16 May 2000 – How I joined the WTT
An Indian friend wrote me a comment on the last blogpost and added, “Please keep sharing your experiences in the path, as much as you are permitted to.” So I will pick up his proposal. This blogpost is about another crucial time in my life.
Precisely 14 years ago, from 16 to 21 May 2000, a seminar of the World Teacher Trust (WTT) with Sri Kumar was scheduled in Kandersteg in the Swiss Alps around Taurus full moon (18 May). The location is about 70 km from where I am living.
End of April I had left, or was thrown out of a group where I had been for over 10 years, but this is another story. For me it has been a challenging and partly traumatizing time. The last 3 years I had been in contact with Sri Kumar and the WTT, together with the other group. The group rules, however, did not allow me to follow another group.
Now I was free. I wanted to participate in the seminar but felt uncertain if I might be permitted. Tiziana, who was organizing the seminar, said to me, “You come!”
When I entered the seminar hotel, Jesús, Tiziana’s husband, was in front of the staircase with an armchair and asked me: “Can you help me carrying it up?” I took the armchair and followed him up the stairs. We went along a corridor until he opened a door. We entered.
To my utter surprise there was Sri Kumar sitting in an armchair, just like the one I was carrying. “Welcome”, he said with a smile. And pointing to the armchair which I was still holding, “Please sit down.”
I wanted to tell him that I just had left the other group. He answered, “Yes I know”, explaining me some things about the backgrounds. “But here you are warmly welcomed.” He continued telling that at the seminar he doesn’t have much time but invited my wife and me to meet him in Zurich, at the home of Tiziana and Jesús, after his return from the May Call seminar in Iguaçu, Brazil. From this moment on I felt part of the WTT family. It had taken me 19 years from my first hearing about it until that point. It was not something outer that happened, something had touched me to the innermost core. I felt that many different strands of my life met in synthesis, a feeling of coming home. Though in the course of the coming years there were many challenging situations and crises, this innermost touch stayed.
After the seminar I thought of starting a WTT-group in Berne. I intended to ask Sri Kumar for a name but also wanted to start the group on May Call Day, 29 May. So I took “Circle of Good Will” as a provisional name, feeling inspiring by the Indian project of the same name. On 29 May I registered a postal account in this name, as a physical anchoring of the future group.
When beginning of June I met Sri Kumar in Zurich, he suggested that we should stay with this name, being a very good inspiration. I asked him, “We are just 2 persons – is it a group?” He answered, “I am the third one.” That is how the Circle of Good Will started.
He further proposed that I should do a monthly newsletter to come out for full moon. When I sent him a draft about the “Full Moon Round-Letters” some days later, he answered, “You decide, I am behind you.”
So with Leo 2000 the first newsletter came out. From the beginning it was a monthly mailing and a page on the newly created website (here a historical view from the internet archives of the Way Back Machine). For 4 years I wrote about the qualities of the zodiacal signs on the basis of the teachings of the WTT. In February 2004 I suggested to open the newsletter to more general spiritual topics and he gave the name “The Lunar Messenger“. They started with Leo 2004.
From the beginning, I wrote the newsletters in German and translated them to English. Autumn 2000, a 84 years old group member from Argentina, a former military and a very focused spiritual person, contacted me and proposed to do the Spanish translation. I was very much impressed by his clarity and directness. He did the translations for 9 months, before his eyesight receded and a member from Miami took on the job till today. And 2 years later, a French translation started. For some time there was even a Russian translation an a few Bulgarian issues. All the texts are published here. And with the blessing of Sri Kumar you find them also as Wisdom Teachings on the WTT-website since January 2014.
Extract from a group photo with Sri Kumar and his wife Kumari, Mt. Rigi, 1999. Somewhere you see my wife and children, and me.