Perhaps the most important thing I have learned in this extraordinary life is that we are responsible for our own happiness. It is not determined by anything outside of ourselves even though it often appears to be. The rich can be miserable ("Oh, I'm so unhappy. I wanted Johnson to drive me to Tiffany's in the Lamborghini but now I have to go in the stupid Rolls. How awful.") And the poor can be joyful ("Ah, there is enough food for the whole family this year. We are so blessed.") With that reality we have tremendous power; we can stop…
Allan Lokos is the founder and guiding teacher of The Community Meditation Center in New York City. He is the author of Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living and Pocket Peace: Effective Practices for Enlightened Living. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Tricycle magazine, Beliefnet, Back Stage newspaper, and the anthology, Audacious Creativity. Among the many places he has taught are Columbia University Teachers College, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Marymount College, The Rubin Museum, New York Insight Meditation Center, The New York Open Center, Tibet House USA, and Insight Meditation Community of Washington.
Allan has practiced meditation since the mid-nineties and studied with such renowned teachers as Sharon Salzberg, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Goldstein, Andrew Olendzki, Stephen Batchelor, Larry Rosenberg, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, and Tsoknyi Rinpoche. He has also attended a number of weeklong teachings with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama.
Earlier in this life Allan enjoyed a 30 year career as a professional singer on Broadway, in opera, and in concert. He was in the original Broadway companies of Oliver!, Pickwick, and the Stratford Festival/Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance. Allan was selected as one of "50 Inspiring Religious Leaders You Should Follow on Twitter."