013. Sandra Glickman

A lifelong seeker of spiritual awakening, Sandra has deeply applied and correlated many teachings, methods, disciplines, healings, experiments, adventures, and views of every kind to forge a comprehensive understanding of human identity. She attended the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, an interdisciplinary program, experientially based, and purposed toward personal transformation. Her investigations led her to become a devotee of Adi Da Samraj between 1986 and 1996. She then began studying with Saniel Bonder, founder of Waking Down in Mutuality, with whose guidance she awakened in 1996, to a non-dual conscious embodiment of both her divine and human nature. She is currently a Senior Teacher of Waking Down, participating also in the ongoing creation of dharma, organizational structure, courses, and workshops. Sandra has been in private practice as a transpersonal psychotherapist since 1987. She has been a resident of Fairfield, Iowa since 2004. Her personal web site

Interview recorded 2/24/2010.

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

13 thoughts on “013. Sandra Glickman

  1. Interesting adventure with the Yogi exploring worlds –
    See it, feel it, become it, fill it in with our awareness, then it’s ours

    Great analogy of chick in incubator, Rick. The chick must find it’s way out of it’s egg, then must leave the incubator. Transcending the teaching.

    Interesting discussion around embodiment vs detachment. From what I’ve seen, the advaita path goes through the surrender of self to the transcendent. Embodiment comes later. Some other paths surrender more directly to embodiment and deepen later.

    She spoke of the crown opening, Self realization, Nirvikalpa samadhi, then you fall into the heart. Adyashanti describes Self absorbing head, heart, then gut. (unity) It continues down into the root and full embodiment.

    Heart was the intersection of consciousness with all form, matter. Amrita Nadi connects the crown with the heart.

    I can also note that like the crown, the heart also has a connection. People talk of the portal or doorway in the heart. One could also describe a thread or sutra. Only its more direct. It doesn’t need to ascend the layers of creation like the crown.

    She sounds like she had a strong “deliverance” or resurgence of the mind post “honeymoon”.

    “When the goddess is well pleased with the meditation of the devotee, she opens the vichara in his heart and expands as the rising sun.”

    The witness becomes embodied.

    I’ll write it down: “I am a location of a collection of conditions, through which consciousness operates, in a particular way, in this universe.” ;-)

    Another great Interview, Rick. Thanks Sandra. Each perspective and journey adds a flavour to wholeness.

  2. Excellent interview, Rick. Sandra Glickman was a most impressive guest.

    – It’s informative how on the issue of conscious witnessing – apart from – one’s relative individual identity she talked about how she saw it in terms not of the crown chakra, but in the physical heart where apparently the two are united and perhaps that paradox of the separation between the witness and that which is witnessed is resolved in Unity.

    It’s also interesting that according to the Vedas:
    Your heart is the abode of God

    …Like a lotus turned downwards is the heart,
    a span below the neck and a span above the navel.
    Know that heart to be the abode of God.
    Surrounded by nerves, it hangs down like a lotus bud.
    At its end is a subtle nerve,
    in which is established the Being, who is everything.
    A great fire is at its center, which has
    flames all around, spreading in all directions.
    It is the first partaker, the ageless knower,
    who digests and circulates food.
    Above and below are its spreading flames.
    It keeps its body hot from head to feet.
    At its core lies a flame, tapering finely upwards,
    like the awn of corn, yellow, bright and subtle,
    flashing like a lightening in the heart of a dark cloud.
    At the center of this flame is installed the Supreme Being.
    He is Brahman. He is Siva. He is Indra.
    He is the indestructible Supreme Being, the lord Himself.

    ( Excerpts from the Taittariya Aranyaka III.13)

    – Sandra also referred to Ramana Maharshi talking of ‘falling into the heart’.
    Here is what I found:

    Selected excerpts from Sri Ramana’s volitional discourse on Hridaya Vidya

    * 2. That, from where all the activities of the embodied beings emerge, is mentioned as the heart. The description of its form is conceptual.

    * 3. It is said that the I-activity is the root of all activities. From where the I-thought emerges, that in short is the heart.
    o In the definition of the heart is placed as a corollary that the direct Sadhana for knowing the heart is the tracking down to the origin of the I-thought.

    * 8. For one stationed in the Self, Sahasrara will be of pure effulgence. There: if any mental formulation falls within its presence, it will not live.

    * 9. Even when the sensory objects to be known are in the proximity, when the difference is not taken in, the mind does not cause a break in Yoga.

