Welcome Dear Visitor!
There is a lot of noise in the world today. This noise has resulted in a great deal of existential nihilism, physical and spiritual malnutrition as well as anxiety. This seems particularly true in “the West.” We all need healthy ways to prevent falling victims to this. For me, it’s a love of reading & writing, a fulfilling spiritual life, martial arts and plant-based eating. My mother instilled a deep thirst for reading in me at an early age. My favorite areas of reading include philosophy, religion, phenomenology, theoretical scientific thought, spirituality and Consciousness. I was raised in the Southern Baptist Christian tradition. Yes, that meant church several times a week and twice on Sundays all the way through high school. My spiritual odyssey traversed several traditions and paths including Sufi mysticism, both Gnosticism and agnosticism as well indigenous healing practices. Ultimately, I found my spiritual home in Pure Land Buddhism (Mahayana tradition) and became a lay disciple of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun.
Educationally, my background is in speech communications, rhetoric and philosophy. (B.A. Speech Communications & Rhetoric) I’ve been influenced by several western philosophical traditions including: the ancient Greeks (esp. Plato), Stoics (esp. Seneca and Epictetus), Existentialism (esp. Kierkegaard & Nietzche), Metaphysics (Aristotelian & Medieval era) and Phenomenology. St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine were also of deep interest. When it comes to great writing I favor the works of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and several other Russian writers! I am a published author (see Amazon) and am presently working on the release of the next book in my 4 volume Love Letters series. I also have a podcast called “Consciousness Now” available for free on many platforms including Apple and Google.
Though the west had captured my mind early on in life, my heart and spirit always felt most at home with eastern traditions. Some of the eastern influences on my thinking include the writings of Yogananda (Yogi mystic), Vedanta philosophy, Miyomoto Musashi (the Japanese swordsmen) Laozi also known as Lao Tzu (Chinese mystic, scholar & philosopher), Sun Tzu (Chinese general, philosopher & strategist), the monks of Shaolin and the writings of Venerable Master Hsing Yun founder of Fo Guang Shan. The Buddha’s life and wisdom have been profoundly impactful on me. I have been a life long martial arts practitioner and instructor. At age 11, I was introduced to meditation through my martial arts training. I became a black belt in karate at age 19 and am one of several high ranking black belts in my family. Meditation, and martial arts, have remained essential components of my daily life. Nutritionally, I follow a plant-based diet. (i.e. vegan no eating dairy products, soy or meat) My reasons for doing so are primarily spiritual and secondly for the health benefits.
“As a teenager I wanted what many young men wanted and strove to obtain. A good education, 6-figure income, nice car, perhaps get married and a posh place to live. What I later called the “Triple M Life.” (marriage, mortgage, Mercedes…not necessarily in that order) That mission was accomplished…the suffering it brought me was overwhelming. But, as a young man, more than all of these things I wanted to achieve a life free of suffering. After an arduous journey and commitment to experiencing Truth firsthand…it finally happened. It was a process. I lost my self and along with it the sense of suffering. I am grateful beyond explanation.” -Derek F.
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Peace & Blessings,