Written on 24 May 2018
- GRACELIGHT DURANGO (HILDA CHARLTON GROUPS)
- Gracelight Meditations I Attended in Years Past
- Gracelight Founder Hilda Charlton and Her Experience with Paramahansa Yogananda of Self-Realization Fellowship
- My Meditation Experiences at Gracelight and Self-Realization Fellowship
- Experience of Psychic Rape During a Gracelight Meditation: Why?
- Code of Silence at Gracelight
- My Research on Gracelight After I Left That Group
- YOGI BHAJAN’S 3HO GROUP
- SHOTOKAN KARATE OF AMERICA
- SELF-REALIZATION FELLOWSHIP
- KARMA: ROARING LIKE A LION
I ran across a great quote recently, to the effect that the advice of a spiritual teacher can only take a person just so far along the spiritual path …
Image: “Your Best Teacher,” by Ralph Nader, https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cd/e3/c1/cde3c1b350d0cc53a546e2949bc77592.jpg ..
GRACELIGHT DURANGO (HILDA CHARLTON GROUPS)
Some years ago, I meditated with my last earthly teacher, David Pomerantz of Gracelight, Durango. The folks I meditated with were mainly the West Los Angeles branch of Gracelight, which at that time comprised a small group of women led by Marilyn Zweifach. The teacher of my teacher of Gracelight at that time was David Pomerantz of Durango, Colorado, and the national nonprofit organization was registered in Durango …
Link: Gracelight 501C3, EIN 95-4702049, https://www.taxexemptworld.com/organization.asp?tn=1194271 ..
Gracelight Meditations I Attended in Years Past
There were other Gracelight meditation groups on the East Coast, mainly New York and New Jersey, I believe. David Pomerantz was having meditations at his home base in Durango, Colorado, and also, from time to time, at Holy Spirit Retreat Center in the San Fernando Valley, at East Coast Gracelight leader Rita Heap’s house in Freehold, New Jersey, and at Stella Maris Retreat Center Advance, Long Branch, New Jersey.
I started meditated with Marilyn Zweifach’s West Los Angeles group on 2 February 2011, as I recall. The woman who introduced me to Gracelight … Janet Maker of Florence Howard’s Sierra Club-offshot Venice Beach walking group … recommended also trying out meditations with the national leader David Pomerantz, and I attended quite a few of his meditations over the years.
Gracelight Founder Hilda Charlton and Her Experience with Paramahansa Yogananda of Self-Realization Fellowship
While a member of Gracelight, I did some research on the founder of the group, Hilda Charlton, now passed on. She was a fascinating lady. One of the things I found out, was that she mentioned having met Paramahansa Yogananda, of the Self-Realization Fellowship, and that he had asked her to join his ashram, and that, after thinking it over, she had declined.
I see from her memoires she said that, every time she went there, he used to ask her how much money she had … and that, finally, she admitted she had none. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea. Possibly they didn’t get along, and that is why she said that …
Link: “My Story,” Chapter 9: Pioneers of the Soul, http://www.hildacharlton.com/HerOwnWords1.html ..
I found it odd … the historical link between Hilda Charlton and Yogananda … as my last prior meditation group experience had been with Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, in Pacific Palisades, California. Quite a coincidence.
My Meditation Experiences at Gracelight and Self-Realization Fellowship
When I first started with the Gracelight group led by Marilyn Zweifach, I noticed Hilda Charlton’s picture on one of the meditation chairs: The shawl, and the flowers. Nobody said much about it. Eventually I learned that it was Hilda Charlton, and I read a few of her little books. I began to have a feeling for the Soul that was there, who had touched and transformed many lives. Once in a while, during meditation, especially at first, I would call on her, and I’d always see a vision of her, and feel blissful joy welling up in my heart.
And while meditating at Self-Realization Fellowship I had also had many blissful moments, with visions of saints and feelings of rapture, during the group meditations.
Experience of Psychic Rape During a Gracelight Meditation: Why?
Then on 15 May 2014 I left Gracelight, after an experience of psychic rape during a meditation led by David Pomerantz at Marilyn Zweifach’s house in West Los Angeles. While I can’t say the cause of my experience during that meditation, and in fact have no way of knowing what the cause was, I felt it best, because of the temporal juxtaposition of the two events, to resign that day.
So I was meditating with that group from about 2 February 2011 to about 15 May 2014 … approximately 3 years.
Code of Silence at Gracelight
I never knew much about Gracelight, or about any members of the group, as we were asked not to talk to other members of the group, or to the leaders, before or after meditations, in a social way. During the meditations, we could raise our hands, and if the leader nodded, we might ask spiritual questions.
