Tag Archive: BuddhaAtTheGasPump


Published on Nov 17, 2017

For discussion of this talk, see: 

Presentation at the Science and Nonduality Conference

Many well-known spiritual teachers and gurus have been accused, credibly, of sexual, financial, and behavioral abuse. This, although their own spiritual attainment has arguably appeared significant, and their teachings beneficial. 

As a result, some people have concluded that higher consciousness and ethical behavior are not correlated, that we are governed by our genetics and conditioning, or by “nature”, and that we have no free will and thus no control over or responsibility for our actions. That logic has been used as an alibi by some spiritual teachers caught misbehaving.

Others have become cynical about the motives of all gurus and teachers, and some have even lost faith in spirituality altogether.

Yet, every spiritual tradition includes codes of ethics that apply to both teachers and students. Ethical behavior has been regarded not only as a reflection of spiritual development, but as a prerequisite to it.

To some extent, ethical values vary from culture to culture. But perhaps the contemporary spiritual community can agree upon some universal values. Can we agree that it’s not all right to misrepresent ourselves? If we claim or imply that we have realized our true nature, and are offering to help others do the same, is it consistent for us to behave deceitfully, perversely, selfishly, or cruelly?

Is it possible to be an enlightened scoundrel? Are purity and saintliness characteristic of higher levels of spiritual development, or unrelated to them? These are important questions. Because we need spiritual teachers and teachings in this critical time in humanity’s maturation, we need to understand what genuine spiritual attainment should look like, irrespective of personality differences. If such understanding were more commonplace, most abusive teachers and cults would never have gotten off the ground.

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Published on Nov 5, 2017.

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher and author devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Asked to teach in 1996 by his Zen teacher of 14 years, 

Adyashanti offers teachings that are free of any tradition or ideology. “The Truth I point to is not confined within any religious point of view, belief system, or doctrine, but is open to all and found within all.” He teaches throughout North America and Europe, offering satsangs, weekend intensives, silent retreats, and a live internet radio broadcast.

Website: http://adyashanti.org

Michael A. Rodriguez: Michael’s spiritual path began well over twenty years ago with Zen and subsequently included a master’s degree in theology from Harvard, long-term stays at two monasteries, and profound engagements with Vedanta, Tibetan Buddhism, Sufism, Kashmir Shaivism, and Christian mysticism.

 He was especially influenced by Nisargadatta, Mooji, and Rupert Spira. During a five-year period of purification and intensive self-inquiry, his search came to an end with an Awakening that revealed the infinite and eternal nature of the Self. His body and mind then underwent a radical transformation that established the seamlessness and aliveness of all experience.

Drawing always from his direct experience, Michael speaks with great clarity and compassion about the undivided nature of Life or Consciousness, always pointing to reality in a way that is free from dogma, ritual, or adherence to any particular tradition. He draws skillfully from the world’s wisdom traditions and also integrates Jungian psychology, literature, music, and art into his work to address the full range of human potential. 

He offers meetings, retreats, and private sessions here in the United States and abroad. His book–Boundless Awareness: A Loving Path to Spiritual Awakening and Freedom from Suffering--distills the essence of his teaching and was praised by Renate McNay, co-host of conscious.tv, for its clarity: “I have read many spiritual books over the 10 years I have been interviewing people for conscious.tv, but I found that Michael’s book has an exceptional clarity that gave me a deeper understanding of who we really are.” His interviews on Buddha at the Gas Pump and Conscious TV can be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

Website: http://BoundlessAwareness.org

John Lockley is a traditionally trained African Shaman known as a Sangoma from Nelson Mandela’s tribe, the Xhosa nation. He also has a background in Zen Buddhism and was a student of the late Zen Master Su Bong from South Korea. 

He holds an honors degree in Clinical Psychology and specialised in health psychology with an interest in trauma and how people recover from life threatening illnesses like cancer. For the last 10 years, he has been running ‘Ubuntu’ (humanity) retreats worldwide helping people to reconnect to their essential humanity; their bones (ancestors), dreams, and ultimately, life purpose.

