Bob McAuliffe on How Meditation Changed His Life

May 11th, 2021

By Alicia D'Annunzio

The year was 1974. It was early spring, and Bob was perched on a cliff overlooking the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. His mind was reeling with this new thing called “meditation” he had just stumbled upon while taking a nap in his university’s library one afternoon. Lying on that warm carpet, he looked up at the shelves and found the only book he had ever seen on such a topic. With this newfound interest in mind, he thought, “Well, let’s try it.” He crossed his legs, closed his eyes, and sank into the moment. Unlike most people’s first introduction to meditation- which may include, “Do I feel anything? No, I don’t. What’s wrong with me?” followed by giving up- Bob experienced something he had never felt before. “What reality was shifted and merged into one,” he recalls. “Time stopped… I felt this field of awareness passing through everything. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. My Catholic background had not prepared me for this.”
At the time, Bob was at a seminary studying to be a Catholic priest. Little did he know, his new contemplation practice would become quite controversial. He had experienced a feeling of fulfillment that changed his perspective on spirituality. “I realized that spirituality is not all about rules and regulations. It’s about the blooming of the individual, becoming who [you] really are.” Eventually, Bob was asked to no longer be in the seminary because of his views.
“What was the turning point?” I asked him. “Why did you change your mind?”
“Religion is all about the sacred and the profane- heaven and hell, good and evil, light and dark. We don’t live in a dualistic world like that. In Einstein’s words, that is an ‘optical delusion.’” Bob explains. His meditation experiences had given him a view of unity, a feeling of oneness that goes against the dichotomous teachings of the church.
Bob later got his degree in philosophy, became a husband and a father, and worked through several positions in technology, energy and finance services to support his family. He met Steve D'Annunzio at a day-long workshop hosted by The Wealth Design Group in Houston. “That was the first time in my life I talked to someone who presented your career- what you do for a living- as a fulfillment of your soul purpose versus just something you do.” This message struck such a chord with him that he entered Steve’s coaching program. The conversations at the Mission Driven Advisor mentoring group reignited Bob’s love for philosophy and spirituality, and the value placed on self-actualization and fulfillment.
Bob’s work in the program allowed him to graduate from student to coach. He became an ICF certified coach through New Vibe Coaching in 2018. Now his main focus is studying the science of meditation and the multitudinous benefits of such a practice. The last 20 years of neuroscience research have gleaned incredible insights on meditation, which you can read about in Bob’s new book, Outside of Time. Not only do we see people’s minds becoming more peaceful, but we also see slowed aging, sharper focus, and increasingly profound social connections between people.
Going deeper into his experiences, Bob says, “I go out walking through the woods, and I can feel the trees around me. And it’s as if they can feel me too.” 
“What would you say to those who don’t believe in that connection?” I asked.
“Ok.” He said. “Whatever works for you.” His positive attitude reminded me of Nassim Haramein, a physicist who said, “I speak and people throw tomatoes at me. Luckily, I’m Italian. So I take those tomatoes and make a beautiful red sauce out of them.”
Bob’s writings in Outside of Time are evidence-based, so skeptics need not worry about clashing ideologies. This book provides the complete guide on understanding meditation from an interdisciplinary perspective, along with poems and sketches inspired by Bob’s insights.
If you’re new to meditation, Outside of Time can introduce you to the amazing world of mindfulness. If you’re an experienced meditator, the book can help you go deeper. In a world with so many perplexing, moving parts, there has never been a better time to learn about transcending the mind. Bob invites anyone who is curious about meditation to join the conversation, and tap into the true sense of interconnection available to us anytime, anywhere.

Click here to get your copy of Outside of Time

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