I love you all, so dearly. To come and be apart of this group of compassionate, loving and caring individuals has gave me much assurance and happiness. It’s rather difficult for me to talk about feelings but let’s just say that I truly feel comfortable in sharing myself with you genuine souls. So why not give it a shot. 

At a young age, I witnessed the death of my grandfather, the deterioration of my uncles mind that slowly took the only joyous and straightforward adult I knew as a child and gutted him entirely of his personality until he passed away, and my grandmother, the most compassionate woman I know personally to date, to painfully and slowly pass away after years of her agonizing wails and her body falling slimmer by the day until the moment of departure. 

These events happened at the age of 7 (uncle), 10 (grandmother), and 13 (grandfather). Needless to say, it soured my view on the point of life and suffering. Observing the churches of Christianity (my parents’ religion) only furthered my agitation as I quickly began to notice currency as the base of these places with preachers who never discussed how to build the self, just reciting like a parrot, verses in the bible. 

Basically, everything I examined in my immediate surroundings gave me no proof of purity, compassion, oneness with God, just a whole lot of material embarkment and suffering where I am in the States of America (maybe I didn’t look hard enough). Not finding anything materially that steadily gave me happiness, I would soon discard one path and find the next new thing to try that seemed as something I would enjoy. While expecting to find my ‘calling’ of happiness outside of myself, and the memories of childhood causing the negative view I had about life, I began delving in drugs. Need not to say exactly what, but let’s just say there isn’t one I haven’t tried. For years, during my stint in the Marine Corps after high school, in Philadelphia going to auto school, being a mechanic for four years, I numbed myself and just went through the motions of my life. I even gave up completely for about a year with no job and taking an astronomical amount of stuff so I wouldn’t have to be ‘there’.
Thankfully, after that year of self-wallow and self-pity, I started understanding that if I’m not dead yet, then God must not want me dead yet, and begun my path on sobriety. (My belief in God was truth, but the religion that birthed me didn’t appeal to my mindset)

I now realize that my embarking on many material paths was my way of searching for eternal bliss, searching for the source that we all long, where duality of joy and suffering doesn’t happen back to back. This is what began my study of meditation and self discovery. Not long after I began, I came across Swamiji’s book A Million Thoughts. After that it was all over, I was hooked on his attention to detail and proper guidance. I didn’t even know what proper guidance was on this path, being a beginner who is completely foreign. Yet, I was blessed to find Om Swami, Swamiji. (I wish not to offend anyone for I am ignorant of the proper ways of offering myself or servicing or even proper praise) All I know is what I feel inside and that feeling is wanting to know my true nature unblemished, know God, unite with God, and unite with God’s universe and everything within it. Swamiji, you have made this possible for me, I wish to thank you from the depths of my soul. 

Today is day 391 of my meditation. At 25 minutes meditating on breath and 10 minutes of trataka. It is becoming a burden on my mind that no one in my immediate environment shares the same enthusiasm towards this path of sadhana. I still have many conditioned habits and ways of carrying myself that I wish to adjust or remove, and doubt tries to creep in every now and again, but, I maintain consistency and try to remind myself to be patient. That all is temporary. Usually I do alright, listen to the friends in my head instead of foes. But, I have this deep craving to meet with Swamiji, to be in the presence of his ever loving compassion. Especially since reading The Rainmaker by Sadhvi Vrinda, Swami Vedananda and others (about to start reading a prayer that never fails). From me only reading his books, and him having such a pull on me without any knowledge of his miracles, it’s proven helpful on my understanding that God resides in him, with him. And I feel I must try to save money so I may one day travel across the world to see the one that pulls me so strongly, to see the one who has guided me from the depths of self-sorrow. I wish not to slip back into the person of my past, but to miss an opportunity of wisdom from God in the form of Swamiji brings fear in my soul. From reading Sadhvi Vrinda’s book, I understand that you apply for a queue and then are informed whether or not you may come. I must work on my practice diligently before being worthy of kneeling in front of Swamiji, (even a 10 day retreat about an hour from me that I wish to attend) but if any of his disciples read this and want to kind of fill me in on the process, you will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for reading/listening to me ramble, there was really no topic premeditated. Just felt the need to talk to someone, glad you were here to listen😌:) I love you all and pray for all of your happiness. 

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John Duvall

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