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“To play the role of yourself, which is the transcendent role, the role of freedom, you have to trust something unknowable.”


The themes of belonging, freedom from identification, and trusting our direct experience come together in this month’s podcast. This powerful interplay of themes opens the mind to the heart and invites an inquiry: What does it mean to be free? Where do you belong?

“To play the role of yourself, which is the transcendent role, the role of freedom, you have to...
We have been blessed to hear Aea Luz sing at Gangaji's retreats. Now, we are happy to share her beautiful voice with you. This Being Yourself podcast extra features a new song from Aea that was actually inspired while she was on retreat with Gangaji—One Thing Goin' On. It is taken from of her recently released album, Dust & Light available on aealuz.com.

To learn more about Aea and how she came to write this song visit out community blog.
We have been blessed to hear Aea Luz sing at Gangaji's retreats. Now, we are happy to share her...
A key strategy for our human survival is to “be special.” If we stand out in some way, get noticed by others, we may find ourselves better positioned in the “herd.” That isn’t necessarily a problem, until the drive to be more and more special becomes an addiction and in that, is ultimately destructive. This lively exchange offers great insight into what it means to be absolutely ordinary, and still discover what is truly extraordinary.
A key strategy for our human survival is to “be special.” If we stand out in some way, get...
“Stop all effort to get whatever it is you think will give you fulfillment. All that is required is one instant of truly stopping.”

The longing for true freedom, for lasting fulfillment is no ordinary desire. Unlike the desires for food, shelter, or social connection that serve our physical survival, true fulfillment cannot be attained, even if we employ spiritual techniques and meditation practices. In this monologue, Gangaji speaks to the resolution of the paradox this extraordinary desire presents in our lives—true fulfillment can only be realized if you don’t do anything for its realization.
“Stop all effort to get whatever it is you think will give you fulfillment. All that is required...
In dealing with life’s hardships, we naturally identify what is broken, what emotions need to be controlled, which circumstances need to get better. That is part of the human drive to survive. But there is something beyond brokenness, beyond any emotions we wish would go away. In the willingness to directly meet the pain we fear, rather than trying to control or get rid of it, there is a life-changing discovery of what is whole, complete, and has no need of fixing.
In dealing with life’s hardships, we naturally identify what is broken, what emotions need to be...
Our most sublime experiences of acceptance, wholeness, and truth, are commonly followed by a fierce “mind attack.” If there is a willingness to investigate what is underneath the experience, there is a revelation of what is untouched in the wake of any mental phenomena.
Our most sublime experiences of acceptance, wholeness, and truth, are commonly followed by a fierce...
“All of your life you have wanted to be who you are.  That is what authentic means, isn’t it?”

Recognizing you are just “faking it” is a moment of discriminating wisdom that reveals an essential choice point. Will you keep faking it? When the desire for the truth of who you are overwhelms every other human desire, the choice becomes clear. In this exchange, Gangaji takes us on a deep dive into the desire for authenticity and the habit of postponement.

 
“All of your life you have wanted to be who you are.  That is what authentic means, isn’t...
Many have taken a spiritual path to escape the pain of human suffering that flows from war and injustice. But the truth is, we are never separate from it all. Where can we discover the strength and the capacity to bear that pain? How can our lives be beacons of true peace?
Many have taken a spiritual path to escape the pain of human suffering that flows from war and...
A new composition from Scott Reich blends Gangaji's spoken word with his music. Listening is an opportunity to drop deeply into the message, "You, yourself, are Home."
A new composition from Scott Reich blends Gangaji's spoken word with his music. Listening is an...
As human beings living in relationship to each other, we play many different roles: partner, mother, father, son, daughter, or co-worker. In these roles, we may have the experience of not being seen or feeling invisible. In this inquiry, Gangaji takes us into the direct experience of “not being seen” to discover what is actually not being seen.
As human beings living in relationship to each other, we play many different roles: partner, mother,...
In her latest podcast, Gangaji and interviewer Mark Groves share a compelling conversation about what it means to be still, to stop. How does our fear of silence lead us away from our true self, especially in the midst of our active and often chaotic sensory world. Where do silence and sobriety meet?
In her latest podcast, Gangaji and interviewer Mark Groves share a compelling conversation about...
“There is some force that is seeking itself.  That desires itself.  That is praying for itself.”

As we begin a new year, you can take a moment for reflection. You can tell the truth about what you are desiring, what you are hoping for, what you are praying for as you walk on your spiritual path. Sharing her own personal experience, Gangaji also invites you to inquire into the source of your prayers and see what it reveals.

