Barbara Elsasser

Portland, Oregon

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I was sitting on a low wall outside a large Protestant Church, waiting for a talk to begin inside the church.

 

Suddenly, out of the blue, a large cloud surrounded me on all sides. The cloud was composed of consciousness and it said to me, "I approve of you." My immediate reaction was, "How could anyone approve of me?"

 

Wondering what had initiated the cloud of consciousness, looking up I saw passing in front of me, one of the thinnest men I had ever seen, dressed in an almost comically ill-fitting three piece American suit. The man looked like he might be from India.

 

With one stroke he had totally changed my life and I felt he knew every thought I was thinking.  I then had to make a concerted effort to think only good thoughts.

 

The word that strongly came to mind was "galvanized." He had galvanized me, incited me into taking action.

 

A group of people standing nearby had also noticed his remarkable presence and one of them said to the rest, "He is Swami Chetanananda from St. Louis." I wondered how he knew that.

 

Eventually I was initiated by Swami Aseshananda and Swami Chetanananda would come visit Swami.