"Saniel Bonder is one in whom the Conscious Principle is awakened, and he is attempting to forge a new path of mutuality in the midst of ordinary, messy, everyday realities... and Linda Groves-Bonder is a brilliant teacher in her own right."
Ken Wilber
author of Sex Ecology and Spirituality

"Saniel Bonder offers a refreshingly grounded yet wise approach to spiritual awakening, one that is founded on a deep understanding of the human condition."
— Peter Russell
author of From Science to God, The Global Brain

Arjuna Ardagh's Foreword to Saniel's Healing the Spirit/Matter Split

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens, as the first sentence of The Tale of Two Cities. He was referring to the times of the French Revolution, a time of radical social change. He might just as well have been talking about the days of radical change we are passing through today.

We are in a phase transition in collective consciousness, the likes of which we have never seen before. We face challenges as a race the likes of which we have never faced before. Global warming, wars of one fundamentalism set against another, global economic disparity and blatant opportunism, running out of oil… need I go on? Whatever your political, religious or scientific persuasion, everyone seems to agree that we are moving closer to a crisis.

We are also seeing the first sproutings of a new kind of consciousness: one that is grounded in the direct realization of Oneness rather than separation, one which has the capacity to know reality in a deeper way than through the rigid beliefs of mind.

This new kind of consciousness has to be clearly understood, and differentiated from what has come before. The gentle revolution we see today is not simply a regurgitation of what we have called “enlightenment” in the past. To differentiate contemporary mystics from their predecessors, I call them “Translucents”: they are neither fully opaque nor totally transparent. They allow light to pass through them, while remaining fully involved and participating in a modern world. There are several important distinctions which make this renaissance of awakening unprecedented, and which warrant sitting up and paying attention.

First, today’s Translucents are not interested in transcending and leaving the body, but in “waking down” into the body. This awakened consciousness is delighted to include sexuality, relationship, parenting, business, and social and political action as expressions of awakening, rather than distractions from it.

Secondly, translucents balance masculine and feminine energy. What we have called “spiritual” in the past might just as well be called the masculine interpretation of spiritual life. It has emphasized renunciation, working towards a goal in the future, and the importance of effort and discipline. The feminine is more oriented to fully embracing what is already here, in this moment, and loving and living it in its totality.

Third, the revolution of spirit we witness today is not hierarchical. It is not about the coming of another Buddha as a man, who will awaken us all, but it is symbolized by Maitreya, the friend. This time the wheel of dharma is not turned by one savior, but by you and me, by friend meeting friend. The second coming of Christ is the arising of Christ Consciousness in every man and woman.

Fourth, translucents display a fresh and dynamic embracing of a paradox in their relationship to the ways of the world. They see human society with detachment and humor, they accept the imperfection of things as inevitable. In this way they remind us of Buddha or Lao Tzu. And at the same time, they are passionate in their willingness to show up and make a difference. In this way they remind us of Che Guevara or of Gandhi.

I have spent many years researching, interviewing and writing about contemporary translucents. I have seen this kind of consciousness arising in myriad different flavors and locations, but I am hard pressed to find a fresher, more integral example than in Saniel Bonder and the work he does together with his community.

Saniel’s vision is born out not only in his writings, like this book you’re reading or listening to, but it is vibrantly obvious in his marriage, in the way that he relates with people, in the way he offers you a cup of tea. Saniel is not only writing about Waking Down, the way he moves through each of his days demonstrates it.

On those grounds I endorse Saniel as a human being as much as a writer. He writes very well, don’t get me wrong. But I know so many prolific wordsmiths whose words inspire and soar, only to leave one disappointed and confused by the human being who wrote them. In Saniel’s case it’s the other way around. It is his natural and spontaneous embodiment which is impressive, his words are a transmission from that embodiment. Having drunk his tea, sat with him and his wife Linda, and frequently been the recipient of his kind, attentive and generous heart, I offer you a five star recommendation for Saniel and his vision as high-integrity spirituality.
— Arjuna Ardagh
author of The Translucent Revolution

Saniel and Linda's Waking Down work provides the spiritual container and compassionate understanding for my humanness and everything beyond that.
I have never experienced spirituality really embodied or lived with integrity, and this is what Saniel and his teachers are giving every day.

Saniel and Linda have trained a generation of their senior teachers in a way that allows them to wholly embody their own truth and therefore have made them as powerful as possible living their own life.

All of you are allowing and holding the incredible space necessary for me to dive deeper than ever possible before into my self-exploration, leaving nothing out, avoiding nothing. You are familiar with the territory of the human "underbelly" and your are providing the roadmap for my Self to BE in total Reality and Free -- fully physically and spiritually embodied, leaving nothing out, avoiding nothing and being aware of the whole consciously witnessed at any moment. This is the "great relief" of my endless awakenings.

