I had a chance to chat with Vivianne Nantel, a fascinating mystic with a new book, Becoming the Light, which I reviewed for this site. The book combines her own dramatic life story with the lessons, tools and hope to empower readers make their own journey to spiritual enlightenment.
What inspired you to write this book?
Since my late twenties, I had a deep inner knowing that I would write a book one day. This was prior to the severe depression I suffered, which almost took my life. Back then my suffering propelled my being to help alleviate the suffering endured by other people and by animals. When I went through my own darkness, a book like this one could have helped guide me, maybe even uplift me, by giving me hope, inspiration, direction, and spiritual guidance. I feel profoundly humbled and grateful to have this opportunity to share with all of you a gateway that may be beneficial to willing seekers.
Can you talk about your experience with advanced breast cancer, and how you used your own mind, body, and spirit to fight it?
I went thought my cancer journey so magically by the grace of the ascended masters and our Creator. I never saw myself fighting cancer. Fighting engenders contraction—not a conducive atmosphere for healing. Instead I embraced it as a spiritual ascension, which is what it became.
This insightful attitude invited healing, expansion of consciousness, immense gratitude, and joy through that difficult time. Also, the spiritual path I was on before my diagnosis, along with my daily yogic practices, prepared me by empowering my being in the face of death (especially while so many of my dear friends were dying).
In fact, my yogic practices have helped heal my being at all levels, and strengthen my inner power. In addition, my devotion, sense of abandonment, my intuitive guided meditations, my chanting of ancient mantras, daily sadhana, and devotion allowed the divine grace to flow. I also viewed my body as a temple — and still do. I treated it as such with the proper raw, organic, vegan alkaline diet, low-glycemic nutrients, and blessed liquids. I also used the power of ancient mantras, which can become like supernatural spells if used wisely.
At one point, I almost died from a severe anaphylactic shock reaction due to the intense chemotherapy. It is beyond a miracle that I am still here today. My being expanded in the most phenomenal way. Our spirit is ultimately the commander in charge, so to speak, along with our subtle body energy, which I talk about in depth in my book.
If we remain open, receptive, and in a total state of abandonment, our spirit knows how to use its power. We are all unique waves manifesting from the Supreme ocean of love. When we realize we are the infinite ocean, not a separate wave, we realize we never die.
Please talk about some of the most profound moments you experienced on your journey. How did they stay with you, and influence you?
Profound moments — joyful and painful — transform us, and allow us to go deeper. I have been blessed with many such moments, and they have several common threads: mystical, spiritual, and revelatory. Each one has helped me break free from self-imposed boundaries, conditioning, accumulations, and limitations. I will never forget when, as a child, I felt the spirit of the Virgin Mary.
I also recall vividly the transcendental moments I experienced during my interview with Dr. Larose while I was hospitalized after my suicide attempt. Another moment was when I experienced a Divine presence hovering over my body while I attempted suicide; and this same Spirit came to me several weeks later when I was hospitalized after my coma. This was very significant.
Another moment was the day of the tragic Alaska Airlines flight #261 plane crash, in which there were no survivors. My ex-husband and I were supposed to be on that flight, but at the last minute changed it to one departing a few hours later. This experience burst my bubble, and put me in a state of spiritual crisis. But it became a life-transforming experience by opening up a powerful new awareness. Everything I did thereafter was in pursuit of truth.
Also I’ve had many moments with all the masters I have been with, especially with Sadhguru, the Adi Yogi Shiva, and the Divine Mother.
How can this book help people suffering from chronic problems, such as depression or anxiety?
I hope they find inspiration and spiritual guidance that lead them to revelations and epiphanies, and feel uplifted. Most of the time the mind is our worst enemy and the cause of a lot of unnecessary suffering and pain. This book can become a gateway to willing seekers, even the start of a spiritual process.
Starting to see things as they are with clarity is enough to get a person out of suffering and on the way to rediscovering their true natural bliss (satchitananda). I feel that hearing and listening to someone who has gone through the darkness can help validate their own feelings and emotions, and see their lives more clearly. The wise ones learn from others who have been on the path.
Please talk about the nature of Samadhi — that trancelike state. How can one achieve it?
Samadhi must be experienced organically; one needs to be cautious not to pursue it, as this can become a huge roadblock on one’s spiritual path. It defeats the purpose of meditation!
Samadhi is a natural concentrated state, transcending the discriminatory mind. When one transcends the limitations of the mind, one gains a sense of equanimity and experiences a sense of oneness with existence.
There are approximately eight types of Samadhi, generally classified in two categories: Savikalpa are the types which the individual experiences—certain qualities such as ecstasy and bliss (even experienced in daily activities); and Nirvikalpa are experienced in a deep meditation (with open or closed eyes), and are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.
Time and space are constructions of the mind; in Samadhi, they do not exist. In Samadhi one is able to experience one’s own divinity free from boundaries and the chattering mind. It brings about a profound sensation of freedom, oneness, and elevation. Samadhi is probably the highest vibrational state of consciousness one can achieve while living in the physical body. One dissolves in nothingness, emptiness, yet in oneness.
Talk about the most profound teachers in your life. Who are they, and what have they taught you?
Everything in nature can become a teacher. They are many different kinds of teachings—social, scholarly-oriented spiritualism, ethic, yogic practices, etc. Truth can be relative or absolute; this is why truth often seems a paradox. Ultimately, spirituality is not something to be taught. We all have it inside. It is an energy; everything manifests the same supreme intelligent energy (Shakti). It needs to be awakened.
All the spiritual masters I have been with (Yogiraj Satgurunath, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and Sadhguru) have helped me realize and experience my divine nature, and along the way I became humble and lost the false sense of self. Even the short time I spent with Thich Nhat Hahn was insightful and profoundly beautiful. In addition, all of my animal companions, even wild animals and insects, have taught me compassion, and how to love unconditionally. As a result I realized how interdependent we all are, connected by the same thread.
What hopes do you have for this book in terms of its impact on people?
Ah. That is in the hands of the ascended masters and the Divine Mother. I hope it will call new people to a spiritual path, and transform the lives of willing seekers. Spiritual awakening is the call our planet needs right now, and raising consciousness.
Learn more about Vivianne Nantel (Devi) and her new book, Becoming the Light, at her website