590. Theresa Cheung

Theresa ChungTheresa Cheung was born into a family of spiritualists. She has a Masters degree from Kings College, Cambridge, and has written numerous bestselling dream, angel, afterlife, ritual, and spiritual titles and Encyclopedias, including two Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers. She has been a guest on Russell Brand’s Under the Skin and Coast to Coast AM and featured in numerous newspapers and media.

Main points discussed:

  • Theresa’s bio and background
  • Movies can be a powerful means of popularizing spiritual knowledge.
  • Supernatural experiences are part of the human experiences. We should not idolize those who have them but investigate the possibility of having them ourselves.
  • Dreams inspire interest in spirituality.
  • The pandemic “lockdown dream phenomenon”.
  • “Dreams are your intuition, your internal therapist”
  • The inner guide is switched off in the modern busy world, but the pandemic switched it back on.
  • Night visions and how they may be much more than dreams.
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Confronting difficulties in dreams can prepare one to deal with difficult situations in waking life.
  • Theresa’s investigation of mediumship.
  • Discussion of cults and the importance of spiritual integrity.
  • The importance of humility on the spiritual path.
  • We’re all ordinary people who have extraordinary experiences from time to time.
  • Everyone’s path is unique.
  • It can be tempting to follow a teacher and intoxicating to amass followers.
  • An extensive discussion of angels.
  • The importance of kindness and caring for others.
  • The importance of a scientific approach to spirituality.
  • The importance of open-mindedness and not knowing all the answers.
  • When someone dies, there is a relationship in spirit not limited by space and time.
  • Heaven on earth. The life we live here determines the quality of the afterlife.
  • The importance of forgiveness.
  • Theresa mentions that ‘forgiveness’ is somewhat neglected in contemporary spirituality.
  • Relationships with animals.
  • The importance of curiosity.

A few of Theresa’s books:

Website: theresacheung.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 6, 2021.

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

586. Cynthia Bourgeault, 2nd Interview

Cynthia BourgeaultCynthia Bourgeault is a modern-day mystic, Episcopal priest, and theologian. For thirty years she worked closely with Fr. Thomas Keating as a student, editor, and colleague and has taught and written extensively on Centering Prayer. She is a core faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation and founding director of an international network of Wisdom Schools. In addition to her work on Centering Prayer, she is the author of numerous other books on the Christian Mystical and Wisdom tradition, including The Wisdom Jesus: Transforming Heart and Mind–A New Perspective on Christ and His Message, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, and her most recent, Eye of the Heart: A Spiritual Journey into the Imaginal Realm.

Websites:

Other Books:

Main points discussed in this interview:

  • The Imaginal Realm is an objective reality belonging to the spectrums of consciousness within the Great Chain of Being which transcend, surround, and penetrate the denser realities. “Imaginal” does not mean “imaginary”.
  • Heaven and Hell represent opposites on the spectrum of consciousness which runs from freedom and connectedness on one end to constriction and alienation on the other. Both are experienced here, too.
  • Our important task is to become cosmic servants integrated into earthly reality.
  • Our work done in this realm feeds and informs the subtler realms which then process it and pour it back into our realm so that all realms evolve as a single reality.
  • The Kingdom of Heaven can be interpreted as seeing ourselves as wormholes that act as portals into the wholeness of the cosmic matrix. Encountering the Kingdom of God opens us up to the holistic nature of reality that informs and invites us to walk within the congruity of our individual will and the will of the Wholeness that seeks to become manifest.
  • Developing discernment requires equanimity and open-heartedness grounded in humility so that the ego doesn’t take the lead by creating roles that toxify and stagnate the path towards love and understanding.
  • Remaining teachable while being willing to risk self-exploration is essential to balanced development.
  • Creation is God’s way of communicating Love that gives, receives, sees, and is seen. This relational field has as its telos the eternal generation of diversity held together and protected by Love.
  • The great work is to fully show up in the laboratory of our lives and awaken into higher stages of consciousness. We courageously and graciously accept the presence of “tough grace” which comes to us packaged as apparent obstacles and even suffering.
  • From the depth of humility and spiritual maturity, we learn how to appreciate pinnacle spiritual states without getting attached to them.
  • Our emotional transactions have an energetic signature. We can learn how to “sniff the odor” of the energy in events, places, the dynamic between people, and even in concepts and ideas. This “sniffing” is an encounter with the Imaginal Realms.
  • We are in the birth canal of the collective emergence into the integral but the labor is difficult due to divisions between the “structures of consciousness.” We need to honor and re-engage with the magical and the mythical, ritual, the spirit of repentance, a lifestyle of moderation, and heart-centered living in order to create the spaciousness needed for global metanoia.
  • Jesus came to “line the anguish [of our human experience] with love.” The entire cosmos, from the dense to the subtle, is set up to experience burning restlessness—which becomes the driveshaft propelling the whole thing forward. Through Jesus, God tells the universe that love reaches all, forgiveness is eternal, nothing is lost, and the Universe is for you.

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 6, 2021

First BatGap interview with Cynthia.

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

582. Daniel P. Brown

Dr. Daniel P. BrownDr. Daniel Brown has been a clinical and forensic psychologist for almost 50 years. He has been at Harvard Medical School for almost 40 years. He has been a student of, translator for, and meditation master in the Indo-Tibetan and Bon meditation tradition for almost 50 years. He has the only Western neuroscience study identifying the brain changes in the shift from ordinary mind to awakened mind.

Books:

Websites:

Main points discussed in this interview:

  • Whether enlightenment is correlated with ethical behavior. Enlightenment is a holistic development, where all lines of development have flourished.
  • An explanation of the four clouds of the Heart Sutra.
  • Establishing neurophysiological correlates of enlightenment.
  • What does it mean to see the world as sacred?
  • Development of multiple bodies serving different functions simultaneously (as a result of enlightenment). Has the Dalai Lama done this?
  • A baseball player who trained by having tennis balls fired in a batting cage at 200mph. A discussion of the relative speeds of thinking, attention, and awareness.
  • Is there a personal self or entity which reincarnates?
  • An enlightened person can choose an incarnation rather than being mandated to a particular life by existing “memory traces”.
  • Detailed discussion on the rainbow body and relics found in the cremation ashes of enlightened beings who have mastered rainbow bodies.
  • The potential pitfalls of silent retreats.
  • Not mistaking preliminary stages for more advanced stages.
  • The only true test of realization is conduct, how you live your life, and how you treat other people.
  • Witnessing
  • The difference between ordinary and awakened awareness. Integrating awakened awareness into all other activity.
  • Stages in the development of concentration.
  • The process of releasing memory traces.
  • What practices are good for a beginner? Eligibility requirements for different stages of instruction.
  • Discussion of the Padmasambhava quote, “Although my awareness is as vast as the sky, my attention to karma is as fine as a grain of barley flour.” The importance of continuing vigilance after enlightenment.
  • Do enlightened people all experience a universal, ultimate reality in the same way, or do different spiritual paths and personal tendencies result in enlightenment being different for different people?
  • Can you do anything to get to non-doing?
  • Conspiracies and cult mentality. The importance of cultivating discernment on the spiritual path.
  • The importance of enlightened leaders. Can they be effective without an enlightened populace?

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded January 10, 2021

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