“I recently had the chance to read Dani Antman’s book Wired for God: Adventures of a Jewish Yogi. Spiritual memoirs are not always page-turners, but this one had me wondering what would happen next. Dani was raised Jewish but, like many people, didn’t feel completely satisfied by her childhood religion. She became a spiritual seeker, studying energy healing and Kundalini yoga, and learning from many teachers, before eventually embracing Judaism with a new perspective.
Wired for God is written in an accessible way. Dani’s storytelling is simple, direct and honest. And she was kind enough to answer my questions after I read her book. Here’s what she told me.”
On Awakening Kundalini
Teresa: I’ve read several accounts of people whose kundalini has awakened. It seems so difficult, painful and even dangerous. How has it been worth it for you?
Dani: I was very lucky in that I found a qualified guide in the form of a realized Swami in a Kundalini lineage. Although I had a lot of purging and some uncomfortable experiences, I never felt I was in any kind of danger. Rather, I felt awe at the process unfolding within me. I was rewarded with states of deep silence and visceral sense of connection to the Divine. I feel this connection all the time, and for that I am deeply grateful.
Getting in Touch with Subtle Energy
Teresa: Do you have any suggestions for people who want to be more in touch with subtle energies, but don’t expect to be anywhere near as devoted as you to spiritual practices?
Dani: Yes, pay attention to how you already sense subtle energy. For example, perhaps you walk into a room and can sense good energy versus negative energy. Or maybe you have a subtle sense about which direction to take…literally – like in a car or metaphorically – in life. The more you pay attention to the senses that are already present, the more those subtle senses expand. If you have a “gut” feeling about something, pay attention to it!
Teresa: You talk about how after your near-fatal car accident you appreciated your physical body more and were less critical of it. I think a lot of people, especially women, have a similar feeling after healing from an injury or sickness. How can we keep that feeling, rather than going back to useless self-criticizing about our subpar hair, wrinkles, extra pounds, etcetera?
Dani: All of us have to learn how to love ourselves just the way we are, accepting our imperfections. We can’t love another person fully, until we love ourselves. The universe is made of a love that is greater than any personal love we can imagine. The near death car accident allowed me to realize this, and appreciate the gift of a human body and a human life. I keep that in mind whenever I feel self-criticism coming back in. I remind myself that I am loved unconditionally by the Divine and that I don’t have to change anything about myself to be worthy of that love.
How We Experience the Divine
Teresa: I thought it was really interesting when you wrote, “Although Unitive consciousness is singular, the paths to it expressed by the different spiritual traditions produce different spiritual experiences along the way.” Could you talk a bit more about this? Is this why a Catholic might see a statue of Mary crying while that wouldn’t necessarily be meaningful to a Hindu?
Dani: Yes, each of us will experience the Divine through the framework that is most resonant with our soul. For some people, their religious upbringing is their main reference point. For others, an unfamiliar being may appear as a guide or teacher. These beings appear because of a deep soul connection, perhaps from a “past” life. The Divine will take whatever form that will be most recognizable to us.
Learning from Writing Wired for God
Teresa: How did writing Wired for God change you?
Dani: Writing Wired for God gave me a perspective on the whole fabric of my life, both the good and the bad. It has enabled me to accept my choices and move forward without being dragged down by the past. I now have a new sense of freedom and I am not afraid of challenging myself. It was often painful to look back at some of the difficult periods of my life, but when I completed the manuscript I could see how far I had come. I feel deeply grateful to all the teachers who have guided my journey.
Spiritual Teachers who Seduce Students
Teresa: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dani: I wrote about being seduced by a spiritual teacher, and the distortion of power that occurred in that relationship. In this age of the “me too movement” I think it is very important for people to realize that just because someone proclaims themselves to be spiritual, evolved or enlightened, it doesn’t mean that they have good boundaries or good morals. Discernment is a very tough lesson to learn on the spiritual path.