Ma: A deep source of comfort during my childhood was a mystical presence I felt with me. I am not sure how old I was when I first began to feel this presence, or when it became clear to me that I was experiencing it.
But it was probably sometime around 11 or 12, maybe younger. I remember sitting on the front porch of our home feeling this being near to me. The full moon was bathing the porch with its glow. I sat on the porch swing, gently rocking back and forth, feeling both the loneliness of my life in a world I felt I did not belong in and the compassionate comforting presence of this inner companion. At that time in my life, I would go for long walks at night, alone with this subtle Divine being.
I almost could see him at times, seemingly dressed in white, not much taller than me. He radiated unconditional love, wisdom and comfort.
Even though I had never heard of reincarnation, I remember at some point coming to feel that this Presence and I had been together before somewhere. Somewhere different than here. That He was my father, or something, in this other place that we used to live. The only being I had ever heard of like this presence I felt was Jesus. So I thought perhaps this presence I felt was God, or perhaps Jesus. I would cry myself to sleep at night, wondering why I was here without him, thinking I had been born 2000 years too late.
The presence never spoke to me but was simply with me, especially when I needed help. It was a feeling, a sense of another being, a very caring compassionate God like being. There was no guidance or teaching from this presence, only comforting awareness of his nearness to me, of his love for me. My life was painful during my childhood. I did not fit in. I did not belong.I felt the most lonely, the most estranged, the most different from those around me during this time. But he would come to me and comforted me with awareness of his compassionate presence and I would be at peace.
At the end of the block on which we lived in Downers Grove was a hill. It was, for that area, a good sized hill. On it rested a water tower, which made the hill public property rather than someone's yard. It was a grassy hill, and being public property, it was a place I could go and be alone.
One night stands out very clearly in my memory. I was beset by the turmoil and emotional anguish which resulted from the stress of my life in school and with family. I went to my hill and lay down on the grass. I looked up at the night sky and I began to imagine how far it is to the moon, to the sun, to the stars. I began to imagine the distance of one mile, of a million miles, to envision the vastness of the universe and to feel the beautiful and perfect order of the cosmos. I also envisioned the molecular and atomic levels and the beautiful harmony and order that exists there.
I became aware that the turmoil and chaos I felt only existed in a small band of existence consisting of the human sphere, the human mind, and my mind. I realized that the universe was intact. This was more comforting to me than I can tell you. I realized that it was only a small band that the chaos existed on. The rest was in perfect order, in perfect cosmic harmony. This made it all ok. It didn't matter how much pain and chaos there was in my life, if the universe was as it should be. There was a deep sense of relief in this realization. It was as if I had become confused by my surroundings where I did not feel I belonged and thought all was lost, but when I found the universe intact, I was oriented again.
The strong feeling came that the earth and the physical universe were my mother and the Divine Presence that was with me was my father.
This was a very strong feeling for me, not simply an idea. With this experience life began to make more sense and my life to have a context.
I think there were many childhood visits to this hill. Many nights with me and the stars and the moon and my trees, with my cosmic mother and my divine father.