My short bio: Hi Reddit! My name is Lyric Benson Fergusson and I am 32 years old. I most recently lived as a “professional celibate yogi-monk” where I practiced meditation for 8 to 10hrs/ day for 8 years (I still meditate 3hrs/ day).

Before that I grew up in Hollywood with parents Robby Benson [the Beast in Disney's Beauty & the Beast, 1970s actor (Ice Castles etc), director of Friends & Ellen] & Karla DeVito (who sang with Meatloaf). At age 5 I co-starred in a movie with Burt Reynolds called Modern Love. Then I was my dad’s director’s assistant on many TV sitcoms such as Ellen (starring Ellen DeGeneres).

I was in college at New York University studying screenwriting during the attacks of 9/11 and lost a dear family friend in one of the towers. A few years later I witnessed a murder of a close friend. These life-changing events helped me to seek spirituality—and cemented my decision to live as a professional yogi-monk and experience a profound inner peace within all of life’s circumstances.

As a yogi, I was apart of a "Coherence Creating Group" for world peace called The Mother Divine Program for 3 years, then lived reclusively on my own in various places for another 5 years (still meditating 8 to 10hrs/ day).

In 2011 I wrote a spiritual rock’n’roll album with my dad attempting to express the power and intimacy of the Self (“higher self”) in music. I am also the co-ordinator for helping the Global Alliance For Transformational Entertainment NextGen which was founded by John Raatz, Jim Carrey and Eckhart Tolle.

Lastly, I've written a mystic poetry book called French Kissing God which is based on my spiritual experiences from when I was a yogi. I now live in Hawaii with my husband and am happily married. AMA!

Proof:

* Me with a sign

* Facebook

* My IMDb profile

Proof that I was the director’s assistant on many sitcoms:

* Sign from director Robby Benson

Proof I was a celibate yogi-monk:

* The launch page of my book

* Pic of me meditating

* Sign from my dad

Proof I am a spiritual singer/songwriter

* Pic of Charlie Sheen Tweeting My Album

* My album website

Other pics

* My dad as the Beast

* My mom singing with Meatloaf on the Bat out of Hell tour

* Recent wedding pic (with my husband & parents)

I’ll be online all day so AMA! :) <3

EDIT: IT'S BEEN SO MUCH FUN TALKING TO YOU ALL. I'M STILL GOING AFTER 7 HRS :)

I'VE JUST UPDATED MY KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN SO THAT 5 PEOPLE CAN BUY MY BOOK AND ALBUM FOR $1.

EDIT #2: I'm taking a meditation break haha! Be back in about 1 hour (11pm EST). Keep the questions coming - this is really fun for me! <3

EDIT #3: I'm back for another few hours. Ask me anything! :)

EDIT #4: Thank you all so much for your beautiful questions. I have to go pick up my parents at the airport now but would love to continue the conversation tomorrow morning. It's now 1:54am EST.

EDIT #5: Hi everyone! It's 2:47pm EST and I'm back for another couple of hours if anyone has more questions :)

EDIT #6: It's now 6:30pm EST. I've thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. Signing off now. If you haven't yet had a chance to check out my mystic poetry book you can do so HERE.

I so appreciate all of your time and support.

Much love,

Lyric

Comments: 333 • Responses: 98  • Date: 

Lifeisfree3216 karma

What is the biggest difference you noticed when decreasing your meditation times from 8-10 to 3 hours per day?

LyricBensonFergusson30 karma

I became much more integrated. There was now time in the day to utilize and enjoy all the bliss I had gained over those very inward years. My body also became healthier because I became more physically active.

Lifeisfree329 karma

So would you say meditating that much was not good?

LyricBensonFergusson26 karma

I would say that it was great for a period of time, but then it's important to be attuned to what your body needs. If the body feels strong and healthy, then you should be fine to continue. If the body is falling apart and you are an emotional mess, maybe back off :)

TelicAstraeus12 karma

In your meditations, what do you do? Is it always generally the same? Is it just quieting everything and feeling calm and peaceful? Or is it focusing, with lots of coherent thought going on?

LyricBensonFergusson30 karma

I have a meditation technique that allows my mind and body to settle without straining. Then in that silence Creation begins to unfold before my eyes. After some practice I began having visions, and powerful experiences of the depths of consciousness.

There is so much to explore! So every time the technique was the same but the experiences were always very very different. Often pretty mind blowing...

TelicAstraeus14 karma

I assume you've elaborated on your visions in your book, but if you're willing to share anything about them here I would find it interesting.

Somewhat random, but I'm curious if you have at any time felt as though you were in contact with other beings during your meditations.

LyricBensonFergusson33 karma

Beautiful Question! YAY!

Yes. The visions were so many, it's hard to pick one. But I often I would see the universe creating itself, the subtle movements of the planets and how they manifest from consciousness. It is so beautiful!

As far as being in contact with other beings, yes all the time I feel other beings, mainly angels and ascended masters. I see them regularly with my eyes both open and closed. At first they began appearing in meditations, but then they never stopped keeping me company. It is one of the greatest blessings of my practice. :)

TelicAstraeus13 karma

Would you be willing to offer a description of these angels and ascended masters? Their appearance, or how you identify/know them?

The mystical/supernatural/occult is a big unknown to me, so I guess I'm extra-cautious about any of it. If I were to encounter other consciousnesses or beings, I would not know whether to trust them or not.

LyricBensonFergusson14 karma

Another great question. I think it's important to have the underlying experience of the Self first before being concerned with the supernatural aspects of Creation. This is because all of the mystical aspects of Creation can be very overwhelming unless you are rooted in the eternal and unchanging Self.

This said, my experiences of higher beings, angels, devatas, did begin before I became more integrated. In my experience, these angels and ascended masters can take many forms. I experience them as having human-esque forms but overwhelmingly beautiful. Really the forms are infinite. And in the ancient scriptures it is often said that "God" reveals itself to the seeker in the form that they feel most comfortable with. So the forms are truly infinite. I know these beings are friends because they come with a profound feeling of safety and love in tow. I feel comforted, protected, and healed by their presence.

Hope this helps?

Zartregu22 karma

Are you open to the suggestion that those beings are mere figments of your imagination, born of the sensory deprivation of your meditation sessions?

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

Hi there,

I suppose anything is possible. But to be honest, no. These beings that I see are as real as trees, my husband, or anything else in "this world". So it's kind of like telling me the sun is a figment of my imagination. Which in the highest sense this whole creation is figment of the imagination created by your Highest Self. In many traditions manifest creation is referred to as "God's dream" or Maya (illusion). Thanks for asking though! :)

nexusrex4 karma

What exactly are "figments of your imagination"? How do you define sensory deprivation?

I think what you are suggesting is that "beings" or visions are nothing more than a chemical reaction or electrical stimulus caused by "sensory deprivations". What about people that were born blind and deaf? Do they have crazy visions because of their sensory deprivation? Perhaps your argument for that is that they compensate through other sensory perceptions: touch and smell.

Why not ask questions to seek to understand the process or how and why those chemical/electrical stimuli are being created?

Perhaps I misunderstand your post, and you are actually asking whether or not she has considered other possible causes for her visions. In that case, interesting question.

As a followup question, are you open to the suggestion that those beings are not mere figments of the imagination?

Cheers!

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Great question - see below my response :)

HairyBallsOfJeebus2 karma

I think you got your answer.

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

I answered below :)

TelicAstraeus5 karma

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to do this AMA, and to respond to my questions.

LyricBensonFergusson10 karma

It's my joy! Thank you for asking, and good luck on your journey Home. :)

anotherjunkie2 karma

I think that it is profoundly interesting that you mention seeing the Universe unfold before you, and watching the planets' movements. Brad Warner, author of Hardcore Zen, had a similar, exceptionally powerful experience that left him shaken for days.

Of course, he came to a different conclusion, but that's Zen v. Yoga. So interesting that the visions are the same!

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Haha - I think that's Gods greatest joke. Is that two spiritual people have the same experience and come to different conclusions! :)

Zen__panda6 karma

I have been meditating for awhile, which has resulted in a clearer head, but I've yet to experience such supernormal phenomena, which I would truly love. Can you elaborate in some more detail on how you reach such experiences?

LyricBensonFergusson7 karma

Hi Zen Panda, A clear head is very important! :) The supernormal experiences began happening for me when I learned the Tm-Sidhi Programme. About 6months after I learned to meditate. I think the desire to have such experiences is part of it. Then cultivating the nervous system to be refined enough to experience these "higher states of consciousness" This is refinement comes from dedicated practice, being very very well rested (I went to bed at 8pm and still do on most nights), not being so plugged into collective consciousness via TV and internet, spending greater time in nature, eating pure foods rich in life energy (i.e. not processed foods) living in pure environments.

