Bliss Amidst Daily Life – What’s the Fuss?

Published on Apr 28, 2017

Igor Kufayev – excerpt from Q&A sessions at week-long immersion entitled ‘HUMAN BEING: The Gate, The Altar & The Offering’, at Chateaux Frandeux, Belgium, February – March 2017.

Bentinho Massaro – Why don’t you choose BLISS and ECSTASY right now?

Published on Dec 7, 2016

Why don’t we choose happiness and bliss right now? According to spiritual teacher Bentinho Massaro it is because – and even if it sounds strange – we are more comfortable with depression and anxiety than with happiness and bliss. Somehow, we have a resistance towards bliss and ecstasy. According to Bentinho it helps to make a list and write down what things have to happen before one chooses to be happy and free.


Integrated Awakening ~ Miranda Macpherson

There is a zen saying that “Enlightenment is a divine accident, but spiritual practice makes one more accident prone.”

It reflects beautifully the synergistic dance between grace and personal effort in the awakening process.

All non-dual teachings remind us that freedom and love is our natural state. God – pure radiant consciousness, is what we always already are, even if we do not feel it yet as our emotional reality. Many insist that since our deepest being is already free, we need not engage in any kind of spiritual practices. Why seek to become what we already are? Others focus on chipping away at the blocks to truth, working to become awake. I take an integrated approach that includes both perspectives, embracing what helps us taste more directly our true nature as ever-present being and love, and what helps us continue unfolding and embodying that realization.

Dedication cultivates Ripeness

I have always been a mystic at heart – following the thread of my direct experience as it has unfolded, supported by study and practice of universal truth teachings. After an initial awakening into Boundless Love as a teenager that set me upon the spiritual path, I found my way to years of very dedicated formal practice that included specific meditations, prayers, study and esoteric practices, alongside in depth psychological unpacking and quality guidance from good teachers.

This served me well for many years, and this period of disciplined effort clearly smoothed out some of the more crude edges of my personality structure (or at least showed me what these edges were!) It also seemed to cultivate greater receptivity to more refined spiritual states of awareness. The engine of my practice was a deep yearning to return permanently to the glimpses of unity that I had tasted in moments of grace. Although my practice worked well, there seemed to be a wall my own efforts were unable to penetrate through.

Grace happens of itself

One day on pilgrimage to a sacred mountain in southern India, a deep transmission into no-mind spontaneously arose. It happened by grace when I was not seeking anything special. At the time, I was just sitting quietly in the cave that had been the home of Ramana Maharshi. It was a transmission from His depth of silence. My consciousness opened up beyond all concepts of God, self, spiritual reality that I had known previously. The familiar sense of self dissolved in an ocean of infinite being, infinite silence. The peace and fulfilment was indescribable. It came with guidance, a teaching from the depths that oriented me into a very profound relaxation – not to try to be anything, get anything, become anything, relinquish anything, just be, just rest. It was profound and utterly natural.

By grace my individual consciousness, the separate ‘me’ disappeared, and with it the efforts to attain enlightenment – primed it seemed by the pump of so many years of sincere practice. Yet when it passed, as all states at some point do, it was clear I was in new terrain that would take significant integrating (some years and still continuing). This new awareness of self/reality had to knock down though all dimensions of my being, loosening everything that prevented this landing into embodied actualization. It initiated a new phase of life and understanding.

After the ecstasy – the integration

With supportive conditions, certain practices and a sincere heart, such taste of spiritual realization can happen to anyone, but this does not therefore make us enlightened. After substantial spiritual openings, we usually pass through a period of undoing proportional to the degree of the spiritual opening. It is a necessary stage of integration often initiating an entry into the unknown where existing maps usually cannot nagivate us. In the months and years after this non-dual awakening, it felt as though the subtle structures of my entire chakra system (and life) were being dis-mantled, re-arranged, so that they could re-form to accommodate this deeper awareness. Although I understood this process, on a human level I was very raw and shaky for a while. I had to learn to ride that and keep resting in the ground that does not change.

Initially I tried to continue with my previous spiritual practices, but the forms of practice that had nourished me up until this point now felt very clunky and not that resonant with the new terrain I was in. The same guidance that had appeared in the cave was gently inviting me to just be still, not to try to get anything in particular, not even desirable spiritual qualities. Prayer no longer made any sense as I felt beyond any kind of theistic God. This was uncomfortable as my natural disposition has always been very devotional, and identified as a bhakta. Although it felt weird to let my familiar practices go, somehow I knew it was right and necessary.

‘Nothing real can be threatened: Nothing unreal exists’

~A Course in Miracles

Amidst the shifting internal landscape, pretty much every structure in my outer life that had been propping up my prior identity started dissolving. There was nothing to cling to at all and that clearly was the point. My years of spiritual practice had given me a context for the process of egoic dismantling, which helped me trust even though it felt like being asked to allow death of all that I knew.

