Bio & Background:
Hello, my name is Cedric. I was always interested in understanding life. Also, from early on, I often didn’t feel at ease and was looking for relief.
I started psychotherapy at age 17. It was a watershed moment for me. It seemed like there was a way out of the suffering that I constantly experience. I got very dedicated. I did weekly psychotherapy for the next 8 years. I was obsessive about therapy and working out the lumps in my psyche. There were a lot. I naturally did some sort of homespun meditative journaling where I would write very slowly and meditative for about an hour each night. I went to 12 step programs, particularly Co-Dependents anonymous, as well.
In college I studied business and German and Spanish. My father was an art dealer. So, I was raised around business. After college I moved to Santiago, Chile to pursue my interests in business in the context of a foreign country which I loved.
I ended up pretty miserable in Santiago. I kept trying to find self-help groups and other means of continuing the healing work. I couldn’t find much in Santiago.
So, I moved back to Alabama and enrolled at the University of Alabama in Birmingham to work on an undergrad in psychology with plans of becoming a psychotherapist.
During the first week of the first semester of undergrad psychology in 2005 I saw that a psychology course called “Meditation, Bio-Feedback, and Self-Regulation” was offered by Dr. Edward Taub. Dr Taub was an early adept of Transcendental meditation. I was blown away by what he told us. Particularly he told us that awakening was real and that it was attained though meditation. Within the first week of class I knew I’d found what would be my life’s path. I started practicing two to four hours a day. I then took my Spring break and then the whole month of May and spent it at the San Fransisco Zen Center.
I’ve been meditating for the past 15 years in a largely Buddhist context.
I even planed to ordain as a monk.
But I had student loans which I wanted to pay off first. Moreover, I was young, and naive. I kept up my meditation practice. But it was not consistent. I didn’t have a teacher either. So, months turned in to years. I kept trying to pay off my student loans before ordaining. I found my self co-founding and running what later turned out to be a business which was the world’s largest reseller of used sterling silver jewelry. We bought used sterling silver jewelry in bulk from most large coin dealers all through out the nation. Then we turned around and sold it on Ebay becoming the 8th largest ebay seller by feedback in the USA. For years we sold an average of 1,000 items of sterling jewelry a day on Ebay, 365 days a year. I ran that business with two business partners. On my own I ran a gold and silver bullion and foreign collectable coin business.
Yes, the creative process of building and running a business was fun. But my overall mental health and stress levels didn’t allow me to enjoy it. So, about 10 years ago, I found myself severely depressed, anxious, and overworked. I was too stressed and depressed to continue on that way of living. I could not go on. But, I had had an intermittent meditation practice and knew how powerful it could be. So, I decided to rededicate myself to meditation.
So, I unwound the most labor intensive businesses and kept the more passive businesses. At that point, I went head long into meditation. It needed to be my salvation.
I 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 miserable. I was very depressed and anxious and had nothing to do but sit alone with a turbulent mind in the meditation hut.
So, I kept meditating and meditating. A few days into the retreat while doing concentration meditation there was about 90 seconds of bliss, and ease. This was a watershed moment. Thereafter the depression and anxiety fell away… enough to be functional, a least. I was still miserable, but there was a little reprieve. I returned home a few days later. I kept meditating one to two hours a day back at home and with a local Zen group in Miami, and studying Dharma.
I continued 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 mentioned to me that a “wild man from Alabama that was claiming to be fully enlightened, by the name of ’Daniel Ingram’”.
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. It spoke to my deep desire to awaken. Meditation practice had been revived out of the sheer desperation of anxiety and depression. But now it gave me a compelling reason to move towards rather than just away. Meditation and Dharma study have been central to every day since then.
So, Over the last nine years, I’ve done about 320 days retreat and 8,000 hours of formal meditation practice. For the first two years after getting recommitted to practice I did primarily Mahasi style noting. Then during the next two year thereafter Self-Inquiry was my focus. Gary Weber’s work was my primary guide in the Self-Inquiry practice. Subsequently, I’ve practiced Unified Mindfulness, Zen, Tibetan Deity Yoga, Open Awareness Practice etc. I also met with two different meditation teachers on a weekly basis for 6 years.
I liquidated my remaining precious metals business interests in late 2017. I took the UM teacher training in January 2019. Since then teaching meditation is my primary work. I was asked to teach by my primary teacher Abre Fournier in the “Pragmatic Dharma” Lineage. She was asked to teach by Kenneth Folk. Kenneth was asked to teach by Bill Hamilton and by Burmese Sayadaw U Kundala as well.
All this is to say, I’ve been on the path for a while. It has absolutely transformed my life for the better. I enjoy teaching and guiding fellow travelers on the spiritual path.
I would be happy to meet with you and offer guidance for your practice.
What is on offer here is meditation coaching. Cedric is not a psychotherapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor.