John C. BaderI am a person who is a student and mentor on a voyage to self-discovery and enlightenment. My own personal awakening years ago birthed much of my philosophy. An awakening is an immediate or sometimes gradual realization of a reality different from what you always believed. I like to call this different reality a “True Reality.” Waking up from my ordinary life and seeing how things fit together has propelled me forward to fulfillment. This quality of knowing is like seeing 20/20 for the first time. This vision, the awareness, and the feelings sound like they would be jarring and intense, but my awakening felt like a pleasant windfall. I immediately knew how to act and react to challenges and stress. I had a new openness and clarity with life. Things were brighter and clearer. Even my most challenging problems seem to be palatable.

Still, knowing the right answers does not mean we always act skillfully and soulfully. Such feelings of energy and focus require diligence and determination. We need to center our body and minds in the present; sans of past and future; fear and fantasy: A endless task of mindfulness. I still struggle against ego, right and wrong; faced with the same challenges and conflicts that effect us all. My view points on religious dogma tend to get me in trouble with the religious right; my energy and drive continually needs to be rekindled. I am just a person. I had a forgettable adolescence. My first child was stillborn. I have struggled with addiction, marital problems, mediocrity, and utter isolation. But I am a person who has looked misery in the eye and asked the question, “Is there more to life than this?”

book coverSo, I am someone who has been there. We probably have more in common than we know. We both have stories to tell, some good and some bad. We have good friends and adversaries. We have faced success and loss. We are just working our way through this thing called life.  Our knowledge comes from our life experiences; our faith from knowing that we have in our possession the keys to unlocking the door to happiness. Do I have an answer for everything? Not a chance. As a mentor, I believe more in cultivating an awareness of environment and self that allows someone to discover answers on his or her own. My goal is to guide people in the right direction and pose questions that may spur a change in perspective and an awakening. I don’t believe, like many organized religions, that truth is one thing, that it is recorded as the word of God, and that the word is fixed and unchanging.  I believe we all have pure wisdom inside each of us. The goal is finding our inner voice that connects to our True Nature, thus leading us down the evolutionary path of self-discovery.

That is why I wrote the Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas. Let this book be proof that karma, meditation and positive energy can lead to a better life – that if we yearn for betterment and meditate on our dreams – they will come true! This book of nine mandalas or chapters is my awakening. But it is more than that. I took this knowledge gained through self-discovery and compared it with the knowledge of great writers, philosophers and spiritual leaders like Joseph Campbell and the Dalai Lama. I realized my thoughts and ideas were not that abstract. I realized that science could bridge spirituality and that we are all connected at the sub-atomic level – our very thoughts, actions and reactions changing the fabric of the Universe.

Please, join me on an adventure in Self-Discovery….

John C. Bader

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