I encountered Jeung San Do through a business colleague, Roman Torrijos. From my first business meeting with him in autumn 2008, I could sense both a connection and his clear, energetic awareness. Based upon this, I took the initiative to phone him in early April 2009 to meet for tea to discuss business updates. When we finally met in a restaurant on April 15, he brought with him an Asian woman whom I had never before met.
Roman introduced me to her, Michelle Syn [Pogamnim, dojang teacher]. After our introductions, I sat speaking to Roman as she engaged in a cell phone call; uncertain if she was going to be involved in our business meeting or if Roman and she had just finished a meeting of their own, I inquired of Roman, “What is Michelle’s heritage?”“Korean,”he replied. “Really? I have only been through the airport in Seoul in 1994, and I know nothing of Korea’s spiritual heritage. Do you?”At this point, Michelle finished her cell phone call, and Roman just smiled at her and repeated the question I had just asked.
For the next three hours, I was both relieved and spellbound: Michelle and Roman communicated to me the essence of Jeung San Do, i.e., its core principles based in the dao, the balance of yin and yang, and the relationship of the five elements in both microcosm and macrocosm. As they spoke to me, I recalled an overwhelming number of nighttime dreams I had experienced since child-hood. Moreover, having been raised in very rural areas throughout West Virginia, USA, by parents with a foundation of deep and strong spiritual principles (in contrast to the dogma of religions), I was relieved to see so many aspects of the truth become unveiled before my eyes as I listened to Roman and Michelle.
My father majored in Mathematics in a teachers college and there met my mother while she was studying English to become a teacher. My father knew at age ten, after a spiritual experience, that he would become a preacher of God’s Word. Even though he was a Christian minister for over forty years, he and my mother possessed a spiritual wisdom that reached beyond the limitations of mainstream religious thought. In retrospect, I see now that I, along with my three older sisters, were raised with a very dao lifestyle: I was inspired and excited by life and sought adventure, sought the meanings behind my experiences, and committed myself to explore any context that could encompass and bring balance to my inner and outer perceptions and experiences.
Most of my life choices have been based upon messages received in dreams. Of course, one’s dreams have many functions, yet I have always known which dreams were teaching and guiding me. Furthermore, much of my childhood was spent with elders in the community, as well as participating in college athletics, music, and an active positive social life that kept me from being seduced into hanging out with the wrong crowd.
My personal spiritual journey beyond my family and cultural heritage began in 1986 when I interviewed an elderly instructor [who possessed an Italian heritage, yet was recognized as a Buddhist Lama], Andrew DaPassano of Los Angeles, who was summarizing his forty years of esoteric science teachings of universal principles and meditation. Andrew had a strong foundation in Buddhism ‘techniques,’yet he also had a flair for challenging our minds with simple yet profound concentration. Concentration, not thought, was the key, he would always say. His wife, Virginia, [originally trained as a pharmacist in Mexico, from the North American Indian Geronimo family heritage,] became my Eastern medical doctor and acupuncturist; she assisted me in identifying a serious pre-cancerous condition and years later gave me a special Korean acupuncture treatment to correct my hereditary tendencies toward diabetes and heart disease.
Andrew and Virginia had a very powerful effect on my life. Andrew asked me to conduct a financial research project for him that has informed my personal and professional life to this day, for I had the opportunity to contemplate the many visible and invisible systems in the financial world to such a degree that my research became more of a spiritual practice of connecting with those who are committed to advancing humanity beyond materialism into the realm of the interconnectedness of all things—of man, nature, and the heavens.
I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a worldwide diversity of ‘inter-disciplinarians’such as: Gregg Braden; the makers of the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know”[which premiered the crystallized ‘water’ research of Dr. Emoto]; the man who discovered the computer chip and served as the head of the software team that put man on the moon; indigenous elders from Hopi and Taos Pueblo; a Peruvian shaman medicine man; very private and wise elders of deep integrity in the private finance sector; sacred geometry scientists; engineers; and so forth—an amazingly positive and inspiring collection.
In 1992, I was introduced to Baird T. Spaulding’s book series, “The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East.”I have been reading and rereading this series for the last seventeen years and still continue to find mysteries lingering behind the story.
Having said all of this, now that I have met Jeung San Do, I feel like my life has just begun. Despite all my life experience to this point, I have ‘emptied my cup,’and I now begin anew. I am very grateful for receiving the teachings of our Great Father Jeung-san Sangjenim, our Great Mother Taemonim, Taesabunim, and Sabunim, as well as for receiving the strength I experience in my beginner’s daily practice of the Taeeulju Mantra. I now see that my life and my life’s work have only been preparing me for my heavenly mandate that will unfold within the teachings of Jeung San Do during our entry into the great cosmic autumn. For this, I am deeply touched with gratitude beyond words.