171. Francis Bennett and John Mark Stroud

Francis BennettJohn Mark Stroud
Francis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the 90’s subsequently lived at a “daughter house” of Gethsemane in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. Until recently, he was living in a small urban monastery in Montreal Quebec. He has been a “spiritual seeker” during all those years, practicing in the Christian mystical/contemplative Tradition and working deeply with teachers in both the Vipassana and Zen Traditions as well. In 2010 he experienced a profound perceptual “shift” in which he realized the ever-present presence of pure Awareness, which some would call, the Presence of God.He has worked in the field of Spiritual Care in Parish Communities and with the sick and dying in Hospice and Hospital settings. He has led retreats, offered spiritual talks and has accompanied many on their spiritual journey. He graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum with a BA in Philosophy and completed a two year chaplaincy residency with Ohio Health Hospital system.Francis’ forthcoming book, to be published by Non-Duality Press, is entitled “I Am That I Am – Discovering the love, peace, joy and stability of the True Self”. Francis’ book: I Am That I AmA single unexpected moment in John Mark’s mid 20’s left him with a vast and dark sense of emptiness. He would spend the next 15 years immersed in feverish worldly activity, trying in vain to fill this emptiness. His “normal” life of businessman, husband, and father had all the hallmarks of great success. But finally, in 2007, he was compelled by some greater force to sell his business and begin the inward search for the peace and happiness that had always eluded him. Almost immediately he was swept up in a tidal wave of Grace. For a man used to control and responsibility, it was particularly unsettling that these miracles began to move and direct his life into uncharted waters. In 2009, he was guided to “A Course in Miracles”. Instinctively, he knew this was what he had been searching for. It was as though it had been written just for him. The Course in Miracles led him to the direct experience of God’s limitless Love and Peace. That experience of Awakening from the dream of separation to the ever present, perfect awareness of God finally brought the causeless Joy and eternal Happiness for which John Mark sought. With great Joy, he now shares that Limitless Love with all as One. John Mark’s website

Transcript of this conversation

Interview recorded 4/21/2013

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