Jitendra has been devoted to spiritual transformation for nearly 40 years. He is a spiritual teacher, shaman and channel for embodied awakening; founder of Core Awakening Journey, an evolutionary mystery school; Global Heart Initiative, a new program designed to build common ground in communities and organizations, facilitating broader and more effective collaborations for transformative change via its Connect 2012 appreciative inquiry-based project.
Jitendra also co-founded OccupyCafe.org, a global online social network forum that works asynchronously with multiple weekly Maestro Conference calls which facilitate world cafe, open space and dynamic process conversations supporting social change.Jitendra’s Story
Jitendra’s life work has been informed by the collision of two radically diverse streams of experience. The first was the violent abuse of his early childhood, which shaped him with little confidence that he could function effectively in the world. Rather, he was obsessed with the meaning and purpose of life, spending long hours alone in nature, wondering why birds flew free—yet he was not. Then, at the age of 19, while struggling to relate his college studies to some kind of purposeful life, he had a powerful spiritual awakening into divine Oneness. Lasting a year and a half, that experience of profound Love, connection and insight with God and the world around him, galvanized a life-long desire to influence the transformation of humanity.
Leaving college behind, he turned to digesting volumes of spiritual and metaphysical texts, while assembling a deepened perspective of life he found challenging to put into words. A year and a half after his awakening, the experience of uninterrupted Divine connection faded, leaving meditation as his only access to Oneness. Though raised a Christian Methodist (his brother, Kenneth, is a Methodist pastor and district superintendent for the church), his enlightenment experience led him to declare his faith to be universal. There were no distinctions on the inner planes for him, but a single Source expressing as Light, Intelligence and Love for all that is.
Five years into his journey, Jitendra was living near Woodstock, New York, running a not-for-profit organic bakery called Food For Our Children out of an old church (steeple and all). He became engaged in the Woodstock community around social justice for Native American issues and caravanned to Washington DC to participate in the 1978 Longest Walk rally. The rally was a culmination of a cross country march, started in San Francisco, by indigenous tribes throughout the country, protesting treaty and human rights violations by the US government.
A profound shift occurred for him in the days following the Longest Walk rally which had filled the Washington Monument mall with peaceful protestors and passionate speakers, from tribal elders to supportive political representatives. However, between witnessing violence in the camp between AIM leaders and alleged FBI infiltrators the night before and the stunning media blackout in days following the massive rally, he realized that lasting social change was not going to occur solely in the streets.
A deep conviction arose in him, that only a cataclysmic shift in the consciousness of humanity could change the systems that drive, and are driven by, our society. He decided transformation of consciousness would be his path from then on, that he would leave protesting to others. It is important to note that because of the protest, 11 pieces of legislation were successfully defeated in Congress that would have terminated many significant treaties between the federal government and native tribes nation wide. 35 years later, however, there remain critical threats to indigenous people, cultures and land rights in the US and throughout the world.
Shortly after the Longest Walk, Jitendra’s life would turn again.
Jitendra had been seeking a living spiritual master for a number of years, believing that only a master could see what he himself could not, in order to restore that full-time blessed experience with the divine. Though he had met a number of teachers, none struck him until he found himself face-to-face with Baba Muktananda. Baba, as Muktananda was affectionately called by his devotees, was an Indian meditation master renowned for his potent shaktipat transmissions of awakening spiritual energy. It was instantly clear he would dispose of the bakery and move into the ashram where he remained for 3 years, intensifying his spiritual practice, until Muktananda’s passing in 1983.
