This Q&A was conducted by MSI Press.
Who are you? What do you want readers to know about you?
Through many years of deep study and hands-on experience, I have become a specialist on relationships, psychology, and spiritual growth. For more than thirty years, I have developed and led Higher Self Yoga classes and retreats throughout the Unites States, Canada, and Europe. And also, in those places have done many psychological workshops, including Living From Your Heart.
I co-founded and am President Emeritus of The Center for Peace Through Culture, Inc. and am the founder and President Emeritus of Higher Self Yoga, Inc.
Why are you qualified to write this book?
I have spent a lifetime studying spirituality and psychology, and in turn, have used what I have learned to help others on their personal journey. I have been a teacher, writer, therapist, career counselor, and painter. Teaching people how to work with their hearts has been a major focus in all my work.
What is the message of your book? What should be the take-away by readers?
That working with their hearts will help them in everything they do in their daily life. They will learn to listen to others in an insightful way, which will deepen their relationships. It will help them open their creativity and inspire them in their work. Working with the heart and mind will give them the best solutions to their projects. When they access their higher wisdom through the heart, which links to their Higher Selves, they discover a source of wisdom that helps them with their problems and gives them a deeper understanding of who they are.
What are you hoping the book will do for your readers?
That they will realize the book is a learning tool for a better life. It is not just to be read but to be used in all their daily endeavors, and that they will understand for themselves that working with the heart will make a wonderful difference in their lives.
What details (including book structure) do you hope that readers notice? How/why did you choose these details/incidents/structure?
I realize that just having a book talking about the importance of using the heart, doesn’t really help people. They need to personally go through the process of practicing the different ways in which to use the heart. This is why I have many exercises that help the reader to achieve this.
I also feel a “How To” book needs to be interesting reading, so I have stories that illustrate what I am saying and explain how working with the heart can help people.
In your opinion, what is the most memorable detail (saddest, most surprising, most emotional, happiest…) in the book?
I think the stories in the book cover the expanse of emotions you mention. Some are fables, some I made up, or I knew about from others. For example, the Cambodia fable of a boy named Eshar, who asked a wise man how he could open his heart. The teacher told him to go to the village and when he met someone to first connect to his heart, and then ask the person to give him something to eat. When he was given food, Eshar was to thank the person and consciously feel gratitude in his heart. His first encounter was an old man pulling a huge burden, who didn’t have food because he was evicted from his home. The next person was a woman running with a crying baby to find a doctor for her child. All the people he met were deep into their own troubles and had no food for him. Finally, Eshar met a rich man who threw him a coin for food. When he tried to feel gratitude in his heart, nothing happened. Feeling frustrated, Eshar meditated and the wise man appeared to him, and took him to each person he had encountered and said, “If you had used your heart you would have offered to help this person. The heart’s gratitude is for those who truly give.” The boy protested, “But you told me to ask for food.” The teacher answered, “I told you to use your heart first. If you had done so, you would have forgotten about asking for food.”
But what’s most rewarding for me is when someone who has my book, tells me how wonderful it was to connect to the heart and how it has changed the person’s life.
Why did you write the book?
My spiritual and psychological studies and training emphasize the importance of working with the heart. I developed Higher Self Yoga, based on this premise. I realized as a therapist that most people in our western society are mind oriented and are not aware on how creative and powerful the heart is. I wrote the book to address this, so that others can realize how important it is to develop the heart and balance it with the mind for the best results.
What was the most difficult part of the book to write? Why?
Mainly, what I just said, trying to explain and illustrate why it is important to balance the mind and heart and not just use the mind to resolve problems. The mind is more action oriented and the heart is more inspirational and creative. It’s important to bring in the heart to form the best solutions and then use the mind to plan out and make those solutions manifest. Our famous scientists and inventors have always used both, whether they were aware of it or not, but in our present-day technological world the creative process is buried and not being utilized fully.
Have you written other books?
Yes, I’ve written ten books. My third book on Higher Self Yoga is being published at this time. My website has some of my books. I also have published some teaching books for my students.
I just finished a novel: Zarathustra’s Journey, which is the story of a Swiss man’s spiritual journey. It is being edited now.
I also have another novel I wrote many years ago and am now revising. It is called, The Power of Illusion: The Story of Sabbatai Zevi, a false messiah.
Do you have plans for writing more books?
Yes, I am planning to write another Higher Self Yoga book. I also started a book called: The Power of the Feminine.