My name is KatRama Brooks and at 64 my spirit moves me to share my spiritual journey from deep within my heart.
I have been through a childhood filled with prejudice and hate, war and revolutions. Born in Vienna Austria shortly before the outbreak of World War II, my twin sister and I were only two years old when the Nazis began a brutal occupation of Austria. My father, a Jewish haberdasher, was arrested, but talked his way out of a prison holding cell where he was destined for the concentration camps, (a long story). We barely escaped and fled by freighter, penniless, to Shanghai China. We were brought up in the slums of Shanghai where my father found work as a tailor. Though we escaped the war on one front, we lived through constant air raids as American planes bombed Japanese occupied China.
In 1947, when I was 11 years old the Communists gained control of China. We fled once again, this time to La Paz, Bolivia, where revolutions replaced air raids. By now I had learned valuable survival skills. Finally in the early 50’s our family was granted the immeasurable gift of immigration to America. We settled in Los Angeles.
With all this behind me and going on age 16, I finally had time to live a life that wasn’t focused on survival. However all the larger issues and questions about life came up for me:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What is my life purpose?
Why did all those other Jewish people get killed?
Why were our lives spared?
Is there a God, a higher power, or someone watching over me?
After seeing so much hatred, inhumanity, and bloodshed, I seriously doubted the existence of a God. I did, however feel that there was someone watching over me. These questions haunted me as I descended into the dark world of drugs and alcohol–feeling hopeless despair, depression, confusion, often thinking of suicide–never suspecting that all this would eventually bring me to clarity, inspiration, and open the gateway to my spirituality.
When I was 31 years old I had a terrible skiing accident and was laid up in a cast to my waist, unable to walk or to continue in the fast lane of drugs and running from myself. I was forced to be still and deeply reflect upon my life. I began searching deeply within for answers. It was during this time of convalescence that a friend talked to me about Buddhism and the power of chanting, “Nam myo-ho renge kyo.”
I was open to trying anything that would alleviate my aching heart and confused mind. I began to read the Buddhist material my friend left with me. As I started to read the Buddhist teachings, a powerful light went on and I knew then that my life was to take a drastic change. I would never be the same again. I had found a big piece of my raison d’etre. It was like suddenly my life made sense.
I started chanting and practicing Buddhism. Like a cool soothing waterfall washing over my wounds, I felt my heart open, a sense of calmness and peace wash over me. I realized that what I had been searching for all along was not outside myself, but anchored deep within the center of my being. It had always been there waiting for me to remember. The doctors told me I’d be laid up for at least 8 months. However, I was back on my feet within 4 months. This was just the beginning of my journey.
Seven years after becoming a Buddhist, I found my husband in bed with my best friend. Needless to say I was filled with such rage. I wanted to kill them both. However, this incident was a powerful turning point in my spiritual growth. My spiritual guide came in loud and clear and asked me to look deeper within and find my part in in this drama of betrayal. I began a chanting marathon at 6:00 PM.
On that unforgettable Friday evening, I chanted for hours and hours asking for insight into my co-creation of this drama. All I wanted was for the pain and the hatred to dissolve. I lost total track of time, staying present in every moment as I fused with the sound of the mantra, “Nam myo-ho renge kyo.” At some point during my chanting marathon something extraordinary took place. It was my first mystical experience.
My small meditation room, which was only lit by 2 candles, suddenly exploded into a vast space filled with golden light, pulsating with an energy that felt like soft meteor showers coming down on me and all around me. I felt the whole house I was in expand to an infinite size. I felt myself expand beyond any boundaries I’ve ever known.
In this state of vast beingness I became love, forgiveness, understanding, compassion and peace. I don’t exactly know how long I remained in this state of total bliss. I do know that when it finally subsided, the sun was rising to the east where I was facing my altar. That day, I felt was the true beginning of my spiritual awakening.
Since then, my journey has been one of continuously remembering to trust and follow my spirit without hesitation. My life drastically changed after that. I studied Esoteric Astrology, and the intricate ways energy flows. I found my intuitive powers came through for every challenging decision I had to make. This lead me to use “toning” to direct the power of sound into blockages in the body, mind, and emotions.
I am now living in Kauai, Hawaii, one of the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands. I am a professional astrologer and have a bi-monthly TV show on Astrology with my soul mate and partner, who is the videographer and co-creator of the show. The content of the show has an uplifting and inspirational message. We air the program on cable access stations here and in Portland, Oregon so far. This is my gift to the community. I am also an ordained non-denominational minister and have a wedding coordinating business. I love getting to do ceremony and ritual as one of many passions I have in life.
My favorite saying is:
“The entire universe re-creates itself to
accommodate your picture of reality”
Love and hugs,
Copyright © 2000 by KatRama Brooks