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  • Writer's pictureRon Brent

11. Preparing to Leave LA

Upon returning to Los Angeles from Santa Fe, I continue my morning sessions with Yogi Bhajan as I prepare for the move to Carmel. In preparation for my trip, I paid a visit to H.E.L.P., the iconic health food store in Los Angeles, owned by Warren Stagg. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Warren had hosted Yogi Bhajan not long after his arrival in the United States. The reason for my visiting the store is to stock up on dried fruits and nuts for the journey up to Carmel. I’m making the trip in my VW bus where I plan to sleep until I find appropriate quarters.

Accompanying me to the store is John Franzoni, a friend and fellow student of Yogi Bhajan, lovingly known around LA as “Yogi John”. John is not a 3HO kind of guy (although he wears a Sikh-like turban). He is a bit of a rebel and has his own unique style - a free-wheeling character who I love hanging out with. As we get in line to pay, John recognizes the cashier as a friend and fellow seeker.

Phillip Goff, later known as Nala, has recently returned from India and coincidentally had met Yogi Bhajan and his family at their home in Delhi.

John introduces us and tells Nala that I am on my way to Carmel and will be looking for a place to live as well as a place to teach yoga. To my surprise, Nala tells me that he had previously lived in Carmel and will soon be going back to open a vegetarian restaurant. He then provides me with a list of friends to contact when I get there and suggests that one of them might help me in my search.

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