Almost four decades ago, on Tuesday, April 20th, 1982 to be exact, I stumbled up out of a dark place and found myself filled with a permanent light and focus. I still can’t believe my luck. . . .
I was born into a large family in a city in Canada. My parents were then chronic alcoholics and most of my memories, which reach back as far as my third year, are dark and fearful. I and two younger brothers were raised mostly by our older sisters. Our parents often fought. When my father left the family he was replaced by a man who I deeply feared as he treated us harshly and sometimes beat my mother. Twice, as a small child, I badly broke my right elbow. The second break was so severe that I almost lost my arm. My mother was not there that time to comfort me as she was being kept in a mental hospital, withdrawing from alcohol addiction.
Throughout my early school years I used to pray from my heart that I could live without fearing people. I was always drawn into the company of troublemakers, and began stealing at the age of seven.
When I was fourteen, my father, who had returned to us for five joyful and prosperous years, began drinking again and divorced my mother. This is when my indulgence into alcohol and drugs, including cocaine and LSD, began. I was just fifteen years old when I took a massive overdose of LSD and went temporarily insane – I would say, became possessed. For two weeks after this hellish experience I was in a dream-like depression. My personality changed and I often went out on weekends with bizarre clothes and painted face. Eight months after this fall I stumbled into another self-destructive trap: I was seduced into a cunning organization that brainwashes its members, taking their money and destroying their mental and physical health. It was called Transcendental Meditation.
In the following eight years I became increasingly tangled in self-doubt and anti-social sentiments. I lacked all normal motivation for pursuing a productive life. I sought escape from my numbness and frustration in drugs, alcohol and parties. I was always watched carefully by the police because of my illegal activities, and lived in fear of them. I could not relate to normal, productive adults and saw them as strange and frivolous. I spent my time with younger people who admired my wild lifestyle. I reached the age of twenty- four with no professional qualifications; no position in society; no confidence; and little hope of fulfilling the countless desires which haunted me. I desperately wanted to know myself – to feel the joy and love of nature which sometimes overwhelmed me in my childhood – but I found only noise and heaviness within.
One morning a friend of mine came over. I thought he wanted to buy some drugs but he said he had found something important. I knew him as a dull and lethargic person, but now his eyes were shining with enthusiasm and delight. He asked if I would come to meet some special people. I insisted that Sunday is the best day to party and that I wanted to get drunk and go to the beach. At his insistence I agreed to attend a meeting on the following Tuesday. I was then completely unaware that it would become the single most precious day of my life.
The experience which I had during that first real meditation – that sahaja yoga (spontaneous, inborn union) – was quite vague. I had just begun to become aware of just how much I had ruined my delicate nervous-system. Gradually, as the weeks passed with a few minutes of meditation a day, I was realizing that my fears and habits were fading away. The urge for intoxication was loosing its hold on me. A definite peace and clarity was growing inside of me. I moved away from my circle of crazy friends and a lifestyle which felt like dead weight over me. Small changes in my health came to my attention. After many years of suffering from painful hemorrhoids, this problem disappeared. My hair suddenly stopped falling out and later grew in again. Psychologically, I became more secure. Nightmares about losing my eyesight and being possessed by demons did not come anymore. I slept deeply and awoke fresh. This was brought about by the integrating state of alert mental silence (which was to be, many years later, medically proven to bring unprecedented equilibrium to the human organism).
My parents were deeply impressed, especially when I had my beard and long hair cut and started wearing attractive clothes. The subtle, cool, pure vibrations which I began to feel and direct for my own betterment and that of others had a noticeable effect on many. My mother suffered from emotional depression and even relapsed into alcohol and drug use. For nine months I did not see her, but often applied myself to directing these purifying vibrations to her. When I contacted her again she was like a new person. For the first time in about ten years she was rising early from bed each day, and even had a job caring for small children.
Another person who was astonished to see this change in me was a police detective who had watched me for many years in my home municipality. I happened to meet him one day and he just congratulated me again and again. I think it gave him great hope.
By chance, or by divine intervention, my first full-time job was a position with the city police department as a community-worker in an anti-theft campaign. I continued with similar work until, perhaps again through divine intervention, I married and moved to Vienna where my dreams to become a successful writer and artist have been fulfilled.
In these few years I have met countless individuals from all walks of life — from London to Calcutta and from Moscow to Los Angeles — who have lived this miraculous metamorphosis and are using this natural power to transform themselves and others. It is my sincerest desire that anyone who reads these words will not judge the message mentally, but will make an honest, scientific investigation into the historic subject which now faces them. If their desire is pure and their determination for revealing the truth is undaunted, I have no doubt that they will also achieve this magnificent inner-awakening which is dawning to the human race.
and, Reaching the Top Reloaded:
I am sure that you have transformed your life using Meditation. I am about to learn it. Hope you blog will help me.
Jai Shree Mataji,
It was really beautiful to go through your Blog. Your poem on innocence was simply marvellous.
Through your blog I realised something I will cherish throught out my life.
Dear Brother Edwards Forwards, never sidewards or backwards. This site is just great as I always thought about you.
Brilliant writing from the heart, dear Brother!
Vibrations abound from this web-site….the story of your transformation being the most
profound! A script for a feature-length
film could easily emerge….with such
a happy divine and infinitely so, ending!
Now when ever I receive your emails I know exactly the person it is coming from. Thank you for sharing , brother.
Inspiring…effectively, lots of vibrations start flowing on reading this bio.
Well, happy “birthday”
I have known and loved you all this time Edward and never knew your story. You have so eloquently and honestly written it here.what an achievement to come from such a life. And I thought my life had been difficult. Does not really compare.
May you always continue to have peace and joy. Much love Felicity
Happy Second Birthday Edward! Having gotten to know you only through cyber space, ie., your posts about your mother’s success as an opera singer, your blog, photos, etc., reading your story herein………..speechless. Thank you for being so brave, so humble.
Love you uncle Edward!
Dear Ed, You have your birthday 4 days after mine, that’s why I feel this “Aquarian” faculty of spreading the ‘waters of knowledge’ and your amazing sense of genuine share of human and Spiritual experiences. It is always so interesting to read your posts!
I am fairly new to yoga. Your story has inspired me.