Please see below for our growing list of online videos.
Interview with Tina Rasmussen
Tina Rasmussen Ph.D, is a meditation teacher and author who is best known as being the first Western woman to master the virtuoso-level shamata meditation system of Pa Auk Sayadaw.
In this interview we learn about Tina’s life-defining quest for enlightenment which inspired her 1-year solo retreat in which her practice of Dzogchen triggered not only massive energetic phenomena but also a profound spiritual awakening.
We hear all about Tina’s training and authorisation under the notoriously rigorous Pa Auk Sayadaw, culminating in mastery of all 8 jhanas, with all ten kasinas, and much more.
We also discuss issues such as integration of awakening in professional life, romantic relationship after enlightenment, and sexual scandal among meditation teachers.
0:00 – Intro
00:53 – Learning meditation at 13 years old
03:19 – Rediscovering the spiritual path after divorce
07:10 – Discovering a natural faculty for deep meditation experiences
10:31 – Straddling deep practice and high end business consulting
14:11 – Why Tina outed herself as a meditator in her professional life
18:36 – Effects of Tina’s spiritual practice on her romantic relationships, and meeting Stephen Snyder
24:10 – Rewired romantic life after enlightenment and Tibetan Tantra
29:20 – Tina’s 1 year solo retreat
40:55 – Extreme energetic experiences and DIY Tummo
44:21 – Tsoknyi Rinpoche and subtle body trauma
50:38 – The challenges of working with very popular teachers
55:33 – Finding mentors as an advanced practitioner
58:52 – Tina’s dream yoga practice and 24hr meditation
1:02:31 – Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Mingyur Rinpoche
1:03:24 – Tina’s Dzogchen practice
1:06:53 – Mastering shamata meditation under Pa Auk Sayadaw’s instruction
1:20:14 – Which is more difficult, shamata or awakening?
1:22:06 – The consequences of jhana mastery
1:27:14 – Scandals among spiritual teachers, levels of awakening, and personality material
1:33:21 – Defining ‘Do No Harm’ and the need for psychological understanding
1:43:20 – Working with Tina
Interview with Stephen Snyder
GuruViking Steve James talks with Stephen Snyder, meditation teacher and author who is perhaps best known as being the first non-monastic Western man to master the virtuoso-level shamata meditation system of Pa Auk Sayadaw. We learn about Stephen’s early fascination with meditation, teaching himself Zen practice from books for years before attending his first traditional sesshin. We also explore Stephen’s vivid past life memories in detail. At 28 Stephen had a radical spiritual awakening, went on to develop unique processes to integrate that awakening and improve his behaviours. We also discuss how Stephen’s professional role as a lawyer to various Zen masters revealed to him the importance of combining psychological work with spiritual practice. In 2018 Stephen had a serious stroke, during which he was thrust into a profound experience of what he calls the Vajra Body. In the last part of the interview Stephen recounts this incident and details the realisations that followed.
01:00 – Childhood meditation experiences
03:30 – Learning Zen practice from books
05:04 – Encountering Zen monks at 3 years old
06:55 – Stephen’s past life experiences
12:56 – Siddhis and special powers that can arise from concentration practice
16:26 – Choosing the right practice
19:10 – Stephen’s first Zen retreat
21:18 – Learning to sit through pain
23:14 – Radical awakening at age 28
28:00 – Stephen’s strategies for working with the personality material after awakening
39:30 – Recognising awakened people
41:09 – Integrating spiritual experience in work and daily life
46:33 – Working with recurring interpersonal conflict
48:00 – When to stay in conflict and when to walk away
51:44 – Lessons learned lawyering for Zen Masters
56:20 – Meeting Tina Rasmussen and a mutual recognition
1:00:53– Mastering the jhanas with Pa Auk Sayadaw
1:08:03 – Meditations to train disgust towards the body
1:13:04 – Current book projects
1:14:58 – Stephen’s stroke in 2018 and experience of the Vajra Body
1:23:54 – Cultivating the Vajra Body
1:28:40 – How to contact Stephen
Interview with Tina Rasmussen
Tina Rasmussen was interviewed by “Buddha at the Gas Pump“, a site that enables people to relate and share their experiences of spiritual awakening.
Interview by Renate McNay
Tina Rasmussen ‘Living The Enlightenment Drive’
2018 Interview in Reggio Emilio, Italy
This interview provides an excellent overview of the teaching and work of Awakening Dharma, and Tina Rasmussen and Stephen Snyder.