 His mission in the Western world could be summed up in the Xhosa word ‘Masiyembo’ – involving a profound remembering of the human spirit. As John says, “when people can remember their dreams and connect to their life purpose, then their true vocation surfaces; namely being in service and acting as guardians to our planet”. 

Book: Leopard Warrior – A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams 

Audio: The Way of the Leopard – Meditations and Shamanic Practices from the Heart of Africa

Published on Oct 3, 2017

Published on Sep 20, 2017

Also see https://batgap.com/paul-muller-ortega/

Professor Paul Muller-Ortega, Ph.D., is recognized internationally as one of the world’s most highly respected and renowned academic scholars in the field of Indian Religion and Hindu Tantra. He is the founder of Blue Throat Yoga, which teaches the elegant Svatantra philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism, along with the practice of Neelakantha Meditation.

For nearly fifty years, Paul has been a pioneer in the technology of Consciousness, lecturing and teaching about meditation and Indian philosophy to hundreds of thousands of people in North and South America, Europe, and India. Through his books, articles, essays, commentaries, and translations, Paul has earned a reputation for his unparalleled scholarly authenticity and for being a charismatic teacher with a remarkable capacity to convey esoteric truths and teachings. Paul’s teachings are highly accessible, relevant, and comprehensible to the Western mind.

Paul Muller-Ortega is the author of the highly acclaimed book, The Triadic Heart of Siva: Kaula Tantricism of Abhinavagupta in the Non-Dual Shaivism of Kashmir (Suny Series, Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir), in which he examines the “Heart” as the mystical core of Consciousness. He is also one of the co-authors of Meditation Revolution, as well as numerous scholarly articles on aspects of Tantric Studies.

Professor Paul Muller-Ortega earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Yale University in 1971. He received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, where he studied Sanskrit, Indian Religions, and Asian Philosophy and Culture. For twenty-five years he was a Professor of Religion at Michigan State and then the University of Rochester, and was known for his passionate and innovative teaching style and enrolled-to-capacity classes.

Paul has been a meditation practitioner and teacher for nearly fifty years. He has formally studied with several of the greatest meditation masters of our time, and subsequently, has organized and taught hundreds of meditation seminars, disseminating potent practices of meditation to thousands of individuals. With this rare combination of training, experience, skill, spiritual practice, and profound insight, Paul teaches his students to abide in the heart of Consciousness: a journey that is inspiring, life-changing and enlightening.

Website: http://bluethroatyoga.com

Another book:

The Philosophy of Sadhana (SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)

Raphael Cushnir is a leading voice in the world of emotional connection and present moment awareness. He has shared his unique approach to personal and professional development with millions of readers in O, The Oprah Magazine, Beliefnet, Spirituality and Health, Psychology Today, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of six books, lectures worldwide, and is a faculty member of the Esalen Institute and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. In addition, he coaches individuals and couples, as well as organizations and their teams. Raphael’s own heart was opened by an experience of profound grief

 

Website: http://cushnir.com Books:

  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection
  • The One Thing Holding You Back: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Connection (CD & Audio Download)
  • Surfing Your Inner Sea: Essential Lessons for Lasting Serenity
  • Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life
  • How Now: 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment
  • Unconditional Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship


Advaita Zen master Mooji is unlike anyone else you are likely to meet, for he compels one to question one’s very nature and existence. From the very first encounter, people from all walks of life are deeply touched by his indefinable presence, and perhaps for the very first time experience a natural sense of happiness and peace as they come to discover who or what they truly are. Mooji (Anthony Paul Moo-Young) was born in Jamaica on January 29, 1954.

As a teenager, he moved to London, UK, where he later worked as a street portrait artist and then as an art teacher in the local college. In 1987, an encounter with a Christian mystic inspired Mooji to ‘walk out of his life’—an expression he uses to convey the profundity of that meeting. In 1993, Mooji traveled to India, where seemingly by chance, he met his Master, Sri HWL Poonja, or Papaji, as he is affectionately known by his devotees. At Papaji’s feet, whatever still remained of an active ego was finally uprooted.

