How would your life change if you were able to remain boundlessly open to and fully present with whatever was going on—not only around you but inside of you as well? This is the central question of Facing Everything, a three-part event with author and teacher Gangaji.
Spiritual awakening, explains Gangaji, involves a commitment to turning toward our experience and the willingness to be with what is there. When we are able to face whatever arises, we break our habitual tendency to turn away from our experience and to cut ourselves off from life. Facing Everything invites you to three on-demand sessions moderated by Sounds True founder and publisher Tami Simon. After discussing each session’s central topic, Gangaji receives phone calls from audience members, resulting in some truly life-changing dialogues.
Session One: Meeting Fear
At the root of all human suffering is the avoidance of one core emotion: fear. Fear is not the real problem, however. The problem, and the continuing complication, is all the mental activity that gets generated in order to avoid really experiencing fear.
In this session, Gangaji explores the ways we may avoid fear—such as denial, going numb, or dramatizing it. The alternative—meeting fear—is actually simple. So simple, she explains, that there is really no “how to.” The skill is in seeing how this meeting is continually avoided. All of our unconscious, fixated, habitual patterns of suffering are generated because of this avoidance. Once we learn to stop and open to it, we realize the true nature of fear.
Session Two: The Heart of Self-Betrayal
In our second session, Gangaji discusses why the deepest grief we can experience is the grief of recognizing the betrayal of the truth of ourselves. Rather than actually experiencing this self-betrayal, we usually get very busy fabricating proof that we are not betraying ourselves. We busily gather power, pleasure, or knowledge to prove that we are not betraying ourselves, that we really are OK.
But this grief, this divine sadness, is very important. It is a great, painful gift from the emotional body—one that we respond to in a variety of ways, usually by either dramatizing it or denying it. It doesn’t matter which strategy we choose because the grief remains, and the pain of being untrue to ourselves is still present. Gangaji helps us learn to face what has been avoided in this turning away from the heart of your own being, so that self-betrayal is unmasked and the truth of who and what you are is revealed.
Session Three: Letting the World into Your Heart
In this time of global distress, with the actuality of war and troubling economic challenges, individual awakening is increasingly urgent. In our third session, we consider the real purpose of such an awakening. It is not just a good thing to do or another addition to our knapsack of experience trinkets, explains Gangaji. It is not even about some kind of personal pleasure or achievement. Awakening is essential if we are to recognize the patterns of hatred and blame that go on within our own minds and which in turn are reflected into the world.
Gangaji reminds us that we can’t wait for anyone else to stop our own projections. With direct experience, she teaches, any habitual belief can disappear in less than a second. Each of us can stop, right now, by taking full responsibility for the recognition of what is already unconditionally at peace within. Join her in answering this inspirational call to “take the world into your heart right now and see if your heart has any limit.”
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