At certain junctures of evolution, death is required. However, what dies off are merely self-images which we have taken to be the self. These images and identities run very deep and hold together our ego structure and known sense of reality, keeping us bound in experiences of fear, deficiency and separation. Even seemingly positive self-images at some point block the way as often we are using them to compensate for our sense of separation. Most people go through life suppressing all of this, living on the surface of them-selves through keeping busy and distracted, yet this kind of suppression cost us contact with our soul.

To live a meaningful life where we continue unfolding, we must learn to befriend the empty spaces where we are not controlling the course. This allows for shedding of old identities, structures and ways of being both internal and external that are no longer true. Ultimately, we are invited to surrender everything – that’s how grace, or the hand of the divine mystery can spring forth abundantly from within us.

The Practice of Ego-Relaxation

Surrender is a movement of non-doing. You cannot direct yourself to surrender, because the one trying to surrender is the one in the way! This is part of the problem with spiritual approaches oriented at repressing or killing off the ego to get to preferred spiritual summits. They usually fuel internal conflict and keep the engine of separatness fed by seeking to get, fix or become something – even enlightened. There is another, much more feminine way we can approach our spiritual path and practice that supports our ego to relax, so we can learn how to let ourselves BE. This sounds simple, but how to live it?

It we look at the ego as a matrix of beliefs, defences, un-investigated assumptions, inherited patterns and historical impressions, we see there are many threads that keep us bound in a contracted and primitive consciousness. I hold the view that our ego is not a mistake, nor is it wrong; it is just a stage of evolution that has not yet realized its own true depth. We don’t have to try to fix it, we just have to come to know our self deeper. Viewing the places we personally get caught in our ego tendencies, it is obvious that a loving, compassionate approach is such an important beginning point to help us relax the defensive need to direct and control our experience so much.

Spacious Allowing:

Love as spacious allowing, supports our capacity to inquire into what obscures the truth of our being. With real love, we can explore our attachments, our defenses, our habits of closure with truthfulness. With love and space, absent from any kind of judgment, our soul unfolds into deeper reality beautifully, because it inherently knows the way. As I sit with people in retreat or private sessions around the world in embodiment of these aspects, I see so clearly that this is the spiritual environment that allows for liberation, healing and direct realization.

Over the last couple of years I have been exploring what’s practically involved in ego relaxation, letting the unreal melt. I began to map what happened when people sat with me and see if this could translate into a practice that people could access for themselves. This has been coalescing into a method of guiding people into deeper direct experience, and also a series of practices that support us in how to be as we are: Essentially, the practices I have gathered, some drawn from ancient traditions and some have come through as guidance, all support us in:

opening into what’s unfolding,
softening our clinging and resisting,
allowing grace to unfold without interference
recognizing what has always been here.

This opening, softening, allowing and recognizing is to be embraced not as a doing project, but as moment-to-moment invitation for surrendering with our whole being not just the mind. It is a holistic ‘method’ for non-interference.

Soul support for heart, mind, body:

This is a path of integrated awakening that supports both deeper access to grace, spiritual nourishment and vertical love AND a means to inquire, diving in and through our human experience to land in deeper direct wisdom. This liberates a deep and true sense of guidance that can navigate us through life with authentic meaning. It shows us how to use our everyday human experiences as the gateway to our depth, and is a waking down- as much as a waking-up.
Trusting Heart:

There are certain practices that really help us cultivate a loving, trusting heart. Chanting, centering prayer, calling on help from enlightened beings, and just turning our attention to see what’s really holding us now and in all moments, opens up a visceral sense of trust. The deeper our heart trusts – the more surrender happens – the more receptive we are to grace.
Inquiring Mind:

There are certain practices that support us in cultivating clarity and one-pointedness, which helps prevent endless egoic distractions pulling us back into repeating patterns of suffering. There are simple meditations that help us calm and quieten so we can listen to the voice of stillness, letting the mind inquire with particular questions that open us up, rather than endlessly analyzing our experience or closing down in judgment and self-attack.

Present Body:

There are practical ways that help us to really be here, present in the now so we can stay out of our mind’s assumptions and stories, and discover what and who is actually here. Sensing body energy is a profound friend in helping us to be here, staying open to our actual experience rather than our mental concepts about what’s happening.

Personal Psyche Included:

Lastly, I have seen just how important it is to be thorough and humble in working through and not trying to jump over our psychological history. The impressions that formed in mind, heart and nervous system as children when our ego was forming into a personality, need to be metabolized in an atmosphere of deep love and understanding in order for higher spiritual states to land. More than anything, this blocks the landing of grace.

In my retreats and teachings this spring/ summer, I share the practices I have found to be most helpful. Although I embrace the appropriate use of certain simple methods, all are in the service of one thing:

  • relaxing the interference,
  • relaxing the need to control and direct everything all the time,
  • so we can BE STILL and KNOW
  • Residing and living as That,
  • both on the cushion and in day to day life.

Effortless Practice:

There is no end to the depth that we can be still and know God – who we are.

Until our realization is fully stabilized ie: we are continually residing in awareness of eternal reality, and able to embrace all that arises with equanimity, spiritual practice is incredibly useful. However, we want to approach spiritual practices not from the efforting perspective of our super-ego, but in a way that truly supports the naturalness of grace unfolding.

