Deepening Into Presence with Greg Marian
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Deepening Into Presence Blog
An ongoing series of articles, teachings, poetry, & helpful information
related to Spiritual Awakening, Embodiment, & our overal sense of well-being
A Heart-Centered Presence Practice
With the winter season now approaching, this time of year can become a natural invitation for us to retreat from the busyness of life’s activities, and go deeply within. Its a time when we can recommit our vows to the inner Stillness and Silence, falling in love with our Deepest Nature all over again. Simultaneously there’s a call for an openness to surrender whatever within us resists and prevents this resting and stopping, letting it go and be released into the Alchemical Fire of Love of the inner Stillness and outer Silence.
The Revolutionary Journey Within
With so many things out there vying for and luring our attention these days, in a way its a revolutionary action to instead give our most cherished commodities of time, energy, and attention to our deepest nature and Essence, which exists in and as Stillness itself. At this juncture of the seasons, I implore you to take advantage of this natural momentum of internalization that the Life process is going through at this time of year, to deepen in your Practice of Presence, Stillness, Awareness, and Meditation.
I often encourage people to meditate and sit in Stillness as much as they can, both before and after a spiritual Awakening. My experience has shown this to be the most important thing that we can ‘do’ in regards to our own Awakening, deepening, and evolution. With so many teachings, teachers, and practices so readily available these days, I feel that many people tend to fall into the trap of thinking that understanding, listening or watching, and speaking about spiritual teachings and matters can take the place of actually spending regular time each day in meditation and Stillness.
Cultivating and Deepening in Stillness
Although spiritual Awakening experiences can be extremely important, powerful, and transformative, they also need to be cherished and cultivated by our ongoing practice of sitting in Stillness and Silence. As we do this, its important to also actively inquire into who and what we truly are, as well as into the nature of our core conditioning and patterns as they arise. Knowing and understanding the benefits and insights of meditation and spiritual teachings isn’t enough. What’s required is an ongoing commitment to taking the time to actually sit in and entrain our nervous system and energy system with the silent frequency of Stillness. Doing so changes us in a deep and fundamental way, and allows new neural and energy pathways to be set down in our energetic and physical bodies.
It needs to be remembered that spiritual Awakening isn’t just a ‘spiritual’ or an ‘energetic’ phenomena. It also includes a mental, emotional, physical, and even interpersonal component. Although there are many useful and necessary practices and techniques available that can augment our healing, evolution, and Awakening, I truly believe that there is nothing else out there that grounds, integrates, and embodies our Realizations, insights, and peak experiences as deeply and as holistically as closed eye, silent meditation. And of all the meditation techniques out there, nothing is more effective in this regard than simply resting in and as Stillness and Presence, while simultaneously resting deeply in the Heart center, and being connected to the subtle energy sensations of Presence in the body.
A Simple Presence Practice
Sitting or meditating while having part of our attention on the unbounded and unlocalized dimension of our True Nature as Presence, Awareness, and Stillness, and simultaneously having part of our attention localized and resting within our heart center and body, is a powerful way to integrate our ‘highest’ and most ‘disembodied’ spiritual realizations with our most intimate and ‘embodied’ existence. Being more interested in the Spacious ‘context’ of our experience, as opposed to the ‘content’ of our experience, is the foundation upon which Spiritual Realization can spontaneously reveal Itself to us, and as us.
The science of HeartMath has shown that having our attention and breath rest in the heart center also produces a high level of nervous system coherence which isn’t observed by having our attention on any other part of the body. Measurable changes in nervous system coherence can be measured in as little as 1 minute, and are associated with positive feeling states and inner peace. Interestingly enough, this finding coincides with one of the main meditative instructions given by the great sage Ramana Maharishi, who encouraged people to rest in the cave of the Heart located in the right side of the chest, opposite the physical heart. Its claimed that the time spent with our attention in the cave of the Heart is as restful and restorative to our nervous system as time spent in deep sleep.
Start Where You Are
So wherever you are right now in your practice and spiritual journey, I encourage you to take it one small step deeper. I feel that a regular, daily meditation and inquiry practice is ultimately more important and helpful than meditating for 30 or 60 min every once in a while, but I encourage you to start small. If you don’t have a daily practice, start with 5, 3, or even 1 minute a day, either once or twice a day. Don’t commit to too much at once as doing so is one of the most common reasons that people stop meditating. From wherever you begin, commit to adding 1 minute to your practice every 1-2 weeks. If you feel that you don’t have any time to give to meditation, simply take it from the time that you mindlessly surf the web or spend on your phone or social media each day.
Letting Go of Technique
Any meditation technique that you’ve learned or resonates with you will suffice, but be sure to spend a few minutes in every practice period without actively efforting or practicing your meditation technique. Instead let go of your effort, intention, and conscious practice and simply rest in and as Presence and Stillness, sensing into your unboundedness in every direction, while simultaneously resting in and feeling your essence deep in the heart center. If you’d like to use the breath as an anchor for your attention, imagine breathing into your heart center, and breathing out of your heart center. You can try breathing in and out to the count of 4, or you can silently repeat the words ‘I Am’ as you allow the breath to flow in and out of the heart area.
If it calls to you, you can also place one or both of your hands on your heart space while you practice. Imagine your heart center to be the still center of of vast hurricane of I Am-ness. Imagine your heart to be the Heart of God, which can bear and soothe anything that you have within you, with an Infinite power of Healing, Love, and Compassion. Sense and feel roots growing down out of your feet connecting you deep into the earth’s core, allowing stagnated energies to be released out of your system, and be transmuted by the Intelligence of the earth. Have your bare feet contact the ground or if possible, meditate outside in nature with your bare feet directly in contact with the earth.
