442. Paul Selig - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 IIWebsite: paulselig.comDiscussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded February 9, 2018Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
441. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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: @SadhviBhagawatiBook: Vegetarianism: For Our Bodies, Our Minds, Our Souls & Our PlanetInterview recorded February 6, 2018.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
440. Richard Schoeller - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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.comDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook GroupInterview conducted February 4, 2018.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
439. Michael Speight - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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.
438. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D. - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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.comDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook GroupInterview recorded January 20, 2018Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
437. Natalie Sudman - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 IraqDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded January 14, 2018Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
436. Sperry Andrews - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 sketchDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
435. Lesley Skylar - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 truefreedom, clarity and peace that surpasses all understanding.”Learn more about Lesley and her work: Website: www.lesleyskylar.com Facebook:facebook.com/lesley.skylarfacebook.com/From.Awakening.To.True.LiberationDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded December 30, 2017.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
434. Joi Sharp, 2nd Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 WebsiteDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.First BatGap interview with JoiInterview recorded Dec. 17, 2017.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
433. John Samsen - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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.
432. Paul Morgan-Somers - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 PageEmail 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.
431. Kabir Helminski - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
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 MasterDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded November 28, 2017.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
430. Matthew Fox - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Matthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist. As a spiritual theologian he has written 34 books that have been translated into over 60 languages. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics, and The Pope's War. He has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets. Fox holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM.In joining the Episcopal church over 20 years ago, Fox has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj and more into the Western Liturgy. The Cosmic Mass has been celebrated over 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America.Fox is recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks), the Gandhi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award and other awards.His latest books are Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action; Stations of the Cosmic Christ; and A Way to God: Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey. He teaches regularly at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality in Boulder, CO and resides in Vallejo, CA.Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded November 11, 2017.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
429. Amoda Maa – 2nd Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Amoda Maa is a contemporary spiritual teacher, author, and speaker. After years of spiritual seeking, meditation, and immersion in psychospiritual practices, an experience of the dark night of the soul led her to a profound inner awakening. Then, after a long period of integration, she began speaking from silence in small gatherings. Today she offers meetings and retreats, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and events, attracting spiritual seekers and people looking for peace and fulfillment in an increasingly chaotic world. Her teachings are free of religion and tradition, and she brings to them a deep understanding of the human journey, born out of her own experience.She is the author of Radical Awakening (originally released as How to Find God in Everything) and Change Your Life, Change Your World: Ten Spiritual Lessons for a New Way of Being and Living. Both books were written shortly after her awakening and before she began to speak in public.Her new book Embodied Enlightenment — written 15 years after her awakening — is based on the many conversations at the cutting edge of spiritual inquiry in her meetings with people from all around the world, and addresses many of the questions relevant to today’s seeker. It has been acclaimed as “a beautiful and precious gift to an emerging new humanity.”Amoda lives with her husband and beloved, Kavi, in California.Website: amodamaa.comPrevious BatGap interviews with Amoda: First Interview Amoda Maa in panel discussion: Birthing Radiant Being into Our Humanity Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded November 5, 2017Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
428. Kittisaro and Thanissara - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Kittisaro and Thanissara have been married since 1992. They spent 7 years as guiding teachers of the Buddhist Retreat Centre KwaZulu S. Africa and then went on to found Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat on the border of Lesotho and South Africa. They co-founded several HIV/Aids Outreach Programs and currently support Kuluingile Project, a home for children left vulnerable due to HIV/Aids run by Sister Abegail Ntleko, award winner of the Dalai Lama Unsung Hero Award. They lead retreats in S.Africa, UK, U.S.A and Israel and regularly host one to three-month retreats at Dharmagiri. They currently reside in Sebastopol, CA.Kittisaro is from Tennessee, USA. He graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar. He ordained with Ajahn Chah in 1976 in the Thai Forest Tradition. He was a monk for 15 years and helped found several monasteries in the UK. His practice has also been informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua since 1980. Kittisaro completed two one year silent self retreats and is co-author of 'Listening to the Heart.' He has taught extensively since the 1980's and is a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society, MA, founding teacher of Chattanooga Insight, TN and affiliated teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA.Thanissara is from an Anglo-Irish family in London. She started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun in the Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. Thanissara has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from the UK. She has taught extensively since the late 1980's, is the author of several books, including two poetry books. Her latest is Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.Books: Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth -- The Buddha's Life and Message through Feminine Eyes (Sacred Activism) Empty Hands, A Memoir: One Woman's Journey to Save Children Orphaned by AIDS in South Africa (Sacred Activism) The Heart Of The Bitter Almond Hedge SutraWebsite: dharmagiri.orgDiscussion of this video in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
