1980s Hinduism and Yogas
In her 20s, Dr. Runyan studied hatha yoga with Ingrid Stone who went to India and returned to NYC to found God’s Love We Deliver, a home-delivered meals program which served a million meals per day to AIDS patients. She invited Dr. Runyan to her home in Manhattan for advanced hatha yoga and introduced her to Muktananda at his retreat center north of NYC. In Siddha yoga, participants were chanting Om Namah Shivaya in a huge group while awaiting the opportunity to move to the center of the room to bring offerings of flowers or fruit to Muktananda and to receive his holy touch.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
This is the great redeeming mantra. It comes from the Guru. Repeat it. It means ‘I bow to Shiva.’ Shiva is neither Hindu nor Muslim, neither Buddhist nor Christian. He is your own Self. He is the Self of all. Shiva is inner bliss. Shiva is boundless love. Shiva is all powerful. The Guru, mantra and you-all are one. The Guru is not the physical body. He is the grace-bestowing power of God. The Guru is your supreme inner being. Om is all-pervading Consciousness. The Guru is that Om.
The mantra received from a Guru who has attained full realization by its power is an alive, conscious mantra. It vibrates with his Shakti. Such a mantra has the power to give you liberation by cutting asunder all the knots of your karma. Kundalini, The Universal Mother, encompassing all Yogas, is of the form and inner essence of mantra. Therefore, She is awakened quickly by the mantra received through the Guru. The Guru himself enters you through the mantra. He opens a new world of yoga inside you, sustains it and dissolves all negativity. He leads a seeker to total perfection.
Repeat the mantra all the time with such diligence that it permeates your whole body inside and out. Always meditate without letting your mind be tempted by the objects of this mutable world which is changing from moment to moment. In the course of meditation the individual ego melts away the the sense of ‘I’ leaves you. Only that pure, eternally blissful Consciousness the Supreme Being within and without to be one. This Being remains. You are That. That which vibrates within is the same as that which revels without.
Understand your Self. See your Self. Seek your Self and find your Self. Hari, Shiva, Shakti, Allah, Jesus, and Buddha – all dwell within you. Kneel to your own Self. Honor and worship your own Being. Meditate on your own Self. God dwells within you as you. This is the teaching of Sri Gurudev.
This entire cosmos and all the creatures in it have arisen from the bliss of the Supremely Blissful cosmic Being, the Supremely Blissful God. All the creatures of this cosmos are nothing but vibrations of that love. They are sustained by that love and in the end they merge into the same cosmic Being. That is why it is essential to love. We meditate in the hope of experiencing that love. We turn to Kundalini awakening for the same reason and if we don’t have love in our life then we continue to exist in the hope that one day it will come. God has created all beings from His own bliss. God is love, so the world like Him is full of love. We do not experience love because we look for it where it is not. We look for it outside ourselves. We do not go into our inner beings, where love really lies where bliss really dwells.
Dr. Runyan was also introduced to the early writings of Deepak Chopra, another adherent of Hinduism. She studied the Bhagavadgeeta and the Mahabharata and spent three days at the Brooklyn Academy of Music watching it performed. She collected images of Shiva, Krishna, and other Hindu deities. She chanted and wrote the Sanskrit vowels at the School of Practical Philosophy in Manhattan.
The seven spiritual laws:
- Law of Pure Potentiality
- Law of Giving and Receiving
- Law of Karma
- Law of Least Effort
- Law of Intention and Desire
- Law of Detachment
- Law of Divine Purpose
SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL PHILOSOPHY
Dr. Runyan joined the School of Practical Philosophy while still working as a child abuse caseworker in Jersey City, NJ. The School is located at 79th St and Central Park West in Manhattan. She attended weekly and provided Service on the weekends for almost four years. This school was founded in England with strong ties back to India and has disseminated its teachings worldwide. Just within the last five years, Dr. Runyan has come to believe that this school was affiliated with the Theosophy School founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky, who traveled to India in the 19th Century and brought back esoteric Eastern beliefs, making them palatable to Western audiences. Her most famous works, The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled, are major parts of Dr. Runyan’s library. She is also an avid reader of Alice Bailey, who transmitted Eastern knowledge from The Tibetan.
1990s Taoism and Landmark Education
THE HEALING TAO CENTER
Dr. Runyan studied Taoism with Ron Diana, a senior master of Mantak Chia and The Healing Tao Center Mantak Chia and his wife were two of the first Taoist masters to bring this information out of China. Mantak Chia now teaches in Thailand and the European capitals and has written numerous books available on Amazon. Dr. Runyan learned such practices as The Inner Smile, Microcosmic Orbit, Fusion of the Five Elements and diet.
