Meeting Herr Miller
A Prayer and an Answer
A week or two before Christmas, I was sitting in my meditation chair about 3 a.m. on a snowy night. There was a huge window in front of me, more than six feet square, and it looked out on trees covered with a thick blanket of snow; wet flakes fell to the moonlit ground. The snow was coming and going, clouds breaking, and the moonlight became bright and dim as the clouds moved. I could smell the old house and the clean freshness of air that leaked from outside around the window frame. I'd been meditating for a few hours, and now was just sitting in the chair, looking out at the snow, feeling quite peaceful. I said a prayer of thanks, my favorite prayer.
Then the walls of the room started to shimmer. I could see through the trees in front of me, and for miles around. My consciousness was liquid and filled with light, streaming out of me like light from a star, yet bringing back to my mind everything it touched. My heart was filled with an ecstatic joy, but there was also a small and remote part of my mind that knew that I wasn't breathing.
I wondered if I was having a heart attack, if I was dying. I could feel the snow even though it was outside and I was indoors, could taste its cold moistness, could smell the trees, the distant exhaust of cars. It was as if I was everywhere in the world all at the same moment, with the things closest to me closer than those far away. Most vividly, I could feel the life in everything around me. And that rational part of my mind whispered at me again that my heart wasn’t beating. I turned my attention to my inert body, and suddenly the entire world collapsed into a single bright point, then I was back in my body looking out the window. My heart raced, I gasped for breath, and clutched the arms of the chair.
"What was that?" I asked the air, although I intuitively knew that I’d finally found the answer to my lifelong question about the true nature of consciousness: I had just touched it.
A wave of peace flowed over me, something close to the heart of God.
"What should I do?" I said out loud;
"Wait," came the answer, a voice deep within my mind.
"I want to share this with others," I said. "I should sell my business and go out and teach again."
" Wait," came the answer a second time.
And so I waited, meditating daily and going on with my life and business, for the next three months.
As I walked past the phone it rang, and I turned and picked it up. The voice on the other end sounded distant, but was familiar.
"Thomas?" It was Don Haughey, one of Master Stanley's students, who to this day is the pastor of a small church in southern Michigan and runs a holistic healing center near Coldwater. At that time he was also a senior executive with the Holiday Inn chain, and he said he was calling from Germany.
"What's up, Don?"
" I can't tell you over the phone," he said. "It would just sound too crazy, and there isn't time. But your face just appeared in front of me not five minutes ago, and I knew I had to call you. There’s a man here you have to meet and a place you have to see. We need you and you need this: trust me."
" It's a little town in the middle of nowhere in Germany. Called Stadtsteinach. I'll pick you up tomorrow morning in Nuremberg: there's a flight you can catch tonight out of Detroit."
I started to tell Don how busy I was, and then remembered the prayer I'd just uttered. "I'll be there," I said.
Don met me the next morning at the airport, and as we drove the two-hour trip from Nuremberg to Stadtsteinach, he tried to tell me why he'd demanded I come.
"There's this man here," he said. "His name is Gottfried Miller, and he's the most extraordinary human I've ever met. If it's true that at any one time there are always a few saints on Earth, he must be one of them."
"Why?" I said. "How do you know?"
"You'll see," Don said. "You'll feel it when you meet him."