There should be a strong cultivation of the Self primarily. Otherwise it is so easy to get lost in all the glitz of higher dimensional creation. Creation is infinitely complex and its good to be rooted in Wholeness before exploring it :)

Xman118153 karma

Out of curiosity are you vegan/vegetarian?

LyricBensonFergusson9 karma

I was a strict vegetarian for 4 years after eating meat growing up. But I found that this diet wasn't actually ideal for my body type. I have allergies to wheat and dairy and actually most grains I don't digest well. It was a hard lesson for me to learn but my body was the greatest teacher. Now I am on the "High Prana" diet which is similar to the Paleo diet where I eat vegetables, fresh organic meat, fruit and nuts. I am not a raw foodist. This diet is working great for me and I have been on it for many years now.

I think it's important for seekers to find what's right for them. There are many theories and dogmas but the best thing is to listen to your body and do what is right for you.

vawksel6 karma

I assume you realize all experiences are experiences, and not enlightenment itself.

Have you identified with the backdrop of reality through your practice? Are you still a person experiencing consciousness, or the One experiencing itself as a person?

Do you see your 'self', and everyone else as an aspect of the Self?

I'm wondering if your intense training has gotten 'you' "there". Dis-identification with ego. Seeing that all thoughts are limits and therefor not You, seeing that all experiences are limits and therefor, not You.

In all your intense training, did you make it?

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

Hi Vawksel,

Thank you for your comment. I am still a work in progress. Here is a bit of a long answer :)

What happened to me is that the shakti (life force energy) that was running through my body over these many years actually became too strong and at one point I became very ill.

I had experiences of enlightenment that were so overwhelmingly powerful but they would not stay, my body wasn't capable of maintaining this reality.

There was a true need to integrate, because as you point out so beautifully, there was still a separation between self and Self —the power of the eternal Self that I so deeply loved.

So I began to become more active in the world, and this allowed my body to heal and be able to "hold" that energy.

This backdrop of the Self— yes, that is my constant experience— but at the same time I do not feel 100% integrated yet. I am only 32 so I have a long life ahead of me ;) I am excited to watch how God (or the Self, Being, pick a word) will unfold it for me.

vawksel8 karma

Thank you for your honest answer. I too became very ill and am still recovering now. Awakening can be such a challenging experience, even though it's not enlightenment itself, the journey is to it's realization is so wearing. It's paradoxical in that ultimately there is no illness at all, only the illusion of such. We seem to put our 'self' through the wringer along the way.

I'm still integrating, daily, hourly, even minute by minute, and I am young too, only 37.

Your post inspired me to write of how things are seen now for me which you may find interesting. I also look forward to what I call 'Sign post correction', in that perhaps some of my pointers may be able to be pointing more accurately to the Truth, so any feedback is appreciated but not necessary. My Post is Here.

Much love to you. I have great appreciation for all on the hero's journey.

LyricBensonFergusson7 karma

Thank you so much for sharing this, I feel I have met a fellow traveler.

I was ill for many years during the integration process and found help from amazing energy healers Matthew Reifslager and Carol Miseo-Hardin. I also found that spending time in silence and nature barefoot is immensely grounding and soothing for the body. Making sure you are eating grounding and hearty foods and getting enough protein really helped me.

Often times when we are searching for the ultimate Oneness we forget to honor our humanity, which may still be living in duality. When ultimately duality exists within and as apart of the One. 2 in 1, 1 in 2...

Take care, and much love to you on your journey.

Xman118153 karma

I too became very ill. Any idea where I can find some healers in my area who may be able to help? It's been a few months now and I'm only getting worse.

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

Hi there,

I would recommend Carol Miseo-Hardin who can work remotely. She is based in Santa Fe, NM. I have worked with her for many years and she is amazing. PM me for her email.

Much love on your journey.

GuruDev10003 karma

Getting enough protein

Would that mean meat? Do you think meat consumption feels bad for the enlightened soul?

I am Indian. Right now, this country is facing a lot of problems from people who claim to be followers of the ancient spiritual masters and are trying to ban beef, meat consumption and stuff, although in not so an enlightened way.

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

That's a very good question.

My feeling is that every spiritual seeker needs to listen to their own body. I personally need animal protein to stay healthy (I tried being a vegetarian for 4 years but became very sick). My husband has been a vegetarian since birth and does very well with it. He can digest dairy and grains without a problem.

I don't feel meat feels bad for the enlightened soul if that enlightened soul's human body is falling apart or unhealthy without it. I know this is a very controversial topic amongst spiritual seekers but I feel if everyone simply listened to their body (not to dogma) then there would be little need for any discussion and everyone would be doing what is right for them. I do believe if one chooses to eat meat they should attempt to find the most humane source and have reverence and deep gratitude for the animal that gave their life to feed them.

Thank you again for asking - I love visiting India! :)

GuruDev10003 karma

Cool. Thanks for the AMA. I am finding lots of useful stuff reading your comments.

BTW, of all the gods, why would Shiva visit you? Is it to do with any of the mantras you were doing with TM? And do you think of him as the important god that Hinduism makes him out to be?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

this is such a fun question :)

I think every soul has relationships to different deities for various reasons going far beyond this incarnation.

I love Shiva with all my heart. I experience Him as my best friend, a lover, a father, all wrapped up into one. I can't tell you exactly why— I just think we have a lot of history... haha!

I don't think it is related to TM specifically. I think each of the Hindu Gods are important representations of Laws of Nature or qualities in Creation, and yet each one is Wholeness itself. For me, Shiva is King. For someone else Vishnu might be the one they resonate the most with. To me it doesn't so much matter. My heart just gravitates towards Shiva and He always is happy to reply :) :)

fineshirelongbottom4 karma

Could you please explain the technique that allows your mind and body to settle - or direct me somewhere it's explained?

I some times have visions during meditation - and to be honest I really enjoy them.

Thanks. Thanks.

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

So beautiful! I use Transcendental Meditation. I also love the work of Healer Matthew Reifslager.

TM is an amazing technique. It can be expensive but there are ways to get scholarships from The David Lynch Foundation. You can google it to find out more :)

TheDebaser11 karma

Why are TM courses so expensive? It seems like a bit of a cashgrab from an outsiders point of view. Where does the money go? Why shouldn't I just pick a random mantra and do my own thing?

LyricBensonFergusson9 karma

I totally understand and agree they are expensive. My husbands mom is a TM teacher and I know first hand that they don't make much. The teachers spend a lot of one-on-one time with each student over many days, months to make sure they are doing the practice correctly. Because it's so effortless it's common for people to be "trying to hard" when the whole point is to let go and go beyond thought, experience the Self.

From what I understand the teacher gets a cut of the course fee, then the TM center gets a cut for rent etc, they have a small marketing budget and a small amount goes to the international organization to help cover their costs of websites, admin salaries etc.

For me the course fee is justifiable because of the benefits I experienced after learning. I was spending thousands at doctors and on alternative health and TM reversed my ailments (depression, anxiety, fibromyalsia etc) within 2 weeks. Also since I practice everyday twice a day the cost per meditation is now a few cents.

Sound is a very powerful medium. The whole universe is formed by vibration or sound. Therefore a random mantra may or may not have positive effects on the mind and body. These mantras have been passed down through the Vedic Tradition over centuries and in my experience really work. This being said I am sure there are many amazing meditation practices out there. I am just speaking from my own experience and trying to best answer your questions. :)

JordanLeDoux3 karma

You touch on something here that was very hard for me when I was first learning TM: trying too hard.

I ended up using music, a specific genre actually: post-rock. I found that particular genre felt like the nature of the Universe in audio form to me, but it still wasn't enough.

I could clear my mind of everything, except the thought of thinking. It was very frustrating, and I would give up.

One night, the same thing happened, and I reached my block, and I gave up. But instead of giving up and getting up, I just gave up and sat there.

I've only achieved real TM twice, so it's still very difficult for me to describe, but I don't really know at what point "it worked". But it did, and I've had some very amazing experiences in meditation since.

That first time though was completely indescribable. I opened my eyes at some point after completely clearing my mind and the world had changed. I don't really know how to describe it. It's like I could see the things in front of me, but I could see them from every possible perspective. As if I was seeing what they were, not what I saw them as.

