The Adventures of Crane
by Richard Alan Krieger
based on "True Stories"
Table of Contents
The Blessings of the Gurus
I Almost Climbed Mt. Everest...
Note: Other stories coming soon...
The Blessings of the Gurus
I went on a trip to the Far East in 1990 to get ‘The Blessings of the Gurus’ for a ‘East Meets West Spiritual Healing Center’ that was a ‘Humanitarian Project’ to be built in California. My role at the center would be to work as a Sound Healer with my ‘Awakening Sounds Project’ of peaceful sounds ‘to gradually awaken to’ instead of the traditional ‘alarm clock’ that shocks people awake from their sleep.
The team I was a part of consisted of two other yogi students and was led by an unorthodox metaphysical yogi teacher known as Master Dick who was part of a spiritual lineage of yogi masters that connected him to both Indian Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.
Our airplane arrived in Madras, India and then we took a taxi to our hotel. Our chaotic taxi ride was like something out of an adventure movie with the action revolving around people, animals and vehicles. And they all wandered through the streets with the greatest of ease going in every direction while causally barely hitting each other and all the while they didn’t display the slightest bit of fear.
There was even a ‘stereotyped’ huge cart of hay being towed by oxen that tipped over right in front of us as part of the ‘action.’ Luckily the driver, or I should say, ’stunt driver’ quickly swerved around it at the precise moment in time that saved us from a total catastrophe.
That ride had to be one of the most ‘Wild Rides’ I had ever been on. It was even ‘wilder’ than ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”’ at ‘Disneyland!’
So after we got settled in at our hotel we began to work out our plan to find these fabled ‘Holy Men.’ But I couldn’t help but feel like I was some sort of ‘Bounty Hunter’ trying to track down these ‘Yogi Masters.’ And our mission was that much more difficult to complete since these yogis with their ‘Mystic Powers’ were known to dematerialize at a moment’s notice and then pop-up somewhere else in ‘time and space’ similar to the “Beam Me Up” concept in “Star Trek.”
Case in point, we ended up on a ‘wild goose chase’ on a train ride from the upper north to the far southern tip of India where we were told a ‘Master Guru’ was supposed to be. But upon arriving there, we were then told that he really wasn’t there after all and was now in the upper north of India where we had just come from.
We now couldn’t help but feel totally frustrated that we were ‘exercising futility’ to the ‘point of no return.’ But giving up wasn’t an option due to our strong commitment to help humanity with our project, so we jumped back on the train once again in pursuit of this ‘Elusive Guru.’ And in the end, our patience proved to be a virtue for it did indeed paid-off because we finally found the Guru at his ‘secret hideout’ in the mountains.
So we then petitioned the ‘Master Guru’ with letters for days on end for a meeting while attending his ‘marathon monotone chanting sessions’ where all his Devotees sang perfectly together out-of-tune. But the ‘drone factor’ was putting me into such a ‘Deep Sleep’ that it made me wonder if I might never wake up again. And if that were to happen, I pondered in amusement what epitaph others might then write on my tombstone… “He Died of Boredom” or better yet… “He Died in the Blissful State of Samadhi.”
One of the perks to becoming ‘Enlightened,’ was that one kept their consciousness at the time of their death. And then they transferred their consciousness into their “Rainbow Light Body.” That then becomes a vehicle with a multitude of possibilities to choose from in terms of planes of existence to where they want their soul to travel to next.
On that topic matter, I intrinsically felt that my time wasn’t near up as of yet. At the same time, I totally endorsed this Native American motto as well… “It is a good day to live… it is a good day to die… I am ready for whatever comes.”
Speaking of outcomes, the outcome of our mission to get the “Master Yogi” to endorse our project with his blessing is one that to this very day remains a “Mystery Full of Conjecture.’ According to Master Dick, he claims that he did get an audience with the ‘Master Guru’ and that the meeting went well. But if this meeting ever did take place, the result was that it amounted to nothing. For the ‘Famous ‘Holy Man’ had either run out of having enough ‘blessings’ for such a big project or... he didn’t groove with the vibes of Master Dick’s aura. And if the latter was the case, it was probably because he saw Master Dick as a ‘Wannabe Guru’ who was also a part-time ‘Con Man.’
