I met John-Roger the first time in a dream. It was 1979 and I was 23 years old. So amazing, even now, 41 years later, I have a vivid memory of that dream. In the dream I was walking through a garden. It was an olive grove, like the olive groves you would find in the Middle East. The trees were very old and knurled, there was a fair amount of space between the trees and the ground was relatively bare. I noticed there was a walkway over to my right, some kind of well beaten central walkway through the olive grove. I looked over and saw 4 men walking along the walkway. We were all walking in the same direction. As I looked at the men, I noticed that the man in the middle of the group seemed to be the leader. There were two men on his left and another on his right and they were walking and talking together.
As I looked over at them, the man in the middle looked over at me, our eyes met. I saw that he was fully aware of me. I saw that somehow he was in charge. The olive grove was quiet and peaceful. The 4 men talked together, I could hear them talking but could not discern what they were saying. I could see a great deal of camaraderie and caring between them. I became aware that there was something about this man in the middle that was attracting me. I began to follow along, staying up with them as they walked, yet not coming any closer. From time to time our eyes would meet. As I looked in his eyes I saw purposefulness, peacefulness and a simple acceptance. There was no rush and no expectancy. We were just simply walking together. I felt that I wanted to know and relate with this man the way his companions were. I wanted to be with him, there was a sense that all was well. That was the dream.
Now I must backtrack a bit to give some relevance to this dream and what followed. In 1968, as a young teen about 13 years old, as I came into my self awareness, I was driven by some inner need to understand who I was and what we, us humans, are doing here. This was a deeply philosophical questing for me. At around age 15, I had an awakening where I had direct experience and memories of having been embodied before and that I was back in a body again. I experienced transcendental states of awareness, states of God being, eternity, the difference between my ego and my Self as a spiritual being, and experiences of other realms of existence. From that point on, my questing intensified. I read all the religious and spiritual texts I could find. I began practicing various forms of yoga. I became a vegetarian. I was trying to figure out what worked with hopes of getting into further transcendental experience. I found I was not interested in learning as scholarly, mental knowledge. I was seeking experience, seeking workable methods to explore transcendence.
I was searching for teachings that would enlighten me in my experience. In 1979, at 23 years of age, I reached an impasse with myself. Up to that time I had been studying books and practicing yogic teachings as best as I could. My impasse was that I had lots of detailed questions about how things worked, about how to work these practices and the books just weren’t doing it. I began to think I needed a guide, a way shower who could give me guidance. In hindsight I find it very interesting that, at that time, I had a very specific set of criteria that I knew I was looking for in a teacher. I wanted a guide who would know and understand, by experience, the deeper knowledge within the various spiritual and religious texts I was reading. This guide would have detailed firsthand knowledge about practices that led to transcendence. This guide would be impeccable in the world, honest, forthright and caring. This guide would demonstrate integrity and spiritual knowing and not just talk about it. This guide would know all about those other realms of existence I had experienced, and would know what they were, and would know how to get there and travel in those realms. Pretty tall order!
This was the late 1970’s. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, many of us who found ourselves seeking spiritual truth, and hoped for a teacher who could show the way, went to India. In August of 1979 I reached the end of my rope, so to speak. I decided I had to find a teacher. I stopped everything I was doing in my life and decided to go on a pilgrimage. I was determined to find such a teacher. I wouldn’t stop actively looking until I had found him. The finding of a teacher was essential for me to go on. I planned to hit the road, believing I would end up in India rather quickly. I was hitting the road next week. Right at that moment a close friend of mine, Linn, came to tell me something.
I had told her I was going on this pilgrimage. She came to me and said she thought I should go with her down to the little town of Alamogordo in southern New Mexico. She was going down there to begin a program that was being offered to teach counseling. I said “no,” I was going on my pilgrimage. She told me that I needed to go with her. I asked her why she was being so adamant? She then shared that she had a dream where I went to Alamogordo and stayed there and enrolled in the program. I knew she was a prophetic dreamer, I had seen that verified before. So I asked her what was going on in Alamogordo?
