133. Francis Bennett

Francis BennettFrancis 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’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy and Stability of the True Self“. Here’s a review of the book by Scott Kiloby:

I gave this review of Francis Dale Bennett’s book “I Am That I Am: Discovering the love, peace, joy and stability of the True Self” without being solicited to give a review.  I think it is a marvellously simple but radical book.  Anyone can read this and feel into the direct experience of what he is saying, whether one is a long term spiritual seeker, someone raised in a Christian church, or someone right off the street who has never looked into these things.  There is a flow of simplicity and clarity in the pages that made it very readable.  I didn’t have to stop and ask myself what he meant by certain words.  I could see he was using words very lightly, inviting the reader into an always, already present freedom, peeling apart many of the self-beliefs and beliefs about reality that keep so many people spinning their wheels in this lifetime.  Francis’ background as a Catholic Monk makes this book even more delicious to me.  He has the ability to speak to those in the Christian Church in a way that is fresh and transforming.  Do read this book if you are seeking.  It keeps it simple, yet utterly profound. – Scott Kiloby, www.livingrealization.org, www.kiloby.com.

You may contact Francis by email, Skype (francisdale3), his Facebook page, or through his website.

Interview conducted 8/4/2012

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

51 thoughts on “133. Francis Bennett

  1. So, a new “zen koan” has now been invented here on Batgap: “Which came first, the caterpillar or the chicken?” That really seems much harder than, “Muuuu!”

  2. I don’t know Snow Leopard. Are you talking about the “Waffle House” chain of restaurants? They serve both chicken and eggs!! They may have passed that particular koan! I confess they are a “guilty pleasure” for me!

  3. chuckee:

    “Before a man studies Zen, a mountain is a mountain.
    After he gets insights, a mountain is not a mountain.
    When he really understands, a mountain is a mountain”

    And walking is walking, breathing is breathing, chewing is chewing, and hugging is hugging.

    Know what I mean, jellybean?

  4. thanks rick and francis. i so enjoyed this interview. francis, you just radiate THAT from which you speak. and i love all your references to ramana…i was looking at his photo every time you mentioned him, and my heart just melted. 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing this lovely interview Rick. I really enjoyed Francis’s transparent and radiant enthusiasm.

  6. Thanks for taping and posting the link to the Francis talk in Fairfield in June, Rick. Quite enjoyed the talk and much of the Q&A.

  7. Loved the Fairfield talk – thanks David for making me aware of it…really resonated…Francis is such a beautiful human being…obviously speaking from the heart of the Self – from wholeness – from a love of everything..so simple…so clear..so humble…transmitting the Divine Presence with ease and with grace….living what he speaks…sat chit ananada…with no less emphasis on the dimension of ananda…illustrating that a devotional heart reaps rich rewards..

  8. There are parts of this interview where Francis lays everything on the table. His openness is rare and very moving.

  9. I love you Francis! What is so amazing about you is you don’t talk like a spiritual authority which has a deadness to it. You have such an alive childlike innocence which touches that in me and brings me to tears. You are so refreshing! Gratitude and Love! Aleece

  10. My favourite interview so far, this and Richard Lang’s in 2nd place.

    I’m a 42 year old gardener and listening to this wonderful interview on my mp3 player made me cry a few times just whilst I needed to be all grrr macho-tough hedge cutting 15m up on a cherry picker. Can’t recall that ever happening before listening to the words of any spiritual teacher. I think my co-workers must think I was having some kind of breakdown… I was, but oh such a lovely one.

    Francis is It and For Real for me. I’ve downloaded and listened to many Batgap interviews and most I’ve got something from, but not as much as this. Not really sure how many times I’ve listened to it now but I get something ‘new’ from it every time.

    I’m sure I could spend a whole month on the internet reading/watching/listening to thousands of non-dual types and I’m sure I’d personally find nothing as good as this. Horses for courses and all that, but Francis has probably saved me a lot of ££ ordering books from Amazon that I’ll either never finish, just won’t understand or will in some way just make me feel inadequate!

    And Francis’ book is just great, such a simple message beautifully presented. I heartily recommend it to all you lovely people here.

    Rick – thank you so much. This and many other interviews you’ve conducted have made such a profound and welcome difference to my life. But this one is especially specially special to me.

    Love, peace, massive respect to you all

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