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Heroes of Healing Project – Gangaji, Marianne Williamson, and Joan Borysenko

September 11, 2008

I am participating in an online group writing project, called Heroes of Healing, designed to highlight current healers, spiritual teachers, and authors. Several bloggers are writing initial posts on the ‘Heroes’ that have impacted us the most, as well as commenting on others. You can participate by posting about your own heroes, or commenting on the posts in the proscribed format (for more info and guidelines, go to the parent post.) All these posts are designed to help people find the teachers and authors they most resonate with. The posts share the same format, and will be compiled into one offering after a two-week period. With your help, we can build a valuable resource for seekers everywhere!

I’m thrilled to be contributing to this worthy project by writing about three of my favorite contemporary spiritual teachers – Gangaji, Marianne Williamson and Dr. Joan Borysenko. They are all very different, but each have something valuable to say, and each fit well with the themes of this blog, as they are all both mothers and mystics.

Enjoy! And if you do, don’t forget to Bookmark and Share


Gangaji is an American spiritual teacher and author dedicated to helping us find and dwell in the simple presence at the heart of our being. After years of spiritual adventures with many different teachers and paths, she finally encountered one that helped her to ‘stop’ (as she puts it), and recognize the love at the very root of her own awareness. Her message starts with a simple question, ‘who am I?’, that when asked from the right place within ourselves can show us a truth that transcends any one religion or spiritual path. She holds meetings called ‘satsangs’ designed to help others find their way to this truth, through both group meditations and individual interactions with her. Watching the transformations that often take place on stage during her one-on-one encounters is truly awe-inspiring, and a powerful testament to her natural state of grace.




Books: The Diamond in Your Pocket: Discovering Your True Radiance, Just Like You

What Lisa Erickson Has Learned From Gangaji

– The spiritual search is not a search: Religion and spiritual practices often lead us outside ourselves, continuing the delusion that happiness is found through ‘belief’ in a doctrine, or by practicing certain techniques. But the truth that all these approaches are meant to guide us to is already present within us. We realize this truth, we don’t acquire it.

NOTE: If Gangaji has impacted you, please submit your comments below in the same format as mine, i.e. ‘What [your name – hyperlinked if you like] Has Learned From Gangaji’. Your comment may be included in the final group post.

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson is the author of A Return to Love, as well as many other bestselling books, and currently has her own segment on the Oprah and Friends radio show. Raised Jewish, she turned to the Christian A Course In Miracles for spiritual guidance after several years of rebellious and, at times, self-destructive, behavior as a young adult. In A Return To Love, she masterfully interprets the teachings of A Course in Miracles in a way relevant to anyone of any religion. She beautifully communicates the lessons of love as they unfold in our daily lives, and the ways our ego seeks to block love out of fear and disillusionment. In recent years, she has become involved in many social and political causes and is the co-founder of The Peace Alliance, an organization dedicated to establishing a U.S. Department of Peace.




Books: A Return to Love, The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Mid-life

Radio Show: Archives of Marianne’s Oprah and Friends radio appearances

What Lisa Erickson Has Learned From Marianne Williamson

– “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” Taken from A Return to Love, this quote perfectly captures the truth that our ego thrives on fear, and often seeks to block us from our own happiness and freedom, even when we think happiness and freedom are what we want. Finding both requires working through our ego’s fears, and doubting their validity, so that we can let go into a greater part of ourselves.

NOTE: If Marianne Williamson has impacted you, please submit your comments below in the same format as mine, i.e. ‘What [your name – hyperlinked if you like] Has Learned From Marianne Williamson’. Your comment may be included in the final group post.

Joan Borysenko

Joan Borysenko is an international speaker and author who possesses a unique combination of medical knowledge and spiritual power. She has a doctorate in medical science from Harvard Medical School, and completed three post-doctoral fellowships – in cancer cell biology, behavioral medicine, and psychoneuroimmunology. She also co-founded a Mind/Body clinic with Dr. Herbert Benson, which was (and remains) instrumental in researching and publicizing the health benefits of meditation. In addition to her impressive medical knowledge, Joan has also walked the walk in the spiritual sense too, studying the history and theology of all the world’s religions, and engaging in a powerful personal spiritual search that she shares in writing and lectures. She has written several books focused on the health and spiritual needs of women, integrating the physical and non-physical aspects of health and personal growth.




Books: Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, A Woman’s Book of Life: The Biology, Psychology and Spirituality of the Feminine Life Cycle

Radio Show: Your Soul’s Compass – Hay House Radio

What Lisa Erickson Has Learned From Joan Borysenko

– Women’s life cycles, when properly understood, provide a natural flow to our spiritual growth. The biological cycles that define a women’s life – menstruation, child-bearing, menopause, and more – each have psychological and spiritual components as well. By understanding where we are in each cycle, we can maximize our health and development.

NOTE: If Joan Borysenko has impacted you, please submit your comments below in the same format as mine, i.e. ‘What [your name – hyperlinked if you like] Has Learned From Joan Borysenko’. Your comment may be included in the final group post.

Be sure to check out the full Heroes for Healing project, and contribute your own posts and comments! (Some that I would personally love to see profiled are Carolyn Myss, Dr. Christine Northrup, and Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz.)
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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2008 4:43 pm

    Hi Lisa, Thank you so much for contributing 3 wonderful people to this list and for all your help as I tried to pull it together! You are a wonderful writer and I am very grateful to have met you! Love, Jenny

  2. Anonymous permalink
    September 18, 2008 6:20 am

    What Matt Wadleigh Learned from Gangaji:

    The true nature of our being, love, is already present and always has been. It is through the simple, and also very difficult, task of self inquiry that we can cut to our very core, and our true being. The ego has built the story of you, who you think you are, and produced the appearance of you as an individual and this story of your life as true reality. However, Gangaji teaches that there is a way out of this trap, this cycle, this pain, and the way out is to look within. To be ruthless with yourself to cut through the stories and perceptions, to allow yourself to feel all of the pain and suffering that comes with it, to experience it, to have your heart break, and to realize that beyond all of that is peace. Beyond all of that is pure gratitude and love, unattached and unaffected by the story of you and your life. That peace and stillness, that love, is the truth; and it is already within you.

  3. March 2, 2017 12:30 am

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