Interview with Ron Lavin
"I first studied mystical teachings in Southern Mexico with a Zapotec Shaman in 1970. I learned 'Out of Body' work, 'channeling' of the Spirit Keepers of the pyramids at Monte Al Bon, and about the many uses of sacred plants. Later, I became a student at the Berkeley Psychic Institute in California, where I learned the mysterious Rosecrucian teachings from a brilliant master, Rev. Lewis Bostwick, with many spiritual insights, techniques and teachings."
Ann: In what spiritual tradition were you raised?
Ron: I was born Jewish; my parents were second-generation Americans and didn't put so much emphasis on religion. My father became interested in science of mind. He worked hard, had a business and traveled regularly. And he loved his gardens. He had irises, tulips and roses. We had a huge garden in our back yard. We lived in the northern suburbs of Chicago, in Highland Park, Illinois.
My maternal grandmother wanted us to follow the Jewish faith, so my mother agreed to send us to Hebrew school and Temple. I went a few times and saw that the rabbis didn't even believe in what they were saying. As I watched them, their auras would vibrate so radically, I instinctively knew they were just mouthing the teachings. And because these messengers were not faithful to the message, I couldn't believe in it either. I became disenchanted and stopped going. When I was younger however, I had a very unusual and beautiful spiritual experience.
In youth I was kind, sweet and gentle. I had always seen auras and felt in harmony with the sacredness in people and liked and respected them too. But I was also a big guy and my passive nature led me to become an obvious target. I got into a couple of fights at school; but never understood why people wanted to fight. I didn't appreciate the possibility of hurting people or of getting hurt myself. I really believed in peace, joy and in the sacred and had an inherent love and respect for people. I often went for long walks in the woods and asked Spirit to please tell me, why I was so different? What was I missing? Was I on the right planet? And how could I better understand and get along with some of the strange behavior of others.
On one particular day, while walking in the woods. As confused as any eight year old could possibly be, I asked God, "What is this all about? Why can't I understand people? Why am I so alone? Why can't I be normal like others?" It was all so weird and strange. People said one thing but I knew they believed in something completely different. And in an unforgettable moment, I had a communication from 'Spirit'. The voice said to me, "You are not alone, for I am with you. I have always been with you and I will always be with you. You are loved, and whenever you want the truth, you have only to look within, and there you will find the Truth." I stopped, breaking out in a cold sweat and thought, "What was that? What is happening to me?" Because the voice was both inside and yet outside of me at the same time, I said aloud, "Who are you? Who is this?" After a pause, the words fell out of my very own lips, "Jesus." Then I said, "Oh, my God" as I felt tears falling down my cheeks.
Being Jewish and very young, the only thing I knew about Jesus was what I was told. The Jews killed Jesus. The Russian pogroms, the World Wars and the Holocaust were all retribution against the Jews for His death. I had no real understanding of what was what. And as this Lightening bolt experience struck, splitting me in two, rushes of shifting perspectives washed through me, changing me forever. I had Jesus inside of me! I could never tell anyone or they would think that I was insane. And I felt totally estranged from Judaism. It was very strange being Jewish, but I knew where to find my source of truth!! Thank you God! This great gift has guided me through my entire life. Religion became a dry something that was taught out of books, with dogma, by messengers who didn't truly believe. I looked at other religions, and I saw and felt the same sort of strange dryness in them all. But in spirituality I felt a real living connection to the Creator and since that moment, this in dwelling spirit has been my guiding light.
Ann: I know you've studied the mystical traditions of many cultures. Did you study Kabbalah and many of the other mystical teachings?
Ron: I first studied mystical teachings in Southern Mexico with a Zapotec Shaman. I learned 'Out of Body' work, 'channeling the Spirit Keepers of Monte Al Bon' and about the many uses of sacred plants. Later, I became a student at the Berkeley Psychic Institute in California, where I learned the mysterious Rosecrucian teachings from a brilliant master, Rev. Lewis Bostwick, with many spiritual insights, techniques and teachings. They included Eastern psychic and spiritual healing, accessing and using Kundalini, Out of Body work and much more. Years later, I met and took refuge and experienced empowerments with Kalu Rimpoche and learned some of the vast Tibetan teachings. And still later, I worked with Native American Shamans, Harley Swiftdeer, Sun Bear and African Shaman, Elie Hein, Then I met and learned from Dr. Brugh Joy and Richard Moss. I then studied the astounding Alice Bailey teachings and the chain of learning continues.
