Although The Gathering has been cancelled, this page is being left online to allow you to connect with the facilitators who had planned to be at the event. They were not involved with the running of The Gathering, and if you resonate with them you are welcome to connect with them directly. In randomized order:
Paul Hedderman has been involved with the recovery community since 1988. In his view everyone is in recovery from something, and his work focuses not on solutions but on providing guidance to return to our true essence.
“What we’re trying to recover from is what we’ve done to get relief from the primary disease which is ‘Selfing’ or identification as self where we forget what we really are. This causes us to become restless and discontent so we seek relief from that. Some people seek relief through shopping, drugs, alcohol or sex etc… Really what we’re trying to recover from is that forgetfulness of our true nature.”
Swami Premodaya’s initial awakening occurred at age twelve, when he became a “dweej” (a Hindu term meaning “twice born” and denoting an experience of direct awakening to the spiritual dimension). Twenty years later, in a moment of profound relaxation, a series of dramatic and uninvited mystical experiences occurred, including a full experience of death. This torrent of spiritual happenings and insights poured relentlessly into his mind and body for a year. He emerged able to see deeply into others, past, present and future. These mystic experiences brought him to the feet of his spiritual Master, world-famous Indian guru Osho, who named him Swami Premodaya. Two decades later he met his other Master, Gangaji, a spiritual teacher from California known and beloved in many countries. Her presence sparked a powerful energy transformation, culminating three years later in his final sanctification on August 1, 2003, from which he emerged experiencing himself, and all beings, fully as “Love Incarnate.”
Shubhraji is a close disciple of renowned Vedantic Master H.H. Swami Chinmayananda and studied with him for twenty years from the age of thirteen. Originally from India, Shubhraji teaches Vedanta, the ancient, non-dual philosophy of India, which is universal in its appeal. Shubhraji has dedicated her life to spiritual work.
“Vedanta then, means the knowledge that frees us from all limitation. It teaches that our real nature is Divine. Every living being is of the nature of God, or Brahman — the Absolute Reality or Universal Being. The spring of joy is within us — it is our very nature.”
Canela Michelle Meyers has been supporting people to awaken to themselves and their world through Satsang meditation gatherings and private Satsang sessions, as well as through Reiki initiations and sessions. Her main message in all settings is one of self-acceptance — of finding the love that exists in everything. Her work encourages people to find this in themselves, in the way they relate to others and in their world. Her spiritual lineage is Ramana Maharshi, Papaji, and Isaac Shapiro with support also from Paul Lowe. She currently resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Florian Schlosser has been sharing satsang for the past 12 years, after awakening with Isaac Shapiro. Originally from Germany, he now lives in Spain and spends much of his time travelling around the world giving satsang, often with his awakened partner Julia.
“Only when we can meet things without wanting them to change can this world change dramatically. There are so many things in the world that just want to be met as they are.”
Ambé Ray’s journey of Self discovery began as a young child who questioned everything about the true nature of reality. In 1989, Ambe fully stepped into her soul’s deeper purpose while residing in Dharamsala, India and immersing herself in Tibetan Buddhism, Yoga and the Eastern Healing Arts. It was at that time that she had a series of awakening experiences that raised her kundalini and flowered her heart open to universal love and compassion.
“In this rare and unprecedented time each of us has been given the profound opportunity to script and ultimately self-select out of the old debilitating story. You are being called forth to play your part in moving beyond the illusion of fear and separation consciousness.”
Zahir Khan comes from a Sufi background, and prefers to connect randomly with people in public to share insight. He operates in the sense of Rumi’s “Come, come, whoever you are.”
Zahir says that liberation, as we imagine it to be, is just an idea in the mind of the seeker. “Liberation is the catch-all term for a supposed state in which the seeker feels everything will be perfect. Bliss on tap and an ease to life. This is life: a celebration of what you already are, a communication that asserts that nothing needs to be done to be what you already are, perfect, whole and complete. That liberation is never sought for, rather an ‘event’ — an event that will confirm to the seeker that they are what they seek. A permission to themselves to be awake.”
