089. Karen Richards

Karen RichardsFrom Karen’s site: In February 2008 at the age of thirty-three, Karen experienced a sudden and radical awakening. Prior to this realisation, no teachings or practices were followed – in fact at that time the terms non-duality and awakening were completely unfamiliar. This spontaneous realisation presented itself during a period of intense emotional suffering and when demands in life exceeded Karen’s physical capability.

Karen attempted to persevere in the face of these challenges, the consequence being a severely debilitating illness that affected physical functioning on every level. Although the illness had a devastating effect on life as it was then known, it seemed to create a space for a deeper reality to be recognised.

As her state of health was so poor, Karen was unable to return to work – meaning that she spent a significant amount of time confined to her home. The effect of this period of solitude was profound surrender, allowing the realisation to become deeply integrated into daily living. Two and a half years after the initial recognition, someone Karen didn’t know approached her for guidance, which really was the beginning of sharing in a more active way. Karen now shares openly with all those who wish to enquire into the true nature of reality.

Karen grew up in a small town in the heart of England and was born into a non-religious family. After a somewhat turbulent childhood and unsettled early adult life, she trained as a nurse in 1993. After qualification in 1996, Karen went onto practice nursing in the NHS full time for twelve years, gaining experience in many specialities including general surgery, urology and medicine before specialising in intensive care. In the years prior to the realisation, Karen has experienced challenges and disappointments that seem common to many. She is also a certified life coach and that, coupled with her nursing career has given her considerable experience of working with people from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. This has endowed her with the ability to empathise and understand life as it is to commonly experienced, making her easy to communicate with.

Following the realisation, Karen’s experience of illness – coupled with her extensive experience of healthcare, enabled dis-ease / illness to be seen from a different perspective. Misperception of what we are and the stress that can ensue in direct relation to that misperception, means that we are often in a state of persistent resistance to life as it is. This negative state of functioning is the foundation for many of our health challenges. The rediscovery of who we are is fundamental for the transformation of the human life experience. It means that the peace that is already here is recognised and experienced directly, having potentially profound healing effect on the mind and body.

Realisation – from a human perspective – means that the unity beyond apparent diversity is remembered. Life can then be embraced fully and authentically – without contamination from the lens of the conditioned mind, bringing relief from all psychological suffering. An inevitable consequence of this recognition is the arising of compassion, love and respect for life in all of its appearances – having an ever deepening impact on the human experience. This has the direct consequence of transforming the world we see literally before our eyes, having a powerful healing effect on the planet as a whole.

‘May you rediscover who you truly are, for in that knowing lies liberation, peace and wisdom. You are THAT for which you have been seeking’

Much love, Karen Richards

Interview recorded 9/25/2011

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

33 thoughts on “089. Karen Richards

  1. Hi Anatol,
    I copied your post below and answered in-line:

    can you say something about your … “personal representation of God” and “prayer”

    ** I took the TM Sidhis course 30+ years ago, and what began to happen was that I was able to apprehend saints and gods at the level of the (refined) senses, on what is sometimes referred to as the astral plane. I could both see them and feel the radiating of their darshan. Good thing as there were no teachers here on earth I was attracted to. Prayer just became a process that rather than my thoughts being aimed nebulously above, they were directly communicated to whomever I addressed them to. Prayers became real.

    … and if you feel it relates to Adya’s awakening in head… heart… gut… are you stable in one of these and others are coming along… or… your view is different…

    **I don’t know the context of Adya’s expression. On the one hand the progression from head to heart to gut is a general statement of learning *anything*: First we understand it, then we own it and finally gain confidence in it. With Awakening I had all of those three things at once, dramatically, though I have of course continued to grow and develop since, which I don’t anticipate stopping or stagnating – that would be impossible.
    Hope that helps!

  2. thanks Jim… i like your common sense… “First we understand it, then we own it and finally gain confidence in it. ” … although i feel there is something more to what Adya says… which may come later in your growth… or not… perhaps… paths… stay unique… before awakening and after…

    and astral planes… far out… it is said that our physical earthly existence is just a very small part of the entire creation… and i know one “awakened” fellow… who says he will be glad to see the body go… so he can explore… didn’t say he would just merge in the “absolute” … or the body would drop off… and the absolute would remain… i know… the words here are not strictly advaitically correct… where is the advaita police…

  3. Based simply and only on my experiences, having seen and communicated with many loved ones who are no longer here, its not like we just dissolve into nothingness after a lifetime here on earth. How cruel that would be, to break the continuum of life, growth, delight, experience and learning just because the gross body wears out.

    At the same time, I don’t want to get there any sooner than I have to! :-) By experiencing those other unearthly places, this one becomes so precious – kind of like if I want to leave, I haven’t really arrived here yet.

    Also, about “the astral plane” I have heard that it can become a distraction, and I suppose that is true, like having vacationed on the Amalfi Coast and always imagining it while doing other things. However, it can be integrated and worked into daily life also in an appropriate and useful way, the thought for example, “bring an angel”, and so on.

