116. Gina Lake

Gina LakeIn 1986, Gina realized she could pose a question mentally and get an answer mentally. Three years later, a very beneficial relationship with a wise nonphysical being began, who has been her inner teacher, mentor, and healer. In the late 80s and 90s, after earning a master’s degree in counseling psychology, she worked as an astrological counselor, metaphysical teacher, and writer, and spent much of her time meditating and doing inner work.

In 1999, Gina had a spiritual awakening shortly after meeting Adyashanti, and has since written numerous books related to awakening. Two weeks after that shift, she met Nirmala, a non-dual teacher. In 2000, Gina and Nirmala moved from California to Arizona together and married.

The focus of Gina’s writing and teaching is on helping people be in the present moment and live the happy and fulfilled life that is possible and on shedding light on the ego and other programming that interferes with awakening to one’s true nature. Gina is most interested in how the Divine moves in life through us and in helping people align with and express the Divine, or Essence, in their life. She defines Essence as the individualized expression of the Divine. Being in Essence results in what she calls “radical happiness,” which is the happiness that exists at our core and doesn’t come and go with circumstances. It is the happiness that comes from awakening to the truth of who we really are and living in the world as a unique expression of that. The opportunity to realize this happiness exists in every moment—for anyone—by simply being present in the moment.

Gina and Nirmala live in Sedona, Arizona, where they hold weekend intensives. Gina’s website offers information about her books and courses, and free e-books, book excerpts, a monthly newsletter, a blog, and audio and video recordings: www.radicalhappiness.com

Books by Gina Lake:

Interview Recorded 3/24/2012

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

89 thoughts on “116. Gina Lake

  1. This ! This ! Peter Brown goes into ‘ This’ a bit !…hope to see him interviewed

  2. Thank you Rick and Gina!
    @Gina Because of the mention of “astrology” in your bio, I am curious to know if you are familiar with the Human Design System? If so, I would you love hearing what you have to say about the system.

  3. No, I’m not familiar with the Human Design System. Otherwise, I’m sure I could come up with an opinion! 🙂

  4. The “opening” threads often take some time – but before you know it, voila, a tapestry.

  5. I am half way through this interview but am so delighted to hear… at last… this lovely balance, I had to break off to express many thanks Rick and Gina

  6. I have read several of Gina’s books which Have brought me great clarity and I have also appreciated their democratic prices. During the interview, I felt at times that Gina was apologizing for being a channel.

    Something that makes me cringe is when the words spiritual teacher are used. Automatically it creates separatedness. There is someone who knows who we should look up to and who should be perfect and then there is the rest who feels inferior and in need of help. Could we not approach this as beings just sharing and encouraging one another along the way? I cannot conceive of a spiritual realm with any type of hierarchy as I feel it all to be man made.

  7. I use the term “spiritual teacher” simply because it best describes what my role, or work, in the world is, for practical reasons–so that people know what I write about and how I spend my time. I’m a teacher who teaches about spirituality. I realize this label can feel separative to people, and that’s not ideal. It is not my intent to put myself above others. It’s just what I do and the only kind of work I’ve done for the last twenty years. So I just call it what it is.

  8. Hi, Rick.

    Thank you for another great interview. I took particular interest in your comments regarding your three in-person encounters with President Obama. If there’s one president I would go out of my way to meet, it would be him.

    Even from the cold, impersonal distance of a TV screen image, I sense a deep, spiritual life, an inner incandescence within our current president, qualities distinctly lacking within our previous one.

    Are we just projecting our own ideas of what we desire in a leader, or are we responding to something intangible but real all the same?

  9. @avesraggiana Since I’m in Iowa, we get a lot of face time with candidates. I first met Obama during the primaries and had a good seat, front and center. Asked him a question. He positively glowed, and I sensed a deep, expansive awareness. Not narrowly ego-bound.

    Then 2nd time was the Obamas with Oprah Winfrey up in Cedar Rapids. Big arena, so that wasn’t a close-up.

    The 3rd time was last Spring. He came to Ottumwa – next town over. I got to shake his hand on the “rope line”. Again, very bright. He seems to glow from within. I said “We love you; don’t let the turkeys get you down”. He laughed and replied, “There’s a lot of them out there. They just keep on gobbling”.

    Here are some photos I took that day:
    https://batgap.com/Obama/IMG_0415.jpg
    https://batgap.com/Obama/IMG_0417.jpg

  10. thanks Gina… i read some of yours & your husbands writing some years ago… and found it very simple & clear to understand… i feel the value of you writings is the practicality of providing detailed insight into the nature of ego, thoughts, mind… this is a huge part of spirituality… as it leads to slowing down of mind… and widening gaps between thoughts… where glimpses of our true nature occur…

    this definitely can facilitate awakening… but of the 7 billion … the % so far is rather small… and many will not awaken in this lifetime… however… your books can help many get started in the right direction… and awakening will come when it comes… and even if it does not come right away… i have found the spiritual path to be most enjoyable protective and strengthening for facing many challenges in life… thank you… & God Bless…

    oh… i too had a few experiences with a mystic Catholic Priest Father Bruni… who used to give healing masses once a month… this was in 70’s or maybe 80’s… several meditators would come… since his healing masses were like powerful group meditations…

  11. Yeah, I naturally pray for Obama. As politicians go, he’s an old soul. But running for president means that has to buy into many of the assumptions and problems of the “system”. He’s not running for sainthood. One does it to nudge the system forward. In the original presentation, I esp. resonate with his set of values, and these slanted towards what is best in the American character during the 2008 campaign. Values such as hard work, honesty, self reliance, respect for other people, empathy, kindness, and faith. He often speaks of “I am my brother’s keeper”, “I am my sister’s keeper”, a social responsibility we have for each other.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjF51ALu0sc

    The idealism of 2008 has given way to the hard political realities of 2012. He has often taken a centrist pragmatic route, disappointing his liberal base. And there’s a good part of country that doesn’t share his set of values, but emphasizes a very different set of values. I don’t know whether he will make it the 2012 elections. But I hope he will continue to be voice in this dangerous post “Citizen’s United” era we’ve entered into.

    I wonder whether any other “enlightened” person could’ve done any better. (Jesus was crucified.) Perhaps the issue is no longer the transformation of individuals, or even a collection of individuals, but a transformation of collective consciousness, as a collective. Witness the many myths surrounding 2012 regarding the awakening of humanity. Many of these myths were presaged by earlier religions, such as Christianity’s notion of “a new heaven and and new earth”. In Buddhism, Kwan Yin exemplified a move beyond the focus on the individual to the salvation of all beings.

  12. Rick: Thank you for posting those pictures. Now I really hope to meet President Obama some day.

    Thank you, Gina, for an enlightened and enlightening interview. I find that hearing you, rather than reading you, leaves a far deeper impression on me.

    Thank you again.

  13. @ Ernest. I concur. Obama’s critics should imagine themselves in his shoes. They say that the presidency is like drinking out of a fire hose. Yet Obama says (or said early in his term) that he finds it exhilarating. It doesn’t seem to be overwhelming him as it has many presidents. My impression the first time I met him was that he was a deep wellspring of potential, and that the challenges of the office would draw that forth.

    My sense is that he’s like a sailboat captain who charts the most efficient possible course. Directly into the wind, and he would stall. Perpendicular to the wind and he would make no progress. He tries to find the ideal angle, and tacks back and forth so as to move forward.

