This book introduces a spiritual practice called Mutual Awakening. For me it’s strange to think of mutual awakening as a practice, because that’s not how it originally appeared in my life.
Spiritual practices don’t appear as practices usually anyway. They arrive as revelation. If you trace back to the source of any spiritual discipline you will find its origin as a mystical opening that appeared, often spontaneously, in someone’s life. That opening generated an experience of consciousness that compelled whoever had the experience to share it. If a practice developed, it would do so only slowly over time as part of the effort to learn how to share the consciousness that had been revealed. A powerful practice taken up by a sincere practitioner should lead to an awakening of the consciousness that originally inspired the practice.
It is deeply satisfying to see people practicing Mutual Awakening and entering into the profound consciousness that inspired me to develop the practice in the first place. The awakening into living mutuality is where this practice leads and discovering that consciousness is all that matters in the end.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. In this first chapter I really want to tell you the story of the awakening that inspired the practice because that is by far the best introduction I can give.
By most standards I have led an amazing life. I was a precocious child in certain ways and for some reason I have always been drawn to the edge of life. And because I have tended to follow the urging of the edge I always seem to show up at the beginning of things.
I went to Woodstock when I was fifteen. When I graduated from High School I journeyed to San Francisco from New York where I met Werner Erhard who was soon to initiate the personal transformation movement originally known as EST and later called LandmarkEducation. Werner hired me to work for him and during the first thirteen years of it’s existence I played an important role in expanding est’s reach into the world and developing and training the organization’s leaders. I was fortunate to work with many thousands of people during those years, and that was only the beginning.
The story I want to tell here is one that began after I left EST and had met a beautiful young German man, named Peter. He was a deeply meditative, mystic and we fell in love. Our love was the experience of being ‘met’, wholeheartedly and fully. Our relationship was a big ‘YES’ to each other and to love itself. Peter and I shared the fact that we had spent all of our adult lives devoted to the spiritual path. Our entire focus had been a commitment to actualize the highest human potentials.
When we fell in love, the depth of our spiritual connection was palpable and we each knew we had finally met an equal partner who was aligned with the deepest urgings of our heart. The spiritual openings between us began and were continuous and intense; revealing ever-more beauty, love and authenticity than either of us had ever encountered in our individual journeys. The intensity of our experience also revealed any patterns or veils of separation that we needed to move through. Divine love, if surrendered to, is incessant and insatiable in its desire for itself. It dissolves, shatters and transforms anything that blocks love’s path toward deeper love. The isolated sense of self that we could call the ego is a product of a lack of love. The ego is an endless chain of activity and reactivity that is assumed to lead to love. Real love is ‘being-ness’; it is essence and existence. As Peter and I surrendered to the force of what was happening between us, we awakened…together and we existed in a relational field that was awakened.
The mutual awakening practice was born out of the way we were with each other all the time. Peter began meditating as a teenager and journeyed to India soon after leaving high school. I had done numerous forms of spiritual work, but had never been attracted to meditation. We came together with access to different realms of spiritual reality. But none of this was what we were focused on. In fact, we barely talked about spirituality. We simply loved each other.
One expression of our love was that we made love physically at least once and often many times a day. Deep physical intimacy and being so passionately in love with someone who was truly meditative generated a profound presence and depth of consciousness. Over time we began to continuously abide in a miraculous state of awareness.
We were not practicing any form of tantra formally or informally. It was only years later that I learned about tantra and saw the uncanny similarities to what I had experienced with Peter. Making love was not a practice for us. We never manipulated our lovemaking in any particular direction. We just followed where our hearts led and allowed it to be whatever it wanted to be.
The true ‘yes’ of love is so much bigger than the smaller agendas of the personality. We were fully engaged and fully surrendered to whatever was occurring in every moment. Our openness to whatever we were experiencing was the way we lived. We weren’t trying to do anything or get anywhere, spiritually or otherwise. We just gave ourselves to whatever was there – it never occurred to either one of us to do anything else. The result of our openness, presence, engagement, interest and commitment became a living vortex of continuous transformation.
There was an undeniable catalytic power that was awakening us together, It was purifying us and demanding that we continually open to something so much greater than ourselves. Somehow the way we were together unleashed a power similar to what people usually find with an enlightened teacher. Neither of us was enlightened and yet something was awakening us together.
During this time the thought of developing a ‘practice’ out of what was happening would never have occurred to me. The intensity of love and the desire to be as close as possible was our only motivation. We just wanted to be in direct contact with the truth of whatever was happening between us. And because we were willing to be with whatever appeared as honestly and precisely as possible, the space between us was open, clear and transparent.
I remember one time leaving our apartment on West 56th Street in New York City and going to the grocery store nearby. We were putting things in our shopping cart; occasionally kissing in the aisles and feeling very light and connected. We got to the check out and I could feel his energy shift and close down just slightly. We left with our shopping bags in hand and I asked him when we were outside what had happened. He said that the attractive woman in front of me in line was dressed like a European. He said he had started to judge me, because I dressed like an American. I laughed and said, “Yes… I do dress like an American.” This simple sharing of the truth of what had transpired immediately opened up the space between us again. It was so deceptively simple. The secret to true intimacy was found in always paying attention to what separated us. The power and beauty we shared was so awake and so vivid, that anything that obscured it was immediately felt. And as soon as we felt any block we immediately revealed it to each other.
