426. Rick Archer on the “Ethics of Enlightenment”

Rick ArcherPresentation at the Science and Nonduality Conference.

Many well-known spiritual teachers and gurus have been accused, credibly, of sexual, financial, and behavioral abuse. This, although their own spiritual attainment has arguably appeared significant, and their teachings beneficial. As a result, some people have concluded that higher consciousness and ethical behavior are not correlated, that we are governed by our genetics and conditioning, or by “nature”, and that we have no free will and thus no control over or responsibility for our actions. That logic has been used as an alibi by some spiritual teachers caught misbehaving.

Others have become cynical about the motives of all gurus and teachers, and some have even lost faith in spirituality altogether.

Yet, every spiritual tradition includes codes of ethics that apply to both teachers and students. Ethical behavior has been regarded not only as a reflection of spiritual development, but as a prerequisite to it.

To some extent, ethical values vary from culture to culture. But perhaps the contemporary spiritual community can agree upon some universal values. Can we agree that it’s not all right to misrepresent ourselves? If we claim or imply that we have realized our true nature, and are offering to help others do the same, is it consistent for us to behave deceitfully, perversely, selfishly, or cruelly?

Is it possible to be an enlightened scoundrel? Are purity and saintliness characteristic of higher levels of spiritual development, or unrelated to them? These are important questions. Because we need spiritual teachers and teachings in this critical time in humanity’s maturation, we need to understand what genuine spiritual attainment should look like, irrespective of personality differences. If such understanding were more commonplace, most abusive teachers and cults would never have gotten off the ground.

I discuss these points and others in this talk.

Discussion about this talk in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Other talks by or interviews of Rick:

Recorded October 21, 2017.

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

401. Pernilla Lillarose

Pernilla LillaroseAfter connecting with Joel Goldsmiths’ teachings in 1987, Pernilla had a life-changing awakening, realizing Love is All there is. After the initial three months’ free Bliss ride, she went straight from heaven to hell for the next many months. This started her journey back Home, learning step-by-step how to arrive with all parts intact – none left behind – with her Heart as her Teacher.

This journey Home includes teachers like Joel S. Goldsmith, Barry Long, the Ayahuasca plant, Gangaji, Adyashanti, The Hakomi training, Deeksha, Dr. Joe Dispenza and Sat Shree.

All these wonderful teachers helped her get more stabilized as Presence and realize the healing and transforming power of Self Love, dissolving the misperceived duality into embodied Oneness.

Out of this journey emerged the simple ‘how to’ steps, which are incorporated in her life and work.

Pernilla is a certified Hakomi Practitioner with a private practice in the Santa Cruz mountains. She is a meditation teacher at UCSC and founder of ‘Women Standing For Love/Young Women Empowerment Circle.’

She calls herself a Self Love Mystic & Mentor and loves to support her clients bridging the gap between who they truly are and who they think they are or – should be.

Website: divinefeminineflow.com

Books:

Interview recorded 5/20/2017

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

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374. Jim Tolles

Jim TollesJim Tolles is a spiritual teacher who helps people to grow, heal, and embrace their spiritual paths.

Jim had a spiritual awakening in August 2007 and has been through an inner roller coaster ride of healing and spiritual growth, dropping away issues as he has moved more deeply into peace and love. The greatest of the shifts came in the 4th, 5th, and 6th years after awakening and truly consumed his life during those times. The intensity of the energy has since subsided into a more relaxed inner flow. Jim continues to grow and be guided by the divine flow while also relaxing into the beautiful oneness and perfection of each moment.

Jim teaches his students that we all have our truth and love within us by pointing students towards their innate divine oneness. He offers tools to help people cut away their lies and misconceptions so that they can be more firmly rooted in truth and love. He works with students on an individual basis via Skype, as well as offering free online talks via livestreaming on YouTube.

Book: Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening

Website: spiritualawakeningprocess.com

Interview recorded 11/19/2016.

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

359. Roger Castillo

Roger CastilloHere I am, Roger.

