Awareness Explorers Episode 16: “Lynn Marie Lumiere, Guest Explorer”

n this episode we talk with Lynn Marie Lumiere about how your relationships can grow in harmony through non-dual awareness.

Includes a guided meditation from Lynn Marie pointing to the loving awareness that’s always present.

Let’s Wake Up: Deepak Chopra

Published on Dec 21

Deepak Chopra talks about his journey from medical school in India and the United States to the experiences and research that have brought him to his present understanding – that the universe, the body, the mind, and everything that we have a name for, is a human construct. “No system of thought can give you access to reality,” he says. For that, you have to go to the source of thought, which is consciousness.

Awaken Interviews Byron Katie – What It Means to Awaken

David Welch: What does it mean to awaken? Is there a process leading to levels or a permanent state?

What are the signs we are making progress? Who and what are we when we are awake?

If you’re trying to monitor your progress on your spiritual path—if you think you have any idea how far along you are—you might want to save yourself the trouble. There’s no attainment, because you already are what you want to become. Everything separate vanishes in the light of awareness.

When you realize the truth, you realize that it’s no accomplishment. You haven’t done anything; the accomplishment is just the joy of being received by the very thing that you already are. It’s the mind being met by the mind, without opposition. It isn’t personal. The truth sets us free from any attachment to the concepts “self” and “other.” There are no humans; there is no mind; it’s all a dream. The practice of inquiry deletes everything, as long as mind believes that it exists even as mind. The projected world unravels first, and then mind, and any trace that even mind ever existed. That’s my world. When it’s over, it’s over.

The only thing you need to know about enlightenment is whether believing a particular thought is stressful or not. Does the thought hurt or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, good: enjoy it. If it does hurt—if it causes any stress or uneasiness—question it, and enlighten yourself to that thought. Suffering is optional. It doesn’t have to last for years. It can get down to months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds. Eventually, when the same thoughts arise, the ones that used to make you suffer, you’re at ease with them. In fact, you’re lit; you walk down the street shining like a thousand-watt light bulb. When you think “I need my mother to love me,” you just laugh, because you’re enlightened to that thought, and the next one, and the next.

As it does The Work, mind can lose its grip on identity safely, gently. When you question your stressful thoughts and surrender everything that “you” thought you were, you come to the place where you wonder, “Without that thought, what am I?” Just because an identity appears doesn’t make it true. No one knows what he or she is. The minute it’s said, it isn’t.

Once it thoroughly questions its thoughts, the mind projects a world that’s completely kind. A kind mind projects a kind world. If someone else sees something that’s not perfect, the clear mind can’t comprehend that at first, because it can’t project it. But it remembers its ancient dream-world, when it believed that too, so in the stillness there’s a kind of reference-point, an echo. It’s always grateful for how it sees things, and it understands how others see them. That leaves a lot of energy for it to make amazing changes in the moment, because its clarity keeps none of the options hidden. This is a fearless state of being. There’s no limit to it.

David: Do you have daily rituals or practices that you follow or recommend?

Katie: I wake up. I brush my teeth. I shower. And I let the day show me what’s next. As for recommendations, I invite people to do The Work as a daily practice, if they want to have a happy life.

David: What is the purpose of your life?

Katie: My job here is to make as many people as possible know that there is a way out of suffering. I don’t expect them to do The Work; I just want them to know that it exists.

David: Who inspires you?

Katie: People who are brave enough to question their own stressful thoughts.

David: If our world is potentially looking down the barrel of an environmental catastrophe, how do we live our lives? What are your thoughts about climate change, the preservation of our planet, and the future of humanity?

I have looked down the barrel of a real gun pointed at me, and on several occasions have heard fearful, innocent people threaten to kill me, and never for an instant was I afraid. Fear is the story of a future. How could I know that the man would pull the trigger? How can I know that an environmental catastrophe will happen or, if it does happen, that it will be a bad thing for the planet? Once you understand this, and begin to live in reality, not in your thoughts about reality, life becomes fearless, loving, and filled with gratitude, whatever the nonexistent future may bring.

The war with reality always sees catastrophes looming, whether these are planetary or personal. It’s a very painful way to live. Maybe an environmental catastrophe will happen; maybe it won’t. In the meantime, I go about my business as if there were no life and no death (and there isn’t). My house is powered by the sun, the car I drive is a hybrid, I’m careful about recycling, I vote for people who say they are concerned about global warming, I support environmental causes. I’m fearless, worry-free, and I do whatever I can. “Get solar panels,” the mind says, and there is no valid reason not to, since all thoughts have been tested by inquiry. The panels are installed, my electric bill is two dollars a month, and at some point I will have put back all that I’ve used, and more. This will match my existence: all traces gone, a grateful life given back to what it came from.

I once gave a talk to a group of environmentalists. It was at a Bioneers conference in San Francisco, and hundreds of people came to listen. Many of these people had given their lives to saving the planet. I talked for a while about my commitment to environmental action, which seems to me the sane and kind thing to do. Then I asked for their thoughts about the environment. They were living with a great deal of anxiety, even terror, they said—an enormous burden on their shoulders. But many of them had open minds and were willing to question the thoughts that were causing them so much stress. I helped them do The Work on thoughts such as “Something terrible is going to happen,” “I need to save the planet,” and “People should be more conscious.” They discovered how these thoughts were driving them crazy, and how the thoughts have opposites that could be just as true.

After a few hours of intensive inquiry, I asked them to imagine the worst things that can happen if we continue to poison our beautiful planet and invited them to make a list. “The planet will become uninhabitable for humans. Thousands of species will become extinct.” And so on. Once they had made their list, we questioned some of their statements, and I asked them to turn the list around: instead of “The Worst Things That Can Happen to Our Planet,” I asked them to retitle their list “The Best Things That Can Happen to Our Planet,” then to find specific, genuine reasons why each item on the list was true. How could it be that the best thing for our planet that it becomes uninhabitable for humans, for example? Many of them didn’t want to go there at first, and there was a lot of resistance and many upset questions, but these were courageous people, and eventually they found valid reasons why every item was the best thing that could happen. “It might be good for some endangered species not to have humans around.” “It would be good for insects.” “It would be good for the rain forests.” “We wouldn’t be pumping and mining the life blood out of the planet.” “Who knows what intelligent species would evolve if we were gone?” They had been dealing with discouragement and burnout for years, and some of them later thanked me and told me how empowering this exercise had been for them.

One of the things you discover when you begin to practice inquiry is that the world doesn’t need saving. It has already been saved. What a relief! The most attractive thing about the Buddha was that he saved one person: himself. That’s all he needed to save, and when he saved himself, the whole world was saved. All his years of teaching—forty years of apparent compassion—were just the forward momentum of that one moment of insight.

For more information or visit

David Welch:
is the founder and CEO of Awaken Global Media and Chief Editor of He is the Producer of the award-winning movie “Peaceful Warrior” and a member of the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild. David is a master practitioner of Neuro-linguistic programming, a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and has a continuous, committed and daily yoga, meditation and Qi gong practice.

Source: AWAKEN

Our Natural Potential: Beyond Personal Development, The Stages of Enlightenment – by David “Davidya” Buckland (Author)

In the last decade, we’ve seen an unprecedented growth in spiritual awakening. Why is this happening? How are we to understand the nature of enlightenment? Is it a normal part of human development we had forgotten how to culture? What is the underlying causal mechanism? What are the common differences in experiencing the unfolding? How can we support people making progress without a decent road map? Can we understand this profound natural potential?
Our Natural Potential will show you the underlying process and the main stages of enlightenment based on an 8,000-year-old Vedic text. Each stage has its own distinct reality, sense of self and the world. We’ll explore the two aspects required to support a full unfolding and detail the reality of each stage.

Enlightenment is not a goal but rather a platform for living a fuller, richer life well beyond any description. This book will discuss how to culture further development and recognize common symptoms and issues. It will allow you to put spiritual teachings into a broader context.

Be prepared to have some of your concepts about the spiritual journey broken. It’s a far greater potential than most people recognize.

David Buckland is a former IT consultant who lives on Vancouver Island in the temperate rain forest of SW Canada. He began his spiritual journey in the mid-70’s. On a long retreat soon after, he began witnessing full time and refined perception clicked on with a bang. He has now been meditating and exploring consciousness for more than 40 years.

Soon after awakening in 2007, he began writing on-line under the nickname “Davidya.” The name and related blog ( soon took on a life of it’s own.

In 2011, he earned an MA in Vedic Science, studying Vedic literature, Sanskrit, and world religions. He has observed and spoken with many people having shifts in consciousness and has been working to synthesize historical understanding with modern experience.

