Category: Awakening


Many of you may be feeling the energetic shift that has been happening on the planet that is affecting humanity on a large scale. Many people talk about the awakening of humanity into greater consciousness. Some describe this as a “spiritual awakening.” What this means is being mindful and aware about the life we are creating. It’s about giving greater meaning to things and knowing that our actions affect others and create our future.

Part of this awakening of consciousness includes the awakening of the divine feminine (and the divine masculine too). I’d like to highlight the awakening of the divine feminine, because for so long the feminine has been suppressed in all of existence on this Earth, and in some cultures it still is today.

If you look at the common religions of the world today, there has been no place for women other than as nuns or as mother figures of the great men who were born to do great things. Women have rarely held leadership positions, and even today women do much less so compared to men. But this is changing.

Feminine doesn’t only have to do with females, nor does masculine only with males. Within each one of us lives feminine and masculine. Certain traits and ways of being can be categorized as masculine versus feminine. Focus, for example is masculine, while multitasking is feminine, and these are traits that serve both men and women, though typically women embody more feminine traits and men more masculine.

Long ago existed matriarchal societies where women led and made much of the decisions. During the most recent millennia, our society has been driven by males with very masculine force. The use of war and destruction to create was, and still is, a big problem that doesn’t allow for harmony and peace to prevail on the planet. There is great strength in gentleness too, but the ideas of compassion and kindness seem foreign to most people when it comes to business and politics.

There has been so much doing and busyness (both masculine approaches) to creating the modern day world we see today, which was built on top of Nature instead of in harmony with her. Many have forgotten their connection with the Earth and have forgotten how to simply be. The focus on money as the end result, instead of more love, has led to much dis-ease and suffering on the planet.

Subconscious to many women, there is an undercurrent of anger at the masculine, for what has happened on the planet over the last thousands of years, which took the form of feminism. From genocide to the pornography industry driving human trafficking, to the lack of women’s rights, slavery, war, the destruction of Nature, the list goes on. It’s more challenging for women to do such things compared to men because we women are naturally more in touch with our feminine side and the Earth. However, even for us, much of our feminine has been dormant because there has been no space for it during these overly masculine times.

Thankfully, the awakening of the feminine divine is happening. It’s about awakening even more compassion, softness, gentleness, surrender, flowing, creativity, beingness, empathy, vulnerability, understanding, patience, beauty, thoughtfulness and nurturing. It’s about connecting back to the Earth, each other and all beings and things, healing our wounds, forgiving what has happened while making conscious choices about how we wish to create our future–together.

It’s about honoring and being in devotion to both the divine feminine and the divine masculine in its balanced, healthy, complementary forms. Men and the masculine are equally as important as women and the feminine for the evolution and continuation of our planet. When this happens, balance blossoms–flow with direction, discipline with compassion, unconditional love, presence with multitasking, strength with gentleness, graceful will, etc.

Source: Nikki Starr Noce, M.D.

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Posted on April 14, 2018

Donna Quesada: You’ve written so extensively about the subject of awakening…what led you to this aspect of your work?

Dr. Steve Taylor: For me, personally, I think I was always a person that showed natural wakefulness…from the age of 16 or 17, I was aware of what I would now call “spiritual experiences.” But at the time, I didn’t understand them.

DONNA: So, you had a natural experience that wasn’t inspired by any kind of practice at all? You were a teenager?

STEVE: That’s right. I was 16. The thing that I really liked to do as a teenager, was wander around in nature…wander around the parks looking at the sky…looking at the trees. I’d just feel a sense of quietness and a sense of connection to nature…the natural scenery around me…feel a sense of wholeness and kind of like an elation, a kind of euphoria. But I didn’t understand it at the time. I used to write poetry to try and describe some of these experiences, but my background wasn’t a spiritual background. I didn’t have a religious background or a spiritual background. So, at the time, I didn’t understand these experiences. I tried to explain it to people and they thought I was crazy. So, after a while, I thought it was crazy as well. I thought there was something wrong with me. For a long time, I was confused and I couldn’t accept myself for a long time. It was only accidentally, when I was 21 or 22 years old, that I picked up a book about Mysticism. I was drawn to it in a book shop. And when I read the book about mysticism, I suddenly recognized my own experiences. I thought, wow, this is what’s happened to me. So, I suddenly had a framework or context to make sense of my experiences, which was very, very helpful.

DONNA: Did that lead to a more formal practice or a search for a teacher, perhaps?

STEVE: Yeah, because even though at that point, I finally understood myself…I finally accepted myself…there were still some difficulties…some challenges…the kind of life-style I was living. At that time, I was a musician. So, the kind of life-style I was living, wasn’t conducive to spirituality. Lots of late nights. Playing gigs. Lots of drinking and smoking and that kind of thing. It took me a few years to learn to meditate on a daily basis. So, by the end of my 20’s I was meditating on a daily basis. And I began to find a stability and I began to integrate my spirituality into my daily life. And I changed my life to fit my spirituality. I became a vegetarian, stopped smoking, stopped drinking, that kind of thing. So, it took me a while to find a stable base and meditation was definitely a part of it.

DONNA: So, it’s funny…you were a musician…and drinking and smoking and all of that. On the other hand, you were that third group…that has a natural, deep feeling about life. And the sense that there is something more…and the tendency to ask questions and to experience things on a deeper level. It reminds me of something my own teacher said—David and I have the same teacher—and he was talking about the hippies. And he was saying that people tend to think of them as sort of rebels and outcasts and all of that, but the reality is, they are actually closer to enlightenment than they are given credit for. The mainstream is off. The way we are doing things is somehow under the thumb of propaganda. And government can be oppressive and they are sensitive to all these things. They’re almost ahead of their time in their awareness of things that just don’t feel right. They want a new spirituality…they want a new way of living. They’re asking questions that the mainstream isn’t asking.

