My correspondent didn't feel to write
something herself in support of SBAR but her friend came through. First,
his introduction of himself, in navy,
then the story.
My name is Summum Bonum Anu Aua ("Bernie Aua" for short) and I am the webmaster for the Summum site. While I really don't like talking about myself, at the suggestion and continued encouragement of a dear friend, I broke down and put something together that tells the story of how I came to do this.
I used to teach aerobics for Bally's Fitness, and although I have stopped teaching, you'll still find me out on the aerobics floor busting a move. There's nothing like dynamic, exhaustive exercise to get the heart pumping and body moving. Besides, it's part of a complete meditation that I practice which also includes a component of mental exercise.
You see, people like you and I have and internal side in addition to our external side. The idea is to establish a balance between the two, and when you do, there is absolutely nothing more fulfilling. Based on my experiences, I would have to say the greatest thing anyone can do is practice a form of meditation that includes dynamic exercise. And from what I have come across, the Summum method is excellent bar none. It lets you dance in life.
I have a regular job like everyone else. I used to run the Online Services department of a major hard drive company. I later co-founded Digital Paths, a company that extends Internet access to wireless devices. I am now a web architect for a financial institution. The Summum web site is what I spend time on during my off hours. It's a labor of love for me and another of my fulfilling experiences.
Of course, some people find this web site quite bizarre and strange and have sent emails telling me how crazy I am. Their emails were very clear. Either they were not happy campers about what they saw and read, or they thought it was a joke. All I can do is shrug it off and chuckle. Those people are the ones who have painted themselves into a little box of bias and belief and refuse to consider the wonders and possibilities that lie beyond their world of fear and inflexibility. My suggestion: "Don't be afraid to think outside the box!"
Then there are those who are impressed by this site, for it touches something deep inside that yearns to awaken and come alive. To you I say, "You have just come across a diamond amidst a sea of ore. Don't let it pass you by."
So, if you have any comments or questions about Summum or this site, feel free to send me an email.
Now on to my story. This may bore you to death or you may find it interesting. Everything has its two sides, so I'll let you decide which side you want to be on.
I was born in 1958 of German immigrant parents and given the name Bernard George Beichert. My parents... what beautiful people they are. Sometimes when I have a bad day, I think of what my parents went through when they were young to put things in perspective. My parents experienced the destruction of World War II. They were too young to know what the war was about and were caught up in the chaos of the time. At age sixteen, my father dug trenches in an effort to help protect himself and others from the advancing Russian army. It was towards the end of the war and the Russians were approaching. My father was drafted and sent to southern Germany for training that he never completed. About a week before the war came to an end, he was told to go home by his superiors. He and his friends started walking back to their homes, homes that were hundreds of miles away. On their journey home, my father and his friends were confronted by French soldiers. Because they still had their German uniforms on, the French took them into captivity and threw my father into a prisoner of war camp. One of the Frenchmen running the POW camp had been captured by Germans and had not been treated very well. He decided to get even by taking it out on my father. My father was made to work from 5am in the morning to 10pm in the evening six days a week. On Sunday, he was allowed to have the afternoon off. Three years later, they would let him out and allow him to go home.
During the war, my mother and her family lived in an area of Germany that is now a part of Poland. The Russians were making their way closer along the Eastern Front and German families were leaving, for they knew of the horrors perpetrated by the Russians against those they captured. Mom's family headed towards an area thought to be occupied by Americans, but the Americans had pulled out and my mother and her family ended up in Czechoslavakia, an unfortunate turn of events. Czechoslavakia had just been liberated by the Russians and the Czech people disliked the Germans immensely. They disliked them so much, they took my mother and her family and were going to execute them. Each member of the family was handed a shovel and instructed to dig their grave. My mother was nine years old at the time. Imagine that. You're nine years old and you're digging your own grave. As they were digging, an army officer happened by and saw what was occurring. The officer stopped the Czechs from carrying out their execution and instructed my mother and her family to leave immediately. They hurredly left and managed to make their way back home. When Poland took over this section of Germany, her family moved to the western part of Germany. There is an irony to this story. The army officer who stopped the execution of my mother and her family was a Russian.
My father and his parents came to the U.S. in 1954 with few belongings. My mom would follow two years later. She was feeling adventurous and decided to travel to the U.S. Her family and my father's family were neighbors in Germany. My father's parents told all their friends in Germany that if anyone ever wanted to travel to the U.S., they were welcome to stay with them. So mom took them up on the offer. When they lived in Germany, mom did not care for dad at all. She says she disliked him and that "he was a show off!" But while in the U.S., things seemed to change. She fell in love with dad and they decided to get married.
