361. Timothy Conway, 2nd Interview

Timothy ConwaySheerly by Divine Grace, in 1971 Timothy woke up to nondual Reality, the Divine Reality or Self that is doing everything and being everybody. He has gratefully served ever since then as a simple “spiritual friend” (kalyana mitra) and since the 1980s as a satsang leader, counselor, healer, and author of over one hundred essays, as well as the book Women of Power & Grace: Nine Astonishing, Inspiring Luminaries of Our Time and forthcoming books (The Liberating Zen Sourcebook, the enormous 2-volume India’s Sages, and other works). His website Enlightened-Spirituality.org is a major resource on spiritual awakening, nondual wisdom and nondual devotion, engaged spirituality, illustrious sages and world religions, spiritual humor, and much more. After residing in the Santa Barbara region of the Great Dream from 1988 to mid-2016, Timothy and his wife Laura are residing in Vistancia, Arizona, for at least a year to be close to her family. Timothy continues to hold free satsangs and classes on a variety of spiritual topics and also see clients for psychological counseling services. His basic message: Your unborn TRUE IDENTITY is already complete, whole, and full as Absolute Awareness-Aliveness, and by the Grace-full Power of this Supra-personal Reality the personal consciousness “instrument” can be suffused with all sorts of beautiful Divine virtues.

Timothy’s email address.

Interview recorded 9/10/2016

First interview with Timothy

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

351. David Godman, 2nd Interview

David GodmanDavid Godman has lived in India since 1976, mostly in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu. He spent his time there studying and practising the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi. His anthology of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings, Be As You Are, is probably the most widely read book on Sri Ramana’s teachings. During his fourteen-year stay at Ramanasramam (1978-92) he managed the ashram’s library, catalogued its archives, and recorded the stories and experiences of devotees who had had direct contact with Sri Ramana.

David is the authorized biographer of two devotees of Sri Ramana Maharshi (Lakshmana Swamy and Papaji) who realized the Self in Sri Ramana’s presence and who later went on to become gurus themselves.

He has written and published several other books that contain first-person accounts of devotees who moved closely with Sri Ramana Maharshi and who were transformed by his power and presence.

In collaboration with two Tamil scholars, T. V. Venkatasubramanian and Robert Butler, he translated and edited several Tamil texts including two authoritative collections of Ramana Maharshi’s teachings that were originally recorded in Tamil verse. The three of them also joined forces to bring out Sorupa Saram, a translation of a text in which a 15th century Tamil saint and Guru, Sorupananda, speaks authoritatively of his experience of the Self. Earlier this year David and T. V. Venkatasubramanian completed a new book that will be entitled The Shining of my Lord. It will contain translations of Tamil verses by Muruganar, an enlightened devotee of Ramana Maharshi who wrote thousands of verses in which he praised his Guru, spoke of his own liberated state and thanked Sri Ramana for bestowing it on him. It will be published later this year.

In the 1970s David frequented Nisargadatta Maharaj’s satsangs in Mumbai. In the 1980s he was a regular visitor to the ashram of Lakshmana Swamy and Saradamma in Andhra Pradesh. When they moved to Tiruvannamalai in the early 1990s, he helped them to establish and landscape their new property at the foot of Arunachala, the holy mountain where Sri Ramana Maharshi spent all his adult life. For four years in the 1990s he lived with Papaji in Lucknow and ended up writing or editing five books about him.

Last year David released a series twenty-seven films on Youtube in which he spoke about Ramana Maharshi, the places where he stayed, his devotees and his teachings. The series contains about fifteen hours of talks about Sri Ramana and can be found here:

Books:

Interview recorded 6/26/2016

First BatGap interview with David

Discussion of this interview in the Batgap Community Facebook Group

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

343. Thomas Razzeto

Thomas RazzetoThomas Razzeto is one of the newest and freshest voices among the teachers of our balanced, ancient nondual wisdom. Thomas easily digs deeply into the core of this wisdom to reveal both its essential truth and the heart-felt compassion that all true sages embody when they are genuinely engaged in the world without being entangled by it.