To me, this song will always be special because it was the one that it happened during. Any time I hear it, it feels like the Universe itself is singing the notes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhhfk_1Pwhw

I hope one day our paths will cross and you can teach me something more. :)

EDIT:

The book that helped me the most by the way is You Are That by Gangaji. Have you read it before?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Hi there!

Your experiences are very beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! :) <3

I've had some similar experiences where it was as if dense creation became liquified and I was watching the interacting dynamics of consciousness churning within itself. Or knowing the object for more than just it's surface appearance or value but having a glimpse of "all-knowingness" about that objects true nature.

Thanks for sharing the beautiful music. I'm listening to it right now.

I too hope to meet you someday, good luck on your journey!

renewedhope2 karma

Could you go into your meditation technique, or share with us a method that would allow us to experience what it is you are experiencing?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Thank you so much for asking. I'm not a meditation teacher and therefore not fully equipped to give any technique but I myself practice Transcendental Meditation and it's advanced programs and work with TheWholeness.org. These things provided me with the techniques needed to have these experiences.

myfistyoface11 karma

What is you're best recommendation for a very busy, very monkey-minded person to begin a meditation practice? BTW "Ode" was one of my favorite movies as a kid.

LyricBensonFergusson13 karma

Hi! Nice! I think my dad is adorable in that movie :)

I would start with yoga asanas to begin with. This helps to get you more "in the body" and allows the attention to not be so centered in the mind. Then you can feel more centered when you sit for meditation. Monkey minds are no problem. Because the Self is beyond mental activity. Enlightenment is an experience of Silence beyond the mind even while the mind is active. It's just gaining the silence that can be challenging and takes practice!

Happy cake day btw!

myfistyoface6 karma

Today is my cake day? I feel most at peace in my yoga practice but the other 23 hours of the day continue to be a struggle. Best I can do with my schedule is listen to my breath. Baby steps...

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

Yeah, see the little cake next to your name? :) That's your "reddit birthday."

Yeah, I understand. I would recommend finding a good meditation teacher. When I first learned to meditate I couldn't imagine sitting in silence for 20mins (which is what I began with) but within the first meditation time just slipped away and I felt incredible. And then that effected my day to day life. I began to experience a Silence beyond the mind which was something I had no idea was possible. I became naturally more centered.

kb-air4 karma

I know I need to meditate more but the thought of stopping and settling down for a period of time almost scares me. It gives me anxiety thinking about doing nothing physically productive. I also know meditation will help this. How do you best break this cycle? How do I motivate myself to meditate?

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

That's a beautiful experience/ question. Thank you for sharing!

I think this is very common. Our mind feels it is our only source of creativity and God forbid it should stop for a moment — something terrible might happen. :) This is simply a misunderstanding of the mind. You see your creativity which translates into productivity is actually derived from something much deeper: your Self, Being or the same creative force that rules the universe.

My experience is that when I gave my mind a chance to become still and rest it became a clearer vessel for the powerful force of my true creativity. I have also found that synchronicities began to happen more frequently that made up for (by 100 fold) the few hours "lost" in meditation. Another way to look at it is I just became more "lucky".

I'm not plugging any one meditation technique but I practice Transcendental Meditation and that relieved me of my anxiety. Also, there is an analogy that my teacher Maharishi would often use. The archer has to first pull the arrow back in the opposite direction of the target for maximum power and accuracy when letting the arrow fly. If instead you try to throw the arrow forward without first drawing it back then it will never hit the target.

Another example is when they build a skyscraper they first dig very deep before they start building upwards and if they didn't do this the building would be weak and collapse in the first storm.

I find I don't need to motivate myself to meditate because the experience is so pleasurable and my body and mind craves the Silence. It's like I know when I'm hungry and It's time to eat. There is no motivation necessary haha! :)

Hope this is helpful.

kb-air3 karma

Thank you so much.

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

You're so welcome - good luck with everything.

myfistyoface3 karma

As an aside, how did your parents meet?

LyricBensonFergusson11 karma

My mom replaced Linda Ronstadt as Mabel in Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, and my dad was playing Fredrick. They got married every night on stage and then my dad proposed for real. The rest is history :)

myfistyoface3 karma

Wow. Just.. Wow

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Thank you :)

kalooki773 karma

Great story 😇

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

thanks!

ChuckEye6 karma

Any tips or methods you would recommend for someone just starting meditation? I've been trying to start small—~5 minute sessions in the morning to clear my head and begin my day, but I'm self-taught and am mostly winging it.

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

I practice Transcendental Meditation, and have for 12 years now. It's a bit expensive to learn but you can find ways to get scholarships through the David Lynch Foundation. I love it because it is effortless and doesn't involve controlling the mind. You have a mantra and allow the technique to experience the Self naturally.

But regardless of the meditation technique, I feel having a teacher or guide is helpful, at least when you are starting out. That way you can avoid straining and coming to the conclusion that "you aren't good at it" or meditation is hard.

Altostratus10 karma

If TM is so simple and effortless, do you really feel that it is worth the thousands of dollars, when there are so many other methods (even other mantric practices with personal teachers) available for free?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Thanks so much for this question. I can only speak from my experience so forgive the long answer:

Before I learned TM I had depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, insomnia, digestive problems etc. that I had tried everything under the sun to relieve them but to no avail. I learned TM and the bulk of the problems disappeared within 2 weeks. For me this was a miracle, and worth every penny. The spiritual experiences were a bonus, and then became a major part of my adult life.

The fact that TM is so effortless is rare, which makes it very powerful. I think the main reason for the high fee is because they give one on one training over many days and then life-time follow up to make sure you're doing it right.

This said, I have never tried any other technique so I have no way to compare. I do believe there must be other wonderful techniques out there. I just have not done them.

YourMayansMayVanish5 karma

I love you!

How do you perceive the use of entheogens in the spiritual pursuit?

LyricBensonFergusson7 karma

Hey, I love you too!!! <3

Great question. I get asked this quite often. It's a delicate area. On the one hand, it's amazing to be able to use an entheogen to get a glimpse into divine realms, but on the other hand, it can be very damaging to the central nervous system (CNS). The refinement of the CNS is necessary to maintain a permanent state of enlightenment. Therefore damaging it could actually prevent or hinder full establishment.

I have myself chosen not to take them. My experiences as a result of my meditation practice are powerful enough and I don't feel the need for entheogens. It's also important for all seekers to realize that enlightenment is much more than having flashy experiences but rather it is a deep sense of Wholeness that may take time to cultivate.

We live in a society where we like to do things quickly... sometimes cultivating these more powerful experiences might take longer but will also be more stabilizing I feel if done without damaging the CNS... this is just my opinion though :)

From the Yoga Sutras:

Yoga becomes a well-founded state—established state—when it has been respectfully and uninterruptedly cultivated for a long period of time.

Yoga Sutra 1.14

I_Talk_to_the_Wind4 karma

What source do you utilize to determine that entheogens damage your CNS? How is it you've never taken any yet you suggest they're detrimental?

whosthefluffiest4 karma

hey! sorry for asking a question you already answered. i am also wondering what research you are referring to when you state that these things cause damage to the cns.....

and does that mean you havent taken any? i ask because your perception of the experience seems misguided. although something like lsd isnt as "natural" as meditating (ps it is still very natural), the visions someone can experience can open their eyes to the same sort of things you explained when someone asked you what you see when meditating. it is a very spiritual thing that many people cheapen but there is something very sacred and mystical about it.... and very personal.

what experiences have lead you to form this opinion?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Hi there, I so appreciate both of your comments. And I do believe it is very personal— and each individual must choose if certain techniques or technologies feel right for them.

Honestly, I'm very anti-dogma, and so this means that even if I feel something is true for me, it might not be the best approach for someone else.

Over the years I have had the privilege to work with many energetic healers who I trust deeply, and I have seen the effects of drugs including entheogens (especially repeated use) and other hallucinogens on the CNS. Often times it was not very positive, and although individuals had life-altering experiences they were in some way compromised emotionally or physically afterwards.

My Guru Maharishi often said why blast open a door with dynamite when you can just turn the handle. (referencing to the fact that the door does open... but the house's walls suddenly have some damage to it as a result of the blast)

This has also been my personal experience when observing what happens energetically to individuals using entheogens and other drugs to have spiritual awakenings.

This said, individuals can also damage their nervous system through over-meditating (I actually did this and it took me many years to recover) or other more self-induced forms of spiritual growth. So, it's important to be at all times honest with yourself and your body and make decisions based on whether or not what you're doing feels life supporting and the most beneficial in the long run.

