482. Panel Discussions on Ethics and Spiritual Teaching

Ethics and Spiritual Teaching Panel at the Science and Nonduality Conference

  • Questioning whether higher consciousness and ethical behavior are tightly correlated.
  • The founding of
    the Association for Spiritual Integrity (formerly the Association of Professional Spiritual Teachers).
  • The attempt to formulate a code of ethics that might applyuniversally in the contemporary spiritual community and enliven anunderstanding of what may or may not be appropriate, giving students greaterconfidence in their own discernment and discrimination.
  • Ancient traditions held the teacher beyond reproach andstudents surrendered their own will. This may have worked in monastic settingsbut generally does not work today.
  • Preventative support so we’re not busy doing cleanup.
  • Power hierarchies should not be an essential part ofspiritual development and can lead to abuses.
  • Spiritual awakening does not necessarily qualify a person tooffer advice on relationships, finances, etc.
  • Ethical training of some sort is integral to most honoredtraditions.
  • The issue of sexism and patriarchy in spiritualorganizations.
  • Entering the teaching profession prematurely.
  • All too often, when teachers are challenged on theirbehavior, they ignore the challenger or become defensive.
  • How do we offer the possibility for redemption and atonement?
  • Moving away from a culture of competition to one ofcooperation.
  • The importance of humility.
  • The importance of teachers not identifying with their roleand thinking that students’ devotion is about them.
  • South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” as a model.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Recorded October 27, 2018

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

A Discussion on Teacher-Student Romantic Relationships

  • The Association for Spiritual Integrity does not have a moralistic, judgmental orientation. It’s a community endeavor. We don’t agree among ourselves on certain points. We’re trying to balance our subjectiveperspectives with standards that fit our contemporary culture.
  • A key point of disagreement is the issue of teacher-studentromantic/sexual relationships. None of us are rigid or adamant in our opinions.We’re trying to work it out.
  • There are exceptions to every generality. In graduateschool, psychotherapists are taught that it will never be appropriate for therapistsand their clients to become partners.
  • Relationships tend to be the most challenging aspect ofpeople’s lives. These challenges shouldn’t bleed into a teacher’s teachingactivities.
  • When a teacher/student or therapist/client relationship transitions into romantic involvement, the potential for growth is undermined.
  • Sometimes “divine compulsion” arises in your spiritual path, shattering your conception of appropriate behavior.
  • The problem with teachers who haven’t transcended desire and explored their own shadow.
  • There can be a huge disparity between the apparent enlightenment of a teacher and their behavior.
  • Isolation and being closed to constructive criticism can be very dangerous for a teacher.
  • If a teacher doesn’t have friends other than his students, he might want to ask why. If he doesn’t have regular relationships and is always on a pedestal, he won’t get real-world feedback.
  • The culture is changing anyway. We’re just trying to give voice to values that are becoming lively in collective consciousness.
  • There can be a lot of practice involved in having your actions be a reflection of your deepest understanding.

Discussion of this panel in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Recorded October 26, 2018

Other BatGap episodes with these participants:

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

Recorded October 26, 2018

478. Sandra Ingerman

Sandra IngermanSandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins, Walking in Light: The Everyday Empowerment of a Shamanic Life(CD or eBook version), and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred into Everyday Life. She is the presenter of eight audio programs produced by Sounds True, and she is the creator of the Transmutation App. Sandra is a world renowned teacher of shamanism and has been teaching for more than 30 years. She has taught workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and reversing environmental pollution using spiritual methods. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture addressing the needs of our times.

Sandra is known for gathering the global spiritual community together to perform powerful transformative ceremonies as well as inspires us to stand strong in unity so we do our own spiritual and social activism work while keeping a vision of hope and being a light in the world.

She is passionate about helping people to reconnect with nature. Since the 1980’s thousands of people have healed from past and present traumas through the classic cross cultural shamanic healing method Sandra teaches called Soul Retrieval.

She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional mental health counselor. She is also a board-certified expert on traumatic stress. Sandra was chosen as one of the Top 10 Spiritual Leaders of 2013 by Spirituality and Health Magazine.

Sandra has two new books released in 2018. The Hidden Worlds was co-written with Katherine Wood and is a novel written for young adults to help them navigate the changing world. And The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred into Everyday Life was written for a shamanic and general audience on how to bring the sacred into daily life by performing shamanic ceremonies designed for our times and the challenges we are facing.


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

450. Anne Baring

Anne BaringAnne Baring, born 1931. MA Oxon. Jungian analyst. Author and co-author of 7 books. The ground of all her work is a deep interest in history and the spiritual, mythological, shamanic and artistic traditions of different cultures. Her website is devoted to the affirmation of a new vision of reality and the challenges facing us at this crucial time of choice. It includes her many talks, lectures and seminars as well as interviews and talks on YouTube.


Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded April 14, 2018.

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

416. Raphael Cushnir

Rafael CushnirRaphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and couples, as well as organizations and their teams. Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief.

Website: cushnir.com


Interview recorded September 3, 2017

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

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


382. JP Sears

JP SearsJP Sears is best known for his hit “Ultra Spiritual” comedy series, which has accumulated over 100 million YouTube views. He is also an emotional healing coach, and has numerous online videos through which he encourages healing and growth. He is also an author, international teacher, speaker at events, world traveler, and curious student of life. His work empowers people to live more meaningful lives.

How to be Ultra SpiritualJP is the author of “How to Be Ultra Spiritual: 12 1/2 Steps to Spiritual Superiority” (Sounds True Publishing, release date of March 7th, 2017. Also available as an audio book). You can learn more about JP and his work at AwakenWithJP.com and at his Ultra Spiritual website.

Interview recorded 1/19/2017

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