I came to mindfulness and meditation through the door of Buddhism, which saved my life. I was a painfully shy kid who morphed into a surly, obnoxious teenager who became a spectacular disaster by age 20.
As a sophomore, I dropped out of college because I had no idea what I wanted to do. No job or vocation was even slightly interesting and I couldn't imagine settling for something tolerable just to make a living. I sort of wanted to be a best-selling horror novelist but Stephen King had that nailed down and there didn't seem to be any openings.
By 22, I was adrift. I waited tables, partied like a rock star, and barreled toward self-destruction. With no money, no dreams, and no passion, I felt zero connection to the world or the people around me. I wallowed in drugs and alcohol and sneered at anyone foolish enough to offer help. The only thing I'd ever perfected was that sneer.
It seemed hopeless, like I'd been abandoned and shoved to the fringes of society by an unshakeable apathy. I alternated between crushing depression and seething rage, which pushed me right to the verge of giving up.
I would have given up, had I not discovered Buddhism. Its views and practices clicked in a simple, essential way that nothing else ever had. Buddhism lined up with something in me that had always been there, completing a circuit. It was like coming home. My pain lessened with that homecoming and I finally felt the urge to claw my way back from the abyss.
Over the years, I studied Buddhism and mindfulness and meditated a lot. My discomfort shrank even further and my contentment grew. I tinkered with my approach, constantly examining and refining, until I eventually came to a practical, non-religious path that suits me best. It's constantly evolving, but the core of my practice and teaching is a set of versatile methods that emphasize the wholeness of human experience. It focuses on pragmatic skills meant to empower and awaken, while staying informed by emerging scientific thought. It provides the means for deep self-understanding, positive transformation, and a fully authentic life.
Mindfulness had benefitted me so much, I felt compelled to teach. I'd long ago given up the idea of finding a career that inspired and fulfilled me. And yet here it was. I became pleasantly consumed by the desire to share these skills with other people who were suffering like I did. It became the only thing I'd ever wanted to do.
More than twenty years of meditation practice provided an excellent foundation. I've completed a multi-year, crazy-intensive teacher training program through Unified Mindfulness, which has become the basis for everything that I teach.
In addition, I'm authorized by the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, and I'm also a certified trauma-sensitive practitioner through David Treleaven's incomparable program. I have a deep and diverse skillset and I specialize in custom-tailoring comprehensive mindfulness training based on the specific goals and issues of my clients.