John Dupuy of iAwake Technologies talks with best-selling author Jonathan Robinson (The Technology of Joy, More Love Less Conflict) about how to awaken spiritually and access states of pure awareness. Jonathan is the creator and narrator of the guided meditations on iAwake’s latest release, Shortcuts to Awakening, which gives us the best of both worlds: effective and proven meditations to help us awaken combined with iAwake’s powerful brainwave entraining audio tracks in the background, taking us down to the deep brainwave states where we can access states of pure awareness most effectively.
If you want to watch the full interview, go here.
John: Today, we’re going to talk about our newest iAwake release, Shortcuts to Awakening. I think it’s a wonderful title. When I first heard it, I thought, “Well, I don’t know how much poetry it has, but it’s certainly accurate. Jonathan, you’ve created an incredible tool.
In our iAwake family (people who actually practice with iAwake), there are people who are very advanced meditators, and when you say “shortcuts to awakening,” they know exactly what you’re talking about when you say “awakening.” But there may be a lot of us who don’t know exactly what that is. It’s always a fascinating question, so I’d like to pose it to you, Jonathan: What are you talking about when you say “awakening”?
What Does Awakening Mean To You?
Jonathan: There are a lot of ways to define awakening—I like to define it as a very specific experience. Not where you’re enlightened forever, but more an experience where you let go of your sense of ego, your separate sense of self, and you’re just there where you are, taking in your sense impressions. It’s like you just arrived for the first time and you’re seeing out your eyes for the first time—where there’s nothing but now going on.You’re less identified, or not identified, with any ego or anything other than now. Just being right here looking out your senses.
The other side of this equation is when you’re looking out into this three-dimensional world that your senses show, you’re also connected to something; that something can be called peace or love or a higher power. It’s an emptiness that’s very full. That’s one way of describing it. Obviously, there are a lot of ways.
In some of the tracks on Shortcuts, we go into describing awakening, because like in an erotic novel, if you describe what awakening is it actually helps bring you into that state. It’s a beautiful way of opening into the expanded, peaceful, loving, connected, present reality that’s always there.
John: As Abraham Maslow said, these experiences of awakening—he called them “peak experiences”—are absolutely necessary to be a healthy, fully actualized human being. When we expand and realize “I’m not just little John, or little Jonathan, lo and behold, I’m pure awareness itself, and it expands out into infinity and includes all things, it is my true nature and my true being, it was my original face before the Big Bang and before my parents were born”…there’s just an extraordinary shift in things. And, as you were saying, it’s not just existential emptiness or dullness, it’s an awakeness and aliveness, and its qualities are joy, peace, compassion, acceptance, even responsibility.
The more often we have access to this awakening, the more stabilized the awareness becomes in our day-to-day encounters with the rest of the world and with ourselves. It changes the whole story.
Jonathan: Yes, and the great thing is that we don’t have to create this state—it’s our natural state. It’s what happens if we relax at a very fundamental level. That’s what is, and we’re always resisting it! Shortcuts are a way of letting go of everything that’s in the way of our natural state.
John: You very effectively tease that out in these tracks. You take us away from our normal monkey mind thoughts, identified with our stuff and our stories and our issues, and then it’s like, “Oh, okay. Welcome home.”
Exploring Awareness is a Skill
Jonathan: I have a podcast called Awareness Explorers (people can get it on iTunes), where we explore different methods of awakening in detail. I’m like a mechanic—I like to get into the specifics of the methods and tease them out, so we can get better at these skills. Because learning how to let go of negative emotions and get into our natural state is a skill; knowing how to let go of our thinking mind that is always worrying and always doing things is a skill. If people are interested in this stuff, then Shortcuts will definitely help them. They can also learn more at the Awareness Explorers podcast.
John: In your books, you’re always out there exploring everything that’s available and bringing it back to us, giving it to us in a form that we can understand and absorb and use in our own lives. It’s an incredibly noble, fun, and very cool task that you’ve been given, and you seem to be doing it very well. When I was meditating this morning, getting ready to do this conversation, I had a vision of you as Mercury, messenger of the gods.
Jonathan: Thank you. I’m basically selfish and trying to do this for myself—then I see, wow, this applies to other people as well.
John: Yes. That’s the awakening thing: “The self…what is the self?
Oh my God, it’s everything and everyone.”
Jonathan: Yes. Just one of us here in drag.
John: There you go. It’s all God in drag, and you are it.
Is There Really a Shortcut to Awakening?
John: So what qualifies you, Jonathan Robinson, to create a shortcut to awakening?
Jonathan: Well, going way back, I had a miserable childhood, which helped me get into self-help, meditation, and hypnosis at the ripe old age of 11. From there, I was trying hard to heal myself and focused on what are the best technologies, the best methods, for getting out of depression, out of fear, and into happiness. Eventually, that led me to write books on what the best methods are for achieving happiness, communication, and awakening, and later led to being on Oprah a bunch in the 1990s and early 2000s.
I turned my laziness in wanting quick, simple methods into a superpower, and other people wanted the same stuff. I get to speak to a lot of people now, John, in seminars, so I’m always testing this stuff to see what works and what doesn’t—both on me and on other people—and I get to see that these guided meditations really seem to impact people. That’s what qualifies me. It’s a matter of practical things that seem to work for people.
John: You’re also a very prolific writer, and you write books like I write chapters. I’m really in awe of your capacity of producing great books that are bestsellers. People love them, and they’re very useful!
Jonathan: Well, thank you. As I said, I’m very practically minded. I’ve found that I’m not able to do things that take a lot of discipline—I think a lot of people are that way. So I try to give people things that take almost no effort yet can produce a result. TV is like that. We figured out a way to get 600 channels of entertainment just by moving our thumbs a quarter of an inch.
