Rudi always deeply felt that one’s meditation practice should encompass and ripple out into every aspect of one’s life: relationships, family, work, creative life, the environment, and more. He always envisioned his spiritual work as having practical ramifications. It’s easy to talk about Love & Peace, but what does it look like? What’s the step-by-step process? How does one get there? What’s in your toolbag of tips and tricks? Yes, we all want a joyful life and our enlightenment, but talking up an eloquent storm won’t get you there. Finding happiness is equal parts journey and having the courage, stamina, and unquenchable need to do the inner work, come hell or high water. Practitioners of Rudi’s and Stuart’s work share their stories of inspiration, epiphanies, and what the journey means to them:

My Endless Journey

dvorit-2014—by Devorit Elzafon, Pacific Grove, CA
In the early eighties I left Israel where I grew up and settled in south of India for two years, in a spiritual community named Oroville. Oroville was a place I KNEW at that time where I wanted to live the rest of my life. A family matter forced me to go back to Israel for a few weeks, which was prolonged to nearly a year. I was still saving money to return to India, a place I thought I would evolve and grow. I lived from my suitcases, ready to depart any minute. A telephone call from a friend in Jerusalem caught me minutes before my departure. The friend told me that he had found a meditation teacher, and he was on his way to a class. Something in me responded immediately. I had heard about Alik prior to this conversation but this time I knew I had to go…
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No Words, No Thoughts, No Judgments

—by Lucila Wroblewski, São Paulo, Brazil
I remember, when I was a child, of certain moments when I felt one with the Universe.

It mainly happened while I was riding my bicycle along the lonely dirt track we had in our small family’s farm, in Itapecirica da Serra.

While I pedaled my bike, my eyes contemplated the scenery, the wind waved my hair and all the plants around gently, the sun laid down it’s golden light over the earth, and all things and beings pulsated and existed in that one and continuous moment…
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Having the Tools

—by Pat Fay Miami, FL
When I was twenty four years old, I started to study Hatha yoga. I was raised as a Christian and had studied music since I was ten years old. I was an orchestra musician and had come to the realization that performance tension was something that I couldn’t contend with. The inner life started to open when I realized that I had to do something about myself. The study of yoga started a chain reaction in my physical body and in my mind. Things woke up that seemed to be stored in me and I wanted more.

I sought out information about yoga and the life of meditation. I read and looked for teachers. Early on, I found a copy of Rudi’s Spiritual Cannibalism. I tried to read it but couldn’t seem to absorb it…
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Moving Through Life More Easily

—by Tressa Borras, Islamorada, FL

I always thought that to grow, I had to suffer, but I had no idea why I needed to grow, and I was tired of suffering for no apparent end or reason.

About nine years ago (the time seems meaningless so I may not be accurate), I was having pains in my hips and could not find relief with exercise, bodywork or anything else. I was seeing a massage therapist who had heard of this chiropractor named Dr. Patrick Fay. My friend thought that Dr. Fay could help me.

I made an appointment with Dr. Fay who indeed did help me with my hips, but I soon found that my hips were not the reason he was brought into my life…
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The Breath, The Work, The Road

—by Stewart Dean, Kingston, NY

 

 

 

Stewart Dean shares his story in poetry form:

I grew up
in a family
illuminated
by the spirit
and courage
of my mother
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From Fear to Fierce Compassion

—by Christine Lorenz, Eugene, OR

The first time I went to a meditation class (with Kris Jones) I felt completely confused. There were two voices inside me as I meditated. One said “run away, this practice will make you unrecognizable to anyone” and the other voice said “stay put, this practice will change you in ways you have not imagined.”