STEVE: I think that’s very true. I think the hippies were a very significant social movement. I wrote a book called The Fall, where I said that most of the human race’s problems in history have been due to our intensified sense of ego and sense of self. So, we have a sense of separateness to nature which leads us to exploit nature. We have a sense of separateness to our own bodies which leads to sexual repression…towards hostility to sexual desire. I think the hippies, to explain it in more detail…about 300 years ago, there was a social movement, a collective shift in consciousness which began in the 18th Century. The second half of the 18th Century. I call that the “Trans-Fall” movement. It’s when human beings began to move beyond separateness…beyond the super intense sense of ego. So, there was a new sense of compassion. A new sense of egalitarianism and democracy and so on. And that has continued since then and I think the hippie movement was a significant part of that. It was a time when men became more feminine. It was a time for new openness to the body and sexuality. And it was a time when people identified with indigenous cultures. It was a time when people felt a connection to nature and a desire to explore transcendent states of consciousness. So, in some ways, I think it was an expression of evolution, this evolutionary movement which I spoke about earlier. This movement beyond separateness and to a deeper state of consciousness.

DONNA: Seems like we are talking about oneness and unity. That is the common thread that runs through…I’ll go ahead and use the ‘E’ word. The enlightenment traditions of the world…whether we are coming from a Taoist platform or a Hindu platform, or a Buddhist platform…it seems like this thread of continuity has to do with overcoming our sense of separateness. And nature, from that point of view, can be a conduit to waking up because it can inspire the sense of awe…I’m a part of something bigger than me.

STEVE: Oh, definitely. Funny enough, in my research as a psychologist I’ve done quite a bit of research on awakening experiences which are temporary experiences of transcendence. They usually fade away after a few minutes or a few hours. They are just a temporary glimpse of wakefulness. And nature is one of the biggest triggers of awakening experiences. So often when people are swimming in the ocean, or swimming in a lake, or walking in the mountains…or even, just lying in the park on a sunny day…that’s when awakening experiences often occur, due to the effect of contact with nature. I think nature has a quality of stillness. It enables us to calm down. Our minds begin to slow down. Our minds empty and some space opens up inside us. A bit of space opens up between our thoughts, and we somehow get in touch with deeper levels of our own being. We transcend separateness.

DONNA: Do you think art can do that, as well? When you were just describing that, at this moment, I was thinking about the word sublime. You know the German philosopher, Kant, talked about the sublime…when we are confronted with something that words cannot describe. And I feel like that experience in nature is not unlike the experience we have with art. And also, like a spiritual experience.

STEVE: Yeah. In fact, that was another significant trigger of Awakening experiences. Witnessing a crazy performance…a lot of people talked about going to the theatre to see a dance performance…listening to music…and they would experience this more expansive state of consciousness. Yes, I think in the same way, art can give way to transcendence. It can open up our minds. It can open up space inside us. And it can remind us, or connect us to a higher reality.

DONNA: So, when I was preparing for this interview, I was reading some of your work where you talk about dogs. As an animal lover myself, I want to switch gears just a little bit and take advantage of your time and ask you about that…because having two dogs myself, I was relating very much to the stories you were telling. You were talking about empathy. And how we are not the only ones with this quality of empathy. When we can almost predict what the other will do or sense what the other is thinking. You were saying how dogs know when their owners are coming home…and that they did some tests…and the dogs would go to the window as soon as the owner was on their way home…and they repeated the tests and they were able to demonstrate that the dogs did have an overwhelming sensitivity and connection to their owners. So, this makes me wonder if humans are the only ones. And I don’t think we are…that have this quality of connection that we have been talking about. Would you be able to comment on that?

STEVE: Well, I think in some sense, all living beings are inter-connected. We share the same fundamental consciousness. You know, that’s what compassion is. If I feel compassionate towards someone’s suffering, I am sensing their own inner being. I am sharing…that’s what empathy is. When we perform acts of kindness…that’s triggered by our shared sense of being. And that works on kind of a psychic level, too. If I think about a person and they call me in the next second. Or, if I have a dream and I meet that person in my dream the next day…that works through the inter-connectedness between us. We share the same collective mind. That enables us to be telepathic.

The problem with human beings is because of our egos. These strong and separate sense of egos. We kind of isolate ourselves from the ocean of being. We become like separate islands within the ocean and we sometime lose the ability to empathize with one another and the ability to sense other people’s suffering…and people’s intentions or thoughts. But animals…because they don’t have the sense of ego that we have, they’re actually more connected to us and to each other, which is why it has been shown many times, that dogs have this psychic connection with their owners.

DONNA: Yes, Well, I’ve experienced it. And so, I took an interest in that. It’s not only sensing when their owners are coming home…although, how could we know that?…we are not home to watch their behavior. But certainly, being in car rides you can tell that when we turn in certain directions that are different than the usual route, they sense something different has happened. They are somehow in tune in a different way than we are.

STEVE: Yes, I think so. They share this unity of being which we have sometimes, but we often lose it because of our ego centeredness. And cats, I have a cat and a couple of years ago my wife’s father died and when my mother in law…my wife’s mother came to stay with us…the cat…it was so obvious that she was responding to my mother in law’s grief. She would sit near her. She was comforting her. I think it happens a lot that cats have this, and probably dogs too, of this sense of when people are in need. People need comfort when they are bereaved or depressed. They sense it and offer their comfort.

DONNA: Interesting. Yes. Speaking of bereavement and things of this nature, do you think there is such a thing as the dark night of the soul? Is suffering necessary for the process of awakening?

STEVE: It can be, yeah. I’ve found in my research and in my own experience, too, that when spiritual awakenings happen suddenly and dramatically…it’s often preceded by intense suffering. I’ve done research with a lot of people who were diagnosed with cancer and told that they only had a few months or maybe a year to live. I’ve done research with people that were severely disabled…people who were addicts, who lost everything do to addiction…many people who were bereaved…and it definitely seems that the intense loss and suffering they went through was the trigger of their spiritual awakening. What seems to happen is the normal ego breaks down in the face of so much suffering. Just like a building in an earthquake. It just collapses. But when the normal ego collapses in some people, there seems to be a kind of latent higher self that is waiting to be born…and that new self-arises inside of them and becomes their normal self.

DONNA: Almost like we are supposed to awaken but we live in a state of distraction or darkness or overcome by life’s day to day necessities. And it takes some strong event to shake us out of that. Out of the normal life’s pattern, so to speak.

STEVE: Yeah, exactly, yeah. It’s a bit like on a communal level, you can have a group of people that live in a town…they all live in their different houses and they don’t really interact. Sometime it takes a crisis…if there is a crisis in a community…like, maybe a fire, an earthquake, maybe just a burglary, a spate of burglaries in the town. It brings people together, it shifts the community to a higher level. People begin to interact. They communicate a lot more. They act altruistically towards each other. The whole community somehow deepens and becomes more connected.

