I want to share, with you who are interested in this topic, a second extremely interesting comment to THE INDIA SYNDROME.

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You don’t have it, Cap!  I’ m joking, but the “India Syndrome” discussed in the article you linked (in your blog) is quite dangerous, and sad.  I printed out the whole article, since it was quite long, and I wanted to read it closely.

I read many years ago in “Psychology Today” about the dangers of extreme mediation, that it can put you in a serious mental break if you are not careful about what you are doing.  But, of course, if one is unstable to begin with, then the problems are going to amplify….

Your choice many years ago to defer on the extreme practices that some ashrams offer was not only wise, it was practical.  Why?  Because it is boring!  And most of them are dollar mongers.  To me, an authentic ashram or temple, whatever, does not even discuss money, that’s a non-issue….

I remember going to an ashram in Berkeley with  a friend at the time, and his girlfriend (who was really into it…), and we did the chanting and watched the Indian guru on a big screen, etc.   I looked around me, and to me all these people looked like aging ex-hippies from the 60s.  (This was around the early 90s)  I was thinking “what is this”, someone from the other side of the planet is gonna provide all the answers for these people?

I know, I’m a cynic at heart, but I do have an open mind, that’s why I went. This friend’s girlfriend would actually fly to India to have a simple one-on-one talk with this guru (a woman) to get clarity.  To give this guru credit, she told her after one visit “you don’t need to fly over here and see me for an answer, you need to look within….blah blah blah…”   I am just astounded at how extremely intelligent people (my friend’s girlfriend was a high-powered, extremely intelligent, well-paid, corporate investment securities attorney) go to such extreme actions to achieve whatever it is they are looking for.  Maybe since I’m older now, the “wise” part of me is more mature, and things don’t have to be that complicated.  We have a tendency to make our lives very complicated and chaotic at times, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Sometimes I think, because as a culture we have all the basics covered (i.e., food, shelter, clothing), that we create our own neurosis because we have the “free” mental time that poor, poor, people in third world countries don’t have.  They are too busy each day just figuring or hammering out a way to survive the next day….

We, on the other hand, have more time to create all kinds of problems for ourselves.

Well, enough of that blather.  Funny, writing about all this has made me “homesick” for my place in Thailand, because the lifestyle there is so different than here.

OK, Cap, take care, hope you are enjoying your home in Royal Oak and your stay in Michigan.  Say hi to Patti for me.

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Thanks Jerry for your never-ending support and feedback and Thanks Jerry for thirty five years of friendship and support for all of my India Travels dating back to October of 1990!

Jerry!  YOU-WERE-THERE with me when the entire India adventure began!