Gateway Voyager: A Journal

 (TMI Focus, Vol. XXXI, Nos. 1 & 2, Winter/Spring 2009)

Gateway Voyager: A Journal

by Viola Johnson

Viola Johnson says she was the child of a spiritually enlightened, psychic mother who encouraged her to seek the path less traveled. By the time she was thirteen, she was meditating regularly, learning the basics of nature, and exploring the inner workings of her mind.

College brought her first “sensory deprivation tank” experience. In the 1970s she continued to “tank out” at Tranquility Tanks in New York City and at Altered States in Los Angeles. In LA she first learned about the work of Robert Monroe after hearing Hemi-Sync® through the sound system of the tank. The Hemi-Sync “wave” produced one of her most exciting meditations. Viola continued to experiment but seemed to gravitate to Hemi-Sync more than any other tool for enlightenment. After reading the chapter on The Monroe Institute® in Megabrain, she knew that at some time in her life she would make a pilgrimage to the mountain to take her own voyage.

Family genealogical research brought Viola to Nelson County for a series of trips. On the first trip she stopped at the Institute to feel its vibration and to plant her feet on the soil, encouraging fate to allow her to return. In 2005—thanks to her family—her dream came true. She packed her laptop, Luca (the hide of the wolf who is her dream companion and guide), and almost twenty-five years of excitement to embark on a personal voyage of discovery, which she shares with us in this lyrical journal.


I have arrived at the first step of this spiritual journey. I always find the trip down Route 29 relaxing. It has been at least three years since I’ve been in Nelson County. I had forgotten just how beautiful the Blue Ridge Mountains are.

I stopped at the Nelson Memorial Library and dropped off the Braddock and Johnson genealogy reports and charts. The librarian was amazed and gratified at the gift. Mine is the first African-American genealogy in the library’s county genealogical department. I hope the reports are utilized by other Blacks in Nelson County, who just might be amazed that someone cared to add their family history.

I arrived on the mountain at 2 P.M. and was unpacked by 3 P.M. I realized that the old familiar vibration was beginning, so Luca (the wolf) and I climbed into my controlled holistic environmental chamber (CHEC) and had the first of what I know will be many meditations.

There are twenty-five of us in our GATEWAY VOYAGE® class. Our instructors are Karen Malik and Bob Holbrook. The group is international, with three people here from Japan, three from Canada, a mother and son team from Mexico, one person from Denmark, one from Britain, a charming young woman from Romania, and the rest from all parts of the United States. My roommate is a delightful woman. We have a lot in common. I think we will enjoy each other. A man came up to me and started a conversation because his now-deceased mentor—a Black woman—had instructed him to find the Black woman at the VOYAGE and say “Hello.” He was crying as he relayed this message. He misses her very much.

After an introductory film by and about Robert Monroe, we listened to our first Hemi-Sync exercise.

The evening meditation is now over. I am going to wrap myself in Luca’s skin, sit on the roof for a while and enjoy the bright red-orange crescent moon. My mother would have called it a “blood-burning moon.”


The wake-up music was gentle but insistent. I showered, had a cup of tea, and went to yoga then breakfast.

The first exercise was a meditation on Focus 10 consciousness and the second was on building and learning to control protective energy balloons, or REBALS. I have always had a problem with this exercise at home. It’s the same here. Perhaps because my protective energy comes from a different place and manifests in such a different way, this particular exercise feels almost conflicting. Who knows? I will have plenty of time over the next week to practice.

Now that lunch is over, I have called home. Luca’s pelt will wrap me in warmth while I meditate down by the crystal.

One exercise this afternoon was very difficult for me. It involved creating or visualizing tools of energy that would allow focusing to heal. The mechanics I understood, but creating the visualization proved almost impossible. My mind would not hold the images for more than a few seconds before trying to go on to other planes. The final afternoon meditation was a Free Flow that allowed us to go where we needed to without verbal cues. In the meditation Luca, my wolf, and I walked to the crystal and enjoyed its vibrations. After that we lay down together and slept in its energy.

We watched a film of Robert Monroe made about a year before he died. His conviction and strength were astounding. The interviewer also talked with his daughter Laurie. Our last meditation for the night was to teach us to tap into our own energy fields, as well as the energy fields of those around us, and be consciously aware of the sensations. Part of the exercise was to help us recognize friendly, troublesome, and potentially troublesome energy. I am better at the first one than the last two.


This morning has begun with the voice of Robert Monroe waking us to a positive affirmation of this new day, and of ourselves. The mountains are not visible this early. The mist that covers them reflects the gray blue of the morning sky. It does not hover in mystery but simply erases nature’s grandeur. In and of itself, this mist is a natural miracle. My cup of liquid heat and I will watch the Creator unwrap the mountains from their covering. This morning, the mountains are more important than yoga. I cannot help but think that this new day will also find a layer of psychic mist being lifted from my mind as well.

