Marie Simmons was born in 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri, where her African American family struggled with many of the problems resulting from racism, poverty, and inadequate education. Marie is the youngest of thirteen children and the first in her family to graduate from college. She earned a master’s degree in social work from Washington University. She has held a variety of professional positions, including the Director of Social Services at UCSF for twelve years, where she was also an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. During a two-year sabbatical from her directorship, she developed and facilitated a Cultural Awareness and Race Relations Education program for the UCSF campus: faculty, staff, and students. She has more than forty years experience working as a psychotherapist, family counselor, administrator, consultant, teacher, and researcher. She has written a number of professional papers and lectures.
Ms. Simmons was married briefly and raised many children for many years. She assisted many adult children to grow up by teaching them the art of gentle self-discipline. She was raised Baptist but always believed that the Spirit is universal. She has been a seeker all of her life and has studied many religions ranging from Christianity to Hinduism to Buddhism and everything in between. She was surprised to discover that in truth all these disciplines are saying the same thing: We are all one, and we should love one another as ourselves. She is convinced beyond any doubt that there are many roads to the mountain, but only one top and the top is Love. She asked God to teach her to love indiscriminately and unconditionally. The first lesson love taught her was that it is not personal. For the past ten years, she has been involved in an intense physical and mental experience of a spiritual transformation which has led to the writing of this book.