Dean Sluyter – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on 28 May 2018
Discussion of this interview in the BatGap

Dean Sluyter (pronounced er”) has taught natural methods of meditation and awakening since 1970. His five highly acclaimed books include Natural Meditation: A Guide to Effortless Meditative Practice (Amazon #1 stress management bestseller, and Nautilus Gold Medal winner for best mind-body-spirit book) and Fear Less: Living Beyond Fear, Anxiety, Anger, and Addiction. Dean gives talks, workshops, and retreats throughout the United States and beyond, from Ivy League colleges to maximum-security prisons. His media appearances have included National Public Radio, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Coast to Coast AM, The Dr. Oz Show, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

A grateful student of Eastern and Western sages in several traditions, Dean has completed numerous pilgrimages and retreats in India, Tibet, Nepal, and the West. He is known for conveying authentic teachings in forms that are relaxed, accessible, and down-to-earth. When not writing or teaching, he plays the ukulele and happily rides his Vespa through the streets of Santa Monica.

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Majorie Woollacott – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Marjorie Hines Woollacott, PhD, has been a neuroscience professor at the University of Oregon for more than three decades and a meditator for almost four. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation for 35 years, she has coauthored a popular textbook for health professionals that is in its 5th edition, and has written more than 180 peer-reviewed research articles—several of which were on meditation, the topic that motivated her to write the book Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind.

As a neuroscientist, Marjorie Woollacott had no doubts that the brain was a purely physical entity controlled by chemicals and electrical pulses. When she experimented with meditation for the first time, however, her entire world changed. Woollacott’s journey through years of meditation has made her question the reality she built her career upon and has forced her to ask what human consciousness really is. 

Infinite Awareness (winner of the 2017 Parapsychological Association Book Award, Eric Hoffer Book Award and the Nautilus Book Award) pairs Woollacott’s research as a neuroscientist with her self-revelations about the mind’s spiritual power. Between the scientific and spiritual worlds, she breaks open the definition of human consciousness to investigate the existence of a non-physical and infinitely powerful mind.

Website: http://marjoriewoollacott.com

Marjorie is the president of an organization called The Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences, which she co-founded with Gary Schwartz at the U. of Arizona. The organization hopes to help impel the paradigm shift away from materialism

Stephen Snyder ‘The Transformative and The Transcendent’ Interview by Iain McNay

Published on Apr 18, 2018

Stephen Snyder ‘The Transformative and The Transcendent’ Interview by Iain McNay
Stephen is the co-author of ‘Practicing the Jhanas: Traditional Concentration Meditation as Presented by the Venerable PA Auk Sayadaw.’ 

 He has been a Buddhist practitioner for over 40 years. In the 70’s he read ‘Three Pillars Of Zen’ which started him on his path of meditation and then a few years later he had a significant awakening experience which showed him the nature of reality. He discovered the Jhana path of meditation and found he strongly connected with that. 

He now works with Tina Rasmussen teaching meditation and is also a practicing lawyer. He has found that it is really important to work on the Transformative and The Transcendent and talks in detail about this in the interview. http://www.awakeningdharma.com

Tina Rasmussen ‘Living The Enlightenment Drive’ Interview by Renate McNay

Published on Apr 1, 2018

Tina RasmussenLiving The Enlightenment Drive’ Interview by Renate McNay

Tina teaches Jhana Meditation and helps students recognise their deeper nature, both on the cushion and in daily life. She wrote the book “Practicing the Jhanas” with her teaching partner Stephen Snyder. She also worked as an organisation development consultant and coach for more the 25 years and published several books on humanistic business practices.

Tina learned to meditate at age 13 and had been attending long silent meditation retreats. For years she practiced in Buddhist and Non-Dual traditions. She had a natural talent for concentration meditation and undertook an intensive year-long solo retreat during which a profound awakening to true nature occurred. 

After life-changing experiences Tina felt the strong pull to become a “cave yogi” but as the awakening matured, it was compelling to her to function in the world from an awakened perspective. 

