The Awareness Podcast, Ep.31: Living in Not-Knowing with Jenny Beal and Rachna Chowla: Openness and SpontaneityAug 09, 2022
Episode #31: Living in Not-Knowing with Jenny Beal and Rachna Chowla: Openness and Spontaneity
In this very first Living in Not-Knowing podcast with Jenny Beal, Rachna Chowla describes her spiritual journey from a traditional Vedanta school, via the Buddhist tradition of the Dalai Lama and the poetry of Rumi, to arrive at the Direct Path teaching of Rupert Spira and Francis Lucille. It was through this teaching that she discovered how love and beauty can become an integral part of our spiritual life.
She goes on to discuss how the non-dual understanding has influenced both her practical life as a doctor and her creative life as a poet, and the changes that have occurred in her approach to difficult circumstances. She describes the ever-growing joy and freedom of being open to all that arises.
Finally, she reads one of her poems that depicts the way creativity manifests spontaneously and effortlessly when she rests in not-knowing.
Rachna Chiowla is a doctor by day, a poet by night and a truth-lover all of the time. Both these activities are underpinned by an understanding of the non-dual nature of reality and a recognition that we share our being with everything and everyone.
Having been brought up in a Hindu household, Rachna was drawn towards a traditional Vedanta path, and in her late twenties she attended a Vedanta school which focused mainly on the intellectual aspects of Advaita Vedanta. While working in Milan, she attended meetings with the Dalai Lama and developed an interest in Buddhism. That brought about two significant glimpses and a longing for a teaching that took her towards a deeper meaning. However, some of this meaning she could already touch when reading the love poems of Rumi. After returning to the UK, she began to feel that the Vedanta path she had been following was too structured, and didn’t properly take account of the love, beauty, freedom and spontaneity that is our inherent nature.
By chance, a friend mentioned Rupert Spira and after watching many of his videos, she attended his meeting in London and instantly recognised that she had found her teacher. She attended Rupert’s retreats for several years, and with Rupert’s encouragement, her poetry blossomed. She went on to also meet Francis Lucille, her other teacher and she continues to deepen her understanding with them, as well as through the teaching that is writing poetry itself.