My gratitude goes to Saniel who is strong enough to be real as a hu-man "in spite" of his deepest spiritual awakening. He is offering the "Missing Link" between spirituality/ enlightenment and human life for all seekers of awakening.

With love and light,
— Sabine Grandke-Taft

I awakened to myself as embodied consciousness because of Saniel's discovery and blessing of transmission. The mysterious healing process which has ensued since my awakening has repeatedly brought me to my knees, when past trauma has been triggered in me. Being with Saniel and Linda always wraps me in a warm blanket of love and acceptance. Their ability to hold me in the deepest of places calls forth the Goddess in a way that I never thought imaginable. My heart breaks open and I fall into the vast source of power within me.

— Lena Cain
Waking Down in Mutuality Interning Teacher, Spiritual Counselor & Energy Healer
Seattle, WA

Meeting Saniel and Linda was a life-changing experience. I was deeply seen, met and gotten from their hearts to mine. It was what my soul was crying out and longing for.

This opportunity to be met on such a fundamental human level is what enabled me to discover all of who I am, the conscious loving aspects as well as the unconscious darker aspects. It is also what enables me to continue on my path of self-discovery.

Let yourself have the opportunity to experience the raw loving honesty that Saniel and Linda most graciously pour out, and feel for yourself how the power of the these two human hearts helps heal those who are hurt, wounded, and seeking their places in this life.

— Karen Steen,
Former Waking Down in Mutuality Teacher
Buffalo, NY

Dear Saniel,

On the drive home from Estes Park I spent most of the time listening to chapters 13-17 in Waking Down, with special interest given to chapter 15 "Being-Initiation Comes Awake: Realizing Yourself as Embodied Feeling-Witness Consciousness." Every word in this chapter spoke directly to my experience in the last half of the retreat. I kept thinking what a genius you are to have written such a perfect description of my experience--it was pure nectar to me and I listened to it over and over on my way home with my whole Being.

Thank you Saniel for your genius!

— Catherine Tierney

Through exquisite attunement, attention, and generosity, Saniel has transmitted love to me in words and deeds. He is remarkable and precious. He has taught me, for real, that I matter, that you matter, that we need each other, and that Consciousness is here, trustable, accessible, and alive as each of us.
— Deborah Boyar, Ph.D.
Waking Down in Mutuality Senior Teacher
San Rafael, CA

This nine month program gave me a deep trust of and intimacy with Saniel, Linda and my fellow retreatants and had me feel seen and met as I've not experienced before. I am so grateful for the mind and heart opening that happened over the course of the nine months. I am in awe of the breakthrough I had in my understanding and experience of consciousness.

— Juliet Amoroso,
Portland, OR

Dear Saniel and Linda,

Just writing you a quick note to thank you for the amazing White-Hot Yoga of the Heart 9-Month program retreat week. I continue to stand in awe of your work, embodiment, love and integration and of your commitment to us and the work, my and others empowerment and the dynamic unfolding evolutionary way of living you do and with which you support the community and us so magnificently. My heart felt appreciation to you both.

I am feeling the continued program including the already set up phone calls, private sessions scheduled and the retreat to come really holding me and dynamically supporting me now. I am feeling the opportunities much further opening up in my relating with our group and I am excited about where I and we can go in mutuality with the nine month format which I feel is so supporting. I am not feeling a "retreat is over" withdrawal or loneliness; I am feeling the juice and the focus of relatedness, containment and mutuality for my continued being realizing and unfolding. Also for our continued group realizing and unfolding possibilities.

My deepening relations with group members is very meaningful for me and fulfilling for coming forth needs.

— Steve Rogers,
Auburn, CA

“I have been reading the teachings and attending events for years. It wasn’t until I began this focused intensive and went back to the basics starting with the Human SUN ‘gateways’ that I am finally understanding and feeling the essential wisdom of this work. The continuing support from Saniel, Linda, and the group are a great source of relief that my questions will be answered.”
— Tara Mastro,
former teacher-trainer of a Kashmir Shaivism-based yoga

My Residential Retreat at Saniel and Linda's home was exquisite! I was treated like a queen. I felt so deeply held and cared for on so many levels... My time with this incredible, love-filled couple gave me everything I needed to drop within myself and receive the nurturing, life-affirming energies they offered with their hearts, arms, and doors wide open to me.
— Lena Cain,
Waking Down in Mutuality Interning Teacher, Spiritual Counselor & Energy Healer
Seattle, WA

