My name is Jay and I am the owner of Sage Meditation.
I started this business because I wanted to be independent of the corporate world where I had worked for so much of my adult life. As has happened for many of us, my jobs came and went on a regular basis. My last job was suddenly deemed “not necessary” and I was once again unemployed.
When I decided to go into business, I knew that it had to be something I was passionate about and it had to be ethical. I wondered if I could make a living supporting meditation practice. I found some great companies with my goals and interests at heart. Together, we’ve created Sage Meditation.
I believe my personal meditation practice began when I was just a child. I grew up in Central Wisconsin and was generally not unlike any other Midwestern boy climbing trees, playing with my siblings, my friends and my little terrier, Bonnie, and building snow forts during the long, cold winters. But I regularly found myself seeking small, quiet spaces and just sitting, listening to the silence, and feeling so content.
Sometimes my mother would come looking for me. You know how mothers worry when the kids are too quiet. When she found me she would ask, “What are you doing?” I would sheepishly reply, “I don’t know”. But I couldn’t tell her how happy I was in my quiet little space, because I really didn’t know what I was doing.
My meditation practice formally began in 1998 when a friend of mine introduced me to the Correspondence Course through Siddha Yoga. A year later I attended my first Satsang in a Siddha Yoga Meditation Center. I enjoy the chanting and the talks by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. But, most of all, I enjoy the meditation.
I practice meditation daily at home. I read and study books about spirituality and meditation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Krishnamurti, Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hahn, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, and many others. Of course, one does not become enlightened simply by reading books. But I believe that studying the thoughts of enlightened beings has certainly enriched my life. In the end, it has been my meditation practice that has enriched me the most and to which I have always been dedicated.
I eventually left the Siddha Yoga group as I felt a calling back to my Christian roots. I sing tenor in our choir and Compline group (Gregorian-style chant) at Luther Memorial Church. It's a beautiful place with many opportunities to continue my contemplative spiritual practice.
Being in business for myself has been a difficult struggle. At first I didn’t make enough money to support myself, so I had to take part time and temporary jobs in order to pay the bills. The business has grown, though, and affords me a comfortable lifestyle. As I write this little autobiography, we are just seeing signs of recovery from the long recession that began in 2008.
Every day I work to grow the business and I have some great ideas in the wings. I have one half-time employee to help with shipping, inventory management, and QuickBooks entry. The expense of an employee, inventory overhead, and additional space has held profitability and cash flow to a minimum. I’m certain many small businesses go through these same struggles. Still, this work is fulfilling and I wouldn't consider going back to the corporate world.
The really great part is that I have met so many wonderful people in this business. Many of our customers are eager to share their experiences with me. My discussions with them have helped me grow and I have been so grateful to know each of these divine beings. Sure, some of them have been difficult – unable to decide what they want, wanting orders to arrive sooner than possible, and returning items, which truthfully is quite costly to merchants. But these experiences have their value too. As the comedic yet wise Swami Beyondananda put it, “Life is sometimes like photography; we develop from the negatives.”
It is for these people that I am also working to develop a meditation community around Sage Meditation. We have a thriving Facebook community. I don't just advertise our products. I try to educate people on the products and meditation. I also try to bring some wisdom and, occasionally, humor to the page. You can find us at http://www.facebook.com/sagemeditation. Feel free to "Like" us.
I hope this little autobiography has given you a fair introduction to me, Jay, the small business owner and practicing meditator. I’ve enjoyed sharing a bit of myself with you and hope that, someday, you will share a bit of yourself with me. I’m the guy who answers the phone here and that has really allowed me to be in touch with my customers. There will come a day when I hand that task off to someone whom I hope will be happy to work here, but I hope I never lose touch with my customers – the ones who really make this all possible.
Thank you very much for reading.