Dr. Richard Moss - Complete Biography Page 4

Left Wing Flirtations

Like many Jews of that era (and today), I was drawn to the left side of the political spectrum. I wrote for an “underground” newspaper in High School, was a student activist, protested the Vietnam War, supported the Black Panthers and the SDS (the radical “Students for a Democratic Society”), announced in an English class that Ho Chi Minh, the Communist dictator of North Vietnam, was my hero, gave teach-ins at schools, burned my books, had long hair, referred to police as “pigs,” the whole obnoxious, stupid mess.



But by age 18, I had given up the reckless counterculture behavior having decided that nihilistic, pampered, America-hating, Commie loving Left wing nuts were a little too rich for my blood.

I remember, for example, speaking with some bearded loon at a "socialist petition drive" who was urging "violent revolution."

I asked him whom he wanted to kill, favoring, as he openly stated, violent revolution. He became agitated. When I suggested, sardonically, my teacher, the cop on the street, or my Uncle Saul, a successful “capitalist,” all legitimate examples of the “status quo” against which he railed, the absurdity of his position was evident.

The Liberalism of older Democrats, of Truman and JFK, a pragmatic, reform minded governing philosophy that stood for the working man and defended liberty abroad, would become a victim of this sinister movement, ultimately taken over (in 1972, the McGovern year) by the anti-American, anti-Capitalist, hard Left.

Their rabid, incoherent nostrums (which persist) along with the ruinous mores and conventions of the counterculture, of which I had previously been a fan and participant, began to turn my stomach.

Yoga & Buddhism


An older brother had drug problems. A cousin of ours (May his memory be a blessing), a former addict himself, ran a drug rehab center on the Lower East Side. He introduced my brother to Swami Rudrananda (“Rudi”), a powerful Yoga teacher. Rudi, a Jew, by the way, from Brooklyn (May his memory be a blessing), had Yoga ashrams around the country including lower Manhattan where we met.



My brother entered his ashram in upstate NY (in “Big Indian”) and ended his addiction. Later, I, too, would join him in the ashram, to do “Rudi’s Work” or Kundalini Yoga, a combination of meditation and intense physical labor. I lived in the ashram for seven years.


In my later travels in Asia, I would spend time in Wat Satchatan, a Buddhist Monastery in southern Thailand (a “forest” temple), as an initiate under Acharn Jaroon, a learned Thai Buddhist monk.

I also learned much about Buddhism from Pra Uttamo (originally Robert Bender), another Buddhist monk (and American Jew)

who lived alone in the forests of Sungai Kolok, a Thai village near the border with Malaysia. A former physicist who became a monk in 1959, he was a sage, a comedian (classic Jewish sense of humor), and great friend until his tragic murder in 1999 at age 70 (May his memory be a blessing).



Afterwards, I produced a “Yoga for Health” television program on a local channel (13 half hour presentations). I have taught Yoga classes at a local college and various fitness centers (in Jasper, Indiana) and continue to practice Yoga everyday.