Brennan Lagman (Pronouns: They/Them) also goes by the name Surya, which means “The Sun” in Sanskrit.
In 2020 they combined 11 years of experience as a Meditation teacher, mentor, guide, and coach to create ECM for success-driven freedom seekers in the mid-’20s to mid-’40s to unleash their authentic selves & learn the art of inner alignment through Energy Conscious Meditation (ECM).
Surya Posing with students during a retreat in Dalat, Vietnam, 2021
They also help you address overcoming stress, becoming more emotionally resilient to life situations that make you feel overwhelmed-- transmuting all of your conflicts and struggle into power and freedom for you.
Their mission is to give hope to people suffering from social conditioning, cycles of self-sabotage, and burnout from stress & anxiety by helping them implement the ECM process in their lives so they can finally find relief within their bodies and learn to love and express themselves freely and authentically through any circumstances.
From left: Mandala Wellness, Vietnam 2018; Queen Mary’s University, London 2015; Hampstead Heath, 2015, VFS Global Headquarters, Vietnam 2020.
Since then they have dedicated their life to sharing this gift, traveling around the world teaching meditation to thousands of people in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
This is the story of Surya.
The Awakening of Surya
The year 2009 left its mark upon my soul. It was the year that I had my very first spiritual awakening. Until that point, I was a lost, confused, and homeless 19-year old college dropout, deep in the closet, whose family had lost everything in the recession.
I was completely shattered, unable to feel there was any beauty or hope left for my life.
While I was washing dishes for minimum wage, I was surviving off of discarded food, hot pockets, and dollar menus. In between shifts, I was drowning my sorrows in ecstasy and alcohol.
One day, I ingested so many substances I blacked out and woke up so weak I could barely move. At that point, I realized that if I did not make serious changes, I could lose my life.
So I called my mom and asked her to show me how to meditate over skype. She had learned this method of meditation called Sahaja Yoga, as taught by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. She called me and walked me through the Sahaja Yoga process to awaken this life force energy within me and then...it happened…
For the very first time in years, I felt...alive. It was so subtle, yet powerful.
Right then and there all of my troubles seemed to dissolve into a sense of complete stillness.
This experience was so magical, I knew that it was one of the most defining breakthroughs of my life, and I couldn't go back from there.
That’s why the very next day I immediately made the decision to change my life: I stopped taking drugs and alcohol and dove headfirst into mastering my thoughts, emotions, and energy through this practice.
fast forward nine months and I found myself an advanced meditation practitioner and budding teacher thousands of miles away in Italy at a meditation conference where I stood up for the first time on a stage in front of 1,500 people and spoke about my passion for meditation.
In that auditorium of people from every continent, I realized that I had this superpower: The light of my Passion could move an entire crowd of hundreds to thousands of people to feel the magic of Meditation within them.
And that is why Shri Mataji gave me the name Surya, which means “the Sun” in Sanskrit.
I quickly understood to honor my namesake, I had a duty to share this gift with the world.
So what did I do with that gift? I dedicated my life fully to the practice.
I spent 6 years traveling the globe, teaching meditation classes, workshops, etc. to help thousands of people across Asia, Africa, Europe, the UK, and the USA to get out of that similar darkness I was in years ago and achieve their own inner light at the end of the tunnel.
Here are some of the things I accomplished in that time
► I recorded a guided meditation played live on the roof of the world - The Eiffel Tower in Paris.
► I co-organized countless international meditation retreats, seminars, and courses in 9 countries.
► I lead meditation workshops at world-renowned universities in the USA, Africa, and the UK.
► I volunteered with Meditate to Regenerate to teach meditation to marginalized populations in Jordan.
► I taught meditation to the staff at UNICEF, Save the Children, Sisterhood is Global, and more.
Brennan addresses a crowd at University of Ghana
Despite what toxic spirituality teaches us about “everything is light,” wherever light shines, a shadow is also cast.
I learned that the hard way while traversing my dark night of the soul.
Regardless of my success as a spiritual leader, I was hiding many secrets. I wanted people to believe I was perfect; that meditation and spirituality turned my challenging life into a life of rainbows and lilies.
But it was kind of a lie...and keeping up this lie was hard work
► I woke up at 5 am and meditated tirelessly, every day, trying to cleanse myself of imperfections, feeling guilty for messing up my routine.
► I worked so hard on balancing my energy that I closed myself off to anyone or anything that wasn’t “love and light”.
► I became dogmatic and religious about my spiritual views, and would not budge for anyone.
► I alienated friendships because I thought I was better than everyone who didn't meditate like me.
► I tried my best to please and impress everyone in my spiritual community by being perfect and hiding my flaws.
► I dedicated every ounce of my free time and energy to teaching meditation to everyone I could...all completely free of charge.
Still...no matter how much I tried
► I struggled with crippling anxiety..
