Dr. Susan Shumsky is a highly respected spiritual teacher and award-winning author. She is the founder of Divine Revelation®—a unique field-proven technology for contacting the divine presence, hearing, and testing the inner voice, and receiving clear divine guidance. Dr. Shumsky is also a sought-after media guest and highly acclaimed professional speaker.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I was a hippie, living in the San Francisco Bay Area. The sixties were not just about sex, drugs, and rock n roll. Those of us who were flower children were seeking nirvana, the state of spiritual enlightenment. I was reading the Buddhist scriptures, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and books by Alan Watts. In Watts’ book, he said you need to find a “meditation guide.” In 1966 in Berkeley, California, you didn’t go to the Yellow Pages of the telephone directory and find “Meditation Guide” or anything remotely similar. So I asked a friend, “How do I find this “meditation guide”? He said, “Have you ever tried to meditate on your own? I said, “I’ll give it a shot. So I lay on my bed (that’s how clueless I was. I didn’t even know that you’re supposed to sit up when you meditate), and I sort of asked for or prayed for a “meditation.” Immediately I was propelled into an ecstatic state. I felt a cord or rush of energy, rushing from the tips of my toes all the way up to the top of my head. I felt I was plugged into an electric socket but in a most ecstatic way. I figured, “I guess this is meditation.” Little did I know that not only was this my first meditation experience. It was also my kundalini awakening, both at the same time, without any drugs or stimulants.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

That I can listen to the “still small voice” of divine guidance within and be led by Spirit in my everyday life.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Recommendations that make people dependent on the recommender. In other words, when professionals sell them one fish so they will always come back for more fish, rather than teaching them how to fish so they can catch their own fish themselves and don’t need to keep coming back to buy more.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

When I took my first LSD trip at age 18, I suffered a terrifying psychotic episode. I did not come down from the drug for weeks and months afterward, and I continued to have horrifying hallucinations. I came out of it by learning to meditate. What I learned from it is that drugs are not the path to enlightenment. Spiritual practice is.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Meditation.

What is your morning routine?

I don’t have a set routine. I go with the flow.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

I have practiced meditation daily since 1967, and I have practiced Scientific Prayer and affirmation daily since 1986. These have been the most beneficial practices that have profoundly transformed my life in positive, powerful ways.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

Writing books requires discipline. Happily, I learned discipline early in my life. So I just sit down, open the computer, and get the book done, without distractions. When you are an author, you have to be focused and dedicated to getting the work done, and you cannot let other things pull you away from that goal. You have to just sit in that chair and get it done.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda Paramahamsa was my introduction to the miraculous saints of India, including Ananda Mayi Ma. She was one of the many saints that I met personally in India, starting in 1970. I have visited India many times throughout my life and had the privilege of meeting many miraculous beings. The great immortal saint Babaji, who is described in that book as the “Yogi-Christ,” is my inner teacher who guides me daily. He has visited me in physical form several times.

Science of Being and Art of Living was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s first book. I ended up living in Maharishi’s ashrams throughout the world for two decades, and I served on his personal staff for six years.

Bhagavad Gita showed me what yoga really is. It is not an exercise in a gym. It is self-realization, which means the direct experience of who you really are—not who you thought you were.

Tao Te Ching is a spiritual classic that taught me the truths of life in the most succinct way.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

“The kingdom of God is within you.” — Jesus

“What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there’s a God, we must see Him and if there’s a soul we must perceive it. Otherwise, it’s better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.” — Swami Vivekananda

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” — Jesus

“I AM in control. I AM the only authority in my life. I AM divinely protected by the light of my being. I close off my aura and body of light to the lower astral levels of mind, and I open to the spiritual world. Thank you, God, and so it is.” — Susan Shumsky

“The path to enlightenment is not a path. It is a realization that you are already the goal.” — Susan Shumsky

“God is everywhere, and you are somewhere. Therefore, by definition, you must be where God is.” — Susan Shumsky