Our Natural Potential talk by David Buckland at SAND2015

Using the Alexander model from psychology, David will illustrate that normal human development takes us progressively within. However, without suitable understanding and support, most people stall development part way along. Correct that and the inward development progresses. Once we reach consciousness beyond ego, we shift into the Transpersonal stages of development that psychology has begun to explore.

Using the approach from the Yog Vasishtha of the Ramayana and from Ayurveda, David will outline the two main processes of Transpersonal development that unfold our natural potential. On the one side, we have the 3 primary stages of consciousness unfolding to itself through an apparent individual. This includes a more complete context for Nonduality. On the other side is the unfolding heart and refinement. These two process are often referred to as the masculine and the feminine. It is together that there is a complete unfolding and embodiment.

This approach offers a framework for understanding the vast variety in how an unfolding shows up and a way to put descriptions from throughout the ages into a larger context.

David Buckland – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

David grew up on the SW coast of Canada. He began witnessing full time during a 6-month retreat in the mid-’70s then the lights came on and celestial perception began. It soon became clear that Self was awake within but had not woken up to Itself through this form yet. Self co-existed with an identified ego. Subtle perception continued to unfold in a myriad of ways.

With a more outward stroke into career, marriage, and family, inner development continued but took a back seat to life’s responsibilities.

Then in 2005, much of the old life fell away and spirituality moved back to the foreground. After some feedback and darshan with Lorne Hoff, Self at last woke up to Itself here. Probably because of the long witnessing, this was quickly followed by a series of profound shifts in Being. (see my first BatGap interview) And then transcending Being into Brahman. In 2011, David was awarded a graduate degree in Vedic Science.

In this interview, we had an extended preamble to touch on the earlier shifts, then we discussed the ParaBrahman shift, pure Divinity, and how embodied Divinity is waking up laws of nature. This process will help raise the presence of Divinity in consciousness.

In the second part of the interview, we touched on the book Our Natural Potential describing the 7 stages of enlightenment, then explored some related topics.

For over a decade, David has been blogging on a wide range of subjects related to unfolding enlightenment. Under the nickname Davidya, he has posted close to 2,000 articles. During the Science and Nonduality Conference in 2017, David gave a talk on the stages described in this interview.


Book: Our Natural Potential: Beyond Personal Development, The Stages of Enlightenment (Rick Archer wrote the Foreword.)

Part 1:
Stages of Witnessing

The Three Parts of Awakening

Experience vs Being

Stages of Development in Consciousness

3-way Dynamics of Consciousness

Understanding Unity

The Appearance of the Doers (Devata)

The Koshas or sheathes

The Levels talk @ SAND18

Free Will and Determinism

Unity into Brahman or Beyond Consciousness

Subtle Perception

The 16 Kalas


Pure Divinity

Laws of Nature Waking Up (from dormancy)

Being Cosmic (body)

Awakening the Body (laws becoming enlightened)

Inherent Intelligence

Devata and Geometry


Part 2: (about 53 minutes in)
Our Natural Potential book that explores the stages in more detail.
What is Nonduality?

The Gunas in Awakening

Knowing God

Gradations of Awakening and 5 subjective styles

Kaivalya, the Enlightenment of Yoga

Cognition, forms of

The Chakras

Understanding Your Energy System, Part 1


The Awakening Intellect (Resolute )

Styles of Teachers

Styles of Enlightenment

Atman and Sattva (Bhavas)

Karma and the Awake

Heaven revealed on Earth – Leonard Jacobson

The enlightenment teachings of Leonard Jacobson, awakened spiritual teacher

Adyashanti – The Truly Awakened State

Published on 7 Dec 2018
The truly awakened state is a state of wholeness. Within wholeness, you are no longer referencing polarized ways of viewing experience, such as form and formlessness—you are simply experiencing everything as one seamless whole. Adyashanti explores how in the truly awakened state, wholeness informs your experience of being.

Excerpted from “Full Spectrum Wholeness”:

Quotes from this Video:

“As our own spiritual perception matures, it’s defined more by wholeness than anything else.”

“You can have that experience of being a particular human being, of being nothing, of being everything—but the end result is wholeness.”

Gina Lake and Nirmala: Non-Duality and Christ Consciousness Transmissions

Gina Lake and Nirmala: Non-Duality and Christ Consciousness Transmissions

This conversation is part of a series of live, online conversations with non-dual spiritual teachers. The first part is a conversation between Grace, Gina, and Nirmala, and in the second part, people ask questions. To find out more about the live online conversations go to

Awaken Interviews Guru Meher – In Yoga, We Scarcely Know The Upper Limit Of Awakening

November 17, 2018

Donna Quesada: Guru Meher, I’d like to start out by thanking you for your time.

I’m certainly delighted to spend this time with you and I know that our listeners will benefit from having you share your insights with us.

Guru Meher: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

DONNA: Well, thank you for being here, and we have a little tradition here at We’d like to start with the question of what awakening is. And so let me just stop myself for those who might not know you…you are Guru Meher, and you teach at Yoga West. I know that you’re one of my teachers, so I’ll share that with our readers and viewers…

GURU MEHER: Teacher of Kundalini Yoga, that’s right. Yes.

DONNA: Yes…teacher of Kundalini Yoga. And so,we‘re in the business of awakening, but it’s such a big topic that I kind of like to dive right in and explore that notion of what awakening is.

GURU MEHER: I think of it just like when we’re born, and we are little kids and we can’t really do much…we can’t feed ourselves, we can’t…there’s a lot we don’t know…But later, we will, so the potential of knowing is in us, but we’re not always…have it available to us, right away. So, as we grow up, we keep knowing more and more, and our sense of ourselves in the world keeps expanding, bigger and bigger. So if you take that even further, I mean, that’s a life long process, and so, this thing that might sound mystical…called “higher consciousness” really is just this idea that sometimes we are conscious…and then later, we’re more conscious and then later, we’re more conscious. So, awakening is just a continual lifelong process of awakening as much as we can…so that our scope of what we can know, what we can process, what we can handle and enjoy, keeps expanding.

DONNA: Mmm…So, is it consciousness? Is it just being aware?

GURU MEHER: Well, consciousness has many levels, you know. I’m either asleep or I’m knocked out and I’m unconscious, so I think they all sorta mean the same thing. Like, how aware am I? And I think awareness really solves all problems eventually. Like, most of our suffering is just through ignorance. Well, I stole that from the Buddhists, but we just don’t know while we’re suffering. And once we are more aware, once we awaken…you know, as a yoga therapist my job is just…I was just working with a couple and they’re having this problem. I just help them awaken and be more aware of what was going on that was causing them the problem and as soon as they saw it they were like, “Oh, ok, problem solved. ”So awakening and awareness I put on the same…almost as the same word. Awakening to more awareness.

DONNA: Deeper seeing…

GURU MEHER: Yes, yes…

DONNA: And so, there are degrees, and it’s a lifelong process.

GURU MEHER: Yeah, and some people achieve more awakening and awareness in a lifetime than others, you know…I mean, it’s not a race. You can sort of see the difference in how far a person can get. And in yoga, we really say we scarcely know the upper limit of awakening. And so, we are all sort of pioneers in the spiritual Yoga world, trying to see if we can push the frontier of our own awakening.

DONNA: You know, it’s a curious thing because when people think of things like Yoga, or any spiritual tradition really, they think of awakening as equal to enlightenment. Like, it’s one big moment that happens once…that’s instant, and then it solves all problems immediately. But it’s really a process of degrees, of levels of awakening, and it doesn’t happen magically to make your problems disappear, just like that.

GURU MEHER: Right. Funny story…When I was a kid…Yoga was not a thing when I was a kid…there were no Yoga studios. You maybe found an esoteric book somewhere and read about the secrets of yoga and maybe there was a class…somebody came to town, you know. So, I had this sort of fantasy, mystical approach to it, and I really thought that yoga would, in its broadest sense, would be sort of a magical thing that would allow me to have no problems, no suffering, and be sort of…that there would be some big answer to everything. But really, I see it a little differently now. Like, life still is life. Life still has problems and challenges. But, if I am aware enough, if I am awakened enough, those big challenges become…they’re not overwhelming…they have a context…a larger context, so that I can handle life better. So, in the end, it is sort of a little magical, like hey, life isn’t that hard! But, it’s not that life changes…it’s that I change.

DONNA: And how does Yoga, and specifically, Kundalini Yoga, work toward advancing this process? So that in pragmatic terms, then it does make life easier? …That’s what we want.

