Buddies and Sponsors
Charlotte Twardokus – Sponsor
As 1991 was closing out, I took my first AHAM program. I can honestly say that if it had not been for my Buddy during the Home Study, the stabilization with the Inquiry and the Teaching may not have happened. Without the discipline offered by the Home Study and the devotion to the Teaching on my Buddy's part, along with determination... who knows?
Three years later I took the Buddy Training. There was never a question about whether to be a Buddy or not. After all the support and gentle coaching that was so lovingly provided by all my Buddies through the years, I wanted to be a part of the Program and pay it forward. I have always been aware that I was receiving as much as I was giving.
When the Sponsorship Training was offered, I wanted to be a part of the transforming qualities imbedded in this program by working with the Conscious Principles and it was another way to serve the Teaching. This has opened the door for many Conscious relationships in a deeply intimate and personal way. There is an unmistakable feeling of "not two".
Linda Swanson – Buddy and Sponsor
Buddy training was so intense that it felt as though things were clearing through me for my parents’ and grandparents’ generations. From that clear space, I started serving as a Buddy in 1998, and as a Sponsor as soon as the Sponsor program was inaugurated in 2004. In both roles, I feel tremendous benefit in the opportunity to be together as we look honestly at who we really are.
Jeanie Rehder – Buddy
I have served in many capacities at AHAM, including bookkeeper and as a Buddy.
Serving as a Buddy has been and continues to be a very rewarding experience. The relationship with the student brings into Reality that “there is no other.” So often I will be guiding the student in whatever is needed in their personal situation, and it’s exactly what I myself need to hear.
In looking back, I am so grateful for the Buddying system. If it weren’t for this aspect of AHAM’s programs, it would have been so difficult to stay with my commitment to live a life based on Truth, and I am grateful to be able to give back in this capacity.
Chuck Rehder – Sponsor
I have been with AHAM for over 27 years and have had many transforming moments through the programs and with the assistance of a Buddy.
When Ramana shared about the Sponsorship program I felt this was a perfect way for students to maintain the Heart connection between programs, after the Buddy relationship has ended. I became a Sponsor more than 5 years ago and feel a strong Heart Connection with each Sponsee as I maintain the space of stillness and silence within.
Knowing I am facilitating each Sponsee to keep the fire of transformation alive for them is also keeping it alive within me. I am forever grateful to be a part of this program.
Kupenda Olusegun – Sponsor
I became involved in “sharing AHAM’s teaching” in 2002 as a Power of Awareness Buddy and then expanded to an ISIT Buddy in 2004 and continued caring for AHAM’s students in that role until 2009. In 2004, I become a Sponsor and continue to thoroughly enjoy participating in this support system. Both of these roles have allowed me to “pay it forward” as well as support “my own” living of “the teaching.” What a blessing! The daily work is that of a social worker with low-income seniors which provides the space to let “this little light shine.”
My spouse Kalonji and I became members of the AHAM family in 1996. I’ve been very fortunate that he has always supported “my” service to AHAM. At this point, my birth family is pretty small, consisting of: two older sisters, one for whom I’m the care-taker, two nieces and a nephew. Interacting with my birth family provides more than ample opportunities to use Self-Inquiry and live all that AHAM has given me!
With Deepest Gratitude . . .
Vivian Zelig – Buddy and Sponsor
I took my first weekend program, at that time called Discover Meditation II, on March 18, 1994. Because I had observed such a radical transformation in my life, I became a Buddy in 1997 in order to "give back" what I had received. What did I receive? Support from my Buddies after each of the programs I attended as well as being able to call the Center and talk to someone when I was going through a situation that was effecting me. In 2004, when the Sponsorship program came into being, I became a Sponsor.
The significance to me of being a Buddy and Sponsor is that it requires me to Live the Teaching. And there is such a beautiful connection that is made with the graduate or sponsee. What does living the teaching mean? It means taking full responsibility that there is no one or no thing "out there" to blame for anything, that I am the source and cause of all my experiences. It is using the Inquiry or abiding in I AM.
Ramana often stated, "sharing makes it real." He was right. Sharing not only means verbally, but by living the teaching, demonstrating the teaching and giving back by being a buddy and sponsor. It is such a joy to witness the transformation that participants of AHAM's programs go through. I am eternally grateful.
Jan Sundell – Buddy and Sponsor
As a Buddy for over ten years and a Sponsor for about five years, I would have to say this is the “reward” of the teaching – sharing in a loving and caring way.
This service has always been as much, if not more, receiving than giving. I am grateful for these relationships and the ever-constant reminder to simply listen.
Doug High – Buddy
I became an AHAM Buddy as a way of saying thank you for the buddying I had received, because the buddy training is the AHAM training that especially focuses on service, and to “pay it forward.” The Buddy Training provided the opportunity to apply “being in the heart.”
I continue to be an AHAM buddy because it is an arena in which the ego-mind will offer stiff resistance especially for those who are new to the teaching. This is where support is most crucial and relevant. In serving as that support as a buddy, my own practice is strengthened, so it is a win-win situation for us both.
I continue to serve as a buddy because the relationships that arise from buddying are intimate and enduring. There is a space of trust that blossoms and never fades.
Donna Hale – Buddy and Sponsor
I found AHAM when searching for relief from grief and overwhelm that had taken over my life following the death of my twin brother and the birth of a son—finding a way to find peace became a mandate to stay alive, no longer the luxury of a hobby. By attending AHAM’s programs since 1996, practicing Self Inquiry in my daily life and participating in the AHAM community, a new way of Being has been realized—living life in alignment with spiritual priorities, experiencing an unshakable Peace, Stillness and Acceptance within and realizing an integrity and connection in relationships that I never thought possible.
Serving AHAM as a Buddy and Sponsor since 2004 and a Wake-up Call facilitator since 2001 is a great honor and blessing and has enriched my spiritual practice deeply. It requires a choice to live the wisdom shared by the Great Teachers, who come to guide us to our own Higher Self . Having this opportunity to serve and share the peace, freedom and joy experienced as a natural quality of daily life, is the result of AHAM’s training and support programs, and I AM very grateful.