Lucille Cedercrans-Schaible, an American Original
From Bridge to Maitreya, the Enlightenment Teachings of Lucille Cedercrans-Schaible
When I opened the hospital room door, Lucille's eyes were closed and Kevin was stroking the lock of her hair closest to the crown of her head. This I knew was to remind her to exit her body from the head center and thereby maintain continuity of consciousness from this life to the next.
Lucille was dying. Her eyes were closed, her breath came in surges. She seemed peaceful.
Over the past several months, Lucille had had several health crises. Her rheumatoid arthritis flared up, her heart problems had worsened and she developed complications from her many prescribed medications. Over the last few weeks she had become unstable and given to erratic behavior. Some of her students were shaken to the core and all of us were confused about the best way to proceed. Then she was hospitalized. She stopped smoking, and I think either they took her off all her medications or corrected the dosages. For a time it seemed that she might pull through, but stubborn as she was, she did not.
When I entered her room, it seemed as if it was already full. While there were only a few of her students and possibly some family members present, there was the palpable feeling of Presence that comes when many invisible ones are in attendance. The mood was somber but matter of fact. How many times had Lucille talked about death? But this was not a teaching on impermanence this was her death, her exit from this life, and it would change things forever. I knew from past talks with her that she welcomed it in some ways. She used to say, "I may not have lived too long, but I have lived too much."
There were pauses in between her labored breaths which became longer as the minutes passed. It was as if she had to accommodate her body's desire to remain. Others there were softly chanting the Vajra Guru mantra: Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum, Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum. I joined in and stood near the foot of the bed and back towards the wall. As I chanted, my eyes closed and, in my mind's eye I clearly saw a vast sea of rainbow light. The sky was a cloudless blue. On the surface was a small boat with Lucille and Padmasambhava moving steadily into an empty horizon. As I watched, I felt gravity leave my body and knew that I could in that moment levitate toward the ceiling. I opened my eyes and the weird sensation stopped. Each time I remained with my eyes closed, the same feeling of weightlessness ensued. The last thing I wanted was to become a spectacle at Lucille's deathbed, so after a while I left. She died a short time later but I knew she was already long gone, reunited in joy and fulfillment with her Teacher, whom she called "Master R," one name among several. Tibetan Buddhists know him as Padmasambhava, the Rainbow Buddha of our current age.
As the days passed following her death, a great feeling of emptiness grew within me. Lucille had once said to me, "Greg, hurry up and finish your preliminary practices, I want to do Guru Yoga with you before I die." Then she paused and said, "Never mind, I can empower your practice much more effectively after I'm gone." As I thought about this I wondered why she hadn't let me know that she was still here. I thought about her constantly.
One day, about three weeks after her death, I came home to my apartment. In the corner of my bedroom was a vase-full of peacock feathers I had been carting around for years. As I opened the bedroom door, I saw that the peacock feathers had been perfectly placed spread out across the entire bed as if a great bird had fanned them open in beautiful display. I was floored. I knew that this was Lucille reaching out to me.
Suddenly I felt a bit panicky. Did I really arrive home too late to see her, or was she still here? I quickly looked around the room but no, this was just her calling card and her reassurance that she loved me. "Thank you, Lucille," I thought. Even today, every so often, I feel, "Oh Lucille, to see you once more. What a joy that would be," and I look around for her familiar smile.
A Short Bio for Lucille
Lucille Cedercrans-Schaible was born in Canada in 1921. She grew up in a rural community where she received the equivalent of an eighth grade education. During her early twenties, she began to have experiences of a mystical nature. It took some time before she realized that the source of these experiences was a knowledge transmission from the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom. She considered the teaching and training she was receiving as Trans-Himalayan Wisdom (Tibet was unknown to her then).
Beginning in the late 1800's the Hierarchy began responding to the rapidly expanding consciousness of Humanity. One way in which their help came was to send into incarnation teachers who could attune to the frequencies of the Wisdom held in focus by the Masters, and translate those experiences into the teachings that came to be called the New Thoughtform Presentation of the Wisdom. Lucille was one such teacher.
In the 1950's Lucille maintained a prolific schedule of teaching, writing and organizing groups. She was one of several in a long line of early Western teachers in the field of consciousness and the science of meditation, among whom few were women. Perhaps the most widely known were Madame Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. What these three women had in common was a desire to bring teachings of the Far East to Western audiences in ways that made these esoteric concepts more accessible. All three claimed to have contact with one or more Master within the Spiritual Hierarchy (also known as the Buddhic Plane), our home on the inner planes of existence.
Lucille's unique contribution was presenting esoteric teachings through a program of relatively simple techniques, with an emphasis on the importance of making a commitment to serve Humanity. This teaching series was designed to acquaint students with the presence of the Soul and provide the means for actualizing it. Its purpose was to spark a commitment within students that would inspire them to attain the realization of their higher self, the conscious-soul incarnate. This became her seminal work, titled The Nature of the Soul, and is still widely taught in the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
In the early 1960's Lucille lived in Estes Park with a small group formed to help anchor the incoming forces of synthesis. Under the guidance of Master "R" the group was trained to hold a meditation focus that would help activate certain locations around the United States as energy centers. These centers functioned like the etheric centers in an individual. As the
Recognizing that the spiritual thought forms of North America were largely conditioned by Christianity, she developed meditation training materials, lessons and writings which presented Eastern wisdom and concepts in a form that Western audiences could understand and embrace. One of these, The Nature of the Soul, a 40 lesson series, was widely taught. At the same time, she traveled extensively throughout the United States forming meditation groups.
In 1965, she temporarily suspended her work as a teacher of meditation. She arranged for others to lead her groups and moved to Ann Arbor to pursue efforts that relied on her skills but had more of a focus on social action. By 1971 however, Lucille was again prompted to form a meditation group, and in 1973 was introduced to the Tibetan Buddhist lamas that had begun arriving in North America. From the first meetings, the Tibetan teachers recognized her as a meditation master. She formed a close relationship with Tarthang Tulku, a lama of the Nyingma tradition. Lucille formally adopted Tibetan Buddhism for herself and pursued it as her personal practice, and soon Tarthang asked her to present the teachings to interested Western students who were quickly gravitating to the Tibetan teachings.
In 1979 Lucille initiated the Maitreya Puja or offering ceremony to invoke the presence and energies of Maitreya. Also at this time she presented many new teachings on Maitreya and worked with His energy of Loving-Kindness with her Teacher's Training group in Colorado. Today those teachings are available through the book, Bridge to Maitreya, the Enlightenment Teachings of Lucille Cedercrans Schaible, also through classes and workshops.
Lucille transitioned from this life on June 21, 1984 in Denver, Colorado, surrounded by her students. The day was clear and sunny, but at the moment of her death there was a clap of thunder which continued to echo throughout the region. According to Tibetan tradition, this was a sign that a Great One has passed. Commenting on Lucille's passing, Khenpo Tsewang praised Lucille as a lama, a saint and a yogi.