607. Stephan Bodian, 2nd Interview

Stephan BodianStephan Bodian is a teacher in the nondual wisdom tradition of Zen, Dzogchen, and Advaita Vedanta and the founder and director of the annual School for Awakening, an intensive six-month program of exploration and study. His offerings are noted for their humor, warmth, spontaneity, and intimacy and combine direct pointers, lively dialogues, silent sitting, and guided self-inquiry. He’s the author of several books, including Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love.

Stephan spent a decade practicing Zen intensively as a monk but left the monastery because he sensed that the rigorous practice of meditation was obscuring the truth he was seeking. After studying Dzogchen for several years, he met his guru, Jean Klein, a European teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who told him to stop meditating and instead discover the meditator. Shortly after meeting Jean, he had a profound awakening to his true identity as timeless presence. After Jean’s death, Stephan met Adyashanti, and in 2001 Adya gave him Dharma transmission and invited him to teach.

Trained as a psychotherapist, Stephan also offers individual spiritual counseling and mentoring sessions to people throughout the world. His approach blends direct, experiential, nondual wisdom with the insights of Western psychology to support students in realizing who they really are while inquiring into the stories and patterns of thinking and behaving that continue to cause suffering.

Website: stephanbodian.org

Other books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

First BatGap interview with Stephan.

Interview recorded July 11, 2021

606. Stephen Meyer

Stephen MeyerStephen C. Meyer received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from the University of Cambridge. A former geophysicist and college professor, he now directs Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Meyer is author of the New York Times bestseller Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design and Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, a (London) Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year. In 2004, Meyer ignited a firestorm of media and scientific controversy when a biology journal at the Smithsonian Institution published his peer-reviewed scientific article advancing intelligent design. Meyer has been featured on national television and radio programs, including The Jim Lehrer News Hour, CBS Sunday Morning, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News, Good Morning America, Nightline, FOX News Live, Paula Zahn Now (CNN), and the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. He has also been featured in two New York Times front-page stories and has garnered attention in other top national media.

Latest Book: Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe

Website: stephencmeyer.org

Interview recorded July 9, 2021

605. Chelan Harkin

Chelan HarkinChelan Harkin has been channeling ecstatic poetry for years and has now published two books in the past seven months, Susceptible to Light and Let Us Dance!: The Stumble and Whirl With The Beloved. Her publishing journey has been mystical and transformational and filled with “prayer experiments” gone right. Chelan has regularly been compared to the great mystic poets, Rumi, Hafiz, and Rilke. She lives in a geographically spectacular region of Washington State, The Columbia Gorge, with her husband and two small children. In her poetry and in her life, Chelan continually invites the fumbling, suffering parts of our nature and our divinity to meet for tea in the heart, to have a great laugh, and share a big hug.

Some of the main points discussed in this conversation:

  • Chelan’s background and introduction to poetry by Hafiz. Her shift from effortful poetry to spontaneous “downloads”.
  • Chelan reads some of her favorite poems throughout the interview.
  • Chelan’s subjective experience when a poem starts to “come through” – a full-body tingle and a sense of urgency; a mingling of her spirit with something larger.
  • What the world might be like if everyone unlocked their full potential.
  • Chelan’s transformative experience with hypnosis as a process for the development of consciousness.
  • There is no joy in smallness. Chelan reads the poem ‘I AM TOO MUCH!’
  • The growth potential of marriage and parenthood.
  • Opening the heart and connecting with the divinity within us.
  • Sensitivity to ‘truth’ and addressing that which is not aligned with it.
  • Being able to have pain move through us without hurting us.
  • Chelan’s collaboration with Daniel Ladinsky.
  • Chelan’s upbringing in the Baháʼí faith. All people and religions are fundamentally united in a common source.
  • Chelan’s mystical experience and creative inspiration in a cell in Israel in which the founder of the Baháʼí faith was imprisoned.
  • Developing a harmonious relationship between knowledge and experience.
  • Chelan’s current and future projects.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded July 3, 2021

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