    As you know, government is corrupt and deeply flawed, and people are gullible and short-sighted. I sure wouldn’t want Obama’s job.

  14. Ernest –
    How can there be salvation of the world before individual salvation????..the cart before the horse..

  15. @Jill “How can there be salvation of the world before individual salvation????..the cart before the horse..”

    I don’t know. It requires a very different notion of “self” that does not have the notion of “individual”, a “self” that is our common humanity in conjunction with the earth as one organism, … and a very different kind of “engligtenment” to follow. We begin to have a sense of these in the various ecological and sustainability movements. (Some of the interviewees on batgap of the more evolutionary bent have expressed the notion that the awakening process itself is evolving.)

    But given today’s realities, I’d go for the individual first …

  16. Oh, I love what you said at the beginning Rick regarding the books….”Now meets Gozilla”…very funny. I enjoyed this interview and I am going to send Gina a note. My experience has been so similar to hers, especially regarding the metaphysical aspects like astrology psychic work and healing….then waking up and not having much desire to do anything. Although, now I still use some of those forms of what I consider lower knowledge. I think the Upanishads talk about this as well. Of course the highest knowledge is that of knowing/being the self. But different types of knowledge are beneficial in different ways as long as they are used wisely. At least that has been my experience.Through Adya I woke up but now David Spero is truly assisting me with the embodiment. With Adya it was like a great tsunami took everything out to sea and I was left with the silence and stillness of knowing I am everything (the absolute)…..now with David the water is coming back in and the barren dry land is being penetrated with life force. ( The Shakti) Each one of us is the same but so unique. I love how these interviews are an arena of sharing the mystery of it all. And now I must answer another math question….please don’t go to calculus because I will never be able to post. I like this though better than the letters.

  17. Gina, please listen to your interview…first five minutes is all that it takes…you have teenager whiney sing song quality to your voice …a clear sign you have no confidence in what you are saying, no gravitas, no Truth…and you wouldn’t pause….you go on and on and on and on…..clearly afraid of true dialogue….

  18. Howardyang said: “Gina, please listen to your interview…first five minutes is all that it takes…you have teenager whiney sing song quality to your voice …a clear sign you have no confidence in what you are saying, no gravitas, no Truth…”

    To my way of hearing, just about everybody in America talks like a whiney teenager, every sentence ending with a rising inflection, every spoken phrase except the last spoken like a question (?). I hear it even in grown-up and middle-aged men, even newscasters and interviewers on TV!

    What you’re slagging Gina for seems to be the speech affliction of our time here in the States. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is inevitably going to follow suit.

    I don’t even think Gina was all that guilty of “the rising inflection”.

  19. bhakti8 – Gina’s and your story concerning the ‘dry’ period – have to say I am put off going too far into all of this as would not want to experience years in the dry place! I know it’s different for everyone …. but it’s scary.

  20. I must say it was refreshing to hear an awakened person acknowledge the value of drugs as a catalyst for awakening/raising of consciousness.
    There seems to be a pervading snobbery towards and devaluation of awakened experiences mediated through drugs.
    Of course drugs do have danger attached to them and not all drugs are the same.
    But the similairity between some experiences brought about by plant medicines such as the psychedelics and cannabis and those of an awakened state are obvious.
    Like many I dabbled with psychedelics in my youth. For many years later due to the pervading devaluation by many teachers of such expereinces didn’t value them for the insights that they provided.
    Now almost 30 years since my first use of LSD can I look back and be thankful for the insights it provided and the path it propelled me down.
    People can meditate for 40 years and have only a theoretical understanding of the vastness of our consciousness with only brief glimpses of freedom.
    Yet many come to the spiritual life purely because they have had the experience that the 40 year old meditator strives for through the use of plant medicines.
    Why this snobbery and devaluation of awakenings facilitated through plant medicines.
    I presume it is because of the inherant dangers of such medicines if used without maturity and a context within which to place the experience. That is understandable, but lets not throw the baby out with the bath water by dismissing such experiences as having no vlaue.

  21. Jane Still –
    My friend – not to worry about the dry period – it’s pure Grace – quite common and necessary..If we don’t empty out of our concepts and beliefs – of all that we know ourselves to be – then the Divine has no room to enter…to fill us up with that Love that knows no boundary or condition…

    The true spiritual path is not a clear sailing into the Light – always a dark night – some longer than others…I’ve seen many go through it and the ones who have the least trouble with it – are the ones who don’t resist…

    Whatever arises within or without, we accept..dryness – rage – fear – sadness – knowing it is all for our highest good..Surrender and trust are key….and when we come through, we find we are much stronger than we think..

    We also come to see that Ramana, the Christ, the Buddha, whatever you’re visual image of the Divine is, is found in the darkest places of our soul – in the perceived roadblocks – as well as on the highest mountain..

  22. Regarding Jane’s comment…..Waking up was not what I thought it was going to be. Previous to it I went through a period of depression as I let go of everything….concepts and beliefs are hard to let go of…..I laughed for about 20 min……..then this profound peace set in that has not left…..I am still in a place of integration or what I call embodiment. Part of this was not understanding what was happening David Spero has been an amazing resource for me. This process is grace filled, ever expanding and magical. Although I went through a period of disorientation where my previous passions seemed non existent and still are to some degree, the silence and wonderment of life….looking at a cloud or water moving etc has left me in awe of the mystery of it all. Everyone’s process is different. Some are similar. There is no other way and certainly nothing to be afraid of….it is our natural state….however to our beliefs and concepts…very scary.

  23. ferret on April 3, 2012 at 4:42 am said:
    Rick…. people around the planet who are on the receiving end of US foreign policies will dispute your view of Obama’s saintliness….

    As would a lot of Americans right here in the US. On a purely egoic level, there’s no question that peoples’ opinions of our current president are as divided as ever. There are many among my decidedly conservative work colleagues who see Obama as The Devil Incarnate, and George “Dubya” as a peerless leader for whom no amount of genuflection would be enough. They are in earnest when they declare this.

    As far as our foreign policy is concerned, Obama’s presidency has been a qualified success, unlike the unqualified disaster that was the hallmark of our previous president’s foreign policy. Perhaps only Lyndon Johnson’s foreign policy could surpass the failings of “Dubya’s”.

  24. To Heat Seeker: I perceive a lot of truth in your missive above, I loathe to admit. While acknowledging faults in the political process of developed democracies in other parts of the world (Scandinavia, Australia, NZ), perhaps we as a people have to decide whether we want our politicians to be like theirs, true politicians, in the real, professional sense of the word, professionals whose profession it is to serve the public, or to remain what they are now in the US, political entrepreneurs who become beholden to several political interests, all of whom they must do their utmost to appease.

  25. Sheep always create the shepherd that they desire. The shepherd almost always is a reflection of the sheep.

    Instead of seeking to create a better shepherd, why not cease further interest in being…

    sheep?

  26. Re Gina:
    A few words.
    I don’t understand why someone who has supposedly awakened to non-dual knowing would continue to use a channeled spirit. And not only for personal means (she claims for his wisdom), but to speak every single word towards her spiritual speaking and the precious books he (not she) has penned over time. She claims it’s not odd, because he is a high being and in time they have basically fused into one. Sorry, odd. But more than odd. And so too her husband Nirmala’s response to a dry and down period she went through. Where she explains there was knowing, but it was also depression. She wasn’t motivated to do anything and so on. And Nirmala, a non-dual teacher, actually suggests making contact again with with this entity? I don’t get it. Crazy wisdom? Bad advice? I mean apparently she “had it” (ie. awake). If there happens to be lack of motivation, sadness, or whatever, that can be sat with and looked at. Anyhoo……

    To each their own and what the heck do I know.

