How Do You Raise an Awakened Child in an Unconscious World? The birth of a child avatar should be a cause for celebration, but twentysomething Maggie Langford finds that sheltering Anna’s sanctity from the intrusion of the outside world is her first priority. She wants to allow this “great soul” to develop her full spiritual potential, but others like Maggie’s Hindu guru want to enlist her to promote their own agendas. As Anna grows, so do the challenges. How do you tell a child who can heal any injury or disease that she must do it quietly, or not at all? Fortunately, Maggie can rely on Joseph, the child’s spirit guide, for advice. Anna periodically whisks them away to his “astral park” for consultations. Exposed to Anna’s elevated energy, Maggie flourishes and becomes a bestselling children’s book author. They live a cloistered life until Child Services is alerted. Maggie becomes certified to homeschool her child and other Hindu children and all is well, until Anna transports the class to Joseph’s astral park amidst a dispute about the Bhagavad Gita. When alarmed parents are told of this “excursion,” Maggie and Anna are summoned to a meeting with the School Board, a confrontation that could make Anna’s elevated being public knowledge. Maggie’s worst nightmare could be about to take place...
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About the Author
John Nelson is a former editorial director, and now owner of Bookworks Ltd. Prior to this he was editorial director of Bear & Company and Inner Oceans Publishing. John is a prolific author of sci-fi and spiritual fiction and non-fiction, including novels I, Human, Starborn and the award winning divination guide The Magic Mirror. Born on the East Coast of the USA, John now lives in Hawaii.
Read an Excerpt
When asked years later about the pregnancy and birth of her daughter Anna by dreamy inquirers expecting to hear sacred tales with celestial harbingers, Maggie would laugh and irreverently tell them, "It wasn't an immaculate conception, for sure," although her guru did foretell Anna's birth and sanctity. Actually, if her unborn baby's ability to talk to her was a sign of her elevated spiritual status, there was also that to consider. So they would smile indulgently at Maggie and glance at each other with doubtful looks to remind themselves that holy water can be carried by tainted vessels.
Such zealots were rarely in tune with her daughter's presence as a child and later in life, for Anna was the most "present" and least starry-eyed person she had ever known, and Maggie had met a few on her own spiritual journey. This may seem surprising given the mystical trance states that Anna so readily came to occupy and which first drew attention to her as an awakened child. To illustrate this point, Maggie loved to tell the story of coming upon her two-year-old daughter in a trance state and being mesmerized by the child's saintly aura, only to have Anna tell Maggie, with her eyes still closed and her trance undisturbed, "Mama, water boiling."
Maggie had been unprepared for the arrival of any child, not least one with Anna's spiritual lineage. She had been visiting her guru Ma hi' Ma's ashram in Northern California for the Hindu Maha Shivaratri festival in mid-March, or the great night of Lord Shiva. There she met Thomas, a Kundalini Yoga teacher from Seattle. He was tall and thin with a mop of curly brown hair and as limber and sexy as a feline. Maggie was immediately attracted to him. She attended one of his classes, and when Thomas's delicate hands touched her to correct a posture, Maggie felt surges of energy running up and down her body. Lithe and below average height, she was light-haired with green eyes and a heart-shaped pixie face, and drew a lot of male attention. While some teachers are known to activate the kundalini energy in their students, Thomas was not that advanced of a practitioner. This was due more to Maggie's sexual response than to any transference of Shakti. She had been celibate for a while from a lack of opportunity and disposition but recognized the stimulated energy. The attraction was mutual as Thomas found the need to constantly adjust her postures that first session. Finally, one of the other female students petulantly told them to "get a room, will you?"
This stifled their budding relationship as they avoided each other for the rest of the week. It was a large ashram and there were many religious activities to keep them occupied and apart. But, as fate would have it, the following Saturday the two of them found themselves sitting across from each other in the wide meditation circle surrounding their guru during the early-evening satsang. They tried to focus on her discourse, but inevitably their eyes came to rest on each other, and Maggie became noticeably flushed by this eye exchange. That night a group of them headed over the mountain to Santa Rosa for dinner and spiritual discussion before their one-day fast. Thomas arranged to sit next to Maggie at the long dinner table, and they talked to each other exchanging personal histories and spiritual perspectives and rarely took part in the general discussion.
"Do you paint with oil on canvas?" Thomas asked at one point.
"I'm more into watercolors and depictions of mystical landscapes."
"A budding Turner?" he teased.
Maggie smiled. "A budding Langford."
Thomas laughed. "I like that. A woman claiming her power."