► I battled excruciating depression and loneliness
► I was tormented by my closeted confusion about my gender and sexuality.
► I was haunted by deep wounds from my childhood.
► I remained incredibly limited by my own subconscious fears and self-limiting beliefs.
► I imprisoned myself with an overwhelming sense of shame and fear of rejection.
So in 2016, after years of hiding, I decided to take a leap and tell the truth to the world: that I am an imperfect human with things I struggle with, despite meditating.
On top of that, I bravely decided to announce to the world those terrifying words: I am gay
And in the blink of an eye, I lost my spiritual community, my meditation practice, and the light that had shone so brightly for nearly a decade.
Consumed in cold darkness and pain, I moved thousands of miles away to Vietnam, where I completely abandoned meditation and spirituality for a couple of years.
In those years, I reverted back to that same 19-year old in 2009 who was drowning in suffering.
► I was in survival mode
► I hated myself
► I hated my job
► I resented the world
► And I unconsciously sabotaged every single connection that entered my life
The Reward Of The Journey - Surya’s Transformation
After a couple of years of darkness, I moved into the apartment building called “The Sunhouse” in Ho Chi Minh City. Before The Sunhouse, I was always in someone else’s space, dependent on their acceptance to stay.
Thanks to my deep fear of rejection, I spent years sacrificing myself for belonging, approval, and affirmation.
Even though I had already achieved the most profound states of meditation, I didn’t know how to be with me. Not just the good parts..but my shadows, my darkness, and my wounds, too.
Moving to my studio in Sunhouse was like the Universe put me in my own little bubble so I would stop trying to find myself in outside people, places, and experiences. With this new sacred space, I could dive deep within, build a map to the landscape of my subconscious, and unlock my true powers.
Without belonging to a specific practice or having to follow anyone’s rules, I got to explore whatever I wanted. Sunhouse became my spiritual playground where I experimented with new modalities such as tarot & oracle cards, shamanism, other forms of yoga, hypnotherapy, reiki, and more.
In solitude, I dove deep into my psyche, my body, and my soul-- combining 10-years of practice to heal vast wounds and unearth parts of myself that had slept for what felt like many lifetimes.
I was able to access realms of consciousness that connected me with my ancestors, spirit guides, and databases of spiritual information that exist in realms only accessible through highly advanced meditation.
In that inner world, I uncovered my true self: a mystical, magical, gender-expansive queer warrior of radical love, who cannot be contained in any boxes. A powerful being who is here to break boundaries, help people remember their magic, and awaken to the parts of them that have been lost, asleep, or neglected.
With time, I experienced exponential powers, visions, spiritual insights, and downloads far beyond anything I had ever experienced before. I combined the wisdom of my journey with these tools to create a multi-dimensional meditation regimen that was completely unique.
In those three years of solitude, Surya, the real, raw, and unfiltered version began to emerge.
And with authenticity as their sword, they were far more powerful than ever before.
I knew it was finally time to return to my life’s work of helping people uplift themselves from within.
So, in 2019 I left my job and became an Accredited life coach through The Coaching Masters.
A year later, I created my first 10-week meditation course, packing it with all of my 11-years of spiritual wisdom... and ECM was born.Work With Me
How Surya and ECM Are Helping People These Days
Surya in The Sunhouse days before coming out as Gender Fluid, 2021
These days, Surya dedicates all of their heart and soul to helping trapped freedom seekers in their mid 20’s to mid- 40’s access true inner liberation.
They walk alongside people like Maria from Estonia, Mario from Colorado, Tracy from California, Susan from Scotland-- and countless others-- as they learn to shine a light into their darkness to bravely love and embrace all parts of themselves, too.
Surya realized that many meditation and spiritual practices have become tools for people to escape their humanity. To run away from unresolved issues, ignore life’s challenges, and shame others and ourselves for experiencing normal human emotions such as anger or grief-- all in the name of ‘love and light’.
So ECM is about awakening to all parts of yourself--the good, the bad, the bold, and the beautiful, and the feeling of how they all fit perfectly into the puzzle of YOU.
To shine your light bright while fearlessly loving yourself despite your shadows, shortcomings, and self-limitations.
And to finally have the power to transmute your vices into your most powerful weapons in the fight for true personal freedom and radical self-love.
Surya uses the wisdom of their own epic journey from crippling darkness to true inner freedom to be a guiding light to help you use your Life Force Energy to overcome stressful situations and become more resilient to hardship and any other life situation that might make you feel overwhelmed-- turning what were once bars on your inner prisons into power and freedom for you.
Their mission is to give hope and inner liberation to people suffering from past wounds and social conditioning by helping them implement the ECM process in their life no matter how busy they are so they can finally find relief within their bodies and learn to love themselves, master their energy, express freely, and release their authentic self every single day.