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Marco: Greetings. I just stumbled onto your work by accident while searching for Vedanta teachings at YouTube.
I am an Italian expat who lives in California since the early ’70s and have been seeking for the last 40 years. Of course as a good American civilized rat, I have done everything spiritual that you can find here: AA, past life work, EST training 1976, rebirthing in 70th, sacred contracts, chakras tuning, Wilhelm Reich, Wayne Dyer, Eckart Tolle, neuroscience, Carl Jung Shadow work, astrology, Deep Pocket Chopra and so much more. While I was going back to some of Ram Dass video at YouTube I found you.
First, thanks for making this so simple. I did not think that it would not require work. Listening to Ken Wilber, I could not understand the Integral system and by the time I could dig into it, I was already bored. From your teaching I now understand the conversation about the relative plane: causal, gross and subtle and waking-dream-deep sleep. Until now, I though that I was just dumb or could not get this, that my lack of education or my ADD was the problem. I was seeking for experience, I suppose. It is like Allan Watts saying you do not eat the meal of life, you eat the menu or the picture on the menu.
So anyway, I have not been able to stop listening to the MP3 file from Berlin for the last few days and I am planning a hermit-style weekend to devour your satsang.
Darn, this is refreshing, a road map. Of course the map is not the territory. However, this one looks simple enough. I have been engaged in mild renunciation. We call it downsizing in the US. During the last five years I completed my third marriage and suddenly had a need for a simpler life with no debts, less work and more time for reflecting and enjoying doing the dishes. I have been seeking since the age of 18, and I knew that this worldly world was not where I was going to find satisfaction. However, full of low self-esteem and insecurities, I had to prove to the world that I was someone. Out of despair not so long ago, I dreamt of joining Thich Nath Hanh monastery in Bordeaux, France. I am not sure I could make it there. I am not devotee material, at least not that I know at this time. You made me laugh listening to the conversation on the bus at Heathrow airport. No kidding… this guy holding the bus for having been called a wanker and those English sheep taking it… what a trip!
Gurdjieff said a man can only attain knowledge with the help of those who possess it. This must be understood from the very beginning. One must learn from the one who knows. It seems that the time has come for a teacher.
I was shocked to observe that whatever spiritual work I have done has not produced the experience that I expected. Little wonder, since most of my attempts were towards obtaining what I want in the domain of experience… ha, ha. With the help of the Caroline Myss work, I finally found out that the trash book called The Secret is not what it’s all about. She is probably one of the most genuine people in the US at this time. Although with all of this spiritual growth I felt like a jerk most of the time, a rebel and antagonist to my own 90-year-old father. While in Italy recently, I could only cope with him using massive quantities of alcohol to tame the misery that I felt inside. I even thought recently about revisiting LSD, which I have not taken in 40 years.
Without trying to be my own psychologist, sincerely I have felt so inadequate for so long and no amount of trying to be adequate has helped either. I have been in pain and suffering since the age of three; I remember never feeling that I belong here. Oh, by the way, I am okay with this at this time and understand that it is part of life in samsara. The good news may be self-awareness… as a possibility in the field of infinite possibility?
After two days of listening to your MP3, I watched two of Ramana Maharshi’s movies at YouTube. I fell asleep and I dreamed that I was vomiting in Ramana’s bed while he was holding me. He did not seem perturbed. I cleaned it up and it was the cleanest vomiting I had ever seen. I did not hear him saying anything either, however; I felt relieved of the pain in my abdomen that was not just from overeating at Thanksgiving dinner. ☺ Then I woke up at 4:00 am and have been wanting to write to you for the past 24 hours. I was hesitant, wanting to write something profound that would make me shine, but this time I just had to be authentic. I hope this conversation is not too boring for you; your patience is appreciated.
Oh, by the way… I love your quote about the French existentialist philosopher. Something about “my mother died today or was it yesterday?” So freaking French.
Thanks for the content on the Web, and I will send you $5 for shipping of the book Meditation: Inquiry into the Self. I hope to hook up with you at one of your seminars, perhaps Germany, Colorado or Portland. Are you available for personal satsang? I’d like to know more about your possible relocating in Italy or Spain.
~ With love from me to you, Marco