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An Interview with Gangaji

August 7, 2009

I am very honored to present this conversation with Gangaji, which took place by phone on July 28th. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I think the world of her, and that her satsangs have played an important role in my own spiritual journey in the last few years. My friend and meditation student who recently passed had also attended many of her satsangs and weekend retreats, and while arranging this interview, I relayed the news of his death and sent his picture to her. I was touched that Gangaji took time out of her very busy recent Europe tour to view his picture, and it meant even more that she remembered him and his ‘radiance’, and talked about him briefly with me at the start of our conversation.

As for who Gangaji is in the ‘person’ sense – her teachings, lineage, books, and all that other stuff that we tend to focus on when discussing spirituality – I think the best source is her own foundation’s website. I encourage you to view some of her video satsangs, listen to audio, or read her books, or those by Papaji (her teacher) or Ramana Maharshi (Papaji’s teacher) – one of the most reknowned 20th-century Indian sages.

I had hoped to make the recording of this conversation available online in mp3 format, but I used an incorrect setting when recording, and while most of the interview is audible through headphones in the original format, almost none of it is in mp3 form:-( Therefore I have had to present it only in written form, with some editing and excerpting for clarity. I hope I have done her words justice.

But more important than the words is the transmission of ‘presence’ or ‘silent awareness’, or whatever word you choose to use. To receive that, I hope you can find the time to sit quietly with a hot cup of tea (or coffee, or wine, or even a margarita – whatever floats your boat) and read this more slowly than we normally can do when reading online. And when you are done, please share any comments or questions you have, and/or any suggestions for future interviewees or questions. Namaste-

Well Gangaji, you are now a fellow blogger, so I wanted to start there. What made you decide to start blogging, and why did you decide to blog on The Huffington Post, which many people know more as a political site?

They invited me. I had read The Huffington Post occasionally, and I also knew them only as a political site. But they have a lot of other writing, and they invited me, so I accepted. I also write at Intent.com, which is more of a wellness and spiritual site.

I guess I was surprised because I hadn’t heard you speak much on social or political issues in your satsangs. So I was wondering if blogging at Huffington represented any change in direction for you?

No, not really. In satsang I speak on whatever is present, whatever comes up. That might include current social or political events, or it might not. I try and use whatever is present to point to the truth. ‘Sat’ means ‘truth’, this is what we come together for in satsang. I try not to separate the internal and external. I think this separation is a myth, and it’s true that we tend to dwell on it. Many spiritual people look down on politics, choosing to retreat from the world. And many political people look down on spiritual people, believing they are flaky or out of touch.

That point is interesting to me, because I retreated for a long time, and am now finding myself more and more interested in politics, and more interested in becoming socially engaged. But I have a hard time reconciling the two. Politics can feel so ego-driven, positions are so fixated. It makes me want to retreat again.

Yes, and that is needed sometimes. There is a place for true retreat. I always tell people there is no formula. Some people retreat their whole lives – that’s how Ramana did it. Some feel called, or are constitutionally more suited, for engagement. I think I’m a little of both. Sometimes I will go weeks without reading the newspaper, and then re-engage. Either way, it is about recognizing the moment, and being true to it. It is available in both. But it is true that it is helpful to recognize what you need at any given time.

It’s interesting that you say that, because recently you wrote a post that I loved on suspending diagnosing for a day – suspending the tendency to judge and diagnose our own state and that of others all the time. How does this fit with what you are saying about recognizing what we need in the moment?

Diagnosis is a wonderful tool. This ability to see what is going on with us, to identify a problem and address it, is one of our great gifts as humans. But like any tool, it can be over-used. We can get trapped in labels and judgments, of ourselves and others. All we can see is our categories. We become completely focused on ‘fixing’ – ourselves, others, the world. What if we just let go of that, as an experiment, for a day? And just let things be what they are? That is suspending diagnosis.

This is a bit how I think about detachment. I heard you speak once at a satsang on passion and detachment, which is connected for me to the issue of retreat vs. engagement. It seems we need passion, need strong opinions, to act in the world, especially on social issues. But then we run the risk of acting from a place of attachment, of ego. How do we decide which is which?

I don’t use the word ‘detachment’ much myself, but I know it can be useful for some. I like the word inquiry, as Ramana used it, in the sense of inquiring into the truth. Both detachment and inquiry can be over-used, can become habits of mind, but true inquiry can really open us. When you inquire, when you look honestly at what is going on with yourself without judgment, you can discover a place where you don’t fear attachment. That’s passion. You are connected. There isn’t any fear of connecting or of attachment. There is no problem.
But even inquiry can be over-used. We can become ‘the inquirer’ and create a new story around that. Then we are not really inquiring, we are telling ourselves a story.