It is not just the actual practice we take up that makes the difference, but the attitude to it. Let your spiritual practice, whatever form it takes, be powered by your heart’s natural love for God, for the source of Itself. Feel into your love of the real – and the true satisfaction that arises when you are in touch with yourself. Even when what is flowing through you is something very tender, still there is a kind of fulfillment that comes when we are really present. This satisfaction arises because we start to feel our own soul – we are more intimate with our own heart. Nothing satiates the heart like authenticity. Let your spiritual practice form around the rituals, rhythms and practices that most support your defensive habits unwinding. What most helps you to rest in pure unconditional being? What help do you need to soften, open and dive inside with dedication to the truth, whenever your greatest difficult comes knocking on the door?

On the other side of a huge journey into greater spiritual depths, that involved the dis-mantling of everything I thought I was and knew, I have landed in a preciousness of all things human. Devotion, discipline and practice has returned, but in a way that feels relaxed and round rather than effort-full. Certain old patters don’t seem to live me any more, others I am more awake to and growing more compassionate with. Ironically after hanging out in some pretty abstract spiritual dimensions, I re-integrated into a much more grounded person, happier to be here in ordinary life here on earth yet with a more substantial footing in changeless grace. A new depth of love emerged in my spiritual experience and in my personal life, and with it new humility for life. There is deep sweetness in being alive, with it all. Life itself is grace, and gratitude abounds.

~ Miranda

The Heart of Awakening with Miranda Macpherson –

Miranda Macpherson is known for her depth of presence and refined capacity as a guide into direct experience of the sacred. Inspired by Ramana Maharshi, A Course in Miracles, and extensive study of the world’s wisdom traditions and transformative practices, Miranda offers a deep holding to rest undefended in the present, taste greater dimensions of consciousness, and explore integration in daily life. She is the founder of the Interfaith Foundation in London, author of Boundless Love, and has been teaching internationally for more than 20 years.

The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss ~ David Bentley Hart [Updated Aug 30, 2015]

Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.

Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.

Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists’ concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestos. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator, described by George Weigel as “one of America’s sharpest minds.” He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), Duke Divinity School, Loyola College in Maryland, and Providence College.

David Bentley Hart: Being, Consciousness, Bliss: Beauty as Knowledge of God – Art Symposium 2013

Violence & Peace in Contemporary Art: Biola Art Symposium 2013. March 2, 2013.

David Bentley Hart, is an Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator, whose specialties include philosophical theology, patristics, and aesthetics. 
Hart has been published in various periodicals including, Pro Ecclesia, The Scottish Journal of Theology, First Things, and The New Criterion.

He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of St. Thomas, Duke Divinity School, and Loyola College in Baltimore. Hart is the author of seven books including Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth (Eerdmans, 2004), which has been lauded by The Christian Century as “one of the most brilliant works by an American theologian in the past ten years.” His two most recent books are The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? (Eerdmans, 2011), and The Devil and Pierre Gernet: Stories, his first work of fiction (Eerdmans, 2012).


David Bentley Hart – The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

David Bentley Hart, author of “The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss,” spoke on his book on Tuesday, March 25 at the Bonhoeffer House at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Hart’s lecture was sponsored by the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia (

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator.

From the publisher:
Despite the recent ferocious public debate about belief, the concept most central to the discussion—God—frequently remains vaguely and obscurely described. Are those engaged in these arguments even talking about the same thing? In a wide-ranging response to this confusion, esteemed scholar David Bentley Hart pursues a clarification of how the word “God” functions in the world’s great theistic faiths.

Ranging broadly across Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Vedantic and Bhaktic Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, Hart explores how these great intellectual traditions treat humanity’s knowledge of the divine mysteries. Constructing his argument around three principal metaphysical “moments”—being, consciousness, and bliss—the author demonstrates an essential continuity between our fundamental experience of reality and the ultimate reality to which that experience inevitably points.

Thoroughly dismissing such blatant misconceptions as the deists’ concept of God, as well as the fundamentalist view of the Bible as an objective historical record, Hart provides a welcome antidote to simplistic manifestoes. In doing so, he plumbs the depths of humanity’s experience of the world as powerful evidence for the reality of God and captures the beauty and poetry of traditional reflection upon the divine.

The Natural Bliss of Being by Jackson Peterson (Author)

The author designed his book to be a transformative journey that conclusively reveals one’s own “enlightened self-nature” directly, leaving no room for doubt or uncertainty. For those who are serious about self-realization, this book offers explanations, insights and practical methods that can easily be applied without prior knowledge or experience with meditation or Eastern practices.

The key teachings originate in the Tibetan wisdom tradition known as the “The Great Perfection”, but are inclusive of other traditions such as Zen, that offer insights and methods into discovering our True Nature immediately and directly, not after months or years of study, meditation and practice.

