Fax: I want to offer my congratulations on your transition to becoming a Full Teacher and putting together these panel discussions on spiritual transmission. In a car, the transmission is responsible for shifting the gears. How does spiritual transmission shift the gears in aspirants?
Subhaga: What a great metaphor! I think people are humming along in neutral, to go along with the metaphor, but the transmission is there in all of us. Everybody has it. Everybody’s transmitting their own life force, their own Being force. So when the transmission gets engaged with a teacher, let’s say, then that’s where those shifts come. People get moved. They get moved into first gear, and they get a little traction, and then as they deepen, they begin to accelerate, they continue to shift, and shift, and shift. You’re on the highway, and there’re no anticipated stops or obstacles, and you’re just kind of cruising along. I think the transmission really does shift people into a place where they have a greater mobility in themselves. They can move more fluidly through the parts of themselves that need to be explored or investigated.
Fax: What is it about the context of this work that allows the ability to feel and respond to transmission? Is there a sensitivity to it that can grow and strengthen like a muscle?
Subhaga: That’s a great question, and it’s one that we tried to explore in those panels. One of the things you’re pointing out that’s resonant for me is the intersection between transmission and mutuality. I was just watching your introduction to Trillium Awakening interview with Cielle, and the importance of mutuality, that we awaken together. That we often refer to being in mutuality as being in a kind of crucible, a container in which things get cooked up. I also love the idea of cultivating the “muscle.”
I think a lot of times people have a lot that’s in the way for them to really perceive transmission.
In communication theory, we talk about “noise” that occurs in every communication setting. For some people, there’s a lot of internal noise. It might be mental; it might be physical, so that their focus is in the wrong place to cultivate an awareness of transmission. In groups, there is more volume, so to speak, and it’s easier for it to penetrate. There are many tuning forks vibrating. Students need to continue to put themselves in the way of it because the transmission is always there, and when they’re ready for it, then they’ll feel it and shift into another gear.
Fax: How important is a person’s intention in completing the transmission circuit?
Subhaga: Yes; to go back to the muscle analogy, if you just go to the gym and stand around, nothing’s going to happen. You have to start with the lightest possible weights. A lot of people have trouble with sharing when they first start in our work. They get really impatient and bored with other people’s sharing. But being able to feel into your own impatience with that, in a way, that’s like starting to pick up those light weights. “Okay, I need to open myself and relax and know that there’s something at work here that is bigger than us as a group and that’s constructed by us as a group.”
Fax: You’re an educator. Are there any similarities in being a Trillium teacher to what you’re teaching in college?
Subhaga: I’ve been teaching Interpersonal Communication, which I really love, and so much of what we teach in our work keeps popping up in Interpersonal Theory. One big idea is “other orientation.” In order for us to be able to really communicate interpersonally, we have to cultivate an other orientation-it’s really like mutuality-listening fully, being present, perceiving, understanding our own projections. So when we’re listening to people’s shares, there’s a process in which we have to be able to cultivate that orientation of mutuality to really hear that person. And it can take us a while to get there, but when we do, that’s when the transmission can vibrate more fully.
Fax: Some spiritual teachers have a very powerful transmission but an undeveloped moral and ethical compass. How is this possible?
Subhaga: For me, this is one of the areas where our work has really been ground breaking. Sometimes practitioners come to us with a consciousness awakening already in place, but that’s not Whole-Being Realization. That is something that requires us to awaken as our “true and total nature,” integrating all the parts of ourselves, including the shadow. Other traditions don’t necessarily focus on the lived experience. Their focus on transcendence can result in powerful transmission without a grounding in mutuality, which requires ethical behavior.
Fax: Since you’ve been involved in this work, you’ve been very active, volunteered hundreds of hours on committees and projects. Is there something you could say about how you relate to service and why it’s so important to you to serve?
Subhaga: I was surprised that I was drawn to become involved in the work organizationally. I never thought I would do that. I guess I just believe strongly in the work and I’m rewarded deeply by the kind of mutuality that comes out of doing service. I’m sort of an evangelist in a way, a hermit/evangelist! When I really get into something, I really want to get the word out. I really want to share what we’re doing.
The thousand people on our mailing list: where are you in your process? If you’ve had your second birth, are you continuing to work your edges and deepen? If you’re still waiting for your Whole-Being Realization, are you working with a teacher and a mentor, are you taking advantage of the mutuality groups, are you exploring the information that’s available out there? I think people can become passive. They may think, “This awakening’s just going to happen.” There’s a way in which that’s true, but you really need to be engaged in the work. My drive to serve comes out of that, to serve people who are seeking what we’ve found.
Fax: What is one of the things that has been most transformative for you in this work?
Subhaga: The realization that everything is happening here, in me. We’re often told in sittings, “this is consciousness showing up as this person,” and so the more you hear that, you have this realization that, “Oh, someone is speaking, but the reaction is arising in me. This is where it’s happening. It’s not happening ‘there.’ It’s happening ‘here.'” We continue to bring the investigation back into “what’s getting activated in me? Why is it getting activated?” And then I can drop in.
Fax: Where did you receive your name and what does it mean?
Subhaga: I received my name from Amma. It means “Beloved.”
Fax: Very well chosen! Thank you so much for all that you are and all that you give.