I am a truth seeker. A seeker of light as mom once put it. I have attended Shaktipat Intensives and, I guess, received Shaktipat, though I find it hard to recognize. That’s why, I suppose, I received knowledge from Prem Rawat in 2007 shortly after mom died. I think it has helped. I love Prem Rawat’s mastery of the language. He speaks english perfectly and makes the sanskrit recognizable for me. He has given me the distance I perhaps needed to understand what Gurumayi is saying. I think my ego has been repeating the mantra, “I have a Guru, I have a Guru, I have a Guru.” That was important to me. It became important in college and continued throughout my life.
Other spiritual communities that have affected me are ISKCON and the Urantia Book, Stephan Gaskins Farm, Kerista Commune, Tibetan Buddhism though it is more a religion than a community and related thereby the books of Alice Ann Bailey who transcribed the teachings of The Tibetan, Surat Shabd Yoga, especially Kirpal Singh who was the spiritual master of my community college philosophy teacher. I have also gone to some church, the United Methodist Church. I was baptised there a little while before Bob Dylan became a Christian. I was affected by the teaching of The Tibetan in this way that I expected the return of Christ. I also became a Freemason through this influence though I think loneliness and guilt was very important too. It was after joining Freemasonry where my father was a 32nd degree mason and my mother was a Worthy Matron in the Eastern Star and an older brother had been initiated that I was introduced by my counselor at the Alachua County Mental Health Clinic to The Urantia Book, a book of truth and revelation.
My first Siddha Yoga Intensive was in 1991 at Christmas. Known as the Christmas Intensive, the theme was” I shall live in the house of the Lord forever.” Having been living in my human father’s house for many years continuously in my adulthood I made a mention of this in a pre-intensive phone call to our small center in Gainesville, Florida. I remember the nice girl who hosted the phone call evening named Maheshi. She suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. It had not progressed so very far at the time and I was feeling sorry for myself for having to live with my mom and dad. That is the ego.
My dad died in 1992. I went to the ashram thereafter. I had taken the Easter Intensive and a workshop with Ram Butler in Sarasota, Florida, not too far south from where I live and when the Birthday Intensive came up I finally heeded the call to go and meet Gurumayi. In moments our meeting was both impersonal and personal. I appreciated her smiles and appreciated meeting as an impersonal kind of thing, reciting my mailing address to her. I had subscribed to DARSHAN magazine since 1988 and taken the DARSHAN video series as well. I was impressed by the name chosen for the new magazine, a new child born of Siddha Yoga after the passing of Siddha Path. I had been interested in a Guru named Darshan Singh who was the son of Kirpal Singh, the Guru of my philosophy teacher and now Gurumayi whom I had been following as well as Baba, her Guru, since 1978 in one way or another. So meeting had already occurred really through these publications and through the chanting and meditation that went on in the centers.
I had practical pursuits as well. I took a writing course to give rebirth to my writing in 1991. I took some community ed. courses in the computer. The writing course had introduced the computer and the word processing typewriter. Both were rather difficult to learn. Mom bought me a computer in 1996. In that same year she had a DirecTV dish installed for me. I had had cable. I believed that the home where we had chanting and meditation in 1988 had cable. My ego and mind had thrown up some difficulties with the center(s). I was still smoking cigarettes then and the host made an aside about the smell of tobacco. He said cigarettes stink. It is humorous to me now but it was a bugaboo then. It continued to annoy me even when I met the man in South Fallsburg at the Birthday Intensive. He said he would help facilitate my stay at the ashram and it made me think it went so much slower because of him. I was not seeing God in Everybody, especially not in this good fellow. He received a spiritual name, Nimai, and that annoyed me. It was a name I had learned in books by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada. I don’t remember now if it was a name for Prabhu Nityananda or Lord Chaitanya himself. These differences in traditions is something my mind brings forward. There is really no difference in anything.