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  • 02:12:06

    450. Anne Baring - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Anne Baring, born 1931. MA Oxon. Jungian analyst. Author and co-author of 7 books. The ground of all her work is a deep interest in history and the spiritual, mythological, shamanic and artistic traditions of different cultures. Her website is devoted to the affirmation of a new vision of reality and the challenges facing us at this crucial time of choice. It includes her many talks, lectures and seminars as well as interviews and talks on YouTube.

    Books:

    The Dream of the Cosmos
    The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image
    The Divine Feminine: Exploring The Feminine Face of God Around The World
    The Mystic Vision: Daily Encounters with the Divine
    Soul Power: An Agenda for a Conscious Humanity

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded April 14, 2018.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:17:00

    449. Terry Patten - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Terry Patten is a philosopher, teacher, activist, consultant, social entrepreneur, and author. Over the last fifteen years he has devoted his efforts to the evolution of consciousness by facing, examining, and healing our global crisis through the marriage of spirit and activism. He co-wrote the book "Integral Life Practice" with Ken Wilber and a core team at the Integral Institute. As a teacher and consultant, he has worked on four continents, led a team at the HeartMath Institute that developed their first heart rate variability monitor, and is the founder of the “Beyond Awakening” teleseminar series. As a community builder, he founded Bay Area Integral. As a social entrepreneur, he founded Tools For Exploration, a consciousness technologies company, and currently, he's involved in restorative redwood forestry and fossil-fuel alternatives. His new book "A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries--A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change" was released by North Atlantic Books on March 6th, 2018. Terry is also co-author of Integral Life Practice: A 21st-Century Blueprint for Physical Health, Emotional Balance, Mental Clarity, and Spiritual Awakening.

    Website: terrypatten.com

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded April 7, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

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  • 01:34:47

    448. Andrew Newberg - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Andrew B. Newberg, M.D. is currently the Associate Director in Charge of Research at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in Philadelphia. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University and he is adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Newberg has been particularly involved in the study of mystical and religious experiences, a field referred to as “neurotheology”. He has also studied the more general mind/body relationship in both the clinical and research aspects of his career including understanding the physiological correlates of acupuncture therapy, meditation, and other types of alternative therapies.  He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and chapters on brain function, brain imaging, and the study of religious and mystical experiences.

    Books:

    He is the author of the new book entitled, "Neurotheology: How Science Can Enlighten Us About Spirituality" and is also the co-author of
    “How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain: The New Science of Transformation”.
    He is the co-author of the best selling books, “How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist” (Ballantine) and,
    “Why God Won't Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief” (Ballantine).  And he is the author of several academic books including,
    “The Metaphysical Mind: Probing the Biology of Philosophical Thought”;
    “Principles of Neurotheology (Routledge Science and Religion Series)” (Ashgate); and co-author of
    “The Metaphysical Mind: Probing the Biology of Philosophical Thought” (Fortress Press). The latter book received the 2000 award for Outstanding Books in Theology and the Natural Sciences presented by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences.

    He has also produced a 24 lecture video program entitled, “The Spiritual Brain,” for The Teaching Company. He has presented his work at scientific and religious meetings throughout the world and has appeared on Dr. Oz, Good Morning America, Nightline, 20/20, CNN, ABC World News Tonight as well as in nationally distributed movies: “What the Bleep Do We Know!?”; Bill Maher’s “Religulous”; and “AWAKE: The Life of Yogananda”.    His work has been featured in a number of media articles including in Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, Discover, O Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London Observer, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Readers Digest. Additional information regarding books and research can be found at www.andrewnewberg.com.

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded March 31, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:04:02

    447. Lama Tsomo - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Lama Tsomo is an American lama, author, and co-founder of the Namchak Foundation. She followed a path of spiritual inquiry and study that ultimately led to her ordination as one of the few American lamas in Tibetan Buddhism. Lama Tsomo learned Tibetan to study with her teacher Tulku Sangak Rinpoche, and now shares the teachings of the Namchak lineage in the US and abroad. Lama Tsomo holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology and is the author of the award winning Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? An Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice. She is passionate about reaching young people and supporting those working for positive social change.

    Website: namchak.org

    Books:

    Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?: A Westerner's Introduction and Guide to Tibetan Buddhist Practice
    The Lotus & the Rose: A Conversation Between Tibetan Buddhism & Mystical Christianity

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded March 25, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:03:46

    446. Atreya Thomas, 2nd Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    “When we awaken the ego does die, but it is not what many think. The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, dies to its old form and can never go back to being a caterpillar. Yet, if you look closely, the main body of it still retains its caterpillar form. As we empty our minds and turn towards the Absolute in loving devotion, we become filled with Divine Grace that takes the form of insight which is very personal, and energizing. If we remain with this energy for a bit and not give into the impulse to give it away or share, we develop a secret relationship with the Self. This relationship then gives birth to even deeper truths as we stand completely alone. It is this secret devotional relationship with truth that brings down the final Grace that completes a human being and awakens the heart.”

    Atreya Thomas, author of Revealing the Absolute, Awakening into a Complete Human Being; and Revealing the Christ, is an extra-ordinary teacher who grew up in the inner cities of New Jersey; and writes as he speaks. Having cut his own path from outside any particular “school,” he speaks from experience free of dogma, and the results are fresh and enlivening; while bringing a unique urban style. His own life combines the duties of householder, devotee, and teacher in a lifestyle that focuses on being awake in the midst of ordinary life.

    Atreya Thomas is a father of five children whom were all adopted through foster care. He continues to foster drug exposed newborns with his wife in California and works closely with underprivileged communities. Atreya holds Satsangs where invited, works as a preschool teacher, studied Medicinal Qigong for 20 years, and holds a degree in Psychology.

    Website: atreyathomas.com

    Book: Awakening into a Complete Human Being: Merging the Outer with the Inner Most Self

    First BatGap interview with Atreya.

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded March 17, 2018.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:57:45

    445. Swami Sarvapriyananda - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Swami Sarvapriyananda has been appointed as Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York, and assumed his duties there on January 6, 2017.

    Prior to this, he served as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months, beginning on December 3, 2015.

    Swami joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before being posted to the VSSC’s Hollywood Temple, Swami served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math. He has served the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in various capacities including being the Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College at Belur Math, and the first Registrar of the Vivekananda University at Belur Math.

    Website: vedantany.org

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

    Interview recorded March 3, 2018.

  • 01:54:26

    444. Kimberly Braun - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Kimberly Braun, Minister, M.A., CSP and Meditation Coach has been impelled from and within her contemplative experiences from the age of 5, with over ten of her years spent as a Carmelite monastic nun. Her Masters in theology was completed in 2001 in Washington D.C., and is concentrated upon the adult spiritual journey. As a CSP, keynote presentations are a primary tool in her personal mission to inspire others to live from the power and wisdom within them. Her style is playful, deeply inquiring, and intelligent in the synthesis of not only how to access this part of ourselves, but how to live from that place more consistently. She is a retreat and workshop facilitator, TEDx speaker, meditation faculty at the renowned Omega Institute, and fellow seeker on the path to living freely. She has three CDs and a book now available about her time as a nun, Love Calls: Insights of a Former Carmelite Nun.

    She is just launching into the online world with her World Meditation for Happiness project, new online courses, and a FREE online spiritual community.

    Kimberly is now available for private sessions, keynotes, and retreats. Stay in touch by visiting: www.kimberlybraun.com.

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded Feb. 24, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:09:17

    443. Shakti Caterina Maggi - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Shakti Caterina Maggi has been sharing a message of awakening to our true nature as One Consciousness since 2003, with workshops and meetings held in Italy, Europe, and around the world.

    Although in the vein of the Advaita and non dual tantric tradition, Shakti shares a very contemporary approach to self-realization and reveals the real possibility of seeing what we are and embodying it in our everyday life with clarity, wisdom and humor.

    The first glimpses and non-definitive openings to the Self and the true nature of reality began to occur for her at a very early age. At around 27, these temporary windows of our true nature brought her to a state of great inner openness, without having the cognition that what was happening was called “awakening” or “enlightenment” in other cultures.

