In 2015, prior to the Science and Nonduality Conference, Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump assembled a large panel at Sofia University to discuss a variety of topics including teacher ethics, peer support, and maturity: especially in part 2. Reposted here with permission.
From the left:
Laurie Moore, Susanne Marie, Mariana Caplan, Dana Sawyer, Francis Bennett, Craig Holliday (speaking), Kristin Kirk, Rick Archer (moderator), Clare Blanchflower, David Buckland, Chuck Hillig, David Ellzey, Kiran Trace, and Jeffery Martin (host). Canela Michelle Meyers (not pictured) arrived for part 2 in the afternoon. She was seated on the left.
All have had BATGAP interviews and many were speaking at SAND that year.
Part 1 included the following topics:
- What is awakening and enlightenment? Are we on the same page? Discussion goes into direct experiencing of different states, levels and depths of consciousness in the evolution of the progressive, dynamic process of awakening.
- What is identity and identification in different stages in the evolution of consciousness and the journey of the dissolution of self?
- What are the value of words and the use of semantics in the discussion of awakening and Self realization?
- Is awakening lost in the experience of our brokenness? In the face of deep emotional trauma or when life shatters, what happens? Is there an abiding, unmoving stability that is unshakeable in all circumstances?
- The evolution of our humanity as an expression of the divine and the importance of continued growth and refinement in the awakening journey.
Part 2 topics:
- The panel reflects on the morning session from direct experience after meditating together.
- Discussion of spiritual teachers and how awakening can come with new charisma and confidence along with an ability to enliven others which can lead to ego aggrandizement. Panel discusses what to be aware of and how to share with humility and grace.
- Spiritual Maturity – Importance of ongoing psychological growth and healing post-awakening. Benefit of peer check-in, therapy, and support.
- Sharing of ideas of new paradigm for spiritual teaching to include humanness and meeting students as equals. Importance of honesty and sharing humanity and personality and not playing a role.
- Experiences of subtle realms and beings, psychic powers, siddis that can naturally arise. Refinement and exploring dimensions of consciousness,
skillfully sharing gifts and graces that arise with awakening for the good of all.
- Importance of developing spiritual maturity and continued growth and healing.
- When is mystical experience useful and the benefit of guides in such openings.
- A discussion of healing and wellness in association to awakening.
- Are awakening and healing interrelated or separate journeys?
- Is it important to heal before awakening or can healing take place afterwards? Refinement and purification of physiology.
- Is healing necessary for an abiding awakening?
- Functioning in daily life after an initial awakening.
- Panel shares their leading / learning edge right now to enter the conversation with vulnerable truth.