Throughout this journey I have met many teachers, tried many practices, gained a rich understanding of eastern spiritual traditions and modern transpersonal psychology, and enjoyed many of the phenomena common to mystical and kundalini experience. As Zen teachers like to say, if you sit and face a wall long enough something is bound to happen. I found at a certain point that I could close my door on the world and enjoy wonderful inner experiences, but still it seemed that something was missing. I knew this was not really freedom, although it had opened me to a wider range of consciousness than I knew before I learned to meditate, and it had changed my life for the better in many ways. It had opened me to energy and bliss, freed me from self-consciousness, and given me faith in a foundation greater than myself.
As my inner life deepened my outer world graciously opened and I found I could bring my professional life together with my personal commitment to spiritual growth, and I became a therapist, educator, and writer in the field of spiritual emergence. I published a book about the transformational energies of kundalini, and was blessed to meet many people around the world who shared this interest. Some of us founded an organization, called the Kundalini Research Network, to bring together our discoveries and share them with others. I was deeply involved in this work for almost ten years. And still I knew there was something that was not complete.
In 1999 I met a young American man called Adyashanti, who had recently begun to teach after having a profound awakening in the Zen tradition. I had done Zen practices (learned from books) occasionally over the years, and found they sometimes brought a shift of perspective, but I had never followed a formal practice. I decided to do a ten-day silent retreat with Adya at a beautiful Buddhist center called Vajrapani in the Santa Cruz mountains. In the silence of this space and the openness to his transmission of pure awakeness something new opened in me, and I saw clearly for the first time my true nature, which was always present and always had been. This was a movement of consciousness that brought me powerfully outside of my personal identity, and ended my attachment to and seeking of any further spiritual or mystical experiences. In the clarity of this experience I saw that I and all others emerge from One creative consciousness, and knew that this same consciousness moves through our lives having our experiences.
After being saturated with this understanding I began to learn how to live from a new place in myself, and particularly exploring the possibility of being this presence in each moment. Of course there have been set-backs, there have been moments when old patterns tangled me up for awhile, but there has also been growth and change and more insights and openings. I have returned to my ordinary life, with much less attachment and paradoxically, more engagement. I am learning to follow what arises the way a river makes its way when a path is opened.
After a few years Adya invited me to share the dharma, perhaps because he knew I had a passion to do this. So now I meet with people to speak whatever arises in the moment about awakening, and to teach what I call an embodied meditation, because I think that sitting as presence in this moment, with no argument with what arises, is a great way to meet your true Self, and to learn how to live as That once it is discovered.
I cannot claim to be a great Buddhist, or a yogi, or a great mystic. I am spirit living as an ordinary person who has played the roles of mother, grandmother, wife, teacher, therapist, spiritual seeker, traveler, and spiritual mentor. I have been very graced to sit with hundreds of others who are navigating spiritual awakening, and to have met the optimal teacher for me, one who could disarm me into realizing the simplicity of an awakened life.
I believe each of us at some point in our life has an opportunity to transcend the boundaries of personal conditioning and see the truth that rests before and behind this conditioning. I want to support this in the world, because it is the way I see that suffering can be ended, both personally and collectively. I was fortunate to edit Adya's book “Emptiness Dancing”, a collection of talks and dialogues that reflect deeply how I have come to see the world, and the Truth of the passage available to all who are seeking Self knowledge.
I welcome you to peruse this website, and the links I have added, attend programs I offer, or contact me with questions related to your awakening process. Most of the zen-satsang programs I offer are two-hour satsang sessions or day-long meditation programs, and these are usually held in Ashland, OR. Satsang (which means sitting with Truth) usually includes a guided meditation, a spiritual talk, and questions and answers with students. I am also available for dokusan (spiritual guidance) by phone or e-mail, on a donation basis. Dokusan is generally a brief conversation, focused on a specific question related to your spiritual practice or understanding. For a more extensive assessment of a kundalini or awakening process I will send you a questionnaire, and a consultation is usually $100. I see this work as spiritual mentoring, offering general guidance and support drawn from my years of experience.
You may contact me through this website or ask questions on my blogs at awakening guide.wordpress.com or kundaliniguide.blogspot.com
Namaste, Bonnie Greenwell