I stayed….. and have been doing this practice since 1997. It has given me the strength to get through a divorce, the death of 3 dear friends, and the care and eventual death of my elderly father— basically the most difficult things that life throws at us as humans…
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A Fresh Start

—by Ciça Pinto, São Paulo, Brazil

I met Stuart in Brazil, when he came to give some classes on Rudi’s Work to Brazilians who had studied with him in New York. I was trying to learn how to meditate by myself, when, invited by a friend, I had the opportunity to attend one of his classes. At the beginning of the class, I thought I couldn’t concentrate at all, yet after I got up from meditation I felt so calm, so light, and, yes, so strangely happy! That was in the beginning of 1986. I am sure the Universe helped me, for, by the end of the year, I had to move to New York with my family! I started then to attend Stuart’s classes every day, and it was a very happy time for me… Of course it took time and effort to establish in my heart and day-to-day routine the regular practice of meditation, but thank God I did not have to do it alone: my teacher’s guidance and the companionship of my fellow students were always available and loving…
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Becoming a Fearless Warrior

—by Jackie Kaufman, San Francisco, CA

It is impossible to put into words what kind of magical influence Rudi’s teachings have had on my life. The experience of this spiritual journey simply defies description. All I know is that I am eternally grateful to him for his invaluable gift to me as a spiritual seeker.

After practicing Rudi’s meditation technique to the best of my ability for about 20 years, I feel that I am just now learning how to crawl. It could be because I know in my heart that this work is a life-long process that requires undying patience with myself. It also could be because I feel I have arrived at a place in myself of childhood revisited. It’s a miracle to walk down the street feeling literally like a toddler. The world seems so beautiful in its vivid colors and vibrant energy
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Having a Steadfast Compass

—by Alice Stipak, Portland, OR
The following poignant letter was sent to Kris Jones of Portland, OR, from Alice Stipak who was expressing her burgeoning insights into herself and her meditation practice with Kris. Alice kindly shares her thoughts with us:

Dear Kris,

Thank you so much for your loving class with me Thursday night. You are an extraordinary teacher, and have been very kind to me. I continued digesting your class upon returning home. The next class I can attend will be Tuesday night at your house, which I very much look forward to.

I apologize for having presented you with perhaps more of my tensions than my openness. I made a strong effort, but I am still very “gummed up” and my resistance surfaced in force, thus my hope to offer you something sweet and light fell short of my goal. My inner congestion is not a pretty sight, I know. You drew my attention to tightness in my hara; thank you for your suggestions, I am working to expand and relax more in that chakra and area...
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Self-Empowerment on All Levels

—by Laura Ayala, Chicago, IL
This Kundalini meditation taught by Stuart, handed down from Rudi, this opened-eyed gazing practice, dramatically changed my life like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. My perception of reality dramatically shifted effortlessly, which in and of itself, is somewhat of a miracle.

I happened upon this practice by reading A Deeper Surrender by Stuart Perrin— a book that I just happened to pick up. As I read this book, I remember saying to myself “Yes, Yes, absolutely, I agree”. In a nutshell, it said that if you want a spiritual life, one must work for it, and the goal is God. Now, I’ve read many books prior to this one that I gotten excited about, but it never explained HOW to reach those states of consciousness. They said a lot of wonderful things that I mentally understood, but I so wanted to live, be, and operate from a higher level. Stuart’s book told me how to do it. I went on line, found Paul Levy in the Chicago-land area who taught this gazing meditation, attended Stuart’s intensives, and I’ve never been the same. Yea!…
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Putting the Steel in the Fire

—by Michelle Lords, New York, NY
I have known Stuart and done Rudi’s work for 20 years. I have many stories to tell. As I read everybody’s stories I realize that they are all about the impact of meeting Stuart. I always knew I needed to meditate and had tried to meditate on my own but it never seemed to help me, and I wanted a class that was nearby to where I lived.

There was a man I knew who had Stuart as a guest on his radio show. He told me about Stuart. It turns out Stuart’s class was in walking distance from my house. This man then showed me the book Leah and somehow that reassured me. I felt that I knew that name and that book. I decided to go.
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Lightening the Load

—by Fran Bakst, Chicago, IL
For me, meditation is not the answer to life, but the inspirational force which drives me to seek the answers to the big questions in life: Who is God? How can I know God? Who am I? Why am I living this life at this time? How can I learn to live my life one moment at a time, and be consciously aware of that moment as I move through my life day by day?