I want to do the same thing with awakening and happiness. With very little effort, a person can have a pretty sizeable result, especially in the area of awakening. Traditionally, people have said that you have to go into a monastery—which I’ve done—and you have to meditate long hours. But I find that quality is actually more important than quantity. So I’ve tried to come up with the best inner technologies for awakening, partly because that’s what I want, and also thinking other people might want that as well.
John: And of course our lives are so busy, if we have tools that are focused and take less time, obviously that’s a good thing. That’s one of the ideas behind iAwake Technologies. We create audio tracks that take you into deep brainwave states so you don’t have to spend years and years in an ashram or monastery or hooked up to some guru—that’s problematic also.
So, here we have the best of both worlds: we have these guided meditations plus the powerful brainwave entraining sounds of the iAwake tracks in the background, taking you down to the deep brainwave states where you’re doing the guided stuff.
Let me say this about that. I’ve been meditating at least 13 years using this technology, and I’ve gained a lot of access to nondual states and the awakening and pure awareness states you talk about, but it took me many years to get to the place you bring people to almost immediately with these tools. Also, the more we use these tracks, the more second nature it’s going to become, and the more we will be entrained into identifying with pure awareness and pure consciousness—one of the primary goals of deep, contemplative meditation.
Just like coaches always say in sports, “You’ve got to focus on the fundamentals,” it’s very much the same with meditation, even if you’re an advanced meditator. I know all this stuff, and I know it well, but having it come from your angle immediately helped me get into deep, still states of awareness. I was just amazed how well these work, and I’m so happy to have them as part of iAwake’s ever-growing library of transformational tools.
Jonathan: Yes, I’m excited. The best of my stuff with the best of your stuff creates some pretty good stuff. These are very specific, unusual guided meditations—not your average, “relax…” sort of thing. They have some very interesting things in them that get people to a place of pure awareness.
With the four different tracks on Shortcuts, we get at it from different angles, and you’re bound to find something that resonates intensely with you. That’s my hope: that people listen to these tracks and find something that feels like a major drug trip or mystical experience. Having the guided meditations helps people to know how to get there after they listen to it also.
Spirituality’s Gold Standard: Pure Awareness
I think pure awareness is the gold standard for spirituality. I’ve been with a lot of teachers, and almost all of them say that the key is how much you can be in pure awareness, because that is the doorway or the portal to everything beyond ego. If you can get there quickly, easily, consistently, and stay there for a period of time, things in your life and in your brain change all by themselves.
John: I would also say it’s a doorway to a healthy relationship with your ego, because we’re not going to be doing away with that anytime soon. When you realize you’re something beyond ego, then going back and doing the cleanup—dealing with the shadow and doing the psychological work that’s also necessary in this journey—becomes actually doable and much more effective.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Personally, I’m very excited to listen to them myself, because they make getting to a place of total stillness and pure awareness much easier than some meditation techniques I use. That’s a good sign these are going to be good for other people as well.
The world is getting more complex, more stressful. We have iPhones that are great technology because they’re quick, easy, and reliable. We need the same thing to happen with awakening, so we can spend more time in these expanded states of consciousness. Without that, the world is so stressful nowadays that we can get lost in all the busy-ness, and that would be unfortunate.
John: We may think there are a lot of very negative things going on in the world, but there are also some really positive things. I think the most positive thing we can do as individuals is to take responsibility for our own awakening. And awakening is actually the beginning of a whole other journey. It’s not the end of things, it’s just a start. It’s a doorway to where we need to get to in order to grapple with the evolutionary challenges going on in our human family, and of course in the whole world around us right now.
Jonathan: The more you do it, the more momentum it has, and the easier it is, because if you only experience a higher state of consciousness once a week or once a year, you don’t get the flavor of it. But by listening to these tracks, you get a taste of what it feels like and that makes it easier the next time.
I’m very excited that people will be able to have expanded states without drugs, without going to a guru, in the privacy of their own home, whenever they want. I think that’s the basis of a whole new way of being in the world. There’s nothing more important than love, peace, and awakening, so anything you can do to move in this direction is good. I’m really looking forward to what effect Shortcutshas on people and hearing what people have to say after they’ve listened to it.
John: Awesome, Jonathan. Thank you very much. As always, it’s been a real pleasure.
Listen to a 3-minute sample of the “Pure Awareness” track on Shortcuts to Awakening here!
Jonathan Robinson is a psychotherapist, best-selling author of 12 books, and a professional speaker. He has made numerous appearances on the Oprah show as well as many other national TV talk shows, and articles about him have appeared in USA Today, Newsweek, and The Los Angeles Times. Jonathan is also co-host of the popular podcast Awareness Explorers (iTunes and Google Play). He is known for providing people with immediately useful information presented in a fun and entertaining manner. His website is FindingHappiness.com.
John Dupuy is the CEO of iAwake Technologies and travels internationally to teach and inspire on the subjects of Integral Recovery, Integral Transformative Practice, and the use of brainwave entrainment technology to deepen one’s meditation practice and in the treatment of addiction, depression, and PTSD. John is the founder of Integral Recovery® and his book Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction won the 2013 USA Best Book Award. John also hosts interviews with leading innovators in the spiritual technologies field on Spiritual Technologies 2.0 Live and co-hosts the popular Journey of Integral Recovery podcast.
This blog was created from an interview with John and Jonathan by Heidi Mitchell, who has been working with iAwake’s CEO, John Dupuy, for over 10 years as assistant and editor. John introduced her to Integral theory and practice and brainwave entrainment enhanced meditation in 2007. Heidi is also a freelance editor of nonfiction books, blogs, and web sites. She can be reached at www.heidimitchelleditor.com.