The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault, Ph.D., is an Episcopal priest, teacher, writer, and internationally acclaimed retreat leader. A student of Fr. Thomas Keating, Bruno Barnhart, Beatrice Bruteau, and the Gurdjieff Work, she has made her mark exploring Wisdom Christianity and the often overlooked lineage of Christian nonduality. Founding Director of the Contemplative Society in Victoria BC and the Aspen Wisdom School, she now serves as one of the core faculty, together with Richard Rohr, OFM, and James Finley, of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. When not teaching internationally, she resides in her seaside hermitage on Eagle Island, Maine.
Regina shares insightful and consistent clarity using a variety of spiritual teachings as pointers. She is the founder of Awakening Together, a worldwide online spiritual assembly dedicated to helping people become self-reliant with inner spiritual wisdom. Awakening Together uses the teachings of many spiritual traditions to point toward one truth, one true Self, which lies peacefully within each of us. Regina is the author of Awakening Together’s 2-year Minister Preparation Program (MPP), which is a contemplative study of Truth through teachings from Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Kabbalah, the Tao Te Ching, A Course in Miracles, the New Testament, and contemporary masters including Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj.
When she is not traveling, Regina lives a quiet life in Pueblo, Colorado. She enjoys spending time with her family, her dog and few close friends. Many of Regina’s teachings are available freely online at reginadawnakers.com. She also invites everyone to enjoy the inspiration and online spiritual community provided through awakening-together.org.
Adyashanti 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
Adyashanti, 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.
Francis 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.
Awakening can be defined as a fundamental transformation or death of the exclusive “me” that has its identity in “I am the body and mind,” to a non-exclusive awareness that simultaneously sees itself in all things, times and places without a second of differentiation.
Just like the sunlight does not need to be achieved as it is there ever-shining, awakening is your true nature and does not need to be achieved. What does need to be achieved and does take effort is the removal of the curtain that obstructs the sunlight.
The only prerequisite for this removal is an earnest and unwavering devotion to discover something that is eternal, everlasting, complementary to all, unchanging, and final. This brings down grace which removes the veil. The intensity of devotion and perseverance determines the pace.
Atreya, his wife, and three adopted children live in California, where Atreya works as a pre-school teacher. He and his wife are also foster parents to drug-exposed infants who are hard to place.