Before becoming a Christian, I had been deeply involved in various occult activities for about 5 years. The main occult activity I was involved in was Transcendental Meditation(TM). This is a meditation based on ancient Indian traditions and beliefs. You are given a mantra which is a Sanskrit word and taught how to repeat this inwardly to go into a meditative state. I practiced this technique for 5 years - starting off with two 20 minute meditations a day but eventually increasing to 3 hours each day. I was deeply involved in all aspects of the TM world - astrology, health regimes and I even worked for the TM organisation for 3 years. I became a Christian in 2000 and renounced my involvement in TM.
I had been a Christian for about seven years before I first came to Ellel. I had been coming to Ellel for a couple of years and done about seven courses when I decided to do Modular A. God moved in all sorts of ways but the most powerful course of the Modular school for me was the final workshop when we practised on each other.
Over the months of going to Ellel, I had started to notice that God would prepare me for what he wanted to do on the course in the days leading up to the course - this one was no exception. I had been praying one day and the Lord showed me a picture of my heart. In my heart was a throne and on that throne, was what looked like a Hindu god with extra arms.
Having seen this, I decided to find out about my TM mantra and what it meant. I did a search on the internet and discovered that my mantra 'SHIRING' was believed to be an invocation of the God Lakshmi. Having found a picture of Lakshmi, I discovered that she is depicted with extra arms! As I prayed, the Lord showed me that behind this goddess was 'me' and in effect, through bowing down to this spiritual being, I was actually worshipping myself!!
I brought this to my Ellel workshop and as we prayed about it, the Lord showed the repulsive nature of all of this. I was horrified as I saw how I had worshipped 'self' for all those years and He also showed me some of the harm it had caused to family relationships. I was deeply broken and repentant. As I wept, I knew the Lord was cleansing me of this sin.
The next day at Ellel, we shared communion and as I took the bread and wine - I was deeply broken again and wept for a long time - this was the first time my heart had really connected Jesus' death on the cross to the act of taking communion. It was beautiful, deep and intimate.
I came home and God continued His work in me. I realised that through my TM years I had been led more and more by how 'I' felt. Self-worship - this is actually acknowledged by TM teachers - they call it 'self-referral' and they see it as a good thing! The Lord taught me how to take my eyes off myself and onto Him.
The next few months were an incredible time of discovery - the first breakthrough came socially - I was so shy in certain situations that my fear would stop me from speaking to people (self-love) but He showed me how to look to Him and trust in Him and in faith, think of others and relate to them. The freedom was incredible - confidence and connection to others instead of just being wrapped up in how 'I' felt.
Since then he has begun to break other selfish behaviours and I am learning to present my body to Him as a living sacrifice. I am still seeing change from this remarkable work of God in my life - my marriage is being transformed as I write this and I am so grateful to have had a husband who has been so gracious to me over the selfish years whilst we waited for God to transform me. Thank you God and thank you Ellel for your ministry to me.
- Centre: Ellel Grange, Lancashire
- Event: Modular School