I think the real challenge lies in the fact that there are people out there who are more sensitive than others, they could have a mind blowing experience of the divine but then after the "ceremony" not be able to get their feet back on the ground in society. Just as some individuals might not respond well to a certain vitamin (lets say iron) and it makes them have stomach pain. While someone else is a-ok with taking a full dose. You just don't know... and entheogens are much more powerful than an over the counter herbal supplement, so the damage can be more far reaching if the body doesn't respond properly to it.

This is the best answer I can give. I didn't have time to look up the science behind it but will do later.

I'm also happy to get a quote from some of the energetic healers I have worked with if any one is interested.

FishySquisher5 karma

Can you describe how you would allocate those 8-10 hours of meditation? I'm imagining it wasn't just all one straight sitting session, did you break it into chunks, incorporate movement/stretching, etc?

LyricBensonFergusson9 karma

Hi! Thanks for the Q. I would wake, shower, eat a small breakfast then sit for about 4 hrs in meditation. Then I would eat lunch, clean up, go for a brief walk, do some yoga, then sit for another 4hrs. Then cook and eat dinner, head for bed after a quick stroll in nature, then depending on the day listen to some Vedic Chanting or sit in silence again until I fell asleep.

When I write it like this I start laughing! It sounds so boring, but the meditations were incredible and so there was never a dull moment.

AlwaysBeNice7 karma

Can you tell us some highlights of your most cherished experiences? Can you tell us your strangest experience and can you tell us how your 'average' meditation was like and what benefit you felt you got from it most strongly? Thanks ;)

LyricBensonFergusson14 karma

Gosh! It's hard to pick. I think my most cherished experience was of Lord Shiva (he is a Hindu Diety). One night I had been meditating for many hours, it was about 11pm and Lord Shiva appeared to me and took me into a beautiful loka (higher dimensional reality) where we enjoyed each others company for many hours. He is so lovely! He is often known as the God of death and destruction but has always appeared to me as the most loving friend. What an amazing thing that the Divine loves us so much! It's beyond words really.

An average meditation would be powerful silence, some thoughts, some visions— and then this repeats. But the Silence that exists in the meditation doesn't leave me during the day. The benefit is a powerful love for God (the Self or Being.. pick a word that works :) A knowingness and experience that I am eternal beyond death, my Self is powerful beyond words, and I am happy! True happiness is soooo good. I know that sounds funny but that is a huge benefit.

Dradunov5 karma

I too have seen Shiva! He only had 2 arms and had the most magnificent jet black hair. How is he? What's the most profound journey he's taken you on?

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

Ooooooh that's so sweet! Yes, that wild hair is soooo beautiful. He is with me all the time. But one of my favorite experiences was once when I was sad and I closed my eyes to meditate. He took me in his arms in another loka (universe) where the sky was so clear and he pointed up to the stars and told me, "look how beautiful they are" as if to distract me like a mother would to her crying child. He has the biggest heart. It was so magical!

Dradunov4 karma

That must have been amazing! I need to meditate more. Do you know of any helpful thoughts I could bring into meditation that could inspire or cause events?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Interesting question. In the Vedic Tradition there is what is called a "sankalp" or intention that one can have before beginning a ceremony or meditation. For many years before starting meditation I would pray for Oneness in Union with the Divine. For me, that was the best chance I could give myself - haha!

This said, once the meditation practice begins you let go of the Sankalp and that's actually where the power resides because it's in the "gap" that the magic happens :)

balanced_view4 karma

How did you know it was Shiva?

Also, can you recommend any books or scriptures as particularly profound? Seems like you're a little bit into the occult, but maybe I have that wrong (it was the talk of "ascended masters").

Really enjoyed your AMA. Peace.

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Somehow "you just know". It's hard to explain and I apologize if this is not a fulfilling answer! Besides the fact that I could visually recognize him the experience is like being reintroduced to your favorite 3rd grade teacher who you of course recognize and have so much history with. You're just overjoyed to be in touch again after so much time. After the first encounter then his vibration is just so familiar that you know he's coming before your more gross senses perceive him.

Furthermore :) many times I have had an encounter or vision of some ascended master, archangel, or devata and have had no prior experience or knowledge of that being but when they appear I just know who they are. Their name is deeply connected to their form (Namarupa = name & form) and it resonates in my awareness as if they are introducing themselves.

AlwaysBeNice3 karma

thank you

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

You're welcome :)

wee0x1b3 karma

I would wake, shower, eat a small breakfast then sit for about 4 hrs in meditation. Then I would eat lunch, clean up, go for a brief walk, do some yoga, then sit for another 4hrs. Then cook and eat dinner, head for bed after a quick stroll in nature, then depending on the day listen to some Vedic Chanting or sit in silence again until I fell asleep.

How do you earn a living doing that? I mean, it must be nice, but how does someone who has to go to work and be productive get away with that for a daily schedule?

LyricBensonFergusson10 karma

Yes, obviously it isn't possible to hold down a normal job doing this. I was lucky to have sponsors who understood the importance of meditation. Anyone can be a part of these meditation groups and receive sponsorship for their participation.

It was a choice I made, and was at times very challenging because everyone around you is wondering when you are "going to do something productive with your life?"

Unfortunately, the world places little value on inner productivity and evolution of consciousness...

I wasn't a healthy happy person when I began my spiritual journey. I knew I needed to reset my entire life and this was the only way I could do it fully. It took me being somewhat bull headed in order to keep going.

After 8 years I knew it was time to re-enter society. It's amazingly blissful now to work (I just published my first book for example). I love it actually. But I wouldn't have been able to do what I am doing if I hadn't taken that time to focus on my awakening.

wee0x1b2 karma

Well, it sounds like good work if you can get it! :-)

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

ha! Thanks! :)!

GoBeyondThought5 karma

What was it like growing up in Hollywood?

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

It was bizarre! I went to a school where most of the kids had parents in the entertainment industry. There was an unnatural relationship to money and fame. So many people did drugs, drove fast cars, etc etc.

On the bright side it really made me look within for life's purpose. And now I can look at that experience as apart of the interesting tapestry that is Creation!

irregularcog2 karma

In that environment, is the question "what do your parents do" a loaded question? Does it turn into a game of one upmanship?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Yes, I think it's hard on the kids. You have huge shoes to fill, and are always associated with being the daughter or son of "..."

My parents kept trying to move our family out of LA to avoid the somewhat challenging environment. But my dad's work kept bringing us back, for example we moved to Park City,UT for a year but then my dad's directing career really took off and we had to move back.

One thing though is that we were all blessed with never having to worry about being safe at school, the kids were sometimes harsh, but many kids are...

maudep864 karma

Did you ever have and outer body experiences while meditating for so long? And how did you work up to meditating for 8 hours a day?

LyricBensonFergusson10 karma

During my meditations I would often experience other "lokas" or universes. I would be seated in my meditation room but my consciousness would be exploring the farthest galaxies.

These experiences are beautiful but do not compare to having the peace and silence and loving presence of the Self as a constant companion. :)

I will also say that it's important to be very rooted in the body, here on earth, in order to ground enlightenment in the body. My first impulse was to want to leave the body behind to go to more "celestial" realms. But then the body becomes very weak and unintegrated. The best is to be fully grounded on earth, and having experiences of the universe simultaneously. And that was how my practice evolved.

I started at 20minutes per day. Then I learned more and more techniques that lengthened my practice to 8hrs.

Vishuddha_943 karma

How exactly do you become grounded? Are there certain techniques to ground yourself?

LyricBensonFergusson8 karma

Thank you for this important question.

There are many ways to become more grounded. I define "grounded" as being fully present in your human body while running the frequencies of Mother Earth. Although our consciousness is infinite and eternal these physical human bodies can be described as "cells" within Mother Earth's physiology. In this way our bodies derive all our energy from this divine planet. So the short answer is connect more directly with Mother Earth and her rhythms. Modern society is deeply ungrounded with concrete jungles, sky scrapers, wifi and addiction to over stimulation of the senses.

Here are some of my favorite ways to stay grounded:

  1. Align with Earth's rhythms by rising at sunrise and going to bed shortly after sunset.
  2. Walking barefoot in nature or sitting directly on the Earth.
  3. Eating fresh foods rich in Mother Earth's energy. (Cooked food is fine)
  4. Unplugging from over stimulation. E.g take breaks from the computer during the day or even see if you be completely offline on the weekends :)
  5. Make a pilgrimage to power point on the Earth. E.g the Himalayas, Hawaii, or any place that has majestic untouched nature like a national park.