She was the first Western Women who completed the entire Samatha path including the eight Jhanas and was authorised to teach by Burmese meditation Master Ven.Pa Auk Sayadaw. She is also practicing the “Diamond Approach” by H. A. Almaas. http://www.awakeningdharma.com

Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation by Bob Roth (Author)


Instant New York Times Bestseller

A simple, straightforward exploration of Transcendental Meditation and its benefits from world authority Bob Roth.

Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Seinfeld. Ray Dalio and Ellen DeGeneres. Gwyneth Paltrow and Howard Stern. Tom Hanks and Gisele Bündchen.

What do they have in common? The answer is a Transcendental Meditation teacher named Bob Roth, who has spent the past forty-five years helping many thousands of people access their innate creativity and power through this simple, nonreligious technique. Roth’s students range from titans of business and the arts to federal prisoners, from war-scarred veterans to overworked moms and dads.

Medical experts agree that the epidemic of stress is damaging our physical and emotional health at younger and younger ages. While there is no one single cure, the Transcendental Meditation technique is a simple practice that dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life’s challenges. With scientifically proven benefits— reduced stress and anxiety, and improved focus, sleep, resilience, creativity, and memory, to name a few—this five-thousand-year-old technique has a clear and direct impact on our very modern problems.

Once a skeptic, Roth trained under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the twentieth century’s foremost scientist of consciousness and meditation, and has since become one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in the world. In Strength in Stillness, Roth breaks down the science behind Transcendental Meditation in a new, accessible way. He highlights the three distinct types of meditation—Focused Attention, Open Monitoring, and Self-Transcending—and showcases the evidence that the third, Self-Transcending, or Transcendental Meditation, is a uniquely accessible, effective, and efficient way to reduce stress, access inner power, and build resilience.

Free of gimmicks, mystical verbiage, and obscure theory, Strength in Stillness offers a clear explanation for how Transcendental Meditation can calm the mind, body, and spirit.

Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled, Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages.

Bob currently serves as the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which is bringing meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and nonprofit charities. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, “Success Without Stress” and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Wisdom2.0, and Summit.

Bob Roth and David Lynch ‘Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation’

Published on Feb 15, 2018
Every day we face a growing epidemic of stress that is damaging to our physical and emotional health. While there is no one single cure, a simple practice dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life’s challenges: the Transcendental Meditation technique. Bob Roth, a world authority on Transcendental Meditation for forty-five years, joins us to present wisdom from his book Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation. He is joined onstage by Oscar-nominated filmmaker David Lynch, founder of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace. Together they outline meditation’s scientifically proven benefits—improved focus, sleep, resilience, creativity, and memory to name a few—and demonstrate how this five-thousand-year-old technique can have a clear and direct impact on our very modern problems. They highlight the three distinct types of meditation—focused attention, open monitoring, and self-transcending—and showcase the evidence that the third, Transcendental Meditation, is the most effective and efficient way to reduce stress, access inner power, and build resilience. Join Roth and Lynch for a simple, practical, and straightforward guide to the healing and stress-reducing potential of Transcendental Meditation.

Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in the world, with 45 years experience teaching Transcendental Meditation to billionaire CEOs, Hollywood celebrities, combat-scarred veterans, and inner-city youth. He currently serves as the CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, and also directs the Center for Leadership Performance. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, Success Without Stress, and speaks frequently about the science of meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Wisdom2.0, and Summit.

Three-time Oscar-nominated director David Lynch is among the leading filmmakers of our era. From the early seventies to the present day, Lynch’s popular and critically acclaimed film projects, which include Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, INLAND EMPIRE, and Twin Peaks are internationally considered to have broken down the wall between art-house cinema and Hollywood moviemaking. He is founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace.

Karma Dharma and Meditation By Devi Dayal Aggarwal

A person comes in the universe to do three jobs—karma, dharma, and meditation. These three contain the entire philosophy of living. Karma is to take action for earning money, producing children, and bringing them up while living in the universe; dharma is to do this action as per tenets of one’s dharma; and meditation is to surrender all of one’s doing to God. However, he gets absorbed in earning money and producing and bringing up children. He remembers little or nothing of dharma and completely ignores meditation. This book, which is based on vast knowledge of Vedas and Shastras and over seventy years of experience of meditation, is the answer to the fulfillment of one’s jobs (mentioned above). The author has made these very easy to follow and intelligible, and it is hoped the book would be of help to readers in achieving the goal of karma, dharma, and meditation, which gives mental relief.

