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- Special Discussion Leader
- Posts: 8459
- Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
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- 2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
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- 2017 Reading Goal Completion: 94
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- Latest Review: Lone Star Odyssey by David Wilson
To view the official review, click here.
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1. Let's dive right into your book The Unbound Soul. According to the official OBC reviewer, @kislany, this book is a "self-help book that guides readers towards finding their own spiritual ways in life." Can you tell us a bit more about what motivated you to write about your journey?
I had a teacher when I was in my early twenties who insisted that I keep a journal about my experiences. She explained, "One day, you will be sharing those experiences with the world." At the time I didn't really understand why she was so adamant that I write. About 20 years later, while teaching meditation, I suddenly realized that I needed to write a book. And whats more, I could see how the entire book was going to come together weaving spiritual teachings through my life story. The reason the story is important is it shows how an individual can discover their own path of spiritual awakening if they are sincere in their approach and willing to step off the beaten path. The book is not meant to get people to follow in my footsteps, but instead, to get them to take their own steps in their own direction, while providing them helpful hints that might keep them from going down too many dead-ends.
2. The first part of the book is autobiographical in nature. Can you just briefly tell us about yourself?
I grew up on a horse ranch in Southern California dreaming about becoming a martial artist. As a young child I had a powerful visionary experience where a spiritual master came to me and asked me to dedicate my life to the spiritual search and to share what I found with the world. I began a search that led me around the world seeking ancient knowledge. I ended up spending the majority of my adult life in Japan studying ancient martial and healing arts. My life's purpose is to share the wonderful teachings that I have received.
3. It looks like you've studied martial arts on your path to enlightenment. What have you studied and what levels have you achieved?
I have studied many arts and I have multiple blackbelts, but by far the most important arts to me were the samurai arts that learned from my teacher Osaki Sensei in Japan. He is a great teacher, and I was blessed to receive certificates of full mastery and the highest ranking scrolls in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu (jujutsu), Shinkage-ryu Iaijutsu (short staff), Seigo-ryu Battojutsu (sword), and a senior masters degree in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu Hyoho (strategy). In modern rankings, that would translate into three 10th degree blackbelts and an 8th degree blackbelt. I also have a certificate of mastery in a therapy art called Sotai-ho.
4. The Unbound Soul contains exercises to help you continue your personal journey. What has been the biggest help to you?
The most important teachings are found in the areas of attitude and perception. Much of our disharmony is found in the way that we perceive ourselves and the world and then the attitude that we take towards these things. Until a person changes their attitude and perception, they are imprisoned within the disharmony of their own mind. With right attitude and right perception, one can find inner harmony.
5. Would you say that The Unbound Soul would only be for those that are of a certain religion? Or would anyone find some words of wisdom contained within the pages?
The Unbound Soul is for anyone of any background who is willing to be very honest with themselves along their spiritual path.
6. Can you speak to that person out there right now who is really struggling with their life and choices? Do you have any advice for the soul that is just weary and ready to give up on their journey?
Outside this moment there is no choice. All that you have or have not done cannot be changed. Get away from negative-minded people and put yourself around people who have a purpose that you respect. Do what you want to do and be authentic.
7. You've had many perfect 4 star reviews and so many kudos along the way. Kislany even mentions that the book is exceptionally well-edited, especially for a self-published book. What's your secret? Do you have any advice for someone else that is wanting to self-publish?
Most self-published authors hire cheap editors. I took the time to find great editors and that has helped tremendously. It costs a lot of money to get a great editor, but it has paid dividends long-term, as The Unbound Soul, for example has sold almost 15,000 copies to date. My editor had a lot to do with that success.
8. It looks like you've done a fair bit of traveling. What's been your favorite place to go in the world and why?
Japan. It's a different world in a lot of ways. The way of thinking, the culture, the feel of the country is just so different from any other place in the world, and I love that uniqueness. But even more than that, Japan is so rich with high level arts and ancient knowledge. Truly it is a gem of a country for the individual who is willing open their heart and mind to the culture.
9. What is the best and worst purchase you've ever made?
The best was my wife's wedding ring. As far as bad purchases go, nothing really. I live a very simple life and don't make many purchases. Simple is best.
10. If you could know the truth to one question, what question would you ask?
I would ask the source of infinite wisdom to teach me which question to ask.
11. Would you rather your shirts always be too sizes to big or one size too small?
One size too small. I have a very lean build, and I could get lost in a shirt that was two sizes too large.
― Ernest Hemingway
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- diana lowery
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