DONNA: Yes, yes. I’ll draw on your background in psychology a little bit more on this because I find it so fascinating. This observation that even when people do have an awakening experience or are pursuing an awakened life in formal practice or on their own…it still doesn’t equate with sanity. For example, being in a human body and living a human life is somehow challenging. And I’ve often seen that just because people have a spiritual life or are living a spiritual lifestyle, they still fall prey to life’s challenges. They still suffer from the depression or anxiety that they always did suffer from and it doesn’t just magically disappear the way we would expect. Oh, this person is awakened or this person is a spiritual teacher…everything is perfect for this person…they’ve got it all figured out. But not necessarily.

Continued in Part II…
Source: AWAKEN


Published on Mar 13, 2018

Adyashanti talks about the changes that arise when the psychological self is seen for what it is, when the sorrow of becoming falls away into effortless being, when the heart starts to come online and the will is finally understood by its absence. A deep paradox arises, the understanding that we are one, and the realization that each individual is unique in itself and unspeakably valuable. This spiritual autonomy has an endless capacity to express itself through its humanity and can become a redemptive presence in the world, helping us all remember who we are.

With awakening we open to the present moment, which is the doorway to love, truth, and oneness.


In this video, Amoda invites you to stop chasing enlightenment as a sudden “happening” and instead turn your devotion to knowing yourself – and knowing life – as the openness that is always available, right here and now.

Donna Quesada: You know, it’s funny you should bring up the word awakening. Because I was going to ask you…our web site is called Awaken.com, so that is something I want to ask you. What does it mean to awaken? Is there such a thing? Does it happen at once? How do you live an awakened life? And you are kind of going into that on your own. So, I want to push it a little bit. How does this discernment relate to an awakened life?

Joan Borysenko PhD:: Well, I think an awakened life is one in which you are living more from your higher self and less from ego’s fears and projections. And all of that. And I think there are people that totally wake up and I think for the rest of us, it’s a gradual awakening. Little by little. Particularly as we learn to meditate. We develop what is called meta-awareness—and that is instead of being totally fused with our thoughts—that part of us that is the observer, is meant to be meditating, I’m going to take a breath. That meta-awareness starts to operate. And when you have a reaction to something, let’s say, all of a sudden you see a person, and right away you get, like, yuck, that person feels creepy to me…

DONNA: Yep, you just feel a vibe.

JOAN: Yeah, you feel a vibe. Your meta-awareness picks up on that. And it inquires, am I projecting? Am I simply picking up a vibe that says, “Be careful…this is a dangerous person?” But you start to wake up and you don’t take your reactions to be reality. There is a moment of inquiry there. And in case you are just thinking…whatever it is…I feel creepy right now. I have a creepy feeling. You are able to do something about it. I find it interesting that some of the most ancient mind training techniques came through Hinduism. And the various schools of Buddhism, and became particular developed in Tibetan Buddhism. That these are now available to all of us…so, we can learn to reprogram, retrain our brain…build new circuits. And tame some of that reactivity of the ego. And as that happens, that is part of the awakening process, we become more and more present to the extraordinary richness, beauty and language of the world around us. Much more attuned. Plants speak a language. Animals speak a language. The clouds speak a language. And so, I’d say we become more fluent in the languages of life.

DONNA: So, awakening is becoming more present, not only to what we are hearing around us but what we are feeling within us. And it is a process…it is a process of differentiating between the voice of the ego and the voice of fear and reality…whatever that is.

JOAN: Yeah…whatever that is.

DONNA: Is the ego always bad?

JOAN: Well, you know there are two senses for the ego. Certainly, when I put on my psychologist hat…we all have to have an ego. In the psychological sense, a place where you can stand, a place where you can…I’m a worthwhile human being…I have skills…when I get out of whack, to bring me back to the center…that’s a healthy way. The healthy ego says, “I don’t have to prove anything…I’m worthy of existing.” And that’s a good thing to have. And it is a separate sense of self, but it’s from that healthy sense of self, we begin to develop more and more, a sense of compassion, that we actually begin to transcend what Albert Einstein called “the optical delusion of separateness that separates us from all that is.” So, that we can also be simultaneously present to something larger. So, the metaphor I use to understand this in life in my own mind, is…we are both a particle and a wave and our particle part is a healthy ego. And our wave transcends the ego. And we feel unity with all that is.

But it’s the unhealthy ego that needs transcending…that healthy sense we need to develop. That’s why I think there is so much interest these days in the fields of attachment to our care-takers. Did we feel safe? Because if we don’t feel safe when we were little, it’s very hard to have a sense of healthy ego…if we were traumatized in the ego. The ego needs a little bolstering up. So, the fields of attachment and trauma are important in understanding this, and building and restoring us to a healthy ego. So, have it, but also transcend it.

DONNA: It’s almost as if this trauma creates this deep sense of insecurity that causes us always to look for reassurance. And that’s kind of where the ego goes awry.

JOAN: That’s right. And you know, for years, I think, known for us in this field that there is no such thing as psychological growth distinct from spiritual growth. It’s a spiritual process, and there are a number of languages for the two things. But what they all have in common is this: That as our ego becomes secure, and as we touch the part of ourselves that goes beyond the ego…that part of itself is love itself. And I know, that sounds trite. But when you have an experience of divine union and transcendence, words make sense to you. The overwhelming sense is such a loving kindness. It’s unbelievable. You can’t believe that such loving kindness is in this universe and that it’s so personal. It’s not an impersonal thing. It’s a personal thing. A source of love and kindness knows you, thoroughly…and loves you with all your mistakes.

I’ve had a lot of meetings with the light. So, I am speaking from personal experience. As you grow psychologically, you grow spiritually. You grow in love and kindness. These days, at least in the psychological circles, compassion training has become a very important thing. As people begin to develop more compassion for themselves and more compassion for others…that’s the part of us that transcends the limit of our own circumscribed self. As Einstein put it, the circle of loved ones closest to us…so that compassion gradually extends to all beings and to nature and then beyond that, to the mysterious reality. The source of being from which we come. Such gratitude and forgiveness. Mercy and love and compassion develop. And if you are a Christian, it’s like, “hey, these are the fruits of the spirit that Jesus talked about.” How do you tell…how do you tell a person is growing inside?…because they manifest those fruits of forgiveness and love and patience and joy and mercy…

DONNA: Here’s what I wonder about, Joan. To use your case as an example, you had this traumatic experience in life which led to a direct experience through prayer…divine…which transformed you. How do we teach compassion without that kind of direct experience? Can it be taught?

