492. Tina Rasmussen

Tina RasmussenAfter 20+ years of Buddhist and non-dual practice, in 2003 Tina Rasmussen, Ph.D., undertook a year-long solo retreat during which awakening occurred. She later ordained as a Buddhist nun with a world-renowned meditation master, became the first Western woman to attain that path, and was authorized to teach. Tina has been studied by Yale Neuroscience Lab for research on the effects of meditation on consciousness and the brain. Tina is co-author of Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented by the Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, and has been featured on Conscious TV and in Non-duality Magazine. She is also involved in the Diamond Approach to realization. Tina teaches students worldwide how to walk the path of the “urban mystic”—functioning from deep spiritual understanding while living a modern human life. Dr. Rasmussen has also worked in the field of human/organizational development as a consultant/coach for 25+ years, with several published books on humanistic leadership.

Website: awakeningdharma.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 23, 2019.

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

491. Mark Gober

Mark GoberMark Gober is a best-selling author, a Partner at Sherpa Technology Group in Silicon Valley, a former investment banker with UBS in New York, and former captain of the Princeton tennis team. His worldview was turned upside down in late 2016 when he was exposed to world-changing science which suggested that, contrary to mainstream assumptions, consciousness is not produced by the brain. After researching extensively, he wrote An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life to introduce the general public to these cutting-edge ideas — all in an effort to encourage a much-needed global shift in scientific and existential thinking.

Mark’s book has been endorsed by leading thinkers such as former Harvard neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Pixar founder Loren Carpenter, Institute of Noetic Sciences Chief Scientist Dr. Dean Radin, University of Virginia professor of neurobehavioral sciences Dr. Ed Kelly, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, Guru Singh, Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield, actress Goldie Hawn, and many others.

Website: markgober.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 16, 2019

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

490. Prasannan

PrasannanPrasannan had a fascination for Astronomy from an early age, having built his own telescope, and spent his teenage years studying the stars and planets. He was the president of the Astronomy, and Photography Clubs in high school. He always understood that what we see is only a tiny portion of the totality.

At Easter, in 1987, he attended a retreat which resulted in a spiritual awakening, leading him to conclude that he had always been on a spiritual path. As a result, he adopted a celibate (brahmacharya) lifestyle.

Having studied the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharshi, and Swami Sivananda, he heard about Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), and met her during her 1990 North American tour. At the time, he held a senior management position in corporate finance.

He had a natural motivation towards engaging in serving selflessly (Seva). The Sanskrit word “Seva” means helping others out of compassion, without a conscious thought of receiving personal benefit.

Prasannan moved to Amritapuri, India in 1992; on arriving he was placed in charge of the computer room, and developed a new accounting system, training the brahmacharins (monks) in its use; at the same time a Jyotish software program was acquired, which Prasannan became responsible for. At the direction of Amma, he began his practice of Jyotish, which continues to this day.

He travelled around the world with Amma, providing Jyotish interpretations during her programs. At other times he conducted sessions in India, raising funds for Amma charities.

After 19 years in India, he returned to Canada and established his independent Jyotish practice. After more than 2 decades of brahmacharya, he married Maya, the love of his life!

Prasannan has consulted with more than 60,000 clients throughout the world. He answers questions about all areas of life, material, familial, health, and well-being, as well as spiritual.

Website: prasannanjyotish.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 9, 2019.

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

489. Miranda Macpherson, 2nd Interview

Miranda MacphersonMiranda Macpherson began her spiritual journey at the age of thirteen when, amidst a period of clinical depression, she was spontaneously opened into a profound state of boundless love. That experience initiated a lifelong dedication to spiritual practice, psychological depth and the study of the world’s wisdom traditions. Her travels took her from her native Australia to the United Kingdom, where after completing seminary training, she founded the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation in London, at the request of her teacher. Over the next decade, Miranda trained and ordained more than six hundred interfaith ministers and spiritual counselors.

In 2005, a seismic shift occurred that changed the course of Miranda’s life. While meditating in a cave in India that was once home to the revered sage Sri Ramana Maharshi, she experienced a direct transmission of the true nature of reality that required total surrender. In the wake of this, Miranda found herself again moving to a new continent, this time the United States. There, in the years it took to integrate this opening, a body of teachings on Grace and Ego Relaxation began to emerge that brings ancient wisdom alive for our changing times.

Today, Miranda is known for her depth of presence and gift for guiding others into direct experience of the sacred. Miranda leads the Living Grace sangha in Marin and Sonoma counties, holds retreats internationally, and offers online programs through the Shift Network. Unapologetically feminine, joyful, and down to earth in her way of being, Miranda is dedicated to loving people all the way back into the freedom and wholeness of their true nature. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Bob Duchmann.

Books:

CDs:

Website: http://mirandamacpherson.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

First BatGap interview with Miranda.

Interview recorded February 4, 2019

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

488. Judy Cohen

Judy CohenJudy Cohen is a former clinical psychologist, former serial entrepreneur, former depressed, anxious, anti-depressant-taking, suicidal despairer. She used to be a seeker of Self Improvement. She used to be a Certified Facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie, and later a Certified Senior Facilitator-Trainer of the Living Inquiries. (** She’s not certified in either method anymore.)

She was desperate to feel better.

Luckily, eventually Judy came to see that the methods she was trained and certified in actually perpetuated, strengthened, the sense of self as damaged.

Several awakening experiences happened. Contrary to popular myth, they didn’t put an end to unpleasant feelings. So all that seeking, the inquiry, the desperation to shift, was for… what, then?

Judy finally realized she could give up seeking because… This. Is. It. As it is.

And what could any teacher or technique give her that wasn’t already here, that she didn’t already have?

She came to see that every experience- good, bad, happy, or sad- is an awakening.

She knew to give up seeking because there was nothing more to get. She’d had it all along.

Much more fun, this no-Judy-to-fix, nothing-to-seek existence.

Though of course she’s also still here as Judy.

Because human continues.

And paradoxically…

That’s better.

Website: irreverentmind.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded January 26, 2019.

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