Why I Prefer the Company of Awakened Women over The Non-Duality Manscape

That radically feminist quote by the Dalai Lama is starting to make sense.

“The world will be saved by the western woman,” his Holiness said at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit.  When I first heard about these controversial words five years ago, I was steeped in the vastness, percolating awe and stillness in a months-long post awakening bliss honeymoon.

His proclamation did not inspire me nor intrigue me. Nothing back then moved the un-moveable stillness to any sort of emotional up or down, let alone getting caught up in what sounded like a feminist slogan.

But now, five years after my overnight awakening and at least four years into navigating the real life and online non-duality circuit, I’ve concluded the Dali Lama just might have been hinting at the limitations of a masculine approach to God.

Online forums and Facebook groups dedicated to endless debate about enlightenment, non-duality, advaita-vedanta, emptiness and more, are largely populated by men. And it’s men who are the most active participants in what often amounts to breast beating to prove who has the right answer or the most enlightened understanding.

But don’t take my word for it. Go hang out at a few of these groups, where enlightenment is discussed with clinical precision and posturing punditry. The debates can be entertaining, sure. But after a while, they fail to nourish.

Why? Because talking about your view of enlightenment compared to someone else’s is a lot different than sharing your experience of True Nature. The former is like a boxing ring. The latter is like a group hug.

If the Dalai Lama was pointing at anything, it might have been his own discernment that women (or the feminine approach) might offer some extra ju-ju and balance to the global consciousness raising scene. Because it seems to me a whole lot of awakened and awakening men are stuck in their heads. (Or put another way, the masculine orientation to analyze has runrampant at the expense of engaging at the level of the mystery).

First, it’s probably a good idea to define “stuck in the head.” My observation is there are two kinds of heady-awakenings (and yes, both men and woman are prone to them).

The first is where someone has understood the concept of “no self” and then gone on to live their life as if this cognitive grasp equals true realization. This idea-based version of awakening is most common among online, male-dominated chat groups about enlightenment. (Yes, there are women there too…I’m just saying, it’s mostly guys).

The second is the more rare case of folks who have been catapulted into the emptiness and get stuck there. Some call it Zen Sickness. It looks like apathy and indifference to any real engagement in reality. These sorts of men do show up in chat rooms online, but mostly to correct everyone by pointing out that “Nothing matters, nothing is real, there is no-one here, and so stop debating already.”

goddessartheadAdyashanti says this about the second type: “Enlightenment does not mean one should disappear into the realm of transcendence. To be fixated in the absolute is simply the polar opposite of being fixated in the relative…. To awaken to the absolute view is profound and transformative, but to awaken from all fixed points of view is the birth of true nonduality. If emptiness cannot dance, it is not true emptiness. If moonlight does not flood the empty night sky and reflect in every drop of water, on every blade of grass, then you are only looking at your own empty dream. I say, “Wake up!” Then your heart will be flooded with a Love that you cannot contain.”

Of course, to genderize these two conditions of Enlightenment Ideation and Transcendent Stuckness is folly. What I am saying, in essence, is that non-duality books, blogs, chatrooms, forums and the like, are dominated by men. Just look at the annual Science and Non Duality Conference speakers roster—66 out of the 97 presenters in last years conference were men, and the year before there were only 25 women compared to 60 male speakers.

And the type of men who dominate these non-duality teaching circles are inclined toward a heady intellectual, philosophical and transcendent angle to awakening discourse.

Of course, there are many exceptions to that rule. Here are just two examples of heart-and-immanence-oriented male teachers in the awakening-non-duality club.

Former Trappist monk Francis Bennett, whose focus is on the accessibility of grace as a path to awakening, and the clear admission we are both human and divine. Or in his words, “You are a person with a transpersonal dimension. Both are true.”

