by Almanique Jacquet, Los Angeles
This is a personal account of my spiritual journey. The journey that has taken me from West to East, from China to India. from Buddhist and Hindu – (Sufi ) and past to future.
My name is Almanique Jacquet. In the year 2000. I first met GRANDMASTER SHAN-FO, the Head of the Buddhayana Order Mahayana Zengong, a Zen Master. Healer, and World Teacher, Qigong master and healer. I saw an intensely bright turquoise light behind his body when I first saw him. This light wrapped his body like a cocoon and left a lasting impression on me. I have been a follower of his ever since. Grandmaster has been regarded by many Buddhists as the living expression of the Boddhisattva Maitreya, a spiritual being of unconditional loving kindness and compassion. Shortly after I met him, my dreams began to unfold possibilities of “peace”.
A year and a half after I had met Grandmaster, a friend introduced me to Syed Aziz. Nizami in Los Angeles. Syed Aziz Nizami. the Head of the Hazrat Nizamuddin Spiritual Foundation, in New Delhi. is known throughout the world for his ability to do healings and clearing people of negative forces. The center that he manages is dedicated to the life and teachings of Sultan Syed Nizamuddin Aulia, a famous 14th century saint and humanitarian, who was famous in his lifetime for welcoming people of all faiths and from all walks of life, without prejudice. Till this day it remains a welfare centre, distributing food and clothing to the needy and existing without government support but solely on the gifts or donations. A descendant of Nizamuddin. Syed Aziz Nizami continues the tradition of feeding thousands of people everyday at the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia.
When I met Syed Aziz Nizami and told him about Grandmaster, he expressed an interest in having me introduce him to his Buddhist counterpart in the near future.
In January, 2003, I made my first trip to Asia. visiting the beautiful island of Taiwan. I learned that the entire country was built with a special energy, which I immediately felt upon exiting the plane. Everything seemed so familiar to me. I felt like I had come home after being away for a long while. Grandmaster had arranged for several members from his organization to greet me. When I mentioned to Grandmaster that Sycd Aziz Nizami had expressed an interest in meeting him, the feeling was mutual, and Grandmaster likewise expressed a desire to meet Syed Aziz Nizami.
As spirit would have it. that spring Grandmaster Shan-Fo and Grandmaster Shan-Yin flew to Los Angeles. I always hear Grandmaster’s voice when he is enroute. This time, however. I also smelled incense that reminded me of Syed Aziz Nizami. I phoned the only number that I had for Syed Aziz Nizami and was informed that he was arriving at the Los Angeles airport.
Two days later an introduction between Syed Aziz Nizami and Grandmaster Shan-Fo took place and plans were underway for the Buddhists to travel to India to teach and heal at Nizammuddin Aulia. using Grandmaster’s Chi Gong methods.
I visited the Shrine several times to prepare the Nizami family for the long awaited visit of Grandmaster’s Buddhist entourage. On November I. 2005, at 2:30 am Grandmaster and 25 members were met at the New Delhi International Airport by Syed Aziz Nizami, Faiz Nizami his son. and myself (Fi-E).
As I witnessed the greeting of these two masters. there wasn’t any question in my mind that I was only a messenger and that they brought the light through the long ages. Syed and his 750 year old shrine and Grandmaster with the highest form of Buddhism were now creating new grounds never before tread upon. Though from different cultures they were within the light and had somehow proven by their daily words and actions that the light exists today just as it did thousands of years ago.
When we left New Delhi for Patna all I had was the clothing on my back, plus a toothbrush from the hotel. The laugh is that I am a designer of clothing. Grandmaster. Robert, the 25 delegates and I boarded the plane to visit the Sacred Lands of the Buddhist.
Many of these sacred places seemed familiar, the streets, the mountains, the caves. I felt like I was drifting back in time. I can only share with you what I was feeling. Although I was surrounded by the others, I was as alone in my mind’s eyes as always. Grandmaster and I never have to speak. I read his eyes and his heart and I also felt the others at the same level.
It wasn’t until I arrived at the Ascetic Forests that my world changed forever. I stood beside Grandmaster Shan-Fo and Robert Wu in silence when a voice came and said for me to stand still. I felt energy entering my hands, my body and within a moment I became a vessel of lights. They were coming in from all directions raising my arms to a mighty force, I could feel the lights hitting my body from all directions. I wanted to open my eyes but had no power or thoughts. The voice surrounded me. It seemed like an eternity until the lights departed the same way as they entered. I felt tired yet new. My face changed. The hair around my face had turned white. I never had grey hair before. I covered it with a scarf. From that moment on when the monks saw me they said that I had a Buddha face. I no longer feel, think or process the same. Internally, there has been a shill in me. Externally, the only physical evidence of that moment that remains is my new grey hairline.
We arrived back in New Delhi and to the Sufi Shrine. Grandmaster and our lovely group of beautiful people fed the poor, shared our blessings with the Shrine, donated blankets and contributed donations to the earthquake victims.
Fortunately before leaving New Delhi. I had set up interviews with the local newspapers, and scheduled healing classes that we taught for one week at the Town Hall. Billboards of our Grandmaster adorned the streets of India. Grandmaster graciously and generously did endless sharing of his knowledge
There was an immediate bonding between Syed Aziz and Grandmaster. Robert Wu never seemed to tire of sharing in translating from his native language to English. We were all moving so fast. Meeting with dignitaries and the poor, “it’s all the same”.
On the last day of our visit when Grandmaster and Syed Aziz said their goodbyes, I thought there are so many different teachings and they all hinge on God, yet they all approach the subject in different ways. We must begin to understand in order to have peace. We must recognize the different attitudes of thoughts and be aware that this is the reason for different teachings.
As a woman, what is my part in this equation? I looked at the masters and I discovered we are all one. There is no separation in spirit. All is spirit. I began to feel the lights of the deities within me. My life while in this environment was void of words. My journey had no expectations. I humbly recognize there is a power far greater than my knowingness. I no longer acknowledge negative thoughts.
Unlike the masters I did not choose to be on any path. Rather. the path chose me. When I saw the turquoise energy that surrounded Grandmaster at our first meeting, I knew I had to surrender to that energy no matter where it would take me. And that was the beginning of my journey.
My purpose? Perhaps it was to reunite two old souls from past lifetimes, two kindred souls, who endow and enrich the lives of everyone they touch. Two magnificent beings known in their present incarnations as…… Syed Aziz Nizami and Grandmaster Shan-Fo!