Maggie nodded her head in appreciation, but she had to cross her legs to manage the stirring energy. At the end of the night, it became obvious to all that Thomas and Maggie needed to spend more time together, so those who came with Thomas in his van stuffed themselves into the other van and drove back to the ashram. The two of them sat in the van's bucket seats in the parking lot talking until two o'clock in the morning, while Maggie waited for him to make the first move. Finally her alluring smiles drew the desired response; Thomas blew up an air mattress and they made love in the back of the van.
They used condoms the first two times, but that was all Thomas could scare up, and stores were closed at this hour. Knowing her monthly cycle, Maggie figured it was safe to continue; she just couldn't get enough of him, or was something else driving this coupling, she would soon wonder? They made love again, and the intensity of their sexual congress created a perceptible glow around them both. Finally, they fell asleep wrapped around each other on the air mattress with a blanket flung over them. Their tryst ended rather abruptly hours later when a cop pounded his fist on the side of the van and told them to move on. They hurriedly dressed and drove back to the ashram in time for morning prayers. At the convocation hall, they entered separately five minutes apart, and didn't seem to draw anybody's interest. But, at morning satsang, Ma hi' Ma was answering a young woman's inquiry when she abruptly stopped, scanned the room, and her eyes came to rest on Maggie. The intensity of that long stare did attract attention, and she soon found the assembly gawking at her. Was this the ashram's equivalent of The Scarlet Letter?
Ma hi' Ma smiled and closed her eyes, swaying in her customary ecstatic trance state, which lasted some thirty minutes and at least drew attention away from Maggie back to their guru. At noon prayers, one of those chosen to attend to Guru summoned Maggie to an audience with her. Oh shit, she thought. Now I'm going to hear it. She followed after Prema, a waiflike creature who seemed to walk on air, and once again all eyes were focused on her. Their guru lived in the main house, or the Palace as everyone called it — a converted plantation house with white Dorian columns, high ceilings and massive windows, all impeccably kept clean. The ceiling of the temple room had been converted into a dome shape with skylights, its pine wood floors covered with Persian rugs and embroidered pillows with Hindu art. Ma hi' Ma sat atop a small mountain of them and smiled at Maggie, who gingerly made her approach with hands in folded prayer mode and her head bowed. Her guru was a Westerner, actually from Boston and of Irish descent, and while she had lost her Southey accent, she still retained the direct manner of a street fighter.
"Sit down, child," she told her.
Guru looked around the room, and her attendants all stood and marched out, closing the high double doors behind them.
"You look tired," Guru said.
Maggie had never spoken directly to her and wasn't sure if she was meant to reply.
"Has the cat got your tongue?"
Maggie glanced up. "We went to dinner last night and I ... stayed up late."
Her guru smiled knowingly. "Yes, very late." She paused. "Get some rest before tonight's meditation."
"I have detected a spiritual presence around you, a soul that wishes to enter." She paused. "You are single, are you not?"
"Yes, Ma," Maggie replied, as she had heard others address their guru.
"This is a great soul and I would suggest that, if you are willing, to find a consort ... if you haven't already," Ma said with a coy smile, "since I'm sure neither of us believes in immaculate conceptions."
"Yes, Ma." Maggie looked down. So did Guru know of last night's indiscretion, and did she get pregnant by a man she hardly knew? And not just any baby, a great soul. Oh boy, she thought, almost grinding her teeth.
Ma paused for a moment, closed her eyes, and then laughed to herself. "You will name her Anna, and we will see what will come of this most auspicious opening for you."
Maggie raised her eyes but did not speak, somewhat overwhelmed by the import of this directive.
"That will be all, child. We will be in touch, and if you have any needs, make us aware of them, and they will be taken care of."
Maggie stood up to leave, sensing she was being dismissed.
"One more thing. If you are not a vegetarian, during your pregnancy maintain a strict vegan diet, or ... you will regret it." Maggie glanced up and expected a penetrating stare to accompany this admonishment, but Ma had already closed her eyes and slipped back into a meditative state.
When Maggie missed her next period, she did a home pregnancy test. It was positive. She expected nothing less, although she had hoped otherwise, if only briefly. It wasn't as much due to Ma's premonition as it was her own inner awareness. She was already linked with Anna and began to hear her unborn daughter speaking to her in the first weeks of her pregnancy, especially given Guru's warning regarding diet. This was a bit overwhelming at first, but Maggie would reply orally and figured her daughter got the message. When inquiring about food selections at a health food store, another shopper asked if she was talking to herself.
"I do it all the time," she reassured Maggie.
"No, I was listening to my unborn daughter who claims to be a vegan. Jesus," she blurted out before she could catch herself.