Personally, I was having doubts if Master Dick was really a ‘Master Guru’ after all. And the reason for those doubts seriously began when he suddenly stopped acting like a ‘Master’ the moment our plane landed in India. That's when his attitude towards me began to increasingly become more hostile for no apparent reason. He would verbally attack me in a mean spirited manner whenever he could even when I’d make the most innocent of mistakes. And he would also exaggerate situations in such a distorted fashion that he’d tried to make me out to be some sort of villain. It was so shockingly bizarre his new demented personality. And to add to my shock, was that my fellow yogi students turned into cheerleaders who backed-up whatever false accusations that Master Dick would throw my way which exponentially added to my stress level.
It was as if Master Dick had now become possessed by an evil spirit who was sent from hell to make my life hell. And as hard as I tried to disregard that off-the-wall theory as being too far out… as time went on that explanation kept standing out as the only one that really made any sense. So I did the best I could to come to terms with this new very spooky, weird and disturbing situation.
Although Master Dick’s demeanor aka ‘The Mean Demon’ had become a dark cloud over my personal trip, there were still some fun times that we as a group experienced. Some of those highlighted fun times were going on a ‘Jungle Safari Boat Ride’ on a river were we saw various animals that included elephants, we rode mopeds through a futuristic organic city out in the countryside, we enjoyed swimming in a mountain river that had a waterfall and we body surfed in the ocean with sea snakes who were ‘friendly’ due to the fact that they didn’t bite us.
Our adventure then took us to the mountains below Mt. Everest to the eclectic and vibrant international city of Kathmandu, Nepal. We then travelled to a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery that was just outside of town where the monks were so kind to let us stay for a couple of weeks. They also let us observe the ‘mystical sacred chanting prayer rituals’ that they did which included complimentary ‘Yak Butter Tea.’
After our stay at the monastery, we booked a room at a downtown hotel. One morning I awoke to find that my friends had vanished into thin air like an ‘Alien Abduction’ had occurred in the middle of the night. I then came to the conclusion that they probably went into town without telling me.
So I went to town to see if I could find them. Along the way, it started to rain so I bought myself an umbrella and continued to walk down the streets on my search.
I was then lucky to see them in the back of one of the shops that sold Buddhist spiritual paintings called, ‘Thangkas.’ I then walked into the shop and waded through a maze of hanging Thangkas until I found them speaking with the shopkeeper…
Crane: Hey! What’s going on?
Master Dick: Where are our umbrellas?! It seems that you forgot to buy some for us. How inconsiderate and un-Buddha-like of you.
Crane: What are you talking about?
Master Dick: Must I explain to you everything I say?
Crane: Only when you don’t make any sense. I remember you saying that there are no stupid questions… only stupid answers.
Master Dick: What I’m trying to say is… do you want us to catch our death from pneumonia because your selfishness means so much to you?
Crane: Since your ruthless paranoid question has no validity in reality, I shall ignore it. The reason I didn’t buy a ‘bunch of umbrellas’ that were non-returnable for all of you, was that the chances were highly likely that on this rainy day that you had enough common sense to have already bought some umbrellas on your own.
Master Dick: That’s mere conjecture on your part. You should never assume. The fact of the matter is, you should have known better. Humf!
Crane: Anyway, it’s no problem, I’ll get you some umbrellas.
Master Dick: Just forget about it! It’s too late now!
Crane: It’s not too late, because it hasn’t stopped raining.
Master Dick: I wish not to talk about this ‘frivolous subject matter’ any longer!
Crane: And why is that? You brought the ‘frivolous subject matter’ up to begin with. It seems like the hostility you show towards me has nothing to do with the umbrellas whatsoever. Whatever happened to you Dick? You’re not the same friendly well-mannered guy that I once knew. It’s as if an evil entity hitchhiker has now taken over the command center of your soul and has possessed you.
Master Dick: I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.
Crane: The ‘hell’ I’m talking about is where you came from and where you’re now coming from!
Master Dick: As to answer your initial question, “What’s going on?”… What does it look like we’re doing?
Crane: Now you’re changing the subject because it’s too unconformable for you to deal with issues relating to ‘conflict resolution.’ Your diversionary tactics to avoid answering pertinent questions as such is because you’re afraid your answers might turn out to be too superfluous and or too evasive from not being able to deal with the pain that comes from what the truth represents.