Recognizing Mooji’s radiance, people from various parts of the world soon began to approach him to simply sit in his presence and to ask questions regarding their search for Truth. The capacity to guide them arose spontaneously in him. While Mooji’s presence exudes compassion and devotion, his unity with Truth is also potently shared through self-inquiry—the unsparing light of wisdom which dispels the delusions and suffering common to human experiencing. In his direct and open interactions, each one who meets Mooji with a genuine urge for freedom is pulled by his profound unconditional love and the power of his pointings into the recognition of the infinite Self we already are.

Mooji presently resides at Monte Sahaja in Portugal and he continues to share Satsang worldwide with all who yearn to discover their true nature. Website: http://mooji.org Books: Vaster Than Sky, Greater Than Space: What You Are Before You Became White Fire: Spiritual Insights and Teachings of Advaita Zen Master Mooji The Mala of God Writing on Water Before I Am, Second Edition Breath Of The Absolute – Dialogues With Mooji Interview recorded August 27, 2017.


Christina Donnell, Ph.D. is best known as a spiritual teacher, mystic and author. She is the Director of The Winds of Change Association, an educational organization dedicated to offering programs that tend our evolving human consciousness. In her book, Transcendent Dreaming: Stepping into Our Human Potential, she chronicles quantum states of awareness in which the participatory nature of perception impacts our visible world. It is a deep foray into truths about our human potential—a new distribution of our resources, and a way to know unity consciousness and be its agent in the world. Transcendent Dreaming won multiple awards for its timely and relevant message which urges us all to tap into the hidden potential within us. Christina conveys a simple yet profound message: Through deepening receptive awareness the participatory nature of perception unfolds and the transfiguration of our consciousness occurs. She is a natural born, pragmatic, mystic and teacher who shares her message worldwide via public lectures, teaching, keynote addresses, and wisdom talks. Many of which benefit independent spiritual centers. The fusion of her unique lyrical prose style with her transmission of the unseen brings a sense of discovery to all audiences. Christina was initiated as a medicine woman by the Q’ero Indians of the High Andes and has worked closely with them for 25 years. Inspired by the cultural shifts and changing human values on a planetary scale, she is dedicated to cultivating and awakening the potency of the human spirit. Christina maintains a small consultation practice along with her teaching commitments. Websites: christinadonnell.com transcendentdreaming.com Interview recorded August 26, 2017.

Gloria Agrelius, (Gloriji), had been a bartender for more than 25 years and owned a blues biker bar. In 1999 her brother died of an overdose. Upon hearing the news, her mother died of a heart attack the following day. Gloriji closed the bar, went home, and fell apart.

She writes, “It felt like I was dropping through a dark space, feet first — rapidly dropping. I couldn’t find anything to hold onto. It felt like I was being stripped of everything that made me me. It was all gone.”

While on her knees crying out for help, the room she was in filled with radiant light and she recognized herself as that light. An overwhelming sense that all is well filled her being. She told the light that while she didn’t know what this was, she would dedicate the rest of her life to finding out. A thirst for truth filled her heart and gave her strength to step more deeply into the unknown. She spent the next decade deepening and healing.

While on retreat with Adyashanti, after hearing of her awakening experiences, Adya encouraged her to share herself with others. Adya’s encouragement helped her to trust the strange new territory of teacher, mentor, healer… all held lightly in the open hand and heart that knows there is no other than the Supreme Reality… the Mystery she has come to Love.

Website: http://gloriji.com

Published on Aug 14, 2017

James Wood works with groups and individuals to discover the fundamental Reality of our essential nature. Having awakened in 2002 after years of study, he began to express a spontaneous teaching whose form continues to evolve. His message is that awakening is possible for anyone committed to finding Truth.

Originally, James studied philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin and transformational studies with Richard Moss, M.D. He has combined his education and experience to express a modern, integrated vehicle for others to use as a means of growth in consciousness leading to awakening. He is dedicated to communicating the essence of the true Teaching to those who are ready to receive it.

