Everything that I do in my travels—touring for The Love of the Master, J-R Video Marathons, Seminars, and Q&A’s in communities around the world—falls under my ministry, which is sharing the teachings of J-R and MSIA. I learn so much that it feels like I’m a student again. Revisiting all of J-R’s and John’s ministers and initiates in MSIA fulfills the New Testament to me; when two or more gathered in His name, it is truly incredible.
In April, I was invited to Austin, Texas, by Grace Meyer, where I was graciously hosted by Candy Spitzer and Rosie VonZurmuehlen. My last visit there would have been in the ’90s, with John-Roger and John Morton. I recall that it was quite humid. We stayed near downtown, and I drove J-R along the side of the river. That’s when I was first introduced to chicken-fried steak, which J-R absolutely loved. There is no chicken, just a thinly sliced, battered and fried steak, usually served with mashed potatoes and collard greens. In the morning, we had good, old-fashioned, homemade grits.
On Saturday, April 27th, many treasured friends showed up to the 7-hour J-R Video Marathon, Love of a Master book talk, and Q&A at the Integrity Academy at Casa de Luz. It was wonderful to see Richard Powell, Liesl Schott, Karl Fledderman, Jennifer Halet, and others who came out to support me and do satsang together. To me, satsang is sitting around talking about our spiritual teacher, John-Roger. I shared about my experiences of living and working with him, doing the Master and Doctor of Spiritual Science programs, and my three years at the University of Santa Monica, including the Consciousness, Health, and Healing class.
This is really about connecting and sharing from that place that we all have access to. My experience of being with J-R is that two Souls are better than one; you need another person who can reflect it back in a conversation, in the being-ness. You can offer someone a different perspective that helps to move blocks and shift the energy. As J-R has said to me, “We are all travelers, and John holds the key to the door.”
Once back in Los Angeles, I was soon invited up to Denise Lumiere’s home in Santa Barbara (I call it, “North by Northwest PRANA”) on May 11th. It was great to sit in satsang there, and play a J-R Marathon at her house with ministers like Beverly Terrill, Rama Fox, Connie Stomper, Jack Reed, Karen Avalon, Ellie Gantt, and Connemara. Santa Barbara is where it all started. I had a lot of experiences with J-R at Windermere Ranch and Miracielo—the barbecues, pool parties, fundraisers, J-R birthday celebrations, and the annual Founders Dinner, which was started, I believe, by Jan Shepherd; Jason Laskay would construct the tables and many friends would come to cater and provide entertainment.
In my book, I wrote about evacuating from a fire at Miracielo when I accidentally locked the keys in the trunk of the Lincoln Continental while packing up our stuff. The fire was advancing up the hill from the ocean as J-R monitored its progress, using the walkie talkie and a police scanner. He remained calm and relaxed, while everyone else ran around in panic mode. I told him, “I locked the keys in the trunk” and he said, “OK, no problem. Go down with Jack Espey and see if he can pop the trunk from the glove compartment.” The moment we did that and got the keys, J-R said, “No need to leave, the winds have shifted.” That was a magical time with J-R. The beauty of those memories never go away and the best is still yet to come.
My next venture was returning to New York City in early June, hosted by good friends, including: Paula Beldengreen, Kathy Kienke, Melba and Marc Alhonte, and Janet Ellis. We had fun and did a lot of good work in the community. I remember J-R saying once that ministering is schmoozing and networking, so these are the things that I try to do in my life today. It’s unconventional, but that’s OK, I love it. When I see another minister, it’s fantastic. We had a seminar at Michael Weinberger’s on Tuesday, Kathy’s on Wednesday, and in between I saw clients. Melba and I visited with Maxine and Howard White, Joan Witkowski, and Bill Blanding. We did our J-R Marathon and Love of a Master satsang at Paula’s, then worked with Sheila Steckel — who opened up her apartment for the first event — and thanks to her, it really ignited something in the community.
Since J-R passed away, navigating has been really hard for many people, especially myself and perhaps the others who worked one-on-one with him. But I can assure you that when we get together, it’s like J-R is there because he is still present in all of us.
Then I was off to Spain! I was invited by a client to come to Spain and work, and had the opportunity to mix personal stuff with spiritual stuff. There happened to be work to do there for MSIA, and I got together with several initiates in Marbella, such as Katja Rusanen, George Monday, and Cecilie Beck Kronborg. One of the things that I’ve experienced is that, it’s one thing to email folks and another to text people and get an immediate response. On top of that, there’s a mobile app called “What’s App?” where you can group people in conversations; mine are called “J-R Marathon” and “Mystical Traveler Movie.” That mutated and converted into a kind of ministerial phone tree, which J-R started years ago before the internet. The idea is that when someone needs help, they tell the phone tree administrator, then each person calls 10, who then call another 10, and before long, it could be hundreds of people hearing “so-and-so is in the hospital, please put her in the Light.” It evolved into a beautiful process for different communities, in different countries. Facebook is another format where people can share with one another instantly and request prayers.
I think it’s very important, from my experience, that we all share with one another, even if you are in isolation. Granted, there is a thing called karma, so it may be that person doesn’t want any contact. J-R told me that sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to leave them alone. So you have to use your discretion and check inside to see intuitively, not as an ego thing where you must save someone, but “Hey, how are you doing? Just checking in.” That kind of outreach really helps your community. I love Skyler’s Heartreach emails about who needs the Light, who needs service. That’s great!
I’m not a socialist, but my parents left a communist country. Then again, I believe that in some ways we can privatize outside of MSIA through friends, through resources. “You don’t have any money for Discourses, no problem. There’s a fund to help you with Discourses.” I know my mom couldn’t afford SATs and a good friend of hers is helping her renew them for the rest of her life. These kinds of things people can help one another with, I love that. I’m always feeling that I need to do more. I enjoy myself and I enjoy serving; in some ways on my terms. Working closely with J-R means I will never forget the part inside that’s to be obedient to the Spirit, to do what’s next. It could be going to a certain place that was initially clear spiritually, but within a week it’s canceled because I’m obedient to that.
Everybody has their own connection with J-R and I’m well aware of that. The Traveler is beyond the understanding of the mind. So, I’m very grateful that people host me, that I’m able to participate in the world out there, promoting myself and the community. Like J-R said, as one of our foundational ground rules in MSIA: “Take care of yourself first, so you can help take care of others.” There’s another more recent J-R quote that applies as well, which MSIA ministers will recognize: “We’re to be out in the world ministering to all regardless of race, creed, color, situation, circumstance, or environment.”
I returned home from Spain and went straight into the Conference of the Highest Good. It was a blast and I totally enjoyed having it at the 2101 Wilshire building. I live 18 blocks away, so I scootered to the building. I was assisting at the Workshop and MC’d Saturday night. Leading the Anthem Road Band, Valerie Ojeda rocked our socks off late into the night. On Sunday, I accompanied my mother to the Ministers and Initiates Meetings. It felt like I was back in the 1980s when Insight Seminars seemed to be taking place in every room. Baraka Center was open for a health check-up and the Insight/MSIA store was in the lobby selling T-shirts and tapes for $10. John-Roger spent many years in that building, in his office and in all the seminar rooms. His energy is anchored all over 2101. Let’s bathe in it. Great job to all that worked Conference. Nice work! Love to Nancy Carter who has retired.
Love you all. God bless.