Ann: Could you see a harmony working at the spiritual level through any of them? At the religious level they seem to just bump into each other, but at a spiritual level?
Ron: Absolutely, all the spiritual systems, all the spiritual teachings of all the different societies on our planet dovetail. They all have the same beliefs. They all have and point to the same infinite love and respect. The Koran, the Tibetans, the East and Western Indians all honor the same beings, Christ, White Buffalo-Calf Woman, and the great sages and seers. Living spiritual reality on this planet is one. It is the theme of this planet. The religions are dry and old and in many cases the texts are so archaic that there are many different translations, none of which is perfectly clear. Even with the Bible-and it's many translations-the Council of Nicea altered so many things in the Bible, and therefore, much confusion exists with each version. Now, with finding the Dead Sea Scrolls, many things are being seen more clearly and change is upon us. So, as far as religions, I think they are very young, whereas spirituality is the grandfather teacher on this planet. The essence of life, truth, free will and unconditional love are the reigning realities. The laws of God are clear, if not easy to follow, it's the laws of man that make life so difficult.
Ann: Do you have any spiritual heroes in your background, somebody you've read about or somebody that you actually worked with?
Ron: I have many... In my healing work, I almost always align with the Christ energy and/or the Archangelic energies of Gabrielle, Uriel, Raphael and Michael. I invoke their presence's and literally work with them. Another of my 'heroes' , perhaps not so well known in America is Sri Ramana Maharshi. He lived in India and had a spiritual awakening at age thirteen. He was born in the late eighteen hundreds and had a near death experience realizing that he was not his body, he was spirit! He wandered a thousand miles across India-from the north to Tiruvannamalai in the South. Just outside of the town of Tiruvannamalai is a huge, sacred red mountain called Arunachala. He first lived in town where he was continually in a trance state. People abused him because he wasn't physically conscious, so eventually he moved into a cave on the sacred mountain, Arunachala. While in this cave, the tigers and the giant cobras came and befriended him. So to came a woman, who in her mercy or grace began to care for and feed him. Later the town began to know there was a boy living in this cave and people started going to look at him. He would say these incredibly sage things, and he later became one of the ruling spiritual guardians of India from 1900 to 1950. Everyone came to him, businessmen, Vedic scholars, those who wanted healing or the truth of the sacred Indian texts. He gave them enlightening answers and people would heal in his presence. They built an ashram for him, and he sometimes came down from the cave to the ashram and gave audiences. So Ramana Maharshi and Sri Aurobindo another great Indian sage became the spiritual guides of India for half a century. Indian leaders such Disraeli and Mahatma Gandhi were his students. I stayed at his ashram, visited his cave and I had several very beautiful experiences of his energy. When I went the first time, I sat down and I thought, "Okay, I'm going to meditate." I didn't get a chance to do anything! The cave meditated me! I went into this altered state, and I had a unity consciousness vision, which led my wife Penny and me to sell our condo on the ocean in Long Beach, NY and to move here to Rhinebeck.
Ann: So he had already died, but his energy was still there?
Ron: Absolutely, he died in 1950, but his energy lives in the cave that he occupied for many years. His energy is so pronounced, that anybody who goes to visit his cave will have an experience that will delight and change their lives. That's what happened to me in 1993, and when Penny and I came back in 1994, we sold our home and moved to Rhinebeck, because of my experience of his presence and of the powerful vision it evoked. So he ranks as one of my spiritual heroes.
Another who comes to mind was called Daskalos, which is Greek for teacher. His name was actually Stylianos Atteshlis. I went to Cyprus and I spent some weeks learning from him. He was a master healer who taught me many wonderful things which have had a powerful impact on my life. He could and did many of the things that Christ was said to have done.