JOAN: It can be taught. That’s what is so exciting. You know, when my husband, Gordon, and I wrote the book Your Soul’s Compass—that was the book that we interview the 27 saviors. What we discovered there…particularly, the Buddhist teachers would say, “well, what is Buddhism? It’s all about developing compassion. It’s an entire life of learning to cultivate kindness and compassion.” And Buddhism has the tools for that, which gradually make their way into psychology. For example, there have been a number of studies looking at the slogans of Tibetan Buddhism. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this deck of Pema Chodron compassion cards. It’s cool. It’s the 59 Lojong slogans of Tibetan Buddhism and they are all different aspects of compassion in daily life. And you just pick a card and on the front side is whatever the slogan is. And if you turn it over on the back side, Pema has given just a sentence or two of explanation, so you can remember during the day to be compassionate, to have an exponentiate inside you. So that’s the Lojong slogans.

That love and kindness meditations have been studied… So, for example, at Emery University, Emery does a lot of study on this type of thing. There is a Tibetan Monastery close by. And there has been a collaboration of studying these old Buddhist principles. You can take students and in six weeks the practice of the loving, kindness meditation…sending blessings of love and kindness… May I be at peace… May my heart remain open… May I be happy… It’s blessings to yourself and others. That, plus the Lojong slogans.

DONNA: So, it’s not just reading. Saying little prayers throughout the day, but maybe not calling them prayers, so as to make it more palatable to people who might not be comfortable with that language…which is a practice.

JOAN: Well, it is a practice. You know, a very dear friend of mine, Karen Drucker…she has written 20 albums of positive music, for which she wins a prize every year. And she’s taken the most basic love and kindness blessings and it’s a song. (Singing) May I be filled with love and kindness…May I be well… May I be peaceful and at ease… And may I be happy… And who wouldn’t want to be happy? You’re just wishing the best for yourself. And you sing it for other people. You sing it for your loved ones. It’s so simple and easy and it becomes an ear worm. You feel it repeating during the day. You can’t stop it. It’s such a great way to take ancient wisdom and bring it into a modern thing. It doesn’t make people think, I’m doing some Buddhist religious thing. Just sing a song.

DONNA: So, would it be fair to say that practice, and I wanted to ask you this anyway…do you need to have a meditation practice? It’s like any practice and that’s a very Hindu way of looking at it. You know the different yogas…you can be devotional, you can be intellectual about it… Do you agree that practice can take different forms and do you have to have a teacher?

Joan: Well, practice can take different forms. For example, not everybody is going to sit and do mindfulness meditation every day, but everybody can take a shower and say, “I love the foam in my hair…I love the hot water.” And instead of planning my day, I’m just going to let go and get back to the pleasure of the moment. I’ll get to the planning of the day, later. That’s a meditation…action. And that’s a wonderful thing for anybody to learn to do. And you can learn mindfulness and meta-awareness through doing that.

And here’s the thing, there are plenty of teachers available. You want to learn mindfulness, you can go online and find a course by Jon Kabat-Zinn. That will teach you mindfulness. And of course, with anything, you can teach yourself but generally speaking, you can make more progress faster if you take a course where somebody points out the territory. And then once you have the big picture you can go into it more, yourself. So, having some teaching is always useful. And then there are people who are just self-taught in all these things. I think there is room in all these things for every different approach, Donna.

DONNA: How do we balance this individual development of awareness with our responsibility to the environment, for example? Or a world that drives us to angst…which drives us to practice in the first place.

JOAN: That, of course, is a great question and as you begin to train a little bit in compassion, what happens of course, is the suffering of the world becomes more acute and more obvious to you. But compassion is more than empathy. It’s not just feeling the difficulties of the world, it’s the desire to do something to relieve that. And on a very basic level you can do a process of love and kindness. You can do a Tonglen meditation. Where you can literally breathe in from all your pores, the heaviness of a part of the world that is suffering, And you breathe back the light within your own being to them. You can do that at a very basic level. You can also get involved. The first is a little subtler act of activism. But there are many acts of activism.

I was telling you before I started…my husband is going to have a group of people coming in here. He is organizing a group to implement hopefully, making Santa Fe a compassionate city. There are several hundred compassionate cities. And that’s an amazing thing. When different branches of a city all activate to say, “What is our vision?” Vision is compassion, whether you are looking at education or whether you are looking at the sewer system. Whether you are looking at…whatever. And there have always been people and there will always be people who take that inner drive for compassion and bring it outside. But even if your only service to the world is transforming yourself, that is enough because we all touch our families…we touch the people we interact with. And everybody really does long for the same thing. Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama, “We all want to be happy!”

We all want to be peaceful. Who wants to suffer? And so, it’s a contagious feeling when you get around people who are peaceful. When you get around people who pass up the bait! When someone says something upsetting and instead has a more enlightened response to it. That’s what impresses people, not what we say but who we are. We all want a little of that.

DONNA: It seems like sometimes we get the feeling that we are just not getting anywhere. Do you need to have a quote “dark night of the soul” as an impetus to this kind of awaking and growth of compassion?

JOAN: That’s always a great question. This is an old question. I first heard it posed by William James, who was around at the beginning of the last century…1800’s, early 1900’s. And you might have read his book, Varieties of Religious Experience, which was a set of lectures at Harvard. And William James was the father of modern psychology. And he was also deep into the perennial wisdom and meditation and all that. He believed that we woke up in one of two ways. He said, the more common way is through crisis. And another way—maybe a little less common—is through gradual awakening…through “disillusion.” The disillusion of the difficulties that hide that true light of the heart, of the sun within your heart…you don’t have to develop it because it’s always there; it’s your true nature.

Consider your life best as a metaphor. You know, I know a woman, and what an enlightened being she is. What Love. And for her it’s been a gradual awakening. I look at someone like me and I’m more… Every once in a while, I just seem to have to go to hell. To the netherworlds! And then finally it gets cracked wide open and I think, “I wish I didn’t have to keep doing this!”

DONNA: Well, as promised that’s a pretty good place to leave it. Is there anything else you would like to share with out Awaken listeners, Joan?