427. Panel Discussion: “Sudden or Gradual: Two Paths to Realization?” - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Recorded at the Science and Nonduality Conference.There is a perennial debate in spiritual traditions regarding whether realization is direct (sudden) or progressive (gradual). But is this a false distinction? Realization is often sudden, no matter how many years of practice may have led up to it, and even after realization, most people find that refinement, clarification, and the working out of personal shortcomings continue indefinitely.Who wouldn’t prefer direct realization to years of purification and practice? But how many examples of purely direct realization can we find? Can a path be both direct and progressive? Is it possible to have a taste of our true nature from the outset, and then spend a lifetime clarifying and embodying it? Also, is there one watershed breakthrough which can be universally agreed upon as final “Realization”, or are there many degrees and stages of realization, each of them important stepping stones in a never-ending journey?Proponents of the direct path sometimes argue that if we regard spiritual development as progressive, we will forever be anticipating, never arriving. But some spiritual seekers, not appreciating the distinction between understanding and experience, mistake intellectual understanding with enlightenment, and consider themselves “finished” when they are just getting started.Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, CA. Isa is also the creator of the spiritual counseling model, Depth Hypnosis, and author of two books, Coming to Peace and Return to the Great Mother. In addition to her teaching schedule that includes teaching classes in Applied Buddhist Psychology, Applied Shamanism, Integrated Energy Medicine and Depth Hypnosis, she has active practices in Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Counseling in San Francisco, CA. For more information, please see sacredstream.org. Batgap interview with Isa and Robert Thurman.David F. Buckland has a graduate degree in Vedic Science and researches and writes on subjects related to the approach, shift, integration, and embodiment of the stages of enlightenment. This reflects a 40 year unfolding that has been prominent for much of his life. But with a more recent series of profound shifts, the exploration became the life itself. Under the pen name Davidya, he brings ancient teachings into modern life. After many years of research, he published the book Our Natural Potential: Beyond Personal Development, The Stages of Enlightenment in 2017.Previous Batgap discussions with David: Individual interview Panel Discussion at Sofia University, Part 1 Panel Discussion at Sofia University, Part 2Michael Rodriguez - Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael speaks with great clarity and compassion about the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness, pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition. He also draws skillfully from the world's wisdom traditions and integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. He offers meetings, retreats, and private sessions here in the United States and abroad. His book--Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering--will be published by Non-Duality Press / New Harbinger in March 2018 (though it can now be pre-ordered on Amazon). All his work, including his interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump and Conscious TV, can be accessed via his website: www.BoundlessAwareness.org. Previous Batgap discussions with Michael: Individual interview With AdyashantiDiscussion of this video in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Recorded October 22, 2017Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
426. Rick Archer on the “Ethics of Enlightenment” - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Presentation at the Science and Nonduality Conference.Many well-known spiritual teachers and gurus have been accused, credibly, of sexual, financial, and behavioral abuse. This, although their own spiritual attainment has arguably appeared significant, and their teachings beneficial. As a result, some people have concluded that higher consciousness and ethical behavior are not correlated, that we are governed by our genetics and conditioning, or by "nature", and that we have no free will and thus no control over or responsibility for our actions. That logic has been used as an alibi by some spiritual teachers caught misbehaving.Others have become cynical about the motives of all gurus and teachers, and some have even lost faith in spirituality altogether.Yet, every spiritual tradition includes codes of ethics that apply to both teachers and students. Ethical behavior has been regarded not only as a reflection of spiritual development, but as a prerequisite to it.To some extent, ethical values vary from culture to culture. But perhaps the contemporary spiritual community can agree upon some universal values. Can we agree that it's not all right to misrepresent ourselves? If we claim or imply that we have realized our true nature, and are offering to help others do the same, is it consistent for us to behave deceitfully, perversely, selfishly, or cruelly?Is it possible to be an enlightened scoundrel? Are purity and saintliness characteristic of higher levels of spiritual development, or unrelated to them? These are important questions. Because we need spiritual teachers and teachings in this critical time in humanity's maturation, we need to understand what genuine spiritual attainment should look like, irrespective of personality differences. If such understanding were more commonplace, most abusive teachers and cults would never have gotten off the ground.I discuss these points and others in this talk.Discussion about this talk in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Other talks by or interviews of Rick: Interviewed by Richard Miller Interviewed by Alex Tsakiris Interviewed by Fax Gilbert Talk at SAND ’15 Talk at the Berkeley Open CircleRecorded October 21, 2017.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.
