At 11 years of age, catalyzed by an existential epiphany he experienced after breaking his leg while skiing in Italy, 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. The list of jobs Robert held during these years include truck driver, drug dealer, mountain guide, baker, factory worker, and civilian employee of the Israeli Air Force. In 1973, after a three-month overland trek that began in Chamonix, France, he entered India. There, 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, he has developed a reputation as a radically brilliant self-awareness facilitator, speaker, public speaking guru, and leadership adviser, while also serving as a mentor and advisor to individuals, entrepreneurs, creatives, professionals, and executives. He has launched several projects, including Hamsa Institute for Enlightened Leadership, Truth for President, and Radical Sages.
Robert created Speaking Truthfully in 2005, and he has since 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, which he has honed in numerous workshops, meetings, lectures, keynote speeches, and conference presentations. His résumé of speaking engagements includes leading more than 350 of his distinctive inquiry-based seminars, currently called Conversations on the High Wire, as well as presenting custom-tailored talks on a variety of subjects to State of the World Forum, American Management Association, Institute of Notice Sciences, International Conference on Enlightenment, Inner Directions Conference, Praxis Conference, Spirit at Work, 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 IF Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia
Robert has published eight books 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 he later became a columnist for several magazines and webzines in the U.S. and Australia. In 1995, he wrote and directed a groundbreaking video entitled Brilliant Business: A Roadmap to the 21st Century. 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 was interviewed for The Awakening West, a collection of conversations with contemporary Western wisdom teachers. Robert is a certified firewalk instructor who has designed and led numerous outdoor adventure-based retreats for various organizations.
In January 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, where he gleefully disturbs the universe — in a good way!