    * 10. Even in intake, the one steadfast thought is said to be the natural state. Nirvikalpa Samadhi will result when the sensory objects are not present.

    * 11. The macrocosm is in its entirety in the body. The body is in its entirety in the heart. Therefore heart is the summarised form of all the macrocosm.

    * 12. The world is none other than the mind. The mind is none other than the heart. Therefore the entire story finishes in the heart.

    * 13. It is said that the heart is in the microcosm just as the orb of the sun in the macrocosm. The mind in Sahasrara is like the disc of the moon.

    * 14. Just as the sun gives light to the moon this heart bestows the effulgence on the mind.

    * 15. As in the night when the sun is not present, one sees the light in the moon, the man who is not present in the heart, sees merely the mind.

    * 16. Without seeing the origin of light, the true form of one’s Self, the ordinary man sees by the mind different things and is deluded.

    * 17. The Jnanin present in the heart sees the mind merged in the light of the heart, like moonlight in the presence of the sun during the day.

    * 18. The deeply learned ones know the mind as the directly expressed meaning of the supreme knowledge. The heart is the meaning aimed at. The Supreme is none other than the heart.

    * 19. This perception of division between the seer and the object that is seen, is situated in the mind. For those remaining in the heart, the seer becomes one with the sight.

    * 20. The activity affected by causes like fainting, sleep, excessive joy, grief, possession by spirits, fear etc goes to the heart, its own place.

    * 21. During that time, the embodied person does not know the attainment in the heart. It is known in the Samadhi. The difference in name is due to the difference in cause.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ramana_Maharshi#The_Science_of_the_Heart

    –All of that makes sense to me interms of how Maharishi described going from Cosmic Consciousness to God Consciousness through devotion to God —- and that the devotion/love itself increases to such a degree that the devotee/lover and God unite and perhaps this leads to functioning as Brahman.

  3. Thanks for sharing that John. I commented about the more direct connection in the heart above.

    I’d also note the word “installed” in the 3rd to last line. When the divine value of the heart awakens, then the Supreme Being can be found there. We may also say arises or is installed experientially.

    In the Yog Vasistha section on Devi Puja, Vasistha narrates a conversation between he and Lord Shiva. The Lord indicates “The self is not realized by any means other than meditation.” He then goes on to describe “internal worship of the self”. With Self realization, all actions become a perpetual meditation. “One should contemplate the Supreme Lord who is seated in the heart…” “This inner intelligence should be worshiped with whatever comes unsought… with the materials of self realization.”

    It should also be noted that “That infinite consciousness alone is fit to be adored and worshiped.” That which is the “father of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and others.” He also mentions that worship of form is only for those who do not yet know the self.

    On your remarks about devotee and God uniting, we could say first there is the realization that ends the separation of self and other, person and world. Then each separate value is joined – God, memory, environment, time, space, etc etc. Once enough of that is integrated, there is a stage of wholeness or totality that then begins to reflect Brahman. We could say Brahman is a deeper value of what was possible to embody until then.

  4. > It should also be noted that “That infinite consciousness > alone is fit to be adored and worshiped.” That which is
    > the “father of Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and others.” He also > mentions that worship of form is only for those who do
    > not yet know the self.

    Here’s what Guru Dev [Swami Brahamananda Saraswati], Maharishi’s teacher said about worship of the formless:

    — ” I question those people who propound only the unmanifest. In fact, I also accept the unmanifest, but not the unmanifest alone. I ask those who propound only the formless: Can any profit be derived from the unmanifest fire which is hidden in a piece of wood? Please show me any bread cooked by an unmanifest fire.

    The formless is only Being. I would like to ask those people who meditate only on the formless, how do you meditated on the unmanifest? The mind can only concentrate on an object of meditation, so how can one make the unmanifest an object of meditation? Concentration on the unmanifest is not possible. If someone says that he concentrates on the formless, it is like saying that he is going to attend the wedding of the son of a barren woman. Well, the son of a barren woman does not exist, so how can he marry? When there is no form or outline to the unmanifest, how can one make it an object of meditation? To collect the mental formations, some foundation is necessary. Whatever is taken as the mind’s foundation, that becomes the form.

    Formlessness is beyond all the trios, namely: meditation, meditator, and object of mediation; and knowledge, knower, and object that is known. Meditation on the formless is mere mockery. Only those who do not understand the principle of formlessness can talk about meditation [dhyana] on the formless.

