Roots of Gratitude: A Young Man’s Global Search for Happiness
If you had it all, what would you do?
At the age of 20, Daria felt he had everything and nothing. To outside observers, he had it all: a loving family, a beautiful girlfriend, materials riches, and a family business waiting for him to assume leadership, but there was a gnawing feeling that something was missing.
When Daria’s friend dies at the age of 21, he is shaken at the roots. Witnessing death for the first time, he questions every aspect of life including the origins of suffering and happiness. He wonders why he is following the herd in a life-consuming race towards emptiness. Hungry for meaning, he leaves everything he’s ever known to expose himself to the reality of the world through his own experience.
His journey takes him on an expedition through the countryside of Mongolia where he learns of generosity, surfing the coasts of Bali, experiences the essence of martial arts from Aikido masters and back-country snowboarding in Japan. He ventures through India, learning yoga and meditation, and finds a prominent monk in Nepal who “freezes” him, shifting his understanding of the world around him. With his new found knowledge, he sets out on a 12-day trek to witness the colossal peaks of the Everest region, where his experience is nothing short of the divine. Daria’s path leads him to snakes and stitches, avalanches and wolves, death and rebirth in order to return to society and impart one message: a new-found understanding.
Daria makes no claims to be a saint or a revolutionary. He faces the same dilemmas that many of us face on a daily basis and through his mistakes gains a better understanding of who he is and how he wants to live his life.
The Roots of Gratitude presents an inspirational and captivating journey of a young man’s search for his true self. By sharing his experiences with readers – his struggles between following his dreams and societal expectations, and his magnificent spiritual awakening – he imparts courage to follow our hearts and to experience the world for ourselves, so that we may all find a way to our true (and grateful) selves.
Daria grew up in Tiburon, California where he attended private high school. At the age of 20, he graduated in 2008 from the University of Southern California in preparation to assume leadership of his father’s company. After a year of work, he realized that the rat race was not his passion and he sought to learn more about himself and his true interests.
From the age of 16, Daria has been interested in the deeper questions in life and aspired to learn the essence of Buddhism. At the age of 22, he set out on an adventure that forever changed his life. He learned from experts in their respective fields about Aikido, yoga, and Buddhism. Authorities such as 8th dan instructor Isoyama Shihan, who taught the world-renowned Steven Segal, imparted their knowledge of the truth of Aikido to Daria. He studied at the Sivananda ashram where the spirit and teachings of Sivananda, regarded as an authority on Vedanta yoga, remains. He met in Nepal with one of the foremost monks in the Nyingma lineage who personally imparted some deep Buddhist truths to Daria; truths that many spend years trying to grasp. Daria resides in Marin County, CA.