“Suddenly, my heart opened and I felt a wave of compassion flowing—no, flooding through me. It was a joyous moment.”


It was a dark, freezing, winter’s night on the east coast of the USA. I arose from a long, deep meditation. My mind was still. My inner world, quiet. At that moment, the fact that I was incarcerated in a US Federal Prison mattered not in the slightest.

Peace and tranquility permeated my being.

Turning, and looking through the window, through the gloaming, the freezing gloam, I saw HIM—the most sadistic, cruel, correctional officer in the prison. He, who delighted in mental torture and who saw himself as vastly superior to the inmates he guarded.

There HE was, huddled under a bright spotlight in a heavy prison issue winter coat; miserable, frozen, shivering, as the wicked wind whipped across his face from the wide, open, ice and snow covered prison compound.

The bright flood light off to the left above him punctured the darkness; accentuated the bitterness; and whited out all of the features of that side of his face, leaving the other side in total darkness.

I realized that the image before me was a perfect metaphor for the reality of the human condition.

The light stripped away the mask, the facade—and revealed that everyone of us is a conditioned human being, a balance of dark and light, and I realized that I could no more judge him than he could judge me.

Quietly, I picked up my marker and sketched the image you see at top right (1).

I stood pondering him from the warm world of my peaceful inner Self.

I thought to myself—HE is as trapped behind the “wire” of HIS own mind, of HIS conditioned construct—as I am of mine. Suddenly, my heart opened and I felt a wave of compassion flowing—no, flooding through me.

It was a joyous moment.

As I broke the shackles of my mind, I stopped loathing him, fearing him and judging him and I saw HIM—the real HIM, for the first time. I saw a fellow human being; a child of God; a man; a son; a brother; a husband; a father.

And at that moment, I saw HIM and, I was HIM.

I looked down at my illustration and realized that I had rendered “Everyman” and added that word to the image (2).

Nothing had changed in him, but everything had changed in me. I realized:

   No matter what he had done or not done

   —he was worthy of love

   No matter what I had done or not done

   —I was worthy of love

   No matter what anyone had done or not done

  —they were worthy of love.

I realized, in the most profound way—at the very core of my being:

   In truth—No man is higher or lower than another

   In truth—Every man is Everyman

   In truth—Thou Art That

   In truth—We are all One.

I added the words, “Thou Art That” below Everyman and at that precise moment, Everyman Foundation was born (3). The teachings of the the great ones merged with the profound epiphany of that moment—in the simple realization of the truth:

“Everyman—Thou Art That”

At that moment, I dedicated myself to sharing that truth with others who were dispossessed by society.

And, from that day forward, I saw only the best in that man and was stunned to find myself enjoying a mutually respectful relationship with him from that moment forward.

See God in yourself. See God in each other.






What do you see, when you look at Everyman?

It was never planned this way, but a volunteer pointed out that irrespective of the position you place yourself in from the perspective of Everyman, you are looking towards the light, away from darkness.