Marc Allen is a renowned author. He is the president and publisher of New World Library, which he co-founded with Shakti Gawain in 1977. Marc is the author of several life-changing books, including Visionary Business, A Visionary Life, The Millionaire Course, The Greatest Secret of All, the newly revised Tantra for the West, and his most recent publication The Magical Path.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was born in northern Minnesota and grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs. I had some wonderful peak experiences that I still remember vividly, and I had a lot of anxiety and depression, especially in my late teens and early 20s. Now I’m grateful for every bit of anxiety I had because I realize every moment was essential to take me on the path I’ve taken.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
I wish I would have learned earlier to take it easy. To relax more often. To quit worrying about things. To have fun. To accept what is. As Eckhart says, to offer no resistance to life. I wish I would have realized earlier that our lives are tremendous, magical, wonderful, amazing gifts, and each moment we’re alive is a miracle.
I wish I would have known at a much earlier age that there is beauty and wonder in each eternal moment, here and now.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I guess the main thing is that nearly every one of us is programmed, conditioned by our society that we have problems and obstacles and flaws that need correcting and that real success and inner peace are difficult to attain for all except a privileged or gifted few.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
When I was 20 or 21, I went through some pretty serious periods of depression and got into doing so much crystal methedrine I nearly OD’d one time. Looking back, I’m totally grateful for all of it, for my anxieties propelled me to become a seeker, reading books and traveling and finding teachers and tools that changed my life.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
The day I turned 30, I woke up in a state of shock. I had no job, no income, no family support. I was living in a cheap apartment. I imagined 5 years had passed, and I was living my ideal life, the life of my dreams. I took a sheet of paper and wrote IDEAL SCENE at the top, and imagined the life of my dreams.
I took another sheet of paper and listed all my dreams and goals (there were 12 of them at the time — now I’m down to 6). Then I wrote each one as an affirmation, beginning with the words “In an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way…”
Over the next few days and weeks, plans emerged for my goals, and I wrote a simple one-page plan for each goal.
Throughout the whole process, I was nearly overwhelmed with doubts and fears and came to realize there are just 2 essential things I had to do: (1) Write my goals and keep affirming them, so that they become intentions, and (2) deal with the doubts and fears that inevitably come up. I had learned a process called the Core Belief Process that helped me let go of quite a few of my doubts and fears.
What is your morning routine?
I’m pretty lazy. Being lazy is a goal for me — being a lazy millionaire is a pretty good lifestyle, as far as I’m concerned. I usually sleep until 10:30 or 11:00 or so. I never use an alarm clock. I was a musician in my 20s, and I love musician hours — you never do anything until 1:00 in the afternoon.
I’m undisciplined too, so I don’t really have a regular morning routine. I just follow my body’s energy throughout the day. I usually do some kind of brief meditation in the morning sun, stretch a bit. Sometimes I listen to a meditation I’ve recorded or one of Eckhart’s audios. Sometimes I exercise a bit, stretch, do a lazy bit of yoga, jump rope, go for a walk.
Someone once asks me if I exercised regularly, and I said, “Uhhh… does massage count?” I usually get a couple of massages a week. That’s definitely one of my favorite activities.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
I do the Middle Pillar Meditation regularly, usually every day, almost always flat on my back in my favorite yoga posture, the Corpse posture. Half the time I do it I fall asleep, but the rest of the time I visualize healing light energy flowing through my body, relaxing, releasing all tensions, clearing out all toxins.
I definitely believe that doing that regular meditation is the reason I’ve been in almost perfect health all my adult life.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I have been affirming since the day I turned 30 that I am creating success with ease, so I have no strategies for being productive, and no desire to use my time efficiently. I just keep relaxing through the day and following my own energy. Some days I’m very lazy and accomplish very little. But other days, I have a lot of energy and get a whole lot done.
I keep repeating to myself that I’m doing everything in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all. Those are powerful magic words for me.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Four books have changed my life. The first is As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. I edited it (very slightly) and published it with the title As You Think. It opens with a poem that sums up the entire book — if you can get the poem, you don’t need to read the book:
Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And we are mind, and evermore we take
The tool of thought, and shaping what we will
Bring forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
We think in secret, and it comes to pass
Our world is but our looking glass.
The second is The Art of True Healing by Israel Regardie. It is not only about healing, it is about the law of attraction as well. It is Western magic in a nutshell, using a very simple meditation called the Middle Pillar Meditation that I have continued to do regularly all my life. (If you go to YouTube and search for “Middle Pillar Meditation,” you’ll get to a video of it.)
The third is The Power of Partnership by Riane Eisler. It guided me as I created a very successful publishing company. The key to a life well-lived, and the key to transforming the world into a world that works for all, is learning to create win-win partnerships in every area of our lives.
The fourth is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It is the most brilliant spiritual/inspirational/therapeutic book ever written, in my opinion. I read it very slowly, often repeating sentences over and over. Then I got to one sentence I kept repeating like a mantra for over 18 months: “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness.”
Then, on the very next page, I found the words that made me stop reading the rest of the book, words I meditate on often. These are the only words I need to know to help me live and die in peace:
The happiness that is derived from some secondary source is never very deep.
It is only a pale reflection of the joy of Being,
the vibrant peace that you find within as you enter the state of nonresistance.
Being takes you beyond the polar opposites of the mind
and frees you from dependency on form.
Even if everything were to collapse and crumble all around you,
you would still feel a deep inner core of peace.
You may not be happy, but you will be at peace.
Looking back, there was one other phrase from a book by Catherine Ponder (I forget which one) that has powerfully affected my life as well. Through her, I got the phrase “In an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.”
I tacked that phrase onto all the affirmations I started doing the day I turned 30, and to this day I still affirm, nearly every day, “I am now creating the life of my dreams, in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way, in its own perfect time, for the highest good of all.”
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
I’ve already mentioned 4 life-changing quotes. There are so many others — I have a file full of them, probably hundreds of them. I’ll pick a few of my favorites that I have posted on my walls or have framed on my desk:
“There must be the guiding force of Love behind every effort destined to be successful.” — Henry David Thoreau
“Accept the present moment and find the perfection that is deeper than any form and untouched by time.” — Eckhart Tolle
“You have to find what sparks a light in you, so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.” — Oprah Winfrey
And here’s the best, the greatest single quote ever said by a human, in my opinion:
“The end of all wisdom is love, love, love.” — Ramana Maharishi