501. Daniel Schmidt

Daniel SchmidtDaniel is the creator of the award-winning film “Inner Worlds Outer Worlds” as well as the ongoing “Samadhi” series. He is also the founder of the Awaken The World initiative whose purpose is to bring the ancient teachings of Samadhi back to the world for free (in as many languages as possible) Daniel’s approach combines self-inquiry with traditional forms meditation so that participants have the opportunity to simultaneously realize their transcendent nature, and to purify themselves of conditioned patterns. The pathless path is to realize an ever-deepening development process within the self-structure, and to simultaneously realize what is always already beyond the self-structure. Samadhi is when the world that is constantly changing merges or unites with the changeless.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded May 6, 2019

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

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.

494. Damien Echols

Damien EcholsDamien Echols is an artist and New York Times bestselling author of “Life After Death“. In 2018, he published his first book on ceremonial magick: “High Magick: A Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row“. He has been a practitioner of ceremonial Magick for over 20 years and leads classes on Magick across the country. He spent over 18 years on death row in Arkansas for a crime he didn’t commit before gaining his freedom in 2011. Upon release he, along with Peter Jackson produced the documentary film “West Of Memphis” which chronicled his legal battle. During his time in prison he was ordained into the Rinzai Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism. He lives in New York with his wife and three cats.

Other offerings:

Damien’s site: damienechols.com

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

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