The woman was startled by this reply and hurriedly pushed her cart down the aisle. What did she expect? Maggie wondered. This was San Luis Obispo, California, not Cleveland. But she was a bit beleaguered by her situation, and for now appearances were the least of her concerns. How do you prepare for the birth of a "great soul"? she asked herself repeatedly. Maggie was already a vegetarian and celibate, or had been until her one-night stand with Thomas, and while she meditated daily and did yoga, she was definitely no saint. Well, she was who she was and Anna had chosen her for a reason, or so she reassured herself.
When Maggie went for her first prenatal checkup, Dr. Ross Martin asked if she wanted to schedule an ultrasound on the four-month visit to check on the baby's sex.
"Oh, it's girl. No need," she said.
The doctor and nurse looked at each other questioningly.
"That's your sense of it?" he asked.
"Well, it's what she tells me."
"You talk to your unborn child?" he asked with concern.
"More like she talks to me. Can you believe that?" Maggie said, shaking her head.
Again the doctor and his nurse exchanged looks, and Maggie could almost read their minds: "Hormonal."
On the way out, the receptionist asked her to fill in the father's name on a maternity form. Maggie wrote: Thomas, the Kundalini Yoga teacher. When asked for more details, she simply replied, "I heard he moved to India. No luck for me finding him there."
Shortly after her return from the ashram, Maggie started receiving a $2,000 check every month from a J. Edwards, an attorney with offices in San Francisco. She checked the ashram's website, and he was on their board of directors, and so Ma hi' Ma was indeed "watching out" for her as she had promised. This would come in handy.
When Maggie returned from summer vacation for the new school year definitely pregnant, the principal at her elementary school called her in for a consultation.
"Maggie, I wish you would've let us know you were pregnant," Mrs. Phillips said, as she sipped her morning tea. She was in her fifties, rather dowdy, with elaborate eyeglasses and a shiny-beaded neck cord.
"I was going to say something once I got settled in."
"As you can imagine, we're a little taken aback, given that you're unmarried," Phillips said.
"Is that going to be a problem?" Maggie asked, trying to keep her voice even-tempered.
"Well, not if you get married."
"No chance of that," she replied. Six months later, and Thomas had not even emailed her.
The principal nodded and continued, as if she had expected this response. "Well, I believe the teacher's union will back you, but the school superintendent does have a problem with you teaching grade-school children given your ... condition."
"There's not much need for an arts and craft teacher at the high school level."
"No, I wouldn't imagine."
"Well, what do you suggest?" Maggie asked.
"We were thinking that you could take one month of paid sick leave and start your maternity leave one month early."
"Fine with me. That'll give me a month to get my classes started on projects, and the substitute can take it from there."
"I've always liked you, Maggie, and I respect that you're going to have this baby. Will you being giving it up for adoption?"
"I wish," she laughed, and felt a sharp pang in reply. "Ow, that hurt," she said, glancing down at her slightly bulging abdomen.
Mrs. Phillips smiled indulgently. Another reason she wanted to take quick action was due to the rumors circulating around town about Maggie's "state of mind," which this episode only confirmed.
"Good. I'm glad that's settled," the principal said and stood up. As she walked Maggie to the door, she added, "I hope that you can keep this between us."
"Sure. I'm glad for the extra paid time."
Mrs. Phillips smiled. "We'll get the paperwork together."
Maggie should have had J. Edwards examine the early maternity-leave papers she signed two weeks later. She wasn't feeling well that day and didn't read through the document. After she took the sick leave, her monthly paycheck was deposited into her checking account as always, but the next month she received a two-month severance package. When she read the document, Maggie found that she had unwittingly agreed to resign her position to focus on a "difficult pregnancy." She could have protested this blatant subterfuge with the teacher's union, but given that she had been able to bank Guru's monthly stipend and live on her teacher's salary for the last seven months, she decided to just drop it. She could always find another teaching job elsewhere, and preferred not to continue working for people who could be so dishonest. Maggie was not surprised to learn the following year that the superintendent and Mrs. Phillips, who had been conducting an illicit affair, were both relieved of their positions. Instant karma, she thought.CHAPTER 2
Maggie's parents had been hardly outraged by their daughter's unwed pregnancy or by her wish to have the baby and raise it herself. Her father, Mark Langford, was a professor of medieval history at UC Santa Barbara, and her mother, Grace, was a housewife and an artist — an abstract impressionist, or so she called herself. They had two daughters. Maggie's older sister Jill was married to an architect and they lived with their son in Iowa. She was never close to her, and their temperaments couldn't be any more different. Jill had studied mathematics at Berkeley and Maggie art, and while they were in school together for one year before she graduated, they had rarely spent time together. Jill was the head of the chess club, and Maggie hung out with artistic and spiritual types, and had already started practicing yoga and studying Eastern mysticism. They drove home together that year for the Christmas holiday and proceeded to drive each other to distraction with their contrary opinions and views on just about everything.