  27. In reply to heat seeker….like Gina I was born metaphysical…psychic visions dreams voices etc..from a very young age…..with my initial awakening everything was released…like a great tsunami came in and then left me naked and in silence. After 3 years of profound peace and silence a restlessness set in and that is when I met David Spero through BATGAP….It was as if I was stuck in the absolute…which is crystal clear and unmoving. Many people get stuck there and miss the beauty and mystery of the pulsing mother energy…shakti…who gives birth to all that is relative for the divine pleasure of Shiva….(the absolute). Now the relative and the absolute can dance together as one….which includes metaphysics because this is part of the relative world…..it may not be a 3rd dimensional frequency but 4th….but still part of this play of consciousness in the relative world which is Shakti’s domain. Although astrology, psychic knowledge etc are all part of lower knowledge….I see them no less than I do physics astronomy art or music…and I use them as long as I see benefit….but by no means see phenomena as being more special or a sign of spiritual growth….I know for me it is just part of this relative world I live in. I still have profound psychic dreams and receive messages for myself and other that encourage and uplift them….this after all is the purpose of prophecy…to encourage and uplift…..but like the good book says…love is the greatest gift of all and easy to do when you are walking in the fullness of this natural state….we are love. I hope this helps….at least this has been my experience.

  28. Steve:
    I’m in Canada – born n’ raised.
    I do keep a close eye on politics and trends in the US.

  29. The Australians are equally adept at pointing out the weaknesses and absurdities of our political system. They’re no less critical of their own.

  30. bhakti8:
    Would you mind explaining to me, as I see you’ve mentioned your Guru David Spero a few times in posts, what is meant by Avatar? What have you been told or have you heard about this aspect of him?

  31. aves:
    I think that’s fairly accurate.
    Canada and Australia are quite similar in character, culture, values….. as well.

  32. In response to heat seeker….Have you watched David’s video on batgap? I think he discusses it there. I don’t think I could do it justice. The dictionary says avatar is the descent of a deity to earth. If that is the definition then I would say yes. I would put Amma in this category as well. But please don’t let the term throw you. Our own personal experience is all we really know. I have been with several teachers and have have never encountered anything like David. Gurumayi was close but I turned to other teachers that were more accessible and less costly. I was a single Mom with 3 children and could not afford a teacher…..sad but this happens….When I woke up I thought that was it and I would have no need for another teacher. Then I saw his interview on here and was blown away. He is not charismatic, looks like an engineer (not a guru) and has very few devotees… but for me when he opens his mouth I am deeply altered. With him it is so simple. I do nothing but be open and show up…(and I have only done the webcasts). You must come as a child….innocent. Most of what he does is free. And it is really not so much in what he says but the energy received. The energy transmitted or spontaneously created around him reaches me on all levels. It is pure bliss. There is no limitation around him nor adherence to any practices. He stresses no authority except that which comes from within you. He is a great mystery to me. Not for everyone. We each have our own preferences. Maybe for you or maybe not. There are many flavors out there. He does free web streaming every Wed but will be away for 2 weeks if you want to ck it out..http://friendsofdavidspero.org/front…….I hope this helps……

  33. I’m forever astounded at what the Shakti does to some people..With some, it leaves them breathless and in awe – humbled – with others it builds up the sense of specialness that was already lying in wait…

    In terms of Spero – I was quite disappointed – just saw the batgap video…I have to say that people who are in final realization do not run around labeling themselves avatars…it makes you want to cringe…even ‘Master’ is a bit embarrassing..but I suppose if one appears colorless, one has to compensate to draw in the students..

    Many on the planet today have the sense that Awareness was always here from an early age.. and certainly many are dedicating their lives to helping alleviate suffering – so I guess by that definition we are all avatars…

    While I’m not discounting the depth of David’s journey – and his self-awareness – clearer than many Rick has interviewed – I would take issue with the final result..Some sense of ego has obviously survived..because the natural state of sahaja samadhi is just that – natural and ordinary – vibrant and alive – full of humor and love – but not exalted by any means…

    I think one should take a hard look at those that they follow because funnily enough, one’s realization will look a lot like their chosen teachers….

  34. Sno – I think that Bhakti8’s definition of Avatar – ‘as a deity descending to earth’ is the one that most people subscribe to..and the one David was alluding to…There surely are many definitions of the word, but when we give ourselves that title in the spiritual world today, it does lend a certain air of ‘extra super duper specialness’ to the mix… It just doesn’t cut it here..but to each his own..

  35. Sno –
    Yes let’s hope David has come to his senses since that batgap interview..which was almost 2 years ago..I often tell Rick privately that after some of these interviews I call Bellevue Hospital across the street to see if any of their patients escaped recently..

    Wanted to say I liked your forest experience…that’s Unity calling….in case you had any doubts..During my Kundalini days – I used to feel as though the lightning and thunder outside was passing through me –couldn’t tell where the lightning was in relation to the body lying on the bed..no separation in those moments on the sensate level….
    This began to be a frequent occurrence..and seemed a bit odd – till I met Pamela and then somehow the gap closed completely and I stopped reflecting upon any experience…The self-reflective mechanism gets turned off in final rest…and things just are..
    The illusory ego/self IS the connecting link to all experiences…so once that is seen through completely -all of life appears as just a moment to moment happening without continuity – much as it is in the dream state..
    enjoy!

  36. Sno – Yeah -I was fine with David too till Rick asked him directly about his Avatar declaration..It had both of us scratching our heads – like years ago when I was on a date with a guy who seemed perfectly normal and then suddenly he leaped out of the car to start conversing with the moon – and we weren’t even on acid at the time..

  37. Thanks Steve…nice comment….it is so hard to put these experiences into words..just trying to help with some clarification on my own personal experience…because in the end that is all we have…..grace does sum it up though….each person’s unfolding is so precious, sacred and beautiful. This is humbling because it is too easy to criticize another’s unfolding…even laugh at it…thinking we are so wise in our own eyes. We all have gone down that road but the heart knows better.

  38. Bhakti8,

    Listen my friend -no one is criticizing anyone’s unfoldment…and everyone here is trying to help one way or the other…sometimes it comes out humorously and sometimes not…but the intention is always to support Truth..and bring clarity..Nothing is ever wrong or right – just true or not true..

    When you said that you woke up with Adya into emptiness and that David helped you realize that wasn’t IT..well that’s great….I’m sure that Adya would have told you the same thing – he says it in all his tapes -that emptiness is the first awakening -it is the opening into the Self..and of course there’s more to come..You would have realized that on your own I’m sure..

    But Adya would have also told you that from there, the Self reveals Itself quite naturally as we deepen into Wisdom and Love..and finally into embodiment..This doesn’t require a million more hits of the Shakti..The Creative Intelligence that we are, knows what it’s doing….

    We tend to give credit to a form for the subsequent revelation – for the unfoldment from awakening to enlightenment but in reality, if it’s been a true opening, that’s not necessary…Clarity, love, compassion – all the virtues naturally unfold as the emptiness is seen for it’s true worth..No one need take credit for that..nor should any be given..

