From childhood, Stan Hartmann lived with a nagging feeling that something about him wasn’t quite right. He never liked the activities other boys did, and when he grew up, he took on his father’s business with great reluctance. He married, had a family, and became a Christian. Later, he remarried, but was never able to enjoy a sexual relationship with a woman. His thirst for God was deep, and even when he quit working to focus only on his spiritual search, and reached the apex of that search – experiencing full realization of the Absolute One – there remained an underlying tension in his human existence. He didn’t like living. Then, one day, his partner lovingly called out the elephant in the room of their two-year relationship. She asked why he could not make love to her. The truth exploded out of him: “because I’m not a man!” In that instant, years of lies and pretending revealed themselves, and shed themselves from his body like layers of unshackled bondage. Stan experienced for the first time the truth of his authentic self, the reason he had never felt comfortable in his body or truly joyous in his life. Becoming one with his authentic self, Stan became Annie, and with the veil lifted, embodied life took on new glory, joy, and meaning. Becoming her fully embodied, authentic self, she now understands the experience of life as the Creator intended in knowing itself in this way – the full experience of “God in a bod.” Most important, she says, this is an experience all of us can have – in fact, we are meant to have it. This is why we came here: to understand and come to know, through the power of contrast and with infinitely joyous (re)union, who we really, truly are – our divine selves. It’s not about gender, ultimately – it’s about the burning truth inside of each of us that we are holding back, pushing down, disallowing – a truth that is perfectly unique to each human being, and their authentic self. Annie’s story is truly about the journey of every human life – finding out who we really are, and embodying it, experiencing it… and becoming One with it. On the other side is pure technicolor: the wild joy, light, love and radiance of this creation. Enjoy!
We first discovered Bentinho Massaro just after our daughter was born, nearly two years ago. We were new parents, exhausted, baffled and in need of direction. Up pops Bentinho’s smiling face on Instagram and, for some reason, we clicked. We began watching and listening, and magnetized by our resonance with his message, understood that we had found a compelling contemporary translator of the ancient truth of nonduality and oneness – the teacher we had been looking for. In the nearly two years that we have been digesting his teachings, we have radically transformed our lives. In fact, this platform – Ownstream – can be traced directly back to our encountering Bentinho and his work. Ownstream had lurked in our hearts as a deep longing of contribution and excitement. When we discovered Bentinho’s teachings, this passion was released and is now expressed as this platform and growing by the day. Joy, love and profound meaning now permeate our days and challenges that arise can be met with truly effective tools for realigning with the truth of who and what we are – gods in human form (that’s right – and so are you). This perfectly measures Bentinho’s intention as a teacher – to help students find within themselves the truth of what they are – which is the ultimate guide for any person’s life, not any teacher, guru or other external authority. And so, we present this week, with deep love, gratitude and excitement, Bentinho – a brilliant translator of the truth that has flowed here on earth for millennia, but has been covered up and forgotten by most – and the particular teacher who reached us, personally, after many years on the spiritual path. In this conversation, he will describes in beautiful, candid detail his own experience waking up to the absolute truth of existence, how his calling as a teacher expanded from this experience, his view of the universe and man’s place within it and his most powerful belief of all: That anyone – including you – can experience this. Enjoy!
For Nazarah Merah, awakening from the spell of the “real world” needed to be complete. Various times in her life, she had experienced a profound blooming of consciousness, even having it penetrate her body causing her to pulse with the true force of God. But, this time, she was determined to lock into this state. No more would this be a fleeting experience, but a permanent feature of her life. The prior evening, she had been at a free talk given by the spiritual teacher Bentinho Massaro, and had a dramatic and powerful awakening experience in the lecture hall. This experience continued afterwards at a local restaurant, with other attendees. Following this, she knew she needed to find a quiet place to integrate, so she wandered along a stream in Sedona, Arizona seeking the ideal spot. She sat herself down, and again approached – and passed – the magical threshold of “the veil”. From that moment, Nazarah has lived in this space of pure awareness. And, it has moved her to serve in all manner of ways. It also cleared her of her prior addictions and patterns of thought which only caused her to feel imprisoned in her own mind. We explore this remarkable journey with Nazarah on this episode and how, to her, every experience has been perfectly orchestrated to trigger the awakening she has discovered. What struck us both was how accessible she makes this experience seem to be. She acknowledges that the “veil” is less a hurdle than ever before given various recent changes on the planet and that the main hurdle blocking anyone from this magical experience is…belief. Do you believe this is possible? Or not. The choice is yours. Enjoy!
As we pause here at the end of 2017, we look back on the year that was and the amazing events that have transpired for us as we have lived by one simple maxim: follow your excitement. We recently relistened to the first episode of the Ownstream Podcast, recorded nearly one year ago. We were blown away by how much of what we intended for 2017 came true for us. From Theresa quitting her job, to us traveling the west in a converted Dodge Sprinter van to actively building community…it’s all in here. In this episode, we cover our 2017 journey through the theme of “follow your excitement”. We also briefly discuss some recent negative media surrounding Bentinho Massaro. Given our attendance at 3 of his events, our implementation of his powerful teaching and our intimate interaction with his worldwide community, we feel called to share our perspective on this young spiritual teacher. Mostly, our aim with this episode is to inspire you to consider 2018 as the year when your take a bold leap forward into your own excitement. As we discuss, our experience is that the universe has all types of surprises and miracles in store if you do. It only awaits your first empowered step. Are you ready? Enjoy!