092. Gangaji

GangajiGangaji shares a simple message-This is an invitation to shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being.

Born in Texas in 1942, Gangaji grew up in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1964, she married and had a daughter. In 1972, she moved to San Francisco where she began exploring deeper levels of her being. She took Bodhisattva vows, practiced Zen and Vipassana meditation, helped run a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, and had a career as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco Bay area.

Despite her successes, Gangaji continued to experience a deep and persistent longing for fulfillment. She pursued many paths to change her life including relationship, motherhood, political activism, career, and spiritual practice, but even the greatest of her successes ultimately came up short. In the wake of her disillusionment, she made a final prayer for true help. In 1990, the answer to her prayer came unexpectedly, taking her to India and to the meeting that would change everything. There on the banks of the river Ganga, she met Sri H.W.L. Poonja, also known as Papaji, who opened the floodgates of self-recognition. In this meeting, Gangaji’s personal story of suffering ended and the promise of a true life began to flower and unfold.

Today, Gangaji travels the world speaking to seekers from all walks of life. A teacher and author, she shares her direct experience of the essential message she received from Papaji and offers it to all who want to discover a true and lasting fulfillment. Through her life and words, she powerfully articulates how it is really possible to discover the truth of who you are and to be true to that discovery. She is the author of The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance and Hidden Treasure: Uncovering the Truth in Your Life Story. Learn more about Gangaji at www.gangaji.org.

Interview recorded 10/18/2011

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

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  1. Brian, Anatol
    I’d suggest that quote may have been to a specific person or group. Our concepts of realization can often be the last barrier to being it.

    If the quote were universally applicable, everyone would be realized except seekers. ;-)

  2. thanks David… i guess that’s the point i wanted to make… because… as i read Ramana… he didn’t insist that self-inquiry is the only way… and he encouraged each according to their nature… meditation… repetition of mantra or name… devotion… worship… being silent in his presence… selfless-service… etc… and acknowledged that each path can “facilitate” realization…

    so as we post short aphorisms… which i also do… maybe feeling… wow… what a great pointer… readers may be in different space at the time… it’s hit or miss here… in person or over skype… would be better to exchange views…

  3. Thank you Rick for this interview with Gangaji. When I listen to her, she always brings me home. My body feels peaceful and at rest. I always find myself grateful at receiving her love and wisdom that she so innately, naturally and freely shares.

  4. I have spent a lot of time working on my psychology and early childhood “stuff” and it was interesting for me to see that the veiled subject of Elia and Toni’s marital issues came up at the end of the interview, whereas, I wish they had started from that point and then gone into the esoteric stuff along the way. For me, the emotional, psychological issues, which are a by -product of a rocky childhood, IMO, are the significant items in a story and everything emerges from early trauma and pain. I also understand why most people, especially “spiritual types” want to either ignore or minimize their childhood psychological issues in favor of higher and more noble subjects – it just hurts too damned much to go there! But, I still enjoyed the interview and learned a lot from it. Toni seems quite genuine and lovable as she does in her books and videos/tapes, etc. and I wish her and Eli much love and happiness after their issues are “fixed”.