Master Dick: Oh! How observant you are Master Crane. Ha! If you really must know ‘why we are here,’ we’re buying Thangkas with the money we collectively pooled together to sell back home to make a ‘big profit.’
Crane: Excuse me? There’s a ‘big problem’ with your new superficial plan.
Master Dick: And what might that be pray tell?
Crane: You somehow forgot to ask me my opinion as part of the process of making a group decision.
Master Dick: Well, since you’ve been acting like such a ‘stranger’ lately to the group…
Crane: Ha! You’re the one who’s the ‘Stranger’ here!
Master Dick: So we figured it was best to make this group decision without you considering that you were absent from the group today anyway.
Crane: And the reason that is… you are the ones who left without me this morning so I wouldn’t be able to cast my vote! And that’s wrong!
Master Dick: Now don’t you be making this out to be some sort of “Conspiracy Theory.” Hahaha!
Crane: He who is the only one to laugh at his own joke, is suspicious. For the joke then reveals that the joker is nervously laughing as a distraction to hide his own guilt.
Master Dick: Wow! Is it okay if I quote you? Hahaha!
Crane: As for your ridiculing me as a 'Conspiracy Theorist,'... the CIA weaponized the phrase ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ after the JFK assassination as an 'Official Doctrine' to help cover-up the ‘Secret Government’s Conspiracy’ that was behind the murder of our beloved president.
They debunked and delegitimized anyone who asked valid questions that were unanswered in the JFK investigation by labeling such people as being frivolous and paranoid ‘Conspiracy Theorists.’ By doing this, ‘The Powers That Be’ were able to set a precedence to where no one would dare question any of the ‘Government’s Official Narratives’ ever again for being afraid of being labeled as ‘delusional’ and or ‘crazy.’
Master Dick: That sure sounds like a 'Conspiracy Theory' to me. Hahaha!
Crane: I’ll tell you what the ‘Real Conspiracy’ is here. It’s that you all have suddenly ‘gone off the deep end’ with your ‘materialism’ that has now besmirched our ‘spiritual mission.’ And in doing so, you have just sabotaged the whole reason that we came here.
The reason why you didn’t want me to be a part of the group’s decision making process is because you knew that I wouldn’t betray our humanitarian goals like you’re doing now.
Master Dick: Your vote wouldn’t have mattered anyway because it was already overturned by the rest of us who voted unanimously against you before you woke up.
Crane: Ah yes, before I woke up to your deceitful Shenanigans that is. Ha! The ‘plot thickens’ does it not? That’s not a fair vote! Ballots are meant to be casted anonymously. Just because my fellow yogi students told you they were in favor of your ‘diabolical plan,’ that doesn’t mean that they would have actually voted that way in a private voting booth where no one is able to look over their shoulders.
Master Dick: ‘Crocodile Tears’ will find no sympathy from us here. Hahaha!
Crane: How can anyone take you seriously when you’re always laughing in ridicule at anything of significance being said? You sound like the “The Mad Hatter” on peyote tea from “Alice in Wonderland.”
Master Dick: Well… in a mad world, sometimes you have to be more mad than those who are really mad to bring back what we thought we had regarding a reality that's really bad that we no longer recognize as being real! Hahaha!
Crane: Well said, 'Mr. Mad Hatter.'
Master Dick: Thank you.
Crane: Now as I was saying… How dare you burn our noble plans to ashes! You spending our group money in this manner will now cancel our plan to visit the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala.
Master Dick: That doesn’t really matter, he comes to the States all the time, we’ll meet him there.
Crane: Oh yeah? And what about us visiting the Taj Mahal?
Master Dick: Oh that’s such a ‘tourist trap,’ order a postcard if you must.
Crane: Yeah, that’s almost like being there so I’ve heard. Most people who visit India visit the Taj Mahal for the splendor and awe that its majestic beauty inspires. It’s also considered to be one of the “Great Wonders of the World.”
Master Dick: My, my… now you sound like a ‘greedy materialist?’ Hahaha!
Crane: Listen here! I’ve seen through your reverse psychology mind games all along. But I have patiently ignored your abusive verbal assaults to try and keep the peace. Yet, that has only emboldened your rudeness. You’ve been trying to ‘gaslight’ me ever since we landed here. But you know what? I’m not the failure you’re tried to make me out to be. No, it is you who has failed! For you have failed to break my spirit and turn me into a ‘Brainwashed Zombie’ who can’t think for himself with your devious ‘Mind Control Programming!’