 
“There is some force that is seeking itself.  That desires itself.  That is praying for...
Musician and composer Scott Reich incorporates Gangaji's spoken word into a his new composition entitled "This Space of Stillness."

“I write music to create a place of refuge - for myself, and for all who are drawn to a place of deeper peace.”

 
Musician and composer Scott Reich incorporates Gangaji's spoken word into a his new composition...
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the roots of war and the opportunity of being at peace for ourselves and the world.
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the roots of war and the opportunity of being at peace for...
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the roots of war and the opportunity of being at peace for ourselves and the world.
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the roots of war and the opportunity of being at peace for...
In this lively exchange, Gangaji speaks to the experience of “losing our peace” because some thing has changed, and where finally it is always found.
In this lively exchange, Gangaji speaks to the experience of “losing our peace” because some...
In this lively exchange, Gangaji speaks to the experience of “losing our peace” because some thing has changed, and where finally it is always found.
In this lively exchange, Gangaji speaks to the experience of “losing our peace” because some...
Gangaji shares how it is possible to discover the limitless peace of being that is not subject to our ideas, definitions, or circumstances.
Gangaji shares how it is possible to discover the limitless peace of being that is not subject to...
“There is something closer than belief, something more present, more alive.”
“There is something closer than belief, something more present, more alive.”
Take a moment to join Gangaji for a short, but revealing inquiry: "What blocks your fulfillment?"
Take a moment to join Gangaji for a short, but revealing inquiry: "What blocks your fulfillment?"



“To be true to the eternal truth of yourself is to ignore nothing.”

Our spiritual discovery of the absolute truth of one’s being can be turned into a hiding place, where we ignore harsh realities and deny the cruelest aspects of our shared humanity. Ignorance is not “bliss.” Rather, it is the root of all suffering. In this powerful monologue delivered in 1999, Gangaji shares that the end of ignorance and our willingness to be all is the “gold of self-realization.”


“To be true to the eternal truth of yourself is to ignore nothing.” Our spiritual discovery...


“The more you are willing to face the helplessness of being human, the more being human is not the problem.”

When we step onto the spiritual path, often we hope to transcend our fears. Our fear of death and loss can drive a lack of compassion and perpetuate our unnecessary suffering. Gangaji encourages us to meet our fear, not avoid it. In a moment of giving up control and simply being undeniably flawed, mortal, and very human, we can rest in the peace of who we are.

 

 

“The more you are willing to face the helplessness of being human, the more being human is not...


The sacred hunger for truth, for God, for love, for peace, for freedom is the force calling us home. This deep longing doesn’t leave us alone. It persists even with a lifetime of disillusionments or “unfulfilled promises.” No matter what spiritual path we have taken or not taken, Gangaji offers all this encouragement: “Let this hunger for Truth have you. It is a glorious feast, and it is time to stop circling the table. You have a place at this feast.”

The sacred hunger for truth, for God, for love, for peace, for freedom is the force calling us...


Many take a spiritual path in life with a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of all sentient beings. In this month’s episode of Being Yourself, a young man asks, “How can I cultivate the heart of a Bodhisattva?” Gangaji speaks to how we can be true to the Bodhisattva heart in the face of our human, cultural, and spiritual conditioning.

Many take a spiritual path in life with a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of all...


Many take a spiritual path in life with a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of all sentient beings. In this month’s episode of Being Yourself, a young man asks, “How can I cultivate the heart of a Bodhisattva?” Gangaji speaks to how we can be true to the Bodhisattva heart in the face of our human, cultural, and spiritual conditioning.

Many take a spiritual path in life with a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of all...
We naturally value self-reliance and independence, especially in Western culture. Considering our personal survival, the desire to not be dependent on others makes sense, but is it real? In this podcast, Gangaji helps us discover the self we can truly rely on and the self-love that is revealed in that discovery.

“I would like to share with you exactly what I mean when I say self-reliant and how essential it is that you be completely, absolutely, totally self-reliant. First, you have to know what “self” means.”
We naturally value self-reliance and independence, especially in Western culture. Considering our...
As the new year approaches, we can shift our focus from what we think we need to fix and give our full attention to what is already whole and perfect. In this podcast, Gangaji speaks of the catalyst for a deeper awakening—the willingness to “unlearn” and open to what is fresh, alive, and who you are.
As the new year approaches, we can shift our focus from what we think we need to fix and give our...
In The Inherent Effortlessness of Being Who You Are Gangaji makes it clear that true resolution can be discovered when you set aside your cosmologies, theologies, and formulas for that which is much, much closer— the truth of who you are.
In The Inherent Effortlessness of Being Who You Are Gangaji makes it clear that true resolution can...
In Let Yourself Be Found Gangaji shares a teaching story about what is discovered when we are willing to call off the search
In Let Yourself Be Found Gangaji shares a teaching story about what is discovered when we are...
Gangaji speaks to the maturity needed when we are confronted with significant life challenges.
Gangaji speaks to the maturity needed when we are confronted with significant life challenges.
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the natural integrity and vigilance revealed when we are truly willing to be humbled.
In this podcast, Gangaji speaks about the natural integrity and vigilance revealed when we are truly...
This month our conversation on the subject of racism continues. Taking us more deeply to the underlying fear that is the source of racism, Gangaji speaks about the fear of death and the fear of our own and others’ freedom. Recalling her early life in Mississippi, she shares the moment when her racist conditioning was first challenged and how that awakening set her on the path to discovering true freedom.

 

Listen to Part 1
This month our conversation on the subject of racism continues. Taking us more deeply to the...
This month Gangaji sits down for an interview on the subject of racism. Gangaji grew up in Mississippi, raised as a white southern girl in the segregated town of Clarksdale. In this interview, she speaks about how her own racist conditioning first began to be dismantled. She invites us not only to meet the cruelty and wrongs of the past 400 years, but also to meet the internal system of racism within our own minds today.

Part One of this interview covers the human patterns of denial, seeking power for survival, meeting the fear that perpetuates racism, and the possibility of serving true freedom for all beings everywhere.
This month Gangaji sits down for an interview on the subject of racism. Gangaji grew up in...
Reckoning with a Cruel White Legacy: In this historic moment, white people have an opportunity to redress the long, cruel legacy of racism in America. Author Ibram X. Kendi said, “The history of racism is a history of denial.” So that is where we begin with this episode: the resolve to end denial and face hard truths. In this recording from 1998, Gangaji recounts an article about Bishop Desmond Tutu. His commitment to truth and reconciliation in South Africa serves as an inspiration to us all.

“When you are seeking nothing but the truth, and in that seeking, you are willing to see everything, then closure is a by-product. Peace is revealed, harmony is revealed, to be your own self.”

 
Reckoning with a Cruel White Legacy: In this historic moment, white people have an opportunity to...
What is revealed when we stay conscious in the midst of great upheaval? When we are willing to inquire with an open mind, we can move beyond simply coping with disaster and discover a life-changing truth untouched by any loss. Recorded in March of 2011 following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, this monologue is relevant to the times we find ourselves in now, confronting a worldwide pandemic.
What is revealed when we stay conscious in the midst of great upheaval? When we are willing to...
Mistakenly, we define who we are by the roles we play in the theater we call our lives. Then we further define ourselves with our evaluations of how well or how poorly we play those roles. When Gangaji first met Papaji, he told her to stop everything. In her willingness to stop everything and just be, Gangaji saw past the roles (mother, daughter, spiritual seeker, wife, student) and recognized her true face. It is possible for all of us to recognize our true face—the truth of who we are. Then every role we are given can be played fully and authentically. We can live freely, resting in the truth of who we are.
Mistakenly, we define who we are by the roles we play in the theater we call our lives. Then we...
Together we are facing a global pandemic. It is something none of us has ever faced, something that is truly unknown. Naturally fear arises in uncertainty, fear that can lead to panic. How can we meet this moment with our natural intelligence?
Together we are facing a global pandemic. It is something none of us has ever faced, something that...
When we are filled with doubt and overwhelm, and all seems to be falling apart, there is the potential through self-inquiry to discover home. This enlivening exchange with Gangaji, recorded in Santa Fe in 1998, demonstrates how in our willingness to fall apart, we ultimately see what falls away and what remains—the home that is real.
When we are filled with doubt and overwhelm, and all seems to be falling apart, there is the...
Is your inner critic running your life? The inner critic tells us how we are not enough, how we should be more, how we should be better than we think we are. Thinking about what is wrong with us can eat up our lives and ultimately distracts us from the essential truth. In this episode of Being Yourself, Gangaji demonstrates how to confront the inner-critic without judgment, and finally end the war between ego and superego.
Is your inner critic running your life? The inner critic tells us how we are not enough, how we...
Where is your attention? Our minds are designed to recognize what is “wrong” and needs fixing. This aspect of our ego serves our survival as human animals. There is nothing wrong with this aspect of our ego, but if we only look for what is wrong and neglect to honor what is already whole and free, then we suffer unnecessarily. Wherever you find yourself, you can take this moment to shift your attention to what is right: the wonder of existence itself.
Where is your attention? Our minds are designed to recognize what is “wrong” and needs fixing....
"The Door is Open."

How can you discover freedom and peace exactly where you are right now, in your current circumstances, without changing anything? This month reading a former prisoner’s letter, Gangaji speaks to the egoic prisons we live our lives in, and how it is possible to recognize the door to freedom that is already open.

Learn more about Gangaji's Prison Program.

 
"The Door is Open." How can you discover freedom and peace exactly where you are right now, in your...
We all play many roles in our lives: parent, child, student, seeker, teacher, boss, and many, many more. But what do we want our lives to be used for? In this episode, Gangaji shares her own experience of being in the role of teacher and addresses how the roles we play can serve the deepest truth—the truth of who we are.

Being Yourself host, Barbara Denempont, welcomes a special guest this month, Hillary Larson this month. Hillary shares her own experience of roles ending and beginning, and what her journey to the Amazon rain forest revealed to her about finding home.

Plus Hillary has a special invitation for you. You can join Hillary in supporting Gangaji's podcast and other programs through a matching grant. Find out how your monthly pledge can be doubled for a full year.

 
We all play many roles in our lives: parent, child, student, seeker, teacher, boss, and many, many...
What if the last obstacle to discovering true freedom and fulfillment is just a thought? Often hiding in plain sight, our common doubts— “I am stuck,” “I am separate,” “I can’t help it”—are how we create our reality and suffer unnecessarily. In this episode of Being Yourself, Gangaji offers a radical invitation and demonstrates how being aware of what we are actually thinking can open the door to freedom. We all have the capacity to see through our doubting thoughts into the vast simplicity of who I am—freedom itself.
What if the last obstacle to discovering true freedom and fulfillment is just a thought? Often...
One of the ways we commonly define ourselves is by our “problems.” In this episode of Being Yourself, Gangaji powerfully challenges the assumptions we have about our problems and what it means if we can or cannot find the respective solutions. If we can’t solve our day-to-day problems, does that exclude us from living a free and authentic life? What really is the last obstacle that keeps one from discovering natural fulfillment?
One of the ways we commonly define ourselves is by our “problems.” In this episode of Being...
When we let go of our worldly desires we often replace them with spiritual desires. When we want enlightenment what is it that we imagine enlightenment will give us? Really? In this podcast Gangaji dares us to set aside all our desires, for just one moment, and to discover what is here, completely fulfilled, and awake.
When we let go of our worldly desires we often replace them with spiritual desires. When we want...
Chasing success and avoiding failure are natural aspects of our human drive to survive. On the spiritual path, however, ending our struggle with avoiding failure offers a profound realization. This illuminating dialogue between Gangaji and a retreat participant gives us a fresh look at failure, perhaps one you have never considered. Gangaji challenges all of our assumptions and leads us to the recognition of what is deeper than either success or failure ... and is always here.
Chasing success and avoiding failure are natural aspects of our human drive to survive. On the...
“Enlightenment at the core is heart opening, and heart opening reveals wisdom. And wisdom is mercy. It’s impossible to be merciful to anyone else if your heart is closed to yourself.”

We continue the investigation into self-hatred with this episode of Being Yourself. Gangaji speaks to the necessity of “kissing the toad” if you truly want to be free of patterns of self-hatred and live a life rooted in self-love.
“Enlightenment at the core is heart opening, and heart opening reveals wisdom. And wisdom is...
This month, Gangaji begins an exploration into the many facets of self-hatred. Our first installment in a series begins with the egoic cycle of inflation and deflation. How do we get off this wheel of suffering? We are all familiar with feeling great and feeling horrible, but what does that have to do with who we are? This powerful monologue helps us see how the egoic structure works, and that is possible to stop perpetuating patterns of avoidance and patterns of grasping.
This month, Gangaji begins an exploration into the many facets of self-hatred. Our first installment...
We have looked at how we project onto the so-called “other” and the unnecessary suffering that projection generates. This month, we look at how we relate to ourselves as an object in our own minds, overlooking our true face.  Objectification also leads to unhappiness and suffering. In this episode, Gangaji offers the possibility to completely simplify our narratives saying, “The ultimate universal remedy to suffering is I AM.”
We have looked at how we project onto the so-called “other” and the unnecessary suffering that...
Projection is an aspect of our human minds that allows us to survive and to function, but projection can also lead us to suffer unnecessarily in all kinds of relationships and within our our minds. In the extreme, when we project fear and hatred onto the so-called "other", tragically it can manifest into horrendous violence. So what can we do as individuals? In this episode, Gangaji addresses how  we end the trance of projection and recognize what is here, now.
Projection is an aspect of our human minds that allows us to survive and to function, but projection...
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