Welcome to “Finding Your True Self,” an interview series that will take place over the course of the next few weeks between TreeHouse editor Natasha Ganes and upcoming author Nick Quartarone. Quartarone is in the process of writing a book based on spirituality practices that he applies to his everyday life in order to achieve an almost constant level of peace and harmony in this often chaotic world. He refers to his practices as “finding your true self” and teaches that everyone has the ability to find the same sense of wellbeing in their lives.
Natasha Ganes: You mention in your bio that you have studied and practiced an array of spiritual practices. How have you done that? Through school? Self-research?
Nick Quartarone: I’ve done a lot of studying through individual research. I took the practices I’ve learned, such as Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, and I applied them to myself. I didn’t have a special teacher or grand master. I just took the practices I studied and applied them to my life.
From as young as I can remember I had supernatural experiences happen to me and I tried to figure out what was going on. As I got older I started to research the supernatural, which led me to some Taoism and Buddhism ideas that explained the supernatural phenomena that had taken place in my life. These Eastern practices put everything into perspective for me.
By the age of 20-21 I started to meditate and really apply the techniques that I had studied for years, which led me to these incredible experiences that I write about with the divine source, with God.
NG: You state that most of what you practice comes from Eastern thoughts. Do you think that there’s anything beneficial to Western perspectives as well?
NQ: Oh absolutely. When you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it’s all the same stuff. People are just taking different roads to get to the same destination. When you really break it down, when you get past the rights and wrongs, the belief systems and the dogmas, they’re all saying the same thing. They’re all trying to get to that purity, that innocence, that higher level of consciousness. You pick any religion or spiritual practice and they’re all fundamentally saying the same thing.
The thing that’s so complicated about the big three Western religions (Christianity, Judaism, Muslim) in comparison to Eastern religions is that they’re so hung up on what’s right or wrong. Those good vs. evil dogmas in Western religions create larger obstacles that make it harder to get back to that purity. I believe what Jesus originally intended was for us to seek that purity. Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha – you take any god or goddess and they’re all trying to say the same thing, but when you create walls and try to decide what’s right or wrong you create further separation from that divine source because you’re making it harder to connect.
NG: Have you spent any time practicing in different environments? Such as monasteries, for example?
NQ: I’ve learned that you don’t have to go to a master or travel to Tibet to learn these practices. It’s so conceptually simple that you just need to do it. The hardest thing is the first step: letting go. People in our culture are so caught up in the idea of needing certifications or degrees. This has nothing to do with any of that. This has to do with letting go of the ego, of the self. You’re getting to the center of who you are, purifying, and getting to your true self and your higher level of consciousness. It’s pure, just like water. If you take the purest water and add anything to it you completely change it: it changes color, taste, it looks different. This is just like that. It’s about getting back to that pure essence of who you are that you unfortunately lose as you age.
You don’t have to go to the mountain to achieve peace and contentment. If you have the opportunity, by all means you should go. But it’s not necessary. So how can just anybody be able to enjoy life and have peace of mind in this society? That’s what the book is about and why I’m writing it, because it’s my experience that you don’t have go anywhere to achieve it. I did it, you can do it, and anyone else can do it. This is internal, not external. It all starts within. The most important thing about this book and the enlightenment process is connecting to the divine source. And the only way to connect with it is to find it within yourself.
Nick Quartarone was born and educated in Boston, Massachusetts. He currently resides in Huntington Beach, CA. He has studied and practiced an array of spiritual practices that stem from around the world, particularly Eastern spiritual traditions such as Taoism and Buddhism, to a variety of Western mystical practices. Quartarone is currently working on a book about how to maximize your potential through purifying what he considers the three major parts of your being: the mind, body, and spirit. He emphasizes in his book and his teachings that working on the mind, body, and spirit simultaneously is the most efficient way one can truly and holistically maximize ones potential. Quartarone’s passion is sharing his experience and knowledge to help educate and guide all those who are interested in getting more out of life than what they have been previously exposed to by improving one self’s, peace, contentment, and happiness.