“I was amazed by the holiness of Christians” – Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist, Russia

http://whataboutyoga.wordpress.com

WHAT ABOUT YOGA?

“I was amazed by the holiness of Christians”

Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist

Priest George Maximov, Anton Gotman

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/110384.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

We continue to publish the texts of Spas TV program My Path to God, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is Anton Gotman, who had been practicing Buddhism for a long time. In this interview, he will tell us what he was looking for but couldn’t find in Buddhism and how Christ touched his heart. We will also discuss the personal and impersonal aspects of faith as well as the artificiality of “Russian Buddhism”.

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Priest George Maximov: Hello, you are watching My Path To God. The guest of today’s program is Anton Gotman, a man who has a firsthand knowledge of the Buddhist tradition. Anton Sergeyevich, here’s my first question: What did you think of God before you became a Buddhist?

Anton Gotman: I didn’t have a true faith in God. I was baptized when I was eight. Occasionally, I would go to church with my parents. Basically, they were believers, but I didn’t see any purpose behind their faith. Every now and then I’d come across some books but that was it… I didn’t have an in-depth understanding of the Christian tradition. Once in a while I’d go to church and meet the priest. I really liked him as a person, but I didn’t appreciate Christianity. Later, I got interested in rock music and martial arts and started to distance myself from religion, so that at some point I even began to think that Christianity was an utter nonsense. After a while, when I got into college, I got interested in the Orient. I tried to study the Roerichs’1 teachings, but they didn’t impress me at all and neither did other theosophical ideas. Then a difficult period of my life followed, and I was very depressed. By chance, I came across a Soviet book on religious studies that described Buddhism, and it became an eye opener for me. I learned about “the four noble truths”2 and became interested, so I started studying Buddhism with some people who practiced it. After a while, I decided that I wanted to be taught by a teacher of the true Buddhist tradition.

Father George: What did you find attractive in Buddhism?

Anton Gotman: I did not believe in God, and for people who do not believe in God but wish to live righteous lives or have something spiritual in their lives, Buddhism can show a certain way. In fact, Buddha taught many things that were right. For example, just like Christianity, Buddhism teaches that we must not kill. On the one hand, it is the same, but there is a significant difference. We can’t say that Buddhists follow God’s commandment, “Thou shall not kill”, because it is not God’s commandment for them. You can say that people follow God’s commandments only when they believe in God.

Father George: Yes, motivation is important.

—I saw Buddhism as an opportunity for developing certain qualities. My interest in martial arts was an influence too.—(Anton Gotman)

Anton Gotman: Even though there is no faith in God in Buddhism, it offers a certain spiritual way and a system of meditation that at some point attracts people and allows them to relax and experience certain positive feelings. In Tibetan Buddhism, where I was a member of the community of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche, everything was much more interesting, with more mystic experiences and opportunities to do yoga, etc… I’ll try not to overuse the Continue reading ““I was amazed by the holiness of Christians” – Interview with Anton Gotman, former Buddhist, Russia”

James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

James Evans, England:

His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/104762.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

“RUSSIA IS A SACRED COUNTRY FOR ME”

Interview with James Evans, an Orthodox Briton

Priest George Maximov, James Evans

We continue to publish the materials of Spas TV program “My Path To God”, where Priest George Maximov interviews people who converted to Orthodoxy. The guest of today’s program is James Evans, an Orthodox Englishman. He will tell us why he prefers to live in Russia rather than in England, what he gets from singing in the Orthodox church and how his journey to Orthodoxy began.

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Priest George Maximov: Hello. You’re watching My Path To God. Today we have a guest from England. James, please tell us about yourself.

James Evans: I was born in a Catholic family in London. Later we moved to Salisbury, 3 hours away from London. I went to an Anglican school, because education there was better than in Catholic schools. The Anglican service doesn’t differ much from the Catholic service. It was quite beautiful and I sang in the school choir during the services. However, I went to a Catholic church for communion.

All my grandparents are from Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and so I am of a Celtic origin.

I grew up in Salisbury and went to Oxford after graduation. When I was still in school in Salisbury, I passed the Latin exam one year earlier and was offered to select an additional subject. I chose Informatics, but they assigned me to a Russian language course instead. I was upset, but started reluctantly studying it. A few months later, I was told that this year they were organizing a student exchange program and I had a chance of going to Russia. I travelled to Russia for my summer vacation in 1989, when I was 16. This changed everything for me and set the course for my future life. When I got back to England, I understood that I couldn’t live without Russia. I talked the principal into giving me an opportunity to study Russian language and literature individually. He made an exception and assigned personal tutors to me. In the University of Oxford, I continued my Russian studies. Not because I wanted to become a linguist, but because I felt that Russia was calling me. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling that there would be no life for me without Russia. That was how it all started.

