Joy's 2nd eNewsletter, December 2015
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Joy’s 2nd eNewsletter December 2015

Since my first newsletter I have travelled to Canada for a retreat weekend in the Jesuit Centre at Gwelph (near Toronto), launched my book “As Good As Goodbyes Get – a window into death and dying” in New York City and spent 2 weeks on a pilgrimage with Andrew Harvey in Southern India. Andrew, a former Oxford professor, has devoted his life to studying the world’s mystical traditions. He is the author or editor of more than thirty books including The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying with Sogyal Rinpoche. This book was a guide to my palliative care practice from the beginning. I saw this journeying as travelling ‘in the belly of the whale’ from one part of my life to the next. Regenerating myself to the extend of showing my natural hair colour!

Here I am with Jonny Podell, Co-Creator & Co-Founder of The Podell Agency in New York City.  He foresees a future in which “all movements that touch consciousness will unite for the overall elevation of humanity.” He sees consciousness as the new rock ‘n roll and has created a national platform so that this ground breaking work can be fully accessible to everyone. The legendary ‘mad marvel of music’ has transformed and announced the creation of The Podell Agency with co-founder Ali Storm. His work serves spiritual teachers, artists, writers, activists, and healers worldwide in providing communication that touch consciousness and the human spirit. 

The Podell Agency, Rachel Goldstein who is an Agent of Change and the Bird in Hand Foundation sponsored a launch lunch in the Landmarc Restaurant, Columbus Circle, New York City.

I found it really difficult to understand the word ‘consciousness’ until I spent 3 days in the Saccidananda Ashram in Tamilnadu. This ashram is a leading exponent of Hindu-Christian dialogue.  Father Bede Griffiths who taught in the Ashram until his death in 1993 was a Benedictine monk.  His vision was to go beyond religion and the vicious cycle of belief structures to seek a direct union with God. ‘God’ has many names. I feel ‘God’ as intuition and personal conscience – we hear and understand the term ‘clear conscience’ as a benchmark for goodness. I also like the idea of co-creating with God. This for me means doing my little bit to make the world more Godlike!

Our teacher for the 4pm talk was John Martin Sahajananda who has a degree in Spirituality from the Gregorian University in Rome.  He likened the 4 stages of consciousness to a tree and described the leaves as Personal (or Individual) Consciousness (all the qualities we know we have as a person) or Waking Consciousness (unlike Dreaming Consciousness).  

The branches were likened to a Collective Consciousness. He called this Dreaming Consciousness. This Carl Jung described as the ‘collective unconscious’ which is a term he coined to refer to structures of the unconscious mind that we all tap into with synchronicity and statements such as: “I was just thinking of you (when the phone rang)”  or on waking from a dream state when the solution to a problem becomes clear.  According to Carl Jung, the human collective unconscious contains commonly recognised universal symbols (or archetypes) such as the Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow (those parts of our persona we bury), the Warrior, the Tree of Life etc. This level of consciousness is represented by the tree’s branches.

The trunk of the tree is the level of consciousness called Deep Sleep Consciousness and the roots are True Self Consciousness or Awakened Consciousness when a soul returns to the Source (or whatever name the Unknowable is given) The path to this level of Cosmic or Divine Consciousness is meditation. Florence Nightingale wrote that in true mysticism God is within.

Through discovering the true self

We come to discover God because the true self is

That which is eternal within us…it is that

Which unites us

With everyone and everything

 - Father John Martin

On arriving home I was asked to oversee the death of friend and supporter of my work with NurseLink Foundation now called Yellow Door Foundation. This was indeed a privilege as I believe that those who are dying are our greatest teachers.  This sentiment was shared by one of my mentors Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.  I am available to assist in the death or transition process of anyone who needs me in that role which, my Zen monk friends told me at the launch, is called being a ‘Doula.’

The book can be purchased by contacting the Book Order Department at Dorrance Publishing Co  or at

Joy with 2 Zen monks from the Zen Centre in New York City.  They gave Joy the word ‘Doula’ for a person who supports a person who is dying or graduating from this life.
Andrew Nugent, Joy and Tamara Gibb (formally Lee and daughter of Chris and Margs Lee) at the launch of Joy’s book.
Wishing everyone a joyous and connected time this Festive Season.
Joy launching her book in New York
A street scene in Southern India.
The temple at the Shantivanam Ashram where Brother John Martin teaches.
Accommodation in the Ashram
Copyright © 2015 Joy Nugent, All rights reserved.

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