My name is Josiah Barber, but I often go by my nickname, Darshan. In late 2004, I participated in a six-month intensive meditation teacher training course run by a spiritual organization called The Ishayas. As part of that course, I took vows, becoming an "Ishaya monk".
After teaching with the Ishayas for two years, I realized that I had outgrown the organization and chose to disaffiliate myself from it. I stopped teaching and began attending college full-time. I also stopped using the meditation techniques I had learned from the Ishayas. I took the opportunity to really explore my mind and my place in it. What is a thought, where does it come from, and where does it go? How long does a thought last? Do I direct my thoughts, or am I just the thing that's aware of them? I began inventing and experimenting with different ways to meditate.
I feel that I am now in a unique position to offer meditation instruction without any of the religious or new-age beliefs that too often accompany it. Meditation is an amazing tool for relieving stress, centering oneself, finding a sense of peace, etc. It does not require any particular belief system to be effective, nor am I interested in telling others what to believe. I happen to be an atheist, I happen to believe that others' belief systems can have a positive (or negative) influence on the quality of their lives, and I firmly believe that none of that has anything to do with meditation. I simply want to help others find some peace and happiness, and I believe the techniques I have to offer are a straightforward means to that end.