377. Regina Dawn Akers

Regina Dawn AkersRegina Dawn Akers has been sharing spiritual teachings, organizing retreats and leading pilgrimages to holy sites in Israel and India since 2005. She’s published two books: “Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament: A Course in Understanding and Acceptance” (NTI) and “The Teachings of Inner Ramana”. Her third book “Thoughts of Awakening: 365 Thoughts for Daily Contemplation” is provided as a free e-book. Each of these books came to Regina from within through her willingness to be their scribe, student and teacher. She is a living model of their teachings and a clear channel of the deeper meaning that lies hidden beyond the written word.

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.

Written Books

Audio Books

Interview recorded 12/10/2016

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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345. Atreya Thomas

Atreya ThomasAwakening 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.

Books:

Website: revealingtheabsolute.com

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded 5/7/2016

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

338. Matthew Wright

Matthew WrightThe Rev. Matthew Wright is an Episcopal priest, writer, and retreat leader working to renew the Christian Wisdom tradition within a wider interspiritual framework.  He writes a monthly column, Belonging, for Contemplative Journal and serves as priest-in-charge at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Woodstock, NY.  Matthew lives with his wife, Yanick, alongside the brothers of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park, NY.  You can learn more about his work through the Center for Spiritual Resources.

Interview conducted 3/12/2016

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

319. Jane Anderson-Ross

Jane Anderson-RossJane Anderson-Ross is a wife, mother, and grandmother currently living in Rochester, NY.

Raised in a New Jersey suburb of Philadelphia, Jane always had the gifts of love and compassion, and even as a young child, felt that her life path was to help others heal.

But in 1988, during the throes of her own trials and difficulties, Jane had a transformation that was prompted by a singular prayer. She surrendered to the Divine Creator and asked, “Let me be Your Eyes, Your Ears, Your Hands, and Your Heart.” From that prayer, came what she can only describe as a “Rebirth”; a profound transformation with a pure divine directive.

However, still very much Jane, she continued on as a devoted wife and mother of 2 babies.

What became extraordinary to her though, was the Divine events, healings, and transformations that touched not only her own life, but that of many others who came into contact with her.

Nevertheless, Jane’s love, humility, and simplicity never wavered, and she decided to enter into the field of holistic healing arts. She began sharing her gifts through a spiritually-based newsletter, which included Divinely inspired writings and poetry. Later she added more formal, professional training, and became a Shiatsu and Thai Message Therapist, Reiki Master, Aromatherapy, and Naturopathic Esthetician. Other modalities included Ancient Palmistry and Psychic Mediumship.

Jane is happy to share her personal story with all who ask, and feels that her expression is best stated by the following;

“It matters not what we do, but from where we come whilst doing it”.

Website: janeandersonross.com

Interview recorded 12/12/2015

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