Photo: Nancy Murray and Israel Sushman
Israel Sushman lives in Los Angeles where he is a social media marketer and experiences an eclectic spiritual life. His website is www.isushman.com. We talk about Israel’s spiritual journey, who and what appeals to him and why.
00:00 – 07:07 Opening music by Prosad www.prosadmusic.com. Introduction to Israel Sushman. Israel’s recent meeting with Amma www.amma.org and his experience with her beginning in 1988. How Israel met her. Bringing Amma to Los Angeles. How his Jewish traditon bears on understanding the energy of Amma.
07:07 – 14:00 Israel’s early life and experiences. Enjoying going to synagogue as a child. Open nature of Jewish religion in which he was brought up. College interests and activities in the late 60s. Psychedelic. Ram Dass. Timothy Leary.
14:00 – 18:00 Moving to Israel. Discover of Ram Dass’ Be Here Now. Desire to go to India leads to two month journey from Istanbul through other countries and into India.
18:00 – 25:58 Living in Swami Muktananda’s ashram. Power of Muktananda, experiences, and opinions. Muktananda’s guru Nityananda mentioned.
25:58 – 26:56 Returning to the United States in 1973. Living in New Mexico. Following Muktananda throughout the U.S. Wanting the high of being with a guru is like being on a drug. Scandals with Muktananda.
26:56 – 28:53 Leaving Muktananda’s group and getting into the totally opposite direction of drugs and partying. Chasing the high. Nondual approach of accepting what is.
28:53 – 33:25 Moving back into the Muktananda ashram in order to get sober. The desire for a special experience. 12-step program, family, work, spiritual explorations. Relationship with Amma.
33:25 – 40:56 Reviewing Israel’s history. Illness leading to his discovery of and relationship with Leonard Jacobson www.leonardjacobson.com. Israel’s eclectic interests.
40:56 – 44:38 Israel’s Rabbi discussed: Rabbi Mordecai Finley www.rabbifinley.com/. Appeal to the mind. Identification with ideas as a detriment.
44:38 – 55:00 Experience at AA, at synagogue, with Ammaji people, with various groups. Israel’s work in social media marketing. Judaism offering Eastern-like spiritual studies. Concluding remarks. Closing music by Prosad: www.prosadmusic.com/
Israel Sushman: www.isushman.com
Leonard Jacobson “teaches that the fully awakened state of consciousness is available now. It is not something that occurs in the future. It is already here, waiting to be revealed. As you awaken into the present moment, your thoughts will stop, your mind will fall silent, and you will awaken to an inner silence and peace that is beyond understanding. You will begin to encounter what the mystics and Masters have been speaking of for centuries.” His website is www.leonardjacobson.com
00:00 – 04:55 Opening music by Prosad: http://www.prosadmusic.com. Introduction. When Leonard began teaching and how he travelled around teaching. “I just kept responding to invitations.” Presently in International Falls, Minnesota, on vacation.
04:55 – 06:38 No need to prepare for his talks or for some of my interviews, including this one.
06:38 – 10:47 Leonard’s partner Mary. Have the questions from seekers changed over the years? There’s an opening happening in human consciousness today. Responsiveness of people in China and Japan. Leonard’s teaching activity in China, how it is done, and how it interfaces with Chinese national concerns.
10:47 – 18:29 Leonard’s two part teaching, a two step dance of awakening. The art of presence is step one, and step two is “bringing conscious awareness to all the ways you are pulled out of the moment.” Coming into right relationship with ego so that we can live our lives day to day more fundamentally present. “Both steps are essential for true awakening.” The nature of thoughts as allowing us to escape the present moment which is desire because in the past the present was difficult. “Thinking is the greatest addiction.”
18:29 – 21:11 The essence of awakening and nonduality. What is revealed at the very deepest level of presence. “Oneness is here. Truth is here.” Why seeking doesn’t work. “The worst is those who are seeking nothingness.”
21:11 – 23:07 Leonard is asked what people want from him and what he offers. Value of being present with someone who is awakened and who offers a way. The teaching has to be extremely simplified. “It’s time to awaken.”
