How I Found the Teachings

By Ana Maria Dean

I was brought up Catholic and, in particular, my mother’s family was very devoted to Mother Mary. The women said the Rosary in the morning and at noon. Then, in the evening before going to bed, the whole family would say the Rosary. When I was about three years old, my grandmother taught me the prayer, “The Magnificat.” Every night until I was in my twenties, I said it faithfully with such joy in my heart as I made that conscious connection with Mother Mary and “God.” So, I grew up experiencing great devotion to God and the Saints, yet, I remember when I was about twelve years old, I did not feel satisfied with just going to Mass or services. It seemed to me that there was something missing – but, I did not know what that was.

Anna Maria and two friends at SU in Darjeeling India - 2015
Anna Maria (right) and two friends, Vivian (L) and Nancy (C), at SU in Darjeeling India – 2015

When I was thirteen, I decided I wanted to be a saint. I thought that becoming a “saint” was a “normal” goal and didn’t think much about it. I would think about my life every day, correct my mistakes, pray and strive to be as good and kind as I was capable of at that age. As I grew up, it became more difficult to be good and kind, especially when my school companions would want to do something that we weren’t supposed to do, or, when they would decide to be mean to me or someone else. But, by God’s grace, I quietly continued with my plan and came to realize that my friends did not believe the same things I did and eventually, it turns out they thought I was “too different.”

When I was in high school, I figured out part of what was missing from the religious life my family and I were following – the services and priests did not have enough “fire of God!” As I turned seventeen, I announced to my bewildered parents that I was not going to return to the Catholic services anymore because I did not feel the fire of God there! My parents listened to me, but I think they did not know what I meant by the word “fire.” Looking back at that time now, I imagine they thought it was just a phase I was going through. What I said was true to me, I did not feel the Presence of God or His fire in those places or in those people.

As I turned eighteen, I felt “ancient” – like I had been on this earth too long already – and could no longer bear living with the vacuum in my heart. My search for God began by reading and studying about different world religions and going to “new age” lectures about spirituality. As I learned about Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism, I found that I loved God in those religions, too.

One day, the Summit Lighthouse was giving a lecture at my college about the Ascended Masters and the I AM Presence. My boyfriend and I attended the class. I thought it was very interesting and my boyfriend thought it was strange and maybe given by a cult. I promptly forgot about it and went about my life. My boyfriend and I separated and I was living by myself for many months. It was peaceful – I would work, study and meditate.

One weekend, my aunt asked me to go with her to a “Psychic-Spiritual Fair” in San Francisco. I enthusiastically went – eager to search some more for the elusive “fire of God.” While there, I found the Summit Lighthouse book stall full of wonderful books, pictures and cassettes about the Teachings of the Ascended Masters. I was drawn to the book, The Chela and the Path, by the Ascended Master El Morya. I felt so excited and could not wait to see if this was the book that had the mystical answer to my quest. That night, I started to read the book before going to sleep. Upon reading just the first paragraph, I felt such joy in my heart – somehow, I recognized the voice speaking through the words. I cried myself to sleep after the first chapter – I had found the “key” to the “fire of God” that I was looking for.

A few weeks later, I attended “the Ascension Retreat” in San Francisco. As I walked in, the attendees were saying some high speed mantras – all I heard was “OOOOMMMMMMM, OOOOOOMMMM, OOOOMMMM” for a long time. I was sooo happy – even though I couldn’t understand the words, they were saying mantras with the “fire of God!” Later on, I discovered they were doing 144 Cyclopeas. Soon after, Guru Ma, started her lecture on “the Ascension Dossier” and I could “hear” the “fire of God” in her voice! I kept on thinking, who is this lady??!!

During the break, they played a slideshow of Lord Shiva and sang the bhajans, “Nataraja.” I had wanted to find a religion or spiritual practice that included Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity and also devotion for the Divine Mother – it was all there and it was real! For that whole retreat I was “in heaven on earth” and I did not want it to end. After, I continued attending classes and lectures at the San Francisco Teaching Center and quickly started living the life of a Keeper of the Flame.

In hindsight, I realize that the devotion to Mother Mary prepared my heart for a spiritual life. Now, I say prayers, decrees, mantras, a rosary and sometimes “the Magnificat.” Perhaps, attending that first lecture during college “planted the seed” to find the Teachings – I didn’t recognize them at the time. By God’s grace, the Ascended Masters were patient and allowed me to find them at a weekend “Psychic-Spiritual Fair” three years later.

The Teachings of the Ascended Masters have been a profound part of my life ever since the first encounter 36 years ago with beloved El Morya in The Chela and the Path. To know and feel that “the Presence of God” is with me and is me, that the fire of God is in my heart, and to be able to speak and pray with that fire, is the most amazing experience. I Am deeply grateful to God and to the Ascended Masters that I did not have to search for my whole life to find “the fire of God.”

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