069. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

Michael HallA clinical psychologist in private practice in Binghamton, NY, Michael studied and practiced Zen Buddhism for many years beginning in 1978. An initial experience of non-dual awareness emerged in 1982. Like virtually all first glimpses, this experiential awareness was fleeting. Still the appetite for an enduring awakening had taken hold, as well as an absolute faith in the spiritual truths reported by Shakyamuni Buddha and the Zen teachers of ancient China and Japan. Years of frequent silent meditation retreats allowed this awareness to deepen and expand, yet there was still searching for true liberation. The continuous experiential Knowing that this is it emerged many years later after an apparent surrendering of the desire to become anything at all. With this much deeper and more pervasive understanding, there arose simultaneously a reconnection with his childhood roots in the Christian tradition. Michael now shares this knowledge of Self with a growing number of students. The teaching is consistent with the truths taught by awakened teachers of all religious traditions. He teaches awakening and the integration of non-dual awareness into daily life. Over 30 years of full-time psychological practice has provided a unique perspective on the roots of suffering and the end of it. He draws on the writing and teaching of contemporary and historical awakened teachers, joining the common threads in Christian, Buddhist, Advaita, and Non-Dual traditions to share a message of the possibility and promise of personal transformation and liberation from egoic illusion.

Email:       WayBeyondPsychotherapy@gmail.com
Websites:  WayBeyondPsychotherapy.comawakentotruth.com
Blog:          AwakenToTruth.BlogSpot.com

Interview recorded 5/22/2011

Audio and video below and as a Podcast.

88 thoughts on “069. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

  1. One appreciates your sentiments Peter … however, to be quite honest, I have no clue where any insights, or inspirations come from … ‘I’ am but a lowly transcriber of dreams.

    To quote from the book I’m currently reading, ‘The Museum of Innocence’ by Orhan Pamuk: “… and it seemed to me I was in the grace of one great, all-consuming beatitude.”

  2. a poem by Tom Berrett… enjoy…

    What’s In The Temple?

    In the quiet spaces of my mind a thought lies still, but ready to spring.
    It begs me to open the door so it can walk about.
    The poets speak in obscure terms pointing madly at the unsayable.
    The sages say nothing, but walk ahead patting their thigh calling for us to follow.
    The monk sits pen in hand poised to explain the cloud of unknowing.
    The seeker seeks, just around the corner from the truth.
    If she stands still it will catch up with her.
    Pause with us here a while.
    Put your ear to the wall of your heart.
    Listen for the whisper of knowing there.
    Love will touch you if you are very still.

    If I say the word God, people run away.
    They’ve been frightened–sat on ‘till the spirit cried “uncle.”
    Now they play hide and seek with somebody they can’t name.
    They know he’s out there looking for them, and they want to be found,
    But there is all this stuff in the way.

    I can’t talk about God and make any sense,
    And I can’t not talk about God and make any sense.
    So we talk about the weather, and we are talking about God.

    I miss the old temples where you could hang out with God.
    Still, we have pet pounds where you can feel love draped in warm fur,
    And sense the whole tragedy of life and death.
    You see there the consequences of carelessness,
    And you feel there the yapping urgency of life that wants to be lived.
    The only things lacking are the frankincense and myrrh.

    We don’t build many temples anymore.
    Maybe we learned that the sacred can’t be contained.
    Or maybe it can’t be sustained inside a building.
    Buildings crumble.
    It’s the spirit that lives on.

    If you had a temple in the secret spaces of your heart,
    What would you worship there?
    What would you bring to sacrifice?
    What would be behind the curtain in the holy of holies?

    Go there now.

    ~Tom Barrett

  3. Beautiful Anatol … thanks for that beauty!

    If this keeps up, Rick may half to start a ‘Poetry’ forum!

    Speaking of which, here is one of my favorites, Canadian poet Dionne Brand reading one of hers …

  4. Just recognized the typo ‘half’ instead of ‘have’ … sigh … I’m beginning to rely way too much on spell-check, in lieu of good old-fashioned proof reading!

  5. Spell-check versus old fashioned proof reading, eh?

    Is this a poetic way to bring out the distinction between depending on a guru and direct experience, snowleopard?

    Once a poet, always a poet.

  6. (laughs) … perhaps an apt comparison Peter … like gurus, spell-check can no doubt be useful, but can also become that ‘crutch of credence’ i once poetically referred to.

  7. Such a great interview, I never knew Bruce Willis was so insightful. This site is wonderful.

  8. This talk really perked up my ears when the topic turned thoughts on conditioning. I agree that everything in life conditions a person to a degree whether it be yoga in the park or dancing in the dark, I would call this “innocent conditioning”. I am concerned however in that we live in a time where people are being “intentionally conditioned” at such a young age that we might get hooked so strong on bullshit that we can’t hear the truth even if it slapped us in the face. I just worry that most people would rather watch entertainment tonight than wake up “from the dark night of the soul”. Also thanks to being more mindful I have realized it easy to ego trip on social issues. I have a link to a very eye opening look at methods of conditioning used by media ya da ya da. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/starsuckers/

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