About Arthur D. Saftlas

A Few Anecdotes

 

 

About Arthur D. Saftlas

 

I teach awakening.

My web site is 2b-One, because you are a being—you are one, undivided, inseparable by mind, body, or spirit.
I teach esoteric lessons and meditation which are beyond ego and personality. I provide professional guidance in resolving personal conflicts and emotional problems.

My gift is I intuitively see which lessons you can integrate next, which will radically change your life— if you are open. My skill is presenting insights, in a way that are appropriate, compassionate, and clearly understandable.

It is natural for me to share whatever I have learned, and it seems I have a gift for it. I teach and I continually learn, grow, and evolve as we all do, when we are open. I have no attachment to any philosophy, religion, or beliefs; nor do I try to convince you of anything. I understand that we are totally unique individuals, yet incredibly one and the same; we are here in this world to learn, and we are each different in how we go about learning.

My motivation to learn, grow, evolve began from a crisis, from having suffered, from a long period of pain. It is only from suffering, that we learn something is wrong. When there's a splinter in your foot, you know from the pain that your attention is needed. In this case, it is easy to be open to a remedy. Yet, when our entire life is a suffering, we are less open to examine its cause, until it reaches a crisis point. I realize by being open to learning my life evolves and becomes ever more joyful. I see any suffering as an opportunity to learn, as a gift—a blessing, albeit in deep disguise.

I was born in New York City, in 1942. I have been a husband and father, army officer, businessman, sailing instructor, world traveller, truth seeker, graphic artist, writer, and therapist. However, not much about me is important for you to know—what is important is your openness to trust. Much of my work is about inspiring, encouraging, and provoking your openness, because it is only your openness that transforms your life. I sometimes share something I heard my teacher Osho say, “Fingers pointing to the moon—look at the moon—not at my fingers”.

 

 

 

A Few Anecdotes

 

Childhood
When I was three years old, my father bought a house directly across the street from a Catholic church and a Catholic school. My father prided himself on being open-minded and I imagine his reason for buying this particular house was to somehow prove this to himself and everyone. I was the only Jew in this Catholic neighborhood and I didn't go to the Catholic school. It didn't take long for all the kids to realize I was different. In those days the Catholic church still taught the Jews killed Jesus. When the local kids learned I was one of those Jews who crucified Christ, the shit really hit the fan. My father taught me how to fight to survive on the block and to toughen me up for this dog-eat-dog world. My mother must have agreed with him, because when I would run into the house to escape my tormentors, she would send me back outside saying I couldn't hide behind her apron strings. I became a fast runner, because fights were often seven against one. I learned to protect myself from all kinds of hurts by closing off, by making fast judgments, and by deciding never to trust anyone. I remember that my parents fought a lot. My mother was forever demanding consideration and get this: my father bought a house without consulting her. They had lots of karma to work out. Perhaps this is why my path to the truth has been relationships, as well as trust.

 

Crisis
Around age thirty, I began what I call awakening—from the brink of suicide. Though it now feels like another life, this crisis turned opportunity is engraved in my memory. I remember I was in a depressed state for a long time, wanting to escape it, and that it kept worsening, as I was finding no way out. In those days, mental health was not so easily talked about, so I sought advice from my family doctor who diagnosed me as hypoglycemic. This misdiagnosis only made me feel worse, since I was no longer allowed to eat anything I liked.

No one could guess I felt as I did. I had attained the American dream at age 30. I owned a new custom home in Marin County where I lived with my wife and two beautiful children; my sailboat was in the harbor in Sausalito; and I made lots of money without much time or effort. Yet, I was suffering from a depression that seemed to have no end. I remember feeling at first shocked, then consoled, and finally relieved, when I realized I could escape how I was feeling with suicide. I was seriously planning how I was going to go about killing myself, when I was suddenly stopped by a flash of insight. All at once I doubted my mind. It was the first time I had ever questioned my know-it-all attitude. I was confounded by not being able to reconcile suicide with my knowing everything; “I believe I know everything and I'm planning to kill myself? Could it be that I don't know everything, that possibly I don't know anything?!”