Our first exercise in Focus 12 consciousness is over. If nothing else happened for the next three days, the trip would have been worth it. I watched as a hole was melted in the ceiling of my CHEC unit. I could see through the hole to the trees and sky outside. I had no peripheral vision. Rather it was like looking through a telescope. Slowly the vision turned until I was looking back at the tower of the Nancy Penn Center. I started to walk back toward the center when I became consciously aware of motion.

In an instant I was moving down the road, not so fast as to be frightening or so slow as to be walking. In just a few seconds I had traveled down the mountain and was moving along some familiar streets in Shipman, then on to streets I had never seen. I viewed a man trimming his hedges, a mother scolding her child. My psychic vision kept traveling on, moving through small areas and over what I believe to be local farmlands. A voice through my headphones abruptly brought me back to the reality of my CHEC unit. I’ve had out-of-body experiences (astral projection, if you will) before; this was different. One of my classmates—a specialist in remote viewing—talked to me about my experience. That may be what I had just done.

After the class debriefing we were readied for our next meditation, an exercise in problem solving in Focus 12. Our assignment was to formulate a question with Desire, Clarity, Intensity, and Gratitude, then turn it over to a higher force and wait for an answer. In an effort to make my question simple but encompassing, I asked, “What do you want me to know? What do you want to show me?” The answer came in the form of hundreds and hundreds of images passing before my eyes at amazing speed. Each image had an opposing image with it. By the time the experience ended I understood the answer to my question: Choices, it’s about choices.

We had guided meditations this afternoon. The second one—a free-flow meditation in Focus 12—was the most gratifying. I opened myself to Focus 12 and just relaxed. I cannot remember the images or thoughts save one; parts of my affirmation ran through my mind.

The evening program was on remote viewing. We were given the coordinates of a location and asked to go into a meditation and record our first impression in real time. The concepts of remote viewing have never been something of interest to me. Yet my first attempts met with some success. I can often see those I love. I always thought that connection depended on emotional ties. Now I wonder if remote viewing plays a part.


This morning the mountains are unveiled. Small pockets of mist float here and there in ethereal splendor, perfect accents to the green and blue of nature’s morning palette. I went outside to salute the mountains and allow my body to move in its own way, without the formal structure of the yoga class.

Our first exercise of the day was a free Focus 10. Its purpose was to get us to move or elevate, even slightly, from our physical bodies. Bob Monroe’s voice kept trying to get us to roll out. For me and my roommate, it was much easier to just lift out of our physical housing. The exercise was very refreshing.

The second meditation was our first time venturing to Focus 15. Based on my reading, a part of me has been both eager for and dreading Focus 15. My venture into Focus 15 started like all of my meditations. Then at Focus 12 the wavelengths started to change. I could hear as well as feel the frequencies change in my earphones. In a few seconds my personal frequencies began to shift with the incoming sounds. The lights and images so natural to my meditations slowly faded into a comforting womb-like blackness. The stillness, like the last blackness before creation, engulfed me. At that moment the temperature began dropping, and then plunged. A walk-in freezer would have been sauna-like compared to the temperatures I was experiencing. The meditation ended and I bolted out of my CHEC unit, climbed into clothes plus sweats and ran out into the sun. I would not have been surprised if I had seen my breath. All during the class debriefing I sat under two blankets, shivering. My teeth chattered for the first twenty minutes. I have scheduled a private discussion with Karen to talk about what happened. We are about to go into another Focus 15 exercise. I’m not thrilled …

Our next Focus 15 was friendlier. I moved on through other times and lives. Some seemed to pass in little more than the blink of an eye. There were more than I can remember here. Male, female, and even animal (at least twice) have been added to my story. This Focus 15 was amazing. Now I am eager to go to Focus 21.

I had a massage after lunch. One solid hour of being rubbed, stroked, and pampered could make for a very spoiled me. I’m going back on Thursday.

The afternoon brought the first unguided exercise. We were all sent to our units with pleasant music and instructed to reach a deep meditative state without the Hemi-Sync wave to rely on. It felt like someone took the training wheels off my bicycle. Don’t know if I really like riding alone. The feeling of the wave within me is quite pleasant. It’s a lot like smoking or coffee: I may not need it, but I really do like it!

The last Focus 15 of the afternoon was a heavily guided exercise. I liked the imagery and guiding in the beginning, but found the voice intrusive in short order. My spirit wanted to go other places than those mandated. My mind drifted off to family and friends. Perhaps I shall try and reach out to them tonight.

The evening class was an audiotape of a soul retrieval that was carried out here by Monroe in the early eighties. Since the first tape was made, many more retrievals have been performed by LIFELINE® graduates who rescue souls bound to earthly consciousness by their own fears and death traumas.

When the tape finished Karen talked about the Energy Conversion Box that we’ve worked with at the beginning of each exercise. Tonight we are to take all that we have consciously stashed away—as well as things that may be locked within because of unspoken physical, emotional, or spiritual trauma—and release those problems and concerns to the Universe. In return we are to allow the Universe to separate whatever good is in each item/situation and return that to us. I’ve got a lot of crap stuffed in my box, probably more than I know or realize. It’s time to empty or at least lighten the “box.”