And you ‘Dick’… you have the audacity to call yourself a ‘Master.’ You’re not a ‘Master’ at all! The word ‘Master’ only applies to you in front of words such as… Bully, Pretentious, Arrogant, etc. You’re a mockery and a hypocrisy to what a true noble ‘Master’ is all about. Masters don’t ridicule and intimidate their students. They kindly inspire, challenge and motivate them to become ‘as one’ with their spirits so they become greater than they were before by becoming who they truly are meant to be.
I shall have nothing to do with your ‘Spiritual Supermarket Shopping Spree!’ Even if you had the decency to have asked me, the answer would have been no. We have now come to the ‘Fork in the Road’ where we part our separate ways with me taking the ‘High Road’ and you taking the ‘Low Road’ that inevitably leads to a ‘Dead End.’
So you know where I’m going to go now?
Master Dick: “Disneyland?”
Crane: I’m going to one of the most ‘Spiritual Centers of the World’… the beautiful sacred Taj Mahal!
But before I go, I have some last parting words to share with you… I leave you now not with any animosity, but only with a sense of pity that you don’t see the folly of your foolish ways which, as always, karmically you’ll have to pay for. I pray that you may sooner rather than later learn that pain doesn’t have to be your greatest teacher. That by living a life of gentle kindness and compassion… your soul shall always take you further and faster to having a fulfilling life. In contrast, your ‘False-Egos’ are now guiding you which has only one way to go, and that is to ‘Nowhere Land.’ Remember… “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
You, as well as so many others in the world today have been confused by the illusory nature of “The World of “Maya” that we find ourselves in. Nonetheless, there is great hope for the future, for as it is stated in the ancient Vedas… “This ‘Age of Darkness’ will constantly proceed in its decay until the beginning of a ‘New Era.”
May you one day find the essence of who you truly are so that you’ll be able to better contribute and serve our world.
Peace unto you
(Crane as the Narrator)
And with that statement, I was able to leave in a peaceful silence for a change instead of hearing Dick’s usual ‘Stupid Pretentious Comeback Lines.’ As I looked back over my shoulder and waved Good-bye, I noticed Dick staring at the ground perplexed and mesmerized in a deep contemplation as if he were staring into the ‘Abyss of Hell’ itself.
My words had finally reached Dick’s soul piercing through the multiple layers of protective armor that he had built around his heart after so many years. Or perhaps my words tormented the Demon to such a degree that it departed back to hell leaving Dick alone to now have to deal with the ghosts of his own past.
There is always a sense of sadness whenever one is betrayed by misguided friends who end up capitulating to their ‘Dark Shadow Personas.’ And in this case, how my friends sold their souls to ‘Commercial Materialism’ which our ‘Humanitarian Mission’ was never meant to be about.
I then proceeded to travel on my own now from Kathmandu, Nepal back to Madras, India where my return airline ticket was good from. So I got on an overcrowded bus which included some well behaved chickens sitting in seats next to the other passengers.
The bus then began to roll slowly down the mountainside into the darkness of night… The momentum of the bus rapidly increased to where it soon sped out-of-control at a breakneck speed as if the brakes no longer worked. The steep winding narrow road was treacherously full of potholes that made the bus jump ‘up and down’ like a drowning man trying to stay above the waterline. A violent ‘thunder and lightning storm’ raged with ‘flashes of lightening” coming from everywhere as the ‘rumble of the thunder’s anger’ continued to shatter our ‘rattled nerves.’ The ‘sensory overload’ that was already ‘too much to bare’ was only amplified in greater horror from the ‘abundance of fear’ that ‘relentlessly attacked us’ like a ‘machine gun’s rapid fire’ of the ‘near death experiences’ that were constantly ‘flashing before our very eyes.’ This ‘nonstop nightmare’ lasted for what ‘seemed like an eternity’…
And then… without fanfare, we all found ourselves in an eerie silence cruising smoothly on a horizontal road in the valley below the tallest mountain in the world. The contrast from ‘intense fear’ to ‘serene peace’ was surreal and mind-boggling beyond comprehension. It was almost like we had all died and our bus was now taking us through the ‘Neither Here nor There Realm of the Bardo’ that happens upon dying.
