523. Barbara & Charles Whitfield

Charles & Barbara WhitfieldBarbara Whitfield was a researcher at the University of Connecticut Medical School with psychiatry professor Bruce Greyson. Together they researched the after-effects of people who have had a Near-Death Experience. She taught at Rutger’s University’s Institute for Alcohol and Drug Studies School for 12 years, served on the board and executive board of The International Association for Near-Death Studies and was president of the Kundalini Research Network. She’s been a guest expert on Larry King Live (twice), The Today Show, Man Alive, Donahue, Unsolved Mysteries, PM Magazine, Good Morning America, Oprah, Joan Rivers, Sonya Freeman, CNN Medical News, and Alabama Public Television, Imus, and All Things Considered. She also writes self-help books and provides workshops and speaking engagements on topics of recovery, near-death experiences and natural spirituality.

Charles L Whitfield MD is a physician, psychotherapist, and internationally recognized expert on mental illness, behavioral problems, and recovery. He was an associate professor of medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine for 4 years and then taught medicine and addiction medicine as associate professor of medicine, psychiatry and family medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for eight years. He has been on the faculty of the Rutgers University Summer Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies since 1978, and in the private practice of medicine and psychotherapy since 1976. He has been voted by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America every year since 1994.

Barbara and Charles have a private practice in Atlanta Georgia helping adults who have been repeatedly traumatized, who are having problems in living, who want to come off of psych drugs and/or opiates, and who may have had a spiritually transformative experience.

Books:

Website: barbara-whitfield.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded November 2, 2019

Video below. Audio coming soon.

522. Annette Kaiser

Annette KaiserAnnette Kaiser was born in Zürich, Switzerland in 1948. She is a spiritual teacher, founder and spiritual director of the retreat center Villa Unspunnen in Switzerland. Under her guidance, this place has become a gem of peace and light, that inspires many people in their spiritual work. She is a visionary of a Universal Spirituality and has written more than ten books. After completing her studies in economics and sociology at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), she worked for many years in the field of development cooperation. Her special fields were the women`s cause and intercultural dialog. During 17 years, she was a student of Irina Tweedie, an Anglo-Russian Sufi-teacher (author of Daughter of Fire: A Diary of a Spiritual Training with a Sufi Master). In the late 1980s, Annette Kaiser opened her Tai Ji DO-School, training teachers for over 30 years. Since 1998, she is authorized by Mrs. Tweedie to continue the Naqshbandiyya Mujaddidiyya Sufilineage, guiding human beings on the path of love. In the year 2000, she developed the „DO-path“, which she continues to develop and which enhances a deep transformation of the heart as a way of living in a non-dual, cosomocentric understanding. In 2017 she started teaching the art of spiritual dreamwork.

She is particularly devoted to transconfessional and transcultural evolutionary spirituality, which implies an open aware state of being as the natural expression of an integral way of living in a very deep sense. This way leads to Universal Spirituality and Universal Cooperation as Not-Two. In both areas, Annette Kaiser initiates and participates in many ways (retreats, workshops, conferences, audio-conferences, etc.) with different groups, centers and human beings in Europe and worldwide. She sees the 21st Century as a call for humanity to recognize itself as inseparably One, co-creating a new culture in collective wisdom and love of One Heart.

In addition, she engages herself also on a very practical level, always in the spirit of what Universal Spirituality means for her – ONE World – ONE Humanity – ONE Consciousness – locally and globally: e.g. recently by initiating the Co-creating Europe movement, or supporting the project of “Lebensraum Belmont” next door. And for over 30 years she is president of the not-for-profit association “Open Hands” that supports projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Furthermore, projects like “The path of Love – A Meditation path” and the meditation “The Golden Thread – for ONE WORLD” have been inspired by her.

She is married, mother of two adult children and grandmother.

Website: goldenerwind.ch

Books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded October 19th, 2019.

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

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.”