    When people encounter the Vastness – which is a milestone on the path, there is a feeling of deflation and disillusionment as the ego has met it’s waterloo – but if we ride with that – and are grateful for it – go about our business -and allow the conditioning to dissolve over apparent time- we soon see that it is a necessary passage..If we bemoan it and try to get our mojo back and resurrect the self -so to speak – it’s not only futile but counterproductive…

    Unfortunately, many out there rush to try to find some way to fill up the emptiness – cause it is felt to be a death state..a death of all we know ourselves to be – and it’s not easy to go through – but IT has to fill ITSelf up..we can’t do it..

    I’m sorry if I don’t see Spero as someone who could hold a candle to Adya or some of the other satsang teachers of today – in terms of clarity..I listened closely to him..He is not speaking the self-evident Truth from the heart of the Self..but rather from a yogic perspective…Can you hear the difference?

    Sometimes it’s worth the few extra bucks to stay with what is true..As I’ve said before here on the site, the yogic path is not the jnani path..leads to a different outcome…I’ve had both…It depends on what you want..

    It’s interesting that David defines Grace as Shakti and the satsang people define Grace as Love….Love is humbling compassionate and selfless – Shakti is energy and power and manifestation and is anything but humbling..I doubt if Ramana would have declared himself an Avatar…I’m not discounting the part that Shakti plays in awakening, but it can’t end there..

    Take it from one who went through the entire Shakti experience over a 20 year period..It wasn’t ultimately satisfying or clarifying…Most of my friends who are in TM or with Gurumayi or any of the energy movements – are still trying to come to true rest..and haven’t yet.. although decades have passed..

    We have to ask ourselves if we want to just feel better or we want Truth..Truth takes time to unfold..Adya was giving you truth –

    Sending love,,

  39. Steve –
    Yes I agree that Bhakti could have taken it as criticism..which is why I wrote at length this morning to her..cause some of us were being flip yesterday..full moon as Sno said..
    But I don’t think we help anyone by watching them walk off a cliff..or supporting their illusions…Love always seeks to clarify…
    More later – gym time..

  40. bhakti8, thank you for sharing and letting me see how nasty and arrogant can be a “non ego” of the contemporary advaita police. How reminiscent all of this of the clash between the most extreme patriarchal forms of Advaita (anti-Shakti, otherworldly) and Kashmir Shaivism…leading to the extreme case of some non dual Dzogchen practitioners chasing and killing the Bon shamans…it seems that History repeats itself…how relevant the wisdom story of the 5 blind men and the elephant for our times…

  41. Mr. Kiloby nailed it..
    “After having written three books and traveled across the US talking about nondual realization, my experience tells me that no matter how deeply one has realized nondual awareness, gained valuable spiritual insight, progressed far along in some spiritual tradition or path, or had powerful spiritual experiences, there are usually shadows of some sort or elements of spiritual bypassing….lurking within the person.

    I’ve seen this in myself and in many others who were spiritual teachers. Perhaps what this reveals, more than anything else, is that in our rush to awakening, in our McDonaldized fast-food mentality of “wake up now,” we sometimes push issues under the rug or just completely bypass them. We end up giving ourselves the short end of the stick when it comes to freedom and fullness. And for those of us that are teaching, writing books, or otherwise sharing a spiritual message, we tend to pass that tendency to bypass onto others. Our bypassing becomes like a virus in the system, infecting one human heart and mind after the other.”
    http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Bypassing-Spirituality-Disconnects-Matters/dp/1556439059

  42. Transcribed from David Spero’s Batgap interview:
    @ 42 min “… you can’t look to their guru’s behavior or how they speak for validation of their state of consciousness, there’s no connection between how a guru or master behaves, they can behave like a total nut case and still be totally realized.. ”
    @72min “…for the sake of discussion… there’s no way you can define an avatar by their behavior .. having passed through sahaja samadhi, that’s the essential core realization that’s present in an avatar, is this sahaja state.. … ramana maharshi on another note, would talk about sahaja samadhi as his own condition … “

  43. “…there are two kinds of spiritual teachers in the world: those who claim to know the answers, and those who have only questions. The first fill the self-help shelves, and the inspirational section of the bookstore; they deal in facile answers, fantasies, simplicity and certainty. The second are the poets, the storytellers and those precious few mystics (…) They truck not in answers but in questions, not in fantasies but in realities — in subtlety, not simplicity, and in uncompromising, honest uncertainty.’
    Jay Michaelson

  44. People –
    I haven’t a thing against the yogic expression -spent 25 years in that vein – and am the better for it..but was just suggesting to Bhakti8 that there’s a place to come to after that, that completes the realization..and I didn’t think that David had gone there…In my experience, a teacher can only take you as far as they’ve gone..so as long as there is ‘apparent choice’ we try to choose wisely..This isn’t a jnani against yogi argument..

    What’s true is, many of the yogic teachers don’t come down to rest in the Self, and it is only from that vantage point, that true clarity and love are born…it’s just the way it is..The last act is an act of Grace..and we have to be humbled to even want to go there..not many yogis want to..

    If someone is satisfied and not still grasping for anything after Shiva meets Shakti, -lovely…but having been to that place of on high, I could say that it wasn’t particularly satisfying here.. as the mind was still craving something..and the heart was unsettled – so the inner voice knew to move on..

    There are different teachers at different times..but usually one doesn’t go to Vedanta first and THEN go on the yogic journey..seems a bit backwards..not sure that’s even possible..Vedanta or non-duality is the final journey where the Self comes Home to rest…and wants for nothing..

    I will agree though that some of the advaita teachers could have used a deeper more profound preparation such that yoga provides..not only to help maintain the health of the body, but to broaden the scope..

    Realistically speaking however – if most people can’t even tolerate some aspects of the milder advaita awakening, such as the dryness and flatness encountered in some stage of that journey – how the heck are they going to cope with the full blown Kundalini ignition..that some of us have had…

    People have no idea what that involves when the energy gets going..and I’m against just turning it on in anyone who comes in the door…It takes great fortitude and a profound love of truth to go through all that, so naturally I steer people toward a gentler path if possible…

    I admire David’s and Igor’s strength and love of truth that carried them through the fire..I also want to make the point that a teacher who merely transmits the shakti is not the same one who casts the final blow – stops the mind and brings one to full rest..One has to be at full rest to bring one to that..

    I will say though that if someone is speaking about having come to the end of the path and is resting in the “natural’ state as David declared himself to be doing- I would think one would appear more natural…It’s not an ‘out of body’ state that we end up in – but very here and now..very human – We can talk about being human but if we appear to be in outer space and ‘above it all’ something is not kosher..
    So not just the words spoken, but looking deeper when a teacher is teaching – so many things didn’t add up…

    As Heat Seeker said, ‘not hostility coming forth here but if one is grounded in Truth, or even had a taste of it -the antenna goes up when someone is not speaking from the fully realized Self and claims to be…

    Another thing that is characteristic of the truly awakened is their openness and honesty..It was odd to me that David who did TM for a lifetime -would not even mention it in the interview…or publicly give thanks and credit to his former guru..I wondered why he was being so coy…

    Sno – my only reference on the avatar thing is from Rick’s interview…his full declaration of it – and that was a red flag for me.. but then having seen a few other videos of his – it didn’t get any better…Maybe he’s not claiming or mentioning the Avatar idea lately cause it didn’t fly with many – but once spoken – it lies there like a dead weight….

    Ya know my friend – it’s OK to speak our truth from the heart and not have to be all things to all people…We can’t agree with everyone and trying to, just muddies the waters…Seeing everything as the Self does not mean that everything is as good relatively speaking, as everything else…At the Absolute Divine level – all the same – all perfect -but much differentiation, relatively..

