121. Sundance Burke

Sundance BurkeSundance Burke, Spiritual Teacher and Author, was born in Seattle, Washington under the given name, Donald Russell Burke III. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Gonzaga School of Law. Sundance is a former lawyer and businessman. He is the father of two children and the grandfather of three.

Sundance Burke is the author of Free Spirit: A Guide to Enlightened Being, published in 2008. He offers public talks, meditation gatherings, video recordings, private meetings, intensive workshops and retreats for those who long to awaken from the fearful dream of human separation and suffering.

While traveling for law business in 1982, Sundance was graced with the profound spiritual experience of being the loving witness to the mind’s dream of personal existence. This awareness of impersonal being completely shattered his former understanding of self-identity and the nature of his world. In the years that followed, he found himself undertaking an intense inward journey into the heart of this realization.

In 1988, he met his future wife and teaching partner, Katie Davis, who had similarly experienced the miracle of Self-liberation. Recognizing their meeting as sacred, Sundance and Katie committed their lives to deepening in loving presence. An inseparable spirit, they adventured the awakening in private until 1999 and then began to share the Truth of Being from their home. Soon, they were accepting invitations to travel throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

In 2004, Sundance and Katie moved to Maui to marry and write the realization of Beloved Being. Sitting side by side, their books took form and expression. Currently, they are again residing in the Seattle area and they continue to point to our True Presence, as conscious freedom and causeless joy. Katie Davis is the author of Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment. Interviews with Sundance and Katie about awakening are included in the recently published book, Conversations on Non-Duality; Twenty-six Awakenings.

Sundance says, “Your being is not a personal or temporary existence. You are the very consciousness manifesting this life. Thus, you naturally love and embrace every perceived experience without fear. Unborn…you are timelessly awake for all the comings and goings within your conscious presence. Just by the mere turning of your attention to its source and foundation, you can awaken unto the truth of who you really are.”

The AWAKE SPIRIT TEACHINGS of Sundance and Katie have helped many people throughout the world to find inner peace, wise love and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of this teaching is a spiritual awakening that transcends the ego-based state of consciousness into the harmony and unity of pure awareness, a field of infinite possibility and the sacred heart of all Being.

Interview recorded 5/5/2012.

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

24 thoughts on “121. Sundance Burke

  1. Rick,

    Once again…..God….this has been very helpful to me. These last two guests (partners)……and your interactions with them, has been perfect for me…thank you. As I told you earlier, I’ve been in a state of almost continuous suffering. “Longing” ……the way that you and Sundance described it……intense longing…..this is the state that I am in. Many discount this……but you two have not……and that is helpful to me. And the love that Sundance shares for Katie…wow….very moving.

    Thank you Sundance and Katie and Rick


  2. Hi Rick, good interview! You are doing great work and providing much to all of us out there. One thing I have noticed in many interviews, videos and books written on the subject of enlightenment is the adoration that people feel towards their teachers. My personal experience has been of an inner guide and so I am fascinated with how so many people experience their gurus/guides even after they have awakened.

    I would be interested in reading about different people’s experience with inner and outer teachers. Personally, I have experienced that an outer guru is needed simply to point to the inner guide.

  3. Very enjoyable – down to earth, practical. I especially liked the part about the “collective ego” and the possible paradigm shift – the effect, if you will, of living from Self.. And of course, Ramana again – always back to the Self.

    This is what I would call “embodied” truth. Bringing the Mountain to the Earth so to speak.

  4. From both Katie & Sundance I particularly liked the lack of “over-glorification” of Self-Realization. I think this is very helpful to others – making it seem more accessible not some unattainable state. The emphasis on realization not being an “experience” but a simple seeing of who you are is, I’m sure very helpful to people.

    Thanks to you both, and of course, Rick.

  5. Snowleopard,

    Although as you say so humorously, I too have my GPS, I am also open to meeting any human teacher that would resonate with me. I believe it must be a wonderful experience to be with like beings and would certainly welcome such an experience. What I do not seem to completely understand is the childlike adoration of the outer guru. I equate it to adoring the messenger instead of the message. But then, all is well and as it should be and so, such a reaction must stem from the programming

  6. What would you have if Sundance met Metta World Peace?
    Worth contemplating.

  7. I would be interested in reading about different people’s experience with inner and outer teachers. Personally, I have experienced that an outer guru is needed simply to point to the inner guide – touvino

    *sees an opportunity to pay tribute to his Thoughtless Guide*

    Being aware of The Breath —> being aware of the transient (appearing/dis-appearing) nature of all forms, material and immaterial —> being aware of being aware (otherwise described as awareness of awareness).