As a place to start, try placing half of your attention on the Stillness and Presence all around and beyond your body, while placing half of your attention gently resting in your heart center and within your physical body. Allow and invite your mind to drop down from your head center into you heart center and simply rest. Start your practice with intention and focus, but with each breath relax, soften, let go, and release your effort, will, and conscious intention. If you mind is particularly busy and agitated, you can start by gazing at a candle flame for a couple minutes.
The goal here is to retrain your system to remember how to simply rest, how to simply Be, and how to be peaceful and content with this simplicity. Your attention will naturally oscillate and move away from your breath and heart center, so don’t try to hold your intention and focus too tightly. Instead let your attention ebb and flow, and when you find yourself too distracted, just recenter your attention without getting into self judgement. Only use as much focus and effort as you need to not be completely pulled into thought. Use the feeling of Presence, peace, and quietude to be your reference point more than how ‘perfect’ you are at your meditation technique. Learn to listen to and feel the Silence and Stillness with your entire Being.
If you’d like more Non-dual flavored instructions, invitations, guided meditations, as well as an introduction to several psycho-spiritual techniques and practices helpful to work with challenging emotions, my online courses are chock full of them. One of the main intentions I had while creating my online courses was to offer a toolbox of helpful practices and invitations for people, all of which I have used myself, and whose usefulness have also been scientifically validated. Many of these practices are helpful in working with traumatic material, which are the most challenging thing to work with on the spiritual journey.
If you’d like to try working with me individually, I offer free 30 min Discovery sessions to connect and explore your current situation. Your first session of this year is offered on a sliding scale for $30-60 for 60 min, and if you’ve never had a session with me before, your 30 min Discovery session can be added onto this time. I also offer discounted session packages, discounts on my online courses, and partial scholarships for anyone that needs them.
On this weekend of Remembrance, take the time to Remember who and what you truly are.
Sending Love and Blessings your way,
2 New Poems - Blessed Stillness & Grace
Aug 22, 2019
I wish I could call
But you’re Nameless
I wish I could touch
Your sweet face
But you’re Faceless
My heart yearns to
With Innocence and Intimacy
But you have no form
And I have no center
You demand that I become You
To fully know and embrace You
Yet when I do
Both you and me fall away
And only Naked Reality exists
Existing by not existing
I know not how I know this
Belief is an energy field
Always shaking with fear
At its core
Yet your Truth
Inside and outside
Of our beliefs
Oneness makes no sense
When there isn’t anything else
The sunshine in my heart
Tells me that I’m happy
And in Love
Yet nothing is here but
My mind and reason are asleep
Yet I’m incredibly aware and awake
If I told you that Enlightenment
Was only a Blessed moment of Stillness
Would you believe me?
Or would you get down on your knees
And pray for Peace and Dissolution
Giving everything that you are
To this silent fire of wordless Truth
The Way into Stillness
Is the same Way your heart flows
Like a virgin stream
Drawing a map to the ocean
On a mountain side
For all to see and follow
Stillness is here, there
Everywhere and nowhere
Quit searching for it
Instead disrobe yourself
Of all the filthy garments
Of illusion and contraction
That you didn’t even know
You were wearing
Call Stillness forth
By finding the perfect balance
Between effort and non-effort
With resting in the cave of your Heart
Then recognize that you’re there
As nothing more
And nothing less
Than ordinary, Blessed
~ Gregory Marian
Grace comes in the form
Of everything that you see
Arriving at the right time
For your greatest growth
Not your ease and pleasure
True hardship is a Gift
You will only recognize
Don’t waste your energy
Trying to not be
Angry and afraid
Reality hates inauthenticity
Instead feel your pain
Feel your heartbreak
Feel the depths of your despair
That only you know you have
If you’re reading this poem
You can handle it
Being Here means you know
That the goal is to feel suicidal feelings
Not to act on them
The grief and insanity of the world
Is there to tenderize your heart
And your Being
Not to make you hopeless and helpless
These are toxic gifts
Given to us by humanity
Its the treasure hiding within them
That’s your Grace
Not their hideous exterior
Which you’d find if you allowed
Your heart to fully feel
And innocently look
Inside your personal hell
Resides your Divine Purpose
Not your personal heaven --
Pain without growth
Serves no purpose
But the pain
That takes you to annihilation
Always awakens your
The fear of annihilation never kills us
Even though it feels like it will
It simply snaps the back
Of our personal will
Showing us that we were
On the wrong path
And like worry, grasping, and clutching
That control is a burden
Not our close and wise friend
~ Gregory Marian
More on Psychedelics & Assisted Sessions
Aug 3, 2019
I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer and enjoying all the beauty that Nature has to offer. First off I want to thank you for all the wonderful feedback and support to my last email. I especially want to thank all of you who took the time to complete my community survey. The feedback and suggestions that you shared was invaluable to me, and the depth and care offered in many of the responses was truly appreciated. I’ve been integrating your feedback into a new small group online program that I’m in the midst of creating, and I’m always open to more of your suggestions and feedback. If you haven’t completed the survey and could spare a few minutes, please click on the link in the section below. As a gift from me for your time, you can download the first week’s resources from my Self Love & Awakening online course.
After months of hard work, I’m happy to finally be able to share my new website with you! The new website also has a new domain, which is GregMarian.com. I’ve updated the content of my old site, and have added several new pages and features, including a blog. I’ve catalogued several of my past emails there, and will continue to make posts ever so often. There will be several other new things coming in the near future, which I will keep you updated about. You’re welcome to visit my new website by clicking on this link. And please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or you notice any glitches. I’m still working through some of the bugs.
