The first person to ask me to be her teacher was Juliana Dahl. I agreed, and for the next year, we consulted twice-per-month on the phone, as she lived in Boulder, Colorado, and I lived in northern California. Then, in 2006, I started traveling to Boulder to teach a series of workshops in her home. Here is her story, in her words:

“I first got a taste of enlightenment in November of 1991 while living in Saudi Arabia. During a healing session my kundalini energy uncoiled at the base of my spine. It shot through my crown chakra and united me with all things as oneness. It was definitely a unitive experience. I felt everything surrounding me as part of me and me part of it. It was very blissful, ecstatic, and because the energy shot through my sexual chakra on its way up to the crown, I also had huge waves of sexual energy running through me. It is how I would imagine making love with the divine would be. I was in a euphoric state for days and for six months after this opening I would swoon in ecstasy when I gazed in the eyes of the person I was with whenever this occurred."

“This experience changed my life because from that moment on, anything in my life that was not in total integrity would fall away. After about a year I returned to my ordinary way of being, with suffering and hardships meeting me daily, but this kundalini awakening definitely put me on my spiritual journey. I wanted to discover as much as I could about regaining the feeling of unity consciousness and the freedom I had experienced."

“It was not until January of 2004 while I was presenting at the Sacred Sexuality, Enlightenment, and Shamanism Conference in Santa Fe New Mexico that I met Jim. The subject of his talk was Why Enlightenment Matters. I was drawn to attend his presentation and sat right in the front row, and knew immediately I wanted him to be my teacher. I also understood for the first time that it was not necessary to wait lifetimes to wake up. He let me know it just needed a burning desire for freedom and a fundamental shift in perception, and liberation could be ours"

“During the year I studied with him, I could gradually feel the veils of illusion dropping away. I felt myself becoming freer and freer, and as a result, more and more present. I loved the clarity and depth of his teaching style and we soon became good friends. I gathered a group of friends in Boulder to hear Jim's teaching. He returned several different times to teach in Boulder, where I hosted him. As my relationship with Jim continued over the next two years, I realized I was getting closer and closer to the freedom I wanted to live."

“During the summer of 2008, Jim was teaching a workshop at my home. That Saturday evening, he and I were driving out to dinner. On the way, he said to me: ‘I’m really happy with your progress of the path of awakening, Juliana. You really do see that everything between your ears is an illusion… well, almost everything. You are still holding onto one story.’"

“I actully pulled the car over to the side of the road when he said that. I knew exactly what he was talking about. I’d been holding onto a judgment about a former room-mate. I felt she had interfered in my relationship with my then-boyfriend, so I had asked her to move out, and I hadn’t forgiven her. I said to Jim: ‘My God, you are right… I see now that that, too, is just a story!’"

“This ralization just hastened my resolve to awaken fully, and I decided I did not want to wait any longer. I could feel that I was ready to make the permanent shift. The actual moment of awakening happened the very next day, June 1st."

“What happened was that he invited me to sit in presence with him. He asked me to go deep inside and see what there was that was keeping me from being totally free. As I shut my eyes I saw several different stories which I had bought into as reality for so many years, and which had caused me many hours, days, and weeks of pain and suffering. Each one I was able to release as I knew these scenarios were not who I was. Then Jim asked, ‘Is there anything else which is keeping you from being fully awake and free?’ I closed my eyes. This time I saw pure black void...and heard the words: ‘You are empty, there is nothing else ...You are free.’”

“When I opened my eyes I knew I had fully awakened to my true nature as pure consciousness, and knew I could experience the bliss and freedom which I had only tasted 17 years ago, all the time. Studying with Jim for these three years really focused my burning desire to have freedom, and his clarity, wisdom and strong presence—and unwavering love and support—helped launch me back into what I have always been: ‘Pure awareness, expressing through this body, mind, and personality known as Juliana.’”

I spoke on the phone with Juliana recently, almost a year after she awakened. She is living in Aspen now, enjoying the bliss and fun of being free, working with her sacred sexuality clients, doing massage, teaching yoga, and sharing the message of awakening with those who are open to it.