Tom Herter   

Green Valley, Arizona

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Although I'd heard of "Vedanta" for more than 30 years while with another yogic tradition, I didn't turn my full attention to it until I had retired a few years ago.  I knew I had more time to spend doing practices and reading spiritual books.  As well, I came across the book, Children of Immortal Bliss, by Paul Hourihan  about the same time, which helped imprint on me the need for an "alive" mantra from an enlightened guru, lest I might become one of the countless "failed Mystics."

 

I was fortunate to be initiated by Swami Sarvadevananda on January 4, 2019 in Tucson which was the beginning of my association with the Vedanta Society of Tucson.  I immediately began meditating each morning, and have done mantra repetition (Japa) throughout the day in connection with my breathing ever since.  I have tried to maintain a constant meditation or "eyes open" awareness of Satchitananda ever since- though I do forget sometimes...

 

Now, in my late sixties, I have found that one can literally be led to the Formless concept of God through the Form of God.  (Or non-duality can be achieved through duality.)  The teachings of Ramakrishna have pointed me to the understanding that Jnana and Bhakti Yoga are mutually valuable, and actually are needed for most of us.