23:07 – 25:20 How is the presence of an awakened person different from the presence of a tree? Leonard’s initial awakening spontaneously happened in nature. Being present with compared to presence as a concept. Presence is beyond understanding and this is difficult for people to get. Letting go of the need to understand. Knowing from presence or as presence.
25:20 – 31:11 Leonard’s initial and further awakenings further explored. The nature of awakenings and experiences. Integration of each awakening. I ask Leonard why, if he never pursued awakening, does he caters to people who do pursue awakening. The I Am presence as pure consciousness beyond form and beyond content. Leonard’s experiences of heaven on earth. God as “The silent presence at the very heart of all things present.”
31:11 – 32:58 There’s nothing wrong but we’re almost all lost in unconsciousness. There’s a need for those who could guide the lost into a place of presence where we are not lost. We don’t need anything else, no religion.
32:58 – 37:11 The art of interviewing and how I find it hard to interview some awakened people. “We have to keep finding the right question that draws out what might be of value.” Pizza discussed. Diet. Small talk.
37:11 – 40:09 Relationships. The value of a relationship is companionship. Relationships are extremely difficult. A relationship as a way of speeding up awakening. The relationship is like a mirror. A relationship based in presence is looking for someone to here with you rather than for you. I ask about Leonard’s relationship. “For the most part I don’t have feelings or issues coming up.”
40:09 – 45:30 Being “like” an awakened person. If you’re present a few minutes every day your life will transform. “When you’re present you are love … acceptance … compassion.” The qualities flow through you and transform your life. If you develop negative, limiting impressions and beliefs early in life they determine the experience of the rest of your life and you will attract people and situations that confirm these beliefs. The question, Who are you?
45:30 – 51:23 What I seek in interviews: talking to ordinary people about their passion and who they fundamentally are. Leonard’s response. The nature of the current interview and the interviews I like to do. “You’re a very unique interviewer … and I really get it.” Some people are naturally present.
51:23 – 56:00 How this interview came together. Leonard as a focused guy. Conclusion. Leonard reviews his two step teaching. Closing music by Prosad: http://www.prosadmusic.com.
Nancy Murray lives in Los Angeles and talked about her spiritual journey, giving great insights on living life “after you’ve done your meditation.”
00:00 – 04:05 Opening music by Prosad: www.prosadmusic.com. Introduction. The West Adams part of Los Angeles that Nancy lives in and what it’s like and what her life is like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Adams,_Los_Angeles. Involvement in her synagogue, Amma (the hugging Saint), Leonard Jacobson.
04:05 – 08:04 Involvement with the synagogue and importance of practicing Judaism for living a life “after meditation.” Deep spirituality is available in Western traditions not only Eastern.
08:04 – 14:52 Nancy was head chef of Swami Muktananda’s ashram in Santa Monica around 1980. Perception of and experience with Muktananda and Siddha Yoga organization. How Nancy stumbled upon Muktananda via a Kundalini experience. Staying in a bliss state for over two years. http://www.siddhayoga.org/syda-foundation
14:52 – 19:59 Leaving Muktananda and spending four years in a party and drug phase in order to replace the addiction to the bliss of Muktananda. But “being in a garage doesn’t make you a car.” You have to do your own work. That’s the hard stuff. “Judaism inserts spirituality into the very fabric of your daily existence. … It’s very grounded.” “It’s Wednesday and I’m not in bliss.” Indians have an appropriate relationship with their gurus while Westerners tend to be off-balance.
19:59 – 21:58 Nondual experience in the company of Amma: http://amma.org/. God playing a game with himself. The process one of finding out where we are already at.
21:58 – 28:02 What changes? Something stays the same. Reviewing Nancy’s spiritual encounters. Association with Rabbi Mordecai Finley: http://www.ohrhatorah.org/oht_mordecai.php. Kabbalah and the chakras. Serving Jews influenced by Eastern traditions.
28:02 – 33:14 Meeting Leonard Jacobson: http://www.leonardjacobson.com/. His large following in China and why the Chinese are open to Jacobson’s teaching. Leonard’s approach and teaching.
33:14 – 37:28 I ask Nancy why she does all this spiritual activity. Being of service. “We’re swimming in a sea of love and we just can’t see it.”