    So it’s OK to be discriminating and call a spade a spade as Chuckee often says – in the kindest way possible of course – especially when on the spiritual path..and if others aren’t being discriminating, to help clarify for them…Not every painting is a Monet -or every poem a Snow Leopard..

    We don’t have to have everyone hear it or like it, or like us, but speaking truth in all our everyday matters without concern for what people might think, I’ve found, is the fastest way to final truth…

  45. Sweet Steve –
    I always feel your heart, and love that you are aware of and protective of any perceived slights – and can recognize truth when you hear it..

    It’s true the Creative Intelligence that we are is always perfect in it’s manifestation..we are all led to where we need to be -but we as fellow humans -are also part of that manifestation and apparently must also enter the fray when necessary…

    Divine Love is not always sweet but it is always honest and never hesitates to speak if it can be of help…I’m sure Bhakti is far enough along to understand one’s intentions if she’s been following these posts….

  46. Again: there are no formulas, maps, sequences…I had an overwhelming spontaneous pranic awakening at 17. I found that many people have amazing openings when very young
    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Pagan-and-Earth-Based/2005/03/The-Big-Love.aspx
    …the most ancient mystical lineages don’t have this kind of absurd linear distinctions (I know, you are going to say now something like “oh, but that is yogic”, oh, well…); that kind of artificial distinction is bullshit, plain and simple. We think we know everything that is to know about the Cosmic Game…the most insidious prejudice come from people that are in supposedly nondual advanced stages that overwhelmed them so much that cannot be open to expanding their view…mystics like Sri Aurobindo and others write extensively about this…Ok, I’ll leave here. Love to everybody…extended to the no-ones… ; )

  47. Not a problem Steve – but I do think Bhakti8 was perfectly capable of responding for herself since my post was addressed to her directly.. I don’t perceive her or any woman as helpless..

    I try not to get into it if two people are talking directly to each other on these pages..and yes the Self can be rough at times – Whether that roughness is necessary or not is debatable..Love isn’t always pretty as Alan Watts used to say..I just don’t question IT’s intentions or measure IT’s degree of intensity anymore..since I’ve stepped out of the way – and it always seems to turn out for the best..

    My being on the site is not to give opinions on how to live in the relative – such as getting into the meat or not meat type of argument – those discussions can be endless ones – but am here only to bring some clarity to the spiritual path..re teachers and teachings and such -at Rick’s request..so that’s where my involvement begins and ends..what people do personally is not my business..habits die hard – and I don’t have a point of view in that regard..

    What you related about having a huge glimpse of the Truth and then getting lost in Fundamentalist Christianity is precisely why I wrote to Bhakti8..The road from awakening to enlightenment with the shakti in high gear, and without a true guide, can be fraught with confusion and I’ve seen many go astray after some beautiful openings…Some find their way back home after some time but It breaks my heart when they don’t – so from the View here – that always requires a stepping into the fog to help if possible…

    Ramana once said that once he took someone on – he’d go to the end of the earth to lift them out of hell.. He did it effortlessly of course – just with the slings and arrows of truth..but he always did it…Now that was a true guru…

  48. We are in a very special situation, extremely special, without precedent. We are now witnessing the birth of a new world; it is very young, very weak—not in its essence but in its outer manifestation—not yet recognised, not even felt, denied by the majority. But it is here. It is here, making an effort to grow, absolutely sure of the result. But the road to it is a completely new road which has never before been traced out—nobody has gone there, nobody has done that! It is a beginning, a universal beginning. So, it is an absolutely unexpected and unpredictable adventure.

    There are people who love adventure. It is these I call, and I tell them this: “I invite you to the great adventure.”

    It is not a question of repeating spiritually what others have done before us, for our adventure begins beyond that. It is a question of a new creation, entirely new, with all the unforeseen events, the risks, the hazards it entails—a real adventure, whose goal is certain victory, but the road to which is unknown and must be traced out step by step in the unexplored. Something that has never been in this present universe and that will never be again in the same way. If that interests you … well, let us embark. What will happen to you tomorrow—I have no idea.

    One must put aside all that has been foreseen, all that has been devised, all that has been constructed, and then … set off walking into the unknown. And—come what may! There.

    —From a talk by the Mother (Mirra Alfassa), Questions and Answers 1957–58, pp. 150–51

  49. Uli – thanks for posting the Dangerfield video -a great reminder of days gone by…My dad was a talent agent here in NY in the 60’s and 70’s and I was dragged to the Copacabana often to see him as a kid….Rodney was seriously crazy but so fun…made a career out of that one joke for 40 years..

  50. Thank you Steve for the clarification..on both the meat discussion and the Dangerfield video..eyes are getting bleary – so signing off now..nice chatting with you my friend..

  51. Yep – Sno – For some – confusion is as valid as clarity…so I guess there’s no point in discriminating between them..to each his own..Thanks for the lovely Pamela vid…It speaks for itself in terms of naturalness of being…I hope Steve gets to meet her one day so he can meet his teacher Ramana, directly..

  52. Steve –
    Not sure where you’re coming from lately..Why so prickly? just trying to help..want the best for you..

    Most would say that a live teacher is better than a dead one..I’ve sent many friends to sit with Pamela and no one has been disappointed…She and her teacher Neelam are powerhouses..in transmitting the Ramana energy…although you couldn’t tell that by their demeanors…no declaration of Avatarship there just humility – but hundreds around the world can attest to going from suffering to enlightenment in short order sitting in their Presence..

    To answer your question concerning whether confusion or clarity brought me to Pamela – it was definitely clarity…I’ve always been lucky in finding good teachers mainly because I learned to discriminate between the real and unreal early on.. and even though I was in fear prior to meeting Pamela due to the difficult rise of the shakti, I knew the Truth when I heard it..wasn’t confused about that..

    I wish you well my friend – but my year’s promise to myself and to Rick to oversee the site to help clarify is about over….good luck with your path..I hope it brings you all that you hoped for….

  53. Thanks for the invite Steve..and I’m glad you graduated from a-hole to just prickly..giggle..

    I’m not traveling much these days – have my own private sphere here to deal with – but Pamela comes to any city where she’s invited. I believe she gave satsang in Chicago a while back..can’t remember who hosted her, but if you know 10 or 20 people who might be interested in coming to some satsangs with her in your area- maybe offering their living room for it – and could give her a place to stay for a weekend – e-mail her asst Tony – his address at her website..pamelasatsang.com..

    As Rick realized, if you can’t get to the mountain – to a teacher’s retreat – due to cost or busyness -best to bring the mountain to you…That’s why he decided to bring Adya to FF last year and will be inviting him again..

    I will say this only one more time – before I leave the site – here’s nothing like proximity to the transmission to put an end to suffering…A friend woke up recently working out at the gym next to me a few times a week – over the course of a year – I never discussed spirituality with her as I don’t with any ‘civilians’ when I sense they have no ‘conscious’ interest in it – She never even read a book on it..or did a practice of any kind..but something got enlivened..It’s a mystery when they just fall into it….

    This is happening to many around the world now – spontaneously – and all this standing on our heads plugging away for 40 years is really obsolete – although many of my old timer friends can’t quite believe that..They’ll either minimize the awakening that is occurring or cling to what they are doing out of sheer stubbornness – That makes me sad but it is what it is..You tell people the Good News and some hear it and some don’t..

