About the Founder
Leonard Sussman, now in his 70’s, was raised in a small modest neighborhood in the Bronx. Losing his father at an early age, he grew up in a challenging environment that left him searching for something more. Despite having a stutter until he was 22 and dyslexia, he graduated college and started a successful career as a life insurance agent at a prestigious firm in Manhattan, NY. Leonard reached success at an early age, yet he still felt there was more meaning to life than he was experiencing. So at 24 years of age, he set off for the west coast on a soul-searching adventure that landed him right in the middle of Haight-Ashbury (a district in San Francisco noted for being the origin of the hippie movement).
This is where he began studying Theosophy and exploring various spiritual teachers, which led him to discover the spiritual path of Surat Shabd Yoga. For Leonard, this resonated the most with his soul and as a result chose this as his spiritual path. After he was initiated in June 1967, he began his plans to travel to India to meet Master Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj. By that fall he was on his way to India where he spent several months with Master, learning from Him and seeking His wisdom and guidance. After a week of testing His beloved Guru, Leonard realized that Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj was truly one with God. The bond they shared was very strong, and after much time with Leonard, Master Kirpal stated that His presence would always be with him until the end of the world
Upon arriving back in the US in the beginning of 1968, Leonard integrated back into society always carrying this deep connection with Master. After several years of devotion and two more visits with Master Kirpal before He died, Leonard felt there was meaning in his life and found himself full of deep love. Over the next 30 years, he stayed devoted to his spirituality while obtaining a Master's Degree in Special Education and working in education. He left teaching several years later to go back to insurance, founding Sussman & Associates and obtaining the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).
Leonard attributes all of his success to Master Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj's grace. This left Leonard with a longing to honor Master and give something back to society, which started coming to fruition in 2004 when he began searching for land to create a sacred place where people of all walks of life could come to seek meditation. He felt if he could create such a place, he would assist in helping evolve the planet and make it a better place. Kirpal Meditation and Ecological Center was founded under this mission. Now semi-retired, in addition to directing KMEC, Leonard devotes himself to serving his clients, his family and school children as a substitute teacher in Battle Ground, WA where he lives with his wife and family.
Kirpal Meditation and Ecological Center is the manifestation of love and gratitude from Leonard to his Master and the rest of the world. He is grateful that you have found this place.
Param Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894-1974)
“To fill the human heart with compassion, mercy and universal love, which should radiate to all countries, nations and peoples of the world. To make a true religion of the heart as the ruling factor in one's life. To enable each one to love God, love all, serve all, and have respect for all, as God is immanent in all forms. My goal is that of oneness. I spread the message of oneness in life and living. This is the way to peace on earth. This is the mission of my life, and I pray that it may be fulfilled.” - Master Kirpal, speaking on his life mission
Kirpal Singh, born in India, sought out a spiritual path ever since his youth, but he never found a Master in the sufis, yogis, and mystics that he came across. At the age of 23 he began seeing a radiant vision of a figure in his meditations, which he knew to be the ethereal form of his future Master. Finally, in 1924 Kirpal Singh met Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj, the Saint of Beas, who matched the luminous form that he had seen with his mind’s eye for seven years. Kirpal Singh was initiated by Hazur and dedicated his life to the spiritual path. As early as 1930, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj would cite Kirpal’s name to those who asked if he had a disciple who was making great progress.
Seven months before his passing, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj called upon Kirpal Singh to entrust him with the work of continuing his spiritual mission after him. Hazur passed away on April 2, 1948. Kirpal Singh spent the following five months in Rishikesh in the Himalayas to grieve the passing of Master in an almost continual state of samadhi. Toward the end of his period of intense meditation, Master Kirpal heard an inner calling from Master, “Return to the world and bring my children back to me.”
Param Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj followed this command and retired from his job, moved to Delhi, and founded his school of spiritual research and realization called Ruhani Satsang. By 1951 Master Kirpal built the Sawan Ashram to hold satsangs or spiritual talks, which were soon followed by thousands of people. This quickly spread his reputation across all of India, and to the west. In 1955 Master went on his first tour to share his teachings throughout the United States and Europe, initiating hundreds of people to the spiritual path. Just two years after this tour he was elected the first President of the World Fellowship of Religions - an organization comprised of representatives from all the major religions in the world - and remained in that position until 1971.
In 1962 Master Kirpal was the first non-Christian to be vested with the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem for his spiritual and humanitarian work. He then went on his second world tour in 1963 that now included meetings with political and religious leaders in addition to his spiritual talks. His third and final tour took place in August of 1972, when he initiated more than 2,000 new people to the path. Through his work, Master presided over four World Conferences and worked to unite people of opposing religious beliefs. In the year of his passing alone he organized a “World Conference on Unity of Man” with an attendance of 100,000, as well as the “Conference of National Unity” where he gathered monks and religious leaders with the goal of eliminating all religious barriers.
Param Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj was truly one with God and it showed in his life’s work. He left this world on August 21, 1974 having spread his mission of oneness to thousands of people all over the world. His teachings continue to reach more people through an extensive collection of books that he wrote in his lifetime, all of which are available in their entirety as PDF files. Having no copyright on his work was a choice that Master made for the spiritual teachings to reach more people, having said, “I have written books without any copyright—no rights reserved—because it is a Gift of God, given by God, as much as sunlight; other gifts of God are also free.” His books cover various topics including a comparative study of various religions and yogas (The Crown of Life), prayer (Prayer, Its Nature and Technique), the nature of spirituality (Spirituality: What It Is), finding a spiritual teacher or guru (Godman), and karma (The Wheel of Life). Link to books: http://www.ruhanisatsangusa.org/books.htm#TheCrownofLife
Meditation Instructions for Surat Shabd Yoga (Light and Sound)
Meditation is a process of leaving the world behind and merging into the creator by focusing our attention within. Sit in any pose that is comfortable, close your eyes and gaze humbly and calmly into the middle of what you see in front of you. Remember your creator and know that he is waiting for you. Your attention should be focused behind and between your eyebrows which some call our Third Eye. Slowly, with the tongue of thought, repeat at intervals any name of God that means something to you. This is to deflect any worldly thought that may come to distract you. You may see light, flashes of light, different colors of light and so forth. This is an indication that you are making progress. Continue to gaze into the middle of what you see in front of you. When inner vistas appear, continue to focus your attention into the middle of what you see while repeating any name of God.