37:28 – 38:25 Food. Swami Muktananda’s powerful presence.
38:25 – 40:19 Review of the interview. More on Muktananda including controversial aspects.
40:19 – 42:22 Nancy’s husband Israel as an early devotee of Muktananda and a world traveler seeking a guru. Not becoming attached to a guru.
42:22 – 44:26 Amma further discussed. Conclusion.
44:26 – 55:00 Rabbi Mordecai Finley, of the Ohr HaTorah congregation’s Morning Study from September 25th 2010, speaking on making room for the divine and the collapse of the inner life as the source of addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk9WJ2NLBe4. Conclusion. Closing music by Prosad: www.prosadmusic.com
Paul Boudreau is co-author along with Professor Lloyd M. Dickie, of the new book Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, published by Inner Traditions. Ordering options are available at http://www.awhico.com/.
00:00 – 04:33 Music by Prosad: www.prosadmusic.com. Introduction to Paul Boudreau. The nature of the book as an exploration of who we are, through a study of myths. The Genesis myth.
04:33 – 09:54 Friendship with co-author Lloyd Dickie and how it included a study of myths. The discovery of higher meanings in myths. Meaning of higher consciousness discussed. Levels of consciousness are experienced, which are given language and imagery in myths.
09:54 – 12:06 How does academia regard the personal higher consciousness aspect of the study of ?myths. Access to the scholarly literature is readily available for personal study. These two websites are mentioned: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/ and http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/
12:06 – 15:27 Other texts based on accessing myths in order to support the investigation of higher consciousness. The book Hamlet’s Mill. The value of being an ecologist and seeing relationships and levels of organization. The mythological significance of the nursery rhyme and game Ring Around the Rosy.
15:27 – 20:08 Little Red Riding Hood as an example. Participating in the reading of a myth is critical to further insight. The urge to follow an impulse to pursue some objective.
20:08 – 25:18 Paul expands upon what he said in another interview: “To be in the middle of a pyramid is such a calm and reassuring yet earth shattering place to be in the world. Lloyd and I have done it a couple of times.” Advanced nature of Egyptian culture.
25:18 – 28:28 Are there ancient aliens involved? The archeological site Gobikli Tepe discussed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe. There’s a lot to learn about our ancient history and roots. The Greeks learned from the ancient Egyptians.
28:28 – 32:45 Comparing the Eurocentric and ancient Egyptian view of addressing the dualities in life, the either/or and both/and views compared. Creation and the Void. Enantiodromia as the reconciliation of opposites.
32:45 – 36:02 The myth of Gilgamesh discussed as reconciliation of opposites and how Paul makes it personal.
36:02 – 40:31 Mythology seen in movies. Myths can be an escape or a personal journey, or both. Discussion on approaching dualities from a both/and perspective rather than either/or can lead to higher consciousness. Ecology as full of the both/and perspectives. Finding the way of letting opposites co-exist is critical.
40:31 – Heka and Maat discussed as two principles of creation, the gods of magic and order, respectively. What is magic? Paul talks about his first memory that “I was.” Myths reinforce the value of those moments. Concluding statements.
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Awakening Higher Consciousness: Guidance from Ancient Egypt and Sumer, published by Inner Traditions. Ordering options are available at http://www.awhico.com/
Review of book:
The blending of scholarship, ancient myths from Sumer and Egypt, and the pursuit of diunital (“reconciliation of opposites”) and nondual (recognition that our true nature is not separate from the void, the “limitless, undifferentiated waters”) consciousness inspire a force for personal and cultural transformation. This blending is fused by the commitment of the authors to performing the magic of transformation. A powerful book for anyone, regardless of their apparent state of spiritual consciousness, who wants to become further aware of the vastness of the experience of being alive.
JP Sears lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He is an emotional healing coach, international teacher, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives. JP presents classes, workshops, online seminars, and leads retreats at numerous locations around the world on inner healing and growth. He is also very active on his YouTube channel AwakenWithJP, where he encourages healing and growth through his entertainingly informative and inspiring videos.
In this interview JP opens up about his life, his work, his humor videos, his girl friend, his home, and shows us in a very rich fashion what he’s all about. We explore many hills and valleys of being human.