    But what’s true, is we are living in extraordinary times now – the game has shifted these past 20 years – where this is just being passed friend to friend…
    Anyway, take care..sending love…
    PS – Of course we know Ramana is not dead – just not in the body – Masters are always helping from wherever they are..just that when in form…the radiance is more efficiently absorbed..

  54. Steve- you really keep me on my toes – OK – in terms of clarity – I did not have the clarity of the Self before meeting Pamela – was not resting in IT – but I had an intellectual discernment and even though there was some confusion as to what was happening energetically and some emotional disturbance, I was not at all confused about which direction to go in..or toward the one I should sit with…
    There’s clarity and then there’s CLARITY..Once one steps out of the way – CLARITY dawns – no thinking involved in speaking or writing or acting – -as the mind dissolves into the Self – so something speaks through you…

    This is different than the mind’s clarity – which can be beautiful in some – – but not really the same..The VIEW from the Self – is not a point of view..

    I hope that answers the question – and now may I eat my english muffin?

  55. Steve,
    How do you know I’m not a vegetable?

    But seriously, I’m grateful everyday for Jill’s clear focus and insightful renderings of Reality in the context of a gooey morass of conceptual underpinnings.

  56. Tell Fia that I’m not quite ripe yet but when I am I will be happy to be consumed.

  57. It’s so wonderful that not just today – but in every moment – there’s a chance for resurrection – when we discard the old coat – and we welcome the new…when the material concepts are surrendered and we let go of what we thought was true and rest in unknowing..just that willingness to die to what keeps us tethered to the ground – to matter – to conditioned existence – is what carries the seed of transformation…..

    To answer your question HS, and by the way I love your penetrating queries into what’s true..Anyone who knows the entire political system is a sham has my vote starting out..

    I think that there are some very ripe souls out there and like a tuning fork some others can act as an alchemical catalyst for the fine tuning..That’s the nature of satsang in both formal and informal settings..and the true meaning of alchemy..

    Can I know with absolute certainty that this body/mind was the catalyst for my friend at the gym no, and don’t much care either way, but it seems to happen a lot these days to the unsuspecting while in proximity..

    Resonance plays a great part in this – She came to feel an attraction to me and wanted to hang out outside of the gym too – and we did – but I notice that who it happens to, who free falls – has something to do with their having an open heart and an open mind…and a great degree of self-honesty –

    I will say that I sensed my friend was a very trusting and sensitive soul from the get go- an artist -by trade – not at all bogged down by mental processes..so a lot of places where Grace could enter -which is odd for NYC -giggle – but there you have it…

    In relating that story I wasn’t trying to elevate myself, since I of myself do nothing – just trying to make the point that the days of so much spiritual prep and research are over..The collective consciousness is much riper now..surely we all feel that..

    As Pamela is fond of saying – “As a 6 or 7 billion faceted jewel, humanity has suffered enough – the austerities have been done by those that came before’ -and this is the time for all us common folk – to rise and honor what is our God given birthright..

    love to you..and all – on this holiest of weeks..

  58. I was thinking similarly to Jill – I had never thought of the Jesus story in terms of ego death and spiritual resurrection, but there it is – like a life-instruction book laid out in plain English right in front of us since the day we were baptized. Perhaps every event in the universe is just a metaphor for awakening, since that’s the only game in town. Just have to listen really closely.

    The relationship between resonance and transmission intrigues me. Being a musician, I totally relate to sympathetic vibration and complex overtones. You can see the world as just vibrations in harmony. So why not, if a note is particularly strong and pure, have it aligning the similar frequencies nearby. On a heart level we are just vibration, and the collective has its own tone that we all share in. When that tone raises its frequency, or perhaps vibrates in a more coherent wave form, then certainly the awakenings will come more easily.

    For those of us who weathered the decades of traditional practice it seems like the “youngsters” are getting a free ride – but hey, it’s great for all of us. Even more importantly, we must drop our expectations of what it takes to awaken – is it 10,000 hours of practice like Gladwell’s violinists or is it a gentle feather drifting by in the wind and catching the light just right?

    I, for one, have changed my spiritual recommendations over the past months from emphasizing practice to speaking directly to the reality inside of everyone. Then the tools of techniques can be used as supplements. But pure harmonic radiance is always the best…and perhaps only…way.

  59. Beautiful biblical quote Steve -so appropo -thank you for that – all the scriptures come alive in us if we just stay open and look deeper within -and thank you Erick for your earlier post…so clear and true…This is such an exciting time for all to be living and having the opportunity to rise as One..

  60. My solipsistic view of 2012 is not that the world will end but rather that time, as we know it, will end. Time, the perception and interpretation thereof, is a critical factor in world view. Tolle goes on about it with a very nice analysis in The Power of Now.

    My brother is an amateur, but talented, theoretical physicist with an alternate ‘theory of everything’, or at least a very interesting reframing of the Newtonian/Einsteinian/Quantum Mechanical theories. He and I butt heads over the use of time in equations. I know that it is necessary, but in my world-view there is no reality to time. I also sense the unity of nature that he is seeking through his intellectual pursuit so I insist that he try to work time out of the equations. Of course he thinks I’m nuts.

    But this 2012 thing seems like we could look at it as the end of a time-view. We could adjust our perception, collectively, into a now-based reality rather than this history and future thing. I’d love to see a physical model that somehow expresses this. I have a hard time wading through Ken Wilber’s stuff – but maybe there is something in there that could seep into the scientific world view – or maybe the SAND forums have come up with something – anyone know?

    Anyway, What bothers me most about the current physical theories is that they view consciousness as a culminating artifact of a highly complex physical process (biological nervous system functions) and the matter/energy fields are the primary reality.

    The problem they run into is that there is no way from within that conceptual context to study consciousness. It is viewed as entirely subjective and therefore out of range of rigorous study. In fact, the glaring philosophical weakness of the paradigm is so profound that it boggles my mind.

    Here’s how I’d frame the issue:
    • That we are conscious is an a priori assumption.
    • The objects of our perception are deemed by science to be real, yet our perception, the sole source of our knowledge, is deemed to be just a necessary inconvenience.
    • Any thinking scientist knows that consciousness, our primary experience, is impossible to explain via the current paradigm.
    • From a settled state of mind it is obvious that consciousness (or more properly sat-chit-ananda, existence-consciousness-bliss) is the unifying field that the physicists are looking for, because all phenomena take place within Its structure.
    • So a new theory of everything should be based on a primary field of consciousness with the physical fields as sub-phenomena.

    If this sort of consciousness-first thinking were to take root, it would lead to a total reassessment of our collective world view and align us with a much healthier way of living. Just don’t ask me to do the math 🙂

    So 2012 could be a tipping point for the reevaluation of our concept and treatment of time. It could be the end of *time*, not the end of the world…

  61. @ Steve,
    “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. ~ John 12:24”
    Beautiful. Even after 2000+ years John’s clear comprehension of the Master’s words shines through.

  62. Erick, I like what you’re pointing to. I’ve thought of the transition we’re going through as a meeting of spiritual and technological. Perhaps when that meeting fully occurs you won’t be able to or need to express it with an equation. Perhaps it will just amount to a simple global realization that we’re all one, that love is the only complete truth and perhaps that recognition will manifest through concrete action in the physical whereby unnecessary suffering is greatly reduced if not eradicated. (for any advaita police, yes there are no individuals)

  63. All well and good. If everything gets wiped out fine. As long as it hangs around I’m for less suffering mental and otherwise. And I do think that the awakening that is happening results in an end to suffering for the apparent individual and that its consequence is also less suffering at the dualistic social level.