    In January 2003, while working as a financial reporter in Milan, she had the first experience of kundalini awakening.

    “Everything vibrated from its infinite nature: my body, the room, the bed I was on were all a unique vibration of love that expanded and dissolved itself in a space without borders. I was myself and at the same time I was no longer me, Existence itself was my nature. After about two hours everything disappeared into nothingness and I was surprised to wake up in the morning still alive. Honestly, I was certain I was going to die that night. Now there was something vast and completely silent that looked at a funny little me, acting like a cartoon character, moving but also loving. “

    For the first time, she realized she needed a spiritual guide. Knowing that all this had occurred without her conscious desire or intentional action, she simply waited for life itself to deliver someone able to clarify what was unfolding. Each prayer became a simple “amen”, may thy will be done, in the recognition that existence itself, and the Divine through it, always carried what was truly needed.

    Four months later, she met Bodhi Avasa in a satsang in Milan, and after only five days she encountered a definitive experience of self-recognition.

    “I suddenly realized that Caterina had never existed. It was just a thought of My Mind, and that My Mind was the Divine Mind. No separate identity existed, but only a single Self, empty and aware, from which Existence itself was born as in a dream. “

    It took a few months for this quantum leap to stabilize, as mind and body were traversed by profound and transformational understandings. Avasa’s guidance supported her in crossing through those energetic phenomena without attaching to any of them, and in developing an understanding that could erase the fear that emerges in this integration process.

    Encouraged by Avasa, she soon thereafter started to share her experience, although it was only in 2011 that she began to hold true satsang. The process of integration of the awakening, and purification from what Ramana Maharshi referred to as vāsanas (latent tendencies), required several years, allowing her to develop a deep understanding of the path that takes place after awakening and its integration into daily life.

    Since then, many people have met her and recognized the vast and transformative reach of such a simple and direct message.

    Website:

    Homepage in Italian
    Homepage in English
    Facebook
    YouTube

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded February 15, 2018.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:45:34

    442. Paul Selig - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Paul Selig is considered to be one of the foremost spiritual channels working today. In his breakthrough works of channeled literature author and medium Paul Selig has recorded an extraordinary program for personal and planetary evolution as humankind awakens to its own divine nature.

    Paul was born in New York City and received his master’s degree from Yale. A spiritual experience in 1987 left him clairvoyant. As a way to gain a context for what he was beginning to experience he studied a form of energy healing and began to “hear” for his clients. Described as “a medium for the living,” Paul’s unique abilities have been featured on ABC News Nightline, Fox News, the Biography Channel series The UneXplained, Gaiam TV’s Beyond Belief and the documentary film Paul & The Word.

    Paul offers channeled workshops internationally. He serves on the faculty of The Omega Institute, The Kripalu Center and the Esalen Institute. Also a noted playwright and educator, he served on the faculty of NYU for over 25 years. He directed the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College for many years, and he now serves on the college’s Board of Trustees. He lives in New York City where he maintains a private practice as an intuitive and conducts frequent livestream seminars.

    Books:

    I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man's Self in a Transitioning Time
    The Book of Love and Creation: A Channeled Text Audio version
    The Book of Knowing and Worth: A Channeled Text
    The Book of Mastery: The Mastery Trilogy: Book I
    The Book of Truth: The Mastery Trilogy: Book II

    Website: paulselig.com

    Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded February 9, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:57:41

    441. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Sadhviji was raised in an American family in Hollywood, California and graduated from Stanford University. She was completing her Ph.D. when she left America in 1996 to come and live permanently at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India. She has been living there for the last twenty-one years, engaged in spiritual practice and dedicated service.She was officially initiated into the order of Sanyas (monastic renunciation) in the year 2000, by her Guru, His Holiness Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji.

    Sadhviji is a renowned speaker who gives keynote addresses at large forums, on a wide variety of topics ranging from conscious business to science and spirituality to sustainable development to the keys of happiness and peace in life to all aspects of yoga. She has also been a featured speaker at the United Nations, Parliament of World Religions and many international conferences and summits. Her talks blend the knowledge and logic of the West with the insights, spirituality and wisdom of the East, and she is renowned as a spiritual bridge between the two cultures.