Ed Muzika, who talks openly about his transition from years in a detached transcendent state to one of intense emotional heart opening. After a three year depression, triggered by the death of his teacher Robert Adams, Ed relates that “instead of talking straight Advaita, I started talking about Bhakta, and the need for love to complete the journey back into humanity, the marketplace. I talked about enlightenment like reaching first and second base as in baseball, and the journey back as going home, filled with the drama of being human, facing your own vulnerability and brokenness, and this was essential for completion of the path.”

To be clear, I am not necessarily endorsing their teachings, I am simply suggesting that these men have had awakenings that go beyond the head and lounging in the transcendent/absolute. These are men who have clearly entered the terrain of the spiritual heart and are willing to speak about it.

After dancing with the dry non-dual dudes for a few years, and taking on a male teacher for a year, it dawned on me I was dancing with partners who did not nourish the fierce heart dwelling goddess in me.

In fact, my leave-taking of my teacher happened by sheer irony on the July 22nd Feast of St. Magdalen, and during the turmoil of that time, I was flooded with divine feminine synchronicity and remembrance. Leaving an outer teacher was a homecoming to the “teacher of my own heart.” (For some of that back story, you can read here.)

Since then, I’ve been strongly drawn to the company of awakened and awakening women. Because it seems to me that women, more so then men, have access to the wisdom of the knowing heart.

One of my favorite awakened women teachers, Vicki Woodyard (author of  Bigger than The Sky,  and A Guru in the Guest Room)  recently openly declared that she is “really tired of the masculine approach to enlightenment and awakening. The masculine approach is sterile…men wake up and say, ‘I don’t have any problems.’ That’s just not true.”

It’s not enough to have the super-chill experience of your absolute nature. That transcendent truth must marry the immanent. You can’t truly be holy without embracing the profane. One pole without the other is simply duality.

The head and heart are both essential divinity portals for the emergence of the shift from ego to essence, or what Echart Tolle calls A New Earth. Adyashanti says it eloquently, “A quiet mind married to integrity of heart is the birth of wisdom.”

I’ll finish off with two short videos by Vicki. In the first she speaks of the feminine, feelings and heart-based way as opposed to the dry masculine non-dual spirituality. In the second she speaks of the One Heart. Enjoy! They are slightly addictive bite-size bits of heart-wisdom.

PS: Amazing Goddess Images by artist Heather Mclean

PPS: My weekly video blog has over 400 followers. Join in the fun? Click HERE.



67 thoughts on “Why I Prefer the Company of Awakened Women over The Non-Duality Manscape

  1. Zain

    I so long for the path of devotion. I adore the Beloved. Advaita is not dry, it sings its wordless song in the light of blinding, joyous grace.

    Blessed be, dear child:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth O'Hara-Fisher

    I’m surprised how many men responded (and some with anger!) What brought me here is the simple question as to why there are not many female nonduality teachers. At least not popular ones. Is it that we give more authority to the male form? That more men write books? As a woman, I would just like to see parity and an embodied expression similar to my own more often. I just saw an interview with Mukti, Adyashanti’s wife, on Youtube. I could not find any books she has written, and I wonder why. It seems that the male (even Enlightened, empty) self seems like he thinks what he has to say is Very Important, where with women, not so much.


  3. Ed Muzika

    I fuind non-dualists boring and dry. I am not no-dualist. I am afire with love, energies, devotion and finally, surrender.. The forty years of preceding nondualism were BORING!!


  4. Shay Posey

    A friend shared this link on Quora after one of the self-proclaimed enlightened males there engaged her in an abusive dialogue in which he called her princess, and suggested she was attention-seeking with her looks despite her never sharing them. My own awakening began in earnest on February 7th. I seek to unfurl into my own being and embrace whatever I find. Opening the heart is such a big part of this for me. I have been lucky enough to have a teacher find me as this was happening who believes in the full expression of being with wisdom and heart. I look for interactions with others to deepen this experience but I also know I am ultimately a unique expression of something greater. As someone who has experienced abuse by men, it is so important for me to see assertion in women, and a path forward that can include everyone. Love emerges when the heart is still. Your words here and the resources you shared have touched me today. Thank you.