GuruDev10002 karma

Doesn't that mean having to sleep for around 9 hours?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I would go to bed around 7:45pm and wake up around 3:45am when I was in full monk mode. Going to bed earlier is much better in my experience than later and the quality of rest is amazing. Also getting up that early and meditating at that time is magical. It's known as the "Brahma Muhurta" and is a very powerful time of day when everything is beginning to stir in nature.

FlaviusMaximus2 karma

You can't leave us hanging like this! What did the other universes look/feel like? I always imagine they would be totally and unimaginably different to ours.

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

Hey! Sorry, I am not the fastest typer :)

Yes! So different. I remember one galaxy being so transparent. The bodies of the beings on the planet were simply not as dense as here, the world itself had hardly any atmosphere for example.

Then at other times I had visions of how universes were created as if tar bubbles out of this massive ocean of consciousness. These bubbles would rise out of the ocean of this thick mass and then light would emerge from within, and life would be created.

It was an amazing perspective. A very powerful experience.

Omman2 karma

Can you comment on http://aypsite.com as it also mentions a relatively effortless use of mantra and additional techniques to add as one progresses. Thanks

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I'm sorry I don't have time to give this website the justice it deserves for a proper response.

You could try posting in /r/meditation to see what other peoples experience is.

Pengy9454 karma

I saw you were doing some Hindu stuff, but what tradition were you practicing in? What sort of practices (i.e. more about Kundalini or Advaita type stuff).

I use to long for the lifestyle you had and planned to follow that fire after I did a 3 month vipassana retreat and didnt want it to in. However, I had a few destabilizing spiritual experiences that taught me how important the relative world was, it became very clear that I was running from my shadow (Jungian term) and relationship issues for transcendent experiences. As amazing and transformative as that was, it killed my desire to devote myself solely to meditation practice (though I suspect relationships and work can be just as powerful, especially if one is balancing that with a month or so of retreat a year).

Then I met Reggie Ray and discovered Buddhist Tantra which very much integrated the realtive. Really awesome stuff.

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

I practice meditation from the Vedic Tradition. Although, I don't consider myself necessarily belonging to one tradition because all them have their own great teachings. I love Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Shiva and everyone else... ;)

What you experienced is truly beautiful and the teachings of the Buddha's "middle path". It was a conclusion that took me much longer than 3 months to come to! I am happy that I took that time to be so reclusive but balance is the key to any sustainable spiritual practice.

Pengy9455 karma

Haha, unfortunately it was 5 years of obsessing and neglecting the worldly while still being a lay practitioner that did it. The retreat made it worse, it was only after pushing myself too far after the retreat that I came to that insight :-).

I'm also curious, did you find the line between unstable madness and various spiritual phenomena to be a grey area? The awe was amazing, even during some of the more terror filled experiences, but there were occasions when so much was happening I couldn't sleep and that was when things got a little off kilter to say the least. These experience all happened in Los Angeles too, so I am sure that didn't help haha.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions too. It's been really beautiful to see such a transparent and well thought out dialog.

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

It's so interesting, many of my clearest cognitions happened in Santa Monica!

I was very unstable for a few years really. It's just so much to integrate, so many amazing experiences that completely blow the small self out of the water. In my book I have a poem that describes this experience being so full of Being and yet walking on ground that has suddenly become very unstable because you now realize and experience this ground as vibrations of consciousness. (I included that poem below :)

Then after many years of due diligence I became very stable and integrated in my body and these mind-blowing experiences no longer shook me because I became bigger than even them.


NOT QUITE INTEGRATED

The many fields of my Being

open.

I am that Self that knows only my Self to be.

And yet,

what am I to do during the day?

The realms that catch my eye are luminous

even in the darkest hours,

but here I must function within

the confines of this most gross manifest reality?

This I find confusing.

Sometimes I wonder why

I am here.

To know Wholeness?

That which I already am?

I function in this Silence,

I speak from here,

I move from this place.

And yet formless has taken a form

that my mind feels I do not fit within.

“Huh?”

My heart expands to touch all realms,

and yet my mind twists and turns, unsettled,

causing much turmoil within the bigness of my Self.

A giant

taken down by a pea.

What is the nature of this incarnation?!

I am awake

yet wonder what I’m to do.

So transcendental I have become‑

I’m here,

vanishing within the Self,

while standing on this solid ground, unmoved.

All of life has been for awakening,

and now I sit yawning on the side of my bed,

rubbing my eyes—and stepping onto the fields of light before me.

What now?

I ask.

A voice…

“Flow in dharma. In service. In love…”

“Oh yes—and integrate, my dear.”

“You’re not quite there yet.”

Lesson?

I should probably continue awakening.

This is the ultimate gesture

to the glory of

the highest Self.

MarvinLazer4 karma

Namaste! How did you support yourself during your 8 years of spiritual seeking?

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

Good question! As a part of the Coherence Creating Group I received sponsorship for my base living needs (room and board.) I got this sponsorship from individuals who knew the power of large groups of meditators creating positive effects on the world.

Then when I left the group I used the remainder of my college fund money to house myself, and my mother and father were also so kind and supported me a lot.

I was never uncomfortable, but I lived very simply. Basically never buying anything more than food and rent.

Phallicmallet3 karma

Did you ever experience any physical sensations, pleasant or otherwise, from your meditations?

LyricBensonFergusson11 karma

Hi, yes! I experienced everything from strong emotions being released to powerful surges of almost orgasmic bliss beyond anything I had ever known in my life prior.

whereami473 karma

How do you know that what have you seen in your meditation is real and not just a projection of the mind ? Did you get to the point where consciousness ceased ? How would you describe the experience ?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I have talked about the point of real or unreal visions HERE if you have more questions feel free to reply in that thread.

My experience in meditation is that the mind ceases be active but these moments are of total wakefulness. So I would not describe it as consciousness ceasing although I think this might be what you're referring to? If yes, the experience is that of immense expansion, clarity and no-thingness. There is no form, only formless Silence. It is my experience that this is the source of all form and activity in Creation.

Kiwiyogi1083 karma

Hi Lyric. I've just read through all these comments and I have to say I am super impressed and so glad that you have shared this. It is very inspiring! Truly!

My only question is about Matthew Reifslager and The Wholeness. How does it work? Since you recommend it, I figure it must be really good. What makes it so good? It is the method or his personal cosmic connection? What does it accomplish that your other meditation doesn't?

Thanks, Andrew. (PS I know Asher from MUM)

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

Hi Andrew, nice to meet you! (Asher says "hi!")

After 3 years of intensive long meditations I experienced a "kundalini blowout" where my body couldn't handle all the shakti (spiritual energy) flowing through my body. I was very sick, bed ridden and my body would shake intensely throughout the night. Working with Matthew helped to heal my body and strengthen my nervous system so I could ground such intense energy. Matthew does all kinds of healings from personal sessions to group clinics that are donation based. I love the "Breath of God" breathing technique that the The Wholeness teaches because it helps to open and clear the body move the prana and open the physiology to the power of mother earth's energy. That practice you do on your own.

For me Matthew's work gave powerful context to the experiences I was having in and out of meditation. His teachings focus a lot on caring for the body both physical and energetic so we can be healthy, strong and grounded even when having multi-dimensional experiences of the divine.

For me this saved my life because otherwise I could have been hospitalized for problems that Western doctors didn't fully understand.

Sampajanna3 karma

In your opinion, what does it mean to be spiritual?

Is it different from 'religious' - and if different, how so?

Bonus question: do you think an atheist or a skeptic can also be spiritual, in your opinion?

Thanks for your time.

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

I love this question. I feel in many ways religion has forgotten it's purpose—which is to bring the seeker home to the Self (within.) This Self I sometimes call God, sometimes Being or Mother Nature... they are just words.

'Spiritual' for me means to have a knowingness of the unity of Creation beyond the smallness of the individual. Whether that is experiential or intellectual... A deep desire to be good to others is also very spiritual. And one doesn't have to believe in any higher power to be kind. That person would be very spiritual in my book.

Yes, I feel an atheist or a skeptic can be spiritual. I think being a bit skeptical is healthy. An atheist that doesn't believe in God but feels a deep Wholeness within could be closer to enlightenment than a priest or a yogi. Who is to judge!? :)

naimnotname3 karma

How did your husband handle to the whole "no sex" thing for 8 years?

LyricBensonFergusson8 karma

Ha! We weren't married then :) But he was also a celibate for many years. Now we are not celibate ;)

It wasn't hard for me, I just loved the Divine Self so much it took all my attention. Plus I recognized I needed to transform in order to reach a state of consciousness I would feel happy living in the rest of my life. (I had been very depressed, had many health problems etc.)

