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This Week’s Guest:
Take a moment to think about how you identify yourself. Do you identify as your body, your job, your possessions, your friends and enemies, or your point of view? For example, someone who identifies as their job might call themselves a doctor or a lawyer. Someone who identifies as their viewpoint might say they are a Democrat or a Republican. Identifying yourself like this can lead to great suffering in the constantly changing world. Freedom comes when you realize that you’re part of the process of impermanence. What you are is eternal and untouchable, and everything else happens while life goes on.
Douglas Bentley joins me in this episode to explore this topic, among many others. Douglas was a monk at Oneness University in India for over a decade, during which time he studied directly under Sri Bhagavan. He has since returned to the West to serve as a teacher and spiritual guide. I met Doug in India in 2012, and have been wanting to have him on my show for years. I’m excited to share his wisdom with you in today’s show, and hope that this conversation can be the beginning of something big for you.
Find Out More About Douglas Here:
In This Episode:
- [03:28] – Doug talks about his process of going from a web designer to a monk in India, describing his background in the process.
- [07:01] – We learn that Doug was the only Western monk during the time he was there, and was one of the first Westerners to be a monk there at all.
- [07:50] – Doug takes a moment to describe what an avatar is, and explain how people in India see holy people.
- [11:13] – Are an avatar and a guru two different things?
- [13:22] – Being awakened permanently is something to be sought after, but having awakened states doesn’t compare. Doug goes into depth about the differences between the two, despite the similarities of what they’re called.
- [18:58] – Stephan points out that we easily get caught up with identifying ourselves with our roles in life, such as thinking of oneself as a lawyer instead of someone who practices law.
- [22:33] – When and where did Doug start having profound experiences?
- [25:09] – Doug discusses some ways to achieve a better state of consciousness, which include jogging, eating well, and living a balanced life.
- [28:05] – We hear one of the things that Doug has always appreciated about Sri Bhagavan.
- [32:05] – The more helpless you’re willing to become, the faster and deeper your progress will be, Stephan explains. Doug then digs into this idea.
- [35:05] – Doug shares his thoughts on whether he thinks that the process he has been talking about is also happening at a meta level with humanity in general.
- [36:29] – Stephan shares a personal story about a very powerful experience that he had between his two trips to India.
- [40:23] – Doug has watched similar things happen many times during his ten years in India, he explains.
- [43:47] – For listeners who may not be familiar with the concept, Doug takes a moment to describe Maya.
- [45:49] – What is liberation? Doug describes it simply as awakening to the truth of reality and what you are.
- [49:03] – Doug returns to clarifying various terminologies, this time explaining dukkha among other terms.
- [52:14] – If you believe that your god or divine is a punishing god, that’s what you’ll experience, Stephan clarifies. Douglas then takes the concept a step further.
- [56:00] – How can listeners find Douglas to take the next step with him or learn more about the subjects he’s been discussing?
Links and Resources:
- Douglas Bentley
- Douglas Bentley on Facebook
- Douglas Bentley on Instagram
- Douglas Bentley on YouTube
- Tony Robbins
- Platinum Partnership
- Oneness University
- Sri Bhagavan
- Kundalini yoga
- Eckhart Tolle
Your Checklist of Actions to Take:
☑ Nurture my spirit. I must take care of my spiritual needs to find balance and clarity in life.
☑ Find a community and a mentor who can help and support my spiritual awakening.
☑ Know the difference between an awakened state and awakening. An awakened state is temporary whereas awakening is becoming aware and in tune with myself and others.
☑ Keep my self-awareness intact and balance my state of consciousness. This will help me in my journey of awakening.
☑ Let go of my ego. Ego is the inner voice that promotes self-centeredness. Spiritual awakening is all about selfless actions.
☑ Treat God as an experience more than a belief. Find it in people and nature by staying present and grateful.
☑ Take care of my body by eating healthy and exercising. My physical state is my spirit’s temple therefore it should be regularly taken care of.
☑ Don’t forget about my mental health. My mind is very powerful and positive thoughts bring forth positive events.
☑ Strengthen my relationships with the people I love. Finding balance within myself depends on how I treat others around me.
☑ Reset and refocus. True awakening is a constant journey wherein I need to evaluate myself and reflect.
S: Yes, yet another spirituality focused episode. I promise we’ll get back to biohacking, wealth building, and productivity, but this interview was just too good to sit on. I’ve been waiting to get this particular monk on the show for literally years. I feel very fortunate to share his wisdom with you on today’s episode, number 141. I met Doug Bentley in India in 2012 when I was attending a Oneness Intensive hosted by Tony Robbins, specifically for his Platinum Partnership which I was fortunate to be part of. Tony personally invited Doug, at the time a monk at Oneness University, to be one of the main teachers at this Intensive. Doug had a profound impact on my life, in fact that Oneness trip with Tony and the subsequent trip to the Oneness University Campus a few months later lead to a major spiritual awakening for me. Doug was a monk in India for over a decade studying directly under Shri Bhagwan. He’s now returned to the West serving as a teacher and spiritual guide. Doug, it’s great to have you on the show.
D: Thanks so much. I appreciate you inviting me to be on this show.
S: It’s just such a pleasure to have you on because you had a big impact on my life. We met in 2012 in Udaipur in India at a Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership trip. That was where I had my first awakening experience where I felt connected to the divine really for the first time in my life. I was agnostic my whole life up until that point. It was a deeksha, it was a blessing where, I don’t think it was you, it’s one of your colleagues, another monk, put his hands on my head and I just had this incredible experience. I felt so connected, so peaceful, and just certain that God existed, and loved me. I went outside right after that, I saw all the beauty of the scenery and I just remember the green of the grass was the brightest, most technicolor I ever seen, it was like a cartoon. It was beautiful. Boy, it was just so blissful. There was no going back from there. I felt connected ever since. You had a profound impact on my life. You and Uma were just really fundamental in my spiritual awakening. Thank you.
D: Yeah, you’re welcome.
S: Let’s talk about your process of going from a web designer to a monk in India and staying there for a decade studying under somebody that is considered by many in India to be essentially a deity.
D: First of all, I come from a very normal grounded family. My dad owns businesses. I’ve always come from a very grounded background and I’ve never found myself so drawn to be necessarily a part of anything, I’ve always been a very independent person by nature. But when I was 17 years old, I started having these very profound dreams, and very strangely, one of the most profound dreams I ever had was where I came face to face with a great being in my dream who gave me some great wisdom.