That moment of doubting my mind was the opening I desperately needed. Somehow I had trusted myself enough to dis-identify with my thinking. I had glimpsed the reality that I am not my mind. I remember the shock of realizing that I didn't know anything ­and that I probably had very much to learn. I went from being suicidal to a truth seeker in one flash of insight. No wonder I have written a book of my insights!

 

Awakening
Waking up became my priority. I took part in most of the many new age consciousness groups that had sprung up in the 70's in San Francisco. My depression/hypoglycemia symptoms disappeared almost immediately which told me I was on the right track. I read J. Krishnamurti’s books, and went to see him in Ojai. I found a local guru in Roberta Meyer, who helped me immensely. I travelled in Europe and the Middle East for about three years. In 1981, I was living in Amsterdam and leading my own growth groups, when I had another huge wake up call. This led me to Osho. At that time he was in Oregon, so I returned to the USA to live in his rural ashram community.

At about age 42, I was living and working in Oregon at the Osho commune. I remember a magical awakening I had on the truck farm there on a very cold and wet winter day. There were only about 8 of us working in that part of the ranch all winter and nothing fun was ever happening. It felt like Siberia to me. I was miserable for what seemed like an eternity. I was stuck in my unhappiness for months,­ yet I continued to agree with my negative thoughts. Then one morning, I made a decision and said to myself, "enough is enough! today I am leaving this place and that's it!". I was trying to decide whether to hike out to the main part of the ranch which would take hours, or wait for the bus at 5 pm, when this much too happy woman leader showed up to give us all a job to do. Undecided about what to do, I went along with what was happening. She got us all up on this large wooden flatbed trailer she was pulling with a tractor and off we went, very uncomfortably bouncing over rough plowed muddy ground, all the while holding on to huge artichoke plants which needed a new home. It was cold and raining and I was hating every moment, re-promising myself that today I am out definitely out of here. As you may have guessed if you knew Osho's ranch, everybody else was having a great time, which was not helping my black mood. Then I heard a small voice in my head say to me—look, there is no problem is there? you are going to leave—but since you are here for only another afternoon why don't you just let go of this mind of yours that you know is making you so miserable, you can have it back at 5 o'clock when you leave, and you can just enjoy this one last crazy outing. This sounded very logical, so I agreed. Immediately, I found myself in bliss. Suddenly, everywhere was beauty and magic. It took me the whole time we were out in that field for me to plant just one artichoke plant. I felt like I was making love to it, sitting in the mud, in the freezing rain. That satori lasted most of that day. Needless to say, I didn't leave the ashram. My trust in my master deepened as I gained insight into his devices; why we were being put into these difficult and seemingly crazy situations.

 

Perspicacious perspectives
My life changed so much I had to give up any concrete ideas of who I was. I discovered identity is an unnecessary burden. I was no longer a Jew, an American, or anything else. I was no longer insulted by what others said or did. I began to understand J. Krishnamurti’s words: “You are the world, and the world is you”. Very much thanks to Osho, I rediscovered my heart. I had known the wonder of meditative silence years before, but I was missing this loving component, this female side of no-mind. I feel like I may be rambling on here, so I will close this paragraph with Einstein who said, “the only relevant question is whether the universe is friendly or not”. For most of my life I saw the universe as hostile. Then with many insights, I began to see life as neutral. Lately, I realize that the universe is indeed friendly. All are lessons, on the way, to god knows where; there is nothing to do, but trust in life.

My work is counseling and teaching meditation. I teach many meditations, the best and the most powerful are from my master Osho. Most people do not know these meditations which work wonders to heal, relax, and awaken. When one begins to meditate, one may simply want to feel more relaxed. There are simple breathing techniques for this. However, for one who is in crisis, who realizes that something is missing in life, one may chose meditation to awaken. Meditation to me is the true self help, yet it goes well with many therapies.

Awakening, self discovery, healing, is a journey inward, to yourself, to your higher truth. I guide and counsel those who get stuck, go astray, feel lost, or are having difficulty along the way. I know how easy it is to stumble and fall on this path, and get distracted, feel confused, disoriented, or lost. The way is indeed often dark. Often, I feel my work is simply that of someone with a flashlight shining a light to show a way out of what appeared to be a dead end.

 

 
 

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