Hailing from Haryana, the author Mr D.D Aggarwal was born in 1933. He did his schooling from Sonepat and had further education from Delhi. Having been recruited through IAS & Allied Services examination, he retired as Joint Secretary from Ministry of Railways in 1994. After retirement he started writing books as pastime and has already written many books including: • Protocol in Ramcharitmanas (in English and Hindi) • Protocol in Srimad Bhagwat (in English and Hindi) • Protocol in Mahabharata (in English and Hindi) • Upanishadas – The Real Truth • India Ever Independent:- Why Only Fifty Years • Judisprudence in India Through Ages • State and District Administration in India • Bharat Mein Shaashan Pranali (in Hindi) • CBI and Policing in India (in English and Hindi) The present book, Karma, Dharma and Meditation is the latest addition in the series. Of late he has started writing poems in Hindi and has a collection of over 2000 poems, mostly on spiritualism.

 Michael Speight – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


When I was 11 years old our school took a bus trip to the local library. While most of the children were off exploring the mysteries of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, for some reason I found myself in the row of books called Philosophy and Religion.

I recall pulling a hardbound book off the shelf and directly opening it to an old black and white photograph of the Portola Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. At that moment, it was as if all my breath was sucked out of me and my mind went totally quiet. Somewhere in the depth of my being, I knew I was looking at a very familiar place, one that I may once have called home. I stood there for a very long time just staring at that photograph.

Then, like a starving young man having a meal laid before him, I hurriedly began to devour the book. When it was time to leave the library and head back to school, I took the book with me to the check-out counter. What followed was a pitched battle with my teacher and the librarian on one side, and one very determined boy on the other. In the end, I got to take the book home.

That book changed my life. At the time, I took the descriptions of a world rarely seen to be real mysticism. With great determination and passion, I began reading everything I could get my hands on about Tibet, its culture, and spiritual teachings. Thus, began a lifelong pursuit for of spiritual insight and knowledge mystical experience.

In my youthful naivety, I also began what I deduced as a meditation practice from stories in the book. This practice was quite complex and involved sitting quietly in the lotus posture with my spine perfectly straight while emptying my mind of everything. After about four years of practicing my meditation, one day I was sitting quietly and deep into it, when the bottom dropped out. No mind, no thought—just a great expanse. When the experience ended, I felt the most amazing deep sense of happiness bliss. This bliss we might describe as “the peace which passeth understanding”.

The problem was my meditation practice was extremely difficult and required great effort and time to achieve the effortless state. I began to search for something easier. My readings led me to try Zen, which, while intellectually satisfying yielded no repetition of the state of no thought only pure awareness. I tried several other practices and even religions until one day I received a phone call that was to be another turning point in my life.

My best friend had gone off college and suggested that I leave my job with the Forest Service and continue my education. I think he just wanted someone to share the rent with but it got me there.

When I arrived on campus to find Maharishi Mahesh Yogi teaching a course about meditation and training young men and woman like me how to teach Transcendental Meditation, a mantra-based meditation practice. I snuck into his lectures and listened attentively and knew this was the spiritual practice I had been seeking.

At the advice of my new friends, I went to ask Maharishi if he would personally teach me. Maharishi was rarely on time anywhere and I waited outside his door a long time for him to emerge. When he finally came out the door there were a number of people waiting like me, some to ask a question, some pay their respects. With about a dozen people ahead of me in the line I waited for my turn, but then I had the thought that I shouldn’t take his time, that I should instead dedicate myself to freeing his time so he could bring this knowledge of meditation and its philosophy to as many as possible, that I should work to serve him selflessly without regard to my own needs and desires. In that moment, I took the Bodhisattva vow and walked away to learn Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation from one of his teachers.

