About

In Santa Cruz

Hi, my name is Bruce Manaka. I lived for 19 years in a monastery of East Indian tradition. In July of 2001, shortly before the horrors of 9-11, I left the “safety” of the monastic life, driving out into a world I had little understanding of. The ensuing years were a roller coaster ride of learning to survive in the world. Since then, I authored the book, “Flights of a Runaway Monk,” which describes the difficult process of leaving behind a lifestyle and belief system that I was a part of for almost two decades. It also describes how I learned to connect and dialog with the guidance (the Inner Shaman) that lovingly and powerfully made its presence known.

As I learned to trust what I was being shown, I came to understand the importance of the energy component in creativity as well as in my own health issues. When I gave myself permission to deeply feel and connect with the flow of energy within that seemed to want to express outwardly, I found myself creating artistically in ways I never dreamed possible. Click here to view some of my artwork.
Dragonfly Dance II

Since leaving the monastery, I have married and relocated to Northern California, where my wife, Patty, and I have been putting on special sound healing events for groups. We use quartz crystal singing bowls combined with my overtone chanting to create dynamic vibratory environments that uplifts everyone present. I also meet individually with those who request private sessions.

For a sample of overtone singing combined with crystal singing bowl, click Om-Ah-Hum

20 responses to “About

  1. Hello,
    Your rhythm and sound foci currently feels very relevant in my very senior (i’m 81) buddhist philosophical experiences with my wife during the past decade. I came upon your website when i was google searching “senior celibacy” and came upon your reply to a younger person inquiry.
    I am experiencing involuntary celibacy and hope that there is a better way to cope than physical masturbatory/fantasy methods. Are there literature resources?
    Thank you for any response. Have a good March. RSH

  2. Thanks for your response to my post. Hope you’re doing ok with “involuntary celibacy.” Not sure if I could point towards any literature resources that would be of help to you. I’ve read plenty of writings, from the yogic and tantric points of view, but I’m not familiar with anything that addresses the sexual issues of an aging population…I’m sure it’s out there… (if any other reader can be of help here, please chime in).

    In the meantime, if you have anything to add or share from the perspective of your Buddhist philosophy, please feel free to share…I’m sure you have much wisdom that can be expressed from the storehouse of your own experiences. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Bruce,
    We seem to share much in common. I’d like to know more about your communities. I’m seeking communities of higher vibrational levels. I experience this at the monastery I go to for retreats and other events and with my Sangha, but not so much other places. I’m in the Boston area.
    I’m very sensitive to the energy of others and my own energy isn’t strong enough to prevent me from being pulled back down to lower vibrational levels when I’m in groups. So, at this point, it’s still a good idea for me to be around people and environments that are mostly at higher levels. I appreciate your suggestions.

    • Thanks Peter,

      The “communities” that I’ve been drawn to, for the most part, do not have strong organized components (I seem to be drawn to loose structure). Our interests and intentions seems to have brought us together in natural and organic ways.

      Since leaving the monastery, my wife and I have not intentionally sought out communities, but have been quite surprised and delighted by the individuals and groups that we have come to know and love. We now see the power and beauty of intentional communities, ones built upon the simple tenets of love, compassion and not taking life so seriously.

      As of now, I take part in a small music circle that uses sound, music, harmonics and movement as a way to connect with the heart’s natural love. One of our intentions is to use vibration as a way to move into non-ordinary consciousness.

      I also take part in a Men’s group that focuses primarily on staying with and allowing for the expression of feelings. Very powerful!

      I also take part in a weekly “5 Rhythms” dance. This has surprised me by the degree that I have come to love the way of dance as a doorway to access ecstatic states. Beyond fun!

      Every month I also take part in a “healing lodge” (sweat lodge) run by a beautiful medicine man named Moon. At some point I would like to write in my regular blog about this experience. It has been life-transforming!

      Thanks again Peter! Your question has been a wonderful reminder to me about the beauty and helpfulness of communities that maintain a heart focus.

