Vrnda Devi: You became involved with the Indian master, Swami Satchitnanda in the 1960’s. How did you first meet him and what was your relationship with him like over the years?
Peter Max: I met him in Paris when I was asked to do a movie with a young man by the name of Connrad Rookes, who was the heir to Avon Cosmetics. The film was called Chapaqua. A fellow who was on his production team was a Peter Max fan. Anyway, I flew out to Paris at his request, and finally, I met the Swami. I saw his eyes and it was like “nobodies home” except an ocean of love, you know? It was a quietness he had inside. I fell in love with him and wanted him to come to America. I knew all of my friends would love him. We all did and he taught us yoga. How to breathe, how to be yogis, how to vegetarians, how to be in love with animal protection. So slowly the Integral Yoga Centers started opening up, 39 centers. It was only a handful of us in the beginning.
I was walking with my friend media businessman Pat Hayes in tawny Brentwood, Tennessee in 2016, and, trying to help, he told me an audiobook sold online would only make about 200 bucks a year. He didn’t want me to get my hopes up because it would never be the way it used to with physical product when we all made big money. I remember thinking to myself, “wait a minute if I had a couple of thousand audiobooks making 200 bucks a year each, I’d be okay.”
And that’s what I did. I decided to start an audiobook company and chase that $200 payday times a lot. We started in early 2017 and now we have 1100 audiobooks. We have a kind of assembly line Lego approach which does not sacrifice quality, fun, or creativity. We do at least six audiobooks a week which is much more productive than pretty much anyone out there.
I’m interested in yogic philosophy and meditation so we do a lot of that. I like 1960s music so also a bit of that. I’m concerned with the development of our society so we take a look at that. It’s the age-old formula for success – I do the things I like and so far, that’s worked out.