St. Petersburg -- Yearn to see your employees energized, yet inwardly at peace?
A local company, with roots in Germany and affiliates on five continents, says it can help.
Sunset Fortune Inc., 7001 Central Ave., specializes in seminars, training and counseling for businesses and individuals, offering among other things, a Path into Light seminar and another described as "healing and empowering."
"The purpose of our business is to bring spirituality into everyday life," MaRa Eickermann, president of the 3-year-old Sunset Fortune, said.
"People all over the world are seeking peace, peace of mind and happiness, and we help them realize where and how they can find that within themselves. All of the trainings include a lot of self-realization and hands-on techniques that can be used in everyday life."
Besides its seminars, the company offers a tai chi-style form of exercise called Can San Asanas that is meant to bring harmony to body and soul. Sunset Fortune also specializes in bringing positive energy, or chi, to businesses or homes with what it describes as "energetic" feng shui, its particular version of the ancient Chinese principle of placement.
To feng shui a three-bedroom house could run about $1,800, the same price as the organization's six-day intensive seminar for one, said body and soul trainer Can San Trantow.
Taking the company's seminars is "like stepping into the sun and out of the shade," said Trantow, 37, who runs the day-to-day operation at Sunset Fortune.
"It's like being born again," said Trantow, whose first name originally was Marcus. Can San is his spiritual name and means conqueror, he said.
For those who favor New Age ideas, Sunset Fortune offers past-life regressions and says it can enhance a person's aura and align chakras.
Though the company's mission is "to bridge that gap between the spiritual and daily lives," Trantow emphasized that it is not a religious organization.
"We do draw from the knowledge of the sages and saints of all times. What we do is we make them more accessible," he said.
"It's not about believing. It's about experiencing, gaining happiness and bringing everybody's lives and businesses happiness and success."
Trantow, who is German, said he's having a difficult time explaining to Americans exactly what Sunset Fortune is.
The company had its genesis in a concept developed by Frank Eickermann, a Treasure Island resident who grew up in Hilden, a small town in Germany. Married to the president of Sunset Fortune, he travels throughout the world establishing new centers and teaching seminars. Though he attended law school, Eickermann went on to practice acupuncture and holistic medicine in Germany and has written several books about homeopathy, love, dying in peace, feng shui and spirituality.
He and Ms. Eickermann have trained about 100 people who have established independent centers similar to Sunset Fortune throughout the world, including Australia, France, England, Taiwan, Nepal and Switzerland.
In November, spiritual teachers from Europe, Asia and Australia gathered for a refresher course at Sunset Fortune's St. Petersburg office. On a Sunday afternoon, the men and women, all German-born, were led on a guided meditation and then through the tai chai-style movements called Can San Asanas that Trantow developed and are named after him.
"We're here to learn new things," said Deborah Reiter, who operates a center near Stonehenge, in England.
"It's very good training for us. I do a lot of healing work," she said, explaining that she uses special unscented essences to help people increase their energy and relieve stress.
Fe San Mulders, a tall, slender woman who teaches classes at a center in southern France, Chateau Amritabha, said she is following in the footsteps of Ms. Eickermann, who used to run the facility that functions as the world headquarters of the Eickermann organization.
The room in which they gathered was fairly plain, except for the squiggles - feng shui markings - on the walls and candles that burned in a tiered sconce. At the front of the room, incense burned on a low altar. A photograph of Eickermann also rested on it, along with a variety of gemstones. Red and peach roses were displayed in vases on either side of the altar. Above hung a black and white picture of Jesus and photographs of Babaji and Sathya Sai Baba, whom Trantow described as divine incarnations from India.
The meditation and exercise room is separated from Sunset Fortune's office area with floor-to-ceiling banners of pale blue, peach, off-white and yellow.
Why was St. Petersburg chosen for this Center of Light?
"Because St. Petersburg has a special energy," Trantow said.