521. Henry Shukman

Henry ShukmanHenry Shukman (Ryu’un-ken) is an Associate Zen Master of the Sanbo Zen lineage, based in Kamakura, Japan. He has trained primarily with Joan Rieck Roshi, Zen teacher John Gaynor, Ruben Habito Roshi, and now continues his training under the guidance of Yamada Ryoun Roshi, current abbot of Sanbo Zen. Henry is dedicated to what he sees as core Zen training—clarifying our essential nature to our own satisfaction, and thereby finding true peace of mind, and then living that essential nature in every moment of daily life, in freedom, love and deep responsiveness.

As it happens, Mountain Cloud Zen Center was originally founded by a teacher whose training also took place within Sanbo Zen back in the 1950s, and Henry is the first Sanbo Zen teacher to have taught at Mountain Cloud since its founder.

Henry is a writer and poet of British-Jewish origin, who has published eight books to date, of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. He writes regularly for Tricycle, The New York Times and other publications, and his most recent book is the poetry collection Archangel. He lives near the center in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife Clare and their two sons.

Earlier books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview conducted October 12, 2019

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

Henry adds, “At one point in our conversation I start to outline several “levels” of practice that have traditionally been outlined in zen. But part way through I slipped into another categorization of “wisdom levels” as given by Shinzen Young, a mentor of mine. I should have credited him. With apologies I’m doing so now. Many thanks.”

520. Dr. Miles Neale

Miles NealeDr. Miles Neale, PsyD, is a Buddhist psychotherapist in private practice and founder of the two-year online Contemplative Studies Program. Author of Gradual Awakening (Sounds True, 2018) and co-editor of Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2017), Miles is a faculty member of Tibet House (US) and Weill Cornell Medical College. With more than twenty years integrating the mind science and meditative practices of Tibetan Buddhism with psychotherapy, trauma research, and neuroscience, Miles is a forerunner in the emerging field of contemplative psychotherapy and leads pilgrimages around the Buddhist world.

Websites:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 28, 2019

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

519. Cynthia Lane, 2nd Interview

Cynthia LaneFrom my earliest memories, God was always at the center of things. After exploring a number of teachers and modalities in the great spiritual garden of late-sixties San Francisco, things really geared up when I learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in Berkeley in 1967. TM’s gifts were unmistakable and I began a thirty-year career of devoted service to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Vedic tradition. This encompassed many years of teaching TM in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and lots of time simply meditating, including seven years in a convent style setting. All this yielded vast personal and spiritual growth which remains fully integrated into my life, a gift that keeps on giving.

Towards the end of this period, I studied and shared several healing modalities, especially Cranio-sacral therapy. This deepened my experience of the body as energy and Light and helped me discover the body’s huge role in lasting and comprehensive healing.
In 1996, my path led me to the indigenous traditions of the West, especially Lakota. I was blessed in countless ways by the great Lakota holy man, wisdom keeper and Sundance leader Naca Wa-Anata. Through him, I received a personal pipe–a precious and powerful source of inspiration, healing,and transformation–and was able to participate in life-changing Lakota ceremonies, including Sundance, for many years. As a result, I opened to a profound and intimate relationship with the Earth and her healing and nourishing gifts and learned to embrace life on Earth with a grounded joy and openness that I had never known before. Most importantly, I learned to embody and live the boundless consciousness I had merged with through the Vedic teaching and find the same infinite Self everywhere and in everyone.
Through this time, I gradually realized that I was here not only to help people merge with the Infinite in their awareness but also to help them include their bodies in the journey. In simplest terms, this means helping our cellular reality or belief systems shift from identifying as density to self-recognizing as divine Light, or FirstLight, as I call it. We truly are just a dream of Light.
Finally, around 2012, what I now call the path of Grace simply showed up for me, initially while visiting sacred sites in France. In essence, I was made aware that our growth is no longer something we have to work at. God/Divine Love/divine Light is so powerfully present now that all we have to do is open and receive It, and It will take care of all that we need for spiritual and human fulfillment. Since then, many divine gifts have “downloaded” to share with others to support this effortless form of growth. While remaining endlessly Silent and utterly unlocalized, this magical-mystery-tour of a life is a sacred and joyous privilege.

First BatGap interview with Cynthia.

Website: firstlighttransformations.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 21, 2019.

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