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Being Yourself

Sacred Land, Ancient Blessings
March 14, 2023,
Episode 56

“To be nothing, to be nobody, is to realize who you are.”

This month on Being Yourself, we share one the first meetings Gangaji held in Byron Bay, Australia. This is the land of the Arakwal Bumberlin people, who have lived in the coastal landscape around the Byron Bay area for at least 22,000 years. Gangaji begins by acknowledging how the ancient Aboriginal peoples have blessed our lives. Then she invites us to end our search for spiritual superiority to simply be who we truly are—no “thing” at all.

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At some point in our lives, we will experience a loss of innocence. Whether that disillusionment is with ourselves, our family, or with life itself, there is a choice that arises in the midst of loss. Will we fall into cynicism and self-betrayal? Or will we meet the pain of that loss directly and in that, discover the innocence that was never lost.
At some point in our lives, we will experience a loss of innocence. Whether that disillusionment is...
“You are free to discover yourself as Truth. You are free to rest in that Truth. You are free to be happy, regardless of your body, your thoughts, emotions, or circumstances.”

In this month’s podcast, Gangaji begins with a clear exposition on how it is absolutely possible to discover yourself as Truth, no matter your past history. Then in the lively exchange that follows, she speaks to how we deny the truth of ourselves and instead, cling to an identify rooted in our thoughts, emotions, and relative circumstances. Do you dare give up your self-denial?
“You are free to discover yourself as Truth. You are free to rest in that Truth. You are free to...
“There is no problem with pain. There is pain. If you are seeking something to avoid pain, that’s the suffering. That’s the search that must be called off.”

It takes effort to avoid our emotional pain. We can try to avoid it, but ultimately the common strategies of withdrawing, protecting, and dissociating from feelings of hurt actually turn emotional pain into unnecessary suffering. This lively exchange taken from the Gangaji archives offers a clear demonstration of how we can recognize the strategies we use and then choose to give up the power to suffer.
“There is no problem with pain. There is pain. If you are seeking something to avoid pain,...
“If you stop thinking about how to get out of the body that may be painful or how to keep the body that is pain free, you get to experience the truth.”

Physical pain is an essential aspect of life that serves the survival and well-being of the body, but we can easily turn that necessary pain that alerts us to injury and illness into unnecessary suffering. What is the difference between pain and suffering? What can physical pain reveal to us when we meet it directly?
“If you stop thinking about how to get out of the body that may be painful or how to keep the body...

Where is the life you want?


As much as we can fear death, we can also fear living a full and vibrant life. In this exchange, Gangaji helps a woman get to the root of what keeps her fear of vibrancy running. This conversation demonstrates how each of us has the capacity to discover how to live a true and full life.

Where is the life you want? As much as we can fear death, we can also fear living a full and vibrant...
“The strategies and avoidance around the experience of “not being” or death are what keep you from the experience of eternal life.”

As a young boy of 16, Ramana chose to stop running from what he feared and turned to face death directly. In that moment of inquiry, he opened his mind asking, “Who dies?”  All of us share that same opportunity to stop running and inquire into what we fear most—the end of “me.” In the willingness to investigate death itself, we can discover what cannot die, we can truly rest in the peace that is present here and now.
“The strategies and avoidance around the experience of “not being” or death are what keep you...

“It was a fire. It was really a fire because it was a razor’s edge. All of sudden there are these huge groups. And if I identified even the slightest negatively or positively…I am sliced on this razor I am living on. It was really a necessary fire. I had to be quiet. I had to be still.”


This month we share the soundtrack to a special 30th anniversary video honoring the community of volunteers and donors. The video begins with Gangaji’s first meeting with Papaji in 1990. After Gangaji speaks about her earliest experiences of teaching, we see what unfolded through community efforts in the years that followed. Includes featured music from Jami Sieber, Kirtana, and Amber Terrell.


“It was a fire. It was really a fire because it was a razor’s edge. All of sudden there are...
Gangaji speaks about the role spiritual practice plays in our lives and invites us to discover what we are practicing when we “get off our cushion and the chanting stops.” What do our spiritual practices give us? What do we hope they will give us? What can they never give us?
Gangaji speaks about the role spiritual practice plays in our lives and invites us to discover what...

“It’s a lie that any thing gives you fulfilling, true, deep joy. Joy is your nature.”


We can feel deeply conflicted when following our hearts doesn’t line up with what we or others think we should be doing. When we reach the proverbial and often frightening “fork in the road,” we have a choice to be true to ourselves. Gangaji begins this meeting speaking about the difference between being normal and being natural, and then shares one of the key “fork in the road” moments she experienced in her life.


“It’s a lie that any thing gives you fulfilling, true, deep joy. Joy is your nature.” We can...
Universal, absolute awareness is who you are.”

How is it possible to be “certain” of who we are? In the wake of an essential and undeniable experience of our true nature as pure consciousness, doubt usually arises—“Did that really happen? Is it real?” Then, we often look to our thoughts for the answer. In this powerful dialogue, Gangaji helps us see past the efforts of the rational, conditioned mind to grasp to the doubtless recognition of what is always here.
“Universal, absolute awareness is who you are.” How is it possible to be “certain” of who...

“The error is that you are not what can be thought, or perceived, or felt. You are that which all thoughts, all perceptions, all feelings, appear in.”


In countless ways, we search for a “better” identity to replace who we think we are. This month, Gangaji speaks to the trap of misidentification. How is it possible to see your true face? Where are you looking for yourself?

“The error is that you are not what can be thought, or perceived, or felt. You are that which all...
“This is not psychotherapy. This is not anti-psychotherapy. This has nothing to do with fixing you. This has to do with discovering fully and completely what is always here and was always here in the worst moments, in the best moments.”

In this monologue recorded during a recent retreat at Fallen Leaf Lake, Gangaji delineates the crucial difference between psychotherapy and self-inquiry and the distinct purposes they serve in our lives.
“This is not psychotherapy. This is not anti-psychotherapy. This has nothing to do with fixing...
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What if in reality there is no God; that despite our spiritual beliefs and practices we discover that they are no more than mental concepts that somehow comfort us as human beings? What if peace and stillness are merely the result of the sophisticated inner workings of the brain? Are God and the brain the same? At the end of the day, the answer to that question may not even matter, but actually facing the core of our doubt might be the most important thing we ever do. Where is God? Where is stillness? What is true?
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There are so many aspects that make up a human life: where we live, who we choose for a partner, what our spiritual beliefs are, how we want to raise our children, what political views we support. The list is certainly different for each of us. However, the least discussed and most vulnerable conversation we could have might be around the subject of sex. From sexual intimacy, to shame, to the tangle of addiction, today we're talking about facing the rawness of humanity and what that has to do with discovering the truth of who we are.
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This month we're asking the tough and less obvious questions about how we cause our own suffering. Is there a way that we knowingly or unknowingly receive something from our suffering? Is it even possible to suffer if we are taking full responsibility for our own lives? When calling off the search means putting an end to victimhood could it be that the freedom we desire is truly in our own hands?
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This episode takes a look at what it is we put our trust in on a daily basis. When we rely on our thoughts, emotions, circumstances and who we think we are then we fall victim to the roller coaster of life, because all of those things are subject to change. There is also the doubt that naturally comes from betrayal. Gangaji addresses the question of how we find what is truly trustworthy in the face of our everyday lives.
This episode takes a look at what it is we put our trust in on a daily basis. When we rely on our...
All of us will at one time or another be confronted with some type of acute or chronic pain, both emotional and physical. As humans, it's normal to try to search for ways to get rid of it, or at least find some relief. In this first episode of A Conversation with Gangaji, we look at the possibility of going underneath the pain to discover what is truer than the experience of pain itself. What happens if, for a moment, we don't try to fix it?
All of us will at one time or another be confronted with some type of acute or chronic pain, both...
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“I am here for you. We are here for each other. We are all in this together.”
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