I grew up in a hard working family, none religious. At the age of 18 I learned that the Father I’d known all my life was not in fact my biological Father. This new found fact destabilized the identity I had become accustomed to. The idea of who I was came under question. I was left asking, who am I. What then followed was ten years of drinking. At 27 I found myself in recovery from alcoholism. I spent three and a half years examining all the aspects of self identified traits in order to find an honesty that would propel me into a more productive direction. After three and a half years I came to see that all willful attempts at modifying the self still remained within the paradigm of self will. I had not transcended into honesty. It was at this point in a room one evening in 99 that I handed all attachment to the mind for any orientation to ongoing recovery. In doing so, not knowing what lay beyond, there was to be a complete self realization.
Bruce Joel Rubin is an Oscar winning screenwriter for the film Ghost. His films include Jacob’s Ladder, My Life (which he also directed), Brainstorm, Deep Impact, Stuart Little 2, The Last Mimzy and The Time Traveler’s Wife, among others. His spiritual journey began with a massive overdose of LSD in the 1960’s. Shortly afterward he began hitchhiking around the world in search of a teacher and then found him in New York City, just blocks away from where he began his search. His name was Swami Rudrananda, also known as Rudi. Rudi was a New York City businessman and a yogi who taught a form of Kundalini meditation he called The Work. Rudi died in 1973 but Bruce continues to teach his practice. In 2001 Bruce discovered I AM THAT – the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj, and fell into the world of non-dualism. He awoke in 2010 during a seminar on awakening led by Bart Marshall. Since that time he has continued to teach meditation and the effortless nature of simple Being. Since most people work and struggle in the world, it seemed to Bruce that meditation was a significant tool for living a good and productive life while waiting for awakening to make itself known. Bruce teaches in San Rafael, CA, in Los Angeles and in New York.
While out in California for the Science and Nonduality Conference, I had some downtime before the conference started, so I decided to tape a long panel discussion with a rather large group of friends, most of them previous guests on Batgap. Sofia University in Palo Alto (where transpersonal psychology was founded by Abraham Maslow and others), generously provided a room and video equipment. I’m especially grateful to Dr. Jeffery Martin, who conducts research there, for offering and organizing this. It was an experiment, and some were skeptical that it would work, but it did! Main points of discussion in this part include:
The panel reflects on the morning session from direct experience after meditating together.
Discussion of spiritual teachers and how awakening can come with new charisma and confidence along with an ability to enliven others which can lead to ego aggrandizement. Panel discusses what to be aware of and how to share with humility and grace.
Spiritual Maturity – Importance of ongoing psychological growth and healing post-awakening. Benefit of peer check-in, therapy, and support.
Sharing of ideas of new paradigm for spiritual teaching to include humanness and meeting students as equals. Importance of honesty and sharing humanity and personality and not playing a role.
Experiences of subtle realms and beings, psychic powers, siddis that can naturally arise. Refinement and exploring dimensions of consciousness,
Skilfully sharing gifts and graces that arise with awakening for the good of all.
Importance of developing spiritual maturity and continued growth and healing.
When is mystical experience useful and the benefit of guides in such openings.
A discussion of healing and wellness in association to awakening.
Are awakening and healing interrelated or separate journeys?
Is it important to heal before awakening or can healing take place afterwards? Refinement and purification of physiology.
Is healing necessary for an abiding awakening?
Functioning in daily life after an initial awakening.
Panel shares their leading / learning edge right now to enter the conversation with vulnerable truth.
While out in California for the Science and Nonduality Conference, I had some downtime before the conference started, so I decided to tape a long panel discussion with a rather large group of friends, most of them previous guests on Batgap. Sofia University in Palo Alto (where transpersonal psychology was founded by Abraham Maslow and others), generously provided a room and video equipment. I’m especially grateful to Dr. Jeffery Martin, who conducts research there, for offering and organizing this. It was an experiment, and some were skeptical that it would work, but it did! This is part 1. Part 2 will be posted shortly. Main points of discussion in this part include:
What is awakening and enlightenment? Are we on the same page? Discussion goes into direct experiencing of different states, levels and depths of consciousness in the evolution of the progressive, dynamic process of awakening.
What is identity and identification in different stages in the evolution of consciousness and the journey of the dissolution of self?
What are the value of words and the use of semantics in the discussion of awakening and Self realization?
Is awakening lost in the experience of our brokenness? In the face of deep emotional trauma or when life shatters, what happens? Is there an abiding, unmoving stability that is unshakeable in all circumstances?
The evolution of our humanity as an expression of the divine and the importance of continued growth and refinement in the awakening journey.