GURU MEHER: Ok. I always take these big ideas down to the very immediate and practical. So in Yoga, like in many forms of exercise —which I’m not just saying that yoga is just a form of exercise, but it’s largely practiced that way…that you’re focused on making a goal, making a touchdown, lifting more weight…you’re focused outwardly. And so, the brilliant discovery of Yogis and other traditions around the world was to direct that attention inward. So, when you just close your eyes and get still, and get quiet, which is a part of most Yoga and most spiritual traditions—even Christian prayer, you know—then you start becoming aware of things within you, that you weren’t aware of before. They were going on but you weren’t aware of your thoughts, your feelings, your motivations, your beliefs. So, by just focusing on oneself…and in Yoga…you know, where Yoga can get competitive…Americans are sorta like, Who is the stretchiest? And, Who can be on the cover of the Yoga Journal?…and stuff. But even then, you know that people are going slow, and they’re feeling their body. So, on a very immediate and practical sense, paying attention more to ourselves —because we are the center of our awareness…we are the modality of our awareness…we are the portal of our awareness. So, by just starting to direct the attention inward and pay attention to the self, that’s where awareness starts increasing. And then of course, when the noise quiets down you’re just much more aware of things that you couldn’t hear before…and subtler…

DONNA: Like what…what do we discover when we go inward in that way?

GURU MEHER: Well, my expertise happens to be emotions. So my self-appointed mission in life has become to help people become masters of their emotions…emotionally skillful, and agile, and aware. And so, most people are running around feeling things all the time. Yogic theory tells us our mind will produce continual thoughts and continual feelings. So, most people running around, “We like the good feelings…We don’t like the uncomfortable feelings.”And so, I get amazing results in a class or with individuals, by simply…They come to me with a problem, and I say,“Ok, let’s close our eyes and what do you feel about that?”And most people, it takes them a while just to connect to, “Yeah, that problem is giving me some feelings, some emotion.”And by simply guiding them into an awareness of their emotion, they start…coming out of their…they start solving their own problems.

DONNA: Mhmm.

GURU MEHER: So, an example of just one thing that I help people become aware of is their feelings. And then, their feelings are part of their system that is trying to help them, and so, it does help them. So traditionally, meditation is thoughts, becoming aware of thoughts. So, I’ve just said, “let’s just bring in the emotions because every thought generates a feeling, anyway.”For most people, it just starts with just the body, “Oh my back has been kind of bothering me, but now that I’ve spent an hour slowly stretching it, kinda paying attention, not just trying to get it to perform but actually feeling it,”then we’re like, “Oh! My back is stiff or weak or something like that.”And on levels, that self-awareness, whatever is in there, you become aware of.

DONNA: So, could you give an example. So, for example, if you have a couple who are fighting and there’s anger. That anger then would be directed in a more constructive way because the awareness brings some space around it, so to speak. And I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I’m trying to think of how this really plays out and the work that you do.

GURU MEHER: Well I’m about to write an article about… there’s three books out right now. One is called Rage Becomes Her. And there’s three books coming out right now all about women, women and anger, right now.


GURU MEHER: And how there’s this huge uprising of women running for office, in reaction to, or response to just, we’ve had enough of being treated this way for thousands of years. So, anger, this makes sense because anger is simply a systematic response to harm. So, every emotion has a purpose. They’re not just random. Every emotion has a purpose. Anger is a response to harm…to try to protect us, and take care and handle things. So, there it is right there. Awareness is growing, you know, women were property! Women didn’t have the vote in this country, we weren’t even a democracy. You’re getting me political here! No, I’m getting political here. But no, this is not a political issue. This is just a human rights thing, that women have been mistreated and abused by and large, by men, for a long time; not everyone, but…and so that’s a lot of cumulative harm.

And if women today have a voice, and have a vote, and still feel that they are not making as much money as men, but they’re still being harassed and their harassers are favored in the courts and that kind of thing —that’s a lot of harm. Going back thousands of years, that in one lifetime, and one in five women…I’m getting on a roll…One in five women are abused in this country —that’s a lot of harm. So if you think there’s not some anger that needs to come out!

And the whole trick with anger then —and this goes back to your question, “how does this relate to an individual relationship? ”Well, when there is anger, I know there’s been harm. And so, what I try to do, is help people use their anger constructively, and that takes awareness. That takes awakening to the purpose of anger. So, the way we misuse anger —and this is just one example of the many emotions —is, either we repress it… So, if somebody is being abused and they just don’t say anything for a long time…they’re still being hurt, the anger is gonna build, and at some point you know, it’s gonna erupt. But the other way, that even Yoga talks about emotions being bad, is when they just take over, when we just react. And somebody’s angry, so they just, you know, hurt, attack the person that they actually love, you know. So the skill with anger is to bring it into to the middle, to bring it to where —and in terms of the brain…the prefrontal cortex in my limbic system are cooperating at the same time, and I can feel that I’ve been harmed. I can feel the energy of the anger, which wants to protect me, but I can use my executive function mind to then act in a way that actually achieves my protection without harming somebody else.

DONNA: So it’s constructive not destructive.

GURU MEHER: Exactly. So, I’m sorry if I wanted to talk about that for about an hour! The answer only needed a minute, but…

DONNA: That’s an interesting thing, you know, in this culture you see so much, and this is where it differs from the Yogic approach. I remember watching a show once and they were actually going off on a venting mission, you know, and prescribing that as a proper way to deal with anger. And they went out with baseball bats to a junkyard and started hitting stuff. And this idea of venting is so western, and it’s so different from the eastern approach. And so, it’s a good thing I think, to explore. I remember reading the Buddhist monk, Thich Nanh Hanh, who said that that approach only practices the anger; it doesn’t actually help to abate it. So, your approach seems to be similarly eastern, in that we want space around it, we don’t just wanna react to it. That doesn’t help; it’s not like something that you get it out and then it’s done.

GURU MEHER: Right. So my book is called…my work is called Senses of the Soul.

DONNA: Which I have.

GURU MEHER: Oh, nice! Yeah! Even got some markers in there, so looks like you’ve been working it a little bit, okay. Good! That from this higher awareness that we have, meaning, just that sometimes we are not as aware, that emotions really —as opposed to how they’re understood in this culture at this time…as sort of this…even in the spiritual world, you know, I’m too spiritual to be angry kind of thing. Like, there’s a spiritual by-passing that goes on where people are actually replacing their emotions because they think they don’t befit them. But Yogi Bhajan my teacher, used the phrase, “Emotions are the senses of the soul.”And that’s what really created my whole work. I thought emotions were bad, I thought Yogis said, emotions were beneath them, so why did my teacher call emotions the senses of the soul?

And my 15 years of research with myself and with coaching clients is that there is… they come from both an instinctual place, but also a very intuitive place, that lets us know something is not right for us and gives us the energy to make it right. But because of that, there’s a lot of wisdom in the instinctual part, so, when we repress emotions, we lose the instinctual value that hey, something’s not right for me.

But, on the other hand, when we let the animal nature of us just go attack back, then that’s not really the result that we wanted. So, when we can consciously use them, feel them, and be in what we call neutral mind, and not be in a reactive state when we work with them…And Kundalini Yoga is so valuable for this, because in a short amount of time, in Kundalini Yoga, we can get somebody in what we call, neutral mind—a clear state —in you know, three, six, eleven minutes of breathing.

I just came back from Australia. I did 14 workshops in a row, all people who have never done this stuff…mostly people who have never done it, and if people come in afraid of their minds…I had a woman come in and she said, “I’ve got this problem but I never feel emotions, and I don’t want to feel emotions, so don’t make me feel any emotions.“In 11 minutes I can just give her a breathing technique, I think we only spent six minutes, and she got a sense of safety and clarity. And then I just helped guide her into feeling what she was feeling, and literally in a half an hour she came out with the solutions to her problems. And she said immediately…Usually people come out of their meditative state and sort of want to discuss what they learned. She immediately opened her eyes and said, “How did you do that?”and I said, “I just know how emotions work and I know to help you feel safe to feel them. And then I just guided you to work with your emotions, and the answers came out of you.”So this is Yogi Bhajan’s prediction, that the future of therapy is self therapy. That people have the answers within them. We always say this within yoga. This is a really tactile way, that through the emotions, which are the senses of the soul, people actually access very quickly, more than they think they know, about how to solve one of their own problems, right.

DONNA: You know, this is an interesting thing, a personal interest of mine. You were saying that your student in Australia was in the habit of suppressing and not wanting to feel her emotions, which are the senses of the soul, and that is the work that you do. Is there ever an appropriate use of distraction? There’s so much emphasis on feeling what you feel. But just to sort of play devil’s advocate here, who wants to feel yucky stuff? Is it ever a healthy just to focus elsewhere, on something pleasant, to switch gears in that way?