One morning he was sleeping and I had been awake for a while, buzzing around, getting things done and I finally came in to wake him with a cup of tea. As he sat up in bed, taking the tea from my hand, he said, “Where’s my woman?” in a soft German accent. I thought he was joking and I said, “I’m right here.” He said it again, with more seriousness and I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. I answered and he said it yet again, this time looking deeply into my eyes and pulling me onto the bed in a powerful embrace. The intensity and presence of his gesture opened my being. His demand for my totality melted me, and then he said softly, “There you are.” We kissed and fell into a deeper state of consciousness than we had ever shared before.
Now I can see that there was a demand for a ‘higher order of relatedness’ between us all the time. I didn’t have that language then. Neither of us had words to describe what we were sharing and discovering. We never really tried to understand it or explain it to anyone. We were so in the midst of the immediacy of what was unfolding that to stop the experience to explain it would have felt awkward and unnatural, if not impossible.
So this very intense, unusual way of being together was continuous between us. Now I realize that there was an evolutionary impulse or optimizing force operating between us that we experienced as a dynamic love, creativity in consciousness. Perhaps it was what some call the ‘Holy Spirit’ and others call ‘Eros.’ I’m not sure what it was, but I know it had the transformative power to shatter the limitation of ego structures that stood in the way of it’s full access to us.
Peter and I were together for four years. He asked me to marry him and two weeks later a terrible car accident left him badly brain injured. There is a story there that I will refrain to tell now, but eventually he died, and when he did I was left in an impossible situation. I had to shoulder the tremendous grief of losing my fiancé and dearest love. And the dual awakening that had been driving my every moment was over. I was left without him physically and yet I knew we were still deeply connected. It was very confusing and I had no idea how to navigate through the shock of losing what we had been in the midst of sharing. No one seemed able to fully understand what I was going through or could help me in any real way.
After a period of intense grieving, I was young enough, innocent enough and arrogant enough, to think that because I had been capable of sustaining this level of connection once that I would be able to find another romantic partner and enter into the same level of intimacy that Peter and I had shared. I was driven to understand what had happened to me and to recreate it in my life. Some people interpreted my experience as an elevated experience of tantra because of what Peter and I experienced when making love. Eventually, I dated a few men who were sensitive to ‘tantric’ levels of sexuality and it became vividly clear to me that what had been happening between Peter and me was more than that. Something else entirely had been happening with us. There was something so much bigger than what these men shared as tantra that had gotten hold of Peter and I and was pushing to come through us.
At this point, I was forced to fully examine and truly discover what it was that had made our dual awakening possible. Eventually I realized that what had happened to us didn’t live in the romantic level of our love – even though that was where it had arisen. Over time it has also became clear to me that the full understanding of the true potential and purpose of that experience had not been available until recently. I often would say that I felt I was in the middle of a joke, where the punch line hadn’t come yet.
Culturally we simply were not ready to awaken in this level of relatedness and so we could not see it for what it was. The only available reference points could not capture it. Only now when it appears that significant numbers of people are ready and wanting to transform together is the full magnitude of what I experienced revealing itself. My journey of discovery perfectly coincided with the development of a cultural readiness for mutual awakening. After 40 years of intensive individual work we are ready to awaken together. In fact I am certain that there are levels of development that cannot be reached except through the kind of unified field of consciousness that Peter and I had been deeply immersed in.
In the later chapters of this eBook, we will explain some of the understanding and experience that were necessary before I would be able to discover what this awakening really meant and who it was for. It definitely was not merely a graced love affair or soul mate experience; it included that, but it had come into existence to play a role in the further evolution of humanity. In the dual awakening experience is the key to the future. At this point in history I believe that we must develop the ability to turn towards the space between us in a stance of receptive surrender. When we do we experience a level of unity and connection that is the most beautiful nectar for the human heart. But more importantly, it activates and unleashes a profound level of creativity that will move humanity’s consciousness to the next stage.
For years my heart longed for Peter and for what we had shared together. Eventually my longing heart guided me to attempt to share what I had experienced with groups of people. I kept asking, “How do I give people access to this dimension of consciousness? How do I direct people to turn towards the consciousness that was so powerful and catalytic?” Eventually I began to discover how to give people access to true mutuality, and I discovered ways of being together that would initiate the miraculous unfolding of dual awakening. It was out of this effort that the Mutual Awakening Practice was born.
In one of my first attempts to share this, I did the practice with a woman. As she opened and moved towards me energetically, I felt the space open. The beloved vivid intensity of intimacy, tenderness and love emerged between us. We entered into a closeness of divine love that opened into a myriad of dimensions of reality and awareness. It was especially powerful for me, a heterosexual woman, because I had been afraid that this degree of intimacy would only presence itself with a lover. To experience this depth of intimacy with another woman assured me that there would be a way to share Divine Love with others who were open to it.
There was a quality to ‘making love’ that Peter and I were always in. The consciousness that I shared with this woman had qualities of conscious love making. I realize now that existence itself – nature, life – can be held with the same tender consciousness with which the lover holds the beloved. The flow of sweet passion, curiosity, love and closeness that guides the lover is the movement of creativity itself. There is a pleasure and a deep sensuality that exists in the very fabric of reality that is unquestionably divine.
Our work of the Evolutionary Collective is committed to creating a new paradigm for a higher order of human relating. I know that the opening that Peter and I had was the initiation point of this work. Our love created an access point for dual awakening in this world. Now more of us must enter on the path of awakening together so that a new expression of divine love and creativity can move through us, as us. ‘’IT’ needs us to make ourselves available so that something much bigger than us can happen. Peter and I, on one level, made ourselves available for heaven to manifest on earth between us. It is time now for a much larger coming together.
With deep love,