Mark describes himself as a contemplative mystic because all his life he has felt drawn more deeply into the mystery of life and of love.
For years Mark felt the loss of his best friend when at the age of five his parents moved from the city. Mark is the oldest of five children and grew up in a rural Adirondack setting. He learned to occupy his time by creating things with his hands and to be at home in the stillness and silence of nature. As a child he had many small experiences that fueled his restlessness and hunger to become more deeply connected to the source of life.
Growing up in the sixties and being raised in a traditional Catholic household led Mark on a quest to find the meaning and purpose of life outside the confines of his autocratic upbringing. Mark was drawn to those experiential writers and not to philosophical or theological perspectives. He broadened his readings to include those of various mystics, psychologists, Buddhist and yoga teachers, native American teachers, etc., all while attending dental school, getting married, raising three children and establishing his successful dental practices.
All of Mark’s many teachers reminded him to always look within with love and rely on his own experience to relate to That which is beyond words; and, to live with his many questions. These reminders led Mark to embrace the belief that life is sacred and created by love, sustained by love and for love. Mark came to realize that one’s whole life is geared towards learning to navigate life’s experiences while discovering how to love oneself, others and the world.
Mark’s perfectionist tendencies were well-suited in his dental profession. However, it has also been Mark’s biggest obstacle in learning to let things go; learning to acknowledge and embrace his weaknesses; learning to see the suffering that he has caused others; and learning to accept his shortcomings more lovingly as well as accepting those of others. In short, his life journey bears testament that one’s life is learning how to ‘bear the beams of love’, to quote William Blake.
The loss of many of Mark’s close friends in his life, especially the death of his wife from cancer, solidified his belief that the sharing of love and learning to do what is good and right is of the utmost importance in finding meaning and purpose. Mark is eternally grateful for all those people in his life that have offered him, understanding, compassion, inspiration, affirmation, patience and love.
From his studies of the mystics, psychology, philosophy, poetry, science, neuro-linguistic programing, meditation, prayer and his life experiences of meditation, contemplative practices, prayer, and near-death experiences, he has been led to hold the viewpoint that life is a gift, a blessing no matter what hardships that we might experience. And that each of us has limited time to reciprocate this gift of life by sharing life and love with others. Throughout all Mark’s experiences he has come to realize that it is only by paying attention to the present moment; become aware of all that is in this moment; and consciously bringing love into this awareness in the present moment is where real peace, justice, and happiness will be found. It is here that the touch of the divine and sacred can be seen and the realization that life is interconnected and one can be real. And in this moment, there is the potential that the consciousness of the world begins to shift because of the loving intention of one person one moment in time.
The result of his life journey into love has resulted in his creating a practice tool reminding himself and others to be grounded in love while being in the present moment so as to come to see more clearly the sacred and interconnectedness of all people and life. By intentionally bringing loving awareness into one’s present moment through simply ‘smiling on life’, we are aligned with our highest purpose of learning to be an instrument of love for the world. We make ourselves available to experience our real home of belonging, filled with peace, justice, love and happiness for all.