I knew I had found what I was looking for in my first meditation. Upon learning I experienced quite easily that state of mindlessness I had been struggling so hard for. I knew for certain that TM worked for me when I was walking down the street feeling the perfect bliss within yet realizing that nothing what so ever had happened in my life save for meditation to make it so.

Within six months of beginning the practice, I had gone from a 1.28 GPA to a 4.0, typical of TM practitioners, and had made the decision to become a TM Teacher. I am dyslexic and while blessed with an IQ in the top 1% school had been hell for me, a constant struggle, all that had changed for the better. I became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation in 1972; I am extremely grateful to Maharishi for all his teachings and wisdom that have shaped my life.

After many years of practice, I had a classical awakening into higher consciousness. Now living in non-duality or as Maharishi described it “living 200%, the fullness of the absolute and the relative lived completely and utterly together.

Website: http://michael-lovelightlaughter.org

What means “Transcending” and where it comes from?” 

A differentiated view of TM 

Roger Castillo – Satsang – A Meditation and the need for Love

MAHARISHI speak about the life of GURU DEV in the Ashram of his MASTER. Audio 1961.


Maharishi speak about the life of Guru Dev Swami Brahmananda Saraswati in the Ashram Of his Master Swami Krishnananda Saraswati. Audio 1961. Guru Purnima.

Meditation: The Power of the Present Moment ~ Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle leads a meditation on “The Power of the Present Moment” at Wisdom 2.0 2014.

How to Cultivate Mindfulness By Listening To Your Thoughts – Ram Dass

Try this exercise to develop mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts…

Perhaps at some time you have sat quietly by the side of an ocean or river. At first there is one big rush of sound. Listening quietly, you begin to hear a multitude of subtle sounds: the waves hitting the shore, the rushing current of the river.

In that peacefulness and silence of mind you experience precisely what is happening. It is the same when you listen to yourself. At first all you can hear is one “self” or “I,” but slowly this self is revealed as a mass of changing elements, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images, all illuminated simply by listening, by paying attention.

You remain alert, not allowing yourself to become forgetful. When you develop mindfulness and concentration together, you achieve a balance of mind. As this penetrating awareness develops it reveals many aspects of the world and of who you are. You see with a clear and direct vision that everything, including yourself, is flowing, in flux, in transformation. There is not a single element of your mind or body that is stable. This wisdom comes not from any particular state, but from close observation of your own mind.

Joseph Goldstein
gives the following instructions for developing mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts:

Meditation on the Mind

To meditate upon thoughts is simply to be aware, as thoughts arise, that the mind is thinking, without getting involved in the content: not going off on a train of association, not analyzing the thought and why it came, but merely to be aware that at the particular moment “thinking” is happening. It is helpful to make a mental note of “thinking, thinking” every time a thought arises; observe the thought without judgement, without reaction to the content, without identifying with it, without taking the thought to be I, or self, or mine. The thought is the thinker. There is no one behind it. The thought is thinking itself. It comes uninvited. You will see that when there is a strong detachment from the thought process, thoughts don’t last long. As soon as you are mindful of a thought, it disappears. Some people may find it helpful to label the thinking process in a more precise way, to note different kinds of thoughts, whether “planning” or “imagining” or “remembering.” This sharpens the focus of attention. Otherwise, the simple note of “thinking, thinking” will serve the purpose. Try to be aware of the thought as soon as it arises, rather than some minutes afterward. When they are noticed with precision and balance they have no power to disturb the mind.

Suzuki Roshi in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind writes: “When you are practicing Zazen meditation do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer… Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise but they are just waves from your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind… If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called “big mind.”

Just let things happen as they do. Let all images and thoughts and sensations arise and pass away without being bothered, without reacting, without judging, without clinging, without identifying with them. Become one with the big mind, observing carefully, microscopically, all the waves coming and going. This attitude will quickly bring about a state of balance and calm. Don’t let the mind get out of focus. Keep the mind sharply aware, moment to moment, of what is happening, whether the in-out breath, sensations, or thoughts. In each instant be focused on the object with a balanced and relaxed mind.
Source: Spirituality Health

Eckhart Tolle on How to Rise Above Thoughts

Unlock The True Power of Your Mind

Your mind is an instrument, a tool. Thoughts are there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay them down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.

