We think we’re the lamp shade. We’ve forgotten that we are the light.

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Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder and spiritual director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a transdenominational spiritual community located in Los Angeles, California, that today counts a membership of thousands locally and hundreds of thousands of worldwide friends, as well as international affiliates. Dr. Beckwith is a sought-after meditation instructor and the originator of the Life Visioning Process. He is the author of the award-winning Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential, The Answer Is You, Inspirations of the Heart, Forty Day Mind Fast-Soul Feast, and A Manifesto of Peace. His television appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live, and his own PBS special, The Answer Is You. He is also the co-founder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation. (www.agapelive.com)

the interview

Almost a year after relocating to Los Angeles for the second time, I was invited to attend Agape Church on a Sunday morning. I had heard of Agape—if you live in L.A., you have probably at least heard of Agape—but I’d never attended. Everyone I’d ever talked to about it said it was incredible, but I didn’t get it. Now I get it. And I get why Michael Bernard Beckwith is world-renowned. He is an incredibly dynamic leader and speaker, and one-on-one, he is gracious and warm. A few months later, I was back at Agape to interview him and was a bit tired and sluggish, and it was pouring rain. After our interview, as I was driving home, I noticed I felt completely energized and inspired, and the sun had come out, along with a crazy-perfect rainbow (in LA?!). Michael had referred to his work as “work-play,” and I smiled, suddenly realizing I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Michael Beckwith & ChoirMichael Beckwith and Choir, Photo by Barry Selby