So does the need to inquire ever end? It’s often said that the spiritual process continues forever, that it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters. But in your view does there come a point when the ego – or whatever – can no longer move us away from presence, or get caught in a story? When spiritual practice is not needed?

Well, I would not call inquiry spiritual practice, although it can become that. I think there is a point when you know that presence – or silent awareness as I sometimes call it, we have many words for it – is right there, whatever the circumstances. And you will be tested, life will always test you. But you can come to a point where the moment any disturbance arises, you see that, and you inquire, right there.
For example, hypothetically, I might notice I am thinking about my daughter, and why she hasn’t called me in a long time. I might develop a story about how I always have to call her, or how she neglects me. Or I might worry. I add layers on top of that initial disturbance. But if I inquire, if I just sit with that disturbance and inquire into it, I might see an emotion underneath. I might see that the real issue is that I am hurt, or that I am missing her. Then I can inquire into that emotion, and so on. In the end, I might call my daughter, or I might not, but either way, it is not the result of some story I have told myself.
So spiritual practice can be useful. We have many techniques of mind that can help us to calm ourselves, or heal ourselves, or energize ourselves. But inquiry is not practice in this sense.

Speaking of your daughter, I wanted to ask you about parenthood. I find I have this story I can fall into of ‘if only I had more time to myself, I could pursue my spirituality’. I find this is so common for parents. Can you speak to this?

Oh yes, we have all kinds of stories we tell ourselves along these lines, whether about parenting, our jobs, our health, or some other aspect of our lives. We convince ourselves freedom is about being free of some obligation or affliction. But there is always the opportunity to inquire, in every situation. It doesn’t take more than 10 or 12 seconds really. Or even a moment – there is always a moment – an opportunity, right now. And in that moment, in inquiry, we can realize that our sense of a lack of freedom is – not there.
I’m not in anyway saying that having three young children isn’t difficult, because it is. Your body is not free in the way it once was. Your emotions are not free in that way. You can’t just do whatever you want, you have three other beings to consider. So that part of the story is true. But in your innermost being, there is still freedom, and you can take refuge in yourself. Even when you feel you are at your worst.

Yes. And I feel as if in my children it is so easy to see when they are disturbed, in the way that you mean. They are like a little mirror – if something in my awareness is disturbed I will see it reflected back to me in their state or behavior.

Yes, well there it is. Right there you see the opportunity in parenthood. We have this story of ‘well, if I could just escape this, I would be OK’, but that example right there shows you the truth. Your kids are actually helping you see what is really going on.

Yes, definitely. Ok, so moving on to kids, I know you are a mother and a grandmother. What do you think is the greatest gift we can transmit or relay to our children as they grow up, in order to help them connect to presence themselves, and maintain that connection into adulthood?

Well, you know, my grandkids are far away and I am not with them all the time. But I know when I am, kids have this ability to sense authenticity. They know right away if you are not being authentic with them. Really I think that is all anybody wants from anybody – authenticity. So trying not to be what we think we should be, or what we think our kids, or anybody else, wants us to be. Just being with them as we really are, fully. And kids pick up on that, and understand they can be authentic too. It is transmitted, from generation to generation.
I feel like I am seeing the results of this now, of the different way some kids are being parented, in some of the older kids – teens especially – that come to satsang with their parents. It’s quite wonderful actually. There’s a confidence there, and a consciousness. A recognition of something deeper. A willingness to face this adventure called life with this deeper consciousness.

Well, it’s interesting you mentioned this new generation, because I wanted to ask you some questions about the future. My own family, and my husband’s, are very diverse in religious and political views, and live all over the country. Sometimes I feel like I am right in the middle of this ‘cultural divide’ that the media is always telling us about. Everyone seems to feel like the world is at a crises point, and that their own way needs to be followed, in order to set things right. So I am wondering, what do you make of this divide?

