499. Giovanni Dienstmann

Giovanni DienstmannGiovanni Dienstmann is a spiritual practitioner and teacher, and the creator of Live and Dare, one of the top five most visited meditation blogs on the planet. As an author, meditation coach and speaker, Giovanni helps people overcome anxiety and stress to live a more calm and centered life, through spiritually-inspired personal development work.

Since the age of 14, spirituality has been the center of his life. In his journey, he practiced over 9,000 hours of meditation, tried 70 different techniques, and nearly became a monk twice.

His spiritual thirst and eclectic approach led him to be formally initiated into the traditions of Zen Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Raja Yoga, and Mantra Yoga—by the masters Moriyama Roshi, Lakshamana Swami, Shivarudra Balayogi, and Nikhileshwarananda (respectively). In February 2010 he experienced a powerful awakening in the presence of Mooji in South India, and that has been a point of no return in his path.

Giovanni is the author of the best-selling book Practical Meditation: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide, which has been translated to 5 different languages and has popularly been called “The Meditation Bible”. As a coach, Giovanni’s clients range from stay at home parents to entrepreneurs, C-level executives and pro athletes.

In the field of meditation, he brings a contemporary and pragmatic approach to help both meditation novices and spiritual seekers alike. In his role as a spiritual writer, he balances deep reverence for traditional teachings with critical thinking and a comparative study of spiritual traditions.

To learn more about Giovanni and his work, visit LiveAndDare.com.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded April 20, 2019.

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

474. Bonnie Greenwell, 2nd Interview

Bonnie GreenwellBonnie Greenwell Ph.D. is a transpersonal psychotherapist and non-dual teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti. After her kundalini awakening in graduate school she wrote a dissertation and book on the kundalini process. In 2003 she met Adyashanti, and experienced a deep shift in consciousness that led to editing his book “Emptiness Dancing” and an invitation to teach. She has worked as a mentor/guide for people in kundalini or awakening processes for over 30 years. Her 4th book is “When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening”. She was a founder and director of the Kundalini Research Network, and has trained people internationally to work with spiritual emergence and understand kundalini phenomena. She believes the awakening of consciousness to Truth is a natural realization available to all who sincerely long for Self-Realization, and that kundalini is fundamentally a clearing and transformative energetic support for this process. She offers webinars and consultations on the web and can be contacted through her websites and her Awakened Living Blog.

Websites:

Earlier Books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded October 20, 2018

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

Bonnie’s side of the audio in this video is choppy in places. The audio-only version is clear on both sides of the conversation.

472. Steve Briggs

Steve BriggsAs a teenager, Steve Briggs met his guru at a meditation retreat in the Swiss Alps. After studying English Literature at the University of Arizona on a tennis scholarship, the author received an MBA and a Ph.D. in Vedic Studies, and traveled internationally instructing thousands in the art of meditation.

Steve is a devotee of Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), whom he met in India in 1996. He has been practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM) for the past 46 years and credits his guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with showing him the path to enlightenment.

Steve currently coaches the Maharishi School boys’ tennis team. His players have won four state high school championships, including the 2014 triple crown. Steve has trained two national champions and a top 50 ATP professional tour player.

In 1994, Steve Briggs was sent to India to teach TM to corporate executives. During his seven years in India, Steve traveled repeatedly to the high Himalaya where he encountered many yogis and sadhus.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded September 24, 2018.

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