GURU MEHER: Okay. Yoga’s very good at…You can be feeling bad and go into a Yoga class and come out feeling great. And we need that. We know that the brain tends to latch onto negative experiences as a protective mechanism to avoid them. So it’s much harder to program the mind to be happy, than it is to program it to be fearful.

DONNA: Interesting, so the default, or “factory setting” is toward the negative, fearful emotions…

GURU MEHER: That’s right, so…but, we don’t like those, who wants to live that way? It’s great that we’ve developed a way that we can do Yoga class and feel better. And that’s important because it takes twice as much work to feel better, than it does to feel worse. So, that is very wonderful and very important. And that’s what most Yoga people are doing, I just want to feel better. And then there becomes this belief that we should always be feeling good all the time.

DONNA: Mhmm.

Continued in Part II…

Source: AWAKEN

Aligning with Life’s Intelligence – Amoda Maa

Published on Nov 12, 2018
In this video – Amoda talks about how awakening is not a destination but the foundation of living in right relationship with ourselves, with the world and with God. She invites you to take up the invitation to go beyond the tight fist of reactivity and to fall into the open hand of love. This is a deep acceptance that brings us into alignment with life’s intelligence, an inner and outer harmony that serves us and serves everything. Recorded at a daylong meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico (November 2018).

Awaken Interview with Gangaji Part 3

Donna Quesada: So much of spiritual practice is about dropping the searching, and by extension, the attachments that we think we need

The things we think we need to present about ourselves or the things we think we need to have, to be happier, to be whole. Are all desires bad?

GANGAJI: Well, I didn’t know so much of practice was about that. That’s great…if I’d gotten that, that would’ve saved me a lot of time. Because in my experience, so much of my practice was really trying to acquire something, trying to get something better than what I have. So that’s beautiful. Thank you for that… what was the second part?

DONNA: Well, there’s so much about this notion of dropping desires, and dropping attachments. So I’m sort of, you know, I guess, playing devil’s advocate in a sense, are all desires bad?

GANGAJI: You know, I don’t think desires are bad. I think if you have the desire to be free, the desire to know the truth, to know yourself…that’s a supreme, holy desire. If you recognize that all the other desires are really, somehow, extensions of that…You know, if I got finished with my suffering, then I would know the truth. Or, if I get this relationship that I want, then I could be happy and at peace. Or, if politics goes away, I am sure it should go, then I would be at peace and the war would be over. So, it’s always a postponement of that primary and sublime true desire —I want to be free. I think we come in as babies wanting to know, Who am I? And we are told who we are and we accept that or we rebel against that. And finally, there’s enough maturity to actually really want to know the truth of that. Who am I, in truth? And that’s a desire and that’s a desire that allows that question to really be asked.

DONNA: You touched briefly on the political situation and we had a very highly publicized trial last week. I want to extrapolate from that and…just something we like to ask here, on Awaken, is about this masculine energy and a proper balance of it with the feminine energy…and I think that’s something we giving attention to these days. You know, this reclamation of the divine, the divine feminine. Could you speak to that a little bit? Do you think a lot of the problems that we see and that we have been seeing in the world, is due to the imbalance of these masculine and feminine energies? And what needs to happen, if so, to make that right?

GANGAJI: What is to happen, I don’t know. I’ll start with that one. And I think there’s a lot of wisdom in the recognition of the imbalance of, just as a species, our aggressive powerful tendencies to conquer, and to own…have really allowed us, as a species, to conquer the earth. And now, those tendencies are, I think, destroying the earth because there’s so many of us. And so, that imbalance of this natural, beautiful, aggressive male energy isn’t tempered by, you know, a sensitivity or an acceptance…just as things are, and a welcoming, so in that really big sense, yes. I think that we have to or we will perish as a species.

But I don’t know how long that perishing will take, you know? We could go through multiple dark ages before that actually happens. But I think as aware, conscious people, we have an opportunity now to see. Especially now, as we know masculine energies are not just in males, they are in females and males, and it is a beautiful energy—it is an assertive energy. And for me, it really gets stimulated when I see something I think is absolutely wrong happening in the political sphere. So then, it’s very easy to go to war with that. And it’s a fine line, it’s a razor’s edge because you can resist something beautifully and assertively without being at war with it. And you can really hate the outcomes of something without hating the beings who are perpetrating those outcomes. And that’s the edge. And I think we all fall off that edge because then you can fall into a kind of sleepiness, you know?…that you just want to withdraw from it. And if you are a recluse, I salute you! That’s a perfect way for you to live your life. But if you are engaged in the world, that is also perfect. And so, that’s more my issue.

I went on your website—on the website because I was curious about the website and I wanted to see what other teachers…and there was a clip there from Marianne Williamson and I’ve never seen her or heard about her for years, and I know people love her. And she was speaking at the World’s Parliament of Religions and it was this fiery, dynamic challenge and she had a lot of people off their seats, you know, applauding. She was a beautiful speaker, I loved it. And you know, there were a lot of people who also were not liking it, but that’s part of it. So to me, that’s part of the answer. Yes, let’s stand up and shout out and let’s also have the capacity to sit down and be still. That we have to, or we have been called to…it seems to me…to discover what balance actually is…and balance means that there is imbalance, but there’s a capacity to come to equilibrium. Whether we will make it as a species, I don’t know. Somedays it does not look promising, at all.

DONNA: Yeah. Well I’m glad you had a chance to look at the site. You know, I had a chance to talk to someone who also calls Poonja, or Papaji, his teacher. I don’t know if you know him, Arjun Ardagh?

GANGAJI: Oh yeah, yeah!

DONNA: He was a student, as well, and speaks of Poonja. Anyway, in our last few minutes together, I would like to ask you about God and prayer. And also, we’ve been speaking of teachers. Maybe let’s start with that. Do you think we need a teacher, first of all? Can we find our own way?

GANGAJI: I don’t think there’s a formula. I know that I found out that I needed a teacher. I was certain that I didn’t need a teacher, but I actually did need a teacher. But I don’t think that it’s necessarily true for someone else. I mean, clearly there are teachers who say they didn’t need a teacher and I accept that and they seem awake. I got a different life with my teacher. I got life. I had a different kind of life, I was upside down, so yeah. That’s… who knows?

DONNA: And I brought up prayer because I know for me personally, that’s something I felt was missing from the Zen tradition. As you know, the bhakti element is not as pronounced as it is, and certain other types of spiritual practices. I think I will always be a little bit Zen because that’s where I started. And I love the discipline for many, many reasons. But that aspect of prayer, for me personally, is so life-saving, in that way…that I wanted to ask, does prayer have a place in your practice and do you think that it’s just simply different for everybody, you know? And if so, who do you pray to?

GANGAJI: I prayed a lot as a child and I felt like it really helped me, and I prayed to God and Jesus. I think for me personally, prayer is sublime. And I can say that I’ve never stopped praying. I may even say, “thank you, God,”like a prayer. But it’s so…It’s like a meditation. It’s just a release and the gratitude and the cry for help, all of those are…yeah, I think that it’s a way of focusing the mind out of its own powers into something that is bigger than can be known. Or, whatever you name that is secondary and God is a fine name…it’s just such a polluted name that maybe it is out of fashion. Yes, I am an advocate of prayer, I think it’s a powerful force.

DONNA: You mentioned meditation. It reminds me of a quote from my teacher, that “prayer is when you speak to God, but meditation is when God speaks to you.”I like it very much.

GANGAJI: That’s beautiful.

DONNA: Because there’s so much attention to getting out of our head, and coming into this moment; is that what God is? What do we mean when we talk about God?

GANGAJI: Well, you know…God. I mean, I really stand by that it is very polluted word. It means whatever you want it to mean. It’s like love or truth. Or I. It has so many different meanings and if we just are willing to look inside the word…what does that word point to?…some…Something huge, something limitless, something that’s not a something…Something that is not our object, that we’re the something of that. And so it’s humbling. The recognition of…Because I’m not…I wouldn’t call me religious,even though I have particular religious rituals like prayer that are still very sweet and tender to me. Or, even a believer in a God. But this mystery…this mystery of being, whether it’s purely biological, biochemical…it doesn’t matter to me. It’s still this huge mystery that is so wondrous and awesome and humbling, to be for a period of some years. Incarnate.

You know, we’re made of the earth, we are made of stardust…we’re…what a mystery! And we are conscious of it. I love the Tibetans always talking about this precious human birth and for a long time, I didn’t get that. What is precious about human birth? It seems like other animals are happier and doing good. And then I got this. I don’t know about other animals…seems like they have some kind of consciousness and maybe some of them have evolved consciousness, but as humans, we actually have the capacity to reflect. As you were saying, “what is God? Who am I? Where are we? What do we want?”And this is a precious human birth.