  5. nelsbrown789

    This sounds like a You problem. Your creating an issue for sport, or to write articles and be admired. Awakening/non-duality has nothing to do with who is talking about it on forums. The forums are comprised of people who are not awake, just as you are not. Concern yourself with those who are awake. The world is already flooded with people like you making it wrong to be male, white, American, human, whatever.

    Read Adywhanti’s qote again, you missed the point by a mile.


      1. donsalmon

        perhaps one of the best responses (‘it seems to have worked”) in the non duality blogosphere!

        But, perhaps I should look up this Adywhanti – perhaps a prophet in the Kwaanza community, Mooji’s successor?

        Just your ordinary jewbindunitarian sufi here..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jimbob

    I definitely agree with your observation that men become more mental oriented, rigid and dogmatic.
    Yet I see just as many women over-hearting, over-feeling and getting lost in good feelings.
    In fact I really don’t think (or feel) that someone can truly be acting from the heart at all unless they have balanced and are also applying the wisdom of the mind.
    Heart without mind to me is just blind feeling- sensuality and affection rather than insight


  7. Jimbob

    I definitely agree with your observation that men become more mental oriented, rigid and dogmatic.
    Yet I see just as many women over-hearting, over-feeling and getting lost in good feelings.
    In fact I really don’t think (or feel) that someone can truly be acting from the heart at all unless they have balanced and are also applying the wisdom of the mind.
    Heart without mind to me is just blind feeling- sensuality and affection rather than insight


  8. Kiki

    Yes , I do agree to the above.
    I can see also similarities to the conspiracy tick.
    I suffered myself from it. That top down approach in the body as well as towards others fed me with a kind of superiority kick. I remember ‘informing ‘ a woman once and it really puzzled me (no joke) that she and me felt shit afterwards! I am so glad I noticed.
    It seems to be energetically similar to people who take regularly aya and other plants in ceremonies make no progress whatsoever. We seem to be able to claim experiences and park them in the head mainly as opinions which then give sense of control and power.
    Zen proverb:
    Stop seeking the truth just cease having opinions.

    Fun reading your stuff.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Meg Roekle

    Hi Lori,

    Loved the article, thank you.

    Feeling hopeful about the new waves of women coming into SAND and the nondual ‘scene,’ bringing embodiment work with them.

    In case they are new to you, check out Kiran Trace (my teacher), Judith Blackstone, Jeanni Zandi, Jac O’Keefe, Aisha Salem, Dorothy Hunt & Amoda Maa.

    Much love, sister! 💚👭


  10. John Gabriel Otvos

    Good day, Lori Ann,
    I have read with interest your piece here. As a man, I easily concur with what you’ve written. I was for two years the facilitator for our fledgeling nonduality meetup group at The Manning Chapel of Acadia U in Wolfville, NS. The main thrust was towards everyone speaking their own ideas of the theory of what Advaita was all ’bout. I did my best to gently steer the group towards some conversation devoted to practice. It didn’t work. hahaha

    Once, when I sent out copies of spoken Sufi poetry, accompanied with text, I was reminded that ‘they’ didn’t want classes, just the freedom to talk their own talk. That’s fine, but there’s a wealth of information loaded within the works of Rumi, Hafiz, Ibn al ‘Arabi as well as the Kashmiri poetess, Lalla that went unheard. Many women in those circumstances are overpowered by men who have a tendency to dominate with their knowledge and these women never get a chance to feel the poetry of swoon. The all too prevalent usage of monologuing, as a substitute for genuine back ‘n forth conversation, does little to advance our feeling of the ineffable within all, everywhere.

    Thanks so much,

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Wonderwandeling

    Dear Lori, being part of a non-duality FB “group” for a couple of months and walking my dog this morning, I wondered why there are so few female nonduality teachers and why it was that I was no longer able to even understand what all the male participants were writing about. I googled on female nonduality teachers and found your post. It was as if lightning struck me. Those were my words!!! Having recognized my True Nature and writing little poems about it, the recognition became deeper and deeper. And then, in this group, I noticed hesitation in me to post them. The mental approach became clear to me. The “only-head-recognition” you call it. In me there is so much compassion, stillness, wisdom and that comes from another place. I will definitely read more on your website. I fully enjoy it!! Warm hug from me. Christine.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. donsalmon

    Hi Lori:

    Just found your site. Great essay.

