Thursday, July 15, 2010

Interview with Dr. Anthony Raimondo

"Without knowledge of one's theme, we plant seeds of an uncertain harvest or we plant seeds that bear no fruit." Dr. Anthony Raimondo enlightens us to reach out for the ultimate goal - Oneness with God, in his book 'Return to Eden' (reveiwed here)
I got an opportunity to conduct an e-interview with Dr. Raimondo and am grateful for the enlightening thoughts he shares through the answers here.

1. Can or should the meditation techniques be generalized or shouldn't there be customized ways of meditation suiting different temperaments and the degree of individual peace?

Meditations can be both generalized or customized for a particular purpose or need. In Return to Eden the meditations are of both methods. Predominantly the meditations are designed for a generalized audience with diverse backgrounds, natures and temperaments partly due to the variable of not personally knowing the reader. Also the intention for the mediations is to lead an individual to self-discover of a personal theme. This form of meditation must utilize a language that promotes images unique to the individual meditating. However, in exercise 5: The Dreamer, the purpose is reversed. The meditation is designed for everyone to finally share a similar experience. Therefore Return to Eden utilizes both forms depending on the objective for the meditation.

As a teacher I am aware that not all students will arrive at an understanding with the same degree of success on the same number of trials. In addition, not all individuals learn the same way, for this reason I included several preliminary exercises designed to strengthen different forms of learning modalities, and inner sense imagination. However, just as anything else we master in life, it is through consistent effort that we achieve success.

However, when guiding and individual through a meditation in a private setting the meditation can be adjusted as it is being conducted. A skillful and knowledgeable guide will know what variables need to be changed in order for the meditation to be more effective. Also, there is the post-meditation process that can help to alter and make changes if needed.

2. What are the techniques which can/should be taught to children of new age generation to keep their minds calm and at peace?

What I used for 7th and 8th grade students both in the general population and in special education classrooms was breathing and relaxation techniques. Simple meditation designed to have the student experience complete relaxation and to associate that experience with total peace.

3. Have you ever experienced Oneness with God yourself? If yes, would you like to share that experience with us ?

Yes, I will begin by asking a question. What is the sensation of a dream? In a dream you are the creator of an imaginary world. Everything in that dream is a part of your thoughts. What is the sensation between you and the images in your dream? Now as you read this imagine you are a thought in a dreamer’s mind what sensation do you experience? So to take this further when I am dreaming, God is dreaming that I am dreaming therefore we are dreaming together. This exercise is to help you understand the experience. It is a sensation that you experience with your consciousness.

I experience His presence during meditative state while working. I have experienced Him assisting me while working. I have heard His voice as he as guided me in a task as simple as placing a liner in a wastepaper basket. I have experienced Him using my voice to speak. I have often felt the possibility of physical leaving this physical plane and entering into another. I have had the sensation of Oneness with everything around me. The most common experience for me is sharing His thoughts. Especially when I use the name that God gave me. This name I call my password and when I use the term I have clear access to Him. These states have been difficult to maintain for long periods of time due to the worlds many attractions that quickly separate us from Oneness.

4. Personally how I see God is in the duties that I fulfill which have been assigned to me by Him. Its my way of conveying that I believe in the work that has been designated to me. Is this not a form of meditation in itself - not allowing the mind to drift to negative thoughts but keeping it focused to the work in hand?

Yes, I speak of living your theme and mission. When you are performing as His will without sensing His presents you are nearly at the state of Oneness. When we are aware of Him in control of our bodies and we sense is presence within us we are as Christ, One with the Father. I would also like to add that all our thoughts we entertain in our minds are meditations. Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” This is why from our meditations must become how we think all day.

5. In the beginning of the book you mentioned something on the lines that if you can communicate directly with the God, why go through some intermediaries. But in many scriptures its mentioned that the Guru or the Master is the one who smoothens the path or accelerates the journey to reach the ultimate goal of Oneness with God. What is your opinion on this?

Your question is in reference to my own personal journey. At the age of nine I began to pray to God on whether or not I should become a priest. I heard a voice say, “No, I have something else planned for you.” At first, I felt much rejected from this experience. By the age of sixteen I was inspired to seek the truth, but most of the so called Masters around me at the time seemed to have their own personal agenda, which didn't sit right with me. Therefore, I decided to seek out the greatest Master in my mind, which was God, so I prayed and meditated and asked Him to teach me. The way that He instructed me was by revealing something to me, most of the time in a book or a passage from a book that confirmed the message. For example, when I had made the decision to have God teach me, I found this passage in the Bible: Jesus says, in John 6:45 “It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.’ When I saw that, I knew that I had made the right decision for myself.

Many of the Masters were taught by God, Enoch, Elijah, Buddha, and many of the prophets. I do not claim to be a Master or a prophet. It is said, “When a student is ready the teacher will arrive.” God knows the type of teacher we need, and if we put our trust in Him, He will provide the right teacher. Our job is to always seek discernment in order to have the wisdom to recognize the teacher when he arrives.

The author of Return to Eden was primarily God. It is His book for those who wish to find him. Once they begin the journey He will lead them, with or without the aid of a human being.

6. You explain in the book that following up the mission with the affirmation helps in making the mission a reality. How to incorporate positive affirmation in the daily life, which seems to be the most difficult task.

I have indirectly already answered this question. Positive affirmations are the autosuggestion needed to change our negative thinking into positive ones. For example, if you pray or meditate on a problem or issue for a solution for one hour and for the rest of the day think of the problem you have now prayed or meditated on the problem therefore more prayer was spent on the continuing of the problem and not the solution. Affirming that the problem is solved and holding on to that thought is what manifests the solution.

Jesus said, in Luke 11:11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?” The other side of this is also true if you ask for a snake would you get a fish. Where your heart is, that is where your treasure is.

Another example, I wish to sell my house. Which is better to affirm the house is sold or to pray for a buyer? Praying for the buyer is affirmation that I am still the seller. Affirmation that it is sold means it is no longer mine. Affirmations are autosuggestions used to alter the way we think this is, how we are able to generate a more positive means of thinking.

7. Out of all the meditation techniques described in the book, which is the one that you would recommend people to do regularly?

Exercise 3: “Be still and know that I am God.” This is all one really needs. Once you arrive at the stillness, call to the Father and listen.

8. There are many self help, self empowerment and spiritual books in the market. What do you think was your aim while writing 'Return to Eden' and were you able to achieve it through this book?

My original aim was to help individuals to simply find their true calling by discovering their own personal theme. Return to Eden evolved into something that well exceeds my personal expectations. It went from discovering a theme for a career to discovering the Father within. During this process I evolved as well simply because I was letting Him guide my thoughts.

9. Do you plan to write any more books and what would they offer?

Yes, volume 2 of Return to Eden deals with the narrative concept of creating characters for our stories. The main character, supporting and adverse characters. Once again a plan to use elements of a narrative to guide the reader in evolving to a higher state of being.

10. How do you see the world - a place where mainly we come to atone for our sins or a place where we get the unique opportunity to take our souls to higher levels or the combination of both . To what degree do we get to control or influence our lives?

You are asking two questions. Your first question is really the same thing to atone for sin is to raise our level of perfection, for sin is a matter of falling short of the mark. However, there is another possibility some return not to atone for sin, nor to take the soul to a higher level but to guide the way for others. However, returning always bears a risk of falling short because we have freedom to choose. The choice is always to be at One or not in any plane of existence. We are always in control we always have the final say. However, when we decide to trust in God and permit Him to lead the way the task is much easier, but we can always refuse to follow.

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