DONNA: What happens to this body when we die?

GANGAJI: I think it rots and is eaten by little creatures and goes back to earth and stardust, right? Little creatures and goes back to earth and stardust, right?

DONNA: But the soul carries on?

GANGAJI: You know, I don’t have belief systems about the soul. I have experiences about soulfulness, or old soul, but I wouldn’t put them into a belief system of what is.

DONNA: Fair enough. And finally, if you could, if there was one practice…if you had to pick one practice to give to someone as a kind of lifestyle…sadhana or something, what would it be? Would it be meditation or would it be something else? Something that can help us as humans in this life, which is challenging to be sure.

GANGAJI: Well I know what initially began my awakening, or put it on a different level, and that was an experience with nature. The willingness to actually be with the ocean in a particular way, or be with a mountain side, or sky, or a tree, or a plant. I grew up in a rural area. But I never had an understanding, or an experience of the oneness of nature…the consciousness of this whole thing. And so, that was a breakthrough for me…to realize that I am not just located here, but whoa! And that was reflected also in relationships with other human beings, where there was love. So, I would say, if I had to give one bit of advice to anybody, it would be: Find where you love. Find where love is awakened.

DONNA: Nature can give us that. It’s the infinite. I think it’s the infinite I think…vastness.

GANGAJI: And immediacy at the same time.

DONNA: And what would you like to leave our readers, or our viewers, with? What are you up to these days, is there any writing or anything you’d like to point them to, or is there anything else you’d like to share?

GANGAJI: I’m not writing anymore. I feel like, Whoa…I’m finished with writing,which is great. I have a website, if people are interested, they can always go on the website.

DONNA: What is your website?

GANGAJI: It’s and it’s g-a-n-g-a-j-i. And I have events. I’m not traveling as much as I was in the past, but I’m still going to events, doing an event at Multiversity in California and different places. But really, my message to everyone is that when I say, “trust yourself,”I’m not suggesting that you trust your thoughts, or your emotions, or your conclusions or your activities… but, trust that impetus that somehow has risen in you, to know yourself, to know truth, to live truth and to discover that everywhere. Trust that and it puts you in the right place. With a teacher or without a teacher, it is all secondary to that. That’s the true teacher, the satguru.

DONNA: That’s something not taught in schools, whether that’s intuition or whether we call it a gut instinct, we’re not taught that.

GANGAJI: I think intuition and gut instincts can be wrong, too. Because then we flip onto the other side of that. And if I feel it, if I think it, then it must be so. So then, there’s a humbling of that. We see that everything, where we are located, is subject to mistake. But, there is something inseparable from the successes or the failures of our gut instincts or intuition, that is at peace and free already. It is already who you are.

DONNA: Well Gangaji, once again, I want to thank you for sharing your time with us today.

GANGAJI: Oh, you’re a delight!

DONNA: Thank you! So are you! I’ve enjoyed our time together, immensely.

Source: AWAKEN

Awaken Interviews Gangaji – Who Am I? Well What Is Always Here?

Posted on November 3, 2018

Awaken Interview with Gangaji Part 2

DONNA QUESADA: So it’s a kind of a spaciousness, a distance to where you’re able to see all as passing clouds…

You know, I could even say that it’s more an intimacy. So, it’s so great, this is a great challenge. It’s all here. But what is…it’s all arising from what’s here, when it’s being experienced, or existing, and where it all returns to, is the truth. That’s always here, too. So I’m not even speaking in terms of choosing it, it’s just…I don’t know, a war stops. An individual war stops. And there may be skirmishes or battles or whatever, but the war itself is over. And so, there is then a deepening and peace of that. Which of course must allow for all kinds of differences, and dislikes, and emotional events. Yeah.

DONNA: Is that what you meant by intimacy, being intimate with something deeper and truer…and there’s a kind of comfort in knowing that that’s what it really is? The other stuff is fleeting?

GANGAJI: Well, intimacy you know, means…one way of finally. I mean, if you’re truly intimate with someone, or nature, or whatever you are, you’re not separate from that. But I wouldn’t necessarily say that there is comfort in that, it’s something deeper than comfort…that can be extreme discomfort. But there’s maybe divine knowledge, it’s our in, and you don’t have to believe it, or remember your experience of it. You know, you can check…in the worst moments, you can just stop and check, and… who am I? Well what is always here?And it’s is so clear. It was always here, and recognize, Oh yeah, that was always here but now it…As I said, “foregrounded,”so, it’s not a process to get to it.

Yes, I mean, this just came up with a whole supreme court thing, and all of it. Yeah, I have strong opinions about…and I had an emotional reaction to that…but am I going to add my personal suffering to that, or am I going to be able to experience the suffering that is present in that, and to have room for that without adding to it? I think that’s the practical aspect, when you were speaking of practicality. How are we in the world if we are activists or if we are just living a life, or in our special practices…what are we contributing? Are we contributing suffering and searching? Or are we contributing this recognition of, there is within all of it there is this mystery that is you?

DONNA: You know, that’s an interesting thing that you brought up. I would like to go a little further with it, if you don’t mind. What is the proper balance between one’s own spiritual practice and social activism, our role in the world? Because I think there’s this idea that spiritual practice takes you into the cave and you’re meditating…and the tendency is to say, “well, what good could that do?”And the monks have always said,“Well, but by not contributing one scrap of violence into the world, you know…is a kind of vibrational contagiousness of that, that is peaceful.”How are we to understand and what do we say to the naysayers,“What do you mean it starts with you?…you’re not doing anything of value?”

GANGAJI: Well I think there’s room for all of it and I don’t believe there’s a particular formula that has to be lived. it’s really, finally…how are you made? I’m naturally a pretty worldly person. I read the newspaper—online, of course…ecologically correct and I emotionally connect with certain events but I don’t think that’s required. And I also don’t think that it’s required to do that. It’s just discovering that we are unique forms of this one intimate consciousness and we find our way. We see what role we have to play in this drama.

So, Ramana, who was my teacher’s teacher, was a recluse and never left the mountain he got to. Never had relationships of intimacy with women, but that didn’t mean that that was the role model. That was what was right for him. But we do that with our teachers, whatever form our teachers had…to be the correct form. And then that becomes a kind of idealism which is all of a sudden, the new religion. And so, we shouldn’t have those thoughts, we shouldn’t do those activities, we shouldn’t go to a movie or we should forget about our practice and just be on the streets. I think the idealism really becomes a burden and is another excuse for warfare.

DONNA:: You mentioned Papaji. This is Poonja, H.W.L. Poonja. Tell us about your teacher…how did you find him and what was it about him that made you feel like you had come home? If we can I put it in those terms.

GANGAJI: Well, I had really…this is by 1990 when I met him…by that time, I was disillusioned with my practices…I was not a great practitioner. I figured that was the problem. I had had wonderful teachers and I received beautiful teachings and had been profoundly affected by them. And I would have great experiences of expansion, and clarity, and peace and oneness, but always this ground of suffering would reassert itself. My identity as the sufferer, who, if I worked really hard, I could fix that. But I got to a point where I knew I needed a teacher. I had been pretty anti-guru and I didn’t like the co-dependency that I’d seen, and the misuse of power. So I, with my husband, we both, individually and together, realized we needed a teacher. There’s something we don’t know, and we don’t know where to get it. And so, we both prayed for a teacher and we met one of Papaji’s, Poonjaji’s students, who was coming through Marin County. And so we heard of him. And miraculously, Eli happened to be going to India looking for some sufis, cause he’s really interested in the enneagram. And he was in this town and he said “I think that’s where that teacher is from.”So, he ended up looking him up in the phonebook, and he went to his house, and knocked on the door and he was let in and he spent like five days alone with him. And so he was writing me and I was getting these letters and he was saying, “you gotta come here! This is the real thing.”And these letters were just vibrating. And so, he came back…we were actually living in Hawaii then…he came back and got me. And I went to see him. And we went up to his door and knocked on it because he knew we were coming. And he opened the door and there is this welcome. He said,“Welcome!”


GANGAJI: And I felt it, and I saw it, and I fell in love! It was love at first sight! He was a beautiful man and just totally loose and free and open. And he said, “What do you want?”For me, in that moment, the word, “freedom”arose, “I want freedom.”


