Richard Clarke is from the USA and has now retired in Tiruvannamalai as of November 2007. He has been a follower of Sri Ramana Maharshi since 1990. He learned about Ramana and Self-inquiry from his guru, Nome, who teaches at Society of Abidance in Truth (www.satrama.org) in Santa Cruz, CA, USA.
Richard first traveled to Tiruvannamalai with his wife, Carol, and Nome in 2004. Sitting with Arunachala in the early hours of the morning during this visit, Richard felt drawn to the holy hill. As retirement became possible after working a life-time in Silicon Valley, he and his wife prepared to move to Tiruvannamalai. To do so, they disposed of a lifetime of material possessions, said goodbye children, grandchildren and Richard’s mother.
Richard’s interest in spirituality has been a life-long interest. His mother, as a girl in Oklahoma and through out her life, has had direct experiences of God, and searched for a teacher all of her life. Richard became interested in Buddhism in his early 20’s, after reading Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha.” He read Buddhist books and practiced on his own for the next 25 years, with greatest interest in the works from the Ch’an Buddhist sages.
When Richard first came to hear Nome, he had not heard of Ramana, nor of Advaita Vedanta. Richard did not understand what he heard, but somehow knew it was the truth. Truth is precious, so he kept coming back to hear more. The listening became reflection and eventually turned to a deep practice of Self-inquiry..
Richard is moderator of Practice of Self Inquiry. (groups.yahoo.com/group/practiceofselfinquiry).
Richard has also written two small books, “Who am I?” with Comments and Practice Notes from a Seeker” and “Freeway Zen – Meditations for Modern Times.” Both are available for download from his newsgroup.
Now Richard writes about his experiences of life in Tiruvannamalai.