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Women Who Sleep with Their Gurus ... and Why They Love It

by Jessica Roemischer

“Kiss me . . . here,” he said with a thick Korean accent, pointing to his lightly pursed lips. He turned to make sure no one could see us as we stood just inside the front door of my house, out of sight of the neighbor who, only a few dozen feet from us, was making her way to the car. And in the private and highly charged space he created between us, although I had been far more physically attracted to other men in my life, I felt an intrigue and affirmation I had never before experienced.

I had met him just ten days earlier. When my turn came, I entered the serene atmosphere of the large open room in the meditation center that was sponsoring his visit. It was my first private audience with a spiritual teacher. Sitting on a raised dais bathed in the warm light of late afternoon, he exuded a quiet equanimity, a mysterious and powerful depth, and a penetrating clarity and insight that seemed to transcend the temporal confines of the present, reaching far back in time and far forward into the future. And there I was, kneeling before him, as he brought that power and wisdom to bear . . . on me.

What he proceeded to say so directly penetrated me, so thoroughly resonated with my own deepest knowing, that it seemed to meld with the very cells of my being. He read my deep past; he anticipated far ahead into my future. “You have done no harm in past lives and have no heavy karma to make up for,” he reassured me. “But now you must overcome all your fears. You have high spiritual ability and the chance to be a spiritual teacher in this life and to help many others through the spiritual practice I can give you.” Dams and locks in my psyche that I had not even been aware of suddenly opened, and I was flooded with the mysterious sense of my own karma—an overarching destiny and purpose that had shaped a long succession of lifetimes. A vast universe arose in my awareness, and with it a feeling of infinite potential. In that moment, the vacant and gnawing space I had grown used to living with since my youth was filled with inner knowing and certainty. And what had been a long-evasive spiritual possibility suddenly became real. In the presence of this one man, I found myself overwhelmed by unconditional love and the deepest peace I had ever known.

A week later, he asked if he could stay with me for a few days in the small house I occupied in the mountains of upstate New York. I had only one bedroom, I explained. But he insisted that he would sleep on the futon couch in the living room. On the second night, I was suddenly stricken with a bout of food poisoning, and from the bathroom I heard him ascending to the second floor. He told me to lie back on my bed. Through a mysterious combination of deep guttural chanting and hand movements in the air above me, he miraculously and almost instantaneously alleviated my discomfort. Then he took my hand in his. “You don't have to worry anymore, Jessie,” he assured me. “I will help you if you ever get sick. I'm the best health insurance you can have. May I lie next to you . . . here?” He motioned near my prone body. In a strange mixture of relief, flattery, and confusion, I said, “Okay.” And that was the beginning of my special connection with this powerful and charismatic shaman, yogi, and Zen master.

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This article is from
Our War vs Peace Issue