I am a native born Oklahoma boy, raised in a rare liberal, secular home. I was interested in Buddhism the first time I ever heard of it. I began practicing in my mid-30s to help me survive the stress of my career as a special education teacher. Meditation allowed me to survive and even thrive on the job, I began making presentations to teachers and I began writing in an effort to articulate the practice to make it accessible to people. Meditation is very simple but not at all easy. We all need encouragement.