From an early age I recall a natural inquisitiveness towards the nature and mechanics of all sorts of things. I was constantly observing and theorizing.

Fortunately, throughout life, the denser and more persistent forms of suffering were not something I was particularly familiar with. Life unfolded quite smoothly on an inner and outer level.

Although there was already a strong spiritual bent, it wasn’t until my late twenties that life introduced the notion of enlightenment and the underlying non-dual nature of life. When this happened all the cells in my body shouted ‘yes’ and there was an unexplainable faith that trusted what had been read. From that point, everything else faded into insignificance next to the quest that had been ignited.

This was the beginning of a wonderful phase which spontaneously started some 15 years back and spanning 5 years miraculously didn’t stop until what was initially pointed at became lived on an unwavering basis.

IT WAS ALL JUST HAPPENING

What was most amazing about the process was that from very early on the concept that everything is a ‘happening’ and not ‘my doing’ was introduced – that everything is unfolding exactly as it is meant to, not according to my will but according to God’s Will.

This notion immediately resonated deeply and in a short time the ingrained contrary beliefs dissolved and the conviction flowered into an experiential way of being that so perfectly embodied this pointer.

This magically intricate process unfolded with this heart attitude present throughout, making it known directly to be a divinely orchestrated plan delivering everything that was needed in exactly the right proportions and at exactly the right time. I have been known to say “that if any of this process was actually up to ‘me’, I would have messed it up on day one!”. And yet the paradox, but not contradiction, is that it was Roger who was the one contemplating, reading, meditating and so forth.

From then I had a deep experiential conviction that everything in life happens the same way “according to God’s Will” from the beginning of time to the end of time. This deepened and led to a radical insight about the nature of Source in its most primordial. From here the underlying oneness of life became obvious far more than just intellectually and an unbroken connection to Source was established from where peace of heart in daily living stems.

I hold Satsang and retreats and welcome anyone to join in the spiritual discourses, especially if there is a genuine yearning to open to the notion, and ultimately the first hand, direct knowing, that unbroken peace of mind, love and contentment are our very nature and not caused by things we need to do or attain. This is everyone’s birthright.

The following saying penetrates to the core of what this particular teaching addresses, and that is the marriage of two seemingly contradictory standpoints into a unified paradoxical realization of ‘non-dual duality’ which leads to liberation.

Before one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are waters; after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are no longer mountains and waters are no longer waters; after enlightenment, mountains are once again mountains and waters once again waters. ~ Zen saying

I always speak from my own direct experience, however many who knew the great teachings of my beloved Guru Sri Ramesh Balsekar will recognize the content often comes through in much the same vein as what he shared with seekers for more than 25 years in Mumbai, India. Jai Ramesh Guru. The teachings of Jesus, A Course in Miracles, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj and Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi, among others, were all precious gifts which were instrumental in what happened. Humbled and in gratitude I bow.

Interview recorded 8/20/2016

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

354. Richard Miller

Richard MillerRichard C. Miller, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, author, researcher, yogic scholar and spiritual teacher who, for the past 46 years has devoted his life to integrating western psychology and neuroscience with the ancient nondual wisdom teachings of Yoga, Tantra, Advaita, Taoism, and Buddhism. Richard is the founding president of the Integrative Restoration Institute, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, founding editor of the peer reviewed International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and a founding member and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology.

Author of iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Healing and Well Being, The iRest Program for Healing PTSD, and Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga, Richard also serves as a research consultant studying the meditation protocol he’s developed (Integrative Restoration ~ iRest Meditation), a modern adaptation of an ancient yogic form of meditation, researching its efficacy on health, healing, and well-being with diverse populations that include active-duty soldiers, veterans, women rescued from human trafficking, youth and college students, seniors, the homeless, and the incarcerated, with issues such as sleep disorders, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, chemical dependency, and anxiety, as well as research on iRest’s efficacy for enhancing resiliency, well-being and compassion. Richard leads international trainings and meditation retreats on the integration of enlightened living into daily life. For information visit www.irest.us.

Interview recorded 7/16/2016

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

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