    Interesting timing too. Jan (my wife) and I have been students of Integral yoga (Sri Aurobindo’s, not Swami Satchidananda’s) for 41 years. We both love reading his epic poem, Savitri, to each other, which just naturally brings with it such a power presence of “the Mother” – the Divine, feminine, all pervading Shakti.

    we’ve been studying the past 10 years with a Vedantic teacher (it’s nice to have a teacher in the body:>) who is rather, well, wonderful but dry, I would say. i’ve long wanted to share my interested in mystic Christianity with Jan, but, understandably, both of us coming from cultural Jewish backgrounds, there’s a bit of hesitation about Christianity.

    well, i shared a video of Cynthia Bourgeault with her a few weeks ago, and she loved it! We bought a book of Cynthia’s, and Jan’s been swimming through it, delightedly. Just last week, we found a new centering prayer group (for folks here who don’t know, that’s the “nondual” version of Christianity, dating back to Thomas Merton, and jumping back further to the anonymous author of the 14th century “Cloud of Unknowing”.

    The centering prayer groups we’ve been to before have been a bit dry, but we loved this one. It was a few days before the inauguration, so it was a particularly impassioned discussion after the silent contemplation.

    But what we loved most, in contrast to our Vedantic groups, and even the Buddhist groups we occasionally attend, is that the quality of Bhakti, the heart quality, is so front and center (and it’s cool that the minister who facilitates it is a woman as well).

    Looking forward to dancing around more of your site. Drop by ours if you like – http://www.remember-to-breathe.org. If you want to avoid too much reading (!!) go right to the breathing videos (but make sure you listen with headphones and learn ocean breathing too – much more fun that way)


  14. millar

    fair comments lori.

    i think it reflects the general tendencies of both the male and female brain generally anyway. women focus more on relations, relational and relationships. they spend time on this topic than men. it’s more of a priority for them than men.

    men talk more about systems, technology and ambition/money or ’empire building’ . it’s quite natural. it’s arranged that way by nature.

    men and women naturally complement each other in this way…they are meant to be different

    and yes, men talking non-duality in the way that they do is dry and dull…where’s the juice fellas !


  15. mo

    Im getting more and more confused… being awakened or enlightened doesn’t mean you make no separation? the more i look, read, the more confused i became in this seeking, not having enough money doesnt allow you to attend to some retreats, where i live right now, i see monks asking for money, but when i left a letter asking if they will allowed me to learn with them, or talk at least nobody reply. Then went to a free workshop, and at the end they told “this is all free” but there was lot of rules, if you have a boyfriend you have to marry him, but don have kids, if you are single you must stay single, and things like that…
    The people i know here who make donations are christians, and i have some christian friends, they do charity or are volunteers, but runaway from christianty long time ago…
    Then i went to a group and it charges a lot of money to do a course of something which seems to be “magical”, my dna (personally) was supposedly activated. Did aura cleaning too.
    Then i found a group which apparently can help you to reach enlightment but going there, in India costs around 4000 dollars, so im stuck in here when i a different country, struggling by myself doing the dishes in a restaurant while thinking what to do with my life and how to reach enlightment working 14 hours a day…
    I must say i was thinking many time in wanting to be dead, not necessarily to suicida, just not exist anymore, i left my country because i was stuck there, specially because of the influence of my family, now thinking to going back to my old life, working in something i dont like, doing maybe, therapy again to try to know why i cant keep living in this way, i think, something must be wrong! most of the people i know are stressed, hate their jobs, taking pills to sleep, taking pills for depression, those who aren’t just say “well, i dont like my life but this is what i have”… am i crazy? sometimes i think, ok, you have the option to take your ownlife, just try one more day, and crazily that is what it keeping me alive, there is always this other option…
    Can´t find the teacher, cant leave resignated like most of the people i know, but can’t either fullfill the dreams i had when i was younger… not even the ones “society expected”, i ended up with 40 years old, washing dishes, no partner, no career, seeking for enlightment but not time to do anything, not making enough money to look for a “teacher” or “guru”, those i found seems to take very serious the rol of “im your enlightened teacher” and you “my student, my follower”… i started to feel all, all, is a lie… and that even enlightment is for just a few…


