By Bruce A. Smith
From the collection of personal stories: Stories from the Journey – From the Suburbs of New York to Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment
Thirty years ago, I left New York to join Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment in Yelm, Washington. Everyone I was leaving thought I was nuts – BJ, my parents, family and friends. But I felt secure in my decision because I knew my desire to study the science of consciousness and learn the techniques of mind-over-matter was deep and treasured. That’s not to say I didn’t get the heebie-jeebies half-way across the country, and outside of St. Louis I had to pull off the road for a few days and catch my breath.
Twenty years later I left the Ramtha school, not because I had soured on Ramtha, but rather, I felt a calling to strike out on my own – to go into the world with what I had learned from two decades spent studying with a master teacher.
Although I felt lost at first, I eventually found a job as a newspaper reporter. I loved it. However, a corporate change of ownership four years later put me back on the street, and that signaled a downward spiral. I couldn’t find work, became impoverished, and I couldn’t afford to keep my pick-up truck on the road. Then, my body collapsed. My teeth fell out and I had a heart attack. I got so depressed I couldn’t get out of bed for days at a time. Worse, I felt that all of the mind-over-matter stuff that I had learned at Ramtha’s School was not working for me. I despaired and got suicidal. Soon I was re-admitted into the hospital with anxiety attacks.
At that point, my doctors referred me to mental health, saying, “Mr. Smith, you’re not finding answers with us, so we think you should try the Behavioral Health Clinic. We hear it’s pretty good.”
I walked into their Puyallup office feeling like I was a half-formed piece of putty, and that’s where I met Trista. She was a social worker about thirty years old or so – half my age – but she was a savvy gal, and a kick-ass therapist. Fearless even. Nothing I said scared her.
I met with Trista once a week for an hour each session, and she listened attentively, even when it wasn’t apparent. She squirmed endlessly in her chair, crossing and re-crossing her legs underneath her tushie. She also had a fantastic memory, always remembering the details of my personal dramas, including the names and nuances of all my wives.
Endlessly, I processed my grief over not being God-Manifested – being unable to heal myself, earn money, or create a “remarkable life” as touted by Ramtha.
Over time, my life stabilized and I began to assemble years’ worth of notes I had taken on the DB Cooper but had never published due to my editor’s reluctance. Within ten months, I had a book and published it at Amazon. I was getting back on my feet.
I saw Trista for eighteen months, until one day I walked into her office and she motioned me to sit.
“Bruce, I have something very important to tell you. I’m starting a private practice and will be leaving the clinic. In fact, I’ve already put in my notice. So, I’m saying goodbye. I need to terminate our sessions.”
I sucked in a breath of air and pondered what she had told me. It didn’t quite compute.
“You’re leaving me?”
A huge tsunami of emotion poured over me. I gasped, then started weeping profusely, rocking back-and-forth. I sobbed and grabbed tissues, blew my nose and dropped the tissues to the floor. I writhed so violently I slid half-out of my chair and fell to the floor on one knee. I had to grab an armrest to steady myself. I gasped for air. I could barely breathe between sobs. Snot, mucus and moisture flowed. I wept for at least five minutes. Eventually, though, I was able to return to some degree of composure.
“I know this is tough,” said Trista, when I was able to sit upright and look at her.
“It sure is,” I replied. “It’s really tough.”
Trista nodded, and we spent a few moments in silence. She didn’t even squirm in her chair.
I took another breath, and this time there weren’t any waterworks. Trista and I spent the remainder of our time together talking about all the things I had accomplished in therapy – the book, being able to get out of bed every day, finding joy working in the garden – and I nodded in agreement.
By the end of our time I had an additional insight. I realized that the intense weeping I had expressed at Trista’s goodbye proved to me that I was able to develop real feeling towards another person – deep and powerful connections beyond even those that I knew from my romances or friendships. That felt powerful.
As I left Trista’s office the last time, I felt light and happy. I knew that to feel so deeply meant that I was not only able to love, I knew I was ready to live.