TimJonesin3 karma

How did you deal with being celibate for so long? Was masturbation also avoided?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Hi there... Well, to be very candid I had no desire for companionship for many years and I had never had sex before, so it wasn't hard for me to give it up. I only wanted to experience the love of "God or Self" and at that point "God" didn't include other humans (now it does of course)

For a woman, masturbation doesn't cause the loss of life energy that many men experience. In my experience masturbation helped to move the energy in my body in a blissful way. So, I think that answers your Q? ;)

FollowThaWhiteRabbit3 karma

Thanks for doing this interesting AMA!

Your book is titled French Kissing God. Can you explain why you chose that title? It's kind of confusing to me :)

LyricBensonFergusson7 karma

Hi there! Thanks for asking. I chose the title French Kissing God because my experience of the Self was incredibly intimate. When I was a monk the Divine often would appear in consciousness to me as lovers, as friends, as my Highest Self. I wanted to express that an intimate relationship with God is such a powerful path to experiencing union.

God for me is not on a pedestal, untouchable... God is in my heart, and in the heart of every being on this planet and beyond. Play with God everywhere. Kiss God passionately with your heart and soul. This is the joy of union, is it not? Passion and Oneness?

FollowThaWhiteRabbit5 karma

Thank you. Can you please share your favorite poem?

LyricBensonFergusson9 karma

Wow, that's a hard one... I'll share one that I really love and has a good sense of humor :)

MAYBE AFTER DINNER?

God,

it is the halfling in me

that still feels a bit embarrassed

to be standing naked before You.

You see,

I am bearing my soul to You—

taking away the covers

and there is some vulnerability there, yes?

So please be gentle when You come.

For my mind believes

we do not know each other well enough

for You to…

just

yet.

I am simply not accustomed to such a union.

But, when You run Your hands softly against my chest and galaxies emerge…

Or when You breathe into my ear and I hear the whole ocean roaring…

Or when you gaze into me with Your giant sparkling eyes,

dancing with starlight,

and oozing with love…

I find myself wholly intoxicated.

So,

considering I am quivering

with visible anticipation

as You inch Your way near,

I think I could make an exception—just this once.

Maybe after dinner?

(wink, wink)

Beemow4 karma

Is this, in a sense, getting it on with God?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

This is a loaded question... :)

Basically I'm expressing how intimate a relationship with the divine can be. Often Mystics like Rumi use love-making as an analogy to express the powerful and almost orgasmic union between self and God.

Beemow3 karma

It is, and I apologize, my sense of humor comes out.

If it is considered humor. Do you believe there is place for such humor that I had used?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Yes! I love humor!

It's how I live my life. It makes everything much less serious and more joyful.

FollowThaWhiteRabbit2 karma

LOVE IT!

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Thanks!

sarkujpnfreak422 karma

Why on earth would you call yourself a professional? That really gives people a bad impression as to what meditation really is, don't you think?

LyricBensonFergusson13 karma

I tried to do an AMA last week which was taken down because they said it could only be based on your profession, so I added that word because it was my full time "job" for 8 years.

Also I was a part of a coherence creating group for world peace and these groups helped to reduce crime rates in certain areas. So, in order to keep the groups going my teacher Maharishi, often referred to us as professional peace keepers :)

But I agree it can be confusing :)

LarryLove2 karma

What's the best advice you could give to someone who hasn't started meditating but would like to?

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

I would say be open to the path seeking you out. What I mean by this is do your research, find the meditation practice that feels best to you, but be open to it coming your way through synchronicities. I found my meditation teacher walking my cows down a dirt road near my family farm. If the desire is there, you will find the right path for you.

Big_Life2 karma

I practice yoga passionately and do what I can while I'm studying nursing to get more "honed in" on my divine self. Do you feel it's necessary to go through everything you went through to have the meaningful experiences you've had? Is there hope for me yet?

LyricBensonFergusson6 karma

Oh dear no! I think everyone has a very unique path. For some reason mine has been very eventful and maybe I needed to learn my lessons the hard way (and be beaten over the head a few times :). But I feel that anyone devoted to their practice and that deep desire to experience Unity will find their way Home.

I think it's amazing you're studying nursing, I know you will help a lot of people.

Tucana662 karma

Namaste! At what point did you become consciously aware of spirituality? (What age, any particular influence?)

LyricBensonFergusson10 karma

Namaste! I was 19 and was really in a bad space. Suffering from depression, anxiety, many health problems etc. I saw a dear friend lose their wife in the Twin Towers and I began wondering what the hell life was about. A dear family friend (actor Jon Voight) gave me the book Autobiography of a Yogi. I remember reading it and thinking "This is so familiar to me..." That is when I began seeking spirituality. I found meditation quickly after that and experienced the Self. :) Life really changed after that moment.

LeftyDave2 karma

What do you think of the teachings of Yogi Bhajan? Would you go to one of his lectures had he still be around today?

LyricBensonFergusson1 karma

Hi there :) I'm not very familiar with his teachings. This is because I was a true recluse for so many years (truly just focused on my practice which I had learned from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.) This said, I love all saints and true teachers and would have been honored to attend a lecture by him. He has powerful darshan even from his photographs.

MagicalMysteryBro2 karma

How often have you seen/do you see The Beauty and the Beast? is your family humble about their careers?

How do you think one should meditate to truly get the most out of it? In silence, with a guide, etc.

Thank you so much for this AMA, my mom has actually mentioned your mom once or twice when mentioning meatloaf! Haha And say hi to your dad for me and my girlfriend if possible ;p, Beauty and the Beast is her absolute favorite movie of all time. <3

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Hi! Thanks! I will say hi for you :)! I am picking up my dad from the airport tonight.

I saw B&B so many time growing up I am not sure I could count. Some of my favorite memories as a child was my dad taking the family to Disney World when the movie first came out. He did publicity and I got ride all the rides over and over again!

My dad is probably one of the most humble human beings I have ever met. Truly an amazing person. And my mom is the most wholesome loving human being I have ever come across. I am a lucky girl!

Thanks for asking!

Shadowfury9572 karma

Do you cultivate lower dantien? What spiritual experiences have you had and especially which ones relate to meditation? What do you think about the idea of 2 opposite spiritual paths? service to self vs service to other (occultist, mystic, contraction vs expansion)?

Thanks

LyricBensonFergusson4 karma

Hi there, I do a breathing practice that helps to open the energetic pathways and cultivate lower dantian. So, yes.

I have given some examples of the spiritual experiences to others but if you would like another one you are welcome to reply :)

I feel we must service the Self within before we can be of utmost service to others. Often times we can get overshadowed by the suffering of others (even if our intentions are the highest) if we try to serve them before we even know who our Self is.

This said, serving others can be done at every moment. How we treat our loved ones, our friends, our family, the woman at the grocery check out etc. You serve creation at every moment by participating—even as a monk you cannot help but interact with Creation.

So in many ways both are naturally done simultaneously... Then once you have that inner stability stepping out and serving in a more active way is also so very important to the growth and stabilization of awakening.

Underlyingobserver2 karma

Hello Lyric, thank you so much for doing this ama. I've only just started practicing meditation and yoga about a year and a half ago. I'm really not sure what to ask but I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. I've always been fascinated by humankind and it's development over the ages especially the beginnings of civilization. Are there still souls of people from then still living amongst us? How far back can some one see their past lives?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Hi! It's so nice to meet you!

I can only draw from my own experiences. Sometimes I am able to see a past life of someone that dates back quite far. (It's funny I have always been private about this but now I am sharing here on Reddit!) Many individuals have come to Earth many many times before landing themselves in this body at this time. I have also experienced that I myself don't know each of my own past lives, but rather I am blessed to get glimpses of them as they are needed for my spiritual evolution.

So they are teaching tools, rather than just flashy experiences. For me this is the only reason to look into the past—if it can teach me something, if there is some re-occurring theme that needs attention or healing. Although often times those lessons are right in front of our faces, playing themselves out here, right now!

So yes, I have a dear loved one who was alive in early Greece... etc. etc.