Father George: So, thanks to the Russian language studies, you learned about the Russian culture. You also visited Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union and saw its everyday life and people. Were you particularly impressed by anything?

I wasn’t impressed by the Russian culture as much as I was impressed by a totally different view on life.

James Evans: My first encounter with the Russian culture started with Continue reading “James Evans, England: His conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

On how former Krishnaite Ananda Rupa became Olga again – Peter Davydov spoke with Olga Gagushicheva

http://whataboutyoga.wordpress.com

WHAT ABOUT YOGA?

ON HOW FORMER KRISHNAITE ANANDA RUPA

BECAME OLGA AGAIN

Peter Davydov, Olga Gagushicheva

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/116004.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

One day the following notice appeared on the door of the Krishnaite Ananda Rupa’s astrology office: “The office is closed because of my return to Orthodoxy. I sincerely wish you the same. May Christ save you. Olga.” This talk is about how Olga Gagushicheva, who had been baptized yet was absolutely unenlightened, became a Krishna worshipper and practicing astrologer, why she returned to her paternal home and Christ, and what came of it.

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The days are evil (Eph. 5:15), or an unorthodox “Orthodox life”

—Olga, Did you know anything about Christ before completely falling into the grip of astrology and other spiritual delusions?

—When I was one year old, my parents wanted to have me baptized. According to my mother, on the appointed day the weather was sunny and dry, so the family decided to go and gather berries instead of going to church. During that berry-picking hike I fell seriously ill and the illness lasted three years. I learned this from my mother when I was sixteen. I naturally drew a conclusion that I must go and receive Baptism. You see, I was empty-headed. Many of my relatives joined me. And that was the end of my “Christian living”. Though I also got the “knowledge” of the Church and God in the Soviet school. It was a real mishmash. Of course, I was a Komsomol member. We were warned that in no case should we, Komsomol members, attend any church services on Pascha. But we were curious to see what would happen during the church service, all the more so because we were told: “It is not allowed!” So we forced our way through all the police cordons and Komsomol activists who were wearing their bands. On the following day we were summoned to our director of studies who gave us a good dressing-down and promised to expel all of us from school. Of course, he didn’t keep his promise. I don’t remember how my Baptism took place as it was not a result of my conscious decision. I did it “for no particular reason”. Later, when I got married, it was fashionable to marry in Church, so we did it as well… Our wedding ceremony was arranged for us in a village church near the city of Cherepovets which was opened especially for us. And afterwards we baptized our children. That was all. You see, it was our unorthodox “Orthodox life”.

A big thank you to the press

—How did you develop an interest in astrology? How was it manifested? When did it happen?

—During my school years. I think it was 1985 or 1986.

—The time when the “gates to the West” opened wide…

—Or yawned open, to be more precise.

—And when all those individuals appeared on TV.

—Yes! Now general secretaries were replaced with sorcerers, psychics and other “enlightened” individuals who were goggling their eyes and moving their hands on TV. And not only TV. The most popular magazines, such as Continue reading “On how former Krishnaite Ananda Rupa became Olga again – Peter Davydov spoke with Olga Gagushicheva”

Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith

https://cominghomeorthodoxy.wordpress.com

COMING HOME – ORTHODOXY

Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith

This week’s spiritual lesson: We concluded last week our long series of excerpts from the Diocesan conference by Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) at Effingham, England, in May, 1983. It occurs to me it might be useful to continue the Metropolitan’s account of his conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith:

…Then my leader explained to me that everyone who belonged to my group had reacted in exactly the same way, and if no one came we would all be put to shame because the priest had come and we would be disgraced if no one attended his talk. My leader was a wise man. He did not try to convince me that I should listen attentively to his words so that I might perhaps find truth in them: ‘Don’t listen,’ he said. ‘I don’t care, but sit and be a physical presence’. That much loyalty I was prepared to give to my youth organization and that much indifference I was prepared to offer to God and to his minister. So I sat through the lecture, but it was with increasing indignation and distaste. The man who spoke to us, as I discovered later, was a great man, but I was then not capable of perceiving his greatness. I saw only a vision of Christ and of Christianity that was profoundly repulsive to me. When the lecture was over I hurried home in order to check the truth of what he had been saying. I asked my mother whether she had a book of the Gospel, because I wanted to know Continue reading “Met Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox faith”