203. Michael Damian

Michael DamianMichael has always had a love for the absolute — both the stillness and movement of consciousness, as Life. From childhood on, this inspiration shaped a life of passionate exploration — in martial arts, literature, music and psychology — which led to a total focus on spiritual awakening. While earning his Ph.D. in psychology, Michael immersed himself in contemplation of truth. This inquiry proceeded for several years along with depth psychotherapy and somatic opening/expression.

When the focus on awakening became absolutely urgent, Michael found a living, local teacher in Adyashanti. In 2006, upon hearing the words of Adyashanti, the inquiry culminated in an irrevocable shift of consciousness. This timeless realization opened the doors of immense grace, clarity, and silence. In time, it also brought forward all the remnants of ignorance, pride, and fear that still animated the now rather split personality. The following years served to reveal the implications of truth in all areas of life, as the mind and body went through unprecedented adjustment.

Michael now speaks about the nature of spiritual awakening and true happiness. His talks clarify what it means to face our suffering nakedly without strategy and manipulation, recognize our essential nature, and undergo the radical falling away of identity. An original and inspired voice, Michael speaks to consciousness where it is identified with the mind, confronting the layers of doubt and compromise that blind us to the profound potential of a liberated life.

“Spiritual freedom is not found through imitation but through originality, which comes from knowing the origin. To be original means to ground the mind in the pure intelligence of consciousness, the stillness that lies beneath the masks and identities we wear. This realization is felt as an immense opening of awareness and insight, as well as a descent into a rich and nameless love. This love is an objectless beauty that announces itself in many ways. The more you listen and follow, the more simple and free you become. If you are not yet simple, if you still want to make spirituality into another subculture or lifestyle, then you are avoiding the annihilation and release that this love of truth brings. To meet each other here is the fulfillment of Life that we seek. Go there yourself and the others will be there. A new life will come. But first, you must go. There is no other way and no one else who can do this but you.”

“In the quiet dawn of realization, I, at last, knew my being entirely beyond time, beyond everything conceivable. The foretaste had sparked into direct knowing. A sweet silence and bliss began to blossom. It is like being in love and watching as all hesitation and doubt fade into nothingness. The mind, the body — all was awash in pure presence and stillness. In stillness was the awe and wonder of an absolute aloneness beyond every created thing, yet without any loss of ordinary perception. I felt, as D. H. Lawrence wrote in the poem New Heaven and Earth, that ‘I could cry with joy, because I am in the new world, just ventured in. I could cry with joy, and quite freely, there is nobody to know.’ And I did cry with joy.

Nothing outward had changed. But the sense of being a known mental or physical object had collapsed, taking down with it the diaphanous boundaries of the dream-self. Suddenly life was immediate — unmediated — charged with presence. An unworldly stillness prevailed, along with the most delicate and immense sense of love I had ever known — a love without object. I was drenched in the original innocence of being, and I was the innocence.

Book: The Art of Freedom: A Guide To Awakening


Interview recorded 10/27/2013 at the Science and Nonduality Conference, San Jose, California.

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