I did not seek change. Change came to me.
I did not seek spirituality. Spirituality came to me.
I did seek material success. Material success came to me.
None of this could have been achieved without the Invisible Hand.
This book is dedicated to the warriors and the worriers
on the road to material and spiritual success.
Eighteen years ago I was an ambitious, focussed entrepreneur enjoying life. After starting to train for a charity trek, a bad back injury, which had previously prevented me from sitting down for a year, returned with a vengeance. That night I received a life-changing healing experience. When I woke up the next morning, I was able to stand up straight again, free of pain, free of injury. This stunned me. I was taken aback and lost for words – I could find no rational explanation. A dormant energy had been awakened within. What had happened? It was beyond all of my experience and knowledge. As if struck by invisible lightning, my life changed in an instant. Overnight, without desire, logic, preparation or thought, the spiritual path had opened up to me.
Before this monumental event, my married life consisted of excessive work mixed with travel, good food and wine. I was incredibly busy and had no time or interest for spirituality, yet when this awakening arrived, unannounced in the midst of my working life, it even accelerated the material success that eventually came to me. Through amazing grace, incredible good fortune and sheer hard work I was able to retire at the age of 42.
My experience shows that even busy people are perfect candidates for meditation. So how did I find the time to meditate? I concluded logically that if I could find the time to be stressed and restless, then I could find at least fifteen minutes each day to meditate to be calm and contented. Meditation also helped me to become more efficient and focussed when I worked extreme hours. So is it worth meditating for a short period? The sage Vasishta in Yoga Vasishta, an ancient text, states that thirteen seconds of meditation has the same auspiciousness as giving away a valuable possession to charity; 101 seconds of meditation gives the same merit as performing a sacred rite and twelve minutes of meditation multiplies the merit 1,000 fold.
As I became more in tune with this invisible power within, my worldly success was enhanced by my spiritual practice and my spiritual practice was enhanced by my experience in the material world. On both paths the common theme is to continue when difficulties arise and to proceed even when the eventual result is not apparent.
I fully respect that following and practising religion in the traditional sense is important for some, yet I empathise with the non-religious reader for whom the words “God” and “religion” may be off-putting. I have never been religious. For the first thirty years of my life I was agnostic with no interest at all in religion, yoga or spirituality. “My God” who I often refer to as the Invisible Hand, God or the Divine, represents a hidden, loving and guiding force that gives love to everybody and not just to the exclusive few who practise – and preach about – religion. My God is beyond religion and does not discriminate. My God encourages love and generosity, not fear and greed.
The portrayal of a heaven and hell scenario with the threat of a vengeful God for those who do not conform or toe the line never attracted me. The “religion” that I have adopted is to be a better person, to be kind, loving and forgiving to others and myself. When I fail dismally I try again. I have become aware that the Invisible Hand is guiding, loving and protecting me even when I am immersed in day-to-day life. Surely this same hand is helping everybody.
I am reminded of a beautiful story. If a person carries out 99 good deeds and makes one mistake, other people will remember the one bad deed and not the 99 good ones. If a person makes 99 mistakes and carries out one good deed, my God will remember the one good deed and forgive the 99 mistakes.
In this book I share my experiences of business, success and spirituality. I describe strange, mystical experiences in Egypt, how I meet different spiritual masters, learn about meditation and how at the same time I establish and build a business until it is sold, setting me up for life. I share my observations regarding the different people I have met in business and spirituality that have shaped and inspired me. Finally I expand on some of the spiritual teachings and practices taught to me by two realised masters from India over the last 15 years. These teachings, many of which are not widely known in the West – or even in the East, have helped me to find more balance and contentment.
The reader may find some of my experiences extraordinary – just as I did, yet those who know me will tell you that I am rational, methodical and logical. These life-changing events have overtaken any preconceptions that I had, are authentic, requiring no embellishment. I have discovered that the material and spiritual paths run parallel to each other. Both paths require courage, endeavour and discipline to overcome the obstacles, difficulties and aggression that arise along the way.
I am grateful to all of those who have helped me proceed on the jagged edge of life.