Book: Ten Paths to Freedom: Awakening Made Simple

Website: http://jameswoodteachings.com


Published on Aug 7, 2017

Discussion of this interview at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Batga…

Trained in the 90’s as a teacher in spiritual therapy. The search stopped, among other ‘things’, mainly through the confrontation with Nisargadatta’s I am That, and Ramana Maharshi’s glare and words and the spontaneous recognition of Awareness (Consciousness) as reality. ‘After’ that awakening the ‘I Am/Consciousness’ was recognised to be the first identification.

Since ’98 Hans has led hundreds of satsangs, retreats and private sessions. He published eight books and a booklet, many many articles and columns, youtube satsang video’s (one in English) and seven homemade music cd’s. Hans is sometimes judged as being too confrontational or direct, or, more kindly, as very clear. On the other hand people credit him for his creativity and patience. Funny, right?

The following points and others reflecting Hans’ perspective were discussed in the interview: When spirituality is not alarming, it’s not worth mentioning. Burn-out is never about work. It’s a spiritual crisis. Not feeling and listening leads to inauthenticity which at a certain point makes the ‘soul’ scream for change. Self-inquiry is for internal use only. Not for beating others down, or to be used as an excuse for lousy behavior. Becoming aware isn’t necessarily pleasant. It will always bring clarity though. Reality is never a problem until we start to project our beliefs, fears, expectations and judgements onto it. You are far too much interested in solutions, and in the meantime it is your mind (what you believe) who is creating the trouble in the first place. Ego-mind has only two modes: trying to get something and trying to get rid of something. Sprituality based on this doesn’t deserve the name. Unresolved issues keep you from being truly present and real. Avoidance is one of the most weakening tributes of identification with the mind. A lot of (your) spirituality is insincere. It’s mostly based on trying to get rid of something, avoiding authenticity, masking what is really there, taking on a new persona. Not feeling things fully. Not facing facts. Trying to force an outcome. Overreacting and looking for approval. All sings of immaturity. Sub-human attitudes. What you truly are has never been hurt or treated badly, it’s not lacking anything. It’s completely free, whole and shining. NOW. ALREADY. It’s fearless!

Website: http://hanslaurentius.nl

Published on Aug 1, 2017

Sri M – spiritual guide, social reformer and educationist – was born into a Muslim family on November 6, 1949 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His transformational journey, from a young boy to a living yogi, is a fascinating story symbolized by single-minded discipline and dedication.

Entranced by mystical stories of Sufi saints and a brief encounter with a numinous Swami at a relatively young age, he was not only drawn to the ‘truth’ but also the compelling landscape of the snow-clad Himalayas. At the age of nine, his spiritual transformation was initiated by his future Master, Babaji (also known as Maheshwarnath Babaji), who miraculously appeared under a jackfruit tree in the compound of his house in Thiruvananthapuram. Though only fleeting, this meeting definitively set the stage for their future reunion in the Himalayas at Sri M’s age of nineteen.

The next three and half years, he lived and travelled extensively through the Himalayas with his Master. Maheshwarnath Babaji guided him right through his initiation, his Kundalini awakening, the grueling journey to Tholingmutt and, the eventual meeting with the Grand Master, Sri Guru Babaji also known as Sri Mahavatar Babaji.

A few years after his Master passed away, he received the spiritual go-ahead to commence his mission. In 1998, he started his teachings, eventually leading to formation of the Satsang Foundation.

In response to a query on the spiritual progress of a person and the path to that evolution, he responds, “Though, my parampara is kriya yoga, I don’t think it suits all aspirants. I propound satsang even between two people. It cuts across barriers of caste and creed. Spiritual evolution is not diverse from regular living. Intervals of solitude are necessary but you cannot shut yourself totally. The world around you is your touchstone to spiritual practice.” Conversant with teachings of most major religions, Sri M says: “Go to the core. Theories are of no use.” His message seeks to transcend the outer-shell of all religions, by exploring their mystical core to nurture the innate goodness in every human being.

