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Finally ready for Vedanta

This is the place to tell us something about yoursef, about your history and how you found Shiningworld and James (Ramji) Swartz.

Moderator: Wayne

Finally ready for Vedanta

Postby TomArjuna » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 am

my name is Tom.
I am 51 and had my first conscious non-dual experience 26 years ago driving up the motorway!
I was in my 20's and a hell raiser.
I began cleaning up my act and went for long Vipassana retreats.
At 30 I went to AA and six months later had an even deeper non-dual experience.
Many years passed and I fell off the Buddhist and AA path.
There was divorce, separation from children, deaths and finally a brief return to drinking and despair.
I met an old friend who had been studying with James who gave me a pointer.
He asked what I had learned from Buddhism and Vipassana - I said; 'Everything dies. There's nothing to hold onto. It's all empty.......
He said; 'Did you ever look for what doesn't change?'
Within a few hours I had the deepest 'experience' of non-duality.
I read James's book 'How to Attain Enlightenment' but I didn't understand the importance of what I was reading.
I had a few years in the wilderness of Neo Advaita and then tried to make Buddhism work for me again - I even ordained as a monk at one point.
I wound up raising huge amounts of money for refugees and living in the Jungle Refugee camp in a leaking caravan trying to make peace between the different tribes, races and nationalities there.
It broke me basically.
Eighteen months later I returned to England with Post Traumatic Stress and a broken heart - the Jungle had become a burnt out ruin and it's 10,000 residents scattered once more.
In the depths of despair I began reading Essence of Enlightenment and it suddenly made sense!
I contacted Sundari and James and have been studying and corresponding ever since.
I took up the practice of Karma Yoga and now the panic attacks have completely gone and my experience of life is transformed.
I follow a daily program of prayer, meditation, study and service at home and at work.
Deeply grateful to James, Sundari and many others in this group who have offered their support over the last year and a half.
Life is great with all the madness of Samsara.
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Re: Finally ready for Vedanta

Postby Mike » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:27 am

Brilliant overview of your spiritual experiences up until Vedanta. It is a fact that once you understand that only by knowledge can you free yourself from ignorance then we're sorted. Well done Tom and be sure to stick to Vedanta. You will anyway as really it's the self in you that's found the real thing in shiningworld. I went through a bit of Neo-advaita, some Buddhism and Ramana, Nisargadatta etc. But it was only when I realised that James Swartz was a proper teacher and Vedanta could 'seal the deal' that I became properly serious about Moksha. Probably because even when I first started inquiring with Vedanta the results were astonishing and I sent an email to James saying that I was actually quite shocked that it worked! The ignorance we all suffer from was dropping off in droves and yes there were times that I fell back but even then I somehow knew I'd make it and now it's nididhyasana until the body drops I suppose. Life is just one solid being, without any suffering. However 'I' - the jeeva - still run into turbulence from time to time but then with the tool's of karma-yoga, discrimination, triguna vibhava-yoga etc. I see what's apparently happening and zap goes the ignorance. It is the satya/mithya discrimination that when we understand the I as real and objects as mithya that saves the day over and over again until we see that our mind is peaceful 90% of the time. I haven't even mentioned Bhakti which is also an amazing tool for transforming ourselves. Bhakti is in everything anyway as Isvara runs the show. So anyway I'm Mike and I will be attending the Surrey seminar also.
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Re: Finally ready for Vedanta

Postby Mira » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:22 pm

Hi Tom and Mike,
Welcome to the forum! I enjoyed reading your introductions. Glad you found Vedanta :D
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:54 pm

Re: Finally ready for Vedanta

Postby Wayne » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:40 am

Great intro Tom. Lots resonate with me. AA. NA. PTSD. wife and kids left, etc. Painful lessons on what is temporary...

Great that you are here bro,

much love

So how do I live my life? ‘Be’ the absolute reality and enjoy the appearing-reality. Simple.

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