JOAN: Just an invitation. They can come and check out my web-site which is just my name joanborysenko.com And you can also find me on Facebook at the Joan Borysenko Community. That’s good, and I do a lot of public programs. And I’ve got a lot of books so… there are some resources for people.

DONNA: Joan, it was just a pleasure to talk to you. I thank you for joining us to today for this interview. Personally, I’ve enjoyed it and I know our viewers will enjoy it, as well.

JOAN: Thank you much, Donna. You are a great interviewer. What A joy.

DONNA: Thank You! It was mutual. Bye bye!

JOAN: Bye!

View Part I – God Is A Mystery, HERE https://evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com/2018/02/18/awaken-interviews-joan-borysenko-ph-d-god-is-a-mystery/

Source: AWAKEN

Pub Date 01 May 2018

Whether it happens all at once or gradually over time, spiritual awakening is an experience that may be accompanied by great insight, ecstatic bliss, or a mystical infusion of light, love, and vision. But it can be an overwhelming experience, too, leaving those to whom it’s occurred searching for answers and understanding. Written by a transpersonal psychologist and non-dual teacher, this book will help you understand the phenomenon of spiritual awakening, and provide guidance and support for you on your spiritual journey.

At the heart of most spiritual traditions is the understanding that we are one with all of existence. This realization, also known as spiritual awakening or spiritual emergence, can occur spontaneously, after years of spiritual practice, or through many other portals. Although awakening is often considered a purely positive experience, many people are not prepared for the ramifications of such a life-altering event. When your perception of yourself and reality has been altered, you may find yourself with more questions than answers. Where can you turn?

Based on over thirty years of case studies, as well as the author’s own experiences, When Spirit Leaps explores the why and what of spiritual awakening, revealing how this phenomenon occurs across all traditions, and exploring the various ways it can happen. Including discussions on kundalini energy, meditation, yoga and qigong, breathwork, near-death experiences, and much more, this inspirational book offers companionship and practical solutions to common challenges along the spiritual path of awakening.

With this book as your guide, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the process and different portals of awakening, and find comfort and support in the real-life stories of those who have experienced this shift in consciousness and faced its challenges. Most importantly, you’ll learn how you can embody this awakening and live joyfully and effectively without attachment to a personal sense of self, but as the oneness with all that is your true nature. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, this book will help you along the way.

Bonnie Greenwell

BONNIE GREENWELL, Ph.D. is a teacher in the lineage of the modern non-dual wisdom teacher Adyashanti, and a transpersonal psychologist who has dedicated her work to the support of people in the spiritual emergence process. She is the author of “Energies of Transformation: A Guide to the Kundalini Process”, and “The Kundalini Guide” the editor of Adyashanti’s book “Emptiness Dancing” and contributor to the anthology “Kundalini Rising”. After years of working as a transpersonal therapist, she established Shanti River Center in Ashland, OR. to provide non-dual and transpersonal education. With a broad background in eastern and western traditions, and a long personal history of awakening moments, she has trained therapists and spiritual teachers internationally to work effectively with the dynamics of awakening and the embodiment of Self-realization.

Dr. Bonnie Greenwell on Kundalini Awakening, Spiritual Evolution and much more

Bonnie Greenwell Ph.D has covered the various aspects of kundalini for over 30 years. She is regarded as one of the most credentialed people to cover the various aspects of Kundalini. Since 1983 she has worked as a transpersonal therapist with people having non-ordinary experiences associated with spiritual awakening, especially with kundalini arising, which was the topic of her doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.

Kundalini (Sanskrit kuṇḍalinī, कुण्डलिनी, About this sound pronunciation (help·info), “coiled one”), in the Dharma religions, is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine. Different spiritual traditions teach methods of “awakening” kundalini for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment. Kundalini is described as lying “coiled” at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened. In modern commentaries, Kundalini has been called an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or “mother energy or intelligence of complete maturation”.

Kundalini awakening is said to result in deep meditation, enlightenment and bliss. This awakening involves the Kundalini physically moving up the central channel to reach within the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the head. Many systems of yoga focus on the awakening of Kundalini through meditation, pranayama breathing, the practice of asana and chanting of mantras. In physical terms, one commonly reports the Kundalini experience to be a feeling of electric current running along the spine.

22 Spiritual Things That Have Become The Norm Since 2012

#Source :http://www.isabellagreene.com/
#Author :by Isabella Greene

Published on Jan 17, 2018

Two passionate lovers of truth and wonder, a spiritual teacher and a mathematician, exchange stories of the path to awakening, and discuss the psychological nature of the rediscovery of the experience of being. For many of us it’s natural to start on the intellectual plane and to use the power of the scientific, rational mind to surmise the reality of those dimensions. But at some point we move beyond the mind and hear a call from the heart.

Published on Dec 31, 2017

In this video, Adyashanti tells us what true Awakening really is!


A completely spontaneous, life-altering experience of satori or enlightenment shook Lesley Skylar’s world at about age 9 or 10. Everything, in every facet, shifted unimaginably – nothing was ever the same again. This set her on a life course dedicated to understanding, honoring and living what had been revealed.

Lesley has spent years as a renunciate, living in ashrams and working deeply with direct teachings of enlightenment, in both the East and West. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism, Dzogchen and the Nonduality teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. She has a Degree in Psychology, has counselled, and worked in numerous non-profit, peace and human rights endeavors.

Lesley is a teacher of spiritual awakening. The approach and teaching she shares comes directly from her extensive experience, and was developed and refined through her own realization. It is based on decades of integration and rigorous work with liberation teachings and realized teachers.

Her teaching offers individual or small group guidance for awakening, and also focuses specifically on the post awakening terrain. Many are confused or struggle after awakening as they don’t realize that awakening is a beginning – it is not stabilized and abiding, involves a coming and going of clarity and higher states, a persistent self-sense, and incomplete seeing or depth. She helps people to move beyond the initial phases of awakening, to clarify and resolve sticking points, subtle aspects of identification, shadow, unconscious beliefs and so on. This creates a deepening, integrating and embodying, which allows liberation and enlightened living to unfold.

Lesley states: “As a teacher, I am simply the voice of your own deepest being, your highest possibilities, reflected back to you. A clear mirror, reflecting back to you your most authentic True Nature.”

She has travelled extensively and lived in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Lesley offers private sessions worldwide, via Skype/ online video or in person.

“Living a realized life is a radical shift of perception and identity, bringing with it true
freedom, clarity and peace that surpasses all understanding.”

