When I think of Wanja I see her standing at the sink in her home in Kaslo, golden light streaming through the window and outlining her form and measured movements. She is washing our breakfast dishes, chanting while performing this mundane task. After my master initiation in 1988, Phyllis Furumoto encouraged me to meet and learn from other masters in the Pacific Northwest of North America, where we live. She told me I would have much in common with Wanja, also a weaver, and Rick Bockner, who lived on a small island similar to that which I was soon to call home. So a year after my initiation and five months pregnant, I and my husband Lyle went on a road trip to meet masters in the Kootenays. We found hospitality with a number of masters and spent a night with Wanja. She was up early that morning chanting the Guru Gita. Years later she explained to me that this chant could be used to overcome obstacles in life and I did spend a period chanting this daily. It was so effective I now cannot recall for sure what the obstacle was that I chanted it for!
Wanja was a student of Siddha yoga, as was my husband. We did have much in common. Over the years Wanja and I met perhaps less than a dozen times, but I learned to listen for the wisdom she would impart at our meetings. She would tell a story that gave direction or an idea, or give me a useful suggestion. One story Wanja related was of Takata using an initiation as an ’emergency treatment’. Wanja explained that on occasions of great shock and injury, an initiation was very useful to restore balance. I have since used this information on a few occasions, resulting in very profound healing. I used an initiation for my mother who had a life threatening condition which I knew was due largely to shock and grief. She recovered and is living healthily at 97 years old. This use of the initiation is not to be performed often but only in extreme situations when the person involved has been overwhelmed.
The last message I received from Wanja was just months before her passing, when she commented on the beauty of a nature mandala I posted on Facebook. This connection and encouragement is a lovely parting message.
You can listen to an interview with Wanja, here. Perhaps she has a message for you today.
In Wanja’s own words, ‘Always together and sometimes we meet.”
Written November 2019