If      you’re   thinking   of   approaching   someone   for   spiritually-related   instruction   or   advice,   you’ll naturally   want   to   know   if   the   teacher   has   any   experience   in   your   areas   of   interest.   The   material below should give you a sense of this. My   early   life   was   externally   comfortable   and   internally   difficult,   with   lots   of   challenges   and confusion,   culminating   in   a   six-year   retreat   from   the   world   in   which   I   began   to   discover   myself. In    spiritual    settings,    this    self-discovery    happened    through    catharsis    and    a    great    variety    of powerful   inner   experiences.   We   all   have   transformational   experiences.   I   think   for   many   people the   greatest   such   experiences   involve   hearing   people   say   certain   things,   often   during   difficult discussions   with   “elders”   which   help   us   grow.   I   had   my   share   of   those,   but   they   were   not   the most important experiences. My   path   has   been   one   primarily   of   solitary   awakenings   as   a   result   of   spiritual   practice   and contact   with   spiritual   masters   of   various   kinds.   Like   most   such   experiences,   they   didn’t   occur through   any   obvious   psychological   cause   and   effect.   “The   grace   of   God”   would   be   the   easiest general way of explaining them. And   only   after   a   certain   major   awakening   occurred   did   “therapy”   really   begin   to   work.   Before that,   it   was   all   just   talk.   I   needed   to   be   cracked   open   for   things   to   get   moving,   which   for   me happened   at   age   29.   At   that   point,   a   30-year   learning   and   healing   process   began   which   is   difficult to   quantify   or   present   as   a   series   of   specific   benefits   and   resolutions.   But   my   experiences   include the following: DREAM   JOURNEY I   have   logged   hundreds   of   dreams   over   the   decades,   and   through   study (Jung,   Taylor,   Moss,   Faraday,   etc.)   have   become   more   and   more   proficient   at   discerning   what seem to be the most appropriate likely meanings, for myself and for others in small groups. ASCETIC/CELIBATE   LIFESTYLE —I   am   happily   married   now,   but   for   years   after   that   major awakening   I   was   drawn   inward   and   experienced   powerful   intuitions   to   simplify   my   life,   and   not to bother with romantic activities. VISION    QUEST      —partially     inspired     by     Native     American     teachings,     for     years     I     would occasionally    seek    solitude    and    healing    in    wilderness    environments,    backpacking    alone    and intentionally sitting for hours at a time, sometimes in the dark. NEUROLOGICAL   HEALING   —Energetically,   my   own   awakening   was   difficult   and   involved epilepsy   and   previously   existing   ADD—from   both   of   which,   I   am   90%   healed   from   years   of supplements and energy sessions with healers. PSYCHIC   EXPERIENCES    —most   people   end   up   having   at   least   a   few   of   these,   but   I’m   probably unusual   in   the   number   and   variety   of   such   episodes…   whether   you   choose   to   understand   them scientifically   or   supernaturally.   If   you’ve   been   reluctant   to   share   such   experiences,   you’ll   find   a friendly ear with me! DRUGS —I’ve    been    intentionally    drunk    once,    high    twice,    and    hallucinated    on    substances once—each   time,   however,   concluding   that   the   spiritual   path   I   was   on   was   preferable.   The   levels of   despair   I’ve   touched   (see   above)   seem   to   have   rendered   me   into   a   good   drug   counselor,   in spite   of   having   had   very   little   actual   experience   with   substances.   I   haven’t   done   anything   illegal in over 30 years. MEDITATION —40   years   worth—stopping,   starting   again,   and   going   down   more   than   one   blind alley!    I’ve    practiced    all    the    major    techniques,    taught    successful    meditation    courses,    and    it continues for me to be the essential spiritual practice. SPIRITUAL   PATHS —decades   of   seeking   around   many   groups—Bhakti   yoga,   Vedanta,   Zen,   Sufi, Sikh,    Catholic    monasticism,    Native    American,    secular    groups    and    even    some    early    psychic interests—along   with   graduate   study   in   philosophy   of   religion   in   different   traditions   have   given me   perspectives   on   different   kinds   of   teachers   and   group   structures,   the   beneficial   or   harmful effects   of   various   beliefs   and   assumptions,   and   whether   or   not   personal   experiences   of   different kinds are accurate indicators of what the seeker should do. CONTACT:   david@worldspirituality.com

David Low MS, PhD
Greetings,    folks!    I    studied    zoology    and anthropology     in     college     (Duke     Univ.), worked   in   small-time   show   business   for four   years,   was   a   technical   writer   for   a small    computer    company    and    a    novel- writer   on   the   side   for   five   years   (rejected by    fourteen    publishers),    got    a    Masters Degree        in        Community        Counseling (Georgia   State   U.)   And   worked   in   mental health,   mostly   as   a   drug   counselor,   over the    course    of    twelve    years;    was    a    full- time    spiritual    seeker    in    Hindu-related ashrams        for        six        years,        travelled extensively    in    India,    Mexico    and    South America;   got   married   and   never   had   kids, got    a    PhD    (Temple    Univ.)    In    Religious Studies    and    taught    mostly    as    a    adjunct professor   over   the   course   of   fifteen   years, and     finally     semi-retired     to     became     a freelance   teacher,   counselor,   lecturer   and dreamworker           in           and           around Philadelphia,      PA.      Universal      Spiritual Philosophy and Practice is my first book. In       rough       chronological       order,       my spiritual                 pedigree                 involves Episcopalianism,                   Transcendental Meditation,    the    Vedanta    Society,    some Catholicism,         Devotional         Hinduism,         (mostly   Siddha   Yoga,   also   ISKON),   Sufism, Won   and   Zen   Buddhism,   and   agnostically oriented self-inquiry (TAT Foundation). CONTACT:   david@worldspirituality.com