Soul to God
My Life Story
I’ve always experienced life a bit differently than most. For instance, I've never feared death because I remember dying so many times and know what comes afterward. I know that I'm Soul, having a human experience. At two years of age, I recalled my life between lives, my friends and teachers before I incarnated, and how rewarding our work was. Those memories stuck with me but made life very uncomfortable. I felt like I was trapped in a dark world and was homesick for the higher realms. At five, I began suffering from frequent nightmares of a violent past life death. At twelve, I started having past life memories of my life in Tibetan Monasteries, Japan, and India. I’ve learned to hide my abilities and experiences so that I blended in. I was quiet, careful only to share what others were prepared to understand. I realized that they were not experiencing the same thoughts and love. Otherwise, it would be impossible for them to be cruel and not care about all life.
I chose to keep my abilities and experiences under wrap until the time came when I was comfortable, and I felt more confident that the world was ready to listen. I'm not completely comfortable with sharing now, or convinced that I'm the right person to be doing this. I'd much prefer someone like Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra write this book. I feel like I'm a bit under-sized for this task, quiet and less well spoken. But I’ve kicked-the-can-down-the-road long enough. As Wayne advised, we need to share while the music is still in us. I don’t think I would be able to leave this world comfortably without writing this book. In a way, this book completes my life.
While reading Soul to God, I invite you to relax deeply into a stillness within and experience the quiet presence of a friendly being. Pay attention to the subtle inner nudges, and ideas that occur to you. Be bold enough to experiment, test your inner guidance, giving it a chance to prove itself. Don’t worry about where you are spiritually. Avoid comparing yourself to others and don’t be concerned about what you don't know. Be confident that what you need to know will come to you in its own time. Relax and grow naturally from where you are. You are in the most critical place and time—you are Here-NOW. Your path is unique—and you are unique. Rest in that.
The stories in Soul to God are not meant to convince you of my viewpoint. They are intended to entertain and be contemplations. They are not an accurate history of my life or lives. They are my honest personal perspective, and as such, personal viewpoints are always skewed by the observer. But my deepest belief is that I’m not the real observer. I believe God is the true observer through our eyes. That’s the point of this book, to begin to see through the eyes of God and feel through Its heart.
At heart, I am a skeptic and take everyone and everything with a grain-of-salt. I have deeply ingrained memories of my life as a Tibetan Buddhist Monk growing up in a Lhasa Monastery in the fourteenth century. As a part of our study, we participated in sport-like debates in an outdoor courtyard to deepen our comprehension of Buddhist doctrine in order to advance in our studies. I loved the sport of debate and was good at it. I later became a Lama instructing debate traditions to young monks.
Within these debate exercises, I taught my students how to think logically, to challenge all viewpoints, especially their own. I emphasized that we take nothing for granted in our efforts to open wide the doors to comprehension and clear perspective. I believed these open doors led to the enlightened state—Nirvana. I confess that I did not reach Nirvana in that lifetime, much to my frustration on my death bed. My last thoughts in that life were that I must use my future lives to explore other paths to realize the one, unnamed path that leads to the final liberation. Some five centuries later, here I am writing this book after experiencing lives as a Shinto Monk, Zen Buddhist, Hindu guru and pilgrim, a Hasidic Jew, a Sikh, and Christian. I never dreamed the Final Liberation I'd imagined in Tibet was just the beginning of another stage in the ongoing evolution of Soul.
The reason I’ve waited so long in writing this book is that I am that Tibetan Lama skeptic who challenges all—including himself. I see things from my viewpoint while deeply appreciating differing views. I don't assume that my position is entirely accurate or the final word, so I'm very careful in expressing my ideas. I was born with an ingrained, almost fierce, need to challenge any viewpoint that appears illogical. In my Senior year at a private, all-boys, college-prep Catholic High School, I got wind that the teaching Jesuit Brothers had created a list of trouble makers. Most of the list consisted of students who had been in fights or suspected of petty crimes. My friend, who had seen the list while he was assisting a brother in the office, told me that I was number six on the list. The Brothers’ complaint was that I openly challenged Catholic doctrine in Religion classes. I smiled when my friend told me this and inwardly thought, "YES!" Being on that list was a badge of honor to me. I dared challenge the prejudices of the status quo.
There comes a time in a person's life when they respectfully set aside the viewpoints of others to claim the freedom to express one's truth—and let the chips-fall-where-they-may. I realize my life stories are a bit fantastic. The coincidences seem implausible. One reason I’ve waited so long to write this book is that I wanted to get out of writing it. I felt that, if I were in your place, I’d find these stories too difficult to believe. I saw other, more capable spiritual teachers saying about the same thing in a more elegant way. I reasoned, my voice was unnecessary. Why risk exposing myself?
But that was an excuse—a delay tactic. I’m sixty-five, and I won’t be around forever—so here it is, Soul to God. I remember starting to write this book when I was seven. I had about ten pages done when my mother asked me what I was writing. I told her I was writing an important story about my life. She asked me how the story ended? I responded, “I don’t know—but I can’t wait to find out!” She laughed, and I realized that I didn’t have a clear plan for the book, only a trust and a sense that I had to write it. All my life, I’ve felt like I needed to document all the miracles that happened to me—not to impress or seek attention, but to share and invite the reader to discover the divine in their life.
And so, 58 years later, I'm again setting out to work on this book with a trust in God and some help from above. I’m uncomfortable calling attention to myself. I’ve always preferred to be quiet and work in the background, to channel spirit to others without them knowing. Now, I’m being asked to step up and share my thoughts, and stories of my lives, both inner and outer. I remember my guide, Cho-mon, saying to me, “We didn’t put all this work into your life for just you.”
Mike sailing off Catalina Island