My parents never really talked much about their war experiences nor did they let it bother them. There was no dysfunction in their lives as a result of their dramatic childhood experiences. They came to the U.S. like many others to build their fortunes in a land that afforded them the opportunity. They are happy people with happy spirits who chose not to dwell on their bad experiences and instead, focused on enjoying life. They both worked hard, made their modest fortunes, and raised a family of three kids.
I, my younger brother, and my younger sister were raised in a Catholic environment. We all went to Catholic elementary and highschool and attended Mass on Sundays. It was not cheap for my parents to send us to school. They could have easily sent us to public school which cost significantly less. But they chose not to for they felt our education would be better in a private school. I hated school. In elementary school, our teachers were nuns that had come over from Ireland. Boy were they strict (something that is desparately needed in today's schools -- but then if the nuns did today what they did then, they probably would be sued by some lame, unconscious parents for child abuse). Highschool was a bit more easy going, but there was still a very strong sense of discipline. After highschool, it was off to college. I look back and thank my parents for sending me to private school. It was the best thing for me.
I was indoctrinated with the Catholic religion, although I do not regret it. It has its good points. I never really felt fulfilled by what the religion offered. Mass would bore me. There were no good answers for some of the questions I had. I stopped going to Mass after highschool. Boy did my parents get upset. But they got over it. In college, questions that I had about life came more to the forefront of my consciousness. They were questions that most people have. "What am I doing?" "Where am I going?" "Who am I?" "Why am I here?" "How did everything come to be?" "What the hell is going on?" I was feeling empty. I could not let these questions just lie there unanswered. I could not ignore them. I had to do something that would bring me some answers. It bugged the hell out of me. I spent days in the university library reading books about other philosophies and other religions. I blew off my classes so that I could involve myself in this personal study. It was the first time I had ever flunked a class. In highschool, my grades were so good, I received a scholarship to the university. Although I found some common thought in my studies, I still did not find answers that I felt "cut the mustard." It was just a bit here, a piece there, nothing to put it together. No religion or philosophy could explain where God came from. Science could not explain the cause behind the creation of the universe.
In Summer 1977, Star Wars came out. For anyone who has seen Star Wars, the idea of "the Force" was the first thing I felt had some sense behind it. The idea of a universal, esoteric force behind the physical universe struck something with me. Then Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out and I thought, "How wonderful it would be to encounter some highly evolved beings that could offer some answers." I had always thought how great it would be, to be in the presence of God and listen to God explain things instead of listening to all these stories people tell about God or stories found in books. I wanted to get it from the source. Well, if I couldn't get the opportunity to be with God, I'd settle for some highly evolved beings.
I saw Close Encounters more than once. After coming out of the theater one of those times, I found someone had left a business card on the windshield of my car. On the card it said, "I have been visited by beings not of this world. You are welcome to come and hear my presentation about it at the university Thursday nights." After reading the card I thought "Whoa! This is trippy." I had heard about people who claimed they had encountered extraterrestrials and like most people, I had my doubts about their stories. I thought to myself I've got to go see this guy just for the hell of it, just to see what one of these persons is like.
The presentation was in an auditorium. It was packed with people, a few hundred I would guess. It seemed that Star Wars and Close Encounters had really fired up people's imaginations. That's why the room was so full. A gentleman came out and made his presentation. I was struck by this person. He did not come off as some type of crazy or anything I expected. He gave a very intelligent presentation about his experience. And he handled the few hecklers very well. He explained about how he was introduced to information that would assist others with their own personal development and would offer a way to develop a relationship with the source or cause of existence. He mentioned other discussions that were held for people who wanted to know more. I was so impressed with his lecture, I decided to check out these other discussions and became even more so impressed by the information and how it began to answer some questions. My God! I was getting some realistic, logical answers to my questions. It had such impact on me it was nothing less than profound. There was definitely something here and I had to investigate it. Over time, I began to realize I could find what I was looking for here and so I chose to become involved in the organization that this gentleman founded, the organization of Summum.
I would later learn a series of meditations that would lead to the one described in the Summum philosophy book. What would happen through the instruction of this meditation is nothing short of a miracle. Following the instruction, I was left with a sound that I could hear within my mind. I can only describe it as a high pitched frequency. This sound was not there before the meditation instruction. Now I found there was a distinct sound that I could hear within my mind. It is there all the time and it has been there ever since. Prior to this, during my life, there were times I would suddenly hear a high pitched frequency within my mind only to have it slowly die away. Generally, it only lasted a few seconds. I describe it as sort of an "injection," an injection of this sound that would then disappear. But now, I was hearing this sound, and it did not go away. It is there. It is permanent. It has been with me since the late 1970's.
