413. Gloriji

GlorijiGloria Agrelius, (Gloriji), had been a bartender for more than 25 years and owned a blues biker bar. In 1999 her brother died of an overdose. Upon hearing the news, her mother died of a heart attack the following day. Gloriji closed the bar, went home, and fell apart.

She writes, “It felt like I was dropping through a dark space, feet first — rapidly dropping. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto. It felt like I was being stripped of everything that made me me. It was all gone.”

While on her knees crying out for help, the room she was in filled with radiant light and she recognized herself as that light. An overwhelming sense that all is well filled her being. She told the light that while she didn’t know what this was, she would dedicate the rest of her life to finding out. A thirst for truth filled her heart and gave her strength to step more deeply into the unknown.  She spent the next decade deepening and healing.

While on retreat with Adyashanti, after hearing of her awakening experiences, Adya encouraged her to share herself with others. Adya’s encouragement helped her to trust the strange new territory of teacher, mentor, healer… all held lightly in the open hand and heart that knows there is no other than the Supreme Reality… the Mystery she has come to Love.

Website: gloriji.com

For discussion of this interview, click here.

Video below. Audio coming soon.

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412. James Wood

James WoodJames Wood works with groups and individuals to discover the fundamental Reality of our essential nature. Having awakened in 2002 after years of study, he began to express a spontaneous teaching whose form continues to evolve. His message is that awakening is possible for anyone committed to finding Truth.

Originally, James studied philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and transformational studies with Richard Moss, M.D. He has combined his education and experience to express a modern, integrated vehicle for others to use as a means of growth in consciousness leading to awakening. He is dedicated to communicating the essence of the true Teaching to those who are ready to receive it.

Book: Ten Paths to Freedom: Awakening Made Simple

Website: jameswoodteachings.com

Discussion of this in interview in the BatGap Community Facebook group.

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

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411. Hans Laurentius

Hans LaurentiusTrained in the 90’s as a teacher in spiritual therapy. The search stopped, among other ‘things’, mainly through the confrontation with Nisargadatta’s I am That, and Ramana Maharshi’s glare and words and the spontaneous recognition of Awareness (Consciousness) as reality. ‘After’ that awakening the ‘I Am/Consciousness’ was recognised to be the first identification.

Since ’98 Hans has led hundreds of satsangs, retreats and private sessions. He published eight books and a booklet, many many articles and columns, youtube satsang video’s (one in English) and seven homemade music cd’s. Hans is sometimes judged as being too confrontational or direct, or, more kindly, as very clear. On the other hand people credit him for his creativity and patience. Funny, right?

The following points and others reflecting Hans’ perspective were discussed in the interview:

  • When spirituality is not alarming, it’s not worth mentioning.
  • Burn-out is never about work. It’s a spiritual crisis. Not feeling and listening leads to inauthenticity which at a certain point makes the ‘soul’ scream for change.
  • Self-inquiry is for internal use only. Not for beating others down, or to be used as an excuse for lousy behavior.
  • Becoming aware isn’t necessarily pleasant. It will always bring clarity though.
  • Reality is never a problem until we start to project our beliefs, fears, expectations and judgements onto it.
  • You are far too much interested in solutions, and in the meantime it is your mind (what you believe) who is creating the trouble in the first place.
  • Ego-mind has only two modes: trying to get something and trying to get rid of something. Sprituality based on this doesn’t deserve the name.
  • Unresolved issues keep you from being truly present and real. Avoidance is one of the most weakening tributes of identification with the mind.
  • A lot of (your) spirituality is insincere. It’s mostly based on trying to get rid of something, avoiding authenticity, masking what is really there, taking on a new persona.
  • Not feeling things fully. Not facing facts. Trying to force an outcome. Overreacting and looking for approval. All sings of immaturity. Sub-human attitudes.
  • What you truly are has never been hurt or treated badly, it’s not lacking anything. It’s completely free, whole and shining. NOW. ALREADY. It’s fearless!

Website:

Private Skype Sessions with Hans (in English) will become available in September 2017 for those outside The Netherlands and Belgium. Please check the ‘English’ Section on the website for details.

Discussion of this in interview in the BatGap Community Facebook group.

Interview recorded 8/5/2017.

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

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410. Sri M, Second Interview

Sri MSri M – spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist – was born into a Muslim family on November 6, 1949 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His transformational journey, from a young boy to a living yogi, is a fascinating story symbolized by single-minded discipline and dedication.

Entranced by mystical stories of Sufi saints and a brief encounter with a numinous Swami at a relatively young age, he was not only drawn to the ‘truth’ but also the compelling landscape of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the age of nine, his spiritual transformation was initiated by his future Master, Babaji (also known as Maheshwarnath Babaji), who miraculously appeared under a jackfruit tree in the compound of his house in Thiruvananthapuram. Though only fleeting, this meeting definitively set the stage for their future reunion in the Himalayas at Sri M’s age of nineteen.

The next three and half years, he lived and travelled extensively through the Himalayas with his Master. Maheshwarnath Babaji guided him right through his initiation, his Kundalini awakening, the grueling journey to Tholingmutt and, the eventual meeting with the Grand Master, Sri Guru Babaji also known as Sri Mahavatar Babaji.

A few years after his Master passed away, he received the spiritual go-ahead to commence his mission. In 1998, he started his teachings, eventually leading to formation of the Satsang Foundation.

In response to a query on the spiritual progress of a person and the path to that evolution, he responds, “Though, my parampara is kriya yoga, I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.” Conversant with teachings of most major religions, Sri M says: “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.” His message seeks to transcend the outer-shell of all religions, by exploring their mystical core to nurture the innate goodness in every human being.

Website: satsang-foundation.org

Books:

First Batgap interview with Sri M.

Discussion of this in interview in the BatGap Community Facebook group.

Interview recorded 7/30/2017

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

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409. Stephen D’Amico

Stephen D'AmicoStephen D’Amico is a spiritual teacher, mystical poet, and author. At age 22, Stephen went through a profound spiritual transformation that culminated in a permanent realization of his true nature. Since then his life has been devoted to understanding the spiritual path from an evolutionary perspective and helping others reconnect with their true nature to help bring about a global awakening in human consciousness. The main way he does this is through the direct transmission of the enlightened state of being, which connects others with their own true nature.

In the past, Stephen has worked in the field of conflict resolution and restorative justice as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and project leader for youth social action groups. He has also taught at both the elementary and high school levels, focusing on the special needs of students with learning disabilities. Currently, he and his wife, Aniko, run Millwood Melt, a lively grilled cheese restaurant in their beloved community of Leaside, in Toronto. Customers and students playfully refer to Stephen as “the grilled cheese guru.”

When not feeding bodies, Stephen lives and breathes to feed souls. He currently hosts transformational gatherings/satsang and offers individuals enlightened guidance and support via phone, Skype, or in person. He is the author of two books:

Discussion of this in interview in the BatGap Community Facebook page.

Interview recorded 7/23/2017

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

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