—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. Please be patient with me as I gradually turn my frustration with my condition into motivation to work harder, open more deeply, and share with you something lighter.

You said you could feel my “distress.” Yes, I’m sure you could! As you can see, I do have tremendous resistance. But I am truly grateful for it, for the pain of growing, and for all the baggage I have to surrender, because I know that it is a tremendous resource for me and will fuel my rebirth. So please don’t pity me or let my tensions have any negative effect on you. I am very happy to be at work “taming my tiger,” and welcome all experiences and challenges the process brings me.

I am a complex person but Rudi has taught me to be simple about my complexity. Thanks to him, I have a steadfast compass deep inside of me, showing me the path through my inner jungle. I am so grateful for the direct connection to God (and Nityananda) that he has helped me establish, and for the understanding of how to draw upon, expand, and develop myself through that connection, using the tools Rudi has given me. I just need time; working in depth over time I will accomplish what I need to in this life.

Rudi has also connected me to many teachers, each with his/her own “spiritual filter,” abilities, shortcomings, and gifts for me. I am grateful to all of them, even those I don’t completely trust, for I have learned from each of them. I do have “trust issues” in working with living teachers right now, but I can surrender that resistance gradually where I feel trust is deserved, and as I grow in the strength and ability to discern the worthiness of each teacher. I have been asking Rudi for guidance in this, and feel encouraged to put my trust in Stuart and his teachers at this time. I certainly welcome any extra energy I can get to help me with my efforts toward transcendence!

I intend to grow spiritually and give birth to successively more refined versions of myself, with or without a living teacher. Kris, you said you thought I was brave to try working alone. Rudi gave me that courage; he said to me very clearly, “If you don’t come to the ashram, the ashram will come to you,” and then he showered me with golden, incredibly nourishing energy. Rudi saved my spiritual life, showed me my destiny, empowered my wish to grow, and has never left me— therefore I consider him to be my “root guru” even though I never met him in his body.

I am reading Stuart’s book, A Deeper Surrender which rings true and is very helpful. I am working with his picture and my awareness of an energy connection with him. I am planning to participate in Stuart’s April workshop in Eugene, which you kindly invited me to join. I will, of course, in the meantime continue my meditation work every day and prepare as best I can for meeting with him. I hope to bring significant openness; I will certainly bring great hunger and sense of direction (up).

I have much homework: circulating the growing flow, relaxing my chakras, and rooting for my awakening muscles. I love my inner work, even when it hurts and I get confused; I experience many wonderful things as well, and am mostly just happy to feel myself coming more deeply alive and growing in real ways.

Kris, I share all of this with you as an expression of my gratitude, growing trust, and love for you and Stuart. As I can express myself in higher ways in the moments that are becoming the present, I will.