Remembering Sergio Campodonico from Naples, Italy

Perhaps even those of us who are Neapolitans are not familiar with Via Ferdinando Palasciano, a narrow street that slopes down to the Villa Comunale and then to the Mergellina waterfront. But we in the Neapolitan Community remember it well, at least the first disciples of the Master. It was there, in a small gymnasium, that our Master gave the first Teachings and it was there that we first met Sergio, one of the first authorized instructors of Yantra Yoga. And he was the benchmark for us since then. And Sergio was able to demonstrate his administrative and organizational ability at the new center that the small Neapolitan Community had found itself in Via del Parco Margherita. There our Master systematically gave Teachings, including those concerning medicine and astrology. There Sergio’s leadership was recognized by all. And we began to know him well. And he would tell us about his boat crossings. Sergio was a passionate lover of the sea and would fascinate us with his tales of the stormy seas he had had to face. Fascination and terror that were reminiscent of the tales and novels of Conrad, Melville and London, starring sea-wolf heroes facing the stormy pitfalls of the sea. And his face and wrinkles showed the marks from the sun and the saltiness.

It was right at that time. It was 1974 and you would see a nice crowd of young women and men following an equally young man with a dark complexion wandering around the Vomero, Piazza Vanvitelli (a hilly district of Naples) and always heading to the usual trattoria and there the young man with a darker face would order penne all’arrabbiata (spicy pasta) and friarielli soffritti (sautéed broccoli rabe). Of course, all at maximum spiciness. And there, too, our Master would give his teachings. Yes, teachings, but they were about caring for and various ways of storing hot peppers and preparing seasonings. And then in those cases Sergio would show his knowledge of wines and their pairings with food. This was because Sergio was also an accomplished sommelier and a good cook. He loved the good and pleasant things our earthly life gave in full knowledge.

The Master was an intimate and friend of Sergio, with some moments even of complicity. They were almost contemporaries. Well, for the Master who loved to eat mozzarella, when there was a group of assistants attentive to his dietary regimen, Sergio used every possible tactic to supply him with buffalo mozzarella from Campania. For this alone he must have received some blessings and winking smiles. 

Our Master always smiled at him, sometimes looking at him a little puzzled, And, perhaps, this will have been the last images of Sergio’s life. Those who heard or visited Sergio in the last days of his illness were told that the Master was always present in his heart and mind and, surely, he would not suffer.

Sergio Campodonico left his human vision on October 11, 2023 at 11 pm.

May our Vajra brothers, by the power of direct transmission, when they die in the Bardo state of the Dharmata, recognize how the son instantly recognizes the mother and have total realization for the benefit of all sentient beings!

Antonio Morgione and Alberto Carpasio

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