  16. Nisha

    This is really interesting. I’m new to non duality but I find the discussion amongst men quite amusing when it comes to this topic. Especially as it seems to be dominated by men, I’ve found many seem to over intellectualise/conceptualise it, to the point I’m completely baffled. I find it tough to relate, but maybe that’s just me. But I have found the few women I’ve experienced in these circles tend to bring it back to their experience which I can connect and relate to.


    1. Amara Alban

      Yes, Nisha … VERY important to use discrimination when learning anything, right? We have access to so many genuinely awake and seasoned teachers, why risk confusion by giving ANY attention to those who only speak from a conceptual understanding? I just don’t go there!


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  18. unenlightened

    Although I mostly agree with the content, as a man I find this post a bit offensive in its tone. In spite of the usual caveats (“Of course, there are many exceptions to that rule”), the take-home message tends to be “generally speaking, men bad, women good”. Some of the comments are by men who had wonderful women in their life. Good for them, but as a man who had both good and bad (conniving, psychologically and even physically abusive) women in his life, I have to say I am not that impressed by the “feminine mystique” mantra. Besides, though it may not be your intention, you end up committing the same “masculine” sin you decry. You tell us what real enlightenment must be, basically, and that all those heady men get it wrong, as their one-pole enlightenment “is simply duality”. What gives you the right to judge the quality or depth of their enlightenment? If they tell you that your enlightenment is wrong, or prevent you from expressing your views on enlightenment, you surely have all the rights to criticize them for that. However, I believe that you have no right to judge them for what they think and feel for themselves. Unless, of course, you believe that what you say is absolutely true because it is what “the spirit of truth wants to say through you,” as Vicki Woodyard rather bombastically claims. I really find it difficult to see how the feminine, hearty receptivity you talk about can make you criticize one-half of humanity and exclude many of them from the realm of “real” enlightenment.
    Frankly, I find that in this post you share with the vast majority of enlightenment folks the presumption to be able to determine what real enlightenment must be for everybody, and I see little hearty receptivity in that.
    I want to reaffirm that I do agree with the content of the post: there are too many men in nonduality circles, and there is a need to emphasize the hearty, feminine side of spirituality. I only would like to see someone who can emphasize it without putting men on trial for being men, and without pontificating about what real enlightenment must be.
    I apologize for my blunt words, but they reflect what I felt reading your post.


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      I hear you. This piece seems to have landed for you as a polemic, and part of my intention in writing it was to stir the pot. Yet, what I tried to convey, perhaps poorly, is that there is a needed BALANCE between the masculine and feminine ways of being, even in enlightenment–or especially in that journey of awakening.

      I am also aware that even as I have long enjoyed the company of men as friends and colleagues, I feel drawn to the company of women and to championing the heart-wisdom that awakening women more readily access. Of course men to do. I recently read a post by Jeff Foster that stunned me with the depth of his heart. I might even re=blog it here.

      You seem determined to paint my article and me as a kind of gallows and hanged man for the male half of the species. I would ask yourself this question too. What has you so sensitive to the idea I might be man-bashing (the last thing I intended, but perhaps I can rewrite this piece more sensitively with your comments in mind).

      You have a strong voice for men, it seems. Is it harnessed in service? It’s easy to criticize another’s viewpoint and expression (and I do understand you mean to be constructive). Yet I am left wondering if your passion for fairness to men has a positive expression as well.

