446. Atreya Thomas, 2nd Interview

Atreya Thomas“When we awaken the ego does die, but it is not what many think. The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, dies to its old form and can never go back to being a caterpillar. Yet, if you look closely, the main body of it still retains its caterpillar form. As we empty our minds and turn towards the Absolute in loving devotion, we become filled with Divine Grace that takes the form of insight which is very personal, and energizing. If we remain with this energy for a bit and not give into the impulse to give it away or share, we develop a secret relationship with the Self. This relationship then gives birth to even deeper truths as we stand completely alone. It is this secret devotional relationship with truth that brings down the final Grace that completes a human being and awakens the heart.”

Atreya Thomas, author of Revealing the Absolute, Awakening into a Complete Human Being; and Revealing the Christ, is an extra-ordinary teacher who grew up in the inner cities of New Jersey; and writes as he speaks. Having cut his own path from outside any particular “school,” he speaks from experience free of dogma, and the results are fresh and enlivening; while bringing a unique urban style. His own life combines the duties of householder, devotee, and teacher in a lifestyle that focuses on being awake in the midst of ordinary life.

Atreya Thomas is a father of five children whom were all adopted through foster care. He continues to foster drug exposed newborns with his wife in California and works closely with underprivileged communities. Atreya holds Satsangs where invited, works as a preschool teacher, studied Medicinal Qigong for 20 years, and holds a degree in Psychology.

Website: atreyathomas.com

Book: Awakening into a Complete Human Being: Merging the Outer with the Inner Most Self

First BatGap interview with Atreya.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded March 17, 2018.

Video below. Audio coming soon.

445. Swami Sarvapriyananda

Swami SarvapriyanandaSwami Sarvapriyananda has been appointed as Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York, and assumed his duties there on January 6, 2017.

Prior to this, he served as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months, beginning on December 3, 2015.

Swami joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before being posted to the VSSC’s Hollywood Temple, Swami served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math. He has served the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in various capacities including being the Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College at Belur Math, and the first Registrar of the Vivekananda University at Belur Math.

Website: vedantany.org

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

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

Interview recorded March 3, 2018.

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.

443. Shakti Caterina Maggi

Shakti Caterina MaggiShakti Caterina Maggi has been sharing a message of awakening to our true nature as One Consciousness since 2003, with workshops and meetings held in Italy, Europe, and around the world.

Although in the vein of the Advaita and non dual tantric tradition, Shakti shares a very contemporary approach to self-realization and reveals the real possibility of seeing what we are and embodying it in our everyday life with clarity, wisdom and humor.

The first glimpses and non-definitive openings to the Self and the true nature of reality began to occur for her at a very early age. At around 27, these temporary windows of our true nature brought her to a state of great inner openness, without having the cognition that what was happening was called “awakening” or “enlightenment” in other cultures.

In January 2003, while working as a financial reporter in Milan, she had the first experience of kundalini awakening.

“Everything vibrated from its infinite nature: my body, the room, the bed I was on were all a unique vibration of love that expanded and dissolved itself in a space without borders. I was myself and at the same time I was no longer me, Existence itself was my nature. After about two hours everything disappeared into nothingness and I was surprised to wake up in the morning still alive. Honestly, I was certain I was going to die that night. Now there was something vast and completely silent that looked at a funny little me, acting like a cartoon character, moving but also loving. “

For the first time, she realized she needed a spiritual guide. Knowing that all this had occurred without her conscious desire or intentional action, she simply waited for life itself to deliver someone able to clarify what was unfolding. Each prayer became a simple “amen”, may thy will be done, in the recognition that existence itself, and the Divine through it, always carried what was truly needed.

Four months later, she met Bodhi Avasa in a satsang in Milan, and after only five days she encountered a definitive experience of self-recognition.

“I suddenly realized that Caterina had never existed. It was just a thought of My Mind, and that My Mind was the Divine Mind. No separate identity existed, but only a single Self, empty and aware, from which Existence itself was born as in a dream. “

It took a few months for this quantum leap to stabilize, as mind and body were traversed by profound and transformational understandings. Avasa’s guidance supported her in crossing through those energetic phenomena without attaching to any of them, and in developing an understanding that could erase the fear that emerges in this integration process.

Encouraged by Avasa, she soon thereafter started to share her experience, although it was only in 2011 that she began to hold true satsang. The process of integration of the awakening, and purification from what Ramana Maharshi referred to as vāsanas (latent tendencies), required several years, allowing her to develop a deep understanding of the path that takes place after awakening and its integration into daily life.

Since then, many people have met her and recognized the vast and transformative reach of such a simple and direct message.


Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 15, 2018.

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

442. Paul Selig

Paul SeligPaul Selig is considered to be one of the foremost spiritual channels working today. In his breakthrough works of channeled literature author and medium Paul Selig has recorded an extraordinary program for personal and planetary evolution as humankind awakens to its own divine nature.

Paul was born in New York City and received his master’s degree from Yale. A spiritual experience in 1987 left him clairvoyant. As a way to gain a context for what he was beginning to experience he studied a form of energy healing and began to “hear” for his clients. Described as “a medium for the living,” Paul’s unique abilities have been featured on ABC News Nightline, Fox News, the Biography Channel series The UneXplained, Gaiam TV’s Beyond Belief and the documentary film Paul & The Word.

Paul offers channeled workshops internationally. He serves on the faculty of The Omega Institute, The Kripalu Center and the Esalen Institute. Also a noted playwright and educator, he served on the faculty of NYU for over 25 years. He directed the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Goddard College for many years, and he now serves on the college’s Board of Trustees. He lives in New York City where he maintains a private practice as an intuitive and conducts frequent livestream seminars.


Website: paulselig.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded February 9, 2018

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