Originally born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, I was raised in East Harlem and have lived on El Barrio most of my life. I attended Manhattan Center High School on East 112th and Pleasant Ave.
After I graduated I attended Pace University for about a semester but my father passed away and I decided it was more important to work full time.
I was eighteen at the time and got a job at Barnes and Noble.
It was at this time I became interested in the occult sciences and meditation. I was having psychic experiences that I couldnít explain (predicting phone calls, knowing information about co-workers and other strange coincidences). Working in a bookstore made it easy to do research. While studying Eastern philosophy and the occult I began practicing meditation.
Iíve been a musician most of my life and I was fortunate enough to play bass guitar in a couple of rock bands including Dive. My love of music has brought me to guest host open mike events Tuesdays at Carlitoís Project Cafť (107th and Lexington Ave.) where I currently play guitar and jam with other musicians.
About a year ago I came upon the Uptown Meditation Center and met Stan. I started studying psychic self-defense as well as strengthening my meditation practice. After awhile I approached Stan about learning on a deeper level and Stan agreed to take me on as an apprentice. He began by having me assist him in facilitating his meditation workshops. He also required that I join the dojo and told me to forget most of what I studied about the occult. He said everything was much simpler and it was a matter of not doing rather than figuring it out.
Part of my training was to go through the Warrior weekend conducted by the Mankind Project ( www.mkp.org ). This is like a psychological boot camp and in May of 2005 I went through the training along with my friend Scott. I became more aware of my emotions and the potential to make a difference in the world as a result. It changed my life.
A month later in June 0f 2005, I was sent to my first Hollow Bones Zen retreat led by Zen Master Jun Po Denis Kelley. My meditation training was then put to the test as I was challenged to sit in silence for three days straight. I was joined by Stan as well as Jose Mertz, Dave Gordon, John Wilson and Tom Pitner, New York Center Director for MKP. During that time I was introduced to the five elements of Zen training developed by Junpo. These were protocols developed, amongst other things, to increase emotional maturity as well as a sense of sacred steward ship ( www.hollowbones.org ).
I was also introduced to Qi Kung and became particularly interested in this form of energy management. I began a practice and I currently work under Tom Pitner who is doing teacher training with me in Qi Kung practice.
Tom asked me to staff the October MKP weekend along with other men from Peace on the Street that had gone through the training. Jonathan Velez and Alex Cuevas, two other martial artists from our neighborhood, also were initiated then. After staffing that weekend and being exposed to other leaders like David Hollowell and Richard Huerra, I decided to increase my involvement and seek out leadership training with MKP.
I was invited by David to staff the Colorado training last November. Scott, Stan and I traveled to Denver for that weekend. Iím scheduled to staff the May training here in New York. One of my main goals here at our center is to bring the Mankind Project experience into East Harlem so that people from my neighborhood can reap the benefits of this technology. To that end I was involved in creating the first Uptown I group on January 22nd.
I continue to help Stan teach basic meditation here in the neighborhood and was recently given the responsibility of conducting a workshop by myself. Iíve also co-taught with him at the on-site classes he conducts at the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Recently Stan has increased my training in the Zen protocols as well as the basic Zen understanding of things. Stanís concern is that I am able to present this material in the language of our neighborhood. We are also working on methods of accessing the Goddess, using an ancient Egyptian amulet that he gave me along with techniques of non-discriminatory alertness to use as I socialize.
The most important thing to me is my passion and involvement in doing the things that I love to do. This includes writing hard rock music, practicing martial arts and increasing the awareness of the people I teach. I truly believe that through the simple act of learning to focus oneís mind, a person can manage and enjoy the chaos of life. My sole mission is to inspire others to lead in all areas of their lives.