648. Retiring Early While His Brain Was Still Inspired
Richard D. Maddox
Richard was working 16-hour days—often seven days a week—marketing Silicon Valley start-ups. But through it all he did one thing consistently every day since 1975, which gave him a story to tell hard-charging Westerners about finding enlightenment.
Richard Dietrich Maddox grew up in the Midwestern United States and graduated with honors from Princeton University. After graduation, he spent five years in Europe studying literature and preparing to teach meditation. He taught meditation for two years, before serving as the Vice President of Sales for seven successful high-tech startup companies. In 2005, he retired from the business world to concentrate on writing. He is the author of the double international Amazon bestselling enlightenment novels, “Remembering Eternity” and “The Whisper of a Saint.”
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
His younger sister initiated him into meditation during his years at Princeton, and later he practiced and taught meditation for two years in Europe, working with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. “It paid only $150 a month, plus room and board, so it was not any kind of a career. But, in terms of satisfaction, it was immense.” He left to work with several high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley. For 20 years, despite long work hours, “I always meditated twice a day. I have never missed a day since 1975. I just said to myself, this is the thing that is going to get me there, and no matter how tired I am, I am going to continue to do it.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I had always had my plan to retire early enough that my brain would still be creative, and that I would have enough money, frankly, to live a simpler life but at least be able to survive comfortably. That point came when I was 52. I went down to Santa Cruz, California and got a place on the beach. Then, for five years, seven days a week—with an occasional day with my kids—I wrote “Remembering Eternity.” It is the seventh longest novel ever written, broken into nine books. It is a story of the journey to enlightenment, from the perspective of someone living in the western world.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“If you’re sitting in traffic, having problems with the kids, with lots of bills to pay, and you try to read the enlightened Eastern Masters saying to you, ‘Life is bliss, just realize it,’ it just seems too good to be true. Using fiction, I decided to tell a story that would entertain readers but also inspire them to turn inside, to really go for it and begin to meditate to find enlightenment. That is what “Remembering Eternity” is all about. When you begin to meditate, you naturally get in touch with what you are supposed to be doing. You become more like a surfer riding the wave than someone fighting against the tide.”
Steps to Success from Richard D. Maddox
1. Meditate every day, twice a day if possible. Just set aside the time and do it, no matter what. Meditation is the jet fuel of spiritual traditions.
2. Take a break from the wildness of your mind—that is flitting here and there like a crazy monkey—and allow yourself to settle down. Peace is what happens.
3. Recognize that you are not your ego. Underneath all your identities is pure consciousness, accessible to you through meditation.
Connecting With Richard D. Maddox
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