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.

553. Dorothy Hunt, 2nd Interview

Dorothy HuntDorothy Hunt serves as Spiritual Director of Moon Mountain Sangha, teaching at the request of Adyashanti.  She is the founder of the San Francisco Center for Meditation and Psychotherapy and has practiced psychotherapy since 1967. She is the author of Leaves from Moon Mountain, Only This!, and Ending the Search: From Spiritual Ambition to the Heart of Awareness. A contributing author to The Sacred Mirror, and Listening from the Heart of Silence: Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy, Dorothy is also a featured spiritual teacher in the book, Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Wisdom: The Feminine Face of Awakening.

Dorothy has a long and deep connection to the teachings of Ramana Maharshi and the path of Self-Inquiry, as well as the nondual teachings of Zen, Advaita, and the Christian mystics.  In meeting Adyashanti, she was invited beyond identification with either the absolute or relative, finding freedom in what is awake in each of us regardless of the changing faces of experience. Dorothy offers satsang, retreats, and private meetings in the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere by invitation.

For more information, visit www.dorothyhunt.org

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

First BatGap interview with Dorothy Hunt.

This interview was recorded May 11, 2020, as part of an online conference offered by the Science and Nonduality Conference, held May 17-23, entitled Wisdom in Times of Crisis. The conference has finished, but you may sign up to access all of its content.

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

551. Elena Nezhinsky

Elena NezhinskyLike 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.