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yoga, buddhism, meditation

From childhood, I was drawn to mysticism and meditation. My mother and I lit candles and prayed before one of her altars most evenings, and I was transported reading about St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa and other Christian mystics. I often sought the tranquility of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, sitting in front of the altar redolent of frankincense and myrrh and glowing in the soft light of a solitary candle in the sacristy.

In the early sixties, I attended a lecture about yoga and the philosophy resonated with my “inner knower.” Furthermore, I was able to integrate body, mind and spirit with the physical postures of hatha yoga, the teachings of ayurveda and the Bhagavad Gita and the raja yoga of meditation. I began a journey that took me from yoga classes in 3rd floor apartments, church basements and new age bookstores to gurus throughout the United States and India. Margaret Coble, Dr. Rammurti Mishra (Brahmananda), Amrit Desai who founded Kripalu, Sivananda, Vishnudevnanda, Rajneesh and Yogi Bhajan are teachers with whom I was able to study.

When I met Ma Yogashakti Saraswati, she accepted me as her disciple and initiate, bestowing the name Vimal Shakti—pure energy. I eventually lived with Mataji in Bombay and traveled through India to spend time in the ashram of Sai Baba and visit the Theosophical Society in Madras where Krishnamurti lived and taught.

During the seventies, I embraced a buddhist lifestyle. I attended sesshins with Joshu Sasaki Roshi and Daido Loori, and took buddhist vows with my root lama Khenpo Gyaltsen Rinpoche. I have been able to attend teachings and talks with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and do my best to integrate his wisdom and compassion in my life and work.

"My religion is kindness.".
-- H. H. the Dalai Lama --