My first visit to Julian Lee was in Oct 2007 – almost 10 years ago. The visit was roughly 2 years after I’d started to contribute audio and technical help to celibacy.info. The website is a refuge for men seeking support and spiritual insight into the practice of bramacharya (celibacy) as well as meditation and Yoga (God union.)
From my online connections with Julian at this point, I was already showing signs of shaktipat and kriyas (automatic yogic bodily movements.) My connection to Julian was profound even without meeting in person. Julian’s voice and presence was a powerful thing to me. Something that gave me hope and took me to a Divine place. It was a refuge. Eventually Julian’s voice alone would induce yogic kriyas and progress in meditation. This is how God catches eager seekers: there was a person now in my world whose voice and presence could bring me closer to God and give meditation progress. This is how the Guru principle works, and will always work.
Still though, at this point, we hadn’t met…
I flew to Ojai, California on Oct 12th, 2007. I was leaving a lot behind in the UK and headed to California in true adventurer style with practically no money to support my future. I had full faith in what I was doing and laid all my chips down in the potential fruits of staying with Julian, who had affected me so much from across the ocean.
It was a beautiful thing to finally meet Julian Lee. I got off the plane in a tiny California airport. I saw him from a distance and walked towards him pulling my small luggage. He had a huge smile on his face and greeted me with open arms. He applied some ash to my forehead immediately. Clearly delighted at my arrival, he sang a little chant in celebration as he wheeled my luggage to his car. It was raining too, for the first time in 9 months during a Cali drought. A moment in my life I’ll never forget!
Something that is incredible about spiritual and saintly people, is that everything they do – including their moods and emotions – become magnified. They become “more than human” as it were. If Julian was happy, his joy would fill the air and atmosphere much more than any other person. Likewise that was also the case if he was upset or angry (and it’s perfectly fine for a spiritual person to be upset or angry) So when he greeted me at the airport, I was knocked over by his larger-than-life joy in that moment.
The drive back to his home in Ojai was fairly long. He started to speak a lot about his personal spiritual experiences going back many years, starting with his Guru, Yogananda. Many stories and anecdotes that he had chosen to not write to me were conveyed during my visits, and starting in the first drive back to his home. They would sometimes put me into deep meditations and visions. His initiation into the Babaji/Yogananda lineage is incredible, and maybe unprecedented in the west.
A few days passed and we had settled into a routine of meditation at night, sometimes also in the morning. There were visits to the local coffee shops to plan and discuss brotherhood activities, website work, updating celibacy.info. Julian is always working on something to promote bramacharya and meditation, or something to uplift people via his websites. His mind is always focused on these things, expressing a deep urge to help men in this age of porn and excess. It was inspiring to be around him and see the dedication.
His vision has been to create households of men striving for celibacy and meditation. These brothers share resources, inspire each other, they participate in street teaching activities, building websites etc. I had arrived in California to share in this goal and make it a reality. Julian had the fun idea of one night a week being “movie night”. Brothers would relax and watch a decent movie
Julian had an old couch which was previously a spot for him for meditation. He had an old CRT television which he set up in front of the couch. We planned to watch the movie Merlin. I was in one of those blissful moods, grateful to be sat next to a saint who hears Om. As mentioned before, I had experienced Yogic kriyas prior to my stay in California, but only very sporadic jolts and inelegant movements. (Yogic Kriyas are spontaneous bodily movements, initiated by shakti (spiritual energy) to cleanse karmas and anything obstructing spiritual progress.)
Julian and I had settled on the couch to watch the movie. Early on into the film I noticed a kind of heat or energy building at the base of my spine. I didn’t think much of it, and focused on the movie. Asides from the distraction of this sensation, I was also caught up in feelings of devotion to the Lord for paving the way for all this to happen. I was extremely grateful for the situation I was in.
Then out of nowhere, my right arm started to lift up and move elegantly, without my conscious will. It was a strange but beautiful feeling. I could feel my body charged with some kind of energy and it was moving my arm upwards, and then down, then back up. But very slowly and in such a graceful way that I couldn’t execute if I tried myself. Julian noticed the movement and started to watch intently without saying much; as if he knew what was happening but wanted to let it unfold more before addressing it. Both my arms started to move exotically, with my fingers taking shape into mudras. Our attention was completely away from the movie at this point as the movements unfolded. My body swayed left and right and the movements in my arms sped into a kind of dance. Julian stepped away from the couch and began to pranam at my movements. He could have gloated and said something to take credit for it, because clearly his shakti had taken a hold of me and were causing the movements. Instead, he got on his knees and bowed to Divine Goddess shakti (as he called it)
I was in an incredible situation of performing elegant movements inspired by divine shakti, and my Guru sat before me bowing to the movements as they unfolded. At this point I was moving so much. Most of the movements I can’t describe. My arms and fingers were dancing in ways I didn’t think possible. My body started to go into classic hatha yoga positions. I had no idea what these positions were or how to do them, yet I was doing them spontaneously via the shakti. It’s pretty clear now, to Julian and myself, that this is where all the hatha yoga positions and mudras came from. They came spontaneously from the shakti itself and were passed on for others to purify their bodies.
From that night on these signs of Shakti and bodily movements would continue. More so in times of meditation at Julian’s apt and it became a night-time ritual to observe the movements and watch them unfold. Other times I would simply feel the intense Shakti at the base of spine. Sometimes I’d be working on some media or video for the Brotherhood and Julian would come nearby to see what was happening or to help with a problem. I’d feel a charge of Shakti if he came nearby to troubleshoot with me. Kind of like electricity, but a cool spiritual sensation through the body. The incredible thing about the Guru principle is sheer speed of progress you can make in meditation just by being around someone already steeped in meditation progress. You don’t need much, outside of chastity, faith and devotion. If you sit with an advanced yogi with love and respect, his meditation will transmit to you. You don’t have to sit on a mountain top in a fancy pose and struggle alone. In fact that’s a terrible approach to meditation. it’s all about the attitude, faith and devotion. Then chastity, and finding a real Guru.