There was this center there called The Quimby Center, and there was this group of folks who are way into all this spiritual stuff. In her perception they were a pretty high group. They do this thing called Aura Balancing and they work with the Light and the Christ energy. Yes, it did sound interesting. I agreed to go. I thought, “why not? This can be the beginning of my pilgrimage.” We got in her car and drove down a couple days later. When we arrived in Alamogordo we went to some house in the neighborhood. I could see white light all over this house. I hadn’t ever seen that before. We went in and she introduced me to some of the folks who were there. In the space of about 20 minutes, as I met and talked with Robert Waterman, it came clear to me that I would stay and enroll in their course, if they would let me.
They accepted my enrollment and I got it together and began a two year masters degree level counseling training. Some of my teachers who were there were: Ellavivian Power, Robert Waterman, Ron and Mary Hulnick, Marya Foley, Berti Klein and others. In Robert’s classes we used a wide variety of study material, in there were some books by John-Roger. At that time, these books were just another part of the course work reading. In one of Robert’s classes, he played a J-R seminar as part of the class period. I vividly remember he would turn the cassette deck on and I would go unconscious and I would come back to awareness to hear Baruch Bashan. This was September 1979.
In October, we heard there was this training called Insight Trainings coming to a town nearby. My dear friend Billy Whelan was the instigator to bring Insight to the area. Some of my teachers said they had done the training and it was fabulous and they wanted all of the students in the program to do it, there were 12 students. So we all signed up. The Insight I was held at the Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Apache Indian reservation between Tularosa and Ruidoso, NM. As I walked into the training room the first day, I glanced to the back of the room and saw a man. This man had a bit of a pot belly, was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans. As my eyes landed on him a bell began tolling inside my chest. I had this experience of a deep tolling sound reverberating through me. Within the sound were many things. There was a presence and recognition of some sort. Holy shit! I looked at this guy and did a double take. This was the guy who had been in my dream.
I asked the people next to me as we streamed into the training room, “Who is that guy back there in the blue jeans?” As I recall it, everyone else in the back of the room had on coats and ties. Someone said, “That’s John-Roger.” I asked “Who is John-Roger?” They said something like, “Oh, he’s the head honcho in charge of the training, he is a spiritual teacher.” Then I started piecing some things together. Oh right, we’ve been reading some of his books for class. And, oh yeah, he’s the guy who does those seminars we listen to on cassette in Robert’s class. I was having this deep resonating experience moving through me. Then I knew. I knew this was the teacher I had been looking for. This guy knows Spirit, he knows the inner realms and he teachers others how to do it. My knowing this was not a rational, logical thing. It was a knowing that seemed to come out of this resonating tolling taking place inside.
Needless to say, that training was a huge life changing experience for me. During that training, I went to many places in my experience that were new and some I recognized. J-R was not a facilitator, although John Morton was a facilitator-in-training along with about 4 other facilitators. J-R was guiding the training from the back of the room. At one point in the training, we all had the opportunity to walk on stage to a microphone that was set up there and J-R would “read our beads” so to speak. I worked up the courage to do it. I mostly went blank and checked out as he talked to me, but I remember a couple things he said. He said I was a maverick and lived out on the edges of things and didn’t really commit. He said I might consider how well that was working for me. He also said that I was a pretty good looking guy and if he looked half as good as me, he would have all the girls even more that I did. “Ha Ha.” I also got a hug from J-R at the end of the training.
A hug is a simple thing right? It is challenging to describe what happens when I hug John-Roger. At this time in my life, I had perception and awareness of energy fields, of auras and things going on. I was aware that John-Roger’s aura was quite large, it would fill the room. I was aware that when I hugged him there was a tremendous amount of activity taking place in the auras. I perceived his aura as a field of energy that naturally began to straighten and balance any other field it touched. Just the way water flows down hill in a very natural way, water finds the lowest level and flows in it. His energy was like that. As I hugged him his energy flowed into all the places in my energy field, very subtly and naturally, and began the activities of straightening, purifying and balancing. I experienced this so powerfully that it made me dizzy and I reeled a bit as I walked away.
During and after the training I was grilling everyone about John-Roger and what does he do and how does one get involved. I came to learn that most of my teachers in school were initiates and ministers in his organization. I learned there was an organization called MSIA. I began to learn about Soul Transcendence, the Audible Life Stream, Shabd Yoga. This was right up my alley, a kind of Mystery School thing in my idea of it. I wanted initiation and ordination immediately! Nope, you have to go on Discourses for 2 years first. I ordered Discourses the next day. I was initiated and ordained 2 years later.
