520. Dr. Miles Neale

Miles NealeDr. Miles Neale, PsyD, is a Buddhist psychotherapist in private practice and founder of the two-year online Contemplative Studies Program. Author of Gradual Awakening (Sounds True, 2018) and co-editor of Advances in Contemplative Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2017), Miles is a faculty member of Tibet House (US) and Weill Cornell Medical College. With more than twenty years integrating the mind science and meditative practices of Tibetan Buddhism with psychotherapy, trauma research, and neuroscience, Miles is a forerunner in the emerging field of contemplative psychotherapy and leads pilgrimages around the Buddhist world.

Websites:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 28, 2019

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

519. Cynthia Lane, 2nd Interview

Cynthia LaneFrom my earliest memories, God was always at the center of things. After exploring a number of teachers and modalities in the great spiritual garden of late-sixties San Francisco, things really geared up when I learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in Berkeley in 1967. TM’s gifts were unmistakable and I began a thirty-year career of devoted service to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Vedic tradition. This encompassed many years of teaching TM in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and lots of time simply meditating, including seven years in a convent style setting. All this yielded vast personal and spiritual growth which remains fully integrated into my life, a gift that keeps on giving.

Towards the end of this period, I studied and shared several healing modalities, especially Cranio-sacral therapy. This deepened my experience of the body as energy and Light and helped me discover the body’s huge role in lasting and comprehensive healing.
In 1996, my path led me to the indigenous traditions of the West, especially Lakota. I was blessed in countless ways by the great Lakota holy man, wisdom keeper and Sundance leader Naca Wa-Anata. Through him, I received a personal pipe–a precious and powerful source of inspiration, healing,and transformation–and was able to participate in life-changing Lakota ceremonies, including Sundance, for many years. As a result, I opened to a profound and intimate relationship with the Earth and her healing and nourishing gifts and learned to embrace life on Earth with a grounded joy and openness that I had never known before. Most importantly, I learned to embody and live the boundless consciousness I had merged with through the Vedic teaching and find the same infinite Self everywhere and in everyone.
Through this time, I gradually realized that I was here not only to help people merge with the Infinite in their awareness but also to help them include their bodies in the journey. In simplest terms, this means helping our cellular reality or belief systems shift from identifying as density to self-recognizing as divine Light, or FirstLight, as I call it. We truly are just a dream of Light.
Finally, around 2012, what I now call the path of Grace simply showed up for me, initially while visiting sacred sites in France. In essence, I was made aware that our growth is no longer something we have to work at. God/Divine Love/divine Light is so powerfully present now that all we have to do is open and receive It, and It will take care of all that we need for spiritual and human fulfillment. Since then, many divine gifts have “downloaded” to share with others to support this effortless form of growth. While remaining endlessly Silent and utterly unlocalized, this magical-mystery-tour of a life is a sacred and joyous privilege.

First BatGap interview with Cynthia.

Website: firstlighttransformations.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 21, 2019.

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

518. Cassandra Vieten

Cassandra VietenCassandra Vieten is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Scholar-in-Residence at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where she worked for 18 years and served as President and CEO from 2013-2019. She is a psychologist, mind-body medicine researcher, author of numerous articles in scientific journals, and an internationally recognized keynote speaker.

Her research has focused on spirituality and health, transformative experiences and practices, and the development of mindfulness-based interventions for emotional well-being. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and completed her research training in behavioral genetics at UCSF. She is the author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year, and co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals.

Her current projects focus on how mental health care be transformed so that it includes fitness/movement, nutrition, mind-body, and clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs and practices (when relevant) to foster mental and emotional fitness and well-being; what environmental and internal conditions, agents, practices, and states of consciousness stimulate imagination – in particular, the ability to see new possibilities; how cognitive, social and neuroscience along with practices from the world’s wisdom traditions can foster positive change in individuals and in our world (see Consciousness, Communication and Change program and Campaign Science for the political and activist arena), and how introducing people to awe-inspiring ideas and environments can stretch their imagination or help them see things from a new perspective, leading to self-transcendence, shifts in worldview and perspective on life, and other prosocial emotions and behaviors.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 14, 2019

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