Claudio Li Calzi

Dear Friends,

I come from Italy and my interest in meditation began in 2007, when I went to a public talk with the Dalai Lama in Milan. Back then, I was quite dissatisfied with my life, my relationships were not going well and I was looking for more meaning, but I didn’t know what to do or where to look. So I decided to give up a good career in the publishing industry when I was 26 years old, and chose to go to Australia, thanks to my family’s kind help.

Then in 2009 I began a master’s degree at the University of Sydney where I studied commerce, economics, trade and development, and accounting. At the same time, I started going to a local Buddhist centre and my interest in meditation grew. The worldview, values, and consumeristic way of life that the training in economics gave to me was not really my heart’s desire, and moreover, I became more and more aware of the dangers of this worldview when applied to environmental sustainability, climate change, resource management, and so on.

So in 2011, after taking the degree in Sydney, I decided to live and work in a Tibetan Buddhist centre that was also organising conferences around the themes of genuine happiness, mindfulness, psychology, etc. In 2012 I met Dr. B. Alan Wallace and I was part of the team that organised a retreat led by him on the topic of developing attentional intelligence. Around the same time I started volunteering for Dr. Alex Berzin, who founded in 2001 a multilingual website on Tibetan Buddhist teachings. Since 2011 I’ve done a couple of short retreats and a few long retreats each year on the topics of developing conative, attentional, cognitive, and affective balance, following the secular framework devised by Dr. B. Alan Wallace.

My life so far has evolved in terms of looking for a path to heal myself and share the healing with family and friends; and in this regard I’m so grateful to have received an enormous amount of help from different teachers. For me meditation is a path to healing for the body and mind, and when I was writing these few lines, I reflected on this question: What is my personal motivation to meditate? Basically, I wish to be happy and free of suffering, and definitely this wish has been my driving force in life since 2007. There are many, many paths to healing, and I feel that cultivating mental balance is arguably the most important one. So I look forward to meditating together as a community.