    The principle of formlessness is merely for understanding; it is the principle of existence, but the world cannot derive any benefit from this principle. Can anybody derive any benefit from an unmanifest son? Can anybody go to an unmanifest school and study? Can any minister sit on an unmanifest chair? Can anyone cure a disease with an unmanifest medicine? Can anyone be pleased with unmanifest food? The unmanifest is a completely useless thing. It cannot be used for any purpose. That is why the argument about formlessness is thoroughly useless.

    The unmanifest is like a seed kept locked in a box. What is the use of it? But if you sow it and do all the things required to grow it, then it will give flowers and fruits. Until then, what’s the benefit of a seed?

    The formless Paramatman is all-pervasive. For example, if a room is full of furniture, the unmanifest fire is within the furniture’s wood. If the room becomes dark, that all-pervading unmanifest fire cannot remove it. If some of the furniture is ignited, the unmanifest fire can be made manifest, and the darkness of that room will be eliminated immediately. But as long as the fire is not manifest, it will not be useful in the daily affairs of this manifest world. Only when the formless manifests in some form will it be useful to the world.

    If Paramatman should assume form, would He become your beast of burden, to do whatever you wish? He is extremely independent. Veda says, ‘soksharah Parama svaratah’ – This means, “He is the indivisible [One] which cannot be destroyed [Om].”

    Paramatman is supremely independent. Those who think “He is the unmanifest and is not manifest,” or “He is manifest, not unmanifest,” have not understood the teaching about Paramatman’s essence. Taking one side or the other, they start fighting. We should not become involved in the argument about manifest and unmanifest. The One who is manifest is also the unmanifest. The unmanifestness exists merely for the sake of understanding, but the manifest exists for the welfare of the world.

    The manifestation of Paramatman is like the manifestation of fire, which is latent everywhere within the wood, but only appears as flame when we rub two sticks together. Only then do we realize that there was unmanifest fire in the wood. Similarly, when undifferentiated, unmanifest Paramatman manifests itself, all our doubts about it vanish. Only one who manifests fire by rubbing two sticks of wood together can say without doubt that fire resides in the wood.

    When fire manifests as flames, one can be completely certain about the unmanifest fire in the wood. If it is not possible to produce a flame from wood, then we cannot speak about unmanifest fire in the wood with full conviction.

    Only when the Lord manifests himself can we say with full confidence that He must exist in unmanifest form. With the help of the manifest form, we have evidence of the unmanifest. Otherwise, how can anyone know the unmanifest?

    As fire manifests from the invisible to the visible, so also Paramatman manifests itself from the invisible to the visible. It is completely invalid to say that the manifest (saguna) does not come from the unmanifest (nirguna).

    Due to the influence of the nirguna proponents, sin has increased significantly in society, because these people don’t accept the manifest Bhagavan. Thinking that the unmanifest cannot hear or see anything, they act as they wish. They don’t understand the meaning of sin and virtue. ”

    taken from – Shri Shankaracharya UpadeshAmrita kaNa 88 of 108
    http://www.srigurudev.net/gurudev/discourses.html

  5. Hi John
    Good point and great quote. I agree completely.

    The point I was expressing was that with Self realization or CC, self awareness can become a perpetual meditation. By giving attention to Self in the heart, one aids in the development of GC. That is where Rama has reached at that point in the book.

    But yes, Unity is fully inclusive.

    With some experience of the separation of Self and environment with the witness, there can be the tendency to reject the apparent Maya. Shankara spoke of 3 forms of Maya – when tamas is dominant, the world is a covering. When rajas becomes dominant, it is the illusion as popularly understood. But when sattva becomes dominant, it becomes the ladder home.

    Unity does not dawn as long as there is some concept of world as other. It arises with the end of that sense. As more and more is united in oneness, That is found to be the container of all this and infusing it all. It is not exclusive but rather none other than.

    “Only when the Lord manifests himself can we say with full confidence that He must exist in unmanifest form. With the help of the manifest form, we have evidence of the unmanifest. Otherwise, how can anyone know the unmanifest?”

    That sums it up best. Self expresses itself to know itself. Even to know That in silence requires That to be enlivened at another point. In other words, it takes awareness to see what has not become and to see itself becoming.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Rick,
    I totally agree with your comments about the sense of personal consciousness, or ego, and the language often used by certain students of “neo-advaita”. However, I have to correct one of the comments made on this interview.

    You mentioned the Urban Guru students of ‘Sailor’ Bob Adamson as being examples of some people who speak in the aforementioned manner. I know Bob Adamson personally and have spent a considerable amount of time with. He is a dear man and I love him to pieces. I can say without hesitation that he does not speak this way and if anyone within earshot did speak this way, he would check it, in his earthy and very Australian way of speaking.