The author also studied deeply the teachings of the Sufis in Kashmir, India which revealed the wisdom of the Heart and Love, both necessary qualities in realizing one’s true nature. The approach shared is very direct and capable of revealing immediate benefits. The overall goal is the acquisition of a completely new perspective on life that is grounded in spontaneity, freedom, joy and unconditional love for the benefit of oneself and others.

The journey includes delving into the nature of thought, mind and ego-self to learn how we create our own suffering. From there we are introduced to our own inner jewel of enlightened awareness and knowingness that has always been present but never or rarely noticed. We then learn methods of how to broaden the “recognition” and how to stabilize and integrate this wisdom awareness into all aspects of our lives. Finally we are introduced to the nature of our spiritual Heart the seat of unconditional love and True Being. We learn how we are all just “one life”, and with this recognition we find joy for ourselves and love for all beings.

The author has spent over forty-seven years in pursuit of the wisdom teachings that can bring about enlightenment and liberation from personal suffering. As a result his travels to meet actual masters who were themselves accomplished in this path, took him to India, China, Nepal, Japan, Korea, Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

This book represents the essence of those teachings yet are presented in a completely generic and unique approach that anyone can benefit from. The author shares: “It is my hope that seekers of all types may find the realization of their goals fulfilled through the reading and application of the teachings as offered in this book and are able to realize the immediate presence of the Natural Bliss of Being for themselves as I have, and realize: ‘Relishing and celebrating life’s journey is the realization of Enlightenment itself!'”

Browse Here

Dzogchen Immediate Recognition

Published on Mar 22, 2014
This short video is intended to be a direct “pointing out” of our already enlightened nature. It is the Direct Introduction to Rigpa in Dzogchen and the “Natural State” in Essence Mahamudra. No practices or meditation are needed for this immediate recognition.

You can learn more about my approach from my book “The Natural Bliss of Being” available at Amazon and Kindle Books. Also please visit my website:

The Self as Seer, Seeing & Seen ~ Igor Kufayev

Published on Dec 3, 2014

An excerpt from the Q&A session during the Live Webinar. Mill Valley CA. Nov 2014.

How to Integrate Retreat Experiences? ~ Igor Kufayev

Published on Nov 11, 2014

Given during a seven-day retreat, this talk addresses some pertinent questions of how to integrate the intensity of bliss and experiences associated with awakening into our daily life, simple and direct reminders of what to give priority and what to avoid.



Glimpsing Heaven: The Stories and Science of Life After Death By Judy Bachrach

If you caught a glimpse of heaven, would you choose to come back to life? Investigative journalist Judy Bachrach has collected accounts of those who died and then returned to life with lucid, vivid memories of what occurred while they were dead, and the conclusions are astonishing. Clinical death—the moment when the heart stops beating and brain stem activity ceases—is not necessarily the end of consciousness, as a number of doctors are now beginning to concede.

Hundreds of thousands of fascinating post-death experiences have been documented, and for many who have died and returned, life is forever changed. These days, an increasing number of scientific researchers are turning their studies to people who have experienced what the author calls death travels — putting stock and credence in the sights, encounters, and exciting experiences reported by those who return from the dead. Through interviews with scores of these “death travelers,” and with physicians, nurses, and scientists unraveling the mysteries of the afterlife, Bachrach redefines the meaning of both life and death. Glimpsing Heaven reveals both the uncertainty and the surprising joys of life after death.

, a renowned investigative journalist, is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and professor of journalism at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. She was educated at Chatham College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her work as a hospice volunteer inspired her investigations into life after death.

Browse here

Book Talk by National Geographic Read Here

Alice Sommer Herz – Everything is A Present [Updated March 2, 2014]

World’s oldest known holocaust survivor dies aged 110 in London: Alice, who played piano in concentration camp, appeared in Oscar-nominated short film about her life, that won the 2014 Oscar Academy Award.

Read more: HERE

Alice Sommer Herz is thought of with affection by hundreds of thousands of people in the world as both a sage and a saint. Her wisdom is evident in almost everything that she says. Her saintliness is seen in her almost unique tolerance and her compassion. She has the true gift of forgiveness. “Life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything is a present.” Alice Sommer Herz

Alice Somer Herz – 108 Year Old Holocaust Survivor – Interviewed by Bernard Hiller

Bernard Hiller interviews Alice Somer Herz who was an inmate of the The Terezin concentration camp. She was a very accomplished pianist who played Chopin’s 24 etudes from memory. She lost her parents and and her husband during the war. Her son who, because a successful musician (who died 2001), survived the camp with her as well.
She believes that being “optimistic” is the most important quality to achieve a happy life. She currently lives in London and is the oldest Holocaust survivor.

Filmed on location in London, UK
4th December, 2011

Oldest Living Pianist, Holocaust Survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer – 109 years old

Published on Sep 11, 2013…
The Lady in Number 6 is one of the most inspirational stories ever told. 109 year old, Alice Herz Sommer, the world’s oldest pianist and oldest holocaust survivor, shares her views on how to live a long happy life. She discusses the vital importance of music, laughter and having an optimistic outlook on life. This powerfully inspirational video tells her amazing story of survival and how she managed to use her time in a Nazi concentration camp to empower herself and others with music. See the entire documentary at:

Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery By: Debra Moffitt

Garden of Bliss begins on the French Riviera, where Moffitt, despite her glamorous European lifestyle, feels empty. Realizing that financial success doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness, she looks inside herself and decides to make some changes.

