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!
It is said that the inherent challenges of being an actor will rather naturally weed out those without the true bug in their system. If this is true, Matt Mitler must be completely consumed by it. His ambition though is not for fame nor fortune, as his interest in those conventional notions of success has waned as he and his work have matured. Instead, it is the tantalizing quest for truth, expansion and – perhaps most of all – the urgent need to serve others using his art. Imagine this: a group of actors wholly dedicated to the audience – be it in a theater, church or hospital – rather then the aggrandizement of themselves or the whole. In your picture, be certain that the troupe is imminently skilled, expressive, nimble and daring – all at once. This is Matt Mitler’s utopia of sorts, his beloved group Dzieci Theatre, laden with some of the finest performers in New York City (including Matt himself). Dzieci’s aim is to utilize theater and performance as a means for the personal evolution of the actor and the blooming of the heart in the audience. In this interview, we discuss the evolution of Matt’s art and how seemingly every aspect of his career and the evolution of Dzieci has existed outside of the traditional box. We explore how Matt’s amazing path has been in service to a hidden taste for truth, and that by trusting the calling of sorts, Matt’s journey has brought him all sorts of surprises and connections. We also probe Matt’s remarkable history having studied with directors Jerzy Grotowski & Eugenio Barba, the actor Ryszard Cieslak, humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers and more. Ultimately, this is a story of following one’s unique taste for truth, and when mixed with a little faith, how this simple approach creates something remarkable, rich and imminently meaningful. Enjoy!
Anurag Gupta’s message is simple: discover & devote your life to your “calling”. From here, design an architecture and environment around you to support the further exploration and realization of your aim. This is a rather simple path, but one that could prove to be the most challenging – and possibly the most important one – you ever embark upon. For some (including us) the changes needed can be dramatic – leaving a job, selling your ‘stuff’, dropping friendships, finding your true voice and expressing that. It seems that fulfillment and true joy only when one steps fully into the space of one’s calling and lives FROM that place. Oh, and as Anurag so clearly states in this interview – it’s never about where you’re going (and the pictures and vision which accompany that). No, in fact, in many cases we must drop all attachment to what we want and allow our calling or truth to lead us. It will lead to many surprises perhaps, but ultimately a much better place than what we (and our programming) could design for us. In this conversation, Anurag lays out his vision for how to live a life of joyful fulfillment. It’s simple, but not easy. For us, his message has been one of the most inspiring we’ve ever heard. We hope you feel the same.
Lynne McTaggart admits she is a “disruptor”. Trained as an investigative journalist, she is highly skilled at identifying questionable practices or truths, exploring these deeply and testing them to obtain some measure of objectivity. Initially, it was medical practices and treatments that didn’t seem to deliver their promised results. This led to her highly successful magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You”. She never expected her life’s journey to propel her into the study of spirituality, consciousness and healing. But, as is so often the case, our path can sometimes be surprising as it leads us to our destiny of fulfillment and service. This has certainly been the case for Lynne as she now explores the power of small groups of people (8, in fact) that – together – focus on a collective intention aiming to positively impact others. These intentions range from lowering the death tolls in war-torn areas to healing a disease in a specific person. The results are astonishing, most notably in the group members themselves. Seems all sorts of miracles can flow once we focus on serving others. These amazing results form the basis of this week’s Ownstream podcast interview with Lynne. Learn “what” an intention truly is, how to form your own groups of 8 (and how to focus them) & why there is such power and leverage within the vast field of consciousness which connects us all. It was a huge pleasure speaking with Lynne, a true leader at the vital intersection of science and spirit. Enjoy!
The spirit of adventure has always come naturally to Chess Edwards. For many years, he has taken small groups into the remotest corners of the world, hoping that the outer environs would shake them loose from the mundane patterns of the mainstream path. His desire was that people would return from a trip, and review their life through a broader lens making dramatic changes in their world steering always towards more power, vitality…and joy. Chess blends this spirit of outer adventure with a powerful and deep meditation practice, exploring all forms of life’s edges – both inner and outer. His message is clear – the true adventure is within, in the frontier of consciousness. In this incredibly candid interview, Chess discusses his feelings of betrayal at the promises of the mainstream path (media, education, family etc) and how he rose above this. Learn his stunning definition of the ego and the “illusion” and how people can disidentify with the false, and align with the truth uncovering true joy, meaning and purpose. His life, and this epic conversation, is a shining testament to the powerful spiritual channel he advocates of alignment and surrender. Enjoy!