      Thank you again for taking the time to read my piece and to offer commentary. It’s okay to be blunt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. unenlightened

        Thank you for your answer. I realize I am a bit oversensitive to these kind of dichotomic descriptions of what men and women are. The reason is that I have been myself victim of (strong) psychological and (mild) physical abuse by a woman – my not-so-Pietà-like mother – and I tend to cringe when I hear or read something that feels like a hypostatization of femininity as the positive and masculinity as the negative. Many times I have talked to women about my problems, and if some of them have listened and understood, others have erected a wall against me, claiming that women are by intrinsic nature tender-loving creatures, and a mother cannot possibly behave the way I had told them mine had behaved. This is my problem, and I apologize if my exaggerated sensitivity to it made me overreact to your post, but I really think there is also an objective issue here. To be precise, I see two problems that overlap, the other one being the fact that almost every enlightenment teacher (as far as I read your blog, I think you don’t claim to be one) claim that their way to enlightenment is the best, if not the only real way there is. If one doesn’t awakens kundalini, doesn’t learn the exact science of Vedanta, doesn’t immediately stop seeking, or doesn’t dance with emptiness, then one’s enlightenment is fake, temporary, incomplete, whatever. You may rightly say that it’s a lot of the men out there who are engaged in such polemics, but then here comes Vicki Woodyard, claiming, in an unqualified statement, that men’s enlightenment is sterile, and what men say about their own enlightenment is “just not true.” (“men wake up and say, ‘I don’t have any problems.’” Notice the “I.” I name Vicki Woodyard just as you quoted her; I had never heard of her before.) Now we are told that if we don’t awaken the feminine side, Shakti alongside with Shiva, our enlightenment will be fake, incomplete, temporary, whatever. The lacking factor of enlightenment has changed, but the attitude looks pretty much the same to me, and confirms me in my idea that, at the end of the day, there is not such a big, morally and spiritually relevant difference between men and women. You seem to follow her (and Adhyashanti’s) lead by disparaging heady enlightenment. I am a quite heady person myself, and though I am open to the feminine, hearty side, I need what you call a cognitive grasp more than that (or at least that’s what I believe as an unenlightened being). If one day I were to “experience” such a cognitive grasp, and I went on living my life as if that equaled for me true realization, then I believe that nobody would have the right to tell me that it is incomplete because there is too little feminine in it. As Woodyard says of herself, even after realization I would likely be the same human male I am now, therefore a “masculine” realization could be just perfect for me.
        Allow me a final consideration. As I said, I agree with the substance of your post, but I think you could be more careful in the way you express your ideas if you want to avoid the hypostatization of femininity and masculinity. I have nothing against the feminine-masculine, Shiva-Shakti metaphor, as long as it is understood as a good metaphor. However, when it becomes hypostasized (forgive me for such a “heady” vocabulary), to me it just becomes a different form of discrimination that tends to equate a sexual difference with a moral and spiritual one. You may believe that there is such a moral and spiritual difference – with the caveat that men have a feminine side, and women a masculine one – but I believe that reality is much more complex than that, and the most recent scientific research on the topic seems to confirm my view. I am referring not only to the sociological and psychological research on specifically feminine forms of aggression, but also to the “harder science” research on the negative effects of oxitocine. The female “love hormone” – the biological correlative of hearty receptivity – makes one more prone to care for others, but often only if the others are one’s kin. If the others are outsiders, high levels of oxytocin tend to increase feeling of hostility, likely as a defense mechanism aimed at protecting one’s offspring. That may explain why, according to research, women in early stages of pregnancy tend to show stronger xenophobic opinions, and why many mothers seem to be all too ready to side with their sons, when the sons are accused of being rapists. I feel that to understand the feminine-masculine difference in spirituality as more than a good metaphor means to gloss over a complex, nuanced reality, and open the door to forms of sexism, direct or “reverse.”
        Please forgive me for the length of my answer, and for my at time subpar English (I am not a native speaker). I will read your answer with pleasure, if you can spare some time to write it. If you don’t have time for such masculine diatribes (LOL), never mind. It has been a pleasure to have an exchange with you on your blog, which I will continue reading from time to time.