Also note that I’ll be leaving both sites live for the next while as people get used to the new domain. I’m also doing this because I haven’t been able to transfer my Satsang audio talks to the new website yet. I’ve ran into a glitch because of the format of my old website, so if anyone is tech savvy and could offer their help and expertise with me, I’d really appreciate it! I’d be willing to do a trade for Private Sessions, etc with anyone who could help with website and other online things like setting MailChimp, Facebook, etc. Online technology is not my forte, so your help would be welcome!
I will also now have a new email address, which is [email protected] Please note that I will continue to keep my old email account active, as it will take a while to for everyone to get updated with the new website, etc. But please update my email address into your contacts and safe list when you can.
Add Free Discovery Session to your First Session
If you’ve never had a Private Session with me, I’m now allowing people to add their free 30 min Discovery Session time to their first session of 2019 with me. I’m offering everyone’s first session of 2019 with me at a sliding rate of $30-60 CAN for a 60 min session, or $45-90 for a 90 min session. But if you’ve never had a session with me before, you’re welcome to add your free Discovery Session time to the session, making it a 90 min Session for only $30-60 CAN.
Most people, including myself, like having the extra time of a 90 min session, and I really like having the extra time with people on their initial session. If you’d like to book your session online, please click on the link in the section below, or access it from my new website. Feel free to email me with any other questions, and please note that all my session prices are in Canadian dollars.
Scholarships & Payment Plans
I offer increasingly discounted rates on 3, 6, and 9 session packages, and you receive from a 50-100% discount on my Online Courses when you get a session package. I also offer partial scholarships and payment options to anyone who needs them. My scholarship process is easy and painless, so please drop me an email for more details. See the section below or visit my website for more details about my offerings and packages.
More / Less on Psychedelics
Based on some of the feedback that I received to my last email, I wanted to share a bit more about the topic of psychedelics. First off I wanted to clarify that my interest in exploring the usefulness of psychedelics in healing and awakening didn’t mean my own personal use, or that I’m a full on advocate for psychedelic use. More than anything, what got my attention about psychedelics was the new and promising scientific evidence of their efficacy in helping to alleviate such things as anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which tend to be difficult to treat, as well as their ability to induce spiritually transformative experiences. I feel there's too much promising data here to throw the baby out with the bath water here, as many spiritual teachers tend to do with regards to psychedelics.
Getting my double major in Psychology and Biological Sciences taught me the importance of having controlled and repeatable scientific studies to evaluate the effectiveness of any psychological or pharmaceutical treatment. My studies have also shown me how ineffective the majority of treatments for anxiety, depression, and PTSD actually are, especially the pharmaceutic treatments. Even though millions of prescriptions for anti-depressants are prescribed every year, many of these drugs are barely more effective in treating depression than the placebo effect. Recent studies using psychedelics to treat anxiety, depression, or PTSD, on their own or when combined with drug assisted psychotherapy, are showing degrees of effectiveness that are truly off the charts compared to the traditional therapies.
Although I’ve heard ALOT of personal reports of people’s psychedelic experiences, the scientist in me knows not to make generalized statements based upon anecdotal evidence, especially when the actual dosage of the psychedelic isn’t known, and the set and setting they are used in aren’t controlled for, or made positive and safe. Research has shown that set and setting drastically effect one’s psychedelic experience, and whether it will be perceived as more positive or negative (eg. bad trips), and whether the experience will be more integrated and transformative.
Drawbacks and Dangers
Beyond this, psychedelics offer many possible drawbacks and dangers, which need to be recognized and addressed. One of the glaring drawbacks of using psychedelics is how difficult it is to integrate and sustain these experiences after the drug effects have worn off. Beyond that, there is a small but real risk of harmful effects, including psychotic breaks, overwhelming kundalini energy activation, and the worsening of symptoms of such things as anxiety and depression, long after the effects of the drug or spiritual medicine have ended.
One the things that I regularly help people with is giving them clarity and context on their deepest spiritual experiences, regardless of whether they are induced by meditation or satsang, or by the use of psychedelics. Because my own personal use of psychedelics has been relatively minor compared to many people, I initially didn’t recognize how closely related psychedelically induced spiritual experiences were to more ‘naturally induced’ spiritual experiences. But after meeting with hundreds of people over the years, I’ve discovered that many people’s psychedelic experiences often do contain aspects of true non-dual awakening, but these aspects are often overshadowed by all the other subtle experiences going on at the same time.
Because I’m most interested in the non-dual aspect of spiritual experiences (meaning the identify shift), rather than the subtle phenomenon of these experiences, I don’t get lost in what I like to call the ‘mind candy’ experiences. I personally have the ability to deeply tune into people’s deepest spiritual experiences when they articulate them to me, which allows me to directly experience what they’re speaking about. This is a subtle skill that I’ve recognized since a profound shift in 2008, and have developed over 10 years of giving Satsang, and over the years its shown me that its very accurate.
Although there are many spiritual experiences that I haven’t had, I do have alot of experience with the non-dual or ‘awake experience’, it subtltites and nuances, and how its deepened in me and many of the people I meet with over time. Of all the psychedelic experiences that I’ve heard, I’ve never been unable to track people’s experience with my own personal experience on the level of identity. This includes experiences of powerful psychedelics such as ayahuasca, LSD, salvia, and 5-MeO DMT.