GANGAJI: And I could’ve said anything else, but that’s what came out. And he said, “Good, you’re in the right place.”And I knew that was right. So I said, after we were having our tea and sitting a little bit…I said,“So tell me what to do. I really…I’m open…tell me what to do.”He said, “stop doing everything.”So, I’d been a Zen student, I’ve done some vipassana, I’d done a lot of Tibetan practices. So I stopped doing everything. I just —breathe in and breathe out. And he said, “No, no, no, no, no stop that.”And he penetrated something. It was quite clear that my practice was actually doing something to get my enlightenment, doing something to get free, doing something to get truth. And he said, “Stop doing anything to get…stop your searching at least for a moment.”And it was terrifying to me in the moment because I really felt that if I stopped, I would fall back, I would regress, into this person, this state, that I had climbed up out of and I was frightened. And he said, “Just be still…don’t do anything.”So for me, the way I tell that…I don’t know if you would ever use those words…I actually met that fear and met that terror, really. Which is similar to the terror of death. I thought I would lose my good life that I had and I would end up in that hell realm that I had climbed up out of and he…Basically I invited everything and stayed conscious…didn’t fall asleep but, eventually then, I discovered what we’re looking for, what we’re searching for, while working so hard for, is already here. And that was his message, and that was Ramana’s message: you are already free – what gets liberated is your idea of yourself. Or your preoccupation with yourself as some idea.

So it was beautiful. We got to spend time together, and he greeted me so openly. He loved me. It was so beautiful. I was his pet and then the next time we saw him he didn’t even look at me. He wasn’t interested in me. I wasn’t his favorite anymore. And there was a point where, oh no! Wait! I could see it. I could just go back again into this identity of aww he doesn’t love me anymore, aww my father has turned from me and —I could just stop. And it was quite beautiful, he’s not looking at me, he’s seeing someone else…is saying the same words to them, “Come in…you’re welcome.”I saw I wasn’t special in the way that I thought that specialness would give me what I wanted. And that…

DONNA: …that was attachment…he really was setting you free.

GANGAJI: Yeah! Yeah! Just by being himself. He really didn’t want to talk to me. It wasn’t like he was setting it up as a test, he was just natural. And he wasn’t psychologically burdened, as we can be in the west, with the way we should act, or what an enlightened person would do or say. He was himself as a human, as well of…this recognition of most profound sort.

DONNA: And you mentioned, Ramana. Ramana Maharshi…that was his teacher.

GANGAJI: Yes, he spent time with him. He spent five or seven years with him. And yeah, Ramana stopped him in his tracks.

DONNA: I have a quote here that he told you, or invited you to, “Shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being.”


DONNA: And that really struck me as being so beautiful. And it really isn’t different from the Zen message to get out of your head and come here, right here.

GANGAJI: That’s right, he called me his Zen daughter!

DONNA: I love that!

GANGAJI: Yeah, me too!

DONNA: Is that the message of all traditions, or are they all just different boats or vessels that take us to the same place?

GANGAJI: Mmm, sometimes it seems like that’s so. That the core of all spiritual movement or religions there is this explosion or this recognition of unity, the mystic unity of oneself with the totality. But then other times, I hear what’s being said and how it gets translated through particular teachers or particular traditions…seems to veer off that, and it becomes, for me…the Tibetan tradition is beautiful and I profoundly respect it —but for me, it became about power, about accumulating power. That was the thrust of what I was getting from that and it was not healthy for me at that time. Because you know, we could have supernatural things happening, and it was all this manifestation of a medicine buddha or whichever buddha we were working with then, and it was a distraction actually, for me. It felt good. But I needed something so simple. What Papaji was speaking…so simple, that it was radical. But I don’t know what other people need. It’s different for different people.

DONNA: How did the simplicity of it revolutionize your practice so much?

GANGAJI: Well it destroyed my practice, in truth.

DONNA: Like breaking down the edifice or the ideas…

GANGAJI: Oh well, you know, I had a practice of suffering…my practice was. And so, I did an overlay on that practice of whatever my particular meditative practice was. But really, the willingness to stop searching at any moment. And it’s a face…the abyss, of really what our whole conditioned or egoic structure is built on top of. To face that, and to meet that, and to discover that the abyss…it’s not an abyss. It’s alive, vibrant consciousness. There was a reduction, rather than adding to it. He really was inviting me to lose everything, to lose all my practices, all of it and see what was left, what really couldn’t be practiced. Because that would be…of course, my practice was to continue suffering, which is really the example I was given, when all of a sudden, I wasn’t his favorite one…it was a cue for the suffering identity to come in, or to practice my spiritual self. Just something more simple, more immediate. And you can’t practice it because you are it.

DONNA: Is that where the question, “Who am I?”comes into play?

GANGAJI: Mmm, well that’s really Ramana’s great gift. Yes, Who am I? Everything is there.

DONNA: Is that what gyan yoga is built on? That question, Who am I?

GANGAJI: Well, I think…yeah, they say that. There is bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga, and that’s…But it’s more than a mental question. It’s really turning the mind, the attention, if we are calling attention to our mind’s capacity for focused awareness, turning that back to this primary identity, I. “Who am I?”And really, usually, we’re going out from that. I’m getting enough… I’m not getting enough. I am this person, I am this gender, I am this belief. So, it’s returning the attention back to this source. And it often happens immediately for people, for just even asking this question. There is just this flood, this expansion, and clarity. But it can very easily become a mental question. You know, I am not the body, I am…it can be a recitation, a practice. But if it’s used as really, an inquiry…which is really turning your attention to that point and then discovering that point is the spaciousness of the universe.

DONNA: So we have to look at that simplicity, knocking down the walls again, the persona, the guises that we wear…I’m a teacher, I’m a student, I’m this, I’m that…

GANGAJI: Yes, yes, so…freeing! Papaji used to say, “give up your enlightenment.”And give up your unenlightenment too! Give them both up. Those states don’t define you. They are useful for conversation, but they have no power to really define who you are.

Continued in Part III…

Read and Watch Part I : HERE

Source: AWAKEN

How to Awaken a New World…Andina Seers

Many people around the globe have a sense, or vision, of a possible world based on peace and love, where individuals are able to live lives of meaning and fulfillment, with authentic and nourishing relationships and in balance with nature and the planet.

The Stirrings of Our Awakening…
For the first time in history we are at a point where we can now realistically begin to turn this vision into a practical reality. This is only now possible because, although often still unknowingly, many of us have already begun taking part in a number of interrelated awakenings that can take us where we as a species have never actually been before.

Awakening No.1: Self Directed Evolution

To begin with, and a foundational aspect of our transformation, we are the first people able to both look back into our own history and see where we have come from, and also at the same time have sufficient information, knowledge, wisdom, communications systems and skills, as well as inclination, to also be able to begin to put together a workable plan for a radically different future for ourselves and our species.
We are now awakening to the realization that it is in our power to participate in something truly magnificent, our own conscious evolution – chosen and guided by ourselves.

Awakening No.2: Enlightenment

The second awakening that is now also taking place is that we are also the first of our species to, in large numbers, awaken directly into spiritual enlightenment. For millennia enlightenment has been the province of only a handful of saints and sages but now hundreds, if not thousands, of people are awakening directly as the source and ground of all life – and discovering the mystical truth of who, and what, we really are.
That this awakening is taking place is in itself profoundly transformative at both the deepest and subtlest levels of our human psyche. Opening into enlightenment neatly whisks us beyond any sense that we are separate individuals, or that others and the world are separate from us. It is both of these beliefs that underpin so much of the suffering, fear and strife that is currently plaguing our world.

Awakening No.3: The Infinite & The Individual

On awakening into Oneness all previous beliefs in the seemingly obvious reality of separation instantaneously dissolve in the clarity that is unveiled. There is a direct seeing of the unity of all life, which is sometimes also called nondual awareness as we have relocated beyond ‘twoness’ or duality.
Whilst this awakening is absolutely necessary and fundamental, it is not by itself sufficient. This will already be abundantly clear if we consider the financial, sexual and other scandals surrounding many people who have a glimpse beyond the veil of the illusion of separation – but are still under its shadow.
In order to actualize our fullest potential, awakening into our One nature is served by also waking up into the more human areas of our lives, which in the past established teachings on spiritual awakening have dismissed as irrelevant.
However, in reality the Infinite and the Individual are intimately interrelated since they are the two aspects of the same one source.
Within the fundamental awakening into the absolute and singular truth of who we are, other arenas of awakening are simultaneously occurring within the world of relative reality and duality – and awakening into both of our natures is necessary to fully embrace the rich tapestry of being human.

Awakening No.4: Recovery from Our Childhood

In the past spiritual teachers have readily dismissed the impact of childhood with admonitions to ‘put it behind you’ and to live only in the ‘present moment’.
However, as seekers of truth awaken into our underlying unity, and experiencing some challenges with this, they begin to recognize the very real impact that unhealed trauma has on curtailing and fracturing their relationships with themselves, with other people, with nature and with the planet.
This discord is also being backed up by recent scientific research which is now shedding light on how our psyche, and our brains, are formed as well as deformed, by what has taken place during crucial childhood developmental stages.
Out of all of this is emerging a growing realization of the level of contraction that our biology can impose on ongoing awakening into our fullest awakening and freedom of being.
Fortunately, ways to recover from the past and heal and regrow our brain are also now becoming well established.