      2. Lori Ann Lothian

        I am so appreciative of your reply and the depth of explanation here. I wholeheartedly agree with most all of what you say. And in this sense, am grateful for you pointing out how my communication can be mis-construed because I have not spoken clearly.

        You wrote: “a mother cannot possibly behave the way I had told them mine had behaved.” What is often neglected in any enlightenment teaching is the shadow side of the feminine and the masculine–both at a biological and psychological level, but even at a “archetypal and spiritual level.”

        The destructive feminine is just as real as the pillaging masculine. Just as black magic has its white magic counterpart. All things in polarity, in the space time reality.

        Thanks again for you in depth and measured response. I am appreciative. (Sorry as well for delayed reply, catching up today on all my comments)

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Shiva Das

    Nonsense … the concept “female form” is a construction largely designated for two reasons: a) erectile stimulation for the propagation of species and b) temporal activities related to nurturing and preservation of species. Apart form that it holds no currency … then there are just the ‘higher bodies’ or koshas.


  20. Iris

    Boxing Ring/Group Hug – I’ll take the Hug! ❤

    Isn't Vicki just GREAT…

    I have traveled the masculine paths – and they lead nowhere; or into cults; or to danger; or complete darkness of the ignorant kind. As a young girl, I had more gnosis than any of my "teachers" – in fact, I feel duped.

    Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I bloomed.

    I stumbled upon actual Living Goddesses, and Goddess Culture, and… !
    Goddess is the elevator.




  21. miriam louisa

    Thanks for this post dear Lori.

    With your permission, I’d like to re-blog it to ‘this unlit light’ – a blog I launched seven years ago to address the gender imbalance around awareness of the feminine face of awakening. While I have no interest in participating in separative discourse, I am committed to enabling access to the work and expressions of wideawake women who are ‘loose cannons’ (i.e., not affiliated with religious groups). There’s a page on the site with links (and of course, you and Vicki appear on that page) – http://thisunlitlight.com/wideawake-women/

    Also – I wonder if you know of Chameli Ardagh at Awakening Women? I grow to love her huge-hearted approach more and more … http://awakeningwomen.com


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      of course reblog! and yes my dear I do know of Chameli…thank you for reminding me of her, and her work. I almost attended one of her events a few years ago…before my awakening! I will see what she is up to. big hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Ed Muzika

    I am not non-dual. I have no idea of what the term means. I have no idea of what awakening or enlightenment mean either. To me they are just words that lots of people argue about.

    But you are absolutely correct about the two classes of male emptiness no-selfers.

    But I definitely found a sense of Self after 15 years of emptiness, and it is filled with bliss, energies, and a sense of presence. This is your feminine I believe.

    But after a while even the courtship with the feminine dies down as just another phase heading towards increased integration of more elements of Self.

    I have left behind these two as fixed positions.

    Thank you for the mention,


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      Hi Ed. Thanks for reading and commenting. What i liked about your narrative is that you came back from the emptiness/absolute-ness…to go further. And reporting as you go so others may know what is possible. Keep on going and keep on sharing.


  23. Jo Hemmant

    My as yet incomplete awakening was brought on by meditation and a bolt of Kundalini, and flickers, flares, fades, flickers….I’ve felt from the get-go though that embodiment and love was where I ought to turn my attentions….and as a mother the idea of transcending is both terrifying and nonsensical (else why are we here?)….I’d rather love and experience the breathtaking beauty of all that is and in so doing, let this sensory river return, paradoxically, to source. Love what you wrote here….(and your video blogs).


