Founder and Spiritual Director of Agape International Spiritual Center
Dr. Michael Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building spiritual community. In the 1970’s he began an inward journey into the teachings of East and West, and today teaches universal truth principles found in the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom tradition of spirituality. Gifted with a vision of a trans-denominational spiritual community, in 1986 he founded the Agape International Spiritual Center upon his faith in that original vision.
In a personal letter to him Coretta Scott King wrote, "I greatly admire what you are doing to bring about the Beloved Community, which is certainly what my dear husband worked for and ultimately gave his life."
Recently described in “What Is Enlightenment?” magazine as a "non-aligned trans-religious progressive," Dr. Beckwith shares his powerful conviction of creating the Beloved Community through his participation on international panels with other peacemakers and spiritual leaders including Dr. T. Ariyarante of Sri Lanka, and Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi. He is co-founder of the Association for Global Thought, an organization dedicated to planetary healing and transformation.
Dr. Beckwith is the originator of the Life Visioning Process, which he teaches throughout the country along with meditation, scientific prayer, and the spiritual benefits of selfless service. He facilitates retreats, workshops and seminars. His books include: “Inspirations of the Heart”, “Forty Day Mind Fast Soul Feast”, and “A Manifesto of Peace”.
Dr. Beckwith’s achievement as a humanitarian and emissary of peace have been widely acclaimed. In 2003, his activities were enumerated when he was written into the Congressional Record of the 107th congress. He is the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, some of which include: The 2004 Africa Peace Award, Thomas Kilgore Prophetic Witness Award, Howard Thurman Stained Glass Window Award by Morehouse College, a commissioned oil portrait for Morehouse’s prestigious Hall of preachers, and the Humanitarian Award of the National Conference for Compassion and Justice.
Thousands gather weekly to receive inspiration from Dr. Beckwith at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California. Together, Drs. Michael Beckwith and Rickie Byars Beckwith have written lyrics and music performed by the Agape International Choir in concert venues worldwide. Always in demand, their performances inspire peace and goodwill in the global community. They share their lives with their four adult children and six grandchildren.
Breath: The Elixir of Life
Every breath we take is a doorway to mindfulness, to being present in the now moment. Most of what we know in the West about conscious breathing has come to us from the East, specifically through their meditation and yoga techniques of which we have become grateful beneficiaries. For example, in his book You Are Here, the beloved Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh tell us, “The way to maintain your presence in the here and now is through mindfulness of the breath.”
We illuminate the moment with our mindfulness, which increases our capacity to realize more and more conscious, mindful moments. The light of mindfulness becomes more and more brilliant. Without taking time to become conscious of breath’s simple magic, we miss connecting with the shortest route to mindfulness. How many times has someone said to you, just before a challenging moment, “Now, take a deep breath”? That is because even our subconscious knows the power of conscious breathing.
Just imagine if the entire world breathed consciously. Calmness and harmony would have an opportunity to inform decisions and actions, and a world body would become unified.