My name is Bede Draper I am a New Zealand born, 65-year-old man.
I have a Masters of Applied Science and received formal training in various forms of Western psychotherapy. I have background in theology, philosophy, psychology and comparative religion. As a young man I spent some time in a Roman Catholic religious order.
When I went to India, however, I did not go because of an academic interest. I went because I was not able to resolve my recurring forms of unhappiness. I seemed to suffer from ALL the various kinds of human unhappiness that tend to plague us as human beings.
In India I had the opportunity to study my life in the light of a teaching unfolded by a rather remarkable Hindu monk. I am not a Hindu and so did not go there to change my culture or my religious orientation.
I am only interested in universal spiritual principles that apply to all of us and can be verified in our daily experience. If it does not pass this practical test I can’t see any value in it.
I don’t believe any particular religion or spiritual teaching contains the truth. It is my belief that at its best, a spiritual teaching or religion can be instrumental in revealing the Truth that sets us free. Because this Truth is beyond all names and forms it is never restricted to any culture, race or religion.
Dayananda was a remarkable example of a teacher from the Hindu religious tradition. He was unique in that he could help ordinary people like me to see our lives in a clear and undistorted way.
He unfolded a vision (a way of seeing) in which we can learn to abide in, while living.
I went to India to study the psychology of the Gita as unfolded by Swami Dayananda. He unfolded universal spiritual principles that apply to all of us, no matter what religion or spiritual orientation we have or what culture we belong to.
Dayananda’s “psychological teaching” is like a doorway to a wisdom that transforms us. It comes from a very ancient spiritual tradition that is normally very difficult to approach for secularized Westerners like me.
I am not a Vedanta teacher. Vedanta is an ancient spiritual tradition from India which enquires into what we are in reality, rather than what we seem to be. I make no claims about being enlightened but rather, I am just an ordinary human being who is interested in sharing what I learned from my 14 months studying in India.
What is important is Wisdom and LEARNING to live that Wisdom in our daily life. It is only in the LIVING of the wisdom that our experience of ourselves, others and the world can undergo a real and abiding change.
Discovering WHAT this wisdom is and learning how to live this wisdom is the only thing that brings about freedom while living. If we can’t learn to be free while living, nothing can really change for us.
Freedom while living is what this blog and website is all about.