473. John Butler

John ButlerChildhood accustomed me to nature, solitude – a sense of God which needed no explaining. Stillness, beauty, depths of love called my heart back home where it belonged. But life grew out into the world, became possessed and lost the way.

After a few unwilling years in business, I went to South America ‘To make the world a better place’. It wasn’t so easy. Alone on a mountainside one day, an inner voice said, ‘To make whole, be whole’. I realised that, before being able to help others, I first had to work on myself. Once back in England, I looked for and found a source of meditation, which opened up a whole new way of seeing.

How can I best help the world I love? This question led me through organic farming, much travel and many adventures to ever deeper understanding of the Work of Prayer.

I wouldn’t call myself a mystic though some say I am. I’m not sure what it means besides “Not this – not that”. Neither (in a conventional sense) am I very religious. “Mystic” conveys to me a wise unknowing of morning mist with only the promise of a day to come. It’s not an intellectual approach defined by man but trusting, waiting, quietly still before each blade of grass, each little bird (Mat.6,26-28) reminding us of higher, nobler government than ours.

This required attending to the moment “Now”, reminding me how much we live not present, here, but absent, lost in past or future – thought, desires and fear. But isn’t that reality? We need to look and see.


Transcript of this interview.

Discussion of this interview in the BatGap Community Facebook Group.

Interview recorded October 13, 2018.

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

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction to Buddha at the Gas Pump
  • 00:03:08 – A Wise Unknowing of Morning Mist
  • 00:05:56 – Connecting with Nature
  • 00:10:21 – Finding Connection in Nature
  • 00:15:16 – The Prodigal Son and Straying Away from Nature
  • 00:19:11 – The Power of Silence and Presence
  • 00:22:20 – The Gateway to the Infinite
  • 00:26:08 – Stillness and the Impediments of the Mind
  • 00:29:56 – Transcending the Ego and Accessing the Open Sky
  • 00:34:28 – The Dandi Swamis and Effortless Meditation
  • 00:38:02 – Experiencing Stillness and Spaciousness
  • 00:42:13 – The Limitations of Words and Concepts
  • 00:46:29 – The Fullness of Spirit
  • 00:50:28 – The Illusion of Separation
  • 00:54:11 – The Simplicity of Stillness
  • 00:58:06 – Accessing Stillness in the Midst of Tumult
  • 01:01:00 – The Peace and Stillness Within
  • 01:04:58 – The Expansion of Spiritual Life
  • 01:09:11 – The Absorption of Human Agony and Redemption
  • 01:13:09 – Illuminating the Darkness
  • 01:16:46 – The Journey from Darkness to Light
  • 01:20:25 – The Lamb of God and the Miracle of Grass
  • 01:24:23 – The Suffering and Sacrifice of Nature
  • 01:28:12 – Reconciling the Slaughter of a Pet Pig
  • 01:32:36 – The Nature of Light and Dark in the Real World
  • 01:36:07 – Love and Surrender
  • 01:39:38 – The 23rd Psalm and Christian Teachings
  • 01:42:55 – The Soothing Voice and ASMR
  • 01:46:15 – The Presence of God and the Real Experience
  • 01:49:24 – Understanding Oneness and Unity
  • 01:52:33 – A Chat with John