Karen Richards experienced a spontaneous awakening during a period of severe illness. Although she has never had a guru, she has a deep resonance with Ramana Maharshi, and also connects with the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti. She lives in the U.K. and travels extensively to offer satsang and life coaching.
“In terms of the human experience, ever deepening abidance in truth can be likened to a beginning-less journey of unbounded potential, profound compassion and joy in life. As the effects of conditioning subside and true being becomes more and more prevalent, the peace and joy that is eternally present flows ever more readily through form and into the ‘world’.”
Neelam, a native of Poland, is a direct disciple of H. W. L. Poonja (Papaji), who himself awakened to the truth in the presence of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Neelam has been sharing Satsang with Papaji’s blessing since 1996. She will be appearing at The Gathering via webcast.
“Suffering is an inability to be here, an inability to be at rest in your true nature. Would you be willing to be here with whatever is present in this moment? Let’s find the underlying patterns of conditioning that keep us from experiencing Presence.”
Over fifteen years ago, Mikael King awakened to the spiritual conscious path when he returned from a “near life ending, eternal review” Pacific Ocean drowning experience. Since that initial shamanic death liberation, he has journeyed to over 30 countries, studying, learning, teaching, healing, sharing, counselling, and illuminating divine wisdom for thousands of fellow human beings.
Since the inception of his DivineJoy.org Ministry in 2005, he has been serving the Great Human Earth Shift in Com-Passionate flow. He has led and co-facilitated transformational workshops all over North America. He has led Divinejoy seminars and trainings internationally in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Russia, Peru, and Brazil.
Nissim Amon was ordained in Korea by Zen master Seung Sahn at the Hwa Gye Monastery, with the designation of monk and meditation teacher. Later he traveled to Japan, and studied with G.W. Nishijima, a Soto Zen master, from whom he received a dharma transmission and got his Zen master title. Currently he is training therapists in Israel in a new therapy system he named Trilotherapy as well as travelling and teaching all over the world.
“Here and Now is more than becoming aware of the present moment. It is a difficult task. It requires one to take a very serious decision. One must make an important switch in the mind.”
Nick Gancitano transitioned into teaching yoga and meditation after a career in sports and teaching. After discovering Self-Inquiry, he experienced a profound shift and sought the direction of various conscious teachers, including Ramana Maharshi, who then guided Nick to share Self-Inquiry in the West.
“When seeking ends, you become liquid and the whole universe flows in you. Then the I, or pure unconditioned consciousness, is all there is. It is immovable, still. This motionless I-consciousness is the screen through which the mind’s drama unfolds. The world of things is a vapor in that consciousness, which feels steady as a boulder. This effortless witnessing is meditation, it is God. It is You.”
Isaac Shapiro is an internationally known facilitator, fascinated with life lived in alignment with the world’s wisdom traditions. Isaac draws on a broad spectrum of understanding, from neurophysiology to some of the latest discoveries in quantum physics, which he applies in a lighthearted but direct way. He will be appearing via webcast.
“Stop for a moment and simply experience the totality of your experience simply as sensations now. Notice that what you experience, your sensations, are changing every moment and therefore cannot be described. In order to describe your experience of Now, you would have to speak volumes and as soon as you spoke, your experience would already be different.”
Julia Schlosser had her first experience of ‘being at home’ around 1993. An overwhelming feeling of peace and unconditional love kissed her, a knowing that there really is no problem. The experience left again, but the knowing of that reality never did. Meeting Isaac Shapiro in 2000 was the turning point. In the first Silent Retreat with him, very gently the perspective shifted and the outlook on life changed. Since then it is an ongoing process of exploration and profound integration. In the dance with her husband Florian Schlosser, who has been sharing Meetings and Retreats for 12 years, this deepening is lived on a daily basis.
