At 11 years of age, catalyzed by an epiphany he experienced while recovering from a broken leg, Robert began seeking answers to such perennial questions as Who am I? What is real? How shall I live?
His seeking took him on adventures throughout the world, from the beaches of Mexico to the forests of Finland, from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California to the Sinai Desert of Israel, from Kabul, Afghanistan to Bangkok, Thailand. He studied Zen and aikido in the late '60s. In 1973, after a three-month overland trek that began in Chamonix, France, he entered India, where he met Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, with whom Robert lived and worked for the next 10 years.
Robert began his distinctive professional journey in 1985. Since then, with his motto of Have Mouth, Will Travel, Robert has developed a reputation as an iconoclastic self-awareness facilitator, speaker, and leadership adviser, while also serving as a mentor and adviser to individuals, entrepreneurs, creatives, professionals, and executives. He is the creator of the "The 5 Principles of Authentic Living" and "Speaking Truthfully."
Robert has published eight books, including Sound Bites from Silence: Scouting Reports from the Frontier of Consciousness, and more than 250 articles on the themes of meditation, self-inquiry, leadership, self-expression and public speaking, authentic living, and spiritual activism. In the early 1990s, he wrote a pioneering column for The New Leaders executive newsletter entitled “The Corporate Mystic”; and later became a columnist for several magazines and webzines in the U.S. and Australia. Robert was commissioned to write original essays for three leading-edge anthologies: Leadership in a New Era, 12 Step Wisdom at Work, and The Workplace and Spirituality; and he was interviewed for The Awakening West, a collection of conversations with contemporary Western wisdom teachers. His "Un-common Commentary Blog" features new articles by Robert on a variety of topics and themes.
Robert offers "Conversations on the High Wire" to the nondual community: these are unscripted, unrehearsed, playfully free-wheeling way to explore authentic living. These dialogues stimulate the silent awareness beyond language and thought, where we experience deeper levels of knowing, feeling, and acting; where we come upon our own embodied wisdom, authentic presence, and creative power. Participants are always encouraged to ask specific questions and suggest topics of interest and relevance to their lives. He is also available to have these conversations in private, one-to-one mentoring sessions.
Robert is particularly focused on the transformational potential of authentic self-expression and public speaking, because these activities are potent ways to develop self-awareness, while remaining grounded in everyday life. Robert created Speaking Truthfully masterclasses and personal coaching 10 years ago, and he has taught his philosophy and principles of authentic self-expression to hundreds of people, a veritable cultural cross-section of people, including corporate executives, government officials, students, professionals, best-selling authors, fashion designers, social workers, activists, performance artists, spiritual teachers, life and business coaches, holistic healers, academics, and entrepreneurs.
Robert’s unique speaking style is the foundation for Speaking Truthfully masterclasses, and his own résumé of speaking engagements includes leading more than 350 of his distinctive inquiry-based personal growth seminars, and talks on a variety of subjects to: State of the World Forum, American Management Association, Institute of Noetic Sciences, International Conference on Enlightenment, Inner Directions Conference, Living Now Symposia, Praxis Conference, Spirit at Work, SLaM Network, San Francisco State University, California Institute of Integral Studies, Golden Door Spa, JFK University School of Management, and Monash University. The International Coach Federation, the premier business and life coaching training and certifying organization in the world, invited Robert to address their Master Coaches at the 2002 ICF Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2012, he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and told he had six to nine months to live. However, in keeping with his contrarian nature, he continues to thrive well past his use-by date. He lives in Los Angeles.