Wednesday: THE FACE OF G-D, Day 5

Like smoke rising from a dying fire,
the fog lifts its veil to show the mountains’ face.
They reveal themselves to me at their leisure,
for time has no meaning to this ancient stone.
A thousand years … a heartbeat
to Gaia who made the mountains rise.
Ten thousand years …
the span between her blinks.
Eternal wisdom, ancient strength
rise from the mountains in equal measure,
their gift to me, admirer, disciple
and patient, learning pupil.

This is to be a morning of silence. Eagerly have I awaited this day of introspection and self-evaluation. The awakenings and revelations of yesterday called for some time without cramped social interaction. Our three morning exercises are all meant to turn us inward for a more intimate relationship with the self.


We did the three exercises back-to-back. The purpose of the first was to experience a new level of consciousness. The second instructed us to go back to that level, ask the Universe five questions, and wait for the answers. The goal of the third was to expand yet again and listen to the vibrations of the world around us. In my experiences with these three exercises. I was allowed to reach out and touch the face of G-d.

Exercise 1: My consciousness has expanded. Like the ever-extending force of the Universe, a part of me has drifted as particles of dust on cosmic wind to the end reaches of All. There We sat, forming a membrane around the everything of Everything. In timed timelessness we joined each to the other until we were called home.

Exercise 2: Send me a promise substanced in creation that I may take measure in its meaning. Send me a promise wrapped in Buddha’s lotus, perfect in its purity and beauty. Send me a promise made from my own essence that I might become one with my reflection. Send me a promise made from cosmic consciousness that I might marry it unto myself. I now seek the promise, and its open message, sweet voyager and voyage, we are one.

Exercise 3: Nature plays its melody in perfect harmony with its own majesty. The galaxy sings a rhapsody designed to make it one with sister stars. The Universe hums one note, one perfect cosmic tone, the vibrating e-string that gives birth to our own creation.

We GATEWAY travelers have been brought to the realm of Focus 21. Guided by verbal instruction, we drifted through the wave spectrum to the white light of this new level. Perfect white light swirled around me. I swam, like a young guppy, through the living patterns of this wavelength. Layer after layer of brightness unfolded before my eyes, caressed my very essence. I have touched the part of me where the Creator resides.

Tomorrow is the last full day of classes. Friday quickly approaches. Part of me does not want to leave this place of spiritual magic and majesty. Here I have found a new level of enlightenment and rejuvenation for my weary spirit. I have called to the mountains and they have answered. I have walked again the place of my grandfather’s birth. I have awakened to nature unveiling her splendor without interruption or the rude whinings of civilization’s symbols. Here I am at peace.


I watched the mountains disrobe from the morning mist as I walked the labyrinth in quiet contemplation. I entered slowly and with reverence, noting the colors of the blocks that defined the labyrinth and the green of the grass under my feet. In the center I stopped to pray and thank the Universe for all that has been given to me. On the pathway out I chose to remind myself to not take for granted those I love. That was my affirmation for this new day.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” We were sent on a walk this morning. We were to experience meditative states while out in nature, to see our surroundings through new unhurried eyes. A sour gum leaf that fell at my feet accompanied me, and we walked together. Before I came back into the center, the leaf was placed back under the tree it fell from.

The walk was the introduction to a super meditation. My entry to the familiarity of Focus 10 was smooth and uneventful. I greeted my totems Luca and Lilly, the black panthers, and we walked together. At the appropriate time we were guided to Focus 15 and the vibrations of the Hemi-Sync wave began to change. The feelings of cold that I have so come to dread began again. I sent out a conscious request to go on to a higher level and found my personal vibratory rate begin to shift upward, ultimately halting in Focus 21. The experience was so wonderful I could have stayed there for hours. I watched stars twinkle in a private light show all my own.

I have seen angels.
That part of me where Creation resides
has united me with my Creator.
We have walked hand in hand through Eden.

We are now GATEWAY graduates. Laurie Monroe spent the last evening session with us, just as her father used to do. It was fun being able to ask questions about her childhood and what it must have been like being Bob Monroe’s daughter. In the closing circle we shared our feelings about the week and each other. Though I do not want to, I know that I must leave Eden.

Friday: Farewell to the Mountains

The gentle affirmations of previous mornings have been replaced with the blare of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song.” It’s a good thing that I was already awake or the powers that be would probably have been peeling me off the walls of my CHEC unit. Most people don’t want to hear “DAAAYYY-O” at 6 A.M.

Our watches were returned to us last night. I almost didn’t recognize my own piece of jewelry. Having this dimensional anchor around my wrist is the most vivid reminder that I must leave this Elysium and venture forth. I will not be a stranger to this magic mountain.

Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries, Inc.
© 2009 by The Monroe Institute



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