Bill Bauman is a noted spiritual leader and healer, a sought-out inspirational speaker, a spiritually transformational presence, and a dynamic facilitator of spiritual awakening. He is simple and humble, lives in a peaceful state of unity, and is most known for his deeply loving connection with everyone he meets. A former Catholic priest and Religious Science minister, a licensed psychologist, an advocate for world peace, and a spiritual visionary, Bill has developed a unique approach to awakening that he calls “Becoming the Ultimate Human.” In the Gathering he will lead you into your own ultimate self, where you will find the doorway to infinite being.
Matt Kahn is a spiritual teacher and mystic who travels the world, offering sacred heart wisdom that invites all seekers into the joy of liberated existence. Matt’s spontaneous awakening arose out of an out-of-body experience at the age of 8, and numerous direct experiences throughout his life. Many spiritual seekers have experienced amazing, unexplainable healings, and have awakened to their true nature through his offerings of profound and loving teachings, and direct transmission of presence.
Julie Sarah Powell lives in constant and abiding ‘oneness’ and self-lessness of the heart; she shines a light for us all. She is able to impart a simple and practical way for all others who wish to be the heart; their true nature, to be this ‘one’, now. She also points the way for there to be a rapid shift and loss of personal identification with the mind-body package.
“As you live tuned in to the powerful peace that you are, you are under direct inspiration. You are fearless and confident; for you know that it is your heart that does the work.”
Elysha experienced his first round of awakening in 1992. It was a profound realisation that followed on the footsteps of a lifetime of searching. Thus began the gradual journey of heart and true discovery that led him to become an internationally recognised spiritual teacher.
“Like everything else about waking up to what and who you truly are, the reality is nothing like any of the ideas you may have about it beforehand. There is a great liberation in realising how truly free-standing your own transcendent consciousness is from the ‘mind-body package’ that you find yourself in.”
Ellie Roozdar taught mathematics in high school and community colleges, and later worked as a Quality Assurance Manager. After having wonderful experiences by ‘going within’, meditating and discovering the Truth, she says: “The Truth reveals itself to itself by itself.” She hopes that you also get inspired to ‘go within’ and ‘discover’ who you really are, and also find the authentic joy that resides within.
“We learn to go within and to be a witness of the nothingness or awareness. We call this Adaam or Lamakan in Farsi. It will be very scary at the beginning. All our lives we want to be somebody and add something to ourselves and now we will face nothingness. We realize that we are this nothingness. This pure emptiness and silence under the noise of our chattering minds.”
Julie Dittmar is one of the top-selling meditation guides in the U.S. As a certified yoga teacher, meditation guide, and sound healer, her relaxation CDs have been featured on PBS, and are enjoyed around the world.
“Presence, in and of itself, is just tremendously healing and opening, and it created that opening in me so I could settle more into the peace that I am, and the Presence that I am.”
Spontaneous world musicians will support The Gathering in a musical soundscape that will carry us into the heights of bliss and the depths of being. At times a subtle backdrop to the powerful teachings of The Gathering, occasionally melting into deep silence, and at other times a driving rhythm building to an explosion of joy, music will be a constant presence.
We have a large eclectic group of world-class musicians coming to share their musical expression at the event. Some of our featured guests include:
G.S. Sachdev is recognized worldwide as a master flutist and one of the premier performers on this traditional instrument. He can let the music flow naturally and peacefully with such depth of feeling that the audience is held as if under a spell, evoking that sense of eternity within the present moment.
His improvised creations are eloquent proof of his virtuosity. His approach is to develop the raga in a calm and methodical way, unwinding the beauty of the notes, mood and subtleties. His creative improvisations, apparently so effortless, draw from his rich musical imagination. In the manner of technique, he has few equals amongst living classical flutists. It has been largely through his efforts that the bansuri flute has become a respected instrument in the West.
