550. Chris Beal

Chris BealChris Beal discovered Buddhism as an exchange student in Japan in the 1960s. Given her determination, she was sure she would succeed in getting enlightened. But enthusiasm doesn’t always guarantee success, and she went home disappointed, depressed and demoralized.

Thirteen years later, after a spontaneous awakening, she contacted the priest who had been her main teacher in Japan and began a six-year connection which deepened her understanding of what she had realized.

Meanwhile, she sought a spiritual path in the States but found nothing that spoke to her as deeply as her first teacher had until she met Adyashanti twenty years ago. After almost a decade of absorbing his teachings, she found the realization gradually deepening on its own.

Chris enjoys writing about spirituality and spiritual awakening. Her writing includes numerous published book reviews, author interviews, and articles, She is currently seeking publication of her novel, ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE FLESH, in which the main character’s dilemma reflects that of many seekers: How do you know which way will lead to the ultimate Truth when what you are seeking is not in the realm of imagining?

Chris’s Blogs:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded May 16, 2020

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

539. Zaya & Maurizio Benazzo

Zaya & Maurizio BenazzoZaya Benazzo is a filmmaker from Bulgaria with degrees in engineering, environmental science, and film. For many years, she worked as an environmental activist in Holland and Bulgaria, and later produced and directed several award-winning documentaries in Europe and the United States.

Maurizio Benazzo grew up in Italy, and in 1984 came to the United States on a ninety-eight-year-old sailing boat. He started working as an actor, model, and filmmaker, but his thirst for knowledge was only satisfied in 2001 upon encountering I Am That, the seminal work by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, while he was in India shooting the award-winning documentary Short Cut To Nirvana.

Maurizio and Zaya merged their lifelong passions for science and mysticism when they met in 2007, and their first project together was filming the documentary Rays of the Absolute on the life and teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. This project sparked their next level of creation and collaboration: Science and Nonduality (SAND)—a global community inspired by the timeless wisdom traditions, informed by modern science, and grounded in direct experience.

Book: On the Mystery of Being: Contemporary Insights on the Convergence of Science and Spirituality

Use the code BATGAP20 for $50 off SAND Italy and 10% off SAND USA.

Interview recorded February 29, 2020

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

506. Leah Cox

Leah CoxAfter graduating in French from the University of Exeter and working for several years in conventional jobs in London, Leah found herself deeply unhappy; struggling with feelings of depression, anxiety, disordered eating, an intense feeling of being a ‘wrong’ human being, and a desperation to ‘find her purpose’.

In 2012, she embarked on a journey of self discovery, but even after several years of personal and spiritual growth, she found herself in all the same cycles.

In 2016, through grace, good luck and some wonderful people, Leah experienced her first true spiritual awakening, seeing through the illusion of the separate self and knowing herself clearly as the one Love that we all are. For the very first time, she knew true peace, happiness and freedom. Most importantly, the feeling of being a ‘wrong’ human being left her completely.

Since that time, her journey has been one of ongoing learning, integration and unfolding.

Leah works with clients one-on-one and runs online and in person classes and workshops to support others’ journeys of healing, awakening and following the call of the heart. Known for her tender, playful and (sometimes) fiery spirit, her message is simple: you are already whole, you are already worthy and you are never, ever outside the gates of Love.

Website: leahmarjoriecox.com

Interview recorded June 8, 2019.

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