  24. jeffstroud

    I agree with you Lori. That men may need to go further in opening their hearts to the fullness of awakening to create the balance at that is where the Divine Feminine comes into being present in their being and in their language and actions.
    Just because I may have a wakened with my mind my heart has been broken open and the full measure of pain and beauty have erupted there, not over night, not in an instant, by learning to be presence in the mist of everyday life whether I understand it or not.
    Andrew Harvey has been writing and discussing the “return of the Mother” for years now. I even as an unawakened child often said women where the saviors of the world. It is in that balance of feminine and masculine energies that the world will embrace Love. Love from and with the heart!


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      I read the book years ago. Back then I would not have understood what Andrew was trying to convey–not really, It would have been read by my mind, not received in my heart. I do need to read it again!

      Thank you for sharing.


  25. David

    I so agree, Lori. And I too was responding to one of the first type today. Talking non-duality while full of references to “Other” and capitalizing words like Reality. He even had an institute in his name.

    I happen to have been one of those male speakers at SAND last year. (laughs) But yes, the place was full of both types. And I do have a strong conceptual orientation. But I fully get the need to come down from transcendence and embody it. Most of us are not monks but have a life to live. And the real richness is in living it.

    In the Vedic perspective, consciousness is framed as Shiva, the masculine. That approach has come to dominate the entire arena, even in India. But the other side of the equation is Shakti, the divine feminine, the embodiment in the world.

    The second is in the awakening of Hridaya, the divine heart, and of awakening the divine in the world. That is what will really turn the tides in world consciousness – not just waking up within but waking up into the world. Yum!


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      I love the way you express this David, in your last paragraph. Yum indeed. I was worried that some would read this as a gender issue…it’s really a masculine vs feminine, or as you say, Shiva /Shakti imbalance. Woman are less likely to cleave to the absolute at the expense of embodiment, but it happens to women as well.

      This is one of my real interests right now, in my own life/awakening. I spent so little time (five months) in the vastness phase, but even then, it was continually interspersed by a kind of joyful wonderment that all of this, is me…or there is no me, but even better–the totality is Self. So hard to put into words.

      Lately, something new is unfolding….it’s in the divine heart as you call it. And it’s like nothing I’ve ever known. It’s sneaking up on me, like a sweet seduction, a tender kiss from heaven….


  26. rosannesliuzas

    Oh Lori, yes, I so think you are right and I relate to this a lot. I love a man who is awake, but stuck in the head. He’s not acting like the men you describe from the online groups, he’s willing to listen and trying to be open. But his ego… It is in full control. And that’s truly what it comes down to: control, control, control. It’s heartbreaking to me really. He does not seem able to detach from the ego’s control at this time and I don’t think he ever has.
    Reading your piece and looking at Vicky’s videos I recognize myself in your descriptions. And I’m so thankful for that. It’s hard sometimes, as life is, but deeply seeing and feeling everything from the one heart that we share seems like the only thins that makes any sense. And even if it’s not the only thing, it sure is necessary right now!

    Thank you for sharing x


  27. Bonny Doone

    so we are writing off an entire gender’s approach to enlightenment based on online forums? That seems rather frivolous.


  28. Wayne Wirs

    “And it’s men who are the most active participants in what often amounts to breast beating to prove who has the right answer or the most enlightened understanding.”

    I call them “Fundamental Nondualists.” They’re like the ISIS of enlightenment. 🙂


    1. Lori Ann Lothian

      Yes…I had a conversation online with one today. It was like talking to a veda-bot. He kept repeating absolutisms like mathematical fact. Was bizarree. I actaully might take the conversation, delete his identity of course, and write about it. it was not a two way discourse–it was him lobbing vedanta at me like liturgical mantras.


  29. Song Traveler

    I could never get much behind debates about enlightenment and non-dualism. It reminds me of people arguing and debating about music. Why not just listen to the music you enjoy or make music you enjoy. Why not just lyrically discuss the way the sunlight or the rain falls so beautifully today. And as well work through all the trials and tribulations of life, which is of course the same life of everyone and everything around you, with as much compassion and awareness as you can muster.


  30. John Lamenzo

    …or, as one of my brilliant daughters said matter-of-factly a while back: ‘Papaji, it’s all bullshit…!’


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