timeandsilence-deactivated20121 asked: How did you first become interested in Hinduism/Buddhism or were you always raised with those influences in your life?
No I was raised in a jewish household that wasn’t particularly religious. When I was young, I found it kind of ridiculous that people would always hate going to temple or church and yet went anyway as a kind of lip service. I wondered if everyone just practiced the religion they were born into.
From an early age I was always looking for something. At first it was very supernatural and occult driven. My older sisters had once practiced wicca so I stole some of their old books in 6th grade and started doing it myself.
After that I learned many other occult religions and practices, even going so far as to join an international occult secret society. Eventually I was led to tantra and more spiritual based systems. Part of this had to do with the early death of my father and the suicide of one of my best friends. The other part had to do with a building restlessness and pain in my life that culminated my freshman year in college.
Then I started meditating. I quit the secret society soon after. I started seeing all of the gurus who would visit the US and learned all of their different techniques. Eventually I gravitated to the man that became my guru, Sri ShivaRudrabalayogi. The spring break of my junior year I stayed with him at his ashram in India.
All of these eastern influences were entirely absent in my childhood except for my older brother, who was the first person to teach me a kind of meditation when I was 10 years old. Things have always been strangely bent in my life, I’ve always been drawn to magical things. But it wasn’t until I truly opened myself to life and death that I began walking a spiritual path.
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