Jitendra has been devoted to spiritual transformation for the past 40 years. He is a spiritual teacher, shaman and channel for embodied awakening; co-founder of HoloRising Institute and founder of Core Awakening Journey, an evolutionary mystery school. A new program, Global Heart Initiative, is also on the horizon; designed to build common ground in communities and organizations in order to facilitate broader and more effective collaborations among diverse stakeholders.
Jitendra also co-founded and ran OccupyCafe.org, a global online social network forum which, in addition, facilitated world cafe style conversations supporting social change.Jitendra’s Story
Jitendra’s life work has been informed by the alchemical merging of two radically diverse streams of experience. The first was the violent abuse of his childhood, which left him with little confidence to function effectively in the world. Rather, he was obsessed with the meaning and purpose of life, spending long hours alone in nature, quite literally 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 express in 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 an 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 culmination of a cross country march begun in San Francisco.
A profound shift occurred for him in the days following the Longest Walk rally which had filled the Washington Monument mall with tens of thousands of protestors. Between witnessing violence in the camp between AIM leaders and alleged FBI infiltrators the night before and the stunning media blackout in the days following the massive rally, he concluded that lasting social change was not going to occur in the streets or steps on Capitol Hill.
A deep conviction arose in him, that only by a massive shift in the consciousness of people, could there be lasting change. He embraced consciousness transformation as his path from then on and left protesting to others. Over the past few years he has returned to activism, though his immersion in consciousness transformation has served to evolve a perspective he could not have had otherwise.
[Note: At that time, though 11 pieces of legislation were successfully defeated in Congress that would have terminated many significant treaties between the federal government and tribes nation wide, the conditions and treatment of many indigenous people by our government has, in fact, continued to deteriorate. The same can be said for the civil rights movement in the U.S. in general. For all the "progress" that has been made to restore equal rights for African Americans, an unjust and unconscionable percentage of our Black male population sit in prisons. Only by awakening the consciousness of those who elect and govern, can society achieve any lasting change in protecting and upholding the dignity and inalienable rights of our brothers and sisters of every color.]
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 of union with the divine. Though he had met a number of teachers, none had struck him until he found himself face-to-face with Baba Muktananda. It was instantly clear that 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. Muktananda gave Jitendra his name, which means “master of the senses.”
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 was not to be bypassed by his transcendental awakening and years of spiritual practice. Hours a day meditating and chanting God’s name had not dissolved 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. Fortunately, Nietzsche was right—”That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
Extreme despair collided with Jitendra’s awakening experiences of Love and exquisite fulfillment. Once again, he was presented with a profound inquiry – and eager to unravel it. “What goes on in the human body and psyche, that causes resistance—even aversion—to the profound rapture of love?” And so began the second phase of Jitendra’s awakening journey, a shamanic descent. This was not an academic question to be thought through. This was an abyss into which he dove, a journey that had to be made in direct 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 which nearly claimed his life, the shamanic descent turned round to a dive which led, once more, to awakening. He consciously and proactively plumbed the depths of connection between his body and it’s reservoir of subconscious emotional and physical trauma and its relationship to the mind and even spirit.
Jitendra had come into direct contact with a gap, a stunning split between matter and spirit, an impersonal realm of indescribable separation and loss. He recognized this realm as the root of our existential separation and abandonment at every level. The direct experience of this gap in consciousness shook the foundation of his worldly and spiritual worldview.
The turning point of this 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 surprising spaciousness, which he had met in the past, but only while transcending his body. He had discovered what he later read in Sri Aurobindo’s words, as reported by Sat Prem 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. All the years of feeling that his strong emotional nature was a curse to his spiritual attainment, he suddenly realized the prophesy of the name Muktananda had given him 20 years earlier. Jitendra, conqueror of the senses, meant harnessing and mastering his relationship with his senses, not to dominate them. He tapped into a resource and ability to integrate dimensions of consciousness and being that had been exiled and sorely missing in our modern world. He discovered that senses are channels of communication between the lost realm of matter [mater = Latin for mother) and the conduit for uniting Spirit in Matter, our current evolutionary impulse expressed by the ever-expanding narrative of “embodiment.” He recognized this as dynamic as the root cause of the reason so many people could only go so far in their growth before they felt stuck. This realm was completely invisible to most people and so he committed anew to bringing awareness to those who were ready to take the next leap into themselves.
Jitendra realized that it is modern man’s and woman’s disconnect from their ability and capacity to deeply feel and remain fully present 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 organic ways of engaging the breath with sensory tracking, to physiologically restore our limbic connections between mind, body and expanded levels of spirit.
He emerged years later with an acute ability to consciously track internal processes and understand the mysterious relationship between the body’s imprinted survival mechanisms and their power to “hijack” a person’s nervous system and entire thought process—even in the realms of spiritual ascension!
The gestalt of this entire journey emerged years later as the answer to his earlier inquiry and became the model Jitendra calls the Instinctual Survival Zone. The Instinctual Survival Zone reveals an understanding of why human bodies are counter-intuitively loyal to seemingly negative patterns based in fear and separation rather than positive experiences of love and connection. It has proven to have a profoundly liberating effect as one groks its implications.
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 and, as a result, ourselves and each other.
Loss and absence of human dignity lies at the core of all that does not work in our world today. Jitendra’s mission is to creatively engage in restoring that dignity. 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.
Emerging from his 40-year journey, Jitendra goes forth with an understanding born from within and 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.