431. Kabir Helminski

Kabir HelminskiKabir Helminski is a Shaikh in the lineage of Rumi, and co-director of The Threshold Society. His translations of Rumi and books on spirituality, Living Presence and The Knowing Heart, have been published in at least eight languages. In 2009 and subsequent years Kabir was named as one of the “500 Most Influential Muslims in the World” by the Royal Strategic Studies Center (Jordan). He has toured North America as Shaikh with the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey bringing Sufi culture to more than 100,000 people. His latest book is Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time.

Other books:

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded November 28, 2017.

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

410. Sri M, Second Interview

Sri MSri M – spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist – was born into a Muslim family on November 6, 1949 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His transformational journey, from a young boy to a living yogi, is a fascinating story symbolized by single-minded discipline and dedication.

Entranced by mystical stories of Sufi saints and a brief encounter with a numinous Swami at a relatively young age, he was not only drawn to the ‘truth’ but also the compelling landscape of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the age of nine, his spiritual transformation was initiated by his future Master, Babaji (also known as Maheshwarnath Babaji), who miraculously appeared under a jackfruit tree in the compound of his house in Thiruvananthapuram. Though only fleeting, this meeting definitively set the stage for their future reunion in the Himalayas at Sri M’s age of nineteen.

The next three and half years, he lived and travelled extensively through the Himalayas with his Master. Maheshwarnath Babaji guided him right through his initiation, his Kundalini awakening, the grueling journey to Tholingmutt and, the eventual meeting with the Grand Master, Sri Guru Babaji also known as Sri Mahavatar Babaji.

A few years after his Master passed away, he received the spiritual go-ahead to commence his mission. In 1998, he started his teachings, eventually leading to formation of the Satsang Foundation.

In response to a query on the spiritual progress of a person and the path to that evolution, he responds, “Though, my parampara is kriya yoga, I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.” Conversant with teachings of most major religions, Sri M says: “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.” His message seeks to transcend the outer-shell of all religions, by exploring their mystical core to nurture the innate goodness in every human being.

Website: satsang-foundation.org

Books:

First Batgap interview with Sri M.

Discussion of this in interview in the BatGap Community Facebook group.

Interview recorded 7/30/2017

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

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364. Sri M

Sri MSri M – spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist – was born into a Muslim family on November 6, 1949 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His transformational journey, from a young boy to a living yogi, is a fascinating story symbolized by single-minded discipline and dedication.

Entranced by mystical stories of Sufi saints and a brief encounter with a numinous Swami at a relatively young age, he was not only drawn to the ‘truth’ but also the compelling landscape of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the age of nine, his spiritual transformation was initiated by his future Master, Babaji (also known as Maheshwarnath Babaji), who miraculously appeared under a jackfruit tree in the compound of his house in Thiruvananthapuram. Though only fleeting, this meeting definitively set the stage for their future reunion in the Himalayas at Sri M’s age of nineteen.

The next three and half years, he lived and travelled extensively through the Himalayas with his Master. Maheshwarnath Babaji guided him right through his initiation, his Kundalini awakening, the grueling journey to Tholingmutt and, the eventual meeting with the Grand Master, Sri Guru Babaji also known as Sri Mahavatar Babaji.

Few years after his Master passed away, he received the spiritual go-ahead to commence his mission. In 1998, he started his teachings, eventually leading to formation of the Satsang Foundation.

In response to a query on the spiritual progress of a person and the path to that evolution, he responds, “Though, my parampara is kriya yoga, I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.” Conversant with teachings of most major religions, Sri M says: “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.” His message seeks to transcend the outer-shell of all religions, by exploring their mystical core to nurture the innate goodness in every human being.

Website: satsang-foundation.org

Books:

Transcript of this interview.

Second Batgap interview with Sri M.

Interview recorded 10/6/2016

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

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329. Andrew Harvey

Andrew HarveyAndrew Harvey is an author, speaker and founder/director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, an international organization focused on inviting concerned people to take up the challenge of our contemporary global crises by becoming inspired, effective and practical agents of institutional and systemic change, in order to create peace and sustainability.

Andrew Harvey has taught at Oxford University, Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, The California Institute of Integral Studies, and the University of Creation Spirituality as well as at various spiritual centers throughout the U.S. He was the subject of the 1993 BBC film documentary The Making of a Modern Mystic and appears also in Rumi Turning Ecstatic and The Consciousness Of The Christ: Reclaiming Jesus for a New Humanity. He has also worked with the great Iranian Sufi dancer, Banafsheh Sayyad, in producing a film, In the Fire of Grace, which marries Sufi inspired dances to the stages of Rumi’s understanding of the path of Divine love.

He has written and edited over 30 books and received many awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award and the Mind Body Spirit Award.

Website: andrewharvey.net

Some of Andrew’s many books:

Movie referred to during the interview: A Human Search: The Life of Father Bede Griffiths (1993)

Interview recorded 1/25/2016

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

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302. Guy Finley

Guy FinleyBest-selling “Letting Go” author Guy Finley’s encouraging and accessible message is one of the true bright lights in our world today. His ideas cut straight to the heart of our most important personal and social issues – relationships, success, addiction, stress, peace, happiness, freedom – and lead the way to a higher life.

Finley is the acclaimed author of The Secret of Your Immortal Self: Key Lessons for Realizing the Divinity Withinand more than 40 other books and audio albums (plus over 1,000 unique audio programs) that have sold millions of copies in 24 languages worldwide.

His syndicated weekly radio program is aired on several international networks including Healthy Life Radio, Achieve Radio, Sedona Talk Radio, and Healthlife.net. Guy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and is a regular expert contributor to Beliefnet.com, the Huffington Post and many other journals.

Guy is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, the renowned non-profit Center for Self-study in Merlin, Oregon where he offers four inner-life classes each open to the public.

More books:

Interview recorded 8/8/2015

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