117. Benjamin Smythe

Benjamin SmytheI thought I knew something.  It turns out I didn’t.  My heart explodes into pieces and they rain down everywhere I look.  It doesn’t feel as new agey as it sounds, and that ends up being such an incredible delight.  Nothing spiritual I have ever encountered has anything to do with the simple Wow I am talking about. It is this Mystery.  Wow!

Benjamin’s site: http://benjamintsmythe.com/

Interview recorded 3/31/2012

Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

260 thoughts on “117. Benjamin Smythe

  1. The question is, who was Bernie prior to being Bernie Prior?
    Perhaps he was known as “prior” Bernie but then again, its all such a great Mystery.

  2. Greese – You’re funny!! and if you’re game, you know you can fly down to Fiji with Bernie- for the low low price of only 10 grand (20 for couples) and romp to your heart’s content in the tantric playground…
    hmmm..most enlightening!!!..

  3. Heck, I’ll bet I can fly to Thailand and romp around in the tantric playgrounds for 1/15th of what ole Bernie’s offering.
    And walk away feeling just as spiritual, to boot.

  4. If there is an awakening, and then an ever deepening into Knowing, what would you say is the nature of this depth, as far as how it is experienced and how it may manifest outwardly?

  5. The nature of the deepening into Self is in seeing things as they really are – The deeper we go – the more Love reveals itself as the basis of everything which in turn allows greater access to Reality..One is no longer fooled by how things appear…we see beyond the words spoken to their silent depths..We know that all hearts beat as one – and that the same divinity lies behind each illusory persona no matter how much of the maya is still present..so true compassion arises….We stand in awe of what the universe shows us, and take no credit for, or pride in, any part of its manifestation.. so true humility arises…Most of all, we laugh with the laughers and cry with the criers living each moment in it’s wholeness – knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that all is well..

  6. Thanks Jill. This is very helpful.
    Would you say Buddha, Jesus, Ramana, and the teachers you mentioned, are the same Jnani? Perhaps only a question of depth and each uniquely manifesting truth in their own way?
    Also, I hear a fair bit of this concept of awakenings, but then mind “re-rooting”. Such that it can no longer honestly be said that they are speaking from experience, but rather from memory of what the awakening was like. Have you heard of this notion of mind re-rooting?

  7. Yes the same teacher manifesting as the One so that each ear could hear the teaching..

    No I haven’t heard of that exact term re-rooting but I get what you’re pointing to..the mind apparently returning…People have different takes on it..

    Wayne’s take on it was that it couldn’t have been a genuine awakening to begin with…He doesn’t even use the term awakening – only what he calls a ‘back and forth’ of the pendulum – knowing oneself and not knowing oneself – a fluctuation of consciousness along the spiritual highway – until the final blow of enlightenment is cast, upon which there is no return..a death experience if you will..
    I tend to agree with that assessment..

    From the yogic or Kundalini standpoint, some would say if re-rooting happens, the body is just not ready to hold the energy and after it arises and people get a glimpse of Reality, it retires back to the muldahara..

    Eli spoke to this in a recent interview that Snow posted on the comments page – that this apparent ‘losing it’ happens because people don’t realize that they have to do some work after the awakening – that it’s not just a matter of going to satsang -and getting more of the juice – but that the focus and willingness to look within at the conditioning etc need continue..

    I always think of the opening as a gift from Grace perhaps for time spent – and desire for truth -but then it’s up to the seeker to keep the vigil and keep surrendering all concepts and illusions..maintaining a willingness to see and not turn away – being true to what has been given – until the final unstruck sound of Silence is heard..

    You just touched upon why Neelam began her more intense courses in recent years..as did many other teachers..They used to just breeze into town every few months and people would get high and open -but then without follow up, many got lost..So she and others realized, myself included – that it’s important to stay with someone until they’re fully cooked..and independent of all teachers..

    One knows that for sure, only when all questions are answered from within – and clarity and wisdom and love has arisen -and one wants for nothing else but what is..

  8. Am sure Jill can answer this “re-rooting” phenomena much better than I can – but I can attest to this happening as I’m sure many can.