With Eckhart Tolle in Vancouver, British Columbia

I already respected and had personally benefited from Eckart Tolle’s teachings when my friend Jess and I sat down with Eckhart at his publisher’s home in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I have interviewed a pretty fair number of impressive spiritual teachers over many years. Nonetheless, I remember being truly affected by Eckhart’s very presence. Because that’s just what it was: presence. His presence was as much a teaching as the words.

What I have to offer you are just the words, I’m afraid. But I assure you: they’re good, too.

Here’s an excerpt from that Vancouver interview. Learn more about Eckhart, his best-selling books The Power of Now and A New Earth, and his teachings at http://www.eckharttolle.com.

Ray Hemachandra: Eckhart, why is stress so common? And what are the consequences of people living stress-based lives?

Eckhart Tolle: The whole world accepts that being stressed is the normal way to live. In fact, people think you have to be stressed to be successful. They think if you are not stressed, something is wrong with you.

But any action that arises out of stress is of low quality, and it contributes to human suffering. You are making yourself and others suffer.

Stress is a form of suffering. Look at your body and see what stress does to the body and its functions — what it does to the heart, the circulation, the immune system, the digestive function, the liver. Stress is extremely harmful to the body. Even mainstream medicine now is recognizing how many diseases stress causes.

Stress is a form of suffering, but it is accepted as normal. And it is normal in our world.

But it is not natural.

Ray: When people realize they are stressed, what is the best response?

Eckhart Tolle: First, you can be very much aware that when you are stressed, it always is a sign you have lost the present moment. So, you can choose to re-enter the present moment.

Even in a moment of stress, you can say, “OK, can I enjoy the doing itself? Can I enjoy the flow of energy of this moment?”

And of course you can.

Then the future recedes. It becomes peripheral. You know it’s there. You need to get there, yes. But you can enjoy the present moment, and you can be aligned with the doing.

A different state of consciousness, then, is the foundation for what you do. Presence flows into what you do. Even though what you do may be the same, there is a fundamental difference: The energy that flows into what you do, although it may be high energy, is very peaceful energy. It is not out of alignment with life.

So, that is for people to learn: You can be effective in this world without stress. It is not necessary to do things in a state of anxiety or anguish. That is not the way to be aligned with life.

Ray: How do you begin to align yourself?

Eckhart: Work to recognize the primary importance of the present moment. A good little pointer toward that is to ask yourself, “What is my relationship with the present moment? How am I relating to it?” These are temporary questions, because the deepest truth is you and the present moment are one at the deepest level.

But intermediate questions are, “What is my relationship to the present moment? Am I treating it only as a means toward an end, or is the present moment an end in itself? Is the doing an end in itself? Am I enjoying what I am doing at this moment?”

These are important questions that can bring you back to realizing the now is all you ever have. There never is anything else. So, you might as well make the now your friend. Otherwise, you are out of alignment with life itself.

When you live as a friend of the now, many changes come into your life. When you are not making the present moment into a means to an end, you also are not making every human being you meet — in your business and even at home, in your family — into a means to an end.

When you always want the next thing, every human being becomes a means to an end. Even when people deal with their children: “Have you done this? Come on, do this, you must get this done.” If you go into some households, their whole lives consist of, “What’s the next thing we have to do? Come on, let’s go.”

That is not the way to live.

Ray: So, living in the now improves the quality of all human relationships.

Eckhart: Yes, of course. For example, if you are a businessperson, you meet customers in your business. Are they means to an end? If the present only is a means to an end, the people you are meeting also become part of that, because you want something from them. You want the business. You want the information they are going to give you. You want their money. Whatever you want, they become means to an end.

That reduces the quality of human interactions tremendously. Human interactions become egoic, because the other people also then make you into a means to an end.

When you meet another human being while living in the present moment, then the primary event is as the book A Course in Miracles describes: Whenever you meet anybody, it is a holy encounter. The primary event is the energy field of presence between you and the other human being that arises. You enjoy it. There is deep joy in the meeting.

Then, whatever you want to achieve is secondary: the business, the exchange of information, whatever it may be. Yes, you do that also, but there is a deeper foundation — meeting that human being in a state of shared presence.

Even if the other person is not present, it doesn’t matter. You can’t say, “Wait! For him, I only am a means to an end, so what do I do?” It doesn’t matter. You honor that moment — the only moment there is.

If you honor that moment, you also honor that human being, because it is in that moment the human being appears in front of you. So, honoring the moment is honoring every human being you meet. The only place where you can meet them is in the moment.

And that brings a totally different quality into human interactions. You enjoy the present moment. You enjoy the other person’s presence. The other person’s presence ultimately is the same as your presence, because it is in presence that there is true meeting.

Whatever happens is secondary. In the example of a businessperson, if you get the business, fine. If you do not get the business, that’s fine, too. It seems to me those people who already live like that, because some do, are actually very much more successful than those for whom every person they meet is a means to an end.

Ray: Would you give an example of such a person in the business world from your own experience?

Eckhart: When I bought a car some years ago, the salesman totally was in a place of joy. I could see he didn’t care whether I bought the car or not. He was enjoying showing me the car and taking me for a test drive. And it was for me to finally say to him, “Yes, I’m taking your car.” But I know very well if I had said, “I don’t think I’ll take it,” he would have remained just the same. And, perhaps, three years from now if I buy another car, I will go back to him and buy.

Let’s say you also are going to buy a car. If the salesman sees you as a means to an end, then if you don’t buy his car after he talks to you for an hour, shows you cars, and goes for test drives, he is going to be upset. So all he ever wanted from you was for you to pay your money and buy that car. He was not interested in you as a human being. He was not interested in the present moment. He was interested in the future moment.

Even if they don’t know it consciously, people can feel when you are making them into a means to an end only. And people are much less likely to do what you want them to do — for example, to buy the car — when they feel you are reducing them into a means to an end.

Everything flows with much greater ease when people live as one with the present moment. Then you are one with every human being you meet, and that’s the only way the world really can change.

Ray: What are the global implications for such a shift?

Eckhart: The world is in such a mess because of the continuous conflict that arises between human beings — not only between individuals but between tribes and nations and this group and that group and so on. But change can come in only when people start with themselves.

Nations consist of individuals. It is for every individual to bring in a different quality — the quality of awakened consciousness — into their lives.

Then, everything will change. When enough humans do that, the relationships between nations will change. The whole madness we still experience, which is the old consciousness, will come to an end.

Ray: That brings me to two questions — one on the collective level and one on the individual level — that seem to tie together now.

You have written that human beings had to develop a state of insanity, or madness, as a collective to then be able, evolutionarily, to transform and awaken. That parallels what seems to happen on the individual level, doesn’t it? As a child, a person builds up an egoic sense — the child has a name, has an “I,” has a mind. But then, to awaken, a person needs to completely transcend that sense of ego.

Why was it necessary for humanity to go through insanity to get to the point now of potential awakening, and then, on an individual level, do all people really have to build up an ego just to tear it down upon awakening?

Eckhart: On an individual level, you can see how the ego develops even in a small child. For example, when one child says to another, “I can do this, I bet you can’t”; “My dad has a bigger car than yours”; or, “My dad is stronger than yours.” Children identify with this or that, trying to build up a sense of self — a mentally defined sense of self.

So far for humans it has been the case that ego develops and then humans are stuck with it for the rest of their lives. On the new Earth, as the awakened consciousness comes in, I would say the ego would develop in children and quickly become outgrown when they reach adulthood. So, the egoic stage will be much more short-lived, and it will be associated with growing up.

When humans reach their early 20s or mid 20s, they quickly will go beyond ego. Ego is an immature stage of development for humans, and that’s what it will be recognized as when the consciousness changes on the planet. Children will develop an ego and quickly outgrow it. That’s very different from developing an ego and being stuck with it for the rest of your life.

Ray: And collectively?

Eckhart: On the collective level, was what has happened necessary? Yes, because it happened. It happened, so it was part of the larger totality of what is.

Humanity, it seems, had to go through that developmental stage. You can say it is an immature stage. Like in an individual with a mentally defined sense of self that identifies with this or that, it is not knowing who you are.

Humanity had to go through it. It started with the arising of the ability to think, which I believe is described in the beginning of the Bible as the fall. It is the telling of good and evil.

Suddenly, you can differentiate mentally, “This is good, and this is bad.” Humans eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Suddenly, they start cutting reality up into bits and pieces, which is what the thinking mind does.

At first, it wasn’t a problem. In fact, it was an enormous step forward in the evolution of humanity. Although they were not physically stronger than many animals, quickly through thinking — which became their most powerful weapon — humans were able to outwit animals.

Then, thinking grew and grew. For a long time humans probably were in touch on a deeper level with the depths of their being, unconsciously so, the same way an animal or a tree is. Gradually, though, more and more of their identity went into the movement of thought. They identified more and more with the movement of thinking.

So, they got cut off from the depths of their being. Their identity moved into the head. They were defined mentally, and then they became egoic entities — me — scoped more and more separate, because the thinking man cuts reality into, “This is me, this is the other, this is us, this is them.” He cuts everything. So, the egoic entity arose.

Then, after thousands of years, they were trapped in the mind. So, their greatest weapon had become their greatest trap. It’s an old mythological motif: The thing that gives you power also traps you.

Ray: Why is now the time for humanity to escape the trap?

Eckhart: We are in the final stages of egoic madness. Almost the whole world is fighting each other. We witnessed the final stages of egoic madness in the 20th century, and even now it still is playing itself out. It has not quite come to an end yet. Humanity had to go through egoic madness, it seems, and then outgrow it.

Although that still is the predominant energy on the planet, there are now many — more and more — humans who are outgrowing that stage of development. Humanity is reaching the end of the evolutionary stage of ego. The closer we get to the end, the more dysfunctional humanity becomes.

I sometimes give the example of a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. For a while, the caterpillar’s life works quite well. And then, suddenly, something goes wrong with the caterpillar. It cannot move very well anymore. It becomes more and more dysfunctional as a caterpillar just before the metamorphosis into a butterfly happens.

That is what is happening to humans now. We had to go through an evolutionary stage. We are getting very close to the end of that stage. In fact, for many humans the end already has come. And, so, the dysfunction becomes more apparent.

Ray: Do you see the awakening happening equally around the globe, or does it vary globally?

Eckhart: It varies enormously. Some groups and individuals still are immersed totally in the egoic consciousness. Others already are free or in the process of stepping out of ego. The arising of the new consciousness already has started for many people. They are not yet recognizable as groups, but they are here and there.

I come into contact with people like that all the time because of the work I do. So, I sometimes get a distorted view of how quickly humans are evolving, because I meet many people who are evolving beyond ego. Then I have to switch on the TV to realize, “Oh, no, it is not happening to everybody yet.” But it is happening.

I cannot make predictions. There are many things that are still uncertain and that probably nobody knows, because so many factors determine what form the transformation of consciousness on our planet takes.

For example, there is the possibility of very major upheavals — geographic, climatic upheavals. There are some indications this is happening already. They are part of the upheaval that is happening inside human beings: the shift of one state of consciousness — the breakdown of one state of consciousness — and the arising of a new state of consciousness. It is an enormous evolutionary event.

It seems we are witnessing more and more catastrophic natural events on the planet: hurricanes, earthquakes, tidal waves, and so on. To me, inner and outer are so strongly linked that any collective change that happens within human beings, within the human psyche, inevitably will be reflected externally in what happens on the whole planet.

So, the upheavals are reflecting the inner upheavals and the breaking down of the old egoic consciousness, which also manifests as increasing madness in what the egoically possessed humans do. There are governments and nations that still are egoically possessed. What they do becomes more and more mad.

Terrorism is an example of that extreme madness. People blow themselves up just to kill others. Unconscious reaction to terrorism is equal madness.

Ray: In your book A New Earth, you write, “Evolve or die.” What makes this time in human history so fertile and foreboding?

Eckhart: With the egoic consciousness having become so dysfunctional, and now having at our disposal all these enormous technologies and scientific advances, if nothing changes the ego will use those things — as it already has been doing — and will amplify the technology that we now have. The scientific advances, to a large extent, will be used in the service of the ego, and they will become more and more destructive.

So, the egoic madness, or dysfunction, becomes enormously amplified by the science and technology we all have developed. We would destroy ourselves and the planet now if no change happens, because of the amplification of the egoic state through science and technology.

It first happened with the First World War of the 20th century. For the first time, humans had all these weapons that didn’t exist before. They had submarines. They had machine guns. They had poison gas. They had flamethrowers. Now, we have developed infinitely more sophisticated weapons of destruction, but that was the first time it happened. The destructiveness of that war was unimaginable. Ten million killed.

