I was born in San Francisco in the Mission District a few blocks from Haight-Ashbury and I suppose that should have been a clear indication of where my life would be heading. When I was four, we moved to the high mountains of Colorado where I lived until joining the Air Force at age 17. Four years later I was freed and spent a little time traveling around, finally ending up in Hawaii. Not long after arriving in Hawaii I started meeting people practicing Transcendental Meditation and yoga which I promptly got heavily into. About the same time, I started studying astrology, Buddhism, and other esoteric subjects. This led to me entering the University of Hawaii at Manoa where I was able to pursue a number of different interests in both the hard (natural) and soft (social) sciences. After several years of wandering from one Department to the next I finally received a BA in communications and an MA in Asian comparative religions.
It was during this time that I attended three Enlightenment Intensives which turned out to be some of the most defining moments in my search for higher states of awareness and insight. Enlightenment Intensives (description here) were put together by Charles Berner (later Yogeshwar Muni) in the 1960s and entailed elements of ‘dyadic’ communication theory and Zen meditation. The experiences I had during these ‘intensives’ brought a quantum leap in my interest toward self-realization and actualization, and the methods by which they might occur.
But life goes on…I taught in the UH Manoa Religion Dept as a teaching assistant for about three years before deciding that I wanted to see what the rest of the world was about, so I applied for a teaching position at a University in Japan and was soon on my way. After one year at this university, I transferred to a much better university near Tokyo that provided five months of vacation every year. This allowed me to spend two to three months at a time in various countries in Southeast Asia which I proceeded to do for several years soaking up different cultures and getting to know many differing realities.
As a result of this experience, I decided to get my PhD in social and cross-cultural psychology, so I first went to the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco during my vacation time for about one year to study East-West Psychology. Afterward, realizing that I needed to have a more substantial grounding in psychology I transferred to the University of Hawaii, got into the Psychology PhD program there, and spent about two years doing undergraduate courses in psychology. All this while continuing to teach at universities in Japan.
While at the UH, I met two Japanese professors who were visiting there from the University of Tokyo and a University in Melbourne, Australia. They were both doing the same kind of ethno-semantic research that I was interested in doing in Japan. After discussing out mutual research interests I decided to accept their offer to facilitate my PhD through attending graduate seminars at the University of Tokyo while being enrolled as a PhD candidate at La Trobe University in Melbourne, with both professors acting as my PhD advisors. I spent the next five years flying back and forth between Melbourne and Tokyo, and with the help of a research stipend was able to hire several bilingual and bicultural student assistants at my university who acted as cultural informants and translators. With the help of this very able ‘staff’ I was able to accrue a few thousand pages of questionnaire data from students at three different universities, which when put through several kinds of ethno-sematic data analysis resulted in a 350-page dissertation on the foundations of emotional experience among the Japanese. Consequently, this was transformed into a book, Fundamentals of Japanese Emotional Experience, available at Amazon and described on my website at: https://1cosmicenergy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=151
While in Japan, as a continuation of my meditation practice, I practiced Zazen (Zen meditation) for about three years, every day for about two and a half hours at the San-Un (Three Cloud) Zendo in Kamakura, Japan. This practice included a one-day ‘Zazen-kai’ once a month where we sat Zazen for about twelve hours, and every three months a Session (Sessheen), a four-day intensive where one sits (meditates), eats and sleeps on the same mat for the entire four days. This experience leads to a scouring of all content from the mind, resulting in an awareness that is fixed within the ‘magic’ of the present moment. Time passes unnoticed, for you are forever here and now.
About the same time, I started the Kamakura Yoga Society where I taught yoga and meditation for some years. As far as I know it’s still going strong under the guidance of a young Japanese yogini (female practitioner of yoga) whose Facebook can be seen at: (https://www.facebook.com/kamayoga/posts/2060746853938457)
I also practiced Aikido for about twenty years, many of which were at Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, Japan. Aikido is kind of a somatic meditation, in that the essence of Aikido is to have the awareness and attitude of water and the spontaneity of the wind. An active type of meditation
While I enjoyed living in Japan, for some reason I was forever restless there, perhaps because of the rigors of living in the rather regimented society of Japan. In response to this restlessness, I obtained a pilot's licence (during vacation in Hawaii), and as a result of joining the (American) Civil Air Patrol, gained entrance to the aero clubs at Yokota Air base in Tokyo. This allowed me to check out a small aircraft and find freedom in the skies above Japan for many years. Perhaps this is how and why I was able to stay so long in the 'Land of 'Wa'.
But time passed and I began to tire of all the traveling and yearn for a more settled way of life, so started thinking it was time to go home and experience what it was to be immersed in my own culture again. Problem was, I'd been gone for 26 years and the America I knew, the culture I knew no longer existed. There was a totally new culture there and when I got back, I went through reverse-culture shock rather intensely for a couple of years. Luckily, I was able to stay at the East West Center at the University of Hawaii during this time where many of the residents were from Asian countries which helped ease my way back into American society.
After my return to Hawaii, I was also able to once again study at the University of Hawaii, taking classes in acting, oil painting, music theory, precalculus, physics and astronomy (again), botany, peace studies and mediation, and while doing all this managed to write two books of about 350 pages each on the meaning of freedom, what it is and how to achieve it, which are described on my website at: https://1cosmicenergy.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13&Itemid=283.
So now I am semi-retired, teaching an occasional course at OLLI, (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at the University of Hawaii, Mānoa, doing a lot of writing, surfing and hiking, while still getting used to what the modern generation in America is all about, a wonderful generation, yet very different from my own; both of which, however, are unique in the cosmos.
For further insights into the 'self' and self-actualization, and who we are as spiritual beings, see: