>> Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done over 410 of them now, and if this is new to you and you’d like to check out previous ones, go to batgap.com and look at the past interviews menu and you’ll see under that all the previous ones arranged in several different ways. This interview is made, this whole program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers. So, if you appreciate it and feel like supporting it, there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. Also, I’m gonna mention this in the next few interviews until people get used to it. But we used to have comments on YouTube and we shut that down because it was too unruly, but I’ve set up a Facebook group where people can discuss various interviews, and you’ll see a link to that group in the text underneath this video. Not actually the live video but the permanent one. You’ll see a link to that page, and if you want to participate in the discussion. My guest today is Christina Donnell and I actually didn’t know too much about Christina when I first began preparing for this interview. Irene had set up the interview and I looked at Christina’s web page and said it looks good to me. But when I actually started preparing for it and reading her little book which is called, “Transcendent Dreaming” I was delighted. I thought, “Wow this is wonderful, so interesting and such a profound deep person”. So I’m really glad to, that we invited her, and I think that those of you watching will really enjoy this discussion. I’ll just read a little bit of her bio here. Christina is a spiritual teacher, mystic, and author. She’s the director of The Winds of Change Association an educational organization dedicated to offering programs that tend our evolving human consciousness. In her book, “Transcendent Dreaming: Stepping into our Human Potential”, she chronicles quantum states of awareness in which the participatory nature of perception impacts our visible world. It is a deep foray into truths about our human potential. A new distribution of our resources and a way to know unity consciousness and be its agent in the world. Christina conveys a simple, yet profound, message through deepening receptive awareness, a participatory nature of perception unfolds and the transfiguration of our consciousness occurs. Christina was initiated as a medicine woman by the Karo Indians of the high Andes and has worked closely with them for 25 years. Inspired by the cultural shifts and changing human values on a planetary scale She is dedicated to cultivating and awakening the potency of the human spirit. So, thanks, Christina. Welcome!
>> Christina: Good morning, Rick, or good afternoon at this point. Thank you for having me on your show
>>Rick: Oh, you’re welcome. It’s great to have you. So you and I were both joking before we started this interview that you read this book yesterday for the first time in nine years and I read it like the beginning of the week and we both tend to be the type where things go in one ear and out the other. All I know is, you know without remembering a lot of specifics about your book, that I really enjoyed it. Every chapter was fascinating. But one thing I’d like to ask to begin with is are you one of these people who started having mystical experiences at a young age like as a child or something?
>> Christina: Mm-Hmm-Hmm. I’ve often thought that I came into the world as a dreamer. It’s really deep in my essence and in my soul and my earliest recollection although at the time I thought it was normal it wasn’t until many years later that I realized it wasn’t normal, is about the age of four or five. I was living in Detroit. My father was a cop. It was during the riots and the Civil rights riots in the 60s, and I remember all the police officers putting on riot gear and holding my mother’s hands and wives kissing their husbands goodbye and I remember feeling all the anxiety in that situation and in order to quell that during that time at night I would escape off into the lap of this really large African-American woman who would sing these spirituals, and I could just feel the essence and the soulfulness of it. And it was deeply comforting to me, and I thought that was normal. Until I wrote my first book in first grade, a six-page book on African-American spirituals, and both my parents and teachers wondered how I was able to recite them so easily and that was my first real awareness that maybe what was coming through me was different than others.
>> Rick: And this woman was not somebody who others would have seen. You were kind of shifting into an alternate reality where she existed, yeah.
>> Christina: Absolutely, and I don’t believe I’ve ever met this woman to this day, so
>> Rick: Were the spirituals you were singing and that you knew, ones that actually exist? Or were they somehow not even known to our culture?
>> Christina: They did exist. They did exist.
>> Rick: Yeah, like “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” or whatever, different ones. That’s interesting. What do you attribute that to? Some past life thing or some alternate reality visit, or what?
>> Christina: You know, it’s always tricky for me to talk about past lives because you kind of have to live in a linear reality to believe in a past life. But I certainly do believe that there are simultaneous realities continuously, and I think my essence just had enough flexibility to move with fluidity in between those worlds and still does today. Meaning I didn’t, it didn’t have to be educated.
>> Rick: Yeah, yeah. I’ve had people tell me that the whole notion of past lives is really not linear that all whatever lives we may lead are simultaneous and that we just sort of attribute linearity to it to interpret our ordinary reality. But really everything is happening simultaneously.
>> Christina: Right. It’s very very difficult for our brain to understand that everything is happening simultaneously. So our little linear model is helpful for a reason.
>> Rick: Yeah. Well, there seems to be physical evidence. I mean, we look at the Andromeda Galaxy and we know that the light coming from that originated two million years ago and yet they say from the perspective of the photon, if you’re traveling at the speed of light, it is simultaneous. It’s instantaneous. The photon gets here immediately. There’s no sense of time or space, you know, between the galaxies.
>> Christina: Yeah, yes, yes. Yes, and I just read recently the literature, I think this came out in 2014 but somebody passed it on to me. We’ve now identified the quantum states and the microtubules of the neurons of the brain and you know, as soon as you shift into that quantum state, space and time collapse and there’s a lot of simultaneity occurring. So, I think it actually exists in the body, you know, and can be anchored in the body.
>>Rick: So, in other words, the body has this innate capacity to tune into quantum levels of reality. Is that what you’re saying?
>> Christina: Yes, yes, and really at some places where the awareness is present there then you can be present in a quantum state, so… Not that it’s just always going on, but we’re unaware of it, but that you actually begin to anchor reality from there as maybe a second language.
>> Rick: Yeah, interesting. So, take us along then. So, you had this kind of experience when you were a little child and then what was the… Sometimes it’s funny that we’re talking about linearity and time and all that in chronologies. But it is really handy when doing an interview to kind of walk people through the stages of their life in a way, because things do tend to appear to unfold in a linear way. And you know, I mean. So then obviously, You got a little older and you went into your teenage years. I mean, did you go like many people did? Did you go through a period where you lost that depth of cognition and, you know, kind of felt it slipping away and longed for it and so on or did you actually manage to retain it through your adolescence?
>> Christina: I think periodically it was retained. I have a very long history of flying in my dreams and flying to both, familiar and unfamiliar places. But at the same time through adolescence, young adulthood, very intellectual and also an elite athlete, and in retrospect, I go, “Boy, it was a good thing”. Because I was learning how to wield the body. So, my awareness was really more present in those places and it wasn’t until my late 20s, which I write about in the book, where I was director at an anxiety disorders clinic at the Major Medical Center here and came home from work, went to bed, had a dream, ended up being a prophetic dream of my father dying in an automobile accident and in that dream every detail of the moment before his death unfolded. So, from the place where he removed grandchildrens’ toys from the backseat, to going he kissed my mother’s side of the bed. He kissed a family picture. He told the family dog to take care of the farm, that was a 40-acre hobby farm, and drove down a country road and hit a single tree in the middle of winter. At the time of that dream, as soon as he hit that tree I catapulted into a state of just pure expanded awareness and merged in with his awareness, both of us looking down into his body. And it was actually a kind of an ecstatic exquisite experience. And then as I came out of the dream I just assumed… I was preparing for his death because he had Lou Gehrig’s disease. But the next day somebody came to the medical center and let me know that my father had died at 8:25 a.m. in the morning in a single automobile car crash and that was really… So that was the late twenties when I realized, “Okay, I’m beginning to have states of awareness that are just beyond what we consider linear or ordinary”. And I started paying more attention to them.
>> Rick: Did you begin to culture them in various ways and explore you know, means of shifting your awareness and all? Or was it just sort of coming on spontaneously?
>> Christina: At the time you know, I was a martial artist at the world level so I was doing a lot of Zen meditation and I think that in the quieting of the mind and really the becoming very very still, expanded the states of awareness which begin to just spontaneously occur and then they continue to occur through the dreaming.
>> Rick: So, they occurred both in your wakeful Zen practice and in your dream states.
>> Christina: Yes, yes, yes.
>> Rick: It’s kind of interesting where you describe the onset of these expanded states of awareness. What was it like a syrupy heavy kind of thing you would feel coming over you and next thing you know you would go into this transcendence or unboundedness?
>> Christina: Yes, yes it was, and of course, you know, now in retrospect I can see what the heavy syrupy was probably about. But why I called it transcendent dreaming was it really is a form of lucid dreaming where you awaken within the dream. How it differs from lucid dreaming is that in lucid dreaming you’re waking within a dream and you have some control over the dream. There’s an expanded state of awareness. There’s more luminosity But you’re always really separated from it and why I call this transcendent dreaming is, it’s a form of lucid dreaming but what happens as you awaken into the dream is that there’s this merging of the awareness into the energy behind the dream where there’s a loss of the I, or the me, a reality centered to a self. It’s an expanded awareness where it’s almost like perception and feeling are fused and you simply are the dream unfolding. There’s no you. There’s no dream. There’s a communion or a state of unitive consciousness and in that state, you know many many things can occur including that these dreams materialize in our everyday reality. So it’s a very different shift of our awareness I think certainly in a normal dream, but also even lucid dreaming which there’s still a separation.
>> Rick: As most people who watch this program know I’ve been meditating for a long time but I would have to say that the most profound experiences I’ve ever had were actually in sleep or during dreams. And my wife says the same thing that she’s had some really profound things. I guess that maybe the reason for that is that you’re so innocent, all your defenses are down and you’re completely open or something. You think that’s why?
>> Christina: I do believe that there’s something in sleep that allows the way our perceptual filter looks at reality, allows it to relax so our awareness has more fluidity to it. And for myself in the transcendent dream state it gets this heavy, syrupy feeling. That’s the place in the dreaming for myself where awareness is actually merging into the energy behind the forms in the dream, and so now there’s a non-locality. It’s simultaneously in the multiple forms and I’ve always said that dreaming at this level is not just in the mind or an awareness but it’s also a bodily process and the heavier, the more that syrupy feeling would come over, you could start to really feel energy coursing, as though you’ve actually merged into a larger energy.
>> Rick: Do you, have you ever or do you even now maintain awareness, not through any sort of effort, but spontaneously throughout the night during sleep, or is it mainly just in these occasional dream things?
>> Christina: I don’t sleep very much and when I do sleep, I’m aware I’m sleeping so I’m awake all night long watching. But what’s changed over the 10 years for me is, it isn’t that I’m not having transcendent dreams, I am, but they’re now here in my waking reality and I think the difference is I think it was an organic development and a remaking of consciousness, and I think it required sleep. Essentially just to knock my awareness out and quiet my mind. So that it could have these experiences. But with more meditation as you well know, as you move into the quieting of the mind this stillness in the body and in every cell of the body eternity is stamped at the deepest level of the cellular nature and once awareness is attuned there without all of the surface noise once again planes of realization open up and avail themselves. And I see them now in the waking state as much as I do in a dreaming state.
>> Rick: Yeah, the reason I ask that question about maintaining awareness during sleep is that there’s in a lot of different traditions there have been sages and realized beings who have described that the waking, dreaming and sleeping states may cycle through but pure awareness remains awake to itself throughout that cycle. They even describe, I mean there’s one description that there’s a sort of a gap between each state of consciousness as one transitions from sleeping to waking or from waking to sleeping and so on, there’s a little gap and that gap eventually becomes clearer and widens. And eventually persists. It’s like the gap becomes the predominant thing and then the waking, dreaming, sleeping continue to cycle on.
>> Christina: That’s very interesting because I know for myself even in the morning if I’m just simply resting there’s a there’s a place in that resting where I’m interconnected to many things at the same time. It’s a feeling state and it’s really, It’s exquisite. It’s very, very nourishing. And I’ve come to not even want to awaken and go down a path of any thought because as soon as I do it takes me out of that state, and I think that might be what you’re calling the gap.
>> Rick: Yeah.
>> Christina: And then the rest of the day just never really can compare to that moment of a true interconnectedness on many, many different levels.
>> Rick: Yeah, it can be a very intuitive time for people as a matter of fact if I get the story right, Thomas Edison used to take these little naps throughout the day and then have his assistants wake him up and part of the reason he would do that is he would enter into that gap and then get creative ideas and breakthroughs in what he was trying to figure out you know, as he dipped in and out of that gap state.
>> Christina: Yes, yes.
>> Rick: So, when you say dreaming in your book, you say the dreaming really equates with consciousness. Usually when people think of dreaming, they think of all sorts of imaginative adventures that we have when we sleep but, and that’s a true that’s a valid use of the word, but you’re really equating it with pure consciousness, I think, yes?
>> Christina: I am. Sometimes I use the “dreaming” synonymous with the God force or Allah meaning it’s the implicit order moving into the manifestation or that from the silence which is moving into manifesting in the world and then receding back out of the world. I call that “the dreaming”. I also call it “the substance of all that is” and that when our awareness is attuned there and every cell of the body is being nourished from it, from there you, you suddenly consciousness is creating and consciousness is creating through you in that moment in which you’re in touch with a substance of all that is. So, I call that “the dreaming”. It’s a movement. But sometimes I call it “the silence” and silence is not a closed silence. Silence is a substance it’s an intelligence and it’s coming out of the void to manifest and it recedes back into the void.
>> Rick: Yeah, here’s a nice quote I lifted from your book. I think you may have attributed this to a Zen teacher: “The mind is structured in layers as is the universe, from the superficial to the profound. Deeper layers are more powerful. Quiet the mind to know them”. Hmm hmm. Yes, yes. That’s from my sensei. My early on abysmal failing in Zen meditation because like many I had a very active mind.
>> Rick: Yeah, Adyashanti failed too.
>> Christina: And I still have an active mind. So, it’s a beautiful quote and I find that to be absolutely true. I find that as we quiet the surface consciousness and the mind reaches a place of stillness we reach another level of the mind that doesn’t think at all and has the ability to have non-local experience to be in multiple places at once and to be fused with that experience. So, it’s not a place the mind can readily go.
>> Rick: Yeah, let’s dwell on this a bit. The second and third verses of the Yoga Sutras are… the second verse is “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”, and then the third verse is, “and then the seer rests in himself or in itself”. So this notion of settling down the activity of the mind.
>> Christina: Beautiful.
>> Rick: I’ve always been taught and understood and have experienced that the mind actually has a natural tendency to want to do that because more settled levels of mental activity are more charming. They’re more fulfilling and so if we can find the means of allowing the mind to begin to settle down and yet not just fall asleep but settle down and remain alert then we encounter greater and greater charm as we go. So, the mind just sort of moves on to it without effort or without need for control or concentration.
>> Christina: Yeah, that’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. I like that greater charm. That’s absolutely right. Right down to that equanimity and joy that one can experience when it all quiets, and you know I think too, once someone has found a certain level of quietude it’s almost aversive to have an active mind because it requires so much bandwidth. It takes a tremendous amount of your energy and what you get from it is really a surface consciousness. And so, I think there are great rewards as the mind quiets. You know, it’s self-rewarding.
>> Rick: Yeah but that is not to say that a person wouldn’t be able to write books and give lectures and travel and do this and that. It’s just that the average mind thinks about, you know maybe a hundred thoughts in a minute, ninety-nine of which are unnecessary or irrelevant. Using so much energy, whereas the quiet mind could just have maybe one thought in a minute just to make a simple example. But it’s actually the useful one among those hundred. I was just talking yesterday to a ninety-something-year-old gentleman who I’ll be interviewing in December. He became on my radar when he got in touch with us, and he said well, I’m in my 90s and I have some sort of physical problem where they had to amputate my feet and this and that, but he said I’ve never been happier in my life and everything’s wonderful. And it turns out he was a designer of cars in the fifties. He designed the original Thunderbird and other things. As I was talking to him yesterday, he was saying “You wouldn’t believe how much energy I have”. He’s thinking of selling his home, buying an RV, and driving from South Carolina to California in his 90s. So, he’s in this sort of awakened state where there’s just this tremendous energy all the time.
>> Christina: Absolutely, once the bandwidth isn’t taken up by our surface consciousness there’s tremendous amount of vitality in that stillness and to me, that’s really where different states of awareness, different planes of realization become available because you’re right in the instant moment with all this quietude, with eternity on both sides and the expanded presence of attention has nowhere to go but in that instant moment to that which has been invisible before. With a tremendous amount of energy available to move there.
>> Rick: This phrase again is worth repeating, about deeper levels being more powerful and quiet the mind to know them. I guess, we could say “Do less and accomplish more” or something, if deeper levels are more powerful. I’m preparing for an interview with Mooji tomorrow who’s a well-known teacher and he said in one of his talks that someone who is really at peace with themselves which would equate with the being in tune with these deeper more quiet levels has a much bigger impact on the world than any politician or treaty or anything else and then obviously if we could populate the world with more such people then we would have a peaceful world. But we’re not just we’re not gonna do it on the level of politics and so on if everybody’s operating from an agitated level of mind.
>> Christina: Yeah, I’m in complete agreement with that and I believe when we’re in the sometimes I call it “the pocket of silence” where the mind is very very still it’s where we access the substance of all that is giving life everywhere and to touch that current it has tremendous vitality to it. Which increases ones, I think, bandwidth, capacity, atmosphere, and when one is in communion or union with it really becomes its agent and its expression in the world, and it’s all invisible. You know, it doesn’t require doing anything because it’s actually manifesting through you.
>> Rick: Yeah, that’s beautifully put. In fact, there’s all sorts of verses in ancient scriptures and modern people who talk this way about how they really have the sense that they’re not doing anything. Everything is being done automatically and they’re just residing in this relaxed state of oneness or witnessing or whatever, and nature is doing all the work.
>> Christina: Yes, there’s no doer.
>> Rick: Nice okay There’s a lot to talk to you about. Your whole thing with the Q’ero Indians and there are so many interesting stories in your book of various dreams that you had various experiences in. Where shall we go next? When we were doing the chronological thing a few minutes ago you mentioned that visionary dream about your father’s imminent death.
>> Christina: Prophetic.
>> Rick: Prophetic. That’s the word I’m looking for. You were practicing Zen you said and so, what’s the next significant milestone for you?
>> Christina: Probably my work with the Q’ero.
>> Rick: Okay, what attracted you to go down there or what I mean, how did you even I had never heard of the Q’ero Indians until I read your book.
>> Christina: Yeah, and I hadn’t heard of them either, and it’s funny that you would ask that question. It’s a kind of a you know, in retrospect you can think on one hand you’re getting involved with something from a linear perspective, but for myself it’s really clear that the dreaming brought my relationship with the Karo to me and really shortly after my father’s death I had a dream where I was in an English pub getting ready to come back to the United States. There were three men and a woman that were sitting at a high-top table with me and underneath was a large wooden box two feet by five feet and one of the men asked if, this is prior to I obviously need to see what’s in it before I’m willing to bring it to the United States. So, two of the men wandered off went to the restroom he opened up the wooden box and at the time I didn’t Realize it was an Incan mummy, but as he opened it up. It was a full mummy adorned in Gold.
>> Rick: Try getting that through customs.
>> Christina: Try getting that through customs, yeah. And I knew as he closed the wooden latch in the dream time, like there’s an inside of me there was this incredible resistance of, “There’s no way I am bringing that to the United States”. And I woke from the dream, and then within six months I was in the Andes. I’m traveling there because of my interest in Shamanic cultures and met the Q’ero Indians for the very first time who happened to be descendants of the Inca. So it wasn’t serendipitous. You know, the dreaming clearly brought this resonance or something that we shared in common together and I’ve worked with them now for But what’s even more interesting about that dream was, when I met my editor for “Transcendent Dreaming” that was 14 years after that dream, and when I saw her picture, she was the woman in the dream. And she’s the one who edited this book on the dreaming and so the lovely part about these expanded states of awareness and non-local states of awareness, as you start to see the connectivity the interconnection that we just simply cannot understand from a place of the rational mind.
>> Rick: Yeah. Even though we can’t understand it have you ever made an attempt to explain the mechanics of it? Or you just throw up your hands and say it can’t be explained?
>> Christina: I do both. I do both because I’m quite fascinated by it, of course, and at the same time [?] better to believe in anything because just limits and gives me a perceptual filter to see the world in which is very confining. So, I say I like to play in ideas. I like to ground these experiences with quantum physics, even though I don’t know a lot about quantum physics, because it seems to be the model that best holds the experiences.
>> Rick: Yeah, some physicists get a little annoyed with “new agey” types trying to use physics to explain their experiences but, at the same time, there are a lot of physicists who are very progressive and are, you know, devoting most of their time trying to draw the connection between physics and consciousness, and mystical states and so on.
>> Christina: You know, I’d like to stay with more of a phenomenological approach, which is: this is simply my experience. This is what it feels like in the cellular nature of my body. This is what my mind feels like when I’m in this state and because it’s all I know to be true.
>> Rick: So you know, these days going down to South America and working with native cultures is all the rage and it mostly involves ayahuasca. I mean, did you work with the Q’ero involved, you know, plant medicines like that or was a different nature? The Q’ero don’t use any plant medicines, they are of the high Andes. Most of the plant medicines, the ayahuasca San Pedro, come down from the Amazonian Traditions, and I certainly don’t need to use plant medicine. I might be afraid to use a plant given the fluidity of my own consciousness.
>> Rick: Things are working for you pretty well without them.
>> Christina: Yeah, yeah. Feeling like I don’t need that in this lifetime for sure.
>> Rick: So, what does it mean then to have been initiated as a medicine woman?
>> Christina: You know, the Q’ero have a set of transmissions that interestingly, some say, are the keys and processes of who are we becoming a hundred thousand years from now and they’re all energetic transmissions. The Q’ero are very interesting people because they don’t live in linear time. If you are with them, they never talk about the past, they don’t talk about what just happened two minutes ago and they don’t talk about the future.
>> Rick: Do they have past and future tenses in their language?
>> Christina: They don’t and really languages is more like Sanskrit and it has a sensuality and a vibrational quality to it that mirrors the land. And the other fascinating thing about the Q’ero is that they don’t have a sense of self, of I, or a me. So, they are a community and they’re very very inclusive. So they live in a state of varies degrees of unity consciousness depending on, you know, whether it’s your tribal people or your medicine peoples. This is so very different than our own and they are considered or have been considered by many to be essential masters of the energy realm and indeed it is their primary reality. The material reality is secondary to them. Twenty years ago a Ziploc baggie was a phenomenon to them. So, you know, they live all between eighteen and twenty-two thousand feet, which is above the tree line. There’s nothing up there. It’s three days by horseback to get there. So, there’s a monastic quality to it and unfortunately or fortunately like many indigenous cultures, they are now a dying culture. They’re coming down off that mountain. The traditions are changing and most of my time spent with them it’s really been about how to simply walk with them as they are a dying culture.
>> Rick: Why would you say fortunately?
>> Christina: Because I think that there are larger rhythms coming out of the void where, you know, everything has to die.
>> Rick: Yeah.
>> Christina: You know, our species will die, our planet will die, everything has to have its full fruition and blossom and die. And I really absolutely honor those rhythms even though I may not understand them.
>> Rick: Yeah, do they see themselves as representative of what humanity may be a hundred thousand years from now? Or they just have a vision of that which isn’t necessarily the way they live?
>> Christina: It’s not necessarily the way they live although all the master medicine peoples are now dead and they were even ten years ago. They were in their 80s and 90s or about five remaining. And they had that level of consciousness, you know. Their job one job was to sit in prayer for the planet. That’s what his vocation was and in the transmissions, which are energetic transmissions of these increasing transmissions of seeking communions stewardship whether it be with the Earth, with the stars, and eventually to the energy behind creation. Those energetic transmissions are taken very seriously. Rick: So, describe a little bit more the nature of your work with them what sorts of disciplines or something you were going through? What sorts of experiences you were having? Yeah, just the whole experience of being down there all that time. Did you learn their language or were you using a translator or was language not so necessary.
>> Christina: A little bit of all, yeah. You know I think one of the most early on interesting pieces of being, just simply being with them, was the inability to speak the language. And that, so much of how they work and move is from an energetic perspective. If you were if you ever have the opportunity to just simply be with the people for an extended period of time you’re held in that field or that resonance and it kind of starts to rub off on you. So, I think it’s maybe the best way to learn, yeah. It’s just like the best way to learn a foreign language. So, early on I would use a translator but very quickly and because so much of the initiating and the medicine is really energetic transmission working with the forces of nature language wasn’t the way that it was going to unfold. Also, I think they recognized my innate dreaming essence. They are not dreamers per se in that way and yet we had a way of moving in the world from we got there from different places. They got there from nature, you know, and I got there from dreaming. But there was a simultaneity and appreciation in that. So, even though I’ve been through the initiations even though I taught Indian shamanism for 25 years I never really saw myself as working with them. I saw myself watching a culture die and simply being very present to that at a really concrete level.
>> Rick: But working with them for 25 years there must have been something that really engaged your interest and you know I presume you weren’t there non-stop for 25 years you must have gone back and forth. But something kept bringing you back. I mean, so what were you actually experiencing that you found so intriguing, you know, so worth several decades of your life?
>> Christina: This concept of something they call, “Munay” and probably at its lowest frequency it means “love”. But at the highest frequency, it means “dissolving the I into the one”. So, it’s not unlike “Namaste”. There are people who live in unity consciousness. They live and they breathe it and their hearts are some of the purest hearts I’ve ever experienced on the planet. And such a humble agricultural people. You know, at eighteen to twenty-two thousand feet, infant mortality is very high. And they live on 70 varieties of potato. There’s nothing that grows up there, right. So, every day is a communion in silence. It’s a meditation in silence and in simple living and yet in the unit of experience because there is no I in that culture. You can’t bring medicine for alpaca for one of the you know, they have five small villages and they’re all about a day and a half apart, you can’t bring for just one village they don’t recognize and will not take a gift unless it’s for all. Even the small children will bring a piece of candy back to the entire family. They live differently on the planet. Rick: And so the attraction to you is that you were kind of imbibing the unity state of consciousness by osmosis, by proximity to them or something, right?
>> Christina: I think so. It was very reminiscent of transcendent dreaming and the states that occur in transcendent dreaming and that purity of heart was very early on, a soul moment for me. I knew the first time I had to come back from there that we needed that in North America. That this essence needed to be brought back to North America. And it makes me go that’s probably what that dream was about where I was like, “Hell, no, I’m not taking that mummy”. Because I just wept the first time I left there knowing how daunting it felt to have experienced what I experienced there and what it would mean to bring that to the United States, to bring it to communities, to bring it forward and you know, it’s been three decades of my life of serving there.
>> Rick: Yeah, I mean, that’s the first thought that came to my mind was how in the world do you there’s a phrase of Maharishi Mahesh yogi used to use, that “Knowledge crumbles on the hard rock of ignorance” and first that came to my mind was, how in the world do you take something from that culture that is so removed from our modern world and Introduce it into the modern world without having it completely fall flat, you know.
>> Christina: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, yeah.
>> Rick: So how did you?
>> Christina: You know, expanded states of awareness that they naturally live in in the West you have to find experiential ways to train that to provide that experience for someone and my first 20 years of teaching were about finding the experiential exercises along with the energetic transmission, along with bringing the students and voyagers and consciousness back in the relationship and interconnected with the Earth. But after 20 years of that and after it’s really coming to a place where I felt like I couldn’t offer one more experiential where it simply felt as though somebody was becoming intoxicated off of the experiential and I turn my teaching to “let’s move to silence”. No experientials. Let’s move to quietude. Let’s move to what it means to have ever-increasing presence of attention and the stilling of the mind in the body because it brings the same state. And that’s just closer actually to the Q’ero Indians and there are transmissions and prophesies. Well, when you say that people were becoming intoxicated with the experiential I mean, if you read your book and all the dreams you had, it’s some pretty far-out experiences. Were you saying that people that you were teaching were becoming intoxicated by flashy experiences and looking for those, and trying for those, and so on. Whereas they were missing the point because the “silence” is the really important thing. Is that what you just said?
>> Christina: What I said, is that early on in order to give people experiences and expanded states of awareness I would use an experiential but within doing an experiential exercise, whether it was journeying I mean there’s various ways to offer an experiential where you’re participatory and you’re actually allowing someone teaching someone, how to expand awareness but over the years if felt as though, one, they couldn’t hold that state and two, they were just looking for the intoxication.
>> Rick: Right. >> Cristina: So more recently, meaning the last five years, I’ve really come to this place of I’m done with experiential and people seeking intoxication. If you’re interested in the remaking of consciousness, of moving from separation to unity we’re going to do it through understanding silence and the power of silence. And it feels more organic to the teachings of the Q’ero , who sit in silence all the time and prayer. Rick: Yeah, I think probably everybody gets that point. Yeah, I mean flashy experiences are transitory they can’t last. Enlightenment is not a flashy experience It’s not like one big perpetual flashy experience.
>> Christina: And I also think that there’s a place with that quietness of the silence that comes with long years of meditation that allow you to hold the tremendous new amount of energy that becomes available and the new planes of realization that open up. And if you’re offering an experiential and you get that opening, but you still have all this surface consciousness and noisiness it creates a lot of tumult in an individual. So, I think that silence is really a fundamental.
>> Rick: Yeah. It’s an important point, I think. The silence is definitely a fundamental and also I mean something you just alluded to I think, is the necessity of culturing the nervous system or the container in order to really sustain that silence and that experience, I often hear from people who have had some sort of Kundalini awakening, or some sudden influx of energy, or something which they weren’t prepared for, and they have to quit their jobs. They become incapacitated in various ways. It’s just like too much for them to handle. There’s a I think there’s some wisdom in understanding that the nervous system is the vehicle through which anything is lived and something so radical as enlightenment really necessitates a radical transformation of the nervous system. And this whole idea of instantly popping into it and sustaining it is rather unrealistic.
>> Christina: Yes, yes. I absolutely agree, and I do think there is an organic development that arises naturally if you don’t push the system.
>> Rick: Yeah, it’s important safety first. And I think since we’re talking about you know the South American traditions and so on and we’ve alluded, not in your case, but we’ve alluded to the use of Ayahuasca and so on again I mean, I was preparing for the Mooji thing the other day and someone asked him about ayahuasca, and he said, “Well, you know does it last?”. You know, it’s just this sort of temporary thing And you really should be looking for that which lasts. Which is not to say that you might have a beautiful meditation and you feel great but even then there’s some culturing of the nervous system which takes place and to a degree the physiology has changed and is more capable of sustaining that state. But if one does things that are sort of sudden, or abrupt, or premature perhaps chemically induced it gets a little bit more risky.
>> Christina: I think so too. I also think for some there’s a place because it’s the beginning of an opening for them maybe they might not have had otherwise.
>> Rick: Well, it was for me. I mean I first did that stuff in the 60s “Oh, wow! There’s a lot more to life than I realized”.
>> Christina: I think, it’s a nice preview of possibility and I also I think that we’re all here as a shard of light you know from the Godhead or God force and each essence is here for a different reason and to hang out at different planes of realization. And I always say to my students, “If you’re drawn to unity consciousness it’s like the moth to the flame”. You’re apparently in this lifetime that development is organically unfolding because of the longing or the desire. Of course, there are many paths to up the mountain, so
>> Rick: Yeah, that’s a great point and I don’t mean to belittle anyone’s path including ayahuasca and stuff like that. I mean, some people have benefited from it a lot and there are all sorts of path. Some people say, “Well, there’s actually seven and a half billion paths to God. As many of them as there are people on the Earth. So yeah, I’m glad you made that clarification.
>> Christina: But like you Rick I do think and I get push back from some of my really long-time students who are faculty and MDS and attorneys and but they’ve been [?] consciousness for thirty years and you know, in moving to this notion of that you can find these plains of realization, and expanded states and unity consciousness the organic emergence of it through silence, there is a stage in the layering the folds of quieting the mind and you’ve heard many mystics artists speak of it, where because the mind becomes quiet there’s an emptiness. We call it “emptiness”, or “nothingness” where there’s no desire. There’s no longing. There’s no passion necessarily out here in the everyday world. It’s a true quiet desert of “nothingness”, and I don’t think plant medicine allows you to organically feel that stay in that state while being in our everyday world and recognize its true value and where it’s going to lead you next. It doesn’t lead you back into the surface consciousness. You still live that as your primary language, but it leads you to really being in connection with the substance of “all that is” that is manifested every day in the world emerging and bringing things back into the void. So, it’s that moment of both creation and destruction simultaneously happening, of which your awareness is witnessing in the state of nothingness. Because there’s no all this noise here. It’s also the place where the “I” begins, the reality centric to itself, begins to dissolved. There’s no center in that space and you start to move participatory in the space. I think plant medicines don’t train that piece of the organic development and it’s the part that allows you to be sane in the world.
>> Rick: So, in other words, they don’t train.. they don’t enable you to tap into the most fundamental level of silence. There’s still something going on in a rather dramatic way. Is that what you’re saying?
>> Christina: I think, unfortunately here in the West for most, they decide to have the experience you know, they work a 60-hours, 70 hours a week. They plan for Friday afternoon. They’ve done their purification for the way, they have the experience and they go right back into our everyday world and moving to that speed of light. The surface consciousness and that state of emptiness and nothingness is never really developed
>> Rick: Yeah, good point. There’s a little story in the Upanishads, in someplace, that you know, this master tells the disciple to go and get him a banyan’s seed and so he gets the banyan seed, and (the master) says, “Okay, now break it open” and he breaks it open “What do you see inside?” He said, “It’s hollow, I see nothing” and (the master) said, “Well it’s out of that hollowness that this whole big Banyan tree arises”. And the teaching being that all of this comes out of silence and that if you really want to get to the foundation of it, that foundation is going to be silent and empty in its nature.
>> Christina: Yes, yes, yes beautiful. Which doesn’t mean that I think people go through phases what you just said about dispassion and maybe flatness I don’t know if you use that word, but people do go through a phase where they may feel kind of emotionless or flat or disinterested or dispassionate. It’s just a phase.
>> Christina: It is, it is I often liken it or think of it as if your true heart center is based on the everyday surface consciousness. You know, the news feeds, the Facebook and that’s what you’re passionate about well, when you suddenly find something that’s a larger reality that’s underneath that you don’t immediately know how to fall in love with that or to be passionate about it and yet at the same time, you’re realizing it offers a little bit. Maybe more than where your passion was before and so, like you said, I think that there’s this amount of time really where the old passion is dying off in order for a new passion to avail itself. And students are very uncomfortable there.
>> Rick: Yeah, which always happens. I mean the caterpillar must think, “Oh my god! I’m turning to mush. What’s happening to me?”. But that’s the necessary phase to go through to become the butterfly.
>> Christina: All right and they’re imagined selves that are developing and rotting You know, the caterpillar’s nervous system. So, it’s uncomfortable.
>> Rick: I think another thing that fits in here is that if you think of that as a phase it’s important to realize that pretty much everything is a phase. I mean, there’s going to be ongoing development for a vast majority of people and never sort of freak out and think that, “Oh, my God I’m becoming like this, and I’m always gonna be like this and I don’t want to be like this”. And you know, just realize it’s a stage. You want to comment on that? I could say more but I shouldn’t talk too much.
>> Christina: I would be in agreement. I might also add that I often when people want to define enlightenment or define awakening, to myself there’s never really an end to awakening. I think that if Buddha had lived longer, he’d be able to awaken to even greater levels of reality or Christ. That this beautiful mind that we have that has the capacity to move from the finite into the infinite that infinite is very very large. I think we can forever be exploring that in the cellular nature of the body.
>> Rick: I think the one thing that happens is that, I was just discussing this with somebody the other day, that there is a dimension of life which doesn’t change or evolve and we could call it “the absolute” if we wish. So, it’s not going to get shinier or improved or something like that but our interface with that, our ability to live that, to express that, our capacity as a sentient being to embody, you know, that reality how could there be an end to that?
>> Christina: Absolutely.
>> Rick: So, when people say that there are no levels or stages or anything that’s true of the absolute, but is it really true of our human experience? Can you show me an example of anyone you know who doesn’t continue to go through greater refinement and so on? Feel free if anything pops in your head, and I’m not asking you. Feel free to just say it and I get into it. Well, one thing ok maybe we’ll come back to this the point I was about to make towards the end of the interview, like how you actually work with people. And how you help them to get into that silence and so on. But before we do that, let’s continue on. There were some very interesting well, this is going to [?] what we were just saying about the silence and not dwelling on flashy experiences. But there were some very interesting experiences you have that you recount in your book, various dreams. For instance, there was one in chapter two which you entitled, “Crossing the Threshold to Ordinary Reality” in which you say, “I became a midwife for those who were crossing over into the spirit realm. People and animals and for people in comas”. What was that all about exactly? Remember that?
>> Christina: I do remember that, yes. I had a period in transcendent dreaming where repeatedly I would enter the dreaming, awaken the dreaming, my consciousness would expand into a place where it felt as though it were limitless. Where it was really pure awareness and that I would be taken to this place where in the cellular nature of my body It felt as though the cellular nature was dissolving or eternity was unfolding in the cells of my body I felt like I was going to die to the body and in these repetitive dreams I’ve held in abeyance in that space of pure awareness, but also aware on the body that the cellular nature felt as though it were dissolving and I had this, like many people speak about being at that threshold, it was very very exquisite because I was held in abeyance it was very fatiguing
>> Rick: Define the word “abeyance” for those whose first languages isn’t English.
>> Christina: Felt like I was straddling the threshold, so I wasn’t going over the threshold. But I couldn’t pull myself back, and it was exhausting to be there because in the physical body that dissolving at what felt like, you know, it’s a feeling experience or eternity so this vastness happening in the cells of the body I was enduring essentially and I saw it as a tremendous time in my dreaming of expansion of consciousness. So, it like it was teaching me to hold greater expanded states of awareness. And it was also at that time that I just naturally had clients that were beginning to pass away. Pets, you know. It’s always funny how you end up being somewhere consciously, and then resonance has an affinity and people start to seek you out. Because I had been in the community and had been in a major medical center, many primary care physicians family practice physicians referred to me and some of them were my friends of whom knew I was having these expanded states of awareness and so. One of my friends is a family doc, here asked me one time to come in. I’ve done it more than once now for major traumas, usually where it’s a young adolescent or young adult male, or female, almost always in an automobile accident, and they’re on life support and family [?] long distance and really is to provide comfort for the family and to be able to be in that place of quieting down and to commune with the consciousness of the young adult for a better understanding of where it is at and that actually gives the families some relief as they’re trying to make very difficult decisions.
>> Rick: Does the person soul kind of tell you, whether it’s ready to move on and wants to come back or that kind of thing?
>> Christina: Yeah, it runs the gamut. Often it’s a state of confusion and it’s just hanging kind of in that “Bardo”, hanging there. There are other times it absolutely does not want to return. And my role has never been to assist it. My role has really been to come in and to meet it and be in communion with it.
>> Rick: Do they know you’re there? That soul they realize that someone in the Earth plane is tuning into them.
>> Christina: Sometimes, not all the time. And I would say most of the time, not. There’s a fair amount of distress in that place. Rick: Are you able to help soothe them in some way or clear up their confusion?
>> Christina: If I stay there long enough it can help settle the energy so that action takes place. So, I really see my consciousness is just lending as a catalyst or a generator for that other consciousness to move between the manifest world and the unmanifest.
>> Rick: Interesting. Do you still know this stuff or was that back in the day when before you’ve gone through other changes.
>> Christina: I do it on occasion, okay?
>> Rick: You have not lost your ability.
>> Christina: I have not lost the ability.
>>Rick: Now, there was another chapter in which you said entitled, “Piercing the Illusion of Time and Space” and there was a story about a dream you had about a boy who had polio and you know where I’m getting now, you want to relate that story quickly rather than me tell it?
>> Christina: Yeah, this story even when I was reading it last night, I thought “Wow, I still don’t understand”, you know. Once you collapse a linear time, I don’t understand how things unfold, but in this dream I had again a transcendent dream, awakened within the dream, and I am actually merging into a young boy who’s walking home from school and he has polio and he has one brace on and he has other one off. He’s whipping it like this, and he’s walking home from school, and I just stay with him in the dream and through the dinner hour and then he’s getting ready for bed and his father takes him into the bathroom to get him ready for bed, and they go through all the normal brushing of the teeth But eventually his father actually takes his pants off, he takes his pants off and he has his son touch his penis and as I am in that dream, I’m really my awareness is simply communal with the boy but in that moment, as often happens in transcendent dreaming everything kind of slows way down and you kind of merge again into the consciousness of both in that experience, and at the same time I absolutely knew that there was a catalyst with my awareness being with the boy that was guiding him, spiritually guiding him. I also recall in that dream feeling if I were to leave this and this is right after the death dreams where I think I mentioned, I’d lost a lot of affection for life because that other was so enticing, and I hadn’t returned to my affection for life. So, in my dream was always hard to figure out where I belonged, you know should I stay. It’s a funny thing, yeah intellectually, but as a spiritual guide to this child that felt more propelling than my everyday life or do I spin out of the dream? Which I don’t have a lot of control to do because I’m dissolved into it. And I finally did come back out of the dream. Thought that was odd, but understood it as that I’m being now, my consciousness is being in multiple places, and the experience of that and the feelings of different places. And then we segue to many years later and a male friend of mine whom had lost his father had asked me to go out to dinner and we sat in the booth. We had dinner and he said, “I have some unresolved business with my father I’m wondering if you could recommend a male therapist”. And I said, “Well tell me a little bit more”. And it ended up that it was about sexual abuse and so I referred him a therapist. And when we went to leave the restaurant he kind of hinged as he got out and he sat his hand on the table and he said, “You know, I had polio as a child and so it’s sometimes hard for me to move”. and in that moment I absolutely knew
>> Rick: That was the guy.
>> Christina: Yeah and my brain still to this day doesn’t make sense of the linearity of that and yet I’ve known this guy now for thirty years have moved back to Minneapolis three times, and I’ve death everyone in his family.
>> Rick: Using “death” there as a verb you mean, you’ve been there when people in the family have died in order to help the transition. Is that what you mean to say?
>> Christina: Yes, yes. Yes, thank you.
>> Rick: Interesting. Then there’s another one about a motorcycle accident, where you had this dream where you were cradling someone’s hands someone’s head in your hands because she didn’t have a helmet on and she was on the back of a motorcycle, and it was going through an accident and then you take the story from there.
>> Christina: Yeah this dream reminds me of the levels of connection that we’re unaware of. In this dream, again, this transcendent dream I actually reconfigure only into a pair of hand so my awareness is simply a set of hands as a woman is catapulting off of a motorcycle, and I see her boyfriend, husband very seriously injured and I’m just these hands that catch her head before it hits the pavement, and I’m there until the emergency responders come and then all of a sudden I dissolve out of the dream time and you know, I have hundreds of dreams like this is not uncommon. It was several years later a colleague of mine said to me “I want to refer someone to one of your shamanic workshops, but she’s become a fundamental Christian” and I always, I’m very curious what makes anyone fundamental, and that’s why I inquired about why you know this woman had become fundamental and then she relayed to me she had this experience with what she thinks was a guiding angel. And then she recounted the motorcycle accident and the woman said that she felt a pair of hands behind her head and it was they’re all up until the emergency responders came, and then it dissolved. I never met the woman she never came to come see me. Had she, I probably would not have said anything about it.
>> Rick: Only if she reads your book.
>> Christina: Oh, I know, I know. But, you know experiences like that and as I was writing “Transcendent Dreaming” made me think we may all be having these experiences every day, but not have conscious awareness of it, but this is simply the quantum realm and what comes out of the silence manifesting through us. But that our awareness doesn’t touch in there and then if that’s the case what that really means You know, it’s one thing to suddenly be given awareness. But I suspect this might be going on all the time.
>> Rick: Yeah, I’m glad you made that point because I’m getting these stories out of you not to just provide entertainment for people to think, “Oh, here’s another flashy experience for you to listen to”. But there’s two kind of bringing awareness to the notion that there’s a deeper mechanics to creation that is going on all the time as you just said and that what we ordinarily experience is just the tip of the iceberg. I think there’s a value in appreciating that and realizing that there’s a deeper mechanics that there’s a sort of a more fundamental intelligence that interconnects everything and that orchestrates and coordinates the universe. not that we’re all going to have those kind of experiences but somehow just one of those things that if it’s part of your fundamental understanding of life it really does change life. Change the way you live.
>> Christina: And I will often say to my students the tragedy of awareness is that if we refuse to look at something it can’t reach us and you know again until our awareness the bandwidth of our awareness finds a place to hang out besides just the surface it’s gonna be very very difficult for it to understand these other perceptual stays that actually may be going on all the time in the deeper mind of everyone.
>> Rick: Another way of thinking about it is if we are just on the surface and yet there’s this deeper sort of organization taking place all the time. Chances are we’re going to be kind of out of tune with it most of the time because we’re oblivious to it. But if we could expand our awareness so as to incorporate those deeper levels of intelligence that are functioning, and that are coordinating the universe, then perhaps we could be so in tune of them as to elicit their support spontaneously, their cooperation. Some people say that they get up on the wrong side of the bed and nothing goes right. Well, maybe that’s just because you’re not in tune with what nature is trying to do. And if you could be so attuned then this coincidence happens and you meet that person in just at the right time and the telephone rings and it’s just the you know, there’s a sort of synchronicity that it characterizes your life.
>> Christina: Well, I also I like the image, you know, you’re giving the image of the iceberg where you just have this surface, but underneath there’s this fundamental, something far greater in the deeper mind that doesn’t really even think at all. It actually is participatory and experiences directly and it’s a larger reality and probably don’t know this to be true. It’s of a higher order. Meaning that when one consciousness is there there’s much more patience, equanimity for all the surface chopped and check, you know, and wave. Because there’s a higher order underneath it.
>> Rick: That’s a good point, yeah. Patience and equanimity kind of a tolerance also, I’d say. Allowing things to play out, not being passive but allowing but recognizing the wisdom of the unfoldment of things as they’re unfolding and being patient and cooperative with that rather than trying to jerk it this way and you know, prematurely or abruptly.
>> Christina: I also wonder in that larger reality I know for myself. I can’t speak for others. There’s when you’re in the experience of a higher order not through the mind but through participation there’s no personal will to want to influence. It’s “non-doing”. It’s not an action, where there’s action actually unfolding, but there’s no will with a desire of an outcome and so that in and of itself is a different way to live in the world.
>> Rick: And for those, you know, in the Advaita mode of thinking about things this all may seem a little bit full of details that they don’t usually consider, but the point that we are essentially that, that deeper reality is our true nature. There’s a verse in the Rigveda someplace, [?] or something, where it says
>> Christina: You sound like me. It’s somewhere over here
>> Rick: It says that all the impulses of intelligence that govern creation, the structure and govern creation, reside in the transcendent field and it says that those who don’t know that field, what can those impulses do for them? And the implication is that those who do know that field they can receive the cooperation and support of all those impulses of intelligence which are ultimately within you, within the larger reality of what you are. But if you’re divorced from that larger reality, then you’re divorced from their assistance and their support.
>> Christina: Yes, yes, that’s well stated and you know, I sometimes think about at the cellular nature and it at the atom, so the microscopic level where those little vortices go into a vacuum of silence, right. That energy in every atom of the body, you know, a hundred trillion times that energy inside every one of us is the same energy that is simultaneously organizing galaxies and fields of sunflowers. And if one can bring their awareness to touch that it changes how you move in the world.
>> Rick: Beautiful, it reminds of that thing in the bible where Christ says, consider the lilies of the field how they toil not and they don’t worry about tomorrow and all that but even Salomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these. And if God’s gonna, take care of the lilies he will take care of you.
>> Christina: All right, all right. All at the same time.
>> Rick: That’s a beautiful point. It’s that we are the intelligence that is or that is orchestrating and permeating every iota of the creation from the subatomic to the galactic. And we’re part and parcel of that.
>> Christina: Yes, and we can anchor our awareness there which is a kind of a radical thought to many.
>> Rick: Yeah. Oh, it’s an inspiring thought. A fellow named Ron Williams from Seattle incidentally anybody in Seattle, Susanna Murray is offering a retreat this weekend you could still come to part of it, look at her website. But a fella named Ron Williams from Seattle asks a question Was there ever a point in your life when you considered yourself a seeker? Or is this awareness in which you now live a natural occurrence? You know what he means by that?
>> Christina: Yeah, beautiful question, beautiful question. Boy, it’s not an either/or, or even a both/and. I’ve never thought of myself as a seeker. I feel as though because spontaneously I was having expanded states of awareness that I couldn’t go find a teacher or read in a book. Early on, I surrendered into the dreaming as my teacher and so You know, was I the seeker was the seeking I don’t know because mostly I was hanging on by my fingernails trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy without being able to find it in a book or a teacher. Now Would I’ve traded the experience. No, I would not have. Meaning I knew this is exactly where I was supposed to be.
>> Rick: Well I think that most of us would, many people would trade their situation for yours, in the sense that many people sort of come at it from life is kind of drab and humdrum and routine and not that fulfilling and they sure would like to dip into all this spiritual glory that everybody talks about and read about in books and so on but “I’m not having experiences” and “when is that ever happen for me?” and they go through this kind of circle phase for a long time. Striving and striving and yearning for that, and you know seeking you shall find. Eventually, people do move out of those phases if they are sincere about it. But you kind of came about it the other way around where you started having these profound experiences from the outset and then tried to begin to make sense of them, I think.
>> Christina Donnell: Yeah, I think I probably came in the door backwards but to Ron’s question it also brings up, you know, is there a difference between seeking and longing? And I think the seeker often has longing, but I think there are also a number of people who don’t necessarily seek but the longing what is longing? You know. It is something in a greater will or in the essence that is wanting to move towards something and Whether we do that consciously or unconsciously I think it runs the gamut
>> Rick: Yeah and also is there a distinction between I mean I draw a distinction between seeking and longing and.. exploration. There does seem to be a point at which the longing unfulfilled quality drops off and so you’re no longer a seeker in that sense like, “I’ve got to have this or I’m going to die” but the thrill and fascination of the exploration continues the adventure of learning, discovering more about life Here’s a question that came from Mark Peters in Santa Clara. Do you have any sense what it is that binds local consciousness to a particular body? That is, after your point of view has temporarily shifted to another person’s perspective What is it that ultimately draws it back to your body?
>> Christina: These are wonderful questions. >>Rick: Yeah, better than the ones I can think of. So, thanks for saving me folks! >>Christina: You know I do wonder since I wrote “Transcendent Dreaming” almost a decade ago, how I might have answered it then I can only answer it now from a place where you know I think in the book I use language of entering someone else’s you know, a body, another form, another being, another plant, but over time with these states happening in a more of a waking state it comes out of the silence and it’s actually inside my own being. It’s not outside of my being so to me, it’s a vastness that opens up. Again, it’s a feeling state where there’s that kind of a dissolution of the cellular nature and there’s a vastness and suddenly I am the experience. There is a loss of an “I” in the space there’s no a centric piece of the space. You’re just kind of like it’s the difference between putting a flower and being the fragrance, you know. The fragrance can be in multiple places at once and you’re just simple aware there, and so I don’t think of my body as separate there. It’s simply an experience, but there is this That vastness starts to contract and then eventually I’m back with my own personal experience.
>> Rick: Kind of reminds me. I’ll tell a story quickly. There’s a story of Shankara where Shankara would go around the country and have these debates with all these different people. And the tradition was that if you debated and you won the debate then that person would become your disciple and his students would become your disciples also, so he was pretty good at that and Shankara was the sort of the founder of Advaita and there was some woman who was a renowned sage and she challenged Shankara to a debate but somehow the topic or something had to do with, you know relationships and romantic love and so on, which Shankara knew nothing about being a monk. So, he had to kind of learn about that to win the debate but he was a monk and so he had his vows and all and so there was some king who was just dropping the body and Shankara using a certain [?] occupied the body of the king and Shankara’s body stayed in a cave guarded it by his disciples. And then so, the king wakes up and gets back into his activity and you know, the king’s wife is like impressed because this guy is now so bright and don’t used to be so bright and so Shankara kind of goes through this month or so, in living this life and having this whole experience. But then somehow the queen got on to the notion that, “This was actually not my original husband”. “This is the sage who’s doing this and I think I’ll just get rid of his body so I can keep you know, my king will be this bright newfound brightness”. So , she sent out people to go and destroy Shankara’s body and as this was about to happen some Shankara’s disciples came to the palace and began to chant to the king who had begun to sort of forget who he really was these verses that Shankara himself had written about the true nature of the self and all. And so, Shankara somehow realized what was happening and he dropped the king’s body dropped dead. Shankara went back into his body which was about to be burned by some emissaries of the queen and he popped up to life again and lived happily ever after. I love your kitty cat there.
>> Christina: Yeah, this is Sweet Pea, right here. And I actually have Bodhi. It was named after the Buddha, but he must be elsewhere.
>> Rick: Okay, dream seven. There was a dream in which it was entitled “Reconfiguring Energy” and you began to have this phase of your life where, “The increased luminosity of internal and external objects”, you mentioned. And there was actually this dialogue with Jesus that took place and there’s more that I want to say from this chapter, but maybe you could start by just elaborating on that bit a little if you remember.
>> Christina: Help me remember.
>> Rick: Okay I’ll just continue on and you kick in as soon as You were talking
>> Christina: I recall my what happened before Jesus appeared?
>> Rick: I don’t remember. But one thing that I found intriguing I think it was in this chapter. You said you were able to influence the subtle forces of nature, “I could alter circumstances, change destinies and modify the effects of other people’s actions”, and I wondered about that because it seems like you’re messing with people’s karma or something and then you mentioned the Q’ero tradition of exercising dominion with nature rather than dominance over it. So, I wondered if you kind of dabbled a little bit modifying the effects of other people’s actions, but then realize that you shouldn’t really intervene in that way.
>> Christina: I don’t know if I ever saw myself as dabbling. In part because with transcendent dreaming there’s a loss of separation. So, there is no “you” and in the moment you have a will or a desire for an outcome, you spin out of the dream.
>> Rick: Oh, good point.
>> Christina: So, it wasn’t a dabbling per se. It was the awareness that you are a generator and a catalyst in the moment because there’s more energy available.
>> Rick: So, it was not your individuality that was messing with their individuality. It was more your universal nature which is all of our universal nature that you were tuned into.
>> Christina: Yes and the how do you witness and be in relationship to that. And as it’s developing how do you feel about it. I did go through a period of wondering where this was going to take me you know, what it meant in terms of impacting the manifest world from an unseen place. I didn’t have much control over it. I still don’t to this day. But I did go for this period of wandering and very early on decided absolutely just stay with non-action and You know, I never talked about my prophetic experiences. I never alert anyone. I’ve chosen to simply allow that piece of my awareness to be an intermediary between the visible and invisible realm without needing to influence it by languaging it or telling someone.
>> Rick: So these things are happening to you not because you’re being alerted to some situation that you’re supposed to influence. But they’re happening to you just because you’re cognizant of a deeper mechanics of
>> Christina: Yeah, I think it’s a touching the substance of “all that is” that’s everywhere at once. You know, hugely abundant and endlessly abundant. It’s everywhere at once and in some ways you become its agent so that the unseen can manifest onto the planets and it really doesn’t have anything to do with myself. For instance in the last five years, I’ve had 92 transcendent language dreams where I’m actually inside foreign language and I’m like a new meme coming out of the planet. You know it’s not something I would choose to do. My personal will doesn’t hang out there necessarily and yet there’s something when I touched the substance of “all that is” that begins to there must be some sort of resident our affinity and my energy becomes available there.
>> Rick: Yeah, you must be keeping a journal because otherwise you couldn’t possibly never remembered that there were 92 of them.
>> Christina: I made a habit really early on of writing them down and just sending them off to my editor without editing most of them I don’t have a clue of what’s inside of them. It’s really coming from somewhere else.
>> Rick: Yeah, you said something a minute ago that was interesting which is that perhaps you’re serving as a conduit or a channel through which something is being infused into the world or something by virtue of your experience.
>> Rick: You didn’t use those nice words, but I mean, we’ve all heard the stories of Yogis in the Himalayas and you actually mentioned a Q’ero Indian guy who just sat and prayed for the world and this is the idea of yogi’s in the Himalayas that are kind of helping to keep the world together by virtue of their consciousness even though they’re of out of the sight of humanity. Perhaps you, although you’re more involved in the world, are well, we’re all having an influence, you know. Everything we think, say, and do are, all seven-point whatever billion of us, are having radiating an influence and the sum total of that influence, we see is the quality of our world
>> Christina: That’s right.
>> Rick: with all its troubles.
>> Christina: And you know, Rick, in keeping with this notion of that we’re all intermediaries for the unseen to come into the manifest world. I mean, essentially we’re pure awareness and that is how it makes its way into the World. I think you know, because I’ve been a dreamer, I have a number of people who want to tell me their dreams. And they’re almost inevitably interpreting the dreams personally, you know, like as symbolic in this way or to my purpose or in my destiny. But I get to sit in the place where people are telling me their dreams enough that I can see collective energy trying to come onto the planet and one of the ways in which it comes on to the planet is through individuals’ dreams and that if people didn’t move to a perceptual filter of the individual but understood that the collective is actually birthing itself through them, they would have a different experience of their dream.
>> Rick: That’s a good point. So, it’s not all about them. They’re just you know like a radio that’s picking up a certain frequency that’s getting more clear.
>> Christina: Yes, it’s trying to find its way out of the planet.
>> Rick: Yeah and I think, that’s true of just the sort of epidemic of awakenings in itself. We just put a new quote from Eckhart a quote from Eckhart Tolle on Batgap. Just let me read it here. Irene found it the other day. She’s been wanting to put something up that sort of indicates that there are many people at varying stages of awakening. Because sometimes we get criticized. You know “Do you claim that all these people you’re interviewing are enlightened?” But the subtitle of Batgap is “spiritually awakening people” And so the quote from Eckhart was, “A huge number of people are going through the process of awakening some in the early stages, some in later stages, and it’s wonderful to see”. But that definitely does seem from my perspective to be something going on and everybody in the world is experiencing it whether they know it or not. It’s percolating up and having an influence which some people might really enjoy and others might find very uncomfortable according to how prepared they are for that energy.
>> Christina: I would absolutely agree and of course are multiple ways to view what’s going on. You know whether the frequency is increasing on the planet and that every cell of the body is in resonance with the planet, so it changes consciousness it’s an evolution in consciousness occurring and there’re mutations on the planet now. And I’ve given thought recently to what I call our new prototypes of consciousness, meaning the young children who we call on the spectrum you know autism, and I’ve been interested in how most of them have delayed language acquisition. So, there’s a quietness already that is almost resistant in a development place of learning language, and then also most of them cannot learn individuation. As though they’ve come from that unity but can’t be in the world and adaptive with individuation and then of course that increase sensory sensitivity. And I say you know, are we seeing the evolution that’s really preparing the vessel for a different kind of consciousness. When I look at our millennials and the way the millennials’ brain works you know, how quick? they are to multitask and to be in multiple forms of media and although people are quick to say the millennials are gonna really have a difficult time with their heart space because they’re all about connection through social media. Possibly, but maybe not. Maybe what’s to come it’ll open more easily given how the brain in the [?] allows them to move with such dimensionality and spontaneity. So, I think we’re just watching over if you look at the generations. Now I think for those of us who are baby boomers. We’re really holding a hand across the bridge to how to be adaptive in our world to what’s to come.
>> Rick: You mentioned something about the Q’ero Indians envisioning what humanity might be like a hundred thousand years from now. Well, with reference to that and also in all of your dreaming experiences have you gotten sort of any visions or insights into you know what humanity might be like in a much more near future?
>> Christina: No, and you know, it’s interesting with the number of prophetic waking states I even have they never moved in what I would call a future direction, but I don’t know maybe the language dreams are that. It’s just not that easy to identify. But I’m also someone who because I can be in this ever-expanding present moment with eternity on each side and eternity doesn’t mean a long time, it means in no time. There’s no time. So, it’s this multi-dimensional moment. What’s really exquisitely beautiful about it is you can watch something coming into manifestation and all of a sudden on another plane of realization, it eclipses it and something else starts to move and there’s no cause and effect. It’s more like effect, effect, effect, in surround-sound where I wouldn’t want to even blend my consciousness to what’s possible because I think it would limit it. I think, we’re at an interesting time with all the chaos and the tumult and the noise in the culture. And we know that a higher order often comes from those places. In time, how long will that be? I don’t know.
>> Rick: Yeah. I mean, look how chaotic the 60s were and you know it’s a time of such change so I think there’s some Chinese the symbol for chaos or something in Chinese includes the symbol for opportunity, something like that.