Back to the Basics
At this point I feel that it needs to be remembered that non dual experience is not ultimately an ‘experience’ that is added to our present experience. Instead its what remains and underlies all of our experiences, which is why its always available and here, and likened to our ‘natural state’. I’ve found that most people don’t fully recognize the importance of their ‘absence’ or void experiences, but are instead more interested in the subtle (and powerful) experiential qualities that are ‘added to’ or ‘overlaid’ upon their experience.
And more than anything, I feel that most people don’t take full advantage of their psychedelic experiences because they don’t use it as an opportunity to deepen in their practice of meditation, and even more importantly, Self Inquiry. Yes, there may be many interesting perceptions and energetic experiences that are possible, but what is aware of and experiencing that, and what are you? Who are what we truly are can never be taken away from us, in the most literal way. In fact, what we truly are is what remains when everything else in our experience is taken away. This is the only reason that Self Inquiry and the spiritual paths of negation actually work.
So in the context of psychedelics, I feel that I’m ultimately an advocate for ‘you’ as opposed to being an advocate for psychedelics. If you’re already drawn to their use, I will meet you there, and if you’re not, I’m not at all interested in convincing you otherwise. When it comes to waking up, at best I feel that psychedelics are like training wheels that give us a window into what can be possible, but the goal is ultimately to be able to be in that Space naturally and spontaneously.
The Assisted Psychotherapy Model
Beyond the subjective and objective evidence for the usefulness of psychedelics, and how they can help treat a wide range of human suffering, I’m also interested in exploring the utility of the ‘assisted psychotherapy model’ in my own individual session practice (only clients take the psychedelics). I’ve done some sessions with people while they're under the influence of mild psychedelics, and these sessions have offered some compelling results.
One thing that I’ve found is that people can much more easily drop out of their mind and be more easily guided into non-dual states. When this happens I can then clarify and give context to people in real time, as opposed to having people try to access and reconnect to a past experience they’ve had. I’ve also seen the ability of psychedelics to more effectively open people's hearts, giving people much deeper access to their emotional experience. I’ve often said that working through emotional issues in Presence can be like having years of psychotherapy in minutes, and in this vein, I feel that psychedelic assisted sessions could have the ability to offer some powerful possibilities for those who are interested. If this is something that resonates with you, please be in touch and we can discuss this possibility.
Thank you for sticking with me through another long email, I hope it was helpful and interesting. Please feel free to share this email with your friends, and if individual session work interests you, I’d love to hear from you and support you in any way that I can. Please see the section below for more details on my offerings, discounted session packages, scholarships, and more.
Looking forward to connecting with you sometime soon, and wishing you a great long weekend!
Our Evolving Edges & Community Survey / Gift
Jun 18, 2019
Its been a while since I’ve last been in touch with you all so thought I’d send out a note. I’ve been quite busy these last few months dealing with an unexpected physical transition. Over the past year, my previous landlord’s health took a steep decline, which necessitated that he use my suite for his caretaker. This also meant that I needed to move again. Not a fun place to be as a renter on a small island with a major housing shortage! In the past I’ve had to move to another island because I couldn’t find housing, so the news was initially quite daunting.
Although the transition offered some challenges, as grace would have it I was able to find an incredible place that more than fits my needs on a large farm here on Pender Island (actually it sort of found me :). Each day I count my blessings that I’m able to live surrounded by such spaciousness, quiet, and an abundance of Nature’s beauty on my doorstep. I’m abit of a sun worshipper, so feel doubly blessed to be living in one of the few open vistas on this island, and having my own garden again is a sweet bonus.
For those of you that didn’t know, I grew up on a farm in Alberta, Canada. Moving ‘back to a farm’ has reconnected me to my roots, so to speak, and reminded me of how much better I function when I’m living in such spacious surroundings. I feel like something very deep and primordial comes alive in me when I’m in such conditions, which I had almost forgotten about. Being here has a quality of being physically ‘home’ for me that I haven’t felt to this degree for a long time. There seems to be something special about living in surroundings similar to those that we lived in during our childhood years.
The last time I’ve lived in similar conditions was when I lived in a cottage by a lake in Alberta, which I moved to just before a massive spiritual shift back in 2008. This move has also reminded me of how I experienced and related to that initial ‘bliss phase’ of the Awakening process, and how things have evolved and deepened for me since then. Like many people who have profound awakening experiences, my attention was almost exclusively focused on experiencing the dramatic, intense, and seemingly endless levels of bliss and freedom, and how everything else in life paled in comparison to this Awake Joy and Loving Presence. It was like being high all the time, and all that I wanted to do was be in that Space with others.
Although this still remains, like many other people who’ve experienced profound spiritual awakenings, my experience gradually shifted more towards seeing True Nature in all experiences and situations, and towards including and healing everything within me that hadn’t yet recognized this reality. Rather than always looking for more bliss or the next mind blowing experience, I began to recognize another dimension coming online that seemed more related to dissolving any recognizable reference point. In retrospect, it seemed to be more interested in having and being ‘less’ rather than having or being ‘more’.
When our awakening journey first begins, I feel we have no idea of how much can actually be let go of, or how much can be taken away from us. Initially we also have no idea of how deep and subtle our conditioned patterns actually go, or of how out of ‘control’ one can actually become. This deepening and embodiment process more clearly reveals our existential holdings related to both our deepest wounds and traumas, as well as to our deepest existential graspings and fixations onto any experience or perspective. Eventually this even includes the experience and beingness of Consciousness itself.
The landscape of this deepening terrain is more about the dissolution of all identification, and the letting go of anything and everything that both resists and tries to hold onto Love, and onto existing at all. Life becomes an endless unfoldment of the Divine Source attempting to express Itself in and through us, and to relate to Itself in and through others, in a cleaner and clearer way. Our evolving edge constantly deepens and widens, and our relaxation into living in the Unknown becomes more effortless and easeful. We learn to be just as unattached and open to heavenly experiences as we are to hellish experiences, and we learn to function without having any recognizable life orientation principle to guide us.
