New Day Herald

Daniel Safron

Third Eye Opening Accident That Led Me to Spirit

A life-changing experience in August of 1970 put me on a fast track toward greater spiritual inner awareness. I was playing football catch with a casual friend from the neighborhood, which was North Miami Beach, Florida. My family had moved there from a Chicago suburb (Skokie, Illinois) three years earlier. After I graduated from the University of Florida that June, I moved home with my parents and three brothers for a year or two. The fellow threw me a long pass, about 50 yards. I caught it, and when I turned around to run, I immediately smashed into a goalpost. I later heard I was knocked unconscious for 15 minutes before an ambulance came to take me to a hospital. Besides my nose being “pulverized” (doctor’s word), my metal framed glasses gouged out a chuck of flesh from my third eye area. I recall they grafted some skin and flesh from my hip or buttock, I forget which.

During recovery, a guy about my age named Kumar came to see me a few times. He was visiting his aunt and uncle, who lived kitty-corner from my parent’s house, and he was the head of Swami Satchidananda’s Integral Yoga Institute ashram in Dallas. He spoke to me about yoga, meditation and spirituality. It was a pretty new subject to me, though I enjoyed reading the book Siddhartha. In my junior year of high school, my English teacher surprisingly handed it to me as a gift at the end of the school year!

I never felt drawn to Judaism growing up, and seldom was in a synagogue after getting Bar Mitzvahed at age 13. Being one of two Jews in my college dormitory, I curiously visited various church denominations’ Sunday services with friends during my freshman and sophomore years of college, but nothing stirred my Soul. The notion of going to heaven or hell for eternity based on who you believed in, and regardless of how you lived, didn’t make sense to me at all. However, what did make sense was that we are Souls going through many human lifetimes to learn and grow until we complete our karma, and that loving one another was a central theme of the spiritual and religious traditions that I was familiar with. I imagine that my third eye opened during the goalpost accident and resulted in Spirit leading Kumar to visit me and our lengthy chats!

After I recovered from the surgery in the fall of 1970, I started attending Hatha yoga classes, reading books on spirituality (Be Here Now, Autobiography of a Yogi, Ken Keyes, Krishnamurti, etc.), attending lectures by spiritual and new-age teachers (Yogi Bhajan, Roy Eugene Davis, Guru Maharaji, Leo Buscaglia, etc.), and attending esoteric spirituality classes. I had a new voracious appetite for spirituality that was not mentally driven but, in retrospect, seemed to be sparked by my Soul’s awakening and yearning. In the spring of ’71, Kumar invited me to his grandmother’s nearby apartment for a luncheon honoring his teacher. I recall briefly chatting with the Swami, asking him if he did any particular asanas. He said his every breath was an asana. I also asked if he followed a particular diet, as I saw him eating challah. Satchidananda said something to the effect that “when visiting someone’s home, it’s more important to be a gracious guest.”  (“Challah is a special bread of Ashkenazi Jewish origin”) A few months earlier I had stopped eating white flour, inspired by my shopping at the Healthful Diet Shoppe, owned by a man named George Scott.

In late 1970, a friend’s mom told me of that store, which was close to my parent’s house, thinking I might find some supplements there to help my recovery after surgery.  It was run by George and his wife at the time, Adele, who, to my surprise, both showed up at their first MSIA seminar the same month I did in January of 1973! The seminar leader was their customer, and the nurse at a drug program one of my brothers worked at.  I met her when visiting him there in the fall of 1972. She did a couple of mini readings of my aura and told me of John-Roger audio seminars in her apartment. I was reticent to go to hear yet another spiritual teacher. However, I decided to check it out after mentioning the invite to an astrologer in a reading she gave me in Coral Gables, Florida, a month or two later. She said “go”, adding that she had been to John-Roger’s home in Southern California. Years later I heard that she had married famous astrology, Dane Rudhyar, and changed her name from Ellen Schacter to Leyla Rael. I’m grateful for her one word of encouragement!

Some of you may know George and Adele’s daughters, Wendy and Bambi, as they’ve worked in the MSIA accounting department for years. George was my earliest natural food mentor; teaching me about natural hygiene and healthy eating, without trying to sell me supplements, etc., and I later had a 40-year career in that industry from 1978-2018. I recently saw a Facebook post from George’s son-in-law, Gregory Vahanian, showing their family at his 95th birthday celebration!

I first saw J-R in April of ’73 at a live seminar at Rama Fox’s house in Coconut Grove and was blown away by the twaji he imparted. After the seminar ended, I asked one of J-R’s staff members how I can experience this energy at the home seminars. He said something to the effect of: “You may want to lay down on the floor to go out of your body.” So, I started doing that, and I would quickly lose conscious awareness, and then “awaken” as soon as the seminar tape ended. I knew I hadn’t been sleeping as it felt different; like I had a rejuvenating spiritual shower!  Prior to that time, I’m sure the strong Light focus kept me returning most weeks to Friday night seminars. Yet John-Roger shared so much diverse and sophisticated content, vs. the simple messages of Eastern spiritual teachers I had heard (with loving God and all life, being the common denominator), that it was somewhat reminiscent of listening to college professors, albeit, with more elevated subject matter. So, laying down got me out of my head, bypassed my mind trying to grasp the information, and opened me to a greater receptivity of the Spirit, Traveler and Christ.

After I left Rama’s, I drove to a nearby house in the Grove that I’d been to a number of times. It was a hippy-like gathering where maybe 100 folks would sit in a very large circle. A stick was passed around, and the person holding it could share (either verbally, with an instrument, movement, or chants), and others could join in if appropriate to do so. Two good female friends that I’d go there with saw me, and one of them said “Danny, have you been tripping!” I said “I’ve never tripped. I just saw John-Roger!”. I felt the Light strongly as I typed those words now, and one of them must have too at the time, and she joined me for a few J-R audio taped seminars.

In June, I got on Discourses, and in November, I got my first services: aura and polarity balances, an innerphasing, a Light Study, as well as getting ordained. The latter brought the ministerial energies into my work doing individual and group counseling at a junior and senior high school. I’m grateful for those joyful, Light-filled beginnings, and for having followed my heart and Soul’s calling in traveling with the Traveler through the years. I’ve also been blessed to have been married for almost 44 years to a woman, Kathleen, who is very devoted and dedicated to the teachings and going home to God. May we all continue to live, laugh, love and learn on our Soul’s journey home to the heart of God!

10 thoughts on “Third Eye Opening Accident That Led Me to Spirit”

  1. Yes – great to hear your story Daniel for some reason I love hearing how people connected to JR the light and the traveler energy. The best stories ever – well maybe not ever but you know what I mean☺️

    1. Daniel Safron

      I know what you mean, Corrine. The circuitous route we sometimes take can be unexpected and surprising, culminating in a graceful and grace-filled soft landing in a field of glory, as we choose to open to receive the blessings that already are.

  2. Daniel, I’ve always admired your inner strength and courage to express your inner Light and beauty to others. I love you brother.

    1. Daniel Safron

      It takes one to know one, brother Lee. Fond memories of when I moved into Prana in early ’78 and because housemates of you and Kay, and of course, Kathleen! Love to you both.

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