Nov 16 2017

Bart, Dr. Williams, Me, 14 Meditation Retreats... and 21 years later.

They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But when we take that first step, how do we know if it’s small or a truly gigantic, life-changing one? My “single step” began on February 23, 1996 when I met Bart and Dr. Williams and it truly was life-changing.

A friend suggested an appointment with Dr. Williams and I thought: well, it’s a lot more expensive than the psychic I was seeing, but what the hell, I’ll try it ONCE. Of course, the comparison between a psychic and Dr. Williams is like trying to compare a tiny stream with the ocean. Most of the focus of that first session was on the book I had written and was trying to get published. He helped me tremendously with ideas and suggestions.

Of course, that meant that I still needed to follow up with him on other aspects of the book, so I went back to see him again…and then again and again and again, and – you get the picture. By May he suggested that it would be a good idea for a friend, who’d also had sessions with him, and me to go to the Ashram in South Fallsburg to see Gurumayi.

And so we went – talk about culture shock! Rooming with seven other women in a dorm room and having to share a bathroom was bad enough, but getting up at 3:30 to attend a chanting session – in Sanskrit no less – a language I’d never even heard of – really topped it off!

You might remember some of Bart’s stories of how the Shakti at the Ashram affects people when they first encounter it – he, at least, stayed awake during his first visit! Both my friend and I were literally “out cold” for most of the trip. And when were awake, were totally confused about what was going on as well as trying to chant in a language we couldn’t read, understand, or pronounce. Just after one of the programs, someone asked for volunteers to do seva and we thought: we’re paying, why should we also volunteer? Definitely the wrong answer, as I later learned!

With Dr. Williams’ help after the trip, I got answers to my questions and leaned the significance of what we’d experienced. And with his encouragement, kept going back to the Ashram to take programs and, yes, do seva.

During the past 21 years, Dr. Williams has been an integral part of my life. He changed it dramatically from the path I was taking and helped me grow. He has truly become the bedrock of my life. I learned that when he said things that didn’t seem to materialize when I wanted them to, it was because he told me what was happening at the time of our session and our free will can change our future landscape. The best example of that was when my second book was ready for publication. He’d been helping me through the whole process. But as sometimes happens, no matter where you think you’re going, life changes your destination.

After returning from the Ashram one time, I asked Dr. Williams why the expected publication of my book kept getting monkey wrenches thrown in and seemed to come to a standstill. He said that I’d had a choice of getting the book published and becoming well known or becoming liberated. And, while at the Ashram, I’d made the choice that liberation was the path I wanted to follow. That was news to me – it had all happened subliminally without my mind bothering to let it rise to the surface where I could see it. But when he said it, I knew it was right.

In 2004, Bart held his first Meditation Retreat in Puerto Vallarta. I volunteered to do seva for him there and have continued to do seva at every Retreat. Those Retreat experiences were as significant as the ones at the Ashram – and I haven’t even had to share a dorm room! Puerto Vallarta is a magnificent place for the Retreats – warm weather, sunny beaches, great restaurants – a wonderful place for a reprieve from the northern winters while enjoying chanting and meditation with Bart and Dr. Williams.

But more to the point, the Retreats have changed so much over the past 14 years as Bart has grown that I feel that I have grown along with each Retreat. Bart’s sense of humour when he teaches makes it easy to imbibe his teachings, whether the topics were the soul, the ego, quantum physics, or the brain and how it works, which were among the topics he covered the first years. But the last two years Bart “threw the book away” and concentrated on speaking from his heart and his own experiences, which I found more profound. And the chanting – OMG!!! – Bart’s incredible enthusiasm is so contagious we could feel the angels and saints joining us in the room while the Shakti practically lifted the roof off the villa! The meditations, which have always been amazing, will be led by Dr. Williams next year and I can hardly wait. These Retreats are simply bliss. And I can’t imagine my life without them.

This journey has not always been easy. There were certainly ups and downs, but Dr. Williams has always been there holding my hand and guiding me, even when I wondered if I’d make it through some of the challenges I’ve faced.

The changes in my life have been very subtle and not always noticeable until seen in hindsight. Dr. Williams encouraged me to go to the Ashram. Both he, and what I learned there, have been my anchors over the years. I don’t know what I would have done without them, but it’s certain I would not be the same person I am now.  

I’ve also discovered that a great help to me in this process has been to transcribe not only my sessions, but also the talks that Dr. Williams and Bart have given over the years at the Pathways to Consciousness and the evenings at Akasha’s Den. They reinforce what I need to know and focus on at that particular time.

I am so incredibly thankful for all the grace and blessings I’ve received from Dr. Williams in the past 21 years. My journey with him so far has taught me a multitude of things. But the most profound is that: with his help, and doing the work of following his teachings, we CAN be self-realized in this lifetime. And that IS the ultimate goal, isn’t it?


This blog is a special contribution from a wonderful friend and sevite.

Bart Smit


Bart Smit next public appearance is at the Akasha's Den in Oakville, Canada, Saturday January 27, 2018, 7:30pm -9:30pm for a Surprise Evening with Bart and Dr. Williams.

Time to register to the Bart Smit Puerto Vallarta Meditation Retreat 2018. The registration deadline with discount is November 26, 2017.


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