The message of her journey is simple: bliss is a destination that exists within all of us. Using the metaphor of a secret garden, Moffitt encourages her readers to manifest this space in the physical world and connect with the divine feminine through nature. Garden of Bliss can be read as a stand-alone book or as a companion text to Moffitt’s award-winning debut, Awake in the World. View Here

Click here to browse inside.

TV Interview with Debra Moffitt on Finding Bliss

Explore the difference between happiness and joy in this short TV interview with author, Debra Moffitt which aired live in June 2013 on America’s Low Country Live Morning Show. It also presents Debra’s new book, “Garden of Bliss.”

Enlightenment 101: From Ignorance to Grace by Jan Esmann (Author)

Why a book about fallacies? Why be so negative and focus on what is wrong? Well, first of all because correcting wrong notions is an important part of any teaching, second because it becomes an excuse to propose correct understanding in the context of misunderstanding.

For this reason, I have examined common ideas and beliefs that have become widely accepted , but which upon closer examination are seen to be fallacious. Here are a few examples:

* Our only obstacle keeping us from fully awakening is our mind – therefore we must stop the mind.

* To attain Spiritual enlightenment, you must still your mind, detach from all the worldly distractions.

* The very entry point into the ego-less state or the enlightened state is the present moment. The ego can only be transcended by accessing the present moment.

* Our own intense emotions – even negative ones – can be a path for spiritual growth towards enlightenment.

* The common basic definition of enlightenment is that the enlightened one lives in total and constant contact with the divine, that this person’s ego is permanently dissolved in divine ecstasy, and that the person in all acts and words is a pure channel for the divine energy.

* Enlightenment is the understanding that I am everything that is.

* Enlightenment is a process of peeling back the many layers of the ego to experience your true radiant infinite Self.

Click here to browse inside.

Jan Esmann, born 1960, is an enlightened kundalinī shaktipāt master living in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he teaches, transmits and gives shaktipāt. The highest teachings are transmitted in silence during meditation or afterwards. Jan is not part of any tradition or represents a lineage. He has been giving shaktipāt since the mid 1980’s but did not fully emerge as a teacher until after 2006.

He has a MA in History of Modern Culture from Copenhagen University, and a B.Sc in Art-restoration from the Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen. He earns his living as an artist, a writer and a software developer.

Jan Esmann – 2nd Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

View Here on his previous book and intereview.

The Illusion of the State of Bliss ~ Rupert Spira

Published on Jan 27, 2014

In this video clip, Rupert draws attention to the tendency of mistaking a state of bliss for the ever-present peace and happiness of our true nature.

Lovebliss: The Essence of Self-Realization by Jan Esmann

The book answers the question what Self-realization is and which stages lie before and beyond. It contributes to the field of such books by focusing on lovebliss and the spiritual energy of the Self (Shakti), rather than simply pure being or the now. It is written solely from experience. Further it contributes by putting the insights of the first two thirds of the book into perspective with new readable translations (from Sanskrit with commentaries) of Yoga-S

M.A., B.A., B.Sc., born 1960. Jan has meditated since an early teenager with an awakened kundalini. He got Self-realized in 1985 and in 2005 reached the state of lovebliss.

Click here to browse inside.

Jan Esmann – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Jan was born 1960 and grew up in Bury, England. His parents were Danish. In 1967 the family moved to Denmark. Jan’s dad is an engineer and there was no spiritual influence from either parent. Yet Jan showed strong spiritual yearnings since an early age. Jan trained as an artist under the Danish painter Niels Hermann Wamberg; he also studied art restoration at the Royal Academy in order to learn the traditional craft. Jan also studied at the university and acquired an MA in history of modern culture.

Today Jan works as a full time professional artist and also has a software company developing photo retouching plug-ins for Photoshop.

After doing Transcendental Meditation and the TM Siddhi Programme for six years, Jan felt the need for a guru and found Gururaj Ananda Yogi whom he stayed with for three years. Then Jan’s Kundalini was so active, that he did not need any other guidance than what the Shakti gave, so he gave up on gurus and meditated by observing the inner Shakti’s workings. Following this, Jan began to be contagious and the Kundalini might spontaneously awaken in those that meditated with him. After some years, Jan met Amma and related to her as a spiritual master for about ten years. But again the Shakti guided Jan to meditate on his own and follow the inner guidance of the Shakti. Today Jan would describe his spirituality as being grabbed by Mother’s grace. The Divine Mother who resides in everybody as Kundalini Shakti and patiently waits to unfold as a vibrating field of love, bliss and grace.

