473. John Butler

John ButlerChildhood accustomed me to nature, solitude – a sense of God which needed no explaining. Stillness, beauty, depths of love called my heart back home where it belonged. But life grew out into the world, became possessed and lost the way.

After a few unwilling years in business, I went to South America ‘To make the world a better place’. It wasn’t so easy. Alone on a mountainside one day, an inner voice said, ‘To make whole, be whole’. I realised that, before being able to help others, I first had to work on myself. Once back in England, I looked for and found a source of meditation, which opened up a whole new way of seeing.

How can I best help the world I love? This question led me through organic farming, much travel and many adventures to ever deeper understanding of the Work of Prayer.

I wouldn’t call myself a mystic though some say I am. I’m not sure what it means besides “Not this – not that”. Neither (in a conventional sense) am I very religious. “Mystic” conveys to me a wise unknowing of morning mist with only the promise of a day to come. It’s not an intellectual approach defined by man but trusting, waiting, quietly still before each blade of grass, each little bird (Mat.6,26-28) reminding us of higher, nobler government than ours.

This required attending to the moment “Now”, reminding me how much we live not present, here, but absent, lost in past or future – thought, desires and fear. But isn’t that reality? We need to look and see.

Books:

Website: spiritualunfoldment.co.uk

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded October 13, 2018.

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

472. Steve Briggs

Steve BriggsAs a teenager, Steve Briggs met his guru at a meditation retreat in the Swiss Alps. After studying English Literature at the University of Arizona on a tennis scholarship, the author received an MBA and a Ph.D. in Vedic Studies, and traveled internationally instructing thousands in the art of meditation.

Steve is a devotee of Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), whom he met in India in 1996. He has been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) for the past 46 years and credits his guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with showing him the path to enlightenment.

Steve currently coaches the Maharishi School boys’ tennis team. His players have won four state high school championships, including the 2014 triple crown. Steve has trained two national champions and a top 50 ATP professional tour player.

In 1994, Steve Briggs was sent to India to teach TM to corporate executives. During his seven years in India, Steve traveled repeatedly to the high Himalaya where he encountered many yogis and sadhus.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 24, 2018.

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

471. Rob Schwartz

Robert SchwartzRob Schwartz is a hypnotist who offers Spiritual Guidance Sessions, Past Life Soul Regressions, Contact a Deceased Loved One Regressions, and Between Lives Soul Regressions to help you heal and discover your life plan – a plan you yourself created BEFORE you were born. Rob’s first book, Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born, explores the pre-birth planning of physical illness, having disabled children, deafness, blindness, drug addiction, alcoholism, the death of a loved one, and accidents. Rob’s second book, Your Soul’s Gift: The Healing Power of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born, explores the pre-birth planning of spiritual awakening, miscarriage, abortion, caregiving, sexuality, adoption, rape, incest, poverty, mental illness, and even the pre-birth planning we do with our future pets. Rob’s books have been translated into 24 languages. Visit Rob online at yoursoulsplan.com or email him directly.

Interview recorded September 22, 2018.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

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

470. Sarah Taylor

Sarah TaylorSarah is an actor, writer, stand up comedian, and a spiritual and creative mentor living in Los Angeles. As a child, creativity and spirituality were at the forefront of her life. The lived experience of unity faded as trauma and stress from a troubled home edged out this awareness. But as Sarah began to discover singing and acting, she was hooked on the transcendence they evoked.

Creativity became her church.

She studied acting, graduated from California Institute of The Arts, and moved to Los Angeles. She began to question who she was and an impending initial awakening was thwarted by getting on a heavy dose of antidepressants. Overmedicated, misdiagnosed, and frozen in a suspended state for roughly a decade, Sarah eventually got off all medication and began a quest for truth.

An anxious, atheistic insomniac who simply wanted to get a good night’s sleep, in 2007 she took up meditation, immersed herself in Buddhist practice, and got way more than she asked for. She immediately began having deep, altering experiences on the spiritual path. She displayed an ease and familiarity with meditation practices, most notably those of Padmasambhava. At this time, Sarah began teaching meditation to other anxious artists as well as at companies.

She soon began undergoing a series of profound awakenings, which included Kundalini energy, intuitive abilities, and dark nights of the soul that uncovered old trauma to be healed. Even though she was studying Buddhism, there was not much support for this transformation and Sarah was lost for a while.

While navigating this radical shift in identity, she was working and creating as an actor and writer/stand up comedian, performing nightly at the comedy clubs in Los Angeles. She fell in love, too! Eventually, a settling, clearing, and integration of these shifts began to take place.

In 2016, Sarah awakened into unity with a deeper dissolution of who she had taken herself to be, abiding in a revelation of her true nature, delighting in being nothing and everything at once. A deepening and a maturation continue to unfold.

Sarah mentors people who are committed to the path of the modern, creative mystic. She leads women’s circles, retreats, and meetings, and sees people one-on-one.

Her writing and performing continue to evolve. Her humorous memoir, The Divine Mess: A Journey Through Love, Los Angeles, and Enlightenment is in the works, as is an hour-long live show.

She lives with her husband, dog, and cat on the Eastside of L.A.

Website: sarahtaylor.org

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

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

469. Jean Houston

Jean HoustonDr. Jean Houston, Ph.D., is a scholar, philosopher, educator and a recognized pioneer of the Human Potential Movement. Widely recognized as a visionary leader and multi-cultural expert, Houston is the author of over 30 books exploring human possibilities and positive action in the world. Houston served as an advisor in human and cultural development for UNICEF, and to national and international heads of state.

Houston has devoted her life to developing processes to activate the latent abilities in individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Over the last 60 years, Dr. Houston has worked in over 109 countries as an international speaker and teacher. Dr. Houston is the Chancellor of Meridian University and a dedicated champion of the human spirit.

Website: jeanhouston.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

I asked Jean which of her 30 books she would recommend for those wishing to learn more and she recommended:

More of Jean’s books:

Interview recorded September 1, 2018

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