Geoffrey Gordon began studying the piano as early as 5 years old, and the acoustic bass at age 8. While living through the 1960’s during his formative years as a teenager, he became very influenced by the social issues of the day and began his exploration into spirituality and alternative lifestyles. In 1970, he entered college and began studying Shamanism and psychology and later comparative religion. He was initiated into Tantric meditation practices and Ashtanga yoga in 1971 and began teaching Hatha yoga in 1972. In 1974, he began studying Buddhist meditation practices during the first sessions at Naropa University in Colorado. He is an accomplished musician, composer, producer and has recorded on over 80 beloved and very popular CDs with many famous artists.
Chandra Lacombe’s live performance guides the audience through a journey of celestial sounds, healing hearts and minds. Together with a group of musicians from a mixture of backgrounds, music becomes a tool for spiritual upliftment, delivering joy and ecstasy. This is made possible by Chandra’s unique ability to channel high-frequency energy through his voice and kalimba (thumb piano), and is reinforced by the deep musical and spiritual connection among his musicians developed in over a decade of experience in Brazilian Shamanic rituals. Their performance, musicianship and spirituality go hand in hand.
Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning: breath, vital energy, life force. It is also a nine-voice a cappella choir who uses only their breath to make sound to relax the body, still the mind and open the heart. Their sound is a unique mixture of western vocal music and the music of Tibet, Mongolia and India. Led by composer and soloist Baird Hersey, they create beautiful rising harmonies, shimmering vocal textures, and high arcing melodies. Baird is a National Endowment for the arts Composition Fellow who studied for 9 years with Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Prana’s most recent recording “Gathering In The Light” is a collaboration with Krishna Das.
Prem Joshua and band. Joshua was born in Germany, and was encouraged by his musical family at the age of 5 to play the flute and later the saxophone. During his teenage years, he played in Rock, Jazz and fusion bands but he felt there was something more for him. His interest in Indian music was sparked by listening to Ravi Shankar's music. He felt drawn to India to fulfill his spiritual needs and his desire to learn how to play Indian music. When he was 18, he traveled from Germany through many different countries, playing with and learning from local musicians until he reached India. It was there he met Osho, the enlightened mystic, and discovered the "inner music" of silence. While there he studied sitar under the maestro Ustad Usman Khan. Since then he has returned to India many times and traveled worldwide to share his gift of music. He has recorded with many other artists and released 14 albums thus far.
Dave Stringer's sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-orientated sensibility of American gospel. He is regarded as one of the most gifted singers in the genre. Stringer, who is also an accomplished composer and multi-instrumentalist, has a special ability to bring people together and inspire them to sing. His work intends to create a modern and participatory theatrical experience out of the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga, open to a multiplicity of interpretations and accessible to all. Initially trained as a visual artist, filmmaker and jazz musician, Stringer had his formative experiences with chanting when film editing work brought him to the Siddha Yoga ashram in Ganeshpuri, India in 1990. A subsequent period of residence at the ashram laid the foundation for his continuing study of the ideas, practices and music of yoga.
David Newman or Durga Das was deeply touched in 1999 by Neem Karoli Baba, or Maharajji as he is lovingly known by his students. Maharajji inspired David to view life through the open eyes of one who has truly been blessed with devotion and love for all of humanity. David is a very talented kirtan artist and sacred songwriter. Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion and is a heartfelt practice that David shares when he chants and teaches the practice of kirtan with others. He is dedicated to sharing the practice of kirtan with others and started “Kirtan College” with his wife Mira, who is a talent in her own right. Together, they travel internationally offering the soothing tradition of Indian kirtan blended with their own special personal signature.
Watching David Hickey dance between 15-20 quartz crystal singing bowls in conjunction with up to 18 gongs, a vibraphone and the santoor, is like watching a yogi move from one posture to another with beauty, ease and grace. To listen to him create a symphony of music of the purest tones that resonates with the natural vibrational properties of the Sun, Moon and Earth is something that is felt deep within one's soul. The Paiste gongs he uses create healing, and cultivate mental clarity and a very soothing and meditative state of mind. David creates his music to help people let go of any fear they are holding so they can reach deeply relaxed and elevated states of consciousness. His music attunes listeners to become more aware of their environment as well as themselves.
