I was known at the time as Brahmachari Scott. For 14 years, I was ordained a monk of Self-Realization Fellowship Monastic Order, a religious organization founded in the U.S. in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda, the acclaimed Yogi who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi and was the first Indian-Swami to permanently make his home in the West.
Mom raised me Roman Catholic. I attended weekly Catechism classes and masses. By age 16, I rejected church doctrine as nonsensical. I stopped attending and believing, became indifferent towards organized religion. What I had been taught to believe about the supernatural as a Catholic ‒ about God, Jesus, and the saints ‒ only slept for a few years. Then later my beliefs were dramatically reawakened when I discovered Eastern religion and meditation.
I was born to a couple who hated each other’s religious beliefs. My father was obsessed with abuse, alcohol, and weird religions. He used to be obsessed with the devil and told me, as a little girl, that the devil comes into your bedroom at night. I still have a sleep phobia and cannot sleep with the lights off. I envy people who can curl up in bed and sleep. I am still looking around and trying to feel safe.
All my life I tried everything to get God to like me. Everyone else seemed to have no trouble hearing him and having supernatural experiences. I wanted them and begged for them all the time. I asked to see just one angel, or hear one word that would show God is real and loves me. I prayed, fasted, attended church, and continued to try to convince God I was worth loving.