462. Dena Merriam

Dena MerriamDena Merriam has been working in the interfaith field for 20 years and founded the Global Peace Initiative of Women (GPIW) in 2002. Initially the organization was designed to provide a global platform for women spiritual leaders to organize and mediate dialogues in areas of conflict and tension. This soon expanded to include an equal number of men and women spiritual teachers and to deal with a range of issues, including climate change, ecological destruction, racial inequity, etc. The premise for the gatherings organized by GPIW is that at the heart of all these issues is a spirtual crisis and the way to address them is a shift in consciousness. Dena has served on the boards of the Harvard University Center for World Religions, the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy, Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association, among others. In 2014 she was awarded the Niwano Peace Prize. Over the years as memories of past births have arisen, Dena has recorded them in order to better understand the karmic patterns. She has now shared her memories in My Journey Through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death, and Rebirth, in the hope that others will gain insight into their own lives through this sharing.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded July 14, 2018

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

461. Christopher “Hareesh” Wallis

Christopher WallisChristopher Wallis, also known as Hareesh, is a scholar-practitioner with thirty years of experience, having been initiated into the practice of yogic meditation at sixteen, and fifteen years of formal education. His degrees include a B.A. in Religion and Classics from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation focused on the role of spiritual experience in the tradition of Tantric Shaivism. Additionally, he received traditional education at yoga āshrams in upstate New York and India, training in meditation, mantra-science, kīrtan, karma-yoga, and pedagogy. He currently teaches meditation, yoga darśana (practical philosophy), Tantrik philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra-science, and offers spiritual counseling.

Hareesh is the Founder and Head Faculty of Tantrik Yoga NOW. His teachers, mentors, and gurus, in chronological order, include: Gurumayī Chidvilāsānandā (dīkṣā-guru), Paul Muller-Ortega (Śaiva Tantra and Classical Yoga); Alexis Sanderson (Śaiva and Śākta Tantra and Sanskrit); Marshall Rosenberg (Nonviolent Communication); Somadeva Vasudeva (Śaiva Tantra), Kolbjorn Martens (Tantrik Yoga); and Adyashanti (Meditation).

Hareesh is the author of Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition and The Recognition Sutras: Illuminating a 1,000-Year-Old Spiritual Masterpiece.

Website: hareesh.org

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded July 7, 2018.

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

438. Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D.

Kavitha ChinnaiyanKavitha Chinnaiyan, MD, is a cardiologist, meditation teacher and tantrika. She became drawn to the Direct Path through the teachings of Greg Goode and Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, and has studied yoga, Sri Vidya Sadhana, Vedanta and Tantra through the teachings of Chinmaya Mission, Sri Premananda, Sally Kempton, Paul Muller-Ortega and Sri Chaitanyananda Natha Saraswati. She blends her expertise in cardiology with her knowledge of Ayurveda, yoga, Vedanta, Tantra, and the Direct Path in her approach to healing, enabling patients to discover bliss amid chronic illness. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, MI.

She is the author of

Website: kavithamd.com

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group

Interview recorded January 20, 2018

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

416. Raphael Cushnir

Rafael CushnirRaphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and couples, as well as organizations and their teams. Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief.

Website: cushnir.com

Books:

Interview recorded September 3, 2017

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

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

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378. Lawrence Edwards

Lawrence EdwardsLawrence Edwards, PhD, BCN Senior Fellow, LMHC has practiced and taught meditation for over 40 years. He is the Founder and Director of The Anam Cara Meditation Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching meditative practices from a variety of traditions. The mission of the Anam Cara Foundation is to make meditation instruction available to everyone. Lawrence has offered thousands of free meditation programs at universities, hospitals, churches, meditation centers, yoga centers, hospice groups, prisons and more.

Dr. Edwards maintains a clinical practice in Armonk, NY, offering Optimal Mind® Training, transpersonal psychotherapy, spiritual mentoring, biofeedback, neurofeedback, hypnosis, peak performance training, and meditation training. He also works with people interested in spiritual growth, dream work and Kundalini processes. He has served as President of the Kundalini Research Network since 2006 and is recognized around the world for his wisdom and skill in working with Kundalini.

Dr. Edwards has studied and practiced in the Kundalini yoga tradition, Tibetan Buddhist and Huichol Indian shamanic traditions. These rich reservoirs of wisdom have expanded and deepened the transpersonal and Jungian psychological perspectives of his professional training. His mystical experiences began as a young child and have continued throughout his life. They have been the real guiding force behind his studies and training. His profound experience of the Divine present in everyone, at all times, and in all places has lead him to a life of service in teaching and supporting others on their journeys into the Divine.

Websites:

Books:

Transcript of this interview.

Interview conducted 12/17/2016

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

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