  64. @erik “So 2012 could be a tipping point for the reevaluation of our concept and treatment of time. It could be the end of *time*, not the end of the world…”

    “There will be a great shift then, a single moment of quantum awakening. In this moment, the smallest interval of time measure in these dimensions — the interval that occurs in every atom between each of its billions of oscillations — will be lengthened unto infinity. An interval of *nontime* will expand. Through the expansion eternity will flow. Some will experience this moment as minutes or hours, other as a lifetime. Still others will experience this flash of nontime as a succession of many lives, and some few will, in this moment, know the Nagual itself, the great nameless Presence that exists before and after all these worlds.”

    “In the expanse of the nontime interval, human beings will have all the tine they require to realize, experience, and remember the full consciousness of their eternal spirits and to recall the origin of their individuality in the primordial fields of being. All will have ample time to recharge their form identity and its biological projection with the awareness of who they are, why they have individualized, and why they have chosen to associate with this planet’s human expression. Each one will have the choice to return to biological form or to remain in the fields of disincarnate awareness.”

    “Those who choose to return to human form will do so fully aware of who they are. No longer will they be but partially incarnate; they will resume biological residence with the full memory and consciousness of their eternal natures, sharing the creative capacities of the Star Maker, whose reflective cells they will then then know themselves to be.”

    “Subconscious orientation in fear will be replaced by conscious orientation in love.”

    Key Carey “Starseed: The Third Millenium: Living in the Posthistoric World” (1991).

  65. Great discussion guys – It’s true that in the awakened state there is no concept of linear time…We are rooted in the present moment – Presence is omnipresent – and that’s who we are…

    Because the mind has retired to it’s resting place in the heart, the concept of time is rendered irrelevant..only Now… The pendulum is no longer swinging back to the past or forward to the future..so time doesn’t exist in that familiar way…it seems to expand and contract as needed..and we feel as though we have all the time in the world to do what needs to be done..It is only the individual ego/mind that keeps the game going..

    What causes time to exist, is the movement of the mind toward desire and it’s movement away from pain..Humans seek pleasure and avoid pain..It’s natural to us..The process of awakening reverses that inclination..With spiritual maturity, we allow ourselves to turn around and welcome what we’ve been avoiding and cease our grasping for what we think we lack..Then we come to rest in eternal time..

    Very true Sno – that giving birth is never easy – take it from a mother of twins and that oh oh so fun 26 hour labor..ahem..but truly there are always birth pangs preceding both the individual rise in consciousness and as a consequence, the reflected global one…all births are messy..

    The turbulence in the atmosphere over the past 20 years is a symbolic rendering of what is going on in the individual awareness as it struggles to find it’s equilibrium..

    Some say the greater the struggle within and without, the greater the result – It seems that nothing wonderful is ever born without some push and pull..what would be the fun in that..

  66. @ paulk – Definitely no *need* to express it as an equation. All simply *is*.

    @ Steve – I just downloaded that e-book yesterday. Collective resonance.

    @ everyone – Or the transition could be a s simple and peaceful as the opening of a flower. 2012 could be the crest of the wave as humanity (and the earth) transition into a more comprehensive mode of being.

    My thoughts of documenting this in mathematical form are stimulated by both my brother’s inquiries and those of some awakening college friends. In looking back at the process of awakening, which Rick Archer is fond of doing, we see that some concrete stepping stones help to form a firmer path for those wandering the way. The catch is that in creating the thought structure you are ultimately distracting from the immense presence that is always here. A thorn to remove a thorn, I suppose.

    Every thought system should have a government mandated disclaimer at the end: “This knowledge is not absolute and will have to be released when it is no longer useful to you.”

  67. @Jill “Because the mind has retired to it’s resting place in the heart, the concept of time is rendered irrelevant..only Now… The pendulum is no longer swinging back to the past or forward to the future..so time doesn’t exist in that familiar way…it seems to expand and contract as needed..and we feel as though we have all the time in the world to do what needs to be done..It is only the individual ego/mind that keeps the game going..”

    Jill, I hope you won’t mind my giving you some push and pull, and for everyone spoiling the good mood. But I feel duty bound to raise this issue. But putting it crudely and maybe unfairly parodying the statement (to rhetorically highlight a point), “if you don’t think it about it, it doesn’t exist”. “If you don’t think about time, it doesn’t exist”. “If you don’t think about the car in the freeway, it doesn’t exist”. “Just the mind moving and it’s fear.” (And yet we don’t walk into the middle of the freeway.) Perhaps you were speaking of subjective experience of time and it’s not a statement about practical experience. But if we allow this division, then there is some (even if “relative”) reality “outside the subjective” (even though everything is seen through the lens of the subjective). It’s already a subtle form of dualism.

    While Rick’s “many levels” may seem overly conceptual to many people, it may provide a placating framework for the mind to deal with “many truths” (even though, for the heart, it is not the ultimate life giving reality). But there’s a good part of lives, which I call “function”, that does not directly feed our hearts.

    There definitely is something to be said for finding peace in one’s being. I’m all for this. But there may be something to be said about reality being even more complex and bizarre than we can ever imagine (ranging from the brutality of natural selection in evolution, the grace of spirituality in Jesus, Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, the weird indeterminacy of quantum mechanics, yet it follows other rules, …) So I bow to the Mystery that may be greater than our Subjectivity.

    While I appreciated Michael James exposition of Advaita philosophy, I found is dismissal of “waking state” (as opposed to dreaming) as a “better quality dream” a bit facile, and not totally convincing (even though I totally understand why he would say this from an experiential point of view, esp. when just simply meditating.) In re-reading Franklin Merrell-Wolf, he raised the question of whether Subjectivity is the ultimate truth, or just a way station. In the Buddhist doctrine of “an-atman”, does it simply mean “no-self” (which we can all agree on), or was it a more profound polemic against the tradition, that of “no-Self”? It’s a pointing to something which is greater, a more fundamental truth, “Shunyata”? (If the Self is greater and prior, why did Buddhism choose to emphasize Emptiness? Or is Buddhism simply a “half-way religion”?) So again, I bow to the Mystery and Unknown, which is much deeper than anything we can imagine (or not imagine). (I’m coming to the conclusion that all I have left is to give my mind, heart, and being to God.)

  68. I once had a Jesuit professor say “define your terms and you can say anything you want”. 🙂

  69. Ernest –
    You can’t imagine how much I appreciate your heart felt questioning and commenting..you’re a dear one -but I think Steve said it best- ‘What exists in time, can’t comprehend the Timeless’…

    The reason why I spend so much time pointing people to the Timeless first and foremost – back to the heart of the Self -where there are no divisions – is because this experience of seamless living can’t be comprehended through the mind..and no amount of explaining ever satisfies.. not until the event horizon collapses and we simply live THIS as an everyday reality..

    I’m fully aware of what it sounds like to some when we say time does not exist..but one can only speak from one’s experience of Truth…Perhaps it’s meant to frustrate as all paradoxes do I suppose, until they are reconciled….It isn’t advaita talk though – which I have not studied at length -nor Buddhism either.. This is coming from the recesses of the undivided Self..All scholars speak from a philosophical viewpoint unless they are fully awake – so there can only be contradiction..