I was made aware of him by some of my students in Paris and Brussels who had met and studied with him. My students told me that, in some way my energy was like his. OK, I thought, "I'll keep that in mind". Later on a trip to London I met one of his long time students and was led to an astrologer who had done readings for many of those in Daskalos' inner circle, but I still didn't know who he was. There are always lots of tall tales about healers accomplishments, but you never really know to what extent they are true. The astrologer suggested that the coincidence of our meeting and my reading itself indicated that I might be being guided to meet him. Then he recommended that I read three books on Daskalos by Kyriacos Markides. I read the books and was so blown away that I went to see him. It took me several of years to carve out the time, but I did, and I thank spirit for the grace of the gift of this meeting. Just about a year later he died and was ushered to the next dimension by his beloved spirit guide John the Baptist to continue his good works in their company.
I feel that Daskalos was a great man. And when I think of Daskalos and Jesus Christ I have the same sort of feeling-that here were two great men (obviously, not exactly the same) who walked the earth and did only good. Both taught by example, and honored people and left them better than they found them. I find these people models for ways of living. They opened themselves and their hearts to have the highest energies come through them. These men stand out for me and I call them my spiritual heroes.
Ann: I've heard stories that another Christ that is on the earth at this time. Have you heard stories like that?
Ron: Well, the Casey readings (and he was another great man) tell us that this is so. Edgar Casey predicted that the new messiah would be in place on Earth in 1997, and I have a knowing that this energy has come to the world. I don't know whether the messiah is an individual or not. It certainly could be a Christ Consciousness brought to us by the grace of God, from the Van Allen Belt, by way of a hole in our ozone layer. But, I personally feel that the second coming of Christ is an energetic that all people will open to and receive directly from God. And by virtue of being on this planet, we all have the opportunity to embrace, hold and grow with this energy. I know that the Christ consciousness energy is here and as I continue working with it and unfolding along my path I will continue to embody this Christ energy, for it is most assuredly here now. And as we embody it, it remains our gift from God forever.
Ann: Are there any spiritual teachers involved in hands on healing that you want to study with that you haven't yet?
Ron: Not in this moment. I've always felt that direct experience with the Christ energy, my own higher self, my Archangelic guidance and life itself is my way. I took Sanyas, which is pledging my spiritual troth to God, many years ago.
Ann: What is Sanyas?
Ron: Sanyas is a Sanskrit word that comes from India and is a pledge that one takes to follow the path of Light and spiritual unfoldment. When I first began teaching A Healing Touch in Berlin in 1985, I met a lot of followers of Osho, then known as Bhagwan Rajneesh. They appreciated my work, and were all pleading with me to take Sanyas with Rajneesh, because he was a true guru or spiritual guide. I thought about it, but it didn't feel right. As my students continued to try to convince me, I asked my spirit what to do. I was told that I had already taken Sanyas and didn't need to take it again. I had found my inner guru, which was my own inner Source of Truth or higher self. So when I hear about someone that I want to experience, I go and work with them. But I don't feel the need to find another teacher.
Ann: You don't need to be a disciple?
Ron: Disciplehood is a very interesting word. Being a disciple means taking Sanyas to God and allowing a person who has an enlightened God-sense about them help guide you. That's basically what a guru is and does. Although, it's very difficult for any man to hold that high space and in some way not mix it with his own thoughts, confusion's and human imperfections. That's where many gurus go astray. And so I honor the connection to my own higher self, and I like the radiant energy that I can call in when I call in Christos, Allah or the energy of Eloheim or Brahman. I invoke these energies and they lift me, so going out to find a Guru is not really on the agenda right now. The important thing for me is sharing the practices and techniques with people who need them, so that they can learn to open, stregthen and receive their own inner guidance and know the truth.
Ann: You were talking about when Christ comes again, that it might be an energetic and not a person. Even in the time of Jesus, if Jesus was on the side of a hill, and he was talking to three thousand people-and that was just counting the men and not the women and children, so it might have been five thousand people-he definitely did not talk to them directly, because they couldn't have heard him. So I've always seen it as if the Holy Spirit fell on everyone, or the Spirit fell on them and they were lifted, and they knew that something profound had happened.