    She has also received numerous national and international awards and recognition.

    At Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, where Sadhviji lives most of the year, she gives daily spiritual discourses and satsang, teaches meditation, provides counseling and oversees myriad charitable and humanitarian projects and activities.
    Sadhviji is:

    Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, an international interfaithorganization dedicated to bringing clean water, sanitation & hygiene to the children of theworld.
    President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a foundation dedicated to bringing education and empowerment to women and children which runs free schools, vocational training programs and empowerment programs.
    Director of the annual world-famous International Yoga Festival at Parmarth which has been covered in Time Magazine, CNN, New York Times, Le Monde and other prestigious publications.

    Sadhviji has a Ph.D in Psychology and was the Managing Editor for the monumental project of the 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism.

    Websites:

    Sadhviji.org (personal site)
    Sadhviji's TED talk
    @SadhviBhagawatiSaraswati (Sadhviji's Facebook page with announcements of events, videos, etc.)
    @ParmarthNiketan (Parmarth's Facebook page where they stream Sadhviji's satsangs live daily when she is in town.)
    Youtube channel with all of the videos of Sadhviji's lectures (and also a lot of other good stuff...)
    Twitter: @SadhviBhagawati

    Book: Vegetarianism: For Our Bodies, Our Minds, Our Souls & Our Planet

    Interview recorded February 6, 2018.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:36:31

    440. Richard Schoeller - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    One night in 1997 Richard Schoeller thought he was dying because he found himself surrounded by both sets of deceased grandparents. They reassured him that it wasn’t his time to join them in the afterlife and that their visit was to help him understand that he could now "see them." Who could ignore a visit like that? Richard had to learn more about what had just happened, so he began taking classes and researching the ability to communicate with those who have passed into spirit.

    Richard is now an ordained Spiritualist minister, Certified Medium, Commissioned Spiritualist Healer.

    Aside from being a member of the Lily Dale Assembly, he served on the Board of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) for six years, and he is currently the Vice President of the International Spiritualist Federation and a Director and Teacher with the Inner Spiritual Center in Wayne, New Jersey.

    Richard has taught classes and demonstrated mediumship in England, Holland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany as well as served a number of Spiritualist churches and centers throughout the United States.

    It gives him great pleasure to be of service and to provide information to his clients that help them to come to and understanding that life and love continue after the change known as death.

    Website: sacredmessages.com

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group

    Interview conducted February 4, 2018.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:56:42

    439. Michael Speight - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    When I was 11 years old our school took a bus trip to the local library. While most of the children were off exploring the mysteries of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, for some reason I found myself in the row of books called Philosophy and Religion.

    I recall pulling a hardbound book off the shelf and directly opening it to an old black and white photograph of the Portola Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. At that moment, it was as if all my breath was sucked out of me and my mind went totally quiet. Somewhere in the depth of my being, I knew I was looking at a very familiar place, one that I may once have called home. I stood there for a very long time just staring at that photograph.

    Then, like a starving young man having a meal laid before him, I hurriedly began to devour the book. When it was time to leave the library and head back to school, I took the book with me to the check-out counter. What followed was a pitched battle with my teacher and the librarian on one side, and one very determined boy on the other. In the end, I got to take the book home.

    That book changed my life. At the time, I took the descriptions of a world rarely seen to be real mysticism. With great determination and passion, I began reading everything I could get my hands on about Tibet, its culture, and spiritual teachings. Thus, began a lifelong pursuit for of spiritual insight and knowledge mystical experience.

    In my youthful naivety, I also began what I deduced as a meditation practice from stories in the book. This practice was quite complex and involved sitting quietly in the lotus posture with my spine perfectly straight while emptying my mind of everything. Then, with eyes closed, the idea was to develop a specific color spot in my field of vision at, what one might imagine to be, an arm’s length away, and then start spinning it into other colors, all while keeping all thoughts at bay. I would do this at night after having gone to bed, or during the day when no one else was home. As you might imagine it was a difficult exercise, however, for short periods of time, I began to experience gaps in my thought pattern.