After many years of meditation in New York and Miami, I returned to Chicago, and found myself seeking a teacher who was right for me. I feel very blessed that the universe and my spirit guides have lead me to a very beautiful practice with an outstanding teacher, Dr. Paul Levy…
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Let It All Go

—by Steve Unger, Portland, OR
I first met Stuart in January 2003 when he stayed as a guest at the bed & breakfast in Portland, Oregon that my partner and I had acquired in October 2002. I had lost my job in San Francisco in high tech marketing in June 2001 and over a year later, having moved to Oregon, we finally decided that we needed to “buy a job”. We now tell our guests that we were “high-tech refugees” who moved to Portland in search of honest labor— and found it. At that time I was overwhelmed by the challenges of our new business, and was depressed and anxious. In response I was proactive— attending a “Healing from Depression Group” and Alanon meetings, and taking medication and a homeopathic remedy. For the previous 15 years my life had pretty much been devoted to my career. Losing my job meant losing my identity. I had meditated a bit in college and read books. I had attended workshops like EST, but had no daily practice. I was a non-observant Jew, and yet felt I was spiritual. My practical spiritual expression mostly came from the 12-steps of the Alanon program…
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Finding the Tools

—by Paul Levy, Chicago, IL
Throughout my teenage years and into my late 30’s, the undercurrent mood to my surface life was depression. It colored all my thoughts, speech and doings. I suspect that I was clinically depressed although I never visited a professional and so was never diagnosed or treated. I was also beleaguered by severe anger to the extent that it may actually have been a partial cause for the migraine headaches I suffered. On many days it was difficult even to get out of bed in the morning, although I always did. There was also an overwhelming and pervading confusion around “how to live.” In short, my inner life was one of anguish. My thoughts were sharp and wounding. There was the sense of being at the bottom of a deep, pitch-black abyss. It felt like the epitome of hopelessness. All this was my life on the inside, although on the outside, I was quite focused on completing my education and achieving my goals.  At the same time, I had an innate sense that there must be a deeper significance to life, something my spirit continued to search for….
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On the Other Side of “Stuff”

—by Carole Singleton, New York, NY
When I first met Stuart Perrin, I was going through great difficulty in my life. One of my closest friends was dying. This person was also someone who had helped me find my spiritual path initially. I had lost my job and in general things were difficult for me. I was not very trusting of others. There was a lot of fear in me. Previously, I’d been in situations where I thought people were trying to harm me for no apparent reason. At the same time, I was searching for a spiritual teacher because I knew that I wanted to work to the other side of this fear, anger and general anxiety I felt. I knew that I couldn’t do this on my own.

So someone introduced me to Stuart Perrin and I began studying with him. At first it was very difficult for me to study with him because he was always surrounded by anywhere from 5 to 35 people at a time and I was very much afraid of large groups of people. I could see the love and the simplicity with which Stuart taught the meditation and I knew I had to endure whatever it took for me to study with him….
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Instilling Courage

Alik Elzafon—by Alik Elzafon, Carmel, CA
How did Rudi and his work affect my life?

It gave me life.

In 1971 I was a young man just out of film school, totally devastated by life’s mystery, whose sole purpose was to go through a day and stay alive.

An elderly man, the head of mind control in NYC, refused to let me study with him. ‘You don’t belong here’ he said ‘you belong with Rudi’. ‘Who is Rudi?’ I asked. He is a fat Jew who will knock you down with his energy’, he replied. It took me two weeks of constant inner struggle to finally traverse the short distance between my apartment and Rudi’s store.

I walked in singing and chanting to keep my mind still. Rudi looked up at me and smiled. ‘I love you very much‘ he said, and sent me to learn the exercise…
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Having the Confidence to be Happy

—by Paula Pennant, London, England
When I first glanced at A Deeper Surrender: notes on a spiritual life I didn’t really expect much, but after feeling compelled to read it, I bought it. It has been 2 years since I first read A Deeper Surrender and I still read it today. A book with many shining gems, it offers invaluable insights that cut across all self-imposed barriers. It’s real and unrelenting in describing how one can go about achieving a spiritual life. In a world where everyone thinks they know the right way, the gritty realism of A Deeper Surrender is refreshing. It makes no bones about what one has to do. There are no short cuts. One has to make a concerted effort, and do you know what, I can say it is certainly worth it.