Awakening No.5: Ray of The Absolute

Underlying the appearance of everything, and everyone is an undivided, timeless and changeless unity, and within this emerges the reality of an individual Soul – which can be seen as not only each person’s unique blueprint but also as far greater than we have believed ourselves to be.
It is here that we also connect more and more with our unique gifts and open into our multiple dimensions of awareness which include intuition, empathic ability, telepathy and awareness of the energetic fields of our environment – to name but a few.
It is by using information provided by these that we can also most easily align more and more with our soul’s purpose and discover, and then share, our abilities with the world. In so doing we ultimately live out the fullest expression of our uniqueness as an ever emerging and unfolding aspect of the infinite and changeless One source that we are.

Awakening No.6: The Unfolding Process

As we intentionally, actively and selectively participate in our own transformation it begins to dawn on us that there is a process that is taking place and that we are on a journey with a number of recognizable stages, and also pitfalls,
Getting comfortable with paradox is one an important part of this process as all of the transformation is also discovered to be taking place, paradoxically, within a vast and changeless infinite stillness.
We also begin to learn ways to effectively tend, enhance and integrate our journey of transformation, and as we do so we consolidate a trajectory that can enable us to achieve escape velocity from our current strife ridden, separation based and limited consciousness.
In doing so we take a discontinuous and evolutionary leap, one that is very different from any undertaken by humanity so far, and alight into very different future… and as a very different kind of human.

Source: Evolutionary Awakening

Enlightenment & Nonduality

October 31, 2018

Andina Seers

Andina Seers: The direct discovery of who you really are…

A New Enlightenment narrative

Down through our history, and dotted around different parts of the planet like the occasional blooming of an extremely rare and exotic flower, there have been a few people who have opened into a mystical consciousness profoundly different from normal every-day awareness.

The Buddha, Jesus Christ, Lao Tzu and the prophet Mohamed are some examples of such people who underwent a profound and radical alteration in perception, and in doing so discovered that the true nature of reality, behind and beyond what appears on the surface – is an unbounded oneness, a unity beyond time and space – a unity which is also the ground of being and from within which all life arises.

Names given to this revelation have included: Enlightenment, Liberation, and Awakening, all of which allude to a radically freeing perception of the nature of life itself.

Each of these teachers, and the traditions that formed around them, also related what encountering this was like.

To experience this larger consciousness was to experience paradise, and the different cultures each again gave a name to this. In the Hindu traditions it became known as Moksha, in Buddhist traditions – Satori, and in Christian traditions – Heaven.

Up until now the vast majority of cultural narratives have also said that this mystical consciousness is extremely rare and only happened ‘Once upon a time ’ to a mere handful of saints and sages.

However the nature of this transcendent consciousness has also been described as infinite, limitless and timeless, and therefore doesn’t just belong in the past, or even in the future for those awaiting a saviour.

This liberation, this freedom, is alive within each of us, right here and right now, but this is not what we have generally been taught about ourselves so far, and it is now time for a more comprehensive narrative, and a new one is beginning to ring out.

The new narrative says that we are no longer limited to looking over our shoulder at those who have gone before us in order to get a hint at our true nature, no longer do we have to stand with one foot in the past and rely on ancient texts to describe something that can seem like a myth, and especially no longer do we have to rely totally on belief, faith or dogma.

The new narrative has at its core the recognition that there is a real possibility to actually awaken into the same mystical reality that the spiritual teachers have pointed to for over two thousand years, and that there is a tangible possibility for you too to discover the magnificence of who, and what, you really are.

Already around the globe many people, who would generally be considered the ‘person next door’, have found out directly for themselves that this new narrative is accurate as they too have awakened into oneness, opening directly into the non-dual unity which is our true identity.

After such awakenings, more and more people are also now sharing this, and pointing not only to our underlying unity but also pointing out that the nature of this unity is a love that is beyond bounds.

Over time this new narrative will replace the previous one, although not before adherents to the old ways have put up resistance to the change.

But with each person that opens into their/our true divine nature, the mystical one source of all life, and also awakens into the multiple aspects of our human nature, we will each become more and more able to take a radically new step in our evolution and begin to be able to at last co-create a very new world – one with unity and love as its foundation.

Enlightenment & Love…

Part 1: Why Waking Up, Clearing Up & Growing Up are the first stages of opening deeply into the fullest love… love that is who we really are.

Source: Evolutionary Awakening

Mooji ♥ Answers ◦ Should Feelings Be Ignored and Should I Remain Aware, Only?


Recognize who you truly are!

Sacred Sangha of Earth,
Beloved Beings of Presence,
Being One, we liberate Humanity

Be present! Be joyful! Be free!

~ Blessings to You ~

Awaken Interviews Gangaji – The Practical Ramifications Of Awakening

October 27, 2018

Donna Quesada:
Well, Gangaji, the first thing I want to say is, thank you! Thank you for joining us, and I know that our Awaken listeners will appreciate your time, as well, and will love what you have to share with us.

Awaken Interviews Gangaji – The Practical Ramifications Of Awakening

Donna Quesada: Well, Gangaji, the first thing I want to say is, thank you! Thank you for joining us, and I know that our Awaken listeners will appreciate your time, as well, and will love what you have to share with us.


GANGAJI: Oh, thank you for inviting me. Happy to be with you.

DONNA: Thank you. And we’ve never really formally met…I’m Donna, and it’s a pleasure to talk with you. And being that the name of the website is, we have a little tradition that we like to start with and I… so I’d like to dive right in and just ask you what that means to you…this notion of awakening.


DONNA: Right!

GANGAJI: That’s it isn’t it? Really, in this moment, I would say it means coming out of misidentification…coming out of a trance that our conditioning puts us into. A family conditioning, a social conditioning, without making that conditioning wrong. Just recognizing that mostly we are in a trance state, and so we awaken from that trance. We recognize that we are not who we think we are. We’re not who we’ve been told we are. We are not who we hope we are. And we are not who we fear we are! There’s something deeper and closer than any of those realms.

DONNA: And what does that mean, we are not who we think we are? I mean, you’re sitting there and I’m looking at you…and I’m here. And my background, I did a little research, you know to prepare for this interview, and well, maybe we’ll have time to get into this a little bit…but I saw that you and I have a similar background, we started with this tradition and you hear that a lot in Zen, you know, we’re not who we think we are. If you could just speak to that a little bit; what does that mean in practical terms?

GANGAJI: In practical terms…

DONNA: …in practical terms!

GANGAJI: Yes! Really practically because I’m very interested in the practical ramifications of awakening. We are sitting here, this form is a way of this other form, and no problem, that is just the nature of phenomenal existence. But the minute I start telling myself a story about your form or about my form, Am I doing it right? Is she going to ask me the right things?…a narrative that may come up… but that following of that narrative puts us into a trance, where we overlook, just the presence of being here together. And the potential for deeply meeting, and that meeting, discovering something that is… Well, I think that the Zen tradition says, maybe beyond thought, but I would say it’s closer than anything that can be thought. So it’s not esoteric really, it’s being aware of our power to think, to describe, and remember and to project into the future… And also being aware of where that power comes from. What’s deeper and… and more true than that power.

DONNA: So trance is an interesting word and I’m thinking about this word and the way you are using it; it’s almost like anything that takes us out of this moment and out of authenticity, and… therefore out of the ability to connect with one another…because the trance is just a way of being stuck in a dream, which is the story. Would that be correct?

GANGAJI: That’s beautiful! I’ll use it!

DONNA: It’s a funny thing, so I was reading…you were raised in Mississippi.


DONNA: And you went to —correct me anytime I get something wrong so our listeners get to know you, as well. Being raised in Mississippi, and at that time, because you went to San Francisco during the kind of the“Golden Era”of San Francisco, the counter-cultural movement, and I’m so fascinated with that time period the late 60’s, early 70’s… you’re coming from a place where it truly was very different. Everybody was so ready for a new spirituality at that time, at that place in history, and you wanted to combine political activism with spiritual practice. You took your Bodhisattvavows…the magic, was in the Zen tradition?

GANGAJI: Mm yes, yes…initially, yes.


GANGAJI: And the Tibetan tradition.

DONNA: Oh, ok. What was it about this period of time that made us so ready for a new spirituality…that made us so ready to take on ideas that were so different from tradition, especially having come from a place where those ideas still were foreign?