Shanti Shivani is a singer, nada yogini, sound healer, internationally acclaimed seminar leader and recording artist. She has been teaching and performing internationally since 1986 and has been recording as a solo artist and in collaboration with many World Music artists since 1997. She has been giving one-on-one sound healing sessions since 1994. Shanti is dedicated to bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga, the Yoga of Sound and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the Western audience. The Dagar family, one of the premier families in the Dhrupad lineage that has been teaching the Dhrupad tradition for 19 generations, has accepted Shanti Shivani as a parampara, student. Dhrupad creates deep meditative states of consciousness which connects the performer with the listener to the Divine Source of all creation.
Sudha has been traveling the world since 2002, singing at meditation events and festivals. Her inspiration has come from different cultures stretching from ancient Hawaii and Native America in the West, combined with tribal Africa and the traditions of India in the East. All music coming from the Heart, rooted in devotion to the Divine. The soothing and almost angelic quality of her voice, effortlessly transports the listener into a space of peacefulness. In 2006, Sudha went through a deep process at the Oneness University near Chennai, India and was initiated to be a facilitator of the Oneness Experience – also known as Deeksha or Oneness Blessing. This was a truly life transforming experience and had a profound impact on her singing as well as all other aspects of her life.
Adrian Freedman is originally from England. There, he began to play the ancient Japanese bamboo flute called the shakuhachi, which is known as a traditional zenki (tool of Zen). He later moved to Japan for 8 years to study with Yokoyama Katsuya, the most respected shakuhachi master in Japan.
The music of the shakuhachi comes from the edge of silence, crossing boundaries of time and culture to echo in the human soul. It is a powerful evocation of spirit and leads deep to the place of silence within us all from whence the music is being made….a reflection in sound of the pure essence of being, as well as the expressive longing of the soul to be reunited with this eternal source.
Ravi (Justin Freeman) has developed a unique style of playing the kora in his explorations as a multi-instrumentalist over a period of twenty years. The kora is a 21-string harp from West Africa, made from a gourd, skin, fishing line and wood. Traditionally played by hereditary Griot musicians, Ravi was one of the first Western kora players to take this highly sophisticated instrument into new musical areas such as jazz and fusion. He has released 20 of his own and collaborative recordings including work with Nigel Kennedy, Babba Maal, Dr. John, John Lord, Ronu Majumdar, Deva Premal & Miten, Phil Manzanera and many leading traditional musicians. As well as performing as a duet regularly with Sudha. Ravi is also an accomplished overtone singer, and his performances include his own songs of prayerful reflection.
Brian Wall is a multi-instrumentalist who performs a mixture of Celtic, Western Classical, and Indian Classical Music, blending the techniques of these different traditions to create his own unique style. In 2003, he received a grant from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute to further his studies of Indian Classical Music in India with Pt. Sukhdev Prasad Mishra in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. He shifts seamlessly between Indian violin, sitar, guitar, celtic harp, keyboard, didgeridoo, percussion and loopstation, and offers healing sound workshops and yoga flow accompaniment.
Julianne Southwell picked up a violin for the first time at the age of 5. Since then, she has been playing violin as an instrument of love. Her unique approach to music combines improvisation and a playful approach, merging world music with classical, jazz, bluegrass and her own characteristic style. Because of her eclectic musical abilities, she is experienced in performing in a wide variety of genres. Music is a language we can all relate to and it crosses the boundaries of nations and hearts. Julie has studied with and has much gratitude for her time with Indian violin Gurus Dr. M. Manjunath and M. Nagaraj, “The Mysore Violin Brothers” as well as other luminaries from the sacred music realm.
These artists will be joined by other world-class spontaneous musicians, creating a powerful musical soundscape to support the teachings of The Gathering and to accompany ecstatic dance, whirling, chant and meditation.
The music alone is worth coming for, and yet it is only a complement to the much deeper experience of pure being, which we are holding the intention for this event of giving you the opportunity to awaken into self-realization.