We recognize more deeply how much we both simultaneously exist and don’t exist, and how we are human just as much as we are Divine. In a sense, everything has a quality of being true and untrue at the same time, and a mind bending level of paradox is the only thing that seems to have any ‘life’ left in it anymore. The more self-centered desire to be and become enlightened, or even to be free of suffering gives way to a growing importance of actualizing the potentials that now come online when this simpler and more fundamental recognition takes root in us.
My Own Evolving Edge
To give you a window into some of my own evolving edges, somewhat to my surprise I’ve recently become more interested in how spiritual medicines can be helpful for some people. More and more people I work with are sharing their positive experiences, and more and more scientific evidence is showing the positive effects of psychedelics on a whole range of human conditions. The use of spiritual medicines wasn’t a major part of my own path, but their more widespread, accepted, and legalized use (or their microdosing), combined with a growing number of scientific studies have made me reassess my own ideas regarding their usefulness as a meditative aid and in spiritual awakening, in the healing of emotional trauma, and in our overall mind-body health.
I’ve seen how profoundly positive people some people have been effected by their use, and I’ve also seen how much people have been shamed and judged for their use within certain spiritual circles. It breaks my heart every time I hear how someone was told that their medicinally induced spiritual or awakening experiences ‘don’t count’, or how they’ve been looked down upon because of their use. From my perspective, there is only one Non-Dual Being that we awaken to, regardless of how we come to recognize it, be it through spiritual medicines, trauma, sexuality, meditation, or any other spiritual practice one engages in.
I’ve repeatedly seen the power of simply honoring and meeting people in all of their spiritually awakening experiences, as well as their emotionally traumatic experiences, without judgement or pretense. One of the functions that I often serve is to help people normalize their awakening and traumatic experiences, and to help clarify what aspects of these overwhelming experiences are important in the context of Non-dual awakening. So many of our profound experiences remain unintegrated and unprocessed until someone who truly understands offers the clarity and compassion to ground it. That being said, I also believe that the spiritual medicine exploration also needs to be balanced with an understanding of its pitfalls, dangers, and limitations, but that is a different conversation.
Recently I’ve also become more interested in exploring the usefulness of technologies like brain hemisphere synchronization, biurnal beats, and frequency based modalities (eg. Solfeggio & Schumann frequencies) to support the process of healing and awakening. I feel that its so useful to acknowledge and support people’s natural inclinations, and I try my best to help people find spiritual practices that really resonate with their own unique make up. There’s many paths, practices, and modalities which support both spiritual awakening and emotional healing, and I feel what’s most important is finding the ones which deeply resonate with each person, as this interest is what motivates each person to continue engaging and deepening in the practice in an ongoing way. One of the consequences of there being such easy access and availability to a myriad of teachings and practices is that people tend to know alot, but don’t take things very deep. The ancient wisdom to dig one hole 100 feet deep (spiritually speaking) as opposed to 100 holes 1 foot deep has never been so relevant as it is today.
Health Coaching & Teacher Support
On the health coaching front, I’ve also recently taken some fascinating trainings on the gut microbiome, and on the healing benefits of medical cannabis. I’ve been discovering how important both of these things are in relationship to things like chronic health conditions, mental health symptoms, our immunity, our reaction to stress, and our overall experience of well-being. The study of the microbiome really seems like it will completely revolutionize our ideas of healthcare in the next few years. The widespread legalization of cannabis (and the recent legalization of Psilocybin mushrooms in Denver) as well as a growing interest in scientifically studying their effects will only deepen the exploration of their usefulness. I’ve included a number of informative videos below that discuss some of the topics that I’ve mentioned here.
For those of you interested in putting yourself out there as a teacher or including Presence in your practice or modality, I’m also now offering teacher/facilitator support and mentorship. Everything that arises in this work is welcome, including addressing the unique issues and challenges related to teaching, facilitating, counselling, coaching, and relating within the context of Non-dual Presence.
If working with this or any other life issue interests you and you’d like to move forward, it would be my joy to support you moving toward healing and awakening in any way that I can, and to help midwife and birth your unique expression of True Nature into the world.
I’d be more than happy to share my own varied personal experiences in this regard, spanning over 10 years of offering satsang retreats and individual sessions, more than 5 years working as a family counsellor, and over 15 years working as a massage therapist and energy worker. I’d love to explore this possibility with you, as well as anything else that you’d like to work and focus on in a free 30 min Discovery session.
What is your Evolving Edge?
So right now, where is your own evolving edge? What is the next step in your Journey? Is it beginning to experience and becoming more familiar with your True Nature? Healing more deeply from a past wound, trauma or conditioned pattern? Integrating and embodying your deepest spiritual realizations into your every day life and relationships? Challenges related to putting yourself out there as a facilitator and expressing your Divine gifts or your Life Purpose into the world?
Or is it working though some limiting or negative core beliefs? Dealing with a major health challenge, grieving a loss, or dealing with relationship issues? Navigating through some challenging life transitions, some overwhelming changes, or even a lack of clarity or direction? Or is it dealing with challenges related to being a highly sensitive person, empath, healer, or psychic, or issues related to kundalini energy?
What areas of your life could use some more loving acceptance, compassionate understanding, or passionate aliveness? What in your life could use some more clarity, perspective, or the space to talk it through with someone in Presence? What areas of your life could use some more inspiration, creative passion, or a deeper sense of connection? What areas could use some encouragement, nurturing, acknowledgement, or recognition? And what is it that stops you from saying yes and reaching out for some support?
