WDTA Rename

Dear fellow Waking Down practitioner,

As you may know, Saniel Bonder, founder of Waking Down, and Linda Groves-Bonder, co-founder of Human Sun Institute, were in legal negotiations with representatives of the Waking Down Teachers Association (WDTA) for about thirteen months, as part of their joint effort to restructure their formal relationships after an earlier grievance process in relation to Saniel. Part of those negotiations concerned the use of the Waking Down® and Waking Down in Mutuality® trademarks, which are held by Saniel and Linda. Recently, Saniel and Linda withdrew from and concluded those legal negotiations. In their communications they requested that the WDTA, after an unspecified reasonable transition period, discontinue their use of the terms “Waking Down” and “Waking Down in Mutuality” as primary brand names when presenting WDTA teachers and services. As a result, the WDTA has begun a process of renaming or “re-branding” their work, and in the interim, is continuing to use the brands.

Community reactions to this news have varied from surprise to disappointment, confusion, relief, optimism, and many more. Due to the sensitive legal nature of the negotiations, very little information about the process has been available to share with community members over these past many months. Now that the negotiations have ended, we at the Waking Down Community Network (WDCN) and Communities Living and Inspiring Mutuality (CLAIM) would like to help everyone get up to speed on the changes, and explore what they mean for our global WD community.

There have been two important community conference calls about this transition that we invite you to listen to the recordings of:

Community Conference Call with Saniel Bonder and Linda Groves-Bonder

Saniel and Linda have created a webpage that includes an opening letter, a recording of this call, and mentions additional follow-up community calls that they will be holding on July 21, August 13, and August 25, 2015. You can reach their page HERE.

On Wednesday July 8, 2015, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm Pacific, a community call with Saniel and Linda was hosted by Greg Aurand of CLAIM, and led by Margit Bantowsky, Richard Shapiro, and Eric Grace of the WDCN.

Our intention for the call was that it be informative, helpful, and ultimately relieving, even if in some ways the issues may be challenging. There were opportunities to hear from Saniel and Linda, as well as for the community to offer comments and ask questions.

Conference call highlights included: 

  • Historical context and an overview of the negotiation process and the relationships between Saniel, Linda, and the WDTA
  • What this change means for WD community groups & Facebook groups
  • How this news will impact WD core dharma & fundamental principles
  • When and how community members can use the terms, Waking Down or Waking Down in Mutuality
  • What this change means for your own awakening and integrating process
  • Saniel & Linda’s vision for the future of Waking Down
  • Q&A

If you have specific questions for Saniel & Linda, please send them to info@sanielandlinda.com.


WDTA-hosted Community Conference Call

The WDTA has created a “WDTA Transition Site”  where you can find a recording of this call, as well as the WDTA’s “Letter to the Waking Down Community,”  a FAQ sheet, and other resources.
On Sunday July 12, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm Pacific, the WDTA hosted a Community Update Call with presentations and Q&A. The WDTA sent a letter to the community on July 4 announcing this call.
The call was hosted by Cielle Backstrom, and presenters included Deborah Boyar, Gena Netten, Sandra Glickman, Max Goler, Michael Grossman, and Cielle Backstrom, and Margit Bantowsky for WDCN/CLAIM. The following topics were covered:
  • WDCN/CLAIM presentation
  • Renaming process overview
  • History & outcome of grievance process
  • History & outcome of licensing negotiations
  • Update from June 2015 WDTA retreat
  • Q&A

Community Conversation:

If you would like to participate in a community conversation about this transition, please join our  Community Forum.


New Name for Teachers Association:

In December, 2015, the Waking Down Teachers Association renamed itself the Trillium Awakening Teachers Circle. Click here for a more detailed description of the evolution of Trillium.



One thought on “WDTA Rename

  1. A Friend

    Just call the renamed body what it is:


    …SANIEL, for short. He can’t trademark that, and it would absolutely be a poke in the eye to test his conditioning! Meanwhile, he can keep his own new acronym:


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