Every night when go to bed, we don’t just sleep, we actually travel. Yes, our spirit takes flight and visits the astral plane. I’ll never forget the night I met my dad on the astral plane in 2014. It was such a profound experience, so intense, emotional and magical! It feels like it happened yesterday.
I wrote about it in my spiritual memoir, The Buddha Made Me Do It.
I want to share that chapter with you here.
It’s Dad, It’s Dad!
“Be not too hasty to trust or admire the teachers of morality; they discourse like angels but they live like men.”
-Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (18 Sep 1709-1784)
Just before retiring on the night of the massage, I made myself an herbal tea, and then settled into bed with a book called, Essential Reiki, A Complete Guide To An Ancient Healing Art. I figured I would get a head start on the new modality I would be learning. I hadn’t told Adolfo yet that I would be attending a weekend Reiki certification class and was avoiding that conversation as long as possible.
I so often felt sad that I couldn’t share my hopes, dreams, plans, goals, insights, or interests with Adolfo since he would inevitably shoot them down. Other than my business, virtually everything I became interested in, earned a lecture from him. I was not thinking about priorities, not thinking from a standpoint of reality, or I was just plain crazy. I had better stick to matchmaking because that was where I made money. “You should be grateful!” he would say about my career.
I know that makes him sound mean-spirited, and his attitude often sent me on long, tearful walks with Macie. Adolfo wanted me to be happy; I didn’t doubt that, but he insisted on being the Captain of the mothership. No rocking the boat allowed and no co-captains. Though he sometimes caused me great pain and anguish, I did realize where his negativity was coming from.
Adolfo grew up in an affluent, old Mexican family whose roots went all the way back to the conquistadores in Spain. Certain streets bore the names of his forbearers in many towns in Mexico. He grew up with maids, nannies, chauffeurs, and bodyguards, scurrying to serve the family. Unfortunately, bad investments, a change in government, and other disasters depleted the family’s wealth. His parents became elderly and in need of help. For many years, Adolfo supported them and his younger brother, sending a large portion of his income to Mexico monthly. After his parents passed away, and his younger brother married, Adolfo could finally allocate his hard-earned money toward buying our own home and planning for our future. I know that in his mind, he was making up for lost time, and if we weren’t careful, we could end up like his parents, out of cash and in desperate need of our children’s assistance. Only, we had no children, and unfortunately, Macie did not have a job.
Not that she wasn’t clever enough to be in the movies— which I did consider for a nanosecond or two. I’d taught her a dozen tricks, and I could see her landing a role like that Jack Russell terrier cast as “Eddie” on the TV show Frasier. Becoming a talent manager, even for a dog, was like any other actor’s merry-go-round, of course, and it wouldn’t exactly be the high-minded direction I longed for.
I read a few chapters of the Reiki book, but was soon asleep when Adolfo came in from work around midnight. He switched on the Tiffany style lamp on the nightstand. I pulled my sleep mask up off of my eyes and listened to him chatter about his night as he undressed. It always takes him about an hour to unwind after a night of performing and schmoozing. He turned on the TV to an episode of one of our favorite shows, “American Greed.” Still half asleep, I heard Stacy Keach’s commanding voice announce, “Kevin Trudeau’s Secrets.” I immediately perked up. Kevin was a former client. What was he doing on this scandal show? The truth spilled out.
Infomercial kingpin Kevin Trudeau makes millions selling baldness cures, weight loss programs, and get rich schemes on late night television. But when the FTC cries foul, fining him $37.6 million, Trudeau pulls his most brazen scam yet– claiming he’s completely broke.
Before I had my own business, I worked for a Beverly Hills service that catered to a wealthy clientele, let’s just call it “Double D Dating.” I’d first started working as a matchmaker there well over a decade ago, and Kevin was one of the clients. A minor celebrity was still a celebrity, and I was so excited to be matching him. I had actually taken his mega memory course when I lived in Chicago in the 90’s, so I knew who he was. I still use some of the practices. Kevin went on to write books on health and weight loss and even did an audio course on the law of attraction that I thought was fantastic. Granted, he was a shameless pitchman, and made millions of dollars hawking his wares on infomercials, and at seminars, always making amazing claims. Yet he didn’t steal from people. He sold his products—granted by employing the “greater fool” theory, making something dubious seem like a bargain because there were greater fools out there who would pay “twice the price.” Of course, he didn’t call them that. Most of the cases highlighted on the program “American Greed” were men who had done Ponzi schemes, or swindled unsuspecting people out of their life savings. Those guys deserved to rot in jail, but I was a bit surprised to see Kevin highlighted on the show. Still, he no doubt hired the best lawyers, and despite that, a jury of his peers found him guilty of fraud.
I remember chatting with Kevin on the phone when my first book was published. We were talking about writing, and he claimed that he wrote his books basically in one shot, just dictated them with no editing whatsoever. And these were books that were hundreds of pages long, books that needed a lot of research. I knew that had to be bullshit, but hey, I admired his go-get-‘em attitude, and I thought that at least some of his books contained useful information. No one is all bad, and there were many positive sides to Kevin.
