373. Adyashanti and Francis Bennett – “The Embrace of Jesus and Buddha”

jesus-buddha-paintingAdyashanti and Francis Bennett in a public dialog about the parallels and differences between Jesus and the Buddha, as two complimentary yet very different models of awakening. Where the Buddha emphasized inner peace and the transcendence of samsara, Christ emphasized embodying divine humanity in the midst of samsara, embracing the human condition in order to serve those who are lost in ignorance.

Adya came to a deeper appreciation of Jesus by way of his study of Zen, while Francis ─ a former Trappist monk turned non-dual teacher ─ came to Buddhism by way of immersion in mystical Christianity.

“The Christ comes to disturb, to stir up the pot, to descend to the chaotic earthly realm, and to get people to move out of their limited comfort zones and indifference toward others and life in general: to help us transform and transmute the personal and social dimension of what it means to be a human being in a human society. The Buddha comes to bring inner peace by awakening us up and out of our over-identification with the personal, and help us to realize who we are in transcendence, who we are as “trans-personal” persons. You need both approaches. They are opposite sides of the one “coin” of awakening.” — Francis Bennett

AdyashantiAdyashanti, 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 posts involving Adyashanti:

Website: adyashanti.org

Francis BennettFrancis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Until recently, he was living in a small urban monastery in Montreal Quebec. He has been a “spiritual seeker” during all those years, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and working deeply with teachers in both the Vipassana and Zen Traditions as well. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness, which some would call, the Presence of God.

You may contact Francis by email, Skype (francisdale3), his Facebook page, or through his website. Francis’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self“.

Previous BatGap interviews involving Francis:

Recorded 10/25/2016 at the Santa Cruz Open Circle.

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

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372. Harri Aalto – 3rd Interview

Harri AaltoHarri’s descriptions soar from the mundane to the sublime and explain the intimate details, understanding and experience of the awakened state in an entirely fresh way. He shows us how this life of ours can be naturally transformed into the delightful liveliness of expanded consciousness even within the activity of daily life.

Harri has worked as a fine artist/designer, a businessman, and a meditation teacher for his whole life. Throughout these very busy years his experiences of refined states of consciousness and perception have expanded greatly.

Landscape of EnlightenmentHe shares his insights in his book, The Landscape of Enlightenment: With Doors and Windows to Our World, which includes his amazing life story from early childhood to the present with very personal, simple stories, works of art and inspired understanding that will uplift your awareness and stir the onset awakening.

Websites:

Other interviews:

Interview recorded 11/12/2016.

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

371. Adyashanti and Susanne Marie on the Falling Away of Self

adyashanti-susanne-marieJoin Susanne Marie and Adyashanti in an exploration about an often misunderstood subject. Beyond the traditional landing places that mind creates (commonly discussed in non-dual circles), lies an indescribable landscape of living as pure, direct experiencing. Prior to this opening, the habitual subjective filter creates a veil of separation of which one is not even aware. This is true even within expanded, unified states of consciousness. Once this filter falls away, life is experienced directly, as itself, without any intermediary.

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 posts involving Adyashanti:

Website: adyashanti.org

A lifelong spiritual explorer, Susanne Marie offers teachings in support of freedom, meeting in sacred mutuality, and celebrating our common essence of Love and Unity with all life. Her work is transformational and empowering, as she points to the remembering of That which we have always been, allowing truth to become ever more conscious of Itself through a human life. Susanne, the mother of two teenagers, lives in Northern California and works with individuals and groups, offering spiritual mentoring to those who feel called to work with her. She is available for Skype and phone sessions as well as open to invitations to share with groups.

Website: susannemarie.org

Previous BatGap posts involving Susanne Marie:

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

370. Thomas Beck, Ph.D. and Janet Colli, Ph.D.

Thomas Beck, Ph.D.Thomas Beck, Ph.D. has helped people for 25 years to integrate transformational experience—a radical restructuring of the psyche on a higher level of functioning. As a result of his own neurophysiological restructuring, his meditation practice & interactions with an otherworldly being (“Cosmic Mother”), Thomas is now helping people heal from a wide range of physical illnesses. He believes we all have the ability to heal, and to spiritually awaken through the unconditional love of the Almighty Spirit.

Janet ColliJanet Elizabeth Colli, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist in the Pacific Northwest specializing in integrating trauma with spiritual awakening. With expertise in both Clinical and Transpersonal Psychology, she bridges psychology with the extraordinary, and the mystical. She presents at the professional conferences of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). Catalyzed by a spiritually transformative experience (STE) during cancer treatment, she now provides psycho-spiritual support for a full range of processes, including for those who have been psychiatrically hospitalized during STEs. She facilitates Spiritual Emergence Seattle—a consultation service integrating psycho-spiritual, physiological & community support. Janet lives on Whidbey Island and swims with wild dolphins in Hawaii.

Website: sacredencounters.com

Books:

Interview recorded 11/5/2016

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

369. Michael A. Rodriguez

Michael RodriguezThis is just a story. I put it into words reluctantly. Please do not compare yourself to me or anyone else. Rather, live by your own Light. In reality, there is absolutely no separation between you and me in any way.

I share my direct experience of boundless Awareness, which is our common ground, to all beings who feel called to work with me. My spiritual path began 22 years ago with Zen and subsequently included deep engagements with Vedanta, Sufism, and Christian mysticism.

I hold four academic degrees, including a master’s degree in Comparative Religion from Harvard, taught at the university level for many years, and lived for two years in a monastery. Although I began my journeyless journey with Roshi Philip Kapleau and Toni Packer, my three greatest influences are Nisargadatta, Mooji, and Rupert Spira.

Based on my exposure to their teachings, my spiritual path culminated after I left academia and had an Awakening during a five-year period of purification and alchemical transmutation where I experienced a series of direct insights into non-dual Awareness. In addition to this extraordinarily dynamic purificatory process of the body-mind during which my insights became embodied in and as the Natural State, I also saw my Self in the silence of the mind as the unbroken eternal continuity of Pure Awareness, what Nisargadatta calls the Absolute; this Realization has never left and is the unchanging Reality of all my changing experiences. Seeking fell away, the seeker disappeared, and all questions and doubts vanished.

As I work with people one-on-one and in groups, I avoid any fixed position by flowing freely not only between the paths of wisdom and devotion, but also between the radical non-dual approach that points to “sudden Awakening” and the many yogic/therapeutic paths that emphasize evolution. In addition to drawing from the world’s wisdom traditions, I integrate literature, music, and art into my work to address the full range of human potential.

For those who are interested, a more detailed description of my spiritual unfoldment can be found on my website: BoundlessAwareness.org.

My book, tentatively titled The Uncreated Light of Awareness, has been accepted by Non-Duality Press (now an imprint of New Harbinger) and is forthcoming.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BoundlessAwareness/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/boundlessaware

Interview recorded 10/20/2016

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