Jac O’Keeffe is a spiritual teacher who pushes the boundaries of the conditioned mind and encourages her students to engage in her teachings with honesty, courage, and integrity.
People often conflate healing with awakening. Healing trauma does not necessarily lead to awakening, and awakening does not necessarily lead to healing. We are human and divine. Jac’s work is about integrating these parts. Awakening stalls at the level of personal experience if it is not brought forth into daily life. Jac’s teaching is about the rubber hitting the road.
She has become known for her clarity and direct manner. Students who come to Jac are dedicated and passionate about their spiritual lives, and appreciate the no-nonsense approach. She has led retreats, workshops, and private sessions with students for over ten years.
Jac’s personal spiritual journey was motivated by a movement that she felt arise from a place deeper than mind. Jumping into the unknown, Jac was driven to uncover Truth for its own sake. Her path was intense both physically and mentally as she challenged her habitual patterns and conditioning.
Post Awakening, Jac discovered the evolution of consciousness does not end with waking up. While many non-dual teachers say that enlightenment is the end goal, Jac inspires her students to go beyond the concept of consciousness itself. Absolute freedom and liberation is available deeper than all concepts, deeper than all identity, and deeper than existence itself.
A willingness and determination is imperative for the inquiry that the spiritual journey requires. Jac provides guidance, support, and an honest reflection for her students to see what blocks their own ability to live the deepest truth of their being.
By pointing them back to themselves and their innate wisdom, Jac empowers each individual in their own exploration, cultivating their inner guru as the ultimate authority in their evolution. Her students maintain their autonomy as they integrate their spiritual knowing with their lives in the phenomenal world.
Jac is also a founder of the Association for Spiritual Integrity (ASI). This organization encourages spiritual teachers and the community to support one another in a process of growth and spiritual development. It aims to develop a network of resources for those in a role of leadership and encourages continual self-reflection.
Jac has made her home on the coast of Florida where she lives with her husband Derek and enjoys getting back to the earth in her prolific vegetable garden.
To hear Jac's Awakening story, check out her Buddha at the Gas Pump interview.
Deeper than Nonduality
Jac's big shift in awareness did not end with seeing through identification with the personal "me" and realizing her true nature. There were still subtle concepts that were unseen which supported the idea that identification itself could be possible.
One morning in 2011, Jac woke up with a new clarity. She found herself saying out loud that the recognition of her true nature was underpinned by identification. She realized that by believing the idea she was "all of it" and "none of it" created a new concept of identity. Identification with the personal "me" had discreetly shifted to a more expanded identification with the totality, but it was identity nonetheless. This too was seen through and the concept of identification began to break down.
Encouraged by this new seeing, Jac dove deeper into her experience and began investigating for other concepts held on by the mind. These concepts arise early in the movement of consciousness and create the building blocks of pure consciousness. As a distance arose between where Jac was looking from and the concept of nondual identification she saw that the sense of vastness and spaciousness experienced from the nondual viewpoint was also based on a concept of space. Jac saw that space was the first concept in manifestation, and that concept also was seen through. The transcendence of space reveals that the capacity for consciousness to be conscious of itself (awareness aware of itself) is a creation arising from pure consciousness and it too falls away.
Deeper than space and dropping all identity any sense of "being" dissolved. Could any other concepts exist that were deeper than space or a sense of being? This led Jac to existence itself as a concept. The idea that existence "could be" was seen also. Existence was nothing more substantial than a thought. The building blocks of pure consciousness were weakening.
It is difficult to find words at this stage. There is an appearance of life, yet nothing ever happened at all holds true without contradiction. Jac encourages her students to develop spiritual maturity and wisdom by expanding their capacity to hold more points of view. The more points of view we can hold without paradox, without mystery, without contradiction, the more mature we are as spiritual and human beings. Jac points to deeper than nonduality and encourages others to go there. This has to (and can be) seen for yourself. Go there, beyond existence. And come back and tell Jac your realizations!