View Jan’s Satsang on the common fallacies about Enlightenment HERE

Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life By Debra Moffitt

Awake in the World offers 108 quick and simple exercises inspired by wisdom traditions around the globe. Compatible with any faith, these practical techniques can be performed anytime you need them. Learn to sharpen your spiritual awareness, stay calm in a crisis, focus on what is truly important, achieve health and wellness, and recognize the divine all around you. Best of all, you’ll invite soul-nourishing peace and calm into your fast-paced life.

—Grow a secret garden
—Cook with love
—Bless your pets
—Enjoy mindful lovemaking
—Chant a sacred mantra

Debra Moffitt is an author and teacher who leads workshops on writing and spirituality in the United States and Europe. She is a faculty member of the Sophia Institute, the Esalen Institute, and author of the award-winning. book Awake in the World. Her writings on spiritual practices appear in publications around the world. She resides in South Carolina. Visit her online at

Click here to browse inside.

Awake in the World: Tools for Meditation

Author, Debra Moffitt, presents tools that are useful in meditation practice including bells, malas, sacred symbols, scents, stones and crystals as ways to anchor the mind. Debra’s book, Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011), presents 108 ways that support meditation practices and the spiritual journey. Read more at: and at Debra’s blog at…

Encounters with Babaji by Renata Caddy

Master of the Himalaya,

Related with simplicity and sincerity, the anecdotes in this firsthand account detail author Renata Caddy’s experiences with Babaji, an eternal being and figure in Indian spirituality. Through personal stories and photographs, Caddy describes her first meeting with Babaji during a stay in India in 1978 as well as the 72 encounters that followed in the next six years, until Babaji gave up his human form in 1984.

She then relates the events that occurred during her several pilgrimages to Mount Kailash in Tibet, where she felt Babaji’s presence strongly and was even more compelled to follow his teachings of truth, simplicity, love, and service to humanity. Full of wisdom, this illuminating book contains a message of spiritual development that will resonate with anyone of an open heart and mind, regardless of religion.

Renata Caddy is a writer and painter who teaches courses and directs workshops on the topics of self-discovery, self-realization, and happiness.

Click here to browse inside.


am Existence-Knowledge-Bliss absolute. I am the Impersonal Personality of the whole universe…One with everything, and therefore nothing special… When you know who you are you will know who is Babaji

Awakening is Not The Same as Bliss ~ Rupert Spira

Published on Dec 12, 2013

Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from My Six-Month-Old Awakening to Unconditional Self-Love in Motherhood By Kuwana Haulsey

There is a tribe in Africa where, the first time a woman leaves home following the confinement period after giving birth, everyone she meets along the road greets her with a sacred song otherwise reserved for warriors returning from battle. She’s honored as having lived through a rite of passage that will forever mark her womanhood as abundant and powerful and blessed. She’s respected as a fully franchised member of the most ubiquitous and yet most extraordinary group of beings in our collective experience: mothers.

Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned from a Six-Month-Old: Awakening to Unconditional Self Love in Motherhood is an Eat Pray Love for moms. It fuses memoir, spirituality and self-development into the unique perspective that babies are actually extraordinary spiritual teachers who are capable of showing their caregivers the way toward inspired living. Kuwana Haulsey imparts this deeper understanding of a universal truth of love , in which motherhood is explored as a means of waking up to her innate potential for personal transformation.

Kuwana Haulsey is the author of The Red Moon, which was a 2002 finalist for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Born and raised in New York City, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Rutgers University magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Kuwana has led seminars for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, D.C., and at Rutgers University. She’s taught writing at UCLA and Agape International and is also an actress currently living in North Hollywood where she co-teaches classes on spirituality with Reverend Michael Beckwith.

Michael Bernard Beckwith is an American New Thought minister, author, and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, CA, a New Thought church with more than 8,000 members. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Kuwana Haulsey and Kingston at six months old

Ten Questions/Topics of Discussion for Kuwana Haulsey, Author of Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from My Six-Month-Old

1. What prompted you to write about motherhood and spirituality?

Becoming a mother changes every facet of a woman’s life and I felt that there was an unrealistic paradigm being held up for women, which said that you can have it all and do it all—all at the same time—and that it should look effortless to boot. I talked to so many women who were struggling with the realities of parenthood and their changing roles in life and feeling unworthy, like they weren’t measuring up to this external standard. That paradigm is a total lie. On the other hand, it’s fashionable these days to try to “demystify” parenthood (i.e. say how lousy and over-hyped it is.) That too is a lie. I wanted to start a new conversation about living day-to-day in the joy and perfection of reality.

2. How do you define conscious parenting?

Conscious parenting is about mindfulness. It’s about committing to the practice of maintaining focused awareness, both to your child and his/her actions as well as your responses or reactions to what’s going on around you. It’s about choosing your responses rather than reacting to deep-seated triggers. Its about learning to be grateful for the challenges and the ugly stuff—in the moment, not after the fact—because you become aware that the gifts of life are not on the other side of the storms. They are the storms.

