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From: John Lawrence Corey (amirah_at_earthlink.net)
Date: Fri Sep 25 1998 - 15:36:13 PDT

Namaste,

I'm a new member of this list and thank God for it. I was initiated into
Vedanta in 1974, at the age of 40, by Swami Swahananda of the Sri
Ramakrishna Order of India and have remained close to him every since.
With his help and encouragement, and that of his monks at the Vedanta
Temple of Hollywood, I established my own ashram in Hermosa Beach,
California in 1978, where I taught for 20 years as a kind of "secular
monk." Two years ago I retired from teaching to devote myself to my own
spiritual practice. 

I am, of course, and have been for many years, celebate and a
vegetarian. I live with my grown, adopted son, our two dogs and four
cats in the San Fernando Valley. I have a Ph.D. in Jungian Studies and
Comparative Religion and have published a few papers on the subject in
scholarly journals. Over the years I have taught frequently at the
Vedanta Temple of Southern California, where Guruji is Head Minister. I
do formal meditation less often than I used to, but the fire is lit and
the match is no longer needed. 

Like Sri Ramakrishna, over the past 50 years I have studied, been
initiated into and practiced the four major world religions: Judaism,
Vedanta, Christianity and Islam. (I also sat ZaZen for a year, but never
took initiation.) I received the names Yakov Leib HaKohain, Kali Dass,
John, and Aziz Mehemet Effendi in each religion, respectively. However,
Advaita Vedanta remains the core of my spiritual practice.

After reviewing what I just wrote, I want to make it clear that I'm not
some kind of "saint." I'm an ordinary man who does ordinary things in,
perhaps, a less-than-ordinary way. My goal in life is to leave it
knowing God. I expect that my experiences on this list will help me
along in that direction.

Kali Dass