GANGAJI: Well, I think there are two aspects to that. For me personally, it felt like a great escape from our very repressed, closed society. So it became fresh air…the quality of the air was so different from the quality of Mississippi air. And Mississippi is a very tribal place, to this day. So it’s very…I didn’t know anybody. It was anonymous. From a small town to a city, and a city that was vibrant and people looking good and looking at each other…actually making eye contact. And in a way it was finding a different family, but it was a looser family, and there was permission. It was intoxicating.

But I think what gave rise to that, was the deep disillusionment of the 60’s. The recognition, I mean the assassinations —I just watched a documentary about Robert Kennedy and his trajectory and how it ended in his assassination, and just the horror of that. And that wakes you up, too, of course. Horror can wake you up as much as bliss. So as a counter-culture, we woke up to the ones that were called “the adults”…they were not going to do it for us; the authorities are not going to make the world we want to make. And so, we were idealistic young people and we assumed we could make it. Of course, it went off in lots of ways that were also disillusioning, but that is part of the maturing, you mature in your awakening; you recognize that the world is much more complex than we think it to be. So yeah, I would say those two things came together. It was a beautiful time. It was a time of relative freedom for me as a person.

DONNA: But yet, there was something that left you unsatisfied, I was reading, and that drove you into a deeper search, shall we say?

GANGAJI: Oh yes, deeply unsatisfied because that relative freedom, and it was you know, a sexual freedom, a freedom to reinvent myself. I had been a teacher in Memphis and now I was a waitress in San Francisco and it was just exciting. But, it wasn’t freedom. You weren’t free, we were still bound by other things. And it was empty, a dead kind of emptiness finally, when I told the truth. I had hoped that political activism would feed that and I loved —this was now into the 70’s —I loved being politically active and I felt important and I felt we were doing the right thing. But even in our affinity groups during non-violent training…our protest in Diablo Canyon, CA, a nuclear power plant… and I don’t know, we had this sense of sisterhood and brotherhood, but it was still us versus them, so there was still something deeply off. So I gave that up and began my serious spiritual search with Zen, but really it was the Tibetan Buddhism where there was the most commitment. We actually ran a Tibetan Buddhist center out of a little house in Bolinas, CA, and did lots of retreats, and lots of empowerments, and had a practice of visualization and chanting. But then after a while, that got so heady, you know? It was so rich I felt like it’s the version that the Catholic Church does for Christianity… and it was so, so…

DONNA: Too ritualistic maybe?

GANGAJI: Too ritualistic. Beautiful rituals. But it was just something I was not getting. Maybe it was being said the whole time. But I was still searching for something and it wasn’t there, so…

DONNA: You brought up something fascinating. That it was…when we were talking about the counter-cultural movement and how, in many ways, it was the shocking things, the war, and it inspired so much activism, but yet, there were crushing things going on all around us…on an individual level, as well as on a group level…do we need that kind of trauma? Call it the “dark night of the soul,”or as Eckhart Tolle says,“limit situations.”Do we need that for spiritual growth?

GANGAJI: I don’t know if we needed it. I really don’t know. I know that the biggest shock of all is recognizing that you, yourself, will die. And that’s a shock. And so I do believe that we need that one, that we need to be realistic, that this form is finite and it will end before we know it in very quick time. We have the other shocks, so they’re here…so, whether it’s a need or not, I really don’t know. I would hope we wouldn’t need them, but they seem to keep coming, so.

DONNA: Are there certain degrees of awakening, or is there such a thing as enlightenment?—if I could even use that word. Or are there degrees that we start to wake up and maybe it’s these kinds of moments in life, certain realizations…whether it’s a pivotal moment, when we realize that this really is temporary; it’s not just words but it hits us in our gut, my god I’m gonna die one day! So, maybe these little realizations that bring us to semi-awakenings…would you say there are degrees?…the curtains opening up, little by little?

GANGAJI: I think it’s both true. That there are moments in our lives or there are experiences, or internal or external shocks, or whatever, that start to shake the status quo of our identity. And they build, certainly, but there is some moment, it seems to me, in my experience, some moment where there is a flip. I don’t mean a flip into bliss or a flip into no problems, or never having issues or anything, but just the perspective flips.

So, what was always there in the background, is like now in the foreground. It’s the recognition of oh yeah, that…that was always here, but now it is perceived and experienced to be always here. But that’s often misunderstood because the people always look for a steady state experience. And I’m not saying that. States come and go and experiences come and go…thoughts come and go…emotions and events. But it’s something deeper. I would say it’s a critical shift. And I know it can be very useful to see the degrees of deepening after that, because the deepening is endless, but it seems to me, it is something where it is a radical shift where you really are not identifying the same way as you were, even though identifications may arise, they don’t own you. Conditioning may arise but doesn’t have the power…the trance is broken…to continue our trance subject.

DONNA: I was just going to say, that kind of brings us back and I am glad because it enables us to deepen the idea a little bit. Recognizing who we really are, you know, is what awakening really is. And so, to make it even more practical, what does this do for us? Because I think that is the misconception: that once we wake up, everything is going to be joyful and perfect and wonderful. And of course, those of us who have had a practice, know that that’s not true. We still have bad days and good days and sometimes it feels like life just sucks. Even though we’ve had a practice for so many years, we still feel frustrated at times and we still have days when we feel sad and we still have challenges and we still feel off. And so, what does it do for us, this realization that this isn’t who I really am? Identifying with the material world, with the idea of this identity for example. How does that help me?

GANGAJI: Oh…for me, it’s sublimely practical. I think the major thing is that when a bad day comes, or a bad mood, or a bad state…it’s no big deal. It’s not about keeping something, getting something and then keeping it. It’s really recognizing what’s always here. I mean, it’s a big deal and nobody likes to feel bad, and life does sometimes suck and that doesn’t feel good, but it’s deeper than feelings. So there’s room for all of it. Obviously it’s all here. And so there’s a kind of, in my experience, there was a ceasing of the searching for “it”…being life, or my experience…to be different from what it is. And that seems to go back to the whole Zen thing. Papaji, I felt, was very Zen, he was just so sharp, and to stop it all, be still, and recognize what does not come and go. What is always here? Then the emotions or the situations, even though they can be, and they are important, are secondary to the truth.

Continued in Part II…

Source: AWAKEN

When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening 1st Edition by Bonnie L. Greenwell PhD (Author), Adyashanti (Foreword)

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 L. Greenwell, PhD, is a transpersonal psychotherapist, author, and non-dual spiritual teacher in Adyashanti’s lineage. She has specialized for more than thirty years in mentoring people going through transformative experiences related to spiritual awakening and the kundalini process, which was the subject of her doctoral research at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP). Greenwell has an eclectic background, including work in psychiatric units, at a rehabilitation center, as director of the Transpersonal Counseling Center at ITP, and years of private practice. Before finding her ground in non-dual teachings, she studied Jungian psychology; Jin Shin Do® acupressure; Psychotropic and Radiance Breathwork; kundalini, kriya, and Ashtanga yogas; and many Buddhist meditation practices. The founder and former director of the Kundalini Research Network, she has lectured and trained therapists in Europe, Australia, and the United States. Greenwell also established the Shanti River Center for non-dual education and counseling in Ashland, OR.

Foreword writer Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Adyashanti is author of The Way of Liberation, Falling into Grace, Emptiness Dancing, True Meditation, and The End of Your World. Based in California, he lives with his wife, Mukti, and teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live Internet radio broadcast.

Navigating Spiritual Awakening & Its Challenges with Dr Bonnie Greenwell

For more than 30 years, Dr. Bonnie Greenwell has specialized in mentoring people going through transformative experiences relating to spiritual awakening and the kundalini process. Among many hats, Bonnie founded and directed the Kundalini Research Network, established the Shanti River Center and has authored several key books on awakening.

We discuss her latest book When Spirit Leaps: Navigating The Process Of Spiritual Awakening.

We cover:
* What is kundalini?
* What is non-dualism?
* How do we awaken?
* Major common obstacles to transformation
* What does liberation look like?

You can find out more at

The Integration of Awakening: Shakti Caterina Maggi

Published on Sep 27, 2018
Speaking at SAND18 Italy, Shakti Caterina Maggi shares the clarity and authenticity of her vision of the divinity of humanity. She talks of life itself as the perfect reflection of consciousness, as the true spiritual practice and, in answer to questions from the audience, describes suffering as the need to fix the dream instead of loving it. When we welcome everything as it is, then we know what love is, then we are free.

Women Mystics and the Mystical Awakening – Jean Houston

Posted on September 24, 2018
Wisdom University presents “Women Mystics and the Journey Toward Mystical Creativity” – taught by Jean Houston and Peggy Rubin. Excerpt from Day One – on Mystical Awakening.

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