The main lesson is make this incarnation count, and to be a good person :)

Underlyingobserver2 karma

I can't tell you how exciting I find all of that, I might as well be freaking out ! :D did you get any kind of sense of what life felt like for them? Their perceptions of reality? Edit: Thank you so much for giving me a reply and sharing. (I can't believe I almost forgot that last part)

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Yes, I can sometimes even smell what it was like. It's very interesting. Behavior is so dependent on how the energy moves through ones body. If humanity is generally experiencing a time of great contraction or turmoil often times the perception of reality is needless to say very mind, ego based.

mcbobo2 karma

Hi, Lyric! Thanks for doing this AMA, thanks for answering these awesome questions and bringing in your experiences to us.

As a person who has watched quite a few Eckhart talks, and somebody who is very intrigued by spirituality (heavily influenced by Tao De Ching), the first immediate thing that I notice is that you follow a path of meditation that has been laid out already. A lot of your experiences and things you see you attribute to certain "forms" or named beings. Are these mere placeholders? Is it almost a "practice" so that the mind can be at ease? Shouldn't we refer to such experiences and "forms" as formless entities instead?

Secondly, somewhere on the AMA you mentioned that the scholarships for TM exist because some people believe that the practice can make the world a better place. What positive direct and indirect ways does it affect our race / society? For somebody that's on the path of achieving Nirvana or for somebody who has reached it, what can that person do that's impactful to create a better world? Should there be an easy path to see glimpses of nirvana be developed for the masses who can't devote years of their life into meditation?

And finally, my only real practical question (literally :P). What are the most practical things you've noticed in every day life now that you are more integrated back into popular society that you've developed during your celibacy?

Thanks again!

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

Hi there!

1) Beautiful question! This is an important point. These forms, or deities, or "experiences" of the universe etc etc. They are fun to talk about and discuss and share— a bit like having just gone to a great movie, getting home and wanting to tell your friends all the details.

The truth is the "movie" isn't the full reality. The total Truth is the peace and presence beyond form. This Silence or "Purusha" gives rise to form. This formlessness is what I love the most. And this formlessness is our ultimate nature.

The deities themselves are both form and formless. Shiva is the most powerful Silence and yet when that Silence takes form to play within creation He becomes the most benevolent friend.

Ultimately "God" or Self or Being is that which is beyond all forms. And yet contains all forms within. I have a poem about this that I will share with you below. :)

2) TM (without the advanced techniques) is a 20min practice 2x a day. There are scholarships for this available from the David Lynch Foundation for those who are in need of help.

There have been many scientific studies conducted by Universities such as American University, Harvard, etc. that documents the power of individuals practicing long meditation is a group. (I will try to find a specific study that I can link you to) It's very powerful and has been proven to reduce crime rate.

This said, I do not believe everyone has to become a monk or sit with eyes closed all day to attain spiritual freedom. Every person is so unique. I was not in a good space when I began and needed a lot of internal work to be where I am today. You might be born much more evolved than me and need to transcend once to become enlightened. There is really no telling!

I think the best bet is to follow the path that feels right to you. Find a good meditation technique that is effortless and doesn't involve strain.

The greatest gift you can give the world is your own inner peace. When we start there, naturally our actions begin to serve humanity in a truly uplifting way.

3) Ha! Great Q. I find I have become remarkably intuitive, I am able to use this intuition to do daily tasks in a much more productive way. I am also enjoying my life. I think that is the #1 most practical gift my years of Silence have given me. I am almost like a little kid seeing everything for the first time. It's actually quite incredible! Things that were once mundane are now magical. Like taking my dog for a walk or going to a dinner party. Just simple things... They are so fresh and blissful now.

I feel lucky to have really know the contrast. To have lived without Presence and now to have it more and more every day. I am deeply thankful for every one of life's challenges because I have been taught so much. I hope to live a happy, blissful life. That is my 100% practical answer ;)

As promised below is a poem from my book French Kissing God:

GOD IS ALL GENDERS. NOW, WOO ME.

My Beloved knows me well.

God used Her most mischievous moves

to woo me.

She even sent Him to catch my eye.

His batting eyelashes and dark skin,

smelling of sandalwood,

has caught my attention.

Quite sexy is He, dancing in and out of Her flames,

beckoning me in.

It’s a choice to jump wholeheartedly into God’s fire,

and She knows I am not without desires.

For even while I’m ablaze with light

I’ll dream of Him running His hands across my form.

Quite a magician God is,

because when I leapt into the flames,

intoxicated by my Love’s enchanting ‘bod,’

the fire’s purification became so strong

I could not remember what my human mind even wanted!

(Was it a ‘He,’ ‘She,’ or ‘It’?!)

And POOF!

Fearless union,

in the bonfire of God realization.

That’s the whole story, really.

When existence is seen only as God’s love,

no gender is left,

and yet everything in this Universe (and all others) remains.

What a lovely place to be!

God revealed Herself to be Him

God revealed Himself to be It.

God revealed It to be nothing at all.

Yes, I was wooed into God’s sweet fire,

where I realized

I had unequivocally wooed my Self.

kalooki771 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA 😀

How often did your 3rd eye open?

I read the master key system a few years back and marvelled at one of the lessons where it said to imagine a square with a triangle inside then rotate the triangle.

I could never imagine my imagination doing this but last year whilst meditating my 3rd eye opened and I had full control of my imagination and what was in front of my closed eyes, it was magical.

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

Thank you for sharing this!

I had an some interesting things happen when I first became a monk where I would experience my 3rd eye opening and it was as if a laser beam exploded out of my forehead. I then had a circular burn mark for days between my eyebrows (I know this sounds somewhat unbelievable, but it did happen on two occasions)

Then it became as if it was "open" to some degree all the time. For example, when my "normal" eyes are open I can experience many layers of creation simultaneously. It is almost like how a microscope works, where you can choose how deeply you want to zoom in on an object. Whether it be cellular or multi-dimensional.

It is fascinating at first but then becomes an incredibly familiar experience.

kalooki772 karma

Thanks I must meditate more, if I were to see a meditation teacher would I need to see them daily or would I still benefit from a once a week lesson?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I think you only need a meditation teacher until you feel fully at home with the practice you're doing.

At first you may see them once a week, then once a month, then once a year and then you may not ever need them again unless a question comes up or you have an experience that you want to share with them and get feedback on.

strongbow642 karma

Sounds like a level 5 laser lotus to me :D

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Hahaha! Yes, indeed.

kalooki771 karma

Also I met a gentlemen a few months ago who could separate his mind when watching a sub titled film so that he could watch and read at the same time, is this something that you are able to do?

I read about this in a book which I thought was fiction of splitting the mind into 2,3,4 even 5 pieces but after hearing the gentlemens account of 2 are you able to do more if any?

Thanks again

LyricBensonFergusson1 karma

Fascinating! I don't have any experience of splitting my mind.

In the book, Autobiography of a Yogi there are several accounts of "bi-location" which you might find interesting.

redditguy0011 karma

How did you discover meditation?

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

I was given a beautiful book called Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda. I wanted to learn but didn't know how or where.

Then one day I was walking my cows down the dirt road in front of my parents' house in North Carolina (of all places!) and came across a woman who happened to be a meditation teacher. I guess it was just meant to be because the events were very "random."

JupeJupeSound1 karma

Three questions please. How did you resolve the myth of material objects and the myth of personal identity after enlightenment? What ethical perspective did you decide to operate under after learning morality is merely a cultural convention and social institution? What vision did you adopt to fuel your personal agency?

LyricBensonFergusson8 karma

What happened to me is that after about 4 years of practice I became very ill, the energetic power that my body was running was actually tearing me a part. Mainly because I was denying my body the nourishment and integration it needed in order to become stable in my experience of awakening.

I realized at that point that as long as I am living on earth in this human body, in the dense karmic laws of nature which Mother Earth resonates in, I need to honor the small self as a vehicle for self-realization. In this way I am likening the human body to the material, which still on one level exists very much after enlightenment if you choose to play on this planet. The food I eat, the car I drive to get the food. It's all needed, and yet on the ultimate level it is all the Self.

At certain points of enlightenment food, water, air, even the laws of nature of Mother Earth are no obstacle. But it is a process and it's was an important lesson for me to recognize you cannot put the cart before the horse. (otherwise your body does not support your journey)

For your second question :) I follow my heart—this is my moral compass. I follow my intuition. These concepts of cultural and social convention you mentioned are very real energetic pathways that exist as a part of our world and bodies. I think it's important to always be aware of the motivation behind decision making. It is an integration process, a constant growing. I am still growing :)

Thanks for your beautiful questions.

banditswalker1 karma

How do you get paid to meditate ?

LyricBensonFergusson1 karma

I used savings mostly :)

banditswalker1 karma

Always wondered what happened to your mom,does your dad still go by robbie

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Yes :) But spelled Robby :) My mom became an amazing mom as her profession.

