Bio & Background:
Hello, my name is Cedric. I was always interested in understanding life. Moreover, I often didn’t feel at ease and always looked for a way to become happier.
I started meditating in January of 2005, while taking an academic class in the psychology department of the University of Alabama in Birmingham called “Meditation and Biofeedback”. It was taught by one of the Early Transcendental Meditation guys, Dr. Edward Taub.
By the end of the first class I knew that meditation would be an important part of my life.
So, I’ve been meditating for the past 15 years in a largely Buddhist context. The first 7 years of practice, meditation was intermittent. I didn’t have a teacher and I got distracted and overwhelmed with starting and running multiple businesses etc.
Then about 8 years ago, I found myself severely depressed, anxious, and overworked. It was a fork in the road. I was too stressed and depressed to continue on that path.
So, I unwound the most labor intensive business and kept the more passive businesses and rededicated myself to meditation, as I knew how powerful it was. I also started going on retreats. In October of 2011, I went to do self-retreat at Bhavana Society (a Theravadin Monastery) in West Virginia. It was pretty miserable. I was so depressed and anxious. But, I didn’t have anything to do but meditate. Being in a room alone with nothing but an anxious mind is not a lot of fun.
Anyway, I had no choice, I kept meditating and meditating. A few days into the retreat while doing concentration meditation there were a few moments of bliss, and ease. This was a watershed moment. Thereafter the depression and anxiety fell away to a level that was still pretty miserable but manageable. I returned home a few days later. I could function a lot better in daily life. I kept meditating one to two hours a day back at home in Miami and with a local Zen group. Moreover, I kept going on retreat. That January I did a 10 day Vipassana retreat in the Goenka Tradition. Then that March I did a month long retreat at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, CA. Things kept getting better.
Rewinding back to the retreat at Bhavana Society, the cook there mentioned to me that a “wild man from Alabama that was claiming to be fully enlightened, by the name of ’Daniel Ingram’”. This was a watershed moment in my life.
When I got back home to Miami, I looked up Daniel’s website read his book “Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha”. It rocked my world and let me know that real transformation was possible and how to achieve it. This was huge.
So, Over the last 8 years, I’ve done over 300 days retreat and over 7,500 hours of formal practice, in many different traditions: Pragmatic Dharma, Mahasi Style noting, Unified Mindfulness, Zen, Advaita Vedanta etc.
Meditation, along with other practices and lifestyle modifications, has brought about huge positive transformation in my life.
My vocational aspiration has been for the last the past 6 years to teach meditation. But I was running two businesses and didn’t have the time. However, two years ago I shut down my business activities. A year ago, I took the Unified Mindfulness Pathways, meditation teacher training course. Now, teaching meditation is my primary vocation.
I would be happy to meet with you and offer guidance for your practice.