It all began to click for me when I took an aura picture of myself in a metaphysical bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts when I was 18.
My aura, at the time, was white – and the description informed me that that’s the color of a spiritual teacher.
I didn’t believe it at the time.
I wanted to be something else; like maybe a writer, lawyer, or professor.
But in the back of my mind it made sense with who my grandmother was. [See bio]
My grandmother was ahead of her times.
My father’s side of the family was the poorest in their district in Taipei at time, and my grandmother supported 10 children, washing clothes for others. At 43 years old she left her family and abusive, alcoholic spouse to join a Buddhist monastery.
She had to shave off her beautiful hair and don a robe that made her separate from society but equal to men at the time. That was the only way she could express what was inside her, which was a special spirit that projected more authority than was acceptable for women in Asian culture at the time.
She was illiterate because of the poverty in her surroundings but she was able to pick up Sanskrit more readily than traditional Chinese. I would say that both of us have the same reading level in Chinese. But her power with people came from a life of service.
She was called often to bury the dead and to bless rice paddies and homes of unsettled spirits who died suddenly and violently during the White Revolution in Taiwan. These were the country’s top talent: the intelligencia– that were murdered in plain sight in front of their families to silence them, so they wouldn’t rise up in rebellion against a rogue government that fleed mainland China after the Communists took over. In her practice she led so many souls to the Other Side that more than a thousand people came to her funeral. The number of handkerchiefs from the funerals she administered was staggering: enough to fill a room.
During her life she had the ability to read people and know their fates. In addition to their traditional cannons, most monks and nuns are trained in esoteric knowledge to help heal and even release people of their karmic suffering. Through face reading, meditation and compassion – without asking for money in return; however, those who have the privilege of being in their company can feel the vibration of their life’s dedication and appreciate why they are centered in prayer in the world beyond this one.
As a child I always could sense things without knowing why. I sometimes could read people’s thoughts and have dreams about things. I knew exactly when I would get into a good high school, and I knew exactly that my best friend would only come in second place as a finalist in the Westinghouse. I practiced visualizing getting into Harvard from age 4, and I spent hours learning how to travel outside my body to places in my imagination when I was 11.
I never really thought much about it until I met my grandmother when I was 12. I saw her get up every morning at 5 a.m., practice yoga, read scriptures and walk around people in Chinatown, who would fall at their knees when she showed up and try to worship her.
I have had many more opportunities than she did in her lifetime but what she achieved with the little education she had is astounding. She reached the equivalent of a “cardinal” level in her religion. I don’t understand how she did it because she had no education. Service to others was her only calling card.
She has since passed for more than twenty years, but she is with me always. In my memory and in my practice.
I am Christian now but I have both Christianity and Buddhism in my upbringing. I can see how different each world is, just like I can see how the West is different from the East.
Many of you are that way, too, if you have bicultural families or have extended families. The world is increasingly more mixed, these days, and that’s a good thing for human evolution and the growth of Consciousness among all sentient beings.
In opening a metaphysical store, I wanted to create a unique space, where individuals could meet and delve into the Unknown in a comfortable setting. It was in that store in Cambridge, MA, that I found crystals, the books, the knowledge, the insights to begin my journey, and I wanted to give others that same opportunity to find themselves.
Knowing your purpose should not be blocked by religion or traditions that tell you to avoid hidden knowledge. We should all have access to teachers, resources and tools to find out about our purpose, so that we can get on with the business of fulfilling it.