3. How does parenting consciously help caregivers to re-parent themselves?

Your children present you with delicious reminders of what your deepest triggers are, and probably on a daily basis. When you go within, it’s possible to look at those triggers and examine why certain circumstances/situations trigger you and why those circumstances/situations appear in your experience. At the same time, you can also step back and choose to dig deeper, to find out what it is that your child really needs in the moment. As you respond to the child’s real need, rather than reacting to their behavior, you heal the tensions of the moment and you also begin to heal the much deeper tensions and wounds within yourself. Because our children—and all the people in our lives—are simply mirrors of ourselves.

4. How do you feel some traditional child rearing practices undermine a woman’s ability to effectively parent her children?

In our society, we seem to have an almost pathological need to assert and maintain our independence. This shows up in so many different ways in our accepted child rearing practices—from feeding to sleeping to child care arrangements. When caregivers want to step outside those norms and practice more hands-on, heart-centered ways of being, people are quick to judge and give all kinds of unwanted advice. I can’t describe how many times people told me to “stop holding my baby so much” or he was going to turn into a “spoiled, dependent little monster.” Nothing could be further from the truth! I had no problem telling people “No, I’m not going to put my son down. Now mind your business.” But having your choices and decisions questioned can be daunting for many people. I think if we went back to more traditional ways of being (meaning prior to the mid 20th century, right-brained programming that comprise much of our child rearing “norms”) we would handle our children, and ourselves, with greater compassion and fluidity.

5. If babies are perfectly complete spiritual beings, does that mean that we’re all essentially perfect?

Yes, we are all perfect. Everyone is perfect exactly as we are. We are perfect in our imperfection. The Japanese tradition of Wabi-sabi describes beauty as that which is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The beauty is in the acceptance of what is. Likewise, I believe we’re all perfect emanations of God exactly as we are. That doesn’t mean that we don’t change or grow or improve our lot in life. It just means that we cannot be any better than where and what we are today. A lot of times, that concept is very difficult for us to grasp as adults. But it is immediately understandable and acceptable when we look into the eyes of a baby.

6. What is your relationship like with your son today?

It’s AWESOME! He’s amazing. He’s three years old and he’s challenging and crazy and full of jokes and amazingly astute insights. I wish I could take credit for his development. But I think the best thing we as parents can do is guide lightly and get out of their way. He already was all of those wonderful things when he arrived here. We just try to give him the space to remember that.

7. How has writing this book changed your life?

This book has helped me put into words the indescribable condition of motherhood. Through writing it, I started working through so many of the challenges that were occurring and becoming more conscious of my changing roles. Being conscious allowed me to stay in gratitude much more often and to have more compassion and accept more vulnerability. It is allowing me to step into my power as a woman, a mother, a wife and an artist.

8. How can reading this book change the lives/outlooks of those reading it?

Acceptance can be hard to come by in our society, which is constantly bombarding us with images of “more, bigger, better, faster…” I’d love to bring to the forefront a conversation about acceptance, reality and the true nature of joy. I think that’s what this book is about and that’s what I hope people walk away with: that unconditional love and acceptance is a birthright for us all. You don’t have to get anything or do anything to deserve it. It’s here now.

9. Is “joyful” or “blissful” parenting a fairy tale?

It depends on how you define joy and bliss. If you define joy and bliss as getting whatever you want and being without challenge, then yes it’s a fairy tale. If you define joy and bliss as a quality or state of being that is inherent within us all and needs only to be acknowledged and accepted, then it’s not a fairy tale. It’s the reality of this moment. And if you recognize that joy and bliss are most often born through challenge then you’ll know that it’s definitely not a fairy tale.

10. Now that you have two children, has your perspective changed?

Birthing another baby is like moving from your bachelor’s degree to your master’s. I hope the book is funny, because I sometimes fall out laughing when I think of the things that I was concerned about back in the beginning. The challenges and growth points are so much more acute now. My favorite quote from Joel Goldsmith is “There is no such thing as undemonstrated understanding.” With two children, life seems to conspire to make me aware of my learning curves and to show me the truth of what I actually understand about living on the growing edge. So my perspective hasn’t changed as much as it greatly deepens every day.


The Seer, the Seeing & the Seen (Part 1& 2) – Igor Kufayev

”When spoken casually these terms (Awakening, Self-Realization, Enlightenment) often denote the same state, yet in the light of direct experiences they are distinctively different. They are sequential unfoldment of consciousness within itself… There is no Enlightenment without realizing the Self, and there is no Self-Realization without Awakening. All this terms are intimately inter-connected… However, the awakened is not necessarily self-realized and self-realization is not Enlightenment in full measure of that term… ” – Igor Kufayev (Vamadeva), extract of the main theme of Live Webinar, Sept 2012

The Seer, the Seeing & the Seen (Part 2) – Igor Kufayev

Questions & Answers on the value of Seer, Seeing and Seen as experienced throughout different states of Consciousness and notions of ‘Awakening, Self-Realization and Enlightenment’, its relationship to human DNA and and overall process of experiencing.

