About Us

The Awaken the World Team

Daniel J. Schmidt founded the not for profit Awaken the World Initiative in 2012. It’s purpose is to create films and materials which are made available for free in over 30 languages for the awakening of humanity. 

Daniel Schmidt

Daniel is the creator of the award winning film “Inner Worlds Outer Worlds” as well as the ongoing “Samadhi” film series. It is Daniel’s intention to convey the one perennial teaching that is inherent within all of the spiritual traditions. Daniel created the Samadhi Center in Ontario Canada and the Awakentheworld Initiative as an outer reflection of his inner world. His approach combines self-inquiry with traditional forms of meditation so that participants have the opportunity to simultaneously realize their transcendent nature, and to purify themselves of conditioned patterns so that the human vessel becomes permeable to their true nature. Daniel emphasizes that Samadhi can be experienced not merely as a temporary “state” but as a “stage” of development. The “pathless path” is to realize an ever-deepening development process within the self-structure, and to simultaneously realize the emptiness of the self-structure. When these are realized as one, it is Samadhi.

John Cross

John has practiced meditation since his late teens, and deepened his spiritual exploration through the mindful use of entheogenic plant medicines. Profound healing has, and continues to be experienced as ever deepening layers of his true nature are revealed. Living through mental health challenges and chronic pain has propelled John to dive deeply within himself to realize the source of life.

After decades of working with the breath, both in meditation and as a self-regulation tool, John experienced a transformational shift through an “Elemental Awakening Breathwork” class. This inspired him to train as a facilitator in this method, and he has been offering this experience for individuals and
groups since then. Since 2019, John has been working closely with Bwiti Iboga provider Michael Cassidy, assisting in traditional Iboga ceremonies, including coaching and integration work. Through engaging with Iboga, breathwork, and meditation, John continues to be reborn into this life anew, and is continually humbled to witness the same in countless others through working with these modalities.

Lilla Balint

Lilla Balint (Jungle Fairy) is initiated into the Missoko Bwiti tradition of Gabon by 10th generation shaman Moughenda Mikala and trained to provide Iboga Ceremonies to those who are called to the Medicine. She also facilitates the Iboga Microdosing aspect of the IAM Retreats here at Samadhi Center.

She holds great respect and love for this Spirit Medicine and a very special bond that can only be fully understood when one makes the decision to surrender to the Medicine and trust it wholeheartedly.

Her journey also entails creating heart-opening music that reflects her inner truth and essence. She co-creates songs with her talented partner Dan Schmidt, and together they express their hearts’ music with live improvisations that come to the surface from deep within their beings.

Alex Litardo

At the age of 15, the book Sidharta, by Herman Hesse, marked the beginning of Alex’s spiritual quest. During those years, the teachings of Jung, Krishnamurti, Huxley as well as entheogens and chemical experimentation briefly revealed powerful periods of communion with the whole, which marked his life forever. Immigrating to the States at the age of 20, studies, jobs, family obligations, and a digital imaging career unfortunately veiled his spiritual path for years. Towards the turn of the century, a conscious decision to simplify life and make his work activities independent, Alex refocused his exploration on the nature of reality and being. A revelation about the coherence between quantum physics and spiritual teachings fostered a resurgence of his inner quest, gaining deep understanding and insight through the consistent, interdisciplinary and powerful presentations of Dan’s teachings and guidance.  Today, Alex is profoundly grateful to be part of the ATW initiative, managing the development of online resources, communications and translation projects.

Jennifer Rennette

Jennifer is a spiritual counsellor with a background in transpersonal psychotherapy and Zen meditation. With over 20 years of counselling experience she has worked with individuals, families and communities (including indigenous and high-risk groups) dealing with trauma, grief, addictions and mental/emotional/spiritual dis-ease. Jennifer’s own journey began with a major loss at the age of 16 which led her on the “brutiful” (brutal and beautiful) path of Truth and Understanding. Through other losses and grief, illness and homelessness, these profound teachers have given her a deep understanding of what it means to move through the murky maze of human conditioning and into awakened consciousness. Jennifer uses the process of Heart Activation and The Way of the Heart as her guiding principle as she continues to dives deeper into “Is-ness” of life.

Interviews