Well, I know we are at a time of great awareness of that, and I know that every religion and political group right now senses we are in a period of great change. Some feel it is apocalyptic and some feel we are on the brink of a great breakthrough. I say – we’ll wait and see.
But what an interesting position you are in! To be confronted with all these different views, among people you love, and to therefore be prompted really, to see if you can relate beneath those differences and feel that love. To not relate only at the level of difference, to practice not seeing those with different views simply as ‘other’. Then there is a possibility that something can be discovered, a new common ground even, or at least an acceptance and shared presence. This is available to anyone, of any religion, and all walks of life.
You know, I wrote in that diagnosis post of this woman I spoke to recently who believed there was a chip in her head, and that the government or some other group was trying to control her through it. Instead of debating the reality or non-reality of that chip, I asked her to just sit and inquire what she felt right now, in the midst even, of that worry and pain. And she got it, she shifted. She relaxed, and felt peace herself. Whether she can find that again, who knows, but it is always available to her, to anyone. We pile lots of stuff, stories, on top of it and call it different things, especially in different religions, and we create obstacles to seeing it, but it is always there.
So your situation is ideal really. You have this opportunity to look beyond differences, beyond the perceived obstacles to connecting.

Yes, it is has done that for me. I can’t otherize or demonize people who disagree so easily. And it does feel like in today’s world those disagreements are so reinforced. With all the different cable stations and internet mediums – it is easy to just seek out content that matches what you already think, and to isolate yourself in that way from other points of view.

Yes, that is certainly true. This isolation, this is something we do on a lot of levels.

Along those lines, you just returned from an extended stay in Europe. Do you think there are differences between the U.S. and Europe in regards to this? Or in relation to spirituality?

Well, I don’t know so much about a difference from the U.S. But certainly there is a difference since I first started holding satsangs there 15 years ago. There is such an openness and eagerness.

Do you find Europeans more open to what you have to offer?

I don’t know if they are more open. There seems to be more openness everywhere in a way. But perhaps there is less fear, less anxiety there right now. People are of course worried about the economy, and about changes in the world, but it didn’t feel as anxious there. Whether that is because of the differences in government, or religious views, I don’t know. But the anxiety level here felt very palpable when I returned.

So here there is kind of an undercurrent of anxiety, that is hard for us to see?

Yes, perhaps so. And unless you can see it, it can cloud your judgment, cloud your views on how you should live your life.

Because it becomes all about self-protection? Protecting ‘me and my own’?

That’s right. And that instinct is natural to some extent. But when we become fixated on that, it obstructs our relationship with others, with the world. We act from a place of fear. And this we can see acted out on many different levels, from our personal lives to politics.

Yes, thank you. Well, I have just one last question, related to teaching. Over the years I have seen a lot of spiritual teachers, many with ‘big names’, you might say. But since the first day I saw you, your transmission has always seemed to come through so powerfully and purely. Is this just a quirk of your being do you think? Is this ability to transmit a skill that some teachers possess and others do not, regardless of the depth of their own realization?

You know, I don’t know. This might just be a resonance between you and myself. Some people, many people really, come to my satsangs and say ‘nice to meet you, thanks’, but don’t feel that connection. But they might feel it with someone else. In a way, it is a mystery. And different teachers can suit our needs at different times, depending on what we are ready for. When I met Papaji, there was this instant resonance for me, but I was in a certain place, I was ready. So you have to follow your heart.

Thank you so much Gangaji.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. August 7, 2009 11:48 pm

    Great interview, Lisa! That must have been fun to do this. I have listened to a few of her videos and audio books and have always liked her work.

  2. August 7, 2009 11:57 pm

    Congratulations on an excellent interview. You asked some diverse questions.

    I’ve never met Gangaji but I’ve read and listened to her video satsangs. She is in place of presence and always speaks from there. She always brings it down to ground, very gently.

  3. mommymystic permalink*
    August 8, 2009 12:19 am

    Thanks Amy!

    Kaushik – Yes, bringing it ‘down to the ground’, in the details of where we actually live our lives, is important to me and something I think Gangaji is especially good at. She can ‘use anything that comes up’ as she puts it, to help bring a person back to themselves. That’s really why I asked about social engagement, and parenting, and Europe and all that – to ground the discussion. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for visiting!

  4. August 8, 2009 1:11 am

    Lisa,
    What an enlightening interview, and of someone I’ve only peripherally heard of. Having kids of my own, and also finding there are days when it can seem like my job as parent is just to deliver a child from one place to the next – I connected very much on all the thought around parenting. This idea of inquiring “within a moment” – moments that we all have – this is really enlightening for me. So, if I can take this moment (any moment) and inquire (or detach) – wow, this just right on the surface seems like there could be so much there. Lisa, I’m so glad you brought up this question of pursuing spirituality. I know, in those hectic moments of life – spirituality is not where I’m at. And now I’m really thinking I can be – even if ever so briefly – in the moments of my day. And I think it can all lead to the idea Gangaji brings up about living in deeper consciousness…a place I find so refreshing for my soul (and also a place I’m not at enough…).