It may sound a little silly coming from a 25 year old girl, but I have always felt that no matter what the world throws at me, growth is my main objective in life, and just to keep on smiling inside regardless of the blows. However, I sometimes felt as though my refusal to be cynical was met with more cynicism and frowns, and I myself doubted at times whether feeling happy was really that important. However, with Stuart’s guidance, I have realized that it is the best gift anyone can give to themselves.
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Exiting the Lost Highway

— by Derek Lords, New York, NY
It was the Spring of 1996 in Seattle Washington and my life could best be described by that old song by Hank Williams called “Lost Highway”, for I was definitely like a rolling stone, all alone and lost. I literally blew into Kris’s apartment like a piece of dried out tumbleweed for my first class, but she saw fit to teach me the meditation exercise in that condition. Without even knowing it, I had stumbled upon Ali Baba’s cave of splendors and the magic word was Thanks. The potential for a spiritual life became real for me in that moment.

Our meditation is the most precious gift that has ever been given to me, except, obviously, Life itself. How can I ever forget the experience of learning the meditation for the first time, or of what it looked like and felt like just to be in the presence of transcendental consciousness such as had only been described in the books I had read while searching for answers to the questions that plagued me. “Who am I?” “Is this it?” “Why am I so miserable inside?” “What’s the point?”
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Love in Disguise

— by Kris Jones, Portland, OR
This year, 2010, I will be seventy years old. It hardly seems possible. I have lead an interesting and fulfilling life up till now, and the center of it, like the axis of a wheel, has been learning Rudi’s meditation practice from our beloved teacher, Stuart Perrin.

The Buddhists speak of being bound to the wheel of samsara (illusion, life and death) but for me our meditation has been a wheel of a different sort, rolling along, moving me towards spiritual, physical, emotional and material freedom. I’ve been practicing our meditation for 30 years. During that time I’ve encountered an assortment of human challenges
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Stopping the Mind’s Resistance

— by Elana, New York, NY
It’s an unbelievable coincidence, but like Sara, I came to Stuart after reading his book Leah. I purchased it at Tibet House in New York, trying to find something nurturing for my painful soul. I couldn’t express my response to this book better than Sara did. I had been in the same conflicted state for 3 dreadful years, torn between love and hate, illusion and truth, expectation and reality, fighting, frustrated, stuck in my thoughts, almost to the point of insanity. I also cried without stopping when I met Stuart and felt an unbelievable love and trust after the first meeting…
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Spirituality in the Shadow of War

— by Elli Malki, Jerusalem, Israel
In the winter of 1984, I was travelling with two friends in India. I was 24 years-old and just finished a long service in the Israeli navy. Since I was interested in the practice of yoga, I planned the trip so that we will be able to visit a few ashrams that I’d heard about already in Israel. Thus, we found ourselves staying in the Shivananda Ashram in Trivandrum, which is in the southern part of India.

I still remember clearly one conversation that I had with the secretary of the ashram. He was an English guy who renounced his life in England and moved to live and serve in the ashram. We talked about wars and conflicts in the world and the secretary said that human beings should live in peace, should not hate each other and all the more so should not kill each other. I remember how me and my friends attacked him with tough questions: What do you do when you are faced with irrational hatred? How do you deal with situations in which you have to protect yourself and the people who are close to you?
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Sara’s Story: Driving Myself Crazy…

— by Sara Galassini, New York, NY
When I first decided to meet with Stuart I was in a very difficult moment. It wasn’t the first time that I was feeling so helpless and incapable of taking further steps with my life, as I was coming from 3 intense years of deep insecurities, confusion, contrasting feelings of love and hate towards the very same people that are the most important and precious to me. I was continuously battling with my inner self, my dreams and expectations towards myself and life, to the point of driving myself crazy by thinking the same thoughts over and over, hoping to find a solution to something that was becoming more complicated by the minute. I could hardly leave home because I was incapable of sharing my fragility with anybody around me. I knew I needed help but didn’t really know where to look for something or someone that could teach me how to embrace myself and learn to accept whatever was going on with me, and work from there….
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