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 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.

Website:

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.

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.

432. Paul Morgan-Somers

Paul Morgan-SomersPaul was born 1961 and lived most of life in the coastal county of Pembrokeshire, UK. He always loved the sea, and aspired to be a professional football (soccer) player. One day, at the age of 15, while playing football, unbounded awareness dawned. Everything was the “ocean”. He didn’t know what this was, or whether anyone else had experienced it, but later on he discovered the Upanishads in a bookstore, which led to his joining a Vedanta Monastery for five years. For a time after that, he lived a hermit-like life. One day in meditation, a woman’s name came to him. He had never heard of her, nor did he even know whether she existed, but he knew he would marry her. He later did, opened a gallery and had two boys. He now spends his time supporting the boys and their business and chatting about the ocean.

Facebook Page

Email Paul.

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded December 3, 2017.

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

423. Adyashanti & Michael A. Rodriguez

Adyashanti & Michael A. RodriguezAdyashanti 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 interviews involving Adyashanti:

Books by Adyashanti

Website: adyashanti.org

Michael A. Rodriguez is a spiritual teacher who works with people in meetings, retreats, and private sessions on a full-time basis in the United States and abroad. He holds four academic degrees, including a master’s degree in comparative religion from Harvard and a PhD in English literature from Florida State University; taught at the university level for well over a decade; and has lived long-term in two monasteries. Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael illuminates the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness with great clarity and compassion, pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition.

Michael draws skillfully from the world’s wisdom traditions and also integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. His book–Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering–distills the essence of his teaching and is now available on Amazon.

 

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded Oct. 19, 2017

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

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