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Essays listed in chronological order starting with most recent. For archives, please see previous volumes below.
  • Writer's pictureRudy Bauer

An Existential Tantric Dzogchen Consultation : A Phenomenology

Rudolph Bauer, Ph.D. Diplomate in Clinical Psychology , A.B.B.P. The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies and The Washington Center for Phenomenological and Existential Psychotherapy

Jan Nicholson, Ed.D. The Center for Modern Meditation,

Existential Psychotherapist , Annapolis, Maryland and Gilbert ,Arizona

This is a presentation of an experiential demonstration of Phenomenological Dzogchen that took place at The Washington Center for Consciousness Studies. This presentation took place during a seminar on the Interface of existential Phenomenological Consultation and Contemporary Dzogchen praxis. Dr. Rudolph Bauer is the presenter of the seminar and Dr. Jan Nicholson is a senior faculty member of The Washington Center . In the paper Dr. Jan Nicholson is describing her experience of and within the Experiential Consultation.

Rudy did a demonstration with me during our weekly seminar on 12/11/19, the title of the seminar that day being Spaciousness of Being. When we began working together, Rudy had just been talking about the embodiment of Being. When he began to connect with me, his presence was more subtle than I am accustomed to experiencing. As he began connecting with Skip Ellis and going into resonance even more, I began to feel Rudy’s presence more strongly. As he connected with both Skip and Juliette Perry as well, I began to sense a sphere of energy around me and around the four of us. The others in the room were included and so it felt as though there were containers within containers. There was a sense of going beyond form into formlessness as well.

Rudy then spoke about us going into the realm of kundalini energy. He also described our opening the doors of our awareness into the archetypal realm. When he extended the energy field of his lower body into my lower body energetically, I felt a strong sense of my energy foundation and this sense of foundation was both expanding and deepening. He then moved his awareness up through the body extending from his stomach to mine, and asking me to keep my eyes open. As soon as the energy began to arise, which happened very quickly, I began to feel what I have come to think of as the lion’s roar in my ears. As though I am being stretched, and there is almost like a thunder rumbling in both ears. To me, it’s a sign of the energetic intensity and I found it hard to keep my eyes open when that began.

Rudy asked me to keep my eyes halfway open so I could gaze while we were doing these practices together. I began to feel a lot of heat and a strong sense of being grounded. I had an image of a fountain inside that arose and fanned out but didn’t leave my body as it used to years ago when kundalini arose in me. Back then, the energy would arise quickly and shoot out the top of my head and shower around me. This felt more contained in a good way, that I can hold it now and integrate it in a more complete way. I felt it especially in my heart, and I also had a sense of innate power.

Then Rudy said he was going to go through my heart, breathing through direct perception. That felt like a sphere or even a galaxy in that it had a cosmic feel to it, infinite and vast. It included the throat and my body felt very open. Amrita started to arise, which is this liquid Nectarian bliss. As this liquid amrita bliss has done a lot lately, it began to feel as though it was dripping down from my palate deep into my body. I felt I was experiencing the Kechari Mudra.

Rudy said he was going to pass through energetically, and that he had not done that so far. As he did so, I began to feel a deep trembling inside, very internalized and deep in my core. He asked me to lean through him a bit more and as I did, I began to feel everything inside me blend together and integrate. I had a heightened awareness of my lower body and amrita was everywhere flowing inside me. This passing through is the extension of the inner channel of light into another.

Rudy then asked that we invoke an archetypal Dakini, Jesum Troma, and I felt her immediately. She felt familiar to me, I felt a connection with her. There was still an enormous sense of power and connecting with her brought in a softness as well, the two blending together. Feeling softness and power simultaneously was uplifting.

Rudy asked me to sniff in the subtle sense which took things to a different level. My head opened up completely and I felt a huge internal smile throughout myself. The top of my head felt wide open and spacious.

Rudy spoke for a bit, then asked if I was experiencing timelessness which I was. He asked permission to work with me on the kundalini fire earth element and started by focusing the energy on and within my navel. I felt that strongly, like streams of luminous energy were going down my legs and the lion’s roar began again in my ears. I felt a deepening into the earth and had an awareness of luminous triangles manifesting throughout my body.

Rudy pulled the Kundalini fire element so that a stream could come through the navel, which opened up amrita again and a sense of pleasure that was pervasive yet not sexualized.

He mentioned opening the door of the heart and I experienced a sphere that was passing through my heart like a disc, going out the back of the heart and opening it up. Rudy commented that I was manifesting the field behind and within me and asked what it was like to know that. It felt liberating.

Then he said he was bringing the Kundalini stream to the throat and it felt like there was some of the fire element coming up through there, along with stillness and yet those deep inner tremors simultaneously. There was a shimmering quality of light accompanying the experience and it gave a sense of the Divine.

When Rudy went to the chakra one foot above the head, it increased the shimmering; going three feet above the head gave me a sense of enormous radiance filling the room. Going nine feet above the head led me into a beautiful fullness, completeness, bliss and a deep sense of gratitude. Gratitude to All That Is that was pervasive and rapturous. These feelings stayed with me for the rest of the seminar and for a long time afterward.

We did another demonstration in the seminar on 12/18/19, the title of the day being “ Concrete Mind and Transitional Awareness.” It was an immensely cosmic experience from the very start, that intensified throughout the work and left me feeling as though some sort of shift had occurred in me. In all the years I have been working with Rudy and attending the seminar, there are times that are powerful experiences and times that are powerful lasting shifts. This time was the latter.

Actually, as soon as the seminar began, I had a sense of an enormous presence in the room. It felt like a group of beings that were unified so that they felt like one presence. There was so much support that it brought tears to my eyes. So when Rudy asked me how I was doing, I said, “It feels like the veil between the Sambhogakaya realm and this room is very thin today.” I so much appreciate that Rudy stayed with that sense of the archetypes patiently throughout the time we worked together, as it unfolded slowly over a half hour or so.

He began by extending to me from his lower body, then from the Dan Tien, then throat center, then the eyes and during this process he was opening my field of Being. Everything kept opening more and more, and the sense of the massive presence in the room remained. I began to have feathery streams of radiance going down my body, particularly down my back. There was a sense of feathery form to it with a softness and it felt very Divine in its nature.

I loved that Juliette could experience it also, when Rudy asked her, after asking me to transmit my experience of the field . He then said that he was invoking luminous energy as Swami Muktananda, in the liminal state between the archetypal realm and ordinary reality. I felt an infusion of even more radiance, then even more, and it filled my ears with bliss in a way I had never experienced before. It felt like the caves of the ears were activated and it was exquisitely wondrous.

Rudy said he was passing through me a little bit more, and I felt the presence of Muktananda through Rudy, in him, as him. He leaned in more, and asked me to gaze about the room. I still felt that presence in the room strongly, so we welcomed it and I could feel the chakras above my head open up wide. I began to feel a pulsing throughout that integrated within me and remained.

Rudy asked me to bring in a mental state from the past into the timeless awareness where I was in the moment. The past mental state blended into the timelessness and it was of no concern whatsoever. This past mental state dissolved into the field of awareness.

The beautiful divine experience kept going and it felt like it was taking me beyond what I’ve experienced before. There was a completeness and a liberation to it, and—something Rudy had spoken about at some point during this experience as having a nuance -fulness to it. There was the subtlety of the radiance and the intensity of the shakti and so many layers of experience going on at once. Powerful.

The sense of a cosmic egg in my belly began to manifest, it had that shape and it was glowing. I was experiencing form and formlessness simultaneously. It felt like something was being created. There was a flash of self-consciousness about mentioning the cosmic egg to the group, but the sense also that there is no self-consciousness in non-duality and that I could let it go.

Rudy asked everyone to lean into me, and their support was palpable. The support of the unseen presence in the room was there throughout. Rudy asked me if I would like to live this way forever and ever; my answer was “Absolutely!” and it felt like an owning of it, and a commitment to it.

What evolved in terms of that sense of creation inside was feeling as though the cosmic egg opened and the galaxy appeared with such a sense of divine energy, the energy of creation. The Milky Way was my foundation, enclosed in my pelvic bowl yet I also was within it. I felt a strong sense of oneness with it. It felt as though everyone in the room was in there with me, and that it was effortless to share it with them.

When asked, I could feel the person behind me providing a sense of grounding in the midst of all this cosmic awareness. Feeling the Nirmanakaya support in ordinary reality simultaneously with the Sambhogakaya archetypal cosmic realms.

Rudy asked if I could sense the Bindu of Light that we worked with the previous week. I could and it felt like it provided some type of focal point for non-duality to be present within duality and vice versa.

When others in the room shared their experiences, I was struck by what Amy Berkeley said, that it felt like it had gone so far that it couldn’t go any further and yet it did. That is something I’ve experienced over and over with Rudy. That it feels as good as it possibly can and then something even more amazing happens, infinitely expanding and evolving.

I definitely feel that my consciousness has gone through some kind of a shift and it remains to be seen how that integrates into daily life. What I’ve noticed so far is a heightened awareness of how precious life is and how much support there is, seen and unseen.


Bauer, R. The Absence of Self: An Existential Phenomenological View of the Anatman Experience. The Journal of Philosophical Investigations, Vol.13/Issue 28/Fall 2019

Bauer, R. The Great Perfection of Being a Human Being: The Direct Knowing of Being and the Metabolization of Experience. Transmission: The Journal of The Awareness Field, Vol.9. The Realm of Immanence. 2019.

Baumer, Bettina. Abinavagupta’s Hermeneutics of the Absolute, India Institute of Advanced Study.India,2011.

Capobianco, Richard (2014) Heidegger’s Way of Being, University of Toronto Press.

Lingpa, Dudjom. The Vajra Essence. Wisdom Publications.2015. Translated by Allan Wallace.

Giusti, Igor. The Transformation of The Body Through Spiritual Somatic Liquid-Like Phenomena In the Path of Enlightenment, or Union with God, In Eight Mystical Paths: A Comparative Analysis, Proquest,(2019).

Longchen Rabjam. A Treasure Trove of Scriptual Transmission. Padma Publishing,2001. Translated by Richard Barron.

Winnicott, D.W.(1971). Playing and Reality. London: Routle,2004.

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