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Saniel Bonder & Linda Groves-Bonder (Part 1) - Waking Up to Spirit, Waking Down to Life: Navigating the Curious Challenges of Awakening and Post-Awakening
Episode 5217th November 2022 • Deep Transformation • Deep Transformation Podcast
00:00:00 01:02:18

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Ep. 52 (Part 1 of 2) | Saniel Bonder and Linda Groves-Bonder live and guide others along the path of embodied awakening, using the tools of transmission, mutuality, self-inquiry, evocation, and more. They have named their process of spiritual embodiment “waking down,” to distinguish working the nuts and bolts of an individual’s unique path of spiritual development from the more general transcendent state described by the term “waking up.” Saniel and Linda not only mentor people on the road to awakening, but also through the challenges and never-ending process of purification that characterize post-awakening stages.

How do we speak to our present state of divinity? What really leads to the stabilization of awakening? In this heartfelt, open conversation, Linda and Saniel share practical wisdom about nonduality, self-sense, and radical transcendence; the importance of fostering communion and appreciation; using “HEART” to point to ultimate reality; and also describe their own unique and beautiful ways of sanctifying and ritualizing everyday life. Saniel and Linda's system of opening people up to an awakened life, is very much an individuated one; their 10-year vision is one million hearts illumined. Recorded October 27, 2022.

“Practicing one’s identification as the Great Mystery.”

(For Apple Podcast users, click here to view the complete show notes on the episode page.)

Topics & Time Stamps – Part 1

  • John talks about his early experience with cults, shadow, Integral (01:01)
  • What does it mean to be enlightened/awakened? Saniel’s capacity for transmission and mutuality (06:20)
  • Cult leaders and what really leads to the stabilization of awakening (10:29)
  • What is waking down (versus waking up)? (15:43)
  • “Onlyness” and the down aspect of waking down: embodiment (19:09)
  • Nonduality, the self-sense, and radical transcendence: the simultaneity of being here as a divinely human being (20:04)
  • Sahaj samadhi: living in a transcendental condition while also participating in everyday life (24:30)
  • Using “HEART” to point to ultimate reality (25:28)
  • The nature of human evolution is not human seeking God, but God seeking human (26:11)
  • The unique ways individuals find to open up to the greater reality are often a surprise (31:36)
  • What are the specific elements of Saniel & Linda’s process? (33:20) 
  • Tanking up on the transmission aspect: meeting in mutuality together, and exploring the precepts and practices that have emerged for Saniel over the last 3 decades (35:43)
  • Individuating the system (38:42)
  • Self-inquiry and Saniel & Linda’s own working kōans (40:22)
  • 12 gateways to realizing yourself as a divine human being, 6-step recognition yoga, and active conscious dreaming (43:08)
  • Ethics, emotional work, shadow, community, and waking down in mutuality are all part of the “down” aspect of the work (45:58)
  • Broken-off zones in relationships can be a chokehold on the transformational process (53:27)
  • Crystalizing a deeper identity as the “all”: recognizing each person’s uniqueness and appreciating the other (55:40)
  • The effectiveness of Six Step Recognition Yoga: see it, feel it, live it, be it, transcend in place, and speak it all along the way (59:10)

Resources & References – Part 1

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Saniel Bonder is a pioneer of embodied, integrative, non-dual realization. An Honorary National Scholar at Harvard with a B.A. in Social Relations, he devoted himself to a long spiritual quest and, for the last thirty years, to “democratizing awakening.” He and his wife and full partner Linda’s breakthrough, HEART-transmission based work is best known as Waking Down in Mutuality®. Coaching in a spirit of peership, they present their full suite of offerings, the Human Sun HEART Work, through Human Sun Institute. Saniel has authored Waking Down, Healing the Spirit/Matter Split, The White-Hot Yoga of the Heart, Great Relief, and two novels. He plays indigenous flutes and “would like to play more — and better! — golf.” 

Ken Wilber praises Linda Groves-Bonder as “a brilliant teacher in her own right.” Since the 1990s she has created key expressions of her and Saniel’s teachings and personally assisted many people into awakened living. A multi-talented artist, she holds a B.S. in Art Education from Ball State University. She has sung internationally and recorded two albums, I’m Here, jazz standards and her original songs, and Joy of Being, her non-verbal vocal toning. Among those who know her, Linda is cherished for both her heart of immense love and her discerning, simply stated wisdom. 

Saniel and Linda are Founding Members of Integral Institute, Charter Members of the Integral Spiritual Center, faculty for The Shift Network, conference speakers, and sought-after podcast guests. They’ve helped hundreds achieve unshakable realizations of boundless Spirit in natural unity with their everyday lives, lightened and brightened the souls of thousands, and mentored dozens who’ve become effective mentor-transmitters, inspired artists, and wise leaders. They both feel their greatest contribution is only now beginning, through their “Million Hearts Illumined” 10 Year Vision. As improvisational artists of liberating empowerment, they are co-manifestors with many others of the global “Deep Transformation” now emerging. Their message to all: “The Sun in your Heart is rising!”

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Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell