508. Beth Miller

My deepest devotion, throughout my life has been to the discovery and embodiment of our truest nature.

I studied organized and mystical religions, I traveled to many countries in our world, getting a taste of different cultures and people, I lived a conventional suburban life as a wife and mother, I lived in chronic confusion, and I studied psychology, all with the gnawing question of ‘what is all this really about?’ tugging at my sleeve.

I was born in Brooklyn New York, into a world where appearances were everything, but I tended an inner world that I kept to myself. When I look back on how I was “companioned” throughout my childhood by my inner world that was full of comfort and promise I marvel at the wisdom and strength of this stream of consciousness.

After raising my two sons, I went to graduate school to study psychology and find professional legitimacy, and to focus on my interior. I had, for a long time, known I needed to heal from childhood trauma and I also felt a calling to help others. But, like so many of us, I had looked to the external world for this elusive happiness and healing I felt was missing.

After completing my degree, I built a satisfyingly delicious career – with the same gnawing question in my heart – how do I reconcile pain and confusion with a life-long intuited knowing of a greater consciousness or awareness?

In addition to a private practice of psychotherapy, I taught at California Institute of Integral Studies and the University of California at San Francisco. I was the therapist for a pilot study at Stanford and led workshops and presentations for cultivating resilience. (My first book is The Woman’s Book of Resilience – twelve qualities to cultivate).

I began to follow and study spiritual teachers: Adyashanti, David Hawkins, Mooji and Jan Frazier. After decades of devoted searching, I was guided by Jan Frazier and experienced a profound shift in consciousness at the age of 70. (Poster child for it never being too late) This realization allowed the inner and the outer world to melt into each other. After decades of healing and opening to larger and larger states of consciousness, the search ended. This shift set my course, in a humbling and wondrous way, to deeper and further understanding, to embodying and, most importantly, living what had been revealed.

In the sweet presence of now, I am along for the ride of intimate contact with whatever life has in store from moment to moment and day to day. In my bones, I understand what it means to be intimate with 10,000 things.

Website: bethmillerphd.com

Book: Waking Up on the Couch

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded June 29, 2019

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

503. Kylea Taylor

Kylea TaylorKylea Taylor, M.S., LMFT, found two gaps in ethics education in the early 1990s while simultaneously studying to be a Marriage and Family Therapist and working as a senior trainer at the Grof Transpersonal Training where she assisted Stanislav Grof in training practitioners of Holotropic Breathwork®. Kylea observed that working with clients in non-ordinary states of consciousness requires different ethical awarenesses. She drew upon the tenets of several of the great religions to create InnerEthics™, a model for ethical self-reflection. The model clarifies the unique ethical territory of understanding and working skillfully with people who are experiencing profound and extra-ordinary states of consciousness and also provides a scaffolding for recognizing our semi-conscious, inner motivations as practitioners, teachers, and caregivers in order to avoid client and student harm and increase client and student benefit. Her book, The Ethics of Caring: Finding Right Relationship With Clients for Profound, Transformative Work in Our Professional Healing Relationships, illuminates transference, countertransference, power dynamics, dual relationship, and other topics important to relational ethics. The book won the 2017 Nautilus Book Award in the category, “Relationships & Communication.”

Kylea teaches, writes, and consults about ethics. She is also currently President and co-founder of SoulCollage Inc., which since 2003 has been training facilitators worldwide to share an expressive arts method that promotes deep self-discovery, individually and in community. Kylea’s focus as a therapist has been on assisting clients in integrating the meaning and extra-ordinary gifts of spiritual emergence, awakening or transpersonal experiences, and what she calls “personal paradigm shift” phenomena.

Website

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded May 18, 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.