>> Christina: Yeah, we’re there that symbol.
>> Rick: So, in the conclusion of your book you talk about “The unity of experience with accompanying non-local awareness is now a regular visitor in the waking state for me”. By regular visitor do you mean it comes and goes as visitors tend to it? Or you mean it’s just characteristic of your regular waking state?
>> Christina: It comes and goes. Rick: Okay, and you’ve spent the last several years teaching your students interested in non-dual awareness on an organic development and remaking of consciousness using the silence stamped in every atom of our body. The same silence from which all arises and returns. And you found that most people are not dreamers in the sense that you have been. They will most don’t have that aptitude but everyone, perhaps you would say, has access to silence? And how do you help them access it?
>> Christina: You know, Rick the most common question I’ve been asked since writing “Transcendent Dreaming” nationwide and even worldwide has been, “How do you experience these expanded states of awareness if you’re not a dreamer?”. I’ve really been in a real way living into that question. And at the same time over that ten years these states had become waking states for myself and so in living into the question I’ve been kind of witnessing that organic unfolding in myself and my teaching has reflected that. I’m fortunate enough that most of my students have been with me those ten years plus preceding you know, the writing of “Transcendent Dreaming”. So, they’ve been all along the way able to kind of work the pieces in the teaching that I think is organically unfolding. It’s only recently that I’ve kind of come up with one, I think that you can have a remaking of consciousness especially if there’s a longing inside, and there’s a natural maturing going on in the consciousness, meaning it’s to move here in this lifetime. That that remaking is organic and there are phases to that development and I like to use the word phases not stages because phases denote an interior change of energy without the outside state looking any differently and you know, phases can overlap with one another and yet something emerges where the perceptual filter’s reality now is different. You know, as we’ve talked about it. If you take all the bells and the whistles away from expanded states of awareness including plant medicinals we can come right back down to the silence and what it really means? Just to simply become silent for 20 minutes and to have the longing and the desire to enter the folds and the layers of that silence while quieting the surface consciousness. And so, the three phases with unity consciousness being an art the medium of the art being silence just like sound is for the musician, color it is for the painter. Silence is for unity consciousness and the craft, the instrument, is silence and the body. Because the cellular nature has that quietness stamped in it and when awareness touches it “union” emerges from there and a non-local awareness is just simply a byproduct of it. So, the first phase, I call it, “the gathering” of that surface consciousness. It’s probably the most difficult phase My students who’ve been voyaging for 40 years were frustrated with that stage because people soon realize they’re absolutely addicted to everything that’s going on the surface and they can’t quiet it. So, it begins this whole inquiry into why one would want to do you really want to? What do you think you’re going to gain by it? And then this everyday discipline of just sitting in silence, not guided, not with a goal. Just bring all your awareness while things quiet. That’s the first phase. Second phase is that that quietness enters the stillness and that stillness brings you to that place of emptiness or nothingness which again is its own phase of organic development, meaning you would never want to force someone into emptiness. You pretty much have to feel complete with our everyday reality to move to this deeper place where one looks at it differently but in that emptiness you reach those currents of the silence that are coming out of the invisible world and your body is touched by that and your awareness is touched by that. The third stage is then how to surrender into that and be in the participatory experience of it. Now, we’ve been doing a year training with nine audios which is really kind of the pilot of teaching this in terms of stages or phases.
>> Rick: I think probably people realize that when you talk about silence, it doesn’t mean just sitting and doing and saying nothing. Although that might be a phase of it, but it’s something which integrates and stabilizes into your awareness. So, you and I have been talking for two hours, but there’s been silence throughout. It’s not like we’ve sacrificed silence in order to have this conversation. And I found it fascinating what you just said about the impulses or currents or something within silence because usually silence is thought of as being sort of featureless and flat and empty and nothingness. But there’s a whole explanation of the dynamism within silence which we can we could get into from the perspective of science and also from the sort of mystical or Vedic perspective where it’s understood that silence and dynamism coexist as characteristics of that underlying fundamental reality. Infinity silence an infinite dynamism are both together. >> Christina Donnell: Yeah, that’s beautiful, and I call it dynamic perception in the body. Whereas the mind might feel it as a stasis. You know, so my awareness will feel it as a stasis and yet, there’s an “undulatory” movement that carries the entire universe within the stasis, that’s very hard to You know, it’s hard to language that . It’s hard for someone to have that experience. But when you bring it all the way down in the cellular nature of the body and you’re touched by that stasis that “undulatory” movement then there’s a physical experience that is associated with it. You know, the body is changing so this is a very embodied way of remaking consciousness.
>> Rick: Yeah. I don’t know how I get into this but I’m looking at a picture of a galaxy on my computer screen, right now. Because I always use a galaxy as or existence of silence and dynamism both those qualities into an infinite degree, and they’re sort of the infinite the frequency between them results in the apparent emergence of diversity of the universe and all the phenomenon and glory of the whole thing. But in any case can be an experiential reality.
>> Christina: Yes. Sounds like someone is doing a Saturday afternoon trimming
>> Rick: Yes, as a matter of fact, there’s a tree service that the people are big fans of Batgap and they’re cutting down a tree and I said, “Can you just take a break from 12:00 to 2:00 because I’m doing an interview”. But now it’s 2 and on-the-nose they’re starting again. So, we probably should wrap it up because otherwise you’re gonna hear a [?] So, I’ll be linking to your website from Batgap.com. People can go there and find out what you’re up to and I guess you have some kind of a monthly online thing or something that people can tune into. Or is that for your existing students?
>> Christina: It’s open to anyone. What’s under the website? It’s called, “The Unit of Life Audio Series”. So one has to purchase the series and then they’re in our virtual web in our community, where they actually get to listen to all the audios.
>> Rick: And then you actually have follow-up meetings online and so on.
>> Christina: They can contact me shoot me emails. Because you’ve been referring to your students, but I presume those are in the Minneapolis area. But now that you’re doing this interview. I mean, is there something that somebody in London can do?
>> Christina: This is a global community and we have a community in San Francisco and a community in Seattle, so Eventually we may do something in Europe. But the beauty also is that we have a virtual classroom. We have many who are participating nationwide just virtually.
>> Rick: Good, okay. Well, I’m very glad to have this opportunity to speak with you and to bring you to the attention of my audience, and I think many people will find this fascinating, and I really recommend your book. It’s not a big book, you can read it in an hour so
>> Christina: Thank goodness.
>> Rick: Yeah, sometimes I get the 600 pages book. So I felt relief when I saw this one.
>> Christina: I wanna thank you too. For all the connections that you’re making in our everyday world. We loved putting all of our students and community in touch with your whole library and archive of interviews. Thank you so much.
>> Rick: Well, it’s a joy to do it. You know brings a lot of meaning and purpose to my life. Sense of gratitude and I also should always express gratitude to the many people who help with this. It’s not just me. Irene does a huge amount and then we have a team of people there’s people who monitor the questions during interviews. There’s a guy who does all the video post-production, all the audio works production. There’s a translation and transcription team and a fellow who’s been really heading that up in a beautiful way. In fact there’s a volunteers page about on Batgap and you can look there and see pictures of all the people who help and what they do. And maybe people would like to join in and help in some way.
>> Christina: Oh, that’s beautiful.
>> Rick: Okay. Well, let me just make some general wrap-up points. I’ve been speaking with Christina Donnell and yeah, I said it right! I’ll be linking to her website and you can just follow that link. And your website is what? It’s ChristinaDonnell.com
>> Christina: Yes, yes.
>> Rick: And there’s another one TranscendentDreaming.com. You can get to ChristinaDonnell.com, will get you everywhere. You know, this is an ongoing series as I always say Tomorrow, I usually do one per weekend but I’ll be interviewing Mooji for the first time in six years not, for the second time and we have them scheduled all the way through November now. So, if you go to Batgap.com and look under the upcoming interviews page, you’ll see what’s on the docket. And there’s a little sort of reminder thing where you can set a reminder on Outlook or Facebook or whatever, to notify you of when the interview comes up, in case you’d like to watch the live one. Otherwise, if you’d like to be notified once the permanent interviews are put online, you can sign up for the mailing list and you’ll get an email when I put up a new one. And there’s an audio podcast which we had been having technical problems with but those are fixed so if you tried to sign up for that before and couldn’t find it, try again. It’s working now. And a bunch of other stuff, search look under the various menus on Batgap and you’ll see what we have to offer. So, thanks for listening or watching. Thanks again, Christina
>> Christina: Thank you, Rick. Much appreciation and abundant blessings back to you. I’m the prime beneficiary of this. It’s not like I’m doing this out of a sense of selflessness. I just like I love it, you know. So, thanks a lot and thanks to those who were listening or watching and we’ll see you next time.
>> Christina: Sounds wonderful. Thank you.