    Lisa, thanks so much for this wonderful introduction to Gangaji and her life and mission.

  5. August 8, 2009 4:19 am

    I’m reading this with my green smoothie 🙂

    I find it interesting what Gangaji has to say about spiritual people and political people, that such separation is a myth. As you know, I just wrote a post about our idea of a “spiritual” person and how this idea can isolate us.

    I also find it interesting what Gangaji has to say what I call “the New World.” Again, as you know (hey, thank you for being such a faithful reader of my blog), I’ve been pushing this idea. I don’t think the wonderful New World WILL happen: I think we CAN create a wonderful New World. It’s about taking up our power.

    Regarding your personal situation in the cultural divide — I totally agree with Gangaji. We need people like you who can integrate the differences. Some people connect over the differences mainly by emotions. You can integrate the differences mentally and intellectually. That is a valuable gift. For the New World.

    Love, Light & Truth,
    Akemi

  6. August 8, 2009 12:46 pm

    This is a really great, thought-provoking interview. The main theme that came through to me is how she integrates her spiritual side with “engaging” in the world. It can be easy for us to dedicate our lives to one or the other, but she seems to have a firm grasp, and active participation, in both.

    Thank you for doing this, Lisa. I loved it!

  7. mommymystic permalink*
    August 8, 2009 4:12 pm

    Lance – I’m so glad you liked it, and connected to that part of the interview particularly. I think letting go of this idea that we need to create certain cirumstances to find presence – a meditation cushion or quiet time, etc. – is very freeing. It helps us to see our whole life, and especially parenting, as food for our path. Something we often say, but it is very hard to accomplish. Inquiry as Gangaji works with it, is very powerful. Her own ‘teacher’s teacher’ – Ramana Maharshi actually started his journey at 16 years of age when he suddenly felt like he was going to die, and instead of resisting it, laid down and inquired ‘who is it that is going to die?’ It is a powerful practice.

    Akemi – Yes, one of the things I like about Gangaji is that she rarely, in my experience anyway, even uses this word ‘spiritual’ or the word ‘teacher’ for herself. All kinds of individuals come to her satsangs, from all kinds of backgrounds. It is very uniting. And I tend to view the ‘new world’ idea in the same way you have put it here – as something we can work towards, but not a certainty.

    Jay – I’m glad you liked it. Yes, I think this is one of Gangaji’s strength, as I wrote in some prior comments. She doesn’t draw lines between ‘spiritual’ and ‘non-spiritual’.

  8. August 8, 2009 5:41 pm

    Lisa,
    Congratulations on a lovely and powerful interview. It must have been very exciting for your to do this. I drank my morning coffee with it to really soak it in. Your questions were heartfelt and much appreciated.

    Like you, I am a very practical woman and I want to know how to live, really live, in this world, sidewalk level, no pie in the sky stuff. Gangaji’s approach is so appealing and I resonated much with what she said. Especially her understanding of being present to what is. That the present moment is the teacher. To pay attention to the stories we build about things. There is much here to ponder and I am sure I will return to read it again. Her humility is palpable, and we can all use a little more of that. Thank you, again!

  9. mommymystic permalink*
    August 8, 2009 7:37 pm

    Jan – So glad you enjoyed and could take the time to read it slowly! It’s interesting you mentioned her humility. That is exactly what I always feel when at her satsangs, even when she is speaking strong words to someone (something rarely necessary in her presence, but she will wield the teacher’s sword on occasion). It is all from a place of presence, or emptiness, in Zen speak. She has no need to defend her position or words. This can sometimes cause people to underestimate her power I think – we like flash and pomp, even in our spiritual leaders, or at least sometimes our ego does. But she has tremendous power, or rather, is empty to allow true power to come through her, if you can settle in to hear it.

  10. August 8, 2009 10:24 pm

    You know what Lisa – I’m sitting here reading that question that you shared from Maharshi in the comments above: “who is it that is going to die?”. And – I don’t feel like I’m going to die, but.. as I say that question, and really let it absorb into my being, not just on the surface – I’m overcome by this thought of not dieing physically, more a spiritual and emotional death – and where am I on that curve. As I ask, I’m realizing even more that these parts of me are so important. And do I neglect them sometimes? And why? (lots of questions from that one question…). I’m not sure if I’ve taken this question off on a tangent, but I want you to know how good this question is for me to ask myself. And not just today – a question to keep asking, keep there in front of me.

