The Eckankar Journal: Personal Experiences in the Light and Sound of God
The following story is from the 2010 Eckankar Journal, an annual collection of real-life accounts of spiritual experiences, written by members of Eckankar. Recent issues of the Eckankar Journal can be requested at the Eckankar Online Bookstore.
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An Operation Brings a Message of the Treasures of Life
A few years ago, I had a very challenging experience. It allowed me to see all the precious gifts I have in my life—the love of my family and friends, the love of my pets, and especially, the amazing love and protection of the Mahanta.
At the time, I'd been having recurring dizzy spells. I wasn't worried, because I've always been a healthy person. Still, I went to the doctor in case it was an inner-ear infection or another minor illness that needed medication.
The doctor found nothing wrong with me. As a precaution, he sent me for X-rays and an MRI. After the tests were done, I was surprised to find all the dizziness suddenly disappeared. I thought everything was back to normal.
But a few days later, the doctor called me at my office. He said, "Allen, I've got some bad news. You have an unruptured brain aneurism."
"Is it serious?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied. "It requires immediate attention. You'll need to have brain surgery to fix it."
Then he went on to say the dizziness had nothing to do with the aneurism.
"But thank goodness you had that spell of dizziness so we could find this out!" he added.
Immediately I knew the dizziness was a gift from the Mahanta so I could do something about this more serious problem. Without the dizzy spells, I might never have known the aneurism was there until it was too late.
Still, I was devastated. All my life I'd had my health, and now it could slip away. I wondered what this experience was all about.
So I chanted HU, the ancient name for God, for a few moments, then inwardly asked the Mahanta, the Inner Master, "What is this all about?"
Immediately, I heard the response, "All is in divine order."
This was not the answer I expected. But it was a confirmation that the situation was in the hands of the ECK and the Mahanta.
Before the surgery, I had to go through additional tests. Those tests revealed another problem: a blood clot in one of my arteries. During surgery, it could have broken free and gone right to my heart, causing irreparable damage, if not death.
Once again, this was a precious gift of the Mahanta's love and protection. Now that the doctors knew the clot was there, they could prevent it from doing damage.
A short time later, I had a vivid, nightmarish dream.
I am standing in an incredibly large area. Thousands of people surround me, many whom I know, including beloved family and friends. They are all moving toward a giant building.
This building has enormous rooms with art, libraries, forests, and oceans. It's called the Building of Life. I notice the people entering the building each have a ticket in their hand, which allows them in. It is a ticket to life.
But I don't have a ticket! As I look around at all these thousands of people moving forward, I begin to panic.
"What's going on?" I yell, trying to break into the building. All the people are looking strangely at me. They push me away, saying, "No! You don't belong with us anymore. You don't have a ticket!"
In horror, I watch as the ones I love move ahead quickly into the Building of Life, and I am left behind.
I woke up in a sweat. Opening my eyes, I found my dog, Leaf, sitting next to me, licking my face. My fear and panic melted, and I was happy to know that this little bundle of joy and love was there to comfort me.
But the dream stayed with me. Was it possible I was not going to have a ticket to continue with my life?
On the day of surgery, I was getting ready to go into the operating room, when one of the nurses said, "You still have a few minutes. Why don't you come out of your room and visit your family and friends?"
I walked out of the room in my hospital gown. I was in stocking feet, looking very silly and feeling self-conscious. Then I saw my loving, light-filled wife, Linda. With Linda were my mother, sister, daughter, and dear friends, all of whom had come to be with us during the surgery.
My heart opened. It was a beautiful moment to see all that love surrounding me. I felt so much appreciation and gratitude for the loving gift of their presence and help. It had taken something of this magnitude to make me realize how precious life is.
Soon, I lay on a gurney, waiting to go into surgery, with my sweet wife by my side. I wondered how all this would turn out. But I had to trust that this was all part of the divine plan.
Before I went in, the hospital chaplain visited with me. A beautiful young woman, she talked to me about the cycles of life, the divine plan, and most of all, the importance of putting trust in God. Everything she said was helpful to me.
As she spoke, I saw blue lights flashing all around. Blue light is an indication of the Mahanta's presence. I knew I was surrounded by his love, no matter what my fate might be.
As I was wheeled into the operating room and put on the surgical table, I flashed back to my recent nightmare. All I could do was put my entire trust into the hands of the ECK and the Inner Master.
As the oxygen mask came down, I knew I would soon be unconscious. Inwardly, I heard a voice say, "We're with you through this entire process. You are safe."
Suddenly, I saw my little dog's face again. In his mouth was a piece of scrap paper. He let it go, and as the paper fell, I reached out inwardly and picked it up. It was my ticket! I had my ticket to life! It was the last thing I remember before I lost consciousness.
The surgery took twice as long as expected. But when it was done, the doctor told my wife how important the operation was.
"Everything is fine," he told her, "but this really had to happen. It took us a lot of time to fix the aneurism, but now he will never have to worry about it again."
I'm still contemplating on why this experience happened. Maybe I needed to have a more open heart; maybe I needed more gratitude; or maybe I needed to grow and unfold spiritually.
But the situation brought with it a treasured message of the Master's constant love and protection. I was led by the ECK and the Inner Master every step of the way. His love, and the love and help of Linda, my family, friends, and my little dog, Leaf, showed me what a precious gift life really is.
Excerpted from the 2010 Eckankar Journal, copyright © 2009 ECKANKAR. All rights reserved.