    The mind’s job is always to create divisions where none exist..so good to just thank the mind for doing its job as Pamela says – and move on…

    I honestly don’t experience any division between the absolute and relative Realities or any problems anywhere in terms of functionality…Someone once asked Lama Surya Das – how he would know how to cross the street if he were to live the state of non-duality – and he answered – ‘how do you know how to do that now’?

    Everything is happening and always was happening, and always will happen – independent of an illusory self..It is an illusion that we ever had control over anything…

    A street is still a street and a tree is still a tree after the fact – we aren’t having a psychotic break – just that the Self is all there is – and we move – or are moved – seamlessly – to wherever we need to be..just as we always were..

    I love what you said at the end of your post- that ‘you feel moved to bow to the mystery of the Unknown’- Yes – so beautiful – that’s surrender – stay there – maybe put down the books for awhile..’All you can do is give your life and being to God’ -perfectly said – so then we sit and see what happens..

    The understanding that truly satisfies -that answers all questions from within comes – not before you jump in, but after…Then everywhere you look is just a confirmation of what is….

  70. Jill, I did visit Pamela for a satsang. She said “surrender into the Mystery. “Rest”. (Bypasses a lot of the philosophical issues and even the traditions.)

    Recently, I’ve been throwing all thought, heart, soul into a “black hole”. (This is to follow up on your metaphor of an “event horizon” but this came naturally before you mentioned it a couple weeks ago. Black holes have a hidden energy. They may collapse on themselves?) The side effects is some releasing of energy through the center of the heart. Radiation. Deep silence. Sweetness. Peace. (This is not new feeling. I’ve had it before, esp. in different circumstances, such as even entering the building for a satsang.) The only unpleasant side effect is a slight headache. Then I find I need to take a break and focus outward. (Perhaps all the focussing “inward” is the problem. Too much one sided strain.) With John Sherman’s “feel yourself”, I feel (and see) the Self outwardly, inwardly, no strain. Any suggestions?

  71. Oh – so glad you visited Pamela – She’s good for those who are more mind oriented…cause she’s so heartfelt and uncomplicated..What she told you is exactly what you need to do..surrender to the Mystery and not strain to understand it..

    It sounds like the technique you’re doing might be a bit of a strain on your system…The headache is telling you something…I understand your intent in focusing inward and releasing everything to the Self but it’s good to know that we can’t manufacture this Peace ourselves -That’s the fallacy of all techniques..

    You see clearly that it comes to you in satsang unasked for – through Grace…All you can do is be ‘willing’ to accept the invitation…and let IT do it’s work in clearing away any remaining blocks..Any ‘doing’ on our part is a movement away from that..

    Sometimes when we’re trying to ‘get it’ through the mind as you intellectual types do, we unconsciously strain more than most..but if we just let the Silence wash over us in satsang there isn’t as much trouble..

    I also found if I did a lot of mental work right after satsang – or even a lot of reading or writing for pleasure- I would immediately get a headache..I would feel the system contract..You want to be easy with yourself when coming from spaciousness…and strain as little as possible…

  72. Time does not exist but there is some reality to sequence.

    There is so much talk of non-duality these days but who is really looking into the nature and experience of duality? The term non-dual is tossed around by many with little regard for the specific meaning. Yet there is that experience of clear duality that is commonly referred to as Self-realization.

    In Self-realization one is awake to the formless bedrock of reality, but the play of the manifest continues in sharp contrast to the unbounded silence. It is a very disquieting and irrational experience.

    Many are traversing the rocky road between Self-realization and freedom and some teachers are speaking to that, but it seems that a clear discussion of the nature of the *dual* experience could help these souls in purgatory find their way.

    In my own journey I have settled into a peaceful coexistence with the duality paradox, but as my vision clears I see a glaring inconsistency that is at the root of the duality experience.

    As the clouds part and the sense of infinity in the relative things gains strength, I am confronted with the question, “if all the universe is a projection of formless, primordial sat-chit-ananda, which is unchanging, then what is changing within That to project the changing perceptions?”

    Like Plato’s cave analogy, there are forms moving behind the cave-sitters that project the shadows on the wall. Yet there is nothing moving behind the camera. What is producing this illusion of action?

    The only solace I find is in sensing that each instant is a timeless wholeness and that there is sequence within wholeness…a sequence of unique wholenesses, if I could say that. But there is some kernel of truth to be discovered here.

    Anyone have some thoughts on this? I consider this sort of inquiry into the unresolved territories of experience to be useful in rooting out the shadows from the corners.

    @ Earnest
    I was chatting with a Jesuit philosophy professor and his wife a few months ago about solipsism and however abhorrent the concept may be, there is a strong element of it in this experience of ours. The only true distinction I could offer was that awakening is to an inter-subjective reality, not an individual one.

    There is a beauty in knowing that no matter how weird, complex or frightening the universe may be, it takes care of itself and we are only responsible for sliding as deeply into the formless essence as our nature will allow.

  73. @erik “I was chatting with a Jesuit philosophy professor and his wife a few months ago about solipsism and however abhorrent the concept may be, there is a strong element of it in this experience of ours. The only true distinction I could offer was that awakening is to an inter-subjective reality, not an individual one.”

    Yes, thanks. Solipsism from an individual mind’s contents, from an individual psyche, is esp. abhorent since it represents a contraction or funneling of reality through an individual’s psyche and predispositions. But a bare “I AM” without contents or relations is a fact. It makes no other claim than this. Isn’t it strange there is only ONE from the actual nature of the experience? In the intersubjective experience, there’s not so much a “you” and “me”, but a unity in “we”, or a common space, or as some psychoanalysts would say “an analytic space” that is common between therapist and client when both are in tuned with each other. It feels intimate, common, and same between both.

    (I used to walk into a room in satsang with a good number of people having some kind of awakening experience. They all think some version of “I am God” … 🙂

  74. Erick –

    Self Realization with a capital S renders all WHY or HOW questions moot..Ruminating about the unknowable, paradoxically, keeps the ‘I’ thought alive..

    As we discussed in our recent private correspondence, the job from CC on, is to just surrender to the Mystery of the Self with devotional fervor, so the gap can be closed between duality and Unity..

    Whether we surrender to the Self as Form or as Formless – doesn’t matter – we proceed according to our nature – but devotion is the way, and doesn’t need the mind’s help..

  75. Thanks, all. The solution to the paradox lies not in understanding it but in letting it go. Got it. 🙂

    This as an unusual and amazing collection of chatters here.

  76. Great, Erick –
    Sit back and give that beautiful mind of yours a rest..It can understand many things, and I have nothing against knowledge – it has it’s place, but at this junction point, it can’t be relied upon…For the Mystery to reveal ItSelf in ITS entirety – it needs to forego reasoned thought and endless speculation for a while.

    Playing your music or making art or participating in physical activity – anything to distract you from too much thinking right now -would be most helpful..

    What happens in CC is that we think and speak and act from both levels of reality – from both the mind and the heart – from both the self and the Self – we are a house divided…which is why it’s rocky..

    We want to know and we also want to be…we shape shift – knowing the truth of ourselves in a profound way — but still hanging on to what is familiar territory..You and Rick and many other TM friends share this experiential reality..What remains is for the paradox of self and Self to be seen through..so the two can be made One..

    You spoke the truth of the Self earlier at the end of your post when you said “the Universe takes care of Itself and we are only responsible for sliding as deeply into the formless essence as our nature will allow”.
    perfectly stated!!
    – sending love to you..

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