    Anyway, thank you for that.

  11. mommymystic permalink*
    August 9, 2009 3:43 pm

    Lance, thank you, I am so glad this practice is meaningful for you. I do think this question, the more we ask it, strips away the layers we are attached to, and helps us get to the essence of who or what we are. Here’s a brief summary of Ramana’s experience with it: http://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/selfrealisation.html

    I also love the book The Spiritual Teachings of Ramana Maharshi if you are interested. He was really an incredible being, and even just gazing his picture is a powerful experience. Ghandi relates his meeting with him in one of his own books too, as Ramana was a big influence on him.

  12. August 10, 2009 2:15 am

    Nothing that Gangaji says in this interview strikes me as falling in the category of religious doctrine. She speaks in terms of experiences and insights that anyone can have, can look at – can inquire into for themselves. And personally speaking, it is this experiential aspect of spirituality that has proved meaningful, energizing, creative and strengthening.

    But of course I’ve also known individuals for whom firm religious convictions concerning supernatural entities and realms plays a constructive role in their lives. Yet clearly such religious beliefs, which are often mutually exclusive and irreconcilable, are frequently a source of division and conflict on the world stage.

    I wonder whether Gangaji would anticipate or hope that as a species we’ll outgrow religious beliefs, or if she sees humanity’s disparate beliefs in this domain as being sustainable.

  13. August 10, 2009 6:30 am

    Hi Lisa

    As you probably know from visiting my site, I’m always looking for the next great quote. I didn’t find it here, but on her website Gangaji says this about love: “The degree to which you are willing to be hurt is the degree to which you are willing to love, be loved, and be taught by love.” I’d never thought about love in that way. It makes me feel braver somehow!

    I’ve ‘heard’ you mention this woman so often. It was nice to finally ‘meet’ her. Thanks for sharing the links. You are generating so much great content on this site. It is always a joy to come here. I’m going to read some of your selected posts now.

  14. mommymystic permalink*
    August 10, 2009 2:31 pm

    Paul – yes, this is another reason I really resonate with Gangaji right now I think. Although I love religion from the perspective of symbology, ritual and stories, as you know I lose patience with the divisions it can create. Gangaji focuses on experience, and getting beyond experience, and in person she has a very powerful transmission, as I mentioned. As a result all different kinds of people, with all different kinds of beliefs, come to her satsangs. Of course there are some who need to ‘place’ her, and because her teacher’s teacher was Ramana Maharshi, who is usually ‘placed’ as being from the Vedanta/Advaita ‘non-dualism’ philosophy, that is how she is often labeled. But she herself doesn’t use that label, and interestingly neither did her teacher or Ramana. She actually was raised Christian (Episcopalian I think?) and I think her brother or maybe another relative is actually a priest (don’t quote me on that)? But anyway, she has done some beautiful talks and interviews on Jesus, one of which I have on a CD, not sure if it’s available online or not.

    Brenda – That is a beautiful quote. Yes, Gangaji talks about this theme alot. I remember once she talked about being willing to have your heart broken open. This really resonated with me – getting beyond ‘self-protection’. I realized at the time that I had gotten so wrapped up in energy awareness, labeling everything ‘positive’ energy or ‘negative’ energy, that I had become all about self-protection (and of course we all have emotional self-protection mechanisms also.) Tapping into this idea of not being afraid of pain, of just being open, has been very powerful for me, and deepened my awareness.

  15. August 11, 2009 12:39 am

    Lisa, thanks for making this interview available. Its contents remind blog visitors that human beings are at different stages of self-awareness. Although Earthly geography sometimes prompts people to assume people are more or less spiritual in a given region, individual perception is ultimately validated or not by personal experience. One can encounter individuals who resonate spiritual energy anywhere. In fact, wherever you are, as an energy being, you attract parallel vibrations, whether or not you are aware. To keep an open heart sends that kind of energy out and helps the world heal as you also heal thyself.

  16. August 11, 2009 1:21 am

    I think the most interesting question that you have posed is the one on “cultural divide”. Yes, I do believe that you can have an important part to play. I really enjoyed Gangaji’s response of the possibility of “a new common ground even, or at least an acceptance and shared presence”. One of the greatest myths that we are operating on is the separation paradigm. We certainly need more of us to bring about the shift towards oneness.

