Our guest in this episode is Rifka Kreiter, who is the author of the book, “Home Free: Adventures of a Child of the Sixties.”
Coming to you this time from the Hotel California in Big Sur.
Her book started out as the result of a prompt she was given in a writing group during the 90’s. After about a year, what she had written started telling her, “We wanna be a book! We wanna be a book!” It was a way to come to terms with a difficult past and childhood. She also wanted to share her adventures, of which she’s had many and how her spiritual journey healed old psychic wounds.
At the age of 14, she had an encounter with JFK at the Waldorf Astoria. She sat up in the balcony and could see him and Jackie below. She couldn’t believe the charisma he had. When he was assassinated, she and a few of her friends drove down to Washington to view his body. One of the chapters in her book describes this amazing experience. To Rifka, that’s when the 60’s really began.
High School of Performing Arts and First Job
As a teen, she attended the High School of Performing Arts (known for “FAME”) where she had a great experience. Not long after graduation, she worked as a hatcheck/cigarette girl in New York nightclubs and had some interesting adventures there.
Difficult Childhood, Therapy, and College
Her mother was unstable and she lived in 14 places by the time she was 16 including a foster home in 2nd and 3rd grade. Fortunately, she came from a good family and had great aunts and uncles. She moved out on her own at 16 but had a lot of self-doubt and self-hatred. At the age of 18, she bottomed out.
After a suicide attempt, she went into therapy, which she believes saved her life.
She went to college at the time when many social movements were happening in the 60’s and became involved with fighting for social justice and women’s liberation.
In 1970, while she was living in San Diego her aunt turned her onto transcendental meditation. TM. She later spent 10 years living in an Ashram in upstate New York and has been meditating ever since. (Now she teaches it)
During the years she was at the Ashram she worked various jobs that included admissions at a college and a dental health program.
Rifka took LSD twice. Her second trip was in 1975 when she was in her 3rd year of her Ph.D. program in psychology. By that time, she had done years of therapy and had been meditating for quite some time. She took it in her room in Manhattan and talked into a tape recorder. She also wrote down notes in notebooks. She said it was life-changing and amazing because she saw her life in perfect order laid out before her.
She didn’t want to keep taking drugs but wanted to continue on her spiritual journey so she got involved with EST training, which she loved. What she learned was “You should clear space in your life to make room for new things.”
Counter Culture Cross Country
During college, she was going to go to Woodstock but had the opportunity to take a cross country trip with the friend of a friend who wanted company on the road. They took off in a VW bus and drove up to Canada ending the trip in San Diego. That particular trip opened up the counterculture to her. There were hitchhikers on the road and crash pads to stay at in each city they drove through.
Rifka Kreiter’s Cathartic Experiences
One of her most interesting experiences was working on a radical underground feminist newspaper called, “Goodbye to All That” in San Diego. It was a collective and they did it for about a year. Working together as women, for women, was exciting! Because of the content, they couldn’t get it printed in San Diego and had to drive it up to Riverside.
After her LSD trip, she took a bus cross-country by herself and sought out every spiritual experience her intuition...