347. Ganga Mira

Ganga MiraGeneviève De Coux was born in 1947 in Namur, Belgium during her parents’ holidays. The family lived in the Belgian Congo. Geneviève and her brother enjoyed an idyllic childhood until 1960, the year of the Congo’s independence. The family emigrated to Belgium.

Their paradise was lost. Geneviève found herself in Brussels, this radical change of scenery stoked the fire of her ontological search and she found refuge in art. In 1968 during her second year at the university while studying her philosophy paper, she stumbled upon a saying of Socrates which hit her straight in the heart: “Know thyself”! Realising that this was precisely what she had always been looking for, she instantly dropped her studies and set out for India by road in search of a living Socrates or Buddha.

On reaching the Himalayan foot-hills, she led a meditative and ascetic life by the Ganges in Rishikesh, waiting to meet her master. The locals called her Mira because of her devoted renunciation. At the end of 1968, in circumstances well worthy of Indian mythology, she met a man with whom she had an awakening experience. He left the following day without Mira knowing anything about him, neither his name nor his address. The one certainty was that finally she had found her master. To give herself the best chance of seeing him again, she decided to live at the exact spot of their meeting. For eight months she waited for him and meditated under a little tree on the banks of the Ganga river.

One day, her master, H.W.L.Poonja, a disciple of Ramana Maharishi, came back for her. She became his disciple and wife and started to travel with him. In 1971, H.W.L Poonja was invited to give Satsang in Europe and Mira accompanied him. Their daughter Mukti was born in 1972 and the little family went on travelling the world. For the education of her daughter Mira returned to Belgium. In 1990, H.W.L Poonja, also called Papaji, settled permanently in Lucknow where he gave Satsang every day until he passed away in 1997.

In 1998, Mira was invited to give satsang, which she continues giving to this day all over the world. She decided to call herself Ganga. In 2004 Ganga Mira moved to Portugal. She lives near the wild ocean of the Algarve with her daughter Mukti and her grand-children, Arun and Satya, and gives satsang four times a week.

Website: gangamirasatsang.com

Interview conducted 5/21/2016

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

320. Dorothy Hunt

Dorothy HuntDorothy Hunt, Spiritual Director of Moon Mountain Sangha, teaches at the request of Adyashanti. She has practiced psychotherapy since 1967 and is the founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy. Self-inquiry, as taught by Ramana Maharshi, led to the first of a series of awakenings. In meeting Adyashanti, she was invited to see beyond identification with the Absolute or the relative.

Dorothy is the author of Only This!, and Leaves from Moon Mountain, a contributing author to The Sacred Mirror, Listening from the Heart of Silence: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, and the on-line journal Undivided. She is a featured spiritual teacher in the book, Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom: The Feminine Face of Awakening.

Dorothy’s newest book: Ending the Search

For more information, visit www.dorothyhunt.org

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

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

292. Stuart Schwartz

Stuart SchwartzRecently at a Whirling Dervish Meditation in Istanbul I read how Rumi summarized his life:

I was immature; I became experienced; I was consumed.

I could divide this lifetime in those categories also, starting with a life driven by conditioning resulting in a very successful appearance without much satisfaction.

Then the search for real happiness and peace. Decades of working with different modalities and sitting with many masters leading to teaching others how to relinquish conditioning and experience peaceful Silence.

And now, Satsang starts with the truth of everyone, the perfection of Self.

The tapestry of life includes all as the expression of Consciousness without any separation.

Anything that attempts to obscure this truth melts in its power.

Satsang is given in America, Canada and Europe as well as Private Satsang Sessions.

Website: satsangwithstuart.com

Book: The Great Undoing

Interview conducted 5/16/2015

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

262. Unmani – 2nd Interview

UnmaniUnmani is originally from the UK, but has lived a nomadic life in many countries around the world from the age of 18. Unlike most people, since she was a child, Unmani never identified with being a ‘person’ in the world, but she felt very lost and alone in a world that everyone else seemed to take so seriously. She spent years traveling around the world trying on different roles and identities to see if any of them fit. Disappointed with each role, she continued searching to find a way out of the pain she felt. She spent some time in the Osho centre in Pune, India, and there discovered meditation, free expression, and other insightful wisdom. But although this brought her more relaxation, it did not seem to get to the root of her search. Some years later she met the German Zen master, Dolano. With her, Unmani recognized that what she had been searching for had always been right here. She woke up to the dream, time stopped and the search ended. She no longer needed to try to fit in or be someone, because Unmani had finally acknowledged the truth of who she really is. Unmani began holding meetings and retreats 3 years later. She is the author of two books ‘I am Life itself’ and ‘Die to Love’ and is now writing a third book.

Meeting with Unmani is meeting with yourself in the most real and alive way. It is not about chasing sweet spiritual experiences that come, and then sadly go. Dialogues with Unmani are a fundamental and intimate enquiry that cut through all philosophies and belief systems. Unmani encourages people to truly face their deepest fears, to no longer blindly buy into dreamy hopes, and to wake up to the reality of life.

Unmani holds meetings and intensives all over the world, and also online. These are aimed towards people who are genuinely willing to risk losing what they think they know, to courageously take a step into the alive unknown.

Website: die-to-love.com

Interview recorded 10/26/2014

1st Batgap interview with Unmani.

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

229. Neelam, 2nd Interview

NeelamNeelam is a direct disciple of H. W. L. Poonja (Papaji), whose teacher was Sri Ramana Maharshi. Her unequivocal commitment to Truth helps us turn inward and release underlying patterns of conditioning which block the recognition of our True Nature. With the utmost tenderness while helping us to address all aspects of daily living, including past conditioning and trauma, she invites us into the same recognition of Truth that her teacher, Papaji, transmitted to her.

Neelam’s website

Interview recorded 5/3/2014

Her first Interview here

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