The Traveler in Time

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  • There was that search for meaning, that longing, the perpetual longing. How would I make sense to myself? My eventful life never seemed to stop until I just couldn’t cope with all its ups and downs. I had successes and failures; I sensed deep love and then the inevitable separation that followed. There was no sanctuary, no peace, no place to call home.

    I wondered: is my life controlled by me or am I subject to the whims of events beyond my control? One day I felt great and the next I was depressed. My confusion yielded a search and my despair helped me find answers that were ready-made, packed and arranged. The illusion that now I belonged was so soothing.

    Safety, I cried, just give me safety for fear begat my soul, fear became my master.

    So they came and they sold me their god, nicely wrapped with a book of laws. I wanted to believe in whatever they told me and so they sold me their stale teaching and their regurgitated news, they told me who to adore and who to abuse. I will be changed they said, I will be a new man but deep inside me the longing did not stop.

    The pursuit of happiness drove me insane; I was never good enough for myself, always needing to change to be like the others. I sought approval but was never accepted nor did I feel satisfied. The pursuit of happiness was ceaseless but it gave me hope. It drove me to achieve, to become big and important, to have money and position yet deep inside me still I panicked.

    The hope seemed not to deliver its promise that things would work out later, that the pain would cease, that all environments and circumstances would yield to serve me and then I would be happy. It never happened and I knew my life was an empty facade.

    One day I couldn’t hold it anymore and fell to my knees from where I was pushed down until my face pressed the ground. I was squeezed, smashed, humiliated, everything inside me collapsed and shattered, there was finally nothing left to cling to, not a slight remnant of hope. I realized the false delusions upon which my life was based and I cried.

    I had no choice but to surrender power and say: do with me as you want. My pursuit of happiness was over… praise the lord.

    Now I live in the now, am awake in this moment and respond to it with whatever it brings without much judgment. Nothing lasts forever after all; life is a movement that presents itself to me right now.

    I can handle it, I can cope with it, I can escort it as it passes through. I can feel it, I experience it with all the faculties I have. I have my integrity, I know what’s right and wrong. I have my creativity to play with, my endurance to go through hell if need be, I have right perspective and within this a sanctuary.

    I have my rumbling laughter unabashed and within it ecstasy. I have my dancing shoes, family and friends. I have no fear, better pour me a drink I say, work with me, I am here to cooperate, I am here to celebrate. I cannot be controlled, I fly free in the eternal wind. Bring it on I say, until my last breath, after that I may rest.

    Now I listen to it, my breath, so strange, wonderful, mysterious and I realize it is not I that breathes it, it is it that breathes me – this is the gift of life. I am awake now in this moment with whatever it brings, with no wants nor wishes. I have no hopes nor regrets. My strength comes from my own core and that core is a gift I share with all; I am filled with gratitude for it and that gratitude colors my experience.

    I remember who I am: I am the traveler in time and the time is now, now and always.

    Yossi Ghinsberg

    Yossi is a ‘citizen of the world’ and an eternal nomad, traveling the planet for both professional and personal explorations.

    Yossi was born and raised in Israel and served three years in the navy on the Red Sea where he befriended the Bedouin people who greatly influenced him with their wholesome philosophy and nomadic lifestyle. To this day, regardless of where he may be living, Yossi likes to construct a tent, which may be on a city rooftop or in a rainforest and this tent becomes the center of family life.

    Yossi studied Jewish Philosophy and Business Administration at Tel Aviv University followed by study of the 'Kabala' in authentic environments. A truth seeker by an inner calling, Yossi continues to study religions and philosophy including the Ancients, the Classics, the Eastern, the Contemporary and the Shamanic path.

    His first book 'Jungle' is based on his survival story in the Amazon rainforest and was first published in 1986. An international bestseller, it has been translated into 10 languages and published in more than 20 countries. Recently Darlow Smithson (producers of 'Touching the Void') in cooperation with The Discovery Channel released an acclaimed docudrama titled 'Escape from the Amazon' based on Yossi's story. A feature film is also currently under production in the US.

    In 1992, Yossi returned to the Amazon and made it his home. Fully engaged in the preservation of the Amazon Basin and the empowerment of its indigenous residents, he conducted informative workshops on their intellectual properties. Together with an interdisciplinary team of scientists he established 'Ethnobios' a biodiversity prospecting organisation. Together with the 'Takana' tribe of the 'Tuichi Valley' he initiated 'The Chalalan Project', a model eco-resort, fully owned and managed by local forest dwellers.

    In 1995 Yossi was appointed Vice President of The Center for Investigation & Treatment of Addiction (CITA). In this capacity for the next 7 years, Yossi dedicated his life to promoting a new humanitarian approach for the treatment of opiate addiction, and established several treatment and research centers in more than 10 countries around the world.

    In 2001 during the peak of the Palestinian ’intifada’, Yossi was invited to Israel to produce a reconciliation festival. Despite the escalation of violence in the region, the festival managed to attract spiritual leaders of Islam and Judaism as well as unprecedented audiences.

    Yossi is a highly regarded motivational speaker and seminar leader for corporations and organizations around the globe. 

    Yossi’s second book 'Laws of the Jungle', is a book of insights derived from his life experience and inspired by living in the Amazon and observing nature. The book has been recently published in the US, Israel and Korea. Yossi is currently writing his third book and has also written lyrics for two musical CDs.

    He recently established an innovative venture in the field of Web 3.0, developing a multidimensional semantic browser. The working title for this venture is 'a brave new web'.  

    Yossi practices yoga, does not own a TV and does not play golf. He is happily married to Belinda Yong and is the proud father to three beautiful girls, Mia (24), Cayam (7) and Nissim (4).

    Yossi shares time between Australia, Israel and the rest of the world.

    For more information, please visit

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