The Awareness Podcast, Ep.47: Living in Not-Knowing with Jenny Beal and Anne Hay: Openness, Freedom and BorderlessnessDec 12, 2022
In this Living in Not-Knowing podcast, with Anne Hay, we trace her path from early glimpses of peace and freedom, through a range of spiritual disciplines, to reach the recognition that organized practice was not going to bring what she was looking for.
Several times she was brought face-to-face with death through an early traumatic experience, the death of her parents, cancer and other health issues. She describes how, as a result, the fear of death eventually melted away.
The freedom of not-knowing has been a recurring theme throughout Anne’s life, guiding her decisions and leading her inexorably towards that for which she truly longed.
It was eventually through Direct Path meditations that she found her way back home, to discover the peace and happiness which is our true nature. Life now is easy. Activities just come naturally from joy, rather than a sense of duty. Everything that arises is welcomed. There’s no sense of lack, or sense of impending doom. She knows and feels that all will be well.
As a child, Anne loved stories, myths and fairy tales. After watching the film ‘Lost Horizon’ in her early teens, Anne decided that the peace and happiness of Shangri-La was what she wanted.
When she was 19, she was followed in a dark street, pushed against a wall and sexually assaulted, during which her awareness soared beyond her physical body and she experienced a deep peace and lack of fear. The experiential knowledge of something beyond consensus reality remained after that encounter, despite her having no words to describe it.
Over the years there were more such glimpses such as during childbirth and at the deathbed of both her parents.
In her thirties, she joined a school of Advaita Vedanta in Edinburgh where practice included meditation, selfless service and surrendering the fruits of action. After 12 years she left the school and joined the TM movement. But after a few years she recognised that spiritual organisations were not for her, and she set up a Socrates Café in Edinburgh, which encouraged listening, questioning and empathy in the examination of topics chosen by the group.
In 2018, following cancer treatment, she reached another cross-roads in her life. A therapist she knew introduced her to the teachings of Rupert Spira where she began to find the freedom and joy she had always sought. Then during the Covid pandemic she discovered Francis Lucille’s online satsangs. After the first online meditation session she knew that after a lifelong search, she had come home.