Who Am I?
Well that’s the perennial question isn’t it?
While we can talk about the Absolute level of reality maybe later perhaps,
let me first tell you my Relative story.
Here’s the Short Version, in case you are like me and find that most seeker’s stories, while interesting at first, tend to get more and more boring, as the story (sometimes endlessly) unfolds:
I was a spiritual seeker for 50 years (yeah, been there, done that), going round and round on the hamster wheel of seeking and not finding, trying almost every
conceivable path or practice until I happened across Ramaji’s book 1000 and decided to get in touch with him and check out his RASA transmission shtick and BINGO!, after about 3 months of getting the transmissions via Skype, Zoom in person, I was DONE with seeking and this whole new adventure started to unfold. And this is where I am at today, and enjoying (almost) every minute of it.
At this point, if you want to know all the details, here Is the Long Version of my seeking/finding story:
My first foray into the wondrous and wacky world of spiritual seeking was when I signed up for a crash course in Gnosticism with a self-styled Gnostic teacher who lived in a small apartment in Greenwich Village. He was a friend and student of Joseph Campbell, who I had the great pleasure of meeting on several occasions. Perched on a bar stool in the world-famous McSorley’s Ale House in the East Village, Joseph regaled us with insightful and hilarious stories of time spent in India and Japan.
While I didn’t get that much from my study of Gnosticism, per se, without a doubt, Campbell’s book, “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” launched my own Hero’s Journey, which took me more than 50 years to complete. I was also exposed to Carl Jung’s “Collected Works” at this time, which were very beneficial in helping me set my true course in life: the journey to enlightenment.
At this point, rather than going on forever with all the scintillating details of my spiritual quest, I’ll just list my subsequent spiritual shenanigans, after I left my Gnostic teacher upon the discovery that he had screwed my girlfriend while I was off writing in my dream journal, or shopping for esoteric tomes at Samuel Weiser’s occult bookstore, or whatever. Hey, it’s all grist for the mill…
After Gnosticism, I thought I’d try Bhakti Yoga. From 1970-1980, I was known as Swadhin, and was a disciple of the Indian spiritual master who spent a lot of his early years (20 of them) in the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. He came to the States to seek name and fame as the World’s Greatest Avatar.
It’s a real long story, but all I will say at this point is that I had a great time (for the most part) running the Smile of the Beyond ice cream parlor and restaurant in Queens NY where we had our “ashram,” and making “wonderful spiritual progress” as Sri Chinmoy called it when we pleased him “in his own way,” which I often did, until I didn’t anymore.
After 10 years of living in the bubble, and semi-austere (no sex) world of Sri Chinmoy, I was ready for a big plunge into both the sensual as well as the spiritual world that lay beyond the boundaries of Jamaica, Queens, where about 300 of us (disciples) lived and worked.
The Good News from those years is that I got a healthy dose of Bhakti, and came across such life-changing books
as “The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,” “Narada’s Bhakti Sutras,” and other precious gems in the devotional canon.
I decided to move to Connecticut and re-enter the “real world” as it is not so fondly known.
EST, MORMONS, NISARGADATTA, ADVAITA VEDANTA, JESUS CHRIST, and MORE
Once I crossed the Triboro Bridge and hit Connecticut (Westport, to be exact), I started sampling all the New Age delights that were waiting for me there: Polarity
Therapy, Reichian “armor” work, Crystal Healing, Past Life Regression, Channeling,
Chakra Cleansing, High Colonics… the list goes on and on.
After living in Connecticut for about 10 years, I moved with my first wife to Woodstock NY, where I encountered the teachings of John Daido Loori, the Abbot of the Zen Mountain Monastery, where I attended some meditation sessions and got my comeuppance from the Head Monk (who is now the Abbot) b/c I wasn’t keeping my thumbs in the proper position. He looked so fierce I thought he was about to give me 30 blows.
I joined the Mormon Church (LDS) for about a year until I came across Fawn Brodie’s devastating biography of Joseph Smith, at which point I headed for the nearest exit, right before my scheduled initiation in the Temple. My only regret is that I never got to wear the magic underwear I had heard so much about.
After that I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and Divine Life Coach, and became a tongue-talking, prophesying, Full-Gospel born-again believer for about a year until I discovered:
The URANTIA BOOK, which I studied for 5 years with a group of dedicated Urantia Book followers, and… aren’t you getting tired of all this by now?
I know I am, so let me just list the rest of the things I’ve been involved with, for various lengths of time, and try to bring this long tale of seeking and not finding to a close.
ACIM. I studied A COURSE IN MIRACLES for 2 years and found out the world did not exist, or at least God did not know of its existence even though He created it, which was fine with me, except for the fact that my lingering clinical depression
continued to linger, and even the Holy Spirit himself couldn’t seem to soothe my inner pain.
So I tried NichirenShoshu Buddhist chanting, “Nom MyohoRengeKyo” for about a year. That didn’t seem to do too much either, even though the Gohonzon (sacred scroll) was pretty and I stared at it for hours hoping for the miracle than never seemed to come with the Course (in Miracles).
I finally gave up and moved to Canada where I took refuge in the Triple Gems, took the Bodhisattva Vow and studied Tibetan Buddhism, particularly the Dzogchen teachings under a very spiritually advanced lama from the
Palyul lineage of Penor Rinpoche. I took the dharma name RigzinDorje during this period, as you do.
I studied with, and went on 15-day silent retreats with Anandi over a period of two years.
Oh yeah, I must not leave out the Goenka 10 Day Vipassana Course, which a lot of people are familiar with.
I don’t remember anything else of note (although I‘m sure I’m leaving out something), and I want to bring this long, sometimes happy, but very often depressing, tale to a close. But first, just a few more spiritual adventures:
CANDICE O’DENVER and BALANCED VIEW. 3 years.
FRED DAVIS. I must not leave him out, b/c his $750 5-Pack “Awakening” series, is well worth the money.
Finally, few years ago I took the FINDERS COURSE, and this, my friends, was the beginning of the end.
After taking the FINDERS COURSE (which I highly recommend, btw), I happened upon the book 1000 by Ramaji, and decided to give his RASA transmissions a try.
The rest is history, as they say, and I’ll describe the whole RASA experience on my RASA page.
I just want to say in conclusion that the RASA experience brought my seeking to an end, and opened up a brand new chapter in my adventure in Consciousness, and this website and my new endeavor (hanging my shingle out, as it were) is a direct result of that.
The bottom line is that RASA did the trick for me, and after 50 years of seeking, I can finally say I’m DONE!
DONE with seeking that is, but of course the Show goes on, which is where we find ourselves (or at least I do) today.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the website and if you see some potential benefit for you in the quest to end seeking and AWAKEN to what’s already ever-present and NEVER not present, then please, by all means, get in touch with me and we can see if this RASA thing is for you.
BTW, I made a video for the new Facebook group, Shiva At The Convenience Store (SATCoS) in which I tell pretty much the same story as above. If you are interested in checking it out, here’s the link: