"My dear friends, As a Newly ordained Minister in the Brightdawn linage I have been given my first Assignment at a Vietnamese Temple called Phap Vu which means Dharma rain. I would like all of you to send us Loving-Kindness and all blessings on this…"
"My Dear Brother Kevin, We at Evolutionsangha are working towards those same goals but we try to keep those traditions from the east as well as from the west to give those of a more devotional bent like myself and to use them for personal growth…"
"My Brothers and Sisters, I find that doing more than one type of chanting/recitation can be very useful, When on a long line at the supermarket I do silent recitation, in the car while driving I chant aloud,when in my small garden stepping and…"
" Dear Satyavani, Hello from Sunny Florida, well its a bit cold but sunny none the less. Please let it be known that we here in Central Florida have a growing Sangha and we call ourselves Evolution Sangha I have been appointed Abbot/ Minister…"
"Shantikara my brother, we at evolution sangha will join you as I have asked others to chant 1000 rounds for all the abused women of this world it is to dedicate all the merit for these suffering beings."
"Richard please take solace that all she did for you has born fruit and now she has returned to the source of love and that she will always send you love for you and yours. peace and light your brother Roberto"
"I think that the power of chanting can help where all suffering is present, please join me in trying to help all those women by chanting 1000 rounds of chanting for the end of abuse towards battered woman and also children where ever in the world…"
"I have Just come back from a 5 day retreat where I chanted 1000 rounds of Namo Amitufo and all the merit was for battered women in the world to help those who suffer from abuse. I started the day at 3am and except for brief stops to eat and bathroom…"
"was able to chant 20 rounds on this a day of mourning for the Taino people which is called in the USA columbus day, todays nain fo was for all who died in slavery in the carribean due to his and european greed, may they rest in Amitofu's…"
My earliest experiences with spirituality came under the roof of my home. My grandparents were minimal Roman Catholics. In my family there was also a Shamanic tradition of spiritualism and herbal knowledge. As a young boy I was encouraged to pursue my family's Shamanic tradition, such as spirit procession and fortunetelling. This Shamanic tradition had its roots in African, native American and European religious beliefs. My grandmother came from a town renowned for its witchcraft as well as its supernatural teachings. As I was growing up I learned from a very early age are that there was two ways of seeing things, one was the way people viewed day to day life, secondly was the way people viewed the spirit world. I was always very intuitive and had a curiosity about what I thought lay beyond every day reality. When I was about 15 years old I discovered that there were other forms of how people viewed reality from different cultures. My first introduction to meditation came via Alan Watts and his books. I was lucky enough to have moved from the Caribbean to New York City where there were many peoples and many cultures and I got a chance to live closely to them. I had been told by a local shaman that I would one day be a spiritual teacher. I remember thinking to myself this will never happen because my interests lay in the other places. As an adolescent I did all the things that adolescents did at that time which was basically sex drugs and rock and roll. But something kept nagging me at that there was more to it than this, that there was some thing hidden behind reality that sex drugs and rock and roll could not satisfy. I began to experiment with meditation and other forms of contemplation. One day quite by chance I ran into people that were chanting and dancing in my local park. This turned out to be a meeting with Sri Prabupads Group of young Vishnavas now known as the Hari Krishna movement and my interest was piqued by these young men. I learned a lot about Hinduism from them as well as the vedas, Bhagatvagita and other scriptures. I then drifted away from them and found a local swami by the name of Satchitaannada of the integral yoga Group and studied yoga for while. While there I had the fortunate pleasure of meeting a native American shaman who recognized something inside of me and asked me to come to one in his teachings and we became fast friends, because we shared many things in common. About the same time I managed to land a job working with young people in New York City and part of what I did was introducing these young people from the inner city to the wilds and mountains of upstate New York. I did an exchange program with kids from other states and one of these exchange programs was from the rosebud reservation in North Dakota. During this period I was able to experience and practice their form of shamanism and participate in vision quests and sweat lodge. This led to to other meetings with many different men who practiced this form of spirituality and finally led me to become a pipe holder. Daniel Rivera was a Sun dancer and friend who bestowed the pipe and the chanupa ceremony on me. I also made friends with a gentleman who belonged to the Theosopical group in Manhattan and via Saint Michael's Reformed Catholic Church which was very esoteric and in which they practiced meditation during the mass. There was a priest from that church by the name of Father Goldring who belonged to the arcane society and he counseled me while he was alive. I once more changed jobs and became a teacher in a program on the upper north end of central park in New York city and it was there that I met Jose Figueroa and he became my Tai Chi teacher and I practiced with him for about five years. I then began to teach meditation and practice herbalisim and began to study therapeutic massage at the Swedish institute from where I graduated with a license to practice body work while at the same time I was teaching at a site along the Hudson River called Wave Hill, where I became the head instructor. During my time there I became quite ill and had to abandon my post due to some toxic poisoning from chemicals found at my job and I was out of work for quite a long time and so sick I could not leave my apartment and my during this time I met someone who was a third of order Franciscan and he invited me to study to become an ordained Franciscan Lay monk. Slowly recovering my health I became a third order monk and when I was stronger I was able to go and visit people who were very ill and dying and work with them. On my doctor's advice I moved from New York City to Florida so that I could regain my health. It was here that I began to study Theravada Buddhism at the local temple called Wat Florida Dhamamaram. The abbot at the temple(Thaan Chao Khun Sunan) became my preceptor and it took refuge and the eight precepts. It was here that I met Morris Sullivan and others and I have been part of the temple for the past five years until the present time. There are many more instances of holy people and teachers and teachings I have received during my life that would not fit in a book so I hope this gives you some view into the blessings that I have received during my journey on this path.
Occupation or Primary Activity
Involvement in Spirituality/Religion
I am currently a minister in training with the Brightdawn institute and I practice the pureland, Theravada and Christian contemplative traditions as well as keeping my shamanic heritage. I hold classes and teach at the Wat Florida dhamarama temple as well as hold small group meetings.
What is your interest in Amida-shu
I would like to start a Amida group here in Florida.
How did you find this web site?
Via our ning site.
What country are you living in?
What is the nearest town to where you live? If in UK, please give first half of your postcode. Thank you.
Are you a member of an Amida group/Congregation
not at the moment
What can you offer to other members of this network?
What other interests do you have, eg Arts, Gardening and so on.
I have written my first book as a co-Author and run the Evolutionsangha.com website
Hello Roberto - yes, I echo Richard's words - 'what an extraordinary spiritual autobiography'.
Have a good look round the site, starting with the link in the 'Welcome' box, top left. Then join in any discussions and special interest groups that take your fancy. (Groups in top bar) I've put you on the list for our 'Whispers from the Bamoo Grove' newsletters, which come by email. You can see some of the back newsletters here. Also you might like to look at our magazine Running Tide (which Kaspa and Satya edit). I hope that you'll enjoy making new contacts around the world.
How about joining a widely spread group for Monday Nembutsu practice? (Wherever you are and whenever suits, just sometime on Mondays)
Welcome Roberto, What an extraordinary spiritual autobiography!
I'm sure you will find much of interest in this group. The range of interests is vast. For me one of the key components is the attitude of what Matthew Fox refers to as Deep Ecumenism. There are people from a range of traditions and none.