MY SPIRITUAL LIFE
I grew up in a progressive Jewish home in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. We celebrated Chanukah and gathered with our extended family for Seders, where we read prayers from the Haggadah but we didn't pray. I was taught the importance of helping others and being a kind, generous person, but I wasn't taught to believe in a higher power. My secular Judaism would not be unusual if I didn't have the powerful family history of being descended from three generations of rabbis who preceded my grandfather, Israel Seldin, in Russia.
In a letter, Israel wrote about his life growing up in the 1890's: "Many of our town's people hardly had enough bread but believed in the Lord, saying the one who gave us life will give us bread. They put all their burdens on the good Lord and he failed them many times. The people in the town were not interested in world affairs. Only religion was on their mind and heart. No wonder with all their poverty they were happy in spirit."
I wanted to be happy in spirit, and I became a seeker without even knowing it. In my mid-twenties, I read Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Every word rang true for me. Several years later I received shaktipat from Swami Muktananda. Shaktipat initiates spiritual awakening. I experienced God in everyone and everything as everyone and everything. This changed my life in profound ways. I experienced what Fydor Dostoevsky wrote: "In every human being, a divine spark."
MY CREATIVE LIFE
Creative writing and photography became central to my life while working toward an M.F.A. in creative writing, which I received from the Instituto Allende (University of Guanajuato) in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In the years that followed, I wrote two published books, Yes, Boss, and Mentoring Human Potential, and had three solo shows of my photographs (scottseldinphotography.com). Eleven photographs of Bob Marley are in the permanent collection of the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica.
I wrote the music. lyrics, and sang on an album of songs for children, "Alive in the Milky Way." Using one of the songs, I created a music video, "Mother Earth," currently viewed on YouTube.
MY EARNING A LIVING LIFE
After receiving a B.A. in English from American University in Washington D.C., and an M.F.A. from the Instituto Allende, I taught literature and composition at Baruch College for fifteen years in New York City.
Then Santa Fe. I was hired as director of Mountain View, a school that served the academic needs of patients on the adolescent psychiatric unit of St.Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe. Two and a half years later, the hospital closed the adolescent psychiatric unit.
I became Academic Coordinator at the College of Santa Fe. For eleven years I advised and coached hundreds of students, and created a successful student peer mentoring program, designed for the high functioning of mind, body, and spirit.
After the College of Santa Fe closed, I developed a private practice as a Communications Facilitator and Personal Development Coach, received training as a mediator, and created Explorations of Spirit and Creativity.
Copyright 2017 - Scott Seldin