The meditation I was instructed in involves several components, one of which is sitting quietly listening to the sound. Another component involves dynamic exercise of which I was not a stranger to. At ten years of age, I began playing soccer. At age twenty, I tried out for the U.S. Olympic Soccer team. At that time, soccer was nowhere near as big in the U.S. as it is now. I did not make the team, but it was fun trying. The local city team that I was playing for at the time had a fantastic soccer coach. Peter Morse was his name. He trained our team so hard, we hated him! I remember almost puking at one practice because he worked us so hard. Practice would involve running 5 miles just to warm up, doing extensive ball handling and conditioning skills, then running wind sprints at the end. Practice would be so hard, other players would quit the team. But a group of us stuck in there. We became the best team in the state. We had to stick together for a few years, but we did it. We entered national amateur championships. We beat national champions. It was fantastic to be able to play and experience that level of game. And it would not have happened had I not did the hard training necessary to attain that level. I could have easily left the team for another that did not train as hard and had it easy. But I didn't and I'm glad I didn't. The experience of having to train so hard, to stick it out, to not quit, went beyond just being in great physical condition. It did something to my character that I can carry with me. Looking back, it was one of the best things I went through and I'm certainly glad I stuck it through.
Back to my parents. I would get so mad at my parents when I was a kid and a teenager, and even into my twenties. It was about something that would piss me off all the time and it never failed. I couldn't believe they would do this to me all the time. What was it they did that would get me so riled? They tried to teach me responsibility! My mom kept a house that was spotless. If I didn't keep my room clean, my bed made, toys put away when not in use, I was grounded. "I work all day and you can't mow the lawn for an hour once a week!" When dad said that, I knew I was in big trouble. My dad is a bricklayer. For anyone who knows what brick masonry is like, laying block, brick, and stone, mixing "mud," building scaffolds, hauling sand and cement bags, etc., you know what physical, demanding work it is. Dad would take on side work and work on Saturdays to help pay for the expense of raising a family. From time to time, when I looked forward to playing with my friends on the weekend, my dad would take me to work to help him. Boy did this fry me.
Our house was a house of discipline. There were plenty times when a strong hand crossed paths with my butt, when I was grounded and could not play with my friends. My parents loved us and wanted the best for their kids. They tried to instill a sense of responsibility in all of us because they knew it would contribute significantly to our character and quality of life as we grew up. What's that saying? "Hindsight always has 20/20 vision." Looking back, I'm happy that my parents did what they did. And I love them for it. As a kid, I always thought that our household was normal, and was what all other households were like. I thought other parents were like my parents. Now that I'm much older, I see this is not the case. I am very fortunate to have the people I do for parents and could not have asked for anyone better.
My relationship with my parents was not always harmonious and for a lot of my life, there was tension between us. Through my involvement with Summum and through the encouragement of Summum Bonum Amen Ra ("Corky"), the founder of Summum, I was finally able to tell my dad that I loved him. Isn't it silly? A grown man having a hard time telling his dad that he loves him. Our pride sometimes gets the best of us doesn't it? I now have the best relationship with my parents I have ever had. And I owe it all to Summum and Corky. Through their help, I was able to change the condition of my mind and let go of some self created obstacles that kept me trapped. It is a wondrous, liberating feeling.
The meditation I mentioned previously does things to you. Involvment in Summum does things to you. They heighten your awareness, change your consciousness, awaken you to new levels of being, dissolve illusions we carry with us. It became so profound for me that as a further step of involvement, I decided to change my name to Summum Bonum Anu Aua. I'm still "Bernie" to my friends and for simplicity's sake I usually go by Bernie Aua, but that's my name now. I never formally told my parents, but they eventually realized what happened. My mom asked if I did not like the name she gave me. I laughed and I cried inside. I told her no, this has nothing to do with that. This was a personal, spiritual thing and there is nothing wrong with the name she gave me.
Although it has been trying at times, my overall experience with Summum is priceless and is something I would love to share with everyone. My involvement with Summum is sharing it with others when I can. That is why I took my computer knowledge and training and put together a web site for Summum. So that others might discover it, learn from it, and benefit from it like I did.
Funny thing... I always thought how nice it would be to sit and listen in the presence of God. Now I get to sit and listen to a sound that was brought forth from within me, the sound of Creation.
It seems I got my wish.