No one could actually remember why it all started. One person got assassinated by some madman in Yugoslavia or somewhere, and then 10 million humans killed each other. I don’t know whether to laugh or to weep. It’s tragic.

Already, in that war, we can see the destructiveness of the egoic consciousness with advanced technology. Humans were totally horrified: “What have we done?” But, of course, it continued. Soon, the next world war came with mass exterminations and so on.

That is why it has to change now. If we don’t change, if the egoic consciousness continues, I don’t believe that humanity as a species can survive, or at least human civilization can survive, for another hundred years.

It is quite possible even that the planet would no longer be able to sustain human life. Probably, the planet eventually would regenerate and produce some other life form. Consciousness would flow into some other life form and express itself through that, whatever that would be.

So, in the end, it’s all fine, no matter what happens. But I believe from what I can see there is a good chance the shift will happen in humanity before it is too late.

Ray: You are a German and lived your first formative 13 or so years in Germany. Germany, of course, perpetrated one of history’s most terrible acts of egoic madness: the Holocaust. How has that impacted the evolution of the German nation and people?

Eckhart: Germany is a nation that created an enormous amount of suffering on the planet. The German people also themselves have suffered, because it always goes together. The more suffering you create, the more suffering comes to you.

Perhaps they are evolving quickly now because of it. In Germany, there was complete identification with the collective — the nation and so on — and now all that has gone away completely. Since the Second World War, the German people have disidentified from identification with their nation, because the nation was recognized as insane. It was so apparent.

So, Germans now have far less identification with their own nation than, for example, Americans have. Some disidentification with the collective, as I call it — us and them — started to appear slowly in the States during the Vietnam War, when millions of people suddenly saw, “This is insane.” Many people actually left. Huge numbers of young men who did not want to be part of the madness came to live in Canada.

In the 1950s, most Americans were very conformist. Then, in the ’60s, something happened: a disidentification. Now, we may have another stage: again, many people are seeing the madness of it clearly, and there is a further disidentification.

But the disidentification has been much more complete in Germany and probably Japan after the Second World War, because those countries were the places where the egoic madness came through most strongly.

The fact that they were highly cultured, highly evolved countries didn’t help, because the ego also was highly evolved. In both countries, the ego in every human being was very highly evolved, and that is one of the reasons why such acts of madness were perpetrated by those two countries, which in turn is why they disidentified from identification with the collective after the Second World War.

This is very fascinating! I could talk about this for hours. (Laughs.)

Ray: Eckhart, how can groups come to reflect enlightened consciousness without ego? By definition a group is brought together by a sense of identity and therefore by a shared egoic understanding and agreement.

Eckhart: Enlightened groups can exist, as long as the individuals’ sense of identity is not derived from a mentally defined image of us. Every individual is in touch with the deeper level of being, the aware consciousness. If these humans form groups, they do not derive their sense of self from the group, which does not mean there cannot be a sense of being part of this group. But the group itself does not become an egoic entity.

Otherwise, if the individuals who make up a group have personal egos, and their identities lie in these egos, then their egoic identities will shift to the group. It might look as if they are losing their personal egos, but the ego simply shifts to the group. This happens in sects, in political parties, in religions, and so on, if you derive your sense of self from them. Also, a group needs enemies, because without enemies its identity cannot continue to be defined.

But there can be other associations — enlightened businesses, for example — that do not work on the basis of us against them or wanting profit as the main motivating force behind what they do.

So, yes, there can be enlightened groups of people. They enjoy being together, and they form a kind of collective entity, but not an egoic collective entity. The group does not need enemies.

Consciousness very much can come through these groups. This happens sometimes when I do retreats. People come together — let’s say 200 or 300 people, 400 or 500 people — and they join me for a few days for a retreat. There is a temporary sense of a group, a sense of belonging. But these groups are not egoic entities. These are groups through which consciousness can come through. The group becomes almost like a vortex for the arising of the new consciousness, and it is very beautiful.

You do not need the group. You can join a group and then step out again if you have to. Even giving a talk for two hours to a small audience, there is a temporary energy field there that is the group. It’s not egoic, and it can be very helpful.

In fact, the collective energy field of presence can be very helpful when people come together. It can give you an enormous boost. The arising consciousness comes through very strongly. So, that is all to the good.

Ray: In A New Earth, you write that some religions may have generated originally from an awakened consciousness, and then the egoic part creeped in.

Eckhart: Yes, that can happen.

Ray: I wonder for individuals, then: When you awaken, does the ego always lie in the background, ready to creep back in unless you maintain your awareness? In your own life, Eckhart — in your personal partnership, business relationships, or daily interactions — does the ego sometimes rise up a bit?

Eckhart: The ego potentially always can be there, because it is no more than a collective mind pattern. I have seen cases where people seemed to become totally free of ego, and at some point in their lives the ego came back. It has happened, for example, to some spiritual teachers. At some point in their lives, they began to identify again with form.

Vigilance in oneself is very important. Vigilance means to be alert to what happens inside, so you can catch an old, collective habit pattern. For spiritual teachers, it is important not to identify with the image people inevitably have of them.

People always form images of who others are, and they can be inflated images. People may not realize that the enormous energy and spiritual power that comes through a teacher, especially in a teaching situation, has nothing to do with that person.

Ray: How do you explain that to someone convincingly?

Eckhart: I sometimes say to people, “I am a window frame — no more. The window frame is not that important. What is important is the light that comes through the window.

“Do not confuse the window frame for the light that comes through the window.”

If you confuse the two, you elevate the spiritual teacher into some special being. Form comes back here. You equate the light with the form of the teacher, the person of the teacher.

Then you project the image that has been created — and many do it together in a group — you project its specialness onto that human being. In some cases, people even believe that this or that human being is divine. And that implies, of course, that the others are not! Or, “He is the only one” — this is another good one — “He is the only one on the planet right now.” These are all indications that you have been led astray, because you equate the formless spirit with form.

That is the challenge of a spiritual teacher: not to take on board the projections of specialness people have. This is especially dangerous for spiritual teachers who only have contact with disciples or followers, who may live in an ashram. The teachers continuously are bombarded with projections of specialness. After a few years, they succumb. They buy into it. And the ego returns in that way.

Source: Ray Hemachandra

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