There was a DVD about Gracelight, put out by Marilyn Zweifach in 2006, I think it was. And that was all I knew about Gracelight.
I knew Janet Maker, who introduced me to Gracelight, as a member of one of my walking groups, but the things we talked about were family and finances, and things of that nature, rather than Gracelight or its members, as I recall.
My Research on Gracelight After I Left That Group
So, after I left Gracelight, I was curious what I might find out, in an Amateur Sleuth sort of way. I did some online research. One of the things I gathered, after I left the group, was that its name may have been changed to Hilda Charlton::Groups …
Link: “Hilda Charlton::Groups,” http://www.hildacharlton.com/groups.html ..
I gathered this because the web site named “Hilda Charlton::Groups” looks pretty much the same as the prior website for “Gracelight,” except for the name change.
I guess (although I don’t know) that the name change may have taken place because there is another group, “Pillai Center Mind Science,” led by Baskaran Pillai, that sometimes uses the similar term Grace Light …
Link: “Pillai Center Mind Science,” https://www.pillaicenter.com/about-us/dr-pillai ..
I also gathered, from an online background search, that David Pomerantz may have once used the name David Rotman. Others of the Durango Gracelight group also apparently had several names, at least, according to my online research. But you never know about background searches … Two records may have been mixed up and merged.
I also found that some of the members of the group may have had felony records, at least according to my internet research. Maybe not, though … one never knows about internet research. And, maybe they aren’t members of the group any more, for all I know.
For me, at the time, though, I was upset to find out about the alleged criminal backgrounds of some of the members, as I had never known anyone with a felony record, my family and friends being ‘true blue’, law-abiding folks.
YOGI BHAJAN’S 3HO GROUP
Looking back over the years, at other meditation groups I’ve meditated with …
Long ago, I was a devotee of Guru Ram Das, he of the compassionate heart, through Yogi Bhajan’s 3HO group. I tried living in a 3HO ashram for 6 years, and I learned a lot there, mostly by way of suffering. But I’m not big on ashram life; more eclectic, more drawn to union with the God through individual spiritual practice than to life in an ashram.
SHOTOKAN KARATE OF AMERICA
At any rate, after that I tried karate for over a decade, and that helped me develop my will power and face my fears.
And after that, in about the year 1999, and for some years thereafter, I tried meditating with Paramahansa Yogananda’s devotees, and walked daily around the Self-Realization Fellowship’s Lake Shrine grounds in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, to meditate and enjoy the beautiful flowers.
KARMA: ROARING LIKE A LION
Just at that time, one of my most devastating karmic ‘discharges’ (1) overcame me. In this most painful karmic play I was trapped in from about the year 2000 to 2016. I’ve learned a very great deal, and while my mental-emotional body, during those years, cried out in pain from time to time, I found that my Soul … when I spoke with It … was at peace and knew all to be well.
The most obvious, in-your-face thing in our lives … the thing that causes all the sorrow, and which changes moment by moment … is the karmic play. But the dharmic (2) path is to welcome the karma with an open heart, as a gift from God on our Soul’s journey.
Down through the years, my karma has pursued me, sometimes like a roaring lion, and sometimes sleeping like a little lamb. In those years from 2000 to 2016, for sure, it was a roaring lion. In those years, a great longing was in my heart, that the karmic play might be ended, that I might learn the lesson, and go on to the next one. And finally, through God’s grace, it did so.
In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars
(1) “Hovering over the embryo, it remains upon the mental plane. From that level it broods over the man, and takes or makes opportunities, to discharge itself by sections, sending down from itself a flash like lightening to strike, or a finger to touch, sometimes far down on the physical plane,sometimes a sort of extension which reaches only the astral plane, and sometimes what we may call a horizontal flash or finger upon the mental plane.” —-from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, 1928, “Ch. XXIII. The Permanent Atoms and the Mechanism of Reincarnation,” public domain, available at http://www.lulu.com or http://www.amazon.com Also at: http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/theosophy/Arthur_E_Powell_-_The_Causal_Body___The_Ego.pdf ..
(2) “In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living.’” –from “Dharma,” in Wikipedia, https://sco.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Gracelight, Hilda Charlton, David Pomerantz, David Rotman, Marilyn Zweifach, Hilda Charlton Groups, Self-Realization Fellowship, Paramahansa Yogananda, Shotokan Karate of America, will power, 3HO, Yogi Bhajan, meditation, felony, criminal records, dharma, karma, spiritual teachers, Lake Shrine, fears, courage, law enforcement, Guru Ram Das, Sikhism, Janet Maker, stories by Alice,