I remembered how he claimed the government was out to get him, and he accused its agencies of conspiring to suppress low costs and common remedies, including those for cancer. Of the medical-pharmaceutical complex, Kevin often asked if you had a business that made you well over a hundred billion dollars per year, would you take steps to eradicate the need for your business or would you make every effort to keep that money continue rolling in? His logic was compelling, although in Kevin’s case, he may have been projecting his own greed onto others. I certainly know of many dedicated doctors who get infuriated with this type of accusation. And yet, Western medicine steadfastly ignores the horrendous flood of new toxins out there, so we turn to alternatives, making us vulnerable to hucksters like Kevin.
Many people in the alternative health industry and people into natural healing feel that it’s up to them to bridge this gap. Self-healed yoga priestess Christina Sarich writes that our blood and bones now contain over 85,000 different chemical pollutants, including depleted uranium from bombs and nuclear energy sites like Fukushima. Toxic mold and chemicals as sinister as Agent Orange are now part of our genetic makeup, not to mention our daily dose of pesticides, preservatives, GMOs, hormones, additives in our food and water, and pollutants in the air. Sarich says all these toxins have seeped into our cells, causing cancer, depression, and even insanity. Our hormonal systems are so out of whack that both boys and girls are starting puberty way too soon, and fetuses are not developing properly. ADHD, ADD, and autism are on the rise like never before. Our bodies are fat and tired too, because a toxic body has to work so hard to process the contaminants, it can’t metabolize fats and proteins properly. Yes, Kevin Trudeau exploited people’s fears, but he was not entirely wrong.
Many years ago, I also played Cupid for another celebrated spiritual guru, who was charismatic, well spoken, and successful with loads of followers. I was excited at the prospect of finding him his soul mate, but I was surprised to learn that, as spiritually evolved as he seemed to be, when it came to women, he was, in fact, a mere man like all of the rest of my clients. He insisted on finding a super skinny ten to spend his life with, and if she wasn’t brunette, well, forget it. And then the unthinkable happened. Like Kevin, he ended up in prison. He was found guilty of negligent homicide when things went wrong at a spiritual retreat in the desert.
Spiritual leaders are important and can help us get to where we want to go, but I always remind myself to take everyone’s advice with a serving of skepticism. After all, these people did not arrive on a silver cloud descended from the heavens. They are mere mortals just like the rest of us. And part of the enlightenment process involves each individual deciding for themselves what is most true. There are so many seeds and kernels of truth in the vast amounts of loam out there, flecks of gold in the rocky ores. I am the harvester, the miner. I sift and pan, growing more discerning, building spiritual muscles as I mull over the vast mysteries, and my spirit makes its peace with the universe.
I closed my eyes that night, and Adolfo turned off the TV, but a few minutes later, I found myself standing next to the bed, looking up into the corner of the bedroom, in awe of what I saw coming towards me. A bright light seemed to have opened up, shining outwards, and out of that light, someone was coming! It scared me at first, as I had never seen a bright light coming out of nowhere like that before. I mean, I sensed that something/someone was coming from another dimension but who/what? I willed myself to stand firm and keep looking into the light even though I was scared out of my wits. Then a thrill came over me like I had never felt in my life. My father, who had died over a decade ago, was entering my room.
I shouted, “IT’S DAD! IT’S DAD!” I couldn’t see him, but I knew it was him. “IT’S DAD!”
All of a sudden, I was back in my bed, sitting up, and my dad had settled at the end of my bed. I quickly scrambled over to him and put my hand on his arm. He was wearing a brown hooded cloak, like a monk. His face looked thinner than I remembered. I blurted out the words as fast as I could, “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.”
We stared deeply into each other’s eyes and he nodded slightly letting me know that yes, it was really dad, and that everything was okay. And then he was gone.
Why hadn’t he stayed longer? I crawled back under the covers. Adolfo was asleep. I turned on my side, back to him, in complete awe of what had just transpired and tried to make sense of how this could have happened without Adolfo hearing me yell. The logical explanation was that I was somehow dreaming, but I’d never had any dream like this in my life. Dreams morph and twist into other dreams, some more powerful than others. They are fleeting and hard to pin down. This experience was nothing like that. It felt strange, but real. Even stranger was that monk’s cloak. In life, Dad had insisted he was an atheist. And he was certainly not interested in anything approaching a monastic life of contemplation and prayer, of denial of earthly pleasures. He lived like a man, bad habits and all and made no pretenses to anything different. He was a good man, though, and he loved me. That look in his eyes…he wanted me to understand something. Maybe the monk’s hood was a way of showing without speaking that his spirit had entered a different phase and that it was evolving into a more advanced consciousness. I slept then, deeply, peacefully, and long.
In the morning, Macie and I took a long leisurely stroll. The light seemed especially dazzling, sparkling. The leaves were more vibrant, the squirrels and I were one, and I felt even more connected to the Universe than I had at my yoga session. I tuned into my spirit, my higher self for answers. The only explanation that I could conceive of was that I had astral traveled. I had met my dad on the astral plane.