My name is Jeff Cannon. Like many of you I walked a line between a spiritual path and a career path for much of my life. One led to simplicity the other to the trap of materialism.
I balanced a part-time meditation practice with my drive for more. It was not until I was awakened with the news of seven brain tumors in 2009 that my I found the balance I had always been looking for.
The tumors were the result of a workaholic lifestyle that my body just could not maintain. It finally gave into the stress, the lack of sleep, the hit or miss diet and a life that had been killing me for years. It was the worst day of my life and the best.
Those tumors were genetically benign but geographically malignant. They took up 25% of my skull space, and they were growing. I was living on 75% of my brain, and losing cognitive abilities every day. If nothing was done I would experience reduced ability until I died.
I was given thirty days to let go of my clients, to let my people go, and to close my business as I prepared for my upcoming surgery. This was not the first time I had undergone a procedure like this. It was the seventh. The first time was in 1992. The doctors used a hand-drill to get through my skull.
Eleven hours of surgery later, six of the seven tumors were removed. That was the moment my real journey began.
As I recovered, I watched my brain reconnect itself. I witnessed my senses come back online. I saw my cognitive skills return. Each giving me a sense of what life was like without them.
The silver lining to the whole experience was that I had been given a golden ticket to reach out to doctors, researchers, priests and monks around the world. I spent the next year researching the growing field of neuroscience and learned about neuroplasticity first hand. I watched my brain rewire itself. I spoke with doctors and scientists, researchers and therapists. I met with monks and priests to see where prayer and meditation came into play. I rediscovered a meditation practice I had given up long ago. Most important, I learned that we can change the way our minds work, and in so doing, change our lives.
My experience drove me to learn as much as I could about the brain, meditation and how they interacted. I eventually turned my experience into the book I called The Simple Truth: Meditation for the Modern World.
The response from that book told me I was not alone. I opened a studio and launched my organization, calling it The Simple Truth Project. I also developed a practice for the modern world, calling it simply Modern Meditation, to reflect the changes that science was having on spirituality and to teach the practice of everyday mindfulness to the world.
My reaching and my work help others benefit from the practice of meditation and mindfulness in a way that works with their lives. I do this by refining traditional practices so that they fit the realities of the 21st Century world you live in.