Brandon had a fascination with exploring the role of thinking, and perhaps mindfulness early on. His first attraction to stillness was as an early teen; “In quiet moments I would have the thought that I would like to ‘act in the world’ in a ‘unified’ manner—not merely reacting—being blown about like a leaf in the wind.”
Later—in college—he would often recognize, and suggest to friends that “It’s all a state of mind”.
Life provided three events which, in tandem, proved to be the catalyst to awakening and ultimately forming Ease and Lightness Meditation Services in 2014: Treatment for cancer, recovery from substance abuse, and divorce. Writer Steve Taylor has described this type of life change as a SITE: a ‘permanent Suffering Induced Transformational Experience.’ SITEs involve the establishment of a new self-system according to Taylor.
Originally diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2004, the malignant cells in Brandon’s body changed to a more aggressive type in 2007. Chemotherapy provided the impetus to seek alternative ways to approach the Lymphoma experience and the desperation and helplessness associated with it. Brandon became exposed to some meditation methods and decided to try it. He began meditating with increasing frequency, duration, and consistency.
A 12-step program was vital to his personal growth. He applied himself rigorously to the program, but it was the 11th step, which includes meditation, that became the lynchpin in his recovery.
After receiving a Finance MBA from the University Of Miami Graduate School Of Business, Brandon was Director of Brokerage Services for real estate investment firm United Trust Fund, and went on to corporate financial analysis work with The Princeton Foundation, Merrill Lynch Banks, and Munich Re. Most recently he has been Technology Administrator at Coldwell Banker.
Brandon is a professional musician, and has performed in many contexts. His current project is Shikantaza. The name Shikantaza is the Japanese Zen form of meditation, which literally translates as ‘sitting quietly doing nothing’, and the group specializes in a meditative flavor of jazz.
He augments his regular meditation with daily yoga practice and study. While many are most familiar with the ‘asanas’ of yoga—or its physical aspects—yoga is most fundamentally meditation: stilling the mind to see clearly.