Cynthia

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Hi. My name is Cynthia McCormick. I'm 69. I'm divorced. I was married for 27 years and I have three children and three grandchildren. What was coming to my mind as we sat down right here, as I was thinking of the day when I was sitting in my house, I was married and I was sitting in in the little corner where that I had set up for me, where I had my spiritual books piled up, you know, and my my little tape recorder, so I could listen to some spiritual music, you know, and I would [...]

Bruce

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I would go to bookstores and actually the first book a guy recommended to me was, um, Sex, Spirituality and Ecology by Ken Wilber. And it's a thick, rough going read, right? But I dove into it and it just kind of really opened me up and I thought, okay, I'm going to go further. And I started reading other stuff of his and of course he talks about Buddhism and the relative and the absolute and, you know, these kind of things in there. And one thing led to another. I picked up a book by showing him Trungpa, uh, spiritual materialism, I think it was. And I read two or three of his others, uh, and then I found a book by Sylvia and became the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and which is written in even more plain English than Trump was even.

Mark G

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And it was a very difficult year for me because I came upon this what I now know it as existential kind of this this urgency or angst, not knowing where I was headed, what I was going to do, having an expensive degree, which I was not going to use and I knew I wasn’t my parents were, to put it mildly, less than than happy about any of that. And what is this, this Eastern stuff you’re starting to talk about some. So I was really pretty lost and it was a difficult time for me. And I had an epiphany that big because of my propensities with the cars and women and drugs and whatever else it was that I wouldn’t survive, that I would I would be driving a very nice car, but I would I will wrap myself around a pole or whatever. And I and I just couldn’t do it. There was nothing in me that allowed me to move forward in that direction. So a friend of mine, an ex-girlfriend, invited me and some others to go out to Naropa Institute for Ram Dass. And I had looked at the book in my in my dormitory be here now and you know the book the famous book from Ram Dass and I had didn’t have a clue what would be here now men but there was a certain internal shift that said I have to I have to learn what this this means. And I went went out to Naropa Institute in 1974.

Sensei Michael

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And I was known for talking people down from bad trips and things of that nature. And he said, Oh, I don’t do that anymore. I just do Zen. Okay, well, that’s interesting. What’s that all about? And so I said, Well, I’m going this weekend. Why don’t you come with me? So that weekend I went with him to the temple on Halsted Street near Fullerton, on the North side of Chicago. I met Matsuoka Roshi, who became my teacher, so I sort of backed into that. Like everything else, I think I’d read maybe a book on Zen or to not not much.

Gareth

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My one year old son came running up to me, Daddy, Daddy! He put his arms around my leg and he hugged my leg and this probably isn’t what happened, but this is what I remember. I kind of shook him off because I was busy. I’m important. I got stuff to do right, plugged it out, went to the office, and then I went off to Brazil and sometime later this came back to me like a ton of bricks. Oh, my goodness. What happened there? And I realized, you know, with a little reflection that I was missing what really mattered in life. So actually, I started listening to a series of lectures on classical music, and Bach dedicated every manuscript he wrote, including the practice pieces for his kids to Jesus Christ, studied, listened to medieval polyphonic masses, and somehow or other they would just hit me.

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