It surely was miraculous that our bus finally got to the bottom of that mountain in one piece. Then suddenly there was a ‘Loud Explosion!’ Happily, that only turned out to be a flat tire. How nice it was that the bus decided to conveniently have a flat tire at that auspicious moment in time. I then not only thanked the Lord for the ‘Miracle’ that the flat tire didn’t happen a few minutes earlier, but also that we had finally got down the mountain safely. Without a doubt had that flat tire happened earlier, it would have been curtains for everyone concerned.
They say that the Lord works in ‘Mysterious Ways’ and that certainly was the case that night that we all survived, “The Cliffhanger Mountain Ride.” (Note: The name for a future ‘Disneyland Ride?’)
As daylight began to break, I was told that we would soon be approaching the border of India. I was so relieved that my trip that was supposed to have lasted one month but turned into three was now finally coming to an end.
So the bus stopped at the border and I got off and stood in line to show my passport to the border guards. When I reached into my pocket to get my passport out, to my shock and chagrin it was not there. I could only draw the conclusion at that point that it was stolen by a thief in the night on the bus.
The result of my missing passport meant that I had to now turn around and go back to Kathmandu to get a new passport from the American Embassy. But it was just ‘another delay’ in the ‘drastic change of events’ that I had now gotten used to on a trip in which that had become the overall theme.
But this particular delay actually turned out to be a ‘Blessing in Disguise,’ for I was able to process a lot of pain and frustration that I had encountered and endured during my long trip before returning home.
For instance, the ‘pain and frustration’ that was caused by… a ‘Fake Guru’ aka ‘Master Dick’ who tormented me whenever possible, a ‘Buddy’ who pushed me towards the “Scorpion Pit” attraction at the zoo that I almost fell into, the police who tried to plant hashish on us for the extortion of money, the gem smugglers who tried to pressure us to smuggle jewels for them, the intense sickness of Dysentery near the end of my trip that I suffered from that nearly depleted me of all my vital energy, etc. (Note: Regarding my fight with Dysentery, when I finally did get back home my doctor had a hard time finding a vein to draw blood from due to the intense dehydration my body had experienced that was caused by the Dysentery. The doctor commented that I was very lucky to be alive.)
And to end my trip on a ‘High Note,’ I fulfilled the promise that I had made to myself to visit the Taj Mahal which was quite an ‘awe inspiring scared place’ to behold. For the significance of my visit there became so very symbolically important to me considering that this experience wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t stood up for myself and broken away from my former friends. It had become very clear to me that my decision to cut my ties with those people was one of the best decisions I had ever made and probably saved my life.
I finally returned to the city of Madras and waited a few days for the next available flight back to the States in a cheap hotel with my money almost running out again. I mostly slept or rested in bed for most of my stay there due to my bout with Dysentery that was increasing in intensity and draining me of what little life force I had left.
Then the blessed day came for me to leave for the airport in a tiny 3-wheeler taxi that was waiting outside the hotel. In a daze from my sickness I feebly went up to the front desk in the lobby of the hotel to pay my bill. But to my complete surprise, the manager of the hotel was now outrageously claiming that I owed him a much greater sum of money than the bill that we had agreed upon days earlier. As our argument grew louder, I noticed an angry mob of people starting to gather out front staring in at me in the lobby. At that point I began to realize that I was being set up for some sort of royal scam.
I then slammed my money down on the desk that I originally owed and quickly grabbed my backpack and ran out the door with the manager chasing after me. The crowd was now angrily yelling at me and tugging at my backpack trying to stop me from leaving. I then somehow fought them off with one hand as I tightly held my backpack in the other and then jumped into the taxi and hightailed it out of there as the ‘Last Nightmare’ for my trip’s ‘Grand Finale.’
In closing, my trip ultimately became a ‘testament and statement’ for my ‘soul’s spiritual growth’ and was a ‘glorious victory’ for me to have overcome so many ‘trials & tribulations.’ For I now realized that I had the courage within me to be able to survive whatever tough circumstances may come my way in life.
I also found great inspiration from the majority of people whom I came in contact with. Their great compassion and humility had a great impact on me. The many acts of kindness that they all shared so freely helped me realize that each act of kindness given every day no matter how big or small is truly the essence of what ‘Being a Humanitarian’ is all about.