As a child, I remember being very absent-minded during my second year at elementary school. I was tormented by the thought that my family members were actors performing a play to deceive me, by making me believe they were my real family. In fact, they are indeed my biological family? But, where did those thoughts come from? Many times, I would find myself in front of the mirror asking: Who I am really? ́ I would then feel an uneasiness inside and run away. Or I would play with two mirrors, facing each other, so that I could enjoy the sight of infinity.
In my early teens, I knew I had a plan, only I had not yet found out what the plan was. I started by looking for subtlety in poetry. Though I was born in a Catholic family, I visited other Christian churches in search of something I could relate to.
When I was seventeen, I first heard about Vedanta ideas in an art class. I was surprised at how those words made sense to me. But I was preparing myself to go to College and I kept my plan waiting for a while. During that time, my sister brought home a magazine she was offered at the entrance of a movie theatre. It was a publication by a private philosophy school and it was full of Hinduism articles. How sweet Holy Mother was to discreetly make those pages reach me and that I could feel I was not alone.
By the time I was twenty-three, I could no longer postpone my search and inquired about the Vedanta Center in Sao Paulo. On my first visit in 1983, I entered the shrine and somehow felt I had found what I had been looking for.
In 1989, Swami Ritajanandaji, former Head of our Gretz Center in France, came for a two-month visit. The elder devotees put a lot of effort in trying to convince him to initiate devotees in Brazil. That is how he agreed to initiate forty-two of us in Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro and San Paulo. Though he did not say it in words, he made me understand that freedom comes from within. Ever since I joined the Center, I was blessed with the privilege of meeting many great monks and nuns of our Order, both in Brazil and abroad. The study of Vedanta answered the questions I had been asking myself since I was seven.
Though I had an intense and demanding professional career, I always tried to make Swami Vivekananda ́s teachings the basis of my words, thoughts and deeds.
I have begun to study Sanskrit regularly so that I can improve my pronunciation and maybe one day ready the texts in the original language. I thank Revered Bhaskaranandaji, who kindly initiated my mother in Seattle, for having invited me to write down these words.