The Forum is the first program in the Landmark Education Curriculum. This is a large group process focusing on the ways to be successful as a human being here on earth. Dr. Runyan was introduced to this two-weekend group by a friend at work and it completely revolutionized her mind set. She later took the following workshops over the course of two years in Edison, NJ and the Trade Towers in NYC.
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- The Forum
- Advanced Forum
- Leadership and Self Expression
- Communications, Power and Performance
You are one distinction away from being powerful and effective: Authenticity, Commitment, Integrity, Responsibility, Be Present, Stories, Choices, Empty and Meaningless, Racquets, Winning Formula, Superstitions (I am, Because), Sharing, Possible Way to Be, Unrecognizable, Powerful Reasons, Interim Reality
2000’s Episcopal Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Durango, CO
Dr. Runyan joined St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Durango, CO when she retired there in 2000. She had been practicing Episcopal Christianity for several years in Secaucus, NJ and loved the hymns, prayers, rituals and symbols. She served the sacred wine at the altar and studied many aspects of the belief system. Her maternal grandmother was an Episcopalian and played the hymns on the piano for Dr. Runyan and her twin sister to sing. The parables were one such study which helped her understand paradox. She also completed two years of advanced New Testament studies and was certified as an instructor.
TARA MANDALA RETREAT CENTER,
Pagosa Springs, CO
Lama Tsultrim Allione is the founder and primary instructor at the Tara Mandala Retreat Center in Pagosa Springs, CO. Dr. Runyan has studied with her for many years and is certified in Kapala (Feeding Your Demons) from the 11th Century Buddha Machig Labdron. She has also received transmission of Chod, the Mandala Meditation, and Prajna Paramita practices. She completed Sutrayana, the Buddha’s original teachings, Mahayana, the Middle Way, and Vajrayana at Tara Mandala in July of 2015.
2010s Medical Qi Gong and Dr. Carl Jung
TAO HOUSE and Dr. Isaac Goren
Dr. Runyan was surfing the web looking for teachers of Taoism with whom she could study hands-on and came upon the Tao House Healing Center. Two years later, she joined the Medical Qi Gong training at its beginning. She has studied Practitioner 1, 2 and 3 and completed her certification in May of 2015 with P4 and P5. Practitioner, Therapist and Masters Levels as of 2015. The instructor Dr. Isaac Goren is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and teaches acupuncture and other Taoist practices. He bases his courses on the four volumes of Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy written by his teacher Professor Jerry Alan Johnson, PhD, DTCM, DMQ (China).
JUNGIAN CENTER FOR THE SPIRITUAL SCIENCES
Dr. Susan Mehrtens, PhD in Medieval Studies from Yale
Dr. Runyan studied via distance learning with Dr. Mehrtens who runs a Jungian school in Waterbury, Vermont. Susan had a dream that she was supposed to go to Vermont and found a school for Jungian Studies and she did. She has instructed Dr. Runyan in Astrology, Alchemy, Dream Interpretation, Gnosticism and The Afterlife Journey of the Soul.
ASHEVILLE JUNG CENTER and Dr. Murray Stein of the Zurich Institute
Dr. Runyan has taken numerous courses via webinar and DVD primarily with Dr. Murray Stein past president of the Zurich Institute and John Hall also in the Zurich Jungian Community. These courses include Living the Symbolic Life, Personality Types, Alchemy, Fairy Tales and more. Her studies have led her deeply into Jung’s affinity for the Mandala which represents wholeness. She is currently studying his Red Book.
THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY IN AMERICA
Dr. Runyan first encountered theosophy while studying at the School of Practical Philosophy in Manhattan. She re-encountered these beliefs at a meditation group on Pine Island in SW Florida and began to study Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky, and all the courses available on-line with the Theosophical Society of America, including Introduction to Theosophy, Pioneers, The Divine Plan, Cosmogenesis, Forerunners of the Light, Solar Angels, Initiation, The Solarized Mind, The Seven Rays, and Esoteric Astrology.
THE SCHOOL OF THE WISDOM IN ADYAR, INDIA
Dr. Runyan recently completed an in-depth course on Advaita Vedanta, non-dualism, with Dr. Radha Raghunathan and the Sanskrit language with Dr. Sadananda Das, both experts in their fields and devotees of Hinduism. She learned for all eternity that our souls are eternal, that we are Brahma, and that we are reincarnated until our karma is resolved.
THE SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL NETWORK
This organization brings together scientists, intellectuals, and health care professions in the cause of merging science and spirituality. They also believe that consciousness exists all around us and unifies us in a loving oneness. They recognize the materialism of current science and advocate for a larger view.