Ron: Just so! It's interesting that you should say that. At the Sermon on the Mount, people could not possibly have heard Him speak. When I saw a reenactment of that sermon on TV I said, "Aha! That's why I was given the column of light as a healer and teacher." As you know, the column of light is the result of invoking spiritual grace or the Holy Spirit. This invoked energetic, or light column can encompass a huge area and that energy would lift all the people to a place of wholeness or bliss consciousness. We replicate this energy in our AHT schools, as you know. I don't know if it has reached the intensity of what Christ did, but I know that even in our groups, when that energy is running, people reach a very high and pure stare. They not thinking about their laundry lists, the rent or their physical bodies. They are uplifted by a very powerful force that brings them into a place of heart, openness, warmth and of feeling profoundly connected to themselves, one another and the universe. If that was what Jesus was doing on the Mount I would not be surprised. This is a beautiful healing tool that has been given to all of us by Spirit. It may be that this energetic is the vehicle of the Second Coming.
Ann: Have you had any profound spiritual experiences connected to a great sickness or connected to the death of someone you loved or to seeing death?
Ron: In 1981, I had a 103 degree fever and did not sleep for eleven days. It came on spontaneously and resulted in my loosing twenty-five pounds. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw either past-life death pictures (pictures of myself dying in one of my past lives) or I was with these fifteen-foot-tall Blue Angelic Beings, flying past the planets, through the universe, with intense speed of light streaks and light shows. I later learned that my Kundalini had been activated. This energy would shoot up my spine and I would shoot out of my body and would be out there flying. While watching Jodi Foster's movie Contact,, where she is flying through these light streams was exactly like my experience in 1981. Seeing the movie, I got cold chills saying, "Yes, that's what it really looks like." I had my Kundalini turned on and had a supreme energy clean out for eleven days. That was a spiritual 'illness' related experience. When it was happening, I remember thinking that instead of a life review before death, I was having a 'past life' review before death. And I thought I was dying, going crazy or both. I had a few other experiences with internal winds (intense sounds in the ears) and the heat and the fire, flying and so forth, but that eleven days, ranks one of as the most incredible experiences ever.
All my friends thought that I was really crazy and I couldn't help but agree with them. This experience came on spontaneously and I treasure it as a spiritual gift, as a cleansing that would take me through the rest of my life less encumbered by past life energies in my Kundalini channels. It was a very interesting and a very deep cleansing.
Ann: Did you feel a difference in your own life after that?
Ron: Everything was energetically lighter, my face looked a bit different. I felt more relaxed. Many things were different. I cleared out hundreds of past lives residues.
Ann: Did you go to a doctor?
Ron: I called up a doctor that I knew to get some pills to help me to sleep or to find out if I was dying or what. I started telling him my story and saw by his face that there was nothing he could or would do for me, so I thanked him and left.
Ann: I know that you do practice meditation on a regular basis. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Ron: I think the greatest gift anyone can have is to meditate every day. Meditation is learning how to come into a very silent place and listen to God-that was Edgar Casey's definition. Casey said, 'Meditation is listening to God, and prayer is talking to God". In our AHT school that you attended, I created a process to teach 'practices' that strengthen and clear the energy field, leading us into a place of meditation. Grounded meditation allows us to feel our entire body and connection to the Earth. I strongly recommend doing practices. The six self-healing practices that I teach include, meditation, visualization, movement, sound work, breath work and sacred ceremony. Any practice that brings you into a deep and quiet place of meditation is a good one. Listening to your heart beat, and watching the breath move in and out, while sitting in the space between the breaths, called vipassina, is an excellent practice. Chanting, breath work or movement gets one into the silent space too. Getting into the silent space is the prim ary goal. And spending time being in the silence is a powerful place of receiving deep healing and spiritual information or guidance.
