562. James Finley

As a contemplative practitioner and clinical psychologist, James Finley helps seekers who desire to live a contemplative, whole life. Drawing from his experience as a former monk and spiritual directee of Thomas Merton, Jim offers trustworthy guidance for the spiritual journey through his website, online courses, occasional retreats, and the Center for Action and Contemplation where he serves as a core faculty member of The Living School for Action and Contemplation with Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr. Jim is the author of several books, including:

James’s podcast, Turning to the Mystics is for people searching for something more meaningful, intimate, and richly present in the divine gift of their lives. A clinical psychologist, James offers a modern take on the historical contemplative practices of Christian mystics like Teresa of Avila and Thomas Merton. Leaning into their experiences can become a gateway to hope, healing, and oneness. In each episode, Jim reads an excerpt from a mystical text, unpacks the meaning and symbolism, and then concludes with meditation and prayer. Together with Kirsten Oates from the Center for Action and Contemplation, they explore listener questions and examine their own paths as modern contemplatives in this beautiful and broken world.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded August 1, 2020.

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

551. Elena Nezhinsky

Elena NezhinskyThis guest has recently been promoting conspiracy theories lacking in any credibility. This type of misinformation may be dangerous and harmful. We encourage you to discriminate carefully.

Like many spiritual seekers, Elena Nezhinsky spent years meditating and studying spiritual writings and practices. Persistent inquiry into the nature of being and unknowable grace eventually culminated in a series of deep, awakening realizations. With uncompromising honesty, great humor, and a profound commitment to serving others, Elena shared her personal spiritual journey and the insights gleaned along the way in a book “Buddha on a Bull: A Practical Approach to Enlightenment“. As she puts it, “this is a book for everyone who is tired of seeking enlightenment, as I was.”

Elena is a co-creator of a method of awakening inquiry called Direct Pointing which continues to be profoundly helpful for thousands of people around the world. Elena holds M.S. in Engineering, she is professionally trained in Coaching, Human Design, and Family Constellations systems. She is a lifelong learner of Behavioral Psychology. A native of Ukraine, she lives in California now, where she continues to write and works as a Deep Transformation Mentor, guiding people to integrate and embody spiritual awakening.

Website: elenanezhinsky.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Previous BatGap interview with Elena (and Ilona Ciunaite)

Interview recorded May 23, 2020.

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

533. Leanora

Leanora BauarschiLeanora founded Embody Truth in 2012 as a way to support an integral approach to awakening and embodiment.  The work is originally inspired through a personal awakening and culminates into a coherent and disposable map helping others navigate the terrain.  Using a direct felt sense experience a somatic meditation practice supports unification, integration, and embodiment of all phenomena (traumatic material, identity, essence, back to stillness).

Leanora provides one-on-one sessions,  for those awakening as well as online group programs for ongoing practice, learning, and support.

Born in Africa she has lived in seven countries, including London, and California.  A life of contrasts, from farm girl to corporate America, a variety of careers, from IT to cottage industry within a land-based, permaculture project in New Zealand for 25 years.  She currently resides in Ubud, Bali.

Interview recorded January 17, 2020

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

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