162. Jan Frazier

Until the summer of her fiftieth year, Jan Frazier lived a life typical for a well-educated, middle-class American woman. A divorced mother of two teenagers, she was making a modest living writing and teaching writing. Following a Catholic childhood in Miami in the 1960s, she had studied English in college and graduate school. In her late twenties, longing for hills and snow, she moved to New England, where she was active in the peace movement. But the inner peace she sought always eluded her.

Then, in August 2003, she experienced a radical transformation of consciousness. Fear fell away from her, and she was immersed in a state of causeless joy that has never left her. While she has continued her life as writer, teacher, and mother, she has discovered it is possible to live a richly human life free of suffering. Her wish now is to communicate the truth that within every person is a pool of calm well-being that waits patiently to be stirred to life.

When Fear Falls Away: The Story of a Sudden Awakening (Weiser Books, 2007) is Jan’s day-by-day account of the shift in consciousness and its alteration of her life. The Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is (Weiser Books, 2012) looks at the nature of suffering and explores ways beyond it. Opening the Door: Jan Frazier Teachings On Awakening (eBookIt, 2012) is an eBook collection of essays. It opens the reader’s awareness to the possibility of a richly human life, beyond what appears possible to the ego and the mind.

Jan’s poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies. Her poetry collection, Greatest Hits, was published by Pudding House, and she has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She has been inspired by Gurumayi, Krishnamurti, and Eckhart Tolle, but the joy she lives in belongs to no particular tradition, and is available to all. Jan lives in southern Vermont.

Jan’s website

Transcript of this interview

Interview Recorded 2/17/2013

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Jan Frazier and Her Books
  • 00:04:02 – Overcoming the Fear of Death
  • 00:07:47 – The Clinging to Certain Outcomes
  • 00:11:10 – The Influence of Spiritual Involvement
  • 00:14:53 – The Transformative Nature of Daily Life
  • 00:18:30 – The Illusion of Choice and Volition
  • 00:22:08 – Non-attachment and Motivations
  • 00:25:14 – Appreciation for Readers and Teachers
  • 00:28:46 – The Role of Teachers and Gurus
  • 00:34:07 – The Evolving Sense of Self
  • 00:37:53 – Indifference and Neutrality Towards Suffering
  • 00:41:30 – Diving into the World’s Realities
  • 00:44:55 – Taking Moments to Pause and Reflect
  • 00:48:39 – The Experience of Silent Mind during Nighttime Bathroom Trips
  • 00:51:50 – Being in the Moment, Spontaneous Right Action
  • 00:54:54 – The Relaxing of Constant Attentiveness
  • 00:58:02 – Facing Fear and Stress
  • 01:00:45 – The two modes of awareness
  • 01:04:23 – The Faint Remains of Ignorance
  • 01:08:36 – Awareness during Sleep
  • 01:11:50 – Glimpses of Spirituality
  • 01:16:06 – The Relationship Between Thought and Life
  • 01:19:53 – Questioning Egoic Thoughts
  • 01:24:08 – The Continuum of Awareness and Identification
  • 01:27:34 – The Loss of Self-Referral and the Manifestation of the Universe
  • 01:32:45 – The Mechanics of the World and the Similarities Between Humans and Animals
  • 01:37:25 – The Difference Between Feeling and Emotion
  • 01:41:31 – Staying with Initial Feelings
  • 01:45:21 – Increasing the Capacity for Truthfulness
  • 01:49:50 – The Genuine Experience
  • 01:55:12 – Conclusion and Thanks