Upon arriving in California at age 22 to start my Master’s program in Marriage, Family, Child Counseling I pretty much settled into another grueling two years of study, homework, and working on the side to help pay for it all. In addition, I now was required to do an internship working with clients to help me gain experience and move towards getting in my supervised hours that would help me get my MFCC (now called an MFT) license. The internship put extra demands on me pushing my overall load of work, school, and internship up to 60 and at times 80 hours a week. Even for someone fairly young, it was exhausting.
My only social outlet was occasional visits to a local metaphysical bookstore called Ananda (meaning bliss). At the bookstore worked a man who was humble, funny, and very wise. He became the second most important spiritual mentor of mine at that time in my life. (The first had been the Christian minister of my small church back in Michigan). Michael was a both a man I could come to for questions regarding my spiritual pursuits, and someone who was a good role model of what a spiritual life could lead to if you really took up a spiritual practice seriously.
Most important of all Michael gave me the first keys to unlock the doors to greater spiritual clarity in my life. Before too long it became clear to me that the real reason I had made the leap and come to California, had not been to go to graduate school, but to connect with teachers and teachings that would help open my heart, heal my mind, and bring me onto a path where I would receive numerous revelations of who I really was — that Presence I now call the Peaceful Self — in my life. For the first time, the doubt (that started when for many years I thoroughly read various versions of the Christian Bible and expanded when I went to university and was exposed to scientific and Eastern philosophy and religious teachings) was set aside.
What Michael exposed me to was a teaching that began to give me a framework that I could start to fit all the other things I had learned onto. To speak metaphorically, it was like I had been struggling with a box full of a multitude of puzzle pieces. I would put some pieces together here, and some pieces together there, but I had no idea how they all fit together or what they were trying to show me in the end. Now, through Michael, it was as I had finally been shown the cover of the box that the pieces of my search had all come in. I could glimpse the larger picture once and for all. I could at last see that at some point all these pieces would come together into a beautiful whole.
But, what Michael introduced me to was not simply a way to continue a mental and philosophical quest. He, like me, was a natural Jnani Yoga (someone who seeks the truth through mental and philosophical discernment and understanding). Michael also exposed me to a deeper level of meditation training that literally would explode my mind into whole other realms of Being. In hindsight, I can see now that the two year weekly meditation training that I entered into (and followed rigorously for three years after the training was over) was a form of Raja Yoga (raja meaning “kingly”).
Ironically, the training was based on a series of teachings set forth by a woman named Lucille Cedercrans, who had done a great deal of her work in both Michigan and Long Beach, CA. Her last husband (who I later trained with) had even grown up in my small Michigan home town. The connection was uncanny. Literally, within a few months of receiving a car from my father for my college graduation, which gave me the wheels and freedom I needed to go where I wanted, I had packed up my few belongings, gone to California, landed in Long Beach, found Ananda bookstore, started Lucille’s training, and learned about her husband who once had lived near me. Clearly, it seemed someone, or something, was guiding my life besides me.
How the Above May Apply to You.
When I came of age in the United States culture choices of what to believe were limited. First, you could become an atheist and see “coincidences” like the one I described in my own life above, as just anomalies to be ignored because they had no basis in truth. Or you became part of a traditional religious belief system, primarily Judaism and Christianity, that dictated to you what to believe and what was true. If these didn’t work for you, you could join the growing New Age movement, which was more open minded and exploratory in regards to various belief systems, but in my opinion not always very grounded. Finally, you could just simply remain on the side lines bewildered and confused, possibly compensating for a sense of living in an arid spiritual wasteland by getting involved in sex, drugs, money, power and the popular culture of rock and roll at the time. None of these choices allowed you to fit the various pieces of what they all had to offer together into any kind of coherent whole. You simply had to pick one box and live there. Yes, you could switch boxes if you chose, but there was no way to figure out how to paste the various ways of seeing the world together.
What I came to California that all began to change. Suddenly, I was given the structural foundation, the bones if you will, which allowed me to make sense of the various ways of seeing the world in a way that unified these various views, instead of seeing them all as at odds with one another. Though exciting to find, this unifying approach was far from easy. To follow this path everything is demanded of you, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, energetically, and physically. And, ultimately even the very you, you believe yourself to be, has to be let go of all together. I didn’t understand any of that at first. These realizations came in time.
Of course as of the writing of this blog, since my discovery of the Ageless Wisdom, or esoteric teachings of all the worlds major faiths, far more people have woken up to what I stumbled into over thirty years ago. More and more people are waking up than ever before. But, the majority still have not. And, why should they? That is one of the reasons I am writing this story of my life, to reveal why they not only should, but ultimately will.