NeedlessCritique1 karma

What's your favourite song Lyric?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Right now I really love Rynn Weaver :) The song promises is really nice. But my favorite song of all times would be Cat Stevens morning has broken :)

writersblog1081 karma

  1. I also write. How has meditation helped your writing and creativity? Is there anything you can say about your writing process? Have you always been tapped into this creativity you seem so blessed to express? How did your writing and singing start?
  2. How did the poems in your new book come about? Did you have an intention to write a collection of poems?
  3. Have you studied writing in any formal way? Were you influenced by certain writers?
  4. Do you have any advice for creating poetry? Do you have any advice on how to best to come up with well-written pieces?
  5. I understand meditation is part of your regular schedule. Do you schedule time for writing daily, or is it more spontaneous? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

  1. I don't question my "voice" much anymore. I allow my heart to speak without censorship. At first, I wrote the poems without editing. It felt like God was teaching me. It was a flow, without me thinking.

Then I realized that because the writing was so much based on my experiences, I would have to speak in a language that others would understand.

I began looking at the poems in a slightly different light. I had evolved so much since the poems were originally written. Now there was a deeper teaching to share. So I began looking at my words and thinking, “Is this what I want to say, want to teach? Are these words representative of the vibration that was flowing through me at that moment when the poem was first conceived?”

So I would sit with a poem like a sculpture, carving the fine lines and looking at every little word. For me it felt like a spiritual practice; it was never work. I was re-teaching myself, through my Self.

I've been a writer since college. I wrote many screenplays before becoming a monk. Then I took a very long hiatus. I've been singing since I was little and most recently was inspired to connect with other spiritual seekers through song. Hence my album. :)

  1. During my many years on the inward path I was very challenged and chose to communicate with "God" through the written word. God or the Self would then teach me through these poems. I didn't have an intention to write a collection of poems at first but when I realized I had over 2,000 and that they had the potential to help guide other seekers I felt it would be good to publish them. I'm humbled to be getting some great reviews from scholars and spiritual teachers.

  2. I studied screen writing at NYU. I love Rumi, Hafiz, Rabia, Saint Francis, Kabir, Mirabai and many other mystics. I didn't read that much other than the Vedic Literature when I was a monk. My focus was just on direct experience.

  3. My advice is to let your heart write the words for you and not censor or question the process. You can always edit later haha!

  4. I used to write daily but now it's more spontaneous. I am now focussed on getting my work out there and into the hands of other devotees. Life is my inspiration. The Silence and all the challenges and joys I've experienced.

MagnaFinem1 karma

Out of everyone you meet in the film/tv industries, which one made the biggest impression towards you?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Ellen DeGeneres was so sweet to me growing up.

Jon Voight was the one who gave me Autobiography of a Yogi when I was 19 and confused about the purpose of my existence.

And of course my dad and mom have always been so amazing and supportive even when I was in monk mode and they may not have fully understood what the heck I was doing! They're incredible parents.

window51 karma

Any children?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Not yet ;)

Although, we have an amazing Golden Doodle named Lola.

Beemow1 karma

Hello, Lyric!

There seems to be so many interpretations on how to go about life, and it there may be a different interpretation for each individual.

There are injustices in the world today, and there are people who suffer.

My questions are:

  1. How do you encompass all of this?

  2. Do you believe money may have a hand at play in this? It required money for you to have the experiences you had. What of those that do not have money? There are social classes set in place within our society. Do they serve purpose? Or, are these harmful?

I just wanted to hear your input on this.

Thank you.

LyricBensonFergusson3 karma

  1. I think it's often immensely challenging to reconcile all of the suffering in the world. I've seen glimpses of this throughout my life. I think the only way to encompass all of it is with great compassion and love for the human race. And to do my best to bring positivity and light into the world.

  2. I have been fortunate and yet at times also struggled very much financially. It's one of the conundrums of life where you need money for food and rent and yet want to volunteer all of your services. I wish we lived in a world where everyone had what they needed and more. I'm not sure how to get there but I do like Bernie Sanders! :)

sooneday1 karma

Why did you give up being a yogi-monk?

Why did you give up celibacy?

By "yogi-monk" were you in a Hindu tradition? If not, can you explain what you mean by "yogi-monk"?

LyricBensonFergusson1 karma

  1. I am still to some degree a yogi-monk. Although, I am far less austere than I used to be and I only meditate 3hrs/day. I spend the rest of my time taking care of my family and I've been working for the past year on my book French Kissing God. But I gave up being so austere because I needed to integrate and look after my body which couldn't handle that lifestyle anymore. I still go to bed at 8pm and keep a very inward routine but also love being around people more now.

  2. Since I was young it was very important to me to only be intimate with someone I loved with all my heart. There was obviously no dating for those 8 years (and no desire to) but when I was slowly coming back into the world I met my now husband who had also been on a similar path as me. He was a "yogi-monk" for many years as well. The rest is history ;)

  3. I am part of the Vedic Tradition as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Although, I don't consider myself necessarily belonging to only one tradition because all them have their own great teachings. I love Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Shiva and everyone else...

irregularcog1 karma

Are your sleeping dreams any more vivid or I don't know, "relatable" after having meditated for so long and having the experiences that you have?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I "witness" my sleep and dreams often. This means that there is awareness of the Self, my body and sometimes even the room while simultaneously be deep in sleep or having a dream. My dreams themselves, I don't know if they've changed much although it's entertaining watching them.

LoWii1 karma

Do you listen to music while you meditate? I love doing it, but I've been hearing that it's distracting and meditation should be done in complete silence.

Love how happy you look, I hope life treats you well!

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I do my meditation in complete silence but I've heard of people having great experiences with music as well. When I listen to music in a meditative state it's usually Vedic Chanting, which I love dearly.

whosthefluffiest1 karma

hiya! sorry if this has already been asked. what is your take on psychedelics as part of deep meditation and healing, and just generally helping to guide well being?

LyricBensonFergusson1 karma

Hi there! Thanks so much for your question.

I already explained my thoughts here: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3nda82/hi_im_lyric_benson_fergusson_at_age_5_i_costarred/cvnazv0

Feel free to reply in that thread if you still have more questions for me.

Appamada1 karma

I've been practicing celibacy for almost 15 years now and found the woman I want to break the spell with. I'm afraid that I will lose some of my concentration afterwards. Did you notice a decline in mindfulness/concentration?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Absolutely not. I actually feel much more in my body and the flow of shakti is smoother for me now. Making love with someone that you love with all your heart is remarkably spiritual. If you're concerned about loss of life force due to ejaculation this book is very helpful.

naimnotname1 karma

Did you and your little brother ever get crap for having "different" names?

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

Ha! Actually I was so lucky, everyone always loved my name. I don't think I have ever gotten a negative response. Think my bro is the same :)

Mrtwins1 karma

Do you have a mindfulness method during the day? If so, what is it? One of my struggles is that I am more focused on being mindful than I am on the experience itself.

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

I have worked with energy healer Matthew Reifslager for many years and he teaches approaches to create a naturally more mindful approach to living. I also recommend Byron Katie's The Work.

For me, the best approach is to transcend during meditation and then enter activity. We can drive ourselves crazy during the day trying to be mindful, when there is actually simply underlying stress that needs to be removed from our nervous system in order to have a more easy approach to life. (meditation can removes this stress naturally)

This is why I practice TM, work with energy healers, and then I am easy on myself during activity, with the intention to just be with God (or the Self, or Being) at all times. This Silence of the Self is the mindfulness. It's the Presence that allows us to witness our thoughts but also treat them with kindness and compassion. Being kind to our small self is also a very powerful technique.

I hope this helps?

irregularcog1 karma

I'm pretty sure there's only one way you'd go but which way do you side on the GMO issue? That's big here in Hawaii, especially Maui

LyricBensonFergusson2 karma

My bumper sticker says "Fuck Monsanto!" haha! I live on Maui btw!

My husband and I worked hard for the vote against them last November...

gsharm1 karma

Were you able to see past lives?

LyricBensonFergusson5 karma

Yes. I had experiences of past lives :) It was interesting because most of the lives I remembered were when I was a male. Often during times of conflict or war. Sometimes I had memories of being with masters of the past. I think this was a great experience because it helps the small self to dis-identify with this single incarnation.

This said, I think sometimes folks can get lost in remembering the intricacies of other lifetimes and forget to live this one fully! :) I enjoy "remembering" when it is helpful :) or if I am just feeling a bit nostalgic! ha!