      Hope this helps!

      Bruce

  4. Hi Bruce,We seem to share much in common. I’d like to know more about your communities. I’m seeking communities of higher vibrational levels. I experience this at the monastery I go to for retreats and other events and with my Sangha, but not so much other places. I’m in the Boston area.I’m very sensitive to the energy of others and my own energy isn’t strong enough to prevent me from being pulled back down to lower vibrational levels when I’m in groups. So, at this point, it’s still a good idea for me to be around people and environments that are mostly at higher levels. I appreciate your suggestions.
    +1

    • Thanks Guthry, yes it is helpful to be part of intentional (or conscious) communities, especially during these intense times. I answered a similar question in a previous comment and will post it here again:

      “The “communities” that I’ve been drawn to, for the most part, do not have strong organized components (I seem to be drawn to loose structure). Our interests and intentions seems to have brought us together in natural and organic ways.

      Since leaving the monastery, my wife and I have not intentionally sought out communities, but have been quite surprised and delighted by the individuals and groups that we have come to know and love. We now see the power and beauty of intentional communities, ones built upon the simple tenets of love, compassion and not taking life so seriously.

      As of now, I take part in a small music circle that uses sound, music, harmonics and movement as a way to connect with the heart’s natural love. One of our intentions is to use vibration as a way to move into non-ordinary consciousness.

      Once a week I take part in a Men’s group that focuses primarily on staying with and allowing for the expression of feelings. We provide a safe place for men to stay with and communicate their most painful feelings. Very powerful!

      I also take part in a weekly “5 Rhythms” dance. This has surprised me by the degree that I have come to love the way of dance as a doorway to access ecstatic states. Beyond fun!”

      Anyway, thanks again Guthry, good luck in your search!

  5. Terry

    Greetings

    I want to tell you that your website is amazing. I am experiencing the movement in my body, my kundilini is very active and my body spins and contorts and lifts up to where I am standing on my toes. it makes the four elements, the triangles and figures eights. octagons and hexagons and squares. it slithers like a snake. I have to keep a tight reign on it in public. if I just relax then it starts. I do have some people around me that understand but, when I am in the store or restaurant. I have to control the motions. I don’t want to but, I don’t want to be hauled off in a padded cell either.

    Thank you for confirming the information for me on this site.

    • Thanks Terry, for sharing your experiences with the Kundalini energies (see blog post, Kundalini Awakening – Connecting With Bliss Consciousness). Isn’t it interesting how the energy works, that it knows how to move through the body? It’s too bad, though, that these blissful pulsations are not well understood in modernized cultures. It’s a delicious predicament, for just like you, I find it difficult at times whilst in public to not twist and contort, dance and undulate in resonance with the flow of ecstatic energies. It’s as though the electrical circuits of the physical body at times are not large enough to house such tremendous voltage. But again, it’s a most delectable bind!

  6. Dear sir,
    I am shailendra k garg, currently living in Haridwar, India. I came across your blog about kundalini on net. It was worth reading it.
    Recently I am having some experiences of my own :

    1. Energy (hot) rushes from base of spine to crown.
    2. Feeling all my centers (Chakras) Spinning.
    3. Pressures in forehead, crown, heaviness in heart (sometimes breathlessness) like something is coming up.
    4. Elevated sexual desire, sometimes like floating in sea of sex where every woman around is just plain sexually attractive.
    5. Terrible depression followed by feelings of wellbeing and peace.
    So, the list goes on..

    But I can’t experience the BLISS that you have mentioned!. If it is kundalini, then what could be the reason possibly ?.

    Regards, Shailendra K Garg, (shailkgarg@gmail.com), India.