At the end of my 2 years at Quimby College in Alamogordo, which is now Southwestern College in Santa Fe, I created a practicum project that had 2 facets. The fist facet was arrangements to go to Los Angeles and live at Prana, the headquarters of MSIA. Prana was a kind of an ashram, and all who lived there were there as students of the Soul Transcendence teachings. I arranged with Prana administrators to live there as an exchange student, and we created a specific course for me that included course work, service work and ashram work. I lived there for 6 months at that time. This was 1982. The second facet was a 1 year internship I did with Billy Whelan at his Residential Treatment Home for emotionally disturbed children back in Alamogordo.
Down through the years my relationship with J-R has been almost entirely an inner relationship. After that first dream where I first met him, — and BTW, he looked in the dream exactly how he looked in life on this side — I began to see him and work with him in my dreams regularly. I have felt very fortunate that my relationship with him was almost entirely on the inner. Yes, I saw him physically usually several times a year and I dearly loved when I did. I saw him a number of times at Prana. And then I lived in Santa Fe for many years and I’d see him in El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Denver when he would visit. On the inner, he began to teach me. For a number of years our inner meetings were usually about a particular teaching that he would give to me. In the dream it would often go like this: we would meet up, sometimes just the two of us but more often there would be a group present. Sometimes I would recognize other members of the group. He would take me to a door and show me the door. Then he would take out a key and open the door. Then he would give the key to me and have me open the door. That’s a typical example. Sometimes the key would be more like a set of feelings or some kind of thought process.
Typically when I woke up and remembered the dream I could see and feel the key but would be unable to translate it into my conscious mind. Typically the dreams would have a strong feeling of comfort and wellbeing that would come back with me as I awoke. During this time of my life, over about 15 years, this went on continuously. This also was a time in my life that seemed to have lots of very hard and challenging times. Really, super intensely challenging. Many times coming out of the dreams I really, really didn’t want to come back to my regular life with all its challenges. But I did. Then began a period when we would hang out a lot in the dreams, not as much training sessions. During this period we became very close friends. So strange, but honestly, J-R’s presence in the inner and our relationship were as grounded and solid as any relationship I have had in my waking life.
All through this time, my life improved. So many challenges and issues I was dealing with resolved and came clean. My awareness really shifted and expanded. I began to recognize the inner realms we traveled through either in the night dream state or when I sat down to do spiritual exercises. I began to develop reference points. I never felt the need to be with John-Roger physically. Our inner relationship was so rich and full. He would also answer very specific questions for me on the inner. One time I wrote him a physical letter asking him about another spiritual teacher. Not long after that he came in the dream and took me to where the other teacher was on the inner. He showed me where this teacher was and where I was in relationship to this teacher. This provided the clarification I was looking for. Another time after he had announced giving the spiritual keys to John Morton, he brought John Morton to me on the inner. He said: “This is my good friend and he will be working with you now also. I am bringing him to you in this way so you may know the truth of it.” After that I would see John Morton occasionally inside too. I learned to get verification for things inside myself.
Around 20 years or so after we began our work together, he came to me and told me that he would no longer be doing as much “for me.” He said that I now had the keys and I needed to start using them. Honestly that was a little scary for me and a little sad. But I took it to heart. After that he showed up less often and when he did it was more in the context of just being together. This was around the time I received my Soul initiation. Then a little later I asked him if he would work with me above Soul and he agreed. That became another whole new inner experience. Around this time he stopped appearing to me as he looks in the physical body. Sometimes he would look like how he looked in his twenties. Oh, one time he came looking very old. When I saw him he changed to look very young. Then he told me not to get caught up in the illusion of age or death. He reminded me that he was neither young nor old.
John-Roger fulfilled the criteria I was looking for in a teacher. Over the 35 years I knew him physically, his guidance helped me awaken spiritually just as I hoped for. He is the most clear and loving person I have met in my life. He taught me to fish, which is what I most desired. When he died from the physical body, I was so glad for my inner relationship with him. I knew him best in his radiant form, and that has not changed. I do miss his physical presence deeply at times, but in my inner life I still get to spend some time now and then with him. My life has changed dramatically over these years and I now live a life of balance, peace, abundance and loving inside myself that I once dreamed of. J-R is the dearest of friends, a true friend!