by Jill Kramer
February 1988 was a month I’ll never forget. At the time, I was a young woman living (and living it up! ) in Los Angeles. I was working as a freelance writer/editor in the film, TV, publishing, and advertising fields; and I was kind of lost. I was actively single, dating several actor/model types (whom I wasn’t treating very well); living in a miniature studio apartment on a loud, traffic-filled street; and I had no spiritual base whatsoever.
Although my family had been culturally Jewish, we’d never practiced the religion, and, in fact, I had never attended a synagogue service in my life. I disdained religion, God, and any and all related issues, and considered those who were pious to be ignorant bigots, as this had been my experience growing up outside Philadelphia. It seemed that the neighbors I’d known who attended church every Sunday had also been the most intolerant.
I always cringe when I remember the woman next door calling us up one day, saying, “Kramers? Just wanted you to know that Fiddler on the Roof will be on TV tonight, and I thought you people would like it.” We were pretty much the only Jews in our town and were often viewed as strange creatures who’d emerged from a spaceship. Gee, maybe we were Scientologists and didn’t know it!
Anyway, that’s where I was at the time: a little jaded, feeling somewhat bereft, and living in L.A., one of the most superficial places on Earth. The closest thing to a spiritual experience I’d had was reading Carlos Castaneda’s books, which had definitely sparked something in me, but I had never delved too deeply to find out what.
One day around this time, I was driving up Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades and glanced at the sign I’d seen scores of times that said “Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).” I had no idea what this place was and just assumed it was some crazy organization like the Hare Krishnas. But for some reason, when I got home, I called SRF and snidely asked the woman who answered, “So what’s the deal with your place? What are you, a cult?” She politely responded that SRF was a nondenominational place of worship founded by spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda. She suggested I read the book Autobiography of a Yogi and said that I would definitely know if this path was for me or not. Somewhat impressed that she hadn’t tried to proselytize in any way, I bought the book and started to read, expecting it to be an eye-roller.
To my shock, as I was reading this work, I actually felt as if I was on some kind of natural high. I experienced sensations I’d never had before and really couldn’t figure out what was going on. Add to that the fact that I thought it was one of the best books I’ve ever read, and it was quite unnerving (in a positive way) for me.
One night during the week I was finishing the book, I had a dream in which six numbers very clearly came into my mind. I woke up in the wee hours and wrote down these digits on the pad of paper I kept on my nightstand. Since, at the time, the California lottery had drawings where they chose both a four-digit number and a set of six numbers in two separate drawings, I decided I must have been given lottery numbers in my dream. I decided I would immediately start playing those six digits.
The very next night, I had a lucid dream that still remains vivid in my mind to this day. A young woman who looked a little bit like me was pounding on my abdomen, insisting over and over, “5748 is very important to you, 5748 is very important to you!”
I immediately woke up and wrote that number down.
The next morning I looked at the number and figured it was a four-digit lottery number and decided to play that one, too, but for some reason, I couldn’t get the number out of my head. I did some library research (no Internet back then), and to my utter amazement, I found out that 5748 was the current Hebrew calendar year—5748 was 1988! When I told some friends what had happened, they scoffed and said that subconsciously I must have known that fact, but I adamantly disagreed. I wouldn’t have known if the current Hebrew year had been 2652 or 7590 or 15400—I’d had no idea whatsoever and had never given any thought to it.
But to make a long story fairly short, the woman in my dream was correct . . . 1988 was a very important adoption-related time for me, as it was the year (and February, the month) when I “adopted” Yogananda as my guru and eventually went through a Kriya Yoga initiation; “adopted” my incredibly spiritual cat, Sage, who I believed was a gift from my guru; and “adopted” the practice of playing those six lottery numbers every week. Everything turned around for me in that month, and I embarked on a spiritual path that has been onward and upward ever since.
To fast-forward to the present, my dear cat Sage, who was truly one of the most highly evolved beings I’ve ever had the pleasure to love (and whom spiritual friends of mine compared to Mother Teresa), had to be put to sleep in September 2006 at the age of 19, but I have two current cat angels, Sophie Streudel and Little Man.
But did my life really transform as a result of my memorable dream? You bet! Shortly after, I was offered the job of Editorial Director at Hay House, where I happily worked for almost 18 years, and I’m still a devotee of Yogananda. Labels aren’t relevant to me, though, so let’s just say that I simply try to live every day in the most impeccable way I can.
That’s the most important thing, right? Not “My religion is better than yours,” or “You’re wrong and I’m right,” but just being good. It’s so simple.
And what about those six numbers that came up in my dream? Well, I’ve played them every week for the past 28 years! In fact, as I write this, there’s a huge Powerball drawing occurring tonight. But do I think I’ll win? Probably not. However, continually playing those numbers is a reminder of the way my life shifted in a miraculous and mysterious way one day back in 5748/1988, and I know I will play them until I can play no more.
About the author:
Jill Kramer is a literary agent and a freelance writer/editor living in beautiful Encinitas, California. You can reach her at: [email protected].