To help you get to know him before Sunday, here are some biographical excerpts from John Mark’s Website:
In early 2011, I experienced a spiritual awakening. It is sometimes referred to as Enlightenment. That experience deeply and radically changed my life. The months following the Enlightenment were spent in deep silence and stillness. Being a relative newcomer to the spiritual path, I also spent these months studying great teachings in order to place the awakening experience into a context that would allow the universal truth be communicated to all.
I offer here a brief summary of my life before the awakening.
In my mid twenties I had an experience, one that left me with a deep and dark sense of emptiness. … By 2007, I was no longer able to gloss over the emptiness that had been lurking in the back of my mind. It was time to face the truth. My marriage was deeply unhappy, I struggled to connect with my children, I was bored with my business, and the distractions of possessions and travel weren’t working anymore. I came to realize the emptiness was not going to go away, and nothing I could do or achieve was going to fill it. It was like a black hole. I decided that no matter what it took, I would find lasting happiness and peace. I finally was ready to turn toward the emptiness instead of avoiding it. I decided to dive into the darkness and despair with the same vigor and commitment that I had approached all my worldly activity. As was my nature, I went “all in.” I sold my business, and began the search.
Almost immediately, I was swept up in a tidal wave of synchronistic events that began to reveal to me in ever deepening ways, the reasons for and the nature of my unhappiness. For the next two years I was moved in ways that were far outside of my comfort zone. This dive into darkness was transforming despair into hope and healing. … I realized I was walking a spiritual path, a path to a destination as yet unknown, but one I would not attempt to avoid even if I had been able.
I attended a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat. I understood deeply that I needed to learn to still and calm my mind. It was then that I truly began to dive deeply into my own mind. During that retreat that I had several of what I later learned were mystical experiences. Those experiences of revelation began a deep and profound inner shift in awareness. Soon after the mediation retreat I was guided to A Course in Miracles. I instantly recognized it contained the answers I had been seeking. It was as though life itself begin to move me, instead of me trying to control my life. With growing trust, I started surrendering ever deeper into the void and to the Force that was carrying me. That Force, often referred to in Christianity as the Holy Spirit, began to guide me toward awakening.
In December of 2010, I found myself on a month long sojourn to Oneness University in India. That thirty days was a continuous revelation of miracles. I began to see so clearly that the nature of my own suffering was the same for all of humanity. During the third week of that trip, I had an experience in meditation that I later came to understand was similar to the Buddha’s experience 2500 years before. The following week, while in a small red cab on the way the Chennai airport for my flight home, the full experience of Enlightenment descended upon me. It seemed to come out of nowhere and as an experience of light that goes beyond description. It was wordless, and it cast me beyond the mind and world of form. The very nature of reality or God was experienced directly. I was ALL of creation. I was everyone and everything that had ever been and it was all so beautiful and perfect. All of creation was being birthed within me in that very moment. I was creator and created all at once. … That experience deeply and profoundly shifted my consciousness to a simple moment to moment awareness of deep silence and stillness. That unchanging pure awareness became the very center of my being.