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Antoinette (Toni) Roberson Varner was given the name Gangaji by her teacher H.W.L. Poonja in 1990. Before that meeting she had spent decades searching for lasting happiness. She had immersed herself in activism, psychological self expression and finally, various spiritual practices. Her meeting with her teacher, called Papaji by his students, allowed her to deeply inquire into herself. Through this inquiry, she discovered silent awake consciousness, and she realized that as herself, as everyone. Papaji asked that she invite all who are interested to inquire and discover for themselves, and for the last nineteen years she has traveled the globe offering this invitation, and supporting others' deep inquiry. She is the author of HIDDEN TREASURE: UNCOVERING THE TRUTH IN YOUR LIFE STORY, THE DIAMOND IN YOUR POCKET and YOU ARE THAT. She lives with her husband Eli Jaxon-Bear in Oregon and offers retreats in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Visit her website for more information about events or to look at an online catalog of books and videos.

Entries by Gangaji

I Am, Therefore I Think

(8) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 12:10 AM

The challenge of a human life is to live truly free. When you realize that you are not your name, you are not any function, you are not your gender, and in truth you are not anything you can think yourself to be, you recognize the spaciousness of who you...

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When We Are Ready to Be Free

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 1:33 PM

At the dawning of spiritual maturity, as in biological maturity, a push or even a shock is often necessary to provide the catalyst for essential growth. The birth of true knowing follows the death of the previously known. What was previously known may have been true in its time, but...

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Freedom in Prison: Grace Is Here, Too

(10) Comments | Posted June 22, 2012 | 7:30 AM

For more than 20 years, I have been speaking with people from all walks of life: good people, bad people, enlightened people, unenlightened people. I speak to people who have the privilege of freedom and relative control over their lives, and I speak to people in prison. One life is...

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The Limitless Treasure of Who You Are

(12) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 8:00 AM

I can remember as a very young child recognizing, "I am," and feeling both enormous wonder and fear. Before that moment my attention (in my memory, at least) was focused solely on survival: mother, breast, food. In that instant, attention was opened to consciousness, expanding beyond my known limits.

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Harmony and Disruption Are Part of the Same Whole

(11) Comments | Posted April 14, 2012 | 9:59 AM

The tremendous event of a human birth begins an epic story of both chaos and harmony, a profoundly familiar rhythm of life that we know and revisit on both physiological and emotional levels as long as we live. As soothing and essential as harmony is life demands disruption as well....

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Two Faces of Grace

(7) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 7:00 AM

The experience of the gift of life, of the grace of life, is a mysterious blessing we celebrate and bow to. Grace is the answer to our prayers, and yet it is free of our bidding. How joyous to bask in even an instant of surprising good fortune. How sweetly...

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The Point of Authentic Inquiry

(5) Comments | Posted February 21, 2012 | 10:56 AM

There is a point that appears in a lifetime, regardless of chronological age, when healthy, true doubt appears. We doubt what we have been taught, and we doubt what others insist we must believe. This is the point at which true spiritual inquiry can begin.

Too often there is...

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Going Inside: Direct Experience Is Like a True Kiss

(1) Comments | Posted January 24, 2012 | 1:41 PM

To inquire into something is to open to it, to meet it, and to discover its meaning -- or lack of meaning -- from the inside of it.

Inquiry is generally recognized to mean investigating, and that definition serves the purpose well. However, in the sense in which I...

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Telling the Truth About What Is Here

(1) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 11:04 AM

One of the most powerful phrases in human language is "I am here." It is powerful because it is utterly simple and profoundly true. Anything that is said or thought afterward is just an addition to this basic, unfaltering truth. In fact I and am and here are all pointing...

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What Is Your Life Story?

(2) Comments | Posted December 11, 2011 | 10:44 AM

All creatures are born inescapably defined by their stories, yet if we remain limited by those definitions we live a life of inner bondage. When we recognize the stories that generate our definitions of ourselves, we are closer to the discovery of what is indefinable within us. That discovery reveals...

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Rediscovering Your Natural Curiosity

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 7:29 PM

The primary concern for all life forms is survival. In the case of humans, the basis of everything we think is somehow about our survival. Everything we feel is related to our survival. Even everything we understand is about our survival. What we understand is what we can categorize. A...

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What Does it Mean to Be Free of Definitions?

(2) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 12:22 PM

At this time in our present history, we have the ability to be conscious of the stories we have been taught and how they define us, as well as the stories we unquestionably have believed about who another is. We can be willing to be unguarded with ourselves, and we...

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Listen to the Stories You Tell Yourself

(4) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 9:25 AM

One of our most impressive powers as human beings is our power of language. We use language as we speak externally to others and as we speak internally to ourselves. Part and parcel of that power are the stories we tell. Story telling is an essential and awesome aspect of...

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How to Be Completely Honest With Yourself

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 8:25 AM

In our long human history of storytelling, there have been great beings with awe-inspiring stories that reveal the victory of self-discovery. What inspires us about these great ones is that somehow their lives turned toward and then reflected the sublime discovery of everlasting truth. I invite you to let your...

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The Opportunity Of Change

(8) Comments | Posted October 21, 2009 | 9:28 AM

The most inevitable material fact of our universe is the one we have the stormiest relationship with. Either we fight it as it is appearing, or we mourn for it as it passes us by, but we are hardly ever at peace with change.

At every instant of our...

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Prizing Peace

(20) Comments | Posted October 14, 2009 | 9:22 AM

In my view, the emanation of peace by any one person is a boon to us all. When that person is the leader of the most powerful and sometimes the most dangerous nation in the world, that boon is magnified exponentially.

I happen to like President Obama and I...

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Why Emotional Pain Doesn't Have to Lead to Suffering

(13) Comments | Posted August 31, 2009 | 2:37 PM

Physical feelings of pain are familiar signals to us all. In general we note the discomfort and naturally make attempts to correct the cause. This is our innate intelligence at work. And when the pain is simple, and simple corrections are made, all is well. The sensation of pain is...

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Why Pleasure Doesn't Lead To Lasting Fulfillment

(30) Comments | Posted August 25, 2009 | 9:04 AM

Since the love of pleasure is natural to us all, why doesn't it lead to lasting fulfillment? The easy, and correct, answer is because pleasure doesn't last. When we are experiencing something pleasurable, we don't imagine that it will end, or even that there was ever a time without it....

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What Does Your Life Teach?

(12) Comments | Posted August 18, 2009 | 9:20 AM

Every creature has a story. A beginning, an arc of a life, and then an ending. Not just animals, of course. Trees, flowers, butterflies, spiders, rocks, planets, and solar systems all have their story.
All come from life, are infused and animated by life to become a particular life...

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Winning the Lottery

(20) Comments | Posted August 11, 2009 | 1:00 PM

When the California lottery began in 1985, it conjured up visions of instant richness for many, myself being one of the many. Naively I would purchase a ticket at the local 7/11 and then wait for the good news. While waiting the few days before winners were announced, I would...

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