Happiness and the Art of Being: A Layman’s Introduction to the Philosophy and Practice of the Spiritual Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana by Michael James

Happiness is our true nature, our essential being. The transient happiness that we seem to derive from external experiences actually arises only from within ourself, and is experienced by us due to the temporary calming of our mind that occurs whenever any of our desires are fulfilled. So long as our mind is extroverted, attending to anything other than our own essential self-conscious being, we can never experience perfect, permanent and unqualified happiness. To experience true and eternal happiness, we must attain the experience of true self-knowledge – that is, absolutely clear consciousness of our own essential being, ‘I am’. Such is the truth revealed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

The philosophy of Sri Ramana derives solely from his experience of true, absolute, non-dual self-knowledge, an experience that transcends all thought, both rational and irrational. However, since we imagine the existence of duality, multiplicity and relativity, we seem to lack the non-dual and absolute knowledge of our own essential self-conscious being that Sri Ramana experienced as his natural state. Therefore he presented his philosophy to us in terms of a rational and logical analysis of our present experience of ourself as a finite individual consciousness, in order to enable us to be firmly convinced of the absolute reality that underlies and supports this finite consciousness that we now mistake to be ourself.

However, the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana are not only a rational philosophy, but are also a precise science and art. He intended his philosophy to serve only as the theoretical foundation upon which we should practise the empirical science of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), which is the art of keenly self-attentive and therefore perfectly thought-free being.

This book, Happiness and the Art of Being, is an in-depth exploration of both the philosophy and the practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana. Though it is intended primarily to be an introduction to his teachings, it is not a brief one, because in a clear and simple manner it provides a very detailed and deep insight into their core. Therefore though it has been written with the intention that it should be easily understood even by readers who have no previous acquaintance with any form of spiritual philosophy, it should also be useful to readers who already have a good understanding of his teachings.

Like the aim of his teachings, the aim of this book is to prompt each one of us to think more deeply about the reality of all that we as a seemingly limited individual consciousness experience and know, to help us to understand that the only absolute reality in our entire experience of duality and relativity is our fundamental consciousness of our own essential being, ‘I am’, and thereby to reinforce our love and effort to attend keenly and exclusively to this essential self-consciousness ‘I am’ in order to discover its true nature.

The author of this book, Michael James, spent more than eight years studying the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana and of his foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar, in minute detail under the clear guidance of another close disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Therefore the central focus of this book is on the teachings of Sri Ramana as expressed in his own original writings, and hence it contains accurate and carefully worded translations by the author of the whole of Sri Ramana’s prose treatise Nāṉ Yār? (Who am I?) and of most of the verses of his philosophical poems such as Upadēśa Undiyār, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, Ēkātma Pañcakam, Āṉma-Viddai and Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ.

Biography Michael James (or Michael D A James, as he is also known) spent more than eight years studying the original Tamil writings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana and his foremost disciple, Sri Muruganar, in minute detail under the clear guidance of another close disciple, Sri Sadhu Om, and since the passing away of Sri Sadhu Om in 1985 he has continued to study, practise, translate and write about the spiritual teachings of Sri Ramana.

In all his writings on the teachings of Sri Ramana, Michael focuses on their actual practice, which is ātma-vicāra (self-investigation or self-enquiry), a state of simple self-attentiveness — clear and calm contemplation upon our fundamental consciousness of being, ‘I am’ (which is also sometimes described in more devotional terms as the practice of complete self-surrender). While describing and discussing this practice, Michael also discusses its philosophical basis, explaining the rationale for seeking to experience true self-knowledge — perfectly clear consciousness of what we essentially are.

Together with Sri Sadhu Om, Michael translated into English most of the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana, and also ‘Guru Vācaka Kōvai’, which is the most comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana himself. Their translations of these works, which include detailed word-for-word meanings of most of the original verses composed by Sri Ramana, and their translations of many of Sri Sadhu Om’s own Tamil verses, have been published in several volumes.

In addition to his translations, Michael has written ‘Happiness and the Art of Being’, which is a detailed introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, and which contains accurate and carefully worded translations by the author of the whole of Sri Ramana’s prose treatise ‘Nāṉ Yār?’ (Who am I?) and of most of the verses of his philosophical poems such as ‘Upadēśa Undiyār’, ‘Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu’, ‘Ēkātma Pañcakam’, ‘Āṉma-Viddai’ and ‘Upadēśa Taṉippākkaḷ’.

Available here for free download as a PDF

For more information about Michael’s translations and writings on the teachings of Sri Ramana, please visit his website and blog:

Michael James – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Aug 13, 2013

Between 1976 and 1985 Michael James studied the teachings of Sri Ramana under the clear guidance of one of his foremost disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Together they translated into English all the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana, and also Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings) (the most profound, comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana) and various works of Sri Sadhu Om such as A Light on the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The Essence of Spiritual Practice

Michael’s principal interest is the philosophy and practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra, ‘self-enquiry’) as taught by Sri Ramana, and he has written a detailed book on this subject: Happiness and the Art of Being: An introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana (Second Edition).

Interview recorded 8/10/2013.

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