The other day I had a student here and was teaching her the practice of whirling and I spontaneously jumped up and started whirling too. The energy was so strong I couldn't help but whirl. Sometimes in the morning I'll whirl for about ten minutes, then move into a sitting meditation. Ten minutes of whirling is especially good when in a hurry. In fact, it's very beautiful. I also very much like breathing a series of breath techniques. Harley Swiftdeer, my native American shaman teacher taught a series of 10 beautiful breathing techniques. Often, I'll do five or six of these breaths. This also brings me into a wonderful place of silence. It's important to get into that special space every day and the tools you use may include a wide range of practices to hold interest and keep you fresh. As long as you do something that you love, something that brings you to that connection space with God, opening your heart and bringing you into that flow, that's golden!!
Ann: You dance and do movement; I was wondering-if somebody is really into basketball or something like that, and they are just going full out, they must be opening every circuit in their body, right?
Ron: Absolutely right. If you can get into the rhythm, into the dance, that's it! I'm sure many athletes get into that place, especially runners. Distance runners get into a space where they are feel like they are flying, talking to their legs. It's an amazing space. Can you tell that I was a runner? I've guided the energy through every part of my body, developing a energy flow where all becomes silence. I was a runner for many years and that was the something that was most incredible. Also, bicycling-I would bicycle into the redwood forests in northern California moving into a deep meditative space, riding the bicycle and smelling the pine scent, seeing the shafts of light coming through the trees. Magnificent! All of these things are meditative practices. The most important thing is to connect with that very deep, beautiful meditative level and to allow God's messages to come to you. Whatever they tell you to do, do! It's important to come to a place of beingness, and beingness is developed and evolves through meditation and connecting to Spirit on a daily basis.
Ann: I know when I talk about spiritual things, people say, "How can you tell the difference between listening to your ego, and having a mystical experience-like hearing something that is both internal and external, that you know is not your ego?" How can you help people to discern the difference?
Ron: Well, that's one of the most difficult things to do. I would say that when you are thinking about what you need to do, it's your ego talking. But if you get to the place where the voice is coming and gives you information that your mind does not know, then it's Spirit, not ego. You have to go to the place where the information is flowing from a higher source than your intellect. Your intellect is the dominator or the ego. Because the intellect is the empirical experiencer that says, "Do this or this will happen, and I can prove to you that if you don't do this, this will happen." This is the intellect saying, "I know what life is like, I can replicate experiences, so trust me." When you wake up in the middle of the night, and your voice says to you, "You better do this," it is basically energy coming from Spirit telling you what you must do. When it's an absolute directive and you're compelled to do it. That's Spirit talking to you.
Ann: Is a spiritual community important for you personally?
Ron: Yes, it is, but not the way spiritual community has been expressed up to this point. I have friends who run communities, and I've visited many other communities. What I've seen is that there are often pecking order from the top down. Whether they are centered around yoga, an agriculture project or a guru. I visited the Da Love Ananda community in Calistoga County, CA, about 1985. He preached celibacy, yet he had ten wives. He told his people that they couldn't look one another in the eye with feeling, because that feeling was to be directed only to him. I heard this, felt the un-ease within the community and knew, "I don't want to live here." What I seek in the name of spiritual community is developing. I see my need for community as a network of people across the country or the world, who hold certain ideals and levels of energy, and work with putting their love into action to make things happen. This to me rings of spirituality and community. I don't know that living with a group of people works for me, because I need to be close to nature, and to work in my own time, as to daily meditations, teaching, healing sessions and on a array of projects. I find traditional community difficult for me, but it certainly works for many. I spent time teaching in Rajneesh Humaniversity in Holland and I saw and felt how that ashram worked. I visited the Mukdananda ashram in northern California and Sri Ramana Maharshi's and Sai Baba's Ashrams in India too. To me, spirituality is having a continual direct communication from a Living Spirit and developing an ever-strengthening and growing commitment to following this inner guidance. Surrendering to Spirit and following ones destiny and bliss, with support, networking, creativity and love is my idea of community.
Ann: Do you believe that when you come to the earth you come because it is a school? Because there is some teaching that we are doing on our spiritual journey?
