Ray - "What does that mean, really?"

Ray, our perpetual volunteer, has spent pretty much all of his life as an ongoing query. During the peak of his academic career the query was formalized in semantics and the study of language, as ´what does {any word} mean, really?’ At other times it was a vague sense there’s way more to the story and everything, can be questioned, even the logic of doing a fully funded PhD in Anthropology at Brandeis University, and working as a research associate at MIT.

Having been inspired by the principles of special and general relativity while doing a course on modes of thought (existentialism), Ray left his graduate work to return to his home in the USA and teach locally until something more intriguing came up.

It did. It’s called Celiac Sprue disease and as in my other cases the symptoms appeared in his early thirties and well, he started dying, slowly, very slowly, and with much noise and consternation. All the best doctors and most expensive medications later did nothing to help him and yet, reluctant to give up to his fate – slow and tedious death from the inside out – he did what all sensible people do in these cases. He started meditating.

The activity of meditating, for Ray listening to the voices of nature – wind, water, insects, etc., – would lead him on a journey that began with his being diagnosed and healed from Celiac Sprue disease by a German resident in Oregon, through over forty countries until today, where he gives part of his time to the mission and vision of Olive Retreat.

During that time Ray has lived and taught in universities in the USA, China, Lesotho, Saudi Arabia and Thailand, and during the most recent decade served as a communications advisor at the highest corporate level. He has met and worked with Fortune 50 Chairmen and CEOs, Kings, Prime Ministers, Ministers, orphans, slaves, abandoned and lost, and learned from them all. Shinzo Abe once said to him, "you're the innovator," Glenn Lowry, "you're the idea man," Dr. Dieter Zetsche, "you're fast," Arnold Schwarzeneggar, "get some sleep," Michael Phelps, "thanks!" and Pra Tawat, "meditate like this, Ajarn Ray."

Ray's journey has flown him in private jets (often reluctantly) and down dusty streets in bare feet and loose hanging lungis. He's eaten with Kings and dined with monks and untouchables, but can't tell which is which and who is who. He has studied meditation in China, Tibet, Nepal, India, the US and Thailand.

 He took this picture while on his way to Everest Base Camp. Once there, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) would intervene in his ultimate plans.

He took this picture while on his way to Everest Base Camp. Once there, High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) would intervene in his ultimate plans.