Fred’s Letters from Prison
We have recently enjoyed receiving letters from Fred in Florida, so we
asked him if we could share some excerpts with you. . .
January 5, 2004:
Dear Open Gate Sangha, A couple of weeks ago I came across a guy in
here who had a copy of the teachings of Adyashanti and I was able to
read a few pages of it. The teachings struck a deep resounding chord
within me. . .
I’ve been a seeker for almost 19 of the 22 years that I’ve
been incarcerated and I have never come across a teacher who speaks
directly to such a deep part of my being. The words of Adyashanti are
most certainly alive with Truth which immediately resounds within the
innermost part of one’s being. To say that I’m moved deeply
by them would be a gross understatement. My heart tells me that I’ve
finally, blessedly, found my way home. . .
I’ve been doing some heavy inquiry into the Truth of that which
we are. There is, of course, the contradictory sense that there is this
“me” which feels itself to be separate. My question is,
how does one break the habit of operating from this “me”
and allow the Truth to “take over,” so to speak? I see the
illusion that the entire world is caught up in. I’ve had a taste
and have fallen in love with my Self. Where do I go from here? . . .
The last letter was written when I was about two weeks into doing 90
days in what is commonly called “the hole” (also known as
solitary confinement). And although it was supposed to be a punishment
(e.g., they take all of your possessions; sleeping on a steel bed; and
being locked in 24 hours a day) it turned out to be quite a blessing
for me. For the most part I was on retreat simply Be-ing. A calm, gentle
spaciousness came which I would sit with for hours on end. And the longer
I sat in this wonderful Truth of who I am the deeper I seemed to go.
I was really astonished at the nature I found within the Self. It wasn’t
something to attain and then hold on to, but something that is already
there. One simply rests in That, letting everything go. . . We have
a small sangha here (we average about six guys) and share our books
among ourselves. Adya’s teachings have played a central role.
I was rather pleasantly surprised when I heard that my June 30th letter
was found to be inspiring. I’d never considered that any part
of my life situation could be an inspiration. To me it simply is what
it is with the important part being the attitude and awareness with
which I choose to experience it all. This is especially true since I’ve
become acquainted with the teachings of Adyashanti. I truly believe
that I was ripe for Adya’s teachings when they came my way. They
speak to me like a voice from my own inner Self. The deeper I go into
them the more it’s as if I’ve always known these things.
I’ve got 108 years and at present my parole date is set at 2032.
So I’ll probably be hanging out around here for a little longer.
Occasionally it pains me deeply that I seem to have screwed my life
up so badly, and did it at such a young age (18) but that’s really
all just “the story.” My life hasn’t stopped. I didn’t
stop growing, and learning. My life is simply different from most folks,
and my being busted not only (in all probability) saved me from destroying
myself but it took away all of the distractions and set me firmly on
the spiritual path. Because of that, and the fact that I’ve found
answers in Adya’s teachings I cannot count my life as a waste,
even if I have to spend the rest of it in here. And if I can assist
another in finding their own way to truth? That would be the ultimate
May you all continue to experience the freedom, peace and love that you