The first time Thomas heard this nondual wisdom was in 2005 when he attended one of Timothy Conway’s satsang and Thomas has continually attended these weekly meetings since they provide the foundation for all his work. (By the way, Timothy Conway was guest number 28 at Buddha at the Gas Pump way back in July of 2010.) Timothy woke up when he was only 16 and he later was fortunate enough to meet several enlightened masters, such as Sri Nisargadatta, Annamalai Swami and others among Sri Ramana Maharshi’s immediate followers.

Thomas teaches in plain English, yet much of what he says would be recognized by people familiar with Advaita, Buddhism or Hinduism. Thomas has taught his book, Living the Paradox of Enlightenment: Ancient Nondual Wisdom for Today, as a class for the Center for Lifelong Learning, which is a part of Santa Barbara City College, the highest ranked community college in the United States. In September 2012, Thomas spoke for the prestigious lecture series, Mind and Supermind, which is run by Santa Barbara City College.

Website: Infinitely Mystical

Interview conducted 4/23/2016

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

188. Michael James

Michael JamesBetween 1976 and 1985 Michael James studied the teachings of Sri Ramana under the clear guidance of one of his foremost disciple, Sri Sadhu Om. Together they translated into English all the original Tamil writings of Sri Ramana, and also Guru Vachaka Kovai (The Garland of Guru’s Sayings) (the most profound, comprehensive and reliable collection of the sayings of Sri Ramana, recorded in 1255 Tamil verses composed by Sri Muruganar, with an additional 42 verses composed by Sri Ramana) and various works of Sri Sadhu Om such as A Light on the Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The Essence of Spiritual Practice

Michael’s principal interest is the philosophy and practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra, ‘self-enquiry’) as taught by Sri Ramana, and he has written a detailed book on this subject: Happiness and the Art of Being: An introduction to the philosophy and practice of the spiritual teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana (Second Edition).

Michael’s website

Interview recorded 8/10/2013.

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

178. James Waite

James WaiteDISCOVERING OUR NATURAL WELL-BEING

As the name suggests, well-being is natural – that is, it’s a normal condition (if not an average one for most of humanity) and not just in the domain of some sages and saints. Our real shared nature is one of goodness, balance and harmony, where suffering is not imagined or dwelt upon. In truth, in nature, there is no such thing as “suffering”. There is of course, pain, when an injury is inflicted, and grief in unnatural circumstances or when a loved-one passes, but there is no necessary attachment of mind-made suffering to that pain in nature.

Our natural well-being finds its foundation in truth, reality and love. Taken together, they form the ground of all our human and divine experience of life. And this grace of living in peace and contentment is what it means to be naturally “happy”. By “contentment” we mean contentment with the content of now – whatever that might be in the moment –confusion, anger, pleasure, pain, fear…bills! All this is mirrored and embraced in the aware silence of innate well-being.

While words cannot describe this natural state, we can suggest it with phrases such as the following:

  • Truth is what remains when falseness falls away.
  • Reality is what remains when imagination falls away.
  • Love is what remains when fear falls away.
  • Peace is what remains when struggle falls away.

Natural Well-being – enjoying what we are! – is what remains when all the above ideas about it fall away.

James Waite is a writer, designer and businessman in Berkeley, CA. He discovers and shares this natural well-being in daily aware living at: www.nondualityliving.com.  He is the author of two books: “Real, Whole, Here, and Happy!” (Free @ NDL) and “Fading in the Light”. A new book, “LIVING HERE…Discovering our Natural Well-Being” is emerging. He meets weekly with friends in the San Francisco Bay area to explore aware living and you are invited to contact him (see below).

James and his Nutritionist wife Alla are also offering BE WELL! NATURAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING services for individuals, couples, groups and companies. They are offering a timely S.O.S. (Sources Of Stress) seminar (current programs are here and here).  He is open to travel and sharing in various forums including making Hosting arrangements for BE WELL! Transformational Living programs. He invites your enquiries at nondualityliving@gmail.com. or bewelltlc@gmail.com

James’ blog

Interview conducted 6/1/2013

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