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

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.

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

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…

7 Days to Peaceful Sleep – Day 7


Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Together, let’s take some long, deep conscious breaths, taking in the love of everyone around us and exhaling that love out into the world. Inhale and exhale, slowly and deeply.

In your mind’s eye, envision the faces of people around the world, on continents far away, in topography that may be new or different for us, in mountain villages, rainforests, high desert regions, and cities we may have only seen in photos.

Bring into your awareness your highest vision of perfect health. See it infusing your own body; you, perfectly healthy, vibrant, and full of joy.

Take that feeling of perfect health that surrounds you and send it along this network of unity, so that everyone feels the nurturing sensations of your vibrant love.

Let’s form our intention that the vitality and joy we have experienced throughout this journey benefit the entire global community.

7 Days to Peaceful Sleep – Day 6

Published on Apr 30, 2017

Did you like this meditation? Join our Ananda meditation community and create your own customizable meditation experience at https://www.deepakchopra.com/7DTRS

You are made of love, joy, and powers as mighty as all of creation. You are a radiant spirit, full of light, and worthy of all good things. As we release our day and prepare our bodies to rest and start fresh tomorrow, know that you are loved. You are encouraged to dream big – to let your light shine for all to see.

Each day is a new opportunity to start over, to let go of past mistakes, and to open our arms to new adventures. If you made mistakes today, it’s okay. You can correct them. Don’t be hard on yourself; making missteps is all a part of learning and growing, and tomorrow is a new day. If a test didn’t go well, or if you got into an argument with someone… even if you just felt “off” today, you can gently let it go now.

Each day also brings so many wonderful things to be thankful for – our family and friendships, our home, our warm bed… You probably have many more to add to that list, so let’s stop for a moment and think about three things you are grateful for today. You can say them quietly to yourself.

7 Days to Peaceful Sleep – Day 5 by Deepak Chopra


Forgiveness begins with the recognition that actions perceived as hurtful or wrong are the perception of the ego, not the higher self.

The ego moves us to seek justice or revenge to right a perceived wrong. The higher self, however, knows that the universe will rebalance all actions at the appropriate time, in the appropriate way in accord with the whole cosmos, not just the view of one person’s hurt feelings.

When you forgive, you are allowing that process to unfold instead of holding on to your ego’s point of view. Forgiveness is a courageous act of trust and compassion, one that comes with the bountiful reward of healing, love, light, and liberation for our bodies, minds and spirits.

When we find that we are holding on to pain or resentment connected to a person or situation, we are, in essence, holding onto memories from the past. On this journey we are now choosing to live love in every moment. Love exists, not in the past, but in the present moment.

The beauty of this choice is that as we forgive another we are actually choosing freedom for our own soul. Through forgiveness, we free ourselves from attachments to the past and we clear encumbrances that constrict our heart, helping to expand our ability to love and be loved.

As we embrace the practice of forgiveness, we recognize that this natural process brings us closer to our essential nature and is part of our spiritual evolution.

7 Days to Restful Sleep – Day 4


It is important to remind ourselves that we are already complete, created by universal intelligence, to be a divinely loving, lovable and loved being.

We are the total, complete package. Looking outward for our good is a desire of the ego, which craves validation from outside sources, mainly opinions from others.

Going within, and reconnecting with our Higher Self, reaffirms that validation comes from the inside, the home of pure love and acceptance.

Our sense of wholeness must come from self-referral, which is, using our soul as the reference point instead of seeking approval elsewhere.

Sometimes, in order to find love, we believe we have to have a fit body, perfect skin and fashionable clothes. Chasing what we are told is perfection is an exhausting exercise that takes valuable time and energy – energy that could be spent contemplating and living our magnificence.

The love we are looking for is looking for us – inside of ourselves, in the very core of our being.

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