    Then it happened. After about four years of practicing my meditation, one day I was sitting quietly and deep into it, when the bottom dropped out. No mind, no thought—just a great expanse. When the experience ended, I felt the most amazing deep sense of happiness bliss. This bliss we might describe as “the peace which passeth understanding”.

    I didn’t know it at the time but I had transcended and experienced the basis of all life that which is complete fullness yet contains nothing. This is sometimes called non-abiding Samadhi.

    The problem was my meditation practice was extremely difficult and required great effort and time to achieve the effortless state. I began to search for something easier. My readings led me to try Zen, which, while intellectually satisfying yielded no repetition of the state of no thought only pure awareness. I tried several other practices and even religions until one day I received a phone call that was to be another turning point in my life.

    My best friend had gone off college and suggested that I leave my job with the Forest Service and continue my education. I think he just wanted someone to share the rent with but it got me there.

    When I arrived on campus to find Maharishi Mahesh Yogi teaching a course about meditation and training young men and woman like me how to teach Transcendental Meditation, a mantra-based meditation practice. I snuck into his lectures and listened attentively and knew this was the spiritual practice I had been seeking.

    At the advice of my new friends, I went to ask Maharishi if he would personally teach me. Maharishi was rarely on time anywhere and I waited outside his door a long time for him to emerge. When he finally came out the door there were a number of people waiting like me, some to ask a question, some pay their respects.

  • 01:57:51

    438. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D. - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Kavitha Chinnaiyan, MD, is a cardiologist, meditation teacher and tantrika. She became drawn to the Direct Path through the teachings of Greg Goode and Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, and has studied yoga, Sri Vidya Sadhana, Vedanta and Tantra through the teachings of Chinmaya Mission, Sri Premananda, Sally Kempton, Paul Muller-Ortega and Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswati. She blends her expertise in cardiology with her knowledge of Ayurveda, yoga, Vedanta, Tantra, and the Direct Path in her approach to healing, enabling patients to discover bliss amid chronic illness. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, MI.

    She is the author of

    Shakti Rising: Embracing Shadow and Light on the Goddess Path to Wholeness (2017) and
    The Heart of Wellness: Bridging Western and Eastern Medicine to Transform Your Relationship with Habits, Lifestyle, and Health(2018).

    Website: kavithamd.com

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group

    Interview recorded January 20, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:45:37

    437. Natalie Sudman - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Natalie Sudman is an author, artist and psychic intuitive. Natalie worked as an archeologist in the Great Basin states for 16 years before accepting a position managing construction contracts in Iraq. In 2007 Natalie was injured by a roadside bomb. During this incident she had a near-death experience that she details in her book Application of Impossible Things. After recovering from her injuries, Natalie retired from government service to concentrate on art and writing, both long-time passions. Raised in Minnesota, Natalie has lived most of her adult life in eastern Oregon, Montana, and South Dakota. She now lives in southern Arizona.

    Website: nataliesudman.com
    Facebook Page
    Book: Application of Impossible Things: A Near Death Experience in Iraq

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded January 14, 2018

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:01:01

    436. Sperry Andrews - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Whether one-on-one, serving on a team, or as a group facilitator, I love sharing experientially and insightfully. My background is in physics, neuroscience, philosophy, (para)psychology, art and art history, healing, mysticism, and filmmaking. For over thirty years, I have explored two-way telesomatic awareness with hundreds of groups internationally, contributed to original laboratory research in the field of distant mental influence (DMILS), published essays on the origins of primordial consciousness and its evolution in space over time--forming and un-forming matter and energy - mind and body.

    From an N.D.E. at four to founder/co-director of the Human Connection Institute, advisory board member of the Lifeboat Foundation and director of group intelligence on the faculty of the Vetha Center for Transdisciplinary Studies, I have designed and implemented educational programs to help shift the separative ‘mind-set’ of humanity. It is my sense of nature's intentions that our interconnectedness is meant to be felt and thought—intuitively--by every human being.

    By sharing the experience of being a single body, heart and mind--with thousands of individuals--I’ve witnessed, inter-subjectively as well as objectively, that any interested and willing person can experience and share a commonly-sensed unconditionally-loving intelligence. This alternative way of being is readily learned and lived in everyday life. It has guided participants to achieve and maintain experiences of a 'Collective Self.' My research has also confirmed that 'this' can happen rapidly and reliably—even with total strangers.