Whatever your evolving edge is right now, I’d love to help and support you in any every way that I can. Supporting people through individual session work is my focus and joy these days, and if this interests you, I would love to make it a reality for you. I’m continuing to offer your first session of this year at a reduced rate of $30-60 for a 60 min session, or $45-90 for a 90 min session (in CAN funds). I’m also offering discounted session packages, which includes discounts on my online courses. For those of you who need it, partial scholarships and payment plans are also available. Just drop me an email for details and let’s find a way to make things work.
To book a private session or your free 30 min Discovery session, just send me an email, or you can book directly into my online scheduler at the link in the section below. My schedule is somewhat limited at the moment, so if my available times don’t work for you, let me know and we can try to find another time. I’d love to hear from you and connect, and see what’s going on for you right now. I don’t always know where our exploration will go, but based on the feedback that I regularly receive, I can assure you that it definitely will go somewhere alive and real, and that you won’t be disappointed. See the section below for more details.
Community Survey & Free Gift
Lastly, I’d really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to share your feedback with me in a short online survey that I’ve created. I’m planning to offer some new online programs in the near future, and would love to hear your feedback, ideas, and suggestions to help me create offerings that would better help and support your unique needs. It should only take 5-10 min of your time, and as my gift to you for your time and energy, I’m offering the first week of my online course Self Love: A Path to Awakening, Healing, and Embodiment. Besides being an overview of the spiritual Awakening process, I also included practices in this course to support people who’ve experienced trauma as well as for empaths/HSPs. Please note that the survey is done anonymously. To access the survey and your free resources, please visit the Community Survey page on my website.
I hope that you’re all enjoying your summer, and look forward to connecting with you sometime soon. As always, please feel free to share this email, and I’d appreciate if you could share about my offerings on social media. Most people hear about me through word of mouth, so your help is greatly appreciated!
With Love and Blessings
Self Love on Valentine's Day
Feb 14, 2019
Happy Hearts Day! Valentine’s Day is an occasion when we turn our attention towards the qualities of Love, intimacy, and connection. At this time of year, most people are focusing their attention on their significant other or beloved, or their lack there of as is the case. We are subliminally trained to believe that our love and heart’s contentment is conditionally dependant upon our lovers and significant others giving it to us. But I’d invite you to expand your working definition of what Valentine’s Day is all about to include the love, intimacy, and connection that you can give to yourself as self love.
Allowing our love and conscious attention to loop back onto ourselves is a huge gift and Grace that we can give to our self. The beautiful thing about love is that it always heals, integrates, and liberates all that it touches. Bringing our focus and Loving Presence onto the wounds and hurts of our past helps transform and transmute them into Love. Bringing our focus and attention directly towards our True Nature as Loving Presence deepens and expands our experience of It, which in turn gives up the power and strength to heal and release ourselves from our hurts and wounds. Whether we begin by loving our lower self or our Higher Self, Love always wins in the end! Love always comes back for all parts of our self, and love always opens our hearts and minds.
Receive More Love
So in the moment, what parts of your life could use some more love, compassion, acceptance, or forgiveness? What areas of your life could use some more clarity, perspective, objectivity, or the space to talk things through with someone in Presence? What dimensions of your life could use some more aliveness, creative flow, divine passion, or heartfelt connection? What aspects of your life could use some encouragement, nourishment, inspiration, or nurturing?
One way that we can love ourselves is to reach out for some support from a counselor, coach, or teacher. You don’t need to be in crisis to be worthy of the love or support of another, even the most successful people out there have mentors and coaches. There is no end to your potential but because we are relational beings, we often need others to help draw out our greatness, our genius, and our gifts. So right now, what is stopping you from reaching out and receiving the care and support that you deserve?
I offer various forms of individual sessions with people which are tailored to your unique needs, challenges, and interests, and I’d love to support you in any way that I can. I offer free 30 min Discovery sessions to connect with people and discuss where you’re at, and where you’d like to be. I’m also offering your first session of 2019 at a sliding scale of $30-60 for a 60 min session, or $45-90 for a 90 min session. With it being a long weekend here in Canada I’m available for sessions this coming Sat and Sun from 3-6pm. You can book a session on Sat or any other day on my online booking page by clicking here, but contact me directly to schedule a time for Sunday. See below for more information about my offerings, and for some free Satsang recordings and guided meditations.
So this Valentine’s day I encourage you to give yourself some love. Buy yourself a rose or some flowers, listen to some of your favorite music and dance to it, read some poetry or something inspirational, watch a good movie, spend some time in nature, spoil and pamper yourself abundantly. Give or do something special for yourself, and most importantly, enjoy it!
Breathe in Love
Love is the energy field of Awareness, Stillness, God, and the Void, and nothing is more enjoyable for Love than for us to feel it and experience It. In this moment, feel into this Loving Presence as a warm glow enveloping your entire body 3 inches beyond your skin boundary. Breathe this energy into the front of your body, the back of your body, and into the space between the front and the back. Breathe in this sunshine of your Love into your heart, and breathe it into every cell of your body. Savor it, appreciate it, enjoy it, and repeat doing this often!
I send Love and Blessing to you all on this Day of Love. Please enjoy some poetry from some of my favorite poets below, and as always, feel free to share these resources and offers. I send Love and Blessings to you all, and look forward to connecting with you sometime soon.