Upon leaving the ashram, rather than a straight path back to enlightenment as Jitendra had imagined, there came a brief boon of worldly and financial success followed by a much longer dark night of the soul. The shock of violence from Jitendra’s childhood would not be bypassed by any amount or intensity of spiritual practice. Hours a day meditating and chanting God’s name did not dissolve the deep impact of early abuse. Rather, it stirred and resurfaced the pain and patterns of those earliest traumatic years. Twelve years after his illumination Jitendra was crashing in financial ruin, losing his family and coming within minutes of taking his own life. Nietzsche, however, on at least one point was right, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
Extreme despair collided with Jitendra’s reservoir of awakening experiences of Love and the inextinguishable vision of that singularity of radiant Light. Revived and inspired he was once again presented with a profound inquiry and a matching eagerness to unravel it. “What occurs in the human body and psyche that causes resistance, even aversion, to the profoundly positive experience of love—even after a most exalted experience?” More simply put, why can Love be so hard to come back to? Especially when we know how good it feels.
So began the second phase of Jitendra’s awakening journey, a shamanic descent. This question of returning to Love was not an academic question to be mentally deconstructed or philosophized. This was an abyss into which he must dive, a journey to be made in direct sensory contact with the territory in question. Carl Jung once characterized James Joyce and his fatally troubled daughter, Lucia, “…they were both headed to the bottom of the river, only he was diving and she was falling.”
Such was the distinction between Jitendra’s dark night and shamanic descent. The dark night was a fall, the shamanic descent turned round to a dive. He consciously and proactively plumbed the depths of connection between his body and it’s reservoir of subconscious emotional and physical trauma—the terror and pain, the rage and helplessness—and its relationship to mind and the unbounded spirit. He learned to meet it all with open eyes, body, mind and eventually, an open heart. He emerged some years later with an acute ability to consciously track these internal processes and understand the mysterious relationship between the body’s imprinted survival mechanisms and their power to invisibly “hijack” a person’s nervous system along with their entire thought and belief process—and consciously integrate them. In time, this model became the Instinctual Survival Zone and the path, Core Awakening Journey.
The turning point of his descent came while living remotely in the gold country of the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. While diving deeper into his embodied (sensorial) experience than ever before, he awoke into a surprising spaciousness that he had only met, in the past, while transcending his body. He discovered what he later read, described by Sat Prem’s scribing of Sri Aurobindo’s words in My Burning Heart,
“…you find deep inside the body something… very similar – surprisingly similar – to what you find at the summit of consciousness, in the great expanses, at the apex of the being – but you find it physiologically, cellularly.”
This changed everything—awakening through descent into matter, collapsing into quantum spaciousness and cosmic consciousness—in the body! All the years of feeling that his strong emotional nature was a curse to his spiritual attainment, he suddenly realized the prophesy of the spiritual name Muktananda had given him 20 years earlier. Jitendra, literally meaning “conqueror of the senses,” meant harnessing and mastering the senses to integrate dimensions of consciousness and being that had been exiled and sorely missing in our modern world, and for some time earlier, save for pockets of indigenous wisdom tradition.
Jitendra realized that it is modern man’s and woman’s disconnect from their ability and capacity to deeply feel and remain fully present and conscious to their experience that is the source of our conflicts and profound separation with each other and our natural world. He recognized the function of the physical heart, when engaged and activated consciously in conjunction with certain ways of breathing and sensory tracking, to physiologically restore our limbic connections between mind and body.
Revitalized limbic connections are vital to evolving the empathic relationships required for our social and economic systems to emerge into the just and sustainable expressions we envision. This process includes dissolving the endemic fear, shame and hostility toward our feeling selves. The outcome is restoring dignity to our human experience.
Loss and absence of human dignity lies at the core of all that does not work in our world today.
Restoration of dignity is Jitendra’s mission. Dignity is love, compassion and respect for life itself. True dignity demonstrates self-worth and human value which is inalienable. It cannot be given or taken, bought or sold by anyone or any power. True dignity is the embodiment of Love and the common ground on which a future that works for all shall be built.
Ever-emerging from the evolving edge of his life journey, Jitendra goes forth with an understanding born from within, along with a diverse range of personal history, to support the restoration of dignity for our human experience. Each course, training, practice and event is focused on the fulfillment of this mission.
Contact Jitendra directly to learn how you or your organization can benefit from his leading edge support and facilitation. He is also available as a speaker and for collaborations on innovative organizational projects.