Connected an interview with Doreen Connors

 How to Meditate, Interview – March 4, 2010


How to Meditate as a Way of Life, Daily Routine

HTM: What do you consider to be your most effective type of meditation?

Doreen: Random knitting while in nature; taking time to truly look at trees, birds, insects, sky... and getting lost in it. Ok, that is the simple answer... do You want the long version, too? That might get 'complicated'...because the form is always changing, in my meditation.

HTM: Let's get complicated. Is it always your knitting?

Doreen: No. I feel that I have to go "back to the beginning" to explain. I had a very brief stint with formal meditation at age 16, via Transcendental Meditation. I never forgot "my" mantra. A few years ago (in 2004) I resurrected it...just for fun. This precipitated a radical turning point in my awakening experience...which led me to: Listening to Eckhart Tolle on CDs, on a daily basis, until relatively recently.

HTM: It was the TM mantra that triggered this awakening experience?

Doreen: Well, connected to it!! I playfully used the mantra to meditate during this time period. I was inspired to meditate by something that a friend told me that she was doing. These meditation sessions included: lighting a candle and being near a fresh flower or plant. I felt like: "Why not?!!" It is important to understand how very lighthearted I felt about the entire process.

It was as if I was "being called" by a force within me to awaken. Primary to this experience, as I began these sessions, instead of meditating I "had to" sleep... a very drugged-like-feeling, induced napping! And during these napping "meditations"... I experienced a few lucid dreams. Dreams which contained powerful images...and apparent messages.

Over the years, if ever I found myself in a situation to meditate, I automatically "used" my mantra. I could easily get in to a deep meditative state... trance-like, I suppose. For example, I took Yoga classes briefly, at one point, and whenever we would meditate at the end of a session... I thought of the mantra.

HTM: I'm not sure I understand much about mantras. For myself, I have felt empowered when using a few words to remind me of a powerful perspective. Would it be okay for me to ask about the nature of your mantra?

Doreen: I tell You, I know nothing about mantras. The whole experience, with the mantra, "I think" is because I never "believed" in it/them…though, I knew that the experiences I had, when using it, were deep, indeed!! When one is initiated in TM, one is told never to reveal the actual mantra. And one is told that one's mantra has been carefully selected specifically for oneself. In retrospect, I can see that this mystical experience (at a young age)... along with the scientific "proof" that was presented during the TM classes was an important 'experience,' for me.

Also, I participated in a group meditation, at that time, that I shall never forget! I sensed that the energy of everyone there contributed to the depth of connection I felt, and yet it would take years before I understood, so to speak, that experience. It remained in my heart. So, with all this said. And some research I did, a few years ago, about the "un-truth" of the mantra... I am willing to reveal my mantra. IMA (i-mah) I have not used it since 2004. I seems like it was a vehicle that re-hearted the body or heart-space of this peaceful state. I have never had an expectation of something I was attempting to achieve— Love-ly...when intuition is allowed to be.

HTM: I started this interview with a question about what form of meditation do you find most effective. What I get from your last response is that you have no real expectation for achievement. Would you say you are eager to routinely do anything because of how it brings you into contact with your divinity-- or a state of blissfulness?

Doreen: No. Non-routinely I knit/create art pieces. And spend time sitting outside, or looking out the window. I feel the contact with this divine state most of the time in the background of all my endeavors. So...I have to say, that I "channel" the energy of bliss into my artwork.

HTM: What I'm getting here is a great sense of contentment. No meditation practice is sought out because you carry it with you into these circumstances-- no one posture or form gets you any closer for you feel you are already there-- that the space in you cannot be bettered by what you might do. Is that right?

Doreen: Yes! [and "along the way" I never practiced a practice. One thing led to another, always.] Intuitively or spontaneously the act of knitting (one thing which I love to do) created some kind of "result", so to speak. The main ingredient I see throughout it all...the thread that pulls it all together is discovering the things I love to do (including "doing nothing)—and realizing that none of those things requires a "thinking process." [and included in that, there is no value to society in these endeavors that are born of Love]

HTM: So correct me if I am wrong but you engaged in doing nothing (or non-doing) either deliberately or simply by falling into it and out of that organically you simply find yourself engaged in various activities not requiring a thinking process? I am curious as to whether you consciously or deliberately did nothing? How did you manage this paradox if you managed it at all?

Doreen: How do I describe that the paradox, did, indeed, manage me! oooff! In a sense I realized that just by existing, just by "being" we are all equal to each other... and somehow, intuitively, my actions unfolded... I don't know, except I, in some way, gave myself "permission" to experience "doing nothing" or non-doing... although there was a time of great upheaval during this radical awakening experience that I refer to... that pushed me IN TO my LIFE. A "force", a compelling force, energy... that I could not resist, even if I had wanted to...

You asked: "simply by falling into it and out of that organically you simply find yourself engaged in various activities not requiring a thinking process?"...this feels close to it! 'Gotta love the paradox! And, "eventually" all paradoxes dissolve! I have reminders (or re-hearters) that I "used" over time. Though, they simply started to come to me, with the assistance of the daily listening to Eckhart Tolle.

This is nearly impossible to describe, the "how" of the way one's awakening unfolds. I have heard that many people are spiritual seekers. I cannot characterize what happened "to me" as a result of a 'search' –most definitely not the case for me. I know of folks who considered themselves "seekers" and then stopped seeking, and discovered who they are.

For me, I had a progression of experiences that culminated in a radical awakening experience; and this "experience" led me to come across Gangaji, Eckhart Tolle and Osho... and through their writings and talks, I came to understand what happened to me. In a sense I "down-loaded" the 'end' of the awakening at the beginning of it, and then, as things calmed down, I integrated what I "knew" in to my life situation, so to speak. And, in retrospect, I can take "the beginning" way back to childhood experiences.

All with intuition... so any "thinking" was often related to remembering something I already knew or connecting with ideas that made my body feel good. For example, as I felt stress in my body, I then knew that an idea related to that stress, was not real... "it was just a thought" and thoughts are not real...are not reflections of true reality. Life. Another, "re-hearter" I have used (in the past, the past that never existed, except as the memories) was to say to myself: "This moment is not so bad!" Or take one conscious breath. So, indeed, there are "things" that came about, that I did... though they are all part of the flow. I have a deep sense of Gratitude for every breath, every step.

HTM: I am very interested in the process that enabled you to surrender or as you suggested-- "surrendered" you. You speak of an upheaval. I hesitate to ask, believing my question absurd as it will compare external and internal and assume them separate, but can you point out the nature of the upheaval and its symptoms as you experience them? I am wondering about external circumstantial pressures whether societal or through relationship and how "doing nothing" or "being" was reached in such a non-deliberate manner.

Doreen: The "upheaval" is in the realm of mystical experience. I have written extensively about this, particularly background experiences which culminated in this turning point in 2005 ... yet, now, each time I approach it, I question the purpose of the writing... and yet, this knowing within me, "the how" it came to me, via 'personal'** experience... has contained in it...a service to others, that as yet, I know not, how to proceed?

I have attempted to share aspects of it with others, often they are not "ready to hear it?"... And, the deepening of my "knowing" of the essence of the experience has unfolded. "I am dying to share this with someone in some meaningFull way!"

**personal experience, that today, has nothing personal in it... except to others around me. Maybe You can help me?

HTM: So what I think I am hearing from you is that although it is difficult to convey you would like to try and share it... am I getting this right? If you need help in finding a starting point, then I suggest you start with the nature of your resistance.

Doreen: I have decided to forward You some writing I did last fall. Let me preface this by saying that many changes have occurred since I first wrote this. I feel it necessary, now, to edit the piece to reflect these “changes.”

HTM: I want to give voice to the part in me that is trying to hold the interview together in some manageable form, structured in an accessible way, and at the same time I want you to feel free to give sufficient clarity to this.

You mentioned a resistance and I find it interesting that rather than simply write extemporaneously, you would offer past writing instead. I hope you understand what I am getting at. In this moment you can distill and clarify all of these things for me (and yourself). Can we do that instead? If we go back to a response of a few sentences ago this will liley bring in both a bit of containment and focus.

Assuming you are okay with this I would like for you to answer the question I posed about non-doing and external forces a while back. I can repeat it if necessary.

I asked two "questions", one about the upheaval (which I want to get to) and here is the other one: "I am wondering about external circumstantial pressures whether societal or through relationship and how "non-doing" or "being" was reached in such a non-deliberate manner."

