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Leslie M. Cassinari

Color photograph of Personal Development Center author Leslie M. Cassinari.

Author Leslie M. Cassinari is a retired music teacher, concert flautist, and athlete whose focus on personal development helped shape her career. For over thirty years Cassinari researched and implemented innovative Pre-K through Grade 8 general music programs. Drawing from her own personal research and concert hall music experiences, students explored music as a creative process.

Cassinari received her degree in Music Education and Flute Performance at the University of Rhode Island in 1986. She married, began teaching elementary music in Vermont and then accepted a middle school position in Connecticut. To address the overwhelming stress she was finding with the challenges of her new job, Cassinari attended private meditation classes. Shortly after, she was invited to join Robert L. Peck’s meditation group at the Personal Development Center. Within this self-development community, Cassinari would find philosophy, science, history, and religion. In addition, her insights on the creative process along with her experiences with the inner energies of her body would support further study of the advanced esoteric teachings.

Over the years, while teaching middle school, Cassinari would become well-known for her student talent shows, original musicals, and 8th grade music slideshow performances. However, toward the end of her career Cassinari would be best known by her 5-minute warm-up. She developed and instituted a daily behavioral intervention that consisted of synchronous popping and locking movements. This was in response to the negative influences of rising student stress and increasing numbers of at-risk students in her school. She found that after eight weeks her middle school students evidenced increases in executive function, adaptive skills, and cooperative abilities. Consequently, her students were more able to fully explore group singing, dancing, and improvising.

Personal Self-Transformations

As a child, Cassinari discovered many expressions of the creative process which she shared with others. However, it would be personal self-transformations which became significant and added purpose to her life. Throughout her early childhood she explored ways of using her body as a tool and source of artistic expression. She found the ability to mentally create an imaginary friend to confide with, similar to the visions sought after in Native American vision quests. Basically, Cassinari did what many young children do—explore altered states of consciousness and creative play.

Pope John Paul 11 in April of 1981 listening to a special performance of The Pines of the Appian Way by the New England Conservatory's Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble by the steps of the Vatican, Rome Italy.

With an increased awareness of her subtle inner world, her outer world became more disciplined and miraculous. Cassinari broke her high school’s javelin record for girls. The next year she became a member of the New England Conservatory’s Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble. Then, with this group she traveled to Italy for a special performance of The Pines of the Appian Way for Pope John Paul II who, moments before they performed, gave her a special blessing.

Through her own inner efforts and intention, Cassinari continued to find powerful moments of personal self-transformation. In college, while performing, by memory, Cécile Chaminade’s Concertino for flute and piano she experienced an extreme heightened state of awareness. That performance electrified the audience. However, with no language, philosophy, or models to explain what happened, she simply kept this miraculous inner experience to herself.

Life-Changing Moment

When Cassinari was introduced to research scientist Robert L. Peck in 1987, she experienced the most powerful life-changing moment of her life. As they looked eye-to-eye reality became circular. There was no past, present, or future—just two sentient beings from some timeless source becoming of one mind. After this mutual experience there would be no doubts. Cassinari knew her life would involve working with Peck at the Personal Development Center.

It has been thirty-seven years since that timeless encounter. Cassinari and Peck are happily married living a heaven on earth. Today they continue to research the science behind supernormal capabilities of individuals and connections to a universal, unifying Mind.