Sharing the Beauty of Life

BIO

Initial yearning

My current journey in life started on the top deck of a London bus in 1972. I was gazing out at the busy streets wondering: “Is that all there is to life: a predictable and repetitive march from cradle to grave? There has to be something deeper.”

Since then I have been seeking out the “deep.”  Soon after my bus epiphany I came across a book written by the Indian sage Paramahansa Yogananda called Autobiography of a Yogi. The author talks about barely believable stories of gurus being in two places at the same time, of reading people’s minds like a book, and so on. I was intrigued.

I decided to go to India and see for myself, embarking upon an adventurous overland trip soon after completing secondary school. In that mystifying land I learned meditation and began my introspective journey.  Meditation has been the most significant activity of my life, providing me with an inner source of nourishment and a broadening perspective.

The plunge

After attending Aston Polytechnic and spending time in France as an English teacher and meditation center director, I decided to plunge more deeply into spiritual life. I returned to the East in 1981, this time to train as a yoga monk for a year at the Ananda Marga Training Center in Nepal, and the right to my spiritual name, Vishvarupananda.

Since then I have used my time for spiritual teaching and global service, trying my best to live up to the high ideals of my guiding guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. As international coordinator of the charitable organization AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team), I have traveled extensively setting up and evaluating grass-roots development projects. I have stepped foot in over 60 countries, visiting presidential palaces and village huts. I have been arrested, threatened at gunpoint and feted as a hero. I have rubbed shoulders with people of all religions and skin-colors, celebrating the beauty of the human family.

Teaching

As senior faculty member of the Ananda Marga Yoga Teacher Training School I have trained over 300 aspiring teachers worldwide in Brazil, Syria, USA, Ghana and Denmark. It has been a privilege to spread the ancient teachings of the wise sages to diverse peoples, knowing that they provide such useful tools for fulfillment in daily living and transformation of consciousness.

I also teach two classes as adjunct faculty at George Washington University in Washington, DC. With my students I explore different aspects of the Yoga lifestyle either from the vantage point of the mind (Yoga and the Meaning of Life) or the body (Theology of the Yoga Body). We become a community of explorers seeking greater meaning in all expressions of life, from walking down the street to aspiring for human greatness. As one student wrote in a recent evaluation, “The class has been eye opening. We were challenged to look deep within ourselves to learn more about who we are as individuals.”

The journey continues …

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