387. Mukti, Francis Bennett, Loch Kelly: “Emptiness is also Form” (Panel Discussion at the SAND Conference)

On 10/21/2016 at the Science and Nonduality Conference, Loch Kelly, Mukti, and Francis Bennett discuss the paradoxical understanding reflected in the famous Heart Sutra’s saying, “Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Form is none other than emptiness and emptiness is none other than form.” They have noticed that many people get caught halfway after an initial awakening in a kind of spiritual bypass: stuck in stillness, spaced-out, blissed-in, or attached to the conceptual belief that “I am nobody.” What are the pointers and supports to realize the already manifest life arising out of the unmanifest awareness? They give examples of the fullness of waking up from a limited sense of self to pure awareness, then also waking in to our bodies and waking out to relating and creating in the world. Loch, Mukti, and Francis discuss the importance of the dancing emptiness of embodiment and how to live from open-hearted awareness.

Mukti, whose name means “liberation”, is a teacher in the lineage of Adyashanti, her husband. Together they founded Open Gate Sangha in 1996 to cultivate the awakening of consciousness in those who yearn for truth, peace, and freedom. In teaching, Mukti brings flavors of feminine quietude and nurturing as well as kinesthetic, visual, and precise pointers to Truth. Many speak of her being particularly gifted in her offering of guided meditations. Her keen interest as a teacher is in the revelation of consciousness touching and transforming human experience. She is licensed in acupuncture and certified in yoga instruction. For sample teachings, audio clips and downloads, and further information, visit muktisource.org. AudioBook: The Self in Full Bloom

Previous BatGap interview with Mukti

Francis Bennett entered the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemane in 1981 and in the ’90s 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.

Francis’ book: “I Am That I Am: Discovering the Love, Peace, Joy, and Stability of the True Self“.

Previous BatGap interviews involving Francis:

Loch Kelly, M.Div., LCSW is the author of, Shift into Freedom: The Science and Practice of Open-Hearted Awareness. He is an educator, licensed psychotherapist, and recognized leader in the field of nondual meditation who was asked to teach Sutra Mahamudra by Mingyur Rinpoche and nondual meditation by Adyashanti. Loch has worked in community mental health, established homeless shelters, and counseled family members of 9/11. He is the founder of the non-profit Open-Hearted Awareness Institute. Loch collaborates with neuroscientists at Yale, UPenn, and NYU to study how awareness training can enhance compassion and well-being. For more information, visit lochkelly.org.

Previous BatGap interview with Loch.

Transcript of this discussion

YouTube Video Chapters:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:01:57 – Introduction to the Discussion
  • 00:03:31 – The Mystery of Our Existence
  • 00:05:34 – The Divine in this Manifest World
  • 00:07:40 – Awakening to Emptiness and Embracing Form
  • 00:09:29 – The Second Operating System of Awake Awareness
  • 00:11:11 – Understanding the Context and Content
  • 00:12:43 – The Interplay Between Form and Emptiness
  • 00:14:07 – Finding the Middle Path and Comprehensive Awakening
  • 00:15:47 – The Process of Integration
  • 00:18:04 – Awakening to the Present Moment
  • 00:20:22 – The Presence of Knowingness
  • 00:22:11 – The Unchanging Presence
  • 00:24:11 – The Fabric of Dancing and Pervasive Awareness
  • 00:26:00 – Awakening to Who We Are
  • 00:27:25 – The Dance of God: Yoga in Action
  • 00:28:44 – Shining the Light of Awareness
  • 00:30:44 – Human Consciousness and Capital C Consciousness
  • 00:32:07 – Anticipation and Suffering in Human Experience
  • 00:33:51 – Form and Emptiness: Identity and Non-Duality
  • 00:35:52 – The Concept of Emptiness in Physics and Spirituality
  • 00:37:21 – The Interconnectedness of All Things
  • 00:39:11 – Different Paths of Awakening
  • 00:41:14 – The Path of Spiritual Practice
  • 00:42:52 – The Three Paths to Awakening
  • 00:44:12 – Touching into our True Nature
  • 00:45:30 – Unlocking our Potential
  • 00:46:48 – Fullness in Divine Intelligence
  • 00:48:30 – Opposites Collapsing
  • 00:50:24 – The Tightrope of Self and No Self
  • 00:51:38 – Locke’s Presentation