Back in 1973, I was given a book called the “Bhagavad Gita.” I had been visiting a Hare Krishna Temple and talking to its devotees for a while, and they would tell me that I was not this body (the young man I was at the time); that I was spirit soul, meaning that the body was just a covering for my spirit, my soul. I got it right away.
I’d had a feeling for a while that there was more. It was only a year earlier that my mother had died, six months after my dad passed away. When I was at their wakes, and looked in their coffins, I knew that it was not the real them in there. At the wake and at the funeral, the priests talked about my parents going to the Father, saying something about ashes to ashes . . . dust to dust. This didn’t make any sense to me at the time. But when the Hare Krishna devotees talked about our bodies being made of the elements and how we were much more than that, things began to click for me. They told me that I, i.e., my spirit soul, was part of God. I now knew that I was much more than this body.
They also talked to me about Dharma (our duty). In essence, our Dharma is why we are here. So in a very short time, I found the answers (which were, of course, my answers, not necessary yours) to who I was and why I am here.
Wow! At 16 years old, I had found the answers that many folks take a lifetime to discover! Can you imagine? Some people travel to faraway lands in search of teachers to help them find the answers to those two questions. And I was blessed to stumble across them right away. The freedom that came from this knowledge was tremendous. I was truly rocketed into another dimension!
At the age of 18, within a year after meeting the devotees and reading some of the “Bhagavad Gita,” I left home to become a monk . . . to get more answers, to learn where I was going and how I would get there and much, much more. I went to the ashram in West Virginia for the next couple of years but, eventually, life events and my disease of alcoholism would get the best of me and I left. But what I learned there had given me a freedom and independence I truly did treasure. I never lost that independence and freedom, but was obscured over the next 13- plus years.
But, eventually, that same independence and freedom re-emerged and led me to be who I am today, a man coming from his heart, helping others to come from their Ah-Man.
To learn more about Michael Hoare and Ah-Man, visit here.