699. Brad Laughlin & Anna Breytenbach

Brad Laughlin is the author of Living with Enlightenment—A Journey of Love, which is about his 25-year life-partnership with Leslie Temple-Thurston, a teacher of enlightenment, and the profound spiritual transformation he experienced. With Leslie, he is co-author of two books, The Marriage of Spirit—Enlightened Living in Today’s World and Returning to Oneness—The Seven Keys of Ascension.

Brad is dedicated to finding innovative ways of helping people to awaken spiritually and to find love, joy and inspiration during these times of great change. Using ancient Truth teachings, yogic practices and spiritual psychology, he offers simple yet powerful practices for dissolving old, limiting ego structures that keep us trapped in negativity, pain and fear. Brad’s transformative events are based on the principles of integration and unity consciousness, which help us to know our own inner Divinity—who we truly are.

Brad and Leslie are co-founders of the nonprofits, CoreLight.org and Seeds of Light.org, CoreLight’s humanitarian arm, serving marginalized communities and AIDS orphans in South Africa. Brad has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. He is an American by birth, considers himself a global citizen and lives in both South Africa and the United States.

Anna Breytenbach is an internationally acclaimed professional interspecies communicator with over 20 years’ experience. Native to South Africa and currently based in Europe, she mentors and consults globally. Her focus is exclusively with wild places and beings, facilitating peaceful interventions and greater understanding. This includes predator research, wilderness protection, anti-poaching assistance, reforestation initiatives, wildlife management and rehabilitation. She is currently taking a sabbatical from her usual teaching and public appearances to write a book.

Anna’s passion is raising awareness and advancing the relationships among human and nonhuman animals, on both the personal and spiritual levels. Her work is the subject of the documentary movie “The Animal Communicator”, watched by tens of millions of people (and a few of their pets), available on YouTube.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group

Summary and transcript of this interview

Interview recorded January 28, 2024

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

698. Swami Medhananda

Swami Medhananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order and an academic philosopher, currently serving as Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Hollywood. He is also the Hindu Chaplain at both UCLA and the University of Southern California. He is Section Editor for the International Journal of Hindu Studies (Springer), overseeing submissions in Hindu and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion. From 2010 to 2021, he was Associate Professor and Head of the Program in Philosophy at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute in Belur Math, West Bengal. He received his PhD in 2009 from the University of California at Berkeley, where he specialized in German aesthetics. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2006–7) and a Visiting Student at Oxford University (2000–1). His current research focuses on global philosophy of religion, the epistemology of mystical experience, cosmopsychism, Indian scriptural hermeneutics, and Vedāntic philosophical traditions, especially the philosophies of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo.

He is the author of three books: Swami Vivekananda’s Vedāntic Cosmopolitanism (Oxford University Press, 2022), Infinite Paths to Infinite Reality: Sri Ramakrishna and Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2018), and The Dialectics of Aesthetic Agency: Revaluating German Aesthetics from Kant to Adorno (Bloomsbury, 2013). He is the editor of The Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Vedānta (2020) and co-editor, with Benedikt Paul Göcke, of Panentheism in Indian and Western Thought: Cosmopolitan Interventions (Routledge, 2023). He is also the editor of two special issues of the International Journal of Hindu Studies, one on “Swami Vivekananda as a Cosmopolitan Thinker” (2023) and one on “Vedāntic Theodicies” (2021). He has published over thirty articles in leading academic journals.

He is currently working on two book projects: Karma and Rebirth in Hinduism (Cambridge University Press, under contract) and An All-Embracing Oneness: Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Advaita and the Legacy of Sri Ramakrishna (Oxford University Press, under contract).

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group

Summary and transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded January 22, 2024.

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

697. David Doyle

David Doyle lives on the water in the island city of Alameda in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, their teenage son, and Merlin, a rambunctious Rat Terrier. At an early age he set upon a spiritual path and soon put down the books and turned inward. David’s path has been by most standards a very traditional inner practice, starting with Hatha Yoga and quickly moving to Raja Yoga. Meditation was his main practice, with asanas as an adjunct to meditation.

Early on in his spiritual practice a teacher said that if you master the basics of yoga, and if you practice in earnest, all will unfold – everything you need will come to you. David took this to heart, beginning a life-long practice that for the most part was a solitary journey.

At 20 years old his third eye opened in a dramatic unfolding, and from there came the never-ending gift of insight and abilities including: clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, precognition, telepathy and more.

Some years later David joined the Berkeley Psychic Institute during its heyday and befriended the founder, Dr. Lewis S Bostwick, whom he considers to be his first great spiritual teacher, and friend. He spent over a decade with this group and at its many (at the time) institutes and thousands of students and teachers.

In 2012, David came to an abiding awakening, and since that time, many changes have taken place in an ongoing process of daily and weekly energetic and auspicious unfoldings, many of which have left him nearly incapacitated.

Since awakening, David has also become an adept Qi Gong Master under the guidance of Grand Master Shi Yong Yao, formerly an elite teacher-monk at the Northern Shaolin Temple in China. Additionally, many siddhis have developed as byproducts along The Way as well as a massive kundalini awakening and other extraordinary happenings.

Now, with ten years having passed since awakening, David is ready to share experiences from his fifty+ year journey with a wider audience. He created Monk with Family, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to the householder, but inclusive of anyone for whom The Way is their life’s focus. David leads a weekly Satsang open to all those interested, and is available for speaking engagements and other spiritual events.

David A. Doyle: Inventor, entrepreneur, manufacturer, publisher, sailor, skier, burning man (burner), householder.

Founder: Monk with Family Website

Founding member of Shaolin Master Qi Gong, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to sharing the teachings of Master Yao. David is registered in China as the: Deputy Director of the U.S. Regional Department of Shaolin Fohanmen.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group

Interview recorded December 30, 2023

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