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The foundation of Rudi's teachings was a deep personal wish to grow spiritually. Rudi talked about this wish to his students constantly. He described how a sincere wish to grow would lead to a deep and intense feeling which, as it matured in an individual, would evolve quite naturally into a deep love of God and of life.
Rudi insisted that his students take responsibility for their own lives and have the capacity to function in the world. He considered this a prerequisite for doing deep spiritual work.
The spiritual work shared by Rudi consisted of consciously absorbing the energy of our lives, circulating it through the chakras, and refining it to raise the level of our awareness. Through this process, the tensions of daily life are broken down into nourishment for our spiritual mechanisms. Rudi stressed that growth brings about resistance, which must be continually transcended.
According to his teachings, a shift will happen as the wish to grow is further transformed into a deep state of surrender. To grow spiritually, Rudi taught that we must live and work in the world from a deep internal state of surrender without any exceptions.
To Rudi, the teacher was a source of energy available to the student to draw on, bring inside themselves, absorb, and allow to expand within: "A teacher is an instrument through which we draw nourishment and through which we connect to God."
Rudi was instrumental in exposing many Americans to the spirituality and rich cultures of the East. He had a deep respect and appreciation for these different spiritual and cultural traditions and saw a need for them to be presented in a way the West could comprehend. Though recognized as a Swami in India after many years of study, he was not as concerned with the form of Eastern tradition as he was with the content. Rudi saw the art and culture of Eastern spirituality as the symbol of something profound and universal, a truth that cut across all cultural boundaries. To that end, Rudi's teaching was direct and to the point, transmitting his profound understanding with a style that was uniquely his own.
To explore Rudi's teachings in more depth, here are some resources:
- Spiritual Cannibalism, the only book published by Rudi before his death
- Rudi: In His Own Words, a compilation of Rudi's talks, organized by topic
- Rudi: Entering Infinity, drawn from Rudi's talks in the last year of his life
- The Rudi Movie
Swami Chetanananda will be presenting a commentary and elaboration of Rudi's Tantric Teachings during the 2016 summer retreat at The Movement Center in Portland, Oregon. You'll find more information at themovementcenter.com.