439. Michael Speight

Michael SpeightWhen I was 11 years old our school took a bus trip to the local library. While most of the children were off exploring the mysteries of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, for some reason I found myself in the row of books called Philosophy and Religion.

I recall pulling a hardbound book off the shelf and directly opening it to an old black and white photograph of the Portola Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. At that moment, it was as if all my breath was sucked out of me and my mind went totally quiet. Somewhere in the depth of my being, I knew I was looking at a very familiar place, one that I may once have called home. I stood there for a very long time just staring at that photograph.

Then, like a starving young man having a meal laid before him, I hurriedly began to devour the book. When it was time to leave the library and head back to school, I took the book with me to the check-out counter. What followed was a pitched battle with my teacher and the librarian on one side, and one very determined boy on the other. In the end, I got to take the book home.

That book changed my life. At the time, I took the descriptions of a world rarely seen to be real mysticism. With great determination and passion, I began reading everything I could get my hands on about Tibet, its culture, and spiritual teachings. Thus, began a lifelong pursuit for of spiritual insight and knowledge mystical experience.

In my youthful naivety, I also began what I deduced as a meditation practice from stories in the book. This practice was quite complex and involved sitting quietly in the lotus posture with my spine perfectly straight while emptying my mind of everything. Then, with eyes closed, the idea was to develop a specific color spot in my field of vision at, what one might imagine to be, an arm’s length away, and then start spinning it into other colors, all while keeping all thoughts at bay. I would do this at night after having gone to bed, or during the day when no one else was home. As you might imagine it was a difficult exercise, however, for short periods of time, I began to experience gaps in my thought pattern.

Then it happened. After about four years of practicing my meditation, one day I was sitting quietly and deep into it, when the bottom dropped out. No mind, no thought—just a great expanse. When the experience ended, I felt the most amazing deep sense of happiness bliss. This bliss we might describe as “the peace which passeth understanding”.

I didn’t know it at the time but I had transcended and experienced the basis of all life that which is complete fullness yet contains nothing. This is sometimes called non-abiding Samadhi.

The problem was my meditation practice was extremely difficult and required great effort and time to achieve the effortless state. I began to search for something easier. My readings led me to try Zen, which, while intellectually satisfying yielded no repetition of the state of no thought only pure awareness. I tried several other practices and even religions until one day I received a phone call that was to be another turning point in my life.

My best friend had gone off college and suggested that I leave my job with the Forest Service and continue my education. I think he just wanted someone to share the rent with but it got me there.

When I arrived on campus to find Maharishi Mahesh Yogi teaching a course about meditation and training young men and woman like me how to teach Transcendental Meditation, a mantra-based meditation practice. I snuck into his lectures and listened attentively and knew this was the spiritual practice I had been seeking.

At the advice of my new friends, I went to ask Maharishi if he would personally teach me. Maharishi was rarely on time anywhere and I waited outside his door a long time for him to emerge. When he finally came out the door there were a number of people waiting like me, some to ask a question, some pay their respects. With about a dozen people ahead of me in the line I waited for my turn, but then I had the thought that I shouldn’t take his time, that I should instead dedicate myself to freeing his time so he could bring this knowledge of meditation and its philosophy to as many as possible, that I should work to serve him selflessly without regard to my own needs and desires. In that moment, I took the Bodhisattva vow and walked away to learn Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation from one of his teachers.

I knew I had found what I was looking for in my first meditation. Upon learning I experienced quite easily that state of mindlessness I had been struggling so hard for. I knew for certain that TM worked for me when I was walking down the street feeling the perfect bliss within yet realizing that nothing what so ever had happened in my life save for meditation to make it so.

Within six months of beginning the practice, I had gone from a 1.28 GPA to a 4.0, typical of TM practitioners, and had made the decision to become a TM Teacher. I am dyslexic and while blessed with an IQ in the top 1% school had been hell for me, a constant struggle, all that had changed for the better. I became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in 1972; I am extremely grateful to Maharishi for all his teachings and wisdom that have shaped my life.

After many years of practice, I had a classical awakening into higher consciousness. Now living in non-duality or as Maharishi described it “living 200%, the fullness of the absolute and the relative lived completely and utterly together”.

Website: michael-lovelightlaughter.org

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group

Interview recorded January 27, 2018.

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

308. David (Davidya) Buckland

David (Davidya) BucklandDavid grew up on the SW coast of Canada. In the mid-70’s, he discovered the subject of consciousness, then Transcendental Meditation (TM). This was quite a revelation. He quickly became an avid seeker, attending many talks and courses. Nine months after starting TM, he arrived in NE France for a 6 month retreat where he would train to become a teacher of TM.

After 3 months with lots of purification and clearing, he had sporadic witnessing experiences where awareness shifted briefly into an observer mode. Then in the second 3 months, the lights came on. With a blinding flash of white light (which he much later learned was makara), the witness became permanent, throughout waking, dreams and sleep. At first, he was over-attentive, keeping the mind awake to observe sleeping and manipulate dreams. But quickly that settled into a simple continuity of awareness underlying all experience.

Soon after that, the first re-cognition happened, a form of experience where everything about the object is known. This enlivens that principle in consciousness, making it easier for still others to have the same. In this case, it was hiranya gharba or the golden egg – the seed and origin of the universe. It took months to unpack the experience. Perception continued to unfold from there. At the end of the course, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi confirmed the experiences and said there would be much more.

As David returned to normal life, it became clear that Self had woken internally but had not woken up to Itself in this form yet. Self co-existed with an identified ego. But subtle perception continued to unfold in a myriad of ways.

David’s life grew into career, marriage, and family. Inner development continued but took a back seat for a number of years to the usual demands of a householder’s life. This helped ground and integrate what was unfolding and culture the platform further. Then in 2005, life made several unexpected changes. The spiritual side of life again moved to the forefront. He reconnected with some old friends. A few it turned out had become Self-Realized. After some feedback and darshan with Lorne Hoff, Self at last woke up to Itself here as well. Probably because of the long witnessing, this was quickly followed by a series of profound shifts in Being. And that in turn by transcending Being into Brahman. The unfolding continues.

Accompanying this process, writing began to help integrate what was unfolding. Then the call came to share those discoveries on-line under the nickname Davidya. David was present for and helped support the awakenings of many others, leading to a broad understanding of the varieties of this process. The writing evolved into a large blog discussing many of the aspects of the approach, shift, integration and embodiment of transpersonal stages of development, otherwise known as enlightenment. In 2011, David obtained a graduate degree in Vedic Science. He is releasing a first book on post-personal stages of enlightenment in October, 2017. Rick Archer wrote the Foreword.

David has a professional background in software design and development in several industries but now works mostly with WordPress.

For this interview, rather than listening from the mind to a story, I invite you to take a different approach. Settle back into presence and notice the talking and the listening. Give the content less weight and notice the experiencing itself. This is where the magic is, in simple awareness.

Website

Book: Our Natural Potential: Beyond Personal Development, The Stages of Enlightenment

David Buckland in Panel at Sofia U. Part 1 | Part 2

About a month after the interview, David gave a talk at the Science and Nonduality conference on the stages he describes in this interview.

Interview recorded 9/25/2015.

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

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277. Craig Pearson

Craig PearsonCraig Pearson is Executive Vice-President of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, and a leader in Consciousness-Based education. He has spoken around the United States on this unique approach to education as well as on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s programs to create world peace.

He has held a number of positions at Maharishi University of Management, including Dean of Faculty, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Students, Director of Freshman Composition, and Director of Maharishi University of Management Press.

Dr. Pearson holds a PhD in Maharishi Vedic Science from Maharishi University of Management. He is the author of two books, The Supreme Awakening: Experiences of Enlightenment Throughout Time – And How You Can Cultivate Them, available through MUM Press (free chapter available for download) or Amazon. and The Complete Book of Yogic Flying.

He is also the coauthor, with Brad Moses, of Peace on Earth, a collection of songs about enlightenment and world peace (available on iTunes). For video versions of these songs, see their YouTube channel. He lives on the Maharishi University of Management campus with his wife Melissa and son Soren.

Interview conducted January 31, 2015.

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

213. John Hagelin, Ph.D.

John HagelinJohn Hagelin, Ph.D., is a world-renowned quantum physicist, educator, author, and leading proponent of peace.

Dr. Hagelin has conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring—a theory that was featured in a cover story of Discover magazine.

In addition, Dr. Hagelin has spent much of the past quarter century leading a scientific investigation into the foundations of human consciousness. He is one of the world’s pre-eminent researchers on the effects of meditation on brain development, and the use of collective meditation to defuse societal stress and to reduce crime and social violence.

In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Dr. Hagelin was named winner of the prestigious Kilby Award, which recognizes scientists who have made “major contributions
to society through their applied research in the fields of science and technology.” The award recognized Dr. Hagelin as “a scientist in the tradition of Einstein, Jeans, Bohr and Eddington.”

Dr. Hagelin was featured in the hit movies What the Bleep Do We Know!? and The Secret for his cutting-edge research in physics, higher states of consciousness; and the peace-promoting effects of large meditation groups.

Dr. Hagelin has appeared many times on ABC’s Nightline, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s Larry King Live! and Inside Politics, CNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, and others. He has also been regularly featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other major metropolitan newspapers.

Dr. Hagelin received his A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1975 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1981. He is currently director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, Professor of physics at Maharishi University of Management, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, President of the David Lynch Foundation, and Director of the Maharishi Foundation USA, which overseas the teaching of Transcendental Meditation in the United States.

Book: Manual for a Perfect Government: How to Harness the Laws of Nature to Bring Maximum Success to Governmental Administration

Interview recorded 1/12/2014

Transcript of this interview.

Discussion on this interview is in the forum.

Panel discussion with John Hagelin, Igor Kufayev and Mark McCooey at SAND Conference

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

198. Jerry Freeman

Jerry FreemanJerry Freeman has been practicing Transcendental Meditation, the advanced techniques of TM, and the TM Sidhis program beginning shortly before turning nineteen, over 40 years ago. He was trained by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation the following year, lived for some years in the semi-monastic program Maharishi founded, and has continued to study Maharishi’s teachings to this day. He writes about Maharishi’s insights into the development of higher major states of consciousness, as they relate to today’s discussions of Advaita, Vedanta, awakening, Self-realization and enlightenment.

He is presently working on a book on this subject, tentatively titled: The Enlightenment Puzzle: what everyone should know about awakening. In the book’s introduction, he states, “What I have to say here is not my own invention. … What I will say here is not an official presentation of Maharishi’s teaching, as it includes numerous observations and conclusions that are my own. However, the great insights about awakening, human consciousness, enlightenment, etc. are not mine. They are Maharishi’s

Jerry supports a family of adopted children, working as a musical instrument maker. His penny whistles are recommended by many Irish music instructors for their students, as they are affordable and very high quality, and they are played in performance and recordings by many of the most renowned performers of Irish music.

Interview recorded 10/19/2013.

Discussion about this interview is in the forum.

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