gurdjieff

All posts tagged gurdjieff

I Don’t Wear Yoga Pants

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

bullshit

Ages ago, it was really cool to be spiritual … when no one else was.

I secretly studied the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky with a mentor. The catch metaphysics phrase of the 1980s was “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” And sure enough, at the age of 24, I met a man twice my age (though so wise he seemed even three times my age). We studied together intensely for eight months. During this time I stopped drinking, stopped clubbing, didn’t watch television and read over 100 books about various sources of spirituality including: Teachings of the Far East, Finding of the Third Eye, The Aquarian Christ, and Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson.

Back then this knowledge was sacred. I covered my books in brown paper bags so no one would know what I was reading. I entered a journey beyond this world. It was a true blessing.

Then a few years later, I found Jesus Christ and became a Christian. Even knowing all this esoteric knowledge, I felt the strongest connection to Jesus. Nevertheless, unlike the stereotype Christian, I still drew from my knowledge of other cultures and religions and the really deep stuff like Gurdjieff. In 1989 I coined the phrase “spirit whore” meaning I was all over the place spiritually. I liked that a lot. Being non-committing and feeling safe in any place of worship.

Fast forward to the modern world. It’s no longer the 1980s and thanks to Oprah, the sacredness of spirituality has been brought to the masses. That would be fine, as it is the Age of Aquarius and people should know this stuff. HOWEVER … it’s a shame that Jesus Christ isn’t acknowledged in the mix. It’s cool to be anything but a Christian. So this is what these modern day new-agers use as a way to one-up: “I’m so worldly, I’m so spiritual, I’m better than you because you’re JUST A CHRISTIAN.”

It’s become a sad hip phrase for middle-aged women to make it KNOWN: “I’m spiritual, not religious.” It’s an ugly mantra I’ve been enduring for the past several years — said more and more frequently.

The “I’m spiritual, not religious” sing song haunts me as I try to sleep at night, so much so that I swear it must be a chant to bring satan out of hiding. It’s like chalk on a blackboard, just a pathetic way of saying, “I’m better than you.” URGH, how it makes me cringe! So much so that I’ve come up with the snarky phrase that I’m sharing all over social media:

“Spiritual not religious” gives middle-aged hipster women something else to do
… besides Whole Foods and Botox.
When something that was once beautiful has become so blown out of proportion that people are using it as a way to seem hip and condescending — I’m sorry, it’s not spiritual.
Perhaps these “spiritual” criers should seek out religion, if not for anything else, for balance.
They are too ignorant to realize that they are behaving the same as the holier than thou super-saved Christians who believe in a monstrous god who damns everyone to hell.
maryanne backI don’t wear yoga pants
But they are worse. They are disguised in designer clothing, yoga pants, botox, and hair straighteners. A new vision of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Modern new-agers are just as judgmental as super-saved Christians. And that ain’t nothing special.

 

It’s NOT Luck!

Published February 5, 2015 by Maryanne

fireworks by MaryanneFireworks by Maryanne Mistretta

The other day I took offense to a friend saying I was “lucky.”

“Luck” is not a word in my vocabulary.

I’m truly of the mindset that everything we have is because we’ve attracted it into our lives with wisdom and creative visualization. When people say I’m “lucky” to have an amazing husband, I’m not. I’m blessed because I was smart enough to not settle for the first guy who came along. I fell madly in love with someone I’m super attracted to and adores me equally.

I’m not “lucky” to work with friends — I am intelligent enough to refuse to work in a stressful environment with negative people, therefore I purposely choose the wonderful people I like to build my career around. I’ve spent years doing things on my own until the right girlfriends came into my life. Luck has nothing to do with anything.

When you take a moment each morning to spend in prayer and gratitude and have been doing so almost 20 years; when you have studied Gurdjieff since the 1980s; when you are not afraid of sitting in traffic or being in your own company because you don’t know what “boredom” means since you are in love with yourself and the mind is always going — THAT, MY FRIEND is not luck. It’s called WISDOM. (And mine came at a young age rather than an old age. Since 19, I’ve been told I was wise for my years).

RIP Bayani Mendoza De Leon, Loss of a Very Special Friend and Spiritual Mentor

Published November 17, 2013 by Maryanne

Bayani's PhotoBayani Mendoza De Leon

November 24, 1942 to September 13, 2013

In the late 1980s I was a young girl, not yet 25, working at A.B. Bookman in Garfield, New Jersey, as a typesetter. Bayani Mendoza De Leon was a proofreader there. The first time he spoke to me, it was because he was very impressed with my typing skills and asked how I got to be such a good typist.

Now this was before home computers, and I shared that I spent many hours typing poetry I wrote on my Smith Corona typewriter at home. Bayani expressed interest in my poetry and we became good friends, spending all our lunches and breaks together, as we were both vegetarians and very much into the new age. Bayani was a lot older than me — at age 46 he seemed almost ancient. But the age difference didn’t stop us from becoming friends. Then something extraordinary happened — Bayani became my spiritual mentor. He gave me hundreds of books and tapes on Teachings of the Far East, Gurdjieff, Buddha, Ouspensky, numerology, alphabet-ology, The Bible … and so on. I stopped going to night clubs for about eight months, spending all my time studying with Bayani and on my own.

I celebrated my 25th birthday with Bayani. Our favorite restaurant was The Gate in NYC (of course it’s no longer there). It was a Japanese restaurant that served green tea and red bean ice cream — something extraordinary back in those days. Another restaurant we favored were Pumpkin Eater up on 79th Street. We also saw one of my favorite musicians — Mick Karn — perform at The Bottom Line.

Bayani was also a well known musician in the Philippines. He was friends with another musician, Eleanor Academia, who was from California (where Bayani spent some time living). One day Eleanor treated Bayani and I to lunch in New York City. She had a great saying, “Spend your money, save your soul.”

When Bayani left A.B. Bookman several months after we became good friends, we touched base a few times but really didn’t keep in touch. So I was beyond thrilled when out of the blue I heard from Bayani in 2011! He found me via my website (www.peartreeenterprises.com) and wrote me an email! A few months later, February 2012, we got together for lunch at my favorite restaurant, Veggie Heaven. He was in great spirits and we had a wonderful time. I was 48 (two years older than Bayani was when I first met him!) and Bayani was 69.

We promised to keep in touch, but  sadly, that was the last time I saw Bayani. Our last email was a few weeks after our lunch.

I heard of Bayani’s death today by chance. I was looking up info on music.orb and found that they acknowledged his birthday! I was excited and Googled him — only to find a sad tribute about his death on You Tube.

I was shocked and sad. When we were friends back in the 1980s Bayani met both my mother and grandmother. He also took pictures of my sister and I one night before we went to a Halloween party. That’s how close we were. I once met his sister too and had dinner in his home when she was visiting. I still have photos of me and her together. As well as all the pictures he took of my sister and I on Halloween, 1988. One of the few nights I deviated from my spiritual studies.

So many fond memories, but my favorite was when we took breaks at A.B. Bookman and sat in the hallway sharing vegetarian snacks like Eden Soy Milk and Japanese plum ball sours. In just 15 minutes we shared great food and had such deep conversation. It was great!

So September 2013 was such a tragic month. My Billy cat died Sept. 3, my mentor Joan Finn died a few days later, and then Bayani (which I just found out about) left us at age 70.

Rest in Peace to a wonderful soul and an ever-joyful spirit … a deep, quiet man with a good heart. Definitely heaven’s gain.