After my father passed away in 1985, I suffered terribly and decided to terminate relations with a violent family that had caused me so much pain throughout my life. While I was saddened by my father’s passing, I knew that for my safety and survival, I needed to break free from the violence. I also felt in my heart that my father was watching over me, in spirit, so I was not worried about the hardships that lay before me. During that time in my life, I did not know about ancestral problems, so I held on tightly to my father’s spirit instead of holding on to God. I was stuck in a vicious cycle. Then, after suffering for decades from abusive relationships, financial difficulties, panic attacks and anxiety, I found grace when I was introduced to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF).
In June of 2012, when I lost my job my life spiraled downward fast. I found SSRF through Facebook for the first time, but I was not ready to change my views. Still not knowing about ancestral problems, I thought I was doing well by holding on to my father’s spirit. I was not ready to let go of him. In October of 2013, I relocated to a new city and began a new job. I knew I needed to make a change in my spiritual practice. My intention was to begin a new life, so I needed to let go of something so I could start anew. I did not know what I had to let go of. Then in November of 2013, I was again introduced to SSRF through Facebook. I understood that this was my second chance. Finally, by the grace of God, I began spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF and my life transformed within a short period of time.
I have been in spiritual practice with SSRF for four months now and I have already experienced many blessings. I started with chanting and attending satsang. Now, my spiritual practice consists of:
2) Sacrifice of time by doing satsēvā (service unto the Absolute Truth)
3) Hathayoga daily practices in the morning
4) Sacrifice of wealth by living a very simple lifestyle and purchasing the Holy Texts from the SSRF website.
My spiritual practice has become my lifestyle. I work full-time and have a son aged 18, that I have raised on my own.
In the short time that I have been doing spiritual practice under the guidance of SSRF, I have experienced many changes in myself.
My skin has softened; it feels silky compared to before when my skin was dry and flakey. My face always feels flushed and warm, as if I have just completed a rigorous workout; my cheeks are rosy and glowing. I reduced the amount of make-up that I wear. I noticed that my hair is silky, soft, and lustrous as before it was dry, brittle and dull. I do not have to spend too much time with the blow dryer, as I like wearing it in a bun most of the time. Another change that I noticed is that my body is slowly shrinking back to my youthful shape. (SSRF Editor’s note: These changes on body level have occurred due to Divine energy acquired through chanting.)
I now enjoy a vegetarian diet. I find it interesting that I enjoy drinking cow’s milk. In the past I did not like to drink milk. It is almost as if God tells me what to eat. I feel lots of positive energy when I eat foods that are sāttvik. (SSRF Editor’s note: These changes have occurred due to an increase of the Sattva component in Marisa.)
My outlook on life has changed dramatically. I am no longer interested in the worldly things that most people are, such as career, travel and luxuries. I enjoy the small apartment that I share with my son and my dog. I do not even like to drive anymore. I enjoy walking everywhere or taking the bus. I am content with my job and small salary. I notice more and more that I do not need many material things to be happy in life.
I have transformed into a peaceful and grateful person. I no longer live in fear, panic and worry. My emotional state is balanced as love and gratitude are at the core of my being.
I started feeling inner love for others, regardless of how they treat me. I feel love even for those who have abused me in the past. At work, when I have conflicts with co-workers or customers, instead of acting out in anger, I sit quietly, accept the situation and chant. I know I am not perfect, as I sometimes become impatient with people who live excessively in the material world; when this happens, immediately I begin to pray to God for help and to surrender such thoughts. I experience Bliss sometimes and can chant with ease.
I am in awe about how my life has changed in such a short time. The past seems so far away. Now, as I live in peace, love and gratitude, I have developed a strong desire to pay it forward by doing Service unto the Absolute Truth (satsēvā).
– Ms. Marisa Di Tommaso, WA, USA