CS Schafer is an author, a writer of creative non-fiction stories on subjects that he has directly experienced and resulted in significant self-upgrades. He typically covers the following topics: health, wellness, meditation, travel, and self-mastery through practical lifestyle adaptations.
“Hello. My name is CS Schafer. You killed my father. Prepare to die.“ Not literally, this is from ‘The Princess Bride’. But seriously, I am writing this bio myself, the author. Most do this I do believe, and so instead of pretending someone else wrote this, substituting ‘I’ and ‘my’ for a ‘he’ and a ‘his’, I am telling the truth or part of the truth, as this is only the short version.
I was born in 1967 in Los Angeles, California to a piano mover and a housewife. My younger sister came two years later, my elder sister one year before, but she from a different father, unknown to my father, unknown to us all, until 2003 when she found us all. Of course, my mom knew, but she kept it to herself.
My father died of a heart attack a year later, when I was in graduate school in India. I was so immersed in the ashram life of a monk that I didn’t come home for his funeral. I am sorry about that, not to my father but to my relatives.
A pack of women raised me. Each one gave me a precious gift: my biological mother gave me the gift of her absence, leaving my dad when I was five — she left me free of her strong opinions. My stepmom gave me discipline, structure, and a normal nuclear family experience in suburbia. My third mom, my grandma, gave me unconditional love and told me I was special, which of course is true. The fourth, fifth and sixth moms were my three aunts; two were wives of my father’s brothers and one was his sister, Aunt Nancy, the daughter of my beloved grandmother. They all mothered me when they got a chance. They all had sons of their own so I was simply added as an additional one. My aunts are all amazing in their own right, a fact I recognized early in my life, looking up to these women with respect, looking at all women with respect because of them. They took care of me during summer vacations and holidays, took me camping, took me to the beach to the mountains and loved me inclusively as part of their own family, but most of all, engendering my belief in love in marriage in mothers.
I owe the most though to my dad, Larry. He was my first guru. He taught me karate, lucid dreaming, survival skills, and countless other things that I am still discovering today, but perhaps the greatest lesson he taught me was how to be myself. He never imposed his ego upon me, never pressured me to be someone he could live vicariously through. He loved me for who I was, and for that, I am most grateful.
I grew up in Los Angeles, then we moved to Chicago when my father got a promotion to regional manager of Schafer Brothers. Now the company is known as Schafer Logistics.
After a few more years we moved back to California, to a rural horse-friendly town called Rancho Cucamonga, a town famous for Route 66, Frank Zappa, wine, and oranges. I lost my virginity there, graduated high school, graduated university, and Rancho Cucamonga was the last place I called home before I left it forever.
I gained my undergraduate degree in Business from California Polytechnic University in 1993. The choice of a business degree was obviously an influence of my grandfather, my uncles, and my dad. They were all in the business world and that meant I was always in the business world until I wasn’t anymore. It was not a terrible world, I’m not complaining about it. The knowledge of business was imparted to me by my dad and uncles throughout my early life. This influence on my character can be boiled down to self-reliance — God created the world but it is up to us, as individuals as families as communities as a country to leave a mark on it and go through it. Identification stopped at the nation as far as my family was concerned, they strongly identified with being Americans as do I, but I have added a few more spheres — planet, galaxy, and universe. Our family motto is “God helps those who help themselves.” So when I got into a difficult situation my dad would never directly intervene just like the Prime Directive on Star Trek dictates — prohibiting interference with the internal development of alien civilizations. If I got myself into trouble it was up to me to get myself out of it. This lesson was repeated over and over as exemplified by the family business paradigm. This philosophy formed a strong and independent personality, preparing me for the trials and errors of adulthood.
Immediately after college I worked at a bank, using my degree to get in. I lasted a year before I became disillusioned with a career in banking and business in general. It felt like I was being tied down like Gulliver, bound to the ever-growing contact list that I worked diligently to build. I wanted out, so I went back to school. Not literally, but I did go back to the career center at my former university, Cal-Poly.
At the career center I had browsed the “jobs abroad” binder in pursuit of my first career, just before I’d got the banking job. I remembered a single flyer, showing me a way to escape the race, an overseas job that paid well in more ways than one: in the rich culture, in life experience, and—best of all—in a super-radical paradigm shift that turned my world upside down forever. My personal point of view expanded from nation-centric to world-centric. All of the sudden, the whole world mattered. Living and working in South Korea, a small country dependent on the world, exposed me to a new and complex lifestyle, a world centered lifestyle. This included diet, language, religion, family and much more.
Before I departed for South Korea I got rid of all my possessions: photos, furniture, friendships, and my girlfriend. I truly believed that to fully experience a new country, a new culture, it was mandatory to abandon my culture, my conditioning. Then I could leap forward and into a brand new way of life.
I worked and traveled around Asia for about six years, with a three-year jaunt in San Francisco earning me an unofficial degree in liberalism. Remembering the American maxim of Mary Schmich—Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft—I moved to Manhattan after a mind-blowing trip to India in 2000, where I experienced a second personal paradigm shift.
I spent six months on Manhattan Island, teaching yoga and attending events such as the State of the World Forum.
After spending all my savings in New York, I returned to Asia, this time to Japan, working in education for a few years, earning enough money to go back to India.
My earlier trip to India in early 2000 revealed a super-radical way of life, in stark contrast to the western paradigm. I was shown a lifestyle that is practiced and cultivated and lived seven days a week (unlike some religions which are only really practiced one day a week) but you had to drop out of society for a while to get it started. This is called the path of the Sannyasi, a monk, not the religious kind of monk, but the zen kind. It means seeing and living life in constant remembrance or union with the higher self.
So, I hatched a plan: teach English in Japan for a few years (2001-2003), save the funds necessary to get to India, enroll in a two-year graduate course and then renounce everything and live as a wandering monk.
I was accepted by the famous Bihar School of Yoga Ashram, which housed the university known as Bihar Yoga Bharati. After two years cloistered, I earned my post-graduate degree, an M.A. in Philosophy in 2005.
I became very clear-headed, very self-aware and pragmatically detached from material ambition, aloof from society.
I never became a full monk but returned to California, trying to live a normal life, at which I failed, so I returned once again (fourth time) to India, where I opened a wellness center in Bangalore, which is where I met my wife, Yoshika in 2007. I later opened a guest house, and a five-acre retreat. I organized and ran courses, retreats and residential programs in my center in Bangalore and in Mysore. This lasted almost six years and in 2013 I left India for the island of Hawaii where I am currently living on an off-grid fruit tree farm with my wonderful wife, two dogs, and a cat.
Get a Free Relaxation Audio
This MP3 is a 30-minute relaxation audio program for anyone who needs to relax deeply into an alpha state. Just sit in your favorite chair or lie down and play the audio. You will be guided through a time-tested systematic approach to mind+body balance by a gentle voice and music in the background, bringing deep peace and a meditative state of mind.
Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.
Join the newsletter
Receive our latest content by email.
Excellent! Now check your email to confirm your subscription.