425. Tim Freke, 3rd Interview - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
T!M FREKE is a pioneering philosopher, Gnostic scholar and spiritual guide who speaks and runs ‘Deep Awakening’ retreats internationally. He is the author of 35 books, translated into more than 15 languages, including The Jesus Mysteries on Gnostic Christianity, which was a top 10 bestseller in the USA and UK, and 'Book of the Year' in the UK Daily Telegraph.Over the last 15 years, Tim has been articulating a revolutionary approach to spiritual awakening, which is life-affirming, heart-opening and intellectually robust. In his recent book Deep Awake, he suggests that to wake up to oneness we need to embrace, rather than deny, our individuality, because ‘the ego is the hero not the villain of the spiritual adventure’.In his latest book Soul Story, Tim offers an inspiring new vision of the nature of reality and the deep purpose of existence. He suggests we need a radical shift in our understanding of both science and spirituality, so we can bring these different perspectives together. Tim’s new worldview, which he calls ‘Emergent Spirituality’, does this by combining an innovative perspective on the theory of evolution with a fresh understanding of esoteric ideas such as the immortality of the soul.Tim has been exploring spirituality since a spontaneous awakening when he was 12 years old and now guides others directly to the 'deep awake' state. He has been pioneering soul-to-soul partner meditations such as ‘gazing’ for more than fifteen years, as a powerful practice to transform consciousness.Tim is a passionate and playful communicator with a contagious enthusiasm for life, who has often been featured in the global media, such as the BBC and the History Channel. He lives with his family in Glastonbury, England.Website: timfreke.comThe most recent of Tim's many books: Soul Story: Evolution and the Purpose of Life Deep Awake: Wake Up To Oneness and Celebrate Your Individuality Lucid Living: Experience Your Life Like a Lucid DreamInterview recorded October 20, 2017 at the Science and Nonduality Conference. 1st Batgap interview with Tim 2nd BatGap interview with Tim Tim Freke with Lisa CairnsDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.SaveSave
424. Robert Thurman & Isa Gucciardi - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Robert A.F. Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, President of the Tibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization, and President of the American Institute of Buddhist Studies, a non-profit affiliated with the Center for Buddhist Studies at Columbia University and dedicated to the publication of translations of important artistic and scientific treatises from the Tibetan Tengyur.TIME Magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert on Tibetan Buddhism.”In this interview we discuss Thurman's latest book: Man of Peace: The Illustrated Life Story of the Dalai Lama of Tibet.Thurman is known as a talented popularizer of the Buddha’s teachings. He is a riveting speaker and an author of many books on Tibet, Buddhism, art, politics and culture, including: The Central Philosophy of Tibet Circling the Sacred Mountain : A Spiritual Adventure Through the Himalayas Essential Tibetan Buddhism The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Liberation Through Understanding in the Between Wisdom and Compassion The Sacred Art of Tibet Inner Revolution Infinite Life: Awakening to Bliss Within The Jewel Tree of Tibet: The Enlightenment Engine of Tibetan Buddhism Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World With Sharon Salzberg, Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier Website: bobthurman.com Podcast YouTube ChannelPrevious Batgap interview with Robert Thurman.Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. is the Founding Director of the Foundation of the Sacred Stream, a school for consciousness studies in Berkeley, CA. Isa is also the creator of the spiritual counseling model, Depth Hypnosis. In addition to her teaching schedule that includes teaching classes in Applied Buddhist Psychology, Applied Shamanism, Integrated Energy Medicine and Depth Hypnosis, she has active practices in Depth Hypnosis and Applied Shamanic Counseling in San Francisco, CA.In this interview, we discuss Isa's latest book: Coming to Peace: Resolving Conflict Within Ourselves and With OthersOther books: Return to the Great Mother The Four ImmeasurablesDiscussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Recorded October 19, 2017 at the Science and Nonduality Conference.Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.SaveSave
423. Adyashanti & Michael A. Rodriguez - Buddha at the Gas Pump· Buddha at the Gas Pump
Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.Previous BatGap interviews involving Adyashanti: First interview with Adyashanti Adyashanti and Francis Bennett on "Resurrecting Jesus" Adyashanti and Susanne Marie on the Falling Away of Self Adyashanti and Francis Bennett – “The Embrace of Jesus and Buddha”Books by AdyashantiWebsite: adyashanti.orgMichael A. Rodriguez: Michael’s spiritual path began well over twenty years ago with Zen and subsequently included a master’s degree in theology from Harvard, long-term stays at two monasteries, and profound engagements with Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism, and Christian mysticism. He was especially influenced by Nisargadatta, Mooji, and Rupert Spira. During a five-year period of purification and intensive self-inquiry, his search came to an end with an Awakening that revealed the infinite and eternal nature of the Self. His body and mind then underwent a radical transformation that established the seamlessness and aliveness of all experience.Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael speaks with great clarity and compassion about the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness, always pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition. He draws skillfully from the world's wisdom traditions and also integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. He offers meetings, retreats, and private sessions here in the United States and abroad. His book--Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering--distills the essence of his teaching and was praised by Renate McNay, co-host of conscious.tv, for its clarity: "I have read many spiritual books over the 10 years I have been interviewing people for conscious.tv, but I found that Michael's book has an exceptional clarity that gave me a deeper understanding of who we really are." His interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump and Conscious TV can be viewed on his YouTube Channel. Website: BoundlessAwareness.org Book: Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering YouTube Channel Facebook PagePrevious Batgap interview with Michael.Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.Interview recorded Oct. 19, 2017Video and audio below. Audio also available as a Podcast.SaveSaveSaveSave