In this Love,
Free Resources & Addressing Some Inquiries
Jan 22, 2019
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and were able to celebrate and connect with family and friends. I was blessed to be able to go on retreat over the holidays this year, and have some time to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate. It also gave me the chance to look back upon the past year, and contemplate what I’d like to focus on and bring forth in the coming year. The season of winter offers us a natural invitation to look within and to dive more deeply into Stillness, Presence, and our complete healing. I wish you all the best in 2019, and hope Life blesses you abundantly.
The new year is also a potent time to let go of what no longer serves us, and to reset our focus and intention onto what our Heart truly desires. What areas of your life would you like to see a change in in the coming year? Is it in the realm of love and relationships, or have to do with your work or service? Is it about accessing more of your creativity, or feeling more aliveness, connectedness, and heartfelt passion in your life? Or maybe its about finding more peace, contentment, and freedom, and a discovering a deeper connection to Life and your True Nature? Whatever it is for you, I’d be honored to help and support you in evolving, healing, and growing into what you want more of for yourself.
I want to thank you for all the kind words, inquiries, and loving support that you shared with me in response to my last email.
Addressing Some Inquiries
To address some of the common inquiries and themes that arose, I’d like to share and offer a few things with you here. One theme that arose was related to whether my current private session work is similar to the Satsang sessions and events that I’ve offered in the past, or if it’s more like traditional life coaching or counselling. My short answer is that my session work is similar to how it was in alot of ways, but that it now can also include many other dimensions if you’d like it to. My intention is always to follow each person’s lead, supporting them in ways which resonates and is meaningful to them.
Working from a foundation of Presence, and I bring this quality to sessions from a top down approach, meaning that this the first step. Aspects of counselling and life coaching are brought in if that’s what wanted or is called for, but I’m very comfortable keeping things in more of a spiritual or Satsang context. My work with people is always an ongoing dialogue, and is guided by what resonates or works for you in the moment. Often when I begin unpacking and exploring things with people in the first few sessions, they discover that there are areas of their life which they’d like to bring into the session work, but didn’t think it was initially possible or applicable.
To give you an actual taste of the kind of work that’s possible in my sessions, I’ve just uploaded part of a recent private session for you to listen to, which one of my clients graciously allowed me to share. Obviously each session is completely unique, but in this portion of the session we touched upon many common and relevant themes related to spiritual awakening, embodiment, and healing from our traumas. People often tell me that they receive benefit from listening to other people’s interactions, so I hope that it resonates with you. You can access the recording below or from the Audio page of my website. If you’re interested in seeing the poem that was referenced in the recording, you can view it by following the link below to my last update email below.
I’ve also decided to share a radio interview that I did a few years back, which may give you more of window into who I am and what I offer. I’ve been somewhat shy about putting myself out there like this in the past, but I guess its always good to push one’s edge, right? (I’m more of an introvert than most people think). The interview is now posted on the Audio page of my website. I’ve recently added 3 new pages to my website, and have done an update to the content as well.
In the spirit of the Giving, I’ve also added 8 Guided Meditations and 18 Satsang recordings to the Satsang resources which I offer to my email list. You can access all of these resources by clicking on the link below. Please feel free to share these free resources with your friends, family, and anyone else who may benefit.
Another theme that arose was the desire to discuss your situation with me directly, as many of you haven’t had the chance to come to one of my events or worked with me before. So I’ve decided to offer a free 30 min session for anyone who’d like the chance to meet and connect with me, to share what’s going on for you right now, and to see if it we’d be a good fit. There’s always a limitation to communicating in writing, so I look forward to connecting and speaking with you directly. You can book this session directly into my online scheduler at the link below. Feel free to share this link with anyone who may be interested in working with me.
One of the other themes was related to people’s experiences with life coaches in the past, who now have some hesitations to engage in this type of work. My approach is softer and gentler than most people think, but I’m very open to addressing any concerns that you may have in this regard. Some of you also mentioned not being able to pinpoint a specific focus to ‘work’ on, or wonder if I’d be able to help you with your specific situation. My short answer to this is that there is no end to either the unfoldment of spiritual awakening, or to finding more fulfillment in one’s life, work, and relationships, so the potential for deepening and growth is always there. We can address and clarify these types of questions and concerns during our free 30 min session, as well as anything else that you’d like to discuss.
Another question that arose was around the availability of scholarships. My intention is to make session work as accessible to people like you as I can, but think I may have underestimated the financial needs of some people. So in response to this I’ve decided to make partial scholarships available for everyone who needs them. Just send me an email for details, or we can discuss this during our free 30 min session. In case some of you have some hesitations about asking for scholarships, just know that my process is very quick and painless.
In the spirit of the New year, for those of you who’d like to go ahead and see what the experience of a longer session is like before committing to further work, I’ve also decided to offer your first 60 min session of 2019 at a sliding scale rate of $30-60, (or a 90 min session at a sliding scale of $45-90). Discounts and bundles are offered for multiple session packages, with flexible payment options available as well. Please see the section below for more details.
I wish you all the best that Life has to offer for you in 2019. May the unbounded Peace, Love, Joy, and Abundance of our True Nature infuse your coming year, and fill your Heart to overflowing. Sending you my Prayers and Blessings that Happiness, Contentment, and Loving-Kindness find their way into your Life, your Service, and all your varied relationships.
All the best to you on your Journey towards Wholeness,
With Love and Blessings
Life Coaching & New Modalities
Nov 10, 2018
Its been a long time since I last connected with you all, so I wanted to say Hi and give you an update on what’s been happening for me lately. As I mentioned in an earlier email, in January I began a professional life coach training program through Robbins-Madanes Training. Its been many years since I was last in such a serious ‘student mode’ for a major educational program like this, so the experience definitely pushed my edge at times :). The only other major programs of study that I’ve taken at this level were my university degree, where I double majored in psychology and biological sciences, and my professional massage therapy diploma program. As much as I enjoyed the program though, I was also very happy to graduate, and have enjoyed taking abit of time to rest, integrate, and catch up on things.
