Rev. Robert Applegate – Spiritual Director
I first visited Shanghai in 1983. Both the city and I were so different back then! I was teaching English in Taiwan, fresh out of college with an Asian Studies degree ready to welcome the new Asian century. I had grown up primarily in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand so it seemed inevitible I would somehow find my way back to Asia.
But after two years in Taiwan I returned to the U.S. to go to law school and attempted to become more American and ‘professional’. I tried my very best and ended up traveling to China for business trips and conferences several times a year. By 2005 I noticed China changing so rapidly between visits and decided to live in Yantai, the Sister City of my home in San Diego, California. They were hardly compatible ‘sisters’. I struggled to learn about myself and how to do life and business in that very different environment.
One of my many work experiences was to train mediators and yet I failed time after time to understand my new colleagues. Another big difference from San Diego was the weather. That first winter was the worst in decades. It snowed for 12 days in a row and shut down the city. I was forced to sit in what seemed like a prison while I waited for the ice and snow to melt. This uncomfortable waiting for my ‘life’ to start up again changed me. This wasn’t an immediate outward shift. It was a very deep feeling that I was meant for more than my current struggles to ‘advance’ in life.
A few years later during the economic downturn I found myself out of a job and without a home. This is when I finally acted on that snow driven feeling. I went back to school to get a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies from the Holmes Institute. I’m now a licensed minister in the “new thought / ancient wisdom” tradition of Science of Mind and Spirit. Change your thinking; change your life!
In that first Yantai winter I knew a seed had been planted that would bring me back to China for a different purpose. Centre for Spiritual Living -Shanghai is a result. It is dedicated to show us the creative power of the Divine that lies within each one of us and how to use it.
To contact Robert: firstname.lastname@example.org