I started reading Eastern religious books when I was in high school in the 1960's. I read people like J. Krishnamurthy and Alan Watts, although I had no idea what they were talking about. I thought that because what they were saying was complex, that it must be profound. But I only started believing in God in the 1980's. I read that the body is very complex, and I felt that it must need a designer. I explored a wide variety of religions. For many years, I thought that God could not be good due to all the suffering in the world.
I was initiated by Swami Yogatmananda on June 26, 2006. I had been wondering if I should ask for initiation, and he solved the problem by asking me if I wanted to be initiated.
I had been to the Vedanta Society of Providence (RI, USA) twice before becoming a member, but I had certain questions that were not answered. When a friend invited me to go in the fall of 2004, something clicked and I have never looked back.
I have been a member since 2004.
The teaching that we are all One led me to be able to believe that God is good. I realized that the way to end suffering is to attain the non-dual state of infinity. In that state, there is no lack and no gain. It may seem detrimental that there is no gain, but if there is no lack, there is nothing to gain, and the mystics call this state bliss.
Vedanta has eased my identity crisis by letting me see that there is a grain of truth in all points of view. I have found a community and a spiritual teacher (Guru) that I can rely on for spiritual sustenance.
I am about to turn 70 years old in a few days. I live beyond space and time. But conventionally, I live in Providence, RI, USA.
Charles Feldman (Prana)
Providence, Rhode Island