My life coach training kept me extremely busy these past months, but the experience completely exceeded my expectations. Initially I had some uncertainty about how I’d integrate the life coaching model I was learning with the non-dual Satsang and Presence Counselling work I’ve been offering for the last 10 years. But as the program progressed, I realized that the different perspectives could be seamlessly integrated, and the 2 streams of work could actually compliment each other. As my offerings are always Presence-Centered, this naturally softens the edges and willfulness that can sometimes exist in the personal development field. And as my work is always intuitively led by how each person presents, my surrendered practice is to respond to and support what each person’s Heart truly wants. From there I bring in the knowledge, practical tools, and the helpful strategies and techniques that I’ve learned to support people meet their human experience more effectively.
Besides being grounded in contemporary psychology and empirically validated practices, one of the unique aspects of the life coaching model I’m trained in is its emphasis on the systems approach. Beyond all the personal, inner work that we can do on ourselves, the systems approach also recognizes the power and influence of the relationships in our lives. One of the main reasons I was drawn to this training program was because offering satsang events and private sessions for the last years has shown me the gaps in both the contemporary non-dual perspective, as well as the contemporary psychological healing perspective. I feel that this and some other trainings that I’ve taken recently have equipped me to better support and nurture people in navigating their everyday lives.
Working with hundreds of people over the last decade in Satsang and sessions, many who have had non-dual awakening experiences, has shown me that one of the most challenging areas for people is in their attempts to integrate and embody their deepest experiences and realizations into their ‘normal’ life and relationships. Most importantly, people’s greatest difficulty often relates to their past emotional traumas, both before and after spiritual awakening. Because of this, my Satsang offerings have always been deeply influenced by my understanding of the psychological healing process, which felt necessary to fully meet people’s experience, which can be very gritty and challenging at times.
Another modality that I’ve been studying and deeply influenced by for over a year now is the psycho-therapeutic model called Internal Family Systems (IFS). What I find astounding about this work is that accessing and resourcing Non-Dual Presence, by both the client and therapist, is one of its foundational tenants. From the space of Presence, an incredibly intuitive and compassionate way of interacting with our wounded and traumatized parts can unfold, which can bring deep shifts and healing to patterns and experiences which may have remained unhealed for decades. I’ve been amazed at the power of this work, and have begun to integrate components of it into my sessional work with people. I feel that this modality adds a profound level of depth to healing and trauma work, and is elegantly subtle, gentle, and intuitive.
Empirical studies are beginning to show that IFS is as, or more effective at healing PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and trauma than any other trauma healing modality. For those of you who follow the trauma healing field, IFS is also the treatment modality used in MDMA assisted psychotherapy, which is currently in its third and final stage of FDA trials. The results of this treatment combination are even more promising for the healing of PTSD/trauma. In the last year I’ve also delved more deeply into a training for a trauma healing modality called Somatic Experiencing (SE), which has greatly influenced the trauma therapy field for the last several decades. I’ve also taken a training in clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which is the technique used in research studies of PTSD treatment. My explorations into these and other trauma healing modalities has given me a renewed hope for everyone who’s endured trauma in their lives.
Another beautiful and gentle modality I’ve discovered recently and am taking an online course on is Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC), which is the work of Kristin Neff. I feel that learning and practicing self love and self compassion is such an important skill for people to learn, so much so that it inspired my last online course on Self-Love. I’m thrilled that science is now validating the benefit of these kinds of practices, which compliments the research showing all the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
Regardless of what I learn through, the focus of my work with people will always be rooted in the Non-dual / Awakening perspective, as I know from experience that waking up to our True Nature will always give us the most powerful inner resource and solution to our suffering and our freedom. But I feel that all these trainings have given me an even deeper compassion for the human condition, and a greater patience, gentleness, and sensitivity in meeting each person where they are currently at.
Session Package Discounts
In the last couple years especially, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work with many more people who’ve wanted to do more regular and intensive work with me over a number of sessions and months. I’ve deeply cherished this opportunity to support people, and to deeply explore and delve into people’s challenges, traumas, and their process of healing and awakening. I’ve enjoyed these experiences so much that I’ve decided to offer discounted rates for satsang/spiritual folks like yourself, who are drawn to this type of work but may have been constrained by their finances. As my ongoing commitment to people interested in Spiritual Awakening, I’ve decided to make a portion of my private session schedule available specifically for this community, and for a limited time am offering special discounted rates. For many years my life has been deeply dedicated to my spiritual Awakening, and I understand this often means that your financial resources will be limited.
I’m only offering these rates to my email list, so please forward this email and offers to your spiritual friends and family who may be interested in this kind of work. I’m also offering a $10 referral credit to you for anyone who schedules a session with me, that can be applied for your own private sessions, or for online courses. Please note that all 3 of my online courses are now available for download, and I’m offering discounts on them when you get a sessions package. See the section below for more details about these offers.
Thanks for putting up with my long winded catch up email here :). I’m really looking forward to working with you and your friends, and having the opportunity to support your Awakening and healing. If you have any questions about my sessional work, or if you wonder if it would be a good fit for you, please feel free to email me. I hope you’re all keeping well and had a wonderful summer. May the Peace, Love, and Freedom of our True Nature bless you abundantly as we enter into the Autumn and winter season.
With Loving Presence