413. Gloriji

GlorijiGloria Agrelius, (Gloriji), had been a bartender for more than 25 years and owned a blues biker bar. In 1999 her brother died of an overdose. Upon hearing the news, her mother died of a heart attack the following day. Gloriji closed the bar, went home, and fell apart.

She writes, “It felt like I was dropping through a dark space, feet first — rapidly dropping. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto. It felt like I was being stripped of everything that made me me. It was all gone.”

While on her knees crying out for help, the room she was in filled with radiant light and she recognized herself as that light. An overwhelming sense that all is well filled her being. She told the light that while she didn’t know what this was, she would dedicate the rest of her life to finding out. A thirst for truth filled her heart and gave her strength to step more deeply into the unknown.  She spent the next decade deepening and healing.

While on retreat with Adyashanti, after hearing of her awakening experiences, Adya encouraged her to share herself with others. Adya’s encouragement helped her to trust the strange new territory of teacher, mentor, healer… all held lightly in the open hand and heart that knows there is no other than the Supreme Reality… the Mystery she has come to Love.

Website: gloriji.com

For discussion of this interview, click here.

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

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323. Adam Bucko

Adam BuckoAdam Bucko is an activist, spiritual director to many of New York City’s homeless youth, and co-author of a new award-winning book called “Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (Sacred Activism)“.

He grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime and spent his early years exploring the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. At the age of 17, Adam immigrated to America where his desire to find his path towards a meaningful life led him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where on his way to a Himalayan hermitage, he met a homeless child who lived on the streets of Delhi. This brief encounter led him to the “Ashram of the Poor” where he began his work with homeless youth. After returning to the US, he worked on the streets of various American cities with young people struggling against homelessness and prostitution. He eventually co-founded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless youth.

In addition to his work with homeless youth, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual “new monastic” fellowship for young people which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism.

He collaborates with spiritual leaders across religious traditions and mentors young people, helping them discover a spiritual life in the 21st century and how to live deeply from the heart in service of compassion and justice.

Adam is a recipient of several awards and his work has been featured by ABC News, CBS, NBC, New York Daily News, National Catholic Reporter, Ode Magazine, Yoga International Magazine and Sojourner Magazine.

Website: AdamBucko.com

Interview recorded 10/23/2015 at the Science and Nonduality Conference.

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

315. Steve Ford

Steve FordI 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.

Book: Walking Awake

Website: invitationtobeing.org

Interview recorded 11/21/2015

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