394. Culadasa (John Yates)

CuladasaCuladasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is the director of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona and author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness. A meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, Culadasa also taught physiology and neuroscience for many years. He combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded 4/1/2017

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

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390. Peter Cutler

Peter CutlerSpiritual midwife, evolutionary, healer, author and artist, Peter Cutler had a profound awakening experience at the tender age of twenty-two. Ten days after it began, he promptly fell back into the dream state most us consider our lives. Not having a clue what had happened, he began a spiritual search that took him through many spiritual teachers, practices and traditions, finally flowering as this great light of profound peace, unconditional love, freedom and contentment.

As he first discovered at twenty-two, the radiance of this awake being seems to have a profound effect on people, often leading to remarkable healings. This made it crystal clear that we don’t awaken for ourselves alone.

As a spiritual midwife, for those who are ready, he assists in the birth of the awakened nature that lies within each of us. He offers weekly teachings, healing, Living Awake groups, retreats and private sessions at his spiritual center in Sedona, Arizona (The Sedona Zendo of the Awakened Heart) or online.

His first book The Zen of Love: Discover Your Own Awakened Heart is available on Amazon. Free digital download of the book.

Learn more about Peter and his work at

Interview recorded 3/4/2017.

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

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387. Mukti, Francis Bennett, Loch Kelly: “Emptiness is also Form” (Panel Discussion at the SAND Conference)

On 10/21/2016 at the Science and Nonduality Conference, Loch Kelly, Mukti and Francis Bennett discuss the paradoxical understanding reflected in the famous Heart Sutra’s saying, “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Form is none other than emptiness and emptiness is none other than form.” They have noticed that many people get caught half-way after an initial awakening in a kind of spiritual bypass: stuck in stillness, spaced-out, blissed-in or attached to the conceptual belief that “I am nobody.” What are the pointers and supports to realize the already manifest life arising out of the unmanifest awareness? They give examples of the fullness of waking-up from a limited sense of self to pure awareness, then also waking-in to our bodies and waking-out to relating and creating in the world. Loch, Mukti and Francis discuss the importance the dancing emptiness of embodiment and how to live from open-hearted awareness.

MuktiMukti, whose name means “liberation”, is a teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti, her husband. Together they founded Open Gate Sangha in 1996 to cultivate the awakening of consciousness in those who yearn for truth, peace, and freedom. In teaching, Mukti brings flavors of feminine quietude and nurturing as well as kinesthetic, visual, and precise pointers to Truth. Many speak of her being particularly gifted in her offering of guided meditations. Her keen interest as a teacher is in revelation of consciousness touching and transforming human experience. She is licensed in acupuncture and certified in yoga instruction. For sample teachings, audio clips and downloads, and further information, visit muktisource.org. Audio Book: The Self in Full Bloom

Previous BatGap interview with Mukti

Francis BennettFrancis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Until recently, he was living in a small urban monastery in Montreal Quebec. He has been a “spiritual seeker” during all those years, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and working deeply with teachers in both the Vipassana and Zen Traditions as well. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness, which some would call, the Presence of God.

You may contact Francis by email, Skype (francisdale3), his Facebook page, or through his website. Francis’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self“.

Previous BatGap interviews involving Francis:

Loch KellyLoch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW is the author of, Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. He is an educator, licensed psychotherapist and recognized leader in the field of nondual meditation who was asked to teach Sutra Mahamudra by Mingyur Rinpoche and nondual meditation by Adyashanti. Loch has worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters and counseled family members of 9/11. He is the founder of the non-profit Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. Loch collaborates with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn and NYU to study how awareness training can enhance compassion and well-being. For more information, visit lochkelly.org.

Previous BatGap interview with Loch.

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

375. Shinzen Young, 2nd Interview

Shinzen YoungShinzen Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant.

His systematic approach to categorizing, adapting and teaching meditation has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Vermont in the bourgeoning field of contemplative neuroscience.

Shinzen’s interest in Asia began at the age of 14 when he decided to attend Japanese ethnic school in his native city of Los Angeles.

After majoring in Asian languages at UCLA, he entered a PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. As a part of his thesis research, he lived as a Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) monk for three years at Mount Koya, Japan. It was then that he received the name Shinzen (真善).

Also during that time, he became friends with Father William Johnston (author of Christian Zen). Fr. Johnston helped broaden Shinzen’s interests to include comparative world mysticism and the scientific study of meditative states.

Upon returning to the United States, his academic interests shifted to the dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science.

Shinzen is known for his interactive, algorithmic approach to mindfulness, and often uses mathematical metaphors to illustrate meditative phenomena.

He is the author of The Science of Enlightenment, Natural Pain Relief and numerous audio offerings.

Shinzen leads residential retreats throughout North America. In 2006, he created the Home Practice Program. These phone-based mini-retreats are designed to make deep meditation practice accessible to anyone in the world regardless of their location, health situation, and time or financial constraints.

Websites:

Books:

First BatGap interview with Shinzen.

Interview recorded 11/26/2016

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

373. Adyashanti and Francis Bennett – “The Embrace of Jesus and Buddha”

jesus-buddha-paintingAdyashanti and Francis Bennett in a public dialog about the parallels and differences between Jesus and the Buddha, as two complimentary yet very different models of awakening. Where the Buddha emphasized inner peace and the transcendence of samsara, Christ emphasized embodying divine humanity in the midst of samsara, embracing the human condition in order to serve those who are lost in ignorance.

Adya came to a deeper appreciation of Jesus by way of his study of Zen, while Francis ─ a former Trappist monk turned non-dual teacher ─ came to Buddhism by way of immersion in mystical Christianity.

“The Christ comes to disturb, to stir up the pot, to descend to the chaotic earthly realm, and to get people to move out of their limited comfort zones and indifference toward others and life in general: to help us transform and transmute the personal and social dimension of what it means to be a human being in a human society. The Buddha comes to bring inner peace by awakening us up and out of our over-identification with the personal, and help us to realize who we are in transcendence, who we are as “trans-personal” persons. You need both approaches. They are opposite sides of the one “coin” of awakening.” — Francis Bennett

AdyashantiAdyashanti, is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Previous BatGap posts involving Adyashanti:

Website: adyashanti.org

Francis BennettFrancis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Until recently, he was living in a small urban monastery in Montreal Quebec. He has been a “spiritual seeker” during all those years, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and working deeply with teachers in both the Vipassana and Zen Traditions as well. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness, which some would call, the Presence of God.

You may contact Francis by email, Skype (francisdale3), his Facebook page, or through his website. Francis’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self“.

Previous BatGap interviews involving Francis:

Recorded 10/25/2016 at the Santa Cruz Open Circle.

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

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