While participating in the Living in Grace retreat this past December, I kept getting the message to spread my wings, to travel, to show up for John Morton the way he shows up for us. During the 14 days after the training, while I let this percolate, I met two MSIA students at Prana who were there on vacation. I talked with them about my desire to travel, and both of them invited me to stay at their homes during John’s visit. It was a miracle of perfect timing that convinced me the message I received at Living in Grace needed to be lived out.
I went to Miami for the profoundly sacred Walking in the Light workshop. It had never been offered in Florida and many were taking it for the first time. At the heart of the training were five ordinations, and two of the people being ordained were the lovely roommates I was staying with, Elsa and Karina. Their blessings were magnificent, for Elsa’s I had the honor of serving as the ordaining minister. Wow!
I enjoyed talking and laughing with many wonderful ministers in the community there, including a man named Mario from Colombia who, along with his wife, holds an open dinner and seminar at his home every Wednesday night. Four of the people ordained at the workshop were frequent attendees at his seminars. One of them told me she asked Mario how he managed to hold a dinner and seminar at his own expense every week. He replied that for him, each person who came to eat and experience the teachings at his home was a manifestation of Jesus Christ and it was an honor to receive them.
On to Colombia. I continued to bask in the warmth of this same kind of loving hospitality. I stayed with the MSIA representative Nohemi who treated me like a favorite grandson. When I asked her how to make the water hot on her shower, she laughed and said in Cali people didn’t have hot water because the weather was so warm. She said Jsu Garcia had stayed with her and cried like a baby about that. And she wondered aloud how someone so big could get so cold. We laughed hysterically as I shivered through the showers at her beautiful three story home.
John’s seminars in Cali were amazing. I was literally moved to tears and found myself healing some past karma that I hadn’t realized needed clearing. What a tremendous blessing. It is such a miracle how the Traveler works with us all in such a close and intimate way.
Talking to a local minister, I learned about a center in Cali which, thanks to a generous benefactor, functions like a Colombian Prana by offering seminars and classes to students and newcomers at different times during the week. I got to meet more amazing Cali ministers and received a whirlwind of hugs and kisses from the beautiful people thrilled by John’s visit.
In Bogota, the last stop on my trip, I experienced the largest MSIA community of all. Over 150 people had signed up for the MSIA open seminar.
I stayed with Ani Pacheco in her beautiful apartment overlooking Bogota, and again I was the recipient of remarkable Colombian hospitality, this time with warm water. She was doing MSIA services with staff and I observed how all-encompassing the work on the road is: organizing and doing services, setting up and breaking down for seminars, interacting with so many people. By the last day of my trip she and I were both definitely feeling the journey. Physically exhausted, though inwardly exalted.
At the open seminar, I sat next to a woman at her first MSIA seminar. In the sweetness and enthusiasm she shared with me, she appeared to me as if she’d been in the Movement her whole life. She asked me afterwards to tell her the lyrics to “I’m Going to Love More This Day,” the bahjan featured in the seminar. I was delighted to give her the lyrics in English, word by word.
After lunch, John shared at the Ministers and Initiates Seminar with a depth of compassion and loving that amplified the caring and vitality of the people in the community. He talked about being there for each other, getting together for any reason at all, and delighting in the opportunity to share with one another. This was a primary theme of my personal experience on the road. I am so grateful for the journey. Thank God for our ministerial family, the Traveler, and the blessings that already are.