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Lifestyle & Relationships

I Told my Mother About Gurdjieff

Country of Origin: United States of America

(Audio recording by Yosef Baskin)

This subtle jewel of a story, a confession almost, was dictated rather than written. Liba Chorny, 95 years old, shared this moving spiritual short piece.

Listen to the audio for the full experience.


When she was working on an art degree (studying in New York City), Liba brought up her interest in spirituality with her mother (born in Ukraine). At least she tried. 

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I told her about an experience I had, of mystical ideas. She said to me in Yiddish “Ken nisht herren” (Can’t hear it.) She didn’t want to hear about it, and I thought, “Wait a minute, I can’t talk to her about this.”  She was not ready to listen.

A stack of books with a pair of reading glasses on top of them
(Photo courtesy of Sincerely Media via Unsplash)

And that’s when I stopped talking about Gurdjieff, the first person I spoke to her about. Then, I just learned to shut up and keep these things to myself. 

It didn’t stop me from my interest in these subjects. 

There were lots of side things that went on, oh, but my interest in mystical ideas—continued for the rest of my life. 

But what can I tell you? You either have that interest or that leaning or you don’t. I mean that’s been my attitude towards these ideas.

Thank you to Julianna Wages for their inspired edit on this piece and everyone else on the Lifestyle & Relationships team.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to the DG Sentinel, please visit our submissions page here.

Liba Chorny, PhD., painted and raised a family, strictly vegetarian. She holds a BA in Art Therapy from Brooklyn College, NY. She was born in 1928, grew up in Williamsburg, NY., and still braids a mean challah bread.

One Comment

  • Liba Chorny

    I love this story, so spare, so profound. You can almost hear the narrator speaking, as you grasp that she is sharing a life-changing conversation she has never forgotten.

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