"You think you come back in another lifetime with your 'karma' to work out?" Jill said in disbelief. "Really, Maggie. It's either heaven or hell, and nobody comes back," she insisted.
"If you look around this world, you'll find enough hell on earth to suit any Christian sinner; why go anywhere else." Jill just shook her head, her rimless glasses slipping down her red nose, and she drove on in chilled silence the rest of the way.
Maggie stayed on for the New Year's celebration while her sister had hurried back to Berkeley to spend it with her boyfriend Hank, and Maggie then caught a ride to the Bay Area with friends.
When she had told her parents about her pregnancy back in early May, Grace had wanted Maggie to come home and relax for the summer. She had always enjoyed being pampered, but she decided to stay in San Luis Obispo, which was only a hundred miles north. Her childhood home with its stifling memories was no place for her to relax. And then during her third month, her outward focus began to shift and she became much more inner-directed. She started attending formal meditation classes at the yoga center, and while she had meditated for years, she now found the practice almost effortless. It helped that she was on summer vacation, unattached, and was staying mostly to herself. In class the teacher often had to nudge Maggie after everyone else had already opened their eyes. She also took a yoga class for pregnant women and found that she could do most of her customary asanas except the extreme twists. She just felt buoyant, and others remarked that she had a luminous glow around her. Of course, she had told no one about her guru's premonition, and after a few slips about talking to her unborn daughter, she kept those exchanges to herself as well. Maggie soon realized that this was the "auspicious opening" that Guru had forecasted for her, and her early doubts about having this child began to evaporate.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Miracle of Anna: An Awakened Child"
Copyright © 2018 John Nelson.
Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
How does a mother face the realization of her young daughters awakened spiritual status? Anna was born fully awakened; aware of her past lives and of the energy around her that binds everything and everyone through God. Her mother, Maggie, is responsible for assisting in her development, protecting her from harm, and also continuing to awaken her own spirituality and connection to the spirit realm. John Nelson does a wonderful job telling a quaint story from Anna's conception onto her eighth birthday as her and her mother face and overcome the challenges of being an awakened soul. Incorporating well researched themes about the Hindu tradition, lends to a believable and enjoyable story that any reader will enjoy. This is the first time I have read anything by John Nelson and once I got through the first chapter, which was unusually captivating, I found myself binge reading the rest of the book. Constantly anxious to find out how things were going to unfold and where the characters were going to end up, As a mother myself, I found that I was relating with Maggie's concerns and decisions throughout the entire story. They were well placed concerns and I always got a little chuckle out of how Anna responded to her mother's concerns. The relationship was believable and enjoyable, even with the higher spiritual realm dynamics. One of my favorite supporting characters was the lawyer, James. His genuine and supportive demeanor always helped to calm Maggie during stressful situations allowing Maggie to continue living her life and making the adjustments necessary for her and her daughter, but always with the force that a lawyer carries. This is a book I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about Hinduism or world religions, mothers, educators, social workers and most of the general reading community would greatly benefit from the quality of this story. You feel spiritually more grounded after reading it.
Miracle of Anna An Awakened Child by John Nelson Book Review by Dawn Thomas 216 Pages Publisher: Roundfire Books / John Hunt Publishing Release Date: January 25, 2019 Literature, Fiction, Spirituality, Hindu, Religion, Metaphysical & Visionary Maggie meets Thomas at a Hindu retreat. They share a night together in the back of his van. This coupling is blessed by the local Gugu. She foretells of a special child that will be born from this union. Nine months later, Anna Jane Langford arrives. She is born fully realized which proves to bring many challenges to Maggie’s life. Before Anna’s birth, Maggie was an elementary art teacher. Because of her unmarried status, this is problematic for the school superintendent. She decides to try her hand at writing a children’s book. She bases it loosely on her daughter’s connections to others. Anna does not have any desire for schooling. She wants to spend most of her time meditating and connecting to spirit. This proves to be a problem and Maggie must become a homeschool teacher. Word gets out within the Hindu community and other families approach Maggie to teach their children along with Anna. Although reluctant, Maggie agrees and takes on several students, but it isn’t long before a crisis occurs that jeopardizes Maggie’s teaching and Anna’s position in the community. The story is written in the third person present tense. I was captivated by the story and could not put it down until I finished reading it. There are many references to spirituality, yoga and the Hindu religion. I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in past lives and spirituality.