—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.

I had had some esoteric experiences in the past and I had also heard about Kundalini Yoga. My only idea about it was that it’s something dangerous and far from real spirituality. I had also many other ideas how the real spiritual process should be, but in fact, I had never practiced anything seriously.

It took me several weeks of meditation classes just to stop the mind’s resistance, although after almost every class I had a sensation of sweet warmth in the heart— joy and peace. For a couple of months, in my dreams, it was as if all my fears and preconceptions came to the surface, showing how much nonsense had been rooted deep within me. Sometimes, the next morning, I felt exhausted and extremely scared. I even had an idea for a short while just to escape, to rush from that dangerous unknown space into the ugly and familiar swamp of my life.

Fortunately, my inner self knew what is right for me. I always try to remember the distinct feeling of love after the first meeting with Stuart in a small café on the ground floor of the building where he lives. My chaotic and frazzled mind helped me to make the decision to surrender myself to this energy in spite of tens of subconscious voices saying to me, “no, don’t go there! ”

Meanwhile, the ice in my heart melted so intensely that I felt pain from its grit. Stuart’s meditations literally dragged me out of my hell.

I also want to tell you how easy it can be to deceive yourself and be caught in a trap by believing falsely that the same level of consciousness will continue without the constant discipline of deep meditation. You have to continuously surrender to every tiny event and every human being.

At one point my circumstances had changed, and I wasn’t able attend the classes for a few months. Life soon took me in its claws. Instead of conscious creative subtle energy, I gradually started breathing its heavy rough and raw elements. Incapable of digesting negativity and transforming it into something better, I lost joy and happiness. Pain and confusion immediately took over, and again I got depressed and frustrated. I felt dried and frozen, incapable of finding a good job, making new friends and having any stability.

Moreover, I felt this pain much stronger and deeper than before because I’d already known another taste of life. I had had a touch of unconditional love and happiness, a special clearness of mind, when even plain things and routine actions were bright and made sense. I still remembered the miraculous sensation of walking alone on Broadway and gazing into people’s eyes trying to share my joy and love when I attended meditation classes 4 times a week and my soul had enough food to be happy.

I am in the Stuart’s meditation room again, coming there as often as I am able. I cannot describe how painful it can be when the dust of undigested negative energy leaves the body…

Now I realize what it means, “when you stop, you fall” that I had heard before. I realize that without making the spiritual work the first priority in my life, I will never be happy, without a constant, lifelong effort I will never tap my own creative energy and I would spend my life milking other people.

Another, more optimistic thought has come during the meditation lately— it’s so easy to be full of joy, to just to take each and every breath from the depth of my own, eternally happy self.