This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure; pleasure that invariably turns into pain.

Why Are We Addicted to Thinking?

Because you identify with thinking, which means that you derive your sense of self from the content and activity of your mind. Because you believe that you would cease to exist if you stopped thinking. As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ‘ego’. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.

As you grow up, you form a mental image of who you are based on your personal and cultural conditioning. We may call this phantom self the ‘ego’. It consists of mind activity and can only be kept going through constant thinking. The term ego means different things to different people, but when I use it here it means a false self, created by unconscious identification with the mind.


The Nature of The Ego

To the ego, the present moment hardly exists. Only past and future are considered important. This total reversal of the truth accounts for the fact that in the ego mode, the mind is so dysfunctional. It is always concerned with keeping the past alive, because without it – who are you?

It constantly projects itself into the future to ensure its continued survival and to seek some kind of release or fulfilment there. It says: “One day, when this, that, or the other happens, I am going to be okay, happy, at peace.” Even when the ego seems to be concerned with the present, it is not the present that it sees: It misperceives it completely because it looks at it through the eyes of the past. Or it reduces the present to a means to an end; an end that always lies in the mind-projected future. Observe your mind and you’ll see that this is how it works.

The ego constantly projects itself into the future.

The Present Moment Holds The Key to Liberation

But you cannot find the present moment as long as you are your mind. I don’t want to lose my ability to analyze and discriminate. I wouldn’t mind learning to think more clearly, in a more focused way, but I don’t want to lose my mind. The gift of thought is the most precious thing we have. Without it, we would just be another species of animal.

The predominance of mind is no more than a stage in the evolution of consciousness. We need to go on to the next stage now as a matter of urgency; otherwise, we will be destroyed by the mind, which has grown into a monster. I will talk about this in more detail later. Thinking and consciousness are not synonymous. Thinking is only a small aspect of consciousness. Thought cannot exist without consciousness, but consciousness does not need thought.

What Is Enlightenment?

Enlightenment means rising above thought, not falling back to a level below thought; the level of an animal or a plant. In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. You use it mostly for practical purposes, but you are free of the involuntary internal dialogue, and there is inner stillness. When you do use your mind, and particularly when a creative solution is needed, you oscillate every few minutes or so between thought and stillness; between mind and no-mind. No-mind is consciousness without thought. Only in that way is it possible to think creatively, because only in that way does thought have any real power. Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness, quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive.

We can only think creatively when we oscillate between mind and no-mind.

The mind is essentially a survival machine. Attack and defense against other minds, gathering, storing, and analyzing information – this is what it is good at, but it is not at all creative. All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude. The surprising result of a nation-wide inquiry among America’s most eminent mathematicians, including Einstein, to find out their working methods, was that:

[thinking] plays only a subordinate part in the brief, decisive phase of the creative act itself.

So I would say that the simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don’t know how to think, but because they don’t know how to stop thinking!

It wasn’t through the mind, through thinking, that the miracle that is life on earth or your body were created and are being sustained. There is clearly an intelligence at work that is far greater than the mind. How can a single human cell measuring 1/1,000 of an inch across contain instructions within its DNA that would fill 1,000 books of 600 pages each? The more we learn about the workings of the body, the more we realize just how vast is the intelligence at work within it and how little we know. When the mind reconnects with that, it becomes a most wonderful tool. It then serves something greater than itself.

What Is Meditation?

Source: UPLIFT

Thich Nhat Hanh – How To Really BE Yourself All The Time

Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader , poet and peace activist,  revered for his powerful teachings .He speaks about the power of mindfulness and meditation practices.

Meditation: Being Knowingly the White Radiance of Eternity


Published on May 26, 2017

The Knower can never be the object of experience; no higher knowledge than to know the nature of ‘I’; following the thread of ‘I’; awareness is like a hologram in which objects appear and out of which they are made; as experience we always change, as awareness we never change.
From the seven day retreat at Buckland Hall, May 2017. For access to the full recording see link: http://non-duality.rupertspira.com/wa…

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