    I have given invited presentations on human interconnectedness and the Human Connection Project at the United Nations, World Business Academy, Duke University, University of Connecticut, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach. My articles have appeared in Frontier Perspectives, Alternative Therapies, Exceptional Human Experience, and Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy.

    I currently orchestrate a large-scale, spiritually-inspired, multinational, scientifically-based, media (HC) project to help facilitate humanity's imminent leap into collective enlightenment.

    The Human Connection Project (HCP) was initiated to present life-changing, scientifically derived images of our interconnectedness via news reports, print media, talk show formats, feature documentaries, and dramatic films--to offer an alternative to the current (mainstream) scientific worldview in which we are considered psychically and physically isolated from one another, as well as separate from our origination in Nature.

    Experiences of ‘unity consciousness’ are being offered online as the next step in social media. I have a project - now underway - to offer ‘all of us’ access to our combined intelligence and spiritual unity - 24/7 in multiple languages around the clock.

    My interest in consciousness-for-its-own-sake began in a childhood near-death experience. Unable to avoid feeling that everyone and everything is connected, led me into meditative and contemplative visioning, including healing and teaching work. I was formally educated at Antioch College, Maryland Art Institute, New School for Social Research, the University of Australia, in Hobart, Tasmania, State University of New York and City College, San Francisco.

    As a visual artist, I have painted and shown my work in many parts of the world, including a period of four years in Australia and a year in South America. My paintings are owned by both public and private collections internationally.

    Website: connectioninstitute.org
    Mission statement of the Human Connection Institute
    Testimonials (from people attending groups)
    Kosmos Article: "Free at Last: Being What We Are"
    Auto-biographical sketch

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:06:43

    435. Lesley Skylar - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    A completely spontaneous, life-altering experience of satori or enlightenment shook Lesley Skylar’s world at about age 9 or 10. Everything, in every facet, shifted unimaginably - nothing was ever the same again. This set her on a life course dedicated to understanding, honoring and living what had been revealed.

    Lesley has spent years as a renunciate, living in ashrams and working deeply with direct teachings of enlightenment, in both the East and West. She has studied and practiced Zen Buddhism, Dzogchen and the Nonduality teachings of Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. She has a Degree in Psychology, has counselled, and worked in numerous non-profit, peace and human rights endeavors.

    Lesley is a teacher of spiritual awakening. The approach and teaching she shares comes directly from her extensive experience, and was developed and refined through her own realization. It is based on decades of integration and rigorous work with liberation teachings and realized teachers.

    Her teaching offers individual or small group guidance for awakening, and also focuses specifically on the post awakening terrain. Many are confused or struggle after awakening as they don’t realize that awakening is a beginning – it is not stabilized and abiding, involves a coming and going of clarity and higher states, a persistent self-sense, and incomplete seeing or depth. She helps people to move beyond the initial phases of awakening, to clarify and resolve sticking points, subtle aspects of identification, shadow, unconscious beliefs and so on. This creates a deepening, integrating and embodying, which allows liberation and enlightened living to unfold.

    Lesley states: “As a teacher, I am simply the voice of your own deepest being, your highest possibilities, reflected back to you. A clear mirror, reflecting back to you your most authentic True Nature.”

    She has travelled extensively and lived in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. She is currently based in Vancouver, Canada. Lesley offers private sessions worldwide, via Skype/ online video or in person.

    “Living a realized life is a radical shift of perception and identity, bringing with it true
    freedom, clarity and peace that surpasses all understanding.”

    Learn more about Lesley and her work:

    Website: www.lesleyskylar.com
    Facebook:
    facebook.com/lesley.skylar
    facebook.com/From.Awakening.To.True.Liberation

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded December 30, 2017.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:58:59

    434. Joi Sharp, 2nd Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Joi was aware of the unseen magic of Presence at a very early age. She remembers being more drawn to this mystery than anything else. This led her to delve into many traditions of spirituality. After a spontaneous awakening at age 28, Joi spent two years on a blissful honeymoon of Spirit before plunging into a deep period of emotional purging and healing. Among her healers were a powerful Lakota medicine man, with whom she traveled for two years, and a group of Yogananda disciples who had developed a powerful way of unlocking unconscious beliefs using kinesiology. She worked with them 3x/week for two years. During this period that the formless aspect of the Divine Mother appeared to Joi and she began a very intense journey.

