Speaker: Timber Hawkeye

Beyond the American Dream to the Zen of Daily Life

Timber Hawkeye is the author of the bestselling books Buddhist Boot Camp and Faithfully Religionless, a memoir. From an early age, Timber recognized the contradictions inherent in our world and society, noticing that society’s endorsement of wealth, possessions, and career are complications and distractions from a freer, truer, simpler, and more happy and connected way of life.

Timber was born in Israel.  Raised in a small town in the Golan Heights, he moved with his family to San Francisco at the age of 13,  He was introduced to books by Eknath Easwaran at 16, and that's what sparked his interest in mindfulness and meditation. He has described his teenage years and early twenties as an ongoing attempt to embody the "American Dream" and being "successful."  He started out as a paperboy at the age of 14 and got his start in corporate America during his senior year of high school.  He took on paralegal jobs at law firms around the Bay Area and later in Seattle, Washington.

In his books, interviews and public talks, Hawkeye mentions a few key moments that changed the trajectory of his life: First, when he moved from San Francisco, CA to Seattle, WA, he accepted a job at a law firm that offered him 50% of the annual salary he received in California, but he loved Seattle so much and found himself twice as happy in the Pacific Northwest as he had been in Northern California. At that moment he realized that how happy he is has nothing to do with how much money he makes (despite the media constantly telling us otherwise). Second, after five years of working at the same law firm in Seattle, another paralegal at the firm was celebrating her 30-year anniversary, and Hawkeye says the fact that she was celebrating 30 years in a cubicle terrified him, as it had already been a total of ten years for him in California and Washington. That's when he decided there's got to be more to life than just working for a paycheck.

He sold everything he ever owned and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii with the intention to lead a simple and uncomplicated life. He worked odd jobs on the island just to cover minimal expenses, and spent the rest of his time playing beach volleyball and tennis, hiking, and independently studying world religions and psychology simultaneously to better understand what people believe and why they believe what they do.

His first book, Buddhist Boot Camp, which began as a blog, is a compilation of the monthly emails that Timber sent to friends and family to keep them informed of his life in Hawaii. Eight years later, upon the suggestion of a friend who found his communications inspiring, Timber’s writing was published as a book and today also appears in Spanish, French, Polish, Chinese, Dutch, and German. The book provides mind-training techniques that are accessible, doable, and positive. Timber’s Buddhist Boot Camp podcast is a free online offering.

The force of Timber’s messages and life goes beyond inspiration. He offers a secular and non-sectarian approach to being at peace with the world, both within and around us. He does not consider himself a teacher or master of anything or anyone, but rather a translator of ancient wisdom into a language that people today can go beyond understanding to actually implementing into their daily lives.

A believer in action and the power of simplicity, Timber’s words encourage us to move from inspiration and thinking to application. In his 2012 TEDx Talk on gratitude, Timber cuts to the truth about the how our beliefs and choices make us the victims of suffering and make us blind to this condition. “What I found to be consistently true with everyone I met,” remarks Timber in describing a four-month period of travels and homestays, “is that all of our suffering is self-inflicted.”

Timber’s compassionate, kind, and down-to-earth manner takes us unabashedly to the parts of our common human condition that may be less appealing but that demand examination. Yet in illuminating what it means to be human, Timber also pithily guides us toward the flip-side of this coin, showing us how we can inhabit our humanity in a spirited, joyful way and opening our eyes to what is most essential to our time here on earth.

Join us in conversation with this wise, compassionate author and guide!

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