This week, I had the rare pleasure to meet the author of one of my all time favorite books, The Book of est. George Cockcroft, who writes under the pen name Luke Rhinehart, and his wife Ann, invited me to stay with them at his amazing property in upstate New York.

Mark Ryan, George Cockcroft, Oh Be NewmanI was traveling with my friend, Oh Be Newman, and George opened his home to Oh Be as well.

I met George several years ago. I had read The Book of est quite a while ago. And I was so impressed with his work, that I wrote him and asked if he would be open to republishing the book along with my then-friend and business partner, Joe Vitale.

The Book of est was out of print, and copies of the book were being sold for over $100 on various online auctions, etc. George agreed, and it began an email journey of getting to know a really great man, and a legend… George’s series The Dice Man has become a cult classic and he’s quite respected for his writing work.

As I got to know George, I began to respect and like him even more than I did before. His style of communication is direct, to the point, and honest from the heart. George is definitely my kind of guy.

Ann and George CockcroftWhen we finished publishing The Book of est, George and Ann invited Kathy, Max, Claire and me to his farm on the New York/Massachusetts border sitting between multiple mountain ranges: Catskills, Adirondacks, Berkshires, and Taconic. The property is gorgeous and inviting. Because I have family in upstate New York, I knew that I would eventually have a chance to meet George.

George’s home is a quaint New England-style farm house with lots of history. It has been a home for nuns, Sufi and Jewish mystics, and now it is home to George and his wonderful wife, Ann.

The first thing we got from George was a big hug from a big man. George was much taller than I imagined, and he is amazingly big in spirit.

When we arrived, there was a beautiful, enticing spread of food…both your average American meal and a vegan options for my friend. Oh Be was grateful to see such consideration and even more grateful at the wonderful flavors.

We felt like long lost family come home.

We ate and talked and drank into the night. A touch of bourbon and a brownie were actually quite complementary to the conversation.

We talked business for a while. And the conversation drifted to life experiences, psychology, ho’oponopono, and other spiritual pursuits and experiences. George inspired us, and he also said the he had a renewed interest in reading spiritual works after our discussion.

I was awakened in the morning by a very loud voice. George shouted gleefully out his upstairs window, “Good morning world!!!!” I laughed. Now that’s how to wake up!

We were greeted with fresh coffee, bright sunshine, and crisp morning air. It was easy to awaken and greet the day with such a wonderful new inviting family. The amazing breakfast was abundant and delicious.

We sat on the porch and talked for a bit before taking a tour of George’s wonderful farm, complete with a pond and nearby lake. George shared story after story of how each part of this wonderland had been effected by him and his wife Ann, their children and grandchildren.

Before we left there was an exchange of books, with George giving the most… and a long comment above his John Hancock.

We also signed a guestbook and took a few pictures to share before we got into our car to leave.

farmGeorge and Ann were a bit disappointed that Kathy, Max, and Claire weren’t along on the trip… this time. I did however promise that I would bring them by to visit, not just for George and Ann, but because I think my wife and children would be blessed by the experience as well.

Thank you so much, George and Ann, for your warm hospitality, not just for me, but for my friend Oh Be. Your kindness and hospitality for someone you didn’t even know says a lot.