Ron: Oh yes! I first heard that concept from Bucky Fuller in the late 60's. He called this place "Spaceship Earth." I do believe that this is a schoolhouse. I just answered an e-mail to a student in Berlin. She's been having dreams of Nazi persecution in a past life. She was told by a fellow student that she signed up for this sort of experience for this incarnation, and that she knew about it, as spirit beforehand. She said she was sick of hearing this kind of nonsense. She asked what I had to say about it. I said that as spirit, we make choices to incarnate to learn life's lessons on Earth. We don't choose the specifics of the life or the way that the lessons are going to be learned. We choose the number of essential lessons and the potential extra credit lessons that we can learn before this life is through. We have no control over the mechanics. Most interestingly, in spirit we have no contact with earthly emotions and so decisions on what we choose to take on in life may be bolder before we incarnate. We do know that life lessons will facilitate our growth and movement along our unfolding spiritual path. Yet we don't know if our lessons make potential concentration camp inmates, or that we may be abused children, etc. All we know is that we have free will to make life choices. When we get into the body and have to start dealing with emotions, it makes it much more difficult to deal with life's tragedies and problems. As St. Paul said, "It's not what you say that kills you, it's what you withhold." Life lessons have great emotional costs, releasing emotions allow us to integrate life lessons more easily, so that we can move on and grow spiritually. This is easier said than done. However, this is a schoolhouse and we are learning how to bring the perfection of Spirit into the physical form.
Ann: So you believe in past lives and then what? When you die, if you had a good life do you go on a certain way, or if you've been a miserable person do you have to come back as a dog?
Ron: I think dogs are great! A friend of mine said he wanted to come back as a pink poodle in Miami on the end of a diamond leash.
When we get to the point where we have learned all the lessons that we are ready to learn in this lifetime, we decide, "Enough, I'm done. I'm tired now." Then we give it up and have a life review and see how many people we've helped, how many people we've hurt and what's next to learn. Then we make the choice whether we want to come back and attempt to heal the parts that haven't healed yet. And we are the ones who judge ourselves. When leaving the body, we are one with God and we, as God's instrument, as God's extension, see what we need to heal and improve. Later we make the choice, "Yes, I want to go back as the doctor, the dancer, the whatever or not." That's the cycle of coming back. "I'm going to come back as a football hero and be carried on the shoulders of all my teammates. I'm going to right the wrongs of what I saw happening in this lifetime." The problem is that we still have to choose our choices and we have another opportunity to screw them up. When we are out of body we see two people with whom we have spiritual agreements, a couple. We have an agreement with one or the other, and we see that they can teach us something and that we can help them something. So, we then come back through the cycle of reincarnation.
Ann: Where does a new soul come from?
Ron: Different planets or star systems. Perhaps they haven't been on this planet before. There are lots of galaxies with lots of solar systems, and beings matriculate through them. If they decide they want to come to this planet to learn earthly lessons they come here. They're first timers-they're not quite sure where their bodies are; they're not quite sure how everything works on their bodies or their minds. Old souls are beings who have incarnated on this planet many, many, many times. They've been in different parts of God's kingdom and choose this one. And not all lives are material, flesh and blood. Some forms are non physical, others have different chemical bases. This is the planet of the golden mean and the number 5; two legs, two arms and a head and the carbon chemical base. Different planets have different systems, and coming into this kind of a body is new for new souls-often it's a little awkward. Perhaps you know someone like that?
Ann: Are you getting a sense as you travel?
Ron: I really do believe that yes. What I am seeing is that the infrastructure for instantaneous, worldwide communication is in place, and people are starting to avail themselves of it. The cruelty and the dictators still exist and still play the same old games. But this way of being is changing. There are many souls that are attempting to live their lives in a way that will help the species to evolve. The old ways of being, where the individual considers himself the center of the world are fast disappearing. We are all evolving towards the embodiment of the pure unconditional love and goodness of the creator energy.
Ron Lavin is a shaman and a master teacher of Hands on Healing. Ron's school, A Healing Touch, is located in Rhinebeck, NY.