612. Eva Natanya

Eva NatanyaEva Natanya is Executive Director and Resident Teacher at the Center for Contemplative Research at Miyo Samten Ling.

A scholar of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Christian theology, and comparative religion, Dr. Natanya has served in many capacities as a spiritual teacher, academic lecturer, translator, and editor of Tibetan texts, writer, and retreat leader. Following a nine-year career as a professional ballet dancer with both the New York City Ballet and the Royal Ballet of England, she earned an MA in Christian Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation examined the complex interactions of Madhyamaka, Yogācāra, and Abhidharma teachings as they underlie the Vajrayāna philosophy of Je Tsongkhapa. She has worked closely with Dr. B. Alan Wallace on his translations for several books, including Open Mind: View and Meditation in the Lineage of Lerab Lingpa and Fathoming the Mind: Inquiry and Insight in Dudjom Lingpa’s Vajra Essence, and has co-taught meditation retreats with Dr. Wallace around the world. In a Christian context, she co-authored Living Resurrected Lives: What It Means and Why It Matters with Veronica Mary Rolf. She has spent more than three years in solitary meditation retreat, and remains in residence at Miyo Samten Ling in Crestone, Colorado, guiding fellow retreatants in the details of contemplative training. Her website is: evanatanya.com.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Transcript of this interview.

Interview recorded August 21, 2021

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

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:05:22 – Mystical Longing and Spiritual Quest
  • 00:09:59 – The Discipline and Demands of Rehearsal and Performance
  • 00:14:11 – Transition to Deep Education and Meditation
  • 00:18:22 – Preparation for Solitary Retreat
  • 00:23:26 – Challenges of Long-term Retreat Practice
  • 00:27:50 – The connection between mind and pr??ic system
  • 00:32:00 – Sensations of Pr??a and the Inner Body
  • 00:36:14 – The Dangers of Kundalini and Inner-body Practices
  • 00:40:35 – The Proper Meditation Posture and Settling the Mind
  • 00:45:25 – The Process of Settling the Mind
  • 00:49:54 – Integrating Meditation with Daily Life
  • 00:54:20 – The Depths of Loving-Kindness
  • 00:58:30 – Meditation and the Transformation of Worldview
  • 01:02:51 – The Notion of a Person as a Temporary Conglomerate
  • 01:08:02 – The karmic cause of suffering and purification possibilities
  • 01:12:21 – Reincarnation and Hypotheses of Past Lives
  • 01:16:16 – Dream Lives and Illusion of Self
  • 01:20:56 – Pratityasamutpada and the Two Realities
  • 01:25:34 – The Illusory Nature of Things
  • 01:29:51 – The Trinity in Christian Theology and Buddhism
  • 01:35:06 – The Divine Light and Celestial Perception
  • 01:39:40 – The Manifestation of Divinity in Every Little Thing
  • 01:44:55 – The True Nature and Buddha Nature
  • 01:50:25 – The transcendence of death in different cultures
  • 01:55:27 – The Vastness of Awareness in Buddhism
  • 01:59:28 – Finding a Path and Authentic Teachers
  • 02:04:15 – Authenticity and Discernment in Choosing a Teacher
  • 02:08:53 – Unconventional Behavior in the Name of Crazy Wisdom
  • 02:13:19 – The Concept of Enlightenment
  • 02:17:51 – Taking a Step towards Enlightenment