192. Catherine Ingram

Catherine IngramCatherine Ingram is an international dharma teacher with communities in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Since 1992 she has led Dharma Dialogues, which are public events that focus on directing awareness toward greater wellbeing in an ethical and happy life. Catherine also leads numerous silent retreats each year in conjunction with Dharma Dialogues. She is president of Living Dharma, an educational non-profit organization founded in 1995.

Catherine has been the subject of numerous print, television, and radio interviews and is included in several anthologies about teachers in the west.

A former journalist specializing in issues of consciousness and activism, Catherine Ingram is the author of two books of nonfiction, which are published in numerous languages: In the Footsteps of Gandhi: Conversations with Spiritual Social Activists (Parallax Press, 1990) and Passionate Presence: Seven Qualities of Awakened Awareness (Penguin Putnam, 2003); and one novel, A Crack in Everything (Diamond Books, 2006). Over a fifteen-year period beginning in 1982, Catherine published approximately 100 articles on issues of consciousness and activism and served on the editorial staffs of New Age Journal, East West Journal, and Yoga Journal. For four years she wrote the Life Advice column for Alternatives Magazine based in Oregon.

For the past thirty five years, Catherine has helped organize and direct institutions dedicated to meditation and self-inquiry and, more recently, human and animal rights. She is a co-founder of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts (1976). She also co-founded the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) in The Hague, Netherlands (1991) and is a member of the Committee of 100 for Tibet. For six years (1988-1994), Catherine also served as a board director for The Burma Project, dedicated to raising international awareness about the struggle for democracy in Burma. She is currently serving on the board of Global Animal Foundation, which works on behalf of the world’s animals.

Her work provides a context in which to consider life experiences—work, romance, creativity, loss, and death—through the calm and simple quiet of the heart.


Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview

Interview Recorded 9/7/2013

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

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Catherine Ingram’s Journey
  • 00:04:07 – Finding Meaning in Life
  • 00:08:16 – Mind Exploration and Drug Use
  • 00:11:13 – The Embodiment and the Physical System
  • 00:14:33 – Knowing When to Move On
  • 00:17:23 – Qualities that Emerge in the Simplicity of Being
  • 00:20:05 – Holy Yearning and the Relaxation of Seeking
  • 00:23:06 – The Inner Awakening in His Presence
  • 00:25:55 – The Role of the Spiritual Community in the Coming Years
  • 00:29:27 – Inner Qualities: Contentment and Empathy
  • 00:32:30 – The Suffering of Animals and Spiritual Hypocrisy
  • 00:35:23 – Finding Solutions to Global Problems
  • 00:38:18 – The Complexity of Moral Certainty
  • 00:40:39 – The Commitment to Goodness and Letting Go
  • 00:43:35 – Letting Go and the Power of a Broken Heart
  • 00:46:16 – The Fluidity of Emotions
  • 00:48:48 – The Journey Back to the Marketplace
  • 00:51:09 – The Falling Away of Beliefs
  • 00:53:17 – Dwelling in Eternity and Transitoriness
  • 00:56:07 – Recognizing the Shift to Being That Silence and Eternity
  • 00:58:34 – The Importance of Participating and Caring
  • 01:00:28 – The Depth of Inner Reality
  • 01:02:46 – Being Like an Ocean
  • 01:05:08 – The Emergence of Qualities in People
  • 01:08:22 – Being Like an Awake Animal
  • 01:12:07 – The Deluge of Information in Modern Life
  • 01:15:41 – The Power of Simplifying and Finding Elegant Solutions
  • 01:19:10 – The Tipping Point and Survival
  • 01:21:43 – The Importance of Taking Action and Staying Steady
  • 01:24:50 – Embracing Change and Potential Disruptions
  • 01:29:23 – End of Interview and Invitation to Subscribe