From The Bionic Woman to
the Quiet-Minded and Openhearted
LA Yoga Magazine
Published date: June 2011
Felicia M. Tomasko
Lindsay Wagner rose to prominence in
the hearts and attention of television
audiences in her Emmy Award-winning
portrayal of Jaime Sommers in "The Bionic
Woman". She went on to make more than 40
TV movies, five mini-series and 12 feature
films, and she continues to appear in cameos.
Along with her on-screen appearances,
she has a vivid interest in the advancement
of human potential and has always used
her voice to champion transformation and
holistic healing of mind, body and soul. In
addition to co-authoring a vegetarian cookbook
and other lifestyle titles, she is a lifelong
advocate for helping people heal from
domestic violence and child abuse and she
has a passion for environmental protection.
For the past six years, she has been teaching
workshops designed to help people see how
to overcome their personal challenges.
Felicia Marie Tomasko: Your commitment
to growth has been a lifelong area of study.
How did that begin?
Lindsay Wagner: By the time I was 19, I
had a severe case of ulcers and gallbladder
problems and the doctors at UCLA were
suggesting surgery. My boyfriend’s mother
was the personal secretary of Dr. Hornaday,
who was the co-founder of the Church
of Religious Science with the late Ernest
Holmes (now called Centers for Spiritual
Living). Dr. Hornaday helped me go
through a healing process that allowed me
to avoid the surgery. I was blown away by
the discovery that there was a lot we were
not learning in the mainstream. I was driven
by how I felt after learning meditation, visualization,
self-investigation and combining
this with prayer. I was learning to connect
much more deeply and consciously on a
spiritual level. I was observing my mind and
saw how my thinking processes and the flow
of the life force coming through me, resulted
in physical, mental and emotional health or
ill health depending on my perspective. In
1969, I became an avid student of the integration
of body, mind and spirit for health
and healing; it was my passion. Sometimes
people in the entertainment industry would
say, “Yeah, she just works here.” Then
there was the rest of growing up, starting
relationships and my career. All of a sudden
I was a global icon and that had its challenges.
There was no lack of stimulation for
In my life, I’ve been blessed with amazing
teachers. Any time I would ask the divine
to send me someone or something, a book,
person, or workshop would come. I even
nearly quit acting for a while to become a holistic practitioner; I studied homeopathy
and helped promote the American Holistic
Medical Association, who got in touch
with me because of the film, "The Incredible
Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel", my first
television movie after "The Bionic Woman".
I had worked with the writers on expanding
an eight-page treatment into a dramatic
metaphor about what was happening in
our culture between naturopaths and allopaths
on opposite ends of the spectrum.
There was a feeling as though never the
twain shall meet. This was heartbreaking
to me because there are wonderful things
on both ends and we need them all.
FMT: It sounds like this project was more
than just a film for you, that it was a way of
delivering a specific message and a means
by which you could unite your acting work
with your interests in holistic health.
LW: What always interested me about film
and television is the ability to tell a story
that would not only entertain but possibly
help someone. For me the passion is communication.
I am grateful for the good fortune
to have the power to choose my projects
and work with the scripts to enhance
the potency of the issues being explored in
the film. I was involved in so many true stories
because I love it when people transcend
their circumstances and are growing rather
than just surviving.
FMT: Even the role for which you became
known (The Bionic Woman) was about a
person who transcended her circumstances.
LW: In that situation, I was challenging the
writers and producers to go deeper with the
stories beyond the typical black and white,
good and bad cop in a skirt. I was happy
because everyone loved the challenges of
trying to make complex stories work within
the formula of the series, even when we
were under the gun because we were the
cutting edge technology at the time, with
a lot of stunts and usually only one camera.
Our workdays were sometimes 16 or
FMT: Seeing strong women on television
showed human potential and how we find
our inner strength. It seems as though you
were able to find a way to bring your different
LW: It was karmic. In television, they let me try things; they saw that the public liked
them, so we had the opportunity to make
movies on all sorts of topics which, up until
then, were “too controversial for TV”. It
was an interesting time in history.
FMT: That time of history has influenced
many people today.
LW: It was a cultural revolution; it was the time of the women's movement but
it wasn't just about women, it was about
bringing up more feminine consciousness
in our culture, seeing life situations from a
different perspective, looking at other ways
of problem solving beyond just winning. I
was glad I had the opportunity to be part of
that. It was an interesting time.
FMT: What has inspired you to step into
this role of teaching workshops?
LW: It feels like a natural transition. I’ve
always been communicating my ideas
through story and now I'm just doing it
more overtly, and that was a big challenge
for me at first. At one point, I took some
time off, gave myself time to go more deeply
into my spiritual studies and traveled
with my kids. Two years later, a friend who
was running a program in the LA County
Jail called “Bridges to Recovery” (for domestic
violence offenders), invited me to see
what she and her team had developed since
she knew I had been involved in public education
related to domestic violence and had
done the movie "Shattered Dreams", about a
woman who transcended her circumstances
rather than continuing to see herself as
just a victim. My family had struggled with
domestic violence and getting over the effects
of that was part of my own healing
journey. I thought I would visit for 20 minutes,
but stayed all day and cried my eyes
out, seeing 60 men having the passion and
courage to look at themselves, learn and
grow in this amazing program.
It was compassionate and nonjudgmental,
designed to empower people to take full responsibility
for their actions, explore their
conditioning, attitudes and habits and
learn true forgiveness for self and others.
They emphasized the fact that we have the
ability to grow out of patterns that don't
serve our life, regardless of what they are or
what we’ve done in the past.
I became deeply involved with the program
for six years and co-founded a support
group with one of the teachers for the
alumni of BTR. Our goal was to give them
and their families a safe place to continue
to grow individually and together. One
of the techniques we used was Emotional
Freedom Technique (EFT), extremely helpful
in releasing emotional charge that won’t
let you move forward. I also shared the
Oneness Blessing (Deeksha), a flow of energy
that balances the energy of the body
and has the capacity to quiet the mind and
open the heart.
We all fight about the same things; it’s
just that some people don't have a safety
switch. We unravel what is blocking the
safety switch. We all have self-esteem issues,
so much of the same pain and anger.
People who would come to observe the support
group would say, “Oh, I need to take
that program,” and would ask me when we
would do one for the public, so I started doing
small programs in my house that grew
by word of mouth. Then someone invited
me to do a workshop in another state and it
just became viral. In the past five years I’ve
been to at least six other countries. Lately
though, I’ve found myself becoming genuinely
interested in going back to the film
industry. I have some stories I’ve been carrying
around for a few years now that I’d
like to get made.
I’ve done a few guest appearances on the
sci-fi show "Warehouse 13" recently, where I
play the warehouse doctor and am actually
doing some of the EFT tapping as treatment
for the characters’ pain. Anybody who
knows EFT would have giggled if they had
seen the show. There I am planting seeds.
FMT: What is it that you hope to communicate
with your work in all arenas?
LW: That we are all more amazing than we
My prayer is that in one form or another
something sparks that awakening in people
along with the awareness that we are all
connected at a very profound level. When
we see and experience ourselves as so separate
from everything, we limit our ability to
bring through the life force or to draw in
what we need for our happiness. Once we
have a sense that we are a unique expression
of the whole then there is an experiential
knowing that the power that is driving
it all is accessible to us. That power implies
joy and peace and creativity.
Lindsay has released her first
meditation CD, "Open to Oneness",
which incorporates the Oneness
Blessing. She teaches “Quiet the
Mind & Open the Heart” workshops
around the world, including an
upcoming workshop August 12-14
in Palm Springs, CA.