Website: http://satsang-foundation.org

Books:

  • Journey Continues: A Sequel To Apprenticed To A Himalayan Master
  • Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography
  • Wisdom of the Rishis: The Three Upanishads: Ishavasya, Kena & Mandukya
  • Jewel in the Lotus: Deeper Aspects of Hinduism
  • The Little Guide To Greater Glory And A Happier Life

Interview recorded 7/30/2017

Stephen D’Amico is a spiritual teacher, mystical poet, and author. At age 22, Stephen went through a profound spiritual transformation that culminated in a permanent realization of his true nature. Since then his life has been devoted to understanding the spiritual path from an evolutionary perspective and helping others reconnect with their true nature to help bring about a global awakening in human consciousness. The main way he does this is through the direct transmission of the enlightened state of being, which connects others with their own true nature.

In the past, Stephen has worked in the field of conflict resolution and restorative justice as a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and project leader for youth social action groups. He has also taught at both the elementary and high school levels, focusing on the special needs of students with learning disabilities. Currently, he and his wife, Aniko, run Millwood Melt, a lively grilled cheese restaurant in their beloved community of Leaside, in Toronto. Customers and students playfully refer to Stephen as “the grilled cheese guru.”

When not feeding bodies, Stephen lives and breathes to feed souls. He currently hosts transformational gatherings/satsang and offers individuals enlightened guidance and support via phone, Skype, or in person. He is the author of two books:

The Incredible State of Absolute Nothingness: A Personal Account of Spiritual Enlightenment
Heaven on Earth: A Guide to Enlightenment & Human Unity.

Website: http://stephendamico.com

Published on Jul 12, 2017

Hoksila Lakota, commonly known as John Lokota is a Native American whose heritage comes from Oklahoma and the Great Plains of North America. Many generations ago his people lived in harmony with all things Universal, “uni” meaning One and “verse” being Song. When a system came in that crippled the people, making them dependent, some stayed and accepted the system and some left seeking broader horizons.

Rejecting the life of poverty and struggle he was born into, as a young man Lakota John fully embraced the illusion of glamour, bright lights and the fast pace of a big city. Trading in his cultural identity and the ways of his ancestors – a way of prayer and Spirit – he was lured by the seductive power of the city’s underworld, chasing the counterfeit lifestyle of money and self gain.

After travelling down many dead end roads in a reckless disregard for life, the light finally dawned, and Lakota awakened to the prompting of Spirit and ancient ancestors calling him back to the Red Road of Sobriety. Finding his innocence, or inner sense, by working through his past, he began to walk the straight and narrow path that leads to the sacred Tree of Life and reunion with the Highest Good, God or Wakan Tanka.

The impact his own restoration had on his life moved him to reach out to others, and ever since he has been involved in the mental health sector and working with keepers of the sacred pathways and knowledge for over twenty years. Through the lifestyle he once lived he is able to recognize the unseen enemy that binds and captivates the soul of man and woman through separation, suppression and sedation. Using the time-tested spiritual wisdom of his ancestors he helps guide others back from the dark world that he himself used to live in; the world of illusion, delusion and separation.

Published on Jul 11, 2017

In the midst of his career as an artist and photographer, Robert Saltzman experienced a sudden and profound awakening—a deep vision into the actual nature of “myself.” That abrupt change in point of view, along with a subsequent long illness and slow recovery, changed the course of his life. He left the art world, obtained a doctorate in Depth Psychology, and began his practice of psychotherapy, a work he describes as “days in a small room, face to face with pain and suffering.”

As an adjunct to his therapy practice, Robert established a website, www-dr-robert.com that featured his replies to questions about psychology, consciousness, and ordinary problems of living such as relationships, personality disorders, sexuality, mental illness, death and dying, etc. That site became the most popular ask the psychologist web page on the internet, and has welcomed over four million visitors.

In 2012, Robert moved his question and answer work to a Facebook page where it continues to this day. The Ten Thousand Things is a book of words and images about awakening, consciousness, philosophy, and spirituality. Forty chapters–each beginning with a photograph–based upon Robert’s replies to questions posed to him on Facebook and in private correspondence.

Book: The Ten Thousand Things

Website: http://dr-robert.com

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