Press release

Everywhere I go, I am touched when people tell me how inspiring my life story has been to them, due to the challenges I have overcome in my eight decades on this planet.

I am a born survivor, but I have had help, and I don’t mean success, or money, although I have been blessed with both. The help that has been essential to my well-being, my joy, and my resilience is my spiritual life. This is a big statement – ​​easy to say, harder to explain. But here, in Happiness Is Born Within You: A Spiritual Guide That Will Change Your Life, I have the great pleasure of sharing with you the story of my spiritual journey.

I always wanted to be a teacher, but I thought I should wait until the moment when I had something important to say, when I was sure how to offer true wisdom. That moment is now.

As I write these words, we are in the midst of the worst pandemic in the last hundred years. Because of this tragedy, many of us have mourned the loss of loved ones, while many others have unfortunately lost their livelihoods. My heart aches as I stand with you in this new and uncertain scenario. Even if you are one of the few people who have avoided the direct impact of this misfortune, we all know that no one goes through life without facing obstacles. More than ever, I believe that we must choose hope and use our difficulties to move forward and rise.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting on adversity over the past decade, as I faced a series of serious health crises that nearly killed me. While going through all of this, I had many opportunities to look back on the events of my life and ask myself some difficult questions. How did I overcome so many serious problems? You probably know the list, and it’s long: an unhappy childhood, abandonment, an abusive marriage, a stalled career, financial ruin, the premature death of family members, and multiple illnesses.

There were many circumstances and external forces that I could not change or control, but the revelation that transformed my life was that what I could change was the way I reacted to these challenges. The most valuable help comes from within us, and peace comes when people strive to become the best versions of themselves. I began that work in my thirties, when I discovered the transformative power of spirituality.

Spirituality is not tied to any religion or philosophy. It is not the property of any priesthood or clergy. Spirituality is a personal awakening and the unique relationship we have with Mother Earth and the universe that increases open-mindedness and positivity. My awakening began five decades ago through the practice and study of Buddhist teachings. Sharing the story of this precious part of my life with you is a long-cherished dream. This book contains my personal guidance on how to achieve lasting happiness. It explains spiritual truths I have learned on my improbable path to fulfillment, from childhood to today. Here I reveal the untold and most important lessons of my life, the deepest discoveries and ancient principles that are very valuable to help you recharge your soul.

I offer you this knowledge so that you have the tools to overcome your own obstacles (even if your trials seem as impossible to overcome as those I have faced) and achieve your own dreams, so that you can become someone truly happy. I want you to open your heart and your mind, to revive your spirit with new hope, with courage and compassion, and to change the world by transforming your life. Let me show you all the wonderful ways in which Happiness is born from you.


There is an expression that says there are two things you should never worry about: the things you can change and the things you can’t change. In my experience, almost anything can be changed if you change it first, so don’t worry. As long as your behavior is based on compassion and you are continually polishing your own life, you will be on the right path. Sometimes our innate Buddha nature, which encompasses our compassion, our clarity, and our breadth of perception, can deteriorate from lack of use. But when we step out of our comfort zone and open our hearts, we can polish away the stains and radiate clear light into our world.


Buddhism teaches that every living being has been another’s mother, father, sister, brother, child, or other loved one, many times spanning infinite lifetimes across every corner of the universe. Whether or not we can fathom this concept, I hope the idea opens your mind as it has mine. Here we all are, together again, living on this wonderful planet. This is our reality. So let’s act like we’re the distant family we really are, and let’s always behave with kindness. To quote Pope Francis: “Today, more than ever, the world needs a revolution of tenderness.”


We must honor Mother Earth by appreciating her resources. All things and all people have value, and so do experiences. Always hold onto the value of your experiences, especially what you learned from the negative ones, so that you never repeat them. When I say value, I mean anything that improves your life, or helps you grow. It could be knowledge you gained from an experience, or an inspiring memory of something you appreciate. If it was a negative situation, or an interaction with people you would rather forget, even if you can’t see any value in it, you can resolve to never behave like the unpleasant people you encountered. This is valuable in itself.


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