607. Stephan Bodian, 2nd Interview

Stephan BodianStephan Bodian is a teacher in the nondual wisdom tradition of Zen, Dzogchen, and Advaita Vedanta and the founder and director of the annual School for Awakening, an intensive six-month program of exploration and study. His offerings are noted for their humor, warmth, spontaneity, and intimacy and combine direct pointers, lively dialogues, silent sitting, and guided self-inquiry. He’s the author of several books, including Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening and Beyond Mindfulness: The Direct Approach to Lasting Peace, Happiness, and Love.

Stephan spent a decade practicing Zen intensively as a monk but left the monastery because he sensed that the rigorous practice of meditation was obscuring the truth he was seeking. After studying Dzogchen for several years, he met his guru, Jean Klein, a European teacher of Advaita Vedanta, who told him to stop meditating and instead discover the meditator. Shortly after meeting Jean, he had a profound awakening to his true identity as timeless presence. After Jean’s death, Stephan met Adyashanti, and in 2001 Adya gave him Dharma transmission and invited him to teach.

Trained as a psychotherapist, Stephan also offers individual spiritual counseling and mentoring sessions to people throughout the world. His approach blends direct, experiential, nondual wisdom with the insights of Western psychology to support students in realizing who they really are while inquiring into the stories and patterns of thinking and behaving that continue to cause suffering.

Some of the main points discussed in this interview:

  • What does spiritual integrity really mean?
  • Absolute and relative levels of truth
  • “There is no right or wrong, but right is right, and wrong is wrong.”
  • The role and deeper meaning of ethical precepts.
  • Understanding the power dynamics of the teacher-student relationship.
  • How teachers abuse their sacred responsibility and act out of integrity.
  • “The teacher represents a whole world of meaning to the student.”
  • Teachers who claim to be enlightened may relegate their students to endless endarkenment.
  • Why narcissists are drawn to becoming spiritual teachers.
  • How students are taken in by misguided teachers.
  • The crucial role of discernment on the path: “The true guru is inside you”.
  • The importance of peer feedback and personal counseling as teachers mature in their role.
  • Sex in the forbidden zone: Wanderers, predators, and boundary confusion.
  • Acknowledging and integrating the shadow.
  • How to know when it’s time to leave a teacher.
  • The future of the spiritual teacher-student relationship in the West.
  • The endless nature of the awakening journey.

Website: stephanbodian.org

Other books:

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

First BatGap interview with Stephan.

Interview recorded July 11, 2021

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

600. Anita Moorjani

Anita MoorjaniAnita Moorjani is the New York Times bestselling author of What If This Is Heaven?: How Our Cultural Myths Prevent Us from Experiencing Heaven on Earth and Dying To Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing. A beloved international speaker, she lives in the United States with her husband, Danny, and has dedicated her life to empowering the minds and hearts of people with her story of courage and transformation. Anita was born in Singapore to Indian parents and grew up in Hong Kong speaking English, Cantonese, and an Indian dialect simultaneously. Prior to her near-death experience, she worked in the corporate world.

Some of the points discussed in this conversation:

  • A review of Anita’s near-death experience: “It felt like love was coming from the whole universe, I was bathed in it”.
  • How it changed her life, physically and spiritually, and continues to do so.
  • A brief discussion of her 2nd book, “What if This is heaven?” – how to create heaven on earth.
  • Focusing on what you want, and not on fear.
  • Anita’s new book, “Sensitive is the New Strong”.
  • The spectrum from sociopathy to empathy.
  • Empaths can become doormats, feeling and absorbing others’ pain and not differentiating it from their own; always giving but struggling to receive.
  • The people society regards as powerful are often the most aggressive and insensitive. Sensitive people shy away from power, but if the world were run by empaths we would heal hunger in a minute. We can’t have empathic leaders without a grassroots shift in collective consciousness.
  • Learning to follow your inner guidance and not give away your power.
  • Sensitivity is seen as weakness and should be seen as strength.
  • Empathy and spiritual development should be major components of education.
  • How to balance strength with sensitivity.
  • How to give without being depleted.
  • The importance of taking time for practice, to recharge.
  • How to know if one is an empath.
  • Empaths struggle until they learn that their 6th sense is a gift.
  • Can non-empaths become empaths?
  • Spiritual awakening does not make one an empath.
  • Are empaths more vulnerable to disease?
  • Empaths may be more amenable to alternative medicine than others.
  • Spiritual development is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Empath’s inability to say ‘no’ creates problems for them.
  • Anita’s answer to a woman who lost her 14-year-old son to leukemia a year ago.
  • Integrating spiritually transcendent experiences into our earthly life once we “return.”
  • Dealing with skeptics and debunkers.
  • Your body is more powerful than you have been led to believe. Having a will to live. Create a life that you love.
  • Sensitive people often have repressed egos. If spiritual teachers tell them ego is bad, they may repress even more.
  • Ground yourself. Entrain with the earth’s cleansing energies.
  • Don’t worry about creating boundaries. Expand your energy and you won’t need them.
  • We are all interconnected. We are all one consciousness.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded June 3, 2021.

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

580. Sue Morter

Sue MorterInternational speaker, Master of Bio-Energetic Theory, and Quantum Field visionary, Dr. Sue Morter utilizes the embodiment of high-frequency energy patterns to activate full human potential. Through her seminars, retreats, and presentations, she illuminates the relationship of quantum science and energy medicine – elevating human consciousness into life mastery.

Dr. Sue is the USA Today bestselling, #1 bestselling LA Times and #1 Amazon bestselling author of The Energy Codes: The 7-Step System to Awaken Your Spirit, Heal Your Body, and Live Your Best Life. Through THE ENERGY CODES, Dr. Sue provides techniques to activate untapped energy and neurocircuitry in the body, empower hidden potential, and become one’s true, essential self.

She is the founder and creator of the globally-taught coursework, The Energy Codes®, a multi-level body of work on Personal and Spiritual Development. Dr. Sue also created the BodyAwake® RYT 200 Certified Yoga Program and is co-creator of the Bio-Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.). She has served on professional licensing boards, providing guidance to health care practitioners on integrative approaches to healthcare leadership. Dr. Sue is also adjunct faculty at two medical schools at Michigan State University, an AAU school classified as one of the top 100 universities in the world. Dr. Sue is the host of Gaia TV’s Healing Matrix, and co-host of Your Year of Miracles lifestyle training. Dr. Sue is E-RYT 200 and E-RYT 500 certified in Yoga Instruction and was recently recognized for her outstanding achievements as an honored member of the Transformational Leadership Council.

In addition to founding Morter HealthCenter in 1987, she is the founder and visionary of the Morter Institute for Bio-Energetics, an organization committed to teaching individuals self-healing techniques with an inner wisdom-based approach to life based on Quantum Science and higher consciousness. With three distinct schools representing the unification of mind, body, and spirit: the School of Energy Medicine, School of BodyAwake® Yoga, and School for Higher Consciousness and Personal Development – Dr. Sue provides tools and avenues to empower the global community to discover and embody a joyful, inspired life, lived from the true, Soulful Self.

Website: drsuemorter.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded December 12, 2020

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