Rebooting Our Innate Brilliance with Arjuna Ardagh

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Ardagh describes enlightenment as an on-going process rather than as an arrival at some fixed point. He shares the life path that has taken him through many self-improvement processes and many spiritual paths while searching for enlightened transcendence, including being a successful entrepreneur. It was as he was recovering from a catastrophic car accident that the “Brilliance Cycle” came to him. In this conversation Ardagh explores how to make the expression of our innate brilliance more predictable, less of a random accident and more of a probability. He gives us the visual of four quadrants of a clock. From noon to three are moments of awakening where time and space disappear; from three to six we are in the creative flow related to intention and manifestation; around six o’clock we enter shame and self-doubt and often there is a double-bind where any decision will result in harming yourself or others. We’ve been conditioned to repress these feelings. If you sit with these feelings of shame and self-doubt, from nine to twelve you will arrive at self-forgiveness and integration to complete the cycle. These four components are necessary for a brilliant life. He also adds that you can become addicted to parts of the cycle: “You just keep wanting to make yourself better instead of just realizing I’m good enough; in my brokenness I’m good enough to make a difference. You pursue another seminar, another self-help book, another method, another training, another diet to try and improve yourself which eventually becomes kind of hopelessly narcissistic. You can get addicted to any of these four phases. Or, you can equally go into reactional judgment to any of them which is the opposite of addiction because you think you don’t like a particular part of the cycle and you want to avoid it.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms) 


Arjuna Ardagh is a writer, public speaker and founder of the Awakening Coaching Training in Nevada City, California. It’s a training program dedicated to the awakening of consciousness within the context of ordinary life. 

Arjuna Ardagh’s books include: 

To learn more about the work of Arjuna Ardagh go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How Ardagh skirted past becoming a Hari Krishna and explored Transcendental Meditation instead
  • What was Ardagh’s addiction to self-improvement processes and spiritual enlightenment teachings which included travels to India
  • How Kute Blackson’s story of the transmission of healing inspired Ardagh to understand The Brilliance Cycle
  • Why we all must give up being a spectator to life and open ourselves up to our innate brilliance
  • How, when recovering from a catastrophic car accident he looked deeply into what would make a life well spent
  • How the Brilliance Cycle can be described in reference to the four quadrants of a clock
  • How poet and songster Leonard Cohen influenced Ardagh
  • What Ardagh learned as a single father when self-indulgence was not an option and only immediate action was called for to assist a sick child
  • How we are capable of greatness and are snapped out of our trance of self-indulgence to serve the greater good in these threshold times
  • Why we must be conscious of the beliefs that drive us and disrupt the unnecessary ones
  • What are his simple instructions are for sitting and doing nothing
  • How “waiting for grandmother” helps grace to show up in our lives 

Host: Justine Willis Toms            Interview Date: 8/8/2018               Program Number: 3654

Music Playlist

From Album: Roots
Artist: Laurie Z
1997 B000005I2R Zebra Productions, Inc. 

Opening Essay: Track 01 Stranger in a Familiar Land
Music Break 1: Track 06 The Mysterious Painter
Music Break 2: Track 06 From the Ashes
Music Break 3: Track 12 The River