    Thanks for making this forum available.

    All the best,
    Bart Walton
    Portland, OR

  7. PS: As an interesting side note, Sailor Bob told me that he was personally initiated by Maharishi in 1962 during Maharishi’s first trip to Australia. My understanding is that he meditated regularly until he met Nisargadatta in the late 1970’s. There’s more to the story but I’ll leave it at that for now.

  8. While listening to all of these interviews, it seems to me that people have awakening experiences and just don’t recognize them as such. Whenever there is a mention of ‘boredom’, or ‘dull’, or a quiet time in one’s life, this is what awakening is primary all about (and IS the experience arising into the conscious mind). Such feelings happen as first shoots out of that which they are. They are always present. In one interview, someone mentioned how logic shows that we do not exist. Yet in the interview that point was treated as a ‘lesser’ thing in comparison to what one’s perception might be of awakening. But the opposite is true. To express ‘non-existence’ is to mention the primary shoot, the first thing that appears in consciousness when one is awakened. Do you understand? You are the emptiness, which is another way of saying that you are the non-existent. Just being, just remaining in the awareness (awareness is the non-existent, the undefined) that you are is all there is (and it is more than enough and it is enough upon enough and causes conquering to be more than conquering). All knowledge springing out of that non-existent place, that is you, is not comprehended by mind, yet mind says, “eeegads! No! I must understand! … and it must by its very nature, for that named ‘mind’ is the passing and the decaying (and a concept caused by brain) and it is impossible for it to receive eternal things (and its not made to do so…brain has another function). But one can allow the mind to think about the eternal things, but such practices only strengthen the illusion named ‘ego’. This is why Jesus said, “Do no let your left hand know/experience what you right hand is doing.” And he says ‘doing’ because out of the eternal non-existent, the nothing that you are (undefined that you are for you ‘are what you are’) that is the true doing (the enduring doing) and not an experience (experiences are watched, and because of that they are all things arising out of you… or ‘manifesting’ in another language).

  9. What is a paradox (or what causes a paradox to seem as such in the brain?)? It is the brain looking back because it has been allowed to. There are no paradoxes in singularity of being (paradoxes do not appear when that which proceeds from the being is kept hidden from the brain).

    What is mind? Mind is the first illusion (created by naming) that the brain creates in order to convince the listener that it is higher than itself (as if holy, sacred, and above reproach). Have you seen it written, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and chasing of the wind”? This tells of the brain, converting itself to mind, and the way in which it leads a man into emptiness (the brain is the best maker of circles there is, as far as ‘reasoning’, so called, goes). And why? Because it is the being doing so, so that one may begin to look inward to the emptiness that they are (that true emptiness, undefined, from which all appearances appear, which is your true-self).

  10. Clark – just a couple of comments.
    There is a big difference between experiences of our higher nature and an actual shift into being that. It’s important to be clear on the difference.

    Also, it depends on a persons history if they experience That as emptiness or fullness after awakening. From what I’ve seen, the first indicates the experience can become more refined. When That is seen more clearly, then the experience can go quite a bit more deeply.

  11. Rick – A short reply to your 2 comments posted above.

    Regardless of what the difference is, as long as being, and higher nature are concepts of the mind, then yes, clarity is important (for the mind). If you are referring to something specific, please share. That might help.

    Your second comment is along the same lines, as far as a reply goes. I will add, though, that concerning your mention of more refinement, fullness-es, and deepness-es, etc., dualistic thought is all that the brain can produce. That is a good thing, but not the most beneficial thing. As long as brain, thought, mind, words (or whatever we might call it) remain the dominant power of awakening, perception can never be clear enough to shadowy foretelling (by use of words) of the truth. Another way of saying that might be that awakening is experienced by all the beings but goes mostly unrecognized until realization (also called ‘self-realization’) occurs (until the proverbial ‘eyes are opened’).

  12. What a wonderful interview between Rick and Sandra. I was struck by how down to earth and humane nature of the interaction. It seemed almost more like an interaction between friends than just an interview. There is a real beauty in the humility, seeming ordinariness of Sandra’s presentation when narrating the path of her life. Yet she was not lacking in academic awareness of the western psychological and eastern spiritual traditions to give precision to language and context to the experience. But neither was this a simple recapitulation of the ancient traditions. It’s an expression of what it means to be “awakened” not from the point of view of the transcendental background, but as a human being in contemporary culture. Buddha at the gas pump.

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