Doreen: In waiting for an answer to come for this question...this image comes up: I'm looking in the mirrors and seeing the image, one after the other, into infinity. I feel it is a good question that I cannot answer. The only "deliberate" practice that provided a focus was the listening to Eckhart Tolle. I have come to understand that nothing we do in our lives is deliberate, intentional, with choice, etc. So, in a way, I can't say that I ever did anything deliberately.

The listening to Eckhart Tolle, in essence, was my meditation practice, though not the catalyst for awakening. I followed what felt good, during this time period. If stressful situations arose in my life situation, I could retreat to listening to his voice. I became aware that the "knowing" was already in my heart, in a sense, getting firmly planted in my heart.

There is most definitely paradox in talking about it. I cannot define this "process" in a way that the mind can grasp. Some words are better than others. The mystery of "why" this happened to me... is still there. One thing led to another, from the time I was born—same for everyone.

HTM: I found this very clear— great response and accessible as is. Thank you. I would like to ask you now to tell me why you used the word "upheaval" and tell me what it felt like emotionally and on a feeling level. You needn't go into the external circumstances. I want to hear about emotions and sensations in your body.

Doreen: Okay, I realized that the word "upheaval" isn't describing my feelings. It refers to my external life situation because my awakening created chaos for my family and friends. Feelings I had: at times I felt myself moving in slow motion, I could not perform my normal activities in a "normal" hurried manner; my sense perceptions became heightened, euphoric, I saw that everything was beautiful.

I noticed things, saw things that appeared like miracles. I felt intensely alive throughout my body. I had frequent shivers up and down my body. Synchronicities occurred frequently. I felt a "pulling" magnetic force... [when I talked to my friend on the phone, I had extreme difficulty to get off the phone... to end the call.] I don't have words for some of the sensations.

Many others mistook this for "falling in love"... it was unlike anything I had ever known. It was not sexual, per se...though it felt at the time, somehow, in the realm of sexuality, only intensely about Love. It was so very hard to explain to other people who thought I was mentally ill...or just "in love." It brings me to tears, now, to write this. It is still deep within me, this not being understood.

Even though, I certainly, at this point, understand deeply that it is not possible for others to understand... it still hurts in a place that no one, I know, has been able to go with me. I had feelings like as if energy was infused in every cell. During this time I became very ill, also, and I was not aware of how ill I had become. Maybe I can re-write this... I am strangely overwhelmed with emotion in writing about it.

HTM: No need to re-write— absolutely clear and beautiful. I understand. These were all awakening consequences— repercussions to spiritual growth. I know that kundalini is just a word, but it does refer to the heat that rises from the root chakra and feels very sensual and energizing. Was there an upward flowing current that cleared various areas physically that corresponded to external events? Also, how long would you say this lasted if you had to delineate a beginning and end? You speak in the past tense also in regard to some of these feelings. I assume they have simply become more deeply integrated.

I have a better question if you would just like to skip the last one.... I don’t know if you are familiar with the term “survival guilt” but I wanted to ask you to look at in the complicated array of feelings that occur in relationships as part of these awakening consequences. I think of the story of Buddha going to his father and telling him plainly that he is no longer his father’s son. Is there any part of you who keeps your heightened awareness in check and on a lower profile because of the conscious or unconscious guilt or sense of betrayal that may have occurred and still perhaps linger in some of these relationships?

Is there any residual shame or guilt present for having consciously or unconsciously embraced this part of your nature? Not to suggest that shining your inner light should or could become a performance, but to compensate by not shining? Is there any of this going on or do you find yourself utterly clear of these issues?

Doreen: "Was there an upward flowing current that cleared various areas physically that corresponded to external events?" Not sure?

Very intense for close to a year+. First 6 months...the most intense. Then, a 2-year period of alcohol use, (I guess I tried to "mute" the experience, in a sense... and dark night of the soul.) "Trying to handle" and at the same time giving my self permission to drink, because I had not had a drink for 19 years. I definitely felt the need to let go of constraints, restrictions, limitations...etc... societal, personal, etc.... the whole thing!!! I am not sorry, in the least, that I drank again.

Gradually, I clearly saw that I could not handle it, nor did I prefer the feeling... and dropped the drinking totally.. clearly. So, from July 2005-Dec. 2005...Jan 2006-Jan 2008...still intense+ dark night...family. Today, husband still dismayed; kids essentially have been on board the whole time... their own awakening experiences... we can go back further to see things getting started in 2000.

2008-present... integration...more and more. Last fall, I felt the beginning of being anchored in the Now. As if, I had been on the fence; or the one foot in the old world...one foot in the New Earth feeling... and now, I am off the fence, on the other side... at least. [getting off the fence, started this past fall, I'd say]

I can honestly say that I no longer hold these feelings of guilt. Most definitely. And I completely understand that those around me, are not able to understand (except my kids). This is definitely integrated. At times, collective conditioning crops up, that is then experienced and dissolved.... but even this, feels to occur less and less... ?

Yes, this is what occurred with the drinking, dark night episode.. I knew, deep down in my heart that I had no guilt...and could not understand in my mind...or REALIZE... that for other folks around me, it is impossible for them to understand.

I do have this feeling, though, that the time has come for something from "me" or through me to move outward. And, a thought about this says that, then "healing" can begin for my husband. It feels in my heart "reasonable"... maybe it is a block... I don't know. I see the very hurt child in him... and I don't know what to do, except Be the one I am. I could care less it he likes me or not!! lol!

HTM: The reason I ask about this is because I have noticed for myself that though I have no way to measure my own awareness or my influence, I often find myself presented with an interesting choice in social situations (due to a natural attraction to light) to either keep the light well hidden out of “the idea of” patience and compassion (instead of letting the fireworks ensue—which due to my inherent nature can seem... again it is hard to measure... pretty transforming). I believe I err on the side of subduing now which was not always the case—part of which stemmed from both fascination with a new toy and ego. Is this something you deal with?

Doreen: Immediately what came up for me is that due to physical limitation, I rarely go anywhere! LOL! I literally lost most of my old friends, though... gained many, recently around the world via ETTV. I feel like I went through exactly what You are talking about. Kinda... out of respect for all the "egos"... and now, I don't feel like I mute myself (although the patience and compassion... is more fully integrated…whatever that means... I am much more relaxed, at shining light in the house, here...

As this transition felt clear to me... I felt for a time, that my husband was more deeply affected by my presence... (maybe 2 months, now... and then, relatively recently his pain body came up... and it kinda surprised me! Well, now, I know...a complete "miracle" had not actually, occurred... lol! I more quickly, re-light... I truly know that if the least bit of "effort" (what the hell is that, anyway?) or feelings of struggle enter in... I take my foot off the brake!! It just feels, strange, to be... physically, here...not meeting other folks in the flesh! Rarely...besides my kids, their friends, and my husband.

HTM: Is it fair for me to ask about your physical limitation? I don't believe you have spoken of it. After that I have one more question and then I feel like this is a good natural spot to conclude. My last question is about whether there has been any presence with you through all of this that has not been mentioned like a pet, a stone, an herb, a being of some sort that has helped issue you through this transforming process to date.

Doreen: Knee arthritis since 2007 that has progressed though I don't "mind... I currently do not go to doctors because I can't pay for it. Things that make sense to do, do not occur... It is a rather peculiar situation.

At the end of 2004, after having an intense lucid dream, I went to see a woman who did energy work/channeling... a truly wonderful being... I worked with her for a couple years (met her through the friend that told about her meditation method.)

This energy worker helped me to understand, on a very "high" level what was happening... the beauty... of our work together... is deep, indeed. I have tapes from our channeled sessions...that I have not listened to for quite some time. And then I had my friend in Sweden... it was through our connection that most of my awakening unfolded. I garnered enormous insights through our conversation... this is really important... the synchronicity that happened between us... it is complex and important.

So I lost touch with [my energy worker] for the past two years... don't know what she is doing... she was about, maybe 10 years "ahead of me?” Though...not sure about that. The nature in my backyard became crucial... especially the birds and our bunny rabbit, Big Dawg... and the insects, especially the dragonflies... and my kids, Maia now 18 and Owen nearly 14. They "know"... they are my teachers, too.

Well, I could also include, Bashar…he is a "channeled being" (have You heard of him... years ago I had fun with some friends listening to him (Darryl Anka)...in the mid-eighties)...I dropped this for several years... though, knew that this energy was always available...somehow....but "he" I was not that conscious of during this time...although, saw him in 2006. I'm probably missing something, perhaps??

HTM: Thank you for both allowing me to interview you on this, being so open during the process, and shining light.