473. John Butler

John ButlerChildhood accustomed me to nature, solitude – a sense of God which needed no explaining. Stillness, beauty, depths of love called my heart back home where it belonged. But life grew out into the world, became possessed and lost the way.

After a few unwilling years in business, I went to South America ‘To make the world a better place’. It wasn’t so easy. Alone on a mountainside one day, an inner voice said, ‘To make whole, be whole’. I realised that, before being able to help others, I first had to work on myself. Once back in England, I looked for and found a source of meditation, which opened up a whole new way of seeing.

How can I best help the world I love? This question led me through organic farming, much travel and many adventures to ever deeper understanding of the Work of Prayer.

I wouldn’t call myself a mystic though some say I am. I’m not sure what it means besides “Not this – not that”. Neither (in a conventional sense) am I very religious. “Mystic” conveys to me a wise unknowing of morning mist with only the promise of a day to come. It’s not an intellectual approach defined by man but trusting, waiting, quietly still before each blade of grass, each little bird (Mat.6,26-28) reminding us of higher, nobler government than ours.

This required attending to the moment “Now”, reminding me how much we live not present, here, but absent, lost in past or future – thought, desires and fear. But isn’t that reality? We need to look and see.

Books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded October 13, 2018.

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

444. Kimberly Braun

Kimberly BraunKimberly Braun, Minister, M.A., CSP and Meditation Coach has been impelled from and within her contemplative experiences from the age of 5, with over ten of her years spent as a Carmelite monastic nun. Her Masters in theology was completed in 2001 in Washington D.C., and is concentrated upon the adult spiritual journey. As a CSP, keynote presentations are a primary tool in her personal mission to inspire others to live from the power and wisdom within them. Her style is playful, deeply inquiring, and intelligent in the synthesis of not only how to access this part of ourselves, but how to live from that place more consistently. She is a retreat and workshop facilitator, TEDx speaker, meditation faculty at the renowned Omega Institute, and fellow seeker on the path to living freely. She has three CDs and a book now available about her time as a nun, Love Calls: Insights of a Former Carmelite Nun.

She is just launching into the online world with her World Meditation for Happiness project, new online courses, and a FREE online spiritual community.

Kimberly is now available for private sessions, keynotes, and retreats. Stay in touch by visiting: www.kimberlybraun.com.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded Feb. 24, 2018

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

430. Matthew Fox

Matthew FoxMatthew Fox is a spiritual theologian, an Episcopal priest, and an activist.  As a spiritual theologian he has written 34 books that have been translated into over 60 languages. Among them are Original Blessing, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, A Spirituality Named Compassion, The Reinvention of Work, The Hidden Spirituality of Men, Christian Mystics, and The Pope’s War. He has contributed much to the rediscovery of Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas as pre-modern mystics and prophets. Fox holds a doctorate in the history and theology of spirituality from the Institut Catholique de Paris. The founder of the University of Creation Spirituality in California, he conducts dozens of workshops each year and is a visiting scholar at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, NM.

In joining the Episcopal church over 20 years ago, Fox has been working with young people to reinvent forms of worship by bringing elements of rave such as dance, dj, vj and more into the Western Liturgy.  The Cosmic Mass has been celebrated over 100 times and in dozens of cities in North America.

Fox is recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks), the Gandhi King Ikeda Award, the Tikkun National Ethics Award and other awards.

His latest books are Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action; Stations of the Cosmic Christ; and A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey. He teaches regularly at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality in Boulder, CO and resides in Vallejo, CA.

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded November 11, 2017.

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