    • Thanks Shailendra for sharing your experiences with the Kundalini energies. I too have experienced many of the points that you have brought up. You haven’t mentioned your age, but if you’re still a young person (relatively speaking), everything (emotions, sexual desires, etc.) seems to get magnified when the Kundalini energies go through the bodily field. I can only speak from my own experience. Whenever I feel overwhelmed (whether Kundalini induced or not), the best way out of moods for me has been in creative play. I love to dance, play music, do art and write. Of course, the foundation for my day is meditation. Meditation is sustenance for my soul. It is not just a routine or “discipline” that I feel I “have” to do. It is a way for me to tap into the bliss current. Then, when I do creative play, the bliss vibration can always be felt, no matter what I am doing.

      You mentioned that you have been unable to experience the Bliss that I have written about. I believe it is often missed because it is so close to us. It is just beneath everything that we experience (pain, pleasure, sadness, joy, etc.). This is what I would suggest:

      1. Be gentle, gentle, gentle with yourself.
      2. Meditate. Whatever practice you are drawn to. Approach not as a discipline that you “have” to do, but rather as a play of deep listening and feeling.
      3. In all that you do, especially during meditation or creative play, feel for the finest, most subtle vibrations within the body.
      4. Allow yourself to feel and embrace all emotions (sadness, depression, lust, anger). Lots of energy here to play with!
      5. Allow the above feelings to be felt without the mental chattering (the stories) around them. Follow just the feelings as they arise and subside.
      6. Remember to BREATHE! And RELAX! And RELEASE all layers of beliefs and past traumas that no longer serve you!
      7. FEEL! FEEl! FEEL! But without the stories and mental attachments around the feelings.
      8. Follow the feelings to their source.
      9. Allow yourself to move and dance according to how the energy wishes to express in the body. Allow the body to take up any position or posture that it wants to. Then feel for the most subtle sensation. You may find a most delicate vibration of pleasure in any one of these postures.
      10. Very important! Have no expectations or assumptions of what you think Bliss “should” be. It can start as a most subtle and delicate vibration… but even then it can be recognized as most delicious!

      This is a start Shailendra. Thanks again!

  7. Thanks, Bruce. Your words are very inspiring, very down to the point.

    I have started writing about the process of learning to flow with your Higher Self in this blog:
    ainhoaperez.wordpress.com/

    I share it with you and your readers.

    With all my love,
    Ainhoa

  8. A bird, a Black Drongo brought me to your blog (I can explain that later if you wish to know) and what a find it has been! I am grateful to the bird and for your blog. 🙂

    • Thanks IsyLLiS, for visiting my blog. Would love to hear your story about the black drongo!

      • 🙂 Thank you! I saw this lovely black drongo on an African Tulip tree just outside my balcony. And I was writing a poem about her. I was trying to find a dance form that would resemble in some ways the delicate movement that I saw in her and that’s how I found your blog while trying to research. This in some ways validates my spiritual journey. Hope you have a lovely year-end and a beautiful, peaceful new year. I will keep coming back to your blog. Your overtone singing of Om-Ah-Hum is very intense!

  9. Naty

    Hello Bruce, your story reminds me Herman Hesse literature´s personage called Goldmundo. He was first a monk, but then he realized he was an artist in his heart and he decided to get back to the mundane life. He learns human love, he learns to make wonderful artist creation and he gets enlightment.
    Your messages of following heart and inner wisdom are really beautiful and truthful. Your life is a really good example of the power of love, of making real our own visions and walking our own way to happiness.
    Domo arigatou gozaimasu! (I´m second generation of Japanese too.)
    Blessing to you and your wife!

  10. Naty

    You are welcome Bruce. (It was worldly instead of mundane.)
    Okay, thank you, it would be good to discuss ideas with you all. Some things you write are similar to my homeopath teachings (he is Anthroposophie Doctor, a shaman too), he insisted to us that when the three soul forces (thought, feeling and will) are united and in harmony, the human being is healthy and happy. Illness is a lack of harmony between our heart and mind, they are polarized, and health is in the middle way.
    Blessings!

  11. Naty

    Happy Easter Bruce to you and your wife! Let´s build peace, love and happiness in our inner world.
    Gassho.

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