari monk.
My monastic experience couldn’t have been more different than that of my childhood. This was true of the culture and environment I found myself in, but was most notable in the love, validation and encouragement I received from my spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The contrasts were extreme. Coming as I did from a home life of physical and psychological abuse, to sacred place of calm, purpose and deep meaning, which was dedicated to bringing out the best in me and others – with smiles, wisdom and love for my soul – was profoundly healing. It impressed me deeply and gave me a strong desire to give back somehow. I felt I had to share with others the same healing and love that had saved my life. But how? At the time I thought I was too young to help others in a meaningful way, although I admit that this did little to restrain my novitiate zeal to try.
Meeting my future
“Meeting him changed my life because he told me that my purpose in life was to help others … ”
My answer came one afternoon while on a walk in the mystical village of Vrindavan, revered as the birth place of Lord Krishna and India’s prime place of pilgrimage for yogis, mystics and the devoted. By chance I met a holy man named Krishna das, a learned pandit who on seeing me described my life in great detail as though we were old friends. I asked him how he knew so much about me. He said he used the wisdom of the stars, something called Jyotish (meaning light of the stars in Sanskrit), to understand me and my karma. Meeting him changed my life because he told me that my purpose in life was to help others, that I was destined to repay my spiritual master by sharing with others a taste of what I received from him. More than that, he said I would do so using Vedic astrology and the devotional wisdom I learned from my Guru.
I took time to reflect on the prediction of Krishna das, which inspired me to study Jyotish. My aim was to become proficient in the practice and to eventually help others after applying it firstly to myself, in hope of realising my own potential. This meant dedicating myself also to my spiritual practice, yoga and prayer. It didn’t take long for me to realise that while I was high minded in my goal, the road to get there was longer and more arduous than I bargained for. This required patience and tolerance, traits that didn’t come naturally to me back then. Nevertheless, I persevered as best I could in my desire to shape a life of meaningful purpose and loving service.
Struggles along the way
Forty-five years is a long time that goes quickly. In that time, I encountered…
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The path to growth and deep transformation is not an easy or immediate one. But the prize is certain if we care to take the journey to arrive at our own wholeness. That journey is a transformation from destruction to construction, from tearing down to a building up, from no love to self-love, from loneliness and isolation to loving connection and meaningful purpose that we can design for ourselves according to our nature and abilities.
The result is measurable not solely in terms of possessions or status, but most importantly, in the self-satisfaction and contentment that comes from getting closer to our essential spirit or soul being.
It is from that inner place, that our authentic identity finds the fullest expression. There is no greater gain than realising that inner authentic identity as it provides a lasting success that is not dependent on external circumstances.
Thank you for letting me share my story. I am equally interested to hear yours. I invite you to work with me and let me be an ally to you in your own search for transformation, meaning and purpose. I look forward to hearing from you sometime soon.
Blessings and best wishes,
“I tested the waters by sharing ideas with colleagues. … This initial effort was the genesis of a lifelong effort to develop these ideas, to share them with others and test their measurable benefit.”
Contact Michael for
- 1-on-1 Consultations
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“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
– OSCAR WILDE