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Arjuna Ardagh: coaching toward awakening.

The founder of Awakening Coaching Training, ARJUNA ARDAGH is devoted to "the awakening of consciousness within the context of ordinary life." He spoke with RABBI RAMI SHAPIRO about his new book, Better Than Sex: The Ecstatic Art of Awakening Coaching (Awakening Coaching, 2013).

Rabbi Rami: Your new book, Better Than Sex: The Ecstatic Art of Awakening Coaching, lays out a powerful and practical model for living. Let's start with the basics. What do you mean by "awakening"?

Arjuna Ardagh: The essence of awakening is extremely simple. Right now you hear a sound or see an object, but who is this "I" that hears and sees? When we look into this "I" we discover consciousness, awareness. It has no boundaries. It is silent, still, and full of creativity and humor. It is the solution to our problems. It is love; it is love itself. Awakening means realizing who you really are, and recognizing the nature of consciousness itself.

Is that what Awakening Coaching is all about?

This is only part of it. Our coaches support people to come into direct recognition of that true nature of who they really are. We call this "Radical Awakening." It is a tool that we use which makes this kind of recognition highly predictable and reliable.

But this isn't sufficient?

We have found that there are mechanisms within the psyche that make it very difficult to stabilize this awakening. We have tools that work with this awakening so that the way that you parent, the way that you are in relationships, the way that that you make money, the way that you go to work, the way that you get creative becomes aligned with this recognition of your deepest nature.

Can you tell us a bit about these tools?

The main tool we use is called "Radical Releasing." Radical Releasing isn't about getting rid of thoughts or feelings or anything else. Radical Releasing is about relaxing resistance. It is a way of recognizing and then releasing the deep habits of resistance that are characteristic of the way the psyche works. When resistance relaxes there is no separation from your true nature, or from all of life. You become integrated. You become one. The key is to recognize and dissolve resistance. With the many other tools we use in coaching, people become incredibly creative, resourceful, humorous, and loving.

I'm curious as to why you call this "coaching"?

Coaching turns the way that we learn things upside down. For thousands of years learning has been primarily hierarchical: teacher to student, a relationship that can be easily exploited. Coaching is a non-hierarchical and highly respectful relationship where the coach asks questions rather than supplies answers. The coach is there to bring forth the client's hidden brilliance. It is a beautiful, marvelous relationship.

How does Awakening Coaching differ from life coaching?

A main difference has to do with the goal. With conventional life coaching you are asked about your goals and desires, and your coach will then help you realize them. With Awakening Coaching we help you question your goals to see why you want them. Many of our goals are actually motivated by a very conditioned mind, a kind of hypnotized mind. So when we go deeper into awakening we realize that there is something we call longing--which is much deeper than desire. Longing is actually the longing to live in your true nature, longing to live in freedom. Longing to live the gift you were born to give.

What do you look for in a client?

The ideal person is someone who knows they have a gift to give and who has recognized the limitations of the conditioned mind. So they recognize there is a source of brilliance and creativity beyond habitual belief. They are highly creative people who are very motivated to make a difference in the world--who recognize that the world needs proactive participation and that it needs people to jump in and make a difference. We coach people who are actively involved in wanting to make the world a better place. Anything you do in your life, whether it is parenting, whether it is making your home beautiful, doing your job, painting--anything you do in your life will be lit up like a Christmas tree when you connect to the source of all creativity. If you are trying to do things from a limited condition of the mind, it is always going to be mediocre.

You train people to become Awakening Coaches. What are you looking for in a potential coach?

Who can become a good coach? Someone who cares about people--that's the first thing. If you care about people, if you're interested in people, if you tend to see the brilliance hidden within people and really want to bring it out, if you're the kind of person who meets somebody and thinks, I see your potential, your brilliance. I really want to see you shine, that person would make a good coach. You also need to have a kind of open, innocent, beginner's mind. Coaching is not a good pursuit for someone who is dogmatic. If you have rigid beliefs, if you're a devout Buddhist or Hindu or Christian or whatever--if you have very dogmatic beliefs, it is probably going to limit your coaching ability because you are going to end up wanting to enforce and impose a dogma, an agenda on somebody. A coach needs to become agenda-less--to really step aside and help people connect with their own brilliance--to help people wake up to their greatest potential, the greatest contribution that they can give the world.

One last question, Arjuna: Why is all this "better than sex"?

You'll have to read the book to find out!

Caption: Arjuna Ardagh Brett Affrunti

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Title Annotation:ESSENTIAL CONVERSATIONS
Author:Shapiro, Rami
Publication:Spirituality & Health Magazine
Article Type:Interview
Date:Nov 1, 2014
Words:970
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