(Left to right) John Morton, Mary Beard, John-Roger on PAT IV in 1988.
In 1975, I was a young woman of 30 and yearning for something I’d felt my whole life but didn’t know what it was. I’d begun studying astrology with Barbara Shere and felt a strong connection to her and to her spiritual nature. She invited me to something called a seminar and I assumed it had to do with astrology, so I said sure.
When I arrived at her home, I felt awkward since everyone else seemed to know each other well and were very warm and friendly and affectionate with one another. After a bit of food, we went into a room and Barbara called in the Light, something I didn’t quite understand but I liked it. Then everyone began to chant Hu. I sat quietly not really knowing what was going on but feeling swept up in the energy.
She then put on a tape: “The Dilemma of Man and the White Light Meditation.” As a man’s voice began to speak, I began to leave my body. I scrunched down on the floor in a corner of the room, not so much to get away but to feel protected and safe. My body felt like it was melting. I realized the voice I was hearing I had heard inside me my whole life and I felt it was calling me home. I saw many lifetimes where I had followed teachers and gurus and always ended up feeling betrayed. I saw myself coming into this lifetime with my jaw set, ready to defy any teacher and to follow no one. I would do it myself! And now I was being asked to surrender — but not to someone, not to something outside myself, rather to surrender to myself, to my Soul’s journey. It felt so very different than what I’d experienced before. And I could only say “yes,” with all my heart.
When the tape was over and the lights turned on, I got up but couldn’t speak. Barbara approached me and looked concerned, but I motioned I was okay. I left quickly and walked down the hill to my car. Driving home I had to pull to the side of the road several times because I was crying so hard I couldn’t see.
Several weeks later, John-Roger came to northern California for a seminar. While he spoke, it looked like he was looking at me almost the whole time, referencing events I’d just experienced, like our recent vacation. But the weird thing was his face kept changing, and at the end of the evening I still didn’t know what he looked like! The next day I visited Barbara to talk. She showed me a photo of J-R and his face stood still long enough for me to see what he looked like at that time. I’d never had strange experiences like this before, but it all seemed so perfect.
For many years after, I felt very fragile. On the outside I looked normal and in good control of my life, but inside it was like the boundaries of who I thought I was had burst open. I felt tender and vulnerable. At workshops or retreats J-R came to, I sometimes shared. Though he often used harsh words with others, calling them into line, he was always so gentle with me and just kept loving me into my next steps. I felt carried in his spiritual arms until I could stand on my own feet and really stand up inside. Thirteen years later, I was on PAT IV and shared with him. He “lit into me” at one point and pulled me up short. Instead of collapsing inside, I rejoiced at his harsh words and that I no longer interpreted them as “punishment” but as his showing me how strong I’d become. I never thought I could be scolded and find myself smiling and happy about it!
My relationship with J-R was always an inner one, with the occasional meetings in the physical. I am so profoundly grateful that I am living at this time, that the voice I heard inside manifested in an outer form as well as an increased awareness of the inner form. My Soul has yearned a long, long time — it feels like eons — for the time when I would be called home again and once again know the oneness of Spirit from which I came.
I first saw John Morton shortly after I became aware of MSIA and John-Roger. John was also a northern California kid and had “come into the Movement” just a few months before me. He seemed like a normal, though somewhat shy, kind of guy and several of my friends from Sacramento knew him well. We took Insight I together and he was going through “normal” kind of stuff like the rest of us. The choices he then made, his clarity of purpose and intention, were mind-blowing to me. He seemed to have a focus and devotion that were nothing short of inspirational.
As he grew in spiritual stature, what I loved about him was that he never put on airs, he always remained authentic and true to himself, and he shared from his “ordinariness” that was so extraordinary. And because he could do what he did, that meant I could do it too, even if at a slower pace. I will always be grateful to John for showing us that the spiritual path, upwards and inwards, begins right where we are now, right where we find ourselves, right in our ordinariness. He has helped me to see the perfection and blessings in where I am right now.