  17. August 11, 2009 5:07 am

    Hello Lisa, I’m new here…found you via your comment on CreateaBalance.com today. Thank you for your kind words and wonderful feedback. As you alluded to, when we let go of what perfect balance should ‘look like’, our life does seem to become balanced for the moment as we find satisfaction right where we are.

    In your interview, this part appealed to me: “But you can come to a point where the moment any disturbance arises, you see that, and you inquire, right there.”

    I am very new to this way of thinking. The idea of inquiry appeals to me because it focuses on awareness. By going through the inquiry I believe that the emotional reaction will be pushed aside to focus, instead, on the act of responding. My favorite way of responding is to attempt to understand.

  18. mommymystic permalink*
    August 11, 2009 2:43 pm

    Liara – thank for connecting this to an energy perspective, which as you know, I am also interested in. I agree there is an opportunity everywhere in every situation to either exude peace or conflict, and we make that choice moment by moment.

    Evelyn – yes, we find separation in so many ways. I do think personal ‘cultural divide’ is part of my ‘karma’, for lack of a better word, and something I can work with, for myself and the others involved.

    Suzanne – I really enjoyed your guest post over at http://www.createabalance.com, thanks for visiting. I am glad that part of the interview resonated, I think it is so relevant to parenting especially. We can only choose how we respond when we are aware of all the levels operating within us, and what else might be influencing us. And then there is an opportunity to take it deeper too, as see what is beneath all these reactions, as our spiritual process unfolds.

  19. August 11, 2009 7:46 pm

    Lisa, you did a lovely job of interviewing Gangaji and bringing out points that are so relevant to all of us. Thank you for sharing this.

    I loved her reminder about diving beneath the surface of the cultural/religious/political divide to find the deeper commonalities and connection.

    Your own writing on women’s spirituality takes me to this deeper place of compassion and commonality with other women when I am otherwise tempted to react to polarized views, especially when it comes to parenting. Though I am tempted to avoid the “mommy wars” altogether, reaching out to find common ground in the midst of this polarization is a worthy effort.

    Cheers!
    Alexis

  20. August 12, 2009 12:39 am

    How wondeful to connect in this way with Gangaji and then share it with us. I too love her ability to stay connected with reality, because that is where we are and that is where we want to make changes.
    I also like her way of using language and how careful she is with the meaning of words.
    Words are powerful and in their meaning making they can lead me astray without me noticing it.
    I love her ability to let us observe and observe and observe before making a judgment about what is going on too soon.
    Thank you, Lisa.

  21. August 12, 2009 1:35 pm

    Hi Lisa – I really enjoyed the interview – I thought you asked great questions and I loved Gangaji’s answers. I liked the point she made about kids showing their parents their inner selves (being an ex school-teacher I don’t think it’s only the parents that cop it!) I also liked the way she pointed out that people resonate differently with different teachers.

  22. mommymystic permalink*
    August 12, 2009 2:48 pm

    Alexis – I’m glad you brought up the ‘mommy ways’ – I really was not very aware of all the strong feelings regarding parenting until I became one, and you are so right that this is yet another area of ‘otherizing’ and separation. And I think it is one ripe for the kind of inquiry Gangaji is discussing, because the strong reactions are I feel partly because we each always feel a little bit insecure in our decisions, because we love our children so much, and never feel quite up to the task of what they deserve. So those emotions fuel the strong attachment to our own parenting decisions and reaction against differing views.

    Wilma – I like what you say about words sometimes leading us astray. I am a very verbal/mental person, and I know just what you mean. It is easy to stay at the level of concepts and philosophy, and avoid looking at our own mind in the way Gangaji invites us to do.

    Robin – Thank you for bringing up the way children show all of us our inner selves, this is so true. I worked as a camp counselor in college, and it was eye-opener in that way for me too, even for that short of time. Of course, the adults in our lives can do the same thing, because we all act like children sometimes:-)

  23. Durga permalink
    August 12, 2009 6:28 pm

    🙂

  24. TinaR permalink
    August 17, 2009 6:08 pm

    Lisa – Thank you for the interview with Gangaji. It is really something I needed to hear today. What I loved most is how her message came across to me so simply yet so powerful and words were not a hinderance. I was just thinking about how in a few years I will be “free” when my daughter gets older and can then pursue spirituality more! I love, love her guidance on inquiring when something arises. I feel that there are gifts in our own situations every day but yet for me its so easy to have all the layers pile on that you lose that clarity.

    Thanks again!

  25. mommymystic permalink*
    August 19, 2009 9:41 pm

    Tina – glad this resonated – yes, don’t let anything become an excuse! It’s all there inside you right now!

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