“I really didn’t know what to expect, but had the feeling that spending a full day with Saniel would be very valuable. As it turns out, it was highly catalytic for me. Saniel intuitively zeroed in on a big area of blockage for me that I wasn't aware of. My view and experience of myself shifted pretty dramatically, and energetic senses within me, which had gone a bit dormant over the last few years, opened up again in full force. Thank you Saniel! ”
— Brad Cleavenger,
Broomfield, CO

"I have been on a path of personal and spiritual growth for more than 20 years. As a healer and a teacher, I have met many seekers, practitioners, and teachers of several traditions over the years. I have been involved with two well-known Indian spiritual masters for about 15 years. Even after I realized the unbounded nature of Consciousness, I have never met anybody who was able to be simultaneously utterly human while being fully awakened.

"Every single seeker, practitioner, and teacher I have met was expressing overtly or covertly, consciously or unconsciously, a deep rift between the human, personal nature and the transcendental, impersonal Consciousness: be it in themselves or in others. For apparently cultural, personal, political and/or economic reasons, it has become clear to me that this unbearable contradiction was eluding everybody, and not least the spiritual authorities.

"Saniel and Linda are the very first teachers I have met who embody most honestly and courageously the Divine Human condition. Their teaching on the Core Mystery is a major and fundamental breakthrough on the Path of Enlightenment. It empowers a quick awakening among truly sincere spiritual seekers and finders.

"I have a special liking for their friendship and their mutuality, for I myself have found that being a spiritual authority in somebody else's eyes can be a serious impediment to their awakening.

"I was lucky enough to spend a few days in a personal residential retreat with Linda and Saniel. It was a most empowering and nurturing moment. They created a very special energy and physical space in which I was fully welcomed and supported. Yet they managed, in their very gentle way, to empower me with profound Transmissions while sharing with me, in true mutuality, personal details of their lives, projects, and concerns.

"Saniel and I spent some very precious moments in a Shamanic mode, in nature, while having the most interesting conversations on some rather esoteric subjects. One of the highlights of my retreat was my sessions with Linda, who was embodying simultaneously the Compassion, Care, and Presence of the Divine Mother and a very close friendliness bubbling with a child's enthusiasm."
— Franck J.,
Spiritual Teacher
Marseilles, France

My experience at the Transfiguration Retreat was incredible. Being surrounded by such beauty in the Rocky Mountains created a sacred space in which to drop deeply within myself. I was really new to Waking Down at the time – I had only been in the work for two months! So having the opportunity to be in the company of so many others who were living in the fire of conscious life was quite a gift. The waves of feeling that washed over me in my small group each day were embraced with open arms.

I arrived at the retreat feeling emotionally and energetically overwhelmed, having experienced my second birth only two months prior. The company of Saniel and Linda, along with the awakened teachers and mentors stabilized me both energetically and emotionally. I had been on sabbatical from my work, doing energy healing and counseling, but my experience at the retreat impacted me on such a deep level that it enabled me to return to my client work with renewed strength. I highly recommend the undeniably powerful Transfiguration Retreat!

— Lena Cain,
Seattle WA

Hi Linda,

Thank you so much for giving me your CD [I’m Here], which I listened to a few days ago. Although it's a very different genre from the kind of music I know, I can tell that you are doing your thing extremely well!

Sounds effortless, flowing, warm, passionate, absolutely no strain, loads of expression, wonderful variety of vocal textures, great range, and more.

I wish that more of our classical soloists had the naturalness that you have! I especially like the songs you wrote yourself — above all, "Still High", a real gem. I listened to that one several times in a row, which is something I do when I really like a piece.

— Ellen Holmes,
Producer of the Sacred Treasures series on the Hearts of Space label, classical music guest producer, NPR's "Music From the Hearts of Space"

Saniel, I was just blown away by what you read me out of the foreword to your new book about the force of destiny!! The feeling I got when I listened was that a whole new species of human is being coached into existence by the introduction of the force of their own destiny -- and that a person's life up until the time of such an occurrence would be, in comparison, a mere superficial abstraction of an existence, lived metaphorically in mental concepts of what their life represented and how they expressed themselves in the world.

This seems to me to be a breakthrough of such magnitude as to dwarf all previous ideas of what life really is capable of expressing in the form of human beings... It feels to me as though there is an evolutionary leap occurring here, like we have the possibility of finally, really coming "home" as a species for the first time in our history; humans performing their true destiny as "god" becomes us, which is really just us becoming ourselves AND KNOWING IT, in every fiber and facet of our existence.

— Pete Castellano,
Assistant Dean of Business and Finance,
University of Arizona
Tucson AZ