    Profound awakening experiences happen, and then are subsequently “remembered” (i.e. claimed by mind) and so are considered phenomenal – coming and then going. Even a felt-shift in which the “I” is awakened out of – and a seamless, wholeness is present, can seem to get re-rooted or overlayed… I think of it as a playing back and forth between the timeless and time. Until final rest in the timeless happens.

  9. Awakening experiences, however transitory, all say the divine is present. How wonderful and hopeful is that for all of us – awakened, awakening, or not?

  10. I like your answer ising. It goes with my experience.
    Funny how after all these years it is becoming clear to me, that all this time I’ve been longing for a memory, a thought, instead of the truth. Ohhh man!
    As far as all the rest. Eli says, Wayne says…. it could only be conjecture at best. Looking for reasons and meaning in a world of objects. I mean how can anybody know how this works? They’re teachers. They gotta come up with something to keep us entertained and amused.

    As Francis says; “Experience is it’s own meaning.”

  11. As far as Neelam goes…. you’ll like this Jill, when she was in Fairfield, she came over to my place a few times and borrowed some DVDs. My friend, who spent a lot of time with Gangaji early on, said; “She can’t be ‘enlightened’, she watches movies.” So all you guys beware of Neelam. She likes movies.

  12. Love your answer Ising and love you- spoken perfectly from your own experience…and it’s true we shouldn’t minimize the awakenings or glimpses -always the Divine Presence in those..

    Chuckee -You’re right that no one knows for sure how this whole thing plays out but sometimes if you’ve met a lot of people as many of the teachers have over many years – you see some patterns and perhaps draw some conclusions..

    My own overall observation of friends, is that one can’t fall back if one stays true to themselves and to truth..stays open hearted and surrendered and is continually willing to see what might be standing in the way of full disclosure -and doesn’t try to use the awakening for one’s own gain..
    After the final death experience there is the impossibility of falling back speaking personally here….As Ramesh used to say, ‘at some point, dead is dead – and one can’t be deader.’…deepening yes – fluctuation no..

    Yes Neelam loves film as I do, perhaps because its fabric is so close to Reality…the old screen analogy..with all the characters in the play as mere projections onto it..something so true there..

  13. Many thanks for heart-felt replies.
    This notion of the death before death, is one that I seem to recall from Ramana.
    That there comes a time when one is cooked as cooked can be, and then only deepening can occur, but never a loss of Self-knowing, speaks to me.
    Not to experience mind you, but as a useful description.

  14. There really are expectations on how realized people must act. They must be quiet types. They must always look and act happy and blissy. They must speak deep truths at all times. They aren’t interested in distractions and material things. They have no need or interest in sex. They aren’t emotional or affected by emotion. They are imbued with all siddhis. They only live to help people, give satsang, and transmit Truth – otherwise, they could as happily leave the form. They shouldn’t be interested in money, business, making a living, marketing themselves. They eat simple light veggie food – no real preferences or cravings. I could go on.

    The thing I wanted to say is, there is no recipe, formula, pattern, that Jnanis adhere to. It is largely other people, who don’t have wisdom, that impose these notions onto teachers. I must admit, I left a teacher largely because I could not reconcile their lifestyle with their so- called spiritual function. In retrospect, my gut sense is that I made the right decision, but I understand how the two can be confusing.

  15. Benjamin will be holding two silent meditiation events, with opportunities for questions, in Asheville NC on May 11th and 12th. For more information you can contact me, or look for his events on the Asheville Sangha website.


  16. Hi Rick,
    I wanted to acknowledge your wonderful part in bringing Benjamin to my attention through your website. My daughter heard part of the interview and commented how she liked what she heard. So we ended up inviting Benjamin up to live with us for a week. We had a delightful visit and I am SO impressed with his generosity of spirit. I want to thank you Rick for all that you do. You have deeply touched my life and I have already witnessed the ripple effect out into my community. Much love and blessings.

  17. Most interesting interview. I really enjoyed Benjamin’s enthusiasm, spirit and passion.

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