  4. @snowleopard — thanks for the much needed joke, haha,– feels lighter while falling down…! (nice blog of yours btw)
    @chuckee you didn´t jump allright? Phhh.. glad to see you keep on keeping on.

  5. Lovely interview – lots to digest and worth listening to again. Rick is a master communicator and because he is so knowledgeable on this topic, I feel his insights, analogies and experiences add to the conversational stye of these interviews and are integral. Furhtermore, he has an uncanny way of asking the same clarifying questions that I am wondering just at the right time. I have learned as much from Rick on the topic of enlightenment as the guests. Please don’t change the format- this is one of few interview shows I – don’t get bored with. I think it’s perfect as is. Thanks you for making it available to all of us.

  6. Rick,
    You and Karen mentioned a sort of uncertainty that has been discussed. I wonder if this can become an obstacle or an unnecessary source of confusion for those who have experienced a fundamental awakening yet do not comprehend the simplicity of it. In other words, their conditioned mind is experiencing a lingering doubt even though the identity has shifted. Is this what you are talking about in that interchange? I had not come across this discussion in any of the other interviews I have viewed. Could you or Karen elaborate further, either here or in your next interview? Thanks.

  7. Hi Erick,

    I’ll save your post and bring up the point in our next interview. I’ll have to listen to this interview again to be really clear on the point to which you’re referring.

    Thanks, Rick

  8. The section I mentioned above is (on Facebook) Part 3, 11:27…

    In reviewing it I got the gist of it better. The uncertainty is in the nature of the knowing. But I’d still love to hear an elaboration on the point. It is good for people to hear.

  9. Hi Rick,

    I want to thank you for your beautiful interviews.
    And I want to say thanks to both you and Karen for this one.

    For my part I am an “oozer” of an awakener … but anyway all these interviews are such helpful encouragement, and confirmation, and also give helpful practical tips. I particularly liked when Karen said (maybe a fusion of several quotes):

    “The difficulties that arise from the momentum of old conditioning
    are opportunities to SEE them clearly, and allowing them to be without trying to change them. And when we see them clearly
    with relaxed [calm, alert] vigilence, they are allowed to run their course and drop away.”

    Also: “That IS the bliss: To be in the depths of despair, and yet have it be ok. Because it is cradled in unshakeable peace.”

    For me, that is still brutal. I HATE my despair and pain.
    That is why I became interested in spirituality. Yet, my hatred is an attachment. It seems each time I go through a painful
    episode (every few months), the attachment has to be seen;
    the story that is believed has to be seen. If you see and
    question the belief of every story, or relax the focus on the story
    (as Benhito M puts it) then all that is left is a feeling in the body
    and THAT is what can run it’s course, once it is disconnected from the story which was believed and not seen. The believed story IS the propagation device for the negative emotions, it is how they continue to try to live on and on in you.

    Yet, how difficult to do in the midst of pain … For the story may include: “I am trapped in this pain and I cannot see.”
    This pain will utilize any thoughts to survive; and you
    believe those thoughts, because at that moment you ARE
    that pain, you WANT that pain.

    I liked the analogy of ripples on water as well: “If we TRY to smooth the water, we create more turbulence; instead we can allow the waves to run their course in their own time and return again and again to this recognition.”

    I sympathize with those who feel confused or lost. I’d like to offer a little advice, which like all advice is more or less difficult to follow according to who you are, and how you can reflect and integrate it it into your own experience. I recommend you
    relax: Don’t worry about anything that doesn’t mean anything to you. Key in on the simple things that make sense to you, and especially those which give a heightened feeling of aliveness.
    This is not really about understanding anything with your mind, it is about relaxing your desire to understand and noticing something very simple: your own beautiful presence.

    Much love and best wishes

    -Joe

    PS You know another taboo in these nonduality circles?
    It seems to be taboo to mention the name of Eckhart Tolle. Is he just too main stream, too obvious? :)

    For me he has been the most powerful and clear teacher again and again. Yet of course certain view points may be clutched at
    if one takes his teachings too, too seriously (for example one could hope for a sudden awakening like his). :) I agree with Rick:
    It is very helpful to look at several teachers and view points.
    For is it not attachment to view points that we wish to see clearly?

    PPS I apologize for overlong comment, even though I lengthen it
    with this apology. :)

  10. Karen seems to struggle to shift her mind to what Rick is saying, rather she is fixated on her story and her message. Being in the moment means you can drop your story and be with what other people are saying. Rick offers a lot of wise references in which Karen seems utterly uninterested.

  11. Hi Karen. Today I spent some time and sent Rick some audio for my upcoming interview, took a nap, and am sitting here now listening to your interview. Having an awakening experience myself, the interview is like listening to everything familiar. Thanks for taking the time. Wonderful. Clark.

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