    No teacher, inner or outer, involved here. Just a Thoughtless Guide who reveals the ocean essence of all waves.

  8. Peter, I do get what you mean.

    Words are so in the way and fail to do justice to reality. I find that expressing myself is what I have the most difficulty doing. There is much to integrate and life flows through this body in such carefully orchestrated ways that I cannot help being grateful and totally awed.

  9. “…would your ‘thoughtless guide’ be more or less synonymous with intuition, which would equate to what touvino referred to as the *inner* guide? Or what could be called ‘the wisdom of the heart.’” – snow

    I guess my effort to equate my Thoughtless Guide with The Breath… by capitalizing both… wasn’t as successful as I had hoped it would be. I’ll try a different tact next time.

    The Breath is thoughtless; intuitive perceptions, on the hand, can be interpretive in nature.

    Being aware of The Breath can reveal the transient nature of intuitive perceptions as well.

    I will add this, too. Being aware of The Breath can reveal the FEEL of all forms.

    Yes, forms… material and immaterial… have a certain FEEL to them… (ap)perceivable outside the filter of the mind.

    And being aware… reveals their FEEL.

  10. “I perhaps should have said that I use the breath as a constant de-minder” – snow

    A jewel of a pointing finger. Thanks.

  11. Nice interview Rick and Sundance. Really enjoyed it. Katie’s too. Many thanks.

  12. From Sundance: “Right here you can appreciate why teachers do not like to share PAST experiences, which in PRESENCE are nothing but imagination (Mental Demons/Delusions). Only PRESENCE is real, this moment, now. The very idea that you show doubt on this indicates the severity of our deluded sense of reality. All judgment is based upon the graveyard of memory. Judges never see the being before them, they only see the story. Sad but true. Satoshi is Japanese as my book states quite clearly.”

  13. “Judges never see the being before them, they only see the story.”


  14. At the present moment (which is the only moment there is), the above pointing finger is spot on. True be That, Eric.

    But an interesting thing happens when we introduce CM’s “past” into the mix: we create difference and/or separation between him and many of us.

    Suggesting that stories tend to differentiate us more than One-ify us.

  15. Stories are rarely divisive.

    What makes ’em potentially a tool of division is the addition of “my” and “your”.

    “So what’s YOUR story?” is not an uncommon question in many places.

    Suggesting that we are our stories (identification).

    What if the question became otherwise:

    “do you have a story for our amusement and/or edification?”

  16. re: “I am That, Thou art That, Charlie Manson is nothing other than That.”

    So then, maybe, instead of posting Ramana quotes here, we should be posting Charlie Manson quotes?

    or, maybe, every now & again, the distinction (how illusory, ultimately) between “absolute truth” & “relative truth” actually serves a useful function ….. ?

  17. “The more the better, I’d say….but I’d stick with the Ramana quotes.”

    Yes, me too, Steve 😀 — and exactly my point.

    While there is no difference, essentially, between Ramana & Mr. Manson, it’s really useful to make a distinction between these apparently-two emanations of a not-two Source. As per Erick’s earlier discussion of black holes & degrees of obstruction of the Light ….. Ramana’s degree of transparency is/was extremely high; & Manson’s (I’m assuming) much lower.

    The words of a being transparent to Light/Source are words-of-Light, the Light embodied in rhythm, tone & meaning.

  18. “Yes, and making the distinction between relative and Absolute, is how we can come to know ourselves as the Light/Source. Ramana came to know himself as Self, by seeing that he wasn’t the body that was born and will die.”

    Yes indeed …. though at least according to some ways of telling the story, this kind of distinction between Ultimate Self & relative bodymind is just a kind of halfway house — since how could a view which clings to such a distinction properly be called “nonduality”?

  19. On the one hand, telling the story seems useless as it was never our story in the first place and yet for those still struggling with the idea, hearing the story brings hope that “their story” will have a similar ending particularly when the events that took place ressemble those that they seem to be going through.

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