    Joi met Amma in 1993, and she realized that Amma was the same Mother that had captured her heart and soul. Joi spent nine years in Amma's Indian Ashram, and then two years in Tiruvannamalai at Ramana's Ashram.

    When Joi came home from India, she was completely exhausted, and her "seeker drive" fell away. She began sitting with Adyashanti, who helped her understand all that had taken place within her being.

    Joi began teaching in 2006, with Amma's and Adya's blessings. Joi continues to be inspired and moved toward what Life could be if we let go to our inner potential, which is the ultimate intelligence of all creation.

    Joi's Website

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    First BatGap interview with Joi

    Interview recorded Dec. 17, 2017.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:10:30

    433. John Samsen - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    When John Samsen first contacted us several months ago, he said, "I'm 90 years old, I've had both my feet amputated, and I've never been happier". We soon learned that John designed the Ford Thunderbird, Plymouth Barracuda, and other "muscle cars", and later had a profound and abiding spiritual awakening.

    Over a course of many decades, John Samsen followed a quest to understand the “big questions” of Life; why are we here, what is Life all about, and who am I, really? Along with careers in Aerospace Engineering and car designing, John studied the sciences, mythologies, religions, philosophies, and psychologies, to expand his understandings. A pattern of paranormal experiences opened his mind to areas of experience beyond the paradigms of Science. In 1970, he embarked on a quest of Self Discovery, participating in hundreds of hours of intensive consciousness exploration with such noted researchers as Drs. Jean Houston and Robert Masters, Dr. Lawrence LeShan, Robert Monroe, and others involved in the “human potentials” movements of the 1970's.

    After a series of traumatic events in his life, John experienced a “metanoia”, what some call a transformation or “awakening”. John's quest ended, and in the years since, he has been enjoying Life, knowing peace of mind, “unconditional love” of self and world, and freedom from fear and anxiety. John has been working on a verbal description of his experiences that does not rely on traditional metaphysical or religious ideas, but is consistent with modern scientific concepts of space, time, matter, and energy. He believes that a dramatic experience of “awakening”, which is rare and very difficult to achieve, is not necessary for enlightened living; that with proper guidance and consistent effort, most people can achieve that state of being.

    His Book: A Journey to Metanoia: My Life Transformed
    You may email John.
    More about John's automotive design career here, here, and here.
    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.
    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 02:01:13

    432. Paul Morgan-Somers - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Paul was born 1961 and lived most of life in the coastal county of Pembrokeshire, UK. He always loved the sea, and aspired to be a professional football (soccer) player. One day, at the age of 15, while playing football, unbounded awareness dawned. Everything was the "ocean". He didn't know what this was, or whether anyone else had experienced it, but later on he discovered the Upanishads in a bookstore, which led to his joining a Vedanta Monastery for five years. For a time after that, he lived a hermit-like life. One day in meditation, a woman's name came to him. He had never heard of her, nor did he even know whether she existed, but he knew he would marry her. He later did, opened a gallery and had two boys. He now spends his time supporting the boys and their business and chatting about the ocean.

    Facebook Page

    Email Paul.

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded December 3, 2017.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.

  • 01:59:23

    431. Kabir Helminski - Buddha at the Gas Pump

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    Kabir Helminski is a Shaikh in the lineage of Rumi, and co-director of The Threshold Society. His translations of Rumi and books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages. In 2009 and subsequent years Kabir was named as one of the "500 Most Influential Muslims in the World" by the Royal Strategic Studies Center (Jordan). He has toured North America as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people. His latest book is Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time.

    Other books:

    Love's Ripening: Rumi on the Heart's Journey
    The Rumi Daybook: 365 Poems and Teachings from the Beloved Sufi Master

    Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

    Interview recorded November 28, 2017.

    Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.